NBA Actual Play thread

I am starting this thread as a repository for actual play summaries of Night’s Black Agents.  I’ll begin!  I played in the NBA adventure Stoker at Philly Games Convention.  The GM was my brother, Bill.  He is writing the adventure as part of the Dracula Dossier on Kickstarter for Pelgrane Press. Although I am, admittedly, not an objective participant, I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.  Set in the late 1800s, George Stoker, among others, is in the Balkans investigating unusual activities in the war between the Russian and Ottoman empires.  The characters stumble into something much stranger than they could have expected.  The adventure serves as a prequel to the Dracula Dossier because it provides the impetus for British Intelligence to seek out and attempt to recruit Dracula.  The highlight of the game for me was when my character, a Turkish soldier escorting the British visitors, confronted an enigmatic eunuch who was the master of servants in an isolated hilltop villa.  As the eunuch brandished a massive tulwar, in true Indiana Jones fashion my character leveled his rifle and shot him.  But the eunuch kept on coming!  I’ll leave it at that to avoid too many spoilers! 

Mel

Comments

  • Great Mel! This is the adventure that I am mostly looking forward to in regards to the adventures that are part of the Dracula Dossier. I plan to run it with my players before announcing the campaign.

    /Rickard
  • I think that's a neat idea to start the campaign!
    Mel
  • Actual Play from Dexcon, 2015
    I ran a Night's Black Agents game at Dexcon so here are some thoughts from it--I'm trying to limit the spoilers! I've been trying out some "Gumshoe-Lite" rules to make the game easier for me to run and I hope more fun for the players.  I've adjusted the mechanics so that all rolls are player facing--players roll to hit, players roll to avoid damage, players roll to avoid being surprised or spotted etc.  That worked pretty well, meaning I no longer have to track any NPC pools other than Aberrance and damage.  Plus, I've distilled all the skills into five skills:  Investigate (which encompasses all the clue finding and interpersonal skills), Agent (all the general skills), Network (used for Contacts and Covers), Preparedness (same as NBA) and Well-Being, which represents the character's physical, mental, financial, reputation, and other resources.  In a conflict or other roll, skill points (such as Agent or Preparedness) are spent before the roll as normal, but Well-Being can be spent after the roll.  I like this because it reduces the whiff factor but there is still the need for resource management because when Well-being is gone the character is taken out.  In the adventure, the characters were associated with an organization called the Special Task Force on the Prevention of Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons (STOPSTIP) with the mission to surveil a suspected trafficking scheme in order to identify the specific nodes in the trafficking network.  The surveillance took a dramatic turn when elements of the supernatural became evident.  Chases and fights ensued but I will leave it at that for the recap!  My big realization after running the adventure is that the setup for adventure did not mesh well with my rule modifications.  The mechanics make the characters extremely competent in what they can do, and efficient in terms of point spends--real super-agents.  But the setup makes the characters seem like a bureaucratic task force--more likely to pick up the phone than to pick up a pistol.  The characters included a priest, a couple of NGO representatives, and a career bureaucrat among others.  It was a fun game, but I see now I have to revise the agents' starting spiel in order to encourage the creation of characters who are super-spies!
    Mel
  • Actual Play from Gencon 2015.  I played in an adventure entitled “Burned Blood” ran by Joseph Powers.  It was a lot of fun!  Our agents were an international group of burned spies whose common factor was  some kind of previous encounter with vampiric thralls, although not necessarily vampires.  We began in a Moscow safehouse, where our electronics experts picked up some evidence of weird transactions involving blood banks in St. Petersburg.  We also learned of an incoming shipment of some kind that coincided with a large movement of blood.  Having had some experience with vampirology, we knew something no good was up—so we made a plan to disrupt the activity.  Our plan involved gaining possession of a tug boat and recruiting a tug boat crew, infiltrating a cargo vessel, and blowing it up!  Our one casualty chose to go down with the ship fighting vampires, buying time for the rest of us to escape.  Good guys 1, vampires 0.  

    Mel

  • Actual Play from Dexcon 2016. I ran an adventure titled "The Lazarus Sanction", adapted from an earlier version written by my brother, Bill. I had to make changes so that Bill could play! Basically, imagine oil is a necromantic fluid derived from the death throes of the dinosaurs. How does that affect reality? I threw in some environmental activists, cryptographic puzzles, oceangoing spas, and an F1 race in Baku to create what I think came out as a fun adventure. It had just enough echoes of Bill's original writeup to see the common genesis but otherwise was all new!
  • That sounds like a great idea Mel with the oil would be interested to see some notes on that if you have any.
  • brevity said:

    That sounds like a great idea Mel with the oil would be interested to see some notes on that if you have any.

    Sent you a note!
  • I've been chronicling my NBA game at RPGGeek in the weekly "How Did Your Game Go?" thread. I'm not sure if there's an efficient way to track it, however. We started with some custom stuff regarding the old Soviet vampire program and transitioned into the Dracula Dossier (plus I mined several set pieces from The Zalozhniy Quartet). The team is on the penultimate chapter in England before a trip to Romania.
  • brevitt said:

    That sounds like a great idea Mel with the oil would be interested to see some notes on that if you have any.

    Part of this game was on a podcast, no?
  • Yep! We used excerpts from Bill's version that he ran at Gencon last year at Virtual Play, our podcast of roleplaying games. Good memory!
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