#RPGaDay2020 – Day 6: Lever

With Grey, Dieter, and Diego in the grip of animated vines, now seems like the perfect time for a more decisive cut to Dunhill down in Area 25. That means the prompt for today will be out of numerical order, but it is coming at just the right time for our exploration of this scene from the GM and Player perspective.

Oh no! The party has been split!

When last we saw stalwart Dunhill he was putting on a brave front in the face of horror. He signed on to be a ghostbuster and some weird guy creeping around in secret passages with a giant preying mantis does not fit his job description – though he is itching to blast them with his proton pack just the same.

I re-establish the scene by cutting almost mid-sentence from the other three to Dunhill. The others are on the edge of their seats, reaching for dice, and though they were expecting it by now, they still cannot believe that we are cutting away – then they laugh.

“Great,” say’s Lemmon’s player. “More time to worry and for you to turn Dunhill into a reject from animal planet!”

“Right!” quips Stent’s player. “A cougar or something!”

I nod with much more seriousness than I actually feel and turn to Dunhill, who is still sitting a bit apart from the others.

“…the other door in the room rolls open and vines shoot forth to try to entangle you! But! Down in the red-lit passage, the giant mantis turns around, Dunhill still over what passes for its shoulders in a fireman’s carry, and he can see the rubble filled passage that used to lead to the lobby, the Coke machine, and friends. On the wall, a make-shift panel with heavy and badly organized power-conduits boasts an incomprehensible array of blinking lights, and a suite of three levers – one of which has been pulled into the downward position.

“That is the last time I ever buy a can of Coke for someone!” he says mostly to himself.

“You should thank me for interrupting your drive to hydrate. You see the best vector for my transformative serum turned out to be sugary drinks, so I spiked the cans.”

“You mean Gray would have turned into…!?”

“Some random giant insect, yes…. well, no. The serum, distilled from the illegal and experimental ingredients secretly hidden in this facility’s dump site, charged with the ectoplasmic residue from the glorious portal to another dimension which their treachery caused to open and my efforts have cause to open much, much wider…! Uh, what was your question?”

Dunhill puts on his best exasperated tone and can’t help casting an amused glance at the shock on the faces of the other three.

“I didn’t have a question so much as a surprised and sudden desire for confirmation that your comment indeed meant that Gray would have been transformed into a mantis,” Dunhill enunciates each word clearly, covering for an effort to sneakily get at the proton pack.

His pool for Cool is not great and he nods understandingly as I let him know the difficulty is hard. He will need to roll a total of 20+ and he still has to deal with the Ghost Die. He hesitates for a second, looks at the stack of Brownie Points, and then passes me two of them. He, of course, is thinking of these less as a resource for extra dice in this moment, but as his very life.

I take the points and he gathers his dice, plus the two extra he has bought.

He doesn’t make it.

And he rolls a ghost.

“We need a new Ghost Die,” the player says conversationally, causing the table to burst into laughter and lean in to hear what goes wrong.

The mantis makes some rasping and hissing noise, as he feels the ghostbuster shifting his weight and slams Dunhill against the wall hard enough to hurt and I take one of his Brownie Points.

The giant creature drops Dunhill against the wall, and scuttles about hugely to face him with his mandibles clicking and its huge eyes…. eyeing him.

The amused glint is replaced by the steel-eyed glint of the gamer who is paying complete attention now. He knows he isn’t being picked on, but he also knows that the stakes are being raised. He can get something useful from this situation, but he is gambling with Dunhill’s life to do it.

See the source image

“Hey! There is something wrong with your pet!” Dunhill groans.

“She isn’t my pet, she is… she was.. my shift supervisor, Linda. Now she is my great protector in my struggle to…” he inhales deeply and expands his chest, “… transform…the…world!”

Dunhill attempts to roll under the mantis and describes trying to reach the bank of levers.

“I’m going to pull one!” he cries.

“No!” cry the others.

“Roll…” I say.

Questions: Are there more ‘levers’ presented in this scene than in the purely physical sense?

What might they be and what might they be for?

Video Link: Later today, a link to the companion video for this entry will be added to the bottom of this page.

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