#RPGaDay2020 – Day 19: Meet

We are 19 prompts into #RPGaDay2020 and for much of that time we have been on a detour through the rooms and halls which frame the map infographic. This format has proven to be much more fun that I hoped it would be when I suggested it. Our detour today brings us to yesterday’s prompt today while most others are going to respond to a prompt today that we responded to yesterday. Very exciting: we have crossed the streams but have not caused all life as we know to stop instantaneously and every molecule in our bodies to explode at the speed of light. I figure that is a result of the strict adherence to positivity underpinning RPGaDay.

Let’s just say this is not a romantic rendezvous

As the four ghostbusters, more stubborn than stalwart, gaze at the enormous wickerwork giant intended to reforest the Earth with carnivorous plants fertilized and fed by human remains, there is room for one heartbeat of despair before the silence of doubt is shattered by the nasal and self-congratulatory tones that not just Dunhill recognizes. He, of course, has heard that voice more recently, but the other three know his voice from their early days as lecturers at the University.

“Nigel I-changed-my-middle-name-to-sound-tougher Peck. Your brother couldn’t get you a cushy job at the EPA?” Lemmon launches his weak sally slowly and carefully, without turning around.

“Very funny, Lemmon. That was so funny, I forgot to laugh…. but Linda here, loved it,” the menace in his voice has everyone sit up and take notice and we are at that part of the session where body language has shifted away from reflecting the player and now most closely models the character.

The tower staircase ends in a glassed-in observation deck and they already know from the description of the staircase that there is a large, well-appointed meeting room forming the entirety of the tower’s top floor.

Dunhill’s player’s brow creases and I see him check out the map which causes a deeper crease before he asks sincerely, “How did you get up here?”

“I don’t have time to explain basic architecture to you, Mr. Theodore. It’s time for you to be united with Linda’s claws!”

“Don’t you want to reveal your evil plan? I mean, we already know what it is, and think its pretty lame, but maybe you can change out minds if you spin it just right,” Lemmon mocks, hands floating over his pool of dice.

I nod and he counts out his pool for Cool, and rolls. We have a culture of play where if I do not stat the Difficulty, we know it is ‘normal,’ so his eyes look over results where nothing is below a 3, his pool of 6 easily beating a 10, and smiles. He knows his barb has struck home. “Go on, tell us!” he prods as his indication that what he wants from his success is for Peck to monologue about his plan.

See the source image
Lemmon is more than cool enough to avoid a re-enactment of this scene.

I don’t disappoint him. I present a character for Peck that is bitter and petty, and who, in the grip of those emotions, has sold out to otherworldly powers to get revenge on a world that continually and correctly calls him on his self-centered smallness and mean-spirited actions.

As I babble, Dunhill tries a Move roll to see if he can warn the others not to hurt Linda without interrupting Peck’s diatribe of bile. He just makes it, so I describe Linda noticing what he says, but Peck raging on, growing more and more animated.

As the rant reaches a crescendo, Diego’s player makes eye contact with me, his finger resting on the large print and double-circled, “I am possessed AGAIN!” on his notepad and he steps in to provide praise and support from the entity sharing his body, like a call and response routine at a hyperactive revival church.

“Preach it! The Greening is Coming!” he smarms in ecstasy.

So caught up in his rant is Peck, that Diego adds a few of these before I describe him crashing to a verbal stop and regarding Diego in confusion before asking, “Spencer…? You… agree with me?”

“Uh… yeah… I totally buy what you are… uh, selling… Man” Diego falters, while the entity opts for nodding Diego’s head enthusiastically with adoration.

I look at the dice, and with a wry look at his tiny pool, the player smiles.

“I find that… a little hard to believe…” I slip the difficulty into dialogue to keep the scene going IC (in-character) as long as possible. “You were always so… dismissive of my intellect.”

“He is dismissive of everyone’s intellect,” schmoozes Dieter, “Even mine! If you can believe it!”

The roll for Diego surprises us all by scraping by with exactly and improbably what he needed, and I continue to play Peck as though his own arrogance clouds his view so that a world where Diego Spencer, genius, could agree with his plans for world devastation and reforestation makes total sense.

Through all of this, Linda has been eyeing Dunhill and her mandibles have been twitching.

Gray has been sidling over to the side, as you do, and we can all tell what is coming. He still startles us when he suddenly yells, “Get him!”

See the source image
Not this, but the reflection of this in our subconscious was obvious later.

He described launching a tackle at Peck and the dice back him up, so the two end up grappling atop the boardroom table in the center of the room, sending mics and notepads flying. Linda, just keeps her eyes on Dunhill. He signals for her to stand still while making sure no one fires up a proton pack to try bug-zapping.

Gray and Peck go at it like pro-wrestlers for a moment, before Peck cries out for help… but not to Linda.

Vines smash through the glass walls of the meeting room to entangle the ghostbusters, but acting quickly, Linda helps fend them off and points them to the other set of stairs at the back of the room.

Fighting and retreating ensues, dice are rolled, colorful language is used, but Dunhill manages to drag Diego out of the room, Gray is hauled out by Dieter, and Linda plays rear-guard, following them down the stairs with a clatter. Peck taunts them from the top of the stairs.

“There is nowhere to run! There is nowhere to hide!”

As usual, they ignore him.

They believe him, but it’s the plants that have to be stopped.

Do they now have an ally to help them do so?

Questions: How many forms of meeting are described in this post? What are some other possible outcomes of the meeting between Peck and the ghostbusters? Of these, which are most on-genre?

Video: Later today a video will be added below to serve as a companion to this entry. The chances of it featuring a dog are extraordinarily high.

Today is a special day in terms of the prompt: Meet
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