HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

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00Edge
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HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

Postby 00Edge » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:33 am

Episode 1 - Nov 11, 2017

Welcome to all new adventures in the Heroes of Horror genre. This time in the American Arcana sub-genre set in 1921 prohibition-era San Francisco, CA.

The players:
Darren Gerhardt - A high strung skill monger who is a professional photojournalist/freelance photographer. He knows people across the bay and has access to several film development labs. He earns his keep by taking pictures of things other want to know about, but don't want to see in person.
Jim Corbott - A 14 y.o. professional monster hunter. This young man has the guns, and the guts, to take on the "big" game haunting the bay area. Living on a boat this youngster is ready to face the world. (Knows Darren Gerhardt professionally as he takes pictures of Jim Corbott kills)
Valori AKA "Val" Smithe - A local saw bones with three strikes against them. Strike 1, a woman. Strike 2, not human (and hides it). Strike 3, can use arcane magic (really, really hides it). She makes her living by patching up the local gangsters and monster hunters. She works in secret as doctor to the underworld, and only takes work from those she knows. (Knows Jim Corbott having treated him for injuries received on the job)

The action:
We find our adventurers scattered across the city of San Francisco, CA leading their lives. Darren Gerhardt has become worried that a homeless WW1 veteran contact of his named Old Joe has gone missing. So Darren secures the services of a local hunter he knows, named Jim Corbott to help him search for Joe. It doesn't take them long before they find him laying wounded and unconscious on one of the many cargo peers near China Town. Joe is severely injured and can't even be moved. So Jim decides to call the "Doc" to come help out. It takes her an hour to get out to them, but when she arrives she quickly assesses the scene and determines that the man can only be moved laying flat. The group grabs an empty cargo pallet and lays him on it after the Doc applies a bandage to slow the bleeding. They move over to the pier warehouse and break into the office on the premises. After a quick sterilization process (using 'vodka') on a table large enough to hold Joe, Doc Val get to work patching him up good enough to move him to someplace "safer". After 4 bottles of saline, and careful stitch work, Val has him done up enough to move him safely. Some quick thinking has Darren and Val think to call "Eddie" the cab driver. The fast talking, faster driving, woman chasing Asian elf in a bright red cab shows up and takes the bunch over into China Town to a closet hotel where Old Joe can recuperate. Darren pays for a week's stay and everyone goes home for the night.

The next morning Darren and the Doc go back to the hotel to check on Joe. Joe tells a tale of Sister Jane from the local soup kitchen getting dragged off into the night. Joe gave chase and confronted the creature only to get seriously wounded in the exchange. Unfortunately, Sister Jane was nowhere to be seen by the time Joe caught up to the beast. Included in the tale was a man who shot Joe in the back with some kind of strange pistol. Joe described the creature as he remembered seeing it in the dark. It wasn't much to go on, but the investigator part of Darren was glad for the information. The Doc gave Joe instructions for 2 days of bed rest, eat lots of meat, and NO booze so he could heal up. She went back to "work" while Darren took off to fill in Jim the hunter. The two of them met up to continue the investigation without the Doc. They found out several homeless folks (including a whole family) have gone missing over the last 2 months. The same 'rotting fish' smell that Old Joe described was linked to the disappearances. They were also told that the same smell was coming off the fish delivered to the soup kitchen about a week prior to the current date. The church running the soup kitchen wanted nothing to do with the stinking meat since they thought it was no good. Darren and Jim were forced to buy it to even look at it as part of their investigation. After paying the church Darren thought it would be a good idea to take the stuff across the bay to a marine biologist he knows at UC Berkeley.

After dropping the stinking pile of flesh off with the good doctor for further research, Darren and Jim head back to 'Frisco. Now rather late in the day both men decide to call it a night and go to bed. Jim gets a rude awakening in the middle of the night. Several creatures are trying to burst through his door. They break it in on the second try. Standing before Jim are two of the ugliest, smelliest, man-in-a-rubber suit looking, , , things. Jim kills the two that entered his cabin, but not before they got him good. There were two more on deck who fled after seeing the young hunter quickly dispatch their two brethren in the close quarters of the boat's cabin. Jim called up Darren for a photo session, he would need the documentation of his kills to collect the bounty. After getting his payout at the police station Jim called the Doc, just as she was about to go to bed after a night of partying. Jim gets into her 'office' where upon seeing how badly he's hurt (2/10 con left) she decides to put him under anesthesia (laudnum/ether/etc) to be treated. Once Jim is asleep she uses her magic to heal up the worst of his wounds (back up to 8/10) before stitching up the rest to make it look good. She leaves him a written bill before going to sleep on her office cot. Jim pays up on his way out the door and heads back to his boat to find its been seriously vandalized.

And that's where we end our episode of American Arcana. Stay tuned for further adventures in the "City by the Bay".

00Edge
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Re: HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

Postby 00Edge » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:02 am

Episode 2 - Nov 18, 2017

Welcome back to HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco.

When we last saw our adventurers they had gone their separate ways. Mostly to go home and sleep. Poor Jimmy found his boat in serious need of repairs from having been torn apart by lord knows who. So Jimmy takes his boat to the repair dock and scrapes together the cash from his cash reserves to pay for the repairs. They'll take 5 days to be completed. With part of his armor destroyed, next on Jimmy's to-do list is to find new armor to replace the destroyed coat. He finds, and buys, a silk vest that will provide a fair amount of protection. With his wallet now considerably lighter Jimmy now sets out to find a place to sleep. He gains lodging at a mid-range hotel and pays for a week's stay (for the discount). Now at the end of the day it's time for Jimmy to get some sleep.

Meanwhile Darren went down to the dock where the fishing trawler that brought in the bad batch of fish and stayed the rest of the night watching it.
He stayed until after sunset the next day. Darren then went down to the place where he knew Jimmy kept his boat docked to find the pair missing. Not sure where to find the young hunter he left to go get some sleep himself. The next morning Jimmy calls up Darren at his office to get back in touch and find out what's going on. Darren has tracked down the owner of the fishing vessel and is going to pay him a visit and asks Jimmy to join him. The two men head down to the office building where the owner is located. They enter the building and head up to his office where they startle the man's drunk/hungover secretary. They then make their way into his office and have a talk with him. After talking with the boat's owner they have written authorization to board and inspect his boat the Deep Diver. Darren and Jimmy then leave the office with the owner hastily leaving with them. They exit the building and decide that on their way to the pier it would be a good idea to get the Doc. They head over to her office in Chinatown.

Upon arriving in Chinatown and knocking on the Doc's office they find that she's just now waking up for the day. They tell her that they're on their way to check out the fishing boat and there might be injured people and could use her assistance if that's the case. She agrees to go and shuts the door to get ready, so the men head outside to have a smoke while they wait. An hour later she emerges from the building looking fresh faced and ready to go. The trio head to the pier and get the dock master to send men to roll a temporary gangplank over to the boat so they can board her. Once aboard they begin searching the ship. They find plenty of evidence of injuries and even a corpse. The captain's cabin is in total disarray. The log books and navigation charts are missing. On the crew deck the lights are not all on. Some of them have been damaged. There is also a very strong odor that drives the two men back onto the poop/top deck retching. The Doc heads down to the crew deck to see what the fuss was about and opens the portholes to air it out for them. She opens the galley door and props it open. The massively foul odor has no effect on her, but keeps the men vomiting up top. The galley is completely dark. If it weren't for her ability to see in the dark she wouldn't have gone into the room. So enter she did finding the nearest porthole she went to open it only to find her hand touching some gross sticky/gooey substance. She didn't open the window and instead walked out into the light to see, in detail, what was on her hand. A mixture of blood and feces covered her whole hand. Knowing it wouldn't be good for her health to leave it she fled the boat to go wash the foulness away with soap and water. The men weren't happy that the odor wasn't going away. Darren was finally able to get over it enough to brave the stench and headed down to the crew deck and closed the galley door. By the time that Jimmy was able to once again go down stairs the Doc was back. The remainder of the ship turned up signs of illegal activity. Mostly smuggling of animals and goods of an illegal magical nature. A shocker lizard was found in the engine room providing power to the lights that had not been broken. The crew bunks were covered in dried blood telling of some violent end to those that had lived, and worked, aboard the vessel. And finally the ship's cargo hold was locked tightly. After working at it Jimmy broke into the hold. There were hundreds of waterproof leather bags. A quick search of a handful of the bags revealed that they contained arcane spell books, arcane scrolls, and dragon scales. All very valuable on the black market, and highly illegal.

It was at this point that the three investigators decided to flee before they got accused of being involved by the police (or worse the church). The Doc not quite as afraid as the rest lagged behind to steal a few "souvenirs" for herself. She quickly stuffed two of each kind of bag into her doctors bag, not having room for more without them being seen. She slammed the door trying to make it appear as if she was trying to make it look closed. As they finally were leaving the boat the doctor slowed to remove the borrowed boots she had taken from the captain's cabin and drop them into the water between the boat and the pier. The two men had already stepped down onto the dock and so she made the easier target for the ambush that was waiting for them. Once she had her shoes on she was hit by a shot from some distance putting a hole in her that collapsed a lung and made her drop to the ground in shock. Darren dropped a smoke stick providing cover as the doctor crawled her way into falling down the stairs into the smokey cover. Jimmy went for cover behind some crates and to try and spot where the shot came from. Being out of the smoke made Jimmy the target for the sniper's second shot that grazed him on the side of his head. The Doc tried to use her meager magical ability to heal herself. while hidden in the smoke. Darren heard the sounds of her spell casting , but said nothing of it. The Doc was able to stabilize herself after a few seconds. While that was happening the other two continued to keep to cover while also trying to close the distance to where Jimmy spotted the sniper at the end of the Pier. Jimmy finally made it to the building next to where the sniper was. Darren found solid cover inside a small boat house and the Doc was hiding behind another boat house trying to heal herself with her minor arcane healing magics. By the time Jimmy got to a spot to shoot back at the sniper the person was gone. The Doc had managed to heal herself up enough to not worry about dying. The group deciding that it was time to go to the boat captain's house and do so before the cops arrived at the pier they all left.

The Doc took off on her own to "see a colleague" and said she'd meet up with the others at the captain's house. An hour later sees the men walking up the stairs to his apartment in a three story "brownstone" type house. They're greeted with rudeness from the man's wife. Darren gets the wife to open the door only to be threatened with a rifle barrel stuck in his face through a narrowly opened door. Jimmy waits a second before he makes a move catching the person by surprise he disarms the holder of the rifle. Which just so happens to be the captain of the Deep Diver. Darren and Jimmy try to get the captain to talk, and while they're busy with him the captain tells his wife to run, fearing for both of their lives. It's not long afterwards that the Doc has caught up fully healed and redressed looking as if nothing has happened. After much cajoling and some threatening the captain finally tells a tale of smuggling and the catching of an aboleth. One of his crew was wounded by the aboleth, and fell ill soon after. The crew butchered the beast and filled their fish hold with the foul smelling meat. Once back in port the Ship's purser went ashore to sell off the "fish" while the rest of the crew was confined to quarters until they were all cleared of any illnesses. It backfired as the sick crewman changed and changed the others with him before they turned on the captain. The captain fled the ship out one of the portholes in his cabin. After the Doc smelled his hands (confirming that he had been shooting recently) the man confessed to being the sniper at the pier. It's about this time that there is a knock at the door. The Doc insists the other keep quiet and stay put and walks to the door. Just as she approaches to take a look through the peephole a shot bursts through the wooden barrier, barely missing the Doc causing her to drop to the floor looking for safety.

And so ends this exciting, action-packed episode. Stay tuned for more thrilling tales from HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

00Edge
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Re: HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

Postby 00Edge » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:34 am

Episode 3


*PLACE HOLDER*

00Edge
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Re: HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

Postby 00Edge » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:34 am

Episode 4

*PLACE HOLDER*

00Edge
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Re: HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

Postby 00Edge » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:34 am

Episode 5

*PLACE HOLDER*

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Re: HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

Postby 00Edge » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:35 am

Episode 6

*PLACE HOLDER*

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Re: HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

Postby 00Edge » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:32 am

Episode 7 - Jan 13, 2018

Welcome once again to HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

We we left our adventurers they were licking their wound and considering whether or not to press onwards into the house itself. As they're doing so the sounds of an approaching motorcycle alerts them to the fact that the dwarf named "leg breaker" has rejoined them. They believe that the dwarf's help will be enough to safely proceed. They enter the courtyard and Jimmy hears the sound of whimpering coming from the barn to their right. A quick entrance proves the area to be dangerous. A choker attacks the dwarf who lead the way. Jimmy follows in with the Doc standing off to the rear. Jimmy fires a wild shot off into the rafters and Leg Breaker readies his wrench to smack any tentacles it may try to send his way. The Choker grabs Jimmy and begins to throttle him. The dwarf misses, but the Doc's magic missiles are perfectly on target. Two casting are enough to kill the creature before it can actually cause Jimmy any injuries. A quick search of the barn reveals that the, now dead, creature was the only one present in the building. But there are 4 people (all adults) locked up in the animal stalls of the barn. The Doc tries to calm them with assurances they will return to free them.

After leaving the barn and continuing through the courtyard, Jimmy's magic sense alerts him to the presence of magics. The Doc quickly adds her own magic detection to the mix. She then zeroes in on an invisibility spell covering someones presence between two bushes. Speaking in Spanish Doc then guides Jimmy into place to block off one avenue of escape and tries to get Leg Breaker into position to block off the other. The target notices it and blows their cover by trying to blast Jimmy with a spell, missing his target. After popping back into invisibility he runs off and the crew try to track him by sound. The hear him splashing his way through the Koi pond and close in. Three skeletons pop out of the water, and attack. The dance of death begins yet again.

It takes all of a minute and a half for the dance to end with minor injuries to all three of the party before the skeletons are dealt with and the cultist to be dropped by getting shot in the back by the Doc. There is an open door and the sound of voices can be heard inside calling out to their fallen comrade. Who surprisingly is only unconscious. So he quickly comes to, thanks to a special little helper, and crawls his way into the room slamming the door behind himself. The team retreats from that door and goes back to the other door they were thinking of entering before. The presence of an alarm spell gives them pause. This proves to be their downfall. The Doc begins hearing a voice in the back of her head. The group heads over to the Koi pond driven to look there by the voice in Doc's head. With no sings of an enemy to fight there the two others walk towards the front door. Once there the enemy comes pooring out into the courtyard. The front doors open revealing the head of the cult and a group of cultists, meanwhile the men behind the voices from the other end of the house come out accompanied by the spell slinging cultist the fought just a moment before. The sheer numbers swarm the three. Leg breaker is enfeebled to immobility and then blasted with spells until he dies. Jimmy takes a shotgun to his brain-pan dropping him. And the Doc shrugs off the voice of the Cult leader in her brain and gets two loads of buck shot into her perky derriere dropping her to the ground. Once the three heroes in the courtyard are dealt with the mob turns to the outer area of the compound, but the two NPCs and Darren have enough time (and a working car) to make good their escape with no further harm to themselves.

Now Darren will have to find others to join him in the fight against this evil that plagues the cities by the bay. Stay tuned as we find out who those brave souls might be.

00Edge
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Re: HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

Postby 00Edge » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:53 am

Episode 8 - Jan 20, 2018

Welcome back to HoH - American Arcana: San Francisco

When we last saw our intrepid party of adventuring heroes they had sustained several permanent casualties. The lone survivor, Darren, returns with the dwarf NPCs to the mob boss. He is somewhat displeased by the results of what happened. He voices his displeasure and lets Darren know, in no uncertain terms, that Darren has until Saturday to pay him off. Darren goes and gets himself healed up, and starts combing his list of contacts for anyone that might be able to help out. He comes up with a few people who agree to tag along. First on the list is a contemporary of Jimmy, a fellow hunter named Vaquin. Next up is the half-orc "bodyguard" Dylan. And finally the half-starved looking, teenage, amnesiac thief "Jane". While sleeping the night after the new group forms Darren gets a call and is sent to photograph the aftermath of a fire, in Chinatown at a Chinese laundry. The SAME Chinese laundry the previous group had infiltrated in force. Later the same day Darren is told that a man with dark skin and a China man for a chauffeur came looking for him at the paper.

After the new team takes a couple of days to prepare (including Darren making a bomb), they venture forth back into the Berkeley hills to find and clear the "hacienda del evil." As they cross the bay a couple members of the group sees a large contingent of US Navy vessels at Goat Island. It seems the warning that they delivered had made it up the chain of command, and was taken seriously. The rest of the ferry ride was uneventful and the group continued on their way. They took the route they used before, but they wind up having difficulty finding the access road. They do eventually find the right place to go, but the road is gone. Turns out the cultists used a tractor to push down dirt off a neighboring hill to cover the road up and make the house hard to find. After a quick scouting trip (past a couple of skeletons) by Darren and Jane turned up a spot where the bomb could be planted, they return and sketch out a plan of attack with the others. The group approached the gate and the scouts once again snuck past the guard skeletons. Just after that happened Dylan opened fire with his Browning M2 .50 caliber HMG in single shot mode. The fight was now on. A third skeleton ran out to join the others from next to a tree in the yard. While the two mainline fighters worked against the undead minions Darren and Jane approached the house to plant the bomb. They did so without incident. They hustled off and just cleared the blast radius just in time for the house to be destroyed, right as the skeletons were also destroyed. Darren's bomb also set off the mines that had been laid as traps for the party.

Once the house was deemed clear a quick search turned up evidence that the cult had cleared out taking all but a token guard force with them. This included all the magical items that were to go to the mob as payment. Darren was now in a real pickle. But Darren is not one to just give up, and being the smart book-loving knowledge seeker he is decides to look into the ownership of the house. After a few hours of investigation he finds a company that leads to a name of his prime suspect. After much deliberation Darren decides to take what he has to the paper. Darren is a bit paranoid though because of the people that have come looking for him, so he asks for bodyguards. Dylan and Vaquin agree to go, but Jane decides that's not her area of expertise and leaves to go earn some money.

Darren and the other two arrive at the paper and head inside no problem. It's once they reach his boss' secretary that the trouble starts. This kind woman, who knew Darren well flat out fails to recognize him and tries to send him packing like he's some kind of schmuck. Darren tries to jog her memory, but she's not buying it. Darren goes back to the others he knows well there and all three of them agree to go with him to the boss' office. Once there they all try to get the woman to remember Darren. She's still not remembering him, but she believe the four men together that she may, in fact, know this strange man. The Secretary then agrees to let him see the boss. She calls him out on the inter-office phone. The man that comes out to greet the group is not the man that Darren knows to be his boss. When Darren asks the stranger who he is the man replies by asking who he is. Once Darren responds with his name Darren and Dylan hear the sounds of guns being cocked behind themselves. It's an ambush!

Darren readies a smoke stick and some essence of sleep in his hand. He's too slow to deploy it and is shot in the back receiving a minor wound. Dylan readies his axe while the less observant Vaquin is caught flat footed. Darren responds to being shot by throwing the essence of sleep behind the secretary's desk catching her, and the three men that came to help Darren, in its cloud and knocking them out. Now left in a three on one, instead of a five on three, the men take to attacking the stranger. It takes them a minute of fighting (including the half-orc Dylan lopping an arm off) to finally take down the man they discover was in fact. . . A Drow! A short search turns up the Darren's real boss, locked up in his own bathroom. A quick call to the mob boss and everyone's favorite dwarf cleric shows up to interrogate the evil drow. Darren manages to buy himself another week to pay off the mob by turning over all of the magical gear the drow had on him.

And so ends another exciting episode of HoH - American Arcana: San Fracisco! Tune in next week to see what happens next time!


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