I’m using the scenarioÂ Pinfeathers from the UA 2nd Edition rulebook for the first adventure in our UA campaign. Now, the book’s been out for twelve years, andÂ Pinfeathers was originally released as a free adventure for the first edition, so it’s gotta be past the statute of limitations, especially with the third edition on its way. Still, don’t read any farther if you want to make sure you avoid knowing too much about the adventure.
In UA, knowing too much will save your life but damn your soul.
**YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED**
It’s been a while since I ranÂ Unknown Armies, so I decided to go with a canned scenario for the first stage of the campaign. Looking through the books, I waffled between a few, but finally settled onÂ Pinfeathers from the rulebook. The reasons:
- It’s a cool scenario.
- I’ve run it before ((Though it ended in a very strange confrontation and the death of a major canon NPC.)).
- It’s a very flexible scenario that lets me respond to player actions.
- It holds off on the weirdness, letting the PCs find their way into it slowly ((Unlike, say,Â Bill in Three Persons, the other intro scenario in the book.)).
- It offers a variety of motivations for the different NPCs, so you can tweak the adventure to suit your group.
I did up a mission briefing for the group ((They’re playing a TNI wild card squad.)), and handed it out at the start of the game. It gave a bit of background, along with the transcript of a vision one of the TNI seers had which started the whole thing off.
We spent a little time with the group reading over the briefing, me answering some basic questions about workingÂ
with for TNI and the system, and letting everyone meet the new member of the team ((One player was unable to make it to the character creationÂ session, so we finished up her character – Skye, a woman with the Sight, on the run from the folks who wiped out her little cult – just before this session.)). Then we got down to the actual adventure.
They went off to Boston and to the Circle’s Edge bookstore, where they met the owner, Sid. Skye did most of the talking, being familiar with the kind of New Age philosophy Sid and the Flock espoused ((On a personal note, I was both surprised and a little disturbed how easily and fluently I could spin that line of blather. Vestiges of reading a lot of crap researching different kinds of magic for games.)). She got a good pitch on the Flock, and an invitation to one of their meetings in the cafe above the bookstore.
After the store closed, Leggy ((Formerly Cooper – after seeing the video forÂ Bad Romance, the player decided to rename her character Leggy Dada. Watch your overcoat!)) and Skye followed the woman who worked in the cafe, while Cruz and Neon followed Sid. They found where each lived.
This is where things really started to fall into theÂ UA style of play. I had been a little worried about getting the style and feel that makeÂ UA such a fun and distinct game. None of the players were familiar with the game, and initial discussions made me worried that they were looking at it like a Charles deLint story ((Nothing against those; I love Charles deLint stories. I’ve read pretty much all of them. But they ain’tÂ UA.)), but I needn’t have worried.
So, Leggy and Skye decided to break in to the woman’s apartment and searching it while she was in the shower. That ended with them sneaking away from the cops with the help of Neon’s magick, and no useful information gained ((Well, they found a little shrine to the Divine Feminine in her closet, but what else do you expect in a devout neo-pagan’s closet?)).
They also had a little run-in with a mysterious woman, tried to follow her, and wound up confronted by her. Again, no really useful information, but some fun roleplaying.
Next day, they did a little more B&E, this time at Sid’s place while he was at work. They managed to find an old aviator’s compass that resonated with power, as well as a copy of the big ritual that the Flock was planning for the next week or so. They left everything where it was, hoping to use their knowledge as leverage if they needed it.
When they went back to check out the bookstore again, they saw the same mysterious woman from the night before in a coffee shop across the street. Again, Skye went to confront her. They had a conversation almost entirely at cross purposes, with neither understanding the hints and references the other was making, and then there was a gun, and people started running, and the mysterious woman was run down by a car in the street.
TEAM BANSHEE then employed the sophisticated TNI-approved strategy – “Cheese it! It’s the cops!” They regrouped at their hotel to try and figure out what was going on and what they should do next.
Which is where we left it.
I’m going to be setting up the next game for early in the new year. So far, we’re having a lot of fun.
You did it.