Deep in the ancient ruins of the mysterious elder race of Mars, trouble is brewing. An ancient army of terra cotta warriors is coming to life to wreak havoc on the citizens of Rocket City! Can this mysterious ancient threat be stopped? What fiendish rituals are at work? Who are the enigmatic ATOMIC KNIGHTS, and how are they involved? Where is ace Danger Patrol! pilot, Susie Starlight? Will Dr. Corpah discover the secret of his secret benefactor withing Danger Patrol!? Why, oh why, did it have to be snakes?
Find out in this week's episode of Danger Patrol!
James as Alien Daredevil, Dr. Corpah
Jay as Intrepid Warrior, Marcus Knight, Star Galdiator
Marc as Ghost Professor, Bartimus Weatherly III
Martin as Psychic Explorer, Captain Krista Sable
Previously on Danger Patrol!:
Dr. Corpah wrestled with the near-deadly accident in space above Saturn, and the mysterious Danger Patrol! member who anonymously saved him.
Marcus Knight, in taking down a nest of Stygian Adepts uncovered the nefarious Dark Caesar, who, true to his evil form, slithered away from justice.
Professor Weatherly discovered a link between the dreaded DOOMSDAY DYNASTY and the crafty Professor Calamitous of the Crimson Republic.
Krista Sable nearly captured unknown thieves who broke into the Rocket City Museum of Galactic History and made off with the invaluable STAR OF MARS diamond.
[Note, the last two previously ons didn't make it into the episode.]
We join our heroes in a simple trip to the Galactic History Museum, when suddenly mighty marauding warriors from ancient mars attack! The terrible terra-cotta titans are the (very) common warrior statues that are all over the museum. Something is causing them to animate into clever clay combatants. Can our heroes Stop the transformation in time to prevent an army of centurions from overwhelming Rocket City? Dr. Corpah and Captain Sable handily dispatch two lumbering lumps of deadly earth in the cafeteria among the pandemonium of panicked patrons. But in the process, a seeming scientist seethes with rage that Corpah would damage such valuable antiquities--this is no professor, it turns out, but a fearsome Atomic Knight in disguise.
Meanwhile, Marcus Knight makes quick work of another statue breaking down walls in the dinosaur display. Professor Weatherly finds more warriors in the Ancient Mars Wing and also finds a stone dais aglow with powerful mystical energies. He is joined by Knight and Sable, who both do their parts to destroy the mobile marauders. Weatherly's attempt to circumvent the mystical ritual in progress causes a nearly catastrophic eldtrich explosion, but Marcus Knight throws himself on the pulsating pile of ancient paving and saves the museum from destruction. In the process, a terrible terra-cotta sorcerer is summoned. Luckily the good professor has a destructa-cotta grenade with him, which he uses to break the magical mud-man's mystic shield, leaving it open for Knight to deliver the coup de grace. At the same time, Captain Sable handily corrects the professor's mistake and shuts down the unseemly sorceries that were awakening the soldiers.
Back downstairs, mushroomy alien, Dr. Corpah, whittles away at the atomic knight. The ghostly professor Weatherly floats through the floor for the assist, deactivating the knight's armor with another fabulous gadget.
The threat being thwarted, our heroes return to THE HALL OF DANGER to regroup. Weatherly and Sable discover that the nearby ancient Martian ruins are the model for the layout of Rocket City. They head into the wastes to find out what lies in the location in the ruins that corresponds to the location of the museum in the city.
Marcus Knight goes to an unnamed mentor in the church and reveals to the audience for the first time that he used to be a member of the now disbanded Atomic Knights.
Dr. Corpah has a flashback to his initial tests for the Danger Patrol! And comes a little closer to understanding who in the patrol saved him above Saturn.
As our heroes discover more clues, all signs point to the ruins of Mars: the clandestine SUB-ATOMIC KNIGHTS are working for powers unknown in the ruins, Corpah's benefactor was none other than Susie Starlight, who hasn't been seen since a mission to the Martian wastes some time ago, and Sable and Weatherly discovered the TEMPLE OF REANIMATION (or was it RESURRECTION?) in the Martian ruins. It looks like it's time for ACTION!
Inside the temple, our heroes find Susie Starlight ensnared in a sacrificial deathtrap in a pit full of DUST SNAKES, while the dastardly Dark Caesar chants a rotten ritual on the ALTAR of MARTIAN ASCENSION. As if that weren't bad enough, who should arrive but BASHTAR, the SUB-ATOMIC TEMPLAR, out for the blood of the Star Gladiator!
Captain Sable has no trouble handling the snakes, keeping them at bay with strategic blasts from her trusty raygun. This leaves an opening for Dr. Corpah to fly in with his rocketpack and free Susie from a grisly demise.
Marcus Knight's first attack on the terrible templar causes the fiend's steed to stomp on the ancient stones, destabilizing the floor. Luckily, Professor Weatherly is there with his amazing REPAIRA-COTTA grenade!
Captain Sable reminds us she's not just a worldly explorer, but an otherworldly PSYCHIC as she reaches into the barbarous brain of Dark Caesar, aborting his ancient rite.
With another blast of rocketpack, Dr. Corpah turns himself into a mushroom missile, cutting Dark Caesar down to size in one mighty blow. All we see is a massive explosion of terra-cotta, stone, and a mushroom cloud of spores. Could this heroic act be the end of Dr. Corpah?
Finally, Marcus Knight fells the ferocious fighter opposing him with a tremendous thrust from his terrible trident. In the process, the Dark Templar lashes out with his deadly ELECTRO-LANCE, rendering the gladiator unconscious.
Another crisis averted, the remaining members of the Danger Patrol gather their wounded and head victoriously back to Rocket City.
- How you made it GMless.
- Did you hack the investigation rules?
GMless is pretty simple:
You construct the teaser as a team. I had John's THREAT-O-MATIC from the new pocket edition of the game, and we rolled up a starting threat: Ancient Soldier. The group settled on the terra cotta soldier idea pretty quickly and with no problems.
When we do the PREVIOUSLY ON DANGER PATROL portion of play, we write down a summary of each player's scene on a card and leave them in the middle of the table for future reference. I let this part of things slide as facilitator, so we didn't use two of them. Not a huge deal if you're organized.
During play, threat moves work perfectly by group consensus. Usually the active player has enough ideas from all the danger dice descriptions that the bad stuff more or less writes itself.
The biggest problem with GMless play is pacing, but once we were paying attention to it, we made smart choices given the logistics of the session (e.g. we were a bit rushed going into our big action scene at the end, so we agreed not to spawn new threats, but to break up danger into hits on PCs and bolstering existing threats.
The SUSPENSE! scenes are the least effective as written (which isn't to say that INTERLUDES are perfect by any means). I didn't hack them, mostly because I wanted data from a play group I had never tried it with before I start hacking for reals.
I have lots of thoughts and ideas about the game that maybe this isn't the best place to get into. I reached out to John to see what was up, and he sent me the new Pocket Edition rules, which I am still absorbing (and will play through a session of soon). My impression is that he's going in a different direction than I want, so I will probably continue to hack the old Beta rules to address my issues.
I'd be more than happy to chat more about it. If this is an OK place for that, I can do it here. Or in person, or elsewhere on the Web. Once I've had a chance to play the new rules, I'm going to give John some feedback, which I'd be happy to share as well. I really want to see Danger Patrol get polished up, because when it's at its best it's a total blast.