This is a play report of my first Savage Worlds game in which I played a character. Yan was our GM. See part 1 here. I write them from my perspective, so expect the story to be a told mostly from my player/PC’s point of view.
Dramatis Personae Redux
Judge Gloom: Scary as hell roaming judge running from disbarment , played by PM
Dynamite Chang: Chinese miner-turned-demolition-expert. Prefers to mine safes now, played by Alex
Jayne: Ex hitman/enforcer of a bounty hunting outfit. Not as gifted in the brains department as he thinks, played by Maze
Jimmie Joe: Con Man with a knack for chemistry, fast talking and easy marks. Played by yours truly.
Scene 1: Ready, Set, Mark!
Our first order of business was to locate a poker player who was good enough to have already registered for the tournament, but obscure enough that we could take his place once we “borrowed” his entry fee. So we made our way to the town where the players would board the Riverboat for the tournament.
Yan had us roll Streetwise checks to find a likely skilled player who had the money but wasn’t too known to cause alarm should he fail to show up. Savage Worlds doesn’t seem to have a “helping out” mechanic so all trained PCs played their skills, with success. We tracked one such player staying in a nearby Saloon, trying to finish building up his 1000$ buy-in.
Game design aside: I realized in that scene that I now more or less expect games to have “helping out” mechanics. D&D has had one since 3e and Burning Wheel more or less runs on that. Now I know that Savage Worlds has a relatively low success target, meaning that helping is not that needed, but it still lends itself to the oft-played “lets all throw dice and one of us will succeed” approach to skill rolls. I might have missed something about adding margins of successes but I’m not sure.
We then explained to Yan that we wanted to discredit the player before we made the “Two-Stage Winston Job” on him.
Yan: WTF is that?
Phil: Trust me, it’s flawless…
First we tried to spread the rumour that the our Mark was a cheater. Yan made us roll persuasion rolls at a penalty (I have an Edge called Charisma that cancelled it). We succeeded. Once we established that our mark was in his room, Judge Gloom entered the Saloon where he was staying.
PM: I walk up to the bar, order a double Whiskey and say real loud “I hearsay that this house of sin hides a lowly cheat and thief that’s been trying to evade justice! (Slowly pans the whole room) Well justice has finally arrived.”
Phil: I run upstairs real fast and start banging on our Mark’s door.
Phil: Yeah, and I whisper through the door: “Quick man, Judge Gloom is here for you, you gotta run!”
Mark: “Who the hell are you!”
Jimmie Joe: I’m your biggest fan man! I know you’ll win this tournament! In fact, I bet my whole house on it! You’ll make me rich… but you need to get the hell out, follow me I can help you!
I aced with a good margin of success. In hindsight, I think that I should have gotten a Bennie (action point) for it (Edit: See Yan’s comment below).
The sucker followed me, hid in my wagon under a tarp and got beaten senseless by my more physical acolytes. Bang, we were 900$ richer!
Scene 2: Busted!
With some scratch from the other party members (cuz, you know, I was tapped out), we made the full thousand. We then went to register to the tournament a few days later. Our plan was dead simple. Dynamite Chang, through some bribing of a distant nephews, arranged to get on the ship as a replacement coal shoveller, ready to start a diversion on command.
As for our main Poker player…
Jayne: I’ll go… I got this RISK-PROOF method for playing poker! I had to pay this guy a fortune for him to teach it to me.
Jimmie Joe: Is that right?
Jayne: Yeah! Remember when we played and I told you that 2 identical Kings was the best hand? Well, I’ve tons of foolproof tricks like that! So can I play?
Jimmie Joe: Sure you can! You’ll be the perfect foil while we go for the prize.
Jayne: By that you mean that I’ll win it for you guys right? Cuz I totally can!
Jimmie Joe: Sure Jayne, sure Jayne.
Aside: I must say that Maze played his dumb-as-a-5-day-old-tuna-fish-sandwich guy to perfection. Once we adjusted to his way of playing his PC, we all embraced it and he fit seamlessly in the story we were building.
Jimmie Joe: All right so Jayne will be the player, Gloom and I are going to be his entourage. Chang will be in the boiler room or whatever they’re called on those boats. We locate the Prize money and…
Jimmie Joe: We’ll see once we get there…
So a few hours before we boarded, we got to the boat’s pier to register for the tournament. As we were waiting in line…
“He’s that’s the guy that stole my money!”
Yan: You see your mark, along with a sheriff and a few deputies. They want to interrogate you at the Sheriff’s office.
Phil: (Facepalm) Yan, you are a rat bastard.
Yan (Jubilant): Why thank you!
I tried talking my way out of it but the odds were stacked against me and I failed my roll. (I didn’t want to spend my bennies quite yet).
Jimmie Joe (sotto vocce): You guys register without me, then go for plan “Jack’s Inbox” !
Yan: You do know that you have the money on you, right Phil?
Phil: Damn! Can Jimmie Joe pass it along unnoticed to Jayne with a sleigh of hand roll?
Yan: Sure… roll for it. (I made it)
Aside: I may have already said it, but Yan’s the quintessential good GM. While heavy prep is not his forte, he’s very very good with improv and he is the embodiment of “Say Yes or Roll”
Yan: Oh, BTW, the boat leaves in less than 4 hours. Since the Sheriff failed to find the stolen money on you (much to your ex-mark’s chagrin), he decided to let you “rest” in the jail cell while he tried to figure this mess out.
Phil: Sure man, I’m not worried. I trust the combined resources of my fellow players to sort this out.
Jimmie Joe (Muttering nervously): Nope, not worried at all, everything’s fine.