Game Report - Young Centurions - Rise of the Fagin
The Young Centurions confront at the Halloween a believed-deceased menace from the past
The adventure started at October 3rd, 1911, at Madam Sheridan’s Foster Home and Boarding School, maintained by one of the Century Club’s Retainer, Madam Esther Sheridan (born in 1870), where Madam Sheridan were lecturing all the children about the rowdy ways people grow with into Halloween. Jason Raywood and Nicola Castrogiovanni were talking and I compelled Jason Learn very fast every game, that took from his pocket a deck of cards, which attracted Esther’s attention. As he tried to get out trouble, he tried to call for her heart by put a card “Best Professor all around” into the deck of cards and made her to take it out. Then she gave a little smile, although both Jason and Nicola were put under detention to help cleaning the school after classes. She gave the deck back to Jason, as she said “word is gold”.
Nicola and Jason tried to get some place to play a little and Jason wanted to find some crosswords (although I didn’t know there was no crosswords until 1913), and it was when they known a important NPC from this adventure, Sidney “Knacks” Sheeran, unbeknownst for them a Spirit of Resourcefulness, that is a newsie with a Stetson hat and a lasso, with a Southern accent, that lived until then into a local hobo camp. They talked a little, presented each other, and Nicola has the idea to bring him back to circus.
They chose to go to the hobo camp in the East Side docks before, so Knacks can give some explanations for the Hobo Queen Lady Danaan, but before they would need to deal with Jake Molan (the local bully) and his gang, already pissed off by them while talking about the coming matinee Halloween Masquerade at Madam Sheridan. They came to Knacks to steal something from him, and Nicola and Jason tried to help for Knacks. Jason has failed and the other members of Jake’s gang catched him to hold so they could give him a good trash.
Nicola then chose to take whatever Jake took from Knacks. A Success with Style warrant that Nicola took the thing and called the attention for him instead of Jason or Knacks. Then I needed to correct myself, as Nicola’s sheet Alexandre was using had a wrong Aspect of “That big bully of my foster brother!”, while he should have “Lil’nico - A circus life for me!”. While Nicola got into a Challenge to avoid being catch by the bullies, Jason opened an Aspect Passing through an alley with a Create Advantage action. Nicola rolled for using Flashy to pass trough the Overcrowded streets with a Success with Style, using what he learned at the circus to got through the crowd.
Next Challenge exchange, Jason posted himself into a position that allowed Nicola to use the Help into the alley (Passing through and alley renamed). Jason made a fast appearance to call Nicola to the alley, and this permitted Nicola to use the Help into the alley Aspect, and Nicola had used this for another Success with Style, the bullies passing through the street without noting that Nicola already gone away through the alley’s corner back to Jason and Knacks. Nicola asked to stay holding Knack’s wallet safely, and as Overoptimistic, almost naïve, circus boy, didn’t understood Knacks defensive stance, as a hobo kid (this was a compel). Nicola had gone a little mournful with this, and Knacks just explained about his attitude as a safety when he was in the track. Nicola gave a little smile and then they got to the East Side docks, but they took so much time to get into the Hobo camp.
The hobo camp is near some big warehouses. There was many hobos, and a strong smell, and they see a old woman, the Hobo Queen Lady Danaan (the 19th Century Community Spirit). They talked a little with Lady Danaan that revealed that all Hobos protects each other. I allowed Jason to use his Probability Analysis Centurion Stunt, as Jason’s history made it feel reasonable, even this not being a Create Advantage action, but an Overcome. Nicola also explained why he wanted to bring Knacks to the circus. Danaan agreed with them, and gave a little bundle of clothes for Knacks. Jason also looked for bet places, and this was put into a good use in future. He saw some foreigners playing Mahjong and Poker (part of his backstory)
The sun was going down, and the kids chose to get back to the circus, that was in a Vaudeville mode (see Fortivitus adventure) and they were living in a special place in Washington Park, were the artists where living. Nicola searched for his Mentor Frederick Van Der Merwe (aka: Don Cagliostro, Master of Hypnosis, Mesmerism and Mystique), 19th Spirit of the Literacy. He talked with Mary, the Only One that can call Don Cagliostro Fred, that says he was practicing their mesmerism tricks. Mary help Knacks to take a good bath, and he came back with the clean clothes there was in the bundle.
They got to the cookhouse for some food: three big plates of bacon sandwiches and pink lemonade provided by Franck, the circus’ strongman. But, while they were eating, Nicola saw one of the person he was hoping the least to see: the circus’ owner, Mr. Alvin McNash, that don’t like eat-and-sleep people and like everything in their place. The Overcome check was not that good, a Tie, but there was a Teamwork from Jason for a Success, he and Knacks hiding below the table. However, I compelled the Overoptimistic, almost naïve, circus boy Aspect from Nicola, to make the table shaking and Alvin perceiving the three plates in the table. While Nicola explained things to Mr. McNash, Jason tried to get away, and this make Mr. McNash looking a little disappointed for Nicola. Nicola then explained and McNash did a little lecturing to Nicola. But, in the end, Knacks was accepted in the circus, and they were asked to go with Jason back Madam Sheridan.
It was when they, before they got out the park, they heard a cry for help coming from the region near the fountain. They found some newspapers and a little shoe feet (so they could see that was a newsie) and a graffiti on a nearby wall: “BEWARE, THE FAGIN IS BACK!!!” With a Success with a small cost, Jason discovered that the one who catched the kid is very strong. They are found by the police that asked them about the things, then they had being escorted by the police to home… Which made madam Sheridan send Jason to bed without dessert.
Then, the scene expanded to series of things that got somewhat at the same time.
They had readied some costume for Halloween. Nicola had chose to go as an old man, like a janitor. Knacks had chose to be a clown and Jason a animal, in fact, a rabbit. As Knacks and Jason helped into teamwork, Nicola had a Success with style to get the costumes ready.
Then, they heard a day about a mean trick Jake was readying some Very stinky eggs, when Jason heard about this. Jason, Nicola and Knacks did a trick on Jake: Jason suggested to take and exchange the eggs for chicks. Nicola came with the help of Roland that exchanged the stinky eggs by some quail chicks. With a success with a style, they gave Jake a real scare, and Jake is just a mama boy received extra invokes.
Then they were still hearing about kids disappearing: either via Knacks that goes back and forth to the hobo camp, and that passed messages from Danaan to other hobos, our via the newspapers Jason take for playing the puzzles.
They decided it’s time to talk with Madam Sheridan about the abductions…
Just in her teatime!
Now, they would top either talk about the abductions AND show they are good little gentlemen able to take some tea.
And their descriptions were not that good, and with not too good Clever results… They all failed into that, crossing one of the few lines madam Sheridan don’t accept. Jason tried to better things by Carefully talking about the things. A lousy Mediocre roll and Jason paid a Fate Point to obtain a Success with a small cost. Madam Sheridan talked they would go for the Century Club New York chapter and they got in the club.
They got to the inner circle of the Century Club (the club in my adventures has a public facade of a Rotary club like philanthropic society). They see Frederick, Lady Danaan and the lieutenant they found in the park (lieutenant McLaughlin).
First, the PCs discover Knacks is a 20th Century Spirit and then they put the clue the Club have, about an 19th Century Shadow, Anthony Fagin, Shadow of the Innocence. Frederick says about the somewhat occult messages the Club says via common texts, like Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Those messages are passed to people somewhat subliminally , as the REAL Truth is do much weird to cope with.
Madam Sheridan asks about the Shadows, and at this moment I explained this for the players. Madam Sheridan explains that because of Fagin she came for the U.S., as she was somewhat involved into his schemes and her life (or worse, reputation). Frederick and other Spirits fought Fagin at the St. Stephen’s Tower.
I explained about the Spirit’s “lasting time” for the players using the Mentors as example. Lady Danaan, being a little snobbish with Sheridan that was with a distraught face, talk about the Club plan: Nicola, Jason and Knacks would pass as hobos and get into the Beggar’s Dinner, the local hobo camp’s Halloween festivities, so they could do done extra investigation.
The PCs are sent to the club at October 30rd top be ready for the Beggar’s Dinner by dressing some rags. Then Knacks and Frederick smudged some hearth’s cinder on them to make them look like two Hobo Kids as any other. Jason then put itself at home by taking a Very old and used deck of cards.
They had gone for the hobo camp and there was a fire with some food and coffee, some towels with some other food. Jason and Nicola now mingled someway. Jason started by creating a poker game, while Nicola just walked around the warehouses near the hobo camp.
Easily Jason used his card games as a way to open them for what is happening. And he discovered the hobos are really not involved, as they are being kicked out from the cities parks at the time. And Knacks heard about the Fagin while coming from Albany to Houston to New York.
In the meantime, Nicola just walks, but either Jason and Nicola felt that there was something very wrong. There was a somewhat frustrating get back for the circus, when they heard someone screaming “JAKE, WHERE ARE YOU!!!”, they came to were Jake was readying the stinky eggs…
There was a woman they know was Jake’s mother and they took a casquette that was very smelly. The casquette the PCs recognized as Jake’s, and the smell is from rotten eggs. They fooled the smell until the last of a tuxedo front pocket with a kind of Crest of Arms with a F into it. They had gone with all this to the Century Club, but they didn’t notice they brought Jake’s mother (as part of Success with a small cost), and almost got their to the Inner Circle. Madam Sheridan take Jake’s mother to take a tea, while they got to the Inner Circle, while another 20th Century Club, Oregon Cadmus, Cosmopolitan Spirit, that took the Crest of Arms, and compare with some Classified information into the Century Club about Fagin with a photo of the Crest of Arms into it. So, they now know the Fagin is really back, under all odds after the St. Stephen’s Tower at London.
Jason read the Fagin’s profile for some clues, and after a lousy roll, he spend a Fate Point on his Aspect I make my hand. Take care of yours! for a reroll, that was successful, that gave him some clues about the Draught of Obedience, Fagin’s main staple to obtain power.
And came Halloween… With a gloomy, paranoid mood all around New York, thanks by the disappearing.
The Young Centurions donned their Pretty Costume and were gone to the Century Club Halloween Masquerade, as the festivities at Madam Sheridan’s were canceled after Jake’s abduction. Knacks was ready to go for a fight when he saw some hobos being put under arrest by the police at the Central Park. Nicola and Jason, fortunately, talk to him get back his mind.
It was when they saw some guys, that could be described as Slendermen under Harlequin attire, sacks over his head hiding their features, going through a street near Central Park, ransacking the stores. The Police were coming, and to avoid being catched into any potential crossfire, they got into an alley, but where there already had three of those Slendermen things. A good roll from Jason made them get behind a dumpster, and the Slendermen things ignored them. It was when I compelled Nicola’s Overoptimistic, almost naïve, circus boy (AGAIN!) and they had gone to see the police fight the Slendermen things…
… and they had a creepy revelation: when one of the police officer shot one of the Slendermen in the legs, they catch it and removed her sack over their head, they saw that those Slendermen things are CHILDREN!!!! THEY JUST SHOT KIDS!!!! This put the police under a disadvantage, as they needed to get back to avoid hurt even more kids.
The Young Centurions tried to follow the Slendermen things, but three of them noted them (the same three they avoided before). It was a Fight or Flight situation, and fight would be a bad idea, so they opted to flight. A Challenge between the better runner of them (Knacks) and the Slendermen was made, and, although a Tie in the second exchange put more drama in scene as more of those Slendermen get near them, the Young Centurions were able to got to the Century Club building, were they brought the Slendermen things (a good idea by Jason).
After some problems to explain to Frederick, that was in his best Don Cagliostro attire, but when they explained situation, Frederick was 100% sure that was the Fagin. And when they brought the captive Mummers to the Club’s Inner Circle room, they saw through the windows a Wizard of Oz-like balloon with the same Crest of Arms they found.
And the Fagin launched his preposterous ultimatum to New York: Turn into his personal fief, even against Washington’s orders, or be burned down by the Mummers, the Slendermen-like things. And more: the Fagin said he could make them fight parent versus son, if needed.
The Mayor and Police Commissioner, that were in the Masquerade, started to talk on how to stop all this without hurting kids, while the Young Centurions had their own idea: Jason asked about the draught to Frederick, and he said that the draught had a effectiveness time limit, but the Fagin reinforced the effects. To secure them, Knacks lassoed the Mummers they captured, while they could see if there’s something they could see. Jason could use his Probability Analysis, and found something metallic into his ear. When they took this thing out the kids ear, he had another Tie, and accepted a Success with a small cost, and the kid gave a shriek of pain, although the kid was unhurt, although unconscious.
Nicola used his Good Enough Game Centurion Stunt to put an Aspect There’s no one here that know about this thing? with a Free Invoke, and used the Invoke to put in scene a NPC that know about this thing, a Wireless Subliminal Reinforcer, a kind of earphone with a Shortwave receiver, something that reinforced a posthypnotic trigger, reinforcing the Draught of Obedience. Removing this would be a idea, but a bad one, as there was many of the Mummers. But Jason came with the idea: as a Shortwave Receiver, it would need a Transmitter, near there.
The first step they tried was to see if the Transmitter was in the balloon, so Jason thought to try to shoot the balloon, and Nicola helped using the Good Enough Game to bring an Aspect to make the Police Commissioner to Shoot into the balloon with a shotgun. It was a Success with Style, so the Helium-filled balloon bursted and got in flames before hitting the Central Park. The Mummers are still under his control, though, so the Transmitter were not in the balloon.
Jason tried to create some disguise using Probability Analysis to Carefully Create an Advantage to create a Superb (+5) Disguise, while Nicola and Knacks helped. They dressed into the Mummer’s costume and got near where Fagin fell. He got into a car and entered, with them obeying Fagin’s orders to get into the car. As another bonus, Jason used Cold Read to read Fagin and got a Success with a Style and got his High Concept as a Childish Greed.
They got into a building, where they found some other Mummers that are protecting something… ALL OF THEM WITH SHOTGUNS. Jason tried to talk without reveal themselves, and the roll was not good enough… But he used the Draught of Obedience Invoke to somewhat emulate the Mummers behavior, and it was enough.
When they entered in the main room, they found the Shortwave Subliminal Transmitter. While Fagin made his gloating, Jason saw what he was doing to find the main control and Nicola made a Careful to see where was the pigtail for the Antenna. A good roll made him find it, a 1 inch pigtail directly connected to the Antenna. Jason was using also Careful and he had access to his Probability Analysis… but had a lousy roll. But Fagin’s Childish Greed made him gloat all his plans and workings, so Jason used the Invoke for a reroll, and a good one, so he found the Big Knob that control the transmitter power.
The Mummers received a Important order via Subliminal signals, and all the Mummers got all the building. It was when Jason chose to kick the door, closing it, taking Fagin unprotected. This would blow their disguise, but using it as a way to scare him, Jason had a Success with a Style, putting two Free Invokes and a Surprise round against Fagin. Jason got first and discovered the Important order: the Final Solution to bring New York down and kill everyone in the streets. Jason had chose to get to the Knob Sneakily, using Fagin’s gloating against himself. A lucky roll and a Success with Style made Jason putting Fagin out of the way while Knacks run for to put the Fagin down and started to lasso him into submission.
Nicola had gone to the pigtail cable and took a little fire ax to roll to chop the cable down. Another lousy roll… and Nicola used his Trouble “One… Two… Three… As many times I need!” for a reroll, but changing the Approach by Carefully removing the cable jack from the transmitter. The roll was not too good, but the Overoptimistic, almost naïve, circus boy had a Success… But he need time.
Knacks was fighting against Fagin, and he had a not so good roll… But as he stays with those who like him through and through, he put some stress on Fagin, while Jason tried a roll… that was lousy. He burnt one of the Scared Invokes to “reroll”, but as Fagin was locked on, he forfeited the action for a +2 next turn. Nicola was still removing the pigtail, and Knacks put a Moderate Consequence Desperate as he see his plan going for the dogs.
Next turn, Jason rolls and again has a lousy result… But as He learn fast every time, he took a new roll and had a good roll to shut the transmitter down, at the same time Nicola finishes to remove the cable jack from the transmitter and Knacks took the Fagin down Lassoing him like a wild bull, and they together overthrew Fagin’s plans, the adventure ending with the Century Club catching the Fagin, with the Mummer’s being left free from the hypnotic trance they were…
But there was nothing there but the transmitter. The Draught recipe and Transmitter plans still were somewhere there…
And this maybe would be another problem for the Young Centurions to solve.
The main problem for them was to understand the setting, as they are playing kids in the 1910s, so it is a little difficult. They understood things very fast, and the things were clean and fun, the worst moment was when they had the revelation that the Mummers were the abducted kids!