Saturday, July 25, 2015

Judge Dredd, session report (It Aint Christmas)

On Friday night I ran my second one-shot Judge Dredd session using FATE as the rules system. The scenario was called "It Aint Christmas" and featured an investigation into a murder and a series of related human mutilations.

It always amazes me how players deviate from what I expect them to do. I plan a scenario, a particular scene, and I even work out how they might resolve the issue, and then when play starts, off they go in a different direction!

I started the game by throwing the players into some action. A militia tank driver had gone nuts and started killing people. His tank was in a secure position just in front of a bunker with ferrocrete and fire barriers to either side of it. When the PCs arrived the tank had already blown up another tank and mown down a swath of people on the street. It had also started firing its main gun into the blocks opposite.

When I had thought-up this scene I fully expected the judges to make use of the cannons or lasers on their bikes, but no! They had a much cooler approach. :) One brave judge deliberately rode his bike across in front of the tank drawing its attention while another sneaked up and lobbed a riot-foam grenade at the tank. This immobilized the turret and allowed the judges to move in.

One Judge raced to the main gun and slipped a grenade down its barrel just as another blew the doors off the back. The barrel blew apart as it fired and a Judge dragged out the perp. Nothing whatever like I had imagined. :D

The heroes were then called to a body in a park on the 30th floor of a block. I had this investigative part of the session planned, laying out the investigation step by logical step...but they didn't go the way I expected, of course. They split the party and managed to leap a couple of steps to start questioning one of the guilty parties almost immediately, clever sneaky players!

This lead them down to the sub basements of the block and to the bad guys, a large group of Troggies that had tunneled into the basement. The basement was poorly lit, troggies nipping in between and over the stacks of crates that stretched off into the dimness and the players soon found themselves surrounded. However they were amongst the stacks of war supplies kept by every block. So out came the hardware. RPGs and machines guns. Bullets were sent shooting through the dark while explosives were piled into the tunnel the troggies were using to enter the block. As the Judges blew the explosives and ran for the exit.

There were so many cool moments created by the PCs, the craziness of the yodeling being played over the P.A. in the dim basement was great. The moment of switching to I.R. vision was very Aliens-like. Setting off the fire suppressing gas to suffocate the troggies was an expression of genius.

The final scene had the three Judges standing outside the block discussing what the perp should be charged with. When the explosion they'd set off in the basement had the whole block collapsing behind them. They watched the collapse, adding charges based on what the collapsing building destroyed as it fell. Comic genius.

Players like these make my day.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

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