Welcome to the House of Fun
By Michael McDonnell
Colour Designation: Jade
Minimum SCL: 9A
Training Package Recommended: Any
Consolidated Pay: 400c per Operative
Contact: Psalm, Department of Ebb
Coverage: Station Analysis
Summary: Investigate the dissapearance and murder of several Ebon Media Operatives
The operatives are hired to locate several missing media operatives , after a fair bit of investigation they will begin to suspect an Ebon op by the name of Sire. After some more investigation in downtown they will be able to locate Sire who has fallen over the edge into madness and is forcing the kidnapped media operatives through a maze of death. The PC's must fight Sire's drones and will more than likely be captured and forced through the maze. What happens next is essentially up to the PC's , they may try and complete the maze , try to overpower Sire , etc.
Extended BPN details:
The operatives are hired to investigate a string of disappearances and murders involving media operatives most of whom have been ebons or BrainWasters. They are given a list of the victims along with the victim's addresses. They are also given a dossier containing the forensic information on the bodies that were retrieved.
With a bit of investigation the squad should uncover the fact that the media operatives who had gone missing were usually involved in filming in Downtown. A bit of cross-referencing should uncover the fact that one of the operatives on the list had recently suffered a downturn in his fortunes and had been forced to re-locate to downtown. A bit more research and a few calls to 3rd eye news should uncover the fact that this operative , Sire , used to have business dealings with several of the operatives who had gone missing.
The logical place to go now is to Sire's apartment. When the players arrive they will find Sire's apartment empty and stripped of every thing of possible value. It is located in one of the over-crowded downtown apartment blocks and swarms with the usual filth that such places do. Through either bribery or threats of Sire's neighbours it is possible to discover that before he went missing Sire had been visited quite frequently by a well known black marketeer by the name of Jhonen Moore.
A small bribe threat or any player with streetwise should soon elicit the location of Jhonen Moore. He commonly conducts business from the back of a Downtown bar known as "Ratz". This bar is a common hangout for local "merchants" and the owner , Ratz , has hired several expensive props to ensure that no violence disrupts business. Jhonen is quite happy to tell the PC's that Sire had bought a large selection of blackmarket weapons and had most of them delivered to an area in Downtown Sector 7C. The more money the players spend the closer the location given is to Sire. However Jhonen will not reveal Sire's exact location.
There is little point in trying to intimidate Jhonen as any obvious threats will alert the props and he is quite influential in this part of downtown. If the players treat him with respect they may make a useful , if slightly untrustworthy , contact.
Assuming that the players head to Downtown Sector 7C there are two ways they can go from here. If one of the Ebb users is skilled with Detect the will probably be able to pick up Sire's trail near to the location of the last dead media operative , which was in the adjacent Sector 7B. If the PC's do not have a member skilled with Detect they can fall back on the tried and tested method of bribing and intimidating the local streetlife. Either method will eventually lead them to a disused meat warehouse where Sire has taken up residence.
Unless the players are extremely careful they will be picked up by the patrol drones surrounding the warehouse , these drones are Tek Trex Scarabs. The Scarabs mostly cling to the roof and overhanging beams of the floor above. This makes them extremely difficult to spot. There are approximately 15 of these drones surrounding the warehouse. Sire has modified the drones using one of the weapon conversion kits along with his own technical skills. The Scarabs retain their machine gun but the calibre has been increased to 10mm and the drum has been decreased to 150 rounds. The Scarabs are also armed with a back mounted "missile rack" , the "missiles" fired are essentially 10mm Hotline rounds. Sire has also converted 5 of the Scarab drones to fire a black market knock out gas.
There are essentially two possible outcomes at this point. If the PC's overcome the drones they will be able to break into the warehouse where they will see Sire on stage with a Blitzer in his hand executing the prisoners in the seats by shooting them one by one in the face. Sire will ignore the PC's hoping the 10 Vito Tex Trek drones can keep them busy long enough for him to finish executing his prisoners. He will not try to escape.
If the players are beaten by the drones they will awaken / unfreeze to find themselves strapped into a seat and stripped of their weapons and maybe armour. Sire stands on the stage in front of them and thanks them for joining his audience. He then goes on to explain the rules of the game. The players may try to break their bonds ( STR roll at -18) , they may also try to talk Sire out of it ( extremely unlikely) , etc. If the players fail to escape/talk Sire around they will be forced to take part in Sire's new gameshow , "The House of Fun".
If the players make it through the maze they will be presented the grand prize by a stunned and slightly dazed Sire who believed no-one could complete his maze. This is the PCs best chance to overcome Sire who's psychosis interferes with the proper working of his ebb abilities making him a much less dangerous foe.
The players will still have to defeat the remaining drones , but with the help of the freed prisoners it shouldn't be too difficult. The weapons and armour which were stripped from each player and the captives is located to the left hand side of the stage in several large storage bins.
When the player's report in they will be ordered to turn Sire (or his body) over to a representative of the Department of Ebb who will arrive as quickly as possible accompanied by a Shiver APC. Once they have done so the PC's will be thanked by the Department of Ebb representative and will receive their consolidated pay. They will also have more than likely made some new friends/contacts with the prisoners they have just saved as well as those residents of downtown who they encountered in their investigation.
Sire, Ebon Media Operative, SCL 5.8 / SCL 10
Sire was born on static where he was selected by corporate headhunters and given the honour of joining SLA Industries. Sire was always a curious boy and this carried over into his selected course of study, Media Operations. Sire's natural good looks and his charisma made him a perfect spokesperson for SLA Industries. Sire left Meny with a distinction in Media Studies and was snatched up by 3rd Eye News and giving a prestigious assignment covering an up and coming contract killer by the name of Bastion. Sire did well and branched of into the filed of media advisor to several contract killer's. However Sire's arrogance grew almost as quickly as his fame. Sire wallowed in the many pleasures afforded a successful high profile operative. However when IA caught Sire hiring props to masquerade as Serial Killers to give his clients high profile targets his career plummeted.
Sire would have preferred if IA had killed him. His life as a high profile media operative was finished, his SCL clearance was revoked and he was forced to undertake the most menial BPNs merely to pay the rent. However his misfortune didn't end there, several of his clients who had been injured in the past by the over enthusiastic props Sire had hired wanted revenge. It was officially recorded as "A work related accident", however to the doctors that patched Sire's face back together it was obviously no accident. Sire's looks were gone forever and this final blow pushed Sire's mind over the edge. In his psychosis Sire became convinced that all he needed to get back on top was a show, something guaranteed to appeal to the public and if he got a little revenge along the way, so much the better.
Sire is approximately 6 foot tall and has long flowing black hair. Sire's DeathSuit usually looks like a suit of extremely well-tailored tight fitting, black executive clothes. However since his descent into madness Sire's DeathSuit has changed in appearance till now it appears like a skeleton moulded over his body. Sire always hides his face behind his DeathSuit. The DeathSuit mask usually takes the image of the stylised "sad face" from theatre.
Jhonen Moore, Black Marketeer
Jhonen is a human aged about 33. He is an astute businessman and can be utterly ruthless when he has to be. He is approximately 5'8 , almost emaciated and has lank brown hair which hangs down to his shoulders. He is commonly dressed in finely tailored executive suits over which he wears a faded torn greatcoat. Jhonen is an extremely influential member of the blackmarket and is not a man the players would want as an enemy.
The Remaining Victims:
- Kelly Eddings, Ebon Media Operative
- Sharpe, Ebon Media Operative
- Bastion, Stormer Contract Killer
- Vertigo , Ebon Media Operative
- Rapture , Brainwatser Contract Killer
- Azure , Ebon Media Operative
- Chapel , Ebon Media Operative
- Redmeption , Brainwaster Media Operative
- Velvet , Ebon Contract Killer
- Silk , Ebon Media Operative
The House of Fun:
Using the drones he purchased through black market contacts from the notorious Tek Trex and downtown scum he hired for a few UNIs Sire converted an old abandoned warehouse in Downtown Sector 7c, Level 3 into the stage for his new game show.
This stage consisted of a seating area consisting of approximately 25 seats each one complete with stylish electronic restraints. A short stage area complete with presenter's stand and a 20x20-foot television display. To the left of the stage are several large storage bins in which are stored the victims equipment. The presenter's stand contains the control mechanism for the seat restraints , the drones and the maze itself. Behind the seats and stage was the main area of the warehouse and of Sire's new game show, the House of Fun. This consisted of a giant cube made of reinforced plexi-glass , easily able to withstand a 12mm round. The interior of the cube was split into a three dimensional maze of rooms and corridors. The entrances through the maze were randomised by a computer before each person makes their run. Each room contains a camera giving a live feed of the contestants progress to the large videoboard beside the presenters stand.
The aim of the game is simple , to make it from one end of the maze to the end room containing the exit. However there's one slight problem , nearly every room/corridor within the maze contains a trap or a mechanised opponent courtesy of Tek Trex. However to add some spice to the game some rooms contain a bonus buzzer , all the contestant has to do is press the buzzer , answer a question from Sire and if he gets it right then a small armoured compartment opens up revealing a random "prize" , these range from weapons to KickStart. However if the contestant gets the answer wrong there is a penalty, which is usually quite lethal. I would suggest basing the questions on events from your own WOP to add greater depth to them.
As yet no-one has managed to survive the maze.
Suggestions for Traps:
When the PC enter this room, they will be unable to see using ANY means, as there is a visual dampening field in the room . The floor is held steady by clamps in the walls. When a character nears the center of the room, a pressure plate activates the release of the holding clamps, which withdraw into the walls at the same time the door to the room seals itself. The floor is now a disc upon a pivot. ANY movement by characters within the room result in the character losing his/her balance, unless a dex check is made successfully. The player quickly come to notice a bubbling sound below them , similar to that of liquid boiling. In actuality, what they hear is merely water which has devices implanted along the side to agitate the water so that it bubbles. The water is in fact at room temperature , also just above water level are several small furnaces which add to the illusion with eat and the smell of burning. In the room attached to the roof are several small Tek Trex drones which fly into the player making swooping attacks doing 2 DMG per attack. The only way out of this room is to dive into the water, where they will find a grate at the bottom, which leads out to a small tunnel. This tunnel feeds into one of the "bonus" rooms.
The PC enters a large rectangular room walled completely with mirrors. At the end of the room stand 3 suits of Powercell , the first suit is matte black , the second is chrome and the third one is a granite style paint job. The exit to the room seems to be in the door behind the 3 suits of armour. If the PC walks through the room and doesn't touch the armour they may exit through the far door, However should the player remove the armour from its stand the door in the far wall is sealed and replace with a mirror panel , the player must now backtrack and exit the room through the door he used as an entrance.
- Black Armour: The lights shut down and when they come back on several panels in the walls have slid aside to reveal 4-12 carrien (depending on PC's abilities). The Carriens are armed mostly with Mac Knives.
- Stone Armour: Several large weights drop from random holes in the ceiling , the player is hit by 2d10 - DEX weights , each doing 4 DMG.
- Chrome Armour: Panels in the wall slide up revealing Tek Trex Buzzards ( 4 -12 ).
The player is walking down a large corridor and notices a trip wire at about ankle height in front of him ( the trip wire is extremely obvious as it is several times thicker than a normal one) , if the player steps carefully over the trip wire without touching it and continues onward the floor collapses dumping the player down about 15'. If the player fails a DEX or GYMNASTICS roll they take 2 DMG , they also find that they are sharing the pit with a carnivorous pig. If they defeat the pig a ladder telescopes out of the wall. If the player trips the trip wire a panel in the wall slides up revealing a side passage bypassing the pit.
Epilogue: ( if Sire survived )
A few weeks after the operatives have completed the above BPN they may be channel hoping and come across the new number one show in town, The House of Fun, presented by none other than the host with the most, the pontiff of pain, the one, the only ... Sire.
Hey 3rd Eye News knew a good thing when they saw it and with a little trip to Bethany and a slight detour to Dark Lament Sire was back in action, with his newly perfect face and "re-educated" personality Sire was ready to retake his position among the media elite. However those who now participate in the game are captured members of the rival oppressor powers and common criminals.
2000AD for the original idea , and the net book of traps and tricks for some of the trap ideas above. Oh and madness for the song.