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Old 09-12-2020, 01:15 AM   #4
Hench Mutant
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 323
Session 2: "Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap"
Johann Sebastian Shark just wants to leave with his crate of black-market merchandise, but the Mutanimals insist on inspecting it, opening up the crate and finding a bunch of parts they can't quite identify.

Crank, who stocks up on a backpack's worth of medical supplies, yells at them to show some respect and leave the piano parts alone; he says his shark friend is just trying to inject some class into Mutant Town.

A Mutanimal named Dragon Face takes an interest in this bit of conflict. A former Purple Dragon until he was kicked out by one of Casey Jones' attempts at reforming the Purple Dragons, he was mutated into a humanoid iguana by the mutagen bomb. He sports a black dragon tattoo on his face; he had a purple one previously, but it didn't survive his mutation, so he got a black tattoo of a similar design since then.

Dragon Face decides that the piano is a classy sort of instrument. Too good for Mutant Town. If Johann wants it to be delivered in such amazing shape, he should pay an extra shipping and handling fee. Johann is understandably reluctant about this. Crank's attempt to talk Dragon Face out of this goes poorly.

Johann and Crank emerge from a cargo elevator rising to the street, pushing the large crate on a rolling cart. Johann is dejected at having to pay so much on top of what he'd already paid for the piano. They have a bit of difficulty navigating the snowy terrain. Crank gets frustrated and shoves it with his aggression, causing the cart to roll down the street. Johann chases after it and gets it to stop.

This activity is noticed by Sally Pride, second-in-command of the Mutanimals, and by the vigilante known by some as Raphael, but by most of Mutant Town as the Nightwatcher.

Raph sees the crate, notes that Johann is out of place associating with the Mutanimals, and he wants to know what's in the crate. Sally, knowing about the Black Market shipment in the subways, has been trying to keep Raph from finding out about it. Crank applies as much sarcasm as he can, explaining it's a box of piano parts; Raph can check if he doesn't believe him. Skeptical, Raph does that... only to learn he doesn't know what he's looking at. Crank has to explain that it's what piano parts look like.

Meanwhile, Stan and Jennika have been tracking the little turtle girl's footprints through the snow, but the girl has been making winding paths like the little boy from the Family Circus comic strips.

Just as they find the little girl in an alley, they're found by a large, intimidating shadow a of a figure: the fierce Mutanimal porcupine named Diamond. In a possibly suicidal display of bravery, Stan charges into a pile of alley garbage in order to direct attention toward himself. Then he attempts to flirt with Diamond in the most awkward way possible -- again, in the name of offering the biggest distraction possible. It works. Outraged, she fires a few quills at him while Jennika ushers Lita to safety.

The quills miss Stan by inches, perforating his trench coat. Seeing this, the little girl lets out a frightened squeal. Deciding to keep Diamond's attention on him, he shouts "FIRE IN THE HOLE!" and unleashes a skunk spray in Diamond's face.

Almost two blocks away, Raphael, Sally, Crank, and Johann hear the girl's squeal, Stan's warning shout, and Diamond's particularly loud stream of curses. The former three take off running in the direction of the shouting, while Johann takes the opportunity to wheel his piano in another direction entirely.

Stan runs to the opposite end of the alley, continuing to taunt Diamond, who's been partially blinded by the skunk spray, her nasal passages burning like she'd been pepper-sprayed. Further enraged by him, she charges right at him, but his wily stealth and evasion save him, and the object that she thought was him turns out to be a fire hydrant. She clangs into it head-first.

Raphael, Sally, and Crank arrive and immediately start fighting Diamond, who has a hard time fending them off thanks to the skunk spray temporarily impairing her. Crank straight-up headbutts her in the muzzle, dealing more damage. Stan decides to use his stealth to hide from the battle.

On the verge of a swift defeat, Diamond unleashes a spray of quills in all directions. Raph, Sally, and Crank all catch a few quills apiece; Crank tanks them out of pure defiance. As Diamond beats a hasty retreat, she promises that Old Hob is going to hear about this. Sally calls after her that Diamond is hereby fired from the Mutanimals.

Jennika resurfaces with the little turtle girl intact. She introduces the group to Lita, a name she gave to the girl since the albino turtle can't seem to remember her own.

Raphael tries to remove the porcupine quills from his face and shoulder, but he finds they're barbed and difficult to remove. The group elect to go to Alopex's shelter get the quills removed, get patched up, gets some food -- and in Crank's case, drop off some medical supplies.

Stan, still in stealth mode, follows after them, staying out of sight. At one point, Raph and Jenny glance around cautiously, although it's unclear whether they suspect they're being followed, or if they're just wary of the next ambush to come out of the woodwork.

As the rest of them enter Alopex's establishment, Stan the comic book fanboy is triumphant about his stealth skills: "I am the night." To be continued...

Ending Notes:
  • Johann's player had to bow out of this session to get some rest, so I lightly NPCed Johann and kept him out of the action as much as possible. We'll see more of Johann when next that player is able to join us.
  • Speaking of characters kept out of the action: I felt a bit bad about relegating Jennika to the task of keeping Lita out of harm's way. And Sally and Raphael's contribution to the Diamond boss battle was just me mentioning that Diamond was fending them off. I reduced Diamond's total Hit Points by 10 to account for the damage Sally and Raph would do to her during the fight, but I didn't add them to the Turn Order. I did all that to make sure the combat was focused on the players' choices. Otherwise, the established-character NPCs would have dominated the fight.
  • I was vastly, VASTLY amused by how differently the Diamond fight turned out in comparison to the fight in TMNT #102. I think she might have been better off just fighting Jennika; at least she has a defense against hand-to-hand combat. A skunk cloud to the face? That gave her a -3 to all her rolls, and Stan got a +3 to his Defense in the process.
  • Dragon Face was a rarely-seen character created for the 2003 TMNT cartoon. Since IDW makes great use of different characters throughout the different iterations, I repurposed Dragon Face into an iguana mutant who's currently a member of the Mutanimals, and formerly a Purple Dragon. He really likes that dragon face tattoo, so he got a new one, but I imagine he's a bit embarrassed that the reptile he turned into wasn't an actual dragon. Or even a Komodo Dragon.

Next: "The World-Weary" (Side Story)
TMNT: Mutant Town
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