Adventures in Babysitting - East Texas University Style
It's after ten o'clock on a Monday night in the lobby of the Marriott Springhill Suites in Erie, and our family is knee-deep in a tabletop roleplaying game. Ever excited to take part in a little #GetOutAndGame action, we brought along our books, dice, character sheets, deck of cards, and poker chips so that we could play Savage Worlds: East Texas University while on our family vacation. As soon as we arrived at the hotel on Sunday, we scouted the lobby for the perfect table. It wasn't hard to find. A soft bench at the back of the lobby/breakfast dining area was perfect for our needs!
|We had the lobby all to ourselves!|
Ever since we ran East Texas University during our trip to Michigan in February, my eldest daughter Carrie has been dying to get back to Pinebox. A few days before our Erie vacation, the two of us thought up the idea of running an Accursed-style, monster family themed adventure based in the East Texas University campaign setting. My wife Jen already had an ETU character from our last campaign, and my three kids would each play a different member of a monster-family that had just moved to Pinebox with their parents.
With a college student and three monster-kids, we had to explore an ETU-themed, Adventures in Babysitting session!
|Like father like daughter. Evie loves Hellboy!|
Jen's character, Elle Woods (converted from the movie "Legally Blonde"), would be the party "babysitter". Having already dealt with supernatural occurrences in Pinebox, Elle would have no problems dealing with whatever trouble my trio of terror's characters would find.
As for my kids' little monsters, I built each using the Young hindrance which means only 3 points to raise attributes and 10 for skills (balanced with an additional benny.) To make them "monsters", I used a combination of Accursed and the Science Fiction Companion. Carrie wanted to play a "patchwork kid" and Cooper a "werepuppy." Accursed's Golem and Vargr worked well to fit these concepts.
|Carrie's picture of "Mon".|
- Monica "Mon" Raskin - Patchwork Kid - Played by Carrie
- Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d8, Spirit d4, Strength d4, Vigor d8
- Edges: Disembodiment
- Hindrances: Young, Jumpy, Quirk (plays with threads)
- Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d8, Knowledge Computers d6, Notice d8, Swimming d4
- Hot Dog - Werepuppy (Dachshund) - Played by Cooper
- Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
- Edges: None
- Hindrances: Young, Mean, Loyal
- Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6, Swimming d4, Tracking d6, Survival d6, Stealth d4
Evie wasn't satisfied with the "Hammer Horror" style monsters provided in Accursed, and instead wanted to play a young Hellboy (she calls him "Beep Boy", so that she won't curse.) I think she was inspired by the opening scene from Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. So I came up with a "Demon" by using the alien species rules form the Science Fiction Companion:
Demon: Vigor starts at a d6, Natural Weapon d6 damage, Hindrance (Racial Enemy, Holy Folk).
- Beep Boy - Demon - Played by Evie
- Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
- Edges: None
- Hindrances: Young, Screamer, Phobia (Clowns
- Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d4, Taunt d4, Intimidation d6, Stealth d6, Climbing d6, Knowledge Occult d4
As a little backstory, all three monsterlings are the adopted children of Tina and Jerry Raskin, professors who have taught all over the United States. Recently, the Raskins moved to Pinebox, Texas after accepting faculty positions at East Texas University. Even though their three kids are monsters, the Raskins want to give their three children the same experiences as any other children. Even if they are a Patchwork Kid, a Demon, and a Werepuppy.
After arriving in Pinebox, Tina and Jerry started looking for an appropriate babysitter capable of watching over the three troublemakers. Given her positive attitude, and past experience dealing with the supernatural, Elle Woods wowed the Raskins, and got the job!
Generating the Adventure
As I've mentioned in previous posts, one of my favorite things in the East Texas University setting book is the random adventure generator. All you need is a deck of playing cards and a little imagination and you're ready to go. Here's how our cards landed:
- Who: 8 of Spades, Scientist
- What: King of Hearts, Theft
- Victim: 9 of Spades, Animal
- Why: Ace of Spades, Accident
- Where: 6 of Hearts, Pinebox (red card meaning that the location had to be open)
- Complication: Off the Grid
I asked Carrie and Evie to come up with a first and last name to round out the "villain", while asking the whole group to contribute with dog breeds. This is what we came up with:
Dr. Jeffie Marquez, former member of the ETU faculty who was discharged for his outlandish research on bringing animals back from the dead, is at it again. He's gone around town stealing dogs, and is rushing to his hidden cabin in the woods to complete an experiment. Dr. Jeffie's goal: create the ultimate undead war dog to sell to the highest bidder! So far Dr. Jeffie has collected a Dachshund, a Husky, a Schnauzer, a Shi-tzu, a Yorkshire Terrier, and a Goldendoodle. While speeding to the cabin, Dr. Jeffie has a car accident in front of the Pizza Barn. The dogs' cages break open, and several escape.
The Game Itself
Our story began at the Pizza Barn. The Raskin kids were having dinner with their babysitter, and they witnessed the accident. Elle recognized Dr. Jeffie for being a foul brute, as his picture was plastered all over the campus newspaper recently. The monsterlings sprang into action to help save the dogs, luring several away before the twisted mad scientist escaped with the rest. Mon clung to the back of the vehicle for a full block, overhearing some of the doctor's sick plans before losing her grip.
The Raskin kids and their babysitter found Dr. Jeffie's cabin in the woods, but were immediately beset upon by undead war "cats."
(Undead War Cat: Same as "Cat" from the Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer's Edition, but "Undead", and with a d6 Fighting, 5 Parry, and d6 Strength.)
After the cat battle, Mon, Hot Dog, and Beep Boy approached the cabin. Beep Boy tried being stealthy, but was noticed and then invited in by the doctor. The demon child distracted the ex-professor with some sleight of hand magic tricks while her siblings picked the lock on the back of the building and let the remaining dogs loose. Dr. Jeffie noticed the heist after it was over, and started to threaten Beep Boy.
So Beep Boy knocked the doctor out cold with a single punch from his stony fist.
Using his puppy kinship, Hot Dog rounded up the dogs and brought them back to Elle's SUV while Elle called the police.
Cooper: "I'll drive."
Jen: "You're not driving my car!"
"Do these cats hate people saying that they are cute?" - Cooper figured that good cats would like praise, so bad cats would prefer mean comments.
"Do you want to see a magic trick?" - Beep Boy to Dr. Jeffie.
Jim: "Are you going to stand there and duke it out?"
Evie: "No, I'm going to punch him!"