Chilling Heat, part 1

As my first write-up I’ll be going through the one and only Unknown Armies game I’ve run. And I’d like to warn all UA-purists reading this, because this won’t be pure vanilla UA. I tried to stay as true to canon and rules as I could, but had to take some liberties for the sake of drama.

I present you: Chilling Heat

Premise: Small town, three strangers and somewhat strange extras and GMCs. Strange things happen, PCs hopefully get involved. And that’s basically all I had. There were lots of improvisation included (maybe even a little too much), but I also got ideas along the way, between sessions, that I implemented later.

I also came up with some guidelines for the characters, just for the sake of control. Not too much, and as an afterthought I think it might’ve been better to write the characters all by myself. Character #3 was definitely too detached.

Character #1 was Megan, conscious avatar of the Flying Woman who was on the run after having killed her husband. She was to meet her dear uncle who had promised to give her shelter for the time being.

Character #2 was Derek, Chaos mage on an errand for his mentor, to meet his mentor’s old friend and receive some special item. This old friend just “happened” to be Megan’s uncle.

Character #3 was Osmon, avatar of the Fool and wanderer, hitchhiking around The ‘States. He didn’t have any special reason to be in town (my bad), so it all depended too much on his curiosity.

I wanted the locale to be hot, so I took a good look at Texas. With the help of Google Earth I found this small town of Vega, Texas. A couple of diners, a convenience store, and places to sleep. Everything the characters might want, for starters.

I had though up beforehand a couple of major unnatural phenomena that would happen early in the game, to make clear that something funny is going on. First was an tornado that for some reason didn’t damage any buildings nor did it cause harm to anyone. It just passed through, along the main roads, lifting sewer caps and trash bins, and dodging cars and like, as if it were concious of its surroundings. Later, when inquired, none of the townsfolk had any memory of a tornado.

The second occurrence was snowfall. And it was mid-June. What troubled the characters (and players) even more, was that the snow didn’t melt immediately. Actually, it didn’t melt at all. Derek, and especially Osmon, began to experiment with the snow. They tried hot water, salt, fire… all in vain. Hot water froze when it touched the snow, salt just transformed it (to what, I don’t remember anymore) and fire just blacked it. Derek (or Osmon, forgotten already which one) tried even some improvised ritual with salt, gasoline and stuff. The snow, IIRC, turned to ash. So they gave up.

Derek burned his hand a little in his experiment, so he had to visit the local doctor. And I think he was quite uncomfortable, when he realized the doctor was drunk. And when I say drunk, I don’t mean he was just little tipsy. The stench of old booze could almost be noticed in the waiting room, he had given up shaving at least weeks ago, and he gulped whisky while interviewing the patient. Not the trustworthy kind, I’d say. But everything went quite well, and Derek left the doctors office with bandages and some confused feelings.

By the next morning, the snow actually had melted away. And the strance weather event was talked about in the news, so people remembered it. That was at least a little relief to the characters.

As a balancer to the weird events was pie. Really good pie. Excuse me, a DAMN fine slice of pie. Now, that makes me wonder if it should’ve been cherry pie…
So yeah, for some reason, maybe accidentally, maybe unconsciously, we made it a big thing when the characters visited a local eatery.

Next time: more weird happenings and curious personalities, and possibly the soundtrack.

Currently playing: Warren Zevon – Lawyers, Guns and Money

3 Responses to “Chilling Heat, part 1”

  1. A shadow contemplation:

    Please do post the soundtrack, and some comments on why/when. And if something worked really well.

  2. The pie detail reminds me of Twin Peaks. Did it become a recurring motif?

  3. Yes, it surely did and entirely thanks to my players, who caught my drift. If my memory serves me correctly, two consequential visits to he bakery followed. And yes, it was just the kind of Twin Peaksy thing I wanted to include.

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