Anachronistic Ninja Chronos
#21
Thanks again for the kind words.  I wonder if, and for how long, I can maintain the tone given the game's increasingly complex narrative.  What started off as a vehicle for relatively straightforward ninja action has turned into an oddball time-travel story!

The Swords & Wizardry ruleset has turned out to be a great tool for this sort of run-and-gun gameplay.  It's the sort of thing I wish I'd known years ago when I looked to more and more complicated systems with rules for every little thing, and games which were specifically designed for genre play.  It's possible to take a simple set of rules which, on the surface, are intended for one use, and repurpose them with almost no effort.

Anyway, let's see where the story leads us.
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#22
With the capture of Rain, Yūri is on her own.  Which leaves her, and us, in something of a bind narratively.  Where DOES a ninja from the 15th century go in a city twenty minutes into the future?  And what does she do when she gets there?  I’ll admit I’m as in the dark as the rest of you, which I guess is why we have our handy-dandy Hour of the Dragon oracle.

What say you, oracle?

549 = 549[d1000]

- he plunged in between 
- darkness, shrieking: ‘Help
- lashed out with his heels smiting and tearing. The
- are caught in the fangs

Yuri once again finds herself adrift, moving from shadow to shadow.  It’s the middle of the night, thankfully, so while she gets some funny looks thanks to her disheveled appearance, there aren’t so many passerby that she attracts attention sufficient to draw the cops?  Or does she?

(3[d10]) No

Eventually she moves into an area with fewer dark spaces than is comfortable, but she has little choice but to keep moving.  If you’ve ever seen pictures of Shinjuku in Tokyo, you have an idea of what she faces: brilliant signs everywhere and dazzling colors.  Text in motion, windows filled with gadgets or collectibles, stores promising anime and manga.  Everything an otaku might want or need, gathered into a neon-soaked conglomeration almost overwhelming to even the contemporary eye.

Curiosity overtakes fear, and Yūri goes from shop to shop looking inside.  Everything is closed, but the neighborhood is still alive with movement and light.  Of all the things she’s seen up to this point, this may be the most alien.

But a cry for help is as familiar as yesterday in the mountains of the Ishida Ryu.  A man’s voice, shrieking, and growing closer.

Yūri looks for a place to hide.  Is there anywhere nearby which she can use for concealment?

(3[d10]) No

This place is too jammed with shops to allow for even a single dark alley into which Yūri might sink.  She goes to run when the man appears at the end of this stretch of stores, in a salaryman’s suit, dashing with briefcase in hand.  And in pursuit, a gang of wolfish younger men in far wilder garb.

The man goes down and they pounce on him.  He lashes “out with his heels smiting and tearing,” but he is “caught in the fangs” of this pack.  They’re armed and the man isn’t.

You’d think a hero would immediately go to the aid of someone like this because, well, she’s a HERO.  But Yūri is a ninja first, and ninja solve problems in a practicable manner.  What she sees are weapons she can use.  She only has to be able to take out these youths.

First we need to know how many.  We can assume there are at least a few, given that I’ve already described them as a pack, so are there more?

(8[d10]) Yes

Uh-oh.  A handful altogether?

(3[d10]) No

Many?

(2[d10]) No

All right, you’re confusing me, oracle, but I guess that’s the nature of the beast.  If there aren’t MANY, which is between six and a dozen, then I suppose that means we have something between that median amount and five.  Make it… eight?  How about seven?  I like seven.

Yūri, on the other hand, DOESN’T like seven because those are odds she can’t easily beat.  I mean, let’s look at the gang members’ numbers:

Gang Members
Armor Class: 7
Hit Points: 3
Attacks: unarmed or knife (1d4)
Special: none
Move: 12
HDE/XP: 1/15

It’s a gamble to take on so many, but Yūri is desperate.  She also has the drop on these guys, who are concentrating on their prey.  That means she has the opportunity to drop one before the others even realize what’s happening, thanks to the Ninja class’s assassination ability.

She has an 85% chance to assassinate a 1 HD enemy, which these gang members are.  So let’s roll for it.

8 = 8[d100]

Yūri approaches the knot of bodies on swift feet and, before any of them can react, reaches out and twists one youth’s head around so far he’s almost looking backward.  The dry-branch crunch of his spine snapping brings everything to a standstill.

Though no one’s moving, let’s get initiative, starting with Yūri.

6 = 6[d6]

6 = 6[d6]

In the case of a tie, the hero always goes first, so Yūri gets the first action.  And that action?  Trying to kill another one of these guys using the deadly bare hands of the ninja.  Her target number against these enemies is 12.  Theirs is 10.

14 = 14[d20]

A hit!  Damage?

3 = 3[d4]

A spear-hand directly to the chest sends a pressure wave through the ribs and into the heart.  The gang member dies on his feet, his heart stopped in mid-beat.  It’s the kind of thing only a ninja could do, and it’s enough to strike fear in the heart of anyone who witnesses it.  And, in fact, it does.

These aren’t security guards whose livelihood depends on the execution of their duty.  And they aren’t smoke-ninja, who exist only to kill.  These are street-gang members in their late teens and early 20s, and they’re not in this to murder anyone or, more importantly, to die themselves.

There’s another long beat, and then they run.

One of the dead gang members dropped a knife.  Yūri snatches it up, ready to do battle, but the youths are moving as fast as their feet will carry them.

The salaryman cowers on the ground.  He was using his briefcase to shield himself, and it’s marked up with blade cuts where they’d amused themselves trying to draw blood.  Maybe they wouldn’t have killed this guy, but they would have made him wish he were dead.

Yūri is a strange savior, and we can’t forget she just straight-up murdered two men in front of the salaryman.  Does he try to make a run for it?  I wouldn’t blame him.

(9[d10]) Yes

Without so much as a “thank you,” he scrambles to his feet and runs.  Yūri lets him go.  She has more pressing problems.  And there’s the matter of looting her kills.

Do either of these dead youths have any more weapons?

(4[d10]) No

Well, that’s okay.  They do have money cards and cash and identification, none of which hold any value for Yūri.  One does have some yen coins which, though strange to Yūri, are at least a kind of currency she can understand.  These she takes.

A raindrop falls on the concrete.  A few seconds later, a steadier fall begins.  Yūri strips one of the dead men of his jacket and now it’s her turn to run into the night.  She still doesn’t know where she’s going, and neither do I.
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#23
I am finally getting around to reading this. I am up to the point where Rain and Yūri escape in the boats. Epic story. Epic battles. Interesting characters. And, of course, I have a stupid question about the mechanics.  Wink

I am a bit curious about the cut-up solo oracle. You appear to be consulting it a bit differently than you did in your thread that introduced the oracle. In that thread, you appeared to roll a d1000 for each snippet of text. So five rolls, five lines. In this thread, you appear to be rolling one d1000 for every 5 snippets of text. One roll, five lines. I may have missed an explanation for this, but I was just curious about the reason for the difference.

Also, as way of feedback, I just wanted to mention that when you post a lot of dice rolls, in particular during combat, I am sometimes having trouble following what each roll is for. Most of the time it seems clear, but every now and then there is a roll that seems out of place or simply unknown. Compounding the issue is occasionally you'll refer to the results in the text and every now and then the numbers and the text don't seem to match (I suspect a typo more than anything else). Ultimately, it really doesn't matter. Most people just skim large groups of dice rolls anyway, and as you might know, a lot of times I choose not to show every die roll for my combat scenes, only those that are significant or interesting in some way. Also, as I always tell other roleplayers, it's totally up to you how you want to publically write up your games. But if are interested in any input I would suggest that if you show all your rolls you might want to add some tags for clarity. Could be as simple as the word "Ninja" or "Samauri" before the rolls for each, or "Dmg" before or after a damage roll.

Regardless, the story is interesting, easy to read, and I look forward to continuing.
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