Transcript: Episode 16: All the Skill in the World
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Episode 16: All the Skill in the World Transcript by Nick & Cameron Robertson
Note: Zee-o is a synthetic humanoid being and primarily speaks in a robotic, monotone voice.
[hurdy gurdy music begins]
Nick: Welcome, listeners, to A Knight of Shreds and Patches. An immersive actual play podcast. This episode features the talents of -
Rhi: Rhi as Pallie Fisher.
Drew: Drew Mierzejewski as Wyatt Fisher.
Aly: Aly Grauer as Zee-o.
Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood and Iokua.
Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.
Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:
Thanks for tuning in! If you haven’t already, please consider leaving a review on iTunes, or your other platform of choice, and we’d be happy to give you a shout-out. Each one helps new listeners to find the show.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into episode 16: All the Skill in the World. And so..
Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.
[hurdy gurdy music ends]
[robotic powerup noise begins]
Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection.
[robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]
Rhi (as Pallie): Last time on A Knight of Shreds and Patches, we followed the Beast North and found it. Pretty remarkably it left a trail bigger than the rig through the forest and had dug out its very own strip-mine into the wilderness. We set up camp and figured out a plan. It’s as good a plan as I think anybody could come up with and if we manage to pull this off, it’s going to change everything.
Nick: It's sunrise. You can see the rays glinting off of the massive saw on this creature that you've come to kill. Its lair is a giant hole in the ground, a strip mine, that has been cleared of all resources. A scar in the northern wilderness that you've been traveling for months. Everybody is in their position. You're almost ready to go. And the sun moves higher.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Good morning, Patina.
Sydney: Cassidy says as she's sitting up in her vantage spot, at that same top of that high tree with clear sight lines to everything that's going on today. She's talking through her wild tech headset that's sitting on her temple.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] We're gonna go down the list, and we're gonna do the "make sure everyone's hearing everyone and that we didn't forget anything important for this before we start blowing things up". So, uh, Rock Slide - Crow's Nest. How are you doing today?
Rhi (as Pallie): [over radio] Uh...
Rhi: And I think we cut over to Pallie and Zee-o, who are, there's the cliff face for the strip mine and then some open ground and then there's the tree line. They're just in the tree line. Pallie is leaning against a tree and is like,
Rhi (as Pallie): [over radio] Rock Side and Zee-o here, uh we are in position. Detonator is ready to go. Just waiting for the show to get started.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Sounds good.
Sydney: And the camera pulls back and looks at Cassidy who's got today's call signs written on a little scrap of paper in calligraphy ink. And she looks down to the next one on the line.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Little Brother - Crow's Nest. How you doing today, Iokua?
Cameron (as Iokua): [over radio] Good morning Crow's Nest. I'm doing wonderful. How are you doing?
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Ah. you know, the air is nice and clear up here.
Cameron (as Iokua): [over radio] Good. It's a little bit dusty down here if I'm being honest.
Cameron: And the camera cuts to Iokua in Wyatt's exosuit. And he's doing the pro athlete getting ready to do something, like bouncing back and forth between his feet, rolling out his neck as much as he can in the suit and has his sword in one hand.
Cameron (as Iokua): [over radio] I'm doing good.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Well, I'm glad to hear it. Uh hopefully, we won't have any issues today. And finally, uh Big Brother - Crow's Nest. How are you doing today?
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] Roger, this is Big Brother, big brother. I am in the suit ready to flip the switches and get this party started.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] All right. Well, that's everyone. So let's get to it.
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] Cassidy. I am also here and in position.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Yes, but I already talked to uh Rock Slide and you were there.
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] Yes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Okay. Hi.
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] Hello.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Good morning.
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] How are you?
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] I am doing well. Are you ready to do the mission?
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] Can we cut the chatter? We're about to do this thing.
Nick: Wyatt starts flipping switches inside the Knight, and it starts to boot up. It's already been primed and ready to go by Pallie. And we see it spring to full life. It extends on its joints and the camera zooms out you can see the exosuit with Iokua dwarfed in proportions to this large combat machine as he stands about knee high, and the Knight is ready to go. You're standing in an area that's been stripped of its trees, several hundred meters from where the Beast is still chewing away at the earth.
Drew: We see Wyatt inside the cockpit and he reaches out and grabs the controls. And we see on the inside the screen goes solid to being opaque. So we can see outside. And he's like,
Drew (as Wyatt): Alright, here we go.
Drew: And we see Wyatt move the thing forward and camera pans to the outside. And we see the Knight take one step [heavy stepping noise] to another step. [accelerating heavy step noises] It begins to do a full run, and it pulls out the sword and it's gonna just run for this thing and make an attack.
Nick: Yeah, so go ahead and roll me that Melee attack. So, you will be rolling your Melee with five Brawn.
Drew: So it's two yellow, three green?
Nick: Yep. And then you'll also have a black die because your sword is Inaccurate. And you're rolling against two red die.
Drew: An advantage.
Nick: Hmm... So you are not able to damage it. The advantage is that it starts to follow you. What does this attack look like that doesn't pierce the creature?
Drew: So we see the camera go on to the legs of the Knight as it begins to pick up speed. So we see it running along the rim, a dust trail coming up behind it as it's running around. We see that it actually begins to tilt to the side but it's running so fast that it's now running almost sideways around the rim of the thing. And we cut to the inside of the Knight and we see Wyatt, this huge grin on his face, as he's pushing this thing forward. And then as it reaches an appropriate place, it leaps. And it is in the air, it sails over to the Beast, and Wyatt flips the sword around and brings it down into it. But again, it hits no vital parts, it just sparks basically off to the side and so Wyatt is now at the bottom of the pit with this thing as it lands, skids, turns around and gets into a stance ready to go.
Nick: And there's a shriek. It sounds like steel on steel. And this massive weighted block of a head swings away from the rock and towards you. Which is weird because you can see that there's actual little cameras lining in 360 degrees around the body. So it's like the head is moving purely out of habit. And the thing starts to slowly shift its large spiky legs to crash into the side of this wall as it brings itself around to bring more of these gantries on the sides to attack you. So, roll me a hard Resilience check. That'll be your Resilience skill with the suits Brawn.
Drew: Okay, so that's gonna be one yellow, four green. Okay.
Drew: Okay, three advantages and two failures.
Nick: So with the three advantages, this thing doesn't manage to bind you up. But with the two failures, you take eight damage, pierce two, as these gantries, these skeletal arms with sawblades and drills impact into bits of the Knight and start to shred through the armor. Alarms immediately begin to shriek on the inside, lights are flashing. You realize that there were several warning lights that it had little bits of tape over them and some of the tape jostles loose and you can see that there were more alarms than you thought. And you take a solid hit. With your advantages though you're able to skip back before this thing is able to grab a hold of you and pin you to the ground and crush you, which is good.
Drew: What was the damage again?
Nick: Eight, pierce two. So you only get to reduce one. So you'll have seven out of your twenty. This thing is really bad news. So Cassidy, you see this exchange, you see the Knight take damage from your perspective. You're extremely far away, but you know that you can do what you need to do. You all planned it the night before.
Sydney: Cassidy looks down at her piece of paper again. And on the other side of the paper where the call signs aren't there's a set of basically angles and distances for where these explosives that we're going to be setting off are, so that the aiming is a lot less having to do it by instinct and lot more pre calculated. So seeing Big Brother get smacked in the face by giant saw blades, Cassidy thinks it's time to start blowing things up and getting the big guy moving in the right direction. So she's gonna aim in at, what are the explosives?
Nick: They're like gas canisters, but filled with the high grain fuel and probably some sawdust or something to give it a little bit more fire too.
Sydney: So, on the far side of the giant angry death machine. They over the night had crept as close as they dared and planted these gas canisters. So Cassidy is going to shoot the one that's in the right direction and hope for the best.
Nick: Awesome. So that shot is at extreme range.
Nick: So that's...
Nick: Daunting difficulty. Four.
Sydney: So, fortunately, Cassidy's nice rifle which has been unslung and readied, and she's scoped in now, does have extreme range, so we're not penalized further, but not an easy shot. Can I have a blue die for having pre-calculated?
Nick: Yes you can.
Sydney: Can I have another blue die for being at a really good angle?
Nick: Yeah, sure. [laugh] You may have two blue die.
Sydney: OK, two blue dice for aiming and preparing. I will also be flipping a story point for this roll, which will upgrade one of my dice taking the end pool to three yellows, a green, two blues against four purples.
Sydney: Three successes and three threats.
Nick: Okay, so describe your shot and then I will tell you what the threats are.
Sydney: Cassidy's sitting tied in to the top of the tree in a patch where the foliage is thin enough that her shot is clear. And while she's been sitting up there, she's broken off a couple of extra pieces, just to make sure. And she's got the rifle held close looking down unfortunately to get the good enough angle she couldn't actually go prone on the branch. But, she has done this before and this gas can is not moving. So she lines up and takes a shot, and then works the bolt, slots the empty casing into the bandolier where there is a full rack of usable ammunition. And two seconds later, there's a giant fireball off in the distance where this gas can explodes.
Nick: The Beast lets loose another roar that shakes the ground as far as you can see, the trees are blown backwards by this sonic force, I think we get a quick shot of inside the Knight and the screen static fuzzes for a second before going clear again. And this explosion causes the Beast to shudder and move along the rock wall. It starts to move to get a different angle on the Knight which brings it around the edge of the wall heading back towards your location, Cassidy. The moss and some of the growth on the back of this thing begins to burn and you can see through your scope what you all hadn't been able to get a good view of before during the sunset, which is these four legged pill shaped bots, probably about the size of a person, that begin to pour out of hatches along the side of this machine. And a handful of them start to spray extinguishers onto the fires putting it out so the Beast is not really affected. But another handful of them crawl down the legs and the caterpillar treads of the now moving creature and start to hustle towards the Knight, arc welders flashing. Wyatt you can see them, but you worry that if you take eyes off of the Beast for too long that it might just gut you in a single blow. And we come to Iokua, Little Brother, in the rig.
Cameron: Iokua took off running at the same time that Wyatt did in the Knight, but has much shorter legs. So at this point, Iokua has finally made it to where Wyatt is in the Knight. And as the smaller bots come towards the Knight, Iokua slides in between the Knight and all of our new combatants. It's got to be a badass superhero slide with the sword out to the side, and stands and is going to hit whichever one comes closest first to give Big Brother enough time to get the Knight back up and moving.
Nick: Great. Roll me a Melee attack with your great sword. Average difficulty
Cameron: I get blue die on all combat checks. Alright, so that's three yellows, a green, a blue and two purples.
Cameron: A triumph, three successes, and two advantages.
Nick: What's the crit on your great sword?
Nick: How much total damage is that?
Cameron: Eleven damage, pierce one.
Nick: Holy crap. Okay, you kill four of these things. Two out of just pure damage one from the crit from the triumph and another from the additional crit from the advantages. So describe as you destroy pretty much this entire cloud of threats to the mech before they can even do anything.
Cameron: Okay. I am changing my intro, the same thing still happens, but the slide occurs with the sword out in front. And then it moves to the side at the end. And as Iokua is sliding, it just cuts through all of the bots. So then just ends in the superhero pose. All of the bots just kind of fall over.
Nick: Well, there's obviously the second of stillness.
Cameron: They stand still,
Nick: And then they start to slide apart and then they explode.
Cameron: and then then you see the slice, and they anime slide and fall over and Iokua just stands back up and turns and looks at Big Brother.
Nick: There's a single one of these repair bots off to your side and it looks confused at this sudden change and new target and there's a little arc welder on a little hand just shooting idle sparks but you can see it calculating and the lenses on the front of it trying to refocus.
Drew: So we see Iokua matched up with this last little pill bot. The pill bot moves back forth a little confused, but it determines itself and it's going to move forward to attack Iokua. When this big foot comes out of nowhere and [mechanic squish noise] steps right on it. The camera pans up and we see the Knight. The Knight looks down at Little Brother and gives like a two finger salute to Iokua and over the radio we hear Wyatt go:
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] Good job Little Brother. Your form was a little off there. Make sure you keep your feet wider next time.
Cameron (as Iokua): [over radio] Big Bro, I do not understand how you move in this thing. It is so tight. What I- It's throwing me off.
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] It's alright, just suck it in.
Cameron (as Iokua): [over radio] Uhg. The muscles don't do that Wyatt.
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] I wasn't talking about muscle.
Nick: And so we cut to Zee-o and Pallie as combat is joined. Where is your vantage point? And what are you two up to?
Rhi: We're still in the tree line a little bit. And Pallie is just watching, wincing at every hit on the Knight/Wyatt, and is fidgeting with her robotic arm. And normally, she only moves her robotic arm, keeps it within the limitations of human movement. But I think when she gets anxious, she is tapping her fingers together rapid fire way faster than a human could just like [rapid fire clicking noise], so it's just this very faint metal clicking sound, as she's tapping her fingers against her thumb. And just watching this.
Aly: Zee-o is close by of course. And I think Zee-o is keeping their eyes out on the main field of action, if you will, keeping tabs on everybody's movement at the distance that they're at. But they are extremely aware of Pallie's display of anxiety. It gets to a point where Zee-o gently reaches over without looking and holds Pallie's wrist, the mechanical wrist.
Rhi: Pallie startles a little bit and looks down and is like:
Rhi (as Pallie): Um you okay, Do you need something?
Aly (as Zee-o): Pallie you are making a noise.
Rhi (as Pallie): Oh, uh yeah yeah. Sorry. Sorry about that.
Aly (as Zee-o): You do not need to apologize. I simply wanted to make you aware.
Rhi (as Pallie): Ah, yeah, no, I just uh [deep breath] do that sometimes. When I'm nervous.
Aly (as Zee-o): Nervous?
Rhi (as Pallie): Yes.
Aly (as Zee-o): What do you mean?
Rhi (as Pallie): Uhh. Have we not covered this one?
Aly (as Zee-o): Not really.
Rhi (as Pallie): Uh... Okay, nervous. Um... So it's it's like, it's like worried. I know, we've talked about worried,
Aly (as Zee-o): Yes.
Rhi (as Pallie): But, uhm, more intense. It's usually, I worry about the group as a whole, just sort of generally because, you know, we do dangerous things and I want everyone to be okay. That's, that's worry. I am nervous about this,
Rhi: And kind of gestures at the fight playing out in front of them.
Rhi (as Pallie): Because this is a lot bigger than I think I expected it was gonna be.
Aly (as Zee-o): It is a large combatant. Are you worried that we do not have the ability to defeat it?
Rhi (as Pallie): I think we've got the ability. I think there's also a lot of things that could go wrong. And if something goes wrong, it's going to go really wrong.
Aly (as Zee-o): Do you believe that we have made the correct choices?
Rhi (as Pallie): [small laugh] Ah, I... I don't know. Sometimes you don't know if you've made a right choice until later.
Aly (as Zee-o): How do you know?
Rhi (as Pallie): Ehh when you see how that choice turned out. If we end today, rich beyond our wildest dreams? Made the right choice.
Aly (as Zee-o): Is that also why you are nervous?
Rhi (as Pallie): Nervous about being rich beyond my wildest dreams?
Aly (as Zee-o): Or perhaps not.
Rhi (as Pallie): The money; losing out on the money is not the thing I'm nervous about. I am afraid that somebody is going to get killed out there.
Aly (as Zee-o): Why? If we have the skills to defeat it, why would you be concerned that someone may die?
Rhi (as Pallie): Because some skill isn't the only thing involved here. That thing is bringing a lot to this fight too, and sometimes all the skill in the world doesn't make a difference.
Aly (as Zee-o): Pallie.
Rhi (as Pallie): Yeah?
Aly (as Zee-o): I had a question about choices.
Rhi (as Pallie): Uh huh?
Aly (as Zee-o): Does choosing, whether correctly or incorrectly, mean that you have a soul?
Rhi: Pallie looks at Zee-o for a long minute, and then looks over at the fight. She doesn't say it out loud. But it's a "you want to do this right now?" But also, like there's nothing else that Pallie can do. So I think after a minute of watching the not a minute, but a couple seconds of watching the fight again. She looks back at Zee-o and is like,
Rhi (as Pallie): Um, that's a big question. [chuckle]
Nick: And this is going to start resolving a little bit more cinematically as well. So we're back to Wyatt. Wyatt you've taken a blow from this creature, you've taken its measure, you can't afford to take many more hits like that. The goal is to lure this thing closer towards the plan.
Drew: Wyatt is looking at the heads up display in front of him and there are tons of these alarms going off. One hit did a significant amount of damage. And you're right, he knows that he could take another but not a third. So what has to happen, and he knows that he can't beat this thing in this, so what he's going to do is he's going to trust that Cassidy is going to herd this thing in the right direction. And he reaches down, palms a boulder on the ground and chucks it at this thing to get its attention. So it will follow him as he moves backwards.
Nick: Cool. Make me a Ranged Attack (Light), please. I believe the Knight's Agility is four.
Drew: So it'll be three greens, one yellow against what?
Nick: Just two reds.
Drew: Four successes and an advantage.
Nick: Wow. So you actually do a fair amount of damage to this thing, I think you hit it somewhere sensitive, and you have its full attention.
Drew: We see Wyatt reach down, pick up the rock, and we see the mech get into a wide stance and he chucks the rock. And the rock scrape across there, taking off a bunch of cameras. So immediately the thing moves faster than we've seen it move at this point before it's been slow, steady. But during that it goes [robot noise] and immediately turns and then has its full attention on Wyatt. We see as Wyatt begins to move backwards away from this thing heading towards the spot he knows they're gonna detonate for the landslide.
Nick: And we're gonna jump to Iokua next. Iokua, your cover from the large machine is taking off and away from you.
Cameron: Have any more of the smaller bots come out?
Nick: You can see some crawling all over the Beast, but none of them can currently catch Wyatt at the speed he's moving. Some of them are crawling down the legs, but there's none really to engage currently.
Cameron: Iokua is also going to take off running, but not following the exact same path that Wyatt is taking in the Knight, going more to the side. So he is not in the path that the Beast is taking and is going more to one side, but to the side in a way that he knows where all of the charges are placed. So he's not going to hit any of those, so dodging around those or hitting them after the Beast has gotten to it and continuing to monitor those smaller bots, because they can move fast.
Nick: So make me an Athletics check, at average difficulty to get out of the way, but stay close enough to intercept if you have to.
Cameron: Three successes, two advantages.
Nick: So yes, you're absolutely able to do exactly as you described. You are able to get out of the path, you're not in danger of being stepped on, but you're not able to keep up with Wyatt either. If Wyatt's forced to stop or if anything tries to go after him, you'll be able to intercept, you're in a good position, but you also have to think of yourself a little bit. [laughing] This is a very dangerous situation.
Cameron: Oh yeah, I just saw a robot gets squished. I do not want to get squished.
Nick: Yeah. And as things start to speed up, and this monster starts to move faster and put people in danger, we jump back to Pallie and Zee-o and their discussion about the existence of the soul.
Rhi (as Pallie): So soul, uhm... One, that's sort of a philosophical or religious concept. There's never been any proof, like scientific proof that a soul exists.
Aly (as Zee-o): Wyatt seemed fairly certain that they do exist.
Rhi (as Pallie): You were talking to Wyatt about this?
Aly (as Zee-o): Yes.
Rhi (as Pallie): Huh. Yeah, that, you know, actually, that does make sense. He he got very into philosophy and and things like that after he came back from the army.
Aly (as Zee-o): Why?
Rhi (as Pallie): [sigh] You know that that's funny. He talked a lot about what he was reading. But he didn't really talk a lot about why. My guess is he was trying to make some sense of what he'd seen. Maybe what he'd done. He, it wasn't a good time for him there. And I think he was looking for answers. I don't know that he found them, but he did learn a lot. [laugh]
Aly (as Zee-o): He told me there are no answers. That nobody knows.
Rhi (as Pallie): Yeah, I mean, that's yeah. That's correct. Nobody knows for sure if souls exist, and if they do, what they mean; what they do. But, the idea is that there is something in people that makes them people and not animals.
Aly (as Zee-o): Or robots.
Rhi (as Pallie): Mmm. I don't see why - I mean, I feel like a lot of what goes into a soul is... I think choice is part of it; acting on something more than instinct. It's a sense of right and wrong. I think you've exhibited all those things.
Aly (as Zee-o): I think so as well. But there must be something more. Something that I am missing.
Rhi (as Pallie): Why do you say that?
Aly: Zee-o stops looking out toward the action, and turns partway to look at Pallie directly.
Aly (as Zee-o): You are teaching me so many things; feelings, thoughts, theories, concepts. But, there is something missing. I do not connect with others the way I connect with you. I think I would like to, but I do not know how.
Rhi (as Pallie): It takes time. I mean, I know that you've physically been around for a very long time, but in a lot of ways, you're kind of young. It takes time to figure out how to talk to people, how to connect with people, because everybody's different. I don't know if it means you're missing something. I think maybe you just need to give yourself more time.
Aly: Zee-o gives a little nod, kind of thoughtfully.
Aly (as Zee-o): Wyatt. I would like to connect with Wyatt.
Rhi (as Pallie): [laughs] You don't go for the easy ones, huh? [sigh] I think the fact that he talked to you about souls, and choice, and philosophy, I think that's a good sign. He's [sigh] stubborn and set in his ways. And he'll... has a hard time admitting that he's wrong. And so he'll probably never come to you and say, "Hey, sorry, I've been calling you Bot all this time," he'll just start treating you differently.
Aly (as Zee-o): Was him calling me Bot a negative thing?
Rhi (as Pallie): It's not the most polite. Usually you call somebody by their name and not by what they are.
Aly (as Zee-o): Perhaps Wyatt also feels that something is missing, and needs to connect.
Rhi (as Pallie): Yeah, yeah, I don't think you're wrong about that. Keep trying.
Aly (as Zee-o): I will keep trying.
Rhi (as Pallie): Yeah. I think you're on the right path.
Aly (as Zee-o): I will keep trying. I choose to keep trying.
Nick: And we jump to Cassidy. Cassidy, the Beast has been moving faster and faster and it's gaining on Wyatt. This is good, because it's moving close to the location of the final ambush. But, it's a problem because it's going to catch Wyatt before it gets there. It's gone over several of the placed charges without any need for you to herd it any further. But you realize you're going to need to make a shot in front of it to slow it down or Wyatt may get caught in the last part of this trap.
Sydney: Cassidy's realizing this and probably the first thing she does is just get Wyatt on radio.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Big Brother, Crow's Nest. Um can you go any faster? Because that big guys gonna catch you before we can spring the trap.
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] What?
Drew: And we see on the inside of the cockpit Wyatt, we see a camera screen swivel backwards to see what's behind Wyatt in the heads up display.
Nick: And all Wyatt can see is whirring, gigantic, metallic teeth and flames and rocks and sparks and some of those pill bots that seem to be clustered around this giant saw. And there's a little text on the screen he's looking at that says 'objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.'
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] Oh Shit!
Drew: And Wyatt puts on what he would consider putting on the gas but the things going at top speed. That's all he gets out. That's all he does, is he just puts it to the metal. He doesn't say anything else.
Sydney: Cassidy watches the Knight not go any faster. And
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Uh.. Big Brother, Crow's Nest: Uh... you're not going any faster.
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] I'm going as fast as I can, Cassidy. You gotta do something.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Alright, uh go to your right. Slant right.
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] Roger.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Hold on.
Drew: We see the night begin to move right.
Sydney: And Cassidy lines up a shot on the next closest mine in front of the big dude on the left side, hopefully in a way that it isn't gonna hurt the Knight as it goes past. So there's timing to be involved in this one.
Nick: So I think this shot is only at long range now as this thing has gotten closer to you. It's moving quickly, so I'm going to give you a black die, because you're having to take this shot quicker, but you do still get the blue die for having the math already worked out.
Sydney: Okay, so you said long range, I have a blue die from having pre-charted where the mines are and another blue die for aiming at my good angle.
Nick: But a black die because you're rushed.
Sydney: Okay, I'm gonna flip a story point to upgrade that further. So, final pool, three yellows, a green, three purples, two blues and a black.
Sydney: Six successes,
Sydney: Two threats and a triumph.
Nick: So obviously, you hit it, and you're wildly successful, so this thing is slowed down. I do think the threats are that the Knight takes some singe damage in where it's already had its armor hurt, so it takes two more wounds ignore soak.
Sydney: I would like the triumph to be that it blows up another big group of the pill bots that had been closing in. It turns out that Cassidy's also playing the body count game with the other two. So she hesitates for just a second to get the timing to blow up the pill bots with it and that is probably why it also hit the Knight. It's still really far away, so...
Nick: Well and you've managed to save his life, if you singe the paint a little bit that's not too bad.
Sydney: Yeah, because the pill bots were close enough that they were going to be an active threat to the Knight. So this way, yeah, the Knight got a little bit in the fire, but the pill bots got a lot in the fire.
Nick: So you land this shot, we get a lovely bullet time view of this metal slug tearing through the range, passing just between two pieces of armor on the Knight, and striking this partially buried fuel tank which explodes and the fireball roasts a bunch of these pill bots. And the machine had been pursuing the Knight crawling like a bug on this wall with its four legs faster and faster, tearing up bits of the cliff and using its treads to push itself along as well. And some of the arms are knocked free, slowing it down forcing it to regain its balance and Wyatt is able to skip free as this thing is still chasing him, but mere moments away from hitting the X that marks the spot: The location of the ambush. And we jump back to Pallie and Zee-o.
Rhi: Pallie is watching, and as it's getting into position, she moves forward out of the tree line to get a clear view and raises the detonator in her hand and is watching, watching, and it hits the mark and she hits the button.
Nick: And nothing happens.
Aly (as Zee-o): Pallie.
Rhi (as Pallie): Shhh. Come on!
Rhi: She hits it again.
Nick: Nothing happens.
Rhi: Does the thing where she hits it a few times in rapid succession.
Rhi (as Pallie): Shit shit shit.
Nick: There's a little burp of dirt that comes up near the monster
Aly (as Zee-o): Pallie something is wrong.
Rhi (as Pallie): Yeah, yeah, I know. Uh... Uh...
Rhi: Pallie's radio is Zee-o basically, right?
Rhi (as Pallie): [over radio] Crow's Nest, this is Rock Slide. The detonators... something's wrong with the detonator. I'm gonna have to set it off manually. Keep it in position.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Yeah, uh, Sure. Good luck. Don't don't hurt yourself.
Rhi (as Pallie): [over radio] I'll be fine. I'll be fine. [not on radio] Zee-o stay put keep an eye on things. I will be right back. Okay?
Aly (as Zee-o): Are you sure?
Rhi (as Pallie): Yeah, yeah, I just got to wire this thing up by hand because this piece of junk is busted. But stay put, I'll be back.
Rhi: And she takes off, running down the edge of the cliff. I don't think that she and Zee-o are too far from the planned rock slide. So she's just gonna sprint over to where they have the detonator set up. What she sees when she gets there is there's a couple squirrels futzing around with the wires, and they look up and run off as she comes sprinting over. She's like,
Rhi (as Pallie): Damn, things [noise of frustration] I'll eat you for dinner.
Rhi: And she's gonna start trying to reconnect wires and stuff.
Aly: So Pallie takes off running towards the detonator, and Zee-o watches her go, and then glances back at the action and the Knight, and the Beast, and this whole situation. And then they look back towards the woods where Pallie has gone. And then they choose to turn away from the woods and face the action and keep an eye on things, like Pallie said.
Nick: So Pallie begins to rewire the detonators to set them off manually. Wyatt has kept the monster, the Beast's, attention, and is staying out of range, because additional damage to the Knight is going to take a big chunk out of the profits, which leaves Iokua, and Cassidy. What are the two of you do to keep it in place long enough for Pallie to set this thing off?
Sydney: Cassidy is on the radio, just having heard that Pallie is going off to go get the landslide trap to detonate because it hasn't. And she's looking down at the Knight, which is not having a good time. On the radio, she goes
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Uh, Little Brother, Crow's Nest. Hi, we need to keep this guy here. The trap's not going off yet. And the Big Brother there is uh... on fire.
Cameron: The camera cuts to Iokua who as he's been running alongside the Beast has been fighting off the smaller bots along the way, turns and actually looks towards the front where the Knight is.
Drew: So we see the front and we see that Wyatt has made it to the rendezvous spot. But obviously nothing has gone off. So he turns to face this thing down. And you see that he's not actively attacking it. But as it sends tendrils and like different things down in it, he's dodging moving back and forth deflecting in this whirlwind of activity through the Knight. But it is hair-breadth getting out of the way just in time. There are sparks going off where it just scrapes back and forth. He can keep this up but not for long.
Cameron: And Iokua sees how that's going and turns back to face the rear of the Beast and says,
Cameron (as Iokua): [over radio] Ok, hold on!
Cameron: And takes off running back the other direction again, and is going to run to where we had placed one of the gas canisters that Cassidy did not have to fire in order to herd the Beast where we wanted it to go and is going to start digging that out and pick it up.
Nick: And you're able to pull it from the dirt pretty easily. These were placed to where a bullet nearby would set them off. What's going to be difficult is to throw it at the right angle with enough time to be targeted and to impact the creature.
Nick: So I'm going to need a hard Athletics check from you.
Cameron: Does throwing something to explode at the Beast count as a combat move?
Cameron: Thank you. [Nick laughing] I want a blue die. And then I think I'm also going to flip a story point to make sure I throw it good. So three yellows, a green, a blue and three purples. And Iokua grabs it, leans the arm that's holding it down, and then yells
Cameron (as Iokua): [over radio] Pull!
Cameron: And throws it up into the air.
Cameron: One success and two advantages.
Nick: Would you like to use those advantages to pass blue die along to Cassidy?
Cameron: I would, yes.
Nick: Cassidy from your position, you see Iokua moving fast. Pulling this thing, throwing it perfectly. It falls right into your sights. And you almost look over at your scribbled math and then realize that obviously, that's not going to apply here. And you zero in and you take the shot.
Sydney: This is intuition shot. What's the difficulty on this?
Nick: I think this is going to be hard with a black die because it's a moving thrown target.
Sydney: Sure. How many story points do we have left?
Cameron: We're at two.
Sydney: Because we had one per player. Because I've used two of them. I'm gonna not use it this time probably... and hope for the best.
Sydney: Uh oh. So five advantages, and that's it.
Nick: So you miss.
Cameron: Can the advantages be that since you had said that the back of this dragon was on fire, the gas still hits and lands on the Beast. So more fire occurs, but it's not quite the distracting explosion. But it's something.
Nick: Yeah, it reignites the cinders that the pill bots had put out. The creature roars, and it manages to take another swing at Wyatt. I need another Resilience check from you at hard difficulty. But I think you can have two blue die with all the advantages that got rolled.
Drew: Okay, yeah, so it is one yellow and four green and two blue.
Nick: And three purple. But I do want to flip a story point for the GM to upgrade one of those purple to a red.
Drew: All right, that's gonna be two successes and five advantages.
Drew: So the Knight has been doing this back and forth where it's trying to stay alive basically as the Beast lays its full brunt of activity upon it. Wyatt knows that he cannot continue to do this for much longer. And even though he's not taking damage. He's running out. He knows that this is a dire situation. The shot misses. And at that moment, the Beast lunges forward with an attack, and the Knight catches it. And they're caught in that moment of struggle. And the mech takes three strain as it holds this thing in place, but is losing ground. And on the inside, we see sparks are flying and there are more warning signs, and we can hear the [metal groaning] and the crunch of metal around it, as the metal begins to yield to this thing.
Nick: And we cut to Pallie, who's been twisting wires together.
Rhi: Cursing squirrels.
Nick: We get a shot over her shoulder of this net of different wires and cables that lead to carefully placed explosives amongst fracture points in the rock, and roll me and Mechanics check at hard difficulty.
Rhi: Can I have a blue die because I put this system together in the first place?
Nick: Yep, you can also have two more blue die from the amount of time that your crew bought you.
Drew: While Pallie rolls that I feel like the camera jumps back to Wyatt on the inside, and he's straining and sweating and all the lights are now dark and red. And he's like,
Drew (as Wyatt): Come on Pal. Come on.
Rhi: Four successes and nothing else.
Nick: So you're able to get this rigged up and retreat away from the center point of the explosion. What does it look like as you set off this avalanche?
Rhi: Pallie thought she was gonna have to set it off manually. She just had to reconnect the wires. Once that's all set, she backs up giving it probably you know a good 40-50 feet of space backing up into the treeline, and closes her eyes and hits the detonator. And then there's a beat of silence. And then just this *wompf* as all of these things go, and then this massive cascade of rock and dirt, taking out a massive chunk of the side of this chasm, and it crashes down onto the back of the Beast.
Nick: The rock buries half of the Beast, you can hear the sound of grinding stone against steel, countless of these small mechanical creatures that climb all over it are crushed. And for a second. Everything's quiet.
Rhi: As the dust starts to settle Pallie runs up to the edge of the cliff to look down at her handiwork. And just in this quiet moment, pockets the detonator and she's like,
Rhi (as Pallie): Hell yes!!
Nick: And then the Beast starts to pull itself free of this rock pile. It happens faster than anyone can react to. The rocks shed off of it like water off of a birds back, and it starts to climb up over the edge of this strip mine that it's constructed over years. And you see Pallie, that the stone of this rim is not as stable, it's not as dense, as you originally calculated. This was great. It led to a bigger rock slide, but now it's starting to crumble. And as this creature, this monster that represents a chance at a new life for all of you, thrashes its way free of your ambush. You feel the ground give way beneath you and you start to fall. The Patina sees the Beast climb up out of this hole. It shakes rocks and trees and maintenance bots loose like a dog clearing its coat and begins to trawl off into the woods.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] [sigh] Well, Patina, uh that didn't go as well as we hoped. It's roll call time. Little Brother - you still there?
Cameron: The camera cuts and Iokua is pushing a rock off of the suit and climbing up. Because he was slightly too close and the rockslide was larger than anticipated.
Cameron (as Iokua): [over radio] Yup. I'm good.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Big Brother - are you still there?
Drew: The camera cuts to the mech and it's partially buried having gotten caught in the rock slide, and we see it push itself up and out of the dirt and get out and do this very human like brushes off its pants type thing and on the inside we hear Wyatt go
Drew (as Wyatt): [over radio] Yeah I'm fine. Knight took a little strain but it's nothing Pallie can't fix.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Rock Slide - you still there?
Aly: Zee-o here's that come over the radio and then realizes that Pallie is not back yet and they turn in half look towards the direction that Pallie had gone.
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] Cassidy.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Zee-o?
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] Can you see Pallie?
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] All I see is plumes of smoke and dust clouds. I, I can't I can't see details. Pallie's?
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] Pallie went to fix the detonator.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] She's not with you?
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] No. Pallie went to fix the detonator.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Okay? You were her radio.
Aly (as Zee-o): [over radio] Pallie told me to wait. She said, "I'll be right back. I'm going to fix the detonator." She said to keep an eye on things.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Well, the situation's changed. You gotta go find Pallie.
Aly: And Zee-o turns and begins to move in the direction that Pallie had gone. Faster and faster.
Nick: We cut to the Patina gathered around the rig. The Knight is gently smoking on the edge of the clearing where you camped the night before. Iokua is busy trying to get out of his mechanical suit. Wyatt is helping to pry him out of the bits and pieces. Cassidy is nervously pacing in front of the rig. And Zee-o enters the clearing, carrying someone familiar.
Aly: Zee-o steps into the clearing with dirt and dust covered form in their arms. And they cross forward into the clearing, and they stop awkwardly in the middle of everything. Their eyes are glowing, the same blue white light that they usually do. And they just walk forward and they just stop. Almost as though they forgot why they walked into the clearing in the first place, but then they look down at the shape of Pallie and their arms and then they look up at everyone else. Their face the regular blank expression. The non-existent eyebrows slightly lifted, the chassis' lips slightly parted, and the expression suddenly reads as though they don't know what to say, but that they desperately want to say something. And they look around at everybody.
Cameron (as Iokua): Wyatt is facing away, as Zee-o comes in, helping Iokua out of the exosuit. And as Zee-o enters the clearing and Iokua sees what they're carrying over, he lifts up his arm and pats him on the shoulder and turns him around.
Drew: So we see Wyatt turn, and he sees Zee-o and he sees what's in Zee-o's arms. And for what feels like an eternity, he just stares. And there's a look of confusion on his face as if what he's seeing doesn't, it doesn't register.
Sydney: Cassidy runs forward. Looks like she's in disbelief, but at much closer range and then puts an arm on Zee-o's shoulder and her head goes down.
Drew: Wyatt moves forward. He doesn't run. He doesn't sprint to her. He walks, and when he gets there, he doesn't scream or yell. He doesn't look angry or even sad. He just looks like he's lost a part of himself. Something is missing. Something is gone. And he reaches out, and he touches her, and we see his hand rest on that place below her neck on her chest where her heart would be. And it's then, it's only then, now that he's sure, [pause] that he crumbles.
Nick: We jump back to the fire. The Patina is different as they sit around in another part of the North. Wyatt is holding a guitar. The song forgotten. Emma is absorbed in the story. Cassidy stares into the fire, lost in her own thoughts. And Zee-o stands at the edge of the fire light, expression unreadable.
Drew (as Wyatt): A lot happened after that, but I don't remember much of it. [long sigh] We buried Pallie. It was a nice spot, little place out in the woods. I don't... Funny thing is, I don't know if I could ever find it again. We were so deep in that back country. But we said our words. We lit our fire. I played my song, like I'd done, I don't know hundreds of times before for so many friends, but this time it was different. She's my sister. And I couldn't help but think of her, like, I remember her, not as a grizzled pain in my ass, or the smart, intelligent, commanding presence that she was, but as the girl who held my hand during a storm. The, the girl who taught me how to swim, who showed me [laugh] how to um - how to eat cotton candy real fast. Everything fell apart after that.
We headed out of the ghost lands, we um found a place, someplace I don't remember the name now. But Iokua said he couldn't stick around anymore. I don't know if he blamed me. I don't think he did. But I think at the time I thought he did. Because I blamed me. I was in the mech. I was in the Knight. I could have stopped it if I'd known. [deep sigh] After that, it was just a parade of failures. Jobs went wrong. Money got spent. We fixed what we could and we just kept going. And then well, Emma, you know all the rest. And that's it. That's the story.
Cameron: Emma is sitting across the fire from Wyatt. And, as the story was being told, has slowly compacted herself more. She brought her legs in. She's hugging her knees to her chest. And there are just tears spilling silently down her face.
Drew (as Wyatt): It's not okay that Pallie is not here. Like I said, if things were fair, she'd be here, and I wouldn't. But I'm not going to be sad about the life she led, or who she was, or that she's not here. She did her part. It's not my fault. It's not anyone's fault. It's just life. And that's not fair, but it is the truth. [long pause] I think I'm gonna go to bed.
Drew: And we see Wyatt stand up and put the guitar down, and we watch his broad frame walk away from the fire light and into the darkness. And we keep on it for a second. And we see everyone looking into the flames and Wyatt walk across the camp to the rig, to the truck. And there we see his dark silhouette, as his shoulders shake, as he quietly cries.
Rhi: And glinting in the moonlight and fire light, we can see Pallie's robotic arm hanging in its place of honor, almost reaching out towards Wyatt but not able to touch.
[hurdy gurdy music swells]
Aly (as Zee-o): End of episode. Commencing end credits. The following information will be placed in the show notes for your added convenience.
This has been A Knight of Shreds and Patches, an actual play podcast using the Genesys game system from Fantasy Flight Games. The show is edited by Sydney Whittington, and features the talents of:
Drew Mierzejewski as Wyatt. Drew can be found on Twitter @ worldstoforge and is the showrunner for Skyjacks: Courier’s Call, an all-ages actual play podcast set in the world of Spéir, designed by James D’Amato.
Aly Grauer as Zee-o. Aly can be found on Twitter and Instagram @ dreamstobecome. Aly is also a player on and audio editor for Skyjacks: Courier’s Call. You can support both Aly and Drew by joining their Patreon @ Patreon.com/WhimsyArtifice.
Rhi as Pallie. Rhi is the GM and producer of The Magpies, a Blades in the Dark actual play podcast, and the owner of Skill Check, a document accessibility service for the RPG community. Rhi can be found on Twitter @ Rhiannon42.
Sydney Whittington as Cassidy. Sydney can be found on our Discord server, which is linked in the show notes, and on Twitter @ sydney_whitt.
Cameron Robertson as Emma. Cameron can be found on Twitter @ midnightmusic13 and on Instagram @ reading_and_dreaming. Cameron is also a player on Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars Edge of the Empire actual play podcast.
And Nick Robertson as narrator. Nick can be found on Twitter @ alias58. Nick is also the GM for Tabletop Squadron, which you can support @ Patreon.com/TabletopSquadron
This podcast features the musical talents of Dora Violet and Arne Parrott. You can find Dora at facebook.com/doraviolett. You can find Arne at atptunes.com.
The official artwork for this podcast was created by Rashed AlAkroka, who can be found on Instagram and Artstation @ rashedjrs.
You can follow the Patina on Twitter @ akosap_podcast or visit the website: www.akosap.com.
Until next time…
[hurdy gurdy fades]