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April 22, 2012, 7:03 am

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CRTF: Session 1


My commentary and thoughts on the campaign I started tonight.

CRTF: Crime Response Task Force

The Players:

Roy: Playing a child-like angel who was assigned to the CRTF. Speaks in third person, is innately curious about everything, and seems extremely naive. Has a strong preference for shotguns. None of the other players are aware that she's an angel, although they're definitely aware she's not normal. (Reva)

Chi: Playing a sarcastic and slightly arrogant martial artist. Gets along well with Kate. (Anise)

Kim: Playing a career criminal, who hacked into the CRTF network and was forced to join the task force as a result. Is also highly sarcastic and arrogant. Is only passable in combat. (Kate)

Zed: Playing a hardened cop who is extremely serious at all times. The most 'straight' character of the bunch, as well as the moral core (from what I can see thus far). (Lennard)

Moh: Playing the face of the group. Lecherous wine fanatic who was brought on to help the group infiltrate the various cults. (Aemilius)

Nick: Playing a veteran cop. Did not participate this session. (Jack)


Important Plot Events:

Players introduced to one another and the main NPCs of CRTF.

Unsure if my players caught the fact that Reese tripped up verbally while trying to describe Grant's standing with the ATF. (Foreshadowing Grant's past and probable future crimes and/or betrayal.)

Todd is established as Ex-DARPA, and players learned it was Kate's network intrusion that lead to his predecessor, Fred, getting fired. (Likely to involve Fred making an appearance later.)

Cult activity thus far has comprised of Vandalism, Ritual Animal Murder, a single kidnapping, and multiple murders. Most of the animal sacrifices have been domestic animals, with a single deer they still can't explain. (I hope to turn the deer into a later brick joke.)

Attempts are being made to infiltrate certain cults- attempts that lead to one man, James, getting killed. (James might have been betrayed by someone within CRTF, it's a possibility I'm leaving open.)

A US Representative, Richard Perkins, is the reason CRTF was started. His family was killed in a cult-related incident. His wife's head still remains missing. (Perkins is moving behind the scenes, and will likely make a later appearance. A big unanswered question is why the death of his family went unreported in the national media, a detail my players didn't think of.)

All my players are constituting CRTF Team A, under the leadership of Kyle DiGlado. Team B is the main police arm of CRTF. Team A is the misfit crew, put together only because (and I quote Kyle) "But, thing is, this cult, they've lit a fire under some asses. Those asses want results. Those asses are good at getting what they want." He frowns at the chatter. "To please the asses, we're taking a non-conventional approach here." (Kyle also makes it clear he'd rather be in charge of Team B)

Daniel makes his first appearance, after talking with Father Michaels. Michaels mentioned the Corpael Etasen to Daniel. (Michaels is at this stage the most valuable informant for CRTF. He seems batshit, but out of any of the NPCs, he's the one most aware of the true gravity of recent events.)

Todd mentions that the FBI might have botched the forensics work on the Perkins house. (This is a direct plug to allow Kate to use her skills to push the story next session.)

Players learn that Daniel is working for CRTF under an assume named, because his boss demanded it.

Part of the CRTF base has been set aside for the Players to use for their quarters and such. Kyle predicts they won't have much personal time to themselves...


Kyle is possibly the hardest NPC to run thus far, owing to his abbrasiveness. I have a difficult time doing 'rough around the edges' without making a character a complete asshole.

Todd, Reese and Kyle featured most prominently as NPCs.

As one of my players wants to play a PC named Jack, and Jack Reese is the commander of CRTF, I'm making a strong effort to refer to the commander ONLY as Reese to avoid confusion.

There was considerable discussion between PCs, and there's a fairly strong clash of dynamics at play. How they decide to overcome these will be interesting. Or watching them all die horribly will also be interesting if they don't.


Next Session and Work That Needs to Be Done:

Next session should obviously be their first foray into their investigations. I'm leaning strongly towards a car chase. I also need to start building certain NPCs that I suspect will end up in combat (Kyle being the obvious choice as their operational leader), as well as muliple informant NPCs. This game is going to require a large cast of characters.

Players still have the option to fix and fine-tune their characters.

I need to develop a few cults as well. David Branch, Cult Leader's cult is a red herring. The Corpael Etasen IS the real cult behind the violence, but David's cult is not the real Corpael Etasen. David's cult needs to be fleshed out, as well as the real Etasen itself. This will likely be a major issue for me moving forward. Each one is likely to require at least two or three developed NPCs that will allow the PCs multiple courses of action.

Father Michaels will probably end up as a submission eventually. I'm also kicking around the idea of some religious order who has been opposing the Etasen throughout history. I probably won't follow this idea until after session two or three has been played.

I also plan on setting up twitters for use by my NPCs. These twitter accounts will tweet in character content from the NPCs, allowing my players some fun otuside of game sessions.


Final Thoughts:
Holy shit it feels good to GM again, and I'm pleased with how this session went. Despite the somewhat silly and quirky personalities of the PCs, I think they're going to enjoy the serious setting and plot. Had a great deal of fun.



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Comments ( 5 )
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April 22, 2012, 5:58
Update: Fixed a formatting error.
Voted Silveressa
April 23, 2012, 1:20

Sounds like a fun session with a lot of buy in from the players; from what I've seen players usually adjust their characters silliness/quirkiness to match the tone of the setting over time which should happen here as well hopefully. (It can be a pain to run a serious investigation/police campaign with chars that feel like they belong in the Police Academy movie franchise)

As for them catching the fact that Reese tripped up verbally while trying to describe Grant's standing with the ATF, they could have thought you stumbled as GM rather then the NPC stumbled. When doing such things in my games I usually empathize it with a little OCC description such as "he pauses, for a split second, as if recovering mentally and refocusing on what he was saying, something your trained investigators eye easily caught." While a bit heavy handed, sometimes its necessary to deliver subtle information players will often deliberately ignore in the spirit of it being "just a game."

A fun recap, looking forward to seeing more of these.

Voted Kassy
July 30, 2012, 12:12
Only voted
Voted valadaar
May 14, 2013, 22:58
Sounds like a great game to play in. You sound like a great GM.


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