Or, how to almost turn friends into enemies, and just barely influence them in the end.
We finished up Josh's run of Gamma World module GW6 Alpha Factor last night. WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!
Read about our previous adventures in the prelude, here, here and here.
So, having made it back to the Restorationist town in our hot air balloon, we were treated for radiation exposure and injuries, and spent a month recovering. Linka found out she could now project illusions into people's minds -- useful for an Esper, too bad she's got Int 5! Wing Lao, my Examiner, found himself with a second brain! And it gave him direction sense, telekinetic flight, and illusions as well! John Smith XXXII managed to survive unmutated. We were joined by Hornsby, a Mutant Rhino Enforcer, bought some supplies, and headed back to the Mind Keep in the balloon.
We first went to the room with all the records and spent a lot of time investigating them, learning of a secret base to the south designed to fight an alien invasion the purpose of Mind Keep (to create psionic super-soldiers to fight the aliens), and some other stuff. Then we went to the basement level 1, but didn't find anything useful. We decided to skip the rest of basement level 2 where we had met the obbs that caused our long convalescence and new mutations. Now we decided to climb all the way to the top.
On the top floor, we found a locked door with some sort of odd panel and slot opening mechanism that we couldn't decipher. The next door opened easily, but a security bot was right behind it, and came out shooting! Luckily, it was only using a stun gun. Hornsby took a hit, and was out for the combat. Pat had the good idea of trying to lure it into the elevator shaft and drop it.
We retreated to the elevator shaft and split up. Linka went right, John Smith left, and Wing Lao flew to take cover behind all the cabling in the center of the shaft. The robot came in, and Linka used her teleportation to appear right behind it and tried to knock it into the shaft, but failed. It took a swing at her, but missed. John Smith fired on it with his sniper rifle, and Wing Lao flew in and tried to stab it with his sword/electrical generation mutation combo, but both missed. The next round, Linka had a couple of good rolls, and managed to shoulder butt the bot down the shaft.
It fell, smashed, but wasn't destroyed. Terminator-like, it then started its slow way up the long ladder with a bad leg and arm slowing it down. Being at the top of a 12 story building, it had a long climb but we knew we had to think of something to stop it. We decided bombarding it with heavy objects would be best.
The room the live metal was guarding was an office with a large desk. It was booby trapped, but for whatever reason fragmentation grenades only do 3d6 damage in this version of the game, so we took some minor damage opening the desk. We found a hidden button that opened a hidden safe, but we had no way to open it without the combination. Another room had the computer we were looking for, but it had no interface. The final door on the floor was also locked, this time with a circle of eight buttons. Stymied, we descended to the next level down. Here we found the Alpha Factor chamber, where genetic modification experiments were carried out, a medical bay with a droid that would cure our two human characters (who had ID bracelets), and medical supplies.
Nothing to drop on the robot.
One more level down, we found Jeremiah, the lone survivor of Mind Keep, who was totally insane, and accompanied by a pair of demon-dog things. Expecting him to be a very powerful Esper, Linka used her mental boosting power on Wing Lao, who caused an illusion of the giant flying weasel thing to appear. Luckily, our own party managed to avoid panic, while Jeremiah and his rhino-hide mutts began running around in a panic themselves.
While Jeremiah was occupied firing his musket (he only had a musket? Strange module, but oh well...) at the illusion and usually missing, Hornsby was following him and doing a charge/gore attack. Linka circled around the other way, then added some claw-claw-bite attacks to the mix, and every time she tried Mental Blast failed. John was taking pot shots with the sniper rifle. Jeremiah kept reloading and shooting, or making swipes with his rifle butt, but not hitting very much. Finally, we took him down, and then had the dog things to worry about.
John Smith started worrying about the robot at this time, too, and decided to try to use our final mortar shell (explosive) against it. He needed Linka's help, though, so she disengaged from the battle (she'd been trying to knock the dog things over the edge of the pit -- she got one, but the other kept at it and eventually started trying to knock our guys over the edge). Hornsby and Wing kept up the attack on the dog, while John had Linka hold the mortar shell in place with tekekinesis while he aimed and fired on the robot. Linka, not being too bright, failed to let go of the shell at the right time, causing the shot to miss and blast a section of the ladder below the security bot.
We managed to kill the last dog thing, and dropped its carcass on the robot. It connected, doing some damage, but failed to dislodge the bot. We then gathered all the heavy junk we could on the level, and bombarded it. We smashed it up a bit more, but it kept on coming. Linka remembered that she had a bomb (as a Zoopremist, she could make them herself). She went down a couple floors and set it, then we waited for the robot to hit that spot. When it did, we set off the bomb, but it also failed to knock it off the ladder (good grip on that robot!). Eventually the robot got to our floor, but it just kept climbing, trying to get back to the top floor. We made a few more attacks while it was climbing past, and finally managed to shut it down! Big XP award ensued, leveling up the three survivors of the previous adventures.
Amid Jeremiah's stuff, we found he had a few useful things, but the best IMO was a nice futuristic assault rifle that Linka got to keep. Hornsby inspected the body of Jeremiah, and found suddenly that his telepathy didn't work any more. Strange...
Anyway, we then proceeded to search the lower floors. That part was a bit of a blur in my memory now, as there were a lot of rooms with nothing much of note in them. We eventually found the ring that opened the weird panel and slot door above, the combination to the safe in the CEO's office, and the combination to the 8 circles door as well. Still no computer interface, but it was getting late and although we had only one more floor to explore, we decided to go back up to the medical bay with the medical droid to camp for the night.
The next morning, Hornsby felt sick, and had a -1 to all checks and what not. The droid refused to treat him, though, as he didn't have an ID card (and it had taken photos of John and Wing when they presented their cards to prevent trading). Anyway, we checked out the CEO's office first, and in the safe we found the CEO's level 5 security card and a letter with the location of a secret military base to the south. The ring we found opened the weapons locker, granting us several grenades, a vibroblade each (sweet!) and a plasma gun (very sweet!). The next room, with the 8 circles combination code, had a suit of power armor and nuclear fuel cells, but was guarded by two highly armed security robots. Pat wanted to attack with our new-found weaponry, but I suggested we wait. Josh suggested Hornsby use his size-up opponent skill, and he learned we'd be out of our league even with the new weapons. So we finally went back down to the 4th floor, the only one left to check, and finally found the keyboard we needed, and fought a couple of snake mutants.
Going back up, we accessed the computer, got the info we needed, and left Mind Keep. We then debated whether to return the mortar to the Ranks of the Fit in Oskar village, or just go back to base. Linka wanted to go back to base, but Wing didn't mind returning the stuff (in other words, didn't bother me either way). Pat then decided to go ahead and return. I suggested we didn't land, but just drop the borrowed gear over the side. Unfortunately, the leader Timon then threatened to shoot us out of the sky if we didn't land.
We landed, he captured us, and forced us at gunpoint to join his army. That night, Gene Pool and the Restorationists raided the village, wiping out their army and capturing us. Gene was about to banish us from the Flower Lands when we managed to persuade him that we were under duress, and would have tried to flee the RotF at the first opportunity. We finally convinced him, and that concluded our adventure.
An awesome series of games, Josh, and if you feel like it, I'd be up for continuing it with the next module next summer.