We gamed, yo, and it was cool. Immediately following the scenario, John decided that he wanted to create a new character. Which is fine, except that we have two scenarios (maybe one) left, heh. I asked him to delay his character change till after this campaign finishes, and he was ok with that.
Anyway. Xein and D'alton bickered back and forth for some time regarding the whole heist/leadership thing, and Derf perplexed everyone by being helpful. Frankly, I'm getting sick of the whole heist/leadership argument. Not because I want them to stop it, but because it isn't role-playing. If Xein takes issue with D'alton's leadership, he should take issue with it when D'alton comes up with a plan and perhaps try to undermine him a bit by pointing out flaws in his plan. Stuff like "We never voted! You're dumb for thinking we voted!" or "I'm the leader I'm the leader I'm the leader." is not role-playing. Arguing about the heist and D'alton taking more than his share of the money is pointless bickering as well. Partly because Xein only takes issue with D'alton, rather than D'alton and Spineplate, the two that took a shit ton of money from the coffers.
I don't say this to pick on Eric and Jeremy, and I certainly don't want them to stop doing it if they think it is something their characters would do. If Eric truly believes Xein would harass D'alton like this, do it for an hour or more each session, do it till we all yell at you to shut up, and more power to you as you keep doing it. Fred constantly does things that only narrowly miss completely devastating the group and he does so without asking or caring, because that is Derf's nature. Everyone should feel free to be as unflinchingly true to their character if they so desire.
No, the bickering annoys me because it feels more like Eric and Jeremy are bickering, rather than Xein and D'alton. D'alton is a thief and assassin basically. If he is as apathetic and unethical as Jeremy claims, he should just come at Xein in the night and slay him with a bullet to the brain pan. Then he can take Xein's money and ownership of Tesla's Boil to accrue further monies. Xein, I am not entirely sure what Xein is. A businessman? I feel like I don't have a good impression of who Xein is morally speaking and I find it hard to guess at his motives and what he might do in a given situation, I suspect it would involve a bomb or a savage blade though.
Like I said, my only issue with the bickering is that it feels more like Jeremy and Eric, rather than Xein and D'alton.
Overall, the twelfth scenario went quite well and we had a lot of fun. Derf knocked rather loudly and emphatically on death's door, but he made it back from the threshold thanks to Xein's efforts. Spineplate did a shit ton of damage over the course of the battle, which always makes me happy. The battle. Man, that was a rough fight for the guys. Everyone (except Spineplate) was at about 25% hit points by the end of it and they were all pretty fresh to begin with. It was tough but fun and it felt like the battle was completely up in the air, like no side was guaranteed to win. I liked it, and I think the guys liked it. I flat out told them that since we're doing short sessions with one true battle per session, all fights are going to be challenging, there is no reason to hold their hands or tone down the violence. Everything is savagely balanced in such a fashion as to be difficult, but not impossible or unfair. There is a reason I haven't used Brasscoats until now, and I'm glad I waited.
I want to take a moment to also talk about Xein and Spineplate. Eric often brings up the fact that he and Spineplate were in the same gang in Beltan and that should make them friends like D'alton and Spineplate are friends, because they were all in the same gang. Now, Spineplate doesn't dislike Xein and calls him "friend Xein" when he speaks and not "ally Xein" like he says "ally Derf" or "ally John". He calls D'alton "brother D'alton" in private because of the things they've shared. Anyway, Spineplate was in the mines of Beltan as a miner and Eric believes that he was too so they should be friends. The problem is that Spineplate had an Intelligence and Charisma of about 3 when he was in Beltan. He was the Thing chained to the bottom of the mine digging out great handfuls of ore. He was not allowed to rest or cease his labors for one second. Prisoners tormented him with pickaxes and welding torches, and guards cut slabs of his body away when they needed a piece of wolf-iron for whatever reason. He was a broken, tormented thing born of a dark nightmare of blood and torture and ceaseless toil. Spineplate was in the same "gang" as Xein, and he knew Xein, but only as one of the meatbags that didn't cut him and weld stuff to him, and that is why Xein didn't end up being a spot of dried gore stuck to the chains welded to Spineplate's body.
As the campaign has progressed, Spineplate has increased his Intelligence and Charisma to the point where he could function as more than a clawed beast, finally truly becoming what he once was when A'lst refurbished him (granting him an Intelligence of 11 and a Charisma of 10) and he had Xein and D'alton construct fingers for him. The Spineplate D'alton and Xein were in a "gang" with is not the same Spineplate they adventure with now. If he was, they would lock him in the basement and never let him out. If they did let him out, it would be as a last act of vengeance against whoever had them so fucked up and desperate that their backs were at that wolf-iron door.
D'alton only knows Spineplate as well as he does because he was the first to try and talk to the thing of metal as an ally and not as a slow witted killer, and because he stumbled onto some of Spineplate's extracurricular activities. I understand that it is really hard to know Spineplate, he is cryptic, private, and quiet, and no one really talks to him about much of what he does. So hopefully I have illuminated the why and how of him a bit here.
Maybe it is time I talk about the Rankethlek...
Final thought, scenario went really well and I had a lot of on the edge of my seat nail biting fun fighting that tough battle with them.