EP08 Good Nuke Hunting
The episode began with Mason and Blanco returning to tell the group about what they had found. The group talked about how they could get the container out of the plane as well as how to haul it (it would not fit in Miserable Beast). In the end, the group decided to use the winch on the HMMWV and a tank tread wheel as a pulley to lift the container up, and use a rope to guide it out of the back of the plane, over the water, and down to the ground. Blanco then took up a watch position as the group began setting up camp and looking for supplies. Minka and Pavlov set up camp while Zofie, after hearing about Pavlov’s failed attempt to find water, set out with everyone’s canteen. They lucked out and found a small spring to fill up the group's canteens before returning to camp. Axel and Mason went back out to the tank graveyard and was able to find and detach an external fuel tank from a tank. Axel planned to use the external fuel tank to store the fuel found in the aircraft wings, but other duties took precedence. Once everyone was back they took their water, ate lunch, then headed to the crash site.
It took all afternoon and into the evening but they were able to get a tank tread wheel and use it to create a crude pulley. Minka, enduring the post-apocalyptic mansplaining of her Marine party member with surprisingly good grace, used her mechanic skills and vehicle tools to cut two holes in the plane’s roof on each side of a support. They used a cargo strap that was on the plane as the pulley rope and then attached a second cargo strap to the container as a guide. It took some time and there were a few moments where the container looked like it might fall but eventually they were able to maneuver it to the ground onto a sheet of aluminum. Carefully, they used the aluminum like a sled to drag the container. Each time they hit a bump, many in the group would jump a little, the realization of what they had in the crate settling in. Minka, rationalizing that the warhead had survived the airplane crash unscathed, shook her head at the men's’ foolishness. The sun was going down by the time they rolled back into their camp site. Exhausted, the group found a bit of comfortable ground to sleep, except for Blanco who took up his position in the turret of Miserable Beast, his need to protect Axel overpowering his exhaustion.
In the morning Mason relieved Blanco for some much needed sleep. Zofie sat on the top of Miserable Beast, also keeping an eye out and petting Kurwa. Pavlov tried his hand at cooking, wanting to prepare the two rabbits. He was scared that he might ruin them and let Minka down but he recalled what she had taught him both when they were kids and a few days ago when she made a rabbit stew. To his surprise he was able to remember the steps and cook them up nicely. Axel and Minka returned to the tank graveyard to see what else they could scrounge up. They found a hedge trimmer, an old floor lamp, and a frying pan. They were about to head back to camp when they heard shouts in Russian. Turning, they saw a dozen Soviet soldiers pointing at them and gesticulating wildly, with one of the party talking to their radio. Axel looked closer and his eyes went wide with shock. One of the Russians sported an eyepatch, and Axel realized that he was the same Russian that Zofie had stabbed in the eye. There was no way they were going to talk their way out of this. Shit was about to get real.
Day 3 - Day shift - Zofie: Forage success +5 water rations
Minka and Pavlove: Make Camp success
Axe and Masonl: Scrounge: Success +1 external
-Evening Shift - Whole Group: Successfully recovered nuke
- Blanco: Overwatch (no sleep)
- Night Shift - Axel, Pavlov, Mason, Zofie, and Minka: Sleep and spend EXP.
Day 4 - Morning Shift - Mason and Zofie: Overwatch
Pavlov: Cooking success +4 cooked food.
Axel and Minka: Scrounge success: +1 hedge clipper, +1 floor lamp.
Everyone Daily food and water consumption -1 each.
So this was the first time that the players had a chance to spend their experience points. Spending experience points allows a player to increase the Dice value of a skill, or they can also get a new specialty skill. You can learn or improve skills in one of two ways. First, you can improve a skill that you used successfully or second, you can find an instructor who has a skill higher than you. Learning specialties always requires an instructor. Nathan, our awesome Twilight GM gave each player 15 exp.
So take Pavlov for example, he had previously helped Minka with setting up camp (survival) and Minka provided pointers on the finer aspects of making a camp in the apocalypse. So, Pavlov spent 5 experience points to gain a D or D6 in survival (he had no prior skill). Later on, if Pavlov wanted to raise his Survival skill again, through successfully making survival checks or by instruction, he would need to spend 10 exp. Below is the list of improvements that the characters chose to take: (Blanco was on overwatch and then slept in the morning of the next day and so he took his advance then). The players chose the following upgrades:
Blanco - Ranged Combat
Zofie - Driving
Axel - Medical Aid
Mason - Leadership
Minka - Recon
Pavlov - Survival
The episode ends with Axel coming face to face with the GRU officer that he had encountered in his backstory. This was really cool and shows how important it is to build backstories (not too small, not too elaborate, but just right) to give the GM a way to throw some twists at the players.