Better Angels: The Spared and the Spoiled episode 7

Dibs on his cape.The conflict between the Fiendish Four and the Brands of Justice heats up! Taking down a group of hardened corporate-backed ‘heroes’ will take every bit of cleverness the Four can manage. Finding out their weaknesses and secrets and setting up an ambush to take them down might work, but only if the team can pull it together. Given the track record of the Four, it may be too much for them to handle. On the other hand, chloroform is an awfully useful substance…

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  1. Does this mean that Caleb’s upcoming game has shifted viewpoints?
    “After the Recession, a new breed of peacekeepers formed. Selfless to a fault, “Givers” protect the few survivors east of the Mississippi from Zombies; Raiders; and the greatest threat to rise with the dead: anarcho-capitalism.
    A game about the thin blue line keeping the last 1% secure.
    Follow Procedure
    Enforce Regulations
    Ensure Domestic Tranquility
    Hebanon Games Presents
    “No Red Markets”

  2. this was probably the best episode so far, with the brewery being a good second place. Very dangerous, lots of plotting and schemes. No Vignettes though, but since this picked up after the last one, I see why.

    Not sure why anyone didn’t die though, whew that was rough!

    Lastly, Needs more Ross lying to his son.

    Secrets and lies, secrets and lies! I build my web out of secrets and lies.

  3. Pretty awesome episode.

    A little sad Bill didn’t enter Ronald’s house at Gamer Girl’s command, but given what happened it was probably a good idea.

    I really like demons begging for their humans to be spared so they can drag them to hell. It’s both funny and scary.

    Props to you Caleb (and the players to an extent) for managing the tone of the series. Shit could have gotten real dark when the BoJ killed Ronald’s family, but it’s still off-beat and fun. Also, demonically powered combat is amazing.

  4. Thanks guys! I’m glad you’re liking it!

    In other news, I finished the first draft of No Soul Left Behind today! Over 200 pages of demonic education goodness!

    I’m going to go lie down for, like, a month now.

  5. 200 pages? Damn, that’s longer than the BA core book!

    Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  6. I too looove superpowered combat in this game. it was fun in Wild Talents, but this is the maximum ridiculousness of a ridiculousness and brutality. and I love that the Brands of Justice are, like, an insane combination parody of heroes, evil corporation tropes and somehow professional wrestling? yesss

    v disappointed in the very beginning that no one took the opportunity to intone of the Party Buffalo that I WEAR NO MASK

  7. Wow. I thought True Detective had the most disturbing use of a VHS tape.

    Proved me wrong, Caleb. Proved me wrong.

  8. Just in time for my bday. Loved the episode, it worked really well.

    The Brands of Justice arc was great. It was definitely a challenge and a real threat to the characters but not overwhelming if planing was involved.

  9. You guys need to record a Cards Against Humanity session! ASSEMBLE!

  10. I’m new to RPPR, and this is the first one I’ve actually followed. Absolutely love No Soul Left Behind/The Spared and the Spoiled, and I’m greatly looking forward to seeing more from you.

  11. Vaughn, allow me the pleasure to direct you to; which was Caleb’s first full campaign. If you need an introduction to the Eclipse Phase setting (which is fairly high concept) listen to, which was Caleb’s introductory EP game or, in which Ross lays out the basics of the setting and features Caleb as a player.

    I starting stealing from Know Evil after the second episode and my players have loved it the entire time. It is a terrific and terrifying masterpiece. Know evil also fewtures a talking octopus with swords.

  12. Crud. Double-post-game-hijacking. Would you kindly delete the first one, magical admin?

  13. I can’t believe nobody died, and in fact the F4 vanquished the Brands with startling efficiency? That non-plan worked out better than some plans that took hours to form.


  15. Very surprised to hear how this part turned out as things went in completely unexpected directions (except how chloroform solves so many problems being another RPPR saying for it, maybe should be a t-shirt). Don’t want to spoil it but I was expecting a few more embarrassing tabloid style of ways used near the end instead of more just calling the cops. Should be fun to hear how this all goes now that things definitely have turned for the group & armed with super house builders/repairers from earlier, they can now put them to other uses with some of the events here in episode 7.

  16. Yeah, that was a great fight. It seems like dice rolls went the F4’s way a few key times- I was thinking split up as they were, that it was going to go bad. Like, real bad.

    The Survivor(RIP) tipped the scales in the F4’s favor, as well.

  17. I think this was my favorite episode yet. One of my favorite aspects of Caleb’s GMing style is that he always manages to come up with great complications that his players didn’t anticipate when they planned something, but in a way that forces them to think on their feet. The truck transformer and the mob of mind-controlled innocent bystanders were the perfect monkey wrench to throw into Kid Corvid’s deathtrap plan.

    Also, even though you guys didn’t seem fazed, I got kinda upset about Ronald dying. He was just an idiot kid who didn’t know any better. I do see Caleb’s point about him being “up in the air” from a narrative standpoint, but I could easily see a few people in my group taking a shine to him as an NPC and getting themselves fucking massacred trying to protect him.

    Great session, everyone! It was full of amazing character moments and pithy one-liners. I nearly fell over laughing at shoggoth Bill’s “Stop doing druuuuuugs!” Can’t wait for the next one!

  18. More quality play from this campaign! I gotta say, I just can’t quite get my mind around combat within the abstraction of the One Roll Engine system. All those slides and erases…it’s hard to follow for someone who hasn’t read it, to say the least. But it evidently can result in a pretty spectacular parody superfight!

  19. Right there with you, Ethan, I don’t get why being shot makes you sly instead of wounded, or how espionage is the opposite of knowledge. It is weird, but most of the ORE games are more about the emotional state of a person, subtle changes that influence who you are.

    That is a pretty interesting concept.

  20. I’m curious, how many session into this campaign did Caleb start looking up the negative side-effects of long term exposure to chloroform?

  21. Actually, the majority of ORE games have fairly conventional damage mechanics. The stat pairings and sliding/removing stats in Better Angels is an adaptation of mechanics from Stolze’s ORE noir game, A Dirty World, and its use came as something of a surprise to me – when I’d backed the Kickstarter I kinda expected modified Wild Talents. Still, I think it’s a good fit for Better Angels’ themes.

  22. It’s abstract, but that doesn’t mean it is bad. Heck I’ve learned more about RP just by the myriad of ways you can look into a problem, or convince people.

    It’s just a bit weird to wrap my head around. I love the whole ‘can’t be too evil or I get dragged to hell’ mechanic of the demon adding on one side, and the player trying to do the other. Combine that with the demon being a different player, and it’s brilliant

  23. Great episode. Glad to see the Brands of Justice get their due. One question I have is how are Angels treated in this system? As they don’t have the evil traits of demons they are completely incapable of deception, self preservation and always must tell the truth. So an angel would never use a secret identity right because that would be a deception. Why has not some Angel yet spilled the beans on the true nature of super villains. They can’t do anything sinful like lying.

  24. Angels cannot lie, but their mortal shells can. This takes away the passive bonuses (like a +3 beauty bonus, because angels are fabulous) the angels give them, though, so it’s not a great idea.

    I do imagine, however, that angels do not wish for the truth to be revealed and thus for everyone to know that those are actual demos knocking over their banks and irradiating their breweries. They probably go with the good ol’ “No comment,” when pushed for an answer.

  25. Exrox and the revelation of his powers is my favorite moment thus far for reasons I can’t properly articulate.

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