View Full Version : Electric Spaceman v Giant Panda

gom jabbarwocky
2014-11-12, 10:33 AM
Recently in a game I've been running, things spiraled out of control in a particularly sticky fashion, and I wanted to get some advice on how to play out the consequences without forcing my campaign to grind to a halt. (Note to anyone here who may be a player in my Classic Marvel Superheroes game - seek your entertainment in another thread!)

To give context - the game is about a team of superheroes who work for a metahuman think tank. Anyway, last session one of the PCs was asked to take a hit of a powerful mystery drug, and then was told to kill a bear to receive a boon (I was just making up nonsense). In his drug-fueled rampage, he then went to HR and beat the company's attorney into a coma - because the lawyer is a sentient panda bear. (Later, he was lambasted by his biologist co-workers because the giant panda is obviously of genus Ailuropoda, not Ursidae, but he figured a bear is a bear, so whatever.) Luckily, before he could land the killing blow, one of the other PCs used a holographic projector to create another "bear" for the PC to "kill". However, this is still a sticky situation, since this PC did commit battery on a sentient being equivalent to a human who was also a co-worker while on under the influence of a peyote-like drug. Also, he was given the drug by his boss, the company's CEO, which further complicates matters.

Next session, I have to deal with the fallout of this incident. Since the panda, Ling-Ling, Esq, has been characterized as having a sensitive, if rigid, personality, I figured he might decide not to press charges if the PC settles out of court, but it would be reasonable to expect that he or the company would strongly ask the PC to "retire" afterward. The CEO has been characterized as benevolent, if eccentric to be point of being irresponsible, but he is self-interested enough to want to shield himself, yet does not want to lose the PC as an employee, either, as he is incredibly valuable. I'm looking for suggestions as to how to handle this situation in a way that won't derail the game, but will keep things interesting. And finally, this goes without saying, no legitimate legal advice - this is a setting where talking pandas pass the New York bar exam, so legal subtleties differ significantly, obviously.

Honest Tiefling
2014-11-12, 11:05 AM
What exactly made the company willing to give people with super strength a strange and mysterious drug? Maybe instead of blaming the poor guy just following orders, Ling-Ling the Lawyer decides to instead punish or twist the CEO into certain actions using the player's assault as a pawn. If he has a rigid personaility, he might understand that the guy was doing what he was supposed to, that is, following orders. The guy really at fault is the one giving those orders.

The threat to make this public could also be used. And it doesn't need to be a plan for bad reasons, it could be as simple as making sure the CEO doesn't feed anything else weird to people with superpowers again.

Kid Jake
2014-11-12, 11:27 AM
I'd second Honest Tiefling, someone should be raked across the coals but it shouldn't be the PC. A superior orders you to trip and then kill a bear in the middle of a city...what did he expect to happen?

2014-11-12, 11:28 AM
I have nothing to add except I'm playing in the wrong games.

gom jabbarwocky
2014-11-13, 01:39 AM
The consensus here seems to be not to throw the PC under the bus - seems sensible, but they always manage to end up under there eventually somehow. I'm inclined to agree, I'm just thinking that if the CEO takes the fall, he's the major quest-giving, loot-handing-out NPC. That could be tricky.

On the other hand, I could turn Ling-Ling turn into some kind of weird anti-corporate vigilante ("Social Justice Panda Man!") and turn him into a minor antagonist, but that is out of character for him. I'm tempted to just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

I have nothing to add except I'm playing in the wrong games.


Red Fel
2014-11-13, 03:13 AM
Who designed the drug? This could be the origin story for a new villain - basically, the CEO, not knowing how violent the PC would actually become, ordered that he take the new drug crafted by [NPC NAME HERE] in R&D. The CEO thought it would just create an amusing trip, complete with hallucinations, and came up with the absurd task of "kill a bear" thinking it would create weird visions for the PC. [NPC NAME HERE], however, was secretly planning to create not just an hallucinogenic, but a violent stimulant, and spread his evil concoction across the countryside. An internal investigation exposes the villain, who is promptly fired, and seeks revenge.

Problem solved, new problem created, everyone wins?

Also, agreeing with Lytokk. Take drugs and attack pandas? I want to party with you guys.