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The Bird’s Eye View S3|15: See My Vest!

Jason recaps the events from Agents of Edgewatch S3|15: I Love It When a Plan Comes Together.

I’m actually going to start out of order, and talk about the vest a little bit.

I wasn’t trying to be obnoxious or control the session, but here’s the thing. The curse on the vest indicates that “you feel driven to recollect the vest at any cost until the curse is removed”. The emphasis on “at any cost” is mine: I read that to mean Basil should be as/more interested in finding the vest as in finding the bomb. In my mind, if Steve wanted to ditch the vest subplot, he’d make that clear and give me an off-ramp. And actually, I don’t remember if it was after we went off the air in this session, or as we start next session, but Steve basically says “we’re going to handwave removing the curse” because it’s not really relevant to the main story. But until he did that, I was prepared to roleplay it as Basil’s primary concern.

But back to how we got to that point in the first place, I suppose.

We pick up as we’re finalizing our plan to get a look at the casino’s employment records. Basically, we’re going to have Lo Mang come in the office and put himself in position to access the records, and then have Gomez throw an “entitled customer” fit to distract the security chief’s attention while Lo Mang does his thing. And up to a point, it goes reasonably well, though I grimaced a little when Seth mentioned “I have a box downstairs” – the last thing we need is to draw attention to the vault. But the good news is we come out of it with a name: Franca Laurentz, a security guard who’s only been with the casino for about a month.

There’s some follow-up questions regarding her motives – is she with one of the gang leaders, the Twilight Four, or an independent who just happened to luck onto the device? But we’re not going to find those answers here, so file it away for later.

Next up: returning the key. We know Gage is going to be in the VIP box, so we make our approach, and again… things actually go pretty well. Though ALSO again, I was gritting my teeth when Dougie suggested just dumping the fake key in a place where we’d be the prime suspects if it was discovered. But at this point, we’ve accomplished every objective that could be accomplished: we don’t have the device itself, but that’s not our fault now, is it?

And that’s when the adventure had one last wrinkle to throw our way, as the wizard manages to get into Gage’s private box and hold him at knifepoint in exchange for the vest. And I have to admit I was a little surprised at Seth’s inaction here. Talking the wizard out of killing Carlyle is very much a “face of the party” move, so I was expecting another blitz of roleplay, but he kinda just kicked back and left it to me to decide whether to give him the vest or not.

Now, I didn’t really want to do it. A LITTLE bit because of the curse, but mainly because I wasn’t seeing ANY plausible explanation of how we’d have the vest in our possession. The most likely outcome is that we give the wizard the vest, he leaves, and then Gage summons an army of security guards and escorts us down to the vault to verify our story. At which point we’re discovered either way; the remaining choice is whether to try and fight our way out of it, or just fess up and hope Gage’s civic duty kicks in.

In fact, that was the motivation I had behind giving my little speech about appreciating pain. I was trying to send the wizard a hint that we know what your vest is and what it could do, and maybe he would be smart enough to approach the problem some other way. But either Steve didn’t get that as GM, or the wizard didn’t get that because the story required us to make a choice. Either way, it was decision time. Even then, at first, when Gage was acting all nonchalant, I was content to let things ride because maybe Gage had some backup security system we don’t know about. But once the wizard started talking about eating his soul and Carlyle started to look worried… I just felt like we had to act. Everything we know about Carlyle suggests he’s a reputable businessman, and I figured if we have to blow our cover to keep him alive, we’ll just have to console ourselves with the fact that we got what we need to continue our mission regardless.

So I give up the vest, and fortunately, Seth springs back into action and connects the alibi dots I can’t; not only that, he even manages to connect dots that were unconnected by tying Franca into our alibi. Franca stole the vest, sold it to us, and we were trying to find a discreet opportunity to give it back to Gage. And OK, when John first mentioned the key, I was worried, but it actually worked in our favor and lent a little more authenticity to our story: “how can we have been a part of this if you still have your key?”.

Now, I’m sure there’s still ALL SORTS of holes in that story if you look too closely, but it’s JUST enough to give us a chance of talking our way through it. And I think Steve roleplayed this outcome pretty well… Gage clearly knows there’s something off about our story, but he can’t pinpoint it enough to call shenanigans, and there’s also the fact that we did save his life. Beyond that, appearances must be maintained: Gage still needs to finish hosting the gala, and it’s probably in the best interests of his business reputation to NOT have it out there that someone broke into his vault. So, rather than cause a huge disturbance, he takes the minor L – remember that he was only holding the vest as collateral on a loan – and lets us leave. With a warning to not return for a while, of course.

So where does that leave us? We largely succeeded in our mission, even if it was awkward at times. We know Franca Laurentz is our next link in the chain, but we don’t know where she is or what her motives were. Some of that will be left to the infamous Other Members Of The Force; meanwhile, we get to rest up and read about our exploits in the paper.

And it is true that we all played a part in the victory, which was the real redeeming feature of the whole thing. Dougie’s single biggest contribution was switching the keys, though his gambling wins also put us on Gage’s radar. Lo Mang got us through the cage and down to the vault, and also got Franca’s name from the files. I got us past the pain daemon without fighting, and also followed the scent of the missing device. Gomez handled all the social “face of party” type interactions, including most of our direct interaction with Carlyle. Despite our complete lack of a plan, it really did come together pretty well.

Also, Police Squad! was the reference I was going for. The precursor to the Naked Gun movies was a TV show called Police Squad!, that also featured the Frank Drebin character. One of the recurring gags was that at the end of each episode, the characters would all freeze (as was common for 70s TV shows), but rather than freezing the frame, the main characters would just hold a pose while other action continued around them: the coffee that was being poured would overflow, a random person would walk through the shot, they even had one where a criminal in the process of being arrested just unlocked his handcuffs and left because all the police officers were “frozen”. If it’s streaming anywhere, I’d recommend it, and not just because O.J. Simpson wasn’t in it at that point.

Well, next week, back to the chase. As always, feel free to drop by our Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.