Crashing a Conference at Wewelsburg wasn’t part of my original game plan for TotalCon. I’m not sure what I intended to do Sunday morning instead. Maybe just kick around the hotel and read a book, or spend a disproportionate amount of time scrutinizing wares in the dealer’s room, looking for the odd stuff my own local store didn’t stock. While flipping through the book Saturday evening, though, I decided to jump into Charlton’s game. I had yet to play a game GMed by Charlton, despite knowing him from the New England convention circuit for three or four years now.
What’s more, the adventure premise was brilliant: Infinity discovers a timeline in which Germany won World War II. A conference at Wewelsburg brings together all the top officials of the Third Reich, including Hitler himself. Infinity gives one of their officially non-existent ISWAT teams a three word mission: “Resolve the issue.” And much fun was had.
Charlton once remarked to me that time travel games are easy. The GM gives the players too many guns and pieces of equipment, then lets them generate the tension tripping over themselves not to get caught by downtimers. With that in mind, I came to the table expecting a loose, freewheeling game. And that’s exactly what I got.
In our history, Wewelsburg was a castle that Himmler and the SS controlled — and redesigned, in part, allegedly along occult lines, with Arthurian and other mythical imagery built into the decor and design. In the timeline Infinity Unlimited discovered, all that imagery was useful or intended to be useful, as we found crates of vril batteries and a sorcerer, the Agarthan, in the basement.
This sent the psychic cat for a loop — hey, ISWAT teams are diverse in their membership — who, accustomed to the kind of invisibility humans afford the four-legged, did not at all expect a wizard packing mind-reading powers. It led to an exchange between the two where I fought myself not to blurt out, “No, you fool, don’t be meek and scared. Pretend you’re a familiar from Hell and get into his graces!” In retrospect, it was probably just as well I didn’t make any such suggestions, given the efficacy of the sorcerer’s telepathy.
That encounter eventually brought us to a delightful climax in which the cat, my medieval French knight and the Russian espionage expert beat the snot out of the Agarthan. The poor guy just kept trying to telekinetically choke Sir Martin, who was clearly much too strong in his faith — and sound of body, given his HT score — to fall to such deviltry. He evaporated after the finishing stroke, sadly, or the team would have tossed his corpse on the pyre of research papers and vril batteries they built in his lab, and then festooned with grenades. My favorite part of that fight, though, maybe wasn’t finishing the Agarthan off, but throwing the pissy cat at his face to kick things off. It’s a tough call to say which was more satisfying.
Coming off that triumph, it didn’t seem possible to pass up the chance to take out the uppermost echelons of the reich. Plus, we had to, y’know, check these rumors about Arthurian mysticism, what with the Parsifal chamber and all. That’s totally it and not at all the prospect of assassinating Hitler in the heart of a Nazi stronghold.
Which is exactly what we wound up doing, forgetting completely about the investigating the occult angle because, really, no one one this team was at all familiar with the field. Sir Martin’s typical reaction to all matters sorcerous would be the purifying touch of flame, I suspect. So he covered the door while the Russian brought the fuhrer a message, then a trio of bullets through the brain, and the cat took out Himmler from a convenient window ledge. The thing about psychic cats is while they lack manipulating digits, they are often possessed of telekinesis enough to aim and fire handguns. Funny how that works.
After that, it was a quick retreat out of the castle, back to the conveyor and Homeline. Like Ghostbusters, once you’ve torched the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, for the audience’s sake you’ve got to get off that rooftop and fade to the credits as quickly as possible.