Geiger Counter: The Drakkar


Geiger Counter

Number of players

We played a game of Geiger Counter set in Warhammer Fantasy. Since Geiger Counter is intended for 5–7 players, we've decided to make 6 characters for our survival horror imagined movie.

The Trailer
Fishermen see a Norscan Drakkar approaching the coast. Fearing a raid, they raise an alarm.

Then, a child playing in the cliffs beyond the village's rocky beach looks on at the wrecked drakkar, stuck between the rocks, with no signs of life on it.

The tile of the movie flashes as the lightning strikes: The Drakkar.

Main Characters
Generated randomly by rolling on coastal career table in WFRP 2e Career Compendium. Names rolled from Imperial Names fan supplement.

  • Henil Rohrig, roadwarden. His goal is to uphold the law; his survival drive: I won't die in this forsaken village; his advantage: pistol and gunpowder;
  • Lenhard, shipwright. His goal: use the shipwreck to build his opus magnum; his survival drive is to build an unsinkable boat; his advantage: others will protect me;
  • Rozanne, hedge wizard. Her goal: magic; her survival drive: my power will protect me; her advantage: touched by Chaos;
  • Elinor, militiawoman. Her goal: protect the village; her survival drive: loves her family and community, her advantage: drilled in village defense;
  • "Krummzahne", soldier. His goal: prosper as a deserter; his survival drive: too selfish to die; his advantage: armed & dangerous;
  • Amalie Fischer, bailiff. Her goal: collect rents, her survival drive: get a job to excel at, her advantage: well-equipped.

The Story
Movie opens with the bailiff and the roadwarden arriving in the fishing village of Düstmuräne. The sky is steel gray, the forest behind them gloomy, the village, the rocky shore and sea beyond grim and unwelcoming. The two look a cut above their surroundings, with quality outfits, well-groomed horses and gleaming weapons. Zoom in on the roadwarden's holster. Amalie announces rent collection time while Henil stands by her side and, with his mere presence, reminds everyone of the services the lords of the Empire provide to the villagers. Before the ambivalent feelings of the fisherfolk have an opportunity to resolve into discontent, the fisherman from the trailer runs up to the center of attention, raising alarm about the incoming Norscan raid. Amalie takes charge of the situation, commanding the villagers to prepare defenses.

The child that was seen during the trailer looks at the wrecked drakkar when suddenly an elderly woman grabs them by the shoulder. It's Rozanne, the hedge witch. She commands the child to run back home in a disdainful voice. Then she stares at the wreck with one eye open widely. We see the wraith-sight version of the world with the winds of magic blowing around the drakkar for a moment.

At the rocky beach people are preparing to row out and investigate the drakkar. The ensemble of main characters gets into two boats with some extras. Rozanne arrives at the scene and forces her way onto one of the boats. Lenhard the shipwright tells the outsiders that it's not worth arguing with the witch.

The main characters board the drakkar and look around the drakkar. The deck is littered with discarded pieces of equipment. Its tossed-about state suggests the boat being abandoned mid-sea for no apparent reason. Lenhard breaks the lock to the ship's small hold and opens the door. He's engulfed by smoke that quickly dissipates, with no fire found inside. Lenhard goes down the hold and pulls out a heavy brazier containing an elaborate amber sculpture of a flame. While Amalie proclaims it a great and valuable find, Krummzahne stands a bit back, looking at it with a greedy glint in his eye. Meanwhile, Rozanne looks the other way. We follow her sight to see the smoke reforming at the cliffs and flowing into a crevice, as if alive.

In the inn there's a celebration of an avoided Norscan raid and treasure it delivered instead of pillage. Amalie proclaims that the amber brazier will surely convince the local lord to lower Düstmuräne's taxes next year. Henil sits by the brazier, eating and drinking, with the gun at his side reflecting firelight. Krummzahne sits in a dark corner with a pint of ale, the fireplace's flames lighting up the treasure in his eyes. Lenhard expounds upon the shipwrighting possibilities to an uninterested Elinor, who excuses herself to patrol the village.

In the forest, besides a rocky outcropping, Rozanne chants by the fireside. Soon, the smoke above the fire thickens and flashes purple. Then, part of it flows into Rozanne's nostrils. She struggles for a moment and then her expression changes to an anxious and paranoid one (in game terms, she lost a confrontation with the Menace, becoming possessed, but earning an advantage die: Servant of the Smoke).

Elinor makes the rounds and meets Krummzahne, who stands by the stables, looking around. She questions his credentials and he tells her to mind her own business. Before their quarrel escalates, a scream and a splash are heard and Elinor runs towards the village's well. Krummzahne follows her for a bit, but falls back when they reach the inn.

Amalie and Henil are already at the well when Elinor arrives. They've determined that young Hans has fallen into the well. Amalie commands the villagers to get some rope and pull him out before he fouls the water. In the background, unseen by the characters, the silhouette of Rozanne is walking away.

In the inn, the innkeeper is surprised by Krummzahne. When he realizes the soldier hasn't come for supplies for whatever incident caused the commotion, Krummzahne smashes his head in with the amber brazier and leaves, strained by the treasure's weight.

Lenhard is approaching his home, walking by a boat frame. He is unhappy to see Rozanne, who comes onto him. He pushes her away before she can kiss him and she hits her head on the boat's keel. Lenhard backs away quickly, looking at smoke pouring out of Rozanne's mouth, while she twitches unnaturally (in game terms, Lenhard won a confrontation against both Rozanne and the Menace, giving Rozanne the "injured" condition; Rozanne also lost to the Menace, eliminating her from the pool of potential survivors — however, instead of giving her "dead" as the third condition, we went with "mutated" in the classic WFRP fashion; Lenhard gains her survival die as the witness of the transformation).

Elinor runs to the inn to get some help for the well situation. She discovers the innkeeper's body and screams bloody murder.

At the stables, Krummzahne is struggling to put the heavy amber brazier into the saddlebags of the bailiff's and roadwarden's horses. He is startled by a dark silhouette of Rozanne, standing in the stable doors, backlit by the moonlight, with Morrslieb's grayish green crescent over her shoulder. Mutant Rozanne lurches forward, trying to grab Krummzahne, but he brains it with the brazier. The smoke pours out of Rozanne's body, swirls around the brazier and flies into Krummzahne's orifices (in game terms he lost the confrontation against the Menace and became "possessed", gaining the "Servant of the Smoke" advantage at the same time).

Henil Rohrig and Elinor are out in the night, looking for the culprit for the innkeeper's murder. They spot Krummzahne, who is dragging the amber brazier. Henil challenges him, thinking of the suspected deserter as a mere robber, and is therefore unprepared for a swift attacked of the possessed man. Krummzahne stabs him, grabs his head and kisses him, this way sharing the smoke demon with his victim. When Rohrig turns to Elinor with a strange purpose, she screams and runs away (in game terms Rohrig lost the confrontation against both Krummzahne and the Menace, becoming "injured" and "possessed" and gaining the "Servant of the Smoke" advantage).

Elinor runs into the village's modest chapel of Sigmar and prays fervently. The symbol of the hammer offers a feeling of protection that does not extend beyond the chapel's seastone walls.

Krummzahne and Henil Rohrig carry the amber brazier to the village's well and throw it in.

Later, Lenhard the shipwright comes to the well, upset about his encounter with Rozanne. He gets a bucket of water, drinks a gulp and washes his face. After a momentary internal struggle, he becomes possessed (in game terms he loses a confrontation with the menace and gains the "Servant of the Smoke" advantage, making him the character with best prospects of surviving, since he also had Rozanne's survival die).

The End
At this point we ran out of creative juices and interest. Turns out that Geiger Counter characters are meaty enough to occupy a player (at least if they don't die quick) quite a bit, and the state of the game suggested it's about halfway done, while we were ready for a resolution. Final confrontation rules didn't appeal, so we called it there, while the getting was still good.