The Strange : Operatives of Estate

Getting Ready to Vamp Up

Robin was one happy camper. He had always been good at his job—not as good as his sister, of course, but still one of the best—but it had always bored him. The money was great, so were the fast cars, and the girls had been very pretty. It hadn’t been right, though. Nothing to do with morals, of course – he’d always targeted real arseholes, sons of dictators, hopped up trustifarians, and so on and so forth… there were so many stupid, nasty arseholes out there, he always wondered why people ever bothered targeting the stupid, nice people. Well, there was always the fact that stupid and nice didn’t tend to kill you (or have assassins on speed dial), but that was only ever a problem if you did your job badly.

No… it just hadn’t been right for him. Something deep inside him—maybe the same thing that made him quickened—always wanted more… more adventure, bigger romances, and larger payouts. Money on its own just becomes a little passe when you’ve been taught how to steal very large amounts of it from other people, and Robin could never really understand why the rest of his family had always seemed so keen on building up such large piles of lucre.

Then he’d really spent time around CJ while they were at college, and that had been the final straw. CJ had the same drive in him; he’d just found a semi-productive way to tap it with the whole ‘mad science’ schtick he had going. He’d thought about actually getting some kind of job; he had pretty awesome computer skills, if he was being humble, and he probably could have done something with that… but coding in a lab all day…? Even if he only did it for a couple of years until he hit the big time, and made his own Google, he’d just be making money in a way that was much more boring (and more time consuming) than a well-planned con.

So he’d carried on pulling cons, because at least they were fun; the thrill when things almost went wrong, the excitement of remaining five steps ahead of law enforcement, and the joy of watching greed and stupidity overwhelm some arsehole’s common sense… it wasn’t quite as good as sex, but it came a pretty close second. And if you were really good? You could always find a way to combine the two; honey traps were a lot of fun, and Robin was a total feminist – women could be just as nasty as men, and were equally deserving of a bit of well-planned theft. “Ah, happy days…” Robin said to himself as he put together his supplies for the next mission; it would all transform of course, but it would still mostly be useful on the other side – plus, he was curious about what a twinky would turn into in VampireWorld. Something dark and brooding, he presumed.

But this job? He was a little peturbed about the way Keaton had been so obvious in the office, after displaying a reasonable amount of subtlety with the flowers, but other than that it seemed pretty wonderful: different worlds every other day of the week, getting to be an interdimensional cop, having magical fucking powers, getting to try things out as a woman for a couple of days – it was like God had come down and said, “Yo Robin, my boy, I hear you’re a little bit bored. Let me just liven things up for you, a little.” It was just amazing. Maybe it was karmic payoff for causing so many nasty people so much pain, or more likely it was just the random fluctuations of a Godless universe, but whatever had led him to this point… a happy camper, indeed.

Then his phone rang. It was his sister. He considered not picking it up, but… if he ignored her calls for too long, she’d track him down and pay him a visit in person. So, he pressed the accept button, switched it to speaker (so he could continue to pack), and said, “How’s that favorite sister of mine?”

“Only sister, you mean?”

“Sure, but look at it like this: there’s a whole ton of other possible worlds where I have tons of siblings – and even if I lived in one of those worlds, you’d still be my favorite.”

She snorted a laugh, “Riiiiight. So, why are you still in Seattle?”

“Em, did you tap my phone again? Because I’m pretty sure I checked this one thoroughly.”

“Stop trying to change the subject. You were just going out for that science award con… then just texts for weeks. You think I didn’t get Sam to track you down?” She sounded concerned. If she’d gotten Sam—their private PI—to hunt him, she must have been really worried; it was almost sweet, in a fucked up Marianne kind of way.

“It’s true. I have been off the grid. I’m doing a thing.”

“A thing?”

“Oh yeah, a thing. It’s big.”

“A thing so big that you didn’t call in anyone else – no family or friends?”

“That’s not entirely true, you know. I’m working with CJ.” Robin grinned. He probably shouldn’t have said that, but it spiced things up a little bit.

“CJ?! You do remember what aunt bitchface said would happen if we ever got him involved, right?”

“Eh. Empty threat.”

“… true… but it’d still be more trouble than it’s worth. I can’t believe you’d bring him in, anyway; he’s about as deceptive as a particularly honest brick.”

Robin chuckled, “Oh, I think you’d be surprised. Not too surprised, admittedly, but he’s still a Jameson…” He could hear her gearing up for a rant, so he decided to cool things down a little. “Don’t worry, it’s nothing that’s going to get him in any kind of trouble. He’s just doing his science thing.”

“…” There was a long silence, before she spoke, “Why do I get the feeling that you’re only telling me about one percent of the truth?”

“Because you’re REALLY good at what you do… and I’m only telling you about one percent of the truth. Look, I am going to tell you what I’m doing – just not yet. I need to figure stuff out a little more, and get a bit more traction on the situation.”

“… and you didn’t call, because?”

“One, I was really busy. Two, I wasn’t sure how you’d take being told that I wasn’t going to tell you.”

“I’m more pissed about you not calling, idiot. I’m also really curious, but I trust you.” There was another silence. He could hear her frowning, “You’re not going fed on us, are you?”

“Shit, no. I’m doing the same thing I always do: separating arseholes from the things they love.”

“Okay…” She muttered, seeming somewhat appeased. Robin knew it wouldn’t last; he’d have to either lie to her in the long run, or tell her the truth – and as he didn’t lie to his sister, it would pretty much have to be the truth. Only problem was… she’d think he was insane until he proved it, and once he’d proved it—knowing her—she’d want to figure out how to get in on the action. So he needed more time to figure things out, and thankfully—she must have been busy with another job, or in a good mood—she’d given it to him. The rest of the conversation was the usual shit: catching up about various family members, telling stories (or in this case, letting her tell stories) of recent exploits, and making jokes.

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.