Before I begin reciting this tale, I'll have to lay the background for the uninformed. I play in a homebrewed version of the TTRPG called One Piece D20, which is based around the popular anime One Piece. In the world of One Piece, there are these mythical fruits called Devil Fruits that grant users untold power, but at the cost of losing their ability to swim. Because I'm good freinds with the GM, they allowed me to try out a custom archtype I built called a "SMILE Fruit", based on the artifical devil fruit found in the show. I rolled for the power grantedm, and ended up receiving the abilities of a Kangaroo, so I figured out the portions of my body that would be transformed and created a loveletter to Australian Pop Culture as the character to go along with this power set. Anyways, the campaign's setting was a year after Monkey D. Luffy, the show's protagonist, had acheived his dream of Pirate King as well as taken the throne of one of the Four Emperors, ruling over a section of the world's seas known as the New World. The World Government and their arm of law enforcement the Marines are in disarray and weaker in power than previously, so Underworld Organizations and Piracy run rampant in this New Era.
We begin our story with the man named Bush Brisbane on an island called Burrow, following a lead on supposed gang leader named "Jimothy" feeding his underling SMILE Fruits with less then stellar results. For you see dear readers, though SMILE Fruits can level the playing field with the rare and powerful Devil Fruits, only one out of ten people actually receive the cursed power of the artifical fruit, and those who fail are stuck without any other emotion except happiness and a permanent smile on their face, hence where the name originates from. After Bush was forced to eat one of these and saw his friends suffer their side effects, he set out to sea to stop their vile nature from ever reaching the tongues of unknowing victims. So, in order to meet with this gang leader, he decides the best course of action is to gather some information at the local bar.
As he enters the joint, his baggy pants, hoody, and dark sunglasses (even though it's night), set strange looks on him from the local tough customers of the place. He heads to the bar and orders a drink, sparking up a conversation with the female bartender to gather some more information. He's slightly flirting with her as he tries to get some information out of her, saying he needs some work here after not finding any at his home in Dundee (I know, shoot me… By the way, I'm doing a most likely crappy Australian Accent for Bush, so a couple NPCs comment about it) and brings up he's used to doing under the table work and when she mentions Jimothy's gang and headquarters, Bush asks her if she can introduce Jimothy to him, to which she agrees. She says she'll bring Bush to the gang's hideout after her shift ends, he accepts her offer and fails to successfully flirt with her, so in shame he pays double for his drink and decides to distract himself with some bar games while he waits. Bush first plays some Darts for a bit, winning a nice little sum of money. After rolling a decent spot check, Bush noticed a guy playing cards eyeing him, so the Dundeeian decides to head over there next. The guy eyeing him gets suspicious of him joining in, as well as the accent, but after Bush buys in there's no more fuss. We played Blackjack for a few rounds, and with the luck of the dice Bush won a round and in the final round tied with the guy eyeing him and gave him a higher share of the winning to be at peace with him. After that, he got up and left with the female bartender whose shift had just ended.
Bush talks with the bartender and finds out her name is Ann, and the two get chatting about her line of work, since Bush was a former barcook and tender himself. After bonding for a little while, and poor rolling on my part, Ann points out about someone following the duo, and Bush threatens the pursuers to show themselves, being the guy who was eyeing him before, as well as two mooks. Bush stuck his hands in his pants and when he pulled them back out, he had a pair of brass knuckles on them, so he tells Ann to stay back while he takes care of this weaklings. (This is probably the time to best explain Bush's SMILE abilities. Due to the aritficial nature of the SMILE Fruits, the transformation process is vastly different to normal Animal, or Zoan as they're called, Devil Fruits. SMILE Fruits force the user to permantly gain animal parts, or in some cases an animal, to replace or grow from their body. In Bush's case, his lower legs turned into those of a Kangaroo, grew a Kangaroo tail as well as a pouch. He also gained two tiny black horns on his head, a tradmark of the SMILE Fruits.) Bush does okay and takes out a mook after two rounds of combat, but because of how he and GM were rolling, he was taking more damage than he should. Like a mighty comeback, he Nat 20's the second mook and sends him flying unconscious into the side of a dumpster. Now it was between the guy eyeing him before. After more annoying rolling between the GM and I, Bush was able to pull off another Nat 20 finisher, and kick the guy in the "kiwis" and send him flying upwards, before coming back down and crashing into the street unconscious. Now on half health and annoyed, Bush took the man's shortsword as a keepsake, putting it in his pouch, and stood defiantly in the street. Ann soon comes up and hands him a strange flask, and even after sniffing and still being unsure of its contents, Bush throws caution to the wind and drinks the liquid, healing him back up to full. Bush thanks the woman and tells her he's got an idea. He grabs the guy and tells Ann to say the guy passed out drunk in the bar and Bush was a stranger helping Ann bring the guy back to Jimothy's hideout. Ann agrees and the two head to the hideout with the unconscious guy on Bush's shoulders.
Bush and Ann approach the hideout, and the two guards allow the duo entrance after Ann vouches for Bush, though a comment about Bush's outfit gets shrugged off after he mentions it as his sense of style. As they walk through the hideout of gang members doing assorted drugs and women, they pass by a "vault" (really just a garage door locked up like you see stores in a shopping mall) before soon enter Jimothy's office. He's a tall man lifting weights and doing breathing exercises, with a few holes in the wall. The eye opening detail about Jimothy, is the lion's mane growing around his neck, alongside the lion's tail growing out of his rear. Bush drops the guy, who Jimothy reveals is his lieutenant named Geff, onto the couch in the office. Jimothy thanks the two but comments on why a stranger like Bush would help bring Geff back. Bush says he's only helping him out of curiosity for beating him in a couple games of blackjack earlier in the night, and was the reason he got so drunk in the firstplace. Jimothy accepts this tale and then asks them to leave since he has an associate he wishes to meet with coming shortly. Bush comments about how untrustworthy a second in command is who ends up getting so drunk he has to be brought back by strangers which Jimothy takes note of while the two leave.
As they leave, Bush whispers to Ann that he's going to sneak off for a bit and to keep watch for him. She agrees, thinking he's just going to be stealing something, so he ducks into the nearest, emptiest room and shuts the door, as Ann leans against the closed door. Bush also leans against the door, listening for the upcoming associate. A short while later, a man with a familiar Dundeeian accent comes strolling through the hallway, hitting on Ann while doing so, and then heads into Jimothy's office. He tells Ann to leave as he has some personal business to attend to, and asks for her to wait for him, but to be careful incase he decides to burn the place to the ground when he's done. He also says he would like her number, one to be flirty, and two, receiving it will be a good motivator for him. She agrees and leaves the hideout as Bush heads towards the office. Bush first decides to listen in on the conversation inside, but only makes a few things, like the "guest" commenting on the unconscious Geff and mentions about a shipment. After Bush hears a chair lean back from lull in the conversation, thinking it's about to end, he kicks the door in, breaking it off the hinges and sends the door flying towards the creaking chair, which turned out to be Jimothy's (The door actually landed on Geff,who was just about to wake up, only to be knocked out again). Jimothy's mysterious associate turned out to be Bush's old "friend" Jackman, the one who forced him to eat his SMILE Fruit. Jackman now also suffered the effects of a SMILE Fruit, gaining wolverine claws and ears growing from his spiky hair (Guess this reference). Bush had some few choice words for Jackman, who just laughed at Bush's useless attempt to stop him, as he exited the office and tasked Jimothy to deal with their unexpected drop-in. Jimothy proceeded to get furious, creating another hole in his office wall with a weight as he and Bush proceeded to square off, Brawler v. Brawler.
Bush beat the mighty lion in speed and started off his attack with a well placed punch right to Jimothy's "kiwis". After making contact, Jimothy, besides becoming a soprano for a few short excruciating seconds, swore the fight got personal. They traded blow for blow, with a couple misses and hits, with the GM rolling good and Bush rolling bad. Though, as fi the Dice Gods wanted to make this an encounter to remember, Bush got his third and final Nat 20 of the night, finishing off Jimothy, and flavoring it as Bush springing low from the ground and uppercutting the Lion man straight into the ceiling, leaving the rather large man dangling from above. Bush, after a less than stellar search check, found a key on Jimothy that he assumed was for the vault, and did something clever once more. He first pantsed Jimothy, then pocketed all of the money from Jimothy and Geff (Getting back some of the money he gave to Geff in Blackjack), and finally moved the unconscious Geff into Jimothy's chair to make it look like the lieutenant knocked out the boss, and the fight was a result of infighting between the two. After leaving the office and shutting the door behind him, he headed for the vault.
At the vault, Bush was able to unlock all the locks but one, but not wanting to go back and being a time crunch for when an underling showed up, he busted the lock much like he did the door before and was able to lift the vault door open. He found various crates, boxes, and chests filled with the usual weapons, drugs, and money. The most interesting thing he discovered were four bags filled with a total of nine SMILE Fruits. Not wanting to leave them in this gang's hands, he begrudingly dumped a chest filled with millions in cash to make room for the Fruits and took one of the unbusted locks from the vault door to lock the chest, keeping the key in his pouch for safe keeping He pocketed a stack of 10k and left with his haul in tow.
Bush then nonchalantly walked out of the hideout with no issues, since all the members were too busy with, "other things". He walked out the entrance to find the two guards unconscious, and Ann waiting down the street like he asked her too. He thanks her for waiting u pfor him, and gives her the stack of 10k he picked up in the vault, not expecting to receive a share. He says its fine, since his portion is bigger anyway, indicating the chest, and tells her to lay low, since it might get rough soon since he might have started an internal gang war. She agrees and asks him why he's telling her this. He says he has some unfinished business and has to leave, but promises to come back for her when he gets the chance, She begrudginlgy agrees and gives Bush her number to contact her when he able, and puts it in his pouch. Like the romantic he is, he kisses her to her surprise, runs down the street, trips on a pothole, and then darts down an alleyway towards the harbor, ruining his cool exit like the idiot he is.
Bush would then sneak onto a ship the next day heading towards the island of Nakoria, one of the last bastions of a Marines, where he was arrested for being a "suspcious person" (Seemingly a Drug Dealer) with an "unknown cargo". This would lead into the first session of the campaign, but that's another story.
I wanted to start Bush's story off here, since it was an incredible night where he rolled 6 Nat 1s (One of the reasons these Mook fights were harder than they were supposed to be) but the 3 Nat 20 finishers, which by the way were his only Nat 20s of the night, just made his prologue a great way to cement the type of character he was, epescially with the "contact" he made with Ann and the enemies he made in Jimothy and Geff. Don't worry, the first session was filled with just as great Bush (And this time others) shenanigans, which stemmed from, some, equally poor rolling. I hope I can tell the tale to all of you soon!