Stranger Things Season 3 – Episode 5

Time circuit’s on. Flux capacitor, fluxing. It’s back to 1985 and our Stranger Things Season 3 campaign!

Stranger Things Season 3 – Episode 5: Time Warp was our fifth session playing vs. Stranger Stuff, a game published by our friends at Fat Goblin Games. In this episode, played out over two sessions, we branched out and used a new system I’m working on for the Nightscape Series.

Episodes: Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3Episode 4Episode 5 – Episode 6 – Episode 7 – Episode 8

Stranger Things Season 3 Episode 5
Stranger Things Season 3 – Episode 5

Disclaimer: Because Stranger Things Season 3 isn’t out at the time of writing, you don’t need to worry about spoilers, but I’m going to assume you’ve watched Season 1 and 2 already.

Our Stranger Things Season 3 – Episode 5 session was the first session to end on a high note, with characters in a better place than they’d been at the start of the episode. They had to wade through hell to get there though. Here’s a summary of episode 5, with tips for running your own Stranger Things campaign at the end of the post.

Stranger Things Season 3 – Episode 5 – Time Warp

Scene 1

Player Characters: Michelle, Alpha, and Jennifer.

Three operatives working for Hawkins Lab were brought into a briefing room, where they were appraised of the situation in downtown Hawkins, as witnessed by Doctor Owens in Episode 4. Their mission: enter the Upside Down, rescue the kids and Hopper (who were pulled through a rift), and bring them back – alive.

The team included Michelle, an ex-MI6 agent and pharmacist, “Alpha,” a  psionic with field training, and Jennifer, a Vietnam vet and demolitions expert.

GM Note: For this section we used the Nightscape system, which works well for Spec-Ops games and includes a sanity track.

The team went through a portal into the Upside Down, then found themselves in a dark wood. Hawkins, they figured, was a mile out from where they were. Soon they spotted the small brain-like intellect devourers, which surround them, following from a distance. Alpha was able to detect more of them hidden in the gloom and encircling the team.

Eventually, the team got into town, but it was nothing like the Hawkins they knew. An older version of the town greeted them, the streets lined with cars from the 1960s. They went to investigate one of the cars, then the intellect devourers attacked. Using their silenced assault weapons, the team make quick work of the walking brains, but the fight brought a tidal wave of the creatures, which surged over buildings to get to them. The team ran for it, heading straight for Hawkin’s Town Hall.

Appearing out of the gloom ahead was a rift, the mirror of the portal opened in Hawkins the night before. Standing in front of the rift was Eleven, with her hand stretched out. She didn’t seem quite normal, as if possessed.
“Go away!” She shouted.
Alpha engaged his sensory deprivation mask and locked onto Eleven’s mind. As he did so he sensed the Mind Flayer standing over the town, its thoughts controlling Eleven. Alpha attacked the link, giving Michelle a chance to dart Eleven with a sedative. The Mind Flayer buckled for a moment, and Jenn grabbed the girl, hefting her over her shoulders.

Behind the rift and the truck with the device powering the rift (see last episode, Ed), were a bunch of humanoid figures. Alpha reached out to them with his mind, but sensed only alien thoughts. They were waking up, but they were not who they appeared to be. Sensing the trap, they dashed through the rift. Jenn set of some grenades on her way out that ripped apart the truck and shut the rift. One problem, solved!

Glasses reflecting Stranger Things Logo
Photo credits: Puneeth Shetty

Scene 2

Player Characters: Lucas, Steve, and Billy.

We joined the three in a library, where they were hiding out, having just fled from the intellect devourers. Lucas peered through a cracked, grimy window, and saw the intellect devourers drawn off by something, so the boys made a break for it, heading to Hawkins Lab. They made it there without incident, but found that the lab didn’t exist in the Upside Down – not yet, anyway. Lucas figured the tunnels must still be there, so they searched for them and eventually found them. They were able to find their way back to the nexus of tunnels where the old rift had been, and reopened it by hacking through the tunnel walls.

GM Note: Lucas, Steve, and Billy are out of danger, but I’m sure that opening the rift is going to cost them later. Mwahaha!

GMing Stranger Things

This was a fun two sessions, although our actual play time was limited and each session was several months apart.

Changing things up with a new rules system added to the fun of the game, but also slowed things down a little while we got into the new characters. Dropping “trained professionals” into the mix was fun, and I’m sure the players sensed they were playing red-shirts that wouldn’t have much screen time. Their new characters might have survived their first dip into the Upside Down, but anything could happen the next time around.

I’ve planned for three more sessions, so at this point I’m wrapping up some of the plot threads and focusing in on the important ones.

We Got A Golden Dragon!

Golden Dragon Award
Yay us! We’d like to thank our moms, the good people of Hawkins, Mr. Demogorgon…

Codex Anathema wrapped up the March RPG Blog Carnival with an award ceremony. We’re super stoked to have taken the coveted Golden Dragon for “Best Behind-the-Screen Adaptation.” We couldn’t have done it without my amazing players, our friends at Fat Goblin Games, and every one of you who’ve been following this series. Thanks for your support.

Till Next Time

Our next session is a week away, as we’re trying to finish off before the launch of the Pathfinder 2 Playtest. Check back next week for more from Stranger Things Season 3. Till then, why not visit our shop and check out some of our exciting publications. Everything we earn from sales keeps the blog alive and helps us produce more great gaming content.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

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