Tuesday, August 23, 2016

No More Heroes, pt. 2

First thing's first.

Share One of Your "Worst Luck" stories: I'm sure I have stories like this, but a lot of the games I've been playing lately don't reckon failure the way more trad games do. Oh, wait, I've got one. I was running a game of Chill in college, and the characters were up against a Bast (a kind of cat-like creature). Like a lot of creatures in Chill, bullets didn't really hurt it, but they're a pretty common first step, for some reason. So one of the characters shoots at the thing, and the player fails. Since the envoys are kind of clustered (bad idea - always check your backdrop!), I have the player roll to see if the character inadvertently hits another envoy...and the player rolls 01 (which is the best possible roll). She shot the other envoy in the head and killed him.

It was an ignominious way to go, but on the other hand, it was pretty appropriate to the story and the tone of the game, so I dunno.

Anyway, superheroes!

Last time, the heroes fought valiantly to prevent several supervillains from stealing the Earnhardt Radar from Lindquist Industries. This time, they all learned (separately) that the Gateway Arch was under attack.

Inferno was closest, and swooped in. He tossed a bunch of fire around at the demons, but didn't manage to hurt them. They leaped down off the arch and slashed at him, tearing up his outfit and cutting him up. Pink was next on the scene, and bounced off demon-heads up to the top of the arch. There she saw a man in a suit and a tie with glittering gold sigils sitting there. He sneered "pajama police" at her, and then fired magic at her. It didn't hurt her, but she slid down the arch, breaking windows (I added to the doom pool).

Arcanix arrived and flew up to the dude, declaring himself to be the Sorcerer Supreme and trying to band the guy (Grimoire) to the arch with the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak (which is apparently a dimensional constant). Grimoire broke the spell, and floated up off the arch, saying "I know you. You're the former Sorcerer Supreme." At that point, Pink slammed into him from the side, kicking him in the kidneys.

Rookie arrived on a swingline, slamming into demons. Inferno called up fire and caged a bunch of the demons, but a dude on the ground, in street clothes lifted up his hands and the fire went out. Spore flowed in behind him and caused a spore burst, infecting him (which allowed Spore to use one of his Distinctions - Brilliant Physicist). Grimoire, annoyed, called down magical meteors, causing a bunch of stress to Arcanix, Rookie, and Inferno (Pink dodged them handily). Rookie threw a meteor back at him, but he dispelled it easily.

Harmony tried to knock Arcanix back on course (his jets were malfunctioning as a result of a Limit), but didn't adjust for his heavier body and failed. At this point, Spore heard his handler calling him away, and he faded back into the earth. The demons attacked, but Inferno burned intensely bright, Rookie spun his staff and knocked a bunch of them away, and Arcanix dispelled them.

With no more demons distracting them, Inferno called up a sphere of fire around Grimoire, and Harmony deafened the other dude. Suddenly said dude vanished, and the fire-sphere was empty - Grimoire had pulled them away.

At the government compound, Spore found that Krampus and Innocence had attacked and freed Decibel. Spore's handler, Carlson, instructed him to get the other heroes here, as the government needed fresh eyes on this.

The other characters arrived, a little annoyed that the vending machines at the compound weren't free. The did a bit of investigation, and realized that Innocence hadn't killed anyone. Harmony, her old nemesis, confirmed that this was weird; Innocence was usually quite willing to put people on ice. The action at the arch had pretty obviously been meant to distract from this operation, but why was Decibel so important? Villains didn't normally stick together so intensely, so it was likely that his powers in particular were important.

Spore looked through his infective memories and found the name of the guy he'd infected - Mitchell Warner. Harmony remembered him; he had tried to be a superhero some years back, but had choked and wound up embarrassing himself. He had telekinetic powers, as she remembered. A little digging later, and they learned he was a brilliant physicist, too.

The found the sniper's perch where Innocence had shot out the inhibitor device preventing Decibel from using his powers. The sniper rifle was government issue - and it had been taken from a larger compound that had a dorm, an armory, and a research wing.

So the villains included a power-armored technomancer, a telekinetic, a sound-manipulator, an invulnerable heiress, and a mystic. They had already hit a major government installation. What were they after? Clearly the Earnhardt device was important. Rookie had built a device to detect it, but needed to boost it. Pink asked what the government knew about them, and the answer was "just about everything" (they were mostly in the dark about Arcanix and Rookie, though). Pink got her family on a plane (on the government's dime) and Carlson contacted the compound...and got a response that made him suspect the place was compromised.

The heroes split up. Inferno, Arcanix, and Rookie went to the heroes' base (established way back during Greenspace) and started working on boosting the detector. Pink, Harmony, and Spore headed for the compound to investigate that...stealthily.

With Arcanix' help in making the device able to pierce mystical cloaking, Rookie found the Earnhardt - it was at the compound where the others were going, emitting a low-level signal, far more steady than anything it was designed for.

Next time: The exciting conclusion!