Well, we got a late start this weekend but fun was had by all. In the morning we made a long trip out to get some super awesome donuts for the day, and then ended up swapping stories about things (including the incredible experience one of my players had at GoRuck). When we did get started I tried to briefly run down the way that the game worked, and mostly stressed that just about anything that they wanted to do can get done in the system. While it was drawn from D20 games, it would not always accomplish things in the D20 fashion.
After covering some things on what had happened since we had last played, we got down to game time.
We started the game session with our not quite super group (they haven't made things really official) a few weeks after they had a very nasty run in with doppelgangers from another dimension. Their resident tech genius, Pulse, and Lady Liberty's technically minded minion, Kyle Gipson, had worked on commlinks since their last adventure and passed them out to the team.
Lady Liberty was dealing with her TA Kyle Gipson (a minion that she has who is well aware of her and the teams super powered hijinks and helps them out with comms, he even has his own super moniker of THE SERVICE!). He brought up that her father had asked if she was going to be able to make it to the charity event to raise money for Cancer research. After checking her schedule she realized that Lexa Livingston did not have anything that she needed to do that evening, and so planned on going on the cruise around the harbor and beyond.
Aces and Pulse were at the hideout that they use in Jersey with The Service where the three of them were spending the afternoon relaxing, drinking, and designing what they termed to be a "Beer Cannon".
The cruise went well until Lexa started to hear the sound of some very loud engines approach. She moved to see what was coming and saw exhaust coming off of three speedboats that were heading straight for the yacht. She made the quick decision that she would be better served in her heroic identity if things did not go well with these individuals that she suspected to be pirates. She moved to where she would not be seen, enacted her Instant Change Feature, and then popped overboard and into the water. Upon getting doused in the water she heard her commlink pop and sizzle as the electronics went out.
Should I have given her a hero point for this? Looking back on it, I was messing with her but at the time it just felt like what an electronic device would do. Writing it now I feel like that sounds like what I'm supposed to give a hero point for.
LL is a flying brick, and therefore pretty poor at stealth. As she is looking at what is going on she surveys with stealth in mind over observation. I provided her a -5 Perception for a +5 Stealth on all checks. She immediately notices that the men who are boarding the yacht are not tying their boats off to the yacht, and while some of them are climbing up others are simply jumping aboard. Knowing that there are too many of them for her to take care of on her own she tries to contact the team and finds her commlink is out. She flies to the three speed boats that are abandoned and drifting to change back to Lexa Livingston so that she can access her phone. She calls The Service to connect her with Pulse and Aces, informs them of the situation and their need to get out to where she is.
Pulse and Aces head out to the marina where they can get a speedboat, but once they are there discover that it is Sunday late afternoon and lots of people are around. This makes them simply stealing a speedboat a bit more difficult as they will be observed, and their press hasn't been too good since they all came onto the scene at the same time as their evil doppelgangers did. The media still hasn't really let that go.
Should I have given a Hero Point to them for this complication? I didn't really push the situation, because I didn't want the adventure to be tied up in "How do we get to LL!?" but instead get to the action on the yacht and the story beyond it.
Aces called for attention from people and tried to convince someone to lend him a boat for an emergency. The onlookers simply watched in disbelief at him and Pulse. One lady came up and started badgering him, apparently an avid fan of an editorialist who had been giving the heroes bad press. Pulse, turning on his loudspeaker, tried to help Aces with his check and the two of them ended up getting an older man to offer them an older speedboat for the day, despite the woman's objections. With that the two heroes were on the water and boating towards the hostage situation.
LL had been trying to survey what was going on and discovered that there were 11 people on deck that were holding hostages. She had noted the "junk tech" factor of the speedboats, and saw that they had a similar look to them. Many of the people had missing body parts that were replaced with scrap pieces that seemed to function well. She noted one of the people on deck to feel like a leader type, and witnessed another swiping credit cards behind his ear.
Time passed while she tried to observe, and even witnessed a Cigarette Boat with some young African American men aboard dressed very casually dock with the yacht for a time and then leave. She had to move away during that exchange for fear of discovery and so was unable to get much information on the other boat. When LL tried to follow it, she quickly discovered that her flight was no match for their boat.
Finally the heroes group up together near the yacht (that has dropped anchor a while after it was boarded). The heroes need to come up with a plan, but fear that moving the boat towards the yacht will provide far too much time for the pirates to react. LL gives information on where she has seen the pirates standing to Aces and Pulse.
Pulse plans on performing a Pulse Leap (powered by his boots) onto the ship, but worries that it will destroy the boat that they have borrowed and promised to return. In fact, the woman who was bad mouthing them said that they would not return the boat! Aces is going to be carried by Pulse, for while he can run a 4 minute mile he has no ability to get to the yacht other than a slow swim. LL plans on swimming over to the boat and then getting the drop on the pirates as Pulse leaps to it. She needs to figure out a way to communicate with them and so takes Pulse's commlink, but worries about the water.
None of the players asked me about something on the boat that they could use to shield the commlink from the water. If they had brought up "This guy was going out, so he probably has his lunch here...lets get the plastic bag from that and wrap this up." I would have agreed without a Hero Point. I brought that up specifically, but since I had brought it up I said that if they wanted to do that they would need to pay me for it!
LL gets into position, Pulse is ready to jump with Aces on his back. Combat is joined!
LL has a Str of 10 and a +6 to hit (PL
. Other than that she has a basic "Throw Big Stuff" at +3 to hit and +10 damage. She has a Stamina of 10 and Impervious Toughness 9, but her avoidance defenses are not maxed.
Pulse is balanced on avoidance, toughness, attack, and damage. He has some more options in his attacks than LL does.
Aces is attack and defense favored to simulate the luck powers that he is based on. His standard attack is an 18-20 crit multiattack.
The three of them get to the ship, and while LL isn't really getting beaten up by the bad guys she has a hard time getting through them. The bad guys have a Toughness 8, but only Avoidance 2. My dice are hot, and the players are not. It takes a while before they start putting minions down on the boat. A great time is had during the fight.
I give people a bonus on their attack rolls for super hero appropriate one liners during their turn. If it is a good one I give a +2, if it is an amazing one +5, and if it is just something that they said but no impact they don't net a bonus. I thought that this keeps the environ that I would like to see going, but I do worry that it favors Damage characters over Accuracy. Hm....
Lady Liberty draws fire from a bunch of the minions, but they realize that they can't hurt her as their bullets bounce off of her. Pulse and Aces move towards the leader, and realize that only the woman are still on deck.
Pulse lands on deck with a cried "Yo Ho Ho" and shoots at the leader of the pirates and misses...taking out her bottle of rum! Payne (the leader) on her action bemoans the loss of her liquor, pulls a strange junk tech gun, pulls a lever on it...and nothing happens!
Pulse punches the leader on deck called Payne a number of times, and is unnerved as her body reacts, but the look in her eyes never shows an ounce of the beating his Pulse Suit is laying on her. As Aces moves to go below decks he tells Pulse that the energy Pulse's suit is pushing out is taking the deck out below him.
I gave them a perception check to see this happening. Aces was right next to Pulse and made his check. I wasn't sure if I should just collapse it underneath him and pass him the hero point without the check. So I decided to go that way.
Aces moves inside after firing his pistols in a wild 60 ft. cone taking out 3 of 4 shooters away from any captives. Inside he discovers the other leader of the pirates is coming out. A huge guy with a terminator arm that is called "Grip" by the minion who went into the cabin. Grip clobbers Aces, but not enough to get him into a grapple. Aces stumbles back and I offered the player that I could incap him after the attack and pass him a hero point calling on his Complication of "In Over His Head". He declined, feeling he needed to be in the fight to help.
On Aces next turn he went for Extraordinary Effort combined with his Advantage that improves it and unloaded his guns in a flurry of bullets. Two multiattacks go into Grip (who had All Out Attacked just moments before) and bring the monster down, then Aces swings his smoking Rubber Bullet Guns over to Payne, but isn't able to remove her from the fight. As he finishes his barrage of bullets he hears his guns click empty. Grip's massive body clogs the access point, locking up a number of other pirates behind him.
Pulse downs Payne with another Pulse Punch and then uses his Move Object Power to remove the floor beneath him so that he can get below decks to look for the other hostages. He moves out of the storage room he falls into and his phone rings...and he answers. I pass him a Hero Point as on the other end of the line he hears his loud, obnoxious, and intrusive mother on the other line, "HOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWARD, you never call your MUH-thar."
Pulse's character has grabbed a Complication of Workaholic to show that after the doppelganger encounter where he just started out as a kid looking for some kicks, things have gotten all kinds of real. Now he has completely let his social life slide as he has only been identifying himself by his super activities.
This whole time Liberty has been fighting minions, with not too much success in knocking them down quickly, but they were not hurting her one bit. As I said earlier, my dice were hot!
Aces, needing a gun and knowing that he had shot some men a level up tries to run up Grip's body...and flubs the roll! As he tries to Jackie Chan his way up he shakes loose the behemoth's body, and quickly finds himself tumbling over the edge only to get his leg tied up in a line that keeps him from hitting the water. He dangles helplessly...and passes me a hero point. He tells me that while he is going over that Payne's gun falls over and he catches it. When one of the bad guys come over to cut the line that he is suspended from, he points the gun at them and pulls the trigger. The guy begins to scream in pain and quickly falls off the boat. Whenever they have seen this gun successfully fire they have not seen anything come out of its barrel but always those hit seem to be in pain. In fact, this is the only time that they have seen any of the pirates in any pain. Their bodies have reacted to the hits that have been done to them in the past, but this was the only time that they have screamed or reacted in such a manner.
Below decks Howard is trying to get his mother off the phone, trying to convince her that the "restaurant" he is in is just very loud, and that he is out on a date with a girl. Finally as his suit's early warning system kicks in (Danger Sense) Howard calls out "Mom, I have to go." hangs up on her while he turns and fires on the minion who was sneaking up on him.
Liberty, finally free of the grand melee that she was in for a long time is providing cover for the women to get to the life boats. She even helps her step mother, who is worried about her daughter. Lady Liberty asks what she looks like! Of course the step mother describes Lexa instead of Lady Liberty. Liberty flies over to the chocolate fountain picks it up and hurls it at one of the remaining shooters. The player delivered a line about "Metal dipped chocolate", while I thought the appropriate line would be "You ordered a hot chocolate!?" A chocolate mess covers the deck.
Aces brings down most of the minions that were at one time trapped behind Grips body, but suddenly he pulls the trigger on the gun and nothing happens...then small black smoke starts wafting out the barrel. (It was an Unreliable weapon, and that was his first failure on it.) He looks at the man approaching him and cries, "Liberty, a little help!" He begins to run for Lady Liberty's flying form...only to slip in the chocolate! A hero point was passed out to him for it.
Liberty flies over, grabs the thug and then throws him at the shuffleboard (that was earlier commented to exist by Aces) inventing the new game of ShuffleLuge! She KOs the final minion and ends the ShuffleLuge game with a perfect score, her minion is fully in the triangle without hitting the -20 points zone and she has removed all other teams pucks!
With that the fight winds down. Pulse finds the male hostages, and eventually Lexa is "discovered". She gives her teammates all her valuables (since people have been robbed) and even has Aces pistol whip her in the face to make it look good. After a few attempts that Liberty's divinely empowered reflexes stop (and she barely doesn't turn poor Aces into paste) he finally starts laying into her. His capability to do damage is just past her Impervious Toughness (Imp Tough 9 vs Damage 6). She comes out with a bruise, and doesn't even need to act exhausted from the ordeal because her Extraordinary Effort has left her in that shape. For the Pistol Whipping she did earn the temporary complication Badly Beaten that she can call on later on if she would like.
Finally NY Harbor Police arrive and the captain even thanks the heroes for what they have done. He says that a lot of folks don't know what to think of them, but from what he has learned from talking to the witnesses things would have gotten very ugly if the police had needed to take the yacht.
The heroes discover that the cigarette boat contained 5 young African Americans that picked up a package and spoke in French accents.
Aces and Pulse rode the yacht back to shore, but Pulse Leaped off the yacht before the media frenzy could catch up to them. Later on that night all the heroes were reassembled at their Jersey hideout.
Pulse took a good look at the gun that Aces had been using and ended up taking it apart. He found a strange clear crystal that the lever on the gun would remove from the firing line, place in the firing line, and rotate in the firing line. He is uncertain what kind of crystal it is or what its purpose is for but sees that the battery is feeding directly into the crystal and so it would have been generating whatever effect the gun had.
The group felt a little stuck and so I offered inspiration. All I told them off of it (would give them more if they flubbed it up) was that Aces had skills that would provide clues. They went through his skills and skipped right over his Expertise Police and Streetwise. I then asked what are a bunch of people who break the law together, dress in a similar fashion...I didn't get to finish. Aces said "A gang!" Then he rolled his check, and remembered information about Salvage from his time on the force.
As for the other boat, they think that it might be some warlords men that were making a trade. None of the hostages knew if the men gave a bag to the pirates or not, only that they took a bag. While their plastic was recovered on the ship, none of their other valuables were.
Pulse called up his minion Jerry, an investigative journalist working for the famous Planet Bugle! Aside
: In the setting that we are using while it is 2011 (coming up on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 where most of the super heroes died) print media is still a thriving industry and while papers do publish on line articles they are not near as important as the physical papers.
Jerry is a young investigative journalist and is mainly working with the investigative part and needing to pass things on to more seasoned journalists. However, he is one of the few who are reporting positively about the heroes in his editorials that Planet Bugle is hosting on their website. After Pulse nets more verbal abuse due to not having a social life from Jerry and calling him for help rather than drinks, Jerry agrees to help and Pulse promises him that they will go out the next day.
Finally Aces asks LL if she has a boat that he can give to the guy that they borrowed the boat from. LL is fantastically wealthy, so he figures she is probably good for it. They plan to deliver the boat to the man sometime tomorrow where LL flies in carrying it with Pulse and Aces inside. They also plan to get him a much nicer boat!
That was the game session, and while not too much was covered folks had a fantastic time. I found running MnM to be easy and fun process. While I was putting bad guys together on Friday I thought that it was a pretty fast and painless process that the GM Kit Fast Creation Guide helped with enormously.
Gargoyle was saying he wanted to hear what had gone on, so I posted this up for him, and I hope he enjoyed it. I will put down some more thoughts on the story that I am working on tomorrow probably.
Edit: Oh we ended the night with LL asking if she can use the hideouts shower as she is still chocolate covered in her super hero form (we have her instant change do her hair up, so figured that the chocolate would probably disappear to the ether just like her gear). The Service who has complication Hot for Teacher took one look at her and his jaw fell open. He grabbed onto Aces' shoulder and asked (as Liberty walked out of the room) "What did I just see!?" Pulse asked "Hey Service, what are you looking at!? Keep your eyes up here!" Aces replied for him, "Oh, I just think he was looking at that chocolate covered ---."
Just wanted to share that part too!