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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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Part Two of Typhoid Dee:


Maker's background was that she got her powers as an astronaut aboard UNTIL's Gateway space station after exposure to a solar flare or cosmic radiation or something similar.  However, her powers were initially out of control, causing a major problem on the station that left at least one fellow astronaut apparently dead but, in the standard comic trope "nobody could have possibly survived that" which means that of course he survived it, and is now her nemesis.  Her character sheet included Hunted:  TBD (same origin), giving me free rein to name and create the Hunted.


I ran her through a quick prequel scene detailing the incident above, with Russian cosmonaut Andrei Vyelov's spacesuit getting holed and him spiraling out of control into an atmospheric reentry while UNTIL was too busy trying to keep Gateway from suffering a similar fate.


Back to the present, Maker (aka Li Jenkins) is running late to her regular weekly lunch with her overbearing Chinese mother.  As Li is in the taxi enroute to Boston's Chinatown area, she phones mom (Dr. Hu Cheng) to let her know she's on her way.  In the middle of the conversation, there is screaming and then the call is cut off.  She tries calling back without success.


Maker:  How long is it going to take the cab to get there?
GM:  About ten minutes.  Maybe five if you have one of those cab drivers who considers traffic laws as mere suggestions.

Maker:  Can I fly there faster?

GM:  You have a slot in your Multipower that lets you fly pretty fast.  So yeah.  You can get there in about a minute.

Maker:  I tell the cabbie to stop, throw some money at him, get out, duck into an alley.  Turn on my cloak field and fly to Chinatown.
GM:  Are you doing anything else? 

Maker:  Call the others and let them know somethings going on.

GM:  (to other players)  Is anybody else going there?
Shadowboxer (whose secret ID is a PI who also drives a cab to make ends meet):  Well, my last customer just threw money at me and jumped out of the cab, so I'm free to head there!


Maker arrives to find a badly scarred man holding her (unconscious) mother, and arguing with some black teen girl with wings.  Another man is lying unconscious at the scarred man's feet.  (He's a good Samaritan who unsuccessfully tried to stop the scarred man from grabbing Dr. Cheng.)

GM:  The guy holding your mom looks like someone tried to light his cigarette with a flamethrower.  Any skin showing is covered with really nasty burn scars.

Honey Badger:  (sarcastically)  Gee, I wonder who that could be?

Maker (with "clueless" field fully engaged):  I don't know, but I'm getting my mom away from him.


The scarred man shoves the winged girl away from him as Maker closes in.

GM:  You notice that the winged girl has what looks like a cloud of airborne dust particles around her.  When his hand touches her, you see all the dust particles light up briefly.  Also, she appears to get a bit weaker, and his scars heal up a bit.

Maker:  Crap.  I radio the others:  Don't touch him!


The winged girl (Pigeon) flips the scarred man off and begins flying away as Pops teleports Honey Badger to Chinatown, while Maker does a move-by grab on her mother, then flies her to safety. 


Pops:  I normally bring the slowest person first, but I start with Honey Badger because I know I can leave him there safely while I get the others.


Honey Badger runs up and punches the scarred man (Sushchestvo, aka Wight), knocking him back into some bystanders trying to run away from the scene.  Since Honey Badger has pretty hefty Power Defense, Wight's damage shield Drain doesn't do much, but it does reduce HB's strength enough to make him lose a die of damage. 

Honey Badger:  Does he say anything?

GM:  He's shouting in what sounds like Russian.

Maker:  I speak Russian.  What is he saying?
GM:  He's using some rather inventive cursing.  Something about Honey Badger's mother's sexual proclivities. 


Wight responds to this attack by grabbing the woman next to him and stealing most of her life energy.


Honey Badger:  Is there a mailbox, or a lightpole, or something like that I can use as a weapon?
Malarky:  It's a restaurant with outdoor seating.  Tons of stuff to grab.

GM:  Yep, tables, chairs, big ol' umbrellas...

Honey Badger.  Umbrellas.  Perfect.  I grab one.

Maker:  You're going to pound him with that?

Honey Badger:  I'm gonna shove the umbrella up his a** and open it!


Pops teleports Malarky in, who hits Wight with his "Wee Bit Pissed" spell.


Malarky:  That should make him drunk.

Pops:  He's Russian.  Probably immune to alcohol.

GM:  If it was vodka, maybe.  But Malarky uses Red Bull in his spell, so it still affects him.


Nexus arrives with Circe, and notices two guys on the other side of the street who are looking in her direction.


Honey Badger:  Wonder why they're looking at you guys, instead of watching the fight.

Circe:  Maybe because we're hot!


As more heroes arrive, the tide swiftly turns against Wight.  Honey Badger rips the cloth off the umbrella to wrap up Wight, then begins squeezing him to keep him unconscious.  Meanwhile,  an older Chinese lady, comes running out of the restaurant.


Chinese lady:  Hey!!!  You break, you buy!
Honey Badger:  (turns to Circe, who is wealthy)  A little help here?  I need an umbrella.

An innocent bystander hears this and hands HB a small retractable umbrella.

Honey Badger:  I say thanks, stick it in the ass, and open it.

Maker:  Of the Chinese lady?!?!

Honey Badger:  (incredulously) Noooooooo.  Of the bad guy.


The heroes are discussing what they're going to do with the Russian, who Maker now recognizes as Andrei Vyelov.


Honey Badger:  (to Pops)  Can you teleport him back to Russia?

Circe:  Do you really want to turn him over to the Russians?

Honey Badger:  Why don't we put him in bed with Putin?

Malarky:  I can make 'em both a Wee Bit Pissed...


The heroes reluctantly turn their foe over to PRIMUS, while Maker changes back to secret ID and takes her mother home to recover.


GM:  The Return Rate is per 5 minutes, so it'll take about an hour for all the stats he Drained to return.  Even after that, though, your mom is still not feeling great. 

Maker:  I call my dad and explain to him what happened.  Let him know Mom's not feeling good, and to keep an eye on her.


After Mr. Jenkins also begins feeling unwell the next day, it becomes apparent something is going on.  The heroes learn that the woman Wight touched last is also sick, as are a few people in Honey Badger's apartment building. 


Maker:  I touched my mom.  Am I feeling sick?
GM:  You have a slight headache.  That's about it.

Maker:  Wonder why I'm immune?

GM:  You're not.  You have 5 points of Power Defense, and it's a 1d6 Drain.  It's only getting a little bit through every now and then.

Honey Badger:  That's why it's not affecting me at all.  I have 15 points.

GM:  You also have Life Support:  Immune to Disease.  That might help, too.


The CDC quarantines everybody affected at the restaurant (including Maker, in secret ID).  The heroes think the disease came from Wight, but are surprised to learn that he is also sick.  Honey Badger researches Pigeon and learns that she does have some sort of mild toxic aura around her, but it just causes minor respiratory problems that clear up shortly after you move away from her.


GM:  Odd thing, the guy that tried to stop Wight from taking Maker's mom recovered all his lost characteristics and isn't sick at all.

Nexus:  Why's he immune?  He was touched by Wight as well.

Malarky:  (light bulb goes off)  Because he was affected before the Russian touched Pigeon. 

Shadowboxer:  When he touched Pigeon, his damage shield must have somehow mutated her disease and made it deadlier.

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Part Three of Typhoid Dee:


The CDC says that they need Pigeon (as Patient Zero) to better concoct a cure to the disease.  With their police connections, the heroes learn that Pigeon is a girl named Diane Carvey with a juvie record, but nothing they find can help them locate where she might be now. 

Pops:  We could dress up as old men, go to the park, and throw bread crumbs on the ground.  She's bound to show up.


They also learn that Pigeon is part of a group of freaks / society rejects known as Vermin, whose other members are Cockroach, Flea, Mink, Gopher, Weasel, and Willard (who can summon a rat pack). 


Honey Badger:  They may be named Vermin, but I'm calling them "lunch."


After learning that witnesses had overheard Pigeon tell Wight he's a "freak like us" and tried to get him to join Vermin, Circe heads to PRIMUS to see if Wight knows where Pigeon might be holed up.


GM:  Are you going to tell PRIMUS you want to read his mind?

Circe:  No.  I speak Russian.  I'm just telling them that I want to talk to him.

GM:  Okay, they'll let you talk to him over the intercom, while he's still in the cell.

Circe:  Can I see him?

Nexus:  They should have a camera on him in the cell.

GM:  Sure, but Circe's powers won't work over a video feed.  She needs direct line of sight.

Circe:  I could use Mind Scan to lock on...

GM:  You want to scan the PRIMUS base to lock onto a prisoner in a super-cell?  Think it through.

Circe:  ... yeah, probably not a good idea.


After Circe points out that Wight's sickness can also be cured if they capture Pigeon, the Russian relents and gives them a location:  a deserted factory on the south side.  With building blueprints, a bunch of police and PRIMUS agents as backup, and a combination of Circe's Mind Scan and Shadowboxer's Shadow Sight (Clairsentience) to pin down the specific locations of the members of Vermin, the heroes are ready to go in.  Since Weasel (a mentalist) and Flea (a shrinker) are both in the same room, the heroes decide they are the first targets.


Circe:  (herself a mentalist)  We need to take out Weasel first.  Because mentalists are sooo evil.


Malarky:  Before we go in, do you want me to cast a spell on all of you?

Honey Badger:  Are we all gonna become frogs?


Gopher is actually about six meters underground, in a burrow he dug out along with a network of tunnels under the factory.  Shadowboxer uses his Shadow Sight to see what the gadgeteer is up to.


GM:  He's working on some device, you're not sure what, while humming.

Shadowboxer:  What song?

GM:  (Hums a tune, but the player doesn't catch it).  At one point, he actually quietly sings, "When Captain Gopher throws his mighty shield..."  And yes, there's a small round shield lying next to him.


While most of the heroes take down Flea and Weasel, and Shadowboxer takes on Gopher, Maker (remote-piloting a captured VIPER flyer bot since she's still in quarantine) smashes through a skylight and fires a missile at Pigeon.  It's a 1 1/2d6 Penetrating RKA with +1 STUN Mod, and she rolls badly:  3 BODY and 12 STUN.


Maker:  Useless.

However, Pigeon's armor fails the Activation roll, so she takes the full damage.

Shadowboxer:  (OOC)  It's actually a good thing you rolled so low.  We wouldn't want to bring a corpse back to the CDC.


Seeing the drone attack and hearing the sound of combat from the room where Flea and Weasel were, Mink leaps into action.

GM:  She runs to the fire door, shoves it open, and runs outside.

Nexus:  Really?  She's running away?

GM:  Yeah.  Mink is definitely a "me first" kinda person.


The injured and pissed-off Pigeon flies up to try ripping the flyer bot apart with her claws.  She also rolls incredibly low, getting no damage past the bot's defenses.


GM:  That nice new paint job you gave it, though - she scratched that all up.

Pops:  We're painting our whole base with that stuff.  I mean, look how well it protected the drone...


Upset at the drone attacking Pigeon, Willard summons a rat pack and sends it up into the rafters to drop onto the drone, blinding it's cameras.  But with the shrinker and mentalist down, Honey Badger runs into the factory proper and jumps up to grab Pigeon.


Honey Badger:  Do any of the rats come along for the ride?  If so, I'll munch on them while I'm squeezing Pigeon.


Because of the surprise attack taking down three Vermin so quickly, the heroes soon defeat the rest of them...

GM:  Well, Mink got away.

Pops:  Wait, didn't we have police and PRIMUS out there?

GM:  Oh, yeah.  Forgot about them.

Pops:  But she's a martial artist, so she probably has a high DCV.

Shadowboxer:  Which won't help much against stun grenades.

GM:  So, all of Vermin were captured...

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Our Sunday night gaming group alternates games (I run Champions and a friend runs D&D 4.0), and the other GM asked me to run a second week in a row.  Unfortunately, I wasn't really ready and didn't come up with a solid idea until sometime Saturday.  So the villains and adventure were a bit rushed and slapped together at the last minute.  I decided to update a villain group that I hadn't used since 2004:  the New Gods (artificial bioforms based on the Greek pantheon).


Also, the player with the mentalist character (Circe) wasn't able to attend.


Pops:  I've got Circe's character sheet.

Malarky:  So, since Andy's not here, what embarrassing stuff should we put Circe through this week?

GM:  Actually, other than maybe some stuff at the very beginning of the adventure, Circe's going to be unavailable for most of the adventure.  (pause)  But I think she'll enjoy her new career as a stripper.


GM:  So, Dr. Stevens has been asked to give the keynote address at a science and technology symposium in Philadelphia. (looks pointedly at Pops' player)

Pops:  Who the heck is Dr. Stevens?

GM:  (confused pause)  Isn't that Pops' secret identity?

Pops:  (looks at character sheet)  Oh!  So it is!


Stevens is talking to another scientist (Dr. McCormick) that he hasn't seen for a while.  Rumor has it the scientist was working on a top-secret government project.  As they're talking, Dr. Stevens notices some odd light-warping effect on the wall a half-dozen meters away.  He quickly realizes that someone is moving along the wall using a chameleon form of invisibility.

GM:  I assume you're trying to be subtle and not let on that you've seen them.

Pops:  That's correct.  (to Dr. McCormick)  Do you know of anybody trying to attack or kidnap you?
McCormick:  (confused)  Noooo...

Pops:  Because there's somebody trying to sneak up on us invisible.

GM:  (rolls some dice, getting a not-so-good result)  Dr. McCormick spins around, saying "Where?!"

Pops:  (facepalms)


As Pops drags McCormick away, the foes become visible.  They appear to be military types, but without insignia of any sort.  The two scientists are trying to get lost in the crowd and make their way out of the convention center.

Pops: What have you been working on that would make somebody come after you?

McCormick:  You don't know they're after me.  They might be after you.

Pops:  You don't want to mess with me.  I took out someone with a f--king toaster.


Meanwhile, back in Boston, Maker (in her secret identity as Li Jenkins, a NASA astronaut who worked on UNTIL's Gateway space station) is contacted by UNTIL for debriefing about her recent run-in with Wight, who is a Russian cosmonaut (Andrei Vyelov) that everybody thought died after an incident outside Gateway that caused his body to re-enter Earth's atmosphere.


UNTIL Capt. Roe:  You'll be contacted shortly by an UNTIL investigator, Lt. Ingrid Bruckert.

Honey Badger:  (OOC) Frau Bruckert!  (horses' whinny)


GM:  (to Maker)  You know that random name booklet you got for me from GenCon way back when?  I just opened it to a page and pointed to a name on that page, figuring that would be the country of origin and name for the UNTIL person.  When I saw Bruckert, I pretty much knew how this was going to go down.


Lt. Bruckert:  Prior to the incident of May 17, what contact have you had with Andrei Vyelov?

Maker:  The last time I saw him was the day he supposedly died.

Bruckert:  Vyelov arranged specifically to go on that spacewalk with you.  Why was that?
Maker:  You'd have to ask him.  Maybe because he was a lecherous jerk. 

Bruckert:  Other individuals have said that you and he were... involved, that you were in a relationship.

Maker:  They would be wrong.  (pause)  Who said that, by the way?

Brucker:  (thin, humorless smile; doesn't answer)

Maker:  (OOC)  When I find out which joker thought telling her that would be a fun joke, I'm going to pull a prank on them...


Malarky:  (OOC)  Admit it, when Vyelov's maneuvering jets fired and he started spinning out of control, you grabbed the tether just long enough to make sure he was headed for atmospheric re-entry...


Bruckert:  Those are all the questions I have.  For now.

Maker:  Well, have a nice trip... Frau Bruckert.

Honey Badger:  (OOC horse's whinny)

Bruckert:  Please ask your friend to stop doing that.  It is very irritating.


We briefly discussed the superhero team's ongoing lack of a name.


GM:  If you don't come up with a name, you'll end up with something like Boston Area Super-Heroes, or BASH.

Maker:  I'm good with that.

GM:  Or maybe it'll be Massachusetts United Super-Heroes.  How does MUSH sound?

Honey Badger:  Name us what you want.  Honey Badger don't care.


Back to the main plot.  Pops researches and finds out the attackers at the symposium match the troopers employed by Project: Cadmus and their New Gods.  Note that the MC Protectors was a prior PC hero team, who had a small base in Millennium City but their real base was a volcano lair in the South Pacific, accessed by teleportation.


GM:  Cadmus was taken down by the Millennium City Protectors about ten years ago.  According to media reports all the New Gods, being artificial bioforms, were shut down and... dismantled.. for study.  Unfortunately, the Protectors were one of the teams that disappeared in the Cross-Rip a few months back, so you can't get any other info from them.

Shadowboxer:  What about the Champions?  They were based in Millennium City.  I'd bet the Protectors shared info with them.

GM:  You contact Jaguar, who came out of retirement to rebuild the Champions after his former teammates disappeared in the Cross-Rip.  He can give you some info on Project: Cadmus' use of broadcast electricity to help power the New Gods, but the Champions don't have schematics or anything.  He says he heard a rumor that the Protectors had a secret base somewhere, so anything they had on it is probably there.  (pause)  I don't recall if the Champions ever visited your former team's volcano lair.

Shadowboxer:  I'd hope so.  They were our guests at a luau there.


The team visits the mothballed Protectors base in Millennium City to use the teleporter to get to the volcano lair.


Malarky:  Does anybody know how to use a teleporter?
Honey Badger:  Well, there's three sliders.  Just make sure you move them all up or down at the same time, and you're good to go.

Shadowboxer:  (to Pops)  Do you know how to operate a teleporter?

Pops:  Given that all my powers are based on teleportation, I sure hope so.


While researching the New Gods, Shadowboxer realized that he had seen Apollo (in civilian clothing) near the PRIMUS base in Boston.  So after borrowing the former Cadmus broadcast energy equipment from the Protectors' base and building a tracking/homing device, Shadowboxer is driving around the city in secret ID in his cab hoping to locate a broadcast power truck.  The rest of the team is discussing whether they're all riding along with him.


GM:  There's six of you, so there's not really room inside the cab for all of you.

Honey Badger:  Do I have to ride in the trunk again?

Maker:  Honey Badger don't care - what does it matter?


They locate the truck, and using Shadowboxer's shadow-sight/hearing to eavesdrop inside, the heroes discover that the New Gods are gearing up to attack the PRIMUS base.  So Shadowboxer (in his cab) and Maker (flying overhead cloaked) are preparing to take down the broadcast power truck while the rest of the team heads toward the PRIMUS base to stop the New Gods.  Unfortunately for the heroes, Apollo is near the broadcast power truck and can detect Invisibility to Sight, so he spots Maker and calls the rest of the New Gods back to the truck, and the battle goes down there.


More to follow

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D&D continues, with sidequests proliferating galore. Now we have to attack a bunch of orks, on behalf of a dragon, who we're hoping to assassinate anyway. And we still have no idea why King Gurnt is kidnapping dwarf miners, or what this increasingly notorious map is. The dwarf who originally hired us must be quite annoyed no-one's come o rescue him yet. Plus, through in the mysterious conspiracy and it's obvious we're going to be at these for years.

PC Characters so far:

Lamech Judocus, gnome wild sorceror
Urlon, Elf fighter
Elethandiel, Blue dragonkin fighter
Kavorog, Blue dragonkin fighter-mage

But a dwarf – one Kerak Darkstar - HAS turned up to investigate what the hell is going on, and exercise suspicious eyebrows about our own activities. Such as standing around in dragon cultist costumes, with a pile of half naked humans in one corner.

Kerak: And they are?
Lamech: Dragon cultists.
Kerak: There was a dragon around here?
Lamech: Still is.
Kerak: What's it been doing?
Lamech: Bossing people around. Exercising his megalomania glands basically.

Kavorog: We offered Venomfang the Wyvern Tor orcs as minions.
Kerak: Minions?
Lamech: Meals on heels.

And of course there's an even bigger green dragon off in that direction, so if Venomfang finds out that he's moved closer to the territories of at least two other wyrms, there WILL be trouble. Especially if one is granddam to Venomfang.

: This is why you shouldn't meddle with the environment.
Lamech: Hey, YOU were the one that wanted him moved on.

The druid's apprentice transforms in a wolf and runs off to deliver our message back to the village of Phandalin.

Lamech: If you really want to be dangerous transform into a Cape Buffalo.
GM: I think we can safely assume you're not going to the Jungle of Chult so he can learn how to shapeshift into a dinosaur.
Lamech: Eh. Cape Buffalo are bad enough. And hippos are worse.

Karek insists we investigate Venomfang's lair while he's out hunting. This is probably suicidal, but then, so is getting into an argument with a dwarf.

Kavek: I'd be dead with treasure than alive without it.
Lamech: Spoken like a true dwarf.

Lamech: You know, if the dragon comes back we'll tell him we brought you as a sacrifice.

GM: Do you want to search through the chest?
Lamech: This is a really bad idea. I'm saying this now so I won't have to later – assuming I live long enough to do so.

At least some of the treasure already smells of us, which should make Venomfang less likely to hunt us down after he gets back. There IS a magic dwarf battle-axe named 'Hew'. And Lamech gleefully replaces the scrolls with blank paper.

Kavek: Can we replace the gold with copper?
Lamech: We can be pretty sure the dragon knows the difference.

Kavorog attempts to clean the patina off Hew.

GM: And every collector in the world rises up to murder you.

A small encounter with giant spiders passes without comment, even if Lamech got webbed and bitten, and we set off for Wyvern Tor.

GM: Lamech sets the web and himself on fire. You've never seen a gnome go “WHOOF” before.
Lamech: No, but the druid's apprentice did when he turned into a wolf.

We run in two rangers on the march back towards Neverwinter and Phandalin, who want to know who this party of adventurers and half-naked prisoners are.

Lamech: Neverwinter BDSM Club Field Trip.
Kavorog: This one's my favourite *rubs the cult leader's head*

Handing over the prisoners, we cut across country back towards Phandalin. With any luck we'll run into some wandering monsters. A school of land sharks, or dire gerbils perhaps.

Kavek: What about were-rabbits?
Lamech: Too dangerous.

: We'll more likely to be attacked near dawn.
Lamech: We're more likely to be hit by meteors in the morning, too.

We're also more likely to be hit by ghouls. Lamech is soon reminded that the undead are immune to Sleep spells, and is badly mauled

Lamech: Oh, that's very fucking thematically appropriate, that is.

GM: You're half the gnome you used to be.
Lamech OoC: At least Turn Undead works. It's like holding a crucifix up to a Christian vampire. Or a joint to a Rastafarian one.

Kavorog, like a raging idiot, heads off in pursuit of the fleeing ghouls, and finds himself quite a distance from the fire before the adrenaline wears off. Happily, ghouls aren't bright enough to set ambushes.

Urlon: Don't give the GM ideas.

The ghoul we did manage to take down was wearing magic armour.

Urlon: You can wear leather armour, can't you?
Lamech: Yes?
GM: Rubber gives him hives.

The next day we get ambushed by ogres. At least, they probably THOUGHT they were ambushing us, but boulders generally don't carry clubs. Or hold small sprigs of foliage in front of them. They charge Lamech anyway.

Lamech: Not again!

Given how the ogres uses him as a hockey puck, it's probably very lucky that the wild gnome sorcerer vanishes into thin air just before he dies - Punted into the next dimension. Happily, the other manage to kill the ogres, while Lamech gets a quick tour of the USS Enterprise, Ravensloft, and elsewhere. Hopefully by the time the astral bungee cord snaps him back, the others will be rested enough to stop him actually dying from his injuries.

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Beautiful heroine in secret Id is on the beach eating a snack. A guy walks up to her (actually Foxbat in his civvies) and says: "Hey there, wanna go out with me? I'm gonna... take over the world someday."


(much laughter at the table, while the heroine looks at this guy with unbelieving look.) She can finally only say, "Noooooo."

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I typed in the rest of my quotes yesterday but when I went to post it didn't connect and I lost all of it.  So here goes attempt #2:


At first, Maker was taking on Artemis and Apollo all alone, but then Pops teleported the rest of the team there, and the battle was joined.  Honey Badger ran over and punched Artemis, stunning her.  As HB was grabbing and squeezing her, Hermes ran up.


Hermes:  Just like you superhero types, keeping us down.  The government creates you supers out in Area 51, don't they?

Honey Badger:  No, I'm from Zone 53.

Hermes:  Zone 53?!?!  Damn, I ain't heard of that one before!  (pulls out a notebook and writes some notes, then looks back at HB holding Artemis)  Bro, she's gonna be pissed at how you're holding her. 

HB:  Is she your girlfriend?

Hermes:  No, man, she's not my type.  Aphrodite, now she is my type. 

HB:  (OOC) Is Hermes going to attack me anytime soon?

GM:  Naw.  He's just chatting.  He did a full move to get here from the other side of the PRIMUS base.


GM:  When I found the picture for Hermes (below) and saw his pose and the expression on his face, I knew what his Psych Comp would be:  Bat-S*** Crazy.  He has KS: Conspiracy Theories.


After Maker's EM blasts fail to get much damage past Apollo's force field, Malarky hits the New God with a thorny Entangle.  Apollo (who was flying up quite a ways over an apartment building) responds by turning off his flight, trusting his force field and the entangle to absorb most of the damage of impact.  The impact on the roof does destroy the entangle, but it also does enough damage that Apollo smashes through the roof into the apartment below.  Maker runs over to the hole.


Maker:  Can I see Apollo and take some shots at him?

GM:  Yes, but he can also see you and take shots at you.

HB:  Be careful.  'Cause you know shots can cause autism.


Athena began hitting Nexus and Malarky with Mind Blasts, so Shadowboxer created a darkness field around her.  Athena responds by flying up out of the darkness... making her visible to Pops, who teleports her into the trunk of a passing car.


Nexus:  But... she's getting away!

Pops:  I don't care, so long as she's not able to do her mental mojo on us.


Heracles arrives, and is standing at the base of the building, while most of the action is taking place up on the rooftop.  So Honey Badger leaps down, intent on doing a move-through on Heracles, but Heracles sees him coming and raises his shield to take the brunt of the damage.


HB:  Who does he think he is, Captain America?


HB:  So, you're Heracles.  Are you the guy who loses his strength if his hair is cut?

Heracles:  (shaking his hair out)  It is rather spectacular, isn't it?


The two bricks trade blows, resulting in HB getting smashed through the building's brick wall, and Heracles getting knocked through the side of a passing U-Haul panel truck.  The startled truck driver pulls over, and Heracles forces open the back door of the truck to find himself facing Nexus.


Heracles:  Well, hello, beautiful!  What's a lovely lady like you doing here?

GM:  When he smiles, you hear "TING!" as the light reflects off his teeth.

Nexus:  (eyeroll)


Back when the team first turned on the borrowed broadcast power gear while creating a homing device, Maker had felt "really good."  But it wasn't until the battle that she learned the actual effects of the New Gods' broadcast power truck.


GM:  Maker, you recover 12 STUN and 30 END.  That's not you taking a recovery - that's from the broadcast power, since your powers are electromagnetic in nature.

Maker:  Cool!  That brings my END up to full, and undoes most of my STUN damage.

Pops:  (realizing the implication for the New Gods)  Not cool!  That's cheating!  (looks sternly at Shadowboxer and Maker)  Wasn't somebody supposed to take out the broadcast power truck already?


After Shadowboxer finally shut down the broadcast power, the New Gods were soon rendered unconscious.


Nexus:  Shouldn't PRIMUS be here by now?  They're only a few blocks away!

GM:  I don't recall any of you calling them, not even to let them know the New Gods were planning to attack their base. 

Nexus:  Oops!  (looks chagrined)  Um, I'll call them now.


The resident of the apartment that Apollo crashed into comes out to hassle the heroes, asking who is going to pay for the damage to his place.


HB:  Call your insurance company.  You can tell them it was an act of god... literally.


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Solar: Have you ever met or dealt with Big Oil?


Kevin Lawrence (Partacel in secret identity): Why, yes. I deal with their corporate masters every day.


Solar: No, the supervillain!




Dr. Enigma: I bedded my first woman at age twelve.


Prestige: Well, it makes sense that you would need to use magic for that.

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From my 13 year old daughter during an introductory game - She's playing a Supergirl-lite character vs a bunch of agent level thugs.


"But Papa, they're being silly. Why don't we just sing them a song and become friends?"


Next stop, Napoleonic figure gaming... Maybe I'll have more luck.

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Corruption Comes Calling, Part 1:


I forgot to bring my dice to the Champions game I ran last night, so I had to borrow a set of lesser-used dice from a player. 


GM (to dice):  Now, you're going to be good to me, right?  (listens to dice)  Yes, that's good, but remember, if you kill more than one of their characters, the players get ever so cross...


The player for Circe was out last time I ran, so I had stated that Circe was out of town for most of the adventure, including the big battle with the New Gods.  Unfortunately, I forgot that when I wrote up the news articles and needed a quote to reporters from one of the heroes.


Circe (reading aloud from article):  "According to Circe, speaking on behalf of the superhero team, the New Gods were apparently being directed by a scientist who blamed PRIMUS for his sibling’s death."  I must have rushed back from the island just to make that press conference!

Pops:  Well, you do like being in the spotlight.

Circe (continues reading)  "Circe refused to name the scientist or provide further details to the press."  Yeah, because I really didn't know his name or any other details, since I wasn't even there!


The heroes subscribe to the Heronet Herald, an (obviously) superhero-centric weekly news sheet, which shows up each Monday morning somewhere near wherever a subscriber happens to be and is generally tailored for that subscriber.  Nobody has seen it actually appear or get delivered.  (I use it to recap the prior adventure, often provide some background on the current adventure, and sometimes foreshadow coming events.) 


GM:  It's rumored that they have a precog on staff.  Used to work for the Psychic Friends Network, but he left just before they went under.  He's the only one who saw that coming.


After the players have finished reading the news:


Dr. Reuel (Malarky's mentor and magic instructor, texting to Malarky):  Thanks for the paper.  Quite interesting.  And kudos on an excellent Veil.  I never even knew you were there.

Malarky:  Ummmm... What paper?  I never sent him a paper, did I?  (GM shakes his head)  I text him back:  "Caution!"


Last adventure, the heroes visited the volcano lair island base of a hero team (the Millennium City Protectors, who all went missing in the Cross-Rip) to borrow a piece of unique equipment.  Maker and Pops go back there to return it, and Maker notices that MCP hero Pack Rat had left three different blaster weapons and a grenade each disassembled on a workbench.  For some reason, Pack Rat had listed various MCP members' names next to each weapon.


Maker:  (looking at character sheet)  I have "Cannot Resist Tinkering With Machines", so I start putting them back together.

GM:  (after Maker makes a near-critical-success roll on Electronics)  After you finish the first one, you probably say, "I'm gonna do the next one blindfolded!"


While Maker is doing that (and noticing that despite the weapons being from different criminal groups and of different designs, all had the same beam focusing mechanism), Pops is rolling his eyes and walking around Pack Rat's lab.  He notices that for some reason, there's a huge (2m tall, 1.5m wide) solid chunk of basalt standing in room, and a glass-fronted wardrobe-style cabinet contains another such chunk of basalt.


Maker:  Why would he put a huge chunk of basalt in a cabinet?
Pops:  I don't think he put it there.  I think it... appeared there.


Maker quickly builds an x-ray viewer and verifies that nobody / nothing is trapped within the basalt.  Since much of the rock around the MCP underground volcano lair is also basalt, she compared the chunks to the rock surrounding the lab and notices that not only is it basically the same; she sees veins of material in the surrounding basalt that basically skip the intervening open space to run through the basalt chunks in the lab.


Pops:  So these chunks were probably pulled to this dimension from another dimension during the Cross-Rip.

Maker:  But why the one in the cabinet?

GM:  (to Shadowboxer's character, who also played Pack Rat in the prior campaign)  Pack Rat had a battlesuit, didn't he?  (player nods)  And when he's working in the lab, he's probably not wearing the battlesuit all the time, right?  He's probably have someplace to hang it...

Shadowboxer:  (OOC)  Like a glass-fronted wardrobe...  (the coin drops)  Oh, crap!  And the other chunk is probably where Pack Rat was!  He appeared in the other dimension underground, not in his battlesuit!

GM:  But Argent is a teleporter, and Possum could tunnel through the rock.  One way or another, they probably got him out.


A quick tour of the rest of the MCP base reveals a similar chunk of basalt replaced most of Argent's bed, and another chunk is in the middle of the kitchen.

Malarky, Shadowboxer, and Nexus:  (almost simultaneously at hearing about the chunk in the kitchen)  Possum!

Honey Badger:  (who was Possum's player)  Well, I did love me some snacks...


Maker:  (who played Mosquito)  Are there any teeny-tiny chunks of basalt lying around in the base?

Shadowboxer:  I wouldn't worry too much.  If Seal and Mosquito were on the island at the time, you can be pretty sure they were sunning themselves on the beach.


On to the meat of the adventure.  One news item was a joint PRIMUS / UNTIL alert about a new and particularly murderous villain group known as the Corrupted.  Their latest activity was attacking a US Army base and stealing a prototype battlesuit being tested there.


Pops:  Why does the military even bother making battlesuits?  All they're really doing is providing supervillain origins anyway.


Maker:  I want the schematics on the battlesuit they stole.

GM:  Suuuure.  You just call up the Army and say, "That top-secret project of yours -- can I have the specs and schematics?  Y'know, just in case I happen to run across it...

Honey Badger:  Well, the cat's out of the bag now.  They might as well make all the details public knowledge, just to mess with the supervillains who took it.


Maker tries getting info about the battlesuit from the internet, and makes a really bad Research roll.

GM:  The general consensus is that it's built using alien tech, allows the user to mind control the masses, and occasionally causes peoples' clothing to teleport three meters to the right.

Honey Badger:  That's not a bug, that's a feature.  Honey Badger wants one of those.

GM:  It also makes the wearer impotent.

Honey Badger:  Never mind.

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Corruption Comes Calling, Part 2:


Actually one other thing prior to the main adventure.  Shadowboxer had inherited a house (left to him by Paddy McGinty prior to his disappearance in the 1920s), and has uncovered evidence that the past owner wasn't above dabbling in things magical and occasionally best left not-dabbled-in.  Being tired after a day of moving his stuff in, he ordered a pizza.  A while later, the pizza delivery guy calls to say he can't find the house, and Shadowboxer steps outside to see the driver two doors down, looking confused, so SB flags him down.

Delivery driver:  Where the heck is your house?!

Shadowboxer:  Right there.  (points)

Delivery driver:  Oh!  Geez, yeah, the number's right there.  Don't know how I missed it.


After discovering that his mail also hasn't been delivered for the past few days...


Shadowboxer:  Looks like I'm going to need a PO box.  Is anybody on the team having trouble finding the house?

GM:  Nope.  Of course, you had actually invited each of them there.

Shadowboxer:  So the only people that know about the house are myself and the other superheroes...

GM:  And possibly the lawyer, since he was technically in charge of the house for years...

Malarky:  And Bob, the pizza guy.


Maker finally gets some info on the battlesuit and learns that key components were provided by DT Enterprises. 

Maker:  Wait, wasn't there something about DT Enterprises in the news?  (grabs the printout)  Yeah, Gerald Donner, the retired CEO of DT Enterprises was with that missionary group whose bodies were found in Nicaragua! 

Honey Badger:  Donner, party of four, your table is ready.  (pause) Donner, party of three, your table is ready.


Meanwhile, PI Jack Black (Shadowboxer's secret ID) is hired by a woman who came home from visiting family in Phoenix to find that her home was trashed (though no valuables were taken) and she can't locate her husband.  He pursues the normal angles, checking into possible marital or financial problems (and learns the guy's dad and grandfather both had gambling problems but thus far the missing guy hasn't).  While walking through the house with the case file, the picture he was given of the guy drops to the floor, and Nexus picks it up, triggering a vision. 


GM:  You're in what looks to be a meat locker, with a line of hooks hanging from a track on the ceiling.  Side of beef, side of beef, dead body, side of beef...


The body is of the butcher.  She also sees the guy in the picture cuffed to a chair, getting questioned by members of the Corrupted.


Anti-Pope:  Now, Howard, my son, surely you know something about the things your grandfather stole from the Rondale estate.  Think hard - a small copper bowl and a black-handled knife?
Howard:  Noooo... Don't know anything about them... (whimpers)  Please, don't hurt me...

Anti-Pope:  Oh, don't worry about me, Howard.  When I get frustrated, I don't get angry.  (nods toward Father Hook and Inquisition)  My friends get angry for me.

Inquisition:  (sits down facing of Howard)  You know, confession is good for the soul.  Why don't you step into my office?  (stares at Howard for a bit, and then Howard starts to scream)


Nexus learns that the group is also looking for a mask and a book.

Archbishop:  I've tried to locate the book, without success.  It must be magically shielded, otherwise I'd at least get a general direction.

Anti-Pope:  We must have the book.  If necessary, we can make a new knife, new bowl, even a new mask.  But without the sigils and incantations, we can't perform the ritual.

Archbishop:  Couldn't we just ask the Masters to give us the sigils and incantations?
Anti-Pope:  Do you want to go to them and say we've failed at our task?

Archbishop:  No, Anti-Pope, of course not.

Inquistion:  (stops staring at Howard and looks up at Anti-Pope)  He really doesn't know what happened to the knife and bowl. 

Anti-Pope:  (shrugs) Then go ahead and have fun with him.  But make sure he's still alive when we leave.  (Reaches into a pocket and pulls out a small device)  I'll just leave a little calling card for our playmates.  (The device disappears, and Howard twitches)


Triptych (a freaky-looking guy with three faces on one head) runs in to say that he's located the mask, in a small art gallery on Newbury Street, and the Corrupted leave.  After the vision ends...


Pops:  (OOC)  Anti-Pope?!

GM:  (OOC)  That was the name on the picture.  I was initially going to change it, but then I gave him teleportation powers.  So he's kinda like the Anti-Pops, and I figured Anti-Pope was close enough.


Nexus gathers the rest of the heroes and describes her vision.  With Nexus' permission, Circe uses Telepathy to replay and view the vision in Nexus' mind to see what details she can find.


Pops:  That's gotta be a lot of fun for Nexus.  Bad enough to sit through it the first time, but now she gets to watch it again.

Shadowboxer:  You can even rewind and replay individual bits over and over.  Or do a slow-motion replay.  (imitates a long, drawn-out scream of terror from Howard)


Having seen the butcher shop name on the butcher's apron, they go there first to try and rescue Howard and maybe catch the Corrupted before they leave.  (Nexus doesn't know if the vision was past, present, or future.)  Unfortunately, the Corrupted have already left, but Howard is still there, thrashing in pain.  As they watch, the palm of his right hand begins to blister. 


Honey Badger:  Didn't his mom tell him that would happen if he didn't stop playing with himself?


Maker quickly rewires her x-ray goggles so Pops can use them to locate and then teleport out the device that Anti-Pope had teleported into Howard's head.  (As soon as it appears on the floor, the tiny device explodes with a loud "POP!")  Circe then establishes telepathic contact with Howard.  In his mind, he's in a medieval torture chamber.  It takes a while (and pretty much all of Circe's cumulative Mental Illusions), but she eventually breaks the illusion.


GM:  I think Circe owes Maker a beer.

Circe:  Why?

GM:  If she hadn't thought to get that device out first... well, it was set to go off as soon as the Mental Illusion was broken.  You've never been inside someone else's mind at the moment they died.  No telling what would happen to you.


The team decides that Inquisition really needs to get taken down hard.


Pops:  I'm telling you, mentalists are evil.  They need to be put down, every last one of them.
Circe:  Wait, what about me?  Am I going to end up in a car trunk?

Pops:  Both you and Inquisition.  Gonna get a little cramped in there.


After doing what they can for Howard, the heroes rush to the art gallery to confront the Corrupted.  Using Shadowboxer's ability to see and listen through shadows, they determine that there are 7 villains there:  Anti-Pope, Archbishop, Inquisition, Father Hook, Triptych, Unholy Warrior, and Warnun.  Unholy Warrior has a bladed chain wrapped around the neck of the gallery owner as the others search the gallery for the mask.  The heroes start making their plans, and as they're doing so Shadowboxer notices that Father Hook has stopped searching and is looking around like something is wrong.  Realizing that they're losing the element of surprise, the team teleports in.


Before Maker can use her EMP to shut down Warnun's battlesuit, the villainess blasts Nexus unconscious (to -1 STUN) with her autoblaster.


GM:  (OOC)  Huh, I didn't think an 8d6 energy blast would be that rough.

Pops:  (OOC) I think it was the AP and Autofire that did it.


Honey Badger:  Did I see that? (rolls) That ***** is gonna die, because she just triggered my Enraged.


Honey Badger proceeds to beat Warnun unconscious, while the other heroes discuss getting him back with the battle plan.


Pops:  You know, Maker pretty much took her out of the fight.  There are more important fish to fry.

GM:  And hence why Enraged is a Disadvantage.  Or a Complication, or whatever you want to call it.


As the heroes and villains battle, the Archbishop's turn comes up.  He looks at the fight unfolding... then chuckles and goes back to searching for the mask.


Circe:  (OOC)  Really?!  He figures we're that small of a threat?!  (IC) Listen, mister, you're facing the Boston Area Super-Heroes, and you're about to get BASHED!

Honey Badger:  I thought it was the Boston Union of Super Heroes.  Then we're BUSH, and we can say Mission Accomplished.

Malarky:  I kinda liked New England Super Team.

Nexus:  No, then we'd be NEST.  People might think we're related to VIPER.

Anti-Pope:  Excuse me?  Is this really the appropriate time to pick a team name?  I thought we were having a battle here.

Honey Badger:  You shut up!  We're get to you in a minute.

Anti-Pope:  (smirks)  Very well, carry on.


Shadowboxer grabs Inquisition with his shadow, which puts the hero just in front of Anti-Pope.


Anti-Pope:  I must say, I'm surprised that you so-called superheroes would go around killing innocents.

Shadowboxer:  What innocents?  And who said anything about killing anybody?

Anti-Pope:  (nods at Honey Badger)  Him, for one.  As to the innocents...

(His eyes roll back slightly, and suddenly the villain's face looks like that of a terrified person.)

Anti-Pope:  Please, dear God, you've got to get us free!  The things they're making us do!  They're trying to...

(his eyes roll back again, and his face once again takes on its self-assured look)

Anti-Pope:  That's enough, Gerald.  Don't want to give them too much information, do we?

Shadowboxer:  Wait, you're Gerald Donner?  (looks at the other villains)  And they're the rest of the missionaries?

Anti-Pope:  (smiles malevolently)  In the flesh, so to speak.  But by all means, kill us all.  As the commercial says:  Go ahead, we'll make more.


Anti-Pope teleports Circe away, and she finds herself in a darkened clothing store.


Circe:  So, how much do I owe Anti-Pope for getting me out of there?  Would a money transfer be okay?

Pops:  Too bad he didn't teleport you in the other direction, the store next door is Cartiers.  You could have picked up some jewelry while the rest of us are getting our butts kicked!


Circe makes her way outside and starts flying over the building so she can get back into the art gallery through the smashed front door.  Meanwhile, Father Hook goes all-out, boosting his STR to 70 and punching Pops through a wall, into the clothing store. 


Pops:  (to Circe)  If you'd just waited, you could have come back through this handy door I just made.


On his second try, Malarky manages to use his Wee Bit Pissed spell to make Anti-Pope drunk.  Since the spell uses a small bottle of alcohol as a spell component:


Malarky:  (mimes chugging the tiny bottle, then rolls enough to finish the Transform)  (IC)  Ha!  You shouldn't be hitting the sacrificial wine so hard!  (OOC) Then I chuck the bottle at him. (IC) Take that, you bastard!


The villain's judgement impaired and seeing just as many villains down as heroes, Anti-Pope decides to teleport his teammates away.  But the alcohol makes him overlook Inquistion in the rush to leave.

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From my 13 year old daughter during an introductory game - She's playing a Supergirl-lite character vs a bunch of agent level thugs.


"But Papa, they're being silly. Why don't we just sing them a song and become friends?"


Next stop, Napoleonic figure gaming... Maybe I'll have more luck.

Sounds like you should base your game less on comics, and more on cartoons...


Like "My Little Pony".


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In an Indiana Jones-esque pulp hero game, this:


Peter (aristocrat and amateur historian): We're in a maze and you want to take on the Minotaur?!  Wasn't that thing kind of like a demigod?


Riley (great white hunter and adventurer):  Just imagine how good it's head would look on my trophy wall!


Peter: You're missing the point!  What happens if you can't kill it with mundane weapons?


Pongo (intelligent gorilla and... porter, actually):  There are many legends regarding the Minotaur, but there's only one that brings a Greek god into it...


(The Minotaur appears and Riley - with some help from the rest of the group - guns it down)


Riley:  Help me cut off its head, would ya?


Peter:  *sigh*  So I guess THIS one didn't come by way of divine intervention.


Pongo:  Doesn't mean the next one WON'T, though...


Peter:  Next one?

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(The Minotaur appears and Riley - with some help from the rest of the group - guns it down)


Riley:  Help me cut off its head, would ya?


Peter:  *sigh*  So I guess THIS one didn't come by way of divine intervention.


Pongo:  Doesn't mean the next one WON'T, though...


Peter:  Next one?


Deus ex machinegun!  :bmk:

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Corruption Comes Calling, Part 2:


Actually one other thing prior to the main adventure.  Shadowboxer had inherited a house (left to him by Paddy McGinty prior to his disappearance in the 1920s), and has uncovered evidence that the past owner wasn't above dabbling in things magical and occasionally best left not-dabbled-in. 




That's an understatement. Does it still have the spice rack of Essential Saltes, and the coffin labelled 'reserved for previous occupant' in the basement?

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Sounds like you should base your game less on comics, and more on cartoons...


Like "My Little Pony".


*grins*  And there's a good range of MLP RPGs out there now, too. Such as 'Savage World of Ponies'

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That's an understatement. Does it still have the spice rack of Essential Saltes, and the coffin labelled 'reserved for previous occupant' in the basement?


It will now!  (Though info on the Essential Saltes would be greatly appreciated, as I don't see them mentioned in the quotes.)


On a side note, I was happy to see that the player whose character inherited the house was paying attention during the telepathic playback of Nexus' vision, and caught the reference to the "Rondale estate".  ("Hey, wasn't that somebody mentioned in McGinty's will?") 


Shadowboxer has been researching McGinty's history and had asked recently for possible Contacts (mostly for his work as a PI).  I was thinking to introduce him to Deborah Einstein's great-niece, who inherited her great-aunt's scrapbooks which include articles about the group's activities and the late professor's personal collection of anti-McGinty newspaper clippings (many with handwritten sidebar comments such as "ha! you don't know the half of it!").  Make her an archaeologist with knowledge that would be useful to the PC while also having just enough knowledge to be dangerous to herself and others.  Played right, I could turn her into a sidekick or maybe even give her an origin story.

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It will now!  (Though info on the Essential Saltes would be greatly appreciated, as I don't see them mentioned in the quotes.)


On a side note, I was happy to see that the player whose character inherited the house was paying attention during the telepathic playback of Nexus' vision, and caught the reference to the "Rondale estate".  ("Hey, wasn't that somebody mentioned in McGinty's will?") 


Shadowboxer has been researching McGinty's history and had asked recently for possible Contacts (mostly for his work as a PI).  I was thinking to introduce him to Deborah Einstein's great-niece, who inherited her great-aunt's scrapbooks which include articles about the group's activities and the late professor's personal collection of anti-McGinty newspaper clippings (many with handwritten sidebar comments such as "ha! you don't know the half of it!").  Make her an archaeologist with knowledge that would be useful to the PC while also having just enough knowledge to be dangerous to herself and others.  Played right, I could turn her into a sidekick or maybe even give her an origin story.


*grin* and the newspaper photo they used as a dartboard.


re: the Saltes - it's a fine dry powder that a body has been reduced to, and that can be reconstituted into a living being by the Resurrection spell (see Lovecraft's 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward') . Bad things happen if the Saltes are contaminated, or worse, mixed with those of more than one body. The resurrected are functionally immortal, too.

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Be better if there were a coffin beside it labelled, "Reserved for Current Occupant".. and the edge of a third on the one side wall (interdimensionally impenetrable, but very warm to the touch) with the "ant" still visible on its boilerplate.. and the edge of a fourth on the opposite side wall (interdimensionally impenetrable, but intangible to touch) with "Res" on its title plate?

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