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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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As the heroes fight, someone climbs up the ladder from the building roof to the tower roof. 


GM:  This is what my daughter was apologizing for suggesting to me.  He looks like a bad Elvis impersonator, complete with the white sequined jumpsuit.  And fangs.

Maker:  Vampire Elvis?!

Vampire Elvis:  Fang you.  Fang you very much.  (turns to Circe)

Well, curse-a my soul, what's a-wrong with me,

I'm itching like a bat on a fuzzy tree.

My friends say I'm acting wild as a wolf.

I'm in love, huh, I vant your blood...

Maker:  Someone take him down.  Now!  (OOC)  Your daughter should apologize.  She should know better than to give you ideas like that.


The duchess' white mage (invisible to sight and hearing groups and radar) tries to dispel the extra magical defenses Malarky gave his teammates, but falls just shy.  Malarky (not knowing the details of the mage's veil spell) switches his magic pool to give him Active Sonar.  While he still doesn't locate the white mage, he does notice something large hovering about 30m over the tower.  It's a cloaked VIPER Cockatrice flying personnel carrier.


Shadow Boxer:  That's how the duchess and her friends got so close!  Crap!  Someone needs to take that thing out before it opens fire, or I'm toast!

GM:  Why?  The Cockatrice doesn't have any weapons.

Shadow Boxer:  Oh, I thought it was that thing with the 5d6 RKA laser. 

GM:  Nope.  The flying APC is totally unarmed.  (pause)  Though the five Air-Cav agents flying out of it are carrying laser rifles...


Despite the big-bad Duchess, the nasty Banshee, and the invisible White Mage all being nastier threats, three of the seven heroes (Maker, Circe, and Nexus) concentrate their attacks on Vampire Elvis.  Each attack provokes a new song from him.


Vampire Elvis:  You ain't nothing but a blood hound, dyin' all the time.

You ain't nothing but a blood hound, dyin' all the time.

Well, you ain't never been bitten

And you ain't no friend of mine.


Since the duchess bit me,  I've found a new place to dwell,

Down at the end of Lifeless Street at Undead Hotel, oh baby.

You make me so hungry, baby.  I feel so hungry.

No matter how hungry, I can't die.


Well it's one for the money,  two for the show, three to get ready, now go bat go,

But don't you step on my blood red shoes.  You can do anything but lay off my blood red shoes!

You can stake my heart, stick a cross in my face, spray holy water all over the place.

Do anything that you wanna do, but uh, huh, honey lay off of them shoes...


Maker:  Aaargh!  Make him stop! 


The heroes finally put Vampire Elvis down.


Vampire Elvis:  Elvis has... left the building...  (thud)

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Once the Banshee is down, Malarky notices that it has a ichor-stained stake tucked into it's belt.


Malarky:  (OOC)  No wonder the duchess got so upset at Shadow Boxer grabbing the banshee.  It had the real stake.  (over the Mind Link)  Pops, can you teleport the stake to me?

Pops:  Why can't you just go over there and pick it up?  It's like three meters away.

Malarky:  I don't want the duchess to know I have it.  Or everybody's gonna start pounding me.


Eventually, the heroes chase off the duchess, with the White Mage also getting away.  The Air-Cav agents and lesser vampires are all KO'd, and the heroes discuss what to do with the vamps.  Eventually, they decide to leave them in the sunlight (after the magical eclipse ends) and then dump their ashes into an active volcano in Hawaii.

Malarky:  I guess Vampire Elvis is going to get his Blue Hawaii after all.

Honey Badger:  He's just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love.


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Our Heroes:
Amon-Ra -- An archaeologist who discovered a magical helmet that was a conduit for an anchient god of wisdom.
Faceless -- A shape-shifting FBI agent who doesn't remember what he really looks like.
Diamondback -- A wealthy socialite infused with increadible strength and toughness due to a disasterous science experiement.
Shard -- Sister to Diamondback and the author of aforementioned disasterous experiment which gave her the ability to grow and manipulate crystals.
Double-Time! -- A young lab worker who was accidentlly exposed to strange chemicals granting him increadible speed.
Professor Polar -- A scientist who discovered "cold energy" and accidentally infused himself with it.
Zoltan the Magnificent -- A stage magician who happens to also know real magic.




Diamondback: I like the idea of gathering more information before blowing something up.




Faceless: I’m in charge of this investigation and that means I can do whatever I want.  I just have to explain it to my superiors afterwards; which is the hard part.




Prof Polar: If it gets to the point where there is a sacrificial victim on the altar about to be killed, then we can consider blowing it up or burning it down--
Diamondback [clarifying for certain team mates]: Not the victim!




Prof Polar: So, we’re in the pre-catastrophe phase.




Diamondback: He [Zoltan] freaked out so bad, even Double-Time noticed.




Zoltan: I’m not having any more ideas at all tonight.




GM: The altar stands about yea high and looks long enough to put a body on.
Double-Time [OOC]: That’s a disturbingly specific measurement.




Shard: Can I somehow forget it [the runes on the altar]?


Prof Polar: I can find the specific neurons and kill them.  It’s only a few cells of your brain, it won’t do any significant harm.
Zoltan: Oh my.  That’s a little harsh.
Shard: For real?
Prof Polar: Uhhhh. . .yeah.
Diamondback: I’d just like to point out that he’s smart but he’s not a neurosurgeon.
Prof Polar: Well, there’s these new things called x-rays.  I’ll just adapt them for brain scanning. .  
Diamondback: You know, for as much as my sister and I argue, I feel I should stand up for her neurons.




Zoltan: Amon-Ra may be better suited to protecting us as his powers tend to affect whole groups.
Diamondback:  Oh my God!  He said Amon-Ra would be better at something.  We must really be in trouble.




[As Amon-Ra is communing with his patron and refuses the request to relinquish control of his body.]
Diamondback: This is starting to sound like an abusive relationship.  So, if you need help, just let us know.




Faceless: Man, this is going to be a lot of paperwork later.
Diamondback: We’re possibly facing an evil demon-god thing and you’re worried about paperwork?
Faceless: Look, there’s only a couple of things I truly hate in this world: the thought of all of us dying (and that means humanity) and paperwork!




Double-Time [OOC]: Sorry, I thought we were calling for the snack god.




Double-Time: I punch a group.  I run around so fast, that I hit everyone in the area.
Diamondback: And you can’t pull for hitting your teammates?
Double-Time:  Nope.  That’s why I have tough teammates.




Zoltan: Elder gods aren’t allowed to testify in a court of law.




GM: Shard, you have a Double-Time cowering behind you.  He looks like he needs a hug.
Double-Time: He needs a hug after we finish destroying the scary altar.  Then he needs lots of hugs.




[As the group fights the demon recently summoned by the cultists.]

Amon-Ra: Before we kill the cultists, we need to question them.
Prof Polar: WHAT?!
Diamondback: Should we kill the cultists?
Amon-Ra: Well, we need to ask--
Prof Polar: Discussion for later!  Demon!




Zoltan: Well, I wouldn’t want to tell the FBI agent how to do his job.
Faceless: You’ve got to remember, I’m not an investigator.
Prof Polar: What are you, an accountant?
Amon-Ra: He’s their assault team.
Faceless [OOC and looking at his character sheet]: Honestly, I don’t really know what he does for them.




Prof Polar: Could I talk to this man alone for a minute before any of you psychos kill him?
Amon-Ra: I wasn’t trying to kill him.
Zoltan [imitating Amon-Ra]: I wasn’t trying to kill him.  I was just trying to let his life-force out.




Double-Time [OOC]: You said to control the crowd.  I controlled them; they’re dead.  I don’t see what the problem is.




Double-Time [OOC]:  Here [Zoltan’s player], here’s a die with a single pip on each side. [Mimics Zoltan’s player rolling the die] ‘Damn, I got a five’.




Faceless: When I called the cops earlier, I told them we have a case going on here and we’re handling it.  Don’t bother about the noise, it’s all under control.
GM [imitating Faceless]: When things start blowing up and burning down; it’s fine.




Zoltan [OOC]: I’m surprised you made your cultists quite breakable.
GM: Yeah, well, they’re just cultists.
Zoltan: Well, we weren’t expecting that.
GM: Quite frankly, neither were they.

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Our Heroes:
Amon-Ra -- An archaeologist who discovered a magical helmet that was a conduit for an anchient god of wisdom.
Faceless -- A shape-shifting FBI agent who doesn't remember what he really looks like.
Diamondback -- A wealthy socialite infused with increadible strength and toughness due to a disasterous science experiement.
Shard -- Sister to Diamondback and the author of aforementioned disasterous experiment which gave her the ability to grow and manipulate crystals.
Double-Time! -- A young lab worker who was accidentlly exposed to strange chemicals granting him increadible speed.
Professor Polar -- A scientist who discovered "cold energy" and accidentally infused himself with it.
Zoltan the Magnificent -- A stage magician who happens to also know real magic.




GM [summarizing the previous session] -- . . .and Shard and Diamondback were going to go investigate the house of the old man who had brought over the package before the cult arrived.
Shard -- We were?
GM -- Well, that’s what you said you were going to do.
Shard -- Well, who said that was a good idea?
GM -- I never said anything about it being a good idea, that’s just what you said you were going to do.




Prof Polar -- I’m great at talking to rational people.
Double-Time -- Have you found any of those yet?




Prof Polar -- He’s tough enough to run for his life if he needs to.




Prof Polar -- Being a fairly recent immigrant, he’s probably doesn’t have a family graveyard yet.
GM -- Seems unlikely.
Double-Time -- We start one!
Amon-Ra -- That’s what I wanted to do last night but you wouldn’t let me!
GM -- No, you wanted to start a crematorium, there’s a difference.
Zoltan -- In the church!




GM -- And you do have Sleight of Hand on your character sheet.
Zoltan -- I do?
GM -- Twelve or less.
Zoltan [looking] -- Huh.  So I do, I missed that.
Double-Time -- He also has Concealment.




Zoltan -- The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy, nothing more.
Prof Polar -- The enemy of my enemy is a tool in my hand.
GM -- The enemy of my enemy is still an a-hole.




Double-Time [OOC]-- I know we barely know each other, but someday I will have extra E.P.s.




Shard -- People keep telling me that it’s not right that I sleep with men-- I mean next to.




Shard -- Can I call [Double-Time’s] boss and pretend to be his relative?
GM -- I’m sure you’re capable of it.  Whether or not it’s a good idea, I’m not going to say.
Prof Polar -- I have an issue with the way you phrased that.  Yes, she’s capable of making the call, but I’m not certain she’s capable of pretending to be his relative.
Shard -- Hey, I did a great job pretending [to Double-Time's boss] to be his girlfriend.
GM -- Which is going to complicate the whole pretending to be a relative thing.




Felix Stauf -- You are proving to be an incredible nuisance.
Zoltan -- Why thank you.  I thought I was merely a good nuisance.




Amon-Ra -- When I catch up to the car, I’m going to put up a barrier in front of it so be prepared to teleport out.
Zoltan -- Right.  He’s casting spells and I’m trying to stop him.  And he can hear everything I say!




Zoltan -- When he cast the spell did he have to use any gestures or incantations or anything?
GM -- He spoke the spell.
Zoltan -- Ah ha!  Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to silence him.
Prof Polar -- Yes you do.  Put your hands around his neck and squeeze.
GM -- Strangle the driver.  Great idea!
Prof Polar -- So far, strangling the driver has been the safest suggestion I’ve heard for stopping the car.




Prof Polar -- I head towards the commotion, because I know that’s where [my teammates] are.




Amon-Ra -- And I’m the dangerous one, eh?  I was just going to take out a building.  She’s taking out pedestrians.
Prof Polar -- Just take out a BUILDING?!




Zoltan -- I just get the feeling I should be somewhere else; screwing things up there.




Prof Polar [OOC] --- I want to by Transport Familiarity: Humanoids.




GM -- My poor blind demons.




GM -- Teamwork, it’s not just for the heroes.
Double-Time -- Yes it is.




Zoltan -- Got your staff back?
Amon-Ra -- Yes, I do.
Zoltan -- You know, most of us don’t let go of our staffs.
Shard -- [groan]
GM -- Not everyone feels the need to handle their staff all the time, either.
Double-Time -- Speak for yourself.
GM -- Well, certainly not in public!
Shard -- You guys are gross.




Prof Polar -- I don’t want to kill him.  I want to humiliate him.  I can’t let you kill him because I can’t humiliate him if he’s dead.

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7 hours ago, Netzilla said:

GM -- And you do have Sleight of Hand on your character sheet.
Zoltan -- I do?
GM -- Twelve or less.
Zoltan [looking] -- Huh.  So I do, I missed that.
Double-Time -- He also has Concealment. 

Both skills sound relevant for a Stage magician. I guess he was to much of a showoff to even consider he had anything that...sublte?


7 hours ago, Netzilla said:

Zoltan -- The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy, nothing more.
Prof Polar -- The enemy of my enemy is a tool in my hand.
GM -- The enemy of my enemy is still an a-hole. 

Finally a group that follows the 70 Maxims, in particular "29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less. "

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Pathfinder : The Mummy's Mask - The Silver Chain
Onka: Where were we?
Zenobia: We’ve just killed these two guards, who aren’t guards.
Nemat: Well, they were guards.
Zenobia: Alright, guards hired by the town of Wati, instead of guards hired by the Silver Chain.

We check the bodies and pocket most of their stuff - they’re well equipped. And their ‘town guard armour’ is enchanted, which makes it better than the real thing.

Nemat: Anybody else know how to use a hand crossbow? Noting the emphasis on ‘else’ but disregarding the cultural association between hand crossbow and assassins.
Nemat: And either way, they’re not guards anymore.
Zenobia: Which reminds me, we’d better make sure they don’t get up again *decapitates*
Nemat: *whispered aside to Onka* Does Zenobia remember she got smoochy-smoochied by a flying undead head?

The brickmaker’s property is mostly derelict.

GM: And as quiet as the dead.
Asrian: As quiet as they’ve been lately?
Zenobia: So they either didn’t hear the fight, or they did and they’re waiting to ambush us.

The floor of the surviving building has been dug up and some very dodgy stairs installed, leading down into the darkness. There’s also a few kegs of what turns out to be saffron, to our amazement - this stuff is worth more than its weight in silver.

Zenobia: There don’t need to be any Silver Chain here, the saffron alone is worth hiring the guards.

There aren’t any tracks at the bottom of the stairs, despite the sandy floor.

Asrian: When was your master kidnapped?
Kasim the Nosoi: Two or three days ago?
All: ….
Kasim: I’ve been stressed, ok???

Zenobia is wondering about the lamps in the first room - there’s six of them, all fixed, but only three are burning. There’s no fuel oil in the room, either.

Nemat: You’re right, that is suspicious.

Nemat suspects that the combination of lit and unlit lanterns is some kind of code for the Silver Chain. We have no idea what changing the combination will do. We pick a door and start exploring. As it happens the guy we’re looking for is behind the first door we pick.

Onka: That’s convenient.

The Silver Chain have stolen his holy symbol, but that’s not a problem - Nemet has one for all the major religions of Osirion in his pockets.

Onka: What?
Nemat: I bought them. We were GOING into the NECROPOLIS.

Ptemenib: I warn you - the Silver Chain serve a new master. He wears a golden mask. They call him Iffek.

Asrian: It might not be the same mask that was stolen from the Necropolis - he might just be wearing it for Iffek.

Having a professional investigator like Nemat in the party certainly helping when you’re searching rooms for hidden treasures. Having a noisy Nosoi in the party, loudly announcing its joy at the safe return of its master, doesn’t help with sneaking around. Which probably explains why whoever was down here has already legged it through a secret escape tunnel. But they didn’t grab their escape bag as they fled - a Handy Haversack holding a small fortune in grave goods.

GM: Of course pretty much everything down here is grave goods. Including the furniture.

But at least we find Ptemenib’s stuff and get a reward - an Ushabti figure with an Unseen Servant enchantment. Also in the boss’s lavish chamber, on his looted writing desk, is a tin bird with three Feather Tokens as a tail - with space for a fourth. Feather Tokens are used as magical messengers. There’s also traces of wet ink on the table. So somebody apparently thought sending an emergency message was urgent enough to spend hundreds of gold pieces on it. Perhaps we SHOULD follow the escape tunnel. It surfaces in the Necropolis.

Zenobia: Oh, ****.

The collapsed crypt we emerge in also has a jumble of bronze springs and plates in the middle of the floor. It appears to be some kind of detector for necromantic energy, built by the Cult of Pharasma. There’s also the footprints of at least five people, leading deeper into the Necropolis.

Zenobia: Well, double -****.

Having an Inquisitor in the party means we would now bypass a couple of chapters of plot, so we decide to be nice to the GM and turn back, for fear of zombies and the difficulty of tracking the Silver Chain across rooftops. Unfortunately we do come across the thing responsible for what we thought was a snake trail - an animated assemblage of human organs from the canopic jars.

All: Ick.
Zenobia: I had to deal with a lot of human offal in my last job - I never expected it to come back for revenge!

Once the impromptu anatomy lesson is dealt with, we plan our report to the Cult of Pharasma and the other relevant authorities. We take the more valuable items, such as a reportedly lost statue of a Sphinx, and a genealogy of Osirion’s founding families, with us in case they ‘go missing’. At least one more door down here has been hurriedly boarded up, which is never a good sign. ‘Let somebody else find out whatever is hissing on the other side’ is what somebody smart would say, since it’s a gas trap and we open the door. Onka and Zenobia get shot with the Stupid Gun.

Zenobia: Duuuuuuhhhhhhhhh?

The Silver Chain’s secret meth lab contains one decomposing body wearing a bronze mask, and a lot of smashed alchemical equipment. Nemat and Asrian grab Onka and Zenobia before they can hurt themselves. Zenobia would presumably be fine with the subsequent clumsy fumbling, since it’s Asrian, if she was coherent enough to realise it WAS Asrian, and wasn’t behaving like a drunken lech in front of her other friends. Asrian manages to pin her gnoll lover down, but Zenobia wriggles free.

GM: Zenobia wants to be on top :D

Nemat is having similar problems with Onka. Zenobia eventually comes to her senses, pinned face down on the floor, and blushes an incandescent red under her fur.

Asrian: You OK now?
Zenobia: *nods silently*
Asrian: This position has possibilities.
Zenobia: embarrassment burning hotter*
Nemat: You’re a slippery pig, Onka. I didn’t even get to tie you up.
Zenobia: *embarrassment passes some kind of Planck temperature limit*

We also find a letter. Which reveals that the Silver Chain was being used as a front for some organisation intending to enter the Necropolis. It includes lines like ‘Once you arrive at Wati infiltrate the Silver Chain and bend them to His Divine Will’, all on behalf of somebody called the Sky Pharoah. This is probably not good. But at least we find the underground dock the Silver Chain were using for their smuggling. And armed smugglers. We leave one of them alive, and happy enough to blab everything he knows as long as we don’t set him on fire.

Zenobia: I have an idea who that Sky Pharoah is.
Nemat: It’s not exactly subtle.
Zenobia: So has anybody seen any Unidentified Flying Pyramids lately?

When we go to inform the Cult of Pharasma about our discoveries, we hear the shouting match well before we get there. Sebti the Crocodile is arguing with one Nahkt Shepses, an Inquisitor of the cult, and ruthless direct descendant of Wati’s original liberator. Shepses intends to summon an army of psychopomps and unleash them on the undead, regardless of how many civilians are in the way. Having this shouting match in public, mind you.

Nemat: WHAT are you too DOING?!

Nemat: I don’t mind them having a difference of opinions, what I object to is them voicing it in public.

Asrian: I am Asrian Al-Ajir, and I live here! My family have lived here for a hundred generations! Wati is not the tombs and rituals, it is its PEOPLE!

Sebti realises her mistake, but the Inquisitor needs a history lesson about the Forgotten Pharaoh before he shuts up.

Nemat: Oh, and I believe this will be of interest to you, Inquisitor - a genealogy of the nation's founders.
Nakht Shepses: *yoink*

Our captive explains, at length, how the original leadership of the gang all got killed off about 6 months ago. After that smuggling artefacts out of the Necropolis suddenly got much more efficient. Sebti recognises what the bronze thing is too - an Elegiac Compass, and one of the most important secrets of the local cult. They used them for triangulating any problems of the shambling kind. The last time they were used was 30 years ago.

Nemat: Why aren’t you using them now?
Zenobia: Because every team they’ve sent into the Necropolis hasn’t come back.
Nemat: Good point.

Zenobia: Well, where are the rest of these compasses? Do you want us to check on the other 4 of them?
Sebti: That might be a good idea.
Nemat: ….
Zenobia: Did I just volunteer us for something?
Nemat: Yes.

Ptemenib has a suggestion too - a clan of Dark Folk, the Xotl, who live in the Necropolis.

Zenobia: Live, or ‘lived’?

Since these Xotl lived (and still live!) in the Necropolis (although the Pharasmaens aren’t happy about it) they may know more about the original eruption of necromantic energy. Sounds like a plan! For one this, exploring the middle of the Necropolis would probably be suicide. Nakht Shepses doesn’t believe we’re competent to carry out the investigation. He wants to test us tomorrow.

Onka: Written or verbal?
Nakht: Violent.

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We were unfortunately, too late to save Ptemenib, and he had bled out after the silver chain had cut him and thrown him down a well. The bird was disconsolate. Our error was being too cautious, and going through the underground area over two days game time, with a rest in the middle. 

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14 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

We were unfortunately, too late to save Ptemenib, and he had bled out after the silver chain had cut him and thrown him down a well. The bird was disconsolate. Our error was being too cautious, and going through the underground area over two days game time, with a rest in the middle. 


oh dear. Of course, Nosoi are spirits of plague and misfortune in real-world mythology, so I do have to wonder exactly why Ptemenib has one

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Champions : Return to Edge City - Magick
GM: I want to know when you all became competent.
Flux: Probably didn’t want to embarrass ourselves now Allana is on the team - ‘Not in front of the newbie!’

Hero Shrew: I just want to know what kind of look Witchcraft is going to give us when she finds out we caught her sister, and didn’t know who she was.
GM: Well, she’s too nice to cackle maniacally.

GM: When last we met Talisman escaped from your custody, and only THEN did you realise who you’d caught.
Hero Shrew: Well, all humans look alike to me.
Fireflash OoC: ‘When last we met our heroes were in a bottle at the bottom of the Marianas Trench being eaten by octopi.’
Flux: How did we end up here?
Fireflash: ‘Ten Minutes Earlier…’
Allana: I’m wondering how the octopuses got into the bottle.
Hero Shrew: Oh, if we do end up in a bottle at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, you’re not opening the cork - I’ve seen that episode of Mythbusters.

Hero Shrew: Do we need to make flash cards of ‘UNTIL’s Most Wanted’?

We do need to find out just how much of the pilots‘ memories have been erased - what’s the last thing they remember?

Fireflash: Who wants to question them?
Hero Shrew: I’ll do it! I’ll do it!
Fireflash: Anyone else?

As it happens, it won’t be that easy - the pilots are still unconscious. Hero Shrew suggests we check the Zone Patrol power armour for serial numbers - as it happens, they didn’t file them off. Finding out who stole the suits could be an important step in the investigation - if Hardlight didn’t botch his end of the research. But as it happens we do determine that the suits were first used in the building of the Marsden Wall, but the construction company was one of the ones that folded after the Edge City fusion reactor went up. Perhaps we can source the brass they used for the armour’s embellishments?

Flux: They might have bought the brass out of town.
Hero Shrew: Sure. And it’s not like the local retailers would have had Peruvian demons on tap.

Flux suddenly realises he can adapt that spell he used to locate the source of Scooter’s thirty pieces of silver. It utilises the principles of Contagion and Similarity, but it’s not psychometry.

Flux: Illusions of Porn Past is the reason I don’t do Psychometry.

GM: It’s like stumbling on someone’s search history.

What Flux determines is that whoever made the suits was extremely careful to ensure that the brass for each suit is magically distinct from that in the next suit. They were extremely careful to ensure that the demons couldn’t assist each other.

GM: Allana’s superhero name is technically Nocturne. Flux’s nickname for Allana is Clue-bat
Flux: She just turn up looking over my shoulder says things like ‘should that be that colour’ and I’m all ‘hmm’. Then I realise she’s leaning over my shoulder.
Hero Shrew: She can lean over my shoulder anytime *leers*
GM: So what are you doing during all this research and phonecalls, Scooter?
Hero Shrew: Eating mealworm bars and watching Allana’s breasts.
Flux: Scooter, leave them alone. I mean her alone. Get out of here! Sorry, Allana, I’ll do my breast to keep him away from you.

GM: You’ve made me very happy - this is the team I remember. Because you still don’t have a monitoring roster, you’re still relying on social media to find out when anything is happening.

The news we’ve missed because none of us are actually watching the bank of monitor screens is a superhuman punch-up happening out at the far end of Olympic Park.

Fireflash: Everybody to the Qruiser!
Hero Shrew: It’ll take a while to get back to the base, I’m in Marsden.
Flux: *sigh*

Since Scooter is bouncing from rooftop to rooftop, and Allana flying there under her own power, and Hardlight driving the Qruiser, it’s up to Flux and Fireflash to check Facebook and find out what’s actually happening in Olympic Park. A lot of it is ‘Maybe this time we’ll see her tits!’

GM: It’s Guilt-rider and Iron Maiden being attacked by Morningstar and Shadow Dragon.
Flux: Shadow Dragon?
GM: He’s a mercenary with darkness powers. Think Ghost Shadow without the weeaboo. And Morningstar is an actual demon.

Guilt-rider is currently riding her motorcycle down the street backwards, shooting with both hands.

Flux: If she wasn’t a criminal I’d date that woman.
GM: Yeah, I kinda have bad news for you.
Flux: Yeah, guessed as much.

Iron Maiden (who Scooter still thinks is a robot) is keeping some kind of illumination field on herself and Guilt-rider.

Flux: Ah - Shadow Dragon’s darkness powers.
Fireflash: Well I’m about to Flash him.
GM: Yeah, Shadow Dragon is that much of an arsehole - he’s riding on Morningstar’s shoulder so he can keep shooting energy blasts at Guilt-rider as they chase her down the street.
Fireflash: Then I’ll flash both of them.

Fireflash blinding them does make it much easier to blast a crater in front of them, Scooter to tackle Morningstar out from under Shadow Dragon, and Allana to literally piledrive Shadow Dragon into the road every time he gets up. Then Scooter punches him down the street, and through multiple vehicles.

Shadow Dragon: Oh god, I can’t see- Ow. Ow. Ow.

Guilt-rider proceeds to propel him through a few more with her new Windchester.

Shadow Dragon: Oh god, I still can’t see-Ow. Ow. Ow.

Guilt-rider: So, do you want to talk or do you want to try and take me in?
Fireflash: Yes.
Hero Shrew: Both, ideally!
Hardlight: *blasts Morningstar unconscious and bubbles Guilt-rider with an improved forcebubble* You’re under arrest!
Guilt-rider: We know how this works! *bounces excitedly*
Allana: She is an ally of the Moreaus.
Fireflash: Let her go - arresting them now would just be a dick move.
Guilt-rider: No no no, keep it up for a bit, this is cool! *does flaming Wall of Death loops around the inside of the bubble*
Flux: *magically switches off all the cameras in the area* OK, now we can talk.

Guilt-rider: I dunno who they work for, but their Boss-man wanted me to fix some big project of theirs. But I took one look at the ugly guy and said to meself there’s no way I’m working for somebody who hires tha-What’s happening with Chop-socky and the other guy?

Shadow Dragon and Morningstar are sort of dissolving into black smoke, just like Talisman did when she escaped - Hardlight hurriedly bubbles them in the teleportation-proof bubble he devised after our run-in with Talisman.

Flux: Hello PRIMUS, calling in a high-speed extraction, we’ve got Shadow Dragon and Morningstar here and they’re trying to teleport out. We’ve got it blocked for now.
PRIMUS operator: Huh, that’s not in their profile. Inbound ETA six minutes.

Allana: I just want to check how long they’re going to stay out.
Guilt-rider: They’re tough boys, but…. *gets distracted by Allana’s breasts*
Fireflash: Into that, are you?
Guilt-rider: You gotta problem with that?
Fireflash: No, just jealous.

Flux: We really should be arresting you.
Guilt-rider: On what charge?
Flux: Well, those weapons for a start. They need to be licensed.
Guilt-rider: No they don’t - none of them are legally firearms.
Flux: What about her weapons?
Guilt-rider: Iron Maiden? Good luck arresting her.
Hardlight: Guys? Four minutes?

Flux shows Guilt-rider his notes on the Zone Patrol armour.

Guilt-rider: Huh - so that’s why they wanted to hire me - it’s the same kind of thing I did with Growler. Growler’s a fire-elemental. But he likes being a motorcycle.

Guilt-rider eventually admits, reluctantly, that she saw Shadow Dragon and Morningstar talking to Talisman, KIllzone (the merc that kidnapped Fireflash months ago and collected a hand-off from the Six Teens) and one Weyland Sandford, a tech-savvy diabolist competent enough he once worked with the violently feminist Raven. She won’t say WHERE she saw this, but if the meeting was there then they were definitely doing business.

Guilt-rider and Iron Maiden exit stage right when the PRIMUS vehicle arrives. The Silver Avenger herself has come along.

Silver Avenger: Bit strange that these two are working together.
Hero Shrew: We’ve also got information that they were seen conspiring with Talisman, Killzone, and Weyland Sandford.
Silver Avenger: Where’d you get this information?
Hero Shrew: Anonymous source.
Fireflash: Guilt-rider. She just left. I wanted to arrest her, but there’s no outstanding warrants.
Silver Avenger: Yes, she’s pretty good a skirting right on the edge of the law.
Fireflash: There were a few things we could have got Iron Maiden on, but, you know...
Silver Avenger: What, THAT Iron Maiden?
Hero Shrew: Who was Iron Maiden?
Flux: A band.

She was a Russian superhero, so from the point of view of the Americans, a supervillain. But apparently General Winter, another Russian super, has confirmed that this Iron Maiden is the same woman from the 70s. God knows why she’s working with Guilt-rider. Wayland Sandford is a diabolist, but there’s no way he’s working for the deranged DEMON organisation. The Descending Hierarchy HATES everybody involved with DEMON. Any diabolist worth his salt will summon an uncontrolled demon the moment DEMON comes knocking, knowing they’ll be rewarded.

Summoned Fiend: Fool, your soul is forfie- is that DEMON? Very good, carry on. And here’s a 50% discount voucher on your next summoning.

Allana is going to try to backtrack to where Morningstar and Shadow Dragon first started their fight with Guilt-rider and Iron Maiden. Growler might be able to turn invisible, but there left a lot of burnt rubber on the asphalt while there were trying to escape. Maybe there’ll be an earlier trail to track from there, or camera footage Flux can raid. We do find the vehicle that Guilt-rider was doing some after-sale work on when Shadow Dragon and Morningstar teleported in. And four blue reptilian humanoids. Although going by the fourth one, and her Radiation Hazard nipple pasties, they’re actually mammals.

Flux: They could be fat reserves.
Hero Shrew: Venom sacks?

Allana identifies them as very minor players on Edge City’s gang scene. They claim that the vehicle is theirs, that Guilt-rider was working on the engine, and that they took one look at Shadow Dragon and Morningstar when they showed up and legged it.

Fireflash: Probably wise.

GM: Anybody going to look them up later?
Hero Shrew: I’ve got two reasons to look one of them up later.
Hero Shrew: I can enjoy them in my time off too.

The Toxics, as they call themselves, are not Moreaus, and do ally themselves with Freak Legion. Nobody seems to know what they are, but the very-obviously-female of the group has a tattoo - MOAM - that means Mother Of All Mutants, and she actually is their mother.

Hero Shrew: I’m not going to say it. Not going to say it. But MOAM isn’t the four-letter acronym I was thinking of.
Hardlight: The other three must have been very well fed as kids.

GM: Sort of hot, despite having no noses.
Flux: That’s because they weren’t the Voldemort kind of no nose.
Hero Shrew: Oh right, Voldemort - the man who lost a ‘got your nose’ game vs. a one-year-old.

We spend the trip back criticizing the design ideas that went into a household robot design with a bust and high heels.

Me: Although bear in mind that Boston Dynamics taught their latest robot how to twerk.

GM: I’m letting you know that the gem giving Hardlight his powers is one of a set of five, like the ten rings of the Mandarin.
Hero Shrew: Maybe you can go find the space-dragons in their short shorts and ask for another.

Flux attempts another ritual to track down the villains, based on the resonances of the powered armour exo-frames. It seems they originated in part of East Chesterfield, a light industrial zone. Combining it with the brass detector he considered earlier should narrow it down even further. Or would, if half the party members weren’t wearing jeans with brass rivets. And if brass wasn’t a good anti-corrosion material.

Hero Shrew: Well, you just keep doing the scans and the rest of us will go around peering in the windows of any Ye Olde Abandoned Warehouses.

That won’t work either, since the East Chesterfield is quite busy, and most of the team are pretty conspicuous.

Random NPC: Did that warehouse always have a gargoyle? And why does it have enormous ti-
Allana: *extends her wings*
Random NPC: Leaving now.

GM: The wizard is the most normal person in the party.
Flux: Yeah, it’s one of the reasons other wizards hate me. ‘What, no dragons in the basement? No kidnapping maidens?’
Allana: ‘God you’re boring’

Eventually Flux narrows it down to a small tool and die-maker’s place, that apparently makes custom parts. Custom parts of the kind that would go into demon armour, presumably. We decide to come back tomorrow, when we aren’t busy with day jobs, etc.

GM: I point out that the only people in the party with appreciable social skills are Allana and Scooter - who have trouble being accepted as people.

Fireflash has people skills too - she heads in, in costume. The rest of us eavesdrop over her phone. The machinist, a young man with impressive tattoos, etc - introduces himself as Weyland Sandford. Uh-oh.

Fireflash: Hello there - I was wondering if you could help me? My colleagues and I are tracking down the source of some unusual brass alloys.
Weyland: And you tracked a particular alloy down to my business? That seems pretty unlikely.
Fireflash: You’d find some of my compatriots pretty unlikely.

Weyland happily identifies the sample as part of a custom job he did, and describes the client as one ‘Mr Black’.

GM: I’m disappointed you didn’t bring up the fact he’d been seen associating with Talisman and Shadow Dragon. I even had a speech for him. ‘I’ve got two counterpoints for you - the NAACP vs. Alabama in 1958, and the First Amendment. Also, f*** you.’

Hardlight: So we come back later.
Fireflash: No, we come back quietly, later, and the one who can teleports in.
GM: He’s also the one with the least moral compunctions against breaking in.

PRIMUS Agent: I’ve got some bad news for you - Morningstar and Shadow Dragon got busted out. And the escorts all need hospital, and we can’t find the black box. Whatever it was hit the transport mid-air and tore it open. And they’re mercs - either who hired them had more muscle, or came for them in person. We’ve got no idea where they are or who took them.

Flux spies out Weyland’s shop that night, and spots an iron golem on patrol inside. Hero Shrew and Hardlight don’t spot anything, since the latter is trying to explain sexual harassment to the former, and why ‘Your tits look fantastic today’ is fine in a titty bar, but isn’t pretty much anywhere else. Fireflash and Allana, on the other hand, spot all the robed cultists heading towards Weyland’s shop, and pointing glowing sticks in Flux’s direction.

Fireflash: Guys, can you stop being inappropriate and look at the freaking screen??

At least DEMON cultists are easy to recognise - their robes are pretty distinctive.

Hero Shrew: How squishy are cultists?
Fireflash: Pretty squishy - that’s why they’re only cultists.
Hero Shrew: So if I can’t punch them without bringing Chunky Salsa into effect, should I just take their glowy sticks off them?
Fireflash: Taken glowy sticks off people is generally good policy.

Allana swoops past and snatches Flux out of the line of fire, before the rest of us move in. Hardlight knocks most of them out with a holographic blast, but that leaves the ones with actual spells as well as glowy sticks. Spells like Domination.

DEMON Cultists: Help! Heeelp! Saaave us!

Hero Shrew succumbs, despite his obstinate nature.

Flux: We have a problem. It’s a problem we’ve had before - a Rogue Shrew.
Hero Shrew: They keep telling me I shouldn’t punch normos! And Hardlight just blew up most them!
GM: Exactly! Only these two got up again!

Allana swoops back the other way and grabs Scooter.

GM: Sometimes the team brick has to accept that they’ll be the Battle Taxi.

She probably intended to use him as a bowling ball against the remaining cultists, but he manages to break free, to Allana’s shock.

Hero Shrew: ANGRY SHREW!

Fireflash blasts the last two while Allana continues to try and grapple Hero Shrew. Scooter attempts to jump onto the nearest roof - Weyland’s workshop. Despite the Iron Golem.

Allana: Oh no you don’t *grab*

Hardlight OoC: If only you weren’t being mind-controlled right now, you’d probably enjoy this.
Hero Shrew OoC: *wistful sigh* yeah.

Flux: So, what will your defence be at the war crimes trial?
Allana: ‘I was not technically a person at the time.’

The mind-control wears off.

GM: So you stop struggling?
Hero Shrew: Yep. In fact, I suddenly start snuggling back closer.
Allana: *Yanks Scooter out of her cleavage*
GM: You also realise you were mind-controlled.
Hero Shrew: Just a minute, there’s something I need to do *heads over towards the unconscious cultists, intending to kick them in the fork*
All: *grapple Hero Shrew again*

We start securing the prisoners, forks intact. A voice interrupts, from above.

Ominous Voice: Well, that is unfortunate - I was hoping they’d do my job for me.

Weyland’s workshop explodes. And the Black Paladin, astride a flying black steed, is revealed by the light of the blazing building.

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Jotunn Ironbeart; Dwarven Marine

Ilumaris of House Silverness; Elvish mage taught in Altdorf.

Don Philipe [add 4 more names I forgdt]; Estalian Diestory (think Spanish Fencer and minor Nobility)

Ralf Bloem; Manaan Priest from Marienburg 


Prince Arathion, House Emerald Sea; NPC. Elven mage, prince, explorer and oru contractor


When last we talked about our heroes, they had just left a world. But before leaving they had a encoutner of the bad kind.


See within the party, there was a certain room. On the door, there were a bunch of Symbols with one standing oddly out. The inside of the room was enticing for more revelry. The kind of enticing that needs a Willpower throw to resist. The symbol in this far off world, in the middle of a orgy, belonged to him. While literally everyone failed the check to see if they knew the Symbol, it did not put our team at ease. Even long after we had returned to the Warhammer world, it was goign through our Diestros head.
And it does not help the the player is also a bit oblivious to the rules of the Warhammer wolrd


Don Philipe (OOC): I go to the local University

Scholar: Good day Sir. How can I help you?

Don Philipe: I was wondering if you knew this Symbol

Scholar: *Distressed* No sir, I would not know of such a symbol

Don Philipe: How would know? It is rather important

Scholar: Well, you could ask Dr. Satre about it. if it is really important to you.


And yes he goes there. After explaining it where he saw the symbol to Dr. Satre, that one puts on his hat. His pointy hat. His Witchhunter Hat.

Jotunn OOC: Did you seriously just call a Witchunters atention onto us?
Ilumaris OOC: You know you could have just asked Arrathion, right?

Don Philie OOC: Oh. My bad.

All: ?

GM: I think this is a good time for a cut.

Don Philipe OOC: I guess now is a bad time to mention that I will not be here the next session?


Edited by Christopher

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On 12/1/2018 at 4:48 AM, Scott Ruggels said:

Holy crap! Black Paladin! Serious heavyweight! 

It's worse. It's a post Shades of Black (with less than perfect resolution) Master-Villain Black Paladin. ?


Oh, it will become immediately apparent (like, on segment 12) that he brought friends.

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I ran my Champions players through the first half of "Chiller Frost" aka "The Weather Bomb" - a homebrew adventure involving the perennial bad-luck supervillains of Deathstroke. 


A few sessions back, one of the PCs (Circe, a mentalist), in her secret ID as Ana, had hired a new bouncer for her bar -- Julio Rodriguez, an ex-con whom the heroes had captured very early in their careers.  Julio was working for Deathstroke at the time, and had been taken down before he could even fire a shot.  He's now trying to live on the straight and narrow.


Ana sees him arguing with a shady-looking man, with said man leaving the bar looking irritated, so Ana asks him about it and whether there's a problem she needs to know about.


Julio:  Oh, no problems.  Guy was just trying to recruit me for a job, but I told him I already have one I like, and I don't want to lose it.

Circe:  (OOC)  Of course, I go into his noggin to make sure he's telling the truth.


He is, and she also learns that Guy belongs to the Thuggery, a sort of criminal temp agency for villains to use.  Guy said he's working for someone Julio had worked for before, and since Julio's short criminal career consisted of temping for ARGENT and Deathstroke, that narrows the field.  Note that I also provide a news sheet at the start of each game, with articles that recap the prior adventure, plus usually one article related to the adventure and either a filler article and/or something foreshadowing a future adventure.


Circe:  (OOC)  Since Deathstroke appeared in this week's news, I guess we know who's looking for goons.


Julio's mind also revealed Guy's fake identity, but I forgot to make one up, so the players are providing possibilities.


Circe:  His name's Guy Griffon, so how about... Dude something...

GM:  (LOL)  No.  Not Dude.  How about Pete?

Circe:  What about Harry Hippogriff?

Shadow Boxer:  Dirk Dragon.
GM:  Hmmm... I think Guy might like that one.


Circe once again invades a mind, checking out what Guy knows about Deathstroke's plans.  As a temp, he's not privy to much, but they learn that he helped plan Deathstroke's hit on the US Army's Dugway Proving Grounds, an event which appeared in the news a few weeks back.


GM:  In Guy's mind, the Dugway operation was a total success.

Circe:  That's not what I remember from the news article.  I thought Deathstroke got their butts kicked by the Army.

GM:  (reads aloud the article from a few weeks back, which does indeed say that)  However, from Guy you learn that Draconic and Stinger weren't part of the group that was fighting the Army.  They got into some building on the proving grounds -- he doesn't know which building -- and stole something -- he doesn't know exactly what.


The heroes contact Col. Hardin, head of the local PRIMUS base, and ask him if he can find out what Deathstroke took from Dugway and possibly share the info with them.  Hardin has a friend stationed there, dealing with chemical weapons.  The next day:


Col. Hardin:  My source at Dugway assured me that absolutely no chemical weapons were taken from the base.  However, he said that a few days after the failed attack on Dugway, a lot of the higher-ups were running around looking none too pleased, so something probably was taken, but my pal doesn't know what.  He's guessing it's some DARPA prototype.  He did say that he found out a bunch of soldiers were on base who are all low-powered mutants, so it might be related to that. 

Maker:  Great.  They probably have something that can take away our powers. 

Malarky:  Yours, maybe.  I use magic.


The heroes had also learned from Guy that Deathstroke hired him to act like a security guard on Tuesday and keep people away from the local NBC station's transmission antenna while a Thuggery tech-type agent hooks something up.


Circe:  Is Deathstroke one of those groups who likes to hack TV transmissions to make their demands known?

GM:  Oh, yeah.  They're all over stuff like that. 


Just in case, PRIMUS has one of their own techs sneak in on Sunday and set up a few concealed cameras, both at the NBC transmitter as well as those for other area TV stations, to see what's getting hooked up.  When Tuesday rolls around, the fake security guards and techs show up, and the tech-type heroes try to figure out what is being hooked up.  Maker completely rolls 17 on her PER roll - not quite a critical failure, but close.  Pops and Malarky both make theirs by a good margin


GM:  (to Maker)  You're pretty sure it's something that will permanently take away your powers.  (to Pops and Malarky)  Yeah, it's just something to hack the transmission.  Got its own playback module, so there won't be an incoming transmission to trace.


The heroes and PRIMUS decide to listen to what Deathstroke has to say, so they allow the transmission hacking to take place.  Just before 8 pm, the team's PR guy (T.J. O'Roarke) calls them. 

O'Roarke: Sorry to bug you, but I just got a call from some guy calling himself DC, says he's got something urgent to tell you.
Malarky:  DC... that's probably Death Commando.  Yeah, go ahead and put it through.

GM:  (OOC)  Who's going to talk to him?  (Malarky, Pops, Honey Badger, and Circe all immediately point at Nexus; her player was out sick that day.)

Malarky:  Nexus is always one to talk to bad boys.  Hasn't she already let him go twice already?

GM:  Yeah, but in fairness to her, he did help her out.  Remember how Draconic was motorboating her, and Death Commando shot him with a laser pistol, because he's vulnerable to lasers?  (pause) There's no love lost between those two.


Death Commando tells them to turn on the local news - any station.  They do, and see Requiem appear on screen.  (I admittedly cribbed a lot from the early Deathstroke module.)


Requiem:  Greetings, people of the greater Boston metropolitan area!  I am Requiem, leader of the master supervillain team known as Deathstroke!  I am here to announce that the governor and legislature of Massachusetts have 72 hours to dissolve all branches of state government and relinquish control of the state to me and my comrades-in-arms, or we will unleash upon you… the Weather Bomb!


As a demonstration of our power, be aware that the town of Dover will shortly… (Chiller interrupts to whisper in Requiem’s ear)… Okay, that’s Dover, Massachusetts, of course we’re not going to threaten Dover, Delaware if we’re taking over the state of Massachusetts… where was I?  Oh, yes, the town of Dover, Massachusetts will be decimated by the first use of our Weather Bomb!  Police, PRIMUS, Just Cause – you have just 15 minutes to get the people there to safety before we demonstrate the incredible, awe-inspiring power at our command!


Think on it, people of Massachusetts – would you rather be governed by criminals who pose as honest men, or ruled by criminals who are honest about themselves?


The power is ours, the choice is yours.


Shadow Boxer:  Well, he's got my vote.

Maker:  Yeah.  He's better that what we've got right now. 


(More to follow)

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Not wanting this thread to drift into real-world Political Discussion and anyone here getting into trouble...


In the past in my game world, I've kept the same general political situation as the real world.  However, to keep the peace at the gaming table I decided to split from the real world recently, so the current President in my game world is a wholly fictional character.  And his son is the head of a federally-sanctioned superhero group known as Executive Order -- and the PCs have had not-so-nice dealings with them in the past.  (EO once used Telepathy and Mind Control on the PC team's PR guy to lure the heroes into an illegal arrest.)  So Maker's comment could easily apply to the game-world.

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Continuing "Chiller Frost" aka "The Weather Bomb":


The heroes head to Dover (Pops' long-range teleport gets them there within seconds), and they do some quick research to learn that "weather bomb" is an actual meteorological term for something called Explosive Cyclogenesis (localized extreme low-pressure areas causing gale-force winds). 


GM:  One of the guys who coined the phrase "weather bomb" was criticized by other scientists for using such a warlike term.  He responded, "So why are you using the term 'front'?"


As the heroes are urging people outside to get into secure structures (expecting massive winds), Malarky decides to create a new spell to protect the town.

Malarkey:  I want to use my magic pool [VPP] to modify my Amber Globe spell to put a giant dome over the whole town.  With Megascale, I figure I can make a dome 4 km in diameter.

Pops:  Nah, he's not gonna let you do that.

GM:  (thoughtful pause, smiles)  Sure, you can do that.

Pops:  Uh, oh.  He said yes.  We already know it's not gonna work.


GM:  Are you doing it as a one-and-done - just pay END and it sticks around - or pay END constantly?

Malarkey:  What's the downside to one-and-done?

GM:  The residents of Dover might not be thrilled with their town being under a permanent dome. 

Malarkey:  Good point.  I think I'll pay END to keep it around.


Given a fear of accidentally catching aircraft / helicopters under the dome, Malarkey scales it down to a flat cylinder, 2 km across and just slightly higher than the highest building in town.  When their 15 minute lead time is over, they notice a circle of clouds forming over the woods SE of Dover. 


GM:  Did you ever see The Day After Tomorrow

Pops:  Yeah.  Sucky, stupid movie.

GM:  Well, Chiller really liked it.  Especially the flash-freeze parts.

Pops:  You know there's no way that can happen.  Things can't go that cold, that fast.

GM:  Pops' science background tells him exactly that.  Even if you could suck air down from the tropopause faster than it can warm up, it would still only be something like -50 degrees, rather than -100 like in the movie.  But you're seeing that effect in the woods, so somehow it's happening.  So your guess is someone is helping add some extra chill to the cold air. 

Shadow Boxer:  That would be Chiller.  But he doesn't have that kind of power.

Malarkey:  He might if he had something stolen from the Army.  Something that maybe boosts mutant powers.


The heroes (all except Malarkey, who is maintaining the amber force cylinder to protect the town, and Maker, who is creating a gadget to try and increase pressure and temperature within the cold zone) head to the center of the flash-freeze area to search for Chiller, but find nothing.  Meanwhile, the area is moving about 6m a second toward town.


GM:  Malarkey, you notice that the circle of extreme cold is starting to form cracks in the top of the amber cylinder as it moves across it. 

Pops:  See?  Told you it wouldn't work.


The heroes finally realize Chiller doesn't have to be in the center of the area to help bring the temp lower - he can be anywhere within it.  So Shadow Boxer, Pops, and Honey Badger quickly search the perimiter and spot Chiller, Requiem, Death Commando, and Draconic standing atop the amber cylinder toward the SE edge of the freezing zone.  As the heroes prepare to move in, Shadow Boxer uses his Shadow Sight to spy on the supervillains.

Draconic:  Ooo-eee!  It's colder than a witch's *** up here!  Mah armor's startin' to have system faults.  You can stay if ya want, Chiller, but I've gotta get out of here afore y'all's ride can't go nowhere.


The heroes move in, and Shadow Boxer grabs and squeezes both Requiem and Chiller with his shadow tendrils, while Honey Badger punches Death Commando for little effect except to knock him back a bit.  Draconic responds by reaching out and touching both Requiem and Chiller.


Death Commando:  Oh, no, you little s***!  You are NOT f***ing leaving without me!

Draconic:  (chuckling gleefully)  Then y'all better hurry up, 'cuz the bus is 'bout to pull out!


Death Commando dives forward, grabbing onto Draconic as he activates his teleporter, and the supervillains disappear.


(more to follow)

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Concluding "Chiller Frost" aka "The Weather Bomb"


Requiem's TV announcement gave a 72 hour deadline for the government of Massachusetts to surrender, so a lot of people in Boston figure they'll leave town just in case.  This causes a rash of break-ins at deserted homes and small businesses.


Nexus:  But why are people doing that?
GM:  Because some people generally suck.


There's also a rash of false Deathstroke sightings reported to police, PRIMUS, and Just Cause. 


Shadow Boxer:  Let's trace some of these calls.

GM:  How?

Shadow Boxer:  Just use Caller ID.

GM:  You do realize that it's not all that hard to spoof Caller ID, don't you?  There's an app for that; it doesn't even cost points.


The heroes decide to have their PR guy route all those false calls to the police.


Nexus:  There's a lot more cops than there are of us, and they get paid to deal with this crap.


More disturbing, the Institute for Human Advancement (legitimate front for the mutant-hunting Purity League) uses Deathstroke's latest plot as proof to mouth off about how dangerous all mutants are.  Shortly afterward, Shadow Boxer spots two Purity League Pawns running across a rooftop, then spies on them to notice  one is carrying a different type of scanner than they usually have, and both of their gyrojet rifles have been replaced with laser rifles.  He calls Honey Badger, and the two heroes quickly capture the pair of Pawns.  They discover that the scanner is tech very similar to that of Dr. Draconis (whose early armor Draconic found and is using), and the laser rifles are both designs of Dr. Draconis as well.  They call Circe to help "interrogate" the Pawns.  She uses her Telepathy to view the Pawn's briefing.


Purity League Rook:  We're breaking you into pairs to search Boston and surrounding areas.  Dr. Draconis has graciously given us scanners that will key in on Draconic's armor's neural net, as well as loaning us a few dozen laser rifles to use on Draconic -- apparently, his armor isn't as strong against lasers.  If you locate Draconic or any of Deathstroke, call in and report.  If you run into any of the muties in Just Cause all on their lonesome, you're free to engage.

Shadow Boxer:  Wow, Draconis really doesn't like Draconic, does he?

GM:  This is what happens when the GM rolls a critical success for a Hunted's appearance. 


Maker uses the captured Draconic scanner as a template to make versions for all members of Just Cause, as well as a bunch for PRIMUS.  Unfortunately, a methodical search of the city finds no trace of Draconic.


Malarkey:  There's no reason for any of Deathstroke to be here.  They can be anywhere, and just teleport in right before the deadline.

GM:  Yep.  But in the meantime those Thuggery goons they hired can have fun making prank calls.


Finally, the deadline comes.  Requiem emails a video to various reporters, and a number of them immediately air it. 


Requiem:  People of Massachusetts – you were warned.  Your felonious elected officials had their chance to peacefully and honorably step aside but refused, so it’s readily apparent that they have no concern at all for your welfare.  I deeply regret that you must now pay the price for their avarice and insistence upon retaining the reins of power.


Residents of Boston – let it not be said that Deathstroke is not generous.  We will give you until 8:30 to flee the area, and then we will drop the next Weather Bomb on Boston itself! 


Shadow Boxer:  What time is it now?

GM:  8:00.

Shadow Boxer:  A whole half hour.  Yeah, real generous of them.

Malarkey:  (shrugs)  Anybody that was going to leave has probably already done so.


PRIMUS tells the heroes that a cloud formation similar to that seen at Dover is forming over an area SE of downtown Boston. 

Nexus:  Why not just form it right over downtown?

Honey Badger:  This way they can roll it across the city.  It builds suspense.   Deathstroke knows that being a supervillain is all about... PRESENTATION! (mimicking Megamind)


With the Draconic scanner, the heroes quickly locate Deathstroke.

GM:  The heading and distance indicate they're on Washington, where Summer turns into Winter.
Nexus:  Are those actual streets?  And they intersect?

GM:  Yes, they are, and yes, they do.  As soon as I saw it on the map, I knew I had to use it. 


The map is laid out, showing the intersection.  I ask where the heroes are teleporting in, so I know what they can see before I start placing Deathstroke's counters on the map.


Shadow Boxer:  (looking at the area on Google Maps)  On top of the Millennium Tower.

Maker:  Where's that?

GM:  About a block away, just off the map.  About where [Honey Badger's player]'s arm is.

Honey Badger:  If I move my arm around, does that mean we have to all make DEX rolls or fall off?


From their vantage point, the heroes see 3 members of Deathstroke (Requiem, Chiller, and Draconic) along with a squad of agents.  Chiller is obviously using his powers to create the "Frostnado" (as he likes to call it), and the heroes can see he has a large, bulky backpack with attached gauntlets and control cap.  They call PRIMUS to let them know, and they say they'll route the Jump Jet there with two squads of assault agents plus the Silver Avenger. 


The heroes teleport closer, to the top of a low-walled building protuberance along the front of Macy's.  From there, they see Stinger clinging to the side of the building across the street (on the side opposite the Millennium Tower).  Still no sight of Scatterbrain, Shockwave, or Death Commando, but the heroes decide to move on Chiller to stop him from dropping the Weather Bomb on south Boston.  Besides, Stinger's danger sense has alerted the villains to the heroes' presence.  Scatterbrain locks down Shadow Boxer with "scattered thoughts" (a mental entangle), but none of the other villains react as the heroes each take their first shot at Chiller.  This includes Honey Badger leaping onto Chiller's ice slide and punching him, knocking the villain off the slide and down the street.  He's taken a lot of damage but is still (barely) conscious.


Malarkey:  I use my Sorry, I Broke It spell on Chiller's backpack.  It's a Dispel.

GM:  You know, when I was asking people online for advice and feedback on how to draw the Weather Bomb powers up, someone said that as GM I don't really need to worry about points.  And I pointed out I'm OCD, and besides, it helps to know who many points something is in case someone tries to Dispel it. 

Pops:  And it's a good thing, too.

GM:  I drew it up as the focus for a Multiform, with the alternate form having basically the same number of points he normally has.  But most of his powers in that form have the limitation OIF, so they can be much more powerful for the same cost.

Malarkey:  (rolls well)  I Dispel 96 Active points.  (smiles)  I rolled 7 sixes.

GM:  Ouch.  Sorry.  It's 122 Active points.

Malarkey:  No way I can roll that high.

GM:   You could probably make a Cumulative version in your VPP.

Malarkey:  Nah, that would take too long.  We'll just remove him of his living daylights. 


Once all the heroes have gone in Phase 12, they find out why the villains didn't act yet.  They were waiting for Shockwave (who occupies the dead bottom of the speed sheet).  Stinger wraps Honey Badger in webbing (entangle transparent to damage), and Shockwave then runs out of the front of Macy's.  Requiem, Chiller, Draconic, and Death Commando (who was hiding on another rooftop) all Coordinate attacks on the webbed-up brick.  This not only CON-Stuns Honey Badger, the combined damage nearly puts him unconscious.


Meanwhile, the heroes can hear the PRIMUS Jump Jet arriving just down the street.  The Deathstroke agents all head that way to engage PRIMUS.


Pops:  They're all like, "Yay!  We'll go fight PRIMUS!  You guys got this!  (lower voice)  We do NOT want to get in the middle of THAT!"


The heroes nonetheless stick to their mission and render Chiller unconscious over the next few phases.  They even take a shot while he's down, ensuring he's into GM Discretion-land.  Pops then teleports over to Chiller and grabs him, holding him up like a human shield.   Shockwave runs around behind Pops and tries to blindside him... and rolls 17, a near critical failure.


GM:  See?  Even when their Unluck roll isn't successful, they still find a way to suck.  I'm going to say he clips Chiller, breaking the poor guy's leg. 

Pops:  I yell out, "Not my fault!  He did it!"


While Pops teleports the captured Chiller to the local PRIMUS base, the other heroes face off against the rest of Deathstroke.  What follows is a knock-down, drag out brawl. A recovered Honey Badger leaps onto Draconic's back, grabbing on and squeezing.


Draconic:  Yee-haw!  Let's see which one of us breaks first!  (flies back-first into the ground)

Pops:  Wait, we have Honey Badger with his arms and legs wrapped around Draconic, who is back-thrusting him into the ground.  What are they doing here, shooting a porno?


By then end of the Turn, one more villain (Shockwave) is unconscious, two heroes (Shadow Boxer and Maker) are KO'd, and several others (both hero and villain) are barely on their feet.  Since it's getting late (real-world time), I decide to try ending it.


Draconic (listening to something over the team radio)  What?!  No way I'm saying that!  What are you, old man, some kind of chickens*** pansy-a** wussy-boy?  (looks up to the rooftop where Death Commando is)  Wussy, wussy wussy!

Requiem:  (to Pops)  You seem a reasonable, honorable sort.  I realize that we are no longer able to carry out our plan, but be aware that Death Commando and Scatterbrain have captured Shadow Boxer.  I propose a deal.  You allow us all to leave, and we will turn your friend over to you unharmed.

Pops:  We don't have Chiller any more.  You'll have to talk to PRIMUS about him.

Requiem:  (gritting teeth)  I am aware that my brother is in their clutches.  Unfortunately, I can't do anything about that at this time, so I must accept it.

Pops:  (under his breath)  Besides, he'll probably just walk out of Stronghold's revolving door in a week or so.  (louder)  Okay, fine.  But we may have to wait for those two (gestures at Draconic and Honey Badger) to get done with whatever they're doing first.

Circe:  (hovering about 30m above the battleground)  What?!  You're going to let them go?!  You're just afraid they're going to beat on you next!

Pops:  Yes.  Yes I am.  Because right now I'm the only down here with them.  And if they team up on me like the did to Honey Badger, I'm toast.

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5 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

Shadow Boxer:  Let's trace some of these calls.

GM:  How?

Shadow Boxer:  Just use Caller ID.

GM:  You do realize that it's not all that hard to spoof Caller ID, don't you?  There's an app for that; it doesn't even cost points.

Or you can just turn it off.

My mother even has a issue that caller ID is not working half the time when she wants it too.


Mind you Caller ID is a voluntary thing to begin with. Something you (and your phone provider) choose to allow. And a new-ish thing, having only become widespread with Mobile phones. The less voluntary brother is this:


5 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

Pops:  They're all like, "Yay!  We'll go fight PRIMUS!  You guys got this!  (lower voice)  We do NOT want to get in the middle of THAT!"

Knowing when to leave. The most important skil of a Henchman. And something you usually learn quickly:


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Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask : Job Interview
Nemat: When I called you a slippery little pig yesterday it was not intended as a racial slight.
Onka the Half-orc: It’s OK.

Nemat: You CAN airburst Fireballs, you know.
Zenobia: Thereby getting the target, and anybody tall who’s standing nearby?

Nahkt Shepses has set up a small arena for our test. A small crowd has gathered to spectate - which could be a problem since all of us have magic of one form or another, and many spells are Area of Effect. Nahkt is also doing his best to undermine Sebti in his speech to the crowd.

Nakht Shepses: As you may have heard, the Mausoleum has had a slight disagreement yesterday. I and the Voices of the Spire plan to send our greatest Psychopomps throughout the city to root out this undead menace, and uncover the source of the corruption plaguing our city. Sebti and the Pharasmean priests wish to send these adventurers into the necropolis on a wild goose chase for old compasses!
Crowd: *scattered laughter*
Nahkt: So we shall put these ideas to the sword to see whose is strongest! I do not wish to see more death in this city, so the first to render the other unconscious shall be the victor!

Nahkt is siccing his personal psychopomp and two other servants of his particular sect on us.

GM: Welcome to the miniboss.

He magnanimously gives us a chance to prepare. Zenobia, of course, Blesses the party, and Asrian surrounds herself with illusions of herself and Zenobia silently curses where her imagination takes her. The first Esobok pounces Nemat and gets poked in the eyes. Asrian blinds the Vanth with Glitterdust. Nemat insults all the psychopomps with Blistering Invective.

Zenobia: Does Blistering Invective only affect enemies we know about, and how far away is Nahkt?

Onka casts his first Fireball, and Zenobia protects her lover with Shield Other. More battle magic follows. These psychopomps might be tough - and the Vanth especially - but being Stunned, Blinded, Shaken, and on fire isn’t healthy. And since there’s no information otherwise, they probably return to their native plane still on fire.

Nemat: Summoners are pricks.

GM: At this point the Vanth remembers it has a Fear aura.
Zenobia: I’m afraid of nothing when Asrian is in danger.
Nemat: And I think we have emphatically proven that I’m more scary than a Vanth.
Asrian: We are doing quite well.
Nemat: Well, for one thing it’s not a Rakshasa - that set a high bar for this party.

The Vanth yields, but Nemat is still highly annoyed by the curse he got hit with, and expresses this opinion to the crowd.

Nemat: THIS is what you would unleash on this city? Unthinking creatures that will curse even Wati’s defenders?
Nahkt: You will face much worse in the Necropolis.

Of course Asrian trowels on her own abuse, and Nakht backs down.

Nahkt: I am not unreasonable. I apologise for doubting you.
Nemat: Still cursed here.

Onka: There need to be desert penguins.
Nemat: Bear in mind that the wizard said this, adding more weight to the adage ‘A Wizard Did It’

The next morning we prepare for our expedition into the Necropolis. There are three objectives - the Elegiac Compasses, the Xotl, and a clan of atheist Lamias in the Cenotaph of the Cynic that Nakht blames for the whole problem

Asrian: I suggest meeting the Xotl first - we need allies.
Zenobia: That is wise, my love.
Nemat OoC: And we’re still in the Shadowrun part of the adventure - legwork is important. And the Johnson has already tried to screw us. A bit more experience and they’ll trust us to make our own mistakes.

Of course, the moment we’re in the Necropolis, we’re mobbed by ghouls and zombies. Happily, this only slows us down slightly, and we don’t get overrun. The Xotl, when we find them, and holed up tight, and heavily armed. But not in a shopping mall, or US army chemical waste disposal facility. Their Matriarch, Unwrapped Harmony, is willing to see us, but clearly distrustful of anybody that can walk around in the light of the Daystar without bursting into flame. She’s willing to assist us with information, in return for a service.

Zenobia OoC: Sidequest!
Nemat OoC: It just appeared in my journal.

One of Unwrapped Harmony’s clanmates apparently got a little TOO interested in the rituals of Mummification, and experimented on some of his own people. U.H. wants proof of his death.

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Champions - Return to Edge City - King Arthur Is Public Domain
The Usual Gang of Idiots

Scooter ‘Hero Shrew’ Sorex - Superstrong but not completely stupid manimal
Gareth ‘Hardlight’ Lowell - Geek CEO with hardlight holograms
Allana ‘Superhero Name To Be Announced’ - Literal Batwoman
Chris 'Flux' Jones - Paranoid computer wizard
'Fireflash' Helstrom - And you thought YOUR teenage years were a problem

Black Paladin - Actual Arthurian villain
Talisman - Gritty 90's Reboot of Bewitched
Morningstar - Big Demonic A-hole With a Big Spiky Club
Shadow Dragon: Master of Black Chi

A picture of the week’s villain is posted up. He’s exceptionally bad news, and has allies almost as dangerous.

Hardlight: He looks cool - I like him.
Hardlight: I hate him - let’s kill him.
Flux: Sorry, let’s what???
Hero Shrew: Can we do what they did in that movie?
Hardlight: Sure, what movie?
Hero Shrew: Where they cut his arms and legs off and he says it’s only a flesh wound.
GM: You’re joking, but this guy knew and HATES King Arthur.
Hero Shrew: Who said I was joking?

Allana intercepts the Paladin and his flying Destrier, scoops them up with her wings, and slaps them hard into the ground. Right next to Fireflash.

GM: Let’s hope the steed’s barding works.
Black Paladin: My thanks! *drawing his sword, Eater of Shadows, and slashing at Fireflash, who gets her forcefield up only just in time* Interesting!

Evidently Black Paladin was looking forward to a mildly challenging fight.

Hero Shrew: This is going to be expensive for the city. But if we can take him down it’ll be worth it.
GM: Or just driving him away. Thwarting counts too.
Fireflash: And we’re pretty good at thwarting people.
Hero Shrew: Frustrating is not the same as Thwarting.

Hardlight: Old-fashioned are you? Very well - PHOTON BLADE!
GM: With your DEX of 15? This will be hilarious.
Hero Shrew: Are you going to do the WHUMM WHUMM noises too?

He actually manages to hit the bastard too - perhaps the Black Paladin wasn’t expecting lightsabres.

GM: You actually cut him - guess who’s his bitch next round? He’s not Stunned.
Hero Shrew: Surprised, maybe, that Gareth of all people managed to injure him.
Black Paladin: You cut me. YOU CUT ME!
Hero Shrew: It’s only a flesh wound!

Hardlight hurriedly turns his photon blade into armour, and just in time - it even holds up to the knight’s blade.

Flux: You realise you’re just making more trouble for yourself? You managed to hit him with a sword and then your shield was better than his.

Morningstar, Shadow Dragon and Talisman emerge from wisps of black smoke. And another combatant enters the field,crashing through the fence around Weyland’s smithery! Some kind of golem, but not the iron one we saw patrolling earlier.

Hero Shrew: Uh oh.
Fireflash: And I imagine they’re not very happy with me.
Morningstar: ROUND TWO!
GM: Morningstar was given orders - lets see if he follows them.

Morningstar puts everything into a charge against Hero Shrew, but Scooter isn’t even stunned, bouncing back to his feet and grinning hugely in anticipation of a fight where he doesn’t have to hold back. Shadow Dragon generates a field of blackness, to see if Fireflash is vulnerable to such - just as well he didn’t target Hardlight, who very much IS vulnerable to shadow attacks. Of course the Paladin’s ‘horse’ Darkling wants to get in on the fun too, and Battle Taxis Talisman over next to Flux.

Flux: …. Hello?
Talisman: Hello.

Morningstar come over to say hi too, and Flux is soon held by the throat. Not ideal. Especially when Shadow Dragon cloaks the five of them in more shadow.

Hero Shrew: Well, guess I’ll have to punch Black Paladin in the kidneys instead then.

The battle that ensues doesn’t go as planned for anybody - every time the heroes try to pair off against an appropriate opponent, the bad guys instead switch their attentions to an increasingly panicky Flux who is only barely avoiding them by teleporting along the chain-link fence. We DO learn that Allana’s echolocation can see through Shadow Dragon’s darkness powers perfectly well, which is unfortunate for Shadow Dragon.

Fireflash: Take out the minions! Black Paladin is too dangerous to take on when he has help!
Allana: He’s only inflicted a single point of stun so far.

Black Paladin: Really Miss Helstrom, you really think your powers are enough to deal with me?

Hero Shrew keeps running out of nearby opponents.

Hero Shrew: Guess I’m punching the horse.

Yet another complication arises - somebody is trying to snipe Talisman with magical blasts. And ANOTHER mystery sniper shoots Hero Shrew, with an armour-piercing rifle.

Hero Shrew: ****ing OW! That ****ing hurt!

Allana proves that unnatural horses do indeed make good improvised weapons by using Darkling the Destrier as one against Talisman, before that sniper with the high-powered rifle tries to shoot her in the head too. There certainly seems to a pattern forming here - they’re using deadly attacks on the rest of us, but only Entangles and Grabs on Flux. Add to that hiring Weyland Smith to make those demon-enhanced exo-suits, and trying to forcibly recruit Guiltrider, it looks like they’re really here to kidnap Flux.

GM: I want you, I want you, I want you as a new recruit!
Flux: Save the technomancer, dammit!
Talisman: Look, just ring his bell long enough for me to take him!
Black Paladin: Very well, my sweet.

Shadow Dragon plays possum, and is nearly killed by Fireflash when she spots him trying to sneak away.

GM: Good thing you saw the blood splatter when the first part of the blast hit him, and pulled back your attack. ‘What the- I could have killed him!’

Hardlight bubbles Morningstar - although that might be just to stop Hero Shrew from kicking his head off - but it seems Talisman has giving up on the fight, and teleports her gang away, even out of the anti-teleport bubble.

Black Paladin: Dear - we will have words about this.

GM: Congratulations - you survived combat with the Dark Kingdom.
Hero Shrew: *swaying a bit* So, who’s hurt?
Flux: Nobody on our team.
Fireflash: Yes we are, he cut me!
Hero Shrew: *swaying more* That’s nice.
GM: And now the rest of you realise Scooter was shot.

It’s true - that sniper with the armour-piercing rifle hurt him quite badly, even if his later bullets just bounced off Allana. Just as well there's an angel floating around dispensing healing. Where did that come from, exactly? Perhaps that other, magical, sniper, that was taking potshots at the bad guys.

Hero Shrew: Somebody was shooting at Talisman while she was all transparent, and I don’t think it was any of us. Anybody know who that was?
Allana: *looking down the alleyway with her echolocation*
Mystery Wizard: Oh crap. Well, time to reveal myself.
Hero Shrew: Do we have to fight you now?
Mystery Wizard: No, why would you do that?
Hero Shrew: I don’t know - I’ve lost a lot of blood and I’m not thinking very clearly.
Mystery Wizard: An associate warned me that a great evil would be worked tonight.
Allana: Just a minute, I need to check whether Weyland was in that burning building.
Mystery Wizard: Oh, he was. At first I thought it was him that would perpetrate the evil. Then I thought it would be the cultists. But then, of course, the Black Paladin showed his hand.

We really don’t want another fight right now, and after a cryptic warning to his fellow Magus, the wizard and a large not-a-husky leave through a magical portal.

Fireflash: Anything else we need to do tonight?
Flux: I know a great Shawarma place.

But while on the subject of roasted meat, we check the burning building for the body of Weyland Smith. By the looks of it, he burned from the inside out. A bit odd, although it seems likely he told his associates that we had been sniffing around, so they could plan the ambush. Scooter notices that there are an awful lot of crows hanging around, despite the late hour.

Hero Shrew: You can’t eat him, he’s evidence!

Flux suspects this is all related to an recent unpleasant incident in Millennium City, involving the Black Paladin, Talisman, the resurrection of the Paladin’s long-dead lover, and a couple of people unwillingly transformed into servants. And Shadow Dragon was calling Black Paladin ‘Master’, instead of ‘Boss’. All very worrying, especially if Black Paladin is trying to add Flux to his collection.

Flux: That’s it, I’m building a Faraday Cage when I get back to the base - guess where I’M sleeping tonight!

Hero Shrew: So, Black Paladin and his minions are playing Pokemon Go and they’re collecting Mage types.
Fireflash: … Yeah that about describes it.
Hero Shrew: And apparently they have a sniper now, too.
Flux: I don’t remember seeing a sniper.
Hero Shrew: I can show you the hole in my side, and I’m telling you it wasn’t moths.

Hero Shrew: You want to send Witchcraft a text message? ‘You sister is collecting mages for her boyfriend’?

GM: The more effort you put into making a force bubble teleport-proof, the easier it is to just punch your way out.
Hero Shrew: Which is why you break their arms and legs first, THEN put them in a force-bubble.

We should probably ask the Voodoo Crew if anybody tried to recruit or kidnap them. And find out exactly how many more of those demon-enhanced exo-suits might be out there. The odds are there are at least 7 more.

Hero Shrew: We can’t even ask Weyland Sandford how many of the exo-suits he modified.
Flux: Sure we can, we know the Voodoo Crew.
Allana: OK, let’s change that to ‘we can, but probably shouldn’t’.

And of course, we’re not sure why the DEMON cultists showed up - it’s possible they were here to recruit Weyland too.

Fireflash: And it means there’s a DEMON base around here too, so we should probably find that and bring the hammer down.
GM: That’ll be entertaining - they LOVE using Christian churches as a front.
Hero Shrew: They don’t even have the common decency of pretending to be Scientologists so we don’t have to feel bad about levelling the building.
GM: Not even DEMON messes with the Church of Scientology.

But psychometric readings of their glowy sticks proves we got them them all already - this team of cultists were probably here to set up a cell in Edge City, so we’ve set them back badly.

Why does the Black Paladin want animated suits of armour anyway? And does it relate to his purported personal knowledge of King Arthur et al.?

Allana: The evil knights … of the pentagon table… or whatever.

Hero Shrew talks with the cops, since the other four members are too distracted to notice.

Hero Shrew: Hi guys. We got these guys, but Black Paladin, Talisman, and the other two got away.
ECPD: Other two?
Hero Shrew: Yeah, Dragon Boy and … Morningstar? Shadow Dragon! That’s it. But we got these guys and their glowy sticks. Oh, and we found a body in the wreckage there, but honestly I’m not sure it’s the real thing, so if we can be there for the autopsy, that’d be dandy.
Hardlight: Oh Christ, Scooter is talking to the police. *runs over*
Hero Shrew: I mean, if I knew Black Paladin and DEMON were after me, I’d fake my own death and get out of town, wouldn’t you?
ECPD: No comment.
Allana: Oh Christ, Hardlight is talking to the police. *runs over*
Flux: She hasn’t been with us that long, how does she know that ‘Scooter and Gareth talking to the cops’ is a Code Scarlet situation?

What is Black Paladin up to?

Hardlight: Well, we’ll ask him next time we see him - I’m sure he’ll monologue about it for ten minutes.
GM: No he won’t - he’ll just put his sword through you.
Hero Shrew: Can we get a clue from his Amazon wishlist?
Flux: Can you imagine if villains really did maintain a social media profile?
Hero Shrew: I’m damn sure Foxbat does.

Flux checks his magical tablet for any info on the Paladin, recorded in the Akashic Record. Apparently he’s the real deal - a genuine enemy of Camelot.

Allana: Is he trying to set up his own version of Arthur’s Court?
Hero Shrew: What’s the opposite of Round?
Fireflash: Square?
Hero Shrew: Donut? They all sit in the middle.
Allana: But the point of the Round Table was equality.
GM: Yeah, not really the Black Paladin’s thing.

GM: Galahad’s still around though. In Stronghold Prison.
Hero Shrew: Wait, what?
GM: For one hundred counts of murder. Sure he was mind-controlled at the time, but he plead guilty to all charges. He says that he would never have succumbed to the mind-control if there wasn’t some flaw in his character.

We should probably ask him about the Black Paladin.

Hero Shrew: We don’t need face to face, video interview will do.
GM: Nope. They don’t let tech near some of the super-criminals on that level.
Flux: There are villains that can jump via transmissions.
Hero Shrew: You, for example.
Flux: They don’t let me NEAR where they keep supervillains.

Flux: Who would he think are suitable recruits for the Knights of the Anti-round?
Hero Shrew: Knights of the Donut.
GM: At a guess, Lightning Man, Cloaca-
Hero Shrew: … What?
Allana: An unpleasant individual to be around.
GM: It just means ‘dark’. And somebody, not Talisman, to be court wizard. Talisman is his Queen.
Hero Shrew: Are Lightning Man and Cloaca in custody?
GM: Hell no.
Allana: Lightning Man keeps getting into cockfights with somebody in Brisbane. He’s one of about 4 Australian superhumans.

There’s a few other candidates out there, but most of them are too independent of character to submit to Black Paladin’s leadership. The fact that Black Paladin is currently the Earthly Champion of Baphomet rules out some of the others too. Of course, Morningstar and Shadow Dragon were behaving a little oddly, so they might not get a choice in the matter. The ideal candidate would be Professor Muerte, but he’s been dead for years - sealed into his armour by a minion and dumped into the Pacific.

And Talisman and Shadow Dragon were recently spotted on a boat off Baja, heading out to sea.

Hero Shrew: F***!!!

But that was a month ago, shortly after that other resurrection ritual they successfully did. And there’s another link we know about too - the mercenary Killzone regarded Muerte as a father figure, and her Doom Troopers are the last remnant of Muerte’s organisation Terror Inc.

Fireflash’s research finally unearths an alarming fact - it’s not ten exo-suits that have vanished off the books - it’s fifty. She has brilliant idea - the exo-armour may have vanished off the face of the earth, but they’re still going to need specialist tools for maintenance. And the synthetic muscle will need feeding.

GM: ‘It’s your job to keep these suits running’ ‘Do I have a budget?’ ‘No’ ‘... You realise I’ll have to steal the stuff I need, right?’ ‘I don’t care’. And Tyrell Corp recently had one of their Robot Maintenance workshops raided.

At least we’re on good terms with the ECPD, although they may look askance at Flux doing rituals in their evidence locker.

Flux: ‘What’s he doing with that rubber chicken?’
GM: No no no - he might be a technomage, but the last time he used a rubber chicken it went cluck.

The ritual apparently conjures up a living canine Tamagotchi sprite, which escapes through a phoneline.

Hero Shrew: What the hell was that?
Flux: Ask me again in about 14 hours.

It also tracks down the stolen tools to part of Old Monterey. And something in Old Monterey sets off the zombie detector that Flux made for Hero Shrew, after that whole incident at the shopping mall.

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Playing Blackstone Fortress - one of the PCs is playing the Kroot Mercenary, and another the Navigator


Me: No wonder the Kroot is sticking close to the Navigator. The Kroot are directing their own evolution, by assimilating useful genetic traits from the species they eat. So if the Kroot eat enough Navigators, they'll acquire the Navigator gene and they'll be able to use Warp-travel properly. So if you happen to lose an arm while we're in the fortress, don't ask the Kroot what happened to it.

Kroot: Can't you spare a finger?

Navigator: I've got a finger for you right here.


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