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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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Player: "I roll to seduce to the door."

 

DM: < rolls eyes at the player who wants to roll to seduce everything > "Fine, roll."

 

< player rolls a natural 20 >

 

DM: "It doesn't work."

 

Player: "If it wasn't going to work, why let me roll in the first place? My dad says, "If you don't want the players to do it, don't let them roll for it."

 

DM, slightly exasperated: "Okay, you would have seduced the door if it was conscious. But since it isn't, you just talk dirty to a f----ing door in front of your very concerned party."

 

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9 hours ago, archer said:

Player: "I roll to seduce to the door."

 

DM: < rolls eyes at the player who wants to roll to seduce everything > "Fine, roll."

 

< player rolls a natural 20 >

 

DM: "It doesn't work."

 

Player: "If it wasn't going to work, why let me roll in the first place? My dad says, "If you don't want the players to do it, don't let them roll for it."

 

DM, slightly exasperated: "Okay, you would have seduced the door if it was conscious. But since it isn't, you just talk dirty to a f----ing door in front of your very concerned party."

 

 

Hey, maybe the door doesn't swing that way...  :winkgrin:

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Our heroes are running from a base and it's starting to blow up behind them. They see a helicopter and race for it, following the lead of another hero. They get in and finally ask, "Does anyone know how to pilot this?" The leading hero says, "No, but how hard can it be?"  (They get of the ground as the base blows up but later make a crash landing.)

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A playtest of a D&D game, set in Virginia during the American Civil War, February 1862, playing as Union soldiers and associates hunting down what are effectively land-based privateers.

Me: So basically we’re hunting down an adventuring party.

The Willis Gang used to be ‘bountyhunters’, but have now graduated to general brigandage. We’re playing McAllister’s Scouts and assorted Unionist locals. The brigand’s camp is up in the mountains, and despite the fog we can see they have a number of horses hitched up.

Andy McClintoch: *turns to Injun Joe* Your lot steal horses, don’t they?
Injun Joe: ಠ_ಠ

The lawman attached to the party, one William ‘Bull’ McClintoch and brother of Andy, says he’ll go in first and try to end this peaceful, like. The rest of us exchange glances and prepare covering fire.

‘Bull’: I am the Law! Stand and deliver! Wait, that’s not the law.
Andy OoC: Exact opposite, really.
Module’s writer: In response you get a mouthful of stuff we can no longer say in this shop.

Bull shoots Willis’ pistol out of his hand, grapples him, and cuffs him in one round.

Andy: That’s my brother.

There’s somebody else in the building that the bushwhackers are holed up in - one Major George Planter, who tried to take over the town for the Confederacy at the start of the war. He sounds a bit upset about our arrival. Andy discovers the half-hidden back exit on the cabin, and grins. While the rest of the scouts set the cabin on fire, and try to bash in the front door, some of us will be lurking near their escape route waiting for the Major and his allies to sneak out. It helps that in bear country, the doors open outwards and the hinges are on the outside.

Of course, the cave mouth in the hillside near the campsite is probably going to be relevant. Especially since it’s full of Confederate troops. Still, we manage to pull a victory out of our collective arses - Buck & Shot ammunition is a useful thing for firing into crowded cabins and caves. Bayonet training is also handy.

Andy: I got no problems about stabbing a rebel in the back. My brother might, but I ain’t him.

The surviving bushwackers and Confederates in the cabin are choking on smoke in the cabin while we help ourselves to the coffee they had brewing on the fire outside. The wounded corporal in the cave is a McClintoch cousin.

Bull: Went and joined the Confederates, did ya?
Cousin Reb: They were mighty convincin’.
Bull: Well, don’t give me any trouble and I’ll get you some coffee.

Then Bull finds the pen of ‘contraband’ in the back of the cave, and elbows his cousin unconscious.

Bull: On second thoughts, no coffee for you.

There’s a white boy in here too, carrying a satchel with letters of commission for company officers under Planter’s command, and some useful letters from the Confederate governor.

Andy: Hey! You guys in the cabin! You know we hang bushwhackers, right? But if you come out dressed as rebels we have to treat you fairly.
GM: They don’t have any spare uniforms.
Andy: I know >:D

 

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Nemat OoC: I apologise for forgetting I had Silence, when we were temporarily playing Pitch Black.

As we harvest the dead Yrthaks for body parts and trophies, there’s some argument about whether their sonic weapon is a horn, or something else. Since they’re covered in skin instead of keratin, we decide that they must be related to giraffes.

Deserts are also so quiet that we hear a distant commotion, far across the wasteland. Climbing to the top of the nearest hill and getting out the spy-glasses, we can see distant campfires and the shape of numerous people running around in some uproar. But it’s so far away that even running, it would take hours to get there.

Zenobia: I knew we should have bought those Speedy Camels from Crazy Hassan.
GM: Crazy Hassan only shows up when people really, really need him.
Zenobia: Ah, so if he doesn’t show up there was no real reason for us to hurry.

Onka: Breakfast first. We should have kept some of that meat.
GM: You want to eat Yrthak?
Zenobia: …. I’m not really sure I want to.
Nemat: As a general rule, don’t eat anything listed as ‘Aberration’.

It was a nomad camp, and there are survivors. They’re wary - probably because one of us is a gnoll and we’re only carrying one small tent - but they don’t attack us on sight. They’re understandably more concerned about a second attack by the land-sharks that chewed them up last night. Multiple land-sharks, which is really unusual for these normally solitary monsters. Nemat determines which way they went, while Zenobia patches up the wounded.

GM: You MAYBE might be able to create a Bulette if you have a big armadillo, a big snapping turtle, a bunch of spells, and some demon ichor.
Zenobia OoC: It doesn’t just take a romantic evening, a few bottles of wine, and some lube?

The Bulettes get identified as B1 and B2.

Zenobia OoC: They’re bulettes, in pantalettes, and they’re coming down the stairs.

Of course, there’s still the problem of trying to find anything out here, let alone mapping it. Sending Onka up in a hot-air balloon a few times a day can only get us so far, and we can hardly tow him along behind us.

Nemat OoC: As I said previous session, I’d really like our GM to be familiar with compass directions.
Zenobia: We need to commision some kind of marker obelisks out here.

It would probably be worth the expense of enchanting them with Continual Flame, so people can find them at night. Our next encounter is a village of Maftet, a curious race related to sphinxkind. They’re not supposed to be found in flat country like this.

Maftet: Who are you? What is your business?
Nemat: Our goals are three - to end the machinations of the cult determined to resurrect the Forgotten Pharaoh, to return the effects of a dead scorpion-man to his tribe, and to talk to you. This doesn’t seem to your usual kind of country.
Maftet: It isn’t. Drop your weapons and wait here.
Zenobia: We haven’t drawn any.
Onka: And we’re all spellcasters.
Nemat: I can stick my fingers in my ears and go lalalala if that will make you more comfortable.

They’re quite interested to hear we’re seeking the Forgotten Pharaoh, suspect we’re seeking the temple of the Faceless Sphinx, but are reluctant to tell us any more unless we can prove our worth. We’re happy to tell them everything we’ve been up to for the last year, and they're glad that their friend Tetisurah the sphinx survived her run-in with the cult.

GM: how to phrase to the next bit … blah blah, you sound pretty awesome, can you give us some assistance too?
Nemat: That’s why we came here.
Maftet: Also, if I were you I’d burn that scorpion-man’s belongings - they’re mercenaries hired by the cult.

The Maftet have a problem with giant, horned, red-skinned fiery humanoids blocking access to one of their temples. Asrian is not happy, since these are clearly ifriti, a kind of djinn.

Zenobia: I won’t let them hurt you.
Asrian: I’m not afraid of being hurt, I don’t want them changing me again!

Zenobia: Onka, try and stand back a bit when I call down a Holy Smite.
Nemat: Yes, your somewhat flexible morals leave you vulnerable to heavenly fire.

The ifrit try to intimidate us with a wall of fire. We’re not impressed, since Zenobia cast Resist Energy on of us earlier.

Nemat: We wish to parlay.
Ifrit: Parlay? What could you possibly offer us?
Nemat: Your lives. Let us talk face to face.
Entire Party: *step through the flame without taking a point of damage*
Ifrit: Um.
Nemat: Shall we talk now?
Ifrit: Uh … let me go get Kixexa.
Nemat: Thank you.
Onka: Is he gone yet? That singed my underwear.

He comes back with two others, Kixexa, who is clearly fiery in nature, and one Picasi who is blue, and looks like more of a problem if we rely on our fire resistance.

Nemat: I come as an Inquisitor of Wadjet, and Living Monolith of the Temple of Chisisek. I come negotiate access to the temple of Sekhmet for legitimate worshippers.
Kixexa: The temple of who?
Nemat: *launches into an extended explanation of Wadjet, Chisisek, the River Sphinx, etc etc etc.*
GM: You don’t need to explain this.
Nemat OoC: Yes I do, this is Nemat talking.

Nemat: Sekhmet? The goddess of fire, vengeance and war! Are you seriously trying to tell me you’re living in her temple and none of you worship her?
Kixexa: Well, she’s cool, but we don’t worship her.
Nemat: Shall I tell you the story of her first visit to the world?
GM: Time for another TED talk.

Picasa seems to be the more level-headed of the pair. Possibly the story of how Sekhmet got her jets cooled will help her deal with her angry counterpart. Large amounts of beer were involved.

Nemat: I could give you the primer on the worship of Sekhmet, but I’m a follower of Wadjet.
Onka: And we don’t have four hours.
Nemat: … I’d only have four hours?

Nemat convinces them that actually operating the temple properly, and thereby attract worshippers, and caravans, and tithes, is probably better than chasing off anybody that comes near it. An ice spell on a nearby rock, on the way out, proves that we came loaded for bear.

Nemat: Remind me to tell the Maftet that the nomad camp has Ice Bolts for sale.

Of course the procession of humanoid skeletons carrying a palanquin that we run into on the walk back might be distracting. The passenger is a Div - a race of evil Outsiders. We’ve run into one before and they didn’t make a good impression.

Asrian: This guy dies.
GM: It looks like he thinks you’ll be perfect minions. The procession is coming towards you.
Zenobia: Maybe he saw the gnoll in our party and assumed we’re evil.

Div: Oh ho ho, more things to add to the collection!
GM: He’s Neutral Stupid - his first action is to demand your obedience.
Party: *look at each other and burst out laughing*
Onka: Fireball.
Div: Wait, What????

The spell destroys the skeleton minions.

Div: Well, if you’re going to be that way, I’ll just make some more!

He attempts to turn Asrian into a bunny rabbit. It doesn’t work.

Div: *looks down at his finger* That usually works.

It certainly worked in the other game some of the players are involved in, where the PCs Polymorphed Cthulhu into a bunny. Happily it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. The rest of the battle does not go so much in our favour - Sepid Divs are powerful spellcasters, and shrug off most attacks, even after we break his jaw and disembowel him. Onka is mortally wounded, and the rest of us are not much better. Only Asrian is still standing by the time she manages to finally kill the creature.

Onka: *after using Hero Points and massively applications of healing magic from Zenobia* I don’t like being dead. On the plus side there’s a Feat I can take now.

The Div was also carrying an insane amount of stuff in the palanquin with him. So much that we’re going to have to dump a lot of our own coinage just to handle the weight.

Zenobia: Those poor skeletons. At least we can tell the Maftet where to find it so they can pay the tithe at the Sekhmet temple.
Nemat: …. In pennies. Fine. I’m not carrying 16,000 copper coins anyway - just dump them on the palanquin.

Zenobia OoC: Those cultists won’t know what hit them when we catch up. Because we’ve picked up so much XP in the last few days, and I bet THEY haven’t been running all over the desert on sidequests.

The Covenant of Wati have narrowly avoided a TPK at the hands of the Sepid Div.

Zenobia OoC: SEPID Div, not Tepid Div.
Onka OoC: Well, it COULD be lukewarm.

GM: If you WERE riding horses, they’d at least have names.
Nemat OoC: ‘rode through the desert on a horse with no legs’ wait, that doesn’t work.

Zenobia: When we get back to civilisation we’ll send a priest of Sekhmet out here.
Nemat: A priest and an inquisitor.
Zenobia: Oh?
Nemat: Inquisitors are better at converting people.

We return to the waiting nomads and their spokesperson, Erayu, who offers his gratitude, hospitality, and information.

Erayu: You have indeed proven your worth. It takes strength and purpose to survive the Parched Dunes, and I see now that you have both.
Nemat OoC: I’m not going to tell him I don’t eat or drink anymore.
Erayu: I thank you, and I will help you in your quest.We lived for many generations in the shadow of the Sightless Sphinx, guarding and preserving it, though never entering it, for ancient evil lingered within its crumbling walls. But several of our younger kin, led by a rash youth named Userib, decided to explore the Sphinx. Of the dozen who ventured within, only one returned, her face white with fear. She told us that Userib had awakened the evil within the Sphinx and that it had corrupted him and the others. Her words held truth, for before we could
initiate a rescue, Userib and his followers attacked. Many of my tribe fell under their assault, leaving us no choice but to abandon the Sphinx. I could say that in our weakened condition, and with the children to consider, we could not expect to win the day in an attack on the Sphinx. This would be true. But it is also true that our own kin still reside within the Sphinx. Can they be saved and returned to the pride? I do not know. I cannot imagine facing those we have raised from birth and making the decision to end their lives. You are strong and I believe you are worthy souls. We shall direct you to the Sightless Sphinx. May Sekhmet grant you power in battle, and Thoth give you the wisdom to do what is necessary.
Zenobia: *hopefully* Does that mean we try and take them alive?
Asrian: Corrupted usually means we cut them into little pieces.
Nemat: Generally, but the goddess Saranrae wants us to at least give them a chance.
Zenobia: I can understand the need to kill some things swiftly, but when my goddess AND the relatives of the target ask me not to, I feel bad about not obliging them.

We eventually find a ravine, stuffed with cultists, and some kind of big metal statue thing. They do have a few sentries on duty, but they were looking the wrong way as we crept up.

Zenobia OoC: I come from a long line of sneaky desert ambushers. To my regret.

Zenobia: Is anybody else wondering who erected a statue at the bottom a ravine?

It’s a good question, but not worth pursuing until we’ve dealt with the cultists. Happily, when these cultist explode they have a tendency to set off their comrades as well.

Asrian: What idiot makes a Wand of Prestidigitation?
Zenobia: An apprentice learning how to make wands?
Nemat: No no, this is somebody’s doctoral thesis. ‘Seriously? I have to make a wand? Ok then. Here’s a wand. I’m not one of you rich bastards, I had to scrape together every coin to get into this school, and you expect me to pay for all the materials for this too?’
Examining Panel of Wizards: Is there an activating word?
Nemat: ‘No, just a gesture - extend your middle finger’
Examining Panel of Wizards: … alrighty then.

The statue is clearly some kind of automata, and Zenobia finds a button on the back. The design suggests it served the ancient Osiriani, and used Shory technology (the people the Forgotten Pharaoh declared war on) and we do have that power core we found earlier. We decide to risk pressing the button, and the back opens up, feeling what anybody not living in a fantasy setting would recognise as a cockpit. Onka decides to climb in, insert the power core, and pull a few levers. We pass up a few days of rations, and Onka’s Scroll of Teleportation, just in case.

Nemat: Can you hear us in there?
Onka’s Amplified Voice: YES.
GM: Why did this game give you a mecha suit?

But it should give anybody at the Sightless Sphinx a nasty surprise - such as the scorpion-men on guard.At least we can return the belongings of that dead mercenary we found.

Nemat: At some point I need to sit down and list all the kinds of undead you can get from improper burial.

Asrian: Hello there! May I discuss two points of interest with you?
Scorpion-man: Go away! This area is off-limits!
Asrian: That’s one of the things we need to discuss - the other is more intimate!
Zenobia OoC: ‘We don’t do humanoids!’

Scorpion-man: You wish to parley? I give you one minute to state your case.
Asrian: Simply, we found the body of your kinsman.
Nemat: And for the past half-month we’ve been carrying his stuff, wishing to return it to his people. His remains we buried under a cairn.
Scorpion-man: So Dakuri didn’t make it then. The sands are treacherous.
Nemat: But we did avenge his death, by destroying the creatures that killed him.
Asrian: There are many dangerous things in the desert - which right now includes us. We know you’ve been hired by the cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh. They are our enemy. We will be entering that temple to destroy them. But we’d rather not go through you first. We know you are an honourable people, but in this circumstance you are on the wrong side.

It also helps that Nemat knows how the scorpion-men were treated during the era of the ancient Osiriani.

Nemat: You do know you’re working on behalf of Hakotep the First, right?
Scorpion-man: Hakotep?
Nemat: Yes, Hakotep. The Sky Pharoah?
Scorpion-man: *swears violently*

The scorpion people certainly remember how the Sky Pharoah treated anybody who wasn’t human. So will the late Dakuri’s aunt.

Scorpion-man: Do you have a place we can talk further? They’ll be changing the shift soon.
Nemat: We’ve got the Iron Spike of Safe Passage and the Adventurer’s Pavilion. Look for the hill that wasn’t there yesterday. It still won’t be.

Nemat: May I make a suggestion? Tell the cultists that it is a holy night and you all have to carry out a ritual for the gods.
Asrian: I’m sure Nemat can forge some convincing religious texts.
Zenobia: Why forge them? Your knowledge of the old gods is comprehensive enough - it must be a holy night for somebody.
Rubila: You are a crafty one, for a human.
Nemat: I’m sorry?
Rubila: Former human?
Nemat: *holds up his Uraeus symbol, symbol of Wadjet*
Rubila: Ah, that explains it.

And Onka can reinforce the forgery with a Contagious Lie spell, even if the Forgotten Pharaoh himself is in the temple and checks it against his first-hand knowledge of ancient religion.

Nemat: Just burn these documents later, I don’t want this to become an ACTUAL religious observance next year.

GM: And you’ve talked your way past another threat. *sigh* Get 2500XP. Each.
Asrian: Fear our diplomancy!
Nemat: For it is strong!

 



 

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Champions - Return to Edge City : The Valhalla Invitational
Since this session is at a superheroic martial arts tournament, Weldun prepared 16 different characters for us to play instead of our usual characters.

GM: If I ever try to do something like this again, shoot me.

The organisers have set up an arena near the Laguna complex.

Hero Shrew: Right, where we had the zombie problem.
GM: It was two zombies!
Hero Shrew: Two zombies are still a problem!
Fireflash: He’s not wrong.
GM: They weren’t even the kind that bite and turn you!
Hero Shrew: I’m still not convinced about that - we just didn’t let them bite us.
Flux: He’d better stay away from my lab, is all I can say

Makoto warns us not to mess things up - not only will it reflect badly on her, but we’ll annoy some very capable fighters, and the organisers of subsequent invitationals.

Makoto: Aw, DD wasn’t invited this year? That’s so disappointing!
Hero Shrew: … Doctor Destroyer?
Makoto: No, Disco Dude!

She is shocked to see Bobby Coffin among the contestants - he got caught using drugged boxing gloves in a match last year, went he one-punched his opponent and the referee fell unconscious when he lifted Bobby Coffin’s hand to announce the winner.

Allana: He was probably framed, because putting contact poison on your gloves when you gaurd your face with the same gloves is just retarded.

01 - Lu Deng (Danny Lu) - Kung Fu w/ Flaming Ki powers and abilities similar to "The Glow" of Bushido's higher-ups. Owner and Proprietor of the Eight Lanterns Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco.
02 - Makoto - Shorinji Kempo w/ Psychokinetic abilities. Three time champion of the Valhalla Invitational.
03 - Manni - Personal System (A mix of Parkour and Capoeira). Brazillian fighter with a knack for spotting an opponent's weaknesses.
04 - Sunblade - Personal System (A mix of Krabi-Krabong, Muay Lert Rit and Shotokan Karate). Canadian fighter of mixed Japanese and Thai decent.
05 - The Paindancer - Professional Wrestling. Dirty fighter and general jerkface.
06 - Junzo Izumo - Sumo. Disgraced Sumotori w/ gambling problem.
07 - Tabytha- White Tiger Kung Fu w/ Pyrokinesis. Tiger Moreau.
08 - Winter - Obscure but vicious style. "Wolf Moreau"
09 - Bobby Coffin - Personal School of Boxing. Disgraced Boxer.
10 - Elliott Espinosa - Western Kickboxing. Fun-loving Florida lad with an interest in occult mysteries.
11 - Green Dragon - Kung Fu. Martial Arts Supervillain.
12 - Shogun - Personal System (Gingaken). Leader of the Zone Gang, Bushido, and master of "The Glow".
13 - Fang - Snake-style Kung Fu. Mysterious warrior in identity-concealing costume.
14 - Rikki - Mongoose style. Member of Project Mongoose to boot.
15 - Zack - Savate w/ minor telepathy. Moreau Honey Possum. (?????!!!)
16 - Ghost Shadow - Taijustsu. Weeaboo and Ninja of the Six Teens.



There’s a couple of names in the line-up we recognise, including the current leader of the Bushido gang, and Ghost Shadow, one of the Six Teens.

Fireflash: Hey, it’s the weeaboo.
Makoto: PLEASE DON’T MESS UP THE TOURNAMENT.
Hero Shrew: If we run into him we’ll just say we’re after the dangerous people.

Flux intends to hold up a Bring Back Naruto sign whenever Ghost Shadow is in the ring.

One of the competitors is a honey possum Moreau.

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Green Dragon: and Lu Deng are not matched against each other, which is just as well since Lu Deng is dating Green Dragon’s sister, and she’s in the audience, regardless of what Green Dragon thinks about THAT.

One of the first matches is Manni vs. the disgraced sumo.

Manni: Come on, you fat freak!

Manni is promptly flattened, pinned, and sat on. Unsurprisingly, Makoto deals with her opponent, Fang, with her first combo move.

GM: Honestly Fang had no right to be in this tournament.
Allana: And he’s up against the three-time champion.
GM: He never should have got an invite.

Hardlight: We’re in the audience, right? In our heroic identities?
Allana: Somebody choke him out, because he’s thinking of something and it won’t be good.

A surprise development in the Lu Deng vs. Bobby Coffin match - Bobby’s junkyard boxing style nearly punches the flame-blasting Kung Fu master out of the ring.

Lu Deng: THIS is how you throw a punch! *flaming overhead strike*
Bobby Coffin: *blocks the strike easily* And this is how you block one.
Lu Deng: I should stop announcing my strikes.
GM: At least Lu Deng didn’t set the ropes or mat on fire.
Hero Shrew: Seriously, Bobby needs to dunk that guy in the water bucket when he’s done.
Flux: Hardlight is taking notes.
Lu Deng: *leg sweep!*
Bobby Coffin: Too slow!
Lu Deng: 0_0
Green Dragon: from the Peanut Gallery: That’s what you get for dating my sister!

Lu Deng: Fire Sphere!
Bobby Coffin: Head Butt!

But Lu Deng manages to win anyway. Nonetheless, observers were deeply impressed by the junkyard boxer’s performance - that boy is going to be one to watch, next year.

Four of the members of Quadrant know that Winter is actually a werewolf, and not a Moreau. Allana can smell he isn’t.

Ghost Shadow gets knocked down in the first seconds of his match too, vs. the kickboxer. Ghost Shadow forgot to put his shadow field up, fast enough.

Allana: He got stuck in a martial arts arena, and reverted to using his martial arts training instead of his ninja skills.

GM: Ghost Shadow has ambivalent opinions about murder, so...
Espinosa: Shadow Powers? Neat!
GM: OK, so now he won’t be using the Killing Attack.
Espinosa: *spin kicks Ghost Shadow in the head*
Allana: Ghost Shadow is going to be annoyed when he wakes up. His opponent just ran up, tackled him into the turnbuckle, LET HIM GET UP, and then kicked him in the head.
GM: Eh, sometimes you lose in a sports match. He’ll understand.

Hero Shrew: Paindancer? Better known as Edgelord?
GM: No, he’s actually a professional wrestler, with the whole Heel persona.
Paindancer: ARE YOU READY FOR THE PAAAAIIIIINNN!!!!
Hero Shrew: I see what you mean.

Paindancer gets blinded by a flash attack from Tabytha:, and nearly manages to take down the tiger Moreau anyway.

Tabytha:: Jesus! This guy is actually good! I thought wrestling was fake!

Paindancer: Argh, AIEE, I’m blind! *melodramatically staggers*
Allana: Yeah, that flash attack just wore off.
Tabytha:: Well I’m not going to trying a flying kick NOW. *fireballs him*
Paindancer: *still conscious*
Commentator: **** me!!!!
Paindancer: I’m half tempted to grab a folding chair.

The Shogun concedes defeat after the first few rounds of his match, when he realises how badly outmatched he is.

Shogun: I give! The Shogun concedes!
Fireflash: Sho’nuff.

Hero Shrew: What’s Project Mongoose?
Allana: Nighthawk’s anti-COBRA team.
Flux: VIPER.
GM: Yes, the totally-not-COBRA-please-don’t-sue-us-VIPER.

Green Dragon: *assumes Tiger stance*
Allana: That’s racist - there are actual tigers in the room.

Green Dragon: also grapples his werewolf opponent by both arms. Just as well the werewolf fails to bites his face off.

Hero Shrew: If he’s silly enough not to realise there are THREE dangerous parts of a werewolf he deserves everything he gets.

Green Dragon: then throws Winter out of the ring, and again every time the werewolf jumps back in.

Hero Shrew: Are we sure he isn’t a sumo wrestler?

Green Dragon’s biggest problem is he can’t really hurt the werewolf badly, or hold him down - so he has to keep trying to get the werewolf out of the ring. Difficult when the werewolf is biting one arm and trying to twist the other off. All a little embarrassing when Winter is the hacker of his pack. But the third ring-out is enough to do it.

Flux: *to Winter* Congrats on being the only contestant who wasn’t just punched out.
Green Dragon: I hate Brickettes.

The honey possum is matched against the mongoose fighter.

Zack OoC: Side Kick. Appropriate for the genre.

The honey possum loses, badly.

Zack OoC: *sigh* back to living under a bridge again.

Hero Shrew goes to have a chat with the honey possum after the day winds up.

Hero Shrew: Well, there’s always next year.
Zack: *still looks unhappy*
Hero Shrew: Let’s hit the food hall. My treat.
Zack: *cheers up*

It’s entirely likely Gareth Lowell can find a job for Zach somewhere in his organisation.

Hardlight: The only difference between me and a hobo in a cardboard box in Edge City is Opportunity.

Fireflash goes over to congratulate the weeaboo on his match. The rest of the Six Teens are there too, as his +5. The leaders stop the rest of the team from starting anything.

Titania OoC: Well I’m glad we’re going by the unspoken assumption that this is neutral ground - because Quadrant have two Bricks now.


Day Two!

Sunblade vs. Espinosa - this much goes one much longer than the others, largely because both opponents are fighting defensively. At least until Espinosa reveals he has superpowers too.

GM: And the commentators go nuts.

Makoto vs. Junzo Izumo - Makoto: Oh come on, my usual move is to punch them into the air then out of the ring. And you expect me to do that to a Sumo?
Hero Shrew: It’s a danger to the audience, that’s for sure

And a surprise result here, or maybe not given Makoto’s objection above - the three-time champion just got eliminated. She’s not happy, but not surprised. This was the first year the organisers installed kinetic dampeners around the ring, largely because Makoto used to telekinetically slap her opponents into the audience.

Allana: Izumo’s probably going to win this tournament.
Hero Shrew: He’s got great defenses, that’s for sure.
Allana: He’s slow and he can’t move for shit, but you’re stuck in a small ring with him.
GM: In an open fight the other opponents might do better, but… actually, there’s still a few who can deal with him - the hodoukenists.

Tabytha: vs. Green Dragon: - this should be interesting. Green Dragon: is a racist misogynist Chinese Supervillain, and Tabytha: is female, not Chinese, and not human.

Green Dragon:’s Player: At least I don’t mind losing this round - he’s an arsehole.

Green Dragon: gets one hit in, and the Moreau flame-punches him into the floor.

GM: And that’s Green Dragon: out. Yay!

GM: We might be playing in a comic book universe but it’s not Watchmen. If it WAS, Allana would be running a massage parlor out the back of her clinic, Scooter would be a coke addict, Hardlight would be a self-hating gay with daddy issues, Fireflash would by the Innocent To BE Corrupted, and Flux would secretly be in charge of Dysprosium Dawn. Alan Moore is never writing this one.
Hero Shrew OoC: Moore or Millar?
GM: What the hell, they collab.

Lu Deng (Danny Lu) vs Rikki - Shaolin Dragon Style Kung Fu vs. Mongoose Style.

GM: Hmm. A lot of Kung Fu fighters made it through to the second round.
Allana: Good idea to match them against each other now so the final round isn’t just Kung Fu vs. Kung Fu.
Hero Shrew: So he fights like a mongoose? Goes for the neck and eats his opponent’s children?

At one point, Lu Deng manages to get Rikki on the ground and attempts to axe kick him, which Rikki barely manages to block. Green Dragon: starts screaming from ringside, in fluent Chinese.

Green Dragon:: You are scum! You are dishonorable scum! You should forfeit now!
GM: This is a formal tournament, after all - if there anywhere to fight honorably, this is it.
Hero Shrew: And this is a supervillain telling you off. He might be a prick, but in this case he’s a prick with a point.
GM: He is an honorable fighter - it’s one of his faults. And the reason he doesn’t wear body armour.
Lu Deng: What does a fake Chinese like you know about honour anyway?
GM and most of the audience: Oh shit.
Green Dragon: *goes very still, gets up, and leaves the arena*
GM: He knows you’ll be leaving the tournament sooner or later.

The match is another upset - after a long exchange of falls, kick, fireballs, dodges, grapples, and throws, Rikki eventually grabs Lu Deng by the ankle and flings him out of the ring for the third time.

Semi-finals!

Tabytha: vs. Junzo! The tigress wins this one - our GM was right about a hadoukenist having an edge of the sumo.

GM: If Makoto hadn’t been eliminated, the Flash trick wouldn’t have impressed her. ‘Yeah, cute, I can still feel where you are. Nice tits BTW.”

Rikki vs. Sunblade! - A narrow win by Rikki!

So it’s the flame-juggling tiger-Moreau vs. Sunblade for the finale match of the tournament. Sunblade would probably be curb-stomped in this match… but the Fang hands her a set of goggles and says ‘wear these’, so she actually lasts a few rounds. Tabytha is the champion!

Hero Shrew OoC: Hopefully this round won’t be advertised as girl-on-girl action.

GM: And this is Pastor Doug, a snow leopard Prostestant.
Screen: *close-up crotch shot*
GM: Oops.
Flux OoC: Not the kind of close-up we want of a priest.

GM: For the third day they’ve got some music in - the industrial rock band Second Pretence. The name comes because in her first band, the bassist fatally stabbed the drummer. On stage.

Of course, there’s still that gang of exo-boxers that Quadrant are here to harass.

Fireflash: I should probably not tag along for that - I’m too conspicuous, even when I’m not using my powers.
GM: So are the two Moreaus. In fact when people see Allana they can’t drag their eyes away.
Hero Shrew: She has gravity powers the same way Gravitar does.

GM: For all they know, you’re here to recruit the freak that just won the main tournament.

From the pitch of the exo-suit engines, Allana guesses that they have an overdrive system, and a higher potential energy output than they’re using.

Allana: They were probably hoping for better batteries.

Allana can also hear a second ultrasonic whine, but she’s not sure where it’s coming from. There are also another observer hanging around taking notes, and talking in unaccented English. COMPLETELY unaccented English.

Hero Shrew: Just like normal Hu-mans.

They seem to be more interested in the fighters outside of the ring, then the actual matches.

Allana: Might be recruiters for the Warlord or something.

One of the other exo-suit fighters, not a Park Front Dragon, hasn’t had to change the batteries in his suit all day. That’s pretty impressive. The PFD are having to change their batteries more than anybody else, and it doesn’t help that half their members are quietly leaving the venue as soon as they notice we’re hanging around. Allana and Flux scoop them up as they leave, since they’re not bright enough to leave in multiple directions. Their leadership, on the other hand, seem to be more intelligent, since they’ve managed to vanish while we weren’t looking, leaving their exo-suits parked in a corner. Hardlight realises we haven’t checked for utility tunnels under the venue.

As it turns out they’re all out on the dance floor.

Hardlight: Dance-off time!
Flux: Are you serious?
GM: You can also see the Six Teens, cutting a rug.
Hardlight: Hey Fireflash, can you get out there too and distract them with your dancing?
Fireflash: Let me explain why that won’t work, in short words you will understand - Geek.
Hero Shrew: I could go out there and distract them.
Hardlight: Can you dance?
Hero Shrew: Nope. But I’ve watched lots of lapdances.

Hardlight does have something of a self-esteem problem. Despite being handsome, fit, and well-coordinated, he spends a lot of time around actual superhumans, who are enough to make anybody feel inadequate.

Hero Shrew OoC: Of course if somebody DOES challenge me to a dance-off I do have that ‘Can’t turn down a Challenge’ Psychological Limitation.
GM: I challenge you to a Bake-off!
Allana: ‘Okay.’ *drags challenger into an oven to see who lasts longer* ‘I think you have misconstrued the nature of this contest’

About an hour later, a courier arrives and starts wheeling off the Dragon’s exo-suits. Allana and Flux toddle off to intercept the delivery van, confirm that the suits have been illegally modified, and confiscate them.

Flux: Please keep your tracking status as ‘in transit’ or you may be obstructing justice.
GM: Ouch.
Fireflash: Well he MIGHT be. He doesn’t know.

The Six Teens certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. We thought that they were three couples, but two of them seem to be going out of their way to grind with others in the dance pit. Of course it’s the same couple that go out of their way for some private fun in the middle of a job.

Hero Shrew: It’s the added thrill of ****ing while on a heist.
Flux OoC: ‘The alarms are going off.’
GM: ‘Great!’
Flux OoC: ‘A superhero might burst in on us.’
GM: ‘Even better!’

Jimmy Chen, leader of the Park Front Dragons, his lieutenant, and a bunch of other people including Bobby Coffin, get together to head off and hit the night clubs. The moment they leave the venue, Chen is fair game, and we have a warrant for his arrest. Which of us, with police powers, will actually arrest them?

Hero Shrew: *bouncing excitedly* Oooh, ooh ooh!
GM: You’ve DONE the course, Scooter.
Hero Shrew: I know, I’m mostly invested in the chance of a punch-up with Bobby Coffin.
Fireflash: We are not doing that. Hardlight and I are going to WALK up, and tell him we have a warrant for his arrest.
Hardlight: Walk up? I wanted to fly down.
Fireflash: We want to avoid any kind of fight, Gareth - we’re doing this exactly by the book.
GM: ... well, ****.

Evidently Chen was expecting a superfight - which is why he invited Coffin along.

Bobby Coffin: Boys, I have a record. I ain’t helping you.
Hero Shrew: Aw.

GM: Well, there’s still a party happening inside.
Fireflash: We’ve got to fill in all the paperwork for the arrest first.
Hero Shrew: But I wanted to fight somebody! *sulks*

Hero Shrew: I can always go to the Six Teens and complain. I mean, I hang around a martial arts tournament for three days and don’t even get to swing one punch.

That curious individual we noticed hanging around walks up behind Allana, after we split up.

Normal Hu-man: Ms. Nocturne?
Allana: Yes?
Normal Hu-man: Claudio Fierro, agent of UNTIL. I have some questions if you don’t mind.
Allana: OK?
Fierro: Have you noticed anything unusual about the tournament?
Allana: You, for a start.

Allana gives her assessment of the various suits, based on her listening to the engine sounds.

Fierro: Super-hearing. We had that right about you then. But it pays not to make assumptions.

But he’s more interested in Allana’s assessment of that silver suit that never needed a battery swap. Because the rumour is that VIPER are testing new kinds of battle armour, and Edge City is a great place where they can experiment with that kind of thing, practically in the open. Allana goes to have a literal sniff around, and discovers that the silver suit left no discernable smell - a useful trick a city with so many Moreaus with tracking abilities.

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We're getting to the end of my current Champions campaign, with the overarching campaign plot being the machinations of the Empress of a Billion Dimensions.  She had found a way to get a huge chunk of superheroes (and supervillains, and PRIMUS / UNTIL agents) transported to another dimension where they've been trapped for the last 5 years.  The PC heroes are some that stepped up to take the missing heroes' places, and have been trying to find a way to keep the Empress from attacking their world once and for all.  They've found it, in a world (Dimension X) that is slightly difficult to get to and, the longer you stay, even harder to leave.

 

In game terms, the entire Sol system has one level of Stops Extra Dimensional Movement thanks to unusual magnetic fields.  And due to a meteorite hitting that earth, spreading an unknown element throughout the atmosphere, each step on the Time Chart above a minute adds another level, up to a total of 8 levels after a few months.  So you need one level of AP on X-Dim Movement to get there, and more levels to leave if you stick around long.

 

 


One of the PC heroes, Maker, generates her own magnetic fields and, using gadgets, can potentially travel to and from that world, ferrying one person with her at a time.
 

 

The unique magnetic field also damages electronics over time, so high tech doesn't last long there.

 

The Empress has known of this dimension for about 80 years and has people on that Earth, trying to build a gate booster that will allow transport off-world.  Since they can't use ultra-tech, this gate booster (as well as all tech on that Earth) is rather steampunkish, with plenty of vacuum tubes, etc.  It's not quite complete, but thanks to several alternate versions of one of the PC heroes (super-scientist Matt Stevens, aka Pops), they're getting close.

 

The PCs plan to build a "dimensional gate projector" to send the Empress to that world, and thanks to capturing one of the alternate Matt Stevens, have a plan to alter the gate booster on Dimension X to redouble the magnetic field effects, trapping the Empress there (hopefully for good).  They just need to sneak in, surreptitiously make the changes, and sneak out again.

 

While helping Maker's player spend XP to update her character:

 

Maker (OOC):  I know you're going to hate me for this, but I'd like to increase my SPD.

GM:  Not a problem.  To be honest, I haven't done up a speedsheet for tonight's game.

Maker:  You haven't?! 

GM:  No, if you get into combat tonight I'm just going to wing it.

(Note:  I'm a  pretty OCD person, so it is very unusual for me to not at least have the speedsheet put together.)

Maker:  I'm not sure I find that very reassuring.

 

When the heroes are planning to go to Dimension X, Maker wants to make sure her parents and her brand-new husband are safe.

 

GM:  You do have several superhero teams and individual supers who owe you guys a solid.  You could ask one of them to keep an eye on your family.

Maker:  Like the Champions?

Pops:  Or Rhode Island Red.  (Note:  He's a human turned into a man-sized chicken by a pissed off gypsy.  He has a Crow of Justice, basically a massive Presence Attack.)  If anyone shows up, he'll just "CA-CAW" and scare them all away.

GM:  Yeah, but when Maker comes back, her Chinese mom will say, "We have sweet-and-sour chicken for a year!"

 

The alt-Matt (call him alt-Matt-1) that the heroes captured is filling them in on what he knows.

 

alt-Matt-1:  There is an alternate version of me on that world, overseeing work on the gate booster.  I've been consulting with him - to be honest, he's a bit of an arrogant jerk.  But if some of you can keep him occupied, you (pointing to Pops) could take his place so you can make the necessary alterations to the booster right in front of the other people working there.  You just need to act the part.

Pops:  You mean, treat everybody else like they're brainless idiots who are probably going to screw up my brilliant design?  Yeah, I can do that.

 

Pops (OOC):  You know, I'm not actually an arrogant a**. 

GM:  I know, I'm not saying you are.  But these are alternate versions of you.   They should differ from you in some way.

 

The heroes get there, and while Circe keeps alt-Matt-2 asleep and probes his mind, Pops heads to the gate booster building with Malarkey and Maker as his "assistants."  They took some of alt-Matt-2's clothes as well as his ID, and dressed Maker and Malarkey in clothing like that of the people on Dimension X.

 

Security guard:  Oh!  Mr. Stevens!  I thought you'd left for the day!

Pops:  Of course you did.  But I came back to make sure the night shift doesn't f*** up my work. 

Circe:  (over Mind Link)  Remember, this Matt has a British accent. 

Guard:  Yes, sir.  Of course.  Um... I need to see your ID.

Pops:  (rolls eyes and flashes his ID)

Guard:  Um... there's the matter of their IDs... (points at Malarkey and Maker)

Pops:  (rounds on his teammates)  Don't tell me you didn't bring your identification!  (begins dressing them down)

Circe:  Yeah, no need for acting, he's got his part down.

 

After they get in, they discover that in addition to the 8 night shift people working on the gate booster, there's a guy (Brad Powers) who they know has incredible strength, and they recognize him as an alternate-world version of Bulldozer.  (If you don't know him, he's a brick who is relentlessly macho and thinks he's God's gift to women.)  As Pops distracts everybody by yelling at the guy in charge of the night shift, Powers heads over to talk to Maker.

 

Maker:  (quietly)  Oh, God.  Just what I need.
Powers:  Hey.  I don't recognize you.  Are you new here?  I'm Brad.  (flexes his muscles)

Maker:  Yeah, I'm new to town.  Name's Mary.
Powers:  And who's he?  (points at Malarkey)

Maker:  He's Frank. 

Powers:  Are you two together?

Maker:  (bracing for him to hit on her)  Noooo...

Powers:  Oh, good.  Because he's kinda cute.  Do you know if he's seeing anybody?

(entire table breaks up laughing)

Pops:  That's perfect!  A gay Bulldozer!

Maker:  (grinning ear to ear, to Powers)  No, he's not seeing anybody.  Why don't you go talk to him?

GM:  (to Malarkey)  That sound you hear overhead?  That's the bus Maker just threw you under.

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On 10/17/2019 at 7:50 PM, Drhoz said:
Champions - Return to Edge City : The Valhalla Invitational
 
***SNIP***

01 - Lu Deng (Danny Lu) - Kung Fu w/ Flaming Ki powers and abilities similar to "The Glow" of Bushido's higher-ups. Owner and Proprietor of the Eight Lanterns Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco.
02 - Makoto - Shorinji Kempo w/ Psychokinetic abilities. Three time champion of the Valhalla Invitational.
03 - Manni - Personal System (A mix of Parkour and Capoeira). Brazillian fighter with a knack for spotting an opponent's weaknesses.
04 - Sunblade - Personal System (A mix of Krabi-Krabong, Muay Lert Rit and Shotokan Karate). Canadian fighter of mixed Japanese and Thai decent.
05 - The Paindancer - Professional Wrestling. Dirty fighter and general jerkface.
06 - Junzo Izumo - Sumo. Disgraced Sumotori w/ gambling problem.
07 - Tabytha- White Tiger Kung Fu w/ Pyrokinesis. Tiger Moreau.
08 - Winter - Obscure but vicious style. "Wolf Moreau"
09 - Bobby Coffin - Personal School of Boxing. Disgraced Boxer.
10 - Elliott Espinosa - Western Kickboxing. Fun-loving Florida lad with an interest in occult mysteries.
11 - Green Dragon - Kung Fu. Martial Arts Supervillain.
12 - Shogun - Personal System (Gingaken). Leader of the Zone Gang, Bushido, and master of "The Glow".
13 - Fang - Snake-style Kung Fu. Mysterious warrior in identity-concealing costume.
14 - Rikki - Mongoose style. Member of Project Mongoose to boot.
15 - Zack - Savate w/ minor telepathy. Moreau Honey Possum. (?????!!!)
16 - Ghost Shadow - Taijustsu. Weeaboo and Ninja of the Six Teens.

 
***SNIP***


If some of these seem familiar, it's because some of them were heavily cribbed from Susano and Killer Shrike's respective sites along with a couple of adapted characters. TBH, I'm now a little muddled on which ones are which exactly, so feel free to chime in if any seem familiar.

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A campaign in a postmodern-but-near-now vaguely Dark Champions sort of setting.  The PCs have kidnapped (ambushed him on his drive home) the administrator of a containment-and-experimentation facility, where one PC is being held.  We get as much info from him as possible, then get a room in a cheap motel and tie him up (there are reasons not to kill him), leaving him there for the staff to find in the morning.

 

I was more tired and irreverent than usual, and I suggested we duct-tape his mouth closed, paint him green, then duct-tape him nude (but green) to the ceiling, leaving lots of women's underwear scattered about the floor.

 

Other player: "The maids get tired of that, you know.  Third time this week!"

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Time for the annual Rick and Morty Betrayal At The House On The Hill Halloween Special

Morty: Uh, Rick, why are we here again?

Player: What did you just drop?
Player 2: The mini?
Players 3: Morty has just fallen off a cliff.
Morty: Riiiiiiick!

Player 3 clambers around under the table and furniture trying to find it, risking asthma and heatstroke.

Morty: I saw things, Rick!

Rick: Don’t touch anything that looks like it’s boobytrapped. Don’t touch anything that doesn’t look like it’s boobytrapped. Just don’t touch anything.

Morty: Uhhh…
Beth OoC: How are you going to f*** things up this time Morty?
Summer OoC: We already have ****ed things up - we’re exploring in the opposite direction to Rick.
Morty and Beth OoC: uh-oh.

Rick, emerging from the Wonkavator behind Summer: I told you not to touch anything.
Summer: Aah!
Peanut Gallery: Why are you even in the house?
Rick: Every Halloween, Morty, every Halloween.
Player 2: We’re explorers investigating a creepy old house - basically a bunch of dumbasses.

Morty walks in on somebody in the shower.

Beth: My Mother Senses are tingling - Morty tried to look at boobs.

The party is soon split up over three floors of the house, and are acquiring various stray animals.

Rick: Godammit, I thought we knew better than this from last year. When you’re exploring a non-Euclidean topology you have to be methodical. *promptly falls through the floor into an underground lake*
Beth: I’d know that swearing anywhere.

Beth: Honestly Dad, they’re just skeletons.
Rick: We can’t all be sociopaths, Elizabeth.

Rick finds an imprisoned girl, and after an uncomfortably long pause, frees her. This triggers the Haunt.

Rick: Dammit, this is why life would be so much easier if we were all sociopaths.
Player 2: And Rick is the Traitor.
Beth OoC: He’s ALWAYS the Traitor.

Rick: If you’ve seen The Mummy you’ll know Imhotep is scared of cats.
Beth: I’m a horse doctor, I don’t care.


And we have time for a second game - this time with Mr Poopy-Butthole as a PC. Summer finds three human bodies hanging in the menagerie.

Rick: Enrichment therapy for the animals. Obviously.

Jerry enters the Wonkavator, and emerges from the opposite door in the same corridor.

Rick: Is this a Scooby-doo chase scene?

A room full of portraits with suspiciously attentive eyes.

Rick: This IS a Scooby-Doo episode. Bags I get to tear the face off the monster.

Rick finds a doll dressed exactly like himself.

Rick: Yeah, that’s just not right.
Morty: It’s a tiny little plush Rick!
Mr Poopy-Butthole: Wowee, Rick!

Mr Poopy-Butthole: That sounds like Jerry screaming. Good. Mr Poopy-Butthole is secretly evil.

Later, Mr Poopy-Butthole is the Haunt Revealer, and Traitor.

Mr Poopy-Butthole: I told you I was evil and none of you believed me.

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Buffing the party and our new Scorpion-men with Heroes’ Feast and a bunch of other prayers to aid us against any likely undead, we head into the Temple of the Faceless Sphinx, after an invisible Nemat deals with the cultists left on guard.

Zenobia: How loud are cultists when they explode?
Nemat: Doesn’t matter - I’ve also cast Silence >:)

GM: The cultists don’t see anything.
Zenobia OoC: Right up until they see their own headless body, upside-down.

The other cultist wouldn’t be likely to see anything at all, with two of Asrian’s arrows in the eyeballs, but Nemat growing to giant size and using the cultists as tent pegs is also a problem.

GM: *sigh* you just took out two Level 9 Monks.
Zenobia: Just as well we persuaded the Scorpion-men to go have their Burning Man festival - every cultists we lure out here to stand guard is one we don’t have to deal with later.

The door to the temple is magical, of course, and the temple built to frustrate some of the trickier spells. Still, we’ve got the advantage of Greater Invisibility and a back-up Mecha, and enough archeologists in the party to figure out the trick within seconds. The doors still grind noisily as they open.

Nemat: Of course they do.
Zenobia: You ever notice how the traps are always still in perfect working order?

One of the traps has True-seeing, too, which makes our invisibility useless. Fortunately, the trap summons four fiendish Heiracosphinxs, who look around and can’t see us. Unfortunately they’re bright enough to try the spell-like attack Shriek anyway, just in case. Fortunately, some of the cultists come in to see what the noise was, and get attacked by the Heiracosphinxs instead. We lean up against the wall, snacking on figs and nuts as we enjoy the show, but press on before our invisibility wears off.

Nemat: It still lasted long enough to get us past that door, that trap, and gave us dinner and a show.

Hurrying through the complex, we come to an opulent bedroom, with the bed currently in use by two of the Forgotten Pharaoh’s disciples.

Zenobia: Time for some coitus interruptus? And how badly do we need to surprise them to ensure vaginismus?
Nemat: *casting Blistering Invective* IF I CAN’T HAVE ANY, NEITHER CAN YOU!

GM: Cultist one tries to Withdraw
Nemat: He can’t do that while prone.
Zenobia: And first he’d have to withdraw before he can Withdraw.

A crocodile-headed, stone-fisted humanoid bursts into the room.

Rathos: WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING IN MY B- wha?
Nemat: Dying.

As does Rathos, after a vicious fight. Of course, the room is on fire now.

Nemat: This is fine.
Onka OoC: Now all we need is a dog person.
Zenobia OoC: Do gnolls count?

Nemat OoC: Thanks to you I nearly wrote down ‘Amulet of Mighty Fisting’

The room Rathos ran in from is clearly set up as a scrying chamber.

Zenobia: … so he was busy scrying in here while two of his minions were ****ing on his bed.
GM: Yep! Not a very perceptive voyeur, was he?
Onka: Worth searching?
Asrian: Probably not.
Zenobia: We can always come back after we’ve killed everybody in the temple.

Zenobia: Are there any convenient cupboards we can stuff the bodies in?
Onka: No need, these cultists explode, remember?
Zenobia: Does exploding count as improper burial?

At one point we need to make an offering to Sekhmet, despite being in a temple dedicated to an entirely different god. Freshly caught meat is best, but Zenobioa does wonder whether beer would be acceptable, given that it was giving her a mixture of blood and beer that ended her original rampage.

Nemat: Would have to be blood and beer then. Do we have any blood?
Onka: None that I’m not using.

GM: I’ve never heard of that spell… hmm. Googling ‘Shocking Image’ without adding ‘pathfinder’ was a mistake.

After a few more rooms of altar desecration, neat magical items like Marvellous Pigments, and a near-TPK, we find a route up to the head of the Sphinx. Just as well our new scorpion-men allies warned us about one of the Forgotten Pharaoh’s pets and gave us a bag of giant scorpion treats.

Nemat: How did they get a scorpion that big into this room?
GM: Potion of Gaseous Form.
Nemat: And how many cultists did they lose trying to feed a potion to a giant scorpion?
Asrian: Just one. They told him to open this bottle and wait.

The room beyond used to be the chambers of the local high priest, but is now the quarters of the Forgotten Pharaoh - or rather the priestess that the Pharoah’s Ib is currently occupying. And she’s had no warning that we were nearby.

Pharaoh's Meatpuppet: Wait, what?
Asrian: We’re here for the Ib.
Nemat: My goddess denies your claim to the throne.
Zenobia: Please surrender if you’d prefer this to be painless.

Pharaoh's Meatpuppet: You have been a thorn in the side of my faithful for too long. This ends here and now. You will give the mask to me and prostrate yourselves at my feet. The Forgotten Pharaoh will be forgotten no more! I live and breathe and shall not lie down again!
Nemat: Mask? We melted that down for scrap.
Zenobia: And I’ve heard how you treat non-humans, so … no.

The claim about the burial mask a bald-faced lie, since the mask is currently vibrating wildly on Onka’s face, inside the mecha suit, where he’s been wearing it to enhance his spellcasting for the last few days.

Nemat OoC: As if he wasn’t creepy enough. And when is she going to realise that I’m an Inquisitor, and the mecha suit is one she commissioned back when she was alive?

Still, Nemat is pretty convincing. And following it up with a Shackle spell to immobilise her certainly gives us a further advantage. Zenobia’s Orbital Friendship Cannon and Spiritual B****slap are a nice addition.

ClumsyFailingAlaskanmalamute-max-1mb.gif

And then the Pharaoh gets her jaw smashed so she can’t even say the command word for the only weapon she can use with her hands shackled. Her minions aren’t much use since every single one is entangled in Onka’s illusory web spell. But after we’ve dealt with the Pharaoh’s meatpuppet, and her assorted minions, and failed to stop the Pharaoh’s Ib flying off through the wall, and patched each other up, a huge dimension door opens and a giant sphinx steps out. It’s Areshkhesbed, the half-fiend embodiment of Areshkigal, to whom the Sightless Sphinx temple was originally dedicated.

Nemat: *in Sphinx* Your temple is liberated.
Areshkhesbed: I thank you for your service, but your services are no longer required. *attacks*

Onka OoC: Well, that was intense.
Zenobia OoC: And now we have to do it again.
Onka OoC: Well, it happens. At least we had a few rounds to patch each other up.
Zenobia OoC: While Areshkigal was checking her Google notifications.

Areshkhesbed has no nose.

Zenobia OoC: A relative of Voldemort, is she?
Nemat: Another one that lost a “Got Your Nose’ game against a one-year-old.
Onka: At least it’s Areshkhesbed and not her sister, the demon of Sand, Thirst and Scorpions.

Areshkhesbed: FEAR THE POWER OF ARESHKIGAL!
Zenobia: Fear the mercy of Sarenrae. *HOLY SMITE*

It doesn’t work, but Zenobia can suddenly feel the attention of her goddess on the scene. Areshkhesbed doesn’t much like Sarenrae, which probably explains why the gynosphinx proceeds to pounce on Zenobia and take off half her face. The demon is about to take off the rest of it when the ethereal figure of a woman in full armour blocks the blow with a longsword. She’s clearly a paladin of Sarenrae.

Zenobia OoC: Squee! Hashtag Blessed.

Lady Sophronia doesn’t get to do much else, since Nemat and Asrian doubleteam the sphinx and Asrian soon cuts the monster in half.

Nemat: Nobody gets to save her girlfriend but her. She’s not going to let some samite-clad bint turn up out of nowhere and show her up.
Asrian: B************H!!!!!!!
GM: The ghost stares dumbfounded. As you tear a half-demon temple guardian to pieces, IN ONE ROUND.

Lady Sophronia: Well. Sarenrae sent me to assist you, but it would appear you didn’t need it.
Nemat: I’m sure your presence was an inspiration.
Zenobia: *nods emphatically*

The GM then has to figure which of the various monsters we haven’t encountered yet are pissed off enough, and organised enough to join forces for the THIRD Boss-level fight. It takes a while. At least the ghost-paladin can turn Zenobia’s scimitar into a holy weapon until we finish purging the temple of evil. Our Scorpion-people allies outside the sphinx have been busily routing the rest of the cultists and mercenaries. And we’ve got the mummified body of Chisisek the architect back again, too. Admittedly the sarcophagus is a bit heavy but Onka can shove the whole thing into Hammerspace with Shrink Item, so it’ll be easier to carry back to his tomb.

We find the temple’s sauna room. Onka casts Detect Evil and detects something casting Detect Good back at us. It’s probably the disturbingly organic-looking rock in the middle of the pool.

Zenobia: Excuse me Mister Rock?
Nemat: Hey, don’t assume gender.
Zenobia: Good point, my apologies.

The rock is unresponsive, so Nemat takes a bunch of educated precautions and smashes the thing to smoke. We have a nice bath and walk off with the treasure in the room, too. That doesn’t stop us running into yet another kind of undead Nemat will have to add to his lecture series. They’re accompanied by some of those Maftets who reawakened the temple.

Zenobia: Userib! Your mother wants you to come home.
Maftet: Userib isn’t here, dog.
Asrian: *urge to kill rising*
Onka: There’s steam coming out of your ears, Asrian.

GM: You don’t have a Charisma bonus? Why not?
Zenobia OoC: I’m a gnoll - I have certain social penalties against people who had relatives raped and eaten. And believe me I’m keenly aware of it.

Nemat: If it wasn’t for Onka’s flexible morality this would be one of my most powerful healing spells.

Of course Onka has gunport hatches on his mecha suit. Normally this would mean timing problems opening and closing them, but he has a familiar now that can jump up and down on the relevant levers. It’s also fortunate that Zenobia was killed once, back before she became a cleric of Sarenrae, because it’s the only thing saving her from most of the undead’s gaze attacks. MOST of the gaze attacks. Fortunately Onka’s skill with mixing and matching spell components, and satchel full of stuff like diamond dust, means he can Restore Zenobia as soon as we’ve finally killed all the bad guys.

Nemat: Isn’t it strange that adventurers can somehow measure out exactly 10,000gp-worth of diamond dust, by hand?

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We’re down a player this week.

GM: OK - Flux is busy - which is amazingly convenient for me, because if any of you were going to notice…

But Fireflash still notices that she’s seen the same van outside her home, outside college, as she’s leaving college, and while she’s on patrol.

Hero Shrew: So they didn’t go for your Generic Nondescript Van?
GM: They did, but they kept the same number plate all day.

She surreptitiously messages Allana to rendezvous with her and approach the van.

GM: ‘Well, that’s not in the game plan - that’s not in the game plan at all! ‘ *van attempts to escape*
Fireflash: Wow. They really think they can outrun us, in city traffic.


Hero Shrew: Well, I could have stopped them.
Hardlight: But you’re not there.
Hero Shrew: I’m probably asleep somewhere under a pile of mealworm bar wrappers.

Allana can also hear a helicopter nearby - which is odd, since she can SEE empty sky.

Allana: We’ve also got an invisible helicopter.
Fireflash: Where?

Fireflash uses an Area-of-Effect Flash Attack on the appropriate block of atmosphere.

GM: That annoys them a little - since their last encounter with you they’ve hardened their electronic defences, but you still knock some of their systems.
Fireflash: Well, that tells me who it is.
GM: They decloak.
Allana: It’s the Skullocopter, isn’t it.
GM: Yep. And the Doomtroopers have wings now.
Fireflash: They always get an upgrade. So, do we contact Gareth and Scooter now, or do they hear about it on social media first?
GM: No need, NOW your crime computer has actually noticed what’s happening and sends out push notifications. Mere surveillance vans aren’t much of a threat.

Hardlight: Monica, hold all my calls! *dashes off*
GM: What, straight out the door?
Hardlight: No, to my... thing.
Hero Shrew: Had a Bat-pole installed, did you?
GM: On of the advantages of turning invisible is that you can get into a closet, jump back out in costume and say “ironnnnny!” But in this case you’ve just dashed off to the men’s room.
Monica: I keep telling him he needs prunes, or at least more fibre in his diet.

The Doomtropers might actually be a problem for the two superheroines, especially if Killzone is around somewhere. The Skullocopter getting its targeting systems back online is also a problem. On the other hand, the Doomtroopers are relying on social media for their information on Fireflash, so when she starts charging up a power she’s never used near a camera before, they have a problem. Especially when it starts draining ambient light as a power supply - sudden deepening darkness is always ominous. The subsequent coherent light attack neatly cuts the rotor off the Skullocopter.

GM: Unfortunately that leaves the rotor pinwheeling off towards traffic.

It’s about now that Scooter finally arrives, landing in the middle of the ongoing combat.

GM: ‘Oh, Skull-guys! With wings. That’s new.’ And Allana’s holding a Skullcopter with one hand and the rotor with the other. And she’s flying too, so +20 Offensive Presence thanks to the Gainax Effect. And look at that - somebody with a jetpack carrying somebody else, who is carrying a bow. That explains why Killzone hasn’t shown up until now - this was SUPPOSED to be an ambush.

One of the Doomtroopers has the misfortune to be on the ground, a short distance from Scooter, and despite frantic efforts to get airborne again when he sees the Moreau coming, gets one-punched into immobility. Elsewhere, the Unnaturalist is dropped off to start sniping with her bow.

Another Doomtrooper: *shoots at Scooter and misses*
Hero Shrew: You’re next.
Aforementioned Doomtrooper: That’s fair.

Killzone and the Unnaturalist are both rather more dangerous than the chopper and Killzone’s mooks, and they both have quite a good idea about our powers and vulnerabilities. As demonstrated when Scooter is promptly rendered unconscious, shortly followed by Allana, and Fireflash (briefly). Happily, Hardlight arrives and actually manages to hit something with his retaliation, to general astonishment. The Unnaturalist’s automated escape system kicks in, whisking her off to a presumably extended stay in hospital. Killzone comes around, summons her fusion pistols back to her hands, and tries to finish off Hardlight and Fireflash. She wasn’t prepared for the fact that Hardlight’s armour is actually overlapping forcefields. She certainly wasn’t prepared for a park bench to the skull either, so it’s just as well for her that Hero Shrew’s earlier attack missed. Still, Fireflash, Allana and Scooter are soon well and truly subdued.

Hardlight: STOP HURTING MY FRIENDS! PHOTON BLAST!!!!!!!!

Two of the troopers are running up to secure Fireflash and goop Allana with quick-setting metal foam.

Killzone: Hire me to rescue her. *blasts Hardlight with both pistols*
Hardlight: Just as well I have lots of money.

To everybody’s shock, Allana breaks free of her entanglement, and grabs Killzone. The surviving Doomtroopers take aim, and propose a hostage swap.

Doomtroopers: Let her go and we’ll leave.
Allana: …
Doomtrooper: Also she’s about to crash (her biobooster system is about to wear off)
Allana: Well, OK.
Doomtroopers: Can we take our guys from the wreck too?

This is the third time Killzone and her troopers have tried to kidnap Fireflash. Their contract to ARGENT must be becoming quite the liability for them.

Hardlight: Did you want to be kidnapped this time?
Fireflash: No, that was the plan last time.

Flux: Is the Skullcopter intact?
Allana: Pretty much. But I did throw the rotor at Killzone - the world’s biggest shuriken.

There’s always the possibility that the mercs can track the wreckage to where-ever we take it, so taking it back to our base is probably a bad idea. Still, there is that LowellTech warehouse OVER our base.

It’s also likely that the bought their surveillance van off Weyland Talos, going by the technology inside it. Not entirely surprising. Nor is the evidence that they’re still operating from a submarine. PRIMUS will be more interested to know when mercenaries are operating on land anyway. Discussions of Underwater travel reveal Centurion has a fancy set of underwater armor that can hit 600 atmospheres without imploding.

Hardlight: Centurion.. I hate that guy.
Hero Shrew: Why *do* you hate him, anyway?
Hardlight: ...I have no idea.

Hardlight’s company markets some amazing electronics, but is poorly marketed, and prices at way under what they could get away with.

Hardlight: Well, there is that whole ‘make the world a better place’ thing.
Hero Shrew: He’s no Mr Fantastic.
GM: Yeah, Gareth actually shares his technology.

Later that evening, Allana gets an unexpected visitor at her clinic - Killzone. She’s here to complain about the contract her mercs have with whoever they’re working for. It’s nearly exclusive, and they can’t get out of it until they deliver Fireflash to them.

Killzone: And we don’t break contract.
Hero Shrew OoC: Wow. And what did you do to the team lawyer that signed that on your behalf?

Allana: Well, thanks for dropping by, hopefully I’ll never see you again.
Hero Shrew OoC: ‘I’ll probably kill you in the morning’

Fireflash reluctantly agrees to let herself be kidnapped - but we all remember what happened the last time we tried this.

Hero Shrew OoC: Maybe you shouldn’t involve me in the planning at all this time.

GM: The other reason the Doomtroopers want to go with this idea is because they’re sick and tired of the Naturalist pissing and moaning at them. She’s blaming them for the last time the kidnapping failed.

GM: I’ve just realised that every time Nocturne has had to deal with human-sized places, she has to bend over the counter to talk to people. ‘Eyes are up here, dude’.

A few weeks later…

One of Flux’s co-workers from his civilian ID hasn’t turned up to work for a few days, and his phone is apparently disconnected. We have a betting pool on what happened to him, which include ‘head in a jar’. Hardlight wins the bet with ‘on life support’, since he’s in his tiny capsule apartment, hooked up to a computer via his cyberbrain, and his health is currently stable but his life support systems are running low. What the hell is going on in that computer that he hasn’t moved in days? Flux could certainly use his cybertheurgy to go in and see, but the cyberbrain implant might notice the intrusion.

Allana: This is where humans live? I thought Moreaus have it bad.

Flux goes to stand in the shower to give Allana room to come in, and discovers where his co-worker was keeping the server stack. It’s cobbled together, true, but a formidably powerful machine, nonetheless. Flux and Allana discover that the lights are on, but nobody’s home, as the man’s consciousness seems to have been uploaded elsewhere. Quite possibly forcefully.

Flux: I’m gonna need to make a Midnight phone call. *ring ring*
Hardlight: bwuhh.. What is it? I was just about to go to bed…
Flux: One of my Co-workers has been Uploaded to the internet.
Hardlight: ….I’m gonna need some coffee, aren’t I?
Flux: Pick some up for me and Nocturne on your way?

Investigating the man’s logs, Flux discovers that the man was engaged in VR cybersex before his mind was uploaded to the cloud.

Allana: He’s been attacked by a Cyber-Succubus!
Hardlight: I’ve heard of “Blowing your brains out”, but this takes things to a whole new level!

The next morning, Gareth gets an email from the Corporate Advisory Council, congratulating all the telecommunications companies about how the city’s had a massive increase in network stability, and transfer speeds. Much to the confusion of the CEOs of said telcos, since they had nothing to do with it.
 

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