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Drhoz

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Drhoz last won the day on March 15 2018

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  1. Champions: Return to Edge City: A Deficit of Punching Stuff As well as the major gangs in Edge City, there’s a wide selection of smaller ones, with various lines of income and gang beliefs. At least one of them is a gang of religious fundamentalists, that we promptly nickname the Piss-stains after the colour-code of the gang map, right next door to the Knights of Hell. Hero Shrew: Can we put them both into an arena and go “Fight! Fight! Fight!” Fireflash: No. Probably. And, of course, there’s one gang with the sworn intention of wiping out Moreaus. Fireflash: I think we’ve found our next target. And of course, Allana can glide silently overhead for nocturnal surveillance on whoever we target. Fireflash: We’ve got Whispering Death right here. Flux: Allana, do you need a cover story in case they chat social media for what you’re up to? A night on the town, or something? GM: She’s too busy for anything like that - her superheroics at night are her relaxation time. Hero Shrew: She patches people up during the day, and inflicts serious injuries at night. We go after the Knights of Hell instead - their business in drug exports makes them vulnerable. Hero Shrew: And there will be fewer social ramifications if we take them down, instead of the Piss-stains or the racists. Who’s going to complain if we target a gang of Satanist drug-dealers? GM: They’re only called the Knights of Hell because the Hellgate Institute is on their turf, and everybody knows it. They’re also pretty anti-Moreau, since the mass break-out on S-Day happened in their neighbourhood, and they’ve always been paranoid about other things buried under Edge City. And they’re not wrong either - there was that recent Kaiju for one thing. Of course we’ll have to consult with the Edge City PD drug squad first. And there’s also the legal consequences of acting on info gained by Flux hacking into their security systems, or using a magical machine that goes Ping in the presence of illegal drugs. Both could lead to the case being thrown out, if we find anything that we couldn’t have learned from normal means. X-ray vision automatically counting as illegal search is just the start of it. GM: I still remember the time Wonder Woman had a mid-air collision with another plane. Hero Shrew: And that’s why she should have stuck to the giant space kangaroos. Flux: Yes, those were practical. Maybe they’re getting their drug deliveries out underground? Hero Shrew: Edge City probably doesn’t have a stormwater system of the same scale as L.A. So there probably isn’t a nest of giant ants down there. But we should probably compare the map of tunnels that SHOULD be down there to the ones that are - Hardlight can do submillimeter scans of the ground if we drive around slowly. Hero Shrew: Let’s find out who delivers the community paper around here and tell them to take the day off. GM: Wood pulp? Ugh. Hero Shrew: But if one of us is throwing the rolled-up newspaper out the window, we’ll probably put it through somebody’s wall. GM: Or head. Fireflash suggests we use a streetsweeper instead. The scans indicate that the underground is more of a mess than the maps indicate, and that there are people and robots down there, but nothing conclusive, apart from a bunch of the Greys who flip Hardlight the bird as we drive overhead. We also learn the interesting fact that somebody installed a radio-opaque barrier all around the ground the Hellgate Institute is built on - but that probably dates from when Genesys owned the buildings. We could infiltrate the gym they congregate at, but since Flux is the only one of us that both human and not immediately recognisable, that’s a terrible idea. Maybe we’ll just trace any gang members as they come and go. We learn that they have, and use, a ridiculously high-speed water vehicle best described as a manned torpedo, that can easily reach 200kph as it skims over the waves. Gee, I wonder how they’re doing their drug pick-ups and deliveries. Hardlight: Now we just need Probable Cause. Fireflash: Not necessarily - what happens if one of its hydroplanes hits an obstacle? Hero Shrew: Ask Allana has a sniff around the beach over the next few days - literally. On top of her other abilities she has a superhuman sense of smell. The first few days are a bust, but on their third trip out into the Pacific, Allana can smell some really powerful cleaning agents. The kind that would eliminate any smell of drugs on the package. Hardlight, hiding in tunnels nearby, also decides to hold a passing drone in a force bubble while he scans it, and all hell breaks loose. It’s owned by the same company, Ravensholme Biotech, that maintains Fireflash’s radiator suit and is behind the Hellgate Institute. And they don’t like it when somebody messes with their stuff. Hardlight flees the scene while the drone howls and screeches to attract attention. GM: We all know the bird call signal for this one, don’t we? FAAAAARRRRK Flux: We have a Code Brown, repeat, Code Brown. Fireflash: Code Boss. Allana: We already know he makes inappropriate advances to humans, now we know he does it to machines as well. At least Mechanon will be too afraid to come to Edge City. At least he can believably claim he tripped over it in the dark, and used his millimeter radar to see what he’d hit, when Ravensholme message him via social media to ask him what the hell he was doing. Flux tries hacking into the cameras at the former community center the Knights of Hell are using as a MMA venue, and eventually confirms a connection to the tunnels. The same tunnels that the Ravensholme Biotech maintenance drones from the Hellgate Institute wander around in. The same drones with strong anti-scanning, anti-hacking defences. The same company that has highly advanced labs with powerful cleaning protocols behind strong anti-scanning defences. Hmmmmm.
  2. Pathfinder: Mummy's Mask: Wasteland Warriors According to the Golarion map, Magnimar is in the same geographic location as Seattle. GM: So our Streets of Magnimar campaign was Shadowrun all along. Weldun: Yes, I know - that’s why I ran it there. Anyway, The Mummy’s Mask, in which our party of wannabe law robots, half-orc spell mechanics, swordswomen cosplaying as cloves of garlic, and lovesick gnolls, head off into the wilderness to locate the tomb of a long dead architect. Let’s hope he didn’t keep the best traps for his OWN tomb. At least we don’t need as many supplies as most such expeditions would need - Two of us can Create Water, Asrian can cast Tiny Hut for shelter, and Nemat has a Ring of Sustenance. Throw in the Cauldron of Brewing, and Marching Coffee, collapsible bathtubs, and a few Bags of Holding stuffed with rations and Wandermeals, and we should be fine. Zenobia OoC: And how many kilos of Bolivian Marching Powder? Automated Cartographers will be pretty useful too.n We don’t take any camels, or other beasts of burden. Nemat: Camels get eaten. Camels get turned to stone. I’m not going out there to feed the local wildlife. Although that does mean we don’t get to visit Crazy Hassan, or Honest Achmed’s Used Camel Emporium. Adventurer: We need oceangoing camels. Crazy Hassan: I have just the thing, master. Adventurer: … That’s four camels in a boat. Crazy Hassan: Ah, I see where I have misunderstood you sir. You meant aquatic camels. These ones merely know how to handle the rigging. Adventurer: … How?? They don’t even have thumbs! Crazy Hassan: *shrugs* It is a mystery. Before we leave town, we go to see the Pharaoh's concubine Muminofrah one last time. Zenobia is a bit uncertain about this - she’s still a bit hurt about the woman’s interest in her girlfriend. Zenobia: Why are we doing this, instead of just skipping town? Nemat: She’s been useful. And we shouldn’t burn bridges. GM: It doesn’t matter - her guards won’t even let you on the barge. You can see her on the deck, in the arms of a dark-skinning man, giggling as she’s fed grapes. Asrian: Ah. She has a newbie. Zenobia: Well, I’m relieved. Are we going to misinform the Governor about where we’re going? Nemat: No. We’re not going to tell her anything. As it happens we’re attacked almost as soon as we’re out of sight of town. It’s Pharaoh-cultists. And there’s a sphinx padding along behind them. Zenobia: Two questions - will Saranae be disappointed with me because I didn’t give them a warning first? Nemat: No. She doesn’t expect you to put yourself in undue danger. Zenobia: That’s good. And the other question - why do these dumb-asses always try to close to close combat? Onka adds a Disruption effect to his fireball, which nicely wrecks any attempt by the nearer cultists to cast magic, or keep any running. The fancy-pants leading them holds back, and is clearly trying to cast something, which naturally makes him a priority target. Pretty soon it’s just the cultists who are still alive, and entangled. Zenobia: *gesturing significantly with her scimitar* Which of you would like to live? They’d rather explode than surrender. Asrian: Well, that was kind of pointless. There’s a caravan at the first oasis we get to, which reacts with understandable alarm at the party’s approach, until they realise it’s not all gnolls, and lower their weapons a bit. Apparently they’ve had to fight off multiple gnoll packs as they crossed the desert. Nemat introduces us. Caravaneer: You’re from Wati? I heard rumours of a terrible necromantic event. Nemat: Don’t worry - we dealt with it. Caravaneer: You must be great heroes! Asrian: Not great. But still pretty good. Asrian does a sword dance to entertain our hosts that evening. Zenobia OoC: I hope nobody comments about the cushion I have to hold over my lap. Asrian’s sword skills are the sexiest thing about her. Caravaneer: That is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Nemat: Indeed. But she’s taken. Not by me, though! Caravaneer: I meant the dance. Zenobia: *panting* He warns us about the salt flats to the south - they’re teeming with Basilisks. Zenobia: Maybe we SHOULD have bought those smoked goggles. Caravaneer: There’s also an enormous bird - of prodigious size! - in the western wasteland. Big enough to snatch up a camel in both claws! Nemat: There’s a reason the desert hasn’t been mapped yet. They also have a bunch of trade goods worth looking through, although the gnoll skulls and grave goods do make Zenobia frown, and Nemat give them a warning about the Cult of Pharasma. Caravaneer: And the rarest of rare creatures! The single-headed hydra! Nemat: So it’s a snake. Caravaneer: … Nemat: Shall I tell you about my home town? The only building of note if the temple of Wadjet. To whom snakes are sacred. Caravaneer: Half-price?
  3. Pathfinder : The Mummy's Mask : Things To Look Forward To - Death By Snu-Snu Peanut gallery: Can I interest you guys in cursed filament? Onka’s player: You lost me at ‘cursed’ Zenobia OoC: How did the session I missed go? Asrian: Quite well. We had to go through a chariot race for Muminofrah, but that got us permission to enter the Dark Depository, where we found the information we were searching for. Unfortunately, we've also found out that more info is available at a different and hidden section, the location of which can only be discerned by watching from the top of a particular tower at dawn at midsummer. Sadly, said tower no longer exists. However, we figure we can get the location from the city model we saw earlier. We then had to fight a Bone Golem, which was a complete comedy of errors but we got out in one piece. Onka OoC: We miss our good luck gnoll Zenobia OoC: Aw, shucks. So… you kept sending me off on shopping trips whenever you needed to get another ‘favour’ from Muminofrah? Nemat: Yes. Zenobia: *plaintive sigh* Nemat: Oh look, there’s some bottled musk for sale in the markets. Onka: What? Nemat: To help Zenobia regain her girlfriend. Onka and Asrian were assigned to the camel-chariot, since Zenobia was being kept preoccupied, and Nemat is at a penalty for anything that doesn’t involve books. Nemat: Do you know how embarrassing it is to be a follower of Wadjet and be bad at Handling Animals? We’re a snake cult! Zenobia: To be fair that’s a very specific animal. Suddenly, Ninjas! Onka: Let’s hope there are lots of them. Nemat: Blistering Invective! ‘You suck at being Ninjas! You surprised someone, stabbed them in the back, and MISSED!’ GM: Why do I keep sending these poor goons after you? Zenobia: Because we’re not well-known enough in this town, yet. If somebody sent assassins after us in Wati, they’d be demanding danger money. GM: True. And they’d be sniping you from a distance. Still, a couple of them survive long enough to variously surrender or run away. Nemat Shackles the smart one and strolls off in pursuit of the one who tried to flee. Nemat: If Zenobia was here I might spare him, in deference to her faith, buuuuut - Zenobia: ‘But this is valuable reading time he’s cutting into’. Asrian OoC: Zenobia, how good is your Intimidate? Zenobia OoC: Let me check - Oh. Apparently I’ve been working so hard to not frighten people that I’ve got into the habit of seeming harmless. Nemat: I’m not a nice person. I was going to suggest Zenobia try ‘Tell us what we need to know or I’ll eat you’. Asrian: Zenobia eating somebody isn’t what I’d call intimidating. Zenobia: *blushes bright red under her fur* We do discover that whoever sent them ensured they can’t spill the beans, even if we use Speak With Dead - they’ve had their tongues cut out. GM: You think I’d make this easy for you? I mean you could try True Resurrection and Regenerate on their tongues, but- Nemat: No matter - we can find somebody to teach Onka Detect Thoughts. We consider handing the survivors over to the authorities. It will be interesting to see what happens to them - if it was the city Governor that sent them, it’s unlikely they’ll still be around tomorrow. Zenobia: ‘They were killed trying to escape’ Still, literacy is widespread in Osirion. They can always write their confessions out. Nemat: I’m wondering if I should be good cop or bad cop. Asrian: I was going to cast Honeyed Tongue on myself. Nemat: Done. *heads back to the one that surrendered* This is eating into my reading time - I have better things to do than chase your friend halfway across the city and get back here to find out you’re being uncooperative! They don’t know who commissioned the murder - more basic operational security. Nice to know that somebody out there is competent. Pity it’s the assassins. Zenobia: So, did I miss anything? Asrian: Well, there were ninjas. Zenobia: Oh? I hope you gave them a chance to surrender. Asrian: Technically, yes. Also, could you break out the healer’s pack? Being stabbed in the kidneys hurts. Zenobia: Eep! Onka: Healing and don’t forget the back rub. Selling off loot to avoid Death by McGuffin. Nemat: You’re a bard, you know this stuff - if we keep the Golden Camel, one of us will get our head bashed in with it. Nemat knows the spell Ears of the City - a stupidly useful first-level spell, available to most spellcasters, that makes a joke of Gather Information checks. Combined with Speak with Animals you can use it in the middle of the wilderness too. We just need to find somebody that knows the height of the now-demolished Tower of Ra’s Glory. Ramat Glyphkeeper the Third, a retired dwarf architect old enough to have firsthand experience of the tower, will do nicely. And using the spell means nobody will KNOW we came out of the archives asking about the tower. Just as well the spell only lasts a few minutes - Inquisitors are stupidly OP enough as they stand. Asrian: The city wants its ears back. Zenobia: Imagine an artefact that makes the spell permanent. Nemat: Do Not Want. DO NOT WANT. Nethys did that, ended up violating Schrodinger’s Uncertainty Principle and had to become a god. And STILL went insane. Asrian: Ramat Glyphkeeper? Ramat: Yes? What’s up? GM: What Up? Does that work for dwarves? Zenobia: ‘What’s down’ Ramat not only knows the height of the tower, he built the thing. And still has the plans. Some geometrical calculations ensue - the shadow points to a nondescript bathhouse on Wadjet’s Walk. Nemat: Well, if that’s not a sign I don’t know what is. Peanut Gallery: Unless somebody built a rather tall bathhouse in the interim. Nemat OoC: Godammit. Anyway, at least we have the location of yet another secret library - how many secret libraries does this town have, anyway? Is there a guidebook? At least there won’t be any living guardians - but could be any number of traps, undead, or constructs. Nemat: Is anybody else suspicious of this chest sitting in the middle of the entrance hall? Onka: Yes. Zenobia: Maybe it has the Visitor badges in it? Nemat leaves a scrap of coloured cloth hanging out of the chest when we press on. Nemat: Anybody that isn’t suspicious of chests left like that, and gets distracted by something colourful, deserves whatever happens to them. We find a journal that speculates that to allow the Sky Pharoah to pass on to the afterlife, somebody has to reassemble the various parts of his body and soul. Of course, it also speculates that you could bring him back to life if you had all the bits, too. We also learn the identity of the Sky Pharaoh’s chief architect, and the designer of his flying pyramid, and that he was killed and entombed to protect the pyramid’s secrets. No doubt we’ll be raiding his tomb at some point too. Especially if the fresco commemorating this early attempt at copyright protection is where we think it is. Even though we already know what they’re using for Cease and Desist lawyers. We trigger the trap carefully, using long ropes. Asrian: Rocks fall, nobody dies. The location of the architect’s tomb is indeed described, in some really obscure hints, but it’s Onka that figures out that it’s referring to a particular stretch of wilderness. It’s still an area where Sphinxes are known to live, which is handy for Nemat’s ongoing plan to become Judge Dredd. There’s also design elements portraying some kind of vast weapon, used against a city of figures with their own weapons of black fire. Nemat: I’d better copy that down - it might be important when we need to shoot down a pyramid. As it turns out, we aren’t the only people down here. Although the other people have eight arms, sixteen hands, and no heads between them.. Nemat and Zenobia: What the **** is that? Apparently they’re some kind of entity from the Outer Planes, but it’s not at all clear what they are doing down here, or how they’re reading the scrolls and books with no eyes. But it does seem a bit upset about the damage we did to the ceiling, and we keep getting telepathic flashes of burning libraries. And potential fates. Zenobia: Falling out the sky towards a very distant ground? Asrian: ****ing genies! Onka: Dying in bed? Zenobia: That’s not too bad. GM: Death by Snu-snu. The other guardians prove straightforward enough to bluff too, given that Nemat really is an Inquisitor servant of the old pantheon, a genuine researcher, and we don’t intend to remove any artefacts or irreplaceable tomes from the library (we don’t mention the ceiling).
  4. Champions : Return to Edge City : Punch a Nazi Today Some quotes I've forgotten the context of, since it's been almost two months since our last session. Flux OoC: This was a good session - and Fireflash didn't end up naked! GM: That was the most Keystone Kops fight I've ever gamesmastered, and I used to GM Toon. GM: Ah yes, Spiderman 3 - the one with the Rule 63 K.D.Lang. The five members of Quadrant have decided to get a bit more proactive, regarding the gang situation in Edge City. A good excuse for Weldun to play more of the soundtrack he put together for the Edge City Gangs. The first target is going to be Humanity First, largely because they tried to send power-armoured terrorists into The Zoo, and also because they somehow managed to acquire a giant robot. Who is diverting resources to them? Of course, the designer drug problem in Marsden is pretty bad too - each gang with their own speciality. The Voodoo Crew, for example, sell Super-C, cocaine cut with ground bone. Oddly enough it seems to be much safer than the original. Hero Shrew: How much do you want to bet that half these drugs are the same thing, with different food colouring? Apparently not - the drugs are all very different, with some potent effects. Edge City’s biotech industry has been inventing some pretty alarming stuff. Our GM certainly did his research on these drugs, including prices. GM: This is the research I do. I am now for certain on yet another ****ing watchlist. GM: The whole King of the Hill game in the Booster gang leadership now has a Queen. Nobody knows where she came from but she’s following Dysprosium Dawn’s line, so…. I’m resisting calling her Mecha-Shiva. Fireflash: Mecha-Kali. GM: Becoming a superhero might have ruined Fireflash’s sex life, but… Hero Shrew: I’m sure Bad Dragon could do something special for her. Fireflash: *facepalm* GM: Actually, Flux knows that Guiltrider does a line in super-science sex toys. Hardlight: … Why is she a villain again? GM: She did call the four of you Poser, Try-hard, and Token, but couldn’t think of a good name for Fireflash. Allana: I found her perfectly pleasant. GM: Well, you’ll have something to tell Fireflash, assuming the conversation ever happens. Flux: WHICH IT WON’T. EVER. Still the question remains - where are Humanity First getting their weapons? They stopped buying from Warlord years back, for some reason. Hero Shrew: I need to talk to some slightly dodgy people. Flux: What, us? Allana: More dodgy. Apparently there’s a pop-up Underground mercenary tech show that shows up in Edge City every few months, and Humanity First hosts it every time. And the reason they stopped buying the Warlord’s stuff is because it’s hinky alien tech, and he’s been turning his minions into cyborgs, which is against their politics. How to find the tech show? Apart from waiting until Allana finishes her regenerator technology, scent marking it, waiting until it gets stolen, and following the scent to the auction. Allana: It’s a long-term plan. Of course, even if we do find out when and where it’s happening, how do we get in? Hero Shrew: I suppose Hardlight could show up in his civilian identity, with a suitcase full of cash. Or even better, since both Hardlight and Iron Claw are powered by the same kind of alien crystal, we send him in disguised as Iron Claw. Hardlight: That’s actually a good idea! GM: Why are you surprised? Flux came up with it. If YOU had come up with it, I’d be surprised. Hardlight: Would my Weirdness Magnet complicate things? Hero Shrew: Sure. The real Iron Claw shows up - and so does somebody else, also pretending to be Iron Claw. GM: Yes! Or even better Iron Claw shows up pretending to be Hardlight. Maybe Guiltrider (AKA Dr Soma, although only Allana knows that) could get us in, since supertech is her schtick. Flux: How do we contact her? None of us have her number. Hero Shrew: It’s not like any of us know her personally, or meet her on a regular basis. Allana: ... And where in Edge City do they HOLD this tech show? Hardlight: It’s going to be a comics convention isn’t it. All those fake swords and toy guns on display? They aren’t fake. But somebody stuck orange tips on them all. Actually, there probably isn’t anywhere in Edge City itself that they could hide such a paramilitary meeting. So when do the Humanity First leadership vanish off social media? And what sort of big events outside Edge City could provide cover and are happening at the same time? Big private paintball events? Dunebuggy races in Baja? Anywhere with lots of big tents? A recent Cybertech decathlon seems suspiciously timed. As do a few of the paintball events. Which were run by a family member of one of the Humanity First leaders. It seems we’re on to something. Hardlight gets his company, Lowelltech, to find out which weekends are available for corporate paintball events. And which weekends are already pre-booked by the weapons expo. Hardlight: I know a guy in Alaska. Flux: We’re going to a weapons expo at a paintball range - there WILL be a polar bear fitting grenade launchers and lasers to a paintball gun. And since we have weeks of warning, Scooter can dig tunnels under the paintball range, and set up metal pitons every few meters so Flux can teleport in and out, and use his technomancy to spy. Of course any information we acquire might be inadmissible in court, but will still be useful to us as we break Humanity First by other means. He soon learns that ARGENT - "Advanced Research Group ENTerprises" - is one of the groups attending the expo. And the ARGENT rep is apparently telling off Killzone for some of her failures, because they make the FUSION-POWERED PISTOLS (!!!!!) she’s using, and the rest of the Doomtrooper tech, look bad. And that Killzone plans to make a third attempt at kidnapping Fireflash, or they’ll have to get a contract extension with ARGENT. Flux: It’s lucky I can’t make any noise down here, or they’d hear me yelling on the surface. Fireflash: I didn’t even realise they were trying to kidnap me the first time. Flux and Allana start planning ways to track down Fireflash and any other team members that might get kidnapped. But where to put the tracking samples so can’t be used against us? Flux: We’re going to hide hair samples in Gareth Lowell’s safety deposit box at the bank with a little black book of non-existent women’s names. So if anybody finds them they’ll just think Lowell collects … trophies… from his conquests. Hero Shrew: Isn’t Hardlight gay? But we still don’t know where Humanity First are getting most of their money. We also learn that somebody is making quadrupedal drones fitted with stolen miniguns (stolen by Ankylosaur) and tail-mounted knock-offs of Ankylosaur’s tail-mounted grenade launcher.. Hero Shrew: So we’re going to hunt shooty shooty robots. GM: Now I have Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stuck in my head. GM and Hero Shrew: *sing* Shooty Shooty Robots, Shooty Shooty Robots, Shooty Shooty Robots, We Hunt You. Allana: We’re tracking down Humanity First’s combat robots. Fireflash: I need to get together with Flux first. GM: Okaaaay. Fireflash: I need a tracer put on me. GM: Oh, I thought Flux’s work on the heat resistant condom had paid off. GM: I just, I, what?? *brain derails* We’ve certainly learned that Humanity First has some alarming assets, even if somebody walked off with their giant robot because somebody wanted to fight kaiju in it. But it’s the combat bots that have as most concerned right now. They could kill a lot of people if unleashed on a target-rich environment. So we should probably find out which Humanity First member is in charge of the On Switch. Just smashing the bots would also work, if we can get them all. Hardlight: Are we going loud? Hero Shrew: Sort of? The rest of us are overt, but not very loud. Hardlight: Ok. Screw it. PHOTON BLAAAADE! GM: If you weren’t going loud before you are now. The two we catch patrolling are easy enough to subdue. They’re just robots - not supertech robots. Their handler hurriedly pretends to be an innocent bystander and scurries off, since we dealt with the things before he could even pull his smartphone out. The bots are carted off to the ECPD, where we can take them apart and disarm their flashbang grenades. We discover it has rudimentary intelligence, but has to obey all orders from its owner. Fireflash: Can we redefine ‘owner’? Hardlight: Great! Flux, we’ve found you a friend. GM: You’re pretty sure your rental agreement with Bubo the mechanical owl said ‘no pets’. On the other hand, its owner made sure to wear a mask and voice distorter, and its operating protocols ran on a smartphone dongle, which no doubt is dissolving in an acid bath somewhere by now. Still, there’s enough evidence at the building the two robots were stored in that the EPCD can start serving warrants, and actually charge Humanity First members. If our team keeps wrecking their robots as well, the next few days should annoy them immensely. Hero Shrew: Bonus! The rest of the gangs in the area are staying oddly quiet. At least four of them would object to a truce until the gangs can carve up Humanity First’s territory, too. It’s starting to look like we’ll have to deal with the more extreme gangs first, before we leave a power vacuum by eliminating the racists.
  5. Champions : Return To Edge City : Superhero Mentoring Program Getting Scooter to explain anything can be an exercise in confusion, due to his habit of fixating on what elements are interesting to him, and a tendency to add whatever flights of fancy he had, when his mind started to wander mid-conversation. GM: So, who wants to recap? Hero Shrew: Apparently there’s a Seal-Moreau who’s interested in me. Game temporarily halted to assist Damselfly in distress. Allana has ensured that the Marine-Moreau community has an alarm beacon in case Genesys finds them. But she still doesn’t tell the rest of us about them. Perhaps we just have to wait until they kidnap Invisible Girl. Flux: ‘We have Invisible Girl!’ Fireflash: How can you tell? Hardlight OoC: So, what do we do now? Wait for the Bat-signal to go off? Flux OoC: What Bat-signal? Hero Shrew OoC: *points at Allana* Flux OoC: Oh, right. I guess it really is a Bat-Signal. Huh. Hardlight: I suppose I could ask the ECPD to install a searchlight… Fireflash: No, a Bat-signal is a terribly inefficient message system. I HAVE a phone. Hero Shrew: Plus this isn’t Gotham, it’s California, so we don’t have permanent overcast. GM: I was trying to come up for a villain for you this week. Maybe a Matrioshka Brain. Hero Shrew OoC: I don’t think we’re ready for Cosmic-Level threats yet. Fireflash OoC: I’m sorry, but anything that registers on the Kardashev Scale is Too Much. Crusher Joe has arrived in town, as part of the mentor system in place for newer superheroes. Hero Shrew: Oh RIGHT, he’s mentoring me, not the other way around. GM: Yes, this was made very very clear to you. He has overalls for Scooter to wear. Crusher Joe: And this a hard hat. Because of regulations. Crusher Joe: I’ve always found it a good idea to get a superstrong hero to patch a wall or two. After you’ve fixed a few, you think twice before punching someone through one. Hero Shrew: How long have you been patching walls for? Crusher Joe: About 20 years. Hero Shrew: Were things different back then? Did you have a Bat-signal? Flux is being visited by some heavily into the Noir look, who managed to get into Flux’s room without setting off any of the protections, and knows more about Flux than he would like. Flux: You are a very creepy individual. Mysterious Mentor: *sigh* I’m aware. My superhero name doesn’t help either - it’s Nightwalker. Because my ACTUAL name is Walks-by-Night. I’m Salish. Hero Shrew OoC: *ears prick up* Flux: Can I get you some coffee? Nightwalker: Thanks. I couldn’t afford the real stuff back in the day. Hero Shrew OoC: Wait, what was that elf nation in Shadowrun? Fireflash OoC: Salish-Sidhe. Flux OoC: What’s that got to do with anything? Hero Shrew OoC: There IS that dimensional gate off the coast here. GM: *grins evilly* He offers to tutor Flux in a few fun ways to mess with people. And other useful advice such as ‘don’t rely on your magic’, and ‘Don’t get killed’. Hardlight OoC: And then my mentor arrives, and it’s Centurion. GM: I should TOTALLY do that. Hero Shrew: My Rep said that me working at a titty bar doesn’t look good. Crusher Joe: Yeah, I can see why he might say that. Hero Shrew: I want to set a good example to young Moreaus - well, when we have any - but the problem is that bouncing people and bouncing people off walls is the only thing I’ve done since puberty set in. Crusher Joe: You need a hobby. Well, what are you interested in? Hero Shrew: … Crusher Joe: *sigh* you’re thinking titties, aren’t you. Crusher Joe: You have to find something different to do with your life. Hero Shrew: What, like become a butt fan? And there really isn’t much philanthropic work that needs super strength either, especially since exo-armour is a thing. GM: So what are you going to do with your cape time, Hardlight? Allana: Sit on a roof and flick peanuts at Centurion’s house. GM: Yeah, I think a lot of it comes down to jealousy - because Centurion is Iron Man and you’re basically Justin Hammer. Maybe we should finally clear up the gang situation in The Zone. Who should we target first, that wouldn’t be missed? Hero Shrew: Humanity First. And, of course, they were funding that giant mecha. And sent those armoured fighters into the Zoo. Fireflash: And I’m going to play ‘Follow the Money’. GM: Good idea - there’s no way gang activities could fund getting a Minuteman robot. Hero Shrew: Maybe the Orphans gang just need a good example, so they’ll become a superhero team. Hardlight: You should join them, and work your way up into a leadership position. Hero Shrew: It’s the wrong decade for me to suddenly go ‘edgy’ Fireflash OoC: ‘I’m suddenly sprouting pouches’ GM: ‘Where did my feet go? ****, I’m being drawn by Liefeld’ Maybe Hero Shrew could make housing for Moreaus. Fireflash: Habitat for Inhumanity. Hero Shrew: It’s not like I need a nailgun. GM: Anyway, one evening while Allana is closing her clinic (which incidentally is totally illegal) - Allana: It’s not illegal until they make me a person. Her visitor is Dr Soma, here to swap a few pointers about tissue regeneration. And a few other things that might be of interest. Such as the problems the tiny genepool is going to have for the various Moreau species. What Dr Soma doesn’t know is that Allana can tell who she really is, under the clockwork robot suit - Guilt-rider. GM: Who said you only ever needed one secret identity? Hero Shrew is having a bit of an existential crisis, after the mentoring. Since he’s realised his life has basically been ‘hit puberty. Got a job hitting people. Got a second job where he could hit people harder.’ Flux: This was interesting - not ‘who do I have to hit?’ as ‘What do I do with my time?’ Hero Shrew: Time? What do I do with my LIFE?!
  6. Wrath and Glory - Demo Game Playing one of the Wrath and Glory 40K RPG demo games. Spoilers ahead Sister Abigail Casserina - Sister-Hospitaller Brother Andar - Imperial Fists Space Marine Brother Zeriel Balor - Blood Angel Space Marine Adept Rotus Ilus - Tech-priest An Moet-Chandon - Inquisitorial Acolyte Introducing the characters GM: I’ll start with somebody who still technically human. Brother Zeriel: I was told I needed more practise interacting with humans. An Moet-Chandon OoC: And the Imperial Fist is sitting in the other corner of the Chapterhouse building pillow forts. Going to a hospital to collect a team-member, injured in a previous mission. And, of course, keeping our eyes open for any signs of heresy, thoughtcrime, or impiety. Suddenly, Zombies! In hospital smocks. An Moet-Chandon: Backsliders! Not long after, we’re putting the last zombies down, as well as any civilians that managed to get themselves bitten. No doubt their faith was insufficient. An Moet-Chandon: May the Emperor forgive your failings, for I cannot! *BLAM* Adept Ilus locks the building down and starts looking through the pict-records for anybody that may have snuck out the side exits, and where the poxwalkers originated. Brother Andar heads down to supervise the the purging of the Mortuary when we find out. Moet-Chandon orders the hospital security to assemble everybody in the foyer for questioning. Brother Zerial Balor: It’s not difficult - gather them here, or we burn the hospital to the ground. This hospital is clearly tainted. Brother Zerial Balor: Given I’m going room to room… Expectant Parents: What shall we name our child? Zerial: *Kicks in door, waves chainsaw* No daemons? Right, everybody to the foyer. Expectant Parents: *gawps* How about Dante? Or Sanguinius? Tech-Adept Ilus: How about ‘Induced Labour?’ Brother Andar heads downstairs to purge the source of the zombies - the mortuary. Purging involves servitors with multi-meltas, who incinerate everything in the mortuary, then each other. Moet-Chandon: Those of you who are strong in your faith are blessed this day - Him on Terra has sent his Angels of Death, and his Sisters of Battle, His Sons and Daughters, to protect the deserving. Unlike those moral failures *points to the burning pile of zombies*. But one of you has been WEAK. One head medic, from the ward for Exotic Diseases, is absent. Nobody has seen him all day, despite him telling them he was going to a meeting. Currently, the Exotic Disease of most interest is Abycus Syndrome, where the victims babble a string of apparently random numbers. Konig’s notes reveal it may be spread by psychic infection, or direct ingestion. It apparently only affect people who are already unconscious or comatose from other injuries or disease. As if his absence wasn’t suspicious enough, Konig didn’t report the nature of the syndrome to higher authorities, but kept all the patients here for further study. Moet-Chandon: *growls* A questioning mind betrays a treacherous soul. GM: It is disturbing to see your friend in this state - mindless chanting a string of random integers. Moet-Chandon: The Inquisition can’t afford to have friends! Magos-Biologis: Even in Chaos patterns will emerge Moet-Chandon: DO NOT PURSUE THIS LINE OF INQUIRY Magos-Biologis: The Omnissiah asks us all to explore the paths to knowledge … *notices Moet-Chandon reaching for the grip of her Inferno Pistol* but I understand it may be unwise to do so unsupervised. Preparing Patient Zero, a comatose Astropath, so one of the Space Marines can eat his brain and figure out what the hell is going on from the ingested memories. The Astropath is the only person to have lived this long while infected with Abycus Syndrome. It’s lucky we plug him back into life support first, as we’ll see later. There’s also a real chance that Andar will be infected by the disease to, even with his superhuman biochemistry and psychic conditioning. This is a terrible idea. Moet-Chandon: Brother Balor! If your fellow Astartes falters, it will be up to you to Euthanize him. Brother Zeriel: Not difficult. Konig: Who are you! Vat are you doing in my vard! Moet-Chandon: Medic Konig. You life is measured in minutes if you do not answer my questions, fully. Konig: Get out of my hospital! Brother Andar: *lifts Konig by the throat* Cease your prattling, lest I perform the Ritual of Omniphagea on you. Konig: On whose authority! Moet-Chandon: On the authority of the God-Emperor’s Holy Inquisition. Konig: Oh for F***ing Spaceballs. Moet-Chandon: I give you one last chance to answer my question. It is possible you are merely a fool. It seems likely you are a heretic. You told your colleagues you were going to a meeting. We have already interrogated them. You did not. Where, in truth, did you go? Konig: You can’t do this! GM: If you shoot him in the brain you won’t be able to get the information for one thing. Moet-Chandon: *sighs, and shifts her aim to his heart* Brother Andar, you may eat his brain to retrieve the evidence we need. Konig: Well, you can all BOW BEFORE THE DARK GODS. He knocks us all to the ground with a telepathic attack and flees. Magos-Biologis: Query - What JUsT HappenED+++ Moet-Chandon: You Medic-Primaris bartered his soul to daemons, and damned himself for power. Magos-Biologis: Ah. He was a cultist. Hypothesis - Dedicated to Nurgle? Moet-Chandon: *eyes the tech-priest suspiciously* You are just asking for in-depth interrogation, later. It’s about this point that Adept Ilus notices what the auto-quill on the life support is actually printing out. The numbers are the Epsilon-level passcode for the city’s food silos. The only thing keeping the astropath alive were his desperate attempts to warn the authorities, by broadcasting the number via every comatose patient in the hospital. Admittedly, it did spread the Syndrome to all of the other patients, and doomed them to resurrection as zombies when they expired, but it’s the thought that counts. So, why would the Astropath even know the silo security codes? Because Konig was planning to infect the planet’s food supply with the disease. Oh dear. Some vox-calls confirm that Konig just slaughtered his way into the building. Brother Andar goes for the straightforward response, and calls down an orbital strike on the planet’s food reserves. Which does vaporise the contaminated food and the zombies Konig hurriedly raised, but doesn’t kill Konig, who crawls out of the burning rubble and cloud of toast-smell, somewhat irate. Violence ensues, as well as opportunity for an ongoing campaign.
  7. Pathfinder : The Mummy's Mask : Where's Hypatia When You Need Her? Heading downriver to the Osirion equivalent of Alexandria, Tephu, so Nemat can hit the Great Library. It’s one of three cities in the estuary, but Tephu made its fortune from papyrus. Also like Alexandria, they search any visiting ships for books and scrolls they don’t already have. And we have a Handy Haversack filled to the brim with books they don’t have. Although Nemat’s diary is going to be difficult to copy, given a third of it is written with the Hidden Page spell, a third can only be read by the light of fire beetles, and it’s all written in three different dead languages. Asrian: We look for a ferry that won’t sink halfway. GM: So you avoid Crazy Hassan’s floating camels then ‘Very good amphibious camels!’ GM: One of the farmers has noticed his son/armhand, is asleep on the job, and is trying to shake them awake. It’s not working. Zenobia OoC: We’ve barely left town and already someone’s dead. Nemat: *conjures water to drop on the boy’s head* GM: It doesn’t wake him up. Nemat: That’s not good. GM: And then the farmer starts falling asleep. And some of the livestock. And Zenobia. Nemat: And that really not good. Hey! You! Stay awake! Zenobia: *yawning toothily* Wake me up when we get to the capital *passes out* GM: There’s definitely something casting magic on the boat, but you can’t see it. Nemat: Damn - we can’t attack something we can’t see. Oh, wait. *casts See The Invisible* GM: What the EFF is THAT?! It’s some kind of nightmarish animated dream creature. Zenobia gets shaken awake, but is still very groggy. Zenobia OoC: Apparently I’m not a morning person. Asrian OoC: Well, we did get a lot of exercise last night. Animated Dream Monster: You know, this isn’t working out, I’m going to go eat somebody else inst- Nemat OoC: Except it’s not it’s turn yet. GM: I know, that’s just what goes through it’s head before you cut it off. The Book Inspector can barely contain his glee at the haul of books the party has brought down from Wati. Nemat is certainly going to be a welcome visiting scholar while we look up any information of the Sky Pharaoh and the Forgotten Pharaoh. Nemat rents us a luxury suite of rooms on the outskirts of Tephu. Zenobia: I wonder who they think will be using the double bed. I guessing that Asrian and I won’t be their first guess. Nemat: I will nip in the bud any plan that might get me banned from the Library. Hemeda the Librarian: Ah, yes, the Covenant of Wati - the list of books you brought down is MOST impressive. How many the Library be of assistance to your research? Nemat: We wish to learn what we can of the Pharaoh Hakotep the First. Hemeda: … I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of this Pharaoh. Asrian: He’s also known as the Forgotten Pharaoh. Nemat: We have his mask here - but be careful with it, it contains his ka. Hemeda: I’d ask WHY you have the mask of an unknown pharaoh, but… Well. Since your donation to the catalogue is so extensive, I’ll waive the first week of fees. The library also waive the fees of anybody seriously injured exploring The Stacks. Nemat: At least they have a slight idea about public safety. Although one of the scrolls we find stored up near roof level claims that the Sky Pharaoh and the Forgotten Pharaoh are the same person, which contradicts other records. Catalogue notes indicates there are related scrolls held in the library’s Inner Sanctum. We will need permission from Deka An-Keret, governor of the city, before we’ll be permitted in there. And for some reason they’re refusing requests from the library for a meeting. Nemat: I have an idea. Let’s find the local temple of Callistria. Asrian: We need to return that dead woman’s belongings for one thing. Nemat: And the priests putting in a good word for us will help. Alternatively we can get some help from one of the Ruby Prince’s favourite concubines, who is in town at the moment, and may be willing to apply some political pressure. And by a happy coincidence, she’s at the temple of Callistria today. She’s a woman of enormous appetites and passions. Muminofrah: Oh Darlings, darlings, come in to my sanctum! You’re such wonderful specimens - so beautiful! Muminofrah: Information on the Masked Pharoah? Well, at least he isn’t coming back from the dead and trying to take over! *chuckles with amusement* Asrian: Yeah, about that… Muminofrah: … I SEE. Well, I’ll definitely see about getting you permission. Come, sit with me. Zenobia: *tenses up* Nemat: Ah, Zenobia, I need your help - we have some shopping to do. Inks, scrolls, that sort of thing. Zenobia: *after she’s been reluctantly dragged away* Was she hitting on my girlfriend??? Nemat: Yes. Zenobia is going to be pretty miserable all week, because Muminofrah is going to be demanding repeat visits from Asrian, as well as services from the rest of us, in return for getting us a few day’s access to the inner library. Asrian isn’t happy about it either, but we can’t afford to offend somebody with that much political clout, who is also a devotee of the goddess of revenge. Inside the Spiral Sanctum, the doors of which are looked behind us. Zenobia: I assume that they give us formal warnings about open flames in here. GM: Yes. Magical light sources only. Zenobia: What sort of engraved curses do they have for arsonists? Nemat: The Revenge of Nemat. GM: And the archive has its own guardians. As well as the Guardian in question, who has a long list of people who have broken the rules in the past, there’s another researcher in here. A hooded woman, who claims she’s seeking the legendary Uraeus ring. Nemat knows what that is, since it’s the symbol of his own god, as well a symbol of rulership. She warns us about the Invisible Stalker guarding part of the library, and goes on her way. Zenobia: She seems nice. Nemat: She’s also not telling the whole story. Mind you, neither were we. The central pit of the inner library is an OSHA violation waiting to happen. And the scrolls we’re looking for aren’t where they’re supposed to be. Either stolen, or mis-shelved. Happily, it’s the latter. Apparently the Sky Pharaoh believed his country was going to be attacked by enemies that lived in the clouds, and got his defence in first, using magic belonging to an even older empire that actually had flying cities. Unfortunately, most of the details we need are fragmentary, although there’s an interesting list of his major courtiers. And a recorded confession, with more details of what happened to the Pharaoh after his death, as well as evidence that Djeret the Second, the Pharaoh’s successor, tried to bury the fact that Nethysian cultists were somehow involved in the whole debacle. Oh dear. The current governor is Nethysian. Asrian OoC: It’s actually DJ Eret, and he was a great spinner. No explanation of why the Sky Pharoah/Forgotten Pharaoh had his official name changed though. And then we’re attacked by the OTHER Invisible Stalker. Nemat: ****! I can’t do that! Not down here! … I was going to cast Blistering Invective and set it on fire. Happily, Asrian knows the spell Glitterdust, and Nemat’s and Asrian’s critical hits keep chaining up. Guardian: WHAT IN THE NINE HELLS IS GOING ON DOWN HERE. Nemat: An invisible stalker attacked us. Guardian: INVISIBLE STALKER???? Nemat: Yes, the other woman warned us about one of them, but- Guardian: WHAT OTHER WOMAN? YOU ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH PERMISSION TO BE HERE. All: …. Well then. Apparently we need further permissions to ANOTHER locked archive here - the Dark Depository. And no doubt the Governor knows about our inquiries now…
  8. Champions - Edge City - Under the Sea, Under the Sea First, a few quotes best out of context Hardlight: I have a arch-nemesis. Hero Shrew: Who, your counterpart from the Evil Universe who makes you look bad by actually being good at your job? Hardlight: No! Centurion! MY ARCH-NEMESIS…. Who doesn’t know anything about me. Fireflash’s ongoing problems of finding a scorchproof lover GM: Most of the energy beings are asexual, which doesn’t help Fireflash much. Hero Shrew: Some sort of quantum superposition? Fireflash: Well, that’d BETTER be a super position! Anyway - the five members of Quadrant managed to beat up two kaiju before they could level too many city blocks, and before a giant mecha could turn the monster tussle into a threesome. But the pilot of that has an interesting story - he’d persuaded Humanity First to bankroll it and when an opportunity to be a superhero showed up, nicked it. This probably going to be worth chasing up later, but there’s a more urgent issue, especially for Hero Shrew and Allana. Because the Terrorsaurus that was fighting the Monstersaurus was created using the same techniques Genesys used to create the Moreaus. And the control and radar signals are coming from a sub in the bay. There’s also that giant invisible squid we encountered before, but it’s asleep, or in stasis. Flux: None of us could figure out how to operate the giant squid so we’re leaving it for the professionals. On the sub are five Genesys scientists, and a Chimp-Moreau that they were using as a living hard drive. With a built-in neural pruning organism that the bad guys activate when we smash our way in. Happily, Allana is a very very very good medic, and her needles could fit down the optic nerve canal, and she’s careful enough that the neural pruner won’t spread if contagious. And Flux can copy the electronic versions of the data of their computer systems. So know we know everything that Genesys have been up to for the last 15 years, and the location of the the giant abalone-sub they’ve been hiding in. On the other hand, the Clean-up Crew would like to know what happened to about 5 kilos of Monstersaurus. It looks like it was cut out. Hero Shrew: Well, I think I punched out some of its teeth - did you get all those? Maybe the street cameras or the media blimps saw something - but the later would want big bucks for the footage. Flux: Call our PR guy ‘Please negotiate for the footage - because it was awesome!’ Hero Shrew does find footage that looks like something is cutting out monster steaks, which then vanish. There’s no sign of a stealth-field fringe, or the lip of an invisible bag swallowing the samples. Hero Shrew: … It’s not Doctor Soma is it? GM: Oh look, it’s her! Flux: Her Somebody-Else’s-Problem works through cameras???? GM: Yeah - but fails against anybody actually looking for her. Which is a big problem for an invisibility field. Hero Shrew: Well, it’s probably not urgent that we find out why Dr Soma wants monster steaks. GM: She IS an expert in abnormal physiology. Hero Shrew: And Monstersauri are pretty abnormal. Flux: Not that abnormal - they’re just giant T. rexes that breath fire. Fireflash: And that’s normal in which universe? Allana: This one, apparently. GM: At least you stopped Genesys getting a sample to use their Moreau Process on. All: *get cold sweats* While Scooter was busy going over the video footage, Hardlight has been organising a meet with the pillars of the Moreau community to give them the news about Genesys. Hero Shrew: Hopefully Genesys will assume the neural pruning virus and the rest of it worked as planned, so they won’t know we’re coming. We meet at a Moreau restaurant - but in addition to Simon the feline lawyer, Madam Lil the otter, and Colin the Collie, there’s a Rhino most of us haven’t seen before. Hardlight: I assume you can vouch for- Robert: I’m right here. Hardlight: Sorry - I’m a bit paranoid about the news I’m about to tell you. Robert: About the ECPD taking five Genesys scientists into custody? All: … Robert: I have my own sources. Robert the Rhino is not only a slumlord, but he has contacts and supply lines to other Moreau communities around the world, ensuring the manimals get all the stuff they actually need. Robert: Did you know that most Moreaus can’t use paracetamol? Fireflash: I didn’t know it, but I’m not surprised. Hero Shrew: Allana knew. Allana: I carry 20 different painkillers at all times. Hero Shrew: And some double as human party drugs. Allana: Anyway, we know where Genesys are hiding. Or were. Flux: It’s mobile. Robert: I see. Well, that explains a lot. Hero Shrew: A giant abalone-sub. Like the snail at the end of Doctor Dolittle! All: … what? It’s pointed out to us that the captured scientists are going to need protection - largely because once the wider Moreau community finds out, they’re going get lynched. And there’s an unknown number of Moreaus with superpowers. Hardlight: There’s one more thing - you know Doctor Soma? Madam Lil, Colin the Collie, and Simon: *cringe* Robert the Rhino: Who? Hero Shrew: *hurriedly* never mind, clearly not important. Colin: *sigh* Well, the cat’s out of the bag now. Simon the Feline: *glares at Colin* Soma is probably just collecting samples to advance her research - at least when she collects from Moreaus, she asks permission, and destroys the samples afterwards. Colin, Simon, and Lil don’t mind since they really needed a medic for the community before Allana showed up. We contact the Edge City Police Department, to arrange us escorting the prisoners to more secure facilities out of town. There’s a Thylacine-Moreau detective in the ECPD now. Flux: I want to ask if she has a pouch, but I’d get punched. Hardlight: Where do you think she keeps her gun? Hero Shrew: And now YOU are getting punched. Allana: Can we borrow a paddy-wagon? Sandra Polis, Thylacine: Well, we can, but I’d need to assign a pair of ECPD to go with you….. Oh, I have JUST the pair. It’s two cops who don’t particularly like Moreaus. Hardlight: ‘My daughter ran off with a cat’ GM: You realise that’s going to be a meme now, right? At least the prisoner transfer goes smoothly - we had a good plan and arranged distractions with suitable people before the trip. If anybody planned to attack the convoy, they probably weren’t expecting Allana to carry the entire paddywagon and fly. So that’s one problem solved anyway - but the chimp with the eidetic memory hasn’t woken up yet, and the cryptography on the files Flux copied is so strong that he has to pour every bit of his technomancy into it to solve it. But the files promptly self-destruct the moment he does - and when he tries again the files take over OUR computer. And broadcasts our location, before we can unplug it. Fireflash: And our computer has renamed itself E.V.1.L GM: So, Flux, how high is your EGO score? Hardlight: Are we about to have our team hacker mind-controlled again.? Possibly not, but the encrypted program is ALSO doing its best to erase the data from Flux’s head. The hell??? Eventually, after various post-it notes to himself, he finds a way around the data-bomb, but there’s not much apart from sampling and navigational data on the sub’s computer. No logs. A surprising amount of records regarding faecal contamination of seawater. Hero Shrew: They’re looking for Cthulhu’s toilet? They seems to hunting for a particular protein marker in the contamination. Some kind of Moreau. Or, more likely, the entire Marine-Mammal Moreau community that vanished off the face of the earth shortly after the big breakout. Allana: Doctor Boris? Boris the Chimp: Am I Doctor Boris? Allana: That’s what you told me. Boris: Doctor is an unusual name. Allana: It’s more of a title. Boris: There’s lots of doctors here. Do I work here? No… wait… not here. Somewhere… Allana: Does the name Genesys mean anything to you? Boris: Yes! I worked there! We did important work! Boris: We were looking for the thing that was on the thing that we bought. Something greasy... Oil. On the containers? In the containers? We were looking in the packaging... Boris: You stuck a needle in my eye! Allana: Yes, I needed to stop a bacterium in your brain. Boris: You stopped me flinging poo at people! I like you. Boris: We needed to find where the oil was made… the oil farm. Allana realises this all might connect to Quadrant’s first mission as a team - recovering the database of Moreau sightings. Genesys are still looking. She should probably go warn a certain place that she doesn’t want to tell the rest of Quadrant about. Doctor Boris puts a few more memories together, and starts to realise that he probably shouldn’t be blabbing like this. Even if Allana did stop his brain from being fried. The place that Allana doesn’t want to tell is about it is a kelp farm in Monterey Bay, run by those Marine-mammal Moreaus. GM: If anybody finds out that they’re here they’d be in trouble - it’s a marine sanctuary. Allana: Yeah - for Marine Mammals. GM: Good point! Apparently Allana is a frequent visitor. Hero Shrew: How does she cope with the buoyancy issues? It’s a good point - Allana’s build is rather pneumatic. And most of the marine Moreaus are naturally streamlined, although their head of security, one Cecilia (a seal-Moreau, naturally) is more curvy than usual. And, bizarrely, is apparently interested in Scooter. Flux: That’ll stop the moment she finds out how he smells when wet. One of the Moreaus in the bay is a giant turtle. GM: If he ever goes to Loch Ness then he’s guaranteed a job playing the monster. Player: Isn’t Nessie already a thing in this universe? GM: Good point. Then he’s guaranteed a mate.
  9. Champions - Return To Edge City - Big Bucks and Big Monsters The Edge City team - still officially Quadrant despite having five members - are meeting up with somebody that wants to be our Agent. Hero Shrew:We can get action figures! Rep’s deal is commission-only, without retainer. Pretty good for us - if we don’t make any money, neither does he. Of course, Hardlight want to figure out a way that his civilian identity can sponsor himself. Hero Shrew:Is this some way to avoid tax? Hardlight:… no? Flux:Even supervillains pay tax. GM:SOME supervillains pay tax. We can’t find any bad reviews of Rep online. On the other hand we can’t find any statistics on how many agents for superhero teams get killed or kidnapped by supervillains. We decide to meet him to seal the deal anyway - Rep suggests a local Chinese restaurant. We make sure we get there early. Rep has already arranged to have those reinforced chairs brought in. Hardlight:… I’m just going to scan these chairs - just in case. GM:They’re cast iron with comfortable cushions. Rep has some good suggestions for bank accounts and taxes vs. secret identities. And points out that in these days of social media, trying to stay out of the limelight is nearly impossible, so you might as well profit from it. Rep:Yep, 30 hits already for photos of us here at this table. Rep:And with you Scooter, it has to be food. Every other photo of you I could find, you’re eating something - thankfully not someone. Hero Shrew:I can eat mealworm bars all day - and I do. Do I still get an action figure? Flux:Can you make one of those that opens and closes jaws when you squeeze it? Rep:Oh no, those things are a hazard to children - last thing you want associated with your Moreau. The Sonic the Hedgehog character Rouge gets mentioned, in relation to Allana. Rep:There’s another Bat-Moreau in town? Fireflasht:It’s a geek reference - look up ‘Rouge Sonic the Hedgehog ‘ later. Rep:I’ll do that. Hardlight:Safe search on! Rep:I keep that switched off - I need to know what my clients are up against. Hardlight:I keep thinking there’s something I’m forgetting about. Wasn’t there some evil guy running around? Flux:Well, there was what Scooter did to that pile of dumplings, that was pretty evil. Hero Shrew:No, it’s the aftermath of all those dumplings that’s evil. A few days later Scooter is spending a rainy night in a Zoo eatery when he is rudely reminded that shrews are small and most predators are large. In the form of a fourteen-storey tall eyeless T-rex with extra spikes. Hero Shrew:Speed dial speed dial…. GM:‘Hey Google - CALL THE TEAM’ Hardlight:Hey Scooter - what’s up? Hero Shrew:Either somebody put some funny mushrooms in my ramen, or I’m looking at a fifteen story tall Godzilla in the Zoo. Allana:*sticks her head out the door of her apartment to listen* Fireflash:I’m on my way. Flux:Kaiju - that’s a hashtag that I didn’t want to see today. Scooter is feeling some very old instincts as he follows the kaiju down the street - the kind of instincts his distinct ancestors evolved back when they were running around under the claws of dinosaurs and terror birds. Normally he’d be loudly and joyfully attacking its ankles, but too many of his forebears saw teeth like those, briefly. The rest of the team converge - Hardlight in a taxi. GM:You’re more incompetent with your own powers than Ralph Hinkley. At least the kaiju isn’t doing much property damage - it seems to looking for something, eyeless head swing around, and the array of spines along its flanks flexing like an antenna array. GM:It’s still a Doyouthinkhesaurus-scale threat, but... Hardlight decides that trying to jam whatever it’s doing on the radio frequency, from eight meters away, is a good idea. Hero Shrew:uuuuhhhh….. GM:Well, we all heard him say it. Eight meters away. OK. Hero Shrew:Even I think this a bad idea. The kaiju goes berserk. GM:You didn’t blind it, you cut it’s LEASH! It’s reverted to its normal behaviour - EAT Hardlight:My theory is confirmed! *gets smacked into a building* Flux:Clearly the Evil Hardlight has gone back to his own dimension and we’re got the original incompetent one back. Fireflash:After we deal with this, we search Hardlight for wherever he’s hiding the Idiot Ball. Hero Shrew continues the theme by trying to leap onto the thing, despite lacking any acrobatics or climbing skills. Our other attacks are about as ineffective, but fortunately it stops rampaging and returns to its search pattern, eventually narrowing down whatever it’s searching for to a warehouse area near the docks. Allana goes sniffing before the kaiju can start searching building to building - and smells something new pervading the area. Something old, yet young, reminiscent of Moreaus. And something metabolising really, really fast. And then a Monstersaurus bursts up from under the street, and screams a challenge at the first one. So now we’re in the middle of a kaiju fight. Hero Shrew:NOW there’s going to be property damage. And then we here a THIRD roar from the north - and see rocket engines. It’s something that hasn’t been seen in a decade - the Potentially Copyright-Compromising Minuteman Robot. A giant robot that got shut down for being notoriously murderous, even without the influence of Mechanon. Fireflash certainly recognises it, and prioritises IT as the prime target, even with two kaiju wrestling around the docks. But Allana is busy punching one of the kaijus back on its arse, but the other kaiju doesn’t appreciate the interference, and the first few blasts of Godzilla breath get blasted around, even as the first one is getting its teeth punched out by Hero Shrew. The Minuteman robot is firing missiles, but at least the ones that miss seem programmed to turn out over the bay and detonate where they can’t hurt anybody. The first kaiju bites a chunk the size of a schoolbus out of the unconscious Monstersaurus. Hero Shrew:Well, I think we can safely say they weren’t here to mate. Flux:I wasn’t thinking that. Scooter, we need to talk about your mating habits. Actually, Allana, YOU talk to him about his mating habits. The first kaiju isn’t swallowing the monstersaurus flesh either - just holding it in its mouth. Odd. But some of us are suffering too many acid burns to care. Fireflash is beginning to suspect that the giant robot is actually piloted, and whoever is piloting it just wanted to fight kaiju, and with both Kaiju punched unconscious it’s slowing down again. Hardlight, on the other hand, apparently wants to stop the kaiju actually dying. Allana tells Scooter to hurry to the ocean to deal with the ongoing acid burns. Allana:It’ll stop you melting. The robot has stopped, saluted, and the chest opens up and somebody gets out. Allana:Look out, it’s deploying biological weapons! At least it’s unlikely to be anybody from the original group that built the Minutemen - they really didn’t like monsters, mutates, and anybody that wasn’t human for at least a few hours a day. That kind of people would be unlikely to salute our group - only Hardlight passes, and that’s only if his powers derive solely from his armour.
  10. Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask - Boss Fight The Covenant of Wati have located the source of the Necromantic energy currently erupting from the Necropolis - somewhere underneath the Observatory of Truth and Wisdom. Zenobia: Expect combat- the kind of people who set off necromantic geysers that run all week are generally not the kind of people you can reason with. I’m not saying it’s IMPOSSIBLE- it’s just not very likely Zenobia OoC : Down down deeper and down. Bit odd for an observatory, unless they’re installing a neutrino telescope. Chamber of zombies and desecrated altar - how to lure all the zombies close enough to get them all with a single Channel Positive Energy? Nemat: Din-dins! Come on! Juicy adventurer meat here! The reconsecrated temple can also provide holy water, if a suitable donation is made - large amounts of silver. Zenobia OoC : I get the impression we are about to cure zombism with a homeopathic preparation of monatomic silver and holy water. We’re interrupted during zombie decapitation by the arrival of a gold-masked figure and a few minions. Meret-Hetef: You fools! The mask belongs to us! We are the true heirs of the Sky-Pharaoh’s legacy! Zenobia OoC : I suggest she gets as far as the second ‘o’ in fools, when Nemat, who was waiting by the door for just such an entrance, blats her. The minions have much higher initiative then their boss. Zenobia: They probably have much better situational awareness, because they’re not wearing a mask. Meret-Hetef turns herself invisible. Zenobia: So she cast Disillusionment on herself. And we’re about to disillusion her about other things too. After Onka’s application of 50,000 volts to Meret-Hetef and the minions, the former head of the Silver Chain and the surviving cultist promptly surrender. Zenobia: I don’t think they were fully invested in the whole ‘cult’ thing. Zenobia: We’ll be back to collect you shortly, but bare in mind that any information you can give us will ensure your cases are considered favourably by the cult of Pharasma. Asrian: And increase the chance that we actually come back for you. Zenobia: That too. I was more focusing on the future of their immortal souls. We explore further, and hear a woman screaming. Screaming stuff like “What are you doing, why did you leave me here, you never give me any respect!” all in Modern Osiriani. Nemat peeks around the corner wearing one of the burial masks. He’s spotted. “Oh, and now he’s sent his minions to collect me! Well, hurry up, wretch, take me to my grandson!” It’s a severed human head, in a birdcage. Nemat: Another poor wretch to put down. The Head: What?! Who are you?! Guards! Deal with them! She has her own skeletal minions. Zenobia: I’d rather not use Channel Positive Energy to kill all the undead. She might be worth interrogating. Nemat: I don’t care, I don’t want to listen to that voice. GM: Neither does the bad guy. That why he stuck her in here. The head tries to permanently demoralise Asrian with a curse, which bounces off with zero effect. The Head: Imagine gnolls naked! Asrian: .... have you MET my girlfriend? Was that supposed to demoralise me? Exact opposite effect I’d say. The undead don’t last long. The Head: Just end it already! I’ve been a head for decades and my grandkids don’t visit! Zenobia: Would you like to tell your grandson this in person, honoured grandmother? The Head: And then you’ll end me? Deal! The little bastard will be downstairs, wearing his ancestor’s mask! Onka: *bludgeons the head to a pulp* The Head: Tell the ungrateful brat I’ll be waiting for him in the afterlife! Nemat is traumatised - not from any spell or anything, but just because the room is carved with a COMPREHENSIVE record for Wati going back some 2000 years. And he doesn’t have enough paper to take rubbings of them all. Asrian: We can come back later. GM: As long as the bad guy isn’t a Load-bearing boss Following the directions of the shrieking head, we discover that there are even deeper levels under the observatory, but unlike the temple dedicated to the old pantheon above, theses ones have defences designed with the new pantheon in mind. Somewhat peculiar - perhaps we should actually interrogate captives more thoroughly. Still, there are also more undead, which is no surprise at all. And teleport traps, which ARE surprising, and not good. Zenobia OoC : And the worst thing is I can’t even interrogate this thing to find out what it did with my girlfriend. Onka: I must be carrying the Wand of Invisibility then. Nemat: Yes. Zenobia’s backpack is full of books. Asrian: And I need to watch my weight. Onka: … no comment. Zenobia: Lucky for you. Asrian: Yes. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Scimitar Enema’? Combat vs. high level undead after a teleport trap splits the party is nasty. A well-preserved corpse is merely suspicious. Zenobia cautiously checks for cause of death. GM: She be dead. Zenobia: Like that means anything, down here. Apparently she was a temple prostitute of Callistria, who died of exposure in the desert, and had Gentle Repose cast on her remains. Asrian collects her belongings for return to the nearest Callistrian temple, and decapitates the corpse, just in case. Nemat: Callistria is the goddess of trickery, lust and vengeance. Zenobia: Got it - ‘Don’t Piss Off The Callistrians.’ We also find Mr. Gold Mask’s diary and notes. It has all the details about his plan and motivation we could hope for. Apparently there are bits of the Mad Sky-Pharaoh in the possession of various competing groups across Wati. Zenobia: Helpful text-only monologue Nemat: So that explains that. We may have accelerated his plans a bit. Onka: ‘Damn those adventurers and their gnoll companion’ Nemat: Ow. Onka OoC: We’re missing a fifth to make the Scooby Gang Nemat OoC: Wait, does that make me Velma?! A bit later, after some in-Zenobia’s-opinion-unwarranted body image issues from Asrian, we buff each with potions and spells and kick in the door for the final boss. GM: Nebta-Khufre has been waiting for you. Zenobia: He would have been annoyed if we just rested up in the anteroom. Nemat: ‘come on, I haven’t got all the time in the world’ Onka: ‘Yet.’ Nebta-Khufre: At last, the Covenant of Wati have come to face me! Zenobia: We’re famous. Nemat: Well, ‘famous’ is part of the word. Onka: How nice of him to stand still and talk as we walk up the stairs to kill him. Admittedly Mr Gold Mask does Fly up out of reach and turn a large part of the floor into white-hot obsidian spikes, but that was probably counterproductive because Nemat promptly Dispels his Fly. The fight continues, at length, with Zenobia taking serious damage from the minions - the boss is not in much of a state to do anything. GM: ‘stop hitting him, he’s already dead *sob*’ Zenobia: If whatever is in that sarcophagus sits up now, I will be a bit cross. It doesn’t, but killing Nebta-Khufre also ends the fountain of Necromantic energy over Wati, and prevents the resurrection of Wati’s founder as a powerful undead minion. GM: And no it was not a load-bearing boss. Zenobia: Yay for archeology! Zenobia: Now we can go back and collect those prisoners we left tied up. Nemat: Oh yeah! I’m glad one of us remembered. The Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh is a pretty potent item, and only gets more so the longer you wear it. GM: One legend about it says it can raise hundreds of undead over a wide area: Zenobia: I think we can safely say that isn’t a legend anymore. Just as well we don’t have to inform the Pharasmaens or Nethysians about what we found, since it seems likely that we’ll need all the bits of of the loony sky-pharaoh to finally usher him on to the afterlife, and his cult want the bits to raise him again. Assuming the Forgotten Pharaoh and the Sky Pharaoh are actually the same person. Time to head to the libraries of the capital! After we’re helped Nemat loot every library under Wati.
  11. Pathfinder : Mummy's Mask : PC Parkour Zenobia OoC: Another random wandering monster then? GM: No. Zenobia OoC: Ah, this is SUPPOSED to be here then. GM: Apart from the burning corpse of the giant spider - well, AGAIN corpse - Zenobia: Double-corpse. GM: There’s another body. You didn’t see it before because, well - Zenobia: The room was black with spiders. You said. And now we have a light source. It’s a recent corpse, wearing a funerary mask. Just like those favoured by the weirdo who took over the Silver Chain, and who was seen lurking around the Necropolis before S*** Got Real. He’s covered in spider bites, but it’s the numerous claw marks and slashing injuries that killed him. He also has a notebook, giving the locations of the Elegiac Compasses, and orders to go to same from one Nebta-Khufre. It also mentions the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye, the Shining Bauble, and a couple of other places that we’ve been to ourselves. Some of them have been crossed out. But the Elegiac Compass that is SUPPOSED to here, isn’t, and nor is there any visible space for an attic. We head downstairs, where there are some bored mummies. Who stop being bored the moment they spot us coming down the stairs. And paralyse everybody but Asrian with their auras of despair. GM: Asrian, you slash the nearest mummy across the abdomen. It’s guts are on the floor… Or would be, if it had any. Zenobia OoC: I was about to say - it’s guts should be in a canopic jar somewhere. Nemat gets over the paralysis soon enough to attempt to Shackle the mummies to each other. Perhaps we’re making a remake of The Defiant Ones. But given the undead are soon just dead, perhaps not. We rifle through the empty sarcophagi, unfinished scientific and mathematical manuscripts, and a campsite somebody apparently set up in here. But by the looks of of things, they were NOT looting the burial chambers - the mummies got up by themselves later. The LIBRARY got looted. Happily, Nemat knows the Sift spell. GM: Book, book, scroll, scroll, book, hidden switch, book - Asrian: Switch? Nemat: Yeah yeah, I’ll get back to it. Book book, scroll, book. He also stuff’s Zenobia’s extradimensional backpack with as many books and scrolls as will fit. There’s a hidden stairway leading up, revealed by the switch. Also something is chattering, but it doesn’t sound like language. It’s a pair of shadowy ghost-skeletons, trying to operate the Elegiac compass. THESE have an aura attack too. But at least we can get a bearing from the compass before heading back to the temple in Wati to get all our mental and spiritual damage healed. And now we know the epicenter of the necromantic energy, a temple and observatory dedicated to Maat and Thoth. Hopefully Nemat won’t need to seduce a free Restoration out of Sebti the Crocodile. GM: You know what? I’m going to make all the female NPCs lesbian, just to stop you doing that. Zenobia OoC: But that won’t stop Asrian or me. Onka OoC: So you’re screwed either way. Zenobia OoC: As the actress said to the bishop. Nemat’s eventual plan is to become a Living Monolith, the walking embodiments of Justice. GM: Most spellcasters want to be liches. You just want to be a robot. The Pharasmaens can’t think why somebody would want to set up the observatory as the epicentre of the necromantic ritual, but it is one of the tallest buildings in the district. Zenobia: At least we can go find that other guy and tell him ‘guess who found the Elegiac compasses?’ Nemat: And ‘Your Nosoi would never have found it’ Zenobia: Can’t operate hidden switches for one thing. An overnight rest and back into the Necropolis, via the tunnel and rooftops. Zenobia OoC: PC parkour. GM: You enter the Observatory of Truth and Wisdom! Zenobia OoC: Which in most worlds means there’s not much to observe. Asrian: I’m casting Honeyed Tongue on myself. Zenobia: … no comment. Nemat uses the spell ‘Locate Object’ to see if a certain golden mask is anywhere nearby, by contemplating one of the cheaper versions we picked up earlier, and imagining it gold. It is - somewhere underneath the observatory. We can expect to encounter the new master of the Silver Chain real soon...
  12. Pathfinder : Mummy's Mask : Wandering Monsters Nemat: One of the advantages of being an urban adventurer is actually getting to sleep in a bed. Onka: For a minute there I thought we were going to tart up the gnoll. Zenobia: ...what? Nemat: Nothing! Even if most of the undead in the Necropolis are crowding around the gates like Black Friday shoppers, there's still plenty of random monsters to run into. For example, we're heading towards the second Elegiac Compass location, and realise we’re being followed by some exceptionally unpleasant undead - hairless, festering, so malformed that they’re quadrupedal. Happy, their actual combat prowess isn’t so sophisticated. If they’d just waited until we reached the bathhouse, we wouldn’t have smelled them coming - the place is a swamp. Asrian: But no naked zombies. Nemat: Thank the gods. Nemat does find a Lens of Detection among the wreckage, though. Nemat OoC: An Inquisitor just found a Lens of Detection - all the criminals leave town. I can go full Mad-eye Moody with this. Asrian: Well, this was a bust. But not as beautiful as Zenobia’s. Zenobia: *blushes under her regrown fur* The other two locations we need to check are the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss, and the Tomb of Menket Maatya. Nemat, naturally, wants to go to the latter, so he can exercise his History Geek skillz. Menket was a wizard and astrologer who died about a century ago, who just before his death made arrangements for his tomb. Nemat: Just before? This was a good astronomer. Unfortunately it looks like somebody got here before us. The place has been looted, and the crystal from the middle of this compass is missing as well. Nemat launches into a high-speed pursuit of the culprit, and the first thing he finds is a metal skull amid the rubble, which he picks up. Apparently it’s a Gearghost, and it doesn’t like being disturbed. Skullboy: OI! Getoff! This is my loot! Nobody else gets it! Gearghosts were thieves killed by traps, and exist to spread the pain by making their own traps. It seems likely he was one of the people the Silver Chain used to loot the Necropolis. Onka: It would be such a useful undead is it wasn’t bats**** crazy. Happily, one of Nemat’s abilities synchronises very well with and scimitar-work by his friends, and Zenobia and Asrian both use scimitars. The demented metal skull is promptly dispatched, although it will probably reform soon enough. Off to the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss! It’s just as well there aren’t any maths geeks in the party. For one thing it’s trapezoidal. Nemat: Ah, it’s a conceptual pyramid. Naturally we try to get in through the topmost floor, first. This could be a problem, since the chamber is black. With spiders. Happily, Onka knows Fireball. Less happily, the surviving spiders pile up around the body of a gigantic dead spider. Which animates. And sprays web at us. Which catches fire in the burning oil we set up as a barrier ( and the toppings contains Potassium Benzoate). Happily, Nemat can easily make himself resistant to the flames, which is even better when Zenobia hits the monster with a Tangleburn Bag. Zenobia: Doesn’t Tangleburn explode if you try to put it out with water? Onka: I believe so. Who knows Create Water? Nemat: *grinning evilly* I do.
  13. Flux, our technomage, has been mind-controlled and kidnapped by Talisman and the other bad guys. He’ll probably realise that going off with them was a bad idea, but not until the spell wears off. GM: 24 hours later you go B**** F***ing MINDCONTROL! Not that some of us have actually realised this yet - we’re still in a smoke and crow-filled California bungalow, where we were trying to pull Black Paladin apart like a stewed chicken. He teleported out before we could. Hero Shrew: Coward! Come back and fight like a man! *looks around* Where’s Flux? Allana: He got teleported out. Willingly. Hero Shrew: … what? Flux OoC: I’m going to put it all down to mind control. GM: You’ve seen the way Talisman dresses, right? There will be debate which brain you were thinking with. Scooter is bit upset. Quite more upset than the rest of the team are used to. Flux OoC: You weren’t nearly as upset when Fireflash was kidnapped. Hero Shrew OoC: Letting her be kidnapped was the PLAN. Then it went pear-shaped. Flux OoC: That’s true. We all panicked a bit when my thingy-detector stopped detecting. GM: ‘Thingy-detector’ - this is the level of competency Quadrant had before Allana joined. GM: Does ANYBODY in this team apart from Flux have any occult knowledge? Allana: Of course not. *pointing around the team from herself, to Scooter, to Fireflash, to Hardlight* Mundane, mundane, mundane, mundane and an idiot. And least there’s a few minions half-buried in the wreckage we can apprehend. Less happily half the magic circles were destroyed when Scooter burrowed up from underground. And the bungalow is still surrounding by guardian undead. Fireflash Hi, my name is Fireflash, this is my ID. You’re under arrest. Minions: Lawyer. Lawyer. Lawyer. GM: Sonya recognises some of the symbols though ‘Those are planetary symbols! They keep showing up in Sailor M- … never mind’. Her Geek is showing. Flux OoC: Are these headshot zombies? *BLAM* Nope, still moving - limbs it is then. Hero Shrew OoC: Unless it’s Saturday Morning Cartoons zombies, who always seem to revert to human at the end of the episode. GM: Even in Saturday Morning Cthulhu - I mean Inhumanoids. Hero Shrew: I’m going to have to ask Colin for time off from my other job. I’m going to have to concentrate on finding my friend. GM: You could always rent out one of those new Sleep Pods. Flux OoC: Non-zero chance of psychosis though. Hero Shrew: If we don’t find Flux soon, I’m probably going to go psychotic anyway. We DO try to track down where the bad guys got the generator, inflatable mattresses, and porta-potty from, but it’s hardly likely that Black Paladin, Talisman, and Shadow Dragon would have been hiding out here eating microwave dinners. This site was probably just one of their attempts to get their Big Project to work, and they’ve probably taken Flux back to their actual hide-out. And we’ve got no way to contact Alberich, the mage that showed up to assist in the previous battle. That doesn’t stop him and his Cabal (which apparently includes a necromancer, a former vampire, and a Moreau voodoo-practitioner) from finding us. Allana: Mr. Alberich is here. Sorry, I never found out if Alberich was a first or last name. From the scent Allana picks up, the wolf-Moreau apparently used some of Scooter’s hair to locate the team, but she doesn’t stick around long enough to ask. She used her magic to get Alberich here in a hurry. Alberich: So, there was a magic circle here. Which you destroyed. Allana: Scooter came up through it and the roof couldn’t support my weight. Alberich: A collective ‘you’. Apparently they were trying to bind a fire elemental. Our new Harry-Dresden-wannabe also analyses the residual magic to get us a bearing on wherever Flux was taken, and opens a portal. Using the same black smoky energy Talisman uses. This doesn't reassure Fireflash and Allana. But they’ll have to hold Scooter back once Alberich explains. Allana wisely waves her smartphone through the portal to get a GPS signal first - it’s Ellison Heights, a few blocks from Fireflash’s home. Allana’s plan is to grab Flux and bug out. The room on the other side is nice enough, but Allana can hear somebody watching porn nearby. GM: The guy watching porn has a stab vest and a shock rod. He uses it on Girl Scouts. Hero Shrew: What??? GM: Ok, that come out wrong - he uses it on anybody that comes knocking on the front door and won’t go away. Jehovah’s Witnesses. GM: The rest of the guys have gone to get everything on Flux’s shopping list. Flux IS there, gesturing and chanting over a pile of crystals. Allana: Sorry about this *punches Flux out* We grab Flux and everything that looks expensive or important and try and sneak out again. Happily, Alberich obliges with another portal. Scooter thinks he recognises one of the Moreaus in the porn, but doesn’t alert the bad guys by ejaculating something to that effect. GM: And in related news Dysprosium Dawn have a reduced presence on the streets for a while, because somebody rolled them, and they don’t want to say who. That’s because Flux told Black Paladin and Talisman they should steal the materials they need from Dysprosium Dawn. Flux: I was mind-controlled at the time. It also takes Allana to remind us we got our copies of Superhero Teams For Dummies from PRIMUS, and we all put it to one side because we were busy. Fireflash I was in the middle of exams at the time. My copy is back at Mum’s place, at the bottom of the ‘to read’ pile. Or maybe in storage. And Scooter is back working the door at the Collar Club when some guy in a suit apparently offers a job. He’s one of those excessively friendly people that leave Scooter baffled. Hero Shrew: Um, OK? My shift ends in an hour. Strange Guy: Great! I’ll meet you inside - take in the ambience. You stay you, champ. Hero Shrew: So what’s this job? I’m already working two. Strange Guy: It’s not a job offer, it’s a revenue stream. Call me Rep. Rep: You’re an important guy, Scooter - working a place like this isn’t really image-friendly. Hero Shrew: Hey, it’s the best titty-bar in the Zoo. Rep: We’re talking endorsement deals, licensed merchandise. You eat a lot of those food bars, right? Hero Shrew: Wow, you’ve really been doing your research. He also knows where the other team members live and work - or at least those with public identities. He also knows all about the importance of keeping secret identities secret. But apparently going to Allana’s clinic or Fireflash’s home would be more sleazy than going to the Collar Club. He only wants 15% of whatever deal he arranges for us, after Scooter talks it over with the rest of the team. Scooter calls Fireflash, at 3AM. She answers the videophone naked, but he doesn’t comment. GM: He works at a titty-bar. Hero Shrew: I see LOTS of co-workers naked. Fireflash So what impression did you get? Hero Shrew: 15% seemed fair? Flux: Net or gross? Hero Shrew: Can I get an action figure? Apparently the Rep also represents people like Sapphire, and a few of the Bay Area teams. Fireflash calls her mom to get advice - she’s a commerce attorney for accounting firms - and arranges a lunchtime meeting with the Rep, herself, her mom, and Flux. Hero Shrew needs to sleep, Hardlight has a krill-farming meeting he can’t afford to miss, and Allana wouldn’t fit in the chairs. Or perhaps she would have - the Rep has actually arranged reinforced steel chairs with the restaurant. Rep: Miss Helstrom, Mr Flux! And this gorgeous creature must be your sister? I know, I know, it’s an old compliment, I know she’s your mother. Afternoon, Mrs Helstrom, charmed to meet you. Rep: I can see Nocturne as the spokesperson for brassieres. What’s the biggest complaint for large-chested women? Lack of support! Fireflash *comparatively flat-chested* Really. Rep: And swimsuits for you! Rep: I’m talking those three magic words in marketing - Collect. Them. All. Fireflash’s mom certainly likes everything she’s hearing, and the example contract he brought with him is comprehensive. Flux: Why us? Rep: You’re new! Used to be Hero Shrew might have come across as tokenism - too much of an uphill battle for me. But now you have Nocturne - two Moreaus on the team, and two women! Great visuals. Fireflash What do you think, Mom? Ellen Helstrom: Well, I feel like I need a shower after this, but he really seems to been looking after your interests, not his own. Fireflash I think we can introduce him to the rest of the team. GM: At the very least it’ll be fun to watch fur crawl. Rep: Sonya, you change your outfits all the time, that’s great! Flux, you never change yours. We’ll ramp up the Snake-eyes aspect - all your details are redacted. It’s a SECRET! Allana: Glowy axes and shields... Rep: Hardlight is the Accessory Hound! Scooter has to be brushable. Allana: My toy is going to be HUGE.
  14. GM: Why is that even still installed? Me: So, ‘No’ then? GM: Yes. I mean, yes to No. Me: that’s not very helpful - I’ve already pressed No. GM: I’m a computer engineer! Onka’s player: Then Yes and No should be your bread and butter. Patching up all the holes after our encounter with remarkably carnivorous grasshoppers, we proceed over the rooftops to the glassblower’s shop we were told about. One of the Elegiac Compasses is there, and apparently intact - with one important exception. The copper-wrapped quartz crystal that should be making up the core is missing. Happily, it was removed so recently that we can track the thief - apparently a young dragon. Zenobia: *sigh* So it saw something shiny and nicked it. Perhaps a blue dragon? The desert locale, and electrical properties of copper and quartz, would suggest it. But maybe not. Nemat: A juvenile blue dragon would be larger. The tracks lead to a large sinkhole behind the glassblowers, happily in a courtyard not crawling with zombies. Zenobia: Do we need to send up a Dancing Lights signal? Onka: What signal? ‘Here be Dragons’? Nemat: I’ve got rope. My parents gave me it, along with the rest of my kit. ‘It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this. And this. And this.’ Asrian carefully climbs down, and since her low-light vision is full colour, realises that the dragon isn’t a blue. It’s something much more unusual. It does explain why it wanted a 50-pound quartz crystal though. Asrian: It’s a crystal dragon. And it’s asleep. Nemat argues that diplomacy will be more successful than theft or killing her in her sleep. Nemat: Ahem! Cough! AHEM! Dragon: Five more minutes mummy… Nemat: AHEM! Dragon: WTF??? *jumps up and tries to look big* Who are you? Did Mum send you? How did you find me? Nemat: We followed your tracks. Dragon: … what tracks? *trying to look innocent* Nemat: From the compass. Dragon: Compass? Nemat: The one you took the crystal from. Dragon: What crystal? Nemat: *sigh* that crystal right there. Dragon: Oh, the shiny thing from the clock thing. Nemat: We kind of need that back. Look, why not use the glassblower’s shop as your lair, there’s plenty of shiny stuff in there. Dragon: Uh, zombies, duh? Nemat negotiates a deal - we clear out the zombie infestation, and she can be the guardian of the compass, as well as having a nice location for future business. Zenobia: Diplomancy wins again! Nemat: And I didn’t even have to use my penis. Yet. GM: You would have had a penalty at that - she’s not into males. Human males anyway. She looks at Zenobia with interest though. Asrian: MINE. Nemat’s player digs out his 140 year-old copy of ‘Enquire Within Upon Everything’ Zenobia’s player: Anything in there about clearing out zombie infestations? We stick our heads down the chimney of the shop. From the smell, it actually seems like the glassblower’s kilns have been in use recently, which is odd. Even more so, the bricks are still warm. Asrian starts climbing down - and gets grabbed at by a long black hand. What ever owns the hand soon regrets it. Zenobia: So, basically the same result as grabbing a cat by the belly? There is a lot of swearing, in a variety of languages. Asrian: That sounds like Zenobia, when I- nevermind. The Owner of the Hand: Palm! Oshwyt! Worm! We have intruders! Apparently somebody is using the glassblower’s workshop as an alchemy lab. Nemat soon deduces that the whole rumour about mumia use is true, at least if you’re careful with your abuse of the drug. Although it doesn’t do your bodily hygiene any favours. Nemat: But they don’t smell so bad when they’re dead. Zenobia: IgiveyouhalfasecondtosurrenderCHOP Nemat Petrifies one of the minions. The players all launch into ‘I Will Survive’. A little while later (and perhaps because the NPCs didn't join in the song) Zenobia is looking at the last surviving minion, who is still Petrified, and also on fire. Zenobia: Is he still alive? Nemat: I think so? Zenobia: … should we do something about that? Asrian: I could pick him up and put him outside. Nemat: He might have useful information. And it would be nice to take a prisoner back with us for once. Onka: We are law-abiding citizens, supposedly. Either way, these mumia-producers were very lucky that their stockpile of raw materials weren’t woken up by that necromantic pulse a week ago. Zenobia OoC: Well, Miss Crystal Dragon, it wasn’t zombies, it was Mumia producers. So if your new place of business has a reputation as a meth lab, that’s why. Nemat: Also, there’s a roomful of potential zombies in the side room, but we sealed it up and they should be fine if you leave them alone. Once we get it repaired, the Elegiac Compass projects a beam out across the rooftops, towards the centre of the Necropolis. Not entirely surprising. We still need to find another compass to triangulate it properly.
  15. Champions - Return to Edge City : Heart of Darkness In Old Monterey, tracking down the Black Paladin’s powered armour army, and shortly to suffer the most grievous blow the team has yet endured. Hero Shrew points excitedly at his zombie detector. Flux, pointing with less excitement at the actual zombies. Hero Shrew: Flux. Flux. FLUX. Flux: Yes, I know, OK? Hardlight: There’s zombies? Flux: Yes, they’re RIGHT THERE. Hardlight: Oh. Shambly. Flux: Well, let’s HOPE they’re the shambling type and not the ‘i’m in your face eating it now’ type. GM: No, they’re not murder-wraiths. Hero Shrew: Wait, I’m Hero Shrew, not Hero Zombie. Flux: Give it a few minutes. At least Hardlight has tweaked his hardlight field to turn himself invisible now - maybe he can sneak past the zombies to see whatever is in the abandoned bungalow they’re protecting. GM: It’s been abandoned for years - it’s been vandalised, graffitied, etc. Hero Shrew: Maybe that’s what they made the zombies from. GM: Then their average IQ went up. And, indeed the inside of the building has been excavated, and the Black Paladin and his entire crew, three magic circles, a bunch of other minions doing fine engraving work, and multiple copies of the suits are in there. Incredibly, they don’t notice Hardlight creeping around. Or as he tiptoes away again, tripping over a bucket. Minion: The basic concept is sound my lord, but we overreached - we shouldn’t have gone for such a powerful animating force. GM: I can’t believe how badly I rolled for their awareness checks. It will take at least an hour for anybody that could survive a fight against the Black Paladin and the others to get here. We’re on our own. Hero Shrew: Well, at this point I’d ask if we know anybody with an Orbital Laser Weapon, but… Fireflash: There’s one person with that tech. And he doesn’t let anybody else have it. Allana: And it’s kind of unpopular after what happened to Detroit. There’s also the problem that anything heavy enough that we can drop on Black Paladin is going to be unhealthy for his human thralls. We instead plan to glide down onto the roof - right up until Scooter spots all the crows on the roof. Hero Shrew: Doesn’t the Black Paladin call himself the Knight of Crows or something? Fireflash: Can any of you dig a tunnel? Hero Shrew: I can. All: … Hero Shrew: What? You’ve never asked me to before. Of course, Allana won’t fit through Scooter’s tunnel - so she’ll have to infiltrate through the roof anyway. Flux can teleport in along the old cable tv lines. Hardlight: How can I move silently? Oh wait, I can fly. Flux: Scooter just need to pop through the floor like a horrible fluffy flower. Unfortunately, the roof of the building can’t even support the weight of Allana anymore, because all the internal walls of the building have been knocked out. Allana and Fireflash drop in, just as Scooter bursts out of the ground. And then the invisible figure on the roof jumps down the hole after Allana and Fireflash, talons out. Just as well Fireflash put her forcefield up. Even better, Allana has four arms, so she can hold onto Fireflash as Fireflash blasts people, and still grab Lady Crow by the ankles and throw her at Talisman. Morningstar tries to play Whackamole with Scooter. Morningstar: Round Two, fuzzball! Black Paladin: Really, Miss Helstrom? Fireflash: It seemed like a good idea at the time. Hardlight resists the impulse to telegraph his attack, and stays invisible and silent long enough to blast Black Paladin in the back. All it does is make the Black Paladin laugh. The swarm of crows mobs Allana and Fireflash, which doesn’t do her echolocation any good. But with her wings, toughness, and Fireflash’s forcefield, they’re as safe as if they were sitting in an Abrams tank. In fact, safer. Black Paladin: I’m disappointed Miss Helstrom - you KNOW my plan, and you STILL brought him? He teleports over to Flux and attempts to knock him out with his mace, the Crusher of Hope, and Talisman attempts to teleport the stunned Flux and her team away. Allana snatches Flux into her embrace next to Fireflash - if she can keep moving, Talisman won’t be able to snatch him. Fireflash attempts to blind the badguys, and the flash illuminates one of the side rooms - Scooter sees immobile figures - a lot of immobile figures. Hero Shrew: Hey, guys? I’ve found the exo-suits. Fireflash: Then smash them! Talisman might be intangible right now (since there’s a bunch of people in the room swinging highly energetic objects like fists, maces, and high-energy particle blasts around) but that doesn’t stop Hardlight blasting her out through the ceiling. Hardlight: Team Rocket is blasting off again! Morningstar, now blinded by the Black Paladin’s Fog Spell, is not having a good day, and seems incapable of hitting anything. Likewise, Shadow Dragon is being unpleasantly reminded how vulnerable he is to Fireflash’s blasts. Fireflash: Fate has chosen him to be the buttmonkey. Flux risks a blind teleport towards the exo-suits - and they’re bunched up nice and tight for his electrical attack. No point letting Black Paladin KEEP all the armour for his order of anti-paladins. Black Paladin is getting increasingly frustrated, since we’ve apparently learned how to tank - his hardest attack bounces harmlessly off Allana’s skull, and when she unfurls her wings Flux isn’t there. Black Paladin: WHAT?!? Unfortunately Talisman DID notice his teleport, and uses a mind control spell on our technomage. It’s pretty convincing, especially since he’ll get to tinker with things like the exo-suits. Talisman: Why resist us? We offer you Knowledge. Power. Safety. Come with us. Come with us. GM: And the rest of you have no idea what’s happening. Flux OoC: *groan* the city is going to suffer. Hardlight tries to clear the fog with a holographic giant industrial fan. Black Paladin draws his sword, the Eater of Shadows, and tries a shadow blast on Allana. Allana: Good idea, target my even stronger defence. *stalks forward, cracking her knuckles* Hardlight: Where the f*** are Flux and Hero Shrew? Flux OOC: Well, Scooter is over here near me, but hasn’t seen anything yet, and Sonja is still tucked under bat boobs. Hardlight’s submillimeter radar does see Flux and Talisman standing over in the other room. Hardlight: F***!!!!!!!! Whathername! She’s over there! Trying to kidnap thingy! Not very useful when we’re all blinded by fog and squawking crows. Allana grabs Black Paladin by the head and throws him through the wall in the direction of Talisman. Too late to stop Talisman, Morningstar, Shadow Dragon and Flux teleporting out. At least Black Paladin is still here, since he was moving at high speed at the time, through two walls. Fireflash: Grab an arm each and make a wish. Sadly, while the rest of us pile on the attacks, the bastard teleports himself away before we can twist his head off. We’ve got the exo-suits, but lost our friend.
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