Aysella Shinjitai aka Marionette (played by +Ann LS): a telekinetic who can detect Kyberian Energy, and boost or dampen other metahuman powers.
Hobs Ini-Herit aka The Alchemist (played by +Christian Gelacio): a straight-up matter controller with super-strength and devastating good looks.
Roth Reynard aka Red Zone (played by +Troy Loy): a super-genius with flame powers and a fear of heights.
Samuel Donick aka RePlay (played by +Curtis Johnston): A telepath who can do your standard mind-tricks, but is exceptionally good at altering memories.
Jacob C. Wikvaya aka Shaman (played by +Thomas Phelps): A plant, animal, and weather-controller. Also a criminal-mastermind (but not by choice).
Severus U. "Sue" Edgeworth (NPC Ally): Young angry man. "Super-normal" who's insanely good at hand-to-hand combat, infiltration, and other spy/military skills. What kind of name is Sue? It's the one he gave himself. Mock it at your own risk.
Don't You Forget About Me
Aysella, Hobs, Roth, Samuel, and Jacob
Fort Hamilton High School, 72°F, Clear skies
Friday, September 7th, 2001, 5:00pm
8301 Shore Rd Dr, Brooklyn, NY 11209
The PCs starts out with everyone in detention some are in there for life, which is an accomplishment as it’s the first week of school starting back. The Vice Principal – Mr. Rigney Carlos – announces in no uncertain term that he has to go to his bowling league. Leaving the sorry group of teenagers in detention for various “crimes”: Roth for setting fire to the chemistry lab, Samuel for doing other people's homework for money, Jacob for selling cigarettes, and Hobs, Severus and Aysella all for fighting. Others in the class are “Monday,” “Tuesday,” and “Thursday.” These are the “girlfriends” of Hobs.
After some soft whispers in the corner and heated words with Thursday, Hobs convinces his girlfriend to calm down. Thursday heads off to the bathroom. The PCs debate just leaving since “…if the teacher isn't here why should [they] be?” Jacob having a tough home life (being an orphan) decides it’s in his best interest to get to his job and is the first to leave detention, followed closely by Hobs, who was missing one of his girls.
A scream splits the quiet detention room causing Jacob to burst into action and rush to the direction of the scream. Everyone else heads in that direction as fast as possible. In the school pool Jacob finds a girl floating face down and blood seeping into the water around her. Without a thought for himself Jacob dives into the pool to get the girl out and hopefully save her, she is in clearly bad shape.
Samuel arrives on the scene and begins to do CPR [a ginormous crit on Medicine! And the expenditure of a Karma Point shifts the red shirt from “death” to “alive and disfigured”] and dealing with the wounds – it looks like she has been mauled by a bear. The girl's identity turning out to be “Wednesday” – April Ross – one of Hob's girlfriends. She was doing laps for the swim team when she was attacked and critically wounded. Prints that appear to be those of a bear but not quiet can be seen poolside. Samuel manages to get her stable while others call 911 to get help at the school [Thomas spends a Karma Point to have an ambulance nearby]. Sue and Jacob track follow the tracks, but they quickly disappearance.
April disappears into the back of the ambulance, but not before whispering about a bear, or shark, or man…
New York City Police Department - 77th Precinct, 68°F, Clear skies
Friday, September 7th, 2001, 8:00pm
127 Utica Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
Jacob and Samuel wind up talking about the abuse he is getting at home at the hands of the orphanage head. Which Aysella overhears and consults with Sue, her partner in crime. It’s clear that Jacob is going to get a beating when he gets home and put in the “pokie” (whatever that is).
Happy Faces Orphanage, 62°F, Clear skies
Saturday, September 8th, 2001, 12:00am
579 Montgomery St., Brooklyn, NY 11225
Samuel makes his way over to the orphanage the same way that Ayselle and Sue do, only the two go in costume, with the intent of beating the fear of them into Jacob’s guardian. Things get a “little” (which is to say a lot) out of hand as the two exact their own brand of vengeance. While Samuel rescues Jacob from the lockup of the small closet, he has been forced to stand in with no dinner. A little boy that lives there also brings him dinner even though he's not suppose to.
Upstairs, the Jacob’s guardian – Earnest Patterson aka Evil Mr. Rogers aka Creepy McSlimey – gets duct-taped to the bed and beat bad enough that he would be peeing blood for weeks to come. [a critical hit on the part of Sue] It would have been left at that, had things not come into light that made him more and more the scum of the earth.
The two costumed heroes encounter both Jacob and Samuel in the garden roof, where Aysella meets the mutant squirrel in the tree (named “Shirley”). They discover that the beating and torment has been going on for years. That Patterson has been selling his children out to the sex trade and forcing them to commit crimes. This leads to him losing his bits and bobs to a very sharp knife which is then pinned to the wall along with a quote:
“[Is] not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”Deciding that things were only going to get worse Aysella disguises her voice and calls the police into the situation. He’s summarily dragged off to the hospital but not before being arrested by the NYPD. The police are a bit weirded out about the quote. The news of the vigilante justice spread among the cops on the scene (something that’s been on the rise in the last year) and one of the policemen joke about the man being “judged and found wanting.”
Aysella calls her lawyer and has him champion Jacob and his fellow orphans against any charges that might be brought against them. In the mean time, she also has de Chance buy the orphanage outright from a shell company of a shell company of a shell company of a defense contractor: Blue Skies.
(Meanwhile, Hob was throwing a rave vigil for April who was in ICU it was also a means for those that sneak out to have a more normal cover story. Ross was busy researching creatures that might have been able to turn into animals finding a lot of information on such a thing. Most pointedly people who can turn into creatures. Less known before the pulse more known after. Dropping by the party for a cover everyone went home and would meet up again on Saturday.)
From the Mall to the Hospital
King’s Plaza, 73°F, Clear skies
Saturday, September 8th, 2001, 2:00pm
5100 Kings Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11234
The PCs decide to go to the mall, which is really a cover to meet up and share the information that they had gathered about “Bear-Shark-Man.” Roth was hanging out with Hobs at his place heads to the mall. Samuel gets out of the house under the pretense of fixing up the family truck, which he does (and gains a job working for Charles de Witt of de Witt Motor in the first place). Jacob spends much of the time going through things with his social worker and Alfred de Chance.
The group gets tickets and Hobs’ girls meet them there too, he sends them away to get ice-cream while there is a discussion about what the monster could be. Hobs [with an amazing roll on Art!] gets a fantastically creepy and life like version of the creature on paper. The PCs begin talking about the weirdness and they eventually discover they all have powers of some kind. Deciding to do something about the monster from the pool, they discuss the best plan with the resources they have.
The Dollhouse, 77°F, Clear skies
Saturday, September 8th, 2001, 4:00pm
114 Macdonough St., Brooklyn, NY 11216
With a quick decision by the group they go to the hospital to see April who is in bad condition and obviously going to be scarred terribly. She has blurry reclamation of what happened, Samuel goes into her mind and plucks what happened from her head. He then rearranges it so that it does not appear supernatural in nature. The PCs give her a multitude of gifts including flowers (ones Jacob grew for her!) and a teddy bear is bought. This leads to a discussion over healing and what can be done with medicine (and esoteric medicine and plants). The PCs do a quick run to gather things from Roth's chemistry lab, and work with Asyella's Atlantean Lotus, the group manages to come up with a formula to help heal April [lots of Karma spent and lots of low or critical success rolls]. Something they agree as a whole can not be given to the public at large, but all maintain the formula for. Just in case.
After many hours, they finish up and get Sue to sneak back into the hospital and administer the drug. All hopeful it’ll help the girl (and it does). Pizza is had everyone heads home for school on Monday.
Another Manic Monday
Fort Hamilton High School, 78°F, Slightly overcast and rainy
Friday, September 10th, 2001, 11:00am
8301 Shore Rd Dr, Brooklyn, NY 11209
Monday rolls around with the group being spoken to by the Vice Principal, who wants the group to cover for him with the cops. Everyone agrees to cover for him and is given three “get out of detention” cards Samuel decides to read his mind and find out what he's been doing. He was actually sleeping with his best friend’s wife [having a telepath is useful…]. (Sue uses this right away to kick the snot out of a kid named Caleb who had gotten him in trouble before.)
Meanwhile, in the school there is a scream on second floor in the girl’s bathroom. Aysella [who won the roll off] had just stepped into the girls bathroom as the “Man-Bear-Shark” was lingering over a fallen girl – Shay Rasmussen. Aysella attempted to toss her into the wall with TK, but it didn’t work. Scuttling across the wall it clung like an insect despite its massive bulk. Instead of trying to stop the creature Aysella rushes to Shay to try to help her. Not having healing powers she uses her ability to direct Kyberian energy to speed up the healing process [in this case she stunted a roll and made three crits: one to stunt and one to use the ability. I decided to have her roll a second time and that was a natural 3 so instead of just healing her she actually gave the NPC permanent super abilities: regeneration and super-strength]
Roth and Jacob engage it with the monster before it heads off to a girls lockerroom. There Jacob causes a massive rose bush to grow to trap it inside. Shay’s manifestation is traumatic and Samuel uses his abilities to calm him down. Samuel sends out texts to everyone and they converge on the lockroom. Inside is a creature with glowing green eyes, a praying mantis head, and an ursine body. It attacks Shay, who smacks it with a ripped off locker door to the face. It charges at Aysella next, but she sidesteps it luring it into the shower stalls where Jacob and Hobs restrain it with a “gooified” floor and rose vines. Once restrained it struggles until eventually it gets helplessly entangled and then turns back into a girl: Naomi Atticus aka “Thursday” (one of Hobs many girlfriends).
Samuel slips into Naomi’s mind and discovers she’s also a metahuman who can shift shapes, but she has no control over it. She becomes a murderous beast every time she feels envious or jealous of another person. Aysella, realizing that they won’t be able to help her calls her contact at AEGIS: Agent Patrick Templeton. Within a few hours he arrives with a containment team and promises to take care of Naomi before disappearing.
After Action Report/Rules Notes
The PCs formed up into a a team fast. It wasn't in an unbelievable Dead Gentlemen way, but it was way faster than I would have thought. The time we put into character backstories and preplanning the characters themselves REALLY paid off. It felt like I was running a TV show or directing a movie and that is not a bad thing. The RPing from all the players was pretty freaking amazing too. EVeryone had formulated their characters so completely that it was like putting on a mask and going.
Like my other games there seems to be a large amount of crits and low-rolls happening - almost an unusually large amount. I stopped counting the crits at 13. The PCs are still flexing their abilities and trying to get used to their power sets and I feel like I'm almost failing them in this regard. There MUST be a way to simplify super powers so that it boils down to something like "I wanna do X!" and then "Okay, Roll Y at -Z." I must think on this more.
Like all my "intro" games this one was a simple plot: bad monster thing hurting people and the PCs have to deal with it. It was supposed to last two game sessions, but the PCs decided otherwise and 16 real hours of plot got shoved into 8 hours.
Next session ought to be interesting: the PCs will be at ground zero during the terror attacks of 9/11. I made sure they all understood that some events of that day are fixed and that they were going to need to figure out why they weren't also celebrated heroes of the day along with the Commander and his Regulators. But seriously, what American wouldn't want to be there and try to help? Even if it's a fantasy. Especially if you had super powers. It'll be a bit vicarious, but I don't care. Been wanting to do something like this for a while. We'll see how it works.
(Note: +Ann LS wrote the write up of this and I just did some editing and formatting. Thanks, girly!)
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" - Simple Minds
"Jealousy" - Queen
"When It's Over" - Sugar Ray
"If Your Gone" - Matchbox Twenty
Hemorrhage (In My Hands) - Fuel