Thursday, November 3, 2016

Aeon A-Team S01E04 - And We Will Not Forsake You


Dramatis Personae
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.


Meanwhile...
Taking the information they gained last game session, the PCs use Det. Malik and Det. Heade to quietly take down several dozen heroin shipments the Triads were bringing in. For almost a month New York City was heroin-free (which caused its own problem with withdrawal amid the junkies of the populous). The PCs use that time to push hard against the criminal underworld with dozens of raids against known gnags, drug suppliers, gun runners, and so on. (They also somehow manage to keep up their day jobs and college education during this as well.) Each time they leave the police with all the evidence they need (often including video, audio, or photographic evidence). It gets so bad that the criminals of New York City are afford to come out of their homes. Crime rates drop at a rate of over 1% a day. All of this in preparation for the big final push to take down the Triad leadership on the East Coast.


Nah, Man, Not Tonight
Aysella, Hobs, and Roth
Port of Newark, 86°F, Raining
Wednesday, August 16th, 2003, 10:00pm

E Bay Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07201
The PCs have been planning this night for almost a month. They've worked out every detail and every possible contingency (Sue has the Methodical perk which allows him to take x60 normal time for +6 to a roll. I allowed this to extend to the operation as a whole. With two missing players I decided that they could give a complimentary bonus - both rolled a three and four respectively and stayed behind to work as ops support). Marionette, Red Zone, the Alchemist, Suicide Girl, and Sue ended up in the field with Suicide Girl and Red Zone paired up and Marionette and Sue paired up. The Alchemist went it alone. Their plan was simple: get as much evidence as possible and make sure the police raid the Triad's meeting.

Sentry arranges this by creating a flash rave and spreading it's location on Friendster and other social media. To get the address all they needed to do was take a picture of themselves at a specific location. Then, sending the location of the Triad's meeting to the cops (who trawl for those sorts of events) and the ravers to an entirely other location. Then they tip off Det. Malik and Det. Heade with the location (both have a bit more pull these days since they've been making busts and are able to get a couple of SWAT teams at the location a little bit before Metro gets the tip of the rave). With the scene set the PCs take down over a hundred Triads including top brass from the East Coast and several of the upper echelon. All without even throwing a punch or smashing a skull.


Epilogue
The Red Zone and RePlay put together a video with Sue dressed up in a Plague Doctor mask and hoodie and disguise his voice.

"We Are Sentry and We Are Watching. At 10:10pm on August 16th at the Port of Newark the criminal organization known as the Triads held a high level meeting. Sentry engineered this meeting by leaking the location of several heroin shipments to the police forcing these high level Triads to sort out these problems. We have delivered vast amounts of evidence to the NYPD and distract attorneys of New York City. These men and women will be indicted, tried, and go to jail. You're seeing this broadcast because We want you to know that are everywhere. That criminality will not be tolerated. That We see everything. Our eyes are everywhere. We are the faces in the crowd. We are your neighbors. We are your friends. We are your loved ones. We are everywhere and We will not forsake you."

They then pirate broadcast that video over the entire city of New York on every TV channel and every device that could accept a video signal.


After Action Report/Rules Notes
My brother missed another game session, but again, he was occupied and not just blowing us off. Thomas was not here either because he was out of town. Overall, I don't normally like to play with less than 80% of my players, but I wanted to keep the campaign moving so I did. The PCs took an amazing amount of pride in designing a non-combat solution for dealing with the Triads and I was more than impressed by how they kept "stacking" their ideas. "Let's distract them and send the police in!" "Ok, but let's let the police think it's their idea!" "Oh! But we warn our cop buddies too so they can get some credit!" And so on. It was great. It also dismantled my 8 hours of plot in under 2 hours. Because freaking reasons. Within 4 hours they had taken down a huge criminal organization in game without actually throwing even a punch at the denouement. Before we started discussing Season 2 expectations they put together the idea of an Anonymous-like broadcast. Superpowers in Aeon aren't fully acknowledged until late 2005 (in game it was the summer of 2003), but they wanted to start a foundation of some type to build on later.

Overall, Season 1 was very satisfying. The material I had prepared suggested at least 6 game sessions and as many as 14. They did it in four. I'll need to take that into account when designing the arc for Season 2 - which is going to involve a lot more metahumans and raise the scope from "Crown Heights/Brooklyn" to "Brooklyn/New York City." AEGIS is going to make an appearance next season too.

Image result for Gamemaster plans derailedWe also did the standard "Player Expectations" run down. This is where the players decide the elements they want me to compose the next story arc out of. I find this cooperative campaigning to create very satisfying games despite the extra work. It takes the guess work out of figuring out what your players want. you get them to tell you in no uncertain terms and then you mix it up to create something workable.

As far as rules go I found a lack of a mechanic to quickly gauge how events might impact an area or situation to be annoying. I'm going to have to make some I guess. Maybe some sort of guide "Ok, every action you guys do affects X and if you don't get to Y by Z something bad will happen."


Session Soundtrack
"Eye in the Sky" by The Alan Parsons Project (As the season "closing song")
"Mr. Brownstone" by Guns and Roses (during the drug busts)
"Eyes Without a Face" by Billy Idol
"What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
"Fight Test" by The Flaming Lips

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