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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 139 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Wild Talents] Grim War: Reign of the Talents  (Read 7022 times)
Nev the Deranged
Member

Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2007, 02:30:05 PM »


 How about a Pooka? Those are always fun.
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GregStolze
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2007, 04:42:10 PM »

SESSION EIGHT: SHELL GAME

It was a little hard getting back in after a long hiatus (just several weeks off due to things and stuff) but I kicked it off by pulling back and giving each player present (Cicely's player was running late because he can't say no to his grammaw) one of the big Companies involved in events.  Leo's player got Direktiva Nul, the bosses of Letter From Prague, the remnants of the Soviet occult espionage apparatus.  Seth's player got The Way, Christians who are against sorcery and mutancy in equal measure (though they really trumpet Agenda 1 and soft-pedal Agenda 2).  Lucien's player got Projekt ELSA, the EU/UN counterpart to Direktiva Nul -- the gang behind Chlotilde Giroux.  Me, I managed the evil wieners who blew up Dayton.

Under our guidance, Direktiva tried to find the notebook, succeeding in finding the former Bic Pen guy.  (Think about that for a moment.  They tracked down and interrogated a guy who can turn into any inanimate object and stay in that form for weeks at a time.  They found him pretending to be a plastic chair in the Paris airport.)  So they now know that it was last seen in the hands of Seth and Cecily.  The Way decided to jump on Dayton with both feet, not only pushing the "See?  Sorcery is as bad as you always feared!" angle but also the "Mutant protectors?  Just exactly where were these guys when brainwashed police snipers were picking off civilians?  They CAN'T protect you!" angle.  As for ELSA, it went after the Dayton Destruction Societies, but with a bit of one-sided rolling, the terrorists squirmed away to fight another day.  They then tried to recruit on the strength of "Dayton?  Dude, ours."  Got more guys aching for Death By Cop, but not the big surge of public support they wanted.  The other three spent their time building up their strength and mobilizing their bases, and that was the month.

Out of character, I offered Seth's player 22 points to reallocate from the "Nova Blast" power that he has never once used.  It came out that when another player was running his character, the Nova Blast had gone off against the Mime and Bolt, apparently doing about as much damage as a string of mid-grade swear words.  So he beefed up Multitask, Flight and Go First by a level each -- very mathematically tidy.  I think he'll be pleased.

When Cicely's player arrived, she negotiated with a caterpillar spirit that asked her what she was becoming.  Its goal is to get more exposure to the physical world so that it can assist in transformative experiences, while Cicely didn't come right out and say she needed someone to save her ass, but talked about growing and learning and so on.  The caterpillar can transform itself into any animal or plant, but itself only.  She made her cell phone into a talisman for it, so she now has a phone that can, for the next month, change into a tiger or a raspberry shrub. 

I love superhero games.

Lucien/Bolt decided it was time for Surge to head out to San Fran and do some public stuff to dispel those pesky "Surge is dead!" rumors.  Now, he can teleport to San Francisco only from one particular Ohio physical therapy facility, and as he was heading there to violate spatial continuity, he saw Special Agent Mitch Schantz sitting out in front with his leg in a cast.  Hiding, he snuck around the back.  He could have teleported inside blind, but there was no way he could do that and know if there was a witness.

GM: Yeah, even somewhere normally private like a bathroom stall?  Could be occupied.
LUCIEN'S PLAYER: Oh yeah, he'd remember THAT face.

He decided to wait until someone came out the back and then, after watching through the door to ensure no one was in there, he'd pop in.  So he waited, and pretty soon someone came out.  In fact, it was Randall Putney -- the private detective who interviewed him in San Fran, claiming to be working for a millionaire damaged by the gas who was looking for private justice.

None of this made Bolt happy, but he made his cross-country jump and spent some time on the street, cruising for beatables.  He found them.  Dr. Ismail -- the street doctor who treated him way back in Session Two had gotten roughed up by some local toughs, and Surge paid them a little visit.  They did not, initially, believe he was the real Surge.  As soon as one of them grabbed his shoulders, that changed.

In addition to having too much armor for them to get through, he also had a huge Teleport pool, so every time they shot at him, he just wasn't there.  He electrocuted two into unconsciousness, crisped the leg of a fleeing enemy who'd tried to tackle him (and who slipped on his way out the back door) and persuaded the fourth to surrender.  (Number Five got away, having declared on the first round of the fight that "When he says 'drop your gun' I hear 'run the fuck away.'")  (Yeah, I deputized the other players to run the gangstahs.

The guy who surrendered, Jose, told Surge that they'd blackened Ismail's eye for protection money and because they thought he could help them get some fake papers for guys who were buying.  "Ismail doesn't do that kind of thing but, you know, that crowd is in and out of his clinic all day."

SURGE: What kind of foreign guys?  Where were they from?
JOSE: I don't know.  Not Ecuador.  They were brown.

Having gotten Jose's real name (two forms of photo ID and the fact that he had JOSE tattooed on his left knuckles) he told him that if anything happened to Ismail, Jose would hear from Surge.

JOSE: Man, yeah, I GET it.  Ismail's on the blessed list, no one touches him.
SURGE: Where does your mom live?
JOSE: Oh, you're... you're not going to do anything to my MOM are you?
SURGE: No, but I want to know where to find YOU if I have to. 

Since Jose was, at that moment, piled on top of his groaning and unconscious buddies, he coughed it up.

SURGE: You tell everyone I'm back.  YOU do it.  I want the word out, okay?
JOSE: Man, I'm your press agent, you got it!

Leo, in the meantime, went up to Marquette for the toxic waste job.  Devon took him out to lunch and subtly cautioned him that Bolt and Seth were looking more and more like bad news. 

DEVON: The cape... okay, yeah, people love the cape and the costume.  Until they don't.  And when they turn, it's hard, and bitter, and personal.  That footage of your pal mauling a 13-year-old girl...
LEO: A girl who can't DIE and who throws around grenades like they're water balloons!
DEVON: Okay, I know, but the visual, you know? 
LEO: Well, I don't think they're doing the kind of thing I want to be doing anyhow.
DEVON: If that's so, I may have some very good news for you soon.

After that, Leo drove over to Swanda's hospital room.  I asked him what he had with him and he said, "Um, probably a laptop.  If I have to wait."  So, no flowers, no teddy bears.  Right.  But she'd been released anyhow.  He then went to her residence, where her room mate Leah let him in.

LEAH: Oh, Swanda talks about you so much I feel like I know you.  She's not in right now, but come on up and wait.

Leah (I hadn't pre-planned a name.  I choked) let him into Swanda's room, where he saw she was piecing together a superhero costume, while she went off to shower.

LEO'S PLAYER: Leo doesn't find this creepy or disturbing at all.

Poking around he found a lot of clippings about himself on a bulletin board, along with a smaller number about Heather Scudieri (the girl with all the fire powers).  In her closet was a no-shit steel helmet -- not a costume, something lathed out of steel to stop bullets.

LEAH: Leo, could you come in here and help me with something?
LEO: Sure.

Going into Leah's bedroom, she was wearing two towels.  The bigger one was around her hair.

LEAH: Can you help me decide what to wear?
LEO: Um...
LEAH: You know, Swanda probably won't be back for at least an hour.
LEO: That's... look, how about something for getting to know one another first?
LEAH: Okay then.
GM: She drops the towel and puts on a pair of cutoff sweat pants and a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, then engages you in conversation.  (Rolls.)  She's very charming.
LEO: I'm going to try to move it out to the living room.
GM: Give me a Command+Persuade.
LEO'S PLAYER: (rolls) Crap.
GM: You INTEND to casually maneuver her into the living room, at some point, but what with her laughing at all your jokes and twirling her hair, it's very distracting and you never get around to it.  Boy, first Cicely naked in the woods and now this.  Poor Leo!  Pretty soon you hear Swanda clomping into the apartment on her crutches.  She's in one of those big mobile body-casts and has no makeup.  Not at her best.

Swanda was not actually pleased to see him, was very self-conscious about the costume design (it was a project for one of her design classes) but he was quite sweet and Leah left them alone for dinner.  If Swanda was disturbed to see him come out of her room mate's bedroom, she didn't show it.

The next day, he went to have the Alter schlep toxic waste.

GM: They're treating you very diffidently, gushing practically, asking if there's anything you need, getting your coffee order exactly right...
LEO'S PLAYER: I'm going to be kind of a dick to them.
GM: Really?
LEO'S PLAYER: Cicely was riding him, he turned down SEX and he's bummed about Swanda having her pelvic bone broken.  He's in a bad mood.
GM: So... 'What is this, Desani?  I said Poland Springs!'
LEO: None of that, Evian!  And I don't trust the bottles, I want it right from the spigot coming from the side of the mountain!  And don't give me none of that 'Evian is just naive spelled backwards,' that's just an urban legend!

He failed his hearing roll to pick up what they were saying about him.

LEO'S PLAYER: How hard is this for the Alter to do?
GM: Roll.  (Looks.)  He can do it.  Roll again.  (Looks.)  No problem.  Roll again.  (Looks.)  It's actually kind of boring.
LEO'S PLAYER: So... the Alter can just work all day long?
GM: Yep.  They bring you a really nice lobster bisque sandwich for lunch.

Afterwards they gave him a check and assured him that they'd keep him in their Rolodex. 

Cicely was studying for exams at the library when she looked outside and saw Trey sitting on a bench, having an intent conversation with a man with his leg in a cast.  Ducking down into her books, she failed to get a good look at the man on crutches, but was somewhat uneasy at the thought of her ex-boyfriend.

Back in Ohio, Seth decided to take a couple vacation days and fly to Florida incognito.  Before he went, though, Annette came to visit him.  (Remember Annette?  Bald sister of Seth's murdered girlfriend?)  (You know, some people say I write too many characters into my novels.)  She had no sooner stepped through his door than something that he could only have described as 'eldritch blue flame' shot up through the carpet and arced into her.  Seth shoved her out into the hall, where she fell on her butt with a stunned expression.

ANNETTE: What just happened?
SETH: You tell me, I don't know.
ANNETTE: I wasn't talking to you... oh.

They figured out it had something to do with the weird protective symbol she'd given him weeks earlier, which he'd hidden under the carpet right at his threshold.  When they pulled it out to look at it, it had gone completely blank... and Annette was gradually realizing that she was now the host of some kind of cat spirit.  This pretty well distracted her from asking if he had any new leads on her sister, and he didn't anyhow.  Scratching his head, Seth flew off.

Without her BFFs around, Cicely was at loose ends and went to the Tiger Lily where she got chatted up by a pair of guys, who subtly probed her attitude towards menage a trois.  She was too distracted by them to notice that Mitch and Anjelica were sitting in a booth until she went up to the bar for a trio of Jaeger bombs.

CICELY'S PLAYER: Am I well-known at the Tiger Lily?  Do I know anyone there?
GM: Roll Command plus... mm, something.  (I can't remember what skill applied.)
CICELY'S PLAYER: I'm commanding.
GM: Yeah, Dan gives you a smile.
CICELY: Hey Dan, you see that couple in the corner?  The woman and the guy with the crutches?  Spill a drink on one of them and I'll show you my cans.
DAN: Oh yeah!

She looked at them, gave them the "Loozer" L on her forehead as they impassively gazed at her, then she pointed and said, "Especially YOU."

GM: Which one are you pointing at?
CICELY'S PLAYER: It's a vague gesture, could be either.  She's had a lot to drink.  Then I go back to the two dudes and say 'To threesomes!'

Seth chilled at the beach, drank, had a nice dinner, closed the hotel bar and slept better than he had for weeks... until he woke up around four in the morning, sensing a presence.  It was the Mime.  Or rather, his ghost.

SETH: What're you doing here?
MIME: I was sent with a message for you.
SETH: Sent by whom?
MIME: You should know I can't tell you that. 

(Awkward pause)

SETH: That was a pretty cool power you had there.
MIME: You didn't need to kill me, you know.
SETH: It was you or us!
MIME: I never really wanted to kill anyone.  That lightning guy scared me.  Then that bug thing.  I mean, what the fuck?
SETH: I know what you mean.
MIME: I wasn't going to attack you again.
SETH: I didn't know that.  I feel kind of bad about it, actually.
MIME: Why did you think you had to do it?
SETH: It was my duty... my responsibility.  I had to make sure you were no longer a threat.
MIME: To who?
SETH: To society.
MIME: Society?  Because I robbed a bank?
SETH: You were after the notebook.
MIME: Yeah.  What's the big deal with that thing?
SETH: Scary book of encoded magic mumbo-jumbo, that's all I know.  I feel kind of bad about what I did to you, actually.
MIME: For society.  Which told you that without society, you'd have no protection from scary individuals like me -- and there's no way to test it because society is all around you, it has you all the time.  Only way to get away form it is to go off into the wild for a while.  I did that.  Really cleared my head
SETH: That sounds pretty tempting.  The whole civic defender thing... I'm really starting to question it.
MIME: That's understandable.  You're told you're doing everything for 'America' or whatever but that's just an abstract idea.  The people you have to repress are real.  No wonder it's kind of empty.
SETH: Look, um... you had some kind of message?
MIME: Yeah, sorry.  The people who sent me after the book want to know who you really want to stop: Them, or the guys who blew up Dayton.
SETH: They can make that sort of deal?
MIME: They're pretty sure they can find out who did it.  In exchange, you hand over the book, and you agree to a condition.  If you're ever about to arrest one of them, they speak a code word and you let them go.
SETH: Let me sleep on it.
MIME: Okay.  I can't stick around much longer anyhow.
GM: With that, he fades away.
CICELY'S PLAYER: I think I liked him better when he didn't talk and just shot people.

-G.
Logged
GregStolze
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2007, 04:42:47 PM »

The next day, Devon told Leo that Dr. Sjeok from Mutagenet Labs in San Francisco was very interested in him (Leo) and wanted to offer him an internship.  He was not too subtle about indicating that Sjeok was a much better person to hang out with than Bolt and Seth, who were both edging towards disreputability.  Leo indicated interest and flew home, where he checked in with Tracy and was told that an insurance investigator had called, asking for Leo.

LEO: Did he say what it was about?
TRACY: No, and I'm worried this might be about me.
LEO: What?  If it was, why wouldn't he just talk to you directly?
TRACY: I don't know.  Maybe I'm being paranoid, but if he was trying to build a case that I was practicing medicine without a license or something, he might skulk around first.

Leo called and set up an interview with Randall Putney, who quizzed him extensively about Bolt (learning, in the process, that Leo didn't know the names "Surge" or "Lucien Knight").  When Putney all but confessed to trying to find Bolt's secret identity, Leo told him he hoped he failed. 

LEO: He's saved my LIFE.  Why do you have to try and, and... ensnare him?
RANDALL: He didn't save the life of that guy in the apartment building when it collapsed on him. 
LEO: Firefighters don't save everyone.
RANDALL: Firefighters have names and addresses and accountability.  Look, you're not going to tell your buddy I'm on to him, are you?
LEO: Huh?
RANDALL: Frankly, the guy gives me the creeps.  I mean, knowing that he could teleport into my house and Kentucky-fry me if he decides I'm a threat, and that there's not much I can do about it? 
LEO: Bolt wouldn't do that.
RANDALL: I only have your word for that.
LEO: You could... any guy with a gun could come along and shoot you.
RANDALL: Yeah, but a guy with a gun, I could shoot back.  Bolt?  I wouldn't even know he was there until it was too late.  Or you.  That, that genie you call up could tear me limb from limb while you sat a block away eating a sandwich around a dozen witnesses, right?
LEO: It doesn't work that way... besides, I... I'm not...
RANDALL: Are you trying to convince me that I'm not actually scared?  'Cause that's a tough sale.
LEO: I just think you're scared of the wrong thing.

Not long after that, Lucien got jumped at work.  A guy was checking out a sports car and said, "Hey aren't you... you used to play football, right?  High school sectional champs?"

LUCIEN: Yeah, I played ball.
GUY: Weren't you going to go pro?
LUCIEN: Blew out my knee.
GUY: Tough break!  I'm sorry I forgot your name...?
LUCIEN: Lucien Knight. 
GM: Your phone rings.
LUCIEN'S PLAYER: Which phone?
GM: The burner phone.
LUCIEN'S PLAYER: Anyone I recognize?
GM: No, but it's a San Francisco area code.
LUCIEN: 'Scuse me, I should take this.  Interrupt me if you have to.
GM: So... do you step away from him and turn your back, or what?
LUCIEN'S PLAYER: Not all the way away, but a few paces.
GM: The voice on the phone says, "Lou, it's PC.  Listen to me: they're onto you.  You have to get out of there NOW."  As you're parsing that, the guy who was looking at the car says, "Sorry about this if you're the wrong guy, but I do have to interrupt you."  He's got this big freaking handgun and he's going to shoot you.

Lucien didn't want to just 'port out and blow his cover completely, so he dove for cover with his bum knee creaking.  Not fast enough: The bullet hit his leg and was clearly some kind of high-tech giant-killer round because it (1) actually freaking HURT him and (2) immediately after firing the gun popped open and the attacker started reloading it.

GM: The shell he puts in it is the size of a fucking Montblanc pen.
LUCIEN'S PLAYER: Who else is around?  Are we on the show floor or the lot?  What are people doing?

We rapidly established that he was inside, that there were three cars in a row and three others not too far away.  There were a few bystanders and co-workers, who were variously diving for the floor, screaming, waving their arms or standing numbly saying, "Wait, he... he shot him.  He SHOT him."

Lucien frantically dialed Seth while the assassin took cover and reloaded.  Seth answered in midair.

LUCIEN: I need help NOW!  I'm at the dealership out of costume!
SETH: I'm about an hour's flight away.

On his own, Lucien dove under one of the cars while the shooter stepped up onto one and fired down through it at him.  Another hit, but the bullet set off the car alarm and the airbag, adding noise and smoke to the general confusion.

A shell game ensued, with Bolt teleporting underneath the cars, trying to stay one step ahead of the gunman, pausing only once to jolt him when he hoped no one could see.  Meanwhile Seth called Leo, who rezzed up the Alter and started jumping towards the dealership Hulk style.

LUCIEN'S PLAYER: I've been waiting for you to go all Hulk with the Alter.

In mid-leap, Leo saw there was a man on the roof of the dealership holding a rifle, but because that guy was focused on scanning the street and listening to his bluetooth headset, he didn't see Leo until the Alter had smacked him one on the head.  Turning groggily around, he opened up with a SMG.  First round on full auto was bad enough to spoil an attempted head-crush, second round on full auto prevented a more general assault, but each round was sucking 11 bullets out of a 30 round magazine, so the last round he only rolled 8d and didn't make it fast enough to avoid a knockout blow from the Alter.  Meanwhile, the assassin inside, increasingly frustrated, looked out as the SWAT team arrived and decided on Suicide By Cop.  When they picked him up, Lucien played up his injuries and got strapped down to a gurney.  As they were carrying him out, his cell phone rang.  The last thing he heard before the game session ended was the voice of the mysterious PC saying, "They've got your brother, but it's okay, we've got them under constant surveillance, one of my guys is ready to drop through the ceiling if they try anything, it's all under control..."

-G.
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GregStolze
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2007, 05:09:00 AM »

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Nev the Deranged
Member

Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2007, 05:11:37 PM »

Sounds like a fun game. You guys are gonna go after Park eventually, though, right?
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GregStolze
Member

Posts: 152


« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2007, 05:41:41 PM »

Yeah, but I've got to figure out what Park WANTS.  The guy has acquired Command 7, which means that he's a notch or two more persuasive than Hitler and literally has the potential to convince ANYONE of ANYTHING (given enough time).  He's a total megalomaniac -- he might make an okay benevolent dictator if acquiesced to.  He's determined to get revenge on everyone who sent him to jail (which means Cohen, three powerful Army Talents and possibly Mitch, too).  But what next?  He's out of jail, pardoned, has a suit pending against the prison in which his lawyer intends to put him on the stand and let him talk as long as he wants -- so, pretty deep funds.  He wants to create some kind of utopia, but how?  Perhaps more intelligently, where? 

He genuinely likes Seth, by the way.  Currently, Park's power suite is: Limited omniscience; Mind reading; inflicting confusion; and fairly hellish damage dealing and resistance powers.  But given the magic he knows, he can more or less change up to... whatever, as long as he's got a couple days warning.

-G.
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Nev the Deranged
Member

Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2007, 02:58:07 PM »

Well.. so does Park have to be an out and out villain, just because he's the heavy of the scenario? Maybe some of the PCs will find him persuasive even without his mindbending powers. Maybe he'll make someone an offer they can't refuse. Cicely in particular seems willing to switch sides on the fly if it will increase her sorcerous power, I'm sure Park could teach her a thing or three.
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wreckage
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2007, 06:36:09 AM »

It sounds like Park might be more interesting as a kind of ambiguous renegade, or perhaps he could be a puppeteer for a while if he's too much directly?
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....but you can call me Sam
FredGarber
Member

Posts: 95


« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2007, 02:37:43 PM »

What about these ideas:

Eden is related to Park:  sister, or maybe daughter.  He wants her approval.  And even though he could Compel the heck out of her, he knows the difference between convincing someone and Commanding someone.  He needs genuine respect: something that the PCs are all on different sides thereof.

Linked to that, what if Park knows the drawbacks of Command 7?  What if he realizes that once he starts gathering a bureaucracy around him, he's going to be surrounded by yes men?  What if he needs the Talents (who can resist him) in order to make sure that his plans are not full of crap?

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wreckage
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2007, 03:31:35 AM »

What if park is vain? What if he craves genuine admiration from EVERYONE?
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....but you can call me Sam
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