Monday, February 25, 2013

Heroes of the United Worlds 11

11: The Moriarty of Mars arc, part 2-3

9: The Faceless Hero

A new member with impressive powers joins, but who is he, really?

9.1: Need for new members

One of Blackbirds bodies on Ganymede will put out a call for new members since the team is so short staffed. The call brings in the usual riff raff plus one highly promising candidate who is just a little weird, but very useful – Janus Lad has no visible head (it’s a space warp on top of his shoulders, and he normally wears a bubble helmet to cover it) and has the power to create teleportational warps across space. He takes his name from the Roman god of boundaries and doorways and it has nothing to do with him being a traitor. Oh no.

Anyway, Emo Girl, if she is present, finds him nigh-impossible to read – he has no face and his voice is synthesized from his collar, meaning that she’s just left with gross body language. She initially feels he’s trustworthy but has doubts. However, before this can go much further they PCs are informed of an immediate threat to life and limb on Jupiter C – there’s an industrial robot run amok that is damaging a densely populated part of the city. The longer they wait the worse it will get, but Janus Boy is able to whisk them there immediately. The B plot, if possible should be someone falling in love and or friendship with Janus Boy, who is likable, outgoing and, aside from his missing head, a hottie.

7.4: A Traitor in our Midst

The imprisoned centurions will likely reassess and try to find some way to figure out who betrayed them. There are considerable clues at this point, but things are complicated by Gaia Girl accusing Red Raven, whom Shieldmaiden defends, while Red Raven falls into a depressed funk. Tether will seem the most calm and rational of the NPCs, which might make the PCs suspect him.

If the PCs make another escape attempt with Tether helping them it will go as well as the first, since he’s still revealing their plans. However, they might cut him out of things, or find some other method. This session is very much in the PCs hands, but Quad Kid will react intelligently to distract the heroes from him or foil their escape as much as he can.

8.3: The Ambush of Ablative Boy

Tracking the movements of Venusians in the Saturn system will reveal where there is one group of them working on a high danger gas mining project off Saturn B. When the PCs arrive at the mining platform they find the inhabitants waiting for them – it’s a half dozen Venusians along with Ablative Boy, who now also possesses his Bionics power courtesy of the Red Queen.

More than just hiding out there Ablative Boy and his henchmen were waiting for them, and it turns into a regular old brawl and ambush. The Venusians thugs are 66 ADR, double weight, 14 S 11 A people armed with gas mining tools (HTH +3/+1d6) and can do some damage but are likely to fall before the heroes.  The bionic Ablative Boy is more of a threat, but when things go against him he conveniently falls off the platform into the deadly Saturnean atmosphere and vanishes – the PCs cannot find him. (this is because he’s been whisked away by Janus Boy)

9.2 The Runaway Robot

After Janus Boy has teleported the heroes to Jupiter C they are in an excellent position to take care of the runaway robot (which assume the Robot Body power with +18 Strength, x2 weight and 20% human, Growth Factor 3 and the internal device being Stretchy Tentacles (20 of them) that each are SR 10 and, if destroyed, don’t damage the main robot). The PCs have  to tackle that threat but it is certainly amenable to being tampered with or confused by any number of powers, or just pummeled by someone big enough.

During the right Janus Boy will concentrate on teleporting bystanders out of the way and helping the innocent, but at one point he will stop and concentrate on something else – if any players are watching him. If asked later it he will claim he spotted someone falling who he needed to rescue, which Emo Girl will be able to detect as a truth, but he’s obviously feeling guilty about _something_. In any event once he has a chance to rest he can teleport the group back to their HQ, having established his bona fides.

7.5: Jailbreak on Saturn’s Rings

By this point the PCs should have the information they need to make a break – if nothing else Shieldmaiden will discover that her force fields can be honed to monofilament thickness which lets her reunite the genders, slice free Red Raven’s wings and do other things. The PCs likely have some other clever options. It’s important that they realize that Tether is the mole at this point, and perhaps Red Raven or Gaia Girl will be the ones to take him down with a sock to the jaw. Someone should probably pull off his fake nose too.

Anyway once that’s done and they have access to their full powers and the whole team –and hopefully realize that a lot of Warden’s powers are just trickery’ they should be able to clean the place up. Quad Boy will unleash some actual robot guards on them to waste time and try to use a tunnel network to get close enough to reconnect all his bodies – he will also hint at a mastermind behind the whole scheme. After that he will vanish (another Janus Boy pull out). The heroes will realize that rather than the Oort cloud they’re in Saturn’s rings under a magnifying dome and will be able to take steps to get home – and to figure out who’s behind this.

10: The Moriarty of Mars

The secret criminal mastermind from Deimos failed to permanently imprison the Centurions, and now the team has to defeat his three most audacious crimes and shut him down.

8.4: The Day of the Dragon Boy

Our rescuing heroes still don’t know that the missing Centurions are free (in fact chronologically they probably aren’t) and so have to follow up on a lead in Ablative Boy’s base – the contact information for a ship out in deep space. The PCs, when they get there, find a huge structure, the bulk of which is designed to be impenetrable to vision powers, with a single occupant. The figure is silver skinned, possessing a rare bio-engineering that lets him survive in space and fly by reflecting solar radiation.  The youth will radio back that he is in distress and asks the heroes to come to his aid. Once they’re close enough he pulls a lever and the structure falls apart, revealing a space dragon inside which promptly attacks the heroes.

The figure is Dragon Boy, who commands space dragons and who was contracted to kill the Centurions. He will let this slip during the fight but mostly he will focus on using the space dragon to crush, chimp and burn the PCs as well as defend himself. Knocking him out will just make the dragon defend him – which might involve it grabbing him (perhaps appearing to eat him) and flying away.

9.3: Janus Lad Unleashed

The PCs still around Jupiter will be working with Janus Lad and any other new recruits to keep the peace in the face of a sudden crime wave. Criminal activities are breaking out across the Jovian system forcing the heroes to either jump around madly to handle them in sequence or split up even more to deal with them in parallel.

Inside Europa there is a sudden break on a drug smuggling ring and the authorities are asking for the Centurion’s help on the endgame.

On Io a criminal mining concern has destabilized their location, causing an eruption, a lava flow and a lot of crooks that suddenly need saving.

On Jupiter A villains with a high-tech dirigible and steam-punk themed gear are robbing penthouses.

On Callisto extortionists are threatening to blow up a dam and flood a valley with several highly populated communities if they aren’t paid an exorbitant sum.

None of these are terribly challenging cases for a team of heroes (the GM should flesh them out as weak-average) but they’re all happening at once. Janus Lad ends up having to stay at the base in order to coordinate efforts via teleport warps – unless someone stays behind with him, which would be a waste of resources. Of course you can trust him alone in the HQ. OK, actually when he’s there he drops some high tech devices into the clubhouse and other acts of sabotage.

10.1: The Moriarty of Mars

The PCs who have taken over Stalag 2013 will be able to explore the place looking for clues as to who built it. Anyone with a science or engineering background will quickly see that this is advanced technology of Deimos level intelligences – perhaps Demon Boy will be able to piece it together. Other investigation reveals extensive files not just on the captured heroes but on the other Centurions and other prominent heroes and lawmen throughout the system – apparently their captor was intending to expand the population here, trapping and imprisoning any number of heroes.

Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way off the prison rock. It’s not near anything, the shuttle has been sabotaged, as has the communication gear, they don’t have their flight bracelets or their spaceworthy uniforms. Depending on the powers of whoever’s present this might be simple or incredibly complex, but it should eat up a chunk of time. Remember also (and the NPCs will stress this) that they have no idea what’s been going on for the days/weeks/months they’ve been imprisoned.

8.5: The Dragon Migration

The heroes searching for the missing/captured Centurions (who are free now, but no one knows it) have just faced a Space Dragon (and perhaps captured Dragon Boy). Before they can do much by way of investigating at the site they learn that they are in the direct path of the entire Dragon Migration! Rather than a single space dragon the PCs now have to deal with dozens of them!

Run through a round of the fight before you jump to the next group.

9.4  The Dragon Migration part 2

The Jupiter based hero group, who spent last session running hither and yon, on their last return trip via Janus Lad’s powers to their clubhouse, find themselves rerouted. Instead of being where they expected to be they appear in the middle of the dragon migration, with the team who were looking for the captured heroes. At this point two thirds of the Centurions manpower is at this point in space for a knock-down, drag out conflict with the Space Dragons. Like the fight with the space pirates in session 1 this is a chance for the heroes to really cut loose.

If the PCs win they will be exhausted but victorious, and able to spot several probes approaching at speed that they can capture and analyze, leading them to the Stalag. If the PCs lose they will be scooped up by the probes and brought unconscious to Stalag 3013. Whoever is behind this thinks that the Stalag is still under their control, but it’s not. Score one for the heroes. This lets us reunite the entire group.

If someone thinks to contact Janus Lad he will teleport them all back to the clubhouse; he’s still trying to maintain his cover, and will spin a story about having a sister who has the same powers – perhaps she’s working for the villains. (This is all fundamentally true, but not 100%, which combined with this strange head issues will frustrate Emo-Girl’s powers.)

Janus Boy aka John Wood

Victim of a Scientific Accident Earthling John Wood has had his head severed from his body and now storied in a parallel dimension; fortunately he also has teleporational warping powers, so his ‘head’ is an opaque black swirling vortex through which he can see but not be seen. His power to create special warps is staggering.

S: 9  E: 35  A: 12  I: 10 C: 11 Level 1
Background: Medical and Transport
1)  Heightened Endurance B: +27
2) Teleportation: portal option, as if PR 25 but actually PR 5 per use
3) Physical handicap: misplaced head; needs communicator device to speak or hear, but can see. 

Ablative Boy aka Rokka Ber

A large boy of Venusian descent he shares his races ability to grow armor; frustrated by his inability to join the Centurions he has sworn vengeance on them, with the help of some Deimonic cybernetics that gr0w into his armor

S: 18  E: 16  A: 12  I: 10 C: 11 Level 2
Background: Sports and Entertainment
1)  Amor A: 100 ADR, x1 weight multiple per 33 ADR grown.  Has a 0 to be hit by corrosive attacks while armored. Heals at 5x normal healing rate
2) Regeneration: Armor heals per turn with 1 action.
3) Natural Weaponry: Gains +1 to hit and +2 on damage per 33 points of armor intact, up to +3/+6
4) Bionics: these grow with his armor and give +9 Strength, +9 Endurance and a Light Powers style laser attack that fires from his chest. The bionics are twinkling when in use, making it hard for him to hide.
5) Special Requirement: has to ‘grow’ armor from scratch via regeneration when not using it.

Dragon Lad aka Geor Sainte

One of those rare people genetically engineered with a reflectively sliver life support skin, Geor learned by accident that this can reflect the hyponitc rays of the space dragons, bringing them under his control.

S: 9  E: 12  A: 15  I: 11 C: 10 Level 2
Background: Transport and Animals
1) Adaptation: No PR requirement for normal use, PR 1 for use as defense. This reflects any visual spectrum effect back on the attacker, and he can target that with 20” of movement
2) Wings: He can ‘fly’ in space with his large silvery wings, moving at 1000mph or .1 lightspeed with acceleration time. +3 on agility.
3) Animal Control – Space Dragons: he can control 1 spacce dragon at a time by reflecting their hypnotic vision at them.
4) Vulnerability: takes x2 damage from gravity attacks and 1d6 power damage per hour in atmosphere – he cannot recover lost power in a strong gravity well.

Space Dragons

These huge, dangerous peasts migrate through the system every 2500 years.  They will land on and ravage planets to feed during their migration if not held in check.

S: 15  E: 15  A: 15  I: 5 C: 11 Level 4
Background: None
1) Size Change – Growth: x5 size, these are 30’ long. See the rules mods for information on handling growth.
2) Fly: their space flight speed is 1000 miles and hour, or .01 lightspeed with acceleration. In atmosphere they are clumsy 60 mph flyers.
3) Light Control: they can fire blinding flashes from their eyes or 2d8 damage radioactive blasts from their mouths. PR 1 per use.
4) Emotion Control – Trust: The light from a space dragons’ eyes can hyponitize prey, making them docile and willing to follow the dragons mildly telepathic instructions. PR 8 per use in an arc in front of the dragons.