Friday, February 15, 2013

Heroes of the United Worlds 7

7: Welcome to the 31st Century and the Menace of the Monster

1. Welcome to the31st century

This is the introductory game, so let’s get to it!

1.1. The Exposition of Emo Girl:

Our initial 21st C PCs appear in the lab of Demon Boy, where he and Emo Girl are patiently waiting the arrival of the greatest heroes of the 21st century. They are more than a little surprised by the arrival of our PCs but Emo girl confirms their confusion and honesty. The Pcs do something unexpected, like fly, and Demon Boy spouts his reduced entropy theory and postulates enormous power

The two Centurions explain to the team that Ganymede is under attack by a space pirate named Jether Tel. The Centurions have been trying to capture him but lack the raw power or speed. Miss Chrysalis, Blackbird and Kid Chanticleer went to handle three different points of defense, not believing Demon Boy’s plan would work. If the PCs can help at these three points then Emo Girl is sure it would reunite the team, and Demon Boy speculates it would draw Tel into a decisive conflict. Are the PCs willing?

1.2 The Crisis of Kid Chanticleer

The most powerful of the Centurions had taken off to the naval air yards, certain that Tel’s next move would be to destroy the Jovain Space Force. And he’s right – Tel has launched dozens of drones at the site. Kid Chanticleer is stymied early on when the first few he explodes are filled with Tel’s sleeping gas, which covers the area. Each time Kid Chanticleer inhales to launch his sonic blasts he gets more and even his superhuman endurance can be overcome!

This is when PC group 1 arrives, advised by Demon Boy’s floating assistant, ADA. ADA is able to answer any of the 21st century PC’s questions about the era and the threats. There are 24 drone bombs on the way down to the airfield. Eight of those are sleep gas bombs that will incapacitate the pilots and crews, while the remainder are high explosives that will destroy the ships (and the incapacitated crews). Eight will reach the ground each round. An intelligence Feat (reduced to a I d20 with an appropriate power) will let the PC identify which are the gas bombs – 6 in the first, two in the second. The PCs have three initiative rolls to figure out how to stop the bombs. Kid Chanticleer can take out 3 more before collapsing from the gas, or 8 more if the PCs find a way to clear the gas. Each done has 8 HP and counts as a 1st level character for targeting.

1.3 The Menacing of Miss Chrysalis

Miss Chrysalis is at the Grand Museum, sure that Tel is going steal Ganymede’s treasures. And she’s right – one of Tel’s pirate clippers dove through the atmosphere, spraying the confusion-gas. His goons are leaping down in jumpbelts to collect the artwork. Miss Chrysalis’ cocoon protects her from the gas and she engages the raiders until the clipper starts firing a particle beam towards panicked innocents. Chrysalis interposes herself but that pins her down and as she struggles to keep her armor intact and she l;oses track of who’s who in the throng of people

This is when PC group 2 arrives with Emo Girl. Using Demon Boy’s new flight bracelet she starts pointing out the guilty parties to be pummeled. The ship has 25 HP to disable and a Power Blast device currently trained on Miss Chrysalis in beam mode; if it flees it flies at Mach 1 away from the scene. There are a dozen space pirates here who require an Intelligence feat to ID unless Emo Girl points them out. As the PCs are cleaning them up Emo Girl is careful to let one get away (even getting in a PCs way if they move after him) as she placed a tracer on that one to lead back to Tel’s base.

1.4 The Burning of Blackbird

Blackbird is guarding the Fusion PowerStation, sure that Tel will disable it to expand his reign of terror – and he’s right! Unfortunately for Blackbird the pirate’s plan was a clipper dropping a score of small flying bombs that announce that they’re bombs. This creates a dozen small crises that Blackbird has to confront, rescuing trapped scientists, calming tourists, disabling bombs and so on. During all this he can see, but not stop, the Clipper’s audacious use of a tractor beam to steal the entire central fusion generator! As fires break out everywhere Blackbird does his best but has to watch helplessly as the clipper prepares its escape.

This is when PC group 3 arrives with Demon Boy in a flight bracelet. Demon Boy directs at least one of the PCs to remove the fusion units before they erupt while he contains the damage. Those parts weight enough to force a Strength feat for the 21st century PC to fly them into space in time. The clipper has 25 HP to disable and a Gravity Control device that can increase or decrease target gravity by x10 for 2 rounds. There are 10 flying bombs; Blackbird can handle 5 of those.

1.5 The Declaration of Demon Boy

With one, possibly two of Tel’s clippers out of commission Emo Girl figures Tel is either going to run or fight. With a sample of the sleep gas and confusion gasses Tel has been using Demon Boy develops an antidote and doses the other centurions. Using the tracer Emo Girl planted they are able to locate the escaped pirate, at Tel’s ship, behind its cloaking device. The heroes can get in the area but not pinpoint it– the uses of either PC powers of a Demon Boy device to locate stolen fusion core are needed.

Tel has another two clippers (one power blaster, one gravity weapon) as well as his own major vessel, so the PCs will have to split up to capture all of them at once. Once they do so (and it shouldn’t be too hard) Demon Boy urges all of the centurions to stay together as a team, to recruit more members and become a force for good across the whole system. Are any other willing to sign on to this declaration?

As with the first rhetorical, the answer better be Yes.

2 The Mystery of “the Monster”

The Centurions face an almost unbeatable threat from beyond… Who is, what is…The Monster!
If any players have pre-made 31stC PC they can select one of those instead of their 21stC PCs

2.1 Lab Accident or Ill Omen?

Shortly after any 21stC heroes arrive in the lab, where Demon Boy shows off his new experiment with  hyperspace teleportation.  At the meeting Emo Girl runs through the minutes from last meeting (recent activity included saving a luxury space ship, uncovered a smuggling conspiracy and rescued people from an earthquake on Titan). With members of the 21stC team present Demon Boy brings up some old business of requests for the Centurions to push together 100 small asteroids to form a viable planetoid.

Suddenly there is an explosion from the lab. Much of demon boy’s equipment, including the new Hyperspace teleporter, is destroyed and a hole has been blown in the wall to the outside. Investigation (I% unless relevant background or power) reveals that this wasn’t an explosion – something appeared here, wrecked the lab and then knocked a hole in the wall! It’s clearly something powerful, and the 21stC heroes, plus any other PCs, and Kid Chanticleer are sent to find it.

2.2 Search for the Mystery Monster

The PCs are able to find an impact crater from where the mystery monster fell to the street, and with backgrounds or powers to trail it some distance; in any event their attention will be drawn to a collapsing building. The hunt for the Monster will have to be postponed to rescue people and/or repair the building. Kid Chanticleer will use is powers to yell to everyone in the building to stay calm, 21stC PCs must stabilize the building and the GM will have to make up tasks for any new PCs. Inside the building they will see that the monster tore a hole through the foundations into the subway system. It could be anywhere now.

Questioning the witnesses reveals that the Monster was floppily humanoid and grey (actually wearing a padded cloth used in Demon Boy’s experiments); no one got a good look. Barring extraordinary powers there isn’t a good way to track it from here. News reports state there was a tube accident where a super-sonic subway train slammed into a shape on the tracks. The train was damaged but the shape was unharmed. Shortly after that thing tunneled into a clothing store and stole clothes.

2.3 The Monster Takes Shape

A day later the Monster – now a human in regular clothes – starts raging in Capital City. Police state that no one can understand it, but it is causing enormous damage. The same PCs are sent. Once there any of the 21stC heroes can understand the figure– he’s yelling in 20thC American English! They understand 31stC language due to hypno-tapes but whoever this is doesn’t have that advantage.

The PCs will still have to calm him down (assume he will fight at least one full round of combat) but he will identify himself as Jimmy Lawrence, from Wisconsin, circa 1934. Able to talk to someone he quickly explains his confusion and apologizes for the outburst. (Without Emo Girl there the PCs can’t definitively tell he’s lying). One note: he is lower Entropy than the 21stC PCs; his presence reduces their powers.

2.4 The Monster Strikes!

Presumably the PCs take Jimmy back to their HQ – no prison could possibly hold him – and question him. It would be easier if they expose him to the language hypno-tapes and Jimmy will readily agree. Demon Boy will realize that this must be from the trailing end of the time generator. There will likely be some conversation with Jimmy about how he’s just a fellow down on his luck in the depression and now he’s Buck Rogers, but in Short order Emo Girl tags him as lying.

She tries to be subtle but “Jimmy” is quick on the uptake and – realizing that he’s stronger than anyone there and  that the lab is the only thing that can send him back – picks a fight. With another 80 years of entropy he’s even tougher than the 21stC heroes, plus meander and higher level. After tossing them around (and being tossed around in return) he trashes the rest of the lab and flies off – but not before taunting them with his real name: he’s not Jimmy Lawrence…he’s JOHN DILLENGER!

2.5 Who Can Face…The Monster

Once outside Dillinger flies over the city and with a booming voice declares himself the new ruler of ‘the world’. Anyone who doesn’t immediately do what he asks will suffer grievous consequences. Unless the Centurions warn them off the Ganymede defense force attacks and is easily rebuffed with super-breath – indeed, he is now using all the powers of the 21stC heroes 9whereas they only have one each).  The Centurions know if they can just wait the time effect will wear off but Dillinger can cause incalculable damage before then. Engaging him in Central City, Ganymede would result in devastation. Can they lure him away? Contain him? What’s the plan?

Demon Boy managed to save the time ray device with a repulsion screen. He could jury rig some extremely low entropy material that would weaken Dillenger, but someone would have to get close enough to him to slap it on him. Only a 21stC hero is likely to get that close, but they’re holding the entropy version of uranium. If they do this they may never be able to return to the 31stC. Sacrifice!

Barring another solution, after the week is up Dillenger returns back through time, minutes after our 21stC PCs – which might make him think he was about to win.