Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Play Report: Once Again, I am a Hero in Miami

 My third son started a new campaign of Champions last night. I am one of the players. This is a play report, so no editing.

The Setting
About 3 years previously the world was swept by a shimmering wall of energy 7 miles high. This silvery-blue wall sorta' resembled the aurora, moved at about 1,000 mph, and seems to have also penetrated through the ground. An analysis of video, reports, etc. shows that it originated near Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The cause remains a mystery.
  Some very few people fell sick as soon as they wall passed through them, but this may have been hysteria. Everyone else reported nothing but a mild tingling sensation.
  Since the Wave/Event/whatever things have changed. Old legends have come to life; some people suddenly could develop their skills and intellects to amazing levels; and some few have powers that defy the laws of science.
  The players all start in the Miami Metro



  [The post title is because the first long-term Champions campaign I played in was set in Miami - in 1985-1986].

  We are using Hero System 6e. As new heros the concept is 300 base and 50 points of complication; a bit low.

The Players and Characters
My oldest son - The Bowman: A weaponsmaster with bow and arrows, some fighting, and some skills. Only has blunt arrows (blasts) and normal arrows (RKAs) for now. A good mix of in and out of combat.
My second oldest son - P.I.: either a madman given powers or an ancient god of the Caucasus brought back as the avatar of film noir detectives. Or both, a little. A lot of skills and a cool 'mystic magnifying glass' that can detect clues and a magical .38 pistol that shoots out stunning bolts. The stealthy skills dude.
My fourth oldest son - Solar Power: a nice variant on the energy projector. A little flight, a force field that isn't too powerful, and the World's Coolest Blast. Not a lot of dice but bought with Variable Special Effect and Variable Advantage he can shoot you with almost anything!
Me - Ultraman: old-school silver age brick, Good defenses and a great strength score with some flight. Virtually no skills, though.

The Play: Day One
Ultraman has been doing flying patrols for about 8 days with no crime fighting. P.I. and Solar Power, who are room mates, are cashing a check at the 5th/3rd Bank. The Bowman's contacts have him watching the banks.  As Ultraman is is flying by a van pulls up and the Hammer Gang piles out and charges the bank, sledge hammers ready!
  The Hammer Gang is made up of 5 low-powered thugs with matching powers: they are bulletproof, 8 times as strong as a normal man, and twice as fast, too. They use  depleted uranium-weighted titanium sledges to fight and smash open vaults.
  The Bowman fired a blunt arrow from his rooftop vantage, knocking one gangster prone. Solar Power used a 0 END cost Armor Piercing sonic blast on one, who staggered and took a knee from the impact. P.I. rapid fired his pistol at the one hit by Solar Power, putting him unconscious. Ultraman landed in front of them and yelled,
  "Surrender, miscreants!"
  ...and totally blew his Presence attack. Two of them attacked Ultraman as the other rushed at Solar Power. One gangster missed Ultraman, but the other his him square in the face for...
  ...no effect!
Post Phase 12 recovery, then on to a new Turn.
  The Bowman hit his first target again, knocking him out. Solar Power and P.I. tag-teamed another gangster, knocking him out, too. Then Ultraman finally punched someone.
  4 to hit = solid hit...
  12d6 damage...
  Totals?
  60 STUN & 19 BODY.
  Sweet mercy!

  The gangster few back into their van and crumpled to the ground. Thank goodness they have good PD.

  The last one surrendered quickly.

  The Bowman saw someone run off down an alley and pursued; the person was in a red costume with a skull mask - the mysterious vigilante The Skull! He eluded the Bowman and vanished. He had been missing for months....

  The team gave introductions to each other and agreed to meet at a particular rooftop later that day and then introduced themselves to the police.

  At the meeting place P.I. and the Bowman compared notes and determined the Hammer Gang had been hired and that they were to meet at a particular location that very night so the team went to visit. They found an 'abandoned' office building in a blighted part of town turned into the Hammer gang's hideout.
  Bowman, P.I. and Solar infiltrated while Ultraman, who put the 'not' into 'stealthy', waited on the roof to be the cavalry. The infiltrators found a cache of contracts and notes hidden in a false wall panel that gave tantalizing hints of a larger plot: the Hammer Gang had been tasked with stealing a large gold shipment (not money, pure gold) and were expected to steal a large shipment of titanium and an experimental laser system. There were also hints that The Skull was being coerced into assisting whoever was in charge and that 2-3 more superhumans were involved.
  As they wre looking into makeshift barracks for more than the Hammer Gang an armored van pulled up in front and mooks in high-tech body armor carrying the sort of pistols that had a cable to a backpack pulled up. The infiltrators all hid and waited as the crew came in and prepared to settle into their 'temporary barracks'. The Skull was with them, too.
  When everyone else was upstairs the infiltrators tag-teamed the guards at the front, kocking them out quickly, and got out with their data.
  Pretty soon the mooks were firing laser pistols and Ultraman leapt to the ground to protect the team. The Bowman was engaged in a rooftop parkour chase with the Skull that was rather exciting while the rest of us were slapping around mooks. Solar Power's area effect blasts were a huge help.
  A Presence attack and an interrogation roll got us a potential name for the guy paying the bills for the heists.
  Mr. Pittsburgh, CEO of Pittsburgh Industries, with a nice high-rise office building downtown.

  We turned mooks over to the police, made our statements, and prepared to check out Mr. Pittsburgh.

  The team turned its sights onto Mr. Pittsburgh, a rather private man known as a bit of an inventor. Surveillance showed that he had an armored limo, an ex-military driver, and took varied routes to and from work. Not unusual for a wealthy man.... They also discovered a surprising number of people working there had no legitimate paper trail.After some discussion the Bowman and P.I. decided to infiltrate the HQ at night and get a look at Mr. Pittsburgh's office.
  It was a fun scene: the characters making stealth rolls as they slipped through the building. Before even getting to the proper floor, however, they spotted more guards in armor and laser pistols, like those from the previous night. They finally got to the office and there was a great moment of them making an extra-time assisted check to disarm the alarm and get in before the roving guards spotted them.
Inside the office they discovered a journal that described how Mr. Pittsburgh had started by attempting to develop a computer program that could predict the stock market and realized it could also predict the weather. He was working on it when the Cleveland Event occured and then he - stopped talking about it and moved to another, unnamed, project. While searching the office they also found a secret door, which they unlocked.
  The door concealed a hidden lab holding a massive computer array, a computer array that asked who they were. A little fast talking about being a cleaning crew, doing some cleaning, and they left and made their way out. With no true incriminating evidence but with the existence of illegal weapons they tipped the police that a warrant might be a good idea and left to prevent the theft of the laser system.

  The next morning Pittsburgh Tech announced that several employees had been fired for criminal activity and flunkies were thrown under the bus.
 
  The team arrived at the heist point early and set up for a quick assault once bad guys arrived. On cue the Skull and mooks arrived on foot. P.I. and Solar engaged immediately with Bowman acting as a sniper, all focusing on the Skull, who was demonstrably tougher than any member of the team.  As combat began an armored car van full of armored mooks sped down the alley and I finally got to do something I have always wanted to do:
  Ultraman did a Move Through against an onrushing vehicle!
  A LOT of dice were thrown and when the dust settled the van was wrecked, the mooks inside were out, and Ultraman was making a Presence attack against the rest of the mooks, who promptly surrendered. The Skull was down by then, but not by much.

  The police arrived, we handed over the bad guys and we learned that while we were fighting outside someone walked through the walls of the facility, picked up the laser system, and walked out, untouched.

We wrapped up for the night.

  I love Champions for the fast pace and the typical setting and the son delivered. I usually play 'the other guy' in superhero games and playing the brick was great fun.