Monday, March 6, 2017

Play Report: First Game in the Dosmend Campaign for HERO System

  I love Champions and the HERO system. I've been playing Champions since it came out and it is my default superhero system. HERO is my default system for damn near everything that isn't fantasy or horror.
  Recently Son #4 told us that phrase that all people who play superhero games both love and dread.
 "Play anything you want".



  He set us up in HERO 6e at 500 pts with 100 pts of complications. Any genre. Any powerset. Just - no Hunteds.
  That setup was intriguing, but what to do?!
  Son #1 kicked around 2 ideas and then made Jukebox Hero, the avatar of ROCK! He has a variety of energy attacks and a wicked hand-to-hand attack where he bashes you with his guitar.
  An interesting energy projector with the twist that he is sorta' not actually alive, let alone a human. He is what people think about '80's rock made real. ish.

  Son #2 made Centurion,  ruler of the Empire of Neptune. With his power sword, energy lash, and golden armor he fights off foes like Crash Warden, Space Ranger of Earth, in his attempts to unify the solar system under his empire!
  What if Ming the Merciless were forced to play a hero?

  Son #3 made M.A.C.K.E.R.E.L., a semi-demi-extra-dimensional anarcho-quasi-psionic quantum interstitial lifeform. He can take three forms: A tall man in plastic armor that has a number of weapons and is a decent martial artist; a flightless dragon/drake form that is very slow but well-nigh invulnerable and capable of tremendous damage; a golden sheep with telepathic and dream powers.
  He's been reading Doom Patrol with the Brotherhood of Dada a lot recently.

  And I... couldn't decide for a while. I have a handful of characters I want to play! They are:
  JackHammer: a 5th generation superhero descended from his world's versions of superman, wonder woman, batman, cat woman, etc. etc. The idea is that he is a jack-of-all-trades with a lot of skills. I first wrote up a version of him in 1989 but have never played him.
  Shifter: Last survivor or a destroyed alien dimension his powers are all teleportation and dimension based with an extra-dimensional base. Son #4 told me his dimensional powers would be worthless so I shelved him. Concept is 12 years old.
  Ultraman: An unashamed Superman clone. But we had Centurion, etc. already.
  Thunderchild, the Duke of the Seven Tempests: A Captain Marvel (Fawcett) clone  as a flying brick with weather powers. First written up in 1987, never played.
  Guardian Angel aka Basement Dweller: A physically stunted mutant almost incapable of movement on his own and largely confined to bed. He uses his clairvoyance and vast mental powers to fight crime all over the city without sitting up! Thought up on the fly Friday.

  In the end I re-did an old character of mine I wrote up for a game in about 1996 and only played once; Deadeye. he is a former carny/sideshow.vaudeville performer and pro boxer turned vigilante in 1930's Chicago.Pretty standard Batman clone except he is such a master of trick throwing that in his hands any object he can throw is a weapon. He also has a 'vanishing' power; the ability to slip in or out so stealthily it is as if he teleported.

Gameplay
  Deadeye was beating up a group of bootleggers in Chicago in the Winter of 1932 when a swirling vortex opened, a voice announced, 'You are needed to save the world!' and a giant silver hand pulled Deadeye through. On the far side Deadeye was in a snowy clearing in trees along a dirt road. With him were a man whose armor made him look like a golden and purple Skeletor (Centurion), a medieval knight (MACKEREL, or Mack), and a hair band member from the '80's (Jukebox Hero). Mack and Centurion had also been pulled through a vortex. Jukebox just said, 'when there's a gig that needs playin' I'm always on time, man.'
  Centurion started to fly to look for anything nearby and soon headed toward a nearby building (just a few miles away) while Deadeye scouted the trees. The not-Centurion characters herd a vehicle approach and before long a large truck that was similar to a low-slung deuce and a half full of troops pulled up to Mack and Jukebox.
 7 men in military uniforms of unfamiliar cut piled out with their assault rifles and their leader began speaking to Mack and Jukebox. After a moment the leader yelled,
  "They're with the Resistance! Get them!"
  Jukebox immediately buffed himself and Mack with one of his powers, giving them both extra endurance and stun. Mack hit one of the soldier with a solid blow and....
  we found out these guys weren't one-hit mooks!
  I blinded 3 of them with a flashbomb and the ones who could fired, hitting Jukebox and showing that their rifles were armor-piercing killing attacks! Jukebox was stunned. So was I! Centurion heard the fires of the assault rifles, which were energy weapons, and turned back.

  Combat continued. I 'vanished' into the middle of the soldiers and did a disarming throw on one of them, keeping his energy rifle. Mack transformed into his drake form and clobbered the guy he had hit earlier, and Jukebox played a song that let him fly at high speed and, while zipping along, he knocked a guy out in passing.


  The soldiers had a much more mook-like speed than they did defenses. I ordered the one I had disarmed to keep running until I couldn't see him, then I shot another one with his rifle, putting him unconscious. Jukebox knocked out another, and Mack and Centurion also put some down. Soon all of them were out except for the one fleeing, whom I could still see at about 80 meters distance so I took his assault rifle and threw it at him, striking him square and knocking him out cold.

  One of them came around and I interrogated him. We soon learned it was the year 2375 and that we were in the Empire of Dosmend in the area formerly called "Canada". The soldier admitted he knew almost nothing about the lands beyond Dosmend's borders and that he spent most of his time fighting the Resistance. I trussed him up and we set out for the building Centurion had seen.

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  Son #4 always runs a tight ship when it comes to HERO.  The pace was brisk, the descriptions clear, and the combat moved fast. After the intro we do what all players do after the first Chamopions session - tweak their character build.
  The setting (a post-apocalyptic Canada) is already fun and I can't wait to find out who or what summoned us all.

Another session soon!