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Wednesday Night Icons
james_nicoll
Due to the D&D GM being out sick, we had an ICONS fill in session.



I wanted to play someone who wasn't an antisocial proto-super villain so I decided Tectonic was off getting some much needed therapy to deal with the problems his monstrous transformation caused him. Instead I ran 16-year-old (something) Osgoode, AKA Streamline (II). The (II) is silent; he's a legacy character who inherited super-speed from his cool old granddad. Streamline has been training his whole life to be a mask (although the only detail he mentioned was the tomato tins his grand dad would lob at him from time to time) and is thrilled that he's finally old enough to join the Halifax team.

I'll post the other character stats if and when I get them but Streamline looked like this:

Prowess 3 Kind of low but he's still growing
Coordination 5
Strength 5
Intelligence 6
Awareness 5
Willpower 4

Invulnerability 5
Super Speed 6 (short of Mach 1)
Surface Speed 6 (the running along water and up walls thing)
Fast Attack 6 (three attacks a round which he needed with that sucky Prowess

Specialties
Acrobatics
Investigator
Martial Arts
Stealth

Qualities:

Eager
Cool Old Mentor
Legacy Hero
"Justice! At the Speed of Sound!"       with the understanding that he may be forced     
                                         to add a disclaimer since he is in fact not
                                         able to move at Mach 1 or better. Hey, his                                                       
                                         granddad used to say it all the time. 


Challenges

Young
(And it sure seemed like his dad was around a lot).

I think a character sheet got misplaced so the alien cop was replaced by the Mighty Absorbo, who got his powers through Science! He is haunted by the death of his sister, who got almost the same power suite but not the piece that lets you survive having it. He is also haunted by his sister. He can absorb the characteristics of the things he touches; he can also manipulate the things he touches.

A new character, Weather Witch, showed up part way through the session. She's mystical, has a magic (noun) that lets her control the weather and the relevant occult skills. She's also immune to mental attacks; every team should have at least one of those.

Mole Man was still around and Streamline at least treated him as the team leader because he's the oldest and the only previously established member of the Halifax group in today's session. Because two of the members were out, the idea was that the new characters were being given a chance to try out. The test turned out to take the form of the group running into a bank robbery. What the odds?

The robbers were the Clique, a bunch of super-powered drop-outs. They are

Scorcher, a human torch sort of character (no flight)

Princess, a preppy looking flying girl whose powers we never got to see in action: she steals powers.

Destiny, who was a sort of leather-happy goth and whose powers I didn't note.

Beef, the big dumb brick who thinks the girls want him around for anything but his muscle.

Absorbo got the Social Maladapt ball so he immediately starting trying to chat up Scorcher. She wasn't interested. I am pretty sure he also hit on the other girls.

The Clique wanted some sort of metal wallet thing. The group stepped in to stop them despite the danger to the people in the bank (this meant Streamline got to show off his invulnerability by getting in between Scorcher and a small dog). A thrilling fight ensued (during which Streamline discovered that he can't hit for beans but at least he gets three tries a round). Despite Streamline's inability to hit, the three crooks in the bank went down pretty quickly; Mole Man is good at what he does and Streamline had one bright idea: grab a fire extinguisher, put Scorcher out and then clock her with the empty extinguisher.

Somehow, and my notes are unclear about this, Absorbo ended up as Princess' clothes; this meant he was with her when she got hit by lightning; it wasn't Weather Witch, and I don't think the shooter was ever IDed for sure. Absorbo legged it with the contents of the wallet and headed back to the HQ, which is a boat in the Frequency Attacked by Supervillains part of the docks. It's like the city wants to contain the inevitable fire or something.

The rest of the group did the usual post-battle routine, handing over the evidence on hand and sending the Clique off to the local prison, from which they will inevitable escape; there was supposed to be a federally funded prison for supervillains in Labrador but the Liberals lost the election and the Conservatives had other things to spend the money on so basically prison terms are short breathers for the supervillains.

Princess was not sent off with the others; she vanished.

MM and SL returned to the HQ, where Absorbo was waiting with Weather Witch.

The two items in the wallet got examined. One was a mystic ruby, suitable for amplifying mental powers. The other was a rod used to turn ambient energy into Cosmic! energy, inscribed for reasons that were not clear with "HMCS Haida". One foci belongs to Mr. Mastermind, a mentalist. The other belongs to Mastermind Monster, a tech based character who looks like the Frankenstein monster in a space suit.

A crow that had been cyborged with vacuum-tube based technology showed up to deliver a threat, unsigned, before falling over dead. Streamline was baffled by the vacuum tubes, something he had never seen before.

Since it seemed likely Mr. Mastermind would be showing up, the group got our techie Absorbo to use Weather Witch's DNA to create mind shields; they were no teased mole-brains but they were useful. This was creepier a process than you may think, because it involved Absorbo licking the Witch.

Around this time Mr. Osgoode (cop or retired cop) showed up. He'd received a death threat and being an old hand at this (his dad was a superhero and so was his sister), he ambled over to mention this to us. It quickly became clear he had been mind-controlled since he was very insistent that he be given the foci. He of course was completely unaware of this as anything; how he and his son will laugh later at how the old man was turned into a meat puppet yet again because he's related to supers.

Streamline only barely fights off similar mind control; he hands the ruby to the Witch, since she's the one member of the group who cannot be mind controlled.

At this point, the Silver Ageness Quotient shot up as the group notices a man approaching the HQ at 300 miles an hour - on running chainsaws. This is the fearsome Mr. Chainsaw; his costume is made up of chainsaws and he likes cut things up with those chainsaws. Streamline zipped out to deal with him and soon discovered that not only is the guy as fast as Streamline and knows some of the same tricks but he has chainsaws too and mentally controlled chainsaws at that. Mr. Chainsaw either knew or knew of Streamline (I); he and Streamline (II) had a short conversation about this before an ultimately inconclusive battle began.

Canadian supervillains - evil but polite. Also, I think he did a title search before adopting that name, so they are very nearly law abiding too, at least on that point. Turns out there's a reason for this and it was relevant to what was going on.

At this point the robots began to attack; robot crabs, robot centipedes, robot bats.
Then Mr. Hominid - no, I don't know what it is about "Mister" and Canadian supervillains - took over our AV system to explain what was going on. Mr. Mastermind and Mastermind Monster had fallen out over which of them was entitled to have the Mastermind name. To settle this, they are having a contest; whoever gets their foci back first from us wins.

Mr. Hominid didn't think this was interesting enough so he secretly arranged a twist; if the two foci are separated for any length of time, they will explode. We're talking a blockbuster at least and maybe a repeat of Dec. 6, 1917, which is kind of ironic considering where the game is set. This means the winner will have to take the other guy's device as well.

Chainsaw decided the whole affair was getting way too interesting for the money he had been offered and he zoomed off at 300 miles an hour. On running chainsaws.

Mastermind Monster, who had been invisible and on our deck, says a rude word when he heard about the new rules. This exposes him to attack; Absorbo takes the form of electricity only to end up in one of Mastermind Monster's capacitors but Mole Man, a capable hand to hander, does some fine battering.

The HQ boat isn't close to the open sea so sending Streamline out with the ruby and rod isn't an option. It'll take him turns to get there and the mentalist will probably get him first (or the robot basking shark will, assuming there is a robot basking shark).

Weather Witch steps out of sight for a moment and duct tapes the two foci to her under her clothes, then joins the battle; nobody else knows where they are and her mind cannot be read or controlled. She then began to rain weathery hell down on the battle field. My notes are unclear but I know there was a moment when Mole Man was hoping her lightning would miss the HQ boat and Streamline, treading water out on the river and the highest object on the river after the boat, was desperately hoping she would hit the boat.

Mastermind Monster turned out to have a device that paralyzes anyone in contact with the rod but since the Witch was out of sight, this did not immediately reveal who had the device. She shook off the effects in fairly short order.

Asorbo gets out (somehow - didn't record how) and deals with Mastermind Monster by sealing him up in the deck. This, alas, does not take into account how strong Mastermind Monster is; he easily breaks free inside the ship, sneaks up behind the Witch and temporarily knocks her out. Streamline reuses the trick he used on Scorcher at the bank; grabs a fire extinguisher, empties it into Mastermind Monster's face and then clocks him twice in the head. This succeeds in annoying Mastermind Monster but it does not KO him.

It takes a while for the others to notice (there was this one really tenacious robot centipede with a blow torch) but they join in on bashing Mastermind Monster.

Absorbo got distracted when Princess suddenly showed up, needing to talk to him. Always keen on any chance to get a date, he stepped aside with her. She claims she has seen the error of her ways and she thinks maybe her dad suspects something and might cut off her allowance so she wants to go straight, which seemed hopeful. Things got less hopeful when she revealed that her plan required getting her hands on the ruby and the rod, almost as though she had been mind controlled. Absorbo went along with the plan to the extent of letting her join in on battering Mastermind Monster, who just would not fall down.

Mr Mastermind, who had been hiding in one of the cars that got sliced in half by Mr. Chainsaw, finally decided to step out in the open and take more direct action. Aborbo got commanded to recover the ruby but of course he had no idea where it was.

Mr. Osgoode, apparently free willed again, chose this moment to leave, threading his way past the combatants with the ease of long practice; he took Timmies orders on the way by.

It turned out Princess is a power thief and isn't the group lucky not to have found that out at the bank? Once she began stripping Mastermind Monster of his powers, he went down fairly quickly.

This left Mr. Mastermind. The thing about speedsters is you can't be sure what direction they will come at you from; Streamline zipped away along a path Mr. Mastermind could not see, came up quietly from behind (which seems to have no effect on to hit) and dropped him into the river. I think Princess then drained his mental powers so he just swam away, no doubt vowing to fight again another day.

I think Absorbo made a date with Princess, who seems to be what you'd get if Paris Hilton got Rogue's powers. Better him than Streamline, anyway.
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There was a point in the conversation where someone cast doubt on the threat potential of both Mr. Mastermind and Mastermind Monster on the grounds that if they were really A-list villains, they'd be in New York or at least Toronto.

Also, some bald guys have Bald of Awesome but poor Mr. Mastermind just looks like an unattractive bald guy in a dorky costume.

Edited at 2011-02-10 07:21 am (UTC)

Not completely surprisingly, Streamline's costume evokes Streamline Moderne. Granddad's version was full-bore Streamline Moderne (although really Streamline (I) should have been a generation too young for it to still be fashionable) and Streamline (II)'s costume has an updated version of the look.


In fact, the first thing I thought of when you mentioned Streamline's name was the Chrysler Airflow (very advanced design for its time, but alas not manufactured very well. There was a good article in the August 1977 Scientific American, but it doesn't appear to be on-line).

Re: Canadian villains being called "Mister": perhaps they were educated in Great Britain, and worked as surgeons? Or perhaps they're PhDs?

Normally, "Doctor" is a fairly common villain name-part. But a Canadian PhD villain would be aware that a PhD is only called "Dr" in an academic context, so, for instance, might be "Doctor Mastermind" when robbing a museum or physics lab, but go by "Mister Mastermind" when robbing a bank.

And, of course, surgeons in the UK are called "Mr" instead of "Dr". Clearly, chainsaws suggest surgery, so, if Mister Chainsaw was a medical doctor, and British, he'd go by "Mister Chainsaw" instead of "Doctor Chainsaw."

Actually, it was a post office, not a bank. I made that mistake at first, too, but corrected myself; you rarely find post office boxes at a bank. (You do find safe deposit boxes, but the whole point of the Clique showing up was that they discovered that the ruby was sent by mail.

The chainsaw villain was called Speedsaw; I like your justifications on Hominid but he really had the sobriquet Professor Hominid.

Mister Mastermind had held the HMCS Haida hostage once upon a time--the engraving on the rod pointed to him. (Mind, it was put there by Mastermind Monster, who donated the rod to the competition.)

Next time we do an ICONS thing, I want to look over the aspects, so I can properly do compels and tagging, and get the Determination flow working well. But man, the rulebook needs examples: two for everything (one for PC receiving, one for PC causing).

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I have exactly the same problem with DC Adventures. Makes sense but Not The Way My Brain Works. Even though the system is just a revision of the M&M system I already know, I find it opaque.

And just to make the timeline clear:

Mister Mastermnd and Mastermind Monster get into an argument about who's the best mastermind and deserves the name. (Because it's Canada, and we've got two football teams named Roughriders, so it's plausible.) They each donate a thing, and Professor Hominid starts with them and adjudicates the contest.

Prof. Hominid fashions the steel wallet to hold them. He also arranges for Destiny and Scorcher to learn about it by intercepting a cell phone call they're making and making it seem like a telco problem where they overhear that this fabulously valuable ruby is being sent by mail to a post office box.

They go and get it; Hominid's intent is that the PCs will get the foci, so he hangs around in concealment, blasting departing villains who have the wallet.

Once the PCs have the foci, Mr. Mastermind and Mastermind Monster each try to get the foci back. Mr. Mastermind's first plan involves mind-controlling Streamline's dad. (Streamline has a public ID; I asked.) He also has Speedsaw hired to act as a distraction, and Princess mind-controlled to get the foci. (He can mind control 2 people at once, max.)

Mastermind Monster's plan involves robots and an invisibility gadget, so he sneaks onto the boat.

And then Prof. Hominid throws in his monkey wrench.

All fight. Oh, the embarrassment!

Oh, and Hominid sent the cyborged crow, hoping to make sure the PCs hold on to the foci.

There. I think that's everything.

"there was supposed to be a federally funded prison for supervillains in Labrador but the Liberals lost the election and the Conservatives had other things to spend the money on"

I realize this is a supers game but the Conservatives defunding a prison would break my WSOD.

We just said, "Change in governments meant the project did not go forward as planned." It's overdue and has cost over runs; maybe the Conservatives want it more punitive and draconian.

Perhaps they want it to be better able to be deal with unreported supervillians?

But that would interfere with my making fun of All Political Parties if I treat them as reasonable!

Seriously, that's just as reasonable. And we might do it if we ever go to the nearly-completed prison. (I think the cliche is that the heroes get asked to test it by being imprisoned, but It's Been Subverted by a supervillain. I don't know how I'd put a Canadian touch on that. (Actually, I wouldn't have to; with these guys, it would just happen.))

I'm envisioning a hive mind of small forest creatures, distantly related to weasels, who look exactly like Jack Layton's mustache. They leap onto your lip and initiate a weird symbiosis that gives you odd mental quirks and bizarre but subtle powers.

I realize this doesn't hold a candle to how weird things really are in Labrador, but I am but a simple prairie boy.

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