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Centurion Science Heroes vs. the Murder Nation

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
I've been reading tons of pulp lately and writing tons more, so it was with a light heard that I discovered that our first PTA session would have to wait another week and we'd be playing a game of SotC, that I immediately asked to run.

I had this idea for the game's kicker being a crime wave by a convict army after the disappearance of five maximum security prisons and the two words: Murder Nation. Murder is a word the pulp authors love to throw around. Check out Planetary when the crew uncovers Doc Brass' crew and there is a bunch of robots called the Murder Colonels.

So, I had teleported prisons and an army of murderous criminals all led by a mastermind.

And I had the players' aspects.

Hadrian Helm
  • Dreamer
  • East Coast Money
  • Engineering Genius
  • Tenacious/Reed Richards Syndrome
  • Tyrian Ray Gun
  • Man Caught Between 3 Worlds
  • Hyborean Sword-Fighting Technique
  • Brothers in Battle with Silver Wolf
  • Princess Alura
  • Hatred of the Tyrants of Tyria
  • Dimensionally Sensitive
  • Tyrian Jet Pack Ace

Dr. Stigg
  • Always on Time
  • Blood is thicker than water
  • No one is more patient than me
  • Has the keys to the universe, just not sure which one to use
  • Time Machine
  • The Price of Time
  • Focused on my challenge, let someone else deal with the rest.
  • On the lookout for shapeshifters
  • Alien Tech
  • Wonky equipment due to Alien Tech.


Storn A. Cook as Hadrian Helm, man caught between three worlds!

Jeff of Kryos as Dr. Stigg, time traveling science hero!

A Spirit of the Century Production

Century Club members the world over are puzzled as five maximum security Federal U.S. prisons disappear without a trace, buildings, guards, inmates and all.

The disappearance takes a more nefarious turn as an unprecedented crime wave erupts in cities around the world, from Denver bank robberies to London kidnappings to Paris art hiests. Vigilantes, sleuths and G-men are on each case as it comes but how long can the world withstand this onslaught of robbery and murder?

The epic crime wave comes to focus as the wolf-like Baron Karl von Fenris sends the newspapers of the world the film reel of his statement:

"We are not a gang, not a common gathering of thugs. We are a new nation and we will take what we wish from the world that sought to throw us away and forget us. You will not hear requests for demands, nor will you hear requests for money or bribery or a car to get away from some amateur hostage taking. You will not hear from us again until we march victorious into the World Assembly and declare the founding of a new nation that answers to no law."



Hadrian Helm and Dr. Stigg watched the reel with many other members of the N.Y.C. Century Club. While the other members left to deal with the incoming onslaught, they stayed in the theatre and sought clues. Helm noticed the Tyrian Slave Shackle with the laser coupling broken on his right wrist while Dr. Stigg immediately noticed the technology behind the criminal mastermind, it was remarkably like the time travel technology he uncovered and decoded during the War in a German secret laboratory.

Jeff rolled investigate against Baron von Fenris and uncovered more clues, realizing that the Murder Nation's next target was to be the White House itself!

To be continued...
 

Jim DelRosso

Magnificent Bastard
Validated User
Curse this vile malady! The verdigris pigmentation it engendered is replaced with one spawned of envy!

Glad it rocked, y'all. :)
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
Meanwhile, back at the table...

Jeff's character had five Stunts, all Science related. I advised him to branch out a bit and he switched out a stunt for Anything Goes and we fleshed out his time device, a stopwatch that allows him to tap into the chronal energies from the time machine he puzzled out from the German lab during the War and slow down or speed up time.

The machine had the standard 3 advances and it allowed him to use his +5 Science in combat. Is that kosher? I'm not sure. The advances were Unbelievable, Miniaturization and Alternate Usage. The machine, called the Remote by Jeff and the Time Remote by me and Storn was brutal in combat.

Meanwhile back at the White House...

They rolled a Contact roll to make contact with Kid Shadow, who had met the President of the United States at Jim's game at the Get Your Geek On-a-thon. So, he met up with Kid Shadow who used the Century Club's Red Phone to contact the Commander-in-Chief.

After a meeting with the Prez and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Cabinet, they had the White House rigged so that when the convict army entered through a dimensional gate, the gate would close behind them, trapping them here where the science heroes aided by the Secret Service could mop up and arrest them.

Insert a nice easy combat so Jeff could get a grip on the system and his character with some mooks and Storn could get some raygun action.

Someone, maybe Storn?, mentioned that it would be cool if someone could get stuck in a wall, halfway in the gate and out when the gate closed, trapped between worlds.

Cool.

So, the guy was caught between dimensions, not in any pain.

Somewhere on Storn's sheet was that the bad guys on his planetary romance world were the Tyrian Mind Tyrants.

So the guy caught in the closed gate is possessed by a Mind Tyrant like that scene in Independence Day where the alien talks smack. That is what I was going for.

And Jeff decided that Dr. Stigg was going to try to use his Science! to bring the convict (who Storn named and gave a rap sheet for a Fate Point) into our world with the Tyrian Mind Tyrant trapped in the body of a two-bit hood.

And he did.

I offered Storn a Fate Point to have the Tyrant enter the body of his PC's girlfriend, Princess Alura but he spent the FP to get that undone.

So, in the sub-sub basement of the White House was a brutally bound Tyrian Mind Tyrant.

What to do with him?

What do you do with a cosmic and immortal tyrant who wants nothing but the utter subjegation and destruction of life as you know it?

I think it was the most interesting conflict of the game.
 

iago

www.evilhat.com
Validated User
Re: Meanwhile, back at the table...

The machine had the standard 3 advances and it allowed him to use his +5 Science in combat. Is that kosher? I'm not sure. The advances were Unbelievable, Miniaturization and Alternate Usage. The machine, called the Remote by Jeff and the Time Remote by me and Storn was brutal in combat.
Totally kosher, as it happens. One stunt can usually get you a skill substitution of some sort, though a combat substitution is rare. This is "balanced" in this case by the fact that the wristwatch can be taken away from him. Really, stunts are in many ways the means by which players leverage their most powerful skills to bear in most of the conflicts they get into ... so this lines up with that, totally.

So the guy caught in the closed gate is possessed by a Mind Tyrant like that scene in Independence Day where the alien talks smack. That is what I was going for.
Yeah, great scene! That's a nice way to recycle it.

So, in the sub-sub basement of the White House was a brutally bound Tyrian Mind Tyrant.

What to do with him?

What do you do with a cosmic and immortal tyrant who wants nothing but the utter subjegation and destruction of life as you know it?
Asking me that as a GM?

Spoiler: Show
He totally subtly takes over the President... or maybe he goes for the long play, and subjugates the Vice Prez. But he can only do this with a mind-swap. Still, a Tyrian Mind Tyrant is chock full of mental potency, right, so he leaves part of himself behind in the convict's body to at least control the dude's vocal patterns, and makes sure the guy's constantly ranting about how he'll make us all pay, pay, pay! ... while the bulk of his consciousness tools around in the man one gunshot away from the presidency.


Good stuff.
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
Re: Meanwhile, back at the table...

Asking me that as a GM?

Spoiler: Show
He totally subtly takes over the President... or maybe he goes for the long play, and subjugates the Vice Prez. But he can only do this with a mind-swap. Still, a Tyrian Mind Tyrant is chock full of mental potency, right, so he leaves part of himself behind in the convict's body to at least control the dude's vocal patterns, and makes sure the guy's constantly ranting about how he'll make us all pay, pay, pay! ... while the bulk of his consciousness tools around in the man one gunshot away from the presidency.


Good stuff.
Nope, that was the question at hand. Jeff's scientist, Dr. Stigg wanted them to kill the Mind Tyrant, even though it would kill the two-bit hood whose body he was puppetting but Hadrian Helm was too squeaky clean for that and the President of the U.S. was having none of it.

Dr. Stigg went back to Kid Shadow and told him to look into the Mind Tyrant, hoping the vigilante would kill him in the name of justice. He wasn't able to do so but he did plant seeds of doubt.

When Hadrian and Stigg made their way to Tyria, they found themselves in the court of Prince Andar, Warrior Prince of Tyria and brother to Princess Alura. In an effort to capture some of the awesome vibe and conflict of the previous scene, Andar was set to terminate a humble mothman farmer because the man with moth wings didn't kill a servant of a Mind-Tyrant when he had the chance.

Naturally, this led to a duel between Hadrian and Andar.

Flying, swords and witty banter.

But before long Stigg told the story of how he captured a Mind Tyrant.

Stigg went back to Earth in order to stow away in Baron von Fenris' fortress days BEFORE any of this had ever happened, awaiting the sign, when Hadrian Helm and Prince Andar would lead the rebels in a seige of the Industrial Prison Ziggurat.

Next time...

A rebel leader falls to the vile Laser Luger of von Fenris

and

the Convict Army is put down.

Someone has to run the game Mind Tyrant of Tyria Escapes from Roswell with Kid Shadow, Dr. Stigg and Hadrian Helm. Jim, I am lookin' at you!

I want to get through the meat of what happened in the game and then dig into some thoughts on Aspects and such.

More to come...
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
So, Storn was leading an epic battle against von Fenris' convict army. We decided to do this via versus Leadership rolls with the armies taking stress as a seperate entity.

They both had +1 to the roll, so it kind of felt like dice and Fate Points would rule the day. Storn won handily and if he had lost, it would have made for interesting story too. I wonder if that could have been sexed up a bit and I wonder if I used Leadership at all correctly.

Hm.

When the Convict Army of the Murder Nation got to its first consequence, I offered to concede the battle if the Warrior Prince died. Storn agreed. Again, is that kosher?

Jeff and Kid Shadow attacked Baron von Fenris as he tried to get away when his army lost the battle. Dr. Stigg attacked Fenris with his Remote while Kid Shadow couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. I wish Stigg and Fenris had gotten in some more banter at this point. I would have liked to drop more clues and such here about maybe Fenris knowing about Stigg's family but I dropped the ball. Such is life.

The battle ended with Stigg and Helm taking von Fenris down to his first consequence. I offered for them to take him in as long as he got away and Jeff added that as long as they handed him off to the President of the United States, he was fine with that.

So, the epilogue was the President promising that all Tyrian threat was far away from the American people while Stigg and Kid Shadow exchanged meaningful glances from across the podium.

Baron von Fenris was given the electric chair but the next day, after the electrocution, his body was fished out of the morgue and shot with a chemical that revived it from its fake death stupor. He was taken to Area 52 in Roswell, New Mexico to help them decipher alien technology brought over from Tyria.

I really had nothing walking into this session other than federal prisons gone in order to use the prisoners as an army against the people who locked them up.

This would have been a very different game had the PC's been a vigilante, a detective and a plucky reporter. But with these science hero's aspects, I felt it had to go into the depths of time and space.

Ya can't throw a crime thriller at a time traveling Reed Richards-type and an Adam Strange straight outta the Planetary Romance adventure. Well, you can but this is the crazy shit you get when you do.

Basically, this is what happened when I get my adventure inspiration from a bunch of novel descriptions for The Spider and then get's two characters who are steeped in space opera and mad science.

For cons I might very well make up a bunch of sleuths, vigilantes and detectives and see how this adventure works as a more crime oriented background, filling in the details from the aspects the players fill in from the last two phases.

I'm having fun with the game but tagging aspects and when they are free to tag and such is still a little confusing to me. I need to give the skills and the conflict resolution a good, hard read over now that I have given it a go a few times so that when I take this for a spin at Dreamation, I don't make an ass of myself.
 

Jim DelRosso

Magnificent Bastard
Validated User
Re: Meanwhile, back at the table...

Someone has to run the game Mind Tyrant of Tyria Escapes from Roswell with Kid Shadow, Dr. Stigg and Hadrian Helm. Jim, I am lookin' at you!
I dunno, man. Need I remind you that the Silver Wolf has the Aspects, Enemy of Tyria and Beloved of the Tyrian Queen? And I'm dying to play this game for once. ;)
 
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