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[WIP] Sentinels of the Multiverse: Wash These Bloodstains From My Hands

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
PROLOGUE: IN THE DARK OF THE NIGHT

Sued Cluster, 2026

"Tarogath."

The last Procitor stared, bleary-eyed, at the speaker. After a moment, he nodded. "A human, of course. Honestly, I expected you sooner." The liquid in his glass was a deep purple, shot through with tiny flecks of silver that glinted like stars. "I would request that you make it painless, but I understand that I have no right to a quick death." He drained the glass in a single fluid motion. "Therefore, my last request is that, before you kill me, you allow me to get one more drink."

A smile glinted in the darkness. "Easy, amigo. If I was here to kill you, you would already be dead. I have an offer for you, instead: I know your deepest desire, and I can give it to you, in exchange for...assistance with a task I have."

Tarogath chuckled ruefully, and said, "My deepest desire? I thought you said you weren't here to kill me?"

"Muy gracioso, Endling, but we both know that's not what you actually want. You don't want to die here, in this casucha, having done what you have done. You want to have never done those things in the first place. That is my offer."

"That's impossible."

The smile reappeared. "Why don't you just follow me and we'll see about that?"


Megalopolis Ruins, 2024

"No."

The traveller studied the enormous figure of Stephen Graves, once the mercenary known as Fright Train. "Are you certain, Locomotora? Your skills would be a great asset to my mission, and we both know what I can offer."

Graves shrugged. "You're not wrong when you say I've done things I regret. I have. But I ain't running off to cheat my way out of them. I'm gonna stay here and keep this neighbourhood safe. Everyone I care about is here."

The traveller nodded. "Very well, amigo. In that case, I will not trouble you again, and I hope this donacíon will help you in your efforts."

There was a loud thudding clatter from the other side of the wall, and Graves looked back to find that his visitor had disappeared.

On inspection, the noise turned out to have come from a dull green suit of powered armour, clearly an Ironclad design, but customised to fit a man of Graves's gene-enhanced bulk. While the armour was battered and broken, it looked like it could be fixed...although the bloodstains told him that its former owner had come to no good end.

Oh, well. The Ruins were a harsh place, and any edge was valuable. He scooped up the armour and headed back to the settlement. If nothing else, it would provide protection from the beasts.


Mars, 2019

Well, that could have gone better.

Ansel G. Moreau sat in a metal box and wondered how, exactly, this had gone so wrong. Luring his prey to a tour of the just-finished Mars base had been easy; the big man had a love of human achievement, and the shimmer of a whole new world had drawn him in. And then the self-destruct had started, and the merde had hit the fan, and now here he was, in a metal box, wondering when the air was going to run out, and if he was ever going to be found.

A purple glow lit the drifting chunk of base and gave him at least one of those answers.

"Emboscado. Come with me if you want to live."

Oh, well, any port in a storm...

Moreau disappeared through the portal.

Moments later, a hail of micrometeorites raked the area, punching holes through the damaged exterior of the box. What little atmosphere remained was vented in a single blast of gas.


Megalopolis, 2019

A teenage girl, clad in a black dress and a feathered mask, knelt beside the body of her cousin and wept. A few seconds, a rush of power...and everything went wrong.

Stop crying.

The girl's voice was a venomous hiss. "I'm through listening to you. If I'd never picked you up, none of this would have happened."

Just think of what we could do together, child. Remember your parents? Cousin Meredith this, Cousin Meredith that, why can't you be more like Meredith-

"Shut up!"

You took the power because you wanted it.

"I SAID SHUT UP!"

The girl tore off the mask and hurled it away. As it flew, it began to bend its path back towards her, in a path that had nothing to do with normal gravity -

- until a gold-gloved hand reached out of nowhere and plucked it from the air.

A purple light flared, and the traveller handed a subtly different mask to the girl. "This one is safer, Galla. Come. I can fix this."

The girl dabbed at her eyes. "What do you mean, you can fix this? She's dead!"

"Patience, Galla. This way..."


Sued Cluster, 2027

The blue-skinned man opened another can and turned to his visitor. "Look, Daddy-O. I know we did a couple gigs together back in the day, but I ain't for hire at the moment and I ain't comin' with you. Look, I got a couple Displacers and the Pink Lady. Nothing I got's rated for universal armageddon. So I'm just gonna sit here and have a drink, and if the universe ends, at least that's sparin' me the hangover, you dig?"

The red visor studied him impassively for a moment. "Very well, amigo. Drink in peace. I won't contact you again."

Purple light flared, and the traveller was gone, leaving only a cask of brandy.


The Nexus of the Void, 2021

"Child of Tierra. I would speak with you."

Stone and wood twisted, and a blank, mouthless face studied the traveller with four glowing eyes. "Begone, human. Have your kind not done enough damage? The Earth withers, and I wither along with it."

"With your help, spirit, I think I can prevent that. I cannot transport all of you, but with a fragment, we can stop the disasters."

There was a pregnant pause as the Spirit of the Void evaluated this, and finally it nodded. "Very well."

The earth below their feet convulsed, and a stone egg, nearly the size of a human, emerged. The Spirit's eyes flared. "Take this back to your ship. Before long, it will hatch."


New Mordengrad, Atlantis, 2026

"You may as well come out."

The traveller stepped out from behind one of the ancient, crumbling pillars. "Barón. I see you located the positive energy nexus."

"I know why you're here, Commodore. You haven't covered your tracks very well. You're going to attempt to recruit me with an offer to unmake this timeline and repair my past deeds. Why would you think this would work on me? I rule here as a king, the people's shield against the monsters in the deep, and the accursed Parsons line is extinct; what reason have I to accept your offer?"

The traveller studied him through a glowing red visor. "Because your position is unsustainable, Barón. Atlantis lacks the recursos to build your most fearsome devices, and its borders are under pressure. You cannot hold the line forever."

The dark-haired man glared at his visitor. "The new designs are almost ready. Why should I assist in your insane plan?"

"Because juntos, we can save Mordengrad."

There was a lengthy pause.

"The creature that destroyed your home was drawn to the surface by your Impulsion Beam, Barón. Preventing its activation will slow the creature, allow you to defend your home."

The lord of New Mordengrad stared at the traveller, then slammed a silver fist into the wall. "Very well then, Commodore. It seems that you have found my weakness. My assistance is yours. Understand this, though: I care far more about my home than I care about your mission."

"Understood, Barón."

Purple light flared.


La Paradoja Magnifica

A motley group had gathered in the Map Room: an actor, an inventor, a teenager, and an alien. Between them, in the heart of the room, hung a globe: a real-time projection of the broken Earth, and the shattered remnants of the Moon that hung in orbit around it.

A cutlass flashed across the room, plunging into the map location of Atlantis, and the four turned to the direction it had come from.

Maria Helena, La Comadora, stepped through the door. "Amigos y aliados. Mucho gracias for joining me on this mission." She gestured towards the globe. "That is the world as it exists in the year 2030: maimed and dying, monsters and violence present everywhere - and only a few barricadas against the threat, most of them doomed. Our job, as I have already told most of you, is to fix that."

She indicated the location of the cutlass. "Our first trabajo is simple: prevent the activation of the Terralunar Impulsion Beam. As the Barón is here with us, I will allow him to explain."

The dark-haired man stepped forward. "Much to my irritation, our task requires the salvation of the accursed Paul Parsons and the destruction of my old base in Atlantis. Myself, the Commodore, and Moreau here will be going on the assault; Tarogath, Corvus, your task is to look after the stone egg here - as it is mystical in origin, you two are the most likely to lead to a successful hatching. The rest of the task is straightforward: cut through the defences and deactivate the Impulsion Beam."


INTRODUCTION

Hello and welcome to another Dumb Sentinels Project, which I am going to be running in parallel with Kings and Vagabonds for a while.

The setup is simple and straightforward. I will play a bunch of games against villains on Advanced difficulty. Each will have 1-2 of the usual heroes, invariably a villain of the nemesis in question and also maybe another one who fits the story I'm trying to tell, with all remaining spaces being filled by one of the six "main" characters of this game: Lifeline, Harpy, Luminary, La Comadora, Stuntman and Akash'Thriya. I will also attempt to provide general advice for using a hero with each game, much like I did in 2017 but with way more experience (expect a big one in the Void Guard one, which will break the rules a bit by having the four Void Guard decks and no less than five decks' worth of tactical info megadump); conveniently, there are six "main" characters and six villains who have two modes, meaning that I can use those to explain the tactical uses of the reformed villains. This will all build up to a big OblivAeon mega-battle thing.

A loss will remove the environment from play and push the whole timeline one step closer to destruction, and the lineup of heroes will deplete as the game goes on: heroes outside of the main six who die in any battle stay dead. For example, if Parse is incapacitated during the Miss Information battle, that means that Parse is now dead and will not appear in any other game. Similarly, any environment lost cannot be returned, not even in the final OblivAeon battle - and, if OblivAeon has not been defeated before I fall below the minimum number of environments required to fight another battle against him, I lose and the timeline as a whole is destroyed. Note that the main six have infinite "lives", and will shift between variants when I feel like it/the story I'm working towards says they should, rather than with casualties as you would do in a timeline run; Lifeline can go down in every round he shows up in and that won't stop him from showing up again.

I do not start with any retries. Instead, they have to be "earned": every five wins will unlock one retry, which I can use to reset a future game loss and take another run at it.

Quite simply, I win if I can preserve the timeline. Easy to say, hard to do...
 
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Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
MY VISION AND BRAIN

Ruins of Atlantis, 1985

Paul Parsons took a deep breath and punched the shark in the face until it swam away.

The undersea ruins were an archaeological treasury, a place that held wondrous secrets that the modern world had yet to rediscover. Magic and mystery hummed through the city, the air almost electric with potential.

And here he was punching sharks in the face because some Eastern European nutjob had sworn vengeance on his family.

There were times Paul wished he had been a second child, so he could have pursued something other than his mission as Legacy in life. But there was a mission at hand, and so he took that vague resentment, pushed it aside so he could deal with it later, and set his shoulder to the giant double doors.

After a few moments, they finally gave way under pressure and revealed a large room, full of hissing technology and shimmering barriers. Clearly, this was Blade’s lair. These walls of energy were going to be a pain in the neck to deal with...

The game:
Spoiler: Show


The first turn saw Luminary prove his worth in this matchup immediately by shutting down both Blade’s individual force field and the Defence Platform in a single hand gesture. From there, it became very rapidly clear that while Legacy and La Comadora were going to be useful, as the support players, they were mostly going to be enabling the Luminary and Stuntman Show, particularly into phase two as Stuntman insisted on hogging the spotlight and putting bullet after bullet downwind into Blade’s machinery. Irreducible damage in large quantities equals a bad day for someone.

Result:

That seems pretty definitive to me. America’s Finest Legacy is saved to fight in future battles, and both the Ruins of Atlantis and, um, the Moon are preserved for the future.



Hero Spotlight: Legacy:
Spoiler: Show
LEGACY (Paul Parsons/Felicia Parsons)
Team: Freedom Five
Focuses: Ongoings, Powers
Roles: Support, Tanking

Legacy is the game’s premier tank and support player. Young Legacy can play more of a damage-dealer role, making her more useful in smaller teams, but Legacy’s claim to fame is the buffs and defences, and he has so very many buffs and defences.

One-Shots: If you’re not hitting things, you’re giving card draw to the team. Legacy has only a few One-Shots and all of the damage-dealing ones do Melee.

Permanents: Legacy’s Ongoings allow him to tank up in all sorts of ways, buff the team, intercept incoming damage, damage himself to lock down the enemy in various ways and otherwise provide support. His only Equipment allows him to use two powers in a turn, enabling all sorts of fun: buff your damage with Galvanise and follow up with an Inspiring Charge for damage and heals, for example, or tank up against two damage types at once before intercepting them all.

Variants: The base set Legacy has the very powerful Galvanise, which buffs the team’s damage output, while Greatest Legacy’s Gung-Ho is whatever the best power in the team is, but also the person who has that power gets to heal 1. Young Legacy favours her damage-dealing eyebeams, while Freedom Five Legacy can provide card plays to allies or himself or throw environment cards onto the bottom of the deck. All of them are really good in a lot of circumstances.

Weaknesses: Legacy is slow to get going, dependent upon keeping his Ongoings out, and while he doesn’t lack damage, exactly, it’s mostly Melee. If Legacy is running the touchdown, it’s usually because the rest of the team got taken out; however, he can do it, at least some of the time, if necessary (remind me to tell you folks about the Dumbest Iron Legacy Fight Ever later in the campaign).

Teams: Any team that isn’t actively attempting to race the other side to zero through self-damage can get along with Legacy, although he has a particular edge when combined with people like Fanatic and Tachyon who prefer multiple small hits to one big one – that said, an extra few damage to everyone adds up quickly, so don’t hesitate to bring him with “one big shot” heroes. Guise can copy his formidable array of Ongoings, providing even more team benefits, and against single major enemies like Progeny or Spite, Visionary can use Twist the Ether to make Next Evolution/Lead From The Front a shutdown combo. There’s even a bullshit endless lockdown loop where Take Down gets recycled by Visionary and played out of sequence (thus negating its damage effect) by Omnitron-X.

As for Legacy himself, the best benefits you can give him are extra power uses and card plays, with heroes like Argent Adept or Super-Science Tachyon. Tanking, buffing his damage output, he’s got that covered, but he still takes a while to get set up, even his Freedom Five variant. He also needs people to cover, at a bare minimum, Ongoing destruction, and any version except F5 also needs help dealing with Environment cards that aren’t punchable; Legacy can be immune to environmental damage with one card play, but that doesn’t deal with, for example, any of the bullshit shenanigans of Madam Mittermeier’s Fantastical Festival of Conundrums and Curiosities.


The expression on Baron Blade’s face as all of his forcefields guttered and died simultaneously had been a thing of beauty. Paul wasn’t sure where these reinforcements had come from, but they were definitely welcome.

As soon as the mismatched little group was safe from flooding – Blade’s final stunt had been to evacuate through one of the walls – Paul turned to his newfound allies. “Thanks. I’m not sure I could have taken him without your assistance.”

(“You wouldn’t have,” muttered the black-bearded man.)

The French marksman appeared to have appointed himself the group’s unofficial spokesman. “Monsieur Parsons. We were…sent by ze European governments as support. Zis weapon threatened all of us as well. My friend, um, ze Luminary ‘as made a study of Blade’s designs, and knows well ‘ow to take zem apart.”

Paul nodded. “He seemed to be finding flaws that even the Baron didn’t realise were there. Where’s he gone? I’d like to shake his hand.”

“I am sorry, but ‘e is, ‘ow you say, quite ze germophobe.”

“All right then.” Paul finally managed to put his finger on something. “Hey, aren’t you Ansel-”

But the man was already gone.

***

“‘Quite the germophobe?’” asked the dark-haired man, his eyebrow raised.

Moreau sneered at him. “Would you rather I ‘ad called you over to shake ze ‘and of a man you tried to destroy ze world to kill? Should I ‘ave introduced you as ‘zis is my friend Ivan, your fazher killed his, you must ‘ave so much to talk about’?”

Ramonat grimaced. “Fine.”

Maria Helena finished punching new coordinates into the console, and the Map shifted. The Moon once again stood sentinel over the Earth, and the lengthy scar left in its surface by the satellite's demise was gone.

The comms crackled. “This is Tarogath. Our new friend is starting to hatch.”

Bueno, and just in time. She will be of help in our next engagement. We make for Rook City.”
 

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
DON’T YOU DISRESPECT ME



Rook City, 1987

Jack Donovan smirked behind his mask as he picked up the roadwork shovel. Honestly, using an item from the scene was cheating in Rook City; within twenty feet, he could probably have found seven knives, two guns and at least one garotte. And this one was a little girl, lost in the city, too…honestly, this was going to be a mercy, Rook City was no place to raise a child. It was almost enough to make him feel bad. Oh, well.

He leaped in, ignoring the flares of exploding stun bolts from behind him as his pursuer found her target once more, and scythed the improvised weapon towards the child’s skull…

The sound of splintering wood echoed across the street, and the improvised weapon’s head clattered to the ground.

The strange stone figure stared at him impassively from four glowing green eyes set into a mouthless, noseless face. Tiny chips of stone fell from the shoulder that Spite’s blow had hit. “I sense your hunger, human. I know such a force well; much better than you do, I suspect.” Vines lashed out of the ground, driving Donovan backwards. “It will devour you, in time. Less time than you think…”



The game:

Spoiler: Show


We opened with Spite, boosted by Compound Omicron, attacking both a child and a priest, at which point his attack bounced off Akash’Thriya’s hide. Indeed, the early game was a veritable rescue-fest, with all sorts of victims bouncing in and out of the safehouse, culminating in Spite not flipping until he had seven victims in there.

The next stage went quickly and violently; Stuntman began firing bullet after bullet into him, aided by Akash’Flora, until Spite went down. It didn’t take too long.

Result:

Yep, that's a bad day for Spite. Not that he deserves good days.


Hero Spotlight: Wraith
Spoiler: Show
WRAITH (Maya Montgomery)
Team: Freedom Five
Focuses: Equipment, Powers
Roles: Generalist focusing on damage and control

Wraith is an equipment-focused hero who can do more or less anything, from holding the environment at bay to beating the tar out of enemies to manipulating the villain deck.

One-Shots: Wraith has a reasonable layout: she’s good at taking out enemy ongoings and environment cards, loading up on her gear, drawing up and punching opponents in the throat. Just be careful with Inventory Barrage; Wraith doesn’t want to get rid of her stuff until she’s finished with it.

Permanents: Wraith is mostly focused on gearing herself up, which gives her a giant bag of options: deck control from her Infrared Eyepiece, damage reduction from her Stun Bolts and Smoke Bombs, killing power from her Throwing Knives and Razor Ordnance (especially backed with her Targeting Computer), and environment resistance from Mega Computers.

Variants: Standard-issue Wraith focuses on keeping herself alive with a damage reduction ability. Rook City Wraith manipulates the environment deck. Price of Freedom/Freedom Six Wraith stabs things. Freedom Five Wraith has the ability to either draw up herself or spread cards to allies who need them. Standard and F5 are generally the best, but it’s not like you’re going to be using Wraith’s innate power, whatever it is, once you’ve got all of her gear out anyway.

Weaknesses: Wraith’s recovery isn’t the best, and outside of hitting people in the face in different ways to modify or negate their damage, she has little in the way of reliable protection. Power denial and equipment removal, especially mass equipment removal, wreck her so hard you may not be able to un-wreck her before the game is over.

Teams: Wraith slots into a lot of team lineups, but doesn’t have much in the way of weird combos: she can cover a lot of bases, but doesn’t have clear specialisations or much in the way of amusing combos. She works well with Unity, who can scavenge her stuff for golems and provide extra power uses, and Sky-Scraper, who can help her get the right gear. Additional power uses are also welcome, so people like Fanatic and Akash’Thriya can help.


“Come now, Maya,” purred Donovan as he held his talon to the man’s throat. “This doesn’t need to end in bloodshed – well, not this guy’s blood, anyway. Are you going to finally step up and do what we both know you should have done years ago?”

The Wraith pointed her launcher at his face, as the strange purple lighting – some manifestation of his drugs, she assumed – cast horrific shadows around the room. “Put him down, Donovan. I’m not going to play your games. You’re leaving here in handcuffs, no matter what you think you’ll get from threatening a hostage.”

Parts of Donovan’s horrifically warped body twitched. “I knew you’d never get off your high horse, Maya. Now you get to watch as I withdraw and go to ground. Don’t worry, you’re a gifted tracker; I’m sure you’ll find the corpse before too long-”

A shot rang out, and the wall behind Spite suddenly got a lot messier.

The Wraith spun on her heel to see a sandy-haired man casually leaning against the wall, a smoking pistol in his hand. “Bonjour, mademoiselle. I trust we can rely on you to handle ze body? I would so ‘ate to get ‘is blood on my suit.”

Green eyes narrowed above the Wraith’s mask. “You’re a long way from San Alonso, Mr Moreau. Trouble with The Hunter: Reloaded?”

“Let’s just say zat zis was a good night for ‘unting, ma Cherie. I think ze city will get along just fine wizout your friend Donovan, no?”

“You can’t just gun someone down in front of-” But the man was already gone.

The Wraith activated her comms. “Parse. Give me some good news.”

“Don’t have any, sorry. I have a theory, but it’s a bit out there…though given the world we live in, probably not that out there.”

“Let’s hear it.”

The Wraith could actually hear Parse shifting gears into Explanation Mode. “Fact one: Ansel G. Moreau just left a TV interview in San Alonso about half an hour ago. It’s not impossible to cover two and a half thousand miles in that time, but it’s not likely. Fact two: the Ansel G. Moreau who just left that interview appears to lack the minor scar ‘our’ Ansel had, and he’s reportedly very vain; it’d take ages to get him to put on a fake one. Either he teleported here, or, more likely, some kind of time travel is involved.”

The Wraith took a breath. “So you’re proposing that an action movie star travelled back in time to shoot a serial killer in the head. I mean, I’ve heard worse pitches…”

“Not just that,” said Parse. “I got access to Legacy’s official report on his Atlantis mission.”

“Those are supposed to be privileged information.”

“And with the right contacts it’s a privilege you, too, can enjoy. Now shut up, I’m just getting to the good bit. He reports a man who ‘looked kind of like Ansel Moreau’ showed up with a few others to help with Baron Blade, and he would have probably never beaten him if they hadn’t been there.”

“So the strange creatures he had with him – the stone person, the lizard…”

“Are either affiliated with the source of the time travel or have been recruited for it,” said Parse, in the manner of one laying down their cards to show four kings. “Unfortunately, I don’t have enough data to guess at their motives.”

“Keep an eye on things,” said the Wraith. “If they’re just going to turn up out of nowhere and help us deal with scum like Donovan, I think we can live with it.”

***

In the Map Room, the projected headlines about a rash of unsolved murders in Rook City began to flicker and fade, replaced with other headlines (still crimes, but less gruesome and with actual culprits being caught now and then).

The stone figure studied them impassively. “I will confess to some curiosity. My purpose here is to prevent damage to the biosphere. Yet my first task was to go to a region that is, itself, a meaningful threat to the local environment, and prevent a member of the species that is most dangerous to it from killing other members of that species. I would appreciate some measure of explanation.”

Maria Helena nodded. “That is fair. Our objetivo was not preserving the city; it was preserving the Wraith. If the Earth, perhaps the universe, is to perdurar, the Wraith could be vital…”

“Besides,” added the white-haired girl sitting to one side of the chamber, “you can’t tell me you didn’t get something out of the kid thanking you for taking that shovel for her.”

Those glowing green eyes flickered. “I am…still meditating on that.”

The globe rotated, and a blue light began to blink. La Comodora walked over and activated the controls. “You may prefer this target, amiga – the Omnitron Facility. In the timeline you remember, it went rogue, and much of continental Asia was reduced to a swarm of machines. Our job is to prevent that – at all costs.”
 

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
NOT MEANT TO SERVE

Guangdong Province, China, 1986

Moreau glared through his binoculars at the structure. “Ze doors are sealed, at least for ze moment, and it appears zat ze civilians are trapped inside. Zis could be your department, Ramonat – you are ze most likely one of us to figure out ze systems and sabotage zem.”

Beside him, Akash’Thriya concentrated for a second, and then one of the doors was torn wide open by an unstoppable eruption of vines.

“…Of course, zat could also work.”

***

As the people streamed out of the experimental facility, the three human operatives chose, by mostly mutual agreement, to use Akash’Thriya’s stone form as a kind of icebreaker prow to get them through the throng.

Once inside, Ramonat opened a tactical display from his cybernetic arm. “According to this, the core is distributed through much of the building, so this could be time-consuming.”

Lillian Corvus, white hair tied back, raised her hand. “Question: given the kind of resources that you and the Commodore can call on, why didn’t we plan to take out the building from outside?”

Ramonat rolled his eyes. “I thought of that too. Unfortunately, the power core below the structure is an experimental nuclear design. We can use targeted overwatch, but if the building goes down, a lot of this province is going to be irradiated. I was all right with that, but some of our other members apparently took issue, so we’re going to be doing this the hard way.”

The tactical display suddenly went wild. The former Baron Blade studied it suspiciously. “Hmm. I’m seeing significant temporal and dimensional activity. Not us, either – the signature is all wrong for the Magnifica. I’ll try and isolate it-”

Lillian pointed. “No need.”

A skeletal blue figure with a single glowing red eye materialised in front of them in a blast of lightning, leaving a charred circle on the floor. It pointed what was clearly an energy weapon of some sort at them, and in a clearly synthetic voice, demanded, “Explain your connection to this complex.”

Moreau’s gun was already up. “Tu premier, machine.”

A drone burst into the room, its rounded body skittering on six long, bladed legs. Both Moreau and the strange machine pivoted on the spot, and the drone collapsed, an energy blast and a very physical bullet lancing through it simultaneously.

After a second, Lillian spoke. “It looks like we have common enemies, at least.”

The machine studied her. “This complex must be destroyed. Millions will die if it is permitted to expand.”

Ramonat nodded. “Then it appears we do have a common cause.”

“Hold. Synchronising.” A squeal of feedback issued from Ramonat’s artificial arm. “Your devices are now linked to the Omni-core. You will be able to [bzzt] piggyback off its programming adaptations.” A moment passed. “Query. What is piggybacking?”

Moreau began shooting. “Vocabulary later! Killing now!”



The game:
Spoiler: Show

The Omnitron secret is that if you are both boring and time-consuming, you will get fewer defeats because people will just choose to play against more interesting villains than you!

The first few rounds were slow and fairly annoying, with things like an early sweep from Sedative Flechettes taking out my stuff. Amusingly, it turns out Luminary’s stuff benefits from Omnitron’s bonuses because it is, after all, heavy on the Devices, to the point where if you force Omnitron to damage itself with a card like Triple Cross, it will trigger Backlash Generators, and that’s quite funny (especially when it happens on a turn when Omnitron is boosting device damage).

The later stages of the battle were getting fairly desperate following an Electro-Pulse Explosive that I couldn’t quite kill before it went off. Luckily, I managed to keep everyone alive through Shenanigans, such as preserving Omnitron-X and dropping its damage output by having Stuntman prevent the damage (although both Stuntman and Harpy were left on three), then I managed to bludgeon Omnitron down to 1HP while healing the team up to a minimum of 10 through abusing healing Seeds in the environment deck mixed with other healing effects. Victory, in the end, was earned through Triple Cross: Blade blew up the one Device he still had on hand, Explosive Reconstructor, to take out the last three 5HP drones from the environment once Harpy had finished off the core and Omnitron-X dealt with the other environment drones.

Result:

Dodgy as hell, but it all came out in the wash. Omnitron-X is preserved for the Cosmic Omnitron fight, where he is going to be sorely needed because Cosmic Omnitron is harder than it has any right to be...although at least I'm not doing this in Challenge Mode.


Hero Spotlight: Omnitron-X
Spoiler: Show
OMNITRON-X
Team: None
Focuses: Equipment, Passives
Roles: Generalist focusing on support

Omnitron-X, depending on situation, is either an incredible asset or a low-impact lump. With the right team and setup, he's a terrifying force of digital destruction; without it, he's basically just a button the heroes hit to get free plays.

One-Shots: Omnitron-X focuses on teching up and reshuffling his trash into the deck, and has a bit of damage – unfortunately, Singularity and Self-Sabotage require blowing up hero cards, so don’t use them unless you’re sure!

Permanents: Omnitron-X has some of the best persistent-bonus Equipment in the game, provided you have an eye for what’s going on. For example, his low HP can be improved with the use of his Plating equipment, which comes in three flavours depending on opponent: you might favour Ablative Plating against an enemy who prefers toxic, melee or projectile damage, Elemental Exochassis against an element-heavy enemy, or Temporal Shielding against a mystical one who favours things like radiant or psychic. There are also effects that add a backlash to getting through the armour, provide new powers that weaponise your spare Plating, give you a new damage-dealing power, or explode the environment, and provide a temporary “stutter” in which you get most of your turn twice.
Omnitron-X’s unique hook, though, is his Components. These gadgets provide free draws/plays, deal damage, and heal the team, none of them substantially – but they can add up pretty quickly, and you can potentially have up to two of each one out, which is quite a lot that you can do before your turn even properly starts (especially since one of them deals irreducible damage). The downside is that they explode if you take too much damage in a turn, so be careful!

Variants: The standard Omnitron-X can look at the top card of a hero deck and choose to play or discard it, while his Omnitron-U variant can play a card from his hand or recover equipment from the trash while dealing damage when his stuff gets blown up. (Omnitron-U is very clearly designed to combo with Unity, who we will be getting to at some point.)

Weaknesses: Omnitron-X’s low HP is an issue, and the majority of his stuff exploding if he gets beaten up (particularly when irreducible damage is involved) certainly doesn’t make things easier. He is extremely dependent on his equipment to survive, and his damage output is decent but comes in a lot of small loads – one point of damage resistance drops his overall damage by about half, two points will limit it to his overload attacks and the Component that deals irresistible damage. At the same time, he doesn’t provide much healing. As a result, while it’s often unlikely that he’s going to be the only character left alive thanks to that low HP, he’s probably not going to be able to pull out a win if he is (especially since being the target of all the enemies is going to lead to him losing all of his stuff in short order).

Teams: Omnitron-X loves damage boosts more than anything else, to make up for his ping-heavy damage. Protection is also nice; the plating only goes so far. He combos nicely with Visionary, who can not only buff his multiple small damage outputs with Twist the Ether but also type-shift a villain’s output until it turns into something Omnitron-X’s current plating can tank. As for what he brings to the table for other people, his standard power works nicely with people like Legacy and Ra who don’t have much acceleration; free plays are always fun, particularly on people who are kept in check by not having that. Unity and either version combo nicely (fitting, since they are best friends in the lore), with X letting you bypass Unity’s difficulties in playing her robots while she scavenges his gear for stuff, and U adding a blast of fire to the effects when Unity makes something of his into a robot; U’s ability to return his equipment to hand also fits in with this.


Red lights started blinking on the device as the remaining drones formed up around it. The skeletal robot stared impassively at it. “Your machine has been hijacked by the remaining fragments of the Omni-Core. If it is permitted to trigger, it could reconstruct the core and this engagement could continue.”

Ramonat tweaked a control, and the reconstructor disappeared, along with the remaining drones, in a small implosion.

He smirked. “If.

***

Aboard the Magnifica, La Comodora fiddled with the map screen and turned to Ramonat. “The Omnitron Facility’s expanse did seem muy rapido given its location. Assimilating the technology of this ‘Omnitron-X’ would explain a lot of that.” She tapped some controls. “We must deal with the consequences of our actions, though. The Court of Blood in Romania was destroyed by a fragment of the moon in your timeline. Now, in our trayectoria, they have fallen under the sway of a more dangerous force and begun to expand. Our task has no value if new desastres are permitted to replace the prevented ones. Gather the others; this will take all our efforts.”

***

On the deck, Lillian and Tarogath gazed upwards, watching the flickering paths of timelines shifting in the void.

Finally, Lillian spoke. “I understand why most of us are here. But what did you do?”

Tarogath’s face was briefly lit up in a shower of sparks as two timelines merged into each other and dissolved. “I killed a world.”

“By yourself?”

The last Procitor looked away. “I was chosen for a mission. The Terminarch called it an errand of mercy: bring an end to a species too weakened to survive. They had taken refuge on Earth in secret, and the weapons I used tore your world’s climate and geology apart.” Energy thrummed in his clenched fists. “The population, already lowered by the disasters we have already stopped, could not endure the crisis. It is…likely that if nothing else had killed you by that time, you would have died in the chaos I caused.”

Lillian was silent for some time. “But you’re going to fix it, right?”

A cold, reptilian smile spread across Tarogath’s face. “Oh, yes. First the upheaval…and then the corruption of the Terminarch.”

***

In the deserted map room, lights flickered on the map as the timelines shifted. Something incalculably vast and powerful had noticed these intruders and their meddling with the timelines. Unfathomable energies pulsed as it began taking steps to limit them.
 

mr_stibbons

Registered User
Validated User
Love all the work you put into writing these. The story is great.

Regarding your hero summaries, I disagree a bit.

For one, I don't really see legacy as a slow deck. Between his set of above average base powers and decent to good one-shots he doesn't need much setup to contribute to the fight, unlike say benchmark or Chrono-ranger. While his ceiling with all of his stuff in play is pretty amazing, his floor with nothing in play is still well above a lot of heroes in this game. His real problem is finding all his combo pieces, since he has no searching effects and weak self draw.

You also don't mention the main point of Omnitron U, it's burst damage combo. Playing Singularity or Self sacrifice off of the power when you used it last turn will give you 2*2 damage per card sacrificed on top of the base effects of those cards, and out of turn uses of his base power or damage buffs increases that dramatically. Really the odd damage trigger off getting his cards destroyed for other reasons is just gravy. Also you didn't mention bio-beam in context to either omnitron, that card always feels quite powerful dangerous environments.

I'll admit I'm not an expert at this game, so I could be wrong about any of this stuff.
 

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
Love all the work you put into writing these. The story is great.

Regarding your hero summaries, I disagree a bit.

For one, I don't really see legacy as a slow deck. Between his set of above average base powers and decent to good one-shots he doesn't need much setup to contribute to the fight, unlike say benchmark or Chrono-ranger. While his ceiling with all of his stuff in play is pretty amazing, his floor with nothing in play is still well above a lot of heroes in this game. His real problem is finding all his combo pieces, since he has no searching effects and weak self draw.
I see him as a slow deck because he plays from his deck slowly, and while he can contribute from the first round, if you're playing his one-shots that early it's usually because you missed out on his good ongoings. His lack of tutoring and limited draw is definitely a contributing factor to that, but beyond that he just plays his cards slowly and gets up to his ceiling slowly. (Benchmark in particular is definitely slower, you're not wrong about that, but being faster than Benchmark is not the same thing as being fast, in the same way that having more HP than Writhe is not the same thing as having lots of HP.)

You also don't mention the main point of Omnitron U, it's burst damage combo. Playing Singularity or Self sacrifice off of the power when you used it last turn will give you 2*2 damage per card sacrificed on top of the base effects of those cards, and out of turn uses of his base power or damage buffs increases that dramatically. Really the odd damage trigger off getting his cards destroyed for other reasons is just gravy.
That one is more of a playstyle thing. I really don't like "blow up all your stuff" cards like Singularity or Inventory Barrage. I will play them when I have no tactical choice, or when I see a really good opportunity to finish off the bad guy with them, but I don't champ at the bit to play them, and I certainly don't treat them as a character's "main point"; a character's main point, to me, is to have their toys out and to contribute with them, with the finisher as a bonus rather than the lodestar of the deck. Double power with Singularity/Self-Sacrifice is a good bonus, certainly, but my inner goblin still doesn't like doing it.

Also you didn't mention bio-beam in context to either omnitron, that card always feels quite powerful dangerous environments.
That one was a legitimate oversight, yeah. I thought I'd mentioned it and just forgot, apparently.
 
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FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
That one is more of a playstyle thing. I really don't like "blow up all your stuff" cards like Singularity or Inventory Barrage. I will play them when I have no tactical choice, or when I see a really good opportunity to finish off the bad guy with them, but I don't champ at the bit to play them, and I certainly don't treat them as a character's "main point"; a character's main point, to me, is to have their toys out and to contribute with them, with the finisher as a bonus rather than the lodestar of the deck. Double power with Singularity/Self-Sacrifice is a good bonus, certainly, but my inner goblin still doesn't like doing it.
I'm not a big fan of Inventory Barrage, but Omnitron's stuff is destroyable enough that I don't mind tossing it at people's faces. Against enemies who can reliably do the kind of damage that forces components to explode, it's a nice way to wipe the enemy while you're being wiped out.
 
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