This season was a lot like a two-parter on Cable-TV.

Episodes 1-8 were amazing and fun. We decided to take aim at the global Private Military Corporation called Blue Skies. It’s the finest sort of gaming, in my opinion. Fast-moving. Involved. Proactive. We took the fight to the enemy and expended our resources (scarce and otherwise) and talents to great effect. We absolutely crippled their plans over the course of eight sessions.

Sure, we suffered some setbacks. We had a semi-voluntary character fatality in S3E5, and lost Arc Light. But overall, veni, vidi, vici.

We really started to purposefully take the fight to Blue Skies in S3E7, and did that pretty well. We did, though, start to feel more directed here, as forces conspired to push us to Yankee Stadium. This was, in a real way, expected – we’d taken on a hard adversary in Blue Skies, and it was to be expected that, proof or no (we’d been very good about covering our tracks), they’d push back. Continue reading “Aeon Season 3 Thoughts”

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer
  • Katana (NPC) – Will be The Commander’s wife one day. She knows it to be true. Recently revealed to be the 4yo little girl from the time-vision plot arc. The Commander cannot date a kid he knew when she was four. Icky.
  • Four Navy SEALS
  • Galatea – our newly-made Ultron; first name Natalie.

The Powers Return

We pick up where we left off, and it’s a lot colder in there. It’s getting a lot colder outside, and so it’s getting a lot colder in the base. We get to work making the place a bit more defensible, plus getting our powers back and locating Maria’s friend.

Zephyr gives me a bro-hug for being depressed that he knew Katana when she was four. On the other hand, Yukio is looking at him like “man, you’re insane. She rubs my belly, she smells good, whats your problem?”

We look through stuff, and as we’re working the place over, we find a bunch of boxes labeled KB-109. Bunch of parts that look like a robotic spider. We look it up. It’s an autonomous sentry robot, developed sometime in 2020 as a means to counter the vampire threat. They were controlled by some sort of neural link device. We get to see a guy in a battlesuit with about 30 of these things tearing into a small mob of vampires. The bots are moving at something like 22mph.

Zephyr wants to let Yukio control it. This seems like a sub-optimal plan, but hey, why not?

What about Eamon? Well . . . it would still be funnier to give it to Yukio.

Continue reading “Aeon S3E14 – Apocalypse Then”

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer
  • Katana (NPC) – Will be The Commander’s wife one day. She knows it to be true.
  • Four Navy SEALS
  • Galatea – our newly-made Ultron; first name Natalie.
Secret Abandoned Base?
 
What could go wrong?
We split up into pairs. We notice that they may have been shot after they’d been immobilized. My character was dosed with some sort of sleeping gas, and then shot.
Zombies. Why did it have to be zombies.

Sometimes there were 7-8 people per room, looking too rag-tag. We wonder if this was a version of the zombie plague?These guys have been dead for about 40 years. We clear the top floor in a non-eventful way. About 40 dead folks, lots of random stuff, some 50-year-old twinkies. Most of the folks on this floor are not military. They’re wearing old, ragged clothing.

We start speculating that this military base may have been taken over or repurposed for hiding out from an Extinction Level Event. We table the discussion as we move Katana to a bed and try and heal her up. Zephyr burns karma and fatigue like it’s going out of style (or really, like it went out of style about 40 years ago). He burns character points too. Katana wakes up. She’s fully able and fit.

She stands up rapidly . . . and sits back down again. She asks what happened. We tell her. She immediately gets up to look for Yukio.

Katana and the Commander head downstairs to clear some rooms. The door has been welded shut from the other side, with crap pushed up against the door.

The Commander climbs down the elevator cables, to the elevator, opens the hatch, and jump down. The elevator itself has a bit of an airlock to it, as well. I see two fresh corpses, fairly fresh, dressed very differently. Couple of white guys, boots look cobbled togther, buckskin outfits. Couple of AKs, but with recently-machined and replaced parts. One has been shot in the head, dead-center in the forehead. The other was crushed by an unseen force. The third one has been mauled by some sort of animal – death by 1,000 cuts?

Every corpse (3 in total), have dog-tags the shape of a heart. The Commander takes the tags. Katana comes into the elevator; she rips through the pockets. The shot-to-the-head guy was with a .45, death by 1,000 cat scratches, and crushed with powers, says Diagnosis.

I force the door open, and move down the hall. More dead bodies. They’re dressed more like the buckskin guys. The walls are messed up in here. Like a rhino got loose.

We look around, and there’s flickering power. We find some containment units. One of which looks like something burst out of it, as AG-107. The most recent entry is Aug 14, 2025 on a clipboard. Some of the tanks have people in them. Some are looking like nasty science projects.

Katana and the Commander continue to clear rooms, with Zephyr, and we find a tunnel leading out from the far north corner of the room. It looks like it was hand-dug by the same critter that clawed them up.

Continue reading “Aeon S3E13 – The Katana Paradox”

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer
  • Katana (NPC) – Will be The Commander’s wife one day. She knows it to be true.
  • Four Navy SEALS
  • Galatea – our newly-made Ultron; first name Natalie.
Waking up is hard to do
When last we left our heroes, we’d blacked out and crash landed somewhere. Or vice versa.
We roll for HT to see who wakes up first, and start the crits. The Commander wakes up first. He’s in free fall. The front of the plane – all of it – is missing. He wakes up Eamon lickety split, so we can try a telekinetic parachute.
Eamon does gravity sense to try and figure out where we are relative to the ground. We’re at 5,990 feet above ground level. He kicks on Control Gravity, and can affect 10yds.
The Commander tries to stunt by projecting his Catfall ability on the plane. This makes it easier for Eamon to do his thing. In fact, he’s not needed at all, and Eamon pulls Katana, who was dangling by a strap, back into the plane. He notes that her arm and leg looks terrible, a bruises mess.
He TK’s her into the seat and buckles it. 
About 4,000 feet later, we start falling. Very fast. My effect is still there, but it seems to be being negated. Eamon can’t summon his powers either. The Commander moves around and is jumpmaster – he crits the roll to use the 4,000 feet of fall time to stuff people into parachutes, rigs a static line, and has folks jumps out of a (really no longer) perfectly good airplane. Actually, more like a back half of a broken fuselage, but that’s not nearly as funny.
We are basically parachuting (and we have parafoils) into a power-free zone, though. We strap the KO’d people onto ourselves (The Commander reluctantly straps Katana to himself) and land in a cold, mountainous valley with an Alpine forest close by. 

Yukio is nowhere to be seen.


We’re in the middle of a basin. Zephyr hits the plane wreckage for survival gear, food, potential weapons, signaling devices. We do a bit of recall, and no one remembers seeing any huts, fires, or any sign of civilization. It’s cold, and getting colder, but we have our super environmental suits on, so we’re protected for now. They’re battery operated so we’re still good.
We find a survival kit, a flare gun, some food, and about $1,000 worth of gear. We check GPS (no signal) and we’re definitely out of area. Zephyr checks to see if he can Detect Life (a magic ability) to find the rest of us. Chi sense works, but it being interfered with.
Eamon crits (again already) on Katana to see the extent and type of her injuries. She’s looking pretty feral when she wakes up, grabs Eamon by the throat. She has a severe concussion, possibly a subdural brain bleed, and (to borrow a Harry Potter-ism), she’s been Splinched.
Zephyr tries to help with the bleed, and pulls a Gilderoy Lockhart until he spends karma to control the bleed. 
Looking around, we pretty clearly are in the Arctic, and very likely were forcibly teleported elsewhere. We think we might be in Canada . . . but the stars are not where we’re supposed to be. They’re not chronologically where they should be either. 
Zephyr, though, has Chronolocation . . . so he knows exactly WHEN we are. Or can figure it out. We’re exactly 46 years into the future. Powers are reduced. GPS constellation is no longer functioning. 
Ooo. We’re post-apoc, likely.
We check back on Katana. We decide no one attacked her, she sorta did it to herself. 
We are in an area with either messed up Kyberian energy, or something.
Oh, and we finally realize Galatea and my SEALs were in the front half of the plane. We send Zephyr out at super-speed for firewood, and establish that our first goal is to set up a survival situation. We start a fire. We melt and boil snow. We turn the broken fuselage of the aircraft into an igloo. Our food situation is basically 12 MREs at 1,250 kcal per MRE. Five of us. Maybe 2.5 days worth.
We hit survival mode pretty hard. The Commander’s natural non-super ST is 15 (half his usual value). He’s tired – very tired – but we have a good three days worth of firewood.
The wind picks up at night, and it gets very, very cold at night. When we wake up at night, we’re down 1FP and take one point of Long Term Fatigue. We’re sitting at just under -60F. Cold cold cold. Only about -20F during the day.
We keep watch, but we’ve got a huge storm coming in. We’ve got may be 14 hours until major snowpocalypse. Like even Minnesotans might think “wow, that’s a bunch of snow.”
Ezekiel makes snowshoes, and does it well enough that they don’t count as improvised equipment. 
And Katana starts having a seizure. Between the Commander’s physician and spending Karma on a magic spell, we heal her up. She’s still unconscious, but it’s a natural unconsciousness, rather than coma or seizure. So progress.
Zephyr and The Commander go on recon to see if we can find the best direction to find a shelter that won’t kill us when the giant storm hits. Ezekiel is making us a kite with one of the parachutes. Eamon keeps watch over Katana, and also digs deep to see if he can use his powers at all. He can’t.
There’s a ton of electromagnetic interference, though – but Ezekiel gets radios to work. And as we go on recon, The Commander finds an old bomb shelter. And Zephyr finds a skeleton, clothed in buckskins. The bones have been gnawed on, and the head is missing. There’s a necklace on the guy, a flint and steel, and a few knives. The necklace is in the shape of a stylized heart, with a name, birthdate, and a few other numbers. The knife is a good knife, but clearly made from improv material. 
We shift our base camp, making a trio of slings and logs and pine needles as skis. One for Katana, one for the firewood, one for the stuff we took from the wreckage. The Commander manages to pick the lock of the bunker, then we all beat feet to get the stuff to the bomb shelter.
Zephyr and The Commander search the shelter. We have night vision, so the -9 penalty is mitigated a bit. We climb down into a 10×10 staging area, and pause to sense Chi. Naturally Zephyr crit fails. He tries something again, and fails again. 
We see something move, fast, that doesn’t register on thermals. The Commander orders everyone into the hole. Naturally we can’t just act, we have to talk about it for ever.
We finally get inside, and close the hatch. We hear something that sounds like talons scraping across the metal.
We hear a woman from outside say “There’s something out here! Please! Help!”
Yeah, right. Chiquita didn’t show up on thermals, but is now calling for help? 
We hear the sound of someone being eviscerated above us. The Commander isn’t buyin’ it.
Ezekiel tries to re-lock the door. He burns karma like it’s survival fuel to ensure it happens. 
Something pulls on the hatch; we see the hinges strain, but hold. 
We sick ‘Zeke on the lower door. We need to get down through the second hatch, but we’re also concerned about what’s down “in the dungeon.”
We “check for traps,” between Zeke and Zephyr. We bypass a keycard lock, and in a few minutes, we finally open up the door. The air inside is stale, but not rank. Excellent. 
There’s a staircase going down. We ask if the hallway is exactly 10′ wide. It’s not. We’re disappointed.
And at the bottom of the doorway, there’s another door. There’s a cleanroom-style, or decontamination style, room. The same bypass works for this room too. 
We’re in a hallway. There are no more hatches, but this is a military-style bunker. Some debris in the hallway. This is clearly some sort of military installation. We find a body wearing a lab coat over a US military uniform, with a gun in one hand and a note in the other. It looks like the guy committed suicide. There’s a patch on his shoulder that says “Project Crucible.”
The note says “I’m sorry.”
We find two more bodies as we search, and we deduce that the suicide guy killed the two bodies, by surprise, and leaned them gently against the wall. We also find a keycard, and deduce that there’s some sort of power, because the door locks still work. We suspect an RTG or solar power.
*********
We end there.

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer
  • Katana (NPC) – Will be The Commander’s wife one day. She knows it to be true.
  • Four Navy SEALS
  • Galatea – our newly-made Ultron; first name Natalie.
Saddle Up
We gather our team.
We’ve got  Max “Romeo” Smith, John Malcolm Thorpe “Mad Jack” Churchill (yes, a descendent of that one), Thomas “Spectre” Harper, Samuel “Crash” Burns.
Samuel isn’t allowed to drive anything, hence his name. 
It’s a six-hour trip by C130 to the Northern part of Greenland. We use Eamon as a parachute to bring all of us down (plus the equipment). Romeo is hitting on Katana. Grrr. He draws the “point man” role thanks to that.
Ezekiel decides that going down by wingsuit is the thing to do; Zephyr takes a movie of our entire descent. It’s still better than the English Patient. We note that it’s snowing all around us, except where we’re going to land. It’s like -40 degrees outside, but we have e-Suits.
Zephyr readies a 2-shot limpet mine dispenser (6d(3) each) with super-stick. 
Those of us with Detect Magic try and detect it – since it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that something is being used on the site. We ask Galatea, and she tells us that the weather is being manipulated by kyberian energy . . . but not from here. Not from anywhere near here.
We work it out – the interference is coming from New York. Of course. And we’re not going to break radio silence to call it in, so . . . 
We come in about 20 miles from the base. All of a sudden, an area underneath us suddenly sprouts in a burst of vegetation. We speculate. Early warning system? Planty trap? 
As we get on our snowmobiles, the path re-forms in front of us. We spend a bit of time being really paranoid, and then deduce (um, the GM tells us) that another team is helping us. Woo!
So, we gadget ourselves a Stealthmobile, because why not? Engine baffling, IR protection, noise modulation. Oh, yes. The Snow Prius.
Yukio rides with Katana. That dawg. 
We use our model to come up with three most probable locations for the files. They’re all within two miles of one another. Eamon crits his gravity sense roll AGAIN and makes it by 16, plus crit factor. He just pushes the Crit button on Roll20, we think. We not only locate the best locale, we get the records room three levels below. 
We’re going to go for the tunneling plan direct to the records room. We set up the giant freakin’ laser to tunnel in . . . but Christopher uses doom on us. The thing fires straight down, and melts its way fairly uncontrollably into the ice. Oops. 
Kyle crits AGAIN rolling for a gravity check to float us down perfectly into the chasm. Murui decides he’s going to Goonies-slide down the glacier – and rolls a 17. Crippled leg. OK. Excellent.
Eamon tries for physician – crit FAIL. Crippled further. 
Zephyr decides he’s going to do the entire mission walking on his hands. He spends some karma to buy “unusual posture” perk, and while he has to move at half speed.
The floor we wind up on “smells like failure, sweat, and stale beer – a frozen Wonderland snapshot of the ’80s.”
We see a tape deck on one of the . . . OK. The gadgeteer picks it up and starts talking to it. He’s at a penalty due to TL differences. It starts playing Metallica “Trapped Under Ice.”
Time for recon. The Commander makes his stealth roll by 16. He subvocalizes to Yukio, whistling, and he brings the team down. We sneaky-Mc-Sneakypants to the room labelled RECORDS. The door is rather locked.
Zephyr decides he’s going to pick the lock, with his toes. Penalties are assessed. Eamon steps up. We pick the lock, open the door, and see piles of frozen records. Literally paper sheathed in ice. Kyle picks up that the room is smaller than it should be; hidden compartment behind the filing cabinets.
We check for evidence of disturbances – and Eamon crits again – so we pop the door. 
Things are going a bit too smoothly. Zephyr does Detect Life to see if there’s life out there – I’m not saying it’s Aliens (or a tumor, or . . . ), but . . . 
The Commander has a quick skull session with his buddy the Crystal Skull, to see if the skull can shed any light on the issue. The images conveyed show that the skull isn’t sure what’s in there. We walk in. There’s something inside a capsule.
It’s vaguely chiropteran – bat-like. (He’s batman.) It, um . . . looks like an actual vampire. The capsule starts speaking to Ezekiel (machines do that) in Russian. He repeats it phonetically (he crits. sigh.) and Murui fails to crit.
He’s a good containment unit. It’s his purpose. It’s been moved from place to place and has been alone for a very long time. 
Zephyr translates . . . and tells it that we’re here to rescue it. Eamon crits AGAIN (he’s the only GM NPC actually played by a player). We find all the files we’re looking for. 
And the vampire. Hmm.
Katana teleports in with the four SEALs – she immediately starts getting a bloody nose. She’s suffering. The only thing a “success by one” physician roll can do for her is pinch her nose and say “there there.”
She’s oddly consoled by this.
We spend a lot of time talking plans. The Commander is convinced in his heart that this entire mission, crits and all, has been too easy (other than Murui’s broken leg). He suggests we pack everything up physically and head to Thule AFB, 200mi away. We do, and trek a few hours.
The Crystal Skull is not a fan of the vampire. I am still paranoid. I attune my Aether awareness with the crystal skull. 
I detect every metahuman and their abilities, and the lines of force around the base. They’re still working on them trying to find the location. I also get a taste of the energy coming off the container – it’s . . . soured, fetid. It feels wrong in my head. 
Worried that something terrible will happen if we teleport back, we take a plane back to NYC. Naturally, as we wind down, there’s an explosion in the front, in or near cockpit. We’re all unconscious. We end there.

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer

The Rise of the Machines

So, we just made Ultron. Eamon is unconscious from using some sort of ultra-power.

Can we turn it to scrap metal? Retroactive termination? Prosecute for illegal immigration (technically, it’s somewhere between a natural-born and unnatural-born citizen).

She stands up, and looks around. She crawls out of the crater like evil robot spider Gwen or something. We decide to call her Natalie. Because Ms Portman was in Black Swan, and this robot chick is going to almost certainly kill us all.

We interact with her a bit . . . badly. Eamon is reacting more or less like, well, Kermit the Frog as we talk to her. We go from “What am I?” “you’re a person.” to Zephyr telling her that as a Buddhist, her responsibility is to the whole world. We cover ethics and morality in one sentence, courtesy of The Commander (“Ethics is what is proper; Morality is what is right.”).

We download some database stuff, and spend about 7 hours talking about a person’s place in the world, etc. We manage to install Code of Honor (Heroes), Cannot Harm Innocents, and Sense of Duty (Humanity). And five points left unspent.

Eamon “feels her up” with gravity sense – she’s about 65 liters in volume, and probably weighs about 350-400lbs.

Anyway, Ezekiel has a convenient “I will know your power” skill, as well as what can she do with it, thanks to his gadgeteer and other abilities. She seems to have some sort of ability to manipulate kyberian energy. Continue reading “Aeon Campaign S3E10 – Operation Viking (planning)”

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer.
  • Marionette (Ani) – Abilities run to boosting of others, and manipulation of animated objects. The Commander’s third cousin.
Waking Up is Hard to Do
We ended unconscious, in true heroic cliffhanger fashion. We wake with massive headaches and terrible pain. Like the worst hangover ever and waking up to a rock concert. Plus: fusion-powered chainsaw? Problematic.
The building and the rest seem structurally sound, but the closer in you get to the center of the blast, even the dirt started to look unhealthy. I mean, endangered dirt. The grass is literally greener on the other side of the fence.
The folks that were KO’d but close to the explosion of weirdiation are dead. Our civilians we extracted to the third base dugout are also sick but alive.
One of the zombies that has been squished but not killed keeps wheezing out Eamon’s name. He quickly destroys evidence . . . I mean, puts the thing out of its misery.

Zephyr is pondering running for some super-fast Pepto Bismol, but even thinking about running hurts him. The Rat Queen tries to un-Ogre. And can’t. 
Yukio brings over a severed arm from the pile, as if he wants to play fetch. Apparently, after 
And Eamon crits his Hidden Lore (Metahumans) roll. Again.
Marionette hears Yukio in her mind. He’s got a vaguely British accent, apparently. He loves tea. He says, “No, no . . . I do not have the zombie plague,” very stiffly. Very. Stiffly. The tea thing is new to me. “What? You drink tea now? You chase, catch, and kill 53-foot trucks and now you like tea?”
OK.
With Eamon’s roll, we realize that the flows of kyberian energy have been disrupted. We’re having a hard time channeling our powers. Eamon postulates that our issues are tied to this space, so we want to see if we feel better as we take a walk outside of the stadium.
So unless we do something about it, Yankee stadium is going to be filled with weird (even more than normal) for a while.
As we leave, things start to feel better, but we notice a sharp line about 30′ outside the stadium. The Commander wonders if the ground underneath the stadium has been weakened, since we definitely can’t foot that bill. 
All bacteria and plant life have been killed. We decide we want samples of everything. 
Oh, and Eamon starts the exposition. Apparently he did time, and there was a breakout of this plague in the prison – that’s where he got his medical training. Cyrus Lund is a bad guy with a bad tendency to create viruses – he’s a metahuman. He has not been on the radar for some time, so no file exists.
Century put Sirus in jail back in 2005. At that point, he could spread disease by touch. Either his powers have mutated, gotten stronger, or gotten stranger. Perhaps he has MAD (the metahuman psychosis)?
We start to wonder what’s going on. Electricity from his electrocution in 2007? He’d killed over 700 people. We wonder if he’s become some sort of plague pokemon. Or if Blue Skies managed to transfer or replicate his powers from his charcoal-briquette form post electrocution.

We search hard, and find just about all of the shattered pieces of machine to nearly rebuild it completely, allowing Ezekiel to work his magic.

The bikers are also sick like we are. Right. Metas.

We put the pieces close together into a cradle, as well as the pieces of the well-shielded device that are still functioning. We call Aegis, who bring in Top Men and once they get a look at what they quickly decide is a Kyberian emitter. They decide there’s no way in hell they’re moving this thing. They bring the Mjolnir chamber. 

We all get sprayed down with some sort of wax thing. Yukio looks at me like “get to work,” but I’m all like “there’s no way I’m pulling that out of your hair.” He paw-bumps me in the chest like “it’s on, now.” We wrestle. A lot. By the end, the wax is removed.

The device seems to be able to shut down powers and technology, and also destroys plants and bacteria.

Well, at least when we accidentally set off a kyberian energy release with super-bullets. And Zephyr looks again to see how far the dead zone goes below us. It’s a sphere. The ground didn’t provide any kind of insulation or armor against the effect.

The Aegis director motions for us to come over. We do. “You guys always bring me the most interesting finds.”

We report, and get he following:

Rothgar is 400 or so years old. He thinks he’s a viking; so he could be older. He can enhance normals temporarily. Stronger, tougher, etc. He took over the berserkers, killed their leader, and that’s what he’s been doing. That sort of gifting power is very, very rare. 30 or so in 90 years, and maybe 20 of those in the last few years.

But the chemical compound they found has been seen before. It’s been a while, though. DRNK97, last seen in 2012 in South America, when one of our teams disappeared and blew an Aztec temple sky high during the mission.

So when I say it’s weird, I mean it very, very sincerely. My techs are telling me that in the past 5 hours alone, differences in air temp. gravity, and material density have all been fluctuating wildly.

On the other hand, we’ve cleaned up about 90% of the berserkers.  So yay.

On the third hand, the extensive damage to Yankee Stadium was mostly chainsaw and gunshot related. Ouch. That’s a $1.6 BILLION dollar stadium we damaged. Yeeks. The government blames the berzerkers.

We do a search of the equipment again. Every piece is bespoke. We decide to check out tooling marks and other signatures, see if we can trace back what machine was used to make it, and thus trace back the type. That works actually – as does Ezekiel when he actually Speaks to the machine. Revelet Deus Absconsa Tua!

Excellent. He’s talking to the ghost in the machine. 

It was made to pull in energy and expel it in one burst. 

Ezekiel gets all touch feely with the machine – and he wants to heal the bad guy’s machine. So we throw all kinds of fatigue at this plan, despite the fact that this has to be teh worst idea ever. The Double-Decker Couch was a better plan.

This is so going to bring about the apocalypse. 

We spend SIX HOURS rebuilding the damn thing. As far as it know, it’s supposed to directly effect the environment by drawing in low levels of energy and then expel it suddenly.

Ezekiel decides to make the machine sentient. This plan gets better and better.

The south american scientists that we rearranged the geometry, we have the catalyst for the Steynr experiment – the pulse of energy this machine emits would do what Blue Skies wants.

We have a fairly long discussion, led by Eamon/Kyle, about if the ability to create metahumans at will is something we want anyone to have. Kyle, and Doug vote NO FUCKING WAY. Em votes mildly no. Christian thinks basically no.

We refine the problem: This is a TAP (trans-atlantic pulse) on demand. The Black Swan event was avoidable by retroactively making that event not happen, says our AI buddy VAST.

The Engineer requires at least a week of study to make this happen. Ezekiel and Blue Skies is the only one that knows how to build this equipment. But what if the equipment itself gets to decide?

Yeah. No disassemble!

Chris uses his power to create sentient life. Eamon tries to hyper-stunt his power to disintegrate the equipment. 

We all take 20d6 double knockback damage as the two powers collide. 

We all catch ourselves in the air and stuff. 

When we wake up. Tokugawa is standing over us all. He blames me for everything. He does give me the sword, though.

We see something move in the crater we created. It’s a robot. It’s a girl robot. 

It stands up and looks around, wild-looking in the eyes. 

Great. We just created Ultronette. It looks a little bit like Eamon and Ezekiel. It makes a sound, and looks at Eamon and Ezekiel and says “what am I?”

We end there.

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer.
  • Marionette (Ani) – Abilities run to boosting of others, and manipulation of animated objects. The Commander’s third cousin.
Rush the Field

The Rat Queen and Zephyr were out at a train station in The Bronx, dealing with a bunch of bikers running around shootin’ folks, just like we were. 
We are zipping towards Yankee Stadium at 280mph, which is likely faster than the bad guys thought we could be there. Marionette is right outside the stadium, fully kitted out. Most unusually, there are no security guards stationed where they should be.
We also hear gunfire going on inside the stadium. It’s almost like the GM was trying to get us inside without planning.
Nonetheless, The Commander has Foresight, so he lays out the conditions to invoke any attempts to use knowledge of our powers against us.
In the middle of the baseball diamond, we see a 2.5-ton truck and a trailer with a heavy-duty machinegun and some sort of high-tech device on it. The bikers look like they know what they’re doing – they’ve drilled and trained with their AK-47s, and are wearing expensive tactical gear.
There’s no magic on the field – but there are some shambling critters in the middle of the baseball diamond. 

The diversionary fire was caused by well-cared-for AKs with APDS ammo. The air smells weird, like ozone or an electrical charge, too.
First priority (set by The Commander after no small amount of chaos) is to evac the prisoners (tokens labeled P). Of the 11 prisoners, four get TK lifted to the dugout and hopefully relative safety.
Some of the bikers immediately and with no hesitation start returning fire – Marionette’s stuffed bear (don’t ask) gets blasted in the head by an APDS round.
The tactical situation changes rapidly, as the bikers all go from zero to prepared almost instantly. The Commander drills the guy behind the machinegun in the throat, with a single, well-aimed shot, but the guy goes berserk, and seems unaffected. Hrm. Looks like we need to kill these guys outright. 
Ezekiel, who’s a bow-master, shoots three zombies with his bow. One to the torso, one to the head, one to the leg, just to get some rec0n-by-fire done. The shot to the torso irritates the first zombie, who starts frothing at the mouth. The head shot is a crit (good time to crit) with a solid damage roll, and the last to the leg is not quite as good. The head shot goes down hard; the other two just froth.
OK – the zombies seem like zombified bikers, but while robust, they don’t seem to explode or anything. That brings Zephyr and The Rat Queen into the fray. Zephyr goes after the guy that looks like a leader, trying to take him out of the battle with a skull blow. 
The Rat Queen crits her summon rats roll, and becomes a maximum-size Rat Ogre in one turn. Rat Queen Smash.
The chief bad guy (Rothgar) was Waiting, and hacks at Zephyr with a -8 deceptive attack (!). The Commander spends a karma point to ensure he doesn’t get cut in half. And yet there are six more attacks coming at him. He blows four karma to change hits to misses, and makes two rolls on his own merit. 
Zephyr continues on, hitting two bikers in the back of the head as he goes by. He hits them hard and fast enough they don’t get a chance to berserk. Down and out, then.
That guy in the center was able to absorb -16 in deceptive attack. This guy’s bad-ass. Area effect for him, I think. 
Eamon stunts his TK for range, spends FP for area effect and range, and spends 4 FP total to remove three more prisoners from the combat zone.
Marionette reaches for the last of the prisoners, and gets them to safety. That clears the field for pretty much unrestricted warfare. The Commander gives the word: take your best shots.
Zephyr goes to stick his staff into the wheels of some of the bikers, spoking them. Go go gadget Deadpool. He crits. The bike goes flying, and naturally explodes. The guy on the bike takes 44 points of damage to the neck. Ouchie. 
Rothgar – the big bad – runs after Zephyr, attempting to slam into him. Zephyr sidesteps and goes for the Acrobatic Dodge. Which he crits. He overruns, rotates in place, and skids to a stop.
One of the zombies gets turned into a puddle of goo by a blast from the teddy bear. 
Someone from the truck is shooting at Zephyr; he dodges and drops. Another tries to run him over with his motorcycle; he dodges. And another. Dodges again.
A couple bikers try and run over The Rat Queen. Given she has damage reduction and damage resistance, and pops some Fatigue to get the ST for the slam contest. She’s become a wall to them. Isaac Newton says frak you.
Her 45 HP x the foe’s speed gives 14d collision damage on THEM. Ouch. That was a terrible, terrible plan. She does 3x his damage, so they get splattered pretty hard. But she’s got DR 20 plus the super suit, and then damage reduction. She just takes it. 
The machinegun shooter trains fire on The Rat Queen and Zephyr with a minigun, and hits them 10 and 14 times, respectively, and the die roll was a critical success too. That’s 252 points of damage to Zephyr. He spends character points to turn a crit into a hit, which allows him to roll defense; I throw in a second reroll, and he dodged all but two, but he burned through karma and character points to not die.
The Rat Queen gets shot 10 times; she’s got very high DR and damage reduction, and dodges a bit but takes no damage because of it. 
AK guys open up on the people in the open, to no effect.
Yukio’s turn comes around. He does bad things to Zombies. The Commander switches to his super-explosive rounds, and fires off three rounds on the minigun. There’s a force field over the mad science . . . but I slagged the gun completely, even through the field. Worth spending my foresight to take out the gun rather.
Ezekiel shoots at three zombies; one dodges, and two bite it. The Zombies call out “Ea-monn . . . ” in a grunty voice. “Huh, so THAT was the outbreak endgame.”
Now what does that mean?
The Rat Queen is up to ST 70 or so, and so she chucks two flaming motorcycles at Mr Cuisinart after grabbing the only nearby mook. 
The second motorcycle crits. Rothgar easily dodges the first, but that crit. 8d+18 crushing motorcycle damage, for 48 points. He power stunts his damage reduction, but even with that he gets knocked back and takes some damage. And another flaming motorcycle explosion.
Eamon shouts out – “these are extremely viral and don’t let them bite you!” He gravity-sledged all but Yukio.
Oh, crap. Yukio’s in deep trouble, since he’s facing down six zombies . . . well, four now.
Zephyr jumps up (Acro Stand) and steps over away from flaming Cuisinart dude.
A stuffed bear gets buffed and kills a lot of zombies.
The Commander fires three “special” bullet at Mr Cuisinart. He spends doom to dodge and drop. Three shots go off into the force field, turn the guy inside to gazpacho, and maybe do something to the inside of the equipment.

Note: that was supposed to be against the guy’s hex, not his head. So next turn mr Dodge-and-Drop is going to get it hard, I hope.

Ezekiel uses a fusion-powered chainsaw (with noise loud enough to be problematic to 400 feet) and turns a near-zombie into paste. 
Someone has dumped 254 points into Emily’s character as some sort of buff (things are very chaotic online, and the game is hard to follow at this point), which boosts her to Super ST 11. She tries to area-attack squash Mr Cuisinart, and she spends 2 karma – twice –  to make it a crit. ST 170+ and claws with armor divisor (2). Cuisinart spends lots of doom to increase his damage reduction. 
She rolls twice on the critical hit table. The last karma goes to rolling three times on the crit table, and any hit is a major wound. Rolls 18d+54 damage, armor divisor 2. Twice.
First roll is 110, second is 116. CUT. He’s still alive, though, between damage reduction and HT rolls.
Eamon gravity sledges the remaining zombies into pulp.
Zephyr burns fatigue and HP to do hundred-handed strikes against two of the bikers – he does not care for getting shot. He slags both of them. Then takes out the last two on the truck with the same method.
The GM calls for a ST roll from The Rat Queen. How often do you get to say this? She made it by 163.

The Commander goes full-auto on the gizmo, and I roll a critical hit. A giant wave of force – but no damage – emanates from the device. A wave of kyberian energy emanates from the device. I think it shorted the device, which then explodes.
Anyway, we all pass out, and naturally Ezekiel’s rocket-powered chainsaw goes haywire in Yankee Stadium. Of course.
We end there.

Dramatis Personae

  • The Commander (Doug) – telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) – brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Zephyr (Merlin) – Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) – smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Ezekiel (Christian) – Techno Master, Genius, Esper, Super Archer.

On the way home

Offline we take the time to plan and attend the funeral for Arc Light, who was buried not as his hero persona, but as his multimillionaire (billionaire, I think) security consultant. Even Brad Pitt is there. (He’s a scion in my head canon, but probably not in the game. Angelina, on the other hand . . . )

Angela, Arc Light’s wife, speaks to me briefly (very, very briefly) that Arc Light left some things for the team. A lawyer shows up, dressed in a $10,000 suit, knocks on the door. Our secretary is looking at him like “why am I even speaking to you?”

A truck comes in and some guys with a pallet jack bring in some goods that Arc Light left for us. Last Will and Testament stuff. Endowment, yadda yadda yadda.

Wait, wait, wait. Rewind. Endowment?

Kyle gets $20M to start his metahuman rights initiative.

The team itself gets a $30M endowment. We briefly talk about Independent Income, but decide on an X-Com style uber-headquarters.

The material in the crates are stuff he was working on. Including the new Mark IV wristlets. The Commander gets a special crate, which includes a costume and helmet. More on that later.

And also a restraining order. We’re not allowed near Angela or the Lighthouse again. Ever. Not unsurprising, as Angela was never really fully supportive of Arc Light’s hero work, or at least his Hero work with MAPS.

We’ve also decided to bring on Ezekiel onto the team permanently (a bit of fiat there to get Christian’s new character on board). Now that he’s danger room training with us, we get a bit of insight into his power set. He’s a “trion,” rare, but with three sets of powers. Usually related, not always. The Shaman is another – he controls weather, animals, and plants.

We look for ways to take the fight to Blue Skies, and dig into the aftereffects of some of our recent efforts. Sure, not the overt actions, but the local scuttlebutt is that Blue Skies has been pouring money into a project, but their facilities failed and the projects failed. Other facilities also seem to be under assault or otherwise having issues, but we didn’t have anything to do with that. Continue reading “Aeon Campaign S3E7 – Ante-mortem”

We had a limited group – just +Anne Hunter and +Wright Johnson. The rest were no-shows, but Anne suggested game on anyway, to see if two 7th level barbarians could tackle the remainder of the adventure.

It was not designed to be too difficult, because I started it before we had the playtest results in that showed that the challenge ratings worked pretty well even up through 20th level.

Anyway, no blow-by-blow this time. But highlights:

  • Dakar (played by Wright) took a risk climbing over a 50′ chasm, and biffed the Athletics roll. Ooo. 5d6 direct to wounds, and his wound maximum is 19. Anne, thinking quickly, rages and uses her reaction to cast a rune at him, which is a class ability for the Runic Barbarian, that halves damage from bludgeoning.[1] Dakar also made his Acrobatics roll by 10+, and removed 2d6 from the pool. Net/net, he took 6 wounds from the fall, but made his Constitution saving throw to resist gaining the Injured condition. So hurt but no Conditions. Gudrun (Anne) picked up two levels of exhaustion – one for raging and another for rune casting.
  • They fought a Wight (Challenge 3) and four skeletons (Challenge 1/4 each). They demolished them, but Gudrun got hit by the wight’s level drain ability, and also used her rune casting to hit the wight with radiant damage. So she finished the fight with something like 5 levels of exhaustion.
  • They locked themselves in that room to take a long rest after that. I was merciful, and didn’t throw wandering monsters at them. But I could have, since they’d just had a few loud fights. Dakar healed 2 wounds back, bringing him down to 4. Gudrun crits her recovery roll and recovers 2 levels of exhaustion, still leaving her with 3. She’s at disadvantage on all skills and ability checks and attack rolls.
  • They fought another wight and four skeletons in an upper level, and this time Gudrun did not rage (she was quite tired enough already) but Dakar did, and that ability to halve vigor and wound loss from normal weapons was great for him, as it gave him a lot of staying power even when flanked by skeletons.
  • The wight hit him with the Life Drain attack too – brought his wound max down to 11, from 19. Fortunately, his prior long rest had him with 4 wounds, so no risk of injury status change.
  • The wight tried passes at both of them on his skeleton warhorse. He therefore suffered some very nasty opportunity attacks as he retreated away each pass – this gives the advatnage to the footman, which I will need to think about. Maybe invoke the rule about reach or something. Hrm.

We ended there.

Falling is appropriately nasty in Dragon Heresy – the shift to a wound rather than a hit point basis is badass. It makes falling from a height quite risky.

It would have been trivial to keep the pressure on with attacks from other monsters in the castle as they were trying to rest. I didn’t, but I could have. Probably should have. SRD5-based games are resource management games, and denying the ability to replenish resources is an important part of the GM arsenal for posing challenges to players. Being trapped in a castle infested with undead and getting into noisy melees will definitely bring out curious monsters. Should have planned for that in advance.

Good session, had a few learning experiences. So useful!

[1] We talked about this after the game, and decided that this won’t work – the runes are used on oneself, not others. Still, it was a great idea.