One of my friends is doing me a huge favor and running an alpha test of M.A/C.C for me so I can experience some of the stuff inside of it as a player. I'm using these reviews to both go over the session, as well as what I got out of it in relation to M.A/C.C itself.
First though, we have....The Cast
Archer McCullaine - An Irish cop in the fictional Massachusetts city of Croatoa. Archer just recently became a Detective in the Croatoa PD and is partnered with Detective Sergeant Charles Finley in the Homicide department. Unbeknownst to his partner, though known to his Grandfather who got him into the gig, at night Archer dons a mask and becomes the vigilante 'Bowman' (Hey, I didn't make it, and the player enjoys Kirby puns)
Arthur Leif - An 18 year old boy, and freshman in UMass Croatoa. Arthur's family moved to Croatoa over the summer after Arthur was the victim of some gang violence in their previous home city. The cause of that Gang Violence? Arthur wants to be a hero, and in the process of helping someone managed to royally piss off a gang.
Gabriella Ricci - At 18 years old, Gabriella Ricci is the second oldest daughter or Arturo Ricci, a high level enforcer in the Bianchi Mafia syndicate. She is a freshman at UMass Croatoa where she is majored in Pre-Law and Political Sciences. When not in school, or playing Daddy's little princess, she sneaks out to underground fighting rings, and recently has found the thrill of taking on muggers to be a better kick.
The session began after a 2 week skip from the previous session. Dr. Savannah had made a plea bargain, admitting to some guilt in exchange for incriminating roughly seventy percent of the city's municipal workers, including almost all of the high ups such as the D.A, Mayor, and Sheriff. Of those cops not arrested for corruption, almost half of the ones left stopped showing to work. Despite this, everything in the city was quiet, almost too quiet. Though anyone who was paying attention could feel the tension rising.
For Arthur this involved doing more patrols and being cautious in his home area where the presence of 'random civilians' with a bit too much of a military bearing was hard for him to not notice. Though, much of his time was made busier by his acceptance of Erik Bianchi's job offer to be a security guard at the new fight club outside of town.
Archer was kept swamped in paper work at his official job, the low number of cops making the paper work extremely taxing even with the sudden decline in crime. Even with the State Troopers help with what was going on, there wasn't much in the way of free time.
For Gabriella, the home life was taking all her time. Her father had taken over as the head of the Ricci family, and things were preparing to go down. Getting the information on her father's safe from Mara, she looks into things more only to find her father also has a device similar to a gravity gun. The pictures get sent to Arthur to look into, both of them agreeing it is probably not a safe thing to have around and that the cops should be warned. Something that Black Knight is more than willing to handle.
Making an appearance at the police station, Black Knight warns Finley and Archer about the device. Receiving a text message while there from Interrobang. "Sunday at 9, at a bank I think" the message reads. A bit of debate about how reliable it is has everyone agreeing that it should be looked into at the least. Black Knight takes his leave.
The three PCs split up to cover a wider area that Sunday at 9. They're fairly sure that whatever is going down will happen at either the Bank or the Museum, and so position themselves accordingly. At 8:59 Arthur gets a text message from Denise wishing him luck out there. He doesn't have time to contemplate it though, as at 9:00 sharp at least seventeen explosions rock the city. Hitting all over, from the docks at one end of the city, to all the way down near where the Ricci family home is on the other. With the explosions comes the sudden appearance of bands of armed men running around, everything from Ak-47s and M-16s to people with Rocket Launchers running around.
Seeing a large group move for the bank, Black Knight goes to stop them. Bowman does the same with the museum. Vesper however, concerned about Mara and her family's safety with the explosions having been so nearby, turns and races back to where her house is. Finding the place locked down and armed up better than some military bases. Assured that Mara is safe, she turns back and around and heads into the city, taking a route to bring her by Arthur's family's restaurant and home. Unable to save the restaurant, but managing to save his mom and dad from a couple of people with Flame Throwers in the house.
The next several hours are spent as the three vigilantes race around the city trying to help people where they can. The looters seem to be masked Bianchi members, masked Shinpai members, and corrupt cops. Infinite is also in the city, holding down three locations and protecting what is inside from the massive rioting and all out carnage. Where cops are doing their job and helping, they get helped. In other areas the most violent are made an example of as the PCs rush on from hot point to hot point trying to help as much as they can as quickly as they can.
It doesn't take long for Black Knight to run into someone who is wielding an exact replica of his shock baton. A short while later Bowman finds someone using a bow and arrow similar to his. Others are using the strange hand musket that British Ghost. Even a few are using Vesper's weapon, though mostly that polices itself due to the fact that shock bolas are dangerous things to swing around when you don't know what you are doing, causing a number of people to take themselves out of the picture. Considering the already present lack of trust, the immediate assumption is that Sentinel 'betrayed' them and is up to something. Vesper goes to check while Black Knight and Bowman deal with more fires.
In Sentinel's hide out, Vesper finds the place to be completely cleaned out. The computers destroyed, and the armory completely looted and empty. The only thing here not completely destroyed is the bound and beaten form of Lord British, who unmasked Vesper can tell is actually one of her teachers from school. Making sure there is nothing incriminating on him, Vesper drags the teacher out of the hideout and to an ambulance. Asking the driver if he's heard anything about someone who matches Sentinel's description. The answer is yes, they were heading for the water processing plant. Relaying the info to the other two, all three go to meet up and head out to the processing plant.
Bowman shows up with a boat, something borrowed from his Grandfather that hasn't seen action in decades but is still in good enough condition to serve as transport. At the processign plant, they find numerous people knocked unconscious with their various weapons. An easy trail to follow that leads down stairs to where six Sentinels are busy rooting through and looking for something. "You'll see" being the only answer coming in response to what they're up to, the PCs launch into action. Taking out five of the Sentinels and revealing the real one.
Vesper's attack is dodged, as is Black Knight's. Sentinel's attack goes for Vesper who dodges and counters only to find her hand stuck in his body which seems to be made of some purple gelatinous substance. It's around this time that all three heroes notice an item from the museum tucked under Sentinel's armor, the Knife of Ra. Black Knight changes his tactics, and goes for the knife. Cutting some of Sentinel's armor free and grabbing the knife as Vesper reclaims her hand and jumps to safety. Everything begins to glow as they attack again. Vesper kicking Sentinel against the wall and leaping away to safety only to find herself being frozen in mid air as she also starts glowing. The same happens to Black Knight as he goes in and slashes the inside of Sentinel's thigh with the Knife of Ra before trying to go out to safety and also freezing. Bowman, being slowed by time and surrounded by 8 more Sentinels unleashes a special arrow his grandfather gave to him. The arrow travels full speed, despite the slowness of everything else.
The arrow hits Sentinel, the air pulses purple, then green, then purple, then green. The flickering of the lights repeating rapidly for an unknown amount of time before all three PCs are deposited unceremoniously on the ground outside. The sky is read, gleaming towers of a futuristic city in the distance with the destroyed and cracked buildings closer. The moon is black. As the PCs pick themselves up a group of 7 women riding things that look like Velociraptors ride up, they are all dressed like Sentinel. "Heroes" their leader says, "Kill them."
The session ends.
This session was a lot of fun, and I liked it a lot. As much as I know the GMs skill played a major part in it, I am also happy by how streamlined the system made it possible. Some of the mechanics let you escape being bogged down by dice rolling and number crunching and gives the GM a chance to focus on the narrative and keeping tensions high. Though, it was a combination of GM skill and the system that allowed that to happen.
Things seem to be shaping up well, and I'm looking forward to the next round of testing starting.