Tuesday, June 15, 2010

M.A/C.C - Beta Test - Session 2

The second session of the M.A/C.C beta test happened last night, wrapping up the intro for the story. I apologize for the use of costumed names, even when people aren't in costume, but it is a bit easier for this session - especially with so many people having similar names in the game. Here's what happened, but first.

The Cast
Tully Mayhew/Argus - Tully is a gunsmith of moderate reknown, working in a shop that was bought out by someone with a much better head for business. As a child Tully came to the realization that his family wasn't his own, the investigation into his real family brought him into contact with the Gideons who opened his eyes to some of what is really going on. Tully now works to prove that the Supers are running everything for their own ends, using people as sheep to keep them in power.

Max Putherford/Dioxin - A chemist working for the Powered Police Department, Max came into contact with the Gideons after a super hero accidentally killed his kid sister. A member of the Gideons was near by and protected Max from the brain scrambling that happens to clean up the messes caused by the supers on occasion. He now plays a dangerous game, working within the PPD by day while working from the outside at night to try and reveal what is behind the curtain.

Mark Dashel/Nomad - Mark was an orphan trying to get by on the streets when he met her, Miriam Dashel, a kindly older lady who needed help. When Miriam found out the young man who had been helping her with bringing groceries home, and had protected her from muggers, was living on the streets she took him in and gave him a family. The quiet life didn't suit him for long, and Mark talked some friends into trying to help people as costumed heroes. Their first experiment went horribly wrong and the two friends were killed, when the police claimed the two dead teens were in jail for being powered super villains, Mark lost it and went out to get some revenge. Instead he ran into a member of the Gideons and has been preparing since for the day he can expose the secret.

Percival McMann/Gadget - Another person with parents who disappeared under strange circumstances, Percy is a bit of a gadget freak and computer whiz. Also recruited into the Gideons, Percy isn't as sure about what is going on aside from that there is 'something' going on. He is also the most cautious of the group currently.

Max Winesten/Heimdel - A firefighter for the city, when Max was young his class took a fieldtrip that they never came back from. Luck put the Gideons in contact with him before the PPD got him to change his memories of what exactly has happened. Max is devoted to the sword, and intent to use it for the good of those around him. (Player still deciding on a last name)

The Session
The session started roughly a week after the last session, James 'Black Hood' Taylor had been transferred to a new cell of the Gideons, and Prophet left word that they were to go and meet someone that was being moved to work with their cell in a couple of days. The new person would be taking Black Hood's place, and hopefully filling the gap that had been left in the team structurally.  While waiting for the day to get the new guy, Dioxin finishes working on both the initial run of the chemical brand he wants to mark criminals with as well as material for a calling card that won't take fingerprints or hold on to other forms of DNA to be traced back to the group. The brand isn't something the group is especially keen on, but the calling card they do all like.

Time passes, and the group heads out to meet the new member. The meet is in a public area, and Heimdel is chosen to be the one to make the actual meet as he is best in close of who they have. The rest of the group scatters around the area, taking up vantage points near by where they can provide cover if needed. Heimdel spots the new person - a description was provided - moves over towards him, sits down, and offers a cigarette. Nomad responds that "Those things will kill ya" and the call/response has been completed. A few more questions were asked, fact checking against other information they'd been provided. When the group is sure that Nomad is their man they bring him elsewhere, a secluded spot in the rougher part of town to actually talk and see what is going on. Tully doesn't want him in the base until they've gotten to know each other a little better, but they do give him a communicator and make up some times and places to meet for doing patrol.

Over the next four days, Nomad gets some one on one time with the rest of the group, quickly finding that he is most comfortable with Heimdel - the only other person in the group who doesn't use guns of any kind - but is able to work with everyone. On the fifth day they receive word from Oracle - the other high up in the Gideons -  that the Salvatore syndicate is smuggling weapons into the central part of the city and that the drop would be happening at 3 AM on Friday morning. Also, that it looked like things were gearing up for something huge to be going down, something the Salvatores are apparently gearing up to try and take advantage of it. Oracle also provides the location for the drop. There is no mention of it being a mission, but Tully takes it as a request to intercede - why else would the information be given after all?

The team goes to work on their various things. The shipment is starting in Nomad's old stomping grounds, the rougher part of town, and so he goes to see if he can find someone to talk and spill some information. Tully goes to scout out where the actual drop is going to take place. Gadget and Heimdel are making sure the gear is all ready.

Down in the rough part of down, Nomad recalls someone he knew as a younger person, someone who was getting involved with the Salvatores and had a reputation for knowing things, even things he ought not to. Heading to meet this person, he finds the usual haunt of Kenny - a club that seems to be doing well even in the dangerous neighborhood - with four people hanging around in a back alley. He offers one of them $50 to go inside and get Kenny, saying he has the guys money. They don't buy it, and tell him to go inside and pay his own debts. He says the people inside don't like him, and they say thats his own problem. Nomad decides to try a different tactic, and assaults the four people. He lays out the first two but ends up getting shot by the other two - due to a bad tactical play by the player, but it does happen - severely injured by the panic shots, he manages to work through the pain and drop the other two thugs. The gun shots have drawn attention from inside though, and now he needs to run. Making his way out, he uses his knowledge of this part of the city to stay hidden and keep ahead of the pursuing group. His call for help is responded to by both Heimdel and Gadget who show up on their bikes. Gadget hits the group with a knock-out gas grenade, while Heimdel awkwardly places the injured man on his bike and drives off. They get Nomad back to their base and into the med bay, now they just need Tully to get back to remove the bullet that didn't pass cleanly through.

At the site of the drop, Tully is scouting out the building. The place is fairly secure for a house hold products supplier. Security cameras covering the loading docks and other entrances completely, and most of the rest of the business. The rent a cops even seem to be fairly decent. At night, things change. The security cameras are still an issue, but the guards are even more of one. Switching from Rent a Cops to highly trained guys who move like mercs. The example given was switching out a rent a cop for a Black Water Operator. Collecting the information, Tully heads back to base on the quick to help Nomad out with the gun shot.

After a successful surgery, the group gathers up to plan how they want to take down the weapons drop the next day. After some debating, and going over the plans that Gadget brought up, they decide to have Argus (Tully) and Dioxin sneak in during the day and hide in the warehouse. They can then provide distraction and information from the inside. Heimdel will then steal the truck before they make the deal, with the rest of the group providing cover for him as they extract. Not the greatest plan ever perhaps, but they don't exactly have much time to get something working and it has the best chance of success.

The next day Argus and Dioxin sneak in and find a good hiding place. They set up a camera to help keep an eye on things and stay out of the way. Shortly after the switch in guards to the night shift, Nomad takes up position and counts out the guards. It starts at 5 inside and 2 outside, but by the end is up to 15 outside and 5 inside. All looking to be highly trained people. Even worse, from how the preparations are going down there is going to be 2 trucks not just 1. Argus changes the plan quickly, they'll try and grab both trucks, but they'll wait to make sure both trucks actually have weapons in them before they do anything. Meaning they strike when the doors open. Everyone agrees, and with the new plan in position Gadget and Heimdel make their way over and into position.

Fifteen minutes before 3 am the first truck arrives and docks with the building. The door stays closed however. Seven minutes later the second truck shows up and does the same thing at a different dock. Two minutes before 3 the two truck drivers get out, and go to talk to the guards inside the building. The doors on both trucks open, revealing crates full of weapons, and a man in an all black body suit with a cape and a red omega symbol on his chest. Omega, here, the guy who fights with Paragon (think two superman equivalents duking it out in a bubble city). They are woefully under prepared for this scenario. Thinking quickly Argus has Nomad call the Powered Police and report the siting of Omega, their plan is to move quick and use distraction. They can't let those weapons get into the Salvatore's hands, and the computer in Omega's truck will probably be useful as well.

The PPD gets informed, and even from where they are they can see the inner most part of the city light up as the report spreads out. They spring into action. Dioxin and Argus open fire on the guards inside the building. Taking out one, and heavily injuring the other four. Heimdel and Gadget try to gas grenade the ones outside, with moderate success. Nomad moves up and into position to join in the next round. The element of surprise has been used, and used well. Omega seems to be amused.

Combat begins properly, Argus shooting one of the guards just outside the loading dock he can see, the second round going for Omega. The guard is dropped, Omega is unaffected. As Omega goes to pick up the strange low-lethality round that Argus fires, Dioxin throws a smoke grenade to try for some cover, while giving Argus a wide berth. The smoke covers Omega, he throws the round anyhow blowing part of the smoke away from him in the wake of the round. The round misses Argus, but destroys a large chunk of the wall behind him. The difference in fire power is clear.

Back outside, Nomad takes out one of the guards as he makes his way towards one of the trucks. Gadget dropping another on their path before booking it for the driver's side door. Heimdel tries to sweep the three still standing guards on his side with the motorcycle, jumping off at the last second and knocking out one of the three, as the bike slides ineffectively by and crashed into a pole. The guards open fire ineffectively, both Nomad and Heimdel using the opening in the guards' attacks to counter and knock out another one of them.

Back inside, Argus takes another shot at Omega before jumping out the hole behind him to the ground. His plan is to keep Omega's attention on him for as long as possible, and give the others a chance to get the trucks away. The fact that Omega seems amused by his antics is a good thing, especially the part where Omega isn't actively trying to kill him just yet. Though, the fork lift that comes flying through the wall after him is a sign that that may be changing.

Outside, Gadget and Heimdel get into the drivers seat of their trucks. Nomad and Dioxin make it into the trailers and slam the doors shut. The trucks start up and begin to pull away. Dioxin in a trailer full of munitions, Nomad in one with a super computer in it. The few remaining guards left standing fire ineffectively towards them. That is, aside from the five fresh guards who are on the side of the building Argus just escaped to. They open fire, forcing Argus to take cover behind the fork lift that was just thrown at him. Omega comes closer, and Argus has to run. With the trucks leaving, he heads for the motorcycle that Heimdel abandoned earlier, getting on it and gunning the engine to get away.

Omega takes flight and pursues, breaking through a wall between him and Argus. The guards are still firing, and a round catches the bike causing it to have engine issues at a time when no issues are much preferred. The bike crashes, ditching Argus to the ground with Omega in very close pursuit. Luckily for Argus, just as Omega is about to nail him Paragon arrives and the fight between the two titans begins. Argus isn't much re-assured by the presence of Paragon, and runs out of the area. He's running for a good while longer sure that either Paragon or Omega is chasing him.

Back with the first bus, Gadget runs into a bunch of PPD armored vans ordering him to stop. His first attempt to get away, hitting one of their windows with a web grenade, doesn't meet with much success and so they keep going. Eventually he and Nomad decide that the PPD getting the computer isn't as bad as otherwise, something the group had agreed on before, and he stops the truck in a way to protect his escape as the two bail out and vanish into the alleyways.

A similar situation is going on with Heimdel and Dioxin, only Ember is atop one of the PPD vans leading the pursuit. Heimdel tries to lose the pursuit with some maneuvering, even managing to lose most of the cars as he takes one corner with the truck sharp enough that oncoming traffic makes a barrier behind him as they crash. Ember though is not atop the PPD vans anymore when he looks. He takes another corner, throwing Dioxin around even more inside the trailer of the truck, but it doesn't work and Ember lands atop the trailer for the truck. "Ditch" Heimdel says, stopping the truck in the middle of an open intersection. Inside dioxin sets the munitions to blow and jumps out as well. Ember is about to pounce Heimdel when he looks back and yells out "The truck is going to blow!". Ember listens and leaps straight up, narrowly avoiding being blasted by the truck. Dioxin and Heimdel use the distraction to escape.

Back at the base everyone gathers together, several puke from the nerves of everything that just happened, and they all go to sleep. The next day the fight between Paragon and Omega makes page 1. They are mentioned on Page 3 however. Paragon, Ember, and the PPD thanking them for their brave efforts to make a difference, and the early warning of Omega's presence. They are given the Lion's share of the credit for the bust of Salvatore's men, the prevention of those weapons getting on the street, and stopping Omega. The Heroes and Government are welcoming these new heroes. Argus is enraged at the association, but at least they got the good name of the Gideons out.

End Intro.

Final Thoughts
I liked the session, it was a bit haphazard going in, but it managed to play out fairly well. I'm hoping Nomad's player likes his new character better and has a good grasp of him, as he seems interesting. There are still things to go over in the world, and much more to be done. But for now, the PCs are known, and recognized as heroes. How long until they are the villains? What will they uncover with their further actions? We'll have to find out later.

System wise, a few more points of rule confusion were found, and a few were cleared up and erradicated. Updating the document after this to reflect them, changes that should make everything go smoother. Someone has started an unofficial first pass at editing for the thing as well, and the project is rapidly approaching where I have no more control over what to do with it (Layout and Art. Scary!) Anyone reading this got any info on about how much layout and art would cost? Assuming you read this far anyhow...

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