Tuesday, July 6, 2010

M.A/C.C - Beta Test - Session 3

The M.A/C.C beta test got underway again yesterday, and while we had a bit of a shorter session due to dealing with XP, and one of the players needing to leave a bit early for work, generally speaking it was a good session all around. I'll tell you what happened, but first (as always) the cast.

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/Paladin - 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 8 months after the previous one, the city was aware of their presence and after the capture of Omega - and resulting ramping up of police presence - the city had become quiet. The Salvatore family had gone underground to hide out and wait for the heat from smuggling Omega in had blown over. The team used the time for some training, and to really improve upon their base. Upping it's security, how well hidden it was, as well as adding a garage and upgrading their med bay to a full on surgery ward.  Argus and Dioxin had also made upgrades to their weaponry, and about everyone had upgraded their armor with some much desired bullet proof gear.

Out of costume, life was going fairly quiet as well. Jobs were moving along as jobs want to do, with out much in the way of big or shocking changes happening. The most interesting life going on was probably Tully's, but then again he'd met his girlfriend when she had tried to rob the place he worked at at gun point, and hadn't exactly shown much to make her seem a stable person since then.

As the game started though, everyone was in their base having a general meeting. The only real order of business being Dioxin wanting to try out his new special ammo, a cartridge loaded with a type of sticky gel that would bind people, while covering a large area for maximum coverage. Tully and Mark agreed to be guinea pigs, finding the substance to be quite good at binding people, and the wide area of coverage enabling multiple people to be hit at once. For some reason, completely by design, the substance tastes like high quality chocolate. Part of Dioxin's attempt to pacify the bound people, if through distraction only.

While testing the weapon out, a call came in through the back door connections they have with the police department. The PPD and supers were tied up in something across town, and a group of some 20-30 people were committing large scale arson. The arson location being near by, the group got into costume and sped into action. Argus, Paladin (Mark's new name), and Dioxin taking Argus's car, while Gadget and Heimdal took their bikes. The area in question, a grouping of 9 city blocks:

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
With blocks 5 and 6 already well ablaze, and people moving to light block 3 on fire. Argus brought his car in on the street between blocks 6 and 9. Heimdal on his bike entering between 6 and 3, with Gadget coming in from the opposite side between 1 and 4.

Heimdal's player wanted to blow off some steam, one of the reasons he made Heimdal, and so he decided to take a more aggressive stance. Seeing a group of people rushing into a building on block 3, but the building not yet on fire, he rode his bike in after him. Hopping off the bike and going to work immediately, as he brought down two of his six opponents in a flash. The other four turned to face him, shotguns going off that Heimdal was unable to counter. Luckily his armor (and some well spent Drive) kept him from being truly injured, only taking a 0 damage hit from the affair. The jostling as melee began causing one of the arsonists to light himself on fire and fall to the ground screaming.  Heimdal continued to move, dropping two of the three remaining people with his sword, before countering the last guy to knock him out as well. Grabbing a fire blanket he'd remembered to bring with him, he dropped to put the on fire guy out, the reward for his efforts being the guy - who is still awake - jabbing him with a hand held tazer. Heimdal's metal armor works against him, and the tazer knocks him out cold. Leaving him helpless and alone with one of the arsonists in the building.

Having come in from the other side, Gadget parked his bike across the street from the arsonists before running over to make it so they couldn't escape. Working the hood open on one of the cars, he sets about trying to disable it, but unfortunately gets spotted in the attempt. Two of the six near by arsonists turn and open fire on him, one of them getting a lucky shot that sends him to the ground. With a bit of barter, and drive, he stays in the fight and makes it behind the car for cover. Knocking  out one of his attackers with a thrown shock-billy. The rest of the group realizes the hero is there, and begins to open fire as well. A couple throwing molotov cocktails at him, one of which lights the exposed engine of the car on fire. Gadget, realizing the danger he is in, runs for the next car down the way, throwing a gas grenade for cover. The throw unfortunately goes off target, and isn't a factor in the fight. Another lucky shot wings him, and things are starting to look bad for gadget when Paladin arrives on orders from Argus. Sadly, Paladin can't do much as he doesn't have much in the way of ranged, but with the approaching sirens of cops and the arsonists beginning to flee he does keep Gadget in safety, by bodily throwing him over the car just before some of the fleeing arsonists can attempt a drive by.

As soon as Paladin is out of the car, and has taken in the situation he starts running across the street to help with the thickest concentration of goons are. He keeps clear of Argus's firing lines, watching as in the time it takes him to get over there, Argus has dropped three of the six people already. Paladin's Shock-Gauntlet doesn't do as well as he'd hoped on the guy he hits, but having trusted the attack he's left himself exposed to the recovering thug. A precision shot from Argus keeps it from being a factor as he heads to deal with the other still standing guys. The group subdued, and the check ins from Gadget and Heimdal not being particularly re-assuring, Argus orders Paladin to go get Gadget, and Paladin runs to obey. An attempt to cut through one of the buildings almost meets with failure, but he makes it through (thanks to spending almost all of his drive) and gets to Gadget's side. His lack of ranged ability keeps him from being a huge help, but he does manage to keep Gadget in cover as some cars show up to pick up the Arsonists who were near by. The cops showing up, and Argus' car having moved, Paladin gets gadget back to his bike and tries to drive off with it, getting side swiped by a fleeing arsonist car making him crash. The two call for help, and manage to get out of the area with some assistance.

Once he is out of the car, Dioxin turns to the right and fires one of his new rounds into a group of arsonists. the round works well, grabbing four of the goons and fully securing two of them right off the bat. He takes cover from returning fire, shooting another round into the fray and securing more of the goons. To the ones left standing, he makes a threat "Surrender, or we're going to move up to lethal force!" One of the remaining guys surrenders, the other keeps fighting receiving a third round of the new sticky substance, which pacifies the entire area. Argus says he is going after Heimdal, and sends Paladin after Gadget, leaving Dioxin to get the car. Dioxin climbs in, and reloads his gun. Moving the car up after Argus so they can make a get away after - the cops and fire department arriving on scene now. As he pulls up, the building Heimdal is in suffers a massive explosion. Argus runs in anyhow, coming back out several moments later with an unconscious Heimdal. They throw him in the car, and start to get away. having to loop back to pick up Gadget and Paladin after the bike crash.

Out of the car, Argus hides and engages the arsonists across the street. they are long shots for his gun, but he knows it well and is a good enough shot for it not to matter. Dropping three or four of the goons in consecutive shots. As a goon goes for the exposed back of Paladin, Argus takes the man out from ranged. The less than lethal round making drastically less noise thanks to the new modifications. What fire he does attract is handled by Dioxin who is covering his back. A call for reports brings in less than stellar news for Gadget and Heimdal, and Argus sends Paladin after Gadget while going for heimdal himself. Part way there, he stops to engage more arsonists who are beginning to flee the scene, trusting that Heimdal's situation can't get worse than it already is while these people need to be stopped. He shatters the windshield of one car, while knocking out the driver of another. Return fire is accurate, but luckily doesn't bite through the cover he has taken, even if it is a close call. As he looks to go back for Heimdal, the building explodes. There is only a brief pause before he rushes in anyhow. Choking on the smoke and the heat he still manages not to jump when a woman, dressed in white and gold, grabs his wrist and pulls him close. Ember, she's saved heimdal from the explosion. Handing over Heimdal, ember tells him to get out of there. Argus doesn't need to be told twice, and runs for his car. Only coming back to pick up Gadget and Paladin before taking a circuitous route home to avoid detection.

After the fight, Tully checks injuries in the base's surgery ward. he points out that Gadget's life was saved by his armor, but aside from Gadget no one is particularly seriously hurt. The group gets to work on trying to figure out why the arson happened, Argus and Paladin head out to try and find the people who fled. Taking a guess at Salvatore involvement from police reports, they randomly pick one of the Salvatore garages and hit pay dirt right away. they call the site in to the police, and stick around to make sure everyone gets tagged before heading back home. Comparing notes, and keeping tabs on the police band, they figure out that the area used to be under control of the Salvatore family, but roughly 5 years ago it was rather aggressively bought out. The Salvatore's had owned the area since it was built though, one of their original legitimate fronts. They didn't sell it happily.

The area is now owned by the Lansing corporation, and surprise surprise they're planning on remodeling the whole area. Max (Heimdal) gets permission to work with the Arson Detective with the fire department. He finds where the fire started in one of the buildings, a basement room of the oldest apartment complex. Not only did the fire start there, but a wall was blown out before hand, the room behind it full of power connections capable of hosting some fairly beefy machinery.

Back at work Max (Dioxin) is assigned some crime lab work, the PPD helping out with the investigation. the first substance is his own sticky cartridges, which he gets to analyze and report on. Claiming it is the work of an absolute genius. the other are samples from the various arson sites, most of which is simple amateur hour stuff, but the sample from the central and old apartment building is truly high quality work that is very well masked.

The session ended with them planning on checking out what the Salvatore's were up to, as well as the garage the arsonists fled to, and that one burned out building.

Final thoughts
the system got a good workout with this session. Rules need to be better done for Sticky and Binding, as well as a couple of other effects. Players having experienced the system for just a few sessions are really liking it, and seem to be seeing the merits of alternative play styles the game encourages. In general it was just a good and fun session, and people are looking forward to the next one.

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