Tuesday, August 10, 2010

M.A/C.C - Beta Test - Session 8

We had the 8th session of the M.A/C.C game last night, and things are starting to move along rather well plot wise. Things took a bit of a huge jump forward today, both time wise and plot wise. Tully is still not present, he may be out for the rest of the game. I'm keeping him on the cast roster though in case the player can make it back.

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 picked up right where the last one ended, the PCs in a plane that was crashing to the ground. Deciding their best bet was to try and fly the plane, they headed towards the bridge. Gadget and Paladin had to be carried due to their injuries, something Heimdel took care of while Dioxin ventured ahead. In the bridge, Dioxin finds five people desperately trying to stop the plane's crash. Through the view screen he can see the ground hurtling up. Dioxin kicks a guy away from the control yolk and tries his own luck at evening the plane out. Even deploying the landing gear doesn't help any, the plane is going to crash and crash hard.

Everyone, PCs and NPCs, scramble to get higher in the plane and away from the bridge. The plane hits, the world turns incredibly loud and violent, and then everything goes black....

....the group awakens individually and scattered across a land scape. the plane crash seems to have scattered the giant machine across at least two miles with debris and other junk everywhere. Heimdel gets everyone back together, and the group has to force Dioxin to put pants on as he's decided he is freakishly comfortable being naked. They argue a bit about what to do before Dioxin and Heimdel head out to see what they can salvage from the wreck. Gadget's broken leg, and Paladin's broken arms and legs, mean they can't really help.

An old man finds the camp and joins the group. he asks who they are and what they're doing. He seems nervous when they mention being heroes, but relaxes when they say they don't have powers. He listens to the quick summary of their story, commenting that the heroes in the domes have fallen pretty far to be using what they fought against before. Eventually he gives them his name, Jack, and offers to lead them to somewhere with actual working facilities.

"Somewhere" ends up being 2 days away in a forest. The group passes through some wrought iron gates, and figures out they're walking on an over grown road. They come to a campus, the buildings all broken and battered like they'd been air bombed at some point. Jack leads them into one building, and then down an elevator that needs to be hand cranked. As they go down the quality of the building goes from broken down post-war area to better and nicer than anything they've ever seen.

The technology in the base is at least 10-15 years more advanced than anything they've seen, and it is a base. There is a lab, complete with chemicals Dioxin has never seen before and information that is filling up the gaps in what he did and didn't know when it came to chemistry. Training facilities, complete with training programs that use force projections and adapt to the person who is training. Computer access with detailed history notes up to the beginning of the dome project. Everything they'd need.

Jack asks them their intentions, and they tell him they want to get people free from the control that they're currently under. He points out that if they start this, it could get messy, but they say they want to see it through so he agrees to help. He points out that whoever is running the show is probably doing so from Olympus, a giant space satellite that the heroes used during the war. To get access to it, they'll need to take down a big shot, like the big hero 'Alpha' in the near by dome. the PCs recognize Alpha immediately by his other name, Omega.

Four months are spent in training, regearing up, and preparation for going back on mission. The depth of what they are taking on seems to have set in. They have the story of the war (I'll post it below for those that care) and now they just need to make a move to see how they can free people from the tyrannical yolk they're under.

Infiltrating the dome is fairly easy. they go in from below, and get in through the water system. When they climb out into the streets they're immediately taken aback. Everything is clean, pristine even. The alleyway doesn't even have loose trash, and the trash cans are sparkling. Paladin recognizes the city layout as L.A. but the cleanliness is just too...insane. Going around the city, it seems a perfect mirror for the dome they are from, only much cleaner and better off. The rich areas are proportionally as much better off as the poor areas.

Some research reveals the last murder was nearly 20 years ago, accidents and missing people are also lower than in their dome. While there are fires, the fire department is proud of the fact the last fire related fatality was nearly 10 years ago. The biggest crime being talked about in the papers is a gang of teenagers who roller skate around and spray paint things. About the only things really off is that at 12 and 7:30pm everyone gathers around tvs whereever they are and listens to an address from the president (Jessica Nichols), and that everyone has an RFID chip. Even with the chip though, the PCs aren't hindered by their lack of it. Machines that scan the identification chip simply point out that their chip has broken and they should go speak to the police or they could face a $25 fine. Yes, 25, twenty five dollars.

The idyllicness of the dome starts to take its toll on the PCs. Making them want to do violent things just to make it feel more normal. The "Have a good one Neighbors" they get from almost everyone isn't helping. Eventually, they decide they're going to need to confront Alpha, and sooner rather than later even if they don't have a plan. Though, the idea is kind of brought to a head by Gadget just walking out the door in costume and starting to scream for Omega to come out while throwing knock out gas grenades in the area around him.

Alpha responds, he doesn't know who Omega is and asks Gadget to stop attacking people. he grabs Gadget and tells him he's going to have to bring him in. The other PCs arrive at that time, Dioxin grabbing Alpha's attention with a round of his sticky gel. Alpha ties gadget up in a street lamp and goes to confront the other PCs. He gets mad at them, not for attacking him but because using weapons in a public area could hurt children. Heimdel figures out that the man seems truly concerned, and doesn't know what they're talking about when they say he is Omega. Another victim of being brainwashed?

Heimdel tells Alpha what is going on, asks for a meeting with the president since he now thinks it is a kabal of normal people using the supers to keep control. Alpha says he'll try, and Heimdel convinces him to take the M.A.D. blocking contact lenses just in case.

The group goes back to the room they secured for themselves. When the 7:30 address comes on from the President they notice someone in the background. Diane, Tully's girlfriend, is there in the place of an assistant. Which is where the session ended.

The Story of the War
As promised really quick. The war that led to the domes started like this. The people in charge of various governments became envious, jealous, and fearful of all the supers. There were people with more power in their bodies than the nuclear arsenal of the countries. So they tried to take action to protect themselves, protect their countries sovereignty for when the supers went rogue. Their actions quickly made it a self-fulfilling prophecy as their attempts at leashing some supers quickly erupted into a war.

As the war waged on, humanity was losing. Some of the people in charge on the Supers side were starting to proposition things such as mind altering, brain washing, and memory wipes to make people more placid. this way they could protect the people even from themselves. talk like this reminded others why they had become heroes in the first place, and they switched sides. The war was now Humanity + Supers versus the rest of the supers. The world was just not strong enough to survive conflict on this scale.

The planet's failing conditions prompted people to act. Humanity won the war, and they and the supers on their side worked to build the domes. 200+ of them (PCs thought there were only 12) to keep the surviving 1 billion people (as opposed to the reported 100 million) alive until the planet could recover. Jack didn't go in, he wanted to stay with his friends - even if they were all dead - and didn't like the people in charge. Didn't trust them, which turns out he was right to do.

I think the session went well. The group is struggling without Tully on some decision making but it is working out well. Today was more story than session, but it is gearing up to a pretty big conflict. I like that my handing out of plot points is pretty much done. They know the scale and the stakes, the PCs need to decide how to act now. Or if they'll just go with what is going on. I can't wait to find out, PCs usually surprise me at least a little in the final sessions.

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