Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Tie In Session

dice, fairly common at the table
Considering I left the players in the Void last session, I should have expected this session to go in a completely unexpected way. The Starter Kit that I’ve got is composed of six issues so in order to fit it all into the time allocated for this rotation, I calculated I had to spread each issue over three evenings each. I don’t know what happened in the players’ collective consciousness that even though they were only at the start of the Yellow Zone, they had a massive change of focus in their tactics.

The dark reflections continued their assault. Legacy was punched in the face by his own doubts made manifest while Dark Wraith threw daggers dipped in poison at Unity’s exposed flesh. Even so weakened, she managed to zap the crystal with a discharge of electricity. Both Unity and the Entity they were fighting had a few modifiers on them so figuring out the dice ranges and probabilities of success on both their rolls was an interesting exercise. The crystal shattered to reveal a sliver of energy. Unity took out the device she created and used it to contain the thing.

I like how the system requires you
to come up with appropriate names for your modifiers
When the heroes turned around, they saw their dark reflections dissipating into nothingness. Wraith tried to talk to Visionary telepathically while Absolute Zero gathered some of the crystal shards that remained in their vicinity. They quickly realised they were stranded in this odd realm. As they considered their options, Absolute Zero tried to row his way back to whence they came from, only to repeatedly pass his fellow superheroes. Each time, their appearance changed reflecting different points in time. Old and new versions of themselves intermixed. When Absolute Zero told a baby Tyler Vance, holding Bunker in his hand, that he won’t be changing him, he had the brilliant idea to row to the point in time where they entered this realm. This helped the Freedom Five navigate their way to where Visionary could open the portal back to their dimension.

This experience was insanely disorienting. Enough that Bunker came through the portal dancing. Visionary moved the surrounding furniture away from him with her mind and asked him to leave the house. During the much coveted roleplaying, Visionary thanked the superheroes in neutralising the threat. She did not sense a mind within the containment device and turned down their suggestion to take it. She went on to say that after releasing the citizens of Ravenwood from their psychically induced slumber, it would be more prudent for her to join Argent Adept while the Freedom Five can keep an eye out on what remains of the entity. Before they parted ways, she mentioned that her connection to the Void revealed other places and heroes in need of assistance.

Formely evil, formely!
She sensed Tempest’s isolation deep within Insula Primalis, an area in the Arctic Circle where prehistoric creatures roam. It used to be home of Citizen Dawn and her Citizens of the Sun. She felt Fanatic’s rage deep in Siberia and some unknown yet familiar power in Las Vegas. Before they made their decision which place to visit next, the Freedom Five decided to look into this entity more. They headed off to a Revo Corp research facility which, contrary to popular belief, was not Tachyon’s old lab. Legacy had some reservations about using a site owned by a formerly evil corporation but Unity pointed out that Freedom Five Tower has been utterly obliterated by OblivAeon. She went on to do some tests while Absolute Zero discovered his love for Latin American soap operas.

Unity’s player roll to garner more information about the entity resulted in a Success… with a Minor Twist. This time I asked the player to provide this twist and we agreed that some of the energy leaked out during the experiment, short-circuiting some machinery and tickling Absolute Zero. The readings she got didn’t match any known energy source as expected but there was a sense of predictability in the way the sliver behaved. The superheroes considered that the thing was enveloped by a crystal which is associated more with stability than chaos. Before moving on to their next adventure, Unity fashioned a better containment device and let Bunker keep it in his armoured suit.

My prediction was that we would have ended the session here. I wanted to keep starting a new issue with a new session but a decision I have made earlier prevented me from doing so. The players expected to have to deal with their dark reflections after the crystal was destroyed but I had a feeling we have had enough fun coming up with bizarre ways in which they behaved. I didn’t want the rest of the scene to be purely dice rolling so I ended it there. I was very lenient with roleplaying after that point, giving players free reign over what they wanted to do in the scenes that followed. Even so, we had one more hour to go in the evening so I asked which place they wanted to deal with first.

a portent of things to come?
We open the first pages of Justice Comics #740 to find the Freedom Five (Unity is still with them!) flying over Siberia. The Wraith had the brilliant idea to mount a cloaking device to the Freedom Jet which would prevent the Russian government from knowing they were ever there. I had no idea which issue they would have picked so the next half of the session involved me looking things up extensively. Normally I get this done before I sit down to run a game, I assure you!

Suddenly, their on-board equipment read high levels of radioactivity with an epicentre 100 miles away from the city of Yakutsk. Visionary wasn’t overly specific on Fanatic’s whereabouts but checking this place out seemed like a safe bet. If anything, they might prevent a nuclear explosion.

Deep within the woods they found an abandoned facility that looked similar in design to a nuclear power plant without any silos. It has clearly been out of use for decades judging from the state of disrepair so they opted not to land the Freedom Jet on the main building’s helipad. Instead, they landed in the parking lot where they found a GAZ truck parked in the corner surrounded by four canisters filled with some liquid. This has sparked an interesting conversation on the temperature petrol freezes at and whether comic book writers care much about physics.

Eventually, the superheroes decided to enter the building. Absolute Zero walked up to the door and since his player was conveniently situated next to me, I showed him what he sees without anyone knowing. He hurriedly closed the main doors, froze them solid and started walking back muttering “no” under his breath several times.

I ended the session there, leaving the players with a cliff-hanger and enjoyed immensely the pleas to know what lay behind those doors.

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