Monday, August 15, 2011

The Replacement JLA: Session Two - Three Men and a Little Lady

We had the second session of our DC super heroes campaign on Saturday. (Click here for a recap of the first.)  I was playing Katy "Dawnfire" Kant, a young girl whose experimental therapy took her from an invalid to a mini-Superman, Casey had Blink, our teleporter, and Frederick played Bloodson, the half-demonic son of Etrigan and Morgan La Fey. Dave couldn't make it. Last session he played a character modeled after the Greatest American Hero, (a normal guy given powers by his alien super-suit), but he wasn't entirely satisfied with him, so I made him up a Jedi if he wanted to go with that. The question was rendered irrelevant by his absence, however.

We opened with a little scene focusing on my character. She's still a minor and her legal status is kind of unclear. I thought of her as the ward of Cadmus Labs, the company whose treatment provided her therapy and powers, and one of the NPCs called her an employee. Either way, she has a legal and emotional obligation to the people there. She told her dad that she wanted to go live on the JLA's satellite and fight crime with Batman.

Eric, our GM, handled this in a very novel fashion. Casey played Amanda Waller and Frederick played my dad. Dave was going to be the general at the meeting, but since he wasn't there, Eric played that role, but mostly hung out in the background and let us go at it. (Eric later said that he had something set up for Dave's character, but since  Dave didn't make it, there wasn't any point in playing that out.)

We went back and forth. I was all like "Did you see me on the news?! It was awesome!" and "Daddy, please!" and "It'll be great PR for the lab," to which the general responded, "Have you met our PR man?" "Um, no?" "That's because we don't have one!" Eventually, they relented, and I got permission to go, with the understanding that I should keep an eye on all the superpeople on the satellite.

Also, I got my first bit of fan mail from Bob, the guy we arrested last session. Since he was in prison and kind of a pervert, it was heavily redacted, and the only thing not blacked out was "You look pretty," at the very bottom.

We then flashed forward to orientation with the rest of the JLA, which is mostly composed of characters somewhat below our power level, the Huntress, John Constantine, the new Blue Beetle, Fire, Ice, that kind of hero.

Timothy Hunter was there too, and Katy was thrilled not to be the youngest. He's got a little crush on her. She treats him like a little brother and keeps calling him "Tommy" by mistake.

Somehow the running joke developed that Blink kept teleporting into Huntress's shower. Casey decided that Blink's goal was to hook up with Huntress. I decided that Katy's goal was to be his partner in this, but since she's had so little regular interaction with adults, her plans are like "Compliment her shoes!" or passing a note that reads, "Check one. Do you like Blink? Yes _ No _."

Bloodson set off the sprinklers in his room and he and Blink were antagonizing Batman all night. Batman had disappeared with the rest of the Justice League, and Plastic Man had let it slip last adventure that this wasn't the Batman he knew. (Everybody figured him for Nightwing, and that wound up being correct.) In light of this, every time they talked to him, they made finger quotes when they said "Batman." Somebody suggested he should put the quotes on the Bat on his uniform. Then there were some jokes about shining to "Finger Quote Signal" to summon him, which led way to jokes about the "Blink Signal" which is just a strobe light. (It summons him, but causes seizures in dozens on Japanese schoolchildren.)

I went to my room, where I looked myself up online. "Hey, there are pictures of me on the Internet...but I don't remember doing that with Brainiac. Ewww..."

I also received a package from Superman, a holographic recording saying that he knew who I was and how I got my powers, and that he feels that I'm his responsibility, and that I could reach him by calling "Kal-El." Batman stepped out of the shadows and we spoke briefly. Katy got her powers through the overlay of a Kryptonian energy matrix on her human body, but she probably only knows the very basics, and perhaps not even that. I told "Batman" that I wasn't trying to replace Superman, but just to live up to his legacy and fill in until he can return, kind of like Steel did after Superman was killed by Doomsday.

After abundant silliness, we proceeded to the second part of the adventure. We were monitoring the UN Adddress, where the United Nations was deciding whether to recognize us or not, when we saw that a bunch of supervillains choose that moment to attack. I think it was the H.I.V.E. but I'm not sure. It was one of those evil paramilitary groups that plague comic book worlds, like Cobra or Hydra. We split off into teams, and Dawnfire, Bloodson, and Blink found themselves up against three giant tripod walkers and 20 guys with jetpacks and rayguns.

It was a really fun fight.  I drew a lot of attention from the mooks early on, and it seems impervious toughness isn't worth dick. I either need to buy up her toughness next level or invest in some kind of area attacks, because five guys with laser rifles were hitting me way too hard. Katy took a terrible beating and I rolled very badly on her defensive rolls, but I had designed her to bounce back from that kind of stuff and in that respect she performed admirably. I tried to stick up for the squishier guys by using my interpose power, which lets me take a hit in their place. I did so for Blink when he was on the ground, dropping down in front of him just as he was about to get blasted. I rolled a 3, which was three degrees of failure on the toughness check. The only consolation is that if Blink had taken the hit, he would have been laid out. I got the guy on the next round though, hitting him with a superspeed blow that in my mind looked like this:

Bloodson was blasting and entangling the walkers, but do to some bad rolls, he wasn't as effective as he would have liked. We're going to play with the points he got this session to see how we can tweak his build to minimize the impact of luck. Blink was pretty effective against the walkers as well as the minions, though since we now know how the area effect rules work, he's not the whirlwind of destruction he'd been against them last session.

As we were wrapping up, Blink teleported into the UN, asked "So, are you going to recognize us now?" and then bamfed out again. Cut to, us watching the CNN special report, where Wolf Blitzer was speculating on the identity of the masked teleporter. Footage seemed to show that he was one of the heroes defending the UN, but others thought the terrorist group was demanding recognition. Blink then blinked down to the studio, where he identified himself as a member of the Justice League and then blinked back. "Batman" was observed pulling some Prozac from his utility belt.

I really enjoyed the session. We have a better grip on our characters and on the rules, we've got a couple plot hooks simmering nicely and I'm really looking forward to the next one.

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