Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Replacement JLA: Late for a very important date

My friend Tim asked why I had stopped writing our campaign log. I stopped writing it because we had stopped having games. Not because we weren’t interested, but because it’s hard to coordinate the same night off between five adults who have families and jobs.

We finally had our fifth session on Saturday after a long hiatus. It was pretty great. Dave had to miss this session, but the rest of us were there. You can read more detailed write-ups of the characters in the earlier entries, but here's a quick summary.
  • I was Dawnfire, a formerly terminally ill teenage girl cured and given Superman’s powers through an experimental procedure.
  • Frederick was Rächen Bloodson, half-demon offspring of Etrigan and Morgan Le Fey.
  • His stepson Danny played Plastic Man.
  • And Casey was Blink, the sidekick.
We opened with a communique from the JLA Watchtower, telling us that the weekly meeting was beginning soon and we should wrap up what we doing and beam up so we could participate. What we were doing was busting up a drug manufacturing operation. We occasionally open in media res like this, and I’ve sometimes wondered how we track down these operations, because we have fuck all investigation skills between us, and we act like a bunch of muppets whenever we need to do anything more complicated than tying our shoes. Presumably “Batman” feeds us the answers and we do the fieldwork.

We totally outmatched the bad guys and Eric said this was pretty much an opportunity to show off and be awesome. I said “Winners don’t do drugs,” Plastic Man turned into a giant Robin Williams a vacuum cleaner and sucked up all the cocaine, and we kicked all kinds of ass. That’s what we did, until we were interrupted by a massive EM Pulse that wiped out non-hardened electronics for miles around. Eric is a really good GM, and it’s in no small part due to the small details he includes. My character’s regeneration is solar-powered and only works in sunlight and he said that the pulse was so bright that for a half-second my regeneration worked.

I flew up in the sky to see if I could determine the center of the blackout and it was dark as far as even my super vision could see.

We performed disaster relief, and though we couldn’t reach the Watchtower, initially I wasn’t too worried, because I just assumed that the EMP had disrupted communication. We still had Rächen’s mental network coordinating us. (I imagined his voice in the network sounding like Casey Kasem’s “This is KDMN and there’s something strange going on in the skies over Metropolis.”.)

Blink was unable to teleport up to the satellite when it would have come around to our location, and it soon became clear that they weren’t just out of touch. Either they were cloaked, or they were gone.

We received a cryptic message from a group calling itself the “Percentage Five T”. “Metahumans will be purged, normals will be preserved. We are already here.”

We decided to go to the Pentagon and walk in like we owned the place. That was received about like you’d expect. (It’s was Blink’s plan and I don’t know why we listened to the sidekick.) Rick Flag met us in a room full of power nullifiers.

Flag: “The Pentagon is on high alert.”

Blink: “Why?”

Flag: (acidly) “Oh, I don’t know.”

We eventually make It clear that we’re here to help, and they put us up in a hotel for the night and help us locate the source of the disturbance.

Blink and I do some disaster relief. His mom was on the satellite and he’s trying to tire himself out so he can sleep. As morning comes around, I get zapped by eyebeams from a bystander.

When I originally designed Dawnfire, I envisioned her as a grappler. She has a very high strength for her PL, and an array of advantages to allow her to be very good up close. I particularly like “Fast Grab” which allows me to start a grapple if I succeed in an unarmed attack. I’m pretty sure I never used it up until now. I wasn't particularly sandbagging her grappling prowess, but I never had the opportunity to use it. Either the people I hit went down with one punch, in which case Fast Grab was irrelevant, or they were clearly much stronger than I was, in which case starting a grapple would have been suicidal. I was starting to think that I wasted the points building her like I did when this fight happened. I kicked the shit out of her. The fight would have been over in the first round had Eric not used GM Fiat and given me a Hero point to draw it out. (The same thing happened in the second round too. Dawnfire is hell in the clinch.) Frederick commented that the art- robbing pervert from the first session gave us a harder time.

The camera crews are filming us, and the woman, who turns out to be Supergirl says that “You’ve disgraced his legacy.” She’s talking about Superman, who served as the template to give Dawnfire her powers. I say, “I’m not trying to take anyone’s place, I’m just trying to fill in until he comes back”, and Blink teleports the group of us to someplace more private.

Supergirl: Perky boobs, but a glass jaw

Supergirl doesn’t want to talk, though, and flies off. We actually handled that very well. Dawnfire was trying to talk her down the whole fight, and we avoid the kind of egregious blunders that were becoming our trademark. We looked pretty good. We quickly confer and then teleport into a TV station, where we hold an impromptu press conference. Plastic Man has his mouth literally zipped shut. We briefly say that we regret the misunderstanding, we’re on the same side as Supergirl and we welcome the opportunity to clear the air.

Reporter (to Ray): Is that a mask?

Ray: *Silence*

Me: (Waving) Hi Dad! I’m on TV!

Reporter: Who’s your father?

Me: Um, he’s Canadian. You’ve probably never heard of him.

Reporter: Are you Canadian?

Blink: *Teleports everyone out of the studio*

The Pentagon has located the source of the disturbance, and they fly us out to Europe to deal with it. We scout out the giant spaceship, then Blink teleports us inside and we smack the shit out of the purple aliens. Eric pulled a switcheroo, with the two characters he described in detail being minions and the other five being guys close to our PL. It reminded me of something one of the factions in the Feng Shui/Shadowfist RPG did. They dressed up the most expendable mook in each squad in the most ostentatious insignia, making him the target and drawing fire away from the real field commanders. It worked, and we wasted our surprise round against two guys that would have gone down to Blink’s area attacks.

One of the badguys tries to fry my brain with a perception-ranged mental blast, and it would have been successful, because my Will save is garbage, but I was sitting on a pile of Hero Points from the fight with Supergirl and I just rerolled if I thought I was going to fail. Between the lot of us, we make short work of the aliens. They teleport away and their ship goes up.

It was a pretty eventful session. All the evidence suggests that the satellite has really been destroyed with all hands lost. At the very least, we’ve at least temporarily lost the resources we’d come to depend on. (We were talking advancement and Casey mentioned that the group didn’t really have anyone with any kind of interaction skills, and that he was thinking of putting some points into that area and I almost said, “Meh, just let the NPCs do it.”)

Eric mentioned later on that he had this planned from the beginning, and it’s pretty cool the way he pulled the rug out from beneath us. I kind of like this, because we’ve got the opportunity to move from a reactive to a proactive format. We’ve got no allies, a lot of enemies; we’re trying to find the missing Justice League and hold the world together in the process. It’s going to be the best campaign…EVER!


  1. I'm surprised Plastic Man didn't OD...

  2. I know. We were all disappointed. He's got an immunity to effects that require a Fortitude save, though. Somebody did comment that a coked out Plastic Man is a good character for a ten-year-old to role-play, though.