Welcome back folks to another recap! It’s been a couple of crazy weeks for me, but last night, February 27th 2016, I hosted and ran the second session of supers in alternate-history London. Are players and characters again are Dennis K. as Dr. Tobias Hutton Mulville III/Steam Hammer, Ian W. as Brendon O’Grady/Psyphon, and Thomas E. as Warren Harper/The Beacon.
Here’s what happened.
Breaking the Routine
Our story picked up with life having settled back into comfortable routines for our heroes. Young Brendon continued his rise from simple accountant to chief financial officer of Mulville Industries in all but name, all the while trying to dodge the attentions of common people looking for heroes. Dr. Tobias Hutton Mulville III returned to tinkering in his shop, though he added brazenly patrolling London’s center as Steam Hammer in what he designated as “field tests”. Meanwhile, Warren Harper – The Beacon of Hope – has taken to patrolling the night skies and avoiding his partner on the police force.
On one of these nights, Steam Hammer is marching down one of the main lanes in the City of London. He catches a glimpse of a gleaming beacon of light flying to and alighting atop of Big Ben (still under repair from the war). Warren Harper, wrapped in his Beacon regalia, casts his long gaze across the heart of the city from his perch atop Big Ben when he sees a plume of steam heralding the march of a metal man. The Beacon of Hope decides this would be the moment to discuss his proposal with the rogue futurist.
Flying in a flash towards him, Beacon greets Dr. Mulville. The two haven’t spoken to each other since the incident at the bank the week before. After an exchange of pleasantries, Beacon reveals to Steam Hammer that he was given his power ring by an extra terrestrial and that the vessel this being arrived in might still be in the watery depths of the English Channel. The potential to harvest alien technology immediately grabbed Tobias, and the two agreed to meet the next day in order to finalize plans for an expedition.
Mulville left for his workshop to begin modifications. Harper left, intending in the morning to reach out to Brendon O’Grady to assist him in gather additional intel.
Out of Character:
This was an excellent, role play heavy introduction to the session that set-up the rest of the session. Prior to the session, Thomas E. (Warren Harper/The Beacon’s player) approached me about instigating a search for the downed craft. I liked the idea a lot, and I started the session as open-ended as possible to allow the players to take actions. Thomas was quick to pick up the torch and run with it, drawing the other players in for the ride.
Planning the Expedition
While Brendon and Warren slept, Tobias Mulville was hard at work at his workshop. After meeting with Harper, he toiled through the night and into the morning of the next day preparing for what could be the adventure of his lifetime. First came the the modifications to the suit so that it could endure the pressures beneath the English Channel. Then came the creation of a modified radar device – the Alien Ship Detector or A.S.D. – to find the location of the alien craft in a timely fashion. All this hard work bore fruit, and would soon prove its worth in the task ahead.
Out of Character:
The first real rolls of the session occurred in Mulville’s workship. Dennis K., Steam Hammer’s player, wanted these modifications to be true and to have a mechanical effect later. This describes Aspects perfectly, and thus he rolled two Create Advantage actions with the Craft skill to represent them. Crafts is Tobias apex skill, so it was no surprise when he rolled a Legendary (+8) and a Legendary +2 (+10) to create advantage.
Dennis’ rolls were truly exceptional. Besides getting two free invokes on both items, I used the guidance on “Dealing with Extraordinary Success” on Fate Core pg. 193 to guide me. His actions both took less time than it could have and allowed him to create new plans for future suits (both narrative rewards for a job well done).
Meanwhile, as the day wore on, Brendon decided to take a break over tea at the cafe on the ground floor of Mulville Industries. As he was sipping his tea, Warren Harper appears to discuss his participation in the expedition. Brendon was keen, having been swayed by the argument that the technology harvested from the wreck could aid the British Empire in finally destroying the Third Reich. They both agreed to attempt to research any reports on the exact positioning of the crashed alien ship and departed to return to their respective places of employment to pursue leads.
On the way back to his desk, Brendon is practically ambushed by an attractive and spunky reporter from The Times by the name of Monica Marsters. Monica was very interested in Brendon and Mulville Industries, specifically that they were building dangerous weapons of mass destruction. Brendon was surprised by these rumors, but more flustered than anything by this pushy woman. She pursued him into an elevator where, after passing of her card, she vanished behind the closing doors. He returned to his desk to contemplate matters further.
Not far, at the local police station, Warren slips into a phone booth to call the only person he can think of that might be able to give him a lead: his partner, Ricky Allen. Ricky was happy to hear from his rookie partner, needling him like always. Sadly, Ricky didn’t have much to add regarding Harper’s quest, though he did suggest checking the Military Police Intelligence Annex in bottom floor of the station. Ricky’s wife called to him, and Warren thanked his partner for the information as the man ran to check on meatloaf.
Preparations, Launch, and Destination
Both Brendon and Warren’s attempts to find more information ended fruitlessly. Warren was turned away at the annex by a bored military clerk and a locked fence door. Brendon, too distracted, decided to chase after Monica Marsters – she was, after all, an attractive woman interested in the young introvert. Still, meeting with her a second time in as many hours seemed to lay the foundation for a future relationship of information-sharing that could prove useful.
By the evening, the three men convened at Mulville’s workshop. Here they discussed what they would need to make the journey. It seemed that this could present a problem, despite Tobias’ recently having his position at his company shored up by the mysterious Mr. Coleman and Mr. Cypher, had a cash flow issue. Thanks to Brendon’s financial wizardry however, they were able to secure the funding required to purchase gear and transportation for the expedition.They broke for the evening, agreeing to meet up the next morning to depart and to tell no one else of their journey (especially Mr. Coleman and Mr. Cypher).
Out of Character:
This was an interesting moment for the session mechanically and in the narrative, as there were a few ways to move past this obstacle. Dennis attempted a Resources Overcome action but came up short. He could have spent a Fate point and invoked his High Concept to get past this failure. However, the resolution came from Ian using Brendon’s high Lore skill to establish that he had already managed the funds. We not only saw Brendon shine here, but we also saw how Dr. Mulville is increasingly coming to rely on the young man for his business acumen.
The next morning, riding in luxury at the head of a small caravan, the heroes made their way to Portsmouth. There they boarded a small vessel and, once all of their equipment had been loaded, departed. Adventure and alien technology awaited, and they’d get more than they bargained for of both once they arrived at their destination.
Battle Off the Coast of Normandy, pt. 1
Many hours later in the English Channel, the A.S.D. detected the location of the alien vessel. The boat steamed towards the location, with Brendon manning the Alien Ship Detector while Warren kept watch for Nazi activity (as they were getting closer and closer to occupied France) and Tobias manned his armor.
Out of Character:
Here is where Dennis’ big rolls from earlier first came into play. Passing the invokes to Ian, the group smashed the Fantastic (+6) opposition to find the location of the alien craft. There was also a Stealth roll attempt to allow the sailing vessel they were on to pass quietly, which failed.
Arriving, Tobias had words with the pilot regarding their position so close to Nazi territory. This had the additional effect of riling up Brendon, who lost control and slipped into Cypher. As images of dead Nazi’s danced in his head, an ominous new dot that matched the signature of the downed craft appeared on the A.S.D. and went unnoticed by Psyphon.
Out of Character:
Continuing the character-driven theme of the session, Dennis offered Ian a compel on his High Concept, which Ian accepted. This meant that Dennis handed over one of his own Fate point and gave it to Ian. The terms of the compel required Psyphon to emerge and, for added sass, roll a Notice check as Mediocre (+0).
Warren, however, was on point and detected a strange atmospheric distortion approaching them at speed. After instructing the pilot to hold fast, The Beacon prepared to intercept the object when it appeared: it was an alien space craft! He flew up to it and, from within, emerged a hulking alien figure garbed nearly identically to Harper. After introducing himself as Zan Be-Dal, The Beacon of Justice, he immediately launched an attack against The Beacon of Hope.
The two traded blows in the air, construct to construct. Steam Hammer rushed to help, but being unable to fly had to launch himself bodily at the alien. Crashing into The Beacon of Justice, the two wrestled in mid-air. Psyphon, not thinking anything of the consequences, stuck with his power which sent the alien Beacon and Steam Hammer both tumbling into the water.
Beneath the waves, The Beacon of Justice and Steam Hammer continued to tangle until a torpedo exploded in their faces. This sent the alien deeper into the water. Steam Hammer took the opportunity to dive for the pod, discovering it on a shelf on the Channel.
A second torpedo slammed into the side of their boat. As it began to sink, Psyphon and the pilot hopped into the sole lifeboat. Warren Harper attempted to save the A.S.D., but lost it to the waves. Hovering above the waves, The Beacon of Hope saw the bow of German U-Boat and above it, a German ubermensch surveying the wreckage.
This is where the session closed. Tune in for the next session to find out how the heroes will get out of their precarious situation!