Explosive 1st Issue

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Karadur
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Explosive 1st Issue

Postby Karadur » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:21 am

My family (2 9 year olds and my wife) will be running playing M&M for the first time soon and it's my first time running it in about 8 years. In the meantime we've all played a variety of tabletop games and rpgs so they are not 'inexperienced' but still it's not the same as 4e DnD obviously.
The characters are:
A shapeshifter with the ability to take on the forms of mythical creatures.
An energy blaster who uses fire and ice.
A stealthy teleporter.

We've collectively come up with a custom setting that takes place in the year 2112 and in the city of Washington CE a new US capital located in the geographic center of the country (DC was destroyed in 2020). True super powers were not acknowledged to exist until 2097.
The players don't know it but they'll really be playing in a modified version of Freedom City.

Our starting adventure plan was to take the place of an existing super team (Freedom League). The previous team is going global with their defense efforts so a new local team must be chosen to take their place in Washington CE.

I like random plot elements and I rolled a 42 on the one hundred adventure ideas:
"The heroes are trapped in their own headquarters, which is counting down to self-destruction."

So that's where I'm at thus far. Here is a to do list that I welcome any of you other thinktankers to help out with suggestions on:
How are they trapped?
Why is the base self destructing?
Who is behind this attack or is it some sort of accident/mistake?
Is anyone jealous of the PCs for taking over the Freedom League? Do they have any plans to hinder the PCs?

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Doctor Devious
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Re: Explosive 1st Issue

Postby Doctor Devious » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:40 pm

A simple idea (like "Get Out!") can indeed be the best place to start: twist-and-turn plots can be left for later once everyone (players and GM) knows what their characters can do (and what the system can).

Your example will be slightly tricky however in that:
i) it isn't easy to stop almost any super-powered characters from moving about
ii) particularly if one can teleport
iii) and another has "shapeshift" - which is a form of "variable" - which can end up doing just about anything

You want your teleporting character to be able to teleport (it's what they do) - just not get out. So what could limit them in such a manner? One can always have a "plot-ion" field (a la star trek, when the transporters never work when the story would be over if they did): some form of external force-field or radiation surrounding the building for example (assuming their HQ is a building?) A trans-dimensional rift would be another "classic" example: perhaps the result of a previous super-event; an experiment gone wrong; an "attack" (or test) by an external super-being and so on. An alternative to physical entrapment is a moral one: perhaps they can't leave because of what would happen if they did? A threat to stay put from the big-bad and a bunch of drones flying about keeping "eyes" on them? Perhaps they all need to stay to do something (deactivate yet another madcap experiment that may cause an explosion and damage to the city).

The shapeshifter could add even more headaches, as there is very little once can do to stop a full-on shapeshifter. I note you've started a discussion in another thread on that one, but to reiterate a little, I agree with Fuzzy that you will likely be better off using Alternate Form(s) rather than shapeshift - it only costs one power point to get each alternate form and, once you think it through, you'll likely find there aren't all many you intend to use regularly. Using the alternate form approach means everyone knows what the forms can do straight away; the biggest snag with shapeshift is not the variability itself, but how much it slows the game down when making up a new form in play. Note that I said "you intend to use regularly": you can always power-stunt an entirely new form in play if the need ever arises (using extra effort or a hero point) which is a more power-point effective way of building the character too (not spending build points on things you don't often use). You can even stat-out some alternative "stunt" forms (even though you haven't "paid" for them at build-time) and thus have them to hand immediately should one of the expected-rare cases come-up in the game.

Hope everyone has fun!

Karadur
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Re: Explosive 1st Issue

Postby Karadur » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:59 pm

Very helpful thoughts Doc, thank you. As stated elsewhere I haven't yet decided how the shapeshift is going to work. As for the base I'm thinking it's the Freedom Tower that they would be moving into. When this is destroyed (assuming it is) the players can then build their own base of operations. I like the idea of a forcefield covering the building, preventing any body from leaving it until it's deactivated. . .

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SeasideGM
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Re: Explosive 1st Issue

Postby SeasideGM » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:07 pm

Another idea is that while the heroes CAN leave, they wont want to. For example, what if there is a serie of bombs set to trigger all over the city, but the deactivator is hidden in the headquarters? Sure they could scour the city to find the bombs, but its better to find the trigger and take it out

As a twist, maybe its a former Freedom Leaguer who set them up? Maybe he/she wants the team to fail, or is mad about the change in the direction of the league. The heroes dissent could be an ongoing mystery from session to session until the big reveal, and then all hell breaks loose

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Re: Explosive 1st Issue

Postby Karadur » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:10 pm

More great suggestions. Mixing seasides ideas with doc's might be very interesting.

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Re: Explosive 1st Issue

Postby hypervirtue » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:09 pm

How are they trapped?
Why is the base self destructing?
Who is behind this attack or is it some sort of accident/mistake?
Is anyone jealous of the PCs for taking over the Freedom League? Do they have any plans to hinder the PCs?

Ooooh... I like this...

Ahem:

How are they trapped:

The base's central computer has been infected by a virus (if it has an AI) or an AI has seized control over it. The AI has access to all of the hero's abilities and has come up with countermeasures to challenge each one of them. It has sealed all of the doors, and has created a "dungeon" for the characters to run through. At the center of the dungeon is the computer's core.

The heroes will have to disable to core to regain control of the base. To stop the teleporter from simply teleporting out of the base the AI has given the heroes an ultimatum. If any of the heroes leaves the base, the AI will e-mail their real identities to every criminal and media outlet in the computer's database.

The AI is very sporting, however, and it will allow each hero to enter a gauntlet to try to reach it. Of course each gauntlet is designed to work against the hero's powers. If the heroes refuse to play along the AI will also e-mail their real identities to every criminal and media outlet in the computer's database.

Each "Gauntlet" is 2 rooms designed to challenge each hero.

Shapeshifter:

Room 1: A logic puzzle - The computer will give three riddles. These riddles will tell the Shapeshifter to become a specific animal.

Riddle 1:
"On leathery wings I fly, soaring over mountains and through the sky, my talons grasp, my claws rend steel, a poison sting my enemies feel. What am I?"

The player will have to deduce that the AI is referring to a Wyvern.

Riddle 2:
"With feathery wings, and lion's paws, the symbol of kings, and tyrant's flaws. What am I?"

The player will have to deduce that the AI is referring to a Griffon.

Riddle 3:
"Wise beyond peer, tricky and fierce, my riddles bring fear, and my talons pierce. What am I?"

Of course this is a Sphinx.

-----

The next room the Shapeshifter is presented with a predator. Along with that predator are three options the computer displays on a monitor. The PC will have to choose one of those three options to turn into and fight the predator.

*****

The teleporter gets a taste of Metal Gear Solid. The first room they encounter has two guard-bots in it. One of the guard bots has a key around it's neck. For the guard bots think Daleks from Dr. Who. The bots move around the room in a pattern and the PC must sneak up on a guard bot and steal the key from it in order to open the door and proceed to the next room.

In the next room it is a flat room with red, blue, yellow, and green squares. The computer taunts the player by telling them that the floor panels are booby trapped and the only way to unlock the door and proceed is to follow a pattern. The computer then recites the following pattern:

"Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, Blue, Red, Blue, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Red."

The player will have to remember the pattern and teleport in the proper pattern. Each time they make a mistake they get shocked by the panel they landed on. (DC 23 damage save vs electricity.)

*****

The Fire/Ice Blaster:

The player is faced with a large robot. This is a standard fight, with a twist. The robot's color is either white, or red. Each round the robot may, or may not, change color. While it is red it is immune to fire. While it is white it is immune to ice.

The player will have to figure this out and defeat the robot to pass onto the next room.

-----

The next room is a doozy. It is the swimming pool of the base only much more lethal. At the bottom of the swimming pool is the key needed to open the door to the exit. However in the water are deadly Piranhatron robots. The player will have to retrieve the key, but there is a problem. Using fire underwater isn't terribly effective and using ice under water has the nasty side effect of causing all the water in the area of the blast to freeze solid.

The player will have to retrieve the key without actually fighting the Piranha if they want to advance.

*****

Finally the party is reunited for the final boss encounter. The AI has created for itself a robot body and is prepared to fight the party to the death.

Once the players defeat it though they get a surprise... This was all a test by the Freedom League to see if the players were truly ready to take on the mantle. Any heroes who were "defeated" in the gauntlet are returned to the team, revealing now that they were only knocked out and not actually killed.

If the players succeed and defeat the robot they are deemed worthy to take up the mantle of the Freedom League. If the players fail, however, then they are rejected.

This means if they win, they get to keep Freedom Tower. If they fail, they get to make their own base, and don't get the benefit of being the new Freedom League and instead must find their own way.
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.


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