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Let Freedom Ring (Recess One-Shot)
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urbwar
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:15 am    Post subject: Let Freedom Ring (Recess One-Shot) Reply with quote

Saturday was Recess, a one day gaming event organized by NerdNYC. I was fortunate enough to run BASH for the event, using the Golden Age supers from my builds thread. I haven't run in about 2 years, so I was a little nervous going in.

I can honestly say I had a blast running this, though I know I made a few mistakes (and will likely check to see if some stuff is clarified on the forums before posting any questions)

I had 6 players, who chose the following characters:
American Ape, Wonder Man, Scarlet Siren, The Badge, Sky Marshal & The Wraith. I was still using their old team name (The Freedom Society of America), as that was the name in the game blurb.

Prologue: May, 1942. The FSA is asked by the president of the United States to help protect an experimental fighter being developed by Dr Zarkov for the Army Air Force. Intelligence reports state that Nazi super agents are coming to steal or sabotage the aircraft. Mr. Flexible & Velocity Jane, the characters not chosen, are sent to guard the plan.

(This was a red herring, so that the players would be surprised by the real reason the Nazi's were here)

Part 1: The Battle in the Smithsonian:

The heroes are at their base outside of Washington, DC, when they are called by the Police. Members of the Crime Guild (the FSA's villainous opposites) are robbing The Smithsonian. The heroes board The Wyatt Earp (Sky Marshal's Rocket Ship), and fly to the museum. When they arrive, Sky Marshal confers with the police, while American Ape, Wonder Man & The Badge scout the perimeter. Wraith & Siren go to the roof, observing through a skylight. They see the Ogre breaking stuff, while The Eye chastises him, and The Highwayman looks on.

The others storm through the front doors as Siren blasts Eye with her sonic scream (confusion). Wonder Man & American Ape attack Ogre, while Badge & Sky Marshal go after Eye. Highwayman retreats further into the museum, chased by Wraith (who is able to slow him down with a shot from his gas gun)

Ogre is able to go toe to toe with WM & AA, until AA puts him in a bear hug. Siren hits him with another scream (daze). Badge beats on Eye, who gets off a blast on him, but is then blasted by Sky Marshal. The two knock him out, then join in with WM to pummel the restrained Ogre, before he can break free and cause more damage. Sky Marshal goes to find Wraith, as there are possibly more villains in the museum besides Highwayman.

As Sky Marshal & Wraith go after Highwayman. another villain in a red & white costume wearing a jetpack appears out of a room, carrying an ornate wooden box, and flies off through a skylight. Wraith notices his costume has a swastika on it.

As this villain flies off, Highwayman decides to surrender. Sky Marshal goes after the jet pack wearing Nazi. The other heroes secure Ogre & The Eye, while Wraith & Siren question Highwayman, before turning him over to the Police. They learn the rocket pack Nazi is called "The Red Baron", and he was a recent recruit into the Guild. Wraith further learns that he stole a small statue of Pazuzu, an ancient demon/god of Mesopotamia.

The Wraith, Badge & AA decide to investigate some more, while the others board the Wyatt Earp, and attempt to catch up with Sky Marshal, who is slowly catching up to Red Baron as Part 1 ends...

(to be continued)
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Last edited by urbwar on Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey this is all sounding very cool! Could be module material!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BASHMAN wrote:
Hey this is all sounding very cool! Could be module material!


Thanks Chris! If it were, most of the villains would need revising, as I used art I found on various forums (other than for the main baddie). I've never really written an adventure out though; I took an idea, and ran it improv off the players actions. The whole plot was in my head!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interlude: Doctor Chaos stood over the man lying in bed. "The Fuhrer sends his condolences Hans. Even in the state you are currently in, you can still be of service to The Reich. Are you willing to do what must be done?" Hans looked up at Chaos with fevered eyes. "Yes. The cancer has spread too far, and I am dead anyway. At least my death will bring ruin upon America for daring to challenge our destiny!"

Chaos turned his head to the side and nodded. Two men approached the bed, and helped Hans sit up. They dressed him, then helped him to his feet, before taking him out of the room. "Fools!" Chaos muttered softly. They think his plan is for the benefit of The Reich, but the truth is much more sinister! Turning to exit the room, Chaos smiles, thinking of the terror he will soon unleash on this world....

(note: I didn't actually play this out in game, but they discovered this info through investigation)

Part 2: Battle by the Potomac!

Sky Marshal is gaining on Red Baron, as his Rocket Pack is faster. As they near a field off the Potomac river, another figure, garbed in red and black, takes to the skies, headed straight for Sky Marshal! Red Baron passes the figure, who continues on towards SM. Marshal arcs around him, and continues to chase Baron. The other man chases him, but is slower than even Red Baron, and falls behind.

Baron starts to descend, eventually landing near some old wooden building by the river. Another man in dark red and silver comes out of the building. As Sky Marshal also descends, Baron hands the newcomer the box, and he takes off at super speed! Realizing he is in trouble, SM (using the radio Professor Z made for each member of the team) calls the Wyatt Earp for backup. The crew informs him that help is on the way, and will be their soon. Marshal then takes a shot at Baron, but barely grazes him. Baron draws his Luger, and fires two shots at SM. One shot knocks the ray gun from his hand, and Marshal frantically looks for it, as the flying man is getting closer!

Interlude 2: realizing there is nothing more to be learned at the museum, the remaining heroes try and figure out how to join their team mates. American Ape finds a life size model of a flying contraption designed by Da Vinci. He takes it to the street, the others jump on, and he starts to peddle furiously, until they take off into the air!

(American Ape's player was more laid back than the rest of the group, but made some good contributions, like bear hugging foes so others could take then out, or using his only Hero Die to bring him, Badge and Wraith to join the others in short order. The use of Da Vinci's flying machine was classic! It may never have been built in our world, but in the world of our heroes, it existed)

Chapter 2 Continued:
Before the flying man can reach SM, The Wyatt Earp arrives, and Wonder Man leaps out at the flying man, punching him. The man punches WM in return, and they start to trade blows in the air. Siren directs the Earp's crew to fire their cannon at the villain, and it hits him, causing him and WM to plummet to the ground. WM Uses the villain as a shield, letting him take the brunt of the fall. Even so, the man is still conscious, and they continue to slug it out.

The Earp then fires upon Red Baron, wounding him, and causing him to drop his Luger. American Ape and the others arrive in Da Vinci's flying machine. The Badge leaps off it, plummeting towards Wonder Man and his foe. Barely missing WM, he lands Shield first on the villain, knocking him senseless.

(This was the first time the character used Attack Weak Point with his shield, pared with Swift Strike. He didn't succeed, but used a HP to use the hit roll as the damage roll, and as the bad guy was low on hits, was knocked out. We didn't bother with the second attack, as the guy was at over -30 hits!)

The Earp then takes off, trying to catch the speedster. Wraith fires his gas gun at Red Baron, and while he was retching. AA leaped over him (and above the gas), grabs him, and flings him into the wooden building, which collapses on Baron, taking him out of the fight.

Sky Marshal recovers his ray gun, then directs the crew of the Earp (after they return, having failed to catch the speedster) to secure the flying man with Unobatnium shackles. Once he and Baron are secured, the heroes head back to DC. Slightly battered, they wonder why this box is so important to the Nazis....

(to be continued)
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urbwar
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interlude 3: Doctor Chaos bristled with impatience. Hans was being prepared by the Acolytes, while others prepared the altar. He took his Chaos Blade from it's sheath, and stared at it. "Soon my friend. Very soon you shall taste blood. And when you do, she will once again walk this world!"

A gust of wind caught Chaos' attention. As he looked up, Der Zyklon stopped short in front of him. In his hands was the box! Chaos smiled as he took the box from the speedster. "Were you followed?" he asked. Zyklon shook his head no, and Chaos smiled again. "Good. Let's hope Aufseher and Red Baron eliminated them"

Even as he said it, he knew that was doubtful. For all their propaganda, Aufseher wasn't as physically powerful as Wonder Man. Add in that Gorilla, and he doubted the Ubermensch would have lasted long. He had the will, but against those odds, he knew the man would have to fall.

"Find Fledermaus, and bring him here. If we are all that is left, we must be sure that the ritual is not interrupted! If it is, Der Fuhrer will be displeased!"

Zyklon sped off, a gust of wind in his wake. Chaos grimaced. Fledermaus was a problem. Unlike the others, he wasn't a willing servant of The Reich. The Gestapo had uncovered his true identity, and only to protect those he loved brought him into the fold. If he ever found out what was really going on, he'd turn on them in heartbeat. If he does, then Chaos knew things could go awry. His purpose. his mission in this dimension was simple: To free the imprisoned ones. godlike beings of evil that were trapped in icons such as the statue in this box. Once they were free, they would wreck havoc on this world, making it easy for his masters to conquer it.

As he inspected the altar, he thanked the nameless ones he served that others had been dispatched to deal with Nightgaunt, the other-worldly member of the FSA. He was a thorn in the side of his masters once too often, and his removal from the equation gave his mission a greater chance of success.

He opened the box, and took out the statue of Pazuzu. He stared intently at it for a moment, then returned it to the box. Tucking it under his arm. he went to see if Hans was ready for what must come...

(again, this wasn't done in game, but I had it in my head, and felt it makes the AP feel more like a comic book Very Happy )
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 3: Discovery!

The FSA took their prisoners to a military prison. Sky Marshal & Wraith question Red Baron, but learn he doesn't know their plan. He does tell them that Aufseher knows what is going on. They attempt to question him, but he tells them little. Wonder Man confronts him, and with SM & Wraith taunting him (telling him he is not Wonder Man's better, let alone his equal), he lets slip that "when she is released, Ruin will fall upon America!"

They head back to the museum, and speak with the curator about the statue. He tells them that according to legend, Lamashtu, an ancient goddess or demon in Mesopotamia. was supposedly imprisoned in the statue. To release her, a person dying of disease must be sacrificed at a place that was once a center of healing, but has been corrupted by suffering. He contacts the professor who found the artifact, and the man offers to help when he arrives in DC. In the interim, he tells them that if Lamashtu is truly trapped in that statue, they must prevent her release. While she will be weak initially, as she spreads disease across the land, her power will grow.

Wraith and Sky Marshal does some research, and find a hospital that meets the ritual's criteria in Baltimore. Sky Marshal tries to find who the sacrifice is, while the rest of the team head to Baltimore to scout out the hospital.

Interlude 4: Nightgaunt lashed out with his chains of bone at the tentacled thing before him. The Elder Sign on his attire glowed, keeping the creature from getting too close. This was the 4th beast he fought today; he sensed something was amiss. The Gods of the Outer Dark were planning something, and were keeping him away from Earth. He had to breach the dimensions, and warn the Freedom Society! He knew that they would do all in their power to keep the world safe.

The tentacled thing came at him again, and once more his chains of bone lashed out at it....

Chapter 3 continued:

Wraith finds a hotel next to the hospital, and checks in under an alias to keep an eye out. He's there for half a day before he sees Zyklon exiting through an alleyway, and racing off. he calls the team in, then suits up for action.

At the same time, Sky Marshal used a list of known fifth columnists (supplied by the FBI), and compared it with a list of cancer patients. Finding one who matched, he learns the man checked out a day earlier, and never went home. Knowing the Nazis are close to performing their ritual, he blasts off, heading to Baltimore at top speed.

(I ran these two scenes simultaneously, so all the players would be together for the final battle)

Interlude 5: Doctor Chaos smiled. Everything was prepared. Soon, Lamashtu will be free, and spread disease across the world! He cast a spell of protection around himself and the altar, then nodded to the acolytes. The started the chant; the ritual had begun!

to be concluded....
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 4: Lamashtu Rising

The FSA enters the old hospital. The first floor is empty, but chanting can be heard echoing from inside the building. Wonder Man, using his great strength, rips up part of the floor, revealing a storage room on the basement level. At that moment, Zyklon attacks them, hoping to delay them. He hits Wonder Man, but doesn't hurt him at all. He turns his attention to The Badge, and spins him around, affecting his equilibrium. He dodges various attacks before striking at Siren, peppering her with a barrage of punches.

Wraith sees a figure hiding in the rafters, and uses his grapple gun to go up and confront them. The man is Die Fledermaus, a well known hero from Germany before the Nazis took control. He asks Fledermaus why he is working with the Nazis, and he tells Wraith he has no choice. He pulls out a pellet of some kind, but holds off aiding Zyklon.

American Ape grabs some old bed sheets, and throws them over Zyklon. Wonder Man grabs him, and holds him while both Siren and Badge attack him. He is still able to doge some attacks, but Badge knocks him out with a pair of strikes with his Shield. One strike was so hard, it literally knocks Zyklon out of Wonder Man's grasp!

(The player got a series of FIVE exploding die, and could have taken Zyklon out with 100 hits after soak from this attack. It was monstrous!)

Interlude 6: Nightgaunt sensed the power of the ritual, even in this other dimension. No! He was too late! He started to open a portal, even as another tentacled beast appeared behind him...

Chapter 4 continued:

Nightgaunt opens a portal to where the FSA is. He attempts to come through, yelling "You must stop them! You cannot let them release her!", before the tentacled beast grabs him, and pulls him back into the other dimension. The portal closes, and the stunned FSA members look at each other in disbelief. If Nightgaunt is scared, can they hope to prevail?

(note: Nightgaunt is a member of the FSA I didn't get to yet. He's a cross between Spawn and the Spectre, and battles creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos on a regular basis. I threw him in just to convey to the players just how high the stakes were)

Wraith descends the basement, with Fledermaus following. The break into the ritual room as Chaos plunges his blade into Hans' heart. Laughing, Chaos tells them they are too late. Wraith attacks the acolytes, while Fledermaus seeming flees as Chaos tells him his family will pay for his betrayal.

As the rest of the FSA ponder their next move, a glob of utter darkness appears in their midst. It starts to grow larger and larger, until it shatters, revealing the form of Lamashtu before them!

"FREE!" the goddess screams, before the startled FSA regain their composure. She glares at these strangely garbed mortals, before the FSA attack!

Wonder Man hits her, but it has no effect. American Ape attempts to grapple her, but she evades it. Using her Divine Majesty, she screams "Kneel before me, Kneel before Lamashtu!" While the heroes are disheartened (at at -2 from the confusion attack), they prepare to continue fighting this goddess of pure evil!

Meanwhile, Wraith has taken out the acolytes, and attempts to subdue Dr. Chaos, but can't get past his force field, even with his gas gun. Fledermaus returns to the ground floor, and see Lamashtu. When the realization of what he helped bring about, he makes a choice to fight alongside these Americans, even if it means his death!

Wonder Man, calling upon all his will, shrugs off Lamashtu's Divine Majesty (and blowing his hero die). Badge also does, but the rest of the team are still staggered by her divinity. Seeing his team mates still faltering, Wonder Man lunges at Lamashtu after she attempts to claw Badge (who was able to doge the attack). Wrapping his arms around her, he holds her, and yells for his team mates to strike now!

Seeing Wonder Man holding the Goddess, the FSA launch all out assault on the goddess. Even Fledermaus joins in. Some attacks miss or do no harm, but some cause her discomfort. She attempts to break free, but Wonder Man manages to keep his hold on her.

The Badge calls upon the powers of Justice to aid him, and launches one last swift strike (using A Hero Point to negate the minus for the minus). Along with Attack Weak Point, he lands a devastating blow on the Goddess (with all the bonuses, he did 144 points in one shot), and miraculously knocks her unconscious!

Dr. Chaos senses her defeat, lowers his force field, and lunges at Wraith, attempting to stab him with his Chaos Blade. Wraith fires his grappling gun at him (using a Hero Die for Power Stunt), and immobilizes him. They call in back up, and eventually restrain Lamashtu with chains of Unobtanium. Then they wonder: How do they keep Lamashtu from escaping?

Epilogue 1: The professor from Massachusetts arrives. He spent the whole train ride deciphering ancient texts, and found the ritual to imprison her back in the statue. With the aid of the FSA, he performs the ritual, and Lamashtu is imprisoned once more. Sky Marshal hands the statue over to the military, as it's not safe in a museum. Nightgaunt appears once more, and informs them he will take care of Dr. Chaos. As Chaos screams in anger, Nightgaunt leaves, taking Dr. Chaos with him. Battered and Bruised, the FSA collectively breathe a sigh of relief. They didn't just thwart a Nazi plan; they saved the entire world

Epilogue 2: A large warehouse, location unknown. A man walks down the aisles, carrying the box that holds Pazuzu's statue. He reaches his destination, and looks up. He places the box on a shelf between two large crates. Satisfied it is secure on the shelf, the man turns to leave. "Between this and the Ark of the Covenant, I think I've really seen it all!" he mutters to himself as heads off in the distance.

(Yes, the same warehouse from Raiders of the Lost Ark! They loved that part)

Now, I'm sure I got some parts wrong, or embellished others to make the story sound better (including adding the interludes to complete the story in my head), but that was the whole one shot.

I learned a lot about the game running this, and definitely found questions I may need to ask if they're not addressed somewhere all ready. I definitely learned more about character design, as I could see which characters were more effective than others. I may need to tweak some characters, especially The Badge. Even with no ranged attack, he was the MVP of the game. With some wicked exploding die, he took out the main villain, as well as two other bad guys. The player initially didn't use the character to the fullest, and had problems taking down The Eye early one. once he got into the groove, he really kicked major ass.

All in all, a great experience. After a 2 year hiatus as a GM, i think I got most of the rust off. Now to see about running this again....
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Googly Moogly! That was absolutely awesome!

I second the motion that this adventure must be preserved as a module to be repeated and enjoyed by others! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:52 am    Post subject: Re: Let Freedom Ring (Recess One-Shot) Reply with quote

urbwar wrote:
Prologue: May, 1942. The FSA is asked by the president of the United States to help protect an experimental fighter being developed by Dr Zarkov for the Army Air Force.


Dr. HANS Zarkov? Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool ending! Also, if we did this as a module, I'd probably want to keep the interludes in it. You simply run it as a "cut scene". It is something that is "player knowledge" even though the characters aren't there to see it, it helps set the tone for the game.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chello!

Yes, the early Star Wars RPG modules in the 1980s had cut-scenes and interludes in them. They were usually enough to whet the players interest but enough to give them info they could use in the game.

Great writeup of the game. I could see AA being kinda of laid back though. It would be an interesting personality to develop and role to play.

Tony

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urbwar
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nestor wrote:
Great Googly Moogly! That was absolutely awesome!

I second the motion that this adventure must be preserved as a module to be repeated and enjoyed by others! Very Happy


Thanks Nestor. As I said, the game didn't play out *as* well as I describe, and the cut scenes were all in my heard (I would have run them, but as only one person had any experience playing the game before besides me, we had small breaks to look things up, or for me to explain to someone what they can do).

Still I'm pleased with how it turned out.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Let Freedom Ring (Recess One-Shot) Reply with quote

AslanC wrote:


Dr. HANS Zarkov? Wink


But of course! I love populating my settings with characters from various media. I referred to him as "Dr. Z" in game, but one of them asked me, and I admitted that he was Zarkov Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BASHMAN wrote:
Very cool ending! Also, if we did this as a module, I'd probably want to keep the interludes in it. You simply run it as a "cut scene". It is something that is "player knowledge" even though the characters aren't there to see it, it helps set the tone for the game.


Well, I'd love to see this as a module. As I said though, I have great ideas, but putting them to paper is my weak point. I honestly ran this with no written notes (it was all in my head). If you want, we can discuss this via email/PM. I'm honestly honored that you think this is worth releasing as a supplement!

I've used cut scenes before, but as I said, all but one player were new to the game, so for time reasons (we had 4 hours to play, as we had to clean up before the 11 pm closing of the building we were in), so I had to leave them out.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tribunus wrote:


Great writeup of the game. I could see AA being kinda of laid back though. It would be an interesting personality to develop and role to play.

Tony


Thanks Tribunus. AA ironically, is the leader of the group. I didn't mind the laid back style the player used, but for the most part, he wasn't as active as the others (even when it came to making decisions). I felt a little bad, as I was worried he was getting left out. He did well in combat (he did very well describing his combat moves, utilizing his feet for hanging, etc), and the idea with Da Vinci's flying machine was pure gold though.

Oh, and here's some photos from Recess; one is of the table flyer for the game, and the other a shot of Wraith's sheet on the table:




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