Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First Session: Gathering the Team

It's Wednesday already, so I'd better get around to commenting on last Sunday's game.

We actually had all five players together for a change. I was able to shepherd Kitty into coming up with an idea for a character. She's going to be a marine biologist named "Aqua Marie" with water-based powers. Not really happy with the name; on the other hand, Tim decided to call his character "Fred the Vampire Hunter".

I started the plot out establishing that each of the characters has recently discovered that they have strange abilities. Each one receives a message from an unknown person claiming to know about their super powers and directing them to come to a certain address the next day at such and such a time. (Alanna: Are you a stalker? You're a stalker!")

I had the characters arrive at the location (an empty, abandoned warehouse with a television monitor set up in the middle of the room) and meet each other. We had a fun bit when Nina, the blind violinist with psychic powers, attempted to tap into Fred's mind to see through his eyes. I had Fred roll to see if he noticed the intrusion. He did.

I told him, "You've been fighting vampires long enough to recognize when someone's trying to mind control you."

"Wait, it's daytime; she can't be a vampire!" one of the players protested.

"It's dark inside the warehouse," I replied. "The windows are boarded up and Nina's not standing in any direct sunlight."

So Fred leaped to one of the windows and ripped off the plywood allowing the sun to shine directly on Nina! Ooo! Nice and dramatic!!!

Too bad she wasn't actually a vampire.

When everyone had arrived, the television flickered on and a shadowy figure appeared on the screen.

The unknown person is Python, an NPC I've set up to be the team's patron. I intended him to be mysterious and secretive, appearing only as a voice on a telephone or a digitally blurred image on a computer screen. I decided that he has machine control powers, which would allow him to operate machinery telepathicly and mentally hack into computer systems; an ideal power for a behind-the-scenes string-puller.

Python tells them about a shadowy organization called Nephilim, whose purpose is to find powered individuals like them and use them for their own nefarious purposes. Python offers to protect the characters from Nephilim and wants to help them fight the sinister conspiracy.

(What the players don't know yet is that I plan on pulling a Xanatos Gambit with Python. He is actually a member of Nephilim himself and is plotting against them as part of his own little game. But that's a development for the future).

Unfortunately, I got so wrapped up in working on Python's character sheet that I never got around to defining his agenda. And when one of the players asked him, "So what exactly do you want us to do?" I didn't have a good answer for them.

So I had a bunch of thugs bust in carrying guns.

The fight was somewhat disorganized; I did not follow turn sequences as well as I should have; but the group held it's own. With a little coaching and suggestions from the GM, Aqua was able to do some effective things with her water powers. (Her player, Kitty, is the least experienced of the players and so I want to help her get a firm grasp on what she can do).

The thugs were defeated, and Python promised he would be in touch with the group. Fred the Vampire Hunter suggested they search the thugs for identification. A logical move. I distracted the group so that I wouldn't have to give them an answer, but I will need to decide who the thugs were working for and what ID they might be carrying before next game.

So, for next time: Finish Python's character sheet; polish up Aqua's character sheet; figure out identity of the thugs and what all working for Python is going to entail.

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