Friday, March 5, 2010

Necessary Evil - Session One - The Campaign Begins

I gave the players some time to tweak their characters after the first combat in case they saw a glaring weakness they wanted to fix. Then we moved on.

Now we flash forward 5 years. The earth has been occupied for 2 years. The Heroes are dead or in hiding. And our Villains have been captured by the V'Sori...

The adventure opens with the PC's captured and carried aboard a V'Sori shuttle, wearing nullifier cuffs that disable their powers. Dr. Destruction, Villain Numero Uno of this universe, shoots it down and brings the surviving villains aboard his craft and makes them an offer - join me or die - then ejects them from the craft. The PC's all join so he blows their nullifiers off before they hit the ground and are told to rescue a particular prisoner form the alien prison camp they are now landing on. Going along, they gather on the roof of the main prison building and FireStrike blasts a hole in it.

The group jumps down into the prison. MegaStrike and Nissa start freeing prisoners and make friends with one who tells them where their target is. NightStrike starts looking for him, while FireStrike starts blasting the cyberdrone guards.

As MegaStrike frees their quarry, NightStrike leads him to the exit hole. FireStrike drops another guard while Nissa glamours the last one using it to shoot the new drones coming through the front doors.

The new drones shoot Mega, Nissa, FS, MindJack (their target for extraction) and Valerie (the helpful female prisoner). Valerie and MJ go down, so MeagStrike and NightStrike start lifting them up out of the whole while FireStrike and Nissa's drone return fire. Tension is high at this point as the drone blaster cannons are pretty potent.

In the end MegaStrike and Nissa make it up to the roof with MJ and Valerie while NightStrike phases through the walls to escape. FireStrike's luck runs out as one final lucky shot hits him hard, blasting him into a cell wall and knocking him into critical condition. As the other villains escape FireStrike expires on the floor of the alien prison camp.

  • Everything I read said the drones should be pushovers for the heroes and the adventure has 12 of them guarding the prison. I only used 8 and ended up with 1 dead villain and 2 wounded villains. It's not the toughness of the drones, they are easy enough to destroy, but it's their gun - it's a 3d6 blaster cannon that can fire 3 shots per round, or one shot per round to overcharge it and make it 'heavy'. Since all of my villains have heavy armor the drones fired one round on normal single shot then switched to overloaded mode after that. I had 4 already inside the building then 4 more showed up on round 3 and caused all kinds of carnage. Without the Heavy option the drones are no threat to the villains, but with it small groups of them are very nasty - I even had them fire at separate targets to endure no one was being bennie-drained and it still hurt. I'll be thinking about this for awhile, but 12 of them would have been a TPK I am sure.
  • FireStrike's death was entirely due to being out of bennies. The player said he thought we would stop after the bank robbery so he felt fine burning them all - he didn't realize how fast things played and that we would have time for a second scenario. I offered to let him keep using FS as in this campaign you aren't dead unless you choose to be, with some possible complications (like a rescue mission as session #2) but he decided to let him go and make a new character for next time.
  • Heavy armor is important and it's kind of like mega-damage armor in Rifts: Having it doesn't mean you're invulnerable to everything but NOT having it means a lot more things are going to hurt you.
  • The game plays FAST (as advertised) but it doesn't feel abstract or "lite" at all. It has a lot of the positives I associate with old-school D&D. You don't need a 3-page character sheet to have a mechanically interesting character. By the end of the night I felt like we had a pretty good handle on the flow of the combat system.
Session #2 is this weekend and I am looking forward to it.

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