long Supes 2006

Worst. Bond Villain. Evar

Yes, this is another post about my game. Like G said, I put in more effort at the begining, like a new romance.
Sooo, here’s what happened in the second session, played on Wedensday, the 16th of November. If I delay this any more, I’ll get backlogged. And the romance will fade into “bring milk” mundanity.

We open at the funeral of James, the driver that got killed in last session’s attack. Because Miller couldn’t make it, we retconned the tail of the last session so that Alex is still swimming and meditating in the Atlantic, and Winston Slade and Jack McDonald are the only PCs to show up at the funeral.
After the service, Slade is approached by a tall, heavy black man, in a good suit, with a deep, James Earl Jones voice. The man introduces himself as Sam Sunday, a lawyer hired by the deceased driver’s mother. He asks Slade if the attack might have been directed at Slade or the other passengers, and if James would have been particularly at risk because he was working in Slade’s employ.
Slade tells Sunday the cover-story concocted by Bernice‘s crew at the ETIA: that the attack was the work of two crazy NRA guys, who attacked the limo with a missile simply because it was a symbol of wealth. This story strongly focuses on the two missile-firing gunmen, and downplays (rather, hides) the involvement of the two Atlantean women which were taken into ETIA custody.
Slade gives Sunday his contact details, and bids him a cool farewell. He and McDonald drive back to the city, and on the way, they discuss the offer Slade made to McDonald the last session. Slade, who is all about self-reliance, tries to back-pedal out of offering Jack a full time job, and in the end he decides to train McDonald as a test pilot for his company, a vocation to which Jack’s super-powers make him particularly well suited. Slade also manages to give a lecture about the evils of NASA while the GM consults with NPCs in the usual place.
Still on the ride home, Slade receives a phone call from Jacques Davreux, a business partner who is also an investor in the Space Van project. Davreux inquires about Slade’s meeting with Daniel Suthers, the engineer he was in New York to recruit, and tells Slade he is in town – perhaps they can have dinner together?
Slade asks Davreux if he’s still into health food, and Davreux suggests taking him to a good Vegan resturant. Slade inquires if it’s OK to bring Jack, and Davreux is fine with this. Davreux also asks about the attack on Slade, and Slade tells him the NRA story.

Until the evening, Winston calls up his lawyer to tell him about Sunday (his name is too cool for him to be a minor NPC) and his personal assistant. Probably he also inquires into flight training for Jack?
Jack meanwhile goes home to pack, in his two-room apartment not far from the bar. He tries to catch up with his friends, his drinking buddy Ivan, an older Russian man who works as a cleaner at the bar, Gina Ramone, a hot executive in her early thirties that Jack has been trying to bed, unsuccessfully so far, and Rachel “Ray Sun” Sunkanovich, a physics geekette (but a Qoosit) around Jack’s age who works in some cool high tech job. We also learn that Jack’s sister is called Lisa, and his annoying brother-in-law is called Norm Dartmouth (I’m assuming a silent t there).

Anyway, dinner time arrives, and they head for Angelica Kitchen where they meet Davreux, whose in his early sixties, accompanied by his (young and hot) wife, Dominique, and their (Samoan) bodyguard. They make small talk, and Davreux tells Slade that from what he knows, the assassins that attacked him weren’t NRA hobbyist lunatics, but ex-IRA mercenaries. Then he goes around to trying to convince Slade to agree to some form of cooperation with NASA in the space van project, while Jack buries his face in the Dragon dish Slade recommended, and sneaks glances at Dominique’s cleavage. After a long argument, Slade grudgingly agrees to run these NASA proposals past Joachim, the chief scientist of the Space Van project, and see if they can be implemented without hurting the project.
Davreux also invites Slade and McDonald to join him in a visit to the plant in Jersey, an industrial center he’s invested in that is doing interesting work with greenhouse gasses.
Dominique looks distracted and worried, and excuses herself as soon as possible. Davreux exchanges some words with her in private, and sends her back to the hotel with Wang, the bodyguard (yes, I know that’s not a Samoan name. It’s his undercover nickname). Then, because Slade doesn’t drink, Davreux comes up with the suggestion of an after-dinner stroll.

They set off down the streets, and as they pass an old and seemingly-deserted warehouse, Davreux tells them that it used to house Aliens. Yes, apparently Aliens crash-landed in New Jersey in 1974, and the government kept the survivors under observation in this very same building, and, hang on, why are there lights on inside?

They catiously approach the heavy metal door, and Slade tries it, only to find it’s unlocked. Inside is a big, dark space, filled with weird junk under canvas trauplins. One impressive object looks like a big tank made of curved glass and metal, with still some green muck streaking the inside. They hear noise from the gallery above, and either Jack or Slade heads up, surprising two weird-looking bums that seem to be rifling through dusty cabinets and old cardboard boxes. One of them looks Arab, the other has long straw-yellow hair and a wollen cap, both are dressed shabbily and talk strangely, more distracted or confused than affraid. Jack confronts them, and they say the door was open. Slade makes some mention of calling the Police and while this doesn’t seem to scare the bums, they shuffle off. Jack notices they’re carrying something (plastic bags stuffed with newspapers, although one is stained at the bottom, and the straw-haired guy has something shoved in his coat.
Jack hurries after them, down an alley, while Slade and Davreux poke around a bit. They find a sticker with the phone number of the security company that is supposed to be guarding the place, and also such oddities as a huge, bizzare, semi-spherical construction made from pieces from about 30 sets of Mechano. They find old Time and Newsweek magazines, odd collages pasted on the cardboard of the Mechano boxes, and dozens of pairs of left-handed scissors, with part of one handle sliced away (We would notice those were left-handed pairs of scissors? You would if you were trained by the world’s greatest detective).
Meanwhile (or even before), Jack catches up with the bums, surprises them from behind, and asks in his pushy way what’s in their bags. One of them hunches close to him, opens the bag, and as Jack leans forward to look at the dark and wet mass inside, the bum hisses at him, his face changing, taking on a non-human appearance, with a wide mouth full of shard needle-like teeth, ridges of scales, a strange brow filled with odd bumps, and no discernable eyes or nose.
Jack keeps remarkable cool (I had Bo roll for this), smiles and says “Hello there! Welcome to our planet.” The aliens, perhaps taken aback by this uncanny composure, find themselves too abashed for the expected fight scene. Instead, Jack asks them if they were the aliens that were held in the warehouse, and what was it they took from there.
The abashed aliens explain that it wasn’t them, but rather others of their kind (although “of a different gender”). They took seed pods that were left behind. The importance of this is something they are reluctant to explain to him, because it has to do with sex, and it is improper to talk about sex in front of humans.
Jack lets them hotfoot it out of there, but not before giving them Slade’s business card, and taking their card in return (it has alien letters, the only readable text being a phone number).
Slade and Davreux are still investigating the warehouse; they find the phone number of the security company. Or have I done that already?
Jack arrives, and he and Winston discuss aliens, and Jack tells Slade that he suspects he is one himself. He suggests they set up some embassy or hostel for aliens, or something. I wasn’t paying attention.
Anyway, they head to ther homes, agreeing with Davreux to join him the following day for a tour of the Jersey plant.

Jack goes home and calls up Gina. They get together in a bar, and Gina suggests that they go home and mix their own drinks. They stop by Gina’s apartment and Jack waits outside while she goes up and collects some paper parasols (essential for the preperation of cocktails) and other stuff (booze, I presume). They head back to Jack’s apartment and we fade…

Meanwhile, in his hotel room, Winston makes some calls; he phones Bernice Malamud at the ETIA and has her confirm Davreux intel about the IRA mercenaries that took part in the attack on him; he asks her about the aliens held in the NY warehouse, and Bernice tells him it was handled by the FETA, the predecessor of the ETIA. There are no aliens there now, for a long time, and the place is owned by the department of Fishery and Game, and watched over by a private security company.
Winston has his lawyers check-up on the security company, and shortly he gets an e-mail from the outsourced team in Bangalore, showing the connections between “Pyramid Security” and “Eye Investments”, which is owned by… Davreux.
Then he goes to sleep and tries to dream of Alex. That is, share the boy’s dream, or something. It’s a psychic thing.
He wakes up, heart racing and sweating, but remembers nothing.

Morning arrives, Jack gets to Winston’s hotel and Davreux picks them up in his limo. They drive to New Jersey, while Slade asks Davreux pointed questions about the security company he owns indirectly. Davreux disavows all knowledge.

In the Jersey factory, Davreux and the local R&D people show Slade a presenttion about how they are working on using CFCs – super greenhouse gasses – to drastically heat up the atmosphere of Mars, as a first step in terraforming. The process will take decades, but this is really fast, they claim. The effects on Earth’s much thicker atmosphere would be dramatically rapid, they note.
Meanwhile, McDonald is prowling about. He notices a group of three tall silo towers, with odd rings connecting them, which are hooked to high power cables. He tries to ask workers at the plant about this construction, but they play dumb.
He joins Slade coming out of the conference room, and points out the structure to him. It looks a bit like a linear accelerator or railgun to Slade, although to make it work, you’d need to create a vaccum between the three silos, perhaps using an ignited fuel-air mix, perhaps sprayed out of those nozzles over there…?
Slade asks Davreux about this. Davreux laughes it off, nervously, and perhaps even says it’s meant as a prototype of a launcher that will send the greenhouse gasses to Mars.
Then he invites Jack and Winston to relax and come in for some coffee.
But the coffee is drugged, and when they wake up… (talk about heavy-handed GMing here… But it was late).
When they wake up, they are tied on the outside of two different silos that form the railgun launcher thing, facing towards each other and the center. Davreux is giving a quick and confused speech about how this launcher isn’t powerful enough to send those greenhouse gas payloads to Mars, but it can flood Earth’s atmosphere with enough CFCs to cause irreversable climatic change, ice-caps melting, etc. Slade and McDonald look at him in disbelief, and ask why is he doing this. He mentions frog boiling, and says that this is his way of forcing humanity to do something about moving out into space, instead of staying forever on Earth until it’s eventual depletion and collapse. They he starts the countdown.
Slade tries to knock Davreux off his post with a chi-tremor, but fails; both he and McDonald break free easily, and as Slade grabs the escaping Davreux, McDonald rips apart the electric cables and then – waves the sparking cable in the center of the launcher, which is filling with a volatile fuel-air mix. There’s a big explosion, and Slade barely manages to get Davreux out of the way.
They hurry to the parking lot and make their get away in the confusion following the explosion in Davreux’s car. Jack throws Davreux’s cellphone into the back of a passing pickup truck, and after switching to a rental car, they head upstate, to an Indian reservation where he has some friends. They leave the confused and somewhat incoherent insane industrialist at the remote reservation in the hands of some of Slade’s old pals, devoted “friends of the Earth”, who have ways of dealing with would-be eco-terrorists, and set back. Fade from Davreux’s peyote-addled blue eyes to the rental car driving down a lonely road through the dark woods, with a bleak and overcast sky behind them.


  • Sometimes, you don’t need fight scenes. The weirdness in the warehouse was good, and I should have kept the PCs guessing what Davreux was up to (they speculated he might be an alien himself…) instead of jumping the gun. As it is, Israel remarked that “it felt like he was trying to get caught”. Which is something that will figure into later sessions, I think.
  • Fighting mundanes is no challenge (I made the bodyguard fade into the background, having him sticking with Dominique, rather than risk him coming off as a wimp).
  • Does the campaign have more of a shape now? Is it about aliens among us, or is a broader scope a good idea? I have some vague comic-universe-conspiracy ideas, not all of them involve aliens. Or Atlanteans. Some of them involve both.
  • Don’t recap tired and late.

Where has this gone?

4 replies on “Worst. Bond Villain. Evar”

OK, this time you were pretty thorough, but still some nitpicking and general emotions:

You don’t get “backlogged”, you just stop. And yes, you really should recap.

James has a last name, remember? Chowder or something, no?

Sunday tried to scare me. He was pretending to be a dangerous guy pretending to be innocent. It’s the same tone you use when you try to scare us out of doing something silly. But Slade is not impressed. I don’t care how major-NPC his name sounds, I will not be bullied. I hum the theme from The Man from Atlantis and call my lawyer. I also made it clear that I do not appreciate him doing this at the funereal. Time and place, there is. I guess this is what you called “cool farewell”.

Slade does not back-pedal! The only job offer he made last session was to that Daniel geek. You must be confusing him with another character. Besides, if anyone back-paddled it was only in accordance with your wishes from last recap, you bastard. Why are you punishing players for helping you out? Is this part of that TFISA LEUMATIT that you are so keen on?

Also note that Jack would make a good test-pilot not because he is the resilient one, but because of his feminine intuition. Pushing the envelope, remember?

Jack’s drinking buddy, Ivan, the widower, he has a kid, remember? Well, don’t forget.

On the way to dinner you went to converse with NPCs some more while Jack and Winston had a long talk about technological singularities and such. It sort of ended with “..and this is my goal in life, wanna make it yours?”

I just thought you should know.

Joaquin? What is he, a Spic? Joachim! Old German dude, he is! Probably leftovers from operation Paperclip. And he now has the alien Mechano construct.

You never made Bo roll for keeping his cool. You made him roll for his first move in the fight. It is Bo who rolled real high and instead of using it to kick their asses just put on a smile and took us all by surprise. Non-violent dude that he is. “Welcome to Earth”.

And the aliens were not taken aback, they were genuinely relieved to find someone civilized on this hell-hole. They gave him their cards almost immediately and prodded him to give them a card back. Very enthusiastic. They are not just aliens, they are Japanese, and I think this is brilliant and will really not appreciate you back-pedaling out of it.

Also, these aliens seem to consider the other sex to be a different species (seed-pod producing species?). Many wild possibilities came up here – more than two sexes, separate sexes on separate planets, baby-eating shape-shifters and so on.

Now, what’s with the “some embassy or hostel for aliens”? Like hell you were not paying attention, we are founding the MIB, bitch!

I call Malamud to let her know there is a leak, not to confirm anything. I call to chastise her.

In dream I converse with Alex, making sure that he is well, and I set up a meeting with him (tonight, 2230). As you say, I remember nothing.

In the Jersey factory, let it be noted, Slade asked the bastards a whole bunch of clever questions about possible flaws in their terraforming plans. I did a fine job, too. However, instead of playing it straight with me and telling me “listen, these people are obviously not into terraforming Mars” you just sort of stuttered and pulled out that self-replicating paint crap. It’s like I checked for traps, rolled high, found nothing and still ended up trapped.

I think this is your fear of being to blunt that always fucks us up. You have to get over this shit. We never know what is going on. Bo remembers nothing, Ging and me are high as kites, and you are sitting there, giving us tiny hints and sweating about us catching on to your plan too soon. FUCK THIS. What’s wrong with us figuring stuff out before they happen every once in a while? Trained by the world’s greatest detective, no?

Devereux said nothing about the launcher. All coincidence, he sayz. Which is were our instincts should have kicked in and lead us into a cool fight-scene with Devreux’s army. Or he could have told us the truth, since we figured it out ourselves, and give us a chance to join him or just order our execution.

I told you three times during the game, Slade does not drink coffee. I also told you that I assume the drug was in the mineral water they gave him, but one of us was too high to pay attention – and I wasn’t that high by the end of the game. And late hours are no excuse for heavy hands. Better to cut in a stupid place then go on playing into a stupider place.

All in all a really cool session (albeit low in action) up to the Jersey fiasco.

Sure, fight scenes are not always needed, but this session would be much better if it had at least one fight scene (no, the Jersey scene was definitely NOT one). They keep the pace of the game, and this is one place where you need all the help you can get. You are a brilliant DM, but you doubt yourself and this throws the game off pace. Fight scenes are your friends. They give you time to think. They give you time to see happy players and figure out everything is cool.

The weirdness was great, but why do you always want to keep us guessing? Finding out stuff is good for us. Is big fun, esp. in your games where the found-out stuff is… To my taste.

I did not say that it felt like D was trying to get caught, I said that *in retrospect* this is a very acceptable motivation to invite us (both!) to the plant and tell us about the warehouse (which he knows I can link to him). I wish it would have felt that way during the game too, because the only other option I could think of at the time was that he was trying to push the plot forward at his own expense which is the source of the uneasy feeling I had with this whole thing.

Fighting mundanes can be a great challenge if they are well armed or just come in great numbers. You didn’t just fade the bodyguard, you faded all of D’s security force – if you hadn’t done that we might have had a good fight scene to end the session with.

The campaign has much shape. Too much. I think we need to talk this over. For example, trying so hard to build a spaceship seems kinda stupid if we are constantly visited by aliens who give us their phone numbers and who would gladly trade technology for seed-pods.

This we talk tonight.


OK, so you did make Bo roll for keeping his cool.

What I saw, from my coffee making cloud, was aliens going into crinos, Jack pulling his superpowers for a fearsome blow and then, with a wholsome heart and a CK smile to match it – from cheek to shiny cheek – saying: “welcome to Earth”.

Call it “2nd unit director’s cut”.


Picks for the nits, just for the record because we discussed most of this face to face:
* It’s James “Chudder”, because I mis-read my own handwriting, where I put down “James Chuffer” (because I can’t spell Chauffer) (look, here’s a weird site for a possibly fictional radio personality called Chuffer Dandridge; “chudder” is a noise made by cats: Tigers chudder by way of greeting one another). I should ask Bo if this is a proper American name.

* Sunday wasn’t just trying to intimidate you while pretending to be innocent, he was really trying to demonstrate to James’ grandmother that he was trying to intimidate you. Giving a devastated woman a touch of hope was his real goal.

* Slade backpedalling: just because you help me with a meta-game thing by playing Slade truer to himself in-game, doesn’t mean that you get a free pass for playing Slade less-truly last session for a meta-game reason. At least not in recap.

This issue of how Slade handles Jack (adopt him as a ward or teach him self-reliance) raises another issue, which is that the way Supers are handled is quite inconsistent in this campaign and other Supes: The (Anti-)Masquerade games. The best example was probably that one game Bo ran for us, that layed out Bo’s vision of how these games “should” work. There we lurched from “A powerful government force is out to capture all supers at any cost” to “OK, sign here, listen to this lecture, and you’re free to go”. What responsible government conspiracy lets Supers wonder around freely?

This is something I should actually think about, and see if I can rationalize. If I can’t, we’ll probably keep ignoring it.

* Joachim – I guess the way you pronounced it made me stick in a ‘q’. When I couldn’t find any trace of “Joaqim” on the web, I went with the Spanish. I’ll fix that.

* Bo’s roll – we all agree that, as far as it went down between me and Bo, I described the aliens going Crinos, he reacted with “Hello!”, and I thought that was a bit of a stretch (unlike Bo, Jack is in a dark alley with a couple of shapeshifting strangers. Although, also unlike Bo, Jack is bulletproof). Therefore, I had Bo roll, and Bo pretty much dictated reality, because of the system: it would be a bit of a cheat if he’d go “Welcome!” and they would ignore that and attack.
So now I have to take these friendly, Japanese-like aliens into my scheme of things. Cool.

* I think last session you clarified what you mean by MIB.

* About keeping you guessing vs. revealing info – the definition of “too soon” in “catching on to my plan too soon” is really “before I think of one”. It’s more fun to run an improvised mystery when one of the players at least is SACHI enough to help, by actually running over clues instead of just demanding answers. Solution is for me to prepare more stuff.

* I note in the third session braindump that fight scenes and the system we’re using don’t fit together very well. Or at least require some attitude adjustment on our part.

* Technology: I really should have mentioned that in the third session braindump: aliens that can trade technology for seed-pods assumes that we can use their technology as, well, technology, rather than magic. So possibly we have no worries, unless you bump into aliens with replicators that can produce obsolete crap that will rocket humanity to technological singularity.

Dude, you need to tell me when you post – I don’t get Email alerts for this.

* Like hell Sunday was trying to comfort anyone. Comforting I accept. I gave the goddamn eulogy. Sunday was trying to be a lawyer, and if not for his cool name… Ach, in a concentration camp with the rest of them I would put him.

* This is what I get for my efforts? A cold shower hurled at me? With the bottle? Shame on you.

I think we covered the sup’s handling issue on the last session of the game-without-Bo, but this is for posterity so I explain:
Sup’s are cool, remarkable individuals. PC material, the lot of them. Call it super-strength of character. Even dot-gov people can see that, and we are not talking about them, we are talking about an international twenty-levels-of-secrecy-above-the-president task-force sort of thing. These people are relatively enlightened (hell, they could have been founded by sups, which makes them Da-Embassy mark zero), they read comics, they have accepted that comic-books and reality are strangely similar and thus they know what happens when you fuck a PC up the ass (I am Emailing you a fan-boy pic to put here).

So yes, they want them on the records, they want them to take time to read the brochure, they even want the spit sample, but they do not want to fuck with them.

Holds my kind of water.

* Joachim, by me, is usually pronounced JO-AH-KIM, which is as simple as it can get. It is you that suffers from a short circuit in the pronunciation vs. spelling hemisphere. Personally, I think mispronouncing is a virtue.

* Yes, we all agree, you were right. And my version is still way cooler. Give me a couple of weeks to get Bo to sign it and then it will be official.

And yes, Japalienation, cool.

* Dude, why derogatory about drugs? Did I touch a nerve? You have one SACHI player, and the day he considers your “clues” to be anything more than “atmosphere” (and vice versa) I’ll let you know.

In the mean-time it is mostly me that goes over clues and bring them up before the party, it’s just that my conclusions tend to go psychedelic and are mostly ignored by you, SACHI-supremacy zealot that you are.

* You bitch about the system, but the fault is somewhere else. Like we said, it is not the system, it is what we (not just you, although I know you would have loved to take full responsibility so you can immerse yourself in self-flagellation instead of learning martial arts) make of it.


Comments are closed.