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The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

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  • The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

    This is a thread dedicated to logging my newest M&M campaign

  • #2
    Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

    The Unconventionals
    This is a new ongoing M&M campaign I'm starting with a group of players I’ve only ever played with in a convention setting. This year at Origins we looked around and said, “We all live in Columbus! Why should we wait a whole year to do this again?” and a game was born. I'll be posting a weekly synopsis of our sessions.
    The game takes place in my personal campaign setting: Titan City. Titan City is a sprawling metropolis located on the coast of Massachusetts. I won't go in to too much detail here, but it was founded in the 1600s as a safe haven for intellectuals, minorities, and other victims of persecution by Nathaniel Parkhurst. The city used the combined might of its open door policy and its disproportionate amount of geniuses to quickly become the greatest city in the New World. Titan City has gone on to play a significant role in American history, from the Revolution up to the present day and was even home to the world’s first super hero team: the Titan City Sentinels. The Sentinels fought for the Allies in WWII but disappeared in the communist witch hunts of the 50s. The world has been cape free for the last 60 years, at least until our fateful first issue.
    The tone I’m shooting for is similar to the Flash TV show. Modern and light-hearted with the occasional dark moment. I’m not expecting and loved ones to wind up in a refrigerator.
    Main Players:
    Everyone in this group is a freshly-minted super hero. They're the standard PL 10 150 power points, and haven't been in costume for very long.
    Encephalopathy (Psychic): Dr. Nanami Andrews is a skilled Japanese American surgeon from the suburbs. She's lived a life of discipline and overwhelming success. She made a great impression at St. Pius Memorial Hospital until disaster struck. She was working on a splenectomy when her powers first manifested. She began to telekinetically levitate her surgical equipment and she could feel her patient’s thoughts lashing out in terror. The man was dying from an aneurysm and she was psychically connected to him the whole time. She took the man’s death very hard and a number of her colleagues blamed her for the botched operation, sending her on a psychiatric leave of absence. She's vowed to use this time to explore her powers and try to use them for good.
    Lunar Frost (Techie Cold Controller): Major Karen Aldridge was an aeronautics specialist attached to Project Phoenix: humanity’s first moon landing in decades. She conducted experiments, took samples, and made her country proud. She became the first woman to ever walk on the lunar surface. She returned to Earth as a super star, frequenting talk shows, charity events, and all manner of parties in her honor. It was at one such event she fell in love with Jonathan Veril, a researcher at Jupiter Enterprises. The two would become engaged in a whirlwind romance. Karen and Jon became lab partners, studying the samples Phoenix had recovered, including a pair of blue gemstones that seemed to project freezing cold ice and snow. They would have continued the experiments but tragedy struck, a squad of Russian mobsters broke into the lab one night and shot down Karen and Jonathan. Karen survived, by her fiancé did not. He did leave her a flash drive with all of his research, including plans for gauntlets that could harness the power of the stones. Now Karen has vowed to avenge Jonathan and protect her city.
    Outlaw (Time Displaced Cowboy): Outlaw is a peculiar case, he’s from the future. And the past. It's complicated. He’s equipped like a cowboy, six shooters, duster, and hat, but all of his equipment is future tech. He also has a fast talking artificial intelligence named Homunculus that follows him around and acts as his snarky tour guide through time. Outlaw collided with another version of himself forcing the two men into one and scrambling his memories. One Outlaw was coming back to kill a list of people and the other was coming back to protect them and he’s not entirely sure which one he was before the joining. For now he's settled on the path of righteousness.
    Bangle (Mystic Blaster): Alexi Matthis was a regular Titan City girl. Worked a crap job for not enough pay. She was fascinated with the occult, always saving a little back from each check to purchase the odd mystical bit and bauble, hoping to find the real thing. She found what she was looking for in the form of a pair of golden bracelets on a strange Greek website. She opened her package and slipped the bangles on and found that they had the mystical ability to duplicate and slice through surfaces. She brought the bracelets to the a fortune teller named Isabella Thorne for appraisal and realized she’d gotten more than she bargained for. Isabella found that they had originated in the Ancient Greek civilization. They are able to allow their wearer to produce portals which can allow them (and others) to travel to anywhere the wearer thinks of (as long as they know where they're going) and also act as scrying windows. The bangles can also produce razor sharp throwing weapons that can redirect themselves as needed by the wearer. Isabella warned Alexi that many monsters and sorcerers would want these bangles for themselves so Alexi began to train with them, hoping to protect herself and Titan City.
    Issue #1: Fanfare and Fireworks:
    This issue is set during the Fourth of July in Titan City. The heroes have just arrived at Titan City’s Miracle Mile Boardwalk for the city’s annual Independence Day Festival. The story begins with Major Karen Aldridge riding in a limousine with Jupiter Enterprises CEO Maxwell Moon and his beautiful body guard Veronica. Moon financed Project Phoenix and has invited Karen to participate in the miniature science expo the various tech companies host on the Fourth. He wants her to team up with one of former crew mates to speak with some of Titan City’s youth about her experiences as an astronaut. She agrees even though she really hates the spotlight she's had to live with since coming home. He mentions that JE is also showcasing a hover car at the expo if she wants to come check it out when she's finished. Moon wishes her luck and leaves her with her partner Tom Waites. The two of them catch up for a moment, but he strikes a nerve when he brings up her recently deceased fiancé. They arrive for the presentation and see dozens of excited children. Karen begins talking about gravity. I let the other players role play as some of the children and they put Karen on the spot, asking a wide variety of questions. Karen handles herself well and the kids leave happy.

    Meanwhile across the boardwalk, Alexi Matthis is helping her new friend Isabella Thorne operate her fortune teller booth. Alexi is operating the fog machine and pulling the levers to make the table rumble and buckle. Two of the other players get to role play as a young couple who have come to Isabella for relationship predictions. Isabella throughs herself into the act, much to Bangle’s amusement. The fortune teller says, “I see the two of you rolling a great boulder uphill, struggling and toiling together. As you push the stone transforms into a precious jewel. There is a piece of jewelry in your immediate future!” This conjures a groan from the young man and a gleeful giggle from his girlfriend. Isabella continues, “Wait! There is a beast lurking at the top of the hill…the beast wants to ruin all of your hard work! I'm afraid that's all the spirits have time for, I'll need another donation to tell you more.” The couple doesn't seem to hear her as the young woman goes off about some other woman she's suspecting. Isabella laughs as the couple goes on their way and asks Alexi if she can take the next customer while Isabella runs to get an elephant ear. Alexi agrees and Isabella slips out the back. A sad looking man walks into the booth as Bangle gets settled behind the crystal ball. Alexi takes his money and begins to read his fortune. Before she can make up anything about his life her bracelets begin to glow and a smoky vision appears in the crystal ball! Alexi focuses on it and sees the boardwalk outside. She feels the ground rumble and tear apart as a pair of metallic claws force their way into the air, terrifying the citizens of Titan City. The steel hands work their way through the festival destroying everything in their wake until they seize a great grey sphere. Bangle snaps out of her vision and gives the customer as generic a fortune as she can think of before closing the booth and waiting for Isabella to return. Isabella comes back with her deep fried snack and Alexi tells her about the vision. Alexi is convinced that the claws she saw are coming for her bracelets and Isabella agrees to go get magical reinforcements. She teleports away leaving Bangle to fend for herself.

    Meanwhile in a quickly collapsing temporal tunnel, Outlaw is hurtling through time and space. Outlaw has just collided with his multiversal self scrambling his thoughts and confusing his mission. He appears with a pop inbetween a kissing couple on the Ferris Wheel (the same couple from the fortune teller’s booth). The teens plant a kiss on his grizzled cheeks before he teleports down to the boardwalk below. His trusty A.I. Homunculus appears in Outlaw’s gauntlet and ascertains that they reached their intended destination despite the collision they suffered. Homunculus laments that the people of our time period are underdressed and he misses the 1800s. Homunculus says that the historical records mention a catastrophe that unites a group of heroes taking place tonight. Before the time traveling pair can get too far a disgruntled man runs up to them saying that they're thirty minutes late. He goes on about how all the cowboys are the same, drinking away their earnings, shirking their responsibilities, and playing up that lame damaged loner shtick. Outlaw asks Homunculus if he knows this guy and how this guy knew to expect him from the future. Before he can respond, the guy grabs Outlaw by the arm and says, “I have an army of Prozac addled soccer moms and their screaming brats waiting for a cowboy show. Come on Peyote Jones we can argue about your work ethic later.” Outlaw goes along with him and gives the kids a heck of a show, firing his laser pistols into targets and acquitting himself as an expert marksman. The Wild West show runner is dumbfounded and agrees to overlook his tardiness. He hands Outlaw 200 bucks and runs off to count his earnings.

    Meanwhile at the Promethean Labs exhibition booth, Dr. Nanami Andrews is out with one of her friends from the hospital. She hasn't gotten out much since the splenectomy incident so her friends thought she could use the fresh air. They've been enjoying the festival, eating snacks, riding rides, and now they've come to the science fair part of the boardwalk. Titan City is home to a number of advanced technology firms including Jupiter Enterprises and Promethean Labs, and both companies have set up exhibits at the festival. Nanami stops into the Promethean Labs exhibit where their CEO Mike Leandros is showing off their newest invention. He's displaying a prototype biosynthetic skin graft. The graft bonds to the patient and assists in the healing process, theoretically it could even regenerate lost limbs. The graft itself is being kept in a small glass dish and it seems to move on its own. Nanami feels it trying to establish a connection with her mind with her telepathic powers and shudders. She asks Leandros how the graft can bond with the host and Leandros says that we infused some parasite DNA with him to help him heal his host. Nanami asks if it's a good idea to personify the graft and seems to reach through to Leandros. He shakes his head and excuses himself. One of his aides thanks Nanami and says that the good doctor has been acting strangely ever since they began this project. Nanami asks if keeping the graft behind glass is safe for the festival goers and the aide says that the glass is immune to all conventional forms of attack.

    As he says this the ground begins to buckle and rumble as a great metal device burrows up from the sand, splintering board walk and asphalt alike. The device stands upright and its top opens revealing eight hulking metallic men and a pylon that is pulsing with purple energy. Nanami blurts out, “That's unconventional!” The metallic men leap down from their perch and split off to attack the festival. Three rush over to the Jupiter Enterprises booth, two stay near the pylon and three rush into the crowd to attack civilians. Fortunately there's a team of superheroes nearby to stop them. Outlaw is the first to act, he teleports to the top of the pylon and guns down one of the metal men in the crowd. The construct explodes into a mass of scrap metal. This causes two of them to jump on him, but they can't punch through his future tech duster. Lunar Frost was inside the Jupiter Enterprises booth when the men leapt in, but her military training kicks in and she focuses on evacuating the civilians. Once everyone is out she hurries to activate her costume. She walks out to see that the three metal men are trying to steal the magnetic hover car prototype and she dispatched them with a sheet of slippery ice. Bangle runs out of the fortune teller’s booth and throws a pair of razor sharp bracelets in a number of the bad guys. She's seen this future and she's not going to go down easy. Nanami runs over to put on her costume and introduces herself as Encephalopathy. She tries to stay near the graft, thinking the metal men want to steal it. She decides to knock out the graft with her psychic abilities so at least if it gets out it'll be asleep. She succeeds, forcing the graft to lay flat like a regular patch of skin. She checks in on Mike Leandros to see if he suffered any damage when the graft was taken out, but sees him jumping into a car to escape. She waits a moment until a pair of Promethean Labs security guards show up. They tell her that the cosplay contest is on the other side of the festival. Encephalopathy reads their minds to see their intentions and they just want to protect their company’s asset. Enceph then joins Bangle and Outlaw to dispatch the metal men outside.

    After the fight the heroes take a moment to size each other up and compare notes, but Homunculus tells them there are more metal men throughout Miracle Mile. News feeds are picking up a squad attacking the main stage, trying to take Maxwell Moon and another group is attacking the amusement park. The heroes split up with Bangle and Lunar Frost heading for the amusement park and Outlaw and Enceph rushing to Moon’s aid. Lunar Frost and Bangle find a squad of Metal Men wreaking havoc. Three are trying to knock over the Ferris Wheel, two are spinning a ride around and around with kids trapped on it and the other three are destroying food trucks and game stalls. Lunar jumps on the robots by the Wheel and destroys two of them in one icy blast. The other one rips a car full of people off the ride and throws it at Karen. She dodges out of the way, but despairs that she can't stop the car. Bangle steps in and opens a portal, depositing the errant car in an empty bounce castle. The pair then mop up the remaining metal men with ice and portals.

    Outlaw and Encephalopathy find two squads of metal men, desperately trying to capture Maxwell Moon. His bodyguard Veronica is zipping around in a suit of power armor, equipped with a pair of laser pistols doing her best to keep him safe, but there too many bots. Outlaw teleports up to the stage directly in front of Moon and shoots down a horde of metal men. He interposes for Moon when anyone gets too close. Meanwhile Enceph has torn the curtain rod off the stage and is swinging it around with her telekinesis. She keeps building her club with the scrap metal corpses of the fallen metal men until they destroy the last one. Moon stands up, dusts himself off and thanks the heroes for stepping in when they did. As the heroes are reuniting one of Moon’s assistants runs up and says there's been an attack at their dark matter research lab. Moon apologizes for putting them on the spot, but asks the heroes to look into the attack. He says that he would usually send Veronica to investigate, but he's not sure if the metal men are all gone. A reporter named Skylar Hightower also tries to get their attention but they blow her off saying they're busy saving the city. They agree to look into the lab and take off.

    The heroes arrive to find that the Jupiter Enterprises lab has been absolutely wrecked. Something knocked the outer walls down like wet paper and peeled the automated defense turrets like bananas. The find a group of unconscious and dead security guards amidst the mess. Lunar Frost tries to reactivate the security cameras to watch their footage. She is able to recover the feed up to moments before the attack. The security guards were having a office barbecue for the Fourth when the automated turrets turned on them and opened fire. The footage goes out after that, the result of an emp. Their investigation also turns up a computer that was jettisoned from the room. They able to recover the hard drive and with Homunculus’ help they access it. The computer belonged to Dr. Hilary Magnusson, the chief scientist on the dark matter project. Her team was studying the effects of dark matter on magnetism, hoping to build a magnetic accelerator that could assist with deep space travel. There was accident at the lab around a month before the game’s events that left her in a coma. The research was deemed too dangerous and the project was shut down. The magnetic accelerator prototype was commissioned to be destroyed once they found a safe way to do so. Until then the lab was to remain closed with a group of security guards left to keep an eye on it. Encephalopathy sets about using her medical expertise and her healing powers to resuscitate the unconscious guards and probes on of their minds to get a better picture of what happened. Bangle also throws up one of her bracelets to open a window into the past and between the two heroines they piece together an unsettling chain of events.

    After the cameras went down the wall exploded open and a swarm of metal men ransacked the lab. They were led by a woman in white and pink costume, floating on a metallic platform and controlling the metal in the room with her mind. She called herself Lady Hysteresis and monologued about the loss of her life’s work and how Moon wasn’t enough of a visionary to see it through. Then her metal men hoisted up the magnetic accelerator and dragged it out the back. Lunar Frost surmises that the accelerator could be converted into a rail gun and that they need to stop Lady Hysteresis. Homunculus is able to pick up trace amounts of dark matter radiation that allows the heroes to track the magnetic maniac.


    • #3
      Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

      The heroes follow the trail through the Titan City sewers and arrive at an unexpected fork in the road near the Titan City Water Treatment Plant. Lady Hysteresis carved out an antechamber with her powers to act as her lair. The heroes enter the chamber and see the magnetic accelerator hovering in the air within an orb of scrap metal. Thirty two of the metal men are wandering around the chamber, tinkering with more of the pylons from the boardwalk and Lady Hysteresis is resting in front of a specialized dark matter lamp. Her powers rely on dark matter radiation to work and they do become unstable without exposure. Outlaw leaps into action first, firing at the lamps and destroying them before Lady Hysteresis can react. Lunar Frost tries to freeze her in place. Encephalopathy drills her mind with psychic energy, trying to reactivate the neurons that caused her coma, and Bangle stuns her by banging her bracelets together to create a blinding light. Outlaw and Bangle move on to destroying the pylons, rendering whole groups of the metal men inert while Lunar Frost and Encephalopathy keep the heat on Lady Hysteresis. Lady H lashes out with her powers, rupturing the pipes in the ceiling and beginning to flood the chamber. Enceph uses her telekinesis to seal the whole with metal men parts while the rest of the team finishes Lady H off.

      They stand around for a moment, basking in their success and wondering what to do with the other unconscious villainess at their feet. Before they get too many ideas out they hear the sound of boots on stone and see a fully equipped strike force coming their way. An older man in a suit smoking a cigarette walks up to them and introduces himself as Steven Faust, director of the Bureau for the Acquisition of Strange Technology, Intelligence, Organisms, and Networks (BASTION). He says that he can hold the metahuman and as a thank you for taking Lady Hysteresis out he will let them slide just this once. He hands them a business card and says if they want to continue being heroes they will have to do it his way before telling them that the people of Titan City don't have warm memories of super heroes. He urges them to meet with a reporter to get an official story out before speculation ruins their reputations.

      The team agrees with Faust’s logic and they return to the boardwalk where the clean up is under way. They meet with Skylar Hightower and give her an exclusive interview detailing the evening’s events. Encephalopathy takes the lead on the interview, taking care to mention Leandros’ parasitic skin graft, and when Ms. Hightower asks for a group name Enceph blurts out “the Unconventionals!” (The characters groan about it, but the players really like it). After the interview they go their separate ways, Enceph to her house in the suburbs where she sees a news report talking about the Unconventionals. Bangle returns to Isabella’s tent to help her pack up. Isabella says she was going to get reinforcements but she saw the group on the news and figured Alexi had it under control. The sorceresses laugh it off and head to Club Tartarus to drink the night away. Outlaw heads to Maxwell Moon’s tower to cash in his favor with the CEO, asking for a room to stay in while he's in this time period. Moon obliges and gives him the keys to a high rise penthouse in downtown Titan City. Lunar Frost returns to her apartment to find the door unlocked. She tenses up and prepares for the worst as she enters. Nothing looks out of place as she moves from room to room until she gets to her kitchen. Someone broke in and left a file folder on her table marked Project Rebirth.


      • #4
        Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

        Titan City Unconventionals Issue #2: Eclipsed
        GM’s note: This game uses the Eclipse Syndicate from the Rogue’s Gallery pdf series. It’s my first time using them against players in the wild.

        The story opens one week after the incident at the Independence Day festival. The heroes’ actions have captured the imagination and ire of the citizens of Titan City. Dr. Nanami Andrews is sitting in the waiting room of the Cauldron Lake Lodge, a center for psychiatric rehabilitation. She has arrived at the facility for her hospital ordered mental evaluation following her surgical mishap. As she sits in the waiting room she notices a televised press conference on the news. Police Commissioner Mary Cooper is on the screen taking questions from a crowd of reporters about her response to the reappearance of costumed crime fighters in her city. Cooper says that she is grateful for their quick action on Miracle Mile, but that vigilantism is still a crime. She says that if the Unconventionals continue to operate in Titan City, she will have no choice but to arrest them. She stresses that law enforcement should be left to the professionals. Intrepid reporter Skylar Hightower points out that the Unconventionals were able to subdue the Metal Men with minimum damage and casualties, something the police certainly couldn't have done. Cooper cuts off the press conference after telling Hightower that the law is the law and that’s all there is to it. Hightower gives a few closing the remarks as the orderly ushers Encephalopathy into the office. The Lodge is a psychological rehabilitation facility that uses art therapy to help minimum threat patients recover. They specialize in artists and other creative types that need to recharge and get away from the world. It's a beautiful log building nestled in the woodlands around Cauldron Lake. Encephalopathy enters Dr. Emil Hartman’s office and sits down. He asks her some questions about her experiences during and following the accident, and has her paint a picture about the word metamorphosis. (GM note: I actually gave her player a pad of paper and markers for this.) Nanami, being the literal thinking doctor she is, paints the life cycle of a caterpillar. Dr. Hartman has no sense of personal space and kind of freaks Encephalopathy out. He says that he believes that the barrier between doctor and patient should be nonexistent when it comes to mental health. After reviewing her painting he says that he will give her a clean bill of health and that she will return to work next week. On her way out of the Lodge, Nanami runs into a spirited pair of elderly patients harassing an orderly. The men call themselves Thor and Odin, and are upset that the nurse would turn their music down. Nanami uses her powers to sedate the gentlemen and heads for home.


        • #5
          Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

          Meanwhile, Major Aldridge has just arrived at the Victory Point Air Force Base for a special meeting with NASA. She meets up with Lt. Commander Matt Jones, her crew member from last week, and the two muse on what the meeting could be about. They head into the briefing room and are met by their superior officer who reveals that NASA is planning a return trip to the moon. They say that Karen’s fiancé, Jonathan Veril, was on the verge of a major breakthrough in energy production. Unfortunately a lot of his research and samples went missing when the Russians attacked (unbeknownst to the world Karen is using this missing information to be Lunar Frost). NASA believes that with an additional sample they could pick up where Veril left off and revolutionize the world. They want Karen to consult on the mission and help train her replacement. They’re not asking Karen to return to space because of the injuries she suffered in the Russian attack, but they would like to utilize her knowledge nonetheless. They present Karen with a number of dossiers for prospective candidates and ask her opinion on their various qualifications and personality traits. Karen looks them over and asks for more time to make a decision, but she does shut down one candidate off the bat for his arrogant reputation. After the briefing, Lt. Commander Jones gives Karen a “Sorry for Your Loss” Hallmark card and apologizes for bringing up Jon at the festival last week. He offers to buy her a drink and lunch in town and she agrees.

          Alexi Matthis receives a phone call at her apartment downtown from Jackson Powers, owner of Club Tartarus. He asks her to come down to the club and says that he thinks he has something that will help her in her masked endeavors. She agrees and hurries down. She runs into Director Faust as he's leaving the club and the BASTION director comments on her bracelets. Alexi thanks him and shuffles into the club, hoping that he was paying a passing compliment and not outing her as Bangle. Mr. Powers thanks her for coming down and hands her a necklace. He says that the charm will let her conceal her bangles when they’re not in use. He also offers her a job at the club to help her stay safe from the paranormal forces that are seeking her. She takes him up on his offer.


          • #6
            Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

            Outlaw bursts out of a bank onto a Wild West Main Street. He is carrying a sack of money. He ducks as another Outlaw fires off a blast of lasers towards him. The other Outlaw is here to finally arrest his long lost counterpart. The two exchange shots, teleporting around the town and each other, until the evil one gains the upper hand. The good Outlaw teleports to the top of the town water tower but Outlaw anticipates his move and shoots out the supports. The tower buckles and snaps dropping the good Outlaw roughly in front of his counterpart. With no remorse the bad Outlaw blows him away, forcing the hero out of his nightmare. In a moment of lucidity, Outlaw remembers the list of people he came back to find: Maxwell Moon, Skylar Hightower, Charles Westmoor, Mike Leandros, and fellow hero Karen Aldridge! He doesn't remember if he needs to protect or kill them, but it's a start. Before Outlaw can think too much, there's a knock at his door. A butler enters the room and introduces himself as Thomas Darnay. Moon sent the butler over to take care of Outlaw’s needs during his penthouse stay. The butler fixes him breakfast and tells the cowboy that Moon wanted to see the Unconventionals for some work. Outlaw has Homunculus call up his teammates and he prepares for the day.

            The team agrees to discuss looking into Moon’s request and meet up at the penthouse. Lunar Frost is hesitant to do Maxwell Moon’s dirty work and says that she thinks they should leave him be. The rest of the team persuades her to at least hear him out and they buzz off to Jupiter Enterprises. They enter the tower and are led to Moon’s office. They find the CEO hunched over an impressive shuttle schematic and he mentions that he is working on some new shuttle modifications for NASA’s return to the moon. He thanks them for coming on such short notice and tells them there was a robbery at one of his warehouses last night. The night foreman reported four characters in costumes with powers as the culprits. He says that he figures this is right up their alley and can help them build their street cred as heroes. They agree to look into it and fly off for the oceanfront warehouse.

            The warehouse is a distribution center for industrial grade laboratory equipment and they see hundreds of workers unloading and loading crates. They meet with the foreman, an Irishman named Phineas McCaffery, who gives them his story about last nights events. He says that a group of women broke in and attacked him before stealing a few crates and flying off into the night. Bangle lays down a golden circle and magically reveals the attack (Postcognition power). The team sees a group of similar looking women including a woman in a suit of power armor, a freakishly large woman carrying an energy axe, a woman with her mouth sew shut wearing a ninja uniform, and a woman in a cloak firing mystical blasts. They knock Phineas out and grab the crates. Homunculus scans the area and finds the manifest for the crates. The villains stole a large chemical oven and a number of medicinal tubes. Lunar Frost is able to deduce that the oven is designed for use with a select chemical called parthenium. Another technology check confirms that parthenium is a chemical used in the creation of clones. The team sees that the manifests mentions a chemical factory called ODW Chemicals that has a stock pile of parthenium and Lunar Frost remembers that Dr. Lawrence Kripke is the leading authority on cloning. They decide to look into the doctor first and zip off to Promethean Labs.


            • #7
              Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

              They arrive at Promethean to discover that Kripke is out of the office for the week but they manage to convince the security guard to give them the good doctor’s address. One teleport later they are standing in Dr. Kripke’s backyard. The doctor is barbecuing with his wife and two kids. The kids notice the heroes first and ask their dad if he hired super heroes for their party. He says no and asks to talk with the Unconventionals away from the family. They step into his office and ask if he can clone human beings. He tells them about a Dr. Oliver who died in a lab accident some time ago that was on the verge of a breakthrough in cloning. The team tells Kripke about the clones they saw in Bangle’s vision and warn him that these clones might be coming for him. Kripke says that they're probably unstable and are seeking parthenium to fix their degenerating bodies. The team ask him if he could create some kind of catalyst to undo the clones if they need to and he says he can. They drop Kripke off at his lab and head for the ODW factory hoping to find the clones’ trail.

              They don't have to look very hard, because when they arrive they find the clones attacking the plant. Outlaw teleports in and comes face to face with Titan(brick) carrying a tank of parthenium on her shoulder. The big girl looks down at the cowboy and a wicked smile crosses her face. She drops the tank and prepares for battle. Bangle teleports into the plant with her portals and launches a pair of bracelets at Europa (power suit/leader). Lunar Frost summons an obscuring fog with her cold gauntlets and watches the entrance for the other clones, while Encephalopathy joins Outlaw in attacking Titan. The battle goes on with the Unconventionals squaring up against individual Eclipse Syndicate members (Outlaw and Titan’s fight is particularly hilarious) until Encephalopathy convinces Luna (spellcaster) to stop fighting. Luna freaks out and teleports herself, Titan, and Europa away, leaving Callisto (the ninja) behind. Encephalopathy continues her persuasive streak and talks Callisto into helping them track down her sisters. She promises the mute ninja that they will help stabilize her and her sisters. Callisto telepathically tells Enceph that her sisters are going to kidnap Dr. Kripke.

              The Unconventionals beam over to Promethean Labs just in time to rescue the good doctor. Titan is causing mayhem in the parking lot, Luna is pouting and not participating, and Europa has just flown off with Dr. Kripke. Outlaw and Bangle jump on Titan to subdue her and Encephalopathy and Lunar Frost team up to capture Europa. At least that was the plan, Encephalopathy didn't need Lunar Frost as she flexes her mental muscles and drags the power suit kicking and screaming back to Earth. Outlaw continues taunting and vexing Titan, until he finally knocks her out. The heroes stand triumphant over the Eclipse Syndicate, but their victory is short lived. Before they can decide what to do with their metahuman prisoners, Police Commissioner Mary Cooper arrives on scene and orders them to surrender. The group refuses and teleports to Club Tartarus while they think of their next move.

              Mr. Powers welcomes them into the club with open arms, offering drinks and a cell for Titan. He has Bangle lead Titan into the Employees Only area of the club that leads into a sort of mystical dungeon. Bangle looks Titan in one of the cells, but encounters a well dressed Victorian gentleman named Anson that asks her to put in a word to Mr. Powers when she goes back upstairs. Meanwhile Lunar Frost contacts BASTION fearing that they have no where else to turn to. Director Faust agrees to hold the Eclipse Syndicate and provide a lab for Dr. Kripke to work in until they can be cured, but urges them to consider joining BASTION full-time. Lunar Frost and Encephalopathy go with the BASTION agents to make sure they honor their word, and during the trip Director Faust tries to assure them that they need allies in Titan City if they want to keep their freedom. He knows that BASTION has a bad history with super heroes but he recognizes that the times are changing and his agency needs to change with them. The team agrees to at least work with BASTION on a case by case basis. They set the clones and Dr. Kripke up in their temporary homes, but Luna asks to stay at Club Tartarus. The group agrees to this, but Mr. Powers puts her under Bangle’s responsibility.

              Meanwhile, Outlaw checks in with Maxwell Moon. Moon is ecstatic they could track down the culprits and prevent any causalities. He offers to pay Outlaw and Outlaw accepts. Then the cowboy teleports to the Titan City Chronicle building to ask Skylar Hightower for an interview. She agrees and the cowboy leaves a threatening message to Police Commissioner Cooper, “What’s legal ain’t always right and what’s right ain’t always legal.”


              • #8
                Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

                Unconventionals Recap #3:
                Mistaken Identity

                This issue opens with Lunar Frost finally deciphering some of the encrypted Project Rebirth file folder she found in her apartment during the first issue. The file contains information about a secret government project designed to destroy and dissect Titan City’s original super hero team: the Sentinels. Apparently the BASTION lulled the heroes into a false sense of security with orchestrated crimes and personal success before killing their non-powered member Chevron. This demoralized and separated the team, making it simple for BASTION to swoop in, capture the heroes and study them for their powers. Lunar grapples with what to do with this information and decides that a team meeting is in order. She sends a message to her new friends and they have a late night meeting on a downtown rooftop.

                Lunar opens the meeting by describing what she's learned and saying that they might be in over their heads here. She says that she never intended for this to escalate beyond beating Russians in the night and now they've had two super powered fights in as many weeks and they may be getting pulled into a government conspiracy. Bangle points out that she is going to be pursued no matter where she goes because of her bracelets, and that even though she's afraid she's still going to be a hero. Lunar doesn't know who they can trust outside of the group and she knows that they need to stick together if they're going to survive. The group agrees and they share a touching scene where everyone unveils their secret identities, except for Outlaw who is just Outlaw. It turns out Lunar Frost and Encephalopathy have a history, spending a number of years together on the same Air Force base as children. Satisfied that they're going to stick together through thick and thin, the heroes depart for the evening.

                The following morning Bangle is hosting a lecture at Titan City University. She's a TA for the eccentric Professor Burke. Burke is a controversial figure at the school, who tries to teach history as it was, not as people would like it to be. He asks Alexi to introduce their segment on the Revolutionary War while he attends a meeting with the Dean. She steps up and begins lecturing and at this point I have the other players RP as students in the class. She has a few unruly kids and no one seems to learn anything. After the class lets out, Alexi sees a man in a ball cap and sunglasses lingering at the back of the hall. The man stands up and tells Alexi that it was a lovely lecture for someone who wasn't there and Bangle realizes her visitor is Anson Walker, the guy she freed from Club Tartarus’ cells. He thanks her for her assistance in securing her freedom and offers to train her in magic as a reward. He says that he believes magic users shouldn't have to hide their powers, and that there is no reason for her to live in fear. He gives her his card, a simple white card with a black top hat on its face, and disappears.

                Outlaw is walking down the street near his penthouse. The cowboy is making his way to one of the local convenience stores to restock his snack supply, at the behest of Homunculus. Before he gets too far, a large sweaty man in a trench coat runs up to him. The man grips his chest and leans on Outlaw after getting the cowboy’s attention and introduces himself as Ralph Mayweather. Ralph goes on to say that he's a talent agent for Boom! Studios. The portly man goes on to say that he's scouting Titan City for a new Western super hero film being filmed by legendary B movie director Charles Westmoor. The movie is called Capes and Cattle and Westmoor wants Outlaw to consult. Outlaw notes that Westmoor’s name is on his list and agrees to give him a call. After leaving Mr. Mayweather, Outlaw makes it to the convenience store, but the owner doesn't want to sell him anything. He calls Outlaw a…outlaw and tells him to leave before he calls the police. Two people in the store stand up for Outlaw saying he's a hero and should be respected. The clerk tells him to take what he wants and never come back. Outlaw pays for the guys who stood up for him and heads home.


                • #9
                  Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

                  Encephalopathy has returned to her job at Titan City Memorial. She’s been assigned to clinicals as a means of easing herself back into the swing of doctoring and at this point I have the other players role-play as patients that have come to visit her. Her first patient is an elderly woman who has inexplicably gotten her period after decades of nothing. Dr. Andrews asks her some questions about her sex life and decides to order a sonogram and blood work for the woman. Her next patient is a preop transgender who is trying to get an additional prescription for testosterone. The patient says that his last doctor had a stick up his ass and that he and his girlfriend are heading to Sweden to get his operation done. Dr. Andrews says that she’s not going to prescribe him more testosterone due to safety reasons. The patient is displeased and leaves. The final patient is a hypochondriac who is reporting a strange rash. Encephalopathy realizes that the patient’s shower was too hot this morning and caused the reddish hue on her skin. Dr. Andrews prescribes her a placebo and sends her on her way.

                  Lunar Frost is on patrol in Little Moscow when she hears an explosion rock the district. She zips down to investigate and sees a squad of Russian gangsters firing into an abandoned subway tunnel. They are engaged in a fire fight with a group of Irish mobsters and the Russians are backed up by a scrap metal robot. Lunar covers the area in an impenetrable mist and quickly knocks out the robot by blocking its wireless signal. She then picks the Russians off one-by-one. When the fight is over she realizes that the Irish disappeared, leaving a gold coin in their wake. The coin has a silver mouse emblazoned on it. The phrase, “Ironmouse owes you one,” is embossed on the back. One of the Russians yells out that Maxwell Moon gave them the robot, but Lunar tells him to shut up and freezes them together for the police to find. Before she flies off to continue her patrol she sees a news broadcast on the televisions. Mayor Thompson appears on screen and announces that he is not seeking reelection for the first time in forty years. He says that he has worked tirelessly for this city for most of his life and he feels it’s time for someone else to give it a shot. Before the crowd can react too much, Veronica (Maxwell Moon’s body guard) rockets onto the stage and attacks the mayor with her flamethrower. The audience and heroes gasp with shock, but the Unconventionals spring into action.

                  Lunar Frost, Encephalopathy, and Bangle make their way to City Hall to catch Veronica or failing that, investigate the scene of the crime. Outlaw heads to Jupiter Enterprises to ask Maxwell Moon what the heck happened. The Unconventionals arrive at City Hall to see a police barricade and a pair of TCPD Detectives on the scene. They enlist the aid of intrepid reporter Skylar Hightower to help them sneak onto the scene. Enceph uses her mental abilities to hijack one of the detectives while Lunar Frost broadcasts a fake tip to the police. They’re free to investigate the scene as most of the cops chase after the tip. Enceph’s detective is an arson specialist and Nanami is able to discern with her memories that the burns aren’t consistent with a military grade flamethrower, but are similar to a handmade incendiary device. Bangle uses her postcognition to replay the attack and she’s able to figure out that the “Veronica” didn’t have a working jet pack, instead she leapt from a nearby building to attack the mayor. Lunar and Bangle trace her trajectory back to an apartment overlooking City Hall and Lunar flies over to check the place out. Lunar finds that the apartment is bare, except for a set of binoculars on a stand, and a journal written in a strange tone. The journal’s author seems to have been studying Veronica and references some time he spent in Afghanistan observing her. The heroes decide that Veronica has picked up some kind of stalker that wants to hurt her for unknown reasons.

                  Meanwhile, Outlaw teleports to Jupiter Enterprises where he sees a throng of security guards keeping the police at bay. Police Commissioner Cooper is threatening to come back with a warrant if she needs to, but Outlaw doesn’t wait to see how that resolves. He instead teleports directly up to Moon’s office and talks with the CEO. Moon says that he hasn’t heard from Veronica in a week but he doesn’t think she would do something like this. He tells Outlaw that Veronica was supposed to be in Afghanistan overseeing a weapons test with the military. Jupiter Enterprises has created a prototype sonic emitter as a nonlethal crowd dispersal weapon. The military and a JE research team were testing the prototype in Afghanistan, but Veronica missed her check in about a week ago. Moon wasn’t worried at the time, because this isn’t the first time she’s gone missing on a mission. Moon tells Outlaw that if she was laying low she’d do it in her house in the suburbs. Outlaw gets the address and the Unconventionals meet up at Veronica’s.

                  They find the door to her house unlocked and let themselves in. The group pokes around the various rooms and crannies of the house and the come upon a high-tech locked door that leads into her basement. Homunculus springs into action and bypasses the security, letting the heroes into Veronica’s war room. They find a chamber loaded with Veronica’s munitions and Veronica herself. They free Veronica from her bonds and she tells them that she was jumped by a crazed robot in Afghanistan. The robot claimed to be preparing an alien world for an invasion from Earth and took Veronica’s identity in order to sow chaos in Titan City. She said that the robot has stolen the sonic emitter, and has been working to modify it to create a type of sonic earthquake generator. She says that Moon has a GPS tracker in the emitter they can use to track it down.

                  The GPS signal leads them to a mall in the suburbs called the Avenue of Titans. The robot has taken the emitter deep underground into the maintenance tunnels and has hired a squad of Russians using “Maxwell Moon’s” money to watch the mall and keep the heroes at bay, but they’re far too clever for that. The heroes have Veronica pretend to capture them and the Russians let them pass without a fight. They enter the mall and see that the Russians have a few dozen hostages sitting in one of the cleared out stores. The heroes take the maintenance tunnels down and they find the robot sitting on the sonic emitter, making his final preparations. They try to convince him that he’s actually on Earth and the Earthlings aren’t going to invade any time soon. He calls it alien propaganda and a fight breaks out. The fight is very one-sided with the heroes destroying his space ship and defeating the robot. Before he can be destroyed he sets off a number of charges around the mall and blows himself up in the process. The Unconventionals fly off to rescue as many hostages as they can. They’re successful in saving everyone, but the police still try to arrest them when they arrive. The heroes evade police capture once more and the day is saved.

                  The Unconventionals return to Jupiter Enterprises with Veronica and Moon thanks them for helping clear her name. Moon says that he wants to reward them somehow for all the work they’ve helped him with in the past couple weeks and the heroes ask him to help support them with the general public. Encephalopathy also asks him for an easier to put on costume and he says he has a few ideas he can put into production. Moon says that he will do everything he can to win the public over to them, hoping to stop the police’s witch hunt. Content that they’ve done enough good for one day the heroes go their separate ways.

                  Lunar Frost and Enceph decide to celebrate their victory over the robot and their reunion after so long by hitting up a sushi bar for some sake. Their party is interrupted by a handsome older gentleman that joins them. He introduces himself as Charles Westmoor, a noted film director in Titan City hoping to film his new picture here. He refers to them by name before they introduce themselves and this throws them off a little. Enceph tries to read his mind and she hears him reciting rugby scores and lottery numbers over and over again in his head. This freaks them out, but they play it cool and give him a couple locations they think would be good places to film. He thanks them and departs for the evening. When Frost returns to her apartment that night she has another message waiting for her. “The Ironmouse is Alistair Drake,” is written on a slip of paper on her fridge.

                  Bangle heads off to Club Tartarus to meet with Jackson Powers again. The club is full of people and creatures celebrating and Bangle has to push her way to Mr. Powers’ office. He greets her and asks her how he can help her and she tells him that Anson visited her at work. He says that Anson has taken an interest in her, not her bracelets, but Alexi specifically. Alexi asks Mr. Powers what she should do and he says that Isabella will teach Alexi how to blend in and hide her powers, but Anson would teach her to expand those powers. He says that he will just lay out the options, but he never advises which way is best. Alexi thanks him and grapples with what she should do. Outlaw and Homunculus on scanning the robot’s ship, trying to track down its creators or history, but it’s very difficult to track anything down, they do however find an energy source aboard the ship that Homunculus taps into and fixes one of his downed circuits. He tells Outlaw that they have regained access to their temporal headquarters: the S.T.A.G.E. Outlaw smiles his little smile and the pair teleport off to set the S.T.A.G.E.


                  • #10
                    Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

                    Sounds like a solid campaign so far.


                    • #11
                      Re: The Ballad of the Titan City Unconventionals

                      So we started Season 2 of the campaign last Friday night. In honor of that here's a recap of season one.
                      A little over a year ago, Titan City was forever changed. A metahuman attack on Miracle Mile during the Fourth of July led to the formation of a new team of super powered guardians called the Unconventionals. This team included Outlaw: the cowboy from the future sent back with a list of targets he had to kill to prevent a terrible dystopia, Lunar Frost: a brilliant astronaut with a suit powered by extraterrestrial energies, Encephalopathy: a carefree neurosurgeon with a love for anime and power over the mind, and Bangle: a fledgling sorceress who bonded with an ancient weapon of the gods. They banded together for the betterment of Titan City, working alongside noted industrialist Maxwell Moon to keep metahuman threats in check. Their exploits brought them to the attention of a number of different entities, including the Bureau for the Acquisition of Strange Technology, Intelligence, Organisms, and Networks (BASTION), enigmatic wizard Anson Walker, owner of Club Tartarus and powerful mystic Mr. Powers, and even the Irish mob. During one of their time traveling journeys they stumbled across a dark secret: their benefactor Maxwell Moon was actually the host to an immortal alien warlord that was seeking the perfect body to conquer Earth. Armed with this knowledge, the Unconventionals sought to subvert and destroy Moon. To this end, they enlisted the aid of Chevron, a veteran hero from Titan City’s previous super hero team: the Sentinels. The government captured and killed his team, but he'd learned during his long exile that Moon had taken possession of his friend/lover Atlas. Chevron feared the Moon would transfer his consciousness into the Mad Titan and become truly unstoppable. All the while, Outlaw had been working on his list, but realized his teammate Lunar was one of the people he had to kill. They found a way around this when an assassin robot, possessed by Outlaw’s trusty A.I. Homunculus broke into Lunar’s house and murdered her admirer: Nathaniel Moon, Maxwell Moon’s son. The Unconventionals attempts to stop Moon led them to a darkness dimension located beneath Cauldron Lake, on the outskirts of town where they met their fifth member Shadow Wolf: the latest in a proud line of native warriors with mastery over the darkness. Unfortunately Moon tricked the heroes, taking over Atlas’ body, killing their friend Chevron in the process. With their backs against the wall, the Unconventionals made a pact with Mr. Powers who turned out to be the Titan Kronos. He agreed to handle Atlas if they would free him from Tartarus. The heroes agreed and set off to steal the Golden Apples from the Garden of Paradise. They met Hephaestus who aided them in recovering the apples and upheld their bargain with Kronos. He trapped Atlas in Tartarus and went on his merry way. This wasn't enough to stop Moon though, and his alien forces arrived to conquer the Earth. The Unconventionals stood up to him, with Hephaestus laying down his life to contain Moon’s malevolent consciousness. The heroes rose up and destroyed his evil once and for all and then quietly went their separate ways. Outlaw saved the future and then his two personalities split, one jumping into the time stream and the other remaining in Titan City, Bangle left with a new mystical mentor named Kellogg to recover mystic artifacts that went missing, Encephalopathy was taken into the Fey Court, Shadow Wolf returned to the Darkness to continue his training with a new mistress, and Lunar Frost prepared for a return trip to the moon with NASA…”