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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holly Daye Special - Actual Play


Gonna try to do this solo play under a format I've used once, but it seemed to help me back then. I'll be writing down things as a mock up dialogue between a GM and the characters, with the PCs being self-aware  (kinda as if the characters were playing as themselves in the RPG). I know it's somewhat schizoweirdo and meta... but bear with me.

The characters are all premade Sentinels but it's assumed they don't know each other yet, though some might have made the news already. Here are the characters used, with a link to their free PDF sheet.

 * Princess (checking out shops for gifts to offer, as Jessica)
 * Kid Robot (with his guardian, Natalie Hallemier, at a Xmas event)
 * The Rook (keeping an eye out for trouble from the roofs of the city)

Check the previous post for the villain write-up.

GM: The story starts a few days before Christmas proper. It is late evening and, considering the time of year the sky is dark already but the streets are anything but. A myriad of lights, neon signs and shiny things can be found everywhere, along with many people wandering about. There's this indescribable festive feel in the air. It is, definitely, Christmas time!
Princess, you are in your civilian identity, going from shop to shop in the hope of finding something for your friends and family.

Princess: Gotcha.

GM: Kid Robot, you are in a big mall where a Christmas event is taking place. Dr Natalie Hallemier is with you. In fact, she was the one who brought you here, you're not exactly sure why. That said, she also insisted on you wearing a rather conceiling jacket with a hoodie.

Kid: But I'm not cold!

GM: She says she knows, but it's meant to protect you anyway.

Kid: Mm'kay. Odd. So where am I at again?

GM: There are a lot of other kids around, with adults, just like you. Everyone seems to be waiting impatiently for something to happen, though you don't know what. You see what looks like a pile of boxes covered by a large white sheet. All the children seem to be looking very intently at it.

Kid: Um, I don't understand. What are we waiting for Nat?

GM: "It's a surprise! You need to be patient and discover it for yourself, it shouldn't be too long now."

Kid: Guess I'll wait then.

GM: All right. In the meantime, Rook, I suppose you're observing the city?

Rook: Of course. I go from roof to roof, looking out for anything suspicious. Not everyone is respectful of these festive times.

GM: OK. So far, you see nothing strange but you keep going. Princess, in your search, you end up at the mall and there's this big crowd gathered here. Lots of children. It seems like they're going to unveil something very soon.

Princess: Is this the same mall as Kid?

GM: Well... not that you'd know, but yeah.

Princess: Eh, guess I can take a second or two and see what this is all about.

GM: Rook, something catches your eye. From above, you spot a large black van driving a bit too fast and parking hapharzardly near a large mall. The back doors open and you see a group of men coming out.

Rook: How many?

GM: Um... Six of them. What's really strange about them is their getup: they dressed in green with little pointy hats and shoes.

Rook: Err... like little elves?

GM: Well, yeah, except they're anything but little. Full human size, some of them possibly even burly. They also seem to be carrying something large... looks like rifles or something.

Rook: Can I try to get a better look? I do have my Cowl's Extended Vision

GM: Ah, good point. In that case, you're easily able to tell that they're not rifles, but still look like some type of gun weapon. Not something you've ever seen.

Rook: OK... I don't like the looks of that. I'm going to glide down to a backstreet as near them as possible.

GM: You do so and they do not notice you one bit. As you fly by, you notice one more of these men coming out of the driver's side, and a woman, in a similar getup, coming out of the other side.

Rook: Do I recognize her?

GM: Um... You do have Well-Informed. What's your Investigation?

Rook: +6

Here I'm going to go with a Routine check to simplify things (and avoid too much randomness). We're looking at rumors, so it's a DC 10 Gather Information check using Investigation, according to p.71. He gets a routine 16, so he makes it.

GM: You remember hearing about someone who fits her description. Ever since the beginning of the month there have been a few cases of assault and property damage in and around various shops. A woman dressed as a Santa elf is said to have smashed down Christmas setups and gotten into fights with some fake Santas advertising for products.

Rook: Were they the same product? Or shops with a specific theme?

GM: Not that you remember. The one theme they had in common was the Christmas one.

Rook: All right. In any case, she might be dangerous... and these visibly armed men don't make me think otherwise. I'm jumping down into the alley and will try to catch one of them to know more.

GM: Mh... OK. The group is heading towards the mall and you're going for a silent grab. Give me an attack check, unless you have something specific for grabbing?

Rook: Uh... I don't think I do. Just an attack roll then. d20 (8) +15 = 23.

GM: Yeah... you're pretty good at that kind of stuff aren't you? Let me roll their resistance check. d20 (7) +2 = 9. Yeah, no surprise there, you catch the guy. You beat him by quite more than 5, so that's at least 2 degrees of success. He's utterly bound. What do you do with him?

Rook: I'll firmly ask him what the hell his litttle group plans on doing here. Intimidation of course.

Again Routine Check to simplify things. He has +8, so a 18 routine. The thug has no Will bonus, nor the Insight skill, so it's an easy one.

GM: He seems too scared to even thrash about and stutters that they're here to fix Christmas.

Rook: "Fix" Christmas?... Are you mocking me? I say that with enough anger so that he understands he should not, if he is.

GM: He shakes his head frantically. "No no no! Too much commercialization! Gifts given to anyone, even the unworthy! It's got to stop!" As for whether he's lying or not... what's your Insight?

Rook: Um, I don't have Insight... so, Awareness?

GM: Yes, please.

Rook: d20 (18) +2 = 20

GM: Good roll. d20 (19) -1 = 18. You think he's telling the truth, as strange as it might sound.

Rook: OK... What are you planning to do exactly then? What's this? I point at his weapon-like device.

GM: Strangely enough, you don't get the answer from him. Instead, a loud noise followed by gasps and some panicked shrieks tell you you might find out yourself. It came from inside the mall. And going back to Kid and Princess. You were waiting for the unveiling when some nice red curtains were pulled apart to reveal none other than... Santa! Well... a Santa at least. The white sheet was pulled up also, revealing a mountain of gift boxes, obviously intended for the gathered kids. How's that, Kid Robot?

Kid: Uhhh... I'm not sure I understand. Who's the fat man in red?

GM: Are you asking the doctor?

Kid: Yeah.

GM: She has a slight pause, a bit taken aback, but then showing a compassionate smile. "I guess I should have briefed you up a bit, uh?"

Kid: Is this a mission?

GM: "Haha, oh dear, no. This -- she point at the man in red -- is Santa Claus. Every year, around this time, he comes to listen to the children's wishes so they may have something they want for the day of Christmas. Do you... understand?"

Kid: Wishes?

GM: "Yes, like... maybe you want a firefighter truck, or a toy robo-- err... toys... things to play with and have fun. On Christmas he'll come on his magical sleigh pulled by his faithful reindeers and bring what you wished for under the Christmas tree."

Kid: Can we ask for anything?

GM: "Well, uh... it's..."

Kid: I'm going to see the man in red.

GM: You tell her that?

Kid: No, I'm going there.

GM: Oh... She tries to catch you but you're already out of the crowd and nearing the man sporting a great white beard and a consequent belly.

Kid: Mister Claus?

GM: The big man looks down at you with a jolly smile. "Ho ho ho! Good evening to you, child."

Kid: I was told I should tell you my wish for Christmas.

GM: He looks a bit embarassed. "Ho ho ho! Well, well, we actually have a pile of gifts for you here." He gestures towards the pile of gift boxes which the other kids are already gathering around and shredding open with squeals of delight. "I'm sure you will find something you'll like in there, go take a look!" He gently pushes you towards it.

Kid: I look back at the doctor with a confused look but don't resist.

GM: She kind of gives a shrug with an unsure smile and gestures you to the pile. You see many children opening boxes with many colors and designs and pulling out miniature trains, cars, dolls... one of the items kinda looks like you. There's also a kid trying to reach one of the higher boxes.

Kid: I look at him and ask him "Do you want the one up there?"

GM: He looks up at you, a bit unsure at first, but then nods bashfully.

Kid: "I got it." I fly up there to get the box.

GM: Oh dear... OK. You activate your force boosters and rise in the air with a woomph, scattering wrappings about and creating a bit of a commotion. Some of the parents are pulling their kids back while others seem to wonder if that's part of the show. When you get back down, the kid who asked for the box is looking at you with wide open eyes and mouth agape. All he manages to say is "Woah..."

Kid: "Um... there you go." I say as I hand him the box.

GM: He takes it but still stares at you in awe. You realize your hood has fallen back when you flew and you see Natalie coming to you with a worried look on her face. She's not the only one: other parents now seem to shield their kid and look at you with what you interpret as something from confusion to fear.

Kid: "I, uh..."

GM: The kid seems to snap out of it and turns to his mother saying "Mommy, I want this one!!", pointing at you excitedly. Princess, you have followed that scene from afar. What's your take on it so far?

Princess: Well... I'm still unsure whether it's a skit or something. Christmas robot maybe? People don't seem to be taking it the right way though.

GM: He did fly in the air...

Princess: Yeah... that might be a bit too advanced for a skit, eh? I'm on my guards in case I need to intervene.

GM: Kid, you notice a strange bunch entering the building. They're dressed in strange red and green costumes with pointy hats and jingling bells attached to their tips. The one in front is a woman and the others are men carrying some strange contraption. It makes you think of those strange energy cannons you've seen in the movies the Doctor showed you.

Kid: Not sure what to make of this. Is this also part of this Christmas thing?

GM: You don't really know I guess. The doctor comes next to you, puts your hood back on and, an arm around your shoulders, pulls you away. "I... think we're done here. I'm sorry about this... I thought you would... I don't know what I was thinking."

Kid: Uh? What? What's going on?

GM: "We should leave..." she tells you. She seems upset, you're not sure why. Before you can think about it too much, you hear a scream. A child is wailing. People turn towards the source of the commotion. Princess, you also see that of course and you notice the bunch that entered the building dressed up as Santa's elves or something, except with big weapon-like contraptions, which is rather jarring.
The wailing comes from a child. It seems like the dressed-up woman has taken his gift box. "Nuh-uh, you have not been nice to your parents this year, no way you're gonna get a gift! That's not how it works!"
From behind, you all can see a few security guards approaching. "Ma'am, you are disturbing the Christmas event, we will ask you to follow us without a fuss now please."
The woman lets out a laugh. "HA! Christmas?! You fools have no idea what Christmas truly is! This is a joke!"
"Ma'am... we're asking nicely..." says one of the guards grabbing her shoulder.
"Unhand me! I'm here to fix Christmas and you won't stop me. Boys!"
Her group reacts to her call, raising their weapons and firing at the guards. Bright blue beams come out of them and hit the guards, covering them in a thick coat of ice. Soon enough they're stuck in place and encased in the frozen matter.

Time for all of you to roll initiative. You too Rook.

Round 1

Princess: d20 (16) +9 = 25
Kid: d20 (1) +8 = 9
Rook: d20 (14) +5 = 19

GM: Holly:  d20 (7) +10 = 17
Not So Little Elves: d20 (9) +1 = 10

We end up with Princess, Rook, Holly, Elves, Kid

GM: Well, Kid, you seem confused by all this.

Kid: Right, I thought this might also be part of that Christmas thing. I guess not after all.

GM: First to act is Princess. What do you do?

Princess: Well, clearly things have turned sour here. Fixing Christmas eh? Maybe I'll fix her nose for making those poor kids scared and... freezing the guards. But I'm a bit concerned by the ones with those... freezing rays. She seems unarmed so far.

GM: Actually I forgot to mention, though not exactly a weapon, she is carrying a giant candy cane as tall as she is, even if she's a bit smallish.

Princess: She's not a kid is she?

GM: No, no, she's a woman, just smaller than average. And as such much smaller than you.

Princess: Hm... I'll still focus on the armed goons I think. I run up to the closest and try to knock him out.

GM: OK, since they are Minions, you can simply do a Routine attack if it's enough to hit. What's your attack bonus?

Princess: +8. That's 18 routine?

GM: Mh... Yeah, that would hit.
They have a Parry of 2, thus DC 12
So he needs to resist your damage... Your attack has a DC of... 27. Yeah, he has no way of resisting that, so he's down, dropping his weapon in the process.

Princess: How many are there again?

GM: Uh... seven, well six now, plus the girl. Rook, you're up.

Rook: I'm still outside?

GM: Ah, yes, you still have the guy in your chokehold. You have just heard some commotion in the mall, what are you doing?

Rook: Can't quite leave him here unattended... and I'm pretty sure he's up to no good. Uh... is there any way for me to knock him out instantly?

GM: Mhh... your grab put him in a pretty bad situation, let me see... He is Defenseless from your Grab, and obviously at close range, so that's supposedly all you need to make a Finishing Attack. Do you want to roll it to try to get a crit?

Rook: Let's try that. I want to make sure he's out in one move. d20 (16) +15 = 31.

GM: Yyyyeah... quite so. Being a crit, this gives you a +5 bonus to your damage DC. Let's see his toughness resistance. d20 (16) +3 = 19 VS DC 18+5... 23. He made a good roll, but that crit definitely helped you. You knock him out. What next?

Rook: Are there many people from here to the entrance of the mall? Can I use my wings to get there quickly?

GM: I'm going to say it's clear enough. And the doors are still open from the group entering.

Rook: OK, I spread my wings and burst forward, zigzagging between people if necessary until I'm inside.

GM: You get there without too much trouble. You see that the rest of the group is here and they have started using their weapons. You see a few guards encased in ice with looks of surprise on their faces. The woman of the group is near a group of children and she's holding a gift box away from a crying child. She has a giant candy cane in her other hand. I totally forgot about this but I guess you would have seen her take it out of the van earlier, too.
Anyway, that's the end of your turn. Let's get to... ah, that peculiar lady!

She's seen one of her allies go down, attacked by a tall girl with a pink shirt with "Princess" on it. And she doesn't look too happy. "Agh! Who dares lay a hand on Saint Nick's elves?!" Without any visible means of propulsion she takes to the air and swoops down on you, Princess. She wields her huge candy cane like a bat and swings it at you.
d20 (8) +12 = 20. What's your Parry?

Princess: Parry is 8

GM: so DC 18. You take the curved part of the cane in the head. Roll your Toughness save.

Princess: I do have Impervious Toughness 8. Does this get through it?

GM: Unfortunately for you, yes. She gave you a pretty strong hit, totally unexpected considering her petite size.

Princess: Darn. d20 (6) +12 = 18. Is that enough?

GM: Unfortunately no, you take a -1 penalty.

Princess: Ouch... but I can take it. I think... I might redirect my attention to that crazy lady next turn...

GM: Sounds fair. For now, it's the turn of the elves. They all turn to you, raising their weapons and they fire.
Elf 1: d20 (12) +1 = 13
Elf 2: d20 (14) +1 = 15
Elf 3: d20 (12) +1 = 13
Elf 4: d20 (8) +1 = 9
Elf 5: d20 (10) +1 = 11

Your Dodge DC is... 18, so none of them actually manages to hit you. How does that go?

Princess: I'm just too fast on my legs and too nimble compared to the time it takes for them to aim and shoot these bulky things. They're not sticking me to the floor anytime soon.

GM: All right! Kid, it's your turn. What do you do? There's quite a battle in progress in front of your eyes and you're pretty sure this is not normal. The face on the good doctor is quite enough to tell you so. She's obviously trying to find a safe way out and still holding you by the shoulders.

Kid: I drop that silly cloak thing and put my hand on hers, gently removing it from my shoulder. "Do not worry. I'll protect you." I activate my force field. Well, make sure it's active, since I probably have it on most of the time. And I step forward, computing everyone's position and starting the charge of my Force Bolts. Those armed people look dangerous. "Everyone get down!" Aim, shoot! I'm using Multiattack to try to get them all.

GM: That's five of them, so a -5 penalty. Do your roll.

Kid: d20 (3) +12 -5 = 10. Err... oops?

GM: Oops indeed. Your shots are rather wild and end up hitting various walls and decorations instead of your intended targets.

Kid: Attack result: failure... Increase attack precision for next attempt.

GM: Sounds like a good idea! You can still move, do you want to?

Kid: Mhh... I'll fly up, this way they shouldn't hit innocents if they target me. And it'll give me a better view of the situation.

Round 2

GM: OK. Next is... Princess!

Princess: Hm... I think I'm gonna try and grab that candy can off her hands. Who knows, maybe it's the source of her power. It ticks me off anyway.

GM: Disarming uh? OK, let's see... that's a regular attack but at -2.

Princess: Here we go. d20 (8) +8-2 = 14

GM: Not even close. She nimbly moves out of the way keeping that cane out of reach.

Princess: Urh... Well I keep after her anyway. At worst I'm keeping her busy.

GM: Works for me. Oh, by the way, can you give me an Investigation roll? or Intelligence if you don't have it.

Princess: Sure. d20 (13) +2 = 15

GM: All right. During that fight, you end up realizing how much she looks like that crazy woman who has made the news this month. Just like The Rook you remember how it's happened all around town, in various stores. Santas were often targeted, but also events such as this one.

Princess: Trying to ruin Christmas for others is she?

GM: Who knows! Anyway, Rook can act now. What does he do?

Rook: It seems it's urgent to take care of those armed goons. I don't know who that kid is (... is he made of metal?!) but he's going to destroy the building instead of helping if keep going like this! Anyway, I was thinking of using one of my Flash Bombs but the radius seems to large.

GM: 30ft radius, yeah... But most people have cleared the area, so I'd say it's possible. Since Princess pursued the crazy lady, she's also moved away. Go ahead with the Flash Bomb if you want.

Rook: Good, I'll throw one in their midst then. They need to resist a DC 13 with Fortitude.

GM: Let's see how that goes.

Goon 1: d20 (9) + 4 = 13
Goon 2: d20 (19) +4 = 23
Goon 3: d20 (6) +4 = 10
Goon 4: d20 (1) +4 = 5
Goon 5: d20 (15) +4 = 19

In retrospect, I totally missed the fact a Dodge roll should have been made before the Fortitude save. Success would have halved the Affliction effect.

GM: Two of them are affected. One of them has two degrees of failure.

Rook: Then one is Vision Impaired and the worst one Vision Disabled.

GM: -2 and -5 on anything requiring vision, got it.

Rook: I'm also going to take to the air and call that flying kid. "Be careful with those shots! Are you here to help or not?"

Kid: I... I am! I'm sorry, I'll be careful!

GM: It's Holly's turn. Yeah, she's called Holly. Can't find a way to give out her name without it being a very corny moment, oh well. She calls out to Princess as she's being pursued: "Why are you interfering? Don't see you what they're doing? They're ruining Christmas! They're ruining Mister Nick's work!" and then she tries to find an opening to make use of her cane. d20 (2) +12 = 14.

Princess: I got a Dodge DC of ... no wait, Parry DC of 18. She misses! I also reply to her. "The only one I see ruining Christmas here is you! What have those poor kids even done to you?!"

GM: She frowns, as if it should have been obvious. "Not all of them have been nice. Bad kids do NOT get presents! That's how it's supposed to be!"

Princess: The hell...

GM: Also, she takes to the air again, getting out of your reach.

Princess: Hmm...

GM: The elves go now. Mhh... They have quite a few possible targets. I think they're going to split -- oh, uh... and I just realized Minions are supposed to take full effect from any attack, so... what's the biggest effect from those Flash Bombs?

Rook: Vision Unaware?

GM: OK, well, I guess that makes those two out of the fight since they can't even recover from that without help or some rest. So yeah, each of the three remaining goons is going to fire at each of you guys.

Goon 1: d20 (1)
Goon 2: d20 (17) +1 = 18
Goon 3: d20 (8) +1 = 9

Oh, um, I should probably define who's attacking who... Let's go by initiative order: Princess, Rook and Kid, respectively. So Princess is off the hook since her goon auto misses. Rook... What's your Dodge?

Rook: The DC is 24

GM: OK, missed. And with a 9 I'm pretty sure Kid's safe.

Kid: DC 18, yes.

GM: Those poor goons won't even touch you at all. Well, Kid, it's your turn.

Kid: I think I'll use my Force Blast, it's the most precise I have for this situation. d20 (1) ... Oh... gaah!

GM: You are not lucky today.

Kid: So ah... I just keep floating in the air then I suppose. Or wait, wait, I'm going to use a Hero Point on this.

GM: OK, go ahead.

Kid: d20 (13) +10 = 23. Haaha! That's better!

GM: Quite so! You totally hit one of the goons. Let's see his resistance. d20 (7) +3 = 10... versus DC 25, yeah, he's toast.

Kid: Whoo! He's pushed in the air and crashes through one of the windows, ending up outside, knocked out.

GM: Still destroying the place uh?

Kid: Meh!

Round 3

GM: Princess, Holly is now flying above you, what do you do?

Princess: Hmm... She seems pretty agile and strong... I'm not even sure I can hit her.

GM: Mmmm... Are you losing your confidence by any chance?

Princess: Uh?... Oh...... my Complication eh? I guess I might be. Though maybe not just yet. One more try and then we'll see. For now, I'll leap in the air to reach her and then place a well aimed punched using Accurate Attack at +2.

GM: Reducing damage effect for accuracy, right. And using your Leaping to get to her. I'm not sure that's exactly how it works, but it sounds fun. Roll it.

Princess: d20 (16) +8+2 = 26! How's that?

GM: Hey, whaddya know, you actually manage to hit her! How well is she going to take it? d20 (5) +6 = 11. What's the damage DC for this? Don't forget the -2.

Princess: Base is 12, so make that 10... and the DC becomes 25.

GM: Ouch... She's got... three degrees of failure! She gets Staggered and a -1 penalty to toughness. Staggered means Dazed and Hindered, so only one standard action per turn for her, and at half speed (-1 rank). I suppose it applies to ground and flight speed, not that it'll matter too much for her Flight I suppose. Very, very nice hit there Princess. Guess you're not losing confidence any time soon after all.

Princess: I rock! Eheh!

GM: I'm even going to say you managed to knock her back down to the ground. She staggers to her feet, visibly shaken by that last hit. Rook, what's your next action?

Rook: "Hey, um... Princess!" I assume I've heard of her, plus her shirt says that, so... "Try using your mean punch of these guys", pointing at the goons. "We fliers will take care of that annoying imp!" I activate the wings with the anti-grav device to rise up to Kid's and Holly's level.

GM: Anything else?

Rook: Gonna use my Taser Talons to hopefully take her out. d20 (18) +13 = 31. Looking good.

GM: No kidding :). Quite above her Dodge so she's hit. Next step is Fortitude?

Rook: Yes, against DC 14.

GM: d20 (18) +6 = 24. She also gets a very good roll and seems surprised but no more affected than before (though she is still dazed).

Rook: Grr...

GM: Her time to act. So, she's dazed... and hindered from her Staggered status. Compared to just being Dazed, this will remain until she gets time to recover. She seems confused and unsure of what to do next. "Get them! Freeze them up! We can't let Christmas... be ruined... urh..." She holds her head for a second, visibly in pain, but focuses again on the Rook, flying to you and trying to get you with her blunt weapon of joy.
d20 (17) +12 = 29

Rook: My Parry DC is 24. I'm hit, right?

GM: Yup, you need to make a Toughness save against 23.

Rook: d20 (3) +6 = 9

GM: Oh my... Wanna use a Hero Point?

Rook: I think I will. d20 (7) . Thats a 17 + 6 = 23. Just saved this time! Phew.

GM: Good, you managed to soften the blow by moving with the flow at the last second. A split second later and you know you would have felt it real bad. Onto the elves now. Three of them left, and they know Princess is gonna come for them, so they all aim at her.

Goon 1: d20 (20) +1 = 21
Goon 2: d20 (14) +1 = 15
Goon 3: d20 (9) +1

Since Minions can't crit non-minions, that first one just gets an auto-hit.

Princess: Which would have hit me anyway...

GM: The two others seem to have missed though. Now to see how well the ray gets you. You resist with Dodge initially, versus DC 13.

Princess: Doesn't look too bad considering I have 8. d20 (20) +8= 28. As I said...

GM: Yeah, there was little chance to begin with, not mentioning a natural 20. While you get bathed in the ray a bit, you're moving too fast for it to hold. It feels rather cold though and the parts end up covered in a thin coat of snow. Kid?

Kid: To that flying elf lady: "I don't really know who you are, but I can't let you do... whatever you're doing." Um... I'll need to work on some catchphrases.

GM: She replies "I'm Holly Daye! Agent of Saint Nick and savior of the Christmas tradition! You seem like a good kid, so stay out of this!"

Kid: "Don't think I can ma'am, sorry!" and I blast her with my force. d20 (5) +10 = 15.

GM: Missed. She's incredibly fast and nimble.

Kid: Gosh... I might have to use my Force Bolts then... and an Accurate Attack I guess. Maybe next round.

Round 4

GM: Princess. Are you going for the goons as The Rook suggested?

Princess: Myeah. I have a beef with that loony but I'm afraid she's a bit too fast for me. And I can't fly like the others. So yeah, gonna try to clear those guys out. Rush in and knock out! d20 (15) +8 = 23. Ha!

GM: Actually could have used a Routine check, but yes, it hits! Considering your damage level and the fact they're minions, there's no point in rolling their Toughness. One of them goes down, wham!

Princess: Cool. I might consider using a Hero Point for Takedown next round.

GM: Rook, what's your move?

Rook: I was thinking of using some Affliction-type attacks but I have the strange feeling it won't do much. She's already staggered after all. I think I'll just fly to her and smack her with my fighting staff. d20 (12) +15 = 27.

GM: Yup, that hits. d20 (2) +6-1 = 7. That's against your staff's DC of 20. Once again, that's a 3rd degree failure for her. Since she already had reached 3rd degree, she's in for the 4th one, that is, Incapacitated! That last hit is just too much for her and she falls to the floor, unconscious. Congrats!

Rook: A good thing done. I'm going back to the floor, joining with Princess. We still have a couple of mooks to deal with.

GM: Speaking of which... They seem to switch something on their weapons and attack again. Being the last two, they seem inclined on being a bit more clever. They wait for the right moment and both shoot their beam at the same time! I'll be using a Team Attack.
Goon 1: d20 (14) +1 = 15
Goon 2: d20 (2) +1 = 3

Nope, none hit DC 18. Team Attack is nice for damage but I forgot their issue was hitting Princess to begin with, eh. That leaves us with Kid for this round.

Kid: I guess I'm going to use those Force Bolts after all, with Multiattack. d20 (12) +12-2 = 22.

GM: They're hit. Let's see their resistance.
Goon 1: d20 (18) +3 = 21
Goon 2: d20 (10) +3 = 13

Nope, none of them makes it. You've cleared the whole group! How do you go about the cleanup?

Kid: First I'll go back to Natalie and make sure she's okay.

GM: She looks shocked but she's not hurt. "I... This is not what I wanted this evening to be like Kid, I'm sorry."

Kid: "I do not believe you are at fault here. I'm just glad you're fine."

GM: She gives a slight smile and hugs you. You can feel she's still shaking but slowly relaxes.

Princess: What about the guards who were frozen?

GM: The ice slowly melts under the many ceiling lights. They're soon freed, but obviously shaken and shaking. It was pretty cold! You do hear the sirens from ambulances and the police in the distance though, so everyone should be taken care of.

Rook: I suppose that's my cue to leave. I'll give a silent nod of appreciation to Princess and Kid and fly out of here. I'll keep an eye out on the scene from a nearby building to make sure everything's wrapped up properly. Might also want to check up on those two.

GM: OK. A few minutes later a lot of new cars have arrived. The guards are being sent to the hospital with some cold burns and the goons arrested. Holly Daye is taken into custody by the meta-department. Everything seems to be going back to normal. Well, except for the property damage and the interrupted events. Some of the kids are still there with their parents, obviously upset, what with the pile of gifts still left inside and not all of it in one piece. Though some of them apparently thought that whole fight was just as cool, if not more!
As people are lamenting the destruction, a strange jingling is heard. People notice some strange glittery snow falling over the scene and soon enough bits of glass and debris fly back to their original position, restoring the place as if nothing had happened to it. All the gift boxes are back to normal and even the guards seem to relax, as if warmed up by some strange energy.
One of the kids points in the air excitedly: "Santa! Santa!". A sleigh pulled by reindeers is seen flying above the buildings and a familiar gentle laugh is heard. Holly Daye can be heard gasping admiratively: "Ohh, Saint Nick!"
And that's when a bunch of TV News vans invade the street.

Princess: Well, time to go!

Kid: Yeah, I'll grab the doctor by the waist securely, wave at the kids and fly ourselves out of here.

Princess: I'll just leave the scene. I'm not Princess anymore so it shouldn't be a problem.

GM: Right, from the moment you stop thinking of yourself as Princess, you're back to being a regular student to everyone. Well, that wraps up this scenario!


Overall this was pretty fun, though it took longer than I expected (multiple hours over two days). I even planned a two-part scenario but ended up kind of mixing all the ideas in a one-scene thing once I realized how slowly it was moving. It was, of course, not easy to play every character and the GM, but I'm still glad with the results. Makes for a nice playtest of the rules if anything.

I really like Holly Daye as a villain, though I wasn't always sure how to play her. She isn't thoroughly evil, just... extreme and "purist" in her ways, so I didn't want her to come off as an utterly horrible woman. That was the intention. In play, I'm not sure I managed to show off her interesting facets that much.
The M&M conversion itself was a first for me when working from something so abstract. I tried to "get" the feel of the character and transcribe it in M&M. And for my own preference, I went with a more agile than strong/tough character. I pictured her flying about like Tinkerbell, very hard to catch. I totally got that feel during the playthrough considering how hard it got to hit her. Of course, once you do hit her, she's rather fragile.
I don't think I got to use all her mechanical aspects either, whether because they did not come up (Instant Up) or because I forgot. It's sad because it seems like I missed most of the interesting bits: her ability to know if you're lying (and how bad it is) as well as her naughty/nice radar for children (well, OK, she did use that last one in her intro).
Also not too sure on making her a PL 10 and maxing out her attack/defense stats. I still have a hard time picturing what PL is really about.

As for her helpers, I didn't expect them to last that long. They might even have lasted longer if I hadn't botched the Rook's flash bomb. Their freezing gun though? Gosh... I wanted it to put the heroes in a bind (more or less literally) and spice things up, but they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with 'em... And when they did, it had no effect. Since I built those, I have the feeling I should have gone more crazy with the numbers. They might have been Minions, but they might have deserved higher stats.

When it comes to the M&M ruleset itself, all I can say is that I'm satisfied overall. There were a few cases where I thought the characters could do something but the rules, apparently, did not allow it or I couldn't figure out how to do it (I thought of some sort of Interpose with Kid at one point, using his Deflect, but... eh). Most of the time, though, it felt pretty cool. Moving about was barely an issue considering the very short distances in this setup... and flying about was incredibly easy to deal with.
One thing I was disappointed in, but again it might just be my misunderstanding the rules, was how most attempts at Affliction yielded nothing. Maybe I misused the attacks, or misread the rules. But overall it felt somewhat weak and barely worth using up an action to do it. I'm not a power gamer, but I still don't like giving up efficiency.

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