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As the lights rose, the students of Hope Prep were helping stack rubble at Hope Prep; turned out

at least some of the parents from Pryde are possessive about their kids and they came over from Twisted Earth to collect the troopers who got curb-stomped (off-stage) in the last session. Since half the school is in ruins, Hope decides to send their students off on field trips, in small, closely monitored groups. Hari, Glimm and Sari are in one group, along with Lorn (a jerk ass Prince of Atlantis) and a kid named Neal Baxter, Jr. The teacher in charge is the harsh but firm Badass Normal Ms. Sanchez, AKA Moon Maiden.

Neil's father used to be the Badass Normal named Bankshot before the event that put him in the wheelchair. Now Neil Sr. is the helicopter dad determined to force his son to become Bankshot II, whether or not Neil, Jr. want to or even shows aptitude for it. In fact, as Hari overheard, Old Man Baxter was trying to bully Sanchez into upping one of Neil's grade's because there's no way padding Neil's marks now could lead to disaster when he tries to apply the skills he doesn't have out in the field.

Neil takes a different point of view from his dad. He is in the Fizzle Club, which is for all the kids forced to be in Hope Prep who either don't have useful abilities (like the kid with awesome shadow powers who can be defeated by a lit candle and can't see in the dark anyway) or who have no interest in the whole mask thing. Since Hope Prep is a thinly disguised farm team for the crime fighters (despite the pretense that other paths are acceptable), the club has no official standing.

Sanchez asked the kids where Neil and Lorn were; Hari zapped off to get them. Lorn and another one of the Legacies were doing something to Neil, some sort of bullying, so Hari delived the message and then gave Neil a lift. Lorn was left to leg it and since he played no part in what was to follow, he must have missed the bus (despite being a speedster; loser) or decided not to go (parasite).

Old Man Baxter attaches himself to the group to help Sanchez.

The tour gets as far as the Egyptian room when the inevitable supervillain shows up (1). We didn't get his name but the guy in the poorly constructed costume comes with thematically dressed thugs and a conviction that there was an item of great power in the room. As he points out the mummy of Sutekmos, the evilest Pharoah of all time, was in the room and it stood to reason whatever kept him from rising from the grave had to be somewhere nearby.

Sari clearly has been hanging around Jade because this was the point at which she said, in a flat disinterested tone of voice "surrender now it's your only opportunity". That got ignored for some reason.

The Big Bad was savy enough to recognize the Hope Prep uniforms so he divided the hostages into groups, each with one Hope Prep student, then sent them off to different rooms. Hari was sent to the Greek display, Sari to the ROman display and Glimm and Sanchez stayed in the Egyptian room. Nothing happened to Neil because by this point he and his dad had slipped away.

Hari prides himself on his cunning (despite the lack of any evidence that he's good at this; he gets by on a combination of observation and gut instinct). He starts by teleporting all the hostages in the room with him to a nearby roof-top, only to discover that for some reason the museum, filled with priceless treasures, has impressive teleport shields. He settles for creating a force wall around the hostages, one puissant enough to stop rifle bullets.

Sanchez is in the middle of explaining her plan to Glimm when one of the more genre aware minions KOs her with a rifle stock to the head. He's not savy enough to have avoided coming within arms reach of Glimm, who turns out to be quite adept at the Shawingan handshake.

Back in the Greek Room, the minions turn out to have some kind of magical trinket that brings statues to life. Hari works this out roughly about the moment that the statue of a minotaur on his side of the force wall runs a spear into him. Hari takes a moment to surround himself in a TK field, one puissant enough to stop rifle bullets, shreds the statue with the focused power of his mind, then does the same for some minions who probably should have at least tried to run away. It wouldn't have helped them but it would have been the smart thing to do.

Sari plays mental games with her minions and once they are worked up enough shows them why they should have searched her by nailing them all to the wall with her spikes (although there may be a rule to the effect that Sari always has at least one more knife than you found). Unfortunately by the time she does this, her group of minions has brought a statue of a chariot and charioteer to life, so Sari has company as she runs back towards the Egyptian room. Her hostages must have looked less helpless than Hari's because she leaves them to their own defenses rather than bottling them up safely and out of the way.

The Baxter pop back into the Egyptian room. They are wearing costumes. This led to a short debate about whether they had them on under their clothes or took time to change but the logistics of a teen getting a semi-paralysed adult man into spandex seemed daunting so we favour the under the civilian clothes option.

The Big Bad respects this show of force enough to call up a half dozen spectral figures, wraith if you will, and poor Neil goes down like a ton of bricks. A pool of blood slowly spreads out from his body...

Glimm spars with a cloud of wraiths. They're fast and hard to hit but to make up for this they hit hard enough kill a normal on one hit. Luckily Glimm is a tank and can take the hits, for a while.

Hari teleports into the room, sees the wraiths and dispels one from this world of sorrows with a direct application of the Cerulean Light itself. Unfortunately that wasn't the sort of thing he could do twice [2] but on the plus side, now a large number of wraiths were coming for him so at least Glimm has some breathing space. The wraiths prove to be able to blast through Hari's defenses with eldrich energies; when he teleports away to fight from a distance and through a wall, several of the wraiths demonstrate that they teleport too.

The minions in the room look nervous. Sari calms one with a spike to the head; inexplicably his friend tries to shoot Sari for this. I think Glimm provides some much needed diplomacy at this point by tossing a wraith at him, which takes them both out of the game.

The crowd decides to leave at this point.

There are two undesirable developments at about this time. The first is that Big Bad starts to grow. The second is that Old Man Baxter stands up; whatever Big Bad is doing has left Sutekmos free and he has possessed Baxter.

Sari has the bright idea to destoy Big Bad's magic circle. This has no obvious effect.

Hari surrounds the wraiths in a spirit jar (a teleport-proof, desolid proof force bubble [3]), then decides to strip Big Bad of everything to deny him any magic items he is using. This is entirely successful as far as the costume goes and a complete failure as far as the useful stuff goes. The room is now filled with a giant, naked dude wearing jewelry.

Happily Sutekmos mind controls the crowd so of the 60 of them, only five have the opportunity to have their provincial Canadian sensibilities outraged by the sky clad criminal.

Various people realize it would be bad if Sutekmos took full control of Baxter so they try to slow this down by wounding Baxter, forcing Sutekmos to spend his energy healing the body; Sari throws knives while Big Bad just crushes him. Baxter/Sutekmos heals as fast as he can be harmed and each time he heals, he looks less like Baxter and more like Sutekmos.

When the knives don't seem to be doing the trick, Sari commandeers the animated chariot and runs the Pharoah down, over and over.

One of the few people who resist the mind control works at the ROM and recognized the giant naked man as a former employee. In particular, he recognizes him as the guy whose peanut allergy was the subject of an inter-office memo and what's better, he shares this information with the kids. Hari teleports away to the cafeteria where he collects as many peanut based food products as he can find.

Big Bad wanders out through the front of the ROM, where a crowd of Torontonians, clearly lacking the basic skills one would expect from people living in a world of constant carnage-filled violence, has gathered. Glimm and Hari manage to keep Big Bad from stomping on the crowd, who judging from their reaction were mesmerized by a wang the size of a Buick, and in fact Glimm and Hari manage to put the giant naked guy on his ass.

Sari and Glimm then procede to cram peanuts into every orifice they can reach - be grateful Big Bad's nostrils and mouth were in reach - while Hari slathers Big Bad with peanut butter. Once again villainy provides no match for virtue and severe, life-threatening anaplylaxis and the Big stays down.

Sutekmos on the other hand is just dandy. He mind controls up an entourage and leaves. Hari tracks him, being careful to stay kilometers away since he has no illusions about his ability to resist mind-control and he has no desire to end up as Sutekmos' bearer.

Neil survives and even better, now he has an origin and a nemesis. Years of intensive training in the occult arts await him; whether he will ever make up for his moment of weakness (or being a normal kid his demented father tossed into a fist-fight with things that could shred tanks) remains to be seen.

We actually got an explanation for why the teachers do nothing but I didn't hear it.





1: Hari pointed out that this had nothing to with Hope having kids there but the adults of TO see the kids as weirdness magnets.

Hari also made an impassioned case for the school uniforms being made from kevlar but apparently it's a pain to keep clean.

2: Out of determination points.

3: Using the determination point he got wheh the GM decided the wraiths could teleport.

Date: 2011-11-17 05:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] james-nicoll.livejournal.com
Reasons why the minions were minioning:

One needed to earn tuition money.

One owed a gangster big bucks. He was depending on his pay and a quick trip to the dog races to bet on a sure winner to buy the guy off.

Date: 2011-11-17 02:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doc-lemming.livejournal.com
Credit where credit is due: Ian came up with the owing-money-to-Fat-Tony thing; I just said, "Yes, it's true," and had the thugs talking about it.

Clearly, there is an organization in Toronto called "Minions R Us" that supplies thugs to supervillains who need a large staff in a hurry, say before the exhibit leaves town. I think I'll make some of the thugs recurring characters when we need minions for an adventure. (For an extra fee, MRU will throw in a themed costume for thugs, but special tailoring to allow for mystic or science fictional gadgets will cost still more per thug.)

Date: 2011-11-17 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doc-lemming.livejournal.com
Hey, I wonder if any of them were minioning in order to get the money to buy this cool new supervillain franchise that opened up? Like, there's training in Halifax and everything.

Date: 2011-11-18 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scott-sanford.livejournal.com
Could this be similar to HenchCo, the company in the Kim Possible universe? It seems that at least one such temp agency is needed in every supers universe, and I can only wonder what level of competition would go on between various agencies...

Date: 2011-11-18 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doc-lemming.livejournal.com
Perhaps so. The difference, as I understand it (and since I didn't see those episodes of Kim Possible, I might not) is that HenchCo is a legitimate business, and I'm thinking of one that is not. Though they might provide legal, dental, and life for their temp employees... "Okay, probation isn't up yet, and the Joker has asked for a gang, preferably with mirth-related nicknames." That's gotta be a bad performance review when they send you to the Joker....

"No, I asked for this posting. See, I'm sure I can win Mr. J's heart away from that floozy Harley--have you seen how she dresses lately?"

Date: 2011-11-17 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doc-lemming.livejournal.com
The damage to the mystic circle is part of what interrupted the ritual. He can't turn off being 90 feet tall. I'm sure he doesn't blame Sari...

Mr. Baxter Senior did not where a costume--he said at one point that his having been Bankshot was now public knowledge. And, to be fair, he wasn't trying to get Ms. Sanchez to uphold grade, just let h retake the test.

The absence of Lorn was a mistake on my part. I have to decide whether he skipped the trip or just stayed in the Bat Cavelole a good hostage.

Sutekmos will show up again, as Serpent Sphinx from the main rule book.

Neil's costume could stop bullets but these guys were so much better than that---

The wraiths could always teleport; you got a Determination point for them finding Hari.

I am sure that Sutekmos will be taken into custody, now that SHARD and the authorities know of him. Extraction Team Iota is standing by for orders, and two of them are very good about mind control. I'm sure with enough practice, they'll succeed.

Date: 2011-11-17 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] james-nicoll.livejournal.com
I have to decide whether he skipped the trip or just stayed in the Bat Cavelole a good hostage.

I guess when one's career plan is to ride on one's ancestor's coat tails it's ok to be a shirker.

Date: 2011-11-17 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doc-lemming.livejournal.com
Where=wear. What the heck does the phone think a "Bat Cavelole" is? Bat Cave.

(Stupid autocorrect; stupid me for not catching them.)

Good stuff: I thought everybody got a chance to shine, including Sari (I worry about Sari having things to do. The player has lots of determination points, though, and he's inventive, so I think it will work out.) We followed up on some events, which makes the setting seem more real, which should please one of our players. The omission of Rumspringa was plausible; so was the elimination of Ms. Sanchez.

Bad stuff: I forgot about Lorn. The ending was a bit anticlimactic: "Pelt him with peanuts" is not nearly as effective as "destroy the amulet" but yo guys didn't go twice for the amulet, and the opportunity to say, "Hey, keep going after the amulet, I was just being dickish about the clothes thing because of how it was worded" didn't come up. (In retrospect, I'm going to claim that the amulet is now fused to his skin.)

I guess the superjail in Labrador has at least one cell for a demigod who's 90 feet tall, because Hem-Netjer is caught. I dunno if Sutekmos is, though I'm sure he wants his artifacts back--he wasn't in a position to get them. Too bad the exhibit closes at the end of tomorrow....

Yup, the crystal addition to the ROM is destroyed now; I guess Hope Prep will have to pay for (or do) the fixes if they ever want to be able to send field trips there again.

(I'm trying to get all comments in one or two comments, rather than causing 18 of the 20 comments to be me.)

The reason why adults don't seem to care: The theory is that anyone with powers or who chooses the super lifestyle is a weirdness magnet, whether they want to be or not. (I'm sure it's a gene complex, possibly related to powers.) So Hope Prep lets the students handle such problems as there are (say, giant slugs) and stays aloof unless the problem is body-threatening. Essentially, all the adults are superheroes or ex-superheroes who can help, but they won't help until the kids have tried and failed at least once.

Obviously, in case of alien invasion or something truly threatening, they spring to the defence, such as in the attack by the Pryde Academy parents (and you know the parents are villains, because the attack happened on the night of a school day!) But the SOP is to see what the kids will do to handle their problems, especially if the students are on the safety patrol.

Hope Prep have to teach resilience, quick thinking, and persistence, none of which are on the curriculum. Of course, the school will never admit this publicly, but my current thinking is that it's how things are.

(And perhaps that's why Sari's benefactor chose Hope Prep instead of whatever school normally catches kids in South America. Perhaps that school has a different reputation--perhaps one for coddling students.)


Date: 2011-11-17 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] doc-lemming.livejournal.com
(I'm trying to get all comments in one or two comments, rather than causing 18 of the 20 comments to be me.)

Failed at that. Maybe I should buy an LJ account so I can edit comments.

Date: 2011-11-18 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scott-sanford.livejournal.com
I can definitely hear super-parents agreeing with you: "Look, I'm busy during the day. If I have to come to the school every time a giant squid takes over the swimming pool or demons possess the gym teacher, when am I going to have time for my job?"

Reading comic books teaches us that people with super-powers have lives like this; the kids had better get used to it.
From: [identity profile] doc-lemming.livejournal.com
Gah! Let's retry some lines:
  • Mr. Baxter Senior did not wear a costume--he said at one point that his having been Bankshot was now public knowledge (presumably with enough research). And, to be fair, he wasn't trying to get Ms. Sanchez to change the kid's grade, just let the boy retake the test. Otherwise, yes, he was a dick.
  • Neil's costume could stop bullets (Invulnerability 4) but these guys were so much better than that (Strike 7), and six of them beating on him--well, he doesn't have 18 Stamina.
  • The absence of Lorn was a mistake on my part. I have to decide whether he skipped the trip or just stayed in the Bat Cave like a good hostage. Either way, I'm sure there are good Hari-Lorn scenes to be played out as a result.

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