Saturday, May 26, 2018

X-Men Campaign Part 1: In This Issue Everyone Gets Burned

When I started the campaign I just ran the introductory adventure from the X-Men box set. It was fun enough, but kind of all over the place. This time, however, I decided to come up with something on my own.

The player characters are Titania (aka Lurk) with the power to become a shadow creature and manipulate shadows, and Talia (aka Flash-Flood) who can run super fast and manipulate water.

I had to do some retconning because I wanted the game to take place during Claremont X-Men some time  after Dark Phoenix Saga with the players taking the place of Kitty Pryde, but with some elements from before then for storytelling purposes. This meant that the Beast who was in X-Factor in the intro adventure is now an Avenger. In addition, Professor X is still suffering from the nightmares from before the whole Shiar situation, so his powers aren't what they used to be. The players, along with an NPC mutant named Jellybean, are invited to the X-Men Mansion where they get the full tour and meet the team. In order to show them what the X-Men are all about, Xavier sets up a demonstration in the Danger Room. Unfortunately, somebody has sabotaged the control panel and the room goes out of control and the situation gets heated inside. When Xavier attempts to shut it down, the panel explodes knocking him unconscious. The confused and scared players rush to the power room only to discover it has been booby trapped with trip wires and a pretty shoddily made bomb.

Titania uses her powers to cut the massive cable between the generator and the danger room, however spends too much time arguing about how to interpret the results of a d100 and the bomb goes off, seriously damaging her.

After some time of recovery, they deduce a repairman that had entered the mansion earlier must be the culprit. The team splits into two: one to investigate the repairman's storefront in town, and the other to check on Moira McTaggart who also had an appointment with the same guy. The players elected to join Wolverine and Nightcrawler in visiting Moira only to find out that the guy who visited her home did not match the physical description of the one who went to the manor.

Wolverine suddenly demands everyone get into the Jeep, as Storm has called in over comms saying there was a scrap sentinel waiting in the building that burst out once they got near. The players rush into the city to face it. Because Talia can run faster than a car, she takes Jellybean on her back and rushes into battle. Nightcrawler teleports Titania, however poor Wolverine must simply drive.

An epic battle takes place
The battle is long and hard fought, but by the end the sentinel is armless, headless, and stunned for an incredibly long amount of turns. Ironically, the killing blow is dealt by Jellybean, the seemingly useless mutant who only moments ago was blasted off of Talia's back by a variable beam. Her mutant ability is to generate an aura of heat and light, and she delivers a wicked bearhug that melts into the helpless sentinel's leg causing it to topple over. They get out of there right as the cops are showing up.

After a few days of rest and investigation, the X-Men are sent off on an unrelated mission that is too dangerous for the PC's. Xavier gives them the run of the mansion while they wait for the X-Men to return. Jellybean seems oddly obsessed with being alone with Professor X, and the players do not pick up on this. Talia messes around in the pool, and Titania makes smores.

A crash is heard from the library, and Talia makes it there first. Jellybean reveals herself to be an enemy actually known as Jellyburn. She also introduces her two allies Edgelord (supposedly a master assassin) and War-Weeb (a supposedly genetically perfect ninja). They have knocked the professor unconscious. Talia manages to evade the would-be kidnappers, and grabs the professor by his wheelchair and brings him upstairs. Despite being a teenage girl, Talia can lift 800lbs because a certain Judge did not look over the character sheets closely enough.

Titania, realizing that something is amiss, approaches the foyer only to see Talia zooming upstairs being followed by some strange fellows. She springs into action, going into her shadow form, but Jellyburn reveals that her powers are much stronger than she had ever let on. She glows brightly like a star, pushing the shadows away from her. With no course of action, Titania races upstairs. As it turns out, these invaders are not very physically fit and struggle to keep up.

Talia attempts to use water attacks to keep the enemies at bay, however they merely become steam in the presence of Jellyburn's aura. Talia performs the incredible stunt of throwing Professor X out of the window, and using her water abilities to catch him using the swimming pool. She gets a Red result, and the professor avoids being murdered by this incredibly reckless act.

While this is happening, Titania maneuvers around the two lackeys. She hits War-Weeb so hard he flies through the wall, out of the mansion, into the courtyard. A one-hit KO. Edgelord's fate is similar, as she cuts him with her claws. As it turns out, these two are clearly being carried by Jellyburn, the only one with any real ability.

 Jellyburn, furious about the loss of her comrades, attacks Titania as they swing back and forth at each other. Each round, Titania takes damage due to the aura and even when her attacks connect. Eventually, the strain is too much and she must retreat. Fortunately, Talia has scrounged around Beast's former laboratory and locates a crossbow. She does not know that it is only a tranquilizer when she fires it at Jellyburn. The bolt explodes due to the tremendous heat however the tranquilizing vapors knock the villain out cold. Using more water from the pool, Talia cools off the now smoldering form.

A booming void is heard from downstairs. The heroes prepare for more combat, when suddenly Cyclops appears, carrying the limp body of War-Weeb over his shoulder. The players are concerned about this stranger (at this time he is not a member of the X-Men), but are set at ease by his strange aura of authority. They explain the circumstances, and Cyclops revealed that Professor X sent him a distress signal shortly before being attacked.

They interrogate the villains who reveal that their strange leader showed them each a vision of the future they wish to change. They gladly reveal the location of their master, and goad the crew into seeking them out.

Cyclops takes the players to the address, kicking in the door. It is a cold office full of lockers and file cabinets. One of the lockers is shaking. Cyclops opens it to reveal a battered and bruised man. He falls to the floor, shivering and moaning. He looks up. It is Magneto.

Next time on X-Men.

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