Sunday, July 13, 2014

Avengers Accelerated: Avengers Assembled (part 3/5)

Joss has six players who want to participate in a supers game, called Avengers Accelerated, that uses the Fate Accelerated Edition rules. They've finished two exchanges in the conflict so far. The participants are TonySteveClintNatashaBruce, and Thor. Joss's adversary character is Loki, backed up by the invading Chitauri force (created as a character using the Fate fractal). New York City is also built as a character.

I'm using FAE stats for all the Avengers, posted here. The sheets include aspects, approaches, and stunts.

You can reread Part 1 or Part 2 of the session, or continue to Part 4 or Part 5.

During the last session, the Chitauri gained two extra stress boxes due to the presence of the Leviathan, and nobody took stress. Tony spent one Fate point, and Loki spent one from the GM's pool. Tony's It's All On You aspect on Loki was overcome, but Loki took a Minor Consequence of Scepterless and Running from Thor. Tony created an aspect, Weak Spot, on the Chitauri after having JARVIS analyze a flying Leviathan. The ground team created We've Got Steve's Back, Rallying New York, and Back-to-Back Badasses.

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Joss: "Last time, New York was barely starting to recover from the chaos of invasion. Civilians are just now being escorted off the streets by the police. The Chitauri are focusing on you guys, just like you wanted. The Leviathan is still prowling around in the sky. Currently, only Iron Man and Thor can really engage it. And Loki is flying around too. What do you want to do?"

Tony: "Do I need to roll an action to get the Leviathan's attention and bring it into melee range with the ground team?"

Joss: "Failure in that case is pretty boring, unless it's going for some high-value target and you need to peel it away from that. So I'll say no, you can make that happen as long as you describe it."

Tony: "Great! I shoot it in the face with a barrage of micro-missiles, then whip around and peel out, leading it towards the ground team."


Joss: "Sounds good, it follows you - smashing into the corner of a building as it goes. Rubble rains down, smashing a hot dog stand but not hurting anyone. The Chitauri will let New York go first. It's going to try to create an advantage, Civilian Evacuation. Blowing that boost of Perimeter Established, and rolling Our Town thanks to Steve, gives success with style. Aspects are always true, and you guys couldn't do much with just a perimeter, but you can invoke this new aspect when attacking, reflecting the fact that you don't have to call your shots for fear of hurting an innocent. New York appreciates Cap's contribution, and so Steve goes next."

Steve: "Alright. I want us to really power up for this next big push - either against Loki or the Chitauri. Ground team, can we get some badass narration?"

Natasha: "To conserve ammo - and for my attack stunt, if it comes up - I've put my pistols away and grabbed a Chitauri energy weapon. I'm swinging that thing around, blasting them with pinpoint precision."

Clint: "Arrows everywhere - I do a baseball slide under a swung attack and shoot a few guys. I'll do that Legolas move of stabbing someone in the chest with an arrow, too."

Tony: "So that's why you're playing an archer character. I get it now."

Steve: "I'll come running back from the cops just in time to beat down a few of them with my shield, too. Okay, I think we're ready--"

Thor: "Wait! I want to be there for this. I land in a shower of lightning, wiping out the remaining Chitauri you guys were fighting. I'll give Steve the lowdown on the cube."

Steve: "Okay. I'll start giving out tactics. We want Stark up top--"

Bruce: "Hey, guys, sorry I'm late. Joss, where am I?"

Joss: "You saw some devastation in New York City and figured there was trouble. You have a crappy motorcycle, some borrowed clothes, and a headache. So of course you rode to the center of town, under this huge portal in the sky swarming with flying bad guys, and of course find the rest of the PCs."

Steve: "Hey Joss, since Hulk missed the first couple of exchanges, can he get at least a free action of some kind? You've been sitting on six Fate points with only five PCs."

Joss: "I think that's fair. But make it interesting."

Bruce: "Alright. Joss, I want to create an advantage. Tony kept nagging me about my secret on the Helicarrier earlier. Here's my secret: I'm Always Angry. Success with style, baby! And I'll transform into the Hulk."

Joss is making up for a player missing out on some of the crucial combat by having him roll in a single supporting aspect as he comes in. This seems fair to the table, even if it's not officially in the rules - and what the table finds acceptable is at the heart of Fate.

Tony: "Oh that's awesome. Hey Joss, instead of Steve's action next, can it be Bruce? I want to lead this Leviathan right to him."

Joss: "Go for it. Bruce, there's this massive metal-clad beast flying right behind Tony through the New York skyline. It's taking out parts of buildings and cars and stuff as it comes. He's guiding it right to you. What do you want to do?"

Bruce: "Punch it in the face!"

Joss: "That's a hell of a roll, especially with your Attack bonus stunt. You inflict four stress on the Chitauri - and the Leviathan goes completely down. Tony blows a hole in the tail that was about to fall on you. The rest of the team takes cover or shields themselves. Steve can probably shield someone else. From the towers of New York, the Chitauri are howling angrily. All the PCs are now back-to-back and badass, and the entire team is ready to kick ass. Bruce, who goes next?"


Bruce: "Loki's still around here somewhere, right? How does he react?"

Joss: "He just whispers, 'send the rest'. He's creating an advantage, Chitauri Reinforcements. As a result, I'm bringing in another composite character, since two more Leviathans - along with the corresponding troops - come through the portal. Of course they have the same huge-ass number of stress boxes, but no Consequence slots."

Bruce: "Joss, I hate you. Are you the reason those two other players quit and I picked up this PC?"

Joss: "You wanted to be the angry guy, now you have a reason. Loki defers back to Steve."

Steve: "Alright. I'll lay down our strategy. I'm giving everyone specific roles. Clint goes high, Thor on the portal, Tony in the air, Natasha and I on the ground, Hulk wherever the hell Hulk wants to go."

Joss: "Sounds like you are reinforcing your existing Containment Strategy aspect. That sound about right?"

Steve: "Yeah, sounds good. Success with style again, for a total of four free invokes. Alright, team, let's get to work!"

Tony: "I'll carry Clint up to a rooftop with my suit's jets."

Bruce: "I'll leap into the air and start tearing Chitauri apart, leaping from roof to roof."

Thor: "And I'm summoning lightning and channeling it through this huge metal building I find, blowing up Chitauri reinforcements right and left."

In Joss's staging of the battle, zones have been left out to simplify the combat. Thus, the PCs can freely move themselves and each other around, like Tony positioning Clint. In other combats, Joss can re-introduce zones if he finds them useful.

Joss: "Sounds good. The Chitauri are coming in endless waves, so I'm going to up the stakes a bit. Since there's a second Chitauri character, we're going to bring in SHIELD. On the helicarrier, Nick Fury takes a call from the Council.. they're going to take a very significant action next round. Steve, who's next in your strategy?"

Steve: "Clint. He's good at setting up opportunities for us."

Clint: "Okay. I'm on the roof of an office building. I have a stunt that says because I watch everything like a hawk, I get a +2 to Carefully Create an Advantage when observing from a distance. Is this high enough to qualify? I liked Tony's Weak Spot maneuver earlier. I want to either reinforce that or find something new, maybe by watching the Chitauri hoverbikes. Of course I'll be shooting arrows everywhere too."


Joss: "Okay. With that roll, and your stunt bonus, you succeed with style. The Weak Spot aspect gets two more free invocations. Is Tony going to capitalize on it now?"

Tony: "Yeah, I can go next. Let's say they can't bank worth a damn, so I'll be doing awesome high-speed canyon chases on the streets of New York City! Hordes of Chitauri flying after me, but one after another meets his end in a fiery crash!"

Joss: "So a Flashy Attack, naturally. With your roll, and a free invocation of Weak Spot, you dispose of the last of the Chitauri! Well, the first invaders anyway. Now you guys have to deal with the reinforcements. Who's next?"

Bruce: "I'm still attacking the Chitauri Leviathans!"

Joss: "Got it. Natasha, you look like you're ready to go."

Natasha: "I think our problem is that portal. I want to get to it. Joss, can I catch a lift on the Chitauri hoverbikes? Like did we shoot one down maybe? I don't want to spend a Fate point to make it happen - I feel like we've got some crazy stuff still coming."

Joss: "In that case, no such luck, but you can probably leap onto one. Since the Chitauri will oppose you going to the portal, I don't want to just let you move freely. But I like your combat pragmatist stunt, and the fact that you're on the ground is kind of your disadvantage right now, so let's call this an Overcome roll to hijack a bike and get up there. The Chitauri get to actively defend - you have to get through their numbers before you're in a position to act on the portal."

Natasha: "Alright. Hmm, that roll is bad. Hey, if Steve is around, can he boost me using his shield? Can I use one of those Containment Strategy invocations, since we're working as a team to contain the invasion at its source?"

Joss: "Sure, mark off an invocation and you'll succeed. The Chitauri won't bid any Fate points to resist that, so tell me what happens."

Natasha: "I vault up onto one of the hoverbikes, on the back. Using some daggers, I stab one of the pilots and toss him over. The next one gets some knives in the back, and I'll use those as a sort of harness to force him to steer. Let's let the Chitauri go next."

Joss: "Steve has their attention, and they're pissed, so the Chitauri are going to focus fire on the ground team, starting with him. I'm spending some Fate points to make this happen, invoking Invading Chitauri Force and Chitauri Reinforcements. Steve, how do you want to defend?"

Steve: "Crap. My roll wasn't that great. I'll invoke We've Got Steve's Back. So let's say that Tony is flying past Natasha as she goes up, and he'll be on the scene to help me out. I'm also invoking Civilian Evacuation so we're free to blast these guys to kingdom come without worrying about hitting innocents - it'll just be a war zone down here. Let's see... Hey Tony, how about you bounce your repulsors off my shield, and I swing it in a big arc to hit a bunch of these guys too? That brings my shield stunt into play, and gives me a +2 to Forcefully Defend. That's enough!"


Joss: "Great job. You successfully defend, inflicting heavy casualties. Everyone except Thor has gone."

Thor: "More attacks. Let's say Hulk earlier leaped onto one of the Leviathans' backs, and is pounding on Chitauri that came up to attack him. I'll land next to him and start wailing on them too. Hmm... since this is going to be an attack, here's what happens. I'm invoking Weak Spot - the Leviathans are flesh under the armor, right? So Hulk breaks off a huge chunk of that armor and drives it halfway into the creature's body underneath, then I summon lightning and hammer it down with Mjolir! That's invoking Back-to-Back Badasses since we're doing a team-up attack. And we're going to crash-land in an evacuated building, doing damage to pretty much every Chitauri left on top of this thing as we do, invoking Civilian Evacuation to make it okay. How's that sound?"

Joss: "By all the gods in Asgard, Thor, that left a mark. The Leviathan - and plenty of Chitauri troops - are down for the count."

Bruce: "And oh yeah. I'm punching Thor in the face too. For that fight we had earlier."

Joss: "Fair enough. He goes flying. That's the end of the exchange! Great job, guys, you have the Chitauri on the run. But it's not over yet."

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Stay tuned for the next session of Avengers Accelerated!