Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Avengers Accelerated: The Invasion Begins (part 1/5)

Joss has six players who want to participate in a supers game, called Avengers Accelerated, that uses the Fate Accelerated Edition rules. They've done several sessions already, and Joss is getting everyone warmed up for the big final combat. The participants are Tony, Steve, Clint, Natasha, Bruce, and Thor.

Sample FAE stats for some of the Avengers as done by Ryan M. Danks can be found here.

During the last session, the team went through several climatic and heart-breaking revelations. The villain Loki's plan is coming to fruition, and now only the Avengers can stop him!

You can continue to Part 2Part 3, Part 4, or Part 5 of the session.

D. Willhite annotated these into a single document, with rolls and other mechanics highlighted. You can find it here.

Bruce informed Joss earlier that he'd be late, so the group agreed that Hulk would be thrown clear of the SHIELD helicarrier and wouldn't be able to make it back for awhile. The group continues without him.

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Joss: "The cosmic cube is charging up on the Stark Tower rooftop. Tony has realized Loki's plan involves the arc reactor on his tower, and is flying there at top speed - or what passes for top speed, given his damaged armor."

Tony: "Okay, what do I see?"

Joss: "You see the cosmic cube - and Doctor Selvig. The cube is contained in some sort of elaborate device which is glowing with arc reactor power, or maybe Tesseract power. It's hard to be sure. Maybe your dad's design for the reactor used the Tesseract after all. JARVIS tells you he already shut off the power and that the reaction is self-sustaining. Selvig confirms it, and from his rambling you'd guess he is still under Loki's control."

Tony: "I blast it."

Joss: "You're knocked back by a force field surrounding the device - JARVIS tells you it's impenetrable to your repulsors. Nearby, you see Loki."

Tony: "Okay, Plan B. Joss, how are we staging this fight? Last time, we established that Loki was focusing this conflict on us vs. him to get the world's attention. But he's got an army. We can't knock off a thousand stress boxes."

Joss: "The army is coming, I'll explain when they show up. For now, it's a Conflict. You can try to attack Loki. You can attack him physically, mentally, or socially. You'll also be fighting off the Chitauri, and if you focus on Loki they will level the city. We're using Dramatic Initiative, so each player decides who goes next. In each exchange, the NPCs must also go."

Tony: "Alright. Since I got here first, I'm going to threaten Loki! Make it clear that I'm not impressed with his plan. I'm Iron Man - I'm fighting him ego to ego. This is a social conflict. Plus, my suit is damaged. But as my minor milestone for last session, I'm upgrading my aspect to Iron Man Suit Mark Seven."

Joss: "Sounds good - you guys trade menacing threats and witty banter. What's the effect of this?"

Tony: "This is more speaking with conviction than showing off, but I think this level of ego deserves Flashy, I'm taking on a god here. I want to Create an Advantage."

Tony's strategy is to engage the god verbally, rather than physically - wise, given the damaged state of his armor and how Tony fared against Thor in an earlier session. In FAE, PCs and NPCs have a single stress track instead of separate physical and mental tracks, so all forms of attack are equally effective.

Joss: "Okay. Based on that roll, you succeed. What aspect did you create?"

Tony: "How about It's All On You - He made it personal for us, I'm making it personal for him. He blows this, he'll have nowhere to go. Loki's turn - he's right here, he's the logical next actor."

Joss: "You got it. Loki makes a counter-attack. Since this is a battle of wills, he's attacking in kind. He's going to try and take over your mind with his scepter. If he's able to inflict a Consequence on you, he can compel it to control your mind until the Consequence wears off. Roll a defense."



Tony: "My defense roll was bad. Clint was a pain to deal with, no way am I making the team fight me too. To avoid taking a Consequence, I'm invoking my Cybernetic Heart aspect - he taps people in the chest to take them over, right? You've already hinted that the Tesseract power and my arc reactor are related. So let's say his scepter's power is blocked by my implanted arc reactor."

Joss: "Fair enough, in that case Loki's attack only inflicts two stress. He's not going to take this failure lying down, so he grabs you by the throat and throws you out the window! This won't kill you, but tell me what happens."

Tony: "I'm wearing my bracelets to summon the Mark Seven armor, so it wraps me up as I fall. Just at the last second, I'm suited up and able to fire my repulsors and jet back up to where Loki is. I blast him in the chest - for Phil."

Joss: "Very good. Alright - the Chitauri wormhole is opening. You see armies of bad guys pouring through it. They are riding hover-bikes of some kind. Since there's far too many enemies for any of you to handle even as a team, we're going to treat the entire Chitauri attack force as a single NPC. It's got one aspect, Invading Chitauri Force, and can take stress. It rolls Large-Scale Attack at +4, and Showing Initiative at -2. They won't be pushovers, but they're not too smart on their own. Against it is New York City itself as another character. Its aspect is The Big Apple, and it rolls Our Town at +2 and We're Civilians at -2. Since it's a whole city, it can take Consequences as well as stress. Your job is to keep that from happening. If the city is Taken Out, you failed."

Joss sets up the conflict using the Fate fractal, by defining both the invading army and its target as characters in their own right. This makes nine participants: the six PCs, plus Loki, the Chitauri, and the city. This will be a large fight, but hopefully not too unwieldy. The fractal characters aren't mooks, but NPCs in their own right. The Chitauri don't take Consequences because they are being gradually whittled away, but New York City can become worse and worse off in specific ways.

Tony: "Right. Army. Alright, I'll head up there and start attacking them as they come, leaving Loki alone for the moment. Let's get the Chitauri's action out of the way."



Joss: "Okay. On the ground, the Chitauri are swarming everywhere. Lasers are blasting, explosions are happening, cars are being destroyed. Civilians are running for safety, but they are panicking and unsure. The Chitauri are attacking New York City. Based on these rolls, NYC takes two stress. On the roof, Loki changes into his armored form. Thor, you're next on the scene. What do you do?"

Thor: "I'll take my shot at Loki now - it's going to be a knock-down, drag-out slugfest! Bruce gets the best Attack bonus, so for right now we should whittle down Loki's stress boxes before he can set up some advantages - we'll need Hulk's attack to be as effective as possible. Assuming he shows."

Joss: "Excellent. You and Loki start trading punches! He's got his scepter, and he can blast at you. He's fighting sneaky like usual. Roll your attack."

Thor: "Forceful, naturally!"

Joss: "Naturally. Dice look good. Loki's defense also looks good, though. You inflict one stress. You're hurting him, but he's not staying down. Who goes next?"

Thor: "I want to see what New York City does this round."

Joss: "Sounds fine. Based on that roll, they do jack - they have to roll We're Civilians against an army to try and organize an effective defense. On the street, the police are starting to show up to respond to the chaos, but they're pretty ineffectual. On the ground, a couple of cops are arguing about whether the Army, or anyone, knows what's going on here. Natasha, Steve, and Clint will arrive in the Quinjet. Decide amongst yourselves who goes next."

Natasha: "I'll go. Tony is flying around crazily, fighting the ones in the air, right? Let's say I use the Quinjet's cannon to shoot some of them down, with him leading them to me. We'll shoot from cover into an ambush type situation, so that's Sneaky."

Joss: "Good roll, you inflict one stress on the Chitauri. As Tony leads a bunch of the soldiers past your position, you blast them from a side-street, and their hover-bikes blow up and take them out. Who's next?"

Natasha: "We'll have Clint go next."

Clint: "We're near the Stark Tower, so I'll fly over there and take a shot at Loki with the Quinjet's cannons. I owe that son of a bitch some payback! Here goes."

Joss: "That was a terrible, terrible roll. You're still off your game from the hit on the head Natasha gave you, and emotion clouds your aim. That said, I don't like the idea of you just missing, since you're supposed to be awesome with ranged weapons, and Loki's going to get a boost from his defense since he succeeded with style. Would you trade a major cost for him not getting that boost?"

Clint: "You bet! How about he blasts us back, and the Quinjet crashes?"

Joss: "That's what happens. You guys go down, smoking, and crash hard, but nobody is hurt. The jet is scrap, though. You won't be able to attack Loki until you get back into range with him."

Thor: "I'm still in melee with him. I'm angry he shot down my friends, so I'll smack him around for that."

Joss: "That's fine, the fight continues! Steve, you're up by default. What's your action?"

Steve: "Head out of the crash, and try to get a sense of the situation. I'm using my tactical acumen and years of war experience to try and figure out a plan of attack here. We'll need to coordinate and deploy our forces so I'm preparing to do that."

Joss: "Okay, we'll call that Creating an Advantage. Roll it."

Steve's choice of action was dictated by Clint's earlier attack. He can't directly attack Loki now, so he settles for creating an aspect using his strengths as a character to help deal with the oncoming Chitauri.

Steve: "I succeed with style. I'm creating an aspect called Containment Strategy."

Joss: "Sounds good. That concludes the first exchange."

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Stay tuned for the next session of Avengers Accelerated!