Friday, July 4, 2014

Avengers Accelerated: The War (part 2/5)

Joss has six players who want to participate in a supers game, called Avengers Accelerated, that uses the Fate Accelerated Edition rules. The participants are Tony, Steve, Clint, Natasha, Bruce, 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 of the session, or continue to Part 3Part 4, or Part 5.

During the last session, the team finished the first exchange of a conflict. Tony took 2 stress and spent 1 Fate point, and New York City had taken 2 stress from the Chitauri attack. On the bad guy's side, Loki and the Chitauri are both down 1 stress. Tony created the aspect It's All On You on Loki, with one free invocation. Steve created Containment Strategy as a scene aspect, with two free invocations.


Joss: "Last time, the Chitauri war machine had been coming through the gate over the Stark Tower. Now the gate is disgorging these huge cybernetic flying serpents. They're smaller than the helicarrier, but they look at lot nastier. You notice it's also serving as a troop carrier - hundreds of Chitauri soldiers leap out from the sides of the beast, and cling to the walls of the skyscrapers here. You can call them Leviathans, to stop you guys from making up any goofy names. Steve, who goes first?"

Steve: "Tony. He's already flying, so maybe he can fight that stuff. I'll call him on the radio to alert him."

Tony: "That thing is huge. It looks way too big for a guy in a suit to take on solo, so I'll have JARVIS scan for weak spots."

Joss: "Okay, it sounds like you're Cleverly creating an advantage. Roll it."

Tony: "I succeed. I'm creating Weak Spot on the Chitauri. Can you give me any details on that?"

Joss: "You can see what look like living eyes underneath the metal carapace. You'd guess these are alien cyborgs of some kind, so the living tissue is their weak spot. You'd need to find a way to get to that, though."

Aside from giving mechanical bonuses, an aspect is true. The specific nature of the Chitauri vulnerability will come into play in the next few rounds, when Tony, Thor, and Bruce all work on the Leviathans.

Tony: "Thanks. Thor going next worked great last time, I want to see what he does to Loki."

Thor: "Joss, Loki is still my brother. Yeah, he's adopted, but I have a duty to him. I'll tell him to look around, and try to convince him that this is madness. I'm offering a compel on his aspect Thor's Overlooked Brother. Because I have a stunt about showing my enemies mercy, I don't spend the Fate point if he accepts."

Joss: "Loki looks around, seeing the carnage he has wrought. You see the haunted desperation in his eyes as he tells you it's too late to stop it."

Thor: "I'll say: No, we can, together. Does he accept?"

Joss: "For a moment, you think he might.. and in that moment, you feel one of his sharp blades stabbing you in the guts. 'Sentiment,' he hisses, but the look on his face doesn't convey conviction, only trapped fear. You'll get a Fate point at the end of the scene."

Compels are a valid way to end an encounter, or at least remove one combatant. In this case, Thor wants to take Loki out by appealing to his better nature, and had a stunt making this an affordable option for him. Even when it doesn't work, as in this case, the refusal costs Loki a Fate point from the GM's pool.

Thor: "I had to try. That's not my action, right? If not, I'll attack. I'm enraged at his senseless refusal to come back with me and the destruction he is causing. Because I wield the power of Mjolnir, I get a +2 to Forcefully Attack."

Joss: "You still have your action, yes. With that attack roll, and Loki's defense, you'll hit. He chooses to take a Minor Consequence. He's not going to want to stay in this fight, since you've always been better at beating things up, so he'll try to get away after this. Any suggestions?"

Thor: "I don't want him to try and mind-control anyone else on the team, but I'm fine if he runs away for now - that's his nature. I want to break that scepter."

Joss: "It might be useful to you guys later - you might need it to break Selvig out of his mind control, for example. How about instead he drops the scepter in his haste to run away, and he rolls off the edge of Stark Tower and catches a ride on one of the Chitauri flyers?"

Thor: "Sounds good. He's always got a plan - he won't just run away without an idea of what to do next, and I want to see what that is. So Loki's up."

Joss: "Alright. Loki takes Scepterless and Running. He landed on one of the flyers, and he's taking direct control of his troops. He's rolling to overcome It's All On You by showing himself in the thick of the fighting and bolster the Chitauri's confidence in him - and probably his own too. Thor hit a nerve earlier, but with that roll he succeeded. I'll give your ground team time to set up before the Chitauri attack next, so Clint is up."

Loki doesn't want the team to try and compel the aspect Tony created, since another refusal would cost him more Fate points. The cost to wipe it out is one action in the conflict, which he finds acceptable.

Clint: "Steve, Natasha, and I are taking cover on the ground. We probably see civilians trapped by the aliens here, right? New York was taking a beating last time. We have to rally them. Steve, we'll set something up to keep the Chitauri busy. Get going and help the civilians when your action comes up."

Joss: "Okay, what did you have in mind?"

Clint: "We'll start firing at the Chitauri, trying to draw their attention away from the civilians. If there's people trapped in the cars they've been blowing up, we'll try to rescue them when we have a few seconds, that sort of thing."

Joss: "Sure. In fact, there's a bus full of civilians. You gets to work helping them out while Natasha's making precision shots with her pistols. Not much penetrative power against their armor, but if she aims at the right spots, you guys can make a difference."

Clint: "Okay. Can we call this an advantage? I'm rolling to ensure that We've Got Steve's Back."

Joss: "Sure thing. That's a success, so you've got a free invocation."

Natasha: "Okay. Steve is up next."

Steve: "I'm better on defense. Joss, the rules say I can roll a Defend action on behalf of another character. Can I do that for all of New York City?"

Joss: "How did you have in mind?"

Steve: "You said they were rolling We're Civilians earlier, but their better approach is Our Town. Well, I'm Captain America. If I can rally the cops and get them coordinated using my soldier's skills, is that enough to shift the approach they are rolling?"

Joss: "Sure. You'd still need an aspect on the ground that justifies your defense rolls. I'd accept Containment Strategy, or you can roll to create another one now. A Defend action will happen on the Chitauri's turn, not yours, so you can still put down your Cap-is-here aspect to give NYC the more advantageous approach."

Steve: "Yeah, creating another advantage sounds better for right now. I'm going to dash down to the civilians, and the Chitauri are probably shooting at me too. I dodge some laser blasts to a bus and jump down to the roof of a car. They shoot the car, which flips forward, and I use that to propel myself faster. They'll see me coming and hopefully get some confidence that somebody is taking a stand. My roll was average, but my tactical acumen as a professional soldier gives me a +2, since this is a large group I'm working with."

Joss: "Okay. With that roll, how about an aspect like Rallying New York?"

Steve: "I like that! Okay, Natasha, wrap up our ground team efforts."

Natasha: "I like the banter that Hawkeye and I have been having, and he still needs to get back to his old self after being mind controlled. Joss, we're basically supporting each other with cover fire, just like the good old days. We go way back. Can I make some kind of teamwork advantage that reflects that?"

Joss: "Don't see why not. Roll it."

Natasha: "Okay. I'm bolstering Clint - and honestly, myself - by talking about the old days. Like how this feels just like... Budapest."

Clint: "You and I remember Budapest very differently. Yeah, I like that. How about Back-to-Back Badasses?"

Joss: "That's the spirit! With that roll, you've got a free invocation."

The ground team has created several advantages to support the relatively weak New York City, since losing it means losing the fight. The aspects they create reflect their respective back stories and character relationships, rather than being empty combat bonuses.

Clint: "Okay. Let's let NYC take its action."

Joss: "New York is trying to get organized. They roll to create an advantage, but even rolling Our Town they blow it. The Chitauri will attack New York City again."

Steve: "I'm intervening to defend on their behalf."

Joss: "Okay, tell me what that looks like."

Steve: "Earlier you said there were some cops on the ground who weren't sure what was going on. I'll hop onto the roof of a car in front of those two and tell them to execute my containment strategy. Get cops up into the buildings to rescue civilians, set up a perimeter, that stuff. One says, 'why should we listen to you?' Just then, some Chitauri soldiers attack me. I block their blasts with my shield, punch them out, and even rip the weapon arm off of one of them. They're dismantled in seconds. Using my star-spangled shield should qualify me for the stunt, for +2 to the Defend roll."

Joss: "Awesome! The cop immediately grabs his radio and repeats your containment strategy word-for-word to the rest of the force. Your good defense roll earned a boost, but I'm giving that to the New York City character instead of you. We'll call it Perimeter Established. And with the successful defense, the Chitauri's ability to injure civilians and destroy property are limited by the cops, and your team's efforts. You still have that Leviathan flying around, and Loki's running things from on high."

Steve makes good use of the rules and his bonuses to Defend, by protecting the relatively vulnerable New York City. His intervention gave the city a much-needed bonus.

Tony: "Is that Leviathan a separate character?"

Joss: "Hmm... We'll say no, but each Leviathan in play adds two stress boxes to the Chitauri force. This one can be attacked by anyone who can fly for right now. You can tackle it on the next exchange if you want."


Stay tuned for the next session of Avengers Accelerated!

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