First week down - Session 33 [Prep] [RP]

Link,

It’s been almost a week at Gardner. With as many schools as you’ve attended, it’s crazy that a new one would put you on edge.

And yet…

How’ve things been going?

Roll +Danger. On a 10+, pick 2. On a 7-9, pick 1.

* Gardner crawls with supers and the so-called elite, and with you as one of the faces of the Menagerie and recently dropping your Mask on YouTube, you’re an easy target for every wannabe with an opinion. But you rise above it - you know who you are, you know whose opinions you care about. Tell us about someone trying to make an example of you, and how you shut them down.
* [Only on a 10+, and only when paired with option one: Also take influence over that person.]
* The rumor mill has been churning non-stop about, of all people, Summer and Aria. You caught a whiff of it, and it smelled rotten, but you’re not going White-Knight - tell us about the opportunity you managed to subtly give the girls to address things on their own. (And did they, or didn’t bother?)
* GYRO has been notoriously unpredictable when it comes to metahuman students with a knack for Science. “Sometimes she loves you, sometimes… it’s the other thing.” Did you impress her, surprise her, or frighten her? What happened?

On a miss, pick 1, but with everything _else_ going on, and Vector’s Revelations, school has been seriously stressing you out - you snapped back at Trace during practice, loud and hard, he left before you could figure out how to pull things back, and now half the team is gunning for you to take his place as captain. (Wtf?!?)

Hugs and kisses,
Editorial

----

Dear Harry,

It’s been the longest week at Gardner you have ever. experienced. All new classes, and all of the sudden people are, like, “expecting big things” from you. Joy.

Roll +Superior. On a 10+, pick 2. On a 7-9, pick 1.

* Your dad is the big priority right now. You break through on the whole speed-reading trick, and use the recovered homework time to coordinate a team visit to the hospital. Name someone critical to your plan for helping Dad: they get a +1 on a roll toward that end, based on “the plan,” OR you get a +1 to Provoke your mom into allowing the attempt (which also has to happen).
* So you’ve tangled with your first real speedster. Wow. You’ve been doing a lot of research on both what Vector was able to do with his powers, and what Leo has told you about the speedster’s background. (Foreground? Time travel is confusing.) Take +1 forward on a Vector-related roll.
* Uncle Chase taught you his “super-charge” trick, and it. is. awesome. Take +1 on your next Directly Engage or Unleash roll that uses his trick.

On a miss, pick 1, but Andi’s seriously starting to wonder how a speedster can be so slow to take a hint. Lose influence with Andy and take Guilty. Time to make with the apologies…

High speed high-fives,
Editorial

----

Dear Concord,

New schools are hard. New schools when you’re trying to balance the power of the Concordance and a Keynome inside your chest (sort of? somewhere? it’s Weird…) is REALLY hard.

Roll +Freak. On a 10+, pick 1. On a 7-9, pick 1, but the effect is Unstable or you take a Condition to hold it in place.

* The Concordance is here. Again. You get a vision of your (well, Sol’s) replacement. Tell us what you see and take +1 forward when you face them.
* You’ve figured out (with help) what you need to do to help out Harry’s dad. Store 2 Burn that can be used only on affecting Silver Streak’s condition.

On a miss, pick as though you rolled a 7-9, and your powers have attracted attention at the worst possible time, hopelessly complicating what was already a rotten week. Tell us if this at School, Home, or In the Public Eye, and get ready to Take a Powerful Blow.

Hugs,
Editorial

----

Dear Charlotte,

The boys (and girls?) are all back at school, and all the ghosts are calling you “General” (is that a good or bad thing? seems to depend on the spirit in question), they know what happened in the Sepiaverse, and are waiting (or dreading) to find out what want them to do.

Roll +Savior. On a 10+, pick 1. On a 7-9, pick 1, and you attract some dangerous attention.

* You’ve got a solid theory on how to heal the wounds, and just need [teammate or NPC’s] help with implementation/testing.
* You’ve got a solid theory on how to find all the wounds in the world, and just need [teammate or NPC’s] help with testing the theory.

On a miss, pick 1 as a 7-9, the spirit world is completely behind you, but the ghosts seem to be… reflecting your fierce desire to protect them and the world a little too vehemently. Poltergeist-like hauntings are up over three hundred percent, the effected area is large, it’s all centered on your cemetery and that high-rise Rook is so interested in, and someone has leaked to the press that’s it’s obviously because of you.

TTFN,
Editorial

----

Dear Alycia,

School is torture. Not literally, of course, but… okay, maybe literally.

Still, you’re doing your best. You think.

Roll +Mundane. On a 10+, pick 2. On a 7-9, pick 1.

* You bonded with a team mate over something, very likely at school. Tell us what happened, and with whom. Add +1 team to the pool and ask the team mate if you get Influence (and why or why not).
* Parker is marginally more open to your comings and goings. You get two hours “unsupervised” (sure) time after school. How have you been spending it?
* Almost (or entirely) by accident, you’ve made a friend/admirer/worshiper our of someone at Gardner. Who is it, and… what the heck happened?

On a miss, pick 1, but a “friend” come crashing into your new life with a crisis.

Hugs and kisses,
Editorial

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6246717

Leo’s outcome: Gardner crawls with supers and the so-called elite, and with you as one of the faces of the Menagerie and recently dropping your Mask on YouTube, you’re an easy target for every wannabe with an opinion. But you rise above it - you know who you are, you know whose opinions you care about. Tell us about someone trying to make an example of you, and how you shut them down.

> A rich high-class teen inventor snob, who decides that he’s gonna try to buy Link by offering money, lab time, or promotion. Unlike everyone else in school, apparently, Link is totally unimpressed - a white vs. blue collar type class struggle. “Pietro the Plasma Prince”.

On a miss, pick 1, but with everything else going on, and Vector’s Revelations, school has been seriously stressing you out - you snapped back at Trace during practice, loud and hard, he left before you could figure out how to pull things back, and now half the team is gunning for you to take his place as captain. (Wtf?!?)

> Trace was too positive/chummy about Pietro (they’ve cooperated on technology in the past).

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6246870

Nice! Thank you, Bill.

I mentioned already that I’d modeled these particular love letters somewhat off of comparable Basic Moves, so Concord’s Freak options recall Unleash Your Power options a bit, Leo’s Danger was pretty clearly modeled off of Directly Engage options, et cetera.

The other thing I keyed on this time was to use the letters to either forward a plot line or add color, but not add some new “thing” to be dealt with.

So, in Leo’s case, for example, I knew Waters was going to provide the plot advancing thing, regardless of school shenanigans, so all of his options are in the personal development/social complications spectrum.

By contrast, all of Charlotte’s options move the “Wounds” storyline forward in some way, full stop - it’s just a question of who else is going to be involved. Harry’s stuff is mostly directed toward bonuses regarding the existing plotlines, while Alycia isn’t so much about plot as forming connections, which is where I need to be with her right now - smaller character stuff, rather than a grand Alycia-plot.

Only Concord had (potentially) a new thing to be introduced - the Concordance replacements, and that’s because that plot is due for introduction.

So, anyway. Just thinking out loud about that. It’s a useful thing to keep in mind - sometimes it’s fun to use Love Letters to introduce new stuff - there are good times for that, certainly - but with a bunch of stuff already in play, using it all to move stuff forward is really useful.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6247252

With Alycia I decided to avoid creating the team bonds, because that’s something she’s being very leery about. The friend one was a natural to pull the Daph stuff over for (I’ll shoot my background over to you, Doyce, or else post it on the wiki).

If I’d been able to take two, I’d have used my two whole “unsurveilled” [shyeah, right] hours (and some borrowed bus fare) to find my way over to Blintzkrieg and observe Summer. I’ll find another time organically.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6247259

*** Dave H. said:

If I’d been able to take two, I’d have used my two whole “unsurveilled” [shyeah, right] hours (and some borrowed bus fare) to find my way over to Blintzkrieg and observe Summer. I’ll find another time organically.

I have two pitches for why they might approve this - let me know if you’re interested. I’ll be touching on one when Leo talks to Waters, though.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6247267

Certainly interested.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6247273

  1. The psych experts studying Alycia note that she’ll shut down soon and lose value as an asset if she doesn’t get some social time - all humans need it, so Parker approves a little time off as a “safety valve”. Provided that it’s in a public place.
  2. Summer herself is kind of an anomaly. AEGIS is already watching Leo Snow like a hawk with the stuff he’s able to work on, including these AIs, and this particular AI was kind of … an accident? Accidental human-level general-purpose AI is not cool from a security perspective. A second set of eyes is maybe better here, given Waters’ close relationship with Leo. “Yeah, she’s legally a person. So are a lot of other people AEGIS keeps close tabs on. Suss her out and report anything noteworthy.”

Option 1 feels like a little more loosening of the Alycia-Parker relationship. Option 2 (hopefully) services Alycia’s current thing of “they’re just machines” and is an easy surveillance, letting AEGIS figure out how valuable she’ll be ongoing, once intel on her dad dries up. Both options are both human and pretty cynical, but that’s kind of how I’ve been writing my corner of AEGIS.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6247277

Accidental human-level general-purpose AI is not cool from a security perspective.

And there we have 37’s next inexplicable t-shirt.

Both options are both human and pretty cynical, but that’s kind of how I’ve been writing my corner of AEGIS.

*emphatic nodding*

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6247286

Alycia would welcome (even outside a love letter) some additional time out of her cell (she’s beginning to feel a bit like the Winter Soldier). If Parker suggests surveillance of / investigation into Summer, she’ll casually shrug – “Sure, whatever” – and then eagerly (as eager as Alycia ever seems to get) have at it.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6247304

Doyce T. said:

Only Concord had (potentially) a new thing to be introduced - the Concordance replacements, and that’s because that plot is due for introduction.

While it isn’t the funnest answer, I have noticed a couple of opportunities for this to come to the forefront (this session and a couple of sessions ago) and I’ve purposely passed it up both times. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on all at once and I feel like making interconnections with existing threads instead of new threads should be my priority. Latching on to Harry and his dad’s sub-arc, finding reasons to get involved with GG and Lucius, and (when it eventually comes to a forefront) backing up Leo with his dad are more important to me than having another plot focused on the Concordance stuff atm.

As was brought up during the end-of-session discussion, we both get more done and have more opportunities to play off one another when we focused on a task, so getting involved with other people’s storylines (in a supporting role) has been priority #1 for me.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6248029

I appreciate people’s awareness of that as well. Even if they get introduced, I’m planning on ways they can arrive and have it not immediately jump to center stage. We’ll see.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6248133

I’m also grateful that Mike held back, but that’s because I want to be able to throw Leo’s full support and attention behind the Concordance agent plot when it does land. It feels like it should be a big thing - Vyortovia invading was a big deal, and they’re just one country. Having the emissary of some interstellar (or intergalactic?) organization swing by should grab and hold attention.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6248588

So “it’s been almost a week.” Has there been any organized (as organized as it gets) Menagerie activity? Are we doing anything in “Study Hall” besides studying?

I know that the individual characters have been busyish pursuing things, but it seems like the team has been quiescent since the get-together over at Jason’s place Monday night.

As newcomer on the team, someone whose “free” time has been constrained to the point where going to the library seems like a big thrill, and mistress of snark, Alycia would probably start asking questions about what the hell’s going on by Friday. :slight_smile:

(At the very least she’s probably been asking questions about past Menagerie activities – “You guys do put together after-action reports, right?” – just so that we can deem her to have at least a surface knowledge of all this stuff. She’ll be amused over the perspective, at the time, about the Notorious Alycia Chin, and, assuming she’s briefed, about the Council of Alycias that Jason seemed to gather.)

Conversely, if the team’s been going out and having fun and fisticuffs every night while Alycia continues to ker-thump her hardball against the cell wall, let me know. :slight_smile:

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6252552

I know that the individual characters have been busyish pursuing things, but it seems like the team has been quiescent since the get-together over at Jason’s place Monday night.

Leo, Aria, and Otto have been solidly busy on Phoenix. Leo, in particular, will not show up for anything he’s not been told to show up for (like school)… But he’s still at school, and if Alycia asks him these things there, he’ll honor his offer of support and try to answer. Those are given below, just in case. :slight_smile:

(At the very least she’s probably been asking questions about past Menagerie activities – “You guys do put together after-action reports, right?” – just so that we can deem her to have at least a surface knowledge of all this stuff. She’ll be amused over the perspective, at the time, about the Notorious Alycia Chin, and, assuming she’s briefed, about the Council of Alycias that Jason seemed to gather.)

A: What has the team done since it formed?
L: Uh, mostly Jason was getting us in front of the city, and there was a talk show, and this chick attacked…

A: Give me the tweet-length summary.
L: A combination of random supervillains pissed at us for being us, and big scary cosmic or international shenanigans that we have to deal with because nobody else does.

A: Did you document any of this? Write reports, analyze weaknesses, anything?
L: We mostly beat the shit outta them until they stopped fighting, then handed them to AEGIS. Or they beat the shit outta us but we fucked up their getaway somehow. Jason started babbling about sitreps and stuff once, but he got better. I can tell you about the individual ones, I guess.

A: I saw some kind of independent holographic Alycia Chin at Jason’s house. Do you know anything about that?
L: … Yes?

A: Want to tell me anything about that?
L: I really don’t.

A: Want to tell me why not?
L: Because Jason’s really weird about you and I don’t know his reasons for doing whatever he might have done, so I don’t want to mis-represent him or his motives. I’d rather you talk to him about it. It might be very awkward for him, which I’m okay with.

A: It’d be pretty god damn awkward for me too.
L: That’s totally understandable.

In general, part of Leo’s offer to answer questions is intended to let Alycia get up to speed with stuff Dave already knows. If you want to assume that some of this takes place off-camera, I’m okay with that. Feel free to milk the comedy (or drama) from any questions that neither of them might have thought to cover, of course.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6252734

Okay, first off, the above is comedy gold, so thank you for that.

Additional question(s):

A: So, what’s all this thing going on about Adam and someone/something named Sol, who apparently is dead? [This will not be asked while Adam is around.]

Actually, she’s got some additional questions / stuff she wants to pursue, but will hold off for the nonce.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6253097

Guys, sorry I’ve been so quiet. Yesterday with the thing being broke, and today… this whole week, really.

It’s just been crazy. I’m working to get caught up and jump back into the threads I’m in, starting NOW.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6253264

I, for one, am horribly, horribly offended that you are not prioritizing posting here over all other elements in your life. Get with the program, dude!

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6253396

*** Dave H. said:

A: So, what’s all this thing going on about Adam and someone/something named Sol, who apparently is dead? [This will not be asked while Adam is around.]

“Sol was… have you seen Knight Rider? No? The old one, not the 2008 one. Neither one, huh. Okay, never mind.”

“Basically, Concord gets his superpowers from this alien race, or organization, or something, called the Concordance. I’m very vague on the actual delivery mechanism. I think Adam is as well. Anyway. Sol was the intelligence that came along with that power package. As far as I can tell, Sol’s job was to be copilot and instructor and safety device for these powers. Like a car autopilot, that does the gear shifting and stunt driving for you at first. Now that he’s gone, Adam’s the one behind the wheel, and his powers really feel like they’re a manual transmission. You can hear those gears grind sometimes. It’s not his fault, though.”

“Sol could talk, had sort of a distinct personality, you know. I don’t know if he was an expert system or a proper person. But he sent us all messages, before the end, wishing us well, thanking us for helping Adam, stuff like that. And while he was here, he was really important to Adam. They didn’t always get along, but who does? So that’s why we mourn him.”

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6253439

“Hmm.” Alycia pauses for a moment. “That sounds like an extraordinarily dangerous situation, given the power levels evidenced.” She pauses a bit longer. “I am working on that memo you asked me for, by the way. Though I want to wait until I can actually observe and interact with the team in the field. I’ll give special consideration to Concord.”

She purses her lips in thought. Then, “You didn’t mention how ‘the end’ came? What could destroy such a thing without destroying the power or the host?”

[You are, of course, spot-on correct that Alycia has never seen any episode of Knight Rider. Of course, she’d have been 8yo at the time, too, and not living in the States.]

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6253472

Bill G. said:

*** Dave H. said:

A: So, what’s all this thing going on about Adam and someone/something named Sol, who apparently is dead? [This will not be asked while Adam is around.]

“Sol was… have you seen Knight Rider? No? The old one, not the 2008 one. Neither one, huh. Okay, never mind.”

“Basically, Concord gets his superpowers from this alien race, or organization, or something, called the Concordance. I’m very vague on the actual delivery mechanism. I think Adam is as well. Anyway. Sol was the intelligence that came along with that power package. As far as I can tell, Sol’s job was to be copilot and instructor and safety device for these powers. Like a car autopilot, that does the gear shifting and stunt driving for you at first. Now that he’s gone, Adam’s the one behind the wheel, and his powers really feel like they’re a manual transmission. You can hear those gears grind sometimes. It’s not his fault, though.”

“Sol could talk, had sort of a distinct personality, you know. I don’t know if he was an expert system or a proper person. But he sent us all messages, before the end, wishing us well, thanking us for helping Adam, stuff like that. And while he was here, he was really important to Adam. They didn’t always get along, but who does? So that’s why we mourn him.”

Reading this description tells me I did my job of presenting Sol as a semi-autonomous entity correctly.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6253475