MASKS #25 - A HOUSE DIVIDED! [Recap]

Sepiaverse

Charlotte wants to investigate the Sepiaverse cemetery, to learn more of when her family comes over.

Byron and Rusty knew little of the Vyortovians. Just another cult. But from over on the Sepiaverse, learned that the Family were actually part of the royal family, took it up on themselves to go to the Prime universe and set about their deeds. Hundreds of years ago.

So, yes, Charlotte is of Sepia blood. She was never indoctrinated … (or, concern, did she get some memories wiped, perhaps when she died …?

Numina makes her excuses a few times to not be around. Taking breathers. But also contributing to the convresation. Indeed, she’s the first to confirm that the Hecates must be in communication.

The Jason/Byron conversation has been going on for a while. He’s gotten his emotional equilibrium back, and he’s owning stuff as much as he ever has … but he’s also reasserting control. And “… memetic programming” as a term he invented.

Okay, that’s not going to work. Numina/Summer can debate that one. And Jason knows this. And Alycia clearly understands it from that whole warehouse thing. Numina starts to go down that rabbit hole, and Byron is sort of handwaving it aside it (“smartest man in the room – when he can define the room”).

J: What has Alycia told you so far.
B: Nothing. She’s in custody. [And, amazingly, they haven’t questioned her.]
J: Wait, you have the daughter of greatest nemesis, past and present; someone who was “easily” captured; and you haven’t even questioned her?
B: Why would we? What could she know? She hasn’t been in touch with her father in two years.
R: You know, he’s got a point. [Exchange looks with Byron.] [Goes to check the guards.]
C: Well, there’s how she got here without damaging the membrane.
B: Well, clearly, she just borrowed the tech from my son. [“and my son borrowed it from me”] [Byron seems weirdly blinkered about it.]

J: I need to talk with Alycia before I take her out of here.
B: (sputtering) Where would you take her?
J: Back home.
B: What possible reason could you have to remove her from custody here, where she’s safe
J: To maybe save my life. Or to restore my memory. Or is that of any value here?
B: Watch your tone of voice, young man. There’s no call to be snide.
J: Right. I’m dying, my memory isn’t working, all due to your shenanigans – why should I be snide?
B: Well, a lot of that was last-minute coding. Clearly it’s a rounding error …

Jason is going to push the issue. Charlotte stands by to help. Numina is willing to support Jason, that Jason with Alycia is better than Byron with Alycia. Also, screwing with Byron. [Provoke! 5!]

J: Goddammit, Dad. I’m dying here. My memory has been raped. And you just – I came here for Charlotte. For you, if you needed it. And for Alycia. And you are not standing in my way.

Byron stands there. Anger. Affrontery. Cheek. He’s not bellowing because others in room (and he always has to be the cool, superior intellect), but that restraint is clearly crumbling when …
… a klaxon goes off, alarm lights.

Shock. Byron picks up phone. Listens. Swears.
B: Your “damsel in in distress” just broke out of prison.

Adam

It’s been a few hours. Quarter to 7, easily before curfew. Doesn’t want to answer questions TO HIS DAD about Keri. Hour and half after pizza. Flying home, heading south. Getting closer to school and … school grounds have vision-blocking construction fences, just since the training session this afternoon. The buildings are cocooned in construction fabric on scaffolding.

Calls team if they went by the school after pizza. Nope. Goes to investigate. Awkwardly goes to chat with the cops directing traffic.

“Corvus Construction” signs. Construction crews in there working like ants. Adam thinks everything looks normal but … um … Keynome is here, so, maybe worrisome?

Harry

An hour and a half past the pizza. Hanging with people, A-10 and the Irregulators. Movie?

Leo

Clearly Adam’s sitch is a problem. Cruising main street, getting their equilibrium.

Adam

Who’s inside? [Assess the Situation! 5!] Energy pulse that knocks him on his back, 150 miles south. Seeing spots from what just happened – oh, wait, one of them is getting bigger and closer and coming down here.

“Round 2, Fight!” shouts Troll, and crashes into him. Adam “gives ground”. Cops are shouting in alarm. Troll grabs him and throws him down the street, skipping off the asphalt.

And Facet shows up and tells Adam to just Stay. Down.

Harry

Harry is with Alloy, A-10, and Telekinecian, and Armiger. They’re in the theater. A-10 keep leaning closer.

And Harry’s phone – and all of theirs – get a Hero Alert. TK is up first, moving out of the theater. Harry grabs everyone out of the theater at superspeed.

Leo

Otto - news blast on all channels. Not about the high school.

Vyortovia just offshore!

They all round the corner, and there are Facet and Troll.

Quick text. “Come to the school if you want to fight some supervillains.”

Harry and the Irregulators

Alert! Is this a drill?

I don’t think so.

GRIN

Primeverse

Leo plasters one on Troll. Flies backward along the asphalt. Grabs a lamppost behind him, runs forward, swinging it at Leo, catching light poles and power lines, sparks, craziness.

Harry running …

Sepiaverse

Jason laughs.

B: Have you lost your – [okay, that’s awkward] [Exit]
J: (to Numina and Charlotte) We should go and find her.

Numina, big book, holds out hand, tosses the book to Jason, been doing some light reading. 3D representation of the subbasements of the building. Construction of the Federal City Capitol Building. Points at “here” for the Senatorial Cells. Also, FYI, this is the coolest power.

C: Jason, come with me. [Grabs him, and descends into the earth to the cells.]

The guards are unconscious (probably), doors are there. Alycia’s backpack is there.

Jason [barely, 7] assesses the situation. Pacing the room, looking at each cell, yeah, this one, looking at the cot, the chair, carrying her backpack, opens it up, riffs through, sketches of the building, the tunnel, diagrams (not in her handwriting).

And rubber-banded stack of uncancelled envelopes, addressed to “A”, all relatively recent, last 18 months, letters to her from Achilles. “My dearest daughter” stuff. Not his handwriting. “18 months, my intellect dwindling, need every assistance …” [[Dave: dictated via inter-Hecate comms]] Nothing referring to her responses. “I’ve learned this. Here are some clues.”

Based on the diagrams, basically know where to go to get to the Keynome chamber. Very circuitous, but a route.

Charlotte grabs him – “Not now, Jason, you’re be ridiculous …” – and drags him through a more direct path. “Numina, track my loc–”

First or second step, we’re hitting resistance / headwind (from the Keynome?).
Jason suggests using sailing / tacking tactics.
She tries, even as the force takes something out of her [Condition: Angry, so tired of this crap, if you hadn’t been arguing for hours …]

Primeverse

Harry is running. Weird – lights up at the schools. Flashes of light on the street. Heads in, sees Facet, who’s blasting light beams at Concord, who seems distracted. Tries to protect Concord by hitting her, at a tangent, distracting Prism in turn, knocking her into a fence, vanishing from view.

Adam tries to track her down (since Leo is probably able to handle Troll). “WE ARE CONCORD, AGENT OF THE CONCORDANCE. CEASE AND DESIST.” Spots a bundle of insecurities hopping away over fences. Tries to bubble her. [Direct Engage! 3!] She whirls and blasts him! [Powerful Blow! 10!] Shouts out to call on Link for help (imposing a condition), and gives ground. Leo feels guilty for charging in without checking on how Adam was doing – so he hesitates (along with Otto and Pneuma). Troll’s light pole is heading into a wide-open Leo.

Harry – try to deflect the poll, [10!] [Clears insecure]

Otto rocketpunches a bunch of the sparking cables over at Prism. [11!] Resisting blows, shorting out everything, fall to ground, “I give up, I surrender, don’t kill me!”

Sepiaverse

Big underground space, extensively retrofitted. They’re freaking TAPPING the Keynome. Oddly crude machinery.

Silhouette of Alycia, arguing with another silhouette, gesturing … Achilles. She glances at Jason, as they argue.

Jason leads with the heart. [Pierce the Mask! 7!] _What does she want him to do?
_
Alycia shouts an order at Achilles, then turns toward Jason, takes a step forward, pulls out weapons, stepping over a line of the collapsed nanogoo, Chin steps behind her enough that she’s blocking him. Her facial expression … _Let me GO. This is a crappy situation, I’m not happy to see you here, a fly in the ointment, and …
_

… someone is standing right next to Jason. It’s … an older, worn, mid-30s Alycia. An AI flickering. “I so don’t have time for an illusion,” Jason thinks. Leans to me, “This is not going the way she thinks it is going to go.” But clear over the tremendous noise, so, a Head’lycia. Call it Ol’ycia.

As Achilles pulls out weapons of his own, pointing one at Alycia’s back, one at the Keynome …

End of Session

Jason: Away from the Team (Charlotte)
Link: Closer to the Team (Concord) - clearing Guilty
Mercury: Image of Self
Ghost Girl: Image of Self - Savior+, Mundane-
Concord: Closer to the Team (Harry) - Savior+ [maxxed], Danger-

------

I’ve been using (sometimes with slight variations) episode titles from old Stan Lee / Jack Kirby comics (esp. Fantastic Four). In this case, it feels vaguely unspecific but meaningful – the team divided between universes, divisions in the Quill family, divisions between Jason and Alycia, the divisive fail between Adam and Leo and Harry, the divisions over that the hell is going on with Jason’s head … it’s all _divisive.

Very eager (for obvious reasons) to work through to a unifying conclusion._

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6053543

(Harrumph. Can some one with forum privs add the [Recap] tag?)

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6053550

I haven’t really talked about this before, so in case anyone’s interested - how do Link, Pneuma, and Otto fight effectively as a combined team?

When Leo decided to be a vigilante superhero, the three started training together with the combination tech. They share a set of moves, a fighting style, an approach. Leo took up boxing and sports after his dad put him through home-schooling but before Pneuma was created, so he and she also share muscle memory, and Otto trained to match.

When together, the trio take on different roles. Otto is obviously the muscle, the outer shell, the “main body” that gets things done, but he’ll follow Link’s physical motions if Leo indicates he has a plan. The three also share a heads-up display, or panoramic perspective on the battlefield. An eye-tracking system, along with a device that measures brain and muscle activity, lets them “paint” spots on the battlefield. Pneuma can also plug into Otto’s senses, acting as a second set of eyes. That way, nobody is surprised and everyone can pay attention to something different.

When Leo heard Concord call out, he hesitated. In that moment, Pneuma brought up a glimpse of what she’d seen - Facet and her tech. It would take a fraction of a second to highlight the spots on the suit that let Leo realize he’s fighting a science-based enemy. In another moment, Leo paints the ground around them on the HUD, highlighting the cables. Otto knows to pick them up, Pneuma lines up the rocket punch shot, Otto fires it.

This is why it’s so important for them to stay in mental sync. They aren’t telepathically linked - that would be easy. They need to share intent, be in agreement about what’s important, be willing to trust each other and (just as importantly) surrender control to each other.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6053585

I love the deep thought you put into these characters and their interactions, Bill. Good, solid, well-considered stuff… more than the game requires, but making it all the more interesting.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6053594

*** Dave H. said:

more than the game requires

I will always wonder if things like this mean I should skip it because people don’t care, but I press on regardless. If anyone ever legit doesn’t care or doesn’t think it’s useful, please just say so, so that I know for sure. That’s the result of having Insecure marked in real life. :slight_smile:

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6053602

I understand that Insecure (and raise you a Guilty). Like me, you went from "Good, solid, well-considered stuff… more than the game requires, but making it all the more interesting"and dropped all the bits that might indicate that, no, you shouldn’t skip it. Well done. :slight_smile:

Your additional write-ups add texture and depth to Leo and his family. And I wouldn’t have made the comment if I didn’t care. Ditto for Mike’s artwork, Margie’s Civil War research, folk writing cut-scenes, etc. It’s when you post things and there are crickets chirping that you know folk don’t care (or, perhaps, don’t obsessively haunt the boards). And even then it’s okay, if you care about it.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054076

*** Dave H. said:

(Harrumph. Can some one with forum privs as the [Recap] tag?)

Done. For the record, I would happily give everybody those admin privileges but there doesn’t seem to be a way to do so. :slight_smile:

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054113

Bill G. said:

*** Dave H. said:

more than the game requires

I will always wonder if things like this mean I should skip it because people don’t care, but I press on regardless. If anyone ever legit doesn’t care or doesn’t think it’s useful, please just say so, so that I know for sure. That’s the result of having Insecure marked in real life. :slight_smile:

I am personally very glad for these kinds of explanations, and I don’t even think that it’s more than necessary, especially when you have a GM who makes assumptions instead of asking questions (sometimes). I listen to some of the early recordings for the game and the stuff I got wrong about how I thought everybody stuff work is just painful and wince worthy. For that matter, I’m still zeroing in on ghost girl and Concords abilities sometimes. I really appreciate this sort of thing so I don’t make the assumption that it’s"basically telepathy." (Which is definitely in the top ten ways I would have described it more than 5 minutes ago.) :slight_smile:

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054129

Actually, I need to do a game retcon for the very last event (glad these are rare). Achilles only pulls out a weapon pointed at the keynome, he doesn’t have one pointed at Alicia’s back.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054136

Sort of how I imagine the return trip home.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054173

Doyce T. said:

Actually, I need to do a game retcon for the very last event (glad these are rare). Achilles only pulls out a weapon pointed at the keynome, he doesn’t have one pointed at Alicia’s back.

I sent you a PM that won’t work now if that’s the case, not sure if you saw it. I’ll try to rethink my suggestion.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054215

Doyce T. said:

Actually, I need to do a game retcon for the very last event (glad these are rare). Achilles only pulls out a weapon pointed at the keynome, he doesn’t have one pointed at Alicia’s back.

Oh. I’m not sure if I’m disappointed by that or not, but it definitely changes what Jason is going to do next (which I hope I can figure out in a week).

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054235

*** Dave H. said:

(Harrumph. Can someone with forum privs add the [Recap] tag?)

(Harrumph. Can someone with forum privs capitalize the word “Divided” before it drives me nuts? I’m not sure if I was just incredibly sloppy in trying to slam that out or what. Yeesh.)

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054240

Doyce T. said:

For that matter, I’m still zeroing in on ghost girl and Concords abilities sometimes.

Yeah, that’s a moving target. Sorry. Probably doesn’t help that I picked up the move that essentially says, “make up new powers as the plot demands.” Really doesn’t help that I’ve thought way more about how Concord’'s powers look than how they work.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054303

Mike said:

Doyce T. said:

For that matter, I’m still zeroing in on ghost girl and Concords abilities sometimes.

Yeah, that’s a moving target. Sorry. Probably doesn’t help that I picked up the move that essentially says, “make up new powers as the plot demands.” Really doesn’t help that I’ve thought way more about how Concord’'s powers look than how they work.

Well, it’s not so much about what they can do as it is HOW they do what they do… internally, socially, I guess. As in what the Concord, Sol/Adam dynamic/synergy is. I get it about 90% of the time, and then miss hard, wide to the left.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054343

I just want to reiterate I love that drawing of Jason so much. A cropped version should be his game icon. :slight_smile:

Also want to say how much I appreciate everyone’s contributions during the game(s). It’s a really good thing I had a basic vague outline last night, because I felt supremely scattered. Between several villain write-ups, the outline, the GM/villain move sheets, and all the other normal stuff, it just felt like chaos, and I was missing what SHOULD have been obvious hand-offs like “Adam creates an opening for the bad guys, making Leo vulnerable, so… what? what happens? *blank stare*” OF COURSE the next move goes to Harry. Dead obvious, except it wasn’t, and thank you Mike for pointing it out - ditto for everyone else at all the other points where I found myself just… flatfooted.

Kind of felt like this… wild drop turned into picture perfect landing… with a little help.


Or, if you want it from the GM’s perspective…

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054379

Also, I’ll note that we’ve achieved full comicbook realism at this point, because we have fanboys leaving ALL CAPS comments about how the U.S. military (and NATO) would ‘realistically have taken down this island 30 seconds after it appeared off-shore.’

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054394

No worries, Doyce. You did run, what… four sessions in the past week, on top of the Keri thread with me, and other posts on the forum. I don’t even know what your other activities look like, but I know that can lead to some serious mental fatigue.

Doyce T. said:

Mike said:

Doyce T. said:

For that matter, I’m still zeroing in on ghost girl and Concords abilities sometimes.

Yeah, that’s a moving target. Sorry. Probably doesn’t help that I picked up the move that essentially says, “make up new powers as the plot demands.” Really doesn’t help that I’ve thought way more about how Concord’'s powers look than how they work.

Well, it’s not so much about what they can do as it is HOW they do what they do… internally, socially, I guess. As in what the Concord, Sol/Adam dynamic/synergy is. I get it about 90% of the time, and then miss hard, wide to the left.

Okay, this part I’m a lot more solid on. If you want I’ll write something up and send it over to you.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054402

Doyce T. said:

Also, I’ll note that we’ve achieved full comicbook realism at this point, because we have fanboys leaving ALL CAPS comments about how the U.S. military (and NATO) would ‘realistically have taken down this island 30 seconds after it appeared off-shore.’

Okay, I totally want to hear how this training scenario went down:

“Okay gentlemen, a landmass the size of Iceland has appeared off the East Coast and is run by a hostile foreign power with access to hyper tech, sorcery, and other various superpowers. Remember your training and we should have this mopped up by dinner time…”

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054410

Mike said:

Doyce T. said:

Also, I’ll note that we’ve achieved full comicbook realism at this point, because we have fanboys leaving ALL CAPS comments about how the U.S. military (and NATO) would ‘realistically have taken down this island 30 seconds after it appeared off-shore.’

Okay, I totally want to hear how this training scenario went down:

“Okay gentlemen, a landmass the size of Iceland has appeared off the East Coast and is run by a hostile foreign power with access to hyper tech, sorcery, and other various superpowers. Remember your training and we should have this mopped up my dinner time…”

My particular favorite was the idea someone would launch enough cruise missiles to flatten the place.

… a couple hundred miles from DC. Okay.

To say nothing of navigation based on GPS satellites that just had a whole new land mass show up.

… which moves randomly, and at random times.

(… although the placement THIS time, and the associated power surge Concord saw… makes this one at least seem less random, but still.)

But anyway yeah sure man we’ll scramble the Coast Guard we got this.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6054420