Lizard and Lunk

The continuing GURPS adventures of eight men who really should find better uses for their time.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

By Request, "Looking for Group"

1 June 2011~

This is a damned-well should read for everyone, and a must read for Jeff, whose current Supers character bears a disturbing resemblance to Richard...

Looking for Group (Page 1)

Jeff- you're welcome!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shades of Magneto?

Things died down in Chicago for our Group of Wonders for a while - but only for a while (we are all weirdness magnets, after all, even if we don't get the points). About a month later, Kevin's martial artist was approached at a big expo (in full view of some other members of our group) by some people claiming to represent some kind of alliance of superpowered beings, with vague goals and a general request to come join them. He turned them down, but they promised to visit him again.

Three days later, five of these people showed up at Kevin's dojo, where Craig, Bruce & Bill were hanging out. They were armed - double swords sheathed on their backs - and driving a rented SUV. They were polite, but firm in issuing the invitation again - come meet with their boss, who would explain what they were up to. After some deliberation, Kevin agreed, and they left to set up the meeting with their kingpin.

The meeting was held on the 53rd floor of the Hancock Building, Chicago's second-tallest, in the offices of a financial analysis firm that obviously had a lot of money. The team arrayed itself with four folks (Kevin, Brian, Bill & Craig) openly walking into the meeting, while Jeff & Schmitty tagged along Invisibly and Mike & Bruce waited in the elevator shaft insubstantially, listening in by open cell phone link.

The group was shown into a large corporate office, where we met the Big Kahuna (with his five sword-carrying henchmen lounging nearby). He started to explain his grand plan to create a "safe space" for "people with powers such as ours", making vague references to friends in important places in the economy and the government - all against the day when the government finally figured out that we exist and came after us. It sounded vaguely like a Magneto-esque "homo superior" argument, or perhaps B5's Bester explaining the inevitability of the ascendance of psis over "mundanes".

While this droned on, Jeff and Bill felt their powers start to drain away. Bill stood up, told the fellow that he had no interest in following the latest tin-pot dictator to walk the earth, and walked to the door - but was blocked from leaving by one of the muscle, who drew his swords and barred the way. Alarmed, Craig attempted to change form - only to have his form shift back uncontrollably. Brian tried to calm things down with an appeal to reason (nice try!) and Jeff decided to take the offensive by striking the kingpin fellow with a massive Deathtouch spell - setting off an extensive fantasy physics discussion that pretty much ended the night. I think the resolution was that the kingpin took FT rather than HT damage, but was affected. Bruce, sensing that something is up, is headed our way with Mike in tow. Jeff's last action, right after the Deathtouch, is to teleport out - he's about out of FT.

Next time, we'll see what we can do against a group of five apparently-good martial artists with swords, plus a kingpin who may be sucking our powers, while none of us have access to our major offensive abilities. This could get interesting - and not in a good way.

Demons. Why does it always have to be Demons?

With the murder of Craig's ex-girlfriend/FBI agent hanging over our heads, we went to work. We knew from her summoned spirit (ah, the many uses of necromancy...) that she has been killed by the girlfriend of the Chicago Chief of Police. With this in mind, we decided to pre-emptively contact the FBI officer in charge of investigating us and tell him that we knew that his agent had been killed - and that we suspected who (though we didn't tell him HOW we knew that...) We also told him to check the surveillance tapes from the apartment complex to verify our story.

Our FBI contact seemed inclined to believe us. He DID go check the surveillance tapes, and set up a meeting with Craig at a mall to show Craig the tape. It showed a woman walking into the FBI agent's apartment and ... expanding ... as she entered. He asked Craig if we knew what this was, or what we were dealing with. We said no, but we offered him a deal: let us deal with it, stay out of our way, and provide us a few basic logistical supports. If we solved the case and took out (excuse me, "arrested") those responsible, he would destroy all files he had on us and make sure that our case was buried forever - that the FBI would leave us alone. Surprisingly, he took the deal.

We got the location of the Chief of Police's house, and some information about it (he apparently had two cops on the grounds most of the time). We asked the FBI to do two things: shut off his alarm system, and call the Chief himself into their office for a "meeting" (we didn't know if he was in on the plot, and didn't want to risk him being caught in the crossfire. With that taken care of, we then did what we do best - assault houses from several directions at once.

Jeff's necromancer disguised himself to look like the Chief, to get in the front door. On the way in, he passed one of the aforementioned cops - who he realized immediately wasn't human. So he trapped that one in an Utter Dome on the front lawn, to be dealt with later. One down.

Once in the house, Jeff encountered the girlfriend in the front hall and tried to put her to sleep (that "arrest" thing - hey, we had to try). That didn't work, and alerted her to the assault. Jeff blinked out while Craig came in through an upstairs window, Kevin, Bill, & Brian came in through at back door, and Bruce & Mike came up through the floorboards. Schmitty's big rock friend positioned itself below the Utter Dome, just in case the one in there tried to dig itself out.

As soon as battle was joined, the two remaining occupants of the house (the girlfriend and one other "cop") revealed themselves to be demons. By luck more than tactical intention we ended up with a neat division: Craig, Mike & Bruce took on the Succubus girlfriend while Kevin, Brian & Bill tackled the other one.

After a few rounds, the Succubus took a few claw hits from Bruce, some sword hits from Craig, and a whole lot of Cryokinesis from Mike. This led her to retreat through the air ducts in vapor form - unfortunately, she got away.

Back in the kitchen, Kevin blasted away while Bill used TK to hold the other one still - a sort of pinata party. Brian finally got off some awesome rolls with his dehydration power, and a couple of rounds later that demon was reduced to a husk of its former self.

Killing the remaining demon (the other "cop" in disguise) trapped under the Utter Dome was easily accomplished, at which point we called our FBI contact in. Turns out the Chicago PD Chief had been under the Succubus' power, and hadn't known what was going on at all. The FBI officer, now convinced that we knew what we were doing, was good to his word: he buried our files (what he had of them, which wasn't much) so deep they will hopefully never be found, and promised to call off further investigations into us. The Chicago Police are none the wiser, other than knowing that something weird is going on. Craig & Brian got their secret identities back, and Brian even got a new Bug Van courtesy of the Chicago PD's insurance company (since it was destroyed in their impound lot, and we didn't do it). We now know to be careful with law enforcement, but it looks like - for now - we don't all have to take 20-point Hunted disads.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Actually, We CAN Run ... and Hide

It's been a while since we updated, so this will have a lot of compressed material in it...

Having cornered the likely source of nasty zombies in a Mexican drug lord's compound, we did what we do best - recon by assault (or assault by recon, take your pick). Some went in doors, some underground or through walls, and Craig went up on the roof, where he dispatched a couple of normals and discovered the joys of firing an RPG. We flushed the ├╝ber-bad guy - apparently a manifestation of some ancient Celtic god - out of the house, and put him on the run with the aforementioned rocket fire and the realization that it was him against all of us. We also found the likely source of his zombie-making powers: a giant iron bathtub ("the magic bathtub", it was quickly dubbed). Jeff's wizard/necromancer started salivating over the prospects of "studying" it (or creating a large zombie army, we aren't sure which), so we loaded it on a liberated truck and drove off.

As we left, it became clear that the Celtic god had called his Dogs of War (or Dogs of Unusual Size) and was giving chase. So we slipped across the border and drove east into the West Texas desert. Finding a nice empty spot with no normals nearby, we camped out and waited. The minor deity eventually did show up, with a few pals and five horse-sized dogs along. We killed or incapacitated the dogs and started to do the same to the people - though not before Jeff nearly killed us all with his first critical spell failure. Next time, we're going to stay well back from him when he's casting... In any case, the god and his cronies took off into the ether, allowing us to tote the magic bathtub back to Chicago without further incident. The god later made it known that we've made ourselves an enemy - he may have to get in line before too long.

Once back in Chicago, Jeff put the tub in a special sealed-off section of his bookstore/home, while the rest of us resumed our "normal lives". Normality, of course, never lasts long (at least, not in our campaigns)...

A few weeks after we got back, we all found ourselves on or about the Navy Pier when a giant humanoid fish-monster decided to crawl out of Lake Michigan and treat the crowded pier like a buffet. Craig shooed his latest girlfriend away (more on that below), pretended to fall off the pier, and then changed and headed out to the end to do battle. He was joined there by Kevin and, eventually, Brian, Mike and Ghost Wolf, while Schmitty summoned his dragon friend from the top of the ferris wheel and Bill dropped a hot dog cart on the thing's head telekinetically. It proved to be a tough and nasty fish-monster - it nearly killed one cop, and likely would have killed several if we hadn't intervened - but it was eventually brought down by repeated blasts, hacks, and stabs. The group then dispersed back into the (now rather freaked-out) crowd and left - another day at the office for your average group of secret supers.

But it turned out that Craig's latest girlfriend was not what she seemed (you know, you really should find out what they do for a living before dating them...) A couple of days later (after news reports with sketchy details about the fish-monster), Craig got a frantic phone call from his girlfriend, who claimed that there was what looked like a vampire lurking outside her office building. Craig and Bill sped off to investigate, calling the rest of the gang for backup. The girlfriend called again en route to say that the vamp had broken in, and that she was taking shelter in the warehouse connected with her office.

The whole crew showed up pretty much at the same time to the warehouse/office in the middle of an industrial park. The front door was smashed in, so Craig, Bill and Kevin charged right through it, followed by pretty much everybody else - with Ghost Wolf pulling Mike's Iceman through a wall just for tactical flavor and surprise.

Turns out the girlfriend was not just a cute chick - she was an FBI agent, and the whole thing was a setup. As soon as we burst in, the agents flicked on the Klieg lights, and aimed about two dozen assault rifles and tasers at us. Being that we didn't really want to get arrested, many of us turned around and walked out, taser darts bouncing off our armored bodies. Craig and Kevin provided some distraction for the troops while Ghost Wolf took Iceman through the back wall, then came back in and carried off the girlfriend/FBI agent for questioning in the next building over.

The forces that were supposed to close off our retreat were immobilized by Bill, who then flew Schmitty's character to safety while Craig, Brian and Kevin escaped in two cars. Brian, unfortunately, realized immediately that he would have to abandon his Cockroach Killer van/mystery machine, as it had his name and phone number in big letters on the side. Recon to various spots through the evening confirmed - Jeff's place, and Kevin's dojo, had not yet been discovered by the cops, but Brian's cover is pretty much blown (as is Craig's, obviously, though it's not clear that they know WHAT Craig is - just that he's associated with Ghost Wolf in some way).

Questioning of the girlfriend led to a phone call with the local FBI field commander, and a request that they back off and leave us alone - mostly on the grounds that they don't know who most of us are, and they aren't going to catch us anyway (three or four dozen SWAT officers had just failed to do so...) The FBI fellow said he would think about it, so we let the girlfriend go. Craig called her cell phone and left a message, suspecting that he was in for an awkward conversation later.

After a day of hiding out, nothing had been heard from the FBI girlfriend. Then somebody set fire to Brian's van in the impound lot - we assumed it was the feds, trying to cover the incident up. A phone call to the FBI field commander disabused us of that notion - they thought WE had done it. Clearly there was someone else working here.

Craig became suspicious when the girlfriend didn't call - after 24 hours, you'd think she would at least be curious. So we all headed over to her apartment, where recon by Craig and Kevin discovered that she had been brutally killed - hacked to death by something with big claws and pointy women's shoes. Jeff the necromancer summoned her spirit, who told us that she had been killed by the Chief of Police's girlfriend (what is it with betraying girlfriends in this episode?), who had shown up at the door, grown claws out of her hands, and shredded the ex-FBI agent. Jeff also confirmed that only Craig and Brian have been positively ID'd by the FBI so far - which is a good thing. But now we're likely to get framed for the FBI agent's murder as well as the car fire in the impound lot - somebody is clearly out to get us, and it's not just the FBI.

Next time - more investigation, and hoping the feds stay off of us long enough for us to bring the real bad guys down, and maybe clear our names.