Superheroes Masks: A New Generation
Name: Beguile (Sierra Deane)
Look: Middle Eastern female, untrusting eyes, rebellious clothing, no costume
Abilities: (magical)
  • Teleportation 
  • Illusions
    Supernatural senses (bug-dar)
  • Danger +1
  • Freak 0
  • Savior -1
  • Superior +2
  • Mundane +1
  • I don't care what you think!
  • Troublemaker
  • Are you watching closely?
[b]Influence: [/b]
  • Jitterbug
  • Blitz
  • I was there when Dr Arcane sacrificed himself to keep the Terrorverse at bay. The magical backlash gave me these crazy powers. Cool, huh?
  • When I'm not saving the world I need thrills. Joy-riding. Street racing. Skinny-dipping with great whites. You know, fun stuff. 
  • I know I'm a screw-up. You try my life on for size and see how you turn out. But Emma Stone, over at the orphanage, she's always said I'm better than I know. 
  • Listen, I'm trying this hero thing out. Maybe Emma's rubbing off on me. But no promises, understand?
  • This team are OK. I get to do cool stuff and I think they have my back. But come on, the Teen Machine? Seriously?
  • Knockout could lighten up some. Maybe if I keep showing her how fun having powers ca be...
  • That stunt Blitz and I pulled was the best. I persuaded her that those jumped-up stuffed shirts The Protectorate has been taken over by aliens or some shit, so we 'ported into their base and went through all their stuff. Her face when she found out I was messing with her! 
Name: Blitz (Aleena Faulkner)
Look: White female, smiling face, comfortable clothing, flashy costume
  • Martial arts 
  • Acrobatics
  • Danger -1
  • Freak -1
  • Savior +2
  • Superior +1
  • Mundane +2
  • Straight up, Creepin'
  • Won't let you down
  • Help a teammate when they need you most
  • Earn respect of a hero you admire
  • Travel to an incredible place or time
  • Reject someone who tells you "you shouldn't be here"
[b]Influence: [/b]
  • Jitterbug
  • Beguile
  • I discovered my uncle is Nightshade, and he agreed to train me. 
  • I made my own costume and started patrolling a year ago, though Nightshade keeps saying I'm not ready. What does he know? I may not be a grizzled old perfectionist like him, but I've got this down!
  • All my life I've been told to keep my head down, get good grades, be a good kid. Well, enough! It's time to stand up and make a difference! I can do this!
  • This team is the first place I've found where people take me seriously. Well, mostly. 
  • And best of all is Jitterbug. Did you know he put that suit together himself? That guy is so cool! We're best buds.
  • If only I prove myself to The Cyclone, then I'd really know I'd made it.  
The Teen Machine

The team came together when Dr Rufus Singh was kidnapped by Lord Shryke. Knowing he could never free his scientific mentor from the arch-villain's clutches alone Jitterbug reached out to Beguile for help. She in turn called on The Cyclone who brought in Blitz and Knockout. Although Dr Singh was rescued much of his top secret research for U.M.B.R.A. Labs was lost, sent to some mysterious recipient. 

The team share a guilty secret; Lord Shryke almost had them beaten before Beguile teleported him away, into the heart of a live volcano. Though nothing has been said overtly the senior hero team the Paramount have shown a worrying degree of interest in the newcomers since that battle. Do they suspect the extreme measures that Beguile took?

The team has Jitterbug to thank for the name the Teen Machine. He mentioned it once as a joke to reporters, and much to Beguile's annoyance it seems to have stuck.

The Cyclone, with his years of training and his serious manner, quickly emerged as the team's leader. He recognizes that despite their many differences this team of misfits is far stronger when banded together.
Time for Teen Machine issue 1. 

As this is the start of the session, we add 1 Team to the pool.  

Given this is a superhero story it seems best to start in medea res, so I ask RPG solo some questions:

Quest: Search for clues at the crater.
NPC: Wise exo-dimensional being
Opposition: Assassin
Focus: Intolerance
Thing: Hunting rifle
Skill: Cybernetics

Wonderful, not only does that give me a very clear picture of a starting scene, but it looks like the bad guy ties back directly to the Cyclone's backstory. 

Let's find out a bit more about our mysterious alien visitor. 

Q: Has his ship crash-landed? (50/50) Yes
Q: Is the pilot injured? (Somewhat Likely) No, but...
Q: Is the pilot dying? (Somewhat Likely) Yes, but...
Q: Does the pilot have stasis technology? (Somewhat Likely) No
Q: Can the pilot transcend death? (Somewhat Likely) No
Q: Can the pilot artificially prolong its life? (Somewhat Likely) No, but...
Q: Can the pilot use others to artificially prolong its life? (Likely) Yes

Why has he come here? 

I use the Adventure Glyphs and an alien name generator to determine that this is Pavaatu, an alien scientist who has discovered the secret of inter-dimensional travel ("the Formula").  It has amazing potential, but militaristic forces on his homeworld seek to use the discovery for conquest. Pavaatu has been travelling the dimensions, spreading the technology, so that no one universe has the monopoly of power. But the last dimension he visited was warlike, and he barely escaped alive. 

And what about this intolerant assassin?

Q: Is the assassin with a hatred of aliens the Gatekeeper?  (Very Likely) Yes

Q: Has he been cybernetically enhanced? (Likely) Yes, but...
Q: Are the cybernetics failing? (50/50) Yes, and...
Q: Are they dangerous? (Likely) Yes

That sounds like plenty to get us started. 
The APB had come in just as they were passing, but even without it the Teen Machine couldn't have failed to see the flaming object that blazed out of the skies and smashed into the heart of the city with an impact that blew out windows in a ten block radius. 

The Cyclone's voice is tight and controlled as he readies himself for whatever danger awaits. This team are so young, so inexperienced. So much danger of something going wrong. Though he feels anxious all those years of training with his mentor, the alien hero the Tempest, keep his voice calm and steady. "Careful everyone, we don't know what to expect in there. Follow my lead."

"Whatever you say, boss-man" snorts Beguile, with habitual sarcasm. Her attitude is matched by her clothes; she dresses like a punk rocker, with a bright pink and orange mohawk and black biker jacket covered in patches. A short plaid skirt covered in buckles, torn fishnets and heavy biker boots complete the look. Instead of a mask she has what look like crosses of black tape over each eye. The air seems to shimmer and warp around her hands. "Thank heavens we have you here to keep us all safe." She winks over at Knockout, who cannot suppress a slight smile. 

The Teen Machine close in on the smoking crater at the center of Halcyon City's Primavera Park. Police have set up a wide cordon, and are doing their best to hold back the mass of fascinated onlookers. 

As they approach the site a slender figure rises from the smoke, a hand raised. "Peace, warriors of reality 97336, I mean you no harm." The voice is artificial, as if relayed through some sort of voice box. "My apologies for the drama of my arrival, my ship was damaged." 

The speaker clears the smoke and it becomes apparent that it is not of this earth. It is tremendously slim, perhaps nine feet tall, with a long tapered skull, purple skin and delicate, mobile fingers. It is clad in intricately folded white robes, which billow around it as it floats, perhaps three feet off the ground.

"My name is Pavaatu. The world I come from occupies this place in the cosmos, but in a dimension many times removed from this one. I come bearing a gift, a technology I call the Formula, which I hope can foster peace across the realities. I..."

Before the newcomer can continue there is a powerful crack, and Pavaatu falters, gazing down at the heroes with a look of surprise on his alien features. He touches a delicate hand to his chest, and his fingers come away sticky with light blue blood. A blue stain slowly spreads across the front of his white tunic.

"Gunshot!" the Cyclone cries, his training cutting through the shock. "Everyone spread out! Blitz, see to Pavaatu! Everyone else on the shooter! Move it, Teen Machine!"

Enter battle against a dangerous foe: +2 Team (total 3). Knockout mistrusts the Cyclone, so -1 (total 2). 
Winds swirls up around the Cyclone lifting him into the air in a flurry of leaves and twigs. He scans the area from his elevated vantage point, desperately seeking the source of the shot. 

Move: Assess the Situation (+Superior gives 2d6+2): 10 = 2[d6]+6[d6]+2
What here is the biggest threat?  Q: Is it Gatekeeper? (Very Likely) Yes
What here can I use to take the attacker down?: Get Action: Trick

"There!" the Cyclone calls down to his teammates. "The gunman is in among the trees on that hillock! We need to block his line of sight to Pavaatu, then create a distraction so we can blindside him..." The Cyclone tails off, his mouth falling open in astonishment as the armed figure hiding between the trees comes fully into view for the first time. 

He's old, maybe in his sixties. He's heavily built and his hair and beard are turning grey. Much of his right arm and upper torso are encased in dull banded steel, and there are tubes running into his neck. Arcs of blue electricity run across the metal. He is armed with a huge modified hunting rifle, with several ammo belts and pouches strapped to his body, along with a range of handguns, knives and other assorted weaponry.  

He looks quite different to the last time the Cyclone saw him. He's aged considerably over the intervening eight years, and those crude cybernetics have been added. But the Cyclone would recognize this zealot anywhere. This is the man who murdered his parents in cold blood, the anti-alien fanatic known as... the Gatekeeper!

Move: Take a powerful blow (2d6): 3 = 2[d6]+1[d6]
+1 Potential for Cyclone

The Cyclone feels his world cracking around him, feels all the raw emotion of that ten year old boy, left hiding and helpless as the Gatekeeper ruthlessly gunned down his mother and father before his eyes. He feels his world cracking... and in a moment of supreme self control he refuses to give in. He grits his teeth, and all those years of remorseless training the Tempest subjected him to take over. When he speaks again there is cold steel in his voice. "You have your target." he barks to his teammates. "Take him down!" 
Knockout grins. The Cyclone just said the magic words. "You want him down? It'd be my pleasure!" Let the others worry about all that blindsiding and distraction stuff; Windy does love his over-cautious and over-complicated plans. This is going down one way and one way only: toe to toe. 

Bull's Heart: +1 ongoing to actions that frustrate the Cyclone's attack plan. 

Her figure-hugging black and yellow uniform looks more like gym-wear than a superhero costume. At least it does until she hunches down to jump. The muscles in her calves and thighs swell to grotesque proportions, and she leaps an impossible distance, slamming down into the ground just feet away from the assassin. 

Move: Directly engage a threat (2d6+2+1): 9 = 2[d6]+4[d6]+3. 
Resist or avoid their blows
Trade Blows: The Gatekeeper marks Angry, and (4 = 4[d5]) Lashes out at any vulnerability
Q: Does he target Pavaatu? (Very Likely) Yes

Knockout's upper body grows thick with corded muscle as she slams a mighty fist into the assassin's face. He's knocked clean off his feet and sent crashing into a tree. He falls to one knee, momentarily disoriented. 

"Still with us, old man? I'm impressed! Come on then, let's go another round!" smirks Knockout, cracking her knuckles and rolling her neck. 

"Stupid girl!" snarls the Gatekeeper, raising his high powered hunting rifle. "They are here, openly flaunting their vile existence among us, and you attack me? You xeno-loving fool!" 

Knockout shrugs. "What can I say? I'm all about the equal opportunities. Come on grandpa, give me your best shot!"

The Gatekeeper's face twists in hatred; he lines up his sights and fires. Knockout's cocky grin falters as the echoes of the gunshot fade; she wasn't the target. She turns her head to see where he fired, and looks on in horror as far behind her the slender alien spins and falls, the high caliber round catching him hard in the shoulder. The Cyclone's words come back to her like cold water in the face; "Block his line of sight to Pavaatu." Oh god, what has she done? 

GM Move: Inflict a condition. Knockout marks the Guilty condition.The Cyclone already has influence over her, otherwise I'd add that too. 
Wow, I return from vacation to see this? Super cool! Keep it up. Smile
Great to hear from you! I'm glad you're back; I'm keen to see how you run your game.

Also I'm fairly sketchy on the rules for Masks at this point; I'm only halfway through the rulebook! If you spot any errors made or opportunities missed please feel free to point them out. At least part of the reason for this session is to learn how to play the game properly, so any advice is welcome.
As Knockout leaps towards their foe Jitterbug activates the suit's bug-jump circuitry. Inside his helmet Alonso grits his teeth as he is hurtled in seemingly random directions at impossible speed. To the crowd of onlookers, held back by Halcyon City's finest, Jitterbug seems to blink in and out of existence, vanishing and reappearing with bewildering unpredictability. 

As ever though the apparently random trajectory gets him where he needs to go. He reaches out towards the Gatekeeper only to see the assassin's finger squeeze the trigger before he can intercede. Too slow, Guerrera, too freaking slow! Damn these crazy kinks in the bugsuit's circuits! And that poor purple guy pays the price. God, is he dead?

"You'll never hurt anyone again, you monster!" Jitterbug yells as he closes in. "I swear it!" 

Move: Game Face (Hopeless marked, +1 ongoing to defeat the Gatekeeper)

Beguile, meanwhile, has an idea, though she's not sure if she can pull it off. Still, it'll be damn cool if it works...

Use Team selflishly: Freak +1, Mundane -1
Team Pool: 1
Move: Unleash your powers (2d6+1+1): 6 = 2[d6]+2[d6]+2

"Hey, Blitz! Great work keeping our boy here safe! Really, top job! Why don't you sit back let a real superhero show you how it's done?"

Beguile closes her eyes and concentrates. The fallen alien, lying groaning on the ground, splits into two. Then four. Sixteen. Sweat begins to bead on Beguile's brow. This is hard! The images start to fade and flicker, and she feels her control slipping. 

Blitz is going to use his Influence over Beguile, which Beguile accepts, +1 Freak, -1 Superior, which means the Move is successful. 

"You can do this, Beguile" Blitz whispers to her, gripping her hand. "You're strong enough, I know it. Keep him safe!" 

Beguile takes a deep breath and tries to steady her nerve. Blitz is right. She can do this. She just needs to keep her focus...

Beguile Move: Are you watching closely?  (2d6+1): 9 = 3[d6]+5[d6]+1
You confuse them for some time
You get an opportunity

The Gatekeeper lets out a curse and switches to semi automatic bursts. A hail of bullets cause Blitz and Beguile to dive for cover. But as fast as the crazed gunman can shoot the illusionary duplicates, more pop into existence. "Damn you bleeding heart do-gooders!" he roars, as his gun clicks empty. 

Blitz Move: Take a powerful blow (2d6): 5 = 3[d6]+2[d6]

Blitz swallows. Beguile's stinging words have hit home. And just watching Beguile conjure up those images out of thin air is an unavoidable reminder; she's just a kid, standing alongside genuinely super-powered heavyweights. The Cyclone ordered her to stay back and keep out of the fight. He told her to keep the alien safe, and she couldn't even do that right...

No! The Cyclone trusted her to keep this alien alien safe, and she did just that; without her help Beguile's magic would have failed, she knows it. And the danger's not past yet...

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