John-Michael Gariepy

Archive for the category “DC Adventures”

DC Adventures Log 7: Forever Immortus

In DC Adventure Log 6, All Hail Riverdale, Team Lex traveled in time to 1953 to escape immediate eradication in 1977 from a ‘peace keeping’ force of U.N. soldiers with access to futuristic power-armor technology.  In 1953 Team Lex discovered that General Immortus, the same geriatric immortal soldier who confronted the team in ’77, had, in ’53,  conquered The Soviet Union and was pushing into China.  Damage to the timeline was visible as Team Lex fought to keep Riverdale of Archie Comics from descending into a genocidal fascist state.  After turning Archie, Betty and Veronica from their despicable plot, the team agreed they needed to get at the root of their time paradox problem, and slide to a time before it began.  Gentleman Ghost, who hoped to find and kill Hawkman’s predecessor, convinced the team to travel to 1,000 B.C. and –Bzooweeoovzip!

Bzooweeoovzip! Team Lex dumped into a wide muddy river.  Skeets hovered over them, and, in an odd change of personality, said that Rip Hunter was keeping them at the dawn of history where Team Lex would cause few problems while Rip and Booster Gold fixed the time stream.  Then Skeets blinked into history.

Hourman pulled Sherlock Holmes out of the river and gave him an aerial view.  With a vantage of a hundred or so meters, Read more…

DC Adventures Log 6: All Hail Riverdale!

In our last DC Adventure, DC Adventures Log 5:  Super Friends, Team Lex hurtled back in time to the year 1975 and, um, ‘befriended’ the Super Friends.  Well, actually, they attacked the Super Friends on sight, but when a giant moon monster threatened to eat the Earth, Team Lex, Sherlock Holmes and The Super Friends banded together to fight the interstellar menace.  While they celebrated their victory, however, U.N. soldiers stormed the Hall of Justice and eradicated the Super Friends in a volley of kryptonite bullets.  After the dust settled, a geriatric General in a gunsuit smashed through a wall of the Hall of Justice, declared he had killed Team Lex once today, and would do it again.  Luckily, Skeets, Booster Gold’s time travelling computer buddy, appeared, told the players to quick, name a year, and one of the players chose 1953- Bzooweeoovzip!

Bzooweeoovzip! Team Lex and Sherlock Holmes were crammed in a bathroom stall, which, based on the bathroom tiles used, the tinny sound of Muddy Waters coming from what was obviously a jukebox outside sped up to 47rpm to hurry through songs for more quarters, and the hamburger grease smeared throughout the stall, Sherlock Holmes declared the group was in the bathroom of a soda shop in the year 1953, somewhere in the northern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire region of the U.S..

Our super-powered misfits filed out the bathroom, past a confounded teen culture and greeted by Pop Tate, who apologized.  He didn’t notice these circus performers when they first entered Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe, but would be more than happy to take their order.

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DC Adventures Log 5: Super Friends

In our last encounter, DC Adventures Log 4:  Before I Kill You, Mr. Aquaman, Team Lex invaded Black Manta’s lair, only to find their nemesis eating cereal without pants.  Manta and Team Lex’s mutual confusion built when they realized both teams had been working for Lex Luthor.  As they untangled their situation, Skeets appeared, informed the players that something was wrong with the time stream and Bzooweeoovzip!

Bzooweeoovzip!  After a dizzying jaunt through time, Team Lex and Team Manta find themselves in a fifty foot high marble hall complete with a giant supercomputer, an 840 inch screen tube television with the words “Trouble Alert” along the bottom, and a mammoth circular table surrounded by multiple egg-shaped chairs, the backs of which adorned with symbols like a large red ‘S’, a yellow lightning bolt and a green lantern.  When the players identified Batman, Hawkman and Aquaman in front of the television at the far wall, they broke out their weapons and commenced firing. Team Lex and Manta missed in their initial volley of attacks, and were returned with winning smiles and introductions.  Taken aback, the Team was transfixed as Sherlock Holmes and the Super Friends introduced themselves.

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DC Adventures Character Sheet: Jeannette

In DC Adventures Log 3: Bad Medicine, Part 2, Badder Medicine, Team Lex encountered the Secret Six, split into two groups.   The smaller of the two was left to cause havoc in Metropolis as a distraction and included Jeannette.

Most of Jeannette’s contemporaries in The Six are Power Level 11, but I wanted Jeannette to be a threat to the players by her lonesome, so I ratcheted her up to a PL14.  I don’t think many fanboys and fangirls would put Jeannette on par with the heavy hitters of the DC Universe, but Jeannette has successfully gone toe to toe with Wonder Woman before and won (you know, by going full on Banshee), so it isn’t in the realm of impossible.

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DC Adventures Log 4: Before I Kill You, Mr. Aquaman…

In our last episode, Bad Medicine, Part 2:  Badder Medicine, Team Lex dumped the Secret Six into the Hobbs River. Free falling, Abra Kadabra teleported himself and Thomas Weston into the Lexcorp Tower’s Olympic Pool.  As fate would have it, Kadabra and Weston splashed down on top of Lex Luthor in the midst of his swim routine.  After berating Weston for putting Venom on the streets of Metropolis as a party drug, Lex invited Kadabra to his office to increase his pay, congratulate him on how fast he solved the case (Team Lex had been time travelling, so Weston was dropped off in Lexcorp Towers minutes after the group got their assignment) and attempted to strategize ways to deal with Booster Gold when he would inevitably turn on Lex.  After the talk, however, Lex’s initial impression that Kadabra is a grandstanding fool was reconfirmed, and Lex sent him away with a promise to replace Kadabra’s ruined cravat.

When Team Lex returned to the 99th floor of Lexcorp towers, they were introduced to a new member:  Fire.  Unfortunately, the team had time travelled back twelve hours and were exhausted from a long night’s work.  They returned to their warm beds that their twelve-hour ago selves had left minutes before, leaving Fire to hang out with herself in the den.

When the group woke up, they were informed by Mercy Graves that, since they had taken care of their last assignment so fast, that they had the rest of the day off.  Booster tried to contact Rip Hunter, but found the connection was down.  Abra Kadabra went to a local burn ward and healed the burn victims faces, leaving trademark gigantic wax mustaches as part of his new “Kadabra Kares” program.  The rest of the team went out patrolling and found Crazy Quilt shaking an old woman Read more…

DC Adventures Character Sheet: Ragdoll

In DC Adventures Log 3: Bad Medicine, Part 2, Badder Medicine, Team Lex’s plans runs afoul the Secret Six.  Some of the mysteriously inappropriately named Six (Bane, Catman, Deadshot and Knockout) can be found in already existing DC Adventures products.  Scandal Savage doesn’t have anything really weird going on, so I just used Nightwing for her stats.  Black Alice is roughly whatever character her power is currently replicating.  Jeannette, in theory, could be a warrior, minus some stats plus an affliction ability when she banshee screams… and that’s assuming you plan on going Banshee with Jeanette.  Otherwise the PL-10 Warrior template is probably fine for her.  Since I planned to have Jeannette go full on Banshee at PL – 14, I made a character for her, but that’s for another week.

And then, there’s Ragdoll.

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DC Adventures Log 3: Bad Medicine, Part 2: Badder Medicine

In Bad Medicine, Part 1, the players, after much investigation, shut down an illegal drug processing center, and found the man responsible for putting Venom on the street as a party drug is one Thomas Weston.  Mr. Weston was the original CEO of Amertek, was caught selling Super-tech Toastmaster guns to kids in street gangs, did time, and was back at his old game with old contacts and a new product.  Our questionable heroes may have taken out his processing center, but unless they tagged Weston, he was bound to restart his lucrative operation somewhere else.

All this the players knew.  What was happening behind the scenes, however, was that another team of ‘heroes’, the Secret Six, was also hot on Weston’s trail.  Bane and his crew were working hard to find Weston and wipe him off the underworld map.

Bane is the man who broke Batman’s back in the now classic series:  Knightfall.  He combines both brawn and intelligence in one lethal package, and when his strength is augmented with the drug Venom, he can be nigh unstoppable at getting what he wants.  Venom, though, is a terrible, addictive drug that was forced on Bane when he was a prisoner in a Santa Prisca gulag.  Bane spent years kicking his addiction to Venom, and withdrawal from the drug haunts him daily.  He’s made it his personal goal to take vengeance on the drug that stole his life, and works to stamp it out where ever he finds it.

So while the crew was going from location to location tracking where the Venom came from, I selected a few locations in my mind Read more…

DC Adventures Log 2: Bad Medicine, Part 1

All right!  Game Two with Team Lex!

Our first DC Adventure was a combination of “Let’s introduce the characters, the system, and have a bit of a beat-em-up.”  Since I didn’t know what characters the players would choose, I made the game open, but linear.  The players would A, be introduced to each other, B, conduct an interview with the media, then, C, be called off to action against a bunch of baddies, and leave a hint of an ongoing plot brewing.

It would be nice if the first adventure lead us directly into a second one, but I like how the bad guys getting away seeds a plot much further on.  That means that we’re starting from scratch again, and we can’t have the same story format twice.

Enter “Gimmicks & Gadgets: Mutants and Masterminds Adventures“.  While DC Adventures doesn’t have a lot of support yet, the game it was sired from, Mutants and Masterminds, has been around the block a few times and there are 12 pdf adventures at Green Ronin’s website.  I made a quick scan, and found that the first one listed, Bad Medicine, was appropriate given a DC Comics update, so off we went.

Our heroes wake up on the 99th floor of Lexcorp Tower and have a chance to freshen up and interact before Mercy Graves approaches them with today’s field mission.  Mercy dumps a handful of patches on the table and informs everyone that what we’re looking at are ‘slappers’.  Slappers are a new party drug that has hit the streets of Metropolis, and, is likely manufactured in Metropolis since there’s been no reports of it in any other city.  This $500 a patch drug is slapped at the base of the neck, where a cocktail of Venom (the deadly drug previously used by the man who broke Batman’s back: Bane) is absorbed into the bloodstream.  The effect is immediate:  The users muscles and veins bulge and they are wracked by an increase in durability and strength.  There’s also a savage surge of testosterone, turning the user into a violent animal.  Mercy warns the group that they need to be very careful with these samples, since slappers are not only dangerous, but highly addictive.  That’s when Harley Quinn slapped one on the back of her and Person Man’s necks. Read more…

DC Adventures Character Sheet: Livewire

When starting up my DC Adventures game, I wanted to include a few usual Metropolis villains that players might recognize in the first game.  Livewire hasn’t been in too many comics, but has popped up a number of times in the Superman cartoons, and, since she never came off as being a ‘boss’ character, she seemed like an appropriate choice to fill in the ranks.

I could have winged what Livewire was and what she did, but I wanted to see how difficult it would be to make a character from scratch, so I would know how tough it would be for my players to do the same.  While DC Adventures plays with relative ease, making my first character took me a number of hours… enough time for me to recognize that it wasn’t smart to foist this on my players on day one.  Still, I got a better understanding of how the game worked in the process, and had a character I could use and return, so I consider it a win.

Livewire is a bit of a ‘puzzle’ villain.  Wonder Woman, for example, can’t just fly up to her and punch her on the chin.  Not only can she turn into a living ball of electricity,  but she has the ability to shoot off lethal blasts of electricity while insubstantial.  Still, Read more…

DC Adventures, Log 1: Meet Team Lex

Recently, I had the pleasure of kicking off a DC Adventures Role-Playing Game campaign.  On the Myriad Games Podcast we already did a review of it, so I don’t feel the need to go into game specifics.  Feel free to click on this link to listen to that show.  While the book has some major formatting issues, the game itself is a solid piece of work that left my players interested in learning more about it.

That’s a great sign.  Too many role-playing games appeal to the Game Master and the occasional Power Gamer, but when dropped in front of a troop of five players, it loses the players who came to play, not to learn a new system.  DC Adventures, however, is based upon Mutants and Masterminds, which in turn is based on the better aspects of Dungeons and Dragons d20 system.  The basics of the game are straightforward, with all the complication piled up into a challenging to wrap your mind around point-based powers system.  But, since the source material for DC Adventures is DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and a bevy of recognizable faces, the intricate power system is more boon than burden.  I mean, most people geeky enough to role-play are geeky enough to have an understanding of who Green Lantern is and what his powers are capable of doing.  Therefore, all a new Read more…

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