GM’s Blog – Union Dues (like) Game – Session 4

Last night’s session went well and I’m still enjoying the superhero fun very much. I’m beginning to weave multiple of the Issues chosen by the characters together and forming them into a coherent narrative (even if sometimes logical consistency suffers to a degree due to the improvised nature of what I’m doing).

The group interrogated Ifrit, including the use of sensory deprivation and sensory overload to torture him (committed by Flashbang) to find out the Metahuman Jihad’s contingency plan for an eventuality such as the current circumstances; with Insha’Allah captured the team had dealt a serious blow to the future goals of the Metahuman Jihad.

Black Amaranth’s player decided to go and get some snacks from the supermarket so while one of the energy-infused Jihad captives was being escorted past him he blew up, killing Amaranth and sending him to Hell (I admit it’s an extreme way to write one’s character out of the game for a few minutes).

Blue Sun discovered that Ifrit had been partially mind-controlled by Insha’Allah and used his own telepathy to scrub the unnatural impulses. He tied with the rival psychic’s defence roll and succeeded at a minor cost, the cost being that Ifrit would have mild amnesia about certain details of the Jihad’s plan; essentially giving me a boost to invoke against the group at a later date.

He also found that Ifrit had left someone back home who he wanted to protect more than anything, but that he had hidden the identity of that person behind a wall in his mind, presumably to protect them from Insha’Allah. Blue Sun offered to help protect his dear one and after a bit of back and forth the fire-manipulator agreed to tell all.

He told them that the contingency plan was to launch an all-out threat on a major landmark in the US to terrorise the government into handing back his people. His belief was that the White House and the President would be the best target due to Jihad’s ego.

A hasty plan was launched to temporarily relocate the president and have Blue Sun impersonate him in order to protect him from threat. Meanwhile in Hell Lucifer told Amaranth he needed him to pull his weight more in obtaining souls for Hell if he was going to continue letting him escape from Hell every time he died. As it happened, his team was about to interact with a politician he’d like Amaranth to corrupt… (This was a compel on his *I sold my soul to dark forces for power* aspect.

When Amaranth clawed his way out of hell he found out that the target he was supposed to corrupt was the President, leading to severe second thoughts! He failed to corrupt accordingly (asking instead for Mitt Romney’s address) and Lucifer turned most off his powers for a while as a consequence…

Anyway, Blue Sun was faking being the president when Hajj teleported in with Jihad and a stack of explosive energy bricks. Reacting quickly Warp teleported the bricks to the Chesapeake Bay before Jihad had a chance to start their explosive energy overload. Blue Sun surrounded Jihad in an energy barrier but not before Hajj had a chance to try and teleport them both away. This was resisted by Warp’s own teleportation ability and I really enjoyed how this played out. In the end it was a tie so Warp succeeded at a cost; the cost being that Hajj got away but without Jihad.

Jihad tried to destroy the energy barrier with an outward blast but Blue Sun foiled him by rapidly creating a secondary blast shield. Jihad’s energy rebounded and knocked him unconscious. Now only Hajj remained free of the metahuman Jihad.

Meanwhile across town a man resembling Jed killed about 30 people in a broad-daylight attack with nasty shadow powers very similar to those possessed by Harvey. Once their boss Stronghammer had alibied Jed it became clear that an imposter was out there somewhere trying to implicate Jed and Harvey in the murders!

Next a mysterious woman arrived at the White House, claiming to work for the government and assigned to help in their investigations. The group essentially abandoned her, saying they would be back later.

Before they had a chance to investigate Not-Jed, the team decided to go through with a risky plan to catch Hajj. They made it known to the news that Jihad was being shipped to captivity and then had Blue Sun masquerade as the terrorist. The plan was that Hajj would jump in to rescue Jihad and the group could follow.

Sure enough Hajj arrived and teleported ‘Jihad’ to Baghdad. Using his trick from last week to understand Arabic Blue Sun stalled Hajj while the rest of the group Warped in and followed at a safe distance. Hajj took Jihad to a public coffee shop for safety while they discussed their next move. Amidst debate on how to handle the 13-year-old Islamist The Purist decided to take action and attacked the boy by stopping the water in his body from moving.

Manifesting as the minor consequence of *Palpitations* the boy clutched at his heart and began to panic. That’s when Harvey punched his shadow hard and his face caved in brutally on one side. To finish the job Flashbang punched him hard in the face on the other side, popping his eyeball out and dealing extensive damage to his face.

Finally Amaranth leaped on the badly injured boy and swept them both through a portal into Hell (the only power that was reliably working for him during Lucifer’s displeasure).

Lucifer told Amaranth that he accepted the boy in payment of his earlier omission to corrupt the President – he has plans for the facially-scarred teleporting boy that will later unfold…

Amaranth clawed his way out of Hell in Washington, near the White House and the woman who was still waiting patiently. She touched him on the shoulder and he felt a very faint rippling tickle under his skin. Panicking he started to cut away meat from his shoulder to get whatever it was out, finding tiny little silver spider things in his blood.

At that point the rest of the team arrived to meet with the same woman and found Amaranth in his injured condition. Once he gabbled what had happened to him Blue Sun turned his telepathy on the woman – only to find that she had no mind to read…

And that’s where we ended it for the night.

The battles between Warp and Hajj felt really fun. I pitched Hajj’s ability high so it was a genuine contest for Warp to beat his teleportation effects. It was also great to use minor costs as a way of getting him away when Jihad was captured. Everybody seemed to have fun and was actively engaged in the session and I’m looking forward to how the plotlines I’ve hooked in the last week or so will unfold next week.

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