Friday, July 29, 2022

Aeon B-Team My First Session

 Cast

  • Amar Gupta aka The Iron Sikh (played by Christian): Brick. Taxi Driver. Ass-Kicker. Sikh. Tagline: “Being a man of faith means to live it.”
  • Amie-Belle T. W. Lee aka Whisper (Played by Curtis): TBA. Tagline: “TBA.
  • Beauregard K. “Bo” Ratnam aka Wirerat (Played by Brice): TBA. Tagline: “TBA.
  • Rafe Hanlon aka Nyx (played by Chris D.): An umbrakinetic and a petty thief out of prison on work release. Tagline: “Not for glory, not for fame…. For one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see.”
  • Vincenzo L. dePrezzo aka Threshold (Played by Rory): TBA. Tagline: “I’ll be there in a snap!”
  • Derrick K. Ratnam aka Ledgerdemain (NPC Ally): Spin doctor and media liaison for Project VANGUARD. Twin to Bo. Tagline: “Well, actually that’s not how it happened…”
  • Jodie R. Swann aka Surferboy (NPC): Dude. Aero- and Hydrokinetic. Really laid back, but wants to make a difference. Has a advanced glider/drone he rides on. Tagline: “Like. Let’s just chill, dude.”
  • Stainless Steel Rat aka “Sir” (NPC Ally): AI in a robot body shaped like a large rat. Surprisingly capable and provides telepresence for Wirerat. Tagline: “[whir-click-beep].”
  • Tierney M. Ward aka Rush (NPC): Speedster and former member of the Bullet Hell Brigade. Tagline: “Was that fast? I thought that was fast.”
  • Zubayr Sajjad Marou aka Five Stars (NPC): Driver. Pilot. Klubbe gig worker.. From N’Djamena, Chad. Used to go by Darryl Bell to sound more American. Tagline: “I can get you there in time.”

Briefing

The team is requested to go to Germany and investigate some mysterious happenings at a private castle. Locals have been disappearing and the leads go to a castle bought a few years ago by a private individual.
Project Vanguard is a govt sponsored team operated by NYC with private backers. Its to protect the local area and also earn political capital doing jobs for others including foreign countries.

The Action

We arrive by plane in a nearby field and go investigate. The castle has a lot of security, including military equipped guards, concealed high end cameras, and two ariel drones with autocannons.
We scout it over then our stealthiest member Nyx blows our cover by trying to sneak inside using Shadow Form.  Normally a solid move but the enemy had a darkness manipulator of their own who spotted him. The guards immediately respond and stream out of the building.
Nyx got redirected and is in the interior courtyard surrounded by Mastermind (Telepath) and Nox (Darkness Manipulator) and several guards.
Whisper heads towards the entrance and shrugs off the incoming fire.
The Rat was dropped by Nyx inside and makes it to the computer room to begin hacking.
Surferboy follows Whisper.
Threshold ports to the top of the nearest tower for a better view and shortens the distance to the ground so Whisper can climb faster,
Nyx fights off a telepathic assault and disarms a dozen or so bad guys with his shadow whips. 
Whisper takes out the two guards on the tower.
Nyx takes several turns fighting off the bad guys around him and turns Nox to his side who the flies off and dissolves a bunch outside. Vandal a brick jumps onto the tower and fights Whisper, Threshold tries to Bind him but he breaks free so then he ports to another tower and uses his obliteration beam to wound him. He is taken out by Whisper who finds it a tad easier after his armor has been dissolved.
.Nyx takes out the telepath and Threshold finally spots him but he insists he needs no help fighting the remaining security so Threshold pops around for stragglers.

Aftermath

We find out they were doing some human experimentation and gather a lot of evidence despite them trying to destroy the computers and equipment. SSR had already hacked and copied the computer data.
The team checks the place out while waiting for backup and finds a boat dock in an underwater cave that clearly shows someone had escaped.
Threshold sticks around to examine things and the rest fly back home.
Nyx is the teams senior member, being from a previous version of the team and took out most of the bad guys. Wirerat took out the automated security and secured the data. Whisper did some solid fighting and took out the opposing brick. Threshold primarily did recon but also some coordination while contributing to the combat.

Summary

This was a fun game and the team coordinated rather well for a first session. We had no leader but Threshold was appointed the role after the game. This is a high powered Supers campaign (1600 CP to start) and improvised powers are encouraged so we should see a lot of variety. I have already listed a bunch of improvised abilities so that I can avoid the math during the game and just need to make die rolls and pay the FP or Karma Points.













Tuesday, July 19, 2022

GURPS Vision Powers

 GURPS has several sensory powers, lets take a loot at the vision based ones.

Acute Vision

A simple bonus to the perception roll for seeing things. This is a cheap alternative to increasing Per, though if increasing more than one sense Per is a better purchase. A few levels are reasonable for normal people, higher levels require exotic explanation.

Clairsentience

A pricey power, typically magic or psychic in nature. Lets you see from a different location, including the other side of a wall. Range is just 10y but can be doubled by spending a FP or add Increased Range for about double distance at 5/level. Really its *2, *5, *10, *20, *50, etc.

Dark Vision

This is the ability to actually see even in pitch darkness with no light source at all.

Hyperspectral Vision

A combination of Infravision and Ultravision this wide spectrum vision allows good vision in very low light conditions and bonuses to certain skills for the additional details.

Infravision

This is advanced thermographic vision, allowing finer details than modern equipment, Lets see see warm objects in the dark.

Nightvision

Simply cancels the penalties for darkness, though you still must have light to see by.

Penetrating Vision

This is the classic X-ray vision, allowing you to see through or inside something as easily as you can see it. Of these its the only one I am not fully happy with. Each level allows seeing through up to 6 inches of solid matter. The first level is an incredible value, imagine being able to see inside a person your examining, looking over someone for concealed weapons, or inside a device to see what needs repair. That is a huge boost to quickly knowing what is going on!
However seeing 12" is not much more powerful than 6" and this ability goes up at 10/level with each level granting another half a foot.
It is faster and easier to use than Clairsentience and has a few other perks too, though only covers vision. That first level may be underpriced but it is an exotic ability so I am ok with that.  However I long thought it should use a log increase in range, originally using the Size and Speed/Range table but now think each level should increase range as per Increased Range. This would cost 10 points per doubling as opposed to the 5 points/level of Clairsentience so lose ground as for max distance but has certain advantages.
Compare Clairsentience [50] and Penetrating Vision 5 [50]
Clairsentience lets you see up to 10y, 20y with 1 FP but takes a minute and an IQ roll.
Penetrating Vision 5 lets you see through up to 100" (8 feet) of solid object but do so casually with no IQ roll and the intervening material is kind of a vague outline that does not interfere with your sight. You cant see through as thick a wall but that wall does not have to be close either. You need to add another sight (Darkvision, Hyperspectral Vision, Infravision, or Ultravision) to see inside a dark object, like several inches inside the human body.

Penetrating Vision is a good choice over Clairsentience when you want to see quickly and can see through a bunch of discrete separate objects if the actual thickness does not exceed your capacity. This makes it superior for seeing through smoke clouds, fog, murky water, etc. Clairsentience is superior if range is your primary concern (even with my suggested modification).

Telescopic Vision

This can be used in two ways. To focus on a distant subject and cancel range penalties with tunnel vision as a side effect; or to scan an area reducing range penalties by half as much. It also acts as a scope, increasing ACC by up to double the base ACC.

Ultravision

This lets you see in very dim light and grants bonus to certain skills because you can see in the ultraviolet. For example many insects fluoresce and can be readily spotted.

AEON Session 0

 So my Monday gaming group finally started a new campaign, our last "Official" campaign was quite awhile back, we went on hiatus as one of the players had real life stuff keeping him busy. So for the past several months we been doing various one shots or limited series.

Since were back to a campaign I figured time to blog about it. This was a short session, ending early and just setting things up. Its a fairly high power Supers campaign, about 1650 points.

This is my first "supers" campaign in 4e, did a couple in 3e, so be good to see how some things work in practice vs. theorycrafting.

Threshold is a spatial manipulator, an exotic power set I haven't done in GURPS or Champions. Concept is he can alter the distance and orientation of things, even subatomic particles. Has three power sets of alternative abilities, is a genius at IQ17, normal noncinematic martial arts Karate DX+2, Judo, etc. The supers template is kinda mutant gene giving Fit, base stats +1, Longevity, Rapid Heali8ng, etc.

Sensory/Defensive Power Set

Warp Vision: Penetrating Vision + Telescopic Vision lets him see far and through walls, up to 5 foot thick.
Microvision 6 with Ranged lets him see things up to 10y as if using a tunneling microscope. Handy for finding clues or such.
Void Shield is DR 5 forcefield that he can use to protect himself or others if they are close enough and has Reflection on it so can bounce part of the damage back to an attacker.
Each of these is an alternate so can only use one at time, eventually hope to buy a few levels of Microscopic Vision as part of Warp Vision for examining the inside of things, say people.
He also has Enhanced Dodge 3, special effect is messing with distance and direction to confuse attackers or cause an attack to just miss.

Offensive/Control Power Set

This is the big one!
Obliteration Beam is 15d6 Corrosion attack with different modes. It can be a narrow cone, long range beam, or a jet that comes out of his hands (like a flame thrower). This is a quite deadly attack as it dissolves armor and has enough raw damage to destroy a car. Special effect is breaking the atomic or molecular bonds of things, a disintegration beam.
Compaction is a Binding 25 attack that condenses air or other matter to trap people. Its a strong Binding, though not the strongest on the team and can use one of Constriction (squeezing people), Engulfing (Keeping them from moving at all, including talking), or Suffocation (Do I need to explain that one?).  This is him reducing the space between molecules so turning air solid. It has cancelable so he can reverse it at any time and is strong enough to trap most non bricks.
A nice non lethal alternative!
Singularity is a character-point powered ability, meaning its his rarely used show-off move. Its a 10d crushing persistent attack linked to a complicated TK build that pulls things in with a maximum ST 110 (Super Effort) that gets stronger the closer to the center they are.
Spatiokinesis is Control 10 with Persistent, Extended Duration*3, and Ranged. This lets him do weird stuff but typical game effects are +-10 to die rolls, primarily range modifiers.
All these are alternatives of each other, significantly lowering the total cost but he can only do one at a time.

Utility/Movement Power Set

Close the Gap is Stretching 3 with enough Reduced Time that it is instant. This lets him shorten the distance between say his hand and his target so he can punch up to 3y distance. But he can also use it to look over an obstacle or around a corner, grab a nearby object or ledge, or even cross a narrow gap.
Kinda cool ability.
Create Wormhole is your classic Warp, with Tunneling, Reliable 10, etc.  With it he can get anywhere in the world pretty quickly. It does not have Blind yet so he has to be able to see (cameras work) where he is going or have actually visited it already. He can teleport 10 yards instantly at no penalty but farther away he needs to take a bit of time to concentrate. This leaves a portal for a few seconds so others can step through, handy for getting the team around. We have a hacker who can help him find a nearby camera to look through so can get most anywhere in the world very quickly.
I'll want to add Blind (so he doesn't need a camera) and Selectivity (so he can not make a tunnel) as well as more weight carried. Warp is a high cost power so these are not on the short list though!
Space Folding is Enhanced Move (Ground) with Second-Nature so he can quickly move around the combat field or travel in a "7 league boots" fashion (24 mph). He is not running fast, just stepping from one spot to another, like a short range teleport. High on my list to buy this up and as its an alternative ability to Create Wormhole I can increase the distance pretty cheaply (about 10 points/level) up to level 4 at which point he could shadow a car by just appearing on the sidewalk ahead of it as it travels.
Up is Down is Clinging with Attraction allowing him to walk on walls as if they were the ground. Special effect here is him changing the orientation so that a wall IS actually the ground.


Summary

So there we have Threshold, a powerful space manipulator who has good sensory powers and movement with a powerful attack. Not based off any comics I can think of just ran with an idea I have wanted to build for a long time. I like characters who are versatile, good at finding things out, and have high utility. This guy happens to be also good in combat, at least offensively and if he's careful decent defenses - especially against ranged attacks. He is rather vulnerable to close combat and area attacks.
I look forward to playing him, one of my more interesting builds. The GM rebuilt Singularity and tweaked some of his powers but he is still mostly mine and I feel connected.
Oh, the GM loves wildcard skills! So he has 4, Cosmologist! ( I wrote up but the GM  is tweaking), Medic!, Scientist!, and Spatial Manipulation! (A power skill). Not sure what Scientist does yet but my guy can probably handle any scientific or medical need the group has. He also has plenty of normal skills and that high IQ makes him very good, even with defaults.
Our group has a Nyx a darkness based thief that can also Warp, turn into shadows, darkness bindings, FP drain, etc. Whisper a super soldier, and Stainless Steel Rat a technopath thief. Were kind of like the Suicide Squad or Thunderbolts, a bunch of supervillains sent by the govt but without the skull bombs. Threshold and Whisper are not criminals and part of the program for our own reasons.