Steel City

Remember, Remember, the End of October

One of Huitzi’s blind spots has been a general lack of ranged attacks. Given their mobility usually an issue but after the problems with the Skull in the last session, I decided to buy Throwing Mastery just in case:

“You have a +1 damage bonus with thrown weapons per
rank in this advantage. You can also throw normally harmless objects—playing cards, pens, paper clips, and so
forth—as weapons […]”.

Normally I am playing catch up with Huitzil, addressing issues that never come again but this time? Hilarity ensued.

The session opens with Volt’s Secret ID being sued by a tenant over alleged lousy upkeep on a building. Volt countersues. Shortly thereafter he notices he is being watched by PIs. Annoying. He sets his PIs on guys spying on Volt and also EMPs all their toys from time to time.

The group gets a name for the magical mercenaries: the October Men.

Dragoneye knows about a night club for magical and supernatural types, the Third Eye. It is strictly neutral ground so it might be a safe place to look for information. Dragoneye brings Huitzil and Volt as muscle (99 Per Cent was busy). Since mundanes cannot see the place, Dragoneye has to guide the other two.

Once inside what looks like an abandoned Warehouse to normal eyes, the trio find themselves in a lavish nightclub.Also, the elderly doorman is now a 9ft troll. Waitstaff are mostly ghosts for some reason.

One of Dragoneye’s pals, a 7 foot-tall angel, approaches with an invitation to lunch. Dragoneye takes advantage of the opportunity and does some digging. The angel does not know a lot but they do know the October Men have a connection to a group of immortal poker players who meet in the Third Eye’s backroom.

Dolores the gorgon batend knows a bit more, although her geas limits what she can say. She doesn’t ask who is at the game and never asks in case that would cause problems.

As Dragoneye is chatting, Huitzil spends their time watching the crowd watch Huitzil and their pals. Huitzil spots a rumpled, elfy guy – Darren Mcgavin with pointy ears – making a hurried, hushed phone call. When Huitzil asks Volt what Volt’s Very Special Senses can pick up, Volt can tell phone is not actually on. Either the guy is nuts or the phone is not a regular phone.

It turns out there is a poker game tonight and Dragoneye is immortal enough that he could get in could get in.

Elf Darren Mcgavin heads to the men’s room, Huitzil declines to follow but does take advantage of the opportunity to vanish into the crowd. When Elf Darren Mcgavin comes out of the washroom, huitzil shadows him. Elf Darren Mcgavin heads to a back room with a poker table, an altar, a multicultural dais and a small theology library. There is an alcove to one side; no EDG, though. A woman teleports into the alcove, explaining where EDG went. Huitzil slips back out without being seen.

Fast forward to 9:00 PM.

As the group’s known immortal (Huitzil is too but has never been in a circumstance where it would matter and so has no idea), Dragoneye plays. Volt and Huitzil are allowed to watch.

Thanks to a discussion about jurisdictions and pocket universes, Huitzil gets into a discussion about magical law. They are offered a phone number. No idea who or what is at the other end.

The dealer is normal, but nothing else is. The stakes are bizarre, everything from demonic weapons to beating magical hearts. Dragoneye hands over a pike he took from a Chinese demon but only gets ten chips; because Volt is renting space to a Chinese hell, artifacts from there are more common and the prices are down.

The Dealer does offer to buy Huitzil’s gender fluidity but Huitzil says no.

All players have glamours cast on them so they look like the members of Steel City’s city council.

After the game has been going for a while, giving the immortals a chance to show that they are all murderous head cases off and on, a new player shows up and is dealt in. He is almost certainly Assurance Mather. At any rate he makes it clear he tried to have Dragoneye killed. He also makes it pretty clear he was hired to set that up. Without saying the name, Mather hints that the Commander hates mages because magic users are immune to the Controller’s powers. does not use machine. Basically admits that is who hired him. Mather loses heavily, deliberately, and leaves.

Huitzil misses some of this because they get an urgent call from their mom, who caught Mom2 in bed with dad. Dad claims it was an case of mistaken identity but Mom1 is upset. Drama ensues.

Dragoneye cashes in his chips, a few more than he had at the beginning of the game. The group then considers exit strategies. Mather knew the group was at the Third Eye. The October Men probably know too. The trio could try the teleporter or the front door. The teleporter could be spelled to turn everyone inside out so front door it is.

Not being idiots, everyone takes suitable defensive measures before stepping out into the inevitable ambush. Surprise! There’s an inevitable ambush!

The good guys are Volt, Dragoneye and Huitzil. Apparently Bookbinder and the kid were busy but otherwise the October Men brought the whole team: Hexenwolf, the Flying Skull, Sister Sanguine, and Springheel Jack.

On the grounds that the Skull can curse their wings away, Huitzil makes good and sure they are right next to the Skull. The Skull is small and difficult to hit, although not difficult enough. It’s also pretty tough and Huitzil begins to think about what you can do an object the weight of a magic skull.

I will say this: the October Men were having trouble connecting but they did manage to stay on target, mostly focusing on the person they were hired to kill and not the two body guards.

Although Dragoneye manages to set the nun back on her heels with a bit of dragon-breathe, Sister Sanguine manages to stay conscious, at least for the moment; she flicks blood at Huitzil, which has no other effect than to provoke an angry shout from Huitzil that throwing blood around is a good way to spread hepatitis.

Volt tries to zap Hexenwolf but the shape-shifter manages to twist out of the way and then inexplicably collapses to the ground. This is because the wolf’s spirit can shed its body – no surprise, given past events – but this bold gambit is a mistake: the ghost-wolf’s attacks slide off Volt’s defenses and its mortal body is right there for Volt to grab.

While Huitzil uses the Skull as a speed bag, they look around, considering targets (actually, the Skull rolled very badly at this point but rather than have them go down so early, the GM gave Huitzil a hero point).

Since it was clear his allies couldn’t handle the trio on their own, Springfield Jack stops watching from the sidelines. Dragoneye finds himself enveloped in blue hellfire, not enough to take him down but definitely something that gets the mage’s full attention. Interestingly, Dragoneye does not take a shot at the demon but the Very Bad Nun. Just like last time, it turns out she can’t take a hit and she collapses.

One of the ways you can use hero points in M&M is to get two actions in one round, so I took advantage of this. After Huitzil distracts the Skull with a flurry of completely ineffective blows, they backhand the Skull in the direction of Hexenwolf.

Natural 1s turn up just as often as 20s.

The Skull vanishes through the just-opened door of the club and out of sight.

Volt does his best to keep Hexenwolf busy, frying the wolf’s limp body and then as the soul slips back into it, trapping the wolf in one of his “taser nets”. Hexenwolf is strong enough to tear his way out but is slowed enough that Huitzil and Dragoneye can get some shots in.

In an attempt to keep the wolf trapped, Volt throws another taser snare at it. Look, another natural 1! The electrical fields crackle around Dragoneye but dissipate harmlessly. Springheel Jack takes advantage of the distraction to blast the mage, this time connecting solidly. There’s a pop as the Skull teleports behind Dragoneye but unlike the demon, the Skull’s curses cannot overcome the mage’s eldrich defenses.

A shaky Hexenwolf bounds to other side of road, hoping to get enough time to catch their breathe. Dragoneye tosses a spell the wolf’s way and when it misses, Huitzil flies over and hits the wolf so hard his ghost briefly leaves his body.

Since the Skull is small and hard to hit, Volt sets off an explosion centered on the Skull. Alas, the Skull darts behind Dragoneye and uses him as a human shield. Seeing Dragoneye stagger from the explosion, Springheel Jack sets off one of his own. Volt is close enough to be affected along with Dragoneye but shrugs it off. The mage, not so much. Also, the Skull not so much, which really pisses the Skull off.

Figuring the racket ball idea has to work eventually, Huitzil backhands the Skull again, this time at the demon. It’s a clean miss on the demon but the Skull makes a pleasing sound of two pool balls being clacked together as it bounces off the pavement.

One of the things that distinguishes the bad guys from the good guys is that people who are just it for themselves can be rat-bastards. Springheel Jack does a head count, realizes that it is now three of the Sentries to only two October Men and since he is not that fond of the Skull, he grabs Sister Sanguine and leaps away across the rooftops.

Shouting imprecations at his craven ally, the Skull also flees, which is the point when the GM discovered the Skull only has three points of flight, about 15 miles an hour. Although he gets a head start as the trio crack up at how slowly he moves and while he does make the best use of his terrain that he can, he isn’t good at hiding and he can’t move fast enough to run away.

Another point of XP, spend on another level of throwing mastery.

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