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QRF Echo (Quick Reaction Force Echo)
Brief description of our on going campaign to defend the world! The game is heavily based on a number of cartoons my group is familiar with such as Ben 10 (the basis for the team's powers) and Super Hero Squad (the Inifinty Shards idea).
November 24, 2013
2:48 am
Rus the Boyd
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Background: An alien entity arrived in our solar system, armed with a weapon capable of reshaping reality to its will. Most of the heroes of the world lined up to fight the monster; almost all of them lost their lives. In the end the alien's device was shattered and fell to the earth while the alien was banished. Unfortunately the vast majority of super-powered beings remaining on earth are the villains that weren't willing to risk their lives in the battle.

Team: Quick Reaction Force Echo or common designation QRF Echo
Mission: The QRFs were assembled (or are still being assembled) to provide nations around the globe super-powered forces to act as a stop gap against the hordes of super villains that now stand largely unopposed. Each QRF is given an area of responsibilty, QRF Echo's being the East Coast of the USA. All members of QRF Echo are the results of an expirement to mix alien and human dna to create super soldiers, though other QRFs have different power-sources as they try to figure out the best approach to "manufacturing" super heroes.

The Team: In addition to the small support staff available to each QRF, Echo is manned by...

Shard: The brains of the team; Shard is able to transform into a living crystal that is resistant to damage, regenerates damage when in the presence of sunshine (or other intense light), is immune to light-based attacks, and can form ranged and melee weapons of razor-sharp crystal at will. Vulnerable to sonic attacks.

Burnban: The pilot of team Echo; Burnban can transform into a living flame that allows him to fly at incredible speeds. He is immune to fire and is able to craft his own flames into various shapes, weapons, and defenses. Water negates his powers.

Ghost: Self described "ninja". Ghost can become insubstantial which grants him the ability to fly and become invisible. In addition to his powers, he is a master martial artist and is an intrusion specialist. Bright light negates his powers.

Big Red: The muscle and tactical leader of Echo. Big Red can transform into a four-armed humanoid that is 10' tall, hairless, and covered in red skin. Incredibly strong, Big Red can leap great distances and is capable of creating area of effect attacks by clapping his hands or pounding the ground. Big Red's alien skin is vulnerable to intense heat.

(Game note: I made each player pick a vulnerability. Most went with something related to their Ben 10 alien model's vulnerabilities.)

November 24, 2013
9:53 pm
Rus the Boyd
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Game 1: A Minor Miner Problem

Setup: QRF Command has been contacted by a professor at the State University who is concerned about low level seismic activity that she's been picking up at the university's geology lab. Since the region of the country is seismically inactive and the seismic activity appears to be moving towards Universal City (home to State U.), she felt she had to contact the authorities. QRF Echo was dispatched to interview the professor, assess the situation, and neutralize any threats.

Behind the Scenes: The Mad Miner and his band of minions are on the move, burrowing their way towards Universal City. The big secret mastermind figured out that the Infinity Shard was not destroyed, just broken into smaller pieces that fell back to earth. Using his mastery of magic and technology he has created a device that is able to detect the quantum anomolies created by the shards. He has given the device to the Mad Miner and tasked him with recovering one of the shards that phased through the ground and burried itself below the city.

Scene 1: Team Echo met with the professor and heard her story. She was able to tell that the seismic activity was on the move and was getting closer. Everything about the activity seemed to indicate that it was not natural but she had no idea what could be causing it. To further complicate the situation she was unable to get a fix on exactly where the activity was coming from, just a general area the size of the city. One of the characters suggested using a second seismograph to triangulate the source (which gained him a +1 Exp Die at the end of the game). The professor agreed to try to get a second device online as soon as possible. Meanwhile reports of buildings collapsing and strange vehicles emerging from the ground began to flood in. Team Echo left the professor to her work and hurried to the nearest 911 call...

Scene 2: On the short flight to the nearest distress call the team learned that at least four large vehicles had emerged from the ground at roughly the same time at different parts of the city and were casually destroying everything in their path. The QRF helo dropped them off a block away from a large steel clad machine that was the size of a bus, the entire front of which was a giant industrial drill bit. The vehicle moved via two large tracks and belched forth diesel smoke as it burrowed through cars, trucks, and buildings with wreckless abandon. (Treated the Iron Mole as a 5D Henchman rather than give it full stats; none of the characters had a power over 4D so figured it might give them a challenge).

Shard went first and fired a volley of razor sharp crystals at the Iron Mole, only to see them strike at a bad angle and ricochette off the steel skin harmlessly. Burnban went next and let loose with a lance of flame but it appeared to have no effect on the machine either. Big Red leapt onto the machine and, using his Super Strength, pounded his four fists into it. The screeching of metal and a puff of diesel smoke indicated that he had at least dented the vehicle's hide. The Iron Mole's crew swerved into the nearest building, trying to crush Big Red between its own steel plating and the building's structure. Big Red leapt to safety but the Iron Mole was able to strip away a large section of the first two floors of the building; a crowd of onlookers had gathered on one of the upper floors to view the battle and were now in danger if the whole wall came down...

Ghost finished the round in spectacular fashion. Since direct sunlight negated his powers, he ran in front of the Iron Mole and waited until he was nearly crushed by the machine, at which point he became insubstantial (being under the shadow of the machine) and passed through the vehicle, rematerializing inside it! He found a small crew (Mooks 1D) of strange, alien looking men manning the machine. Using his martial artistry (?), he pounded the startled Mooks into submission, causing the Iron Mole to grind to a hault.

The next round the building began to collapse with four civies peering out of a window a few floors up, unaware that they were about to fall to their doom. Team Echo pulled together and rushed to rescue the people before the building collapsed at the end of the round. Shard, unable to directly rescue the people, fired shards at the thick safety glass to shatter it and allow the other heroes easier access to the civilians (Assist action that resulted in 2D Comp Dice that he split between Burn Ban and Big Red). Burn Ban flew through the broken window, grabbed a desk, and pushed the civies out the window...just in time for Big Red to make a running leap, grab them, and land out of harm's way. Ghost simply became insubstantial and walked out as the building collapsed on top of the Iron Mole.

(+1 Exp Die to everyone for the teamwork; could've ended poorly had Big Red failed his Super Jumping roll but you have to take some risks now and then, not to mention scare the piss out of the civies! While Ghost didn't directly participate in the rescue, I figured his clever means of using his power to bypass the Iron Mole and get directly at the crew was worth the bonus since it was the first time he'd used the tactic.)

After a brief parley with law enforcement, team Echo boarded their chopper and began to head towards the next nearest Iron Mole...

That concluded Scene 2.

December 6, 2013
4:45 am
kroh01
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Wow Rus! This is great! When is the next Game?

Regards,
Walt

December 7, 2013
7:49 pm
Rus the Boyd
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Someone read my post, woo hoo! :) We have a few games in the bag, I'll try to wrap up the first game overview here:

Scene 3: Team Echo made their way over to the next closest Iron Mole that had managed to cause quite a bit of destruction. As the helicopter set down, the Mole ran through a gas station, causing a huge explosion and set the lot on fire, threatening not only the civilians trapped in the store but the gas tankers parked in the adjacent big rig lot as well! I told them that the fire was likely to reach the tanker in the next three rounds and that a frantic 911 call was coming in from civies trapped inside the now burning building. And of course the mechnical burrowing machine was plowing through everything in sight!

The team elected to split up, Shard and Ghost going after the Iron Mole, Burnban and Big Red dealing with the fire (which I though would be a problem since Big Red was vulnerable to heat but I was wrong).

The Iron Mole went down quickly as Ghost went first and used the same trick as in Scene 2, phasing into the machine and karate chopping his way to victory. Shard raced back over to the fire but wasn't able to act for the round due to all the running back and forth.

Meanwhile...

I split the fire into two 3D Hazards (fuel fire). Big Red spent a Comp Die and declared that there was a water tanker truck, the kind you see at construction sites, parked in the lot. Ripping the drum from the rest of the truck (and scaring the bejeezus out of the driver), BR made an attack on the 3D Hazard that was threatening the store and had the people trapped. Rather than try to figure out what kind of dice a couple hundred gallons of water would roll, I simply had him roll his Super Strength, treating the water as a narrative prop that allowed him to actually attack fire. Big Red rolled well and brought the Hazard down to 1D but exhausted his supply of water.

Burnban went last. He flew through the flames and landed at the front door of the store. Thrusting his hand into the building fire, he caused it to snuff out. The civilians were not "out of the fire" yet; if the tanker blew, the whole city block would be leveled!

The second round Ghost made his way to the fire but since I made Shard spend a round moving that enitre way, he had to do the same thing. Shard went next and decided to slice open a fire hydrant on the street corner (an idea that they gave Big Red crap for not thinking of!). Once again I had him use his own power to make the roll, this time Elemental Form, but he rolled poorly and didn't affect the approaching inferno. Big Red lept over to the hydrant and used his incredible strength to aim the torrent of water at the approaching flames and was able to snuff it out.

Effectively that was the end of the action in Scene 3. They helped evacuate the store then boarded the QRF helo once again.

At this point, since the heroes had come up with the plan to triangulate the source of the tremors, I brought in the next plot element (otherwise I'd have made them battle a third Iron Mole under a collapsing skyscraper!) The professor contacted them and told them that the second sensor was online and that she was able to get a good fix on the source of the tremors. They gave her some crap about already knowing the source until she explained that there was a fifth, even stronger signal that was originating just under a major subway station hub downtown (a few miles away from any of the known Iron Moles).

Meanwhile the National Guard finally got a couple of Apaches in the air so the team was freed from wack an Iron Mole duty.

Scene 4 (and the exciting conclusion!), coming soon...

A couple of judge's notes. Going into the game I assumed that the Iron Moles would be a fair challenge when combined with the increasingly difficult hazards they were generating. Ghost's ability to bypass their armor and strike at the operators allowed the team to wrap up the scenes pretty quickly, though they did last longer in real time than it would seem here...lots of talking and debating and whatnot.

As you may have noticed, I like to combine time elements with Hazards. Usually it's overcome the Hazard in x number of rounds or something bad is going to happen to some civilians (the collapsing building or the store on fire) or overcome the Hazard in x number of rounds or the Hazard rating is going to go up dramatically (as would've been then case with the oil tankers exploding).

I also wanted there to be an narrative reward for coming up with triangulating the source of the tremors (something the professor was going to have happen at the conclusion of the third Iron Mole battle). I figured allowing them to bypass the extra fight and avoid risking serious injury was an appropriate award.

December 20, 2013
4:14 am
ORtrail
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I enjoy reading about other people's adventures. Do you give each scene a title, even if only for your own amusement? "Scene 2: Whack an Iron Mole" has a nice ring to it. Yes, funny how each super hero group can be difficult to challenge during an adventure. One creative use of a power can turn the tide of battle, but like you, I prefer to reward the players for being creative and good for them if they have an easy time of it due to being creative and rolling well.

December 27, 2013
2:40 am
Rus the Boyd
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Heya ORtrail,

I added the titles for my own entertainment and to make things a little easier to read. I'm glad you've enjoyed the adventure thus far. I've held off on posting the rest of the session because I heard a rumor the board might change again (hopefully for the last time!) If I don't get an answer as to how true that is or not, I'll finish the post about the battle with the Mad Miner.

If there's any interest and I can figure out a simple but useful layout, I may try to put together an adventure packet for other Judges to use. I'm not a fan of and have no interest in writing a full-blown module, but I think it's possible to put something like this together into a 2-3 page pdf for free.

As to Ghost cake-walking through the early encounters, there was a time when I would've tried to change things up just to thwart the player, but thinking back to those times when I actually got to play fairly regularly, there was nothing more fun than coming up with a cunning plan that, when properly executed, completely derailed a villain's strategy. That being the case, I try to roll with the punches and let my players shine when they get the chance!

December 27, 2013
7:46 am
ORtrail
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Yet another new board? Something more user-friendly perhaps? Well, once things get settled, it would be nice to see the Supers community grow here, which should happen with the release of the RED book.

December 29, 2013
9:05 pm
Rus the Boyd
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The new board is up and running. That being the case, I'll continue this over there in the near future.

http://superscbr.proboards.com/

There's the link if you need it!

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