Saturday, November 11, 2017

Episodes 7 and 8 of the Drop-In: Interlude, and The Panopticon of Hell

SYSTEM: ICONS

Episode 7: Interlude and Episode 8: The Panopticon of Hell


I'm combining these two because, unfortunately, I wasn't running at my best and session 7 of the Drop-In was a largely improvised interlude getting the heroes from outside the security door to the hall.

So I apologize to the fellow who showed up for episode 7 and chose to play Longbow, because he didn't get much to do.

Interlude


Gold Tiger, George and Professor Jelinek were joined outside the security door by Diriel (a demon of justice, because Hell is all about justice and rules and maybe a bit of entrapment, if I think about it) and Longbow, who have seen the message that Gold Tiger left on various superhero boards and came to join them.

They got in and discovered (a) the moss is omnipresent and (b) they were at the level where the tau generators were, the repair bays were (and one unmentioned nuclear generator). The femmebot Liza was there, strapped to a repair dock and deactivated. Security robots came down, and there was a fight, during which the repair robot followed its protocol, which was to halt repairs and clean up, so pieces can't be used as weapons. Eventually, the heroes won and crept up the stairs.

The center of the building was circular, and by tapping into the security system, Gold Tiger could see that Dr. Warp was in the center part (which also had the elevator to the basement). He had three femmebots, a closeted mysterious platinum android, and improvised living quarters there. He looked rumpled, like he hadn't shaved for a week.

The moss had clumped itself up into a sort-of humanoid form as big as the ceilings and was walking a slow circle around the section where Dr. Warp was imprisoned. Professor Jelinek's tau-sucking gun was full.

As they were discussing plans, Professor Jelinek revealed that the big problem with tau radiation was that it's not properly radiation at all: it's energy moved from other dimensions. The liberal use of it weakens the extra spatial dimensions of ours (predicted by superstring theory) and essentially opens the doorway to Lovecraftian monsters.

(If we want to be nice to Professor Jelinek, he figured this out very recently. It involves the kind of maths they didn't have at the start of his career, and he has acquaintances in Moscow and Geneva who do the new math for him. It is totally in keeping with comic books for him to have known this for twenty years and be the roadblock that has kept people from implementing tau radiation generators.)

We were having technical difficulties, so we called it there.

The Panopticon of Hell


Alas, the extra player did not return, so we had Gold Tiger and Diriel and everyone else was a GM character.

The switch to turn off the tau generators was in another room and was largely non-functional. Diriel's teleportation only worked to places he could see (except Hell; he can always go to Hell, and my assumption is that there are a limited number of "landing zones" there that he has memorized). Using his control of the security system, Gold Tiger jury-rigged a projection of the image of the proper room, and Diriel opened a portal. The two of them left George, Professor Jelinek, and Dr. Warp behind while they went into The Room.

The Room was covered in moss, and the on/off switch was partially melted or corroded by the moss. Gold Tiger started to repair it, but the moss started to gather together and attack, so Diriel was holding it off as Gold Tiger was working. Fortunately, we had established that the moss was sensitive to flame and Diriel is aflame with the Fires of Justice, so... (I formalized this as having all attacks be one degree better against the moss: narrow misses were actually marginal successes, marginal successes were moderate successes, and so on.)

They defeated the moss, turned off the generators, and then portal'ed back to Dr. Warp, where they discovered the two new problems.
  1. Using the miniaturization possible in the modern era, Dr. Warp had built a miniature tau generator inside the new platinum robot, which was tougher than the femmebots.
  2. Dr. Warp wasn't actually forthcoming about helping, having sold the tau weapons to Russia and the CIA and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Diriel opened a portal to a cell in Hell, and Gold Tiger knocked him through. Diriel closed the portal.

But Diriel's "Injustice Sense" said that someone was still thinking evil thoughts. Yes, George was one of them, but there was someone else...

Yup, other-dimensional invaders had got access to the platinum robot, and it was in the process of becoming spidery-er, with the back at an improbable angle and extra joints having appeared in the arms and legs. (I called it a Cybershoggoth.)

Professor Jelinek discharged his tau weapon to power up a femmebot. Moss was trying to get to the tau generator. Longbow fired to no effect.

Gold Tiger asked Longbow if he had a magic nullification arrow somewhere in that quiver; Longbow replied that he did, because of a recent experience with a demon ("No offence," to Diriel). The Cybershoggoth half-melted the femmebot; Professor Jelinek missed the shot that would have sucked tau radiation out of the robot. George was knocked unconscious.

Eventually, the magic nuffication arrow was fired (and Longbow doesn't miss). A portal to another cell in Hell was opened up, and Gold Tiger pushed the robotic beast through.

Then Diriel and Gold Tiger went through a new portal to just outside the cell, in the panopticon of Hell.

A winged demon approached and said that (in Hell-speech) it was fine unless the auditors gave them guff, which would be when they'd have to release them. (The Cybershoggoth because it was extradimensional and they might not have jurisdiction, and Dr. Warp because he wasn't technically dead.

Through difficulties they discovered that the Cybershoggoth was the first invader of a force ("this world..." it hissed. "It needs conjugation." The PC characters assumed that was bad.)

With Diriel's help, Gold Tiger managed to turn off the robot, and they reached an agreement about under what conditions they would retrieve the robot.

Lights down.