Tuesday, May 31, 2016

AEON C-Team Session 1: Management Would Like to Thank you for not Subverting the Dominant Paradigm

The Team

Lucas Neilson (PK Levine): A former Catholic Priest, Lucas is the head of the Basement, AEGIS' occult investigations division. Lucas is good with children.

Mikhail Kovalenko (Alex): A former operative from the Russian sphere of geopolitics, Mikhail found himself in hot water and was assisted by Veracity and Marsh. Mikhail is a combat monster, preferring absolutely crazy insane akimbo pistols.

Agent Veracity, otherwise known as James (Me, Travis): AEGIS' resident spook and conspiracy theorist.

Marsh Langston (Mavrick): A playboy internet mogul in a similar vein to Mark Zuckerberg. Hella good with computers and convincing people to give up their passwords in inventive ways.

Niklos Xanthopoulos (Kevin): A intellectual prodigy in the areas of medical science, history, and architecture, Niklos is an ivory-tower genius.


Lucas is sitting in a park, feeding some squirrels when he's approached by a creepy little girl. Black hair, black eyes, crooked posture. They exchange small talk. Lucas dismisses her and stops paying attention to her. She prances off signing a nursery rhyme about 'fog and doors', and disappears when Lucas stops paying attention.

It's January 6, 2016, about 9AM. Snow is on the ground.
Given to Washington by Lafayette

Montgomery Mitton has requested a meeting with Lucas. Mitton is a records monkey, he passes weird stuff on to Lucas. A lot of the low level happenings going on gets glossed over (cow mutilations, etc), and Mitton passes along the truly crazy stuff.

Mitton looks like a rat, even though he's a decent fellow. His tastes run a little snobby (cheese and wine). He's carrying files. Lucas sits next to Minton. Mitton has a weird case from the Secret Service. Lucas opens up the file that is TOTALLY NOT A BOMB.

There's a picture in the file of the 'Bastille Key'. Mount Vernon was broken into. The key disappeared. Everything was still locked from the inside. Secret Service is shitting bricks. The brass suspects a metahuman or spookiness.

Lucas asks about leads. A metahuman sniffer capable of detecting metahuman activity came up with nothing. The key left an echo that the sniffer was able to pick up on, just barely.

The case was downgraded since it's not involving a metahuman, but the Secret Service is still shitting bricks, so the Subway now gets to deal with that.

Lucas knows that the Bastille is supposedly extremely haunted, particularly in the dungeon areas. Guards have gone missing, never to be seen again, and a tour guide in the nineties.

Mitton indicates that Lucas is being saddled with four 'Trainess' who are causing problems within their respective departments (WOO PLAYER CHARACTERS!). Mitton is convinced that Lucas is being given a white elephant gift.

Lucas notices some 'BLACK SWAN' graffiti near a Alice in Wonderland fountain/statue.

Alex landed in the Subway after being a little too trigger happy and being a little too independent, rubbing the brass in very much the wrong way. 

Veracity is searching through some trash when everyone else arrives.

Lucas arrives, gets everyone's attention, and lies through his teeth about how it's nice to have us around. 

Our lanyards are coolio black plastic cards that turn colors once we touch them. 

The Subway is deep below City Hall, behind a hidden elevator. The Subway is working on the more private side of AEGIS, out of the public view. There's supernatural events going on not connected to Metahuman activities. 

The Subway is a little dumpy when we first arrive. 

Artist's rendition of the Subway

Lucas briefs us on the situation. We determine that the dossier and report is largely useless, pretty much presenting the Secret Service as having no explanation for the theft. Lucas has us climb aboard an ancient 1800's train. The furnace fires up without any provocation when we step onboard. 

After a little bit of dithering over whether the train works, whether there's a bunch of tricks involved in getting the furnace working, and so on. Lucas successfully gets the train to lurch out of the station.

A few of us lose our lunch- Marsh projectile vomits and then gets splashed by Veracity who is vomiting as well.

We find ourselves sitting in a random field on some abandoned tracks about a mile and a half from Mt. Vernon.

Lucas explains that the ghost train can teleport to any contiguous tracks connected to its current location. Our trip was the first successful trip with five passengers known.

There's a great deal of speculation and doubts over the supernatural nature of the train, how creepy it is, and if leaving it for some random joe to try and use it is appropriate or not.

We gear up and hike over to Mt. Vernon. The Secret Service folks are talked down by Lucas who abuses them with administrative knowledge and jargon.

Lucas talks with the head honcho on the site and wins him over.

We start by looking over security footage.

The room where the key was kept had a camera, but the key was contained within a blindspot.

Marsh hits the camera footage. Niklos, Lucas and Mikhail assist. Mavrick opts to try and churn through the footage instantly if possible, rolling at 14 or less to instantly uncover whatever might be on the footage.

He succeeds. One of the outskirt cameras catches what appears to be a blonde woman (slender, curvy but non voluptuous, athletic) making strange hand gestures. Her body language is really tense and concentrating heavily on something.

Lucas crit successes on Occult! to try and determine what she's doing. She's casting a spell, a genuine spell, one contained in a book back in the subway. Lucas knows it invokes a hand of glory.

A Hand of Glory, when lit, unlocks all barriers within a building, puts guards to sleep, and hides the identity of the user. We've got conclusive proof that she's using one.

There's drops of wax on the floor. The trail leads up to a wall. There's a chance that a Hand of Glory will allow someone to walk through walls. Consensus is that this is a greater Hand of Glory, which has some serious mojo. There's a serious amount of hoops to jump through to get a great a Greater Hand of Glory. The flames can only be doused with Mother's Milk.

Mikhail is able to confirm the wax is rendered human tallow. It's at least a century or century and a half old. Remarkably well preserved. We could run DNA. 

"It's not like we can ask where to buy Mother's Milk." - Lucas
"Marsh can build an App for that." -James
"It's like Uber, for breast milk." -Marsh Langston 
James, Mikhail and Lucas head outside the see if we can find the wax trail on the other side of the wall.

Marsh gets a total of four guards to admit they fell asleep. They felt extremely tired suddenly, and didn't intentionally fall asleep. Marsh suspect sleep gas, narcotics, etc.

Talking eventually moves to the hot leggy blonde who came around and turned quite a few heads. A guard named Simmons called in sick to go on a date with her. 

Veracity and Lucas begin tracking the wax (Lucas Crits a complimentary skill roll, and I make my tracking check by 15). The wax continues out past a gate to set of tire tracks. Mikhail uses Wheelman! to determine the make of car from the tracks. They're driving a skyblue 1960 Jaguar. Mikhail guesses the car is being kept in pristine condition.

It was idling out front for a while. 

Veracity knows (Via Encyclopedist) that there's maybe 50 of them on the East Coast. The tracks hit the highway and is lost. 

Marsh strikes out on getting footage of the blonde going on a date with Simmons, her face never faces the camera. We have information on Simmons provided by the Secret Service bigwig.

Mikhail searches DMV records and finds maybe 6 cars in the area that match the one we're looking for. One is registered to the French Consulate. 

Veracity does his best Sherlock impression on Simmon's gear. There's a box of condoms, a hastily changed uniform, aftershave. None of his stuff is bugged. Simmons legitimately believes he has a hot date, meaning that he's not likely a willing or knowing participant in the heist.

When we realize we don't have a car because we're using the Train to travel. The Secret Service offers a car to use. Mikhail drives like a complete maniac.

Veracity and Lucas talk about the body of knowledge that they've assembled along the way, trying to piece together what's missing from their overall picture of the situation. Right now, it looks like a thief, possibly using the guard as an in.

Marsh is busy searching traffic cameras along the war, trying to track the Jaguar. Marsh determines that they have no plates. He never gets a good shot of their faces, either. It's unusual.

We arrive at Simmon's house. Mikhail doesn't detect anything usual. Veracity uses a lockpick gun to pop the door open. It smells BAD inside. Veracity insists that Mikhail and the others follow appropriate evidence collection procedures, wearing booties and latex gloves. 

Veracity does his best Sherlock Impression. Dead guy was disorganized, but not a slob. He was trying to bulk up (protein powder, gym card). The place hasn't been tossed. His badge and credentials are missing, along with the Mt. Vernon key card.

Niklos notes no outside signs of trauma/abuse, but rapid onset necrosis (6+ months old) has set in. Niklos definitely suspects a spell based off his knowledge of the Occult.

Marsh sets down at Simmon's computer and gets to work examining his digital footprint.

We make the call to NOT contact local authorities, having an AEGIS cleaning team deal with it later. 

Lucas is walking through and using Criminology (metahuman) to glean more from the situation. He figures the culprit desperately wanted Simmon's credentials to get on the grounds of Mt. Vernon, from which she then used the Hand of Glory.

Our thief didn't need to kill the guard.

Veracity knows of some nearby train tracks which will make transporting the body back to the Subway for autopsy for later easier. He spends the hour wait for Lucas to fetch the train combing Simmon's house for any clues or leftover evidence such as hair fibers or skin cells. He comes up empty.

Lucas is kind enough to grab Mikhail and Veracity McDonalds on the way to fetch the train.

Nikos begins the autopsy. Lucas does some book diving (oracle) to see if he can learn anything, and crit succeeds. He pays two Karma to purchase a Crit for interpretation. We're dealing with an honest-to-Satan Witch named Marcelle LemaĆ®tre. He's got a line on a particular Coven that uses this stuff frequently, and is aware that they recently kicked out thief out, who is now a witch for hire. 

Niklos determines that the manner of death was roughly equivalent to a rattlesnake biting the heart and causing rapid necrosis to spread from there. There's a small plant or something lodged in the back of his throat, with a strand of hair attached to it somehow. It's a leaf from a yew tree. 

Marsh is going through Simmon's phone during the autopsy. Simmons was at a bar and at work over the previous day, and most of his internet searches were distinctly love-advice related. Last call was out was to a bar and grill family restaurant- The Cheap Seats.

Veracity uses Digital Oracle to crunch some data while Lucas is hitting the books. I get a grainy, terrible photo of our suspected thief, connected to a series of related deaths from 'necrosis bacteria'. I hand it off to Marsh to ENHANCE!

We debate for a while about the supernatural, how strange this all is, and our likely screaming trip into the abyss and horrible deaths.

The Jaguar registered to the French Consulate in NYC has diplomatic plates. Marsh does some google-fu and turns up nothing.

Mikhail doesn't know of anything particularly weird surrounding the French Consulate and the intelligence community.

Veracity is convinced that the french are aliens possessed by demons, otherwise known as Scientologists.

The train trip to Salem is painful for Marsh and Niklos, who both continue to vomit and retch the entire way. Mikhail crit fails Body Sense and is actually knocked out cold by the trip. Veracity manages to not hurl this time around. Lucas is pleased to tell us all that we're adapting well to the Subway.

We find a tavern/bakery called The Broomstick where they're making a delicious smelling bread. Overall the place is very enticing. We dig in and chow down, ensuring that nobody takes long-term fatigue penalties.

Veracity signs an autograph for someone who mistakes him for Bruce Campbell.

Lucas knows how to contact the Coven (Nominally "The Black Cup or Grail" in Latin) in the area, having done them a favor in the past. Their headquarters is in a barn about 12 miles out of town.

We contemplate drugging Mikhail to ensure that he doesn't shoot the witches without provocation.

Upon arriving at the farmhouse, the front door opens as we approach. Mikhail draws his gun, gets thrown on his ass by something, and Lucas is barely able to slip his foot in the door to prevent it from getting slammed shut.

We struggle to talk Mikhail down. 

Lucas is approached very favorably, immediately glomped on by one of the witches. The Witches aren't very happy about Mikhail. 

The Witches are very unhappy when hearing about Marcelle LemaƮtre, and they declare her a stain on the honor of the Coven.

Veracity asks them how to defeat a Greater Hand of Glower. The Witches don't have any good suggestions.

Veracity asks them if they've done any work for the French, or in France, and it turns out The Black Cup has deep French roots.

Marsh spells out the situation with this Bastille key. The Witches state that the first key is worthless without the other two.

Our next few questions are met with a level of understanding that's well over our head.

Veracity attempts to butter up a witch to explain the keys on a level we can all understand. She calls Lucas 'Muffin'.

The Bastille is supposedly laying on a nexus of Ley Lines. Having control of all three keys would allow someone to tap into them to do all sorts of crazy stuff with magic.

One is in a museum in London, and the other is usually in the Louvre.

Lucas decides to see if he can get AEGIS to contact the English and French governments to check on the status of the others. He makes a complimentary skill roll on Mastermind, and then crits on the actual AR roll.

The French key is missing. The London Key is still present, in the Madame Tussauds.

Veracity crits an Encyclopedist! roll to see what he might have read about the London Key previously. The Tussauds got the key after WW2 after recovering it from a bombed-out collectors house. Security around it is decent, and offers to buy it have been refused.

As we leave, a witch hugs 'Muffin', puts a flower in his lapel, and tells him to be careful and not be turned inside out.

We contemplate using the train to try and reach London. Veracity loudly requests anti-nausea medication. Niklos hands out the meds and we attempt to make the trip.

There's some nausea for Marsh and Veracity, but thankfully no tossing of cookies.

We end up very close to Tussauds. We jog over. It's 2-3am. We've entered the UK without clearance, with weapons. 

Lucas uses Foresight to state that he remembers to bring 2-liters of Mother's Milk. There's a super soaker and a few water balloons in the train that we fill up.

"Mikhail, if you think the witch is nearby, or something strange happens, shoot breast milk at it." - Lucas Neilson, January 7th, 2012

 Veracity cases the joint. He spots sealed, reinforced windows, doors, and locks. Two security guards, rent-a-cops. He also suspects a CCTV and Intruder detection system. 

I cut the power to the place, making a Tradecraft! roll by 5 to do so.

Marsh and Mikhail approach the guards. Marsh spins a yarn about being tourists in need of directions. Mikhail crits vs Guns! and drops a guard with an electrolaser shot to the head.

Marsh pulls an electrolaser as well and takes a shot at the second guard, succeeding by 2. The guard fails to dodge, caught off guard by the banter from Marsh. Both guards are down with shots to the head by our electrolasers.

(Our electrolasers are versatile stun/memory erasure devices)

We drag the guards inside and close the doors after Mikhail clears the first part of the building.

We're all suddenly attacked by... something. All of us fail except Lucas, and three of us spend Karma to buy success for the Defense roll. 

The wax statues begin to come alive.

Lucas is familiar with this kind of trap- the statues are responding to movement.

He tells us to stop moving. Mikhail doesn't listen and takes a shot at a statue with the Electrolaser. Ghandi's face is melted off in a horrific manner. It continues to attempt to attack Mikhail, who is drawing the attention of the other statues.

He'll Nuke First

Mikhail stops moving and the statues stop moving.

Niklos asks how we're going to leave, and an annoying female voice yells at us from the second story that "You can't!" Her accent is a mix of Parisian/London.

The Witch upstairs starts to complain about witch wards. Lucas tells Mikhail to go upstairs and kill her, and the Ukrainian hitman books it for the stairs.

Mikhail crit-fails and is almost grappled by a couple of statues. Mikhail manages to pull away and begins running upstairs.

Marsh hears the Witches' footsteps somewhere near the back. Marsh elects to do nothing. Mikhail sees a bunch of zombie mannequins lurching towards him. On Lucas' orders he tries to hose down the display case with Mother's Milk

"Let me find the accuracy of a Super Soaker." -PK Levine (spoiler, as a Jet they don't take range penalties or have ACC)

 Mikhail crits a Guns! roll (in the midst of me yelling at him to by a crit with Karma, no less) to nail the invisible Witch with an Electrolaser shot.

There's a screech, a thump, and a handle-candle rolls towards Mikhail.

PK and I end up going to great lengths to figure out who actually has initiative (PK, sadly)

Lucas and I both book it upstairs and start unloading on the Witch. Lucas hits her in the chest, I attempt to hit her in both hands with a Quick-shot Targeted Attack Hand, and hit one hand for very little effect.

We avoid getting mobbed by the statues.

Marsh also rushes upstairs, firing and hitting the Witch twice in the leg with his FN Five-seven. 

The Witch does something, and Veracity is the only one to fail his will check, and the subsequent HT roll. My hand takes 4 damage and is immediately crippled. I manage not to fall writhing to the ground in pain.

Mikhail shoots the hand of glory, and there's an inhuman and spectral scream as the hand is extinguished.

He uses his off-hand to try and shoot her in the leg. Mikhail's wildcat MONSTER pistol hits her in the leg two times for 24 and 23 damage- both with an armor divisor of (2). The Witch's leg is REKT, hit in the femoral artery.

My hand and arm are starting to turn all dark and necrotic. Lucas orders the guys to strip, bound, and gag the witch.

Lucas takes the flower the Witch handed him and uses it to allow me another check to fight off the necrosis. I don't roll well enough to succeed and spend a point of Karma to ensure that I don't spend the rest of the campaign with 'Missing Hand' or 'Missing Limb'.

Mikhail smashes the display case, grabs the key, and we get the hell out of dodge.

"Plan B is twice as much Morphazine (sleep drugs) as Plan A"
 We take the witch three blocks and don't encounter anyone along the way. We load up on the ghost train. Mikhail and Niklos are taking numerous precautions to ensure that she stays down during the trip- sedative drip, morphazine, restraining straps, etc.

Niklos rolls a crit success treating the necrosis on my hand, completely dealing with the damage inflicted.

The last trip on the train is hard on Veracity and Marsh. The train itself seems to be out of mojo, it shuts down and promptly refuses to reactive.

Lucas secures the London Key as well as the Hand of Glory in the vault. Most of us immediately crash for the evening.


  • We had an abnormally high number of crit successes (Christopher stopped counting at 15)
  • We -rocked- information gathering, with all sorts of complimentary skill checks
  • We abused the hell out of the Ghost Train, making travel travel arrangements fairly easy along with Encyclopedist! contributing pretty heavily
  • Lucas and Veracity are very similar in skillset and stats. Lucas is more hardcover oriented while Veracity is in the digital age, but there's definitely huge overlap going on.
  • The team gelled together pretty well with very little issue or effort.

Familiar Horrors:

Veracity has Unfazeable (Familiar Horrors). Things he's now familiar with thanks to this session:
  • Mikhail's Bad Driving
  • The Ghost Train
  • Animate Wax Statues

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Meet C-Team's Resident Conspiratard: Agent Veracity

Now that I have been given permission, I'd like to talk about my character, Agent Veracity, for Christopher Rice's newest romp in the shared Aeon Universe.

Conception and Inspiration:

Since I initially didn't believe I could beat my schedule bloody until it submitted so that I could play on the C-team, I never read Christopher's post on what the game was actually about. I initially thought that we were going to be playing the B-Team rejects- street level supers who didn't have the super powered juice necessary to tumble with real threats.

Wrong. I'd found myself in another TL8 modern campaign with vanilla humans roughly near the suggested point total for starting an Action game.

I mean, I started with Agency 17 (built off Kromm's prototype of what became Action 4, no less), and Prohibition Mob is not a far cry from those roots, either (one of my players has been throwing in-character verbal jabs at how much 'spy' shit is going on lately in the Mob game). 

I'll admit, I was concerned. Expectation: I'll get to build out a character with POWERS! Reality: Action 4 gets to be my bitch. Again.

Seriously though, a year or two down the line I am going to want to play a mechanically interesting character something fierce. I want bells, whistles, AND GONGS. Multiple alternate abilities with tasty enhancements.

Anyways, it took me a much shorter time than normal to settle on what kind of character I wanted to play. Normally I flit between ideas for days, eventually having to weed out the 95% that's crap or pure gimmick from the actual workable concepts.

I wanted to play a character who goes through everyone's trash. Who believes that everything is connected in some grand conspiracy. Naturally, such a character lends themselves to investigative work.

Once the group got together and indicated that everyone was fine with me playing a more or less complete ripoff of the DCAU character The Question, I got to work on Agent Veracity.

Christopher Rice has kindly allowed me to show you this lightly redacted version of VERACITY's Sheet, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act


Agent Veracity's backstory is as mysterious as the conspiracies he delves into.


Veracity is an accomplished investigator and spook. Even considering how much of a pariah he is within AEGIS, nobody doubts that he's good at what he does.

  • Veracity has four wildcard skills- Detective!, Tradecraft! Encylopedist! (he's banned from AEGIS trivia night), and Infiltrator! (Ordered roughly by relative skill level)
  • Veracity has a high IQ, with great Perception and Will. He's quick (DX) and athletic (HT), although not anything special when it comes to strength (ST).
  • Veracity has numerous mental advantages that help him in his role as investigator/information gatherer.
  • Veracity is a stellar shot with a pistol, especially if using his Signature Pistol, Nancy. This includes having Close-Quarters Battle improved, as well as making use of Targeted Attack (Hand) to disarm foes.
  • That said, Veracity is almost worthless in a melee, unless he's using stealth to slip behind someone and fuck their shit up with a knife.
  • Veracity has crazy high Expert Skill (Conspiracy Theories)
  • Veracity would be decent at using Tradecraft! to talk with people if he wasn't so insistent on mentioning the moon landing hoax, chemtrails, or how the neighborhood watch is a front for a satanic cult.

Simply Flesh and Steel:

Veracity uses an ASP pistol, modified to accept a micro-reflex sight. The ASP isn't accurate enough to benefit from being Fine (Accurate), although it had numerous other benefits which lead to me selecting it:
  • Bulk of 1
  • Fast-Draw Bonus
  • Weighs less than 2 pounds
  • Comes base with Fine (Reliable)
  • Explicitly mentioned as being a candidate for a screw-on suppressor
Veracity uses the aforementioned Suppressor with Subsonic Ammunition for a lovely -5 to Hearing (-10 with the cinematic suppressor rules in place).

I see two big downsides to the ASP. Damage is lackluster at 2d+1 pi. A skull shot can be reasonably expected to deal 16-32 damage (rolls of 4-8 on 2d-1), which isn't bad, but isn't going to play well with even cheap body armor.

The other downside is that the ASP has an ammo capacity of 7+1, which definitely means that firing at full ROF means that Veracity will need to reload after just 3 turns of shooting.

Veracity isn't a bad shot with a rifle, he's just that much more skilled with a pistol, especially Nancy.

The Character Creation Experience:

It being my first time playing with Christopher as GM, character creation was overall very smooth and easy. Christopher is a GM who helps players realize the concepts they want to play, just so long as the concept is campaign appropriate (The Jetpack medic will have to wait for another campaign).

Veracity was originally built on ~300 points, although that was(DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS) to (REDACTED) to ensure that Veracity was actually capable of doing what I hope to do with the character. That said, the version of the character I had at the first point total was one that I would have happily played. Wildcards make a massive difference.

Christopher takes a very active role in character creation. Some groups might not be okay with taking a month to hammer things out and get things to fit together correctly, but for the style of campaign that's being run, I definitely think it was the right move. I can't see myself using that approach all the time- it is MUCH easier to say "Go use Action 4 to build a 250pt character" than to go through the effort that Christopher has to ensure the C-team will be cohesive. It's been an interesting look at another way of doing things.

Overall, 9/10. If Veracity catches acute lead poisoning I won't dread creating a replacement character. Christopher might dread my next concept though; I have to top the tinfoil hat somehow.

Parting Thought:

Friday, May 20, 2016

GCS Tips: Making Templates

A user on the /r/gurps subreddit mentioned wanting a tutorial for making templates with GCS. Given that I've been using GCS for years and consider myself a power user, I figured I could lend a hand.

Self-Defense Template from GURPS Action 4: Specialists

First, create a new template.

You'll get a new blank template.
I've got it setup so that the Basic Set Advantages library and the Basic Set Skills library are open to the right. Having them side by side can minimize switching tabs.

As an example, I'm going to create the Parkour specialty package from GURPS Action 4: Specialists.

The parkour package is the following:

  • Basic Move +1 [5]
  • Compact Frame Perk
  • Acrobatics, Climbing, Escape, Jumping, Running, and Urban Survival at various point totals
  • Evade Technique
  • A choice of Techniques
Begin by drag-and-dropping stuff onto the template, as if you were building a character. GCS handles stat boosts via an 'Increased X' advantage. Perks can now generally be found in the Advantages->Power ups library.
Before you ask, I've already reported the skill level error with Evade within GCS

Now for the 'select one/two/4 points of' sections in GURPS talents, you'll want to create a container.
A dialogue window will open up. I suggest naming it similarly to the directions on the template.

Then just drag and drop the options to choose from into the container. A little red line will indent when you're placing it into a container.

If the red arrow isn't indented to the right, you're not placing whatever you're dragging into a container

All done
Now the nice thing about templates is how easy it is to apply them to a character sheet.

Make sure the sheet you want to apply the template to is the last tab you've clicked on before clicking on the template tab. Notice how the Parkour template is highlighted yellow, while untitled sheet is colored grey.

Using the Apply Template to Character Sheet button will have you determine CR rating of advantages, type in specialties, and so on. To pick one from the container, I usually drag my choices out of the container and then delete the container, which will delete all remaining items inside the container.

As a note, making a template for a single character you intend to build is likely a waste of time. Now putting all of action 4's specialties into templates so I as a GM can someday send them to my players to use, that's much more efficient.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Burden of being the Party Leader

Douglas Cole recently had a pretty gnarly experience in the Aeon Supers campaign being run by Christopher Rice. From what I've read, Cole is kicking himself a lot for the lack of planning that very nearly resulted in disaster.

I can understand why Cole is frustrated. Cole is playing The Commander. That's not just his character's name, I'm certain it's also his role within the team itself in character.

Many players (wisely) avoid playing characters who are leaders. This is because playing a character who is a leader almost without exception means being a party leader among players as well.

Wring your hands all you want, but the two are largely inseparable.

Mavrick, the guy who plays Sam in Prohibition Mobsters, resisted Sam becoming leader for the first couple of months of the campaign. I've never really asked if it was fear of the responsibility, an attempt to give the other players a bite at the apple if they wanted it, or what.

Now, with Mobsters, my guys plan consistently and constantly. Their tactical planning is overall weaker than their strategic (battle plans vs. plans for taking over the city), but for the most part they're savvy as hell. I should probably investigate allowing Tony a little more oomph for the points he's spent on tactics, natural war leader, and the like.

They're had only a couple of really bad moments of clearly not taking a moment to think throughout the campaign. (Tony's player leads the charge, having had his first PC die session 1 of the campaign and getting Isaac captured much more recently.)

Within the Mob group, there's a lot of group discussion, and Mavrick isn't usually strictly calling the shots. There's a good amount of flex out of character. In character, Sam has things locked down, and is starting to become someone with a decent level of authority over the other PCs and their organization as a whole.

Seriously, pull rank. You spent the points.

That said, if things ever did come down to a serious disagreement about how to proceed, both the decision and the resulting consequences lay at the feet of the leader. Sam's got the high rank, so by extension Mavrick gets to be primus inter pares.

I'm sure the AEON group will figure it out, and I suspect defining the role of leader both in and out of character will provide a useful lever for everyone involved to become a well-oiled machine of great justice.

After all, someone's going to be digging through their trash really soon looking for conspiracies to uncover. Would be unfortunate if they were to uncover incompetence among the ranks.