After the invasion
After the Invasion is a Play-by-Post game run by JeStor, using Mutants and Masterminds Third Edition.
- 1 Setting Introduction
- 2 The characters
- 2.1 Arm
- 2.2 Delta
- 2.3 Pillar
Earth is alone no more. Alien forces were poised to unleash a massive invasion again the Earth and her people. The heroes alerted to the incoming forces were prepared to go out swinging, as powerful as they were the odds were stacked heavily in the invaders favor. As the ships breached the outer edges of the solar system, hope came in the form of ambassadors from two allied alien forces. With their planets next in line they'd had to reveal themselves sooner than they wanted, in the hope that three planets now allied would be able to stand against the impending alien invasion. The friendly aliens had wanted to gradually cement relations and do things in a relaxed manner over time. This wasn't to be.
Earth's mightiest heroes joined the two other forces and they met the invading fleet far out beyond Neptune's orbit. The augmented band of Earth's superheroes were able to beat back the invading force and establish a perimeter out by where the battle had taken place. This didn't mean the fighting was over, the invaders were routed not destroyed. The victors wait for the other shoe to drop and for the invaders to return. This doesn't mean life has stopped, this was also eight years ago.
In the last eight years something's have changed a great deal and others have not. The influx of new alien technology while heavily controlled by government, military, affiliated corporate partners and various super groups, has made medical science, communication, travel much different than before. With the new tech, some don't want to wait and various villains and criminal organizations have tried to get their hands on what they can. Some have been successful, but those success have been few.
Space travel and travel on Earth itself has changed and is now faster and cheaper. With space travel, and the fact that Earth isn't alone in the Universe...some of the nastier villains have left for green pastures, so have some of the heroes. Earth now is part of a network of three planets who are dependant on each other to keep things safe. The scope of the area now needing patrolling and protecting is huge. Many of the most powerful heroes spent much of their time out far from Earth defending the perimeter, preparing and improving existing defensive systems etc. The alien allies have wormholes, so travel between planets is possible.
These changes have put pressure on newer heroes, existing heroes to raise their game. Heroes who once might of protected a city, might have to divide time between multiple cities. Evil doesn't sleep and villains seized on the power vacuum and pushed back while the most powerful heroes were off planet. Thankfully, heroes can be called on to work in concert with each other and things are back at where they were pre-invasion. Most don't count on this lasting for long, the new technology and brand new worlds (not to mention existing enemy alien forces out there...somewhere) shine too brightly for those deceitful in nature to ignore.
The Slee and Non are the two friendly allied alien races. The Slee are multi-limbed and snakelike with superior spacecraft the more proficient with weapons, tactics and combat. Shorter lived and quick breeding the Slee are the far more numerous of the two.
The Non are large slow-moving telepathic and have advanced wormhole technology. Very, very intelligent and a gentle people they have the more advanced technology - although they occupy the non-violent end of that stream.
They were rather reluctant to approach Earth and "reveal" themselves, but they didn't have much in the way of options and needed the help of the powerful Earth heroes to have any chance to fend off the third alien race. They were likely next after a successful Earth invasion and felt they'd no choice, but to make contact and hope that Earth's heroes would help. First contact was made with the Royal Guard (England's most powerful superhero group - Majesty, Highland, Claymore, The Crown, Battalion and The British Lion) Lead by Majesty, she was the one who put the aliens in contact with and set up meetings with UN (which now has much more power) smoothing the way for a three-way alliance against the impending invasion.
The Harad are humanoid, looking much like humans save for all black eyes and six digits on the hands and feet. They're what sci-fi novels have imagined in the many invasion scenarios, merciless, savage, well-trained, well armed. People with a distant homeworld hungry for more, moving across the galaxy - conquest after conquest. The armed forces exist like a nomadic horde like the Mongols, moving on sending the spoils back behind them to home...until eight years ago.
The PCs are PL 8 and built on 135 points.
Player: Unka Josh
Real Name: Amber Williams
Concept: Fangirl turned super
Amber is a Superhero Fangirl, one of thousands who join online communities to gush about how cool superheroes are, repost questionable photos of them, construct strange theories about their personal lives based on questionable evidence, etc. More extreme fans will take occasionally-dangerous risks to get photos of superheroes in action and attempt to get souvenirs of their exploits, such as rubble or parts of damaged costumes from a battlefield.
Sadly, Amber was one of these, and after a battle, picked up a strange, complex piece of something glasslike that had small lights inside. When she did so, it immediately grew, engulfing her right arm up to her shoulder in bulky blue-silver metal. It has apparently plugged into Amber's nervous system, as it obeys her mental commands (as far as she can decipher its functions) and attempts to give her information that appears in Heads-Up Displays that simply appear in her field of vision... but not in English. She's still figuring out how to use it.
Appearance: An extremely skinny, pale-skinned girl with large green eyes, a bright smile, and shortish red hair... and an oversized metallic alien right arm that ends in a four-fingered hand.
Amber's pretty athletic, and has been practicing gymnastics for a long time. Healthy hobby? In theory, but consider that she's studying it *in case there's a superhero battle in her vicinity,* and she *isn't assuming that she'll just run and hide.* She similarly developed her Stealth skills from sneaking away to go into danger. (Notice that she also knows first aid...) Still, her constant athletic training has resulted in a tiny 18-year-old who is still much stronger than you'd think, and has the stamina to handle being attached to the Arm.
The Arm itself is more complex than Amber realizes. It's part of an alien battlesuit that was intended for stellar warfare, capable of self-repair, and with an AI that's intended to communicate with and advise its bonded owner. Because of the holographic nature of the AI's programming and self-repair functions, even a small piece of it was able to partially reconstruct the armor's functionality. It bonded with her because the destructive trauma it went through caused a forced-reset to factory settings; in effect, it had no bonded owner in storage, so when Amber touched it, it assumed that she was the new designated user and attempted to reconstruct itself. Unfortunately, it couldn't complete the job, and likewise cannot communicate with Amber, because they lack a common language. It nevertheless attempts to improvise its functions as best it can, and will slowly adapt to her capabilities.
The Arm is capable of generating a force field to protect Amber. It's intended to supplement the complete armor itself, and is not continually present-- because of the default settings, Amber has to trigger its activation.
The Arm has thrusters. These are *not* intended to be the primary movement source of the armor-- they are intended for navigation in a zero-gravity environment only, and can only fire in short bursts. Amber nevertheless uses them, but doing so is actually dangerous. (The thrusters, you see, are only on her right arm, and so are completely unbalanced. She's risking falling over, straining her ankle, or even knocking herself unconscious every time she fires them.
The Arm is extremely strong. This would be much more impressive if it were attached to an equally-strong battlesuit with similar strength in the legs, back, and shoulders; as it is, Amber cannot use it for, for example, lifting, but it is extremely strong, and with the help of the AI, Amber is quite dangerous in hand-to-hand combat.
The Arm has sensors. The AI uses them, and can (and does) patch them directly into Amber's visual cortex as a heads-up overlay. The actual sensors cover the entire arm, but are most numerous around the (very, very bulky) shoulder, and can see in all directions, ignore darkness, and are capable of magnifying Amber's visual range by 10^3, which is vitally important in long-range stellar combat. In addition, the AI is continually monitoring the sensors and will flash warnings of incoming attacks at Amber, which are distinctive enough to overcome the language barrier and often give her time enough to react to a threat by raising shields and even opening fire.
Finally, the Arm has its primary armament; it creates a charged superheated plasma and fires it through magnetic induction. This blast is considerably more powerful than a tank cannon, creates enough plasma to cause sustained damage, and is designed to be fired in moderately-ranged stellar combat... in other words, its maximum range is just under four miles, or beyond Earth's horizon. Because the energy drain is excessive, and it's not uncommon for a blast to have more than adequate power to destroy a target, the AI can sometimes guide the remaining energy after one target is removed to secondary targets. However, there are many problems with using a weapon of this nature on a battlesuit that is only 15% complete. To stop Amber from killing herself with Newton's Third Law of Motion, the Arm will not fire unless she is holding still, braced, and had secondary thrusters firing to absorb some of the backblast of the attack; this both precludes movement and ensures that Amber is a sitting duck during a firing sequence. (If she had the entire suit, this wouldn't be an issue, as the entire bulk of the suit could absorb the energy. But she doesn't.) Even then, the kick of the blast ensures that even with practice, Amber is extremely inaccurate... and because the plasma cannon has an effective range of just under four miles, misses can be very destructive. She's had to learn to not take the shot on several occasions.
Future development notes: It's probably unlikely that the Arm will ever be able to completely reconstruct the armor. However, the AI and Amber may someday learn to communicate, and be able to guide the reconstruction of the Arm itself into more useful forms. She's probably going to eventually figure out how to activate more of the Arm's functions over time, as well
Complication: Identity (Or Lack Thereof) - Some people can hide their identity. Amber's right arm is, essentially, all alien technology, bulky, and has a hand that is clearly not human.
Complication: Obsession - Amber is a diehard superhero fangirl; becoming one has not changed this. She will fangirl at superheroes, seek autographs, and generally behave foolishly.
Power Level: 8
Point Total: 135
Shield System (Protection 10, Sustained) (10)
Thrusters (Leap 6, Acrobatic Check Required 2, Side Effect (Affliction vs Fort: Hindered/Prone/Incapacitated 6) (1)
Targeting Systems (Enhanced Advantages 2: Improved Aim, Accurate Attack) (2)
Sensory Systems (Senses 8 [Darkvision, Extended Sight 3, Radius Sight, Danger Sense]) (8)
Plasma Cannon (Damage 13, Ranged, Secondary Effect, Extended Range 4, Activation (Move), Distracting, Improved Critical 2) (31)
- Alt Effect: Broadbeam Shot (Damage 8, Area (Cone) x4, Activation (Move) (1)
- Alt Effect: Arm Power (Enhanced Str 8 (right arm only -1), Close Combat 8, Enhanced Advantages 8: Improved Critical (Punch) 4, Fast Grab, Improved Hold, Improved Grab, Improved Disarm) (1)
- Equipment 1 (Smart Phone. That is, Cell Phone/Computer/Camera/Video Camera)
- Luck 3
- Acrobatics 4/+8
- Athletics 4/+4
- Expertise (Superbeings) 8/+10
- Persuasion 4/+6
- Perception 5/+9
- Insight 2/+6
- Ranged Attack (Plasma Cannon) 3/+3
- Stealth 4/+4
- Technology 1/+3
- Treatment 1/+3
- Initiative +7
- Armed: +8
- Unarmed: +8
- Throwing: +5
- Unarmed damage: 8
- Dodge: 4/4
- Parry: 0/4
- Will: 6/10
- Fortitude: 4/6
- Toughness: */2 (12)
Abilities (28) + Powers (54) + Advantages (6) + Skills (18) + Defenses (14) = 120
Real Name: Ivy
Concept: Target of Experiments
Report on Experimental Subject IV
Name: Unknown, answers to "Ivy".
Status: Recovered from underground laboratory believed to be operated by Project Prometheus. The number of empty tanks suggest that successful subjects were taken elsewhere in advance of the laboratory being shut down. Ringleaders still at large.
Description: Hispanic female, late teens, cropped hair. Roman numeral IV tattoo on back of neck, consistent with those on other recovered victims. Excellent physical health.
Condition: Ivy is believed to have been kidnapped by Project Prometheus for use in experiments involving black-market Harad technology. She was subjected to extensive genetic resequencing. Her physical structure is in a state of constant flux, able to adapt to environmental conditions and adopt the traits and abilities of at least a dozen known races and many more as-yet unidentified. She also exhibits low-level telepathic capabilities, likely intended to allow control and coordination over the subjects. Her control of these abilities is currently limited.
Identity: Unknown. Ivy has no memory of her life before experimentation began, presumably as a result of mental conditioning and/or telepathic trauma. No missing persons matching Ivy's description have been reported. It is likely that she was homeless or a runaway prior to her abduction. Her physical condition suggests this is not the case, but this may be due to her regenerative capabilities. She speaks English and Spanish fluently; however, she also speaks German, Japanese, Navajo, ancient Greek, Slee and every other language attempted. Again, this is presumably a result of her telepathic abilities.
Classified: The nature of Ivy's abilities mean that everything we can determine about her is questionable. We cannot even be sure that her current appearance is in fact her original one. Movement of several other subjects before our raid suggests that the Prometheus Project may have been forewarned, in which case we cannot rule out the possibility that Ivy was deliberately allowed to fall into our hands as a deep-cover or sleeper agent.
Motivation: Acceptance. Ivy struggles to relate to people thanks to her amnesia and freakish abilities. Being a hero is her way of trying to find her place in the world.
Complication: Enemy - The Prometheus Project and many of their successful experimental subjects are still at large.
Complication: Empath - Ivy's amnesia and telepathic abilities mean she can be overwhelmed by strong emotions or large crowds.
Power Level: 8
Point Total: 135
Comprehend 2 (languages) (4pts)
Telepathic Powers (8pts + 2pt):
- Communication 2 (mental)
- Mind Reading 8 (close range)
- Affliction (close, will, entranced/compelled/controlled) 8
Immunity 2 (disease, poison) (2pts)
Senses 2 (mental awareness, danger sense) (2pts)
Shapeshifting Defences (10pts + 5pts, dynamic):
- Protection 10
- Enhanced Dodge 10
- Enhanced Parry 10
Shapeshifting Attacks (10pts + 2pts):
- Damage (close, strength-based, variable descriptor) 8
- Damage (ranged, distracting, variable descriptor, accurate 2) 6
- Affliction (close, fort, dazed/stunned/paralyzed) 10
Shapeshifting (24pts + 13pts, dynamic)
- Morph 4 (continuous)
- Speed 5, Flight (wings) 7, Swimming 7, Burrowing 5
- Leaping 5, Movement (safe fall, slithering, sure-footed, swinging, wallcrawling, waterwalking) 6, Elongation 2, Insubstantial 1, Variable (move action, limit: physical skills only) 1
- Extra limbs 4 (continuous), Growth 4, Shrinking 4
- Senses (acute olfactory, lowlight vision, darkvision, infravision, ultravision, ultrahearing, full tracking, extended vision) 10, Concealment (visual) 4, Enhanced Strength (lifting only) 6
- Regeneration 10, Immunity (cold, heat, pressure, radiation, vacuum, drowning, suffocation, starvation, thirst, sleep) 10, Movement (underwater, zero-gravity, space travel, trackless) 4
- Variable 3 (move action)
- Benefit: Cipher
- Acrobatics +2
- Athletics +2
- Close Combat (unarmed) +2
- Expertise (aliens) +2
- Expertise (science) +2
- Intimidation +4
- Stealth +2
- Technology +2
- Treatment +2
- Dodge: 0/ +2
- Parry: 0/ +2
- Will: 2/ +6
- Fortitude: 0/ +6
- Toughness: 0/ +4
Abilities (36) + Powers (72) + Advantages (3) + Skills (10) + Defenses (4) = 135
Player: Nick the Nevermet
Real Name: Roger Goren
Concept: Powerhouse / Martial Artist
Origin: Endowed / Trained
Roger Goren is a skilled martial artist with superhuman strength who was trained and empowered by Andrew "Andy" Yuss, a fugitive Haradi scientist. When Roger was an undergraduate working on his degree in urban planning and criminology, Roger was severely beaten at a homeless shelter where he was volunteering. He awoke under the care of Yuss, who was masquerading as one of the homeless at the shelter. Yuss agreed to train Roger and use his alien science to empower him to do good and promote justice. However, while Roger thought this meant fighting crime, Andy somehow alerted the UN to Rogers existence. After several frustrating arguments, Roger agreed to work for the United Nations Rapid Response Team. He is now known as Pillar.
Pillar's physiology draws strength from gravitational field, granting him superhuman strength and durability. Additionally, Pillar can create several gravitational effects, including a shockwave, the ability to jump extreme distances, and the ability to increase the weight of others.
Researchers believe Pillar will lose his superhuman abilities if we is in the weightlessness of space, outside the gravitational reach of a planet. It is unclear how his physiology would react to a artificial gravity, such as those found on alien spacecraft. Some scientists are also curious what would happen if he found himself in a substantially higher gravitational field, such as the one around Jupiter. Any answers to these questions are highly speculative at this juncture.
Pillar is trained in a fighting style that Andy calls "Vazkrat" or "Groundlock". It primarily focuses on a strategy of grappling an enemy in a way that either leads to a various incapacitating holds, or putting the opponent in a position to be struck while prone or grappled. This combined with his powers (see below) make him a formidable opponent in hand to hand combat.
Additionally, Pillar is college educated in urban planning and criminology. Response Team strategists hope this set of skills will be useful for managing cities and populations before and after superhuman or alien events.
Addendum: Andrew Yuss
aka Andy, Coach Andy, The Trainer, Antaeus (possible joke on the Yuss' part)
Andrew Yuss is an alien ally of Pillar. He is a Haradi exile, and is considered dangerous and unreliable. Yuss is the sole source of information regarding his background. Consequently, many do not believe it is entirely accurate.
Yuss was part of the Reclamation Corp, the division of the Haradi military charged with salvaging and reverse engineering alien technology for use in the Eternal Conquest. Yuss' specialty was cosmo-vitalism: the study of how the lifeforce of organisms interacts with other natural forces of the universe. Yuss fell from grace when a military officer attempted to cheat Yuss and the Reclamation Corps out of the spoils of a conquest. He was then imprisoned before escaping in a small spacecraft loaded with vitalistic technologies, both Haradi and reclaimed.
Fleeing Haradi space, Yuss came to the backwater system Sol. He took the role of a homeless man as he studied the society around him. He was confused and amazed how how martial glory was not the defining virtue of contemporary western society. After a few years on Earth, the Battle of Neptune occurred. Yuss decided he could help vitalistic technologies to "build" a superhero to help with the war effort. He thought Goren was of the right temperament, and Yuss saw an opportunity to enlist him to the cause when Goren was injured defending some other homeless. Yuss created a treatment for Goren involving a series of solutions Goren drank over eleven days that aligned Goren's life force with gravitational fields.
Yuss claims his only motivation was to help with the war effort, as he does not believe Earth deserves what the Harad will do to it.
Motivation: Do Good (protect the weak)
Complication: Relationship (Coach Andy)
Complication: Gravity-Dependent Powers
Power Level: 8
Point Total: 135
STR 8 (Unenhanced 3, 10 for lifting up to 25 tons)
STA 8 (Unenhanced 0)
Gravitic Strength (Cost: 12)
- Enhanced Strength 5 
- +2 lifting strength 
Gravitic Durability (Cost: 27)
- Enhanced Stamina 8, Impervious, Permanent 
- Protection 1, Impervious 
- Immunity: High Pressure 
Gravity Control - 5 Different Effects (Cost: 12)
Gravity Sense - Senses 8
- Accurate, Awareness, Penetrates Concealment, Ranged, Radius <8 total ranks>
- Pillar has the ability to have perceive anything with mass within his sphere of awareness. This includes a general idea of size, mass, & motion. Details such as color, faces, emblems, etc. is not something he can perceive.
Gravity Drag – Affliction 8
- Alternate Effect
- First Degree: Hindered & Impaired (-1 speed, -2 on checks), Second Degree: Immobile, Ranged, Distracting, No Third Degree
Gravity Wave – Damage 8
- Alternate Effect
- Area: Line (6’ X 30’), Limited: Both Pillar and targets must contact common solid object or surface <-1/Rank>
Gravity Pull - Move Object 8 (6 Tons)
- Alternate Effect
- Limited: Vertical Only
Personal Gravity Release - Leaping 4 (500 feet)
- Alternate Effect
- Affects Others
- Close Attack
- Equipment: Smartphone (camera, computer, comlink, phone, video)
- Fast Grab
- Improved Grab
- Improved Hold
- Improved Initiative
- Improved Trip
- Instant Up
- Move-by Action
- Prone Fighting
- Acrobatics: 1 / +5
- Athletics: 1 / +9
- Close Combat (Unarmed): 0 / +8
- Expertise (Urban Studies): 6 / +8
- Insight: 7 / +9
- Intimidation: 8 / +10
- Perception: 7 / +9
- Ranged Combat: Throwing 1 / +5
- Tech 2 / +4
- Initiative +7
- Armed: +8
- Unarmed: +8
- Throwing: +5
- Unarmed damage: 8
- Dodge: 4 / +7
- Parry: 0 / +7
- Will: 4 / +6
- Fortitude: 2 / +10
- Toughness: 0 / +9 (Impervious 9)
Abilities (44) + Powers (51) + Advantages (13) + Skills (17) + Defenses (10) = 135