Necessary Evil: Marvel 1999

May 24, 2017 Session
Jailbreak Revisited

Down a player, we played out a side scenario using the superhumans rescued from Riker’s Island. Andy played Electro and Hydro-Man, Kurt played Black Cat and The Toad, and Jason played Ironclad and Typhoid Mary.

While the Delta Force PCs are exploring the sewers, their erstwhile allies cause a bit of trouble at the Hoboken warehouse. Specifically, thanks to a combination of Lorelei’s emotional manipulation and his own unpleasant personality, Ironclad bullies Nitro into a massive detonation that completely destroys the safe house. Although there’s no sign of Nitro in the aftermath, the other superhumans manage to survive the explosion through some combination of luck, quick reflexes, or sheer toughness. And the terrified civilian Mary Alice Walker transforms back into Typhoid Mary.

Doctor Doom shows up soon after. Although he’s upset at the destruction, he recognizes an opportunity. The Kree forces at Riker’s Island Superhuman Detention Facility are sure to investigate, leaving the prison relatively undefended again. Doom has learned of a new, recently captured prisoner that he wants to recruit: the mutant shapeshifter Mystique. So he offers the miscreants a choice: complete this mission for him or he can leave them in the rubble to wait for the Kree. Eager to prove themselves useful, the substitute Delta Force agrees.

In a scene nearly identical to the start of the first session, Doom drops his new minions from the sky high above Riker’s Island. The Kree have learned a little from their previouse mistake, though, and installed some artillery. Again, through a combination of luck, quick reflexes, and sheer toughness, the substitute PCs manage to avoid the Nega-Bomb missiles and Uni-Beam cannon blasts and reach the ground unharmed.

After the PCs destroy the artillery, the main control room door opens crack and a grenade rolls out. This grenade doesn’t explode. Instead, it opens a dimensional portal that summons a squad of Chitauri. After defeating the Chitauri, the PCs ignore the control room and break into the prison tunnels, where they rescue Mystique, along with several other superhumans (see the Riker’s Island entry for a list).

Doctor Doom arrives to retrieve the group and the newly freed prisoners. He forgives the substitute PCs for destroying his warehouse and offers the let them become his Delta Force Number 3, under Mystique’s leadership. He implies that the main PCs are actually Delta Force Number 2, leaving open the question of who, exactly, makes up Delta Force Number 1.

Black Cat declines, saying she has unfinished business with Venom, but the rest eagerly accept. Doctor Doom transports them to a new safe house in an undisclosed location, instructing Typhoid Mary to realign the men’s emotions a bit to avoid another incident.

The substitute characters each earned 8 XP not that it’s likely to matter.

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April 20, 2017 Session
More Morlocks and More Mauraders

Erg leads the Delta Force deeper into the sewers, along with the prisoner Vertigo (who Masque transformed into a hideous porcupine creature last session, remember?). At the entrance to the Morlocks’ home, they encounter Morlock leader Callisto wielding a knife to hold off an angry-looking hairy man in tighty whities. As the Delta Force approaches, the hairy man turns his attention away from Callisto and leaps toward them, in the process transforming into the savage Marauder, Sabretooth!

It turns out there are some other Marauders lurking in the chamber outside the Morlocks’ front door: Scrambler, Prism, and, curiously, a pre-transformation copy or clone of Vertigo! The Delta Force, with no help from Erg, helps Callisto battle the attacking Marauders. In the process, Machinesmith is temporarily shut down by Scrambler and Lorelei is temporarily blinded by Prism. The Blob discovers that the area near the door is surround by a power-negating field that makes him skinny when he enters it. It also explains why Callisto was able to hold off Sabretooth and the other Marauders all by herself.

In spite of these curiosities, the Delta Force and Callisto ultimately defeat the Marauders. The grateful Callisto introduces them to a couple of other Morlocks: Healer, who patches up their injuries, and Leech, who was responsible for the useful power-negating field. Callisto explains that the Marauders attacked the Morlocks previously, before the Kree Invasion. Some of the Marauders were killed back then, so she has no idea how they are alive again or why there are two Vertigos. She does know they were working for someone called “Sinister” during their previous attack.

Putting the Mystery of the Marauders aside for now, the Delta Force asks if Callisto knows anything about the Mole Man’s hidden lair. She says suspects she knows where it might lie: there’s a passage deep in the Morlocks’ domain where they have encountered “monsters.” She agrees that she or another Morlock will lead the Delta Force to that place.

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April 6, 2017 Session
Morlocks and Mauraders

Doctor Doom assigns the Delta Force to find the Mole Man’s hidden geothermal energy facility, buried deep beneath New York City, and install an energy beaming device. Doom’s sources don’t know exactly where the Mole Man’s facility is located, but the Blob has an idea who might: the Morlocks, outcast mutants who live in tunnels below the City’s sewer and subway systems. After hearing the Blob’s description of the Morlock’s domain, Venom surmises that their home might actually be part of an old, abandoned civil defense system he’s heard about.

After Machinesmith equips his android body with a headlamp, Venom leads the Delta Force into the sewers in the general direction of where he thinks the civil defense tunnels might be. It isn’t long before the party encounters some Morlocks, specifically Caliban, Erg, Masque, and Sunder. There are some brief negotiations, which are interrupted by the arrival of four other mutants. The newcomers identify themselves as the Marauders, proclaim that the only good mutants are dead mutants (except Marauders, of course), and attack both the Delta Force and the Morlocks.

Click here to cue appropriate theme music

During the battle that follows:

  • Riptide badly injures the Blob before Venom tears Riptide to bits
  • Vertigo makes several Delta Force members dizzy before she is knocked unconscious and transformed into a hideous porcupine-woman by Masque
  • Arclight accomplishes nothing before the Blob squeezes her unconscious so she can later be murdered by the Morlocks
  • Erg suggests that the Blob hit him, but not too hard; the Blob declines
  • Harpoon runs away from Caliban, gets suplexed by Sunder, then recovers and knocks out Caliban
  • Lorelei falls face-down into the sewage before getting back up and turning Harpoon into a statue
  • Lorelei gives the Blob something that looks like an energy drink, but stops all the bleeding

After the Mauraders are defeated, Caliban agrees to help the Delta Force. He assigns Erg to escort the PCs and the captured, transformed Vertigo to the Alley, the Morlock’s main home. From there, the Morlock leader, Callisto might be able to direct them to their goal, the Mole Man’s base.

XP and other rewards will wait until this mission is complete, so stay tuned…

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March 23, 2017 Session
Honor among Thieves?

The Blob was not present this session. Apparently, he was out getting pizza when Doctor Doom showed up with the team’s next mission…

The session began with Doctor Doom arriving unannounced at the Hoboken warehouse with three large crates in tow. Doom explained that he needed the Delta Force to attend a meeting with Wilson Fisk, who Venom identified as “the Kingpin of Crime.” Doom nodded at this description, adding that Fisk is a “common criminal” and not to be trusted. Fisk and his cronies, however, had somehow come into possession of a small Kree starship.

Doom wanted this starship, specifically the communications equipment installed in it, for his master plan. Therefore, other agents of his had negotiated a deal with Fisk: three crates of plasma pistols for the starship. Doom ordered Machinesmith to handle the exchange in order to verify the communications systems were in working order. The rest of the Delta Force should attend in case of trouble (or at the very least to carry all the crates).

The meeting with the Kingpin was to take place at midnight at the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, which Venom explained is a container port facility located on northwestern Staten Island. Suspicious of the KIngpin and/or a Kree trap, the Delta Force sent The Toad and Typhoid Mary to scout the site in advance. Unfortunately, the pair never returned, making the team even more suspicious. Nevertheless, they headed for the meet, stealing a vehicle for transportation (coincidentally another maroon 1992 Plymouth Voyager minivan).

The Delta Force arrived at the port and met the Kingpin, guarded by several Maggia goons. The negotiations were a little tense, but Machinesmith was able to confirm that, even though the starship’s engines were destroyed, the communications gear was intact. Fisk seemed satisfied with the crates of weapons. The deal was heading towards being done when Venom, who was watching from hiding, spotted two police officers heading their way. He quickly webbed them up, preventing their interference, although the Kingpin reported the action was unnecessary, since the cops were on his payroll.

After a little more pointless arguing, the deal was again interrupted. This time Venom didn’t spot the new arrivals, because: ninjas! Specifically, stealthy ninja agents of the Hand, led by Elektra the mercenary assassin. Elektra announced that her new employers wanted the Kingpin dead and she was there to make sure it happened. The Kingpin threatened her back, but no one seemed impressed.

The Delta Force stood back and watched for a bit as the ninjas did a lot of damage to the Kingpin’s gun thugs. Lorelei was about to leave with the shipping container holding the starship, when the Kingpin announced the Delta Force had better help him if they wanted to “see their little toadie friend and his whimpering girlfriend again.” For some reason, this made Venom anxious to intervene and the rest of the Delta Force followed suit.

The combined might of the Delta Force and the Kingpin’s gang was too much for the ninjas, although two gun thugs lost their heads (literally). Elektra managed to break the Kingpin’s elbow before Venom webbed her up and absconded with her into the wilds of Staten Island, not to be seen again for hours.

With the battle over, Lorelei gave Fisk a healing potion in return for future considerations. Thanks to the Delta Force’s help, the Kingpin agreed to accept only one crate of weapons in return for the starship. He also directed the team into the port office, where they found the Toad tied up with an unfamiliar woman in normal street clothes. The terrified woman introduced herself as Mary Alice Walker. The Toad explained that, upon encountering the Kingpin, Typhoid Mary suddenly transformed into this lady, resulting in their capture.

Machinesmith hot-wired a semi tractor, then he and Lorelei hauled the starship in its container back to Hoboken. Doctor Doom was pleased that the team had obtained the merchandise at a reduced price. So pleased that he explained a bit of his master plan: by combining the starship’s communications capabilities with the computing power of Ultron’s head, he would be able to hack the Kree’s encrypted Omni-Wave communications system and find out their secrets.

As the Blob came back from his pizza run and Venom returned from Staten Island (to the relief of some with no obvious bits of Elektra stuck in his teeth), Doom explained the Delta Force’s next assignment: he would need a power source to complete his hacking system. Power sources strong enough for this purpose ordinarily would be extremely rare, but Doom’s sources told him that somewhere, deep beneath New York City, the Mole Man had established a geothermal energy system for some nefarious purpose. The Delta Force would be assigned to find this hidden base and install an energy beaming device that would transmit the geothermal power to Doom’s saucer ship. The trick would be actually finding something hidden so deep beneath the city, but the Blob had an idea…

For this session, everyone except the Blob receives 7 XP: 2 for not murdering the two cops, 2 for rescuing the Toad and Mary Alice Walker, 2 for securing the communications equipment for Dr. Doom, and 1 for getting the Kingpin to accept only one box of plasma pistols in return.

Each PC (including the Blob) also gets one more combat effectiveness level, raising your maximum to 12.

Lorelei has earned a favor from the Kingpin, which we’ll add to her character sheet.

As always, if you plan to spend XP before next session, try to let me know your plans in advance, so we don’t have to spend too much table time revising character sheets. Current unspent XP and levels available:
* The Blob: 0 XP, 1 level
* Machinesmith, and Venom: 7 XP, 1 level
* Lorelei: 13 XP, 2 levels

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March 11, 2017 Session
Midnight in the Garden of Dr. Pym

Under orders from Doctor Doom, the PCs and Psylocke went to New Jersey in a stolen maroon 1992 Plymouth Voyager minivan. Their mission: contact Scott Lang (a.k.a. Ant-Man) to learn the location of the hidden laboratory of Henry Pym (a.k.a, the former Ant-Man, Yellowjacket, Giant-Man, etc.). Lang was initially reluctant to help, thanks to his past experiences working with Psylocke.

Lorelei was on the verge of eliciting Lang’s cooperation when the negotiations were interrupted by the arrival of Korath the Pursuer and a squad of Chitauri, with Lang’s daughter Cassie as a hostage. The PCs managed to defeat Korath and the Chitauri without harm to Cassie, which made Lang very willing to help with their mission. Before proceeding, Venom tried to rip Korath’s throat out, but was stopped by Lorelei (with a cinder block). He settled for dismembering the Chitauri instead.

The PCs, Psylocke, and Ant-Man took the stolen minivan back into New York City, with Korath tied up in the back. Ant-Man directed them to Dr. Pym’s upper west side townhouse, specifically to the small garden in back. There, he used some large canisters of Pym Particles to shrink the PCs and Psylocke down to a size where they could find and enter the hidden lab.

While Ant-Man drove off in the minivan (with the forgotten Korath still inside), the PCs fought off some “giant” ants and a “giant” spider. Inside the lab, they retrieved the deactivated shell of the evil robot Ultron. With their mission completed, the PCs waited to return to normal size, then contacted Dr. Doom. Doom arrived in his invisible saucer ship, took possession of Ultron, and dropped the Delta Force back at the abandoned warehouse in Hoboken.

For this session, you each receive 8 XP: 1 for securing Ant-Man’s cooperation without coercion, 2 for preventing any harm to Cassie, 2 for defeating Korath, -1 for forgetting him in the minivan, 2 for the two additional combats, and 2 for retrieving Ultron.

You also get one more combat effectiveness level, raising your maximum to 11.

Venom earns 2 heroic action points for role-playing one of his psychological complications.

As always, if you plan to spend XP before next session, try to let me know your plans in advance, so we don’t have to spend too much table time revising character sheets. Current unspent XP and levels available:
* The Blob: 9 XP, 2 levels
* Lorelei: 8 XP, 1 level
* Machinesmith: 18 XP, 2 levels
* Venom: 8 XP, 1 level

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February 16, 2017 Session
Jailbreak!

The session began with the PCs (The Blob, Lorelei, Venom, and a CD boombox containing the disembodied consciousness of Machinesmith) in the custody of The Kree, riding in a short schoolbus in the direction of Riker’s Island. The trip was interrupted by the arrival of Doctor Doom in an invisible flying saucer. After his Doombots defeated the Kree guards, Doom took the PCs into his saucer ship and ascended into the sky.

Doom told the PCs this wasn’t so much a rescue as a diversion to draw off some of the defenders of the PC’s destination: Riker’s Island Superhuman Detention Facility. However, Doom offered the PCs the opportunity to repay his generosity and gave them a mission: rescue the mutant Psylocke from the detention facility. He didn’t really give them much of an option, since he dropped them from the sky right above the facility.

After a pitched battle, the PCs defeated the remaining Kree guarding the facility, including their commander, Colonel Yon-Rogg. They rescued Psylocke and several other superhuman prisoners (see Riker’s Island Superhuman Detention Facility for a list). Although Doom seemed nonplussed by the extra passengers, he took those chosen by the PCs aboard the saucer ship.

Doom deposited the PCs and the rescued prisoners at an abandoned warehouse in Hoboken, New Jersey. Before departing with Psylocke, he told the PCs they would have the opportunity to serve him again, as his new “Delta Force.”

For this session, you each get 10 XP: 2 for completing your assignment to rescue Psylocke, plus 1 for each of the additional prisoners you rescued.

You also get 1 more combat effectiveness level (raising your maximum to 10).

If you plan to spend XP before next session, try to let me know your plans in advance, so we don’t have to spend too much table time revising character sheets. Ben, this also applies if you want to reconfigure your robotics pool.

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