Game Report - Wearing the Cape Beta Playtest - Session 2

I had GMed yesterday Wearing the Cape for two players: one with a Bosnian Dragon from Sarajevo called Blackstar and another with a Metamorph based on the game Prototype called Quimera (Chimera in portuguese). I GMed the adventure The Verne Chieftain I put sometime before here in the playtest community.

They came into Sierra Leone and were presented to Roque Santeiro refugees’ camp. There, Diana talked about their station, mission and so. Their first mission was something that was simple enough, escorting a convoy with supplies and new refugees for Roque Santeiro from Freetown airport. They received the people and supplies from an Antonov cargo airplane comissioned by RAF (English Royal Air Force). Blackstar did a check for seeing for spies and so, and she tied, so she received a Boost, that she used before an Conflict.

Blackstar and Quimera left the normal warriors for the UN Blue Berets and took chance against some D-Class Ajaxes. They had some problem, specially when Quimera Compel himself for a narrative detail, as he’s a Utopia Corporation Runaway Prototype , which I chosed to use by putting him under a more powerful stance based on Quimera background (she was used as an experiment with a Vernetech virus to give people powers). Anyway, they have not too much problems.

I decided to skip over the camp attack and go direct for the Investigation part of the adventure. Diana declared they where at Class B Intervention Protocol and splitted the local HSF between the activity. Blackstar and Quimera started bby getting with a local tribe for clues. They had some problem, speciall they are Islamic and even Blackstar also being Islamic, she being a woman they didn’t want to speak with her. Quimera (that although originally a she, now uses a masculine form) came in help and they did their way, taking a clue on for a local Witch Doctor (a Merlin) that was selling the Breakthrough Enhancer Drug (BED).

In the city, Blackstar had a Success With Style into a Contact check, and she found an old time acquaintance, a Weapon Smuggler that had gave her the clue about the Witch Doctor. When they came and tried to talk with him, they felt the consequence of a Success with Cost in the tribe, when they were found and confronted initially by Panther, one of the Elite Four for the main villain (they didn’t know in the moment).

It was when Blackstar called that she would “go first on the son, then on the father”. I triggered Panther Aspect, that changed into a leopard, and fought Blackstar… She was able to stop Panther, and we did the first negotiation: he turned into a Double Agent for the players, and they provided him with an Experimental retroviral for Panther’s daughter (that is infected by HIV). After receiving the retroviral, Panther talked and gave to the PCs clues about the Elite Four.

Diana confirmed Panther’s info about the Elite Four and they go for another of the Elite Four, Kilimanjaro, and they get into for Kilimanjaro’s tribe and family. While she was talking with Kilimanjaro’s family (at that time, Quimera’s player had to get out the adventure, and Quimera was posted into Roque Santeiro’s security), the player had been Successed with a Cost, and Kilimanjaro shown herself and a conflict started. Although the thunderbolt she took straight in the chest, Blackstar didn’t fought and opened herself for Kilimanjaro and she came for the reason. But he had did it via a Success with a Cost. I spared the cost for another time.

By this, she discovered that Derek, the Verne Chieftain, had not be able to build another installation anyware to create BED (because of the Vernetech). But anyway, Kilimanjaro were up for helping.

Blackstar had able to discover Derek HQ and they were ready for getting into. Blackstar had been put the infiltration team, with Diana, Corin, Squirrel Girl (Lesley Dimantas, a medic and metamorph), and two extra heroes: Sugarplum, a Merlin with Glamour-based powers for illusion and elemental control, and Jiminy Cricket, a 9-year kid with the strategist mind of a Mastermind and the power to call the good feelings over other’s heart.

They started the inflitration andf have a first fight, but they had bad luck in the dice and, although won, they had taken some consequences. Next level, they were not the same luck and Gave in after Jiminy Cricket was took by one of the Super-Goons as part of a Epic Fail, and they were took to Derek’s main room.

There, it had a kind of James Bond moment where Derek presented himself and gloated his plan for the Heroes, and also I revealed my on-hold Cost on the Success with a Cost for Blackstar: Panther and his daughter and Kilimanjaro were taken as hostages. Then he sent them for a below level, there was a like of a Thuderdome arena, where lots of Goons was put (I gave 4 for Blackstar), however she had more strategy and some help from Diana and Sugarplum, while Corin take the normal guys and Jiminy Cricket used Bellax Analytica to help the team.

They had found a way to get back Kevin’s room and they did a big negotiation, with help of Jiminy Cricket with his Pretty Please power. They could not fight back because Panther and Kilimanjaro and Panther’s daughter were still hostages. But Blackstar with the help of Jiminy Cricket they convinced (by taking a Success with Style) to surrender himself, after all (she could not win HSF heroes by himself).

In the end, we had some critics about the system:

  • The Opposition Dice in opposed rolls left me (as a Narrator) without some options for the GM Cheat for when things get over and potentially goes wrong. Maybe in conflict the GM should have the idea to “roll on screen” Defense. For other actions, like Investigations, this sounds very cool, but in conflicts the letallity level goes really amok;
  • I felt also a little complex to solve damage on-the-fly, if I don’t not the WR/AR previously, so it’s somewhat difficult to create on-the-fly mooks;
  • In the character creation, a good thing should put the “normal” Stunts near the Power Stunts, maybe after the Type descriptions;
  • The Powers are somewhat mismanaged (you see Heavy Hitter either as a Power Stunt for Ajaxes and as a “common” stunt);
  • Maybe you could create more Power Stunts and put them on a group of “common” Power Stunts, like you did for Superhuman Attribute and things like that.
  • As a tip, I think the Sentinels should goes into a Appendix.

The setting was considered a good point by the group, although some of the guys thought the setting could be not that directed for a “thing”. But they loved the Roque Santeiro, and all the things. They loved the setting, but the thing was a little with the system, but we thought (all) there’s lots of potential (I didn’t was part of Phase I playtest, so we could not say how much the system changed).

Mantis (Real Name: Showa Takagi)

Masked Riders are a kind of famous pre-Event Tokusatsu (action series) where the hero was someone that, after undergone big body modifications, had turned into a kind of half-human insectoid monster, but still with a human heart and fight for justice.

Showa Takagi was an actor on an pre-Event Masked Rider show, Lotus Mantis. He was in the setting when the Event happened. The problem is that at the same time a sequence of explosion would occur. He had undergone the breakthrough during it and changed into the form of Lotus Mantis, an humanoid mantis kind of guy, with a metal body and a sword…

He had lots of time to control his transformation, but it was somewhat like what he did into the show. Now, Showa is one of the most famous Sentai in Japan, part of Heroes Without Borders and of 日本のヒーロー組織 (Nihon no hīrō soshiki, Japanese Hero Organization), being one of the founding members of the last one, and although still a civilian, he colaborates with Tokyo Police Department, the 警視庁 (Keishichō). He still has some problems with his form, but he had already developed his powers as a Sentai, and have multiple forms.

Aspects

Type Aspect
Power Aspect D-Class Metamorph/ A-Class Sentai (Masked Rider)
Hero Aspect Action Actor turned Action Hero
Trouble “The limelight was easier than that”
Background The Five Elements, the Six Forms
Background Still thinking on the flashy, not in the most effective

Attributes

Attribute Level
Alertness Good (+3)
Athleticism Great (+4)
Physique Great (+4)
Discernment  
Willpower Good (+3)
Presence Superb (+5)

Skills

Skill Level
Academics Fair (+2)
Aid  
Deceive  
Drive Fair (+2)
Engineering  
Fight Average (+1)
Investigate Average (+1)
Larceny Average (+1)
Provoke Fair (+2)
Rapport Average (+1)
Shoot  
Stealth  
Survival  

Resources

Attribute Level
Contacts Average (+1)
Reputation Great (+4)
Wealth  

Stunts [ Remaining FP: 2 ]

  • Epic Stance
  • The Change (Presence)
  • Slippery
  • Stunt Pool (9)

Stress and Consequences

Stress Bar
Physical 4
Mental 3
Resources 2
Consequences Normal Extra Physical Extra Mental Extra Resource
Mild (+2) 1      
Moderate (+4) 1      
Severe (+6) 1      

Forms (9 Stunts)

Lotus Mantis

The main form, classic Masked Rider

  • Exchangeable Attribute Levels x2 (Presence to Athleticism)
  • Superhuman Physique x2
  • Gear: Mantis Blade (WR 4)
  • Gear: Mantiscycle (+2 to Exchange Zones)
  • Special Attack: Mantis Blade (WR 10)
Attribute Level
Athleticism Legendary (+8)
Physique Fantastic (+6)
Presence Average (+1)

Flying Mantis

Can fly wiyh his Mantisglider (see Gear, below)

  • Exchangeable Attribute Levels x2 (Presence to Athleticism)
  • Exchangeable Attribute Levels x1 (Presence to Physique)
  • Gear: Mantis Blade (WR 4)
  • Gear: Mantisglider (Flying))
  • Gear: Mantis Salves (WR 8, Long Range)
  • Special Attack: Mantis Salves (WR 12, Long Range)
  • Supersenses
  • Your Own Missile
Attribute Level
Athleticism Legendary (+8)
Physique Fantastic (+6)
Presence Poor (-1)

Metal Mantis

Is Strong as an Ajax

  • Exchangeable Attribute Levels x1 (Presence to Physique)
  • Superhuman Physique x3
  • Gear: Mantis Blade (WR 4)
  • Special Attack: Mantis Blade (WR 10)
Attribute Level
Physique Mythic (+9)
Presence Good (+3)

Fire Mantis

Manipulates and Projects Fire

  • Exchangeable Attribute Levels x3 (Presence to Willpower)
  • Fireballs: WR 4
  • Target Mode: +4 in Shoot for Fireballs (2 SFP - +2 for each 1 SFP)
  • Special Attack: Fireballs - WR 10
  • Shape the Field
  • Strong Walls
Attribute Level
Willpower Mythic (+9)
Presence Poor (-1)

Water Mantis

Manipulates and Projects Water, can go underwater into this form

  • Exchangeable Attribute Levels x3 (Presence to Willpower)
  • Tsunami: WR 4
  • Target Mode: +4 in Shoot for Tsunami (2 SFP - +2 for each 1 SFP)
  • Special Attack: Tsunami - WR 10
  • Multiple Targets
  • Breath Water: in this form, Mantis can breath Water, so he can’t drown (although he can still be hit by water attacks)
Attribute Level
Willpower Mythic (+9)
Presence Poor (-1)

Void Mantis

Can use Shadows as a way to invade places. Nicknamed Ninja Mantis

  • Exchangeable Attribute Levels x2 (Presence to Willpower)
  • Heart of the Mountain x1
  • Special Attack: Mantis Kick (based on Willpower because Strength of the Dragon, WR 12)
  • Strength of the Dragon (WR 6)
  • Shadowdancer: by paying 1 FP, can enter into a shadow and use it to get out anywhere into a number of zones equals his Willpower Attribut Bonus (4 Zones) that have any kind of shadow
  • Gear: Mantis Blade (WR 4)
  • Supersenses
Attribute Level
Willpower Legendary (+8)
Presence Average (+1)

Luchador Type

Wrestling fighting was a entertainment staple since the old ages, and pre-Event it was somewhat common. With The Event, some wrestlers undergone the breakthrough and formed in US their own league, Breakthrough WWE.

However, in Mexico, wrestling was more than entertainment: it was a cultural paradigm. La Lucha Libre was formed based on the same basis than US Wrestling, but gained their contours in drama and style. The adoption of the Masks created a roster of fighters, heroes and villains from before the Event, like El Santo, Cibernético, Psychosis, Silver King and Doctor Wagner. Splitted into Tecnicos (“good guys” whose fighting style is focused into speed and technique) and Rudos (“bad guys”, focused into strenght and, in some case, dirty moves), they were so big heroes into mexican minds that the revelation of the real identity of one was a big a deal, so much that, when El Santo died in natural cases, he was buried using his mask.

No wonder that, when some Luchadores passed throught the breakthrough, they had turned into real-life heroes (and villains).

Luchadores are very similar in style to Ajaxes, and combined with some of Dragon moves. However, they have some idiossincrasies, like the Style, and Mask. Normally, the kind of breakthrough will dictate his Style (Tecnico or Rudo) and can be based or be a important thing on the Mask (his secret identity).

The Mask is very important for Luchadores: A Luchador don’t use his powers without the Mask (some says that is a kind of key between normal/hero identity), and some of them don’t show themselves publicly without the Mask. This is so important that one of the biggest match a Luchador can undergo is the Lucha de Apuestas, a kind of “fight to the death”, where the defeated has his Mask taken off and destroyed by the winner. The psychological impact on a Luchador is so big that many of them can’t use their powers until they can create themselves a new Mask and persona. Curiously, almost all the Luchadores are known only about their Masks: it’s a kind of Clark Kent effect.

Invokes and Compels

Luchadores are dictated by some kind of ethics, parts of them neither Rudos would go against.

Luchadores can Invoke their Power Aspects by the same motives Ajaxes and Dragons, and can be compelled also by the same motive.

Also, Luchadores tends to Invoke their Aspects to gather up Kayfabe, or the suspension of belief that sometimes improve even more their feats.

However, Luchadores can be Compelled to get into their own ethics while fighting (like only fight one-by-one and without weapons), and even they can be Compelled to the biggest match a Luchador can undergo, Lucha de Apuesta, a somewhat “fight to the death” where the defeated has his Mask revealed, somewhat “killing” him as a hero (at least until he get back under a new Lucha persona and Mask)

Special Rule: Kayfabe

A staple for Luchadores, Kayfabe was the term used in the entertainment pro-wrestling for the “belief” people had on the “reality” of the wrestling, including rivalties, relationships and so, taking the staged as true. In The Event era, Kayfabe still works, and many Luchadores call it La Passion de La Lucha (The Passion for Wrestling).

Luchadores are known about being able to “gather power” from civilians next. The main ones, like Santo de lo Siglo 21 (The 21st Century Saint), are able to do things that even some Omega-Class Ajaxes are not able to, when they are “pumped up”.

By spending of 1 Fate Point, they can bring up a Kayfabe Aspect with a Free Invoke. While this Aspect is in game with a Free Invoke, each time they do an Attack that is Successful with Style, they can reduce the damage in 1 and, instead of a Boost, gather an Free Invoke into Kayfabe.

Power Stunts

As said, Luchadores can get all the Ajax and Dragon Power Stunts. And also they have their own Stunts.

  • Luchador: this stunt is a staple, that shows they have a different fighting technique than the normal ones. By buying this, Luchadores can use Physique instead of Fight while fighting bare-hands;
  • La Passion de La Lucha: this Luchador can do a test of Fight (or Physique if he has Luchador) to call upon Kayfabe as a Create Advantage action;
  • Rudo Technique: (permission: Rudo Luchador) Rudos are known by their dirty moves and about trying to gain every edge they could to win. A Rudo with this can, once per session, bring an Dirty Move as an Aspect with a Free Invoke. It can be almost anything, like using Hidden Weapons or throwing sand to Blind up the enemies.
  • Tecnico Techique: (permission: Tecnico Luchador) Tecnicos are known by their flashy moves and about sticking to the rules of La Lucha. A Tecnico can, once per session, if Successful with Style into an Attack, cough up some Extra Passion as an Aspect with Free Invokes equals half the number of shifts he reduces the attack damage (until Zero including; at least one, round up).
  • Signature Move: (permission: Move/Technique Aspect ) every Luchador has a special move, a Signature one that he uses as a finishing attack. Once per session, the Luchador can use this move to do an Extra +2 on Attack or adding +4 WR (choose on the Stunt acquiring). Some Luchadores has more than one Signature Move.
  • Famous Lineage: (Permission: Lineage shoud be indicated into Codename) Some Luchadores are known by being part of Luchadores lineage that can be traced back to pre-Event times, in the beginnnig of Lucha Libre. Lineages like the Santo (Tecnico) or Silver King and Doctor Wagner (Rudos) are traditions that would never fade away: as always there was a Superman, always will be a Santo. They receive +3, instead of +2, on their Power Aspect Invokes and Kayfabe Invokes.

Power Class Requirement

They are qualified as the Ajax-Type or Dragon-Type. As they are somewhat both, they can sum their levels. For example, if you qualify as a B-Class Ajax and a D-Class Dragon, he’s a A-Type Luchador. However, there’s no Omega or Ultra Luchadores.

Variants

The US Wrestlers that are breakthroughs could go into the Luchador type, if they develop enough Kayfabe.

Japanese wrestlers from puroresu can be qualified as Luchadores. There is at least one combo of Luchador and Sentai, the Great Kuma, a Sentai that was changed into a Bear-like creature and fight for justice.

In many places around the world fighters with some kind of Luchador appeared, and their flamboyant actions are known. Specially in France and England there was the surge of the Swashbucklers, heroes that are like Luchadores although they use weapons like knives, rapiers and swords instead of their bare-hands. The Parisien Mousquetaires (Paris’ Musketeers) are knows of the main Swashbucklers around the world, their flamboyant moves and panache making them powerful heroes. Each of them is codenamed under one of the Musketeers from Alexander Dumas book, or on a kind of flamboyant codename. Their most recent recruit is Lorenzo, le Citoyèn (Citizen Lorenzo), an expert rapierist that use a kind of Vernetech based cross of Musketeer rapier and Star Wars lightsaber.