The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #211
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    When Sheema signed on to Hero Corps five years ago, she never could have predicted she'd be asked to deal with a reality warper. Granted, no one could have expected a member of a small gang suddenly getting those sort of powers. Sheema reminds herself that some days, you get opportunity; other days, you get sucker punched. Today certainly feels like a case of the latter.

    Not that the Perallan princess minds. She actually had been walking down to the specified Adaros Megablock with a smile on her face. She's quite happy to get her mind off of some of Adaros Hero Corps' bigger management issues; Sheema's combat and hero experience doesn't translate well to the paperwork tasks Phoenix is embroiled in. A reality warper, ironically, is more straightforward because it's fieldwork. A little creativity is always better than a bureaucratic mess stemming from a dangerous criminal group and INSIDE's overreaching incompetence.

    Makhana is... less than amused. Her silver hide looks dull under Adaros' gentle sunlight. Her expression on her thick, heavy rhino head is a gloomy frown stemming from personal concern of boredom. As far as the matriarch is concerned, she's been brought on this task group as an emergency weapon. She is raw power; she's there for when things go horribly wrong. And she'd be happier about it, except she has the utmost confidence in Sheema's capabilities. If anyone can handle a delicate situation without starting a fight, it's her.

    Sheema can't see a battle with a reality warper as any kind of ideal outcome, which is why she wears a sweatshirt and sweatshorts underneath her nanofiber armor. As someone who has lived in Peral's forests, she's used to the uncomfortable heat provided by her armor and clothing. The point, however, is to be inconspicuous. The best chance of success comes first from not looking like heroes. While there is an element of stealth considered, neither Makhana nor Kenta are particularly well-versed. Instead, another suitably heroic strategy must be used.

    Diplomacy!

    Riding on the dire rhino, Sheema turns around to look at the two heroes with her."Alright, time to go over this one more time," she says with a joyful look on her dark-skinned face. "So the last thing we want is to run up and hit someone that can just erase us...I think." She tries recalling how reality warping works. "We've got no idea what she's like and how much control she has. And the rest of her gang may have high expectations for her. I imagine they'd be discouraged if we can 'prove' that they don't work." She looks at Cyra. "If she's not the angry type, we can discourage her and cuff her before she realizes what's happened. If she is... Well we try and capture her before she starts something." The phrase "know thy enemy" does not apply here. Hopefully nothing may go horribly wrong.

  2. - Top - End - #212
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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    "Now, see here. I had some brushes withs ome bad stuff lately and I'm afraid I can't quite trust strangers approaching me when I'm alone and out of nowhere."

    As a matter of fact, it was bad enough that he was readying himself to drop his Knight in between the two, even stepping back a bit once the man had stopped to increase distance

    "I'm guessing you have at least some manner of verifying those credentials? "

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Kobold

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    Mandragora had been overjoyed to hear that Phoenix had come back to life, and thanked the gods for their generosity. When he finally got to see her in person again, his relief became even more deep and personal, to the point where he had almost hugged her on the spot. Even in a world full of dreamers, not everyone gets to come back to life.

    Of course, he wholeheartedly agreed to see if he could help heal Treetop. Though he knew Adaros had some pretty amazing medical dreamtech that he figured he couldn't quite match, he at least figured it would be worth a shot. Although, it may have caught Treetop off-guard when one of the first thinks Mandragora asked following introductions and such was "How is your tree doing?"

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Josh

    It did not take you long (and that might have been the most obvious phrase I have ever written) to search the island. You passed no fewer than three packs of dire predators (and a sufficiently large ecosystem of oversized herbivores to support them) in your explorations, but at your speed you bypassed them without problem.

    You came to the ruins of some sort of structure, evident by pieces of vine-tangled hewn stone strewn about the area. Whatever structure had once been here no longer was, but where it had gone became evident as you searched the area. It soon became clear that the ground you were walking on wasn't quite as solid as it appeared; in fact, it was a floor made of interwoven roots from several of the huge trees around the area, covering an opening - a sinkhole that had swallowed the entire structure, some time far in the past.

    It was on the matter of a bit of effort to force your way through. Beneath the roots was a great cavern, within which stood the remains of a fortified stone keep. Parts of it had been cracked and broken, but it remained more-or-less in-tact, though the wooden doors had long since rotted to uselessness.

    Searching within, it seemed to have been a relatively spartan place, more designed for defense than luxury. What few paintings and tapestries there were were largely ruined, victims of the mosses and molds that had crept into the place, clinging to the walls and ceilings, some hanging like delicate cobwebs from the ceilings. In the light of whatever lightsource you had brought in, they came in a variety of colors, and some even gave off their own gentle bioluminescence. Little patches of mushrooms seemed to be growing in almost every corner. The air was damp, with the musty smell of earth and vegetation, and just a faint trace of salt.

    Finally, you reached your goal. The treasury stood untouched and unclaimed. It at first seemed more modest than the legends had suggested, just two large chests. But like so much other organic matter in this place, they had warped and rotted, and so the small piles of gold, silver, and gemstones had spilled out onto the floor.

    On two shelves on the side walls, though, were a series of small figurines. They were crafted in extraordinary detail. Many of them appeared to be made of ivory, but some of them were of some sort of gleaming alabaster material you couldn't quite put your finger on, and others of a jet black substance to matte to be obsidian.

    Standing behind and between the two chests was a statue. It had not toppled in whatever calamity had sunk this castle into the earth, nor cracked or chipped, nor worn with time. The marble statue was still pristine. This must have been him. Tao Sempers.

    And in its hands was the axe...

    Sheema (And Kenta? Are you with us?)

    As a student of Dreamer Lore, you were aware that when it came down to it, all Dreamer powers, even down to Kenta's own "I don't really do anything except have lots more Spiritual Energy", were fundamentally a form of reality warping. Different shapes of Spiritual Energy altered reality in different ways.

    Those shapes could be detected by the right technology, and analyzed, and compared to databases. Such that even obscure powers like Vision of Life, Cosmic Embodiment, and Avatar Summons had been identified, quantified, and could be recognized. So what, then, did it mean when a Dreamer was said to be a "Reality Warper"?

    Well, more-or-less, it meant that modern scholars couldn't really pin down exactly what they were doing, and also that they may or may not have been breaking all the rules.

    Dreamer mages, like Arcanis, had been known to say that magic was fundamentally about manipulating the shapes of their Spiritual Energy to produce the reality-altering effects - the spells - that they desired. Reality Warpers did something similar, but it wasn't really an active, conscious thing in the same way. It wasn't a skill to be practiced. Their Spiritual Energy reshaped itself according to their minds. How it worked varied. Somewhere between most and all Reality Warpers had deep innate assumptions about what they could do, or mental blocks, limiting their options to specific classes of manifestations. It was theorized that such blocks were necessary for the human mind to contain the power - the less limited a given Reality Warper's powers were, the harder it would be to control. Imagine any stray thought, any fleeting desire, suddenly warping the world around you - that was what could happen to a Reality Warper with no limits. But what made them different was that those limitations were not structural to the power. They were not restricted to certain shapes like most Dreamers, or even to specific spells they could figure out like Dreamer mages. In theory, their Spiritual Energy could form any shape - they could do anything that they could generate sufficient power to accomplish - and it was their own mental limits that restricted them.

    Unfortunately, this did mean that even the most knowledgeable scholar of Dreamer Lore could not predict the exact capabilities of a given Reality Warper. There were limits to their power - what mental blocks they operated under, and how much raw power they could actually produce. But where those limits stood for any given Reality Warper was impossible to say without direct evidence.

    "Given how violent their takeover has been, I can't say I like our odds of talking them down, but it's worth a shot," Cyra said. "If it does come down to a fight, I'll try to keep the warper engaged. Whatever they can do, it shouldn't be able to affect me."

    Gestalt

    "Oh! My apologies, yes, of course. Ah..." he patted around his labcoat-robe-thingy for several seconds before plucking a Better World Institute ID card from its front pocket.

    Nobody ever said that precognition came with improved memory.

    "There you are!" he said, holding it out to show you. It did confirm his name, face, and position.

    Mandragora

    Treetop was in the hospital - that she was still there after this long suggested she was in constant need of care. When you and Phoenix arrived, her eyes flickered towards the door and she smiled, but she didn't shift or turn her head at all. Without any movement on her part, though, the bed rotated a bit more towards you, and bent upwards so that she was in a somewhat more sitting position, though still reclining.

    "Well, look who's back!" Treetop said brightly. "I'd give you a hug but, well..." she added with a little chortle. Because of course, Treetop wasn't going to just lie around moping all day. If all she could do about her condition was joke about it, then by the Promise she would joke about it.

    She grinned at your question. "It's actually doing really well. They planted it outside my window," she answered. "So where have you been?
    I've been hearing rumors about time travel? Are Gestalt and Simon and Josh back too?"


    Summit

    ??

    Spectre

    ??
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-05-26 at 01:59 PM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

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  5. - Top - End - #215
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    "Uh...no." Josh stood with a pointed finger at the statue of Sempers with his mighty weapon.

    "That's a booby trap. I'm not falling for that."

    He strolled with confidence to the shelves with the smaller statues on them, plucking two that were made of something unidentifiable - an alabaster-like one, and a black one.

    Zip! Back to the shore.

    "Hey Judy. What do you think these are worth?"

  6. - Top - End - #216
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Still on Makhana's back, Sheema leans over at Cyra with a slightly more serious look. "I'd rather hope we don't have a straight up fight," the dark-skinned princess emphasizes. "We're not the best for it against someone supposedly very powerful. We don't even know she could do. That's why we're taking this approach." She gives another smile to Cyra and Kenta. "I'm wearing this for a reason," she points to her sweatshirt and sweatpants which are dully brightened by the sun. "We're going to meet them not as heroes, but as people excited to see these powers of her's, even if to just get an idea of what she can do." She looks over again at Cyra; Sheema's frown deepens slightly. "We need her to use them on you, at least enough that her and the others start doubting her abilities. I don't think they've actually met something that can stop them." She adjusts Galadhil on her back and gives a slight sigh that she'll have to leave it with Makhana.

    The dire rhino looksd about as unimpressed as she usually does. Waiting is not her preferred action. But when you're a massive beast asked to handle a delicate situation, you're kinda stuck as the backup for if things go wrong.

    With a little time left, Sheema looks over at Kenta while bringing her smile back. "I know you're kinda happier with a fight. And if it comes to it, you're the only one of us who can fly. Can you try and contain the collateral damage if things go south?" Makhana suddenly stops, turns her thick head towards Kenta and grumbles. Sheema rubs her longtime friend's forehead before saying. "Oh, sorry Kenta, Makhana wants to know how you can fly and do all those crazy things. She only understands superpowers as Dreamers and totemic abilities." She chuckles a little at Makhana's expense. To Makhana's credit, she doesn't react in any sort of displeasure; she just doesn't know as much as Sheema. "All your powers are from Dymara, right? That crazy 'ki' place?"

  7. - Top - End - #217
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Mandragora went over the basics of what had happened since the group had disappeared into Lorelei's time portal. It was strange and awkward to explain, especially the part about the Master being an alternate-timeline version of Gestalt and how they had met Sheema and Summit. He felt as though he might be giving too much information, but after Sheema had expressed her displeasure with the group for keeping so many secrets. Besides, Simon wasn't around anymore to keep secrets.

    It was strangely relieving to tell someone else about what had happened. Who knew how much of it she'd actually believe, though. Most of the world didn't even remember the Disappearance once they had fixed the timeline the first time. In fact, he wasn't sure if he'd have believed the story himself if he hadn't been involved in time travel already.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    The trip to Peral, Spectre reflected, had yielded a very different kind of value than she'd expected. At the start of the trip, aside from perhaps amusing herself fencing with the perallan, she'd hoped that maybe Daimon would have left a clue with his former team. Some parting words, a statement that only made sense if you knew Daimon's real mission, maybe he revealed his identity in a moment of crisis. Ok, that last one was a bit unrealistic. Daimon had always been professional to the point of insanity. It wasn't his job, its what he was. So it had been a disappointment that he hadn't tried to recruit his hero team, but not an unexpected one.

    But that didn't mean the trip was a total waste. Two facts stood out. First, there was very little the procession of disasters that struck that town shouldn't have been able to obliterate. Second, of all the places for Daimon's old team to reappear, they'd appeared right there and right then. Spectre didn't believe in coincidences where Daimon was involved. Which mean that either Daimon had been hoping his old team would be killed in that village, or he'd needed them to protect that village. Either way, his old team was important, so she needed to keep close to them.

    Which was all well and good, but it didn't get her any closer to Daimon right away. His killing spree was certainly slowing down thanks to his targets preparing themselves. And now one of them had fought him off. It was a chance to get some real insight into his plan, perhaps even determine who he was working with that he was able to get backing from an arsenal of highly trained dreamers with the perfect powers to neutralize his targets. SIDE already had an investigation going, but if there was a clue they'd never see it. They didn't know what to look for, but that was where she came in. So, she took the one action that could start unraveling Daimon's plans, reveal his whereabouts, and put an end to his killing spree!

    Specter rang Maryanne Hobbs' doorbell.
    Everyone makes mistakes. Our fate and our character is not determined by the mistakes we make, but by how we react to them.

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Josh

    ...So. That was odd.

    I'll grant, searching the entire island wasn't instantaneous or anything. It had actually taken you on the order of tens of seconds. Not actually hitting the minute mark, but still, time that could be measured by normal people. Even so, it hadn't exactly taken long.

    But when you got back to where you had left Judy...she wasn't there.

    Spoiler: Perception DC 15
    Show
    You also noticed a scorch mark on the ground.


    Sheema

    "Right. We'll have to hope they don't recognize us. I guess Makhana will have to hang back, right? I mean...they will recognize her, unless they've been living under a rock or something."

    When you asked if Kenta could contain any collateral damage, he just gave a firm, determined nod and an affirmative, "Hm."

    At your second question, though, he kinda brushed his hair back and explained, "Well, technically I have a Dreamer power. It's just that all it does is supercharge my Spiritual Energy. My other 'powers' are really just about controlling the flow of energy through my body. I can move it as I move to do things faster, use it to add more force to my attacks or hold up heavy things, channel it outwardly as energy blasts, or if I just move it upward it'll carry me with it and I can fly. It's not really anything unique to Dymara, it's just that pretty much everyone over there knows how to do it."

    Mandragora

    Treetop seemed more flabbergasted than skeptical at your story. However strange it may have sounded, she trusted your recounting. Which of course just meant she had to take it as true and thereby do the actual hard work of wrapping her brain around it. Even in Aranth, time travel was kinda nuts. Though maybe not quite as nuts as the idea of some alternate version of Gestalt turning into a country-conquering super-villain.

    Or Simon being a traitor. But at least that one she had already had some time to come to terms with.

    Phoenix had already heard the story in briefings and such, but listened again while you recounted it. Once you had finished, while Treetop was trying to figure out some manner of response, she said, "So.
    Shall we give this a shot?"
    A gentle glow like from a hearth's fire had begun emanating from her hands.

    Spectre

    A few seconds after you rang the doorbell, a video screen above it turned on. It showed Maryanne Hobbs sitting before it, flanked by two bodyguards whose posture, hair cuts, and carriage suggested former special forces. You could just barely make out what looked like faint strands of what may have been silvery light or some sort of reflective material dancing between her fingers, although there were no strings connecting to the guards themselves, so you could deduce that she was just preparing her powers for use in case of danger. This likewise suggested that she had a sufficient combination of raw power and control that she could use her powers upon targets she could perceive even only through a camera or other indirect medium. That took both a lot of oomph and a lot of skill. Made sense that even Daimon and his forces hadn't been able to take her down.

    "Who are you and what do you want?" she asked with a level of blunt impoliteness that came with having good reason to be more concerned with matters of survival than propriety.

    Spoiler: Perception DC 20
    Show
    You noticed a pair of rifles pointing down on you from behind the curtains of two upper-story windows.


    Gestalt

    ??

    Summit

    ??
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

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  10. - Top - End - #220
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    "...Oh, so that's how it works," Sheema responds. Her voice is slightly dull, having expected slightly more extravagance from Kenta's powers. "Well that's still better off than me," she chuckles. "Sleeper and all; I don't really get the joy of flight or ki. But that's what all my other training is for." She slides over on Makhana's back back to her rhino's head. "You got all that?" The daughter's voice is a little playful to the grumpy rhino, who nods and gives a huff that's understood as, "Yeah, sorta, but not really."

    The group gets over to a corner of a street that's just next to a small alleyway. "This should be it," Sheema says, pointing over at the alley. "We split here Makhana, as we talked." The dire rhino gives a groan as Sheema hops off the hardened silver back. The great beast heaves her front hooves forward and back hooves behind as she eases down upon the sidewalk. Sheema pats Makhana's forehead. "Don't worry, we shouldn't be long. Besides, anything goes wrong, you get to do what you do best!" With a nod from the rhino, Sheema sets Galadhil down for Makhana to watch over while the princess and her companions go to meet this gang and their reality warping Dreamer.

  11. - Top - End - #221
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    Kobold

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    The sudden suggestion caught Eric off-guard a bit, but he fumblingly replied "Oh, right. Yeah," then suggested to Treetop "Try to hold still. This is probably going to feel strange. I haven't done joint healing before, so I hope our powers work together well. I *think* the worst thing that can happen though is they just cancel each other out."

    Following affirmation from Treetop, Mandragora reach out his vines carefully to begin the healing.

  12. - Top - End - #222
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    Although he had been somewhat unamused by the notion he needed moderating influence (as he has never been that unbearable, surely?), Aquila had decided to be on his best behavior anyhow: it is not like he'd have any reason to try and act up during such an important day. He had also been learning a lot more about responsibility as of late, which...really had made him rather more thoughtful about certain things. The time-traveling adventure of sheer distilled confusion had probably also helped, but trying to wrangle the world of elemental nobility and superhero stuff opening before him so unexpectedly had probably given most of the learning experience comparatively speaking.

    "Do you think there will be much in way of ceremonies?" he wondered quietly to Javan as they ambled along with others on the line, wearing fairly nice-looking suit for the occasion: although he usually dressed casually, sometimes there just was no escape from having to dress well for certain situations. Besides, considering the wealth of his family, he'd have definitely stuck out like sore thumb if he'd worn anything less. "I admit I have kind of forgotten all about this stuff lately, somehow..."
    Last edited by Grim ranger; 2019-06-16 at 03:48 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #223
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    PirateGuy

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    Josh sighed.

    "Judy?!"

    ...

    "JUDY?!"

    ...

    Whoosh!

    Spoiler
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    I Search the island again!

    Perception (1d20+12)[26].

  14. - Top - End - #224
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    "Hm. Alright."

    Gestalt raises his hand to shake

    "Leviath Cinder, or Gestalt, whichever you prefer, my identity isn't a secret one. Now, you have a problem uniquely suited to a summoner? That seems...unusual"

  15. - Top - End - #225
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    "Hello Ms Hobbs. I'm Agent Gray." She kept her tone carefully neutral. Official. She left off which SIDE agency she belonged to for the moment; SIDE officers would have every interest in capturing her assailant while knowing nothing about the Circle. Spectre had little doubt that a group as powerful as the Circle would have the resources to learn about INSIDE's investigation, but having the resources to learn about something didn't neccessarily mean it had been learned. If she did know, it was hard to predict how she'd react to an INSIDE agent's presence. It was a potentially useful card, but one best not played right away.

    "I understand you were attacked 2 nights ago. I'd like to examine the scene and ask you a few questions."

    Spectre glanced up at the curtains where the snipers were stationed and held it for a second or so. Long enough that even if Hobbs didn't have any experience with violence she'd notice that Spectre had noticed. When Spectre shifted her eyes back to the monitor she showed no alarm. With any luck, Hobbs would pick up the message of competence.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Persuasion: (1d20+15)[26]
    Everyone makes mistakes. Our fate and our character is not determined by the mistakes we make, but by how we react to them.

  16. - Top - End - #226
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    Sheema

    Kenta took to the air, both to provide overwatch and to help ensure the gang didn't feel immediately threatened; with his chi sense he could keep tabs on the situation from much too high up to be personally observed. Cyra followed you into the alley, wearing civvies like you and a baseball cap to help keep herself from being immediately identified. Her collapsible staff was tucked away in her jeans.

    The alley was between a restaurant/bar and a cheap motel, and led into a large lot behind them. From the front neither of the buildings had appeared occupied or open for business. But when you reached the other end of the alley, instead of stepping into a parking lot...it was like stepping into some sort of grand ball. A lavish buffet table was situated on either side of the lot, filled with all manner of delicacies, and each one was backed up by a well-stocked bar. About a dozen people were milling about eating, drinking, and dancing to music that filled the air with no apparent source, dressed in elaborate finery and waited on by a small staff in crisp suits. The ground beneath your feet was pristine white tile rather than asphalt, and somehow it was nighttime in that parking lot, and not only that, but you could see the stars as clearly as if you were in the middle of a Perallan field (normally the bright lights of the city of Adaros almost completely washed them out).

    But there were subtle inconsistencies to the glamorous scene. While the attendees all wore expensive clothes and had elaborately styled hair and makeup, you could see that beneath the finery they had rough, rugged appearances, complete with a broad selection of scars and tattoos. The wait staff stood at attention and promptly responded to any request, but their smiles were brittle and you could see terror in their eyes.

    And the entire scene had a certain...orbit. The tracking of gazes, the flow of movement and dance, it all seemed almost choreographed to draw attention to a red-headed young woman wearing an elaborate, shimmering green gown, sitting on an ornate, thickly-cushioned chair that gleamed like mother-of-pearl. When you and Cyra arrived, it took a moment or two before she noticed you, but the second she did, she shot you both a sudden look and everyone's heads jerked to look in your direction in eerie simultaneity. The two guards standing before the exit from the alley (...had there been guards there a second ago?) crossed their rifles between them, to block your passage.

    "Who the void are you?"

    Mandragora

    You began your work and...ah, well, no wonder no healing had been working! Treetop wasn't actually injured at all!

    ...Wait.

    You realized something was wrong and managed to pull away just before the defoliant mine that had been hidden under the blanket triggered, wasting both it and the charge that "Phoenix" had imbued into it. And you knew, through sheer instinct, that the next attack would be coming immediately, allowing you to ready to defend yourself properly, negating what might have been a devastating surprise advantage.

    But even predicting the attack didn't mean you were fast enough to prevent it. "Phoenix" pulled some strange raygun-looking thing out of her pocket and pointed it at you, firing a thin beam of brilliant green light at you. "Treetop" leaped from her bed and drew some kinda sea-urchin-looking spherical device, pressing a button on it and sending waves of electrochemical disruption washing over you.

    Then both of them vanished.

    Spoiler: Perception DC 15
    Show
    The grounds outside the hospital include a fairly extensive lawn. If you can lure them out there, your touchsight should allow you to negate the benefit of their cloaking devices.

    Spoiler: DC 32
    Show
    If you hit this DC, you can manage to get a bead on their general positions based on environmental clues even though they have Total Concealment from All Senses. This is enough to let you target them, but you take -5 on the attack roll for Concealment as normal.


    Spoiler
    Show
    You managed to beat their Deception Team Check with your Insight, so you managed to avoid their Triggered attacks and are not surprised. Fortunately for you, your Perception skill is too high for them to have risked attempting to use their Assessors prior to engaging, since you'd have auto-detected the attempt. They won initiative though.

    "Phoenix":
    Standard: Attack Mandragora with Disintegration Ray at (1d20+6)[22]. On a hit, Defense DC 25+Multiattack vs. Secondary Effect Damage.
    Free: Activate Shun Space. Hit
    Move: Reposition.

    "Treetop":
    Standard: Attack Mandragora with Electrochemical Suppression Wave. Dodge DC 18 for half. Will DC 18/14 vs. Cumulative, Progressive Entranced/Compelled/Controlled.
    Free: Activate Shun Space.
    Move: Reposition.

    Mandragora is on turn.


    Summit

    Javan shrugged. "The usual, I imagine. Announcements, speeches, and then watching everybody collect their diplomas one at a time," he said, a bit dryly.

    It took several minutes, but eventually everybody made it into the auditorium and found their seats. A few minutes after that, music started playing. I'm not saying Ilessian graduations play "Pomp and Circumstance" but if that's the music you want to imagine anyway go for it, no skin off my spleen. The graduating class began filing in from the three entrances, going up to take their place on the stage, until something around a hundred and fifty teenagers were up there.

    The principal entered stage right, going up to the center of the stage, and said...something, but the speakers didn't seem to be working so you couldn't make it out.

    That was the first clue that things were about to go wrong.

    The second was three short, loud retorts of gunfire, that drew an answering series of cries from both the crowd and the students.

    Spoiler: Perception DC 20
    Show
    It's a little hard to tell in the dark auditorium, but you're pretty sure the muzzle flares came from the right-hand side of the middle section of chairs.

    Spoiler: DC 25
    Show
    More precisely, fourth chair from the right, fifth row from the front.


    "Congratulations to the graduating class of 124!" a kinda snide male voice came from the speakers. "Our sincerest apologies for the interruption. We want you to get back to your ceremonies just as quickly as possible. So, everybody listen up! Your cell phones are being jammed, and that includes the Hero App, so nobody try anything funny. I have a dozen guys with automatic weapons scattered throughout the auditorium. You have your children all standing in a tightly-packed cluster in the only brightly-lit area in the room. I'm sure you can understand how any funny-business would play out."

    "Now, here is how this is going to work. Six of my guys are going to be taking card readers up and down the aisles. Everybody is going to swipe their card and enter their passcodes, at which point ten thousand credits will be transferred from your accounts to ours. Once everybody has done so, we will leave and you can all get back to your celebration. Any questions? No? Good."

    You could make out some movement near the front of the auditorium, but in the dark, it was hard to discern any details. Most of the students on stage looked terrified. Mariana was one of the few exceptions. She looked like she was trying not to smirk. She knew something these thieves didn't know - that you were in the audience.

    "What do we do?" Javan whispered, his voice tight but not panicked. His power of Object Animation wasn't anywhere near as strong as yours, but it wasn't trivial either.

    Josh

    Racing all over the island, you couldn't find any sign of Judy. Huge insects, enormous trees, Flashpoint, giant animals, but no Ju-

    Wait.

    What was th-

    Spoiler
    Show
    Even with the -12 penalty from Harry Flashpoint, he managed to win initiative.

    Flashpoint:
    Move: Into Close range of Josh.
    Free: Swap to Hasted Defense.
    Standard: Attack Josh with Flash Barrage at -3 from Harry Flashpoint at (1d20+12)[29]. On a hit, Toughness DC 27+Multiattack vs. Damage, Will DC 22+Multiattack vs. Impaired+Vulnerable/Disabled+Defenseless/Incapacitated, with the first two degrees Limited to Against Flashpoint. His attack roll is considered two lower for purposes of determining Multiattack bonuses due to his injured hand, can you believe I actually remembered that? Flashpoint is Deflected at (1d10+25)[30] for the next two rounds. Hit. Deflect did not need to be rolled now but I guess that's its first result.

    Josh is on turn.


    Gestalt

    "Oh not at all! Summoning has a vast array of applications. In this particular case, though, what I am looking for is dismissability. And...I suppose to a lesser extent expendability. My team needs to interact with a potentially hazardous material, and well summons are cheaper than drones. We need something that can-"

    But before Dr. Mohren could finish his explanation, another voice - from above - interrupted with a yell of "Eyes on the target!" Hovering some fifty feet up, two people in what looked like old-model powered armor pointed their hands down and unloaded blasts of flame down on the both of you! Shortly thereafter, an ACV came flying in, half a dozen people in an eclectic assortment of paramilitary equipment rappelling down to the ground and pulling out heavy-duty shotguns, unloading a barrage of shots while the ACV fired its autoguns.

    You were all too experienced enough to recognize a Defiant attack on sight. The question was, were they after you, or Mohren? (Their attacks didn't exactly help you figure that out - in usual Defiant fashion they were fairly indiscriminate).

    Spoiler
    Show
    Note: The Defiant are half immune to nonlethal damage, but you may choose to deal lethal damage to them freely if you wish. The regular Defiant are Minions.

    Power Armored Defiant 1:
    Move: Nah.
    Standard: Flamethrower at Gestalt and Mohren. Dodge DC 18 for half, Toughness DC 23/19 vs. Secondary Effect Damage. Gestalt you lower this to DC 19/17 due to Half Energy Immunity.
    Mohren: Dodge (+5 for Evasion 2): (1d20+19)[21]. Toughness: (1d20+10)[15]. Bruised

    Power Armored Defiant 2:
    Move: Nah.
    Standard: Flamethrower at Gestalt and Mohren. Dodge DC 18 for half, Toughness DC 23/19 vs. Secondary Effect Damage. Gestalt you lower this to DC 19/17 due to Half Energy Immunity.
    Mohren: Dodge (+5 for Evasion 2): (1d20+19)[22]. Toughness: (1d20+10)[27]. Resists

    ACV:
    Move: Arrive.
    Standard: Attack Gestalt and Mohren with Homing Machine Gun, critting on 16+. Targeted Area, so Evasion applies to Defense. On a hit, Toughness DC 25+Multiattack vs. Damage. On a miss, Homing 1.
    Gestalt: (1d20+10)[18]. Hit
    Mohren: (1d20+10)[30]. CRIT! I forgot to roll his Toughness will do that in OOC.

    Defiant 1-6:
    Move: Rappel down and spread out.
    Standard: Three attack Gestalt, three attack Mohren, with Spreading Shot. For each hit, Toughness DC 19+Multiattack vs. Damage.
    Gestalt: (1d20+4)[20], (1d20+4)[24], (1d20+4)[23]. Three hits, two of which get +2 Multiattack, but Minions can't crit non-Minions.
    Mohren: (1d20+4)[12], (1d20+4)[5], (1d20+4)[5]. I'll roll his Toughness OOC on the off chance they manage to hit. Straight miss

    Gestalt is on turn. Mohren will act at top of the next NPC turn.


    Spectre

    After a few moments, the door opened, allowing you entry. It closed behind you once you had entered. Nobody was in the living room when you first entered, but Hobbs came down the stairs shortly thereafter, with a bodyguard in front of and behind her.

    ...And just a couple steps behind them walked Simon Candler.

    "We need to talk," he said, calmly but firmly. He was wearing an odd, high-tech-looking belt that you were pretty sure you'd never seen him wearing before. Of some note, similar but not quite identical devices were also being worn by Hobbs(?) and her two bodyguards. Those three stood in a line between Simon and you. Their stances were non-threatening, but conveyed a readiness to act at a moment's notice.
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-06-26 at 01:55 AM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

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    M&M 3e Character Guide

  17. - Top - End - #227
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    A skip-step, and then both feet landing together, and then a long jump - Josh flew. Between two trees and over an uncomfortable growth of roots, he rolled through the dirt and onto his knees behind a wall of foliage.

    The Speedster checked over his shoulder and then bolted through the woods - no jokes to tell today. Past the improbably large durian tree, between the hills of the spike ants, and through the folds of the thrice-laced spider net, he ran straight back to the sink hole, into the keep, and all the way back to the treasury. As he crossed the threshold, he dragged his foot through a trip-wire across the doorway.

    Snap.

    Then he finished in front of Tao's statue, the mighty frame like an outline around his own body. The booby trap moved fast, but not fast enough to catch a Speedster. It might get someone just behind him, though, if they were in hot pursuit.

    And knowing this guy...

    Spoiler
    Show
    Harry Flashpoint Edit Scene to have a trap
    be at the treasury entrance. If I can choose, a slow-you-down trap rather than a damager, but...not Defence-resisted, please.

    Standard Action: Trick Flashpoint into blundering after me (1d20+21)[33].
    Move Action: Seeya! Running back to the axe. Intentionally hitting the trap so Cyrus will run into it if tricked.

    Status: Hyped.

  18. - Top - End - #228
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Sheema takes an active pause as she comes across what is an inexplicably lavish party. She hadn't actually been sure of what to expect, but this certainly was not one of those things. She feels so out of place, as if a typical kid on the street looking through the window into some massive rich party.

    Evidently, she's well in over her head. This reality warper must be well-used to her powers already. Everything is like an illusion so well-established that it's real.

    Given casual street clothes are an especially poor choice for an "event" like this, the Perallan princess attempts to make the most of her plan, however much it can be salvaged. "We heard about the new queen," she speaks for herself, Kenta and Cyra. "Queen," is perhaps a strong word to describe the reality-warping woman. Yet it is almost fitting for someone who has so artistically made this big "party" all about her. If nothing else, it might get her attention. "We wanted to see for ourselves what she can do," Sheema continues, giving a small smile. "Though it's quite incredible already. I've never seen someone transform the world into something else entirely..."

    Beneath the praise and the wonder is a kernel of truth spoken from a certain point of view. Though Sheema's meeting with Tara in that bad future was tragically-lived, the Perallan princess did get an idea of how to manipulate through persuasion. It's actually quite scary to say something that is so true to you that you believe it yourself. All it takes is the right tone, the right use of words, and the right expression to get what you want in a genuine way.

    ...Not that such a skill is easy, of course.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Alright, so here's something I wanted to try. Hoping a Persuasion check may apply here: (1d20+10)[18]

  19. - Top - End - #229
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Dorni's Avatar

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Spectre hesitated.

    Sure, 'Daimon uses his shapeshifting to set a trap' had been on her list of possibilities for how this could play out, but it had been way down at the bottom near the stuff of Truthspeakers. Why would he reveal himself? Daimon wasn't without emotion, but she'd never known him to let sentiment compromise accomplishing his objective. Which meant he wanted something from her.

    If so, he'd gone through a lot of trouble. The matching belts confirmed they were working together - she was likely looking at a portion of the the strike team that Daimon was using in his assassinations. Of course Daimon knew her Dreamer abilities - odds were good that the pair of guards had Powers meant to counter her much like his team countered his targets' abilities in case she attempted to bring him in by force. Even if not, she appreciated the compliment.

    Daimon was gambling another asset here - Hobbs was both extremely powerful and well-connected. To see her on Daimon's side was revealing a powerful ally. If she didn't leave with Daimon then SIDE would bring her in and INSIDE would immediately start digging into her life. That is, assuming the "Hobbs" in front of him wasn't another of Daimon's new allies with a shape-shifting ability. Spectre assigned that scenario reasonable odds - Hobbs was certainly a capable individual, but her mansion's defenses weren't nearly enough to slow down Daimon and Hobbs herself was a director, not an experienced fighter like Wynona Jordan had been. After the way Daimon had handled Jordan it would be comparatively easy for him to kill Hobbs and have her replaced. The Jordan attack had already revealed that one of his allies had a shape-shifting power.

    Although... she'd dismissed the detail at the time, but now she had a pattern. In both the Jordan attack and now, Daimon had his martial artist ally handle the job of impersonating the target after they'd been slain. Why would Daimon have his ally handle that job when Daimon could do it himself? And for that matter, both then and now Daimon had worn the guise of Simon Candler. If there was a tactical benefit to doing so, she didn't see it. If anything, it carried the disadvantage of tying his current activities to the Candler identity. Putting his old identity and former operations at risk seemed like an unnecessary one. She filed the thought away for later.

    "I'm listening." Two simple words. Beneath their calm surface, emotions boiled. She'd looked up to Daimon, worked alongside him for years. He was one of INSIDE's best, the most patriotic agent in the agency. What could justify going rogue and embarking on this campaign?
    Everyone makes mistakes. Our fate and our character is not determined by the mistakes we make, but by how we react to them.

  20. - Top - End - #230
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    It didn't occur to Eric who the people attacking him might be just yet. Rather, as Simon had taught him, he focused first on the situation, and came up with a quick-and-dirty plan to turn the situation to his advantage. The plant man bolted for the window, vines reaching forward and to throw it open on the way, then leapt out and glided softly to the ground. Immediately after hitting the grass, he erected a barrier of wood between himself and the building to keep the assailants from attacking him from anywhere on the building.

    He hoped that they were desperate or foolish enough to step onto the grounds so that he could feel their presence, but considering the weapons they had used against him he knew he had to be ready for more calculated attacks.

    Spoiler: Actions
    Show

    Move: Get out of the building, and glide down to the lawn.
    Standard: Use Plant Growth to create foliage between Mandragora and the building.

  21. - Top - End - #231
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DukeGod's Avatar

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Gestalt sure was happy for that quick activating Power Armor he had.

    As quick as it is on him, he moves to summon Raptor Attack, pulling the man close to himself

    Since his summon is still reeling from the summoning, Gestalt uses the mental link to assume control for a moment, performing the crude calculations necessary to call down lightning on the bunch

    Spoiler
    Show
    1 HP to reroll the defense that left me staggered.
    (1d20+10)[12] vs DC 25. +10 on 20 or less. This does mean that at worst it'll bruise. No change in the other rolls

    Because of their immunity AND his Hatred, Gestalt is going for lethal damage for the moment
    Movement: Activate Summon
    Standard: I actually don't remember if my first summon is supposed to use up this one aswell, but I think it does

    Extra Effort so that my summon can act in the summoned turn

    Rainbow Bird
    Standard: Chain Shocks the person in the rough center of the group
    (1d20+11)[30] on hit Toughness vs DC 25. Contagious with Reach
    Last edited by DukeGod; 2019-07-10 at 06:32 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #232
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Round 2

    Flashpoint was hot on Josh's tail, and apparently he hadn't learned from last time. Or...had forgotten in the five years since last time? Was that in this timeline, actually? Maybe this Flashpoint merely wasn't aware of last time and...

    ...

    Nevermind!

    Point being, the pyrokinetic speedster went blundering right into Josh's cunningly laid discovered trap, blundering straight into the thick cloud of noxious gas and plunging helplessly through it!

    Flashpoint coughed.

    Once.

    Politely.

    Then he started racing all over the room, coming at Josh from multiple angles at once, too fast for even speedster eyes to perceive, filling the room with a flurry of violence that left no escape - except through the noxious cloud filling the entrance!

    (Or, okay, like the walls and ceiling. You're both speedsters we can be real here.)

    Spoiler
    Show
    Flashpoint:
    Move: Chase Josh, hit the trap, don't care.
    Free: Swap to Dodge Anything.
    Standard: Attack Josh with Burning Flurry, Accurate Attacking for 2, at (1d20+14)[34]. On a hit, Toughness DC 25+Multiattack vs. Damage. This attack fills the room as a Cloud Area and carries a Secondary Effect, but as a Targeted Area attack Evasion applies. CRIT! Which will almost certainly be force rerolled, but whatever. Flashpoint is bringing his A-game -3 penalty or not. No Multiattack thanks to Evasion.
    End of Turn: Secondary Effect triggers. Deflected again.

    Josh is on turn.


    Sheema

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Your Persuasion check is sufficient to shift her from Unfriendly to Indifferent.


    The reality warper kinda raised an eyebrow, but then she chuckled. The two guards with rifles were gone again. "I wasn't expecting outside visitors. Kinda rude to crash someone's party, but sure, you can hang around if you want. The more the merrier, right?" she asked, with a self-satisfied smirk.

    "This is a formal affair though. You'll need nicer clothes than that," she said, gesturing with her hand.

    Spoiler
    Show
    She's using a Transform power on your clothes to turn them into formal attire. That includes your armor. If you want to resist, it's Will DC 22, but if you do she'll become Unfriendly again.


    Spectre

    "Alright. You were the one who discovered what I was doing and reported it to SIDE." He said it as a statement of fact, not a question, although whether he had found that out for himself somehow, had just deduced it from what evidence he had, or was simply giving you the credit he knew you were due, who could say? You could hear just the faintest tinge of disappointment in his voice. It was like back when he was training you; whenever you had made some mistake during his tests and lessons, he hadn't generally reprimanded or berated you. There was no point to that. He just explained what you could do better next time, or what you had done wrong.

    But that note of disappointment only tinged his voice when it was a mistake he thought you should already have known better than to make.

    "It's become problematic. Fortunately, there's a way we can fix it. May I get right to that, or do you need me to explain why I'm doing what I'm doing?"

    Daimon was a hard man to read, when he wanted to be. When he wanted to get a point across, he didn't need many words to do it, particularly with you. You could tell that he was entirely convinced that he was doing the right thing, and he felt that you should know him well enough - and trust his judgment enough - that the mere fact that he was taking such obviously extreme measures to accomplish his goals should have been evidence, to you, of how critical it was that he achieve them. Nonetheless, he was willing to explain things if it was necessary to get you on board.

    Mandragora

    Pop! The two people wearing the faces of your comrades simply appeared beside you, on the other side of your wall, though at least they were visible again so evidently whatever cloaking devices they were using was mutually-exclusive with their teleporters. They appeared on either side of you. Both of them had those weird sea-urchin like devices in hand now, and they activated them simultaneously, sending more waves of biochemical disruption rolling out over you - and each other, although they seemed unaffected - even as the disintegrating energy that had hit you previously continued trying to turn your physical structure to dust.

    Spoiler
    Show
    "Phoenix"/"Treetop":
    Free: Swap to Fold Space.
    Move: Teleport into Close range of Mandragora.
    Standard: Biochemical Suppression Wave as a Team Attack. Give me Dodge DC 20 for half, Will DC 20/15 vs. Cumulative, Progressive Entranced/Compelled/Controlled.
    End of Turn: Secondary Effect triggers. Give me Defense DC 25 vs. Damage.

    Mandragora is on turn.


    Gestalt

    The goons were too spread out to hit more than one, but the power-armored Defiant were side by side. Raptor Attack blitzed them both, damaging one suit but the other seemed unharmed.

    "You know I must say, of all the myriad reasons Dreamers are better off on Paradisia than in Sleeper nations, the fact that your country continues to allow maniacs like this to exist is a particularly egregious one," Leonard said, and though he had been caught by both flame and bullets, he sounded more annoyed than hurt. He didn't seem physically damaged at all, but some runes had appeared on his skin, glowing about as brightly as a computer screen as they bled off the energy they had absorbed. You knew from your time around Arcanis that his personal wards would be somewhat weaker now, until they had expunged the absorbed energy.

    His eyes began to glow with orange light as he began scanning the immediate future, and with a gesture and an arcane word you could see a sort of hazy orange overlay go over your own vision, showing you where shots were about to be taken. Raptor Attack's eyes were also glowing. Oddly enough, a similar orange glow seemed to be coming from the visor of one of the power armored Defiant, but it seemed brighter and almost...sharper, and the person within let out a cry of surprise - or maybe pain.

    It didn't stop the Defiant from continuing to fire at will. The power armored Defiant shot their autoguns, one at each of you, while the ACV loosed its kinetic cannon at Raptor Attack. The goons kept on firing, two each taking aim at you, Leonard, and Raptor Attack with spreading shots.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Leonard:
    Move: Dazed.
    Standard: Attack Armored 2 with Dread Secret, using Dreamcaster to Link it to Predict Attacks. Armored 1 gets Will ((1d20+9)[13]) DC 28 vs. Lethal Damage. The three of you are Deflected at 1d10+23. Armored 2 Bruised and Staggered

    Armored 1-2:
    Move: Meh/Dazed.
    Standard: Attack Gestalt and Leonard respectively with Autoguns. On a hit, Toughness DC 23+Multiattack vs. Damage.
    Gestalt: (1d20+8)[12], Deflected at (1d10+23)[29]. Miss
    Leonard: (1d20+8)[22], Deflected at (1d10+23)[24]. Toughness: (1d20+10)[11]. Miss
    End of Turn: Secondary Effects trigger. Gestalt give me Toughness DC 19 and Toughness DC 17 vs. Damage. Leonard has to make two DC 19 checks.
    Leonard: (1d20+10)[22], (1d20+10)[26]. Resists

    ACV:
    Move: Sure?
    Standard: Attack Raptor Attack with Kinetic Cannon at (1d20+10)[15], Deflected at (1d10+23)[33]. On a hit, Toughness DC 25 vs. Damage, Fortitude DC 20 vs. Dazed+Impaired/Stunned+Disabled. Miss

    Mooks:
    Move: Various jockeying for position.
    Standard: Attack with Spreading Shot, two on each. On...I mean, if they somehow manage to roll a 20 since they can't otherwise beat the Deflect, Toughness DC 19+lolMultiattackcan'thappen vs. Damage.
    Gestalt: (1d20+4)[24], (1d20+4)[5]. Huh, one of them gets lucky again.
    Raptor Attack: (1d20+4)[8], (1d20+4)[15].
    Leonard: (1d20+4)[16], (1d20+4)[21].

    Gestalt is on turn.


    Summit

    ??
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-07-11 at 11:36 PM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  23. - Top - End - #233
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Aug 2014

    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Josh parried and deflected his way through the flaming-hot murderhouse that he had trapped himself in with the madman. The clash ended in front of Tao's statue, where he paused for a moment to wipe the sweat off his brow. Looking into Flashpoint's eyes, he shook his head.

    "We aren't talking today?"

    For a fraction of a moment, his head peered over his shoulder, at the legendary weapon that Tao was holding. In his eyes, he seemed to decide on something.

    Then his hand cracked out like a whip, his fingers were wrapped around the prize, and he unceremoniously ripped it out of the other hero's grasp. A sound filled the room as if a thousand-ton metal rod had been unsheathed from the peak of an obsidian mountain. A few pieces of Tao's poor hand came along for the ride, clattering against the mossy stone. Looking back at Cyrus, he grinned. With his clothes drenched in sweat and a murder-weapon in his hands, it looked a bit less pretty than his usual smile.

    "I'll make you talk."

    Then Josh Miles jumped, and he jumped high, clearing the statue and flipping over himself to perch behind it. He hadn't even landed before the explosion went off, and it was a big explosion - not sympathetic towards grave robbers, the beautiful sculpture was rigged to blow up in their face. Unfortunately, it got the wrong guy.

    Crouching behind what was left of the statue after it blew, Josh held onto the haft of the enchanted weapon with white knuckles. He peered around each corner of his cover like he didn't expect his attack to have slowed the enemy down at all.

    "Come on...come on..."

    Spoiler
    Show
    Another Edit Scene using Downtime successes. This time, Josh's earlier prediction was right, and the statue has a trap for people that take the axe.

    "What kind of trap, Manwithaplan?"

    I'm glad you asked! It's rigged with a concussive bomb that weakens your defences and sends you tumbling back into the room with the noxious gas.

    Standard Action: "Ready" to move behind the statue when it blows. I attempt to use the remains of it to break line of sight.
    Free Action: Claim Jarivadell, triggering the trap.
    Extra Effort - Standard Action: Ready an action to use Flurry of Blows on Flashpoint if he enters my line of sight, Charging if necessary (can I say that lol?). Power Attack 5.
    Free Action: Changing Super Speed to Quickness 21, Speed 3.

    Status: Fatigued next round.

  24. - Top - End - #234
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    When you arrive at a ball uninvited, the second thing you expect, first being stopped by the bouncers, isn't to be allowed in and 'offered' a change to formal clothes. Sheema was not one to object to such a... generous offer. She would have preferred otherwise, for she relied on her nanotech armor for protection and already left behind Galadhil. Yet there is no benefit to trying to resist when she's subjected to a largely cosmetic change. A less fortunate hero might have just been transformed into a tiny bug to be stepped on.

    ...Though the disappearance of the two guards was a bit more than unnerving.

    So it is by the reality warper's will that Sheema's casual sweater and pants, and armor beneath, transform into a frilly, formal white Ilessian-style dress to contrast her dark, Perallan skin. The dress, unfortunately, came with dainty high heels that fit awkwardly onto Sheema's feet. How do people walk in this sort of footwear?! The discomfort is almost as bad as if her toes are broken.

    The change, however, is enough to help get her understand a bit of what and how this reality warping is actually happening.

    Spoiler: Dreamer Lore Check
    Show
    (1d20+16)[17]


    Nevertheless, Sheema ignores the rather painful ache of her high heels and walks into the party, approaching though not closing in on the reality warping woman running the show. "Oh, thank you!" Sheema says with happiness to the woman. There's absolutely no point to opposing someone while they hold presumably unimaginable power. "It's a wonderful dress, though not as glamorous as your own, Sheema continues, both as a compliment and a matter-of-fact. Why would this reality warping woman, after all, give a more beautiful dress to some random nobody she just met? Sheema takes a look to see whether Kenta and Cyra have adapted to their new outfits before asking the reality warping woman, "May I ask for your name, please? I bet it'll be talk of Adaros in the month."

    ---

    Makhana lazes about out of the alley, casually keeping an eye on Galadhil and blissfully ignorant of Sheema's sudden change of wardrobe. No violence yet, so that's something going right!

  25. - Top - End - #235
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Those urchin-like things were clearly bad news here. Eric hadn't seen anything like them before, and they were certainly the strangest weapons he had ever seen. On the other hand, the assailants were holding onto them somewhat carefully, so perhaps they could be removed from service. The vine man looped his vines around the attackers confusingly to strike at them, but more importantly, to nab those weird devices straight out of their hands.

    Spoiler: Actions
    Show

    Move: Dazed.
    Standard: Vine Lash the fake Treetop, assuming Fast Grab allows him to grab the devices (and definitely keep them faced away from him!) while he's at it. Accurate attack 2. On a hit, DC 24 + Multiattack Toughness vs. damage, and DC 24 + Multiattack Dodge or Strength vs. a grab attempt to take away the urchin device. (1d20+13)[28]
    Extra Effort Standard: Do the same thing to the false Phoenix (not sure if I get the "all limbs" bonus to the grab DC if I'm holding a device in one vine?): (1d20+13)[19]

    End of turn: Fatigued
    Last edited by Born; 2019-07-17 at 08:45 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #236
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Grim ranger's Avatar

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Tense as well, Aquila surveyed the situation. It did not seem that shootout was imminent on the spot at least: thieves tended to care more about getting their money than executing hostages on a whim, after all. Still, as long as people in there were in danger of catching a bullet, he couldn't really start a fight with the robbers. It was time to try something he had not tried before...a trick that had strained him to point of gasping the first time he had done it, and as such had been reluctant to employ so far. But if this situation didn't scream "special occasion", none would.

    Glancing at Javan, he went on to reply quietly, patting his friend's shoulder somewhat to reassure him. "I will be drawing attention: if any of them seems like they try to focus on people around them rather than on me or on trying to escape, try to stop them. I think I have their number, but I can't protect everyone here AND fight. And if they hurt my family... bad things will happen. Just keep them safe, alright?"

    Sparing the rest of his family a reassuring nod, Aquila focused before making an imperious, beckoning gesture. The effect around the stage was immediate, air itself seeming to tremble and tense for a split second as the Prince of Earth gathered his will...before suddenly disgorging rapidly amassing pile of stone, sand and metal. The students on the stage disappeared from view as a solid dome formed around them, protecting them quite well from anything man-portable. Although the effort had left him already wincing somewhat from the strain, Aquila refused to show the matter as his earthen armor formed over his suit from nowhere. Stepping up on top of the seat on front of him, he went on to imperiously make his way to the stage in the stunned silence that followed. It was quite important for him to get all the attention now.

    "This was a bad time for you to try this. I suggest that you throw down your guns now, get on the ground with your arms behind your back, and wait for the more kind and gentle enforcers of the law to show up and arrest you. If not... you will be waking up in well-guarded hospital wing instead. If you try me, I have both reason and incentive to make this personal and come after each and every one of you for threatening to kill kids. So, care to test what your guns are worth against me, after I have already been punched by a giant and found it lacking? If you do, I'll be SURE to hit back."

    Spoiler
    Show
    Aquila stunts Earth my Army to use Create 12 (Continuous, Impervious 7, Innate) and create a barrier of earth with metal coating (and enough air holes out of enemy sight to avoid complications) between the targeted students and the robbers.

    After that, using Intimidate on the robbers.

    (1d20+20)[29] (Intimidate)

    Edit: The Earth my Armor is active from Earthen Servitors array.
    Last edited by Grim ranger; 2019-07-26 at 04:19 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #237
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Dorni's Avatar

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Spectre answered Daimon with an expressionless mask. She could also be hard to read when she wanted to be, but under the mask she was much less serene.

    She couldn't not see the tactical considerations at play. He was aware that she had discovered his campaign and reported it to SIDE. He'd engineered this encounter, and he'd chosen to meet her in front of his new allies. Knowing him, he very probably could have met her alone. It would have been a sign of trust and strengthen his message. He'd instead chosen to meet her like this, which could mean he was taking a sensible precaution, or it could mean that he wasn't able to - perhaps his new allies didn't want him meeting her alone. Was there friction between them that she could exploit? Or was he counting on her to pick up an underlying message? Daimon would never allow himself to be strong-armed into a campaign he didn't believe in, but it was possible his new allies were an alliance of convenience. The way they were positioned put his new allies between them. Or perhaps they weren't shielding him from her, but barring him from her.

    But that tone... he clearly believed in his campaign. And expected her to understand his motivations and support him. Seeing his disappointment affected her more than she'd expected. As a trainer he'd set the bar extremely high and never gave out praise he didn't mean. It had meant something to her to earn his approval. Her time as a trainee ended years ago, but the feeling hadn't fully faded. Which, she was aware, Daimon had to also be aware of. Which made her question whether his disappointment was genuine or an attempt at manipulation. She didn't wan't to believe it, but she couldn't discount the possibility.

    "Hahaha. Oh sure, now that we're here it makes total sense why you disappeared, made no effort to contact Inside after you returned from your time jump, then enlisted help and are carrying out a campaign of assassinations." She deliberately avoided mentioning the Circle in front of Daimon's allies. Not until she confirmed their identities. Whoever they were, they were highly trained and in possession of a wide array of Dreamer powers that were carefully selected for each of their targets. There were vanishingly few organizations on the planet that boasted that combination of training and power variety.

    "Why, if you haven't gone rogue, you've done an amazing job of appearing to have done so. I'm going to need more than 'just trust me' on this one."
    Everyone makes mistakes. Our fate and our character is not determined by the mistakes we make, but by how we react to them.

  28. - Top - End - #238
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Round 3

    Josh

    Josh pulled his trick perfectly, drawing the axe just in time to catch Flashpoint fully with the concussion trap, sending him flying back through the noxious cloud to crash against the wall in the hallway beyond!

    The noxious smoke slowly faded to reveal-

    Flashpoint. Standing completely unharmed.

    "I'm curious. Do you honestly think this pitiful little island has anything on it capable of so much as inconveniencing me?"

    The next moment, he was right in front of Josh, lashing out with a single blurring punch. It was...slower than usual, for one of Flashpoint's attacks, as if the air was resisting its passage even more than normally, the strike invested with an especially high amount of friction - which it would force into the target on a hit, "OR ARE YOU JUST TRYING TO STALL!?"

    Spoiler
    Show
    Flashpoint:
    Free: Swap to Dodge Anything.
    Move: Into Close range of Josh. This triggers his readied action.
    Standard: Attack Josh with Invest Friction at (1d20+14)[22]. On a hit, Toughness DC 25 vs. Damage, Fortitude DC 20 vs. Weaken All Speed-Related Traits. Miss. Josh gets to keep his resources this time around!

    Josh is on turn.


    Sheema

    Cyra's attire was transformed as well - her power could have negated the effect, of course, but she followed your lead and allowed it to affect her. You knew Cyra well enough to know that she wasn't exactly a fan of constrictive formalwear, but outwardly she gave an appreciative smile, looking down to admire the dress. Cyra had a good poker face.

    Evidently you had guessed correctly that with this reality warper, flattery would get you everywhere. She made a beatific gesture, answering with precisely zero modesty, "A trifle. My name...well. I used to go by the name Sybil Parker. But that was in a previous life. Now I am known as Majeste."

    She paused for a few seconds, just to really crank up the melodrama, before asking with a sort of politely disinterested air, "And what do you call yourselves?"

    Mandragora

    Dreamcatchers won their battles through cunning and preparation, tricks and traps leading to overwhelming assault. But when those didn't work, they could generally trust their powerful supra-military-grade weapons technology to deal with their opponents, at least for long enough to recover their advantage.

    Heh. Or so they thought.

    Against a Dreamer as powerful as Mandragora, though, it didn't come close. In seconds, he had shattered both of their forcefields, knocked one of them clean unconscious, and swiped their Biochemical Suppressors - which, unfortunately, were currently holding the power cells that they swapped between all of their weaponry, which would have kinda left them virtually helpless even if their forcefields had held strong.

    The fake Phoenix kinda boggled for a moment, but fortunately, their warp systems used a separate power source. She grabbed her unconscious cohort and they both vanished; on the grassy ground, Mandragora could tell that they hadn't just disappeared. They had teleported away.

    Spoiler
    Show
    ...That went well for them. Mandragora take a Hero Point.


    Summit

    HahahahahahaWOW! Did these poor guys ever not know what they were walking into.

    As Summit's wall went up, the previously snide voice coming from the speakers let out a kinda unconscious, "Wait whu-?" A few of the goons, either less disciplined or just more trigger-happy, took some shots at the wall, but the bullets basically just splattered against it. There were a few scared cries from the audience, was all.

    Then Aquila went up on stage and made his announcement. Most of the crowd cheered. Among them was some nervous shuffling. The leader seemed to collect himself though. "Oh you think you're so clever do you? But you forget! I have a dozen guys with automatic weapons! You might have been able to shield the kids, Hero, but can you protect the entire crowd?"

    It was a serious threat. Or...you know, it would have been if it weren't immediately followed up by the sound of a dozen automatic weapons being thrown to the ground in abject surrender. Evidently the goons found your threat more persuasive.

    "Um..."

    There was the sound of someone trying to force his way through the seats, but the leader's attempt to use the cover of darkness to escape was kinda foiled as the lights suddenly came on.

    "Found the lightswitch!" Javan called over to you cheerily. He was still sitting in his seat, far away from any switches. But, you know, object animation, and all.

    "Crap."

    Spoiler
    Show
    Summit take a Hero Point.


    Spectre

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I believe the general premise was that nobody had really told anyone about the original Disappearance timeline, so I'm figuring Daimon hadn't informed Spectre or IN-SIDE about it previously.
    If he had, let me know and just figure instead of explaining it here he just mentions what he had told her about it.


    "Alright," Daimon answered, his face and voice entirely neutral. Evidently, if your answer had continued to disappoint him, he didn't see any benefit in making you aware of it. "This wasn't the first time I have been to an alternate timeline. Early this year when I had been out of contact for a few days, there had been a temporal anomaly. In the timeline I experienced, a tenth of the people of Adaros had vanished overnight. They had been bodily summoned into the future by a future incarnation of the Hero Gestalt, using ritual and technological enhancements including the captured powers of over two-hundred augmenters, Tara Ellens among them. This had connected that present with that future in a way that as I understand it basically broke all the rules. My team and I discovered how to retroactively prevent that future timeline, which altered our present and as a side effect caused us to retroactively disappear for the elapsed time between the initial Disappearance and our stopping it. Or that's the closest thing to a version of what happened that makes some manner of sense, anyway; some of the specifics may not be entirely accurate. You can confirm all of this with any of Simon's former team if you feel the need to."

    "During that time, I had an encounter with my own future self, who had been trying to thwart his present's Gestalt. I also came to learn about a scientist, Lorelei Winters, who was working on a time machine which was in some way responsible for that future. After the matter was resolved, I began laying the groundwork to make sure that once it was completed, Lorelei's technology would be made available to IN-SIDE."

    "As time went on, I began periodically receiving communications from my own potential futures. The first came during the incident with the APEX meteor. Their information was limited though. During this most recent misadventure, we ended up getting sent back to the future we had prevented, and I had a final encounter with my future self from that timeline."

    "He revealed to me that the timeline he had experienced was just one of many possible ways that Ilessia - the entire country - could be threatened. He had used time-manipulating technology derived from Lorelei's work to witness and even influence various past timelines. In every timeline he looked through, Ilessia faced a grave threat, one capable of ending the country as we know it, if not ending it outright. In the majority of these timelines, the Circle of the Shared Dream was a significant cause of the threat."
    It probably wouldn't escape your notice that this was a lot of information he was giving you, but his associates didn't seem to have any objection to it.

    "So. Ilessia is in peril. The most effective way to remove that peril is to neutralize the Circle. I would have preferred to bring this to IN-SIDE, but you've seen the Circle members just in my reports. They wield too much political power. And at the end of the day, IN-SIDE is still restricted by bureaucracy. My future self also warned me of the trouble I'd be facing as a result of Arcanis's death, and that in all probability IN-SIDE wouldn't even have my back on that, let alone on dealing with the entire Circle. And beyond that..."

    "You saw what happened on 'Meteor Day'. The full might of the Ilessian military, all of our scientists, all of our intelligence networks...they were useless, Kim. They were worse than useless! The most helpful thing they did was get out of the way!"
    For the first time since you had arrived - and honestly one of the few times since you had known him - Daimon actually betrayed some legitimate emotion as he spat those words. "That meteor was an existential threat to this nation and our organizations and our bureaucracies were powerless to prevent it. And something worse in coming."

    "So yes. I went rogue. I had to, to have any chance of neutralizing the Circle before they do whatever they are going to do that will create the next existential threat to this nation. But now they're alerted. I need you to help me sell a story. That you've captured me, that the threat is over. Once things have calmed down, I'll be able to get back to work. I'm not asking you to join me. You don't have to do any of the dirty work. But Kim...your actions have put Ilessia at risk, and I need you to fix that."
    His voice was firm, demanding, almost like back when he was assigning you a critical test. But...there was something different. Something about how he said 'your actions have put Ilessia at risk' that changed it from a request or even an assignment. It was something you had rarely heard from Daimon Aimes before, and never towards yourself.

    It sounded like a threat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Although we all know that Daimon's leaving out more than a few things, for Spectre to be aware of that IC requires a DC 32 Insight check. She'll still be aware that he's largely speaking the truth as he sees it, but that'll detect that there are certain key details that he's omitting. Insight cannot, however, reveal what those details are.


    Gestalt

    ??
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-08-05 at 01:44 AM.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

  29. - Top - End - #239
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Josh saw his unharmed foe around the corner and nodded to himself, still trying to catch his breath. The gas didn't work. The blast didn't work. The gas didn't work again. He tightened his grip on Jarivadell, resting his back against the smoking stone of Sempers' statue.

    "Sorry about that," he muttered to the remains of the former hero. "It's fine, I always end up doing this alone."

    Flashpoint yelled, Flashpoint charged, Flashpoint lunged...and Josh caught his hand, holding it not too far from his face. There was a moment of eye contact, and then for another moment Josh was calmly thinking about something. He nodded to himself again. He exhaled, calmly rolling his weapon around in his fingers. He spoke, uttering something as if he had just figured it out for the first time, but was already writing it off as something that should have been obvious for a long time.

    "I'm on this island."

    He'd never been so cold. SLASH! Swinging Jarivadell felt like taking a truncated plane of the sun to a sphere of rotten wood. He released his grip, turning to the right and lashing out again with the axe, this time attempting to draw it from the wrist to the shoulder of Flashpoint's extended arm. His hand seemed to know where to go, sketching a perfectly straight line along the tendons and veins. Coolly, Josh walked away, turning his back and going to check out one of the artefacts that hadn't fallen from its shelf when the statue exploded.

    "I'm trying to get my companion back. Would you care to help with that?"

    Spoiler
    Show
    Standard Action: Pressure Point Surge with Jarivadell, All-Out Power Attack 5. Attack (1d20+16)[25] for DC 21+Multiattack Fortitude against Impaired/Disabled/Incapacitated. This effect is Progressive.

    Crits on 32+. On a 24 or lower, HP Reroll (1d20+16)[35].

    Move Action: Walk away.
    Free Action: Reversing Super-Speed to Speed 21, Quickness 3.

    Status: Fatigued, -5 Defence.
    Last edited by manwithaplan; 2019-08-05 at 03:04 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #240
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: In Dreams to Come 2 - Back to the Future

    Sheema almost wanted to smirk a bit. Her meeting with Tara way back in the bad future is paying off in ways she hadn't quite imagined... Though perhaps one should warn Sheema that Tara might have been a bit too much of an influence on the Perallan princess. A little persuasion, however, is all dependent on the speaker, isn't it? Sheema's simply trying to get on Sybil's good side and look for the smallest of points that this reality warper can be manipulated.

    Sometimes, all a ruler wants to hear is how important they are. Sheema... unfortunately knows this from her dad's personal experience.

    "Oh, my name's quite irrelevant compared to yours," she continues, dodging the question while also adding a little more praise. "I can't imagine this party being for anyone but you Majeste. Or would it be better if I called you..." In her new dress, Sheema carefully grabs the sides and pick them up as she bends her kneels and kneels her head gently over. "Your Majesty?" The gesture is one Sheema practiced a little back in Peral when she was young to the other rulers of Perallan city-states. The metaphorical rust still shows; her legs bent awkwardly, her dress crooked in the pose, her head slumped a little more than bowed. Any actual royalty would've scoffed at the lacking 'elegance.' Though Sheema suspect Sybil would care less about the form and more about the act itself.

    Besides, this party is all about Majeste, is it not? Sheema's name and identity should be irrelevant, making it easy to dodge the question.

    From here, the way forward is clear, if risky. "Though I can't imagine my bow has the same release as other people doing so, say, officers or heroes. We," she gently holds Cyra's hand; The upbeat tone of Sheema is almost impressive given who she's speaking to, "know a bit about the city if you'd like our information on expanding or certain people of interest." As a Hero, and someone who's been in Adaros long enough, Sheema can theoretically give pointers and places that might be very useful to Sybil if she wishes to expand. Now actually doing so will be an impressive violation of trust and morality. But the simple truth that Sheema has info might be truth enough.

    "Although, I'm a little concerned speaking in front of..." Sheema looks around at the various too-well-dressed gang members... and especially the terrified "staff." "...These people. I feel you might be the only one we can trust you with this information." She bows again. "Your Majesty." Here's the make-or-break; the goal of separating Sybil from the rest of her gang. Sheema wouldn't think of being able to go one-on-one with a reality warper. But having Cyra with her would be a blessing for the Perallan princess. Sybil just needs to nab the bait...

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