The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Wraith

    Serena listed to your points carefully. Initially, she had that canny look in her eyes that suggested she was already formulating counters to your points, but she started looking more thoughtful as you went one. At the end, she gave a slow nod. "I haven't had the chance to look into alternative possibilities yet," she admitted. "And you're right, regardless of the relative merit between you fighting Tara and me going to Indelar, I have to first compare the relative merit of me going to Indelar and literally any other course of action before I take a step like that. When you put it that way it is blindingly obvious in retrospect," she said, with a kinda relieved-sounding sigh. You knew Serena well enough to know that wasn't quite the end of the matter - she would diligently research possibilities and if she didn't find one that could objectively outweigh the risk:value ratio of her going to Indelar, she would do the latter. Even so, you were not wrong that odds were she would find one.

    "That being said, I do not agree that you specifically taking on Tara Ellens in this particular circumstance is wise. If anything, your point about her being a cornered rat with an APEX stone" okay her voice might have gotten just a little high there "is all the more reason that the risk is too high. I know I can't stop you but...will you please at least consider staying out of it? For me?"

    Spoiler
    Show
    Magnus's plan in a solid one and Haptarus is of course a Grade A threat. But to be fair there's a lot of good a precog of Serena's level can do. I'mma say there's a 50% chance that by the end of the game she can find an alternative of sufficient value to convince her not to go to Indelar.

    You may improve these odds by helping her search with a new Downtime Action.

    Find Serena A Mission: 0/5 Successes. Insight, Investigation, or relevant Expertise DC 20.
    For each success, the chance that Serena will find a mission outweighing the value of her going to Indelar increases by 10%. Further, if you increase the total to 100%, you may declare what her new mission is as a free Edit.
    Louis allows himself to visibly relax. "Exactly," he says with a small smile. "You're not the kind of person to rush into something blindly. I'll look into it with you; together, I'm sure we can find a mission for you that will be as beneficial for Ilessia as Commander Mindrider's team."

    Then he considers her request, her plea for him to think of her when deciding to fight Tara. In response, he gently takes her face in his hands and leans down to kiss her forehead. "I promise that I will give it some serious thought," he says, softly and seriously as he looks in her eyes. "And that thoughts of you will weigh heavily in it. Granted, you're in my thoughts all day, anyway."

    His cheeks feel like Flame itself had touched them, but he manages to keep from cringing in self-consciousness at the sheer cheese of what he had just said. In for a penny... "T-to go back to the thought of dinner," he begins, hesitance and hope tinging his voice. "What would you say if I asked Tsuki to zip in to watch the kids, and I take you to that new Dymaran place that opened a few blocks away? J-just the two of us."
    Last edited by Thokk_Smash; 2019-06-22 at 01:28 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Aidan

    Chlorine answered with a smug smirk and a jauntily dismissive wave, not saying anything to stop you as you headed for the door.

    Avery

    This time you managed to get your can opener into a proper seam, discharging damaging electricity into the robot even as you rent it apart. This proved highly disruptive, though unfortunately not disabling. The robot lifted its leg high and brought it down in an effort to stomp you flat!

    The scientist, meanwhile, yelled back, "Oh! Right! An off switch, of course! I have a remote shutdown command right here on my tablet! I'll just push it and the robot will be instantly disabled! Why didn't I think of that? OH YEAH BECAUSE I'VE BEEN PUSHING IT FOR THE PAST FIVE MINUTES AND IT HASN'T DONE ANYTHING!" Evidently what the IDEA scientist lacked in helpfulness she made up for with sheer, withering sarcasm.

    Spoiler
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    Giant Robot:
    Move: Staggered.
    Standard: Attack Avery with Servo Strength, All Out Attack for 5, Power Attack for 5, at (1d20+8)[21]. On a hit, Toughness DC 36 vs. Damage, Fortitude DC 31 vs. Vulnerable/Stunned, and Strength or Mobility DC (1d20+21)[40] vs. Trip. Hit

    Well looks like the other scenes are about wrapped and given Avery's Regeneration this is probably the last opportunity this thing has to present a meaningful threat. Assuming Avery withstands it, how about you take one more shot for the takedown and if it doesn't drop we can just call it?


    Wraith

    Serena looked a little surprised, and then she noticed you were blushing, which made her blush. It took a moment before she responded with a seemingly almost uncertain hesitance, "That...sounds like a plan?"
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-06-22 at 08:23 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Aidan closed the door behind him, taking particular care not to slam it - he wasn't angry, after all. He could not deny he felt faintly irritated, but no one liked to not succeed in whatever they set out to do, regardless of how invested they were in it.

    ...bloody APEX.
    To the optimist, the glass is half-full.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    "Lady..." The flat disc that was beating itself back in to a vaguely Avery shaped groused "...when you're not accidentally releasing building destroying killbots on the city THEN you can get snippy with me! Take this ya giant metal nerd!"

    The Cartoon Hero continued to vent his frustration as his can opener whirred, and he swung wildly at the rampaging robot.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Free Action: Spend an HP to remove Stun
    Free Action: Instant Up
    Move Action: Staggered
    Standard Action: All-Out Power Attack +5 (1d20+11)[25] DC31 Toughness & DC21 Defence if that hits.
    End of Turn: Regeneration removes a Bruise

    HP 4
    Status -5 Active Defense/Staggered
    Last edited by Dodgeson; 2019-07-01 at 12:39 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Avery

    Now that you had opened up the robot some, it was easier to expose its internal systems to the electric charge of your can opener, hampering its systems. It still took a while and there was some collateral damage from, you know, missiles, and such, but the fact was that you could regenerate and it couldn't so eventually you were able to scrap the thing.

    The IDEA scientist was...apologetic. It did not stop SIDE from bringing her in once they got to the scene.

    Everyone

    The fifth of Decender had been a perfectly normal day. It had gone by without any particular incident of issue at all. Until late at night, when the city was mostly asleep, and the alert came through your phones. The upgrade to the Mentallo Industries satellite that had been set to detect if Tara used her ritual magic alerted all of you. And the ritual was coming from Millaine.

    Which meant that this was it. Prophet's vision was coming to pass. And while preventing it was foretold to make matters even worse, you had a way to use it to your advantage.

    And so the Task Force assembled for what would hopefully be the final time, in the barracks of the Blink Guard in the city of Gran Terna. According to Aidan's intelligence, when Tara teleported back to Ilessia, this was the Blink Guard base that would detect her point of arrival. The Blink Guard stood ready, all eyes fixed on the active crystal screen displaying a map of Ilessia. As soon as Tara arrived, you would be able to move to intercept her.

    Until then, there was little to do but wait.

    Spoiler
    Show
    If there's any final planning, preparing, role playing, interactions, and so on that you guys want to do, now is the time. Likewise if you still have sheet changes and such. It's nighttime and most people would be sleeping, but if you want to contact anyone before this goes down, you can totally wake them up!

    The Blink Guard team consists of eight PL 10s with teleportation-capable powered armor. That's some serious firepower, but they count as Minions against an opponent as powerful as Tara, and will be subject to lethal damage. Up to you whether you want to risk (let's be honest, probably sacrifice) their lives bringing them along.
    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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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Fortunately, the wait didn't take all that long.

    About ten minutes after you had all arrived, the Blink Guards' computer system flagged an unexpected teleportation coming into Ilessia from the continent of Peral. You were ready for it, though, and the portal opened immediately, taking you out into the remote northern coast of Lastelle.

    You arrived high atop a snow-covered plateau. The night was still and sharp with the bitter cold of a Lastellan winter, the stars above obscured by clouds. There was light though, coming from either side of the plateau, where two of Ilessia's border defense towers shone in the darkness, their light reaching out to sea far enough to cover the full expanse of Ilessian territorial waters. The plateau terminated in a sheer rocky cliff that fell precipitously nearly a thousand feet into the churning sea as it beat rhythmically against the northern edge of Ilessia.

    Standing no more than fifty feet away was Tara Ellens.

    She was facing one of the towers. In her hand, the Staff of Arcanis was raised, crackling with lightning. But when your team arrived, she whirled towards you. The look on her face was one of brief surprise quickly shifting to bemused resignation, and then in a heartbeat, to venomous hate and searing anger.

    Overhead, thunder rumbled in the clouds like a growling beast. The wind howled like a banshee's wail, driving the fierce chill of a winter night in northern Lastelle into the bones of everyone present.

    "You."

    Spoiler: Perception DC 25
    Show
    You notice some...lights(?) off in the distance, far out to sea...

    Spoiler: DC 30
    Show
    ...Are those explosions?


    Spoiler
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    Kate and Wraith are on turn.
    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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  7. - Top - End - #37
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Strangely, when the alarm rang, a sense of serenity stole over Wraith. This is it. One way or another, tonight ends the Task Force's mission, as well as the existence of his spectral hanger-on. He shoots Serena a quick message, with three little words that mean so much and that he'll want to tell her in person after the battle. His finger trembles just a touch as he presses the screen and sends the message, and then the Wraith is fully upon the world.

    With steely calm he waits for the signal. Not even the ever-present whispering of Darryl's vengeful spirit can pierce his calm. And when the portal opens, he strides through without hesitation--into the piercing cold and howling winds of northern Lastelle. Hmm. Fitting scenery, he has to admit.

    First thing he does is activate the Scouter to check for any magic on Tara's person. Next thing he does is fight back a wince from the feedback that shows Tara as a solid beacon of power, and thus incapable of being divined. In fact...

    "Her power output's Flame-insane high," he says just loud enough for the others to hear. "Nothing'll be able to weaken her powers directly. Like trying to douse a wildfire with a thimble of water."

    More loudly, he projects his voice to be heard as he says, "Us." That one word manages to give a credible impression of absolute zero in the immediate vicinity. "You've had a good run, Tara; the dream was nice while it lasted, the dream where you thought you could succeed. But it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. You've got a lot to answer for. This ends NOW!"

    Willing a dramatic clap of thunder to coincide with his last word, Wraith takes off to one side, his feet skimming across the air like an ice rink. He settles down a few dozen feet away from the others and braces himself, concealing himself as best he can.

    Spoiler
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    Start of turn: Tactical Deductions to guess what Tara's been up to in the immediate past. Tactics, need an 18: (1d20+15)[26], Insight: (1d20+16)[30]

    Standard action: Demoralize Tara, spending a Reputation Success to bypass her Fearless, +5 from Reputation: (1d20+25)[43]

    Move action: Move 60ft to the right of and slightly away from Tara on Platform Flight before settling back down to the ground. Current array slot is Forgotten Combat.

    Status: Fine, Stealthed at (1d20+21)[36]
    HP: 8
    Luck: 2 (Can only force attack re-rolls against Wraith)
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Standing there in the snow, Kate found herself in a rare crystal clear moment amidst the chaos of recent months. She realized she was lucky to have survived all of it, up to this point... and she was glad. The Dreamer that had come closest to killing her wasn't worth it, but Tara?

    Oh yes. This was a good time to be alive.

    She didn't even bother with words this time, she just darted in instinctively, stepping through a portal to end up behind Tara. Then she opened another portal, in a direction that she had never allowed herself to go before: down.

    Kate winced at just the backwash of raw heat as red hot magma flowed forth from the portal in front of her, sending up gouts of steam into the air as it vaporized the nearby snow. She was not playing around.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Move: Portal Step into range for the rest.

    Action: Magma Font, using EE to set up. DC 21 Dodge half / DC 26 Toughness vs damage with secondary effect and trapping.

    Status: Fine, will be Fatigued next round; HP 1, Luck 2
    No trees were harmed in the making of this post. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Round 1

    If Wraith got to Tara, it was only on a subconscious level. His words didn't seem to make her scared. They just seemed to make her mad. Of course, mad could also mean sloppy, so that was fair enough.

    Kate summoned up her portal. Kate's portal attacks were never things to take lightly, but generally speaking, they were expressions of precision and finesse. It wasn't that her portals were awesome displays of raw combat power; their lethality was based on the simple fact that nothing physical could exist where they existed. But if anybody doubted the sheer force that Kate Simms could bring to bear, those doubts would be laid to rest as she conjured a volcanic gout of molten lava from the very bowels of the world and cast it forth upon Tara in a single pressurized burst! Lava hardened almost instantly as it met the arctic air and snowy ground, sending up a great cloud of steam, briefly obscuring Tara from view.

    But then the steam condensed in the chill air, fell to the ground as ice. Hardened magma crumbled and fell away. And the ultimate augmenter stood unharmed, one hand raised before her, a shining white shield of power fading into darkness.

    This was Tara Ellens, and she could afford sloppy.

    "Oh you fools. Do you think I fear you? That I will surrender to you!? You have interfered in my work for the last time. You want this battle? Fine! Have a taste of what I will give to Paradisia!"

    "THIS IS FOR DARRYLL!"
    she screamed, slamming Arcanis's staff upon the ground. Brilliant runes of star-bright light shone all along its length, and Tara let loose with one of her classic lightning attacks, sending a searing bolt of electrical power chaining among you even as she summoned up a protective barrier to shield herself. The staff whirled through her hands, and she leveled it directly your way, one, two, three, four spheres of hellish fire launching from it as if it were some battleship's energy cannon, exploding around you all in a concussive meteor swarm, before bringing it with a final resounding slam down upon the ground. Prophet would feel the shapes of Spiritual Energy within him come under assault as Tara tried to shatter them.

    Wraith wasn't kidding about the raw power he had sensed from her. Tara didn't even appear slightly winded from casting four high-level spells in as many breaths.

    And all that magical energy, especially the unleashed power of the storm, was felt immediately in the world around them. The clouds rumbled with thunder, and snow began to fall, the wind whipping up with freezing howls, the waves below pounding the cliffs all the harder, sending sprays of sub-freezing water splashing high.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Tara 1:
    Free: Augmentation on self, Linking Ritual of the Flawless Shield to Ritual of the Gathering Storm, and replace the Linked Create with Secondary Effect on the Deflect.
    Standard: Cast them. Tara is Deflected at 1d10+26 for two rounds and chains the lightning to everyone but Wraith. On a hit (Evasion applies), Toughness DC 31 vs. Damage, Fortitude DC 26 vs. Vulnerable/Stunned.
    Avery: (1d20+16)[17]. Miss
    Prophet: (1d20+16)[24]. Hit
    Aidan: (1d20+16)[20]. Miss
    Kate: (1d20+16)[18]. Miss
    Move: Feint Prophet at (1d20+11)[28]. Should actually be 26

    Tara 2:
    Move: Attempt to Demoralize Prophet at (1d20+11)[26].
    Free: Augmentation on self, Linking Ritual of the Eldritch Assault with Ritual of the Broken Dream, and swapping the Secondary Effect of Eldritch Assault for Targeted Burst Area.
    Standard: Cast them, targeting Prophet with Ritual of the Broken Dream. On a hit, Toughness DC 31+Multiattack vs. Damage, and Prophet additionally takes Will DC 26 vs. Cumulative, Progressive Powers Entranced/Stunned/Transformed.
    Avery: (1d20+16)[18]. Miss
    Prophet: (1d20+16)[20]. Miss unless Feint succeeds
    Aidan: (1d20+16)[30]. Hit, only +2 Multiattack thanks to Evasion 2
    Kate: (1d20+16)[35]. Hit, +5 Multiattack

    The Weather Goes Wild:
    1: Lightning strikes a random target (Dodge DC 20 for half, Toughness DC 25/20 vs. Damage, Fortitude DC 20/15 vs. Dazed+Vulnerable/Stunned+Defenseless.
    2: Arctic winds blow through the field (all combatants roll Dodge DC 20 for half, Fortitude DC 20/15 vs. Weaken Fighting).
    3: Icy water sprays in a geyser (random target rolls Dodge DC 20 for half, Fortitude DC 20/15 vs. Vulnerable/Defenseless/Paralyzed and Physically Dazed+Impaired/Stunned+Defenseless).
    4: Snow falls in a blizzard (all combatants roll Dodge DC 20 for half, Strength or Dodge DC 20/15 vs. Grab).
    5: Hail strikes a random target (Attack at +10, Toughness DC 25+Multiattack vs. Damage).
    6: Roll twice.

    Random Target Table: 1: Tara, 2: Tara, 3: Avery, 4: Prophet, 5: Aidan, 6: Kate, 7: Wraith, 8: Roll twice.

    (1d6)[2], (1d8)[5]. Arctic winds blow through the field

    All PCs are on turn.
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-07-12 at 09:47 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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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Silently relieved that Tara hadn't noticed him, Wraith gathers his Spiritual Energy. He had been training with Tai in the basics of Chi. He can't parkour for sh*t, but combined with his Dream, he can manage something far more useful...

    Skating on the air to get close to the others, Wraith casts out his Spiritual Energy in a net to cover his allies...his friends. "I'm not one for great speeches, guys," he begins. The others can begin to feel power welling within them. Not from Wraith, no, this power is their own. It's as if their souls forgot how to limit their Spiritual Energy output, their bodies forgot their limits. "But I'm proud and glad to have fought side-by-side with all of you. We've got this; it's just one more battle, one more fight, and as long as we work together we'll make it through."

    Tai had said the words weren't as important as the sentiment behind them, and Wraith hopes the others can feel his sincerity along with the power surging through them. Then he bursts back away from them, still hiding from sight and touch. "Impressive, impressive," he calls out, his apparently disembodied voice taunting and piercing. "So much power that could've been put toward a goal that wasn't self-defeating and impossible. So much strength that'll wither and waste away in a SIDE prison for the rest of your life. Thorns in your side we might be, but thorns can take down even the greatest giants." He stops a goodly distance away from Tara, but relatively close to his friends.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Move action: Close enough to the group to talk without being heard by Tara.

    Standard action: Spend a HP to drop Inspire! Everyone gets one round of +5 to their rolls!

    Move-by action: Continue moving, coming out of auditory hiding but remaining Stealthed otherwise.

    Extra Effort: Surge to Demoralize Tara 2, +5 for Reputation, spending a Reputation Success to bypass her Fearless: (1d20+25)[29]

    Move-by Action: End turn about 150ft from Tara, 120ft from the group.

    Status: Fine, Fatigued next round, Auditory Stealthed at (1d20+21)[38], all other Stealth as previous
    HP: 7 6
    Luck: 2 (can only force enemy re-rolls against Wraith)
    Last edited by Thokk_Smash; 2019-07-13 at 01:10 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Soon after the teleportation, something in the background caught Aidan's eye; unfortunately, even that momentary distraction was enough to allow Tara to seize initiative from him, and soon he found himself dodging lightning.

    "Foxglove to HQ, I see explosions offshore! I want -" he started ordering, keeping his voice low enough so that only the agents on the other side of the comm would hear over the howling of the wind - he didn't want to alarm the others, since defeating Tara had to be given priority at all costs. Then came the fireballs, and he only managed to dodge so much; his coat sizzled in protest as it tried to disperse the extreme heat, but fortunately the arctic wind chose that moment to blow stronger and help it cool down. "-hnng! I want a satellite over there NOW!" Even if Tara had priority, though, not knowing would be even worse.

    Emerald flames started to envelop his body, burning ever brighter a soon as Wraith's Sčiritual Energy added to the fuel. "Heh. You bet." he replied with a confident smirk, then charged at Tara.

    "Surrender?" he asked after getting close; his right fist shot towards the pit of her stomach, while his left hand reached for the wrist of the hand that held the staff to force her to let it go.

    "After what your lover pulled -"

    Then, he used his momentum to spin around and deliver a second round of strikes; if he hadn't managed to snatch the staff on the first try, he'd go for it again, otherwise he'd try to sweep Tara's legs from under her.

    "-I'm not really expecting that."

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Routining 30 Perception. Also 30 to Assess her, because why not.

    Move: Dazed.
    Standard: All-out Charge Tara #1 with Corrosion Punch at (1d20+18)[34], crit on 34+ Crit!; on a hit, Toughness DC 25 30 vs Incurable Damage and Strength DC (1d20+20)[35] 40 vs Disarm. Deflected at 1d10+17.
    EE Standard: All-out attack Tara #1 with Corrosion Punch at (1d20+20)[29], crit on 36+; on a hit, Toughness DC 25/20 vs Incurable Damage and Resistance Impaired/Disabled/Transformed (Cumulative, Secondary Effect), Strength DC (1d20+20)[30] vs Disarm or Trip.
    There might be Aid+Team Attack from Prophet. Also, if Tara is Impaired the EE attack will also use Power Attack 2.

    -5 Active Defences, Deflected at 1d10+17.
    Last edited by Hyperbolic sine; 2019-07-13 at 12:04 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Prophet stepped through the portal and, not for the first time, was once again struck by the sheer power that he could see coursing through Tara, the amazing gifts the Dream had bestowed upon her. He felt some amount of pity - she could have done such great things instead of choosing to misuse them as she had. But that pity was drowned out by resolve to stop her. She'd long since made her choice.

    His eyes widened as all that power coalesced in her hands and she unleashed her incredible barrage - Prophet had never been a natural warrior even after all his time in the Task Force, and his time away from them had done him no favors in that regard. Fortunately, Avery shielded Prophet from his own mistake by throwing himself in the lightning's path.

    Fortunately, the time away had given Prophet more time for self reflection and to recover from Daryll's final terrible curse. And as his sureness of purpose had grown, the Dream had answered. Golden light burst forth from Prophet to envelop his allies, mending wounds and soothing pain. Prophet raised one hand toward Avery as though he lifting his cartoon friend's burden, and the power that had enveloped the hero changed to radiate from him instead.

    "No Tara. Daryll did everything he did for you. Destroying Paradisia was never his wish. He even tried to turn you aside from this. This isn't for him. This is for you."

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Seeking set to Eyes of the Seeker. Accurate Analytical Ranged Mental Detect [Dreamer Powers] on Tara.
    Powers array set to Blessing of Empowerment
    Move: Using BoE's Heal. All PCs within Perception [Visual] are affected. This ability is Restorative 5. All PCs remove 1 Bruise and 5 points of Weaken
    Avery: (1d20+9)[29]
    Foxglove: (1d20+9)[16]
    Kate: (1d20+9)[11]
    Prophet: (1d20+9)[12]
    Wraith: (1d20+9)[15]

    Standard: Aid Avery. (1d20+26)[45]. +5 to Avery's next attack. +5 to Kate's next attack. +2 to Wraith's next attack. +2 to Aiden's next attack
    Aid triggers Blessing of Empowerment's Team Attack with Avery. Avery benefits from a Team Attack at 1d20+26. Base rank is 6, use Power Attack to match any shift Avery uses. Avery can apply this TA to any one Toughness or Dodge resisted Damage, Affliction, or Weaken.

    EE: Prayer of Protection. All PCs within Perception [Visual] gain Deflect at 1d10+28, Evasion 2, and are Healed at:
    Avery: (1d20+8)[17] 1 Bruise removed.
    Foxglove: (1d20+8)[25] 1 Bruise removed.
    Kate: (1d20+8)[22] 1 Bruise removed.
    Prophet: (1d20+8)[26] 1 Bruise removed.
    Wraith: (1d20+8)[21] 1 Bruise removed.
    Last edited by Dorni; 2019-07-14 at 10:57 AM.
    Everyone makes mistakes. Our fate and our character is not determined by the mistakes we make, but by how we react to them.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    "Good to have you back buddy." Avery said to Prophet as he hacked up soot and shook off the effects of Tara's lighting attack, it stung like hell, but he knew that as long he kept his pal on his feet then this would all work out fine (probably). Case in point the golden light that spread out from Prophet and filled him with strength and vigour.

    Spurred on by the new guy's stirring words (was it really the right time to be bringing newbies on to the Task Force? Avery kind of had more important things to worry about right now) Avery charged, his feet whirling under him things like physics a distant concern for him as he closed the gap between himself and the mad ritualist, he wasn't going to let Foxglove go toe to toe with Tara on his own.

    "AND THIS IS FOR ADAROS YOU PSYCHOPATH!" He yelled, pulling out his mallet out from behind his back and swinging it over his head to bring it down on Tara.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Move: Move in to Close with Tara
    Free Action: Set Variable to Damage 11 Linked to Affliction 11 (Dazed&Impaired/Stunned&Disabled, Fort)(Cumulative, Extra Condition)(Limited Degree)
    Standard Action: All-Out Power Attack +5 at Tara (1d20+21)[31] DC31 Toughness & DC26 Fortitude if that hits. Pretty sure that hits?
    Prophet's Team Attack: (1d20+26)[44] Ditto?
    End of Turn: Fortitude to remove Vulnerable (DC18) (1d20+16)[35] Recover

    HP 4
    Status -5 Active Defence, Deflected at 1d10+28
    Last edited by Dodgeson; 2019-07-14 at 07:55 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Round 2

    Aidan hammered Tara with a blurring-fast martial kata backed by his potent disintegrating powers. Which...all did precisely nothing against Tara's formidable magical barriers.

    But you know, that was okay. Because at the end of it?

    He had the staff, and she did not.

    On came Avery, his trusty mallet smashing through even Tara's shields and slamming her full in the face with enough force to send her stumbling back, briefly off-balance and with a clear bruise showing on her cheek.

    Kate unleashed a flurry of razor-sharp portals, but Tara moved with augmented speed, deftly dodging every one.

    As Prophet called forth the blessing of the Dream and Wraith continued plying his psychological warfare, Tara wore a vicious smirk. "You're really going to try to play the augmentation game against me? Me!?" Cackling, she gathered power even without the staff, canny enough not to make a direct attack when the group was prepared for it. Instead, she charged herself with positive energy, preparing for the next assault, while simultaneously lashing out with telekinetic force in an attempt to yank the staff back from Aidan.

    The bruise Avery had inflicted upon her was already gone.

    All of the energy she was pouring out continued to be felt in the weather around them. As snow fell and wind howled, and waves crashed against the cliffs below, a bolt of lightning shot down from the sky, crashing down on Wraith and setting his clothes aflame!

    Over comms, the agent replied, "Acknowledged. I'm seeing some chatter on military channels. Looks like the navy..."

    Spoiler
    Show
    Tara 2:
    Move: Nah.
    Standard: Augmentation on Tara 1.
    +8 points to remove Effortless from Ritual of the Sacred Promise Nullify.
    -8 points to add Perception Range (Limited to Close) to Ritual of the Sacred Promise Nullify.
    -16 points to add Perception Range (Limited to Close) to Ritual of the Sacred Promise Healing.
    -32 points to add Linked Move Object 16 (Perception Range [Limited to Close]) to Ritual of the Sacred Promise.
    -1 point to add Triggered (Upon ending turn with a Damage or Weaken condition) to Ritual of the Sacred Promise Healing.
    -1 point to add Triggered (Upon ending turn with an Affliction condition) to Ritual of the Sacred Promise Nullify.

    Tara 1:
    Move: Dazed.
    Standard: Ritual of the Sacred Promise, setting the Triggers and using the Move Object to Disarm Aidan. Strength DC 26 vs. Disarm.
    End of Turn: Secondary Effect triggers, Tara is Deflected again.
    End of Turn: Regenerate a Bruise.

    The Weather Goes Wild:
    Wraith, give me Dodge DC 20 for half, Toughness DC 25/20 vs. Damage, Fortitude DC 20/15 Dazed+Vulnerable/Stunned+Defenseless. In addition, due to your Death Curse, regardless of the result of your saves the lightning bolt sets you on fire. You can take a move action to attempt to extinguish the fire, but doing so leaves you Prone and because of the Death Curse the fire is especially tenacious; it requires a DC 25 Dodge check to negate, but you get a +5 circumstance bonus from the snow and such. While on fire, you take the Damage anew each round at the end of your turn (at the same DC as you end up rolling against the lightning) and cannot use Stealth or gain Concealment for purposes of vision, aside from like being on the other side of some big object or something. Take a Hero Point for your Death Curse Complication.

    All PCs are on turn.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

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  15. - Top - End - #45
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Unfortunately for Tara, Aidan had trained extensively to counter the kind of attacks that couldn't be dodged; he kept the staff relatively still until a fraction of a second before the spell triggered, throwing off her "aim" and greatly reducing the force he needed to oppose (though it by no means took negligible effort).

    "Too bad." he said with a mocking smirk. "Now, how does this wor- ah,yes."

    Aidan wasn't much of an expert on magic, but it looked like the staff was pretty user-friendly. It glowed with power and, a heartbeat later, several Aidans had broken through Tara's shield and delivered punches and kicks with invisible speed - but speed wasn't all, and a cloud of destructive energy burst forth, clinging to Tara in order to aggravate any attacks she would recieve in the next few seconds.

    The navy, though...what were they doing in Lastelle? He waited (as far as avoiding pointless chatter and distraction while fighting Public Enemy #1 could be considered waiting) for HQ to gather some more intel.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Free + Move: Here.

    Standard: Attack! This repeats next round due to Cloud Area.
    Tara #1: Toughness DC 25 vs Incurable Damage, Strength DC (1d20+20)[34] vs Trip.
    Tara #2: Toughness DC 25 vs Incurable Damage, Strength DC (1d20+20)[37] vs Trip.
    Free: Trigger the Reaction Affliction, attacking whichever track is in the worst shape. Power attack (1) at (1d20+10)[15], on a hit Toughness DC 20 vs Impaired+Dazed (1st track Resistance and Recovery only, 2nd Physical only).

    Deflected at 1d10+22. Damage vs Tara gains Incurable.
    Last edited by Hyperbolic sine; 2019-07-21 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Stunting Reaction!
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    To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty.
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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Prophet met Tara's vicious smirk with with his own patient smile. "Yes, I think I will."

    The golden light shrouding his allies intensified and sunk into the Task Force, and they would feel their own powers surging under the blessing of The Dream. In Prophet's eyes they radiated power that, while it couldn't match the sheer volume of power coursing through Tara, for the moment their brightness nearly matched her.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Move: Heal from Blessing of Empowerment. Allies are Healed at...
    Kate: (1d20+4)[18] One Degree. Stagger removed.

    Standard: Inspire!

    EE: Prayer of Protection. All allies within Area [Perception [Visual]] are Deflected at 1d10+23 and gain Evasion 2. Allies are Healed at...
    Kate: (1d20+3)[8] Nuthin'

    Use HP to negate fatigue from EE.
    Last edited by Dorni; 2019-07-20 at 02:12 PM.
    Everyone makes mistakes. Our fate and our character is not determined by the mistakes we make, but by how we react to them.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Kate nodded her thanks to Prophet, but didn't have time for more- here was an opportunity! Dropping through a portal to end up right next to Tara, she sent a flurry of portals at the power mad Dreamer.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Move: Portal Step into Close range

    Standard: Destructo Disks on Tara (+5 Inspire, +5 Close range, PA/AoA 2, Crit on 37+): (1d20+18)[32]
    On hit, Toughness DC 26 + Multiattack vs Damage.

    Extra Effort: One more time! (1d20+18)[37]

    Status: Bruised x 1, Defenses -2, Fatigued next round
    Luck 1/2, HP 1
    No trees were harmed in the making of this post. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Lightning strikes, and Wraith is briefly surrounded by steam and the dust from the explosion. The dust settles, the steam blows away--to reveal Wraith standing with a bold grin. Granted, he is clearly visible, what with the flames dancing on his clothes and threatening to scorch him. Yet despite the best efforts of the spectral Darryl, Wraith is entirely unharmed, as if being immolated is nothing more than a walk in the park.

    Wraith feels the Dream course through him, and he takes a moment to gather himself. With a surprising grace, he drops to the snow-covered ground and does what no one thought they'd ever have to do when they first heard it: he stops, drops, and rolls to try to get the fire out. Springing to his feet, he reaches deep into his Spiritual Energy, to that font of energy that has gotten him through untold dangers.

    His body screams in pain. He nearly blacks out. But he forces his knife's blade to shift into a spiked blade of scintillating purple as he rushes at Tara. In pure silence he stabs the new blade in once, twice, before ducking back out of range.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Free action: Swap to Forgotten Combat

    Move action: Stop, drop, and roll, (1d20+22)[41] vs DC 25 to become not a Wraith barbecue.

    Standard->Move action: Leap to his feet and Charge at Tara.

    Free action: HP grab Extraordinary Effort

    1st EE: Power Stunt off of Wraith's knife to make Why Were You Here?: Affliction 12 (DC 22 Fort vs Impaired+Vulnerable/Disabled+Defenseless/Disabled+Transformed (Baseline Resistance bonus set to +0 before penalties, Vulnerable, and cannot benefit from Deflect), Extra Condition, Cumulative, Multiattack, Quirk 6 (First track only applies against Wraith), Distracting, Inaccurate 1, Insidious (Power Detection), Feature (+2 to resist Disarms))

    Charge Attack: Attack Tara 2 with Why Were You Here?, AoA/PA 5, +2 for Aid, +5 Inspire, +5 from Prone, -2 from Charge: (1d20+20)[25] vs DC 27+Multiattack Fort

    2nd EE: Do it again! Tara 2 gets (1d20+20)[37] vs DC 27+Multiattack Fort.

    Move-by Action: Move 30ft away from Tara, keeping diagonally 35ft away from the others, Stealthing at (1d20+21)[22]

    Free action: Spend 2 HP to prevent Fatigue-induced Incap.

    Status: Fatigued, -5 Active Defense, Vulnerable, Deflected at 1d10+23
    HP: 3
    Luck: 4 (only to force re-rolls)
    Last edited by Thokk_Smash; 2019-07-21 at 01:43 AM.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    "What's the matter? Aint so tough without your little stick are ya?" Avery taunted quite possibly one of the most dangerous people on Aranth as he tossed his mallet aside and pulled off his hat to rummage around inside, crowing in triumph when he pulled his hand back out and a small metal disc was now attached to his palm.

    With a grin, he twisted a knob on his new joy buzzer a couple of times before swinging his open hand hard at Tara, trusting Caleb to shelter him from the worst of any retaliation and his powers to handle the rest.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Free Action: Set Variable to Damage 11 (Secondary Effect)(Limited:Requires a Move Action to Charge) Linked to Affliction 11 (Impaired&Vulnerable/Disabled&Defenceless, Fort)(Cumulative, Extra Condition, Secondary Effect)(Limited Degree, Limited:Requires Move Action to Charge)
    Standard+Move: All-Out Power Attack +5 Tara (1d20+16)[34] DC31 Toughness & DC26 Fortitude vs Cumulative Impaired&Vulnerable/Disabled&Defenceless both with Secondary Effect if that hits.

    HP 4
    Status -5 Active Defence, Deflected at 1d10+23
    Last edited by Dodgeson; 2019-07-23 at 12:20 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Round 3

    "Carrier Team Two was engaged by heavy air assault. Air Force is dispatching fighters to provide backup..." the SIDE agent continued reporting.

    Aidan's attacks started wearing away at Tara's shield, and sent her sprawling to the ground. Which was...a relatively minor inconvenience for someone who relied on magic for attack and defense, but it was both very cold and kinda humiliating, so Aidan wins the moral victory!

    But perhaps more important than the direct impact was the disintegrating power his strikes infused into her shields, that would eat away at any renewed energies she tried to channel into them!

    Kate immediately capitalized, and point-blank, Tara had no opportunity to dodge Kate's portals. She was forced to counter them, power-to-power, the instantaneous negation causing the portals to collapse with heavy thumps inches from her skin, a brute-force effort that, though it may have left her physically undamaged, still took a significant tithe of her energy.

    Wraith's ferocious attack passed without impediment through Tara's barriers, discharging its power into her body. Tara was too strong for Wraith's power to entirely overcome, but she definitely seemed disoriented - though perhaps only briefly.

    On came Avery, discharging a burst of electricity into Tara. Her barrier absorbed the voltage with effort, but it's the amps that kill you. Or, in this case, cause you general muscle spasms. And hair standing up on end. Because, you know, Avery, and all.

    You would think that Tara would have recognized the dire straights she was in. As powerful a Dreamer as she was, past a certain point raw power only went so far. Even the greatest of Dreamers could be overwhelmed by sufficient numbers of decently-powerful enemies. Most foes would have withdrawn, would have sought some way to regain the advantage.

    Not Tara Ellens. Tara gathered up her power, channeling ever more of it to fight her way through.

    And doubled down.

    "You think I need the staff to destroy you? The staff is a mere trinket! A tool of convenience, nothing more. Perhaps for people like you it represents a sizable power boost, but all it does for me is make it cost a little less energy to wield my upper-level spells."

    "BUT WE'RE PAST THAT POINT NOW!"
    Tara screamed, and unleashed a psychic blitz assault the likes of which none of you had ever seen.

    Imagine the pain of losing a loved one, in such a way that you felt responsible for their death. Imagine the hormonal rush of a teenager's first kiss. Imagine the desperate pangs of hunger and thirst over weeks of deprivation. The crushing boredom of a dead-end cubicle job taking thirty years of your life without you even noticing they were gone. The terror that comes with knowing you are about to die. The rage of facing a man who ruined your life. Imagine the consuming drive of a Presidential ambition, and the piercing agony of a splitting migraine.

    Imagine feeling all those things, all at once, crashing into your mind while the inarguable voice of God demanded your immediate and unquestioning obedience, in exchange for release.

    That was the power that Tara gathered up and made manifest in the world, focused into a condensed sphere of prismatic white light, and hurled into the air.

    A rainbow storm of emotional comets came crashing down upon you, the slightest touch subjecting you to all of it, even as Tara burned yet more power to bring forth a renewed shield!

    At that point, one could be forgiven for not noticing the hail.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Tara 1:
    Move: Attempt to Demoralize Aidan at (1d20+9)[17].
    Standard: Ritual of the Sacred Promise, still augmented from before, though she's applying it directly. The Healing is indeed Persistent. She'll target Tara 2 with the Healing and Nullify, and once again use the Move Object to either Disarm the staff from Aidan (Strength DC 18 after half immunity) or Grab anyone who may somehow Perception Interpose (Strength or Dodge DC 26). Healing: (1d20+14)[16]. Nullify: (1d20+14)[19]. 8 Healing Points. Counter probably fails.
    Extra Effort - Additional Standard Action: Augment Tara 2's Ritual of the Opened Mind, adding Cloud Area 3. The team gets a floating Hero Point as she buys off the fatigue.
    Free: Swap to Ritual of the Flawless Shield.
    EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT - Ritual of the Flawless Shield. Tara is Deflected at 1d10+26 (minus whatever penalties remain from Afflictions) and is surrounded by a rank 16 Created barrier. The team gets a floating Hero Point as she buys off the fatigue.
    End of Turn: Regeneration fails to remove an Incurable Bruise.
    End of Turn: Fortitude to remove Impaired+Vulnerable (DC 26): (1d20+14)[15]. Hard nope

    Tara 2:
    Move: Sure let's stand up. Why not.
    Extra Effort - Power Stunt off of Augmentation.

    Epic Opened Mind: Ritual of the Opened Mind gains Alternate Resistance (Defense), Perception Range, Selective, Secondary Effect. The party gets a floating Hero Point as she buys off the fatigue.

    Standard: Epic Opened Mind. Everybody give me Defense DC 26 vs. Cumulative Entranced+Impaired+Vulnerable/Compelled+Disabled+Defenseless/Controlled. This Precise effect allows Tara to choose when the penalties apply. You will be affected again at the end of Tara's next turn if you remain within the 60' radius area. You will be affected again at the end of Tara's turn one round after you otherwise cease to be affected. Note that your intentionally-taken defense penalties (which includes the Vulnerable for Distracting, I'm looking at you Wraith) do apply to the resistance check, but aside from Prophet you're still Inspired.

    End of Turn: Regeneration fails to remove an Incurable Bruise.
    End of Turn: Fortitude to remove Disabled vs. Wraith + Defenseless, if it hasn't been Countered (DC 27): (1d20+11)[27]. Recovers, prior counter irrelevant.

    Triggered: Previous Ritual of the Sacred Promise triggers. Healing goes to Tara 1, Nullify to whichever still needs it if either do (prioritizing Tara 2). Healing: (1d20+14)[32]. Nullify: (1d20+14)[25]. Heals a Bruise and gets 6 Healing Points towards the next. Avery make a check against the Counter at 1d20+16

    This was a tremendous exertion of power - Tara may not use GM Fiat again until the end of her next turn.

    The Weather Goes Wild:
    Hail attacks. On a hit, Toughness DC 25+Multiattack vs. Damage.
    Tara 1: (1d20+10)[14], Deflected at (1d10)[10]+numbers. Barrier Toughness: (1d20+16)[21]. Tara Toughness if Breached: (1d20+12)[32] or so. Miss
    Tara 2: (1d20+10)[30], Deflected at (1d10)[7]+numbers. Barrier Toughness: (1d20+16)[35]. Tara Toughness if Breached: (1d20+15)[23] or so. Crits the barrier, which tanks it anyway.
    Prophet: (1d20+10)[28], Deflected at (1d10+23)[29]. Deflected
    Prophet: (1d20+10)[17], Deflected at (1d10+23)[25]. Deflected
    Wraith: (1d20+10)[29], Deflected at (1d10+23)[24]. Hit. +2 Multiattack.

    All PCs are on turn. If you end up Compelled or Controlled, you are required to attack your allies to the best of your tactical ability, with maximum aggression (must AoA for as much as possible). Compulsions cannot force you to spend limited/player resources (i.e. Hero Points, Extra Effort, etc).
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-07-25 at 12:35 AM.
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    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

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  21. - Top - End - #51
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Aidan's training paid off once more, as he focused on the agent's report to dampen and weather the effects of the psychic assault. Whatever the Navy was doing, he hoped it wouldn't interfere with Tara's defeat.

    "You say that, but you look pretty desperate to me." he said, focusing all his power at the staff's tip; then, he pointed it at the augmenter, unleashing a thick disintegrating beam that threatened to utterly erase her magical shield before bringing its destructive power to Tara herself. As he did that, a fraction of the staff's magic flowed back into him instead, causing his shilouette to become slightly blurred; the magical copies that still lingered attacked one last time, trying to hinder Tara's movements for a few precious seconds, before they'd disappear for good.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Apologies for the delay.

    HP to downgrade Exhausted.

    Free: Switch to Corrosion Punch.
    Move: Use Arcanis's staff for this.
    Standard: Counter Tara 1's Ritual of the Flawless Shield at (+5 from Inspire) (1d20+20)[22]; HP reroll if it fails (1d10+30)[36].
    EE: If the Counter failed, try again ((1d20+10)[23]+5) Otherwise, both Taras Toughness DC 25/20 vs Incurable Damage, Resistance&Recovery Impaired/Disabled (Cumulative); if Tara 1 is hit at (+5 from Inspire) (1d20+10)[23], she must save against DC 30 Damage instead. Note the Prophet might want to Aid/Team attack.

    End of turn: Cloud triggers. Both Taras Toughness DC 25 vs Incurable Damage, Dodge or Strength DC 30 (OOC) vs Grab (can't be sustained).

    Deflected at 1d10+22.
    Last edited by Hyperbolic sine; 2019-07-31 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Forgot stuff, as always.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Prophet summoned his Dream-gifted wings of light and took to the stormy sky, weaving and dodging Tara's rain of shining comets. And what point are we at, exactly? Do you even know where this ends anymore, Tara?

    Still, the priest couldn't avoid them all, but held to his faith and weathered the psychic assault for now. A look over his shoulder showed him his comrades hadn't all fared as well. Avery already had giant hypnotic disks for eyes. That was already bad, but worse was that the rain of comets hadn't even ended yet.

    He'd come to understand that Avery's gifts were at their strongest when one accepted and worked within their cartoon rules, and the strongest forces in cartoon world were humor and love.

    Caleb flipped in a hard wing-over and pointed behind Avery. "Hey look! Brava's here!"

    Spoiler
    Show
    Free: Switch The Seeking array to Wings of Light
    Move: Out of the mind fog
    Standard: Persuasion to break Avery out of Entranced. (1d20+21)[38] vs DC 26.
    Everyone makes mistakes. Our fate and our character is not determined by the mistakes we make, but by how we react to them.

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Avery stood slack jawed and helpless inside Tara's maelstrom, while Dreamers generally (and Avery specifically) were hardier than most, all of that was still wrapped around a regular squishy brain. He would have stayed staring in to mindlessly into space too if Caleb's voice hadn't cut across the battlefield, Brava was here?! She couldn't see him slacking on the job like this!

    Like it was being pulled by an invisible string he raised his hand and slapped himself right in the face, snapping him back to reality as he shook his head vigorously side to side.

    "Where?!" He said, scanning the battlefield for the object of his affection until he put two and two together chuckling in embarrassment "Thanks I needed that...now where were we?"

    Reaching in to his sleeve he hauled out an enormous steel ringed mallet and began to swing wildly over and over again at Tara before beating a hasty retreat out of the reach of her mental attack.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Free Action: Set Variable to Damage 11 (Multiattack) Linked to Weaken Toughness (Resisted by Fortitude)
    Standard Action: All-Out Power Attack +5 at Tara [Roll in OOC] DC31 Toughness & DC26 Fortitude vs Weaken Toughness if that hits
    EE Standard Action: All-Out Power Attack +5 at Tara [Roll in OOC] DC31 Toughness & DC26 Fortitude vs Weaken Toughness if that hits
    Move Action: Move out of the Cloud
    End of Turn: Will Save to remove Impaired&Vulnerable (DC26) (1d20+9)[21]
    End of Turn: Secondary Effect activates DC31 Toughness & DC26 Fortitude vs Cumulative Impaired&Vulnerable/Disabled&Defenceless

    HP 5
    Status-5 Active Defence/Fatigued/Impaired & Vulnerable
    Last edited by Dodgeson; 2019-08-06 at 02:30 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    It was a close thing, but Wraith is able to push through the deluge of mind-wiping emotion. It could be attributed to the months of exposure to Darryl's Death Curse, but some of the emotions even feel stale to him. He's nearly seen his loved one die to a giant elemental's fist; he felt as if he would die when he took that fist himself. F*ck Tara and her mind games.

    Tai's gift of a pocket knife has always been malleable, transformable. Now Wraith stretches that malleability to its limit, stretching the Dreamtech metal and gears into a thin sheathe around his hands, like powered armor gauntlets. It hurts like a sonavabitch, but it allows him to channel his specialized combat style through the gauntlets and through the intervening space--straight to Tara's face.

    After throwing a series of brutal punches, he pulls back out of the immediate area of her bullsh*t, attempting to fade into the ether--and if her powers end up controlling him, well, he can just take a little nap.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Waiting until all allies have attacked Tara.

    Free action: Extra Effort: Power Stunt off of Unkie Wraith's Pocket Knife: Forgotten Combat's Affliction loses Limited to Against Wraith, gains Extra Condition (Entranced/Stunned), Extra Limb (Projection), Elongation 9 (Quirk [Extra Limb only])

    Standard action: Attack with enhanced Forgotten Combat, Power Attacking for 5, -2 for Impaired, (1d20+5)[11] vs DC 30 Toughness, DC 25 Will vs Impaired+Vulnerable+Entranced/Disabled+Defenseless+Stunned

    Free action: Spending a Hero Point to get Extraordinary Effort. Second action dependent on whether Tara is Entranced or not.

    If she is Entranced, then Wraith will Recover and attempt to take off the previous Epic Open Mind's effect: Will vs DC 26, -2 for Impaired: (1d20+9)[25]

    If she is not Entranced, Wraith will attack her with the enhanced Forgotten Combat again: (1d20+5)[22]

    Move action: Move on Platform Flight to 100ft away from Tara, then land back on the ground. Routining Stealth for 29

    Will to remove Affliction if needed, DC 26: (1d20+9)[12]

    Status: Bruised, Impaired+Vulnerable, Incapped by Fatigue next round pending HP expenditure
    HP: 2 (pending)
    Luck: 2 (only to force re-rolls on Wraith-targeted attacks)
    Last edited by Thokk_Smash; 2019-08-09 at 11:34 PM.
    Saber avatar courtesy of Prime32

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    The SIDE agent continued to feed Aidan context, "They think it's a Haptaran air strike. Seeing reports...mostly jets, several power armored fighters." ...What in the world was Haptarus doing attacking the Ilessian navy? I mean, sure, they were at war and all, but Haptarus was completely land-locked.

    Tara came under heavy assault from the Task Force, Aidan punching through her shields and holding her down, his disintegrating powers wearing at her personal wardings, opening up the opportunity for Avery to delve her a crushing blow, shattering her wards, followed up by a furry of portals from Kate that scythed through Tara's deflective barriers, turned aside only just enough to minimize the damage they caused. Even so, the snow around Tara was stained red with blood.

    And the Wraith saw his opening.

    "Wait a minute..." the SIDE agent continued reporting, comfortably oblivious to what was going on on that storm-wracked battlefield.

    Putting everything he had behind it, Wraith hammered Tara full in the face from a distance. The augmenter had no remaining defense. She took the blow full on the chin, all of Wraith's power behind it, a knock-out blow. Power exploded out from her, blasting into the air. In an instant, the storm - both the wild weather and the magical bombardment - was wiped away by the outpouring backlash of energy. The stars shone down over the snow-covered plateau.

    It was over.

    They had...um?

    So. This was interesting.

    Tara didn't seem to be unconscious.

    She was battered for sure, her face covered with bruises, blood flowing slowly (thanks to the cold) from several wickedly precise wounds. But somehow, by dint of sheer Spiritual Energy, Tara Ellens was still combat-capable.

    Several things happened in that moment.

    Tara vanished from the ground, reappearing several yards away - and when she did, Arcanis's staff was back in her hand. Aidan take a Hero Point.

    The sea and sky in the distance was positively filled with explosions.

    And in Aidan's ear, the SIDE agent gasped, "That's the Emperor's powered armor!"

    Nine spots of light came streaking in from the seas to the north, drawing fire from the border defense emplacements on the plateau and sending four of the spots careening down into the sea. Four of the remaining ones landed around Tara in a defensive formation. They were big, hulking suits of powered armor, like heavy tanks turned into sporty and functional outerwear. They were garishly designed with black metal, an inordinate number of spikes, and lots of crimson light from various sources that probably weren't all entirely necessary. The flag of Haptarus glowed in red against black on their chests. The suits had four flexible arms, two sprouting from each shoulder, and each ending in some death-dealing device - an oversized sword, a long, thick chain, a heavy-duty artillery gun, and some sort of bulky, kinda hammer-like device. The suits seemed to have sustained some damage from the border defense weaponry, but they had gotten off lighter than the ones who had dropped from the sky, and still seemed plenty combat-capable.

    The fifth suit, though...it was something else. The flipping armor was wearing armor, the power armored suit looking like some gleaming, nine-foot-tall man sculpted of gold and ivory, encased in a heavy mail of black metal. The suit-sculpture moved with a fluidity beyond all but the most advanced of nanotech armor, and from its back jutted "wings" that were actually weapon racks, oversized weaponry of both modern and archaic designs just hanging off the backs of them. And it wasn't even touched by the laser fire.

    And the sculpted face moved. With a weird, uncanny-valley flow of crawling nanites, it formed expressions and conveyed emotion. At the moment, it wore a certain impatient bemusement as it beheld the battlefield. A deep voice, ringing with command and modulated with a certain bell-like quality from the suit's speaker system, came from it to ask, "Are we ready to go?"

    Spoiler: Expertise (Military, Tactics, Dreamer Lore, Theology, Indelar, or Haptarus) DC 20
    Show
    This isn't just some supertechnician Dreamer with a custom power armored suit. This is the Powered Armor of the God-Emperor, a suit that the Emperor of Haptarus himself dons when playing the role of the God-Emperor for his cult. Hilariously, the combat capabilities of the suit are estimated to be a modest downgrade from his natural fighting power, but the suit's defenses are sufficiently robust to ensure complete protection for the Emperor while he is in. The God-Emperor is considered a separate character from the Emperor of Haptarus for combat purposes; while wearing the Powered Armor of the God-Emperor, Haptarus cannot be targeted or affected directly by any means, but cannot himself contribute to the battle using his own powers.

    Spoiler: DC 25, Military, Tactics, Indelar, or Haptarus only
    Show
    Teleportation and other forms of fast travel into Haptarus from outside is...not really a practical proposition. If you're not dealing with the Empire's border defenses you're dealing with Indelar's, basically. Evidently, retrieving Tara was deemed sufficiently valuable to the Emperor that he came to escort her himself. Presumably the plan was to use the naval attack as a distraction, let Tara destroy the border defense emplacements, and then pick her up. You guys threw a wrench into the plan.


    "Momentarily. I have some unfinished business here first," Tara said, and her power began to gather around her again - though not nearly as strongly as before.

    The golden face of the God-Emperor betrayed a moment's fleeting annoyance, before schooling itself into a broad, exaggerated grin and speaking with dramatic bombast. "Very well! I suppose we have enough time for a brief diversion! BWA-HA-HA!"

    --

    This is it.

    This is what it all comes down to.

    The Ilessian military is engaged with Haptaran forces to the north.

    The Emperor himself has come to escort Tara Ellens back to Haptarus.

    The consequences of adding Haptaran Blood Magic to Tara's supreme ritual mastery cannot be overstated. The threat she could present - to Paradisia, to Ilessia, to all of you personally and everyone you know and love - with such resources is impossible to overstate.

    And it is nothing compared to the threat of the Empire of Haptarus having access to the permanent ritual augments that Tara is capable of producing. The chaos and havoc she was able to wreak with a prison's worth of dangerous Dreamers would be the barest hint of a preview of what her power could do backing an entire army that drafts every single combat-capable Dreamer in an entire Empire into its military. To say nothing for the horror of an Augmented Emperor.

    You cannot let her leave this plateau with the Emperor. You must stop their alliance here, now, whatever the cost. Now is the time to dig deeper than you ever have before. To push beyond every limit if that is what it takes to win.

    All non-fatigue conditions are removed. Ongoing effects from prior rounds are cancelled. Per-scene resources (Recover, Inspire, etc) are NOT reset.

    You are subject to Lethal Damage during the final battle. It's all on the line. Take a Hero Point for the Complication.

    You also all get a Hero Point for your initial victory over Tara. And finally...

    EVERYBODY TAKE 10 POWER POINTS!

    AND INCREASE YOUR POWER LEVEL BY ONE!

    Spoiler
    Show
    You may not spend these new Power Points on limited-use traits (Unreliable, Fades, Luck, etc) or on traits Limited or Flawed in such a way as to be applicable here (no Limited to Tara Ellens or some such). Basically, buy them as if they were on-the-fly powers.

    You may exchange up to 10 of your existing PP for new traits following the same rules.

    This is the Very Final Battle. Hero Points are worthless to you after this.

    Injured Tara only counts as a single character in combat.

    All PCs are on turn. In exchange for your automatic initiative, the enemies receive +2 to all defensive stats in the opening round.
    Last edited by Quellian-dyrae; 2019-08-14 at 12:10 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

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Sweet Arch, they'd done it! They'd gone toe to toe with one of the most dangerous people on Aranth and they'd won, now Tara was going to be made to answer for everything that she'd done, Avery lived for days like this! And then suddenly they very much hadn't done it and the actual most dangerous person on Aranth was standing in front of them, this wasn't over by a long shot!

    Avery's feet were already whirling under him before he knew what he was doing and it wasn't until he was half-way there that a plan started to form in his mind. He had no idea whether this was going to work or not, but he was pretty sure that when it came to a guy with a big enough ego to call himself the 'God Emperor' it would draw attention away from the rest of the Taskforce.

    And either way, how many people could say that they'd thrown a pie at the Emperor of Haptarus?

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Free Action: Spend an HP to turn Exhausted to Fatigued
    Free Action: Set Variable to Damage 12 Linked to Affliction 12 (Impaired&Vulnerable/Disabled&Defenceless/Unaware, Defence)(Alternate Resistance:Defence, Extra Condition)(Limited:First Track is Limited Degree, Second Track is Limited to Vision)
    Move Action: Move to AI14
    Move-by Standard: Attack the God Emperor (1d20+12)[18] DC27 Toughness & DC22 Defence vs Impaired&Vulnerable/Disabled&Defenceless/Unaware if that hits.
    Move Action: Move to W17

    HP 6
    Status Fatigued

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Dorni's Avatar

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    Jul 2005

    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    It was over. Tara lay defeated and the Task Force's work was finally complete.

    And then it wasn't.

    And Prophet found himself face to power-armored face with the God Emperor himself. The man who'd led Haptarus to atrocities uncounted. Who reveled in abusing his gifts and all the misery he'd caused.

    The light of the Dream that had been dimming blazed forth from Prophet once more, to envelop his allies until they also glowed with the Dream's blessing.

    "Haptarus! I am Caleb Wey, Prophet of the Dream. And I am obligated to ask you to reflect on the many ways you've abused your gifts and to take responsibility for your misdeeds." His baritone rang over the plateau as he spoke the formality.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Free: Set primary array to Blessing of Empowerment
    Standard: Aid Aiden. (1d20+22)[32]. Aiden gets +5 on his next attack. Kate and Wraith get +2 on their next attack.
    Triggers Blessing of Empowerment. Team Attack with Aiden at 1d20+22, base rank 7. Will use PA to match. This TA applies to any Damage, Affliction, or Weaken effect. This TA carries Secondary Effect.
    Move: Yeah, gonna pass.
    Last edited by Dorni; 2019-08-25 at 11:02 PM.
    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 - #58
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Thokk_Smash's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Wraith had felt his last hit connect. He'd felt it rattle Tara Ellens' brain in her skull. By all rights, she should have been down and out for, y'know, at least a single, solitary second.

    The least one can say for Tara Ellens is that she is not without determination.

    And then comes the arrival of the Emperor of Haptarus, and the situation changes once more. This is officially do-or-die. Or do-or-allow-millions-to-die, as the case may be. Tara cannot be allowed to leave this plateau with the Emperor. Everything is on the table. Fleeting thoughts of Serena pass through his mind as he briefly closes his eyes in preparation.

    When he opens his eyes once more, his entire being has changed. He takes off the Scouter from his eye and allows it to fall to the ground. The gauntlets made from Tai's knife no longer hurt, and rather fit him like a second skin. His very body seems to flicker in and out of sight.

    Ghostly images emerge from his body to flicker across the distance between himself and the first mook. It seems almost as though Wraith is in both places at once as he goes through an intricate martial arts kata, culminating in a single powerful punch to the chest of the tackily-armored goon. The blow aims to launch the goon at another, and that at another, and so on and so forth. Then he takes to the sky more easily than ever before, to land a good distance away.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Standard action: Attack D4 with the new-and-improved Forgotten Combat, enhanced by Forgot I Was There: AoA/PA for 5, +2 for Prophet's Aid, (1d20+16)[20] vs DC 30 Damage, DC 25 Will vs Impaired+Vulnerable/Disabled+Defenseless, DC 25 Strength vs Move Object or be launched at D3.

    Attack against D3, if needed: (1d20+14)[18] vs the above, and be launched at D2
    Attack against D2, if needed: (1d20+14)[18] vs the above, and be launched at D1
    Attack against D2, if needed: (1d20+14)[34] vs the above, and be launched at the Emperor
    Attack against the Emperor, if needed: (1d20+14)[22] vs the above, and be launched at Tara
    Attack against Tara, if needed: (1d20+14)[15]

    Move action: Move to I8

    Free action: Swap to the new-and-improved Forgotten By The World: Concealment 10 (Does not conceal location), Half-Effect Immunity to Perception and Area Effects

    Status: Fatigued, -5 Defenses, Concealed (location known), Stealthed at (1d20+22)[40]
    HP: 5
    Luck: 2/2 (only to force re-roll attacks against Wraith)
    Saber avatar courtesy of Prime32

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Troll in the Playground
     
    SuperCracker's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    Re-Entry Theme

    “James! Your upgrades aren’t finished!” the scientist called out as he chased the soldier.

    “I'm gonna have to make due, Doc.”

    The soldier jumped on board the waiting jet.

    “JAMES!” The other scientist called. Steeling her resolve she said, “Good luck, soldier.”

    The soldier gripped onto the side of the jet as it lifted up into the air. With his free hand, he gave her a salute. The thrusters on the jet flared up and screamed through the air after nine points of light. Chaos was erupting around the naval carrier. Yet this fighter had an important mission.

    Get him into the fight.

    The jet could be heard approaching as the God Emperor talked. And it flew overhead just as he began to laugh his wicked laugh. The jet dropped no bombs and fired no shots. But the soldier let go and fell towards the earth below.

    That soldier was a former member of the special SIDE Team…

    Big Blue.

    Captain Ilessia.

    The Cyborg Soldier James Rook fell from the heavens, engaging his thrusters as he neared the ground. He wore a blue and white outfit with the Ilessian flag featured prominently on his chest. And in answer to the Emperor of Haptarus’s amusement, Captain Rook unleashed a barrage of small rockets, firing down upon the Emperor and his party. Dozens of small explosions peppered the area, precise enough not to harm any allies.

    Captain Rook landed near the members of the SIDE Team, crouched in a classic superhero pose. He stood up and took a kickboxing pose.

    “Fellas, sorry I’m late.”


    Spoiler
    Show
    Micro-rockets targeting all of the bad guys. Centering on the God-Emperor or Tara gets it done, I think.

    Not sure if it’s one roll or a roll for each enemy. I’ll roll ooc when someone lets me know.
    Last edited by SuperCracker; 2019-08-27 at 12:46 AM.
    Spoiler
    Show

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Nightmare of SIDE IC 2 - Exit the Matrix

    "The Emp-"

    Aidan's focus was momentarily broken, allowing Tara to reclaim the staff...but in that moment, it mattered little.

    "THEN GET THE BLOODY KILLSAT MOVING!"

    Not that he held out hope it would arrive in time, since killsats aren't exactly speedsters...but perhaps it would be enough of a threat to make the Emperor give up on Tara should his armour be broken (the other option was that they'd face the Emperor himself. It would be basically impossible to win, then).

    And to break the armour, they'd have to get rid of the Destroyers first, or they'd keep playing to their strengths and getting in the way.

    Blazing green flames enveloped his hand along with the Dream's radiance as he dashed forward, swinging his fist towards one of the Haptaran soldiers before retreating to a new position.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    HP to downgrade Exhaustion.
    Move: Close with the targeted Destroyer.
    Standard: If Wraith's Affliction sticks, target D4. Otherwise, target the Destroyer with more Bruises. Power Attack with Corrosion Punch (@ +5 for Aid) at (1d20+12)[28], crit on 28+; Toughness DC 30+TA/25+TA vs Damage and Resistance Recovery Impaired/Disabled/Transformed (Cumulative, Secondary Effect).
    Move-by: To AU10.

    Deflected at 1d10+23.
    To the optimist, the glass is half-full.
    To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty.
    To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    Might suffer occasional hiccups in posting rate. Apologies for the inconvenience.

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