Sunday, June 12, 2011

Secret Origins - Fabulous First Issue - Part I

I thought it might be fun and interesting to tell you about a Superhero RPG session my friends and I had. I hope you enjoy this rather meaningful* recap...

The Scenario:

A half dozen fire trucks surround a New York City office building in the early morning hours as the flames belching forth from the windows match the dawn sky. The rising Sun and burning offices turn the waking world red, gold and black with smoke.

New York's bravest move in like knights with lances of water, trying with all their might to dowse the scorching fire, hot as dragon's breath, that licks at their faces. Siren's blare, voices cry out and pieces of a store front crack and fall like hushed thunder.

Then they arrive...

The Heroes:

First to arrive is Sonar Man, the master of sound and vibration. He floats down from above, carrying himself on the din in the air around the event. His cool blue and white costume and billowing cape in sharp contrast to the hot reds and yellows of the scene. He descends like a faceless angel, his identity completely hidden under a full face mask.

He listens. Using his power over sound he screens out noises he doesn't need to pay attention to in order to hear the faintest cry for help or the splintering of wood that meant a ceiling or floor was about to collapse. He hears something and he acts. Swooping into an open window, he scans for the source of the sound and finds a young woman and a small child trapped. A burning bookcase is about to fall on top of them. He whispers, "Duck down and cover your ears", and thanks to his powers they hear him perfectly.

Sonar Man than shouts, a simple, single-syllable yell that shatters the bookcase and several windows, blasting the debris away from those trapped. He quickly gets his arms under or around them and flies them to the safety of the street below. Looking up he sees the rest of his team has now arrived.

Roughhouse has already transformed his skin into the concrete-like stone substance that protects him from danger. No flames will be harming him anytime soon. Beside him is U.F.O., the Ultimate Flying Operative. The fiery environment turns his chrome and black armor both a dark and brilliant bronze. His eyes remain the same eerie, glowing, green they always are. It would seem nothing on Earth can alter his unnerving gaze.

Firemen and women near by look at U.F.O. with slightly startled expressions as he speaks, his voice synthesized to sound like a robot from an old Sci-Fi movie.

"My research indicates this building contains a number of business offices, many of which are focused on emerging technologies. Most notable is Robowares Inc., a firm specializing in developing robots for common house hold use."

"Hmph," grunts Roughhouse, who was in the process of asking one of the prettier paramedics for her phone number. "What, like a dishwasher that can think or a talking vacuum cleaner?"

"Something like that yes." Sonar Man smirked beneath his mask, able to glean just a slight tone of exasperation from U.F.O. even though his mechanized voice seemed emotionless. "We could be looking at corporate sabotage. We could be talking about a theft and someone covering their tracks in a most brutal fashion."

Sonar Man, nodded curtly. "Right now that's just speculation. We need to do further investigating. At the moment, let's..."

The Villain:

Before Sonar Man could finish, the roof erupted and a column of flames shot into the rapidly bluing sky like a roman candle. Suddenly, in the air above the building, a man in a purple and black outfit with armored sections and a cloak floated and laughed.

"Well, well. If it isn't the Terrific Trio. I had hoped to avoid running into you this early in the game. Still, I wouldn't be the genius that I am if I wasn't prepared for the possibility."

"We're not playing games here Prof. Pandemonium. What are you up to?" Sonar Man grimaced beneath his mask. It was all he could do to hold himself back from simply blasting Pandemonium with bone crushing sound waves.

"All in due time, Sonar Man, all in due time. For now you have more pressing concerns. This building is about to come down on top of all those heroic firefighters." And with that, Prof. Pandemonium unleashed a series of small missiles, all the size of magic markers, which hurtled toward the building's roof top causing it to explode. Igniting his boot jets, the evil scientist rocketed skyward and west.

As Sonar Man began to lift off and fly into the air in pursuit, he looked at the massive pieces of burning wood and brick about to fall on the men and women below. If he tried to help them Prof. Pandemonium would surely escape. If he went after the Professor...certainly U.F.O. and Roughhouse could protect the firefighters and civillians. There was no guarantee of course.

Sonar Man knew what he had to do...

To be continued...

Barking Alien

*Meaningful to me that is.


  1. Y'know, my thought was always "Just blast him with the bone crushing sound waves/shake him apart with super-powerful vibrations." (That second bit is because of a character named Spectrum).

  2. He could have but didn't.

    Sonar Man, Roughhouse and U.F.O. are PCs (though U.F.O. is most often used as an NPC since he's the character of the adventure's GM. Me).

    Sonar Man's player didn't shoot first and ask questions later. He asked questions first.

    Read on to see why...

  3. Argh... That's what I get for posting at one in the morning. I meant to add something to the effect that "This is why I tend to be a pretty bad superhero as, for some reason, people tend to be pretty annoyed when you kill people, even if they are supervillains.".