The third time is definitely the charm heroes and heroines.
This past Saturday, four players and myself rocked the costumed and cowled capital of the world, Freedom City (my slightly alternate take on it actually), and broke the curse of weak sessions that had been plaguing us of late.
We partook in a 7 1/2 hour session that saw the four PC's, billed as new recruits to the world's greatest super team, The Freedom League, team up with senior members and The Atom Family (Power Pack by way of being the children of the Fantastic Four) in order to take down The Meta-Grue (essentially the Super Skrull) and uncover a secret lab belonging to SHADOW (your not-so-basic basic clandestine terrorist organization bent on world domination).
I opened with the local morning talk show, "A.M. Freedom", being interrupted by popular Channel 3 Action News reporter, Amy Feng, with a fast breaking story of the Meta-Grue's sudden and inexplicable rampage in the Greenbank section of the city, a dreary, rundown area dominated by the train yards (and the remains of an older series of tunnels no longer in use). Just before leaving their headquarters for the scene, one of the NPCs, a well known member of the Freedom League who is himself a Grue shapeshifter (though he rebelled and became good) begins freaking out and attacking the PCs. Two members try to subdue him with the help of another Freedom Leaguer NPC while the other two PCs go help the Atom Family who are already in Greenbank getting their butts kicked.
Soon, all the PCs meet up at the battle scene, eager to find out why the Grue (good and bad alike) are, like, totally wigging. After cleverly defeating the Meta-Grue, who had definitely gone feral/crazy, the PCs investigated the 'abandoned' train tunnels to see if there was something in there he was after or that was causing he and his fellow alien such distress.
Eventually, the team uncovered a secret SHADOW lab attempting to unlock the secrets of this weird Jack Kirby-esque device (described as a sphere with tubes and handles. It sorta looks like a lantern. No, not like a lantern. OK, more like a camera. No, not like a camera...er...). The PCs, with some NPC help, defeat and capture the SHADOW agents and retrieve the object. In the process, the group discovers that SHADOW (arch enemy of one of the PCs) is in cahoots with mystic, martial arts cult called The Way of the Void (arch enemy of one of the other PCs).
Unfortunately, an android agent of SHADOW (a SHADOW Puppet ;-) escaped with some key data on the device they were studying. Next issue, they track him/it down...
Ad Hoc Played By Conrad
Attractive, African American business woman and financial genius. Total Type A personality, go getter. Being a superhero doesn't really fit into her life plan but after being exposed to a mysterious flash of light in the night sky and seeing others like her (the 'Flashfolk') using their powers for both good and evil, she felt ashamed that she initially hid her powers and did nothing. Now, she is at odds with herself over whether she is really meant to be a superhero.
Ad Hoc's body adapts to any hazardous outside stimuli in a most extreme way. In a radiation field she will turn to lead, in a lightning storm she may become rubber, etc. She can generate 'Countermeasure Blasts' such as jets of water to put out fire surrounding her or shards of metal to pierce armored attackers.
Anthem Played by the oft mentioned Dave
Formerly a 98 lbs weakling and science nerd of the Steve Erkle variety, Anthem invented a forumla to enhance his physical attributes that worked waaay too well. He wanted to be a handsome jock but gained super powers as well and now uses them to make a difference for the innocent, weak and downtrodden.
Best thought of as a blue collar superman, Anthem is garbed in a patriotic costume and is definitely the moral center of the group, though not above grabbing a beer after a super battle or hitting on his team mates or attractive reporters.
Anthem takes the classic superman power set, Flight, Invulnerability, Super Strength, etc. and adds a Psychic/Sound based aura the can demoralized his enemies and heal or 'amp up' his allies. He can also focus the sound into a sonic blast attack.
Onyx Dragon Played By Marcus
A homeless orphan abandoned on Earth was 'abducted' by an alien monk and given the choice, "Stay on Earth as you were or become my student and tour the wonders of the universe." Three guesses which he chose. The alien turned out to be the master of a technique that could tap the Force-like 'Cosmic Chi'. He trained his student in the philosophy of the 'Cosmic Chi' as well as teaching him the martial arts style of dozens upon dozens of alien species. Eventually, the master revealed one of his former students had twisted the philosophy to create 'The Way of The Void'. Not long after The Void Master attacked and killed the master but not before he had returned his newest student, orphan turned alien martial arts expert, Onyx Dragon, to Earth.
Now, The Void Master and The Way of The Void cult search for Onyx Dragon as they plan to take over the galaxy by achieving the ultimate level of cosmic awareness. Unless of course, Onyx Dragon and his 'Cosmic Chi' get defeat them or do it first.
Onyx Dragon is a martial arts master with nerve cluster pinches and crazy Wushu fighting styles that even work against bizarre extraterrestrials ("Of course I stunned him. An Altairian's blood flow is centered in it's right hip."). He can also focus the 'Cosmic Chi' to perform superhuman feats like 'Hulk leaps' and blocking/parrying energy swords.
StarKnight Plus Played By Ray
The newest recruit to be inducted into the Green Lantern Corps like organization known as The StarKnights, this young man came by the honor in a somewhat embarrasing fashion. A prototype for a new, more advanced StarKnight Armor was en route to one of the greatest members of their order when the starship carrying it was destroyed by enemy forces. The commander of the ship, who was also the mission leader, dumped the nanotech armor's primary data core so that if the suit survived the starship's destruction and the enemy got a hold of it, they wouldn't know how it worked.
The remains of the vessel crash on Earth, where a young man finds the containment crystal that houses the nanotech armor and is suddenly encased in the StarKnight Plus protective garb. Oh course, he doesn't know how it operates. Cross Green Lantern, Iron Man and the Greatest American Hero and you get the idea behind StarKnight Plus.
Ray's StarKnight is protected by Armor, can fly, shoot solar energy blasts and possesses Super Strength and Endurance. He can also rapidly destabilize the molecules of metal objects and reorganize them into other shapes so as to supply him with additional weapons, defenses, create a cage or restraints to hold a villain, etc.
Hoody Hoo! More to come...