Monday, May 12, 2014

Champions: REBIRTH - Comics Digest

Greetings Supers Fans!

Here we are continuing my recap of the first session of our new Champions superhero RPG campaign, Champions: REBIRTH.


As IMPACT and Master Builder prepare to leap through the air from atop one rapidly moving aircraft toward a second one they can not really see, Phalanx, Silent Justice and Equilibrium get all necessary parties up to speed on the situation.

Using Phalanx's leadership skills, Equilibrium's Cosmic Awareness, Silent Justice's Psychic Senses and Telepathy, and N*Gage's ability to tap into internet and satellite feeds, the Champions team has everyone pretty much on the same page as to what to do in case of a variety of scenarios.

The odd man out at first is The Grey Flame. He can not be contacted telepathically in his fully incorporeal state and he has no team communicator for the same reason. In order to stay informed, he uses his ability to read minds by touching a person (which only works were he is immaterial).

Learning the plans and contingencies, and wanting to help his new found allies, The Grey Flames floats towards the back of the shuttle, then stays in place allowing the shuttle to WOOSH past him. After passing through the craft and it's engine (the Gravity Module giving him an odd sensation for half a second), he finds himself floating high above the Earth. A heartbeat latter (Yikes! Sorry Grey Flame. That was insensitive), WOOSH, and Grey Flame is passing through the cockpit of the cloaked plane in pursuit of the shuttle.

Grey Flame allows the cloaked vehicle to rush through and around him as he takes in how many crewmembers it has, how they are armed, what they're wearing, etc. When he reaches the center of the craft (or it reaches him), he passes into another chamber with three occupants. While phasing through the arm of one of them, the individual turns and looks around, seemingly aware of Grey Flame somehow.Grey Flame notes this person is pale, with tough skin and blue-black veins in his exposed arms. He could be undead! Grey Flame flies back to the shuttle to give his team a description of what they were up against.

Meanwhile, IMPACT prepares to leap, when suddenly Master Builder turns to a near liquid form and tries to wrap around him. IMPACT is quick to stop him and warns him against doing that in the future (it came off as rude but in truth IMPACT may have saved MB's life! IMPACT has an invisible, damage dealing force field that has double knockback! Grabbing him in a bear hug will get you thrown away rather roughly).

Master Builder explains that he is only trying to help and has some ideas on how the two of them could, you know, no plummet to their deaths if they miss the plane. Reluctantly IMPACT agrees to carry him over but tells him to flow over the shield easily and smoothly, with a bit of space between the force field and Master Builder, as not to get blasted off. MB shapes himself over IMPACT forming medieval looking plate armor, and IMPACT launches himself through the sky toward the cloaked jet.

Leaping high above the aerial chase, IMPACT focuses his force field downward towards his feet. He goes in a corkscrew spin, intended to drill into the craft as it reaches him. Unfortunately...he misses. The pilot drops a bit and veers left, causing IMPACT and MB to miss their mark. At 35,000 feet.

Thinking fast, Master Builder forms part of himself into a long arm with a grappling hook like end to try and snag a wing as they fall past it. Sadly, he only grabs a maneuvering flap, which tears off from his momentum, weight and great strength.

N*Gage manages to detects signals going to and from the cloaked plane and is able to tap into their communication array. He discovers the pilot and co-pilot of the craft called 'tech support' and reporting that they are having trouble controlling the plane do to the damaged wing. N*Gage manages to hijack their comm lines and tells the crew of the invisible aircraft to turn off their cloak and divert power to manuever thrusters. It works! Now the plane can be seen.

Tachyon and Vanish now reach the location of the incident, albeit far, far below the actual action. The two of them have arrived in Wyoming, and after quickly scanning his vicinity, Vanish comes up with an unorthodox (and damn cool) plan. Using his superspeed, he is going to run up the side of Devils Tower*, and then use his momentum to take a running leap skyward, at which point he will teleport into the plane. Tachyon looks him straight in the eyes and says, "Kid, that's nuts. I say...go for it."

All this time, the Champions are analyzing data -  reports from Grey Flames, telepathic scans from Silent Justice, info obtained by N*Gage while on the enemy comm channel - and they are able to determine that the attackers are Terror Incorporated!**

Master Builder, not all that desperate to see if his maximum level of density increase will enable him to survive a fall from this height at his present, incredible speed, turns himself into a thin, flexible, but very wide concrete hang glider to save himself and IMPACT. Success!

Vanish is likewise successful and appears in the cockpit of the Terror Incorporated plane as it attempts to pull up. He manages to injure three members of the crew and knock one flat on his back with his dimensional strike ability***. The pilot, after being punched by Vanish, hit the afterburners, causing the craft to streak toward the ground at full thrust! Working as fast as he can, the pilot pulls up hard and one of the engines tears loose from the wing assembly.

High above, IMPACT and Master Builder see what have happened and have a plan. MB transforms his shape into that of a disc, which IMPACT than throws at the plummeting jet. Applying the same idea he used to save IMPACT and himself moments ago, Master Builder turns into a hang glider again, angled and shaped slightly differently, to act as a parachute. A concrete parachute?

Oh boy...

More on the way true believers!

Barking Alien

*Devils Tower
Have I mentioned before how obsessed I am with Devils Tower in Wyoming?

Since first seeing it in the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I was completely taken by its visual appearance. In 1981, or thereabouts, I saw the actual site in person, although at some distance, while passing through Wyoming on my way to California to visit my paternal grandfather.

Whenever possible, I try to come up with an excuse to have it appear at least once in an appropriate campaign (Superheroes, Horror, Wild West, etc.).

**Terror Incorporated

A well known staple of Champions canon, the Terror Incorporated of Champions Earth Alpha Delta-1 is not all that different, though some of its inner circle of villains are.

Basically, Terror Inc. is clandestine company that trains minions, equips them, loans technology and provides similar support services to various supervillains. In addition to training your goons or lending you their cloaked aircraft for instance, they can also provide already trained henchmen and even have a catalog of minor super-baddies you can hire for that very special, foolproof plan you've always dreamed about. Order two squadrons of highly skilled henchman today, and get a third squadron at half price!

What this tells the team is whoever hired Terror Inc. has big bucks, but doesn't want to get his or her hands dirty themselves.

***Vanish's Dimensional Strike
This is the ability mentioned in his write up on the team member profiles post as, "(an attack by sending a) punch or kick into interspace gates, causing the blows to land on targets in a radius up to two hundred feet away."


  1. A concrete handglider? Is that even possible? Ghosts, telepathy, robots, okay. But if you take normal concrete, can it really fly?

  2. We checked into it.

    Theoretically, if the weight, size and thickness was evenly distributed across a wide enough area, yes, it would work. Also, bare in mind that he can control the solidity of his form, from block of stone to pouring like a thick liquid. This, we reasoned, would give him the flexibility to make minor adjustments and modifications to his form if need be.

    1. If everyone was trying to take the plane down, why was MB trying to help it? Because Vanish was on board? How did he know? And if IMPACT threw MB, isn't he then going to plummet to his death?

    2. Master Builder didn't want the enemy craft to plummet and kill everyone on board because he's, wait for it, a hero.

      As for IMPACT's plans...check out the next recap installment. ;)

  3. how far can Vanish teleport?

    and how did he keep up with the plane? maybe i missed it. it said he runs under 700 mph but the plane apparently goes around 3,000 mph.

    1. Sorry, perhaps I forgot to mention another of Vanish powers.

      His non-combat speed is 2x normal. Also, he can 'Telerun'. When not engaged in combat, Vanish teleports and runs simultaneously. This means each 'jump' sends him about 700 miles. It is draining however and takes extra endurance.

    2. Imagine it as running, but each time you're forward foot touches the ground you jump ahead so that the next step is 700 miles away. Extra endurance and only works out of combat.