‘League of Extraordinary Cartoon Characters’ Campaign – System: Fate Accelerated by Evil Hat Productions
When a dangerous artifact is stolen by a shadowy creature, a mismatched group of heroes is summoned to re-form the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and defend mankind! (Featuring your favourite cartoon characters from the 80′s and 90′s.)
A crime scene is inspected, clues and secrets abound and a menace is set loose in the Museum.
After being summoned by Dept. Director Quimby of the FBI, the newest version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen made their way to the Museum of Natural History, where approximately 30 hours ago something dangerous had been stolen by an unknown creature. The team, consisting of He-Man and She-Ra, Michelangelo the Ninja Turtle, Casper the friendly ghost and Tintin, were shown into the museum and introduced to Dr Cousins, the Curator. The museum was bustling with the regular crowds of tourists and visitors, but Dr Cousins led them through the main hall to a large piece of machinery that was roped off and surrounded by security guards.
“The Object was stolen from inside this machine,” he explained, showing them a large and complex desk-sized machine with three view-panels on the front. “The Object itself is a crystalline cube, which was removed from the back of the machine, here.” Indicating the place, Tintin examined the insides of the machine where the stolen cube was stored. The circuits and cabling was heavily damaged inside, but the damage did not look recent as the machinery was laced with dust.
When asked about the damage, Dr Cousins explained that it had always been that way, ever since the machine was donated. He did not know what the cube did specifically, but the machine was part of a light and sound show that projected holographic images and accompanying music. The projection had not worked since the cube was stolen.
Dr Cousins handed over what little documentation they had on the Projector, which had been donated by something called ‘The Starlight Foundation’ almost 6 years ago. Much of the paperwork was missing, or redacted, but among the sheets there was evidence of the FBI’s involvement in having the Projector machine donated to the museum.
Leaving the main hall, the group was escorted into the ‘Treasures of the Onyx Pyramid’ exhibit, where Quimby’s security footage had shown the thief emerging from a large stone sarcophagus. Inspecting the sarcophagus, Tintin found a white feather, which he knew to be from an Egyptian Ibis, but it was suspiciously fresh, not preserved or aged, and should not have been in the tomb of a long-dead Pharaoh.
While Tintin examined the sarcophagus, Michelangelo spotted what appeared to be ancient Egyptian pizza amongst the items on display. Compelled to reach out and take it, he resisted, but spotted a section of the display where certain listed items were missing. Informing Dr Cousins, the curator confessed that they had not noticed those missing items with all the other things that had been going on. According to the labels on the display, the missing objects were four ancient Canopic jars which contained the organs of the mummified Pharaoh.
Meanwhile, Casper flitted through the walls of the building to pay a visit to the security guard who had witnessed the theft. The man was already shaken by his whole experience, and seeing a small ghost appear through the walls put him over the edge. He curled up, fetal, in the corner of the room, begging Casper to leave him alone. Only Casper’s kind, friendly nature could calm him down enough to answer any questions. All Barney could reveal was that a hulking winged form had come at him from the sarcophagus, and he had blacked out.
Back in the ‘Onyx Pyramid’ exhibit, Tintin’s dog Snowy was on to something. He was growling and barking at one of the other sarcophagi nearby. Thinking that Snowy had found a clue, He-Man pulled the heavy stone lid aside, but instead of a clue, hundreds of small glowing blue snakes spilled forth and started wriggling their way out of the exhibit, striking and biting where they went. Screams erupted from the museum patrons, and our heroes found themselves under attack!
This scene had a bunch more information to get through. The players did a good job asking insightful questions of Dr Cousins and again it was hard for me not to give away my biggest secrets. I’m still learning how to make information available to players in an organic way, and I think I still have the OD&D mindset of ‘if they don’t ask, don’t tell’.
I made some more GM compels in these scenes, namely compelling Michelangelo to go after the ancient pizza which would have caused him to accidentally destroy part of the display (which he refused) and for Casper to inadvertently scare Barney the security guard who had witnessed the theft. My goal to be more active in my compels was going quite well, I thought.
The only thing I didn’t think worked well in these scenes was all the additional information that was dumped on the players, and the fact that according to all the NPCs, nobody knew what this potentially dangerous device was. It might have been a bridge too far for the players in terms of believability. I wanted to make this part of the mystery, so I decided to stick to my guns. I think I managed to give out all the information that I had prepared for the players (even if I had to compel someone with ancient Egyptian pizza to do it).
Will our heroes be able to stand against the swarm of magical snakes that they unleashed on the Museum of Natural History? You’ll have to find out next time, in Gameplay Session 1 – Part 3.