‘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.)
Knowing the right people pays off, an academic is interviewed, and an onyx bracelet triggers a terrible trap.
With the Museum of Natural History now safe from the horde of magical snakes left by the unknown thief, the members of the League had several leads they could follow up. Michelangelo, a New York City local, flipped open his radical shell-phone and called his contact at Channel 6 News – April O’Neil. April was happy to help him research the mysterious Starlight Foundation which was behind the donation of the Holographic Projector at the Museum. April promised to call back as soon as she had found something. Tintin also considered his vast list of professional contacts, and realised that he had previously met the Egyptology Professor who had co-ordinated the ‘Treasures of the Onyx Pyramid’ exhibit at the Museum. The Professor, named Clarence King, was currently at the New York University campus, and the group decided to pay him a visit.
A short time later, the group was questioning the Professor in his offices at NYU. Since it appeared that the thief had been smuggled into the museum inside a sarcophagus, they suspected that Professor King was somehow involved. The Professor protested his innocence, explaining that x-ray imaging showed nothing but the mummified remains of an ancient Pharaoh inside the sarcophagus in question. He claimed to have no knowledge about where the glowing blue snakes had come from. While the questions continued, Tintin’s faithful dog, Snowy, was sniffing around the room. Tintin noticed that Snowy was paying particular attention to a collection of black stone artifacts, including a onyx bracelet on Professor King’s wrist. When Snowy began barking, Tintin knew he had found something important, but before anyone could react, Professor King touched the bracelet and all the onyx artifacts in the room began to glow with a powerful blue light. The light seemed to press in on everyone except Professor King, and nobody could move, no matter how they struggled. The members of the League were trapped!
Professor King laughed and casually stepped towards the window, explaining that he would answer no more questions. “You will never defeat my Master!” he explained, before jumping from the third storey window. Frozen in place, our heroes couldn’t see what had become of him until they managed to free themselves from the blue light that held them.
He-Man was first to try. Summoning all the strength that the most powerful man in the universe could muster, he strained and struggled but could not break free of the field of energy holding him in place. Casper had a much easier time, being only barely corporeal, and found he could move through the light by spreading out his ectoplasmic form, almost to the point of invisibility. Transforming her Sword of Protection into a long spear, She-Ra knocked the closest statuette under the desk, freeing herself from the beam and heading for the window to chase Professor King. With a powerful whistle, she summoned her flying unicorn steed and flew after the Professor, who she could see sprinting across the university quad with inhuman speed. Casper, also able to fly, sped after her.
Back in the office, He-Man continued to struggle, while Tintin carefully worked a ring from his finger to throw at the small onyx bust closest to him. In an incredible stroke of luck, he managed to rebound the ring of a nearby bookcase, knocking the bust over and setting himself free. As Tintin ran for the stairs, Michelangelo also fought free of the beams, and offered to help He-Man, but the most powerful man in the world refused the help of an untrustworthy mutant. Angered, but unable to leave his friend trapped, Michelangelo backflipped through the open window, throwing a ninja-star as he fell, which knocked over the last object holding He-Man in place. Everyone was free, and they raced across the University courtyard in pursuit of Professor King.
Two of our characters got to use their ‘once per session’ stunts in this session, to great effect. Having characters who could either do research, or who ‘know the right people’, can be a great way to deliver information without railroading. I decided that Tintin could know Professor King to bring him into the story, and in the next session we will see the results of Michelangelo’s call to April O’Neil. Mikey’s ‘Radical Shell-phone’ was a nice touch by his player.
I think I could have executed the interview with Professor King much better. It was difficult (and perhaps unfair) to have an NPC lie about the PCs questions. I now realise that causes two problems – a) That the players will have to go through the questions again if they catch him, and b) the ‘lie’ answers could easily be confused with the truthful answers later. In future, I would handle this type of scene by springing the trap at the first sign of trouble, before any questions are asked. The players would then overcome the trap and the NPC, and their reward would be the chance to questions him and receive truthful answers.
The scene with the trap itself worked pretty well, even though most players overcame it in a single action. Only He-Man rolled badly, but that resulted in my favourite moment of the session – my compel that He-Man would refuse help from Michelangelo on the grounds that He-Man was prideful and as the most powerful man in the universe, didn’t need the help of a mutant. It was a nice character moment, especially when Michelangelo, somewhat spitefully, helped him anyway.
Come back next time to find out whether our heroes are able to chase down the devious Professor King. Will they finally be able to uncover the identity of the creature that robbed the museum? Find out next time, in Session 2 – Part 2.