New Centurions, Issue #8: The Price of Freedom

Last night was the latest installment of Clint’s New Centurions superhero campaign.

We had left off just after boarding the invading interdimensional aliens’ voidship, so we picked up with our exploration of the vessel. Our plan was simple: capture or disable the vessel, and stop the invasion.

The inside was huge – bigger than any aircraft carrier – with massive hallways and doors. The walls were something like lacquered sandstone or coral, in vertical striations, looking very organic. The floor was a leathery substance with octagonal tiles. The first doors we made it to were aircraft hangar sized, and Queen Celeste needed to use her magical abilities to open them.

Beyond, we found the slave pens – rows of large, barred cells, filled with a myriad of aliens, each with a small parasite attached at the base of the skull, controlling them and keeping them docile. A small band of them were being moved somewhere by four of the invaders, so we rushed into the fray and took out the slavers, thanks in no small part to a well-timed fastball special, with Paladin tossing Widowmaker into the mix. A little experimentation managed to remove the parasite from one of the creatures, and she pointed us to a control node in the wall, where Queen Celeste was able to remove all the parasites, open the cell doors, and access some vital information.

Information such as the layout of the voidship, the number of slaves aboard (about 3400, if I remember correctly), and the number of invaders aboard (a little over 700).  With this data, we formulated a plan to take a hundred or so volunteers with military training from the slave population and push on to take the bridge. Another group, made up of a few hundred, decided they wanted to try their own plans for looting and capturing the ship. Paladin managed to arrange an agreement with them that, no matter who took the ship, there would be co-operation between the victors and the other groups. Queen Celeste then used her suggestion ability to send this group, made up of many of the largest and most troublesome slaves, to attack the forward guard stations, where we had determined the largest number of guards (and weapons) would be.

With our stalwart band of followers, we pushed on toward the elevator that led up to the command deck. Widowmaker used her forcefield to bottle up a room full of guards, and then we ran smack into a trio of priest invaders, with mind-blasting gems, psychic armour, and force swords.

This showed up one of the interesting artifacts of a system like BASH that has a very chunky progression ((And by chunky progression, I mean that there are very few steps in the progression latter of abilities, and the difference between adjacent ranks is large.)): the initial aliens we fought in the ship were pushovers, and these were devastating. Now, obviously, there were other factors involved than just the chunky system: the initial aliens were minions, while these were not, for instance. But there is a real difference between fighting someone with a hit, damage, or defense multiple of x2 versus a multiple of x3. This is partially addressed by the half-step system that Clint is using, providing mid-steps, but there’s still a big difference.

Case in point, these three illithid priests pretty much ate our lunch. We had to pull out all the stops to take them down, and would have been completely routed except for Queen Celeste’s power stunt of using her weakening touch to deactivate their armour, and Widowmaker’s massively successful gravitic smash ((Pun intended.)). As it stands, S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. is running around at about 20% of his hit total ((I can’t complain, really – this is only the second or third time he’s been damaged at all, so he was due for a pummeling.)), with no way of getting any back, because he’s a machine and the alien healing tech doesn’t work on him.

Now, this is not a criticism of the game or the fight – it was a great fight, and very much in keeping with the genre to force the heroes to get creative and sneaky to take down strange and terrible foes.

So, we pushed on at speed to the elevator, took it up to the command deck, and did our best to disable it. Then we stormed the bridge, catching the captain and the rest of the bridge crew apparently by surprise.

That’s where we left it – we burst through the door onto the bridge, and the captain and bridge crew turn to see us crowded in the doorway.

Make sure you pick up the next issue.

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