Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Vanguard: Issue 211: The Vanguard Reserves!

Previously, in Vanguard:

It is a dark time for this universe. Three harbingers of doom, Mystic, Archimedes and Oracle, warned Vanguard of the coming of Cthulhu to this dimension. To stop this threat, they sent Vanguard on a series of quests across time and space to locate nine artifacts of power. Anyone of them possess the power to summon Cthulhu when the stars are right.
On these quests, Vanguard encountered and recruited Doc Monster (of the defunct European superhero team, AEGIS) and Nemesis, former Freedom Forcer and “brother” of Nanite.
But they were betrayed, all of them, by Mystic. The former hero and Liberty Leaguer destroyed Vanguard’s HQ, and murdered the other harbingers and the friends and family of Vanguard. He stole all the artifacts, for a purpose Vanguard can only guess.

But Vanguard turned the tables on Mystic, and retook the artifacts back from Mystic’s otherworldly pocket dimension. Now, Vanguard prepares for Mystic’s inevitable retaliation onboard the CHESS Omni-Carrier, over the Atlantic Ocean, as the clock winds down to the moment when the stars are right for Cthulhu’s invasion of this dimension, in 44 hours. In two hours, Vanguard will teleport to the Salt Flats for what they believe will be the final confrontation with Mystic!

At 4:14am EST, alarms blared across the CHESS Omni-Carrier.

Director Grey called Vanguard from the bridge. They saw him on the wall screens in the Special Projects Room, and in the nearby Battle Command Center.
“Radar’s picked up something on approach to us.  It’s all the former members of Vanguard, flying in, requesting permission to land. They’re here to help!”

Some within Vanguard had their suspicions. But they kept their thoughts to themselves.
CHESS Director Grey okayed permission to land and the Vanguard Reserves flew in.
In the Projects Room, Vanguard watch them on the wallscreen. The reserve heroes touch down on the flight deck and once they are past the Omni-Carrier’s defenses, they attack without warning!

Blue Comet blasts cyan flames from his hand, detonating a fighter jet on the carrier flight deck! It triggers a chain reaction, erupting two other jets nearby!

Talon and Viper sucker punch the cadre of CHESS rooks that had gone out to meet them.

Forester fires a techno-arrow into the communications array atop the carrier!

Soldier fires something hard to see onto the ship’s hull!

Inhuman controls the teeming rain of the World Storm and uses it to blast a path into the Omni-Carrier and everyone follows him in!

Vanguard hears Grey’s voice on the monitor: “What the hell?!”

Another voice near him: “Sir! Hip Hop has been sighted!...”
Vanguard knew Hip Hop was a young, celebrity-conscious superhero with the power of teleportation.

ZARK! Suddenly the wallscreen went dead. Communications too. The lights were next. The constant hum of the engines suddenly can’t be heard. Nor can the ever-present vibration of the rotors.

Alarm claxons blare throughout the decks! Backup generator lights kick in and bathe the room red.

Suddenly, the floor begins to tilt. Furniture and equipment slide across the projects room as the CHESS Omni-Carrier starts to plummet out of the sky!


[OOC: This surprise attack preempts any of your orders for this turn that occurred after the Vanguard Reserves landed, which is about 90% of what you wrote. Sorry! It was great stuff, and can still be used should you all survive.  :)

Below is the map of the CHESS Omni-Carrier.

The Blue V is Vanguard (in the Special Projects Room, formerly the Computer Support room, or the Battle Command Center directly above it).

The Red VR are the Vanguard Reserves, last seen at the front of the ship, on the flight deck.

The bottom half of the map are cutaway views from the front of the ship to the back.

The carrier is 1100 feet long. To calculate your character’s movement into feet, multiply the number on your character sheet by 5. So 60” = 300 feet per turn. One turn is 15 seconds and usually includes a move and an attack.

The PCs don’t know the Omni-Carrier’s layout well. Trying to get from point A to point B will require an Int save on a d20. Every point higher than your Int that you roll, means it takes an extra turn (15 seconds) to reach point B. A 20 means you’re lost.]

Current Conditions:

Aperture: Hit Points: 25, Power Points: 73, Nanotech: Disintegration Ray (default)
Avatar: Hit Points: 21, Power Points: 85, Manifestation: none
Clone: Hit Points: 7/6, Bodies: 1/1, Power Points: 67/67, Hit Point Pool: 13 (Stats: NYC/Russia)
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 85
Menagerie: Hit Points: 16, Power Points: 66, Form: Man
Sentinel: Hit Points: 7, Power Points: 70, Creation Points: 140, Shields: 0%
Slingshot: Hit Points: 39, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 8, damage that can’t be regenerated: 30

Countdown:  44 hours until the End of the World.


A question before I start making any decisions -

Do I still have my teleportation disruption invention that I created at the beginning of this story arc? I know that I've never used them and never really talked about them since that original work to stop the Russians.

Side-comment: Scott will not let the helicarrier go down at the hands of these people. They saved our asses when the HQ exploded.

Also, I'm surprised we are being attacked by them - Are they under someone's control? Assuming we could help them get out of that and turn them to our side. Do we want to take the time to talk to them? Do we want to take the time to engage them or just take them out.



Immediately Kirk summoned his energies and as he did so he created them around himself and the artifacts simultaneously.  He awaited the arrival of Hip Hop hoping his energy sense would alert him to his arrival so that the surprise would be on Hip Hop and not Vanguard ready to take him out.

Kirk wasn't surprised that the attack came.  Only that it was so immediate.  He was expecting and prepared to route out a possible infiltration once the reserves had boarded.

Hearing the shouts of his teammates he said, "Avatar is right.  We need to take go. That would be the prudent course. We gain nothing from a battle here and no doubt the goal is securing the artifacts.  However it seems that since this started we have lost all that we are... and leaving the Omni-carrier and Chess to the Reserves 'good graces' hardly seems heroic."

"Given the damage we've heard and seen before losing communication, what probability do we have of saving the ship.  Surely Chess has an evac plan if needed.  We need to quickly weigh the cost of staying vs the potential of the good we can do staying".

(OOC - Jeff pooling each individuals, powers, expertise, skills, etc do we have a chance to save the carrier given what has already happened to it?  Truly seems prudent course is porting out of here with the artifacts as long as Chess personnel can evac.  Or perhaps we flee the carrier with the artifacts so they follow and it allows Chess to secure the safety of the carrier before they further destroy it.)

"If my shields are taken out everyone needs to take an artifact into their possession to guard and protect... unless you feel it more prudent to take one now."

"I've no doubt that some, if not all, of the reserves are not acting of their own accord which makes a battle even more fruitless and frustrating.   We have encountered at least two enemies capable of that feat.  I have to say that their attack is quite reminiscent of when Black Bat sent part of Vanguard on a quest to destroy Silas Caine.  When we secured his artifact he mentioned other allies.  Perhaps now that we have secured all of their artifacts he is making a move here - which would be just like him.  But how would he know our location?  Or course you know whom I think is ultimately behind all this..."

OOC:  Well that should help us to determine our course a bit.  We need to do so quickly before the choice is taken from us.



I'd 'lost' my copy of the latest issue when I did the below but found it.  Since 'talk is free', Jeff can we have a run down on all the weaknesses of the Vanguard reserves that we know about to share them and exploit them if we are going to battle.

Any way it goes we're pretty screwed in an ongoing battle given they are likely 'fresh' and we are all run down from the days of this adventure (although no doubt if we don't deal with them now we will be dealing with them later).

I'd add to the degree possible Kirk will try to focus to on them (assuming we do encounter them) and his energy sense-mind skills to try to determine if he can figure out under whose influence they may be...  maybe if any of them are 'fighting' a mind-control enough even without a specific surface scan me might pick it up or perhaps his energy sense can pick up something.



I did some research. Here's our opponents:

Viper: Strong: Fast, hypnosis - weakness to cold
Blue Comet: Hyper fast, Flames powers - Keep away from Slingshot.
Inhuman: Water Breathing, Hydrokinesis, Water weakness, but it's measured in hours.
Forester: Archer with trick shots and hard to sneak up on. He was a werewolf in the making when we last saw him. He may be weak to silver
Soldier: Bionic Capt America. Boosted physical attributes and lots of tech based sensors and smart gun. Weak to Magnetics
Talon: Winged Berserker. Low Self Control

Team, How do we want to break this up?

Jeff, what's the penalty for stopping the research?


Thanks, Stephane for the rundown on the Vanguard reservists. Their character sheets are all on the game blog, I believe.

Seth wrote: "OOC - Jeff pooling each individuals, powers, expertise, skills, etc do we have a chance to save the carrier given what has already happened to it?"

GM Reply: You're not sure what's happened to it, so it's hard to say.

Stephane, what do you mean by "penalty for stopping the research?"
If you mean for the inventing time, then: If you stop inventing long enough to deal with this threat, then when you return to it, you pick up where you left off, so some of the inventions will be complete after 2 more hours of work.
I hope that's what you were asking about.



The blog is where I got the info, of course. Thanks for keeping track of all the information there. I was doing it for the team.

You've answered my other question perfectly.

I'll dig up my invention when I get home


OOC: Hi,

I don't recall the teleportation disruption invention as something that was actually worked on. I know Menagerie was looking to re-"invent" his one shot spell that blocked teleportation. But that said, there were many ideas being thrown around in the months of brainstorming.

Can you please direct me to where you said Slingshot is working on it? Thanks.



OOC: I scoured my emails and I can't find it. It may very well have been my imagination. I thought I had spent a luck point at some time to come up with a teleporter disruption device for the SSS teleporter a while back. I never used them,


OOC: Hi, Stephane.
I don't think it happened.
I just remember the anti-teleportation spell that Menagerie created.


As aperture had all but ignored the arrival of the "Reserves", he was still at a work desk.  When the ship started to list, and hearing the motors winding down, he realized the peril everyone on the ship was in.  He will move to the closest workstation, and see what he can do to get the motors/anti-gravity working again.  He'll look for updates online as to what is going on, but be focused on keeping the ship in the air.  Using his Heightened Comprehension and Advanced Computer skills to accomplish this goal.

Turning he glanced over to see the Clone's running for the door.



I thought that perhaps we may be nearing the end of the turn and although I gave stuff already figured I'd add the following including clarifications.

My actions are pretty much going to be taken up this turn by summoning my energies while encircling the artifacts.  If Avatar is ready for it Kirk wants to get Excalibur in his hands both for its protection and the fact that if that righteous sword could be used for their advantage in any way at this time it seems it would be in his hands.

If it helps in any way to prevent and/or intercept Kirk is sure that Hip Hop's next action is going to be to 'pop in' to grab artifacts so if that can help Kirk to prevent it and/or take him out over the next turn that would be great (ie perhaps he is materializing and Kirk senses him with his energy sense he is unexpectedly overcome by Kirk's energies smashing him into a wall or something as he is entering the area and materializing.

At this point Kirk is convinced of mind control and actually this whole scene really reeks more of Black Bat than Swastika control.  Swastika was more individual at a time and insidious and long term.  Bat was group control and it would be right up his alley to surrender his artifact to Vanguard to let them to the 'heavy lifting' of gathering them all and then to sweep in at that moment and secure them all.  That is his MO to the 't'.

At this point I'd ask since I don't recall nor have the time to check, what was it that final got Vanguard out of his control - was it time? distance of influence? an event that allowed them to break free?  -- the idea being if we know perhaps we can facilitate those conditions to help the reserves (yes, this is assuming it is the Black Bat, but even if it doesn't perhaps we eliminate him as a suspect at this point)

Slate is trying to get the heliocraft back under control, assuming he does goal set should be (1) determine if we can save the craft and (2) where did the reserves come from at this point?  If it was from another craft and the heliocraft is going to be be a loss and it appears that the craft that bought them is an enemy craft then we have a huge battering ram to return their 'favor' to us.





You refer to the now legendary events of 2008's Vanguard Issue 53: The Devil You Know!
(Available in official CGC slabbed issues, rated 9.7, here: )

As you can see, those mind controlled by Black Bat just suddenly weren't under his control any longer. They smashed into Silas Caine's penthouse apartment and suddenly, all of them simultaneously regained free will.

It was never clear what the cause was.

Your friendly neighborhood librarian


John thinks the same of the control that must be influencing the former/inactive members of Vanguard.  He makes his way to where they are, manifesting Heightened Charisma and Oration and hoping that his aura of "cool" can also aid in influencing his former teammates and breaking them out of whatever/whoever's control.

When he arrives, he addresses them:  "Brothers, what are you doing?  You are HEROES, not villains!  We are fighting for the very survival of our race against other-worldly powers, not among ourselves!  Don't you see?  Something has you under its influence!  We should be friends and allies, not foes!  We should be fighting side-by-side, not each other!"

He'll gauge their reactions before going on.  Hopefully something positive will come out of this.  He'll use a Luck Point if it is applicable in this matter.


As he braces himself from the Omni-carrier's eventual free-fall, one of the Clones turns on his Vanguard Communicator and shouts out, "It is seeming that we are not having of electricity, perhaps Comrade Lightning Strike can be changing of this!"

I'm guessing Soldier's 'little package' that he dropped caused some kind of EMP event - perhaps we can find out what it was that he dropped and neutralize it.

Do you think Lightning Strike is capable of re-electrify the Omin-carriers engines? He can effectively teleport all around the ship through its wiring, correct?



I'll hold my action until Avatar's attempt at giving the reserves a chance to stop.

I'll also engage them in conversation in an attempt to understand if they are aware of their actions or if they are controlled (unless avatar's attempt shows us that)

If they are controlled, I'll go attempt to knock some senses in their heads the Slingshot way (i.e taking a scene from Avengers movie, between black widow and hawkeye)

Slingshot will avoid Blue Comet and will focus on the communications array. He'll see if he can do a quick fix and protect it. The boat needs to stay afloat.

This assumes that I can easily get up and out of the helicarrier from our current position. What are my options there?


Stephane: Slingy can use his super movement to hurtle down the hall to the nearest porthole and burst outside.


OOC: Just to be clear, I'll still hold for Avatar's move (unless it's clear that he's not going to do it this turn, then I'll go for the communications array)

While I'm outside, I'll try to understand what made the power loss happen (engineering roll or whatever else is appropriate)



Menagerie will turn into a rat. He will follow Avatar and stay hidden prepared to help as best he can.