Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Vanguard: Issue 214: Battle For (the Artifacts of ) Power!

A badly injured Vanguard faces off against its former members, and Hip Hop, aboard the CHESS Omni-Carrier as it plummets out of the sky!

(OOC: Map: Every square = 5 feet or 1” in game scale.
Right hand outer wall has portholes.
Left hand ‘outer’ wall has 4 doors into other side of the Omni-Carrier.
E=Industrial elevator
Lower left hand corner is a nuclear missile silo)

Suddenly, everyone’s feet leave the floor! The deck has achieved zero gravity due to the free fall speeds of the plummeting CHESS Omni-Carrier!
(OOC: If you can’t fly, your speed is quartered as you push off walls and ceilings. All muscle-powered projectiles have ¼ range for purpose of Accuracy)

Slingshot yells to Doc Monster: “"Damnit! You are right! They are our friends! We need to help them! But I don't know how they are being controlled! We need to cut them off from the possession or whatever the connection is to the SKULL puppeteers! Any suggestions? Mystical? Scientific?”

Avatar nods in agreement. Hovering weightlessly, he manifests the wisdom of Athena and says, “You’re correct. We’ll not outhammer this foe. Nor would we want to. We must outsmart SKULL. Break this connection. But how?”

Slingshot says, “If Lightning Strike were here, I’d say EMP the room!”

But Lightning Strike was busy saving the lives of everyone on the plummeting Omni-Carrier, by trying to recharge her massive engines!

Avatar, eyes white and otherworldly, has an idea, borne of the wisdom of Athena. He summons the heavenly powers of Zeus and looks visibly weakened from the exertion of pushing his powers to their limit! “Perhaps… there is… another way…”

Clone uses his saved action to Evade!

Aperture recalibrates his nanotech, coding a new power: Teleportation! Then he miraculously transmits himself inside of Sentinel’s energy sphere, with Sentinel, Hip Hop and the Artifacts of Power!

Blue Comet cries, “Plan B!” and fires flames at the nearest hero, Avatar! VROOOSH!!! (9 points of damage. Rolls with 4 and takes 5 from hit points.)

Viper leaps at Slingshot with a roundhouse punch! KRAK! (12 points of damage. Rolls with 8. Takes 4 from hits.) “I can’t get over this! I’m a young man again! Serve SKULL! Sanctify SKULL! Immortality is the reward to any soldier who embraces Death in the sacred service of SKULL!”
Slingshot flies back weightlessly, almost slamming into the wall behind him!

Talon flies at an evading Clone with his deadly, razor sharp claws and misses him!

Forester, still scowling about his “meager” powers, deftly fires another deadly exploding arrow into a crowd of heroes! Phoooo! KA-BOOM! Slingshot, Sentinel and one Clone are caught in the blast! The other Clone successfully evades.
(12 points of damage each. Sentinel’s shields take 12 points. The hit Clone is knocked out. The explosion counts as heat damage for Slingy’s Vulnerability and he takes double damage. After rolling with 7, he has 1 hit point left!)
Slingshot is on the ropes and one Clone is down!

Soldier says, “That’s it, people! These mooks ain’t so tough!” As he fires his isometric smart pistol at Aperture! BLAM! BLAM! (Sentinel’s damaged shields fail to protect him and Aperture is hit for 17 points of damage. Rolls with 6 and takes 11 from hit points)

Menagerie, in rat form, hiding in the ventilation ducts, telepathically speaks to his fellow members of Vanguard, "Hip Hop's device is an artifact tracking!" He shamanic shapeshift hides the cell phone in the duct work where it won't be found and returns to the fight, transforming into a fearless Honey Badger! (adds minor Invulnerability)

Sentinel wills his energy construct to silently form a club-like pseudopod out of the sphere wall behind Hip Hop, and bludgeon the young teleporter into unconsciousness. WHAM!
Hip Hop, badly battered by Slingshot earlier, collapses and hovers in zero G weightlessness.

Clone’s four remaining bodies attack the enemies nearest to them with their battle staffs! Two hit, striking Forester and Inhuman soundly. KRAK! WHACK! Both “heroes” still stand!

Aperture sees that Hip Hop is unconscious. The young hero quickly collects all the artifacts of power in Sentinel’s energy sphere and teleports out with them! Where? No one knows!

Dr. Monster, still holding his head from Inhuman’s attack, cries out and falls unconscious, hovering in midair!

Inhuman smirks at Doc Monster and says, “Serve SKULL, traitor. Serve SKULL!”
Then he looks at the nearest Clone and says, “You’re next Russkie,” and attempts to seize control over the water inside the body of the nearest evading Clone, and misses!

Blue Comet fires again at Avatar, laughing, “Burn, baby, burn!” VROOOSSHHH!!!  (10 points of damage. Avatar rolls with 2 and takes 8 from hit points!)

Avatar, barely conscious, looks at his grievously wounded team mates and his pupiless eyes land on Slingshot. He says with the godly intellect of Athena: “Our only hope is that the puppet masters be stopped. Brainwaves are electrical impulses. We must jam the transmission. If Lightning Strike or Symbiote were here, perhaps they could do it. Since, they are not, I have no recourse but to try!”  (OOC: Avatar will spend 2 Luck Points on the following one shot invention…)

With the powers of Zeus, Avatar electrifies the air with everchanging modulations in an attempt to locate the frequency the puppetmasters are using, and jam their bioelectric transmissions! Lightning arcs from his flesh as he cries out from the mental and physical effort! SHA-KA-KOW!

All the Vanguard communicators short out!
Soldier’s bionic systems and arrows in Forester’s quiver begin to spark and flare!
All electrical equipment in the room that is powered, shorts out!

All the Vanguard reservists suddenly go limp in midair, like puppets who have just had their strings cut!

But Avatar must continue to concentrate, must continue to jam the bioelectric transmission (i.e.: spend every action doing this), or else the puppetmasters will regain control!

Suddenly, everyone crashes to the floor as gravity is restored! Lightning Strike and Symbiote are powering the Omni-Carrier engines with their own electrical blasts (and must continue to do so) while Nemesis and Nanite, interfacing with the ship’s mainframe computers, have ordered the engines to re-activate!

Power comes back on across the ship, except for the Meeting Room (M-1) where Avatar’s EMP shorted it all out!
It’s 4:17am EST.


The transmission of Aperture’s molecules ends at the Salt Flats, where they, and those of the artifacts of power, reassemble.

It’s 1:17am PST and Aperture sees lights on the distant horizon. Fires.


Current Conditions: 
Aperture: Hit Points: 14, Power Points: 49, Nanotech: Teleportation
Avatar: Hit Points: 8, Power Points: 20, Manifestation: Hermes, Athena, Zeus
Clone: Bodies: 4/1, Hit Points: 1/6, Power Points: 65/67, Hit Point Pool: 13 (7/6) (Stats: NYC/Russia)
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 63: Electrical form
Menagerie: Hit Points: 16, Power Points: 62, Form: Honey Badger, Invulnerability: 5
Sentinel: Hit Points: 7, Power Points: 51, Creation Points: 102, Shields: 72%
Slingshot: Hit Points: 1, Power Points: 67, Invulnerability: 0 til Issue 215, Damage that can’t be regenerated: 64!

Countdown:  43.7 hours until the End of the World.


OOC: Ok, how about a quick out of the box thought.  If I have it straight we have a brief reprieve here which is taking its toll on Avatar and burning him out before the Reserves lose their free will again.

Aside from free talk from what they can tell us how about the possibility of uploading a virus along the transmission that is being used to control them.  I know that Kirk has a certain intimate knowledge of Soldier's Nanites and their working perhaps it might be a combo of a computer (scientific) virus and magical energy.  Although we are sadly lacking Aperature at this point Kirk has a high skill on the computer end and he is versed in magical energies and its workings and we have Menagerie's powers and knowledge to combine with it.  The virus would be of some design to undo what is being done with them and perhaps could even crawl into their other systems unknowingly sabotaging Skull's efforts in some other ways.

Does anything like that sound possible?

And what can we get from them about how this is happening and any further Skull plans... or who is behind it (yes, I know they will likely come out of it remembering nothing but I had to ask - perhaps Kirk could even lock in to their thoughts to see if he can read residue of anything more).

And I'm open to any other ideas here from the team for sure as part of this or alternative.



IC: Aperture fights an almost uncontrollable desire to open a portal to the Digital Zone.  He can’t determine if it’s his own desire to let someone else take responsibility, or something in his programming that draws him to IT.  He fights the urge and turns to face the fires in the distance, their dancing light reflected in his metal eyes.

Unwilling to change his power in the event he needs to get out quickly, Aperture quickly takes stock of the artifacts, ensuring they are secure on his person, in one of his pouches, or the leather Indiana Jones style satchel he has taken to carrying.  All except for the Spear of Destiny, which he holds as a weapon if needed.

Aperture will attempt to use his communicator to contact Lightning Strike or Symbiote to see how things are going on the carrier.

OOC: Saves action


OOC: Sorry.. busy couple of weeks on the home side as well as the work side.

I'm really on the ropes.. 1 hit point? 64 HP I can't regenerate? Ouch. I need a break.

First things first, If avatar needs to keep the jamming up, we need to look at what's allowing them to take control.

I would ask for Aperture to see if he can change his powers to a form or scanning where he can focus on the reservists and "see" if he can find the device that they are tapping into.

Then we can focus on fixing them.

I'm willing to use any skills I have to help.

If not, I'll absorb whatever plastic is on hand to regenerate whatever I can and keep an eye on the reservists.



IC: The Clones that are still standing quickly reabsorb their unconscious doppelgangers, as they make their way towards the Omni-Carrier's unconscious 'Intruders'. They understand that Avatar's electric blast must have disabled whatever device was allowing them to be controlled, and they begin searching frantically for any signs of a foreign or unusual device on any of them.

OOC: If Clone locates any odd devices on any of the unconscious 'heroes', he will immediately let the other members of Vanguard know and ask for their guidance on what to do with it/them.

Clone will begin his search on the 'heroes' necks - he's watched entirely too many sci-fi movies not to start his search there lol,

That was a really crazy little brawl - I was almost worried that it wasn't going to work out for us.



Menagerie will use in Intelligence and Charisma to help the rest of Vanguard figure out how to break the hold that Skull has on the original Vanguard Heroes. He will assist Kirk with his plan to create Magical Computer Virus out of Soldier's Nanites.



Avatar will keep doing what he is doing until the rest of the team comes to some consensus.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Vanguard: Issue 213: The Best of Enemies!

Vanguard faces off against its former members, and Hip Hop, aboard the CHESS Omni-Carrier!

[OOC:  Map:   
Every square = 5 feet or 1” in game scale.
Right hand outer wall has portholes.
Left hand ‘outer’ wall has 4 doors into other side of the Omni-Carrier.
E=Industrial elevator
Lower left hand corner is a nuclear missile silo]

Avatar addresses his fellow heroes:  "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!"

“Hah ha hah,” says Soldier. “Kill these damn jackasses and take what we’ve come for!”
The voice, the inflection, the manner of speaking, the dialect, the body language; none of it looked or sounded anything like the star-spangled superhero Vanguard knew!

Lighter objects on tables and workspaces begin to rise into the air, from the Carrier’s freefall!

The Vanguard Reserves leap into action and Vanguard remembers that they are facing some of the fastest superheroes in the world!

Blue Comet nods to Soldier, says “On it!” and blasts cyan flames from both hands at Sentinel’s force shield! VROOSH!  (OOC: 17 points of damage! Shields are now at 83%)
Comet chuckles in wonderment at his amazing powers! “Heh. This is incredible! I can shoot fire from my hands! And I can fly! It’s just like they said! Hail SKULL!”

Viper shrieks, “Serve SKULL! Sanctify SKULL!” as he lunges at the Sentinel’s energy barrier that protects the artifacts of power! WHAM!  (OOC: 11 points of damage. Shields take the damage, and are now at 72%!)

Talon says, “I can’t wait to see what these claws can do in real combat!” SKRAASH!!!  
(OOC: 15 points of damage. Shields take it and are at 61%)

Avatar manifests the godly power of Hermes! (OOC: Heightened Speed) The myrmidon of mythology is certain that Soldier doesn’t sound like Jim Harrik, AKA the Mercenary.

Forester complains, “Sure. You guys get the cool stuff like wings, flames, super strength! What do I get? A lousy bow and arrow set!” as he expertly looses an explosive arrow right between Slingshot, Dr. Monster and Sentinel’s shields. KA-BOOM!
(OOC: 17 damage to each. This counts as heat damage, and is doubled for Slingy. Sentinel shields at 44%)

Soldier barks at Forester, “Be thankful for what SKULL has given you, brother! And keep up the pressure! We’re almost there! Ha ha!” The cyber-spangled hero steps back and fires his smart pistol that only works for Soldier’s biometrics! BLAM! BLAM! The two exploding rounds catch Sentinel’s shields and Avatar! (Soldier must not have noticed Menagerie in his rat shape!) BOOM! BOOM!
(OOC: 16 points damage. Sentinel shields are at 28%)
“We’re there!” laughed Soldier. “This hole’s big enough! Start reaching in! Grab and go!”

Sentinel barely disguises a smile as he closes the hole by reforming his powerful energy shields! VROM!

Soldier frowns. “All right, people! Plan B! Serve SKULL!”

Sentinel reads the energy signatures of all these heroes, and they all match previous readings!
The hero of yesteryear renders his shields nearly transparent, and speaks into his non-satellite based communicator to Lightning Strike, alerting him to Hip Hop’s phone.
From cyberspace, the electric avenger replies: “zkkk-I have no active phone in your vicinity, over.”

Suddenly, the rodent Menagerie scurries around the room’s perimeter, behind his foemen and leaps up behind Hip Hop, snatching the iphone right out of his hand!
Hip Hop shouts, “Hey! What the! Eew! A rat!”                                                                                      Holding the phone in his jaws, the shapeshifting super-shaman scampers into a vent in the floor, away from anyone’s reach. Then, in the darkness, he reads the glowing screen. Like all phones, this one has no connectivity due to communications satellites being impacted globally from the World Storm. But an app is running on it. One that can somehow detect the magical signatures of the Artifact of Power, within a range of 1500 feet. It’s how they located them on the Omni-Carrier!

Clone races all his bodies into the Meeting Room (M-1), to defend the artifacts of power! He finds them away from his grasp, behind Sentinel’s shields! (OOC: This will be a Saved Action, useable at the top of next turn)

Slingshot throws a super-long round house at Hip Hop and almost puts the kid down for the count! BOOM!

Hip Hop, reeling from the flexible fists of the malleable man of might, teleports inside Sentinel’s reformed shields -pop!-  and starts grabbing up the artifacts there! “More power!” he chortles gleefully.

Aperture straps down the Digital Cannon he is working on to protect it from the imminent zero g environment, and moves across the hall to the Meeting Room. Seeing Hip Hop protected by Sentinel’s shields, he considers other opponents.
(OOC: Aperture now has a Saved Action, useable at the top of next turn)

Nanite races from the Special Projects Room (S-2) to join Nemesis in the Computer Mainframe Room (C-1) in attempting to interface with the powerless Omni-Carrier mainframe!

Dr. Monster is taken aback, “…these heroes… your friends… they are possessed. …I cannot bear to harm them…”

Inhuman smirks, “SKULL was kinda counting on that gruesome. The hydrokinetic hero concentrates in Dr. Monster’s direction and the science-borne revenant screams in agony, holding his head!
“Serve SKULL, traitor. Serve SKULL,” says Inhuman. He looks at Sentinel, “Now that the prodigal child has been taken care of, you’re next.”

Blue Comet blasts again at Sentinel’s shields, with dazzling speed. VRROOOSSHH!  (OOC: -16 to shields)

Avatar holds the only artifact not in Sentinel’s energy sphere, Excalibur. He hefts its weight as he considers a target.
(OOC: You said he attacks, but didn’t say who. We’ll called this a Saved Action, useable at the top of next turn. So you need to outline 3 actions please, for the super-speedster. Thanks.)

Suddenly, everyone’s feet leave the floor! The deck has achieved zero gravity due to the free fall speeds of the CHESS Omni-Carrier!  (OOC: If you can’t fly, your speed is quartered as you push off walls and ceilings. All muscle-powered projectiles have ¼ range for purpose of Accuracy)

Actions?!? Those with Saved Actions, please post 2 actions. Fyi, Saved Actions preempt all other actions.

Please Note: Two maps follow below...

Current Conditions:
Aperture: Hit Points: 25, Power Points: 71, Nanotech: Disintegration Ray (default)
Avatar: Hit Points: 21, Power Points: 63, Manifestation: Heightened Speed and Charisma
Clone: Hit Points: 1/6, Bodies: 5/1, Power Points: 66/67, Hit Point Pool: 13 (7/6) (Stats: NYC/Russia)
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 23, Power Points: 63
Menagerie: Hit Points: 16, Power Points: 63, Form: Rat                                                          
Sentinel: Hit Points: 7, Power Points: 52, Creation Points: 104, Shields: 84%
Slingshot: Hit Points: 22, Power Points: 82, Invulnerability: 0, damage that can’t be regenerated: 47


Another great issue! Thanks Jeff!

So we need to cut them off from the possession or whatever is the connection to the skull puppeteering them.

Any suggestions? Mystical? Scientific? Would the digital gun cut them off if it is mystical in nature? (I know it is not ready..)

OOC: Something seems odd to me, Jeff said, "Sentinel reads the energy signatures of all these heroes, and they all match previous readings!" so I went back and looked in the last issue

It says, "Without scanning, Sentinel detects no aura of these heroes!"  I'm not sure exactly how his ability works, but I'd think anyone would have some aura, especially with the kind of firepower these guys are throwing around.

IC: Aperture changes his power to Teleportation with his saved action.  I believe Teleportation is movement, so he'll go ahead and teleport inside Sentinel's shields.

A - if possible, he will touch Sentinel's shield and teelport Everything in the shields to the location the team has planned for their last stand.  
B - if not, he'll attempt to grab Hip Hop, and teleport the two of them to the same location, away from the fight.

Let me know if neither will work, and I'll come up with something else,




Thanks Stephane!

Jon, the reason why Sentinel didn't detect any auras last turn was because he wasn't scanning for them. (Seth had asked if he could read their auras without scanning.)

Hip Hop and the "Vanguard Reserves" have the identical energy signatures to whenever Sentinel had scanned them in the past. I hope that's clear.



I will try to take him out before he teleports, be it manipulating  my energies to attack or physically hitting him myself ... whatever works.  If the attack can come from behind to surprise him so he can't avoid it or roll with it, all the better.

If the board changes and something else would be more prudent or you save my action all that is fine too.



Menagerie thought sent to Vanguard, "Hip Hop's device is an artifact tracking!" Menagerie hid the cell phone in the duct work where it won't be found.

Menagerie returned the fight. He exited the ducts and looked for a hidden spot. Once he found it he went there and turned into a Honey Badger. If given the chance he will attack (in order of preference)

Hip Hop
Blue Comet



OOC: A mini-response for a mini-issue, just kidding :p

IC: Clone will use his saved action to Evade. Since he normally attacks last in combat situations (OOC: I really should work on getting his Agility up at some point lol) he'll simply attempt to pummel which ever 'villain' is closest to him/them with his/their staff(s). )

As the first Clone strikes out with his staff, he lets loose with an angry taunt, "Like my Grandfather is telling me when I am boy, If you are wanting to put nail in wood you do nothing fancy . . . you simply smash it with hammer!" - WHACKKK!!!



Hey Jon,

I have a clarification request:

You said: Aperture teleports out with Sentinel's sphere and everyone and everything inside it.

A 5' x 5' portal won't fit the sphere. And Aperture can only lift 482 lbs. He, Sentinel and Hip Hop weight more than that, and Sentinel's construct weighs thousands of pounds.

A tougher GM than I would say your action is impossible, and fails. But I'm a softie. I'll say you still teleport out with someone/something. So:

1) Who or what do you want to attempt to teleport?

2) If you want to teleport a character, and that character is unconscious when you act, do you still teleport out with them?




OOC: Glad you're a softie... lol.

1.  If only one, then Hip Hop

2. If he's unconcious then I think Aperture would go for artifacts to try to keep them safe.

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.



Sorry for the late reply.

I just woke up with an idea and I can't actually act on it. Only Lightning Strike could. I'm thinking they are controlled through science - so I'm hoping that that an electrical shock would do the trick.hopefully fizzle out the tech that is doing it.

Scott looks at Dr Monster, "Damnit! you are right! They are our friends! We need to help them! But I don't know how they are being controlled!"

So I have two options - 1 - Tell Lightning Strike to do a spread shock, closer to a short span EMP (the room)

If Anthony does respond: 2- Rip out the wiring out of a wall and shock someone with it. doing that with my building/engineering should be pretty straight forward.