Our heroes are on the ground, and Vampire Superman is hovering above them, looking down. This is Not A Good Place To Be. So far they’ve done a pretty good job of battling Silver Banshee and she has teleported away.
It’s time for the main attraction.
Now, it has to be said that Superman is not the smartest superhero around. Man of Steel, thick as a brick. It explains a lot that Superboy, a hybrid clone of Superman and Lex Luthor is of average intelligence – Superman’s dumb DNA balances out Lex’s genius DNA in equal measure. Superman is the Groo the Wanderer of the superheroing world. This is the hero who thought “I will uphold Truth and Justice! I will become…. a journalist!”. Yes, Superman is that stupid.
Anyhow. Rant over. Well, it’s an observation really. It just sounded like a rant.
All of which I hope goes some way toward explaining how Superman managed to get tricked into putting a magical amulet around his neck, nullifying his invulnerability so that he could be bitten by a vampire. Silly old Superman.
I think of combat in superhero role-playing games as behaving much like it does in the comics; each hero gets one or two panels of action with each full round taking up about a page. And sometimes you need a huge glorious double-fold spread to show all the action happening at the same time.
This was one of those times.
Picture the scene: Vampire Superman is firing Heat Vision at Rough Diamond (causing an awesome light show) while Mudpuppet is raising her mud golem construct from the ground, Johnny Cool is firing shards of ice, Overclock is laying on the floor Incapacitated and Doc Pliable is wrapped around Vampire Superman’s legs.
The heroes are outclassed & outgunned, and they know it. To drive the point home (as if it needs making at all), I’m using Routine Checks for all of Vampire Superman’s attacks. Yes folks, he is Taking 10 while beating the living crap out of our heroes. It’s an option PCs can take in M&M against Minions to speed up play, and I’m using it to emphasize that from Vampire Superman’s perspective, that’s exactly what they are.
This helps keep the game flowing (and making my job easier) because I’ve fewer dice to roll, meaning I can concentrate on the action. This is officially a Very Good Thing.
Doc Pliable is getting very friendly with undead Supes, climbing up him with his rubbery ropey arms to try and get to his head and block off his Heat Vision. Vampire Superman has none of it and turns to grey mist. Ha! Crummy old Living Superman couldn’t do that!
Doc Pliable falls, Mudpuppet forgets that he can survive pretty much any falling distance, panics and creates a cushion of mud for him to land on.
Thanks for that!
Overclock finally gets back into the game as Vampire Superman reforms, gives a wicked grin and says “Let’s see how you Bat Children like my Bat Children!”, and from a side-street a Cloud of Bats appears. Red-eyed bats. With Heat Vision.
Ok, the Heat Vision isn’t that good (Heat Ranged Damage 3, if you’re counting) and the bats are just Minions, but collectively they’re a threat. As the team members with ranged attacks, Johnny Cool and Overclock make pretty short work of them, freezing and blasting them out of the sky (the Multi-attack setting on Overclock’s steampunk Energy Projector sure came in handy). Meanwhile, Vampire Superman goes toe-to-toe with Rough Diamond and Mudpuppet’s mud golems.
It’s not going well. Rough Diamond looks like he’s going to be named Chipped Diamond any second, and the mud golem is slooshing about without making much of an impact.
Then, dawn begins to break.
A single shaft of light crawls up the street and touches Vampire Superman. Briefly, colour returns to his cheeks and his eyes clear. “Please….. save me…… the cemetery…. ” he cries before his flesh begins to burn. He lets out a low moan of pain and takes flight, a red streak chasing the dark.
Coming up: Zombies and vampires and ghouls, oh my.
Mudpuppet, PL10 150pp
STR 2, STA 4, AGL 2, DEX 2, FGT 2, INT 4, AWE 4, PRE 4
Dodge 12, Parry 10, Fort 8, Tough 8/4, Will 11, Init +2
Expertise:Magic +10, Perception +8, Stealth +6
Defensive Roll 4, Ritualist
Summon 10 (150pp, Controlled, Heroic, Mental Link) – we used the Construct Archetype from M&M3e
Create 5 (DC15, 30 cubic foot)
Complications: Dark Secret, Power Loss when over 100′ away from natural earth