Superheroes – Once upon a Time in 1967 – Getting Started

16 February, 2020

SuperheroineSo, we got together for our first session of Masks in the 1960s (see campaign outline here) unfortunately, we only got through character creation and not onto the first issue but soon.

Character creation for Masks is fairly involved, even more so than most Powered by the Apocalypse games, as it aims to tie the characters together as a coherent group who have already come together and defeated their first big bad.

Our heroes are:

Officer 808 called “Bob” – From the Neighboring dimension Jaiipuur where he is, in fact, just a police cadet.  He saw someone stealing a dirigible and snuck aboard with the intention of arresting the thief, only to find himself on Earth and caught up in the affair that founds the group.  The dirigible, now named “Leonard”, is being “investigated” by Heroes Inc and is usually moored to the top of the Empire State building.  (Outsider Playbook – Played by J3)

Horizon – Young man of Romani descent, has vast gravity powers which he is only in partial control of, his skin glows when he used his powers as well.  His powers first manifest to save his brother from being hit by a speeding car!  Unfortunately, he flipped the speeding car into a parked car which then hit his best friend, leaving the friend paralyzed.  His brother also freaked out over the whole thing and their remain estranged.  Of his family, only his grandmother is there to support him in the understanding of his powers.  (Nova Playbook – Played by J2.)

Roboto – Young man from Nebraska, joined the US Army to get away from home, assigned as a guard to the Computo Project where he was killed by a Soviet spy.  He later awoke in a robot body build for him by Professor VanDyne, one of the scientists of the project who the government thinks is dead.  Roboto’s personality is backed up on huge reels of magnetic tape and each day he has to copy over his new memories to be saved.  The Roboto body is very strong and able to “interface” with electronic and mechanical systems.  He lives in the basement of an Apartment building when the Professor acts as the handyman.  (Transformed Playbook – Played by C2.)

Shadowfist – Tei-Lin Jackson, half-African-American, half Chinese, she has never really fit in.  Her father when missing in Vietnam and she lives with her mother just outside of Chinatown.  Skilled in the martial arts, she has become fascinated with the Black Power movement and wishes to use her skills to help others, to the disapproval of her Sifu, Wu, who want her to be a better person but not in that way.  (Beacon Playbook – Played by L1.)

Vulpix (name subject to change) – Scion of the Vulpes Family, whose heroic exploits echo through history, dating at least back to the 14th C and possible earlier.  Her father, the Grey Fox, and his wife, a Japanese woman of mysterious traditions, vanished when Vulpix was ten, they plane vanishing over the Atlantic on a cloudless day.  Her uncle, le Renard Noir, her father’s older brother, took over her training and moved with his wife and son, Jacque, to NYC.  They live in a penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park  (Legacy Playbook – Played by L2)

Chinatown, a few blocks from where the adventure startedHow the team came together

Cadet 808 sees the theft of a trans-dimensional dirigible in progress and decides to sneak aboard to nab the thief and impress his superiors but before he can, the ship transitions to Earth!  Appearing in the rundown neighborhood, the Bowery, shared by Horizon, Roboto and Shadowfist all of whom decide to investigate the mysteriously appearing craft (as you do).

Vulpix has been trailing a car across the city from the rooftops, suspecting that it is part of a criminal gang that has been smuggling drugs into the city.  She is shocked and surprised when it pulls up under a dirigible!  A variety of rough customers are tying down and camouflaging the ship, 808 realize that there are too many of them to handle on his own and sneaks out to get help from the local authorities.  There he encounters Roboto, who he assumes in an alien like him, Roboto reads the 808 emblazoned on the uniform as “Bob”.  Vulpix, Shadowfist and Horizon all met on a rooftop and, almost, come to blows before realizing they are all heroes (or want to be heroes).   Both groups set off after the dirigible which has been loaded onto the back of a flatbed trailer (it is only about 15m long) and is being driven away.  Several of the heavies who had been loading the dirigible attempt to stop them and a short fight ensures, our heroes emerging victorious but everyone showing off their powers or skills.

Luckily, the streets of New York prevent the truck from moving quickly and the heroes pursue, soon realizing they are heading for the docks.  A chase ensures, showcasing some good street scenes of New York in the process.  Once the villains realize they are being followed, they start making preparations.  Roboto and 808 almost run over R Richard Robertson as he is coming out of the Daily Herald office building and he pursues them and will witness the final confrontation on the docks.

Arriving at the docks, the heroes see the tarp covered dirigible being loaded into a Chinese (Republic of) flagged freighter and they are confronted by a mix of sailors and thugs and the Russian Doll, a skilled Soviet agent who has the ability to make duplicate of herself, be each duplicate is smaller and denser than the one before.  Over the course of the battle, the following things happen:

  • 808 is able to establish a telepathic rapport with the ship, which ends up with the name Leonard, and has it fly away from the battle.
  • Shadowfist finds that the ship is in fact a front for the People’s Republic of China.
  • Horizon’s powers disable and weaken the ships so much that it sinks, taking part of the dock with in and damaging several other docked ships and a police boat.
  • Le Renard Noir who comes to investigate the police radio report, is impressed by the spirit of the team, though he thinks that Vulpix should have taken charge of the rabble and better commanded them.
  • Roboto single-handedly takes out a squad of heavily armed thugs by toppling a crane onto them; the collateral damage of which almost injures R Richard Robertson, leading him to denounce this new group of heroes as a danger to the city.

The Russian Doll and her associates are arrested.  Jack Diamond “impounds” Leonard for research and keeps it moored at the Empire State Building while leaving 808 access to it.  808 gives the team alien communicators so that they can keep in touch.

And that is the state of play when we begin Issue One, next time.

Notes: A fun session, I really, really like how Masks ties the team together before you even start play.

Photos “sUPerhERoiNe.JPG” by rolfekolbe is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 and the view of NYC’s Chinatown is from a period postcard.

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