This is a continuation of Issue 2 of my Masks: A New Generation Game Check out Issue 1 and Part 1 of Issue 2 if you have missed them.
When we last left the group they were hanging out of the rooftop having lunch, and Star Chyld was failing to convince the group he was seeing an evil version of Mobius around. That was until Marc Hopper was thrown through a window below them followed closely by Fabien storming out the door.
Fabian is clearly pissed at him and the words he uses conveys that. The “Heroes” stand and watch. So Marc creates a bunch of illusions of himself and Fabian gets really angry and starts shooting lighting and attacking each one. (Note to Marvel fans. Since I accidentally created a drug that replicates the powers of Fabian Cortez I decided I had to change his powers. Sorry) Mobius runs to get a teacher while the rest of the party watches from above. However once Fabian strikes the real Marc Hopper knocking him into a tree and unconscious, the party jumps into action, quickly detaining the furious Fabian.
I decided it was time for the facility to get involved so as they take Marc and Fabien to the infirmary an assembly is called. Cythor decided to split off from the team while sitting down he received a text message from his father “outside 1 hour”. While everyone is getting settled Slip-Stream slips in and sits next to Mobius. This I did mainly to stir the pot and see what happens. Slip-Stream talked about the fight and how she had already put in a request to be removed from Fabian’s team because he is a jerk. Mobius sexual preference didn’t come up (you have to let some plot-lines percolate) but the players were sure waiting for the shoe to drop.
Ms. Pryde led the assembly talking about the school’s zero tolerance drug policy and the known side effects of RUSH. She also mentioned strangers who don’t belong being sighted on campus (throwing a bone to Star Chyld) and the students need to report anything out of the ordinary.
During the Assembly, Cythor gets a text from the Marc. “You lied.” he quickly sneaks out of the assembly and heads to the infirmary.
This is where thinking on your feet pays off. I off-handedly mentioned a zero tolerance policy and also established that Marc found a tab of RUSH that Cythor dropped. Time to Turn some screws.
As Cythor approaches he hears Gambit and Rogue arguing in the hall about Marc. Apparently RUSH was found in his system as well and some students report he’s the one that started the Fight. Rogue thinks Marc has to be expelled Gambit disagrees.
Cythor hears all of this and walks right up to them demanding entry to the infirmary. He gives them some story about being sick but rolls poorly. Gambit doesn’t by it. He takes Cythor into a nearby classroom to talk. And Cythor spills it all. Other than where the drugs came from, he cops to planting them in Fabians locker and to telling Marc they weren’t real.
This scene was a great back and forth. Cythor didn’t just spill it he was trying to get Marc off the hook while telling a tale. Gambit asked questions and Cythor kept digging his hole deeper and deeper by accident. After Gambit gave Cythor a label changing dressing down Cythor was allowed to leave the room.
He headed outside where he ran into the rest of the team, as a black Cadillac pulled up. They asked what had happened he told them he took care of everything. He said he had some business to take care they should go back inside, as he stepped into his father’s car.
Except it wasn’t his father in the back with him, but Shinobi Shaw. A surprise to Cythor as they drove off.
Now originally this meeting was supposed to be with Cythor and Star. I quickly realized that was going to be a stretch, so I changed it.
The rest of the gang saw Cythor get in the car, so Mobius ran after with the rest of the group calling Star Chyld’s person driver and car to follow.
Shinobi Shaw laid it all out of the table for Cythor. Basically with the death of Fisk, the Fallen Angels are trying to take over this part of Downtown NYs organized crime. Shinobi and his Upstarts wanted it instead. The Fallen Angels have shown an interest in Cythor, so Shinobi wants to employ him and the rest of his friends as spies. Shinobi also sells Cythor that The Fallen Angels are responsible for distributing RUSH. Cythor made a bargain, In return helping, Shinobi would leave the rest of his friends alone. Shinobi agreed. My Characterization for Shinobi is blunt and cocky. He tells it like it is. He repeatedly tells Cythor he was really looking to talk to Star Chyld but for some unknown reason, the Fallen Angels took an interest in Cythor so Shinobi will use that. This, of course, changes Cythor’s labels.
There was some light drama about Shinobi figuring out that they had beed tailed by Mobius but Cythor smoothed it over and got out of the car.
Once the group got back together they asked Cythor a lot of questions to which he gave few answers. When the car pulled back into the school Ms. Pryde and Wolverine were waiting outside for them.
Ms. Pryde took Obsidian, Mobius, and Star into a classroom and told them that Cythor was beeing expelled. During the whole car scene I was thinking about how to handle this. Cythor planted drugs in another kids locker. Exposed a 2nd kid to them by accident resulting in the injuring of one of the students. Or at least that is how the facility would see it. Should he just be in trouble? How would the games dynamic work with one player outside of the school. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. So I opted to go the double agent route. The group already decided to name this comic book X-pelled so it was fitting to have a character expelled. In issue 2 no less. But let’s put some caveats. The team being loyal to their own were not happy, not happy at all.
Back to Wolverine’s office, Cythor is in hot water. Wolverine lays out his crimes and tells him that Gambit sees something in Cythor and thinks he should be given a second chance. Wolverine gives him a choice. After Cythor spills the Shinobi conversation to Wolverine, Wolverine tells him he can leave the school or work undercover for them. Basically the X-Men need to know what is going on with both groups. What they are planning. Cythor agrees to spy on both the Upstarts and the Fallen Angels for Wolverine. Wolverine tosses Cythor keys to an apartment and tells him he can tell no one what is really going on, not even his friends it could cost him his life.
The group is allowed to say goodbye to Cythor, Star tries to slip him some money, but Cythor uses his powers to stealthily give it back. The scene is somber as the group heads back to the dorms.
However as Star Chyld enters the threashold of the dorms common room, the scene changes. He finds himself in a derelict doomroom, one neglected for ages, cold and dark. He hears a voice behind him and finds Dr. Eternity. Looking just like Mobius but in his dark armor. “If I can’t get to the Prime, I’ll go after his friends.” Dr. Eternity says. Star immediately tries to power his burn. But botches the roll, causing him to take 3 conditions. This however causes him to have all his conditions triggered.
Back to the dorm room where Obsidian was in mid conversation with Star Chyld when they entered the doorway. He hears a thump, and looks back to find Star Chyld on the ground having a seizure. He quickly runs to his friend and yells for help.
Thus by sheer luck and a great botched roll we were able to make good on the Cover image we discussed at the beginning of the session. Which made the session just seem epic. Everyone seemed to be operating on all cylinders.
We had a great time. I did learn a few things. One, tropes aren’t bad. In Apocalypse world there is a lot of player agency and a chance for players to be on different pages. Troupes make it easy to put everyone on the same page. Drugs in a school locker was a big troupe, but it quickly informed the players of what some of the talking points of the episode would be allowing them to think in advance about how their characters would deal with things like this. Two, don’t be afraid to layer the plot. There were 3 separate stories going on this episode. 1, Drugs in locker 2, Slip-Stream Love Triangle, 3 Star Chyld/Dr. Eternity. It’s a lot to juggle sure, but High School is complicated, making their lives complicated just seemed to work. No dull moments. The third thing I learned was to believe in your players. The player playing Cythor is new to the hobby, he’s been playing less than a year, and Powered by Apoc games were the first thing he tried. In this issue, I put a lot on his shoulders and he brought it. The delinquent who acts all tough and anti-establishment, but in the end just wants friends and will do the right thing. It was great.
For issue three.. Well I got a bit rusty on the rules, a player couldn’t make it and the team starts to fall apart. After such a great issue 2, issue 3 will show me I still got a lot to learn about GMing Masks.