Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hero Southern Community Solo Session #1: School is in Session!

Below is the first half of my solo ICONS session I did the other night. Because of work and house stuff, I unfortunately have to break the summary down into two halves. Tomorrow I have the day off so I can do more with the blog. Apologies again.

For this, I used 3d6 for my basic GM, where the first is Yes/No, the second is And/But/Neutral, and the third is a Twist die. In addition, I use the GM Apprentice cards for more extensive answers. For rolling up NPCs, I have some of Ennead Games's superhero kits to roll up any superhero teacher that I need. As for ICONS, the only modification I've made is that I'm going with their 1d6-1d6 version of rolling. Basically I roll 1d6-1d6+my modifier against the difficulty (or NPC's modifier, if I'm going against them) and try to roll higher. Since I'm the only one rolling, it makes sense for me to do it this way.

Here we go!

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We begin our adventure with our 'hero' Raul Montanez getting off the bus and arriving at HSC in the early morning. Plastered on his face are bags under his bloodshot eyes, red from the shots of coladas and 'greenery' he took to ease the anxiety. But today was the day he had been waiting for. While it wasn't any of the big academies, HSC was the closest Raul could get to finally getting his shot at the big time. A shot at being a bona fide superhero. Taking in a deep breath and readjusting his back pack, Raul takes his first steps onto the campus.

Taking in the sights, the campus was fairly normal looking for a supposed superhero school. The buildings were all from the 60's and most had bars over the hurricane windows. The lawn was tall and pot holes littered the roads running through the campus. The buildings were covered with make-shift decorations and homemade banners one would see at grade school orientation. A feeling of dread and regret hit Raul in the pit of his stomach, and he wondered if this was really going to get him into one of the bigger academies.

Do I spot any friendly faces?: Yes And

Just when he was contemplating leaving turning back, Raul spotted two friendly looking people at the bulletin board. They were a guy and a girl, both with pale skin, bright red hair, freckles, and similar enough features that they looked like they were siblings. Raul strolled up to them and tried to break the ice.

"Hey there," he said, voice crackling. "Is this were we get our class assignments?"

The guy smiled a goofy grin and nodded, "Yeah man, they got the listings up here." He scratches his short hair and pointed his thumb at the girl. "Me and my sis are first years, so we're hoping we don't get lost in this hole."

His sister shrugged, "Yeah, last thing I need is to make a wrong turn and run into some homeless guy out of his mind on flakka or some shit." She took a drag from her cigarette.

"By the way, I'm Jordan," she offered her hand out to Raul. "And this rude asshole is my twin brother Alexander. Too cool to introduce us."

"Hey, I'm your older brother!" Alex exclaimed, barely taking his eyes off of his phone.

"By like two minutes!" Jordan said. "You always bring that up like it's supposed to matter!"

"Hah, well it's good to meet you guys," Raul interrupted before their bickering could continue. The three continue talking while walking to their first class, trading stories and info. They live out in Miami Shores and apparently have opposite powers, with Alex being able to control ice and Jordan being able to control fire. They take turns showing off a bit before realizing that they are going to be late for their first class.

Do we have the same homeroom?: Yes But

While they had many of the same heroic courses, Raul failed a bunch of his general studies and is stuck in the remedial courses for math and literature. 

The trio make it into Hero Orientation, where they grab their seats at desks from the Reagan era and wait for the teach. Raul looks around to see a fairly large class. Most of the people have to stand since there aren't enough desks.

Do I spot anyone familiar?: Yes But Twist!

Looking around, Raul spotted a face he had hoped to never see again. A tall, muscular young man with a dark, charcoal skin and a buzz fade hair cut shoots Raul a dirty look and approaches him menacingly.

It was fucking Craig.

"Holy shit!" Craig yelled loudly, "They let YOU in here? Shit man, I think I picked the wrong school to go to. How you living, Soggy?"

"*sigh* Hey CJ..." Raul didn't make eye contact. Craig Jacobs was a childhood friend from when they were in diapers. They used to be close, until Craig hit puberty, got buff, and got in with the cool crowd. Since middle school, CJ has been calling Raul 'Soggy' because when Raul's weather powers appeared, it was in the middle of their middle school dance and soaked everyone in the gym, ruining the dance for the whole school. CJ never let him live it down.

"Man, don't be like that," CJ frowned and firmly pushed Raul's shoulder. "Though I guess if I didn't make any of the good schools, I'd be all cranky too."

"Hey, don't forget CJ, you're also here. Sounds like you didn't do so great either." Raul grew a bit of a backbone, getting tired of CJ poking fun at him

Rolling Will vs Will to insult and get a rise out of CJ: Difficulty 6; 4-4+6=6 Success!

CJ's face turned into a scowl and his body armored up, revealing a metallic coating around his whole body. He looked like a human statue made from iron. CJ made a fist and spoke.

"Listen here, I actually passed my entrance exam unlike you, Soggy. I'm just using this to get REAL experience before getting to the big time. And if you got something to say about that, I'll break your face in."

Before Raul could get up, a short, scrawny kid interposed himself between the two. "C'mon guys," the kid said, "the teacher's here! We can't get expelled on the first day!"

CJ sneered at the two, then took his seat. Raul felt that this probably wasn't the end of it.

"Thanks again. I didn't really want to see where that was going," Raul said.

"No problem. Name's Melvin. It's my first year here too. I can't wait to get this started."

The orientation teacher finally walked into the class room, placing his suitcase on the desk and straightening his tie. Raul and his classmates looked in awe as they realized who it was

Rolled a quick NPC with a weird name, but I liked it and decided to roll with it.

"Hello class, I'm Galactic Arm," he said, fixing his mask a bit. He was wearing a normal suit, but still had his mask over his face. "You can just call me Mr. Arm. I'll be your orientation teacher this term."

Galactic Arm was a fairly popular super hero in the day. His right arm was imbued with the powers of the cosmos, and it glowed like a star-studded nebulae. Arm could heal people with it, or launch cosmic blasts with it.

Is he friendly?: Yes And Twist!

"In this course, we'll be discussing the basics of applying your super powers to help others," his smile shone through his mask and one could sense the energy and desire to do good in his voice. "Being a super hero is more than about fighting the bad guys. It's about stopping crime and rescuing innocents. Expecting the unexpected."

Mr. Arm fiddled with some keys in his pant pocket, "And speaking of unexpected, we have a pop quiz for you all. I think you'll like it. Follow me."

The class groaned as they were led to the campus gym. It was the largest and newest building on the campus, capable of housing all kinds of crazy scenarios to test the students on proper rescue procedure. On the way to the gym, Raul and Melvin hooked back up with Alex and Jordan. Melvin spent the walk chattering about his life and powers. His powers included wall climbing, minor leaping, and giving people rashes with his bites. Apparently, Melvin had barely passed his entrance exam, but most of the academies didn't accept him. Most felt his powers simply weren't enough to handle fighting crime, which left Melvin no choice but to enroll in HSC and try to get in that way. Raul felt bad for the poor kid, since he himself wasn't able to pass the power control portion of his exam. Still, there was a sort of camaraderie of taking this last ditch effort to become a superhero.

As the class entered the gym, they are greeted by a gruff old man wearing a Navy inspired outfit with a giant hammer tattooed on his left arm

"Alright kiddos," he said menacingly, "I'm Admiral Hammer and I'm going to be in charge of making sure you all don't die out there on the streets." Hammer was a super strong brick that could swim through water like a torpedo. Raul didn't know much about him beyond that, except that he's been around since the 80's.

"Out there in the real world, villains, criminals, and Mother Nature won't give two shits whether you're too tired or not ready to deal with the day. When disaster hits, you need to be prepared to hit back, twice as hard. So put on yer big kid pants and get in line. We need to see what you can do first."

Hammer pointed to a circle in the dirt and explained that they had to use their powers to launch a baseball as far as possible. Anything went, but the only rule is that they have to stay in the circle.

CJ was the first up, and he transformed into his metallic form. He wound up for the pitch and launched the ball several hundred feet away. The class was impressed and it even caught the attention of Hammer.

"That was some fine throwing, Mr. Jacobs," Hammer nodded at the proud young man. "Mr. Montanez, you're next!"

As Raul walked to the circle, he went passed CJ. CJ bumped his shoulder into Raul on purpose, "Beat that Soggy."

Raul tried to calm his nerves and cupped his hands in front of him with the ball inside. The wind around his hands began to twist and turn, faster and faster until it created a small, horizontal cyclone.

Roll my Wind Blast against a Difficulty 4 to land a good score and Difficulty 8 to beat CJ's score: 4-1+6=9; Moderate Success!

Raul levitated the ball in the twister and launched it like a missile. The ball went passed CJ's marker by a decent enough margin. Raul turned to see Craig's disgruntled face scrunched up. It was worth it just for that, Raul thought.

"Ah, so we got ourselves a weather wizard here, eh?" Hammer looked sufficiently impressed, "Here's hoping you don't kill anyone with that power." Despite his laughing, no one could tell if he was serious or not.

Does anyone beat our score?: No And Twist!

I actually drew a GMA card for this one and got Significant Obstacle of Conflict in a Different Area.

No one is able to beat our score, though many come close. Alex came in last, as he couldn't think of a way to use his ice powers to launch the ball far. Jordan blasted the ball like a rocket and it reached a good football field's length before burning away. With the ball launch done, Hammer spoke.

"Now that we are done with that, it's time for the second part of your test. We've seen your powers, but now we have to see what YOU are made of with a little simulation the teachers came up with." Hammer motioned for the class to follow him.

What's in store for the students? Will Raul's and CJ's rivalry heat up too much and boil over? Will they all survive their first term in HSC? We'll find out next time!