MASKS #10 - HALCYON HIGH-JINKS [Recap]

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After cloning himself  last session , and speaking out in English class as a result, Adam is called into the principal's office. He talks to Doctor Dawes , who looks troubled. Although Adam acted strangely, his parents aren't and won't be involved, so he's relieved. Second period is P.E., taught by Mr. Vigil . The class is watching one of those corny educational videos about sexually-transmitted diseases, but it's presented by Dr. Byron Quill (both live and in animated form), who as far as everyone knows is now dead. So that's creepy.  Mr. DNA strikes again . Leo arrives late, and has a talk with the principal as well. He was absent due to responding to Jason Quill 's collapse, but didn't name Jason specifically. He sees the talk as a necessary but meaningless formality so he can get back to class. Dawes apparently thinks Leo's unnamed friend is involved with drugs and basically tells Leo not to get involved as well. Third period for Leo is Science class, his favorite. He has a normal lab partner, whom he only knows as " Miss Rodriguez " (since that's how the teacher calls her), and theorizes that her first name is "No" from how often that's said to her as well. Instead, she's working with the class T.A., Mr. Cline , and Leo has a new partner, " Taz ". She is a new transfer, plays with her phone a lot, seems to have a practiced knowledge of chemistry procedure, and also seems to be stalking Leo (or at least is lonely and has aligned her class schedule with his). She wears two sets of goggles and talks about robots and 'cyber machines', so clearly she's also a Digimon fan. Adam's third period is Spanish class. Fortunately, his Concordance powers provide him with a universal translator, allowing him to speak Spanish  far more fluently than he ought . Leo participates in study hall, and is regularly getting texted and DMed by Otto and the Ponies . Otto is sending him goofy texts and sass, while the Ponies are half-teasing, half-flirting and inviting him to coffee later. Otto in particular takes interest in the subject of Taz, and so Leo gets her phone number and relays it to him. Otto isn't on Twitter yet (he needs a handle), but he has picked out an icon. During lunch, Adam, Leo, and Taz hang out. The two heroes can't talk shop with a (presumed) civilian around, but they make do anyway. It develops that Taz can speak Mandarin from some time in Taiwan, and Adam's Concordance-translated Mandarin is 優秀. Leo seems stressed out by the constant attention on his phone, and by trying to sort out Taz's deal. He asks Adam about his powers and language ability, and also asks about conjuring monsters to get the pair out of school. Lunch is, in fact, interrupted by an evacuation warning. Two competing alien presences, Farlander and a stranger, are talking over the PA system. They seem to be here after the "keynome", which is something akin to a Dragon Ball in power and rarity. The stranger, in particular, has a voice that makes Concord feel uncomfortable. Meanwhile, Otto lets Leo know that some of the Rossum-owned parts in his workshop have self-assembled and are running full bore for the school. Leo tells Otto to bring his suit and to beat the robot here, no matter what. The school begins evacuating. Leo and Adam sneak under the tables and run for the chemistry lab. We see Ms. Rodriguez is in there (since she eats lunch in the lab). Adam transforms into Concord and bursts in, warning her to leave for safety. Leo grabs some chemicals and runs for it. As he does, Farlander bursts through the wall! Concord deflected a powerful energy blast. According to the Concordance database, Farlander is an intergalactic treasure hunter. His weakness is the authority of the Concordance, and Adam fully adopts his Concord persona to forcefully talk him into running away. Farlander is blasted in the back by the other person on the PA: Sablestar . She is dressed like a Concordance agent, knows about Concordance agents, and has apparently taken some out before. The robot arrives. Leo sends Otto out to fight it while he takes a look into the principal's office. There's people in there, including a wounded individual who can't be moved until emergency services arrive. Leo promises to protect them until then, but he charges out to fight the robot after a few moments. Otto hits the robot pretty hard and distracts it, letting Leo do a  finishing move with his grapples to take its head off and disable it. The robot's eyes are blinking. It seems to be a repeating Morse code, saying LEO LEO LEO… The pair are going to have to deal with Sablestar. Adam and Leo will have to figure out how to hide their disappearance if anyone takes a headcount of students. And Leo will have to figure out the significance of the message...
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Mike
Pro
An excellent session.  I am still hyped that I got to use two very underused moves in our game back-to-back: pierce the mask and provoke someone .  Next time, I have no idea when or how, but I am hoping to reject someone's Influence ,  take a powerful blow , and perhaps take advantage of your Influence over someone  (maybe of a teammate?). Yeah they are silly goals, but I still want to bits of drama in the game and figure voicing them is the best way to get them to happen.
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Mike said: take a powerful blow Yeah they are silly goals, but I still want to bits of drama in the game and figure voicing them is the best way to get them to happen. Take a powerful blow may be right around the corner! Yaay! I don't think wanting drama through moves is silly at all, that's why we're all here. I've been enjoying it, and I'm glad we got to see both of Adam's sides more through this session.
The class is watching one of those corny educational videos about sexually-transmitted diseases, but it's presented by Dr. Byron Quill (both live and in animated form), who as far as everyone knows is now dead. So that's creepy Believe me, it was creepy when he was alive, too. And let's not even talk about the Not-Byron AI and his  advice on such matters.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
"Taz can speak Mandarin from some time in Singapore[?]" Taiwan. I think I misspoke at the time, or mumbled, or just got it wrong.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Take a Powerful Blow has come up a fair amount, though to be fair it's usually Harry getting it. :)
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Mike
Pro
I sort of imagined it like that scene from near the beginning of Jurassic Park when Dr. Hammond talks with clones of himself and the animated Mr. DNA.  Weirdly toned and sort of campy. I'm also super happy for Sablestar to show up.  Adam knows next to nothing about the Concordance, so it is really interesting to be able to have someone for him to find out more about it.  The fact that Sablestar seems like such an unreliable source for such information is really just a bonus. I swear it's not that I like to see Adam suffer, I just know he's a big hero and trust for him to overcome unbelievable odds.  Honest. :P
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
I'm rebuilding the 'official' Sablestar from Masks into something in better alignment with *our* Masks, since she lines up so well with the Concordance look/feel/theme. I THINK my favorite line of the night was: "Oh, we have matching outfits... THAT can't be good."
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Mike
Pro
Doyce T. said: Take a Powerful Blow has come up a fair amount, though to be fair it's usually Harry getting it. :) I know, I just want the Powerful Blows thrown around.  Honestly, I was kind of expecting it from Dr. Dawes.  Those words were pretty heavy on Adam's consciousness and nothing about the moves says that it's a physical blow.
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In fact one of the Beacon moves tells you to make that move if your pet is hurt.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Funny you should mention that! I actually have a potential non-combat Take a Powerful Blow in mind for next session. :)
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Mike
Pro
Doyce T. said: I'm rebuilding the 'official' Sablestar from Masks into something in better alignment with *our* Masks, since she lines up so well with the Concordance look/feel/theme. I THINK my favorite line of the night was: "Oh, we have matching outfits... THAT can't be good." As soon as I saw that picture my first thought was "The Concordance has a Sinestro Corp analogue?!  Awesome!"  Can't wait to see what you bring up next, Doyce.
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Doyce T. said: Funny you should mention that! I actually have a potential non-combat Take a Powerful Blow in mind for next session. :) I'm going to need to shed some conditions fast, and free up Guilty so I can take it again, if my suspicions are correct. But I should also write up the panel Q&A so we all know what Leo''s robots can really do.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
But I'm not ready for the Convention to happen yet! :)
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Mike
Pro
Also, because I'm waiting on some Blurays and have the music stuck in my head, have some headcannon theme songs. Concord Sablestar (Bonus points for the song name being applicable to Adam's current events) The Concordance ("That's a weird choice, Mike.  That's just the dark refrain of Concord's theme."  "Evil grin."  "I don't think it works if you just say `evil grin.`")
Otto isn't on Twitter yet (he needs a handle) @HeyOttoMan (if he's a Simpsons fan) @OttoOnMobile (Get it? Otto Mobile! Ha! Otto chuckles over that one for days) Both of those handles, it seems, are open.
Doyce T. said: "Taz can speak Mandarin from some time in Singapore[?]" Taiwan. I think I misspoke at the time, or mumbled, or just got it wrong. 1. Katherine will no doubt have comments IRL to make on this particular thread. 2. Jason may have some comments to make, too, once he hears about it, if he ever does.
Mike said: I sort of imagined it like that scene from near the beginning of Jurassic Park when Dr. Hammond talks with clones of himself and the animated Mr. DNA.  Weirdly toned and sort of campy. It's always  weirder when it's your own dad. (True Fact! When Jason was 11, his dad used him as a consultant for the film to judge its "pedagogical efficacy and concept transmission." There were quizzes, interviews, and lots and lots of rewatches of new and improved edits. This went on for about a week, and was mercifully interrupted by an alien invasion in Yakutsk. Jason swore a might oath to himself never to get any STDs, for fear he would be forced to be involved in a remake.)
Sounds like it was a great session, btw, and glad you guys had the chance to do something different but very character-driven. I will note that this validates one desired goal of this group, to allow for variations in attendance as needed.
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Otto twitter handle: @CamaroBee8 aka the Chevrolet "pony car" (if he wants to torment Leo some more, as well as reference Transformers' Bumblebee). Taiwan: I may have just remembered wrong. It's updated in the recap. "Jason swore a might oath to himself never to get any STDs": Leo has endless amounts of sass waiting about this statement.
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Mike said: Also, because I'm waiting on some Blurays and have the music stuck in my head, have some headcannon theme songs. Concord Sablestar (Bonus points for the song name being applicable to Adam's current events) The Concordance ("That's a weird choice, Mike.  That's just the dark refrain of Concord's theme."  "Evil grin."  "I don't think it works if you just say `evil grin.`") Adam hangs out with Otto. "Big O! Lunchtime!"
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Leo thought he would have to Tony Stark his way through some bad guys, so that's why he grabbed stuff from the chemistry lab. I would love it if he gets to Defend Adam by throwing those things at Sablestar and saying "I guess you two don't have any chemistry".
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Several of you have backgrounds where 'grabbing stuff from the chemistry lab and throwing it together to make a thing' is absolutely Unleash your Powers.
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Doyce T. said: Several of you have backgrounds where 'grabbing stuff from the chemistry lab and throwing it together to make a thing' is absolutely Unleash your Powers. It could be that, yeah. I was specifically thinking of the trope where a bad guy is unleashing an attack against a vulnerable good guy, only for an ally to appear on the scene with a counter-attack. That felt like a Defend.
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Doyce T.
Pro
Sheet Author
Bill G. said: Doyce T. said: Several of you have backgrounds where 'grabbing stuff from the chemistry lab and throwing it together to make a thing' is absolutely Unleash your Powers. It could be that, yeah. I was specifically thinking of the trope where a bad guy is unleashing an attack against a vulnerable good guy, only for an ally to appear on the scene with a counter-attack. That felt like a Defend. Absolutely. :)
"Jason swore a might oath to himself never to get any STDs": Leo has endless amounts of sass waiting about this statement. Jesus. You try going on a mission with Rusty in Bangkok. There are all the STD PSAs you need.
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*** Dave H. said: "Jason swore a might oath to himself never to get any STDs": Leo has endless amounts of sass waiting about this statement. Jesus. You try going on a mission with Rusty in Bangkok. There are all the STD PSAs you need. "I went to Bangkok and almost got sick, but I made sure to take J-Quil! The non-drowsy trap dodging monster murdering power through your day medicine."
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*** Dave H. said: 1. Katherine will no doubt have comments IRL to make on this particular thread. 2. Jason may have some comments to make, too, once he hears about it, if he ever does. Leo will probably talk up Adam and his powers at some point while Jason is around, so when time passes, go ahead and assume it's been mentioned. :)  I'm curious to hear both IC and OOC comments here.
Quoth Jason: "Wait. There's a new gal at your school who's into robotics, is a chemistry expert, is fluent in Mandarin, and has lived in the Far East. Um ... you guys know what Alycia Chin looks like, don't you? I mean, I don't necessarily think this 'Taz' is Alycia. But ... weirder things have happened, and Alycia's been into that infiltration thing lately, you know."
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*** Dave H. said: Quoth Jason: "Wait. There's a new gal at your school who's into robotics, is a chemistry expert, is fluent in Mandarin, and has lived in the Far East. Um ... you guys know what Alycia Chin looks like, don't you? I mean, I don't necessarily think this 'Taz' is Alycia. But ... weirder things have happened, and Alycia's been into that infiltration thing lately, you know." Leo actually does know what she looks like, having pulled up Jason's REM loop on video that very morning, and probably has seen her before that. If sitting across from her during science and lunch didn't make me think she might be Alycia, then she's also a master of disguise. But yeah, let's see where this goes.
Right. Leo absolutely would. Forgot about the REM video.
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Mike
Pro
This was my exact thoughts too as a player. Doyce shot that down as a possibility though, so unless he's gone all unreliable narrator on us, we can chalk this up to either coincidence of similar character traits, Pnuema playing a very odd game (I bring this up only because the actress Doyce described her as resembles the picture he'd suggested for Pnuema's civilian mode and her closeness to Leo), or alternate universe version of Alycia who is fairly chill. 
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Mike said: alternate universe version of Alycia who is fairly chill.  Oh yeah, you just dropped a bomb on Jason.
Bill G. said: Mike said: alternate universe version of Alycia who is fairly chill.  Oh yeah, you just dropped a bomb on Jason. Do not even suggest  that to Jason.
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*** Dave H. said: Do not even suggest  that to Jason.