DM Screen 14.5 – New Moon Rising

It may be hard to believe given how easily she jumped into playing Luna, but Extraordinary League represents Meganbob’s first real campaign. In fact, she participated in her very first role-playing game ever just a month or two before she joined League (in a one-shot of the superhero RPG Masks that I ran). I wanted to make sure that she had the opportunity to stretch her roleplaying legs and get to know the system apart from the main plot, so I threw together a quick intro session that would present a few simple challenges for her to overcome and give her the chance to do some roleplaying with Kit. It’s nothing complex, but I think it did the trick.

Talk to Bob about what age she’s playing Luna at, and how she sees Luna as being at this age in her life. Once she finishes, work in her capture by Phyrexia.

This part was largely designed to be improvised—I knew that Meganbob wanted to play Luna as a few years older than she appears in the book, so I wanted to give her a chance to fill in the missing years. Once she shared that she had been exploring the wild parts of the world in search of magical creatures, it was relatively easy for me to have a Phyrexian squad pop over and capture her.

The next thing you become aware of is a deep feeling of unpleasantness. You simultaneously feel greasy, sweaty, and sick to your stomach, and you are very aware of a smell which is simultaneously overly antiseptic and industrial. You are also aware of a hard, flat surface against your back, like a table, and of straps holding down your arms and legs.

It takes some effort to force your eyes open. When you do, you are somewhat surprised to find that you are vertical—looking down, you see that you are strapped to some sort of upright operating table, your arms flat against your sides and secured by leather straps. You are in a medium-sized metal room lit intermittently by pools of blue light—you can see similar operating tables, as well as tables covered in disturbing surgical tools, scattered throughout these pools of light, and you see even more disturbing shapes in the darker areas.

There appears to be only one creature in the room with you. It is humanoid, although it sports an extra pair of long, spindly arms growing a foot or so beneath the normal, expected pair. The creature is almost entirely cased in metal with a spiny, slightly bony look to it, and the few bits of exposed flesh you can see looks grayish and rubbery. The top of its head is covered by a tall, pointed, slightly sloped metal helmet—this, combined with the exposed facial tentacles just below the helmet, gives the overall impression of a squid for a head.

It is currently speaking, presumably into a recording device of some kind. It doesn’t use any language you’ve ever heard before, but somehow the meaning of its words are perfectly clear to you. “Preparing experimentation upon specimen 213 now. Previous specimens have shown unexpected rejection of grafts, resulting in expiration. Specimen 213 has been implanted with a translator module to provide for more detailed feedback on implantation process, and has been cleansed of anesthesia to remove all potentially deleterious variables.” As it speaks, it produces and examines a frightening device: it looks like a metal staff, but is topped with an array of different cutting implements: short and long, smooth and serrated, straight and curved, all deeply disturbing to consider. The creature then turns and begins to walk toward you, considering the business end of this staff as if pondering which blade to start with.

What do you do?

Luna has her wand in her pocket—she can reach it with the way her arms are currently configured. If she freezes up or gets into too much trouble, Toothless will bust in through the door before it becomes an issue. If she’s able to take care of the anatomist on her own, there will be the sounds of commotion through the door a moment before Toothless tackles a Phyrexian through it.

Vedalken Anatomist
F: Ty
A: Gd
S: Ty
E: Ex
R: Ex
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 42

Multi-Scalpel: Gd damage

If Luna makes an Intuition check, she can notice her broom standing against the wall by the door.

The hallway outside the operating room is made of dark-colored metal and stretches in either direction. Its most notable feature is the large, irregular, still-smoking hole in the far wall (courtesy of Toothless a moment ago). Beyond the smoking hole is a blasted landscape beneath a bruise-colored sky. The distant sounds of combat drift up through the greasy air—the sound of Toothless’s companions in the League doing battle with Phyrexians elsewhere.

Out in the hallway, cutting off Luna and Toothless’s escape path through the hole in the wall, a group of Phyrexians attack.

Phyrexian Rager (4) – Most of this creature is mechanical—a hulking metal exoskeleton with three crablike legs and an assortment of different arms protruding at irregular intervals all around its body, which rises straight up from the point where its three legs meet in a strange centaur-like form. Perhaps most disturbing are the parts of this creature that are not robotic-looking: bits of bone, flesh, and exposed muscle show through in the central body of the creature, and a horrifically mutated head, barely recognizable as being human beneath the extensive metal grafts installed into it.
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Pr
I: Pr
P: Pr

Health: 60

As the notes say, the fight with the four Phyrexian Ragers was intended to take place in the hallway, but I felt like the action in the operating chamber between Luna and Toothless was lagging and decided to have the Ragers show up early to give the PCs a little extra incentive to keep moving.

The heroes can fly out through the hole in the wall and into the wastelands outside.

Stretching up around you like broken ribs are the skeletal remains of buildings. Up ahead, you can see four figures standing with their backs to a huge statue that’s been toppled onto its side, fighting against an ever-encroaching tide of skeletal, robotic, insectile Phyrexians.

One of the figures is a painfully thin-looking man wearing black robes, wielding a long wooden staff topped with a spherical crystal gripped by a dragon’s claw. He gestures powerfully and a blinding bolt of lightning leaps from his fingertip, ripping through several enemies (Raistlin Majere from Dragonlance). The second figure stands near him. She is short, wearing an orange and gray tunic, several pouches and satchels, a large pair of glasses, and an antenna protruding from a strange-looking leather and metal cap that almost covers her short purple hair. As they watch, she digs into one of her pouches, produces a small sphere, and hurls it into a mass of enemies, where it detonates spectacularly (Lucca from Chrono Trigger). The third figure towers over the others and is either a robot or is encased entirely in strangely-proportioned red, yellow, and orange armor, complete with a glowing green visor and a blue-green arm cannon. This figure is currently spraying the oncoming tide of enemies with a hail of yellow energy bolts (Samus Aran from Metroid). The final figure is dressed in a yellow, form-fitting bodysuit and wielding a katana with deadly skill, slicing down foe after foe as she dances through them, blonde hair flowing behind her (Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill).

When the heroes get within earshot of them, Toothless’s League allies call to them. “Toothless!” says Lucca excitedly. “I’m glad to see you. The Phyrexians caught us on our way back and dropped that statue down right on top of our Extraction Point!” She points a thumb at the toppled statue of a man on a horse behind her. “We gotta get that thing out of the way before we can leave!”

I wanted to highlight how Luna’s spells could be used to solve environmental challenges. She had a number of powers that could have gotten around the fallen statue—she opted for Piertotum Locomotor, which animates a statue or suit of armor. With that, Luna—and Meganbob—joined the Extraordinary League!

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