DM Screen 24 – Swords and Sorceresses

One of the things I often do as a GM is to ask players to provide characters or setting details mid-game, especially when there’s an element of the story I haven’t fully fleshed out in my notes. This allows the players to add elements to the story that they find interesting, and it helps highlight to me what those players would probably like to see more of in the game. At the start of this Grayskull mini-arc, I asked the players to tell me which handful of other League members were stationed at the castle when Skeletor and Demona attacked—I mainly did that to provide a resource for the players to draw on if they wanted to. They ended up not using the characters they introduce in the last two episodes, so I decided to start off this episode with the players controlling these side characters (who had been captured in the last episode) as a way of bringing them into the final fight against Demona.

One by one, each of you returns painfully to consciousness. You find yourselves in a relatively large but quite crowded room, with stacks of machinery piled around you and various mechanical components and tools strewn about on every available surface. The room smells of metal and machine oil. You are in the room that some of the more tech-savvy members of the League have converted into a garage and auto shop for the team’s vehicles.

James Bond and Mad Max have been locked in a storage cage. Finn Balor is hanging from the ceiling by a chain which holds his wrists together. Amethyst has been tied to a large wheel on the wall in a spread-eagle position, upside-down. Didymus is sitting on the ground with his back against a pillar, which he has been tied to with several layers of duct tape wrapped around him.

Here, by the way, are their stats:

James “Dalton” Bond
F: Rm
A: Ex
S: Gd
E: Ex
R: Ex
I: Gd
P: Gd

Health: 80            Karma: 40

Gun: 10 damage
Garotte Watch: Fighting check to hit, reduces target’s Endurance by 1 rank each round it’s wrapped around the target’s neck
Keychain Gadget: Will release Rm intensity stun gas when Bond whistles “Rule Britannia” (free action); gives +2 CS to lock pick checks; can be detonated with Ex strength if Bond does a wolf whistle (free action)
Ghetto Blaster: Fires an In-intensity rocket
Detonite Toothpaste: In intensity plastic explosive; detonator is disguised as a cigarette pack
Signature Camera Gun: Camera that can be turned into a sniper rifle that only works for Bond; deals Ex damage

Talents: Acrobatics, Athletics 2, Attractive 2, Close Combat (improvised weapons, unarmed), Deception 2, Expertise (mixology), Improved Initiative, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Languages (French, German), Marksman, Perception, Persuasion 2, Ranged Combat (guns) 2, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Vehicles 2

Amethyst
F: Rm
A: Ex
S: In
E: Rm
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Gd

Health: 120        Karma: 22

Body Armor: Ty
Whip: Str+5 damage, can be used to grapple at a range, as well as grab objects, etc.
Leaping: In
Shapeshifting: Ex, can’t change color

Talents: Acrobatics, Athletics, Close Combat (unarmed, whips), Wrestling 2

Didymus
F: Rm
A: In
S: Fb
E: Gd
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ex

Health: 82            Karma: 32

Tiny Staff: Str+5 damage
Distraction: When you land a hit on an enemy, you can roll a d100 and memorize the result. When that enemy makes a roll, or when an ally makes a roll against that enemy, you can replace the result of their roll with your Distraction check. You can only have one instance of Distraction going at any given time.

Talents: Acrobatics, Athletics 3, Close Combat (staff), Escape Artist, Improved Initiative 2, Leadership

Finn Balor
F: Rm
A: Ex
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Ty
I: Gd
P: Gd

Health: 90            Karma: 27

Dropkick: Deals Str+20 damage and target must check for slam, Balor becomes prone and must check for Stun. If this attack hits, Balor gets 1 Momentum.
Enzuigiri: Deals Str damage, roll twice to hit and take the better result. If this attack hits, Balor gets 1 Momentum.
Pele Kick: Deals Str+10 damage, +1 CS to hit, can only be performed while prone and only to a target already in melee. If this attack hits, Balor gets 1 Momentum.
Football Kick: Str+10 damage, or Str+20 damage if the target is stunned. If this attack hits, Balor gets 1 Momentum.
Sling Blade: Deals Str damage, the target must check for Stun, and Balor become prone. If this attack hits, Balor gets 1 Momentum.
Suicide Somersault Senton: Str+10 damage, target must check for Slam and Stun, Balor becomes prone and takes half the damage he inflicted. If this attack hits, Balor gets 1 Momentum.
Coup de Grace: Deals damage equal to Str + (current Momentum x 10). If this attack misses, Balor loses half his Momentum; if the attack hits, Balor loses all his Momentum.
Demon Form: In a boss fight, Balor can assume his demon form, which gives +1 CS to all physical stats

Talents: Acrobatics, Athletics, Attractive, Close Combat (unarmed), Escape Artist, Intimidation, Improved Block, Improved Evasion, Improved Initiative, Wrestling 2

Max Rockatansky
F: Ex
A: Rm
S: Gd
E: Rm
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ex

Health: 90           Karma: 32

Leather Jacket: Ty body armor
Sawed-Off Double Barrel Shotgun: Rm damage to targets at close range, Ex damage and -2 CS to hit at medium to long range
Combat Knife: Str+6 damage
Glock 17: 12 damage

Talents: Athletics, Close Combat (unarmed), Intimidation 2, Ranged Combat (guns), Stealth, Treatment, Vehicles 2

The heroes start with only their Endurance number in Health remaining. They will need to escape their bindings somehow. At some point when some—but not all—of them are free, Tri-Klops will enter the room.

Tri-Klops
F: Rm
A: Ex
S: Rm
E: Ex
R: Rm
I: Ex
P: Gd

Health: 100         Karma: 60

Sword: Str+10 damage
Rotating Visor: Allows Tri-Klops to change between Distavision (In telescopic vision), Nightvision, or Gammavision (In penetrating vision)
Eyebeams: In damage

***

And now we switch back over to the main League group, who just acquired a dinosaur with machineguns for arms…

Your battle with Demona has spilled out of the Sorceress’s chamber and through several walls, eventually emerging into the same large courtyard where, not long ago, you took out Skeletor’s lieutenants. A dozen or so of the monstrous warriors look up in surprise at your arrival. Demona, still infused with power but looking momentarily less confident than she has been, notices these warriors and immediately calls them to her side. “To me! These last vestiges are all that remain of the Castle’s defenders. Once we strike them down, the Secrets of Grayskull are ours!” The spectacular night sky of Eternia stretches overhead as Demona and the evil warriors rally for their final assault.

He-Mona
F: Am
A: In
S: Un
E: ShY
R: Gd
I: Ex
P: Un

Health: 490         Karma: 130

Body Armor: In
Power Sword: Str+16 damage
                Retribution of Grayskull: Any enemy hitting in melee takes Ex electrical damage
                Wrath of Grayskull: All enemies in area take In electrical damage
Speed: Rm
Gliding: Ex
Prehensile Tail: Can wield weapons and make one extra attack per round at -2 CS to hit
Claws: Str + 10 damage
Immortality
Spells: Mn
                Mind Control: Mn
                Eldritch Bolt: Mn
                Teleportation: Mn
                Force Field: ShX

Limitations: Turn into human form when in sunlight (All physical stats drop to Ty)

The other Evil Warriors will serve as a mob that will be attacking en masse: they’ll act on one initiative count and make an attack every round. Their base attack value and damage are each Ty, and they get +1 CS to each for every two warriors remaining. Because they start with 14 warriors, their starting attack and damage will be at Unearthly. This damage can be spread among any number of targets as they wish. Heroes can reduce the forces of the Evil Warriors by making an attack of some kind at them: a Green result eliminates one warrior, a Yellow result eliminates two, and a Red result eliminates three.

Remaining Evil Warriors:

1) Clawful
F: Ex
A: Gd
S: Ex
E: In
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 90            Karma: 18

Body Armor: Gd
Large Claw: Str+20 damage and can make an instant Grapple check at +2 CS

2) Jitsu
F: In
A: Rm
S: Gd
E: Ex
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 100         Karma: 18

Body Armor: Ty
Double Attack: Make one Katana and one Giant Fist Chop attack
Katana: Str+10 damage
Giant Fist Chop: Str+5 damage and target must check for Stun

3) Webstor
F: Ex
A: Rm
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 90            Karma: 18

Grappling Hook: Str+5 damage, Rm strength

4) Whiplash
F: Ex
A: Gd
S: Rm
E: Rm
R: Ty
I: Gd
P: Ty

Health: 90            Karma: 22

Tail Lash: In damage

5) Spikor
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Pr
I: Pr
P: Pr

Health: 60            Karma: 12

Body Armor: Gd
Trident: Str+10 damage—with a Yellow result, the target is caught on the trident and Spikor can automatically pull them into his spikes
Spikes: When Spikor is attacked in melee, he can make a Fighting check as a reaction to deal Gd damage to the attacker, ignoring the attacker’s Body Armor

6) Stinkor
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Gd
E: Gd
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 40            Karma: 18

Odor: When Stinkor enters battle, every opponent must make an Endurance check or be (Y) dazed, (G) stunned, or (W) incapacitated

7) Two-Bad
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: In
E: In
R: Pr
I: Pr
P: Pr

Health: 100         Karma: 12

Two Heads: Two-Bad gets to roll twice to resist any mind-affecting effects and take the better result

8) Blade
F: Rm
A: Ex
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 90            Karma: 18

Swords: Str+10 damage, can attack with both at no penalty

9) Blast-Attak
F: Ty
A: Ty
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 52            Karma: 18

Self-Destruct: Deals Am damage to all in one area and is blown to pieces; afterward, can make an Endurance check every round and reform on a Red result

10) Scare Glow
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 60            Karma: 18

Scythe of Doom: Str+10 damage
Eerie Glow: Enemies entering battle with Scare Glow must make a Psyche check or take -2 CS to all checks as long as Scare Glow is within sight

10) Saurod
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Gd
E: Gd
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 40            Karma: 18

Claws: Str+10 damage
Spark Breath: In damage

11) Twistoid
F: Gd
A: Ex
S: Gd
E: Gd
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 50            Karma: 18

Battle Hook: Str+10 damage
Speed: Rm
Unpredictable Movements: Opponents are at -2 CS to hit Twistoid

12) Fang Man
F: Gd
A: Ex
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Pr
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 70            Karma: 16

Reptilian Communication/Control: Rm

13) Strongarm
F: Ex
A: Gd
S: Rm
E: In
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 100         Karma: 18

Body Armor: Gd
Right Arm: Ty elongation, In Strength

14) Icer
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Ex
E: In
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 80            Karma: 18

Body Armor: Ty, takes double damage from fire and heat
Ice Generation: In damage, or can flash-freeze an enemy at In rank
Water Form: Can transform into a mobile puddle of water

At a dramatically appropriate moment, the other five Leaguers (James Bond, Mad Max, Didymus, Amethyst, and Finn Balor) suddenly erupt through a nearby wall, piloting a war machine cobbled together from the machinery available in the garage. Invite each player to narrate one aspect of this vehicle.

At this point in the session, of course, the League (along with Skeletor and Flemeth) defeated Demona and imprisoned her, with Nico casting a spell making her regret the decisions that she had made, and Flemeth was made the new Sorceress of Grayskull. We’ll see what repercussions that decision has down the road…

Some time after the battle ends, the Sorceress asks Nico to join her in the Sorceress’s chambers. She explains that she was supposed to remain the Sorceress until her death—the fact that Nico was able to pull her back from beyond the brink of death doesn’t change the fact that the Sorceress did, in fact, die, and that the mantle of the Sorceress is no longer hers—now, she is merely Teela Na. For the Secrets of Castle Grayskull to be secure, a new Sorceress must ascend—this figure will be granted incredible magical power, but will be unable to leave the Castle except in the form of an animal.

At this or some similar point, the stone amulet that Nico has been carrying will react, blazing with arcane light and energy. A swirling vortex of energy surges forward, coalescing into the imposing and statuesque form of the mage Flemeth, whom Nico and the League met in Westeros. Flemeth graciously offers to become the new Sorceress of Grayskull—it’s up to Nico as to whether she accepts or not.

I had originally planned on having the above scene happen at the end of the episode, but Nico’s decisions meant that Flemeth’s reveal happened during the battle with Demona instead. I just made a note to circle back to the conversation about the next Sorceress of Grayskull at the end of the episode.

Oh, and before I go, I figured I’d give you the stat block for Helena with the power of She-Ra (a.k.a. Shelena-Ra)…

Shelena-Ra
F: Am
A: In
S: In
E: Mn
R: Ty
I: Gd
P: Rm

Health: 205         Karma: 46

Body Armor: Ex
Sword of Honor: Str+16 damage
                Animal Communication: Rm
                Healing Touch: Rm
Knife: Str+5 damage, hits twice on a Yellow result and three times on a Red result
Sniper Rifle: 30 damage, -2 CS to hit unless propped up
Berserk: Once per episode, when something makes you deeply angry, you can choose to go berserk, giving you +1 CS to all physical stats (FASE). This lasts for a number of rounds equal to the tens digit of your Psyche.
Improvised Weapon: Once per episode, you can grab a weapon from the environment. Narrate what it is—it has a base damage of Str+10. Then choose one Good Thing and one Bad Thing.
                Example Good Things:
                Deals Str+20 damage instead of Str+10
                Can attack twice with it
                The target must make an Endurance check or be stunned
                The target must make an Endurance check or be blinded
                The target must make an Agility check or be set on fire

                Example Bad Things:
                The weapon is heavy or unwieldy and you take -2 CS to hit with it
                The weapon makes it hard for you to defend yourself—you take -2 CS to dodge, block, or evade
                On a White attack roll, you instead deal Str damage to yourself or an ally
                On a White attack roll, you have to make a Fighting check or the weapon breaks

Talents: Acrobatics, Athletics, Close Combat (improvised weapon, knife), Grappling Finesse, Improved Initiative 2, Intimidation, Languages (Russian), Marksman, Perception, Ranged Combat (guns), Sleight of Hand, Stealth

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