Issue #2: Baptism of Fire

This is GM Only, a look into the notes I write for the games I run. This post contains all of my notes for my second session of the Suicide Squad game I’ve been running on Google Hangouts. Since this game is being recorded you can hear what actually happened here: Issue #2: Baptism of Fire.

Baptism of Fire

“I just need something to believe in. Or maybe someone who believes in me.” – Clint Barton

Recruited by Amanda Waller for the newly reformed Task Force X, or Suicide Squad, a half-dozen of society’s worst are deployed to South America to track down and eliminate the notorious Deadshot, who’s plotting the assassination of Brazil’s President.

This issue starts right where the last left off, with the characters free falling into South America. Includes their mission to track down the Squad’s former leader, Deadshot, and eliminate him. The issue ends when Waller gives the kill order and the player’s decision to kill or spare Deadshot.

Everything is black. Then comes the deafening sound of wind rushing past and the troubling sensation of falling. As the squad recovers from what they are quickly identifying as a clearly drug induced stupor they find themselves thousands of feet in the air and falling fast. Below them stretches a vast jungle and it grows closer every second. Then a short chirp in their head catches their attention, following by the sound of Amanda Waller’s voice echoing through their cranium. “Welcome to the Amazon.”

ECHIDNA starts being fed information almost immediately. He quickly realizes that he’s experiencing everything that Iblis, Sharpshooter, and Kraven the Hunter experience. He’s also being fed vital tracking statistics on four other members of the team; Killer Croc and Rick Flag III. The cerebral implants are only operational on Iblis, Sharpshooter, Kraven. These implants allow ECHIDNA to experience everything the members of the team experience; sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

ECHIDNA also been given control over the entire team’s equipment and is the only one able to turn control over to the team. This includes releasing the parachutes. ECHIDNA is fed data on their descent, starting at around 26,400 feet or 5 miles, the fall lasts for five minutes. Deploying the chutes does without issue… except with Kraven. A “malfunction” prevents his chute from opening and he slams into the forest canopy at terminal velocity. That’s when it becomes painfully clear to ECHIDNA that he feels each team member die. ECHIDNA will need to make a [Brains + Vitality vs. 1d6+1d8] roll to endure the trauma.

Once on the ground Waller will brief the team, after which she’ll maintain radio silence, not ever answering questions from ECHIDNA.

Waller’s voice, fed through the implants deep within their brain, rings out. “You’re here to track down Floyd Lawton and eliminate him with extreme prejudice. ECHIDNA has a detailed briefing on the target but let me make one thing clear; Lawton is extremely dangerous. In order to accomplish your mission ECHIDNA has been given the location of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent deployed to the region. You will rendezvous with him and find out what he knows. From there its up to you to accomplish the objective and get to the extraction point. This is a deniable operation. I’ll be monitoring your progress for the duration of the mission but must maintain radio silence. There are only two ways this mission can end; either you accomplish your objective or you die. Now. Get to work.”

Their objective is to assassinate Floyd Lawton before he can assassinate Brazil’s president. In order to facilitate that they will need to rendezvous with a SHIELD agent who’s been tracking Lawton. The Squad’s contact, Clint Barton, is located at 8°29’32″S, 52°54’28″W (8 degrees, 29 minutes, 32 seconds south by 52 degrees, 54 minutes, 28 seconds west) – the beginning of the Igarapé do Travessão. In attempting to reach Barton each Squad member will need to endure the Jungle, [Primary Role + Vitality vs. 1d6+1d8]. After the team has eliminated Lawton they are to meet with a S.W.O.R.D. extraction team in São José do Xingu, 10°47’15″S, 52°44’25″W (10 degrees, 47 minutes, 15 seconds south by 52 degrees, 44 minutes, 25 seconds west). Which is about a 300 mile trip which takes about 2 days.

Barton informs the Squad that Lawton took refuge with a group of Amazons around a week ago. S.H.I.E.L.D. intel suggest that this might be the lost Amazons of Atalanta, a group who split off from Themyscira shortly after the birth of Wonder Woman. Barton has been monitoring the situation but hasn’t been able get close enough for more than distance recon. There are a few hundred of them but their Queen never leaves the palace. As for other leaders, they all seem to revere a Priestess that Barton has seen from time to time.

ECHIDNA can calculate a plan using [Brains + Intelligence vs. 2d6]. His final analysis, regardless of success or failure, will determine that being captured by the Amazons in their best method of infiltration. If Amazon custom holds they will be brought before the Queen for trial and it’s about the only way a man will ever get an audience with an Amazonian Queen.

If no one else suggest it, Barton will suggest that the team lay low and assist him with more surveillance. Now that Sharpshooter is here all they need is a clear line of sight on Lawton and they can all go home. Whenever that happens let Flag drop his bombshell:

Fury has given orders to capture Lawton, if at all possible, and the use of deadly force is only to be a last resort. ECHIDNA can confirm the overriding orders. Barton still argues for patience, waiting to see if Lawton has a routine they can exploit. If the team decides to survey more they can either spend a Plot Point to create a new Asset or roll [Role + Alertness vs. 2d6], an exceptional success creates a free d6 Asset once per day. They will also need to make a check every day to endure the jungle, a check that grows steadily more difficult.

  • Day 1: [Role + Vitality vs. 2d6]
  • Day 2: [Role + Vitality vs. 1d6+1d8]
  • Day 3: [Role + Vitality vs. 2d8]
  • Day 4: [Role + Vitality vs. 1d8+1d10]
  • Day 5: [Role + Vitality vs. 2d10]
  • Day 6: [Role + Vitality vs. 1d10+1d12]

There will be no sign of Lawton until six days later, when he’s brought out in front of the temple at Midnight and executed. That means Waller’s mission is successful and Fury is pissed.

If the team moves before six days they will need to make their way to Nova Roma, the capital city for the Amazons. When they leave Barton will begin to make his way to São José do Xingu and signal for evac. Barton says that he wait in São José do Xingu for a week before he’ll have to call in, but reminds them that it’ll take them two days to get to the evac site and that after he signals they will have 12 hours before pickup. Which means, depending on when they leave for Nova Roma and how long they are there, they could miss evac…

Nova Roma was once a colony of descendants of the old Roman Empire, lost to time until in 1958 when a group of Amazons abandoned Themyscira, angered over Hippolyta’s hubris creation of her daughters, Diana and Nubia, and settled a new colony on the site. Eventually the city was discovered by Baron Heinrich Zemo in 1964 and the Baron became the first male permitted to live among the Amazons. In 1983 the Amazons were tricked by Selene Gallio and brainwashed to believe that she created the city from nothing as a paradise where she could be worshiped as a God called the Dark Priestess. She took Zemo as a lover and puppet until 2004 when Zemo broke free, overthrew the Dark Priestess, and bound her to his will. Using Selene’s magic Zemo forced the Amazons bow to him as the ruler of Nova Roma.

If anyone steps foot on Nova Roma soil they will all feel an unsettling tingle, one that Iblis senses as a dark magic, sister to his own, worming its way into their brains. Instinctively he knows that any use of his powers will light them up like a Christmas tree to the magician at the magic’s heart. With study [Brains + Alertness vs. 2d8], Iblis can identify that the magic is thousands of years old, magic of the Hyborian Age, mixed with the blood of a Mutant. He will suspect it’s wielding will likely sense any mutant presence if they move close enough. If Iblis wishes to track the magic to it’s source he can roll [Sneak + Willpower vs. 1d6+1d8] and discover it’s coming from the Dark Priestess.

Eventually the Squad will be brought before the Queen, who’s actually a King. Well, a Baron. Heinrich Zemo. Zemo gives them a choice, either kneel before him and pledge fealty or be sacrificed to the Dark Priestess. If no one else tries to resist Croc will attempt to attack Zemo but the Amazons will hamstring him. After that Zemo will declare that they are to be sacrificed when the moon is missing from the sky, in (up to) six days time (depending on how long the team waited). They will be escorted to their cells where they will meet Floyd Lawton.

In the cells the former Squad member will explain that he’s not here to assassinate Brazil’s president, but to take out Baron Zemo. Lawton will explain that he was a volunteer for the Squad and when he tried to leave Waller sent him on “one last mission”. When the op went south he went AWOL. He’s since been contracted by H.A.M.M.E.R. and is working on this Zemo op for them. He suspect’s that Waller is just pissed and wants him dead.

Lawton infiltrated the Amazons similar to the Squad but wasn’t expecting real life magic. He tries to convince the Squad that the only way they are going to get out of here is if they all work together, take out Zemo and the Priestess. He says suggests that once they clear Nova Roma they can settle any business they might have with each other.

The game, from here out, is at the whims of the players. If they did some recon they might have some Assets in play to help the operation, if not, encourage flashbacks to their trip to and time in Nova Roma. Croc may, or may not, be injured. The session ends when any of the following happen; someone kills Deadshot, someone liberates the Amazons, or the team escapes from Nova Roma.

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