September 12, 2011

Superhero Adventure: Brain Loss

Brain Loss

Gestalt has come up with a new plan of revenge. Gestalt believes it can travel back in time if it has enough power and believes this power can be gained from the minds of others. And when it means minds it means the literal brain.

Gestalt is a purely psychic entity and part of its consciousness has determined that using more brain energy will augment its own abilities, so much so that it will be able to travel back in time and kill Adolf Hitler, the cause of so much of its pain. Thus it has begun a program of taking brains from people. Fortunately for the rest of the world, the personalities willing to follow through on this plan are not always in charge of the gestalt, so Gestalt is moving slowly, though has been picking up pace recently.

Thus far no one knows Gestalt is behind the killings, but the FBI is aware of the string of killings. They have deemed this a case of a serial killer and have given him the name of the Mind Killer.

The Police
This encounter can occur in one of two ways. If one of the characters has strong mental abilities, or any ability perceived to be able to remove the brain of a person without damaging the skull (phasing, teleportation, telepathy) then that character is a suspect in the serial killings. In this case, the FBI:PB approach the character in ROC Suits, declare he is under arrest and demand his immediate surrender. From here, the encounter can either turn into a fight or the characters will go along quietly. Either reaction will result in the characters beings brought to the nearby FBI headquarters where they will eventually be cleared and then be given a load of information on the Mind Killer case. In a roundabout way (since the FBI:PB can not officially ask for aid on this case) they will be asked to help investigate/pursue the Mind Killer.

The second way assumes none of the character has a plausible ability to be the Mind Killer. In this case the local police will ask for the aid of the characters in investigating a couple of bizarre murders in the area, which they believe to involve people with powers. This will in turn lead the characters to the FBI:PB where they will get a better explanation of what is going on.

What is going on? Brains have been taken from various people. There is no damage to the skull or the person, other than the missing brain. All told there have been 23 brains stolen from a wide range of targets; there is nothing that truly ties the victims together. The victims have been from across the US, but the majority has been near where the characters are based. If the characters have international contacts they can learn similar attacks have occurred in Europe, about 77 of them over the previous year.

The Family
A member of the Family (a mafia based organiztion) approaches the characters looking for some help. Gestalt/Mind Killer has killed a couple of their members and some under their “protection”. The Family is starting to lose face/wants revenge, but they realize this must be someone with powers so are looking for outside help.

The Powers
Gestalt is keeping the brains it has collected thus far in a specially built storage facility. It had Chindōgu set up the machines required, but first there were several expensive and rare components that had to be stolen, so Gestalt had Chindōgu hire a group of villains to steal the necessary materials. This group of villains can be anyone, but they should be of the type willing to sell their services for money. It would even be better if they are villains the characters have had run-ins with before.

If the players wonder what is happening to the brains and determine they are being kept somewhere and decide to pursue this angle, there have been reports of these thefts being committed. The proper Science rolls will let the players know that the stolen components could be used to store brains.

The characters will likely want to find out where the culprits of the thefts are. They use their own resources, or if they become stuck, the Family can provide direction. This then turns into two parts.

The first part consists of the party beating up the powers who stole the components. From them they learn of Chindōgu. The second part is the party raiding Chindōgu’s lair filled with traps. Once they beat up Chindōgu, they will learn the location of Gestalts’ lair and the brains. Chindōgu will also be able to reveal Gestalt’s plan to travel back in time. [Encounters for Chindōgu’s lair can be found in his Villain description.]

The Attack
At some point during the adventure Gestalt will attack the players attempting to get one of their brains. Alternately the characters could be witnesses to Gestalt attacking another power, only this time the attack will be quickly over and successful.

The Lair
The party invades Gestalt’s lair. On the way in there are several encounters that mess with their minds as Gestalt is using his spirits as a defense system. Once they reach the brain center, Gestalt will be finishing his “ritual” and will travel back in time to the WWI Battle of Passchendaele in November 1917. As Gestalt vanishes from view a voice will appear in the character’s head, “you must stop them”, in a very heavy German accent. This is in fact the spirit of Karl Weiss, who is part of the Gestalt and wishes the Gestalt to be stopped from killing his Fuhrer. The characters will be drawn with Gestalt to the past.

Encounters within Gestalt’s Lair:
-Characters must get to the other side of a long corridor. On the way are a set of Spirit Minions. When a Spirit Minion dies it comes back the next round as two.
-Characters fight their inner rage/copies of themselves.
-A room of a large number of Spirit Minions. The characters lose (”forget”) all of their powers and must rely on basic attacks.
-A room of Spirits. If a character moves a square during his turn he can not move during his next turn.

The War
The players start on the British side of the lines. At first they are scattered but it shouldn’t be long before they are back together. The characters will likely figure out that Gestalt was also scattered and it is likely to take it longer to recoalesce. There will be problems with the British. How this all plays out is highly dependent on what actions the characters take.

The thing to remember is that Gestalt’s goal is to kill the young Hitler. At the time, Hitler is a courier for the German army, so is not always in the same place. However, he is part of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment so it is a likely place for him to be or visit.

This battle ran over many months of heavy trench warfare. It included artillery, planes, tanks and lots of mud. If ever there was the stereotypical WWI battle this was it.

Important personages of the battle:
-British Generals- Douglas Haig, Hubert Gough
-French General- Francois Anthoine
-Germen Generals- Max von Gallwitz, Erich Ludendorff

Adolf Hitler is sitting on the right



















The End
How all this plays out is dependent on the characters. They can do nothing, stake out Hitler and try to stop Gestalt, or some other choice. Gestalt is what is holding the characters back in time; defeating it will release the characters back to their own time. It is possible to start a new, divergent timeline depending on how this ends. However, honestly, anything that ends with Hitler dead should be considered a failure as the timeline is now severely corrupted.



1 comment:

C. Steven Ross said...

I whole-heartedly support any RPG with villain Nazis. Coincidentally, I'm running something somewhat similar right now (http://dmg42.blogspot.com/search/label/d20%20modern). I know you're a fellow 4E fan and your creatures are written up in 4E stat blocks, so what kind of system are you running for your players? I'm always on the lookout for other DMs' good ideas to incorporate into my home game, and your superheros campaign seems like it might yield up quite a few.