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  1. I liked Mission 5 a lot, personally! Thanks a ton for hosting, WBD. Any sort of dragging that occurred in the middle in regards to my activity had more to do with a spike in work activity on my end than the quality of the quest, honestly, so I wouldn't worry there. I'll rattle off a quick list of thoughts on how things went: The guide choice was pretty big in retrospect. Chatting the each of them up was pretty fun, and I liked Sigrun as a character a lot - I suppose my only point of advice would be to give a drop more info on what the individual impacts would be? In retrospect, not trusting Sigrun that the rigged up corpse was a trap, after we paid her for her intuition and combat evasion skills, was pretty silly on our end. The puzzle was fun! WBD puzzles always fit great and feel fitting contextually. Where we were on the lakeshore got kind of ambiguous, but I wanted to play Decker as a touch dim/scattered, so it gave me a chance to flex that part of his character. There was really no villain, and I suppose there didn't need to be. Kristal Ice is as close as we ever got and that felt fitting for the kind of quest it was. The Rime Drake twist was pretty good. I find it ironic that we had two quests; one in the desert, one in the tundra; one has the big twist that the expected boss was dead the whole time, the other had the big twist that the boss never really died. From a game perspective, I just don't think that high skill enemies "feel" very good. If it was a much higher HP enemy with low skill instead, the party at least gets the pressure valve of being able to do consistent damage. I think your intent was to make the party leverage rally/defend actions, which makes sense, I think we just got hit hard fast, and that threw us off our game. The balance also felt wonky because it felt like we had some really poor rolls at times, and its hard to balance around rotten luck. This was felt in the gator rematch more than anything. The team dynamic felt pretty good! Enson emerged as the clear leader, so I wanted Decker to settle into a more team-player/hustle kind of role. I'm still definitely trying to figure Decker out. My intent was to have him be basically a blob of clay to be molded by in-Mission events; minimal backstory with a few fixed character traits. He's a collaborator, he's generally good-hearted, he's a bit of a hot head and he's far from the sharpest tool in the box. I think not investing in any of the "contextual" proficiencies, like Insight, hurt Decker on this mission. He couldn't really do stuff besides fight, and I purposefully gimped him in combat for the sake of a gag, so Decker ended up hobbled entirely by my own design. Oops. I wish the investment of character points mid-Mission was possible. I think that learning new spells and new proficiencies may be better as a between Mission deal, but boosting base stats would be appropriate. With a lot of the loot backloaded in this Mission, it didn't really feel like Decker was getting stronger. The Rime Drake and the scale you portrayed with it was stunning. That's all I got for now! Thanks again, and I hope to be able to hop on the next WBD mission.
  2. MM Note: If memory serves, you guys never actually split the loot from the submarine battle, so here it is again before a fight potentially breaks out: Golden Gel Hide: Standard Energy/Kinetic Armor Whip Tail: Calibrated Short-Range Kinetic Weapon Nanite Elixir: (Consumable) Removes 1 negative status effect from character Plasma Potion: (Consumable) Heals character 1d6 Vitality + user's Medicine proficiency If it makes more sense to dole this out out of character, by all means do so - just want to make sure that all of this finds its way to someone's inventory before a potential boss fight.
  3. Endgame

    Heroica: Glory Amongst The Stars - General Discussion

    I hope this is conflict is still enjoyable for you guys! This dilemma is what I was building towards for the Mission and the roleplay has been awesome from you guys.
  4. "A ghost? He's here! He's right here! Or at least proof of him is. Why are we being so defeatist about this? We can beat him, we can take back the double and the data as proof, we can report it smartly, make sure it doesn't leak... We can track him down and beat him for good. Do you really think he's never going to return? Just how many loose ends have you already "tied up" to hide yourself, machine?" "Enough to stay hidden." Invictus hisses, still soft voiced but sounding more aggravated. "How many did I kill in the Five Year's war, undead? Don't pretend like the numbers matter right now." The machine's indignation only mounts. "I see. Perhaps we shall see if your strength matches your conviction, Cladrasith." Invictus shakes his head. "Waste of time? You four are the biggest hurdle between me and anonymity that I've come across in quite some time. I heard some of what the AI told you... Rather damning stuff. Violence is hardly a waste for me here. I already extended mercy to you. I could've attacked in the dark and I didn't." Invictus raises his arm cannon again. The barrel of it crackled and hiss with static charge. "I will not surrender to the Savior City. Step aside and let me take what I need. Or like I said... The next shot may not miss."
  5. "Perhaps. But what justice do you earn by killing me - either this self, or my real body? Will the lives I took come back, will the desert here be returned to ocean? No. The galaxy would continue on exactly as it would before. Perhaps besides the vultures of the savior city plucking my corpse dry for their Weapon R&D programs." "You son of a bitch, this isn't ancient history. There's still families mourning their missing sons and daughters." "Exactly. So let it fade into history. Let them mourn. Without me becoming a person of interest again." Soren Insight Check: (3, 6, 6, 2) vs DC 2, DC 4; Success, Failure Soren struggles to perceive if the machine really experienced any sort of permanent change of heart. But it seemed like its offer of a nonviolent end was genuine. Likewise, if Invictus' offer was rejected, the pilot could sense that if push came to shove, Invictus could get very violent indeed. "If you would feel better with having what's left of the AI and the data in my possession instead of destroyed, that is fine. But I am not willingly leaving here with that data just... lingering in the desert, for someone to find. Defeats the purpose." "Come to a middle ground?! Do you know what you're suggesting - he's killed thousands! He was there, he was right there with the two blockades, maybe hours before the gate collapse!" Glenn's composure was all but gone, his gun hand trembling. "Did you cause the gate collapse!? Are you why I'm like this?! TELL ME!" "...What answer could I give that would possibly satisfy you, undead?" Glenn nods along in full agreement. "Valesia, you're right. Soren, listen, you're talking about us having no right to exact justice? This isn't even him! He's just... inhabiting a more human form to get us to feel bad. The real Invictus, the actual monster, is elsewhere, puppeteering this shell. Whatever we do today is about securing justice in the future, not in the now. If you three choose to let this chance at securing the galaxy slip through our fingers, you better believe I'm not gonna feel good giving this mission the green stamp, either." "...If the financials become a tipping point in this, I suppose I could leverage a connection or two and see that the compensation is matched. You may have guessed this, but I value my privacy." "If I planned on turning myself in to any authority in any system, it would have happened long ago. The Arm is convinced I am dead. It shall remain that way, for the best of all parties. It's hard to stay in the grave when you're being interrogated by every member of the military brass from here to Qilin system." Glenn shakes his head. "No, Max, my boy. The League and Empire wouldn't turn on each other for this, at least I-I don't think so. What they would do is turn their attention to wiping Invictus off the map. He terrorized all sides in the Five Years war. He doesn't have many friends anywhere in any system." "Recover the data, track me down, send the forces of the Arm to my doorstep if you must. They will want to see my dead. I will respond in kind. Before I fall you'll have a few more memorials to erect. That's a promise." "Two of you are seeing reason. I implore you, let the past stay dead. All of you - choose."
  6. "My proposal: you forget what you saw today. We descend back into that bunker together and finish the job. The AI should be fried, but I overheard talks of physical media, backup storage... It must be destroyed. Expunged." "So you can go about plotting whatever it is you're trying to do." "Plotting? I have done nothing but keep to myself for years and years. Occasionally emerging from hiding like this to tie up loose ends and to tend to people sticking their noses where they don't belong. You two think I'm plotting? What I desire is to look up at the sky and see the stars, instead of whole battleship fleets packing a hundred proton torpedoes with my name on them. If you send the galaxy after me... I will not shoot first. And I may not even be able to survive them. But you better believe that before the dust of battle settles there will be plenty of new graves to dig. Is that blood you want on your hands?" "For one, if we got into a conflict, I risk damaging or losing this remote body. These things don't grow on trees or get churned off of assembly lines, you know. Building them is... Something of a hassle. But, more than that, I just don't have any real desire to kill you. You've really done no wrong, not yet. How could've you known you were getting tangled up in this?"
  7. Valesia could feel Invictus' gaze pass through her. "You care about harmony and balance? Then let me pitch it to you this way. Do you care to rip open scars around the galaxy that had only just started fading, to sow chaos and instill unease?" "That's more your wheelhouse, you warmongering bastard. Don't you dare turn that back on us." "You're not far off the mark there. Tell me, how do you think the galaxy would react - the Empire and League, especially - if they knew I was alive?"
  8. "Reinforcements? You'd be surprised... I may not be in my original body, but I don't hate my odds in a four on one." Invictus marvels over Valesia's sudden aggression. "I... see. Like I said, I'd actually like a non-violent resolution to this, if you would care to comply. But what I don't understand is the furor." Invictus grows morose for a moment. "17 years ago... I didn't take someone or something from you, did I?"
  9. "Well. I was hoping you didn't know enough to put that together," the automaton sighs. Glenn's gun stays trained on the figure. "Not possible. This thing's taller than us, but eye witness reports said Invictus was almost the size of a building... Whatever the hell you are, you aren't Invictus!" "I nearly got vaporized over a bad RSVP. Let's say I learned to be in two places at once afterwards."
  10. Endgame

    Heroica: Glory Amongst The Stars - General Discussion

    The Mysterious Static Figure is Jack Frost!
  11. Endgame

    Heroica: Glory Amongst The Stars - General Discussion

    Is it too late to rewrite our quests into Christmas specials?
  12. The Cladrasith focuses her abilities and illuminates the dank corridor. The silhouette was gone, but with sight restored, the party could pursue the figure at full speed. Through the crevice, up the steps, out to the front of the bunker, the agents find their mark! Standing in the graveyard of antennae was a silhouette the party could just barely recognize from the bunker below... Tall, spindly, with exposed pistons and servos underneath a set of bone white armor. Its arm cannon hissed and smoked and its visor surged with endless static. Its shadow loomed over the desert... The extra light generated by Valesia's spell let Soren see his target even easier. He aims his rifle and fires the second he gets clear sight of the stranger: Soren Weapon Check VS ???: (1, 5, +2) - 1 for long range shot vs (5) = 2 successes - 1 successes = 1 damage The blast glances off of the entity's faceplate, twisting its neck back, making it just barely flinch. In an instant it aims it arm cannon up and unleashes another blast of static at one of the antenna. It riccochets off and blasts the ground right by Soren's feet, forcing him to retreat. "That's enough. The next one goes through your chest." For such ominous words the automaton spoke very softly and gently, tone and cadence not matching its words in the slightest. And the voice betrayed that the entity was definitely mechanical. It sounded like it had its voice box gouged out and reattached. "If I wanted you dead I would've ambushed you in the dark. Stow your weapon, let's talk." Glenn disobeys, drawing a pistol and pointing it at the machine. "The hell do you want?!" "Just tying up loose ends, is all."
  13. Soren's first shots go wide of the door, briefly illuminating the room, but the third is aimed at least partially true and slips into the stairway out of the corridor. It very well might've made contact, but there was no sound of their assailant falling down...
  14. "<<I do not possess human morality and empathy in the conventional sense. However, my most innate directive is to exercise proper judgment and ensure the prosperity of the Empire within the bounds of my programming. I can not mourn those lost to Invictus. But I can comprehend the scale of his threat - to the Empire and League alike - in numbers and quantities. Platoons lost. Cost of vehicles destroyed. Hours and days spent pursuing. Lives... gone. Thus my insistence on sharing this information.>>" "<<Back-up to any external device you have is unlikely. I am only compatible with certain Empire built systems. But. Transporting my consciousness would perhaps be viable with the proper and delicate transportation of the physical media I am stored upon. But that lies deeper in the complex.>>" The Cladrasith looks around the tunnel. There doesn't seem to be any sort of grates, hatches, anything to allow the party to navigate around the collapsed rubble... "<<If I may make a suggestion. I have established visual contact with you. I know what you look and sound like. I can cease the broadcast and refuse the distribution of any further information to anyone else who visits. Perhaps then you can return with the proper equipment needed to excavate a way inside. In the interim I can query my own data storage and see if I can remember anything else on Invic- ERROR.">>> Bang! In that moment a white bolt of light goes whizzing past Valesia's face. The Cladrasith was attuned to the harmonies of the world, and for that split second that the projectile went past her face, she could "hear" it. It sounded like talons against a chalkboard. If harmony and melody healed, this was pure discord, something horribly scraping against the fabric that held the galaxy together. The bright plasma bolt hit the holo projector that Perry was emanating from, black and white sparks engulfing the device and traveling into the wall. Soon even the emergency lights were flickering, on, off, on, off, as something shorts out in the bunker's electronics. Perry's own apparition struggles to remain, flickering and distorting and warping-! "<<Error error error s-s-s-omething is wrrroo- error -ooong w-what i-is error error error error error error error ERROR - - - ->>" There's a loud crack as the lights go off. Perry vanishes. All is dark. In the blackness, in the direction that the agents came, something was... lurking... The silhouette turns and exits, trying to escape. "What the hell - did you see that?! What do we do?!"
  15. "<<Restricted by directive. Any information I have is for authorized Empire personnel only, unless a de-classification period of fifteen years lapses.>>" "There's still a two year gap there, by my count." "<<That is how long I have been trying to get this signal out. The equipment here is badly damaged, which limited my ability to send out coherent sentences, and I did not know what the modern world uses in terms of common broadcast frequencies. I had to experiment with different transmission contents, frequencies, wavelengths, etcetera. Ample amounts of trial and error. After a prolonged period of failure I ran new computations. I realized that I could perhaps... exploit human psychology, in a minor way.>>" "You added the static, to cry wolf? To lure people in." "<<Affirmative. In addition, making static with broken broadcast equipment happens to be very simple. This was the last of the options I had to exhaust. It appears to have worked sufficiently.>>" "You... You caused a lot of people a lot of stress," Glenn says, eyes narrowing in frustration. "And what if you lured some crazy Invictus cultists here, gave them exactly the information they've always longed for, what then? You could've caused a lot of damage with this!" "<<There are certain choices I wish I could re-evaluate with that intel entered into consideration. My systems down here are failing. My memory is eroding, my time is limited... The second I could declassify this information, I wanted to get it out to the world, before it became too late.>>"