GURPS Supers: Empire City

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Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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Session 1: Meetings and Zombies

Our inaugural session began with our heroes meeting in the Chester Hill cemetery of Empire City. Major Marbles, Cocuyo, Warrior Woman, Chlorophyll King, and Dusty Rose met each other for the first time.

They followed individual leads about missing homeless people, disturbed graves in the cemetery, etc… they happened to converge upon the cemetery at the same time. Cocuyo lingered to prepare for when his vision came to pass. Major Marbles took a position to watch and prepare. Chlorophyll King and Warrior Woman rushed in. Dusty Rose needed a moment to spring into action.

Once they started, they made quick work of the zombies:

Major Marbles was able to disorient opponents with stygian darkness that allowed him to move and attack unseen.

Cocuyo moved with incredible speed and martial arts precision. Beating zombies down with aplomb.

Warrior Woman laid into her opponents with muscles and energy.

Chlorophyll King was able to entangle zombies and miscreants with his entangling vine. He also discovered that his toxic goo attack did little more than make zombies look that much more disturbing.

Dusty Rose flew over the gates in her glowing forcefield and was able to manipulate the force to capture, crush or obliterate her opponents.

They captured the leader, Manny Torres. Manny said that he worked for Damien, a well-known leader of the Chester Hill Crips.

Major Marbles called 911 and waited for the police to arrive and watched as they took control of the scene, the news vans came their way, and the crowds came out clamoring for answers.

Our heroes met on a warehouse roof in Chester Hill to talk, and decided on their next move: going to Manny’s address and check it out before anyone else got there.

Clues:

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Session 2: Searching for Clues
Manny's place and beyond...

Our heroes had Manny Torres’ address after they captured him. The warehouse where they had met was coincidentally a half a mile or so away. Unfortunately, that was half a mile across the The Crips’ territory in Chester Hill. Moving as stealthily as possible and relying on Cocuyo‘s deep knowledge of the neighborhood, they avoided Delilah’s bar, a notorious Crips hangout. (It was much easier for Major Marbles, who traveled via rooftops cloaked in darkness.)

Without much trouble, they picked the lock and snuck up into the building, leaving Warrior Woman downstairs to keep an eye on the street. Manny’s apartment was exactly what they had expected from a young man making poor choices. It was poorly cleaned, and clearly his money was being spent on a big TV, gaming systems, and way too much take-out. After searching the place, our heroes found that he’s typically on the gaming console between three and eight in the morning. They also discovered $1,500 and some pot hidden in the bathroom. The amount of pot seemed more for personal use than for sale.

Warrior Woman called up to let them know that four guys – two possibly zombies – were coming up. Our heroes headed down the stairs to deal with them. Once again, they made short work of the thugs. Dusty Rose was able to entangle and puree zombies. Chlorophyll King had a corrosive attack that wasn’t particularly useful against zombies, but did a wonderful job of intimidating the hell out of the humans. Cocuyo’s martial arts quickly took down one of the humans, and then chased the other, the group leader, as he ran away. Warrior Woman and Major Marbles batted clean up.

Once the zombies were destroyed, our heroes questioned the group leader, whose name turned out to be Mel Rodriguez. In his non-heroic persona, Cocuyo knew Mel. He’s a bright kid, who probably could have gotten out of the neighborhood if he hadn’t been sucked into the world of the Crips.

Mel told them that D (Damien) sent the zombies. D knows a guy that raises zombies. D’s been using zombies for the past three months as muscle. They’re great for fighting the The Demons. As far as Mel knew, D is at Tooti’s, another Crips hangout over on Blair St.

The party went back and forth about whether they should knock out Mel and leave him and Raul Vasquez, his unconscious companion, for the Crips to find. It was either that, or just tell him to skip town. Mel was sure that D will find him wherever he runs, so the best thing they can do is knock him out and make it look like he and Raul fought them.

Once they set the scene, leaving the two toughs sprawled out near the zombie corpses, Cocuyo called 911 and they left.

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Session 3: Tooti's
Our Heroes Learn the Facts of Life

After their recent questioning of Mel Rodriguez, our heroes chatted about their options on a nearby roof and decided on a plan. They headed over to Tooti’s that evening and scoped things out to see what they could find out about D (Damien).

The first thing that they noticed on their approach was that Tooti’s was well-guarded. The street in front was empty; conspicuous “No Parking” signs ensured that the closest cover was across the street. That side of the street was full of SUVs sporting The Crips’ colors. Our heroes took to the roofs and noticed that there were a number of people in windows keeping a good eye on Tooti’s.

That first night, the only notable event was when two SUVs drove up and six people left in them. Major Marbles got the license plates to run down. Dusty Rose was able to follow one of the SUVs to Kirby Tower in the projects.

Major Marbles infiltrated the seemingly abandoned office next to Tooti’s – and found that it was in use. There were computers, internet phones, all with blinking lights to show that they were live. When he played with the phones and inadvertently made his presence known, men from next door came in. These guards seemed disciplined and had a quick response time, but Major Marbles left before he could see too much more. His distinctive darkness, however, was noticed by the guards.

The next day, Dusty Rose talked to her mentor to see about changes to her rig. She wants variable intensity controls, which he agreed could be a useful tool and a challenge. Major Marbles was able to get bugs and communication devices. Unfortunately, Chlorophyll King was not able to join them in the evening.

Dusty Rose and Cocuyo, dressed in civilian garb, went into Tooti’s to scope things out. They planted a few listening devices, but unfortunately they weren’t able to get in the back where they thought the gang discussions were going on. But they did bug a table in the middle of the bar, the ladies room, and a bulletin board near the back.

There were lights on in the back of the building, but Major Marbles darkened them. They were surprised to see a group of very disciplined guards within thirty seconds; that level of rapid response was very uncommon for gang-bangers. When the guards couldn’t see, they didn’t shoot blind. Instead they kept the door guarded so that no one could slip in. When Major Marbles repeated his darkness trick, one of the guards came out and addressed its unseen cause to see if this was an attempt at an interview with D for a spot in his crew. Major Marbles ignored him and blindly teleported into the bar.

Inside the bar, the gang members were just as disciplined as they were outside. Although they were at a huge disadvantage with Major Marbles spreading darkness around the back of the bar, they were still able to catch him and lay a beat-down upon him. The gang’s discipline broke at one point, however, showing that they were willing to shoot into one another in hopes of getting Major Marbles. More of the gang were hurt when Dusty Rose and Cocuyo came in for the rescue. Major Marbles’ darkness proved as difficult for the rest of the heroes as it was for the gang.

The party was still able to rescue Major Marbles and get him out of there. A number of the gang – or their guards, if they’re not actual Crips – were hurt or killed during the escape.

Regrouping on a nearby rooftop, our heroes began to figure out their next move.

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Season 4: Tooti's, too
Our plan does not survive contact with the enemy

From their vantage point on the roof of a convenient building a few blocks away from Tooti’s, our heroes: Chlorophyll King, Cocuyo, Dusty Rose, Major Marbles, and Warrior Woman tried to figure out what to do next after rescuing Marbles and escaping from Tooti’s.

Marbles was too weak and too fatigued to do much more than recover. Warrior Woman stayed with him, and the others headed back toward Tooti’s to try to see what they can glean from the bugs and from watching the building.

Warrior Woman had brought in the cops by calling 911 and claiming that there was an officer down. Unfortunately, The Crips have at least one dirty cop on the payroll; they knew the cops were coming before they got there. They got the bodies of the killed Crips down in the basement and did their best to clean up the backroom, where the fighting had happened. More unfortunately, their bought-and-paid-for Officer Guerrera was the lead officer that answered the call. He was able to report back that it was a prank call and that there was no officer down or anyone injured.

They also learned that D has something planned for tomorrow night that will hit The Demons hard.

With little more to learn, our heroes come up with a plan to capitalize on what they’d seen earlier in their previous surveillance. They saw cars come up and pick up D or the gang leaders when the bar closed and figured this would happen again tonight. They made a plan to have Dusty Rose and Marbles stage an attack on the front that will hopefully slow the cars down enough for Cocuyo to put the bugs on the car (or cars, if he’s fast enough) and for Chlorophyll King, who they haven’t seen yet to scare off Dusty Rose and try to get into the gang.

The best laid plans are often still thwarted by circumstances. There were more gang patrols in the area, as they tried to enact their plan when Dusty Rose and Major Marbles reported that the SUVs were approaching Tooti’s. Chlorophyll King and Warrior Woman were abysmal at hiding and drew guards over to their position. (Similarly, Cucuyo had some difficulty in hiding effectively, but managed to avoid alerting the guards.)

Dusty continued her part of the plan by swooping down and blasting the offices next to Tooti’s, shattering the glass front and splintering the door. Warrior Woman and Chlorophyll King had to improvise by throwing garbage cans into the street to try to slow down the cars and then run off from the gang members. Marbles threw down some darkness around the front door of Tooti’s to continue with the distractions and general confusion that would hopefully allow Cocuyo to get close to the cars.

Unfortunately, with the chaos in front of Tooti’s, the SUVs rushed past rather than stopping. One of the SUVs kept driving and got away. The other swerved around the trashcans and sideswiped a parked car, which slowed down its momentum enough for Cocuyo to catch up and slap a bug on its back. Dusty’s attack was enough to send the gang members outside diving to the ground and hope that they were going to survive this.

The nervous Crips, after the evening’s earlier attempt to get into Tooti’s, had positioned a sniper up on the third floor. The sniper did their best to attack the obvious flying threat: Dusty. Her force field was more than a match for the bullet that did hit her — most of the shots missed her as she flew about.

Our heroes took off in hopes to get to their prearranged rendezvous point. As Chlorophyll King and Warrior Woman headed there, they passed the back alley behind Tooti’s. They saw a late model green sedan drive off, but unfortunately they weren’t close enough to catch the license plate. There were two Crips in the back locking up the alley. Warrior Woman and Chlorophyll King were easily able to take them down.

That’s pretty much when our heroes called it a night. They wanted to try to get into the basement where the crips had hidden the bodies to try to find out where they were going — assumably to become zombies, but they weren’t sure how to get in there. They trade information, head home to sleep and to plan their day.

EVERYTHING BETWEEN THIS AND THE NEXT SESSION’S TAG IS CONSIDERED A VARIANT TIMELINE AND CAN BE IGNORED

  • Cucoyo (in his civilian identity) tried to find out more about Guerrera. He knew the man’s brother and knew that he’s been a patrolman for a long time and he’s pissed that he’s been passed over for promotions a number of time, by what he feels are much less qualified than he is. He also headed over to his dojo and saw what he assumed was crips members trying to recruit (and failing) the guy that Cucoyo had been sparing with. He also tried to come up with what kind of event might be the target for the Crips or the Demons. He learned there’s a confirmation service at the Catholic church in the Demons territory, there’s an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) bout tonight, but neither of them sounded right to him. He also reached out to his brother to see if he can find out (safely) where the Demons’ headquarters or home base is. People in community outreach that he works with know the Demons general area, but not a specific location.
  • Major Marbles visited his police patrons and allies. He let his ally know about Guerrera, which they’re very happy to know about. And he was asked to try to get evidence to prove Guerrera is guilty, which will make the internal affairs case that will be starting a much easier slam dunk. Unfortunately, they don’t have directional microphones or other tech to share with him to make that happen. He found the Demons general area, but not a specific location, either.
  • Dusty Rose met her scientist friend and found that he’d had the idea of putting in a radio as part of the equipment itself, which should help him communicate with her, as they’re doing experiments, etc… He’s happy to make sure it conforms to the channel specs she gives him — ie; she’s now on the same channel as everyone else. She also checked with her non-profit contacts and found out about a quinceanera in Demons territory, but doesn’t think that might be what the Crips are targeting. Because if you go after family like that — that’s going to turn this simple gang war nuclear with a full scorched earth mindset that won’t be able to be hidden.
  • Warrior Woman (in her civilian identity) went to school and looked forward to talking to her police officer dad during dinner.
  • Chlorophyll King in the late afternoon headed over to Tooti’s to try to see about joining the gang. Unfortunately, they look at a paunchy 40yo and waved him off. They tell him to go get a Demon, if he wants to prove himself. He did, however, linger in the area and kept an eye on things.

Six Empire City Pizza delivery cars arrived at Tooti’s driven by people in crips colors. They come out of Tooti’s shortly after wearing Demons colors. Chlorophyll King followed them over to a warehouse and snuck closer. He saw one guy in Crips colors telling the others what to do, but he’s not close enough to hear. He also saw that there are a lot of guns.

After reaching out to the others and telling them what he found, Chlorophyll KIng subdued a guard, bound him, and then manages to corrode and screw up some of the guns. The others arrived and set up (except for Major Marbles who has other commitments until nightfall). Four cargo vans full of zombies arrive.

Everyone there got into position for a fight: EmpireCityWarehouse-20150509.png

  • Cucoyo and Chlorophyll King are ready to rush into the main warehouse from the north.
  • Warrior Woman is ready to rush into the main warehouse from the south.
  • Dusty Rose is ready to disable the vans that delivered the zombies and come in through the loading docks behind the zombies on the east.
  • Major Marbles is arriving via uber where he’ll be able to listen in and do what he can in the hour or so before nightfall, when he’ll be able to heroically arrive.
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Session 5: If at first you don't succeed
Try... try again...

-————————- Begin Alternate Timeline -————————-

With everyone in position, the new attack on the warehouse began. Dusty Rose strafed some of the zombies and the SUVs from which they emerged. Unlike before, these zombies seemed to be of hardier stock. They weren’t instantly destroyed.

Chlorophyll King heard some animals in danger and rushed off to protect puppies.

Some not-too-swift Crips told the zombies to kill anyone that wasn’t a Crip. They soon found out that the zombies didn’t seem to recognize that gang members in Demons’ colors were actually Crips. Cocuyo charged after the Crip group leader and tried to stop him. He discovered that the leader seemed to have some martial arts training and was skilled enough to defend himself. Warrior Woman was overwhelmed by the zombies and found that they were stronger and faster than the others that they had encountered. The zombies were also wearing some sort of torso armor. They were strong enough to batter through Warrior Woman’s formidable defenses. Dusty Rose used her wide-range attack to blast at the zombies. She was doing major damage, but SUVs, cars, and racks in the warehouse had been inadvertent cover for the zombies. The zombies were strong enough to tear apart the Crips that were wearing Demon colors; the Crips died screaming as they were ripped limb from limb. The heroes also found out that the zombies’ armor was actually suicide vests. The vests blew up three seconds after being triggered by enough damage.

When Cocuyo was surrounded by zombies, with his last dying energy — he triggered his heretofore unknown power. The ability to travel back in time, to when he had woken up that morning.

-————————- End Alternate Timeline -————————-

Cocuyo woke up around nine and called in sick to work. (He is the one person that remembered the alternative timeline.) He called the others to let them know that he had a vision of something bad happening that day, a possibility he had warned them about. He filled them in on what may happen this afternoon at the warehouse and they started to plan things to try to avoid that future. Chlorophyll King is unfortunately busy, but may be available later.

They did their best to stick with what they would have done had they not been warned by visions, to avoid altering events until things happened at the warehouse. But they still managed to derail things.

  • Cucoyo (in his civilian identity) tried to find out more about Guerrera. He knew the man’s brother and that he’s been a patrolman for a long time and he’s pissed that he’s been passed over for promotions a number of times by those whom he feels are much less qualified. He also headed over to his dojo and saw what he assumed was Crips members trying (and failing) to recruit the guy that Cucoyo had been sparring with. He also tried to figure out what kind of event might be the target for the Crips or the Demons. He learned there’s a confirmation service at the Catholic church in the Demons’ territory, and an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) bout tonight, but neither of them sounded right to him. He also reached out to his brother to see if he can safely find out where the Demons’ headquarters or home base is. People in community outreach that he works with know the Demon’s general area, but not a specific location.
  • Dusty Rose met her scientist friend and found that he’d had the idea of putting in a radio as part of the equipment itself, which should help him communicate with her, as they’re doing experiments, etc… He’s happy to make sure it conforms to the channel specs she gives him — she’s now on the same channel as everyone else. She also checked with her non-profit contacts and found out about a quinceañera in Demons territory, but doesn’t think that might be what the Crips are targeting. Because if you go after family like that — that’s going to turn this simple gang war nuclear with a full scorched-earth mindset that won’t be able to be hidden.
  • Warrior Woman in her civilian identity, blew off school to go check out the warehouse during the day.
  • Major Marbles visited his police patrons and allies over lunch. He let his ally know about Guerrera, which they’re very happy to know about. And he was asked to try to get evidence to prove Guerrera is guilty, which will make the internal affairs case that will be starting a slam dunk. Unfortunately, they don’t have directional microphones or other tech to share with him to make that happen. He found the Demons’ general area, but not a specific location, either. He then told them that he had information about explosives and zombies at the warehouse. He told them what Cocuyo had told them about the pizza delivery cars, the zombies, and the suicide vests. He wanted SWAT, bomb squad, and police to help them, but not to do anything until he gave the word. However, his police contact and his husband (a police detective) were wary about letting zombies and explosives running unchecked in a residential area of the city. The mayor, hospitals, etc. were going to become involved earlier than Marbles would rather.

In about an hour or so, Marbles heard back from his husband. The mayor and the chief of police wanted more verified information than a single person’s word. They were going to check out the warehouse early to see if anything there can back up Marbles’ story. Marbles’ husband was able to get him a single locator bug, a receiver, a flash-bang grenade and a smoke grenade, as well as the information on how to use them. (He knew that the grenades had a three second fuse, and that the locator bug needed to be paired with the receiver, before the receiver would work.)

Warrior Woman spent her day checking out the warehouse. Major Marbles saw her there, when he came to pick up some of the other things that was on the heroes’ shopping list:

  • rope
  • door stops
  • spikes

There’s a comedy of miscommunication as Warrior Woman isn’t wearing her headset to communicate over the radio while she’s looking around. And Major Marbles doesn’t have a cell phone. Communication had to go through Dusty Rose, who had a stronger radio and therefore much longer range. Major Marbles tried to meet up with Warrior Woman, but instead made her think she was being pursued by the gang. Veiled references from a sketchy figure, weren’t enough to make Warrior Woman realize that she was talking with Major Marbles.

Later in the afternoon — about an hour or so before everything started to happen at the warehouse in the alternative timeline — police showed up in force at the warehouse to investigate. Realizing that this was probably going to disrupt things at warehouse, Cocuyo and Warrior Woman headed back over to Tooti’s to see if they can spot the pizza delivery cars and follow them to a new location.

Cocuyo was able to plant the locator bug on one of the pizza delivery cars and they were able to successfully follow them. The plan had clearly changed. The cars were dumped at a small park deep in Demons territory and the Crip drivers headed out. Cocuyo and Warrior Woman followed them on the subway. Major Marbles and Dusty Rose watched the police at the warehouse for a while, before heading over to the park. They watched the cars in case the Crips came back.

Dusty Rose and Major Marbles heard screams from a public housing tower complex across the street from the park. Dusty Rose was able to approach and get eyes on the problem: zombies were in the common area between the towers, killing people. Dusty Rose attacked one of the zombies and triggered an explosion. They were still fast, hardy, and wearing suicide vests. Marbles called his husband to share the news.

The plan for next time…

It will take 7 minutes or so for Major Marbles to get there. 15 minutes for Cocuyo and Warrior Woman to get back. In 30 minutes, the sun will be down and Major Marbles will be at full power. In the fifteen minutes, Dusty Rose can bind the doors to keep the zombies from getting into the towers, try to snipe a few of them and draw zombies back and forth. And do her best to save as many of the civilians in the courtyard as they can. (There were two dozen or so civilians when the zombies arrived.)

At some period of time in the future, the police will arrive.

But Dusty Rose is going to hold off fully attacking until the others arrive, meanwhile sticking with harrying and delaying.

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