Jul 222015
 
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Phantom Fist’s past comes back to haunt him in a big way in this week’s session of Alex’s Apex City Bulbous Quarry campaign! First, we revisit Blake O’Henry’s big score one last time to learn the fates of his former teammates. Twenty years ago, Blake survived the slaughter at Groutweasel Tower and fled the supervillain game, but not all of his team members were quite as lucky. In the present day, Ana Telonis, better known as Battery Acid, has escaped from a maximum-security prison, and Blake figures she’s out for revenge.  The Phantom Fist needs protection and the team needs a demonic totem to complete their Porter-tracking device, so taking down a vengeful Hellbinder seems like killing two birds with one death trap. However, when Blake’s feelings for Ana flare up just before their confrontation, it could spoil all the group’s carefully laid plans.

Campaign Navigator: Better Angels – “Apex City / Bulbous Quarry Capers”

<– Previous Episode: “Clever Girls”
–> Next Episode: “Punched By An Angel” 

  • Unit Omega

    Hey, don’t knock your 4chan audience. I browse /tg/ regularly and hang around in the Eclipse Phase and Star Wars threads (Though /swg/ usually has more conversation about X-wing or Armada minis). I’ve recommended RNR for EP APs before.

    The situation in the beginning is actually why I don’t recommend PVP in games not built toward PVP. Better Angels kind of allows PVP, but at the same time hellbinders are really strong – so it’s not exactly a clear match-up. Ed tries very hard to finagle a mechanical and then a narrative method to harm Ryan – though it’s a clear case of unstoppable force and immovable object. It’s the same situation as with him being Water Form – and like Ryan said he would have just turned human if Acid swallowed him because he has the paradox guarantee. Of course, as a listener, I’ve read the blurb for this session, and know Battery Acid also has the time paradox protection – which as a listener renders the whole thing moot. In some ways, this is why I’d prefer Wild Talents, as even aspects would have much more firmly established mechanics on what exactly they limit, enhance and protect.

    • In a way, I agree, because this fight went on far too long

      • Unit Omega

        Well, with NPCs, there’s always the option of Rule Zero arbitration. The GM is allowed to just make an interpretation of the rules, it’s part of the job description. However, in a PVP scenario, both participants are free-willed player characters, and in order to keep such a conflict “fair” the GM shouldn’t necessarily come down on one side or the other. In a system designed to handle PVP (like say, Monsterhearts or even AW), there’s usually an implicit or explicit mechanic which generally covers this so the GM doesn’t have to arbitrate, though Better Angels doesn’t necessarily have that.

        In a lot of ways, I think this is the intent to make Better Angels different from something like MAOCT or Wild Talents where there are hard and fast rules on stuff like range and mass and what happens and you have to be explicit about what Useful does. BA is just “demon did it” and you kind of figure it out from there, in a very early- to mid- comics fashion.

        • I love the setting and themes of Better Angels, but the vagueness of the system annoys me sometimes. Especially the combat. For combat, I much prefer more concrete systems, like Eclipse Phase. “His shoot beat your dodge, so you’re hit.” For some reason, I always have trouble wrapping my head around ORE combat and gobble dice and all that. The system works great for non-combat actions, but I think it tends to fall apart a bit when the punches start flying, which kind of sucks in BA.

          • Unit Omega

            Well, In this respect, I say WT and MAOCT have a leg up. The combat mechanics are much better laid out in those books, in my experience, and seem cleaner cut. WT especially. Sure, you have to look up the Damage Silhouette a lot, but in general it’s pretty clear cut; you have Attacks and Defends (or at least, skills which make sense for either). You match height and width, if you don’t beat ’em on both, the attack hits and does W in damage. Monsters has the ability to shrug damage, but I don’t know if WT in Essentials does. Extras, Flaws and Quality levels all modify this, but they say exactly how they do it – it’s all spelled out for you. BA and I’d wager ADW have the problem that everything is an attack – with slides and stuff, and it’s all a little fuzzy with how what applies to what.

            The trade off is, of course, having to do a lot more work to get exactly what you want out of the system. Even the Miracle Cafeteria would need you to mix and match a couple of Miracles to say, make Peyton’s animal form.

  • NextLevel2

    I love how during the battle sequence someone says “you hit her with a rock” so nonchalantly and instinctually- I think if anyone out of the AP world heard that they’d think you guys are absolutely insane :-p.
    As Alex pretended to be the bartender, I found it hilarious as he mentioned the bartender had huge boobs, and I imagined this hermaphrodite character because Alex has such a grufff voice, I was cracking up. Quote of the episode (in my opinion, just for funs & giggles) goes to Alex, obviously with his witty comebacks –
    …(while grabbing a chip) “We have a chewer”… Which RPPR Actual Play Podcast is known for doing, and I guarantee you, some fanboy/girl out there will be like ‘oh my God, I love Alex’s chewing’! hahaha! I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet.
    For some reason, I enjoy the longer episodes, usually I split them up when listening to it, which makes it seem like you put out more than one episode.
    Kudos to everyone for a great session.

  • Mark Hedden

    Wow. Veronica found one of the few people in the country even less appealing than Archie to hook up with. The poor dear; she really deserves better.

  • Journ-O-LST-3

    I think my favorite part here was a human threatening their demon with going to church. But it works better if you make them watch you repent.

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