Saturday, 25 May 2019

Heroes Unlimited: Phenomenal Paragons: Ms. Fury Versus Belladonna

Dahlia Drake looked at her watch and tutted. She'd rather be sniffing out rumours of new masks active in the city than queuing at her local branch of Bastards Bank over what was everyone's lunch break. She had terrible timing. She was almost at the front of the queue when the door opened and in walked three women and a man. Dahlia wouldn't have even noticed them had the atmosphere in the bank not changed. From the awkward silence and shuffling to a suddenly enegerised wave of muttering. The man behind her in the queue said "A-dang!" quite loudly causing her to turn and look.

Hannah Rutherford (YouTuber) as Dahlia Drake
It had to be some sort of celebrity and her entourage. They all had looks Dahlia would be tempted to envy, even the big muscular woman at the back who looked like she was a body-guard or something. The man had the look of a manager or PR guy. But it was the woman who led them that drew the eye. She was truly beautiful, in a way that no one should be. She was a mass of contradictions; strong yet fragile, tall yet somehow small, confident yet unsure. The big woman and a companion stood back by the doors while the man and the last woman, Dahlia could only think of her as "The Starlet", approached and bypassed the queue; heading straight for the row of counters and the bank tellers behind their glass screens. Nobody objected as they walked right up to the teller furthest from where Dahlia stood.
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Elle Fanning (Actor) as Belladonna
"Hello," the starlet said, her accent strange and beyond Dahlia's ability to place. "I am Belladonna. I have come to make a..." she paused for a moment as she searched for the word and then snapped her fingers at her male companion. He bobbed his head.
"Withdrawal," he said.
"Yes. A withdrawal."
"And how much would you like to withdraw?" the bank teller asked.
"Everything!" Belladonna said with a radiant smile.
"Everything?" the bank teller seemed unsure as to what they were hearing.
"I am withdrawal all of your money," Belladonna said, "Give Me All Your Wealth." The words carried an inhuman compulsion and for a brief moment Dahlia fought the urge to hand over the contents of her purse. Will only just beating the beautiful woman's domination. Many around her were not so successful. Soon a pile of purses, wallets watches, jewelry and other valuables piled at Belladonna's feet. The bankers stuffed money into sacks provided by Belladonna's henchmen. All three of them had reached into duffle bags they had slug over their shoulders and were pointing them at people as if they contained shotguns or something.
"This is a robbery!" the man said to the customers. "Everyone down on the floor!"
"Better yet," Belladonna smiled, "Kneel, in Worship of Me!"
The bank customers knelt as one. But not Dahlia. Because where Dahlia had stood a black clad figure crouched, coiled like a jungle cat. Ms. Fury.
"Mask!" the male henchman yelled.

Dahlia made two saving throws versus Psionics; the first rolled a 15, only just passing, while the second was a 20. Unfortunately her roll versus Belladonna's Awe was only a 9+2, or 11. She automatically loses initiative versus the villains, loses an action and doesn't get any parry or dodge versus their first action this round.

Belladonna has 4 henchman with her, one is the getaway driver and is waiting outside. One is "Keys", a safecracker/locksmith who has just locked the doors of the bank. The second is "Topaz", the big muscular woman. The guy is "Lucky", a con artist who has attached himself to Belladonna. The getaway driver is "Essa". I used the Quick Villains rules from the GM Guide to generate them. They are all armed with baseball bats and knives. Topaz is also packing a revolver. They don't have any powers. These aren't the mindlessly loyal fanatics from Belladonna's power. But if this job succeeds their loyalty will certainly increase. Belladonna is unarmed and unarmoured; she left her bow and a whip in the getaway car.

There are thirty other people, customers and staff, in the bank.

Ms Fury doesn't roll for initiative. Belladonna rolls 24 (20+4), Keys rolls 8 (8+0), Topaz 20 (18+2), and Lucky rolls 12 (12+0). Essa is only going to come into play if the fight leaves the bank.

Words of magic spill from Belladonna's lips and she is covered in shimmering spectral plate mail. Ms Fury crouches confused by what she's seeing, not truly believing her eyes. Briefly finding it impossible to attack the beauty before her. A shot rings out from Topaz by the doorway, creasing Fury's shoulder. But she just stands there as if in a daze. Lucky and Keys draw baseball bats from their bags.

Because she failed her Awe/Horror save Ms. Fury literally loses her first action and must stand there as Belladonna casts Armour of Ithan on herself (AR18 and 170 SDC) and Topaz shoots her (2+4 for aimed shot =6; a hit, just, for 8 damage).

Belladonna casts another spell; a bolt of energy springs from her hands and splashes against Fury, seemingly shaking her from her confusion. But not before another shot rings out, again grazing her.. Lucky raises his bat between Fury and Belladonna as Keys charges across the bank. Fury leaps for Belladonna, across the kneeling customers, slipping past Lucky's bat to land on the piled wallets and purses, to scatter them.

For her second action Belladonna casts Energy Bolt, Magic Missile with the serial numbers filed off, at Ms. Fury. Energy bolt can only be defended against by a dodge roll of 18+, but since Fury can't dodge this round she just has to take it. This is bad news for Fury as Belladonna gets three more actions a round than her. That's 3 sure hits of between 4 and 24 points of damage 12 to 72 damage a round. Fury has to take her down and quick. Not that she knows that yet. She takes 18 damage from the bolt.

Topaz shoots again (6+4=10, a hit for 9 damage. Lucky basically holds action until Fury closes while Keys closes the distance between herself and the mask. Fury does the same, leaping across the gap between her and Belladonna. Lucky swings to hit (15+0=15, a hit), but his bat is deflected by Ms. Fury (15+8=23, a parry).

Belladonna attempts to evade Fury's coming attack. Topaz draws her bat out of the bag rather than shoot into melee. Lucky continues to defend his mistress while Keys joins him in swinging a bat at Ms. Fury. Keys misses while Lucky finds his bat deflected by Fury's claws. Those same claws slash at Belladonna, slipping through the gaps in her armour, tearing at clothing, scratching the skin beneath.

Belladonna declares her dodge on Fury; (11+6=17). Lucky and Keys swing to attack; (7+0=7, a hit) and (3+0, a miss) respectively. Fury parry's Lucky (3+8, a success by 1) and then slashes at Belladonna (19+6=25, a hit and above the AR of her armour) for 21 points of damage. Having found the 'Knockback' rules at long last, there's a 20% chance for Belladonna to be knocked off her feet. I roll 31 and she remains standing. Both Ms. Fury and Belladonna, between their strength, and in Belladonna's case, experience knock over 1 in 5 of anyone they hit. In Fury's case, however, due to her raw ability to take an impact (SDC) it takes twice as much force to push her over.

Again Belladonna attempts to evade, at the same time Topaz rushes across the bank, bat raised. Lucky and Keys swing again but Fury deflects them both, knocking Lucky's bat into Keys's, while still managing to slash at their boss. Belladonna fires off three bolts of energy in quick succession which strikes our hapless heroine. Topaz swings and misses.

Belladonna dodges again (14+6=20). Lucky and Keys both attack Ms Fury (8+0=8), (10+1=11) but she parries both (18+8 and 18+8; 26 for both). This raises a question for me as to how many attacks a character can parry in a single action. Searching the forums I learn that in Rifts a character can parry up to 3 attacks per action, but 4 or more can only be dodged.  Seems reasonable. The next question is, should I roll to parry separately for each parry or just once per action? 

Fury then attacks Belladonna again (19+6=25), slipping through gaps in the armour again to do 11 points of damage.

This leaves everyone but Belladonna and Topaz out of actions. Topaz gets her last shot in (2+0=2, a miss) and Belladonna gets to fire off three energy bolts to round the round off. Belladonna ends the round down 32 SDC while Ms. Fury is down 35 SDC. To put this into perspective Ms. Fury has lost just under 15% of her SDC while Belladonna is down by just over 25%. Fury is quite the rough'em-tough'em kinda gal. 

Round two begins with initiative. Ms. Fury rolls 14 (9+5), Belladonna rolls 22 (18+4), Keys 13 (13+0), Topaz 5 (3+2) and Lucky 9 (9+0). Sequence is Belladonna, Ms. Fury, Keys, Lucky and then Topaz.

Belladonna decides to withdraw to heal herself and evades Ms. Fury as she does so. The cat clothed vigilante attempts an acrobatic kick but misses. She lands on her feet and parries the cudgel blows of the others with her claws.

Belladonna rolls 17 (11+6) to dodge and Fury only manages a 14 (9+5) with her kick. Keys (5+0=5), Lucky (18+0=18) and Topaz (6+1=7) all attack. Ms. Fury's parry with her claws is +8, which means she automatically parries any attack roll of 9 or less. I won't even bother rolling to parry them. Rolling to parry Lucky's blow gives me (19+8=27), a success.

Belladonna casts a spell on herself and some of the scratches she suffered at Ms. Fury's claws begin to close up, but not completely,  Fury attempts an acrobatic kick against Topaz, who is currently the  most immediate threat to her. But the muscled woman twists out of the way, evading the strike. Keys bat almost catches the heroine but is defected by her claws while Lucky swings wide.

Belladonna casts Heal Self at a cost of 20 PPE and heals 17 SDC. Ms. Fury rolls (7+5=12) to kick Topaz but the criminal rolls (11+2=13) to dodge, using up this action. Keys attacks (13+0=13) but is deflected (12+8=20). Lucky just flat out misses (4+0=4, which is below the minimum of 5 to hit).

Belladonna keeps healing herself while Ms. Fury goes back from kick to claws, slashing at Topaz in an attempt to reduce the number of opponents she has to fight. Topaz tries to parry with her bat but the vigilante reaches around it to cut her left shoulder with enough force to throw her to the floor. Keys swings at Ms. Fury who deftly parries her. "Okay, you're next." she purrs. Again Lucky's swing goes wide.

Belladonna regains another 13 SDC, leaving her only 2 points down. Fury hits Topaz with (17+6=23) versus a parry of (15+2=17). She does 17 SDC damage, which is basically minimum damage. 16 to 29 points of damage in enough to give a 20% chance of knocking Topaz over. I roll 01. She falls. She loses her attack and must spend her next action standing. Key rolls (17+0=17) but is parried with (13+8=21). Lucky rolls (3+0=3).

Belladonna fires another energy bolt at Ms. Fury who bent out of the way. It splashed against a far wall, leaving a scorch mark. Keys and Lucky again find their blows deflected by Ms. Fury's claws. Topaz recovers her bat and stands. She swings at Fury, who parries once more. Another energy bolt follows. Belladonna grabs a fancy red silk rope from  the queue line and whips it at Ms. Fury, who slashes it with her claws, cutting it below a useful length.

Ms. Fury rolls a dodge of (14+6=20), which beats the 18 needed to evade the energy bolt. Keys rolls a (5+0=5) and Lucky (7+0=7), both below the 9 minimum of Fury's clawed parry. Again only Topaz and Belladonna have actions left. I remember that Roll with Impact is a thing and so I roll for it; (19+3=22). This also beats 18 so I half the 17 damage down to 8. Topaz rolls (15+1=16) for her attack but Fury's parry roll is (19+8=27). Belladonna has used more than half of her PPE and so tries to get inventive and uses a rope as an improvised whip (I decide on -2 strike due to length and unwieldiness, but +1 damage from the weight and brass hook at the end). Her attack roll is (9+6-2=13), whereas Ms. Fury's parry is (9+8=17). I decide that the rope is cut because the claws minimum damage is greater than the rope's SDC. I haven't found rules for damaging weapons 

Round 3 begins with initiative again. Fury rolls 23 (18+5), Belladonna rolls 20 (16+4), Keys rolls 18 (18+0), Topaz rolls 14 (12+2) and Lucky 8 (8+0). And that's the sequence for the round.

Ms. Fury continues her assault of Topaz, who parry's the claw strike with her bat. Belladonna drops the end of the rope. She points to the most attractive customer and begins to cast a spell. Keys tries to batter Ms. Fury again but misses. Topaz throws her bat at Ms. Fury who knocks it aside. But in the process she leaves herself open to Lucky who clocks her with a solid hit.

Ms. Fury rolls (4+6=10) but Topaz parries with (13+1=14). Belladonna picks out the most attractive customer in the bank a woman with P.B. 22 and begins to cast Love Charm on her. Keys's attack is (3+0=3). Topaz throws her bat at Fury (18+1=19) but it is deflected (19+8=27). However Lucky's attack (17+0=17) is not as Ms. Fury only rolls (4+8=12) to parry. She takes 8 SDC damage.

Ms. Fury claws at Topaz who attempts to deflect the blow with a forearm against the vigilante's wrist but fails, getting raked across the arm for her troubles. Belladonna finishes her spell and the woman she cast it upon blushes and squirms. Keys and Lucky both swing wildly as Topaz twists her wrist and turns the block into a grab...

Ms. Fury hits with a (19+6=25) while Topaz's parry is only (3+1). Topaz isn't knocked over. Neither Keys nor Lucky roll over Fury's minimum parry. I'm not entirely sure how wrestling works. However it says that someone with the skill can pin an opponent on a roll of 18 or higher. I roll a natural 20.

Neelam Gill (Model) as Aditi
Ms. Fury attempts to break free of Topaz's grip as her opponent seeks to restrict her movement further by grabbing her other wrist. 
 "Fill the bags with the offerings," Belladonna says to her newly enslaved hostage, "And bring as many as you can once you're done." The woman, who we shall call Aditi, nods.
 "Anything for you, my love," she sighs and gets to work.
Keys has abandoned the attack to instead approach the door to the deposit box vault, pulling some keys from her jacket pocket. Lucky takes the opportunity presented by his foe's restricted movement to hit her with the bat. She barely reacts as she uses her feline flexibility to pull free from Topaz.

Okay so it says that each party who are wrestling one another roll 1d20 and add P.P.. That's (8+24=32) for Ms. Fury and (17+11=28) for Topaz. I think Topaz only has somewhere in the region of 35% chance to successfully grapple Ms. Fury. Also I think I've done wrestling wrong. Luck hits with a (13) and does 5 SDC damage.

Ms. Fury responds with an acrobatic kick, which hits Topaz causing her to stagger but not fall. Belladonna absentmindedly waits while Key unlocks the vault door, shooting off an energy bolt at Ms. Fury almost to amuse herself. Lucky's bat fails to connect again.

Belladonna takes a deposit box key from Key and enters the vault. Finding the box she wants immediately. She opens it and grins at its contents.

Ms. Fury's kick connects with an (11+5=16) against Topaz's dodge of (8+2=10). She does 18 damage but fails to floor Topaz by a couple of percent. The energy bolt she takes only does 6 damage, pushing her over 100 SDC taken. Topaz's grapple attempt took 2 actions meaning that she doesn't get to do anything further this round.

Initiative for round four goes thus; Ms. Fury 12 (7+5), Belladonna 13 (9+4), Topaz 7 (5+2), Keys 20 (20+0), and Lucky 14 (14+0). Sequence is Keys, Lucky, Belladonna, Ms. Fury, and Topaz.

Keys begins gathering the filled bags of money from the bank tellers as Lucky takes another swing at Ms. Fury and his bat is turned away at the last moment by her claws. Belladonna exits the vault, her eyes glowing with an unearthly light. As is the mummified human left hand she's holding in hers. Ms. Fury slashes at Topaz, who evades.

Belladonna shakes the glowing hand at Ms. Fury and dust flies from it to settle on the vigilante who shakes her head and stumbles. Topaz punches her and Ms. Fury falls, her eyes heavy. As they close she sees a glowing doorway open in  the outside wall of the bank, revealing a back alley and an idling white van. She hears Belladonna command "Sleep" and she falls into a dreamless slumber.

Lucky's attack is (16+0) but Ms. furry parries with (12+8=20). Ms. Fury's attack is (6+6=12) versus Topaz's dodge of (14+2=16). Then Belladonna uses the Sleep Dust power from the Hand of Glory. Ms. Fury has to save versus magic versus 14. She rolls (5+2=7), only half of what she needed and falls asleep while the criminals escape.

 "Miss? Miss?" Dahlia Drake opens her eyes to see Guardian Angel standing over her, smiling. She starts into full wakefulness. "It's alright miss. You're safe. They've gone." Dahlia realises that she's not in costume and relaxes a little. "Can you remember what happened?"
 "There were four of them," Dahlia begins, "Three women and a man. Their leader called herself Belladonna..."

So this fight was a bit more rough around the edges than before. Testing poorly explained/understood sub-systems. In hindsight Wrestling seems to involve a normal barehanded strike followed by a grappling roll with an 18+ meaning an automatic pin. The grappling roll happens every action it's contested. 

The Hand of Glory will get a short write up later. Belladonna and her gang will also return. I have plans. Speaking of which Aditi wasn't planned. But with the crook's plans disrupted they were going to need an extra pair of hands. Belladonna would only charm the first attractive person she saw. Unfortunately there's a chance that when the Love Charm spell wears off (in 35 minutes in this case) it's effects either warp the victim's mind or become permanent. For Aditi it's become permanent. Since running this fight I've gone back and created Aditi as an NPC. Since the GM guide only has rules for creating criminals and not bystanders I made her using the rules for PC, just didn't apply a powerset class. I also used an expanded education chart which I found on the forums and recompiled for my own use. It's interesting. Aditi is a Bollywood and Hong Kong actress; she's a martial artist who has borderline superhuman abilities, without powers. I think I might start a line of posting criminals and bystanders.

So, uh, join me next week for... 59... 

The Super Soldier!

Get your flags ready.

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