Action Scenes – Attack of the Mole Man!

Introducing: Action Scenes!

FANTASTIC FOUR #575 - Art by Dale Eaglesham

Greetings True Believers! Today’s post is the first in a series of Action Scenes. These are scenes which can be used alone for a short night of play, or incorporated into a larger event. As a Watcher, you can also modify them to your own tastes, using bits and pieces, changing the locations, or otherwise accommodating your needs.

This particular scene–loosely based on Fantastic Four #1–is really about making difficult choices. The heroes need to take down the rampaging monster, which is a bit difficult. At the same time, they cannot neglect the moloids, which are easily defeated, but cause a lot of trouble if left unattended.

Options

Modifying Difficulty on the Fly: Add a Moloid Champion wherever the action seems weak. They can step out of the crowd of Moloids to challenge a hero, or they may act as Mole Man’s bodyguard.

Burrowing Assault: At any time, the Watcher can spend a Doom die to separate heroes from their companions via burrow holes opening beneath their feet.

Dramatis Personae

Mole Man (Harvey Elder)

Image via Wikipedia. Used without permission.

Harvey Elder’s bizarre physical appearance caused him to retreat from the surface world and search for the land at the center of the Earth. He discovered the land of Subterranea and became its ruler.

His high tech staff, created by the Mad Thinker, can give electrical shocks or fire flame blasts.

Affiliations: Solo d6, Buddy d8, Team d10

Distinctions: Bizarre Appearance, Ruler of Subterranea, Monster Trainer

Radar Sense
Enhanced Senses d8
SFX: Radar Sense. Spend d6 Doom to add Enhanced Senses (or step up by +1 if already in your pool) and reroll all dice when taking an action.
Limit: Visor. Mole Man wears a visor to protect his eyes from normal light. Add d6 Doom and turn Enhanced Senses into a complication. Activate a player opportunity to recover.

High Tech Staff
Weapon d8, Enhanced Durability d8
SFX: Shock or Flame. Add d6 and step up effect die +1 when inflicting a complication on a target.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Staff and step up or add d6 to the doom pool. Spend d6 from the doom pool to recover.

Monster Mount
Speed d8, Bite d8, Enhanced Durability d8
SFX: Bite & Shake. Add d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in your pool by –1. Step up physical stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Dismount. Add d6 Doom & Shutdown Monster Mount. Activate a player Opportunity to recover.

Specialties: Combat Expert, Science Expert, Tech Master

Moloid Mob

Moloids are a race of creepy, little, large-eyed humanoids who inhabit Subterranea.

Team 5d4
Distinctions: Adapted to low-light, Wear loincloths
Grab d8, Swarm d8, Burrow d6
SFX: Area Attack. Target multiple opponents. For every additional target, add d6 and keep +1 effect die.
Limit: Mob Cohesion. Defeat Team dice (with d6 stress) to reduce mob.

Giganto

Giganto is a gigantic burrowing monster tamed and trained by Mole Man.

Affiliations: Solo 3d8, Buddy 2d6, Team d4
Distinctions: Serves Mole Man, Underground Dweller, Ferocious

Giant Monster
Godlike Strength d12, Superhuman Durability d10, Superhuman Stamina d10, Burrow d8
SFX: Area Attack. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Claw & Bite. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by –1. Step up Physical Stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Gigantic. Can’t attack anyone smaller than a child, can’t fit between narrow spaces or in buildings, and other problems. Turn a Giant Monster power into a Complication and add d6 doom. Spend d6 doom to recover.

Specialties: Combat Expert, Menace Expert

Moloid Champion

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d8, Team d6
Distinctions: Fierce Warrior, Arrogant, Monstrous Appearance

Enhanced Moloid
Enhanced Strength d8, Enhanced Durability d8, Enhanced Stamina d8
SFX: Mighty Blow. Spend d6 from the doom pool to double Enhanced Strength for one action.
Limit: Pride. Add d6 Doom and Step Up +1 Emotional Stress caused by humiliation.

Subterranean Axe
Weapon d8, Enhanced Durability d8
SFX: Focus. In an action dice pool that includes a Subterranean Axe power, replace two dice of equal steps with one die of +1 step.
Limit:  Gear. Shutdown Subterranean Axe and step up or add d6 to the doom pool. Spend d6 from the doom pool to recover.

Specialties: Combat Expert, Menace Expert

Action!

Setup

Mole Man has dug up through the streets of NYC with two huge mobs of Moloids and a huge monster named Giganto. Amid panicked civilians, Mole Man gives a speech about how this is a mere demonstration, and how he has an army of monsters that will wreak havok as long as the surface world keeps disturbing the underworld. He says that those responsible will pay, and the surface will feel the destruction that the subterranean world has suffered.

Meanwhile, Giganto will begin destroying skyscrapers while the Moloids kidnap two prominent NYC citizens.

Mole Man – Harvey Elder sits in the middle of a street atop a reptilian monster mount and spouts his manifesto while waving his staff in the air wildly. There are (CROWDS OF CIVILIANS), and (TRAFFIC JAMS), as well as a (NEWS CREW) that happened to be on scene.

Giganto – Giganto emerges from a huge hole in the street and immediately heads toward a large landmark skyscraper. It attacks the skyscraper by spending Doom and effect dice to build up Stress on the building. When the building’s stress exceeds d12, it collapses! Heroes can target this Stress and reduce it with appropriate actions. Inside the building are (TRAPPED CIVILIANS), and on the streets are (FLEEING CROWDS), and (THICK TRAFFIC).

Moloid Mob 1 – The first Moloid Mob emerges from holes and sewers, and heads toward a small park where a senator had been giving a speech. They attempt to capture (SENATOR ROBERTS) and drag him back underground. They can do this by spending d8 Doom to catch him and head back toward the burrow holes. There are also (POLICE) on the scene, and of course there are (PANICKED CIVILIANS) around the (GRANDSTAND) where the Senator was giving his speech.

Moloid Mob 2 –  The second Moloid Mob emerges from a hole in the sidewalks, and pour into a building. They are attempting to kidnap a CEO, (EDWARD JACOBS), who is responsible for disposing of hazardous waste underground. They can kidnap him by spending d8 Doom to get hold of him, and then heading back out of the building to the hole in the sidewalk outside. The building is a (MAZE OF CUBICLES), and there are (SURPRISED OFFICE WORKERS) running around avoiding the Moloid Mob.

Aftermath

Once the heroes have taken care of the monster and mobs or have failed to do so, Mole Man will return underground where the heroes must track him to a cave network to confront him.

If he is neither followed and confronted, nor defeated on the streets, Harvey Elder will return to wreak more havok and kidnap more citizens, or perhaps attack a nearby nuclear power plant. In the long term, he may relent once his complaints are investigated and those he deems responsible are brought to justice.

If any players wish to get to the bottom of the mole-people’s claims of mistreatment, they could consider taking the following event Milestone written by @drnuncheon:

Dig Dug
The mole-people forced out of their homes by [corporate] operations are completely lost when dealing with the complexities of modern life. They need someone to guide and protect them.

1 XP when you defend mole-people from a threat—physical or otherwise.
3 XP when you abandon your team or goal to aid the mole-people.
10 XP when you become their full-time protector, or when you leave them to stand or fall on their own.

[EDIT: Below are another Milestone and player Unlockables for this scene, by Grimmshade in response to requests in the comments.]

Milestone

I Heart NY
1 XP – When you spend time out in the city enjoying yourself, or wear a “I <3 NY” t-shirt, hat, etc.
3 XP – When you successfully protect or defend a portion of the city, or battle at a famous NYC landmark.
10 XP – When you either become a regular part of the NYC public scene, or you become tainted by the city’s negative aspects.

Player XP Unlockables

5xp – The city loves me! – If you rescue the Senator or the CEO, you may be recognized by the city for your efforts. Step up Specialty Stunts involving interacting with city leaders or citizens by +1, until something happens to decrease your fame.

5xp – Reed Richards – Reed shows up in the Fantasticar. He can either give the heroes a free Vehicle Asset of d8 for the rest of the scene, or a Stretching d10 support action for rescuing civilians.

5xp – Johnny Storm – Torch shows up and assists against the moloids. He can either add in a free use of the Area Attack SFX in a Buddy action with a hero, or a d10 Flame Burst support action against Gigantor.

5xp – Maps of Subterranea – The heroes can borrow Reed Richards’ maps of Subterranea, stepping up +1 any resource assets to pursue mole man underground in the next Act.

10xp – Ever Lovin’ Blue Eyed Thing – This unlock only costs 5xp if you add d10 to the Doom Pool. The Thing shows up and takes on Gigantor. This automatically stops Gigantor from doing any more damage to the city while the heroes deal with other threats.

10xp – Sue Storm – This unlock only costs 5xp if a “Namor d10” complication is also added to the scene. (The complication acts against heroes dealing with mobs or citizens, as Namor arrogantly attempts to show off and gets in the way of actual help.)
Sue will use her abilities to transport civilians out of danger, thus taking out one of the moloid mob threats automatically.

10xp – Moloid Axe – You may take a Moloid Champions special subterranean axe as a prize. In future scenes, you may add d6 Doom to step up a Combat Specialty resource by +1. Using the axe may draw unwanted subterranean attention.

10xp – J. Jonah Jameson – The mayor of NYC, JJJ, is among the people rescued (probably in the traffic caused by Giganto). Add d6 Doom and step up city type resources by +1 when you go to him for help. This help is always given begrudgingly. This unlock is lost the next time the hero is present during any damage to the city.

About Grimmshade

Hobbies: Spending time with my lovely NZ wife, gaming (Xbox One & Tabletop games), and reading. Favorite Tabletop Games: 13th Age, Trail of Cthulhu, Fate, Elder Sign, Sentinels of the Multiverse, & probably Edge of the Empire if I ever get a chance to try it.