This adventure concerns Earth8764532, specifically the teams of the LA Champions and West Coast Avengers. Refer to the previous posts for the associated datafiles.
In Act One the PCs arrive in LA and are confronted by a rampaging Marrina. After defeating her and making contact with the West Coast Avengers they investigate what caused this.
In Act Two the PCs they must prevent Ghostrider from exacting vengeance on Marrina before stopping Deathwatch and Graviton from opening a portal to hell.
In Act Three the PCs must prevent Namor from flooding LA, a task complicated by the presence of Tiger Shark.
MILESTONES FOR THIS EVENT
I LOVE LA!
1XP when you talk about the wonders and delights of being in LA or its history.
3XP when you visit a LA landmark.
10XP when you save LA from destruction or let it be destroyed.
1XP when you talk about the pros or cons of a super team.
3XP when you fight another super team or prevent two rival super teams fighting.
10XP when you persuade a team member to switch sides or convince one team to disassemble.
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENT
1XP when you talk about the crimes or mistakes of a hero (including yourself).
3XP when you capture a hero guilty of a crime or help them escape.
10XP when you ensure that a hero is punished or you clear their name.
Hook: A Bridge Too Far
The Avengers: Infinite pick up a strange signal coming from a distant reality, Earth 8764532. Normally the Bridge wouldn’t be able to reach that far but this time it can. This mystery enough for them to investigate.
La Brea Tar Pits
The tar pits are extremely Sticky and filled with the Bones Of The Dead.
A Sandy Playground ideal for people to Show Their Strength.
This is The Scene Of The Crime but still The Hippest Place To Be.
Streets of LA
A Gangster’s Paradise of Weaving Roads And Traffic.
Here PCs can find themselves Behind The Scenes surrounded by Lights, Camera, Action!
ACTION SCENE: A SINKING FEELING
Emerging from the Bridge the PCs find Marrina in a berserk rage at the LA Brea Tar Pits. After collapsing several buildings the enraged Plodex is now terrifying those who came to see the infamous tar pits.
She is powerful and will attempt to create complications for PCs by throwing them into the tar pits. If not directly confronted she will increase the doom pool, putting members of the public in danger.
The alien is in a confused state, unable to communicate in anything other than grunts and shouts. Marrina isn’t in her preferred element and doesn’t have much resistance to damage so the PCs should be able to defeat her. If she should triumph (or the PCs let her go) she’ll wonder into the city eventually regaining her senses and going into hiding, horrified over what she has done.
If the PCs do manage to neutralise Marrina the West Coast Avengers (US Agent, Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Wasp) soon arrive, investigating reports of their team mates rampage.
It is up to the PCs if they decide to reveal their true nature, impersonate their dimensional doppelgängers or keep a low profile. If they do stick around they find that while Marrina has struggled with her increasingly monstrous nature this is out of character for her.
There is still work to be done, with people trapped in the rubble caused by Marrina’s rampage. Let the PCs help, rolling against the Doom Pool to save people. Numerous people are badly injured are rushed to hospital. If any of the PCs has medical training let them roll against the Doom pool if they want to heal some of them but at least a few will remain critical.
The police want to arrest Marrina but US Agent pulls rank, saying that the West Coast Avengers will take her into custody. He argues that their headquarters have a holding cell that can contain her. The PCs can weigh in on this discussion but if they don’t interfere the police agree to let the Avengers take Marrina.
Before the PCs can investigate further they’ll find that sometime during the action the Bridge closed and no amount of trying will get it to reopen. Whatever allowed them to travel so far has stopped working and they are now stranded.
Transition Scene: FAR FROM HOME
The PCs will be invited by the West Coast Avengers to their headquarters. It is a beautiful cliff side property overlooking the beach. The sub-basement contains cells designed to hold super powered beings. US Agent wants to place Marrina in one of these cells but Wasp argues that she should be allowed her freedom until they have proof she’ll loose control again. Marrina will abide with whatever the group wants so the PCs have the opportunity to give their opinion.
Once this is decided the PCs can be introduced to Hank Pym, recently retired from superhero activity he provides technical support. If the PCs have revealed their origins he is fascinated at the possibilities of inter-dimensional travel. He has, however, more pressing matters to discuss.
While the West Coast Avengers were responding to Marrina’s rampage they received report that masked gunman has stolen a conceptual art piece from the Excelsior Art Gallery. It could be a coincidence or it might be that Marrina’s rampage was a distraction.
Wasp suggests that the Enchantress is involved. Recently Enchantress has become the star of chat show on the Titan television network, getting big television ratings. Marrina has been watching it frequently as Enchantress has announced that she’ll be talking to Namor tonight.
A medical examination of Marrina, with a successful medical or science roll against the doom pool, reveals that she was drugged. The chemical was designed to affect the Plodex race, suggesting whoever created it had knowledge of her species. A Cosmic specialty roll against the Doom Pool will confirm that the drug was created by the skrull.
If the PCs question eye witnesses or make a Crime speciality roll against the Doom pool they can learn that prior to her berserk rage Marrina was swimming in the ocean. There was some trouble with a group of teen gang members attempted to rob someone. Marrina attempted to intervene but the gang members injected her with something and fled.
These clues should point in the direction of the Turn Coats. The PCs can be pointed in their direction but US Agent says that the West Coast Avengers don’t get involved in street crime. They leave that to the LA Champions.
If the PCs ask about contacting LA Champions Mockingbird explains their background and membership. She provides them with their helpline number. The PCs will have to come up with something good if they expect Hawkeye to believe their far fetched story.
The PCs might still be concerned about being stranded. A Science or Cosmic speciality roll against the Doom pool will reveal that the pathway home closed at the moment the armed robbery at the art gallery took place.
Transition Scene: THE ART HEIST
To get more information about the theft of the conceptual art piece the PCs will need to travel to the Excelsior art gallery. This is where the trendiest of the art crowd like to be seen and they are still in shock from being involved in an armed raid.
Police have questioned everyone but the witnesses are willing to talk to superheroes. The staff at the gallery reveal that only one piece of art was taken, a mysterious large electronic device that resembled a metal pillar with a flashing crystal pyramid. There was an emblem on the side that the staff can draw, which appears to be the Avengers: Infinite symbol. This will raise questions if the PCs are with the West Coast Avengers.
The masked gunman burst in and grabbed the device, which stopped flashing as they loaded it into a van. The thieves smelled strongly of sulphur, which indicates to anyone with the Mystic specialty that demons were involved. Those familiar with the LA crime scene will suspect that Deathwatch is involved.
The strangest thing is that no one is sure where the stolen art piece came from. It was just there one morning when the staff arrived. They believed that one of their artists had snuck in and dropped it off and would reveal his identity later.
ACTION SCENE: THE TURNCOATS
Various clues can lead the PCs to investigate the Turncoats, a street gang of teenage skrulls. They can be found in East LA and when the PCs encounter them they are in the process of loading up one of their specially modified cars with a box of laser guns.
Before the PCs can interrupt them the LA champions (Hawkeye, Two Gun Kid and Moon Knight) will appearing, having been keeping an eye on the Turncoats. The alien teenagers manage to take off in their car, capable of hovering for short periods, with gang members using the laser weapons to fire at the pursing heroes.
There are 5 members of the Turncoats in the car. They’ll try to increase the Doom pool to get the 2 12s they need to escape, weaving in and out of traffic, firing warning shots and using the hover facility of their vehicle to leap off over passes and into viaducts.
Once captured the Turncoats can be interrogated. They reveal that they were hired by Powerbroker Inc to stage the distraction. In return for their freedom or leniency they will give up the current headquarters of Powerbroker Inc, a small office on Venice beach.
If this is the first time that the PCs are meeting the LA champions Hawkeye attempts to recruit them to his team’s side. He will try to convince them that US Agent is mismanaging the group and that his team is much more suited to dealing with the current crisis.
ACTION SCENE: HEROES OF THE BEACH
Once the PCs learn about the involvement of Powerbroker Inc they may want to pay them a visit. If they ask US Agent about this organisation he will advise them not to look into it (as he is currently being blackmailed by the group). Anyone else will tell them that they are an illegal organisation that offers superpowers through drugs and genetic manipulation.
At Venice Beach the PCs will find a group of body builders working out opposite the Powerbroker Inc office. At first they seem to be just showing off their physical perfection in the heat of the Sun (unless the PCs arrive at night) but they take a keen interest if the PCs attempt to enter the apparently closed office.
These body builders have been augmented and act as security for the property, scaring anyone who investigates. While powerful they lack any formal training or experience of real combat.
AUGMENTED BODY BUILDERS (6D4)
Superhuman Strength D10 Enhanced Stamina D8 Enhanced Durability D8
SFX: Area Attack. Add a D6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
The Body Builders will pit their strength against the superheroes but aren’t likely to play fair. If things get tough they won’t hesitate to create complications by kicking sand into the faces of the heroes, attempting to blind them.
Once defeated the group can enter the office to find an illegal clinic in the back. Here they can encounter Doctor Malus in the middle of a delicate operation on patient. He’ll imply that if anything were to disturb him his scalpel could easily nick a vital artery. Doctor Malus will bargain with them that he’ll give them what they want, the information about why they hired the Turncoats, if the PCs leave.
If the PCs challenge him Doctor Malus will follow through on his threat. The PCs will need to make a Medical roll against the Doom Pool to save the patient.
If the PCs agree to his terms or interrogate him afterwards Doctor Malus explains that they were hired by Deathwatch to create a distraction at the time of the art gallery heist. It was Dr Malus’s idea to use the Turncoats who had been trying to make a name for themselves and who were only too willing to turn over the skrull medical knowledge to create the drug used against Marrina.
While Dr Malus doesn’t know where Deathwatch is now he will say that Graviton hired some extra muscle for a job that night. He usually only does that when he is meeting other gang bosses. He’ll offer to let the heroes join the hired help (in disguise) if they want to infiltrate that meeting.
If they agree Dr Malus will give them the location where Graviton will pick up the security and take them to the meeting. If the PCs let Dr Malus go free Power Broker Inc will close the clinic and move elsewhere in the city within the next 24 hours.
ACTION SCENE: ENCHANTRESS TONIGHT
The PCs can see if Enchanter is responsible for bewitching Marrina by heading to Titan television. This station is secretly owned by Xemnu, hoping that Enchantress will increase viewing figures so he’ll have more victims when he finally makes a grab for power.
Enchantress is enjoying the attention and has crew members rushing around trying to satisfy her every whim. She casually uses her magic to bewitch men’s minds to get her way but isn’t doing anything too illegal.
Currently everyone is preparing for the arrival of Namor. Enchantress is certain she can place him under her charms and plans to make him forget about his estranged wife, Marrina.
This can make her suspicious to the PCs. Enchantress won’t take kindly to any accusations, asking them to leave. If they refuse she’ll order the television studio security and then the crew to physically escort them out.
If the PCs continue to resist Enchantress will deal with them personally. She’ll concentrate on the male superheroes, twisting their minds with complications, mental and emotional stress.
If they defeat her or they are reasonable with her then Enchantress will claim innocence, although her only witnesses are those that she could have bewitched. She will tell them that she sensed something breach their reality the night before. She sensed something akin to a beacon, although it had the stench of science about it.
LA TOUR [5xp]
Any member of either the LA Champions or the West Coast Avengers can show the heroes around their version of LA. This gives the PC Familiarity with LA as a D8 resource for both acts.
PYM PARTICLES [5xp/10xp/15xp]
If the PCs are on good terms with the West Coast Avengers Hank Pym will offer the PCs the use of his Pym Particles. At 5XP this gives them the Growth/Shrinking D8 power for one act. For 10XP it lasts for both acts and at 15Xp the power is upgraded to D10.
SKY BIKE [5xp/10xp]
If the team are on good terms with the LA Champions Hawkeye will give them access to spare Sky Bikes. The bikes have Flight D6 and Senses D8. For 5Xp they can be used for one act. For 10 XP it lasts for both acts.
OUR GUEST TONIGHT [5xp]
If the PCs were respectful to Enchantress she will invite them on to her talk show, alongside Namor. This means when Namor makes his threat in Act 3 they will be there when it happens.
UNLOCK HERO [5xp/10xp]
If the PCs are on good terms with either the LA Champions or West Coast Avengers they can unlock one of the characters to play as a hero. For 5xp this is for one act and for 10xp it is for both.
This allows the PCs to split up, bolstering their numbers with unlocked characters. Remember to play up the tension between the rival teams and please note that Ghost Rider in the Action Scene: Penance is driven to attack Marrina requiring him to either be a NPC or have his player must be willing to go along with this.
West Coast Avengers Headquarters
Situated as Literal Cliff Hanger, with stilts keeping it in place this is where the Avengers are located. It is sums up the city by favouring Style Over Practicality.
This lab was Killed By Stark Industries but there is still Dangerous Technology to be found.
ACTION SCENE: PENANCE
Later in the day it emerges that some of those injured by Marrina have died in hospital. If she learns of this she is distraught, looking to the PCs for comfort or understanding. Further afield Ghost Rider feels the need to punish the alien.
If the group are with the LA Champions they will witness Daniel Ketch transform into Ghost Rider, stating that innocent lives have been lost and penance must be paid. He’ll then drive at high speed towards the West Coast Avengers headquarters.
If the PCs are with the West Coast Avengers headquarters they’ll first hear the roar of a motorcycle, before Ghost Rider drives it straight through a window. The vigilante intends to hunt down Marrina and use his Penance stare on her.
Both teams will attempt to stop Ghost Rider (although the LA Champions may take some time to arrive) but due to misunderstandings they are also likely to fight each other. PCs will be caught in the middle, perhaps the only ones who remember to protect Marrina.
Ghost Rider can’t be reasoned with so must be taken out. If the PCs are able to achieve this then they’ll have to work out what to do with him. The West Coast Avengers will want to place him in a cell while Hawkeye will insist he is returned to the LA Champions.
If the PCs and heroes don’t stop Ghost Rider he’ll inflict Mental or Emotional trauma on Marrina and leave. Danny will be upset to find out what his alter ego has done and will agree to any steps to prevent him transforming back.
Once this is resolved there is still a larger issue. The public is outraged about the death and demand that Marrina is arrested. People are even asking that as an alien does she have any rights?
If she isn’t already in police custody the authorities will demand that she be handed over to them. US Agent is torn as he wants to be seen to follow the law but doesn’t like his authority to be questioned and thinks it would look bad on him to hand over a team member. He’ll suggest to the PCs that if they were too knock him out and escape with Marrina it would be out of his control but they’d have to make it look good.
The fate of Marrina will be important later so the PCs actions will have important consequences.
ACTION SCENE: THE GRAVITY OF THE SITUATION
Deathwatch has arranged a meeting with Graviton to show him the stolen Avengers: Infinite anchor, believing his knowledge of science will allow it to work. Deathwatch is aware that it makes it easier to lock on to this dimension and intends to use it to bring more demonic beings to this world. In return he is willing to trade sections of LA that he controls to Graviton.
The meeting takes place in the now closed Clarke Futuristics, a company that were designing exo-skeletons until Stark Industries put them out of business. There is enough scientific equipment left there to get the anchor working.
In addition to the Power Broker Inc provided body builders (see Action Scene: Heroes Of The Beach) Deathwatch is accompanied by his own demonic guards (the masked gunmen from the art heist).
DEMON HENCHMEN (5D6)
Enhanced Durability D8 Hellfire Shotguns D8
SFX: Area Attack. Add a D6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Counterattack: On a reaction to Physical stress inflict Physical stress with your effect die at no Doom Dice cost or spend a Doom Dice to step it up by +1.
The Demon henchmen are armed with shotguns infused with demonic power. They are hot to the touch, able to burst into flames to cause further damage to anyone who attempts to strike them.
The PCs could learn about the meeting from Power Broker Inc but if they’ve missed this line of investigation then they could get the information by shaking down minor crooks or other people in the criminal underworld (using Crime and Menace rolls against the Doom Pool to get the correct information) which will point them in the right direction.
At the meeting Graviton is astonished by the technology in the anchor but recognises that some of it has been made by Tony Stark. He reasons that his gravity powers can be used to act as a focus for the anchor.
When the PCs intervene Deathwatch tells Graviton to concentrate on activating the anchor. He will do this at first, aiming to increase the Doom pool to 2D12 to end the scene, with demonic forces flooding out of the open portal (see the Act 3 Action Scene Hell Comes To LA). If he receives D8 stress he will instead attack those who have harmed him before returning to work on the anchor.
Deathwatch and the henchmen will keep the heroes from interfering with Graviton. This will usually be a direct attack but they will also create complications, just to make it harder for the PCs to take a direct action.
PCs can try to inflict mental or emotional stress on Graviton, who is unaware that Deathwatch intends to allow demons into this realm. If they cause trauma Graviton will decide that it isn’t worth his while to maintain the alliance.
If the PCs are able to defeat the villains they now have the Avengers Infinite Anchor and their way home. This can be done with a Science or Cosmic roll against the Doom Pool. This will also let the PCs know that somewhere else in the multiverse there is at least one other incarnation of their group and that these anchors allow them to travel further. In all likelihood there is a whole network, allowing them to protect more Earths.
Now the PCs can travel home but there is still work for them to do in this reality, with Marrina still wanted by the authorities, and the situation is about to get worse.
Friend Of Marrina [5XP]
If the PCs give Marrina her freedom she will swim with them in the ocean, showing her favourite spots. This gives them the D8 Frequent Swimmer resource for the next act allowing them to be comfortable in the sea and know the coastline well.
Gravity Aura [5XP/10XP]
If the PCs fought Graviton they could find that his powers have affected them in an unexpected way. Due to them not being native to the dimension and being in close proximity to the anchor during the fight they have gain his powers for Act 3. For 5 XP they have Gravity Control D8, for 10XP this is stepped up to D10.
Remote Bridge [5XP/10XP]
If the PCs gain access to the Anchor they can link it to the Bridge (maybe with the help of Hank Pym) to allow individuals to teleport at will. At 5XP they gain Teleport D8 and for 10XP that is upgraded to D10.
Here the Waves Are High and the Depths Are Deep.
BUILD UP: FURY OF THE DEEP
Once the PCs have dealt with Deathwatch and Graviton they can try to recuperate, possibly with the West Coast Avengers or the LA Champions (or both). Someone will have the television on to watch Enchantress’ late night chat show (either Wasp or Marrina will want to see it).
Enchantress welcomes Namor and asks him about his views on what Marrina has done. Namor immediately launches into a speech, warning that unless his wife is returned to him at the studio by the end of the program (in one hour) he will drown the city.
Enchantress will use her magic to teleport away, wishing the rest of the city the best of luck. Namor insists that the cameras keep rolling, explaining he has placed an Atlantian device off the coast which will cause a tidal wave to hit the city.
The PCs only have a short time to decide what to do but time enough to gather resources or attempt to heal from earlier conflicts.
ACTION SCENE: NAMOR LIVE
The PCs could decide to take the fight to Namor, since he is easy to find. His datafile can be found in the Civil War sourcebook (CW208). In addition to directly fighting the heroes he can also attempt to increase the Doom Pool to 2D12 in order to prematurely activate the bomb, causing the city to be flooded.
Doom Pool dice can also be spent for Namor to burst water pipes, flooding the studio. This will allow him to make use of the SFX: In His Element.
Instead of fighting him the PCs could agree to his terms and bring him Marrina. She is reluctant but if she is convinced that this is the best way to protect her then she will agree. Namor will promise to protect her and congratulate the PCs for a wise decision. He will, however, find that he can’t deactivate the bomb (see Action Scene: Deep Water).
If the removed the risk to Marrina they could persuade Namor that she isn’t in danger any more. The Crime speciality can be used to present evidence to law enforcement showing why Marrina is innocent, although this should be roleplayed out.
A similar situation happens as above, with Namor agreeing to spare the city only to find that he can’t deactivate the bomb.
If you want to raise the stakes further Xemnu could make a grab for power, since almost everyone is watching Namor’s broadcast. He’ll wait until the crisis is apparently averted and then send a signal to take over everyone’s mind, turning the whole city into his army.
ACTION SCENE: DEEP WATER
The PCs could try to locate the bomb before Namor can activate it. This requires a Science or Tech roll against the Doom Pool. Alternatively they can just patrol of the coast line (the West Coast Avengers have a Pym designed submarine) until they find it.
As noted in Namor Live he will be unable to cancel the countdown, requiring the PCs to hunt the bomb down. In this scenario Namor can direct them to where it is but refuses to help, saying it will act as a warning to those who act against Atlantis.
Once the PCs have located the underwater bomb they find that it is guarded by Tiger Shark. The gang lord saw the broadcast and decided he wanted the weapon for himself. He got lucky and tore out some components that prevented the bomb from being remotely detonated. He plans to use the bomb to ransom the city but doesn’t realise that it is unstable.
Tiger Shark has the advantage of being in his element underwater. This will make the fight more difficult for PCs without the ability to survive for prolonged periods underwater. There is also the threat of the bomb, which will activate if the Doom Pool reaches 2D12.
Mental stress can be inflicted on Tiger Shark if the PCs convince him that the bomb can’t be controlled. If stressed out he’ll surrender the bomb to them.
Once they have the bomb the PCs can attempt to deactivate it, using Tech or Science against the Doom Pool. If the Doom Pool is close to reaching 2D12 this can be a risky proposition. If Marrina is with them she will volunteer to swim the bomb further out to sea, where it can’t endanger the city. She is willing to sacrifice herself to make amends for what she did. The GM can decide if she is able to get to safety before the bomb explodes.
With the bomb deactivated the city is safe. If they haven’t already they can now deal with Namor.
ACTION SCENE: HELL COMES TO LA
If the Avenger Infinite Anchor was activated by Graviton then demonic hordes swarm out, forcing the heroes to retreat. These demons have the same datafile as the Demon Henchmen but you can give them a variety of other powers such as Flight, Sorcery, Teleport and Psychic Powers to represent different breeds.
This happens concurrently to the crisis with Namor. The PCs will have to deal with the impending tidal wave and demons running amok. If the PCs don’t have someone who can deal with the mystic then they can track down Enchantress, returning to her apartment in LA to collect her things. She might possibly be convinced to help turn the tide.
The PCs could attempt to use one crisis to resolve the other. Flooding the city might be enough to neutralise the demons, who don’t react well to running water. Submerging the open portal could cause it close (after it drains much of the water that would otherwise have caused further damage in the city).
If the PCs are able to obtain the bomb they can throw it into the portal. If detonated it will close the portal but the backlash will likely destroy the Anchor in the process.
Ghost Rider, to make amends for his earlier attack against Marrina (and once convinced she is innocent), can volunteer to close the portal from the other side. The PCs will need to clear a path but a few turns after he goes through the portal does indeed close.
Possibly he could return in the future but for now the Ghost Rider is fighting an endless battle in a realm of demons.
If the PCs recovered the Avengers: Infinite Anchor the can reactivate it with a Science/Tech roll against the Doom Pool. This allows their own Bridge to reach them so that they can go home. They’ll take with them the knowledge of how to build other Anchors, allowing them to explore further into the infinite number of worlds.
If the PCs destroyed the Anchor they won’t be able to get home for the moment. If they can duplicate the design of the Bridge (and this universes Reed Richards can help with that) they can search for other Avengers: Infinite Anchors, eventually getting closer to home to make the final trip or find the teams dimensional doppelgängers and get help from the source.
Alternatively the team could decide to settle down in this universe.
The actions they’ve taken and the relationships they’ve forged with both the West Coast Avengers and the LA Champions will likely have lasting consequences, especially with regards to how the teams view each other.