ORACLE File A00303
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but she mothers new superheroes, too.
Case in point: The team I’ve designated the Justice League Alternates. I had originally assembled this group to act as a high-profile decoy to take the limelight off of my other, more skilled operatives. Only two of them had any real crime-fighting experience. The rest certainly had potential, but they were untested and amateurish. Batman might not approve, but I put them in the field only half confident that they could do the job. The other half was a hope that whoever vanished the Justice League would try to do the same to the Alternates, and I’d be in a better position to figure out who and why.
While no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the Justice League’s disappearance yet, or tried to disappear the Alternates in the same way (to my knowledge), I was surprised to find that my D-listers were more than just clever diversions. As unproven as they were, they rose to the challenge I presented to them and not only halted an apeman invasion in the Central Keystone area, they’ve converted a long-time villain into an ally. Cheetah is now set up in a wing of the Metro Tower and allowed resources enough to develop a cure for her feline condition in exchange for information on the Legion members and their activities.
I’m impressed, I must admit. I didn’t think they had it in them. I’m glad I was proven wrong.
That still doesn’t mean they’re ready for the big leagues, though. I’m not about to start answering intergalactic distress calls and sending them into space with nothing but a Javelin and the hope that they’ll make it back in one piece. They may be more skilled than I’d thought, but they still aren’t at a Justice League level of teamwork and responsibility. Until they learn that, I’ll keep directing them toward missions I think they’d be well-suited for, such as Star City’s latest problem.
Three gangs have risen to prominence in the area known as the “Triangle,” a section of city traditionally fought over by the various criminal organizations in the city. These three gangs, however, have escalated their war, both in terms of weaponry and geography. Their explosive conflict is spilling out of the Triangle and into the rest of the city, catching innocent people in the crossfire. Without Green Arrow to keep them in check, I’m afraid that these gangs will eventually turn Star City into another Gotham City, and I can’t let that happen.
I’m directing the Justice League Alternates to intervene, despite the fact that this isn’t exactly a Justice League size threat, in the hopes that they’ll be able to push this gang war back into the Triangle where it belongs. Hyper Hamster is familiar enough with Star City anyway, considering the fact that he’s been using the city as his base of operations since arriving on our planet. Jason Suave, however, will not be joining them. I have another mission that would be well suited to his particular metahuman talents…
Third mission! And this one’s a doozy, so I’m breaking it up into multiple entries.
This mission started off kind of rough, mostly because the players were having a hard time figuring out how to approach a gang war that’s taking over a city, and I wasn’t exactly doing my best to convey the necessity of their intervention. The stakes weren’t high enough, and it was a dismaying realization to have in the middle of a game session when players are grilling me about who the gangs are, what their deal is, and why this is a Justice League-level threat that they need to tackle. I had to make this more than just a simple gang war, which meant escalation, which meant involving metahumans. In true DCAU fashion, I took Brick from the Green Arrow comics and molded him a bit to suit my needs as one of the gang leaders in Star City. He’s a threat greater than even an army of gang members armed with military-grade weaponry can pose to the team. I ran with it, and they ate it up. Sometimes you just need the right antagonist for the job.
Also, sometimes players need to drop out of the group for other obligations. This happened with Mark just before this adventure, and while we’re sad that he had to step out for a few game sessions, real life takes precedence over a roleplaying game. So, what happens to Jason Suave in the meantime? Sometimes player characters can be used as NPCs if they’re already in the middle of an adventure, but the episodic nature of this game means that not every member of the team has to take part in every single adventure. I figured that ORACLE might use his particular abilities for another kind of mission, one that would last as long as Mark needs to take care of business before rejoining the group. I don’t need to come up with the mission on the spot, but I can work with him when he’s ready to come back to Game Night to figure out what he’s been doing in that time and bring him up to speed with the rest of the group. I’ve got a few ideas about Jason’s adventure, though, that would dovetail well with one of the overarching plot of this game…
What happens when the Alternates intervene in Star City? You’ll find out next week! Also, for anyone who’d like more information on DC Adventures in general or this game in specific, I opened a thread specifically for questions about my game in the Comic Booked Forums. Feel free to ask me anything, or speculate on the identity of ORACLE and the culprit behind the Justice League’s sudden disappearance, and I’ll do my best to answer without giving away spoilers!