Published on May 23, 2011
Small Town Hero-Preview Small Town Hero The encounter presented here is the first major event in the story. It involves a low level villain named The Puma leading a group of thugs in a Written by Al Seeger bank robbery. If your super hero campaign is C. 2011, Point of Insanity Game based on a game created for a licensed product Studio (such as Marvel or DC Comics) then feel free to http://www.poigamestudio.com substitute Puma with a villain of appropriate power level. However, this encounter is generic Cover art by Dave Peterson enough that it can easily be inserted as a minor Interior artwork used under license from event in an existing super hero campaign. Louis Porter Jr Design’s Image Portfolio Series. One final note…Welcome to a preview of Small Town Hero, an Since this is a preview the finished productupcoming super hero adventure from Point of might differ slightly depending on how the rest ofInsanity Game Studio. The adventure has been my work on Small Town Hero unfolds. Thewritten with no particular system in mind so finished version of Small Town Hero will includerunning it will require some advance an optional prelude encounter and severalpreparation. Small Town Hero is intended for optional side adventures as well. No estimatednewly created characters, but you may alter the release date yet but I’m hoping to have it readycontent of the adventure as you see fit by March of April 2011.depending on the level and needs of yourcampaign. Happy Gaming! Al Seeger, Point of Insanity Game Studio 2
Small Town Hero-Preview About the setting The backdrop for this adventure is a small town known as Stonewell. It is a middle class town with a population of 9000. Not far from Stonewell is a large city named Washington Point (population 550,000). Any material related to Stonewell has been written as generically as possible. Some parts of the adventure and supplemental material refer to events and places related to American history. This does not mean the adventure needs to take place in the United States. The game master is free to place this campaign anywhere he wants. Ideally, the adventure should be set in a small town of around 7000 –10000 people located a short distance from a major city. The finished product will contain two supplemental PDFs to flesh out the setting in more detail. The first one will be “The Player’s Guide to Stonewell.” This PDF contains general information about Stonewell that can be considered common knowledge and may be distributed to your players freely. The second PDF is “The Game Master’s Guide to Stonewell” and contains some of the secrets and urban legends of the town as well as notable personalities. 3
Small Town Hero-PreviewThe first major event in the story assumes there is a lone character(preferably one with innate superpowers or who happens to becarrying a few small gadgets on him) who is at the bank when arobbery takes place. Another way to handle this encounter is tohave the characters find out about it through a contact at the policedepartment or by monitoring a police scanner.This encounter will involve a group of five robbers and a minorsuper villain who goes by the name of Puma. The bank robbers arenothing special and should have the statistics and abilities of theaverage street thug. Each carries two handguns with 12 shots eachand two spare clips. One thug will carry a 20-ga. shot gun with 8shots in addition to the handguns.Puma should be about the same level as the characters. His mainpowers are superhuman agility and enhanced jumping ability. Hiscostume incorporates a set of cat-like claws. These claws shouldinflict about as much damage as a short sword or similar sizededged weapon. Puma is a skilled fighter but will prefer to send hisminions in first to soften the target up before he gets involved. THE PUMA 4
Small Town Hero-PreviewYou are on your way home when you remember How the encounter plays out from here dependsyou need to stop at the bank. While waiting on what action the characters take. If the partyyour turn in line a group of three masked men confronts the thugs then they will react asstorm the lobby! One of them fires three shots expected-by opening fire. The GM must keep ininto the ceiling and demands everyone get mind that any attack made against one of thedown. The leader of the group approaches the thugs has a chance of hitting the thug’s hostage.teller with gun drawn and demands money. The The toddler will die if hit once. The old lady andnext few minutes seem like an eternity but then the boy can take two hits before dying.the wail of police sirens fill the air! The lead thug However, the young boy isn’t going to allowmutters a few choice profanities as three squad himself to be a victim! He has a yellow belt incars pull up outside the building. He looks at his Karate and when the opportunity presents itselffellow bank robbers and nods. The lead thug he will attempt to escape his thug by biting hissnatches a toddler, one thug grabs an elderly arm and stomping on his foot (no damage but itwoman, and the third thug picks a young boy. will allow him to get out of harm’s way). TheTheir intention is clear-human shields!” distraction will allow the closest character to the thug to make a free attack. The police outside the building will hold their fire once they see that hostages have been taken. Their primary concern will be the hostages’ safety. Soon enough though they will have their hands full! Read the following at an opportune moment: 5
Small Town Hero-Preview“Out of nowhere a black van speeds into the The remaining three officers will try to reachparking lot! As it stops the man in the driver’s their wounded comrades and get them out ofseat rolls down the window and fires at the the line of fire so their wounds can be treated.police with his handgun. The back door opens After three rounds two more squad cars withand a thug with a shot gun rolls out and fires four more officers will arrive along with a team oftwice, taking down two of the six officers on the paramedics to treat the wounded. Anyscene. A third man, this one dressed in a remaining thug not already engaged will try tomasked costume with large claw-like hands, hold back the officers with suppressive fire untilsprings out of the back and with blinding speed they can get to the van with their loot andpounces on another one of the policemen.” hostages. If all the thugs make it to the van they will head west since that is the fastest way toWhat happens here depends on the number of get out of the city. The region to the west ofplayers and their positions. If the party is inside Stonewell is largely rural, so there will be lessthe bank then the thugs and Puma will wait until traffic to deal with. The thugs’ van has severalthey get outside before attacking. Now that the clips of ammunition in it so if the chase goes thisgetaway vehicle is here the thugs inside the far they will have plenty of bullets to fire at anybank will attempt to get out of the building as pursuing heroes. If they have hostages they willsoon as possible. attempt to push them out of the van as a way to slow down the characters.Since Puma lacks long range attacks he willfocus on commanding his thugs. If threatenedhe will attack, slashing away at those who cometoo close. 6
Small Town Hero-Preview Wrapping it up Here’s what happened: Antonio was approached by a member of an organized crime family andThis even ends when Puma and his thugs either offered one million dollars in exchange for robbingescape or are defeated. Naturally, the police will the bank in Stonewell. All he had to agree to wasbe very grateful for any aid the characters have getting a shot before the robbery took place. Hegiven. If the characters managed to capture was told the shot would increase his reaction time. In reality the shot was an experimental drugPuma alive they can try to interrogate him but designed to turn ordinary people into powerful buthe will say nothing except he was robbing the easy to control super humans. The drug’s effectsbank for money. If asked about the claws on his vary wildly depending on how the individual’scostume and his superhuman abilities he will body reacts to it.deny he has such things and the interrogatormust be crazy! In Antonio’s case it increased his agility and jumping ability. The drug’s side effects, combinedIf a character with the appropriate resources with hypnotic treatment and subliminaldoes some research he will find out Puma’s real suggestions, cause Antonio to not be aware of hisname is Antonio Sanchez. “Puma” is the new powers or his costume. Therefore, whennickname he received while playing high school Antonio denies having super powers or a suit withfootball. He was once a gang leader in the city cat-like claws a lie detector test will show him asof Washington Point and has spent time in and telling the truth because his mind has beenout of jail for various minor crimes. It is unknown conditioned to forget he has such things. Norhow he got his superhuman abilities and where does he remember the encounter with thehe obtained his costume, as he did not display organized crime family. He honestly believessuch things before. himself to be just a common street thug. The truth has been buried so deeply in his brain it will take a mind reader several hours to find it! 7
Small Town Hero-Preview Where to go from here…It is perfectly acceptable to play this encounter as a one shot event withno significance to the overall scope of your campaign, but in Small TownHero this will prove to be only the beginning of a deeper and moresinister scheme. So, if you wish to use this event as a starting point for anew campaign here are some ideas to get you started.In the coming weeks there will be several more attacks by low levelsuper villains. These opponents will share one thing in common-theywere all given their powers by an injection that made them susceptible tomind control and brain washing. With careful investigation the characterswill be able to trace the source of the problem to an organized crimefamily in Washington Point (or another major city of your choice).During the course of the adventure the characters might run into a mannamed Dr. Mikhail Lebed. He is a retired physics professor who lives aquiet life on the outskirts of the town.However, there is more to Dr. Lebed than meets the eye! He is originallyfrom Russia and was forced to work on a variety of top secret projectsduring the Cold War. His inventions included things like mind controldevices and suits of powered battle armor. Eventually he defected fromthe Soviet Union and came to settle in Stonewell. Dr. Lebed still servesas a secret government consultant in matters of technology and ifapproached correctly could serve as a mentor to characters that use hightech gadgets to fight evil. 8
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