The final night of our Atomic Robo game went off quite well. We jumped straight in from a cliffhanger where one of the PCs — a WAVE with a penchant for machines — and her team had been captured by the Japanese soldier/scientists of the notorious Unit 723’s “Division X” who were working on creating a TeslaTech machine that would be able to shield their military units from sight. Unfortunately for the Japanese, the other half of the team, led by a PC “PT Boat Commander” with an Omega aspect of “Heroics First, Politics After” is able to slip in under cover of a scene aspect DARK AND STORMY NIGHT…

They slip into the massive underground base in a cavern created by a lava bubble, rescue the WAVE, before setting off grenades to cover their escape and put the kybosh on the Jap’s program for good. Problem: a crappy roll led to a succeed but situation: one of the scientists killed by grenades turns on the machine, which is hyper-powered by the lightning storm striking their collection antennae! The machine starts “hiding” sections of the cave and mountain as it had in Philadelphia. The characters know that there is some kind of temporal effect, as well, and start hoofing it for the furthest section of the island they can, as portions of the island disappear into the effect, letting seawater spill into the now exposed lava of the seamount below. Steam, scalding cinders, earthquakes, and panicked Japanese soldiers complicated their mad dash to a small fishing boat with a convenient outboard motor (thanks to Fate Point use) and barely escaped the destruction.

They were able to link up with their Catalina and fly back to Wake Island mostly unmolested, and that was where the characters in modern day closed the report on the Incident at Koro Jima in 1943.

The modern day characters choppered into Koro Jima — now back and having “merged” with the existing island just under the surface — with the assistance of the US Navy and a scientist from Big Science! Corporation of Japan. They find the island is unstable — with the volcano now active, earthquakes, and felled trees and burned sections of foliage from the event during WWII. They also find starving Japanese soldiers and their two American prisoners that had not escaped the effect. After a bit of contentious attempts to convince the Japanese the war is over, they manage to get the last 25 people or so off the island by SH-60s right before the island suddenly flashes out of existence again, causing another massive volcanic eruption.

After some wrap up on character bits, we closed out our first Atomic Robo volume successfully.

Overall, the response from the players was good. We liked the modified version of Fate and thought it played remarkably quickly. One place it fell down — more due to the limited number of players — was the Brainstorming rules, which are tres cool, but require more bodies to get that arguing scientists in the midst of a crisis feel from the comics.  The other was having players throw aspects or complications on scenes; my group isn’t used to that sort of input, I suspect, and I usually handle these bits of narration on the fly in our other game. It’s not an issue of game design, but more of we’re used to running/playing differently. I suspect this would become a bit more natural over time.

 

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