Frustration to Freedom: Capes

Okay, so this is gonna be a bit of a special occasion, since this Session was born from an Email Course I partook in called Frustration to Freedom. Some of you may have heard of this, but to shed a small spotlight on it, this is a pretty good email course to get into if you need to brush up on your soloing games.

I decided to bring up what I have learned so far and putting it all into one session. And I’m gonna do it with one of the very first RPGs I ever solo roleplayed: Capes. I always remembered watching the demo for Capes and getting enthralled in the story, so playing the game for the Frustration to Freedom will be a nice treat.

[Mythic GM Emulator] and I will work together to create a story using [Capes].

For characters, I won’t be making one, but rather take a cue from the demo and use Vindicator.

As for the opening scenario, I will use the rats in the basement that I have made…

In a ‘Superhero’ setting, ‘thugs’ are in ‘abandoned warehouse’ and ‘the police’ needs them ‘arrested’ before ‘their leader comes’ you need ‘backup’ to complete the adventure and gain your ‘peaceful night’s sleep’.

Alright, so we’ll begin the game with my character, Vindicator, arriving at the warehouse where the thugs are located. His ally, Manelli, tells him of the situation at hand: thugs have taken an abandoned warehouse and that, reluctantly, Manelli needs Vindicator’s help to arrest them before their leader comes.

Vindicator obliges, but only if Manelli backs him up. Manelli groans and goes “You’re gonna be the death of me, y’know…” before they head in. Since this is a scene shift, I’ll do a scene roll. Chaos goes down because things were in control.

[Roll: 6]

We begin this page with Vindicator flying into the fray. He rolled a 1 so I’m gonna roll it again using fly as a reaction. I rolled a 5. Everyone else decides to pass, thus ending Vindicator’s action.

Swoosh! Vindicator flew into the warehouse.

[Q: Do the mooks spot him? Odds: Likely. A: 70]

The mooks are unaware of Vindicator’s presence. Manelli is irritated at Vindicator’s impulsiveness and vows to reign him in.

Manelli’s creating a new goal where it’s “Rein In Vindicator.” That’s his action. The petty crook is gonna be yelling at his men. He rolls 1 and as his reaction, he will try to lie to them that the boss will be coming in five minutes. It’s also a 1. The mook responds by replying sarcastically, rolling another d6 and getting a 4.

Vindicator uses his super strength to try and roll down the 6. He ends up getting a four. Meanwhile, Manelli will try to drive it down, noticing that Vindicator is trying to scare the thugs, rolling the die back to a 1.

“Hey! Stop slacking around! The boss will be here in five minutes!” One of the crooks said as he spotted two people lighting a cigarette.

“Yeah, like you said the last five minutes…” One of the crooks said before they laughed out loud. That’s when the group could hear someone lifting a ton. Manelli knew that this was Vindicator’s trick.

[Q: Does it rattle the thugs? Odds: Very Likely. A: 46]

The thugs began to sweat, one of them bringing a broken table leg to act as a club. (He rolled a 4) Suddenly, Vindicator snatched the club away from the thug and threw it away with great force. (Rolled a 2)

“Oh please! That’s not Vindicator!” One of the thugs said, rolling his eyes. (He rolled a 6)

Next round, the High-Tech Mook isn’t going to work on his side because he is at max, so he decides to take Vindicator down a peg.

“Well, just in case, the boss gave us that armor, remember?” One of the mooks said as he powered on his armor. (He rolled a 2)

“Well, that might make you able to withstand my punches, but can it out race me?” He said as he ran circles around the thug. (He rolled a 2)

Yeah, running around, that’ll really stop them.” Manelli sighed. (He rolled a 3, which is slightly better).

With that, the page comes to a close and with it, the scene. I’m lowering Chaos Factor because the guys have this under control it seems.

[Roll: 0]

Random event time.

  • Event Focus: 65 = PC Negative.
  • PCs: 1 = Vindicator
  • Event Meanings: 33 and 63 = Stop Power

Ooooh, this can sound good. So anyways, we get to the claiming phase of the new page, and so we have Vindicator claiming his side and one of the thugs claiming their side. Manelli is claiming his side of the “rein in Vindicator” goal.

Manelli’s turn. He’s gonna start by doing a dogged persistence to rise up his side of the goal up to five. No other party chooses to drive it down, either because they want to see Vindicator get weighed down or the only 5 they have is a one-time thing.

The thugs’ turn… They choose to pass. They can’t get anything higher than a six and the goal I’m thinking of starting will go against the current goal (since it involves the villain arriving and the goal is beating them before he arrives). However, I did decide on one goal: Vindicator dies. I’ll explain how in the narrative.

Vindicator’s turn is that he splits his dice into two (he can use debt that he accrued from using his super powers to split his dice into two to help him with the odds) and then proceeds to use Thrill Junky to bump the 1 (he split from 3) to a four, making it six.

This ends up tying in the goal for “beat the thugs before their leader arrives”, but I managed to have something saved up for this.

Manelli decided to try and rein in Vindicator. He charged in, gun drawn and ready to tackle Vindicator. Vindicator, meanwhile, was having a blast beating down the thugs, when suddenly he began to feel pain in his legs.

“Gah! What the!?” Vindicator cried out. The thugs chuckled and pulled out some emerald jewellery. “Tsavorite! My one true weakness!” Vindicator said.

“Yeah! You’ve been hitting us while our skin was radiated with it! You’re gonna die unless you can get away from here!” One of the thugs said.

“… No… I’m… gonna stop you!” Vindicator then rushed at them and pushed them all down, ending their thievery. However, in that instance, Manelli went over to Vindicator and slapped a cuff on him, with its other cuff on his wrist.

“Alright! Now I have you where I want you!” Manelli said, though Vindicator soon began to feel some pain.

Thus ends the scene. Chaos is pretty high now because, although Vindicator stopped the thugs, Manelli succeeded in having his control over Vindicator. That and he’s now succumbing to the effects of Tsavorite radiation.

[Scene Roll: 5]

Scene’s altered. So, the Crimson Claw arrives just as the heroes arrest the thugs, thus a little bit of column A and B. So both Vindicator and Crimson Claw fly into the sky to confront each other, and while Vindicator rolled a 6, only for his weakness to ensure a disadvantage-style roll, he managed to beat Vindicator by one point. Claire, Manelli’s player, is probably not gonna be a dick and let Vindicator die, so she’ll create a new goal: Defeat Crimson Claw, of course.

Vindicator then saw Crimson Claw flying in via jetpack through an opening made by a sliding door on roof. Despite his weakened state and the fact that he was cuffed to Manelli, Vindicator vowed to defeat Crimson Claw. Manelli groaned. If he was gonna get out of this in good health, he’d have to defeat Crimson Claw as well.

Thus ending that scene and page. Chaos Factor is increased via presence of villain.

[Scene Roll: 7]

Alright, so Vindicator rolls up a 5 with his flight, though Crimson Claw managed to roll that back down to a 2 via “Know the Weak Points to Any System”. Manelli uses his 4 inspiration to bump Vindicator to a 4, but Crimson Claw managed to roll his die up to a 6. It is by this point that I realized that using inspiration and splitting costs no actual actions, so I gave the characters one last action to help balance everything out.

Vindicator will stake two debt points and split his four into two twos. Vindicator tries to divert the large flying object that is Crimson Claw, but he manages to roll that back to a two via Cyber Claw. Manelli gives his other 4 Inspiration to Vindicator and then rolls Shoot on his other one to increase the other die. However, it became a 2, so he tried to Put Two and Two together, but ends up rolling another 2.

Vindicator tries to increase it via super speed and succeeds by making it 5. Crimson Claw stakes and splits his dice into two and after using Super Strength (from Vindicator) and Honest (from Manelli), he ends up with just 3-3.

Finally, the page ends and with that, the final goal is claimed. Vindicator, with the help of Manelli, stopped Crimson Claw.

“Hmph.” Crimson Cloak chuckled. “You seemed to be a lot weaker thanks to that radiation.”

“Well, that’s where you’re wrong!” Vindicator tried to throw a punch to Crimson Claw, but he blocked it with his cybernetic claw.

“Am I? You’re too slow!” Just then, a bullet whizzed past his helmet. He noticed Manelli holding a smoking gun.

“Hey! Vinnie! If you can, you can fly up to him and take out his jetpack! But hurry!” Manelli said. He continued to fire. “I’ll hold him off! You just take him out!” He said. Vindicator nodded and flew around while Manelli fired constantly. Vindicator took the flight pack from Crimson Claw and crushed it with his hand. Crimson Claw fell to the ground, being knocked out in the process. As Vindicator landed, Manelli thought of something.

You know… Vindicator could be a good guy after all…” With that, Manelli took off the handcuffs. Vindicator just blinked.

“You know you could just tell me that you need help. You didn’t need to cuff me.” He said.

“… Eh, just go. I’m sure we’ll meet again.” Manelli scoffed and walked away. Vindicator flew off, already cured of his weakened state. Finally, he can have a peaceful night’s sleep.

And that was Capes. It was a bit of a slog to get through, trying to remember the rules and mastering how the turn order progressed. How it worked was that page one began with one player who would do an action, then everyone counting him would have a reaction. This continues until everyone has done an action.

Trying to keep track of whose action it is and who would react was hard. Especially since most of the reactions don’t need to happen. For example, if my character rolled a 5, it would make no sense for his ally to make a reaction, since he might end up making the roll worse. When it was just with three people, it becomes a little faster.

I think the major downside is that I had a brief skim of the lite rules and tried to work off that. This resulted in me abbreviating the game play, which, while not necessarily a bad thing, definitely can send the wrong message across. Especially for people who want to learn how to play via reading actual plays. As an apology, I recommend you check out the demo that these characters came from. It will give you the base idea of how to play.

This will be the first time I’ll give a session a rating, and for the sake of collecting data, I’ll retroactively rate my other sessions.

For this game, I’ll give it… a 3 out of 5. There’s definitely some good moments in here, but it’s dragged down by the pacing and my forgetting of the rules. For the next superhero-themed adventure, I was suggested to change up a few elements. I will definitely switch out the rule set and engine.

However, next session will not be continuing on Frustration to Freedom. Instead, we’ll delve back into the wacky world of Kantai Collection. Well, until next time, bon voyage, gamers.

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