posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Ah yes, Crescent City, the central setting for the entire game. Logically this should be the 7th book in the entire chain instead of the third or fourth. Welcome back to Brave New World where the bad decisions and boring writing keeps coming. The book is 131 pages long and the first 61 are all setting details. The rest contains new power sets, a premade adventure and a buttload of NPCs it’s going to take far too long for me to doctor into lists through MS Paint. For this update, we’ll be looking at the layout and culture and buildings of Crescent City and the entire thing is presented by The Truth in her civilian identity: Marta Alonso, investigative reporter for the Crescent City Star writing a guidebook to the city for a local publisher.

From the makers of Baywatch and Baywatch Nights comes Crescent City: Nights.

Here’s one of the big things to keep in mind: in the entire series, this is Jeri Ryan. We have seen what happened to Crescent City and Chicago again and again. There is going to be repetition in places and I will do my best to skirt over it in this whole section.


Before we get into that, let’s take a quick detour for a heartwarming story about a man who perseveres and survives and follows his dreams to success. Except he’s a Nazi and his dream is to kill the guy who killed his dad and his success involves a doomsday device. That’s right, it’s time for the secret origin story of The Devastator.


"FOOLS! Now is Devastator's time to shine!"

Once upon a time there was a monstrous human being named Josef Mengele and yes I see you heading towards the door because you know what’s coming. Mengele was responsible for Nazi Germany’s Delta research program, using his not-science on innocent people to try and figure out how Deltas were made. Any people who actually manifested were promptly killed. Why any of this? Because it’s low-hanging fruit and lazy, bad writing. At any rate, this resulted in a lot of dead people and a lot of dead Germans who Mengele tried to apply his “scientific” “research” to in order to make them Deltas. There were successes, but there was no time for more “successes”. He flees to Brazil when WWII ends and nobody is able to find him and bring him to justice.

Then one day someone does find him: Heinrich Brecht, the son of Kapitan Krieg. Little Heinrich got to watch his father die by Superior’s hands, hung from the gates of a concentration camp by his own cape. Since that day he vowed to kill Superior and avenge his father. Of course, as the son of a literal Nazi superman, people really didn’t like him and he ended up clinging to his identity as a Nazi. He ended up looking for the man who turned his dad into a superman and that brought him to Mengele’s door. He agreed to perform experiments on Heinrich (thinking if he dies, he dies and he won’t have told anyone else where he is). So Mengele experiments on him and succeeds in turning him into a Delta…before shooting him in the heart and throwing him into his house’s furnace to get rid of him.

After the ensuing explosion, Mengele was dead and Heinrich was quickly propelled past Deltahood to Alphahood as the Devastator. And as we all know what happened, he was ultimately successful in “killing” Superior along with transporting Chicago to another dimension.

Blech. What a waste of words.

"Oh no, now is Devastator's time to activate his doomsday weapon he got from JFK!" "Wait wha-"


Triumph Inc, owned by one Rex Shepherd, is the biggest employer of Deltas in the USA. Shepherd used his buttloads of money to snatch up all the land around the water-filled crater and by 1977 Crescent City was built. Shepherd hand-picked one of his VPs, Ben Archer, to mastermind the construction and Crescent City is still owned and run by Triumph Inc as the first corporate-run city. The city’s first mayor, Alan Jefferson, was picked by the Illinois governor to run the whole shebang and Jefferson broke the city into 50 wards. These 50 wards are divided into five districts: Downtown, Near Southside, Lower Southside, Near Northside, Far Northside.

Crescent City: home of super-powered property damage.

Jefferson’s three helpers are Police Commissioner Stuart Fleming, AFL-CIO President Jimmy Flagonte and Deputy Mayor Paul Keaton. Two other big sources of power: god-damn Ronald Reagan kicking it in the Delta Prime headquarters in the city and Ben Archer as the controller of Triumph Inc. after Shepherd stepped down. Big Bill Macy and Marita Suarez are mentioned as existing again.

Tootin' for the government.


The famous New Alcatraz is literally built on a mound of garbage. The process of cleaning up the wreckage around the crater left a lot of wreckage and a lot of metal and general junk. Ben Archer and Triumph Inc. decided to use the cleanest of the trash and wreckage to create an artificial island in the middle of the Chicago bay. It was given a few years to settle and then they put New Alcatraz on top of it when the trash on top of the whole thing was condensed further.

A map of New Alcatraz, AKA The Heap, AKA Garbage Island.

New Alcatraz is a quarter mile across and surrounded by fencing. The easiest way in and out is to take the boat to the dock and go in through the main door. Solid stone walls reinforced with iron bars, guard towers and gun batteries for shooting boats and airplanes all protect the prison. The prison has its own cold fusion reactor which is used to help power the Delta inhibitor keeping powers off in a sphere that ranges 250 yards above, below and around the whole island. If you want to visit, you can visit for a max 30 minutes every two weeks by applying for a pass and taking a boat.

The main buildings are cell blocks, operation offices and administrative offices. Cell Blocks A-C are for regular prisoners. D Block is for death row inmates and solitary confinement. The prison is big on executions with most death row Deltas getting the electric chair or firing squad (for high profile prisoners) 72 hours after sentencing. Administration is home to the Warden’s office and white collar workers. Nobody lives on the island, they just commute and switch shifts. Operations has the mess hall, laundry, machine shops, the cold fusion reactor, backup natural gas generators and the two computers that run the prison (named Rocky and Bullwinkle).

Food for thought: the existence of the dampening field turning off powers just proves that the story of Patriot's "execution" is horseshit. If his powers were off, they could just shoot him, none of that "heroic rising to his feet, unblemished until the next salvo" nonsense.


So Crescent City is a gigantic C around the bay. Downtown is the middle of that C, between Near Northside and Near Southside. Downtown is open 24/7; the bars don’t have to close and the lights rarely go out. The shops of Downtown tend to be high end for retail and other goodies. Important places in Downtown:

Buddy what the fuck kind of vehicle are you lifting.


The “bad side of town” up until Lower Southside. The majority of impoverished citizens live in Near Southside by design. In the design of the city, Ben Archer picked Near Southside as the center for all of the affordable housing meant to attract cheap labor to work in Downtown’s shops and Lower Southside’s industrial facilities. People moved in looking for work and gangs and criminals followed to prey on them and prey on the city. There are a lot of gangs in Near Southside but the two biggest are the Blood Angels and the Crows. The Crows are lead by Latasha Pinson, a cool and calculating leader. The Blood Angels are lead by Lord Commander Dante, oldest known Space Marine Pablo Guerrera, a hot-headed man who treats his gang like an army and keeps them on edge. On top of that, the Projects have become insular, run by gangs or people stuck in them as they continue to decay.

This is on the same page that talks about the major neighborhood gangs. Take from that what you will.

Near Southside is home to the ethnic neighborhoods and a lot of churches. The Catholics have St. Jude’s Cathedral, run by Archbishop Stephen Desmond who is trying to calm down gang violence in the area and isn’t afraid to shoot the Covenant a call for help (normally answered by Sister Mary Victoria). Our Savior’s Baptist Church is run by Rev. Charles Tubbs who also wants to stop the violence. Finally, the 67th Street Mosque is run by Brother Lincoln Free, ex-Crows gangbanger and former Nation of Islam disciple.

Near Southside doesn’t have nearly as much in attractions as Downtown. There’s Crescent City Memorial Hospital, described as a great place for medical students to learn how to perform trauma surgeries when a gang conflict spills into violence. There’s Battery Park, which is like NYC’s Central Park back in the day: lovely during the day and full of entertainers, dangerous at night and full of the homeless. Finally there’s the local Delta vigilante, a Gunner who goes by the name of Buckshot because he likes dual-wielding sawed-off shotguns and runs around in a trench coat and bandanna mask stopping gang conflicts for Defiance. The people of Near Southside generally like Buckshot, even if he’s a white masked vigilante shooting the local ethnic gangbangers to stop conflicts.


Lower Southside is pure Rust Belt. There’s a lot of bars and a lot of people pounding back beer, there are shitloads of industrial facilities polluting or pouring smoke into the sky and a lot of the neighborhoods are insular. While Near Southside has the ethnic neighborhoods (Chinatown, Black Neighborhoods), Lower Southside has the white ethnic neighborhoods (Little Italy, Irishtown). Jesus Christ I’m not making any of this up, what the fuck. There are also a lot of bars that host blues musicians.

Irishtown is full of bars oh come the fuck on. There’s even a joke about how Irish cuisine is terrible and everything is boiled and they make up for shit food with liquor. *sighs* Irishtown’s big claim to fame is McGinty’s, the oldest bar in Crescent City. It was a Chicago joint from 1923 that was literally swept on a tidal wave in the aftermath of 1976 and landed completely intact with everyone alive inside until the owner had a heart attack upon realizing what happened and that he survived it. His son Paddy McGinty runs the place now.

What the fuck is even happening besides her trying to make this guy eat an entire half of a loaf of garlic bread in one go.

Little Italy is full of restaurants and delis. It’s well known for being bayside and for one restaurant in question: Nanni’s, started by Giovanni “Nanni” Marta who moved to America to marry an American girl and open a restaurant. Nanni’s is famous for its wine and also for the fact that it’s a neutral meeting ground for the entire Italian mob because Little Italy is full of the mafia. Don Vito Gabriel runs the Crescent City mob. If you don’t remember him, he’s the guy who killed his father and got Patriot framed for the murder that he got put on trial and sentenced to “death” for. But now Vito is trying to retire and step down and the other mobs are trying to take control over Crescent City. The Ferraras and the Distefanos are the big players in the war. The Ferraras, run by Francesco Ferrara, is business-oriented and prefers negotiating. The Distefanos, run by Luigi Mercado, is working on accumulating Delta firepower and likes having people whacked.

There are some Deltas in Lower Southside. The Tuxedo Squad is a group of well-dressed vigilantes in masks and classy clothes. They are: Shamrock (Hot Shot) whose defining personality traits are “female”, “Irish” and “spits flame”, Americano (Charmer) who has a silver tongue, Beretta (Gunner) who dual-wields pistols and shoots when Americano’s words fail and Legerdemain (Bargainer) whose flying carpet acts as transportation for the group. There’s also The Wiseguy, aka Lorenzo Matas of the extinct Dombrino family, who has been blatantly killed multiple times but always returned because he’s a Lazarus. Lorenzo is planning on killing the people who killed the family he worked for.

God there’s a shitload of cliché stuff in this part of the book, ugh.


Near Northside is noted for having zero personality besides the businesses and locations within it. So it’s like Downtown but with less stuff to share.

Crushertown is 25 blocks of sportsball. The Crescent City Crushers come in the form of a baseball team, a football team, a hockey team and a basketball team that have three different stadiums (hockey and basketball share the same stadium). There is also a gigantic parking zone that the subway runs directly to and the entire place is full of restaurants, bars, tourist shops, entertainment centers and apartments. Crushertown is also home to Webhead, a web browser production company and overall tech company. Webhead is run by Oliver Megopolus, a 32 year old CEO and one of the 25 richest people in the world. He has turned the Webhead building into an arcology, full of stores and living quarters that even he resides in. There is also an internet museum. Webhead is totally not sinister.

The Playground is the part of town full of bars and clubs. Pub is the most famous of them, the music mixed by the imaginatively-named DJ DJ and allowing anyone in as long as they check their weapons at the door. Pub is open 24/7 except for Monday mornings and full of people pretty much constantly. The area around the Playground is full of beer vendors and general hooch-sellers because there’s no law on open intoxicants.

What the fuck is this and why is on the page that talks about the hottest clubs in Near Northside.

There’s no explicit info on Deltas in the area but there are two big groups that employ Deltas: Full Moon Detective Agency and Evil Unlimited. The FMDA is run by Mick and Mara Shaughnessy, a Charmer and an Interrogator, and they use Deltas to solve crimes and find people and catch cheaters. Evil Unlimited is super evil and super powerful you guys you don’t even know. Ignore the fact that they have had literally zero explanation or lore up until now. Evil Unlimited sells goods and services to the crooks of Crescent City and the world, spanning the globe with their business. They generally take half of the profit of the crime as payment and have not been caught yet because of paranoia and safety. The only thing really known about them is that their leader is known as Mr. C. That’s all you get, stay tuned until next book~.


Far Northside is full of the rich people. The most prestigious part of the neighborhood is called La Dolce Vita, Italian for "Fuck Originality". The subways don't pass through the area, which takes up a good chunk of space (running at least 50 space) with designated entrances and exits and parking lots for the residents. The whole place reeks of conspicuous consumption (meals upwards of a hundred a head!) and is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence topped with razor wire. The place is secure and kept secure for the rich residents and the Primers that live there, down to the entire area being designated a no-fly zone and a beach patrol monitoring the area's sole beach 24/7 when it's open because it's residents only.

What the fuck is this and what does it have to do with security for rich people.

Bayshore Country Club is where the rich go to play golf and talk shit. The best way in is to live in LDV because otherwise it could take five years to get in. It's home to the Crescent City Open (a golf tournament every July), two Olympic pools, waterslides and sports courts. It's also home to $50 entrees and anyone invited as a guest has to pass a background check.

Shepherd's Palace belongs to Rex Shepherd. It's the biggest house in this side of town and home to Shepherd, his wife and his three kids. The entire place gets a writeup of a few paragraphs and basically it's hard to get into to protect Shepherd's family but it's super nice.

The other famous resident is one Lisa Stein, an Aquarian and swimsuit supermodel who got her powers after being kidnapped by pirates and thrown into the ocean when the boat sank. She signed the DRA, did her time and retired to LDV to continue to model swimsuits. Remember how I said it's bullshit that Aquarians have to have the Ugly trait because someone's going to find them attractive? Yup!

THOUGHTS: I have never been so actively resistant to giving a shit about a location in a tabletop RPG until now. I'm no stranger to setting sourcebooks or that chunk of the core book. I love how SLA Industries paints the megacity of Mort, Over the Edge's Al Amarja is one of my favorite settings because they get into how the place has its own culture and personality. This is just a list of stuff. A list of uninteresting stuff that doesn't really hook me or indicate what exactly is supposed to be a hook. Can you guess which of these people I mention in the book get NPC writeups in case you want/need to fight them? Of course you can't, you can't tell the set dressing from the important NPCs. The atmosphere of the South districts is written awfully with stereotypes in line with 90s writing, only Far Northside really has any atmosphere or personality compared to Near and six of the points of interest in Downtown are rehashed beat-for-beat from Ravaged Planet. Also who the hell was interested in the origin story of Devastator? It sure as hell wasn't me.

In all, Crescent City is probably one of the most lazily written, least-engaging sourcebooks I've seen in a good long while. Even a bad sourcebook has some sort of je ne sais quoi that makes you keep reading. This is somehow less interesting than last book which was literally just "here's who has superpowers in World War II and how superpowers are doing stuff". It's reheated, lukewarm, unflavored oatmeal, thick and unpalatable and gloppy, hard for me to read and even harder to try and make entertaining. That's why this is mostly full of hot-takes and my reactions; everything is given equal weighting and importance and as a result none of it is interesting. I know some of you guys are having trouble reading these reviews because the subject matter is turning you off and I will be honest: I am losing steam in these lore parts. Everything else I can power through. I actually enjoy the powersets because they actually make me question if they're functional, I'm interested in the setting secrets and the premade missions because they're entertainingly bad to me. But when the book is half fluff on the level of this? I just have to plow through it to get to the rest because if I divide it up into anything less than two chunks, I will lose motivation and momentum and interest.

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to continue writing these summaries. But it's definitely starting to become less a fun thing to do to entertain people and more of a slog. We're seven books in and it's really starting to weigh me down before I get done with this series. I won't bear you any ill will for tuning out. Just know that it's wearing on me too.

NEXT TIME: new powersets! Hot damn! I hope you're ready for one of the worst animal-control superheroes I've seen in a while.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post



Aquarians showed up as NPCs in the first book and haven’t really done much besides exist and help fight WWII. They’re visibly amphibious with gills, webbed digits and big black eyes.

For powers, they get +20 Pace to swimming and can use Swimming instead of Dodge in the water. They also get perma-nightvision, water-breathing and immunity to hypothermia. Side effects include Obvious -3 (you can hide your appearance with clothing) and Ugly -1 (you look funny). For Tricks, they get:

Aquabatics: An extra success for Swimming can let you do stunts. What stunts? Fuck me if I know.

Breathing Buddy: An extra success on a Spirit roll can let you pump oxygen into someone’s mouth underwater.

His trenchcoat is screaming "Some motherfucker's always trying to swim upstream" to me. Go watch Blade! It's good and it still holds up.

Thoughts on the Aquarian: The Aquarian wasn’t anything special in the core book. It still isn’t. They’re pretty limited with what they can do on land and it’s doubtful you’re ever going to do a water-based campaign, making them pretty useless. There’s only one example under Aquabatics (Breaching) and it’s just a hot fat shrug of an idea. Forcing people to take downsides is still ass. There’s just not much you can do with an Aquarian in a combat sense, which is pretty much the point of this whole series at this point. If they can’t do much in combat, they’re not worth much fighting the government unless you want to stab a drowning sailor at sea.

This even applies to the premade character. Dude just wants to be left alone and I can’t blame him. He’s alright, he’s nothing special except for his new weapon that appears in no other books.


The Lazarus is a Delta who can’t die unless the job is incredibly thorough. They get no real powers besides that and there’s nothing making any damage hurt less.

Resurrection is a tricky thing. The brain/head of a Lazarus is the thing that keeps them going. They can take up to double their Strength before dying. When a Lazarus dies, take note of how many wounds they’ve sustained beyond the normal total. The body will lay inert and regenerate one wound every 12 hours, slowly pulling together and regenerating any missing pieces. When the body is completely healed, the Lazarus wakes back up and goes about their business. You can speed up the process with medical attention or keep lopping things off to keep them incapacitated. But let’s say we’re not talking about getting gunned down. Remember my comment about cutting off the head of that Nazi last book? Yeah, they can survive that. Cut the head off a Lazarus and they will grow a new body from the neck while their old one rots. Put their brain in a blender and a new brain and body will regrow from the biggest intact piece while the rest rots. The only way to kill a Lazarus is to completely incinerate the head and brain (or I guess you could argue that a tub of acid would do the job). Also they have absolutely no memory of what happened or where they went while they were dead. For Tricks, they get:

*Thriller chord*

Sacrifice: Gain a spare Delta Point on an extra success on a Bravery roll. This point can only be used perform an action to help someone directly in a way that risk the Delta’s life. You can just sit around accumulating these points and can have unlimited points but they disappear at the end of the play session.

Dying Act: An extra success on a Spirit roll at the moment of death lets the Delta perform one last action next round before immediately dying. If you were stunned, you’re unstunned for this last act.

Laundromats and tailors hate him! This one Delta learned one weird trick to making their jobs so much worse!

Thoughts on the Lazarus: The big killer is how long it takes for you to come back to death and there’s no clear indication as to how well regeneration works. There is no mechanical explanation for what happens if you’re reduced to a brain, so how many wounds does that count as? How long does it take to regrow a limb, is it just “count it as pulped and count backwards”? Is it just one wound per 12 hours? The book says “one wound level” per hours and that’s not entirely clear. Either way you’re going to be dead for a minimum of three days and the other PCs are going to get bored of sitting around for you or get annoyed at the time skips every time you die. I do like the Tricks, they’re appropriate even if the only use for Delta Points otherwise is to reduce your wounds or give you another dice to roll. Being able to use it for something practical isn’t that bad.

The premade is middle of the road and average and I can’t fault him for that. He’s nothing special. I wouldn’t give him Fast Learner but that’s me.


A Ratmaster is a Delta that can talk to and command rodents. You have to get in the mindset of a rodent but you can actually talk to them even though what they have to say is limited by their sense of language and sense of concepts.

A Ratmaster can control one rodent for every point of Spirit they have, no rolls required. Rodents will do anything commanded within physical reason but not mental reason, so you can tell a hamster to run into a room with a primed hand grenade and it will. The big issue is finding rodents so you just have to look for them or carry some with you. Also if two Ratmasters find the same critter, they have to have a Spirit contest to control them. The other explicit power is speaking to rodents by speaking in squeaks. For Tricks, they get:

Call Rodents: Extra success on a Spirit roll can summon one rodent per success from up to 100 yards away. You can also call more rodents than you can control to ask them questions.

Speak with Animal: Stretch the definition of your ability to speak with rodents to chat with any animal. An extra success on a Spirit roll will let you talk to another animal for three rounds.

I'm not gonna lie, now I'm imagining this lady just running around with a pack of capybara. She could make a lot of money getting them to do tricks.

Thoughts on the Ratmaster: So you can control rats in the most limited form possible. Granted, you’re explicitly said to control rodents and the book does mention that a guinea pig is a socially acceptable critter to see poking around as a scout. So you could control a squirrel army if you set your mind to it or buy a bunch of capybaras. Regardless, someone statted out the ass from chargen to control rodents could only control five at one time. That’s not really a lot and it’s not really that good. The rodents themselves are limited to doing stuff for you or running recon. Their stats aren’t particularly good and you don’t have them in enough numbers to gang-rush enemies under a tidal wave of mice. The ability to call them is good and speaking with other animals isn’t bad but really the Jungler and their armies of killer bees and insects kind of have you beat.

The premade is a homeless woman who controls rats. Sure, why the hell not. There’s not much to her.


The Paralyzer can freeze people with a look. It just causes the higher functions of the brain to freeze up and let everything else keep going. As a result, there’s a new skill for Paralyzers: Look (Spirit) which focuses the paralytic abilities at a target.

Paralyzation (sic) requires direct eye contact with the target, the Delta’s Look roll vs. raw Spirit for the Target. If you get hit, there’s another contested Spirit roll where a success means the target is paralyzed. The target is paralyzed for the difference between the Spirit rolls. When the target is released, the Paralyzer can attempt another Spirit roll to lock them up, no Look roll required. For Tricks, they get:

Good Look: Extra successes on the Look roll can be turned into +1 on the Spirit contest.

Penetrating Glare: Freeze people indirectly through mirrors or reflective surfaces using three extra successes on a Look.

Quick Look: An extra success on a Look can be used to try and paralyze another target as part of the attack. This can be used on up to five people max and can’t be used with Good Look.

The lack of coloring on this makes her top incredibly confusing.

Thoughts on the Paralyzer: Ugh, okay. So you have to make an attack and then you have to make a contested roll. That’s not good. You could have one or the other, you don’t need both. You’re never going to get that reflection freeze either. It’s just bad for a non-lethal combat option.

There’s nothing to this character besides their powers. They’re pretty much a nonentity.


The Stretch is a Delta capable of treating their own body like rubber to elongate, grow or slip through small spaces. It’s the Mr. Fantastic powerset.

Why is this in the section for the Stretch? Look I'll level with you: I attach the art where it appears in the book to break up these posts. This book is kind of full of out-of-place art.

Your limbs can stretch up to 30 feet. You can squish yourself and slip through a hole as small as an inch wide. You can also increase your height or width or both if you really stretch up to 5 times your size. A Stretch also gets natural body armor: 10/- against Piercing attacks, 20/- against Blunt attacks. Everything else goes through. They also get fast healing rolls every eight hours, on par with the Tough. For Tricks, they get:

Pliable Face: Extra successes on a Spirit roll add +1 to Disguise rolls.

Superstretch: Every extra success on a Spirit roll gives +1 yard to a single limb’s stretch.

Wrap Attack: Extra successes on a barehanded roll can be used to grapple a target. Make a hit location roll for every extra success and then make a single Strength roll that applies damage to all locations at once. The grapple is automatic and requires a close combat roll to get loose from the grapple.

Here, have a scene I hate from a movie I hate:

Thoughts on the Stretch: You’re a weakened Tough with some other abilities tacked on and it’s honestly surprising this doesn’t have any downsides. The ability to slip through cracks isn’t that bad, stretching isn’t awful. I would rather be a Tough, though. I would rather have that flat 20 armor for everything. The big seller is the grappling but even then it’s nothing special.

She’s an American Indian with Stretch powers and I don’t have much more to say. She doesn’t have much to her stats and doesn’t have much to her quirks and there’s not much to her period.


The Timetripper has limited time control powers. Specifically, a Timetripper can rewind time, at will, up to a minute back.

Rewinding costs a Delta Point and only the Timetripper knows what happens. Time and history will continue as normal unless the Delta is able to convince people to do something different or does something to change it. The actions of the Delta are counted as new actions and as such get new rolls. If the Timetripper changes someone else’s actions (pushing them, yelling at them) then they too get new rolls. You can also rewind reflexively by giving up a later action and a Delta Point and might need to make a Speed roll to activate the power before an opponent can act. The Delta can also spend Delta Points to get premonitions for the effects of a single one-action task (opening a door, shooting a gun, cutting a bomb’s wire). The premonition only says what will happen if you do one thing; it will not dictate the best course of action. They can involve anyone’s actions though. For Tricks, they get:

Rewind Further: Extra successes on a Spirit roll can let the Delta go back an extra round (by default the power goes back 12 rounds or 1 minute, so it’s 6 seconds).

Out of Sync: An extra success on a Spirit roll can knock the Delta loose from time and space for a round, disappearing until the end of the next round where they reappear back where they were. This requires a Stun check, but if you fail you just miss the next action to recover so the stun lasts one action.

He owns a license plate that reads "OUTADP" and gets lots of confused looks from people.

Thoughts on the Timetripper: Okay, this is a pretty good use of Delta Points. Rewinding time is a pain in the butt because you’re basically undoing everything that happened, but it’s handy to be able to redo things for the other players if it’s within the last minute. It’s very slight though, it’s a very small window but I do kind of like it. I don’t have much to say about the Timetripper. It’s one of the better Delta ideas in this book. The big downside is that you’d only have so many Delta Points per session so you have to make it count.

This premade too is just some guy with a cocky demeanor. He’s missing a Trick. Oh well.


Most Likely To Kill A Room Full Of People Without Breaking A Sweat: For the first time, I would have to say none of these. Maybe the Stretch for the only one with offensive combat capability by grappling. Strictly speaking? Nobody.

Best Battlefield Control/Exploitation: The Timetripper is a pretty good way to rewrite the outcome of a fight, so I’d say them.

Most Pigeonholed Into One Job: Everyone. Specifically, though? The Paralyzer. The other Deltas get options to do things creatively with their core power (talk to animals, premonitions, slipping through holes). The Paralyzer just gets the paralytic look.

Melee Class Most Affected By Dex-Focus in Game Engine: The Stretch by sheer virtue of nobody else getting a melee range ability.

Peak 90s: Hmm. The Ratmaster and the Lazarus are tied. The Ratmaster gives me Willard vibes and the Lazarus reminds me of the Great Lakes Avengers. If I had to pick? The Ratmaster.

Most Cribbed Directly From Deadlands: Still not applicable, thank god.

Best Optional Combat Rule Shenanigans: The Stretch for AUTOGRAPPLE.

Most Broken Class (Not In A Good Way): I’m going to have to say the Ratmaster because you’re pretty limited to how many rat buddies you have at once. Alternately, there’s being trapped in death as a Lazarus because someone keeps cutting your limbs while you regenerate. There’s also the Paralyzer needing two separate rolls to do anything.

NEXT TIME: setting secrets, NPCs and the premade adventure for this book, a tale of bad decisions called THE TELETERRORISTS. Full disclosure: does not involve teleportation. Different kind of tele.


posted by Hostile V Original SA post

Time for NPCS! There’s a lot of regular humans this time around.



Backstory: Jennifer Wilkins, criminal defense attorney, is hit by a car after a very bad day. Because she couldn’t skip out from work early to go to a Crushers game (which Crushers team? Don’t worry about it) due to paperwork, her boyfriend breaks up with her via phone from the game. Then in traffic on the way home from work, she tries to stop a car from cutting her off and gets rear-ended by a cabbie. The airbag smacks her face, she’s stunned and she exits her car in traffic where she’s promptly hit by a speeding SUV. She ends up surviving and becoming a Delta, a Paralyzer.

I feel kind of bad for her! Yeah, some of this comes about from her not getting her way but man that’s just a hell of a thing. Except there’s the fact that I’m not supposed to empathize with her, because she’s the bad guy in this premade story. On top of that, the game posits that she’s a jerkbag.

Jennifer knew a guy by the name of Tony Bester. Tony was a Gadgeteer that she ended up helping get a new identity and a new home in Crescent City. Leveraging her blackmail, she brought him in on the scheme. On top of that, she made her way to Evil Unlimited and got in contact with Nicolette Marks who approved a loan to fund her evil plan. The plan in a nutshell: using a costume and a Gadget maintained by Tony, Jennifer will impersonate an Alpha named Medusa who disappeared in 1976. Medusa was a Paralyzer famous for being so powerful that anyone who saw her face was paralyzed. Using maps and blueprints of the city, Tony has hooked a Gadget called a Telemagnifier into the cable and closed circuit television networks in the tunnels beneath the city. The Telemagnifier will increase Jennifer’s power when used to make it work through TVs to affect people throughout the city and she’ll demand money from the city.

And if you think this is a convoluted and bad plan now, HOO BOY.


At noon on a Saturday, the cable TV for every network on every TV in Crescent City will be replaced with a live video of a woman wearing a golden mask tipped with fake snakes (it’s TN 5 Perception to realize that the snakes are fake).

Medusa posted:

“People of Crescent City: I, Medusa, have returned! I will make this short so there is no misunderstanding. Crescent City will pay me one billion dollars, or I will bring it to its knees. To ease your doubts that this is possible, allow me to offer you a sample of my power.”
Her eyes will glow and everyone looking at a TV has to make a TN 10 Spirit roll to resist paralysis. The paralysis will last a few seconds or up to five minutes, but there will be a lot of collateral damage across the city from people doing important things locking up.

Medusa posted:

“This is merely a sample of my power. I will be contacting your government shortly to arrange payment. For all your sakes, I hope they are reasonable people. Otherwise, there will be death.”
Medusa will then talk to City Hall and the mayor to demand one billion dollars in uncut diamonds in a satchel left in a place of her choice in X days. Thus begins the adventure.

If the PCs are Primers, then their reasoning for getting involved is simple: it’s their job. They get to meet Director Reagan ( uggggggh) who tells them that they’re part of a low key operations team who have to keep a low profile and only have a few members. If they’re Defiants? Uhm. The book is sort of like “this is tricky” and I agree, this really isn’t a Defiant-friendly mission. So anyway Medusa was a Defiant back then and this is just an insult to Defiance and she’s threatening innocent people. The latter fact should be enough of a reason for them. Alternately they get a call from Truth who is like “hey stop this lady” “why?” “fuck you why, you’re heroes and stopping her would make us look good”.

Right out the gate we have an incredibly flimsy reason for this premade to be played for the target PC demographic.

Call my name and save me from the fall.


So Medusa did a thing. Now what? Time to find her! The two courses of action the game has to offer are to Research Medusa or Investigate the Cable Station.

The real Medusa was named Julia Black. Her sister, Janine Tulman, ended up writing a book about her entitled “Medusa’s Sister”. It explains how she was a professor of mythology at the University of Chicago who got powers and put on a gold mask and fake snakes and ran around. That’s pretty much all of the info out there. If the PCs find the book and read it (how and why they find the book is never explained) then they can find out where Janine lives: Dallas. If you track her down and get past the reporters hounding her after the supposed reappearance of her sister (alternate option: give her a phone call/email) you can ask her questions. She’s not friendly to Primers and is more open to Defiants.

All she has to say is “yeah, the lady on TV isn’t my sister. Wrong voice, wrong body language, slightly wrong outfit”. That’s it. It’s a dead end that might require you to go to Texas to find out it’s a dead end.


If you go to the Widecom station, the technicians have already found Bester’s Gadget that’s tapping into the cable network and removed it. If you’re a Primer, you can just ask for the evidence. If you’re a Defiant, chances are good that they’ve already turned it over to the police and you’re going to have to steal it. How are you going to steal it? Not accounted for. The Gadget’s purpose is identified on a TN 5 Tinkering roll: it receives signals and patches the signal in but it also amplifies the power of a Paralyzer and transmits them. A Primer can easily run the prints on the Gadget to find Tony Bester’s prints but nobody knows where Bester is. A Defiant’s only clue is a Joker playing card from Caesar’s Palace attached to the Gadget if they don’t know forensics. Knowledge of the Crescent City underworld or a TN 5 Area Knowledge: Crescent City roll will reveal to anyone that the card is the signature of The Joker The Wiseguy. Time to find the Wiseguy because the game emphasizes that he’s the only lead.

So yeah the only actual course of progression is to go to the TV station to figure out what’s up. This is not really a clear course of action compared to “learn about Medusa”.

Follow a dead-end that might involve you going to Texas to find out about Medusa: 1 EXP
Find the Wiseguy connection: 1 EXP


So this entire thing is completely against the Wiseguy’s style. He’s known for being efficient and for not threatening innocents and focusing solely on his targets. He also doesn’t use Gadgets. So he’s clearly the fall guy because Bester hates him. Problem: where the hell is the Wiseguy?

Reagan or Truth can tell the PCs that he’s been heard to have returned to Lower Southside so he can get revenge on Don Vito Gabriel. In actuality he’s eating at Nanni’s like every night because the Wiseguy apparently doesn’t know how to cook or doesn’t like takeout. Defiance can also point the PCs to the Tuxedo Squad who will tell them he’s generally at Nanni’s because Americano is Nanni. And from there, the Tuxedo Squad promptly leaves and never come into play this mission again. The Primers can just tell the PCs where he is because they’ve had tabs on him and are just letting him murder mobsters.

This map is completely pointless.

So the PCs go to Nanni’s, where the Wiseguy is having dinner. If confronted, he will launch into a speech because he’s pretty sure Bester did this.

Eventually Wiseguy will leave the restaurant where he is promptly shot in a drive-by by three mobsters working for Don Vito. He will give his speech here if he didn’t before and his “dying” words will be how he’s gonna hunt those guys down and make them pay. The PCs have the option to track down the mobsters but it’s pointless.

Finding out the Universal Enterprises link: 1 EXP.


Off to Universal Enterprises, a staffing company that is actually matching bad guys with bad guys. There are two ways to go about this:

This blurry picture is not one of the ways.

Diplomacy: The PCs (lowkey Primers or Defiants) can ask the receptionist at the front desk about Bester. The receptionist will let the PCs see Ms. Martha Nicks (Nicolette Marks) who will lie about her identity and will lie about the fact that this is an Evil Unlimited staffing service. She will turn over a file and give the following speech, perfectly willing to sell out Medusa and Bester and cover up EU’s involvement because their plan runs the risk of compromising EU:

Using the clues that Marks is giving them, the PCs are free to move on to Chapter 4 and try and foil the next part of the plot.

Pink Mohawk/Not Diplomacy: Alternately, as Primers or Defiants, they can go in flashing badges or yelling or threatening people or burst through a wall. If Primers, the workers will surrender and comply. If Defiants, they might fight. Either way, after a little bit of a ruckus Marks will walk out of her office in Phase Mode to keep herself safe and speak to the heroes. She can deliver the speech to them and give them the file to make them leave. Alternately, they can threaten her/act belligerent and she’ll try to phase her way to safety and leave the PCs to ask the staff about Bester who will mention they put a Bester file on her desk. Either way, Marks will detonate the devices in the staff and kill all of them. The file will be on her desk if not given to them. They can then look at the file to get info on Medusa and Bester’s plans.

This map is slightly less pointless.

Regardless of either path, an EU clean team will strip the building once the PCs leave and leave nothing and no way for them to find out more. So you can act like a detective or regular person and get what you need, or you can be a dick and get a whole mess of mostly innocent people killed due to exploding hearts. That’s a fair choice.

Learning about Medusa’s plan: 1 EXP



Deltaball, game of…Deltas! Let’s roll down what happens if the PCs aren’t able to figure out her plan or if she’s not interrupted.

The Crescent City Crushers are playing the Manhattan Monsters in a game of Deltaball. JFK is going to make a live appearance on the Jumbotron to dissuade fears regarding Medusa. Medusa’s demands have not yet been met. Figuring this might happen, she’s going to attack the game. Bester has tapped into the closed system of the Jumbotron and all TVs in the stadium and Medusa is in their lair, planning to transmit.

In the middle of JFK’s speech, Medusa will hijack the TVs and keep everyone paralyzed by repeatedly using her powers. The TV blimp that flies over the game will stop over the field and Bester and the Medusettes will rappel down from ropes and start shooting the players. When the players are dead, they’ll run for the locker rooms to hoverscooters that Bester has parked there and drive them to the subway access tunnels to get back to the lair. The blimp will fly low over the crowd, repeat Medusa’s demands and then cut the control over the TVs and return control to JFK.

Then the blimp will explode, killing thousands.

The only point this map has to let you know how expensive the seats are.

Stopping her: The PCs know she’s planning to do something at the Deltaball game, can use her powers over TV to attack people and a blimp is involved. It’s viable for the PCs to cut the power to the stadium somehow which foils the whole thing but this might be trouble and accidentally cut power to a chunk of the city. Alternately, they can wait for Medusa to attack at the game. Spoiler: the game wants you to wait for her to attack.

You can wait in the crowd or get on the fake Webhead TV blimp (provided because Oliver Megopolous is actually Mr. C and Webhead is a part of Evil Unlimited). Bester is captaining the blimp and the Medusettes are on it and they will all attack if questioned by PCs who snuck onto the blimp. From the stadium, get to the field as fast as you can before they start killing players. Also while she’s using her powers, the PCs have to make a TN 5 Perception roll every round or else get paralyzed.

There are 10 Medusettes or 3xPC and if any of them or Bester get captured, they’ll spill the beans about where the lair is and the bomb. This is the optimal course of action. Alternately, you could just kill them. Even when the goons are stopped the PCs have to disarm the bomb on the blimp. If you’re not on the blimp, you can climb up a rappel line. The bomb is easy to disarm and there’s no tricks or making it prematurely detonate/speed up the count: pull out the receiver, pull out the batteries, smash the receiver, cut the blue wires, cut all of the wires, cut one of the wires and then cut the blue wire. It’s TN 5 Demolition to figure out the bomb.

Stop the attack: 1 EXP
Stop the bomb: 1 EXP

Deltaball is one of those things they mention in the core rulebook but don't explain in the slightest until now. So when they do explain it, it's just the dumbest idea you can execute.


If you killed all of the Medusettes or Bester or procrastinate, whoops, game over. Proceed to the end state. If they don’t stop any of the attack on the stadium, uhhhhh, there’s no info on what happens. I guess just proceed to the end state. Otherwise, they have a shot of capturing her if they know the location of the lair.

Okay now the maps are just fucking with me.

The lair is beneath Battery Park and full of equipment and Bester’s workbench. When the PCs enter, Medusa is just about to leave through the other door and will try to paralyze anyone looking at her.

Medusa posted:

You may have stopped me this time, but I shall return! In the meantime, I’ve left you a little present. I’d be careful while opening it.
She will then slam the door shut, lock it behind her and flee on a scooter. Getting past the door requires breaking it down, breaking the lock or three successes on Lockpicking. The present in the room is a bomb, a real one with a five minute timer. There’s a red, blue, yellow and black wire. A TN 10 Demolitions roll will say that the blue wire is the one to cut. Cutting the others detonates the bomb. If the bomb explodes, it deals 20d6+100 damage and has a Blast Radius of 120 feet. The blast will explode a hole in Battery Park, killing anyone in the room and killing people above in the park. Alternately you can dump the bomb in the bay and there’ll just be a sploosh of water.

Medusa’s scooter goes 50 Pace. She’ll drive to the bay, abandon the costume and steal a jetski. She’ll drive across the bay, get on the train and rent a car under her own name with her own credit card. She will then drive to Minnesota and try to cross to Canada where the border is weaker. This is the automatic state if you can’t catch or her can’t find her.

Success or failure will get the Primers rewarded for what they did. They’ll get fame and get to be on TV and Medusa will be vilified as a Defiance terrorist. Defiants will get blamed regardless especially if things explode or people died. They get the reward of protecting the innocent, further friendship with Truth and influencing bystanding witnesses to believe in Defiance.

Thoughts: Okay, so. No matter what she never gets what she wants. All she does is commit a bunch of terroristic attacks, get people killed and run to Canada empty-handed if she’s not captured. Her plan is absolute ass. The only thing worse than her plan is the fucking structure of this whole thing. If you don’t go down the stupid dead end, you don’t get all of the experience. The other option is not particularly intuitive. This is a shit campaign for Defiants, there’s no real reason to get involved besides being told to. Deltaball is a stupid sport. There are two chapters that are just getting exposited at; they’re fucking padding with two Important NPCs you don’t see again in this campaign. The entire thing is just not intuitive, it's not logical. The padding just throws off the flow and you can't really trust the players to figure it out because without their hands being held, they won't.


Cast of Characters
Yes this is a picture of Reagan drinking with Rex Shepherd. Yes I hate this picture.

THE YEAR IS 2000 and Medusa has just unveiled her demands against the city. Jeremy asks what do they do. "What do you mean what do we do?" asks Amanda, "I'm pretty sure this is something for Delta Prime to handle." There are murmurings of agreement at the table. "Yeah this is more of a terror threat," says Eric. Jeremy tells the group that they all have emails from Truth asking them to take care of this problem because the original Medusa was a Defiant and this is making them look bad. "Oh," says Dan. "This is gonna be that kind of mission, isn't it." Catie looks visibly annoyed. Brian shrugs. "Let's go find out about Medusa I guess." Flak starts to load up on a whole arsenal of guns but Plus Ultra stops him, demanding that they keep to tasers and nonlethal weapon for now. He begrudgingly agrees.

An internet search brings them to the library where they skim the book about Medusa and find out about Julia Black and Janine Tulman. The group read the back of the book and find that Janine is living in Dallas. "Well we're not going to Texas," says Catie, "so what now?" Everyone shrugs. "It's probably not actually her, it looks like she hasn't aged since the 70s." says Brian. Jeremy hints that maybe they should go look at the cable station. The players waffle; it's probably full of cops and Primers and they're all unregistered Deltas. Jeremy hints harder, borderline recommending. They take the hint and go to the station and end up empty-handed because the police already have the evidence. One of the technicians mentions a strange playing card attached to the device. "Alright, so I guess we have to steal that device" says Catie. Jeremy asks for a Knowledge roll for info about the card. Dan sighs. "We don't have to care about the device, the card is what matters." The group argues for a few minutes, Catie arguing that they should at least investigate and Dan arguing that it's abundantly clear this entire thing is on rails and that the only way to proceed is to just go along with whatever Jeremy is hinting towards at the moment. "After all," says Dan, "looking up Medusa was a waste of time and we came here because Jeremy hinted we should and we have more of a lead, right?" "Please stop metagaming." says Amanda. Eric gets up to refill his drink. Brian rubs his face.


They agree to investigate the card and end up meeting the Wiseguy at Nanni's. As his speech goes on and he directs them towards Bester and Universal Enterprises, everyone grows increasingly annoyed and angry. Rough Rider keeps making rolls to see if Wiseguy is telling the truth (he is, as far as he knows it) and they all agree to go look at Universal Enterprises. There is no real roleplaying going on at the moment, just them talking.

Then the mobsters shoot the Wiseguy and Dan yells "oh come the fuck on" when the shooters quickly get too far out of sight for the PCs to catch them and interrogate them. A lively discussion (borderline shouting match) ensues between Jeremy and Dan, who asserts that if he wanted to just be told to go from place to place and be talked at and given bad clues he could have just stayed home and replayed Skyrim. A fifteen minute break is called where everyone can get another slice of pizza and a drink and cool off. They return to the table, already at Universal Enterprises.


Plus Ultra marches up to the receptionist and asks about Bester. They meet Marks and are given the whole spiel. Eric can tell she's not lying but she's definitely being evasive about something. Dan declares "I shoot her with my taser" and everyone else is like "are you fucking kidding me?". Marks collapses to the floor of the office, knocked out. Jeremy is somewhat livid, thinking Dan did this to spite him. The players argue but Dan (somewhat reasonably) argues that the lady on the floor just admitted to abetting a terrorist and dragging her feet to give evidence to the police. There's a bit of a pause as Brian starts rummaging through Marks' computer and quickly pulls up documents for Evil Unlimited and other criminal Deltas. The general agreement is that just because Dan's actions ended up having good results doesn't mean he was right to do what he did. Dan just shrugs.

Wonderbolt smashes a window in Marks' office and they all escape through it with the knocked-out Marks and her computer. They drop a bound and gagged Marks off in front of the Delta Prime headquarters before they drive right to the stadium. Pete teleports around inside of Deltaball stadium and quickly finds the blimp. The blimp seems pretty normal, but the game is a few days away. So they wait and return the day of the game, Pete leading them over to it and they quickly gang-rush the blimp before it can take off. The fight against Bester and the Medusettes is almost trivially easy and in no time they're all subdued and still alive, not even requiring Wonderbolt to actually use their Blaster powers. Bester immediately blabs the plan and tells them how to disarm the bomb on the blimp. They can't stop Medusa's broadcast from the blimp, but they do the next best thing: fly the blimp to Delta Prime headquarters, park it outside and run before her broadcast begins.

I think this is supposed to be a picture of the Wiseguy? I dunno. I'm not putting these pictures in order, I'm just using them to break up the text.

The team hauls ass to Battery Park and get to Medusa's lair where she's just about to run through the exit door. Slippery Pete motions to Plus Ultra; they grab hands while Medusa monologues. Plus Ultra boosts Pete's teleport, Pete teleports through the door once Medusa closes it (arguing that he's seen the other side of the door while it was open so that counts) and Plus Ultra tasers Medusa as she gets on the scooter. They work on tying her up as Flak, Wonderbolt and Rough Rider explore the lair and find the bomb. Having no idea how to disarm it (even Pete shrugs) they simply dump the bomb in the bay and then visit the Primers one last time to plop Medusa down on their doorstep.

Medusa is painted as a Defiance terrorist. She and Bester and the Medusettes all go to jail, but they're painted as evil Defiance masterminds. Despite doing the right thing and stopping them without killing them, the name of Defiance is still smeared. The players come to the conclusion that they should probably just kill the troublemaker next time. Nothing is said about Marks but they check out the office and the area is stripped clean.


Nobody ends the game happy. A discussion is had with Dan about his behavior and another is had with Jeremy about his railroading. The combat was brief and unsatisfying, most of the entire session was just going from place to place for info. The group is generally having doubts about playing another premade with these same characters and Dan might just sit the next one out.


Final Thoughts on Brave New World: Crescent City: Absolutely awful. Not engaging, uninteresting, the Delta powersets aren't worth much time. The premade adventure is garbage, even the setting secrets are just worthless. I could go on, but I can't. This is the first book that just feels like a complete waste of time with no redeeming features. It's not even entertainingly bad. This is just machine-extruded unflavored game product, now with extra preservatives.

Would I recommend this book? No, god no, a million times no. I can't even recommend you keep any of the Deltas besides the Stretch and the Timetripper. It's all just a waste of data.

Seven down, two to go. We've gone from the downward slide to freefall. NEXT TIME is the sourcebook for all things criminal, BRAVE NEW WORLD: EVIL UNLIMITED. Does it get better? Does it get interesting? Does it get dumber?

In order: no, no, yes.