Tonight's Mutant Future session went off in a totally unexpected direction. I ended up having to improvise the entire time, and the players loved it. I would not be surprised if it was one of their favorite sessions to date. Last session, Bark, the smaller of the two shapeshifting plants, had managed to swipe an "iron man" suit (as they call the light powered armor suits used by the special operatives of the Knights of Genetic Purity) from under the noses of the knights in very dramatic fashion.
This session, after a bunch of tech rolls to finish repairing the suit and to fully understand how it worked (aided by the fact that Irons, a synthetic robot party member, had downloaded the entire operating system of the suit into his hard drive and had been conducting flight simulations in his positronic brain), the party was looking for a good place to test drive the suit. They asked Dae Brak,the wise Badder shaman, if there was someplace relatively flat, free of obstacles and safe nearby. Drivers, start your improv engines!
He directed them to a series of open, grassy meadows in a valley just to the south in the hills overlooking the swamp (thanks, Google terrain maps!). He said that while large predators avoided the meadows, he warned the party that this was because giant eagles often circled overhead looking for prey; lacking a better alternative, the party decided it was worth the risk. Most of the group accompanied Bozko in the hovercraft to the meadows, while the deaf giant Kunta Kinte, Natas the goatman and Monkey Boy stayed with Dae Brak and learned more about the herbal healing arts that Dae Brak had used to treat some of Bark's serious injuries.
Bozko had designated himself as the suit operator and Natas had used his Density Alteration, Other mutation to shrink Bozko enough to fit in the powered armor before they left. Irons had by this time fully assimilated the entirety of the suit's capabilities due to the extensive simulations he ran after downloading the suit's operating system, and directed Bozko through the basics of flight (Irons has four arms so he could not simply fly the suit himself). After some trial and error, Bozko got the hang of it and started experimenting with the suit's offensive abilities. Not wanting to waste any of its mini-missiles, he started with the repulsor beams that provided both propulsion and offense. He was soon shooting rocks out of the air that his comrades were throwing up for him, and eventually he was dodging rocks hurled directly at him. Finally, he worked up the courage to push the limits of the suit. He flew about a mile away from the meadow, turned, and accelerated to top speed as he flew back. He broke the sound barrier almost immediately and a massive sonic boom rolled behind him, frightening the party members on the ground. This noise also apparently got the attention of the giant eagles, because Beyonce's robotic dragonfly (circling high above the meadow on lookout patrol) soon spotted two shapes soaring from the ridge to the southeast. While the rest of the party all piled in the hovercraft and retreated into the heavily wooded slopes of the hills, Bozko flew up over the meadow and eagerly awaited the arrival of the eagles. He wanted to test the suit in a real combat situation, despite the protests of Beyonce that he might lose the party's new toy.
This is when the session really took a twist. Beyonce announced to the group at large that she was following the eagles with the hovercraft. Everyone else was horrified at this suggestion, but Beyonce had made up her mind that she wanted to find a giant eagle egg. As soon as everyone heard this idea, the whole group was excitedly talking about raising and riding giant eagles. Bark suggested that Beyonce simply follow the eagles with her dragonfly, and she realized this was a better idea than risking the hovercraft and the lives of the party. Her robotic spy had no trouble tracking the eagles to their nest in a section of mutated Douglas Firs that dwarfed the redwoods of today and towered nearly 1000' feet into the sky. The eagles paid no more mind to the dragonfly than they would any other minuscule insect, and Beyonce piloted it inside the nest (itself 100' tall, the product of generation after generation of eagles adding on layer after layer). To her great disappointment, she found no eggs. Two young fledglings squawked in the bottom of the nest, but she knew birds of that age would have already imprinted on their parents and it would be of no use to try to abduct them.
Searching the towering trees for other nests, she soon located two more. In the interest of a good dramatic moment, I gave her a 25% chance that she would find eggs in the nest... and she used her once a session roll on the d30 instead of the percentile dice - success! She found two eggs. I decided that there was only a 10% chance that the third nest would contain eggs, and rolled myself - 8%, two more eggs!
Now the group started talking strategy in earnest, plotting the best method to rob eggs out from underneath the massive momma bird that was dutifully sitting on them. Many ideas were tossed back and forth, but they all seemed fraught with peril. Those birds could kill any member of the party in a single round, and they knew it. And that is when Monkey Boy chimed in. Monkey Boy is a mutant spider monkey, already only a foot and a half tall to start with, who has the Density Alteration, Self mutation that allows him to shrink to a further 1/8th his starting size. He can fly and possesses the Possession mutation - after three rounds of physical contact with another being, he can take control over their body for as long as he remains in contact with them. His proposal was simple - shrink down to his smallest size, fly straight up to one of the nesting eagles, burrow up under her feathers until he reached her skin, wait three rounds and seize control of her. Then he could simply grab the eggs and fly away with them! He executed this plan without a hitch, twice, and the party soon had four giant eagle eggs in the hovercraft. Monkey Boy decided that he was just going to stay attached to the giant eagle for the foreseeable future, essentially getting to play as a creature with 257 HP and two talon attacks that do 5d20 damage. Goddamn. I did not see that coming when I jotted down a few quick stats for the eagles on the fly as they descended on Bozko in the meadow!
Sometimes running a roleplaying game is a truly magical thing.
(bird rider sketch lifted from this thread at enworld, artwork used without permission)