With Great Power Plant Disasters

With Great Power (Master Edition by Michael S. Miller) comes great embarrassment, especially when the game involves our characters: Clarity, the first daughter of the famed Montague Clan, whose sole power is to read the surface thoughts of those nearby; Ice Age, climate justice crusader who sometimes creates bigger glaciers than she intends; Voltage, fugitive from an experimental government lab that filled her with massive electrical currents she can release at will but never entirely turn off; and the Threads of Fate, a psychic whose deal with the Fates gives him premonitions of someone’s imminent death through the medium of his costume tights but requires he obey their requests. By the end of our session, we have united against Quicksand, a resurrected pharaoh from Ancient Egypt who controls sand but had lost his queen before his own long-ago demise.

With Great Power book cover showing a female hero choosing between saving her friend threatened by a giant glowing electrode and a building about to be hit by a missile.
With Great Power cover via Incarnadine Press.

First, however, we are four isolated people living in Arizona when the Bank of West Sphinx is taken hostage by a team of robbers. Clarity joins the police arrayed outside and tries to read the minds of the robbers to aid in resolving the crisis, but she becomes overwhelmed by the loudness of the crowds in her mind and collapses. Voltage is out walking the dogs from the shelter where she works when she encounters the robbery, but manages to surreptitiously short out the engine of the getaway van without anyone noticing. Inside the bank, the Threads of Fate is depositing a check when the bank robbers appear, but he manages to save the life of one bank patron when his costume signals they are facing death. Then Ice Age appears and tries to freeze the safe into a solid block of ice, but manages instead to undermine the building’s foundation and causes it to collapse. Together, Clarity and Voltage briefly team up to stop the minions of Quicksand from recovering a relic that he had sent them into the bank to retrieve, and Threads leads the hostages out of the bank through the chaos of its collapse.

In a flashback to the day before the bank heist, Ice Age and her arborist boyfriend, Kyle, discuss the chances she takes in both her advocacy and hero work. He wants her to play it safe and maybe try traditional methods to create change—letter writing campaigns and organized protests. She prefers big, bold ice attacks, but agrees to go on an eco-tourism vacation to the Arctic with him. In another flashback, we see Clarity as a young girl being chastised by her famous superhero mother to try harder and always put on a happy face to give the world hope. After the bank heist, Voltage is encouraged by her brother, Aaron, to get out there as a hero, work with the Montagues through Clarity, and get help for them in their quest to save their sister, but Voltage worries about exposing herself with those military scientists still out there looking for her. Meanwhile, the Threads of Fate encounters one of Quicksand’s minions at the museum reading hieroglyphics off the displays and predicting doom for West Sphinx. At the city library, Clarity also learns of the Quicksand’s plans to destroy the city by attacking the local renewable energy power plant by reading the mind of another minion studying the maps and plans of the area.

Having found Voltage’s dogs after the bank heist, Threads had arranged to return them to her at an ice rink where the two of them run into Ice Age showing off her double axel. The three of them are talking when Clarity arrives already knowing each of their secret identities to enlist their help in defending the power plant. By the time they arrive, Quicksand and his minions have already arrived and are moving on the station. The group divides up and begins to take out the minions, who are more adept than your typical criminal but soon succumb to the onslaught of Ice Age and Voltage. As Quicksand begins to whip up the sandstorm that will sink the plant underground and crush it, Ice Age creates a lattice of ice constructs across the ground so they sit below Quicksand while Voltage begins absorbing energy from the power station itself. Just as Ice Age projects her ice up to grasp Quicksand, Voltage releases all her absorbed energy through the ice lattice so that it shocks Quicksand and defeats him. Quicksand briefly apologizes to his lost queen before turning once more into sand and blowing away in the wind.

In the Epilogue, the three Fates command Threads to inform the government of the location of Voltage, so he sends a message using his phone as he’s leaving the power plant. Later, the four meet at the strip mall near Thread’s shop for teriyaki and to discuss becoming a proper super-team. Meanwhile, across the food court, you can see someone video recording the unsuspecting heroes as they enjoy their victory. Will it be short-lived?