Action Scenes – Ninjas on a Plane!


We’ve seen vengeful moloids assault on the surface world and a classic bank robbery by Doctor Octopus. Now brave heroes must protect a VIP during a mile-high ninja assault.

I wrote this one up for my home game because the PC’s were heading to Japan to finish my version of Breakout. I’m a huge Sengoku era Japan buff, and also love over the top pulp action. Therefore, Ninjas on a Plane. The bodyguard flavor of the Action Scene is a small homage to Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, with a bit of Escape From New York tossed in.

Dramatis Personae

Lady Deathstrike (Yuriko Oyama)

Lady Deathstrike

Image credit: Wikipedia

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d8, Team d6

Distinctions:  Cybernetic Assassin, CEO of Oyama Heavy Industries, Samurai

Enhanced Strength d8, Enhanced Speed d8, Superhuman Stamina d10, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Cybernetic Sense d6

SFX: Focus. In a pool including a Cyborg die, replace two dice of equal steps with one die of +1 step.
SFX: Healing Factor. Spend d6 Doom to recover your physical stress and step back your physical trauma by –1.
Limit: Cyborg – Charged System. Shutdown highest-rated power to add that power die to the doom pool. Activate an opportunity to recover power.

Adamantium Skeleton
Adamantium Claws d10, Psychic Resistance d10

SFX: Adamantium Skeleton. On a successful reaction against an edged or blunt attack action, either convert opponent’s effect die into an Adamantium Skeleton stunt or step back effect die by –1 and inflict as physical stress. Spend d6 Doom to use this stunt if opponent’s action succeeded.
SFX: Fearsome. Add d6 and step up effect die by +1 when using Adamantium Skeleton powers to inflict emotional stress.
SFX: Immunity. Spend 1 PP to ignore telepathy or mind control.
Limit: Heavy Metal. On a magnetic attack or while swimming, change any Adamantium Skeleton power into a complication and add d6 Doom. Activate an opportunity or remove the complication to recover the power.
Limit: Toxic Metal. If Superhuman Stamina is shutdown, take d10 physical stress at the beginning and end of every Action Scene.

Specialties: Business Expert, Combat Master, Covert Expert, Menace Expert, Vehicle Expert

Bio: Lady Deathstrike is a samurai warrior turned cyborg assassin. Besides being an assassin for hire, she is also the head of Oyama Heavy Industries. She can use her Cybernetic Senses to interface with computers. 

The Hand

Image credit: Marvel Universe Wiki

(One Dozen Ninjas)
Team 3d6
Mystical, Ninjas

Weapons d6, Swingline d6, Leaping d6, Wall Crawl d6

SFX: Area Effect. Add +d6 and +1 Effect die per extra target.
SFX: Focus. Replace two dice of equal steps with one die of +1 step.
Limit: Mob Cohesion. Defeat Team dice (with d8 stress) to reduce mob.

Combat Expert, Covert Expert

The Hand is a mystical sect of ninjas. They have spread all over the world and serve a demon known as the Beast. If one of them dies, his body turns to dust.


For modifying difficulty based on the number of heroes present, use any of the following options:

  • For fewer Ninjas, use either two groups of 6 (Team 2d6) or use one group of 12.
  • For more ninjas, make one or both of the groups 18 ninjas (Team 4d6)
  • For an additional villain in the attackers’ group, consider adding Typhoid Mary (from the Breakout Event: BR47) as a leader of The Hand troops.



This Action Scene can be used with any heroes, but works best with Luke Cage, Wolverine, Matt Murdock, or any hero that would be hired to protect someone.
The heroes are on an airliner, protecting an important person and the briefcase handcuffed to him. The important person is trying to stay inconspicuous and doesn’t really expect trouble until after landing. The flight is about midway to the destination and has been terribly boring so far.

The airliner is about half full of passengers. There are two aisles separated by rows of seats. The (IMPORTANT PERSON) is a mobile Scene Distinction who must be protected, as is the (BRIEFCASE) handcuffed to his wrist.

Getting to the Action

Lady Deathstrike and the ninjas from The Hand have been hired to get that briefcase! They approach in a plane of their own, and use special equipment to leap onto the airliner from above! They pop open the doors, immediately causing (DEPRESSURIZED CABIN) and (HANGING OXYGEN MASKS), as well as (TURBULENCE). This of course causes many (PANICKED PASSENGERS).

There are two groups of 12 Hand Ninjas and Lady Deathstrike. The important person will try to hide when he sees the attack coming, and Lady Deathstrike may need to threaten some passengers to try to find him.

If The Hand or Lady Deathstrike get hold of the briefcase (generally with an effect of d8 or higher vs the important person or the briefcase, or spending an action and d8 Doom if no-one is protecting him), they will attempt to jump down to their own plane which is now flying below the airliner! The heroes can follow at their own risk.


There is a good chance during this action scene that someone will try to toss somebody else out of the airliner. Doing so generally requires you to first put a complication on the target, such as “Clinging to the doorframe,” to a wing, or something else. Targets thus afflicted must use an action to reduce this complication to pull themselves back to safety. If they are Stressed Out by this complication, however, they fall out of the scene!

Another way to model falling, especially for shorter falls, is to add a complication “Falling” to the character. They have one Action Order (turn) to use any traits that would allow them to remove or step back this Complication, such as flying, swingline, etc. After this, they must roll a reaction vs the Doom Pool plus the Falling Complication for physical stress. If it’s a Watcher character, they simply take the complication die as physical stress.

Finally, you can always easily toss mob ninjas into the wind just by defeating team dice and narrating accordingly. Of course, if you don’t see them die, they may use their ninja skills to not only survive, but regroup and retaliate later.


If The Hand and Lady Deathstrike are stopped, there are no more immediate threats against the important person. Or perhaps there will be, at the airport…

If The Hand and Lady Deathstrike escape with the briefcase, you can easily shift into a chase scene, or perhaps the heroes must track down the thieves and retrieve the case after an emergency landing.

Players that enjoy this sort of action might consider taking the following event Milestone to grow their hero through additional bodyguard work.

Watching someone’s back seems like easy money for powerful heroes. Remember to watch your own back too, however. In the underworld of ninjas, mob hits, and protection services, you may have to cross lines you’d rather avoid.

1 XP when you actively seek bodyguard employment, or act to protect your employer.
3 XP when you come into conflict with your employer over your contract, or his morals.
10 XP when protect an immoral employer for the length of his contract, or you allow him to get what he deserves.

About grimmshade

Hobbies: Spending time with my lovely NZ wife, gaming, and reading (mostly pulp and comics.) Favorite games: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Trail of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds, Fate, Lady Blackbird, Elder Sign, Sentinels of the Multiverse.
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9 Responses to Action Scenes – Ninjas on a Plane!

  1. KillingJoke says:

    Those mini-adventures and datafiles are great! I enjoyed attack of the mole man and bank heist both, they where very classic marvel action scenes actually I played them with my friends. Looking forward for some more. Thanks!

    • Adam says:

      That’s awesome to hear. I’m glad you enjoy them. They’re fun to cook up. David’s the mastermind behind them so far, but I’ve got a few off-the-wall ones in the works.

  2. Scott H says:

    Looking at Lady Deathstrike, I know Wolverine doesn’t have it either, but I still wonder why no Enhanced Durability in the Adamantium Skeleton Power Set. Sure, they’ve got the Adamantium Skeleton SFX, but that requires either winning a reaction roll that the traits don’t seem to help with or spending D6 from the Doom Pool. Unless you’d let her roll the Claws D10 on a reaction?

    As for the ninjas, surely the Inverse Ninja Law requires that their Team dice be D4s… 😉

    Otherwise, fantastic job.

    • Adam says:

      I would let Wolverine or Lady Deathstrike react with claws if they describe it that way, and they’re resisting something their claws could stop (which, let’s be honest, is most things in the comics). If someone actually avoids his claws and rips him in the chest, the focus usually isn’t on hitting his ribs (and if it is, use the SFX), rather the focus is usually on him actually getting torn up, in order to highlight the healing factor. That’s my thoughts anyway. David (Grimmshade) may differ.

  3. grimmshade says:

    I think I’m okay with the lack of Durability because the outside fleshy bits of them still take damage. They can be skewered and cut and splattered around their skeleton.

    As for the Ninjas, I thought about that! I wanted them to be some challenge for the PC’s though.
    They still go down like wheat.

    • Scott H says:

      I’d almost give them Superhuman Durability D10, but only applicable against blunt force, if that didn’t seem a little finicky for the rules set.

      Actually, though, it’s not only allowed but encouraged to come up with brand new Power Traits. Just throw a new trait in there called Adamantium Skeleton at D8 or D10, and note that it works like Durability for any physical attack where having an adamantium skeleton would help, and not for any attack where it wouldn’t, then leave it up to player and Watcher to agree which is which. E.g., if somebody tries an execution style gunshot to the back of the head, that bullet’s going to bounce. It could also be used on an action roll where it would help, like a Fastball Special for blunt impact rather than claw rake.

  4. KillingJoke says:

    I have a question here about adamantium sfx. Does adamantium skeleton sfx let’s you step down the effect die damage you receive also and the damage you give when you spent a plot point in a failed reaction? Or the step down rule is only for the damage you give to an opponent?

    • grimmshade says:

      If I understand your question correctly, the answer is the SFX allows you to use a PP on a failed reaction and nullify the opponents attack AND inflict stress back on the opponent. It’s a very powerful SFX vs Physical Stress.

  5. KillingJoke says:

    Thanks a lot for your answer it is more clear now!

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