Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying - Greenspace: The Exciting Conclusion!

Last night was, as the post title suggests, the final session in our digression into Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.

Overall, I have to say I'm really enamored of this system. I loved supers games, and I collect them, but it's hard for me to find one that makes me want to run something other than TSR's Marvel game for pure four-color superheroics. I'll do With Great Power... if I want to go all indie, and I'll do Mutant City Blues if I'd rather have a strong investigative element, but I think MHR has perhaps become my game of choice for this genre.

Now, if I have a complaint, it's that it's too tied into the established Marvel universe. I'm not a comics fan, honestly. Superhero comics are too sexist, overall, for me to be a huge fan. But I love superheroes, and for me, RPGs are the perfect place to express that love, because I can tell superhero stories without anybody getting put into a fridge. It would be nice to have some sourcebooks to draw on for MHR games that don't require me to either use canonical characters or file the serial numbers off, but fortunately statting characters isn't all that hard (and FTR, I don't at all begrudge MWP for doing a purely licensed game; it's just lacking, slightly, for my purposes).

Anyway, I really do want to revisit these characters again, and when I do I plan on doing a more classic "organization of evil supers" kind of thing.

For the moment, however, last night's game:

The characters, recall, were being attacked by a giant wave of moss. Pink, thinking quickly, grabbed it and threw it, buying everyone some time. The moss attacked, punching at the group, but not really doing any damage. Arcanix used his magic to pull the remaining moss spores out of the Inquis Sorcerer Supreme and Inferno torched said spores. Arcanix then donated his magical energies to the Sorcerer, but he fell over and started sputtering (too much magic?).

Pink dodged around and tied up the moss-tendrils, and Duplex blasted it with his lasers, weakening it. And then Inferno cut loose with a fire blast that incinerated it.

In between scenes, the Sorcerer woke up. He told the characters that Inquis was less a magical sort of society and more about science. The whole planet was powered by solar lenses and cells, which the heroes realized explained why the Phylum had targeted it. Arcanix asked if, between them, they could find a way to blot out the sun for a while, and the Sorcerer said that they could probably nudge the planet's moon into an eclipse. Duplex figured that, with a sample of the moss, he could find a way to create a ray that would act as an herbicide for the Phylum, but he needed a lab in which to work. The Sorcerer said that the main medical facility had been scrubbed clean of the Phylum by the automated sterilization systems, so that might have what they needed.

The characters took to the air, but as they approached, found a huge field of thorns. It started throwing up thorns, and Inferno and Pink got cut up a bit (this was good for Pink, really, because her milestone involves taking trauma). They got to the hospital and Duplex blasted through the thorns, and Pink forced a window so the others could get in.

Immediately, the sterilization measures kicked on and Spore was nearly destroyed by them. The Sorcerer put up an umbrella (magic!) over him, but then the robots came and zapped him with lasers. Pink punted the robot down the hall, and Arcanix covered Spore in mystical armor to protect him. That scene over, we entered a Transition Scene.

Spore rebuilt his body (healing all of his physical stress). Inferno tried to get the alien machinery to work, but couldn't figure it out. Pink remain injured (see earlier issue). Arcanix and the Sorcerer worked their ritual to cause the eclipse, and Duplex used the robot that he zapped Spore to create a computer program that would alter the satellites controlling the solar lenses so that they fried the planet's surface with the anti-Phylum ray. And then we started the last Action Scene, up on the roof.

The opposition was the Phylum itself, represented by the doom pool. The moss and thorns attacked, but Inferno whipped up a Fire Shield d12 to protect them. Spore spread out so that the Phylum would come after him, and the Sorcerer tossed up a magical shield around the pylon sending the signal to the satellite.

But remember: The Inquis are technologically advanced. The sent in an incendiary missile, but the characters largely avoided that damage. All the managed to do was torch the encroaching plants. The next volley of smaller, explosive rockets did some damage to Spore (who absorbed a rocket), Arcanix (who mis-timed a teleport), Pink (who threw debris at one when it was too close, and became stressed out because of it) and Inferno (who blew one up too close).

Arcanix realized then that while the prophecy said that the chosen one was meant to die to save the world, he'd thought the "world" in question was Earth. But now he realized that Pink was meant to die to save Inquis...and he couldn't let that happen. He grabbed her and moved her inside the mystic shield (which made him his milestone but cost Pink hers, so that's a bummer).

The building was collapsing, and Duplex and Spore held up the pylon. Inferno torched the base of the building and then quickly put out the fire to solidify and stabilize it (comic science!), and then titled the dish back up into position. 

Just then, the Inquis aircraft swooped in...and blew away the next volley of rockets. The Phylum had been cleansed.

The characters met with the leaders of the Inquis nations, and received their thanks and a promise of friendship. They went back to Earth and the Inquis established inter-dimensional relations with Earth (Carlson was thrilled), and Duplex carried back a cartload of alien tech ("Look, this one cures cancer! For the Inquis. Don't know what it'll do to us."). The heroes were welcomed back to St. Louis as, well, heroes.

Epilogue: In deep space, the Phylum homeworld. "We've lost two worlds. Activate fifty more spores." And then the last page, a room the size of a football field, covered in spore-pods, ready to launch.

(Hey, it's me. Gotta end on a somewhat creepy note.)