Monday, July 11, 2016

Marvel Heroic: [Event Title Here]

I meant to do all of the game prep yesterday, but Night's Black Agents took several hours, and then I tried to start working on Marvel but I was tired so I knocked off and made nachos and watched Shaun of the Dead instead. So here we are.

Super heroes! 
That's a very old picture of the kiddos. Anyway, if you're playing this game, don't look, don't look, the shadows cry.

I've run two games set in this Marvel-esque universe. The first was a longer Event called Greenspace in which the heroes fought against the Phylum, plant-like invaders from another world. The second was a holiday one-shot called And to All a Good Night, in which a mad German in powered armor calling himself the Krampus got up to holiday shenanigans. I'm planning to include elements of both in this Event, but what I really want is a big multiple-super-people battle at the end, a la the last issue of the original Squadron Supreme run but without everyone fucking dying. Or, for a more topical example, any of the recent X-Men movies, or Civil War.

Since there's a handy "creating new Events" section in the book (and yes, I'm aware there are multiple books in this line, but since they don't add rules, just stuff within the Marvel universe, I don't much care), I shall follow it and see where it leads me.

Our first step is just sketch up the premise. "Super-villains attempt to destabilize society" seems a good start.

Next, we determine how many Acts. Acts don't directly correspond to sessions (when I ran this before we averaged one Action Scene a session, because this particular group is kinda slow and we like to chat). I'm running Marvel to do something lighter before we jump back into Promethean, so I don't want it going on too long. Let's think in more practical terms: How many sessions do I want?

Well, we're playing tonight, and then not again until the 8th of August, and maybe not even then, since that's the Monday after GenCon and I might not get back in enough time. So it's possible that we'll play tonight, and then not again until August 22nd. My goodness. OK, so whatever happens tonight needs to be really tight and contained, but end on a cliffhanger. But anyway, I think we'll be playing this game maybe through October, or at least late September (at which point we may lose Glen for a while, but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it).

I also want to target the heroes' personal lives and Milestones a bit more. Hrm. OK, let's say two Acts.

Now I organize the flow of each Act. OK, then.

  1. Act One
    1. Attack on [RookieTech] (not actually the name of the business)
      1. Villains attack Rookie's company for MacGuffin
      2. Heroes join in battle and drive off the villains
      3. Government confiscates the MacGuffin
    2. Villains attack Arch (distraction)
      1. Meanwhile, other villains steal MacGuffin from government
  2. Act Two
    1. Using MacGuffin, villains cripple government and hold city hostage
    2. Heroes need to disable MacGuffin to make the fight winnable
    3. Giant super battle!
Sounds good. 

Each Act needs Setting, Hook, and Buildup. The fact that these terms are capitalized makes me think they're important. Well, the Setting is St. Louis, generally. More specifically, the Setting for the first Act is is [RookieTech], and then the Arch. The Setting for the second Act is basically the whole city, but should be centered on a tall building or a wide open space. Ooh, shit, Secret Government Compound. Hell, yeah. Business park that looks wholly unremarkable, but then once the villains take over it's the bad-guy base. 

Buildup for the later scenes will pretty much be established, but for the first scene, I'll want Rookie to help establish some Buildup. And then I'll have Pink and Arcanix on hand doing normal human things with Pink's family, and maybe set the whole thing near Harmony's club? 

Sketch out a few Action Scenes. Sure.

  1. Act One
    1. Battle for the MacGuffin (busy streets, civilians, collateral damage, government interference)
    2. Government takes the Macguffin (could be an Action Scene, but I think that I'd rather take it as read since the PCs are likely to lose, unless they come out of the first scene with a hell of a doom pool)
    3. Villains attack the Arch (this is a distraction from the real threat, which is the villains hitting the government - might use doom pool to separate Spore from the group - use mystical villain here to summon demons!)
  2. Act Two
    1. Battle at the Government Compound - sneaking in past brainwashed guards, taking out mooks
    2. Destroying the MacGuffin
    3. Battle Royale with the supervillains
Transition scenes are optional, and I'm sure we'll have a few, but I don't see the need to sketch them out right now. Obviously the "government takes the MacGuffin" might work better as a transition scene than an Action Scene, and I'm sure we'll have scenes with the heroes and their personal concerns in there to relieve stress, etc. 

Unlockables. Hrm. I actually did kind of have an idea for this. Krampus' power armor would make for an interesting unlockable for Rookie, Pink, or Harmony (less appropriate for the other three). Maybe I'll come back to this.

What that means it that I need super-villains. I need a mastermind, and then a team of villains about on par with the heroes, and then I need mooks, but mooks are easy.

So, I want:

  • A mastermind (Baron Anguish)
  • Muscle (Innocence)
  • A mystic villain (Grimoire)
  • A blaster (Decibel)
  • A telekinetic (Waves)
  • A gadgeteer (Krampus)
I think for tonight, we'll have Innocence, Krampus, and Decibel hit the shipment. We'll introduce Grimoire and Waves in the Arch battle later, and the Baron in the final Act. Now to do some statting.

Hired Thugs: Team d8, Buddy d6, Solo d4
Combat Rookie d6
Blasters d8

We'll say 10 of these guys; I don't want to have them function like a mob this time. 

And the rest of them I'll do up sheets for. Yay!