Wednesday, August 31, 2016

No More Heroes: Conclusion

Monday we wrapped up our Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Event, No More Heroes.

Last time, the heroes had learned that something untoward was happening at a government research facility. Spore, Pink, and Harmony had gone ahead to check it out.

Pink jumped over the wall and landed, undetected (for the moment). Harmony went up to the front gate, and was stopped by guards. They told her to wait while they made a call (which she listened in on, using her sound manipulation powers), and then activated the place's defenses. Guns fired, but she absorbed the lasers and destroyed the guns.

Spore popped into the booth and gave off a burst, stunning the men. Pink bounded into the fray, but missed her attack. Spore disabled the guns, and Harmony gave off light and blinded the dudes. One of them pointed a gun at Spore and fired, not doing any damage (Spore's largely invulnerable), but inflicting some emotional stress - these guys are just agents like his friend, Carlson, after all. Pink too the opportunity to bop the dude on the head, ending the scene.

Meanwhile, Inferno and Arcanix were flying to the facility from the other directions. Guns on the roof targeted them, but Inferno melted one down to slag and Arcanix made the ammo explode, disabling the weapons. They entered the building (this was the main research building, where they'd detected the Earnhardt device) and made their way downstairs, just as Pink charged the doors of said building and burst in.

Inside, they found a man standing at the controls to the much-modified Earnhardt, guarded by Krampus, Innocence, Grimoire, Decibel, and that weasely dude they'd seen by the Arch (his name is Waves, by the way). The man told them that they were welcome to join him, and be free to use their powers to actually do some good for the world, rather than doing so at the beck and call of the government. The characters, of course, refused, and the man hit a button on his machine, pelting them all with lasers (Harmony absorbed hers).

Innocence opened fire with her guns, inflicting a bunch of physical stress. The battle was joined - Pink leaped up and grabbed a catwalk, spilling Decibel to the ground. Grimoire cast a spell on Pink and robbed her of her superstrength, but then got socked in the head by Spore and cast down into the Netherrealms by Arcanix (the true Sorcerer Supreme!). Inferno threw fire at the villains, and Krampus threw it right back, scorching the heroes (lots of area attacking going on, which is brutal).

And then Rookie arrived...but not Rookie anymore. He had dumped his gear, which wasn't working anyway, but his training and his encounter with Grimoire had awakened mystic potential in the lad. Now he was glowing with red, magical energy, and calling himself Scion!

Largely invulnerable, he joined the battle. He threw magical bolts at Krampus (who dispelled it), and soaked up some of the attacked being thrown around. Decibel, realized he was probably on his last legs, screamed, damaging all of the heroes (or at least trying). Arcanix, however, bounced he attack back on him.

Decibel got taken out, as did Grimoire, but then Innocence shot a bunch of people again...including Inferno. He fell the ground, stressed out and bleeding. Pink grappled Innocence (no mean trick without her strength) and tried to talk her down. Harmony joined her and they managed to free Innocence from her murderous persona.

Spore and Arcanix took down the red-haired mad scientist, and Waves, the telekinetic, covered himself in a force field and surrendered. Krampus, who hadn't taken any serious damage, realized that the day was lost and blew up the apparatus (leading the heroes to suspect that he had been mind controlled, much like the agents). He told the heroes that he agreed with the Baron Anguish's (that'd be the mad scientist) goals, but his methods were sloppy. He blew a hole in the roof and left, Scion waving and saying "see you at Christmas!"

The agents rolled in and arrested the remaining villains. And now, aftermath.

Inferno was laid up in the hospital. Carlson visited him, offering him a place to train, even if he didn't want to join up. Inferno refused. He just wanted to get back to work.

Pink, however, did join up - it was the best way to keep her family safe and her powers under control. Spore, therefore, was no longer the "probie."

Arcanix flew off to the ends of the Earth to train his new pupil, Scion, in the mystic arts.

Harmony, of course, went back to her bar. She's not getting suckered in to working for the government. Not again. (Not this time, anyway.) No more heroics.

And now, let's finish out the month.

You Can Game Anywhere On Earth, Where Would You Choose? Maui. It's lovely and temperate and the coffee is fantastic.

Describe the Ideal Game Room if Budget Were Unlimited. I'm actually pretty close to that now! Maybe better chairs; I like the 8-hour chairs from Geek Chic. I have a Geek Chic table already, though. If I could cheat and include my kitchen with the game room, then, like, I want a better kitchen so I can cook for my players.

Best Advice You Were Given For Your Game of Choice? Hrm. What's my game of choice, anyway? I play and run a lot of different games.

Look, if you look at advice tailored to a particular game, it's usually about the rules. If you do it by genre, then it's something for capturing that genre within the unique restrictions of the game table. If it's gaming in general, then there's lots of good advice for gaming (I've even written some).

A lot of it cooks down to "remember this is a collaborative thing." That works pretty much across the board. Playing Fate? Compel Aspects, not because you want to force the players' hands, but because by involving Aspects you're making the game about these characters and their foibles. Playing a horror game? Find out where horror lives for your players, but don't traumatize them. Playing at my table? Tell me what you'd like in your coffee, or, failing that, which of the zillions of types of tea in my pantry you'd like.

It's all about collaboration.