Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Marvel Multiverse - The Intro Adventure PDF is Out


Quick note - Marvel finally put their intro adventure up in PDF form for free on DTRPG. It starts out as a straightforward hostage situation:

When the heroes arrive on the scene, the police officer in charge informs them that the situation is even worse than what they were told. The Hydra agents are demanding that the city of New York drape the Statue of Liberty in a Hydra uniform, and they’re threatening to kill a researcher every hour on the hour until that happens. There are five minutes left until the first hour is up.

I mean ... that's pretty Silver/Bronze Age appropriate I would say. As you might suspect there is more going on here than Hydra grandstanding. There is a solid map which is nice if you're going to have action scenes in a modern office building. Also there are stats for Hydra Agents (which are already in the main book), Officers, and Armored Agents (like that one up top) so it beefs up the non-super foes list a bit and it's nice to have them all right here in the adventure instead of being referred to page X. It's a nice introduction and it's exactly the kind of thing that could have been included in the main rulebook in my opinion. A free PDF is not a bad option though - thanks for that Marvel. 

That's the latest and greatest for the Marvel game as far as I know. Kang is coming in November so we will get a better look at what the big books for this game will look like then.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Firing up ICONS again


So I was going to be short some players this week for a variety of reasons - thus thwarting myself once again from wrapping up the Perdition Elections arc in my Deadlands campaign as I want everyone present for the finale. The bonus complication here was that the mix of players this week did not match the mix of players I have had for Warhammer, Sentinels, Marvel, or either of the Star Wars games I've run in the past year - inset appropriate emoji here. With the chance to continue an existing game game out the window I dropped back into the Hall of Gaming, took a look around, and contemplated my gaming life thus far. 

I needed something that was easy to drop players in and out of, that could be run as an episodic campaign - self contained from game to game, and something that would not take a great deal of time to prepare as this gear-switching tends to come with only a few days notice. I do not want to keep crash-course-re-learning games for one-shot runs like I've been doing so I want to pick something as the "Plan B" game and stick with it. 

Superhero games are the easiest type of RPG to manage variable player attendance issues in my experience so that's where I started. Simpler rules ... simpler character generation ... lots of support ... this was really going in one direction from pretty early on. 

So ICONS it was! I haven't run ICONS in 5 years but I ran a bunch of it from 2011 up to about 2018 and wrote about it a lot here so it's not unfamiliar territory. I mostly ran it with my kids though so my regular players have not spent much time with it. The other bonus with ICONS is that I have a bunch of short adventures for it - and I like them, which is a rarity with superhero games as most of them are not good. For some reason though this game brought out good things in people and resulted in some really fun scenarios with classic comic book themes front and center. Fainting Goat Games in particular has had a nice run.

So I spent two days re-reading the rulebook and choosing an adventure, then we got together and rolled up some characters. I ended up with only two players but that's fine for a supers game. 

  • Variable Dave ended up with "Phantom Justice", an interesting mix of Phasing, Density Control, Fast Attack, and ... Spinning ... of all things. He made it work.
  • Shootist Will put together "The Amazing Sub-Zero" - an Ice Controller that ended up pretty cohesive.
For this run I chose "Primal Power" from Fainting Goat. I don't want to spoil much so I'll stay general but it's a great situation involving gorillas, a zoo, mind control, a secret lab, and some other heroes, a police force, and an agency to interact with during a crisis. There are character stats and some maps to give the GM an idea of where things are happening and of course it could lead into more. 

My players being veteran superhero fans didn't even blink at a hostage situation involving armed gorillas and dealt with the initial situation quickly and efficiently. One reason for this involves one character having a high degree of proficiency with the Reflection power and the large number of tranquilizer rifles in play. Lots of mechanical interaction there but it does make people drop quite quickly when they can  be knocked out on their own turn!

I freely admit I came out of it happy that they had fun but feeling like I had a lot of homework before the next session based on the number of questions I wrote down. Combine a few new powers with not having played in a while and uh, yeah, I felt like I was behind on and off all night - it still went well though.

This weekend will probably be another session as I already know we will be missing a few players. More on that next week!