Thursday, January 26, 2012

[Campaign Premise] Secret Wars, the Next Generation

Thirty years ago, Earth's mightiest heroes faced a group of the worst villains imaginable in an epic conflict on another world.

Both sides lost.

Now the city of Denver, Colorado and all its residents are stranded on an alien planet in another galaxy with only a handful of people to protect them.

That's you.

Back in What If Vol. 2 Issue 114 they had a story called "Brave New World" where the "what if" basically was, "what if the Secret Wars didn't end with everyone going home?"  In the story the heroes and villains declare an armistice after several people from each side are killed and the Beyonder and Galactus have destroyed each other, thus preventing them from returning home.  A second generation of villains, led by the son of Doctor Doom and the Enchantress, break the treaty and attempt to overthrow Battleworld.  They are opposed by a corresponding second generation of heroes.

It's a cool story and a great concept, but I thought they really undersold the whole story.  Part of that was because it was a one-shot and the real focus was on this whole new cast of characters usually made of up half-and-half versions of existing heroes (e.g. Captain America plus Rogue, the Human Torch plus Wasp, etc.)

But a lot was left out, like the whole notion of other alien races on Battleworld, not to mention the entire city of Denver, Colorado.  Furthermore, the Secret Wars was done in this time period where a lot of characters and teams were getting overhauled.  It was the big "mutant menace" period of the X-Men.  She-Hulk became a major character as an addition to the Fantastic Four.  The genesis of Venom.  Of course, Marvel pounded the story into the ground with "Secret Wars II" which was unbelievably lame.

Ever since the first time I read "Brave New World" I thought there was a lot of meat left on that bone.  I haven't ever thought about using a pre-made universe for superhero games, much less a major publishing house-specific one.  But my biggest hang-up about Supers RPG's is that they all sort of look a lot alike: a pretty random group of superheroes team up in this loose confederation and battle the villain of the week.

But in this case you've got about forty established characters to build off of, not to mention assorted off-spring, a large central city, and an entire planet of mystery.  You've got the "big plot" of "how do we survive on the Battleworld long enough to figure out a way back to Earth," and a host of possible sub-plots.  Most importantly, you have a compelling reason for the heroes to both exist and be vitally important to their universe.

So, here's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to flesh out a "Secret Wars: the Next Generation" (SW:TNG) campaign.  I think that if I get enough ideas going, I'll give the campaign a go.

1 comment:

  1. Not my personal cup of tea, but a great idea for a campaign nonetheless. Certainly original as far as my experience goes.