Skip to main content

Home Campaign Interlude

I haven't bothered writing up the third session, my own, mostly because I felt it was the weakest of the three.  But last night I finally pulled the trigger on one of the bigger meta-plots of my Marvel Heroic Roleplaying campaign.

It began with four members of the Ultimate Posse--Samkhara, Abrasax, Dr. Mind, and novice hero Patchwork--chasing down five villains who had stolen some radioactive isotopes.  The villains were Gale Force, Crowdsource, Feral, Arrowhead, and Headstrong.  Arrowhead and Headstrong had appeared near the beginning of the campaign as a duo, while the other three had previously worked with Empyrean.

It turned out to be a tighter fight than anyone expected.  Arrowhead and Crowdsource could hit the PC's with complications, then have their opponents get hammered by the other heroes.  Eventually the Posse turned the tide, although Samkhara had been badly injured by Crowdsource.

A few days later, the heroes are coming back from patrol when they discover their headquarters have been broken into by a fellow named Control, claiming to represent an international intelligence agency called UNTIL.  He told them the villains they had just defeated before had been broken out, and that there had been an ongoing series of supervillain breakouts going on for some time.  Rather than ask the heroes to provide security for the law enforcement transports, Control had a better idea.

He suggested the heroes adopt alternate, supervillain identities, then stage a fight with some heroes, get captured, and then hopefully get broken out.  While undercover they could find out who or what was responsible.  The four heroes agreed.  Samkhara become Trauma, a flashy and scantily-dressed vixen.  Abrasax used magic to transform his appearance into a vampire.  Dr. Mind became Mentallo (he lost points for not coming up with an original name) and adopted a new costume.  Patchwork created a sleek, aerodynamic armor, took on a Russian accent, and claimed to be a robot called Black Box.

The four new "supervillains" then battled Mr. Eternity, Ghost Raven, and Union Galactic (all of whose players were absent) and feigned losing in battle.  While being transported to the Vault, their transport was attacked by an armored individual calling himself Metalurge.  He led to them a high-tech jet with no windows, and the group was transported to an unknown location.  There they met Taurus, a massive minotaur claiming to be descended from the god Zeus.  Taurus said he had gathered together a supervillain coalition called the Zodiac.  The Zodiac would attack superhero teams en masse, and also provide support for "franchise" villain teams who would in turn pay them a portion of whatever financial gains they made.  The Zodiac are:

Taurus: Taurus
Cancer: King Crab
Virgo: Gale Force
Leo: Feral
Gemini: Crowdsource
Libra: Deathstriker
Sagittarius: Arrowhead
Ares: Headstrong
Capricorn: Empyrean
Aquarius: unknown
Pisces: unknown
Scorpio: Metallurge

Taurus and the team haggled over what percentage they would have to pay, and then the team was returned to the jet, this time accompanied by Libra/Deathstriker.  Once on the ground, Libra revealed himself to be the Ferret!  He had already infiltrated the Zodiac in deep cover, and told them the Zodiac's headquarters was in space!

The group decides to try to continue extracting information about the Zodiac while in their "supervillain" identities.


  1. I've been meaning to comment on the previous entries but honestly, wasn't quite sure what to say.

    The two Sci-Fi games are Traveller-in-Name but sooo different from Traveller as I know it that there is barely a point of reference. They sound AWEsome in the extreme but they are indeed so extreme as to be hard to compare with a similar experience.

    The second of the two you described is the closest to a scenario I could imagine in Traveller but the full-body cyborg conversions are definitely not Traveller standard (in theme or mechanics - although such things do exist in my own Traveller universe they are few and far between).

    I am continually impressed by your ability to run a campaign with Marvel Heroic. My guys love it for a one-shot, break-from-the-everyday type game but just can't wrap their heads around it for long term play. I confess, I am in the same boat as much as I loved the short campaign I ran at the Study Center I work at.

    Please continue with these play reports. I find them a fascinating glimpse into how other people play.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A First Look at Prowlers and Paragons

For a long time I've been in the market for a new supers RPG.  Since running Marvel Heroic Roleplaying a few years ago, I've been looking at other games, including some that had been passed by the general public, e.g. DC Heroes Third Edition or Silver Age Sentinels.  This was based on the notion that supers RPG's are so niche and so under-performing as a general part of the RPG world that just because the game wasn't making a splash didn't mean it wasn't good.

Plus, I have my own tastes about what I like in a supers RPG, which I've touched on from time to time here, but to summarize I like a game that feels like a comic book, doesn't get bogged down in too much detail, but allows for PC growth and development in a tangible game-system way.  I also don't want to spend hours on character creation using a spreadsheet.  For that matter, it would be an added bonus if it could also accommodate a large number of players and didn't have glaring options…

Large modular dungeon tiles

I made five 4" by 4" dungeon tiles, which is 80 square inches, almost twice my usual batch of tiles.  When added to what I've done already, this is how big a single room I can make:

14 by 14 squares, with four squares to spare.  That's a pretty big room (70 feet to a side).  If I wanted to mix it up, I could build something like this:

I'm probably going to take a little break from this project.  It has turned out well, but until I'm closer to doing a fantasy game I'm going to focus on the games I'm actually doing.
Speaking of which, it's game night tonight...

Review: the Valiant Universe Roleplaying Game

Capsule: A near-clone of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying that throws out the good while keeping the bad.  Useful if you're a fan of the Valiant Universe.

I've been looking forwards to this game ever since Free RPG Day this year, although with some trepidation.  The rules were sketchy, and the free booklet promised more detail when the main rulebook came out.  I also snagged most of the additional free material Catalyst Games had put out as PDFs on DriveThurRPG, which gave me most of the major characters from the Valiant Universe.

Quick side note about Valiant comics, for those who don't know.  Originated in the 90's during the whole big indie comics movement that spawned Malibu, Image, and a host of others small publishing companies.  The early Valiant characters included a pseudo X-Men mutant youth team (Harbingers), a archtypal "Iron Age" gun guy (Bloodshot), the high-tech alien armor guy (the bizarrely named X-0 Manowar), and a quirky no-capes duo (Archer and Ar…