Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Game Night Recap: Negative Crisis!

How do you say goodbye to the player of Komos (both incarnations), Union Galactic, and Positive Crisis?

By have a massive dimension-spanning epic adventure to save the multiverse, culminating with superheroes, fantasy adventurers, and spacefarers battling a tarrasque, a lich, and a demigod on the rolling surface of a Federation starship orbiting Sigil, the City of Doors and center of everything.

After starting off fairly typically in our 5E campaign, things went suddenly, terribly awry as the world was shattered and PC's were scattered throughout the multiverse.  At this point I handed each of them a PC from some time in their gaming past, worked out using Marvel Heroic Roleplaying rules (which is a great system for doing something like this.  Since this was a plenary session for the gaming group, there were no less than 11 players present, with PC's or NPC's from every game campaign I have run since I arrived in this state.  In the gaming group itself we had

From the 4E D&D Campaign

  • Aukan, the Goliath Warden
  • Grendel, the Minotaur Barbarian
  • Skyhawk, the Pixie Rogue
From the Marvel Heroic Campaign
  • Abrasax the Guardian Gargoyle
  • Bubblegum, former teen hero
  • Union Galactic, cyborg cowboy
  • Positive Crisis (who showed up later to be played by Union Galactic's player)
From the Mass Effect Campaign (run by John)
  • Xavier, the human infiltrator
From the Firefly Campaign
  • Thyme, former Companion
From the 5E D&D Campaign
  • Roghanj, the Dragonborn Sorcerer
  • Calidis, the Elven Druid
  • Robin, the Genasi Fighter
The main villain was Positive Crisis' evil brother, Negative Crisis, who had contacted a plan to lure the Star Eater from my Star Trek one-shot to destroy Sigil and use the TARDIS (from the League of Extraordinary Dudes one-shot) to recreate a universe completely under his control.  He was assisted by a group of villains from the various fantasy and superhero campaigns, along with lots of minions.  It was an over-the-top rollicking time, a real change from the "kobolds and copper pieces" that are the staple of Dungeons & Dragons.  Frankly it had been a long time since I had put this much work into a single adventure, and it really showed.

Anyways, it was Ben's last night, so we had one more group photo before he heads off into his next adventure.  Juggling 11 players might be at ton of work, but it is all worth it.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Lull before the Storm

It's been pretty slow on the gaming front the last few weeks, but I thought I'd at least share a few things I've been doing.

As DC and Marvel Comicss have been simultaneously pulverizing their respective universes in hopes of ginning up for readers, I've decided to take a break from both houses until the dust settles and I get a sense of what the new regular comic book offerings are going to look like.  I'm not optimistic, and deeply suspect that I'll be dropping a lot of titles from my "pull box" at the local comic book shop.

In the meantime, I've been cruising the library reading some older titles, including the weird and funky Tomb of Dracula.  The series is so, so 1970's, with its mod-style heroes and hip dialogue.  Dracula is the ultimate square, an arrogant authority figure from the past set on preying upon mostly young (and generally female) victims.  There is that 1970's fondness for Universal Studios monsters, "Asian" stereotypes, and not-so-subtle social commentary. What is interesting is that Dracula is the antagonist of the series, yet also the main (and title) character, which was a real oddity of its time for comic books.

It's also worth noting that the series introduces Blade, the quasi-vampire hunter of vampires, later to be featured in several movies.  Marc Wolfman (the series editor) did say that the early Blade character was guilty of possessing what he described as "Marvel Black" dialogue, which is spot-on and an interesting comment by a member of the Marvel staff.  Blade would be pulled from the series for almost a year for this reason, to later return with a more toned-down personality.

Aside from reading some old collected series of comic books, I've been getting ready to say goodbye to a friend from the gaming group: Ben, the player of Union Galatic from the MHR game and Komos from both iterations of Dungeons & Dragons (Ben ret-conned his 4E character, having him lose his divinely-based powers from 4E to become a 1st-level monk in 5E).  Ben has a great new job in Nebraska and will be leaving at the end of the month, so this Friday's session will be his last.

In anticipation of his departure, we are having a "plenary" gaming session as we call it with all ten players showing up at once.  I've done this before, and it isn't easy, but I have something very special planned for them.  I'll share the outcome with you all in a few days.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Introducing the Deathwish Brigade!

It's been a long time since I've done a superhero RPG session of any kind, and the kids have been asking me to run something for them during the summer.  Between the upcoming Suicide Squad live action movie and their recently watching Assault on Arkham (which was excellent), my son and daughter were pressuring me to run a "Suicide Squad" style story featuring characters from the old "Ultimate Posse" campaign (which was my old campaign using Marvel Heroic Roleplaying).

So who is part of the crew of villains (and heroes) assembled by UNTIL?

The Ferret (in his Deathstriker villain disguise)

Bubblegum, disguised as "Black Licorice"

Brawl, an NPC who has appeared before in the campaign

Thunder, an inexperience "villain"

Lightning, Thunder's husband and fellow novice villain

Unicorn, a Russian superspy

The group had to eliminate an African dictator/supervillain called "The Golden Lion" who had usurped the throne of his country and was using his new power to make deals with shady terrorist organizations.


UNTIL needed him removed without creating a martyr, or an international incident.  The session included plenty of inter-party confict, double-crosses, and things going wrong, just like a typical Suicide Squad adventure.  Eventually the group managed to despose the dictator and put the rightful heir on the throne, and Control, one of the directors of UNTIL, told the Ferret and Bubblegum that the Deathwish Brigade might return in the future.

Over at Strange Vistas