Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Flute of Ymir [gaming recap]

My daughter wanted me to run a Bash! session just for the younger members of the group.  She likes her PC, the Lioness, who happens to be a trained martial artist tasked with hunting a group of supernatural villains (similar to Daredevil or Iron Fist from the MCU, or Sara Lance from Legends of Tomorrow).  So, what fun high-stakes adventure with mystical overtones can I possible reconfigure for a superhero episode?

I went with arguably the greatest episode of The Real Ghostbusters animated television show, "Ragnarok and Roll."

Jilted boyfriend turned supervillain Jeremy.
If you need the rationale as to why "Ragnarok and Roll" is one of the best episodes, this blog post does a good job making the case.  Fun side note: it was written by James Michael Straczynski, who would go onto do Babylon 5.  I went with the general skeleton of the plot: morbidly depressed Jeremy decides to use a magical flute to not summon Ragnarok (as in the cartoon), but Fimblevintr, the ice age that is supposed to precede Ragnarok.  I also went ahead and fleshed out the Norse mythology by having the Flute belong to Ymir the frost giant, and had Jeremy able to summon frost demons and ice trolls, rather than just ghosts and gargoyles.

The rest of the plot tracked with the episode: the heroes fight some flunky monsters, notice a pattern to their location, meet the girlfriend Jenny, and head off to stop Jeremy from plunging the Earth into frozen chaos.  Rather than just dogpile onto Jeremy, the Lioness manages with some jammy dice rolling to disarm Jeremy, knocking the flute free, and then talking him down from his plans to destroy the world.

The big bad guy reveal at the end wasn't some bodiless head, however, but rather a mysterious sorceress named Rune, who leads a group of ninja ghost warriors called the Phantom Beasts, who just happens to be the group the Lioness is tasked with fighting.  BIG emotional payoff for my daughter and the rest of the group for realizing that, for the first time in the campaign, they have saved the world.

"Sorceress Ryth" by liiga, a fair representation of Rune
One of the joys of gaming with teenagers is that they have not seen a single episode of many of the cartoons that shaped my childhood, allowing me to plunder at will!

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