Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Marvel Heroic X-Men: Session 2 Report

Hey, readers!

One of my new groups that I'm playing with just had a session of X-Men the other night, and for my benefit and yours, I'm going to summarize and rant and stuff. I was thinking of possibly doing these as in-character journal entries, but we'll see.

Anyway, the team is currently Beast, Mr. Immortal (a probationary X-Men member on leave from his team 'The Great Lake Avengers'), and myself as Rogue with Ms. Marvel's powers. This was the first session where we actually had the entire team assembled, so that was cool to see the dynamics and how everything functioned.

We're playing through an old Marvel TSR module (FASERIP as I like to call it, 'cause, y'know, ripping off faces is creepy and cool) which is called 'Breeder Bombs.' I somewhat wish that he didn't mention it was a module because I have a terrible habit of looking stuff up and spoiling things for myself, which I kinda did. I only skimmed, but still!...

Session Summary:

Anyway, the session began where the last one left off, which was Rogue and Mr. Immortal in the Danger Room going through an exercise when things start to go haywire and someone is attacking the mansion. Come to find out it was Mr. Fixer who crashed into the kitchen to confront Beast, yelling about how he killed his partner and was here for REVENGE!

So, combat begins, of course. Mr. Immortal tried to slam into him, but was easily repelled and flung out the giant hole in the wall. Then Beast tried to distract the villain by juggling rubble, which was.. Interesting! Nicely enough, it slapped a d12 complication on the guy, which allowed me to piledrive Mr. Fixer and knock him out in one shot. Usually, I'm not too fond of Rogue when she has Ms. Marvel's powers, as I feel it cheapens the super-awesome power stealing stuff, but I must admit, it makes her a heavy hitter and a great asset to the team. The way I'm playing her is that the whole Ms. Marvel incident was fairly recent, so she's still getting used to the fact that she can punch guys fifty-feet away in one hit.

With that done, we picked the villain up and brought him over to the infirmary so that we could question him. The Professor probed his mind and found a video in his equipment that showed a rooftop battle where Beast was fighting Mentallo and apparently killed him. Beast had no memory of this, and spent a day scanning the video for errors or idiosyncrasies. He discovers that it was in a warehouse in New York, so he decides that we need to go take care of it. Unfortunately, Scott and his A-Team have the Blackbird, so we have to settle for Mr. Immortal's 'Quinnjetta' car. Rogue rode shotgun, changed the station to country and broke the knob.


The team made it to the warehouse and spent a good amount of time examining the crime scene. Not finding much evidence, we decided to enter the warehouse and see if anything was going on inside. Come to find out, there's Mentallo in a vegetative state hooked up to a weird machine! We trip a laser-wire and two laser guns pop out of the floor. Beast tries his best to wrestle one to death, not doing so well. Rogue threw a crate at one, and when it tried to shoot her, she dodged, causing the laser to hit a metal crate and somehow reflect back and destroy it.

Isn't comic-logic great?

As the team tried to work on the second turret, two figures break through the wall! It's Beast and Mentallo, somehow! Beast, enraged by the prospect of this doppleganger who tried to implicate him for murder, assaults his double, but manages to get slammed into a pile of crates and knocked out. Mentallo shot his laser pistol at Mr. Immortal, wounding him slightly. However, using his hurt pride to propel his attack, Mr. Immortal did a crazed flying crotch kick of some kind that I couldn't even visualize, sending Mentallo into d12 stress and revealing that he was a robot! Rogue then picked up Mentallo and slammed him against this force-field that appeared around the strange machine, smashing him to pieces.

The remaining laser battery shot at the two remaining heroes, but Rogue was able to absorb the energy and use it to amplify her strength. In a final move, Rogue used her enhanced strength to rip the laser cannon from the ground, spin around, and send it flying into the Beast robot, destroying both in one move.

So, yeah. Rogue is awesome. But we knew that.

The force-field went down, and we peeled the real Mentallo from the strange machine. In an attempt to bring a little deeper story, and play with the Rogue-angst that I love so much, I decided that Rogue would try to touch the villain and get his memories to see how this all happened, despite Beast's protest. Unfortunately, I failed the roll, but I do plan to factor in the scattered pieces of Mentallo's psyche into Rogue's in the future.

We wrapped up by heading back to the mansion, each of us trying to work on a different piece of the puzzle. Rogue and the Professor worked on the vegetative Mentallo. Mr. Immortal healed up in the infirmary and was bragging to the others about their experiences. Beast was working on the severed heads of the two robots, trying to get more information. What he found was a map to several locations across the world and a video feed revealing the supposed culprit: Magneto!

My Reactions:

So far, I'm having a good time with this group. I'm the 'senior Marvel Heroic player' it seems, which is funny, considering I'm the youngest. The other players are so far doing a great job portraying their characters. Our Beast has the character down to a 'T', dialogue and all. Mr. Immortal's player has actually made a seemingly useless hero useful in a team, which is a great accomplishment on its own, not to mention his good jokes and ideas. Our GM is pretty good too, though sometimes he's a little scatterbrained or jokes a bit too much, but it's all in good fun, and he's doing very well with both moving the story along and making sure things run smoothly.

The only major issue I'm having, which I've had in a lot of other online groups in the past, is this... Weird... Thing. I'm not exactly sure how to explain it, other than it has to do with what's in character and what's out of character sometimes. See, like, most people use their normal voice to portray the character they are playing, since not many roleplayers are actors. I like to throw some theater into it since that's my background, using a more feminine voice if I'm playing a woman or tossing in an accent or way of speaking to differentiate my character speech from my regular speech. However, sometimes someone will say something in-character that sounds out-of-character, or make a joke out-of-character that's kinda in character. Or, even worse, someone will say something in-character, and someone will make a joke, interrupting the flow of conversation. This prevents me from getting into character a lot, which means I'm usually quiet or preface my in-character dialogue with, 'My character says, "-" '

And this is a real shame, since most of my enjoyment in roleplaying games is being in-character and interacting with NPCs and the other players. Hell, the best sessions I've ever had usually had very little combat and a lot of talking, emotions, and character growth due to stuff that's going on. I can get this in my Teen Titans game, but that's different, since I'm running it as opposed to playing. With a lot of these online groups, this sort of thing is harder to get since there's a degree of unfamiliarity with each other at first, and the best way to get comfortable is to make jokes and seem likable, and sometimes that doesn't stop.

Maybe one day I'll get this kind of thing in a 'pick-up group', and I've come close with a few groups, but that's a personal thing. I do get some fun out of beating the snot out of villains and making quips, but like a Disney Princess, I can't help but want...


Other than that rant, there was a rule clarification that I was happy to get. It had to deal with exceptional successes in regard to counter-attacks, which I wasn't totally clear on. Apparently, if you do the option to counter attack and you exceed the attacker's total by five or more, it is treated as an exceptional success. This is good to know, as it can make villains just a hair more dangerous, especially if they are supported by a huge doom pool. The unfortunate recipient of this action, Beast, was a bit put-off by the potential power that it gives the GM, but I think it's completely fair, given what the players are able to do, such as one-shotting Mr. Fixer.

Overall, I'm enjoying myself, and I do hope that this doesn't come into conflict with my Civil War game that is coming up next week. We'll see how that goes. Either way, hope you enjoyed my rant! (I would love some comments on my IC/OOC rant to see how other people feel.) If you didn't, here's a funny picture.


1 comment:

  1. Point the first:

    I tried converting the "Cosmos Cubed" trilogy of adventures from Marvel Super Heroes, as I had lots of fond memories of running those when I was a wee lad.

    When I started reading through them again, I was struck by how much the adventures were a bit counter intuitive to comic book structures, as then tended to be written with the same kind of conventions as standard RPG adventures.

    Lot's of "do you want to go left, right, or center, and you forgot to mention that you did X so now the gotcha event happens."

    I'm all for branching flow charts based on character decisions, but there are some old school middle finger moments in there that seem at odds with big cosmic super hero action.

    Point the Second:

    One of the reasons I really like running comic book/supers games is because there are certain characters I can't wait to ham up in play.

    When I was running my DC Adventures game, I loved springing characters like Solomon Grundy on the group because I knew that I would be able to go so over the top with him. Mongul was another character that I liked to wrap my inner hack around.

    As far as my own characters go, it depends a lot on how much I have really gotten a grasp on them. My Space Wolf marine from Deathwatch was fully formed almost as soon as I rolled the character up, and so was my Pathfinder Godling that was the son of the god of strength that also happened to sound just like Randy Savage.

    Gand, my Gand from Star Wars Edge of the Empire, was another character I jumped into right out of the gate.

    Other characters are much more slow to evolve, and I tend to sit back, maybe talk in third person or defer to the rest of the party before they click for me, if they ever do.