Thursday, August 29, 2013

Marvel Origins - Avengers - Session 2 Report

Hey, readers!

It's been quite a while since I've thrown up my session reports, and I have quite a backlog of interesting content to inform you of! I'll be going in order of appearance here, so we will start with the second session of my experimental, universe building project, Marvel Origins: Avengers edition!

Just in case you've forgotten, our cast consists of the following:

The Sentry: A Japanese immigrant who was taken into a camp by the Americans, Bob had latent super powers, and in return for his family's protection, the government turned him into a super soldier of unspeakable power to fight on the front lines.

Doctor Strange: While serving the military during World War I, combat medic Stephen Strange discovered some occult paraphernalia in a German bunker. This began his journey to accrue as much mystical knowledge as possible, joining with two other mystics to form the Triad.

The Sub-Mariner: Prince Namor, upon hearing of the advent of the Axis powers and the danger they posed to his kingdom, decided to aid the surface dwellers in repelling the threat. This fell upon deaf ears with his fellow Atlanteans, and he now ventures alone to protect his planet and secure his supremacy. Imperius Rex!

The Vision: Formerly known as 'The Human Torch', a robot with the power to shoot flames was captured and experimented upon by one Baron Zemo who was attempting to use him as a gateway to another dimension. Upon recovery, the robot's new powers of intangibility and hyper density were readily apparent. Fearing Nazi reprogramming, he was wiped and given the personality of one Bucky Barnes and renamed Vision.

When we last left our heroes, they were preparing for D-Day! Let's jump on in.

Session Report:

Things begin with a briefing with everyone's favorite three-star general, Ross, as he gets the team up to speed on the latest intel and their specific assignment during the invasion. They have been assigned to Utah beach, where they are assigned to take out the modified mounted machine guns along with an advance unit about an hour before the rest of the invasion hits. They are also to release the Hulk on the unsuspecting Nazi troops as well to sow chaos among their ranks and thin them out so that the invasion forces have a better chance to meet up with the rest of the army.

Of course, the team is uneasy about herding around the Hulk, but Ross assures them that this is the best strategy for breaking up their ranks. In order to get the Hulk, however, the team has to go prepare Steve Rodgers, who is in the lower levels of the base in a protected, sealed off area. Everyone except Namor elects to go below and inform him of the impending mission.

When they get down there, they are greeted by the scientist in charge of monitoring Rodgers and his buxom, blonde assistant.

Sensing no danger in the air, they calmly discussed things over with Rodgers. The Sentry appealed to their similar conditions, of having a darkness inside and being used by the government for war. With his assurance that things will be alright, Steve leaves his protected room, only to be shot with a dart laced with adrenal-enhancing poison by the buxom assistant!

Steve transforms into the Hulk, surprising everyone in the room! Using his super-speed, the Sentry takes charge of the situation and immediately grapples the beast with his super strength and takes him as far away from the base as he could manage. Isolated, Bob is able to talk Steve down, and he transforms back without incident.

Meanwhile, back at the base, both Vision and Dr. Strange try their best to capture the escaping spy! Dr. Strange tries his best to strangle her with chains, but she quickly wiggles out of them, blasting them apart with some sort of untold power! Vision tries his best to grapple with her, preventing her from escaping, but she is too tough for the robot. Hearing the commotion, Namor decides to help out the incompetent surface dwellers, only to find the beautiful woman trying to leave. In an act unmatched, Namor delicately grabbed her hand and pulled her into a kiss. She melted into his arms and was no longer a threat.

Feminists would likely say a lot of stuff about how this is terrible, and how the fact that our team has no women is also terrible, but that's how the dice rolls. Can't argue with the dice.

Anyhow, the general demands an interrogation, and Namor happily volunteers to ask the questions. However, to keep the horny Atlantean in-line, Vision is also requested to be present in the room. She is hesitant at first, simply declaring that the invasion will fail by the power of the Skrull. Namor asks for five minutes alone to change her mind about revealing information, and Vision complies. When Vision returns, the Skrull spy, revealed to be named Lyja, is much more willing to talk! She explains that a Skrull ship bearing prisoners from a galactic war crashed on Earth after some mechanical failure. Their leader, a Skrull who is known to human beings as Schmidt, was taken to the leader of the area, Hitler. Seeing an opportunity for greater glory, he and his forces allied themselves with the Nazis and have been supplying them technology.

(Not bad for a Skrull)

While this news is distressing, the invasion has to proceed as planned. Lyja is kept captive at the base while the rest of the crew prepares to move out. When the assault begins the next morning, it seems that things are stacked against the Allied forces. The machine guns are devastating, and there is a ready and able regiment standing between them and victory. However, our team of Invaders make quick work of both the machine guns and the Nazi soldiers. Namor launches himself from the sea and smashes things! Vision takes out a Nazi officer, only to transform into him and order the troops to retreat. Dr. Strange rides in on a dragon he summoned and proceeds to tear apart the landscape. The Sentry works with the Hulk to tear Nazi soldiers limb from limb with his laser-katana...

However, ill-tidings come to bear as the fight winds down. Out from the sky, a giant robot of obviously alien origin lands in the midst of the battle and prepares its weapons! At the same time, Bob loses control and shifts into the Void!


My Reactions:

Not too much I have to say on the GM side of things this session. Giving myself props, I think this particular session was very well paced. In fact, the action was about the length of a typical comic book, with a cliff hanger to boot. On that end, I was very pleased. I am also pleasantly surprised by my players almost at every junction. I wasn't expecting Lyja to be captured with a kiss of all things, but that's one of the awesome things about this system. In a system like D&D, in order to end a fight with charm, you'd have to roll incredibly high. Here, you just need a good dice pool and a suitable complication and you're gold!

The only thing I wish could have gone better was the Hulk incident. One of the most fearsome characters in MHR was taken out in one roll by Sentry, and that seems a little... Meh. I mean, yes, I could have spent Doom Dice to increase his reaction, but the Hulk isn't very good at resisting being talked down. I suppose it did work in a narrative sense, but the image of Rodgers smashing the base up was a little too good to resist.

Coming from a long view perspective on things so far, the Hulk is a bit of a quandry. He's a super-powerful being, and an important plot point that was worked into the whole backstory of things, but since his player left the project, he's just sitting there more as a tool rather than a fundamental part of the story. Of course, this is partially my fault, but what else can you do with Hulk other than send him to smash or try to get him to stop smashing? I may try to find a way to write him out temporarily, if the players don't mind. We'll see!

Otherwise, things have been going swimmingly! Next session report, you'll get to hear about the fabled 'Fight of the Sentry!' Hope you enjoyed this post. If not, here's a funny picture.


1 comment:

  1. I gotta play Namor like Namor and if anybody outside of James Bond could pull this off, it's the Prince of Atlantis.

    Feminists should picket Namor, though, that's on the real. I'd march with them. "Imperious Hex!"