My group and I are playing through theÂ Civil WarÂ event book forÂ Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, fromÂ Margaret Weis Productions. While the course of play may not follow the event book â€“ or the comic books â€“ precisely, thereâ€™s going to be a certain amount of stuff that does conform to the adventures and comic series.
In short, if you donâ€™t want to know what happens in Civil War, donâ€™t read these posts. Or the comic books.
***You Have Been Warned***
The last session of our Civil War game went a lot smoother than the previous one. I stuck to the basics of the system, relying on the constraints to keep me honest and to provide support for what I was doing, and it all worked pretty well. It also allowed the characters to do some pretty awesome stuff – I think every hero had a moment or two to shine ((That’s vitally important in any game, but even more so in a superhero game. The fact that street-level heroes get the same kinds of opportunity to shine that cosmic-level heroes do is one of the things that I really like aboutÂ MHR.)).
We picked up with the splash page of The Doctor standing in Walter Declun’s apartment, with Declun cowering in the corner ((I had originally planned to have Declun be an active part of this scene, but the players reminded me that he had been stressed out with Emotional Stress at the end of last session.)), and three four-person squads of Cape-Killers smashing in through the windows that made up two walls of the open-plan apartment. The rest of the Guardians were in the GX-1, hovering a hundred yards or so away with the cloaking field active. Aside from the turn cards for the Cape-Killers, I put out an extra card that I told them represented whoever was in charge of the team.
The Doctor used his sorcery to try and pacify the Cape-Killers, removing their desire to act in a hostile manner. He managed to take hit two of the three squads with a Pacified d12+ complication, thanks to some hefty spends of plot points, but that left one to still attack him, and they did, but he managed to counterattack and pacify them, as well.
And that’s when Sentry arrived ((I can’t take credit for this idea. Cam Banks suggested that I throw the Sentry at the heroes if they’d been having things their own way too much – and they had. None of the fights up to this point had taxed them all that badly.)). The plan changed immediately into bugging out as quickly as possible. Volcanic smashed the GX-1 through the now-glassless windows and grabbed The Doctor, and Jumpstart used his electrical control to take control of the GX-1 and blast away from the building, with Mega Joule providing some extra thrust. They managed to lose the Sentry ((I know! I was surprised, myself! But at least I made them run.)), and retired to their hidden base.
There was a fair bit of discussion at that point about the fact that they had discovered a lockbox marked with A.I.M. logos in Declun’s apartment. They hadn’t taken it, and hadn’t had time to check out what was in it, but assumed that it would be incriminating evidence. What they couldn’t decide was how it would be perceived by S.H.I.E.L.D. – would they use it to convict or pressure Declun, or go after A.I.M., or would they cover it up, or even assume it was planted by the Guardians.
Unable to do much more than second-guess themselves at that point, they put the question aside and started working on other things. They set up an internet radio station, broadcasting essentially The Voice of the Resistance ((Though they haven’t decided on the name of it, yet.)) to help organize the anti-registration folks, and to disseminate their Heroic Code of Conduct.
I think that doing stuff like that is awesome; furthermore, I think that it’s going to be very helpful when they try to get folks to sign on with the Guardians ((Even beyond the die that they get for having the asset. They still get to use it as an asset, but it will have non-mechanical effects on those that hear it, for good or ill. Hell, it’ll probably get some folks coming to them.)). More and more, the Guardians are becoming the public face of unregistered heroes, and that gives them the power to start swaying not just the other heroes’ opinions, but also the way the average mundane person feels about the SHRA.
After that, they decided to look into the A.I.M. connection from the other end, tracking down a local A.I.M. lab and inviting themselves in to ask some pointed questions. They found one deep below the Ground Zero site ((I wasn’t ready for them to go looking for A.I.M. this session, so I quickly scanned the scene in the rulebook, which suggested that A.I.M. likes to build their secret labs under landmarks and important buildings so attackers have to be careful. I took the first idea that came to mind for the location.)), and Volcanic made them a tunnel right down into one of the labs.
The lab had a few scientists and some troopers watching them, as well as blaster turrets for security. Volcanic hacked the security system to get the blasters targeting the A.I.M. personnel, while The Doctor, Mega Joule, and Jumpstart took out the opposition. It was an interesting fight, with Volcanic mainly involved in a hacker duel with the scientists for control of the turrets, and the others dealing with the scientists, troopers, and reinforcements. The fight actually went on longer than I expected, and I had the doom pool up at 3d12 by the end of things.
So, keeping that in mind, when the last defender in the room went down, I had an announcement on the PA warn that the self-destruct protocols had been initiated, and that all personnel should follow their evacuation plans. Then I ended the session for the evening.
Next session, we’ll be able to start with the Guardians inside an evacuating A.I.M. lab, surrounded by fleeing personnel ((And a couple of powered-up types, because I’ll have time before the next game to figure out who to put in there.)) and with a countdown timer die in play. That’ll get things moving.