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Marvel Heroic Roleplaying musings

Posted: July 23, 2012 by archivest in Gaming
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I feel that Marvel Heroic Roleplaying has really nailed it for comic book games. It has bridged a gap in gaming I have been trying to name for many years. Super-powered characters vs. comic book characters.

Simulationist games like GURPS and HERO/Champions are perfect for building the proverbial “You will believe a man can fly.” That is great for super-powered characters. Sometimes I want a character with powers that doesnt wear spandex. (BTW, we are huge GURPS fans) But those systems don’t have the reach to simulate superhero action in the comic book.

I put the blame on comic books themselves. They are inconsistent, erratic, and contradictory. The stats of a hero depends on the artist and writer.
MHRPG has successfully found a way to make it all work together. As a player, you are a writer for your character. By building your dice pool, you are deciding the power level of your character.

I was at first a little intimidated by the new concepts and dice pools. But I’m getting a better grasp of how it all works as we play. MA is patient with my thick-headedness when it comes to learning new games. (-;

I highly recommend MHRPG if you want to play a comic book superhero game. My superhero game resume includes: V&V, Golden Heroes, Champions, Superworld, DC Heroes, MSH, M&M 1-2ed, GURPS, and MHRPG. I have been reading comic books since the mid 70s. Knowledge (Comic Books) – 17.

Captain America: Solo Adventure

Posted: July 23, 2012 by archivest in Gaming
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I traded places with MA for our Monday night game. I’m now the Watcher [GM] for our Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game and MA is playing Captain America.

Sidenote: MA has played a very Captain America-like Paladin in our Pathfinder games. This is a good transition character for him. MA has very little experience with the superhero genre in any form. The event I am running can be found here and, although it is intended for different characters, it takes little modification to make it work for a solo Captain America. Elegant system, very flexible.

Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D. has called Cap into action for a covert mission. Hydra has rebuilt an old Nazi stronghold and is using it for some nefarious purpose.  His mission is to find a missing double-agent scientist, figure out what Hydra is doing there, and take appropriate action.

Cap is air-dropped by a cloaked drone over the castle base in the German Alps. A normal human couldn’t survive the long trip strapped to the underbelly of a drone. That is one of the reasons he was picked. Cap parachutes over the castle and takes out two hydra patrol guards upon landing without issue. Hearing the Hydra guards speak German and the enviroment itself is a flashback for Captain America. His WWII memories flood back to him and it steels his resolve. When Nick Fury said he was perfect for this mission, he wasn’t kidding.

Cap is equipped with some high tech gadgets that have come in handy dealing with high tech security. MA and I have had a lot of fun playing up Cap’s lack of experience with modern technology. He takes out as many guards without killing them as possible. He uses a Hydra banner flag creatively to quietly take out the guards and get into the castle itself.

We didn’t get too far into the adventure. We stopped after Cap captured a couple of terrified scientists.The German Hydra agents’ fear of Captain America is palpable.

I may have played out dealing with the guards too much. But I wanted to give a feel for the setting. I knew the guards would be no Challenge for Cap.

One aspect about Cap I think MM is playing very well: Balancing hero and soldier. There have been some Hydra deaths, but not brutal or unnecessary. Cap is a soldier and has little tolerance for Nazis or their successors. This is very tricky for most players. Most people go into Punisher mode and suddenly my Superhero game turns into a bloodbath. MA is also playing up Captain America’s intimidation factor. He is a one man army clad in a red white and blue Kevlar/chainmail. And that shield….can you imagine getting *thunked* by that thing?

Nice balance MA. (-:

I have been playing up the German Hydra agents inherent uneasy feeling about Captain America. He is a living reminder of WWII, their Nazi roots, and past defeats.

Annoying Sidenote: I have been trying to speak in a German accent when Cap interacts with the Germans. All (so far) of the Hydra agents are German since we are in Germany. Unfortunately my attempt at a German accent slides into a Russian accent fairly quickly. I know a smattering of Russian in real life and it just takes over.