Greetings True Believers!
GenCon Report 2 coming in a bit behind schedule do to life. I hate it when that happens, don’t you?
I had the opportunity to run official sessions of MarvelRPG at GenCon for Margaret Weis Productions. They had several Watchers running sessions of four different scenarios (three of which were brand new to GenCon) throughout the Con. In a lot of ways we were playtesting new content, which is always exciting. What’s even more exciting is when some of your favorite heroes and villains are involved, and appearing for the first time.
I think Cam Banks (who is lead on the line) must have known this because these adventures were chock full of brand new characters. I’m going to try to geek out a little bit without drifting into heavy spoiler territory, but consider yourself warned.
I got to run two of the new scenarios: Guardians of the Galaxy and New Mutants: Siege! The Guardians of the Galaxy will be coming in the Annihilation line when it drops from MWP later this year. I was very excited about running this gem, as I really loved the team as they were re-introduced in the Annihilation comics. You see familiar faces like Star Lord, Mantis, Rocket Raccoon, Quasar and a few others, facing one of the biggest challenges in the known universe. Not bad for a three-hour session. Cam Banks once joked on Twitter that when Annihilation hits we’re all going to need more d12s, and he wasn’t lying. If running this event taught me anything, it’s that you can really do epic things in a short amount of time without being bogged down by mechanics. The School of Hard Knocks rule (where the PCs get 1 XP for every d12 the Watcher rolls) came up way more than I’ve ever seen and some of the “weakest” characters on the field wracked up the most milestone XP the quickest. Your crazy friend, who loves playing the Punisher, (you have this friend right?) is going to love it when they get their hands on Rocket Raccoon.
The New Mutants scenario was a What If? that lands these young X-Men as the last hope against a corrupt Norman Osborn. It’s very open-ended, and really highlights the non-linear style of MarvelRPG Events. I hope it eventually gets released to the public because I think it could be used as the start point on how sandbox-style adventures could be written in other systems. Again, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say that Cypher will change the way your players view power. Everything is language, after all.
If you want to see some player reactions, check out the forums at MargaretWeiss.com.
My Marvel experience didn’t end with official slots, mind you. I brought the characters from my House of M Event (I actually brought all my characters) for some quick pick-up games. Gaming Conventions can be great places to learn a new game just from stumbling into somebody who wants to play. It also helps to hold up hand-made signs that ask “Do you want to play the Marvel RPG?” I filled hotel lobbies with the sound of Deadpool and Wolverine taking down Apocalypse and airport terminals with the exploits of the self proclaimed best Moon Knight ever. I can attest that I’ve never seen a Moon Knight use hockey fight tactics so effectively.
I think this reflects how comfortable I’ve become with the game. Once you know how much time you have, it’s easy to cater the scale of the game. Next time, though, I think I’ll just bring the heroes and villains I need for one specific scenario, and cut things as needed. That three-inch binder was heavy, and I don’t think Plot Points or MWP are going to slow down on creating new character soon.