Saturday, June 2, 2012

Game Night--DC Adventures: The Beginning of the End (of the Beginning?)(June 2nd, 2012)

I ran a session of the DC Adventures session that apparently my entire DCA crew thought was going to be the last session.  I guess I've been telling them so long that there was a definite endpoint to the campaign that they really started looking for where that end might be.

Last session the sub-space interference that was keeping interstellar travelers away fell, and a couple of Green Lanterns showed up.  This session, the group was all ready to finally go to the reality rift near Jupiter where the JLA/JSA/Titans disappeared months ago.

I decided to do something a little different for the beginning of the adventure, which only worked moderately well.  That's okay, though, because it informed what I may have done wrong.  See, the GLs showed the party a recording of what happened right before the device that tore a hole in reality went off, a transmission that just reached them once the sub-space interference cleared up.

Instead of just explaining what the party would be watching, I printed out some members of the Justice League and let them pick a member before the session started.  Here is where I think I made the mistake.  I was trying to be too clever, and had them pick, all secret like, without telling them what was going on.

Thus, I had Green Lantern  (John Stewart), Captain Atom, Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman for the group to play, in a fight with the Sinestro Corps, to learn what happened leading up to the beginning of the campaign.

I have at least one player that isn't that familiar with established DC heroes, and my player that took Flash had little to do with him.  I tried to get a range of recognizable characters, but looking back, I should have given them at least some information.  As a GM, if you want your players to play along, sometimes you have to realize that it is a collaborative effort.  If I did it over again, I think I'd tell them between sessions that they would be playing through the events leading up to the start of the campaign, and at least remind them that they would be fighting the Sinestro Corps in space, and ask them who from the JLA/JSA/Titans they wanted to play in this scenario.

As a GM, you may want to hold some surprises back for the sake of story telling, but if you hold too much back from them, they don't have the tools help you tell what is, in the end, a collaborative story.

This isn't to say that we didn't have fun, just that everyone was a bit off kilter having this sprung on them.  In the end, the group not only took out Sinestro and a dozen of his followers  (I set them up as minions since this was just a quick establishing scene), but they also altered how the adventure in the present was going to work.

Side Note:  There is an optional rule in the Gamemaster's Guide for M&M 3e that essentially lets any minion effectively interpose for their boss unless the PCs have some means of subverting cover, like a ricochet effect on a power.  I keep wanting to use this, but I don't, in part, because I didn't start the campaign using this.  Does make master villains fighting the heroes a bit more dangerous "by themselves," i.e. without other big name villains.  Future plans.

See, Atrocitus was allied to the "later to be revealed villain," and when he showed up at the end of the recording, the PCs managed to hold him down and take away his item that allowed him to remain free of the effects of the reality damaging weapon, which meant that there was no Red Lantern backup for the main villain later in the game.

The group ended up at the rift with the Green Lanterns, and they run into the Time Trapper, who has been intentionally walling off realities to create friction in time, and thus generating hypertime, which Time Trapper would then use to alter reality to what he wants it to be.

Essentially, my totally self serving goal in this entire campaign was to explain that there are still infinite universes, and not just 52 all predicated only on changes on one planet.  Yeah, I spent a year setting that up.

Time Trapper had no Red Lantern back up, due to the PCs actions when they were playing the Justice League.  I allowed Myrmidon to use his social skills to get Time Trapper to reveal his entire plan, even though he planned on killing them all, and from Time Trappers rant, they figured out that their "reality in a snowglobe" devices that staved off the spread of hypertime earlier in the campaign could be used to break the barriers between realities, thus destroying any means of generating hypertime and making it no harder to travel from one alternate reality to another, rather than trying to break through barriers to do so.

Time Trapper had a rather nasty ability that was linked to do damage and also weaken Toughness, with the ultimate effect being wiping someone out of reality.  Myrmidon spent a lot of time explaining where to punch Time Trapper in the tender bits, and eventually he went down.  Then Paradox flew back to Earth to get the "snow globes" and toss them into the rift.

When this was done, the rift sealed, the freighter with the prohibited weapons popped back into reality, and the JLA and company showed up with the Sinestro Corps and Atrocitus all wrapped up and ready for long term incarceration.

Back on Earth, Superman was willing to step aside and let the New Guard keep the Justice League title  (at least after he got over the shock of the Fortress of Solitude being destroyed), but the New Guard handed the keys to the Watchtower back to the "Old Guard," and went back to their very own headquarters in Central City . . . to get ready for Myrmidon's wedding!

Myrmidon's wedding was attended by many of the Justice League, although Necromancer had to convince Myrmidon to invite the "geezers" from the JSA, after he and Wildcat got into an argument on the Watchtower.  Raptor Force from Canada showed up as well, as did most of the Greek Pantheon.  The group even convinced Mongal to come back to escort her prince Marathon to the wedding.

The wedding went off without a hitch.  Then news arrived from Paradise Island that the island was being invaded by forces led by Devastation.

Yup.  One more big event before the campaign is over.  So what does happen to Tartarus and gates thereto if Olympus and the gods are gone/powerless?

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