One of our players wasn't able to play, based on his internet connection, so we weren't going to have more than seven characters, with the following Avengers available for the various scenes:
Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Daredevil, Moon Knight, Tigra, Wolverine, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Thing and Yellowjacket.
Everyone was going to start out in Avengers Tower, with a crisis just around the corner. Essentially I wanted to give the group a little head's up and a transition scene if they wanted to create resources before they dove into the first action scene, but as has been pointed out, here and a few other places in the night, I let things lag just a bit too much.
Almost out of the gate, things slowed down quite a bit, and we didn't start with a bang like I would have liked. It was my fault. I waited a bit too long to pull the trigger and was hoping the players would do something big from a cold start, which in retrospect is pretty silly.
That said, once things got moving, the night moved along fairly well, and the action seemed to be pretty descriptive and action oriented. In the first scene the group had to deal with a MGH drugged Goliath, where they used a combination of complications, intimidation, and a big Iron Man delivered sucker punch.
Then the media showed up. I wanted this scene to go well, and my players delivered. The tension of the press asking pointed questions made most of the heroes uncomfortable, and they were scrambling to get away for the most part, and boy did that Doom Pool grow. The media creating a tense atmosphere seemed appropriate for the opening scenes of Civil War.
The group got a pair of leads, one that led to a front lab producing MGH inhabited by the Serpent Society, and the other requested guard duty in Broxton, Oklahoma, due to some object falling from the sky. They went to the lab first, since it was in New York.
The scene went pretty quick. Due to the media, the Doom Pool rose to such a state that Hulk was going to rampage, so instead of taking time off for Hulk to savage the team, I spent the 2d12 to have Hulk destroy the lab and all evidence therein.
I wasn't quite sure I should have kept Hulk from rampaging. The first time it happened in the campaign, I probably should have just let it happen, but I really wanted to vent a bit of the Doom Pool after the success I had with the reporters.
Regardless of whether Hulk should have gone wild or not, Moon Knight really stepped up, nearly killing Diamondback while interrogating Cobra. Iron Man was so upset by Moon Knight's interrogation that he started charging his weapons, Moon Knight gave him a tongue lashing, and Iron Man took off with emotional trauma and left the scene. More or less in a manner orchestrated on purpose by Iron Man and Moon Knight's players.
Finally, the party headed to Oklahoma for guard duty, and eventually ran afoul of Doctor Doom and a whole slew of Doombots. Doom held his own, but I didn't get too tricky with him. After a pretty drawn out fight, with the rest of the team trashing the army of Doombots, Wolverine tore through Doom himself . . . and found out he was a Doombot as well.
The session was good. It was actually a great session. It wasn't perfect, and I learned a few things, and hopefully I'll be able to remember those lessons in the future.
- I need to pull the trigger on action quick whenever people don't have a strong preference to describe what they are doing in a scene, or when decision making is taking a while.
- I need to be careful in how I'm managing the Doom Pool. I want it big, but I also want it to help me tell some memorable stories.
- I need to do a better job communicating Watcher to player. I had a player that probably should have had more of a head's up on who he could have used for the scene, but I didn't take any time to specifically ask about that especially well suited character.
- Especially in the middle fight, I didn't cycle through all of the players and their characters as efficiently as I would have liked, in part because I pulled the trigger on the Doom Pool just a bit early to avoid Hulk's rampage.
Despite needed to learn those lessons, I'm thinking this really got off to a good start. The group seems to be excited, we have some good characterizations going on, and our Road to Civil War seems to be right on track for some serious conflict.