Thursday, May 17, 2012

In Which The Warlock Comes Up With a Backup Plan...

For those of you playing along at home, you may have noted that I haven't been talking much about our romps in Deadlands on Friday night.  Truth be told, it's been quite a while since we've actually had a session of "The Flood"!  Real-life issues took their toll, between our trip to C2E2, some illnesses, and a few alternate obligations, resulting in over a month of missed sessions!

Yeesh!  That's a lot of time.  But, many groups face the same situation--what do you do when you need the whole group present, and it just hasn't happened?

For us, the answer is usually board games.  Arkham Horror is a particular favorite, as two sessions of that can fill an entire game night for us.  Lately, we also broke out Innsmouth Escape and had a blast with Munchkin Axe Cop.  These are usually good for single night sessions where we're just looking to unwind after a long week, but occasionally we just get the itch for some actual dice-rolling RPG that a board game just can't scratch.

The PlatinumChick and I, after years of running games for conventions, have quite the library of one shots.  Under normal circumstances, we tend to use these sorts of nights for playtesting.  Most of my WEGS games and several of our other one-offs get tested with our home group when a few players are missing.  Again, that's good for most circumstances, but when we don't exactly have a lot of one-shots to test this year, due to the Origins date change, that leaves that option out in the cold.

So, the question has been:  "What do we do now?"

Straight from the comics, onto my gaming table! 
Iron Man and the Avengers take on Carnage in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
The answer, interestingly enough, arose from one of my recent reviews:  Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.  After going to see The Avengers a few weeks ago (and again a week later...), we were all really high on some superhero goodness, and I was eager to give the system a run.

So, with no prep at all, we decided to delve into the book-built scenario, based on Brian Michael Bendis' "Breakout" arc from "New Avengers".  Serendipitously taking on Bendis' Avengers--Iron Man, Captain America, Miss Marvel, and Wolverine--we dialed up the action as the SHIELD/Riker's Island prison known as "The Raft" exploded with an EMP pulse.  With Iron Man in the in the sub-basements upgrading security and the rest up top, examining some new holding cells with Maria Hill, we started with the party already split....and Carnage making a beeline for Iron Man!

The nice thing about all this?  I've already managed to lay down enough plot hooks in one session to provide a ton of possible "episodes" in the future.  Where did Carnage escape to, after attacking Iron Man?  Who was at fault for the explosion?  Who were the infiltrators in the northwest guard tower, and what's their relationship to "Mutants Sans Frontiers"? 

While we're hoping to get back to "The Flood" this week--with the Battle of Shan Fan, no less!--we'll be revisiting MHR off and on, when we have missing members.  And, it's already looking to be spectacular!

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