Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Infinite Crisis Management

Recapping our last session (this past Saturday) in the continuing saga of 'The New Age of Champions', Omni (Major NPC in charge of the UN sponsored superteam Project: UNITY) visits the heroes to get a sense of how they are doing. Everyone is really tired, low to without power (Endurance in HERO System speak) and well aware that the recently defeated villains (escapees from the setting's Super-Max security prison) were on their way to a meeting with whoever staged their premature release.

Omni spends quite a bit of time talking to The Power, the only one on the team who took any real physical damage. This turned into a heated debate over what the heck he was thinking, which turned into a heated debate between the Players and I when Marcus (the Power's Player) tried to turn it all around to make it look like the rest of us, especially one other PC, were grandstanding and showing off instead of rescuing him once they realized he was in trouble.

Now, he was mistaken but that is not what really got me and the others a bit miffed. It was that, simply put, if you make a dopey move, man up and say "Damn that was crazy. What a dopey move. Sorry gang." We all do stupid things in games. Own it and move on.

As it started to waste serious game time I eventually let the two players directly involved in the discussion, Marcus and Dave, work it out amongest themselves and, I am happy to say, they did. Meanwhile, Lee/Arcane and Ray/Professor N, refocused on a subplot/background issue that's been going on through the last few sessions. A dimensional disturbance that moves from plane to plane and parallel Earth to parallel Earth.

Professor N is something of a Reed Richards type character specializing in Dimensions and Quantum Reality Physics or some-such other odd super-science area of expertise.

Arcane is...well...hard to explain. It's my friend Lee's character and Lee sometimes (usually) over-thinks and over-explains his ideas, resulting in said ideas being harder to understand. The basics are that Arcane can control Electromagnetic Energy and Manipulate Weak and Strong Nuclear Forces. He can use these abilities to control energy, warp space, sense things through the Earth's magnetic field and a number of other tricks. He can also communicate* (sort of telepathically) with alternate Earth versions of himself who form a team to prevent evil Arcanes from forming or from travelling to a world where they can do serious damage. It's actually a very cool idea but one that comes with a lot of baggage and added elements that you have to sift through to reach this very cool concept.

If I sound like between the lines I am venting a little frustration I apologize, not just to my readership but to my players as well. The campaign is going great but sometimes we hit little snags that turn into bigger-than-they-need-to-be snags. Originally I had two or three players trying to tell a good story. Now I have five guys who, while telling a good story, sometimes like to push or one-up each other. That's fine and it makes for an exciting game but don't let it take over the session. Dig? Righteous.

So where was I? Oh yeah...

Anyway, with the help of dimensional sciences specialist NPC 'The Legionnaire', the PCs are able to better track the anomaly they'd been watching and soon discovered a second similar one. It appeared the two were on a collision course with the expected fallout placing the new anomaly on a path toward our dimension. And by fallout, anomaly and path I mean that a large and muscular, plane travelling humanoid entity was about to pierce the dimension barriers and crash at Mach 2 into a school in Arkansas.

Now Ray, normally content to be a less active, background or at least support character, really took charge in this scenario. He went from Prof. Reed Richards to Capt. Crisis Management in the blink of an eye. It was awesome. He called the right characters into play in the right positions, figured out exactly when and where the entity would fall and where he himself needed to be to be of maximum use and effectiveness.

As it turned out, the entity did not come into our dimension alone. A number of strange, salmon-pink, glowing imp-like creatures where attached to him or flying in pursuit, trying to drag him back into the infinite multiversal ether. Neat huh?

To be continued...

Barking Alien

*I originally wrote that Arcane can 'control' alternate Earth versions of himself. That is not the case. He can communicate with them to gain advice and insight into situations that may have transpired already on their worlds. He knows that there may be differences in the events, participants and key details on these parallel Earths.

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