Friday, November 14, 2008

The Home Team Returns

After last week's rather unsuccessful attempt to run M&M while the returns were coming in on the presidential race, this week's session was great!

The set up for the game was pretty standard, but most of the players are unfamiliar with the system, so I wanted an encounter that would serve as a learning experience for us. A number of the first few sessions will be like that. I want the players to experiment with their powers, their feats, and the combat system a bit so they can see what they like and what they don't.

During this game the PCs were asked to check out some weird goings-on down by the docks at the behest of their government liaisons Agents Nolan and Parish. The characters all split up because they had some time to kill before meeting up at the docks. A couple of characters did some legwork, then started their stakeout.

Time passed, nothing major seemed to be happening (other than finding a diner nearby with good muffins), so they changed their location and continued to watch for anything unusual. Eventually Bug spotted something happening on the docks far to the east of their location. Anemone checked it out astrally and told the others that the "longshoremen" were German and they were quickly loading a tramp steamer with crates. The Home Team charged into action. Bug moved into the steamer to sabotage it. Patriot set off his area of effect dazzle and blinded some of the thugs. Anemone teleported to the end of the pier and used Fearsome Presence to intimidate some of the men down there. And Sally Steel tried to intimidate some of the men into giving up.

The Nazi thugs put up a fight and one of their number tranformed into a werewolf -- who actually managed to tag Anemone with a claw. Unfortunatley, the fight quickly turned against the bad guys and when the thugs all fell or were entangled, Sea-Wolf dove into the water to make his getaway.

During the fight no one tried anythign particularly funky, although it was nice to see some of them actually take some damage and have to rethink their tactics a bit. Sally Steel took advantage of her high strength to grab one of the Nazis and hurl him into another, which knocked them both out and into the water. (Which was pretty cool.) Then tried the same thing with a crate, but she ended up burning through it and setting it on fire. But it didn't matter because the Nazi she threatened with it surrendered because he had at least that much sense.

After the fight, Sally watched the thugs while the other members of the team investigated the boat. Then she spotted some "amphibimen" who'd emerged from the water and were trying to steal two of the crates. With the aid of Anemone and Patriot they drove the creatures off, but it's still a mystery as to what they were up to.

Upon examining the contents of the crates the team discovered mystical tomes and ancient artifacts. Clearly a collection of morsels to feed Hitler's appetite for occult items.

After that long recap, I really just wanted to say how much fun the game was. One of the players said the fight had a good balance of looking pretty easy while also maintaining a bit of menace, which was good to hear. I had no interest in knocking out or seriously endangering any of the characters. It's important for me when running a game for players new to that game to have the first few sessions be mostly about fun and learning the system. No heavy story concepts. No major defeats. It's my time to lay some groundwork and set the tone of the game. Plus, most importantly, I want to make the players feel like they're playing heroes and not schlubs with powers.

After this session, I'm pretty jazzed about the game. Now I have to figure out exactly what the characters are going to want to do next. Investigating the books and artifacts will be high on the lsit, but I still have more story to tell that doesn't invovle that. I'll give it some thought.

Stand by for adventure!

Monday, November 10, 2008

WizKids: The End

I just had this announcement from Topps/WizKids passed along to me be Seth.

This makes me so very, very sad.

I wish I had some ability to do something about it. I'd love to take over some of those lines and turn it into a viable business again.

But, at the same time I'm thankful for the time I spent there. It changed my life. I moved to the Seattle area for that job. I loved working on the games. I loved the people I worked with. I advanced my career significantly. And I met my girlfriend.

I knew when I left two-plus years ago that it was the right time to get out. I knew I didn't want to be there for the (not-so-)long slide to failure, but it's still very sad to see it go away completely.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Television Shall Be Our Destroyer!

I "ran" M&M last night, but because it was election night we got very little gaming done. We mostly wrapped up the conversations that grew out of last session's short fight with Iron Cross and his Iron Troopers at the War Bond Rally and had a short encounter with some mobsters who wanted to reintroduce themselves to the Bug.

The TV was on in the background, but it was just too large a distraction to get much done, especually since everyone around the table was invested in what was happening on screen. So, we stopped to watch McCain concede and we stopped to watch Obama be presidential, plus a few other moments of joking about the pundits and projections.

Anyway, the game was sort of a waste and we're going to pick it up next week when the PCs go to investigate some unusual activity on the waterfront.

Lesson relearned: Don't have a TV on when you're trying to game.