1st Play Session: Marvel RPG

Tues night, I got a couple of my fellow D&D players to sit with me and roll a few dice over the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game.

Jody, our D&D rogue, doesn’t know much about comics aside from what he has picked up, casually, through the Marvel movies that have popped up in the last decade. He chose Wolverine.

Eric is our Pathfinder DM game. He had bought the Marvel game too and built his own version of Gambit for the session. I never know what Eric knows, but he seems to be pretty up on comics in general.

None of us have played or run a super-hero game before. Hilarity ensues… (sorta)

The Game

We only had two hours, so I put our heroes to tracking down Carnage in the sewers of NY. Gambit dimly illuminates the dark tunnels by charging a card (a d4 asset, due to the size and fragility of the card). Wolverine easily defeats the Pervasive Stench (d8) to navigate the Maze of Twisty, Narrow Tunnels (d8) and track down the villain’s underground lair.

The damp duo arrive at a hole in the floor of a junction. The trail ends here. Wolverine jumps into the forgotten cistern and drops 20 feet into the waist-high water. He lands on his feet, brandishing his adamantium claws in an intimidating display!

Round 1

Wolverine’s keen senses cannot detect Carnage, partly because he is looking in the wrong place! Cassidy clings to the ceiling far above.

The aggro arachnid lashes out at Gambit from beneath the floor. Tentacles whip over the lip of the hole and try to entangle the thief. Luckily, Remy parrys with his staff.

Never to be out-shone during an entrance, the master-thief somersaults through the hole and into the cistern. In mid-air, he twists and lets fly a kinetic assault that blast the ceiling where Carnage had ambushed him from. Gambit’s aim is true, but the murderous madman is already in motion! Carnage is also in free-fall, where it becomes a trivial matter to use his web-slinging to change momentum and kick Remy in the head as swings past. Lebeau lands face first in the dirty water.

Carnage lands safely on the wall of the cistern.

Round 2

Gambit rises, drenched in sewer water. The ragin’ Cajun throws the full deck at Carnage, resulting in a colossal area attack from which there is no apparent escape! Cassidy foolishly trusts in his own durability to soak the damage, but sustains a significant physical injury.

Wolverine punches his claws into the wall again and again as he climbs up toward the villain. Recalling Carnage’s weakness to sonic assaults, Logan locates an empty pipe and bangs on it with one hand. The hollow steel reverberates and amplifies sound to a fortuitous degree. Carnage screams!

Having failed to divide and conquer, Carnage attempts to put some distance between himself and Wolverine. He tries to swing away, but Logan’s claw neatly slices the webbing. It’s now Cassidy’s turn to take a tumble into the water below!

Round 3

Satisfied with the result of his last attack, Wolverine repeats it. Carnage stays underwater, hoping that the liquid barrier would lessen the assault to some degree, but it is all for naught. As the steel pipe sings, it vibrates loose of the rusty bolts that held it aloft and falls upon the vanquished villain.


It took two hours to get through that brief exchange, but that wasn’t the fault of the system. We all walked away willing to try the game again.

Playing at the local FLGS got us some attention and we had many, many interruptions. I also had to look a few things up because I never felt that I had opportunities and reactions quite right. Jody didn’t know comic books that well, so there were question there too.

Play went smoother the further in that we were. Even though he sometimes floundered on how to play Wolverine, Jody always rolled well. That went a long way towards selling him on the Marvel RPG 😉 Eric’s Gambit didn’t work out so well, but it was all in good fun and we all got a chuckle about that tumble into the sewer water.

Eric managed to stay flush with plot points for Gambit, but it took Jody a little time to give in and play some negatives to earn points back. I felt that I was going to struggle to grow the doom pool, but this was a simple combat with no complicating elements. I can build those opportunities into the design of the next action scene that I run.

We were just there to get a handle on the basic mechanic and I felt that we achieved that. Next time, I think I’ll take a scene from the Avengers movie and run mobs as well as a large-scale threat to so how those handle.


~ by Hunter Rose on May 24, 2012.

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