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A Sort of RPG Scenario Re-Boot

I’ve done some prep work today for my Cottage Con 2015 endeavour. It wasn’t a vast amount. Figuring out some issue titles. Creating some A5 character sheets, they still need a bit of fiddling. Thinking out some loose scene ideas to pull out of the hat. A bit of imagery, etc. All good. It’s even got a title, though it only gained this title when I decided to do a little promo-sheet for the Event on Facebook. I’ve ordered new dice providing me with ten complete sets of polyhedral goodness. I’ve also worked out I’m going to need a laminator, paper cutter and some way to print colour (regrettably the work printer damages the paper).

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I’m surprisingly looking forward to it. As in quite excited. This is unusual. Normally there would be a sense of trepidation, but I’m really getting into the group of people having fun vibe and just see what happens. If it doesn’t turn out a bit average, it’s not like the world is going to end.

Isn’t It A Golden Heroes Scenario?

Yes, it is. Legacy of Eagles was a scenario released by Games Workshop back when they published role-playing games. They released a game called Golden Heroes and they intended to release a series of scenarios for the system but only got to a total of two: Legacy of Eagles and Queen Victoria and the Holy Grail. There was also one in the boxed rules that sort of acted like the introduction to these, called Crossfire, involving a beautiful alien queen crashing to Earth in her battle armour.

I played Golden Heroes a lot. It’s a competition between Golden Heroes and Vampire: The Masquerade as to which game I ran my longest campaign in. I’d not play it now, as is typical when you look back, RPG rules have come along a long way and the Golden Heroes rules are a complete disaster of sub-systems, then even involve doing division in actual play!

In truth, this isn’t me running Legacy of Eagles, not even remotely. It’s actually an amalgamation of numerous things in a number of ways (Legacy of Eagles, a few other classic adventures, Ultimate comics, Marvel Films, general Fantastic Four things) and directly similar to none of them. The way I see it is it uses Legacy of Eagles (and a few other things I’ll not mentioned) in a similar way to how the new Doctor Who used the old series in its early days. It has echoes of it. That’s about it.

It’s like some sort of RPG scenario re-boot thing.

The Pre-Generated Character Thing

I’ve gone for pre-generated characters. Historically I’d have never done this. It was a really big negative running a game with pre-generated characters. Times change. The group has played a lot more convention games so the medium is well known (for others far more than me). I’ve played in a couple of con format games with pre-generated characters and they were fun.

Marvel Heroic also lends itself to that model in that its approach to character creation has its own issues and it certainly isn’t worth getting into those issues for a one-shot. It also means I can make the character dynamics part of the story as I will know what the dynamics at the point of entry. What the outcome might be may well be totally unexpected but the general trajectory is known.

Why Marvel Heroic?

So, if I’m going to find Marvel Heroic a challenge why introduce that variable? Let’s ignore the fact I want to be a challenged and I want to crack running Marvel Heroic as I’ve discussed that before.

The main reason know other system really does the same thing in the same way. I considered other systems and rejected them on the basis of them being less intrusive in the actual play. Mutants and Masterminds, it’s D20 related, but probably relatively simple once characters are done. I looked at Icons (the related edition), which was an option as it’s substantially simpler than Marvel Heroic. I scanned a few other simple sets of PDF rules. Ultimately, I like how Marvel Heroic does one big, but brilliant thing: it’s the great equaliser. It equalises various types of conflict: physical, mental and emotional. It equalises character conflicts so Black Widow can face off against the Hulk and an interesting conflict can result, both in terms of her not being immediately turned into a 2D object and the fact she may beat him by attacking his emotional stress (exactly like in the Age of Ultron movie).

This is why I’ve chosen Marvel Heroic, whichever way I look at it, it’s the system that delivers the most comic book outcomes just by applying it and rolling the dice.

About Ian O'Rourke

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