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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 151 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Ubercon Session  (Read 2357 times)
Brennan Taylor
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« on: March 16, 2005, 01:14:43 PM »

I ran Capes at Ubercon last weekend, and I am still not entirely comfortable with the way I am explaining the game and facilitating play (not as a GM, but as the guy who has actually read and knows the rules).

I had three players, a friend of mine who had gotten a tutorial on the rules earlier at my place, and a father-son team. Dad was there because the son, a 9-year-old, was a mad comic book fan and wanted to play the comic book game. I have to say, the 9-year-old was the most enthusiastic and contributive player at the table.

Basic overview of play:
I start the initial scene and page. I introduce a villain, The Mechanical Skull (first created by my own 9-year-old son, and definitely a recurring character now). My first goal: blow up the dam. The three other players have a shapeshifter (friend), speedster (Dad), and shootist (kid) respectively. After some initial confusion, everyone pretty much gets the way things work. The scene ends badly for the Skull, of course, since he is badly outnumbered.

Friend introduces Scene 2. After the dam incident, The Mechanical Skull is trying to escape. Everyone has various goals in this scene -  to catch the Skull, or to find his secret base. Again, the Skull is thrashed, this time he's sent to jail.

Then comes my favorite part of the game. Kid has been anxious to introduce a scene since the second scene was set. He sets the scene: we have discovered that the Skull has a secret cloning program, and the group must go to his secret volcano base to destroy his clone. He introduces a goal: sneak into the Skull's base. I take the part of the Skull's henchman, but the clone Skull is also in the scene. This is much harder for the heroes. They do sneak in, but end up captured by the Skull's clone.

Overall, I had a good time in this scenario. Kid had an awesome time, and he loved all the control he got in this game.

The problems were mostly from my poor explanations and occasional rules confusions. Narration of events was sketchy and not too satisfying, and Dad had some serious problems with the fact that people could just say anything they wanted regarding their actions. He didn't like some of the narration, and would complain in these cases that the actions 'didn't make sense.' Admittedly, some of friend's narration was a real stretch and no one was really sure what his powers actually represented. Dad also dozed off more than once, so his confusion could partially be due to the fact that he wasn't listening to what was going on half the time.

By the time the volcano base scene started, everyone seemed to get in the groove. The shapeshifter had a much easier time explaining his powers, and the fact that the sides were a bit more evenly matched helped up the challenge level.

I had a good time, I think the players did too, and next time I do a session of Capes I can learn from some of my mistakes. I think a much stricter attention to the narrative aspects (explaining how you use your power to affect the scene, for example) will help.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2005, 06:10:00 PM »

Okay, for some reason my image of the Mechanical Skull is this spidery thingy housing the salvaged brain from a supervillain who got his body smacked to a pulp.  Which may or may not be the case, but bear with me, because....

The CLONE of the Mechanical Skull?  Wouldn't that be... y'know... a full-bodied version of that villain?

I mean... oh my God.  The notion of those two working on the same side gives me shivers.  With friends like this, who needs enemies?  You've got the crippled original, bitter about his loss of body and lacking (to say the least) in ability to direct his presumably considerable charisma.  Then you've got this newcomer who just wants to prove himself to the villain he views as a freaky father figure.  But he can do everything better than the original, and without any of the hardship.  Everything about this kid is going to inflame the bitterness of Mechanical Skull.  How long can it possibly be before, scorned and disappointed at every turn, Junior decides to turn his admiration into hatred?

If the Mechanical Skull is ousted by his own clone... who would he turn to as allies in order to thwart the evil plans of his usurper?  Aren't the heroes who are his erstwhile enemies the logical choice?

See, now I have to run with this.  This is sick in all the right ways.

I'm interested in knowing whether this was even vaguely what was going on at Ubercon.  I mean, if it wasn't I'm just going to run with what it inspired me to anyway, but I'm interested.
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Brennan Taylor
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2005, 07:24:21 AM »

Awesome! It didn't really play out that way at the con since our session was cut a bit short, but yeah, the Mechanical Skull and his clone have built-in conflict. I could definitely see the two of them opposing each other in subsequent scenes, especially since the clone currently had control of the secret base!
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