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A game of With Great Power

Started by klausok, October 04, 2006, 08:50:46 AM

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This is a very slightly expanded version of my post to the Incarnadine forum.

It is now some time since we played the game. I hope this description interests you, even if it is not very positive.

We spent two session creating characters. We have rather short sessions, about 3 hours.

We are 5 players plus yours truly as GM. The five heroes were:

The Rubber Man, a character that bounces like a rubber ball. He also throws rubber balls and is strong and durable. He does not stretch. He was out to discover what became of his old super team (he is a character from a game we played long ago). My impression is that the player was disappointed that he had to come up with his own scenes. He wanted the GM to work out some story and provide him with clues. Strife aspect: his relationship with a daughter of a former team mate. This is a godfather/honorary uncle relationship.

Rainbow has light bending powers. He is a member of The League for Diversity, a Green Lantern Corp like organisation. Strife aspect: his duty uphold the League's (very generally defined) principles.

A survivor from Atlantis, whose name I have forgotten. He was the one player who came up with an old enemy, vide infra. Swordsman. Strife aspect: his duty to create a culture as great as Atlantis. (I took this to mean civilized behaviour, given the description of his enemy, but when asked for examples of what would get him out of his chair he named threats to works of art.)

A character with gravity control powers. Strife aspect: his relationship with his childhood mentor, a priest at the Catholic orphanage where he grew up. He is now head of the institution. I suggested, and the player accepted, that he is now papal chamberlain ("a monsignor", a pad on the back the church can give a priest who is not going to be a bishop) to make him more visible, and thus a more likely target for the villain.

A speedster. Strife aspect: relationship with newsreader girlfriend.

Only the Atlantean had named an old enemy: Major Morality, who does stuff like blowing up abortion clinics and non-Christian places of worship. Powers unspecified. Since the Atlantean feels obliged to stop him, the "culture" in his duty must also have to do with civilized behaviour, not just works of art. I don't think the player saw the irony: these characters are bitter enemies because they both work for the good oldfashioned values.

This is the plan I came up with: Major Morality is going on a crusade to make everyone follow his standards of behaviour. To achieve this, he will use his hypnotic powers on key figures, such a newsreaders and religious leaders, to have them speak up for what is good and right. He has also discovered the identity of a much admired (though currently missing) super hero. When he gets this hero's daughter to stand forward, her words will also carry a great deal of weight.

The priming scenes took a whole session. Looking back I think we should have allowed priming three aspects in a scene. My own first plan for a scene is an example: The Damnation Army captures a newsreader and brings him to the Major, who uses his hypnotic powers on him. But that is three aspects: minions, plan and power, so I had to just drag him away to an unknown fate (which did not really expose much of the plan).

The one scene of the players' I remember was saving people from a burning building. All the heroes took part in that one.

The last game session was the big fight. I had made one change to the rules: up to two players can play a card to the story arch each conflict. I didn't want the first story to be too long, but I didn't want to go through the entire story arch in one scene either.

The player of the Rubber Man had forgotton his character sheet. He said he would be content to watch.

The Major's lieutenant (called Ensign Ethics, or course) and the Damnation Army attacked the opening of a new culture center for the city's large Indian minority. (These are Indian Indians from India.) Various religious leaders and journalists attended, of course. I had planned to have the Major seek out the Rubber Man's contact at the same time. If the Rubber Man had lost, she would have been partially convinced to do as the Major wished while the Rubber Man had "wasted his time" fighting the henchmen.

The players all fought until they had no choice but to give in. The Atlantean even assessed his strife aspect to the point where I could devastate it when he lost, as the last hero. They all lost. The monsignor and the speedster's girlfriend were dragged away by the Damnation Army.

After the fight the players declared that now we had tried With Great Power. Let's talk about what to play next. I would have liked to finished the story, at least, but they insisted that the system is unplayable. The most positive comment I got was: "It may work with three players. It certainly does not work with five."