It’s been a while since my last Game Day column, partly because of a crazy amount of work at home and job, but also because I haven’t been gaming as much as I’d like – I’ve missed two sessions in the last month, and will miss another next month.
Haphazard schedule aside, my Mutants & Masterminds campaign is proceeding nicely. We’re up to Issue #3 of Infinity Storm and the heroes are starting to settle into their roles. They’ve saved the city from a mastermind’s weather machine, helped put down a prison riot, and – as of tonight – have earned themselves some much needed downtime.
Tonight’s session will be largely free-form, with each hero pursuing his own objectives or just trying to live his life in the city (something that will prove to be an unexpected challenge for at least one of our heroes). This is the first open-ended session we’ve done since Issue #0, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the player characters will do now that they’ve gotten to know their new home town of Freedom City a little better.
Coming up with role-playing specific challenges for the heroes was harder than I thought it would be; I think I need to take some time and read through some plot hook generators brainstorming for ideas. I also want to float the idea of the characters taking on specific Complications (as per the Mutants & Masterminds game mechanic) to give me more hang the social aspects of the game on. They have the added advantage of giving players another way to earn hero points, so I suspect everyone will be ok with adding them.
The supplemental blogs for the campaign are doing well – Infinity Storm is up to about 20-25 visits a day. Admittedly, a number of those are from idiots looking for PDF torrents for Hero High and Iron Age), but we’re also seeing some traffic from the Mutants & Masterminds forums, which is cool.
The Constant Sentinel is back on track after a late summer hiatus; I didn’t want to start posting to it again and have the blog get ahead of the campaign, but our recent game sessions have caught things up. It doesn’t see nearly as much traffic as Infinity Storm, but perhaps that’ll change as the blog grows and the main campaign site accumulates more traffic.
The recent flurry of posts on the Sentinel recap events in Freedom City, namely the powerful storm summoned by the evil genius Dr. Stratos to destroy Blackstone Prison and free Devil Ray, one of his Crime League cohorts. There’s also a post about InfinityLord’s (the character who pens the blog) obsession with a new Freedom City weather girl and a potential plot hook about the arrival of indy rock band The Kings in Yellow (whom we learn is one of InfinityLord’s favorite bands).
One of my characters has created a new commenter for the blog by the name of Herald, a conspiracy theorist who refuses to accept the official version of any story. I’m going to be adding a new character of my own – REDPLANET – whose going to be throwing some verbal political bombs and screeds InfinityLord’s way about the rise of the FreeSpace Inc., a superhero-powered aerospace corporation and Paladin’s connections to the techno-military-industrial complex.
New Power Sources
A while back, when Green Ronin was offering discounted PDFs as part of its Free RPG Week promotion, I picked up a copy of the Agents of Freedom PDF. It’s a rulebook detailing how to run Checkmate/SHIELD style campaigns within the Freedom City setting.
It’s a useful book to have, particularly for those running a Freedom City campaign. It details three law enforcement agencies that deal with supers, from the STAR Squad (local enforcement in Freedom City) to AEGIS (federal) and UNISON (United Nations) as well as the neo-Nazi supervillain organization known as SHADOW.
There are rules for creating agent-level characters (generally power levels 4-6), generic and named characters for each agency, and new equipment rules for those nifty tank-mounted rayguns the cops show up with when some villain goes on a rampage. Combined with the prison sourcebook Lockdown, I think it has everything you need to run a law-and-order campaign from suspect chase to lock-up. Even if law enforcement doesn’t play a major part in your campaign (and it doesn’t in mine; none of the player characters are officers) it’s still great to have that background information available on exactly who shows up to deal with a villain once the heroes have beaten him.