After the big monster climactic events of session 5, I settled down to prep things more widely. I had plenty to work with, some of which were hanging fire from initial character construction, and some of which had arisen with no planning during play. I was also feeling the pain of not having a group identity in practice, exactly against what my own text said to do. The only solution seemed to be to throw all of the relevant characters into one room and make them hash it out, and also to identify all the established sources of attack upon them, and to turn them all up to “high.”
For that latter purpoe, such sophisticated organizing devices such as these were employed:
I dialed back Monsanto, Myrmidon, Xe (or rather, Academi), and the American Policy Institute to go “soft power” through the universities, which are historically quite vulnerable to it; and turned my attention to AmyBiota, thinking that we could easily get to its actions toward Finn. I was also concerned to focus more on Finn because Brian had, for various reasons, soaked up far more in-play attention and time.
Related to that, and making it easy (I thought), we also had the former Man o’War running around loose. I saw a chance at last to play a less sentimental version of the Hulk, such that the heroes would really have to choose whether to stop him for good, rather than always being diverted toward sympathy for him.
I’d built his complex of Psychological Limitations and Enrages and Multipower slots rather carefully, and played them fairly … there was a pretty good chance that he’d bulk up into the kind of Lee-Kirby city block demolishing monstrosity that the heroes simply have to destroy, “there’s a human being in there” or not. Not a determined outcome, but a chance I was willing to see play out. However, as you’ll see here, due to role-playing and rolls, the classic Hulk story proved robust after all, so heartwarming, but perhaps less brutally final as we might have needed as a group.
Part 1 (below) is mostly the result of me insisting that the heroes and all the immediately-concerned NPCs get into a big discussion together, which resulted in the entirely unplanned group naming. In retrospect it’s a good thing that happened, as I was burning out fast on the rather aimless protagonists at this point.
Part 2 is … well, it is monster action, also featuring Rod truly finding his newly renamed character in terms of personality, powers, and group role.
Kudos goes here to the breakout character, Tweakie, included among the great portraits of the female characters that I asked Rod to provide. I was trying hard to provide them all with distinct personalities and priorities, sometimes perilously close to “NPCs role-play with one another” territory. That also brought in the interesting pinch of being the only person at the table to present any female points of view at all – you can see my uncertainty about that start to flare up in these videos, and later you’ll see some of my attempted solutions for it in session 7.