I am a fan of RPGs and it is so much easier to get players into RPGs that they can easily visualize what is going on and even more so when they can learn the game easily so my interest in the TSR Marvel Superheroes RPG has been steadily growing because it uses Marvel characters, it is super easy to visualize and the rules make sense. If they don’t I honestly go by feeling like a real Marvel Editor. In addition, all of the books are in a strange legal gray area so you can download them all here, – really you just need the player’s guide and the judge’s book for this.
So now my goal or one of them is to try and make some new content with the Marvel RPG system – update some characters and try some new rules (so many characters had radios as important technological features), especially since Heroclix makes is easier to get exact figures of most of the characters you might want to use, and usually you can get them on a budget (except for a good Janet Van Dyne Wasp and Clint Barton Hawkeye and a few other weird ones). Anyway, go Marvel RPG!
Below is the guide for the Avengers Assemble one-shot which pits the Avengers, or really any team of your choice, against a strong set of interesting enemies while letting your players and yourself learn the ropes of the game. The game works best though with the recommended characters.
Also a big thank you to Chris Sims for suggesting the enemies for this one shot.
Originally played at UD Con 2014.
When I played this the last time, I used the basic secret base/park map that comes with the Legion of Superheroes Starter kit. It isn’t really rare or hard to get as far as Heroclix starters go (I’m looking at you Pacific Rim) so you can get it via Amazon for $9.99 it is a full set of characters and it is in general a nice huge map. I also used the satellite item as a piece of the broken Avengers base.
Suggested Characters: Black Widow, Black Panther, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye (Clint Barton or Kate Bishop), Hulk or She-Hulk and Wasp.
Really anyone is usable, I just used this suggested team so there is a better ratio of female to male characters and so there is a diversity of roles. I did have a few alternates I considered but here, nobody is overpowered, everyone needs to work together and everyone has a goal. If your Captain America player feels board, remind them to use leadership to help out and push the power feat where he bounces the shield off multiple targets!
Note: I also don’t like to use Vision since he is part of the encounter though he could be replaced by an Iron Man suit or by increasing the number cannons. I also used Yellowjacket and Ms Marvel here because they have normal and Skrull figures which leads to a cool in game effect. Also Yellowjacket’s sheet is not included due to how he is used in the adventure.
Part 1: The Juggernaut
The Juggernaut has shown up in the local park (park side of the map). Yellowjacket and Ms Marvel/Captain Marvel depending on what era you want to play (go Carol Corps!) have been holding him off while evacuating the park but now they need you, the rest of the Avengers, to take over while they prepare the Avengers Mansion in case things get worse.
I started the team on one end of the road closer to the houses, Juggernaut on the other Park side and Yellowjacket and Ms Marvel about an 1/8th of the way away from Juggernaut’s end.
The first part really serves to allow your team an enemy they can mess up against and try strategies on. While a Juggernaut sheet is included I generally allow the players to stop him in about 2-3 rounds depending on how much they are hitting them, though I also make a point about how weak he seems. Let them miss hitting him, let them learn about losing karma when they break public property and private property, etc. Usually Yellowjacket and Ms Marvel have left the team by this point. Lie if you need to about Juggernaut’s damage when he hits them.
Once the party has gotten in enough hits, the next big hit knocks him out and he transforms to reveal the face of a SKRULL!!!! For those players without a Marvel background, remind them that the Skrulls are evil alien invaders who can change the way they look and the special class of Super Skrulls can copy powers from multiple heroes.
+100 points – defeating Juggernaut Skrull
+20 points – capturing him as well
-20 points – leaving him behind after he is defeated
Part 2: Invasion
The Avengers base is on high alert – unfortunately for the Avengers they aren’t recognized as friends – not even by the Vision who seems to be glitching. When the Avengers re-enter the base (on the base side of the map) the defense cannons are trained on them. And Yellowjacket seems to be messing with the JARVIS system! In 20 minutes, Iron Man suits are going to attack and destroy targets all over the world! And Ms. Marvel is messing with the teleporters to sneak in more Skrulls! You have to stop them and save the world!
I used about 8 dice to represent the cannons trained on the entrance point of the map. Ms Marvel was in the top leftmost circular computer station and Yellowjacket was at the far right computer dock. Each turn I rolled actions for them. Ms. Marvel brings in other Skrulls starting with Mar-Vell and then FF Super Skrull, X-men Super Skrull and then Avengers Super Skrull as long as she is at the computer. Yellowjacket meanwhile works to reduce the countdown. On a green it goes down 2 numbers, on a yellow it goes down 3 and on a red it goes down 4. If he misses it still just goes down one. The only ways to stop them are to destroy the computers – which gives karma loss and causes malfunctions bringing in extra Skrulls and reducing the timeline or to get the Skrulls away.
Vision is the first threat though along with the turrets, the Avengers have to help their comrade in need. This generally requires hacking into him – positive karma, or defeating him – negative karma. He generally keeps turning his phasing on and off to keep the Avengers from being able to stop him but any electrical charge or energy blast can help to weaken him. He requires a Yellow computer check to resume normal working standards though he will be too weak to assist with the fight. You will believe an android can cry!
Also there is the cannons – those stupid sucky cannons. Generally they do a flat EX damage (20) since most characters have reduction. As for stopping them either a Green Security or Computers check or something similar, knocks them out. Alternately any attack that connects will break them – but once again you lose Karma (and money).
+100 – Saving Vision
-20 – WITH PUNCHES!
+10 – Deactivated Camera
-5 – WITH PUNCHES!
Part 3: Skrull and Bones
Now you can finally fight the Skrulls. Keep the same rules as before. If for whatever reason your Juggernaut Skrull escapes (like if Shulkie tries to use him as a projectile to attack Yellowjacket) then he will help whoever he lands next to increasing their efficiency as seems fit – cut it close but not too close.
Once the Ms. Marvel Skrull is away or once all of the Skrulls are out she is done, nothing to worry about. The Super Skrulls are there to deal and take damage, play them as you want. When things get tough I give Avengers Skrull a Drive-By Mjolnir attack hitting everyone on the team for a lot of damage. X-Skrull generally works to bleed the tougher members or to teleport them around disrupting attacks. And the Super Skrull Classic® is more of a brawler, have people try to grapple him and then burst him into flames. Good times!
Yellowjacket is a bigger threat. He keeps going till he is knocked out – cut it close with him. He isn’t going to attack and he just uses shrinking to get back to the computer. If your characters reach the computer or reverse hack, Yellowjacket’s efficiency automatically goes down by 1 for each result and for each success, except failures you add time on – Green +2, Yellow +3, Red +5, White – 3. Once you hit 20 points, the timer cancels and the Iron Man suits won’t go to kill the world leaders or what have you. If you actually fail the mission, the planet is left in such a weakened state that the Skrulls take over. You lose. That sucks.
But you are going to save the day! Congratulate the players, rundown the karma with them and see what is up next with the Marvel RPG!
+100 – Each Super-Skrull defeated
+100 – Ms Marvel Defeated
+150 – Per Skrull Ms Marvel Was Not Able To Summon
+100 – Captain Mar-vell Defeated
+200 – Stopping the Iron Man attacks
-100 – Losing a character
-All – Skrulls Win