In Which We Encounter Murder

Last night I ran a simple plot that I created simply to showcase a cool villain. Some might say lazy writing; I say I captured the spirit of the golden age. The adventure began with a pair of the heroes witnessing the final act of a man falling from a dangerous height, i.e. they saw a guy hit the pavement. The quickly ascertained his identity and checked his place of work, noticing he had a meeting shortly before his supposed suicide attempt. Deciding that something was amiss the heroes uncovered the name of the man who had met with the victim and traveled out to his farm. Awaiting them was a man of some Native American heritage who was civil, but less than honest.

As a couple members moved to attack him, apparently being less than honest is a punchable offense, a huge swarm of ravens descended upon the heroes outside, nearly putting Aviator out of the battle immediately. As the heroes inside the house cornered the farmer, a second swarm of ravens slammed into the house, shattering windows, destroying doors, and filling the place with deadly beaked vengeance. When the destruction was over the farmer was gone, and so was all evidence of the attacking birds. After searching the farm the heroes located the body of the real owner and quickly went back into town to confirm their suspicions. The Native American was not the real owner, and had been attempting to illegally obtain an ancient artifact.

The heroes got permission to retrieve the artifact, I believe they were assuming the land was haunted and wished to replace the spear…which is not a bad idea. Upon obtaining the spear they began to head to the farm once again. However, on the way a flock of ravens once again showed up and wrecked the truck containing the spear…and Sentry. Now with two heroes nearly out of the fight the villain, calling himself “Murder”, assaulted the group with his evil birds of death. The heroes used some nice teamwork and took down the threat, eventually turning him over to the government and the bank used the profits from selling the spear to give the old farmer a decent burial. Also, the guy who fell from the building lived.

 Notes: For a few weeks I had this idea of a cool Indian character (I need to assign him to a real tribe at some point) who could summon ravens. However I could never get a good plot working around it. I began working on a decent mystery, but couldn’t get the pieces connected so I ended up with a generic follow the pieces plot about an attempted murder. My players seemed to have a hard time getting on board at the beginning which I take some blame for. I failed to provide a decent amount of hooks, and also had a couple scotch&sodas so I wasn’t at 100% for the first couple of scenes. Although I feel my players were a bit blasé about a man nearly dying in close proximity to them.

I also got a feel for just how important each player having dice is. I know there are diceless systems, and I respect the notion, but one of my players lost his die and I had to roll for him. It destroyed the balance between storytelling and gaming. Also I was rolling really badly for him so he finally managed to find some dice to use.

I’s rate it as a par session. It could have been better, but everything didn’t click and the failure to do proper pregame work damaged the ambiance. I definitely need to bring Murder back at some point, especially since time force me to wussify him at the end of the session. I had to turn a Justice League throw down into a Smallvile brand slapping.

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