In Which Gotham Makes an Showing

Ah, New Years. It means absolutely sod all to me, and to most of my friends. So, on this latest of New Years eves we decided to fill the night with gaming, just as we do each week. The only concession? We games later and had some sparkling grape juice.

Last night my group made their first foray into the new edition of Mutants & Mastermind. We did so by way of DC Adventures and without the help of the promised but delayed errata. To best test the system without running into too many GM inspired mistakes we used the precreated DC characters from the book and plots inspired to match. As such the team was filled out with Batman, Captain Marvel, Zatanna, and Green Lantern. While that is possibly one of the greatest line ups ever I assure you I had no hand in picking the characters; the only limitation my players faced was limited by the heroes represented in the book. As a small note, two of my players were absent and when they return they will be using Martian Manhunter and probably Catwoman.

We began the adventure with Batman and Zatanna on patrol in Gotham city, Zatanna having asked for assistance due to a huge ‘history of real magic’ expo currently running in the Gotham history museum. Meanwhile, in said building a young Billy Batson was exploring the event and having a grand old time. As all this was going on GL was on patrol somewhere in the atmosphere, his player having fallen asleep.

After killing some time young Billy noticed a group of men dressed suspiciously in the museum, a pair of whom were watching the door. After a short bout of investigating a shoot rang out and the Joker made his appearance in the crowd. As he did so, a pair of thugs bolted the front door closed. Young Billy ran to the men’s room and with a cry of “SHAZAM!” he became earths mightiest mortal, Captain Marvel.

Outside Batman noticed something suspicious happening and made his way to the roof of the museum to gain intel; he did so my using the ever present skylight system of Gotham to spy on events below. Meanwhile a helicopter began to approach the building. Down below Joker stole a pair of green pants from one of magic displays deciding they were simply right up his alley, he then announced that a deadly nerve gas was being leaked into the museum and the only way out would be to break open the museum doors. He then began heading up to the balcony.

Batman attempted to blow open the front door with an explosive batarang, but was unsuccessful. He did, however, distract some of the thugs. At that time Captain Marvel zoomed out to the main area and destroyed the front door of the museum. At some point here Zatanna shot the helicopter out of the sky; more on that in the notes. As everyone was prepared to take further action there came a crash from outside and thundering steps, and into the main room walked a massive grey corpse of a man in tattered clothing; with a roar he demanded, “Solomon Grundy want pants too!”

At that point Batman crashed throguht he skylight and landed in the main room attempting to intimidate the thugs. He succeeded, but I applied a penalty since they work for the Joker, Captain Marvel was already there, and Solomon Grundy showed up. I don’t care what his reputation is, Batman is less scary than all that. Joker laughed and fired a shot at Batman, narrowly missing. Captain Marvel quickly stole the pants from Joker, used them to taunt Grundy, and then led him away from the civilians.

Green Lantern woke up. So they paged him.

Batman spent the next few turns engaging the Joker. He began with a punch which did damage, and the Joker retaliated with a blast from his acid flower which also did damage. Green Lantern and Zatanna began to round up the thugs, with Zatanna posing for the crowd after especially good takedowns. Outside Grundy attempted to punch Captain Marvel, and actually hit him dead on, but Marvel was able to easily take the punch squarely on the chest. He then retaliated by digging his feet in and punching Grundy; the player rolled a critical. I informed him that under the new edition you can either use a critical to inflict extra damage, or an additional effect. He asked for ‘extreme knockback’. So…

Captain Marvel dug his feet into the asphalt, declared “I can’t have you fighting around these citizens Grundy!” and launched an uppercut so powerful it sent Grundy flying to the outskirts of the city.

About this time Watchtower paged the heroes and announced that Air Force One was in the vicinity, had been attacked, and was on a collision course with Metropolis. Captain Marvel and Green Lantern both sped away to assist with that. Back at the Museum Zatanna mopped up all the thugs and Batman cleanly put the Joker down.

Between Captain Marvel and GL it was a simple matter to slow the plain and change its course to a water landing. Upon asking after the president they were informed that he had escaped on his private escape pod (I decided this was President Ford, as in Harrison). GL left to check on the status of this but found the pod empty, with the door ripped off.

To be continued…

Notes: Not a bad session; there were a few hiccups but nothing really major. I think it was too easy for Billy to run for the men’s room and change. The guards should have been watching better and he should have only had the chance when Joker told everyone to stampede. Also, the gas was a fake, Joker just wanted people to trample themselves.

Speaking of the Joker, it’s hard to play him without portraying the Ledger version and truth be told I worked in a coupe, of lines specifically “You never start with the head!.” I do feel his plan was underly-ambitious and was something of a disservice to his usually level of genius.

The player portraying Zatanna was also very tired and kept lapsing into sleep. So her blasting of the Helicopter was a bit out of left field. Given further play it might have been proven to be a good idea, since it was the Joker’s get away ride but there was no proof at the time. I let it slide however since she wasn’t thinking straight, due to sleep, and its overall unimportance in things.

Playing Solomon Grundy is a hoot. His dialogue is simple, but I love speaking for him. It’s basically involves making everything a declaration and using ‘Solomon Grundy’ a lot. I also love the well timed critical hit that removed him from play, though it took him out of battle and allowed both heavy hitters to leave and save Air Force One.

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2 thoughts on “In Which Gotham Makes an Showing

  1. Sounds like a good time. How did your players react to playing pre-made heroes, especially “celebrities” like the DC heavy hitters? You said you had some trouble with the Joker too often gelling in your mind as the Heath Ledger version, though the plot was more DC Animated Series I think.

    Also, were you doing this late at night? Or were some of your players kind of drunk?

  2. We began around 7 and went past 11, the first part of the session a covering of the rules listing differences between 2nd edition and 3rd. Zatanna’s player works nights and had not been to bed yet, and GL’s player got bored of the rules reading and fell asleep.

    Speaking of drunk, you did not dial me.

    I think they had fun, and it does help to have preconcieved notions of the characters. Captain Marvel’s player really worked the strength and speed angle of the character, Zatanna’s went for a lot of flourish. And Charlie is a huge Batman fan so he loved being the Dark Knight, though I would mention that he felt Batman was too overpowered, and it made it somewhat less fun.
    But it is nice to be able to name drop and have the players react. I mean when Solomon Grundy appeared two of my players knew there was about to be huge trouble. Whereas in the other setting I either had to really talk a character up or list him as a rip off to show how bad the situation is.

    All in all, using premade and well known characters is fun, and a welcome break, but I do prefer working with my players to craft our own world.

    And yeah, DC Animated is the best version of DC so I drew heavily from that. Though at some point I want to redo the DC characters how I would imagine them. I such an instance I would rewrite Batman as more akin to the Arkham Asylum version and Joker would be heavily Ledger based…but with his acid flower cause that is both iconic and awesome.

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