Marvel Plot Points

A fan site for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game by Margaret Weis Productions

First Play: Breakout

Last night I played a game of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game with  Christopher Ruthenbeck (the Watcher), Adam Minnie (Thing and Watcher), Kurt Schubach (Iron Fist), Dennis Moore (Spider-Man) and Donald Treglia (Captain America). We played over on Google+ Hangouts, and the game ran really, really well.

There are spoilers in this Actual Play post that deal with the Breakout event from the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game. 

I played the part of Daredevil, Matt Murdock, the Man Without Fear. He arrived on the Raft (a maximum-security supervillain prison) along with Foggy Nelson, his law partner. They were escorted by Danny Rand, Iron Fist, who had been hired to protect Murdock, after the press had outed him as Daredevil. They were there to speak to Bob Reynolds, Sentry, who had checked himself into the facility.

Almost as soon as they arrived, the power blew, filling the hallway in complete darkness.

Thing was at the Baxter building, and saw an explosion of energy emanating from The Raft. He climbed into the Fantasticar, which had been shielded against the EMP blast that knocked out the power to the rest of the city. He headed toward the island. On the way, he spotted Captain America, whose helicopter had just gone down. Scooping him up, they arrived on the island.

Spider-Man was on the island, waiting for them, having swam to the island.

Inside The Raft, an explosion blew a hole in the wall. Levitating in front of Iron Fist and Daredevil was Count Nefaria, a very powerful supervillain. “Foggy, get behind me!” Matt shouted, pushing his law partner back. Iron Fist leapt forward, laying an uppercut into Count Nefaria. The hit was completely ineffective, bouncing off Nefaria’s chin.

Daredevil took his walking stick and separated it into two billy clubs before flipping through the air and striking Nefaria in the sternum. His hit actually created a d12 Physical Stress, meaning that one more hit would knock Nefaria out of combat. Nefaria blasted out a wall of energy, slamming Daredevil against the wall. Christopher, as the Watcher, decided that the knock-back didn’t cause Physical Stress, but Emotional, as Daredevil was angered and bothered by the hit.

Iron Fist leapt over Nefaria’s head, grabbing onto him and slamming him against the floor. Nefaria was down. Now to find Bob Reynolds…

At this point, I had earned 3XP for fighting as Daredevil without my mask (as stated by my Milestone: Out in the Open), which I decided to cash straight in for Plot Points.

On the surface, Spider-Man shot out his webbing, tying up a mob of villains. He created an Asset for his allies, and actually ended up with a D12 Asset of Tangled Up In Webs. Thing in with an “It’s Clobbering Time!” shout, smashed down into the tangled up villains, creating a massive crater, passing an asset off to Captain America: Fish in a Barrel D12 as the villains were all now grouped together in the large hole. Captain America then followed that up with a bullrush with his shield, taking down the rest of the group.

At this point, Christopher lost his internet connection, so Adam took over the game, running it expertly.

Daredevil and Iron Fist found their way to Sentry’s cell, finding the door swinging wide open. Sentry was sitting in his cell, looking glum. Matt Murdock rolled against the Doom Pool to convince Sentry to come out of his cell and help them, and succeeded, but suddenly heard a scream behind him. Foggy was violently yanked out of the room. Matt ran after him, finding Foggy tied up in slick red tentacles as Carnage was lowering his mouth toward Foggy’s skull.

Daredevil threw his billy club, hoping to catch Carnage in the face, but the symbiote split, as the billy club sailed through him. Carnage was able to perform a counterattack using dice from the doom pool, inflicting   on Daredevil. He was horrified to see his friend, Foggy, being harmed.

Iron Fist turned to Sentry. “You have to do something!” he shouted. Sentry moved forward, grabbing Carnage, and blasting a hole in the ceiling. Flying into space, he tore Carnage in two.

Thing remained on the top floor to assist the SHIELD agents (as Adam shifted from player to Watcher), but Spider-Man and Captain America continued on down into The Raft. They arrived in a large room where Zzzax (a being of pure electricity) and the Living Laser (a being of pure light) were terrorizing guards and causing general mayhem. Spider-Man decided to create a complication for Zzzax, pulling him into a nearby computer. It worked, forcing Zzzax to suffer a Trapped in the Machine D12 complication. The Living Laser was bouncing off walls, increasing the size of the doom pool.

Captain America slammed his shield into the cinderblock walls to find a plumbing pipe. He used the vibranium in his shield as a conductor to channel Zzzax into the water system and disburse him throughout the complex. It was about that time that Daredevil and Iron Fist came around the corner. Daredevil set down the unconscious Foggy and calculated the trajectory of the Living Laser based on the heat signature he was leaving as he struck the walls (since Daredevil’s blind). Doing so, he was able to combine his Billy Club and Hypersenses Power Sets. The billy club flew through the air, colliding with the Living Laser, disrupting his energy field, but not finishing him off.

Iron Fist decided he would use his Business Expert specialty and his Indifferent Billionaire Distinction, along with an resource that he “happened to have on hand” due to Living Laser’s roll giving him an opportunity. This resource was a piece of his company’s technology; an Energy Containing Node, which he could use to catch the Living Laser inside. He did this to subvert Stark’s generators and demonstrate his own product as more reliable in comparison. This action allowed him to cash in on part of his Hostile Takeover Milestone, since he was capitalizing on the breakout as a chance to swoop in on one of Tony’s lucrative and high profile government contracts and giving his competitor very bad press about the whole thing. Rolling well, the Living Laser was sucked into the node.

With that, we decided to end the game. It was 1:30 AM my time by then (2:30 for some others on the East Coast), so we narrated the capturing of some of the other villains. In the end, 30 escaped into the city.

The game ran really well. It was slow at times, due to people having trouble understanding the rules. Gathering your dice pool to roll seems to take a while, but I imagine that once you know the rules and your character, you can do it pretty quickly. Usually, as someone else was deciding what to do, I was gathering my dice pool for my next action.

I think we all had a great time. I can’t wait to play again soon.


About Mark

Mark is a military veteran, game designer, a believer in the oxford comma, and an all-around nerd.

10 comments on “First Play: Breakout

  1. Buzz
    March 8, 2012

    Hey Mark, how long did this session take, total? How did you all feel about the abstract nature of the game? (E.g., using traits to represent things like being webbed up and such.)

    I’m playing my first game of this on Saturday, and am pretty psyched.

    • Mark
      March 8, 2012

      I actually really enjoyed the abstract nature. It felt very natural. This isn’t a superhero RPG, it’s a superhero comic book RPG. You feel like you’re in a comic. The game was three hours long, and a lot of it was spent with people stumbling over the rules. Once people got used to the game, it will run a lot faster.

  2. Glenn
    March 12, 2012

    Hi, Just wondering if there are rules in this base set for creating your own characters or whether players are expected to play part of the already established universe.

    • Mark
      March 12, 2012

      You are encouraged to play already established heroes, simply because there’s so damn many of them.

      However, the character creation rules are fairly fluid. You come up with a character concept, flesh out their story, then, and only then, do you begin mechanically creating the character. There are no point-buys or anything, you simply make the character based on some general guidelines. Players at the table can veto anything way out there. Rumor is, they’ll be coming out with some more comprehensive character creation rules online soon.

  3. Pingback: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Collected Miscellanies | Exploring Infinity

  4. Pingback: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Collected Miscellanies

  5. Bill Keller
    June 24, 2012

    Could you talk a little about how G+ worked for you? Any problems to watch out for? How did you deal with die rolls, PPs, keeping the doom pool visible? Etc.

  6. darkmooninc
    July 21, 2012

    I’m reading this. I’m thinking “This is amazing. Thanks for sharing.” Oh man, I love reading these-

    >Spider-Man was on the island, waiting for them, having swam to the island.
    >Spider-Man swam to the island.
    >Spider-Man swam

    Whoever decided this is doing it wrong. Severely. lol Spiderman does not swim.

    Other then that, amazing. Loved reading this.

    • heathwilder
      January 4, 2014

      You’ll find that’s how he did it in the comic

      Likewise, kudos on the great site

  7. Karla
    May 25, 2022

    Lovve this

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This entry was posted on March 7, 2012 by in Actual Play.

All images and names of characters and locations, unless expressly stated and are ™ & © Marvel & Subs. Used without permission.

Heroic Roleplaying & the Cortex Plus system ™ Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd.

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