A fan site for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game by Margaret Weis Productions
In my online game, we dumped the general idea of Milestones to collect XP. Why, you may ask? Frankly, I found it hard to keep track of everyone’s points based on their varying milestones.
I also think that the Milestones as set up in the original game system were way too generous. Spider-Man did not have any major changes as a character for the first 20 years of his comic book. Sure, he had some cool gadgets (assets/resources). But he pretty much stayed at the same power level with the occasional jaw-dropping stunt. In Secret Wars #8 (1984), he gets the black costume. But by that time, he would have racked up thousands of XP according to MHR.
To solve for this overly generous conundrum, I have replaced Milestones with Mission or Plot Objectives. If by the end of the event, characters don’t make the objective, they don’t get the XP. I usually keep the award anywhere from 5-10XP each event.
For the players, it makes it possible for them to play the game with one general objective in mind. They don’t have to keep checking their milestones every play, just like She-Hulk doesn’t check her iPhone each time she meets Titania. Simple plot. Punch her into next week.
Think about this scenario.
You are playing a game where the plot involves the Captain America, Iron Fist, Punisher, and Silver Sable. The main enemy is the Kingpin. Per his norm, the Kingpin has hired the Shocker and Scorpion to assassinate the new mayor of New York.
I might dish out the Mission Objectives like so:
Captain America – 5XP for each villain (including Kingpin, his henchmen or the Punisher) behind bars by the end of the mission.
Iron Fist – 10XP if you succeed in capturing Kingpin and returning him to K’un-Lun to participate in a secret ninja ceremony required to save the 7 cities of heaven.
Punisher – 5XP for each super-villain you kill. Another 5XP if you convincingly try to start a romantic relationship with Silver Sable during this Event. (A creative player would need to write a real good reason for this despite Castle’s psychology.)
Silver Sable – 10XP for completing the main mission but by the end of the mission capturing Punisher to collect the bounty from a rich benefactor.
All Heroes (except Punisher) – 1XP every time you keep Punisher from killing someone.
Lastly, I send my players their objectives privately. If they choose to share them, that is up to them. But a secret agenda can throw a cool twist into the game.
Example: Like Sable allying with Punisher in the first Two Acts of an Event, only to turn on him in Act Three to collect her bounty. If in the first Two Acts, Punisher might ask Sable what she is doing in New York. The player can have the character lie. “I’m here to collect a bounty on Kingpin,” Sable might say. Later, Sable knocks Punisher out and tries to laod him into her airplane. Meanwhile, the player playing Punisher is busy trying to figure out how this storyline can end up with Castle and Sable locking lips. On top of all this, Captain America wants to get Punisher and Kingpin to the Raft, only to have Iron Fist and Sable working their own schemes the entire time. DRAMA! I love it!)
As you can imagine, taking time to write conflicting objectives can really create some tense moments. This allows me to tailor objectives to each mission and up the drama or humor.