Making a Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Event: Like Clockwork, Part 2 (The First Act) #MarvelRPG

Okay, as of the end of the previous blog we have a pretty good idea of how Like Clockwork is going to be structured. We know how the villain is (The Mad  Thinker) and that we are going to simulate the Thinker’s Thinker-iness by giving the Watcher the ability to add to the Doom Pool instead of  stepping up the Effort in the event of an Extraordinary Success (buzzwords!).  We know that the Thinker is going to try to steal three different relics, but he is only actually after the third one (A shard of the M’Kraan Crystal). I was initially going to have this entry deal with outlining all three Acts, but – as I got started – I realized that I would have written a novella by the time I got through all three and decided just to put the outline of the first Act up for now. So stay tuned!


Enough recapping, it’s time to sketch out some scenes. Although I will mention some nonplayer characters (villains, most like) in this blog, I am going to hold off on statting them until after I have outlined all three Acts, so bear with me. I would rather have the entire plot in place and then stat up some villains than go back and forth between the two. 


I like the idea of the Event starting with the heroes being on The Raft (maybe they are there on a tour being shown the new safety protocols) and the Mad Thinker tipping his hand a little to the heroes, letting them know he has something planned, although playing coy as to what. He is safe, locked away, and has already set his plan into motion. Like many villains, he wants to succeed, but he wants to succeed despite the heroes’ best efforts, not simply by circumventing them. He needs them to understand how amazing what he is doing is. His plan is to gain control of three artifacts from the Marvel Universe. Currently, my intentions are to use The Evil Eye of Avalon, the Siege Perilous, and a shard of the M’Kraan Crystal, which is currently being displayed under heavy security as a simple ruby. The Thinker knows that the heroes will try to stop him and, while he would love to have the first two relics, he is really only after the M’Kraan shard. He plans to use the previous attempts, even if foiled, to weaken the heroes to the point that they are unable to stop him from his final goal. Once he has control of the M’Kraan shard breaking out of The Raft will be rote.

That brings as to Act 1, Action Scene 1: A fight against The Mad Thinker’s Awesome Android as the heroes exit The Raft after their confrontation with The Thinker. I like the direct assault on the heroes by the Android because – first – The Awesome Android is an integral part to the Thinker’s backstory and adds a nice feel to the cohesiveness of the story and – second – because it eliminates, at least for a moment, that awkward time when the players don’t know what direction they are supposed to go even though they know what their goal is. After the heroes bring down the Android (or don’t), they should get a Transition Scene (perhaps being captured by the Android if they lose) where it eventually becomes clear that they should head to a mine being dug in the collapsed facility in Mount Wundagore


Once the heroes get there, we start Act 1, Scene 2, as they run into Mentallo and Fixer (taking a break from his Thunderbolts duties) guarding the mine’s entrance (perhaps with a squad of A.I.M. operatives of a third villain if necessary to challenge the heroes appropriately) or guarding the heroes’ cells if they were captured by the Awesome Android. Give the heroes another Transition Scene (perhaps planning their assault on the inside of the mine) and then they should have a conflict inside the mine with M.O.D.O.K., the Grim Reaper, and Taskmaster, who are overseeing the excavation of the Evil Eye of Avalon, which was buried in the collapse. I initially wanted to put some higher end villains here (Zemo or Baron Strucker), but this is the end of the first Act. 


I really wanted this to be the Mad Thinker’s story, so using some mercenary-type villains that can easily be swayed by a large amount of money (or in M.O.D.O.K.’s case, the chance to perform weapons research on an artifact like the Eye) makes more sense than using villains that would be substantially harder to manipulate. After their victory, let the heroes decide what to do with the Eye if they manage to get it. M.O.D.O.K. will try to flee with the eye if one of his minions falls before he does, delivering it to the Thinker’s Awesome Android 2.0 (which we will use in Act 3 as the penultimate boss, with upgrades, including some dependent on if the Thinker got the other two artifacts). 


Some thoughts on Act 1 Unlockables: 15 XP: The heroes keep the Evil Eye of Avalon (which provides a power set allowing the hero using it to shoot force blasts and creates force field, at the cost of allowing the Watcher to step up the Doom Pool. It is an evil eye after all.) and can use it for the remainder of the Event. 5XP/10 XP: At the 5 XP level, the heroes are contacted by Dr. Strange, who has noticed the energy from the newly active Eye, and provides the heroes with a d6 Resource – Telepathic Contact with Dr. Strange. At 10 XP, that Resource is provided at the d8 level.

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About Michael

Michael is an enthusiast about a lot of things, including indie games, roleplaying games, board games, and comic books that wanted to help create a place where he could bring things to the attention of those with similar interests. Futile Position is a true labor of labor, which he hopes continues to grow through the support of the great readers who have come upon this page.

17. May 2012 by Michael
Categories: RPGs | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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