Sunday, January 29, 2012

The SAGA of Spider-Man Episode 1: Tag-Team Part 1

This is session 1 of the new Marvel SAGA game I'm running for my son, featuring a teenaged Spider-Man (in the black, alien suit). This is his first go with Marvel SAGA (and our first game in a long time), but it's all good, because I practically know the system inside and out. The Spider-Man we're using is a slightly modified "rookie" version. We're playing fast and loose with continuity, building it as we go.

Our tale opens with a restless Peter Parker studying for a Math test before deciding (at the urging of the symbiote), to head out into the night for a patrol. While looking for trouble, Spider-Man overhears police sirens and swings down to get close enough to listen in to the chatter on the police radio, overhearing that Shocker and another unidentified villain were in the midst of robbing a bank and became embroiled in an encounter with another superhuman. Spider-Man thinks it over and calculates a quicker route to the bank, beating the police by a good five minutes.

As he slips into the bank, he overhears Shocker and his partner talking about "never seein' a hero have a heart attack before". Spider-Man causes a diversion, drawing Shocker nearby, then rips a brick out of a wall with his webs and knocks Shocker out cold. Spider-Man is spotted sneaking up on Slyde, Shocker's partner, and immediately cracks "Why do they call you Slyde? Because you like to slide on the playground?" which was pretty groan-worthy and right up Spider-Man's alley. Slyde was unshaken and bolted for the door, Spider-Man's webs slipping right off of him and his Lightning Speed allowing him to get away. As Spider-Man started to give chase, the hero having a heart attack - pro wrestler/superhero D-Man - asked him to stay. Spider-Man stayed with him a few moments and D-Man - remembering Spider-Man did some wrestling a while back - asked him if we wanted to be tag team partners in Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. Spider-Man agreed, then slipped out of the bank as the police arrived.

Returning home, Peter tried to cram for his test, despite the urging of the symbiote. The next day, he struggled to stay awake in the classroom, spacing out and then coming to only to see Mary Jane tapping her foot in front of him. MJ asked him if he wanted the good news or the bad news, to which he replied "Uh...both?" The Good News? Flash Thompson didn't get the lowest grade on the test. The Bad News? Peter Parker FELL ASLEEP in class! Mr. Simmons, Parker's teacher, was quite ticked. Peter, annoyed, bolted out of the building and left the school grounds, looking for Slyde.

Spider-Man had luck tracking Slyde down, finding out that he was working with a new partner - Spot. Spidey went looking for D-Man, asking him to help him take the villainous duo down but D-Man - fearing another episode like against Slyde and Shocker - said no, and asked Spider-Man if he would be back in time for their wrestling show that night. Spider-Man reassured him that he would be, then went after Spot and Slyde. Not playing around this time, Spidey went right after Slyde, trying to KO him, but Slyde managed to dodge. Spot attempted a sneak attack by punching through a portal, but Spider-Man knew it was coming. He tried to tackle Slyde - who was making a break for it - but Slyde slipped free and bolted out the door. Spider-Man, enraged, lashed out with the symbiote suit and knocked Spot through a wall...and realized he had hurt bystanders as well. Spider-Man, shaken, tore away from the building and the city...finally coming to later that evening as the symbiote was bringing him home. Exhausted and upset, he collapsed on his bed and flicked on the TV...hearing the news that Slyde was still at large, and the D-Man had been beaten into a coma on live TV by Crusher Hogan and Bonesaw McGraw after his supposed partner Spider-Man failed to attend. Spider-Man, saddened and angry, flicked off the TV.

Next Time: Slyde is still on the loose! D-Man is hurt, and Crusher Hogan and Bonesaw McGraw are bragging about it! Peter has to tell Aunt May that he got an F because he fell asleep in class!

NOTES: We used a lot of "Do you want to do this, or do you want to do this?" when approaching what Spider-Man could do at a given time. SAGA is also NOT a heavily structured system, so it was real easy to wing it if he wanted to do something out of the ordinary (which he did a time or two). He also seems to have a real interest in playing Peter Parker as well as Spider-Man, which is encouraging. I should also note that this is his first time playing with a character sheet in hand (I color coded it before we played), and he did a nice job of keeping track of all his skills and abilities and using them in play (being a Spider-Man fan helps). I have a thing for using really odd characters in Marvel SAGA games, so D-Man, Slyde and Spot showing up is about par for the course for me. Incidentally, the D-Man/wrestling hook was SUPPOSED to be the main story in this "episode", but the Slyde thing is quickly taking on a life of its own. We are planning on playing again, possibly as soon as this weekend.