Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mythic GM Emulator, Marvel SAGA and Captain America

Tonight I decided to try out the Mythic GM Emulator (with a swell web version here, though you need a copy of the book still to really use it) and I figured the best way to do that would be with a system I knew like the back of my hand: Marvel SAGA. Soooo...I grabbed my cards and books, decided I would play as Captain America, set the opening scene as Cap holding court over The Avengers and went to work:

Standard game. Regular fate chart rules.

New scene

Chaos roll: 2
INTERRUPT SCENE: Ambiguous event -- NPC negative -- Attract/Dispute

Captain America is PLANNING on taking care of Official Avengers Business when a huge dispute breaks out regarding the increased presence of Baron Zemo on the world stage. The Avengers and their affiliates are growing increasingly split over whether Zemo is too dangerous to leave on the loose or whether he is ultimately a well-meaning anti-hero.

Is Hawkeye for taking down Zemo?

Odds: 16/80/97
Result: 44 -- Yes
RANDOM EVENT: NPC negative -- Proceedings/Masses

Not only is Hawkeye ready to lead the charge against the former member of the Thunderbolts, he has already released another grand-standing statement "outing" Zemo, urging people to pressure Captain America into calling The Avengers, The New Avengers, The Thunderbolts and whoever into action, bringing Zemo down.

Captain America is apprehensive about this, remembering Zemo's actions in Civil War and how convincing he was, trying to prove that he was a changed man.

Is Hawkeye winning the argument with the Avengers?
Odds: 17/85/98
Result: 38 -- Yes

Cap, thanks to an astonishing amount of Willpower (combined with a big Trump and some Edge cards), convinces The Avengers to stand down on his word...but quickly decides that he needs to find Zemo for himself and determine for sure if Zemo needs to be taken down or if his new leaf is sincere.

Is Hawkeye going to hunt Baron Zemo on his own?
Odds: 17/85/98
Result: 44 -- Yes
RANDOM EVENT: PC negative -- Proceedings/Attention

Hawkeye, disgruntled at Captain America's reaction, storms out of the Avengers mansion and addresses the growing audience of reporters, pointing out that he believes it is in the world's best interests that Baron Zemo be dealt with...but that The Avengers are refusing to aid him at the order of Captain America...and that if Zemo strikes again, all eyes should be on Cap and Cap alone.

He completes the speech with a hidden camera recording from the Avengers meeting of Captain America pleading with The Avengers to stand down as he vouches for Zemo.

New scene

Chaos roll: 4
INTERRUPT SCENE: NPC positive -- NPC action -- Stop/undefined

-- Chaos increased --

A VERY public assault on the Congressional building in Washington DC by Flag-Smasher and a group of hired minions is interrupted by the first arrival on the scene: Baron Zemo!

Is Flag-Smasher actually working for Zemo?
Odds: 18/90/99
Result: 25 -- Yes

Does Captain America beat Hawkeye to the scene?
Odds: 11/55/92
Result: 59 -- No

Hawkeye arrives on the scene in mid-fight, shooting a smoke arrow into the middle of the combat, disrupting Zemo and Flag-Smasher's battle.

Hawkeye draws down on Zemo...does Zemo surrender?
Odds: 11/55/92
Result: 55 -- EXCEPTIONAL NO
RANDOM EVENT: Remote event -- Spy/Legal matters

Zemo retaliates, firing a ray gun at Hawkeye, sending him scattering as Captain America arrives on the scene. Cap immediately receives a call from Black Widow, informing him that a SHIELD raid on an AIM installation in upstate New York has gone smoother than planned: Because Zemo had apparently disabled their security and sabotaged their operations, leaving them sitting ducks for SHIELD.

Captain America's shield takes Flag-Smasher out of the equation immediately.

Meanwhile, Zemo and Hawkeye trade barbs and shots at one another, neither one getting ahead.

Captain America is yelling at Hawkeye to stand down while bouncing his shield off of two of Flag-Smasher's thugs, telling Hawkeye that Zemo has been cutting a swath across the countryside, taking down bad guys. Hawkeye grimaces as he sees a thug sneaking up behind Zemo...and unleashes an arrow, trapping the thug (due to the Change of Heart Event on the Narrator's Card).

Zemo makes an impassioned plea to Hawkeye to listen to Captain America, telling him how he used the Moonstones to restore Captain America's destroyed WWII footlocker during Civil War, agreeing to turn himself over to the proper authorities, only if Captain America and Hawkeye will speak up for the good that he has done in recent months. Almost to Zemo's surprise...both men agreed! (Narrator Draw to determine Hawkeye's reaction and Captain America making a Willpower vs Manipulation test...which Zemo actually won).

-- Chaos decreased --

New scene

Chaos roll: 8

Cut ahead to the Grand Jury testimony, in which Captain America recounts Zemo's actions during Civil War, and times in the past in which he doubted Zemo's redemption, but Zemo is seemingly standing firm. Hawkeye reluctantly admits that maybe he has been wrong, noting that Zemo wouldn't be the first villain to redeem himself, with Hawkeye himself on that list. Zemo publicly disowns his family and their history of petty cruelty, noting that he has been inspired not only by the likes of Hawkeye, but of his other former Thunderbolts, like Songbird, who have redeemed themselves.

Even Tony Stark testifies on Zemo's behalf, noted a time in which he went undercover and infiltrated the Thunderbolts, finding them to be legitimately working to save the world, and how he was able to entrust certain operations to Zemo in the Civil War. The arguments of Captain America, Hawkeye, Tony Stark and Zemo prove persuasive to the grand jury, and when the transcripts are released, the public is moved to give Zemo another opportunity to prove himself now that a spotlight has been shown on all of his actions. (Difficulty reduced in this matter due to the Public Accolades Event Card).

Zemo accepts a probationary role under the watchful eye of The Avengers. Yes...Baron Zemo is one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes...but is he legitimately reformed?

Odds: 13/65/94
Result: 71 -- No

Nice cliffhanger, huh?

So...impressions: The Mythic GM Emulator is an odd duck, but not BAD. Unlike a normal RPG, it felt less like I was roleplaying and more like I was telling a story...Hawkeye, Zemo or Cap could have each been my character easily enough.

That said, the twists and turns were easy enough to navigate, and there were a few points where I pushed past the "rules" of the emulator and just went with things that sounded interesting and made sense.

Obviously, especially with that cliffhanger, this whole thing is shaping up to look HORRIBLE for Captain America...I mean, Hawkeye questions his authority, makes him look soft (at BEST) and then reluctantly goes along with him...only for us to find out that Zemo (who was bankrolling Flag-Smasher into taking a fall in order to make him look good) is really just pulling another dirty trick.

This was the least action-packed SAGA adventure I have ever "ran"...but part of that is because Captain America is a BEAST with his Edge of 4, Hand Size of 6 and +15 Shield. I may well have to give it another go, with this system or another one, just to see how it shakes out. So far, I definitely wouldn't replace a regular gaming group with it, but it has potential to be a fun diversion.