Last month (Feb 2013), I had the pleasure of GMing a massive game of Marvel with three amazing GMs: Tim Rodriguez, Frank Manna, and Mike O’Sullivan.
The game was awesome, and I’m already having ideas about how to run it again in the future. But before we move on to that, here’s the actual play report for Day 1 of the game…
Annihilation Day +00… Thursday, Feb 21
Heroes: Wolverine, Spider Woman, Silver Surfer, Beast, Nightcrawler
Villains: Annihilation Advance Fleet, Kyln Mob of Prisoners, Omega Red
Choices: Is it worth risking your life to save those sentenced to die?
Timers: Destruction of the Kyln d8
Rundown: SHIELD agent Spider Woman and three X-Men arrive at the Kyln, carrying an imprisoned Omega Red in tow and escorted by Silver Surfer. Immediately, they receive a distress hail in several galactic languages. Lit spheres of the Kyln begin to go dark, and shadows appear on the bright white background of The Crunch. (Timer starts)
Before any discussion, Nightcrawler makes the sign of the cross, grabs Beast, and teleports onto one of the Kyln spheres. This teleport goes awry, and they end up in one of the many sewage treatment areas-better than Open Space, though!
While Beast finds a way out of the sewers, Silver Surfer bends the Power Cosmic around the spheroids of the Kyln, stopping the encroaching fleet from destroying more of the facility for a time. Surfer then attacks the Advance Fleet head on, destroying several ships and damaging others-telepathically directing the Earth heroes to flee from the coming armada.
Wolverine pilots the ship into a swarm of Annihilation fighters, who damage sublight engines. As the power flickers, Spider Woman cows Omega Red into behaving in case his restraints fail. Eventually, she is forced to vent his cell into space while Wolverine attempts to get away from the Crunch.
Beast reverses some positrons and slingshots an entire Kyln planetoid away from the Crunch (the science is sound, d12 effect), saving himself, Nightcrawler, and thousands of prisoners and guards. This takes out power to the cells, however, and Nightcrawler makes quick work of the rioting mob.
Wolverine and Spider Woman engage the hyperlight engines while the Annihilation Fleet is distracted-Surfer’s massive burst of cosmic energy drew Annihilus’ own flagship to them. Surfer successfully draws the majority of the Annihilation vanguard away from civilized space.
The Decimation of Xandar
Heroes: Nova, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, The Hulk, Thor
Villains: Annihilation Wave Ground Troops, A Warship
Choices: What can you protect, and what are you willing to sacrifice, when you only have a split second to chose?
Timers: The Annihilation Wave d6
Rundown: Open with building scenes on each of the characters.
- Thor and Dr. Bruce Banner were sent by Captain America to meet with Shi’Ar dignitaries about opening scientific dialogue between the two cultures. Banner examines bits of Danger Room level tech with a Shi’Ar scientist, while Thor recounts tales with a dignitary.
- Drax steps out of a Nova Corps prison cell that Cammy just busted him free from. He scoops up his knives and locates the nearest space dock while Cammy kicks a Centurion in his unconscious head.
- Nova is escorting Gamora to the Nova Corps prison on Xandar. Gamora has been charged with, and is completely guilty of, assassinating a House Fiyero elder, and decided to give herself up to the Nova Corps because it was the easiest way to get to Xandar to pull off her next job.
Action Scene: The heroes all find themselves gathered together in the same space port when the Annihilation Wave strikes. The exterior wall is sheared away by a troop transport ship crashing into the port , sending all of the people inside spiraling off into space.
Drax has an easy escape route in front of him, but Cammy lost her footing and is quickly falling out into space. Drax gives up on escape and instead moves to rescue Cammy.
Gamora also has a chance to escape in all of the mayhem, but instead stays behind to fight against the Wave and try to protect people.
Thor decides to help the civilians rather than defend the Shi’Ar diplomats, creating an incredible storm inside of a stories-tall space port along the way.
Banner gives in and becomes the Hulk, smashing his way through his enemies.
Nova doesn’t abandon his fellow men, but gives up on trying to save face and keep Gamora incarcerated. He blasts past the ground forces and creates a stargate inside of the troop transport, sending half of it to the Kyln (and off to another table).
The Wave proves too much for the heroes and Xandar falls in a flash of sickly yellow light.
Transition Scene: The withered, frost covered remains of Xandar drift out of orbit and away from its sun. The atmosphere is failing. The remains of the amazing technological marvel that was the shell around Xandar drifts shattered in the sky.
Drax comes to in a pile of wreckage, but he can’t find Cammi. He wanders off to find her in the remains of the Shi’Ar diplomatic vessel, toying with the weapons. He scolds her, telling her that she is never to leave his side.
Hulk wakes up, still as the Hulk, and tends to securing able transport.
Nova wakes to the Worldmind shouting in his head. “8X8: you must locate the physical location of the Worldmind immediately. The Worldmind is failing.” He stumbles off, injured gravely and barely able to see.
Gamora wakes up in the cramped confines that contain the Worldmind. She sees the holographic projection of the Worldmind fade into life and hears its plea: “Please deliver Nova Corpsman Richard Ryder. He is the sole remaining Corpsman. Without him, Xandar will die.” For reasons known only to Gamora she decides to help.
The ragtag group of refugees finally converge on a small craft that the Hulk was able to pull free from the wreckage. The ship has no working thrusters, but Thor is able to teleport the ship and its crew away.
The Battle for Aks’lo
Heroes: Iron Man, She-Hulk, Deadpool, Iron-Spider
Villains: Extirpia, Queens Guard, Artillery Troops
Choices: [How do Earth heroes even begin to engage cosmic threats?]
Timers: The Harvester of Sorrows
Rundown: Tony Stark is on-board the S.W.O.R.D. vessel Flamberge towards Skrull space, attending a diplomatic peace treaty mission. Meanwhile, Deadpool and She-Hulk have engaged in a drinking contest and wake up in a janitorial closet aboard the Flamberge. At this point, the stowaways are discovered and are briefly hauled before Brand and Stark before being sent to the brig. Shortly, they arrive at the Skrull Empire’s borders, they are met by Baroness S’Bak as escort to the Capital World of Tarnax IV.
Soon after the escort arrives, an urgent message comes from Baroness S’Bak that they are to the escort has been diverted and that they are to accompany her to Aks’lo. Upon arrival, they find the planet under heavy attack by the wave, commanded by none other than Queen Exterpia.
Abigail Brand orders the ship to stay clear of the fight – but it soon becomes clear that the fight will come to them whether or not they “are involved.” The Earth heroes begin plotting their engagement as an outlying Mantis assault vessel gets too close and starts attacking. Deadpool takes this opportunity to teleport on-board and single-handedly takes out the crew of that ship. He then sets the engines to overload and sets course for Exterpia’s capital ship, managing to slip past its defenses to deliver a surprising blow to the wave’s leadership.
Meanwhile, She-Hulk is headed for a shuttlecraft in order to reach the surface and defend against the invasion that is clearly enroute. Iron Man chases after to try and stop her, but is caught inside as they take off towards Aks’lo’s surface. On the way down they are joined by Deadpool who is using his teleportation ability to hop from ship-to-ship and take them out.
After the shuttle crashes, the heroes engage ground troops only enough for Deadpool to teleport the team aboard a personnel transport, which they turn back on the Capital ship once more. This will not succeed – and as their stolen ship is shot down, Deadpool transports them on to the bridge of the capital ship, where they find and fully engage Queen Exterpia herself. Unfortunately, squabbling between Iron Man, Deadpool, and Spider-man creates an opportunity for the Harvester to consume Aks’lo. Abigail Brand informs them in no uncertain terms that their ride is leaving — and the heroes depart, having both failed to protect Aks’lo, or defeat the Queen.
Despite Exterpia’s successful mission, the proximity of the heroes to Exterpia’s person is disgrace in the eyes of Annihilus, and she is rejected. She has gone rogue, trying to regain sufficient glory to even remain a concubine.