Re: Animated • Justice League “Fury” – Part 1

jl16This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“Fury” – Part 1

The Injustice Gang is back with a couple of new members, and making short work of the security at a Gotham biotech company. In fact, most of this introductory segment could be called “short work.” The villains take out guards left and right: Copperhead by ambush, Sakuri deflecting gunfire with her blades and taking down guards with her martial arts prowess and Shade … well, making things dark for no apparent reason, other than demonstrating his power. Likewise, once Batman is on the scene, he begins taking down the Injustice Gangers quickly: Shade and Copperhead with a single surprise attack, Star Sapphire with a reflected energy bolt, and Grundy with an electro batarang. Sakuri poses more of a challenge: she initially knocks Bats for a loop, they trade blows for a bit, then she seems to get the upper hand, but Batman sends her flying into a wall, leaving her stunned. It’s the Gang’s mysterious new blonde-haired leader who proves to be a surprise.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “The Brave and the Bold” – Part 2

jl15This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“The Brave and the Bold” – Part 2

Following the dramatic disappearance of Central City in Part 1 of “The Brave and the Bold” the rest of the Justice League takes notice when a midwestern U.S. city up and vanishes! Interesting to note that, although the dome started expanding from the lab on the shoreline (riverfront, most likely) it appears centered in the middle of the city, rather than on its outskirts.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “The Brave and the Bold” – Part 1

jl14This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“The Brave and the Bold” – Part 1

Long-time DC editor Julie Schwartz, in his autobiography “Man of Two Worlds,” describes the pedigree of gorillas in comics. So profound was the effect of having an ape on the cover on the sales of a comic book that DC editorial had to institute a limit on the number of gorillas appearing in any given month to stop everyone from doing it! So it’s no surprise that ape characters are a comic book staple. As the staff at Green Ronin Publishing is fond of saying, “Everything is better with monkeys!”

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Re: Animated • Justice League “War World” – Part 2

jl13This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“War World” – Part 2

J’onn’s quick thinking helps to save Superman from another (potentially lethal) volley from Mongul’s robot soldiers, rallying the crowd’s support to keep the alien dictator from executing the defiant Kryptonian on the spot, and demonstrating once again that many victories are won through means other than direct conflict.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “War World” – Part 1

jl12This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“War World” – Part 1

An accident in space leaves Superman and J’onn at the mercy of alien slavers, who sell them to Mongul, the ringmaster of an interstellar bread-and-circuses show called “War World.”

The “teaser” section of this episode could easily be a lead-in to a superhero adventure: an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. It’s a bit of a “bait and switch” scenario: Superman and J’onn think they’re dealing with one crisis, but end up in quite a different one! The asteroid’s unexpected detonation—and the heroes capture by the slavers—is clearly a case of GM fiat to get the ball rolling.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “Paradise Lost” – Part 2

jl11This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“Paradise Lost” – Part 2

In spite of the pretty serious beatings from last episode, Superman and Wonder Woman recover almost immediately from their fight, ready for action again.

In addition to the cute Dr. Strange homage, the investigation scene of Faust’s “sanctum” is primarily exposition and comic relief (with Batman’s “Don’t touch anything!”). One challenge is how this information is passed along to the players to relate to the other players; perhaps Batman’s player gets an “off-stage” briefing or notes. In some systems, this exposition might even be improvisation, declared by the player rather than the GM, based on the GM’s previous foreshadowing that Faust is working for some infernal being.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “Paradise Lost” – Part 1

jl10This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“Paradise Lost” – Part 1

A hurricane strikes “Beach City” (the news report has Snapper Carr reporting from “Beach City Pier”). This preamble is the classic “heroes vs. disaster” scenario, which tends to get limited treatment in superhero RPGs compared to combat.

Diana’s monologue on her way back to Paradise Island is classic and any player who came up with Wonder Woman saying these things to prepare for a confrontation with her mother should get some type of award!

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Re: Animated • Justice League “Injustice for All” – Part 2

jl09This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“Injustice for All” — Part 2

So now that Luthor’s Injustice Gang has caught Batman, what are they going to do with him? Note that Batman is intimidating to most of the villains in the room while chained up and not even trying! That’s some “passive” intimidation score!

A “stasis field” prevents J’onn’s telepathy from locating Batman, the same technology used to restrain J’onn in Secret Origins. Nice consistency in the application of plot devices.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “Injustice for All” – Part 1

jl08This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“Injustice for All” — Part 1

“Injustice for All” is one of my favorite Justice League episodes (along with Season 2’s “Secret Society”) because it has team vs. team dynamics, snappy dialog, and a lot going on, along with a more classic Silver Age Lex Luthor. Plus a terrific use of Batman and his abilities, which we’ll look more at in Part 2.

Thanks to Martian Manhunter impersonating Superman, the League finally gets the goods on Lex Luthor. Luthor hops into a high-tech flier, firing blasts to cover his action, then uses a missile to bring down the roof, all before Batman, Green Lantern, or Martian Manhunter can move to stop him. Given the eagerness of most players to act, this looks like some type of fiat on the part of the GM, creating a complication for the heroes.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “The Enemy Below” – Part 2

jl07This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“The Enemy Below” – Part 2

Going after the missing Aquaman and following up on evidence that someone in Atlantis is behind a plot to assassinate him, the League falls victim to Atlantean perimeter defenses and is captured. Atlantean synaptic headbands leave them largely powerless and in the clutches of Orm, who intends to execute them as he leads an attack on the surface world.

So, Aqauman is largely a joke in fan circles, thanks to versions like the Super-Friends, but Justice League offers us quit possibly the most badass Aquaman ever: Orm chains Aquaman to a rock and pins his infant son there by his swaddling blanket before blasting the rock and sending it sliding into a volcanic trench. Aquaman is able to break one of the chains by sheer effort, but cannot break free of the other. So he severs his own hand in order to save his son! (This, by the way, is far cooler than the comic book version, where Aquaman’s hand gets eaten by piranha.)

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