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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Re: Animated • Justice League “The Enemy Below” – Part 1

jl06I’m back! So, after a summer and early fall featuring GenCon, a trip out to Seattle, moving into a new house, and starting my own publishing imprint, I’m trying to get back into the regular swing of things, including this blog. We’ll see how the numbers look in terms of folks actually reading it, but I’m likely to keep going at least through the first season of Justice League because I’m a bit of a completist. So, without further ado…

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 1

When the Atlanteans get territorial, they sink a nuclear submarine that enters their sovereign waters, bringing the Justice League rushing to the rescue. Once again, the Javelin is an excellent plot device: having submersible capabilities and breathing masks on-board to get the heroes where the action is.

Note that Superman and Wonder Woman (by definition the strongest heroes around) strain to push the Atlantean warships into each other. This is an example of how Strength scales in the comics. Some versions of Superman juggle planets while the animated series version can catch a falling airliner (as in the initial arc of the Superman animated series) but strains to keep it from crashing.

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