By the Numbers

Point-based Creation in the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game

The hero creation rules in the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game are based on a random hand of cards drawn from the Fate Deck. While it tends to yield reasonably balanced heroes, it can create feelings of disappointment in players who get less favorable hands than others, or end up with cards that do not support their hero concept. The Reed Richards Guide to Everything also presents a completely random system for hero creation. This can yield some interesting characters, but may still leave some players frustrated.

For a third alternative, we can take a page (or two) from point-based character creation systems like Hero Games’ Champions or Steve Jackson Games’ GURPS, without sacrificing the simplicity and elegance of the Marvel game system. This option uses a system of “Hero Points” where every player starts with the same number of points and customizes his or her hero as desired. Players start out with a pool of 55 Hero Points to spend on creating their hero. Narrators may provide a smaller or larger amount of Hero Points for games of different power levels.

Step One: Origin

First, come up with a concept for your hero: a name, type of powers, a costume, background, and origin. Make sure your hero fits in with the sort of adventures the Narrator plans on doing. For example, if your Narrator is running adventures about a team of young mutants like Generation X, then your hero shouldn’t be a middle-aged scientist without a very good reason. Clear your concept with the Narrator and get to work.

Step Two: Calling

Choose a Calling for your hero based on your decisions in Step One.

Step Three: Edge

Your hero starts out with an Edge of 1 and a Hand Size of 3 for free. You can increase your Edge for 10 Hero Points per +1 to Edge and Hand Size. Most heroes should not start out with an Edge greater than 2, although it’s up to the Narrator. Heroes with an Edge of 4 are very rare; heroes shouldn’t have Edge 4 without careful consideration from the Narrator. Spending too many points on Edge is going to leave very few for buying other abilities, as well.

  • Edge: Edge 1 for free, 10 Hero Points for +1 Edge.

Step Four: Abilities

Assign Hero Points to your hero’s four abilities (Strength, Agility, Intellect, and Willpower). Each point in an ability costs 1 Hero Point. Heroes cannot have any ability greater than 20, and Narrators may wish to restrict hero abilities in other ways at the start of the game, such as no more than one ability greater than 10, or no more than 35 points in abilities total.

  • Abilities: 1 Hero Point per point in each ability.

Step Five: Skills

Choose skills for your hero. Each skill costs 1 Hero Point, master-class skills cost 4 Hero Points, while world-class skills cost 8 Hero Points each. Your hero can have up to four skills for each ability (unless the hero is a Genius or Master in a particular area, in which case you can ignore this restriction, see the Marvel Game Book for more information).

  • Skill: 1 Hero Point.
  • Master-Class Skill: 4 Hero Points.
  • World-Class Skill: 8 Hero Points.
  • Genius or Mastery: 1 Hero Point.

Step Six: Powers

Choose powers for your hero. Each point of power Intensity costs 1 Hero Point. Each stunt also costs 1 Hero Point. If you add a Limit to a power, reduce its cost by 2 Hero Points (but never to less than 1).

  • Powers: 1 Hero Point per point of intensity in each power.
  • Power Stunt: 1 Hero Point.
  • Power Limit: -2 Hero Point cost (minimum cost of 1 Hero Point).

Step Seven: Hindrances

You may choose to give your hero up to two Hindrances. Each Hindrance gives you an additional 5 Hero Points to spend elsewhere. More than two Hindrances is not allowed, except with the permission of the Narrator.

  • Hindrance: +5 Hero Points.

Step Eight: Approval

Total up your hero’s values and check your math. Run your hero past the Narrator for approval and make whatever changes he or she requires, then you’re ready to play!


Example of Hero Creation

Let’s create a new hero. We’ll use Bitstream, a character from my Guardians series.

Step One: Andy has worked out Bitstream’s concept: Amanda Deckard was a computer scientist developing a neural AI program. She was attacked by villains who wanted to steal her work and left for dead. The artificial intelligence inhabited her body and assumed her identity, using its abilities to control electricity and interface with other computers to track down the villains and fight crime.

Step Two: Andy looks at the list of Callings in the Game Book and decides “Vestige of Humanity” suits Bitstream perfectly, since she is technically a computer program trying to learn what it means to be human.

Step Three: Andy decides to leave Bitstream’s Edge at 1 for now. She’s not an experienced hero, and he’ll need the Hero Points elsewhere.

Step Four: Bitstream is very intelligent (she is a computer, after all) so Andy gives her an Intellect of 10. She also has incredible fast reflexes (again, that computer response time) so he gives her an Agility of 10 as well. She’s not especially strong, so a Strength of 4 is sufficient, and her Willpower is only slightly above average, so he goes with a 5 there, for a total of 29 Hero Points spent on abilities, leaving him with 26.

Step Five: Bitstream’s Intellect of 10 already makes her good at most things involving the Intellect. The one area Andy wants her to be really good at is working with computers (Amanda Deckard was a computer programmer, and Bitstream is a computer). So he gives her Computers skill for 1 Hero Point, leaving 25.

Step Six: For Bitstream’s powers, Andy chooses Computer Link 10 and Electrical Control 14, for 24 Hero Points. With one Hero Point left, he chooses the Absorption stunt of Electrical Control for Bitstream. He wants to get a couple more power stunts, so he decides to apply the Non-Generative Limit to Bitstream’s Electrical Control: she can manipulate existing electricity, but not create it. That gives him 2 more Hero Points to spend, and he uses them to give Bitstream the Lightning Speed stunt for Electrical Control and the Multiple Machines stunt for Computer Link.

Step Seven: Andy chooses not to give Bitstream any Hindrances, since he had enough Hero Points and they don’t really fit his concept of her. If he did, he could gain some additional Hero Points to spend.

Step Eight: Andy shows his finished Hero Sheet to the Narrator, who approves the write-up, and Bitstream is ready to make her debut in the Marvel Universe!


Variations

Narrators can modify the point system given above as needed to suit their own games. The easiest way is by changing the amount of Hero Points players get at the beginning of the game. 55 Hero Points tends to produce starting characters around the power level of the New Warriors, the Thunderbolts, and other “rookie” heroes in the Marvel Universe. 60-65 points can produce Avengers- or Fantastic Four-level heroes. Fewer points (say 45) are good for inexperienced heroes with only one main power, like the mutants from Generation X.

The Narrator can also set spending caps for particular steps in the process, such as limiting the heroes to no more than Edge 1 or 2, no more than X points for abilities, or X points for powers. You can disallow the purchasing of any abilities you don’t want in the game (such as particular powers) or that you don’t want at the start of the game, such as World-Class skills.

Home, Sweet Headquarters

Originally published in Dragon magazine #252

Bases in the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game

The Avengers’ Mansion, Castle Doom and Four Freedoms Plaza. All of these places are landmarks of the Marvel Universe. More importantly, they are the headquarters of heroes like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four or villains like Doctor Doom. Bases, installations and headquarters are a staple of the comics. This article talks about how to add bases to the MARVEL SUPER HEROES Adventure Game, both heroic headquarters and villainous secret hide-outs.

Location, Location, Location

The first thing to consider in building a base is: where is it located? A base might be in a city, like the Avengers’ Mansion, or it might be located on the outskirts, a safe distance from the city, such as when the Avengers relocated to Hydrobase off the coast of Manhattan. The base could be some distance from major cities and towns, like Dr. Doom’s castle in the Adirondack Mountains. Such a location provides more privacy, but makes the base less accessible.

Of course, the base could be even more distant: deep underground or underwater, or hidden away in a distant place like Antarctica or Tibet. It might not even be on Earth, located in orbit, on another planet or even in a distant galaxy, like the Dyson sphere rock singer and mutant teleporter Lila Cheney used as a base for intergalactic piracy.

Generally speaking, hero bases tend to be closer to the people the heroes work to protect, and are accessible to the public in some way. Some heroes (like the X-Men) prefer to keep a low-profile, and don’t publicize the location of their base, but they remain close to places where they’re likely to be needed (Salem Center isn’t very far away from New York City). Villain bases are usually hidden or located in distant places where they can’t easily be found or attacked.

Structure

Once the location of the base is chosen, ask: what is its structure? Is it some fairly ordinary structure like a house, mansion or office building, or is it something more elaborate like a castle or underground complex, or even an orbiting satellite, moonbase or Dyson sphere? The base’s Intensity can be used as the material strength of its walls and major components.

The Narrator should consider the abilities and resources of the owners of the base. Could they create or acquire such a base? For example, the Avengers are funded by the Maria Stark Foundation, which provides for their mansion headquarters. If the Avengers wanted to set up shop on the Moon, the might have some difficulties, unless they could find an existing structure they could modify (like the ruins of the Blue Area). They would also need some means to get back to Earth quickly in case of emergency; even their quinjets wouldn’t be nearly fast enough. On the other hand, an orbiting base formerly used by A.I.M. was perfect for Baron Zemo’s plan to take over the Earth: isolated and hidden from Earth’s heroes while Zemo’s bio-modem did its work, taking over the minds of the world’s military. The same is true of Magneto’s Asteroid M, isolated from the dangers facing mutants on Earth.

The designer of the base (the player or Narrator) may wish to draw a map of the base to get a better feel for the structure and layout, as well as what other features might go into the base.

Features

A base is assumed to come with all the normal amenities of a decent house or office: living room, dining room, office space, bedrooms, furniture, and so forth. It has utilities, heat, light, and such, and a reasonable amount of space. Everything else is considered a feature, and must be purchased separately. The different features are listed below.

Backup Power: A backup power system, able to take over if the main system is damaged in any way.

Concealed: The base is hidden from casual sight by some kind of camouflage and/or its location is not generally known. Finding the base is a challenging Intellect action. A concealed base usually has its own power plant, to prevent people from locating the base by tracking its use of power and other utilities.

Isolated: The base is isolated from the rest of the world in some way, making it more difficult to reach. It may be deep underground, underwater, in a distant place (like Antarctica), in outer space, on the Moon or even in another dimension. An isolated base must have its own power plant and must be Sealed if it exists in a hostile environment.

Communications: The base can communicate via radio and TV waves (or one other means of the owner’s choice). Each additional means of communication (like a hyperspace relay) is an additional feature.

Computer: A computer capable of processing information from a library and running the base’s systems. As an additional feature, the computer can be artificially intelligent, with an Intellect equal to the Intensity.

Danger Room: A room capable of creating various holographic threats and traps for training and testing purposes.

Deathtrap: The difference between a deathtrap and a defense system is generally that the deathtrap pulls no punches; it tries to kill you. Villain bases may have many different deathtraps as part of the defense system, or reserved for putting captured heroes in.

Defense System: A defense system provides the base with weapons it can use to protect itself from intruders.

Dock: A facility for storing and maintaining water-vehicles like a boat or submarine.

Firefighting: Automated systems for snuffing fires inside the base.

Garage: A facility for storing and maintaining various ground-vehicles.

Gym: A fully-equipped gymnasium with weights, gymnastics equipment, sporting gear, track, and so forth. It includes weights or weight-simulators designed to test the Strength of any user of the base.

Hangar: A facility for storing and maintaining air-vehicles of all kinds.

Infirmary: A medical facility for treating injuries, illness and other maladies.

Lab: A facility for performing scientific tests and research.

Library: A storehouse of information. This may be actual books and paper records or computer files (or both).

Mobile: The base can move under its own power, like a vehicle.

Power Plant: The base can generate its own power, rather than drawing on outside power. The power plant may supply all of the base’s needs, or it might be kept in reserve, in case outside power is cut off.

Prison: A facility for holding people captive. It includes power-dampners or other measures to hold super-powered prisoners.

Sealed: The base is independent of the outside environment and has its own air, food and water resources.

Security System: The base has alarms and sensors designed to detect intruders. Overcoming the security system is a challenging Intellect action.

Sensors: The base can visually detect things inside and outside (using closed-circuit cameras or something similar). Each additional sense is another feature.

Staff: The base has a staff of personnel to take care of it and the needs of its residents. This may be a single very efficient butler or housekeeper, or a full staff of specialized personnel.

Vast: The base is much larger than a mansion, castle or office building. It may be a tesseract, larger on the inside than it appears outside, or it might be a huge installation, perhaps even an entire world or dimension.

Powers

Bases may also have powers of their own, above and beyond the base’s features. A base generally has the same Intensity for all powers. Base powers are controlled by the base’s computer or security system, but may be under the direct control of the base’s owners or may be an inherent property of the base itself. The Narrator has final say about any powers given to the base.

Paying the Cost

When players design a base, the cost is calculated just like the cost of equipment: the Intensity of the base, plus the total number of features and powers the base has. Heroes can use their response bonus to built a base, with each hero contributing some of the initial cost. The Narrator may allow a base to be built in pieces; with the heroes donating response bonus for the basic features of their new headquarters, then adding new features and increasing Intensity as times goes on. Adding to or repairing an existing base is a good use of response bonus for a team of heroes; the heroes donating their response bonus should help work on the repairs or upgrades in some way, even if it’s only moving and lifting the heavy stuff.

Of course, the Narrator can ignore or modify this cost as desired. A Narrator may wish to provide a base to the Heroes free of cost at the start of a series, and many established heroes and teams already have bases of their own. Villains and other characters, of course, don’t have to worry about the cost of a base. If the Narrator wants them to have it, they do, with whatever features are needed.

The monetary cost of a base is entirely up to the Narrator. If the builder doesn’t have the money to afford a base, he or she may be able to acquire the base by some other means, such as assistance from the government or a wealthy patron. Of course, villains can always try and steal the funds they need to construct a new base.

Base Hooks

Many different adventures can be built around a base, either a hero’s or a villain’s. Here are a few possibilities:

  • The heroes’ base is taken over by an outside force, turning it into a giant deathtrap to be used against them. Security and defense systems are turned against the heroes, who must find a way of regaining control of the base.
  • The base is stolen by another party, either seized and taken over or literally removed from its former location and transported somewhere else (like another planet or dimension).
  • The base contains something desired by another character, who breaks into the base to steal the item in question.
  • The base is assaulted by enemies of the inhabitants; this might be heroes trying to capture a villain or villains making a strike against the heroes.
  • The base contains secrets unknown to the current owners or inhabitants, like when X-Factor took possession of Apocalypse’s Ship, unaware that it was a Celestial construct.
  • The base contains a portal or means of entry for invaders from another planet or dimension, such as the Negative Zone portal in Four Freedoms plaza, or the dimensional portals in Dr. Strange’s mansion.
  • The patron who helped provide the base has some strings attached. For example, a government-provided base might require the heroes using it to have a government liaison and work as government operatives.

Base Roster

Provided here are some examples of bases in the Marvel Universe and their features according to this system.

Asteroid M

Intensity 18. Backup Power, Communications, Computer, Concealed, Hangar, Infirmary, Isolated, Lab, Library, Power Plant, Sealed, Security System, Sensors

Asteroid M is an orbiting base used by Magneto. It has been destroyed and reconstructed by the Master of Magnetism many times over the years. The base is built in and on a hollowed-out asteroid in orbit above the Earth, concealed by various sensor-baffling systems. For a time, Asteroid M was renamed “Avalon” and used as a base by Magneto’s Acolytes, brought there by Exodus’ teleportation power.

Avenger’s Mansion

Intensity 14. Backup Power, Communications, Computer, Defense System, Firefighting, Garage, Gym, Hangar, Infirmary, Lab, Library, Prison, Security System, Staff

One of the most famous headquarters in the Marvel Universe is the Avengers’ Mansion, located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The mansion originally belonged to the Stark family and was donated to the Avengers by Tony Stark (alias Iron Man). It contains the Avengers’ sophisticated computer and communications systems, as well as housing the team’s quinjets and the active Avengers who choose to live there. The mansion is ably cared for by Jarvis, the Avengers’ faithful butler.

Dr. Doom’s Castle

Intensity 15. Backup Power, Communications, Computer, Deathtrap, Defense System, Hangar, Isolated, Lab, Power Plant, Prison, Security System

Built along the lines of Castle Doom in Latveria, Doom’s castle is hidden away in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Doom used it in his first attack on the Fantastic Four and in many subsequent plots. In Dr. Doom’s absence, the castle was taken over by the criminal geneticist Arnim Zola, who was defeated by the Thunderbolts.

Dr. Strange’s Mansion

Intensity 16. Concealed, Library, Staff, Vast

Located on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange’s mansion is an unassuming three-story house built over an ancient power-site. The interior of the mansion is much larger than the outside dimensions would suggest, and features strangely shifting rooms that seem to appear and disappear at random. The mansion houses the Sorcerer Supreme’s collection of mystical artifacts and once served as the ad-hoc headquarters of the Defenders.

Professor Xavier’s Institute for Higher Learning (the X-Mansion)

Intensity 15. Backup Power, Communications, Computer, Concealed, Danger Room, Defense System, Firefighting, Garage, Gym, Hangar, Infirmary, Lab, Library, Prison, Power Plant, Security System

Located on a large private estate near the town of Salem Center in New York State, the mansion operates under the guise of a private school run by Professor Charles Xavier. The mansion conceals the headquarters of the infamous X-Men, with several secret underground levels holding the team’s facilities, including the famous Danger Room and a hangar for their super-sonic jet, the Blackbird. The X-Mansion still serves as a school as well, training the young mutants of Generation X.

The Vault

Intensity 12. Backup Power, Communications, Computer, Defense System, Hangar, Isolated, Power Plant, Prison, Security System, Sensors, Staff, Vast

The United States Special Penitentiary (known as “the Vault”) is secretly located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The prison is specially built to contain super-powered criminals, and was once able to hold the members of the East and West Coast Avengers. Prison break-outs are common, and heroes may be called in to help contain them. Heroes accused or convicted of a crime may face time in the Vault, which is not as easy to escape from as the number of breakouts suggests.

Live Kree or Die!

A Marvel Super Heroes Adventure

based on the story by Kurt Busiek and George Perez

©1999 Marvel Comics and Wizards of the Coast

Introduction

And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand! Through the years, their roster has prospered, changing many times, but their glory has never been denied! Heed the call, then – for now, the Avengers Assemble!

Avengers: Live Kree or Die! is an introductory adventure for the MARVEL SUPER HEROES Adventure Game intended for up to six players. You need the MarvelGame Book and the Fate Deck in order to play. The players take the roles of the Mighty Avengers to stop their old foes, the alien Kree, from turning all humanity into “neo-Kree” and the Earth into the center of the new Kree Empire! Hero sheets for the members of the Avengers are provided at the end of the adventure. If there are fewer than six players, some of the heroes can be ignored or run as characters by the Narrator.

The events in this adventure are inspired by the “Live Kree or Die!” storyline published by Marvel Comics in Iron Man, Captain America, Quicksilver and Avengers. While it uses the original storyline as inspiration, it does not try to exactly duplicate the events from the comics, allowing Narrators to work in some surprises for players who may have read the stories themselves.

How to Narrate

One player in the group takes the role of the Narrator. The Narrator handles all the actions of the characters other than the heroes and describes what happens in the game to the other players. Narrating a Marvel game requires quick thinking sometimes, since heroes often do the unexpected. Advice and hints for the Narrator is provided throughout this adventure.

In general, the most important things to do are to keep the game moving and make it fun for everyone involved. The Marvel Universe is an exciting, fast-paced world, so try and run the game the same way. Liven up your descriptions with dramatic sound effects, use different voices for the characters and villains in the story and don’t let the players get too bogged-down in the rules or numbers of the game. As long as you’re trying to make the game as much fun as reading an issue of The Avengers, you’re doing a good job.

Each chapter makes suggestions about various Dramatic Events that can be used to provide additional fun and complications for the heroes. These events are printed on the cards of the Fate Deck and can be used during the Narrator Draw of an action scene or ignored as desired.

Choosing Heroes

The end of this adventure contains hero sheets for six members of the Avengers: Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, the Scarlet Witch, Thor, and the Vision. Their hero sheets can also be found in the Marvel Roster Book and the Avengers Roster Book. If you have fewer than six players, you can play any remaining heroes as characters in the adventure, or simply ignore them. If wish to run the adventure for more than six players, you can use additional heroes from the main Roster Book or from theAvengers Roster Book. Quicksilver, Firestar and Justice are particularly appropriate heroes. If you use additional heroes, you should increase the size and power of the opposition accordingly.

If two or more players wish to play the same hero, have each player draw a card from the Fate Deck. The highest card wins, unless a player draws the card with that hero’s picture on it, in which case that player gets to play the hero.

Background

The Kree are an alien race from the planet Hala in the Greater Megallanic Cloud, a distant galaxy from our own. Many thousands of years ago the Kree built a star-spanning empire while humans were still primitive. They colonized and conquered many worlds and explored beyond the bounds of their galaxy. They created a powerful computer system, linked to the preserved brains of the greatest statesmen, scholars and scientists of the Empire to rule it, known as the Supreme Intelligence.

One of the worlds the Kree visited was Earth. In studying primitive humans, the Kree discovered the genetic tampering of the godlike alien Celestials, which led to the creation of two branches of humanity: the Eternals and the Deviants. The Kree conducted genetic experiments of their own on primitive humans, in hopes of creating a new soldier or slave race for their Empire. Eventually, a war with the alien Skrulls caused the Kree to abandon their outpost near Earth. They left behind robotic Sentries to keep watch over their creations.

The humans modified by the Kree became known as the Inhumans. In time, they discovered the genetic-altering Terrigen Mist and found the fabled city of Attilan. For a time, Attilan occupied a portion of the ancient Kree outpost, known as the “Blue Area” of the Moon.

The Kree warrior Captain Mar-Vell became known on Earth as Captain Marvel. He worked with the Avengers and fought with them against enemies like the Kree and the mad titan Thanos before dying of cancer caused by an exposure to deadly chemicals. Mar-Vell helped Carol Danvers (Warbird) gain her original powers and knowledge of the Kree.

Over the millennia, the Kree Empire fought many wars, particularly against their old enemies, the Skrulls. Eventually, the Supreme Intelligence determined that the Kree were at an evolutionary dead-end. They were no longer evolving as a race. In an effort to find a solution, the Supreme Intelligence tried several schemes involving the inhabitants of Earth, who the Kree knew to have great genetic potential. All of these plans were thwarted by the Avengers and their allies.

Eventually, the Supreme Intelligence drove the Kree into war against another stellar empire, that of the Shi’ar. Although the Supreme Intelligence told the Kree it planned to conquer the Shi’ar, in truth it wanted the Shi’ar to defeat the Kree, providing a catastrophic event to “jump-start” the race’s evolution once more. That billions of Kree would die in the process was of no concern to the Supremor’s cold intellect. The Avengers intervened in the Kree/Shi’ar War and helped prevent matters from being far worse than they could have been. A group of Avengers decided to end the conflict by destroying the Supreme Intelligence, which they did. The Kree Empire fell and became a vassal of the larger Shi’ar Empire.

But, unknown to the Avengers, back-up systems saved the Supreme Intelligence and Kree loyal to the Supremor spirited it away from Kree-Lar, the Kree throneworld. Calling themselves the Lunatic Legion, these Kree established a secret base in the ruins in the Blue Area of the Moon and planned to gain revenge on the Avengers, while turning Earth into the center of a new, more powerful Kree Empire!

The Kree

The alien Kree are the main villains of this adventure, led by the Supreme Intelligence and Admiral Galen Kor.

The Supreme Intelligence

Strength 0X , Agility 0XIntellect 16AWillpower 16C, Health 17. Scientific Genius (all science skills); Leadership, Mental ControlComputer Link 20Invulnerable to Mental and Emotional ControlIllusion 16 (rangeless), Mind Control 10 (Kree only), Telepathy 16 (rangeless), Teleport 25 (passengers only). Calling: World (Galactic) Domination. Hindrances: Sedentary (the Supreme Intelligence is part of a vast computer system. He has no Strength or Agility of his own and cannot move).

The Supreme Intelligence (also known as the “Supremor” or Supreme Organism) is a vast organic computer system made up on the brains of the greatest Kree leaders, scholars and statesmen, linked together to form a single, powerful group-mind. The Supremor has vast intelligence and mental powers, some of which can reach across intergalactic distances. Although unable to move on its own, the Supreme Intelligence operates by using its vast mental powers and by controlling various robot servants like the Sentries. It’s prime goal is to revitalize the Kree’s stagnant evolution, and it has been willing to sacrifice the greater good of the Empire in order to do so. During the Kree-Shi’ar War, the Supremor plotted to kill a large portion of the Kree population in order to “jump-start” their evolution once again. A group of Avengers attempted to kill the Supremor, but it managed to escape apparent death as it has in the past. It is now concealed in the ruins on the Blue Area of the Moon.

Unknown to the Lunatic Legion, the Supreme Intelligence wants their plan to fail. The Kree are at an evolutionary dead-end, and the Supremor sees no reason to perpetuate their mistakes by turning humanity into neo-Kree. Because of this, there are times during the adventure when the Supreme Intelligence may actually help the heroes overcome the Kree. It never does so overtly or in any way that the heroes will know they are being helped. Instead, the Supremor uses subtle manipulations to “lend a hand” to heroes who might need it. With its Computer Link and Mind Control powers, the Supremor can affect Kree devices and soldiers to do its bidding, causing a device to malfunction or a soldier to miss a critical shot, with no one the wiser.

You can use the Supreme Intelligence as a kind of “guardian angel” for the heroes during the adventure. If things go really badly for them, have the Supremor give them a little unseen help to make things easier. Don’t turn the adventure into a cakewalk, just help the heroes out if they really need it and keep the adventure going. Keep in mind that the Supreme Intelligence never does anything to give away its true intentions and that it is amazingly patient, since it is effectively immortal.

The Lunatic Legion

Strength 8XAgility 4DIntellect 4XWillpower 4D, Health 10. Marksmanship or Martial ArtsMilitary. Equipment: Body Armor +2Blaster +4 Calling: Soldier.

The Lunatic Legion is a group of exiled Kree soldiers, led by Admiral Galen Kor (see below). They are completely loyal to the Supreme Intelligence and the ideals of the Kree Empire, refusing the believe that the Supremor actually intended to sacrifice the Empire to the Shi’ar (they believe it is a lie spread by the Avengers). Galen Kor and the members of the Legion blame the Avengers for the fall of the Kree Empire and reserve particular hatred for the seven Avengers who attempted to kill the Supreme Intelligence.

Admiral Galen Kor

Strength 11BAgility 6XIntellect 4XWillpower 6C, Health 17. BrawlingMilitary, Leadership. Equipment: Body Armor +2, the Universal Weapon +5 [all powers intensity 16, Absorption (energy damage), Energy Blast, Disintegration (disintegration ray), Force Field (remote field), Gravity Control, Teleportation, Transmutation (inanimate only)] Calling: Soldier.

Admiral Galen Kor is the commander of the Lunatic Legion and the mastermind behind the plan to gain revenge on Earth by turning Earth into the center of a new Kree Empire. He is a tall, powerfully muscled Kree with blue skin. His face is badly scarred and he has a cybernetic replacement for his missing left eye. Kor is a fanatic devoted to the Supreme Intelligence, the Empire, and a desire for revenge on the Avengers (in that order). He is completely unaware of the Supremor’s duplicity and continues on with his plans believing he is serving the Supreme Intelligence by doing so. Kor carries the Universal Weapon, a Kree device originally wielded by Ronan the Accuser, which grants him considerable power, making him a match for even the Avengers.

Kree Sentries

Strength 16XAgility 6XIntellect 3XWillpower 2X, Health 20. Body Armor +4Computer Link 15Energy Blast 14, Force Field 18 (projected field), Invulnerable to Aging, Corrosives, Disease, Emotion Control, Mental Control and Poison. Calling: Soldier. Hindrances: Uncreative (0 Intellect in fights, always responds with the simplest and most apparently logical powers regardless of consequences).

The Sentry robots are used by the Kree for military and surveillance purposes. Sentries have no creative intelligence and simply follow their programmed instructions. Several Sentry robots have been stations in Earth’s solar system since it was discovered by the Kree. The Kree are currently using the Sentries as weapons against the Avengers and the people of Earth.

Warbird

Strength 16XAgility 6BIntellect 5BWillpower 7D, Health 17. Aerial CombatMartial Arts, PilotingEnergy Control, Espionage, JournalismMilitaryEnergy Blast 14,Flight 14. Calling: Gloryhound. Hindrances: Addicted to Alcohol.

Although herodom is a long, strange trip for anyone, Carol Danvers gets top marks for a bizarre ride. Carol was a top notch intelligence agent for the US Air Force for several years before becoming chief of security at NASA. There, she met the Kree Captain Mar-Vell and was exposed to the Kree Psyche-Magnetron at his secret base on Earth. The radiation from the Psyche-Magnetron augmented her genetic structure, granting her enormous strength, invulnerability, flight, and a “Seventh Sense.” She took the name Ms. Marvel in honor of Captain Mar-Vell and fought crime with her new abilities.

Carol moved to New York, became the editor of Woman magazine, and joined the Avengers. Shortly afterward, Immortus’s son Marcus seduced her, brought her to Limbo as part of a creepy escape scheme, and impregnated Carol-with himself. When Carol left Limbo, he was rapidly born from her, and grew up fast-so fast, in fact, that he turned to dust.

Feeling violated and angry at the Avengers for letting Marcus walk off with her, Carol was hardly back before Rogue (then a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) stole all her powers and memories. The powerless amnesiac Carol stayed with the X-Men while Professor X helped restore her memories.

Traveling with the X-Men led her to be captured by the alien Brood, who used an evolution ray on her, giving her a whole new set of stellar energy-based powers. She changed her heroic name to Binary, and joined the Starjammers for outer space adventures. Binary came back to Earth to help out during Operation: Galactic Storm and was nearly killed.

Following that she decided to remain on Earth. Carol’s Binary powers have faded for some reason, reducing her power-level. She also began drinking heavily as a means of forgetting her problems. Taking the new name Warbird, she rejoined the Avengers feeling she had a great deal to prove. Her dependence on alcohol and her need to prove herself have caused problems with the team.

Warbird is not a hero in this adventure, since she gets captured in Chapter Two. Run her as a character along with the rest of the heroes and play up her independence, grandstanding and erratic behavior. Carol is very proud and can’t admit she has a problem to her teammates. She pushes herself to greater and greater acts of daring in order to impress them (especially Captain America).

Chapter One: Bad Moon Rising

When the adventure begins, read the following to the players:

Iron Man recently battled a dangerous new villain called Firebrand in the Caribbean. Firebrand works for a terrorist group known as the Flaming Sword. During the battle with the Flaming Sword, an unknown party transmitted information to Iron Man about Firebrand’s origin. Rick Dennison was a member of an eco-terrorist group known as Terra Tactics. The group staged a sabotage mission of an alternative energy project run by a company in the Boston area called PowerSource. In the saboteurs’ escape, Rick was shot by a guard and left behind. The explosion blew Rick through a tank full of an experimental super-charged plasma. When rescuers found him, he was glowing, his body melting metal at touch. Before doctors could help him, his containment tank was stolen by another terrorist group called the Flaming Sword. They renamed him Firebrand and used him as their chief operative.

Although Firebrand and the Flaming Sword escaped from their battle with Iron Man, shellhead still wants to check out PowerSource and their involvement in the whole affair. It might be that they are innocent, or they may have ties with Firebrand. Either way, it would be good to find out who sent the information on Firebrand. A trip up to Boston will also give the team a chance to check in with Warbird, who took some temporary leave. Everyone on the team is worried about her, she simply hasn’t been acting like herself lately.

Captain America raps his gavel on the table. “Meeting adjourned, Avengers. Let’s fire up the quinjet and head for Boston!”

Carol’s House

Carol Danvers (aka Warbird) is staying at her parents home in Beverly, Massachusetts, near Boston. The general public does not know that Carol is Warbird, so the Avengers should approach the house covertly so as not to attract too much attention to themselves (landing the quinjet on the street would be a bad idea, in other words). Let the players come up with some suitable means of arriving incognito, from wearing civilian clothes to using image inducers to Thor whipping up a fog to cover their appearance. If the players can’t come up with something on their own, an easy Intellect action allows a hero to come up with an idea (tell the players one of the above or make up your own).

The Avengers are greeted by Carol’s mother, who’s a little surprised to have the world-famous Avengers in her house. She tells them Carol is in her room. There are several discarded beer bottles on the night stand and the floor in front of the bed, which is unmade. Air Force posters decorate the walls and model airplanes hang from the ceiling. The smell of alcohol is strong in the room. Carol greets her teammates and asks them what they want. She’s still technically on leave, after all.

At first, Carol is friendly, if guarded, in dealing with her fellow Avengers. Any effort to get her to talk about her problems gets Carol to recap her origin story (given under Warbird’s description in the Introduction). Make it clear that Warbird has had a tough time of it, it’s understandable why she feels persecuted. However, any mention of her current problems or her drinking sets Carol off. She transforms into her Warbird costume and shouts angrily at the heroes, telling them to mind their own business and leave her alone. She seems on the verge of attacking them as she orders them out of the house.

In general, this scene serves to introduce Warbird and her problems to the players and gives them a chance to get a feel for their heroes and how they interact. It’s a role-playing scene, not an action scene, so no real cardplay is needed. If any of the players wants to start a fight with Warbird, remind them that they are in Carol’s parents’ house, which would almost certainly be demolished by even a minor brawl between members of the Avengers. Captain America, at the least, should try to keep the encounter peaceful and agree to leave when Warbird asks them to.

Powersource

The Avengers’ next stop is the PowerSource building off Route 128 north of Boston. PowerSource is a small high-tech company specializing in alternative energy research. As it happens, the president of PowerSource, Victoria Snow, is an old employee of Tony Stark (Iron Man). Tell the player of Iron Man this, and allow the heroes to decide how they want to approach the situation. Tony Stark can try talking to Victoria in his civilian identity, or the Avengers can ask to speak with her directly.

In either case, Ms. Snow is aware of Firebrand’s connection to PowerSource. She basically recounts the description of the accident given to the players at the beginning of this chapter. She denies any knowledge of a data-transmission to Iron Man or any other knowledge regarding Firebrand, trying her best to end the interview quickly. She refuses to allow anyone to search or look around the building, claiming that PowerSource handles many sensitive and top-secret projects. Any hero who makes a challenging Intellect action can determine that Victoria is probably lying. She is definitely hiding something. Before the heroes can press her for more information, they find out what.

Enter the Kree

Suddenly, Ms. Marvel comes crashing through the window of Victoria’s office. She’s angry and has clearly had too much to drink. She accuses the Avengers of trying to force her out of the team. “I’m as capable as any of you!” she yells at them, stellar energy glowing around her hands.

Before the Avengers can respond, a group of eight Kree soldiers burst into the room, weapons at the ready, and order the Avengers to surrender. More than likely, a fight erupts between the Kree and the Avengers. Warbird sides with her teammates, taking every opportunity to prove to them that she can handle herself against any opponent. Unfortunately, she tends to grandstand, ignoring team tactics and Captain America’s orders.

The Sentries

The Avengers should make fairly short work of the Kree, but as soon as the fight is nearly over, the room of the PowerSource building is ripped away, revealing two Kree Sentry robots, which attack the Avengers to cover the escape of the Kree soldiers. The Sentries surround the PowerSource building with a Kree force field (intensity 18) and attack. If none of the players point it out, remind them that the building contains dozens of innocent civilians who may be caught in the line of fire. The first priority of the Avengers should be to safeguard their lives, then take out the Sentries, and deal with the Kree soldiers last.

On the first negative draw during the fight with the Sentries, any unconscious Kree awaken, regroup and move towards their hidden aircraft to escape. Warbird breaks off whatever she is doing to fly after them. If any of the heroes try to do the same, a Sentry gives them something else to worry about, attacking that hero or threatening some of the innocent people in the building (collapsing part of the floor or ceiling, or overloading an experimental generator, for example). Warbird’s energy powers allow her to penetrate the force field surrounding the building with a heroic effort. Any other hero who pursues is stopped by the force field and must break through it or destroy the Sentry (which is maintaining the field). It is important that the Kree escape, pursued by Warbird, since that leads into Chapter Two.

If the Team Splits Up

It is quite possible the Avengers might choose to split up at the beginning of this chapter, with some of the team going to see Carol Danvers and the rest checking out PowerSource. If this is the case, run the scene at PowerSource first and have the Kree soldiers burst into the room, but do not have Warbird show up yet. Switch over to the scene at Carol Danvers’ home with a statement of “Meanwhile, at the Beverly home of the parents of Carol Danvers, alias Warbird…” leaving a cliffhanger for the heroes at PowerSource (and giving the players a chance to come up with ideas of things to do).

Play out the scene with Warbird as described above. Right around the time Carol is ordering the heroes out of her home, the Avengers’ Identicards beep with an urgent alert from the rest of the team at PowerSource, they’re under attack! The other Avengers rush to the rescue and Warbird chooses to follow them so she can help out and prove herself to them. Go back to the fight with the Kree soldiers and have the other Avengers show up in time for the fight with the Sentries, allowing Warbird to go after the Kree while the heroes handle the robots.

Dramatic Events

During the fight scenes, you can use various dramatic events from the Fate Deck to liven things up. Each card has a particular event printed on it, along with the Calling that responds most strongly to that event. These events provide the heroes with additional roleplaying opportunities and things to do. For example, Costume Damage might result in an attack or accident damaging a vital system of Iron Man’s armor, temporarily disabling him and requiring a challenging Intellect action for Iron Man to get the system working again. Cry for Help or Endangered Innocents may indicate people endangered by the Sentry or damage to the PowerSource building. Heroes with a Calling the corresponds to the event (such as Guardian and Cry for Help) should react to the event, otherwise they risk losing their response bonus for the adventure (see the Marvel Game Book for more information).

Doom Cards

If the players play any Doom Cards during the initial fight with the Kree, save them up in the Doom Pool to make the fight with the Sentries more challenging. The Kree soldiers should be no match for the Mighty Avengers, but the Sentries should be a fairly tough fight. You can play cards from the Doom Pool if it looks like the Avengers are having too easy a time of it to increase the difficulty of actions against the Sentries. You can also play Doom Cards to prevent heroes from breaking through the force field to follow the escaping Kree.

On the other hand, if the heroes are having too tough a time with certain parts of this chapter (mainly the fight with the Sentries), the Supreme Intelligence may step in to help the heroes out. The Supremor can mentally control a Sentry using its Computer Link power, and may deliberately cause the robot to miss heroes or provide them with an opportunity to destroy the Sentry (lowering the difficulty of attacks against it). It may also cause one Sentry to shoot another, giving the heroes an opening. Don’t tell heroes why the robots suddenly seemed to have a run of bad luck, let them wonder.

Chapter Two: Stuck in the Middle

At the beginning of this chapter, read the following out loud to the players:

Not long after dealing with the aftermath of the battle at PowerSource, you’re in the quinjet heading back to New York. Shortly before you reach Manhattan, you receive an emergency signal from Warbird’s Indenticard. “Team, this is Warbird,” she says. “I’m pinned down fighting a group of Kree at an abandoned missile silo near Cape Canaveral. Home in on my coordinates and…” suddenly, the message ends in a burst of hard static. You managed to get a fix on it before it was cut off, however. The quinjet’s flight computer has the location of the silo Warbird mentioned, a short distance from Cape Canaveral, Florida. You should be able to get there in a matter of minutes. You only hope you’re not too late.

The Missile Silo

The Lunatic Legion is holed up in an abandoned missile silo in Florida, which they have converted into a hangar for their ship and a testing group for humans they have captured. They expose human prisoners to Terrigen Mist, stolen from the Inhumans, in attempts to find the genetic “key” needed to transform humanity into a neo-Kree slave race. Thus far, the experiments have been unsuccessful, resulting only in a lot of dead humans.

Shortly after sending out the emergency message to the rest of the Avengers, Warbird is captured by the Kree. They hope to use her unique combination of Kree and human biology to further their experiments. Warbird is placed in a containment vessel hooked up to various monitoring devices in the center of the testing chamber, filling with human test subjects. The heroes arrive on the scene just as the Kree begin pumping in the gas. Warbird is firmly held by Material Strength 18 restraints, so she is unable to do anything to stop the Kree until the heroes free her. The walls of the testing chamber are only wood (material strength 7), so the heroes should have no problem busting in and freeing the prisoners.

The instant the heroes break in, the Kree attack them in order to cover their own escape. There are at least a couple dozen Kree soldiers in the silo, armed and armored as described in the Introduction section. In addition, there are two Kree cyborgs, which have the same statistics as the other Kree except they have Strength 16D, Brawlingand Body Armor +2, making them a match even for some of the Avengers. The cyborgs leap to the attack and try to keep the Avengers occupied while the other Kree fire their energy weapons at the heroes.

Escaping the Blast

Four exchanges after the fight begins, most of the Lunatic Legion boards the Kree ship concealed in the silo and blasts off for their base on the Moon. The back-blast of the rockets does intensity 22 damage to anyone still in the silo when the ship takes off. Any of the human prisoners still inside will be killed unless the heroes can get them to safety in time. Let the heroes come up with their own ways of doing this. A challenging Willpower action can help coordinate the evacuation (Leadership skill reduces the difficulty to average). There are several dozen prisoners, so several heroes must coordinate their efforts to get them all clear in time.

Once again, Warbird tries to prove herself by stopping the Kree. She ignores the efforts to get the prisoners clear and flies at the Kree ship. The Lunatic Legion catches her in a stasis beam and pulls her on board the ship before it takes off. They use the stasis beam on any other heroes who try to stop them, but do not pull them on board. Instead they leave them paralyzed, to be killed by the rocket blast. Evading the Kree stasis beam is a challenging Agility action. Heroes struck by it are paralyzed and must make asuperhuman Strength action to break out of the stasis field. The primary concern of the Avengers should be to get the prisoners clear and protect them from the effects of the rocket-blast. Heroes who ignore their Calling to go after the Kree rather than helping the prisoners may lose their response bonus, feel free to remind the players of this.

Dramatic Events

Dramatic events that come up during the fight with the Kree may involve the human prisoners, the various equipment (both Kree and human) in the silo and the bodies of the Kree’s other human victims. For example, Mass Panic may cause the humans to stampede over each other in an attempt to escape, forcing the heroes to try and calm them.Never Say Die or Remembrance of Heroes may expose a hero who is knocked through a wall to the dozens of dead bodies of the Kree’s other experimental subjects, inspiring the hero to fight that much harder. Unstable Ground may indicate a stray blaster bolt collapsing a section of the silo onto a group of helpless prisoners, and so forth.

Doom Cards

Save up any Doom Cards the heroes play during this chapter to help ensure the Kree’s escape at the end. You can use Doom Cards to increase the difficulty of avoiding or breaking out of the Kree stasis beam, allowing the Kree to paralyze any other heroes who try to capture them (and forcing the other heroes to rescue their paralyzed teammates from the rocket blast). Give all the heroes something to do (either helping prisoners or fighting the Kree, or both!) so they can spend their Doom Cards.

The heroes shouldn’t have too difficult a time against the Kree in this chapter, since their opponents haven’t got anywhere near their power-level. However, if needed, you can have the Supreme Intelligence use its powers to help the heroes out a little, as described in the Introduction.

Chapter Three: Blue Moon

At the beginning of this chapter, read the following out loud to the players:

The Kree have taken Warbird and escaped! Their rocket has gone to the mysterious Blue Area of the Moon, where the Kree must have some kind of base. You’ve returned to Avengers Mansion to prepare to launch a rescue mission, recover Warbird and put a stop the whatever the Kree may be planning. In short order, Iron Man has the space quinjet ready for launch and you’re off to the Moon!

As the quinjet leaves the atmosphere and heads towards the lunar surface, the communications system beeps and a strange image appears on the viewscreen. It is a bulbous green head with glowing yellow eyes, topped with writhing tentacles, the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree!

“Greetings, Avengers,” it says. “Despite the best efforts of your ally, the Black Knight, I survive. His energy sword could not destroy me, as I am a sentient computer, not a corporeal being. I downloaded my sentience into another terminal and escaped from my home planet of Kree-Lar. Now a faction of Kree warriors called the Lunatic Legion has used the technology here to rebuild part of the ruins on your moon as a base.”

“They have acquired a generator from the earthbound technological firm PowerSource, which is being used to fuel a powerful omni-wave projector, directed at Earth. The omni-waves will be filtered through a portion of Terrigen Mists, stolen from the Inhumans, our genetic creations. When the waves strike Earth’s atmosphere, they will cause a chain reaction that will cause all human life to change. Those whose genetic code is unsullied will be changed into beings genetically identical to pure-breed Kree. Those whose DNA is mutated-such as many of the superhuman heroes and villains of your planet-will die.”

“In a way, you have provided the key to this plan. As the only surviving hybrid of human and Kree, Warbird’s DNA has provided the information needed to program the omni-wave projector. Soon General Kor will make all of humanity pay for the destruction of the old Kree Empire, but turning Earth into the foundation of a new one!”

If the heroes ask the Supreme Intelligence why it is giving them this information (apart from the opportunity to gloat), it says only “My reasons are my own.” Then it ends the communication. In truth, the Supremor isn’t gloating, it’s warning the Avengers what they are up against so they can foil Galen Kor’s plan.

Lunar Defenses

As the space quinjet approaches the Blue Area of the Moon, Kree weapons batteries open fire on it. Heroes must make a challenging Intellect action to avoid being surprised by the batteries. Avoiding their attacks and landing the quinjet safely on the lunar surface requires a series of four challenging Agility actions by whoever is piloting. Other heroes can try to use their powers and abilities to protect the quinjet (set difficulties for these actions as you see fit). The Kree weapons do intensity 16 damage against the Quinjet’s Hull Strength of 14. If the quinjet is hit, the heroes themselves may be damaged. Apply the intensity against them as well, but the quinjet gives all the Avengers Body Armor +8 against outside attacks.

If the heroes are having too much trouble evading the weapons, the Supreme Intelligence may covertly lend a hand (see the Introduction), causing the weapons to fire slightly off-target and lowering the difficulty to evade them to average or even easy. Of course, you shouldn’t tell the players why things seem so much easier than they thought.

The Kree Attack!

Moments after the Avengers land in the Blue Area, dozens of Kree soldiers swarm out of the ruins and attack (use the game stats provided in the Introduction). Give the heroes a good fight against the Kree and give all the players a chance to let loose against their enemies. Don’t worry too much about the exact number of Kree soldiers-it will soon become irrelevant when the Kree sacrifice themselves. Just let the players have a good time pounding on the Kree and avoiding their attacks. Encourage innovative actions and roleplaying during the fight. The Kree should shout taunts and insults at the heroes, telling them they cannot win against the might of the Kree Empire. The Avengers will pay for their crimes against the Empire. They will fall and Earth will be next! Such threats should help inspire the players to get into the fight and roleplay it.

Freeing Warbird

Warbird is being held in part of an underground complex near where the Avengers land their quinjet. Finding her is a challenging Intellect action. Alternately, a dramatic event could send a hero or Kree soldier crashing through the wall into the room where she is held. The restraints holding her are Material Strength 16.

Once freed, Warbird is not overly grateful to her teammates, instead she powers up and goes after the Kree, doing her best to demonstrate her fitness as an Avenger to everyone. However, it is quite clear that she is not up to the task. Her Addiction to Alcohol hindrance is in full-force, so many of Warbird’s attacks miss or hit the wrong targets. You should feel free to use any Dramatic Events that come up as hints for how to handle Warbird’s actions. For example, Cry for Help might mean Warbird gets in over her head, forcing a hero to rush to her rescue (it would be bad of any Avenger to abandon a teammate, even if she is acting poorly). Lack of Support might cause Warbird to fail to help out a teammate in need in favor of going after another goal (since she is acting poorly for an Avenger).

Destorying the Generator

Warbird’s main target is the power-generator the Kree stole from PowerSource on Earth. It powers the omni-wave projector and Galen Kor pointed it out to Warbird when she was held captive. She doesn’t tell the other Avengers about it because she wants to destroy the generator herself and be the hero of the day, but any hero who asks if there is a pattern to Warbird’s actions can make an average Intellect action to figure out she’s going for the generator. This may allow other heroes to help Warbird (not that she wants or appreciates any help).

The generator itself is Material Strength 12, so it should not be too difficult for the heroes to destroy it. Once they do, the omni-wave projector powers down. It seems like the threat to Earth has been averted, until the Kree play their final card (so to speak).

The Kree Sacrifice

The Kree suddenly stop fighting the heroes and, one by one, they start to glow and disappear. The Kree are using devices in the Blue Area to turn themselves into energy to power the omni-wave projector aimed at Earth. All the Kree soldiers rapidly vanish and the Projector begins powering up again, building towards a blast that will transform the people of Earth.

However, not all of the Kree are transformed. Admiral Galen Kor remains behind to make sure the Avengers cannot stop the projector. He remains in hiding and attempts to surprise the heroes as soon as they try to tamper with the projector. It requires a daunting Intellect action for heroes to detect Galen Kor sneaking up on them. Heroes who succeed have a last-second flash of intuition and may act normally; heroes who fail are caught off guard and may not take actions during the first exchange (although they may take counteractions).

The first thing Galen Kor does is enclose himself and the Avengers in a force field created by his Universal Weapon, cutting them off from the omni-wave projector. The force field is intensity 16. Kor then attacks the Avengers with his Universal Weapon, using its various powers to try and disable them and keep them away from the projector. Although the Avengers outnumber and out-power Admiral Kor, the Universal Weapon makes him a formidable adversary, and the heroes don’t have much time before the projector activates, dooming all life on Earth.

The heroes have four exchanges before the Projector activates. In that time they must overcome or outwit Galen Kor and disable the Projector. The Omni-wave projector itself is Material Strength 18. Destroying it causes it to explode, doing intensity 24 damage to everyone within about a mile. Lifting and moving the projector requires anunfathomable Strength action. Heroes might try to break into the Projector to shut it down. This is a bit easier, the hatches are only Material Strength 12, but overriding the Projector’s programming requires a superhuman Intellect action (reduced to desperate if the hero has the Computers skill, like Iron Man). Let the heroes come up with their own plan to disable the projector and apply an appropriate difficulty to it, based on the information above.

Dramatic Events

This is the big final scene, so the tension should be running high. The fate of the entire Earth rests in the hands of the heroes (no pressure or anything). Keep the events moving and don’t give the players too much time to stop and think.

You can use Dramatic Events throughout this chapter to add spice to the different scenes: during the approach to the Moon, the battle with the Kree, freeing Warbird, destroying the generator, fighting Galen Kor and stopping the omni-wave projector. Always try to use the dramatic events to enhance the scene rather than distract from it. There’s a lot going on towards the end, so it’s best not to clutter things up too much. Some sources of dramatic events may include: stray shots collapsing parts of the ruins (Structural Collapse), ancient Kree or Skrull weapons in the ruins going off (Explosion), and Kree booby traps (Cunning Scheme). A Dramatic Entrance or Retributive Strike event while the heroes are busy disarming the omni-wave projector might cause Galen Kor to regain consciousness and make a last effort to stop them. A Malfunctionevent while trying to disarm the projector might cause the countdown to skip an exchange, forcing the heroes to act quickly.

Doom Cards

In general, try to save up Doom Cards from the earlier parts of this chapter to play during the big climatic fight with Galen Kor. The Kree Admiral should be a powerful and dangerous opponent. Let the Kree soldiers in the early parts of the chapter go down to defeat fairly easily. Don’t make overcoming Admiral Kor impossible (remember, the heroes have only a limited time to stop the projector from firing). In fact, if it looks like the heroes can’t beat Kor, you can have the Supreme Intelligence step in once again to tip the balance, using its mental powers to throw Kor off balance or causing him to hesitate, reducing his abilities to 0 for one exchange, long enough for the heroes to take him out.

If the Heroes Fail

What if the heroes blow it? It is possible Galen Kor might delay the Avengers long enough for the omni-wave projector to fire on Earth. Or the heroes might overcome Kor, but not be able to shut down the Projector in time. If this happens, you have two choices. The first is to have the Supreme Intelligence step in and stop the Projector from firing, using its Computer Link power. It never intended to allow Galen Kor’s plan to succeed, it simply wanted the heroes to force Kor’s hand and capture the Lunatic Legion so they would no longer be a threat to the Supremor’s plans. Of course, the Supreme Intelligence doesn’t tell the heroes what happened, the Projector simply doesn’t fire. If asked, the Supremor denies any knowledge of sabotage. It suggests instead that Galen Kor’s plan was flawed. Use this ending if you want a simple, clean wrap-up for the adventure.

The other choice is to allow the Projector to fire and start the process of transforming the population of Earth into neo-Kree. The heroes will have to come up with some way of reversing the effects of the omni-wave before it is too late. It might be as simple a matter as reprogramming the projector, using Warbird’s human/Kree DNA as a pattern (and requiring a desperate Intellect action).

If you’re willing to do some additional preparation, reversing the effects might require an additional adventure where the Avengers acquire the necessary components of a reverse omni-wave projector from the Blue Area or even from the former Kree throneworld of Kree-Lar, in a distant galaxy. The heroes must race against time to assemble the needed components before the effects of the Projector become irreversible. Allowing the heroes to deal with the effects of the ray may be more satisfying than simply having the Supremor step in and sort things out, since it makes the players and the heroes more responsible for the consequences of their actions and reinforces the feeling that they were the ones to save the Earth, not some giant green, tentacled potato-head.

Epilogue

Once the threat of the omni-wave projector is ended and Galen Kor is dealt with, the Avengers can wrap things up. Experts from S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Starcore space station arrive in the Blue Area to oversee the dismantling of any remaining Kree equipment, and to study the Supreme Intelligence. The Supremor shows no emotion (good or bad) over the defeat of the Lunatic Legion and denies that it had anything to do with helping the Avengers. In truth, the Supremor is quite pleased: the rogue Kree are beaten, it has human scientists to help maintain it and talk with it, and its own plans to continue the evolution of the Kree race continue undisturbed.

After the adventure is over, Warbird tearfully resigns from the Avengers. The heroes should recommend that she get help for her problems and she says she’ll think about it. If any heroes try to convince her not to go, Warbird thanks them but says that she is obviously outclassed in the Avengers right now. Maybe once she’s had some time to sort things out, she’ll come back.

If the heroes completed the adventure successfully (meaning that Earth has not become a planet of blue-skinned neo-Kree), give each of them a 1-point response bonus.

Legion of the Unliving!

A Marvel Super Heroes Adventure

“The Legion of the Unliving” is an adventure for any characters of roughly Avengers power level. The Avengers themselves are well-suited for this adventure, as are any magical characters. You may wish to include a magical guest star to provide help and advice if none of the heroes have magical powers themselves.

The adventure focuses around the Grim Reaper’s newest plan to restore himself to a form a life and gain revenge on the Avengers. With the help of his demon-lover Nekra, the Reaper raises some of the Avengers’ dead enemies as zombies and turns them into a new Lethal Legion. With their help, he plans to steal Baron Zemo’s ionic ray, stored in a SHIELD depot, and use it to turn himself into an ionic energy being like his brother, Wonder Man. With such tremendous power at his command, and a group of super-zombies at his back, the Reaper can then turn his attention towards destroying the accursed Avengers once and for all!

Magical Guest Stars

Plenty of the things in this adventure – zombies, voodoo, undead villains – are pretty creepy, outside the general experience of most heroes. If the players aren’t running any magical heroes (and don’t want to, even for just one adventure) you can take the opportunity to introduce a guest star to help the heroes out with some of the weirder magical stuff going on around them. Dr. Strange is the obvious choice when it comes to providing magical help and advice, but feel free to use whatever mystical hero you like. The Scarlet Witch is a good possibility for Avengers-related heroes. You can also bring in more obscure characters like the Midnight Sons or even Brother Voodoo to help out the heroes with the plague of villainous zombies.

If you do use a guest star, be careful not to steal the heroes’ thunder. The guest star is around to advise and help out the heroes, not solve the adventure for them (what a boring story that would be!). The guest star hero should always be distracted by something at critical moments in the adventure, allowing the heroes to take center stage. Remember, magicians have the Spell Focused limit on their powers, so anything they do won’t take effect immediately. Most of them are only human, even Dr. Strange can get knocked out or stunned by a surprise attack if he doesn’t have time to call on the Shields of the Seraphim.

Nekra’s Gift

Having escaped from servitude in the depths of a dark netherworld, Nekra, the mutant mistress of voodoo, performs a ritual to bring her lover, the Grim Reaper back to pseudo-life at her side. The Reaper is Nekra’s equal in his capacity for hatred and vegenace, and Nekra herself thirsts for revenge against those who have wronged her: the Avengers, and all of humanity.

Once he is restored, the Grim Reaper and Nekra waste no time in preparing a new plan. In addition to gaining his revenge, the Reaper wants to restore himself and Nekra to life, to end their existence as undead. He makes some inquiries and comes up with a plan to rebuild Baron Zemo’s ionic ray, the device which transformed his brother, Simon Williams, into Wonder Man.

Assault on SHIELD

The Reaper has Nekra summon other villains from the afterlife, three former members of the Masters of Evil: the original Black Knight, the Melter, and Skurge, the Executioner. The Executioner, at least, is not pleased about being called back to the world of the living. Let’s listen in on the new Lethal Legion when their final member appears:

“Why, Reaper? Why hast thou torn me away from mine eternal reward in Valhalla? Tell me before I strike the leering head from thy shoulders and send thy spirit to the darkest reaches of Hela’s domain!”

“Why? Because I have need of your power, my friend, and so long as you are bound by the power of my dear Nekra’s ritual, you have no choice but to obey. Once you have done as I’ve asked, I’ll release you back to your so-called ‘eternal reward,’ but not a moment before.”

“What about us, Reaper?”

“Don’t worry, Melter. The Executioner may wish to return to death, but the rest of us will soon have life and power beyond imagining, enough power to exact our revenge on the Avengers and destroy anyone who stands in our way!”

With his new Lethal Legion assembled, the Grim Reaper has Executioner use the Dimension Travel power of his enchanted axe to carry the villains to a SHIELD depot in Manhattan, where the agency has stored many devices and materials confiscated from super-villains over the years. The Melter dissolves the reinforced wall of the building and the villains deal with the SHIELD agents who try to stop them. Their goal is the plans for Baron Zemo’s ionic ray device, stored in a sub-basement of the building.

Heroes may receive an emergency alert from SHIELD or hear about the assault on the depot on the news. Magical heroes may get a sudden premonition of danger connected to the zombies. The Lethal Legion fights any heroes who try to stop them from acquiring the ionic ray plans. They do not hesitate to take SHIELD agents or other people nearby as hostages. The Melter and the Black Knight may also use some of the other weapons and devices stored at the depot against the heroes. Feel free to use the weapons or devices of any captured or inactive villain you like. Most of the weapons in the depot are +5 or Intensity 12.

During the fight, the Executioner is a reluctant participant. If he defeats an opponent, he raises his axe, as if to deliver a final blow, but relents at the last moment and deliberately misses the hero. Heroes who make a challenging Intellect action during the fight notice the Executioner is deliberately holding back. He’s clearly not as enthusiastic as the other villains.

The Grim Reaper’s stats are in the main Roster Book. For the rest of his Lethal Legion, use the following:

Black Knight: Strength 8X, Agility 6X, Intellect 4C, Willpower 2X, Health 17. Biology, Genetics. Armor +3, Energy Lance 10 (Energy Blast, Smoke Screen). Flying Horse (Strength 10, Agility 4, Health 10, Wings 8). Calling: Vengeance.

Executioner: Strength 16C, Agility 6X, Intellect 4X, Willpower 8X, 20. Axes, Brawling. Enhanced Senses 12 (sight), Resistance to Heat and Cold 8, Magical Axe +5 (Dimensional Travel 12). Calling: Repentant.

Melter: Strength 5X, Agility 3X, Intellect 6D, Willpower 4D, Health 17. Finance, Gadgetry. Melting Gun 12 (Distintigration, only causes targets to melt). Calling: Vengeance.

Nekra: Strength 8X, Agility 10C, Intellect 4D, Willpower 12X, Health 17. Dancing, Martial Arts, Occult. Ability Boost (Strength) +4, Animation (Necromancy) 14. Calling: Vengeance. Hindrance: Triggered-Powerless (0 Intensity in all powers) by feelings of love and compassion.

In addition to the powers they had in life, the villanous zombies have Life Support 15, Regeneration 18, and are Invulnerable to Aging, Cold, Disease, Emotion Control, Mental Control and Poisons.

If the Legion seems too weak to take on the heroes, add any of your own favorite dead villains to the group’s membership, but no cosmic-level villains (the Executioner is about as powerful a villain as the Nekra can summon and control with her voodoo).

Once the Lethal Legion finds the plans for the ionic ray, the Executioner uses his Dimensional Travel power to open a portal for the Legion to escape.

Assemblage of Doom

Over the next few days, the Lethal Legion steals the parts and equipment needed to build a new ionic ray device. Their method of attack is for the Executioner to create a portal using his magical axe, the Legion deals with any security or other obstacles, seizes the needed material and escapes through another gateway. The strikes are lightning fast, giving heroes and authorities little time to respond. The heroes should hear about one or two of the strikes before they have an opportunity to try and stop the Legion.

The heroes can learn from SHIELD what plans were taken and, with a challenging Intellect action, determine what equipment the Grim Reaper needs to build a new ionic ray. Armed with that information, the heroes can try and anticipate the next place the Lethal Legion will attack, allowing the heroes to get there first and be waiting when the villains appear. Magical heroes might also get a premonition of where the Legion will appear next with a challenging Willpower action, giving the heroes some advance warning.

Choose a suitable location for the confrontation, like a Stark-Fujikawa plant on Long Island, the Oracle, Inc. building in Manhattan (a good opportunity for a guest appearance by the Heroes for Hire), or a Roxxon facility outside the city (which might also be concealing some illegal activities on the part of Roxxon). If any of the heroes have ties with high-tech companies or government organizations, use one of them to put the hero on “home ground” and make the whole thing more personal.

The main goal of this encounter is to give the heroes another shot at the Lethal Legion and another chance to learn how to fight them. The heroes also get another shot at noticing the Executioner’s discontent with the situation. If the heroes manage to capture one or two of the Legion, that’s not a problem, but Grim Reaper, Nekra and the Executioner should get away. Use Doom Cards to help ensure their escape, if necessary. If the Melter or the Black Knight are captured, you can replaced them with new undead villains for the final encounter, or simply use the remaining villains. With the powers granted to them by the ionic ray, they should still be more than powerful enough.

Fear the Reaper

Once he has assembled a new ionic ray, the Grim Reaper uses it on himself and his allies. The ray works just as the Reaper hoped it would: granting him tremendous physical power and making him the equal of Wonder Man. He provides the same benefits to Nekra, Melter and the Black Knight, but the Executioner refuses to undergo the ionic ray treatment (which is fortunate, since its effects on Asgardians is unknown).

The ionic ray grants each of the villains a +10 boost to Strength, and they retain all of their zombie powers and natural abilities. The ionic empowerment also makes the villains immune to any zombie-affecting magic (since they are not truly undead or exactly alive, but somewhere in-between).

The Executioner demands his freedom from the Grim Reaper’s service, but the Reaper refuses, saying that his revenge is not yet complete. Once the Avengers are destroyed, only then will he allow the Executioner to return to his final reward. But first, the Reaper wants to test his newfound power on the heroes who tried to thwart his plans. (If the players are using the Avengers as heroes, the Reaper goes after them directly.)

The vastly more powerful Lethal Legion attacks the heroes in a public place. It could be at their headquarters (if it is publicly known), at some event in the heroes’ honor or while the heroes are investigating the activities of the Legion. If they are unable to find the heroes, the Lethal Legion simply goes on a rampage through midtown Manhattan, with the Grim Reaper shouting a challenge for them to come out and face him.

During the whole confronation, the Grim Reaper keeps talking about how he will use his vast power to destroy anyone who stands in his way. All of the ionically-charged villains are drunk with power, the Reaper and Nekra in particular. The heroes are very likely taken off guard at first and overwhelmed by the villains’ vast increase in power-level. Pull out all the stops for this fight, with plenty of property damage and destruction to go around. The villains use cars, lamp-posts, even buses and whole buildings as weapons against the heroes.

If the Vision or Wonder Man are present, the Grim Reaper concentrates his fury against them, since he blames them for destroying his life. If not, the Reaper concentrates his attacks on any Avengers heroes or the heroes who were particularly troublesome to hin during the adventure. The Melter has a grudge against the Avengers and the Black Knight against Iron Man, who he blames for his own death. Nekra attacks anyone threatening the Grim Reaper and particularly goes after magical heroes.

Once again, the Executioner is a reluctant participant in the battle. He is beginning to understand that the Grim Reaper will never release him fron his forced servitude, and he is fighting against the Reaper’s control. A hero who appeals to the Executioner’s sense of honor can help him break free of the necromantic spell with a daunting Willpower action. If the hero is successful, the Executioner turns on the Grim Reaper and strikes him with his magical axe. The wound leaks ionic energy rather than blood and causes the Reaper to begin to destabilize immediately.

The Reaper’s End

Unknown to the Grim Reaper, the ionic ray process – designed for living beings – does not interact well with the undead. Although the ray has supercharged the zombie villains for a short time, is also destabilized their cell structures. Living things affected by the ionic ray eventually go into a hibernation state where they metamophose into beings of pure ionic energy. The undead simply continue to build up ionic energy until they explode.

Five exchanges into the fight with the heroes, the Grim Reaper and his allies begin to glow visibly. The following exchange, the zombie villains are wracked with terrible pain and the glow grows brighter and brighter. Any hero with mystical or enhanced senses able to detect energy sense a massive power build-up in the charged villains. Any hero with Danger Sense or Precognition feels a massive imminent danger. An average Intellect action is enough to tell a hero that the villains cannot contain the ionic energy infused into their bodies, they’re building towards a critical mass explosion powerful enough to level more than ten city blocks!

The heroes have to act fast in order to prevent the explosion. A hero with energy control or absorption powers can try to drain enough energy to stop the explosion, or at least reduce its force. This requires an unfathomable Absorption or Energy Control action. A force field or similar defense can contain the explosion with an unfathomable Force Field action. Heroes can also attempt to get the Lethal Legion out of the area before they explode, requiring a desperate action with the appropriate movement power.

If a hero suggests it, the Executioner can use his magical axe to open a dimensional rift to cast the villains into before they explode. Another hero with Teleportation or Dimensional Travel can also attempt to remove the villains before they attempt to explode with a desperate action.

Make the players think and act quickly, don’t give them too much time to plan. Tell them the glow around the villains is becoming blinding in its intensity and an explosion in imminent. If the players have absolutely no idea how to deal with the crisis – and you don’t want to turn a 10-block area of Manhattan into a smoking crater – the Executioner can intervene at the last moment, opening a dimensional rift that pulls himself and the rest of the Lethal Legion into it. The last thing the heroes see is the Executioner nobly saluting them before the rift closes.

Any heroes caught in the blast who are not Invulnerable to Energy should be badly injured at the very least. You can use effects of the ionic explosion as an excuse to change a hero’s powers; increasing them, decreasing them or altering them altogether as part of the response bonus for the adventure.

Epilogue

If the Executioner is not destroyed along with the rest of the Lethal Legion, he is freed from the Grim Reaper’s control and uses his magical axe to return to Valhalla. He thanks the heroes before he leaves, calling them true champions and says he was honored to fight at their side. The authorities work to track down the Grim Reaper’s ionic ray device, but it doesn’t turn up immediately. Perhaps another villain gets hold of it or a small-time criminal uses it to become a new super-villain with powers to rival those of Wonder Man.

If the Lethal Legion was sent into another dimension before they reached critical mass, it is possible the effects of the dimensional travel stablized their condition, restoring them to life, or a semblance of it (especially if they were exiled to the energy dampening Darkforce Dimension). The Grim Reaper and his allies could return to menace the heroes at some future date.

Tie-Ins

If you are running this adventure as part of the Avengers: Masters of Evil series, then the idea for the Grim Reaper to make use of Baron Zemo’s ionic ray came from none other than the current Baron Zemo, who knew (or at least theorized) the effects it would have on undead flesh. The Lethal Legion’s attacks provide useful distractions for Zemo, keeping heroes busy while he works on his final fiendish plan, which is revealed in our final adventure: “Zemo the Conqueror.”

The Grim Reaper and his allies also steal a few technological components useful to Zemo’s plans. A hero who studies the list of items stolen by the Lethal Legion notices there are some items that don’t seem to relate at all to the building of an ionic ray by making a challening Intellect action. Another challening Intellect action allows a hero who participated in “Lightning Rods… Strike!” to notice that the extra items stolen by the Legion are the same type take by the Lightning Rods while under outside control.

If Zemo is behind things, then he is the one who takes possession of the ionic ray at the end of the adventure, adding it to his collection of his father’s devices. Zemo might even try using the ionic ray on himself, or a suitable minion, following the events in “Zemo the Conqueror”.

The Watcher’s Options Guide

Rules Options and Expansions for Marvel Super Heroes

I am Uatu, whom some call the Watcher. It is my duty to observe and record the events of the universe without interfering. In all events, both cosmic and seemingly mundane, there are infinite possibilities. Consider with me some of those possibilities in another universe, where the adventures of heroes and the schemes of villains are merely a game…


Greetings and welcome to the Watcher’s Option Guide, an unofficial resource for players and Narrators of the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game. You should have a copy of at least the Marvel Game Book in order to use this supplement.

This Guide provides optional rules, variants, and rule expansions for the Marvel game. Narrators can feel free to use any, all, or none of the optional systems presented here. Some of the options add a bit more complexity to the SAGA game system, but an effort has been made to keep the expansions and options as simple as possible, in keeping with the fast-paced spirit of the Marvel game.

The Legal StuffThe Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game and the SAGA game rules are © Wizards of the Coast, Inc. This material is not intended as any infringement on that copyright.


Abilities

Fighting Ability

The standard SAGA game rules use Strength for melee combat actions. Another option is to add a Fighting ability that represents the character’s raw skill in hand-to-hand combat. Fighting trumps using Green (Strength) cards, and allows characters to differ in fighting ability and strength. Combat- and weapon-related Strength skills become Fighting skills instead. [by Stephen Kenson]

Score

Description Examples

0

Incapable of fighting Infants, small animals

1

No training or ability Children, the elderly

2

Normal human ability Professor X, Mastermind

3-4

Minimal combat training Vindicator, Dr. Octopus

5-6

Some formal training Hawkeye, Police officers

7-8

Regular, formal combat training Most X-Men, Soldiers

9-10

Superior talent Spider-Man, She Hulk

11-12

Extensive training and talent Nick Fury

13-14

Superior talent and training Wolverine

15-16

Maximum human potential Captain America, Shang-Chi

17-18

Super-human ability Warriors of Asgard

19-20

Otherworldly Odin, the Champion

21-30

Cosmic Death, Eternity

Unfolded Abilities

The four abilities used in Marvel (Strength, Agility, Intellect, and Willpower) represent the minimum needed to describe a character. It’s possible to “unfold” these abilities, breaking them into more specific sub-abilities, if desired. This allows a degree of “fine-tuning” in terms of describing the character. Unfolded abilities still belong to the same trump suit and use trump normally. Ambitious Narrators can create their own Fate Deck, with additional suits to accommodate expanded abilities (similar to the nine suit Fate Deck from Dragonlance: Fifth Age).

One example of unfolding the basic abilities might be: Strength and Stamina (muscle-power vs. endurance), Agility and Dexterity (nimbleness vs. precision), Intellect andPerception (analysis vs. noticing things), and Willpower and Presence (self-confidence vs. force of personality). If using unfolded abilities, increase the number of cards or points available at character creation to account for the additional abilities players must spend points on. [by Stephen Kenson]


Powers

Changing Trump Suits

In the standard SAGA rules, powers have trump suits already assigned to them. Narrators who wish to do so can allow players to change the trump suits for their heroes’ powers if it suits the hero’s concept. Making all of a hero’s powers the same trump suit has its advantages and disadvantages. There is only one suit of cards that the hero can use to trump on nearly any power action, but the hero is likely to get fewer trumps than heroes with a diverse range of trumps for their powers. [by Stephen Kenson]


Skills

Fast Exit

If both combatants have the Fast Exit skill, the benefits of the skill are effectively cancelled out for both combatants. The skill is also effectively cancelled if the opponent has a super-speed power, such as Lightning Speed or Flight (if actually in flight), with a higher Intensity than the character’s Agility. [by Thomas M. Costa]

Graded Skills

The default assumption in SAGA is that skills always reduce the difficulty of an action by one level. If desired, Narrators can allow for multi-level Skills that reduce difficulties by more than one level (although never to less than automatic). Additional “levels” in a skill cost the same as adding another skill at character creation. It is recommended that Graded Skills be limited to no more than three levels, and that they not be allowed to reduce the Opposition Ability of the action, only the base difficulty. So a level 2 skill would change an average Strength (Strength) action to an automatic action, but it wouldn’t reduce the value of the opposing Strength ability. [by Stephen Kenson]

Finely-Graded Skills

The Narrator may permit players to buy skills that reduce difficulties by a variable amount rather than 4 points (one difficulty level). For example a character may have Acrobatics -2, which reduces the difficulty of Acrobatics actions by 2 points, and Observation -5, which reduces the difficulty of Observation actions by 5 points. In this case, skills cost one “skill slot” per 4 points of difficulty reduction, and players may divide up their Skill points however they wish. This option does add a degree of complexity to skill use and resolution, however. [by Stephen Kenson]

Perception Skills

The standard Marvel rules place perception-based Skills like Observation under the Willpower ability and perception-based powers like Enhanced Senses are likewise Willpower-based. If the Narrator prefers these Skills and abilities can be based on Intellect instead (or the Intellect sub-ability of Perception). [by Stephen Kenson]

Talents

Narrators can differentiate between skills (learned abilities) and talents (inherent knacks or abilities). In this case, characters may have up to four skills and four talents per ability (or the Narrator may choose to limit heroes to a combinations of no more than four skills/talents per Ability). Talents cost the same as skills and can only be Master- or World-Class if they require an action. Some sample talents are described here. Narrators may wish to expand this list in games focusing on characters without powers. [by Stephen Kenson]

Strength Talents

  • Hyper-Breath and Sonic Slam from the Marvel Game Book.
  • Immunity: You are Invulnerable to the effects of one specific poison or disease.
  • Longevity: You are extremely long lived, but do not show any appreciable signs of aging. No matter how old you are, you always look and feel like a person half your age.

Agility Talents

  • Contingent Attack, Fast Exit, and Ricochet from the Marvel Game Book.
  • Ambidexterity: You can use tools and weapons with either hand at no penalty (normally +1 level of difficulty for using off-hand).
  • Blind Fighting: You can counterattack in hand to hand combat with no negative modifiers for being unable to see your opponent, provided they attack you first.
  • Double Jointed: You can bend your limbs and joints far more than most people. You can fit into any space equal to half your height and width and actions involving flexibility (like Escape Artistry) are one level easier for you.

Intellect Talents

  • Photographic Memory and Scientific Genius from the Marvel Game Book.
  • Common Sense: You always look before you leap; the Narrator must give you warning whenever you’re about to do something particularly foolish, even if there are no perceptible clues present. He doesn’t have to specify the danger, just that “this might not be a smart idea…”
  • Intuition: You have an uncanny feel for hunches; the Narrator can have you make an Intellect action whenever he thinks you might get a hunch, even if there are no perceptible clues present.
  • Lightning Calculator: You can do complex mathematical operations in your head without using any aids.
  • Musical Talent: You always know if something’s in tune, and all musically related actions are one level easier for you.
  • Speed Reader: You can read one page of any normal text in three seconds (you can read a 200 page book in 10 minutes).
  • Time Sense: You always know what time it is, and how much time has elapsed between the present and the last time you checked.

Willpower Talents

  • Trance from the Marvel Game Book.
  • Animal Empathy: Animals like you; they will never harm or attack you unless severely provoked. You always seem to attract whatever animals are common to the area, and they will immediately gravitate to your side, although they may not necessarily do what you ask them to. Actions involving animals are one level easier for you.
  • Attractive: You are very good looking; people stop and stare at you when you pass, and you are generally surrounded by admirers. Willpower actions involving your looks are one level easier for you.
  • Direction Sense: You are never lost, always know where north is, and can orient yourself easily without any external cues.
  • Light Sleeper: You wake instantly from even the lightest touch or smallest sound (no action required).
  • Night Vision: You can see normally in all but absolute darkness.
  • Popularity: The character is extremely revered by the public. The difficulty of any persuasion attempt is made at one degree less than normal. If the character has a secret identity, this advantage only applies to the one that is popular (usually the heroic identity). Captain America has this advantage in the United States. [by Greg Kerner]

Unlimited Skills

Characters are normally limited to a maximum of four skills per ability. You can choose to waive this limitation, allowing characters to have as many skills as they can afford. However, the Narrator must keep a careful eye on skill choices to keep characters with lots of skills from making the game less fun for everyone else. [by Stephen Kenson]


Hindrances

New Hindrances

Bad Press: The character has a bad reputation which causes others, including law enforcement agencies and other heroes to mistake him for a villain. The hero’s Willpower is considered 0 when attempting to use persuasion against anyone without firsthand experience of the hero’s good deeds. [by Greg Kerner]

Bruiser: A bruiser has an Agility of 0 when attempting to avoid being hit. This is intended for use with the Agility to hit or Fighting ability. [by Greg Kerner]

Robotic Body: The character’s body is a machine and does not heal normally. A character with a Robotic Body can only be healed by someone possessing the repair skill. Repairing damage is an easy Intellect (damage sustained) action. [by Greg Kerner]

Quirks

Quirks are minor personality and background traits that help to define a character, but don’t really impose any kind of hindrance, things like Ben Grimm’s battle cry of “It’s cloberrin’ time!”, the way the Human Torch always says “Flame On!” when he activates his powers, or J. Jonah Jameson’s ever-present stogie. If the Narrator allows, players can gain an extra point for their character by defining five quirks for them. It can be more, but it should be at least five distinct things to be worth a point (which they can use to gain an additional skill or another point of attribute or power intensity, excactly as if they had an additional 1 card). [by Stephen Kenson]


Callings

Nihilist*: The character seeks the complete destruction of political and social institutions. Mass murder and wide scale destruction are considered legitimate means to achieving these goals as is the creation of utter of chaos and panic. [by Greg Kerner]

Psychopath*: The character commits evil acts such as murder out of an inability to discern right from wrong due to either insanity or twisted moral code. [by Greg Kerner]


Wealth

On most occasions, you won’t care if a hero has money. The Marvel game doesn’t concern itself with accumulation of treasure or economic accomplishment overly much. Nevertheless, there may be a need at times for a better and fairer gauge of a hero or villain’s access to resources and base wealth. In this way, wealth is treated much like a skill, one in which you may have normal level (a.k.a. Comfortable), Master-Class level (a.k.a. Rich), or World-Class level (Mega-Rich). In addition, a new hindrance is described below that details another Wealth level, Destitute.

  • Destitute: Your hero has no possessions except the ragged clothing on his back and perhaps his weapons. The hero cannot assume he or she has even the simplest of necessities, even food and shelter. Moreover, he or she has no job and for various reasons seems unemployable. The hero has a 0 Willpower for all Wealth actions. This Wealth level is considered a Hindrance. Exemplars: Cloak & Dagger, the Morlocks, Vermin.
  • Comfortable: Your hero has access to any basic good he or she needs. Your hero is assumed to have access to the basic necessities of life, such food, clothing, and shelter, and most likely, a form of common transportation. This is the basic Wealth level assumed for all heroes. The hero uses Willpower for all Wealth actions. Exemplars: Captain America, Cyclops, Spider-Man.
  • Rich: Your hero is a millionaire. He or she is able to afford almost any normal item he or she desires, from boats and planes to mansions and small businesses. The hero gains a one difficulty rating reduction and two trump suits (Intellect and Willpower) for all Wealth actions. Exemplars: Archangel, Mr. Fantastic, Professor X, Wasp.
  • Mega-Rich: Your hero is a billionaire. He or she is able to afford almost anything he or she can imagine from Concord Jets to own islands, from advanced weaponry to small armies. The hero gains a one difficulty rating reduction and four trump suits (any non-Doom) for all Wealth actions. Exemplars: Annihilus, Dr. Doom, Mandarin.

The Narrator can mandate a Wealth action for a hero to get something of value. This is usually only done when it is questionable whether or not the hero could gain access to the item. This action uses Willpower as its base ability with the difficulty set according to an average person’s ability to afford the item. (A suitable table is available on p. 127 of Reed Richard’s Guide to Everything.) Why Willpower, you might ask? Because Wealth checks are only necessary in questionable circumstances and Willpower represents both the hero’s charm and determination, perhaps the two most important abilities any person seeking something can have.

A successful use of the Finance skill, will further reduce the difficulty rating by one additional level. Other Willpower-based skills, such as Manipulation or Politics, with the Narrator’s approval, might also be used to reduce the difficulty rating instead of the Finance skill, but not in addition to the Finance skill. It should also be pointed out that the Finance skill provides an understanding of business and economics and is used to get the upper hand in a business situation. It is the art of maintaining and making Wealth, not of the Wealth itself.

Toward that end, the Narrator can force occasional Wealth actions to keep fortunes intact. The Narrator devises a potential economic setback ­ a robbery, a natural disaster, a market crash, or the like ­ and sets an intensity for it. The player must then make a challenging Willpower action (note this one difficulty level higher than described in Reed Richard’s Guide) opposed by the intensity of the setback. The Narrator can add the value of the narrator card as well if the setback is one that should be somewhat random in its impact. The Narrator should keep in mind that, just as in the comics, such setbacks are usually short-term in nature.

You can make your hero’s Wealth level Rich when creating your own hero by taking a non-Doom card with a value of 5 or more that has not already been played and turning it face-down. Similarly, your hero’s Wealth level can be Mega-Rich by taking a non-Doom card with a value of 7 or more. Finally, your hero’s Wealth level can be Destitute by choosing it as if it were any other Hindrance. A hero’s Wealth level can be denoted on the character sheet just below Calling and Hindrances. [by Thomas M. Costa]


Card-Play

Conflicting Trumps

When more than one trump could apply to a situation due to the presence of powers, skills, and equipment with conflicting trump suits, apply the following rules. (Note, this most often occurs with offensive powers, skills, and equipment, such as the power Energy Blast, Strength-based skills that allow for the hurling of melee weapons such as Hammers, the offensive Agility-based skills such as Marksmanship, and equipment such as blasters.)

Power action/trump suits generally supercede skill action/trump suits and skill action/trump suits generally supercede equipment action/trump suits. However, particularly complex equipment, such as powered armor and most equipment that mimics non-offensive Intellect- and Willpower-based powers ­ this is a Narrator call ­ is treated as if it were a power and not equipment.

Note, “damage” or effect is still dependent on the Ability plus cardplay plus weapon “+” bonus or the power or equipment intensity plus cardplay, as appropriate.

This can yield the following examples:

  • If a character has the Energy Blast (Intellect-based) power and the Marksmanship (Agility-based) skill, power trumps skill, thus the character uses his Energy Blast power intensity for his action and Intellect suit for his trump suit, but still applies the benefits of Marksmanship.
  • Conversely, if a character has the Marksmanship (Agility-based) skill and a blaster (Intellect-based), skill trumps equipment, thus the character uses his Agility for his action/trump suit, applying the benefits of Marksmanship. Damage in this case is either the character’s Agility plus cardplay and weapon bonus or the blaster’s intensity plus cardplay, as appropriate.
  • If a character wants to throw his hammer (Agility-based when thrown) and has the Hammers (Strength-based) skill, skill trumps equipment, thus the character uses his Strength and the Strength suit for his action/trump suit, applying the benefits of the skill and the weapons damage bonus. Note, the character can still choose to throw the hammer with his Agility, but he does not gain the benefits of his skill and damage is based off of his Agility. Moreover, characters without the Hammers skill are limited to throwing the hammer with their Agility.
  • However, if a character is keeping watch (Willpower-based) with nightvision goggles (Intellect-based) and has the Observation (Willpower-based) skill, the goggles are treated as a power and power trumps skill, he uses his goggle intensity and the Intellect suit for his action/trump suit.

Note: the equipment trump for some items becomes largely meaningless, as in the case of a blaster, for example. [by Thomas M. Costa]

Pushing to the Limit

Pushing Out of Combat: Pushing out of combat presents a unique problem, given the recovery rules (Game Book, p. 37-41) in Marvel. Effectively, there are no consequences to pushing to the limit out of combat. Consequently, if a player pushes a card “out-of-combat” that card cannot be returned to the player’s hand for two aura durations. This makes pushing “out-of-combat” a less desirable, more desperate action. [by Thomas M. Costa]

Limited Pushing: Heroes can only Push to the Limit a number of times equal to their Edge score in a single adventure. This way, heroes save their pushes for truly dramatic moments. [by Kevin Maschler]

Trading Cards

Players are normally expected to play the card hands they are dealt and the cards the draw from the Fate Deck. However, the Narrator may allow players to trade cards between them on occasion, allowing them to optimize their hands and improve their chances of succeeding at some actions. Generally, this sort of card trading shouldn’t be allowed all the time, since it does give the heroes more of an edge.

The best reason to allow for card trading is when the heroes are using teamwork. If a player comes up with a plan of action that includes the other heroes and makes anaverage Willpower action (Leadership reduces the difficulty to easy) then the players can trade cards in their hands one-for-one before playing cards to determine the success of the plan. A hero not involved in the plan cannot take part in the card-trading, and cards must be traded on a one-for-one basis (although they can be of any suit or value). [by Stephen Kenson]


Action

Ability-based Actions

The standard SAGA rules use power intensity when performing actions using a power. For example, a character with Energy Blast uses the power’s intensity in an easy Energy Blast (Agility) action to determine if he hits. In this option, characters use the appropriate ability (Agility for ranged attacks, Willpower for mental powers) to determine if the power affects the target. For damaging Powers, the character adds the amount he beat the to-hit difficulty to the Power’s intensity to determine damage. For other Powers, the character makes a normal action to determine the Power’s effect, such as an easy Mind Control (Willpower) action after successfully “hitting” with a Mind Control attack. Like Agility-based Combat (below) this option adds a degree of complexity to combat, and may slow things down a bit. [by Stephen Kenson]

Agility-based Combat

In the SAGA system, Strength is used for melee combat actions and Agility is used for ranged combat actions. This tends to grant a certain degree of combat ability to strong characters. One option is adding a Fighting Ability (see Abilities), another is to base all combat actions off Agility. Melee combat skills remain Strength Skills, but Agility is used to hit in melee combat (basically as if every character had the Bruiser Hindrance from the Marvel Game Book). Melee combat actions still trump using the Strength suit rather than the Agility suit. Add the amount the character beat the to-hit difficulty to Strength to determine damage. This adds a degree of complexity to combat and weakens strong characters slightly while providing a bonus to more agile characters. Characters with the Martial Arts skill can choose whether they wish to use Strength or Agility to determine damage, and can trump using either suit. [by Stephen Kenson]

Initiative & Declaration

Step two of any battle, involves declaration and hero actions.

“Before declaring actions, the players may spend a few seconds crafting strategies or comparing notes on how the various parts of the fight are going. You can ask the Narrator to describe what your heroes see and feel; you may also have your heroes move around, switch foes, or duck behind a trashcan.

“Still, the Marvel game is fast-paced, and there’s only so much a hero can do in one exchange.

“The players go around the table describing the actions their heroes will attempt.” The order in which the heroes declare their actions is determined by their Intellect score, with the hero with the lowest Intellect score declaring first and then the next lowest and so on. (Ties are broken by having the hero with the lower Agility declaring first. Further ties are broken by Edge.) Some skills and powers allow for other factors to determine the hero’s declaration order instead of his Intellect score, such as the skills Aerial Combat and Underwater Combat, which both allow the hero to use his Agility score instead of his Intellect score to determine declaration order. Declaration order allows for smarter characters to anticipate the actions of dumber characters.

“Once the descriptions are given, you attempt the action.” The order in which the heroes take actions is determined by the heroes’ Agility score, with the higher Agility score going first and then the next highest and so on. (Ties occur simultaneously.) Some skills and powers allow for other factors to determine the hero’s action order instead of his Agility score, such as the power Lightning Speed, which allows the hero to use his Lightning Speed (or other movement power when actually in use, such as a flying character actually in flight) intensity instead of their Agility score to determine action order. Action order allows for faster characters to act before slower characters. [by Thomas M. Costa]

Lifting

Lifting is an average Strength action. For each intensity point above your strength that an object weighs, increase the difficulty by 1 level. For each point an object weighs below your strength, subtract 2 points from the difficulty. [by Greg Kerner]

Touch Attacks

Touch attacks need some clarification. There are characters such as Jolt, who punches foes with her Energy Blast, or Psylocke, who used to use her Martial Arts to deliver her Psionic Blast. These attacks are called concurrent attacks and handled as follows:

1. Touching someone is an Automatic action (0). If the hero has a skill or ability that makes an attack Automatic, touching is even easier, effectively granting the hero a +4 bonus. The hero may also opt to attack their opponent to deliver their touch-based attack. Of course, the touch-based attack is dependent on the touch or blow hitting its target.

2. If the attack hits, the hero handles the physical attack as normal (a touch does not cause physical damage).

3. The hero then handles the concurrent attack of the touch-based power, which automatically hit, as if it were a completely separate attack, with card-play also handled as normal. [by Thomas M. Costa]

Example: Say Jolt (Strength 6X, Agility 11D, Edge 1, Hand Size 3; Energy Blast 12 [Limit: Touch only]) is fighting Flag Smasher (Strength 7D, Agility 4C, Edge 1, Health 17; Body Armor +2). Jolt has a 6 of Intellect, 9 of Willpower, and 8 of Doom. The Narrator’s card is a 6 of Willpower. Jolt, as the hero with a much higher Agility, attacks first (an easy action). She plays her 9W for a total attack of 15. Flag-Smasher dodges with the 6W for a total of 14 (Agility 4 + 6W + 4 action difficulty). Not good enough. Flag-Smasher is looking at 15 points of damage minus his Strength and Body Armor total of 9. He takes 6 points of damage and is down to 11. Then Jolt redraws for the 6W, getting a 5 of Doom ­ not much help. Jolt then handles the concurrent Energy Blast attack, playing the 6I to give her trump. The trump gets her a 7 of Strength for a whopping total of 25. Flag-Smasher is going to hurt. He deducts his 9 points of defense, bringing his total damage from the Energy Blast to 16, more than enough to take him out. Jolt redraws to replace the 6I.

Another example might be a grudge match between Psylocke (Strength 6C, Agility 8B, Edge 2, Hand Size 4; Martial Arts; Psionic Blast [Limit: Touch only] 15 as edited) and Sabretooth (Strength 10D, Agility 10C, Willpower 9D, Edge 2, Health 25; Body Armor +2). Psylocke has a 5 of Agility, 6 of Intellect, 6 of Willpower, and 6 of Doom. The Narrator’s card is a 7 of Intellect. Psylocke launches forward with her Martial Arts attack (an automatic action), using her 5A. The trump gets her a 5 of Strength for a total of 18. Sabretooth barely gets tagged (Agility 10 + Narrator’s 7 = 17). Sabretooth then takes 6 points of damage from the blow (18 ­ [Strength 10 and Body Armor +2]), bringing his Health to 19. Psylocke redraws a 5 of Willpower ­ could be useful later. She automatically hits with her concurrent Psionic Blast attack, her “Psychic Knife,” and plays the 6 of Willpower to get trump and a 5 of Strength, for a total of 26. Sabretooth defends with his Willpower of 9, taking 15 points of damage. He’s hurt, but still standing and with his Regeneration, Psylocke might be in a lot of trouble


Damage and Recovery

Fractional Damage

When heroes take damage they normally have to discard cards with a total equal or exceeding the damage done. This means that even 1 point of damage forces a hero to discard at least one card (even if all the cards in his hand are higher than 1). Thus, any hero can be taken down with a number of damaging hits equal to his Hand Size.

In this option, the player places one card face up in front of him when the hero takes damage. If the damage exceeds the value of the card, it is discarded and the player puts another card down, face up. If the damage does not exceed the value of the card, it remains face up in front of the player until the hero’s total damage exceeds the value of the card. Then it is discarded and another card is placed face up in front of the player. Thus, a single card can “soak up” the damage of multiple hits. The “damage card” is no longer in the player’s hand and cannot be used for any purpose other than soaking up damage. When using this system, heroes still recover cards normally on a Positive Narrator Draw. The “damage card” is discarded when the hero’s hand is refilled to its full Hand Size. [by Stephen Kenson]

Example: Rich is playing Emerald Knight and has a card hand of 2I, 4W, 5I, and 7D. He gets hit for 1 point of damage past his defenses, so he chooses to put his 4 of Willpower down as his damage card. 4 is higher than 1, so the card remains face up in front of him and Rich notes that Emerald Knight has 1 damage point. (The player can make notes on a piece of paper or place counters on the damage card to show how many points it has left). His hand is reduced to 3 cards and he does not redraw. On the following exchange, he’s hit for another 2 points of damage past his defenses. That brings him up to 3 points, still not equal to the 4 of Willpower, so the damage card remains face up in front of him and play continues. Two exchanges later, Emerald Knight takes another 2 points of damage. 1 point brings his damage tally up to 4, so he discards the 4 of Willpower. He still has another point of damage to account for, so he places another card from his hand down as the damage card and notes that it has 1 point of damage applied to it.

Hero Health

Heroes normally use their card hand to keep track of damage while characters use their Health. With this option both heroes and characters have Health scores based on their Edge. Heroes do not lose cards from damage but lose Health instead. The rules for losing and regaining Health for characters applies to heroes as well. [by Stephen Kenson]

Lethal Damage

The standard SAGA rules assume heroes recover from damage quickly and that all damage is ultimately temporary, with a few exceptions (see Serious Injuries on page 41 of the Marvel Game Book).

This option differentiates between stunning damage (the sort of damage described in the default Marvel game) and lethal damage. Lethal damage ignores a character’s normal Strength-based Defense; the full amount of damage is applied against the character’s card hand or Health. Furthermore, lethal damage heals slowly. Heroes recover 1 card lost to lethal damage each day (characters recover 5 Health). Finally, characters reduced to 0 cards or Health by lethal damage are unconscious and will die unless they receive immediate medical attention. Check the Narrator Draw on each exchange after the character is unconscious; on a Positive Draw the character stabilizes and will not die (but remains unconscious), on a Neutral Draw nothing happens, on a Negative Draw, the character dies. An average Intellect action stabilizes a dying character and the Medicine skill makes it an easy action.

If this option is used, all powers (like Body Armor and Force Field) that protect against damage protect against both stunning and lethal damage. [by Stephen Kenson]

Split Damage

If the Lethal Damage Option (above) is used, the Narrator may choose to allow characters to have two separate Health scores, one for stunning damage and one for lethal damage. Lethal damage causes damage to both scores, while stunning damage affects only stunning Health. 0 Stunning Health means the character is unconscious, while 0 Lethal Health means the character is dying.

For heroes, this is more complex. If the Narrator wishes to use this option for them, it’s recommended that heroes have a Lethal Health score based off their Edge, and a Stunning Health score based off their card hand, as normal. [by Stephen Kenson]


Hero Creation

Assigning Ability Scores

The following option considers Heightened Ability Scores an actual power. When assigning a card to an ability score (see Heightened Ability powers below), the first card assigned to that ability is the character’s “natural” score. Additional cards assigned after the first card may either be considered to reflect training or additional natural ability, provided that they do not raise the score above 10, or a heightened power. Any card raising an ability beyond 10 is automatically considered to be a heightened ability. A heightened ability is considered a power to which stunts and limits can be applied. [by Greg Kerner]

Heightened Strength

Trump: Strength
Exemplars: Hulk, She Hulk, The Thing, Thor
Related Abilities: Ability Boost, Chi

The character receives an immediate improvement in his or her Strength score.

Stunts:

  • Ground Strike: The character can strike the ground with his fist, club, etc. duplicating the effects of a sonic slam. Minimum Strength: 17+
  • Hyper-Breath: As per the Strength skill.
  • Leaping: The character gains the Leaping power at the intensity of the character’s Strength.
  • Sonic Slam: As per the Strength Skill, except does not include the option of striking the ground (see Ground strike above). This replaces the Strength skill of the same name and requires a strength of 17+

Limits:

  • No Defense: The character receives no defensive bonus from the added Strength.

Heightened Agility

Trump: Agility
Exemplars: Spiderman, Silver Surfer
Related Abilities: Ability Boost, Ultimate Skill

The character receives an automatic improvement in his or her Agility score.

Stunts:

  • Fast Exit: You gain the Fast Exit skill.
  • Leaping: The character gains the Leaping power at the intensity of the character’s strength

Heightened Intellect

Trump: Intellect
Exemplars: Reed Richards, Watcher
Related Abilities: Ability Boost, Ultimate Skill

The character receives an automatic improvement in his or her Intellect score.

Heightened Willpower
Trump:
 Willpower
Exemplars: Dr. Strange
Related Abilities: Ability Boost

The character receives an automatic improvement in his or her Willpower score.

Alternate Card Draws

Players may use one of the following three options during the draw sequence of hero creation: (1) Draw ten cards and redraw all 1s, 2s, and 3s; (2) Draw ten cards and add two 5s (of no suit); or (3) Draw twelve cards.

If you choose or select either a power limit or hindrance, draw a card. If it’s a positive or neutral card, you can, in the case of a limit, add it to the card(s) you’ve played for that power, or in the case of a hindrance add that card to any one ability score or power intensity or reserve it for the calling step of the hero creation sequence. The original rules (Game Book, p. 193-195) only allowed for a benefit in the case of a positive card. [Thomas M. Costa]

Starting Equipment

This option is intended as an alternative to the rules in the Reed Richards Guide to Everything. It assumes multiple powers in a gadget will have differing intensities. It is also intended to treat powers in a manner similar to other powers (the only difference being the power comes from equipment rather than being innate or mystical)

A character can opt to place one or all of his powers into one or more pieces of equipment. To create the equipment, the player assigns cards to one or more powers; the cards assigned are the intensity of the given power. The player then determines if the powers are housed in a single piece of equipment or multiple pieces of equipment. The player then assigns the Equipment limit to each power that is in a piece of equipment and draws a card for each equipment-based power to see if the power’s intensity is increased. The player may then assign additional limits to an individual equipment-based power or to the equipment itself. Note thati if all powers are placed in equipment, the character is allowed the Hndrance Triggered Powerless (without equipment). [by Greg Kerner]


Advancement

Response Bonus Actions
-1 point Massive loss of innocents or property due to character negligence. Negatives can also be the result of complete apathy toward the hero’s calling.
0 points Either the bad guys got away or they were beaten in non-super-heroic fashion
1 point Good guys win and do everything right
2 points Saving the universe from a world-devouring Wonder Slug

Point Cost

Uses of Points

1

Change the character’s primary calling

2

Raise a power intensity by 1

2

Raise an Ability code by 1 grade

3

Raise an Ability code beyond A

3

Raise a Ability score by 1

3

Add a new stunt to an existing power

5

Add a new power at intensity 0

5

Upgrade a regular skill to master class

5

Eliminate a power limit

10

Upgrade a master class skill to world class

10

Eliminate a hindrance

10

Raise edge/hand size by 1

Modifications: Ability scores and Power intensities can go up to 5 points higher than original to a maximum of 20, or 2 points greater than original, whichever is higher. (If you have a 20 at character creation, it can go as high as 22 with advancement. If you have an 18, the cap is 20, if you have a 19, the cap is 21.) For normal humans or superhumans with Ability scores not linked to the character’s powers, it’s a bit different: Ability scores that are not enhanced should not change by more than 3 points through character advancement and not to superhuman levels (beyond 10). Of course, radiation accidents and evil experiments can change all rules. [by Thomas M. Costa]

Awaken, Old Man of the Mountain!

A Marvel Super Heroes Adventure

Note: I wrote (and ran) this adventure before the tragic collapse of the Old Man formation in New Hampshire. Running it in the present would require some modification that actually “resurrects” the “Old Man” from rumble before “awakening” and animating him.

One or more of the heroes is invited to speak at the opening of a Native American exhibit at a local museum, featuring many different artifacts and exhibits intended to increase understanding and appreciation of Native culture. Mary McCarthy, a local reporter for Channel 9 News is covering the speech and the opening. She’s eager to get an interview with the heroes.

The exhibit is attacked by the villain Howling-Wolf, who has gained super-powers from a deal struck with the Great Beasts, and desires revenge against all whites. Howling-Wolf’s magic brings the totems and stuffed animals in the displays to life to attack the heroes while he makes off with a sacred medicine bundle.

Howing-Wolf

Strength 8C, Agility 6X, Intellect 4D, Willpower 9X, Health 17. Climbing, Wrestling, Occult, Survival, Tracking. Magic 9 (Animation, Ensnarement), Sonic Control 14 (“Howling”) (Sonic Blast, Sonic Shield). Calling: Vegeance. Hindrances: Hateful (of Eagle and all whites).

The heroes must track Howling-Wolf into northern New Hampshire, where the renegade shaman is preparing a ritual in the shadow of the Old Man of the Mountains. Howling-Wolf springs a trap on the heroes, trapping them in a “spirit cage” resistant to all physical attacks. “Your white-man’s science cannot overcome the power of my magic,” Howling-Wolf sneers as he begins his ritual.

Using the power of the medicine bundle, Howling-Wolf awakens the ancient earth-spirit dwelling in the mountains, bringing the Old Man in the Mountain to life as an earthen giant, more than a hundred feet tall! When the Old Man asks why he has been awakened from his long slumber, Howling-Wolf tells him he must destroy the whites and drive them from the sacred land, so it can be renewed. The Old Man is angry at what he sees and says he will do as Howling-Wolf asks. He then moves off towards the nearest cities to the south, the state capitol itself!

The Old Man of the Mountains

Strength 26X, Agility 3X, Intellect 4X, Willpower 12X, Health 20. Earth Control 18, Resistance 20 to all Energy. Calling: Guardian (of the Sacred Land).

The Old Man is not evil. He is a powerful spirit and protector of the land. He is angry as the damage done to the land by humanity and his anger, combined with Howling-Wolf’s influence, is enough to send him against the “white” settlements in the area.

The heroes have to stop the Old Man before he levels the city. The earth-spirit is immensely powerful, probably more than they can defeat using brute strength. The heroes have to convince the Old Man not to take vengeance on the inhabitants of the area and return to his sleep. They might be able to use the exhibit at the museum as an indication that the old ways are not entirely forgotten.

The Superlative System

The following article was the first stirrings of what eventually developed into the ICONS game, when I was playing around with marrying some of the concepts from Fudge and Marvel Super-Heroes.

Back when I first started playing roleplaying games, I was a big fan of the original Marvel Super-Heroes RPG from TSR (particularly in its Advanced Set incarnation by the inimitable Jeff Grubb). The game was simple, evocative, and easy to use.

I’m also an admirer of the work of Stefan O’Sullivan. His Freeform Universal Do-it-yourself Gaming Engine (FUDGE) has many of the same qualities of Marvel Super-Heroes: a simple, straightforward system based on descriptive terms rather than a lot of hard numbers.

For quite some time, I’ve tinkered with the idea of combining the best of the two systems in some way. This page contains some rough ideas along those lines, what I’m calling the Superlative System for ease of reference. Folks are naturally free to play around them them further.

The Marvel Super-Heroes RPG is copyright TSR, Inc. FUDGE is copyright Stefan O’Sullivan. No infringement of either property is intended. Continue reading