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March 2, 2009 / jadettman

Finding the Groove

Yesterday I ran the second session of Brave New World, my Mutants & Masterminds game set in Rockford, IL after something ‘very bad’ has happened to Chicago.

The basic upshot of the session was: I need to keep working on my ability to judge how difficult super-villain threats will be for the team. Two weeks ago, I threw some non-powered thugs and a couple of low-powered super-thugs at the team and they mopped the friggin’ floor with them. So, this week, I threw a couple of PL10 bad-asses at the team. This had mixed results.

Initially, the team kicked some power-armored butt and it looked like these too would be a fairly unimpressive fight. Then the second threat hit and the team split up to deal with it. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well. The team did end up prevailing with a little shenanigans.

The fundamental problem, I think, is the damn d20 and it’s flat distribution. I really hate that and, in future, I’m totally moving to 2d10 (future campaigns, not future sessions of this game). Secondary problems include: flight (especially some of our heroes can’t fly and don’t have ranged attacks) and too much armor (making it hard for even successful attacks to do damage). Must keep this in mind when making villains!

For the second session, I’ve got to say that I think things are going fine. I’m still working out the kinks and remembering the system and the players are learning the system. Also, the players are getting used to the setting and my GMing style.

Soon, I hope to get past the early stumblings so that there is a little more direction from the players and less of me going, “gee, things seem a little slow and boring; I better hit them with a fight.”

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2 Comments

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  1. Dan / Mar 4 2009 1:22 pm

    I’ve talked about the flat distribution of the d20 being problematic for ages. With you, as I recall 🙂

    Flight is always a problem in supers games. Because if you can’t fly, aren’t you just Aquaman? You have to have at least something comparable to flight, or else your enemies can just hang out in the sky and laugh at you while they rain destruction down onto your head. Which sucks.
    I mean, unless you’re the kind of hero who doesn’t face flying villains. In comic books, heroes only face villains that are appropriate to their abilities. Green Arrow doesn’t get matched against Darkseid, for instance. Neither does Batman. And Superman isn’t fighting Killer Croc.
    It’s all about what’s dramatically appropriate, right? Or what is the flavor of your game?

  2. J.A. Dettman / Mar 4 2009 7:11 pm

    Flat distribution: yep, but I didn’t want to start throwing curveballs at new players.

    Yeah, the overwhelming prevalence of flight in supers games can make it awkward for heroes without it. Which just means that I need to be particularly aware of that when I design opponents.

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