|Drizzt & Guenhwyvar|
We located the right table, made our request and left a cell number, and proceeded to browse the vendors' wares. Ben was in the midst of trying out a game that I only remember as having cute minis (Super Dungeon Explore -Ben) when he got the call; a group had been found. We hurried over only to discover that the group they created for us was full and there was no room. Sigh. No worries though, they found another person to run the game and pulled in one of their volunteers to play as well.
I shuffled through the character sheets, searching for the Invisible Woman. As a kid, I had always wanted to be the Invisible Girl (now Woman) and was looking forward to playing that dream. Ben chose the Human Torch (which was quite appropriate) and the volunteer chose Luke Cage. For this game, the GM is referred to as the Watcher and he was quite good at leading the game but he started out with this, "It's Saturday morning. You're in the Baxter building." He looked at me, "Sue, what are you doing?"
A simple question but my mind suddenly went blank. Although I had read the comics as a kid, I'm no longer a kid. I've always wanted to be the Invisible Woman but I suddenly had no idea how to play her. Throw me in the world of Buffy or Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica or any number of 'verses and maybe I wouldn't have had a complete brain meltdown, but that's exactly what happened here. I stuttered something and claimed exhaustion, while I tried to calm my frantic mind.
Ben jumped in and talked about what his character was doing and the guy playing Luke Cage offered a suggestion, but I knew I was done for the moment. Social anxiety had won this battle and I needed to do damage control on my psyche. I asked Ben to play my character as well as his and he agreed. Now I could regroup and enjoy watching the game.**
Watching turned out to be quite enjoyable. This is a very story based game, the mechanics coming after the next scene is decided. The Watcher encouraged everyone to think in terms of comic panels. What happens in the next panel? From there, players look at their character sheet and decide how to proceed with the dice.
I'll let Ben talk specifics, as he actually played, but it was a lot of fun to observe and I loved the story based aspect of the game. I'm looking forward to playing at home.
I really liked this game. I went into it with no preconceived ideas because I had no idea what to expect. As Lori already mentioned, I chose the Human Torch mostly because she had chosen the Invisible Woman, it just made sense. When the Watcher (the GM) asked me "What is Johnny doing?", I thought, well it's Saturday morning so what else would he be doing, "I'm watching my favorite cartoons!" (I know there could have been plenty of "other" things he could have been doing, but I wanted it to be PG :p) The actual game play was unlike any RPG I have ever been a part of. I mean at its core it's an RPG, but the mechanics and the way the turns were determined were completely new to me. The group of players get to decide who goes first, and when that player is finished he/she chooses who will go next. The Watcher can interrupt the turn order by spending a die from his Doom Pool, which is his resource for exacting some level of control over the game. It's incredible really, and it fits with the way the game works, which, as Lori mentioned, is very much story driven.
On your turn you pretty much declared what you intend to do and if it had a possibility of failure or if it was an action against another character, then you would roll the appropriate dice. Otherwise, you just declared what you were doing and off you went. For example, after it was discovered that our heroes were going to have to act, I declared that Johnny simply went to the window (which the Watcher agreed that any window in the Baxter building would open when Johnny approached it) and jumped out, yelling his catch phrase "Flame On!". Since this was an independent action and had little chance of failure I wasn't required to roll any dice. However, later in the game when Johnny was trying to take out Electro with a fire ball, out came the dice.
I'm not gonna get into the mechanics (I had started to do that and it was just getting way too complicated for what we want to accomplish here) but I totally intend to devote a full review to this game in the future, so make sure you keep an eye out for that! Like I said, I really like this game, it's a lot of fun, I very much want to play this again.
**Why I do I share this? Sometimes people who suffer from social anxiety fear attending large cons of this sort. I want to be real and encourage those who may be concerned about this, that they can work through it and have a great time despite these issues. There were people all along the social skills spectrum, those who struggled with the basics to those who simply become overwhelmed in new situations. The community that I've experienced at the two large cons I've attended have been supportive and loving and understanding of these things, accepting people where they are at. Don't be afraid to get out there and enjoy yourself! -Lori
Saturday Recap Part II