Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Villains and Vigilantes - Round 2

While Brad Gottschalk’s Villains and Vigilantes super hero role playing game did not really go anywhere – Brad did not enjoy running it and we had several character deaths – but it inflamed my creativity. I first borrowed his books, and then finally went out and found my own copy of it. I found I loved the game.

One thing I have learned about me as a Game Master, much more than the other Game Masters I played with, I like having a little more control over where the game goes, and I like running a character who can be a ‘deus-ex-machina’ sort of character as I play – someone who can be an emergency helper character in the midst of it. While this co-playing/mastering role may not always work smoothly, I’ve found that it keeps me more involved in the game, and I enjoy it more.

So, I went about creating my superhero. I did it primarily by random…at least I believe I did. I like to think that I did, but over the years I’ve modified and changed this character many times, and he has several different incarnations of him.

One thing about my Villains and Vigilantes game is that I made the characters ‘us.’ So, this is me as a superhero. I rolled bionics (which gave me superstrength and super endurance), flight, telepathy, regeneration, special weapons (which I said his hands were made of the super hard metal mithril – tied to the bionics), and mutant power (which I said ‘energy creature’ with essentially a force field around his body that made him impossible to ‘phase’ or ‘vibrate’ through. I must have had something go on with that in Brad’s game.

The back story I came up with him at that time was that I was walking home through Smith Park in Platteville when I came into contact with force field from person from a hidden high tech society. The force field disrupted all the calcium in my body, and he had to quickly save my body with an energy matrix combined with the organic metal called mithril to replace the calcium. The energy matrix also awoke my latent telepathic abilities.

Sounds silly now, but any sillier than being bitten by a radioactive spider?

I did expand and change how some of his powers worked and improved the story over the years.

After I had created Mithril, I went to our regular suspects for the Villains and Vigilantes game. Here’s what they created…

  • Dan Wang: The Blue Knight. Flame power so hot they burn blue. Heightened agility. Sonic blaster. Cloak of Invulnerability. Heightened damage. Telepathy
  • Brad Gottschalk: Daybringer. Brad could transform from his human form into a sword bearing elf with light powers and gravity powers as well as a vibratory attack and defense (i.e. he could vibrate through things)
  • Warren Brewer: Beethoven. Warren had super speed, lightning powers, and a ring of teleportation, and a wonderfully bizarre sense of humor. He also had a danger sense; whenever danger was near, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony started playing in his head. He had several other powers, such as weakness detection, but I can’t remember them all now.
  • Eric Bierstedt had an android who he called ‘Eric Bierstedt.’ I eventually named him Epsilon and created a full background for him. He had invulnerability, speed boost, and vibratory attack and attack. I really wanted Eric to play; I really admired him, but In all honesty, as I look back, I’m not sure if Eric actually ever played.
  • Michelle Buchert had Adriana, a whip bearing, fishnet stockinged heroine with flight and a power blast.
  • Lance Carothers ran Speed Demon, who had flight, superspeed, and used a crossbow as a weapon. Lance always had a case of power envy. His character had no real hard attack or defense, and could be knocked out by the almost any blow. Lance always wished he could do more, but the thing is, he had 4 actions before anyone else (except Beethoven – who also had super speed) got to move.
  • John Wunderlin was the Renaissance Man. John had the luckiest roles of anyone I saw. He got magical armor which increased his strength and gave him just about every attack possible as well as teleportation and a lightning defense.

We played this first game during my sophomore year in high school. The first adventure took place right in Platteville as a evil group robbed the local bank and then headed to the grocery store nearby to get to the teleportation device they had delivered there earlier. (John worked there as a high school student). So, we spent that first game destroying Dick’s Supermarket (which is now the Piggly Wiggly). I had a blast, and I think the others did, too.

I actually drew a comic of this adventure. You’ve seen a few frames from the comic. It is, of course, a younger, prouder me who drew this. This is on my list to re-do, along with so many others.

After this first adventure, John and Michelle rarely played, but Brad, Warren, Lance and Dan joined me often for more games, along with many others who I’ll introduce in a later entry.


At 7:45 PM, Blogger Raven's Path said...

I so want to play V&V again, even if it is just a one-shot. The fun of playing old school D&D a few weeks ago has sparked my interest in the simplicity of those games. It would be so much fun to get the trio back together again for an adventure.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger The Acrobatic Flea said...

Sounds great - I wish my memory was that clear of our early V&V games. :) Look forward to reading more about your old superhero games.


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