DC Adventures, Log 1: Meet Team Lex
Recently, I had the pleasure of kicking off a DC Adventures Role-Playing Game campaign. On the Myriad Games Podcast we already did a review of it, so I don’t feel the need to go into game specifics. Feel free to click on this link to listen to that show. While the book has some major formatting issues, the game itself is a solid piece of work that left my players interested in learning more about it.
That’s a great sign. Too many role-playing games appeal to the Game Master and the occasional Power Gamer, but when dropped in front of a troop of five players, it loses the players who came to play, not to learn a new system. DC Adventures, however, is based upon Mutants and Masterminds, which in turn is based on the better aspects of Dungeons and Dragons d20 system. The basics of the game are straightforward, with all the complication piled up into a challenging to wrap your mind around point-based powers system. But, since the source material for DC Adventures is DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and a bevy of recognizable faces, the intricate power system is more boon than burden. I mean, most people geeky enough to role-play are geeky enough to have an understanding of who Green Lantern is and what his powers are capable of doing. Therefore, all a new player needs from his character sheet is his basic statistics – How strong is he, and how likely is he to dodge a thrown fist. His powers can be fudged until players have a better understanding of how the game operates. Oh, and while many role-playing games may come with a few templates to get people going, The core rules of DC Adventures comes with 28 heroes and villains in it. While the Heroes and Villains volume 1 has another 273, with volume 2 on the way.
For my own game, I let players choose any Power Level 10 Hero or Villain (the base line of the game), and we ended up with a group that consisted of Abra Kadabra, Booster Gold, Gentleman Ghost, Harley Quinn, Heat Wave, Hourman and Ice. These seven now form Team Lex: Lex Luthor’s new super-powered force here to make Metropolis a safer place to live. Team Lex is ready for action, poised in the heart of Metropolis on the 99th floor of Lex Corp tower. After determining that Booster Gold should lead the group, and acquiring, by accident of the Lexcorp secretarial staff, an extra team member named Person Man (Who’s secret identity is a street bum living in the shadow of Lexcorp Tower. His power is that he is worse than everybody at everything), Team Lex had a quick Q & A with the press (which I completely missed my moment to use the Daily Planet for. Note to other Game Masters who are planning to use the DC Universe. There’s probably a DC Comics version of everything you need to put in your game. Don’t have the players talk to a random cop… Use Dan Turpin. If they need to get a bite to eat, they should probably end up at a Big Belly Burgers. If it exists, there’s probably a DC Comics analogue…)
While the players were being interviewed, Lex returned to the podium and announced that there is a crisis in Metropolis Harbor, and he needed to send Team Lex into action. A group of eco-terrorists had claimed a mega yacht and were holding the owners hostage. Luthor and his team leapt into a formation of helicopters, and scrambled to intercept the terrorists. With a battalion of whirlybird cameras and earpieces that connect them to each other, and their dispatcher, Calculator, Team Lex descended upon and made short work of the terrorists. Until the terrorists were joined by Metallo, Livewire, Killer Moth, Black Manta and a surface to air rocket launching submarine.
The fight was long and hard, but Team Lex stood above it victorious. When they made their way back home, Mercy Graves, Luthor’s personal attache, left a large fruit basket for them, as well as a DVD of the edited footage from that day’s activities. As the players watched the footage, they noticed that multiple sections of the footage never happened like that… as if the scenes were reshot, or shot before hand…