And once again I have demonstrated why I was such a horrible pen pal in grade school . . .
Let me first apologize for my lack of posts. Not only am I taking classes at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, I am also planning for a wedding (which is not only 5 days away. EEK!) and I started a new job last week. Only a few things on my plate
In between the hectic-ness of life, the universe and everything (Douglas Adams, anyone?) I have found time to run another session of my brand new, shiny Thursday night Valiant RPG group!
THE SECOND GATHERING
Our second gathering was similar to the first in that I provided food and gaming materials and the rest of the group brought their A game (or their R game, if you prefer). The difference was that I was not the Game Master; I left that to one of our experienced players this time. We were continuing on with the story that we began the first night – picking up where we had left off – stranded outside of Las Vegas trying to get in through a military lock-down.
You know it’s fantasy when Vegas is locked down. I don’t think there’s anything that anyone could do to really, actually keep people out of Vegas. I’m pretty sure the world would implode or something.
Our characters were the same though some of our players were new.
- Peter – this week I was playing this character as last week’s player was our Game Master. I realized just how horrible I am at trying to play the straight man. It’s not that I can’t lead people, I’m just not good at doing it in a serious manner.
- Zephyr – played by our same gamer as last week, it never gets old watching the player transition from Zephyr to her normal self.
- Flamingo – this week played by another “newbie” gamer who whole-heartedly embraced Flamingo’s slightly scandalous background and used her . . . assets . . . to help us get into Vegas
- Torque – played by another “newbie” who was not actually an original group member. This is someone I work with who needed a drink after work that particular Thursday. I told her we had alcohol (Jack Daniels, anyone?) and we hooked her in
Our story opened on our rather rag-tag group of psiots arriving in Las Vegas. We arrived via stolen helicopter that Zephyr (through an extremely lucky die roll) miraculously knew how to fly. Unfortunately, the dice were not so kind to our landing. So we limped away from the wreckage and took stock of our position. First order of business was a new form of transportation. I decided that Peter would be driving. So with Flamingo providing the distraction, Torque providing the muscle, and Peter providing the mind control we hijacked a car. Conveniently enough we got our hands on an unmarked, inauspicious black SUV. Because that’s not cliche at all, right?
Peter was able to use his telekinetic powers to convince the military blockade that we were some sort of official government agency and we were in! Our next order of business was to make it to the Bellagio to rescue some psiotic (not psychotic) children and try to make a clean escape.
NO FOUNTAINS FOR US
Due to the fact that a helicopter had crashed into the Bellagio hotel we were unable to enjoy the sight of the infamous fountain show. So we contented ourselves with sneaking around alley ways and scaling tall buildings in single leaps until we were able to sneak in via the roof of the hotel. Since our GM is an avid air-softer we were careful to clear the rooms with almost military precision as we made our way down, floor by floor, until we reached the crash site.
There we found the remains of a helicopter. Lucky for us it was not salvageable so we were able to drag Zephyr away without too much crying. We picked up a few useful weapons (because when people who are looking at you up the barrel of a semi-automatic tend to forget you have extra abilities) and moved on. We finally found the children in the kitchen and were able to gain their trust. This was a rather convoluted (and more than slightly ludicrous) series of events involving the following:
- Terrorists (they were a mirage)
- Peter telling Zephyr to “Stop. Talking” (one of the character’s action cues)
- Torque running away (wuss)
- Zephyr flying around and giggling (not sure if she’s just that bubbly or if she’s slightly insane)
- Peter telling Zephyr to “Stop. Talking”
- Peter face-palming (as I felt the need to act this out every time I ended the night with a bit of a headache)
- Peter telling Zephyr to “Stop. Talking”
- Peter trying to keep everyone on task
- Peter trying to get Flamingo to put her shirt back on after providing a “distraction” whilst we hijacked a car
- Peter . . . (you get the point)
Seeing as how I am not a good “straight man” this scenario probably would have gone a lot more smoothly had our GM still been playing Peter, but eventually I was able to control my rag-tag bunch of self-proclaimed “superheroes” and we got it done. While it was beneficial to see an experience GM run a game and (try) to keep everyone moving in the right direction, I think next time I will let him stick to playing the “straight man” and I’ll take my chances with the lead.
Although I am an avid reader I have never really gotten in to comic books. I would much rather visualize the characters and settings in my head than be distracted by the artists’ depictions. However, I must say that this Harbinger series had me hooked. I saw the cover, now I’m a believer. Or something like that. The characters are not perfect, in fact Peter (who is the main character in the first few issues) is very flawed. He has a history of drug use and using his mind control powers in less-than-morally-sound ways. He is still fighting his own inner demons while trying to assemble a team to fight the world’s outer demons. His journey to find his own redemption is an excellent story arc and later episodes give great insight into some of the other group members. Even if you are not an avid reader, or maybe not an avid comic book reader, give this series a try. Don’t believe me? Trust IGN. Would Ben Bailey lie to you?
Stay tuned for next week’s adventures in VALIANT UNIVERSE!!!!!!!