Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Arizona Initiative

Whoops - I forgot to update here with my last Cinco de Marvel setting, the Arizona Initiative.  This playset came about because I was trying to come up with a modern politically conservative superhero who wasn't a parody.  It was hard!  But I think I did it.  I also did a "How to Use" post that you can access from the top of the tumblr. Enjoy!

The Arizona Initiative.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinco de Marvel: What's So Great About SHIELD Anyway?

For Cinco de Marvel weekend, I have created five campaigns for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.  Enjoy.

What's So Great About SHIELD Anyway?

The Church Committee investigated intelligence agency
corruption in the United States in 1975.
Although we are always attracted to the superspy mythos, in the real world, intelligence organizations are often unaccountable and poorly supervised, leading to corruption and resistance to reform.  We imagine that we would be James Bonds and Nick Furies - in reality, we create Aldrich Ameses, take advantage of mentally ill informants and stumble into UN conferences with exaggerated photographs.

So let's create an adventurous way to question the superspy approach, within the context of the Marvel Universe.

Cinco de Marvel: The Montesi Files

For Cinco de Marvel, I'm creating five complete campaigns for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.

Dracula (Marvel Comics)
Dracula (Marvel Comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Montesi Files

For a considerable period in Marvel history, there were no vampires - they had all been destroyed through the use of the Montesi Formula, an occult ritual that eliminated all vampires from Earth.  The exceptions were weird hybrids or near-vampires, but true vampires like Dracula were gonesville.  These days, of course, vampires are returning, but this campaign is set during the days when no vampires walked the earth - in fact, it is set right after the Montesi Formula was used.

In the real world, the comics involving the use of the Montesi Formula were in the 1970s, and setting it then would be fine, and very stylish, but I want to urge another possibility.  The game should be set in the late 1980s, as perestroika and glasnost sweep the setting of the campaign, Eastern Europe.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Marvel: The War At Home

For Cinco de Marvel, I am writing five full-sized campaigns for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. They can all exist inside the normal Marvel universe and they all support between 3-6 characters.

The War At Home

During World War 2, Los Angeles experienced a massive surge in population as hundreds of thousands flooded the city to work in wartime factories or the booming film industry.  African-Americans specifically emigrated in record numbers, although restrictive housing covenants kept them crammed into the increasingly segregated South Central area of the city.  While Captain America fought the Nazis and HYDRA overseas, on the home front Jewish gangster Mickey Cohen tightened his grip on organized crime throughout the city, monitoring visionary but lunatic mobster Bugsy Siegel for mafia interests back East.

The City of Los Angeles preferred a tightly controlled flow of vice, legalizing card, slot and bookmaking operations in limited areas of the city - particularly in areas dominated by African-Americans and other minorities.  They were willing to turn more control over racial minorities to organized crime in return for tax dollars.  And after the war when the wartime industries started to close up shop or return jobs to the white men they believed deserved it, times got very tight for many Angelenos.

At the same time, Los Angeles underwent a cultural renaissance, as West Coast jazz began its ascent and African-American radio began to lay the groundwork for what would become the rock and roll revolution.

The characters are crimefighters in this deeply divided time and place, championing the justice and equality America promised and fought for overseas but didn't quite bring back with it to its own shores.

If you liked L.A. Confidential or L.A. Noir but thought you might have more fun if there were with laser beams, HYDRA sleeper agents and communist robots, this is the campaign for you.

Cinco de Marvel: The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

Someone thought giant death robots were
a good way to deal with a serious social
issue. Good thinking, everyone.

For Cinco de Marvel, I am writing five full-sized campaigns for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. They can all exist inside the normal Marvel universe and they all support between 3-6 characters.

The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

Marvel has established many dire possibilities for its futures, from being conquered by the evil mutant Apocalypse, to living under the iron boot of Doctor Doom (and his many robot duplicates) to having humanity's population controlled by Sentinels.  A common plot in Marvel is that someone comes back from one of those futures (often someone we already know from the present) to warn the present of the possibility, or to prevent it happening.

Well, what exactly happens when they succeed?  They end up staying here, often becoming the worst characters in Marvel continuity. (Hi Cable. Hi Stryfe.)

The concept for this campaign is that all the characters are from one of Marvel's dark futures, and they've teamed up to make the future a better place.