RPG.NET rant #11
Night Of The Caped Cadavers
originally posted to RPG.net on 10-26-2002 at 08:58 PM
WARNING THE FOLLOWING MAY OFFEND CERTAIN PEOPLE WHO HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT CERTAIN THINGS
I love super hero role playing games as much as the next pasty-skinned gamer guy, I've tried all the systems from SuperHero 2044 to Godlike. Psycho Dave was a big fan of the Marvel Super Heroes game and when he got his hands on the ULTIMATE POWERS book he felt that he was finally ready to run what he called his 'Vision for the Marvel Universe'.
Sadly I had forgotten that the majority of Psycho Dave's visions were caused by drinking cleaning products. There was just the three of us playing, Cheating Bastard, El Disgusto and myself. We were all over at Psycho Dave's, he didn't have a lot of furniture so we sat on the bare living room floor. I couldn't help but noticed the photograph signed by William Shatner- it said 'Dear Dave, Stop following me!'
Cheating Bastard: "...and that's how Biff Bam got thrown out of the Gen Con tournament."
El Disgusto: "He was so robbed."
Me: "Robbed? He was being offensive."
El Disgusto: "Here goes Mister Politically Correct!"
Me: "He said that Homosexuals should show up when you cast a DETECT EVIL spell. Does that Whack-A-Mole game you use for a brain register what that means?"
Cheating Bastard: "Well he may have a point, I mean after all that kind of behavior goes against cultural norms."
Me: "So it's OK to hack and slash non human races but it's evil for people for the same sex to fall in love?"
El Disgusto: "Works for me."
Psycho Dave: "Except for chicks. It's OK for chicks to make out."
Cheating Bastard: "As long as they're hot."
Me: "You guys need to grow up and realize there is a real world out there, with real people with real feelings."
El Disgusto: "Just a damn minute here. Ab3... have you changed teams?
Psycho Dave: "Has he even picked a team?"
Me: "I did not change teams!"
Psycho Dave: "See he's still gay."
Me: "If you numbskulls recall, I had a fiancee."
Cheating Bastard: "Four years ago."
Psycho Dave: "Deviant Boy's girlfriend knows your Ex-Ab3 and she has some stories to tell."
El Disgusto: "Deviant Boy's girlfriend creeps me out. That flipper arm! Brrrrr!"
Me: "Can we just get started?"
El Disgusto: "I have a character with claws, combat skills and a mutant healing factor... I call him 'The Ninja Claw'!"
Cheating Bastard: "I rolled up an awesome character! He has Prehensile Hair and Water Breathing! I call him 'Kid Cthulhu'!"
Me: "I have a super hero with flight, super strength and armor skin. I call him Captain Protector."
El Disgusto: "I call him Captain Lame."
Me: "Does it bother you that the neighbors send your Mom sympathy cards on your birthday?"
Psycho Dave: "OK you are all super heroes in the Mighty Marvel Tradition. This is the Marvel Universe you know except that Spiderman, the Avengers, Daredevil and the X-Men are all dead."
El Disgusto: "Wussies."
Psycho Dave: "Villains run wild in the streets, committing acts of villainy, most of them worship Azathoth."
Me: "So what you meant by your vision of the Marvel Universe is that it's nothing even remotely like the Marvel Universe."
Psycho Dave: "You can leave if you want you know. I'm sure you can find something a little less complex and depressing to play."
Me: "Where am I going to find a game of KULT at this hour?"
El Disgusto: "Are we on patrol or did I put on my green ninja spandex for nothing?"
Me: "So this is what it's like to fail a Sanity Roll in real life."
Psycho Dave: "OK you dorks are out on patrol. People spit at you and throw garbage at you as you pass."
Cheating Bastard: "Since he is a mutant my character is filled with angst."
El Disgusto: "I'm sure none of these scum actually see my character. He is a ninja after all."
Me: "He's a ninja in green spandex."
El Disgusto: "The deadliest kind."
Psycho Dave: "OK you guys see a crack deal going down in a nearby alley."
Me: "Not exactly the most auspicious debut but this is a start."
Cheating Bastard: "Besides crackheads should be easy to beat!"
El Disgusto: "We attack!"
(Dice are rolled, charts are consulted)
Psycho Dave: "The Ninja Claw attacks first, he kills the crackhead easily and looses all karma."
El Disgusto: "Damnnit! I forgot about that!"
Cheating Bastard: "I go after the dealer! Once he's down I loot his pockets."
Me: "What kind of a super hero are you?"
El Disgusto: "The manly kind."
Me: "Your character's wearing green spandex!"
Psycho Dave: "You realize only too late that the crack dealer wearing armor and a green cape. He shouts to you 'Von Doom is angry that you have disrupted his crack transaction! Von Doom will have bloody vengeance!'"
Cheating Bastard: "THE Dr. Doom? What an honor!"
El Disgusto: "Save me a piece of him! My ninja pops his claws and goes at him Lee van Cleef-style!"
Me: "Why is Dr. Doom selling crack?"
Psycho Dave: "Dr. Doom says 'Von Doom must sell crack because that rat bastard Magneto has cornered the market on 'Hos!' Then he attacks!"
(A short, one sided battle later)
Psycho Dave: "And as a warning to others Dr. Doom desecrates your corpses and throws them into the fountain in Central Park."
Me: "I'm speechless."
El Disgusto: "If only my green spandex had been flame retardant."
Cheating Bastard: "Can we roll up new characters and try a different scenario?"
Psycho Dave: "Why not? The night is young."
We spent the next hour or so rolling up new characters.
(Roll. Roll. Consult.)
Me: "Ice powers! Awesome!"
El Disgusto: "Yeah will this time try to be a little more of a team player and help us."
Me: "Me? You were the one that tried to run away."
El Disgusto: "I was going to get more ninja supplies. I was gonna be right back."
Cheating Bastard: "So Ab3, your fiancee- sorry I mean you ex-fiancee is getting married in a week. Did you know that?"
Me: "Yes. Can we please talk about anything else?"
Psycho Dave: "How about we talk about that lameass TOON game you tried to run?"
Me: "The game wasn't lame, the players just didn't get it."
El Disgusto: "Oh yeah blame us like the little bitch you are."
Me: "Look we were supposed to be playing a role-playing game of cartoon humor. The characters they made sabotaged the whole thing. Deviant Boy's character was Fritz the Cat, Asenath made the half-naked sword chick from Heavy Metal, Weasly Crusher made a Veritech Fighter and El Disgusto made... a ninja."
El Disgusto: "A cartoon ninja."
Psycho Dave: "Well they were all cartoon characters. I don't see what the big deal is."
Me: "Oh I give up."
The groups tastes in games were pretty simple, serious games were mocked and humorous games were treated seriously. It made for some very cathartic games of PARANOIA but not much else.
Finally we got our characters created and were ready to try our luck again.
Me: "I have a mutant with control over ice cold and darkness. I call him Jack Frost! He wears a dark trenchcoat and a fedora!"
Cheating Bastard: "Believe me no one cares. I have a mutant with Damage Resistance, Morphing and Stretching. In honor of Ab3's latest failed campaign I call him Toon!"
El Disgusto: "My character has control of flame, a flame body and he can fly. I call him- The Ninja Torch!"
Psycho Dave: "OK... I'm going to make everything a little easier for you guys now so you don't bitch and whine. Your superheroes are on patrol and you happen to notice a bank robbery going on."
Me: "I charge in to the bank and shout 'Hold it right there lawbreakers!'"
Cheating Bastard: "I shake my head and think what a loser."
El Disgusto: "I fly in and start setting people on fire at random to distract the bank robbers."
Psycho Dave: "The bank robber turns around. It's just some guys hold weird ray guns. They open fire on you."
(Several die rolls and a shocked gasp later.)
Me: "Let me get this straight. My character shit himself until he DIED?"
Psycho Dave: "Many fear the awesome power of the Exlaxiactor Gun."
(More die rolls, another shocked gasp)
El Disgusto: "Well they're dead now. You've been avenged Jack Frost."
Cheating Bastard: "Actually everyone in the bank is dead thanks to you. Even me."
El Disgusto: "Well you shouldn't have talked back. The Ninja Torch flies outside and strikes a midair ninja pose!"
Psycho Dave: "And the terrified police open fire killing you."
El Disgusto: "DAMNIT!"
Me: "Why are you doing this?"
Cheating Bastard: "Sheesh, don't get all wound up. We're all here to have fun."
Psycho Dave: "I'm having fun."
El Disgusto: "As long as Ab3's character dies first I'm having fun."
Cheating Bastard: "Should we try again with another set of characters?"
El Disgusto: "Sure."
Me: "Oh Sweet Lord..."
I know what your think I should have run, but I thought to myself, what were the chances of Psycho Dave clobbering three of our characters in one night. I mean sure you knew what was gonna happen just by looking at the title here, but I was young and optimistic.
Me: "Well this character is a mess."
El Disgusto: "Is he based on your life?"
Me: "He has X-ray Vision, he can turn into water and control water, he has an advanced sense of smell and can sense crimes being committed and teleport to them?"
Psycho Dave: "What are you going to call him? Waterweird?"
Me: "Why not?"
Cheating Bastard: "My character has super speed based powers. I'll call him the Bolt!"
El Disgusto: "My character has the proportionate strength and abilities of an insect. I'll call him the Red Bee- he's a ninja!"
Me: "You know maybe I'll bail out here guys. It's getting kind of light."
Cheating Bastard: "Yeah your ex fiancee Talula said you had that problem starting late and finishing early"
Me: "You know if you've got something to say just say it."
Cheating Bastard: "I've just heard some stories about your first night with Talula."
Me: "Yeah you've heard stories but do you want to hear the truth? What do you want to hear? Do you want to hear the story of two lonely people finding each other? Of two souls who found in each other, in one shining moment a way to shut out the world to shut out the pain. Do you want to hear how we were just talking one moment and then the next we were kissing? How the room seemed to spin and we fell into each other's arms. The way we punctuated our kisses with sweet whispers? Do you want to hear about they way our clothes fell away and we lost ourselves in a fog of animalistic passion?"
Cheating Bastard: "I just want to hear how you didn't realize you were fucking your own beltloop."
Me: "...oh that..."
There was a fifteen minute pause in the game because the other guys were helpless with laughter. They rolled on their backs like upended turtles. As an older and wiser man I realize now that I never had a better moment to kill them.
Eventually the game began again.
Me: "I use my danger teleportation powers to get us to the nuclear power plant."
Cheating Bastard: "Can we see who has taken it hostage?"
El Disgusto: "I kick randomly in case the villain is invisible."
Psycho Dave: "And there you see before you the awesome shape of Megatron! He moves to attack."
Me: "Megatron? From the Transformers?"
El Disgusto: "No Megatron from the New Kids On The Block! What the Hell is wrong with you?"
Cheating Bastard: "Yeah, get your mind outta your beltloop."
Me: "Dave, I have a question. If my character really concentrates can he find someplace even more dangerous?"
Psycho Dave: "Uhm, technically yes."
Me: "I leave them to Megatron then. I'm sure they can handle it themselves."
El Disgusto: "You what?"
Cheating Bastard: "That's not very good role-playing."
(Dice are rolled, a speedster and a ninja are vaporized.)
El Disgusto: "Damnit! I had such plans for this character."
Cheating Bastard: "Well at least now we can watch Ab3's character get screwed worse than us."
Psycho Dave: "Exactly. 'Waterweird' finds himself at a meeting of the Masters of Evil and the Wrecking Crew. They turn to you and begin cracking their knuckles."
Me: "My character shouts 'I have seen the light! Praise Azathoth.'"
It was a good plan but it didn't save my character. I decided to head home when Psycho Dave suggested we make another set of characters and try again. I decided to see if I could find a late night game of KULT someplace after all.