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Actual Play: Civil War, Part 1

invisiblewomanI’m currently taking part in a Civil War campaign. We decided before hand that we’d focus on a group of anti-registration heroes, although we wouldn’t stick to continuity and allow any mix of characters. Once the Civil War began we’d occasionally switch to the Thunderbolts, tasked with capturing rogue heroes.

After playing Captain Britain and Moon Knight in our ‘Secret Avengers’ I wanted to try something different. I eventually decided on Invisible Woman. I felt she had an interesting Power set and had an intriguing position in the Civil War saga, with her husband being on the other side of the conflict.

For the Thunderbolts I picked Misty Knight. In this version of events Misty would be asked to keep an eye on the Thunderbolts, putting her experiences as a former cop to good use. It makes sense that the Pro-registration heroes would want the villains on a short leash.

We began with the scene in Washington where Sue Richards was accompanying Tony Stark to meet the senate about the SHRA act. Speedball was in Washington visiting Justice and Firestar (meaning he would miss the first day of filming on the New Warriors tv show) while Wolverine was in a nearby bar.

We dove straight into the action, with Speedball spotting Titanium Man about to snipe Tony Stark. He immediately charged the assassin, bringing his presence to the attention of the media and the other heroes.

While Tony Stark went inside I had Sue throw up force fields to protect the crowds and direct them away from the conflict, effectively creating an asset for the other players to use.

I enjoyed using the Invisible Woman during this fight. Her powers allow a wide range of creative uses of her powers, especially if you are willing to spend Plot Points to use several powers at the same time.

The SFX Reactive Power was a good way to help out other characters, making you feel like you are influencing the battle even if you are on the side lines. Being able to give a player a D12 for durability or invisibility is a huge boon and well worth the plot point.

Titanium Man was a tough opponent, since he can spend a doom die to ignore physical trauma. This led me to use Sue to inflict emotional trauma on him by saying:

“I’ve seen my husband build armoured suits like that. I’ve also seen him pull them apart. Let me show you what I’ve learnt.”

I then used her Force Blast (combined with Psych Master D10) to start pulling the suit apart, seriously stressing him.

Along with firing Speedball like a bullet out of gun using the Invisible Woman’s force fields and Wolverine making the Lincoln Memorial pool flow red with Titanium Man’s blood it was a good fight that helped bring this group of heroes together.

The advantages of the system were demonstrated in the next scene as we used the same mechanics from the fight to simulate our characters passionate stand against the SHRA act.

With Sue using facts provided by Reed Richards to support her argument that the world was better off with unlicensed heroes and using examples from her own life to illustrate how the government couldn’t protect her loved ones from attack while Speedball explained how the New Warriors were responsible for saving the world and even time Wolverine, who refused to take the stand, still contributed an asset by instilling fear in the senators by flashing his claws.

The Watcher explained we all knew that the act was still likely to pass, since we know we’re going to be experiencing the Civil War, but that we’d done a very good job of making the Senators question their beliefs.

The next scene was set after Stamford, where events had occurred much as in the comics with the exception that Speedball had been absent.This was a chance to establish the relationships with other characters while using our powers to help people.

I ran a scene with Reed Richards, Sue trying to dissuade him from blaming the New Warriors for the tragic accident. She could already see the way his mind was working. The scene ended with a passionate plea;

“I know you’re afraid that something bad will happen in the future. People have always been afraid of what tomorrow will bring but if you believe in your friends and family you’ll see that there was nothing to fear. You know the power our son has, if this law passes how long before they come for him?”

Reed was stunned but unwilling to change his mind so Sue went to console Speedball (saying that no one expected him to do penance) and offer him a place to stay until the anti-New Warriors sentiment died down. Before Speed Ball could agree Wolverine alerted to them to a possible sighting of Nitro.

Arriving at a shack in the woods, the heroes were joined by Dead Pool. They found that Nitro was no where to be seen but they weren’t the only ones to hear the rumours as Cross Bones, Bushwhacker and Typhoid Mary arrived to claim the bounty.

This was another exciting fight. I had Sue initially focus on Typhoid Mary, since she was used to putting out fires thanks to her brother. It wasn’t difficult to inflict Emotional trauma on the the unstable killer.

Speedball was going through a cool character arc during the battle. He was torn between following the good clean example of heroism provided by the Invisible Woman and the brutal, take no prisoner tactics of Wolverine and Dead Pool. It was a battle for his soul.

I managed to meet the requirements of the Invisible Woman’s Independent 10 xp milestone by having Cross Bone run straight into one of her invisible force fields as he tried to run away, knocking himself out.

It is still early days in the Civil War campaign but this was a great start.

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