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Actual Play: Civil War, Part 3

invisiblecivilPicking right up from where we left our heroes Invisible Woman and Spider-Man were trying to get Patriot to safety. The GM asked where we wanted to go and I suggested that we go to the Pier 4 base that the Fantastic Four 4 occasionally used as a base. Later I learnt that this location had since been destroyed in the comics but since we’ve established this game isn’t exactly following continuity I think this is okay.

It was nice that I was given the opportunity to describe what Pier 4 was like, from the layout to its function as  storehouse for Reed Richard’s inventions that he forgets about to the contents of the kitchen.

I used the time to try and help Patriot recover some stress following his encounter with SHIELD. I was doing this to gain 3XP for the Emotional Center milestone. This is why Milestones are great, they motivate behaviour that is in character but might not otherwise occur.

Unfortunately for me the dice didn’t roll in my favour. Spider-Man also made an attempt, using humour to great effect but again the dice were against us. Realising it was a lost cause we contacted Captain America who directed us to join his literal underground anti-registration movement beneath the subway system.

Once there we were given the mission of contacting Cloak and Dagger who Captain America felt would be valuable to the cause due to their combination of teleportation and healing powers.

Spider-Man was prepared to go alone but I decided Invisible Woman didn’t want to let others fight the good fight on their own. In order to avoid being recognised I decided that she’d adopt a new identity, reprogramming her unstable molecule costume and donning a red wig (Spider-Man confirming superheroes love red heads) and taking the name ‘Projecta’.

This was a fun to play a character taking the role of another. I tried to make Projecta as different from Sue as I could while still playing it within the realm of what she would allow herself to do. To this end Projecta powers would be magical in nature and much tougher in character.

We were accompanied by Daredevil. At the time it was Danny Rand behind the mask which both we players knew but our characters didn’t. Over the course of the game we played with this fact until Sue and Peter worked out who it was.

On our way through the subway underground we stumbled upon Venom attacking a subway train in an attempt to rob the passengers. I guess this is foreshadowing the formation of the Thunderbolts, to show how Venom ends up captured. It didn’t really matter because it was a chance to have Projecta make an impression.

It was brutal fight, taking place within the tight confines of the tunnel and with innocent people at risk. One of the issues that came up was that I was using Durability as part of my attack. The GM pointed out that the wording of the Durability is that is usually included in reaction dice pools not attacks.

In my mind Durability represent Sue’s force field and that being hit by someone surrounded in an impenetrable force field would hurt. Indeed this is the gimmick of the X-Man Armor. There was also the issue that any attack can be turned back on the attacker so it would make sense to have a defensive power to prevent that from happening (by increasing the chance of success).

Looking at the write-up for Armor I did note that she has the Super Strength power, which likely represented her ability to smash things. So I conceded the point since it rightly could be seen as giving Sue an unfair advantage.

The Doom Pool was used to good effect during this fight, with the GM spending dice to give Venom more of an edge. This was frustrating at one point where I’d rolled high only for Venom to not only add enough dice to his result to beat me but also turn it around and injure a train passenger inflicting emotional stress.

Nonetheless we turned things around and were able to defeat Venom. Working alongside Daredevil ‘Projecta’ unleashed a series of marital blows, bolstered by crafty use of force projection.

This was a fun exercise but showed the problems of trying to use the Invisible Woman in a different context. Her lack of combat specialties clearly show she isn’t a fighter and trying to have her engage in a hand to hand conflict is difficult. I think in future I’ll try to have ‘Projecta’ act more as a ninja in order to use her Covert Expert speciality.

Making contact with Cloak and Dagger we persuaded them to teleport us back to the anti-registration safe house. Captain America thanked us and we went out separate ways, before we could be missed.

Speedball joined us at this stage in the game as we played out events leading up to his unmasking. This was a difficult scene for us since none of the players wanted to change Speedball’s players decision to unmask.

We decided to view it as creating assets either for or against unmasking that Speedball could use at the appropriate time. We did have fun in a sequence where Tony Stark prepped Speedball for the kind of questions he might be asked by the press, allowing us to put forward these questions ourselves.

This gave us license to come up with really horrible, difficult questions such as ‘Do you really think unmasking will bring those dead children back?’ Speedball did a great job of coming back with some well reasoned responses.

Eventually Speedball did unmask on television, taking Spider-Man’s place in this continuity. At the Baxter building Sue and Reed watched the event and Sue told Reed that they better make sure that they reward is bravery by making sure that nothing happens to his loved ones.

When Reed asked how they would do that Sue suggested that instead of spending all of SHIELDs resources chasing unregistered superheroes they should assigns agents to provide security for any hero that signs up. This would make registering a much more appealing proposition and improve SHIELDS image.

I was particularly pleased with this idea as it just occurred to me on the spot. It not only made logical sense for the Pro-registration side but it also lessened the pressure on the anti-registration by drawing resources away from SHIELD. It also continued the storyline of Sue playing both sides.

We left the game there and I believe that we’ll be exploring the Thunderbolts next, allowing me to take the role of Misty Knight.

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