Friday, June 2, 2023

Champions: One Earth (Adventure Sources 01)

Due to one of the inspirations for this campaign being Planetary ("Archeologists of the Impossible"), I planned for each adventure to have a bit of investigation and exploration. Naturally, for adventures like this, I looked to Gumshoe's many games for inspiration and plot ideas.


This was the most obvious choice, because it's already in the second edition, is closely associated with my campaign plans (metahumans with police powers investigating the metahuman world).

I gleefully took the concept of the Quade Diagram (renamed it as an homage to the X-men creators), and added the ideas of predictable mutant power profiles (and common mental or physical problems associated to certain power clusters) to my world. Great rationale as to why there are so many mutants with healing factors, why strong guys tend to be tough too, and so on.

Also, the law and law enforcement structures are very easy to merge with DC & Marvel structures, and the various super-hero game write-ups across settings that tackle the same topics. And I do admit that I'm looking for a way to also add in the idea of Max-Tac from Cyberpunk / Cyberpunk 2020 for metahumans -- but that's another story.

However, since Mutant City Blues was heavily predicated on mutants (which I didn't want to lead off on in terms of adventures), this adventure source material was shunted back to my 3rd multi-session adventure instead. And I look forward to figuring out how the Milestone "Big Bang" event would tie into this as well.

Night's Black Agents

Due to the number of characters that are super-spy or super-agent adjacent in terms of character background, Night's Black Agents was also an obvious choice.

The trick, as I understood it, was to change the vampires (all the various types) into equivalent metahumans in the adventures, and I'd be home free.

On closer inspection, there were a couple of things that I realized I'd have to deal with in order to successfully convert these adventures:

  1. the assumed super-spy team -- the default campaign structure in Night's Black Agents -- is supposed to be burned and on the run. No big agency with deep pockets to fall back on, no official police powers.
  2. the super-spy team isn't supposed to be bulletproof, or capable of flying, or smashing through walls, or teleporting through floors, etc. The appearance of one (god forbid two) vampiric characters is supposed to vex the characters greatly, with the usual solution being evasion and escape unless they're prepared.
Naturally, a team of super-heroes, working together with proper teamwork, is more than a match for these monsters. So, some tweaking here too.

Cthulhu Confidential

Ultimately, after going through several adventure sources, my thoughts settled on one from Cthulhu Confidential -- one that I could easily tweak into an adventure dealing with monsters coming from the Kryptonian Phantom Zone.

The time period was a bit of a problem, but easily remedied by bleedover from the dimensional eccentricities of a badly opened gateway into the Phantom Zone.

The bigger issue was that Cthulhu Confidential is supposed to be a one-on-one type of game [ one GM one Player ] and having a team might wreak havoc with it. Fortunately, the adventure structure allowed for a classic JSA / JLA approach of breaking up into teams to investigate, and the presence of modern day comms allowed the team to converge on several locations at the same time just when needed.

Furthermore, unlike the Cthulhu trope of a showdown with fearful creatures causing death and insanity, the characters were happy to finally throw down and hit something after all the investigations and secrets and lies. There was some pacing that needed to be tweaked for future adventures (greater dangers and challenges to face in the pursuit of clue locations, before reaching the final showdown).

Overall, not bad. But I'll also be looking at adventures from more traditional super-hero RPGs to change things up from the investigation-heavy adventures.

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