Ahh, has there ever been a comic finer than Secret Wars? Ok, so yeah, there has. Many times.
But I will maintain that there has never been a finer idea for a comic than Secret Wars. In the Speak, Memory-esque words of its creator:
"Fans, especially young fans often suggested to me 'one big story with all the heroes and all the villains in it', so I proposed that. It flew."
That, my friends, is what democracy is all about. Any political system which results in The Lizard playing pattycake with Klaw, Mad Master of sound, is clearly the finest on All Possible Infinite Earths. Aaaanyway...
Relevant point for this particular here blog is that Secret Wars was indeed popular and so got very efficiently turned into an adventure by TSR in short order and this adventure is actually kind of good. (If you don't believe me, you can take a look at it and nearly everything else ever created officially or otherwise for the old Marvel FASERIP system here.)
It's actually not surprising that Secret Wars survived the transition from comic to adventure intact since the plot pretty much could've been one of those framing paragraphs you see in ads for con wargames "A spastastically powerful and poorly dressed god has teleported a ton of A-list villains and heroes to a planet full of random trouble and forced them to do battle. There are some bases for each side to hide out in and, also, Galactus." Or, as finer minds than mine might put it: : "ON THE PLANET ARE VILLAINS, FIGHT!"
The adventure, like the FASERIP system itself, is elegant as fuck: an opening exposition spiel (roughly the same one the heroes from a disembodied voice in the comic), a map of part of the planet (a hexmap, even) and maps of some bases, a timeline of what the villains will do if left unmolested, and a handful of random possible other events to be rolled at regular intervals...and reams of superhuman stats--natch.
Now I could probably write a whole blog entry about how this is a great Archetypal Old School Adventure Format that should be in every publisher's arsenal right next to the Site-Based Adventure and that it could readily be used for any kind of war story or megacrossover emulator and that if you just substitute, say, the Wilderlands of High Fantasy for battleworld you've got a whole factional-warfare-plus-sandbox railroad-free campaign right there but that's not where I'm going with this today.
Where I'm going is: we're definitely playing this. I have never ever ever run anything where people play characters other than ones they themselves have created, but the monopoly-with-squatters-effect possibilities of seeing McCormick play The Mighty Thor is just too fucking good to pass up.
The emails have gone out, and it's on the calendar. So far The Thing, The Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, Nightcrawler, Rogue, and Storm have all written back and I'm waiting for a handful more.
I have scheduled it several months in advance, to be sure everyone has the entire weekend clear. Another nice thing about scheduling it for late spring is: I have several months to think of how to make it more fucked up and complicated.
Have you read this comic?* Have you played this module? (Big Fella, Barking Alien and Delta I am looking at you.)
Things I am currently considering:
-Adding random tables for found Kirbytech and room features (convenient water pipes, electrical lines, etc.) (maybe could be repurposed for Gigacrawler, too.)
-Fucking with the Hulk at intervals, Peter David style.
-Making Kang do some stupid time-warp tricks.
-Having my Mac do Ultron's voice for me.
-Giving battleworld slightly more personality.
-Going nuts with the over-the-top karma-awards for hamming-it-up a-la whoever you're playing. Like if you're the Thing and manage to say "Whatta revoltin' development", hey, 5 Karma points there, young sportsman!
-Along the same lines, since "... only FOURTEEN sentences of dialogue in the entirety of the Secret Wars series ended with a period. Every other sentence ended with either a question mark or an exclamation point!!"...Karma points will be subtracted for every time a PC says something in character that is NOT confused or excited!!!??!!
And, hey, if it all goes well, I may run it at a con.
*If not, you should. It is divine nectar from the comic book gods.
Welcome to your doom
8 hours ago