Friday, September 10, 2010

Discussion: Favorite Encounter Ever

So it's Friday once more, and I figure why not make this the Weekly Discussion day. Sure, discussions may happen on other days as well, but let's make Friday "the" day for it. At least while School is in session.

So, today I want to know what is your favorite encounter you've ever had in an RPG? As a GM, or as a player, it doesn't matter. Tell us about it, give the details for it, and how the people managed to squirm through (or failed to completely).

For me, there's a rather long list to choose from, but the one that is sticking out right now is the end game to a Mutants and Masterminds game I ran a few years back. The story was your typical Teen hero game, completely following the formula given in Hero High. It started light, got serious, and ended very dangerous and dark. By the end of the game, the PCs were 8 (yes, it was an 8 player game) of the last 9 people left on the planet. The 9th? Well, that was the big bad, someone the group had ran into a couple of times before and each time gotten their asses handed to them by. This time though, things were different. After all, if they lost this time then the world would end, and the noble sacrifices of some of their friends would have been for naught.

The fight took place in Scotland, near a castle that had been abandoned centuries ago. 8 PCs versus 1 Super Strong, Invulnerable character that was about 6-7 power levels above them all. Made even worse due to the corruption that was eating the world, and had full possession of this villain. The fight went back and forth, some people had moments to shine, but mostly the villain was just too strong for them all. The situation looked bleak, when the team leader suddenly realized that he had a whole TON of hero points saved up, and Luck Control. Things took a slight turn for the better as he gave people rerolls. The dice however countered him, when making a Toughness save for the villain, I had to roll twice. The character needed a 15+ to not be stunned by this giant team up attack. I roll the dice, and it comes up 20 19. Not a scratch on the villain.

In the end, one of the players used a Hero Point to Final Effort (a feat in the Agents of Freedom book, it kills you but gives you 5 hero points). Grabbed the villain, and held them down while the other 7 people in the group did a massive extra effort combined attack. The villain was defeated, their friend was killed - they had killed him with their attack - but the world was saved.

I think in a lot of ways that may have been one of the best games I ever ran. It was an 8 player game, but ran like it had 4 people. A lot of good comic book stuff happened. Everyone had at least a bit of personal plot, and I really enjoyed the end. They earned becoming the next big heroes.

So, how about you?

1 comment:

  1. I have a series of these stories on my blog (RPG DNA: Memories and Inspirations), but a different one that seems like a good one to share in relation to your post is:

    We were playing a modified version of Shadowrun 2nd Edition, set in Europe, and we had gotten divided by circumstance, battle, and to a small extent, player schedules. The GM opted to use that time to have small groups of us go on small quests while attempting to reform the survivors. Each of these small quests led to a series of clues wherein one or more of us might be able to explore some element of our backstory, deal with some nagging problem, or in some cases, move forward into new territory. I was given one of the latter choices.

    As two of us were exploring (read wandering around lost in) a cave system, my character was offered a very symbolic chance to shed all the trappings and vestements of his current life, and take a leap of faith. We were hot on a trail of a person we took to be an enemy, but who we knew had knowledge we needed. If I went forward with this mystical event, we would lose the trail, and all of my gear. If I went forward with it, there was no telling what the result would be, or when I would reappear again. A real leap of faith, you see.

    I didn't do it.

    We came out on the other side of the mountains, eventually, and were treated to a view of the person we were pursuing, looking at us sadly from the top of the cliff face. It was then of course that we realized it was a rite of passage we were undergoing, and that the challenges we had been facing had been engineered by him.

    We soldiered on, but the way the GM painted that scene - without letting us know overtly that we had missed out on something grand - has stuck with me ever since (this game took place in 1993) and while it is essentially a regret, it is also an example of masterful storytelling.

    I can see each part of the scene as though I had been there in person, and the dilemma with which the character was faced, felt as real to me (the person who designed his personality) as if it were a choice in my own life.