Collateral Damage Issue #1: Electric Ninja Boogaloo, Part 2

Join us dear readers in a thrill ride where dangers and catastrophe are a dime a dozen. Witness the birth of a new Superhero team in the heart of the City of Angels! Collateral Damage is here to stay! Take a special behind-the-scenes tour here and don’t miss Part 1 of this exciting new series! Excelsior! Sit back and enjoy what the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game can offer. Excelsior!

Dramatis Personae

Just so you don’t have to go back to remember who’s who:

  • The One Man Army (TOMA): A wisecracking troublemaker that can duplicate  himself many many times. Played by Yan.
  • Tsunami: A water-controller nuclear scientist who’s slowly loosing her humanity as she shifts into a water elemental-like creature. Played by Alex.
  • The Great Gregory: A two-bit stage magician and casino cheat with the uncanny ability to see up to one minute in his future. Played by PM.
  • Nightcrawler: Our favorite German Mutant teleporting Swashbuckler. Played by Frankie

Part #1 Redux

In one of Los Angeles’ seedier aquatic circus shows, S.H.I.E.L.D agent Sharon S. brings TOMA and The Great Gregory to meet  Nightcrawler and Tsunami. As Nightcrawler’s plays his fake Houdini act, Ninjas prepare to attack. The surprise is foiled by a very alert Tsunami and a fight starts. Tsunami, TOMA and Nightcrawler engage the ninjas and save the confused and frightened audience. As the ninjas try to threaten Tsunami into surrendering, The Great Gregory announces the arrival of a far greater threat: The Silver Samurai!

Calling All the Shots

On Gregory’s turn, the whole theater was covered with a few inches of water. PM described that he wanted Gregory to set a trap for the Silver Samurai, dropping a whole rack of stage lights onto him (and into the water) to create a localized electric stun trap. I had him roll vs the Doom Pool, a mechanic the GM uses when a hero wants to do something without having a clear opponent. In this particular case, I didn’t want to have PM roll vs. the Silver Samurai just yet as I hadn’t brought him in the scene.

In truth, I wanted PM’s character to shine through as early as possible and test how we could make precognition work in the game (It’s a power we made up for our campaign, it is not yet in the game’s rules). PM managed to roll a decent amount but failed to produce an effect dice because he rolled some ‘1s’. We later found out that his character has a few design bugs that often prevents him from having sufficient dice to achieve cool effects.

Chatty: I’m going to roll the Doom Pool now.

PM: Why, it’s not like anything’s going to happen.

Chatty: I kinda disagree. If you succeed, it still means that your power worked and that you correctly called from which door the Samurai enters the scene and at what time. Plus, I can play “1s” too.

As it turns out, I failed to beat his roll and we established that he sprung the trap just a bit too fast to catch him as he entered. Yet we had established a very important scene element: a set of electric lights were lying in a few inches of water… waiting to be “activated” as a complication or a scene distinction.

Pileup in Aisle #4!

PM: Right. It’s TOMA’s turn now.

Yan: Toma…

Chatty: Wait! What’s your Senses? Enhenced?  I take a d8 out of the Doom Pool and I interrupt your turn and have the Silver Samurai go before you.

The Doom Pool can be used for many things, one of which is interrupting another player’s turn, given that you take out a die large enough to be equivalent to a character’s Sense or Speed Trait, whichever is largest. 

So the supervillain came in the room, spotted the one obvious super character TOMA and engaged it in a duel, failing in his attack. Yan spent a Plot Point (the player’s resource) to counter attack and manage to score Physical Stress by taking the samurai down and piling up a ton of kicking, clawing and punching clones on him.

Chatty: Okay, instead of taking Physical stress, I’ll switch it to Emotional (and lower it by one level of intensity) as the villain is shocked and then outraged at having been surprised by such a dishonorable ploy. (This cost another Doom Die, I was running low).

I ended the Samurai’s turn by describing how, in a cry of rage, it got back up, sending clones flying all over the place.

The rest of the fight was very involved and cinematic. Tsunami flooded the whole theater and cranked up the electrical juice pumped into it,  creating a massive d12 theater-wide taser, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, a liability when caught in the electric field became a gun-toting asset when Nightcrawler teleported her to the lightning struts near the ceiling. The Samurai managed to score one solid hit on  TOMA… but it turned out to be one of his clones, much to the villain’s chagrin.   TOMA eventually managed to beat the Silver Samurai in submission by piling up many copies of himself over the samurai and pining him under the spotlight rail, sending jolts of high-powered electricity into clones and villains allike.

At one point, The Great Gregory, playing on one of his “I’m bored, lets make this interesting” milestone, tried to allow the Silver Samurai to flee, much to the consternation of the other players. Sadly, it failed. As things move to a close and ninjas were getting fried and washed all over the place, the nearly stressed-out Silver Samurai surrendered and was delivered to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.

Wrapping Up

Thus was the session concluded. All players agreed to form a new team of super heroes.

Chatty: So what should we name your team? Collateral Damage?

Others: Hell Yeah!

We played only once scene but given that we created all the setting elements and the milestones, we were all satisfied with how things turned up. It was evident from the ambient energy level that everyone had had a lot of fun and that a new campaign was started. I now have several elements in hand to work a story arc that should span the next few sessions.

I can’t wait to play again next month.  


  1. Sounds like a fantastic game, Phil. I need to move to Canada…

  2. @Mark: Maybe we’ll get to play at Gen Con 😉

  3. I have to comment… the Great Gregory has a fantastic name. Perhaps one of the best names ever even… 🙂

    In all seriousness though, that is a pretty awesome and unique power. Being able to see 1 minute in your future is so specific it brings the whole soothsayer deal to a new level of awesome.

  4. I’m currently reading through the rulebook and trying to get a grasp on the rules. I’m curious as to why, when you changed the Silver Samurai’s stress from physical to emotional, that you lowered it by one level of intensity?

    It looks to be interesting, but it’s pretty unique and I need a firm grasp of the rules before I present it to our group.

  5. Hey Chatty DM,

    Great recollection of the events! Also, would it be possible to show us the datasheet of the players characters? Or maybe I just missed them?