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How to throw a Superhero Celebration

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  • How to throw a Superhero Celebration

    Much like the as-of-yet ill-fated DC Expanded Universe movies, my campaign has grown to be a little too grim-dark. To help alleviate that, I'd like to give my players a chance to have a nice, light, fun session before we go back to SNAFU.

    In-universe, superheroes were created 25 years ago when a meteor fell into our New York City parallel and gave off a strange radiation which caused people to start developing powers. In my campaign we are approaching the anniversary of the meteor falling, a pseudo-holiday known as Meteor Day. This seemed like the perfect oppurtunity to have a light hearted session and course correct a bit.

    My question to you all is, how can I make it a satisfying session? I'm sure I can think of different parades and parties and etc. as the activities of the day, but I'm worried that without impending doom bearing down upon them my players might get a little bored?

    What do you guys think? Should I have a peaceful session where nothing goes wrong? Should some small-time silly criminal cause a disturbance? They've had a string of rough sessions lately (torture, investigation leading to a dead end, supervillains attacking their base, demons), so I feel I should give them a break before things go to hell once again. But will that make for a boring session?

  • #2
    Re: How to throw a Superhero Celebration

    I'd have a formal Meteor Day with parades, giant inflatable meteor balloons, mardi gras bands and dancers and the heroes being given awards etc. which would apparently be attacked by hordes of Zombies. When properly checked by the heroes this would turn out to be a flash mob of zombie fans in costume brought together as a distraction for say the Candy Crew or Looking Glass Gang or another such themed looking to steal shards of the meteor. Play it for laughs with a toffee flood threatening the Mardi Gras dancers ("Ahhh, don't mess up my costume! I spent over 100 hours sewing this thing... Heroes help!! Stop the sticky toffee avalanche before it ruins my costume!") or a candy cane "missile" pelting the civilians with chocolate bars whilst the gang tries to escape using a meteor-themed hot air balloon...

    Balance out what seems to be a real threat (the Zombie invasion) with out and out silliness played for laughs would be how I'd do it. Good luck.
    Last edited by SignalGK; 16th September 2016, 09:43 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: How to throw a Superhero Celebration

      Originally posted by Jexxen View Post
      What do you guys think? Should I have a peaceful session where nothing goes wrong? Should some small-time silly criminal cause a disturbance? They've had a string of rough sessions lately (torture, investigation leading to a dead end, supervillains attacking their base, demons), so I feel I should give them a break before things go to hell once again. But will that make for a boring session?
      If the issue is your games gone to dark & dour, ditch the grimdark & go classic "Avengers: Earths Mightiest Mortals." Throw a group of every day villains at the event, looking to steal the box office takings from the event. No deep dark mystery, no shadowy apocalypse, just a straight up and down heist by colorfully costumed villains. A lot of chances to play heroically, mug for the crowd, save the civilians & beat on some unapologetically goofy villains.
      “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

      -Doctor Who

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      • #4
        Re: How to throw a Superhero Celebration

        Take a look at each of your villains, particularly the ones who are just punchclock crooks who are only in it for the money, and ask yourself: if your PCs encountered this villain sitting in the patio of a bar drinking a beer, watching the parade, holding a cookout in the park, lounging around on the beach, etc, and not doing anything illegal or evil, would a fight break out that would ruin Meteor Day for everyone? If the answer is "no" for any of your villains, then have the PCs encounter those villains taking the day off and make a big deal about it. Not only will they serve as red herrings for any real threats that are going on, but some interesting RP might occur if the PCs confront the villains, who frantically explain that they're just taking the day off. If you feel it's appropriate, perhaps they could even invite the PCs to sit down for a few beers or attend a cookout or party later. Perhaps they might call up the PCs and invite them out of the blue for one motive or another. In any event, if something bad comes up, these villains will be quite perturbed that their day off has been ruined and join the PCs in the fight against it.

        Alternatively, you could introduce a whacky but lonely nutjob villain who has constructed a superweapon (specifically an asteroid-firing railgun satellite, to match the theme of the holiday), aimed it directly at the city and programmed it to fire at midnight. His demands are simple: the PCs and a number of other guests (who could be anyone from other heroes to other villains to politicians, celebrities, news reporters, professional athletes, bands, etc) must attend his Meteor Day party at his nigh-impenetrable secret lair or else he will not deactivate the superweapon. The challenge here is not only to deactivate the superweapon (the villain has various different and difficult obstacles prepared for anyone who tries), but to do it without the villain noticing and firing the superweapon ahead of schedule. Or, as one of my friends suggested, try a diplomatic solution: get chummy with the villain, make absolutely sure that he intends to deactivate the superweapon and then figure out what needs to happen for him to never pull a stunt like this again.
        Last edited by cochramd; 18th September 2016, 10:54 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: How to throw a Superhero Celebration

          Originally posted by cochramd View Post
          Alternatively, you could introduce a whacky but lonely nutjob villain who has constructed a superweapon (specifically an asteroid-firing railgun satellite, to match the theme of the holiday), aimed it directly at the city and programmed it to fire at midnight. His demands are simple: the PCs and a number of other guests (who could be anyone from other heroes to other villains to politicians, celebrities, news reporters, professional athletes, bands, etc) must attend his Meteor Day party at his nigh-impenetrable secret lair or else he will not deactivate the superweapon. The challenge here is not only to deactivate the superweapon (the villain has various different and difficult obstacles prepared for anyone who tries), but to do it without the villain noticing and firing the superweapon ahead of schedule. Or, as one of my friends suggested, try a diplomatic solution: get chummy with the villain, make absolutely sure that he intends to deactivate the superweapon and then figure out what needs to happen for him to never pull a stunt like this again.
          I actually agree with cochramd here, but I have another suggestion that is a little too similar to what they said, so I wanted to give them credit.

          My suggestion would be too yes introduce a villain that is so stereotypically cheesy (think classic Bond-villain) and have him threaten the city with an (insert cheesy mass weapon of destruction here) that will destroy the city in (insert dramatically appropriate amount of time unless the city pays (insert exorbitantly large amount of money here). However, he also decides to give the hero's a fighting chance to find wherever in the city he is hidden to stop the doomsday weapon manually. All the while he is using robot drones to record the hero's adventures and project it world wide (or at least cit wide) all the while occasionally throwing some obstacles in their path (such as a small of army of androids or one android holding the mayor or someone of equal importance hostage).

          However, throughout the adventure the hero's notice something is wrong. The androids don't hardly put up the fight you would expect and in fact seem purely interested in being defeated in the most impressive way possible. The one that kidnaps the mayor is desperately sure to not hurt his captive. Every now and then the villain talks to the heroes and drops not so subtle hints or remind them of how much time they have left (which seems to be more than they think it should be).

          It finally ends when they find the villains cheesily sinister lair and fall into a classic death trap. After escaping the trap (which wasn't all that deadly) the heroes stop the weapon. However, at this point the heroes should have realized that there was something screwy about this whole fiasco and interrogate the villain about it. Upon doing so, the "villain" reveals that the city was never in danger of being destroyed. He is just a huge fan of the heroes and saw that the heroes were getting depressed about the recent super grim-dark things that have happening to them lately. So he wanted to give the heroes a "break" from all of that by give them a good old-fashioned, campy adventure, all the while broadcasting it to the world to show the people how awesome their heroes are. At this point its up to the heroes on how to deal with their misguided fan.

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          • #6
            Re: How to throw a Superhero Celebration

            Wow everyone thanks for all of the ideas and suggestion. Superhero films nowdays have such grand plots its easy to get caught up in all the drama and forget about the all the fun campy origins. Really appreciate the help. I'll let you guys know how it goes after we play.

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