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Your saddest session of M&M

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  • Your saddest session of M&M

    So the last session of my group's campaign may have been the saddest ending for a night we've ever had. We've been role-playing M&M for years, and there have been plenty of sad moments. Heroes have died (miss you ElecChet), sidekicks have been revealed to be the lead villain the whole time, cities destroyed, timelines erased, etc. But last night's session for some reason really hit home. All of us were left there sitting in solemn silence afterwards including myself the GM.

    Here's what happened:

    Team Fighters is a group of teenage heroes in training consisting of Speed Demon, a half-demon speedster; Monument, who's skin is as hard as stone and is the half-brother of the previously mentioned sidekick gone super villain; and Phantasm, a psychic who is using stolen tech from the mad alien scientist Brainstorm.

    After a series of tough battles Team Fighters, a sub-team of the Freedom Fighters superhero group, was assigned an NPC fourth member to their group, a nervous young girl named Halley Ashwood aka Halo. Halo was an energy manipulator who was able to form disc of golden energy she would hurl at her enemies. Team Fighters spent the rest of the session doing team bonding exercises, practicing in the combat simulator, and generally getting to know their newest member.

    One afternoon Team Fighters receives a distress signal from Halo who has come under attack from a group of armed soldiers. Team Fighters rushes to the scene and finds her missing. A brief car chase pursuing the soldiers SUVs follows which turns out to be a decoy. The Fighters are eventually able to use satellite camera footage to realize through the use of light manipulation, Halo had been made invisible and flown to an abandoned cabin in the mountains. Team Fighters arrive on the scene only to have the cabin and surrounding area collapse below their feet into a sealed dome-like cavern.

    Waiting for them is Godsend, a light manipulator who believes himself to be an angel who works as a enforcer for the mob; Terra Lord, a powerful geomancer; and Halo who appears to be working alongside the super villains. After some monologue-ing from Godsend in which he reveals the mob has decided to eliminate Team Fighters and used Halo as bait, a fight breaks out. During the fight Speed Demon realizes that Halo has some sort of mind-control chip placed upon her, but before he can tell the other members of the team he is brought down by Terra Lord. The rest of Team Fighters battle the villains to a standstill, until Godsend and Halo both disappear and Terra Lord burrows into the Earth.

    And that's where the session ended. The villains escaped, their friend captured, and no victory to assuage their losses. Our table was just left in silence. We've had worse things happen, but there was always some sort of win to balance out whatever deaths or tragedies had occurred. This time their wasn't. The heroes lost; the villains, while not able to complete their goal of killing Team Fighters, escaped with a new tool at their disposal. And for some reason, this session just left us all kind of reeling.

    So, what was your saddest session of M&M? It doesn't need to be some horrible Shakespearean tragedy, but just think back to what session or moment left the whole table in stunned silence. I think it'd be great to share those stories.

  • #2
    Re: Your saddest session of M&M

    In the campaign I'm a part of now, I am a member of the superhero team V.A.L.O.R in a custom built superhero universe. The team consists of a battlesuit wearing demigod and tech expert Hephaestus (me), a crime fighter who's gadgets are activated by his weak pyrokinetic abilities called Firebrand, a cryokinetic alien prince/sole survivor of his planet named Lord Kelvin and a 'psychic paragon' named Cortex.

    (Quick disclaimer: This is the first non-PBP game of Mutants and Masterminds that I am not running. And my superhero games tend to be pretty optimistic)

    Anyway, during the events of our previous adventure, Cortex had discovered that his civilian identity's girlfriend Christina Chambers was kidnapped. We all went to New York in order to find her, searching her home, her workplace, etc. It probably makes no sense that a Justice League team is trying to find one woman, but we're a good team.

    We basically find out that the girlfriend was supposedly killed by Cortex's arch nemesis Gravekeeper, who has the power to summon 'shades' of those who died and was in the presence of. Cortex went through a dark phase, going back to the master assassin who trained him in order to get help in getting his revenge. Meanwhile, my character (being the son of Hephaestus) went off on his own solo adventure to build a portal to Hades and find Cortex's girlfriend again.

    As I am taking the 'girlfriend' out of the underworld, Cortex is tracking down Gravekeeper with the rest of V.A.L.O.R. When Cortex corners the Gravekeeper, he summons a shade of Christina Chambers who attempts to fight Cortex (Gravekeepers M.O. is basically screwing with the heads of those he fights). Meanwhile, I'm at my lab where I find out that the girl I rescued is not Christina Chambers, but a woman Gravekeeper kidnapped, used surgery to make look exactly like Cortex's girlfriend and then killed. Meaning of course, that the 'shade' Cortex is currently fighting is the real Christina being mind controlled. When Cortex goes to punch the 'shade' of his girlfriend, he rolls a natural 20 and she collapses to the ground dead.

    The rest of us basically used all our Hero Points in order to revive her, but she is still in a coma as of our last session. So the session ended with our paragon tossing aside his mask in resigned anger and flying away from the fight. It was pretty brutal.
    What has four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening? I don't know, but I trapped it in my bedroom. Send help.


    • #3
      Re: Your saddest session of M&M

      I host a lot of games these day's but the last time I played as a character left my group pretty sad.

      We were a team of young twenty something heroes. Our main goal was to hold the city up after the disappearance of it's previous heroes.

      This takes place after we're many sessions in. we had just hit PL10 and I was a gadgeteer with a flair for style. WELP! our arch enemy attacked the city after being gone for month. in this case 10 sessions OOC. He hit us during a parade with a surprise attack. 3 15 feet tall robots powered by solar energy, so they weren't going down easily. It was after we beat 2 of them that ur arch enemy joined the fight and proceeded to get stomped with the robot. Before he was knocked out he revealed that in the head float was a bomb. I, being the resident tech guy immediately ran over to check it out. With a solid tech roll I discovered it was storing solar energy and was due to release in 30 seconds. We still have a robot and the arch enemy to deal with and civilains running scared. Not thinking twice I switched my skates from run mode to flight mode. I take hold of the bomb and fly it up. I have 3 round so I'm not worried. I fly it a mile above the city and that's when it hits me. A bomb this size would only take out a block. Why suddenly do a dramtic reveal like this so I roll tech again THIS TIME! trying to figure out the blast radius. I roll a nat 20 and find it will take out 100 miles and release all the solar energy burning away everything and leaving the city eradiated. At this point I have 1 round left and can't throw it far enough so I power stunt to a high flight rank take it 100 miles up. I reach the top at the end of the turn and the bomb goes BOOM!

      I failed by 5 degrees on the toughness save so I use my HP to reroll and knock it down to 4 degrees. so I'm not dying, but I'm knocked out. My body is falling though, from 101 miles up I'm screwed if I hit the ground. My teams paragon ditches the fight to come and help me. As he flies away the robot is ordered to take a shot on him. Our arch enemy liked all eyes on him, it was a complication he had. He had to be the center of attention. The robot tolls a fraking nat20 and leaves the paragon stunned. He is the only other person on the team who can fly. The remaining 3 teammates beat the robot and our arch enemy, but they are too late to catch me. I make impact on a car. I had one last moment to say something before dying, but for the life of me I couldn't think of something. So many good sessions and adventures fighting evil genies and such just passed through me. I tol dhim I couldn't think of anything an djust stare at them with tears in my eyes. I died being held by them.

      The arch enemy was finally caught and put in jail. They wanted to kill them though. The team mage thought about raising me from the dead, but was talked out of it. or so they thought. She lied and later stole my body. She tried to bring me back using magic expertise and a ritual. I ttook 2 weeks, but I was revived in secret under the base. She failed her ritual checks though by many degrees though. The DC for bringing a PC back to life is incredibly high and I came back as a Breserk zombie. I couldn't play that though. so the GM took control and the Mage had to fight y reanimated body. After an emotional battle and failed persuasion checks They had to put me down. This time was worse because they had to kill me. The PC decided then and there never to try it again.

      I hear they had a good campaign after I left. but, god that sucked.


      • #4
        Re: Your saddest session of M&M

        I Guess I wouldn't really call this "Sad" as much as it was an eye opener.

        I'm DM'ing a game with a Team called the New Knights, in a custom Setting.

        They recently found the secret base of the Serpent cult and found their way in after putting their Empress back into her stasis Chamber hopefully holding off their plans.

        The Characters this session included

        Professor: Super Intelligent Technomancer/Powersuit user.
        Knightvatar: A Knight who uses Magical Weaponry
        Silver: A Techno Organic Cyborg Woman.

        They snuck in behind the more experienced Hero Knight Hawk(Batman Analog) and Blink(PC hero who's player wasn't present) after getting in they realized a huge battle was going on with Blink and Knight hawk vs the Centralized Cult members (Numbering in the Hundreds) The Masterminds teleported away leaving the Heroes to be dealt with by their generals. During the massive battle most of the Generals are defeated. But it was around the end that things got bad, Knightvatar was confronted with another Memory Lasp dealing with one of the masterminds after finding out that she was at one point his mentor and superior in his Knight order so he was fighting her 1 v 1 in the other Room. While Silver, Professor, and Knight Hawk was dealing with the remaining 4 Villains. One of the Villains(Copper head) activated his Growth power growing to a 30ft tall behemoth.

        (Professor has an "Issue" where he thinks almost in the way of a Computer for clarification on the upcoming part)

        When he grew to being 30ft tall professor decided to Try and digitize him turning him into pure Data and essentially sending him into the Cyber world forever, it worked and it was progressively happening, so the Villain began to panic and stop it, he was screaming from fear, and his Brother (One of the other 3 Villains King Cobra) stopped fighting Silver to try and help him, But there was nothing he could do, Professor began to speak with a cocky attitude saying that "Deleting him is the best thing for the world Server" (He refers to everything as if life is a big computer program) this enraged King Cobra who began to power attack and lay into Professor who couldn't really escape and he started to show fear of "Death". King Cobra responded "You should of thought of that before you started to disintegrate my brother" King Cobra Killed Professor then in his Anger also Killed Knight Hawk and Almost killed Silver who was doing her best to just survive by healing herself as much as she could. She only really survived because They called in help from one of the NPC's whos apart of the Emerald Elite (Justice League)

        This is the first time they all faced Death and now they are facing the glaring issue that they possibly just became huge targets for murder instead of the normal Villain death traps. They also have to remember that there is still one more brother who is out there who will have to find out his brother was killed By the Heroes.


        • #5
          Re: Your saddest session of M&M


          Those are some rough stories.

          I gotta say, the one where it sounds like Professor was just beaten into a bloody pup until he died sounds particuarlly rough.

          (P.S. I love the the team name V.A.L.O.R.)


          • #6
            Re: Your saddest session of M&M

            How about just "upsetting?" This one is from the last session of the last campaign I GM'd. Sorry for the length; I think the extra backstory will help understand player mindsets going in....

            The setting was a world we referred to as "Earth-Q." The central distinguishing feature of this world (which I'm sure I borrowed from some story or RPG somewhere) was that it was actually our world, but with one key twist... on August 6, 1945, instead of dropping an atomic bomb on Japan, the U.S. dropped a quantum bomb, one that altered probabilities in the fabric of reality. Long origin short, it resulted in superpowers, history books being rewritten, people and things popping up that had allegedly always been there, tears in reality appearing on occasion across the globe, and Japan being reduced to an archipelago that was uninhabitable due to the vast array of quantum events and bizarre, deadly creatures that covered the land. The second bomb was quickly dismantled afterwards, and all research material destroyed.

            Towards the end of the campaign in this setting, after some unknown group detonated a new, low-yield quantum bomb in the western U.S., unleashing one of these incredibly destructive creatures, it took a few high-level NPCs and several lower-level national NPCs to stop the creature--and it was not without loss of life. This happened mostly "off-screen" though; it was primarily set up for some of the major NPC heroes of the world (PL 14+) to try to organize a expedition to Japan to try to follow a lead and find an explanation. Heroes from across the globe were joining the mission, and the players' superhero team was offered a chance to join, but warned that incredible risk awaited. To my surprise, they actually agreed, and wound up both surviving and extracting the mysterious man who'd managed to survive on his own on Kyushu despite the dangers. (Unfortunately, probably 30% of the dozens of heroes that went didn't make it back, including an entire major group that defended the western coast of the U.S.)

            The mysterious man they extracted explained that he had planetary-wide remote vision, and had knowledge of the group that had unleashed the new bomb, and they were revealed to be working on a plan to undo the quantum ripples caused by the original bomb. There was one relatively stable, relatively mundane "quantum tear" on the planet which just so happened to be in the city the players' team was from, and the leader of this group was going to accomplish his goal by simply walking up to that point and letting it interact with his power aura. As soon as he did, it was very likely that the plan would work. Now, that might not have been *too* bad (undo superpowers, history books go back to normal, etc.) Except that three of the players had characters with a "quantum-enabled origin," such as being displaced from time, etc., and one was undead. So, there was a good chance that if the villain--who really thought he was doing the world a favor--would have gotten to the Quantum Point, the three characters would have simply winked out of existence, and the undead character would have transformed into an inanimate corpse. Oh, and the villain's power aura nullified anything quantum-related. X-level power. The players took note of a fairly shocking scene (in a prologue write-up) where someone ran into his aura and instantly ceased to exist, so they knew the gravity of the situation.

            Two of the three players with "high-risk" characters were halfway-panicked, and determined to just kill the guy on sight (it wasn't a 4-color game,) once he entered their city. The one player whose character was relatively safe was desperately trying to convince them to confront the bad guy as peacefully as possible, and the last of the three with the quantum-enabled character origin was torn between the two options. And the undead character's player had been wanting some way to cure himself, or to at least find peace, so he was actually mulling over HELPING the villain. There was heated discussion over the game plan, as they barely had time to get back to their city from Japan to intercept the villain. No trips to their city liaison for advice, as there wasn't a moment to spare.

            The bad guy showed up and actually started a public processional toward the Quantum Point. The players launched an assault, immediately targeting the main villain. His henchmen, superpowered people who philosophically agreed with him, for the most part weren't that powerful (less to lose,) and began to quickly be taken out, and their defense of their leader (who had no weapons or powers other than his nullifying aura) was whittled down. However, he couldn't be targeted directly by most of their attacks. One of the two who just wanted him dead began throwing whatever he could at the man from a safe distance, eventually settling on some nearby vehicles. They got rid of the henchmen, and pretty much trapped the bad guy, near death, under a pile of barely-supported debris from the tossed vehicles. In the midst of this assault, the undead character decided to rush to the bad guy's aid and tried to burrow underneath to get to him, but found his power to do so stopped right at the edge of the villain's aura's reach. Then the player who'd wanted to attempt a peaceful confrontation also switched allegiances and ran into the pile of debris to talk to the villain and offer to help him.

            Yes, while her teammates were still launching what they could to try to kill the man. And yes, she fully acknowleded the risk.

            The villain had already had several lucky rolls in escaping death, but the last throw of a bus landed solid... killing the man. And the team psychic, who had mainly only joined the team to eventually find answers about her father.

            Did I mention that reporters, along with Citizens Against Capes (an activist group they had tussled with before,) showed up during the battle and this was all caught on camera?

            Now, I generally try to GM with as light a hand as seems reasonable, letting players interact with the plot as much as possible, and through every step of this affair, I stressed the consequences of certain actions, and repeatedly asked players if they were sure they wanted to take their maybe-unwise actions... but I didn't stop them. So everyone pretty much bulldozed their way into that final position, probably not expecting the outcome to turn out as it did, or to have the impact it did. I don't think I've heard the table as quiet as when I made the solemn announcement that the villain was dead, and so was their teammate. Eyes were wet. One player was visibly somewhat angry toward the teammate who had thrown the killing blow. In part because the players knew it was the last session for a while, the undead character flew off into outer space in a rage, never to return, the conflicted one just fell to his knees and screamed at the sky. And cops started moving in for clean up as the curtain closed. We cooled down, discussed the scene, the session, and the campaign. It was very satisfying overall, but still sobering.

            I eventually am going to pick the campaign back up, complete with a "6-months-later" time lapse, and the players all knew it, but everyone was pretty... stressed by the fallout of their actions, so we've needed the break (from the campaign, not M&M, of course.) They're looking forward to getting back to it though. I was working on a plan to even have the team psychic be brought back, although being right next to someone with a quantum-nullifying aura when you die sure thwarts most time-travel-based resurrection methods. But the group all wants to start with new characters on the west coast, replacing the superhero defenders that died in the expedition to Japan. Which will work fine, although they still won't entirely escape the ramifications of what happened further east.
            My builds can be found in the Roll Call forum [url=]here[/url]. And, here's the latest version of [url=]The Cast[/url].
            Currently playing in: [url=][color=#d7af50]Xenoforce: Earth's Strangest Heroes[/color][/url].


            • #7
              Re: Your saddest session of M&M

              Haven't had a sad session, but in the campaign I'm in right now I feel that one is inevitable to the point that I'm honestly considering forcing the issue to get it over with and to get the better of two possible sad days.

              A little more background: The team, now called "The Challengers", includes the twins Prince Kharaval AKA Sunbolt (played by me) and Crown Princess Kastellana AKA Stormbolt of the far off planet of Tangerine. Stormbolt is much like Starfire of the animated Teen Titans series, in that she is a naive alien princess looking to learn about Earth and make some new friends. She is, however, a large hairy electric monster-looking thing. The people of Tangerine are an extremely sexually dimorphic species, and as such Sunbolt is the 8th result for "rule 63 starfire" on google images and his behavior is in line with more 'mature' versions of Starfire. He is considered a degenerate by his own people for being attracted to Earth women instead of Tangerine women and for believing in monogamy. He is also not the best candidate for the throne for other reasons, and as such his purpose on Earth is not just to make sure his sister is alright, but also to establish himself as the official ambassador of Tangerine to Earth. Also in the group are Ronin and Zeroweight. Ronin is a girl with an ancient katana that is basically Anubis from JJBA, except it's a noble samurai spirit who doesn't do the phasing thing. Zeroweight is a boisterous mutant boxer with gravity powers, which he mainly uses to make his punches disorienting. He's also quite supportive of his single mother.

              And then there's Pulse.

              Pulse is the offspring of two big time superheroes, one of whom is a cosmic being. While investigating high-level government corruption, they were arrested on false charges and locked away in the most impenetrable and inescapable of superprisons, so you might say that Pulse has legitimate reasons for being mad at the world. Despite being an energy controller, he operates much like Nightwing would, preferring to work alone and staying away from the police. He's also a bit of a nutter, having claimed that justice is the only friend he needs. The issue here is that because Pulse was placed in the superhero community's equivalent of a witness protection program, none of us are aware of his parental situation IC and apparently it's a very button to press, even accidentally. To make matters worse, I have discovered IC that it's a very effective button, but have no idea how dangerous it is to press it. If Pulse doesn't open up and tell the rest of the Challengers about his parents, then between me deliberately antagonizing him and others unintentionally antagonizing him, it's inevitable that he'll provoked into a violent outburst.

              And so, I sit here thinking: sooner or later, Pulse will tell everyone about his parents and we'll all feel sorry for having unknowingly hurt his feelings in the past. The trick is to get to happen without metagaming too hard and without it being preceded by PvP. I think my best bet is to say that it's time to celebrate some alien holiday which entails gathering with family and friends. If nothing else, it'll provide a good IC excuse to grill Pulse about his parents a bit.


              • #8
                Re: Your saddest session of M&M

                Strangely enough my story has to deal with Hephaestus as well. In the first season finale of the campaign I've been running for a year or so now, my players had to deal with a couple of truly crushing set backs. The team is called the Unconventionals and in the beginning of the campaign they were working alongside an industrialist named Maxwell Moon to clean up their city. Unfortunately it turned out that Moon was the vessel of a terrible alien consciousness that was scouring the Earth for the perfect metahuman host to act as its meat bag when its forces came to invade. Moon settled on the Titan Atlas, who had given up holding up the Earth to become a paragon style superhero. Moon transferred his consciousness into Atlas and the heroes were at their wit's end coming up with a way to stop him. That's when they met Hephaestus who brought them to Mt. Olympus and gave each hero an upgrade to their equipment, but more importantly the PCs really clicked with his personality, one of them even bringing a smile to his old withered face by offering to be his champion. They worked alongside Heph for a few sessions, gathering materials to build a device that could contain Atlas/Moon and weaken him enough that the Unconventionals could stop him. The day of the big battle came and that was when Hephaestus told them that the device would require him to pour the remainder of his god like power into it, killing him in the process. He told the heroes, "Thank you for teaching this old god how to be a hero again," and made the sacrifice. Tears were shed, and evil was triumphed over.