csroy
 member, 148 posts
Wed 13 Oct 2021
at 20:00
IC: What If...?
Hello again,

So after I finished season one of What If...? I thought to myself What If...I'll try to run a What If story?

You get the picture.

The premises is simple, each PC will be a MCU based character from an alternative universe, all have been recruited by the Watcher to be the next Guardians of the Multiverse.

Chargen is simple, choose a hero/villain from the MCU and asked What If...?

System - The game would be mostly free form, stats and abilities would be based on the Marvel Data base (the power grid). Conflict would be done with a very simple dice free resources allotment between, maneuver, attack, defense and other.

I have a start of an arch but I expect the players to contribute and push the game to the directions they are interested in.

It is IMO an interesting thought experiment,

Any interest?
Shroompunk
 member, 8 posts
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 04:38
IC: What If...?
I'm running a version of this game already, and it's one of my stock go-to games to run.

My dance card's already over-full and I have little interest in freeform games, but I can offer you some advice based on my own experiences with the format:

  • This cuts against every instinct your players have, but the more mainstream their characters are, before the alternate universe, the better. You really want Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine here, not Ricochet, U.S. Agent, and Wild Child.
  • Ask your players to propose their characters in secret, at least 2-3, and the more the better. That way, when you assemble the final team yourself, you can pick complementary (or incendiary) power sets and personalities. This also probably allows you to "accidentally" place two different versions of the same character on the team, if you and your players stuck to the last bit.
  • Seriously, do that if you can manage it. If the players are good, it's poetry in motion.
  • What If? and Elseworlds stories are traditionally super bleak, and this is your chance to let it out-- but you have to remember that your players need to sustain a sense of hope. The bleaker the worlds you drop them in, the more they need to be able to bring hope to those worlds.
  • On the other hand, if you're doing a different universe every story arc, remember that your universes are disposable and it doesn't matter if your players break them.


These games are a lot of fun, and they're one of my standards for a reason. Good luck with this!
deadtotheworld22
 member, 156 posts
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 09:10
IC: What If...?
I'd potentially be interested, but I would like a bit more information about things like tone, focus and rating.

Having watched the series, I certainly enjoyed it, but with the exception of the character introduced in the first episode (I'm being careful around spoilers), I can't say I really engaged with many of the characters' arcs because of the short nature of the episodes, and because the focus was (understandably) as much about action than it was about character development and genuine interpersonal conflict/drama.

Taking that forward into this context, as much as it's always fun to write action, my interest in the long term would probably hinge on how much I felt my character had space to grow and deal with their own issues, build good and bad relationships within the team and grapple with some complex moral decisions.

Similarly, I would be interested in the tone of the game - again, What If did rather jump around a little bit in terms of the tone of individual episodes (the Thor one was especially memorable), so what were you aiming for in terms of tone?

Similarly, what rating would you consider the game would launch as?
Dr. Schadenfreude
 member, 12 posts
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 09:47
IC: What If...?
I'm also cautiously interested and would appreciate answers to those questions.
Harley Quinn
 member, 159 posts
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 12:35
IC: What If...?
I'm interested, if there are no stats and dice rolling.

Stats just turn into a metaphorical dick measuring contest/argument.
Rogue Leader
 member, 55 posts
 Standing by.
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 15:09
IC: What If...?
Interested. I do think characters need to be quantifiable in terms of powers and skills, but do think that clever use of those things needs to be a factor in combat & problem solving. After all, canonically Squirrel Girl has beaten Dr. Doom (Marvel Super-Heroes #8), and Dr. Strange got Dormammu banished back to the Dark Dimension after finding out he'd paid paid $5 for a $4.99 hot dog when the contract stipulated that he had to pay in exact change (Marvel Adventures Superheroes #9).
deadtotheworld22
 member, 157 posts
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 17:34
Re: IC: What If...?
Rogue Leader:
Interested. I do think characters need to be quantifiable in terms of powers and skills, but do think that clever use of those things needs to be a factor in combat & problem solving. After all, canonically Squirrel Girl has beaten Dr. Doom (Marvel Super-Heroes #8), and Dr. Strange got Dormammu banished back to the Dark Dimension after finding out he'd paid paid $5 for a $4.99 hot dog when the contract stipulated that he had to pay in exact change (Marvel Adventures Superheroes #9).


I think she's also defeated Galactus, at least in one of the newer ones.

I think the quantifiable nature is only really important if you're actively seeking PvP combat, which I would assume would be kept to a relative minimum (and would hopefully be managed between the relevant players). Aside from that, I'd be happy to leave it to GM discretion, even if that might involve a bit of abstract behind the scenes rolling from them to add an element of luck.
csroy
 member, 149 posts
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 18:08
Re: IC: What If...?
Thank you for the interest and the great advice :)

I'll try to answer all questions:

Tone: I am not interested in a comical game, nor in a dark grim dark one. I'd say something along the line of heroic with a streak of dark in it.

Rating - at first I wanted this to be an Adult game, I like the freedom it give to explore interesting story lines but after much consideration I figured I can get as much from a Mature game.

System - Marvel had introduced a power grid for their characters, it is a 7 step (2 normal human) on different aspects. The Marvel database* also give a good soft description of powers and talents. I believe this should be enough of a system to give people the scope of their powers and abilities.

Conflict - I important a very basic dice less system to measure conflict. Each hero divide 100% focus between Offense, Defense, Maneuver and Others. The higher side wins, I'll give more details should this game fly.

Growth - My intention is for each player to suggest a character and a What If moment, with suggestions on how this change would impact on the world. Once the player is approve will run the What If to the point the hero is recruited by the Watcher. I think personal growth, personal goals and interests should be the drive of the game.

Please let me know if I missed something :)

* see link: https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Marvel_Database

Alcuin
 member, 37 posts
 Retired Bureaucrat
 RPGing since 1974
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 18:59
Re: IC: What If...?
I love free form and I love Marvel comics (though I've never played a Marvel game) and I love asking what if, so yeah, I'd be in if I can find room on my dance card (which sadly is by no means certain).
deadtotheworld22
 member, 158 posts
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 19:08
Re: IC: What If...?
Sounds good - I'm certainly interested!
Rogue Leader
 member, 56 posts
 Standing by.
Thu 14 Oct 2021
at 20:15
Re: IC: What If...?
deadtotheworld22:
Rogue Leader:
...canonically Squirrel Girl has beaten Dr. Doom...


I think she's also defeated Galactus, at least in one of the newer ones.


She did, off-panel in GLX-Mas #1. Uatu the Watcher sums it up in one panel: "Yes Squirrel Girl, with my cosmic senses I can confirm that that is, in fact, the one, true Thanos, and not a robot, clone, or simulacrum." :D
Harley Quinn
 member, 160 posts
Fri 15 Oct 2021
at 00:27
Re: IC: What If...?

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was off-topic, at 12:04, Fri 15 Oct.

deadtotheworld22
 member, 159 posts
Fri 15 Oct 2021
at 09:17
Re: IC: What If...?

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was off-topic, at 12:05, Fri 15 Oct.

Cubist
 member, 95 posts
Fri 15 Oct 2021
at 10:34
Re: IC: What If...?

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was off-topic, at 12:04, Fri 15 Oct.

bigbadron
 moderator, 16049 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 15 Oct 2021
at 12:04
Re: IC: What If...?
Please restrict conversation in this thread to the proposed game.  Discussions of comic lore are beyond the scope of this forum.
csroy
 member, 150 posts
Fri 15 Oct 2021
at 19:11
Re: IC: What If...?
Thank you all for the great input,

Game can be found here: link to another game

Please close this thread