- September 11, 2012
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Troupe Play, Datafiles, and Picking Sides
The Civil War Event is big and broad enough to encompass a lot of characters and groups in the Marvel Universe. To help live up to its full potential, I'm going to use the Troupe Play option from the book, letting players pick two (2) characters from the source material and alternate between them over the entire Event.
The first one should be your "Main" character, the one you are most interested in portraying during the Event. The second should be potential member of the Thunderbolts, a team composed of villains who have been granted some freedom in exchange for helping hunt Anti-Registration heroes (see Picking Sides for more).
We MIGHT open another slot for a third character (making 3 characters per player!), but I'd prefer to see what results we get with two characters per player first. We will also need to agree on the frequency we allow switching; probably not more than one character per player per Scene, possibly only one per Session. I may make special exceptions for characters who get Stressed/Trauma, so they can rest up "off-panel".
My personal preference is to pick the Datafiles from the two Civil War sourcebooks I currently have; Civil War Essentials and Civil War: Fifty State Initiative. That does not preclude players inventing their own characters or cooking up their own datafiles for canon characters, however; its just my own leaning. The key with any and all characters selected is to make sure they have something at stake in the Event and can get involved with the other heroes.
Here's a list of the official Datafiles from the two books I have. We may or may not expand this list over time:
Civil War Essentials Event Book
Daredevil (Danny Rand)
Fifty State Initiative Event Supplement
Howard the Duck
A pretty obvious question given the premise of this game is whether your characters are Pro or Anti SuperHeroRegistrationAct; it'll determine a lot of what their interactions are like. My personal thoughts on this question are these:
For your "main" hero, you can be whatever stance you want, and be allowed to change it from the canon. For your secondary guy, you should probably pick a character likely to be recruited into the Thunderbolts (even if that means its against their will).
While it might be nice to have all characters be on one side or the other, I think it could be more interesting to explore conflicts from both angles, and allow for more uneasy teamups, betrayals, and straight up hero-vs-hero battles. We can easily cross-cut Scenes to depict the action happening on the other side of the ideological fence, and the secondary characters give more leeway for situations where one side isn't or shouldn't be available.
Also note that we're doing our own version of this Event, not Marvel's; the setting and premise is the same, but the decisions your characters and others may make don't have to conform to whatever Millar, Bendis or anybody else decided 4+ years ago. I'm confident that a properly respectful attitude to the House of Ideas' classic roster and some gamer creativity can result in a version that's just as fun if not more so.
We'll discuss Sides and other deets in more detail at our first session, but feel free to ask me questions or make comments.