Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Rise and Fall of HYDRA

According to the official propaganda, the Chitauri invaded New York six years ago with the aid of SHIELD and the treachery of the Avengers under Secretary of Defense Pierce. HYDRA was forced to declare a world wide state of emergency to defeat the alien menace and root out the collaborators and traitors. Now, thanks to the glorious leadership
Director von Strucker, the human race has pushed the Chitauri back and is invading their homeworlds. Still, renegades and quislings are everywhere, seeking to sell out humanity for the false favors of the Chitauri. HYDRA must divert a small portion of their massive fleet of all-seeing, invincible Helicarriers to patrol Earth, dispatching justice to the craven renegades who weaken the human race from within.

But you remember the first Chitauri invasion and the heroic defense by the Avengers, more than a decade ago. You remember two years later when SHIELD built the Helicarriers to provide a further defense, and when Secretary Pierce usurped control of them and turned them on innocent civilians, proclaiming the new rule of HYDRA. And you remember the second and third Chitauri invasions, and the coup that replaced Director Pierce with Director von Strucker.

Hydra is a totalitarian organization, dedicated to stamping out freedom and individuality. Their propaganda are lies; their control of humanity premised on cruelty, brutality, and overwhelming firepower. If you werean ordinary human, you would have little recourse but to keep your head down and watch America's liberties crumble. You, though, are an heir to the fabled powers of the Avengers: a superbeing, a person of mass destruction. If you can avoid the attention of HYDRA's spies and informants, if you can find allies as powerful as yourself, if you can strike against HYDRA's organization and fade into the night before they counterstrike; then you might be able to bring the whole corrupt regime crumbling down. It will not be easy: HYDRA has strange weapons of unearthly power and superbeings of its own, as well as the awesome power of its fleet of Helicarriers. But if you're smart, persistent, and a little lucky, it would be possible.

What the Heck Is This?

So this is the teaser for a game I'm thinking about running for my face to face group. I'm pretty happy with the concept. I'm still bouncing indecisive about what game system I want to use: I like the Mutants and Masterminds, but I might want a more narrative combat sequence than something derived from D&D and using 5' squares and 6-second rounds.
general power framework of


So this game draws a lot of inspiration from X-Men: Days of Future Past (post-apocalypse hunted renegade superheroes), but uses the slightly simpler cosmology and characters of Captain America: Winter Soldier.

When I tossed this idea out to my group, one of the players suggested Misspent Youth, which he said was mechanically horrible, but had a neat collaborative exercise to create the strengths and weaknesses of the Authority. I still need to read it, but I like the concept.

I also need to dig out my old Marvel Superhero RPG adventures and see if there's anything from the actual Days of Future Path modules that I could steal.


  1. Can you deal with FATE at all? I thought it would be perfect for a Marvel game, and in my discussion with Leonard Balsera, we talked about how we'd create Thor. And that was before the second movie came out (as well as Avengers).

    1. BTW - awesome premise for a game.

    2. I've played SotC and a bit Dresden Files, and FATE doesn't really impress me. It somehow manages to be too fiddly, too abstract, and too structured all at once.

      I really like M&M for superheroes. I just think the entire 6 second round, descending initiative order around the table, action-based resolution thing needs to be replaced with a flexible time period, task based resolution using the same d20 mechanics.

      I'll probably need to write something up.


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