First Time For Everything

12th Sep 2022, 12:00 AM in Trials Of The Tesseract
First Time For Everything
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Average Rating: 5 (1 vote)
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Author Notes:

12th Sep 2022, 12:00 AM
Really it's a shame that the countdown already ended or this would be peak dramatic confrontation.

Also, I'd just like to leave here for your (hopeful) amusement:

*Me a year and a half ago: "Okay yeah, I can afford to skip the third act of Incredible Hulk, it doesn't feel like it's working, I've already set up Blonsky for later and there's no way in hell The Leader becomes important again."
*D23 Expo 2022: "Tim Blake Nelson is returning to play The Leader in Captain America: New World Order!"
*Me: "Well... dammit. NO WORRIES, I HAVE A PLAN!!! '^^"

Comments:

12th Sep 2022, 2:58 AM
Corebrute
You know it's not the GM experience if you're not scrambling from a surprise decision by the players, even if said player is Kevin Feige. Excited to see the plan!

Also a bit curious if you're gonna do the Marvel shows like She-Hulk, Ms Marvel and Wanda Vision.
12th Sep 2022, 10:16 AM
There's definitely the very basics of a plan, at least. It's less concrete than what I have for the Infinity Saga (which is itself more of a skeleton of ideas until I get to individual chapters and start fleshing them out), but whenever something new comes out I'm not only watching it as a viewer but also trying to figure out how I could get it to work in the context of the comic. In some cases it's actually been super-helpful for working on the comic, since some characters are getting extra depth and development now that I know I should start planting hints for.

In the back of my mind I'm working towards an overall arc for the Multiverse Saga, but I'm very much trying to temper my own expectations there because a) it's realistically years away anyways and b) unlike the Infinity Saga, I obviously don't know the whole plan, and even with an outline of all these upcoming projects available the little details end up forcing me to pivot anyways (the Thunderbolts roster alone put a bit of a crimp in what I was already leaning towards). I've actually set a hard rule for myself that I'm not allowed to so much as gather screencaps for anything later than Endgame, because I know that's a dangerous rabbit hole to start going down. XD
12th Sep 2022, 11:41 AM
Otaku
Heh, I figure you'll cross that bridge when you come to it. Which, admittedly, would be a little bit now and a lot more later, since a good GM needs to plan ahead. Unless the joke ends up being it was a hastily improvised session, which... actually would make perfect sense, now that I think about it. "Oh no, my original plans for this session won't work because [insert reason]! Oh, I know, there's that villain I was going to setup for the Hulk before that campaign went pffft! I still have his stats handy, and with some tweaking it just might work..."

I'm more curious how you handle some of the more... controversial chapters of the MCU. Also hoping you fix Thanos. >.> Yeah, yeah, I am a broken record.
12th Sep 2022, 1:23 PM
Funny thing is, the Leader can actually be pretty easily folded into something I was already planning to do, so everyone can expect to see a little something of him... soon-ish? Depends how long the rest of this chapter takes.

Mileage will probably vary on how much Thanos is "fixed". I don't want to give too much away (but I probably will anyways), especially since there's still quite a bit of time before he becomes relevant, but while I'm definitely planning on aligning him more with his comics self in some aspects, I'm a bigger fan of his MCU motivation than his comics motivation, at least in theory. So it's very likely his in-game motivation will not be "If I buy Lady Death enough nice shiny souls maybe she'll return my text messages!".

Like I said, plans may change, but since it's not the biggest thing in the world (to me) when it comes to the overall story I thought it was only fair to forewarn rather than being cryptic or intentionally misleading about it.

stares at Aldrich Killian while he stands off in a corner screaming about how he's the Mandarin

Oof, that's actually not all that far off, is it? That's gonna be fun.
13th Sep 2022, 1:28 PM
Otaku
Fair enough.


Glad incorporating the Leader won't be a hassle for ya. I mean, I only read your stuff, which you're making on your own time, so I'd rather you had an easier time of it than have to really stress over it. XD Also, thanks for taking the time to read and respond to these comments.


As for Thanos, there are a few points I want to clear up but I will state up front that

1) I may be misinformed or incorrectly remembering the facts. So you might have to set me straight if you've read a lot more (both past and present) than I have. >.>

2) It is your story; you choose how to tell it. I just want to make sure ya know what I think I know, in case it matters. XP


Thanos' romantic pursuit of the cosmic embodiment of Death was not one-sided, at least originally. I don't recall it being depicted as such until Deadpool/Death '98 or thereabouts. Don't get me wrong, I'm also not saying they were a true couple or anything before that point, either. Just that there was some mutual affection between the two, and maybe a bit more. This is partially where we get into "stuff I haven't read but have read about". I wasn't introduced to Thanos firsthand until the events of Infinity Gauntlet but Death chose to bring Thanos back from the dead (yeah, he was dead at the time), in order to slay half of all life in the universe and (in Death's eyes) balance the scales. I don't know if she specifically intended for Thanos to obtain the Infinity Gems, though. In the Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, though, Death turns on Thanos, because Thanos was not only slow in keeping his promise, but dislikes how it has shifted the power balance in the relationship. Thanos insists he wanted to merely be worthy of Death's affection, but Death says he did it to become her superior, not her equal. I bring this up to explain that Thanos as he is and has been for almost 25 years is at least a bit of a shift from his original depiction. Or maybe it isn't, and I just got a skewed view due to seeing only part of it. >.>

Okay, the second thing is something that can be pretty odious when it comes to fiction, but it is relevant here: the real world. The short version is... not that short.

The universe in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not like our universe. Of course, we're living on a single planet, so maybe all those space faring, alien races are gobbling up all the resources available in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which cannot handle their population. Here's the thing: we don't have that problem on our real-world Earth. Starvation and other scarcity issues exist but not because we're overpopulated globally. It mostly boils down to logistics and politics. We can - or at least could - produce enough supply to meet demand but had problems with getting the drinking water, the food, the Energy, etc. where it was needed in a cost effective manner (and/or in some cases, before it spoils). Then, there is the issue of local laws and regulations contributing to the logistics issues... but beyond that, there are regimes that maintain control of their regions through scarcity (see North Korea). Something the recent pandemic has helped to remind us of, is that a lot of people suddenly being dead (or at least, unable to work as usual) disrupts the supply chain, which can lead to even more death. So, just slaying half the universe's population with a snap is much more likely to create more scarcity.

Yeah, this is all before the "Why didn't Thanos just create more resources with the Infinity Gems power?" angle many folks have brought up.

So... yeah, I'll take the Mad (insane simp) Thanos over the "Means well but is mass murderously stupid" Thanos. I am most open to something better than either, if you can cook such a thing up. ;)

I will add that maybe I just sound like another online nutter with all of this. Whether because I've hopelessly wrong about what I take to be facts, or because the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not the real-world, so even if Earth has plenty of resources the universe could still be suffering extreme scarcity, and so MCU Thanos could arguably still be correct in his approach. I'll try not to bring it up so often after this point, though. Just wanted to make sure it was out there, for your consideration, even if that consideration leads to complete and total rejection. ^^'
13th Sep 2022, 11:23 PM
Oh, I absolutely appreciate the input. I'm not really a Thanos expert myself, my main exposure to him is from the original Infinity Gauntlet and a slight dip into the Silver Surfer/Thanos Quest lead-up for reference to that event. My interpretation (and only that) was that originally it was meant to be a sort of Sisyphean task, essentially Death going "I'd really like to see this done, I don't think it can be, but if anyone has a shot it's probably that one purple whackadoo who won't shut up about me... and it gets him out of my hair for a while longer.", so she brought Thanos back to take a crack at it. He posed the idea of going after the Infinity Gems, which Death agreed to, but it should be noted he pointed out the first of them he would go after was with the In-Betweener, who Death was having some kind of cosmic fight with at the time, which (I think) definitely helped sway her into saying yes. But even before he assembled all six gems, Death wouldn't talk to him directly, and even her permission to go after the gems was granted through a proxy communicating for her, which I take as an indicator that regardless of what level of power he's at, Thanos wasn't worthy of her interest because he's Thanos.

But honestly, even if we assume his comics self had a shot with Death, the fact that MCU Thanos' goal is absolutely nonsense and flies in the face of logic and science... well, for me the last couple years kind of makes that concept work better for me as an antagonist concept anyways? And ultimately even if the surface reasoning for his motivation is different, I'd say it keeps one very important thing in common with his comics self:

In either medium, he's dependent on having his beliefs validated by other people. In the comics it's the belief that he's worthy of Death's love, in the movies it's that he was right and could have saved his home if only they'd listened to him.

And in both cases, he's wrong, and his true colors are exposed in short order. When he gets the Gauntlet in the comics he has to be reminded (by Mephisto no less) of the task he was given because he's so wrapped up in his newfound power that getting Death to love him back became secondary to bolstering his ego. And in the MCU, when he realizes that the universe isn't grateful for what he's done, his solution is to destroy the entire universe and recreate it as a new one with plentiful resources. Because it was never about saving the world, it was about making sure everyone thanked him for saving the world and proving he was right all along, when the truth is he was just a deeply disturbed individual too stubborn to let go of his convictions. In either instance, he's a cruel, self-obsessed madman who's doing horrible things so other people will love him, one just tracks better to me personally (especially if you need to put it in a movie to be consumed by general audiences).

But yeah, ultimately that's all just my take/opinion, and since Thanos in this isn't intended to be exactly like either version (even if he'll skew more MCU), it's mostly a moot point anyways beyond "I just like talking comic shop". XD
14th Sep 2022, 6:49 PM
Otaku
Oh, this was quite useful for me. Now, maybe I can watch Avengers Infinity War and Avengers Endgame.

Yeah, I was that put off by them changing Thanos. It would be like if someone used Doctor Doom in a movie, but he was simply some rich, eccentric scientist who accidentally got powers alongside the Fantastic Four. Oh, and had an ugly redesign. Or if an X-Men film introduced the Juggernaut, but made him a full-on mutant, not related at all to Charles Xavier, wearing a stupid looking version of his costume, and now he was British and making jokes about how his helmet "keeps his face pretty" when it not only does it not cover his face, but in the comics it had the very important power of protecting the Juggernaut from psychic (or similar mental powers) assault!

...

At least I can accept Multiple Man as a villain and an adult. I mean, I think he started as a villain in the comics, but he was in his teens (late teens?) and part of X-Factor when I began reading in the 90s. I mean, I only just got over that within the past decade but hey, progress! XD
12th Sep 2022, 7:57 PM
Captain Nukem
Story time! I'll share a story how I was forced to change the perfect plan too.

There was a medieval Japanese fantasy game I was GMing. One character was a drunken monk. To benefit form his abilities he (naturally) needs to be drunk. As he had a limited amount of booze on him, he pillaged any booze he could find. So i laid a trap for him as a hook to next part of adventure.
Their next enemy was an evil spirit that uses liquid as a medium to possess people. The monk srunk the booze, the monk was possessed. But there was more: this evil spirit managed to piss off a vampire. Who swore revenge. And had an ability to detect the evil spirit during possession. So the party was attacked by vampire and repelled her. Next night they stayed in a home of Taoist hermit. The evil spirit made the monk to attack the Taoist, and he retaliated by throwing the monk and the rest of the party into prison.
My perfect plan was for the vampire to search for the evil spirit and accidently break the party out of prison (while trying to break them). And then it hit me: this plan need to be scrapped. Because SHE WAS A VAMPIRE. SHE CANNOT ENTER SOMEONE'S HOUSE WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM ITS OWNER. So she can't break into.
13th Sep 2022, 12:07 AM
Ouch. Yeah, of all the vampire weaknesses to get tripped up on... that's probably the one that would get me.

Just curious, was the prison that the party was being held in part of the hermit's house? Because if not I think you could have made a case that a prison is not, in the strictest sense, a home, and therefore they can enter freely. But that's just me being pedantic and it might be a moot point anyways. XD
13th Sep 2022, 10:49 AM
Captain Nukem
It was indeed inside of the house. Not exactly a prison as we nowday understand it, just a locked room. It served the functions of a prison good enough.
13th Sep 2022, 1:39 PM
Otaku
Time for another recycled story. What can I say? Circumstances and choices have kept me from being part of a regular RPG group for over 20 years now, and I can only remember so much from the five to seven years I was actually able to play on the regular or semi-regular. XP

Now, here's the kicker with mine: it was completely the GM's fault. How so? All the way back when D&D 3e (not 3.5!) was new, our GM decided to run a D&D game that blended D&D with Final Fantasy (the original game). He borrowed the idea of "Real people sucked into a fantasy world" from the old D&D cartoon (at least it was a "random" magical portal and not a roller coaster ride XD), and so our gaming group got isekai'd, before any of us (GM included) had heard the term (this was the American Midwest in the year 2000). Now, where does Final Fantasy come into play? While we were using D&D 3e, the storyline was that of the original Final Fantasy, barring some tweaks and expansions here and there. For example, there were extra quests and the like in between what had happened in Final Fantasy, and the GM also liked borrowing game mechanics from later Final Fantasy games here and there.

Like Healing magic harming the undead. In Final Fantasy VI (originally released as Final Fantasy III in North America), you can one-shot even some Undead Bosses by using resurrection magic or Items on them. The GM let us know this but also forgot that we'd be facing a vampire mini-boss and the Lich (Earth Fiend) sooner rather than later. My cleric already had resurrection magic! As a group, away from the GM, we'd discussed this. I think some wanted me to save it for the Lich, but in the end, we had me try it on the vampire mini-boss and... it worked, but the GM informed us via NPC rumors that the Lich was protected against such a thing. Which was indeed true, but the GM decided to "reward" us for not springing this oversight on him in the Lich fight.

...

So, in the end, he was okay with it and we were able to enjoy one easy win. Seemed like a solid deal for all parties.
14th Sep 2022, 2:16 AM
Captain Nukem
Funny thing, the bosses are from Final Fantasy 1, and in this game you couldn't use healing on enemies.
Yes, I'm a huge nerd.
14th Sep 2022, 6:38 PM
Otaku
Yup, and I actually addressed it myself. :)

"For example, there were extra quests and the like in between what had happened in Final Fantasy, and the GM also liked borrowing game mechanics from later Final Fantasy games here and there.

Like Healing magic harming the undead. In Final Fantasy VI (originally released as Final Fantasy III in North America), you can one-shot even some Undead Bosses by using resurrection magic or Items on them. "

Emphasis added for clarity. It would have bugged me to if I'd left it out. XD
13th Sep 2022, 12:14 AM
Beny
Just an idea but corebrutes question about the marvel shows made me think of it. You could do the agents of shield series as a sort of spinoff. This would allow you to keep Clark's character around after the avengers. The rest of the agents could be played by people who want to be part of the whole superhero adventure but don't think they can make a character strong enough or play one well enough to not be a hindrance to monsters like Thor, iron man, banner, and war machine.
13th Sep 2022, 12:54 AM
Originally there were zero plans to adapt any of the pre-Disney+ shows, but now that certain elements and characters are starting to work their way into the larger MCU... there's a better than zero chance. And if I was going to spin any of those shows into their own comic, which would 100% be necessary to keep "Avengers... Adventure!!!" from being bogged down by a multiple season television run, it would definitely be Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (maybe also with Agent Carter).

But I'm not committing to anything until at least after Iron Man 3, since that's when the show started airing anyways, and if I did do a S.H.I.E.L.D. comic there's no way it'd keep the same update schedule. Honestly it probably wouldn't even have an update schedule, just "whenever I feel like working on it and get a page done". We'll see, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I wouldn't worry about Clark, though. I have big plans for him past the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff or not. ;)
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