Saturday, December 1, 2012

Villains and Vigilantes - Final Fight With the Furies

***This review of an RPG adventure is for potential GMs’ eyes only***

Wow, how long’s it been since Villains and Vigilantes published a module with a sequel in mind? Death Duel with the Destroyers? FORCE?

Although if those adventures are any indication, I’m not sure how much to look forward to Black Souls’ Abyss, what with how none of those sequel adventures quite lived up to their predecessors.

But let’s start at the beginning. To help this adventure feel more epic, there are several scenarios for solo PC’s to have initial encounters with the various villains they’ll be meeting later as opposition in the main adventure. In fact there’s sixteen pages worth of this kind of stuff. That’s a pretty lengthy setup.

Then again this is a pretty lengthy adventure, and the villains have a bench deeper than the Crushers’. Not to mention these guys would eat a lot of the other villain teams in this game’s published material for lunch. Not just because of sheer power either, although they’re certainly not wanting for that, but because of the variety of unconventional abilities the Furies have too.

Villains aside, this thing goes all over the place. There’s plenty of encounters in the PC’s hometown, but then it goes to a ghost town in the boonies of Arizona, to the Middle East, into the depths of the Earth where creatures of a society long forgotten once trod.

And, as noted, this is only the first half of the adventure, and this one even takes space to explain that “cosmic” superhero adventures don’t only include the kind where the players are Thor and Silver Surfer, cruising around the universe picking fights with primordial beings (nonetheless it does include a list of powers that would be extra-handy to have out in space. Where was that in From the Deeps of Space?). Meaning that the rest happens out in space, and there are some general tips about how to create a properly expansive universe, mainly in terms of preexisting alien bad guys and the stories behind them (strangely, the list includes Extractor from Most Wanted 3, but seems to be forgetting he’s the leader of an entire team of alien villains) and the aforementioned list of useful space powers.

But I’m supposed to be talking about this adventure, aren’t I? Final Fight with the Furies takes the PC’s all over, and it provides a nice break from the “initial encounter with villains, track villains to their hideout for a knock-down drag-out fight” formula that describes a lot of older published adventures for V&V. It’s potentially a little overwhelming with everything this part alone contains, though, since it also has a rather elaborate internal mythology. Most of it completely original, too, with a few fairly minor ties to the Arthurian mythos. Depending on the group it might make the most sense to run it as a campaign on its own, rather than to insert it into a preexisting campaign.

I don’t know, but I just don’t find the module’s mythology particularly compelling. Stuff about the people of ancient Atlantis being part of a governing body concerning human civilizations on different planets, and plots of assassination by the disciples of an evil wizard, and the Knights of the Round Table tying their origins back to these people…I can’t see myself running this, or particularly enjoying the story behind what’s going on if I was playing in it.

 I do like a lot of the characters, and could definitely see myself using some or all of the Furies as well as the main villain and his personal flunkies in adventures of my own devising. But speaking of characters, if you’ve looked through the villains in FGU’s freebie section the name “Baen Kudarak the Dreadlord” may be familiar to you. Well, that’s him on the cover. As you can probably guess, Anarch, the villain from the freebie section, figures heavily into this adventure himself. I dunno, that seems like kind of a copout in something I paid for.

Not bad, but I’ve seen better.

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