Our Protege player has made no bones about her character’s origin: he’s the crown prince of a criminal organization…
Our Protege player has made no bones about her character’s origin: he’s the crown prince of a criminal organization that was demolished and taken over by criminal rivals in a power play that killed his parents. He was, like, 13 when this happened.
His mentor, Lady Azrael (whom I’ve mentioned recently: she has funky demon-sight that lets her see Possible Worlds), is a mash-up of the Punisher and Elektra in a Daredevil costume. She’s a bronze/iron age street-level super with no qualms about using her future-vision to kill street scum.
So, the Protege’s player concluded that Azrael recruited her then-13-year-old sidekick because her demon-sight told her that he would become a terrible villain one day in the future without someone there to shape and guide him. So, in a bizarre comic book twist, we’ve got the (classic?) odd-couple pairing of Murder Hero and Kid Trying To Be Kept From Murder. It’s the Leon the Professional archetype if not the actual relationship.
So, yeah: the players have all known this about the Protege’s origin. The Protege has not. The Protege does not know that Lady Azrael has seen him go evil in her mind’s eye or whatever.
Well, in our game yesterday, the Protege met an old companion of Lady Azrael. Said companion dropped the bomb that she split up from Azrael 15 years ago when Azrael started getting weird and talking about the Protege being her sidekick. Companion went ahead and told the Protege that, apparently, in 9 out of 10 timelines, he goes to the Dark Side hardcore.
Just drops this bomb on the Protege smack in the middle of the team breaking into Rook Industries to steal important plot things. The team had literally also just gotten into a fight with AEGIS agents who were trying to arrest Azrael. The team has also intimidated civilians to get their way recently… and all of these were the Protege’s plans. This has been a thread throughout the campaign, of playing a joyful, cool, Dick Grayson-style kid raised by a gritty Batman-type, and seeing how that struggle plays out when the pressure gets high High HIGH.
The answer is: it has never turned out well, he copes with stress terribly.
And suddenly everyone at the table, sitting there with mouths wide that this NPC just dropped my twist on the Protege’s origin back in the player’s lap, start talking: “Wait, 15 years, that’s like… your entire life!” “She could have saved your parents, but instead she just recruited you after their murder!!” “So, wait, when she’s shifting your Danger up, is Az just frickin testing you to see if you’ve snapped?!”
And one of the players just reaches into the Playbook pile, grabs one of them, and hands it to the Protege player and says: “Here, you’ll be needing this.”
Protege player holds up the playbook she was handed, with this huge grin on her face. It’s The Doomed.
I love this game. The best parts aren’t even the straight-up super-power stuff; it’s all of the chaos and drama that spools out over multiple sessions spent pushing and prodding where characters are vulnerable, using your Hooks, and watching everyone’s faces light up when stuff that’s gone before gets reincorporated in surprising ways.