Need Some help with my SCRPG game

So I’m running a Sentinels Comics RPG game for some friends, and I have a rough outline of what I want to happen for the first trade. The PCs stumble upon a race of shapeshifting aliens who are gradually taking over the planet and need to stop them. The issue is that I really can’t figure out what I want to do with Issue 4. The trade is supposed to go like this:

Issue 1) While fighting a big robot, a “Dark Echo” (the name of the race of shapeshifters) impersonating a D list hero is seemingly killed. The PCs investigate only to find that he’s been dragged off but left behind clues as to his real origin. The PCs (Hopefully) investigate and are forced to fight another Dark Echo impostor and his human fans that he has earned. The issue ends with an unconcious alien and the PCs hearing the term “Dark Echo”
Scene 1-Big robot fight, impostor goes down
Scene 2-No fight, montage scene of sorts, some challenges and investigations.
Scene 3-Second fight against an easy villain and some thugs.

Issue2) The PCs, hopefully still investigating, manage to break up a cult of gloom ceremony because the cult of gloom has some minor information about the Dark Echos. PCs learn a little, but then Pinion contacts them and says she’s heard about their investigations and wants to share. In reality, Dark Watch has been taken over by Dark Echos, and Impostor mantra (under the guise of leading the party to pinion) leads them to a spell circle designed to transport the party to the dark echo realm to deal with them there. PCs must disrupt the spell before it is compleated, while fighting off Dark Echo Mantra. With his last breath, the leader of the ritual tells the party that they should have just accepted their fate, it would have been less painless than being stalked by ‘the hunter.’

Scene 1-Fight with Cult of Gloom
Scene 2- Somewhat of a montage scene, PCs get tricked into following Impostor Fixer.
Scene 3-Fight to disrupt the ritual and get out.

Issue 3) The PCs are attacked by a crowd of mind-controlled and otherwise bamboozled humans that have been manipulated by the Dark Echos. (Hopefully) they are forced to flee in order to avoid hurting mass throngs of people. The throngs of people are designed to funnel the PCs to a secret Dark Echo Spaceship where the Dark Echo military plans to execute them with the homefield advantage. When the PCs win and exit the spaceship, they discover that impostor Dark Watch has convinced the Sentinels of Freedom that the PCs are Dark Echo infiltrators.

Scene 1) Inverse Chase scene, where the PCs are being chased. Set up like the Tomb of Ra section from the Starter Kit.
Scene 2) Multi-part battle where PCs are first worn down by Dark Echos working as their dopplegangers, and then by a military leader villain with henchmen.

Issue 4) I don’t know what to do here. PCs meet up with an alien who knows about the Dark Echos but can’t act much against them. I would love it if the PCs spend the bulk of this scenario sneaking around and trying to figure out what is going on with various overcome challenges, but I don’t know how to structure it. By the end of this scenario the PCs should know that Dark Watch has been replaced and have a plan to free the heroes of Rook City.

Issue 5) Depending on the plan developed in Issue 4, The PCs must break into an alien facility, revive dark Watch, and then end up fighting Dark Echo versions of Dark Watch (full 4 hero on 4 easy villain fight. Maybe with Dark Watch as backup.) PCs should be able to get proof that they are not Dark Echos and the Sentinels were mislead by Impostor Dark Watch

-Scene 1) Some scene involving breaking into an alien facility and rescuing Dark Watch.
-Scene 2) Actual Dark Watch Rescue, Fight with Impostor Dark Watch

Issue 6) After being exposed, the Dark Echos throw caution to the wind and attempt to overrun Sentinel academy with sheer numbers. The PCs learn that Tacheon is developing a Dark Echo detector, and the PCs have to survive a massive onlsaught.
-Haven’t nailed down the structure of this issue totally either, but the plan is to have an extended scene tracker and once it runs out, Tacheon has finished the plans for her device and uploaded them to the internet, essentially foiling the Dark Echo’s Plans.

So, like I said, I’d LOVE for some help fleshing out this plan and making it better (and less rail-roady. I don’t like railroading my players, this is just a rough outline of how I think my stories will go. Any help would be appreciated.


Maybe Issue 4 doesn’t need to follow the scene structure as closely?
Pretty sure the players will produce a few loose ends during the first three issues, so you could call issue 4 an Interlude where you wrap up a bit (playing out in mostly social scenes, going for tension through atmosphere, and maybe a strong feeling that big nasty things are afoot, and preparation time is running out, but what can we actually do?) and overall set things in place for the informational turning point and the ensuing finale in issue 5+6.

From playing FengShui (I know, not the same, but the tone can be quite similar) I have also learned that players are great at picking up fights where none was planned, so as you have them poking around in what might be enemy territory, make sure you have some inconsequential Minions ready, hanging around in a training room, or coffee kitchen or whatever, for the heroes to stumble into and let off some steam.

That was the plan. I was thinking of prepping a single scene where the PCs can break into a place and find some info. I dunno, I’m just looking for some other options, or some good way to lead them.

After defeating their own doppelgängers and thwarting the trap, the next logical step is the PCs pretend to be their doubles in order to infiltrate the alien hierarchy, and they have to avoid the Sentinels without letting anyone know they aren’t their doubles.

It seems like, so far, your players will have been fighting shape-shifting aliens exclusively. So, why not introduce a bit more variety? Perhaps Issue #4 sees another SC villain show up who was working with the Echos. The players can interact with or fight that villain, and somehow learn the Echos’ plans from him/her/it. Maybe the villain gloats about his/her/its allies during the fight or interaction, or is questioned by the heroes after he/she/it is defeated.

Both the first fights of issues 1 and 2 are with non Dark echos people, but I take your meaning. Someone suggested a fight with America’s Newest Legacy and Tachyon in issue four as the PCs are being hunted, and while that is a great comic book trope, I do think it takes away from the focus of the issue which is finding that Dark Watch has been replaced and figuring out how to free them.

I have a Google Doc with the first few Sessions ( I’ve run Session 1 by the way, it turned out really well and I am stoked to run my next session.) Still hoping for something more solid to go on.

Okay, consider this structure:

  • Scene #1: The Heroes get attacked by Greazer Clutch, who was hired by the DEs to stop their meddling. They fight and (hopefully) defeat him, and he divulges whatever information you, @degausser, want him too. He also tells them that the Echos have set up shop in some location. (I suggest a Mobile Defense Platform, Omnitron IV, a Pike Industrial Complex [bonus points for being in Rook City], or the new Wagner Mars Base.)
  • Scene #2: The Heroes use Overcomes to do some or all of the following: get to the location, get inside the location, avoid the location’s and/or Echos’ security measures, avoid Echo or location guard patrols. They may also have to fight some guards. (The guards can be different depending on your choice of location. A MDP could have Blade Battalions, Omnitron IV could have Omnitron Drones, a Pike Industrial Complex could have mutated experiments, and Wagner Mars Base II could have mind controlled security guards.)
  • Scene #3: Once you judge that they’ve done enough sneaking, let the Heroes find some source of info, e.g. a computer. They can either have to fight a guardian for the info (e.g. a robot, Dark Echo, or a nastier version of the appropriate location-specific foe, listed above in Scene #2), or Overcome a Challenge to get to it (e.g. it’s in a vault, or they need to hack into it). The info tells them everything you need them to know.

I hope you find some of this helpful.

Yeah, I suppose that all works out. As much as I love pulling in Greezer Clutch, that might subtract from the story, but I got the general gist of it. Thanks. I think I knew what needed to be done, I just couldn’t put it into a proper frame before.

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Of course, Greazer isn’t nessacary. I merely chose him because he’s an alien (thus would have contacts with the DE) and a bounty hunter (so he has an easily-justified motivation). He is in no way essential and can definitely be replaced or removed.

I would find it interesting to hear how this issue turns out, if you wouldn’t mind sharing when you’ve run it.

Man, the problem with that is I have a few ideas about who they could fight/how, but it is super dependent on how they go, so planning a scene tracker and who to fight is hard.

I mean, they could fight a couple of the Freedom Five, or some more Dark Echos or . . . I dunno. I need to make a generic scene tracker that could stand in for one of any number of locations. I dunno.

For those that are wondering: I have most of the Trade outlined up here on my Google Doc. I am very open to suggestions (PCs have played the first game.)

It looks reasonably good.

Issue 1: scene 2 clue seeking can be a bit tricky.

The normal stressors that drive scene-based play can be absent: there’s no clear threat, and probably no strong goal obvious. Maybe even no Tracker. (all 3 times I’ve used the Tomb of the Bizzare Issue in the starter kit, it’s flopped, for example.) Save the overcomes; they’re too hard for a simple clue find. I discovered that I prefer to do clues as boosts, rather than overcomes, and if the players don’t come to the right conclusion, the heavily built up overcome saves their bacon… but has scene-long consequences. (such as shaking someone’s morale, resulting in their best power being stepped down a size for the whole of the next scene (minor), or until the next issue (major).) Or even an alternate scene 3 for if they don’t even break 1…

Issue 2, Scene 2: similar issue.

Issue 3: scene 1: Don’t overdo the overcomes. If its a race, it may be better as a simple, separate, damage track, and the race as attacks against it by the players, with the badguys “attacks” on it healing it. This makes hinders on the bad guys matter, and boosts by the players go to something more mechanically interesting.

Iss 3 Sc 2: Be ready to break it into scenes 2 and 3 if the players are too hard hit…

Issue 4: perhaps have them rescue them?