Friday, March 29, 2013

Bringing the Aberrant smackdown / Conforming to my players expectations

I am faced with a dilemma in my Aberrant game.
Do I actively try to kill all the player characters in one session, or not?

The game has been ramping up to the point where the player characters find themselves opposed to the local equivalent of the Avengers and the cliffhanger for the last session was the seconds directly before a direct physical confrontation.
The players have uncovered evidence that Utopia are not all they seem to be, and have effectively teamed up with a recurring villain to break into a Utopia facility and free a Terragen affiliated Nova.
Which has put them squarely at odds with Alpha Strike, the city's primary Nova team and Utopian agents.

The players have seen this coming from a way off, especially as we took a six month mid season break, and have started statting new characters because they don't believe they'll be walking away from this one.

Which is the source of my dilemma.
They expect me to throw everything at them and to wipe them off the face of the game world, which is exactly what a team like the Avengers should do to them.
Thing is, I'd be an irresponsible Storyteller if I just threw a straight fight at them. I have no intention of killing them, this is a story encounter as well as a set piece combat.
But they don't know that. They have to go into this presuming that they should be putting their affairs in order. They also can't be allowed to think that I'm going easy on them.

I'm going to have to kill one of them.
Which one?
The Adonis, the honourable and reserved tank?
Solar Flair, the narcissistic and slow witted fire starter?
Max Control, the arrogant and superior mind controller with Terragen leanings?
Tim Roley, the shape changer with multiple personalities?

They all bring something important to the group dynamic. They're a pleasure to play with and easy to place in situations.

Who should I kill?