It’s clear from the title of Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game that the designers are embracing the pop culture trend of multiverses. While the game contains plenty of write ups for classic heroes it encouraged players to edit and adjust those characters to fit the story they’re telling at their table. The first campaign released for the game gives those characters a chance to defend their Marvel Universe from one of comics’ biggest villains.
The Cataclysm of Kang features six adventures; one for each rank of power in the game. It pits the players against a version of Kang The Conqueror who is currently the big bad guy facing off against the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its current phase. That’s truly his evil super power; defeat one and another will be along to menace more heroes like a subway train.
Marvel provided me with a review copy featuring the work of designers B. Dave Walters, Devinder Thiara, Elisa Teague, Jesse Scoble, Marty Forbeck and Matt Forbeck. I’ll trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible but if you want to go in completely cold, stop reading now. Suffice to say this is a strong first sourcebook for the game and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.
Cataclysm Of Kang Overview
There may be thousands of variants of Kang but almost all of them share a desire to rule. The Kang at the heart of this story isn’t content to rule the world or even a universe. He wants his universe to be the only one so he’s sending his agents to wreck other universes in cluding the one where your player characters live.
The adventures start off on the streets of New York and get bigger and bigger with each step. The story has a feel like the big comic crossover events that Marvel does on a regular basis. Players get to see their Marvel universe from their quiet neighborhood all the way up to the center of the universe as they face down Kang once and for all.
There are a few ways to play these stories. They can be broken up as individual stories to thread into a campaign. I also like the idea of using them as a break from a normal game to see how it feels to play Rank 6 powerhouses for a few sessions before going back to an original team of characters.
Tables using original characters can play each adventure sequentially with the same team of heroes. A multiversal invasion sounds like a good origin story for a team of new heroes. This option works best for groups who want the classic zero to hero progression of many role playing games.
The book suggests each story can be played with a different team of heroes of the appropriate rank. This gives players a chance to try out the different power levels of the game to see which one they might prefer. This method gives the story that big event feel as Kang’s scheme affects the lives of dozens of heroes in the Marvel universe.
Cataclysm Of Kang Impressions
I really enjoyed the advice that came with each section of the game. They plots are fairly linear but each section offered great advice on how to change elements to better fit the story the table wants to tell. There’s also some great advice on making the stories easier or harder and discussion on how to present them to groups featuring mixed power ranks.
I’m also happy to see this book contains more profiles to use in the campaign and in other games. The format let the designers do some deep cut entires for characters that might not have shown up in books focused on more popular characters. These profiles are one of the strengths of the game by allowing players to pick their favorite Marvel character and start playing as quickly as possible.
The profiles also feel like a missed opportunity. The clash of universes at the center of the story seem like a good reason to present profiles for mash up characters like Captain Carter or Strange Supreme. I hold out hope they might show up in the upcoming Into The Spider-Verse given the dimensional hopping focus of that book.
Marvel Multiverse Nexus
Copies of The Cataclysm of Kang are available at online retailers this week as well as friendly local comic shops and friendly local game stores. Players looking for a digital experience can find it on Kindle as well as the first major release for the Marvel Multiverse RPG Nexus from Demiplane. This Nexus joins games like Pathfinder and Vampire: The Masquerade as part of the Nexus family of digital role-playing game toolsets.
From now until November 21st, the digital toolset is free for everyone to use to make their characters. They can build brand new heroes to tackle Kang or they can modify existing heroes to create their multiversal favorites. I’ve found the Nexus edition of the game extremely useful in looking up all the talents and powers that characters can accrue as they rise in power.
The Catalysm of Kang is stuffed full of big comic book event energy. It also comes with some great advice for first time Narrators looking to modify the contents for their own game. Fans looking for a complete campaign should check the book out.