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Action Scenes: Museum Mayhem (ICONS) $3.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Action Scenes: Museum Mayhem (ICONS)
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Action Scenes: Museum Mayhem (ICONS)
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/02/2012 11:27:32
A lunatic curator has taken hostages in a museum, and wants to transform himself into an Egyptian-inspired demigod. Can the heroes prevent the ritual and save the day—or, if necessary, take down a new demigod once the ritual is complete? That’s the story behind “Museum Mayhem,” the first “Action Scene” product from Vigilance Press. As the singular “scene” implies, the product essentially presents one encounter, although the players’ choices and the heroes’ actions could actually stretch it out to two or three distinct encounters. The authors have taken care to anticipate a variety of possible player responses to the situations presented, and they’ve given the GM several ready-made options for adjusting the encounter on the fly.

A substantial number of new NPCs populate this adventure, from the big bad guy (in both “superheroic” and “demigod” modes) down to his lowliest minions (who include cultists, animated museum mannequins, and mummies). The module also includes stat blocks for three clusters of NPCs—government troopers, robots, and ninjas—that aren’t involved in the actual adventure but that illustrate the possibilities of the new Summon power presented in the module. The Summon power alone is worth the purchase of this product, and I’m sure that the Summon power will find its way into the ICONS campaign world that I share with my sons.

Unfortunately, the copy editor(s) let a number of errors and inconsistencies slip by. Those errors (including subject-verb disagreements, extra or duplicated punctuation marks, missing punctuation marks, missing space between paragraphs, slight capitalization and spelling mistakes, and a single, initially confusing reference to the “Minion” power rather than the “Summon” power) don’t inhibit use of the product for gameplay, but when you’re averaging one to two such errors per page, you need better proofreading. Also, I was perplexed by the positioning of the coat check at the opposite end of the museum from the front entrance. A coat check normally goes near the front entrance; you don’t want patrons traipsing through the museum in soggy raincoats to get to it (never mind the potential for theft). But these are minor annoyance rather than serious problems, and I enthusiastically recommend “Museum Mayhem” for all ICONS GMs, and even players interested in the Summon power.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Action Scenes: Museum Mayhem (ICONS)
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/18/2011 14:36:35
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: This Action Scene for ICONS is a little pricier than the Vigilance Press Battlescenes that have been released in the past, but you're also looking at about an additional 10-12 pages this time. The premise is a hostage situation at a museum, in which a sorcerer and his minions are repelling the authorities, so your superheroes get called in to do the deed.

What ensues is a nice set-piece against a sorcerer who has a variety of minions from generic thugs to mystics to mummy wraiths. If the villain's plan succeeds, it provides (intentionally or not) a shot out to the X-Men villain the Living Monolith. The adventure has lots of sidebars and "What Ifs" to help you out in case the whole thing is going too smoothly or two simply.

Two pages of figure flat stand-ups are included, for those who like such things (and I do), as well as a new power: Summon (more commonly used by villains than heroes, but laid out here just the same).

WHAT WORKS: Some VERY nice art here, my favorite piece being an action scene on page 6. A good amount of flexibility is written into the adventure, to help the GM along. The adventure is set in the USHERverse, the "modern day" of Vigilance's WWII setting, but you could easily replace USHER with SHIELD or AEGIS or whoever, if you wanted to move it into a new setting.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: And here we start getting into the problems of open content: Redundancy. Misfit Studios' DOOM filled in the same gap of a missing "Summon" type power, so now we have two third party versions of the power out there...and what happens when Adamant decides to do it themselves? My only other gripe is that I wish Vigilance had handled the new power the way Adamant handles new powers, by providing a "substitution suggestion" for the Summon power, for folks who prefer rolling up characters versus point buy (I hate ICONS point buy).

CONCLUSION: Not surprisingly, this is another great product by Vigilance, with sleek production values, lots of stat blocks you can use for your own stuff, printable stand-ups and more. I believe Vigilance will continue to be a growing force in supers gaming in the future.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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