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MHR: Spider-Man vs. Sandman

January 1, 2016

ASM 04_00This was a writeup of an “actual play” report that I did back in the day for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying RPG. I had hosted them on the publisher’s forums, but they’ve been having all sorts of issues, so I’m re-hosting the reports here.

I apologize for the formatting, which is a little wonky over here.


Spider-Man Datafile
Peter Parker [secret]

Affiliations:
Solo D10, Buddy D8, Team D6

Distinctions:
Hard-Luck Hero
Wisecracker
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Power Sets:
SPIDER-POWERS
Enhanced Senses D8, Enhanced Stamina D8, Superhuman Reflexes D10, Superhuman Strength D10, Wall-Crawling D6

SFX: Spider-Sense. Spend 1 PP to add Enhanced Senses (or step up if already in your pool) and reroll all dice on a reaction.

SFX: Second Wind. Before you make an action including a Spider-Powers power, you may move your physical stress die to the doom pool and step up the Spider-Powers power for this action.

Limit: Exhausted. Shutdown any Spider-Powers power to gain 1 PP. Activate an opportunity to recover or during a Transition Scene.

WEB-SHOOTERS
Swingline D8

SFX: Grapple. When inflicting a web-related complication on a target, add D6 and step up your effect die.

SFX: Web Constructs. When creating web-related assets, add D6 and step up your effect die.

Limit: Out of Web Fluid. Shutdown Web-Shooters to gain 1 PP. Activate an opportunity to recover or during a Transition Scene.

Specialties:
Acrobatics Expert D8, Combat Rookie D6, Covert Rookie D6, Science Expert D8, Tech Expert D8

Milestones:
Secret Identity
1 XP when you lie or accept humiliation in order to protect your secret identity, or when you act in such a way as to jeopardize your secret identity.
3 XP when you skip a social engagement to fight crime, or let criminals get away so that you can keep a social engagement.
10 XP when you decide to tell someone that you are Spider-Man, or decide that you can never tell anyone of your double life.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
1 XP when you protect innocents from harm, or when innocents come to harm through your actions or inaction.
3 XP when you defeat a villain that has harmed innocents, or when you chose not to defeat such a villain.
10 XP when you have a crisis of faith and decide to hang up your webs for good, or when you decide that you have a responsibility to protect innocents as Spider-Man.


Sandman Datafile
Flint Marko [public]

Affiliations:
Solo D10, Buddy D8, Team D6

Distinctions:
Blue-Collar Bank Robber
Corrigible Thug
I’m Unstoppable!

Power Sets:
BODY OF SAND
Intangibility D8, Shapeshifting D10, Stretching D6, Superhuman Durability D10, Superhuman Strength D10

SFX: Grapple. When inflicting a complication on a target, add a d6 and step up your effect die.

SFX: Invulnerability. Spend a doom die to ignore physical stress, trauma, or complications, unless caused by fire, water, or wind.

SFX: Multipower. Add more than one Body of Sand power to your pool. Step back each Body of Sand die in your pool once for each die beyond the first.

Limit: Sandstorm. Against a wind or vacuum attack, step up the effect die and step up or add D6 to the Doom Pool.

Limit: Muddy. Against a water attack, change any Body of Sand power into a complication and step up or add D6 to the Doom Pool. Activate an opportunity or remove the complication to recover the power

Limit: Exhausted. Shutdown any Body of Sand power to step up or add D6 to the Doom Pool. Activate an opportunity to recover.

Specialties:
Combat Expert D8, Crime Expert D8, Menace Expert D8


Amazing Spider-Man #4

Starting Doom Pool: 2D6

Issue Milestone
Nothing Can Stop… the Sandman!
1 XP when you stop the Sandman from stealing or robbing, or allow him to steal and rob in order to protect civilians.
3 XP when you capture the Sandman, or allow him to escape in order to protect civilians.
(there is no 10 XP milestone for this issue)

For his two milestones, Spider-Man will select Nothing Can Stop… the Sandman! and his own Secret Identity milestone.

Issue 3, Scene 1: NYC

Doom Pool: 2D6
Spider-Man: 1 PP, no stress

It is night-time in the city, and we find Spider-Man swinging past a Daily Bugle billboard advertising J. Jonah Jameson’s latest series of hit pieces on our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler (“The Spider-Man Menace”). After a little grousing, our hero notices some shady-looking characters casing a jewelry store. As the goons approach the storefront, Spider-Man leaps into action, spinning webs around them all.

Spider-Man is attempting to inflict a web-based complication on the goons, which triggers his Grapple SFX. The goons are a mob with a Team affiliation of 2D4 – it will take D6 or better to stress out each Team die, and when all of the Team dice are gone, the mob is kaput.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Hard-Luck Hero D4 + Wall-Crawling D6 + Swingline D8 + Grapple SFX D6 = D4 (1) + 2D6 (2, 4) + D8 (8) + D10 (2) = 12 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
The effect is stepped up because of the Grapple SFX, making it 12 total, D12 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (0 remaining) to add the D6 as an additional effect die, making it 12 total, D6+D12 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 2 PP (2 total) for the D4 distinction and the opportunity, and the Doom Pool adds a D6 (3D6 total).

Goons: Group 2D4 + Dark Street D8 = 2D4 (3, 4) + D8 (3) = 7 total, D8 effect.

Spider-Man’s total is 5 greater than the Goons’, which steps up both of Spidey’s effect dice once from the extraordinary success, to D8 and D12+. Spider-Man uses his effect dice to inflict some D8/D12+ Webbed Up complications on the Goons, which takes both Team dice out of the fight.

The suspicious goons are webbed up tight. However, Spidey fails to consider that the potential robbers haven’t actually done anything yet, and they quickly capitalize on that fact.

Spider-Man: “If you’re thinkin’ of puttin’ up a fight, brother, let me warn you…”

Goon #1: “A fight? The only fight I’ll put up is in court! I’m suin’ you for assault and battery, and I got witnesses to prove it!”

Goon #2: “Yeah, that’s right!”

Goon #1: “There’s no law against three honest citizens walking in the street at night! Then you come swoopin’ down on us, scarin’ us outta our wits! You’re a menace… just like J. Jonah Jameson says!”

Goon #3: “Hey, let’s swear out a warrant against Spider-Man! I’ll call a cop! Help, police!”

Goon #2: “Police!! Boy, never can get a cop when you want one!”

When a policeman comes to investigate the shouting, Spider-Man runs off and bemoans his fate. But if he had only stuck around, he would have heard the policeman sticking up for him.

Looking at the billboard again, Spider-Man chooses to blame JJJ for his current woes, and as a result our hero resolves to pay Jonah a visit at his Daily Bugle office. Jameson isn’t there, so Spidey decides to leave him a “little souvenir.” (more on that later)

As he’s leaving the Bugle, Spidey notices some police cars driving past with their sirens blaring. Soon he also spots a man “frantically” climbing up a ladder to a rooftop, and our hero concludes that the man must be the cops’ target. He swings towards the unknown figure, thinking to help the police capture a fugitive.

Issue 3, Scene 2: NYC Rooftop

Doom Pool: 3D6
Spider-Man: 2 PP, no stress

Spider-Man, being the sporting sort, decides to warn the fleeing man that he has a super-hero on his tail. Spidey swings over to the roof and turns on his belt light so that hits a wall in front of the man.

This is an intimidation attempt. Spider-Man doesn’t have a lot of dice for his pool for such an effort, so he will spend 1 PP (1 remaining) for a D6 “push” die.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility D8 + Swingline D8 + Push D6 = D6 (1) + 3D8 (1, 8, 1) = 8 total, D4 effect, 3 opportunities.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (2 total) for the opportunities, and the Doom Pool adds a D10 (3D6+D10 total).

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Menace Expert D8 = 2D8 (6, 1) + D10 (8) = 14 total, D4 effect, 1 opportunity.

The attempt fails.

Spider-Man’s prey is more amused than scared. As Spider-Man lands on the roof, the Sandman turns around to greet his pursuer…

Sandman: “I didn’t expect a welcoming committee, but, since you asked… I call myself… the Sandman!”

Spider-Man: “I heard of you! If what they say about you is true, you’re wanted by the police from Maine to Mexico!”

Sandman: “Very interestin’! Now get lost! I got me a couple of banks to rob and I don’t wanna work overtime!”

Sandman shoves Spidey out of his way, but our hero comes back and tries to wrap his arms around the robber.

Spider-Man is looking to inflict a Grabbed complication on Sandman. Since he’s not using his webbing for this purpose, he can’t use his Grapple SFX. Sandman will turn to fine sand to make himself un-grab-able.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility D8 + Strength D10 + Combat Rookie D6 = D6 (5) + D8 (2) + 2D10 (2, 7) = 12 total, D10 effect.

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Shapeshifting D8 + Intangibility D6 = D6 (1) + 2D8 (2, 6) + D10 (7) = 13 total, D8 effect, 1 opportunity.
The Watcher will spend a D6 from the Doom Pool (2D6+D10 remaining) to keep Sandman’s effect die as emotional stress on Spider-Man.

Spider-Man’s action fails. Spider-Man takes D8 emotional stress as his target laughs in his face.

The Sandman turns to fine sand from head to foot, which falls to the roof, leaving Spidey grabbing just air. The Sandman reforms into his human shape nearby, grinning from ear to ear.

Spider-Man: “I don’t know how you managed to do that, but…”

Sandman: “That?? That’s kid stuff! You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!”

Spider-Man, realizing he has more on his hands than a simple criminal, throws a series of punches at his super-powered opponent.

Spider-Man is throwing two punches, trying to hurt Sandman. Sandman uses first his Intangibility and then his Durability to shrug off the attacks.

The Sandman, confident in Spider-Man’s inability to capture him, chooses not to respond with actions of his own. By not even trying to fight back, he is mocking our hero in a subtle way.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility D8 + Strength D10 + Combat Rookie D6 = D6 (2) + D8 (4) + 2D10 (7, 7) = 14 total, D8 effect.

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Intangibility D8 + Spider-Man’s Stress D8 = 3D8 (6, 6, 1) + D10 (9) = 15 total, D8 effect, 1 opportunity.
The Watcher will spend a D6 from the Doom Pool (D6+D10 remaining) to keep Sandman’s effect die as emotional stress on Spider-Man.

The first attack fails to hurt Sandman. Spider-Man takes another D8 emotional stress, which steps up his existing stress to D10 emotional stress.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility D8 + Strength D10 + Combat Rookie D6 = D6 (2) + D8 (7) + 2D10 (3, 2) = 10 total, D10 effect.

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Durability D10 + Spider-Man’s Stress D10 = D8 (5) + 3D10 (7, 9, 6) = 16 total, D10 effect.
The Watcher will spend a D6 from the Doom Pool (D10 remaining) to keep Sandman’s effect die as emotional stress on Spider-Man.

As the Sandman’s total is more than 5 (but less than 10) greater than Spider-Man’s, and the Sandman is keeping his effect die, his effect is stepped up to D12.

The second attack also fails to hurt Sandman. Spider-Man takes D12 emotional stress as he becomes increasingly flustered by his inability to stop his foe.

One punch right through the Sandman, and the next connects with a rock-hard jaw that hurts Spider-Man more than his target. The Sandman smiles throughout the assault.

Sandman: “And how’s this? No hands!”

The thug’s midsection shoots forward, punching Spider-Man in the gut.

Now the Sandman chooses to act!

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Shapeshifting D10 + Combat Expert D8 + Spider-Man’s Stress D12 = 2D8 (6, 8) + 2D10 (5, 3) + D12 (7) = 15 total, D10 effect.
The Watcher will spend D10 from the Doom Pool (empty) to add the 6 to the total, bringing it up to 21 total, D10 effect.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Hard-Luck Hero D4 + Reflexes D10 + Combat Rookie D6 = D4 (1) + D6 (4) + 2D10 (6, 1) = 10 total, D10 effect, 2 opportunities.
Spider-Man gains 2 PP (4 total) for the D4 distinction and the opportunities, and the Doom Pool adds a D8 (D8 total).

Because Sandman’s total is more than 10 (but less than 15) higher than Spider-Man’s, his effect die is stepped up twice, to D12+.

Spider-Man takes D12+ physical stress. But he will spend 1 PP (3 remaining) to change the type of stress, making it D12+ emotional stress. Spider-Man’s player narrates this as his mask getting torn, and he flees in fear of his secret identity being revealed. This earns him 1 XP (21 total) from his Secret Identity milestone (accepting the humiliation of defeat in order to protect his identity).

The surprise thrust catches the wall-crawler off-guard, and he trips backwards over a skylight. On the way down, his mask is torn in half, exposing Peter’s face. Spider-Man runs off, afraid that if his identity got out, he would end up in jail and Aunt May would end up on the streets.

Sandman: “Come back here, ya blamed coward! The amazing Spider-Man! Bah!”

Sandman steps off the rooftop, turns his body into loose sand, and then reforms once on the ground.

Sandman: “And now for that date with a bank!”

Sandman breaks into the bank, changing his finger into the shape of a key to fit the door’s keyhole. Once inside, he flattens himself to pass under gates and electric eye beams.

Sandman: “So far so good! Now to tackle the main vault itself!”

As Spider-Man has fled the scene, the Sandman can rob banks with abandon, and he does so. While the scene is technically over, the Watcher reinforces Spider-Man’s failure by allowing the Sandman to grandstand. Looking over the Sandman’s datafile, the Watcher chooses to add the villain’s Crime Expert D8 to the Doom Pool (2D8 total), to represent his skill in robbing banks.

Issue 3, Scene 3: Aunt May’s House (Transition)

Doom Pool: 2D8
Spider-Man: 3 PP, D6 emotional stress

Peter Parker is busy sewing together his suit when a news report on the Sandman comes on the TV. The report identifies the villain as Flint Marko, a criminal that escaped from jail and ended up on a beach where atomic devices were being tested. Naturally, they were being tested at the exact moment Marko was present!

News Reporter: “By some incredible accident, the molecules of his body merged at that radioactive instant with the molecules of the sand under his feet, and his body took on the qualities of the sand itself – becoming virtually indestructible!”

Just then, Aunt May barges in with milk & cookies! Peter scrambles for a robe to cover up the costume that he’s still wearing, and ends up telling his aunt that he’s sick. And so he ends up stuck in bed, watched like a hawk by May, as the Sandman makes a clean getaway from his latest bank robbery.

Spider-Man is left with D6 emotional stress from being stressed out. He attempts to recover it, and spends 1 PP (2 remaining) to add a D6 “push” die to his pool.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Aunt May’s House D8 + Push D6 = D6 (5) + D8 (2) + D10 (10) = 15 total, D8 effect.

Doom Pool: 2D8 + Spider-Man’s Stress D6: D6 (5) + 2D8 (5, 8) = 13 total, D8 effect.

The emotional stress is recovered.

In the morning, Peter is able to escape Aunt May and head to the Daily Bugle, but not before she makes him promise to not exert himself. And also, to take an umbrella.

Meanwhile, over at the Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson has made an unfortunate discovery…

J. Jonah Jameson: “What in the dad-blamed ding-busted Sam Hill is on my chair?!” Those’re some interesting curse words, Jonah! This seems like some No-Prize material, as Spidey’s webbing should have dissolved after an hour…
J. Jonah Jameson: “It’s the work of that miserable Spider-Man! Well, don’t just stand there gawking, Miss Brant! Go get me another pair of trousers!”

Betty Brant pawns off the trouser delivery to Peter, who was stopping by to ask Jonah for an advance. Jonah, unsurprisingly, turns him down in typical JJJ style.

Peter next rushes off to school, where he runs into Liz Allan and Flash Thompson. Liz asks what time Peter will pick her up, and he realizes that he finally got her to go out on a date with him… a date he will now have to break to chase after the Sandman. When he tells Liz he has to study instead of going out, she is not amused! Flash kicks Peter when he’s down (“Hey, dig the crazy umbrella! How come you left your galoshes home, skinny?”), and later in the day, Peter is scolded by a teacher as he ruminates over his troubles while in class.

Peter: “Sometimes I think oughtta have my head examined for stickin’ to this Spider-Man bit! Nothing I do seems to turn out right!”

Teacher: “Parker! Stop day-dreaming in class!”

As punishment for day-dreaming, Peter is sent to carry bottles from the science lab to the boiler room. There he runs into the janitor, who is busy fooling with his new “king-size” vacuum cleaner.

Spider-Man gets 3 XP (24 total) for his Secret Identity milestone as he has to cancel his date with Liz in order to fight crime.

Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (1 remaining) to activate the vacuum as a Science resource. Against a foe made of sand, such a thing might come in handy…

Not too far away, the Sandman is leading the police on a merry chase. They can’t hurt him or catch him, but he is getting worn down. He is thinking that he needs a place to hole up and rest for a while, when he spots Peter’s high school…

Issue 3, Scene 4: Forest Hills High School

Doom Pool: 2D8
Spider-Man: 1 PP, no stress

The Sandman sneaks into the school and ducks into a classroom to hide, only to find it already occupied by the school principal and a room full of students! It suddenly occurs to Flint Marko that he never graduated from high school, and so he demands that the principal give him a diploma… only to be refused! But just as Flint is about to teach the principal a lesson, Spider-Man bursts through the door!

Principal: “Stop! These students are in my care! Run home! Call the police!”

Sandman: “That’s what you think, mister! I’m gonna teach you a lesson right now!”

Spider-Man: “You’ve got that backwards, loudmouth! You’re the one who’s got a lot to learn!”

Some possibly useful scene distinctions at the high school are Classrooms, School Halls, Gymnasium, and Boiler Room (the latter two aren’t going to be used right now but could be in the future!). There’s also a Roomful of Students scene distinction right here.

Spider-Man leaps to the attack, hoping to catch the Sandman off-guard and hit him before he can change his composition. Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (0 remaining) to add both his Strength and his Reflexes to his pool, to represent the combination of speed and power of his intended action.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Wisecracker D8 + Reflexes D10 + Strength D10 + Combat Rookie D6 = D6 (4) + D8 (3) + 3D10 (6, 8, 1) = 14 total, D8 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (1 total) for the opportunity, and the Doom Pool adds a D6 (D6+2D8 total).

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Durability D10 + Combat Expert D8 = 2D8 (8, 1) + 2D10 (3, 6) = 14 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.

Spider-Man’s D8 effect is stepped back to D6 because Sandman’s effect die is larger. The Sandman takes D6 physical stress, and the Watcher declines to activate the Sandman’s Invulnerability SFX.

Spider-Man’s punch connects with Marko’s face before Marko can make himself rock-solid. But the Sandman isn’t too worried – he knows how ineffective Spider-Man was against him the last time they met. Marko threatens the webhead, trying to goad him into fighting him there in the classroom.

This is an intimidation attempt, which allows Sandman to use his Menace specialty. As Spider-Man is weak on that front, he will spend 1 PP (0 remaining) to add a D6 “push” die to his reaction roll.

Sandman: Solo D10 + Corrigible Thug D8 + Menace Expert D8 = 2D8 (1, 3) + D10 (5) = 8 total, D4 effect, 1 opportunity.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Hard-Luck Hero D8 + Push D6 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = 2D6 (5, 4) + D8 (1) + D10 (3) = 9 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (1 total) for the opportunity, and the Doom Pool adds a D6 (2D6+2D8 total).

Spider-Man is not feeling very menaced.

Spidey doesn’t fall for the bait. Instead, he is worried about fighting around all of the students. He starts to throw a punch, thinking maybe he can get a quick knockout. But he senses at the last moment that Flint is turning himself super-hard. So Spider-Man turns the punch into a grab, and tries to hurl Sandman through the door instead.

Spider-Man is trying to remove the Roomful of Students scene distinction. He will spend 1 PP (0 remaining) to add both his Senses and his Strength to his pool, reflecting the narration of his attempt. In mechanical terms, he wants to make sure that his action succeeds before Sandman uses the students against him.

The Sandman doesn’t realize what’s coming. He figures that by turning rock-hard he can ignore whatever Spider-Man hits him with. The Watcher represents this by using his I’m Unstoppable! distinction as a D4.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility D8 + Senses D8 + Strength D10 + Combat Rookie D6 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = 2D6 (2, 6) + 2D8 (2, 7) + 2D10 (3, 9) = 16 total, D10 effect.

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D4 + Durability D10 + Combat Expert D8 = D4 (3) + D8 (7) + 2D10 (7, 6) = 14 total, D10 effect.
The Doom Pool steps up a D6 (D6+3D8 total) for the D4 distinction.

Spider-Man wins the contest, and applies his D10 effect to remove the Roomful of Students scene distinction.

Spider-Man hurls the surprised Sandman out into the hallway. Unfortunately, class must have gotten out while the two were fighting – there are more students in the halls! Sandman turns his hands into stone blocks and tries to smash Spider-Man to bits. Spider-Man dodges, trying to buy time for the students to flee and for the police to arrive.

The Watcher spends a D8 from the Doom Pool (D6+2D8 remaining) to create a new scene distinction: Halls Full of Students. Bad luck for the wall-crawler!

The Sandman is using his Multipower SFX to use both his Shapeshifting and his Strength in his die pool. Now you know why he turns his hands into giant blocks before punching people!

For his reaction, Spider-Man uses the School Halls scene distinction as a D4, representing the difficulty of maneuvering in the school’s hallways.

Sandman: Solo D10 + Corrigible Thug D8 + Shapeshifting D8 + Strength D8 + Combat Expert D8 = 4D8 (3, 6, 6, 5) + D10 (5) = 12 total, D10 effect.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + School Halls D4 + Reflexes D10 + Acrobatics Expert D10 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = D4 (4) + D6 (1) + 3D10 (6, 5, 7) = 13 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 2 PP (3 total) for the D4 distinction and the opportunity, and the Doom Pool adds a D6 (2D6+2D8 total).

Spider-Man spends 1 PP (2 remaining) to keep his effect die.

The attacks are dodged. Spider-Man will use his D10 effect to remove the Halls Full of Students scene distinction.

Spider-Man manages to evade the Sandman’s assault, and starts leading his foe to the gymnasium. Hopefully there won’t be any students there! And sure enough, the gym is empty. Still dodging the Sandman’s attacks, Spider-Man leaps atop a basketball hoop, sticks to the backboard, and covers the Sandman in webbing!

By using his webbing to create a complication, Spider-Man can make use of his Grapple SFX.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Gymnasium D8 + Wall-Crawling D6 + Swingline D8 + Grapple SFX D6 + Combat Rookie D6 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = 4D6 (3, 2, 4, 3) + 2D8 (2, 2) + D10 (6) = 10 total, D8 effect.
The effect is stepped up because of the Grapple SFX, making it 10 total, D10 effect.

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Combat Expert D8 = 2D8 (5, 5) + D10 (1) = 10 total, D4 effect, 1 opportunity.

The Sandman gains a D10 Webbed complication.

Sandman: “Tricky little clown, aintcha!”

Spider-Man: “Brother, you don’t know how tricky!”

Sandman: “Well, you’ll haveta be lot trickier than that to hold me!”

Flint turns to fine sand and pours himself through the holes in the webbing!

As the webbing is already in place and is not being actively “maintained” by Spider-Man (like, say, a grapple would be), removing the complication is a roll against the Doom Pool. But Watcher characters don’t roll against the Doom Pool, so the Watcher will pick an appropriate trait of Sandman’s – his Shapeshifting D10 – and apply it against the Webbed D10 compliation. The result is that the complication is removed, at the cost of the Sandman’s action.

Sandman: “Any other dumb stunts you wanna try?”

Spider-Man: “Why not? You’re not goin’ anywhere!”

After his webbing proves ineffective, Spider-Man decides another change of scene is in order. He leaves the gym in favor of the (now empty) hallways, with the Sandman giving chase and trying to pound the webhead with his giant fists of stone.

This is much like Sandman’s previous attack against Spider-Man, except this time there are no students around.

Sandman: Solo D10 + Corrigible Thug D8 + Shapeshifting D8 + Strength D8 + Combat Expert D8 = 4D8 (3, 8, 5, 2) + D10 (4) = 13 total, D10 effect.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + School Halls D4 + Reflexes D10 + Acrobatics Expert D10 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = D4 (3) + D6 (5) + 3D10 (3, 2, 9) = 14 total, D10 effect.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (3 total) for the D4 distinction.

Sandman misses again.

After dodging the Sandman’s attacks, Spider-Man gets in close, and throws a punch at the super-villain.

Sandman will use his Intangibility to have Spider-Man’s fist go through him – then he plans to turn himself hard, trapping Spidey’s arm! This counts as a stunt, so the Watcher will spend a D6 from the Doom Pool (D6+2D8 remaining) to add a D8 stunt die to Sandman’s die pool, much like a hero would spend 1 PP to do the same.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Hard-Luck Hero D8 + Strength D10 + Combat Rookie D6 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = 2D6 (1, 6) + D8 (3) + 2D10 (3, 4) = 10 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (2 remaining) to add the 3 to the total, making it 13 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (3 total) for the opportunity, and the Doom Pool adds a D6 (2D6+2D8 total).

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Intangibility D6 + Durability D8 + Combat Expert D8 + Stunt D8 = D6 (4) + 4D8 (6, 5, 1, 2) + D10 (10) = 16 total, D8 effect, 1 opportunity.

The Watcher will spend a D6 from the Doom Pool (D6+2D8 remaining) to keep the Sandman’s effect die.

Spider-Man fails to hurt the Sandman, and the Sandman will use his effect die to inflict a D8 Trapped Arm complication on our hero!

The punch goes right through the Sandman, but as Spidey pulls his arm back, he finds that it’s trapped within the robber’s now rock-hard body! Marko then head-butts the web-head with his rock-hard skull!

This is a straight forward attempt to cause physical stress, and a good example of how a cool complication can set up a future attack in the narrative.

Sandman: Solo D10 + Corrigible Thug D8 + Strength D10 + Combat Expert D8 + Trapped Arm complication D8 = 4D8 (7, 6, 7, 8) + 2D10 (8, 4) = 15 total, D10 effect.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Hard-Luck Hero D8 + Reflexes D10 + Combat Rookie D6 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = 2D6 (1, 3) + D8 (2) + 2D10 (9, 6) = 15 total, D8 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (4 total) for the opportunity, and the Doom Pool steps up a D6 (3D8 total).

Spider-Man takes D10 physical stress.

Sandman: “I don’t wantcha to get bored, chum! So I’ll hit you a different way! Ever get any love taps from a guy’s rock-hard head?”

Spider-Man: “Ugh! Ohh… If – if I didn’t have my Spider-Strength I’d be out for the count now! Can’t take much more of this! Gotta do something!”

Spider-Man will attempt a stunt, throwing Sandman into a nearby iron stairway post head-first. He hopes the Sandman to “go soft” to avoid the impact, which would free Spider-Man’s trapped arm.

As Spider-Man is using his trapped arm to throw Flint, he will spend 1 PP (3 remaining) to use the complication as an asset. Doing so will step it up afterwards. He will also spend 1 PP (2 remaining) for a D8 stunt die.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + School Halls D8 + Strength D10 + Combat Rookie D6 + Trapped Arm complication D8 + Stunt D8 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = 2D6 (5, 6) + 3D8 (3, 1, 8) + 2D10 (8, 6) = 16 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (1 remaining) to add the 6 to the total, making it 22 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (2 total) for the opportunity, and the Doom Pool adds a D6 (D6+3D8 total).

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D4 + Strength D10 + Combat Expert D8 + Spider-Man’s Stress D10 + Trapped Arm complication D8 = D4 (4) + 2D8 (8, 3) + 3D10 (10, 4, 5) = 18 total, D10 effect.
The Doom Pool steps up a D6 (4D8 total) for the D4 distinction.

Spider-Man succeeds, and will use his D10 effect die to remove the Trapped Arm complication.

Sandman hits the iron post, and instinctively turns into fine sand to avoid getting hurt. Spider-Man is free! …or is he? Sandman, now a pool of sand, wraps himself around Spider-Mans’ legs, and then engulfs his whole body!

Sandman is trying to create a complication on his target, allowing him to use his Grapple SFX. The Watcher will also add a D8 from the Doom Pool (3D8 remaining) to Flint’s die pool.

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Shapeshifting D10 + Combat Expert D8 + Grapple SFX D6 + Spider-Man’s Stress D10 + Doom Pool D8 = D6 (6) + 3D8 (5, 1, 4) + 3D10 (5, 10, 3) = 16 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
The effect is stepped up because of the Grapple SFX, making it 16 total, D12 effect, 1 opportunity.
The Watcher will spend a D8 from the Doom Pool (2D8 remaining) to add the 5 to the total, making it 21 total, D12 effect, 1 opportunity.

Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (1 remaining) to activate the opportunity.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Wisecracker D8 + Strength D10 + Combat Rookie D6 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = 2D6 (5, 5) + D8 (4) + 2D10 (1, 10) = 15 total, D8 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (0 remaining) to add the 5 to the total, making it 20 total, D8 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (1 total) for the opportunity, and the Doom Pool adds a D6 (D6+2D8 total).

Spider-Man can’t avoid getting engulfed, but he does avoid an extraordinary success stepping up the Sandman’s complication to D12+, which would take Spidey out of the fight. The Sandman inflicts a D12 Engulfed complication on Spider-Man.

Sandman: “I’ll just let my grains of sand ooze over there towards you… like havin’ your legs in quicksand, isn’t it?”

Spider-Man: “I’ll bet you’d be great at a party! You’re just a barrel of fun, aren’t you?”

Sandman: “Well, this little party’s gonna end pretty soon! Here’s where I put you away for keeps, you costumed pest!”

Spider-Man: “I can’t break loose! Wait! I’ve got an idea!”

As the Sandman wraps himself around Spider-Man, Spidey rolls himself into a ball. He then rolls them both down the stairs, hoping the impact at the bottom will disperse Sandman and release our hero.

Spider-Man will make use of the Watcher opportunity that he activated on Sandman’s previous turn, trading it in for a stepped up D10 stunt die.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + School Halls D8 + Reflexes D10 + Acrobatics Expert D8 + Super-Stunt D10 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = D6 (1) + 2D8 (8, 5) + 3D10 (3, 8, 8) = 16 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (0 remaining) to add the 8 to the total, making it 24 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (1 total) for the opportunity, and the Doom Pool steps up a D6 (3D8 total).

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D8 + Shapeshifting D10 + Spider-Man’s Stress D10 + Engulfed D12 = 2D8 (1, 5) + 3D10 (3, 4, 9) + D12 (5) = 14 total, D12 effect, 1 opportunity.

The Watcher could spend a D8 from the Doom Pool to boost the total to 19, but Spider-Man would still get an extraordinary success. That would step up his effect die to D12, which is still enough to remove the complication. So the Watcher decides to hang onto his dice for now.

Spider-Man’s total is 10 greater than Sandman’s, so his D10 effect is stepped up twice to D12+ from the extraordinary success. Spidey’s Engulfed complication is removed.

The strange ball of sand reaches the bottom of the stairs and rolls headlong into a wall. Sandman is caught off-guard by the impact and releases Spider-Man.

Sandman: “Okay you’ve had your fun! Now I’m thru foolin’ around!”

The Sandman attempts to intimidate Parker again.

Since Spider-Man is out of PP and can’t buy any push dice, this is a good time for Sandman to exploit his foe’s poor die pool vs. intimidation. To make it worse, the Watcher will add a D8 from the Doom Pool (2D8 remaining) to Sandman’s attempt.

Sandman: Solo D10 + Corrigible Thug D8 + Menace Expert D8 + Spider-Man’s Stress D10 + Doom Pool D8 = 3D8 (5, 5, 5) + D10 (9, 2) = 14 total, D10 effect.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Wisecracker D8 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = D6 (6) + D8 (8) + D10 (10) = 18 total, D6 effect.

Wow, what a roll! Spider-Man laughs off the attempt to scare him.

Spider-Man: “That so? I’m just getting started!”

As it happens, Spidey has his foe right where he wants him – the boiler room! If you recall, this is where our hero encountered the janitor and his new vacuum earlier (in scene 3 – Editor). Now, all the pieces are in place for Spidey’s smarts to save the day!

Spider-Man picks up a power drill and thrusts it into Sandman, counting on him turning into sand to avoid the attack. But when he does so, Spider-Man rushes over to the vacuum and sweeps him up!

This vacuum attack triggers the Sandman’s Sandstorm Limit, which will step up Spider-Man’s effect die, but also steps up or adds a D6 to the Doom Pool.

Spider-Man: Solo D10 + Boiler Room D8 + Reflexes D10 + Science Expert D8 + King-Size Vacuum resource D6 + Sandman’s Stress D6 = 2D6 (6, 1) + 2D8 (5, 8) + 2D10 (2, 2) = 14 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
The Sandman’s Sandstorm Limit will step up the effect die, making it 14 total, D12 effect, 1 opportunity, and the Doom Pool adds a D6 (D6+2D8 total).
Spider-Man will spend 1 PP (0 remaining) to add the 5 to the total, making it 19 total, D12 effect, 1 opportunity.
Spider-Man gains 1 PP (1 total) for the opportunity, and the Doom Pool steps up a D6 (3D8 total).

Sandman: Solo D10 + I’m Unstoppable! D4 + Intangibility D6 + Shapeshifting D8 + Combat Expert D8 + Spider-Man’s Stress D10 = D4 (2) + D6 (6) + 2D8 (3, 1) + 2D10 (2, 2) = 9 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.
The Doom Pool adds a D6 (D6+3D8 total) for the D4 distinction.
The Watcher spends a D6 and D8 from the Doom Pool (2D8 remaining) to add the 2 and the 3 to the total, making it 6+2 + 2 + 3 = 13 total, D10 effect, 1 opportunity.

It’s not enough. Spider-Man’s total is more than 5 (but less than 10) greater than Sandman’s, stepping up Spidey’s effect to D12+. Sandman takes a D12+ Heavy Canvas Vacuum Bag complication.

With the Sandman defeated, Spider-Man gets 1 XP and 3 XP (28 total) from the Nothing Can Stop… the Sandman! milestone. The 1 XP is for stopping the Sandman from “stealing” a high school diploma, and the 3 XP is for capturing the villain.

Sandman: “Don’t you ever learn? All I gotta do is make my body like sand again! That dumb thing can’t hurt me!”

Spider-Man: “Just stick around, big man! So, you wanted a diploma, eh?”

Sandman: “What’s that got to do with anythin’??”

Spider-Man: “Just this! Here’s the first part of your education – courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!”

Sandman: “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh…”

Spidey then realizes he could make a lot of money selling pictures of the fight to the Daily Bugle. Unfortunately, the fight is over… or is it? He sets his camera on a timer, takes some sand from a nearby fire bucket and throws it into the air, then pretends to “fight” the sand.

Issue 3, Scene 5: Forest Hills High School (Transition)

Doom Pool: 2D8
Spider-Man: 0 PP, D8 physical stress

Outside the school, the police have the place surrounded. J. Jonah Jameson is also there, demanding that the cops do something. When Spider-Man appears on the roof with the Sandman in a vacuum bag, both the cops and Jonah want him to come down and answer questions. But Spidey, fearing for his secret identity, declines. He lowers the bag down on a web line, and runs back inside to change.

Jameson finds Peter Parker inside, and is pleased as punch that he has some shots of the fight.

Peter: “Here’s the film, Mister Jameson! I didn’t have time to have it developed!”

J. Jonah Jameson: “That’s all right! Don’t worry about it! I’ll take the cost of developing out of your pay!” (that Jonah, always so generous!)

The police find no sign of Spider-Man, and Jameson vows to write all about what a scoundrel Spider-Man is for upstaging the cops and trashing a local high school.

All’s well that ends well, right? Peter is elated that he stopped the crook, got paid, and was now free to take Liz Allan out in the evening! Liz, unfortunately, has already made other plans with Flash Thompson. When Flash mouths off to Peter (“Now run along and find your umbrella!”), Peter blows his top and just about punches the bully.

Peter: “You brainless loudmouth! You’ve insulted me for the last time! I’m gonna wipe that stupid leer off your face right now!”

Flash: “Well, well! Okay, worm, I’ve been waiting for this!”

Only then does Peter come to his senses. With his strength, he would probably “pulverize” Flash and reveal his secret identity. Instead, he swallows his pride and backs down.

As a transition scene, Peter can roll to recover his stress. But since it’s the end of the issue, the Watcher just skips over that. Peter gets 1 XP (29 total) from his Secret Identity milestone, for backing down from Flash’s taunts in order to protect his identity.

On his way home from school, Peter overhears the comments of the public, who are suspicious and untrusting of Spider-Man, despite all his good deeds. Once home, Peter questions his motives.

Peter: “Can they be right? Am I really some sort of a crack-pot, wasting my time seeking game and glory? Am I more interested in the adventure of being Spider-Man than I am in helping people? Why do I do it? Why don’t I give the whole thing up?

“And yet, I can’t! I must have been given this great power for a reason! No matter how difficult it is, I must remain as Spider-Man! And I pray that someday the world will understand!”

The End

Final Doom Pool: 2D8
Spider-Man: 29 XP, 1 PP, no stress

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