Game Systems – DC Adventures (the current, superb Mutants and Masterminds TRPG published by Green Ronin) and the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (a wonderful card-based 1998 TSR TRPG, now out of print). Two distinct rules sets were used (the need for which is clear after reading the game setting).
Game Attributes – All players physically gathered around a standard gaming table.
Game Setting – Portals are opening that link DC’s Earth Prime to Marvel’s Earth-616, and the players are free to choose a character on either side with the understanding that the story arc will push toward these characters fighting each other as the apex of the One Shot.
Acronyms – TRPG (Tabletop Roleplaying Game), PC (Player Character), NPC (Non-PC),GM (Gamemaster)
- In Gotham City, Mr. Freeze receives a package that contains a handwritten note which reads, “Amusement Mile near the Frog Ride – tonight at 10 PM.”
- Mr. Freeze goes to the location, inspects and finds a portal that can only be seen when viewed from a specific spot.
- Mr. Freeze enters the portal and finds himself on Earth-616. He spends one month researching the world and finds Bruce Banner.
- Mr. Freeze kidnaps Bruce Banner and brings him to Earth Prime. Mr. Freeze imprisons him and forces him to find a cure for Mr. Freeze’s wife’s disease.
- Bruce Banner completes a cure for Mr. Freeze’s wife. Mr. Freeze then tells Bruce Banner that he is leaving to revive his wife and he will leave Bruce Banner to starve to death.
- Bruce Banner, imprisoned in an iron cell, lasts 4 days by licking water from the walls of this cell but, is unable to control his anger due to dehydration and transforms into the Hulk.
- The Hulk breaks free from prison (which was located below the main Cathedral in Cathedral Square). The Hulk leaps through the roof of the Cathedral, toppling the building, and begins to rampage in Old Gotham.
- Commissioner Gordon dispatches 50 police officers, which the Hulk reduces to a force of 10.
- Robin leads the Teen Titans (Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, Kid Flash, Aqualad and Blue Beetle) in battle against the Hulk. The Hulk throws Kid Flash through a building, killing him.
- The Hulk runs and falls unconscious in a Gotham alley a few blocks away, transforming back into Bruce Banner. He is pulled into a derelict building by Dan Cassidy (Blue Devil).
- Batman learns of the Hulk’s rampage and immediately begins investigating the portals that allowed the Hulk to be brought to Earth Prime.
- Using the Batcomputer, Batman calculates the next portal that will open between Earth Prime and Earth-616 and makes his way through.
- Batman ditches the batsuit and, disguising himself as a reporter, takes the pseudonym Luke Crain.
- Batman (in disguise) researches the Hulk by interviewing Jubilee and Cloak and Dagger about the Hulk.
- With key data on how to defeat the Hulk, Batman returns to Earth Prime.
- Batman assembles a team to defeat the Hulk.
- Dan Cassidy (Blue Devil), who has lived on the streets of Gotham City for five years, helps Bruce Banner navigate living among the city’s homeless for two weeks.
- Batman activates his team to flush out Bruce Banner, using Beast Boy to fly through the city and find Bruce Banner and Dan Cassidy (Blue Devil).
- Batman engages Bruce Banner who tells Batman that he has control of his anger and that he only wishes to return to Earth-616.
- Batman triggers Bruce Banner’s rage by by talking about Betty Banner.
- Batman begins battling the Hulk, confining his own maneuvers to moving through the streets quickly by using his Bat Line.
- The Hulk knocks down two buildings and damages five other buildings before he finally lands a blow on Batman, breaking 26 Bones on Batman’s left side.
- Hulk leaps into the air to use his feet to smash Batman into the street.
- Simultaneously Nightwing and Wonder Woman bring in two distinct Bat Jets, snagging the Hulk in midair in a steel reinforced net.
- Nightwing and Wonder Woman fly the Bat Jets under the Westward Bridge and plunge the Hulk into the Gotham River.
- The last member of Batman’s team, Killer Croc, then spears Hulk to the bottom of the river with a wrought iron fence pole taken from the Gotham Zoo.
- The Hulk squeezes Killer Croc to death in a savage embrace, but is then unable to free himself from the bottom of the river and dies from drowning.
- Batman begins calculating again to determine when the next portal between Earth Prime and Earth-616 will open, and begins the roster for the team he plans to take over.
There was significant complexity to running a game with two distinct rule sets, but I felt comfortable proceeding because of my experience I was able to gain by running for the Nerdarchy Primarchs in Fate Accelerated – Orks and Star Carriers and Cypher System Shadowrun – Slug Blazer and Gamma World 7E – Rift Sweep. The outcome of Batman versus Hulk was what Norman, Reggie, the dice and I determined together. What do you think would happen if Batman had to take on the Hulk?