Mystery Men Role Playing Game: Intro

Just so that my readers do not think I have a real life, I’d like to share a private part of my meager existence with you. I am currently playing in a game called Mystery Men, based loosely on the movie, based loosely on the comic book.

You play a squad of between four to six incompetent super heroes.  Below is a description of my hero team. I will post the write up of my first few turns (which I wrote out at length for the amusement of the moderator and my fellow players — this is not actually part of the game) for those few readers who might be interested in such arrant nonsense.

This what I do when I am not losing games are Arimaa to my eleven year old, one after another, or writing space epics, one after another.

Superpresident 3= (4) 5 Power: (0) 2 Speed: (0)2 Wits: (-1) 1 Focus

Super president! His power was born in a cosmic storm! Every molecule charged with might! Powers that enabled him to change his molecular structure to steel, to granite, or whatever the need requires. The great desire to serve his country in the cause of justice has brought James Norcross to the highest office in the land as SUPER PRESIDENT!

His secret identity is known only to his White House Chief of Staff and private chauffeur, Kato Mifune, older brother of Go Mifune, and to the district attorney of Champion City, Frank Scanlon. When danger threatens or duty calls, Frank ignites the unobtrusive super-high-powered searchlight atop the district attorney’s office, and casts an image of the Great Seal of the United States against a convenient low hanging cloud. The image of the eagle, however, is wearing a mask, so no one realizes that it is the Great Seal of the United States. Also, this signaling system does not work that well during the daytime, or if the air is clear.

With the speed of powers born in a cosmic storm, whatever that means, and assuming he does not have any pressing duties addressing Congress, signing bills into law, negotiating with foreign powers, consulting with the Pentagon concerning foreign wars and police actions and humanitarian interventions, or giving press conferences, or administrating the immense regulatory bureaucracy of the United States, President Norcross leaps leapingly with jet-powered leaps into action as the masked vigilante Super President!

Instead of dispatching the Army or sending FBI Agents or T-Men or an atomic submarine or a NASA rocket or something, President Norcross somehow evades his secret service agents and the press and foreign spies watching him, stuffs the nuclear football containing the launch codes under his desk, and, using the trap door in the Oval Office to slide down the President Pole into the Presidental Cave, he dons a goofy looking helmet (which is pointless because he can turn his head to steel) a red and white uniform with an atom on the chest or maybe the planet Saturn, straps on his rocket belt (which is pointless because he has a flying limousine), and then gets into his flying limousine (which is pointless, because he has Airforce One), and races to the scene of the crime, and turns his body into steel or concrete or whatever the need requires, making himself immune to bullets and fists! Then he sort of stands there and orders the villains to surrender, because he has no attack powers, except for clouting the goons on the head or tripping them with his foot or something.

Lois Norcross, the spunky ace reporter and First Lady, his wife, is suspicious because the President is never around when Super President is around, and James must take careful measures not to let his secret identity be known, lest his effectiveness as a crime fighter be compromised, or criminals might threaten his family or something, and how could he protect them?

Description: I cannot describe this pure silliness. Here is the picture.



Captain Curling 3= (4) 5 Power: (-1) 1 Speed: (0) 2 Wits: (0) 2 Focus

No one escapes the slowly moving icy stones of justice!

As an athletic young janitor, Skip Roaringame saw his entirely family not only robbed and grievously insulted by one sporting-goods-themed villain after another – such as Sportsmaster, or the Baseball Furies, and the slippery and sinister Evil Luge, master of icy downhill speed –  but then these same villains also defeated his favorite baseball, football, soccer and synchronized swimming teams.

Vowing revenge, he went to the nearest sporting goods store, only to discover that all the good sporting goods themed weapons, such as boomerangs and lassos, had been claimed already, or were too expensive for him to buy. But, overlooked in a corner was a curling stone and broom made by the famous Sports Scientist Dr Xanthus Phastball.

That night, when his feeble but gentle Uncle Ben was bopped in the head by a golf ball sliced by the ruthless Golfing mercenary Duff Killigan, Skip managed to slid the heavy, oblate stone very slowly down the street toward the scofflaw, brushing away snow and irregularities in the surface in a dazzling display of broom flourishes. In a spectacular Hog Line hit and roll, the heavy yet oblate sliding stone bumped painfully into Duff Killigan’s ankle, raising a severe bruise. Duff Killigan was arrested by the police later that week.

Astonished by his success, and realizing his true calling in life, and armed with his convenient ice making machine in case of warm weather, Skip now patrols the mean streets of Champion City as … CAPTAIN CURLING!

To better protect his secret identity, Skip Roaringame removes his eyeglasses while battling crime, making everything blurry.




The Barrelman 3= (2) 4 Power: (0) 2 Speed: (1) 3 Wits: (0) 2 Focus

Song: Nana-nana-nana-nana-BARRELMAN!

After seeing jaywalkers and insolently double-parked scofflaws escape from a lax and corrupt legal system, and his mother’s prize petunias trampled by an organized crime dog, billionaire playboy Lance Lucre sat and brooded on revenge, until a passing pickle vendor truck accidentally threw a barrel through his window.

Taking this as a sign, and realizing the criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot, Lance decided to disguise himself as a barrel – the one thing all criminals are afraid of. Then, hiding innocuously in the shadows of pickle factories or beer parties or historical reproductions of powder magazines or anywhere else criminals are likely to gather, he learns what evil lurks in the hearts of barrels. And when the night is dark, and the slope is good, Lance Lucre enters his barrel and rolls down the mean streets and hillsides of Champion City as the dread and dreaded Barrelman, cylindrical wooden avenger of the night!


His secret identity is known only to his faithful butler, Jeeves, and the three or four orphans he’s adopted over the years as Barrel Boy, and maybe the District Attorney Scanlon knows by now, too, since the DA’s daughter the librarian Barbara Scanlon occasionally dresses up in a silly pink barrel to fight crime on her own as Barrel Lass.



Fast Racer 3=(0) 2 Power: (4) 5 Speed: (-1) 1 Wits: (0) 2 Focus


Here he comes
Here comes Fast Racer
He moves quickly on wheels!
He moves quickly and he is surely speeding after someone!

And when the odds are against him
And there’s dangerous work apace
You bet your life Fast Racer
Will fastly race!

Go Fast Racer
Go Fast Racer
Go Fast Racer, Go!

Go Mifune of Racecar Motors, known in America as ‘Fast’ Racer is a racecar driver. He has no skill at detective work, martial arts, solving crimes, gunplay or pugilism. However, for some reason, his father ‘Pops’ Mifune equipped his son’s car, the Mock Mach Macht Schnell, with retractable buzz saw blades, a periscope, rocket-skies, ejector seats, wall-climbing tires, hubcap waldos, a robot pigeon-camera, and jump-jacks which allow the car to make a weird sound effect and do acrobatic leaps through the air, all of which are completely useless, not to mention illegal and annoying in real races, and likewise would be of very little use fighting crime. Also, the windshield of his open-cockpit convertible is completely bulletproof, stopping all bullets fired from directly ahead, but not from above or behind or from either side.


But Fast Racer discovered annoying sports-themed villains, such as Snake Oiler and Evil Corvette, have corrupted the once-noble sport of Outrageous Vehicle Superhighway Race Car racing, and with bribery and mayhem fixed the outcome of races. Therefore, together with his mechanic, his mother, his father, his girlfriend, his little brother, and a freakish chimpanzee dressed like his brother, Fast Racer has come to Champion City to fight crime, hoping by sheer dumb luck to catch the crooks responsible for fixing races back in Japan. Either that, or he just came here to get away from Godzilla and all the Tokyo Monsters trampling and destroying the city.  Of course he has no idea how to fight crime using a tricked out racecar, unless he can get the villain to sit in the ejector seat, or run him over in the crosswalk. Somewhere, his older brother, Kato Mifune, long lost and thought to be dead, has disguised himself as the White House Chief of Staff under the name Kato Mifune – precisely the last place anyone would look for him, and donned an outrageous Mexican Wrestling mask with a big X on it, and has also entered the Superhighway Race Car League of Outrageous Vehicles under the name Chauffeur X.


Supermarket Santa 4= (4) 5 Power: (1) 3 Speed: (-1) 1 Wits: (0) 2 Focus

Voice: He knows when you are sleeping! He knows when you are awake! He knows when you’ve been bad or good! SO BEWARE MY POWER ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT!


Description: Christopher Cringer is the supermarket employee who agreed to don the beard and belly pillow of Santa Claus this year, the same year his department manager decided to start putting up Christmas Decorations in January. All the other store employees were too frightened to face an endless stream of greedy children, but Cringer was willing to volunteer. That night, as he sat in a sleigh simulator, it was levitated strangely in the air and whooshed to the far side of town. There he found a dying alien dressed in a red and white fur suit, Abin Santa, the Space Santa of Space Sector 2814.

With his dying words, Abin Santa explained: “I have examined the world for the person with the most Christmas Spirit! And you are he, Chris Cringer!”

“But who are you? WHAT are you?”

“Know this, youth! Your world is but one of countless millions who celebrate Christmas! Not only is it a great holiday, but most of our space economy depends on it! Besides, the Spectre sometimes gets real ‘Old Testament’ on worlds that don’t keep Christmas!”

“Are you from Planet Oa at the center of the Universe?”

“Close. I am from planet Ho-Ho-Ho-A at the North Pole of the Universe! It is my dying wish that you take command of all the Santa Claus related duties in Space Sector 2814!”

“Excellent! Do you have a magic ring and magic lantern able to equip me with any tool, weapon, or super power I can envision for 24 hours, allowing me to fly to any of the many foreign planets now under my jurisdiction at speeds many times the speed of light?”

“No, sorry. I can give you one talking reindeer named Adolph. He’s from Spica.”

“Well, a flying reindeer is not so bad…”

“Talking, no flying. Other than that, you are on your own for equipment. And you are not taking over the entirety of Space Sector 2814 all at once. What are you, nuts? You think dying space people would just pick some random stranger on a pre-space-age planet and turn over endless power and infinite responsibilities to him?”

“Just the Milky Way, then?”


“Just the Orion Arm of the Galaxy, then?”


“Just this Solar System?”

“Kid, why don’t we start on one neighborhood of Champion City, and you work your way up?”

“So … no magic ring to make me infinitely powerful? Not even a rocket belt?”

“Super President got the last one.”

“He has a flying limo!”

“So? Who says life is fair? Put a brick in your red bag and clout the ne’er-do-wells over the head.”

“I’ll get arrested!”

“Get real. Who would arrest Santa Claus?”