While going through a storage unit back in Fall of 2016, I stumbled on my copy of V&V 2.0 and a stack of adventure modules. I was immediately brought back to 1985 and images of Mega Man’s adventures flooded my imagination. However, without a regular group to play with, I brought my books home, stuck them in a drawer, and didn’t think about them until Spring of the following year. In 2017 I discovered a browser-based tabletop simulator called Roll20, and suddenly got the itch to play something—anything to get back into TTRPGs. I had recently become part of an online gaming community—a small but very friendly Discord Server that belonged to a friend of mine. My first thought was to reach out to some of the other members to see if anyone was interested in trying to mount an online campaign. I was happily surprised to get over half a dozen responses, and our RPG Chat channel was born. There I spent time talking to my future players about the virtues of V&V–trying hard to sell a decades old RPG that none of them had ever heard of. I snagged a PDF copy of the 2.1 rules (which really went a long way to clearing up some of the murkier corners of the game’s mechanics) and an updated character sheet. Everyone started generating characters, and I was buzzing with the possibilities of a blank canvas–a new campaign and a fresh group of players!
V&V (pre-Mighty Protectors) is a harsh mistress. You roll a d6+2 to see how many Powers you get, and then randomize said Powers, plus one Weakness. You must discard one Power immediately, and if you want to get rid of your Weakness, you have to discard another. It goes without saying that finding a theme within those oddments is a challenge. However, in Mighty Protectors they remedied this by allowing all players to roll six Powers (now called Abilities), and encouraging them to pick up two Offensive, two Defensive, and two Miscellaneous to round out their character. I was excited at the prospect of helping my players update their characters. The lucky few who had a lot of Powers might lose one or two, but the ones that rolled poorly were in for a treat.
While our 2.1 campaign progressed, I was planning our transition to V&V 3.0 behind the scenes—trying my best to master the character creation process and familiarize myself with the updated combat system. My players were currently fighting their way through the classic Crisis at Crusader Citadel—teaming up with the Crusaders and facing off against the hated Crushers. It was a great hit of nostalgia, but I wanted a meaningful next step for them. When I played V&V it was less of a campaign and more of a series of combat-heavy episodes that had no overarching narrative. While reading the Guide to the Multiverse section of V&V 3.0, I came across the Crusaders entry. Jeff and Jack saw them moving on and forming an Academy for up-and-coming heroes. I found the foundation upon which to build my campaign. My players were going to school. (to be continued)