Heroic Locations – The Danger Room

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Danger Room for the film X2

Danger Room for the film X2 (Image via Marvel Universe Wiki)

The Danger Room is a widely versatile training facility used by the X-Men. Controlled from a booth, either by an operator or by the computer AI, the room simulates scenarios, obstacles, traps, complications, enemies, and weapons to test the X-Men and train them to act as a team.

The Danger Room has a prime directive not to kill any trainees. Any stress caused by the Danger Room is considered to be with pulled punches (see OM24).

Training and Exercises

Heroes use the Danger Room for combat training and exercises: for simple training, heroes must cause the Danger Room to become Stressed Out, just as if it were a normal villain.

For added challenge, the Danger Room may begin with a Combat Specialty Resource Asset in play: “Enemies” at either d6 or d8. These traits represent robots created by the Danger Room to challenge the heroes, in addition to the normal traps and weapons.

In these situations, if players remove the resource asset, the Danger Room or its operator may choose to create another (or step up the existing resource) by activating a player opportunity.

Complex Scenarios

If the Danger Room is used for a scenario, it begins with a complication in play against the heroes. The die size of this complication depends on the difficulty setting of the scenario. Easy: d6, Normal: d8, or Difficult: d10.

This difficulty complication must be “attacked” with effect dice and appropriate narrative actions. If the complication is removed, the scenario is won. Example scenarios include “Rescue the Senator”, “Escape the Building”, and “Get the Object.”

Even more difficult simulations (such as the actual play example below) may have two or more of these scenarios to overcome, such as “Rescue Kitty”, and “Escape.”

If a player character is operating the Danger Room, alter the Danger Room Limits so that the player gains a PP rather than adds a Doom Die.

Meta Rationale

The reason I designed the Danger Room this way is because I really wanted it to feel different than fighting a bunch of guys as per the regular game. If you want that, you may as well run a regular fight and call it the Danger Room. With this system a Danger Room encounter feels more “gamey” or meta-gamey, as it should because its representing the characters playing a training game. It’s a game within a game and I think the asset and complication way that this build works portrays that feeling.

The Danger Room

Affiliations: Solo d8 (if running a pre-programmed scenario) otherwise use the operator’s Affiliations.

Distinctions: Training Facility, Pre-Programmed Scenarios, Targets Individual Weaknesses (if operating by AI) otherwise use the operator’s Distinctions

Sensors & Targeting Systems
Enhanced Senses d8

SFX: Locked On. Spend d6 Doom to add Enhanced Senses (or step up by +1 if already in your pool) and reroll all dice when taking an attack action.
Limit: Overstim. Shutdown Enhanced Senses and add d6 Doom. Recover by activating an opportunity.

Superhuman Durability d10, Superhuman Strength d10, Weapon d8

SFX: Area Attack. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Focus. If a pool includes a Traps power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
SFX: Capture. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting complications related to grabbing, restraining, or containing a target.
Limit: Tricked Ya! On a failed attack action using a Traps power, add d6 Doom and turn that Traps power into a complication. Activate an opportunity to recover.

Weapons Systems
Weapon d8, Enhanced Durability d8

SFX: Area Attack. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Focus. If a pool includes a Weapon Systems power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
SFX: Dangerous. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by –1. Step up Physical Stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Activation. The Danger Room must be activated and can be deactivated via the control booth and other safeguards. If the Danger Room is deactivated mid-scenario, add d6 Doom and Shutdown all Power Sets.

Specialties: Use the operator’s Specialties, or Combat Rookie/Expert/Master depending on pre-programmed level of the scenario.

Actual Play Example

The following is an actual play example from the play-by-post game I run. Players are X-Men students Cylclops, Colossus, Gambit, Omega Sentinel, Nightcrawler, and Quicksilver. NPC students are Iceman, Thunderbird, and Pyro. Beast and Storm serve as NPC instructors.

Reaction rolls are nested within the action to which they respond.

You can follow the entire scene in greater detail on the PbP thread, beginning on Msg #81.


Once the team is assembled in the Danger Room, Hank McCoy says from the intercom in the control booth, “Let’s go for Normal difficulty, and try something simple… say the  Rescue the Mutant scenario? A mutant has been captured and is being held in a cell in an underground complex. It’s your duty to rescue them and then escape the complex. You will be facing mostly military and technological opposition. Just say Begin when ready.”

The room transforms holographically to represent the outside of a fenced complex. Guards walk the perimeter.

OOC: Currently Scene Distinctions are (Training Facility, Controlled from Booth, Prime Directive)
Currently the Danger Room has Resource Asset: “Perimeter Guards d6”
Currently the Danger Room has the following scenario Complications in place:
“Find the Prisoner d8”, “Rescue the Prisoner d8”, “Escape with the Prisoner d8”

Cyclops: It’s on.

Okay where there are guards, there are cameras, and the longer we go undetected the longer better chance of we have getting the mutant out safely.

Quicksilver gives us a sweep of the perimeter, let see if you can be fast enough to stay outta sight of people and cameras but slow enough to not create more than a mild breeze.

Ms. Shana—“teacher lady who needs a codename” you mentioned scanning the spy bot earlier today. What is the extent of your ability to work with machines? Can you find all the cameras? or maybe even shut them down or loop a signal?

Gambit, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird…be ready when we know what we are up against for some stealth.

Iceman , Colossus, Pyro… stand ready we are the heavy artillery.

Quicksilver: Quicksilver nods, and races off, zipping around the perimeter seeking to control his speed enough so that he does not cause any sign of a disturbance.

Rolls (Solo d8, World’s Fastest Mutant d4, Godlike Speed d12) Result 19/Effect d4 – Effect defaults to a d6 for the Asset Recon’d

Watcher: Rolls (Doom Pool + Perimeter guards) for Result 10/Effect 10. Quicksilver’s effect steps up for extraordinary success and down for larger reaction die.

Quicksilver: “Looks good, Cyc,” Quicksilver says, then describes the perimeter, the guard pattern, other security features,and entrances into the building.

Omega Sentinel: “Just call me Omega” Karima says. It was a name she couldn’t escape anyway. “I don’t know a whole lot about computers, but I’ll see what my systems can do the security… Strange, I can’t detect any cameras.

Omega attempts to create the complication “Camera and Alarm Failure”: Result 10/Effect d10, but the Danger Room wins with a Result 15/Effect d8.

Cyclops: Thanks Pietro. You too Omega.

I don’t know what to make out of the lack of tech…maybe the Professor went old school here. (Maybe this is what a mutant detention center looked like back when the Professor was a younf a radical mutant.)

Okay, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird think you can neutralize these guards quietly?

Nightcrawler: Nightcrawler nods gravely, with a quiet, “Ja. We go together, yes?”

He uses his dark fur and bare, light feet to approach one of the guards silently from a blind spot. He nods to his teammates when they get in position, then vaults over the guard in a somersault, flicking his tail out to remove the guard’s gun from his holster, and then bludgeoning the guard across the forehead with it as he lands in a crouch.

Rolls (Team d10, Devilish Charm d8, Superhuman Reflexes with Prehensile Tail SFX 2d8, and Covert Expert d8). Result 17/Effect d8

Watcher: Hank rolls (Hank’s Solo d6, Enhanced Senses d8, Combat Expert d8, Perimeter Guards d6) Result 13/Effect d8

Nightcrawler takes down the perimeter sentries! (Feel free to narrate more)

Nightcrawler: Gambit or Colossus, let’s see what you’ve got!

Gamit: “Lets go see if we can find that prisoner now, eh?” Gambit spoke as he ran off and pushed on ahead.

With his past skills from his checkered past it shouldn’t take long to sniff out one person to rescue. He uses his enhanced reflexes alongside them to catch any clues that might lead him to their whereabouts.

Rolls (Solo d10, Ex-Guild Thief and Marauder d8, Biokinetic Reflexes d8, Covert Expert d8) Result 9/Effect d10

OOC: Rolling against Find Prisoner Complication, Colossus is up next!

Watcher: Rolls (Hanks Solo d6, Enhanced Senses d8, Traps Weapon d8, Capture SFX d6, Tech Master d10, Find the prisoner d8) Result 17/Effect d8 (stepped up to d10 Extraordinary Success) Spend d6 Doom to use Reaction Effect.

Gambit approaches the door to break the code on the keypad when a force projector pokes out of the complex’ wall and projects a capture bubble around him!

OOC: Gambit has a “Force Bubble d10” complication on him, and is trapped in it.

Colossus: Colossus sees Gambit trapped in the bubble, and reacts impulsively, charging forward to free him.

Realising he’s now exposed he calls out “Thunderbird, distract the guards!” He continues forward, and smashes into the force bubble.

Rolls (Buddy d8, Quick to anger d4, Super strength d10, Combat d6, Thunderbird asset d10) Spend a PP for Result 18/Effect d1.

Guards to go next.

Watcher: Rolls (Doom Pool + Force Bubble d10) Result 10/Effect d10
The Force Bubble Complication is removed!

Thunderbird holds the door shut so additional guards cannot come out, while Colossus breaks the Force Bubble, freeing Gambit!

Suddenly a turret pops up on top of the complex and fires stun bolts at Quicksilver while the force projector now fires a bubble at Colossus!

To watch the rest of the scene unfold, read more here at rpol.net. We left off at Msg #97

About Grimmshade

Hobbies: Spending time with my lovely NZ wife, gaming (Xbox One & Tabletop games), and reading. Favorite Tabletop Games: 13th Age, Trail of Cthulhu, Fate, Elder Sign, Sentinels of the Multiverse, & probably Edge of the Empire if I ever get a chance to try it.