Today’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG post imagines the scene at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger where Captain America wakes up in the future as a tabletop role playing game. As always, spoilers ahead!
In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers (Captain America) makes the incredible transition from weakling with a heart of gold to a virtually unstoppable force with a heart of gold. Fighting behind and through enemy (Hydra) lines, Captain America, with the help of Agent Peggy Carter and a squad of highly trained commandos, are able to thwart Red Skull’s plans for Hydra’s world domination. But in so doing, Captain Rogers is forced to crash Red Skull’s highly advanced bomber, killing him in the harsh landing in the ice shelves of Greenland.
Or so society thought. Over 70 years later, research teams managed to uncover Red Skull’s plane with a frozen – and intact – Captain America inside. SHIELD’s medical team was able to care for Captain Rogers prior to his awaking. Knowing suddenly transitioning to 70 years in the future would be a shock of incredible proportions, SHIELD chief Nick Fury has the team construct an 1940s-appropriate recovery room to ease the Captain’s transition back into the world of the living.
The scene where Captain America wakes up after a 70 year “nap” in the ice is the subject of today’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG: re-imagining this scene as if it were a group of people around a table playing out this story live.
“You slowly open your eyes.” says the GM “But for several moments, the world around you is a hazy white and the periphery of your vision is clouded. Instead, you’re able to make out the sounds of a baseball game being played over the radio nearby.”
“Well, I sit up in bed and try to get a better feel for my surroundings. Look & listen for clues as to where I might be.” says the player playing Captain America. Nearby the fellow players – those of Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and others – look on, trying to unravel this mystery for themselves.
“Fair enough.” replies the GM “Roll for Perception. Let’s see what you’re able to discern from your surroundings.”
The Captain America players takes a few moments and aggressively rolls the dice – “It’s been 70 years!” they say – and two sixes, a perfect twelve, show themselves on the table.
“Oh!!” shouts the other players at the table as the Captain America player pumps their fist in excitement. The GM smiles.
“The room itself is fairly unremarkable.” begins the GM “Typical military-style recovery room like in hospitals you’ve been in plenty of times throughout your life. But the baseball game on the radio…you are absolutely certain: not only is the game being broadcast from the past, you were AT that game.”
The entire table does a “holy bleep” Exorcist level head turn as they look at the Captain America player whose face has become quite serious.
“Before you can react” continues the GM “a beautiful nurse enters the room and says “Good morning, or should I say afternoon?”
“Where am I?” replies the Captain America player.
“You’re in a recovery room in New York City. She says.” answers the GM as the nurse.
“Where am I really?”
“I’m afraid I don’t understand…”
“The game. It’s from May 1941. I know because I was there.”
“The look on the nurse’s face transitions from kind and caring to serious in a flash.” says the GM
“I get up and say in a serious tone: “Now I’m going to ask you again, where am I?” says the Captain America player. The table is sitting upright, focused, hanging on every interchange.
“You the nurse repeatedly presses a button in her hand. And before you can react two armed guards burst through the door.” says the GM
“Yeah I absolutely toss them through the wall.” says the Captain America player forcefully.
“Go ahead and roll for Combat.” replies the GM. The Captain America player rolls: two fives for a great roll of 10.
The Iron Man player interjects: “Oh boy Cap, you’ve gone and started another fight.”
The other players laugh while the Captain America player suppresses a smile.
“You just absolutely toss the two guards literally through what is clearly a paper thin wall.” says the GM.
“I run out of the room.” says the Captain America player.
“Immediately, you see that the room was carefully manicured to look like a recovery ward that you’re used to.” says the GM. “But outside is a stark, metallic huge hallway. Behind you you hear “Captain Rogers, wait!”
“I run the hell down that hallway.” says the Captain America player.
“You burst through the door and see dozens of people, in strange looking suits, many of whom run in your direction. A few closer to you even attempt to grapple you.” says the GM
“I throw them to the side and keep running until I’m safe.” says the Captain America player.
“Go ahead and roll for Combat again.” says the GM.
“Now the chance for you to make up for that weak-ass throw through the door!” says the player playing Thor. The Captain America player rolls: a four and a five for a solid total of nine.
“You’re able to shake off the strange-suited people and escape to the ground floor outer doors. Without anymore resistance, you’re able to burst out of the exist and you spill into the streets of New York. But the city is not at all how you remember. Sprinting furiously, you arrive in Times Square but the bombardment of neon imagery, strange cars, and people in odd clothes litter the area.” says the GM.
“I guess I’ll I take a look around.” says the Captain America player.
“Go ahead and roll for Perception again.” says the GM. The Captain America player rolls: a one and a three for a poor total of four.
“Overwhelmed with this unbelievable change in scenery, you don’t notice that you’re being surrounded by large black vehicles. A voice comes from one of the cars: “At ease solider!” and an intimidating-looking man in a black trench-coat and an eye-patch approaches you. “Look, I’m sorry about that little show back there.” he says “We thought it best to break it to you slowly.” says the GM as Nick Fury.
“Break what?” answers the Captain America player.
“You’ve been asleep Cap. For 70 years.” answers the man. The other players’ eyes grow wide: what a reveal!
“I uh, I take a look all around I guess. I don’t even know what to say.” says the Captain America player.
“The eye-patched man says: “You going to be okay?”” says the GM.
The Captain America player takes a long moment at the table. “Yeah. Yeah, I just…had a date.” says the Captain America player forlorn as the fact his character will never be able to be with Peggy Carter.