Today’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG is all about the crucial series of “social rolls” during the pre-prom scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming. As always, spoilers ahead!
After Peter Parker is chewed out by Tony Stark for “going rogue” and trying to be “too big for his britches” in going after Vulture, who Peter has been tirelessly dogging throughout the movie thus far, he tries to return to a sense of normalcy at school and in life. He begins hanging around with Ned like normal again and eventually is even able to ask out his crush, Liz, to prom. To Peter’s surprise, she’s says yes and he begins the classic process of obsessing over the dance, trying to find things to wear, Aunt May and he learn how to tie a tie etc.
The night of the prom, May drops a nervous Peter off at Liz’s house, makes the ceremonial walk to the front door and rings the bell.
Today’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG post imagines this great twist scene as if it were a group of players and a GM playing a tabletop role playing game instead of a movie.
ifthiswereaTTRPG, the player playing Peter Parker would say that Peter is just going to take a deep breath, smile in anticipation, and wait.
“Sounds good.” says the GM before rolling some dice behind their GM screen. “The door opens” they continue “and standing before you is Liz’s dad, smiling at you in your suit. But to your horror, you realize that Liz’s dad is none other than the vulture you’ve been battling these past few weeks.”
“Oh, shit!” is the collective reaction from the other players at the table.
“Roll to see if you’re able to keep your fear in check.” says the GM. The Peter player rolls: a 2 and a 3 for a total of 5. Gulp. “Yeah, you’re afraid. And are absolutely sensing danger all around you.” says the GM.
The GM continues: “You must be Peter, Liz’s dad says. What do you do or say?”
“Uh, yeah.” is the only thing the surprised player playing Peter can muster. The other players at the table apprehensively look from the Peter player to the GM with each volley in the conversation.
“I’m Liz’s dad, put er’ there.” says the GM as Liz’s dad. “He sticks out his hand for a handshake.”
“I, uh, shake his hand.” nervously replies the Peter player. “You shake hands.” says the GM. “Helluva grip, Peter.” says the GM as Liz’s dad. “C’mon in here!”
The other players at the table are sitting up right in their chairs, looking on, sharing in their friend’s fear.
“I just walk inside after him. Slowly though. Silent too if I can help it…” says the Peter player.
“You enter the home and the house is somewhat dark and almost eerily still, save for some puttering noises coming from the dad in the kitchen up ahead. You slink further inside and, right before you turn the corner a voice from over your shoulder: “Hi Peter, you look very handsome!” Liz’s smiling mom passes you and she goes over to her husband prepping some vegetables in the kitchen. With your fear check still in play, you’re only able to muster a barely audible “Thank you…”
Almost in a daze, you watch as Liz’s mom whispers a few words to her husband before coming back to you and saying “I’m going to go get Liz.”
“Please re-roll for Fear to see if you’re able to break out of your haze.” The other players stand and watch as the Peter player rolls: a 1 and a 2 for a total of 3. Yikes. “Well that answers that.” says the GM.
“Liz’s dad looks at you and says: You alright Pete?”
“Because – and he waves his cutting knife around when he says this – you look pale. You want something to drink, like a bourbon or scotch or…”
The Peter player reflexively answers: “I’m not old enough to drink.”
“Liz’s dad points the knife right at you and smiles: “That’s the right answer.” You hear Liz’s footsteps come down the stairs behind you but, with you being feared, are rooted in place.”
“Liz’s dad sees his daughter and beams: “Wow! Wow wow wow do you look beautiful.”
“Please don’t embarrass me Dad…” says Liz as she enters the kitchen. Doesn’t she Pete? asks Liz’s dad.”
“With your crush looking beautiful as all get-out and her dangerous arms-dealing, aggressively-anti your superhero persona dad standing around you, you’re in a rather overwhelming situation to say the least. Please roll your fear check again to see if you can recover at this critical time.
The other players at the table voice words of encouragement: “You got this!” “C’mon!” “12, 12, 12, 12!”
The Peter player takes a deep breath and looks down at their two, six-sided dice before rolling: a 1 and a 5 for a total of 6. Another failure…
“Damn.” the Peter player says with the disappointment really coming through in their voice. “I, um look up a Liz and say: “Yeah you, uh, look really good…”
“Once again, that’s the right answer.” says the GM as Liz’s Dad.
“Liz turns to you and asks: “Is that a corsage?””
The Peter player sighs, defeated. “If I’m still feared, I just hand over the corsage without even looking at her.”
Liz’s dad eyes you, concerned at your stiffness. “Well I’m your chauffeur.” he says. “Time to get going.” But Liz’s mom interjects: “Wait! Time for pictures.
Liz sidesteps toward you but you’re unable to move. “Get closer.” says Liz’s mom. “Smile!”
The players at the table are all staring at the Peter player, legitimately feeling bad for them. Three failures in a row in such a tight spot is tough!
Steeling themselves, the Peter player says: “Sir, you don’t have to drive us.”
“Ah, nah it’s not a big deal.” says the GM as Liz’s Dad. “I’m going out of town – it’s right on my way.” “He’s always coming and going.” adds-in Liz’s mom, rubbing the salt in Peter’s wound.
“C’mon Pedro.” and “Bye Peter have fun!” say Liz’s Dad and Liz’s Mom back to back. What do you do?
The other players at the table feel terribly for their fellow player, defeated and trapped as they are. “I just follow him to the car. What else can I do?” says the Peter player, closing the scene.