Hey there potentially new listener! Chances are friends or people you follow or just are in an episode or you stumbled onto here? I don’t know your situation! No matter what, you got here because you want to know a bit more about these one-shots. Honestly, you can go in without knowledge for most of them – exceptions being Kay and Percival, because the teams who played them have about this same amount of information.
Ok, you still want a rundown though?
There’s two forces here – The Britannic Empire – who are actively bad, and the Exiled organization who are less bad.
The Britannic Empire is run by Merlin, the wizard from Arthurian mythology, who is megalomaniacal and was locked up by his daughter for a while because he was actively doing evil. He got free when all of reality stopped working correctly (see Secret Wars (2015) by Jonathan Hickman) and then decided to take over with the remnants of the Captain Britain Corps.
The Captain Britain Corps, originally consisted of members that were handpicked by him, The members are typically know as Captain Britain and generally there is a magic guideline in there to prevent total assholes from getting accepted into the ranks. In the build up to Secret Wars though, most of them died.
Merlin, wanting control, rewrote the rules for the Captain Britain Corps though, so that only straight, white, human, cis-men could become Captain Britain because he’s just an awful dude. Now he wants to take over all remaining realities (Marvel, DC, etc) and has made a planet-sized shift-ship/base/weapon named Camelot Eternal to travel through the Bleed (the space between universes and realities) to launch an assault on the Exiled organization.
The Exiled organization meanwhile isn’t anything official which is why “organization” doesn’t have a capital O. It is a confederation of various Panoptichrons (crystalline structures that form the lattice of the Marvel reality) with different unassociated leaders. Previously the Panoptichrons were in a sort of eternal tug of war, manipulating universes to fix realities, in turn damaging those universes and realities for other Panoptichrons to have to fix in turn. The hundreds of teams each had their own goals and designs for the Marvel reality.
The Britannic Empire previously attacked and destroyed a Panoptichron though and this sent an alarm to the other Panoptichrons to work together to face the Britannic Empire or they might be next. With help from an informant, the organization was alerted to the creation of Camelot Eternal, and the majority of the Panoptichrons have banded together to confront this massive weapon, organized by Billiard Balls.
These 12 teams all have the same mission, though some of them forget it, to retrieve a key to Camelot Eternal and to bring it back to the Panoptichrons to deactivate Camelot Eternal, halting it’s approach, and stopping the Britannic Empire in it’s tracks.
Ten of these one shots feature all new teams of players and the characters have not existed before so there is no character continuity. The other two, Percival and Kay feature recurring characters.
Percival features the Star-Jammers, a space rock band from a Marvel universe that travels the stars of a DC universe trying to get gigs. They have two previous appearances in the 100th and 150th episodes.
Kay meanwhile is made up of retired Exiled main cast members, Wendigo, Warlock, and Hawk, along with NPC mainstay Forge. There’s emotional content and backstory there so it may not be the one you want to jump into.
In the meantime, the main cast team will be doing their own infiltration of the base that starts in Volume 30 of Exiled.
In all but one of the one shots, we play an altered version of the Marvel Superheroes RPG. In the Percival one shot we use Uncharted Worlds.
That should be what you need!