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Author Topic: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)  (Read 408 times)

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Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

"When everyone is super...no one will be." - Syndrome, The Incredibles


This is a reboot/relaunch of a game idea I've had bouncing around for a while in my head - the initial run fizzled out and died almost immediately after starting off, but I want to give it another shot. The game set in a world with superheroes, and supervillains, and all the typical stuff you would expect to see in a comic book universe - but with one "big twist"; Super-Geniuses Are Not Useless (beware, TVTropes Link), and as a result, the world has moved on and rendered its superhumans redundant. Anti-gravity belts let anyone fly, medical nanobots can repair and regenerate the most terrible wounds or illnesses, mass-produced power armor gives amazing strength and toughness, and all sorts of other technological wonders. Superheroes have been put out of a job by regular law enforcement, while supervillains have been reduced to the level of petty crooks with super-sized egos. It's been forty years since the last great hero retired, and twenty since the last confirmed 'natural' meta-human was born.

And then the invasion comes. Hostile aliens from another dimension, wielding strange weapons of their own and capable of a terrible and devastating ability - the power to project a sort of inhibitor field that disables complex technology. Reduced to relatively primitive technology, humanity's ability to fend off the invasion is crippled and the aliens establish control over large swathes of the world including all of the major population centers. There is only one hope left for Earth and the human race - the handful of aging, but still powerful superhumans whose gifts come from their genes, not their machinery. They might have been heroes, or villains, but now they have one overwhelming goal in common - fighting back against the alien menace and eventually driving them away from Earth forever.



That's the story pitch. It's obviously an original setting, so while your character could be inspired by a canon comic character, they still have to be an original creation. The local plot will be heavily player-driven; the ultimate goal is to free Earth from its alien dominion, but how that goes about happening will be very much up to the players - at best, I'll present a set of potential 'hooks' or targets and let the characters choose. All the characters should, by preference, be middle-aged or outright elderly retired superhumans, though between super-abilities and advanced medical science it'll be entirely optional as to how much their age has impaired any abilities they might have.

This is a system game, specifically, run via Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition. http://www.d20herosrd.com/

-It is d20-based. This is a plus for E's built-in dice roller, and will have familiar trappings for people comfortable with the D20 game engine.
-It is purpose-built to play superhero games, with a fairly flexible system to help people express the mechanics they want properly.
-It's free, with the SRD linked above.
-It can be somewhat complex, but GM oversight is needed anyways to ensure characters are properly balanced, so a lack of familiarity with the rules is no object and character-creation assistance is available as needed.

I'm looking for 4-5 players who can commit to seeing the game through as long as possible - I've got more free time than I know what to do with, so I won't be going anywhere. I'd like to see posting frequency of at least once every 3 days or so, with allowance for special circumstances - beyond a week, and I'll be checking up on you; beyond two, and I'll be checking the reserve list.

Sexual content will be at the preference of the players, but I plan on putting the game into Extreme to allow for some body-horror on the part of the aliens.

If you're interested, post with an idea of the sort of character you'd like to play, and we can roll from there. For M&M veterans, characters should be made at PL10.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 10:03:00 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Online Vorian

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 02:56:14 PM »
Hmm, I'm intrigued ... I would have to poke at the system a bit to see what can be done at that power level but I have several ideas I'd be interested in:

1. A combat shapeshifter along the lines of Skrulls or DC's Martians.

2. A scaled-down Legion-like character with a handful of differently-powered personalities working mostly cooperatively.

3. A symbiote based character, possibly with a new host.

4. A retired power armor type who was partially responsible for driving the rapid technological advancement, and possibly secretly responsible for stopping the birth of new metahumans. Drawing a bit from Tony Stark and Lex Luthor.

1 & 2 could be combined with each form corresponding to a different personality, or 3 & 4 could be combined with the two being former enemies pooling their abilities to set things right.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 07:22:05 PM »
It's difficult to judge exactly because the system is so variable, but PL10 is roughly 'city' level superhero - a bit stronger than 'street' level, but not planetary or cosmic scale.
Quote
POWER LEVEL 10 - SUPER HEROES The suggested starting power level for Mutants & Masterminds suits mature and experienced “adventurers” of the previous level along with a wide range of younger or focused superhumans. This is the power level of the Sentinels, characters like Bowman and Seven, and a great many of other heroes. It’s also good for powerful, but relatively inexperienced heroes like Megastar when he first joined the Next-Gen. Power level 10 heroes may have a balance of attack and effect, defense and resistance, or may go for being stronger on one side than the other, having great combat skill, but comparatively limited damage, for example, or great Toughness, but lowered defenses.

From a Reddit thread I found, some printed characters who would fall into this range are Static, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Black Manta, or (arguably) Spider-Man. Hopefully that helps. They're more powerful than simple costumed vigilantes, but not by an amazing margin, and generally rely on one specific sort of talent or trick to make them stand out from the rest.

For your specific ideas, 4, 3, 1, and 2 are probably your best options in order, in combination or otherwise. M&Me3 is an Effect-based system; you spend your character points on what you can do, then flavor it however you like - for example, a [Damage] effect can be anything from throwing knives to laser vision to psychic mind-crushes, since in the end they all inflict direct injury on an opponent. Shapeshifting is a very expensive Effect, and sort of complex, to compensate for its versatility. A Legion-ish character could be replicated with a gigantic Alternate Array, but it would be toned down immensely since Legion himself appears to be Omega-level with thousands of variable powers. Symbiotes and power armor are very easy to represent.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 07:25:42 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Online Vorian

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 08:36:34 PM »
Alright. 4 is the most interesting to me for this setting, if that's not too far from what you're looking for. Basically aiming for someone who was world class in their prime but lost everything in the first wave of the invasion and has to both start over from scratch and find a way to adapt their methods to account for the alien tech.

Otherwise I'll look for an interesting angle on the symbiote type.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 08:52:01 PM »
Option 4 works fine. Assuming you want to start with your devices/armor actually functional, all we'd need to do is decide why it wasn't affected by the inhibitors, and that could be as simple as being based off some obscure or expensive power source that wasn't cost-effective to mass produce or notably better than civilian-grade technology.

Finding a way to actually overcome or disable the inhibitor effect is a definite possible campaign goal, though.

Offline TFcommando

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 02:54:18 AM »
I was in the original launch and I'm game for trying again.

Could do the same character as before, a heroine who was a teenage witch during the last day of big superheroing, her role as Earth's protector against mystical threats ended in some big crossover style event when the evil dimensions were cut off from access to Earth.  Since then, she's spent her time writing books and teaching classes on the magical lifestyle, the philosophical aspects (and maybe the tantric sex magic parts of it)... she doesn't have a real apprentice, since you can buy a phone with superpower apps at the Targ-Mart instead of studying for years.  She's also let herself go a little from her prime and is now more MILF-y than supermodel in appearance.  Still acts racy and suggestive though.

Or a Red She-Hulk sort, transformed super-strong character who has spent the last few decades in some remote, primitive part of the world, perhaps going native, not wanting any part of a society that fears and hates her (or thinks she's an exotic freak) after the need for her to protect the world passed.  Her transformation might have advanced in that time, and she might be out of the clothes habit.

Third idea could be a mystic type who travelled to another dimension for a few months, but time flowed differently there, and a year away from Earth brought her back decades later! 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 03:12:47 AM by TFcommando »

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 03:51:16 AM »
You're definitely welcome back, TFCommando. Any and all of those concepts look good.

Offline Leodouble08

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 05:39:05 AM »
I'm always up for a new M&M game.

Tell me, how well would a sort of Batman (Highly trained/skilled guy with gadgets) type character fare in this setting?

I usually go with a gadgeteer, but will the setting you sort of laid out, I'm half tempted to play a villain and make a lot of his powers follow his personal philosophy "Only Losers Fight Fair" Also see Combat Pragmatist (TV Trope Link)

Offline eternaldarkness

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 07:18:32 AM »
I'm game to try this again with a similar concept but different powerset than before. I love Plastic Man/Reed Richards style elastic heroes as well as Growth/Size Changers like Giant Man and Black Goliath, so I'd pay something like that.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2015, 04:10:35 PM »
I'm always up for a new M&M game.

Tell me, how well would a sort of Batman (Highly trained/skilled guy with gadgets) type character fare in this setting?

I usually go with a gadgeteer, but will the setting you sort of laid out, I'm half tempted to play a villain and make a lot of his powers follow his personal philosophy "Only Losers Fight Fair" Also see Combat Pragmatist (TV Trope Link)

A mundane gadgeteer/Batman expy would work out just fine. I don't want too many tech-based characters, but one power-armor type and one mechanical gadget-type will still work.

I'm game to try this again with a similar concept but different powerset than before. I love Plastic Man/Reed Richards style elastic heroes as well as Growth/Size Changers like Giant Man and Black Goliath, so I'd pay something like that.

Plastic Men are always fun, and you're also welcome to return.

For perspective, here's an except of the general setting timeline:
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
ID-120 years: Nations begin equipping military units with superhuman-grade augments and equipment.
ID-80 years: Civilian markets begin selling superhuman-grade technology. 'Capes', natural superhumans, recognize impending obsolescence and begin retiring.
ID-45 years: The last remaining at-large supervillain is successfully apprehended by a civilian SWAT team equipped with modern technology and sentenced to life in extra-dimensional prison.
ID-40 years: The last active superhero hangs up their cape and retires to civilian life forever.
ID+0: Invasion Day: Early-warning alarms herald the appearance of a fleet of alien ships approaching Earth.
ID+5 days: Earth Space Defense intercepts and engages the enemy fleet. They inflict moderate damage, but are wiped out along with Luna Base.
ID+10 days: Alien fleet enters Earth orbit, destroying the fixed defenses and orbital settlements.
ID+11 days: Repeated kinetic strikes obliterate many large cities, especially along coastlines and near military bases. Over a billion people are killed in the bombardment.
ID+12 days: Second wave of kinetic impacts prove to be giant egg-like landing pods, disgorging swarms of alien ground troops and air-moving creatures. Surving military units attempt to counter-attack, only to encounter inhibitor fields.
ID+30 days: Final transmissions from multiple national military leaders order surviving troops to fight on under local command. Last few comms satellites are destroyed, severing long-distance communication ability.
ID+3 months: Effective military-scale resistance to the aliens is eliminated. Individual units, civilian militias, and superhumans now constitute the only defensive forces active.
ID+6 months: Game starts.

The key date in all that is that the Capes Era ended about 40 years before game-start. So most PCs would chronologically be in their 60s-70's, though medical science is advanced enough for them to be physically half that age or less.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 04:12:56 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Online Vorian

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2015, 08:16:55 PM »
Option 4 works fine. Assuming you want to start with your devices/armor actually functional, all we'd need to do is decide why it wasn't affected by the inhibitors, and that could be as simple as being based off some obscure or expensive power source that wasn't cost-effective to mass produce or notably better than civilian-grade technology.

Finding a way to actually overcome or disable the inhibitor effect is a definite possible campaign goal, though.
A mundane gadgeteer/Batman expy would work out just fine. I don't want too many tech-based characters, but one power-armor type and one mechanical gadget-type will still work.

I'm leaning toward my character's tech being non-funtional, and relying something they normally have a distaste for for powers instead. I like the symbiote for that so far because it sets up some personality conflict and can be developed into a sort of biological power armor over time, but I'm still bouncing some ideas around. Shouldn't be too much overlap in terms of tech types though.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 08:22:22 PM »
I'm leaning toward my character's tech being non-funtional, and relying something they normally have a distaste for for powers instead. I like the symbiote for that so far because it sets up some personality conflict and can be developed into a sort of biological power armor over time, but I'm still bouncing some ideas around. Shouldn't be too much overlap in terms of tech types though.

Sounds good to me. We've got 4 so far, enough to start character creation if everyone sticks around; I'll leave recruitment open long enough to see if a fifth interest check shows up.

Do you want to take a stab at writing out/building the character yourself from scratch, or list out a concept and power spread then focus on characterization while I turn your fluff into usable crunch for you? The base game mechanics of M&M3E are pretty straightforward, it's the character creation that can get intricate and possibly overwhelming so it's up to you.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 08:30:42 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Foxy Oni

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 09:35:57 PM »
I'm interested and got a character idea...

Jakita is your standard issue jungle girl with added bonus of animals powers and a French accent. She was one of the first adventurers to retire as the rapidly advancing technology made her uncomfortable. For the last several decades she has been living in the wilds of Cameroon, kept relatively young by aging like a tortoise. The invasion has made her reluctantly leave her home.

Jakita de la Jungle - PL 10

Strength 2, Stamina 3, Agility 3, Dexterity 2, Fighting 7, Intellect 1, Awareness 3, Presence 4

Advantages
All-out Attack, Animal Empathy, Attractive, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Diehard, Great Endurance, Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Languages 1, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Taunt

Skills
Acrobatics 6 (+9), Athletics 8 (+10), Close Combat: Unarmed 4 (+11), Deception 6 (+10), Expertise: Wilderness Survival 5 (+6), Expertise: Zoology 5 (+6), Insight 4 (+7), Intimidation 2 (+6), Perception 6 (+9), Persuasion 6 (+10), Stealth 6 (+9), Treatment 2 (+3)

Powers
Animal Mimicry: Variable 5 (Action: move; Limited: to Animal Traits)

Offense
Initiative +7
Grab, +7 (DC Spec 12)
Throw, +2 (DC 17)
Unarmed, +11 (DC 17)

Complications
Quirk: Raised by animals, Jeanne tends to ignore or be ignorant of many social customs.
Temper: Her bestial nature makes her quick to anger.

Languages
English, French

Defense
Dodge 9, Parry 10, Fortitude 8, Toughness 6/3, Will 9

Power Points
Abilities 50 + Powers 35 + Advantages 15 + Skills 30 (60 ranks) + Defenses 20 = 150

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 10:02:39 PM »
Looks great, Foxy.

That is five, so I'm going to freeze active recruiting for now. If anyone else shows interest, I'll start a reserves list to fill slots that open up.

Offline Foxy Oni

Re: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2015, 10:16:44 PM »
Sweet... I got a more detailed background for her but I can wait before bombarding y'all with it. Will we start already together or separated? It might be fun to have someone try to put the band back together and have to track Jakita down.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2015, 10:19:35 PM »
The plan will be to have the 'party' already grouped up, at a militia resistance camp in the Eastern US (mainly because that's where I already have maps prepared for). How/when people met up in pregame/backstory will depend on what characters we get and any pre-existing relationships we decide to form among PCs.

If you need extra motivation for her, the aliens are proceeding to methodically strip Earth of its natural resources now that they have control - clearcutting forests, digging out mines, all the usual jazz. So there's definitely some serious despoiling of the forests/jungles going on for her to be angry about.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 10:21:09 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline TFcommando

Re: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2015, 02:04:08 AM »
Jakita is a very neat concept, Foxy, I wish I'd thought of her! :)  Does she have the full animal mimicry like Animal Man or Vixen, able to fly or shock like an electric eel, or is it more of a more subtle 'fighting style' type power.  "She hits as hard as a rhino!"

I had another interesting idea, don't think I'll go for it myself, but wanted to toss it out there.  Picture a powered armor hero who, perhaps unknowingly, had the superpower to make their powered armor work.  It never worked for anyone else and couldn't be mass produced.  The invasion would have shown his power is actually to make ANY technology work, as long as he's touching it, and only one thing at a time. 

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2015, 02:21:23 AM »
Eh....not sure how I feel about that narrative-wise, honestly. It feels a bit too much like This Looks Like A Job For Aquaman, to have a character whose ability is only relevant/useful for the specific circumstances of one particular enemy or crisis. Not an issue of being setting-breaking or overpowered in game, it just...doesn't feel right, IMO.

Offline Foxy Oni

Re: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2015, 02:33:41 AM »
Jakita is a very neat concept, Foxy, I wish I'd thought of her! :)  Does she have the full animal mimicry like Animal Man or Vixen, able to fly or shock like an electric eel, or is it more of a more subtle 'fighting style' type power.  "She hits as hard as a rhino!"

Animal Man/Vixen style. Except there might be a more overt physical change for flavor. Not like full on anthro but maybe something like slit pupils while mimicking a cat's night vision and whatnot.

Offline TFcommando

Re: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2015, 03:10:50 AM »
Eh....not sure how I feel about that narrative-wise, honestly. It feels a bit too much like This Looks Like A Job For Aquaman, to have a character whose ability is only relevant/useful for the specific circumstances of one particular enemy or crisis. Not an issue of being setting-breaking or overpowered in game, it just...doesn't feel right, IMO.

Well, they'd still have the powered armor, of course.  I was thinking of it as an interesting thing to do when not suited up, and sometimes a choice... "keep the power running by sitting on my butt or go out and fight the aliens." 

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2015, 05:13:11 AM »
Fair, but I'm still leery about a concept whose complication becomes 'should I participate in this adventure, or not?". Plus, the opportunities when it'd come into play would be rather limited, since (like in the original game) the inhibitor fields will be localized rather than a persistent global phenomenon.

Online Vorian

Re: Recruiting/Open - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2015, 10:42:56 PM »
Do you want to take a stab at writing out/building the character yourself from scratch, or list out a concept and power spread then focus on characterization while I turn your fluff into usable crunch for you? The base game mechanics of M&M3E are pretty straightforward, it's the character creation that can get intricate and possibly overwhelming so it's up to you.

I think I'd better focus on concept and characterization, I'll write up the basics sometime tomorrow.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: [Full] - Last Stand of the Old Guard (Superheroes, M&M3e, Extreme)
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2015, 01:26:50 AM »
Okay, I've set up an OOC thread for us to continue chatting and planning and whatnot:

https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=235998.0