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Author Topic: Marvel's Defenders: Street-Level Heroes (Started, but room for more!)  (Read 8134 times)

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Offline eternaldarkness

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2016, 03:28:44 PM »
And in the interest of helpfulness, some other possibilities for 'street-level':

Shang-Chi
Elektra
Black Cat
Colleen Wing
Misty Knight

I can draw on some C and Z-list heroes too, if we need more, but we'll be getting into unknown territory and the list will start looking very samey, especially since power level is a big limiter.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2016, 03:29:30 PM »
Captain America is the next example, then. In MCU he's stronger than he is in the comics, yes, but at best he has mild super strength and accelerated healing. Luke Cage already has him beat and Jessica Jones likely does as well.

What I saw of Luke Cage leads me to believe that while he may match Cap in strength, he doesn't necessarily have the same leaping capability or agility (or training) or speed. That one aspect (well, that, and the unbreakable skin), I feel, while it does make him seem overpowered for street-level, does make it important that they do have someone of his level for the threats no one else is capable of tangling with. He's nowhere near as mobile, no shield ergo no long-range attacking capability, basically a less-active Hulk Lite, I'd classify it, I suppose. It also doesn't make him immune from dark forces if the bad guys resort to using supernatural means to strike at him.

Jessica Jones' powers were also significantly toned down for the MCU and that, I feel, makes her appropriate at this level.

Iron Fist is still human and should be no more capable of superhuman feats than Daredevil, but his Iron Fists and chi-based healing are a huge asset. So while some of the characters seem off-set, I think the fact that there are many normal humans in the group helps maintain a balance and a good range. Maybe I'm alone in that...
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 03:33:10 PM by Mathim »

Offline Karma

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2016, 03:34:33 PM »
This is why I'd argue for mindset over powers; it quickly devolves into this vs that but what about this opinion clash. But I'm not even a player in this game now, so I'll let it be. :P

Offline Deathnote

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2016, 03:41:31 PM »
Hmm... I've always been told that Spider-Man is considered the strongest street-level superhero.  As in, he hits the ceiling of what qualifies as "street-level".  I guess the MCU uses a more strict standard?

I was going to suggest having Ben Reilly being only half as strong as Parker due to... clone degeneration?  Still, a lifting strength of 5 tons and reflexes faster than average by a factor of 7.5 might still be a bit much for this game's power level.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2016, 03:46:58 PM »
Well most of the suggested characters are either extremely similar to the 'peak human' archetype (Shang Chi), or are confirmed Defenders already, or are at least in development for their own TV programs (Cloak and Dagger, for instance). Those that run similar to that are generally appropriate, and there's some leeway for a bit of extra kick. But once you start closing the gap on Spidey and Cap, both of whom are capable of great feats of human agility and strength with expert levels of control and even further special skills (web-slinging/Spider Sense or Cap's Shield defense and throwing talent), it decreases the element of challenge. That may not make sense but it'll keep things from being too simple. Our heroes may find themselves forced to retreat at times.

When they can lift massively heavy objects over their heads (for Cap, a motorcycle with three women on top of it) that makes the definition of street-level seem obtuse. Maybe if it wasn't an all-inclusive package, a la Luke Cage, that would help their case.

And yeah, that Ben Reilly factor is still Avenger-y.

Offline eternaldarkness

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2016, 03:53:33 PM »
Gonna bow out. This one feels like it's gonna be a lot of 'all the same except the ones who are better'. Sorry, Neysha.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #56 on: April 10, 2016, 03:57:03 PM »
Methinks I should have elaborated more then on the definition. Luke Cage is admittedly out of place and really only included because he's in the actual series coming up. Cloak is a bit of a wild card too I suppose, but the dark forces they're going up against would be messing with him a lot, trying to get him to come over to their side and such. Other than that though I think it's pretty straightforward.

Offline Lithium

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #57 on: April 10, 2016, 04:10:37 PM »
I don't really get why going into the minute details of power levels is so important in the first place. The characters are all on the same side, and group games tend to be more about the social aspects, not competing to see who can knock out the most bad guys in every fight or who can bench press the most. It's not like you can perfectly quantify every super power anyways, you're always going to have some differences and some people specializing more or less in different things.

I know the example gets thrown around a lot, but if Hawkeye and Black Widow can be made to work as part of the Avengers, I don't see why any combination of street-ish level heroes wouldn't work just fine. A bit of common sense and self-restraint goes a long way.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #58 on: April 10, 2016, 04:22:49 PM »
I don't really get why going into the minute details of power levels is so important in the first place. The characters are all on the same side, and group games tend to be more about the social aspects, not competing to see who can knock out the most bad guys in every fight or who can bench press the most. It's not like you can perfectly quantify every super power anyways, you're always going to have some differences and some people specializing more or less in different things.

I know the example gets thrown around a lot, but if Hawkeye and Black Widow can be made to work as part of the Avengers, I don't see why any combination of street-ish level heroes wouldn't work just fine. A bit of common sense and self-restraint goes a long way.

Well self restraint doesn't always work, so the characters' base abilities being more limited would keep that in check. I'd like to think everyone has this quality, but also the idea of working with those limits to find more creative solutions to defeating enemies and overcoming obstacles. Maybe it's not as easy a concept to organize as I thought.

Offline Lithium

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #59 on: April 10, 2016, 04:33:07 PM »
Well self restraint doesn't always work, so the characters' base abilities being more limited would keep that in check.

Mhmm, I meant self-restraint in terms of setting those limits for our own characters as much as how we handle them.

Offline eternaldarkness

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2016, 04:37:11 PM »
Well self restraint doesn't always work, so the characters' base abilities being more limited would keep that in check. I'd like to think everyone has this quality, but also the idea of working with those limits to find more creative solutions to defeating enemies and overcoming obstacles. Maybe it's not as easy a concept to organize as I thought.

I think the problem you're encountering is that too much emphasis is being put on controlling power levels while you simultaneously make exceptions (Luke Cage, Iron Fist) and also poorly define your definition of street-level. Maybe just saying 'nobody with superpowers' would be better, or calling out some specific power thresholds, or even allowing people to tone down characters to fit would work better. You're also adding an additional constraint by focusing on the MCU continuity, which by its nature limits character possibilities because it just doesn't have much of a cast to work with aside from the Avengers. This is an area where some flexibility in thinking would help you a lot - maybe focus on what the characters do rather than what they are? There's a pretty good selection of possible street-level heroes that are also incredibly interesting if you dig deep enough. Here's an updated list i got from a few minutes searching google and dredging the depths of my extensive marvel fanboy nerdmemory:

Updated list of possible street-level heroes
Shang-Chi
Elektra
Black Cat
Colleen Wing
Misty Knight
Prodigy
Ricochet
Hornet
Black Widow (Yelena belova, the other one)
Hellcat
Echo/Ronin (Maya Lopez) - I think she was already disqualified?
Hawkeye (Kate Bishop)
Squirrel Girl
Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) - Might be disqualified since she was an Avenger
Silk - Same as Spider-Woman. Seems like the Spiders are right out.
Night Thrasher
Rage
MVP
Armory
Microbe
Speedball
Namorita


All of the Immortal Weapons: Bride of Nine Spiders, Dog Brother #1, Fat Cobra, Tiger's Beautiful Daughter, The Prince of Orphans
All the Runaways: Sister Grimm, Chase Stein, Arsenic and Old Lace, Molly Hayes/Power princess
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 04:45:14 PM by eternaldarkness »

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2016, 04:43:38 PM »
Mhmm, I meant self-restraint in terms of setting those limits for our own characters as much as how we handle them.

That's sadly not the reality most of the time. The idea to make this more restrained than a standard Avengers RP sounded a lot simpler in my head but I can't make everybody happy if this is to stay within the bounds of something they would be handling as opposed to the Avengers.

If we were to leave out certain characters until a later point, i.e. the Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and Cloak characters, until they were needed when the biggest bad shows up, that would probably have simplified this entire thing from the start. They'd be the exceptions to the rule if only because they're already aired or confirmed to be in development. Most everybody else was either Iron Fist or Blade level or below, which would be very appropriately street-level.

If anyone is still interested, and this makes sense, maybe we can make this work.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 04:48:37 PM by Mathim »

Offline eternaldarkness

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2016, 04:52:19 PM »
That's sadly not the reality most of the time. The idea to make this more restrained than a standard Avengers RP sounded a lot simpler in my head but I can't make everybody happy if this is to stay within the bounds of something they would be handling as opposed to the Avengers.

If we were to leave out certain characters until a later point, i.e. the Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and Cloak characters, until they were needed when the biggest bad shows up, that would probably have simplified this entire thing from the start. They'd be the exceptions to the rule if only because they're already aired or confirmed to be in development. Most everybody else was either Iron Fist or Blade level or below, which would be very appropriately street-level.

If anyone is still interested, and this makes sense, maybe we can make this work.

I'd love to see this happen. Would you accept a toned-down/altered version of cloak that fits better for a street-level story and has some more active abilities? Or maybe someone else like Ricochet or Night Thrasher? Those guys are still low-powered and very street-level, but they have enough uniqueness to make it so they don't feel like another PunchyMcShootStab D-List hero. Powers are what make the superhero genre interesting, and if everyone has basically the same powers the best part of the genre is lost.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 04:57:01 PM by eternaldarkness »

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2016, 05:14:12 PM »
I'd love to see this happen. Would you accept a toned-down/altered version of cloak that fits better for a street-level story and has some more active abilities? Or maybe someone else like Ricochet or Night Thrasher? Those guys are still low-powered and very street-level, but they have enough uniqueness to make it so they don't feel like another PunchyMcShootStab D-List hero. Powers are what make the superhero genre interesting, and if everyone has basically the same powers the best part of the genre is lost.

That's exactly the kind of thing I'm hoping for. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage don't fit the general idea but their names are in it because Marvel Studios says they are. While Jones isn't that impressive compared to her comics counterpart, she is still pretty superhuman (wish the series had been better.) So if we keep them in the reserves, that would be best until the rest of the group starts getting overwhelmed.

What kind of variation of Cloak might you have had in mind? I would like him to still be able to work with Dagger.

Offline eternaldarkness

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2016, 05:23:53 PM »
That's exactly the kind of thing I'm hoping for. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage don't fit the general idea but their names are in it because Marvel Studios says they are. While Jones isn't that impressive compared to her comics counterpart, she is still pretty superhuman (wish the series had been better.) So if we keep them in the reserves, that would be best until the rest of the group starts getting overwhelmed.

What kind of variation of Cloak might you have had in mind? I would like him to still be able to work with Dagger.

Firstly, his ability to be completely intangible while messing people up with a passive life-drain aura is too strong, and super-boring to write. So i'd drop the intangibility, keep the teleportation and shadowy cloak of doom, and give him some kind of more offensive ability like, i dunno, some shadowy tendrils coming from within the cloak he can fight with.In the comicverse it's a known fact that his particular portion of the darkforce dimension is inhabited by a demon called the Predator, and that this is the source of his hunger - so lets let the predator out in giant scary tentacle form!

He has a built-in limit on his teleportation too, in that he can only teleport others IF they can survive the Darkforce Dimension (basically, only dagger can). I'd love to play up his dark nature and the constant hunger for life energy.

Also, tentacles. Just sayin'.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 05:27:00 PM by eternaldarkness »

Offline Sirian Eve

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2016, 05:31:35 PM »
I don't really get why going into the minute details of power levels is so important in the first place. The characters are all on the same side, and group games tend to be more about the social aspects, not competing to see who can knock out the most bad guys in every fight or who can bench press the most. It's not like you can perfectly quantify every super power anyways, you're always going to have some differences and some people specializing more or less in different things.

I know the example gets thrown around a lot, but if Hawkeye and Black Widow can be made to work as part of the Avengers, I don't see why any combination of street-ish level heroes wouldn't work just fine. A bit of common sense and self-restraint goes a long way.

I agree with this. No matter the story it's really determined by how the game goes.


Misty Knight bio coming up!!!
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 05:33:57 PM by Sirian Eve »

Offline Karma

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2016, 05:31:49 PM »
This is a big reason why I wanted to go OC - MCU is limited in this field and when I design the character I can guarantee it fits the requirements.

Offline Sirian Eve

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2016, 05:55:18 PM »
If anyone wants to collaborate on a history please throw me a line.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2016, 05:55:33 PM »
This is a big reason why I wanted to go OC - MCU is limited in this field and when I design the character I can guarantee it fits the requirements.

I understand, it's just if we allow original characters then why bother basing this off an existing continuity? Especially with a limited cast as it is.

And eternaldarkness, I think that sounds good, but if you want to include a draining effect where Cloak's use of his powers takes a toll and he needs to recharge periodically, that would help since he's still quite powerful. If not, that's still fine, but the dark forces are going to be targeting him especially, and vicariously, Dagger to get to him since their nature is so similar. His friends might come to mistrust him or consider him a liability, just to shake things up.

If anyone wants to collaborate on a history please throw me a line.

If you were still interested in Misty Knight and nobody else wants to play Iron Fist, I'll be your Huckleberry.  ;)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 05:57:59 PM by Mathim »

Offline eternaldarkness

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2016, 06:01:15 PM »
I understand, it's just if we allow original characters then why bother basing this off an existing continuity? Especially with a limited cast as it is.

And eternaldarkness, I think that sounds good, but if you want to include a draining effect where Cloak's use of his powers takes a toll and he needs to recharge periodically, that would help since he's still quite powerful. If not, that's still fine, but the dark forces are going to be targeting him especially, and vicariously, Dagger to get to him since their nature is so similar.

I could work with that, though how often are we trying to have him need to 'recharge', and how does he go about it? Suddenly dropping to uselessness at crucial points is really annoying from both a narrative and player standpoint. It may be easier to just trim his powers down even further, though at that point it's probably time to just give up on Cloak as anything but an NPC and make someone else.

Edit: Actually, i'll find someone else. Now it's getting too far away from the core of what the character is. Any suggestions of what would be acceptable to you, GM?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 06:02:42 PM by eternaldarkness »

Offline Deathnote

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2016, 06:05:40 PM »
I think the division you're looking for is less about super powers and more about tone, scope, and competence.

Here's my two cents on the issue:

Lots of rambling here.  Not too important.  Skip if you want.
For example, when you watch an MCU movie, the superheroes are usually dealing with threats on a global scale, such as Alien Invasions and giant monsters.  The Hulk dealt with the military, including tanks and helicopters.  Iron Man dealt with terrorists located in another country altogether.  Thor had to deal with Loki and other aliens.  Captain America would've been Street-Level if not for Red Skull, the Tesseract cube, and the weapons of mass destruction.  In his second movie, he was taking out military vehicles with just his shield alone.

The MCU movies were a lot more fantastical in tone and contained more "out there" elements.  The chances of even the nameless minions having superpowers goes way up in these movies.

The Netflix series, on the other hand, are more gritty in tone and more "grounded" in reality.  Yes, superpowers and supernatural elements do pop up, but the difference is in how they are treated.  For example, Luke Cage's indestructibility is considered a big deal, but can you honestly see him coming out on top in a fight against a platoon of trained military soldiers, a modern-era tank, and maybe a combat helicopter?  Netflix Daredevil might be able to pull it off if he got lucky enough (don't know about Comicbook Daredevil), but Captain America made it look easy in comparison.

Clint Barton and Natasha Romanov are in the weird grey area between street-level and the fantastical.  If we're talking about skills and abilities alone, then they might be considered street-level.  What puts them above street-level in my opinion, however, is their vast experience and access to SHIELD technology.  That they are able to take on aliens from another world or treat Voltron's robots like the minions they are places their level of competence just above street-level.  If you could somehow take away their technology and their training (amnesia?), then maybe they might count as street-level?  I would also argue that Spider-Man started out as street-level during his high-school days, but graduated past that by actually growing up, becoming more experienced, and upgrading his arsenal.

With that said, I believe a good test for whether or not your character is street-level is by taking a super-powered minion from one of the MCU movies (i.e., Chitauri foot solider or a Voltron bot) and imagine a fight between the two.  If your character can take out that minion with relative ease, then chances are they're not street-level.  If that same minion could fit right in as the main antagonist of an episode, then your character might be street-level.  Might I also suggest that if a superhero were to be disqualified due to being a part of the Avengers at one point, that said superhero's biography could be altered so that they're still inexperienced and learning how to use their powers?  For example, with Echo, just cut out all the parts that came after shooting the Kingpin in the face.  With Cloak, you could have Cloak and Dagger just very recently get their superpowers.  Cloak's intangibility could then be counter-balanced by him still learning how to effectively use his powers.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2016, 06:07:03 PM »
I could work with that, though how often are we trying to have him need to 'recharge', and how does he go about it? Suddenly dropping to uselessness at crucial points is really annoying from both a narrative and player standpoint. It may be easier to just trim his powers down even further, though at that point it's probably time to just give up on Cloak as anything but an NPC and make someone else.

Edit: Actually, i'll find someone else. Now it's getting too far away from the core of what the character is. Any suggestions of what would be acceptable to you, GM?

I meant that if he's really using his power intensely and non-stop for the duration of a very intense battle, that would leave him feeling pretty drained for maybe an hour as long as he doesn't use them during that hour. But it's fine if that's too great a restriction.

I think the division you're looking for is less about super powers and more about tone, scope, and competence.

Here's my two cents on the issue:

Lots of rambling here.  Not too important.  Skip if you want.
For example, when you watch an MCU movie, the superheroes are usually dealing with threats on a global scale, such as Alien Invasions and giant monsters.  The Hulk dealt with the military, including tanks and helicopters.  Iron Man dealt with terrorists located in another country altogether.  Thor had to deal with Loki and other aliens.  Captain America would've been Street-Level if not for Red Skull, the Tesseract cube, and the weapons of mass destruction.  In his second movie, he was taking out military vehicles with just his shield alone.

The MCU movies were a lot more fantastical in tone and contained more "out there" elements.  The chances of even the nameless minions having superpowers goes way up in these movies.

The Netflix series, on the other hand, are more gritty in tone and more "grounded" in reality.  Yes, superpowers and supernatural elements do pop up, but the difference is in how they are treated.  For example, Luke Cage's indestructibility is considered a big deal, but can you honestly see him coming out on top in a fight against a platoon of trained military soldiers, a modern-era tank, and maybe a combat helicopter?  Netflix Daredevil might be able to pull it off if he got lucky enough (don't know about Comicbook Daredevil), but Captain America made it look easy in comparison.

Clint Barton and Natasha Romanov are in the weird grey area between street-level and the fantastical.  If we're talking about skills and abilities alone, then they might be considered street-level.  What puts them above street-level in my opinion, however, is their vast experience and access to SHIELD technology.  That they are able to take on aliens from another world or treat Voltron's robots like the minions they are places their level of competence just above street-level.  If you could somehow take away their technology and their training (amnesia?), then maybe they might count as street-level?  I would also argue that Spider-Man started out as street-level during his high-school days, but graduated past that by actually growing up, becoming more experienced, and upgrading his arsenal.

With that said, I believe a good test for whether or not your character is street-level is by taking a super-powered minion from one of the MCU movies (i.e., Chitauri foot solider or a Voltron bot) and imagine a fight between the two.  If your character can take out that minion with relative ease, then chances are they're not street-level.  If that same minion could fit right in as the main antagonist of an episode, then your character might be street-level.  Might I also suggest that if a superhero were to be disqualified due to being a part of the Avengers at one point, that said superhero's biography could be altered so that they're still inexperienced and learning how to use their powers?  For example, with Echo, just cut out all the parts that came after shooting the Kingpin in the face.  With Cloak, you could have Cloak and Dagger just very recently get their superpowers.  Cloak's intangibility could then be counter-balanced by him still learning how to effectively use his powers.

I never actually denied Echo from participating, I just said that at that time I didn't know anything about the character. Having looked it up, I think she'd actually fit quite nicely if anyone still wants to claim her.

And I like that idea of Cloak and Dagger also being inexperienced with their powers if the other restriction is too much.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 06:11:17 PM by Mathim »

Offline eternaldarkness

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2016, 06:13:38 PM »
I can work with that. Actually, cloak straining his powers is a thing that happens with alarming frequency. I'll write him up.

Oh, and bring on those Forces of Darkness. That actually sounds cool.

Offline Niferbelle

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2016, 06:16:57 PM »
If you were still interested in Misty Knight and nobody else wants to play Iron Fist, I'll be your Huckleberry.  ;)

Praxis said something about playing Iron Fist I believe.

Offline MathimTopic starter

Re: (Interest Check) Marvel's The Defenders: Street-Level Heroes Unite
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2016, 06:22:40 PM »
I can work with that. Actually, cloak straining his powers is a thing that happens with alarming frequency. I'll write him up.

Oh, and bring on those Forces of Darkness. That actually sounds cool.

Wonderful! Oh, and they'll come, mwa ha ha!

Praxis said something about playing Iron Fist I believe.

I PMed him to see what his ultimate decision is. That's why I'm abstaining from choosing so as to allow maximum freedom of choice for you lovely folks.