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Author Topic: The Rack  (Read 2958 times)

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Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

The Rack
« on: December 02, 2008, 05:08:52 PM »

The Rack

Setting: Modern, Superhero

Size: 3-5 players, with guest starring villains

Forum: Extreme

System (Optional, by player): Mutants and Masterminds, 2nd Edition

You do not have to play with a system component.  Writers only desiring Freeform are welcome.

Likely Themes: Group, Domination/submission, Transformation, NC

Sample Character Archetypes: Grim 80s Anti-Hero, Reformed Villain, Hardcore 90s Hero, Superpatriot, Embittered Collaborator

Concept:  The US government does not admit to the existence of its maximum-security superhuman testing facility, "The Rack."  More secretive than Guantanamo Bay, more scandalous than CIA black sites, it operates under a shroud of concealment that is nearly as impregnable as its security systems.  Staffed by a team of researchers and military, it operates a team of super-powered individuals as hunters and inmate handlers: Omega Black.

You will be playing as members of Omega Black.  You may be heroes who believe in the cause of metahuman control and human research, or as reformed villains.

Gameplay: Writing is in two formats.

In the Freeform, we follow the activities of Omega Black at The Rack.  Dominating captives, experimenting on their bodies and minds, and generally exploiting them will be the content of the play.  It will be Freeform and will move at the pace of the players.

In the System, Omega Black's players will gather for acquisition of new captives.  These new captives may be Non-Player Characters operated by me, or will be one of the "guest star" players - someone looking to either lose to Omega Black or to capture one of them for their nefarious purposes.  This element will take place in mIRC, for a short period of game play, at a set time convenient for all participants.

I will be accepting applications first: A general character concept and background.  From there, I will assist you in making a system character if appropriate.  Guest stars do not need a system sheet, nor do players who want to be regulars but who want to leave system play up to the other players and myself.

Once a character is approved, I will establish threads to begin interaction, and will supply Non-Player Characters as necessary.

Offline Sianna

Re: The Rack
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2008, 07:11:24 PM »
I've never done a superhero type story before but I am intrigued with the melding of free form and optional system play. This could be a lot of fun.

I will have to think on it. I'd want a character that would be a real stretch for me creatively - that I could also just have a hoot with. Definitely will have to let it ferment in my head but I do have an idea that might keep things interesting around the compound.

More to come..


Offline Trieste

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Re: The Rack
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 01:56:33 AM »
I'm posting to express interest. I've been known to set aside my loathing of dice and numbers in general for a good story concept, and it's been roughly the requisite two years. :P The fact that I can dip in and out of the system part of it (and scheduled part of it) on various adventures makes me very happy.

If nothing else, this is very very well designed. Bravissimo!

All of that said, Decemberr 18th is my last final exam, and I'll be unavailable to start anything new until at least that time. If it's still open then, I'll do my best to cook up a concept and fire it off.

Out of curiosity, what system would you be using? Some sort of d20, or some other sort? If it's a lesser known system, how willing are you to teach someone that system?

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: The Rack
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 10:06:12 AM »
Hey, V.,

This sounds really awesome.  Thanks for sending me the invite.  Though I don't want to be one of the protagonists, I would love to help you out with people's character sheets and time-to-time character intervention/IC information relay (a la Nick Fury).  There's also two books I want you to check out:  Lock Up (I actually have a physical copy of this, and it really assisted me when I ran a Thunderbolts campaign for my friends) and Iron Age (which deals with the "leather & latex with guns" theme).  As a GM, you should probably take a gander at Ultimate Power...

::sobs proudly::

Ah!  I'm glad I turned you on to this system.

Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 12:06:50 PM »
I'm posting to express interest. I've been known to set aside my loathing of dice and numbers in general for a good story concept, and it's been roughly the requisite two years. :P The fact that I can dip in and out of the system part of it (and scheduled part of it) on various adventures makes me very happy.

Splendid to see you, Trieste.  I hope things have been well of late.  Belated congratulations on your virtual apotheosis here on Elliquiy.

And yes, you have it right.  You may engage with or eschew the System element as you see fit.

If nothing else, this is very very well designed. Bravissimo!

Gratzie.  I greatly appreciate your esteem of the design.

All of that said, Decemberr 18th is my last final exam, and I'll be unavailable to start anything new until at least that time. If it's still open then, I'll do my best to cook up a concept and fire it off.

Delightful.  First and foremost, good luck on the exams.  In the meanwhile, and after of course, any ideas you get for a character would be most welcome.  We can collaborate in Private Message at your convenience.

It is great to know you are interested.

Out of curiosity, what system would you be using? Some sort of d20, or some other sort? If it's a lesser known system, how willing are you to teach someone that system?

The system is Mutants & Masterminds, 2nd Edition, a version of the d20 System.  I avoided it for years out of a certain indignant loyalty to the old Marvel Superheroes system, but, as he notes below, PhantomPistoleer introduced me to M&M and I have become quite smitten with it.

Should you require any resources for it, I can dispatch them to you. 

Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2008, 12:11:44 PM »
Hey, V.,

This sounds really awesome.  Thanks for sending me the invite.  Though I don't want to be one of the protagonists, I would love to help you out with people's character sheets and time-to-time character intervention/IC information relay (a la Nick Fury).  There's also two books I want you to check out:  Lock Up (I actually have a physical copy of this, and it really assisted me when I ran a Thunderbolts campaign for my friends) and Iron Age (which deals with the "leather & latex with guns" theme).  As a GM, you should probably take a gander at Ultimate Power...

Glad to hear you liked the idea, PhantomPistoleer.  I had, indeed, been so inspired by the M&M 2nd Edition system that you introduced to me that I resolved two things:  One, I had to run a game with it.  And two, I would make the game an homage to my old favorite of DC Comics series, "Suicide Squad."

As for your proposed involvement, that would be terrific.  I would certainly appreciate the assistance in crafting characters and always enjoy collaborative character and plot creation.  You would be an ideal contributor in that position.

I will definitely look into those three books, and other resources.  "Iron Age" was one I had thought of as particularly well suited, and your recommendation emphasizes that opinion considerably.  "Lock Up" I was unfamiliar with, but will now pursue, as it seems essential.


::sobs proudly::

Ah!  I'm glad I turned you on to this system.

I am all types of glad as well.



Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2008, 01:51:09 PM »
The Rack now has an introduction. 

Though presented in narrative form, this is intended to be a guide to the appearance of The Rack: Think of it as a preview issue to get everyone acclimated while they dream up their characters.  It presents the means of arrival to The Rack, discusses some of its features, introduces the NPC and shows their customary behaviors.

Hopefully it will inspire and orient all the prospective players.

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=25044.0


Offline WyzardWhately

Re: The Rack
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2008, 07:17:06 PM »
I'm intrigued.  Unlike some of the posters above, I enjoy tinkering with the system end of a character.  So, I'm likely to find that pretty satisfying.  I'm thinking of playing a PC with a sort of beastial side.  He has a lot of predatory instinct and powers to match that, so he's uniquely well-suited to pursuit-and-evasion scenarios in urban or wilderness environments.  That is, of course, precisely why they've selected him.  The, shall we say, antisocial tendencies he can display are not a liability to Omega Black's mission directive. 

Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2008, 07:23:22 PM »
I am, in turn, intrigued. 

I look forward to hearing more of your concept, Wyzard.

Also, by all means, should you have any questions about the setting, pose them.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 07:24:44 PM by VandalSavage »

Offline WyzardWhately

Re: The Rack
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2008, 07:41:16 PM »
I wasn't sure how much detail would be appropriate at this time.  The big question is whether origins of a supernatural or psionic bent are appropriate, or if you want to stay more towards mutants and cyborgs.  I'm just not sure.  But here's what I've got.

My character is one of those guys with a schism.  He has a normal identity, and a powered identity.  His powered identity is put on this Earth to punish the wicked.  However, he has incredibly broad personal latitude in how he pursues that mission.  He's not required to be impartial about it, or even to refrain from self-aggrandizement.  The long and short of it is that he can see the sins a person has committed in their aura.  He's allowed to punish people sevenfold for the wrongs they have committed.  To that end, he can transform into what he calls the Hellhound.  It's a larger, monstrous form that appears demonic, monstrous, like a slightly wolf-inspired gargoyle of some kind.  The exact appearance is negotiable.  In this form he's fast, strong, tough as nails, and supernaturally capable of tracking his quarry.  Once he's on you, you're not likely to get away from him.  I'm pretty sure I can build even the fairly esoteric powers easily using M&M's system.  Stat-wise, he probably looks most like a brick, but dropping the huge levels of flight and the superstrength to buy things that make him an ultra-predator.

To put it bluntly, he likes to hunt down supervillainess types and engage in traditional dominance displays.  His everyday human ID is probably more than a little freaked out by this, but he enjoys it too much to actually stop.

Offline WyzardWhately

Re: The Rack
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2008, 07:47:33 PM »
Addendum:  He probably has some specialized social skills, as well.  Mechanically, this is represented by a number of ranks in Intimidate and the feat that lets you lock people up if they can't beat your check with a will save.  Roleplay-wise, he can confront people with all their dark secrets in such a way as to psychologically break them down.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: The Rack
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2008, 08:32:24 PM »
Quote
My character is one of those guys with a schism.  He has a normal identity, and a powered identity.

Question: can the character change at will?  Is he like Captain Marvel or is he like Hulk?

Quote
His powered identity is put on this Earth to punish the wicked.  However, he has incredibly broad personal latitude in how he pursues that mission.  He's not required to be impartial about it, or even to refrain from self-aggrandizement.  The long and short of it is that he can see the sins a person has committed in their aura.  He's allowed to punish people sevenfold for the wrongs they have committed.

See, Vandal likes Ostrander because he scribed Suicide Squad.  I love Ostrander because he penned The Spectre.  This totally sounds like The Spectre and I think it's awesome! ::wiggles fingers::

Quote
To that end, he can transform into what he calls the Hellhound.  It's a larger, monstrous form that appears demonic, monstrous, like a slightly wolf-inspired gargoyle of some kind.  The exact appearance is negotiable.  In this form he's fast, strong, tough as nails, and supernaturally capable of tracking his quarry.  Once he's on you, you're not likely to get away from him.  I'm pretty sure I can build even the fairly esoteric powers easily using M&M's system.  Stat-wise, he probably looks most like a brick, but dropping the huge levels of flight and the superstrength to buy things that make him an ultra-predator.

Now he sounds like Sabretooth!  Awesome. :D

Offline WyzardWhately

Re: The Rack
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2008, 08:38:49 PM »
Question: can the character change at will?  Is he like Captain Marvel or is he like Hulk?

Little of column A, little of column B.  He has to be angry to change.  He can usually work himself up to switch over in fairly short order.  However, he can also change involuntarily if he gets too pissed off.  I'd say that means you could actually shut him down by shooting him full of tranquilizers, e.g. Thorazine.

I'm glad you're pleased.  I really think these games work better if everyone likes each other's character concepts, and can see how they fit together. 

So, you think that Iron Age is worth looking at?

Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2008, 08:43:57 PM »
Glad to find you so engaged, Wyzard.  That is definitely an asset to the game.

I will review your ideas with comments of my own, but will begin by saying that I greatly enjoy "The Spectre" as well, and find the idea of a schism character splendid for Omega Black.  Perhaps his "normal identity" stays with them in the hopes that they can control the Hellhound.

I wasn't sure how much detail would be appropriate at this time.  The big question is whether origins of a supernatural or psionic bent are appropriate, or if you want to stay more towards mutants and cyborgs.  I'm just not sure.  But here's what I've got.

Supernatural is just fine.  I welcome any origin.

My character is one of those guys with a schism.  He has a normal identity, and a powered identity.  His powered identity is put on this Earth to punish the wicked.  However, he has incredibly broad personal latitude in how he pursues that mission.  He's not required to be impartial about it, or even to refrain from self-aggrandizement.  The long and short of it is that he can see the sins a person has committed in their aura.  He's allowed to punish people sevenfold for the wrongs they have committed.  To that end, he can transform into what he calls the Hellhound.  It's a larger, monstrous form that appears demonic, monstrous, like a slightly wolf-inspired gargoyle of some kind.  The exact appearance is negotiable.  In this form he's fast, strong, tough as nails, and supernaturally capable of tracking his quarry.  Once he's on you, you're not likely to get away from him.  I'm pretty sure I can build even the fairly esoteric powers easily using M&M's system.  Stat-wise, he probably looks most like a brick, but dropping the huge levels of flight and the superstrength to buy things that make him an ultra-predator.

Very good concept.  It fits well with the team - their mission and their attitude.  Given that you know how to work with M&M 2nd Edition, I am excited to see how you put this into numbers.

To put it bluntly, he likes to hunt down supervillainess types and engage in traditional dominance displays...

Yes. Marvelous.  Precisely what one would hope for in this game.  "Traditional dominance displays."

I have also reviewed your recent entries and find that I like your work, especially the attention to detail.  I also like what I read on your O&O last post.

You are most definitely approved, Wyzard.  Welcome to The Rack.

Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2008, 08:46:24 PM »
Now he sounds like Sabretooth!  Awesome. :D

I had a Sabretooth visual for the image of his physique.  Some horrible pitbull maw for the head, though.

Offline WyzardWhately

Re: The Rack
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2008, 08:55:37 PM »
Should I assume PL 10?  I think his normal ID stays with them because this way he knows he's going to be sent after the worst of the worst.  They help him direct energies that might otherwise be sent after people who are less deserving of the Hellhound's tender mercies.  Also, they let him keep himself isolated.  He has trouble getting along in normal society (Never know when you might run into a bad guy at the meat counter, and suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to run him through the salami-slicing machine.)  They give him a place where he is valued and accepted for the very things that make him a freak.  I think he's got a powerful "company man" kind of thing going, even though he doesn't always like the things he does on their behalf.

Oh.  I'd like him to have an NPC handler.  This could be a challenge, actually.  I'm thinking of...not actually a dominatrix type, because she isn't out to demean him.  And yet, definitely in charge of his ass.  She'd have to be pretty morally pure to keep from setting off his reflexes, but still able to manipulate him.  Maybe the aforementioned psychiatrist?  I don't know if that's workable or fits in, but the contrast between the predator and the patient interests me.


Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2008, 09:02:17 PM »
Should I assume PL 10?  I think his normal ID stays with them because this way he knows he's going to be sent after the worst of the worst.  They help him direct energies that might otherwise be sent after people who are less deserving of the Hellhound's tender mercies.  Also, they let him keep himself isolated.  He has trouble getting along in normal society (Never know when you might run into a bad guy at the meat counter, and suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to run him through the salami-slicing machine.)  They give him a place where he is valued and accepted for the very things that make him a freak.  I think he's got a powerful "company man" kind of thing going, even though he doesn't always like the things he does on their behalf.

Yes, PL 10, 150PP, no more than two Drawbacks.  And your synopsis as to his motivations regarding staying with Omega Black are just as I'd expect.  Sounds good.

Oh.  I'd like him to have an NPC handler.  This could be a challenge, actually.  I'm thinking of...not actually a dominatrix type, because she isn't out to demean him.  And yet, definitely in charge of his ass.  She'd have to be pretty morally pure to keep from setting off his reflexes, but still able to manipulate him.  Maybe the aforementioned psychiatrist?  I don't know if that's workable or fits in, but the contrast between the predator and the patient interests me.

I will formulate a list of the NPCs in a bit, given that the current introduction sequence has nearly introduced all of them.  I think the dynamic you propose is great; totally fits in.


Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: The Rack
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2008, 09:16:13 PM »
Wyz, you could buy a lower-level sidekick or minion.

Minions are treated like cannon fodder.

Sidekicks are treated like heroes, but are more expensive.

But... you probably know this. :D

Offline WyzardWhately

Re: The Rack
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2008, 11:29:48 PM »
Hellhound
Concept: Avenging Monster
Hero Points: 3
Allegiance: Retribution  (Go watch the Watchmen trailer and listen to the way Rorscharch pronounces this word)
Description:  A seven-foot-tall gargoyle-like monstrosity.  Stick horns and bat-wings on a Crinos werewolf (from white wolf's games) and you're pretty close.  He's a little more anthropomorphised than that, but not much.  His invulnerability is less flashy-looking than Superman's bullets-bounce-off-me thing.  His body just soaks up attacks like they were nothing.  He's probably got some kind of mystical Word of Inviolability on him or something, but in any case attacks seem to be absorbed rather than deflected.

Str: 10 (34+12)
Dex: 10
Con: 34 +12
Int: 10
Wis: 14 +2
Cha: 12 +1
[30]

Combat:
Attack +3 ( +8 melee )
Defense 18
[22]

Feats:
Attack Focus: Melee x 5
All-out Attack
Power Attack
Chokehold
Improved Critical: Unarmed (19-20)
Improved Grab
Stunning Attack
Luck x 2
Fearless
Fascinate: Intimidate
Startle
[16]

Saves:
Toughness +12
Fort: +12
Ref: +6
Will: +11
[9]

Skills:
Sense Motive: +12 (14)
Intimidate: +12  (13)
Survival: +8 (10)
Notice: +12 (14)
Search: +8
Stealth: +8
[15]

Powers
+24 Strength: Alternate: Drain any one trait, 10 + Slow Fade x 4 (1 hour).  Alternate: Hellfire Blast: Conical Area 8
Impervious Toughness +12
Flight 5, 250 MPH
Sin-Sight (super-sense: Accurate, Acute.  3 points.  This is a mental sense, although it manifests visually.  He can see the evil a person has done, or the weights on their conscience, as images in a sort of aura around them.  Itís entirely reasonable to require notice or sense motive tests against their Will defense, or their Bluff skill, IMHO.)
Scent:  Accurate, Acute, Tracking 3, Extended 3 [~2 mile increment]
[60]


158
Drawbacks:
Normal Identity:  Takes at least two rounds, depending on how angry he is.  -5
Involuntary Transformation: Major Intensity, Uncommon, 3 points.  Kenneth changes if he gets too angry for his own good.  Hellhound changes if someone somehow makes him stop being angry - or alternately when exposed to an innocent praying to banish him.
Complications:
Obsession:  Punishing sinners.
Reputation:  The Hellhound is a horrifying scary evil motherfucker, according to most.  Everybody has something on their conscience, or thinks they do, and the idea of being around someone whose job it is to punish you for it, even if you don't believe the supernatural-origin hype, is disconcerting at best. 
-8

PP Total: 150


Kenneth Shepherd
Concept: Basket-Case
Description:  Kenneth is a slightly strung-out young man in his early twenties.  He usually dresses in beat-up jeans and a worn hoodie that he wraps around himself like a security blanket.  He is simultaneously horrified by the things Hellhound does, and addicted to them.  Notably, his sin-sight doesn't work on himself in either form, so he has no idea as to own objective moral state.  He often speaks in a near-whisper, and is generally incredibly subdued unless something sets off his temper.
Hero Points: 3

Str 10
Dex 10
Con 14 +2
Int 10
Wis 14 +2
Cha 16 +2
[14]

Combat:
Attack: Melee +5
Defense: 15
[10]

Saves:
Toughness +2
Fort +2
Reflex
Will +2

Feats:
Luck x 2
Attractive
Melee Focus x 5
All-out Attack
Rage x 4  [Strength 20, +7 Fort and Will, Defense 13]
[13]

Skills:
Sense Motive +4 (6)
Bluff +4 (7/11)
Diplomacy +4 (7/11)
Notice +4 (6)
Stealth +4 (6)
[5]

Powers:
Sin-Sight: 3 points
[3]

[45]

Complications:
Temper
Addiction: Being Hellhound.  It's the only time he has purely positive feelings about himself and what he does.  Also, I think Kenneth might actually be a virgin, in his normal form...
Secret/Reputation:  It tends to cause problems for Kenneth when people find out that he's really Hellhound
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 10:55:42 AM by WyzardWhately »

Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2008, 11:42:32 PM »
Real Name: Kenneth Shepherd
Costumed ID: Hellhound...

What a bruiser.  I pity the fool already.

He's looking pretty good to me, but I'm still at the shake and bake stage of discerning character creation.  After mulling awhile, I'll put the 'APPROVED' stamp on him, possibly with edits.

As for the NPCs ... chat room you say, eh? 

If I don't find you there, I'll be coming up with a list of the NPCs a little later tonight, or tomorrow morning.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: The Rack
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2008, 11:54:35 PM »
I have a few problems with the character:

1.  He has 25 feats, not 24.
2.  He doesn't have a reflex save.
3.  His drawback isn't actually a drawback:  his normal transformation into a super-powered transformation isn't a drawback.  If there was a way for mean and ugly to go back to being meek, then that's the key to the drawback.
4.  There is little differentiation between Kenneth and Hellhound in the current build.
5.  There are 80 PPs used in the powers part.

Otherwise, a mean, powerful build.  Though I didn't imagine that you had a paragon in mind when you were describing your feral character.  ::laughs::  The thought of Sabretooth flying terrifies me.

Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2008, 12:00:28 AM »
I have a few problems with the character:

1.  He has 25 feats, not 24.
2.  He doesn't have a reflex save.
3.  His drawback isn't actually a drawback:  his normal transformation into a super-powered transformation isn't a drawback.  If there was a way for mean and ugly to go back to being meek, then that's the key to the drawback.
4.  There is little differentiation between Kenneth and Hellhound in the current build.
5.  There are 80 PPs used in the powers part.

Those would be problems, yes - especially 1, 2, 3 and 5.  We can fix that readily.

I will look this over more thoroughly soon.  I would allow the +0 Reflex save, but that does seem a tad odd to me.  It suggests he is truly slow.  Is that what we want?


Offline WyzardWhately

Re: The Rack
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2008, 12:33:32 AM »
Well, it is just a first draft.  I always end up revising these like three times or more.  I'll work it over again tomorrow.  But thanks for telling me what needs fixed, at least.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: The Rack
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2008, 12:44:59 AM »
You know, there should be like a caveat for your character, Wiz.

Hellhound should have 150 PP;

Kenneth should have 30-45 pp (level 2pp).

That way, you can create both characters without the stats of each stacking with one another.

I tried figuring out a way for your character to have a mechanism which transforms him, y'know?  I thought about Gestalt and Alternate Form, but they'd start getting somewhat complicated.

After some thinking, I don't think your character is like Sabretooth, but like Captain Marvel from Bizarro World (and I dig that, too). ;D

Offline VandalSavageTopic starter

Re: The Rack
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2008, 12:47:31 AM »
You know, there should be like a caveat for your character, Wiz.

Hellhound should have 150 PP;

Kenneth should have 30-45 pp (level 2pp).

That way, you can create both characters without the stats of each stacking with one another.

I like that idea.  And let's have Hellhound have Involuntary Transformation, much like the "Savage Man Beast" Archetype.  One caveat, though: Let's come up with a way that the Involuntary works both ways - meaning, a way that Hellhound can be forced back into Kenneth form.