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Author Topic: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game  (Read 584 times)

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Online ValerianTopic starter

GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« on: May 16, 2018, 09:08:01 PM »
I'm not much of a GM, but I'd be willing to co-GM if there's someone who'd like to help out.

The setting is modern-day Earth, with the only unusual aspect being the existence of a relative handful of super-powered individuals.  The few who have these abilities are often associated with governments or law enforcement somehow, though there are also plenty of free agents, on both sides of the law.

Then a worldwide catastrophe hits -- an alien invasion, a series of natural disasters, or even a super villain's scheme that causes far more devastation than even the villain expected.  The governments of the world are doing their best to hide the truth, but the fact is that the world is very likely headed for annihilation, and the current heroes have far more than they can handle.  They've suffered heavy losses and there's no end in sight.  So the world turns to you, the player characters.

The PCs will all be former heroes who have retired from saving the world and now lead normal lives -- or as normal as they can, at least.  They all had good reasons for retiring and aren't exactly eager to leap back into the fight, but the fate of the world is at stake and someone has to step up.

I'd prefer some kind of system, if only to help resolve combat and keep the characters balanced, but this doesn't need to be anything fancy and some sort of basic homebrew system would be fine.  Every character would also need a reason why they retired, though this could be as straightforward as having decided they were too old for this crap.  There would also be plenty of opportunities to work out past relationships and rivalries among the characters.

Any GM takers?  Player interest?

Offline Sun Wukong

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 01:46:29 PM »
I'll definitely give some thought to Co-GM'ing something like this with you if you'll have me. I was looking to run something small-ish but also something where I'm Co-GM could work well.

The only doubt I have is the system bit as I don't know any and I've never homebrewed a system before but I'd be up for figuring that out.

Offline TFcommando

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 06:45:55 PM »
Would the supers be returning to the fight after retirement, taking on the threat directly, or helping to take OVER the fight, assuming a significant leadership role with the government?  I had sort of a Squadron Supreme vibe from the description.

I'm a big system fan and suggest Mutants and Masterminds 3e.  I'll gladly help out with character building for the people who aren't as inclined to it.

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 06:59:02 PM »
Would the supers be returning to the fight after retirement, taking on the threat directly, or helping to take OVER the fight, assuming a significant leadership role with the government?  I had sort of a Squadron Supreme vibe from the description.

I'm a big system fan and suggest Mutants and Masterminds 3e.  I'll gladly help out with character building for the people who aren't as inclined to it.

It could be any of those options, really -- I didn't want to settle too many details in case an interested GM wanted to put their own spin on the general idea.

Mutants and Masterminds would certainly work, though I only have second edition at the moment.  If we can get a bit more interest I might take the plunge and pick up 3e.

A smallish group would be fine, though, and once character creation is done any system would only really have to come out during combat.  I prefer systems largely because they help a lot to keep things balanced.  :)

Offline Muse

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Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2018, 09:34:02 PM »
  I'd be interested to play if you have the space.  :) 

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2018, 06:16:28 AM »
Oh, we've got lots of space at the moment.  ::)  Though as I said, a small group (3-6) would work fine.  We don't need to recruit an entire team of Avengers or anything.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2018, 06:14:31 PM »
Valerian, do you mind if I ask what the sacred cows are for your particular concept?  Few supers.  Retired supers.  Would you consider something like Necessary Evil (if not the system itself)?

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2018, 06:39:54 PM »
I don't know Savage Worlds though I can always learn.  Part of me feels like Necessary Evil is jinxed since I've seen at least five different versions of it get started, here and on other sites, only to have the game fall apart before it really gets going.  :/  I'm not much for playing villains myself, even semi-reformed ones, though as long as my character doesn't have to be insanely evil I could work with it.  Actually, a lot of really insanely evil characters was probably a big part of the reason why those games fell apart, now that I think about it.

The idea was probably partly inspired by that module somewhere in the back of my mind, but I thought the retired angle might be a good spin.  Since there are few heroes, the odds are they all worked together (or perhaps sparred with each other) previously and they'd be renewing old connections here.  Though apparently there isn't a lot of interest in playing older characters, unfortunately.

tl;dr  Sure, I'd consider Necessary Evil with the right group / GM.  ::)

Offline MasterMischief

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2018, 09:11:35 PM »
I did not mean that to sound like I was pitching Savage Worlds or Necessary Evil precisely.  I was just trying to get a feel for what you were after.  I am interested but hesitate to commit (llamas are notorious for their fear of commitment).  Older, retired heroes is not sparking my muse.  So I was feeling out how much leeway there might be and how open you might be to other set ups.

Unfortunately, I do not have anything better to pitch at the moment.  I am still interested.  I love me some superheroes and I am a big fan of M&M 2e.  I am actually a big fan of G.U.R.P.S. as well, but usually not for supers.

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2018, 07:25:51 PM »
Yeah, retired heroes don't seem to be sparking many muses, sadly.   ::)  I would at least consider similar options, though as far as somewhat reluctant heroes, retired and criminal are about the only two options I can think of.  I have the book for M&M 2e but none of the games I've tried in that system have gotten very far, so I don't have a lot of experience with the system.  I've played GURPS supers, though I can understand that it isn't for everybody in that genre.  It gets pretty crunchy.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2018, 09:45:05 PM »
I have seen many group games suffer an untimely demise.  I am skeptical it has much to do with any particular system.  I think it is just the nature of trying to get a handful of people commited to something online for an extended period.

GURPS is an excellent system.  I played it exclusively for many years.  And I played many a super hero campaign with it.  I challenge anyone to say GURPS can not do supers.  I do think GURPS brings a gritty realism to supers that can clash with some people's expectations and personally, something I prefer left out of my supers games.

I think M&M 2e can provide some semblance of balance for character creation and with enough handwavium, fade into the background to focus on plot.  GURPS could be as well, but I think those unfamiliar with the system would require a lot of hand holding during character creation.

I am still considering this, but I can not make any promises.  Llama.  Fear of commitment.

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2018, 12:51:44 PM »
Oh, I've had many a good GURPS campaign myself, including several good supers games, and even a tongue-in-cheek supers game, Mystery Men-style.  But GMs do need to know when to handwave in any system, and I know players can be intimidated by character creation in systems like GURPS in particular.  Heck, I have yet to create a Mutants & Masterminds character all on my own.  But a system is nearly always the best way to keep things balanced and make sure everyone can have a useful character.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2018, 03:07:35 PM »
I like systems for the common reference point.

"I'm super strong!"  Well, what the hell does that mean?  Are we talking tons or 100s of tons?  A systems gives most everyone an idea of what a given character is capable of.  It sounds like we are on the same page there.

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2018, 09:51:50 AM »
So is there anyone else who might be interested in the villain version?  Or possibly a variation featuring retired villains?   ::)

Offline Swordsman18

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Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2018, 01:59:23 PM »
Why not use RISUS? It is all about cliches, allows for the free form solving of problems and is extremely simple but can be made as complicated as we desire.

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/170294


Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2018, 06:27:42 PM »
I don't know Risus, but I'm always willing to learn a new system if it means the chance of an interesting game!   ;D

Offline Muse

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Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2018, 10:52:48 AM »
  I'd normally prefer a hero game--unless Villains were being villainous in deliciously erotic ways. 

Offline TFcommando

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2018, 11:11:49 PM »
There's no reason heroes can't be kinky.  For starters, a typical heroic evening begins with taking your clothes off in an alley to put on something that's skin tight or skimpy, leather, spandex or both.  You then fly or jump over the city, looking for other people dressed the way you are, or peeking through windows and skylights at who knows what.  If you find a villain, you jump in and start wrestling with them.  You often blow off dates with normal people to do this.

There is a lot of overlap between "Chaste and pure" and "Good" (witness how heroes who are turned evil get skimpy costumes) and there really shouldn't be today.  Especially in a game created here! :)  Adam Warren's Empowered has a lot of exploration of super heroic sex and romance.  Batman and Catwoman started hooking up while on the job, which lead to them getting married. 

It'd be fun to have a more sex-positive supers game, where a hero could be "out" about their kinks and sexuality.  I want to say "Like Apollo and Midnighter" but I'm not sure they ever discussed it with the public, spending almost all their time on the Carrier in-between dimensions.

Alternately, a game that starts where the "typical comic book" status quo about sex has been shaken up.  A villain or crossover event unleashed deep-seated desires or caused perverse transformations in a team or the whole city... the villain was defeated and the changes (mostly?) undone, but not everything goes back to normal in the aftermath... everyone remembers what they did and were like and some liked it and continue to explore it with new costumes and interests.

And here's a picture of Midnight from My Hero Academia, who is not only a respected hero, but also a high school teacher in that costume.




Don't mean to thread jack, just wanted to get those ideas off my chest.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 11:13:10 PM by TFcommando »

Offline Swordsman18

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Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2018, 10:59:07 AM »
Valerian, were you wanting a older heroes or an older villains campaign? Both are workable in my opinion.

Option A:
After a brilliant hero or a rather industrious human made robots that could mimic the abilities of superheroes, the human or previously human heroes were made obsolete. Those who wanted to be a hero either needed to beat the areas of deployment of the bots or go off world. Eventually of course the Hero Droids covered the globe, solving all sorts of problems the heroes could not have even hoped to solve. They did not get tired, did not sleep, eat or do what the human heroes had to which took them away. So things like hunger, war, disease were problems that the HDs took care of. The people of Earth were beginning to live in a utopia enforced by this robotic force that had the powers of their once human paragons.

5 years in, violent crime is nearly non-existent. Murder happens but the culprit is caught within the hour after. Mass murder is not a thing at all. Villains super or otherwise are locked away in prisons guarded by whole squads of HDs. Escapes have been attempted but none have been successful.

Earth was now held together in peace by the HDs until a new threat arose. A corruption in one of the HDs exposed to higher level energies, has led to a problem. One that usually other HDs would solve. But the adaptive AI that each HD is equipped with allows for this one to escape capture. Its intimate knowledge of the HDs, their network and their functioning leads to The Shutdown. Its hack is so successful that the entire network is brought back to a clean slate. No other HD is functional. Its initial threat handled it decides that the next thing that needs to be dealt with is humanity.

Heroes may be needed to step in to deal with a world that relied too heavily on the HDs. Or else all the peace they may come to know might be just a precursor to their end.

TLDR: Someone makes and mass produces good Sentinels, that the world comes to rely on as they are more productive than humans. They solve not only heroic issues of super villainy but also disease, hunger, poverty, and war. 5 years later they have made a sort of utopian police state. One of them gets corrupted, takes all of the others out. And now plans on wiping out humans.

Option B:

Heroes were the continual thorn in the sides of the villains who only wanted to assert their freedom. And they may have wanted to hurt some people but that was besides the point. It was like a game or war of attrition. One side would get a small victory and then the other side would get one. The back and forth tug of war. Someone needed to be in it to win it all. And someone was. Only known as the Mystic, a man bent on using magics to finally win the war on the side of villainy.

He set a series of events in motion, where the heroes would go up against a number of increasing figures. This continued till the heroes were battling near apocalyptic events almost weekly. A few villains got thrown in and a few died from these events. The heroes were having no down time. Humanity was losing people by the hundreds of thousands. And the Mystic was sitting back watching it all unfold. He then finally reached out to offer the heroes a deal. It would all stop, all end, but they had to agree to something.

And all the heroes of the world to save humanity, and prevent further tragedy apparently disappeared. The only thing left on the Earth were the villains and their potential victims. However, the Mystic's plan had left the Earth damaged. Various natural and magical disasters had befallen the Earth in his plan. Major cities were ruins of their former selves. Disease, famine, poverty, and disaster were rampant. So it was now up to the villains to decide what they wanted to do with this broken world.

And oddly enough, the Mystic was no longer there to act behind the scenes.

TLDR: A super powerful magical guy, used his powers to manipulate the forces of nature, magic and other villains to wear down the heroes. Lots of people died. Heroes were then forced into some kind of deal. At the formation of this deal heroes past and present disappeared from Earth. The powerful magical guy disappeared too. And so the villains are left with a ravaged Earth to be their playground or possibly help rebuild.

Online ValerianTopic starter

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2018, 11:15:20 AM »
I was hoping for something along the lines of Option A, ideally, though unfortunately that idea doesn't seem to be attracting a lot of definite interest so far.  It seemed to me that playing a hero of at least 35 instead of the usual college age kid would make an interesting role-play challenge and allow for some more varied backgrounds and relationships amongst the characters, but it's the villain option that seems to be getting more traction.  And I'm willing to try the villain option but I suspect that might need a stronger GM hand to avoid the inherent problem in many groups of villains -- namely that they don't tend to be team players and there can be a lot of IC friction.

I'm also not really looking for anything at all smut-heavy, just to be clear, so TFcommando's idea is a little far afield for my tastes, though I'm sure that could be an interesting angle for those who are so inclined.  :)

Offline TFcommando

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2018, 11:58:58 AM »
Option A seems like it might get grim fast.  The Hero Droids were preventing war, crime, famine, disease and more are all gone.  They were the pillar to civilization and that pillar just collapsed.  Even if that was the only problem in the setting, it'd be a huge one.  But with one having gone bad and actively working to destroy humanity, it could use that vacuum to promote the social problems it had previously prevented.   The heroes might have to take over the role of the droids in running society and that gets messy and rather far afield of a typical supers game.

Playing more mature heroes is fun though.

Offline Swordsman18

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Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2018, 10:15:40 PM »
I have thought about it and considered how another idea might work.

Neighborhood Watch

So the world experienced a virus that seemed to be like a flu of some type. Except as it reached epidemic levels, it was not fatal. Instead it left 30% of its victims with superpowers. Thus in much of the world there are people with superpowers. Some are like Superman or other classics, while others have less obvious abilities. Rather than be ruled over by the strong or overpowered, cities were broken up into districts or neighborhoods depending on population density.

People would thus be assigned to watch their neighborhood. Regular Police would still exist but they would allow the neighborhood to regulate itself when powers start getting brought out. Our characters would be people randomly assigned or even volunteered to be apart of the Neighborhood Watch. And we do not need to be the first. It could have been a while since everyone got their powers. So we could have mature characters as well as younger ones.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: GM Wanted for a Slightly Different Supers Game
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2018, 03:09:31 AM »
No idea if you folks are still looking for ideas/suggestions, but I figured I might as well throw in my small coin and offer an idea that I intend to run in a RL game:

Time travel.

All the characters are suddenly brought to a horrible future and are told what will happen that creates this future. They will then be sent back to their own time with some instructions what they should do to prevent the catastrophy. This setup allows for very different characters to be brought together, young, old, villains, heroes, and gives them a motivation that should allow even villains to work with heroes (after all, which villain wants to rule over a dead ball of rock without any people to rule over?).

Also, if villains can be player characters, do not be afraid to ask players if they would be okay with playing the villain only occassionaly. Some people love to make new characters. Someone can play a villain at first and then hand over that character to the GM to be played as an NPC while making a new hero character. People don't have to be bound by their initial choices, as long as the world they are playing in remains constant. It should work, as long as everyone understands that once a character becomes an NPC the GM has control over that character. No back talking, no second guessing what the GM does with that character.