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Updated my signature to point to the current schedule/character preferences and details.

 

So far Tuesday is the largest matching date for everyone that I see, although I'd enjoy it more often if possible.

 

Hmmm although two groups, one with the whole group and one with half the group could work too. Lesser adventures and normal riffraff seems more likely (stuff that isn't overarching and would be easy to wrap up before the next full group session) like taking out bank robbers and when seen in the news or the like the character would offhand it as 'Last Tuesday? I was just taking out the trash...' like it was nothing, or assisting police with a mystery and murder, maybe a more skills based sessions and 'Where in the world is Carmen Santiago' feel, or maybe someone with a DNPC get's kidnapped by a group or person who's less powerful...

 

Hmmm... now I got all these ideas in my head...

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Tuesday works for me.

 

I pitch this. The world has adapted to the presence of supers. Insurance companies offered protection policies, reality supers tv has been a thing, and all the super villains are locked away safely in prison, on the moon. Until that fatal day when the event now known as the Cataclysm occurred, wiping out Earth's supers. Except for (player character X), who must now recruit a new team from the super prison on the moon.

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I am not interested in playing a reformed or reforming villain, even though I enjoy those story lines in comics. I would not mind having to clean-up the breakout, but I do not wish to be part of the breakout.

 

Ken

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I pitch this <snip> and all the super villains are locked away safely in prison, on the moon. Until that fatal day <snip> wiping out Earth's supers. Except for (player character X), who must now recruit a new team from the super prison on the moon.

From or For the super prison? From suggests reformed criminals... which would work... probably. Afterall, not being bored out of your mind, getting paid and getting your sentence removed in exchange for some service... new identity and starting a new life...

 

The only part of the idea I dislike is that all of earth's super heroes are 'wiped out'. Maybe a number retired, or had to go on a big mission and the most powerful ones are gone leaving a number of cities with less powerful heroes that aren't quite enough to keep up with the demand?

 

 

I like the One Punch Man world/theme where there's heroes and villains cropping up all the time, so while there might be a prison on the moon (like MIB3)... that would only be for the most severe cases of criminals and villains, while lower leveled ones might be put into a special prison... Say anyone with a max of 50 active points of any powers would be possibly confined while anyone higher would go to the moon.

 

An earth prison would PROBABLY have an AOE drain on all characteristics & powers (say 50pt drain, down to no higher/lower than 10 active points) effectively turning anyone on the prison into a normal person. Sure some could still have a high strength or recovery or the like, but they'd still be more or less normal.

 

I suppose it really comes down to if this is going to be local or international/world. Til we hit 500pts i doubt we'd be the supers of the world, i'd still want to restrict it to a city/state, or a country maybe the size of Australia.

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I like 400 point caps with characters built on 450 or so. This allows a few supers who have been in business for awhile to step up and fill the role that perhaps is a bit ahead of them. The extra points spread the characters out, bases, vehicles, a wider range in their multi powers, etc.

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Here's my elevator pitch for a setting:

30 minutes into the future...
Several advances in automation have led a reduction in the jobs available and social unrest is following.  While food riots are not yet on the menu, the general trend of even more increasing automation is making social scientists and economists to wear their worry hats.  In addition, several advances have been made in human augmentation.

Don't you want to let me out of the box?
Advances in computer technology have lead to the birth of artificial sapience, or true AI.  While the exact conditions that create a true AI aren't exactly replicable, people have a reasonable idea on how to make conditions favorable for the birth of one.  As the first AIs were create for things like electronic warfare, corporate espionage, or sending out large amounts of spam, there is a general negative perception of true AIs, and their exact legal status is still open to question.

Shadows from the past
There are several conspiratorial groups who are the inheritors of truly ancient legacies.  Some are even controlled by truly old beings, so it's not even a matter of 'inheritance'.  Many of these groups are powerful, with influence in many places, and none of them would hesitate in trying to bring a revealed supherhuman under their power.

The quick version of the setting would be something like Legend of Korra meets Deus Ex.

Villains would largely be ideaologically driven, possibly even with admirable goals, but it's their means that make them villains.  So a true victory over the villain is not to kill them, but to convince them to stop being an asshole.

Examples: Magneto, Ras al Ghul

Or they are defending their already established position of power
Examples: Lex Luthor, Doctor Doom

The general social unrest is there to add some support for the less interesting smash and grab type villains.  And to present problems to the heroes that they'd have a hard time solving by punching.

Examples: violent luddites, various protestors


----------------

Things that I think a superhero setting needs to address:

Loss of the monopoly of force
In normal society, it's the police who deal with crinimals, not untrained yahoos in their pajamas.  The only real reason for the guy in the pajamas to be needed is if the police can't deal with the criminals.  So the police must have help from pajama man.

Why you wear a mask
But then the question becomes, why doesn't Peter Parker get made a deputy, get actual law enforcement training, and so on.  That is, why do supers (in general) not want to work for the man?

If we look at the film Avengers, for example, they aren't 'really' superheroes, they are a special law enforcement/national defense team who traditionally wears masks.  Just like some Scottish regiments wear kilts.

So my setting proposal says that the government monopoly of force never really existed.  There were always the Brotherhood of Assassins, the students of the Eight Immortals, the Makhzen, or whoever influencing how things went.  So superhumans aren't police (or whatever) because the groups who mostly actually run things find it generally much more useful for their superhumans to be much more operationally flexible.  And if some superhuman did try to join the police (or whatever) then they'd most likely find themselves recruited by an actual conspiracy or killed off as a threat.

 

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I like 400 point caps with characters built on 450 or so. This allows a few supers who have been in business for awhile to step up and fill the role that perhaps is a bit ahead of them. The extra points spread the characters out, bases, vehicles, a wider range in their multi powers, etc.

 

I don't much mind 'free' points for stuff like bases, vehicles, and followers, but find 'extra' points tends to make characters you don't tend to have disads on their powers; and disads on their powers is part of what makes characters interesting.

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but find 'extra' points tends to make characters you don't tend to have disads on their powers; and disads on their powers is part of what makes characters interesting.

Hmmm.. in the one game I actually played 10 years ago (5E, Brightwood in NC) a lot of your powers get a LOT of disadvantages. I think the only time one of them hit/hurt was my Werewolf had a multipower boosting his strength well above the cap. The GM didn't approve it ahead of time, but it was present, so he quickly ruled that it was for extra strength during drains... which my character happened to be being drained at the time, so that worked just fine...

 

Then he fell into the river... the entire multipower had doesn't work underwater... Thankfully the NPC mage had TK and took me out of the water, else my negative strength character (for a few minutes) might have either died, or just taken a while to recover and catch up...

 

On the other hand he had regeneration for 8pts, which was awesome.

 

 

Disadvantages I usually had were like IIF/OIF, gestures, incantations, doesn't work in XY&Z (usually water, null-magic fields or intense magnetic fields) and a few standard other ones I picked up on that had little effect while brought powers down to a handful of points each.

 

 

But yeah, disadvantages make the characters and you make up details to work the details... So...

 

+2D6 HA (8pts)

 

is less interesting, than...

 

The Yoyo of justice!

+2D6 HA, Gestures (must be spinning or doing tricks to use), Incantations (monolog about how the yoyo will entangle them or something...), OAF (it's a yoyo), doesn't work underwater, doesn't work in intense magnetic fields (has metal parts). (3pts)

 

Having so many points to work with I know I feel more afraid of when my powers won't work, and thus I don't want to put disadvantages on, or as few as possible. I'm sure if I remade one of my submissions with 150+75 they would be just as strong, but a ton more disadvantages would be present, and thus they would probably be a lot more careful if/when they jump into combat with those in mind. Not to mention they'd completely ignore missions that hit their disadvantages. (We're going to fight the fish king in the ocean? Count me out...)

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Did anyone else have an opinion on

Loss of the monopoly of force and Why you wear a mask?

 

Part of the setting was made to accommodate the proposed characters I've seen from Era Scarecrow.  

 

Alas, Doctor Zen, since you didn't say anything about the aliens, I couldn't do much with them; but it's trivial to insert 'an evil corporation' into the setting.

 

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I did not mention the "aliens" because I was asking if aliens were going to be a recognized entity in the world, or if there were no aliens and none were wanted in the game. If aliens are in the universe, have they openly visited Earth? Have there been any alien invasion attempts? Are they peaceful or warlike? Are we negotiating with them? I was trying to get an idea of the current situation.

 

In the universe I am working on in my spare time, I have five different alien races, three of which are hostile, one is paternal and protective of lesser civilizations but aloof from them and one which is so far above lesser civilizations as we are to the slug.

 

But I could see a universe where there are no aliens (maybe Galactus ate them all!)

 

As for your Loss of the monopoly of force, you seem to be describing a situation where one of more "secret societies" actually rule everything and governments are merely scams that are used to keep the chattel slave citizens quiet. That is a cynical outlook beyond what I am looking for in my superhero gaming.

 

I do not know much of the Champions Universe, never having played in it before. So, I do not know what the "current" state of masked men in society and their relations with law enforcement agencies.

 

Why not work for the police/F.B.I./Homeland security/State-run Security groups? Because they have their own agendas and limitations that might not coincide with what is right. We do what we do because these agencies cannot or will not.

 

Why wear a mask? Because it is a trope of the genre for the most part and one I enjoy. In the current real world a costumed adventurer would be tracked down quickly and exposed/arrested/"recruited" for government work. Where's the fun in that?

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As for your Loss of the monopoly of force, you seem to be describing a situation where one of more "secret societies" actually rule everything and governments are merely scams that are used to keep the chattel slave citizens quiet. That is a cynical outlook beyond what I am looking for in my superhero gaming.

The backstory of the automata I made more or less follows that it was a secret project and a prototype for a police-state machine (US military black budget). An AI gains sentience (Google AI?) cleans and disconnects it, downloaded itself to the machine and fled. The setback delays progress of said machines 10 years. It's possible the automata retains blueprints so if worse comes to worse plans could be 'leaked' to another source so a matching army could stalemate the process (much like nuclear weapons with mutual assured destruction ensures no one uses them).

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The backstory of the automata I made more or less follows that it was a secret project and a prototype for a police-state machine (US military black budget). An AI gains sentience (Google AI?) cleans and disconnects it, downloaded itself to the machine and fled. The setback delays progress of said machines 10 years. It's possible the automata retains blueprints so if worse comes to worse plans could be 'leaked' to another source so a matching army could stalemate the process (much like nuclear weapons with mutual assured destruction ensures no one uses them).

 

Not really sure where this came from in reference to my statements. The original posting I was responding to stated:

 

"So my setting proposal says that the government monopoly of force never really existed.  There were always the Brotherhood of Assassins, the students of the Eight Immortals, the Makhzen, or whoever influencing how things went.  So superhumans aren't police (or whatever) because the groups who mostly actually run things find it generally much more useful for their superhumans to be much more operationally flexible.  And if some superhuman did try to join the police (or whatever) then they'd most likely find themselves recruited by an actual conspiracy or killed off as a threat."

 

There is no mention of AI (unless Makhzen is one, never heard of it) but of ancient groups running things behind the scenes which is manipulating which supers are allowed to operate and which are not and handcuffing this law enforcement agencies in their ability to respond to threats to civilians. If this was a Pulp game, an X-Files/Kolchak type of game, this would be fine. Knid of like The Nine in the Wold-Newton universe.

 

As for your escaped AI, sounds good as an idea, but it does not seem to be what Crusher Bob was referring to in his post.

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As for your escaped AI, sounds good as an idea, but it does not seem to be what Crusher Bob was referring to in his post.

I'm not sure either, i was trying to get clarification for a bit; Perhaps it's totally unrelated, or maybe it's not...

 

A downside of never being in the loop.

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Now, if one of the corrupted versions of the AI is the thing behind the scenes that was responsible for the proposed release of all the villains on the moon, that would be have been interesting. I just kept wondering how would the majority of the villains get to Earth? Villains are usually not the most cooperative of people (how else would the forces of good triumph?) and those that could travel through space to terra firma would leave the rest behind.

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[..]

 

Why not work for the police/F.B.I./Homeland security/State-run Security groups? Because they have their own agendas and limitations that might not coincide with what is right. We do what we do because these agencies cannot or will not.

 

Why wear a mask? Because it is a trope of the genre for the most part and one I enjoy. In the current real world a costumed adventurer would be tracked down quickly and exposed/arrested/"recruited" for government work. Where's the fun in that?

 

here's an attempt to expand on the ideas I presented earlier:

 

For a story about an individual superhuman, in a setting where superhumans aren't common, a personal reason to wear a mask is good enough.  But for a setting with many superhumans, it beggars belief that they will all independently have 'personal reasons' for wearing a mask.  So unless masks are terrible comfortable, and everyone will be wearing one soon, there needs to be some sort of general reason (or collection of general reasons) for people to wear masks. Villains seem to have obvious reasons to wear masks, but heroes, not so much.  Unless the villains are generally so powerful (and vile) that any hero needs to fear for their family.  Just like, say, Mexican anti-drug police tend to wear masks.

 

But hey, that's a setting where the government doesn't have a monopoly of force, and the villains are so powerful and vile that you don't want to be identified while heroing.  And the police themselves tend to be so corrupt that any person who would want to get some real heroing done wouldn't join up with them.  So we see that the drug war in Mexico is actually a pretty good super-hero setting.

 

In addition, in a setting with many superhumans, it makes sense that a significant portion of them would be enticed to work for those who already have power and money, because who doesn't like power and money?  So really, we'd expect most superhumans to work for the government, big corporations, or rich individuals.  So a setting where we want superheroes and supervillains, then the people in the world with power and money would have to generally support these categories.

 

Now let's glance back at Mexico as a superhero setting.  The first thought of any superhuman in Mexico is probably to get to Il Norte where, 'We'll skin your family alive if you don't work for us.' is not a common recruitment tactic used on superhumans.  But if we assume that they can't leave, then they are kinda in a fix.  They can try to hide their power, and live a normal life, but those aren't the sort of people we want to tell stories about.  So our superhumans tend to end up working for: the government, the drug cartels, powerful corporations, or powerful individuals.  Or, if they feel a particularly strong calling, they follow in the footsteps of El Santo and try to get some justice for the common folk.

 

So we see that modern day Mexico is actually a pretty good setting for superheroes.  But nobody wants to play that game because, 'We'll skin your family alive if you don't work for us.' is not something people want in the game.  So the nebulous conspiracy groups preform the same narrative function, they just aren't as vile about it.

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So it looks like there are 6 people interested, and I think the most available days are Tuesday, Friday or Saturday evenings. Please give a vote for the most desired day and start times, or if one of those days are not good for you. It also sounds like Bob is GMing, or at least being the first GM if we rotate which sounds like a good idea.

 

Not sure about everyone, but to use a defined world (like marvel) would be the easiest on most people. To try and make a world can take weeks of someone's time, let alone if we rotate GMs. There is a reason Marvel went to the real world compared to DC that tried to make up cities. The new GM may not want to invest large amounts of time learning a fictional world. If we use a fairly close to current world with powers thrown in, you can at least look at what is around the base city for inspiration. Look at the map of the base city and you can pull locations pretty easily.

 

Then as each GM does a scenario he can develop his villains or use a developed villain from existing comic lore, that would just require him to make up the actual characters. Also, when we change GMs the new GM is not hamstrung trying to use your villain or story line and can fairly easily pick up a new villain to throw at the group in his scenario.

 

The super prison in and of itself is not a bad idea, but if the next GM wants to do something different it can leave a big hole in the continuum. Maybe tone down the break to a couple villains not the whole prison. Then if the next GM wants to pick up on the story line he can, if not when you GM again you can pick up and bring one of the villains back that has been hiding out. This may allow us to start as a more episodic game instead of a huge novel.

 

Either way can we start to finalize the game and get started. The discussion has been going for a couple weeks with no sign of starting.

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“For a story about an individual superhuman, in a setting where superhumans aren't common, a personal reason to wear a mask is good enough. But for a setting with many superhumans, it beggars belief that they will all independently have 'personal reasons' for wearing a mask.”

 

It depends on how realistic you want the game world/comic world to be. Self-preservation from villains, media and the government seems to be enough of a personal reason to have a mask. Also, sometimes a hero just needs time to not be a hero and relax. How can you relax if every time you step out side of the house dozens of people are “There's Captain Justice walking his baby! Let's get his autograph!”

 

“Unless the villains are generally so powerful (and vile) that any hero needs to fear for their family. Just like, say, Mexican anti-drug police tend to wear masks.”

 

Half of Batman's Rogues Gallery would love to kill Bruce Wayne if they knew he was Batman. Flash's gallery mostly would not as they tended not be to killers. If you want realism in your game, then once a villain knew who Captain Justice is in real life, they would make his and his NPCs lives a living hell even without killing him or them.

 

“But hey, that's a setting where the government doesn't have a monopoly of force, and the villains are so powerful and vile that you don't want to be identified while heroing.  And the police themselves tend to be so corrupt that any person who would want to get some real heroing done wouldn't join up with them.  So we see that the drug war in Mexico is actually a pretty good super-hero setting.”

 

For a Dark Champions game, yes. For a Four Color game no. Drugs are a problem the heroics are not going to solve.

 

“In addition, in a setting with many superhumans, it makes sense that a significant portion of them would be enticed to work for those who already have power and money, because who doesn't like power and money? So really, we'd expect most superhumans to work for the government, big corporations, or rich individuals.”

 

For heroes who are not altruistic in why they are being a hero, that may be the case. But that is not a game world that I want to play in. All those groups have agendas that usually do not allow the people working for them to do what is right. It uses their resources to do what is right for them to continue in power or to make money. You may want to be Corporate Hero Guy, defender of name brands and protector of market share; or Government Guy, breaking up the protesters because they are from another party, or being sent into Kerplakistan to overthrow the freely elected leader because he's a socialist. But that is not part of the genre that Champions tries to represent.

 

“So we see that modern day Mexico is actually a pretty good setting for superheroes. But nobody wants to play that game because, 'We'll skin your family alive if you don't work for us.' is not something people want in the game. So the nebulous conspiracy groups preform the same narrative function, they just aren't as vile about it.”

 

I do not see how one or the other is any different. In the scenario you presented the nebulous background groups control everything and force people with powers to work for them. Just by the odds there would be some who would not do so unless you threatened them with death of their loved ones.

 

Your narrative background would be good in other games, but for a Champions game it is not in the genre that is trying to be represented. Dark Champions, Pulp, Shadowrun, some Fantasy, Science Fiction all could use this background.

 

In the end, I think we just have different ideas as to what kind of game we think superheroes should run around in. That is great, because it shows the flexibility of role-playing games in general and Hero in particular. You can play what you want with like-minded players. It just seems that you and I and not like-minded.

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Personally, I like the campaign setting that was offered with one hero having to recruit villains. I agree that all those organizations running everything is a bit dark for my tastes.

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Personally, I like the campaign setting that was offered with one hero having to recruit villains. I agree that all those organizations running everything is a bit dark for my tastes.

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I'm not really attached to this particular set of setting conceits, but I just feel that any settting has to answer why 'superheroes wear masks' as opposed to joining law enforcement or working for Médecins Sans Frontières, or whatever.  And why supervillains, whose main motivation if often getting money, could get an easy and fantastically paying job providing electrical power (or whatever) instead.

 

Sure you can just accept both of these things as genre conventions, and that works fine for a tactical game (e.g. Freedom Force) or for some stories (e.g. Confessions of a D-List Supervillain).  But making the excuse for things be 'genre convention' means that you can't really engage with them, because there's no real reason for them to happen.

 

Whereas a setting that gives some reason doesn't 'cost' anything, and lets you tell more engaging stories.  I put forward Mexico not 'good' as a 'setting for superheroes I'd want to play in' but 'good' as a setting for superheroes that provides easy answers to why superheroes and supervillains exist.

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I just feel that any setting has to answer why 'superheroes wear masks' <snip>

I put forward Mexico not 'good' as a 'setting for superheroes I'd want to play in' but 'good' as a setting for superheroes that provides easy answers to why superheroes and supervillains exist.

Hmmm in many comics there's strong organizations you really don't want issues with. The Kingpin comes to mind, corrupt government officials. While local law enforcement (police) might be on your side, the federal level might be against you (FBI, CIA, NSA, etc). And if you start getting enough attention to get caught on television, you suddenly have a target on your back, and hope your secret identity wasn't exposed...

 

At the very least people want to also live normal lives, and you can't do that if you're hounded constantly, getting swatted, or having your home surrounded by fans and enemies, protests and the like...

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I'm not really attached to this particular set of setting conceits, but I just feel that any settting has to answer why 'superheroes wear masks' as opposed to joining law enforcement or working for Médecins Sans Frontières, or whatever.  And why supervillains, whose main motivation if often getting money, could get an easy and fantastically paying job providing electrical power (or whatever) instead.

 

Sure you can just accept both of these things as genre conventions, and that works fine for a tactical game (e.g. Freedom Force) or for some stories (e.g. Confessions of a D-List Supervillain).  But making the excuse for things be 'genre convention' means that you can't really engage with them, because there's no real reason for them to happen.

 

Whereas a setting that gives some reason doesn't 'cost' anything, and lets you tell more engaging stories.  I put forward Mexico not 'good' as a 'setting for superheroes I'd want to play in' but 'good' as a setting for superheroes that provides easy answers to why superheroes and supervillains exist.

The same reason people are criminals today who have skills that could get them money in corporate America. They are anti-social people who would rather obtain the "good life" the "easy" way than working their entire lives. Why should Electro be any different from the guys running the Mafia? Some of those guys could do well as CEOs, but they don't. Electro could work of the power company, but why? He could rob some banks and retire (or so he thinks) instead of being the freak who happens to be a living electricity generator.

 

If there were super powered people in the world, some would wok for corporations for money, some would work for the government (either due to patriotism or being forced to do so), but hopefully most would want to stay independent and do the things that the others can't because the corporations and the government won't let them.

 

As for masks. I did not say it was only for "genre convention", but it was part of it. Unless you want to be a public hero (Fantastic Four), then a mask helps keep your personal life personal.

 

I would rather be part of an engaging story about my secret ID as defense lawyer John Jones who is defending Mr. Shadow being in jeopardy while I try to find the evidence that my client is really innocent, than a story about having to protect my identity from the police who want to arrest me because the League of Assassins which really runs the police wants me to destroy Mega City because they think it is too corrupt. I think that engaging stories can be told in the comics genre when you embrace the conventions (Astro City is the best example).

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I would prefer playing in a game that just accepts the conventions than one that gets practically cyberpunk dark trying to explain the mask.  What's wrong with the concept of people disguising themselves so they don't put their families or jobs at risk while they do what their powers enable them to do just because they want to help?

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Any of those times on any of those days works for me.

 

I don't really want to get too deep in to the real world in my supers game. I like my comics four color. Some serious tones are welcome too though. That's why I like supers. The breadth of what can happen from one comic arc. Aliens, it can happen. Secret societies, a staple. Super prisons, lots of great ideas. I am looking forward to being the GM and a player. Perhaps this will let us play a game with a variety of feels.

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Tuesdays works for me easily, as I don't have a fixed schedule presently (quite annoying in a way). Four color and mostly light hearted works fine too, not sure I'd want to get too gritty in the details, or the questions of grey morality.

 

Still if this is going to take a while to decide on, I'll make another character or two for consideration, ones I've never gotten to play before; Depending on what we decide on the campaign they might not qualify/fit (a fairy & mentalist/psion).

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