Jump to content

Best jobs for Secret IDs?


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 85
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Fiction writer, Composer, Graphic Artist.  Anything where you work from home or at least alone and don’t have to account for your time as long as the work is turned in on schedule.

Congressman.   No one actually expects you to be there anyway.....

Strippers usually have to work on a set schedule. The painters usually come along right behind them and if the paint isn't already stripped, the painters have to wait.

22 hours ago, Tjack said:


     I’ve worked as a parcel messenger and one of my brothers was a cabbie.  The dispatchers know where you are at ALL times.  Especially now when many taxis and messenger cars have GPS to make sure the drivers are where they’re supposed to be and not screwing around on company time.

    Some taxis are privately owned but the medallion (the little square license plate bolted to the back of the cab) costs about as much as a small house. So it’s not really possible for a poor but honest superhero.

I was a parcel messenger for some Hollywood studios until 2012. We used Nextel units , but our own personal vehicles. Dispatch was apathetic, as long as the packages got there with the paid for priority. Put 330,000 in six years on that car, and cemented my opinion of the quality of mid 90s Toyota’s. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

I was a parcel messenger for some Hollywood studios until 2012. We used Nextel units , but our own personal vehicles. Dispatch was apathetic, as long as the packages got there with the paid for priority. Put 330,000 in six years on that car, and cemented my opinion of the quality of mid 90s Toyota’s. 


   It must be a company thing.   Our big clients were a corporate computer service of some type.  “ Tjack go from here on the MA/NH border to Manchester NH. to pick up a bunch of circuit boards and take them into downtown Boston, (during rush hour) to major Insurance company and find the IT guy.  Their computers are all off line until you get there!   HURRY!!!!!
  And a group of architects. “Tjack, go to the design group and get the revised blueprints to theIr job site on the MA/Connecticut border.   The whole construction company can’t do anything until you get there!   HURRY!!!!
   On top of our pre-scheduled runs that day.   This was the job I had when my chest exploded.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some occupation ideas that allow player independence to come and go, not necessarily financial stability, with some possible story arc seeds:

 

1. Personal trainer - Helps explain the enhanced physique 😉

 

2. Private practice physician or physical therapist

 

3. Substitute teacher since they work part-time, which can be connected to a complication of being financially strapped 🙃

 

4. Independent web blogger or designer, having a similar complication to the substitute teacher

 

5. Game designer (Mayfair Games listed this occupation in the DC Heroes RPG as an example where the players wealth would be 1 or 2, meaning struggling financially)

 

6. Consultant (Financial, Business, Marketing, Analytical, Military, etc.)

 

7. Explorer/Adventurer/Treasure Seeker (think Indiana Jones)

 

8. Social Worker - This would be especially good for a street-level player character, similar to how Marvel's Daredevil/Matt Murdoch is a lawyer representing working class/lower working class people

 

9. Private Detective - Imagine if the members of Charlie's Angels had some form of super-powers. Even at street-level, there's a lot of potential.

 

10. General/Semi-skilled Laborer - Blue collar "jack of all trades" who works short-term construction and repair jobs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading this thread I realize that my entire take on Secret Identities seems to be radically different than most.

 

To me when I create a supers Secret ID, I am not just creating an identity to conceal who the Super is.  I am creating an identity that that allows a super to reasonably be in the area and allow the hero to quietly investigate without villains, law enforcement or bystanders being aware.

 

In the 70's/80's a big city bicycle messenger is one.  A private eye is another.  

 

It is also dependent on the time of the setting.  Great concepts for 1970 are not so good in 2019. 

A while back I had a game set in the 70's and one player's Secret ID was "telephone/electrical repairman".  He had Acting, Mimicry and Disguise and would show up wearing coveralls with toolbox and ladder and act like he was repairing something.  No one ever questioned and he even convinced one of the police guarding the crime scene to hold his ladder.  Great stuff.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, pbemguy said:

I just pick a job that you can put "freelance" in front of.

 

The characters I've played that pop into my head were:

photographer, musician, substitute teacher (eventually lost the job for not showing up to gigs, became a freelance IT guy), paid superhero (like the Avengers)

 

Some of my players have used recently:

private investigator, homeless person, mercenary, CEO of tech company, bookstore/cafe owner

 

 

This one is ideal. But it doesn't have to be a person making money off videos of her superhero self. Many Youtubers make money--even millions--playing video games. So a scrappy little Youtube gamer who occasionally misses upload schedules because he's in a supervillain dungeon could scrape by.

 

 

While I understand it in the context of this discussion, it sounds bizarre to classify Homeless Person as a profession 🤨

 

For a role-playing game you can hand wave enough to say that being a Youtube star is a viable profession, but in reality it is like becoming a famous actor.  For every A-list star making millions, you have piles of people struggling to even get seen.  Even for Youtubers that make a decent living with lots of followers, it is time consuming because there is intense pressure to constantly post new material, and if you don't you will lose your following.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the modern day gives you more opportunities for a secret ID than the 60s or 70s did.  Technology has given us lots of options to work from home.  Most people don't get to set their own hours, leave whenever they want, and still make a good living of course.  But most people don't have superpowers either.

 

I just met a guy last week with a perfect secret ID job.  He's a lawyer and a CPA.  He works from home, sets his own hours, and turns his phone off when he doesn't want to be bothered.  As he was (briefly) describing his business to me, he represents corporations and sets up some kind of tax shelter for them.  Their employees are technically his employees, and he handles all the payroll and taxes for the companies.  Somehow they save a lot of money this way.  I didn't understand it (not my area of practice at all), but just talking to him for two minutes you can tell he's an expert in his field.  Anyway he leaves his phone off most of the morning while he goes to the gym, and if somebody needs to reach him before then, that's their problem not his.  Whatever their problem, he won't be able to fix it immediately and a couple extra hours aren't going to make any difference.  It's an absolutely perfect secret ID.

 

Do most people have that job?  Nope.  But it's also not so weird that people would think he's lying about it.  He just comes across as a smart guy who figured out a way to make a lot of money and still be lazy.

 

Secret IDs also don't really have to be 100% legit.  A modern day take on Superman could have him be an internet blogger and have a small YouTube channel.  It doesn't matter if he has enough followers to make real money, because making truckloads of cash when you have Superman powers is easy.  X-Ray vision could make you a kickass poker and blackjack player (you don't have to get rich, just make enough to get by).  Or before the game began, you busted some drug traffickers and just kinda... kept the money.  That's enough to fund your zero points of wealth, middle class existence for a long time.  After that you just appear to be some Millennial hipster blogger who lives beyond his means and has massive credit card debt.  Make an occasional comment about taking online classes and applying for more student loans, and nobody will even blink.  Say things like "when my YouTube channel takes off, everything will be fine", and "my mom is pressuring me to get a real job, she just doesn't believe in my dream."   The secret ID just has to look normal from the outside.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Self-employed writer selling books on Amazon, Kobo, Apple, etc. You can make your own hours, and if you're at all prolific, you can make a decent living (or even get rich) in relatively few hours per week, allowing you to spend more time crime-fighting. Also, even if your face is known to the public, if you keep your nom de plume secret, nobody will know that it's Iron Maiden writing all those pulp-style thrillers. (I have a PC, Iron Maiden, who is in fact doing just this.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

   The problem with a number of the “Tell people you’re self employed or an internet blogger” type options is that you still have to show the IRS where the money came from.  
  This is how they got Al Capone.  There’s all kinds of new and only vaguely constitutional laws that let the govt. track down money trails looking for drug cartels and terrorist groups.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/6/2020 at 4:05 PM, steriaca said:

Marvel's Wonder Man comes to mind, as his day job was an actor/stuntman/living special effect in movies.

 

Wonder Man did not keep a secret ID.

 

6 hours ago, Tjack said:

   The problem with a number of the “Tell people you’re self employed or an internet blogger” type options is that you still have to show the IRS where the money came from.  
  This is how they got Al Capone.  There’s all kinds of new and only vaguely constitutional laws that let the govt. track down money trails looking for drug cartels and terrorist groups.

 

They did not get Al Capone because he could not explain where the money came from.  They got him because he did not report the income.

 

Practically, most secret IDs can be easily blown if the GM works at it.  Like most things genre, we have to maintain a reasonable suspension of disbelief or they stop working.  "Parker/Kent, that's the last time I call you with a hot story to find you off your cell - you're fired."  "Mr. Wayne/Stark, we're charging you for tax evasion for all these unexplained expenses in your corporation for tech not used in generating your business income."  Those independently wealthy people get followed around by papparrazzi and dug through by investigative journalists.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/9/2020 at 6:05 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

They did not get Al Capone because he could not explain where the money came from.  They got him because he did not report the income.

 

Practically, most secret IDs can be easily blown if the GM works at it.  Like most things genre, we have to maintain a reasonable suspension of disbelief or they stop working.  "Parker/Kent, that's the last time I call you with a hot story to find you off your cell - you're fired."  "Mr. Wayne/Stark, we're charging you for tax evasion for all these unexplained expenses in your corporation for tech not used in generating your business income."  Those independently wealthy people get followed around by papparrazzi and dug through by investigative journalists.

 

My late father once told me about a sheriff of his acquaintance when he was young who was notoriously corrupt. Said sheriff routinely included "graft" as a category of income on his taxes precisely so that the IRS could not go after him for failing to report income (and because his tax returns could not be used as evidence against him in criminal trials). Absent any other evidence of his corrupt behavior, he got off scot free.

 

My dad also told me about a general store that was burgled once when he was a kid. The general store included a post office. The burglars drew a chalk line around the post office section with a note that "We didn't cross this line." They weren't concerned about the local cops, but they didn't want the Postal Inspectors on their asses.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Oh my couldn't his voice be analyzed to trace him back to his secret ID 😰

 

They'd have to think to do it. Shhhhh.... :D

 

How many people in the world have had their voices recorded at some point? How many of those various recordings would VIPER be willing to go through in order to hope to stumble across some secret ID? How many of those recordings are of high enough quality to be worth even trying to analyze it?

 

I can't say I know a large number of voice actors or book recorders but my impression is that most of them work in their "recording voice" rather than in their normal conversational voice.

 

I wouldn't be able to identify Mark Hamil as superhero Luke Skywalker by listening to his decades of work as the voice of The Joker in various Batman series. Or pick out Martin Billany as being Joey Wheeler in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series just by listening to his character voice. I might not even make the association of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader.

 

Yeah, if you record as the voice for Gone With the Wind in your natural very heavy Southern accent then go out to your nocturnal activities in New York City as Overalls Man while using the same voice, you're going to get busted if anyone really cares enough to ever wonder about the secret identity of Overalls Man. But I don't think that'd be the norm for most heroes: the bad guys would be looking for a needle in a very rapidly growing haystack of audio recordings. It could be done but it'd probably be much easier to ambush the hero and pull his mask off.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, archer said:

 

They'd have to think to do it. Shhhhh.... :D

 

How many people in the world have had their voices recorded at some point? How many of those various recordings would VIPER be willing to go through in order to hope to stumble across some secret ID? How many of those recordings are of high enough quality to be worth even trying to analyze it?

 

I can't say I know a large number of voice actors or book recorders but my impression is that most of them work in their "recording voice" rather than in their normal conversational voice.

 

I wouldn't be able to identify Mark Hamil as superhero Luke Skywalker by listening to his decades of work as the voice of The Joker in various Batman series. Or pick out Martin Billany as being Joey Wheeler in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series just by listening to his character voice. I might not even make the association of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader.

 

Yeah, if you record as the voice for Gone With the Wind in your natural very heavy Southern accent then go out to your nocturnal activities in New York City as Overalls Man while using the same voice, you're going to get busted if anyone really cares enough to ever wonder about the secret identity of Overalls Man. But I don't think that'd be the norm for most heroes: the bad guys would be looking for a needle in a very rapidly growing haystack of audio recordings. It could be done but it'd probably be much easier to ambush the hero and pull his mask off.

 

This is one way Bruce Wayne keeps his secret ID. When he's Batman, he speaks more gravelly and gruff, often just grunting. As Bruce Wayne, he's more normal-sounding.

 

Spider-man's mask muffles his voice, or so I've read in some issues when it's been brought up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...