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Theme Teams


Steve
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Most superhero teams seem to be a mishmash of origins and themes. You have the space alien brick, the young goddess martial artist, the wielder of an ancient weapon of power, etc.

 

Has anyone ever run or participated in a more unified theme team campaign? Like an all-brick mutant team or everyone is a powered armor type. How did it work out?

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Yeah, I had one that was based more or less on a combination of Dark Angel  and The Fugitive. It worked fairly well but one of the players seemingly didn't get the memo - his character was always trying to "put down roots". Given it was a small group that kind of broke the game.

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Not in one with common power sets (like all Brick or all Powered Armor), but I've done some with common origin, where all of the characters get their powers at the same time from the same cause (a la Fantastic Four). I kind of prefer that setup, to be honest. It seems to make the group more cohesive.

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I didn't run it, and I wasn't sure if this was intentional, but the last time I was in a team of super-heroes, it happened to be a team composed entirely of X-Men style mutants. It worked out well, but then, we all had our own powers, which were different, so does that even count?

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Mystic has worked pretty darn well for me at least once or twice, it's rather versatile. You get your spell flinger (Blaster Mentalist with flavor), your Weapon Master (ala Black Knight),  Martial artist (With some Chi effects) , Brick (Demon Hybrid or Golem sort) and so on. 

 

Common origins I've done successfully plenty, one of my best games was a radiation accident among a group of friends at a college lab but the powers were very varied if innate

 

 

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I played in a game we called the Black Band Brigade. Here are the three posts on my blog from years back that approximates what it was like.

 

In essence, think of a bunch of normal folks (I'm talking 2 SPD, MAYBE 3 SPD, and normal-ish defenses, etc.) who get Power Rings. We just went Black Band because all of us wore Black Watches in real life, and the band would camouflage itself as such when in Normal ID.

 

From the blog: "Players are asked to build PCs with Skilled Normals (50 CP, 30 pts in Complications), but will be playing characters worthy enough to play in the Standard Superheroic (400 CP, 75 pts in Complications) range. This is because the 300 CP in powers and abilities and 45 pts. In Complications will be a mandatory package assigned to all the PCs."

 

It was fun because you got to roleplay freaking out, keeping a secret with everyone else, and trying not to get killed by a number of hunters after the black bands (think of those guys in Ben10 always after the Omnitrix -- but this was waaaaaay before Ben10) and these tended to be villains from any of the books out at the time with the numbers filed off.

Being really powerful, but having only 2 or 3 SPD, made teamwork MANDATORY when going up against the 3, 4, and 5 SPD "weaker" foes who could take your head off if you didn't have your Force Field up...

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Well, I have played in a few games based on Sailor Moon, but all of them were freeform games.

 

I played a heroic version of Kunzite/Malachite (Sailor Moon Mirrors), an evil version of Sailor Venus (same game), Sailor Titan, Sailor Huya (Sailor Titan's daughter in Crystal Tokyo), and Sailor Uos (a member of Al and Ann's race), among others.

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In my two playtest campaigns for Ultimate Supermage and Ultimate Mystic, all the characters were of course mystical in some way. A friend of mine also ran a "dark mystical" campaign: both Morningstar (from USM) and Doctor Teneber (from Arcane Adversaries and CV3) were my PCs from that campaign.

 

Another friend of mine was in a campaign where, by chance, all the players wrote up some kind of brick. The GM ran with it. They called the team... The Brick Wall!

 

Dean Shomshak

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I briefly played in a Zen Team-inspired game and have been considering running one as well, so that is one of my motivations in asking about theme teams. The Champions genre book has some mention of this as well, I believe.

 

I think a single archetype theme like an all-Brick team or an all-martial artist team could be doable.

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