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Poll: Which 'New Start to a new Super life 'themed Campaign would you want to play in?


Hermit
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Please read post first for details, then Pick One - 'New Start to a new Super life' campaign ideas  

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  1. 1. Which 'New Start to a new Super life 'themed Campaign would you want to play in?

    • The Price of Dreams (Teen Champions) - Teenage supers try to get American Citizenship for themselves and families by joining the Super Dreamer Project
      4
    • Turncape: The Defectors (Cold War period Champions)- It's the 1970s, and are a superhero under control of the Soviet Government. A chance has opened, if you do this right, you'll be able to defect to the West
      4
    • Universal Rejection (Champions)- You fought the V'han, and the V'han won, you can never go home again to your own Earth, maybe this one won't be so bad. Wait, do you know that guy?
      10
    • Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted (Champions)- The American justice system angered a god of Justice, welcome to your new life hero
      7


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I've got a few more ideas that will probably never get used by me because my TT game days are over, but I'm still brainstorming so I thought I'd spill this out there and see what others thought was doable and which THEY thought would be most fun/interesting. I got stuck on the theme of 'a new start to a new super life'. Take a look, go to the poll, and pick your favorite. If you want to be extra kind, also post here why you liked which ever most or even rank them! Much appreciated. 

 

The Price of Dreams (Teen Champions)- Maybe you came to the USA's southern border from Honduras after a harrowing trip through Mexico with your family. Maybe your father sided with the Americans in Afghanistan as a guide and now his life is on the line if you can't get him haven in. Perhaps you want to escape a war torn nation in Africa. If you were ordinary, there would be a good chance you'd be refused. But you're not ordinary, you have gifts, super powers. And thanks to you, your family is going to a fast track to citizenship. Of course, there's a price. The government has a program for super teens that they hope to make into useful supers of American society. This isn't some super secret school for the gifted. It's a trade. You want a chance to save your family. Uncle Sam wants you... to eventually wear a cape. You're going to learn to control and develop your abilities (Which maybe a relief if they were getting wild) And you have no idea going in if this is a boot camp to turn you into a living weapon for the system, or maybe a true hero looking out for your new fellow citizens. Maybe nothing is that clear.

 

Turncape: The Defectors (Cold War period Champions)- It's the early 70s, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has a relentless grip on it's superheroes, including you. Do you have family? Of course you do. How is your son anyway? Your mother? One hopes they are in good health. The Party takes good care of them, and you. You should be grateful, da? In some ways, it's even worse for you than it is the average Soviet citizen. After all, the Kremlin made sure that there is a telepathic handler for your team, to ensure no slips in loyalty. Your nonpowered peers at least have their thoughts. In a team of 13 supers, you're pretty sure you're not the only one who wants to defect to the West but some, maybe even most, are diehard loyalists. Then, you get a lucky break. That damn telepath ends up in a car accident of all things. He'll be out of operation for weeks. This maybe your chance for you (And your fellow PCs) to get your family and yourself out of the USSR. All you have to do is find a way to remove the tracker they've implanted (Did you really think they counted just on the telepath?) , avoid the suspicion of your Party Loyal team mates until you can either elude or over power them, then  transport your family safely, and get in contact with the Western Government of your choice. Maybe not in that order. You hear Canada is very beautiful.

 

Universal Rejection (Champions)- It was a losing battle against Istvatha V'han, but that didn't mean you didn't fight her conquest of your Earth. She called you terrorists, you preferred the term superhero. There were times you thought you might have crossed the line but you always tried to spare innocent lives even those who welcomed V'han with open arms. More and more governments in your world cut deals with the Empress, surrendering their freedom for security or profit. You destroyed Imperial communication grids, you broke political prisoners out of confinement, you did what you could to stop her soldiers from abusing citizens in the shadows. Then it happened, one of V'han's top scientists lured you into a trap and infused your very quantum matrixes so that your universe's frequency was toxic to you. There was no time for a cure, so you did what you could and fled to a new Earth, THIS Earth. Your old world is death to you now. So like it or not, you're out of the fight for it. Now you have to make a home for yourself in a world filled with superheroes like yours used to be. They seem noble, they play by rules you yourself had to abandon. You can't decide if you think they're naïve, or if seeing them makes you feel ashamed.. Of course,  that's only the tip of the ice berg. The people you knew have doubles here, with slight or extreme changes. Villains you fought there are heroes here, and those you called allies have taken a dark path. Some are different in age, or backgrounds, others are so exact to those you knew that it's alarming. You yourself may have a double here. You might have never been born here but have duplicates of loved ones who do not know you here. Welcome to Earth whatever number it is. You have a new life to make.

 

Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted (Champions)- Perhaps before you were empowered, you didn't know much about Mesopotamian mythology. Not like a lot of people really study up on it. No, all you knew before Utu (aka Shamash) came into your life that you were in jail for a crime you didn't commit. Maybe you were set up by enemies, maybe the local police in your area needed a fall guy, maybe the prosecuting attorney with held evidence but you couldn't prove it. It didn't change the fact that even in a world with superheroes, sometimes innocent people get screwed. And you weren't alone. Assigned at a big prison to serve time for a crime you didn't commit, you found many who claimed to be innocent, and you later learned that a group of them weren't lying. Long story slightly shorter? Some mystical villain tried to open a path for Tiamat (yeah, not just for Dungeons and Dragons? Who knew?) to create destruction on his behalf and was going to use all the folks in the prison facility as a sacrifice. Fortunately, there are heroes in the world. This incredibly attractive superhero lady was also a mystic used the open portal to call on any god of good for aid. Utu peeked past 'the barrier', saw you and others who had been screwed over by the 'Justice System' and bestowed powers on you! It felt great! Suddenly you were young, powerful, and most importantly free! Even the most bitter of you didn't want a whole city nearby to DIE so you fought and turned the tide. Then the Sun God of Justice or whatever said 'Fight for True Justice, never become the villains they claimed you were, or I Shall take back what I have given" and he withdrew! Now you're barely recognizable (Or maybe not even that) but you're also a free man and out of the system. As far as the authorities know, you were killed by the supervillain. If you had religious convictions to monotheism before, this is HELLA awkward. But you're free, and you're going to do Justice right.
 

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These look fun!

 

I like the Teen Dream best; seems topical and potentially rich in plots and character development.  As great a setting as the Cold War is, I am personally ready to move on to something else.  Universal Rejection sounds like a great background for a single hero, but I would struggle with it for a whole team if I were the GM.  Divine Conscription is a good unifying theme for a group of heroes, but I am always reluctant to bring actual gods into a Champions campaign.

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Tough choice between 'The Price of Dreams' and 'Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted.' If they were comic books, I'd read both of them. Former has contemporary resonance (and would make an excellent teen drama for The CW), latter has the whole world of mythology to draw upon and I like me some Mesopotamia! (I have Tiamat as one of the megavillains in my Avant Guard campaign, with her super-team of latter-day Dragon Warriors for backup.) I also noted a possible long-term plan by Marduk in The Mystic World. So, yeah. Tough choice. I settled on 'The Price of Dreams' because the best campaign I ever ran, 'Scion High,' was explicitly framed as a CW teen paranormal drama, a la 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' or 'Vampire Diaries.'

 

Dean Shomshak

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Turncape sounded the most interesting to me. However, the hunt and chase could end pretty quickly if there are too many DNPCs to manage and they start getting captured, so that may encourage a bunch of orphan PCs who never got married or had any children.

 

It could also be one massive scam to infiltrate Russian heroes into the American superhero subculture and gain access to secrets, something like the Thunderbolts idea.

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30 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

Tough choice between 'The Price of Dreams' and 'Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted.' If they were comic books, I'd read both of them. Former has contemporary resonance (and would make an excellent teen drama for The CW), latter has the whole world of mythology to draw upon and I like me some Mesopotamia! (I have Tiamat as one of the megavillains in my Avant Guard campaign, with her super-team of latter-day Dragon Warriors for backup.) I also noted a possible long-term plan by Marduk in The Mystic World. So, yeah. Tough choice. I settled on 'The Price of Dreams' because the best campaign I ever ran, 'Scion High,' was explicitly framed as a CW teen paranormal drama, a la 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' or 'Vampire Diaries.'

 

Dean Shomshak

  I agree.  Of the four, these two resonated most with me.  And IF I had to pick one, I'd go with the "Wrongfully Convicted:  Divinely Conscripted"

 

The only problem with that one is if a player leaves or dies, how do you get the next member into the team and still follow the same origin idea?

 

At least "The Price of Dreams" has an out for player/PC turn over!

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1 hour ago, Ockham's Spoon said:

These look fun!

 

I like the Teen Dream best; seems topical and potentially rich in plots and character development.  As great a setting as the Cold War is, I am personally ready to move on to something else.  Universal Rejection sounds like a great background for a single hero, but I would struggle with it for a whole team if I were the GM.  Divine Conscription is a good unifying theme for a group of heroes, but I am always reluctant to bring actual gods into a Champions campaign.

Thank you. I'm glad you like them. I admit, I rather enjoy the way various gods interact with the main CU myself, Winterhawk ran some games I was in where they made some appearances in an American Gods fashion and they worked well for me, but I can see why it might not be to everyone's liking.

1 hour ago, DShomshak said:

Tough choice between 'The Price of Dreams' and 'Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted.' If they were comic books, I'd read both of them. Former has contemporary resonance (and would make an excellent teen drama for The CW), latter has the whole world of mythology to draw upon and I like me some Mesopotamia! (I have Tiamat as one of the megavillains in my Avant Guard campaign, with her super-team of latter-day Dragon Warriors for backup.) I also noted a possible long-term plan by Marduk in The Mystic World. So, yeah. Tough choice. I settled on 'The Price of Dreams' because the best campaign I ever ran, 'Scion High,' was explicitly framed as a CW teen paranormal drama, a la 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' or 'Vampire Diaries.'

 

Dean Shomshak

I recall. Marduk got some work out directly or indirectly in more than one game thanks to Mystic World and other sources in the CU that hinted at his desire to have superheroes be the God Kings for their cities IIRC :) And Scion High sounds like a blast.

49 minutes ago, Steve said:

Turncape sounded the most interesting to me. However, the hunt and chase could end pretty quickly if there are too many DNPCs to manage and they start getting captured, so that may encourage a bunch of orphan PCs who never got married or had any children.

 

It could also be one massive scam to infiltrate Russian heroes into the American superhero subculture and gain access to secrets, something like the Thunderbolts idea.

Okay, the infiltration angle is one i hadn't considered. Nice option!

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58 minutes ago, Mr. R said:

  I agree.  Of the four, these two resonated most with me.  And IF I had to pick one, I'd go with the "Wrongfully Convicted:  Divinely Conscripted"

 

The only problem with that one is if a player leaves or dies, how do you get the next member into the team and still follow the same origin idea?

 

At least "The Price of Dreams" has an out for player/PC turn over!

Well, it's possible if one PC dies, the next nearest person who was wrongfully accused /arrested gets a surge of power which expresses the power in a different way? I'm spitballing there.

45 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I love the Silver Age/Soviet concept, lots of opportunities for roleplaying

Another perk is one can break out old Red Doom Material and tailor it for the NPC loyalists

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1) Universal Rejection (Champions)

Crisp clean take on an origin story. Sure "hero from a parallel reality" has been done before but what origin hasn't?

 

About the only pitfall to avoid is that the hero would naturally know almost every Secret ID and general backstory on most every hero and villain. But that can be taken care of with a little cooperation between the player and the GM. And since I'm the player, I know the player will cooperate.

 

2) Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted (Champions)

I've generally avoided the "in trouble with the police" backgrounds outside of Dark Champions. Roleplaying the whole fresh start thing would be interesting especially since the PC would be opinionated about the police, justice system, and prisons.

 

3) Turncape: The Defectors (Cold War period Champions)

I like this concept but in the late 70's and early 80's, I took an interest in reading about what daily life was like for Soviet citizens. Considering any likely GM wasn't even alive when there was a USSR, I'd have to expect that the GM would drive me (more) nuts by either glossing over the very real hardships or by cranking them up to ridiculous levels.

 

4) The Price of Dreams (Teen Champions)

With a great GM, this could be a great campaign. With a not-great GM, I might not make it through the first play session.

 

Sounds like the campaign is intended as a (no-so) Dirty Dozen with the background of the dislocation experienced by immigrants coming into the US and how the US treats immigrants in general. 

 

That's a hot topic with me. I'd doubt the ability of a GM to treat it with the kid gloves necessary to keep from making me ticked off at him.

 

And I'm certain that the government handler NPC's would tick me off to no end, as both player and PC. I'd be likely, in character, to make sure either the supervillains got them or to drop them off in the middle of the Atlantic then blame the supervillain of the week. And if the government seemed likely to catch on and punish my family, we could make the campaign about how my PC turns the US into a dysfunctional wasteland. I've done enough IRL wargaming against terror threats that I'm pretty sure I could figure out targeting order to maximize disruption.

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6 hours ago, Steve said:

For the infiltration option, maybe only one PC is an actual infiltrator.

 

The con works best if most of the PC supers involved are actually sincere and only one (or maybe two) are playing a different game.

With a telepath in the backstory, the infiltrator(s) might not even know it... "The Manchurian Superhero," for extra paranoia!

 

Though the question arises: Hpow does a government control a telepath who can implant deep programming? Who handles the handler? Loyalties may change more than once in such a campaign -- or at least, whgo needs saving from whom.

 

Dean Shomshak

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I've been missing the Cold War - never thought I'd say that - so, even at the risk of a bad Russian accent, Turncape sounds fun. You've got thriller potential, in escaping the iron curtain and proving themselves in the West, plus fish-out-of-water comic relief adapting to 70s consumer culture...

 

They all sound good, though. 

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Turn cape was i initially the mostInteresting to me of the options, however being one of those folks, that nitpick costume dramas, and war films for anachronisms, and incorrect equipment, I would probably not be a good player. So then my first choice then would be universally Rejected. Having lived through the cold war, and attending college R OTC, I have more than a passing knowledge of how the Soviet union operated. Universally rejected, however could be a fun tweaking of expectations, and a light messing with the players heads,On top of a good old superhero story.

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I've voted for the least problematic option to my mind. (Past the Cold War, worried about politics, kind of cool to divine origins in general.) I actually liked the "Team Mutant" option in your last poll, Hermit, even if it didn't quite scratch my itch for "secret history" stories, which is the way I wish that particular subgenre had gone to start with.

 

, , , 

 

"Oh, good. You're awake. I've never actually had to tase someone before. I didn't think it was supposed to knock someone unconscious!"

 

Dylan tested his bonds. Not too bad. Easy enough to slip. When he'd learned whatever this guy was going to tell him. Which, according to movies that had nothing to do with real life, would be pretty much everything. "I don't think . . . I. I'm sorry. Who are you again?"

 

"Henry McCoy. Dr. McCoy, but I prefer being called Hank. I'm the Director here at the Sunshine Valley Private Hospital. And you . . I  hope you don't mind a bit of invasion of privacy, are Dylan Lee, aged 21. You graduated from Wisconsin Journalism, last year, which doesn't seem like the world's best career choice in this year of our Lord 2015, but I notice you didn't ask me before you registered your major.  You're  are an intern at the New York Daily Bugle and you have a Master Card and a Visa, which is great, because you can use one to pay off the other and stave off bankruptcy twice as long!"

 

"So you Googled me. Dr. McCoy?"

 

"And searched our wallet. Yes. I was trying to figure out why you were sneaking around the wards in my hospital in a very cool black tactical outfit."

 

"We heard at the News that . . . Britney Spears . . . was an inpatient here."

 

"Baloney. We are an obscure little psychiatric hospital. In the 52 years this place has been open, under the previous director and myself, we have dealt with exactly one kind of patient: Young people who develop psychiatric issues around puberty. We are specialists, and I like to think that our results speak for themselves. While I like to think that we have something to offer celebrity patients, the fact is that our supporting foundation funds a diverse clientele ranging from the lower middle class to upper middle class. The wildest we get is some non-citizens. Two Russians! A Kenyan! One Japanese kid? Oh, wait, two starting next year."

 

Dr. McCoy hesitated, sighed. "Okay, and one celebrity. Allison was B-list back in the day. Still gets enough in residuals to drive a Lexus. Maybe we should advertise?"

 

Dr. McCoy shook his head, unconvincingly pretending to regret something. "Maybe not. Frankly, a  solid career at an obscure little hospital in a Catskills resort town has done very well for me. I made a lot of money, I have a nice house and a private plane. The children and grandchildren of former patients cut my grass. Hope is the cutest little thing. Laura is not. Life has been pretty sweet."

 

Crap. McCoy was just going to stick with the cover story. Like a sane person would. The movies did lie! Dylan slipped his restraints and hit that mental turboboost that sped up his reflexes until everyone around him was standing still. This place. Could it be? When Director Lang explained the mission, all he'd been thinking about was his student loans. No way was this lead, the latest in sixty years of bad leads going to pan out. But then they took him down, and he knew that wasn't something they could do with a taser. Well, they weren't going to blindside him again!

 

Until they did. A solid thump, and he was down, wind knocked out, a solid looking man in a jumpsuit above him, the restraints back around his wrist. He'd never been hit like this. Was this what superheroes felt like all the time? Well, let him catch his breath and this donnybrook was back on!

 

"Looks like he's going to be back  up in a second, Hank," the second man said. Where had he even come from?

 

"Put this on him, Tom."

 

"Is that what I think it is?" Tom asked.

 

"Don't get all high and mighty, Tom. These things work on 80% of us, detectors 80%. Dylan doesn't show up on our detectors. If the collar doesn't work, odds are he's not, you know. But if it does . . ."

 

And just like that, a smooth metal something was going around Dylan's throat, followed by a click and the worst headrush Dylan ever had. Or more than that, because suddenly his hands and feet were asleep and his stomach was trying to jump through his mouth. He tried to open his mouth, like you do when you're about to throw up, and somehow even that didn't work. 

 

Dr. McCoy fished his phone out of his pocket, answered it. Apparently. Dylan's eyes weren't focussing very well, either. "Crap," Dr. McCoy said. "Nate's getting a headache. Get that thing off him before Chuck picks it up. The Old Man is fragile enough as it is."

 

The barest blur, and the collar was gone. 

 

Dr. McCoy knelt down, held out his hand. "Here. I'll help you into that chair if  we can agree that you're not going to fight your way out of here, Dylan. Agent Lee." 

 

"I'm not a real agent," Lee said. "CIA does interns, too. At least they pay, unlike The Bugle."

 

"SENTINEL, Dylan, not CIA."

 

"I'm sorry?"

 

"Dr. McCoy means that you're an agent --an intern-- for a shadow agency within the CIA. SENTINEL. It is tasked with hunting people like us." Tom talked very fast.

 

"Us? I'm nothing like you, Speedy Gonzalez. You're the X-Men, a bunch of super-terrorists going back 60 years. I'm a vaguely patriotic Millennial who really needs a safe civil service job to have any hope of paying off his student loans." But inside, Dylan's stomach was going out again. They knew what he was. And in that moment he understood just how much he had always wanted to know the same. 

 

Dr. McCoy sighed again. "How much do  you know about speciation theory in evolution?"

 

"I thought you were a psychiatrist?" Crap. For a moment, Dylan had thought he might belong. But this sounded like gibberish.

 

"I'm a supergenius. Just like you have totipotent reflexes. Because you were born that way. Because you are a mutant. Which means that if  your employers ever figure out how you got your powers, you're going to find out what the inside of an extermination camp looks like."

 

"I . . . what? The government isn't running some secret Holocaust for movie monsters! That's crazy!" Although Dylan was willing to believe a lot of things about Director Lang. It had always been hard to believe that a man with so much hate inside him could be running his own division. 

 

"The government isn't doing anything. There are 416 mutants on this entire planet, and a good third of them were picked up by us long before SENTINEL noticed them. Which means that your agency thinks that it is quietly dealing with a problem on a scale of one to two people born a year. All antisocial and dangerous, incidentally. The CIA has kept bigger secrets. But you know what isn't a secret that they could keep? An enclave of 99 mutants, all living in commuting distance of New York and staffing their own superteam. We really need to keep it that way for a very, very long time. Like, say, 800 years at the current rate of natural increase. We also really don't want them finding out that detectors and inhibitors aren't 100% reliable. It's shocking enough to find out that CEREBRO isn't."

 

"If  you're thinking what I think you're thinking, I'm out," Tom said. "I think Laura has her Dad's number if  you need it. Or Emma?"

 

Dr. McCoy shook his head. "No, I'm not. Dylan's a mutant and he's stable. The community can't lose him. Demographically speaking. In fact, I'm tempted to drag this boy down to the Guthries right now. There's a lot of girls there who really don't want to marry a cousin. And boys, too, pardon your brother's patience with an old-fashioned Boomer. And we need to find out how CEREBRO missed him, and who else it might have missed."

 

Dr. McCoy hesitated for a second. "Dylan, would you like a job? Because I could really use a secret agent man on my action team."

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I voted for Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted (Champions)- primarily because it holds the PCs accountable to being "heroes" - I like that idea...

 

I had to read your longer descriptions however, because just based on the short explanation for the vote, I would not have picked it.

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On 7/10/2021 at 12:41 PM, Hermit said:

 And Scion High sounds like a blast.

 

In case you're interested:

  • Scion High Campaign Chronicle Repost - Onyx Path Forums

    forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/...

    Scion High takes the Scion game and filters it through modern high school. The style is that of TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Smallville: basically action-adventure, but with heaping helpings of teen angst and soap opera. Characters face titanspawn monsters and evil cultists, but they also face the challenges of sports, dating, afterschool jobs, parents and teachers

     

    Vide Archer's comments, though, I'll stipulate that my vote for "The Price of Dreams" is conditional on it not be run as the sort of Iron Age extorted-minions-of-evil-government that he seemed to be imagining. And I would agree: That would be horrible. (But then, I think most Iron Age is horrible, and as phony as the Silver Age style without being nearly as fun.) The morality and the politics around the super-teen refugee program might not be clear, but there would need to be some sympathetic people involved in running it.

     

    The setting probably needs to be tweaked so that if the PCs are actually expected to engage in field missions, supers are rare enough that the government could not afford to just put the kids in super-school for years. Or at least, supers who are reliable enough and willing to work for the government are rare. It might be interesting to flip the standard comic-book trope of private citizen heroes following their moral codes while the Gubmint ranges from stupid, through asshole-ish, to outright villainous Shadowy Agency(TM), by playing up the loose-cannon vigilante aspects of the "heroes" hiding behind their secret identities. Conversely, while some of the super-teens' handlers want to train them as myrmidons for the State, others can present a vision of true social responsibility -- likely the careerists who know they could make more money in the private sector, while the authoritarian dicks are political appointees.

     

    Dean Shomshak

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To be honest, none of them really float my boat.

 

The Price of Dreams (Teen Champions)

Obviously, as potential child soldiers, they can't do official missions.

 

That just makes it another super school game, with extra authoritarian bits.

 

Turncape: The Defectors (Cold War period Champions)

This feels like it would require heavy handed GMing to avoid it going off the rails - and I would be at the front of the derailing queue.

 

Universal Rejection (Champions)

Probably the most traditional game, which is why I voted for it - but it's really just a traditional game with a bit of extra fluff.

 

Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted (Champions)

Meh.

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On 7/10/2021 at 8:05 PM, archer said:

 

 

3) Turncape: The Defectors (Cold War period Champions)

I like this concept but in the late 70's and early 80's, I took an interest in reading about what daily life was like for Soviet citizens. Considering any likely GM wasn't even alive when there was a USSR, I'd have to expect that the GM would drive me (more) nuts by either glossing over the very real hardships or by cranking them up to ridiculous levels.

 

14 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Turn cape was i initially the most Interesting to me of the options, however being one of those folks, that nitpick costume dramas, and war films for anachronisms, and incorrect equipment, I would probably not be a good player. So then my first choice then would be universally Rejected. Having lived through the cold war, and attending college R OTC, I have more than a passing knowledge of how the Soviet union operated. Universally rejected, however could be a fun tweaking of expectations, and a light messing with the players heads,On top of a good old superhero story.

 

That's a damn fair concern regarding Turn Cape. I can play a little fast and loose with some things and might cause a few who actually know the stuff well to twitch or have the urge to hit me with a nerf bat with the word 'NYET' printed on it. I would probably try to point out that this isn't just set in the past, but in the past of a world that had super powers and thus would inevitably be altered thus explaining slips, but I also admit that gone too far is a cop out and is essentially false advertising. I would probably have to do homework if I ever got a chance to  run something like that but I think in hands of the right GM who put in the work, it could be a fun take with chances of good RP. *Crosses fingers* 

 

Heck, maybe someone who really knows the historical facts such as yourselves will get the itch to run something like that. If you do, let us know how it turned out?

 

 

13 hours ago, Lawnmower Boy said:

I've voted for the least problematic option to my mind. (Past the Cold War, worried about politics, kind of cool to divine origins in general.) I actually liked the "Team Mutant" option in your last poll, Hermit, even if it didn't quite scratch my itch for "secret history" stories, which is the way I wish that particular subgenre had gone to start with.

 

, , , 

 

"Oh, good. You're awake. I've never actually had to tase someone before. I didn't think it was supposed to knock someone unconscious!"

 

Dylan tested his bonds. Not too bad. Easy enough to slip. When he'd learned whatever this guy was going to tell him. Which, according to movies that had nothing to do with real life, would be pretty much everything. "I don't think . . . I. I'm sorry. Who are you again?"

 

"Henry McCoy. Dr. McCoy, but I prefer being called Hank. I'm the Director here at the Sunshine Valley Private Hospital. And you . . I  hope you don't mind a bit of invasion of privacy, are Dylan Lee, aged 21. You graduated from Wisconsin Journalism, last year, which doesn't seem like the world's best career choice in this year of our Lord 2015, but I notice you didn't ask me before you registered your major.  You're  are an intern at the New York Daily Bugle and you have a Master Card and a Visa, which is great, because you can use one to pay off the other and stave off bankruptcy twice as long!"

 

"So you Googled me. Dr. McCoy?"

 

"And searched our wallet. Yes. I was trying to figure out why you were sneaking around the wards in my hospital in a very cool black tactical outfit."

 

"We heard at the News that . . . Britney Spears . . . was an inpatient here."

 

"Baloney. We are an obscure little psychiatric hospital. In the 52 years this place has been open, under the previous director and myself, we have dealt with exactly one kind of patient: Young people who develop psychiatric issues around puberty. We are specialists, and I like to think that our results speak for themselves. While I like to think that we have something to offer celebrity patients, the fact is that our supporting foundation funds a diverse clientele ranging from the lower middle class to upper middle class. The wildest we get is some non-citizens. Two Russians! A Kenyan! One Japanese kid? Oh, wait, two starting next year."

 

Dr. McCoy hesitated, sighed. "Okay, and one celebrity. Allison was B-list back in the day. Still gets enough in residuals to drive a Lexus. Maybe we should advertise?"

 

Dr. McCoy shook his head, unconvincingly pretending to regret something. "Maybe not. Frankly, a  solid career at an obscure little hospital in a Catskills resort town has done very well for me. I made a lot of money, I have a nice house and a private plane. The children and grandchildren of former patients cut my grass. Hope is the cutest little thing. Laura is not. Life has been pretty sweet."

 

Crap. McCoy was just going to stick with the cover story. Like a sane person would. The movies did lie! Dylan slipped his restraints and hit that mental turboboost that sped up his reflexes until everyone around him was standing still. This place. Could it be? When Director Lang explained the mission, all he'd been thinking about was his student loans. No way was this lead, the latest in sixty years of bad leads going to pan out. But then they took him down, and he knew that wasn't something they could do with a taser. Well, they weren't going to blindside him again!

 

Until they did. A solid thump, and he was down, wind knocked out, a solid looking man in a jumpsuit above him, the restraints back around his wrist. He'd never been hit like this. Was this what superheroes felt like all the time? Well, let him catch his breath and this donnybrook was back on!

 

"Looks like he's going to be back  up in a second, Hank," the second man said. Where had he even come from?

 

"Put this on him, Tom."

 

"Is that what I think it is?" Tom asked.

 

"Don't get all high and mighty, Tom. These things work on 80% of us, detectors 80%. Dylan doesn't show up on our detectors. If the collar doesn't work, odds are he's not, you know. But if it does . . ."

 

And just like that, a smooth metal something was going around Dylan's throat, followed by a click and the worst headrush Dylan ever had. Or more than that, because suddenly his hands and feet were asleep and his stomach was trying to jump through his mouth. He tried to open his mouth, like you do when you're about to throw up, and somehow even that didn't work. 

 

Dr. McCoy fished his phone out of his pocket, answered it. Apparently. Dylan's eyes weren't focussing very well, either. "Crap," Dr. McCoy said. "Nate's getting a headache. Get that thing off him before Chuck picks it up. The Old Man is fragile enough as it is."

 

The barest blur, and the collar was gone. 

 

Dr. McCoy knelt down, held out his hand. "Here. I'll help you into that chair if  we can agree that you're not going to fight your way out of here, Dylan. Agent Lee." 

 

"I'm not a real agent," Lee said. "CIA does interns, too. At least they pay, unlike The Bugle."

 

"SENTINEL, Dylan, not CIA."

 

"I'm sorry?"

 

"Dr. McCoy means that you're an agent --an intern-- for a shadow agency within the CIA. SENTINEL. It is tasked with hunting people like us." Tom talked very fast.

 

"Us? I'm nothing like you, Speedy Gonzalez. You're the X-Men, a bunch of super-terrorists going back 60 years. I'm a vaguely patriotic Millennial who really needs a safe civil service job to have any hope of paying off his student loans." But inside, Dylan's stomach was going out again. They knew what he was. And in that moment he understood just how much he had always wanted to know the same. 

 

Dr. McCoy sighed again. "How much do  you know about speciation theory in evolution?"

 

"I thought you were a psychiatrist?" Crap. For a moment, Dylan had thought he might belong. But this sounded like gibberish.

 

"I'm a supergenius. Just like you have totipotent reflexes. Because you were born that way. Because you are a mutant. Which means that if  your employers ever figure out how you got your powers, you're going to find out what the inside of an extermination camp looks like."

 

"I . . . what? The government isn't running some secret Holocaust for movie monsters! That's crazy!" Although Dylan was willing to believe a lot of things about Director Lang. It had always been hard to believe that a man with so much hate inside him could be running his own division. 

 

"The government isn't doing anything. There are 416 mutants on this entire planet, and a good third of them were picked up by us long before SENTINEL noticed them. Which means that your agency thinks that it is quietly dealing with a problem on a scale of one to two people born a year. All antisocial and dangerous, incidentally. The CIA has kept bigger secrets. But you know what isn't a secret that they could keep? An enclave of 99 mutants, all living in commuting distance of New York and staffing their own superteam. We really need to keep it that way for a very, very long time. Like, say, 800 years at the current rate of natural increase. We also really don't want them finding out that detectors and inhibitors aren't 100% reliable. It's shocking enough to find out that CEREBRO isn't."

 

"If  you're thinking what I think you're thinking, I'm out," Tom said. "I think Laura has her Dad's number if  you need it. Or Emma?"

 

Dr. McCoy shook his head. "No, I'm not. Dylan's a mutant and he's stable. The community can't lose him. Demographically speaking. In fact, I'm tempted to drag this boy down to the Guthries right now. There's a lot of girls there who really don't want to marry a cousin. And boys, too, pardon your brother's patience with an old-fashioned Boomer. And we need to find out how CEREBRO missed him, and who else it might have missed."

 

Dr. McCoy hesitated for a second. "Dylan, would you like a job? Because I could really use a secret agent man on my action team."

 

What, no Water Breathers???

 

;)

 

Good stuff

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1 hour ago, Hermit said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

What, no Water Breathers???

 

;)

 

Good stuff

Well, the X-Men are cool, so obviously they don't have any water breathers. I could have made the protagonist a water breather . . . 

 

"Well?"

 

"He's wearing a psi shield."

 

"Oh, a psi shield. A government-issue psi shield. That'll stop Bill cold." 

 

"No need to get sarcastic, Hank. Actually, cute trick. Layered on the chip on a credit card. So we shot it with a microwave laser. Kid obviously didn't know it was there, didn't even react when his wallet fot a half degree hotter."

 

"Not to be a bore, but, well?"

 

"Kid named Dylan Lee. Journalism grad. Thinks he's an intern at the CIA, but Lang is his report. Cover is that he's also an intern at The Bugle. They got a hot tip that Britney Spears is being treated here, so he's trying to get an interview. Actually, we're the latest place Lang is knocking off his list of possible X-Men hideouts. Obviously he doesn't consider us a hot possibility."

 

"Spears. I wish. Journalism grad, intern. Money trouble?"

 

"And how."

 

"Lang is such an asshole. All he needed to do was pull some strings and get the kid on the payroll somewhere. Parker wouldn't take a SENTINEL boy, but there's always The  Post. Okay, we'll do an operational  mindwipe and . . . Wait. Have we established how he got superpowers?"

 

"He doesn't show up on a detector. Is it relevant?"

 

"He wouldn't necessarily. Actually, it's a bit more concerning that he doesn't have a CEREBRO profile. We'd probably get that even if he were a regular mutate. Unless --I want to check this kid out. Maybe turn him if he's a mutant."

 

"What do  you want me to do with him? He's going be in a classified area pretty quick."

 

"Take him down and put him in an aquarium to cool off."

 

"Okay. Wait. Did you say aquarium?"

 

"Sure. One of the big ones. You know, with a castle and giant seahorses."

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3 hours ago, Hermit said:

I would probably have to do homework if I ever got a chance to  run something like that but I think in hands of the right GM who put in the work, it could be a fun take with chances of good RP. *Crosses fingers* 

 

 

There was a damned fine book that I remember reading called The Russians, IIRC. It was the account of a New York Times reporter who lived in Russia for like 10 years through the 70's giving mostly his experiences of the day to day lives of ordinary Russians.

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23 votes total at this time. That's actually pretty good! Thank you folks.

And a double thanks to those who gave their reasons for their preferences or suggestions 

 

Currently, it looks like Universal Rejection has a strong lead, followed by Wrongfully Convicted, Divinely Conscripted and then Price of Dreams and Turncape: The Defectors for 3rd and 4th place

 

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