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Having Trouble Coming Up With Adventures


Count Zero
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Hey Guys,

 

I am currently running a super hero game set in my own world. The characters are part of a United Nations super team. I am using bits and pieces from the Champions Universe. I liked the idea of UNTIL and formed a super team called Storm Watch (U.N. Force was the orignial name but it sounded lame). I have a version of Dr. Destroyer named Apocalypse (but not as campy). He destroyed San Diego, CA while trying to conquer California. He captured the military base on Coronado Island and was stopped by a collection of heroes. After that they US signed the Tribunal Treaty and Storm Watch operates in the U.S.

 

The big problem I am running is the standard adventures don't work (i.e. bank robberies, supervillian taking hostages) because there are local police super teams which deal with stuff on the local level, federal super teams which deal with super crimes which cross statelines, and secret service and spec ops teams that do stuff for the U.S. The big problem is I can't seem to figure out any adventures for an international super team with very heavy support from the UN.

 

Can you make any suggestions or direct me to any good net resources.

 

Thanks,

 

Jonathan

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I'd pick up some back issues of the Avengers comic if I were you. Although the team recently started working with the United Nations after the war with Kang, long before that they dealt with many international situations. My favorite was when Ultron conquerored a small country by using his robots to slaughter the entire population. He then turned the corpses into robot/zombies while building hundreds of duplicates of himself. There is more detail to the story that I'm sure I'm forgetting, but this is only one of many stories that could be tweaked to fit your campaign (substitute Mechanon for Ultron for starters).

 

I'd look for the recent volume of the Avengers, which started about four years ago with a new issue #1.

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Hmmm... Well, if you're using elements of the Champions Universe, you might get some use out of a large collection of Plot Seeds featuring CU characters which was developed on the discussion boards by your fellow HERO gamers. A lot of them were compiled into a PDF by Nate "Nato" Barnes and put on the "Free Stuff" section of the website, and even more were added to the board thread afterward. You can access the PDF and the thread here:

 

http://www.herogames.com/FreeStuff/freedocs.htm

 

Offhand I'd say there were especial possibilities in the seeds for Eurostar, Dr. Destroyer, Menton, Teleios and UNTIL, but lots of the others should be adaptable as well, even if you don't own published versions of the characters in question.

 

I hope that's of some use to you. :)

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Because the U.S. already has such a super presence, with the team you have, you should look at more of an international flavor to the adventures. Look around at various crimes around the world, especially crimes that supervillains might commit. Examples include:

 

Smuggling People: For example, bringing people illegally into the U.S. from Mexico. What if a villain was helping people across, but was using some of the subjects to test a new drug/serum/using this as a way to gain test subjects for experiments, with the resultant chaos that could result from power eruptions only benefiting future crimes.

 

Suggling Drugs: What if a villain or group such as VIPER were using this to finance their plans of world conquest/getting filthy rich?

 

Smuggling Antiquities: What if some of the items were mystic artifacts that DEMON might be after?

 

Poaching of Endangered Species: A villain decides he wants to be the only person with a particular animal on Earth? Or he decides that some part of the animal is necessary for maintaining or increasing his powers? Or a violent vigilante decides to start trying to protect the animals by killing not only poachers, but anyone who supports them, anyone who supplies them, and eventually any human at all?

 

Apocalype's Power Grabs: Don't know what exactly you meant by Dr. Destroyer being campy, but global threats such as Apocalypes are always coming up with schemes to gain power by threatening governments. If you don't like the camp, use the agents straightforward as a small army, and attempt to seize control of a small, out of the way third-world country. Or a south pacific island nation. Something where the larger nations are less likely to immediately notice, and if the invasion succeeds fast enough, they can entrench before a possible "war of liberation."

 

International Terrorists: Kind of touchy issue, but imagine a super who acts alone for a certain cause. Or a supervillain in charge of regular people, looking for a cause. With super powers, and the type of world that usually entails, the cause the terrorists fight for can be truly out of this world. Imagine a terrorist using his powers to cause terror, then using that terror to open a portal to another dimension and let something out! Or mutant terrorists, depending on your world's views of mutants (mine are more tolerant that most), or even other types of supers, fighting for their freedom, or to resist restrictive registration laws (shades of Nazi history?).

 

Aliens: Depending on whether they exist in your world or not, your team can take a jaunt off-world for a bit, as goodwill ambassadors, on a fact-finding expedition, or to help another race threatened by invasion/ecological disaster/exploding sun/planet eater/etc. Or even to be the representatives of Earth at a trial of humans.

 

I think if you expand the scope of your adventures, you can come up with some fun adventures that will keep your players interest.

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Re: Having Trouble Coming Up With Adventures

 

Originally posted by Count Zero

Hey Guys,

 

The big problem I am running is the standard adventures don't work (i.e. bank robberies, supervillian taking hostages) because there are local police super teams which deal with stuff on the local level, federal super teams which deal with super crimes which cross statelines, and secret service and spec ops teams that do stuff for the U.S. The big problem is I can't seem to figure out any adventures for an international super team with very heavy support from the UN.

 

Why not have some of those 'local teams' suddenly vanish?

You could get a bit of a mystery going, and it would reinforce the point that your PCs are "THE" big guns in your universe.

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Re: Having Trouble Coming Up With Adventures

 

Originally posted by Count Zero

Can you make any suggestions or direct me to any good net resources.

 

I don't know what resources you have access too, but adaption of other RPGs with a similar scope works well.

For example, since I have almost every item published for Call of Cthulhu, I replace the Great Old Ones with super-villains or the aliens whose invasion created superhumans in the first place.

 

"Masks of Nyarlathotep"

The PCs discover a plot by an international group of criminals to open a massive hyperspace portal that will allow an alien invasion fleet to materialize on Earth, bypassing any defenses. The trail begins in Manhattan, leads to London, Cairo, Kenya, and Australia, and finally ends in China.

 

"Shadows of Yog-Sothoth"

The PCs investigate a newly formed organization of some sort and discover that its leaders are attempting to recover fragments of a powerful weapon (or other device) thought destroyed. The race for the device travels through Boston, Hollywood, Scotland, Easter Island, and the depths of the Pacific Ocean (where the core of the device lies).

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DEpending on how you portray the local feds/police, there could always just be corruption. Someone high up is on the take, and not sending out the right people to handle problems. International authorities get called in.

 

If bureaucracies worked, we wouldn't need governments. :)

 

Also, a crime happens that affects a foreign national. The government, not trusting the FBI/PRIMUS/Swat teams, asks the international heroes to investigate.

 

You can also have them fight terrorist//independence groups

http://fas.org/irp/world/para/

 

When all else fails, have aliens invade. :)

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I feel your pain.

 

I ran a bunch of characters in a UN superhero group called The Global Guardians, long before the Web page stole my name.

 

I had them involved in all kinds of super plots revolving around Machanon, Alien Invaders, and Super Sorceresses, to name a few.

 

They did Time travel adventures and saved the world a hundred different way. When you have World Saving Super hero’s you need to have world threatening Super Villains and plots that run on for a long time.

 

I had one plot that unfolded over three years about shape shifting aliens, and one of them was their accountant in the UN. They were very surprised to find that one out.

 

The JLA helped me think of story lines that would work.

 

A

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1.) Out and out war, Ethnic cleansing in bosnia or rival tribes in Africa, people go off on a genocidal war to avenge anchient history. One side is usually immeasurably better armed than the other side. Maybe a super cillain sets it off becouse he belongs to one side or to divert attention from whatever he is really up to.

 

2.) There was an article in Us News and world report recently about this Russian ex-patriot military man who was supplyoing arms and equipment to the Iraquis during the most recent war. The article described him like a real world Bond villain, able to get most any weapon type that wasn't nuclear. This is only complicated by super tech or illegal cloning of supers.

Maybe several on your team have been bumped into by rude passersby. This is a ruse to get skin samples so that the bad guy can grow a clone or atleast isolate their power genes. Telleios could work in that or maybe the Warlord.

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i would sugget you create a super-duper international criminal organization bent on taking over the world, and then give them what they need to actually do it!

 

they could even start recruiting/creating/eliminating several world-class villans, taking over small countries, co-opting or out-right taking over major international firms.....

 

hell--why not go full-bore anime and have giant mecha running around!!--the combination of awsome hi-tech, MEGA-villans, and butt-loads of faceless minions should be enough to keep your group busy for a while....

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Great suggestion on reading Avengers comics.I remember 1 old issue when Henry Gyrich was getting up their noses and laying out a bunch of governmental restrictions. Your local comic shop might have some in thier dollar box. Getting tangled in UN red tape could be a hook, occupying the heroes while evildoers are hatching a plan elsewhere. Or the restrictions put down by your Nightwatch could keep your players from taking a moral action that would save some innocents all because they are following orders. Have the PC's make the call as to whether to disobey orders to save lives while in the midst of combat with supervillians. If they do they could be fugitives for awhile, having your local supercops hunt them down. Then they would have to redeem themselves.

 

San Diego was destroyed? That's cool .As long as they hit Ocean Beach first.:D

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Well, since you mentioned "Storm Watch", I can point out that the now-defunct STORMWATCH title from Wildstorm has a lot of material you can mine.

 

Most of it would needed to be 'brightened up' a bit from the Wildstorm Universe's *extremely* grey-area Iron Age tone, natch... unless you want extremely grey, at which point have at it.

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When superteams "go big", comic writers do one of two things, only one of which has been dealt with by previous posters:

 

Adventure Writ Large: Everyone has covered this. Pick major multinational threats, or go even larger. Don't overlook "cosmic" threats too. The JLA is great for these. Perhaps someone is breaking the link between cause and effect, or affecting emotions on a global scale, or tinkering with the time line, or some other causality violations.

 

Go very, very small: This is unusual for Superheroes, but with the right group, it can be a lot of fun. Explore the character's relationships with each other/their powers/their parents....Starman was good for this, and some of the JLA too.

 

The Tower of Babel storyline, where Ra's Al Ghul hijacked Batman's files on how to defeat each member of the JLA and used them, is a good example of both. First, you had a MAJOR threat. Direct attacks against each member of the League tailored in highly intelligent ways to target their vulnerabilites. Then, a SMALL story. Each member of the League had to deal with the fact that Batman kept secret files on each of them, just in case he had to defeat them himself, and the level of mistrust that engendered.

 

I like the Small stories. Superpowers don't help much when your sister is having a marriage crisis, or your dog dies, or your annoying neighbor wins the lottery. However, these stories are not for every group/every campaign. However, you said you wanted ideas....

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I dunno if this has been mentioned (haven't read everything yet) but you could set the PCs up a villain gets them blaimed for some major crime, they then lose federal funding, and are in a very poor light (oh, they may have gotten off for it, but it was just a technicality) so now have to work their way back up to the top...

 

 

send them in the past/future and have a cirsis there...

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The Digital Hero article below is, of course, on Saturday morning cartoon games, but it has some interesting ideas on scenario design that could actually be useful for a serious high powered game.

 

If you are really lacking inspiration, you can directly borrow some plot seeds...

 

http://www.herogames.com/digitalHero/Samples/dh11superfriends.htm

 

Oh, and for the record, I really like this article. My congratulations to the author.

 

Alan

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There were several Hero modules that might do well. Invasian Earth is all about major campaigns that threatn the entirety of Earth.

 

Also Wrath of the Seven Horsemen, by Andrew Robinson, and the Zodiac Conspiracy are big and won't need too much retooling.

 

Check out Noble Knight Games under the online retailers for a link tp their website. They have a nice balance of reasonable pricing, service and stock.

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Originally posted by Redmenace

2.) There was an article in Us News and world report recently about this Russian ex-patriot military man who was supplyoing arms and equipment to the Iraquis during the most recent war. The article described him like a real world Bond villain, able to get most any weapon type that wasn't nuclear. This is only complicated by super tech or illegal cloning of supers.

Maybe several on your team have been bumped into by rude passersby. This is a ruse to get skin samples so that the bad guy can grow a clone or atleast isolate their power genes. Telleios could work in that or maybe the Warlord.

 

Actually I have set up a world spanning organization. I am calling it Specter at this point in time... modeled after Viper but more subtle. Kind of Illuminati style in the aspect of trying to conquer the planet.

 

The big thing I have is the creation of super soldiers is illegal under the Geneva Convention/international law. One of the reasons for invading Iraq is the belief that he was building super soldiers. While having super humans in your army is find you can't create them... they have to be naturally born.

 

Jonathan

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Originally posted by Tamashii2000

If you can find it, look for a white wolf product called Project Utopia. It details a UN based group for thier aberrant setting. It will be just full of stuff you can steal..umm borrow.

 

It is of coarse heavly based on thier own setting plus you will need to replace thier creations with a few of your own

 

I will have to look into that product... I work in a game store and I know we have it. I will just read it during one of the many lulls at work.

 

Jonathan

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