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The People of Campaign City


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The Doctor

Dr. Changchang Wei is the best damn surgeon in the city. As her name implies, she's Chinese, from Hong Kong originally, but she's since gotten American citizenship.  She studied medicine at the finest schools, and was in the top five percent of her class. She could tie a slip knot blind folded around any blood vessel you care to name. She's really that good and her services can be hard to get thanks to demand. Almost anyone who knows about the medical scene knows all this.
 
What they don't know is she offers her services to superheroes. It's her own form of vigilante activity. The laws would require her to report bullet wounds and the like to the authorities, which would naturally place a superhero's identity in jeopardy (at least if anyone tried even a minimum of detective work). Changchang keeps it all under the table at a private clinic that only a handful know about. Exactly what started her on this path is unsure, but the masked men and women whose lives she's saved are grateful for it. 
 
They've shown that gratitude by paying her in scalpels that are made of materials that can cut even super skin, and other medical equipment that's state of the art. Admittedly, as they enhance Dr. Wei's chances of saving them the next time, its somewhat self serving, but it is the form of payment Dr. Wei prefers. Well, that and she reserves the right to lecture her patients with a great deal of snark (Her sharp tongue can also cut through super skin, albeit it metaphorically) and suggestions they save her some hassle by changing to a safer line of work. Repeat customers get it even more fiercely, and she does have them. Surgeons of her caliber do not grow on trees, and some super teams from other cities have been known to emergency rush a fallen team mate to her or vice versa.
 
Because of this, and because she's smart enough to stay abreast of the unique nature of superhumans; she's actually very in the know of 'who's who' in the super hero set. Dr. Wei would never violate a medical trust, but short of that, she might certainly be able to make a suggestion on how to enlist outside help for a caper that's gotten a bit too big.
 

Dr. Wei's first costumed patient was actually the notorious 'outlaw' Spirit Fist (See the Champions Villains Volume 3). Not only did she save his life, she ended up hiding him from Chinese Agents until he could recover. Spirit Fist has been known to visit her from time to time. if the Chinese government were to find out about this, there would be a covert abduction faster than you could say "Doctor who?"

 
 
QUOTE: "You know those superheroes who are bullet proof? Nothing can hurt them? Well, I think we've established you are the other kind. I just pulled out enough titanium shrapnel from your body to make an ashtray. No, no payment needed, but I'm keeping the titanium."
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A bit like Marvel's Night Nurse.  All interesting!  It seems like so-called 'normals' are always the ones who drive superhero stories, by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, discovering clues to a secret identity, or tampering with forces they don't understand.  They inevitably develop powers of their own, too!

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The Driver

Jeremiah Coleman has just three rules. Well, no he doesn't. He also has a full head of hair, but he does love the Transporter movies. Jeremiah's a southern boy from the Mississippi Coleman family known for its NASCAR dynasty, a fact he's proud to point out and if you don't like  NASCAR, well, your narrow minded nature just makes him sad. The point is, he's very very good at driving.

 

He came to the city not to pursue a career in racing, but rather to get his college degree. Unfortunately for him, it's all gone to hell and now he's behind the wheel of a truly amazing vehicle that's nearly bullet proof and has an engine that would normally belong in something you fly!  Normally he'd love that... but not as the driver in an experimental getaway vehicle

 

 

What do you do when you're a Nest Leader with a brand new experimental vehicle that can turn on a dime, accelerate from 0 to holy #### rapidly, but  none of your Nest personnel have the reflexes, response time, or driving skill to handle it? You kidnap the mother of some hick who does have all that, and explain very carefully that he has several jobs to pull, or she's quite dead. That's what's happened. Now Jeremiah is working for VIPER, as the wheelman in a prototype only he seems able to handle. Unfortunately, he gets captured, he's been told his mother will be killed, so he will drive like a bat out of hell even when all he wants to do is ask a superhero, any superhero, to save his mom!

 

 

QUOTE:  "Oh stop your belly achin' and grow a pair, I told you it would fit in that alley and I was right. Hold on though, bridge is raising...this is going to be close. YEE HAAAA!"

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I don't know if your interested in opening this up to suggestions. If not just say no and ignore this, otherwise.

 

The helpful kook

 

No one is quite sure of his real name, whenever asked he just says to refer to him as the Commodore.  This elderly gentleman started wandering the docks a few years back in an old moth eaten naval outfit. He says the president appointed him to make sure the docks were safe from enemy activity. Which president tends to change, but is usually one of the Roosevelts. He's on friendly terms with most people on the docks, and the ones who treat him rudely tend to have something to hide.

 

The Videographer

 

Angela Yin is a beautiful and athletic woman who lives to get exciting videos of news events. As a result she tends to show up at  a lot of superbattles. Her favorite thing to do is get a shot no one else would by putting herself at some precarious point., preferably overlooking the battlefield. Heroes who try to rescue her from her "dangerous" position will get a lecture as to how she records the story, not becomes it. However while she is an adrenaline junkie she isn't an idiot. She always tries to stay outside of the fight, and if something should threaten her directy she will appreciate any help getting out of it.

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The Fire Chief

Benjamin J. Rusk is proud, very proud, of his firefighters.  As Fire Chief, he's got good reason to be proud. The city's fire fighters have truly earned the title "Bravest" again and again facing not just regular fires, but having curbed and contained those started by superhumans. Rusk projects a stern but protective father image to his "boys", and the gray haired man with trim crew cut and mustache looks the part. Always dressing ten years out of style, while the man gets some light jokes his way from the men and women who work under him, those same firefighters have been known to threaten a beat down on anyone else making insulting comments their Chief's way.

 

For his part, Rusk can come down hard on his men on the rare times they screw up, but he'll also go to bat for them against city officials, reporters who question their efficiency, and corporate big wigs who want preferential treatment for their buildings compared to the lower class residential areas. And he listens, somehow knowing which guys are having wife troubles, which ones are struggling to make the rent, and while he doesn't handle their problems openly, sometimes those same people find hours changed to buy them time with loved ones, or given a 'bonus' (From Rusk's own pocket not that he'd say that). 

 

 

As Fire Chief, Rusk maybe found on the scene of any big fire coordinating his men , and his knowledge of the science of fire makes him a valuable contact when it comes to learning how to deal with pyromanical supervillains and their attacks. Any superheroes who join in fighting fires, particularly if they coordinate with his boys, will quickly earn his respect. After all, anyone can punch a face, not so many can tackle flame itself.

 

The Chief's protective nature over "his boys" could also lead to a situation where Rusk discovers one of his fire fighters has gotten into trouble with a criminal element. Rusk isn't above arranging a meeting with a superhero he's befriended, and asking for them to look into it on his behalf.

 

 

 

QUOTE: "You guys are heroes eh? That's nice. So are my boys. Now, let's talk about this arsonist."

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The EMT

Theo Jamal Morton is a huge black man with a deep voice and an easy smile. He's a giant, but he's a gentle one, and that serves him well as a top notch Emergency Medical Technician. For a big guy, he moves pretty fast, and a superhero might see Theo race across the street to get a fallen citizen to safety at risk of the EMT's own life. Now, Theo is human, so the superhero might also hear him cursing at any near blast, but the point is the big guy values the lives of innocents as much as any superhero out there. 

 

Anyone getting to know Theo in his off time will find he's quite extroverted, warm and friendly. He's currently dating but doesn't have a regular boyfriend yet. His family isn't crazy about his sexuality, but hasn't spurned him either. He likes Hip Hop, but admits a weakness for Johnny Cash "And really, show me a man who doesn't like one Johnny Cash song, and I will show you someone I cannot trust" . He considers himself apolitical, and would prefer to discuss almost anything else.

 

 

 

 

Theo has a date in a few days with a handsome man by the name of Woodrow. They'll hit it off very well, and then a happy month after that? Theo will find the costume under Woodrow's bed, the costume of the Supervillain Smashup (Who, to his credit has never killed anyone)!  And Theo is not going to be sure what to do... part of him hoping he can convince Woodrow to give up his life of crime, another part realizing he should go to the police. Theo is a great guy, but love can make fools of us all.

 

 

 

QUOTE: "Hey, stay with me. You're going to be okay."

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I don't know if your interested in opening this up to suggestions. If not just say no and ignore this, otherwise.

 

 

 

 

 

It's an open thread ;) so no worries. 

 

 

Oh, and if anyone is wondering why "EMT" came after "Fire Chief" , in the list I'm using, it was actually labeled as "Firefighter/EMT" so I picked the latter since I had the Chief pretty well fleshed out.

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I'm trying something a bit different and seeing how long I can stick with it. Rather than build a fictional city and then fill it with people, I'm going to make a bunch of NPCs (Just the barebones, no real need for Stats) and see what sort of city forms around them.

 

 

What sort of city? It will be a City of Campaign People!

 

Then you can start a Campaign of People City!

 

Skipping "Boyfriend/Girlfriend" as that would require specific PCs

 

 

It would?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Ah, you make me blush...

but as I eat up praise to feed my insecure nature, do go on ;)

 

You're okay by me, I don't care what the palindromedary says

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The Gambler

Wilson James used to be a gambler, hell, he still is, its just now he's also the House. On his own, he still tries his hand at Black Jack, Poker, and dice games (he avoids Slot machines like the plague) but these days he organizes and manages a betting pool unlike anything he's done before. 

 

Wilson James makes and covers bets on super battles! Not arena confined illegal matches, but actual in the street superbattles that occur every day all over the country. How? Well, Wilson James thanks Lady Luck every day that he was born at the right place, the right time, and in an era with the right tech. A skilled Engineer ("What, a gambler can't have an engineering degree?") Wilson came onto the idea of using weaponless drones to watch, record, and live stream superbattles! In a country where a superhero can get images on Youtube, and twitter about it instantly, a simple algorhthym to search for alerts can let a guy know when and where superhuman activity might be going.

 

His first efforts varied from failures to less than stellar attempts, but Wilson knew he was onto something. Parlaying winnings from other big stakes events to fund his idea, the drones got better. He hired former military drone pilots and cameramen alike. He arranged for 'finder fee' programs to anyone who could let him know about a super battle starting in their area. Within a year, footage had improved, and his business became not just self sustaining, but successful. Now, every day, hundreds of big betters log on, place their bets at his site on whether the Ultimates can beat the New Freedom Patrol, or how long Ogre can hold off Grond if those two titans clash. Once you go national, there's always a super fight going on 'somewhere' to bet on.

 

Whatever you think of the ethical ramifications on betting such things ("Hey, these fights happen whether we bet on them or not. Why not bet on them?"), the laws are having trouble keeping up with the times. The technology used just simply didn't exist when most of them were written, and Wilson doesn't exactly advertise where in the city his main HQ is. Superheroes are more likely to spot his drones than Wilson, but already among the Superset "WJ Titanbash" is gaining a reputation.

 

In his heart, Wilson James knows this little gambling empire is destined to crumble about him, possibly endangering his life if the wrong supervillain tracks him down. But even as the House, Wilson James loves risk. He loves high stakes, and what could be a higher stake daring to catch a little magic from the thunderbolts the gods hurls at each other? 

 

 

Wilson James' "Titan Bash" wagering is attracting all sorts of attention. Unlike arena games, it is very hard to 'rig' an impromptu battle between Captain Stellar and Scumwad in Des Moines, but it is also not a closed event. It's only a matter of time before a superhero finds himself being hampered by a third party he never met before during a battle with a regular arch foe just to change the odds. WJ tries to lay out all sorts of contingencies, but human greed can cause a lot of innovation. 

 

More than that, he's got business rivals. The Arena, the black market underground arena fighting between supers, has lost money thanks to him. They are not nice people, and their owners are deciding when they should find WJ and take over his operation if they don't just shut it down entirely.  

 

 

QUOTE: "The Slaughterhouse 5 against two heroes? Which two? Wait, Redline and Starshield? Huh. That changes the odds. No, neither is that powerful, but those two have shacked up according to rumor. True love conquers all. What can I say? I'm a romantic. House predicts the heroes will win or escape."

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The Ghost

Hank Houston remembers what it was like to walk the mean streets of the city back in the day when the streets were as crooked as the people, and sticking your nose in where it didn't belong was a good way to make some bread, but a bad way to keep on living. He oughta know, he died on the job after all. Hank was a private detective and gumshoes like him invited trouble all the time. Being a stubborn palooka himself, Hank's spirit hung around and solved his own murder. The look on the button man's face when he was caught by a dead man's machinations was aces. 

 

After that, well, Hank thinks he went to Heaven, though he was actually surprised not to be smelling brimstone. He remembers being happy for a time, really happy, but a wee bit bored. Then he remembers a voice telling him that one Mr. G had a job for him...

 

Now, if only he could remember what the job was?

 

Still, working a case you barely remember after you've pulled the big fade ain't easy. As a ghost, there's a limited number of people that can see Hank, and a limited amount of interaction he can have with the living. Still, Hank's learned some tricks. Doodling messages on mirrors that have steamed up is one. And he's managed to appear in a dream or two. Mediums and mystics seem able to see him. And superheroes are often tied to the mystic, so he's not above recruiting one in his latest nose around.

 

Hopefully the poor costumed mook won't die on him. Hank could use a partner, but he needs one among the living.

 

 

Hank is a gh-gh-gh ghost! And as he learns how to manage his new state, he may learn whatever tricks the GM wants. Heck, maybe even temporary possession. A superhero might wake up with the taste of gin in his mouth and a note with some clues on it. Clues to what is up for that same GM to decide. If something really nasty is brewing on the dark magic side, the powers that be certainly don't want it to come to pass, and they apparently have faith that Hank can uncover it even if the 'rules' prevent him from remembering the details he learned on the upperside. 

 

Oh, and should folks take a liking to Hank, it's entirely possible he'll become something akin to an angel, Heaven's own Shamus, a dubious honor in Hank's book "I asked for the company of a doll , they gave me wings. That's management for you, huh?"

 

 

 

QUOTE: "This is what you call detective work? The circus act costumes I can stand, but you need to use your head for something more than holding your mask up. Ask yourself why a nobody pug like this guy would have the details on where to find our Mr. Big? It stinks of ambush!"

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What sort of city? It will be a City of Campaign People!

 

Then you can start a Campaign of People City!

 

 

It would?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

 

You're okay by me, I don't care what the palindromedary says

 

Heh.

 

Thanks I think ;)

 

Folks, We'll be skipping governor as I said before. I know that Gates' reality show and Wilson's gambling set up might seem a bit too much alike in some ways, but its what came to mind. 

 

I think by the time I'm done, some of the NPCs will almost insist on a little interaction with each other.

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The Gossip

Meredith Wallace means no harm, per se, but the older she gets, the more she does love talking about possible scandals, odd bits of other people's trivia, and their comings and goings. Were she not one of the local blue bloods from a well established family, her net of gossip might be much smaller, but her social connections, wealth, and loads of free time means she's got plenty of time to pry into the affairs (sometimes literal affairs) of others. Now in her late sixties, she's still quite spry, and her hearing remains uncannily sharp!

 

This old woman may become something of a nightmare for superheroes whose secret Identities move through the halls of high society. Are they married or seeing anyone? Why not? Where do they go at such odd hours? Why do they seem to act so suspicious? Even if Meredith guesses wrong, the guess might still cause some trouble. Nevermind that having an old woman go "Oh, I know your secret dearie" with conviction might give the more high strung members of the superhero set a start!

 

On the flip side, she does know some secrets of others. Anyone who pays her attention may find out tidbits about the well to do, captains of industry, and philanthropists; enough to start their own investigations on at least.

 

 

In many tales, curious people get in trouble, and Meredith is heading along that path. She's become quite curious about Caspar Brown. He keeps such odd hours himself, and his story about his sister doesn't seem to add up. Don't young people skype or use those web cam things now adays even across continents? To say the old woman is due for an 'accident' is putting it mildly

 

 

QUOTE: "Oh my, that's Dorathea Dixon, of the Southbranch Dixons? You didn't hear it from me, but I understand she's become enamored of a superhero! I know, well, I guess if a girl gets saved enough times, it gets hard not to develop at least an interest.  Still, her grandmother would approve of no such thing, and since her grandmother controls the purse strings of the family..."

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The Inventor

Doctor Howard Egmore lives on the edge of the city, in a creepy castle that.... yes, a castle. He had it custom made  (if Disney can do it, why can't he?) to his meticulous and sometimes equally mercurial specifications. Lightning seems to plague it in the evening, but in truth that's just because he has advanced tesla coils incorporated in the castle tower (Around Christmas they play holiday tunes...kind of). 
 
You can find him in the phone book, under Mad Scientist For Hire. Most folks in town think it's a gag, or he's just a harmless eccentric who has seen one too many B movies. Yet some do come to him asking if he can make this, or that device. Discretion is not just asked for, its required. Which has a few folks wondering anything he's doing is just flat out illegal.
 
But so far, no giant robots have terrorized the city, no mutating plagues have ravaged the populace, and death rays haven't hit the street market in droves (Not that are linked to Dr. Egmore anyway). Is the Doctor a hoax?
 

No. No he is not. Dr. Egmore is a genuine grade A Mad Scientist (Well, whimsical perhaps is the word he'd prefer), focusing his attentions on all the "fun" sciences, including Genetics, Robots, Temporal physics, Xenomorphology, and Rays. While technically "for hire" , he rejects about 90% of the requests he gets as many have been done to death ("No more femme  bots! Everyone wants femme bots!" ) , and while 'mad', he's not stupid, so zombie creating bioplagues and bombs clearly meant to wipe out the city he's a part of are out. How does he get away with it? Those Tesla Coils are just the FX of a very subtle "Don't connect me with the fruits of my genius unless you mean to hire me" mind  control emission that engulfs the town. It doesn't work all the time, but it works on enough people that it provides him cover.

 

Obviously, Dr. Egmore is cheesy, over the top, and silly. If there's no place for that in your campaign, simply replace him with a more serious inventor, someone harmless who has improved Pez technology or something

 
QUOTE: "Yes, I suppose to the narrowminded, resurrecting Cleopatra as a catgirl with a robot army might seem unwise..."
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The Investigator

Mina Jardine finds her profession far more interesting than she thought it would be. After all, as Investigators go, it's the Private Investigators that normally get the TV shows, not ones working for insurance companies. But in this economy, being fully independent means a lot of living hand to mouth, and Mina found the idea of snooping in on cheating spouses and so on distasteful. So she went corporate, trying hard not to get too jaded at this or that attempt at fraud. It got dull, but it was steady.

 

Then she heard of Metro-Shield Insurance, arguably the largest provider of superhuman insurance in the nation. It turned out, they suspected some of their clients might be faking supervillain attacks and the like, and were hiring. Intrigued, she ignored the advice of her father ("I really wish you'd gone on to be a chemist, Hun") and applied. 

 

It turned out to be a good fit for both. Mina's background in chemistry mixed with experience and a keen eye for details allowed her to spot who was faking, and who had a building or a car in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong supers around. She's been known to seek out and finds superheroes, try to flag them down, and if they have a moment, ask them if they did indeed have a fight at the area on the corner of such&such and Whazit. She's an attractive woman but prefers to dazzle folks with Sherlock like brilliance rather than Marilyn Monroe like smiles.

 

 

Ms Jardine doesn't know it, but Hank Houston is a relation (Mother's side) . Because of this, she'll be able to see him, talk to him, etc. If he discovers her, he may try to recruit her, she'll claim she already has a job and works alone... hilarity ensues. She might also be the best chance a superhero has to prove his or her innocence. Ms. Jardine is certified, considered an expert in most courts of law, and if she says it wasn't a superhero who damaged a building or endangered lives; said courts are likely to believe her. Of course, her knack for noticing small coincidences and piecing them together make her a danger to any secret ID. The good news is, while it may not be at first apparent, Mina's goal is not to get her company off the hook, it's to find out the truth. Thus far, Metro-Shield Insurance is expensive, but otherwise fair in its dealings. If she discovers that changing... she's liable to walk.

 

 

QUOTE: "Well, Mister Stone, the hand print like indention here amid the wreckage certainly makes it seem like Grond might have wandered here in his rampage last week... only, did you know Grond only has two fingers and a thumb on each hand? You really should do your homework before you try to use as a villain's rampage across the city as a way to collect on your failing business."

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