Jump to content
Doc Democracy

Golden Age

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, bubba smith said:

the supers might resent their power thinking it is keeping them from serving their countries

The thing is, they have to be convinced that they ARE serving their country by staying at home. How? By increasing the amount of 4th columnist in the country, have them disrupt various axis power missions which happen in their country, prevent the assassination of English Queen, among others, and other important deeds.

 

Don't forget the bombing of London and the Blitz. Unlike the United States proper, England had bombs fall upon it 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Don't forget the bombing of London and the Blitz. Unlike the United States proper, England had bombs fall upon it 

 

Well the Japanese did bomb parts of continental America, but I know what you mean it was nothing like what England suffered. And yeah if there's enough to do at home, they needn't feel any resentment.  The real challenge is working out how an otherwise healthy young man with a secret ID doesn't end up in the military.  And what people around them think of this guy who doesn't serve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On January 13, 2019 at 9:59 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

The real challenge is working out how an otherwise healthy young man with a secret ID doesn't end up in the military.  And what people around them think of this guy who doesn't serve.

 

Traditionally, the first one (how does my secret ID not get drafted?) is done by one of two methods:

1) the character's alter ego is in an essential line of work: developing weapons technology, Civil Defense, etc.

2) the government knows who he is.  This has two parts.

          A) The character has come forward,wanting to enlist to fight the good fight, and has exposed his identity to one or two high-ranking officials thinking it will assure that he goes to the Front to fight the evil enemy.

          B ) the government has gone to great lengths to learn who the supers are so as to train them in important in-country jobs, or "draft" them into the military and place them on military bases in MOSes that will keep them here stateside, figuring that will so many of the prime fighting men gone, the super heroes are a key asset at home shoring up thinned-out police or emergency departments, civil defense, or to ease the need for so many soldiers and spies to stay here fighting fifth column invasions and spies.

 

The second one is most easily dealt with by placing the secret ID into the military in a "just barely qualified" position:something like a 2B or whatever "third round pick" was for the draft in that era (it's late, and I don't remember).  They are still "contributing as best they can," serving in the motor pool, or supply and procurement, etc.  Civil Defense and Corp of Engineers were respectable positions for candidates below 1A, and still allowed them to visibly contribute, as were DIs and civilian educators and news correspondents.  (Those last two were better served by older characters, however.)

 

Other honorable exemptions included "only son" (or, sadly, "last surviving son" ) and family farm, particularly if the parents were nearing retirement or suffering disabilities.  If I remember correctly-- and please, don't take my word for it, as not only was I not a comic book guy, but these comics were a bit before my time; my "comic knowledge" all comes from various people I've gamed with over the years, and recently, from the movies), Clark Kent was exempted on one or more of these grounds, and thus served the country fighting spies, secret invaders, gangsters, etc.

 

Don't get me wrong: I can _totally_ see the temptation to have a character whose secret ID is a perfect physical specimen dealing with the contempt and derision of other folks who really want join the war, but are genuinely unable to do so.  However, this casts a bit of dark that I personally find out of place for a genuine Golden Age type game, though it is entirely fitting to have a stay-at-home character be absolutely _miserable_ about not being allowed to serve at the front.

 

Anyway, I hope something there helps get the creative wheels turning.

 

 

Duke

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

The real challenge is working out how an otherwise healthy young man with a secret ID doesn't end up in the military.  And what people around them think of this guy who doesn't serve.

 

Actually pretty easy. Neither of my grandfathers were allowed to enlist, despite being of prime military age. One was a rail worker, the other was a metal tradesman.

 

At least one was in the Volunteer Defense Corp (Australian Home Guard equivalent). He'd tried to enlist at the start of the war, but was rejected, despite being a trained pilot.

 

Given the type of professions typical of Golden Age PCs, it wouldn't be hard to justify them most of them being rejected from serving, or at least being stuck pushing pens on the homefront.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How did Clark Kent evade the draft, or enlisted? Well, he read an eye chart correctly...it just was in the next room and he accidentally activated his x-ray vision. Hey, even Superman was a new hero at one point, still learning about controlling his powers.

 

As for Bruce Wayne, the point never came up, but as a millionaire who owns various businesses with government contracts, one can easily see him as 'essential to homeland defense'.

 

And Diana Prince, she worked as a WAC secretary. So, even she is a 'foreign-born individual' from an island from the myths of one of the enemies of the states, she was allowed to serve (both as Wonder Woman and as Diana Prince...having someone else identity can be helpful at times).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, steriaca said:

How did Clark Kent evade the draft, or enlisted? Well, he read an eye chart correctly...it just was in the next room and he accidentally activated his x-ray vision. Hey, even Superman was a new hero at one point, still learning about controlling his powers.

 

As for Bruce Wayne, the point never came up, but as a millionaire who owns various businesses with government contracts, one can easily see him as 'essential to homeland defense'.

 

And Diana Prince, she worked as a WAC secretary. So, even she is a 'foreign-born individual' from an island from the myths of one of the enemies of the states, she was allowed to serve (both as Wonder Woman and as Diana Prince...having someone else identity can be helpful at times).

if I am right WW bought  the identity from the real Diana Prince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

Traditionally, the first one (how does my secret ID not get drafted?) is done by one of two methods:

1) the character's alter ego is in an essential line of work: developing weapons technology, Civil Defense, etc.

2) the government knows who he is.  This has two parts.

          A) The character has come forward,wanting to enlist to fight the good fight, and has exposed his identity to one or two high-ranking officials thinking it will assure that he goes to the Front to fight the evil enemy.

          B ) the government has gone to great lengths to learn who the supers are so as to train them in important in-country jobs, or "draft" them into the military and place them on military bases in MOs that will keep them here stateside, figuring that will so many of the prime fighting men gone, the super heroes are a key asset at home shoring up thinned-out police or emergency departments, civil defense, or to ease the need for so many soldiers and spies to stay here fighting fifth column invasions and spies.

 

 

Often, the characters were ineligible because their secret IDs were 4F or similar.  Superman, for example, was misclassified due to that eye chart incident.

 

In an early WW II, the JSA all enlisted.   There we go - http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/All-Star_Comics_Vol_1_11

 

Well, almost all - IIRC, the Spectre could not serve as, being dead, he could not pass a medical exam.

 

They can also enlist and be assigned posts in the US, keeping them on the home front. 

 

Steve Rogers, IIRC, spent the war in basic training, being a useless klutz to better disguise his true identity.

 

For some characters, it's pretty easy.  Billy Batson, for example, was not likely to be drafted any time soon, nor would he be accepted if he volunteered.  But he could sell war bonds door to door!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, steriaca said:

prevent the assassination of English Queen

 

Just for maintaining accuracy, the UK had a King during the war but the princesses (one of whom would become the Queen) would be of huge significance to the morale of the country and foiling a kidnapping would be huge...

 

I think that the superheroes in the country might, initially be enlisted into a special forces section of the Home Guard (after Dunkirk).

 

11 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Traditionally, the first one (how does my secret ID not get drafted?) is done by one of two methods:

1) the character's alter ego is in an essential line of work: developing weapons technology, Civil Defense, etc.

2) the government knows who he is.

 

Good thinking on the draft it will be a decent secret ID session for those heroes for whom it is an issue.

 

Doc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the original WWII characters had important careers back home.  There's no shortage of District Attorneys, police detectives, and engineers who put on costumes and punched crime in the face.  I'm not an expert on what the grounds were to not be drafted, but I got the impression that a lot of these guys were older (mid-30s or later).

 

Edit:  And "millionaire playboy" was a pretty common secret ID too.  Presumably those guys have some pull if they don't want to be drafted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A little more regarding the draft.  The age range for the draft during WWII changed a couple of times.  The Selective Service Act of 1940 required males from 21 - 36 to register.  After the Army made its position that 18 to 21 year-olds made the best soldiers, there was an Extension Act in 1941 that extended the age range to 18 - 38, and then in 1942 it was extended again to 18 - 45.  Sometime during the war (I can't remember when, but after the age was lowered to 18) they stopped selected by draft, and starts by age - with the oldest being called first. So, depending on what year your game is set, age could keep the PCs out of the draft or make being drafted less likely.

 

The jobs that were often exempted/deferred included medical, college students, educators, scientists, agriculture, and military industries (several of which are common secret-ID fodder).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I can _totally_ see the temptation to have a character whose secret ID is a perfect physical specimen dealing with the contempt and derision of other folks who really want join the war, but are genuinely unable to do so.  However, this casts a bit of dark that I personally find out of place for a genuine Golden Age type game, though it is entirely fitting to have a stay-at-home character be absolutely _miserable_ about not being allowed to serve at the front.

 

Yeah I almost commented on that, as the tone of Golden Age rarely was gritty and depressing or dealt with personal misery.  Having someone be picked on in their secret ID for not going to fight would make sense at the time -- almost inevitable -- but wouldn't come up in the comics, so its best not simulated in the game, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I recall, Steve Rogers was stuck as a lowly private the whole war.  He was kind of a Beetle Bailey figure.  When he’d go off on a mission as Captain America, he was inevitably leaving behind his duties as Private Steve Rogers.  The sergeant (or whoever) would find him asleep in his bunk (after a long hard mission as Cap), and Steve would get stuck peeling potatoes.

 

For some reason, Army Command didn’t feel like telling the local guys who Steve really was.  The whole thing was played for laughs.

 

While the Golden Age was more serious than the Silver Age, angst wasn’t really a thing they did.  To get the tone right, characters’ secret IDs should either be lovable bumblers, or somebody too important to be allowed to enlist.  People would either say “Clark Kent?  That sad sack?  Ha!  The Army wouldn’t take him!”  Or “Bruce Wayne, the richest man in Gotham?  His company makes planes for the war effort!”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, massey said:

As I recall, Steve Rogers was stuck as a lowly private the whole war.  He was kind of a Beetle Bailey figure.  When he’d go off on a mission as Captain America, he was inevitably leaving behind his duties as Private Steve Rogers.  The sergeant (or whoever) would find him asleep in his bunk (after a long hard mission as Cap), and Steve would get stuck peeling potatoes.

 

For some reason, Army Command didn’t feel like telling the local guys who Steve really was.  The whole thing was played for laughs.

 

While the Golden Age was more serious than the Silver Age, angst wasn’t really a thing they did.  To get the tone right, characters’ secret IDs should either be lovable bumblers, or somebody too important to be allowed to enlist.  People would either say “Clark Kent?  That sad sack?  Ha!  The Army wouldn’t take him!”  Or “Bruce Wayne, the richest man in Gotham?  His company makes planes for the war effort!”

at the time it was common for super heroes to have secret ids

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am working with the players to turn concepts into actual characters.  As they are mostly not HERO afficionados, I am looking at ways to get an idea of how they might work in combat.  As such I have written a short narrative of an early gathering of the heroes as a group.  I am hoping this engages the players to either adopt the narrative or change it and that this will provide me with more information on what needs to be on the character sheet.  I thought I should kick it out here too.  I might do one or two more before I get to the point of generating and posting the character sheets.

 

Prologue-part 1: A sensational beginning

 

What a disaster.  This was supposed to be the first triumphant meeting of Britain’s greatest heroes.  It was supposed to provide the broadsheets with a morale boosting story to communicate to the the citizens of the United Kingdom.  The Empire might be fading but Britain still wields power and influence in the world.  That is what is was supposed to be.  Mr Chamberlain promised them that when they signed up, he called them The Union, to represent standing together, joining things, didn’t hurt, in Mr Churchill’s mind, that it also weakened the brand of those upstart socialists who were determined to unravel the fabric of British society and hasten the end of Empire.

 

It should have been easy, Chamberlain’s team had uncovered a plot to subvert the King.  The fascists in Europe had found a siren, someone who could bind a man’s heart and twist him round and apparently they were going to use her to bring the King to their cause.  All the Union had to do was stop them meeting.  They knew how she was coming to the country, she was American and the fascists had got their network over there to provide her with protection, should they be intercepted.  The plane she was supposed to be on arrived in London empty, not even a pilot on board, though it flew and landed perfectly.

 

The hunt through London was frustrating.  Tank, Robbie and Colonel Mustard were frustrated as the promised opportunity to confront these fascists constantly slipped away, each lead vanishing into the London fog.  It was almost as if they knew the Union was coming, knew what they were going to do.  The date of the annual Guildhall City of London dinner was fast approaching and the Union had not found where she was being kept or even who was protecting her.  

 

The team decided that the leak had to be somewhere in Chamberlain’s office and so, with two days left, the former Army Chaplain, known to his fellows as Charlie Foxtrot, delved into his network of former soldiers, clerics, medics, charity workers and friendly civil servants.  It is amazing what this network was able to accomplish or find out.  A day later they had a lead, one not being preferred by Chamberlain’s office.  A huge man with a strange French accent had been seen somewhere in Brixton, he was accompanied by an albino man who did not speak at all but, when seen in the gloom, his skin seemed to almost glow.  They had taken residence in a house over a fortnight previously and recently had friends appear.

 

Plans were drawn up.  Charlie would approach them directly.  Offer them the chance to go home, the game was up, and while nothing had been done unlawfully, they should take their corrupted woman back to wherever she came from.  Charlie would be accompanied by Colonel Mustard as they should be able to get out of trouble as quickly as they got into it.  Robbie, Tank and Tam would be stationed close by, ready to intervene if these colonials decided to fight.

 

It was obvious that the big man was puzzled at the appearance of Charlie at his doorstep but the albino behind him was quickest to react.  His clothes burned away to reveal a being of light rather than flesh and his skin began to pulse with fascinating colours, making the muscles of both Charlie and the Colonel go slack.  Robbie jumped the gun, he went blazing into the house, firing at the light being, The Fascinator as he came to be known.  Tank followed up as he heard the sounds of fighting, he crashed through the back entrance.  Tam decided to scout, he cast Kelly’s Eye on a large diamond he always carried with him.  When placed against his own right eye, the diamond merged and allowed him to see right through walls.  The problem was that it also saw through skin and other things.  He was able to see that there were three other people in the house, two of them upstairs, one of whom was bound to be the Siren.

 

Tam let Tank know to head upstairs.  He reckoned Robbie and the Colonel should be able to keep the muscle busy and while Tank distracted the upstairs guard, he would pop into the house, grab the Siren, and get out of there.  He blew on his chanter and imps popped into existence both beside him and 60 feet away within the house across the street.  These imps could create a gateway that Tam could just walk through and he waited until the guard was drawn away by Tank to make his move.

 

Charlie came to his senses as everything went to hell in a hand basket again.  Robbie was flying past, pouring eldritch fire into the man of light, the Colonel vanished in a burst of speed, heading into the house to engage the big man. There was another figure in a back room lurking, apparently hiding from Tank who had burst through the back door and was heading up the stairs to confront a strange clockwork type figure heading in the opposite direction.  When the big man fighting Robbie turned into Gator, Charlie thought things would be fine, that played into Robbie’s strength, he could control reptiles, surely that would make everything easier.

 

Charlie phased into his Sanctuary mode.  Most things would now not affect him and he could walk relatively unhindered through the chaos of battle.  He strode into the house.  The Fascinator had fallen under Robbie’s assault, the Gator was now looking at fighting both Robbie and the Colonel while Tank battled the Clockwork Man, machine guns rattling against rods and pistons while metal muscles creaked as they smashed down on the plates of armour protecting Tank.  Where was Tam?

 

On the roof of the adjoining building Tam removed Kelly’s Eye and cast a quick enchantment to provide him with protection against the probable charms of someone called a Siren before trilling a command on the chanter to the imps to create his gateway.  He steeped through and faced the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  She sang to him, her music disrupting his control of the imps and, despite his protection, causing him to pause, hesitate and actually consider helping her to escape.  It would be easy, the others were occupied and she wasn’t dangerous, just a misunderstood woman being used by these brutes.

 

Charlie passed by Robbie, blessing his reptile control powers to give them a boost, and Robbie tried to get into the mind of Gator.  Colonel Mustard threw a trench foot grenade into the room the other person was hiding, it should cover the entire room, causing anyone in there some difficulty in moving or acting against the Union. Tank was gaining the upper hand and he presumed Tam was in the process of taking custody of the Siren.  It was there he was probably needed most.  The Colonel, acting at his blindingly fastest, had followed up the trenchfoot grenade with one of his glue bombs which even Tank would take time to escape from.

 

He had ignored the potential that the bound opponent might still be a threat.  Stupid.  He would not have been hindered by those bombs, it had not entered his mind that someone else might be similarly advantaged.  As he passes Tank and the Clockwork Man he can hear singing above the noise of the fray and then hears the Colonel swear.  Robbie has indeed controlled the big gator man but has sent it crashing into the Colonel, it took him by surprise and how has him in its arms, crushing and biting him.  Those jaws have caused massive gashes in the shoulders of the Colonel and are working up to taking his head off.  Charlie does not hesitate but rushes back down the stairs and touches the Colonel, granting him Sanctuary, that will keep him safe while his speedy metabolism heals him.  

 

In the meantime Robbie has sent the Gator crashing into the back of Tank, swinging that battle back in favour of the bad guys.  Charlie begins to help Tank but realises that he needs to address the source of the problem, the shadowy figure trapped in the Colonel’s glue.  It is obvious his power is not obstructed by being trapped and Charlie needs to deal with him before he causes this to become the kind of situation he took his name from, an army slang for when everything goes wrong.

 

Tam, with the help of his magical protection, shakes off the influence of the Siren, long enough to switch protection from the effects of the Siren song to not being able to hear it at all.  With his hearing blocked he sees just a well-dressed middle class American woman.  Not particularly beautiful, nothing special.  Nothing threatening.  He steps forward to grab her and his head explodes with pain as he is attacked from above.  There was another guard!

 

On the stairs Tank wrestles with two opponents.  Neither of them are able to beat him individually but together it is a struggle.  He reckons if he focuses on the Clockwork Man then he might finish him quickly, allowing him to concentrate on this reptile opponent.  It is at that moment that Robbie pours Eldritch fire into him and the addition of a third opponent quickly reduces him to unconsciousness.  Charlie sees him collapse and he realises he needs to rescue him, wading through the melee and takes Tank into the Sanctuary before rushing upstairs to find Tam.  He arrives just in time to see the Cougar leap from rafters onto Tam’s back.  The claws rake down his back exposing bone and muscle from his head to his waist.  

 

Charlie does not hesitate, he pulls Tam into the Sanctuary and shouts to Robbie to join him.  It is time to retreat.  It is obvious they have not worked together before and there was more threat in this house than anticipated.  When Robbie arrives, he pulls him into the Sanctuary, steps in himself and closes the door.

 

When he opens the door again it will be to the small church garden in Ely where he first found his vocation after the horrors of the Great War.  It always opens there and nowhere else.  They will have to pull themselves together and get back to London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just about to do my second prologue, I have been teasing out the writing of the characters with my group while we finish the Mutant Year Zero game we are currently playing.  I have come up with an idea to answer the reasons why heroes cannot venture into the front-line.  It also provides a line into who has been leaking information from Chamberlain's office.

 

Germany has very few 'natural' super powered individuals and part of its rearmament has been given over to how it deals with those that have arisen in Great Britain and other parts of the world.  They have come up with a plan.  They have robotics geniuses but even these will not give them the edge they need - the tech is unreliable and VERY expensive and does not quite match the power of heroes like Roddy Reyburn.  They have been able to meld technology with magic however and they can imbue the armour with the power to combat an individual - it provides AP to all powers and Damage Negation to all attacks from a specific hero.  The problem is that there is a need for a psychic image for the hero to be 'installed' in the armour and that image can only be held in a human host, the major drawback being that when the armour draws out the image, it kills the host.  There is a new corps formed.  That corps is formed of armour-wearers and hosts.   Hosts are criminals or degenerates that have been mind-controlled to follow and defend the armour-bearer, they are effectively automatons.  The armour can only be tuned to one hero at a time.

 

I am fortunate in that none of my players read these boards.

 

My questions for the forums are:

1 - I need a good name for the new Corps.

2 - The person who has taken the images is a traitor in Chamberlain's office - he/she has met almost all of the heroes in Great Britain as 'part of his duties' and taken their images.  S/he will defect when he is found out and be a long-running opponent.  I need a name for this psychic traitor.

 

My background is:

1 - I see a heavy Camelot theme - The Union is likely to sit at a Round Table and there may be underlying themes throughout the campaign (Morgana and Mordred both feature in my thoughts about the traitor)

2 - Tam O'Shanter has a background that is likely to involve fairie and other mystical things.  The Ancient Brotherhood of the Druids is part of Chamberlain's war planning but there is rumours that they have been compromised, making their contribution suspect.  there is going to be a war on the mystic realm that shadows that in the real world.

3 - the players will not immediately know about the hosts - or more specifically, know about the detrimental manner in which they are used.

4 - this is the reason that they cannot risk superheroes on the battlefield, if the Nazis can identify them then they can send personalised foes at them and very readily eradicate very useful assets from the war, this ability to have the right hosts to hand is more likely to exist in Germany and places that are prone to assault by superheroes. 

5 - this new Corps will be unique to the Germans.  The Russians are also deficient in superheroes but they have a gestalt thing going on where Mother Russia binds her children together, allowing the masses to unite (physically as well as socially) to wield inordinate powers against her enemies.  Of course, this will also be wasteful of lives but a bit different from Germany.

 

Open to all comments, opinions and (hopefully) insightful suggestions.

 

Doc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, wcw43921 said:

You could call them the Lion Corps, the idea being that like the British Lion, they are rising up to defend the nation.

 

Oh my, even if I do not use the Lion name for the Corps, the Lion Rising is very Camelot and ties through to Narnia...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be coincidence but the thread next to this one, when I looked was Legion of Doom, if that is not a great name for this new Corps, I do not know what is!!

 

Die Legion der Verdammten (according to Google Translate) - someone who has better German might be able to make it cooler....

 

Doc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Come up with a generic name in English and slap it into Google Translate.

 

Der Amboss Korps -- the Anvil Corps, because the Fatherland's enemies will be smashed as if they were struck against an anvil.  It sort of fits better with the Soviet hammer iconography, but the Germans have Thor, so they can use it too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Der Gegenurbermensch (literally, The Counter Overman Corps, the Corps part got dropped from the translation). Chances are they will be nicknamed "Greggs" by the English speaking public, much like they nicknamed German soldiers as "Jerrys".

Share this post


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...