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So, your two statements... What are they/would they be?

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Mine need a bit of background.  Basically, the world setup would be Marion Harmon's Wearing the Cape world.  The base setting is our world.  In the fairly recent past, an Event happened...the world, for lack of a better term, blinked.  EVERYONE blacked out for ~ 3 seconds...and yes, this led to a TON of accidents.  But starting then, and ever since, when people find themselves under tremendous stress, SOMETIMES they suddenly gain superpowers.  Maybe it's seeing your grandma collapse from a heart attack, or a truck is jackknifing in front of you and you're gonna get *crushed*.  SOMETIMES...BOOM!!  

 

You have no conscious control, BUT the powers tend to be linked to responding to the situation and your personal mindset.  That is...in the crash...Avoid?  Teleport, perhaps.  Tough it out?  You become a brick.  Is this always a good thing?  No.  The end product may be decidedly NOT normal.  

 

It's a good premise, I think, for Champs Now, as it really bundles the people/powers/problems package nicely, especially at origin.  

 

So, statement 1 is "Be careful what you wish for."  #2:  Humanity is Tested.

 

 

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If people could refrain from posting bulls**t answers on this thread, that would be helpful. If you're not using Champions Now, or if you don't have even the slightest clue what the Two Statements are, then please resist the temptation to post nonsense responses.

 

Not using the two statements because they feel contrived? That's a perfectly valid answer. Clearly this is somebody who has some clue what's going on and has formulated an opinion based on that knowledge. This is a useful post.

 

But posting random sounding stuff just for the sake of posting stuff? We have an entire NGD for that sort of thing.

 

/rant

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For the unfamiliar, here's what is meant by the Two Statements. This is taken verbatim from page 32 of Champions Now:

 

Quote

Okay! When you get people together, have the following two statements at the ready, no more and no less.

One solid bit of content about superpowers, heroes, or villains
▶ This part might be back-story, or purely visual, or just atmospheric.

 ▶ One solid bit of fictional style and specific types of problems
▶ Include the location of play (ideally, somewhere that someone in the group knows really well)
▶ This part says nothing about powers or superhero/villain material. It’s really tempting, but resist. 

 This isn’t a pitch. It’s not negotiated, discussed, debated, or explained. If you chose phrases that are fun – that you like to see or want to see in comics that’s enough.

 

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For the campaign I've been formulating in the back of my head:

 

1. The  explosion at Chernobyl cracked reality and made superpowers--magic, mutations, super-tech, psionics, etc.--possible.

 

2. Good people use their extraordinary abilities to do good things in today's America.

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See? 

 

That's what I'm not getting with them. 

 

Pariah's two statements work for me, but the don't follow the rule: both lines mention super powers.   They _do_ define a campaign, and I think they do a good job of it. 

 

Every time I've tried to come up with something following the format, I end up with one of two-- no; that's not accurate: I end up with varying proportions of a _blend_ of two things:  1) the clear and unshakeable feeling that the world started at right this instant--varying degrees give me the feeling that the characters might merely be the very first superheroes, which I don't always enjoy, nor do my players--

. And I get a varyingly-heavy dose of that deceased movie trailer guy: "In the world where X, one man must break through the cover up, and unravel the mystery-" 

 

You get the idea.   What it seems to do, so far as my experimenting has demonstrated thus far, is a one-dimensional emphasis one particular adjective that will be the absolute thrust of the story, period. 

 

And for some reason, I always end up with varying shades of grimdark at the point where they intersect.  Yeck. :(

 

I can get results I'm happy with, but like Pariah, I have to bend the rules of the Two Statements to get something that sounds like I might want to play it. 

 

Everything else-- well, like I said: it feels contrived, like when movie trailer guy lobbed his "in the world -" pitches. :(

. Even the examples in the PDF felt forced and pushed a very specific game theme and agenda.  I'm not into that, at least not for supers. 

 

I freely admit that I might just stink at this, and have been excitedly monitoring this thread for examples that work. 

 

Trying again, with witnesses.  Actually, as I typed this, I tho k the problem might be that I've been limiting myself to simple sentences.  So let's try this instead:

 

While always rare, no one remembers a time without super-powered individuals. 

 

In Campaign City, the unusual and bizarre have become common, and a unique breed of people work to make things as they should be. 

 

Okay, that's _slightly_ better, but it's still not interesting:

 

I was describing my actual on-going supers campaign, and ended up with something that could be Big O or a Wind Named Amnesia or even Dark City!  Nothing up there suggests anything but foreboding, and for the most part, this campaign is so light-hearted as make circus clowns cringe. 

 

This _did_ finally manage to get away from that "this is the all-consuming thrust of our game" feel I've been bumping up against, but to do it I had to get so vague with the second statement as to make it narratively useless (if slightly threatening), which has removed _some_ of the contrived feel, but not enough.  Worse still, I violated the _spirit_ of the rules by "talking around" the word superheroes. 

 

Again: maybe I'm terrible at it, but until I see other folks following the rules and achieving solid, non-threatening, non hyper-focused results, I am skipping the two statements. 

 

:(

 

 

 

 

 

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1. Touched by alien energies.

2. Homicide detectives in the high rent districts of Seattle

 

1. Phantasmagorical forces that drag you into trouble.

2. Small town families squabbling over the scraps of their economy.

 

1. Testing scientifically created supers.

2. The tension between work and time with loved ones on a University campus.

 

1. Living in a Flash Gordon world. [in retrospect this has nothing to do with the "now" encouraged by the text so it doesn't really fit.]

2. Bringing together factions in the face of distrust and hate.

 

For statement 2. it helps to think about what kind of drama would be interesting on the flip side of the powers. It's like welding a TV show to superheros. Early Spider-man might be expressed as 1. Amplified creature and elemental powers and 2. Teenage  lives, lessons, and relationships in Manhattan. 

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27 minutes ago, nitrosyncretic said:

1. Living in a Flash Gordon world. [in retrospect this has nothing to do with the "now" encouraged by the text so it doesn't really fit.]

 

I'm not quite sure what the "Now" used in the text actually means yet, but I'm pretty sure its not intended to be a limit on a game's setting.

 

Yes, the "world outside your window" idea is mentioned, and Ron specifically asked that playtest games be fairly restricted in space, time and character concepts, but I don't think that that was meant to be restrictive outside that context.

 

The "Now" concept is part of Ron's somewhat impenetrable theoretical stuff, which I only vaguely understand.

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I think what people missing about the two statements is that they are only the beginning of the process of campaign creation.

 

The next step is taken by the players, who shape the world through the PCs they create, especially through their Situations. Essentially, they take the two statements and run off with them in random directions.

 

The GM doesn't create the campaign - it is a joint effort between them and the players. This is part of the "Indy" aspect of the game.

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You're right, I don't think my reference above really uses the term accurately. 

 

What was thinking of is the idea that one sets one's game in the present world with whatever current events happening same as they are around the players -- just as most Marvel supers comics have -- just look at Spider-Man etc. -- real world New York with ongoing world and cultural events contemporaneous with the publication date of the book.

 

But the proper meaning of the "Now," in Ron's game, as I understand it, is letting the current state of events at any given second inform what happens next. To allow dice rolls and play to shape whatever outcomes they produce, then stop and say, "based on that, how do the villains and NPCs respond? What plans do they change or set in motion? How do DNPCs react? I see it as a cycle of nows, each an iteration that inspires the action.

 

I think the concept is also an attempt to head off the long tradition in RPGs of the GM, consciously or unconsciously, using their significant powers to shape events so they produce what the GM sees as "a good story." 

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Duke Bushido has suggested that Pariah's statements don't fit the model. That's easy to fix.

 

Change the second statement to "Good people try to do good things in today's America."

 

Arguably you should specify a particular city in "today's America", but there is no need for such a restriction IMO. At most you might want to specify one as where the PCs start.

A game can easily span the globe, the universe, the multiverse... but they do start somewhere.

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4 hours ago, nitrosyncretic said:

1. Masters of the Occult

2. Facing death and taxes in New Orleans

 

I think I saw that movie. Keith David voiced the villain, right? 

 

:winkgrin:

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Here's another try, based on a campaign I ran a few years ago.

 

1. A secret society of mystics recruits superheroes to save the world.

 

2. All-out global war against invaders from beyond the stars.

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Pariah's "Chernobyl triggered changes" is a theme of at least 2 superpowered literary universes.  Not Chernobyl per se, but "something happened and now we have powers."  The first is Harmon's Wearing the Cape, as I mentioned.  The other is Drew Hayes' Villain's Code.  Book 1 is Forging Hephaestus;  book 2 is, I believe, close to finishing.  The event was a freak accident that threw the laws of physics for a few loops.  The major factor now is a "magical storm" trope called a Confluence, where Weird Things Happen and new supers (metas, here) are created.

 

Come to think, there's another...slightly different.  Glynn Stewart's ONSET series of 4 books.  Powers exist, they've existed for some time.  The scope is relatively limited, tho, due to a Seal.  Yes, well, that Seal is weakening, and things are getting out of hand.  A central feature of this, and of his Changeling series of 3 books, is that the public *does not* know about supernaturals.  In ONSET, it's government policy;  in Changeling, it's the Big Supernatural Players that enforce that rule...including executing overly problematic violators.  Basically, it's Vampire's Masquerade. 

 

Stewart's ONSET stuff...at least as in the first couple books, the last two escalate insanely...would make for a fairly good campaign, with statements along the lines of Powers from Beyond, and perhaps For the Good of All.

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Well, you have a few options:

 

a)  Powers ebb and flow (Shadowrun)

b)  Powers have always been with us/been with us for some time, we don't know how/when it started 

c)  Powers suddenly arose!  Or were brought forward...Glynn Stewart's Starship's Mage books use the premise that aliens used a forced breeding program to take humans' incipient psi powers and developed them into magic.

 

Can't think of anything that's not a variation on one of those 3;  note that we're talking the overall existence of powers, not how individuals gain powers.  I've been reading a LOT of urban fantasy/superhero over the last couple years.  The relatively recent, sudden-onset approach in particular becomes a critical element, because the existence and use of superpowers will change things.

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One of the things I liked about presenting the two statements to my players was that it was a rorschack test. Following the text, I had players create characters separately in response to the statements without reference to each other's choices and they each came up with different details.

 

Our two statements were:

 

1. Techno-wondrous discovery
2. Fraught personal drama, in Seattle, Washington

 

I intentionally left out any details about when powers first appeared, how people got powers, what forces powers drew on. Those questions all got answered from what the player's designed. It resulted in a bunch of good background that informed how the world worked as we played. 

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  1. Reality cracked, and the superhero age officially began, due to a mystic conflagration on August 21, 1945.
  2. Scientific studies around the Los Alamos Laboratories almost always generate surprising and unwanted results.

(Admittedly, anyone who puts together that time and place will start down a particular rabbit hole. I just had to make it a little more twisty to open up all sorts of paths.)

 

 

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18 hours ago, Territan said:
  1. Reality cracked, and the superhero age officially began, due to a mystic conflagration on August 21, 1945.
  2. Scientific studies around the Los Alamos Laboratories almost always generate surprising and unwanted results.

(Admittedly, anyone who puts together that time and place will start down a particular rabbit hole. I just had to make it a little more twisty to open up all sorts of paths.)

 

Is that the day you want?  I can't think of anything that happened on that day...unless you just want to pick something roughly related to those events, a few weeks after the fact.  The first atomic test blast was several weeks earlier, and a good couple hundred miles away.  Trinity Site is WAY OUT in the middle of nowhere...I mean NOTHING out that way.  It's in the northern extension of White Sands Missile Range, in the bombing test area., now.  Watching pilots do practice runs is...intimidating. :) Even tho they weren't dropping anything...or we would NOT have been out where we were.

Of course, if Los Alamos is a simple Weirdness Magnet....it's 200ish miles to the NW, and Roswell's about 115 miles (crow's flight) to the east.  Hmmmm..... :)  

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