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Hermit last won the day on July 18

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  1. 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
  2. (Arise, dead thread) The flash drive was easy enough to install, it was a matter of what did I want to play it on? I'm a simple man in some ways, there was a screen in Hussar's own room and since we were here, I set it up. I thought about making a joke about getting the popcorn, but Hussar's focus on the screen made me realize that my humor would not be considered fitting or appropriate. Not that I'm normally knocking my team mates dead in the aisles with my pithy banter. I can hold my own, but that's self defense in the world of super-teams. Some superhero groups are rumored to have borderline hazing like some Frat stereotype. If that's the case, I don't even want to think of the supervillain teams. Now come corporate owned and government teams have to abide by some very strict rules of behavior regarding interaction; rumors there indicate it can get tight and uncomfortable. The New Samaritans? I'd like to think we're in a healthy center ground. But even here, I had to find my niche in the group, and get with the program, make friends where I could, without losing my individuality while doing it. In the first month or so I felt like I put my foot in my mouth so often I had athlete's tongue. After awhile, they felt out my boundaries, I theirs and the rest, as they say is history. Being Co-Captain had hurled me back a bit. It wasn't just new people, it was a new position with folks I did not know. And Hussar and I were not getting along. I won't lie, a part of me had been tempted to tell him have a nice life, inform Lady Obsidian he just wasn't a team player, and let it go. But I don't like failing. I know, no one does, but pride, that selfish barbed sin that grooves into you and somehow you treasure it anyway, was telling me that I could do better than just waving goodbye to any rookie who annoyed me. It reflected on me, and how Lady Obsidian would look on me. Like I said, selfish pride. The more noble reason, and just behind it, was that the world needed superheroes. It needed people with power to try to do the right thing and make a positive difference. If Hussar could shape up, and (literally) fly right, he could help save lives not just in the case of supervillain attack but natural disasters, rescue of those lost on hiking trails, and a dozen other ways that I knew. So, pride be damned, I owed it to the hero he could be to get to know the man, jerk or not, that he was. I'd been handed something that definitely registered with him. So, I quelled the humor and tried to turn on the attention and maybe even rev up the old empathy a bit. I was a rookie too, once- A nobler, more earnest and dare I say? more lovable rookie, but that's neither here nor there. "You got this set up yet or not? It's a flash drive, not rocket science," Hussar groused. Okay, definitely more lovable. Then again, the only reason he was hanging around instead of leaving was that I had pushed for him to watch this one more time so I guess impatience is forgivable. "Starting it up," I said giving it a dramatic pause "now." The footage that unfolded was not smooth and continuous, it was three scenes back to back but quality and style varied. I watched as a group of four black men in costumes gathered about a table. Their costumes, varied, but had two things in common, The outfits leaned towards the period, a bit more fringe for some, bold colors; less super fabric back then. Each had a stylized word, not large, on their shoulder costume, be it as a belt buckle, shoulder patch, the name Luke was on it, and a date or something? Given the grain and angle of the footage I was lucky to get that. Hussar piped up "Notice that none of them have a full face mask? Heck some of them bared their arms. They wanted folks to notice they were black or was the term African American then? I don't know." I had indeed noticed that and didn't mention that the guy with the rather bold afro over his mask was also a clue. Then they began talking. "So we just hover around city hall?" One with a sunburst symbol on his chest asked, "Surely more than that's needed?" "And we get ready to protect the protesters. No attacking the cops, but if they break out the hose, we bust the hose. If they send out the dogs again, we incapacitate the dogs..." A taller man started to elaborate, his costume's chest had a symbol that looked like a black shield design. "And when the cops start beating on little girls and old women? " The third, no chest logo on his dark costume but bronze zig zag patterns on its upper arms and legs, bristled with ire, "Brothers you know we're all good Christians here, but I have a problem with this." "Then we take the hits" The fourth man in a purple cape says "We don't give the hits. Much as they deserve it. You all know damn well as soon as one super involves himself, blame, we're labeled villains. And it's not us who pays the price for that" "I hear you," the third man answered with a sour look, "See you at the march" I knew these guys, or more accurately I knew of them. Super history was a hobby of mine long before I went in a college and that tip of your tongue feeling where you're sure you should have the answers you're searching for was jangling in my brain pan like you wouldn't believe. Fortunately, I didn't need to come up with it myself as the scene flicked to its second part. Cigarette smoke rose in spirals around a different table, better light with folders spread on out it. The images were clearer. Men in ill fitting suits, many of them with guns under jackets, the whole thing screamed government agents circa old school, "Footage of this meeting gives us nothing on the Widow's Sons. How are we going to keep these super-@##$ off the street?" The word the guy was used wasn't the worst racial slur you could use, but he said it so casually, with such practiced ease, that yes, it caught me off guard. I suppose it shouldn't have, given the time period. "Their presence is going to embolden the non powered activists," Said another, and I realized that every guy around this table was of the Caucasian persuasion, "So yeah, we kind of need to." "We could escalate, provoke a violent reaction?" Another said after putting his coffee down, "We saw on the footage, at least one of them might not be hard to press." "Too big a risk, sure we could spin it as a peaceful protest being total bull and this proves it, but a violent protest if the ones without powers join leads to it's own complications in the short term," a cigarette was snuffed, I wondered if it was meant to be symbolic as the guy stated at the same time, "We need to bust them first, and make sure they're caught dead to rights." There was an emphasis on the word evidence that I did not like. In fact I didn't like any of these guys. I'm not a detective like Tornado, but I could read between the lines well enough. They were talking set up. "Please, like anyone is going to believe that it wasn't planted?" said the scrawniest man of the bunch confirmed my suspicions, "or whatever?" "Relax," The guy who was taking lead dog position said, "We got an angel in our corner." And I groaned "Oh sweet mother of mercy you've got to be kidding me. That son of a -" "Oh wait, wait, you'll miss the star of our show, the gallant Angelman himself," Hussar said cutting me off, and it was wise that he did because the final section played. This was the blurriest of all, staticky at points, images of a street scene, a winged figure who could be no other but Angel Man, beseeching and imploring someone "A hostage situation with..." The sound was lost for a moment as the same four black supers from before came out, some more reluctantly than others and followed him. Once they were gone, a group of non descript men moved with uniform precision, slipping into the building they had left. For just one moment, I saw the satchel one was carrying open up. Within it, a brief glimpse of something I thought I recognized, mostly from old war and espionage movies. "They set them up," The history coming back to me now, "This is how the Widow's Sons ended up charged with a plot to blow up a police station, Angelman worked with those agents to plant the evidence." "That's not all he did, but you won't find it on this tape," Hussar snorted but still, he looked impressed, "You actually researched this?" "It was mentioned in Lady Obsidian's memoirs as a major influence on her life," And it was sinking in, hard, on why Hussar was of interest to her when others in the group were Partials now getting their boost "In the investigation, one superhero came forth claiming he had heard the Sons plotting it. The superhero was never identified, because he never had to bear witness. The trial was one of those guilty until proven innocent farces, but most of the country didn't realize that until years later. Years where four innocent men rotted in jail." I didn't mention that I also knew how that protest the Widow's Sons were going to attend went down without superheroes. With their heroes accused, the protesters found the sympathy they might have gotten great reduced. Some backed out, the diehard went out. Water hoses, dogs, and night clubs used heavily, two people died; had the Widow's Sons been there? The Sons would have been a living barrier to all that. Two lives saved. "But he would have," Hussar cursed and snapped, anger in very brief burst of body language, "That hypocritical ass would have put his hand on a bible, sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and then repeated the lies they wanted him to say. Angelman was a racist, and not even an honest one. So you see why I won't be taking that name, it's not because it's a cheesy ass name, which it is. It's because I hate the guy, and clone or not, I don't want to be anything like him." Hussar looked like he wanted to drop kick the screen we had just watched through the wall. Then again, I thought as I looked down at my own hands which had tightened to fists, he wasn't the only that had angered. This so much wasn't about me, it was about four superheroes betrayed and wrongfully imprisoned for years. It was about a clone being told to be a hero like his genetic donor, but who knew the evil that donor had done. It was about a young black girl, a genius, who I suspect was related to one of those four innocent men, stepping up to take on a mantle of justice in an unjust moment in history. It was in no way about me. So how come I felt utterly betrayed? Cheesy as he was, I had thought Angel Man was a good man. He and I claimed the same faith, and while I suspected superheroes would always have our share of folks turning to a religion for clarity and spiritual assurance, he was one who was open about it. Heck, the guy was a role model for the longest time to many of the most devout heroes. And it turned out he didn't just have feet of clay, he had deliberately chosen evil while lecturing others on virtue. I took a breath, and shoved that selfish child like anger away and remembered, The Widow's Sons also had faith. After all, they had taken their name from the Parable of the Unjust Judge and the Widow. I looked over at Hussar, "You were right." His head turned, "About?" "You're ten times the person Angel Man was," I told Hussar, "But that's a much lower bar than I thought it was. Stick around, work with us, we'll work with you." Hussar was in a grown body, and despite assurances that he was mentally mature as well, it didn't change the fact he had a monkey on his back, a winged monkey at that, in the form of resentment that he had been cast in the image of a fallen angel. "Why?" Hussar's eyes look at my face as if he were trying to get some clue into my thoughts from my expression, which I hoped was one of sincere confidence. "So the world will know you're not just the better person, but the better superhero," I smiled a bit, "Wouldn't you like to overshadow Angel Man so much folks go.. 'Angel Man who?'" I held out my hand. His anger slipped as a smile escaped onto his lips at that, "Okay, that's …. petty, I'm tempted mind you, but it's petty. Got a non petty reason? And don't tell me you believe in me, we both know you've still got doubts." Ouch. He was right, here I was with my hand out when I still wasn't sure. I looked down at my still outstretched hand, then looked Hussar straight in the eye, "Do it for the other guy. Do it for Mister Dirkly, you heard him on the TV: HE believes in you. He knows how you screwed up, and he still believes. I think that is worth a try. People like him putting their trust in people like us." Hussar broke eye contact with me, a mix of emotions I didn't need to be an empath to guess at. Shame, introspection, rallying, and then finally resolve, "Fine, for Mister Dirkly." And Hussar took my hand, we shook. Then, of course, he had to ruin the moment "I still don't like you." "That's okay," I told him, just as prone to excessive honesty in times like these, "I still think you're a jackass, but now I know more of your reasons." The hand clasp broke and I patted him on the back to motion him to return to the group. "Yeah?" He said as we walked down the hall, "What's YOUR Excuse?" "You've heard of luck? You're pushing it" I told him, but I smiled a bit to ease up the warning rather than answer something like 'a teaching job', "Come on," I told him, "The others are worried about you- believe it or not." He snorted but more tension drained out of him as we made our way back to the others.
  3. Hedy Lamarr 1) Incredibly talented actress 2) Inventor, self taught mostly, who worked for Howard Hughes at one point, also helped invent the Frequency Hopping Spectrum to jam Nazi torpedos (Tech would later be incorporated into Wifi) 3) During World War II, the Office of Strategic Services invented a pyrotechnic device meant to help agents operating behind enemy lines to escape if capture seemed imminent. When the pin was pulled, it made the whistle of a falling bomb followed by a loud explosion and a large cloud of smoke, enabling the agent to make his escape. It saved the life of at least one agent. The device was codenamed the Hedy Lamarr. 4) Incredible Recluse particularly later in her life
  4. 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? What, no Water Breathers??? Good stuff
  5. 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. Another perk is one can break out old Red Doom Material and tailor it for the NPC loyalists
  6. 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. 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. Okay, the infiltration angle is one i hadn't considered. Nice option!
  7. 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.
  8. Hermit

    Theme Teams

    Well, a tournament with Martial artists ala the battle with the Dragon in CU or Mortal Kombat would and has worked for some, though I've never run such myself
  9. Hermit

    Theme Teams

    Mystic has worked pretty darn well for me at least once or twice, it's rather versatile. You get your spell flinger (Blaster Mentalist with flavor), your Weapon Master (ala Black Knight), Martial artist (With some Chi effects) , Brick (Demon Hybrid or Golem sort) and so on. Common origins I've done successfully plenty, one of my best games was a radiation accident among a group of friends at a college lab but the powers were very varied if innate
  10. Meanwhile in Haiti, the president was assassinated
  11. Thank you for some moments of pure wonder, Sir. RIP
  12. Good or bad, I can honestly say we Tennesseans don't let reality bully us if we can help it
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