For Your Own Good

Old Aug 10 '12, 11:46pm
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AscendedMaster AscendedMaster is offline
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For Your Own Good

For Your Own Good - Forum
Mutants and Masterminds
Ad Closes: Aug 25 '12
Estimated Members Requested: 8

Posting Expectation: 1 post / 2 days at a minimum, please. I have no desire to NPC your characters and will not do so unless I have no other reasonable choice. Let me know as far ahead of time as possible if you won't be able to make this. Thank you. I will do my utmost to abide by these rules myself extend the same courtesy of notification of absence to everyone involved. On that note, I'm almost certainly going to start and play in various other games, because I personally like novelty and changes of metaphorical scenery. Therefore, I might update more often than 1 / 2 days, but that's the rate you can count on unless I let you know otherwise.

In 2025, the United States finally collapsed under the weight of its own unpayable debts. The rest of the world was dragged down with it, in a morass of swirling chaos and apocalyptic war. Competition over resources escalated into nuclear, biological, and chemical exchange. Half of the world died in three years. From the darkness emerged the Terran Union, a highly centralized government built on the ashes of the United Nations and European Union. Order and peace were restored, whether from weariness or at gunpoint. National borders were replaced with provinces, and the World Senate is the new, great governing body. Somehow, somewhere, just after the war, the first Alter emerged. Something allowed, or perhaps triggered, superhuman abilities.

The year is 2040. When a new Alter emerges, the Union's soldiers find them and tell them the State of Things. Their abilities, no matter how small or how great, are gifts. It is their duty to learn to use their abilities for the good of humanity. It is their duty to Serve. Many Alters, who almost invariably emerge somewhere between the ages of 8 and 17, are eager to go along; after all, they will be educated, fed, housed, clothed, paid, and so many other wonderful things. In today's burnt-out shell of a world, just getting enough to eat is a challenge for most people. Those who resist are kidnapped. There is no escape from this first fate, for the Union registers and tracks everyone from the moment they are born, and no new Alter, no matter how potent their powers, has the experience and strength of self to effectively resist capture.

You are one of these people, an Alter, captured before your 16th birthday. You have been brought, like all the Alters, to the Academy for the Gifted, somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a beautiful, idyllic place, an archipelago of plenty, where you are among your own age group and other Alters, where life is easy and survival is no longer a concern. You have your own room, all the food you can eat, nice clothes, entertainment, and all you have to do is go to school and not cause trouble.

Your memories are a blur, your past obscured by some arcane science. Your parents' faces, their voices, your families' too, are gone from your mind. You remember your name, you remember that you had a past, that you have powers and language and skills. Does the outside world remember you, or have they forgotten too?

OOC and Meta Stuff, Clarifications, Etc.

Setting Information and That Jazz
I'm going to try to get the most important stuff filled out as soon as I can, but I'm posting this recruitment bit to get the ball rolling and to get everyone who's interested collected in one place.

What I'm Thinking Here
A combination of campy and deadly serious, essentially juxtaposing the absurd with the frighteningly realistic. The PCs are students in The Atlantic Academy for the Gifted, a sort of superhero high school. There are younger Alters, but the vast majority emerge around their 15th and 16th birthdays, so the younger kids are educated and have living arrangements on a more individual basis.

The Point
Resisting and escaping. Freedom and self-determination. Your characters need to work together and be proactive in order to save themselves from Service.

General Environment
The teachers are basically wardens, equipped either with superpowers of their own (many are enslaved former students) or with sufficient technology to protect them from potential attack by the students. The Student Council and other student organizations, official and otherwise, generally exist to make the students' lives easier. Many students secretly work against The System and try to engineer escapes, and only a tiny handful have so far succeeded; students who simply try to fly out are shot down, teleporting away results in being shunted back to the Academy with horrible injuries, etc. A small majority of the students are completely taken in by the daily brainwashing. Who has which loyalties, for NPCs at least, is always in question.

Indoctrination Is Subtle
The brainwashing isn't Daily Hate on Emmanuel Goldstein. There is no Ministry of Love or Ministry of Truth. It's much more insidious and effective than that. The brainwashing, the indoctrination, is everywhere. It pervades every aspect of life and subtly guides students towards thought patterns encouraged by the Union. The most important part is that keeping your nose clean, doing what you're told, getting good grades, going to class on time and every day, getting a job, and other such "in-line" behavior is rewarded with money to buy luxuries. Every student gets basic food, shelter, and clothing (uniforms, though they're not required attire), but they have to pay for everything else, including things like Internet access, electronic gadgets, movie tickets, and so forth.

Being an Alter (Making A Character and Stuff I Want From You)
Mutants and Masterminds, 3e. The "base" PL for PCs is 8. Most of the students hover around PL 7, with the high end around PL 12 and the low at PL 5. There are much more on the low end than the high end. At the basic PL 8 (or less, if you feel like going that way), I want at least one plot hook, one personal motivation to resist Service, one personal motivation to give in, and a basic desire for freedom. "Lone Wolf" types are completely, totally unacceptable. Just don't. It is, however, acceptable to be a social outcast, nerd, or someone who doesn't like other people much. Avoiding working together entirely or for flimsy reasons is what's a no-no here.

Your character must have some kind of superpower. Their power does not have to be ostentatious, however, and can be very minor if you like, instead taking lots of skills or what have you. There is, of course, disparity in power levels and between students, and it is a source of significant social grouping, elitism, angst, and all that other good stuff.

You can make a character all the way up to PL 12 if you like. The higher PL you want, the more involved I expect you to be with the game and the more I want out of you as a player, to help me along. Suggest and even write and stat up NPCs with reasons and motivations of their own, for example. Extra plot hooks, connections with other students, making up the business your character works for in the Academy Mall or Industrial District, and so forth are all good too.

If you want to use anything mechanical whatsoever that is not in the core rulebook for Mutants and Masterminds, 3e, you need to tell me what it is, where it is, and what it does, in detail. Leave nothing out. I might still reject it, but probably not.

Supergadgetry and magic are out of the question, though some students are freakishly intelligent, and a few also have a mystic bent. Superscience in the comic book sense is not allowed, in the sense of one person in his basement develops an armor suit with plasma cannons, rocket boots, and impenetrable armor, but there is definitely technology far beyond what we've been led to believe exists in the modern world. Those with a mystic bent might genuinely believe that their powers are magical, but that view has no mainstream support.

To be clear, your character should have a regular person name, though thematic names are fine if they make sense. Despite the rulebook, you're not playing costumed superheroes. Well, you might, but that would be an unusual trait specific to your character.

Finally, your character's powers do not need to have a theme or central premise. While this might make it easier to generate a character, it is by no means necessary.

The Enemy
They come in essentially two varieties: individual antagonists and faceless Big Brother. While typical high school snobbery will play some part, it is both muted in some ways and exaggerated in others by the presence of superhuman abilities.

Super Class
There are no overall classes for various superpowers, even the more common kind. Teachers with those powers instruct students in the proper use of their abilities after school proper, which goes from 10 am to 3 pm Monday through Thursday. Power training is from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm on the same days.

Game Description:

You have a gift. You can be a hero. You also know the Truth. To work with and submit to the Union is a Faustian bargain. It is to be enslaved and kept as an attack dog. Can you escape the Academy, or will you, too, die trying or lose your free will to Service?

You will go to class. You will grow up. You will be experimented on. And you will Serve. But only if you can't escape before the clock ticks down to your doom. Only by banding together with your fellow students can you resist the indoctrination, and only with their help can you escape. There has to be a way.

Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.

Last edited by AscendedMaster; Aug 11 '12 at 5:12am.. Reason: Clarification.
Originally Posted by Lucent View Post
Looks pretty fun. Is there anything already planed for what happens after the characters escape?
No. While it may not be the "end" of the game, depending on a variety of factors, the simple fact is that it's so far into the future at this point that I don't want to give it much structure yet, so as to avoid the temptation to have a "story arc" rather than a game.

Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
The way I read it, escaping would be either the end of the campaign, or at the least the end of the first 'season' or major narrative arc. Doesn't look like something we're gonna do in one day.
That's a good way to put it. If the show is good enough to run for two seasons, we'll take it from there.

Originally Posted by ChaosHarbinger View Post
Count me interested. I'll almost certainly submit two or three different versions of the same character (in terms of PL build, that is), but what I'd like to know first is: what sort of person can I be? By which I mean, taking into account a fair degree of reasonable restraint, are we looking at a game rated PG13 or higher/lower? Should I be trying to incorporate deeper moral and psychological themes into what I write or should I leave that for a more mature game?
Ideally, this will be a mature game. Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, and really terrible violence, all that sort of thing. Campy and ridiculous elements are for catharsis, and the mere existence of superpowers is, in itself, at least a little silly. Between Watchmen and Justice League, leaning towards Watchmen.

The fact that your characters are teenagers does not diminish the seriousness of their situation. If anything, it makes it more poignant: they don't have a lot of life experience yet, so their conception of self is constantly threatened to be submerged by indoctrination and groupthink.

Originally Posted by bloodrever View Post
So since our memories have been erased we will not be able to have much of a background. Do you just want a paragraph describing these points; one plot hook, one personal motivation to resist Service, one personal motivation to give in, and a basic desire for freedom?

Also are we new students or have we been in the school for awhile?
You can have quite a lot of background. Just because your character doesn't remember their past doesn't mean to can't write it. More to the point, though, your characters will have been at the Academy for a few months before they actually start going to school there. Who they met, friends and enemies made, secrets discovered, and all that kind of thing is all fair game.

The one-paragraph background with the required elements is the baseline.

You can play an older student or someone who was discovered younger and is just now high school age, but has lived at the Academy for a while, if you want.

Still interested as well, though I'm not sure how I can keep the Harley Quinn inspired stuff with the memory wipe.

I guess you can still be nitty without remembering why. I have a really extensive background that I'll have to cut back, but it's doable.

Question: I'm a little confused by the PL. Do you mean higher levels mean more posting and background from the players?

Originally Posted by Hammerfist View Post
Still interested as well, though I'm not sure how I can keep the Harley Quinn inspired stuff with the memory wipe.

I guess you can still be nitty without remembering why. I have a really extensive background that I'll have to cut back, but it's doable.

Question: I'm a little confused by the PL. Do you mean higher levels mean more posting and background from the players?
Exactly. It means you're basically willing to build a much bigger chunk of the world. You're less a player and more a cowriter.

Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
Exactly. It means you're basically willing to build a much bigger chunk of the world. You're less a player and more a cowriter.
Spot on. If you're willing and able to help me out and make my job easier (and more fun, really), then you deserve some kind of compensation.

Instead of my original teleporting/stealth/shadows character, I'm ironically going for kind of the opposite, a calm, quiet girl with fire powers, which make her very aggressive and violent when used. Basically the Hulk, but instead of turning into a giant green monster, she turns everything else into a raging inferno.

To the character builder!

Sounds like the natural enemy of my character that turns into water. Should be fun if we both get into the game.

Originally Posted by KingGoblin View Post
Ad's open until the 24th, so I think there's time.
And the truth shall set you free!


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