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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: The Code  (Read 6646 times)
sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2001, 01:56:00 PM »

As I look over this, I'm reminded of the Watchmen backstory. The game has potential for a very "Behind the Mask" feel to it, which appeals greatly. Two more questions:
1) Does one use the same system for everyone? If so, this implies that normal people are literally just masks without... well, masks. I'd sort of like the implication that extreme personality gives a certain advantage.
2) Any thoughts to additional fleshing out?

I've got too many character concepts for my own good, now... damn your black heart, Jared Sorenson!

Sean
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2001, 03:17:00 PM »

Everyone uses the same system.

Normal folks don't have a motivation to be a superhero, so they have no motivation score.

It's better explained in the updated version.  Go check it out!

And dammit, post those (super)heroes!

- J





[ This Message was edited by: Jared A. Sorensen on 2001-07-31 22:01 ]
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sdemory
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Posts: 84


« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2001, 07:09:00 PM »

Update makes all clear... very nice.
    It also opens up the supervillain logic, I'm afraid. If someone's got the motivation "Cause havoc," "Show The Brute up" or "Bomb technomongers," something of that nature, they're more than just a perp. Very cool.
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2001, 07:45:00 PM »

It also opens up the supervillain logic, I'm afraid.

As designed, my friend. Most people you go up against aren't going to have Motivation to spend to knock you down.

But another superhero?  And if their motivation is to accomplish goals opposed to your own...?

Yup.

And for the record, this game would probably benefit from the inclusion of superpowers. But I figure if the reader is that interested in The Code + Superpowers, they can handle it whatever way makes sense to them.

- J
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
archangel_2
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2001, 10:15:00 PM »

I'd just assumed that superpowers could be done in "the Code" as advantages! lol

Btw, a couple of questions concerning Objectives and Motivations:
1) It seems to me that a number of factors could be involved in why the hero decided to become one. The way you've set it up, can a character choose to have multiple Objectives? (ie. Fight crime and protect the innocent - then what happens when the two are happening simultaneously in seperate locations? Makes for interesting character angst...)

2) What happens when the implied also comes into play? Using your example, what happens if his own daughter is kidnapped again? Would this give a bonus, or is that up to the GM and Player to reason out?

Just a few questions I had. I had a few more, but it's rather late and I can't think of them right now...

Daniel
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Uncle Dark
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2001, 12:44:00 AM »

Thanks, Jared.  The update clears up a lot.

Still a couple of questions, though.  A low-reated Objective means the character earns fewer Reward Points at the end of a scenario.  This means it would take longer to build up the 25 points needed to "buy off" a minor community problem.  But since a low rating for the character's Objective (if I read it right) means that the targeted problem is easy to deal with, shouldn't it be easier to solve the problem?

Also, are Reward Points required for solving problems?  Wouldn't the character's continued action-in-play do it?  That is, if a standared vigilante character spends months of play cleaning up the neighborhood, but doesn't spend the points, isn't he being less effective (for no noticable reason) than
an identical character who does spend the points

And, because you asked for it...

"Leather Man"
Randy Wilson, personal fitness trainer

Randy looks like he's in his late 20s (actually, he's 34), of medium height, well built with high muscle definition.  He has blonde hair (from a bottle, he's actually a brunette) and hazel eyes.  When he goes out "on patrol," he wears a studded leather harness, jackboots, PVC shorts, studded gloves, and a leather hood.

Randy wants to fight gay-bashing in the city's queer ghetto (Objective: 5)

While he occasionally makes high-minded speeches, he's really in it for the adrenaline rush (Motivation: 2)

Randy makes his money by helping people slim down or bulk up.  His personal routine includes some martial arts workouts, but he's really only into it for its aerobic exercise value (Profession: Personal Trainer).

Randy is a masochist.  Pain doesn't faze him.  In fact, he gets off on it.

Due to abuse of steroids and diet drugs in his early 20s, Randy has a small speed habit.  This can affect his judgment, especially if he's in need of a fix.

Leather Man tends to tie assailants he subdues to whatever's handy (lamp posts, street signs, whatever) with black gaffer's tape, and leave them there until morning with their pants around their ankles.

Randy has only been doing the Leather Man thing for a year or so, but he works in a small community and makes no secret of his accomplishments (Exposure: 4).

Leather Man has a reputation as a poor solution to a bad problem (Popularity: 3)

Lon


[ This Message was edited by: Uncle Dark on 2001-08-01 04:46 ]
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2001, 06:28:00 AM »

Leather Man has a reputation as a poor solution to a bad problem (Popularity: 3)

Hahahahahahahahahahahah! He's awesome!

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2001, 01:19:00 PM »

    A random thought had while waiting for a call:
    We really can't call this the normal, really real world. In the really real world, very few people have the urge to dress in costumes and fight injustice. Those who do are invariably put in institutions or shot. The world THE CODE creates is one where, for some reason, a small number of people have decided to garb up and do battle with injustice. So... I'd think there's got to be a catalyst, a Hero Zero if you will, who inspired other people to risk incarceration, life, limb and embarrassment to fight the good fight in costume. Basically, I'm wondering if anyone else sees the need for a Hooded Justice for the rest of the Minutemen to emulate.
    I could be wrong, of course, but it seems reasonable that a single person would come up and act on this idea (costumed injustice-fighting) independently. It doesn't make sense for a group of people in various parts of the country/world to simultaneously decide "Garbing up? Exceptional!"
    So... anyone have any ideas for a Hero Zero?
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sdemory
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Posts: 84


« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2001, 12:26:00 PM »

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Uncle Dark
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2001, 09:20:00 PM »

About Hero Zero:

I don't know that who Hero Zero is, or what s/he does is important.  What is important it that s/he is a media sensation.  Hero Zero would require a lot of press, and a lot of good press, to inspire others to follow in his or her footsteps.

There is already a great historical precedent  for vigilantism in America.  The twist in the Code is the costumes.  Why become a one-man neighborhood watch is not the question.  Why you wear your underwear on the outside of your longjohns while you do it is.

So there has to be lots of press, to spread the idea so that it's not just a fad in a small area of one city.  The press should be good so that people will want to emulate Hero Zero.  After all, people would much rather identify with a headline like "MASKED HERO SAVES LITTLE GIRL" than one like "MASKED FREAK ASSAULTS ALLEGED KIDNAPPER."

Lon
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Reality is what you can get away with.
sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2001, 04:05:00 PM »

    I tend to agree, re: media splash for Hero Zero. Who s/he is isn't really as important as how s/he is, which is what we see in Hooded Justice in Watchmen. What he did was pretty insignificant- the first recorded incident was him jumnping a mugger or two, I believe. How he did it and, to a degree, how he was Hooded Justice was what drew the rest into the fold.

Sean
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sdemory
Member

Posts: 84


« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2001, 06:33:00 AM »

First PC character has been sent to me... bow before El Jefe!

Javier Ruiz, aka "El Jefe"

Javier is a 23 year-old former gang banger, out on parole,  who lives in the barrio.  He is fairly well-built, has short hair and 2 tattoos - a Nazca Monkey on one shoulderblade and a fist with "Raza" on the knuckles on his right shoulder. This tattoo is a constant reminder of his gang days.
As El Jefe, he dresses like a gang banger's shadow: black baggy pants, black long sleeved shirt, black tennies and a black stocking cap over a black luchadore's mask.

As a former gang member, Javier fell into selling drugs and perpetrating violence. He was sent to prison at age 16-17 on manslaughter charges stemming from shooting back at a rival gang in a drive-by. At age 18, he stopped getting angry and started getting smart. He earned his GED and holds dual degrees in business and social work, both obtained in prison. Now as El Jefe, and in his day job, he is trying to make life better in the barrio for kids and decent people.  His objective is to stop gang-related street crime and drug dealing, and someday to get those who are supplying the drugs to the gangs. (Objective 6)

Javier's motivation is one of repentance and altruism, seeing the kids who are growing up in the neighborhood either fearful or in awe of the gangs. (Motivation 3)

Javier is working at a local community center helping kids and doing some fund raising. Use of both his degrees.  He lives at home with his mother, sister and 2 brothers - all younger. He plays with the kids, talks to them about their problems and talks about his former life.

Javier's advantage is his former thug life, his contacts on the streets and the kids who come to the center. He can find out pretty easily what is going down and plan for it.

Javiers weakness is that he is a parolee. He needs to keep a low profile and not attract much attention in case the police would get on his case. He also has a soft spot for the kids he deals with every day.

El Jefe's MO is once he beats down a thug and leaves him unconscious, he trusse them up and calls the police on the thug's cell phone. When the police show up, all the perp's gang gear is in a neat little pile by the door.

Not much is known about El Jefe, and Javier would like to keep it that way. The police just know that someone is out there taking down gang bangers and the thugs can't even give a good ID. (Exposure 1)

El Jefe's popularity with the neighborhood and kids would be great, if Javier could let them know what's going on. At this moment, he is little more than an urban legend. (Popularity 3)
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2001, 09:37:00 AM »

Quote

1) It seems to me that a number of factors could be involved in why the hero decided to become one. The way you've set it up, can a character choose to have multiple Objectives? (ie. Fight crime and protect the innocent - then what happens when the two are happening simultaneously in seperate locations? Makes for interesting character angst...)

2) What happens when the implied also comes into play? Using your example, what happens if his own daughter is kidnapped again? Would this give a bonus, or is that up to the GM and Player to reason out?


Answer #1. Sure, you can have multiple objectives. Split your Objective between 'em and use their sum to figure out the Motivation score.

Answer #2. I'd say that his Objective would change. Yup, he'd lose any extra Motivation he gained, but that's what happens when you're not focused...
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2001, 09:52:00 AM »

Quote

Still a couple of questions, though.  A low-reated Objective means the character earns fewer Reward Points at the end of a scenario.  This means it would take longer to build up the 25 points needed to "buy off" a minor community problem.  But since a low rating for the character's Objective (if I read it right) means that the targeted problem is easy to deal with, shouldn't it be easier to solve the problem?

Also, are Reward Points required for solving problems?  Wouldn't the character's continued action-in-play do it?  That is, if a standared vigilante character spends months of play cleaning up the neighborhood, but doesn't spend the points, isn't he being less effective (for no noticable reason) than an identical character who does spend the points


Your Objective's rating has to do less with the "scope" and more with "how much time, energy and emotional focus is going into accomplishing their goal?" So you could have "Entertain tourists (10)" as your Objective if you cared enough about that.

Action-in-play is used to deal with specific situations. "A guy is fleeing the scene of a crime when the Hawk swoops down." Reward points are an abstract mechanism -- if you're spending them on yourself, you're focusing on your own improvement...the idea is that you need to make choices. And yes, while you're getting better at doing stuff your goals aren't going to be met (imagine if Batman spent 5 days a week in the gym and only fought crime on Saturdays).

It's not "realistic" in a cause-and-effect way, but I didn't want to make it overly complex. Realistically, you'd improve your abilities WHILE accomplishing your Objective. But this is simpler.

And everyone...the characters are PHENOMENAL! Whoa. I'm going to post these on The Code website!
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Epoch
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« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2001, 10:59:00 AM »

Another character:

"Angel," aka Robert Anthony

Robert Anthony is a very smart kid, very confused about himself.  He's got some pretty serious identity and sexuality issues, and they're crippling to his self-confidence.  Unwilling to deal with his real life, he's created an alter ego, the smooth, confident, and rather female "Angel," who foils high-profile crime and is loved by all.

Robert is largely a remote investigator.  He looks for some kind of serious, big crime, and then he checks for everything he can on it from newspaper archives, online stuff, phone conversations, etc.  He'll go out in his Robert persona to do physical investigation (he thinks of himself almost as an agent of Angel, not Angel herself).  In his remote Angel persona, he's contacted pretty much everyone who seems smart at his college, and can usually convince them to help him in areas that he's not personally capable of, like hacking or forensic work or whatnot.  He's very good at putting all that together into a coherent whole.

After assembling enough material, Angel spreads the word far and wide as to who the culprit for the crime is.  Her M.O. is to send very comprehensive "evidence packages" to the police and the media, but she also is more than willing to talk (by phone or any other remote service) extensively with anyone who has questions about her investigation.

Code name: Angel

Secret identity:  Yup

Appearance:  Robert is a 19 year old male.  He's got serious acne and a weak chin.  He looks perpetually rather frightened.  Angel is never seen.  However, Robert has a high quality voice-changer-thing, and he as Angel talks on the telephone a fair amount.  Angel sounds smooth, confident, and sexy.

Objective:  Angel's objective is to become publically well-loved by solving high-profile crimes.  Robert is very dedicated -- indeed, rather obsessed -- to this goal (Cool.

Motivation:  Robert is trying to escape his own life by crafting an alter-ego that's everything he wishes he was (4).

Profession:  Robert goes to college, studying chemistry, part time and works at a Dairy Queen.

Advantage:  Robert is extraordinarily attentive to tiny detail.

Weakness:  Robert is physically a pushover, and has no confidence in his Robert persona.  He can't even ask his manager for a raise or call out an answer in class, much less stand up to a criminal face-to-face.  This weakness is not a problem when he's on the phone as Angel, or otherwise hiding his identity.  Robert does legwork for himself, of course, but he tends to take a fly-on-the-wall approach.

Modus Operandi:  Angel creates packages of evidence linking a perp to a crime, in exhaustive detail, and then sends the evidence to the police and every reporter in town in unmarked packages.

Exposure:  Angel aggressively reveals her presence, her code-name, her MO, her objective (the "solving high-profile crime" part, at least), and her Advantage.  Her voice is well-known to all, as she gave permission for a radio guy to play it at one point.  Her Exposure is 6.

Popularity:  Angel is non-violent and media-friendly, insofar as her non-existant status allows her.  Her popularity is 7.
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