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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: superhero gaming without superhero characters  (Read 6045 times)
Jared A. Sorensen
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Darksided


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« on: November 12, 2002, 12:32:27 PM »

And I'm not talking about The Code.

In a nutshell, the player characters are people in a city where superheroes exist. Think of it like the series "Marvels" where the players portray the man on the street. John and Jane Q. Public.

I dunno. Hell.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Le Joueur
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2002, 01:08:12 PM »

You mean like playing at the Daily Bugle without Clark Kent?

Fang Langford
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Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2002, 01:27:11 PM »

Quote from: Le Joueur
You mean like playing at the Daily Bugle without Clark Kent?

Fang Langford


Well, Clark Kent is there but a) he's not your character and b) you don't necessarily know that he's Superman.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2002, 01:35:10 PM »

Hi Jared,

John Ostrander and Kim Yale did two Batman mini-series in this vein, called Gotham Nights. I thought they were excellent; Batman's actions were central to each story, but the actual story was about the passions and decisions of people who lived in Gotham. I don't know if they're available in collected form, but I recommend them highly.

Best,
Ron
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2002, 02:37:10 PM »

This idea definitely has legs.  Tell me more.

Fang Langford

p. s. To be honest though, the comic book we work on off-and-on is about almost this.  The difference is the central characters do have powers, these characters simply have nothing to do with superheroing.  The whole thing is a send up [in subtle fashion] of many of the tropes of the comic book superhero told from the point of view of the people who make their costumes.

The explicit representation of this theme within the story is the continuous reference to 'spandex mentality,' the condition where you 'strap on spandex and go out and fight.'  Sometimes we game it, sometimes we write it; we have a lot of fun with it.  Not exactly your idea, but perhaps a derivation from it.
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Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!
Emily Care
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2002, 02:48:14 PM »

There is a classic episode of the Simpsons--which I have always felt would make an excellent game or campaign--where Homer gets hired to come work at the utopian community built by a Bond-Villain.  The Simpson family get to experience the wierd universe created by the super-villain, and in the back-ground to Homer's interaction with his employer, we see the spy vs. supervillain combat.

Les Heroes Emergent reminded me of this when I first saw it.

--Emily Care
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Tim C Koppang
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2002, 03:20:01 PM »

Iíve only read the Roleplay storyline, but isnít the Powers comic book series about this sort of thing?
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Derek Devlin
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Posts: 51


« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2002, 08:50:30 AM »

I actually made a character for Feng Shui recently that could fit in to such a game. He was a Big Bruiser turned P.I. who used to be the kid sidekick of a superhero. Then the hero lost his sense of purpose and disappeared, leaving the kid to grow up in a string of foster homes. Now that the kid has grown up and started his own business, the hero returns from his journey with his sense of purpose renewed only to find that his sidekick is now a head taller than he is and has lost his own sense of purpose. At first, the P.I. wants nothing to do with his mentor, but the old guy is still a great detective and business hasn't been too successful lately...

This scenario could be played for laughs, or fit in with a very dark campaign. Who'd have thought you could team up Brock Lesnar and Adam West?

Derek Devlin
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2002, 09:02:33 AM »

This idea definitely has legs, and Emily was right: Les Heroes Emergent brings a neat idea that you could use in this; namely, a group ability to bring in a non-PC character, the superhero.

I can imagine a game where all the PC's are humans living in a city with a superhuman/some superhumans. The players also work together to make up a superhero, which they can bring into a scene, but is either (a) controlled by the group, or (b) controlled by the GM.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
gospog
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Posts: 6


« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2003, 10:25:57 AM »

I've been thinking of playing/running a game based on the new Stormwatch comic.

The new Stormwatch is an anti-superbeing strikeforce.  So, the campaign would include SPBs (Super Powered Beings), but only as antagonists.  The team uses cutting edge tech to protect the human populace from thier "heroes".

The comic posits that super powered "heroes" often do more harm through carelessness and collateral damage than the supposed villains.  This seems particularly true of the "Image" hero of the 1990's.

Good stuff.
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"A doomed man needs no such elegant footwear."
Maurice Forrester
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Posts: 73


« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2003, 12:48:22 PM »

This is a very cool idea.  There are lots of avenues to explore with mundane character in a superhero setting.  I remember a comment Don Thompson made in the Comics Buyer's Guide years ago about how the best superhero stories are the ones that focus on how the lives of ordinary people are changed by their interaction with the superhero.  (Or something like that.  It's been a long, long time.)

Some ideas:  People caught up in the supervillians plot who have to try to get  information about the plot to the superhero.  Petty crooks trying to make a big score without attracting the attention of the superhero.  Those people who clean up after the big, building blasting fight between hero and villain.  Or the emergency workers who try to help the people caught in the middle of that big, building blasting fight.
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Maurice Forrester
xiombarg
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2003, 12:56:43 PM »

Quote from: Maurice Forrester
This is a very cool idea.  There are lots of avenues to explore with mundane character in a superhero setting.  I remember a comment Don Thompson made in the Comics Buyer's Guide years ago about how the best superhero stories are the ones that focus on how the lives of ordinary people are changed by their interaction with the superhero.  (Or something like that.  It's been a long, long time.)
Someone (I forget who) once said the hallmark of the best superhero stories is that the hero is facing opposition that outclasses him, and managed to overcome anyway. Compare Batman villians to Superman villians. Consider why Mystery Men, despite being a parody, is actually a good superhero story.

Ordinary people -- even more ordinary than Batman, who technically has no superpowers other than "looks cool and is 'eccentric' (aka crazy but rich)" -- are by definition outclassed when dealing with superpowered individuals. This is the stuff of wonderful stories.
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