Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

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Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Diurne on Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:01 am

Are we going to organize a group of superheroes around a theme ? Or just come with characters we happen to like and slap a title on the band ?


As a side but long comment (and why I'm asking), I considered posting on the Herogames boards.
Herogames is the company who is producing the tabletop Champions RPG and they have a section dedicated to Champions Online (unsurprisingly).
While I was never a very active poster there, I know a bit the kind of people visiting this board. And I thought it could be interesting for everyone to let know a(nother) European-(players-)based, roleplaying-friendly group is existing.
But since we're not really organized yet ourselves, I'm holding that advertisement Smile

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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Rhino on Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:46 am

If you talk about our "mains" which would be Mark, Nadia and Diana (and I assume Marvel?), then their only "theme" I see is that they are goody-goody heroes. No vigilantism, dark brooding secrets or similar stuff. Simple straight heroic do gooders. Which is pretty much a fine theme for me considering that today it is "in" to be Batman, Wolverine or Punisher type of "hero".
Doctor Megaton is not pleased by youngsters today. Wink
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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Diurne on Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:36 pm

Oh there could be other way to structure a group. Even if "gamey" at first sight.
The Champions, for instance, are not duplicating archetypes (Defender would be a Powered Armor, Witchcraft the Mystic, Sapphire the Energy Projector, Kinetik the Speedster, Ironclad the Brick) (and before Kinetik arrival, Nighthawk was a Gadgeteer)

So we could also try, for fun, to get a member of each archetype at most.

The archetypes defined in Champions being :
Brick
Energy Projector
Gadgeteer
Martial Artist
Mentalist
Metamorph
Mystic
Patriot
Powered Armor
Speedster
Weaponmaster

Light of Truth could be seen either as a Mystic (if you talk her babble about justice seriously) either as a Weaponmaster (as a blade fighter almost exclusively).
Angelique could be understood as a Powered Armor (since she's relying on augmenting herself) or as a Gadgeteer if her tinker abilities become more dominant.
Marvel Girl would probably be an Energy Projector (she deals exclusively with energy projection, manifestation or manipulation)
Sable Lynx could be a Martial Artist (his only abilities are to claw his way through villains. Martial Artist doesn't mean you have to be a kung fu lover)
Diana would probably be a Gadgeteer (since she was having a relatively wide selection of different arrowheads for various purposes, even if she doesn't fabricate all this stuff herself)
Dee Dee was obviously an Energy Projector... or a Mystic (depends how you consider her)
Star Crusader was a Brick (especially at the end, since he was able to do a honest amount of damage. "Brick" in Champions doesn't mean "Be hit so your friends can play safely". It's not being a Tank. "Brick" in Champions sense means Tough and Strong. Hard to injure and able to break your spine.

So we could also try to build a group around this theme (one member of each archetype, should we ever have enough people).
It's certainly restrictive (some characters would be turned down because of their style) and make the team more "professional" than what we may like.
On the other hand, I find the idea fun.


(Archetypes, even in Champions RPG, are not "classes" and are handled differently than in CoH, of course. They just indicate the general style but are not limiting your power or whatever)

Patriot is just another layer over an archetype. Patriot doesn't assume a certain type of powers or style. So Patriots are Patriots as well as being of another archetype. You could have a Captain America who is Patriot (Martial Artist).
Our EUROS team (European Union Roster Of Superheroes) was built that way. All Patriots yet still all different.
So it's probably an easy way to fit one in a team. Since only the "obvious" layer of incarnating national values is needed.

Speedster would probably be more a playstyle thing in CO. Since there is no real way to "fight blindingly fast". I guess anyone with Superspeed (obviously) or a rank 3 Flight would qualify if also playing a superactive character in combat.
(I'm speaking of combat since CO is all about that, only)

Metamorph requires some work but it's much more doable in CO than it was in CoH.
Since not only you can change costume but you can also change your active powers. It's more a way to develop/build the character. You'd have to think about building one core set of powers plus 2-3 branches varying from it. The Offensive/Defensive/Balanced roles can be also used that way (or whatever those roles are called nowadays.. Guardian, Sentinel... ? That sort of less-clear-names).

All other archetypes are easy to create in CO.

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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Marvel on Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:01 pm

you can add Olivia (Psyche) as a Mentalist and Stewart as a Brick (Feu Follet is technically a perfect speedster according to the Hero System but I'm still trying to figure a way to play it in CO and I'm totally unsatisfied at the moment).

Anyway, I was questioning myself with the same kind of questions.
How did our chars met, what do they share and most of all what made them decide to assemble ?

The "how did they met part" seems pretty obvious, it's either CoH-related or maptools related.

"What do they share" is a bit more awkward. While I think Psyche and Marvel share the archetypal hero mentality with Diana and Light, it may not be Angelique's vision (and I don't know for Diurne's chars).

And finally, "why did they gather".
There are several exemples from the Marvel Universe :

. "Union make us strong(er)" - the team gathered because of some particular event (teaming against a particularly strong supervilain ?) and stayed together after. The Avengers and the "second" X-Men built up like that

. "The charismatic leader" - the team has been gathered around an especially charismatic leader. It can be because the leader wants to train them (X-Men, New Mutants) or because he has a vision he needs partners to achieve (X-Factor). Maybe he suspects a dark future and wants to start an army (Evil Mutants brotherhood).

. "We are alike, we are brothers !" - the various members all share the same origins. Maybe, they've been granted their powers on the same accident (Fantastic Four) or their powers just share the same origins (mutation : X-Men, again, accident/tech : various supervilains teams)

. And yes, there is Diurne's idea to represent the rainbow seven colors (various examples with mystic thema, most of the time, like Zodiac) which is quite interesting but maybe a bit more difficult to introduce.

Marvel.
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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Seetherius on Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:06 pm

In my opinion it's not easy to find a good answer to this question how our main heroes gather together and team up.

Analysis of the problem:
  • The 15 year gap between CoH and CO. We don't know much what happened in these 15 years and the champions tabletop vignettess are still running which slowly fill some spots in these 15 years. Unfortunately it will take some more time before the vignettes are concluded. The gap means also that we don't know how our characters have evolved during that time.
  • I don't have much knowledge of the Champions Universe. While I can say I had a pretty good grap on things in CoH I don't have this in CO, yet. Personally I can tailor a better answer if I have the knowledge in the champions universe. It might help to focus on the start on one aspect and forge a hero team.
  • Our 4 initiating main characters (Marvel, Diana, Mark, Nadia) don't share many links towards each other and every characters goes more or less his own way in the time we play CO.
  • Rhino is not yet in CO


How I would solve the problems:
We have to wait simply for Rhino before he gets in touch with CO (get his own copy of the game, new graphic card). In the mean time we continue the vignettes and let the stories there flow and add events that are worth an entry in the chronicle list. I'm also making my mind up how Nadia will evolve in these 15 years. I aim to contribute further in the chronicle list with and around Nadia/Light of Truth that takes place in the public (like when you read newspapers about someone) and on ther other hand things will first show up when you interact with her in CO. It's not thrilling if I say every detail that happened in her personnal life to you in that chronicle list.
How can we slap our heroes together? - Without champions lore I can't propose to go for Marvel's idea "Union make us strong(er)". With that I would likely pick up the idea "The charismatic leader". I still think it's a more elegant solution than "our heroes meet just one day in a Park in Millenium City and got the stunning idea to team up!". We are also able to follow with "the charismatic leader" the do-gooder theme proposed by Rhino which is already inherited by our 4 main heroes (and Light would really welcome it if she has some people in her team that share the same sense of heroism). Problem here: who would be the charismatic leader then?
As a side goal we might also follow the pattern like The Champions do and try to fill each archtype position with a member (and I have the feeling DC's Universe Justice League of America or Marvel's Universe The Avengers follow the same pattern). But I wouldn't mind if in future the team has for example two martial artists and no patriot. Still this idea support also somehow the classical do-gooder theme.
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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Rhino on Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:42 pm

[*] Our 4 initiating main characters (Marvel, Diana, Mark, Nadia) don't share many links towards each other and every characters goes more or less his own way in the time we play CO.

Diana, Mark and Angie are quite linked during these 15 years. On the other hand Light is known by all of those three and they share past (plus I can absolutely see Light and Diana visiting eachother).
Marvel is a newcomer, sure, but she can easily meet everyone through Light.

Also I don't think that this part actually has anything to do with Champions lore or setting really.

And Rhino is in CO... Wink Still on trial account, but soon on full one too.
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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Diurne on Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:34 pm

I wasn't really thinking about a theme related to the Champions Universe itself.
And, don't worry, it's a pretty standard comic-book universe, from what I know (since I'm no expert on comics, I mean).

I meant...
We could go for a Tech-only team, a City-based team (everyone related to the city, personally), mystic defenders of the world, a collection of loose street-level heroes etc etc... (the question was unrelated to our CoH characters)

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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Marvel on Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:24 am

Time for a little "Up", on this topic.

I know that some of our chars still have to appear in our Maptools sessions, though it could be an idea to decide where we want to head, what will be the "SG" name, what will be our goals, who will be the leader (if any), and so on...

Also, the thema.
I personaly like Diurne's idea about the Champions archetypes. So far, we have :
. Light Of Truth => Weaponmaster/Mystic ?
. Mesoc => Martial Artist
. Love Angel (assuming she picked back this identity) => Gadgeteer
. Darksparrow (same) => Power Armor/Gadgeteer
. Iris => Mystic
. Sable Lynx => Martial Artist
. Lithium => Mystic/Power Armor ?
. Sentinel => Gadgeteer ?
. Mandate => Power Armor
. Marvel => Energy Projector
. Psyche => Mentalist
. Stewart Hamner => Brick
. Vinga => Weaponmaster/Mystic

we're still missing a Speedster, a Metamorph and a Patriot (though some may be considered as patriots ; Light, for example)

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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Rhino on Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:26 pm

Doc Megaton could have been mix of Patriot and Brick... kind of Speedster too, as Diurne knows, once he was running around the world so fast that he ended up in past helping France against Nazis. Very Happy I could bring him back from ice. Wink Currently OOCly I'm playing his unofficial "successor" Megatonette, but that is OOCly only... plus she is not "super" so with Doc I can pick more outrageous powers.
Also Doc would like to meet successor of Lassie... or even grown up Cricket. Smile Although problem with Doc is that he is one of those larger than life golden age powerhouse superheroes in the manner of original JSA Green Lantern, Superman or Captain Marvel, although not with such outrageous powers (so actually he is more like Tom Strong), so his presence can be a bit overwhelming to others.

As for Metamorph, god bless Cryptic, you can make one easily in it. Smile Every costuem slot can be one form and even powers can be changed depending on builds. Actually true speedster in manner of Flash is hard to make since except for superspeed there aren't any real superspeed powers unless we fudge things.
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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Seetherius on Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:24 pm

I see Light rather as a speedster than weaponmaster, mystic or patriot. Like Rhino told it's difficult to bring this in CO. Superspeed is the only power that is a trait of her speedster nature. It was even better simulate a speedster in CoH than in CO, because there superspeed granted you a certain stealth factor for rushing through enemy lines without able to shoot at you. Here in CO I get regulary interrupted because mobs like to use powers to drop me out of my travel power. It stinks. Mad

About the idea from Diurne to cover each archtype: I have the feeling that this kind of a superhero roster is rather a lose connection and organization (Heroes of the same universe occassional meet on request to do a task, like in the TV show Heroes Wink) than a true connection of a supergroup (Fantastic 4 do everything together). I'm not saying it's bad, I just want things cleared. Since CO is aimed at very casual gaming this might work without further problem.

Leading person: Light doesn't need necessary to be the leading person. Of course she's a well established heroine who accomplished many small and some big feats and there's no sign she'll ever retire from her crusade to deliver Justice to all criminals, but she's also a restrictive person. If Light would be a leader she would face different reasons to let not enter for example Mesoc. She might also hold issues against Darksparrow (even if things have soften a bit).
Buttom line is: she wouldn't be an easy leader and she doesn't befriend anyone just because someone is a licensed hero. So she's sitting on her high horse and looks down at you and judges you. The old Tempest Charta is a good reference of criteria what one needs to meet to be on the good side of Light. Smile

So I repeat: Light doesn't need to be the leading person. Anyone of you could do the job as well (since I have already the leading role in STO geek). Even the question arises for me if a true leading person is needed here.
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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Rhino on Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:01 pm

As when leadership is concerned, we may go JSA (Justice Society of America) way. They usually had a lot of members (at one point around 25) who were called as they were needed but rarely all at once. Also they did not had one firm "leader" but a chairman who was just head person of meetings and all important decisions were made by voting of members.
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Re: Theme ? And the "Who are we ?"

Post  Marvel on Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:56 am

I shouldn't have used the world leader and yeah, I was more thinking about a "figurehead", someone who represents the Team, someone who coordinates, who - like Rhino pointed it - acts like a head person in meetings, not an almighty leader who takes all decisions. Smile

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