Re: Marv Wolfman's Write Stuff
Simple Rules, Many Exceptions: Every class, race, feat,To a certain extent, this is true of many, if not most, roleplaying games. The rules define some skill, ability, or power lets you do something that you would normally not be able to do. We certainly saw that in 3rd edition D&D. My first experience with it was to note that all the cool manuevers (disarming, tripping, etc.) came with heavy penalties, making them tactically useless, unless you had the proper feat (and each maneuver had its own associated feat).
power, and monster in the D&D game breaks the rules in
some way. From minor to significant, the game is built upon
exception-based rules design. For example, a normal melee
attack always deals a few points of damage, but every class
has powers that ramp up the damage when they get used.
Super heroes are celebrities on par with movie and sports stars. Tabloids cover the (often fictionalized) personal lives (and diet secrets) of super heroes (and even villains) alongside actors and pop stars. In the US, here are two basic cable channels (one run by Fox, the other by Disney) and a half dozen weekly magazines dedicated to covering news and special features related to super heroes.
Very few super heroes maintain a secret identity. If heroes achieve enough success to attract media attention, they rarely can maintain their secret identities for long. Corporate sponsors are unlikely to sign a hero who has not publicly divulged her or his identity. Only those heroes who eschew the corporate system or who have been blackballed (typically because of legal problems, ethical violations, or a poisoned reputation) even bother to have a secret identity.
Federal, state, and local governments contract out to private security agencies to provide super powered support of traditional law enforcement agencies. Those who cannot attain contracts with one of the "Big 6" have to contract with a small, independent firm, join one of the few government-sponsored teams, or become rogues. These unauthorized, unsanctioned vigilantes lack the legal backing, resources, and support structure of contracted heroes.
The corporate security firms provide personal management, liability insurance, legal services, and medical benefits for the superheroes. Contracted super heroes receive yearly salaries (with signing bonuses, performance-based incentive packages, and other perks), but the real money is in endorsements and sponsorships. There are always strings attached to contracts, and heroes may find themselves torn between their public image, the demands of their sponsors and managers, their personal lives, and their own consciences. Super teams run by the US Marshals and US Marines are not allowed to have third-party contracts. The state-run Texas Rangers do have private sponsors, but only from Texas-based companies.
Each team has one manager assigned by the firm. The team manager takes care of the day-to-day scheduling, paperwork, and bureaucracy for the team so the individual members can concentrate on fighting crime, making public appearances, keeping in shape, and meeting contractual obligations (not necessarily in that order). The manager is also the team's representative, spokesman, and firewall when dealing with the corporate hierarchy. High-profile teams have large staffs of support personnel including trainers, coaches, administrative assistants, and public relations experts. For the small-market teams, all these fall onto the shoulders of the team manager. Many super heroes also have their own personal agents, trainers, etc.
Each firm has a number of regional teams and teams in smaller markets act as a farm system for larger markets. The most successful heroes are transferred the highest profile teams, where chances for bigger and better endorsement deals are much higher. Trades of personnel between corporations are also common. All teams are assembled by corporate committee whose goal is to distribute resources to optimize crime prevention, balance the abilities of each team, generate team synergy, create a pro-active image, and maximize market appeal (not necessarily in that order).
San Angelo has contracted with Pacific Security Consultants (PacSec), which also has notable teams in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Seattle. The team's headquarters is a converted warehouse in the Riverfront district. The base includes living quarters for four, a fitness room, communications center, reception area, manager's office, and hangar for the team's vehicle, Sentinel One, one of those amazing hovering aircraft only found in comic books. While residence in the headquarters is not mandatory, all members are expected to spend the majority of their down-time there for quickest response should an incident break out. The vast majority of incidents do not require Sentinel interference. In fact, since PacSec charges are based in part per incident response, the government does not call the Sentinels unless the threat is major and cannot be safely handled by local, county, and state law enforcement.
The standard team colors are blue and white. All members have a small earphone/microphone that works as a two-way radio and voice-activated cell phone and other personal equipment as appropriate.
The following organizations and superteams were defined by Matt. Notice that San Angelo does not appear--I added it as part of PacSec. Most of the franchises are in need of team names.
Notice the NYPD and the State of Texas also have their own teams; the former out of necessity and the later because it's Texas.
Military supers are officially part of the Marine Corps, thought they often work in conjunction with other branches of the military. The US Marshals Service commands the high-profile goverment supers. Other bureaus and branches (FBI, ATF, Secret Service, etc.) also have supers on their payroll, but they do not have a public profile. If the CIA, NSA, and other intelligence organizations have supers on their payrolls, they aren't saying.
|Defenders of America, Inc.||New York City||38|
|Defenders - Atlanta||Atlanta||AL, GA, TN||6|
|Defenders - Charlotte||Charlotte||NC, SC||4|
|Defenders - Chicago||Chicago||IL, IN, WI||6|
|Defenders - Detroit||Detroit||MI, OH||4|
|Defenders - Houston||Houston||LA, TX||4|
|Defenders - Minneapolis||Minneapolis||IA, MN||4|
|Defenders - New York||New York City||CT, NJ, NY||6|
|Defenders - St. Louis||St. Louis||AR, MO||4|
|Kansas City||KS, MO||4|
|Oklahoma City||AK, OK||4|
|The Posse||San Antonio||TX||4|
|Justice Foundation||New York City||22|
|Liberty Legion||Baltimore||DE, MD, VA||6|
|The Minutemen||Boston||MA, NH, RI, VT||6|
|The Patriots||New York City||CT, NJ, NY||6|
|New York Police Dept.|
|Pacific Security Consultants||San Francisco||21|
|Los Angeles||so. CA||6|
|San Francisco||no. CA||6|
|Seattle||ID, OR, WA||6|
|Solaris Corporation, The||Los Angeles||24|
|Southern Cross||New Orleans||18|
|New Orleans||LA, MS||5|
|State of Texas|
|U.S. Marine Corps|
|U.S. Marshal Service|
I am a roleplayer. I play games in which I pretend to be other people. I do it for the fun and challenge of playing someone else, typically in a setting or circumstance well beyond my own personal experience. I like fantasy, science fiction, mystery, horror, and most other genres. Roleplaying for me is an escapist activity, but unlike reading a book or watching a movie, an active one. I enjoy exploring my characters' personalities and lives, both internally (getting inside the head of the character) and externally (as one would explore a character from literature).
I am not a gamer. I enjoy board games and card games, but I would rather roleplay. I do not play roleplaying games to kill monsters, work out the puzzles, solve mysteries, or do the other trappings of roleplaying games. Granted, these can be fun, but only in the context that they give something for my character to do. These activities become a framework for roleplaying and hold no interest for me if there is no roleplaying.
I am not a storyteller. Sure, in the course of a roleplaying game, a story is told. There may even be a plot and an underlying structure that is very story-like. As a roleplayer, I want my control of the story to be limited to my character's influence on the story. Some meta-game conventions, like "plot points," are perfectly acceptable, and I certainly want some input on the kinds of plot I want my character to be involved in. But I do not want to control the story from the third person; there are plenty of storytelling games that do this very well, but I would rather roleplay.
I do not dogmatically insist that everything I do in a roleplaying game be in character. I want everyone to have fun and if that means I give up a little character control or make decisions based upon the plot or group cohesion, I am happy to do so. I do insist, however, that actions not be imposed upon my character without my consent.
I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not think my approach to roleplaying games is superior to other ways of playing these games. I have nothing against people who use lots of miniatures and move their characters through dungeons of ever increasing difficulty. I also have nothing against basketball fans, but their games do not capture my interest. There are simply other things I would rather do.
Roleplaying games are just games, enjoyable pastimes like playing catch or spades. It is possible to take them too seriously, but it is possible to not take them seriously enough. When playing volleyball, I try my best. I do not let balls fall because "it's just a game"—I run and dive for every ball I can conceivably get. Not to do so is not fun for me. When roleplaying, I try my best to roleplay well. I do not succeed as often as I would like, but the fun is in the trying.
As a kid, I played "make-believe" and "let's pretend" a lot—probably more than most other boys my age. Roleplaying is just a natural extension of that early activity. In many ways, I see most roleplaying games disrupting the minimalist purity of those childhood games. As an adult, I cannot play those games any more. There was no character development and no plot. The issues and themes that were fun and new to the child are not interesting to the adult. This is natural—I do not enjoy playing Hungry Hungry Hippos any more, either. The key to roleplaying games is to take the raw imagination and abandon we had in childhood and apply it to characters and situations that interest us in adulthood.
There is a new product out in the stores of the floting country.This is making a army of super enhanced vilans.Now the world fites back by creating its own super heros.If you want to become one of those new heros then step rite in. You are going to have to complete a siber chalange.Something that will test your ability to controle the powers you are going to reseave. This tournament is held this coming summer.So be ready to complete the chalange if you dare.DunDunDun!!!!!!>_<side afects may include dieing and uncotrolable anger.I give allowances when English is not your primary language, but this is just ignorance.
It's a fantasy role-playing game. If you're familiar with the works of Tolkien or Stephen R. Donaldson or Poul Anderson or any of the guys who wrote really good fantasy stuff, those worlds stood up. It's an opportunity to assume a persona. Who really wants to be themselves when they're teenagers? And you get to be heroic and have adventures. And it's an incredibly fun game. They have arcane rules and complex societies and they're open-ended and limitless, kind of like life. For somebody who eventually became an actor, it was interesting to have done that for so many years, because acting is role-playing. You assume a character, and you have to stay in them over years, and you create histories, and you apply your powers. It's good improvisation with agreed rules before you go in.