RPO SteamDragon
 member, 16 posts
 Ridin' the Storm Out
Sat 17 Apr 2021
at 00:48
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
MAKE MINE MASKS MARVEL

OK, I want to run a Masks game set in the Marvel Universe and I thought I would pick y'all's brains about it.

Your wisdom is what is in it for me but here is what is in it for you...  Every unique contribution of mine in this thread I freely give for anyone to use as they will for their own games.  And I don't have a maximum number of players when I start a game.  So you are in this future game if you want to be.

Let's get started...

Why Masks?:  Well, Masks is very simple to put together. It is a Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) game.  You need hardly any prep, player or GM, to get started.  You can't really prep anyway, really, the game reacts so much to the others in it.  It is also a very faithful method to run teen super games (and aren't all superhero stories really about growing up?)  It is a very fun game (when it works!).

Why Marvel?: One day I want to run a cross-worlds adventures with teen superheroes from All That Is fighting for All That Might Be.  But let me start with the most popular, expansive and familiar superhero universe and go from there.

In the Alternate Timeline of Earth-682...

The Excelsior school is nestled in the sleepy hamlet of Everton on Long Island's coast.  It seems to have nothing to do with the new and mysterious teen superteam, the Marvels.  And this is just how the school likes it.

For really Excelsior is a secret school for young superheroes.  The board of trustees is secretly made up of members of the Avengers, SHIELD and the X-Men among other worthies.  It is hoped the students will learn to be heroes, otherwise productive citizens or at least not villains.

What do you think of this premise so far?  Some notes:

The Alternate Earth:  This is an alternate continuity from the mainstream timeline of Earth-616 where we can change what we want.  For now, it is close enough to Mainstream Marvel to be easily mistaken for it by any passing Exile.  The number '682' happens to be the Area Code for my home town of Fort Worth.  But any number will do if you want to suggest one.

The School:  Change the name if you want.  As this is my first Masks game here (and in a while), I wanted a strong adult presence as a spare method of plot control.  Also, the actual school experience is a very Marvel thing compared to other superhero universes.  In the DC Universe, for example, young heroes almost seem to be home-schooled prodigies mentored by adult heroes.

If the players want their heroes to rebel later, at least they will have something to rebel against and something to lose (so their rebellion actually means something emotionally).

The name of the school and super team can easily be changed.  I welcome other ideas.  The actual mix of trustees I will leave to the players.  This will let the students choose if they are really young Avengers, SHIELD agents, or X-Men.  Perhaps they are their own new things, or members of a lesser known hero group in the Marvel setting.   Perhaps their mysterious new patrons are secretly villainous, pretending to be heroic so as to seduce their young acquisitions.

The Location:  What happens in the Marvel Multiverse usually happens in the Mainstream Marvel Earth of 616.  Everything that happens on Earth-616 usually happens in the Good Ol' U. S. of A.  And everything that happens in the US usually happens in or near the Big Apple.  What I'm saying is that the Marvel Universe is very NYC-centric.  So I am initially putting the school within an hour's drive of the city.  Long Island will do but it is a wide radius covering several states.  I do ask that it be on the coast.  Even the oceans are interesting in a Marvel setting.

This close to New York City means the young supers will interact often with the major heroes of the Marvel Universe.  Great but the little tykes might feel outshined.  Any further out, and the kids will stand out on their own.  And the US is a big place with other population centers (West Coast super teens, anyone?) and large rural areas where a regional school might be.   And there are other nations; Canada, Japan and the UK have revealed superhero populations (and, by implication, so do most other nations).  By why stop with mundane nations, is there an Inhuman campus on the moon, an underwater school in Atlantis or a wild nature camp in the Savage Land?

Let me know what you think.  Let me know what you would change.  And thanks again...
KraznyOctobr
 member, 54 posts
Sat 17 Apr 2021
at 04:18
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
I really do like the premise.  There is a lot to work with there while also quite a bit of freedom to fit the individual plots that players will generate. I think the danger of using any established characters can be addressed with simply,  this isn't that timeline.
von_das
 member, 183 posts
Sat 17 Apr 2021
at 06:27
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
Very neat. I love Masks, and from what I've seen you're basically guaranteed to get a lot of players applying (retention may be more of a problem, but that's always the case in PbP, alas). I only have an extremely haphazard knowledge of Marvel, but hopefully that wouldn't be much of an issue, especially in an alternate universe.

One question - what kind of characters do you expect with regards to canon? Wholly original characters that happen to live in that universe? Original characters with connections to established Marvel characters? Alternate versions of young Marvel characters? Alternate (younger) versions of any Marvel characters? All of the above?

I think starting close to New York, but not in it should be viable. It's a bit generic, but that can help put the spotlight more on the heroes. Someplace in Britain could be fun as well, though (lots to work with from what I understand, but perhaps not as crowded as America and still pretty accessible to English-speakers). Some less explored place can offer more freedom and originality but would require more set-up work. I do think it's better for Masks to be set near civilisation of some kind, so there are plenty of non-supers to interact with.

This message was last edited by the user at 06:28, Sat 17 Apr.

RPO SteamDragon
 member, 17 posts
 Ridin' the Storm Out
Fri 23 Apr 2021
at 01:53
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
Krazny, you got it! :-)  An alternate timeline is like a cafeteria or buffet, we pick what we like from the original universe and then make a hero sandwich of our own ingredients.

Von_Das, knowledge of Marvel isn't a problem.  Marvel's continuity is so convoluted that I don't think they can keep strict continuity without contradiction.  So how could we be blamed?

quote:
One question - what kind of characters do you expect with regards to canon? Wholly original characters that happen to live in that universe? Original characters with connections to established Marvel characters? Alternate versions of young Marvel characters? Alternate (younger) versions of any Marvel characters? All of the above?


All of it, any of it, whatever we want of it.  That's the beauty of it! :-)

In the end, being the nearest to New York makes you closest to the heroes (and possibly overshadowed by them).  Anywhere else, you are more your own team.  Neither approach is bad, it comes down to party preference.

Thanks for mentioning Britain.  There will be schools in other nations but I will make sure that a British school is part of continuity.  There is a lot of UK elements in the Marvel Universe even if they aren't forefront.  And there was a whole branch of the Marvel machine (Marvel UK) that was uneven in product.  But there was enough good to use again.

My worry is to not repeat the mistake of Excalibur (the 'British' team with more non-Brits than Brits and most of them US X-Men slumming).  Also, talented writer and savior of Marvel in the Eighties that he was, Chris Claremont had a few tropes and, well, kinks that he indulged himself with while writing Excalibur.  Our 'blokes' will be quite different.

I'm unexpectedly busy this week.  Please don't take my delay in responding as lack of interest.  I appreciate all who read and, especially, posted... :-)
scuff
 member, 124 posts
Fri 23 Apr 2021
at 14:15
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
I'd be interested in this - I'm not familiar with the system but it sounds like it's easy to get into.
V_V
 member, 931 posts
 Resting. I hope to find
 peace and vigor return.
Fri 23 Apr 2021
at 22:13
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
I really like this idea! I don't have much to offer, beyond that. I'm very ignorant of 98% of Marvel canon. I know just enough to think I know more than I actually do. ;)
lilbug
 member, 79 posts
Sat 24 Apr 2021
at 20:06
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
I think its perfect :) A lot of potential for interaction, as you've mentioned, but with space enough we can have something of our own built over time.  Its close to quite a few states and we could even potentially travel to Canada for something different (I loved Alpha Flight).

I also like the concept of an alternate timeline, it totally allows us the chance to decide what we like, or don't like, about the Marvel setting, or if we'd like to play "What If" and change things up a little.

I don't know the Masks system, is it difficult to learn?
Prince of Boredom
 member, 12 posts
Sun 25 Apr 2021
at 00:20
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
I've been in a couple of Masks games here that didn't quite make it, so would love this idea.
RPO SteamDragon
 member, 18 posts
 Ridin' the Storm Out
Sun 25 Apr 2021
at 07:09
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
All you need is enthusiasm!  It is the one thing I can't provide, only magnify.  And I can provide everything else.

You guys have inspired me.  If I am lucky, I will have a link to a game within a week or so.  All are welcome but you guys are especially invited. :-)
jamat
 member, 697 posts
 P:5 T:7 W:0 F:0 B:3
Sun 25 Apr 2021
at 07:12
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
I'd be interested but never played masks before..... Got the book just before Christmas and would like to learn them if youd be OK with a total noobie
von_das
 member, 184 posts
Sun 25 Apr 2021
at 08:19
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
Glad to see you're still with us - I admit, I was a little worried, since this does seem very promising!

Masks is pretty easy to get into in my experience, especially on the player side. It's a PbtA, so there aren't that many rules, and they're all in service to the story.

I take it we'll be starting on Long Island, with the other locales just being in the background for now?

EDIT: Also, would you accept non-core playbooks?

This message was last edited by the user at 20:30, Mon 26 Apr.

RPO SteamDragon
 member, 19 posts
 Ridin' the Storm Out
Tue 27 Apr 2021
at 07:45
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
Argh!  These past few weeks have been the busiest I have been in years.  I should be more responsive in the future.

Near New York is my first suggestion but if the players can agree on a different location, it will probably happen.  In any case, there is no harm in mentioning different campuses around the world to give our new world some depth.

Any playbook by Magpie Games (the makers of Masks) is fine.  Third-party playbooks will at least be considered and likely approved. :-)
YourSuccubus
 member, 3 posts
Thu 29 Apr 2021
at 08:35
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
I definitely think being near a big city like New York would be best for the game. Things are more dramatic when there's the potential for collateral damage towards buildings or civilians when there's a super powered fight.

I've always been a bigger fan of The Avengers rather than the Justice League when comparing the two teams. I prefer earth-based conflicts, like how the Avengers occasionally square off against AIM, or Hydra, rather than galaxy level threats that I always see the League battling.
RPO SteamDragon
 member, 20 posts
 Ridin' the Storm Out
Thu 29 Apr 2021
at 23:38
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
It does make the heroes a little more human when they have walk among us, doesn't it?  It is why I like Marvel a little more than DC (not that I don't like DC).

The game has been created.  I should have link to it here in a couple of days. :-)

This message was lightly edited by the user at 23:17, Fri 30 Apr.

von_das
 member, 185 posts
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 17:58
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
Starting to think about character ideas. I assume non-American characters are fine? Even if there are campuses in other nations, there may be special reasons to go to this one (such as its specialisation, or elite reputation, or certain unique local resources/facilities/staff, or sponsorship by one of the groups involved here).
RPO SteamDragon
 member, 21 posts
 Ridin' the Storm Out
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 23:35
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
Not only are non-Americans allowed, they are very welcomed! :-)

International characters are one reason why Claremont saved the X-Men in the Seventies (which saved Marvel in the Eighties).

Oh, as it turns out, after all of these years, Marvel is coming out with a book called 'The Marvels' so we might choose a different name for the game team, perhaps the Wunderkind, or The Wonders?
von_das
 member, 186 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 00:40
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
I don't speak German, but I think that might be Wunderkinder? Though Wunderkinds would sound more natural in English, I assume. Anyway, while any of those could be good, maybe we should hold off on picking the team name right now - perhaps something would come to mind once we have the characters, if some common theme emerges.

(Also, we could leave Wunderkinder for the German/continental European group.)
RPO SteamDragon
 member, 22 posts
 Ridin' the Storm Out
Sat 1 May 2021
at 01:55
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
von_das, agreed.  I'm from Texas, I have trouble with proper English, let alone German. ;-)

And, the Wonders is just a placeholder, I would love to see what the group comes up with.
RPO SteamDragon
 member, 23 posts
 Ridin' the Storm Out
Sat 1 May 2021
at 01:57
Make Mine Masks Marvel!
OK, FOOM (Fans of Mighty Marvel), because of you I am closing this thread.  But I am closing it in victory, not in defeat.  Thank you for all your invaluable insight and enthusiasm.

The game has been created and is at this link.

link to another game

If you have trouble with it, it is probably better to message me as once the link is given the thread is supposed to end.

If you didn't get a question answered here, or had more to add, you can message me or continue with the question in the game.  Go ahead and post a Howdy post in the OOC thread and we will get to it.

At this point, there is enough interest that I don't see a need for a formal advertisement.  So, you guys are part of the in-crowd; the cool kids!  But if you wanna tell a friend, I can't stop you! ;-)

Should there be a need for a game ad, I will edit this post to have it.

And, with that, I will see y'all on Earth-682.  Excelsior!

'Nuff Said. :-)