Requesting Access.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 2 posts
Thu 10 Oct 2019
at 07:55
Requesting Access
Before requesting access, you are required to read the following:

Game rules may be subject to change.

Applications will not be accepted on a first come-first served basis. Please take some time and give some thought to your answers. Try to provide specific instead of generalised answers.

Character creation will begin after player selection, so you don't need a character concept or even character name at this point in time. Instead you'll be assigned a number as your temporary designation upon being granted access.

  1. Please provide your age and year of birth.
  2. What is your current time zone?
  3. What is your average posting rate?
  4. What is your first language, if not English?
  5. Why do you wish to join this game?
  6. What are your expectations for this game?
  7. What is your experience with gaming in general?
  8. What are the sorts of things do you enjoy? (In terms of games, books, movies, et cetera. I'm interested in hearing about anything, really.)
  9. What are taboo issues for you? (For example, some people are averse to games that depict drug usage in any way. Others feel uncomfortable with current political issues.)
  10. Please provide a writing sample. (I'm mostly looking for correct spelling, adherence to the rules of grammar, good diction, interesting ideas, and so forth.)


Here are some answers to some questions you might have.

What is the Big Picture?

This game is to be a modern, yet fantastical tale about a group of orphans raised in a strict boarding school who begin to discover that they may not be human beings. They have no knowledge of their exact natures and must discover their true origins for themselves.

Who are the players supposed to be?

As far as they're aware, the protagonists are normal human adolescent children attending a normal boarding school, aged from fourteen to seventeen. They may have been attending Harrington School for their entire lives or recently arrived.

Most of the students at Harrington School are orphans provided for by the various funds and foundations for unwanted or orphaned children, though they may not be orphaned at all. They may be attending the boarding school based on scholastic merit or on some disciplinary probation as ruled by a juvenile court. The reasons can be myriad and varied as you like, though of course most of the students will actually be orphans or unwanted children.

What they do have in common though, and which they will soon discover, is that their true origins and nature have been obscured from them by the administrators of the school for reasons unknown. They each of them have some sort of unique paranormal and supernatural abilities, and they have great destinies before them.

With regard to your character's true nature, you may be a pagan god in disguise, an alien from outer space, or perhaps even a visitor from the fifth dimension. You may come from a lineage of kings both ancient and venerable or have dragon blood flowing through your veins or even be the last of a dying race. Maybe you're really a robot or golem disguised as a human. Or even the inheritor of an mystical school of ninjutsu.

No idea is taboo here, and anything goes as far as I'm concerned. You may even decide that you like the mystery of not knowing and want to discover your character's origins during the game! Though let me know if you do. :)

One thing I'd like to avoid though is mutants with some sort of X-gene or the next step in evolution. :)

Does this game take place on Earth?

Yes, and no.

You can expect things like smartphones and social media and complex political situations and so forth. But there's also aliens, magic, and dimensions beyond our own comprehension. Some license must be taken so that these things haven't occurred in a vacuum, but influenced and affected each other prior to the game beginning, i.e., in the backstory.

What those things are, I can't really say with any specificity, because that's not how I create games. I usually come up with a premise and form the game's world around the players as they explore it. I might have a few underlying NPCs and world facts in my head, but that's about it, and those are easily discarded if I find something better to fit.

What kind of powers can I choose?

I personally have no problem with any power whatsoever. Whatever you decide, I can roll with, for the most part. Now, other people may have their own opinions, so if there's a power you personally would feel uncomfortable being in the game, let your preferences be known as soon as possible. For example, maybe you don't like the idea of a power to induce torture, like the Cruciatus Curse in Harry Potter.

This is a Mature game, so that means there's not to be any explicit or graphic sex or violence and such, and any power you selected would have to fit that scope. And we definitely want to respect people's boundaries. Just know that I have very few that don't already fit within the constraints of a Mature game. :)

Tricky to adjudicate powers will be handled with care, but they should certainly be doable. If you want to be able to travel in time or read minds, I will make accommodations for those powers. One thing I think might be tricky is if you have a Rogue or Peter Petrelli like power to copy other people's powers. Ensemble stories are all about making sure you have your own way to shine that other people can't mimic. If you can do it all, there's no point in making this a story about a group of characters, but more about one particular main character. That wouldn't be fun, I think, for the other players, but we can discuss it, if that's what you want to do. We can see about adding some fictional constraints to make it more interesting as a story.

Take this as my stance on any quote-unquote "problematic" powers. If there's an interesting story there, I'm willing to work a little harder, exert a little more effort, to make it work in the story we're all telling together. But remember that we are telling a story together. Be open to feedback from other players as well as from me. :)

You may select a single power and have that be your sole power, like regeneration or shooting concussive force from your eyes; or you can have a grab bag of powers, like flight, super-strength, invulnerability, and laser eyes. You can certainly have magic as a superpower, if that's what you want.

What do you mean by a "home-brewed" system?

The system I'm using is more about using a quick resolution mechanic, to get the mechanics out of the way of the story and the fiction. Rolling a d20 with bonuses and penalties versus a specific target number is pretty easy to reason about.

I've taken some elements from Mutants and Masterminds, but you won't be point-counting your Power Level like you would in vanilla M&M, so if you are more interested in optimizing your build, crafting the perfect Alternate Power arrays, et cetera, this is probably not the game for you. Nor are we going to go into lengthy combats every time, with round by round blow-by-blows. Sometimes fights take only a single panel after all.

I'm far more excited about exploring interesting characters with super powers.  :)

So this is freeform?

No. It's far more involved than simply freeform or even guided freeform or even freeform with rolls thrown in. There is a logic and shape to the system, but most of the time, as the Game Master, I'm handling it in the background. You will have to interact with the system only very rarely, though I'm perfectly happy to explain it should you wish.

You'll definitely have a character sheet, though it'll be small and self-contained.

What about game balance?

I take a more nuanced approach to balance than is espoused in most game systems. Remember that this game isn't about combat per se. As long as every character has something interesting to do, I don't see a really huge problem. Often in stories you have an ensemble cast of characters with widely differing skillsets. You can have Superman and Batman in the same story.


I expect players to think about their characters' inner life and thoughts and feelings and be descriptive about such in their posts. Some players have only posted their outward physical actions, which is fine for some games, but not the ones I run. I'm interested in character arcs and narratives and emotional pay-offs and so forth.

Lay out your character's backstory gradually. The tendency of most players is to get it all out at the beginning, sometimes in the first post. I've had some players whose first posts were their entire backstory, with 1000 words or more.

Don't do that.

Not only is it contravention to the posting guidelines, but we're just getting to know the characters, the world, the story. The less you spill, the more that is retained. Leave us wanting more, instead of wanting to skim.


I expect players to be open to collaboration in the fiction. I'll rein you back if I feel you come up with something that contradicts the world, but players should generally be open to suggestions from other players and the GM. We're all in charge of the fiction together. You can write for another NPC, just as much as I can. Someone else can even chime in and move other characters around if their idea makes for a more interesting story.

I'm even okay with player characters moving other player characters, with each other's permission, of course. Comfort levels may vary, but if I was playing Doc Brown, and another was playing Marty, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for me to move Marty in such a way:

"Great Scott!" said Doc Brown.

"What is it, Doc?" Marty said.

If you do move another PC or NPC, be sure to be open to making edits if someone says you're doing something to make them go out of character.

Regarding Romance

I'll leave it up to the players whether they'll engage their characters in a romance. Personally, I prefer for romance to arise organically in the story, as opposed to something that is forced or the "point" or the main driver of a game.

Nice as romance is, my aims and interests do not revolve around romance, but instead are concerned with the overarching narrative and the character arcs I'm trying to build in complicated webs between the characters. Romance can play its part, and maybe even a vital part for some arcs, but keep in mind that it's only one part amidst many others.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:51, Sun 13 Oct 2019.