The Bullpen (OOC)   Posted by The Watcher.Group: 0
The Watcher
 GM, 1 post
Wed 28 Apr 2021
at 23:47
The Bullpen (OOC)
Welcome to the Bullpen, named in homage of the original Marvel Comics' 'Bullpen', that is to say, the staff who made all of the magic happen.

This is our OOC (Out-Of-Character) thread where people can post freely.  It is where readers and visitors are encouraged to post.  And it is the catch-all thread.  If you don't know where to post something, this thread is the first choice at best, and the second choice at worst... :-)
The Watcher
 GM, 6 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Thu 29 Apr 2021
at 06:52
The Bullpen (OOC)
At this writing, only a small number of people know about this game. It has not yet been advertised.  This is intentional to some degree.  When a restaurant opens, it usually runs quietly for a few months before having its 'Grand Opening' so they have time to work out the kinks first.  If this alone gathers enough interest to keep a game going, maybe it can remain a 'best-kept secret'.

Right now, as far as I am concerned, joining this game only means you like to hear more about it.  You are not otherwise obligated in any way.  If you just want to join to read along and comment, that's fine.  Feel free to post in the OOC (this) thread. :-)

Please don't be dismayed at the current underdeveloped state of the game.  I intend that it builds itself around you and soon.  And we will be building the game together.  Masks is a very player-involved setting.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:43, Fri 30 Apr.

The Watcher
 GM, 7 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 01:49
The Bullpen (OOC)
OK, let's get started.  Here is what I see as the bedrock assumptions of the game.

1. It takes place in the Marvel Universe, more specifically, it is an alternate timeline among countless others in what is more rightly called the Marvel Multiverse.  This parallel world has whatever continuity we want it to have.  The Mainstream Marvel Continuity is Earth-616 (the one from the comic books).  Our alternate timeline is Earth-682 (named after my native Fort Worth Area Code).  I welcome other suggestions, 682 was the closest number to 616 that I could think of that had any significance to me.

2. Your characters are superhuman teenagers.  That is, you either have superpowers or you are such a superior specimen of humanity that you can actually compete with superpowered beings.  You are in the teen years, thirteen to nineteen inclusive.  If your character doesn't have a normal lifespan, you have been judged to be adolescent at least psychologically.  This means your character could be either a minor or a legal, if young, adult.

3.  Your characters are part of a formal school.  More than other comic book universes, Marvel uses actual schools as settings for superpowered teens.  The X-Men are perhaps the best example of this for Marvel, if not all of pop culture.  Most Masks games consider the teens to be self-founded and self-governing as a default.  But I want to start with a formal school and adult supervision.  This is for at least three reasons:

a. Schools are very Marvel.

b. This is my first foray into Masks and Marvel (at least on this board).  I want at least an extra level of control (responsible adults as teachers) while we learn about each other.

c. This first Masks game should set up the main teen supergroup, powerful, formal, legally-sanctions and well-populated.

d. And, if (when!) you rebel, it will mean something because you are giving up something you helped build.

4. The school seems mundane for mundane courses, superhero training is held at an alternate location.  There are ways to disguise unique anatomies or those with secret identities while on campus.  The mundane part of school can be home schooling, mixed in with unknowing regular students on an unknowing ordinary campus.  Or it can be the usual boarding school setup favored by Marvel teen supers.

5. The board of your trustees of your school is, openly or covertly, at least partially composed of the great and good supergroups of Marvel (Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, etc).  There may be other groups unique to our game.  There may be corporate or other interest that have to be humored to keep funding.  The exact mix will be decided by the players.  If one group is obviously favored, the player characters may simply be the newest and youngest incarnation of the Avengers, Fantastic Five, X-Men, etc.

6.  This team will likely be among the most powerful of teen superheroes and given legal sanction, at least as much legal sanction as teen soldiers should be allowed to have.  The Marvel Universe seems to have a greater tolerance towards deputation and vigilantism than our Earth.

7. And, from the Masks Core book (p. 36)...

quote:
YOUR TEAM

In MASKS, you always play a team of young superheroes. The specifics of your
team are filled in by many of the choices you make during character creation,
from the playbooks you choose to the questions you answer from the GM. But
a few pieces of your team are always true:

You all choose to be here. You might be pressured to be on the team, you
might feel guilt and be part of the team to absolve it, you might audibly wish
you werenít on the team at all while secretly loving it. But ultimately, itís always
your choice to be part of the team. Thatís why the team wonít fracture in a
heartbeatóone way or another, you want to be here, for whatever reason fits
your character.

You arenít killers. Youíre a fairly young team, and you may have made
some mistakes and blown some stuff up. Your actions might have led to deaths.
But you arenít killers; you donít solve problems by killing those on the other
side as if it were of no consequence. If your team is interested in pursuing
more drastic measures, you might grapple with the complexities of killing as
a solution to difficult problems. But so far, your team hasnít gone down that
dark path.

You arenít illegal or openly hunted yet. Your team might technically be
illegal, depending on the specifics of how superhuman teams are treated in
your version of Halcyon City. But even if you are, you arenít yet hunted by
the authorities. Adults are more than likely making overtures to your team,
offering to sanction you or guide you and thereby provide you with whatever
legal support you need. The actions you take over the course of play may lead
you to a place where youíre actively pursued or captured, but thatís not the case
at the start of play.

You arenít beloved. Just as you arenít yet hunted by other superheroes or
by law enforcement, you also arenít beloved by the city yet. You might be more
or less well-liked, more or less doubted, but either way your team hasnít been
around long enough for the public to truly develop any kind of abiding interest
in and fondness for your team yet. If youíre loved, itís the love of celebrity,
temporary and easily turned to hate


OK, let me know what you might like to change.  This is the 'wet cement' phase at the beginning of the game.  Let me know soon.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:33, Fri 30 Apr.

The Watcher
 GM, 8 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 04:43
The Bullpen (OOC)
If you decide that you might join and stick around for a little while, here are some questions you can answer in your profile (under your name and possibly avatar in every post).

Nickname: If you have a long username, you can say how you would like it shortened as a diminutive.  It used to very Marvel to have a staffer listed with alliterative nickname in quotes in yellow panels when needed* [*As mentioned by "Wacky Watcher"]
Gender/Pronoun: If your username doesn't suggest either of these, let us know how you would like to referred to and addressed.  For myself, if I am unclear I use they/them/their for a singular individual.  This is becoming more accepted as time goes by.  If your character differs from you in this respect, you might make that clear in context.
Nationality/Location: I want this to be an international game and might ask to pick your brains to add authenticity.
Online Time:  If we use Discord or other real-time methods, when is the most likely time for you to be on?
OS/Browser:  Certain graphical elements work better with some platforms than others.  Letting me know what you use will help me make the game more efficient for you.
Text Background:  This game will use colored text.  Let me know what color your text is displayed on and I can try and make the game work better for you.
Anything Else:  Whatever you feel like sharing. :-)

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:54, Fri 30 Apr.

The Watcher
 GM, 9 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 04:44
The Bullpen (OOC)
And here is a blank version of that form for your use.


Nickname:
Gender/Pronoun:
Nationality/Location:
Online Time:
OS/Browser:
Text Background:
Anything Else:

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:45, Fri 30 Apr.

The Watcher
 GM, 10 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Fri 30 Apr 2021
at 04:52
The Bullpen (OOC)
And here is my personal version of that form


Nickname: GM or Gerry (my real-life name) but I don't really mind.
Gender/Pronoun: In real life, I am male. Online, I might be anything.  But, playing so many characters, they/their is probably the easiest to stick with.
Nationality/Location: I was born in England but have lived in Texas for most of my life.  I am currently just outside Fort Worth.
Online Time: Tuesday nights are usually the best for me but I can usually make anytime with just a little notice.
OS/Browser:  I alternate between Windows 10/Edge browser and iPhone 5 (yes, that old)/Safari browser.
Text Background: I use the default light background and sometimes the dark background.
Anything Else: I start every super game with the Mystery Men soundtrack.  It has been a good luck charm.  I will be playing it first IC reply.
https://www.youtube.com/playli...uPPux2LP6_R9_Y6y-Xkl

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:53, Fri 30 Apr.

The Watcher
 GM, 11 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sat 1 May 2021
at 01:45
The Bullpen (OOC)
Ha! I opened up the game to get it ready.  And it looks like others have already found it and said Hi.  I am pleased.  So I have invited them to the game as tribute to their mad ninja skills and am about to open the game up to everyone. :-)
The Watcher
 GM, 16 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sat 1 May 2021
at 02:40
The Bullpen (OOC)
Updates:

The game has been announced in both the planning thread and another game of mine with long-suffering and well-deserving players.

At this time, I think there will be enough interest that I do not need to advertise.  And I think the might-be players who do know of the game are preselected for excellence.

But if membership gets sparse, I may yet advertise.



I have made a Recap Page that will eventually be the one-page intro to the game for new visitors.  For now, the OOC thread is still probably the best introduction.


I have made a Forms & Templates page for various types of information we will use more than once.  The brief player form is the first form to grace it.  I repeat it below.


quote:
Nickname:
Gender/Pronoun:
Nationality/Location:
Online Time:
OS/Browser:
Text Background:
Anything Else:



If you are a new player, you may want to fill out that form here in OOC and then copy it to your profile so we know what name to place to such style! ;-)

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:43, Sat 01 May.

Prince of Boredom
 player, 1 post
Sat 1 May 2021
at 02:52
The Bullpen (OOC)
Hey everybody, I'm super excited for this game!

I'd like to throw out my request out to play the Delinquent if no one objects.
KraznyOctobr
 player, 1 post
Sat 1 May 2021
at 02:59
The Bullpen (OOC)
Just popping in to say hi as well.

I have also been thumbing through the playbooks. Mostly looking at Bull, Nova or Doomed. Mostly leaning toward Nova at this point.
OakMaster
 player, 1 post
Sat 1 May 2021
at 03:42
The Bullpen (OOC)
* waves *  :)

For better and/or for worse, I am more of a roleplayer than a rollplayer, and game mechanics isn't my strength.  I have minimal knowledge of the Marvel Universe and minimal knowledge of Masks.  Hopefully this is a newbie-friendly game... ;)
Prince of Boredom
 player, 2 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 03:47
The Bullpen (OOC)
Hey, if you don't like game mechanics, then Masks is the perfect game for you.
OakMaster
 player, 2 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 03:59
The Bullpen (OOC)
(... skims through https://www.magpiegames.com/wp.../Masks-Playbooks.pdf ...)

I think you are right!  Yay!  :)

Newbie Question: if I want to be a healer, what options do I have?  Is Nova/Biokinesis the only one?  If so, would KraznyOctobr be OK with me going in that direction?  :o
Prince of Boredom
 player, 3 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:13
The Bullpen (OOC)
Hmm, there's nothing I see super obvious, but if you want to be a true healer, I don't think Nova is the way to go. Really the defining characteristic of the Nova (beyond their powers) is their lack of control of their powers. From the main book:

quote:
THE NOVA
The overpowered conflagration. They can
reshape the worldóbut itís hard to control so
much power, and if they fail, others get hurt.


Probably not great for a healer. Now, anyone that lists gadgetry could work if you heal through some sort of gadget.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:13, Sat 01 May.

Prince of Boredom
 player, 4 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:21
The Bullpen (OOC)
Ooh, if you want to get the Unbound playbooks (not sure if they're free or not), the Scion could be cool. Basically you're the child of a supervillain. Magical Aptitude and Cosmic Energies are two of the ability options that could probably cover healing.

The idea of having a supervillain parent with Dark Sorcery (you also pick your parents powers) who you try to distance yourself from by using your Magical Aptitude to protect and heal people could be cool.
OakMaster
 player, 3 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:28
The Bullpen (OOC)
I prefer "powers" over "magic", with a relatively high "Savior" label.

If this was MSH FASERIP, I would go for something like a Troubleseeker with some type of Healing (even better, Empathic Healing)...
KraznyOctobr
 player, 2 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:31
The Bullpen (OOC)
Masks really works more off the particular conflict of the character rather than their power set. Obviously a power set has something to do with the character, but its more secondary or plot device. Like with the Nova you need some sort of power that you can see being difficult to control or having some great destructive potential. Just like with a Doomed you need a power set that really corrupts or threatens the character.

So really you want to think about the drama of the character first, select a book and then sort of match the power to that character.

If you were thinking for instance of the Nova then you could look at the character having some sort of strange control over others bodies and when they lose control people are torn to pieces or start having horrific wounds on their bodies. This might have driven them toward the healing, thinking that this would help them stay in control.

Healing could also work for like a Legacy character, following in the footsteps of their bloodline. Could also look at a protťgť style character that is learning the ability to control their healing power from another. There's many ways to really approach the character and their power.

Beacon may also be something to consider.

Personally I'd probably look at Doomed, really play up the martyr thing as your character sacrifices themselves to help others and takes their pain onto themselves.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:33, Sat 01 May.

Prince of Boredom
 player, 5 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:33
The Bullpen (OOC)
OakMaster:
I prefer "powers" over "magic", with a relatively high "Savior" label.

If this was MSH FASERIP, I would go for something like a Troubleseeker with some type of Healing (even better, Empathic Healing)...


Well, the Scion starts with a Savior +1, and you could always use you +1 to raise it to a +2. And you might be able to make an argument for using Cosmic Energies for healing...or the Scion (and a few other playbooks) gets Regeneration. Maybe instead of that being self-regeneration, you're able to regenerate other people?
OakMaster
 player, 0 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:32
Re: The Bullpen (OOC)
Nickname: Oak
Gender/Pronoun: he (player), she (character)
Nationality/Location: Los Angeles native, but lived in Singapore for a dozen years before returning to LA
Online Time: Varies, relative to Pacific Time (I'm a prof, so when I'm not lecturing/grading/etc. :)
OS/Browser: MacOS/Firefox
Text Background: Periwinkle
Anything Else: Roleplaying since '78, RPoL-ing since '04

This message was last edited by the player at 02:32, Tue 04 May.

OakMaster
 player, 5 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:37
Re: The Bullpen (OOC)
Prince of Boredom:
OakMaster:
I prefer "powers" over "magic", with a relatively high "Savior" label.

If this was MSH FASERIP, I would go for something like a Troubleseeker with some type of Healing (even better, Empathic Healing)...


Well, the Scion starts with a Savior +1, and you could always use you +1 to raise it to a +2. And you might be able to make an argument for using Cosmic Energies for healing...or the Scion (and a few other playbooks) gets Regeneration. Maybe instead of that being self-regeneration, you're able to regenerate other people?

That sounds interesting, if our friendly GM is open to such things.  The supervillain parent conflict is also interesting...
Prince of Boredom
 player, 6 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:40
The Bullpen (OOC)
Yeah, I think the Scion is a pretty cool playbook.
OakMaster
 player, 6 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:48
The Bullpen (OOC)
In reply to KraznyOctobr (msg # 17):

Lots of good points here.  IF available powers were decoupled from character conflict...

Doomed: Very interesting, if it was the power itself (empathic healing) that was the threat (taking someone else's wounds can be fatal), rather than some type of supervillain enemy

Legacy, Protťgť, Nova, or even Outsider are also potentially interesting possibilities to me.  :)

EDIT: Therefore, newbie question: can available powers be decoupled from character conflict?  :o

This message was last edited by the player at 04:48, Sat 01 May.

jamat
 player, 1 post
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:52
Re: The Bullpen (OOC)
Hi all I was thinking of Scion or doomed I was looking at a character who can open portals so a kind of teleporter but can move the group about. I thought they could open small ones in mid air to attack at distance through for example open one being the thug and one next to the character who can then punch the thug from a distance.

If I went doomed or scion I was looking at it being an infernal power either they were part of a dark magic ritual that went wrong (doomed) or their parent is actually an evil demon villain they want to distance themselves from (scion)
Need to read the play books a bit more

Or is there any other playbook anyone can suggest
Prince of Boredom
 player, 7 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:57
The Bullpen (OOC)
Of course theoretically you can choose any power for any playbook (assuming the GM allows it), although the rules recommend against. Also, you might want to open the aperture a bit, since this isn't really a game where lots of damage is taking place, so being "just a healer" might get boring.

That said, the Doomed has Body Transmutation as an ability; you could say you can transmute others and choose to use that power to heal them. But having a nemesis is pretty integral to that playbook.
Prince of Boredom
 player, 8 posts
Sat 1 May 2021
at 04:59
The Bullpen (OOC)
Oops, sorry for the double post...

GM, if you have the Unbound book, you might want to look at the Phoenix Academy Playset; it might be a good place to get ideas for running the game at a school.