The Bullpen (OOC)   Posted by The Watcher.Group: 0
The Watcher
 GM, 41 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 4 May 2021
at 00:27
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Good News!

OakMaster has volunteered to and be promoted to GM!  Which I have done.  I have seen some of what OakMaster has done on this board and consider us to very lucky indeed.

So we both now wield the Power Cosmic!

If anyone else wants to be promoted to superpowered status, let me know.
The Watcher
 GM, 42 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 4 May 2021
at 01:55
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I have to admit the rewards being a GM/Editor/Moderator in this game are mostly intangible.  But there is one for those that want it.

You can GM your own game in this forum if you want.  It is not like we are running out of 'forum' or 'Marvel Universe'.  You can carve your own little section of threads and start a game if you wish.  This is more or less how Marvel started, a bunch of separate stories in a shared universe.  In fact, one of the reasons early Marvel Comics so outdid its other competitors was that one title would sometimes reference another.  It made the young readers feel that they were a part of an ever-changing and growing world.  And, if you were the tyke that bought both titles, you knew more than your other friends and thus felt closer to your heroes.  Stan Lee was originally in sales, which is another word for applied psychologist.  And he learned his lessons well.

In any case, I can't run every story in this wide universe.  The offer remains open and we still welcome more GMs and moderators if you are so moved.
The Watcher
 GM, 43 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:00
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
OK, again, my apologies for how slow this game has been to take off and for me to respond.  I will try and rectify some of that tonight.

For those wondering about their character ideas, I like ALL of the ideas that have been presented.  There are details to fill out and time to get those details.  Your characters are about as far along as they CAN be at this stage.  Y'see, Masks is a collaborative game.  All of the players work together to make not just the game world but also to help make other characters.

Masks mavens (those familiar with the game) know that vital parts of character creation, such as Influcence Relationships, When Our Team First Came Together..., etc, are group efforts and I want to get all players onboard before that gets nailed down.

In the meantime, there is much I can do and I will get started.  Thank you all for your patience...
Steel Ninja
 player, 2 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:23
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
REAL NAME - Cam Turner
Code name - Steel Ninja
Look - White, tight and trim body, robotic exo-suit
❑ Take another move from your playbook
 ❑ Take another move from your playbook
 ❑ Take another move from your playbook
 ❑ Take a Sanctuary from the Doomed playbook
 ❑ Take Drives from the Beacon playbook
 ❑ Someone permanently loses Influence over you; add +1 to a Label
 ❑ Rearrange your Labels as you choose, and add +1 to a Label
 ❑ Unlock your Moment of Truth
 ❑ Unlock your Moment of Truth after it’s been used once
 ❑ Confront your Shame on your terms; if you survive, change playbooks
 ❑ Take an adult move
 ❑ Take an adult move
 ❑ Lock a Label, and add +1 to a Label of your choice
 ❑ Become a paragon of the city for however long you have left
 ❑ power armor
 ❑ robotic sidekick

    Labels
(at character creation, add +1 wherever you choose)
BRAIN Moves
(Choose three)
 DANGER FREAK SAVIOR SUPERIOR MUNDANE
-2 -1 -2 -1 -2 -1 -2 -1 -2 -1
0 +1 +2 +3 0 +1 +2 +3 0 +1 +2 +3 0 +1 +2 +3 0 +1 +2 +3
❑ Above the fray: When you enter battle as a Team against a dangerous foe, if you have Influence over the leader and provide tactical input, add 1 Team to the pool. When you contradict the leader during the battle, you may return Influence over the leader to add an additional 1 Team to the pool.
   ❑ Mission debrief: During a debrief, when you downplay your role in helping a teammate during the mission, mark potential and shift Superior down and any other Label up. When you exaggerate your role in helping a teammate during the mission, clear a condition and either give them Influence or lose Influence over them
❑ Always prepared: When you have a chance to restock your supplies, hold up to 2-gadgets. When you unleash your powers by producing a brand new minor invention or gadget from your supply, spend 1-gadget and roll + Superior. When you reach 0-gadgets, mark a condition.
  ❑ Tactical genius: When you point out the obvious flaw in a known foe’s plan, roll + Savior. On a hit, you’re right, and another teammate (your choice) can take advantage; they get +1 ongoing to act on your information. On a 7-9, pick one:
    Conditions
❑ Afraid
❑ Angry
❑ Guilty
❑ Hopeless
❑ Insecure
(-2 to directly engage a threat)
(-2 to comfort or support or pierce the mask)
(-2 to provoke someone or assess the situation) (-2 to unleash your powers)
(-2 to defend someone or reject others’ influence)
- You missed something important. The GM will tell you what.
 - You look like a showoff. Your chosen teammate takes Influence over you, and you lose Influence over them.
 - You make your teammates feel like little more than pawns. Your chosen teammate marks a condition.
 On a miss, you’ve played into your enemy’s hands; watch the trap spring.
 ❑ Logical angle: When you comfort or support someone by rationally pointing out their mistakes so they can do better next time, roll + Superior
 instead of + Mundane. If they do not open up to you, mark a condition.


  Backstory
• How did you first reveal your genius to your friends or family?
• Why did you decide to use your intellect for the benefit of others?
• What accident or misfire taught you some sense of humility or responsibility?
• Who helped you realize you need other people?
• Why do you care about the team?
Once you’ve finished your backstory, introduce your character to the other players, and then determine what happened when your team first came together, the relationships between you and your teammates, and who has Influence over you.
When our team first came together...
I created something lasting and beneficial for the whole team. What was it?
Relationships
You told ____________________ about your shame and asked them for their confidence. You wish you could be a better hero, more like _____________________.
Influence
You need these people as much as they need you. Give Influence to two of your teammates.
Your Shame
You have a deep and abiding sense of guilt for something you have created or had a hand in creating. It could have been something you invented when you first came into your genius, or something you set into motion that you no longer have the power to stop. It may even be something beyond your ability to achieve again, this once-in-a-lifetime creation. Juast as you are a world-class intellect, your shame is a world-class problem. Whatever the case may be, your role in its creation is not publicly known...yet.
What is your shame?
Whenever you are confronted with your shame, either mark a condition or shift Superior down and Danger up. If your shame is an NPC, they can never lose Influence over you.
At the end of every session, answer the question:
• Did you take steps to make amends for your shame?
If the answer is yes, mark potential. If the answer is no, give Influence to one of your teammates.
❑ Scientific insight: You have achieved mastery over a field of science and technology. Name it: Robotics. Whenever you assess the situation and your field of study is directly relevant, you may ask a single follow up question.

 ❑ A cosmic phenomenon


     Moment of Truth
Freedom isn’t free. But not every mission ends in tragedy. When things look bleakest, when your back is against the wall, when it seems like the dawn will never come...you find a way forward without violence. Your enemies lay down their arms and surrender; your allies step back from the brink of chaos. Of course, the people you’ve saved aren’t going to forget what you’ve done here today; they may even come to see you as a symbol of the higher cause you claim to serve...
Team Moves
When you share a triumphant celebration with someone, tell them what they need to do achieve their full potential. If they accept your advice, take Influence over them and add two Team to the pool. If they reject what you have to say, mark a condition.
When you share a vulnerability or weakness with someone, ask them what cause they serve. If you find it to be a worthy cause, tell them how you will fight for it, clear a condition, and add a Team to the pool. If they don’t have a cause (or you find it unworthy), mark a condition.
POTENTIAL >❑ >❑ >❑ >❑ >❑ Every time you roll a miss on a move, mark potential.
Advancement
When you fill your potential track, you advance. Choose from the list below.
When you’ve taken five advances from the top list, you can take advances from the list below.
Other Moves
Abilities
A.E.G.I.S. found you before you got full control of your abilities. They helped you master your gifts, maybe even augmented them with some new tech. Now you have an opportunity to do some good, using your powers to protect and serve humanity. Choose any two of the following.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:32, Wed 05 May.

Meta
 GM, 21 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:24
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Although I have the exalted title of Co-GM, a more accurate title might be "Tech Support".

It is my humble duty to gently take a large baseball bat and beat upon the various RPoL interfaces and databases until they are happy, freeing our actual GM to do all of the creative stuff.  :)

I believe that everyone who was in the queue has now been successfully granted player access.

We now have an impressively populous cast list.

Welcome to all of the newcomers!  :)
Meta
 GM, 22 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:43
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
All received player summaries have now been updated in the Recap Page thread.  Let me know if anything needs changing.  Enjoy.  :)
OakMaster
 player, 1 post
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:44
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
"1 post"?!?  What's up with that?  ;)
The Watcher
 GM, 44 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:46
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Now catching up on the Bullpen thread...

As has already been mentioned, you can freely choose your powerset and the power levels for the most part.  You aren't godlike necessarily but you can be among the most powerful of Marvel's teen heroes (Young Jean Grey as the Phoenix as just one example).

But Masks is about emotional stakes rather than physical ones.  The masked hero coming out to their family can reap as much emotional reward and progress onto the character arc as Phoenix saving or trying to destroy (depending on the latest storyline) the world.

Most superteams have a wide range of power, from the deluded kid in a silly outfit to the mutant with barely controlled power over time and space.  They also have a different set of emotional stakes.  In the New Mutants, Cannoball wonders whether he can overcome his awkwardness and (to him) social inferiority.  While Magik, his teammate, worries about losing her soul to eternal darkness and taking the world with her (whiny teenagers, what are you going to do?).

And both had their history paper due on Monday or Professor X. would fail them.

In short, write down who you WANT to play and some how, we will get it to work or very, very close.

Prince, I completely forgot about the Phoenix Academy and I have had the Unbound sourcebook since it first came out.  Yes, I will be using the Phoenix Academy as an inspiration.  Thank you for reminding me! :-)

It is worth restating that your initial conceptions are all good so far.  That, and my lack of time, is why I haven't necessarily addressed any conception in detail.  Y'all are very imaginative.  The game will come together as the players do.   Again, the character creation process is collaborative.  Every player shapes every other character and not all players are in the game yet (working on it...).

I would like but (sigh) will not insist that you have a Marvel element in your backstory and origin.  But, to my mind, playing in a Marvel game without a 'Marvelous' character is like having a free trip to Italy but not sampling the food, visiting the sites or meeting the people.

Oak, the Meta playbook is copyrighted so I will message the link to you so as not to violate the rules of the forum.  Speaking in general, there will be a lot of copyrighted material for this game.  So I will eventually get all players into a private group so we can share stuff without accidentally distributing it.  A private group is like a virtual 'gaming table' between friends and you should be able to share info like old-fashioned photocopies.

Nintaku, yes, multiple groups will be an option, especially given the number of players we do have.  This also lets the players divide themselves into the Straight-Arrow Stooges and the Reckless Rebels (as they might see each other).  And, as I mentioned somewhere else, great ideas.  You are darned near a super team all by yourself.

Kylie, I love PbtA games myself but am still learning how to GM them (hear that, folks, you are my lab rats :-) ).  But I do consider them the next wave in gaming.  People who otherwise don't seem to 'get' RPGs almost make Masks or its sexy and brooding (or do I repeat myself) older sibling Monsterhearts like a duck to water.

So I ask the group in general?  What PbtA games do you like, if you do?
FPSMC
 player, 1 post
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:52
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Hello, all!

I can't claim to be particularly creative, so I'm probably just going binge-read a bunch of 90s comics and try to play Jubilee, my favorite Marvel heroine.
The Watcher
 GM, 45 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 4 May 2021
at 02:56
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Thank you, Meta!  In my life, 'Tech Support' has sometimes been the angel that saved my job so I would consider the title an honor.  And, I am for beating up some computer systems with a bat on principal (loved the Goodfella riff to the poor printer 'PC Load Letter' in Office Space).

Thank your for updating the player summaries in the recap thread.  That is quite a help to me this storm dodging day.

OK, all players are added.  Now the game can really begin!
FPSMC
 player, 2 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 03:12
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Oh!

Gender/Pronoun: Female (She/Her)
Nationality/Location: West Coast United States
Online Time: Pacific standard times, various, usually not early in the morning
OS/Browser: Windows 10, Edge.
Text Background: Actually, I had no idea you could change that until just now.
Meta
 GM, 23 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Tue 4 May 2021
at 03:20
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
In reply to FPSMC (msg # 83):

Recap Page entry for FPSMC updated.  :)
dlantoub
 player, 1 post
Tue 4 May 2021
at 06:17
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Hello everyone! Glad to be here.

Nickname: dlantoub, or character name.
Gender/Pronoun: Male
Nationality/Location: Dublin, recently moved from the UK.
Online Time: Varies currently any best, but likely to move to evenings only
OS/Browser: Android iPhone/PC
Text Background: default. The only time I hate default is April fools.

Anything Else: A long tradition of female characters. I just feel more at ease with it. I think it comes from hating male designs in video games.

I have a fairly fixed idea on what I would like to play, but if it's going to clash, not going to work, or not be "marvellous" enough. I crave your patience while I revise the concept, or have to develop an entirely new one.
KraznyOctobr
 player, 10 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 06:43
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Going off the Character creation thread I'd say dlan going for Outsider or Transformed depending on how you want the changes to be at this point. Outsider could be interesting if you are playing up the idea that she considers herself part of these people more than her own ancestry.
Nintaku
 player, 3 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 06:54
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Happy to have you, dlantoub!

Looks like we have 13 players. If everyone plays just one character, that still gives us three or four whole teams. Probably a better idea than one huge team, to be honest. Assuming we don't want to have a massive team, what do we think about multiple teams? Same world so they can interact? Different dimension, or location, or time? We've got all the options in the worlds.

Also, does anyone but me want to make multiple characters?
OakMaster
 player, 3 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 07:00
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
A link is worth a thousand words: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_1602 :)
The Watcher
 GM, 46 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 4 May 2021
at 07:05
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Nintaku, you and the team deserve a better answer than I have time to give you tonight.  But, yes, I have thought about the seemingly high number of players in the game and what to do about that.  Quick notes:

First, no one is getting kicked out.  You are all welcome, unlucky number that you are (ya little coven). :-)

Second, multiple teams and characters are one of the answers.

The rest I will say tomorrow night.  And I will try to catch up on the messages.  Sorry for the long delay and, as always, I appreciate y'all's patience.

After that, then this game really gets into gear.  We might be posting In-Character by the weekend.  How can we do that without fully-realized characters?  Answers tomorrow. ;-)
Nintaku
 player, 4 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 07:14
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Hey now, the dwarves wanted to add Bilbo to be their lucky number 13. :P

And yeah, I asked about different time periods because I saw you and the Watcher getting all excited about 1602, OakMaster. n.n Definitely didn't want to discount that option.
dlantoub
 player, 3 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 07:59
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Actually they wanted him to be 14. "Or you can stop at 13, and have all the bag luck you  like."
von_das
 player, 1 post
Tue 4 May 2021
at 10:32
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Free, free at last! Thank you for letting me in. I'm very happy to be here.

I suspect I might just be suggesting what the Watcher was going to do anyway, but I think it could be nice to have some pre-play interactions before assigning Influence and Relationships. Having seen that done in one Masks game online, I think that game was definitely better for that. It established some initial character dynamics rather than people just guessing.

For the record, I'm completely fine with the boarding school angle, and I don't think adult supervision would be necessarily a bad thing. It could be a fun element to deal with, especially if (when) we go against their wishes.

Nintaku, those are all great in my opinion. :) Are you sure that Indigo is not an Innocent? That said, out of all of them, I think I like Octopus most. Probably because I have a soft spot for heroic versions of villains in particular.

Speaking of which, I have a few ideas as to characters right now. Currently, one sticks out for me in particular, but we end up going the multiple characters route, I suspect I won't resist that temptation for long. Still, I'd rather pitch what I've thought about the most for now.

---

What I have so far is (as far as I know...) an original character with a loose connection to the universe who doubles up on the Brain playbook. I'll take your word for all of that being okay, though I'd still really appreciate any feedback you (the Watcher and any other players) might have at this stage.

Basically... The kid prodigy daughter of a disgraced Russian scientist with a loose familial connection to many Soviet super-scientists of yore colouring her worldview. Her father had some revolutionary ideas about harnessing bio-energy, but wasn't quite brilliant enough to pull them off. The kid was. Her "improvements" to his devices got him hired by a Western corporation's local branch, and her brought along as an "assistant". She sought to use their resources to develop tech for harnessing various exotic energies swirling around in this universe. There were all sorts of benign uses in her mind, but also she thought that it could make superheroes obsolete. As far as she could see, they harmed a lot of people over the years, including her relatives. Besides, their superpowered drama had repeatedly endangered the entire the world. Wouldn't it be better if there was some way to check and to replace them?

Unbeknownst to her, the company actually agreed with that much - because it was actually a front for A.I.M.! When she created an experimental device that could harness, drain, and manipulate various energies in the field for law enforcement needs, they saw fit to use it in an attack on the Avengers. Long story short, they managed to capture some of them for use in human experimentation, the Brain found out, helped them get free, got captured herself, and was rescued. In the aftermath, the Avengers extended an invitation to this school (or the recruiting event or what have you). She wasn't sure whether to accept it at first, but the tech she developed was still out there, being used by A.I.M. and whoever they sold it to in the worst ways possible. According to how her grandmother had taught her, that was her responsibility. So she tuned up her miniature personal energy manipulator/force field generator and set off for America, hoping to find resources, training, and everything else she'd need to make this right.

I'll write everything down in my character thread once it's a bit more settled in my head, I think. Also, I guess that was two paragraphs, but I figure it's better to give you more info to work with at the start. What do you think?

My idea was to have someone who is mostly an outsider to the broader setting (since that would be sort of immersive for my level of knowledge) and with some negative preconceptions going in that were only somewhat challenged by her first run-in with actual superheroes. Her technology obviously has world-changing potential for good or ill, as I think a Brain's invention should. It could also have fun interactions with many other characters' powers, potentially. Of course, just how strong both her current device and the stolen tech are is something that can be adjusted. I have some tentative notions on that count, but I said too much already for the first pitch. :)

EDIT: I will add this, it doesn't have to be A.I.M. and Avengers. My research suggests that 1) A.I.M. are fond of all kinds of technology and are also capable of spreading something that could be wielded as a weapon against many types of supers far and wide and 2) Avengers have (historically had) some energy-based members and are high-profile and independent enough to fill this role. Also, there are many layers of irony in having, say, Iron Man be the one to make the offer to her. But if there are other suggestions, I would welcome them!

This message was last edited by the player at 11:10, Tue 04 May.

dlantoub
 player, 5 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 12:11
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
@von_das
Now this is interesting. Assuming my character keeps going on the same mould (not changing playbook), maybe my characters parents contributed to some of your research and vice versa. Although maybe from opposite ends :)
von_das
 player, 4 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 12:28
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I'm not sure how connected her family is to the wider super science community... but then again, some of her distant relatives are a different story. Genetic science isn't exactly her or her father's speciality, but of course plenty of genetic variants seem to feature abnormal energy generation (see: lots of mutants, but I'm sure there are other examples too), so I wouldn't count it out entirely...

Incidentally, I've provisionally settled on a name: Svetlana Kragova. Going by Counterforce as a hero name.
dlantoub
 player, 6 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 13:26
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
True, but bio-energy is your sphere, and at some point that will link back to genetics, either natural or synthetic. What pool of genes directly creates the most bio-energy?

So.. if you hear about an actual experiment to create a sentient biological weapon, you might be offering information on how much bio-energy might be needed to create x-effect; and of course be interested in how much energy is generated by their test subject.

After all the most obvious example in nature of bio energy is.. the electric eel, and some sharks may have something similar.
von_das
 player, 6 posts
Tue 4 May 2021
at 13:33
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Good points all. :) I think that's definitely a plausible connection, though I'll need to think some more about the backstory before I decide how to fit it in exactly.
Meta
 GM, 38 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Tue 4 May 2021
at 20:14
Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I have updated character names received thus far.  :)