The Bullpen (OOC)   Posted by The Watcher.Group: 0
Citizen V
 player, 11 posts
Mon 17 May 2021
at 19:44
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Thanks for the name as I've never heard of her!

V falls very far from Monet's "near pefect human being" status, though. Raised under very isolated circumstances in a number of elite (and elitist) boarding schools all over Europe and perceiving herself to have no real superpowers, V uses what she has at her disposal to make her mark.
Ricochet
 player, 69 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Mon 17 May 2021
at 22:18
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I'd originally been envisioning Jubilee as Ricochet's Rival, but wow, V is just so perfect. XD

Honestly, I'm not really sure how to have Ricochet proceed from here. Since we're all pretty aligned on the school being sponsored by all of these groups, it's hard to really assess what we're really doing here at the event. The heroes are definitely all under the impression that we're choosing which school to end up in, so maybe they've been deliberately misinformed as part of a less-biased assessment over where they'd like to place their futures? Basically just having a hard time deciding how the interaction at the Avengers booth should go.

Thinking about teams: I'd really like for her to end up on a team with Jubilee and Counterforce, while I'd like Otto to end up with Gwen and probably Skorpio, if possible. I have ideas. (I also have further preferences on who I'd like to team up with, but it's early days yet. I might need another character. XD)
Max
 player, 44 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Mon 17 May 2021
at 22:34
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Ricochet:
Honestly, I'm not really sure how to have Ricochet proceed from here. Since we're all pretty aligned on the school being sponsored by all of these groups, it's hard to really assess what we're really doing here at the event. The heroes are definitely all under the impression that we're choosing which school to end up in, so maybe they've been deliberately misinformed as part of a less-biased assessment over where they'd like to place their futures? Basically just having a hard time deciding how the interaction at the Avengers booth should go.


Well, if we go with my idea of the school being sponsored by the Illuminati, it's very likely that most of the recruiters here have no idea about, as their leaders would keep it a secret.

My concept was also that we would all be accepted into one of the schools, but then be "rerouted" to the Illuminati school, possibly staying on the official books of the original school.

Finally, we're not the only ones here ostensibly, so maybe we pick our schools (along with all of the NPC kids) and then through some sort of assessment we got chosen to be sent to the Illuminati school.

So for our characters, this decision feels really important, it's just that we as players know it won't matter in the end. It's also possible the Illuminati school doesn't exist yet, and we'll all spend 6 months to a year in the schools we choose, before being sent to the Illuminati school when it opens. Which means we could be the first, and only, students there if it just opened.

With that being said, if we went the Illuminati school route, our characters would need to pick the schools aligned with the X-Men, Avengers, Fantasic Four, or Shield (assuming we add Nick Fury to the Illuminati) for them to get sent to the school. And I still stay Gateway could just have Doctor Strange choose him for the school specifically (maybe this was just Doctor Strange giving him a chance to socialize with children "his own age" before sending him off to the school).

So someone will need to talk Max out of going to Roxxon :)


Ricochet:
Thinking about teams: I'd really like for her to end up on a team with Jubilee and Counterforce, while I'd like Otto to end up with Gwen and probably Skorpio, if possible. I have ideas. (I also have further preferences on who I'd like to team up with, but it's early days yet. I might need another character. XD)


I'm truly hurt Ricochet doesn't want to be on Max's team :)
Ricochet
 player, 71 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Mon 17 May 2021
at 22:51
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Hey, I was just saying who I already have ideas for being on a team with, didn't exclude anybody. :P
Counterforce
 player, 58 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Tue 18 May 2021
at 03:59
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I can go either way on the teams so long as we avoid playbook overlaps... that said, having Max and Leviathan in the same team as Counterforce would make the most sense if we can swing it. Ricochet should fit in too, given what we discussed and her interactions with Abi. V would be... funny.

I still have no idea who I'd give my Relationships to, mind. As it is, Counterforce sort of likes Max (against her better judgement), but doesn't trust him. So that's probably an Influence if they are on the same team.

Max:
So someone will need to talk Max out of going to Roxxon :)


Will give it a shot.
The Watcher
 GM, 119 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 18 May 2021
at 07:22
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Terribly busy, will try and start catching up tomorrow... :-)
Max
 player, 48 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Tue 18 May 2021
at 18:28
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Counterforce:
Shady American guy

I think I might just change my description to that :)
Steel Ninja
 player, 18 posts
 Age 17
 Brain
Wed 19 May 2021
at 00:02
Roles
Arc - Nova
Basaq - Doomed
Citizen V - ?
Counterforce - Brain
Gateway - Doomed
Ghost-Spider - Legacy
Jubilee - Beacon
Leviathan - Transfomed
Max - Delinquent
Octopus - Brain
Resonance - Meta
Ricochet - Bull
Skorpio - Soldier
Steel Ninja - Brain
Stone Cold - Transformed
TDM7 - ?


ETA : Updated

This message was last edited by the player at 00:07, Wed 19 May.

Ricochet
 player, 73 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Wed 19 May 2021
at 00:06
Roles
Ghost-Spider has shifted to Legacy, but otherwise I think that's all right.

Now we gotta figure out who's getting relationships with who, since that'll be a strong determinant on who ends up on who else's team. Unless we're going to have the separate teams be part of one larger team and have the teammates intermingle among each other! :o
Steel Ninja
 player, 19 posts
 Age 17
 Brain
Wed 19 May 2021
at 00:12
Roles
We go two years into the future next, correct? That leaves relationships open to be developed however people want them without having to decide on a team yet.

I was thinking that instead of breaking up into two distinctive teams we could have shifting assignments, but a mainstay of 2-4 field leaders. Ideas?

This message was last edited by the player at 00:12, Wed 19 May.

Ricochet
 player, 75 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Wed 19 May 2021
at 00:53
Roles
Once TDM7 arrives, we'll have 16 heroes. That's enough for four full teams. Usually your Relationships are supposed to be with your teammates, and since we're seeing people putting Relationships together already, it's looking like those people will end up on the same teams, else they'll have to swap out Relationships.

And I think the current scene is a single year ago, rather than two. Still plenty of time in universe.
Max
 player, 53 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Wed 19 May 2021
at 00:54
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I'm with Ricochet on this, and it's also why I've held off on working any relationships.
Ricochet
 player, 76 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Wed 19 May 2021
at 01:13
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I'm thinking we need to get more settled on how many teams we're going to have and who cannot share a team (because of sharing playbooks), and then start deciding who to team up with, and finally set our Relationships with each other. Gotta have clear steps laid out to keep it all relatively organized.
Max
 player, 55 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Wed 19 May 2021
at 01:14
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Yep, I completely agree.
Meta
 GM, 53 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Wed 19 May 2021
at 04:33
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
It is my pleasure to observe that all players now have hero names!  :D
The Watcher
 GM, 120 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Wed 19 May 2021
at 07:59
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Whew!  I am back for a bit.  Let me see what I can do about catching up to all of this.  I'm sorry if I have mentioned some of this before.  And I apologize if it seems I have missed or overlooked something.

UPDATES:

1.  Real-life has become a little more temporarily complicated than I had foreseen.  And this game is already past five hundred posts and climbing.  So it will take me a little time to catch up.  If you are frustrated by this lag, beyond posting IC, you can probably wait until Sunday to read closely.  I will try and keep updates here in the Bullpen.

2.  I'm going to dispense with the formal, structured and defined means of rewarding players for Extra Credit contributions.  I think y'all are internally motivated and I am grateful for it.  I will be asking for help in the Extra Credit thread.  There's no real reward except maybe a No-Prize (hey, it worked for Marvel), the gratitude of your fellow players and a chance to have a greater influence on the game at large.

3.  If I am guessing right, there will be two more freeform prequel IC 'rounds' and then we will start actual playing with complete characters.  To that end, if you do know how to make a Masks characters, you can start making them now.  Any standard Masks character you can make should be legal.  There are Playbooks that are in the Private Thread you can use.  I will try to get better character sheet formats for the game in a few days.

But I really don't mind how you format your characters as long as they are comprehensible.  If any old hands at Masks want to help the new players with their characters, you have my sincere thanks.  Your characters get a free Advance, grandfathered in by the game's short-lived and promised formal reward structure.   I recommend a move from a another Playbook but that is completely up to you.  And, yes, you can have the same Playbook as another character, because...

4.   The players will be split into separate but related teams.  I don't know how many yet but at least two.  The number of team mates on a particular team will probably be around five or six.  According to research I don't have the time to link to, five is the ideal number for a given group (odd numbers can stop stalemated votes) but seven is still within range (so Captain America was probably right when he limited the Avengers to seven members.  This has also been done by the 'classic' Justice League and the quite literal Seven from The Boys.  But perhaps the latter is not the best role model).

As much as possible, duplicate Playbooks will be put into separate teams.  Then generally groups into posting frequency (lots of short posts often vs. long post more slowly).  It could be they are roughly divided by ages with a Senior, Sophomore and Junior team as possible examples.  Some teams might then have 'niches', the muscle team, the stealth team, the 'face' team, etc.).

5.  I would love to have had a long 'coffee klatch' conversation about the world, school and teams we are making but I don't have the time.  So (sigh) I am just going to post my first blush and then encourage you to 'change my mind' when you think it a good idea.

Your school is run the by Illuminati, a group of so-called 'heroes' secretly trying to make the world a better place.  Most of the Illuminati member factions and member are truly sincere in their goal.  But it is a slippery slope when you begin to think that you, and only you, should have secrets from other people.
The heroic members of the Illuminati may have had to make alliances with less-than-savory allies.  These wouldn't be outright villains, mind you, but perhaps a little grey, compromised and compromising.

Your school is one publicly-known open super-campus in New York City that you attend for a few classes in costume.  This open campus is secretly connected to a series of other covert schools and related locations by dimensional doors.  These doors allow for instant travel between fixed and predefined locations (possibly via the now-wonky Infinite Avengers Mansion).  This means that students could attend a class in each continent on a long day but avoids the deus ex machina of Star Trek-style teleportation.  It also allows for a international flavor (or is that 'flavour') to the game that can really play to the international complement of players that we have.

Each student may have a different sponsor and citizenship status.  The schooling arrangements vary from student to student.  It could be home schooling, attending a normal school in a secret ID for the most part, or even boarding school.

6.  You will notice a goofy bar at the end of this post.  You will start to see a bar like that at the end of my posts.  Ignore it for now.  It will evolve and mutate (very Marvel) as time goes by.

I've got to go.  I will try to catch up more tomorrow.  As always, I appreciate your patience...


P.S. My goodness, we are now at six hundred posts! :-)




This message was last edited by the GM at 08:17, Thu 20 May.

Ricochet
 player, 79 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Wed 19 May 2021
at 09:25
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Very cool, that's a lot of useful stuff. Personally, I'm gonna not use that free Advance after all the talk about how getting too much Potential too fast isn't what we really want. If anyone wants to use a character sheet template, I've got mine free to share:

https://docs.google.com/docume...oBo/edit?usp=sharing

As for team setups, I think Steel Ninja's list can help us out a lot.

quote:
Beacon: Jubilee
Brain: Counterforce, Octopus, Steel Ninja?
Bull: Ricochet
Delinquent: Max
Doomed: Basaq, Gateway
Legacy: Ghost-Spider
Meta: Resonance
Nova: Arc, She-Hulk
Outsider: Steel Ninja?
Soldier: Skorpio
Transformed: Leviathan, Stone Cold
?: Citizen V


So we have only a little bit of overlap, particularly if SN is going Outsider rather than Brain. Counterforce/Octopus, Basaq/Gateway, Arc/She-Hulk, and Leviathan/Stone Cold are pairs that cannot share teams.

Does this help visualize things to sort us into teams? If we're doing teams of 5, then we'll have three teams with a couple of extras. I think we could adjust those sizes based on who we want to team up with, since they don't all need to have the same team sizes.
The Watcher
 GM, 121 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Thu 20 May 2021
at 07:22
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Quick reply to above

You don't have to use your free Advance.  The team sizes of five are just my best guess, there  is no set number.

Thanks to Ricochet for the post and Steel Ninja for the Playbook roster. :-)
The Watcher
 GM, 122 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Thu 20 May 2021
at 07:34
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
OK, let me get to catching up.

First, I could use some help from any and all intrigued players.  Check out the Extra Credit thread for info.  But here's an easy one, if you know of a link/URL/website that would be of use to the game, just suggest it in the Extra Credit thread any way you can.  Either I, Meta or someone else will eventually collect and index them.

Second, if you want to suggest details about the setting of our new world, go ahead and suggest it in the Polls and Debates thread.  What survives that crucible will be posted in the Earth-682 thread for now.
The Watcher
 GM, 127 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sat 22 May 2021
at 07:27
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Hey all,

Sorry I didn't post anything yesterday.  I'm still very busy this week.  I believe I still will get the IC reply up Sunday night.

You can see below that I am getting the 'mini bar' more and more functional.

Here is more of my thoughts on your school  Again, I am forced by time to simply state my thoughts and let you change my mind (easier than you think).

Some quick thoughts:  Yes, there will  be separate super teams.  For each instance of the most duplicated playbook, there will be a super team.  So if, say, there were three Beacon playbooks used (more than any other playbook), there would be three super teams.  Other duplicated playbooks characters would be placed into those separated super teams as long as the 'supply' lasts.  The super teams should be fairly even in numbers.  I will add a GM NPC to each team as a measure of control.  These NPCs will be team players in every sense of the word, loyal, cooperative but not the most imaginative members of the team.

Beyond sharing a few mundane and super classes together plus the emergency super team training, your characters can very different situations from one another.  I will explain that all later.  What that means is that your characters have the most freedom such a situation can allow.

For those students who board, the dorms are separated into Boys, Girls and Non-Gendered as needed.  Within those divisions, the dorms are communal.  That is, rooms are shared.  Individual rooms are offered as rewards to older or distinguished students.  While the super-school can easily afford individual rooms for the students, the staff feel that living together with peers rather than family is an important part of growing up.  This is the general setup used by the X-Men and Hogwarts.

All characters know how to speak English.  This was a bone of contention between the trustees, to force one language as mandatory.  But whether it deserves the title or not, English is arguably the most useful second language.  It also helps that the players of this game all speak English, which lends itself to a shared knowledge of pop culture and memes.  Learning English is a priority and the students can speak it well enough to be effective, although it may be heavily accented and not as skilled as a fully native and idiomatic speaker.  The characters will also have basic translation capacity for all common languages via their Avengers communicards.  The translation assumes the other speaker is making an earnest attempt to be understood correctly.

Finally, a little world-building:

Three Years Ago:  The Illuminati (a collection of heroes and heroic organizations secretly working to improve the world) learned, via a secret study, that an educated, 'civilized' young superhuman was most less likely to cause damage than a less-educated one.   They made plans.  So did the few supervillain groups that were privy to the study's findings.

Two Years Ago:  The Illuminati's study's findings were independently replicated by the combined efforts of SHIELD and the UN.    The world began to prepare for super-schooling with the Illuminati (among others) having a head start.  Guided by the Illuminati, the Avengers asked the UN for a small gift after saving the world for the umpteenth time.  They asked to be given the rediscovered and uninhabited Island of Demons, off of the coast of Newfoundland, as a sovereign nation.   This would also the Avengers diplomatic status and its members alternate citizenship.  This was granted.

One Year Ago, one of the first super-schools opens...

---------------

I'm repeating the little bit of world-building above in the Polls and Debate thread for discussion.

OK, let me get to catching up to you all...



The Watcher
 GM, 129 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sat 22 May 2021
at 08:01
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Whew!  I have finally caught up with all of the private messages (for now at least).

Midnight, I can't explain why but I cannot reply to your message thread as I have to every other message thread since I joined RPOL several years ago.  The errors I am getting don't make sense.

No worries for now.  But the character dashboard you have made is so beautiful that I ask you to share it here in the Bullpen (for starters).  I would do it myself but it is for you to reveal. ;-)


I will start catching up to long-waiting threads tomorrow...


This message was last edited by the GM at 08:02, Sat 22 May.

Ricochet
 player, 85 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Sat 22 May 2021
at 19:43
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Almost all of that sounds good to me, Watcher. The only bit I'm hesitant about is having GM team members. That sounds like a bad idea, for several reasons. Most importantly, it isn't how PbtA games are intended to be played.

Again, if you'd like to play a character, some of us are willing to dip our toes into GMing for Masks.
Stone Cold
 player, 23 posts
 Paul (Publo) Tuvalok
 The Transformed Age 16
Sat 22 May 2021
at 22:45
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
As a long time DM/GM/Storyteller etc, I think having an NPC character in each team is brilliant.  It is a very useful way for the GM to have a voice in the team, in case he needs to impart information or remind a group of something they've forgotten, or as an additional character to role play with.

I am eager to learn more about the Island of Demons as well.
Ricochet
 player, 87 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Sat 22 May 2021
at 22:56
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
Isn't that why we have so many other NPCs around, and supervisors and mentors and such? There are a lot of ways to go about that without having an NPC teammate in each group.
Max
 player, 59 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Sat 22 May 2021
at 23:09
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I'm with Ricochet here. Masks isn't really setup for having NPC team members. But having the GM voice is exactly what the adult characters are for, and they have influence over all of us.