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)...


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.