The Bullpen (OOC)   Posted by The Watcher.Group: 0
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.
Counterforce
 player, 70 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Sun 23 May 2021
at 07:19
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
I have seen GMPCs in Masks games. It can work, but it is indeed not what the system is set up for, and I don't see the need for it when there are already so many PCs about. If it's about making the teams even in size, I'm not sure if it's a strict necessity, but also, I'm sure some of us are up to the task of filling them in further. :) Perhaps when there is a clearer idea of what our teams look like to start with.

I would like to know more about the teleportation system. At the same time, I think that the boarding school aspect is a key part of the idea. I could be wrong, but I suspect most of us want to play it out, neat as the ability to visit home without too much effort would be.
The Watcher
 GM, 130 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sun 23 May 2021
at 07:57
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
OK, I think I can get the IC post up tomorrow night.

Hm.  Tell you what.  How about this regarding GM characters.  I will start the game without them and go from there.  With several teams, there might later be a 'with GM characters' and 'without GM characters' option, just like plain and peanut M&M's. :-)

But I would like to have some other super peers at school.  So I might make a team of GM NPCs only.  This team might be made of younger heroes (tweens, not teens) even more unsure and awkward than your PCs.  This would put your heroes in the uncomfortable positions of being the only adults in the room (or the next best thing).

And, yes, I would love to have other GMs and to play in a game.  I'm sorry it took so long to reply to that offer.  My thanks for it being offered.  My character creation thread will be up soon. :-)

Some more world building:

The Illuminati did want to train young supers but as students, not child soldiers (although that might be avoidable, at least the illusion could be maintained).  This would mean multiple campuses across the globe so that students could stay close to home with friends and family as much as possible.

Most populous nations could field a super-school of their own young citizens.  Less populous countries could pool their resources for a multinational school.  To avoid problems, every nation that hosted as school was allowed a representative on campus.  The actual identity of the students was still kept from the government liaison but almost every other secret was shared.

There are several new nations in the Marvel Universe, the mutant nation of Krakoa, the Vampire Nation of Dracula are just a few examples of them.  I have read an article (but, regrettably, forget to save and link to it) that Marvel would like to move from standard comic tropes to actual science-fiction speculation.  That is, how the world would change if there were actually superhumans.  Their conclusion (and I feel that they are right) is that most subcultures would form their own sovereign nations.  There are likely super-schools in this new nations as much as more conventional real-world ones.

The school offers a separate citizenship in the Avengers Nation and limited diplomatic immunity for students acting 'on school business'.  The Avengers Nation (looking for a better name) accepts multiple citizenships even if some nations (like the US) doesn't.  In the Marvel Universe, laws against vigilantism are very limited or the threshold of forgiveness is very low.  Also, legal emancipation in a limited capacity at least is legal precedent on Earth-682.  It probably HAS to be given all of the super teens fighting crime.  The new Marvel event/series Outlawed actually deals with the moral and legal aspects of letting teens be superheroes.

That all said, the super-school has the advantage of having campuses linked by fixed gateways to the Infinite Avengers Mansion.  When working, it is but a brief walk between linked destinations, no matter how otherwise far they are apart on the globe.  At its best, the Infinite Avengers Mansion can move heroes quickly across the world faster than almost any other method.  This tech has not been easy to replicate due to unique advantages of the super-school  This puts the Avengers and SHIELD in the terrible position of allowing teenagers to be the FIRST to respond to any threat.

Stopping here for world-building tonight, copying relevant sections to Polls and Debates.  Let me know what you would like changed.  Let me know soon.


This message was last edited by the GM at 07:58, Sun 23 May.

The Watcher
 GM, 132 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sun 23 May 2021
at 08:13
Re: Welcome to our new Co-GM, OakMaster! :-)
More quick world-building:

The super-school uses a House system.  Every team is part of a House in their mundane identity.  Every student, whether they board or not, is part of a House.  And the House has provisions for them to live at the school in case of emergencies.  The Houses of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series is probably the best and well-known example of School Houses.  Houses in the super-school will be likely less formal.

Every super team will be able to name themselves (like the X-Men Training Squads).  But for internal office use, the teams are simply numbered.  That is, Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, etc.  The numbers are simply descriptive, no team is superior to any other, numerically or otherwise.

Would anyone like a different sequencing of team names?
Team Letters; Team A, Team B, Team C, etc.
Military Alphabet; Team Alpha, Team Bravo, Team Charlie, etc.
Girl's Names, like the OSS/SOE Jedburgh teams of WWII; Team Amy, Team Becky, Team Christine, etc.
Team Zodiac (or Birthstones): Team Scorpio, Team Sagittarius, Team Capricorn, etc.

Not all slots available to a team have to be filled.  Team Alpha doesn't necessitate a Team Zulu, for example.


This message was last edited by the GM at 08:15, Sun 23 May.