Polls and Debates.   Posted by The Watcher.Group: 0
Max
 player, 62 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Thu 27 May 2021
at 18:33
Polls and Debates
Yeah, I'm with Gwen on this. We have one team already fully formed, so I say let us works the teams out ourselves.
Ghost-Spider
 player, 34 posts
 Gwen Stacy
Thu 27 May 2021
at 18:50
Polls and Debates
I suggest: having each brain "lead" a group, (just for team-picking purposes) and have players pick which one they want to go in, then if needed, re-balance until there's an even number.

The only other overlap is two transformed, right?  I don't know what playbook Citizen V is.  Steel Ninja is listed as Brain in the grid but might be switching to Outsider, which reduces our overlap more - and would mean Steel Ninja could group with one of the Brains.  Might be fun to see them with Octopus.

I think we have three evenly sized groups of 5 if we don't count the GMPC & the player that hasn't posted in two weeks.
Meta
 GM, 57 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Thu 27 May 2021
at 18:51
Polls and Debates
The Watcher @ link to a message in this game msg #213:
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:
[...snip...]
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.).
[...snip...]

The Watcher @ Link back to this game msg #44:
Let me know what you think...

The Big W strikes me as a very supportive GM with lots of stuff to keep track of, both here and in RL.

I suspect that he will quite likely be open to suggestions.

I also suspect that duplicate playbooks on the same team probably won't be encouraged.

Possibilities I have seen mentioned include creating teams based upon posting frequency, ages, niches, and relationships.

I further suspect that folks may well be taking such things into account when thinking about working out preferred teams themselves.

Therefore, since our Big W is a busy guy, let us suppose that we wanted to make friendly suggestions for team creation.

What teams would you all like to form, assuming that the Big W was persuadable?

Fire away!  :)
Ghost-Spider
 player, 35 posts
 Gwen Stacy
Thu 27 May 2021
at 18:59
Polls and Debates
for a first pass, if people want to suggest their preferred team here.  I could make some guesses but I'd rather people spoke up.

It's totally fine if these end up lopsided at the beginning - we should make revisions anyway.

Team 1 Team 2Team 3Team ?
CounterforceOctopusSteel NinjaGateway
MaxGhost-Spider Resonance
Ricochet   
Leviathan   
Jubilee   
    

Unknown: Citizen V, She-hulk, Arc, Midnight, Stone Cold, Skorpio

If people post their preferences of team or teammate here or in OOC I'll try to update this.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:02, Fri 28 May.

Counterforce
 player, 75 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Thu 27 May 2021
at 19:08
Polls and Debates
Based on what we discussed in PMs, Counterforce can make a team with Max, Ricochet, Leviathan and Jubilee.
Resonance
 player, 30 posts
 Xin1 Xie2 Zhen4: The Meta
 Age: 13; Sheng4 Xin1
Thu 27 May 2021
at 19:10
Polls and Debates
Based upon IC interactions, Gateway and Resonance seem to be decent candidates for teammates...  :)
Meta
 GM, 59 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Thu 27 May 2021
at 19:12
Polls and Debates
I have made an updated and reformatted version of Midnight's Character Dashboard, including ages and labels, in case folks need a reference:  link to a message in this game

EDIT: I have added a post reordering characters by suggested groupings.  It makes things lots easier to keep track of.  Enjoy.  :)

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:21, Thu 27 May.

Meta
 GM, 61 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Thu 27 May 2021
at 21:32
Polls and Debates
The last word from Steel Ninja in his character creation thread discussed Outsider, so I have tentatively updated the list accordingly...
Steel Ninja
 player, 23 posts
 Age 17
 Brain
Thu 27 May 2021
at 23:15
Polls and Debates
I will go ahead and stick with Brain unless someone would like me to switch it up.
Meta
 GM, 62 posts
 "We look...at the things
 which are not seen..."
Thu 27 May 2021
at 23:36
Polls and Debates
OK, I have updated the lists accordingly.  :)
The Watcher
 GM, 168 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Fri 28 May 2021
at 07:36
Polls and Debates
Belated quote from Bullpen

quote:
quote:
Maybe alphanumeric teams? :P 1A, 1B, 1C for the first years, 2A, 2B, 2C for second years, etc. Just a silly idea - not sure if school classes in English-speaking countries have alphanumeric designations like they do here anyway.


I like it, Counterforce. :-)

Max
 player, 64 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Fri 28 May 2021
at 13:52
Polls and Debates
Hey all, I had some alternate ideas for the school that I pushed to Watcher, and he asked me to put them here to see what you think:

I had some ideas that might take it in a bit of a different direction, but don't want to step on your toes.

My basic thought was that school should actually be quite small (vice multiple campuses as you postulated). The thought is that the Illuminati are meant to work in secret, so having multiple campuses doesn't really fit that goal.

Rather, there are numerous super-schools out there (Xavier School for the Gifted, Hellfire Club's School, etc), likely associated with the various big groups (X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Hellfire Club, SHIELD, an Inhuman school on the moon, etc). Conveniently, each of the schools associated with superhero teams, along with SHIELD, have their leader as a member of the Illuminati.

The Illuminati pick certain students from their schools (or in Dr. Strange's case from their mystic pursuits, such as Gateway) and choose them for the Illuminati school (The Stanley School for Special Students). In fact, I would have every player add one more question to their backstory; why were you chosen for The Stanley School for Special Students?

Going this route, there are a then a couple of options; either the students are transferred fully to S4 (as the instructors call it) but officially remain on the "books" of their original school, or perhaps they remain students at their original school but have certain "electives" at S4.

In addition, I would recommend adding a Door to Atlantis, since Namor is a member of the Illuminati, and to the Blue Area of the Moon since Black Bolt is a member. Also, I'd love for some of the NPC students to be Inhumans and Atlanteans to bring in that dynamic.
Counterforce
 player, 76 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Fri 28 May 2021
at 17:00
Polls and Debates
Ah, so the idea is that right now we are being recruited for those schools, but later we are picked for that other school? Possibly partly as a result of them observing our interactions during this event.

It does make sense to me. The main objection would be that it might be overcomplicated, but if everyone is on board with it then it's not really a major issue. Also, whichever option we go with, I would prefer us to spend most of our time in the same school. Otherwise, I feel like the school side of the game would be weaker. So I would prefer it if we were fully transferred with minimal time spent in our original schools, if that is how we do it. I also like the idea of posing the question.
Max
 player, 65 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Fri 28 May 2021
at 19:20
Re: Polls and Debates
Counterforce:
Ah, so the idea is that right now we are being recruited for those schools, but later we are picked for that other school? Possibly partly as a result of them observing our interactions during this event.

Exactly. And the reason we're picked could be anything. For Counterforce, it could be that they don't entirely trust her and want to keep an extra eye on her. For Gateway it might be because Dr. Strange wants a more direct hand in his training, etc.



Counterforce:
I would prefer us to spend most of our time in the same school. Otherwise, I feel like the school side of the game would be weaker. So I would prefer it if we were fully transferred with minimal time spent in our original schools, if that is how we do it. I also like the idea of posing the question.

Yep, I agree this is probably the better option, just wanted to throw a couple out. And regardless, all of the "on screen" time should definitely be at the school with our team.

Oh, and one other question we should have everyone answer; who is your sponsor? Everyone will have a "sponsor" from the Illuminati; either Namor, Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, Professor X, or Nick Fury. The easiest answer is this will be based on the school you pick, but doesn't have to be.
Ricochet
 player, 93 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Fri 28 May 2021
at 21:57
Re: Polls and Debates
It seems to me that might make it difficult to have a class of newbies after us. If we sign up with these schools, then get chosen throughout the school year to start at S4, that doesn't leave a lot of time afterward. Honestly, I'd be fine with not having a newer class until Next Season. (Though I do think we should have at least one established team of NPC rivals/adversaries/pretty much villains. Every school needs bullies, after all.)
The Watcher
 GM, 172 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sat 29 May 2021
at 08:20
Re: Polls and Debates
I'm enjoying this engaging discussion on alternate team structures, purposes, locations and memberships.  And this is the PERFECT time to have such a discussion, the game is still in a 'wet cement' state.  It can be changed now with very little disruption if that is what we wish.

There is something you should know.  In idle moments, I enjoy thinking up settings for Masks (as well as other RPGs).  As Masks has been out for several years now and I have both played and run the game, I have a whole bunch of campaign ideas.  Not all of these ideas will fit into every game.  But that is fine.
What this does mean is that I can casually write a few paragraphs spontaneously on any given subject in the Marvel Universe.

So me writing a few paragraphs on any given Marvel feature is not a huge investment of imagination or effort.  And nothing ever defined and described for a game is ever wasted.  Sooner or later, it will be used and useful.  It may not be the use you had in mind at first but it will have still have been worth the time.

What I'm saying, in a sentence (well, with the help of the paragraphs above also ;-) ) is that don't feel guilty asking me to change something if you don't like it.  My time hasn't been wasted whatever happens.

Let me explain a little about why I made some initial decisions for the game.

1. More than any other mainstream superhero setting, Marvel really stresses the normal 'school' aspect of teen supers.  This is usually a boarding school (so the characters interact with each other more) setup with the best example being the X-Men.

2. The game could have been the newest and youngest branch of the Avenger/X-Men/What Have You but I wanted the players to have a brand-new organization to shape as they wished.  If the characters happened to all want to be the latest chapter of an iconic Marvel team, then their organization could be a front for that other organization.  Or it could just openly be the newest branch of that mighty tree.

3.  I had started out wanting to make a very cosmopolitan game (the international members of the X-Men in the Seventies saved the X-Men, which IMO saved Marvel).  The wonderful mix of international players (and their amazing cosmopolitan characters) has only increased that hope.

4. I wanted some kind of plot reason for PCs to mix with other teen super NPCs on a regular basis.  This allows me to have the Secret Betrayer, the Hopeless Crush (and/or Hopeless Crushee), the About to Fall Without Help From Friends, the Mysterious Stranger, the Bully, etc.

Here is what (I feel) is necessary and what is flexible.

1. It is NECESSARY that the player characters are divided into smaller, formal teams.  'Teams' in this sense meaning linked and distinct grouping of player characters defined by the rules.  Teams are awkward past a certain size and don't handle duplicated playbooks well.  Thus, it was necessary to divide characters into teams as Masks defines them.

Beyond that, there is no requirement for characters in separate teams to stay apart.  It may be that all the PCs live, work, study and fight in the same group.  And there is no story difference between the characters, the only difference is how some characters interact to each other within and without of teams.  Written skillfully, no reader might realize that this story also conformed to the 'rules' as well and that there were actual meta-plot subdivisions inside the giant group of players.

Or it could be that the different PC teams are separated by distance.  For example, one team is in one country and the other on another side of the world.  This could make characters interact differently.  A character would behave and think differently if their hopeless crush was constantly by their side rather than usually far away with only rare rendezvous and constant messaging to keep the bond between them.

If the teams are separated, then the game might only focus on them when they are together (large gaps between adventures now written as backstory) or the teams might have completely different adventures that don't seem connected (at first, anyway.... ;-)  ).

An option might be that the characters are not just separated by distance but also by purpose.  One team might be the Younger Avengers, another the Newer Mutants.  They fight together against cosmic and existential threats but what about other times?  If the Mutant Registration Act is passed, do the Newer Mutants conform or do they have to fight their old friends, the Younger Avengers.  Do the Younger Avengers try to enforce the law or do they themselves rebel against it?

If I didn't make it clear, the Stanley school is a stepping stone for some students.  They may enter the school on an Avengers scholarship and then graduate into the Avengers afterwards.  This could be the same for SHIELD or the X-Men or any other group or organization.  And for those that want the Illuminati to be more involved in the school.  They are!  You just don't know it yet (secrets will be revealed).

The same questions I would ask of the PCs also apply to any NPC teen supers.  So, to sum up for now...
1. How integrated are the PCs?  Is that they are one group except for the metaplot subdivisions forced by the Mask rules?  Or are the teams actually separated by distance and perhaps even loyalties.
2. What about other NPC teen supers?  Are they also students, either on the same campus or separated by distance and/or purpose.  Are the only students at Stanley the PCs (remember there were only five original X-Men)?

Let me know what you think, let me know what you think soon so we can keep the game momentum up...

P.S. Something that occurs to me now: there could be as many reasons why a student chooses the Stanley school as opposed to another option, as many reasons as there are students.

It could be that SHIELD cadet's area of specialization will be superhuman relations.  And an actual super-school will be a better internship than a normal SHIELD base.  Perhaps that young mutant is finally accepted by their family who lives near the Stanley school.  And so the young mutant is turning down a membership in the X-Men (for now) so as to restore those still-tender family bonds.

And, yes, trust me, the Illuminati is behind the selection of some students at the school.  And likely the student has no idea why they were really chosen for this odd 'scholarship'.  As for a different campus for each member of the Illuminati, I will say that each campus might be the main 'turf' for any given member.  But the Illuminati don't always work for the very same goals and blurred borders adds chances for complicated subplots and conflictions even between friends and allies.
Ricochet
 player, 96 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Sat 29 May 2021
at 09:35
Re: Polls and Debates
Mainly focusing on how the PCs interact, and I'm still assuming we're all going to be interacting together in a single campus, have you ever seen the web series RWBY? They also split their students up into compartmentalized teams (RWBY and JNPR being the eight main characters), while still having a campus full of NPCs in their own teams, a bunch of interesting instructors, and it focuses almost entirely on school-related super shenanigans. It's what I have in mind as a template for how we'd be structured most easily.
Counterforce
 player, 79 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Sat 29 May 2021
at 11:00
Re: Polls and Debates
I would favour us being in the same place for school purposes, just going off on different field assignments... though crossovers could be fun, when dealing with larger threats. Even separate assignments can tie into each other as we take on different threats that come from the same source, whether we realise it or not.

I'd definitely favour having NPC super students in the same place.

Re: Illuminati involvement, one other question that comes to mind is - do our characters know about the Illuminati, as a (somewhat) cohesive group with a secretive long-term agenda (or several)? Or do we just know that there is this special school that we were all picked for by different sponsors that are in some ways connected to it.
Gateway
 player, 42 posts
 age: 14
Sat 29 May 2021
at 18:48
Re: Polls and Debates
i think from ic posts gateway and resonance need to be in the same team as they seem to have clicked
Ghost-Spider
 player, 36 posts
 Gwen Stacy
Sat 29 May 2021
at 23:18
Re: Polls and Debates
Gateway:
i think from ic posts gateway and resonance need to be in the same team as they seem to have clicked


Resonance mentioned that too.  Do either of you have a preference as to which 'Brain' to align with?  Octopus or Steel Ninja.

Still a few people we haven't heard any preference from.
Resonance
 player, 31 posts
 Xin1 Xie2 Zhen4: The Meta
 Age: 13; Sheng4 Xin1
Sun 30 May 2021
at 02:58
Re: Polls and Debates
That is actually a good question.

Real Life has been sufficiently busy that I am quite behind on reading the portions of the IC thread not directly involving me.

I will have to catch up at least with those two characters so I can give an informed answer...  :o
The Watcher
 GM, 174 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sun 30 May 2021
at 07:44
Re: Polls and Debates
Copied from the Bullpen...

quote:
If y'all would prefer, you can wait to answer the 'When Our Team First Came Together..."\question(s) after team assignments have been fully determined (but we can easily work with those who have answered already). :-)

The last GM post of IC Thread #1 should happen Sunday night or not long after.  I believe it will be a cliffhanger.  And that will be the last of the freeform flashback for a bit.  The next IC thread shall be in the game present and using the rules as fast as we can get them enabled (actually, there may still be some freeform replies until we can get all aboard).

I will make team assignments around Monday night or so.  I will take preferences already expressed into account.  And afterwards, characters can still swap teams if both are willing.  The only real rule is to avoid duplicate playbooks.

As time is passing and things need to move along, I will say that the game will be centered (although far from limited to) on the Stanley School for a bit.  This doesn't mean that your characters don't necessarily not visit other campuses and places.  It just means you spend some time on the Stanley campus on any given week.  Beyond the one stricture that your characters spend some time at Stanley weekly, anything else probably goes.  Beneath the bright and sunny fašade of the campus could be any number of mysteries, loyalties or secrets.  They just won't all be revealed just yet. ;-)

I will continue to copy from the Bullpen to Polls and Debates for a week or two more during this critical setup phase but that will fade soon enough as the 'cement' sets.

Stone Cold
 player, 26 posts
 Paul (Publo) Tuvalok
 The Transformed Age 16
Sun 30 May 2021
at 13:01
Re: Polls and Debates
I'd be happy to join Team 2 with Ghost-spider and Octopus.  Seems like we are hanging out together now and I can see us coming together.
Ghost-Spider
 player, 37 posts
 Gwen Stacy
Sun 30 May 2021
at 18:18
Re: Polls and Debates
Update:

Team 1 Team 2Team 3Team ?
CounterforceOctopusSteel NinjaGateway
MaxGhost-Spider Resonance
RicochetStone Cold  
Leviathan   
Jubilee   
    

Unknown: Citizen V, She-hulk, Arc, Midnight, Skorpio

Note: Skorpio hasn't posted since the 11th and hasn't logged in in two weeks.
Citizen V, She-Hulk, and Arc haven't posted in 10 days.

There's a chance we don't have enough people for three teams of 5.

Resonance
 player, 32 posts
 Xin1 Xie2 Zhen4: The Meta
 Age: 13; Sheng4 Xin1
Sun 30 May 2021
at 23:07
Re: Polls and Debates
I still have plenty of catching up to do, but one thing leaps out at me immediately.

Resonance is... 13 years old.
Gateway is... 14 years old.

Octopus is... 15 years old.
Steel Ninja is... 17 years old.

I think that putting Resonance and Gateway with Octopus makes a bit more sense.

Gateway, Ghost-Spider, Octopus, Stone Cold: do you think we would make a decent mix?

The point about not necessarily being able to make three teams of five is a good one, though.

If the others aren't around, then we have two obvious options:
(1) three teams averaging less than five each, or
(2) two teams averaging more than five each.

With the latter, and with the desire to avoid playbook duplication, we might need to see how Steel Ninja feels about Outsider...?  :o