Polls and Debates.   Posted by The Watcher.Group: 0
The Watcher
 GM, 59 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 11 May 2021
at 01:26
Polls and Debates
Ignore this for now...
The Watcher
 GM, 60 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 11 May 2021
at 01:30
Polls and Debates
While I am still setting this thread up, here is a test poll you can fill in if you want.  There is no prize (or a famous Marvel No-Prize) except that you might let others know how much of a cultured gourmand you are...

https://www.strawpoll.me/45256268

More seriously, let me know if you like this site for polling.  If not, please feel free to suggest another...
The Watcher
 GM, 62 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 11 May 2021
at 05:50
Polls and Debates
While we are waiting for the ideal polling system to be decided, there are a couple of questions I could really use the answers to.  There will be Potential given as Extra Credit to anyone who helps out.  There is a time limit because I need to get this game further developed.  Get your contributions in by Midnight, May 16 GMT.

First Question:  Who is the sponsor of your school?

Option #1: The Avengers
Option #2: SHIELD
Option #3: The X-Men (in this game, the X-Men will sponsor a non-mutant school.  They believe a small class of alternate X-Men will actually help friendship between mutants and everyone else.  Mutant PCs are still welcome, they are just not particularly sought out by this particular class of X-Men.
Option #4: Some other organization from canon Marvel Comics (that is, our Earth-682 version).
Option #5: Some 'Marvelous' organization unique to this game.  Tell me about it.
Option #6: A mix of any and all of the above.

Should the party vote for a single organization, then the PCs are just the youngest branch of that organization (The Even Younger Avengers, The Newer Mutants, SHIELD Cadets).  If there is a mix of patron organizations, then the school is a front for those organizations.  And the 'board of trustees' either work together or bicker among themselves regarding the training of the team.

Go ahead and make your suggestions.  I don't mind how many organizations are on the Board of Trustees, the relative power of each member will be based on how strong the vote was for any particular member organization.  You can also specifically request that a given organization NOT be on the Board if you really don't care for them.

Get your suggestions in by the the 16th at Midnight.  Vote on suggestions if you are sure of them.  If the vote is conclusive by deadline, great.  If not, I may extend the voting by a week.

Go ahead and debate and vote below.  Me and perhaps Max will get it all sorted.

P.S. Just thought of another option, possibly a real-world organization with a super-school in a Marvel universe (National Government/Military, Religious, Corporate, etc.).

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:10, Tue 11 May.

The Watcher
 GM, 63 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 11 May 2021
at 06:08
Polls and Debates
Here is another important poll.  The faster I get the answers the better so there is a deadline for contributions, Midnight, May 16th, GMT.  A point of Potential will be the tangible reward.  The intangible reward will be actually being part of shaping the game.

Where is your school based?

1. Near New York City, United States (you are near the center of the Marvel setting but won't be able to shine as much in comparison).
2. Elsewhere in the United States (not near NYC but you are more your own legend).
3. A real-world location, not the US (most likely another country).
4. A location that only exists in the Marvel Multiverse (the Earth-682 version thereof).

Possibly tangential choices:

A. Near a major population center.
B. the centralized hub of a large, sparsely-populated area.
C. A geographically-separated area (this area is not easy to casually travel to or from.  So there is a (possibly small) school in this area.  Hawaii might be a good example, part of the US but physically separated from the rest of it).
D. The school is mobile (aboard a helicarrier or even a sailing ship, for example.  Unlikely, but I wanted to include the choice).

Let me know what you think.  Suggest, debate and (if you are sure) vote below...
Resonance
 player, 10 posts
 Xin1 Xie2 Zhen4: The Meta
 Age: 13; Sheng4 Xin1
Tue 11 May 2021
at 06:11
Polls and Debates
The Watcher:
First Question:  Who is the sponsor of your school?

OK, time to think outside of the box for some extra extra credit!  ;)

One option:


Another option:
The Watcher:
And, finally, as Marvel is owned by Disney, you can draw from (grits teeth) any Disney property (subject to my approval).



Yes, these are in fact serious suggestions, and have my votes!  :)
Counterforce
 player, 33 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Tue 11 May 2021
at 06:15
Polls and Debates
Strawpoll could work fine when we just need to decide between a few established options.

As for the first question, I'd prefer multiple sponsors since that seems like the best way to accommodate all the varied character concepts. We have some characters who are already clearly affiliated with one organisation or another and some characters who would prefer not to directly study under certain organisations. A co-sponsorship would be close enough to any one sponsor to include the former and distant enough to not alienate the latter.

It could also make sense for the sponsors as a bridge-building exercise... which is not to say it can't also result in some tensions when the different sponsors' interests or values are misaligned. Which could give us some more plot threads as we get dragged into it. :)

Eventually, the school could take on a life of its own, or it could remain as a bridge between organisations, with all of them recruiting graduates at the end.

In addition to the big three, I suppose we could add the Future Foundation or some other Fantastic Four thing? The heroic version of the Atlas Foundation/Eternal Empire could be an interesting shadowy option too from what I've read about it.

As for the location, I like the original idea (near New York City) just fine. I am sure there are enough shenanigans to go around there. :) Among other things, it occurs to me that coastal areas near major cities can work as staging grounds for various villainous plots. Adult superheroes might be busy to notice sinister backwoods preparations in time...

That said, other options could be fun to experiment with later. Could even have a spaceship game with a more cosmic focus some day. :P

EDIT: So in brief, that's:

Question 1: 6

Question 2: 1, A

This message was last edited by the player at 08:56, Tue 11 May.

Resonance
 player, 11 posts
 Xin1 Xie2 Zhen4: The Meta
 Age: 13; Sheng4 Xin1
Tue 11 May 2021
at 06:20
Re: Polls and Debates
The Watcher:
Where is your school based?

1st Choice => 3. A real-world location, not the US (most likely another country).
2nd Choice => 2. Elsewhere in the United States (not near NYC but you are more your own legend).

The Watcher:
Possibly tangential choices:

1st Choice => C. A geographically-separated area (this area is not easy to casually travel to or from.  So there is a (possibly small) school in this area.  Hawaii might be a good example, part of the US but physically separated from the rest of it).
2nd Choice => D. The school is mobile (aboard a helicarrier or even a sailing ship, for example.  Unlikely, but I wanted to include the choice).

However, these votes are lower priority than my school sponsor votes.  ;)
Arc
 player, 15 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 06:56
Re: Polls and Debates
I do like the idea of this being a sort of "bridge" program between multiple entities. We already have characters linked to other organizations and this seems to make the most sense on the surface. We could even weave the character of Ghost into this much easier by having that character be the original overseer who has now become a disembodied entity.

As for where the school is exactly, I do like the mobile idea but perhaps stationed near New York? I think if we pursue the bridge school idea this would make the most sense. That way the school is close to many of these organizations but can quickly move to where needed as this team would probably be some sort of guardian group in training.
Ricochet
 player, 40 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Tue 11 May 2021
at 08:36
Re: Polls and Debates
I'm also for having the school sponsored by the big organizations at once: Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, all overseen by SHIELD, though maybe they'd be a step removed. The tension between the organizations and their goals and methods is just too good to pass up.

As for location, I have a lot of thoughts about it, and my vote boils down to "near NYC, near a major population center." Near NYC doesn't necessarily mean we'll get any less opportunity to shine, just like no Marvel comic prevents their hero from shining even though they're almost all in New York. The other guys just don't show up to deal with our problems, so we get to make a name for ourselves with our neighborhood and then later the city itself. Shouldn't be a problem.

My issue with a mobile or otherwise hard to reach school is that we should regularly be surrounded by the NPCs close to us, friends and family types, so that a) they can try to shift our Labels, and b) the GM can put them in his crosshairs and give us very personal stakes when need be. If our folks are in New York but we're in a helicarrier over Madripoor, they have less opportunity to butt in, y'know? Unless all our friends and family are also on our mobile school, which could get both weird and super interesting.
Max
 player, 28 posts
 Age: 16
Tue 11 May 2021
at 13:54
Polls and Debates
quote:
First Question:  Who is the sponsor of your school?

Option #1: The Avengers
Option #2: SHIELD
Option #3: The X-Men (in this game, the X-Men will sponsor a non-mutant school.  They believe a small class of alternate X-Men will actually help friendship between mutants and everyone else.  Mutant PCs are still welcome, they are just not particularly sought out by this particular class of X-Men.
Option #4: Some other organization from canon Marvel Comics (that is, our Earth-682 version).
Option #5: Some 'Marvelous' organization unique to this game.  Tell me about it.
Option #6: A mix of any and all of the above.


The one issue I see with going with #6 right now is that we've established that each of these groups have their own school and are actively recruiting. So I'd like to recommend a twist. What if, after the SHIELD report came out, the Illuminati (from canon: Namor, Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, Professor X) decide that in addition to the schools each of their groups sponsors, they create a school sponsored by the Illuminati themselves? Perhaps for especially unique, dangerous, or powerful children that they feel would be better trained in a separate school (or perhaps to keep the X-Men and Avengers from fighting over a very special candidate).

My recommendation would be to add Nick Fury to the Illuminati (why wasn't he already?!), and that gives you a connection back to every other group/school discussed, but once removed as Ricochet mentioned. You could even have the school be a bit clandestine, with each of us applying, and being accepted, to one of the other schools, but then on the first day we're told that we're being "elevated" to the "gifted" class. We would officially be "on the books" of the school we applied to, but really be part of the Illuminati school. Or it could be a mix; Dr. Strange would probably just sponsor Gateway directly into the Illuminati school, or if someone plays an Inhuman Black Bolt might do the same.

So my answer is #6 sort of; an Illuminati sponsored school.

quote:
Where is your school based?

1. Near New York City, United States (you are near the center of the Marvel setting but won't be able to shine as much in comparison).
2. Elsewhere in the United States (not near NYC but you are more your own legend).
3. A real-world location, not the US (most likely another country).
4. A location that only exists in the Marvel Multiverse (the Earth-682 version thereof).


What if it's near New York City, but maybe above it? I'm thinking a floating school like Sky High. Using helicarrier flying/hover technology mixed with magical and technological means to hide it from prying eyes (assuming we go with the Illuminati option).

Or, a magical pocket dimension accessible from a "schoolfront" in New York City.

quote:
Possibly tangential choices:

A. Near a major population center.
B. the centralized hub of a large, sparsely-populated area.
C. A geographically-separated area (this area is not easy to casually travel to or from.  So there is a (possibly small) school in this area.  Hawaii might be a good example, part of the US but physically separated from the rest of it).
D. The school is mobile (aboard a helicarrier or even a sailing ship, for example.  Unlikely, but I wanted to include the choice).


In both cases, the characters would live in A. but go to school in C.
Ricochet
 player, 41 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Tue 11 May 2021
at 19:10
Polls and Debates
Max:
The one issue I see with going with #6 right now is that we've established that each of these groups have their own school and are actively recruiting. So I'd like to recommend a twist. What if, after the SHIELD report came out, the Illuminati (from canon: Namor, Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, Professor X) decide that in addition to the schools each of their groups sponsors, they create a school sponsored by the Illuminati themselves? Perhaps for especially unique, dangerous, or powerful children that they feel would be better trained in a separate school (or perhaps to keep the X-Men and Avengers from fighting over a very special candidate).


Gah, I'd been thinking about that and totally forgot to mention it. But I have an idea for that as well!

This event might be recruiting for a single school, and each of these booths represents a different sponsor for that school. Signing up with one of the sponsors will put the student in a track designed by that group, with mostly the same knowledge but a different focus. For example, signing up with the X-Men would emphasize civil rights movements throughout history, Fantastic Four would focus on theoretical and applied sciences, Avengers would focus on political science, etc. And the more students sign up for a particular track, the more influence that group has on the school board.

This information may or may not be public.
Skorpio
 player, 6 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 19:24
Polls and Debates
I don't have any real opinions on what team runs the school currently. I'll vote that the school is based close to New York or a similar US large city.
Resonance
 player, 12 posts
 Xin1 Xie2 Zhen4: The Meta
 Age: 13; Sheng4 Xin1
Tue 11 May 2021
at 19:36
Polls and Debates
I do admit that the above arguments for #6 and variations are interesting...  :)
Steel Ninja
 player, 9 posts
 Age 17
 Brain
Tue 11 May 2021
at 22:16
Polls and Debates
I am absolutely in favor of the board of directors idea and lean heavily towards the suggestion of Illuminati + Nick Fury. I would also suggest the addition of Wolverine. He could stir up debate among almost all of the other members at one time or another. If a reason is needed for his inclusion, the board is heavily weighted with Avengers or former Avengers. So the X-Men need more representation. (And maybe add Ric Flair in season 2.)

Also in favor of the pocket dimension “school front” in or near New York. But what if that pocket dimension also lead to another school? One poised in a more relaxed location like Hawaii or New Zealand. That would offer some different opportunities, especially if we have two or more teams.

Then we wouldn’t need a mobile base, but we could still have access to helicarriers, or quinjets, or whatever. Maybe a few of our brains get together and create new forms of team transport.

Just my two cents, I am pretty flexible with majority vote.
Ricochet
 player, 45 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Tue 11 May 2021
at 22:21
Polls and Debates
If we want less Avengers representation and more X-Men, Wolverine is probably not the best choice, being a former Avenger. :P Cyclops? Beast? I'd probably trust Beast with such things.
Max
 player, 33 posts
 Age: 16
Tue 11 May 2021
at 22:27
Polls and Debates
Steel Ninja:
I am absolutely in favor of the board of directors idea and lean heavily towards the suggestion of Illuminati + Nick Fury. I would also suggest the addition of Wolverine. He could stir up debate among almost all of the other members at one time or another. If a reason is needed for his inclusion, the board is heavily weighted with Avengers or former Avengers. So the X-Men need more representation. (And maybe add Ric Flair in season 2.)


Hmm, I'm not seeing the heavy weighting towards Avengers. I assume you mean because Namor used to be an Avenger, but he's there to represent Atlantis not the Avengers. I just don't see the need to weight it more towards the X-Men.

From Wikipedia, here was the reasoning for the original members:

- Namor is a King of the Atlantis and the Seven Oceans and represents the antihero mindset.
- Tony Stark represents the Avenger type of hero, one who understands and appreciates that a hero can work with the government, rather than outside of it. He also represents the common man, as he possesses no natural superhuman abilities.
- Reed Richards: Leader of Fantastic Four. Represents the science-based part of the superhero community.
- Black Bolt: King of Inhumans, who are an important part of Marvel history and play an important part in events that have not yet come to pass. He also represents a ruler/king archetype, one that has also been filled by Namor.
- Doctor Stephen Strange: Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. speaks for the mystical/non-scientific side of the Marvel universe.
- Professor Charles Xavier: Leader of the X-Men is there on behalf of the mutant community.

And I just don't see Wolverine as having the gravitas necessary to be part of the Illuminati. In canon Beast actually did inherit Professor X's position and become a member.
Steel Ninja
 player, 10 posts
 Age 17
 Brain
Tue 11 May 2021
at 22:27
Polls and Debates
I was thinking that was just an excuse for bringing wolvie in if needed. I mainly just thought he would be good to have around sometimes for the conflict aspect, and for Jubilee’s character interaction. He could even be an on again, off again presence only showing up when encouraged that his vote is needed to the board of directors. Otherwise, he is off on mission. He need not have any awareness of the Illuminati side of things. More Avengers representation is not needed, but that is a possibility if the GMs want to use an NPC to have some fun. Or maybe even players if multiple positions open up.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:29, Tue 11 May.

Max
 player, 34 posts
 Age: 16
Tue 11 May 2021
at 22:32
Polls and Debates
I think you can keep the Illuminati to "canon + Nick Fury" but still have cameos from Wolverine and others. Maybe as teachers, field trip chaperones, etc. For example I've introduced Jean Grey as a potential thorn in my side NPC interaction for Max.
The Watcher
 GM, 68 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Wed 12 May 2021
at 02:10
Polls and Debates
OK, I am loving all of this and I don't think anything mentioned mutually excludes any other thing mentioned.   But I don't want to really ripple this stream-of-consciousness until Sunday.  But I'm pretty sure you guys don't need much guidance.  You are figuring it all out on your own.
The Watcher
 GM, 69 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Wed 12 May 2021
at 02:15
Polls and Debates
I am adding two more Extra Credit Assignments for now.  If all of the current Extra Credit Assignments are done, the character will get a new Advancement for their character.

The first is to post in the Beloved Ghost character thread with your thoughts and or votes.  In the future, I may not make such a special thread for just one question.  But I am learning.

To recap, the Beloved Ghost is a team member who we only know in flashback.  BG has left the team for perfectly mundane or horribly tragic reasons.  Who is BG and why did they leave?  You tell me.


And the final Extra Credit Assignment for now:  You had an adult Team Mentor, an established Marvel character or someone new.  They have also left the team, like Beloved Ghost.  How were they and why did they leave?  You tell me.

The deadline for Potential points is Midnight, May 21, 2021. :-)
Ricochet
 player, 47 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Wed 12 May 2021
at 02:22
Polls and Debates
Do they two have to be different people?

This message was last edited by the player at 06:20, Wed 12 May.

Stone Cold
 player, 9 posts
 Paul (Publo) Tuvalok 16ys
 The Transformed
Wed 12 May 2021
at 06:02
Polls and Debates
Wow, so many interesting opinions, I love how creative this group is.  I honestly don't remember the Illuminati as being a canon part of Marvel, but then I admit much has changed since my avid reading days.  So to answer the original questions

I think I would embrace a mix of groups as well.  That creates a lot of opportunity for drama and behind the scenes deals and rivalries, which are always interesting.

For the second question I think I like being close to New York since, as many have pointed out, it offers opportunities for a number of cameos, but also gives us the space to have our own adventures apart from the crowded city as well.

Just my two cents :)
The Watcher
 GM, 93 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Thu 13 May 2021
at 02:53
Polls and Debates
I would prefer both a former student and former teacher.  This gives two different dimensions to the bittersweet loss and nostalgia.  But I won't insist on it if the players want just one character.
The Watcher
 GM, 94 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Thu 13 May 2021
at 02:55
Polls and Debates
The Illuminati are an established but very minor part of Marvel canon.  I daresay the average Marvel Zombie would have missed them.

For just one reference...

https://www.marvel.com/teams-and-groups/illuminati
The Watcher
 GM, 106 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Fri 14 May 2021
at 01:39
Polls and Debates
I have added a new Straw Poll asking whether we should have a structured and defined incentive program for this game.

There is an optional poll and there is no extra reward for participating.

A few thoughts:

1.  Even if a reward program is established, a player does not have to actually use the reward.  For example, a player may not want their character to advance to quickly and thus leave the game quicker.

2. While the occasional reward can be just given with no real thought, a structured and defined reward system takes a little effort to make and maintain.  But perhaps that is worth it should it lead to a flood of creativity and enthusiasm.

https://www.strawpoll.me/45270191
Counterforce
 player, 45 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Fri 14 May 2021
at 03:13
Polls and Debates
I am honestly torn on that one. I thought the idea was neat, and it does have some psychological pay-offs I suppose (mini-contests around things you were probably going to do anything can be fun), but on the other hand, getting to write in a Masks game is honestly enough of a reward for me. Will think some more.

One consideration is that with the current set-up, what it really gives you is control. i.e. you can level up a character faster, or not. You might even store potential to level up a secondary character you might make later. I can see that being a pretty neat option to have, though one that messes with the game's purity somewhat. The idea of story rather than mechanical rewards down the line was pretty intriguing too...

This message was last edited by the player at 03:14, Fri 14 May.

Stone Cold
 player, 12 posts
 Paul (Publo) Tuvalok
 The Transformed Age 16
Fri 14 May 2021
at 11:30
Polls and Debates
I agree with everything Counterforce just said.  Rewards would be a cool idea, but I'm not wanting this character to progress too quickly.  I need time to develop him in a way that makes sense to me as a writer.  The true joy is just to get to play and write in this game :)

I will give some thought as to what sort of reward might work best with this medium and game.  There's got to be something small but meaningful you could give.
Leviathan
 player, 27 posts
Fri 14 May 2021
at 11:35
Polls and Debates
Maybe a side story? A plot point relevant to your character turns up?
The Watcher
 GM, 113 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sat 15 May 2021
at 07:29
Polls and Debates
All good thoughts, I will address in more detail when I can.

In the meantime, here is a quick question I could really use the answer to.

Do you want to be the first class of your new school or the second?

Having a class above you gives you more adult students to envy, respect and be rivals to.  That said, you only get on chance to be the first class ever.
Ricochet
 player, 67 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Sat 15 May 2021
at 07:38
Polls and Debates
I am all for us being the first class of this new school format. The testing grounds, so to speak.
Basaq
 player, 9 posts
Sat 15 May 2021
at 08:19
Polls and Debates
I'd been considering something like this for a Fate Condensed game I'm running, based on a reddit post I found at:
https://www.reddit.com/r/FATEr...t_to_encourage_them/

But one of the key things is that incentive should be opened up a bit... I mean... instead of rewarding me for doing the mechanical things you want a player to do, you should reward everyone...  maybe give everyone one free marked slot of Potential?  That way I'm not just doing it for me.
Counterforce
 player, 48 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Sat 15 May 2021
at 08:52
Polls and Debates
I think I'd prefer to be the first class. After all, if this game lasts long enough, we can always do the second class later. :)
Basaq
 player, 10 posts
Sat 15 May 2021
at 10:45
Polls and Debates
I'm easy either way.  Very vague preference for first class.
Stone Cold
 player, 14 posts
 Paul (Publo) Tuvalok
 The Transformed Age 16
Sat 15 May 2021
at 11:00
Re: Polls and Debates
Ricochet:
I am all for us being the first class of this new school format. The testing grounds, so to speak.


I completely agree with you Ricochet.  First class sounds like the most fun :-)
Yun74
 player, 3 posts
Sat 15 May 2021
at 22:24
Re: Polls and Debates
Question 1 (Sponsor):

Given the varied backgrounds of the characters present I think #6 makes the most sense, perhaps some sort of joint project to reduce the tensions and build trust between the various groups/factions. It also leaves room for some interesting interactions later on when those sponsor groups don't see eye-to-eye on matters.


Question 2 (Location):

Since I enjoy roleplaying the outsider's view, given my character's european background, either #1 or #2 would be fine.

A, because I think proximity to urban centers will bring some nice roleplaying opportunites down the road.


Question 3 (First or Second Class):

I'm fine with either. Second class would mean more students, thus more interaction potential, but First Class means everything's still new, so the kinks in the system haven't yet been dealt with (or even found). Also a nice perspective.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:00, Sun 16 May.

Counterforce
 player, 54 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 15
 The Brain
Sun 16 May 2021
at 12:33
Re: Polls and Debates
One more thought occurs to me regarding classes: if the main game will begin a year after we form our team(s), then there will probably be a junior class below us either way. Might even be an interesting source of plot hooks... one that would be more prominent if we are the first class, I think.
Resonance
 player, 28 posts
 Xin1 Xie2 Zhen4: The Meta
 Age: 13; Sheng4 Xin1
Sun 16 May 2021
at 14:42
Re: Polls and Debates
Stone Cold:
Ricochet:
I am all for us being the first class of this new school format. The testing grounds, so to speak.


I completely agree with you Ricochet.  First class sounds like the most fun :-)

+1.  The players and the characters get to blaze the trail as we all learn the ropes together... :)
Stone Cold
 player, 17 posts
 Paul (Publo) Tuvalok
 The Transformed Age 16
Sun 16 May 2021
at 17:01
Re: Polls and Debates
Exactly Resonance.  And Counterforce's point is an excellent one too.  We may be paving the way for the junior class that comes after us as well.  Lots of fun and potential for future interactions.
Max
 player, 41 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Sun 16 May 2021
at 23:23
Polls and Debates
I'm in agreement that we should be the first class.
The Watcher
 GM, 128 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sat 22 May 2021
at 07:29
Polls and Debates
Reposted from the Bullpen thread...

quote:
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...



This message was last edited by the GM at 07:30, Sat 22 May.

The Watcher
 GM, 131 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sun 23 May 2021
at 08:00
Polls and Debates
More copied from the Bullpen:

quote:
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.


Let me know what you would like changed.


This message was last edited by the GM at 08:00, Sun 23 May.

The Watcher
 GM, 133 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sun 23 May 2021
at 08:15
Polls and Debates
quote:
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.



The Watcher
 GM, 147 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Tue 25 May 2021
at 07:52
Polls and Debates
The network of Doors that lead to the Infinite Avengers Mansion are many but the PC heroes know of these.

Pandemonium Door:  The door that leads to the Isle of Demons, the sovereign land owned by the Avengers.  The school presence there is limited to an office and emergency shelter.
Excelsior Door:  This door leads to the Excelsior Campus, the only public campus known to the public.  The Excelsior Campus is in NYC (or at least a suburb) and students attend in their superheroic IDs.   There is not much to this campus, it is more of an interface between the young heroes and the ever-fickle public.

Stanley Door:  The Stanley School for Special Students is a small, private school in the fictional town of Everton, on the coast of Long Island.  This is the primary location for the game so far. The name is meant to evoke the similarly-named Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.  And most campuses in Marvel are named after their founder;  Stanley is the fictional stand-in for Stan Lee. :-)

The 'Hellbent' Gate:  The Hellbent gate is now locked.  It originally linked to the Massachusetts Academy, now revealed as an arm of the Hellfire Club over the past year.  The Hellfire Club's existence and betrayal occurs between the current freeform flashback and the true game start using the Masks rules.  The Hellfire Club and their young students, the Hellions, are now one of the main rivals, if not actual nemesi, of the PC heroes.

The Angels Gate:  This is the gate for the 'West Coast' students, based in Los Angeles.  This is the second largest school in the US, after the Stanley School.  The Stanley and LA students have a healthy rivalry but also have each other's back when the chips are down.

I will get to the other US schools (if any) and the international campuses in a bit.   But we have enough to get on with for now.
quote:
More world-building from the Bullpen

The Watcher
 GM, 163 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Thu 27 May 2021
at 07:49
Polls and Debates
I believe at this point everyone has a firm enough idea as to what your character's playbook will be.  If you haven't made up your mind about the playbook or want to change a playbook you had at least mentioned before, let me know.

Otherwise, one determinant of team breakdowns will be the maximum number of duplicated playbooks.  Which, if memory serves, is currently three instances of the Brain playbook.  As playbooks shouldn't be duplicated within a team, this means three teams of roughly (again, IIRC) five team members each.  And that is probably the best team size anyway.

So here is the method I suggest:

One Brain for each team.
For doubled playbooks, a Double in each team until the 'supply' runs out.
Should there be more than one kind of Double, the second kind of Double will skip the second team and be assigned to the third team (allowing the unique combos of First & Second kind of Double in one team, First Double alone in the second  and Second Double alone in the third team)
After that, the singled playbooks will fill the teams, in alphabetical order of username, until the first team is filled up.  Then the second team, then the third and last team.  I will try to divide the teams as evenly as possible but the third team will likely be the 'runt' of the litter, last but in no OTHER way least.

If the above seems confusing, don't worry about it.  It is my math problem and is probably easier shown than explained.  Also, once the teams are set by me, players can swap teams if they can find another player to swap with them.  Again, duplicated playbooks can't be on the same team but we should be able to work it.

In our game world, the team division works like this.

Each team has a dual identity, their 'secret ID' is one of the houses of the Stanley school, their super ID is their super team (which they can name as they wish).  Every team member is assigned to a house, even if they don't actually live on campus.  The houses are actually named after various real-world luminaries of Marvel Comics History, although they have some game backstory as (like most universities) dull bureaucrats who ran the school in some way.

Provisional Houses:
Goodman House (Team 1):  This house is named after Martin Goodman, the original publisher of Timely Comics, the precursor to Marvel Comics.
Kirby House (Team 2):  This house is named after Jack Kirby, the main artist that helped shaped Marvel in the early years.  The team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were unbeatable until their later feud.
Ditko House (Team 3):  This house is named after Steve Ditko, that other artist who helped make early Marvel, very wonderfully trippy.  He set the mood for Doctor Strange.
Thomas House (Team 4):  This house is named after Roy Thomas, one of Marvel's early editors.  This house is possibly for the NPC 'Tween' team.

There may be other houses, on the Stanley campus or others.

Let me know what you think...
quote:
Copied from the Bullpen

Ghost-Spider
 player, 33 posts
 Gwen Stacy
Thu 27 May 2021
at 18:25
Polls and Debates
People have been working out background connections with other characters.  Players have been asked look at sponsors and hinted at picing one - it seems like we have no actual choice in who our teammates are - so all the connections will need to be re-done and I'm not sure what the current RP directive is for.

Since we have one user playing two characters, alphabetical by username could be an issue.
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 façade 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
The Watcher
 GM, 236 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Sat 19 Jun 2021
at 07:34
Re: Polls and Debates
quote:
Tyrell: ...but this, all of this is academic. You were made as well as we could make you.
Batty: But not to last.
Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy. Look at you: you're the Prodigal Son; you're quite a prize!
Batty: I've done... questionable things.
Tyrell: Also extraordinary things; revel in your time.
Batty: Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't let you into heaven for.
Blade Runner, 1982


This is a quote from the movie Blade Runner that helps illuminate the following.  But I just welcome any chance to quote such a good movie.  The quoted conversation kinda goes downhill after that last quoted line.

Very soon, we will showing off our Moves in the game.  In Masks, Moves (with a capital 'M') are the core of the rules.  A Move is how a character reacts with the environment.  Everything that you would use dice with in other games is handled by a Move.

And here is where I would like your input.  Let me explain:

In Masks, there are no physical stats.  Essentially, you can't be hurt by the rules.  You can be emotionally affected in various ways.  But you can't die unless the GM and/or player wishes.   And, if you can't die then, sooner or later, you are going to grow until your character retires from the game.  And the governance of Moves is how the speed of your character' progression towards retirement happens.

See, in Masks, your characters mature until they can't mature any more (in game terms, at least).  There will come a point where they have maxed every stat and gained every advantage.  And then they leave.  There is a Playbook called the Doomed, where the character's arc is to have a tragic ending and leave the game.  But every other Playbook also progress towards leaving the game.  Their ending may just be a happier one than the Doomed (at least, I hope so).

This is not a complaint, growing up is a hallmark of every Young Adult story, not just teenage superheroes.  Coming of Age (and then Going Away) is rightly baked into Masks.  The question is, how fast do you want this to happen to your character?

With almost every Move, you either succeed OR you get the experience (Potential) or other resources to eventually succeed.  So you move forward with every Move.  The more Moves, the faster your character moves towards their final curtain.  Less Moves, less often and you don't grow up so fast.

How often do we do Moves?  For example, there is a Move called Assess The Situation.  It is the character taking a moment to observe the environment and learn from it.  In other games, this might be called a Perception or Search Roll.  Now some GM's in other games might have players roll Perception only once a 'scene'.  Others might have players roll Perception with the introduction of every new character, event or fact revealed.  Which approach is right, depends on the GM and the players.

That's just one example about how any scene might call for dozens of Moves or just one, depending on how the party and GM see it.  And players don't always themselves degree.  So I propose that a player may ask to make a Move any time they think it right.  I have to approve such a Move but I very likely will unless there is a compelling reason against it.  And I may also offer Moves if the situation calls for it.  The first time you journey to a new place, I might allow Assessing the Situation Moves as it makes sense to do so.

One more option, I might allow another player to setup a Move for another player.  For example, one player has a 'moment of angst' which is so teen and so Marvel.  This is to allow another player to make a Comfort and Support Move for their character to successfully help the first player's character.  This allows players to do things for each other and helps them bond.

If players want to use Moves sparingly ("Stay Gold, Ponyboy!"), I will usually let a character to achieve what a Move might be solving a problem and having a particularly good character moment.  This will probably happen after the Movers and the shakers have Moved.

If it seems like this would affect game balance, with some players Moving forward and growing in every way and other not so much, don't worry.  Your characters can't die, they can only be slowed down.  So if some students have to repeat a semester, they all still graduate given enough time. :-)

Let me know what you think...
Ricochet
 player, 137 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Sat 19 Jun 2021
at 19:28
Re: Polls and Debates
I'm not sure there's anything to poll or debate for here, boss. We're playing Masks, so we should probably just play Masks. It's a Powered By the Apocalypse game, meaning it has some important rules baked into the engine that shouldn't be messed with or things break. (PbtA is surprisingly easy to break, just by ignoring the core engine and the Principles and Agenda for players and GM.)

One of the most important rules, coming from the idea of always starting from the fiction and going back to the fiction, is this:

To do it, do it.
If you do it, you do it.


This means that to activate a Move, you simply perform the Move's trigger. If you look around to figure out what's going on, you've hit the trigger for Assess the Situation, and like it or not, you're rolling those dice because you did it. Likewise, if you attack some generic goons with your super powered hero, you're probably not Directly Engaging a Threat because there's no real threat to engage, so you just describe your action.

The number of Moves performed directly correlates to the amount of involvement you have with the game that feeds back into the mechanics, which then feed back into the rules. I wouldn't worry so much about determining how many Moves there should be per scene. The players and their behavior will determine that.

Meanwhile, remember that any time a player makes a Move, there's inherent risk involved. On a Miss, not only do we mark a Potential, but you as GM get to go over your list of GM Moves and make one. The fun part is, a Miss doesn't necessarily mean we didn't accomplish what we wanted, it just means you decide whether we did or not and get to make a GM Move. Also notice how many of the GM Moves are totally unrelated to the action the player took.

If someone punches a supervillain through a wall (Directly Engage a Threat) and Misses, they mark potential and you get to say what happens. Maybe the villain dodged and threw them instead, making the player Take A Powerful Blow. Or maybe the player hit, sent the villain through the wall, and the fight continues from there, but the GM decided to use that moment to bring in a third faction to steal the macguffin for themselves while the hero and villain fight (use a new villain's Villain Move you made up about minions acting on their behalf).

Masks has everything we need to play already involved in it. The only thing we really need to decide is how we want to handle Session Moves when we don't have sessions.
Max
 player, 88 posts
 Age: 16
 The Delinquent
Sat 19 Jun 2021
at 20:28
Polls and Debates
Ricochet:
I'm not sure there's anything to poll or debate for here, boss. We're playing Masks, so we should probably just play Masks. It's a Powered By the Apocalypse game, meaning it has some important rules baked into the engine that shouldn't be messed with or things break. (PbtA is surprisingly easy to break, just by ignoring the core engine and the Principles and Agenda for players and GM.)


I am 100% in agreement with Ricochet on this; I signed up to play Masks, not some modified version thereof.
Counterforce
 player, 104 posts
 Svetlana Kragova, 16
 The Brain
Sat 19 Jun 2021
at 20:53
Polls and Debates
I'm not sure that I understand the question. That said, Ricochet is right - the rules already cover this ground to my satisfaction.

(Also, I have never played a game that lasted long enough to come anywhere near retiring a character. I wouldn't mind that experience!)
Ricochet
 player, 140 posts
 Sasha Struck, age 16
 The Bull
Sat 19 Jun 2021
at 21:38
Polls and Debates
Oh, and on the matter of growing up: that's one possible choice on the advanced Advances. You can put that off for as long as you like by simply not picking it. Another of the options is to Change Playbooks, which gives you a lot of longevity as well as exploring new aspects of that character.

And about the Doomed: death is only one possible resolution. They can totally survive their Doom if they prepare for it and make plenty of allies to help stand against it. S'why it gives an "if you survive" option. :P
The Watcher
 GM, 253 posts
 Knows All, Sees All
Wed 23 Jun 2021
at 02:10
Polls and Debates
Ah, it seems I have misread the room again! :-)  My apologies.

In any case, it seems that there is a hue and cry for the usual standard Masks game and pacing so I will keep to the rules 'as written'.  I appreciate all that you have written.  I can tell that all you would likely be very talented GMs in your own right should you ever wish.