Other Superhero RPGs* Guardian Chronicles: A Superhero Campaign Concept
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    Guardian Chronicles: A Superhero Campaign Concept

    UPDATE: I've changed the settings default ruleset to the FATE Core System. Options will likely designed for M&M 3E and Alternity and maybe Savage Worlds, but FATE Core will remain the standard.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    I've had Mutants & Masterminds for a while now but I've yet to delve deeply into the main book. I keep putting it off in order to read other things. Therefore, this thread will hopefully be for the Guardian Chronicles what my Lands of Harqual thread has been for Kulan.

    Anyway, the overall plot of the Guardian Chronicles is that there is a unnatural threat invading our universe, which is called The Darkness. No other name truly fits what this dark, evil threat is as it is an unknown alien presence from another dimension and/or universe.

    The main opponent of this evil are the Guardians of Creation. This mantle of hope and freedom is passed from species to species as the universe ages. The previous Guardians, a dying race only known as the Predecessors, is forced to pass the Energy to humanity instead of the race they had originally chosen.

    (Either that race was destroyed before the Predecessors could get the Energy to them or the Predecessors are forced to pass the Energy on to humanity because the agents of The Darkness come too close to catching them. I haven't decided yet.)

    The Energy is transfered to humanity through psychic power and elemental forces. However, it fails to spread evenly amongst the people of our world. Instead it concentrates in one region of the world, the border between Canada and the United States.

    The date of impact isn't exactly known but it takes place during the time of the Old West. Those near the epicenter of the Energy transfer are either killed outright or changed in some fundamental way. Most are driven mad but some gain enhancements to their intelligence or strength.

    The deaths are blamed on a plague. No one truly understand what happened.

    The Immortal Gunman
    The first chronicle deals with the effect of how the Energy initially affects out world. Those that gain an ability only gain one or two powers and nothing truly extraordinary.

    There are exceptions, however.

    Legends grow of outlaw that is nearly impossible to kill. If he is shot down one week, he appears again alive and well the next week. He is said to ride with several outlaw bands including the famous gang of Jesse James. Other legends say he in the man who really shot Billy the Kid. Others claim that he was both those men, somehow.

    He is the Immortal Gunman.

    Other notable outlaws and lawmen with amazing abilities exist as well but none of them seem able to come back to life. Other men and women become gifted scientists way ahead of their time. As well, strange unnatural forces spread across the Old West all the way to Mexico in the south and Alaska and the Yukon to the north.

    Rumors of monsters and worse spread like wildfire but most scoff at such notions. The truth of what is really happening is unknown as the Energy slowly spreads across North America.

    Then the legends of the Immortal Gunman begin to fade to memory and most believe he was only ever a legend. The pace of the world goes back to normal. The legends of the Old West are left behind as a new age dawns.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 6th January, 2016 at 06:09 PM.

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    Interesting premise.

    Since it is of some importance, which edition of M&M are you using? Second, I hope.

    Your Immortal Gunman is almost trivially easy to stat up. Build a normal human, with appropriate gunplay abilities, and the powers Immunity (aging) and Regeneration (resurrection) at either rank 1 (resurrects after a week) or rank 2 (resurrects after a single day). You can give him further bonuses to his regeneration checks, and can choose to limit his immunity so that he'll eventually die of old age, but nothing else.

    Out of curiosity, what sort of input were you looking to recieve from posters?

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    First Chronicle Aftermath
    In between the first and second chronicle is the time of the early 1900s to around 1980. This time is almost exactly like our real world although with an element of the fantastical. There aren't supers flying around or any super sciences, but there are changes to the world. This time is dominated by the idea of pulp adventures but dialed up a bit.

    Think Indiana Jones mixed with ideas like Journey to the Center of the Earth and the Lost World. There are strong men who can lift elephants and crazed Nazis (and, later, bad ass Soviets) bent on taking over the world. It is a time of upheveal and war.

    The World Wars give way to the 50s and 60s. Vietnam, Korea, and the rise of America and the Soviet Union as world superpowers. The atomic bomb and the space race.

    Still, there is the fantastic behind the scenes. Mystics predict the coming of a terrible evil. Bandits and outlaws are on the rise as the Mob comes into its own in America. Rumors abound of strange magicks in Africa and South America. Europe and Asia are hotbeds of conflict as the nations of the world begin to take sides. Assassinations and black ops begin to unfold.

    Technology advances and so does culture. Music gains a power over people even more so than in our world. Their is almost an Energy to it all. TV and other technology leads to a modernization unlike anything before. The Internet begins earlier than in our real world but is still in its beginning stages. The 70s are more like a blend of that decade with the 80s.

    It is on January 1st, 1980, that the second chronicle truly begins.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Thursday, 7th January, 2016 at 08:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ValhallaGH View Post
    Interesting premise.

    Since it is of some importance, which edition of M&M are you using? Second, I hope.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ValhallaGH View Post
    Your Immortal Gunman is almost trivially easy to stat up. Build a normal human, with appropriate gunplay abilities, and the powers Immunity (aging) and Regeneration (resurrection) at either rank 1 (resurrects after a week) or rank 2 (resurrects after a single day). You can give him further bonuses to his regeneration checks, and can choose to limit his immunity so that he'll eventually die of old age, but nothing else.
    Thanks. Like I said, I really haven't read the book yet. I'm hoping this thread will push me towards getting back to learning more about the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by ValhallaGH View Post
    Out of curiosity, what sort of input were you looking to recieve from posters?
    Anything and everthing, I guess. I'm always open to suggestions. Any suggestions for additional readings would be helpful. Plus, I'm looking for insights into how M&M plays. This concept was originally intended for Alternity but later I began to reenvision it for D20 Modern. Once I learned enough about M&M, knew that was likely the best system for my plans.

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    That's all for tonight. I'll go into depth about Chronicle Two in the next couple of days after getting some more feedback.

    Cheers!

    KF72

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    Interesting.
    From the sound of it, your First Chronicle will have a very Old West feel, with creatures and men of legend.

    Giant bears, wolverines that control blizzards, wendigoes, and other savage creatures with a mixed basis in myth and biology will roam parts of the wilderness. Bandits that can turn invisible, sense metal, see for miles, hear a pin drop, leap tall trees, or have metal skin will terrify the locals. Lawmen, Pinkertons, and bounty hunters that can smell fear, track an eagle in flight, shoot men without a gun, and move any distance and time without food, will face these unknown and legendary foes. All told by dime novels and fireside tales, none of them taken seriously outside of the Dakotas and the minds of young boys.

    Fun stuff, but very different from how most people imagine a super-powered campaign. Much more like Deadlands, though with a very different tone and spread of powers. I'd keep campaigns in this era between PL 6 (SWAT level training) and PL 10 (highly experienced veteran commandos) for the heroes - any higher and they're literally powerful enough to personally change the course of America and Canada.
    Villains should be between PL 4 and PL 12 - a single narrow power set at PL 12 will alter a region or state but won't necessarily alter a nation (and you can set what powers the villains have, thereby dictating the limits of their abilities).
    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall1972 View Post
    In between the first and second chronicle is the time of the early 1900s to around 1980. This time is almost exactly like our real world although with an element of the fantastical. There aren't supers flying around or any super sciences, but there are changes to the world. This time is dominated by the idea of pulp adventures but dialed up a bit.

    Think Indiana Jones mixed with ideas like Journey to the Center of the Earth and the Lost World. There are strong men who can lift elephants and crazed Nazis (and, later, bad ass Soviets) bent on taking over the world. It is a time of upheveal and war.
    So, between adventurers, gentleman saboteurs, mad Nazi supermen, circus strongmen, and gadget-wielding inventors clash to decide the fates of nations, the world, and human souls.

    Weird science, low-level mysticism, and abilities slightly beyond human-norm are the common power themes.
    Starting in about the 1940s, we begin seeing the appearance of true super-soldiers, state-sponsored supermen built and trained for war: all of varying effectiveness and repeatability.

    If you run a game during this time, I would recommend PLs between 6 and 8. This leaves plenty of room for juggling elephants while still worrying about being shot by normal guns. I'd put most of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in this range and thematically appropriate abilities.
    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall1972 View Post
    The World Wars give way to the 50s and 60s. Vietnam, Korea, and the rise of America and the Soviet Union as world superpowers. The atomic bomb and the space race.

    Still, there is the fantastic behind the scenes. Mystics predict the coming of a terrible evil. Bandits and outlaws are on the rise as the Mob comes into its own in America. Rumors abound of strange magicks in Africa and South America. Europe and Asia are hotbeds of conflict as the nations of the world begin to take sides. Assassinations and black ops begin to unfold.

    Technology advances and so does culture. Music gains a power over people even more so than in our world. Their is almost an Energy to it all. TV and other technology leads to a modernization unlike anything before. The Internet begins earlier than in our real world but is still in its beginning stages. The 70s are more like a blend of that decade with the 80s.

    It is on January 1st, 1980, that the second chronicle truly begins.
    So, a power spike when the Energy first arrives, followed by a lower-powered diffusion of the power around the globe. The Energy is still there, but it quickly moved to the shadows of society; special operations programs, criminals, and intelligence / counter-intelligence operations all emphasize the subtle and nefarious growth of powers throughout the world.

    And then everything changes. I'm imagining a Superman-style event suddenly happening; a very powerful individual appears suddenly, unexpectedly, and publicly, doing some act of "good"* and changing the way everyone views the world. Of course, other events can be equally dramatic and transformative.

    Pretty interesting stuff, with a lot of potential for some great world-building and fun role-play. I'm interested to see how you elaborate.

    Is the second chronicle where your emphasis is going to lie?


    *Good in the eighties included a lot of murder, as long as you murdered the right people and did it in a relatively antiseptic manner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ValhallaGH View Post
    Interesting.
    From the sound of it, your First Chronicle will have a very Old West feel, with creatures and men of legend.

    Giant bears, wolverines that control blizzards, wendigoes, and other savage creatures with a mixed basis in myth and biology will roam parts of the wilderness. Bandits that can turn invisible, sense metal, see for miles, hear a pin drop, leap tall trees, or have metal skin will terrify the locals. Lawmen, Pinkertons, and bounty hunters that can smell fear, track an eagle in flight, shoot men without a gun, and move any distance and time without food, will face these unknown and legendary foes. All told by dime novels and fireside tales, none of them taken seriously outside of the Dakotas and the minds of young boys.

    Fun stuff, but very different from how most people imagine a super-powered campaign. Much more like Deadlands, though with a very different tone and spread of powers. I'd keep campaigns in this era between PL 6 (SWAT level training) and PL 10 (highly experienced veteran commandos) for the heroes - any higher and they're literally powerful enough to personally change the course of America and Canada.

    Villains should be between PL 4 and PL 12 - a single narrow power set at PL 12 will alter a region or state but won't necessarily alter a nation (and you can set what powers the villains have, thereby dictating the limits of their abilities).
    That's a pretty good evaluation of the First Chronicle. Heroes and Villains that are exceptional without being superpowered are the norm. Characters with powers will likely have one or two at the most.

    Strange beasts that roam the wilderess are a real threat. I like your idea of wendigoes and giant bears. The longest lived gunmen can draw a gun faster than the eye can see and shoot with amazing accuracy.

    Characters with high superhuman ability scores probably wouldn't exist. Some with a single low superhuman score would, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by ValhallaGH View Post
    So, between adventurers, gentleman saboteurs, mad Nazi supermen, circus strongmen, and gadget-wielding inventors clash to decide the fates of nations, the world, and human souls.

    Weird science, low-level mysticism, and abilities slightly beyond human-norm are the common power themes.
    Starting in about the 1940s, we begin seeing the appearance of true super-soldiers, state-sponsored supermen built and trained for war: all of varying effectiveness and repeatability.

    If you run a game during this time, I would recommend PLs between 6 and 8. This leaves plenty of room for juggling elephants while still worrying about being shot by normal guns. I'd put most of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in this range and thematically appropriate abilities.
    League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is an excellent example of what I mean. I have to admit that I've only ever seen the movie version, which I really liked. I've never delved into the comic version.

    True super soldier programs would exist but most of the experiements end in bitter failure. Either the subject dies or goes insane, which could have its own benefits for the campaign. Imagine when the government comes calling to a group of heroes to help contain an insane super soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by ValhallaGH View Post
    So, a power spike when the Energy first arrives, followed by a lower-powered diffusion of the power around the globe. The Energy is still there, but it quickly moved to the shadows of society; special operations programs, criminals, and intelligence / counter-intelligence operations all emphasize the subtle and nefarious growth of powers throughout the world.

    And then everything changes. I'm imagining a Superman-style event suddenly happening; a very powerful individual appears suddenly, unexpectedly, and publicly, doing some act of "good"* and changing the way everyone views the world. Of course, other events can be equally dramatic and transformative.

    *Good in the eighties included a lot of murder, as long as you murdered the right people and did it in a relatively antiseptic manner.
    Again, you've hit the nail on the head. The Second Chronicle does begin with the appearance of a truly superpowered character called Darkstar. More on that character later.

    The Second Chronicle is a darker time but with some twists. It begins in 1980 and ends in the year 2100. Again, more on that later.

    Quote Originally Posted by ValhallaGH View Post
    Pretty interesting stuff, with a lot of potential for some great world-building and fun role-play. I'm interested to see how you elaborate.

    Is the second chronicle where your emphasis is going to lie?
    Thanks for the comments and suggestions. All good ideas. The Second Chronicle would be one of the primary eras of gameplay but its aftermath and the Third Chronicle that follows are important eras too.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Monday, 24th May, 2010 at 05:49 AM.

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    Each chronicle has a major secret that the heroes should not know about.

    First Chronicle Secret
    The Immortal Gunman lives beyond the time of his legend. He purposely hides himself from the world until World War I breaks out. He fights in both World War I and World War II. No one but his closest allies know who he is.

    He dies at the end of WW II while helping to defeat a Nazi plot. There is a bit of Captain America-style influence but without the fancy uniform.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 6th January, 2016 at 06:11 PM.

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    The Second Chronicle
    The second chronicle begins in the year 1980. It is a time when the world becomes a much more violent place. Black ops become commonplace across the globe and technology advances at a rapid pace. The technology of this campaign's 1980 is roughly ten years ahead of the real world.

    (The World Wide Web goes online in 1981 instead of 1991. Dolly the sheep is cloned in 1987 instead of 1997. Things like that.)

    Important events such as Chernobyl, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, and the break-up of the Soviet Union all happen as the real world although these events might have different causes that could be public or well-hidden state secrets.

    True globalization begins with and new trade agreements such as NAFTA are formed. The European Union comes into existence.

    Powerful gangs and cartels begin to dominate the street economics across the world. At first, governments fight clandestine wars against drug dealers and terrorists. However, the battles soon become an open war on the vices and evils of the world.

    The super soldier projects that were started (and then abandoned) in the 40s and 50s start up again. These projects are renewed due to a perceived threat to the power of governments.

    That threat is known as Darkstar.

    At the beginning of the 1980s, rumors of a masked hero begins to circulate through the major cities of North America. Most believe the "hero" is a myth that is told to suspected snitches to scare them from squealing. "If you help the cops, the darkman will get you."

    That sort of thing.

    However, Darkstar is very real and he is not your typical hero. He is an antihero. Think Batman but darker and meaner. He makes bad guys disappear and even goes after dirty cops and politicians.

    Throughout the 80s he remains a clandestine figure who is never truly seen or heard. He has staggering energy-like powers and can seem to manipulate the fabric of reality. Bullets seem to pass through him. He is a source of fear amongst the criminal element. No one knows his age and many believe he is some sort of alien.

    The governments and many powerful corporations see him as a grave threat. They hunt him relentlessly. They force the super soldier concept forward to field new agents that can hopefully capture him. These agents often come close but can never quite catch him. Some even secretly help him.

    The 80s are dark time dominated by a dark antihero that protects the innocent and judges the guilty. Still, most of the world doesn't truly believe he exists.

    That all changes when the Gulf War breaks out in 1991. In this timeline, the Gulf War lasts four years. As the war progresses, super soldiers begin to fight on both sides, but secretly. The conflict gets out of hand and threatens to erupt globally.

    Then, Darkstar appears on the battlefield on the side of the UN coalition. He turns the tide of the war, which only lasts for another few months. After this, the world learns of his existence and the super soldier programs, which he exposes.

    Governments still fear him but a lot of the world begins to admire him and the super soldiers that fought alongside him. They are tired of hiding and wish to be heroes.

    The 90s and early 21st Century become a time of change in every way imaginable. Science progresses a breakneck pace and technology advances to the levels that we now enjoy in the real world. The super soldier programs are forced to end, but several of them go underground.

    Crazed, power-hungry supers begin to appear, selling their services to the highest bidder. The few sane heroes left in the world battle to protect the innocent from these madmen and their creators.

    Darkstar remains a clandestine figure who works behind the scenes to try and bring the governments and corporations of the world togther to prepare for an invasion that he insists is coming. He tries to inform the world about the threat of The Darkness, but the powers-that-be refuse to listen to him.

    Then, in the year 2099, an alien agent of The Darkness arrives on Earth. It is drawn to the Energy like a moth to a flame. It kills numerous supers, both good and bad. It insists that the world bow down to it and prepare for the coming of The Darkness.

    Darkstar leads a team of supers and normals to battle the alien. The battle does not go well. Very few of the heroes survive and Darkstar sacrifices himself to destroy the alien invader.

    The people of the world mourn his passing and those who died alongside him. However, many are glad that he is gone.

    As the clock clicks over to a new century, the world begins to tear it self apart.
    Attached Files Attached Files  
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 6th January, 2016 at 06:12 PM.

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    Second Chronicle Aftermath
    This time period extends from the year 2100 to 2200.

    What I can say is this. After Darkstar's death, the number of super powered heroes begins to decline. Many are killed in wars as they continue the fight for freedom. Others mysteriously lose their abilities or are at least diminished. It is as if his death caused another diffusion of the Energy.

    Super teams become a thing of the past. Many heroes retire to a relatively normal life. They yearn for the conflicts of old. There are some second and third generation supers but they are rare.

    The Energy is still there, however. More powerful than before Darkstar appeared out of nowhere. Mutation begins to take hold amongst humanity, which is greatly feared. Rumors abound that aliens truly walk amongst humanity.

    (Many still believe Darkstar was an alien or an agent of a divinity. Cults begin to form around his worship.)

    The alien agent's death also affects the world by infecting it with a vileness that threatens to become a pandemic. Research is done and the worst of symptoms are cured. However, things get messy as Energy mixes with mutation and Darkness.

    Wars erupt in the later part of the century. Another World War. Fascism gains a foothold in South America while communist China falls. Central America becomes the new battleground. Mexico is absorbed into the United States as the New Mexican States.

    There is a renewed interest in space now that people of the world know they are not alone.
    Last edited by Knightfall; Wednesday, 6th January, 2016 at 06:13 PM.

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