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Shinn

Mutants & Masterminds:[M&M] S.T.A.R.S.

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UPDATE (11-22 3:30-ish pm Eastern)

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-Small update. Not rushing, just keeping tabs on the builds I have and if I need info to add to the setting. If the summary is off, or you want to add to said summary, let me know.

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Current Interests/Sign-ups (PC name will be underlined):

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Casey Blankenship- Daughter of famous superhero Vigilant (or something similar) and a regular 'mundane'; she's your basic flying brick with a few other cool powers. Build Received

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Sakurako Hino- Exchange student from Japan's Shugo-Tai [ 守護隊 ] (Guardian Squad) Program. Super smart, somewhat skilled, some tech gadgetry, can throw ordinary things as ranged weapons.

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Hyoseph- Teleporter, possible thief/ninja PM sent. You're okay?

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SalmonMax- Half human/fey. Next time you're in chat (or via PM) Tell me a bit more about fey world as you envision it.

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Dawn- Teen who has stole alien organotech from a group of mercenary scientists to help her escape their clutches. Technology allows her to accumulate knowledge.

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Arctic- Cold Controller/Manipulator. Build Received

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Dave- Son of Vidar, Norse god. Can't allow such a background to go unfleshed out. Need to chat about it when you're able.

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Welcome to Superheroic Training, Awareness and Readiness School, also known by it's infinitely less cheesy name, STARS.

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This special school's purpose is twofold: One, to train young heroes and heroines to the ins and outs of daring due, including how to properly use powers without collateral damage, rescuing hostages in perilous situations, how to use your powers creatively, and ultimately, maintain a heroic image that will help the hero community as a whole.

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Second: to provide the Freedom Squadron, the ultimate force of good, a fresh batch of rookies to fill in their reserves as older members retire or move on.

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Not every Graduate of STARS will join the Freedom Squadron's reserves (only the best reach that honor, especially since space in the reserves are limited enough as is). Some other options include becoming part of an official Law Enforcement Agency (pending background check) or becoming a deputized agent of the law (note that you will still be bound by the legal system of the state you're operating from).

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The PC's you create will be te exceptional of the new batch of students to this school. While you may be surrounded by other metas, something about you stands out.

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For those interested (I already have two) notes to keep in mind:

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1. the character build is pl 8/120 pp. Keep things simple and as stock as you can. I may let up on this later, but for now, I want to avoid messy builds. Two complications. One Background related, one that can come up while you're in the school.

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--1b. The following will not be allowed:

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Variable (Alternate Powers and Alternate Form are acceptable), including powers that uses them by default. You can try to convince me otherwise if a build uses it in a minor role.

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No Time Travel (can be used as a descriptor).

No Pre/Post-cognition

No Telepathy

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2. In your background, include something that would have your character stand out, something that you wouldn't mind popping up into the story for good or ill. You could be the son, daughter of a hero (or villain). You could be a foreign exchange student from another country who is part of that nations super team program. You could be a young android who is learning the ways of heroism from the ground up. Choice is yours.

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--2b. WHY would the school be interested in your character? Special recommendation? A notable heroic action? Concern that you might be led astray?

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--2c. And don't forget Motivation.

3. This will mostly be a narrative game. I aim for that due to combat slowing the pacing of pbp games down. However, keep in mind as you make your build, that fights are a possibility. Unless you don't mind portraying a walking target or someone that needs protecting, it would behoove you to have some sort of offensive/defensive ability or options.

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4. This school holds many secrets that, meta speaking, your character won't know about. I would say what tey were, but finding them out will be half the fun. Think of the school like Hogwarts of Harry Potter fame. Up until your hero is invited, you may have heard a rumour about, or may not even know it existed.

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5. The tone of this game will be almost similar to Harry Potter pre-Goblet of Fire (before the Racism, Emo-Harry, and death). There will be mature content, but nothing too dark. IF this turns dark, I will give you a heads up. In a nutshell, I'm not cueing up M. Night twists just yet. Things may even be seen coming a mile away. I'm going to start this slow, get a grip on how you all like to push things, then adapt from there.

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6. As a GM, one thing that I encourage is communication above all. Have a story idea, hit me with it. Want to implement your background in a special way? Hit me with it. Unless it's truely off the wall OR unfair towards other players, I rarely say no. I can and will say no, I just rarely do it.

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7. From what I've seen, I don't think I should type this, but I'll do it anyway to cover my bases: Respect one another. Avoid the big no-nos (disrespecting Religion, Politics, Gender identity). I'm not saying you can't rp under those, just sow a bit of respectful tolerance. Also, if you have a problem with another player OR need a leave of absence, drop me a PM. Don't post it in the OOC, POST ME THE PM. This guarantees not only that I will catch it (as oppose to me having a derp moment and over looking it in OOC), but that potential irl conflicts might be subverted/resolved without interfereing with the fun.

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So yeah, that's it. Any questions, you can ask them. ^_^

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Well, as we've been talking, I'm definitely interested in this. Working on the character now.

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Character concept: Exchange student from Japan's Shugo-Tai [ 守護隊 ] (Guardian Squad) Program.

Powers: Super smart, somewhat skilled, some tech gadgetry, can throw ordinary things as ranged weapons.

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Assuming Real Life™ doesn't rear up to kick me in the teeth this time, I would be interested.

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Any particular no-no's in the powers department outside of the Variable? I imagine shapeshifting / Alternate form is going to be fairly rough as it defaults to being a Variable, what else? (I imagine functional Time Travel to be pretty solidly a no, even if the player somehow managed to integrate it into the game in a way that didn't derail the whole thing). ((Though Time Travel as a descriptor could be cool: "I summon my device weapon FROM THE FUTURE!!!" or something))

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Assuming Real Life doesn't rear up to kick me in the teeth this time, I would be interested.

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Any particular no-no's in the powers department outside of the Variable? I imagine shapeshifting / Alternate form is going to be fairly rough as it defaults to being a Variable, what else? (I imagine functional Time Travel to be pretty solidly a no, even if the player somehow managed to integrate it into the game in a way that didn't derail the whole thing). ((Though Time Travel as a descriptor could be cool: "I summon my device weapon FROM THE FUTURE!!!" or something))

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Very, good point.

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Right. No variable, including powers that uses them by default. You can try to convince me otherwise if a build uses it in a minor roll.

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No Time Travel (can be used as a descriptor).

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No Pre/Post-cognition

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No Telepathy.

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Any particular no-no's in the powers department outside of the Variable? I imagine shapeshifting / Alternate form is going to be fairly rough as it defaults to being a Variable, what else?

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As a note, Alternate Form doesn't have to be Variable. It just means you have two (or more, if you build alternate forms off the first) forms. The Hulk is an example of this: he doesn't have a variable form, he has his alternate form, the Hulk form.

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Given that Tommy's called dibs on the Techie, I'm going to be calling dibs on the Teleporter. Let the illusions of space, distance, and other such trivialities be cast aside. Freedom!!!

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Plus, as Nightcrawler teaches us, teleportation comes with ninja-fu so there :)

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Looks pretty interesting.

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I'll see what I can come up with.

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I'd like to try a 'super mage' sort if that's okay. Hm. Or maybe something more tricksterish...

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You've seen my build for Casey, so all I need to nail down is her background and complications. On that subject, can we still do Motivations? They're technically considered to be Complications, but I really feel they add a lot to the character. This is just a matter of curiosity, but does the 'No Telepathy' rule mean it doesn't exist as a power, or you just don't want player characters having it? If it's the latter, I totally understand and am cool with it. I'm just curious. So my character is Casey Blankenship, daughter of famous superhero Vigilant (or something similar) and a regular 'mundane'; she's your basic flying brick with a few other cool powers.

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OP updated. Also will close recruitment if I get one more sign-up, but I definitely have enough to make this a go. :)

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Me, please. Looking at an infomancer - more to come as I think of it.

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Max, my idea shouldn't conflict with yours but if you'd like to talk about it, catch me in chat.

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No worries Dawn. My ideas are still pretty unformed. Plenty of room for us both.

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What kind of powers are you thinking? Well, you can PM me or I'll try to catch you tomorrow...

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Hyo here, not a new profile, just pulling out an old one :)

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Power Summary - "Zero Point" -- All space is a singular point. Distance, relative positioning, space, barriers, and the like are illusions given form and structure by the observation of others. As such, teleportation, redirection, remote sensing, portals, these are his areas of expertise.

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"Complication" -- Nonviolent -- Preston understands on a practical level that there are certain solutions that require a forceful solution. However, due to the Zero Point, he can't help but think that on some level the violent are just attacking themselves. As such, Preston avoids violent action except when acting defensively, and even then he attempts to mitigate harm done and would much rather redirect violent forces already in effect rather than create his own.

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Why STARS -- When the powers that be discovered an individual to whom space, distance, relative position, and other such things were quickly becoming meaningless, they decided that it was much better to at least attempt to guide the individual in a favorable direction if at all possible.

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Today or Tomorrow I should have a character ready. Just waiting for some advice on a couple things.

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Namely, how can I simulate while when one thing is active, that I can have it cause a penalty to other things while it's active? (For instance a boost to Toughness that penalizes Parry and Dodge.)

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Addendum: Shinn, would you allow Enhance Trait to be applied negatively for this? (For instance I take extra Protection that goes over cap, but take a penalty in the form of a negative Enhance Trait to balance the trade-off?)

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The Fluff being is that when Sakurako knows she's about to get into a fight where the firepower will be a bit more than her armor at it's default setting can handle, she can cause the armor to toughen or bulk up so while it's more protective, it reduces her ability to avoid that inbound firepower in the process.

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Note: Just asked on the ATT Forums. I'll get a basic read, but you are the final judge on this, Shinn.

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Solution: You can take "Reduced Trait" as a flaw, so, I have my solution. :D

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I know you said you were closing recruitment, but I'd like to sign up as well if you'll take another. If not, that's cool, I understand. If you're not looking for another I'll take up the queue in case someone drops out.

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As far as a concept, I'm going to wait to make sure you're looking for another before I start working on a PC.

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Dave, why not. Seven it is.

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Recruitment is now closed, but feel free to join the waitlist, those of you still interested!

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So, two questions for you seven::

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One, would you guys/gals prefer being First years or Juniors returning for your second term? I flirted the idea of someof you being Juniors and the rest Freshmen, but that may not workout too well.

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Second, how would you all feel about being the 'first class', basically, you all are the prototype students who will be put through the paces of the school, and thus have to endure the rough edges as the 'administrators' learn the ropes and try to smooth out the process.

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I'm good either way, though freshmen would be younger than 16? Or would that just be first year in this school, as opposed to freshmen in highschool?

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As for the second...that'd be fine with me. :)

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I am totally down for the 'first class' concept; it allows for mistakes from both the player and GM, and I think that's a GOOD thing. Freshman will be harder to swing, but as the first class we get some of those 'freshie' benefits without the age conflict. As a special academy, S.T.A.R.S. might sort of blend right into college in a way. I am really excited by this game, and welcome Dave!

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Given the unorthodox nature of the facility, there is no reason that "freshman year" couldn't start later for them than for "regular" schools. "Powers" are discovered in late middle school / early high school, paperwork is gone over, parents are talked to, rooms made available, power focused curricula designed, and then (and only then) does the student actually start attending.

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No wonder the "Freshies" are 16+, the bureaucracy takes forever :)

Just my $0.02

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If we're going to be 15+ then I think that using conventional terms would be confusing. Treating the school more like a college-prep that merges straight into college (as Casey suggested) and just operate with the understanding that these kids are outside the normal system might be better. You could make up new terms or just call them 'First Years', 'Second Years' and so on.

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Keep in mind that most of these students have already been in high school or received some kind of instruction. They don't need Freshman material; they're more advanced than that. Calling them freshmen in high school isn't accurate.

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I agree with Dawn on the 'First Year/Second Year' terminology; it makes the most sense, since while we are all starting out, calling us 'freshmen' would seem insulting, and the last thing you want to do is alienate a bunch of teenagers with superpowers! BTW, how many students will there be, both PCs and NPCs, in total?

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Dawn makes a valid point and I'm inclined to agree with her. I mean hell, regardless of what hard and fast rule you set down for terminology we, as angsty teenage PCs, are going to tear down all the conventions anyway by addressing each other as Freshies, Onesies, Twosies, or any other assorted words we can make up that will best describe either our or our fellow classmates current status. From a responsible adult point of view, chances are they would, regardless of how long STARS has been active, address each student based on what year they're actually attending from a strictly academic perspective. So if my PC was a Junior at his old school, he'd be a Junior at the STARS Academy and so on. It's just easier that way.

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I noticed that you're allowing things like androids so I'm curious about whether or not you'd allow demi-gods. Not actual gods, like a 16 year old Zeus or something (although I so would if you'd let me! Hehe, a god reduced to a kid again, sign me up!) but a race of beings who are so powerful they seem like gods with technology that blurs the line between magic and science. Yes, like the Aesir from the Thor movies. I was wanting to make the son of Vidar. Now, in Norse mythology, Vidar is already an asshole so chances are he's not going to be winning any dad of the year awards. Vidar had his fun, went home, and left the mother to raise the kid.

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Why would they want him at the school? Because he's the only living half-god (that the PCs know of, mwahahaha!). If this race of beings has such amazing technology, why would you not want to make friends with them? By taking they're wayward relative under their wing and giving him a good home and education is certainly a way to show your good intentions (mind you no one knows his dad is a colossal dick). Vidar himself can turn out to be a villain (he's a god of vengeance, so any slight he can use as an excuse to be a jerk) or an antagonist (constantly putting his son in danger to test his mettle and by proxy his friends are swept in the ensuing chaos), hell he might actually turn out to be a stand up guy who was just afraid of fatherhood! (I mean, seriously... kids... what do you feed em? Do you neeed permits for them? Plus the diapers, the crying all the time... totally cramps the bachelor lifestyle).

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In a Percy Jackson-ish way he was told of his legacy once he hit puberty and his powers manifested, be it by his mother or his immediate family (Sif, Freya, Idun). He can't call on any gods for help because he's still technically 'mortal', and if there's one thing the Norse don't do it's hold your hand. If this kid is going to be something special one day, he's going to have to carve his name in the stones of history all on his own (with some help from his super buddies). Maybe they show up from time to time to give him those heart to hearts that all teenagers seem to need one in awhile, but they're RP tools, not allies.

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His concept would be a Powerhouse (strength and durability) mingled with Weapon Master (because what Aesir doesn't know how to fight).

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I would think 1st Year, 2nd Year, etc... is absolutely fine. I just want to know if we're still doing the 16+ or 15+. Just so I can write this background properly.

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One question though, when you say we're limited to two complications, that is two normal complications not including the required motivation, correct?

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Okay then.

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We will still be doing the 15+. The PC's will be first years and the First Class of the school. The ages can vary, as the School policy will not be based on educational level, but the time in which they entered (similar to college). Any necessary schooling will be done on the side. For the record, STARS won't be considered a School, but an Acadamy. So the concept of High School or Middle School or whatever can be all mingled into on facility if needs be.

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The length of a complete school term (from enrollment to graduation) will go at the speed of plot. This way, things won't have to be forced feed and if things go a certain direction, they can.

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One final thing: think about what goals you want your PC to accomplish in this game/campaign. What short term Goals will he she be after? What long term Goals would you want them to accomplish if we did a series finale sort of thing? What problems would you like or envision your character solving?

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You can PM them to me or we can talk here or chat. :)

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@DAVE

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If I follow this correctly, you aim to be this world's Asgardian (Mythical Race emmisary)? If so, I have no problems, as it will allow me to subtly bring Mythology into the picture. So, yeah, I accept.

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@CASEY

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A lot. Not astronomical, mind you, but enough for a bit of diversity. Keep in mind what I said in the OP: Your PC's stand out from the rest of these students in someway. Thus if their are alot of them, that makes you a small percentage. There will be some significant npc students as well, based on some of your backgrounds, but ultimately, the spotlight will be on the PC's. If this was the comic book, the reader will almost be certain that these seven students, by virtue of being featured.

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Avoiding an exact number, so that I'm free to create npc's as need be.

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@Saku

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I re-read the rules. 1 Motivation and 1 complication.

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Okay seeing what you're wanting here, I'm gonna refine a little. By Friday you'll have a character, I got some stuff to think about.

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I re-read the rules. 1 Motivation and 1 complication.
Okay, then I have an extra complication to drop; I guess her famous dad is more just a part of her background, so maybe I will keep her on-campus NPC rival instead.

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There's nothing wrong with having more than one complications. I think what Shinn means to say is you have to have a minimum of one, not only one.

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...the character build is pl 8/120 pp. Keep things simple and as stock as you can. I may let up on this later, but for now, I want to avoid messy builds. Two complications. One Background related, one that can come up while you're in the school....

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I think he only wants us to have two, our motivation and our one complication, to keep things simple to start. Can I get some clarification on this, Shinn?

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Since some of you already had two complications, you can keep them and add a Motivation. Push comes to shove, you have more opportunity for HP's.

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I made a mistake earlier in saying that you had 2 complications.

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Someone reminded me that you needed a motivation. So I edited that in.

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Then someone asked me if they had to drop one of their 2 complications to add a motivation. To that question, I said no.

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So if you already have two complications, just add a Motivation. Otherwise, 1 complication and 1 motivation minimum. Clear enough?

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So those that submitted before this change get to keep their extra complication, while the rest have just a motivation and complication?

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Okay... just some of us will have fewer Hero Point opportunities because of that. I'm sure events in game might make up the slack, but it can cause point acceleration.

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The use of the word 'minimum' in the GM's sentence implies to me...well hell, pretty much confirms to me...that if you want more than one Complication, you can have them. You just can't not have any.

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So no one has to go without Victory Point opportunities, though I'm sure those who self-flagellate with a page and a half of tragic flaws may be given a gimlet eye for their trouble. :)

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Ah. Just sometimes when people say "Minimum" they mean "only".

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Very well I'll take it as written then.

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Please tell me there will ne a villain zombie guy with a rocket launcher who follows us around saying "STARS" ... because that would be super.

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Please tell me there will ne a villain zombie guy with a rocket launcher who follows us around saying "STARS" ... because that would be super.

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We have a saying at the local game shop. Never give the GM ideas. :P

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