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Joani

Mutants & Masterminds:M&M3E [Cyberwar] Game proposal

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Hey folks,

I know I haven't been around for a while but I'm considering a comeback for an idea I've been working on which I'd love to see come to live on this site.

I always liked to create settings which are inspired by the usual genre majors like Marvel's X-Men and mix it with cyberpunk which is my one true roleplaying love.

So what am I proposing?

I'm looking for a group of interested players to try an original setting (created by me) using M&M 3e as the game's rules.

What's going to be the style?

I'd like to call it an evolution of my Future Imperfect Setting which started as an Aberrant Alternate Universe and was revived later using M&M3E. Some of you might remember that game and I still remember it very fondly myself. It created some awesome characters and exceptional stories which I connect to the best times I had around here.

Nostalgia is of course a strong aphrodisiac and motivator and I am certainly prone to the "good-old-times" haze that can influence your judgement. I suppose that's why we're humans and we all make mistakes some time sometimes.

Back to the topic - I prefer strong personal style over flashy combats and heavy rules induced sequences (usually combat). Flashy combat can be awesome, though - but also time consuming and I hate rules-discussions because I generally try to avoid scenes which require "ruling". This may also be considered one of my weaknesses.

What's the setting going to be?

Ghost in the Shell, meets Deus Ex: Human revolution vs. Total Recall spiced with some X-Men Ultimates - in a nutshell.

The not too distant future on Earth. The Moon has been colonized and Earth is struggling with the consequences of climate change and political turmoil. Most countries are run by Megacorporations or Megacorporations act as countries, giving their employees a liftetime citizenship.

There have also been wars which changed the face of the political maps and the once united European and American states are a shadow of their former selves, scattered and broken. China has emerged as a strong but also merciless power which isolated itself even more than before and is slowly growing on the asian continent swallowing everything around them.

Technology has advanced beyond your wildest dreams, cyberware is a common sight, augmentations both biological and mechanical are no longer science fiction. For a while progress was doing more good than destroying (except for the environment). But now a new 'power' has entered the stage.

Science has found a way to manipulate memories which quickly spawned many byproducts like sleep-inducers which can be programmed for lucid dreaming but also illegal applications which let people literally hack someone's mind and not only cause severe cerebral damage, but also alter someone's personality up to completely wiping their memories. The latter has never officially been accomplished but the rumors are abundant.

Shortly after this genetic mutations have surfaced. First on the Moon-colonies but later also on Earth. Mutations of a very scary and unusual kind giving those mutants unique abilities which let them control and manipulate technology, the Net or other phenomenon. The most feared though remain - the Erasers. Brainhackers who can wipe your memories.

What are the limits?

While this is not strictly a superheroes game it has a strong (wanted) influence of supernatural powers but the list is going to be restricted for balancing reasons. Travelpowers such as Teleport and Portals do not exist. Superspeed will be limited, also other superphysical traits. Think of Captain America or Spiderman and less of Thor or Superman in terms of what is possible.

Being a mutant is optional (talking about character creation here) - you can achieve the same by going fully cyber (up to so called full body conversions, turning you basically into something like Robocop) or relying on advanced technology/gadgets or a combination of those. I'd like to stick to my tradtional Powerthemes which means if you decide to play a mutant focus on one powerset which defines your character. I prefer characters who have weaknesses and not an answer to every conceivable situation they encounter. Let your team-mates shine, too.

What's the Powerlevel?

I'm currently looking at PL7 game with enemies ranging between PL 5 and 10 depending on the encounter.

While the setting will be rather dark and gritty with mature content (not exclusively what most people might think now) focussing on the PCs struggle for survival this is also their story making them the "Heroes" of the game (wanted or unwanted).

So do you think you want to be part of this?

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I'm all for it. Welcome back, man.

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So how do you want to class characters at the start, as criminals? Mega-corp employees?

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What about genetic manipulation? Instead of being all chromed up, you have fully customized bio-modifications? Or perhaps a little of both?

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I'm all for it. Welcome back, man.

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So how do you want to class characters at the start, as criminals? Mega-corp employees?

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preferably everyone should start out quiet "normal". Mega-Corp employee, someone who has not yet pierced the veil but is about to.

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What about genetic manipulation? Instead of being all chromed up, you have fully customized bio-modifications? Or perhaps a little of both?

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I'm ok with both ways, or any combination of the above mentioned (not only your example here). You might create a latent mutant with only minor powers but half-cybered. The PL should deal with the balance. If you end up with a trait or skill at a certain level I don't care if it's from biological/genetical modification or cyberware. You have full freedom to design your PC the way you want within the PL-Limitations and my approval of themed powersets.

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I'll try to elaborate more on the more common and uncommon powersets and also on the limits I want to enforce concerning physical strength etc. (No Hulks/Superman, i. e.)

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So there is a supernatural element to this as you mention "piercing the veil". Is there magic in this setting? Or just what has been hinted at with the mutations?

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So there is a supernatural element to this as you mention "piercing the veil". Is there magic in this setting? Or just what has been hinted at with the mutations?

I think it was figure of speech.

What Jordan said

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Before you go all bezerk - I'll be posting a few details about Character Creation and limitations soonish. If everything goes well by tomorrow evening.

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Character Creation Q&A

Powers are going to be restricted to a certain degree and level.

Mutants in this setting have primarily mental/psy powers.

Very few possess physical powers and the limit here is on par with Captain America's portrayal in the movies. You won't be able to dodge bullets or be impervious to harm and you won't heal from fatal blows in the blink of an eye or two. But you will be superior to any normal human and should be on par with cybernetically enhanced (N)PCs.

You can combine Powers and Cybernetics - there are no restrictions or drawbacks.

Magic does not exist in this game.

Let's move on to what is actually possible and what not.

I can't actually provide a comprehensive list of what is possible and what not, that would take far too much time and work to be productive. Instead I have to ask you guys to bear with me and understand that I'm going to try to explain what I'm looking for not using specific examples (although some may automatically come to mind of course)

So what's the don'ts?

No Human Torches or bodymorphers who assume or shapeshift into a different 'alien' shape or are made of unubtainium (spelling?)

basically everything that would instantly give you away as a Mutant (like in Aberrant acquired by taint) is off limits. What I would accept are side effects of using your powers - like glowing eyes or having a special halo like effect but nothing that would be a permanent effect.

Powers that I encourage or welcome would be:

Affliction (with the right descriptors fitting the setting)

Blast (psy-based)

Communication

Comprehend

Concealment

Damage

Dazzle

Enhanced Trait

Feature (my call of course)

Illusion

Mind Control

Mind Reading

Nullify

Remote Sensing

Senses

Strike

Concerning more physical powers - I can best describe it this way - if it can be achieved through technology/cyberware then I'm fine with having it as a power instead. So Wolverine Claws could be doable, but no Icemans or Pyros or even Magnetos (though an electromagnetic variant could work)

I am sorry I can't be more precise on this topic. If a cyberpunk/cyberware tag can be applied, then it is probably going to be approved/ok.

Let's talk stats.

PL 7 but you get 120pps for creation.

Try to create everyday Joe's or Jane's. If you want to create someone with a more elaborate job that's fine, just try to keep things not too 'special' at first. You're going to be special soon enough.

Mutants are not restricted. You can also go for one of the Erasers (Mind/Memory Hacker) if you want - I'd have to put a limit on it, if suddenly everyone wants to be an Eraser. Erasers are going to have a very hard time, mind that.

Moon and Megacorp's are going to be my next post.

PM me with questions - I expect a lot.

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This looks very interesting! Many years ago, I had a Trinity character named Jeremiah Plonksy that I really liked, but the game died out quickly. I think he would be a nice fit for this game; he was very good with tech, had some electricity powers, and was sort of an homage to Case, the protagonist in Neuromancer. I'll start working on him!

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Questions that came up in chat the last days:

Can my character have animal traits?

Yes actually. I may have been unclear what I meant with "no physical Mutations".

To clarify - there is a whole subculture dedicated to people who try to achieve an animal-like look through gene-splicing and/or cyberware. You can have cybernetical implants which look animal-like by design. Catlike Ears or Eyes for example or even more extreme like digitigrade legs.

This may let a mutant with such extreme physical changes actually appear as part of that subculture but it's not how mutations work in this game. You cannot be a catgirl by mutation/birth - but you can be through cyberware and biogenetic manipulation. It's just not the same thing in this setting.

Can my character be a professional xyz?

By creating average Jane's or Joe's I didn't mean to compete for the most boring background you can conceive. What I was trying to establish is to have the PCs start at the lower tier and work themselves up to something special instead of starting right away as secret agents or black ops specialists. You certainly could fill those roles with your traits and abilities, but what I was trying to say/ask for is, to create people with relatively normal jobs. Yes, you can be military, but it shouldn't be special forces right away. You can work for Corporate Security, but you're just one of the guys. Guard No. Z on his or her shift.

I want you to put a bit more thought into your PCs personal background and circumstance of living. Most are likely to have family ties, since the Megacorps enforce this way of living. They want to have loyal subjects and at first you all should be. Maybe you're aware of inequalities (most certainly, to be precise), but they're far away, in another country or another Megacorp. Your life at the start of the game should be fine and comfortable. You earn your wage, you can afford some luxury every once in a while. You would be reluctant to let it all go. You're a happy drone/slave and your problems revolve around mundane things like not being able to go on vacation when you wanted to or problems with your boy/girlfriend or husband/wife.

Normal stuff.

Things will change soon fast enough, don't worry.


Can I be insanely rich/wealthy?

Money is the best superpower or so they say...

This goes to you Batman's and Tony Starks - This background would require a lot of work and would most certainly drag you into the world of the Megacorps in ways you might regret later on. It's extremely unlikely to be wealthy and independent. You might be the son or daughter of a Governmental Contractor who would produce something important for a Megacorp for instance - we could work something out on that level. But you certainly wouldn't be free to do or go wherever you want. You might have luxury and everything that comes with great wealth but you'd be living in a gilded cage. I don't want to destroy concepts with these limitations but this would impact the story too much in a way I don't want to go.

Being famous or out in the public wouldn't last for long and would quickly be a liability for you and the group. You might end up getting mad at me because I'd be forced to take away a potentially big part of your character and I wouldn't like to do that. If that is the story you want to tell, though we might work something out that fits.

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The Moon Colonies

in this setting the Moon has been colonized by two of the four major Megacorps.

The colonies serve two purposes - for one they represent one of humanity's biggest achievements, not only travelling but also living on the moon and having created a way to travel to it on a more or less regular way which is done via the Skybridge.

The Skybridge is a monumental construction that reaches from Earth to the Moon which is essentially a huge elevator that allows travel between earth and it's trabant. Travelling to the Moon is not exclusive to the two Megacorps. It also attracts tourists and is even encouraged/advertised. The Moon has a huge Entertainment sector which was purely created for those who have always dreamed to travel to the stars or have an 'otherworldy' experience. The attractions created are certainly unforgettable.

The other major reason for the Colonies is space of living and mining minerals found on the moon which are used for industrial purposes. It also is the HQ for the newest project - Mars. The colonization of Mars is already founded and ready. It is only a question of time until the first pioneers will start their mission.

The Colonies are highly advanced complexes with the latest technologies which enable people not only to live on the moon but also experience an earthlike atmosphere and gravity. Everything seems to be accounted for and accidents are scarcely heard of.

Still - living on the Moon remains but a dream to most people...

The Moon is governed by a cooperation of two Megacorps - Lloyd Biotics, leading manufacturer of custom Biotics and creator of the first artificial intelligence lifeforms - Androids. Most cyberware has been developed and produced by Lloyd.

The second Megacorp is Project Lachesis, a mystically enshrouded Corporation which is led by the very charismatic CEO Helena Decima. Project Lachesis is known for being a ruthless powermongering Megacorp which seems to perfectly fit the description of every prejudice one might have against such corporations. Lachesis rules the stock markets and is the most wealthiest of the four Megacorps but at the same time they are dependent of their competitors because they are not known for being innovativ but instead act like a swarm of locusts which consume (buy) everything in their path to power. Lachesis has provided most of the funds to create the Skybridge and made settlement on the Moon possible by providing the necessary financial power and stability for the daring project. They are also main investors for the mission to Mars.

Character's who want to start on the Moon are by default either employed by Lachesis or LLoyd. Also since the first Mutants have been sighted (or rumored to be) on the Moon it is most likely that any Mutant concept is also either from the Colonies or was born their and moved down to Earth.

In case of questions - just PM me or if they are of a more general type, ask them here.

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BTW, I think this fits what I'm aiming for better... that previous pic is her in more... dressy type clothes. This is her being a operator operating operationally.

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Vm1hgxh.jpg

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My character? She has a conscience... but it will be pushed aside for convenience... perhaps more than I normally do with a character.

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Almost want to say she is more logical than anything... but she's a human brain in a robotic body... that's not really the case. In fact she's not that smart... average, really.

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What she is... is someone that thinks force is a better answer at times. She might need to be talked down from that stance on occasion. I think I got a bit of an archetype in my head for her personality.

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So if you're wondering (and I'm sure some people are)... Mina got signed off to Lloyds at 2 years old to get the procedure done to put her in a prosthetic body. Her parents couldn't afford it on their own (as children are a far more complex procedure as most people get the procedure done as an adult). She's spent most her 22 years of life being trained in Lloyd's Military and Security concepts division. She showed aptitude as a pilot, and was hot-shotted into that program.

She's seen some combat, spent some time running for her life on the ground, all sorts of scary stuff. But out of it all she has a mid-level job, and has actually at times flown directors for her division through some pretty scary parts of the world. She can fight, preferring to use her retractable claws, although she is also a good shot as well. Preferring to use a custom pistol designed to take down heavily armored cyborgs or androids.

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She's not really a grunt, but not anywhere near Maverick yet. She just loves being behind the stick, and Lloyds knows this, using the opportunity to fly test aircraft or to simply get behind the best aircraft in the sky to keep her loyal. That and Lloyd's is the only family she's ever known and doesn't know any other life. Heck, she doesn't even know what life is like away from the various HQ barracks for the military/security cyborgs under Lloyd's employ.

A dyed in the graphene military-bred girl.

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I wanted to post something about the other two Megacorps today but instead I have to post this because it seems more urgent.

I've been away for a bit over a year now and at first I was glad to see familiar faces again and see that the site is still going (maybe not as 'strong' or frequent as it used to but going).

Anyway - in the span of less than a week the whole shit and drama that seem to revolve around the same people again and again came crushing down over me so I feel the need to address this in the most mature and educated way I can.

The tl;dr version - Just stop it.

So what is going on?

Without telling names there are people who seem to know better than other what I am looking for in this game or not and then there are people who don't seem to be able to apply common sense and go totally insane because of that.

And all this makes me feel sick to be honest. I am trying to have fun here and it didn't take more than 72 hours to almost drive it to ruin. Either by constant complaining about what is meant with x or y and then putting passive pressure on me by saying things like - I haven't pointed out clearly enough what I am looking for in this game. Or in simpler words 'what's the point!?

Now regarding my game proposal - When I said "try to create average Jane's and Joe's" I was trying to say that instead of going with a usually professional background like "former Black-Ops Agent" or "Champion of underground movement" or "Richest Stud of the richest" or "Masterhacker extraordinaire" or or or - create someone less extraordinary at the beginning of things. Someone who is not part of the underground world or who is fully aware of the conspiracies happening and has already gathered enough data (but hard to sell evidence) that something is going on behind the perfect facade of Corporate life.

I want you to be the Security Guards, Pilots, personal Assisstants - those who usually are relatively content with their lives as wage 'slaves' because they don't feel much enslaved as they have access to everything if they need it. People who would defend their Corp out a sense of loyalty but not to a degree which borders on being brainwashed, but someone who would question the motives of someone else who told them - what if the world is not the place you think it is? People Shadowrunners/Criminals both loath and envy because they don't know/are not aware of how evil the world actually is. Especially the MegaCorps and their agendas.

The story I want to tell is the path of those who start oblivious of the going ons and then suddenly get drawn into the rabbit hole and see how deep it really goes. Your not supposed to create the most dumb or boring individual possible and having a military background (equivalent of Corp Security) is also not out of reach. You can be a cybered up soldier if you want that - but not the commanding officer which doesn't mean you are less capable, it just means I want you to be one of the faces in the crowd and start to stand out as part of your character development. I don't want the PCs to be outstanding from the beginning (But have the skills/powers/gadgets/equipment to be if they decided to break out of their protected daily routine).

So this poses some difficulties creating a "reasonable" Character which I may have overlooked (or in my imagination not considered such a problem). Anyway - I could have gone the path of "here, have 75 PPs, create a base template" and then give you the rest of the PPs once you "become aware" - which could work for some concepts and would totally destroy others.

So instead of doing that I ask you to use your 120 PPs and have fun with it (add powers and equipment and be creative) but keep in mind that your PC will start out in a more or less ordinary job with average social ties and no reason to question your employer given the current knowledge you have about your employer. This should not stop you from having full cybernetic replacements or other enhancements. The military/CorpSec is not the only section that requires such specialised employees. You can find full cyborgs in construction or partially cybered up people in accounting (if it helps them perform better). This world is full of tech and it has become second nature and not unusual. It's rather unusual to find someone who is not cybernetically enhanced in one way or another. Almost everyone has a Datajack/neural interface because everything is connected that way. Wifi and cable are both present and utilized for different effect/reason. Wifi of course is more ubiquitous. Some people may even opted to go full cyborg because they are sick of their flesh in the literal way. They don't want to get old or be mindful of their diet - they can always have the perfect body which always work (as long as you keep your routine checks but you would do the same with your car, wouldn't you?)

You can spent parts of your PPs and save the rest for later if it fits your concept (like a mutant who is about to manifest his powers for the first time). Or if your background involves getting cybered up after an accident that happens during your prelude (if you want to play that instead of writing it into your background). I don't want to limit these options at all. Create the Character you want and try to think out of the box. I would also recommend to watch some of the movies which focus on near/dark future settings (even the old, campy ones) if it has been done on the screen/movies, then it certainly can be done in an RPG. Imagine a world that can be perfect at first glance - where everything and everyone is taken care of by the MegaCorps and resources seem to be abundant and limitless. If it can't be done in the physical world, then you'll have a perfect Cyberspace simulation of it instead - this certainly will cover all things sinful (you know - the internet is for porn. Cyberspace is just an evolution of that...).

Check out Japanes subcultures to get a feel for how strange/extreme things can be and while it can still be unusual in most western oriented Megacorps it's a common sight on the other side of the globe. Don't forget, China and Japan are two of the most influential countries left in the world one of the Megacorps is Japanese (which I wanted to post today but that'll have to wait a few days, since this seemed more important). I also recommend checking the old Cyberpunk 2020 and especially their Chromebooks - those give a good insight to what modifications can be bought and will be common sight on the streets.

Closing thoughts

Stop bullying those who seem to be socially defenseless or insecure about almost everything.

Stop whining and complaining about everything you don't even know about and most of all stop putting words in my mouth. Stop pressuring me without reason.

I have never and never will screw with someone's PC in my games - not as a GM and also not as Player although I did play PCs who were capable of such feats. Everything I ever did happened with player consent.

I don't GM/ST to kill PCs or ruin character concepts. That's just not my thing.

My GM style may have deus-ex-machina elements. Most of the time I try to interact with the Player/Group and let them be in charge of what is happening while providing reactions of the world I created. Not every action may make sense to you but that is part of the game and I can't simulate everything perfectly.

English is not my native tongue - I may have a different understanding of words and figure of speeches. There may also be cultural differences I am not aware of. If there is a bad way and a good/neutral way to interpret what I said/wrote,I always mean the better option.

Don't be a dick.

Ok, I'm done

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Alright...

I don't think my initial background idea (posted above here) runs counter to your wishes. I'm nothing big, but she is a soldier. I only say soldier as she was trained/equipped to be in combat situations. She loves her job because one, Lloyd's fostered in her a sense of gratitude, they practically raised her so she will spout the company line easily. Not to say she can be swayed, she still is a human brain in a mechanical body. Second her life as a pilot and sometimes ground-pounding PMC is something she knows and loves. It's all she knows and to her world view it is all she knows. She doesn't mind that as really she's had nothing to compare her "life" to others.

That makes any reality check for her a major shaking (even shattering) of her paradigm.

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The game looks great, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to jump into this one; starting to think I'm a bit over extended between my PbP and TT games. I might change my mind, though.

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I have a busy week, both private and at work.

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New updates about background etc. will be delivered as soon as I can. Looking at Saturday or late Sunday.

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Might I suggest posting it unfinished, even if only in a PM, so the site itself keeps it backed up?

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Then you just edit the post to update it as you work on it.

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That's what I often do.

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I don't send incomplete characters.

Anyways starting to get very frustrated as now my free non-gaming time is being taking up with this.

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