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Charlotte

Justice League of Eberron OOC Thread

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Charlotte    7

It was called the Last War as a warning.

For a hundred years, ever since the rite of succession in the Five Kingdoms was ignored and a thousand years of relative peace came to an end, the continent of Khorvaire has been seized by war. Desperation pushed the limits of magic to destructive heights undreamed of, birthing a new race of animate constructs, delivering new modes of flying transport, and culminating in an unclaimed act of magical terrorism, wiping the nation of Cyre off the face of the continent.

Sick and weary of war, two years ago the Treaty of Thronehold was signed, putting an end to the Last War, with the best of intentions of ensuring it was the Last War - because another, on the scale witnessed, could end all life on the world of Eberron. The magical constructs called the warforged have been granted personhood, and struggle to adapt to a world without war - as does everyone else. With a hundred years of grudges across national lines, with everyone knowing someone who died or suffered in the war, there are a lot of people in Khorvaire not willing to let bygones be bygones.

Those are just the threats within the Five Nations. The emissaries from Sarlona are eagerly stepping in to help with refugees and shortages, but nothing comes without a price. The lost continent of Xen'drix is opening to exploration, and could contain anything - including nothing more than a sad repeat of the history of colonialism against its drow natives. There are stirrings of activity within the Cult of the Dragon Below, their long-term insane goal being the revival of the dread wyrm Tiamat - and the dragons of Argonessen are thought to be taking an unusual interest in the affairs in Khorvaire. There are tales of a warforged god building a nation in the ruins of Cyre, and the Dragonmarked houses - centers of magical trade, and relatively unscathed by war - are up to something.

To hold the world together may be an impossible task.

But to some of the exceptional people emerging worldwide, only nothing is impossible.

What's the game? A superhero game set in Eberron.

Why Eberron? Eberron is a setting for Dungeons and Dragons that advances the general feel and timeline of the "fantasy consensus universe" from medieval Ye Olden Times to the stories of the post-World War 1 pulp era. Less Bilbo Baggins and more Indiana Jones.

In the consciousness of Western society, the pulp heroes gave way to the superheroes in the late 1930s and early 1940's. This is a game about Eberron making that transition.

Why superheroes? They're awesome, and I feel that a pulp fantasy universe allows for fresh possibilities with the genre, either taking fantasy archtypes up to the level of superheroics, or lending superheroic archtypes a fresh perspective within Eberron's borders.

Where in Eberron is this set? Initially, Khorvaire. Not to say that you have to come from there, but that you have to wind up there by the time the team is ready to form.

What's this about a team? One of the unusual things I want to do with this game is that I want to run it comics-universe style - as in, every character initially has a solo thread where you have your own adventure, then you get together with the team in a group thread, then we have both your solo thread and your group thread going simultaneously. Like how members of the Justice League or the Avengers have their solo books and then the team book - or if movies are your frame of reference, how we get Captain America or Superman movies in between Avengers and Justice League films.

So how will that work? Like this.

Solo threads: origin story for you
Then team thread: the team comes together for its first big adventure.
Then solo threads and team thread running in parallel: or close to parallel, with perhaps a month or two off in between. Future story ideas may be seeded in group threads and followed through in solo threads, or vice versa. If something life-changing happens in one thread, we assume that the other thread took place before that.

That's a little unusual. It is! But play-by-post gives us an ideal place to pursue it, since the slower pace means more attention can be focused on the individual members.

Also, if you don't want a solo thread, you don't have to have one past your introduction, so if you think it's a bad idea, it won't directly affect you. If you don't want to be in the group thread, that's also something I can accomodate.

What system are you using? Depends on the feedback I get. I'm weighing either FATE Accelerated, with some superhero specific tweaks, or Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition, also with some tweaks.

What style or tone of play are you looking for? Akin to the DC Animated Universe of the 90's and 00's, or the better Marvel movies. Realistic on an emotional level - as in "this crazy thing that happened is crazy" - but not necessarily on a physics level ("what tensile strength is required for Big Crazy Thing to be real?") and with the social impact level limited so that it doesn't get in the way of the genre. Essentially, the core truth of the game's tone is that it's a world with superheroes and that needs superheroes.

How many people are you looking for? About five to six to start with.

I am interested! That's great!

I'm not interested! Okay.

I have questions! Ask them below.

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Jordan    3

This does sound interesting.  Out of the 2 game systems mentioned I'd prefer M&M3, but I know that is not everyone else's cup o' tea :)

EDIT: I take it the characters should be rooted in the fantasy/pulpy genre that is Eberron?  Characters wield weapons of power and/or Magic would be fairly normal?  What kinds of super hero tropes and powers would you prefer players shied away from?

Edited by Jordan

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SalmonMax    34

This sounds pretty cool to me! Eberron is perfect for a steampunky inventor type, and M&M3 is great for writing such a character up!

 

I think FATE would also be fine, I'm just not as sure of my footing with that system so I'd probably need more attention as I fumble through it. :)

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Charlotte    7

To answer Jordan's question: I would like characters rooted in Eberron's lore, but if you have to err on either side of "fantasy archetype vs. superheroic archetype," err on superheroes. The major archetypes fit surprisingly well in Eberron.

As a few examples:

  • A former member of House Cannith renounces his ties after having been badly wounded by a weapon he himself invented for the dragonmarked house. He lends his formidable magewright genius to creating a suit of armor with the most cutting edge magical defense systems and nonlethal weapons he can come up with, that will also administer the regular dosage of healing energy that will keep the mortal wound he suffered at bay.
  • A Sharn noble's parents are killed, and despite being not even ten, his naturally inquisitive mind turns to why. Deciding that vengeance against one criminal is nothing, the young boy - now a man - vows an eternal war against all crime and corruption in Sharn. Armed with a lifetime's training and the right tools for any job, by day he lends his riches to charity and social progress, and by night he gives the worst of Sharn's citizens reason to fear going out at night.
  • A principled yet soft-spoken reporter for the Sharn Inquisitive has a secret - he is actually the last of the aasimar, catapulted as an infant from his doomed dimension. Raised by farmers who beheld the horrors of war and instilled in the man a strong sense of social justice, the reporter discovered he had amazing gifts under Eberron's skies, and in times of disaster or trouble, he is there for any soul who needs his help.
  • Finally, the character I created years ago for an Eberron game: a young Cyran lieutenant, petrified by a monster and missing out on the entire Last War before revived in the modern day. Her reversion to flesh is imperfect, and as time goes on, she becomes a fusion of flesh and stone, a living statue with the strength of fifty warforged, an enchanted magical shield, and a simple credo: "while I live, Cyre will never die."

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I'm finding myself attracted to the idea of a wandering young acolyte of the Silver Flame, blessed with holy powers and feeling he has a unique task placed upon him.

Let all who worship evil's might, burn with the power of the Silver Flame's Light!

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Charlotte    7

Also, don't be afraid to elevate D&D archetypes to a superheroic level, since it can be done also.

As an example, you could argue that Wonder Woman's modern warrior-princess incarnation fits the "fighter" archetype, with a background of "from a far-away land." What makes her a superhero is that instead of scraping through a dungeon looking for gold coins to upgrade her indestructible bracers, she's travelling to a new world as part of a cultural exchange. Her more unusual abilities fit that metaphorical archetype (able to communicate with all living things, lasso that compels the truth, etc. - all this says "breaking down barriers," which also fits the explicit feminism of Wonder Woman.)

As another example, what makes Doctor Strange a superhero and not, for example, an Nth level wizard, is that Doctor Strange has a level of responsibility that falls singularly on him as Sorcerer Supreme, and he has a suitably melodramatic origin (egomaniac doctor who lost his surgical skills in a car accident, and in his quest for treatment, encountered a mystic that healed his soul instead of his hands.)

As a third example, there is an entire nation in Khorvaire that is literally "the monster nation" of Droamm, and there are no alignment restrictions in Eberron, which is a perfect way to fit in a "good" monster - and Eberron has room for all the monsters of D&D's history, so there are a lot to choose from. 

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Charlotte, I don't know how familiar you are with 3.5, but there was a class called Beguiler. It had a static spell list that it couldn't change and the spells were mostly enchantment and illusion. They were skill monkeys too, on par with bards. They also had trapfinding :D My question, how do you think you'd turn this into a superhero? Also if you're cool with such a concept :P

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Charlotte    7

Necronaut: The pitch looks good! Don't delve into mechanics just yet, since I'll put up house rules later today.

Beautiful Dreamer: Depends on what your superhero origin is. Were you a thief that was granted mystical powers by something you stole? Were you given these powers in order to steal something, like the Ant-Man movie? If you don't have thief skills but more social butterfly skills, were you a diplomat before you got your powers? Did you get them from an exploding doomsday machine, a long-lost mystical artifact, exposure to extradimensional energies from the orbiting planes of existence, or something else?

Don't worry too much about trapfinding, since there will not be a lot of trapfinding in the D&D sense.

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Charlotte    7

So here is who we have, and what they're interested in playing:

SalmonMax: Warforged?

Jeremy: Thranish Acolyte of the Silver Flame with silver flame powers

Beautiful Dreamer: Beguiler, scaled up

Jordan: Cyran super-soldier

Necronaut: Super-changeling

Anyone else who's interested, please let me know, and I'll update this list.

As for system, general tilt seems to be towards Mutants and Masterminds 3, so we'll go with that. The big changes I want to make are these:

  • This is a good post summarizing how trading attack/defense for damage/toughness is an advantageous trade where it really ought to be an even trade, so I'm limiting tradeoffs to +1 in either direction to start with.
  • For arrays, I'm limiting powers to start to two settings tops. You can have a primary setting on an array and an alternate setting; if you want more powers than that, you'll have to buy a new power set. (For example, you can have a Damage power with an alternate setting of an Affliction; however, a Damage power with four settings, one for each defense type, is not allowed.) I hope to have this solve the "my character can do anything" problem with some M&M3 concepts. This doesn't limit one-time stunts that you perform with hero points. EDIT: it's been pointed out to me that this hobbles arrays, but not variable type powers, and is probably a little unfair. So I'll allow arrays with more than two settings, with the caveat that they need approval from me.
  • M&M3 is better for it, but try to get away from powers that disable non-mook enemies in one hit. This has been a problem in previous game I've been in also.

If you need information on the background of Eberron, here's a compiled document on the history and tone of the setting, and here is the unofficial Eberron Wiki.

Let me all know what you want to play, if you need help with mechanics, or anything else. Thanks for reading!

Edited by Charlotte
Changed mind about arrays

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Charlotte    7

Just two reminders: 

Beautiful Dreamer, I haven't gotten a character concept out of you. Are you still interested, and able to post?

Everyone, I'm hoping to launch soon, so I'd like to get sheets and backgrounds in from everyone soon.

Also, I'm still recruiting, and we can take on one more player in addition to SalmonMax, Jeremy, Necronaut, and Jordan.

To get all character creation information in one place:

  • System is Mutants and Masterminds 3E
  • Tradeoffs are limited to +1 in either direction, since higher damage is better than higher to-hit, but I still want to preserve some customizability.
  • Arrays are allowed, but don't go too overboard with them. As an unofficial rule, no one character should be able to target more than two defenses. This is to prevent "I can do ANYthing!" syndrome.
  • One-shot powers are less of an issue in M&M3E, but you should still steer clear of them, since they're kind of unfun.
  • In terms of background, the game's scope is Khorvaire, so you should either be from there, or be living there/about to start living there. Don't feel you can't go intercontinental with your concept.
  • The game can accommodate both scaled-up D&D characters as well as superheroic archetypes, but I tend to tilt towards superheroic archetypes as a personal preference.
  • Ideally, your background should contain at least two, if not more, of the following types of characters: parental figure, rival, partner or ex-partner, love interest or ex-love interest, nemesis, friend, or mysterious figure.
  • Give me a rough idea how you want your first "origin issue" to go. Bearing in mind that all threads are public, so any information in these threads will be readable by anyone.
  • You don't need a "superhero name," but if you don't pick one, the papers are probably going to give you one once your activities are noticed.

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Charlotte

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From the brief descriptions that are up of what everyone else is doing, I'm thinking some sort of psychic. Maybe an Inspired that managed to fight off possession and retained some of the more potent psionic abilities of the quori that attempted to possess them? Or even that they are possessed still, but in control?

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Charlotte    7

Okay, I'm putting up a firm deadline, of one week from today. That is, I need finalized sheets and backgrounds by October 28, 2015.

Nearly everyone's characters are done, just a little bit of pointwise fiddling is left. So:

  • If you have NPC archetypes you'd like to introduce but don't develop them yourself, I'll do it for you.
  • If you have points unspent, they'll be going unspent for the first leg of the story.

I plan to start up everyone's solo threads on October 31, 2015, or thereabouts. That's ten days from today.

The way it'll work is that everyone will be in a solo thread to start, then a group thread, then - if posting enthusiasm is high enough -concurrent or near-concurrent group and solo threads. But that's a bridge we'll cross later.

If you don't think you can keep up a regular posting schedule, please let me know as soon as possible.

Otherwise: welcome to the Justice League of Eberron.

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Charlotte    7

Just so you all know, this is still going ahead! I had to help someone move and then go to jury selection, and that ate up some time. I hope to have everyone's first posts up in the next couple days.

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Charlotte    7

We are live! All collector's item #1 issues are over here!

This is my first time using the forum creation functionality of the site, so let me know if you run into any snags, You should, however, all have invites inviting you to join.

Now, a word about posting schedules.

I'm going to keep this, for now, on the Tuesday and Friday update cycle - which means that I will update your thread, should there be a response, on Tuesdays and Fridays, or as close to those days as I can get.

However, due to the delays in getting this launched, I'm going to give everyone until next Tuesday - November the 10th - to post, before I start nagging people to get posts in.

This is under normal circumstances. Under combat circumstances, speed is more important, so try to get your post in within 48 hours of me declaring that it's your turn to post.

Finally, if anyone could show me how to move this thread into the game's OOC forum, that's be vastly appreciated.

Hope you all have a good tiime!

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Matt    20
11 hours ago, Charlotte said:

This is my first time using the forum creation functionality of the site, so let me know if you run into any snags, You should, however, all have invites inviting you to join.

Thanks for being the first person to create a game with the current functionality.  Please let me know if you have any issues.

11 hours ago, Charlotte said:

Finally, if anyone could show me how to move this thread into the game's OOC forum, that's be vastly appreciated.

Currently, I have to move the recruitment threads into the forum.

 

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Charlotte    7

Right now, I'd like to know how to put up a custom banner, and change the game's icon in the listing of games. I'm also interested in putting it in the listing of games that's on the front page.

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Charlotte    7

A legitimate complaint has surfaced in how, when I update half a dozen threads simultaneously, it drowns out the rest of the Recently feed. Is there a way to turn that off for the individual threads, and then I can post that the threads have updated in the OOC thread, and have that be the only one that shows up in the Recently feed?

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Dawn OOC    56

I don't know of a way. We used to be able to block individual threads but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Unless Chosen knows a work-around, I don't think there is a way.

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Charlotte    7

Latest round of updates are live! Now, an update to the posting schedule.

Due to a change in how my work days are lined up, I'm moving the update schedule for the games to Tuesday and Saturday, most likely in the evening. We'll still be updating twice a week for the time being.

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Jordan    3

Charlotte, I'm really sorry I haven't been around or responded.  The bugs got really bad and my landlord is calling in a fumigator.  Hopefully once this is dealt with I'll be of right enough mind to actually participate.

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Charlotte    7

Posting rates seem to have fallen off, which is completely understandable, as it's the holiday season and that'll eat anyone alive. So I don't mind that folks haven't posted as much these past couple weeks.

But! Holidays are over, so please do try to get back in the swing of things as quickly as you can. I know that Max is missing in action due to his Internet bidding farewell, but to the best of my knowledge everyone else should be good to go.

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Dawn OOC    56

Yeah, I know I haven't been posting as much as I like, and I'm sorry for that. I've been struggling with some (hopefully) short-term depression. I hope this will improve soon but with the first anniversary of my sister's death coming up on the 11th of this month, I can't promise that. I hope to be completely out of this by the end of January, however. 

Thank you for your patience. I know this isn't easy to deal with.

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