The Merge Universe

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Bladewind
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Bladewind » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:04 pm

The Merge Setting Thread has been updated with betterwatchit's contribution and the character sheet list was updated.

There's also a PDF version of the setting, slightly more organized, no hyperlinks though. It can be found here.
Enigmatic One wrote:Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Bladewind » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:26 pm

Weapon Legality in Britain:

These are the weapon laws in England and Wales as they stood on the 4th of January, 2015 (the day before the Merge).

All Stun Guns, Tasers, Pistols, Machineguns (all kinds), Assault and Sniper Rifles require the permission of the Home Secretary to possess. This basically means that the only people the average Briton sees with them either all work for the government, are very closely allied to them... Or are part of the underworld, who don't really care about weapon laws anyway. Police forces, military and intelligence agencies can easily claim the need to use these types of firearms as part of their lawful duties. Anyone found with one without permission is committing unauthorised possession of a firearm, which has a five-year prison sentence. And suspected cases of owning an unauthorised firearm always result in armed police raiding your house!

Shotguns (for skeet shooting and hunting) and Carbines (for target shooting and hunting) require applying to the police for a licence. Sawn-Off Shotguns are completely illegal. Having a criminal record renders you ineligible for a licence.

Bows, non-explosive and non-chemical arrows (including Crossbows) are legal for civilians over 18 years old to own without a licence, but cannot be used for hunting. Putting them in a bag if you're not using them is a good idea.

Hand-forged Swords and other historical melee weapons are legal to own without a licence, but it's a good idea to put them in a bag as well or to otherwise conceal them. Messenger bags that can conceal melee weapons have since gotten very popular in post-Merge Britain, and the police forces have actually noticed this. Standard protocol now requires that anyone with a bag always gets searched first.

Knives can only be carried in public with a good reason.

Examples of good reasons to carry a knife in public include:
- taking knives you use at work to and from work (for example as a farmer or estate manager).
- carrying knives you use for recreational purposes, such as angler, camper, hunter, sailor, diver or any other reasonable grounds for expecting to need a knife whilst otherwise pursuing a lawful activity.
- taking knives to a gallery or museum to be exhibited.
- the knife is going to be used for theatre, film, television, historical reenactment or religious purposes, eg the kirpan that some Sikhs carry. (Note: using a knife to sacrifice a living thing is not considered a lawful activity in Britain, not even under religious grounds.)

There is a notable exemption for knives with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife. These can be carried freely. Swiss Army knives cost 3 EP and are treated as being both a Multitool and a Knife.

Body armour is legal to buy, sell, own and wear without a licence. But if you know what you're looking for, it's possible to tell that someone's wearing it. And someone known to wear it is assumed to be in a position to need it.

Grievous Bodily Harm: In Britain, it's treated as grievous bodily harm to transform someone without their knowing consent, unless you can prove both that it was the only way you could save their life and that you didn't actually cause the deadly situation in the first place. GBH is also the offence they try you under for blinding, deafening or crippling someone or deliberately infecting them with a STD.

Post-Merge, it's been ruled that deliberately depowering someone without either their knowing and informed consent or possessing government sanction to do so is also considered to be GBH.

Her Majesty's Government requires an Unusual Weapons Licence to carry such weapons, issued by the Home Office. You must be over 18 and have no criminal record. Previous military or police armed response experience helps in your favour. The card has your name, photo and the weapons you're licenced to carry. The full list is confidential, and is restricted to police and intelligence agencies. A code is given in your National Health Service medical records to indicate to your doctor that you do possess such a licence, the same with shotgun and firearm certificates. You must also be able to ensure that the weapon remains secure in your home when it is not being used.
Enigmatic One wrote:Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Bladewind » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:34 pm

Post-Merge Slang:

This is only a very small fraction of Anglosphere slang that has emerged since the Merge. PCs are encouraged to come up with their own, as long as they can add the translation in the OOC section.


Blazer: One who uses fire-based abilities.

Bleeder: Someone who willingly allows a vampire to bite them. Has also become shorthand for "suicidal idiot".

Candle: Any tower or other tall building used by fliers as a landmark or navigation aid. Known candles include the CN Tower in Toronto, Canary Wharf, the Shard and the BT Tower in London, the Berlin TV Tower, the Eiffel Tower and the Tokyo Tower.

Dapper: A DPA who uses their powers to help others.

Dipstick: (Pre-Merge) An idiot, famously used in the classic sitcom Only Fools and Horses. Post-Merge, it means a DPA who's using their powers to be a public nuisance and disturber of the peace.

DPA: Dramatically and Positively-Affected Individual. The British government's term for someone from Earth-Prime who has gained powers from the Merge.

Flier: One who can fly unaided.

Freezer: One who uses ice-based abilities.

Fulton: To aerially extract/rescue someone. From the Fulton Surface to Air Recovery System, which is popularly known from the Metal Gear Solid games. Several kinds of "Fulton harness" are widely available to allow fliers to more effectively carry/extract/rescue allies and bystanders. "If they've got any fliers, their objective will be to Fulton him!"

Hitting the Bottle: UK term, meaning to go to the Time in a Bottle pub. "If you want to ask that sort of question, the best thing to do is to hit the Bottle."

Lunatic: Anyone who worships a moon goddess. (Derogatory)

Porter: Anyone who can teleport or create portals. "They're got a porter!"

Power: UK English term for someone with abilities outside the human norm.

Random Encounter: Seeing something weird or getting into a fight while going outside. Originated from members of RPG clubs who realised that they were having them more often than they would like. "I had an encounter with some yobs on the way here, I knocked them out and told the police where they were."

Shocker: One who uses electricity-based abilities.

Solo: To fight numerous or more powerful opponents by yourself. The greater the challenge that's soloed, the more respect you get if you can actually prove it. (I.E. Someone who solos Batman will get much more respect than someone who solos a street gang.) "I don't care what anyone says, I can definitely solo him!"
Enigmatic One wrote:Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Bladewind » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:35 pm

Farringdon Railway Station

The Time in a Bottle actually "landed" a short walking distance from Farringdon Station, one of the few strokes of luck Britain got as it made it much easier for people from all over Greater London and even further afield to get somewhere where they can find kindred spirits. And the negotiations that went down in there certainly helped to increase the peace in all of Britain.

Just to give you an idea of how well-connected Farringdon is...

Farringdon Station serves the London Underground (Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines) and the Thameslink line. Basically, you can get a direct train to Brighton and to Gatwick and Luton Airports.

You can also get trains to Kings Cross for North-East England and for Scotland. If anyone knows what happened to Platform 9 3/4, they haven't said anything about it.

Farringdon also serves St. Pancras International for trains to the East Midlands, Paris and Brussels (Since late 2007, it has replaced Waterloo as London's Eurostar terminal) as well as to Liverpool Street for trains to Stansted Airport and to Harwich International for the ferry to Holland.

It also serves Paddington Station, which serves southern Wales, Devon and Cornwall all the way down to Penzance, a sleeper service to Cornwall called the English Riviera and the express trains to Heathrow Airport.

And if Transport for London find something or someone too dangerous for the police to handle while they're finishing off the Crossrail tunnels, then they know EXACTLY where to look for help.
Enigmatic One wrote:Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.
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kirinke
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by kirinke » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:59 am

Mechie: Anyone from New Mechanisburg.
Brigader: Anyone associated with the Brigade. Their insignia is an altered Heterodyne house symbol the skeleton is holding a tea leaf in addition to the scythe and trilobyte.

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Shannon 26
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Bladewind » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:05 am

Note: The Setting document (link among the first posts in the thread) has been updated with a few more locations and details. Some of which have not been posted in the thread. Mostly updates to the various undead sections, the addition of San Fransokyo and attendant hero population.
Enigmatic One wrote:Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by betterwatchit » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:51 pm

Base Raiding:

Post-Merge, it was soon discovered that several pre-Merge properties on Earth-Prime had somehow gained hidden rooms and even entire floors. People who owned such buildings but didn't want the police to deal with it started to hire XDs and empowered locals to secure them, as they had the best chance of surviving the experience. And a lot of them were amazingly up for it! After all, it meant they could do a real-life dungeon crawl! When it turned out that most of the stuff inside the new areas was still usable, word got out fast. Base raiding has since become a dangerous and profitable occupation and hobby. And if you find something you can use to empower yourself or to sell on, that's the icing on the cake.

And the places that can be raided often vary depending on region.

In America and Canada for example, people are looking for Fallout-verse Vaults, containing dangers such as homicidal robots, raiders, Super Mutants and radiation. The prize: The wonders of Vault-Tec's Atompunk technology. Pip-Boys, laser weapons, Power Armor, maybe even the Fat Man nuclear catapult! (Though that last one is understandably considered to be highly illegal for civilians to possess) And after the horrors of the Chaos Incursion, anything found that makes it easier to build and rebuild is highly valuable! The C.A.M.P. - the Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform - is a fabricator designed to quickly create new buildings after an apocalypse: just add materials. And a region with a lot of abandoned spaces like North America is ideal territory for C.A.M.P. usage. But the holy grail of Vault raiders has become the G.E.C.K.: the Garden of Eden Creation Kit. The G.E.C.K. is a terraforming module designed to bring life back to a nuclear wasteland and it is the very pinnacle of Vault-Tec's advanced technology.

In the Old World, people have actually raided real castle and palace dungeons! Americans have been known to travel to Europe to hit an recently discovered dungeon, so they can say to their friends that they did a real dungeon crawl!

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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Bladewind » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:16 pm

Nice.

Added to the Setting Document. Put it under the sections
of "Coping with the Merge" with its own heading.
Enigmatic One wrote:Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Neo-Paladin » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:25 pm

A tidbit from betterwatchit

Jewish people have been talking about powers as much as anyone else. Some think it's acceptable to use them on the Shabbat while others think it isn't. Some think that their powers are God-given and who knows, they might be on to something. But there is one principle in pre-Merge Jewish law that informs most of them: Pikuach Nefesh.

It describes the principle that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious consideration. Anything in the Torah that says not to do something becomes inapplicable when compliance would endanger a life. Jewish emergency personnel do not consider it a violation of the Shabbat to work on that day because of that principle.

Post-Merge, Pikuach Nefesh means that if an observant Jew has powers and they see someone in danger, they can and must use their powers if possible to save that person's life and get them back out of danger. And the definition of "human life" has been expanded to include pretty much any other sapient species.

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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Neo-Paladin » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:26 pm

Germany - current situation

Interestingly, mainland Europe has fewer breakouts of superhuman power in Natives than most other areas of the world, but the ones who develop powers are either stronger or have multiple powers whereas in, for example, China, more people break out but fewer have really noteworthy powers that put them in the top-tier of the O'Brian-Holt-scale of superhuman power (measured from 1 - baseline human to 20 - God-Entities).

Even prior to the Merge, Germany has, like many other parts of Europe, seen an unfortunate rise in right-wing ideologies and groups in the wake of the migrant crisis. While migration has lessened considerably thanks to the Wakandan Outreach program stabilizing several African states, the emergence of superpowers and magic has emboldened groups on both the right and left fringes of society.

In the post-Merge world the G20 riots in Hamburg were several magnitudes worse as several supers associated with the Antifa movement like Anarcho and Antipatriot caused massive destruction and several deaths among police and civilians alike. The worst was only prevented by the efforts of the Guard, the primarily-German superteam - who are, ironically, still wanted for vigilantism in Germany, despite the fact that they are the only ones organized enough to keep the balance while the EU struggles to field a superteam on their own.

The right-wing crazies have become much more organized and rallied around several X-Ds like a version of the Red Skull, a magically-immortalized Heinrich Himmler and a crazed military scientist named Strasse (also known as Deaths Head or General Totenkopf) and newly broken out supers like Angrboda (a 12-feet-tall statuesque woman with an entropic aura) and Allvater (a psychic, who was formally a member of the Reichsbürger movement and became even more crazed after his powers manifested, which include clairvoyance, at least six extra senses and a limited but frightfully accurate ability to calculate future events).

Without the Guard, civil war might have already broken out - and that does not even count the monsters which seem to favour Europe for some reason. Meanwhile, as always, German and EU law is lagging behind, trying to build up some sort of defense while preoccupying themselves with suspected threats of Russian domination or the migration from Syria ( a hellhole in the truest sense of the word in the post-Merge world)...and, of course, the Brexit.

Oh, and hunting those as criminals who are trying to protect citizens.....yeah, things are rosy...

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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Bladewind » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:11 am

Updated setting document with the last two entries. The section on Judaism was added to the section on Coping with the Merged Universe: Religion and Germany was added to the section on Merged Earth Atlas; The European Union (Germany)

I am thinking of adding off the coast of San Fransokyo the submerged city from DC's Tangent line: - And yes, I'm well aware I'm putting it on the west coast when in the comics it was on the East Coast near Florida/ Cuba.
Enigmatic One wrote:Note to self, get Bruce and his Bat-force to take this one.
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by kirinke » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:39 am

I'd also think that Mechanisburg and Latveria have both naturally become economic and military power-houses, simply because they're the most stable governments in the region and are helping other nearby governments stabilize things in their own unique way as well. Strangely enough, the two rulers act as cooling rods to their more err negative aspects though I'm sure you can put it better.
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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by Neo-Paladin » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:52 pm

Finally managed to get a description of the Guard up, now that I have mentioned them several times...

The Guard

It's ironic that the team seen internationally as the European equivalent of the Justice League of America is a gang of outlaws simply because of current EU legislation. Hailing mostly from Germany (with one member of British origin), the team is doing its best to keep the monsters and both the far-left and far-right crazies from demolishing Europe until the EU has finally managed to field a superteam of their own – which they still struggle to do, thanks to internal squabbles.

What makes the group unique, besides their lawless status is that they have the same power source – the weaponry and armor created by The Radiant, equipment based on „ conceptual engines“. These devices function surprisingly similar to Lantern Rings, although they are not solely based on emotions but oftentimes broader concepts.

These devices work on technological levels up to a point but once one delves into their deeper workings, it becomes obvious that metaphysics are involved that skirt the edge of outright magic.

Also, according to an interview he gave in 2016, Radiant himself does not design these items with their later function in mind. Instead, once someone uses the devices for the first time, they become intrinsically linked to them and begin to draw on a concept their user wishes to embody or already embodies. After that, they can no longer be used by anyone else.

As a whole, the group tries to stay politically neutral, although they do clearly state their stance against repressive political regimes. They do, however, stand against radical far-left groups as much as they fight the far-right, stating that radicals only end up hurting civilians, which they will not tolerate.

This has brought them quite a long list of enemies but also endeared them to many moderates and some even have started to lobby against their current status as fugitives from the law, given that the Guard (or „ die Garde“ in German) have risked life and limb numerous times to protect citizens, politicians and police officers in equal measure.

Internationally, the group has only acted in any meaningful way during the Chaos Incursion where they worked with several mages and scientists to create the means to stabilize reality around the earth. Other than that, they try to stay in Europe and clean up their own backyard instead of getting involved in even more politics – although they are recognized as a legitimately powerful team (with everyone around PL 10 when in armor).

Currently, the headquarters of the Guard have been relocated from beneath an old WW2 bunker in the German city of Kiel to New Mechanicsburg, Latveria.


In 2018, the group numbers six people:

The Radiant
The only member of the group that possesses actual superpowers, he is a tinker or „ Bastler“ in German, capable of creating the conceptual engines powering the group's armor and weaponry. He also built the group's ship, the „ Lohn der Hoffnung“ (Hope's Reward), which is even capable of spaceflight.

His own armor is powered by heroism, the desire to do good no matter the odds. Looking like a fluid blend between a medieval knightly plate and modern analogues like the Eldar armors from Warhammer 40k and the armors found in the Destiny games, it has winged flight, an energy field and functions as power armor, increasing his speed and strength to superhuman levels. In addition, it is capable of unleashing devastating beams of light from its hands and the glowing lines all over the armor.
In combat, he uses twin swords linked to his armor which can cut through most materials short of vibranium or adamantium.

His great knowledge of pop and nerd culture as well as history both real and fictional provide another asset for the group.

As the tinker and creator of the Guard's armaments, he is also the only one capable of repairing them when their generators are damaged (superficial damage can be undone by anyone who can work with electronics). However, and this is a secret only him and the other members of the Guard know....he has no idea what he is actually doing.

His tinkering happens during manic states that seem more like sleepwalking than conscious action. He has no clear memories of creating the engines, the armors (he is actually utterly oblivious when it comes to engineering of any kind) or the ship, let alone where he actually built them or where he got the materials. Given that, in his civilian identity, he used to work in customer service and barely made above minimum wage, it becomes even more strange.

Underneath the armor, The Radiant is a painfully normal-looking guy in his mid-30s with a ponytail, dark green eyes, glasses and a goatee. Outside of his armor, it also becomes apparent that he suffers from social anxiety and depression, a fact which he abhors – and thus, the simple fact that he actually forces himself to take off the armor time and again just to remind himself how normal humans feel may be the most heroic thing about him.

Crimson Fury

The only member of the group who holds no secret identity, the redheaded British woman going by the name of Crimson Fury is named Jennifer Cowl and is, as all of them, wanted in Europe for vigilantism. Her association with the group came through her long-standing relationship to Radiant.

Her armor, looking more like an armored crimson longcoat over a black coverall/synthweave costume appearing quite similar to recent incarnations of Batman's thinner suits, is powered by her passion for life and superheroing. It includes winged flight (with black wings as opposed to Radiant's white ones), superhuman reflexes and speeds even more pronounced than Radiant's and superhuman strength.

Her weapons are twin vibro-claws that sprout from her gauntlets as well as the Razor Halo, a ring made of razor-edged metal that hovers above her head and can either be grabbed and used as a melee weapon that can cut through even adamantium or broken apart by a mental command and hurled as a devastating storm of flechettes.

Proudly identifying as a neo-pagan, her study of myth and religion has also helped the group deal with certain monsters or magical X-Ds. Interestingly, she is not much different when out of armor, a friendly and cheerful, if brash, woman in her late 20s, except that she is less prone to taking risks, while in armor, the feedback from the generators sometimes make her passion for battle overtake her common sense.



Wrathhammer

A short, heavyset man in armor resembling a high-tech version of fantasy dwarven armor with glowing red lines, Wrathhammer's power lies in his simmering anger, which he can not only pour into his armor to briefly enter a trance-like state in which his strength and durability exceed Radiant's by several orders og magnitude, but also which he can use to devastating effect when using the two-handed maul linked to the armor, creating shockwaves that can pulverize stone and steel easily. His armor lacks flight capacity but his jumps can easily take him up dozens of meters in a single bound.

A long-time friend of Radiant's in his civilian identity, Wrathhammer was the second person after Radiant himself to use a conceptual generator, to great effect. Not only that but the device also had a calming effect on his often belligerent and choleric personality, making him much more mellow and adjusted.

In fact, people who have seen him in combat would be surprised to see that his civilian identity is actually an incredibly nice guy – if one can ignore his contrarian tendencies – who parties hard, laughs readily and completely relishes that he finally got rid of the burden of fury that accompanied him all his life.

Mindshade

The man known as Mindshade cuts an imposing figure, tall, bearded and muscled, intimidating even outside of his armor. A complex man, he became disassociated with his own emotions due to an abusive childhood, but trained himself to nonetheless be as empathic and helpful as possible.

His armor basically only consists of the generator strapped to his back, a black shirt and matching pants as well as a series of cables running up to a cap on his head that allows him to focus his own mental turmoil into an aura that causes opponents within a certain distance (dependent upon his concentration) to find their thoughts slipping, memories fading and certainly replaced by confusion.

The armor also generates a psychic field that makes it very hard to look at Mindshade as well as block most direct attacks. He usually runs interference and tries to go for ranged opponents, given that his strength is less amplified than with most other armors.

Outside the armor, he is usually quiet, preferring to be a looming presence, although he is the one to most readily criticize Radiant, a fact for which the leader of the Guard is secretly very grateful, given that the responsibilit of leading the group on his own seems overwehelming at times...

Her Hidden Majesty

A slender, androgynous-looking woman, she and Radiant have been friends for almost a decade, behaving and occasionally bickering like brother and sister. A consummate LARPer ( a hobby which has become somewhat redundant – not to mention dangerous – in the Merged World) and expert archer, her armor reflected her abilities quickly.

Looking like a much more slender version of Radiant's own armor, her suit generates a bow and whatever ammunition she desires. The soles of her buits can become frictionless or adhesive, letting her skate around at frightening speeds or find purchase against the steepest walls, keeping her hands free to use her bow.

The bow and the visor integrated into the hood of her armor allow her to aim and shoot at targets from distances of up to 5 kilometers away – fitting, as she hates melee combat, although she is not that bad at it, the armor providing a boost to speed and strength only slightly less than Radiant's. The armor can also enter „ stealth mode“, in which it becomes effectively invisible.

Out of armor, she is a shy woman who would never take center stage on her own, despite encouragements from both Radiant and her girlfriend to become more self-assured. Besides Radiant, she is probably the one who has the most doubts about what she is actually doing and what might happen if she fails – a desire to remain outside of focus is actually what powers her armor.

Sun Knightess

The longstanding girlfriend of Her Hidden Majesty, she is, both in and out of armor, a cheerful, strong and optimistic person – when not in one of manic phases during which her intensity can scare people off.

Her armor is powered by her desire to help others and shoulder the burden of their safety as well as her love for all animals. While her armor looks like a slightly futuristic ceremonial knightly plate, she can also create a winged pegasus-like mount to ride, covered in the same armor....armor which also envelops any animal she touches. In theory, it would allow her to control them as well, but she would never force any other creature to fight and thus uses it only to protect beasts caught in the crossfire or allow them to defend themselves more effectively.

She also bears a weapon that looks like a hand crossbow but actually shoots bolts of energy that have two uses...either they create a jolt of force that knocks people away or they engulf people in a forcefield that can withstand a direct hit from a tank's main gun.
She often stays out of the melee and instead flies around on her mount, keeping civilians safe or disrupting ranged combatants.

Out of armor, she looks like a woman in her late 20s with long, dark hair and an almost perpetual but very honest smile.

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Re: The Merge Universe

Post by kirinke » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:51 pm

Currently, the headquarters of the Guard have been relocated from beneath an old WW2 bunker in the German city of Kiel to New Mechanicsburg, Latveria.
New Mechanicsburg is an independent city-state, but it is closely allied with Latveria and the two governments work closely together. More or less, if you screw with one, you screw with both. So it is easy for others to assume that New Mechanicsburgis is a part of Latveria, when in fact they are separate governments.
Kirinke's Compendium of Wondrous Creatures
Kirinke's Conversions (D&D Items to M&M3E Rules)

Shannon 26
Sektor Init: 1d20+7 26
Sherlock 23
Kar'Anna 22
Amy 15
Lindsey 11
Rand 11 (Arriving round two)
Goon 1 - 4
Goon 2 - 4
Other Goons ?

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