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Timeline Update

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:32 am
by Davies
July: The Arsenal of Democracy (assisted, covertly, by ARCADE Team Three) leads a raid on an abandoned church in Denver, believed to be housing Dracula. They are nearly wiped out, with only a badly injured Patriot escaping capture or worse, and managing to warn AEGIS that Dracula has joined forces with Herald Sisyphus, the Oblivion Knight -- and Ultimaid, who has apparently betrayed the Arsenal.

Re: Timeline Update

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:15 am
by MacynSnow
Davies wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:32 am
July: The Arsenal of Democracy (assisted, covertly, by ARCADE Team Three) leads a raid on an abandoned church in Denver, believed to be housing Dracula. They are nearly wiped out, with only a badly injured Patriot escaping capture or worse, and managing to warn AEGIS that Dracula has joined forces with Herald Sisyphus, the Oblivion Knight -- and Ultimaid, who has apparently betrayed the Arsenal.
WHY IN THE NAME OF DUGH MCCLURE.....Ok,The Arsenal getting stomped into the ground by the first three is one thing,but ULTIMAID betraying then?!

Re: Timeline Update

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:22 am
by Davies
MacynSnow wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:15 am
WHY IN THE NAME OF DUGH MCCLURE.....Ok,The Arsenal getting stomped into the ground by the first three is one thing,but ULTIMAID betraying then?!

Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:57 pm
by greycrusader
Does Dracula somehow have the three under his sway? Unlikely, given their nature, but curious because traditionally Vlad has three "brides".

Given all three are more powerful than he is, and have either powerful patrons (Oblivion Knight) and/or friends and family (Ultimaid), the old vampire may have gotten a bit too ambitious this time around.

Interested in where this is going.

All my best.

Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:44 pm
by Davies
greycrusader wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:57 pm
Does Dracula somehow have the three under his sway? Unlikely, given their nature, but curious because traditionally Vlad has three "brides".
According to the Patriot's report, the Herald and the Knight did not appear to have been vampirized. Annnnnd that's all I'm going to say on the subject for now. 8-)

To Live ...: The REALLY Big Picture

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:31 am
by Davies
Towards the end of the thirty-third century of the common era, the regions of space best known to Earth-descended humanity looked something like this.


The Sol system was theoretically the sector capital of the Solarian Rim sector of the Deneban Empire, but though taxes were paid and bases for the Imperial Fleet were maintained, it had been centuries since the Empire had shown any particular interest in this region of space, being vastly more concerned with regions of the Empire closer to Deneb and with their enemies in the anti-psionic Zodan Hegemony. Even those nations of the Sol system which were aware of the existence of the Empire (as most of Earth's civilizations were decidedly not) returned this lack of interest in kind.

The Empire was ruled by a large family of superhumans, supposedly descended from Earth's legendary Atom Family, though notably lacking that group's fabled altruism. For the most part, as long as the taxes were paid and the Empire's rule of the space between the stars was unchallenged, the Empire was content to allow its subject territories to govern themselves as they saw fit. Thus, a vast variety of system and planetary governments flourished under the frequently notional rule of Deneb. Should one of the royal family take an interest in a given world, however, all bets were off. There were very few limits on what a royal was permitted to do.

Rimward of the Solarian Rim lay the Imperium of Mann -- or at least those sectors of known space claimed by the Imperium. Their homeworld was located in a region of space far Spinward of known space, but connected to it by a gigantic wyrmhole that opened up near the Imperium's regional capital. Their ancestors had formerly ruled parts of Earth, and believed that rule of the planet (and the other planets of the Sol system) was the divine right of their immortal Emperor. However, the many threats to their rule of not only these sectors, but also their territories on the far side of the wyrmhole, had thus far prevented them from directing enough force towards the Solarian Rim to overcome its defenders.

Spinward of the Imperium of Mann were the regions formerly known as the Grue Unity, or the Grue Remnants as they were better known. At the very start of the Great Disasters, the Grue Metamind and an entity known as the Dragon had apparently destroyed each other and the entire planet of Gruen Prime in the process. What remained of the Unity were a dozen or more pocket empires ruled over by Metagrues, with a handful of states (such as the Illthusian Tyranny) governed by former slaves of the Grue. Despite their mutual hostilities, the Metagrues could and would unite to oppose intrusions by the Imperium.

Trailing the Imperium of Mann was the Star League, a multi-species polity that claimed descent from the fallen Confederation, but was in truth territory which had been secretly ruled by the Argents. Thought defeated in the early 21st century after Collapsar's disappearance forced Tellax the Redeemer into a standby mode, the ancient construct's servants continued to serve what they believed to be their master's wishes. Refugees from the Confederation were welcomed into the Star League's care, becoming new experimental subjects for the Argents' studies in directed evolution.

Coreward of the Star League was a polity dubbed The Ten Thousand Worlds (which encompassed an order of magnitude more inhabitable planets than that.) Descended from worlds which had been ruled by the Mihral Hegemony, their ancestors had thrown off the rule of the Mihral in the twenty-fifth century, and built a new civilization. Tragically, owing to lingering hatred of the Mihral and their most common enforcers, this civilization was every bit as hostile towards 'roundheaded' (i.e. human-like) species as the Imperium of Mann was hostile towards non-human-like species. Roundheaded refugee fleets driven from the Ten Thousand Worlds reached the Confederation in the mid 26th century, and some believe that this 'invasion' may have been part of the Great Disasters. Regardless, the Ten Thousand Worlds were unceasingly opposed to the Deneban Empire, though there was very little contact between the two nations.

Author's Note: That map does look a little familiar, doesn't it?

Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:39 pm
by greycrusader
Hey. great to see you picking this thread back up, Davies! I love your take on WofF setting.

All my best.

Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:05 pm
by Davies
<belated> Thanks! I might be posting character sheets for some of the NPCs encountered in my current campaign in the Character Sheet thread once we reach a break in actual play.

To Live...: Planets of The Solar System

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:34 am
by Davies
Mercury: Closest planet to the sun, Mercury is known for its solar power collection system -- which, owing to its position and advances in materials science, is many millions of times more efficient than the solar panels used in the twentieth century -- and as the adopted home planet of a humanoid species known as the Eudaimons. These solar-powered superhumans first visited the Sol system in the 19th century, when one of their explorers was shipwrecked on Earth and gave birth to her child before expiring due to a lack of appropriate medical care. The child was raised by humans and briefly achieved some notoriety before being rescued by an Eudaimon search party. Six hundred years later, the Confederation of Planets assisted the survivors of their species to resettle on Mercury after their homeworld's star went nova. While pledged to the defense of the solar system, recent centuries have seen them largely focused on the internal politics of their three nations -- Siraph, Shedem, and Haggai.

Venus: Venus was terraformed to be a near-duplicate of Earth in the early years of the Confederation, and was a popular tourist destination through that era, with many cities from Earth's Baroque period recreated there, most notably Venice. Tragically, all this was undone by the attack of the Scourge Fleet, whose bombardments returned Venus to the hellish state that it knew in the 20th century, if not worse for its now-irradiated state. A handful of expeditions from the System Administration have visited the planet over the past three centuries, but no permanent settlement has been attempted. Anything that could be found here, can be more easily found elsewhere.

Earth: Mostly harmless. A more complete summary of the planet's balkanized state will await a future article.

Mars: Home of the System Administration as well as what passes for the Sol sector's governing authority, Mars was the only planet of the Sol system to be spared the Scourge Fleet's attentions. This was the result of the early SysAdmin's decision to use the entirety of its space-faring assets -- all that remained of the Confederation's main spacefleet -- to protect Mars (which had also been spared the worst of the previous Great Disasters) at the expense of every other inhabited planet in the system. Needless to say, the SysAdmin is not exactly popular in some quarters, and its authority is frequently questioned or even ignored. Nonetheless, Mars' thriving ecology, as well as the vast population spread across its five continents, speak to the positive side of this decision.

Jupiter: The Scourge Fleet devastated the various terrestrial and extra-solar colonies spread throughout the Jovian moons, and tried -- but failed -- to exterminate Jupiter's flumph population as well. The flumph, formerly a staunch ally of humanity, have not responded to attempts by the SysAdmin or other human agencies to communicate with them since that time, with one telepathic probe indicating that they have decided to pretend humanity doesn't exist for at least a few more centuries.

Saturn: As only a small portion of the Scourge Fleet was directed towards it, Titan was also able to outlast their siege thanks to force field technology which shielded the entire moon. The Titanians are perhaps inordinately proud of this fact, and only the fact that their current standard of living probably would not survive a second centuries-long siege has kept them from outright rebellion against the SysAdmin. Titanian force field technology is understandably considered the best in the system.

Vulcan: An artificial planet, essentially a single gigantic non-sapient machine populated by self-replicating sapient machines, Vulcan arrived in the solar system towards the end of the Scourge. The populace quickly negotiated an alliance with Mars' 'servant' population, and through them with the biological inhabitants of the Sol system, and proceeded to attack the Scourge Fleet. It's not clear whether the arrival of this new force was what ended the scourge, but the Vulcanians are happy to take as much of the credit as anyone will give them. A popular vacation spot for servants, and even visited by some biologicals.

Uranus: The site of a handful of scientific outposts during the Confederation era. All contact with such locations was lost during the Great Disasters, and even those which managed to survive that were surely wiped out during the Scourge. This is the official opinion of the SysAdmin, at least, but this opinion has never been officially verified. "Data about a surviving Uranian outpost I want to sell you" is used in much the same way as "a bridge I want to sell you" in discussion about con artistry in the current era.

Neptune: Recently recolonized by a group of cold-generating transhumans from Esperance sub-sector (spinward of Vega sub-sector) who are creating a religious retreat where they can worship a pantheon of entities known as the Cold Ones. They have politely refused all communications from the SysAdmin. Surely they couldn't be up to anything.

Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:37 am
by RainOnTheSun
So, if you're a human or human-adjacent, Mars is probably the place to be. Kind of like the capital city of the solar system.

Re: World of Freedom 3.2 Setting Detail

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:53 am
by Davies
<nod> While the Five Cities each have things that no city on Mars does, there are thousands of cities with comparable populations and living standards there.

The Centurion and Reality Shifts

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:05 pm
by Davies
The Centurion, like every major figure of the World of Freedom, has had reality shifts alter his personal history. In the earliest version of history to feature him, he was born on Earth Prime in 1912, and his superhuman abilities were the result of prenatal exposure to a chemical devised by his father, a mad scientist. In that version of events, he made his debut in Freedom City in 1933, having been trained in the use of his powers in the 1920s by a group of interstellar superheroes known as the Cosmic League.

The Cosmic League was eliminated from history through the actions of one of their enemies in 1947, resulting in the displacement of the Centurion's origins to a historically divergent reality where the Roman Empire never fell, delaying his birth until 1918 and his debut until 1938. A version of the Cosmic League may have existed on the Centurion's homeline, and a different version may still exist in the same universe as Terra-Roma. If so, it has not apparently had any contact with the Eternal Republic.

A lesser set of reality shifts, occurring sometime in the early 1960s, displaced many of the Centurion's adventures on other planets of the Solar System between 1949 and 1956 to other star systems elsewhere in the galaxy, most notably transporting the Zultasian civilization from Mars to its current location many thousands of parsecs away. The adventures themselves still took place, but involved much more space travel on the Centurion's part.

The most recent reality shift involving the Centurion resulted in the elimination from history of his son Luke Leeds, born in 1961 and active as the superhero Gladius from 1978. This occurred in 1992, with only the supervillain Dr. Mayhem (see Freedom's Most Wanted) remembering the former course of history. Quite recently, however, Centuria was informed by Scope Casanova that Dr. Mayhem was in fact a shard of an alternate history, indicating that his rants might be based in fact. She is still considering what to do about this ...

The Shadow Knights

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:37 pm
by Davies
Of the various teams introduced in the recently released Superteam Handbook, the one that captured my interest the most was the Shadow Knights, who are now definitely a part of my World of Freedom ... though they live in Bay City, the metropolis formed in the early 1990s from the combination of the various cities and towns around San Francisco Bay. Here's some more information about the local version of them.

Allies of the Shadow Knights

* Of Bay City's Champions, only Seeker has met the avenging sisters. He was impressed by their skills, and wishes to help them where possible ... but realizes that he cannot fight their battles for them. So he has given them what aid he can by removing all references to them in the Champions' data base. Meanwhile, Solitaire and Jaguar have individually heard rumors about the Shadow Knights, but never crossed paths with them as far as they know. (In fact, the four worked another angle of one of Jaguar's cases, but chose to avoid the obvious predator.)

* On the other hand, Gatekeeper (Atlas of Earth Prime p. 15) is well aware of the Shadow Knights, but has yet to introduce himself to them, preferring to quietly assist them from a distance, particularly when they deal with creatures who come through the gates. For their part, they don't know he exists.

* Changeling met Marie while they were both trying to rescue a kidnapped child that Changeling was babysitting. They are a mutual admiration society, and Changeling is happily telling all her old friends about the cool person she's met.

* The individual who uses the alias John Henry (a Veteran Soldier [Gamemaster's Guide p. 142] with Vehicles 6 (+7) and an Urban Tank [Gadget Guide p. 121]) is a frequent if erratic and possibly psychotic ally of the sisters. He has not revealed much about his past or where he obtained what he calls his Steel Driver, but it seems fairly likely that he is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces ... though he may have had other employers since then.

* The most bewildering ally of the Shadow Knights is probably Kasuga Kotaro, a samurai from a land called Rokugan which exists in another world ... though not the Rokugan described in various tabletop games, but one where the various clans consist of anthropomorphic versions of the animals the clans are named after. Kasuga-san is a humanoid tortoise. He visited Earth-Prime for a few months, and does not really want to return to this strange and horrible world of barbarian hairless monkeys, but would willingly do so if the Shadow Knights needed his help. Such is giri. (Treat him as a PL6 Warrior.)

* One person who would like to be the Shadow Knights' ally is Julius Turlington, a former lab assistant of Dr. Kate Darling who's since earned his own doctorate. He was present when the sisters were effectively born, and is one of the very few civilians who's realized the meaning of all the strange news reports. Ridiculously bad luck keeps dogging his every attempt to contact the Shadow Knights, and has also resulted in him coming to the attention his psychotic former boss. (He's a Scientist [Gamemaster's Guide p. 136] with the Inventor advantage.)

* Not yet an ally, but someone who might take an interest, is Michelle Darling, formerly known as Titaness. Kate Darling is her aunt, whose eccentricities (even before the incident) prevented her from getting support from the family business.

Enemies of the Shadow Knights

* Emilia Larramore (an Assassin [Gamemaster's Guide p. 77]) is a descendant of a family of great hunters, one of whom frequently bedeviled Hepcat in the Silver Age. As far as she's concerned, if a creature is not obviously human, it's an animal and can be hunted. To her dubious credit, she's just as willing to hunt actual monsters as she is the Shadow Knights, and would never deliberately harm another human being. While not on the chase, she typically luxuriates in her mansion or on her yacht. Interestingly, she hunts only for sport, and is a vegetarian.

* While Lang and Choir are the Iron Empress' current chief minions, they aren't the first two mutants to have served her. Her original henchmen were Vulpes and Barney, two crooks who were fused with a fox and a bear, respectively, during the same incident that created the Shadow Knights. They eventually got the bright idea of faking their own deaths so that they could go into business for themselves, and now try to stay under the radar while dealing with the Shadow Knights. [They're PL 8 versions of the Savage [Gamemaster's Guide pp. 125-6] with the Dog/Wolf and Bear packages, but raise their INT to -1.]

* I bet you were expecting claims that the Iron Claw dominate Bay City's underworld to be hyperbole, weren't you? Ha ha ha NOPE. Even the head of the local VIPER franchise is, thanks to the Champions dealing with anybody half-way competent who tried to take over, pretty much firmly under the Iron Claw's thumb. (Treat him as a Crime Lord [Gamemaster's Guide p. 143].) For now, at least, the Iron Claw is able to treat with the Capoyabun's organization as an equal, though the Midnight Syndicate has no intention of putting up with that for any longer than they have to.

The Dying World

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:40 pm
by Davies
The Dying World


Not all subterranean passageways to another reality lead to the Lost World. Some -- fewer -- will bring those who travel them to a world that seems to be that world's exact opposite. Where the Lost World is a lush jungle that resembles the Earth of many millions of years ago, the Dying World is a parched desert that resembles predictions of what the Earth will look like many millions of years in the future. The sky is an angry shade of red through which the sun gleams only sickly, and the seas are bitter and black. Life endures in the Dying World, but only by the narrowest of margins. And that life is strange and often twisted -- or even utterly alien, for the Dying World is known to have passageways leading to other worlds throughout the galaxy.

Yet this world still has its heroes. The most famous, from an Earthly perspective, is Travis Ritter, a Union veteran of the American Civil War who found his way to the Dying World in the years after the conflict. Through many adventures, he became a respected ally of Queen Nethera of the city-state of Nerath, and Commander of its armies. Through training and exposure to medicines of the Dying World, he has gained the extended youth which is common there as well as telepathic abilities. His comrades in arms include his wife, Acatha of the House of Ritter, an even more talented telepath, his mighty companion Baranca, whose Moahl people seem descended from the aliens known as Cholaxians, and lean, sardonic Sir Terrida, the Prince Consort of Queen Nethera.

Their greatest enemy is the sadistic Priest-King of the city-state of Hadoth, Skathulos, wielder of dark and terrible magics -- that, like most magics of this world, seem to be half psychic powers and half poorly understood technology. Skathulos has sought for centuries to conquer all of the Dying World, with Nerath's armies only barely holding the forces of Hadoth in check. The war between Skathulos and Ritter has even been fought on Earth, from time to time, though the skull-faced wizard is well aware of the powers of Earth's superheroes and mages, and will not challenge them recklessly.

Other city states, nominally neutral in the wars between Nerath and Hadoth, include Bemarris, noteworthy for its vast Underground which attracts adventurers from across the world, and Gargosa, a fell, grim place which even Skathulos has never challenged, either because its ruler, the Saffron King, knows some secret weakness of his, or perhaps is a menace even greater than he. Further away is the land called Arteld, where gunslinging knights swear loyalty to their Duke, and Ethrelom, the empire of ghouls. There are also communities inhabited by inhuman entities, such as the Vale of Shadows, where the Illithid priesthood of the world called Illithus take shelter from the rulers of their world. Yet these are only some of the lands that Ritter and his company have visited in their voyages, and there is still more of their world that even they have never seen ...
Travis Ritter -- PL 9

Abilities: STR 2 | STA 3 | AGL 3 | DEX 3 | FGT 8 | INT 0 | AWE 3 | PRE 3
Awakened Mind:
Mind Reading 6; Senses 2 (mental communication link with Acatha; psychic awareness) - 14 points
Extended Youth: Immunity 1 (aging) - 1 point
Shielded Mind: Impervious Will 6, Limited to mental powers - 3 points
Equipment: Blaster Pistol (Ranged Damage 5), Sword (Strength-based Damage 3, Improved Critical 2).
Advantages: All-out Attack, Attractive, Benefit 3 (Status [Commander of Nerath's Armies], Wealth 2), Close Attack 1, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 3, Evasion, Improved Aim, Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Inspire, Languages 4, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Ranged Attack 3, Takedown, Teamwork.
Skills: Acrobatics 3 (+6), Athletics 6 (+8), Close Combat: Swords 4 (+12), Deception 3 (+6), Expertise: Military 5 (+5), Expertise: Survival 6 (+6), Insight 4 (+7), Intimidation 4 (+7), Perception 10 (+11), Persuasion 4 (+7), Ranged Combat: Guns 5 (+8), Stealth 4 (+7).
Offense: Initiative +7, Unarmed +9 (Close Damage 2), Sword +13 (Close Damage 5, Crit 18-20), Blaster Pistol +11 (Ranged Damage 5).
Defense: Dodge 10, Parry 12, Fortitude 12, Toughness 6/3, Will 6.
Totals: Abilities 50 + Powers 18 + Advantages 32 + Skills 29 + Defenses 23 = 152 points
Complications: Adventure--Motivation. Family (Acatha, their children). Impulsive. Responsibility (Nerath).

Lady Acatha of the House of Ritter -- PL 8

Abilities: STR 0 | STA 1 | AGL 2 | DEX 2 | FGT 3 | INT 3 | AWE 4 | PRE 3
Awakened Mind:
Cumulative Mind Reading 8; Senses 2 (mental communication link with Travis; psychic awareness) - 26 points
Extended Youth: Immunity 1 (aging) - 1 point
Shielded Mind: Impervious Will 8, Limited to mental powers - 4 points
Equipment: Blaster Pistol (Ranged Damage 5).
Advantages: Benefit 2 (Wealth 2), Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 2, Evasion, Improved Aim, Improved Defense, Languages 3, Quick Draw, Ranged Attack 3, Teamwork.
Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+4), Athletics 4 (+4), Deception 5 (+8), Expertise: Survival 2 (+5), Insight 5 (+9), Perception 4 (+8), Persuasion 6 (+9), Ranged Combat: Guns 4 (+6), Stealth 5 (+7), Technology 5 (+8).
Offense: Initiative +2, Unarmed +3 (Close Damage 0), Blaster Pistol +9 (Ranged Damage 5).
Defense: Dodge 8, Parry 6, Fortitude 5, Toughness 4/1, Will 11.
Totals: Abilities 36 + Powers 31 + Advantages 16 + Skills 21 + Defenses 20 = 124 points
Complications: Loyalty--Motivation. Family (Travis, their children). Merciful. Responsibility (Nerath).

Queen Nethera -- PL 6

Abilities: STR 0 | STA 3 | AGL 2 | DEX 3 | FGT 5 | INT 4 | AWE 4 | PRE 6
Awakened Mind: Mind Reading 6; Senses 2 (mental communication link with Terrida; psychic awareness) - 14 points
Extended Youth: Immunity 1 (aging) - 1 point
Advantages: Attractive, Benefit 4 (Status [Queen of Nerath], Wealth 3), Connected, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Evasion, Improved Defense, Languages 2, Leadership, Ranged Attack 3, Skill Mastery (Persuasion).
Skills: Deception 8 (+14), Expertise: History 8 (+12), Expertise: Science 8 (+12), Insight 10 (+14), Intimidation 8 (+14), Persuasion 10 (+16).
Offense: Initiative +2, Unarmed +5 (Close Damage 0)
Defense: Dodge 7, Parry 5, Fortitude 5, Toughness 5/3, Will 7.
Totals: Abilities 54 + Powers 15 + Advantages 17 + Skills 26 + Defenses 10 = 122 points
Complications: Duty--Motivation. Reputation ('Mad Queen of Nethera'). Responsibility (Nerath). Very Little Sense of Humor.

Sir Terrida, Prince Consort -- PL 8

Abilities: STR 1 | STA 3 | AGL 3 | DEX 4 | FGT 8 | INT 3 | AWE 3 | PRE 3
Awakened Mind: Mind Reading 4; Senses 2 (mental communication link with Nethera; psychic awareness) - 10 points
Extended Youth: Immunity 1 (aging) - 1 point
Equipment: Sword (Strength-based Damage 3, Improved Critical), Blaster Pistol (Ranged Damage 5), Private Flyer (Size H, STR 8, Air Speed 8 [Hover], Defense 6, Toughness 11, Remote Control).
Advantages: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Attractive, Benefit 4 (Status [Prince Consort of Nerath], Wealth 3), Connected, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 9, Evasion, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Languages 3, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 3, Redirect, Taunt.
Skills: Acrobatics 6 (+9), Athletics 4 (+5), Close Combat: Sword 4 (+12), Deception 9 (+12), Insight 8 (+11), Perception 8 (+11), Persuasion 6 (+9), Ranged Combat: Guns 4 (+8), Stealth 5 (+8), Vehicles 8 (+12).
Offense: Initiative +3, Unarmed +8 (Close Damage 1), Sword +12 (Close Damage 4, Critical 19-20), Blaster Pistol +11 (Ranged Damage 5).
Defense: Dodge 10, Parry 10, Fortitude 6, Toughness 6/3, Will 7.
Totals: Abilities 56 + Powers 11 + Advantages 35 + Skills 31 + Defenses 16 = 149 points
Complications: Amusement--Motivation. Family (his children). Responsibility (Nerath). Sardonic. Unrequited Love.

Baranca -- PL 9

Abilities: STR 11 | STA 12 | AGL 2 | DEX 3 | FGT 4 | INT 1 | AWE 2 | PRE 2
Leaping 5, Movement 1 (swinging) - 7 points
Fur: Immunity 1 (cold) - 1 point
Large: Growth 4, Permanent - 8 points
Equipment: Battle-Axe (Strength-based Damage 3), Blaster Rifle (Ranged Multiattack Damage 8).
Advantages: Agile Feint, All-Out Attack, Chokehold, Daze (Intimidation), Equipment 6, Fast Grab, Improved Hold, Improved Initiative, Languages 2, Power Attack, Uncanny Dodge.
Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+10), Athletics 4 (+15), Expertise: Survival 6 (+7), Intimidation 8 (+12), Perception 6 (+8), Ranged Combat: Guns 6 (+9), Stealth 4 (+2).
Offense: Initiative +6, Unarmed +4 (Close Damage 11), Battle-Axe +4 (Close Damage 14), Blaster Rifle +9 (Ranged Multiattack Damage 8).
Defense: Dodge 5, Parry 6, Fortitude 13, Toughness 12, Will 5.
Totals: Abilities 58 + Powers 16 + Advantages 17 + Skills 21 + Defenses 13 = 125 points
Complications: Adventure--Motivation. Can't Speak Languages, Only Understand. Friendship (Travis, Acatha). Temper.

Skathulos -- PL 11

Abilities: STR 4 | STA 5 | AGL 1 | DEX 2 | FGT 8 | INT 6 | AWE 4 | PRE 6
Awakened Mind: Mind Reading 11; Senses 2 (acute psychic awareness) - 24 points
No Longer Mortal: Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects); Impervious Protection 8 - 46 points
Power Staff: Strength-based Damage 4, Easily Removable - 2 points
Sorcery: Array (34 points)
  • Clairvoyance: Remote Sensing [all senses] 11, Standard Action, Subtle - 34 points
  • Domination: Perception Range Concentration Affliction 11 (Resisted by Will; Entranced, Compelled, Controlled), Vision Dependent, Subtle - 1 point
  • Mind Over Matter: Damaging Move Object 11, Subtle - 1 point
  • Vampiric Aura: Selective Burst Area Weaken Stamina 11, Insidious - 1 point
Advantages: Benefit 4 (Status [Priest King of Hadoth], Wealth 3), Fearless, Improved Grab, Inspire, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 5, Ritualist, Startle.
Skills: Close Combat: Staff 6 (+14), Deception 8 (+14), Expertise: Magic 12 (+18), Intimidation 12 (+18), Perception 8 (+12), Persuasion 8 (+14), Ranged Combat: Sorcery 4 (+6).
Offense: Initiative +1, Unarmed +8 (Close Damage 4), Power Staff +14 (Close Damage 8), Mind Over Matter +11 (Ranged Damage 11).
Defense: Dodge 7, Parry 9, Fortitude Immune, Toughness 13/5, Will 11.
Totals: Abilities 72 + Powers 109 + Advantages 15 + Skills 29 + Defenses 14 = 239 points
Complications: Power--Motivation. Horrible Appearance. Sadism.

Identity Registration

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:42 pm
by Davies
Identity Registration

What exactly stops any novice superhero or supervillain with electrical powers from declaring themselves to be Captain Thunder, now that Ray Gardener Sr. is no longer going by that name? Surprisingly, the answer is not "Bolt and/or Thunderbolt and/or a number of Captain Thunder's friends showing up to personally express their displeasure". Or at least it's not just that. There is, in fact, legal registration for superhero identities, with civil and criminal penalties for those who use them without permission.

The roots of this date to the late 1950s, which is when the Parr Ruling was made by the U.S. Supreme Court, which stated that "a duly deputized agent of the government who operate[d] under an alias" could testify under that alias in court without abridging the defendant's right to confront their accuser, as long as that agent provided the court with proof of their identity. This allowed superheroes to testify against criminals they captured, but also opened the door for dual identities to be treated as distinct persons, so that they could be held liable for destruction of property or injuries incurred during their activities.

By the early 1970s, there were enough superheroes active across the United States that, from time to time, duplication of aliases occurred. There was, for example, a Manhunter operating in New York, and another one in San Francisco. As the similarly named heroes rarely crossed paths, and weren't visually similar to each other, the only real confusion occurred in print reports of their activities, with the Associated Press having to spend words to clarify exactly which individual was being discussed. More than such concerns, it must be admitted that most of the "problems" that began to develop at this time were those of ego.

In 1976, a law firm based in Chicago began to offer an identity registration service to superheroes active in the Windy City. Essentially, for a token fee, they would pursue legal action against individuals who operated under the same alias as their client. Only a very few of Chicago's super population took advantage of that offer, and of them, only two ever had a case come to court. And, in both cases, the defendant chose to stop using their current alias and choose a different one rather than take the matter to court. The situations did attract a fair amount of publicity for the law firm, which was probably the actual goal of the business, and inspired imitators across the country.

However, one particular law firm went a bit further than its competitors, soliciting clients not only from active superheroes but from retired ones as well as the families of deceased superheroes, on the theory that they had inherited the right to the use of their family member's alias. (It is not generally known, but Franklin Folkes was a member of this law firm at this time, though he would soon move on to other things.) One of the families who decided to avail themselves of this service were the children of the World War II aviator known as the Midnight Angel, who'd died in 1956.

In 1979, a young female vigilante calling herself the Midnight Angel, with no connection to the original or, apparently, awareness that the name had been used before, began fighting crime in New York City, specifically in the area around Times Square. The "Midnight Angel Family"'s lawyers immediately sought to obtain a cease and desist order against the individual they claimed was illegally using their client's alias, but experienced quite a bit of difficulty serving the order on the Midnight Angel. Ultimately, the police managed to capture the vigilante, exposing her identity as one Nicky Alvarado, who was promptly made the subject of a wide-ranging lawsuit.

The ultimate result of these suits, tried in mid 1980, were that a judgement was made against defendant Alvarado (represented by a court-appointed attorney), ordering her to abandon the identity of the Midnight Angel, despite the fact that no criminal charges had ultimately been filed against her. Alvarado responded with a barrage of profanity directed towards the plaintiff and the court, indicating in no uncertain terms that she had no intention of complying and then screaming a certain name. ("Pammy!") At that point, another, never-identified individual (possibly but never proven to be Alvarado's associate Pamela Peterson) wearing Alvarado's Midnight Angel costume broke into the courtroom and either kidnapped or rescued Alvarado, fleeing the courthouse and disappearing into the shadows of the night. Despite a city-wide manhunt, neither Alvarado nor the ersatz Midnight Angel were ever seen again.

This was probably the most famous case involving identity registration, though there would be many others over the subsequent decades. The balance of the law has tipped sometimes one way, and sometimes another, sometimes preventing miscarriages of justice, sometimes causing them. What has gradually emerged is the following set of rules. In the act of deputizing a superhero as an agent of the state, they will have their identity registered with a local firm. Other superheroes may avail themselves of this service, or not, as they prefer. The right to an alias is still inherited by the subject's heirs. However, one result of the Alvarado case is that the registrar cannot pursue legal action against anybody without the express order of their client (which the Midnight Angel Family claimed never to have given.)

Something should probably be said about the international implications of identity registry -- it is a strictly national affair. There is, for example, an individual in Catalonia known as Defensor (Defender) and neither that individual nor the Bay City-based hero known as Defender could pursue legal action against each other for the use of that particular alias, despite the fact that they are both operators of powered armor! There have been attempts to extend the American system to the "English-speaking community", but they have always come to naught, and the same is true of French and Spanish speaking nations.

Something should also be said about how these rules apply to supervillains -- they don't. A supervillain's identity receives no protection under these laws, and any attempt by a known criminal to claim the right to a given identity has been laughed out of every court in the land. (Of course, an unknown criminal who poses as a hero is a different matter.) Of course, supervillains have more direct ways of demonstrating their disapproval at having their identities usurped in this manner, almost always involving the supervillain and/or some of their friends showing up to personally ... well, you get the idea.

Author's Note: If anyone gets some of the jokes in this, I'm going to be very impressed.