Iron City Sidekicks (2E OOC)

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FuzzyBoots
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Iron City Sidekicks (2E OOC)

Post by FuzzyBoots » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:46 am

Current Roster ---- ----- ----

Submitted Builds
Steel City. Beginning its life around Fort Pitt in what would become Pennsylvania in 1758, it held names such as Pittsborough, Pitt Township, and Pittsburgh before the Great Fire of 1845 destroyed a large segment of the town, and the residents decided to choose a more emblematic name, Iron City, for its most famous output. When the Bessemer process revolutionized steel production, a narrow vote resulted in the town being named Steel City rather than Bessemerburough, and the city's destiny seemed set, hitched to a shining wagon of progress. Alas, it was not to last.

In the early 1970s, the Great Inversion, sometimes known as the Great Stink in reference to the London crises and as the Big Choke by the resisidents, struck. Freak weather patterns combined to trap the toxic output of the steel mills in clouds that blanketed the streets of Steel City. It's estimated that a tenth of the population may have died, suffocated among the fumes, before measures could be taken, and cancer rates in subsequent years skyrocketed, only barely held in check by the heroic efforts of Mercy Hospital, a small hospital run by the Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic group of nuns. The massive death toll led to them calling upon the intellectual elite of the United States, spearheaded by the most brilliant Jesuit minds, and miracles were wrought. While Steel City's population remained at a slightly higher risk of several cancers, the city became known for its innovative treatments and impressive rates of remission. Today, the Order of Mercy occupies a significant portion of the city, as the medical juggernaut quickly snapped up such competitors as Presbyterian Hospital and the Western Pennsylvania Medical College, and brought them into the fold, and the Order is a major contributor to the various colleges in the area including the noted technical school, the Carnegie Institute of Technology and Duquesne University, the official state college of Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, the death toll after the Great Inversion wreaked massive social havoc in its wake. Entire neighborhoods at ground level were wiped out, a large chunk of Steel City's middle class. In their wake, the rich, in their penthouses, became richer with robber baron tactics and organized crime gained a major foothold as they enlisted the survivors who'd lived in the upper floors of Steel City's famous high-rise tenements and occupied the abandoned areas, securing legal rights to the abandoned properties through right of salvage. For the common man, it was simply the cost of doing business that most of what you made went into protection money, bribes to political officials, and repairs for the damage wrought by the less organized crime that spread like black mold in the castoffs. It was into this mess that your mentors threw their hat.

Inspired by comic books of the day, and the exploits of such heroes as Batman and The Shadow, three citizens chose independently to bend their efforts into securing a brighter future for the city. The source of their prowess is debated among the citizens, with theories ranging everywhere from billionaires realizing their evil and choosing to turn their fortune to fighting crime, to brilliant engineers from Carnegie Tech who use their inventions to combat the underworld, to descendants of the Templar Knights who work with the support of the Order of Mercy and the substantial Catholic and Jewish population of the town. Well, at least that's among the more sane theories... nevertheless, they quickly gained ground on the criminal element and things looked bright for the city, until one day it all went to hell.

The official reports was that The Owl's Club in Munhall, PA, a suburb to Steel City close to Homestead, suffered a tragic gas explosion and was consumed in a ball of fire that left nothing of the building but rubble and resulted in fires that took several days to completely extinguish due to forgotten gas lines buried in the pavement. You know better. You know that your mentors had met at the Club to discuss how to pool their efforts to tear out the rot lying at the heart of the city's power. You were there, within blocks of the building, told to watch for trouble, and when the building went up in a fireball that reached hundreds of feet into the air, you were knocked silly by the concussion wave, but survived. After weeks of no contact, and your attempts to help rebuild, you've come to realize that your mentors may truly be gone, and that you may be the city's last hope. And a faint hope at that... shortly after the explosion, when you checked on your mentor's affairs, you learned that someone must have known their identity, must have known where they were cadging supplies. It's nearly all gone. All of the custom vehicles, almost all of the safehouses, most of the supply caches, they've been destroyed by someone who knew exactly where to strike. You're left with scant resources, largely your wits and your training, but you have something more important. You have hope. You know that your mentors made a difference. And they believed in you, believed that you could one day succeed them. You just don't think that they thought it would happen so soon.
You are PL 8 heroes with 120 pp to work with. Your defenses, however, are at PL 6, because unfortuantely, you are all too mortal. Fortunately, your opposition is similarly mortal, at least as best you know. You do not live in a world of Supermen. Magic is unknown in this world. There are no super-soldiers. Science is occasionally cutting-edge, but nothing has broken the laws of physics, although your mentors did pioneer advances in the area of compact energy storage and materials of high tensile strength, which means that it's entirely feasible to swing between the rusting and decaying skyscrapers of Steel City, and body armor has kept pace in the arms race against high-powered rifles and armor-piercing bullets such that bulletproof vests, while not foolproof, are actually viable against more than just small arms fire. For the purpose of atmosphere, heroic willpower and martial arts prowess do still allow an unarmed man to fight against a host of thugs or survive seeming certain death, but there are no chi fireballs or psychic blasts, although your mentors may have found ways to combine skill and theatricality to appear to have supernatural powers.

The system is 2E. Equipment will break in the field without recompense and should be limited to something that could reasonably be bought (possibly via the black market) or constructed. Devices are limited to roughly contemporary science, although there may have been breakthroughs. As noted by others, this is a somewhat dark premise, and similarly, I'm not limiting people to Silver Age tactics, although remember that ultimately, the populace are taking a cue from your efforts. If you play The Punisher, they're going to pattern their own opposition to the criminal element to examples such as Charles Bronson. That said, Silver Age knockout gas, fisticuffs, and boomerangs that only knock out opponents also seem to function just as well as their lethal counterparts in most situations.

And yes, this game is essentially set in an alternate history Pittsburgh. I live there, so it's easy to draw influences from there. I've put in a few hooks, but the idea is that the world will be shaped by character backgrounds and what they say has been happening in the city.

I'm sure I've missed some questions, but I hope this gives you a start. I plan to choose three players by July 15th, although I reserve the right to pick earlier than that. Choices will be the results of a combination of a solid character, possible synergy with the team, and evidence of a positive posting history with acceptable writing skills. Optionally, if you're not certain if your posting history reflects your true self, you can always write an anecdote of your character's history to try to convince me of your chops. I'm not looking for perfection, just something that won't make me claw my eyes out when I read it. :)

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House Rules / Notes
  • We are using the refinements of Ultimate Power.
  • The average of Reflex/Fortitude/Will cannot exceed 8. This is to ensure that there is some danger, however small, from things like Flashbang grenades and sleeping gas.
  • As per 3E, everyone has access to the ability to shift their tradeoffs by up to 2 without having to buy a feat, merely having to describe why the attack is a bit different. Feats let you shift up to 5.
  • As noted before, Paragon's knockback rules.
  • The setup does not have magic, aliens, psychics, cryptids, or super-science. Technology is a few years ahead of the current day, but mostly in the area of high-tensile materials and energy storage, making things like handheld grappling guns feasible.
  • My preference is for younger characters in the costumed detective / mystery man vein. Highly trained, possibly cutting edge technology, but they were not yet ready to branch out on their own.
  • Challenge feats are available from Mastermind's Manual, Iron Age, and probably a few other books I'm not remembering. Essentially, for skills where there's a penalty for a particular application (Stealth at full speed, Feinting as a Move action, etc), you can buy off a -5 on that specific task for each rank in the relevant Challenge feat.
  • Inventor gives you access to a small pool of prepared devices at the outset of the game with a power point total of your average for your highest Knowledge and Craft scores. As with regular inventions, they're one-shot items. This is in part because Inventing is so hard on the fly in the game without doing abusive Quickness bypasses and in part because this is intended to be a oneshot.
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So, I know that I tend to get swamped at the best of times, but I've been doing OK lately, and oneshots fill me with less existential dread. A while back, on the old boards, someone proposed a game of sidekicks. Our heroes were dead and the sidekicks were left to figure out the mystery. Unfortunately, it stalled out before starting, but I really like the concept. The basic idea behind it is that you're unpowered (or very low-powered) sidekicks, PL 8 at everything except defense, where you're PL 6 (squishy humans, basically, who still have to watch out for stray bullets), whose mentors all died one night in an explosion, leaving you to pick up the pieces and defend the city against the likely crime wave as the mobsters decide no one is protecting the city.

I'm open to either 2E or 3E, but I'm hoping to try out Paragon's knockback rules. So, who might be interested?
Last edited by FuzzyBoots on Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:31 am, edited 13 times in total.

MissRo
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by MissRo » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:25 pm

Do you have any particular setting in mind, Bootsy?

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by FuzzyBoots » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:49 pm

MissRo wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:25 pm
Do you have any particular setting in mind, Bootsy?
Generic big city, no real powers to speak of. Crime is regular organized crime. There are rumors of cities where people jump buildings in a single bound, military super soldier programs, thugs who can shoot fire that melts windows of jewelry stores, but so far it's all just rumors.

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StarGuard
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by StarGuard » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:30 pm

Sounds like a good premise and setting. Good for playing with character's personality growth :)

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catsi563
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by catsi563 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:53 pm

One shot sounds like fun even have an idea to try
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FuzzyBoots
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by FuzzyBoots » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:57 pm

Do people have a preference on the edition?

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catsi563
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by catsi563 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:11 pm

Either works for me though if its third ed we might need a Skill house rule since 3rd ed still nerfs Skill monkey characters. a 3 for 1 with combats skills being 2 for 1 is what id reccomend
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Camus
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by Camus » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:55 pm

Game on! I'm hooked :D
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by Zero Prime » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:13 pm

Seems like as interesting concept, but we're looking at low-powered characters, so I'm assuming crime fighters, martial artists, gadgeteers and such, rather than powerhouse-lite?

Just curious for the flavor of the game, and the various niches for the players. That being said I feel I've got a conceit that could work, though due to the cost of skill monkies, I do have a slight preference for 2E.

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by FuzzyBoots » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:28 pm

Yes. Basically no powers or "deuce" powers at best.

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Doctor Malsyn
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by Doctor Malsyn » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:38 pm

Was going to let this one pass, but then I got a really dumb idea in my head and have been forced to submit interest.
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FuzzyBoots
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by FuzzyBoots » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:40 am

So, so far, we have two people expressing a slight preference for 2E. Anyone else?

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Doctor Malsyn
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by Doctor Malsyn » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:43 am

I think I'd be up for 2e as well if the option came up, sure.
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MissRo
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by MissRo » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:00 am

I'll always have a preference for 2e, but I'm fine with either.

FuzzyBoots
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Re: Interest: Oneshot Costumed Sidekick game

Post by FuzzyBoots » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:15 am

Excellent. It sounds like there is definite interest, and that people are more inclined to a 2E game. I plan to open up a recruitment post this upcoming weekend. Prior to that, I want to write out more material regarding the setting and plot so that that doesn't bog things down.

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