Monday, December 14, 2015

Carpe Blogiem: Open Call to Players


So I put out a soft call about a week ago, but I'm making it official like: I'm going to be running a GURPS supers game on Mondays from 7pm or 8pm EST to 11pm or 12am EST either weekly or bi-weekly. Normally I wouldn't bother running an online game, but I'm mixing things up a bit and trying something new. I'm looking for one, possibly two more players. I'm also looking to build a queue of potential players in case something happens to my regulars (or I decided to do another game). If you're interested, email me.

So here's the relevant bits:

* The genre is supers/action: there are superheroes in the world
* The mode is cinematic, with elements of speculative and ultraviolence (the world the PCs find themselves in is fairly realistic even though the players are definitely not).
* The austerity is mid to high: actions have consequences.
* Point totals will vary from player to player with the lowest starting point total being 150 points and the highest being 500 points and I will be using "Buckets of Points." One important note: This is the starting point value of your build. More points may be added to help you fully fill out your concept later on.
* Players are expected to deliver a fairly long character history (at least 500 words) along with a "rogues gallery" cast sheet. Examples can be given for those who need them.
* Central Casting: Heroes Now! will be available for use to hone in on a backstory (though modified) and not required.
* Players are expected to work together in a team environment. There is no PVP, no stealing from other players, etc. This rule will be enforced ruthlessly.
* Characters are expected to be heroic: no loner types, no unabashed killers, etc. The exception to this is if you can work them in somehow in a team environment. Basically, you can give your character a "dark side" as long as you can reel it in and be productive within a group.
* Play will be over Roll20 and Hangouts so webcam/mic are required.


Campaign Backdrop
It began quietly enough. Sixteen years ago the first metahumans began to appear, though some reports seem to go back as early as twenty years ago. Their origin appears to have to do something with a mysterious energy pulse emanating from somewhere within the Atlantic Ocean. This “Transatlantic Pulse,” or TAP, was something the governments of the world colluded for years to keep it and the metahumans secret. Tied in with the mysterious appearance of “super men” is the sudden rise of technology and science – but also seemingly the mystical and the occult. Such “Talents” (sometimes called "tappers") were soon seen as both weapons and shields and many sought to hire or recruit them. The new arms race has begun and there is no clear winner. But after the spectacular fight between Artillery and the Mirror over the Hudson River ten years ago the secret was out. Most governments (including the United States) had to accept the existence of “metahumans,” but that didn’t mean they couldn’t try to legislate them (that has so far met with numerous failures). The various “Mandatory Metahuman Registration” acts have never been able to pass through Congress, but the Blackwell Act passed in 2004. Sen. Blackwell of New York pushed to have laws that could help various policing agencies on all levels prosecute a misuse of metahuman abilities. One crucial and extremely controversial part of the act, involved the creation of the MPI (Metahuman Powers Index) for repeat offenders or volunteers. This also led to Riker’s Island becoming a federal penitentiary for those with metahuman capabilities as well as those deemed too dangerous to put in with a general population (like many “super normals”).

But Blackwell didn’t stop there. He knew there was going to be a need for a specialized force to deal with “malfeasant metahumans” (a name he could never get to stick – the media insisted on calling rogue or criminal metahumans, “supervillains”). His original plan was to create a special unit for the NYPD to showcase the need for such a group. Though it succeeded to some degree, it also failed. Some metahumans were so powerful that no matter how well armed a human being was they were hopelessly, hilariously outmatched. The NYPD’s ESS-77 is dedicated to containing the various “M1-00” code listings (police codes dedicated to metahuman threats). After a year of trial and error it became apparent that something else was needed.

Soon after Blackwell’s formation of ESS-77, he met with opposition in New York City’s newly elected mayor Keren Lyte. Lyte had won her election hands down with a voter turnout of almost 80% in her favor. She instantly began to enact her campaign promises, among them was her idea for a privatized police force similar to the San Francisco Patrol Specials, but dealing with metahuman threats and assisting police officers with such problems. Her pilot program, MAPS (MetAhuman Patrol Special), worked so well that a dozen other cities throughout the US adopted similar programs almost immediately. The MAPS program was simple. Those who went through the proper training and procedures could be licensed to perform certain policing actions. They were also given the right to “purchase” an area to patrol as well as limited bail enforcement capability. Purchased areas could be as small as a few city blocks (in the case of the Midtown West Protection League) or as large as an entire borough (in the case of the Valiants who patrol all of Manhattan Island). Residents of each purchase paid a flat monthly fee for the service. The program caused a sharp drop in crime thanks to these “Specials.” After a while the Traveler addendum – which created “reserve Specials” – was added to MAPS, allowing roving patrols (subsidized by the city) to help in multiple areas when needed.

Since then Mayor Lyte’s MAPS program has been expanded to over a 100 cities and a dozen states. There is currently a resolution that was brought before NATO that will enable the MAPS program to function in multiple countries beyond the US, but it’s still being deliberated on. While the program does seem to be working, many call it a “holding action.” More malfeasants begin criminal careers every day and the property damage that a “meta battle” can cause is astronomical. Rumors persist among the fringier types that key elements within the government are colluding with groups like the Human Pride Association to whip up enough public fervor to pass a MMR act (Mandatory Metahuman Registration) and do away with the MAPS program completely.

5 comments:

  1. Have you filled those 2 spaces yet?

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    1. I'm still sorting applications (I'll probably cut them off tonight). >_< I honestly didn't expect so many. I think I'm going to need to do interviews via Hangouts to finalize my choice.

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    2. Means people are paying attention eh? There are worse problems to have for sure.

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    3. True. It's extremely flattering, to be honest. :-)

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    4. Welp, I'm done with interviews and I've got my shortlist - now to make the decision. And it's gonna be hard because I talked to a LOT of good people today. I did have one guy fail to get back with me so he was dropped - but that left room for a last minute interview with another awesome person. URGH. CHOICES. Anyways, thanks for everyone who emailed me about playing. If I ever do another game maybe you can be in that one. :-)

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