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Crazy ideas -- but are they crazy enough to be true?

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THis thread is for, well, what it says on the label: Crazy ideas (with emphasis on crazy ideas that might be interesting/useful for the Freedom City setting). Anybody is invited to add new craziness to it at any time.

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Freedom City needs an Undead Rights movement. The Law typically regards dead people as unpersons, who are not allowed to own property; are only permitted to exist in specialized 'ghettos' (see also: "cemetaries"); etc etc. Even if an undead entity wanted to be a good citizen, the Law conspires against them! Imagine a civic-minded vampire trying to register to vote... or sue a carpenter for breach of contract...

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Villain concept: The PR Man

This guy is a consummate master of public relations, able to shape consensus on a national scale and change people's minds with nigh-supernatural efficacy. He's not an active villain in his own right; rather, he's 'support crew', one of the people who's doing the bidding of $Big_Bad. Maybe he sold his soul to the Devil; maybe he's a highly-skilled master of the science of memetics; maybe he's something else entirely.

Game-mechanics-wise, I'm thinking he's got a heavily-Modified version of Mind Control. The number of Ranks in Mind Control should be relatively small; enough to have a very good chance of mindzapping your typical civilian-on-the-street, but not such a great chance of affecting heroes. The Mind Control affects people who see the ads (or read the essays, or etc), so it might need Sense-Dependent; it has the potential of affecting every person who sees the ads, so we could be talking Shapeable Area with 20-or-so PP in Progression; people aren't likely to recognize that PR Man's ads are hitting them with Mind Control, so it prolly wants Subtle; Mind Control victims are not automatons, so give it Conscious; Mind Control victims may well 'spread the wealth', forwarding relevant webpages and YouTube links on to their entire address book, so Contagious is a viable possibility; use of so-called 'dog-whistle speech', specific phrases which have significant meaning to a particular group of people while being completely innocuous to anyone outside the intended target group, could merit Selective Attack; and since it does take time to make ads and so on, it wants enough of the Action flaw that PR Man needs several days to use his power.

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Freedom City needs an Undead Rights movement. The Law typically regards dead people as unpersons, who are not allowed to own property; are only permitted to exist in specialized 'ghettos' (see also: "cemetaries"); etc etc. Even if an undead entity wanted to be a good citizen, the Law conspires against them! Imagine a civic-minded vampire trying to register to vote... or sue a carpenter for breach of contract...
This site is not Paragons/Heroes. This site is DC/Marvel. There are very few undead that "need" rights are heroes or villains. Not enough to start a stink over rights.
Villain concept: The PR Man

This guy is a consummate master of public relations, able to shape consensus on a national scale and change people's minds with nigh-supernatural efficacy. He's not an active villain in his own right; rather, he's 'support crew', one of the people who's doing the bidding of $Big_Bad. Maybe he sold his soul to the Devil; maybe he's a highly-skilled master of the science of memetics; maybe he's something else entirely.

Game-mechanics-wise, I'm thinking he's got a heavily-Modified version of Mind Control. The number of Ranks in Mind Control should be relatively small; enough to have a very good chance of mindzapping your typical civilian-on-the-street, but not such a great chance of affecting heroes. The Mind Control affects people who see the ads (or read the essays, or etc), so it might need Sense-Dependent; it has the potential of affecting every person who sees the ads, so we could be talking Shapeable Area with 20-or-so PP in Progression; people aren't likely to recognize that PR Man's ads are hitting them with Mind Control, so it prolly wants Subtle; Mind Control victims are not automatons, so give it Conscious; Mind Control victims may well 'spread the wealth', forwarding relevant webpages and YouTube links on to their entire address book, so Contagious is a viable possibility; use of so-called 'dog-whistle speech', specific phrases which have significant meaning to a particular group of people while being completely innocuous to anyone outside the intended target group, could merit Selective Attack; and since it does take time to make ads and so on, it wants enough of the Action flaw that PR Man needs several days to use his power.

This sounds like another Paragons idea if I'm reading it right. You want him to drum up support for villains? No, Freedom City loves its heroes and hates its villains.

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This site is not Paragons/Heroes. This site is DC/Marvel. There are very few undead that "need" rights are heroes or villains. Not enough to start a stink over rights.
I'm not clear on what your objection to this concept is. Silver Age DC comics could and did use Governmental agencies, the law, and political processes, as plot devices (from the Prankster's scheme to copyright the alphabet and collect royalties, to the IRS agent who wanted to make Superman pay all his back taxes from reward money and gifts, to Gorilla Grodd using his force-of-mind to get himself elected mayor of Central City, to Prez Rickard), so I don't see why the concept of an Undead Rights movement would be beyond the pale for Freedom City. If undead in FC are too few to warrant a legitimate Undead Rights movement, that would just mean that any such movement which exists is some sort of scam, so the resulting plot would be about discovering (and foiling, one hopes) the real agenda of whatever evil mastermind is running the show. Yes? No?

This sounds like another Paragons idea if I'm reading it right. You want him to drum up support for villains? No, Freedom City loves its heroes and hates its villains.
Again, I'm not clear on what your objection is. If Silver Age DC had room for a story in which Gorilla Grodd got himself elected mayor of Central City (and it did), I think Freedom City has room for a PR Man kind of character. Heck, there was a Silver Age story in which Professor Zoom used his future science to mind-control Central City's government into outlawing super-speed -- and I defy anyone to argue that Silver Age Central City was less supportive of the Flash, than Freedom City is of its superheroes!

If your objection is that either/both of these concepts could be used for plotlines which simply don't belong in Freedom City, I agree. I just don't think either concept requires violating FC's established 'ethos'. It jujst takes a bit of care on the part of the GM, is all.

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You do know that we're not a Silver Age comic site, right? Our setting is definitely a mix of Bronze and Modern Age sensibilities, with the Silver Age silliness happening, but called out as silly.

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In that case, Ecalsneerg, I am even less clear on Sandman's objections. [shrug] 'Tis a mystery. In any case, the concepts are out there for anyone who wishes to use them.

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The big problem with an Undead Rights movement is that, well, this isn't a setting made by White Wolf; the focus is on superhumans, no undead. Most of the undead present in the setting are mindless zombies and skeletons animated by necromancers. For most of the free-willed, intelligent undead, their concerns for humans is in how many of us they can eat. The few who are playing long, political- & social-manipulation games are going to have fake IDs set up so they can pose as living beings with voting rights and the ability to hold a bank account, and wouldn't want anyone knowing they're anything other than what they say the are.

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I will not disagree with anything you've said, Dok. For one thing, you actually, like, know what you're talking about. So if an Undead Rights movement actually did show up in a Freedom City plotline, that UR movement would most likely be some sort of scam, and the plotline might well focus on the player-characters finding out who's running that scam, plus what their agenda might be. Yes? No?

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No, because no one on Earth (Prime) would use such an unlikely and unfeasible thing as a cover. A ruse only works if there are people who'd believe/buy into it long enough for the mastermind to carry out their true plan, but that's not what would happen with an Undead Rights Movement in FC. The guy pulling it may as well be saying "Look at my left hand! Look at it! What? My right hand? No, look at my left hand! Isn't it huge?!"

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