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Story Talking!


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Something I have long wondered, but for some reason never thought to ask, is what kind of stories would people on here like to see happen?,

Obviously there are tremendous advantages to simply coming up with a plot that serves specific PCs whose players want to play together. Supercape in particular is a vocal proponent of getting players first, then building the story to fully embrace their characters' specialties and unique traits, but that approach can only go so far.

What I propose is that we start discussing more what we'd like to do with or see happen to...anything. Mentor, the Norn, the Lor Republic, Lucius Cabot, Gaslight Freedom, Sub-Terra, Mayor O'Connor, heroes and villains of Europe, Africa and Asia, anything and anyone at all. I know that Ecalsneerg and trollthumper are writing up additions to and explorations of the magical and divine side of Freedom, for example, and I for one would love to know what they've got in mind!

To start with, here's something I've wanted to do for a while: King Cole II, after a few years of quiet and obscurity, is galvanized into action by the inroads Amir al-Misri of Summit Transnational is making into the Fens, which the criminal monarch considers his domain. Knowing that Asad employs heroes, King Cole hires Conundrum to entice the businessman and his associates into chasing after him through a fiendish labyrinth filled with hidden perils, while the King's men do their best to undermine the good being done in about the most miserable place in Freedom City.

Secondly: The various Stones(Moonstone, Night Stone, Star Stone) seem like fertile ground for a cosmic story we could do sometime. Maybe they're like the gems of the Infinity Guantlet, where combining them(and unknown cousin Stones?) produces something utterly extraordinarily dangerous, wonderful or both. In such a case, it'd be grand for the space heroes to be needed to rescue the galaxy from the machinations of, say, the Star Khan who wants to use its power to destroy the Star Knights once and for all, or perhaps a mysterious Lor mentat with incredible power wants to use such a conjunction to further his inscrutable schemes. On the other hand, perhaps they are merely examples of Preserver technology, even fragments from a greater crystal that provided the precursor race with unfathomable power. Maybe it is discovered they predate the Preservers themselves and are magical creations from the dawn of time, shards of some dead god, or something even stranger.

Thirdly: Sub-Terra is incredibly vast, with the opportunities to explore vast and forlorn cities, forgotten underground kingdoms and encounter strange people never seen on the surface being plentiful. As well, I've often wondered if trying to make peaceful contact with the Serpent People or Morlocks(or heck, even Magmins) could be done. It might end up "ESCAPE FROM DEATH CAVERN", but I would like to do(or see it done) that at least once.

I have the utmost confidence that you folks can do far better than that, so have at it!

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Man all 3 of these sound interesting!

Story 1 sounds like a good hook for Fenris; criminal "kings" and business-related heroes going at it? Sure thing!

Story 2 is great for Cobalt Templar; magic/magictech/Clarketech gems that warp reality sound a bit like the Seven Rings, and he does have Space Flight now.

Story 3 is all about diplomacy and stuff, so that sounds like a good slot for Gabriel!

As for general story things...I'd like to see more Space stuff in general. Space, and then science (be it Foundry, Labyrinth, etc). Foreign exploits and villains seem fun as well.

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Nice thread Ari.

While I do agree generally with Supercape that crafting a thread to a particular character(s) can often create a much more meaningful story, I also believe a lot can be said by making a story that can handle just about anyone. So far I have been more focused on particular characters in the little GMing I have done since my return, but I hope to maybe start putting together some adventures that I open up for recruitment so to speak. We will see if that happens though. :)

As you well know :D , I have plans for putting together threads revolving around Tsunami’ s enemies, which are all in Asia (though can certainly reach out to Freedom City to try to get her). So there will likely be a number of Asia supers involved in these threads, though more villains than heroes. Depending on how things go, it is always possible that Dr. Sin himself could show up! I certainly plan to be including other Claremont students in on these plans :)

While I do not have anything specific planned at the moment, I have had thoughts about setting some threads in Europe. As my updated fluff for Velocity mentions, she spent a school years studying in England and was active in that country and other parts of Western Europe, so I might do some things tide to heroes and villains Velocity encountered during that time.

I am sure I will come up with some other ideas over the next few months.

As KD said, those are some very interesting ideas. For the first one, in addition to Assad and his employees (and possible some others such as Fenris), I could see King Cole II’s plans in the Fens causing him to run into SC’s new character Bloody Mess (and his sidekick/partner Hound).

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Those are all pretty cool-sounding stories!

I wouldn't mind seeing/participating in an Africa story, with either Arc or Crusader. Both of them are pretty earthbound and not really "cosmic" level heroes. I've been doing both the generic GMing thing as well as attempting more character-centric stories. Getting player feedback is certainly a good way to make both better!

I'd definitely be interested in a Sub-Terra thread, especially since Crusader's already encountered lizardfolk in the subway once!

I'd also like to do something with the Circus Maximus; I've been considering an angle of a plot to run with that, but I haven't come up with anything concrete yet.

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Whilst this isn't the way I (normally) operate, I applaud this discussion.

In a sense, it could actually be construed as coming at it from a different angle. I think the important thing is to make sure the story and the character fit rather than trying to hammer in a character to a plot. I prefer to do it with character first, but then I have evolved into shying away from mega-events into smaller-scale more intimate ones (at least, in the scale of superhero RPG's), where the players actually get a reasonable amount of narrative control!

Personally I have some vague ideas for the Serpent people, El sierpe, and Malaise, but these have grown organically from the threads and converge. I am toying with some link up between Gauntlet, the cult of the Beast Rune, and the Master, but I will be discussing this with Granspear and TiffanyKorta. In other words, gimme some slack in those area's! I won't do anything till I have talked it out and agreed it with the characters it involved as it involved their cannon (that includes you Ari!).

My personal view is if you are doing story first have a strong think about how you match character to the story, and perhaps just as important (? more so) player RPG agenda to the story.

What you are describing are broad brushstrokes, I think, without the flesh on the bones, which means there is a lot of leeway in how you actually implement a story. That seems a good thing.

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As a clarification, I'm not nearly recruiting yet, this is just ideas, ideas I(given how bad I am about starting new threads way too quickly and not seeing old ones to their conclusion first) may never use.

In fact, GranspearZX and KnightDisciple, I'd love to know what you guys would make those stories about!

You make a very interesting point, Knight, about the possible similarities between your Seven Rings and creations like the Star Stone. Of course that's partially because both are inspired by the Green Lantern Corps, but it could definitely make for something cosmic. Maybe there's a similar guiding principle or inspiration behind both of them?

Thanks for that, Thevshi. Yes, I have indeed been privy to some of your plotting, and I don't have to tell you how eager I am to hear about its development!

Supercape, what you say is(as far as I know) very true. Like I mentioned, there are definite advantages to the way you prefer to plot things, letting conflicts, people and ideas spring up more or less spontaneously from interaction and player interest as they go through the larger scenario. They are memorable for a reason: people get invested in them because they helped create them! And I really want to see where your various plot strands lead, so no spoilers plz! :D Also, I'm going to need to remember to ask you about a thing involving the Baron Necromme.

For once the broad strokes thing is wholly intended, and not a result of my being [REDACTED]. It's the fun of wondering, for example "What would happen if some of the magicians on the board had to fill in for Eldrich for a day?" or "What if Fulcrum had to deal with a villainous entity made out of sound?"(I like the idea of beings made out of sound) Ideally such an interactive and versatile format as we've got can allow for a GM to both come up with catch-all plots that respond well to player creativity and ingenuity, and more fine-tuned specialized adventures that draw from unique character traits.

Granspear, I hear you on the Circus Maximus. One suggestion: there's a hot new gladiator in the ring, who styles her/himself as a modern Spartacus and, much to Augustus's amusement, is gradually gathering strength to take over from the old man. What the Centurion's greatest foe doesn't know, however, is that this guy has a trick up his sleeve the gangster us wholly unprepared for. Or something.

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In fact, GranspearZX and KnightDisciple, I'd love to know what you guys would make those stories about!

You make a very interesting point, Knight, about the possible similarities between your Seven Rings and creations like the Star Stone. Of course that's partially because both are inspired by the Green Lantern Corps, but it could definitely make for something cosmic. Maybe there's a similar guiding principle or inspiration behind both of them?

The Rings intentionally and explicitly tap into several "broad strokes". The "roles" (leader, illusionist, etc) are common ideas for jobs in a fight. The principles behind them are positive and negative aspects of humanity (and the universe at large, really). The elements used are pretty universal.

I could see something like the Stones tapping into similar energies. Perhaps their "frequency" is dissimilar enough they're a distinct "flavor" or "texture", but not so radically different there aren't interesting questions!

I've kept the nature of the rituals that made the rings purposefully vague and mysterious. In my mind, only the Master Mage, that super-librarian in the Terminus (the one that helps the Furions), and the evil dark mage (Malcador?) who lives in the Terminus would have a chance of actually knowing the ritual. I suppose if all the Parkhurst mages sat down and poked and prodded one of the Rings, and studied the scans of the cave where Corbin found it, they'd have a shot at figuring out the ritual (with skill, luck, and some mystical duct tape...).

Point is, I'd be up for playing on the similarities. I don't see them being outright connected, mind.

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Hmmm… possible story elements…

The Villain With Good Publicity

The textbook example here is the current Lex Luthor, who is publicly known to be a virtuous, law-abiding citizen, and is a grandmaster in the art of Plausible Deniability. When you're dealing with one of this guy's schemes, it's generally not too difficult to stomp on said scheme; the hard part is coming up with sufficient evidence to (a) connect this guy to his scheme, and (B) get the SOB convicted in court.

Another kind of Villain With Good Publicity would be a Robin Hood type. Sure, they're breaking the law—but they're doing so for good (or at least "highly sympathetic") reasons, so heroes who confront them may end up looking like real jerks if they're not careful.

The Big Disaster

This could be an earthquake, a big-ass fire that's raging out of control, a horribly intense blizzard, a ruptured dam—anything that could wreak mass quantities of havoc on a nontrivial number of unsuspecting citizens. A Big Disaster may or may not have been triggered by a supervillain; alternately, it may or may not have been a foreseeable consequence of otherwise-innocent activities. Lots of opportunities for heroes to look good saving lives. Depending on how big the Big Disaster actually is, it may make sense for heroes to confront it in multiple different threads.

The Dangerous Punching Bag

This is a 'villain' whose entire raison d'etre is to beat the ever-lovin' crap out of anything that crosses its path, especially the main character. We're talking Doomsday, also the Hulk (in his least-intelligent phases, anyway). Good for showcasing the main character's strengths; a Superman can look good beating them unconscious, a superbrain can look good figuring out an ingenious method for neutralizing the threat, etc.

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The Punching Bag sounds kind of like The Beast of Kilimanjaro, or something.

I think it'd be neat if Lana Loeb showed up sometime, maybe after she says something to seriously anger the heroes of Southside, who then have to endure her while protecting the Daily Herald offices from some villain she also ticked off. The villain in question would probably be someone like Megalodon, or some other villain with an animal theme, because Spider-Man protecting his boss from Scorpion doesn't get old.

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Africa has a lot of potential for such a short section. The involvement of SHADOW and the now-defunct South African supers program was the first thing that jumped out at me. There's also Dakana and its interaction with the rest of the world... and Russoboo pointed out the Atlantis/Wakanda parallel in Marvel; that could also be an angle to be worked here.

Just a few things off the top of my head. While I hadn't given it a lot of thought before, it's definitely worth exploring.

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More stuff for GMs to throw into their 'toolbox' of plot elements…

The Evil Twin

Like Eobard "Reverse-Flash" Thawne to Barry "Flash" Allen, or like Bizarro to Superman, the Evil Twin can be summed up as "the character gone horribly, horribly wrong". A story with an Evil Twin will typically have a strong there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I feel to it.

The Polar Opposite

This kind of villain is strong where the character is weak. Fire-user vs water-user, light vs dark, scientist vs mage, and so on. It's not uncommon for a Polar Opposite story to showcase innovative ways to exploit the character's major powers, or even throw a spotlight on some of the character's more obscure, lesser-known abilities.

The Road Trip to Beyond

Send the character off to Someplace Different and see how they handle it. "Someplace different" can be another planet, an alternate timeline, an exotic plane of existence, a far-flung era of the past or future, or whatever else the writer's GM's twisted mind can come up with. A standard feature of Road Trip to Beyond-type stories, is that the inhabitants of the Someplace Different have some sort of problem which is intractable to them (the inhabitants), but which is nonetheless overcome with the character's help.

Fish Out of Water

Throw the character into a scenario which they are completely unsuited for. Like, say, the time that Dr. Doom marooned Reed Richards in the ultimate library of eldritch/mystical tomes, a "trap" which could easily be escaped just by casting a trivially simple spell…

If the "scenario" involves a villain with powers that the character can't cope with, the story might also be considered an instance of Polar Opposite.

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As much as I love Freedom City as a setting, it would be nice to explore a little more off the whole world. And not just because I created a character tied to a specific country ;) .

I did have an idea on something like this a set of story, I thinking individual GM's, each set in a different part of the world tied to a common theme. I was thinking as a theme of some form of turf war between Mastermind criminals, with one of them trying to take over the others teritory.

We could set it up so a couple of heroes from the different places get to have an impact of the places there from.

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That is an awesome idea TiffanyKorta! I for one would love to help pull off such a crazy train-wreck. What kind of territory are we talking about here, by the way? If we're talking about them trying to take over each others' super secret super-bases of secrecy, that'll be a bit different from trying to get their hands on each others' weapons and terrible secrets or whatever.

And don't think we're not on to you and your Young Britannia ways! It'd be great to have some awesome British adventures! Maybe she and Britannia will need to gather some folks to deal with some strange attack by magic space aliens.

EDIT: Also, one thing I've wanted to do was a thread wherein Claremont students put on a play of some kind, only for an immensely powerful being to send them 'into' the story to improve their performance.

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While I am a fan of SC's philosophy of making the story fit the character. I'm actually a bit different in that there's a certain appeal to a character being in a story out of his/her element. Sort of like how Batgirl II was basically a wuxia character in an otherwise Noir world. Even Superman takes a break and stops purse snatchers. Like others I'm also a fan of including more stories outside of Freedom City. Be it other countries, dimensions, planets, timelines, underwater, secret sewer societies, etc. Of course the majority of stories should take place within the city itself.

As for plot ideas. I have issues in which I have a dozen ideas a minute. Stuff like villains trying to manufacture powers ala specialized strains of Zoom. Maybe the mobs start forming sinister six esque squads of specialists to deal with cowls. Maybe a rescue mission spurred by a distress call from The Terminus. Or Perhaps the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign's amassed a large enough collection of artifacts that they're willing to attempt taking over Atlantis or another country for control of their relics. The list goes on and on, and I love the very idea of the dialogue this thread tries to accomplish.

'Course it may be because I tend to enjoy the idea of those old 1001 plot hook threads the think tank has.

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Well I was thinking of one from each continent, Europe, Asia (and maybe India), Africa, Australia (or New Zealand or the Pacific Islands) and possible another part of the America. One of the many Mastermind is trying to muscle into the others territories for some reason, maybe just to expand there power base. There way do it could vary by location to give each GM enough wiggle room to tell the story they want.

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I love all the ideas I'm seeing here! Kudos to Arichamus for taking the initiative to get the ball rolling.

Ari's first story (King Cole) could fit for any of my characters. Dok could be in the area discussing business matters with Asad, Dead Head could be in the area b/c death is (still) cheap & prevalent in the Fens (so that's exactly the kind of place he'd be, when not dealing with bigger mystical threats with the Midnighters), and Protectron could be touring the Fens to try to learn more about humanity.

Ari's second story (stones) would definitely be a draw for Dok, because I've been wanting to do epic space stuff with him for a while.

Ari's third story (Sub-Terra) could work with any of my characters. Dok's always up for exploration, Dead Head could get sucked in while pursuing grave robbers who "delved too greedily and too deep," Protectron's eager to meet new life forms and civilizations (especially those that could be allies for humanity).

Dok would be up for Thevshi's European threads, since he's from there & had hero'd there for about a decade before coming (back) to Freedom City.

Cubist's ideas are all solid comic book superhero stuff, though we've not actually seen much of them here. I'd like to see that change.

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Story 1: Sil seems like the person Asad would call for something Fens related.

Story 2: Philos or Changeling could do this one.

Story 3: Catalyst probably could be in this as well, honestly it seems like this thread would be something Gaian Knight would have a hand in.

Umm, I wouldn't know about Evil Twins, and I'm not sure my characters really have much in ways of polar opposites, but fish out of water, Changeling's drops three PLs offensively against anything with immunity to mental, Philos isn't good against any characters that can't be slowed down with diplomacy, Sil can't fight beings of energy and is poor at social situations, and Catalyst wouldn't fair to well against juggernaut type characters (Immunity to Fortitude effects, high impervious toughness, very strong), or really anyone who can close the distance and disarm her.

Road Trip Stories

Sil (or Carrie, she does these as Carrie) often travels to alternate dimensions, it wouldn't be unheard of. Changeling would be well versed in any arcane dimensions or time travel really, Catalyst could probably do time travel as well, Philos going to other planets wouldn't be that far fetched, he is an alien.

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I have a few plots that I really need to flesh out and pin down.

The Other White Light

A story involving TT's Light of Truth. Essentially it reemerges and gets up to its old tricks. Starlight would be a natural here, since a bearer of the Light of Truth would fall into her Evil Opposite slot rather neatly; both Green Lantern expies, both from space, both bearing white-energy-manipulating abilities. Except one fights for personal liberty and the other is a tyrant with a ring.

Crystals and Tigers, Oh My!

The PCs investigate a daka smuggling operation, eventually coming into contact with the White Lion who's following the trail from the other end. They all team up to find the villain behind it, and make sure he doesn't do it again!

Freaks & Monsters

I want to receive an idea that was tried once but fizzled, to create a team of PCs who have monstrous/scary forms. Starlight would be on it, and probably Jubatus. Not sure who else ATM.

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Umm, I wouldn't know about Evil Twins, and I'm not sure my characters really have much in ways of polar opposites

What about Changeling vs an honest-to-iron fae? One of the ones who reminds us why they're terrific (because they inspire terror).

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Thank you for the kind words, Dr. Archeville! Really I ought to have tried to start something like this earlier. When I start these, I'll be glad to have you aboard.

As far as European shenanigans go, I think AA had/has some Oddballs that are nominally European heroes, at least a "sketch" sort of layout.

And while it seems selfish I must point out Ireland has 7 full-on superheroes, and a host of minor powered and non-powered hero-type folks.

Excellent points KnightDisciple, and indeed AvengerAssembled's Oddballs thread is a treasure-trove of plot hooks, story ideas and general inspiration. His hero/villain write-ups for various nations is a great springboard for possible European adventures. What kinds of stories have you been considering for Ireland, or Europe in general?

Additionally, I'm now very interested in some kind of Ring/Stone storyline. Who's to say the next bearer of the Night Stone can't also get her hands on the Indigo Ring(besides those Power Level budget restrictions >.>)?

Aoiroo, Silhouette would most certainly be a good fit for the King Cole plot. I won't spoil my hopes for it, but the difference between her thinking and Conundrum's is bound to be pretty entertaining! :D

About the Changeling Evil Twin or Polar Opposite thing...one way to look at it could be Etain's origin. She's a human girl raised in the baroque and twisted world of fairies, and who has learned how to use their glamour art. What about a fairy taken to Earth by some wizard, who through a supreme effort of will and devoted study managed to learn human magic? Now they're a warped aberration, cold an analytical while at the same time brimming with new-found imagination. Admittedly my own treatments of the Fey and their world has not exactly been inspired, but that seems like a pretty solid base.

Raveled, if you want I would be glad to have Wave-Eye be part of that again. How do you aim on getting the band together, this time around?

(Minor note: what I want from this is to hear and talk about what story ideas we have. I'm flattered my outlines have such interest, and I'll definitely have to follow up on them now, but any suggestions, alternate interpretations or ideas of how to improve or deepen the base premise is what I desire)

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Raveled, if you want I would be glad to have Wave-Eye be part of that again. How do you aim on getting the band together, this time around?

I think I'd go with the same general idea: Meta-Grue impersonates already bestial or scarey-looking heroes heroes in order to erode the public's faith in their protectors. I don't know how continuity works around here with abandoned threads, but since the previous one got to all of 2 pages (if that) I'm fine ignoring that it ever happened.

The big change is that I'd want to do some pre-threads going into detail about what exactly the Meta-Grue did while impersonating each PC and how they handled the resulting backlash. Then do a big team up thread where they get together to kick his ass.

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