Training Origins.

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Nillaman
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Training Origins.

Postby Nillaman » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:30 am

So, as the Emerald City sourcebook pointed out, the Silver Storm left a lot more people with the 'potential' for paranormal abilities, and it then lists a number of origins. But it struck me that one Origin has been left out in the cold for the most part. Training.

Of course, we have the psychics, we have the martial artists, we have the mystics. But in many of those cases they're just learning how to focus something already coming out naturally. Or we get the Charles Atlas subtext of anyone who can't do these things isn't trying hard enough.

Thus the third potential for paranormal abilities through training is someone who has the potential for paranormal abilities, but earns them through hard work, instead of getting them in a flash. Certainly explains the relative obscurity of these arcane arts if you don't just need someone who's willing to put in the work, won't abuse your teachings or stab you in the back, but also has to have some exotic quality which acts as the catalyst to unlocking more than human abilities through otherwise pointless training with ordinary folks.

Just an idea of mine. ^^ Lemme know what you think of metahuman potential being the key to such matters of the martial, magical, mental, and otherwise marvelous.
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby JDRook » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:09 pm

There's nothing inherently wrong with the Training descriptor, but the Silver Storm is a one-time event and if your campaign includes that or occurs right after it, there's not a lot of time to get a "superhuman" amount of training. I mean, I can think of corner cases where you could work:

- have a character thrown back in time several years and use that time (and knowledge of upcoming events) to train up, then show up "now" (says during the Storm) to take the untrained character's place just as they're pulled back, so narratively it's like the PC "suddenly" has years of training. For added spice, have the older version set the younger version up to guarantee that the "accident" occurs just right.

- similarly, the PC is sent into another dimension where time moves differently (imagine Green Arrow stuck on an island in the Astral Plane or something- flashback scenes optional :)), spends years surviving and trying to escape back to this world, and finally makes it only to discover practically no time has passed here. There may be some readjustment and PTSD for the character, but there is the advantage that he still remembers a little about the setting.

- PC gains a burst of Quickness that allows him to learn at a phenomenal rate, picking up skills as fast as he can study. This could be for a Speedster character, or the power could wear off relatively quickly and just leave the knowledge.

- something about the Storm triggers an epiphany for the PC, allowing them to make new connections from existing ideas and seem to develop new skills "instantly". This is a kind of brain-boost trope, but it's debatable whether it would be considered Training.
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby Nillaman » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:23 pm

Wasn't thinking it'd be a viable Origin for a character caught in the Silver Storm. ^^;

Just that Training origins which grant otherwise ordinary people superhuman abilities could work because the person in question already had the potential for powers. :3 They just needed the right stimuli to bring it forth.
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:37 am

You could also theoretically have the person who has been "training" an ability they don't have either because they believe they can be a Charles Atlas type or because they'd been hoping for a triggering event, and some other event such as the Silver Storm burns in paths such that they actually can access it. Heck, you see it outside of the game with people who will go through all sorts of exercises or rituals in hopes that maybe they might become psychic or be granted magic (with the important side bit that they never get this "empowering event"). One of the differences between them and the regularly imbued is that it's possible that whatever empowered them didn't stick around, so they lack that descriptor with its strengths and weaknesses.

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Re: Training Origins.

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:30 am

Or you could just not involve the Silver-Storm at all: Personally I'm not a fan of dove tailing to a single origin event at the best of times.... more so in a superhero/comic book RPG.
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby Cinder » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:09 am

saint_matthew wrote:Or you could just not involve the Silver-Storm at all: Personally I'm not a fan of dove tailing to a single origin event at the best of times.... more so in a superhero/comic book RPG.


Smallville was notorious for this. It was kind of like they felt like viewers would only believe that people could get powers if they came into contact with meteor rock. Like that explanation was hard science and anything else would be too fantastical.

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Re: Training Origins.

Postby Nillaman » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:15 pm

Again, not focused on the Silver Storm. >.< People with the latent potential for superpowers having a training origin just felt rarely done and interesting to me, a reflection of the character who creates a new piece of technology and applies it to crime fighting.

But, since this is a topic marked Training Origins, I should keep this cosmic hamster ball rolling.

What are potential ways to create archetypes like the Powerhouse, Paragon, Mimic, and Shapeshifter using Training origins?
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby kingk » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:23 pm

I know I'm a step behind, but if you're looking for origins for Training heroes in Emerald City, you could say the expansion of the local AEGIS branch has caused a number of highly skilled field operators to arrive in the city.

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Re: Training Origins.

Postby JDRook » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:38 pm

It really depends on how far your GM and setting allows for training to "unlock untapped potential". If I trained for years, I might be able to smash through concrete blocks with my bare hands, but things like making bullets bounce off my skin or unaided flight might not fit the physics of a particular gameverse.

For the various archetypes, you can look through the Quick Character Generator for ideas to steal:

Paragon - the Man of Action options seem to be largely Training-based, even though a few seem a bit extreme. Full Life Support seems over the top, but I suppose you could have some kind of meditation/internal alchemy that keeps a character from needing food or air and resisting all environments. I might at least make that one Sustained. Leaping 7 (900ft) is also a bit much, but again, nothing that couldn't be tuned for preference and setting.

Powerhouse - similar to Paragon, it would just be a "Man of Action" more focused on being strong and tough. You would need to actively ignore the "7 is human maximum" to get STR into the standard Powerhouse range, but then again a 3 ton carrying capacity could be impressive enough on its own. Being able to change your mass or material form might be a bit much to gain through study, but that might work for, say, anime-level martial art training.

Mimic - I would think anything skill-based would be the easiest to accept, so Reflex Memory would be most likely. The character would have trained for years in observing the actions of others, would probably have high Awareness to pick up those details and high Agility and Dexterity to adapt to those details.

Shapeshifting - same issues as the Powerhouse for the ability to change your form extremely. I could see a master of disguise type who might be able to shift facial muscles, change stance and gait and all kinds of other details to look like someone else almost instantly, but something like turning into a vapor could be too much.
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:27 pm

Cinder wrote:
saint_matthew wrote:Or you could just not involve the Silver-Storm at all: Personally I'm not a fan of dove tailing to a single origin event at the best of times.... more so in a superhero/comic book RPG.


Smallville was notorious for this. It was kind of like they felt like viewers would only believe that people could get powers if they came into contact with meteor rock. Like that explanation was hard science and anything else would be too fantastical.


Yes. That annoyed the heck out of me... Or Arrow & its obsession with linking practically everything back to "the island."

JDRook wrote:It really depends on how far your GM and setting allows for training to "unlock untapped potential". If I trained for years, I might be able to smash through concrete blocks with my bare hands, but things like making bullets bounce off my skin or unaided flight might not fit the physics of a particular gameverse.


An yet not unprecedented in even our own cultural background. After all the spirit Boxers during the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the last century (early 1900's) thought that with sufficient training they could make themselves bullet proof to the demonic westerns evil thundersticks..... Obviously they were wrong, but in my setting they weren't wrong.... Though I suppose training & then allowing an actual spirit to piggy back your body isn't strictly speaking just training..... Though the Zhao Artists of my setting can do the bullet proof thing (the Zhao form of martial arts being a special form of powered martial arts in my setting).

Then again in my setting the Boxer Rebellion was a three way battle. You had the Spirit Boxers who ended up being evil (because they were possessed by evil spirits), under the secret command of the corrupt Dowager Empress (she gave the rebels the Spirit Stone, which empowered the boxers), the domineering imperialist British (with there overtly bigoted Christian missionaries demanding everyone become Christian) & the neutral an hidden Monastery of the Heavens (a group of powered martial artists, made up of people from around the world who came to the temple, climbed the 10,000 steps & sought enlightenment).

The martial artists of the monastery fought both sides, they fought the Boxers who were possessed, discouraged others from becoming boxers & fought the missionaries & the incursions of the imperialists.

Wow, that was a bit of a conversation derailing there, wasn't it.... All I was trying to say is that training can do remarkable things in a comic book setting, well beyond what humans can achieve in reality.
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby Nillaman » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:18 am

Actually, thinking it over, effects like the Tacnet Interface from the Chessmen section of Emerald City Knights could be easily converted into something stemming from a Training Origin character. Looking at Dune as well, the book by Frank Herbert, anything which could be represented purely by extraordinary mental capabilities could as well.

Most of these could require the Subtle or Insidious modifiers, as with the Tacnet Interface, especially Attack Effects also limited solely to benefiting the character using them. Affliction Effects which allow for one to analyze an opponent and inflict the Vulnerable or Defenseless conditions as a result of having their moves predicted ahead of time, Hindered or Immobile through the use of feints and implied danger from the character, Weaken Toughness from pinpointing the chink in even a dragon's armor. One could even have Multiattack as an Enhanced Extra benefiting all Attack Effects as a form of exceptional aim and split-second compensation for each recoil of the weapon, or just pulling off that throwing knives trick where tucked between each pair of fingers is a blade, hurled all at once.

Does this all seem viable? I'd certainly like to expand Training origin characters beyond just folks with higher than average abilities, skills, and a wide range of Advantages. Or psychics, magicians, and martial artists. :3 Wanna give them some real honest to goodness punch with their powers.

Edit: They require Subtle and Insidious because skilled characters tend to lack flashy displays of their abilities and often it's hard for enemies to distinguish they've fallen prey to the non-physical abilities.
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby SilvercatMoonpaw » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:22 am

I've been trying to follow the conversation but am honestly confused. What the heck is everyone talking about here? Training into super-powers? What's the hang-up?

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Re: Training Origins.

Postby Nillaman » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:59 pm

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:I've been trying to follow the conversation but am honestly confused. What the heck is everyone talking about here? Training into super-powers? What's the hang-up?


That a Training origin limits what powers your character can have in my opinion. More so than others.
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Re: Training Origins.

Postby SilvercatMoonpaw » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:09 pm

Nillaman wrote:That a Training origin limits what powers your character can have in my opinion. More so than others.

And so what do you want from us?

I mean in my opinion "training" means "instruction and practice". If you can justify how gaining your powers falls under that I consider it worthy of that descriptor.

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Re: Training Origins.

Postby Nillaman » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:20 pm

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:And so what do you want from us?

I mean in my opinion "training" means "instruction and practice". If you can justify how gaining your powers falls under that I consider it worthy of that descriptor.


I was just noting that Training origins are relatively narrow in general application, where as Accidents, Inventions, Mutants, and so forth end up being much more common.

Truth be told, I've been rambling most of this thread, partially because I'm on one and a half weeks of distorted sleep schedule. >.<

Going back to my original Training idea, it's basically that someone has the latent potential for superhuman abilities, and endeavors to discover how to unlock it. But they'd prefer not to play the superhero lottery and lack the skill to create something to do so. So instead they try to find the right stimuli to force their body to adapt and change. Higher than average but non-lethal amounts of certain energies, consuming strange or unique materials in the hopes of making their properties both permanent and manifest within their bodies, or perhaps they learn visualization techniques so vivid it even fools their body into believing a terrible accident has occurred and thus must change to protect itself.

So a bit like how the characters in Dune use a mixture of bloodlines, training, and Spice as a way to create humans with greater than average abilities.
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