The World of Paladin: Protector of the Universe

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hypervirtue
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The World of Paladin: Protector of the Universe

Postby hypervirtue » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:53 pm

This is the basis for the world I set my comic in, I converted it into M&M terms because well the basis for the book was from my first M&M character anyway.

Feel and Flavor
The world of Paladin is a world emerging from a "Dark Age" of super heroes. This is more of a modern setting that has just emerged from the "Dark Age" of superheroes. There are still handfuls of the "Darkity-Darks" around but their numbers are dwindled from natural selection. (More or less the darkity-dark heroes killed themselves off but caused enough destruction that they caused all superheroes and most super villains to retire.)

Time Period
The time period set at current is the normal modern age.

History
Modern mystics can trace the first official "superhero" as far back as the legendary (but not Mythical by any stretch) King Arthur and Wizard Merlin. Arthur was empowered with abilities far above and beyond those of mortals when he armed himself with Excalibur and its scabbard. Though at the time those figures and many who came afterward were not seen as "superheroes" and so are not listed in the history books as such.

World War I

The first actual "superhero" was a young black man by the name of Terrance Jones, although his existence is left more or less out of the history books. Terrance gained his superhuman abilities as part of a government attempt to create a superhuman during World War I. At the time the government decided that testing on an African-American would be more publicly accepted. Terrance was given a series of chemical treatments that consisted of new types of steroids that was derived from plants found in the Amazon rain forests.

Terrance was endowed with amazing physical abilities however was also cursed with an exceptionally short life-span. Though unknown to the government before he died he had a brief relationship with Jamie Carter a secretary and aid of one of the scientists on the "Human Advancement Project" and that act would create a superhuman dynasty.

World War II

HAP was viewed as a failure since the death of Jones and was shut down and kept in secret. The American Government turned to the power of the Atom to win World War II until a young Army private by the name of Victor Marshal would suddenly and without warning gain amazing abilities far above and beyond those of any ordinary human.

According to Victor's recounting of the story he and his squad were about to be killed by a German tank when he was visited by something he identified as "The Source" and was granted powers beyond the ken of human understanding. He became the first American to carry the name of "Paladin."

Shortly following those events the United States canceled a number of military projects to pull scientists on to study the Paladin effect. Among those was a scientist and robotics expert known as Dr. Albert Worthington. Dr. Worthington's own project, a plan to create "power armor" to be worn by soldiers was placed on indefinite hold which eventually would cause Dr. Worthington to leave the project under less than polite terms.

Shortly after the appearance of "Paladin" a squad of Japanese super soldiers were found tearing apart allied forces. They were called the "Kamikaze" or the "Divine Wind" unit. It appeared that the Japanese had uncovered the HAP research data and had used it to turn willing participants into short living but unrivaled warriors. Paladin was the only one who could combat them on an even footing and even then it was difficult.

In the wake of the Philadelphia Experiment another hero would soon be discovered. Jason Price, a lab assistant, would be caught within range of the unified field bubble. The bubble would change him on what is referred to as a "Quantum Level" and he would gain abilities that surpassed even those of Paladin.

Jason was drafted and renamed Zenith. He would be sent to the front lines to help in whatever way that he could. Together Zenith and Paladin fought against the Axis super villains and would be named the victors many times.

Other heroes and villains appeared as well. King Arthur and Merlin returned to defend Britain against assault. A heavily armored villain known as the "Crimson Death" also appeared in the United States. The Nazi's allied themselves with a Necromancer by the name of Nekros and bolstered their forces with legions of the undead.

In the end the heroes held of the villain forces but it was the normal humans who won the day. With a massive land invasion that became known as D-Day and then later the use of two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki World War II came to a close.

To be continued...

Next time we move into the days of the Red Scare and the Cold War!
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:51 pm

The Red Scare and the Cold War

The 50's were a time of prosperity. More or less more heroes and villains existed than ever before but there was almost a playful quality to things. There seemed to be an unwritten rule that stated that heroes did not kill villains and villains didn't really try to kill heroes.

In this time period the invention of the "Death Trap" became very common among villains. The mechanic was more or less simple. The villain would lock the hero into some kind of machine or chamber or whatever and then leave them there so they could finish whatever crime it was that they were trying to accomplish. If the hero escaped it might take them too long and the villain would have claimed his ill-gotten gains, if they hero did happen to die, well it was indirect.

That is to say that yes, some heroes died and some villains did to. More than one bad guy left this world after taking a fatal fall after all but everyone understood that it was the risks of the job and more or less everyone took it in stride.

This was a strange time for America as people were terrified of "Commies" and even villains were loathe to stomach a "dirty pinko" more often than not. People were being black listed for having different ideological beliefs and science was making grand strides.

Then... Things went straight to pot...

The Rise of the Dark Age

In 1953 the hero known as Zenith and his teenage sidekick Timmy (aka Liberty Lad) thwarted the villain known as X once again. Only this time things ended differently. X triggered the self destruct mechanism on his volcano fortress as a plan to buy time to escape. Zenith was forced to choose to either go after X or stop the destruction sequence.

In the initial stages of the self destruct several preliminary explosives shook the base and dislodged a number of girders and rocks. Timmy, who was guarding the rear exit of the fortress, was pinned beneath them. On the way out X saw the trapped teenager and was overcome with rage. He walked over to the helpless hero, and pulled his Luger from it's holster, he fired two bullets into Timmy's head, killing him.

X escaped, however realizing what he had done he chose to go underground to hide from retribution. Zenith and his allies began an exhaustive search for the murderer of Timmy. In the search some villains were killed by the heroes. That was when things got bad.

The villains began escalating, they became more desperate. Heroic deaths were the result. Until that point the villains and heroes had an "unwritten agreement" as it were, heroes didn't kill intentionally and generally villains tried not to kill unless it was unavoidable. The death of Timmy, a helpless 13 year old, was something totally different.

X was eventually apprehended and sentenced to death for the murder however that did not stop the escalation. Soon it simply wasn't worth being a super villain as the chance of death was much too high. It also wasn't worth being a super hero for the collateral damage it drew to it.

Eventually the age of heroes came to an end. The "Hero-Villain War" as it was known lasted from 1953 to 1976, there were over 200,000 deaths as a result. Of those 200,000 deaths the number of super beings was less than 200.

In the end heroes were hated as much as the villains were. They were not even liked by the police and were asked, respectfully to stop aiding in ongoing investigations. When heroes refused they were arrested for obstructing justice. Some heroes tried to resist by force, they were killed at a high price in lives of law enforcement and national guard.

To be continued...

Next time we tackle the 70's and 80's! Stay tuned!
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:51 am

The Not-So-Silver Age

Due to the so-called "Hero-Villain War" there were only a few noted superheroes active in the 70's and 80's. The most well known was the hero group known as the Guardsmen.

Formed by the former super spy turned superhero "Commander Virtue" was a group of what might be considered "Street Level" heroes. They were formed initially for a single rescue mission though on completion chose to stay together to continue to do what good they could.

The First Mission

A space ship crash landed in Lakeland California and Commander Virtue went in alone to investigate. At the crash site Commander Virtue encountered an injured alien by the name of Barricade. Barricade had revealed that he was searching for a cloaked alien vessel that had been dispatched to Earth to gather a human capable of being transformed into a living weapon. He had planned on stopping them but he was struck by some form of energy impact and crashed himself.

It did not take long for Commander Virtue and Barricade to locate the source of the impact. An Elementalist by the name of Wind Dancer, a woman who came from an alternate world to spread a message of peace, had opened her gateway in the path of the ship. When informed of what was going on she insisted in using her magic to aid in the search for the vessel.

When the group finally located the ship they had already found their subject. A young girl named Linda. She was thirteen years old. They were performing experiments on her brain, trying to awaken her latent psychic potential in an attempt to create a "level 10" psychic. The girl would only reach "level 9" however and by the time Wind Dancer, Barricade, and Commander Virtue boarded the ship she was already slated for termination.

There was a rescue and eventually the girl would join the group under the heroic identity of "Psi-Girl" together they helped a lot of people but attempted to keep their heads down. Eventually they would also be joined by the "Harlem" superhero known as Talon.

1980's

The 80's were known as an exceptionally quiet time. It was during this time that a number of heroes became presumed dead. Zenith was declared "retired" as he had not been seen by this point for over thirty years. The Guardsmen would continue to do their work but by the end of the 1980's would decide to disband and the group officially left the public eye.

The 80's were an innocent time. There was a surge in uplifting music and in general there was a positive attitude in the air. In place of actual superheroes there was an explosion in comic books and action cartoons, all of them giving positive reinforcement and striving to teach life lessons to children.

To be continued...

Next time! The 90's and the turn of the century!
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:07 pm

The 90's

During the 1990's the world saw a brief resurgence of the heroic element of the world. Across the world broke out brief and violent superhuman scuffles. These elements were often attributed to "rogue meta-humans" or "superhumans with terrorist agendas" by the media. The truth of the matter was that there were still old rivalries between the heroes and villains of the silver age and they were getting up in their years.

Many of these conflicts were in reality, "One last battle" to end things once and for all. Of course the governments of the world milked these incidents and used them to fuel anti-superhuman programs that were covers for designing more advanced and potent weaponry.

The Turn of the Century

Y2K came and went. Heroes once again began appearing across the world. These heroes were young, many of them untrained, and for the most part were far more effective than their "darkity-dark" formers. They were fresh, they were smart, and they had youth on their side.

After the terrorist attack on New York City these heroes signed up with the armed forces in droves though most were rejected due to age or psychological instability.

In 2005 a teenage heroine appeared on the scene in Lakeland. Her name was Hyper-Girl. A super speedster who showed amazing levels of skill, she became the sweetheart of the city within days partially due to her youth but also due to her success and care to avoid damages and civilian casualties.

The teenager became famous when she defeated the schizophrenic Dr. Joshua Goldberg and saved the city from a horde of rampaging robots that he had designed to "Drive the Nazi's out of America!" Following the events she made sure Dr. Goldberg was not only captured unharmed but delivered him to an institution where they could stabilize his medications.

The modern day...

The modern day is a fresh new one for heroes. The stigma of the past is beginning to fade and although memories are fresh with the horror of the past in places like Lakeland new heroes are given a chance to prove themselves.

To be continued...

Next time we get into the sources available to players and how they work. We also talk about terminology that is used in the world of Paladin: Protector of the Universe!
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:40 pm

Sources of Power: Concepts of Justice

In the world of Paladin every hero and villain is empowered not only by a standard source, but also by a secondary source. These sources are related to a "concept" that are physical embodiments of ideas and ideals.

Note: Magic using characters are an exception to this. In those cases each of their spells may use a different "Concept" as part of their descriptor.

Characters who draw their power from the Concept directly, such as the Paladin, are known as Avatars. Though others can become "aligned" with a concept based on their actions.

The majority of Player Characters are not aware of the existence of the Concepts.

About Nullify: It is impossible to nullify or counter a Concept. It is not an option for the Nullify powers, though it can be part of a limited flaw. For example: Nullify Chaos Magic would be legitimate as a Nullify Magic with the Limited Flaw for only Chaos spells, but Nullify Chaos would not be.

The idea behind the Concepts is that when the first intelligent being thought up an intangible idea, like creation, it, and it's opposite came to be. At first these Concepts fought each other directly however that was useless because it is impossible to actually destroy an idea, so soon they came to empower agents, each one empowered with the knowledge of what they were or no idea what so ever.

Known Concepts

Order
Order appears to be a golden star in space. It sometimes chooses to empower only one person each generation, granting that person amazing arrays of abilities. It is a very direct concept and agents of order know that they serve a higher power. Many people interpret Order as an angel due to the fluid nature of Concepts when exposed to people with "mental images" of what they should be.

It is important to note that Order is neither good nor evil, as those are separate concepts. Order seeks primarily to uphold the status quo and it is the source of the "Paladin" line of heroes.

Chaos
Chaos appears similar to order only it is a darker purple. The two concepts actually physically circle each other. Unlike Order, Chaos empowers many many heroes and villains. It simply seeks to insert an element of entropy into things. It does not let those it empowers know that it has empowered them, often their empowerment is seemingly due to an accident or a rogue genetic code.

Like Order, Chaos is not good or evil.

Despair
Despair tends to appear as a thick black cloud. The concept is very fickle and empowers heroes and villains, this usually is to cause despair to some degree or another. A hero can cause despair to those who wish to do evil just as easily as a villain can cause despair by slaughtering innocents.

Hope
Hope appears as a brilliant sun, and is one of the largest empowering entities for heroes though some villains as well. Hope seeks to spread to people the feeling that things can be better or that they are better than they believe they are. Hope often lends power to those in law enforcement who are striving to help clean up a crime ridden neighborhood.

It is important to note though that people have different degrees of hope, in a place where crime is rare, hope can come to the criminal element as well if a powerful villain arises.

Creation
Wild and unstoppable, creation is a huge planet full of lush lands. Creation empowers beings who use their powers to create things. Creation is one of the "Over Concepts" and was in fact the first Concept. Creation chooses to create for the sake of creating and not all of its creations (empowered subjects) are good.

Sometimes Creation is known as "Life" and appears as a beautiful woman who is with child.

Oblivion
Oblivion is the end of all things and appears as a large black hole. Oblivion sits quietly as eventually all things come to it. Oblivion fuels those who destroy, be it a hero who destroys evil, or a villain who destroys those who oppose it. Like Creation, Oblivion is an "Over Concept" and was born the instant that Creation was.

Sometimes Oblivion is known as "Death" and wears the familiar visage of the Grim Reaper.

Other Concepts
There are as many concepts as a person can think of (literally) and serve as a tool for players and game masters to flesh their characters out and give them almost an "alignment" of sorts.

Characters can justify almost any concept with a character...

To give an example:
Superman could be an agent of Order, as he enforces the Status Quo, but he also brings Despair to villains, He creates things by ushering in the heroic age. He could be an agent of Chaos as he got his powers due to the random circumstances that allow his appearance to blend in with humans and powers granted to him while on Earth.

Terminology
"Darkity-Darks" - Anti-Heroes, heroes who kill generally.
"Meta-Humans" - Mutants, humans who's powers are a result of a natural genetic mutation.
"Superhuman" - Any human with abilities above human capability.
"Super Soldier" - A being who has one or more of their natural human abilities "maxed out" by means of training or modification.
"Spacers" - Aliens or humans who frequent space.
"Avatars" - Characters directly empowered by a Concept.
"Slug-Fest" - When two heroes get into a physical confrontation.
"Juiced" - A character who has gained special abilities by a chemical agent.
"Enhanced Human" - A human who was "enhanced" by either a purposeful attempt or a total accident. Basically an unnatural Meta-Human.

To be continued...

Next time we look at the city of Lakeland, the base city of the Paladin Universe.
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:47 pm

Lakeland

The City of Lakeland California is home to a small group of superheroes. This place is a little more tolerant than other cities may be though the heroes of the city have a tendency to police themselves.

Heroes

Note: The builds for all of these characters will be added eventually, for now it will just be a small explanation of their history. A few I have posted before and I will post links to them where applicable.

Hypergirl
http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?t=32576&highlight=

Age: Unknown, appears to be between 13-15.
Date of Birth: Unknown, estimated to be born between 1997-1995
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Red with blond highlights
Height: 5'3"
Weight: Unknown, estimated around 100 lbs with her armor.

Powers & Abilities:
Hypergirl can move at speeds that exceed the speed of sound and requires no acceleration time.
Hypergirl also possesses amazing regenerative capabilities.

History:
Hypergirl is the "premier" superhero of the city. She has proven herself to be competent, dedicated, and even though she is very young, extremely responsible. (See the URL for more detailed information)

The Guardsmen
A Superhero group in the city. Officially they are retired but if a member is on scene and they are needed none of these heroes will hesitate to help. If a situation is grave enough to threaten the city there is no doubt that the Guardsmen will arrive, spandex and all, despite some of their members being of advanced age.

Commander Virtue

Age: 61
Date of Birth: 1948
Eyes: Blue (Commander Virtue only has one eye, he claims to have lost the other in an "Assignment" in his Super Spy days. He wears an eye patch.)
Hair: Blond
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 212 lbs

Powers & Equipment
While possessing no actual powers Commander Virtue was trained to be a secret agent by the CIA during the cold war. He was trained in many forms of martial arts and has kept up with an extremely extensive training schedule even in his advanced age. He is extremely intelligent and considered a tactical genius. He also speaks at least seven languages and as near as has been demonstrated can pilot any vehicle from a helicopter to a fighter jet.

Commander Virtue does wear a Kevlar lined bodysuit when entering into combat, he also carries with him a knife which he has never used against a person but has used to cut rope before. Commander Virtue also carries a "Gas Pellet Automatic" a modified Automatic Handgun that can be loaded with various non-lethal ammunition, he is famous for his "knock out" rounds.

History:
Commander Virtue is rather old now but when he was a young man he joined the CIA and was a spy during the cold war. He believed in what he was doing and took a number of lives until one assignment.

Virtue's contact, a fellow Agent, had turned and mislead Virtue into taking the life of an innocent civilian instead of the actual target. After that Virtue was sent after the turned Agent, after a brutal battle which cost Virtue his left eye he resigned his commission and vowed never to take a life again.

He tried to readjust but found it very difficult, so eventually. being unable to handle the crime in the city he began his own crusade to fight crime wherever he found it.

Psi-Girl

Age: 46
Date of Birth: 1963
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 138 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Psi-Girl is a "Level 9 Psion" making her one of the most powerful Psychics on the planet. She possesses amazing levels of telekinesis that also allow her to fly and also has moderate telepathic abilities. She can project her thoughts so she can be heard by others for miles, read people's minds, create realistic illusions, and can alter the memories of others.

History:
Psi-Girl was 13 years old when she was abducted by a hostile Alien Race who tried to turn her into a weapon. She was rescued by Commander Virtue, Wind-Dancer, and Barricade. After those events she became the group, The Guardsmen's, mascot. Eventually she became a full fledged member. She is 46 years old but cloaks herself in the illusion of a younger version of herself when in costume appearing to be in her early 20's. She claims that it is subconscious but Commander Virtue and Talon suspect it is a small bit of Vanity.


Talon

Age: 56 (Appears 23 years old due to powers.)
Date of Birth: 1953
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 189 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Talon's body is made of "living metal" that he can reshape into different shapes, usually weapons like claws or spikes, but on at least one occasion has become a pillar to hold up a bridge. This grants him amazing durability, regenerative capabilities, and devastating offensive capabilities.

History:
Steve Jones was a very educated African-American in the 1970's. He went to an expensive acting school, he had a 4.0 GPA in high school, and he was a truly gifted actor. Unfortunately, Steve due to being large and muscular was typecast as a thug. He was hired on to a number of "blacksploitation" movies despite having not ever even lived in the lifestyle depicted.

After continuous role-lock he heard of an underground medical procedure that could change what someone looked like. It was said to be experimental but Steve didn't care. The Beverly Hills native would do anything for his crack at stardom.

Something went horribly wrong in the process however and his body was changed forever. He decided to cash in on it and contacted his agent after he found out what his new body could do.

The world, his Agent said, wasn't ready for an "educated black superhero" and convinced Steve to play a role for a short time and got him a shot with the Guardsmen of Lakeland. Much to his chagrin Steve became "Black Talon" the hero from the mean streets of Harlem, and signed on to sell merchandise.

Although he would come clean and drop the word Black from his name, going only as Talon it still follows him to this day. People who remember the TV show "based" on him and such have not learned to separate the actor from the role it seems.


Barricade

Age: 2700
Date of Birth: 601 BC
Eyes: White
Hair: None
Height: 7' 9"
Weight: 489 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Barricade can generate force fields and can shape these force fields into any shape he desires. This allows him to protect not only himself and his companions but also to create barricades that prevent others from passing near him. In addition to this Barricade is very strong and tough physically due to his size and density.

History:
An Alien from a distant planet. Barricade came to Earth to stop the plans of the Ta'kri a race of extra-terrestrial conquerors who sought to use the human race as weapons. His craft crashed after colliding with Wind-Dancer's portal and could not be repaired. When he helped rescue Psi-Girl from the Ta'kri ship the ship was destroyed and Barricade found himself stranded here on Earth.


Wind-Dancer

Age: 53
Date of Birth: 1956
Eyes: White (when using her magic), Brown
Hair: White
Height: 5'5"
Weight: 138 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Wind-Dancer is an elemental sorceress who can control the weather. She can use this for a number of effects from making rain and sleet, to fog to obscure vision, she can call lightning bolts, summon tornadoes, and even fly!

History:
Appearing to be Asian with pointed elf-like ears Wind-Dancer was born originally as Alaya Wind-Dancer in her home dimension of Pyleth. Pyleth, she claims, was a utopia without war or conflict where people lived in peace in a female dominated society.

She claims she left her world to spread a message of peace but some people noticed slight inconsistencies in her recollections of her world. Commander Virtue secretly suspects that Wind-Dancer is hiding something, possibly painful, but as he says, "Everyone has secrets." and he has not pressed her for these.

Wind-Dancer claims that in the dimensional rift that she lost the amulet that would let her pass through the dimensions. Barricade has noted however that in their history Wind-Dancer has not really attempted to craft a new amulet or to find a way back home.

To be continued...

Next time, the rest of the heroes, and then the villains!

(Comments, questions, opinions, all are welcome. :) )
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:51 pm

Heroes, continued...

Government Superteam: Strike Force X
Lower powered than the Guardsmen this cadre of cybernetically and genetically enhanced Super Soldiers are called in when a superhuman goes rogue.

Stalwart
Age: 28
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 212 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Stalwart possesses a reinforced cybernetic frame that allows him increased durability. He has had his other physical attributes raised to the maximum human limits and has been trained in the use of several martial arts and has been trained in over thirty melee and ranged weapons.

Stalwart's most regular piece of equipment is a modified MP5k with an under mounted grenade launcher. He carries, in addition to conventional fragmentation grenades, smoke grenades, flash bangs, and even concussion grenades for situations that warrant their use.

History:
Stalwart joined the United States Army at the age of 17. He became a member of the US Special forces and was assigned to SFX and eventually was named their leader. Four years ago he signed up for the cybernetic augmentation program (CAP) and has served with distinguished honor ever since.


Ghost
Age: 32
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond
Height: 4'7"
Weight: None - Insubstantial being

Powers & Abilities:
The female operative known as Ghost is a well... Ghost... The correct term is a free floating psionic entity. She has the ability to possess people, pass through any solid obstruction, and fly. She does not need to eat or breathe and cannot directly interact with the physical world (except for possessing people.)

History:
Ghost, Lindsey Marx, was a CIA intelligence officer who exhibited low level psychic abilities, after this was discovered she was assigned to the CAP. During the augmentation procedure something went terribly wrong, while trying to enhance her psychic abilities she flatlined and her body died.

Lindsey however remained. She craves physical sensation and can only experience it while possessing others. In exchange for SFX promising to develop her a cloned body (without a consciousness) she agreed to serve as an operative.

She has a special relationship with her team mate Brute, whom she often shares the body of when on missions.


Brute
Age: 22
Eyes: Brown, (Grey as the Brute)
Hair: Brown
Height: 5'6" (10 feet as the Brute)
Weight: 97 lbs, (654 lbs as the Brute)

Powers & Abilities:
Nate Windslow can assume the form of the Brute by activating a chest plate on his chest. This chest plate releases a combination of nanites and synthetic steroids into his body. This combination transforms the normally laid back Windslow into the Hulking Brute! Brute is by far the strongest member of SFX however the steroids cause him to rage out of control. His primal mind however in that state is especially vulnerable to mind control and possession, which is one of the reasons why he is almost always assigned with Ghost.

History:
Windslow was a laid back researcher who worked with the SFX department as a lab assistant. When the SFX complex came under assault three years ago, in order to save his fellow researchers Nate used the experimental injection plate.

These actions caused the plate to key itself to his genetic structure and he was recruited into SFX as an agent. Windslow has a special relationship with Ghost though it pains him that the first woman who has ever paid him true attention he cannot even touch.


Slicer
Age: 27
Eyes: Blond
Hair: Brown
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 189 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Slicer has undergone CAP Psychic Augmentation. Before he joined SFX he possessed low level telekinetic abilities. After the augmentation team implanted a "third eye" onto his forehead that would allow him to focus his telekinetic abilities into a super fine "blade beam" that could cut through just about anything he took the name Slice.

History:
Slice has nothing truly special in his background. He was a slacker who, if he gave himself a migraine, could lift a salt shaker with his mind. After hearing that the government was paying big bucks to any psychics who signed up for selective services he jumped at the chance.

A truly fun loving guy Slice loves being a Superhero. Nothing makes him feel better than hearing a cheering crowd. Besides, as he says, "I get the chance to wear a black leather bodysuit outside of an S&M club! Bonus!"


Retired Hero...

Zenith
*I am pasting this directly from my story bible so the format changes slightly.

Real Name: Jason Price
Height: 6ft 1in
Weight: 220lbs
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown
Age: 81
Apparent Age: Early to Mid 40’s
Marital Status: Widowed
Known relatives: None/Classified.
Group affiliation: United States Armed Forces, NAVY Retired
Date of Birth: August 28th 1926
Date of Death: N/A

History:
Jason Matthews of Denver Colorado was born and lived during the time of World War II. He joined up with the NAVY and was assigned as an assistant on a secret project the military was working on at the age of 17 in 1943. The experiment would become a famed event that would come to be known as The Philadelphia Experiment.
While the experiment failed the results of the events have been an elaborate government cover-up. The cover-up was of course due to the fact that the young assistant would be altered by the manipulation of the unified field theory. Matthews would come to possess a unique energy field that would radiate from his body. He would be christened Zenith and would be one of America’s super soldiers during the war.
The pain and loss of the war took its toll on Zenith and after the death of his teen sidekick Liberty Lad at the hands of the super villain X and his "fit of rage" murder of the super villain Crimson Rain, Zenith retired from super heroism and paved the way for the decline of heroes. Zenith was an example to the people and unfortunately other heroes would follow his example and fade into obscurity as well.

Known Abilities:
Zenith’s body generates a powerful energy field. The field generates a nearly impenetrable skin tight barrier and enhances the possessor’s physical strength. Zenith can shoot powerful energy blasts and make extraordinary leaps. With his extreme durability, strength, and offensive assaults Zenith is ranked as one of the most powerful super humans on Earth.

To be continued...

Next time we start on the anti-heroes of the city of Lakeland!
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:07 pm

Anti Heroes

Lakeland does have its share of "Darkity Darks" and this is where we will cover them. The Darkity Darks tend to be of lower power level than other heroes and this may account for their darker tendencies as they may secretly wish for the powers that others have, though there are exceptions.

Below is the most prominent of the "Darkity-Dark" anti-heroes of the city.

Maxis: Lord of the Vampires

Real Name: Reinhart Maxis
Height: 5ft 10in
Weight: 165lbs
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Age: 360
Apparent Age: 29
Occupation: Lord of the Vampires
Identity: Secret
Legal status: Citizen in good standing (forgery)

Other aliases:
Maximillian DuPont
Maxwell Hurst
Richard Marx

Place of birth: Hamburg Germany
Marital Status: Single
Known relatives: None
Group affiliation: Vampire Court
Date of Birth: September 4th 1647
Date of Death: November 23rd 1666

History:
As far a Vampires go Maxis was unmentionable for most of his life. Born in 1647 to a farmer he was sold at a young age to a cobbler to be apprenticed. He too became a cobbler and earned an honest living for a good number of years. Living to what at the time was considered old age he was an honest if hardened man.

In November of 1666 however Maxis would be called on to help a visiting noble by the now famous name of Count Vlad Tepes the infamous Count Dracula. Dracula sought aid to shake off a lineage of Vampire hunters descended from the VanHelsing line. He created Maxis as a decoy so that he might go into obscurity. His plan failed though as Maxis proved himself to be resourceful and escaped the hunters after being transformed by fleeing to America.

When Dracula would finally meet his true destruction in 1802, over 100 years later a void would open within the ranks of the Vampire Courts. Thus it was that Maxis would be discovered to be Dracula’s technical heir by blood. Quickly learning the ropes of the Vampire Court Maxis grew in power and took the throne of his sire.

Today Maxis rules the supernatural populations of the world by proxy, instead choosing to micro-manage the city of Lakeland. He is a hard and just ruler that maintains the laws so that the mortals of the city do not learn of their supernatural presence.

Known Abilities:
Maxis possess all the powers of his bloodline. He can mesmerize with his gaze, he has superhuman strength, wicked claws, fangs, and can track his prey once he has tasted their blood. Maxis can also assume the form of a "cloud" of bats or become a large dire-wolf. He has heavy regenerative abilities and has exhibited preternatural speed. Maxis is also immune to normal fires and can command animals.

Like all Vampires Maxis is immortal, though he suffers from the same weaknesses as well. He cannot withstand the sunlight as its rays cause him to burst into flame and can kill him. Holy water can cause him great pain and the presence of a cross disrupts his abilities to some extent, although at his age he can generally still function in their presence. Finally Maxis may only be destroyed if his head is cut from his body or if a wooden stake pierces his chest. As a creature of Chaos (like all Vampires, as well as several other beings) Maxis is vulnerable to attacks from a creature aligned with Order, such as the heroes who carry the title of Paladin.

It is important to note that Maxis, while not strictly "evil" will not hesitate to kill someone if they challenge him or threaten to reveal the existence of the supernatural denizens of the city. Maxis is concerned with ruling from the shadows and will do anything to stop that from becoming threatened.


To be continued...

Sorry for the short update today people, I'm tired. Next time we will look at the known Villains of Lakeland!

(Comments, questions, queries? All are welcome. To those who have PM'ed me about this topic, thank you all!)
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:59 am

(Hrm... Does anyone want me to continue this thread?)
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby DrThinker » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:49 am

hypervirtue wrote:(Hrm... Does anyone want me to continue this thread?)


Go ahead. It's been a good read so far.

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Postby hypervirtue » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:54 pm

Villains

The bad guys, the evil doers, the black hats! Call them what you will but every good hero story needs good villains! So here they are Lakeland's most wanted.

Dr. Joshua Goldburg

Age: 69
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 158 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Joshua possesses a genius level intellect when he is not on his medications and is one of the world's foremost robotics experts when he possesses his cognitive abilities. He is capable of building a robot from seemingly scrap and low-grade materials in only a few hours.

History:
Dr. Goldberg was born in 1940 in Germany. He lived his formative years in Auschwitz with his mother. Although he did survive the terrible ordeal and would later come to the united states and become a very successful scientist his old wounds would never truly heal.

In 1985 Dr. Goldberg was assaulted by a group of Skinheads on his way back to his suburban home. The assault was terrible on his body but did even worse to his mind. Something inside of Dr. Goldberg died that day, he became delusional.

Dr. Goldberg (when not on medications) believes that the Nazis were not defeated in World War II. He believes that he was assaulted that night because the Nazi's believed that he had discovered the truth. He believes that the Fuhrer has fooled the world into believing that they lost when in fact they have seized control of the entire world.

When he goes off of his medications he believes that they were given to him by Nazi doctors to "Make me stupid! Slow! Unable to defend myself!" so that he would be deemed helpless. On his medications he is a rather sweet if a little slow old man who works at Lakeland Highschool as a janitor and general handyman to make it week to week.

Several times Dr. Goldberg has lapsed on his medications and has caused a lot of destruction each time by sending his robots out to destroy the Nazis once and for all. He has so far been stopped each time by the teenage heroine known as Hypergirl.

Recently Dr. Goldberg, after forgetting to take his medications, has realized that the Nazis are better defended than he thought. He is keeping up the act of being a simple janitor while he builds a new army... One that will finally spell the end of the Nazi domination of the world!

Yes... Dr. Goldberg is a schizophrenic genius inventor that works as a janitor at a high school...

The Crimson Death

Age: 99
Eyes: None
Hair: None
Height: 9 inches (9'8" inside battle frame)
Weight: 6 lbs (over a ton inside battle frame)

Powers & Abilities:
The Crimson Death is immortal. He cannot die. He possesses a super genius level intellect and has learned how to create robotic bodies called battle frames which tap the "chaos force" as a power source. The chaos force is a "negative" version of the "paladin force" that those heroes known as Paladins claim to be empowered by.

Common battle frame powers include: Flight, force shields, super strength, and high yield energy weapons.

History:
The Crimson Death began his life as Dr. Albert Worthington, a scientist during World War II. He was designing a new form of tank, a battle suit, for the United States when the Paladin was discovered. Dr. Worthington was pulled off of his project to study the Paladin.

At first Dr. Worthington did not mind, he had hit a blockade in his battle suit design as it was. The battle suits did not have a sufficiently powerful energy source and the frustration was getting to him. He initially thought some time off might give him some time to get his mind off of the problem.

While working with the Paladin, Dr. Worthington found that he seemed to pull into his body a form of previously undiscovered energy. Paladin referred to this energy as the "Paladin Force" and its existence fueled many ideas in the scientist's brain.

When the Paladin returned to the field Dr. Worthington looked forward to returning to his battle suit research, however the military had decided to cut the program. Dr. Worthington became furious and when he was told his research was going to be destroyed flew into a rage. He broke into his lab and stole all of his own research as well as the experimental battle suit that he was working on.

Eventually he would fit the battle suit with a collector to channel an energy source that he located that was similar to the paladin force, he called this the "anti-paladin force" which, in reality, was pulling energy directly from the Conceptual being known as Choas.

Dr. Worthington went on a crime wave as the super villain the Crimson Death. Many times he and the Paladin (after the Paladin returned from the war) clashed. Eventually the two had their final battle in the early 1950's. In the end both would be found dead, the Crimson Death reduced to nothing but a simple smoldering skull...

That, was not the end. The constant exposure to Chaos's energy had endowed Worthington with immortality. While he was now only a skull, he was still technically alive, he was still conscious despite even the lack of a brain. His remains were taken in to be studied by the governmental agency that would eventually come to be known as Strike Force X.

In a twist of fate, years later, it would be revealed to the scientists studying it that the skull was still generating brain waves, despite not having a brain. Eventually a device was crafted that allowed the skull to communicate.

The Crimson Skull talked for years, actually working with the scientists and helping them develop new techniques for cybernetics and robotics. He helped them build new power sources and fantastic technologies. When the Skull Program was to be shut down the skull convinced the scientists to give him a chance to live...

Many of the scientists working with the skull did not remember the war, most of them were young and it was the 1970's. They did not think it was right to put an intelligent being into storage, thus they complied. They created the skull a simple frame and gave it a chance to escape the complex...

The skull used its new body to build a stronger, even more powerful body, but it would take him decades. Recently he has completed his first series of Battle Frames and is preparing to make his triumphant return to the world.

To be continued!

Next time we cover a few more of Lakeland's most wanted!
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:54 pm

Villains - Continued

Ragnas

Age: 15 (Physically grown to be an adult.)
Eyes: Black
Hair: Black
Height: 8'2"
Weight: 858 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Ragnas regenerates at an exceptionally high rate of speed. He can lift well over fifty tons. Bullets and most conventional weapons cannot pierce his skin. Ragnas also possesses psionic abilities that allow him to track his "prey" (whatever he designates) anywhere within a hundred mile radius of himself. Ragnas has limited ability to disguise his skin color and is trained in how to take advantage of that. He finally is completely immune to mind effecting abilities and is completely devoid of fear or any other emotion.

He is the perfect killing machine.

History:
Ragnas was created by a splinter group within the government called "Project: Ragnarok" as a "contingency plan" designed to be released if the superhuman population became out of control. Based on the same experimentation that created "Brute" of SFX.

The dirty truth is that Ragnas was a genetically engineered killer. The common population believes that the "Darkity Darks" killed themselves off. It is the belief of "Project: Ragnarok" that this is indeed what happened. Ragnas was designed to hunt down and eliminate them. Permanently.

Ragnas was, more or less, a living construct of unimaginable power. Standing at over eight feet tall with eyes black as night and skin that could shift colors to blend in with the local population. Though he could not disguise his size and density the skin allowed him to remain undetected for a long while, if word got around to "Be on the look out for a big black man." he would go onto his next assignment as a large Asian.

Ragnas was originally controlled by a series of neural implants, over the years however these have eroded due to Ragnas' unique physiology. The splinter group that created him lost control about two years ago, for thirteen years it was Ragnas's job to hunt down and kill any hero or villain designated by a list downloaded into his brain from a remote location.

It seems that the reason he was unleashed was a group of these "Darkity Darks" had gotten together with a plan to "liberate" a small country and make it their own. The government decided that it was too much of a risk to allow something like that to happen and thus the project was given the green light to release it's weapon.

Ragnas now seeks power for his own purposes however feels that he must keep a low profile. Project: Ragnarok knew the moment they lost control of him and he suspects that they may have a way to neutralize him should he be caught in the open by them. He is a murderous abomination however, forever twisted by his lifetime that consisted of only wanton death and murder, he knows no remorse and feels no guilt, he believes that he is a God and one day he will rise and prove it to the world.


Alchemist

Age: 29
Eyes: Hazel
Hair: Black
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 185 lbs

Powers & Abilities:
Due to his knowledge of Alchemical Magic (which he insists is science) Alchemist can manipulate solid matter with a touch, transforming it into whatever he needs at the moment. Concrete can become taffy, water can become flammable gasoline, titanium can be changed into tissue paper. He can also craft solid matter into "Golems" that act as his minions.

History:

Alchemist was once Leonard Vance an up and coming college student at MIT. He was fascinated by the idea of turning lead into gold and believed that there might have been some legitimacy to the claims. After being laughed at when he wrote a dissertation on the philosopher's stone Leonard left the university and vowed to prove them wrong.

He took up Archaeology and began working as an assistant at digs throughout Europe, targeting sites that he believed the Philosopher's Stone might be located at. The cost of this work exhausted his funds and his dislike at the university became an all consuming rage.

One day he struck pay dirt. The philosopher's stone, a tablet with the secrets of alchemy were his. By this point however he was in default on his student loans and his property was being seized by repossession agents. In order to regain his possessions and his dignity Leonard donned a colorful costume and attempted a bank robbery.

He was stopped by the heroine Hypergirl. Arrested, humiliated, and now shunned even more by the people he once sought to impress Leonard went over the edge. Now, with the knowledge he gained from the tablet he continues to escape capture and commit crimes for not only money but also for a chance to get revenge on anyone who has ever laughed at him.

To be continued...

Next time we look at some of the locations in Lakeland and their various game effects.

Note: If anyone wants to take a crack at building any of the characters presented here feel free! I kept the descriptions purposefully vague so that people can customize them for their own use.

Also if anyone has any questions about anything presented let me know and I will try to answer them!
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby hypervirtue » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:39 pm

Notable Places!

A wise man once said, "Location! Location! Location!" and those words were never more true than in a superhero setting. After all, without locations then we don't know what random objects we are punching our villains through! So without further adieu here are some of the noted places in the city of Lakeland.

Lakeland Secondary School

The Lakeland High School was "damaged" a few years ago and the new one has yet to be constructed. In the meantime though the Lakeland Middle School has opened it's doors and has become the "Secondary" school for public education.

It is here that students grades 7-12 gather every day. The west corner of the campus houses the younger students while the east is the sole domain of the older ones. Woe be to the poor middle schooler that wanders into the territory of the sadistic seniors.

The school is actually pretty state of the art. Before the High School was destroyed a huge budget was thrown into building this new middle school, which is why the delay has been so great on the new High School. However this school houses a dark secret all its own.

By day the school is a place of learning and social gathering but by night it is the lair of the very unstable Dr. Goldburg. Deep in the bowels of the school, the places nobody ever goes, the seemingly dim-witted janitor hatches his plans to destroy the Nazi threat.

Possible Story Hooks
Maybe the PC's are kids in high school, or perhaps one of the PC's is friends with a local parent. In any case, Megan, a sixteen year old girl has gone missing. The last time she was seen she had told some friends she was going to the school, on a Saturday, to get a book she had left in her locker.

The police have already begun their search but have come up empty handed. Maybe the PC's can find some clues as to what is really going on.

One possible solution:
Poor Megan saw one of Dr. Goldberg's robotic minions and she was captured. She has been moved of course by the mad scientist to the site of the old High School along with the Doctor's equipment so that the police would not find them on the campus.

What Dr. Goldberg plans to do with the girl is anyone's guess. The danger can be amped up a bit as well if Megan happens to have blue eyes and blond hair.

To be continued...

Next time, another location within the city...

(Do people like this format? Should I be more detailed? Feedback is welcome.)
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.

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Postby DrThinker » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:00 am

The format is fine.

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Postby hypervirtue » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:59 pm

The Lakeland Undercity

The Undercity of Lakeland is a dark and secretive place that has grown among the carcass of the old Lakeland subway system. It houses the homeless, the outcasts, and the dregs of society. Undercity is nearly an entire city unto itself, and it is more or less a prospering communist society.

The rules of the Undercity are unwritten but well understood:

1. Do no harm.
Violence is anathema to the Undercity denizens. They have seen and suffered abuse in the "Upper City" one and all and in general violence is not tolerated against other citizens of the Undercity. People caught violating this rule can be exiled from the Undercity by the "Marshals" a semi-official police force that resides in the run down tunnels.

2. Do not steal from other citizens.
The Undercity works on a "ration" system, each "Citizen" is given the same amount of supplies each week from an organization in the Undercity known as the "Suppliers" If someone needs more than they are given they can ask for others and engage in barter, but to steal is forbidden. Generally the citizens of Undercity are pretty generous when there is a true need, but there are handfuls of these incidents per day, usually from new members of the society. Punishment can be anything from a warning, to a form of community service, to exile for repeat offenders.

3. Do not betray our secrets.
It is forbidden to reveal to surface dwellers how to navigate the maze of tunnels and to find the "living areas" of the Undercity. While some surface dwellers can be lead down to speak with certain people, they cannot be given the secrets that could endanger the Undercity itself. This can also include leading police into the Undercity in an attempt to escape, this action is considered too risky. Punishments range from "lockdown" (imprisonment) to exile or, in very rare cases, execution.

The Undercity is run, primarily, by six groups that work together. The Gatherers, the Fixers, the Healers, the Suppliers, the Marshals, and the Elders. Together these organizations keep the society of the Undercity running smooth and safely.

The Gatherers
The Gatherers are agents of the Undercity that regularly make their way to the surface to "acquire" sometimes legally, sometimes illegally, supplies for the Undercity. While many Undercity residents are deformed or mutated they are generally not members of the Gatherers as stealth and the ability to blend in with Surface Dwellers is necessary in their work.

Generally people assigned to community service will be assigned to the Gatherers. They are over all responsible for getting food, technical equipment, medical supplies, clothing, and other necessities. Without the Gatherers the entire structure of the Undercity would crumble in only a few days.

They usually have regular contacts that often supply them with a lot of what they need. One member may have befriended an employee at McDonalds who leaves nightly a bag of "trash" near the dumpster and sealed that contains cooked french fries, or chicken nuggets. Another may know a doctor who leaves some medical supplies in a box at their back door once a month. If things get desperate the Gatherers are not above minor thefts though their code forbids them from injuring the Surface Dwellers if it can be avoided.

The Fixers
Fixers are members of the Undercity with technical know-how. They keep the lights working and the heaters running. They report to the Suppliers telling them what equipment and tools they need and the Suppliers in turn make a request to the Gatherers.

Any member of the Undercity with this kind of knowledge is expected to aid the Fixers as volunteers failure to do so can lead to problems with the Elders.

The Healers
The Healers are much like the medical arm of the Fixers and operate along the same rules. They treat the sick and injured and report to the Suppliers when they need equipment.

Membership in the healers is the same as the Fixers, people who can do so are expected to and if they do not they can face repercussions from the Elders.

The Suppliers
The organizers of the Undercity. The Suppliers are responsible for maintaining lists of what groups need what and how much food is coming in, how many citizens there are, and what volume of rations to give out. They were originally one group along with the Gatherers but the work load was too much and so a split occurred. When a citizen is sentenced to Community Service and they are unfit to work as a Gatherer they are often put to work as a Supplier.

The Elders
The Elders are... Not what you might expect... Years ago when the Undercity was first being formed it was accepted that humans could be corruptible and that could endanger the society. Thus a horribly disfigured mystic by the name of Virgil summoned "The Elders" three guardian spirits.

They rule over disputes in the Undercity and deal out punishments, as Guardian Spirits they exist only to serve the society based on what information was contained in the Spirit Contract that summoned them. Virgil was very precise when he called them to watch over the Undercity and made sure that the laws, and the intentions behind them, were translated properly.

The Elders wield awesome powers but can only wield them if someone is going against what the spirit contract stated. This stops them from taking control of the Undercity. The bonus to the Elders however is that they draw power from the belief of each citizen of the Undercity and grow ever more powerful.

If, one day, one of the Elders does grow strong enough to break the contract, that could spell horrible disaster for the citizens of the Undercity.

Possible Story Hook
The Gatherers are growing increasingly more aggressive within the city. They are stealing more and more frequently and it is beginning to worry the heroes of the city. Is the Undercity planning some form of aggressive expansion?

To be continued...

Next time, Chinatown...
One can lift a rock with pure power, but a pure heart can move mountains.


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