Star City (my own dumb setting)

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DragoonDarkfire
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Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby DragoonDarkfire » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:46 pm

Hi folks. I figure I may as well do my own dumb setting idea here. What is this about? Well... it's mostly a collaborative setting idea I had, where people are free to pitch in their own major players, NPCs, characters and such.

The rules are simple really: Feel free to use your own or other people's NPC's as much as you'd like. If you feel like an NPC you created was mishandled feel free to bring it up and we can work on a compromise. The "setting" itself is mostly here for a nice framework to utilize. Without further adieu, lemme start by explaining just what Star City is.

STAR CITY

Is the biggest, most vibrant, most technologically advanced, most sunken in, most terrifying hive of scum and villainy you’ve ever seen. The city is, without a doubt, a complete mish-mash of everything that is both good and terrible about a city. It is a hub of cultures to interact and clash, a city of great marvels and greater threats and it also happens to be a completely neutral city, thus making it fertile ground for opposing politicians to make underhanded deals and plans against other politicians.

That’s not even touching on the crime, the never-ending battle between cops and robbers, the inner city gang violence and just the sheer amount of unwound gung-ho action that goes on in there. It’s a city of extremes, from the Utopian and well-maintained Centre Point with it’s rich families, rich hotels, numerous UN offices and the World’s Fair which goes there regularly, to the Lower Left Point and it’s dirty industrial streets, rampant crime and gang-violence and it’s various assortment of mobsters, pimps, prostitutes and dirtbags. It encompasses everything good about modern human advancement, as well as the plight of the less fortunate and the downright rotten.

Geography

There really isn’t any big secret as to why it’s called Star City. The island the city takes place on is in the shape of a 5 point star. 5 different outcroppings of land, each expanding out into the sea around it, each leading into each other, to give the whole island a near perfect star shape.

The geography of the island outside its shape? Really isn’t even worth mentioning. It’s not called “Star Country” or “Star Forest”. The entire island is practically COVERED in asphalt, sidewalks, big lights, big honking cars and plenty of architect in between. The only bit of “wilderness” one will encounter is in the centre of the star, where Pentagon Park is located

Pentagon Park, being the last bit of wilderness that’s still on the island… and almost standing as the last bit of mother-nature giving the middle-finger to the city. Because Pentagon park is BIG and it practically counts as a bio dome. A rising mountain, a bleak desert in the centre, a deciduous forest on one side and a tropical forest on another. Coupled with the snow-peaked heights and it’s no wonder Pentagon Park is considered a prime camping spot. Although it doesn't help that back 40 or so years ago a bunch of rich snobs released their pet wild animals into pentagon park where they have most likely breed. To put it simply: it's not uncommon for a typical park ranger to get reports of tigers roaming the area.

But with all that malarkey out of the way. What about the actual CITY?

The World Outside

OK so you’re sitting there, reading this, and you think “This game is only suppose to take place inside a CITY? That seems rather limiting! Lets explore the rest of the world!”

Well, there’s two things you should consider first.

1) Star City is BIG. The island it’s on? Could be the size of Long-Island New York, or it could be the general mass of the whole freaking United States. Up to you. The city may have general guidelines for where certain landmarks and centres are, but if you want a convenient shopping centre, large skyscraper or slightly strange medieval castle to be built for your characters to explore/fight in? It can be right around the corner if you want. Hey, Star City gets plenty of crazies and moving an ancestral castle to a bit of free land here ain’t completely out of the question to some assholes with enough dough.
2) Star City is the game’s focus so you can’t leave it. Oh, you can TRY. You can get on a plane and head out, you can claim you go off on the nearest boat to go visit the old country. But here’s the thing: Once you leave the city? You’re out of the story. Nope. Sorry. You’re only back in when you come back. No use describing what you’re doing outside the city. Once you’ve left it, you’re COMPLETELY INCONSEQUENTIAL TO THE PLOT. What goes on in Star City? Is dealt with IN Star City and any outside repercussions or world events mean little to it’s peoples daily lives. You wanna explore the world? Well that’s fine, but don’t expect us to follow you.

Star City has immigrants and people coming into it’s various airports every day. The countries these planes and boats come from have unusual names and are sometimes hard to pronounce. Many of the people have weird customs and traditions and some of them might even seem (by our viewpoint) to be cache stereotypes of preexisting cultures.

There could be diplomats and men in sleek business attire, swamis and gurus of old religious ceremonies and even princesses and royalty from other oddly named countries. These people are not meant to have fully fleshed out cultures that span back hundreds of years. A very basic summation of their culture and any pertinent quirks are typically good enough for anyone who is looking to introduce one.

Example: “The Swami of Mollhuba is an old religious icon of his people. He is incredibly wise and must meditate on the sins of his past lives for 4 hours every day in order for him to attain inner peace.”

Just because he’s called a “Swami” doesn’t mean he’s from India, or that his religion is instantly Hinduism. It can act as an Expy for such a thing if needed, but as long as the PC’s have a general idea what to know about him, they can at least function around him normally. Star City’s world is meant to evoke more of an impression or feeling of real world cultures and tropes rather than go into great depth about each part of the world outside the city.

The Timeframe/Culture

By most casual glances, Star City seems to be an American city that’s built in the modern day. If you observed it from a helicopter it might look like New York/Chicago/Seattle all rolled up into a big ball of urban dough and then cut out with a star-shaped cookie cutter. But here’s an important thing to remember: Star City doesn’t take place in our world and it isn’t suppose to have a 1-1 translation of cultures and societies that live there.

You can say it’s an American city, you can salute the Star-Spangled Banner in school and think Bald Eagles are the bees knees, but ultimately the subject of “What country we’re in” doesn’t come up much when you’re in a gun-fight with mobsters and assassins from overseas. As far as the people of Star City are concerned? They’re their own damn nation, a nation that happens to be a free-market economy focused on privatized industry and seems to elect it’s leaders, but STILL even if it is America in everything but name you can still at least distance yourself from this place. Right?

The timeframe, however, is also incredibly loose and doesn’t really have any set date. Maybe history is just lost to people, or maybe everyone just spontaneously forgot to keep track one day, but all dates and information that refer to years state more explicitly the relative time it happened from now than give an actual number on what the year was. People are more likely to say “It happened 6,000 years ago!” rather than “It happened 3,000 BC”.

This is all to basically say that, Star City’s entire culture is kind of a mish-mash of different time-periods. There are 1930’s gangsters, up with modern day Yakuza and pimps that look like they came out of a 70’s blacksploitation film. 60’s undercover groove cops might mingle with modern street thugs in a 50’s diner, or possibly duke it out in a giant glass skyscraper. Star City is meant to evoke a timeless sense of the urban city crime and pulp drama. Setting it in any established era, would remove the charm the city is looking to try and encapsulate.

Star City is, both figuratively and literally, an island all to it’s own. Lost in a sea of changing times and evolving culture, that seeks to both encompass nostalgic times, as well as ground itself in a more modern setting. Obviously the setting isn’t 100% serious (think something like Saints Row 2) but it’s mainly trying to evoke times and periods the reader might understand, while keeping itself open as an alternate world we live in.

Superpowers?

Okay this is the question many of you are wondering. What is the limit here? Do I need to have purely physical powers? Science related ones? Is magic simply not a factor here? The answer is - you can pretty much wing whatever you want. Star City is sort of like Metal Gear Solid in terms of tone and setting: you could be a normal cop busting in a drug ring or a down on his luck crime boss who's running out of dough, but that won't stop there from being psychics, aliens, cyborgs, wizards and all manner of urban flavoured superpowered dicks running around complicating things. The only thing that should be limited in this is scale.

A psychic might be able to predict the future, read your mind or even deflect a bullet in mid-flight if he tries hard enough. But he couldn't read and absorb the collective thoughts of everyone in Star City (without some mad science device helping him as part of some epic long campaign) and while a cyborg or a marksman might be able to punch a car in half or shoot a bullseye with a 9mm from 5 buildings away, he's not going to be able to take down buildings. While this little building exorcise obviously won't have stats, assume most heroes are about level PL 6 and the highest they get is PL8.

How silly can this get? In general, if you're a guy with some magical skill and can use illusions you're good. But if you're a plane-shifting werewolf elephant man who is also an alien you MIIIGHT be pushing it. If you wanna make an NPC or character who is an alien (or is related to one) that's also fine, but realize that aliens aren't really mingling with people here so he's probably keeping it secret less it become a HUGE setting changer. Magic and sorcery for the most part is still seen as parlour tricks and not much to be afraid of, mostly cause magic is a lot harder to learn than firing a gun and it gets you roughly the same result.

The Points

Star City is divided into 5 “Points”. These points represent different parts of the city, and each point has it’s own flavour of urban culture associated with it. The points are as follows.

The Centre Point: Think Akihabara from Tokyo, crossed with Downtown New-York and mixed in with a bit of 1950’s flavoured “Retro Future”. This part of the city is where the Rich live, where city hall resides and where all of the major businesses set up their headquarters. The high-end computer stores, skyscrapers and wealthy homes are all seen here. It’s also a haven for corporate espionage, political dealing and is a haven for black-market tech. This is where the dangerous super-weapons are bartered with and where scientists will get kidnapped in order to build a doomsday machine. The Centre Point is also where most “advanced” technology is found. It’s not uncommon to see things like robot butlers, ray-guns or other unusual experimental technology to be seen in use. Typically such inventions are one of a kind due to their “bugs” but who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to buy them some day… or possibly steal one for yourself. Either or.

The Upper Right Point: The Upper Right Point is mostly an overly large suburb that occasionally breaks off into a larger urban area. It is dotted with various parks, malls and family oriented attractions. The Upper Right is home to the world’s biggest shopping mall (complete with overly elaborate theme park and zoo) as well as a variety of theatres, grocery markets and other such community fare. The houses in the Upper Right Range from being high quality (almost as good as the Centre Point’s houses) to being more run-down and rickety. The Upper Right is still pray to drug-dealers and suburban violence, but most gangs and drug dealers are smart enough to keep on the low when in the Upper Right. The more attention they get coming their way, the more likely the cops will be on their asses, and they don’t want that. The Upper Right is the most “moderate” of Star City’s urban centres. None of the building’s reach the splendour of the Centre Point, and it’s where most of the regular working man and his families live. The suburbs themselves run the gamut of Stepfordville to more ratty apartment complexes, but never to any great extreme.

The Lower Right Point: At one point, the Cops controlled the Lower Left Point… that ended badly. Now the Cops are stationed squarely at the Lower Right point. Right in between the Suburban Upper Right and the dirty, broken slums of the lower Left. The cop’s headquarters is located here, standing over the entire point as the largest building one can see in the entire area. They keep the Lower Right in line and are constantly on the lookout, for the Lower Right is also Star City’s transportation and public care system. Most of the fire halls, hospitals and subway stations/bus terminals are located in this part of the city and as such the entire place feels more like a large collection of buildings where people go to do their work rather than a place to live. Still there are those who buy houses here, and unsurprisingly they’re workaholics. The Lower Right is also famous for containing most of the city’s museums and old colonial sites. Ancient castles, wooden forts and all kinds of old buildings dot the coastline. With the Cop’s grip so tight, not much gets through… but the cops aren’t infallible and there certainly IS a fair amount of corruption on the force. No dealer, gangster or ANY CRIMINAL with a brain cell decides to set up shop in the lower right point, but they ain’t got a problem sneaking on through and maybe making a deal or two along the way…

The Lower Left Point: At first glance? The Lower Left looks decent enough. Some skyscrapers, some industrial parks… maybe a bit too much goth architecture but not all too horrible. But all you need to do is walk the streets once to know that this is the bad part of town. Everyone keeps their hands in their pockets (cause anyone who dares take them out is obviously looking to swipe something off ya) and you couldn’t find a granny in that place who isn’t packing heat. The Lower Left Point was, at one point, controlled by the Cops. Who ran the entire point (and by extension the whole city) in an iron grip of absolute justice. The Cops were prepared for anything. Druggies, smugglers, budding crime organizations… what they didn’t see coming was ALL OF THOSE GUYS coming together and going to WAR with the Cops in a bloody fight called the Lower Left Coupe. The Chief of police was forced to resign, the entire part of the city was quarantined and once the smoke settled it was pretty clear who was in control of the Lower Left now. The quarantine would lift, but the control of the point was adamant. The gangs and the scum and villains of Star City controlled the Lower Left and they were gonna make it their paradise… course, gangsters paradises are really anything but. It’s not uncommon to find dead bodies every day on the street in the Lower Left Point, and it’s sadly all too easy to find people who look the other way. The gangs fight, the dealers deal, and no cop dares go in there wearing his badge proud to display.

The Upper Left Point: Naturally, many immigrant populations came to Star City. And many wound up being delegated to the Upper Left Point. Whether this was because of an apparent racism at the time or because they all simply migrated there is unsure, but the Upper Left is most notable today for being the cultural centre and foreign marketplace of Star City. The Upper Left is where one finds China Town, Little Italy, Small Tokyo (yes I just explained that this isn’t our world so how do these countries exist? Well you know what? SCREW YOU that’s why) and all the various ethnic flavors in-between. Many of the buildings there were built with their foreign cultures in mind, so it’s quite easy to see an entire street or suburb dedicated to an oriental aesthetic while a more European one lays right beyond it. The Upper Left is the cultural home for many immigrants and newcomers to Star City, who wish to keep a piece of their homeland close by. Because of it’s relative distance from the Lower Right and it’s proximity with the Lower Left, the Upper Left would seem an easy target for mobs and gangsters, but oddly enough the Upper Left seems to be home for many of the gang leaders and is also their most ample suppliers. Many of the robbers have thus made a very strict “no fighting” policy in the Upper Left. They tend to be bad at following this doctrine, and one could easily argue the Upper Left is the second most violent part of the city, only comparable to the Lower Left, but it’s unique ethnic charms and generally open attitude keep the point’s face sparkling and nice, even if they’re secretly holding a bloody knife behind their back.

The Organizations of Star City

Star City has roughly 4 major players. There are smaller, less coordinated and oriented groups within and outside of each, but if you were to divide the majority of the major organizations into their own groups there would be roughly 4. They are as such:

The Cops: Given a badge, a gun and a uniform. They're government sanctioned heroes who go out to serve the people and protect them from those who would cause them harm. Cops run the gamut between patrol officers, undercover moles and investigators. The one thing each of them have in common is that they gotta do their work BY THE BOOK. THE BOOK, of course, being a set list of cryptic rules that in theory are practical but can make it extremely difficulty to take down some major crime lords or their backers.

The Robbers: The criminals, the gangsters, the cat-burglars and the thieves of Star City. The Robbers is a general term for a large group of various gangs and criminal organizations that perform all sorts of nasty business outside the laws of society. While not every thief, mugger, or vandal is a secret member of this organization, enough of them are that people tend to generally refer to all criminals as "robbers".

The Bounty Hunters: Bounty Hunters only do one thing: they deal with people. Good people, bad people, old, young, fresh, sickly, you name it. They kill them, they'll kidnap them, they'll torture them for information, they'll do all that nasty stuff. The best part is they're not technically criminals! For the most part. Some Bounty Hunters are actually on good terms with the cops and are hired by them to do jobs that might be too... suspect for police officers to be doing. Bounty Hunters major trait is that they're neutral and are primarily ruled by the dollar. Some have morals they stand by ("Don't kill kids") but they'll sell their services to the highest bidder and do whatever job they ask of them.

The Vigilantes: Not everyone going out to take down a crime boss is working for the cops, and not every bounty hunter is doing his job for cash. When a person stops being funded by any organization and takes the law into his own hands, he becomes a vigilante. A criminal who takes down other criminals and fights them for his own reasons. May vigilantes fight for vengeance, while others are simply disgruntled former Cops who found it impossible to live by THE BOOK. Not all of these are cape-wearing masked men with mystery powers, some are in fact simply regular joes who have day jobs and spend Saturday nights gunning down gangs.

I'll add an Index in the next post. Which I'll update as it moves along! Hopefully.


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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby DragoonDarkfire » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:21 pm

And now, for a brief run of Star City's rich history.

Star City's History

Star City has an incredibly rich, detailed and complicated history. So complicated that, well, it'd be near impossible to write it all down in one little essay. But we'll try to cover the major grounds while we can! Star City's history is sliced into approximately 5 different "eras" of the City's development. We'll be covering each Era and the events which started and ended these eras.

Era 1: The Discovery Period

The perfectly star pointed island was first inhabited by indigenous people. The people of the island primarily lived in what would some day be known as the Lower Right point. At the time though, it was merely home to them. A place where they could set up their hobbles and cultivate the land in their own ways. The first settlers arrived at the area that would be known as the upper left point. The two cultures would not meet for another 5 years, although both would be keenly aware of each other in this time. The first true settlement on the island was simply called Home Harbour, as that was simply what it was to many of the first explorers, though the indigenous people had "cities" and posts all throughout the island. The Discovery Period is poorly documented in some areas, expertly done so in others and "conveniently" lost in many.

Many of the current inhabitants of Star City read a very homogenized tale of the intelligent and "evolved" white-man coming in to teach and share with these native savages. In truth, not only were the indigenous people of the island quite well suited to their lives, but many settlers were afraid of some of their more egalitarian views and were afraid of some of their own going "native". It's hard to exactly make your own side sound appealing when the team is offering your women the right to own land and choose who to marry after all. Suffice to say, many clashes between the settlers and the natives lead to a rather bloody period where almost the entire native population was either captured, enslaved, or forced to sign rather demanding trade agreements with the settlers, who were all too willing to exploit them. Obviously, a lot of these documents were lost and it's hard to pin down just how many innocent lives were killed in these skirmishes and just how poorly the natives were hit by the encroaching settlers.

One interesting thing to note in regards to The Discovery Period, was how certain lodgings and settlements mysteriously disappeared overnight almost. The indigenous people claimed the cause to be "evil spirits", and this spawned all kinds of terrible stories of hunters or explorers encountering horrible beasts near the centre of the island (right where Pentagon Park is nowadays) and being attacked by wolves many times the size of horses, or mountain lions that caused small plants to grow where they walked. Of course: history books claim these were merely fantastical stories made up from an unscientific community. But this hasn't stopped some of these older tales from cropping up as modern day urban myths.

The Period of Discovery is widely regarded to have ended when settlers from across the world discovered the island, and each set up their own settlement at a different point in it. Officially mapping the entire island into the shape of a star.

Era 2: The Period of Strife

This was called so for one simple reason: Star Island (as it was called at the time) was technically 5 settlements on one landmass. 5 different cultures and societies each trading, bartering, and conflicting with one another. Much of the island was still uninhabited, but there were enough cities during this time and split ideologies that it made it a particularly... interesting period. Different religious and political figures from nations far and wide were seeking refuge and attempting to start their own colonies. Each with varying degrees of success and each coming into conflict in their own manner.

Some of Star Cities oldest family names start around this Period. Of course nothing was really unified at this point either, and some groups were looking to get the biggest slice of the proverbial pie. The five colonies (as they were originally known) varied wildly in culture and mission, although each one primarily had roots in Victorian European aesthetics (some "Asian" immigrants found work on the island during this time too however!) and each one was trying to make use of the islands abundant natural resources.

It's widely decided that the Period of Strife ended when the entire island was united under the government of the Colony that stood where the Central Point is now. Through tactical naval and land based warfare, diplomacy, bartering and trading with several governments, the entire island was inevitably united under the ruling government of the Central Colony's, which would in turn influence Star Island's growing cities for the next hundred or so years!

Era 3: The Period of War

The Period of War is a misnomer, as it technically started and ended during a period of peace. It started when Star Island officially gained 5 major urban areas that covered enough ground to grant the entire island the title of "Star City" (this was when it was all officially named FYI). But no it was declared 'The Period of War' for no more than 70-80 years after the cities initial industrialization that the war started.

You know? The War? The good guys were fighting the bad guys! Or at least that's what the people of Star City were told, as it soon became a hub for economic destabilization and espionage. Yessire, Star City during this time was caught RIGHT between a period of growing national interest, technological progression and the threat of a looming evil. War propaganda was everywhere, depicting the leader of the enemy as an incompetent buffoon, but also depicting the men in served in the military as valorous heroes and warriors! Due to the draft and the generally positive attitude toward serving ones country, many men volunteered or were drafted into fighting overseas, but many were also tasked with staying home to defend Star City! All manner of spies, assassins, and soldiers for the enemy had worked their way over here, and each had their own agenda to fulfil!

Star Cities GREATEST casualty was the shining Centre Point, which was bombed to oblivion (which were assumed to be from the enemy... and were obviously fighter planes) and all of the houses and buildings were destroyed. Thankfully! Once the war was over (and boy did THEY WIN BUCKO) they rebuilt the Centre Point from the ground up and turn it into the shining beacon of capitalism that it is today! Things were looking the most bright for Star City during this period!

Era 4: The Period of Loss

Things didn't get more DIFFICULT per-se... but they got more complicated. Revolutions in women's rights, the rights of minorities, the growing economic tensions between different levels of socialism. All of these contributed to what would colloquially be refereed to as The Period of Loss. Arguably nothing was "lost", fact things improved for many! But suddenly the gung-ho and polished past didn't seem so polished. War stopped being something romanticized during this time and started to be seen as more terrifying.

The most major shift Star City took was in its focus from external fighting, to internal crime. The growing amount of urban violence and gang wars started to receive media coverage and were actually being taken seriously now. The sheriff had turned away from an antiquity of a bygone era of lawlessness to a new kind of enforcer who was needed to keep this growing industrial giant in check. Perhaps the most influential person in this period was Malcolm Wilson, the elected chief of police who would bring about the Cops greatest period of prosperity, as well as their most humiliating downfall.

While the intricacies of what he did are complex, the basic idea is that he focused too much on fighting external crime that he failed to root out the growing corruption in his own force. This lead to a public relations nightmare as a cop fired into a crowd of peaceful protesters, starting a horrible crime influenced riot that completely left the Lower Left Point in the hands of the recently formed Robbers. That, combined with a growing desire to outsource business to other nations would eventually lead to the Lower Lefts economic decline, and ensure that it was fully in the hands of the crime lords.

This stain on the police image as well as the changing attitudes is what eventually lead to the end of the Period of Loss.

Era 5: The Period of Now

Pretty self explanatory. This is Star City as it is now! What will influence its future? Hard to say. The world changes so much and so fast, you know? But things can be done, slowly and often not without something TERRIBLE happening. But change can be made...

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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:37 am

Awesome write-up, DDF!

It's impressive and well-detailed.

You could do several posts of this and might want to break them up and index them.

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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby Libra » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:42 am

Intriguing setting Darkfire - if anything occurs to me I shall do my best to post it! :)
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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby DragoonDarkfire » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:02 am

The Cops

The Star City Police Department are the oldest and most honoured group in all of Star City… well they have to be. They’re in charge of preserving the law. Cops are the police force, the undercover agents, the rookies and the veterans of looking out for the people’s well being. Some of them work behind a desk and make sure the paperwork is all there to run a criminal into the ground, some of them walk around town in uniform to make sure nobody’s causing trouble, and some of them choose to disguise or meet with criminals themselves, with or without noble intentions.

As many people know, Star City didn’t start out as one city, but 5. When all 5 of the city’s made contact with each other, the first major setup was between the various law-enforcement of each city. Eventually, when the entire island was united, they all decided to come together and form the official Star City police department. Originally, the Cops were stationed in the Lower Left point of the city… all that changed when Officer Malcolm Wilson took over as chief of police, and brought in a particular brand of no-nonsense justice that many people to this day still disagree on.

Some saw Malcolm Wilson as a righteous defender with zero tolerance, a champion of the people who would lock up any criminal who dared to mock, belittle or vilify the sanctity of the force. Others saw him as going too far in this job, taking on the role of judge, jury and executioner and demanding too much out of his staff and the people around him. Often he would condemn or accuse Jay Walkers and Vandals of crime with an equal amount of viciousness and police brutality as he would serial killers and crazed gunmen.

Ironically, this position of his would lead to the Star City’s Police Force most terrible and humiliating loss. Malcolm Wilson, who expected the best from the force and the people under his jurisdiction, went too far when one of his men wound up firing into a peaceful protest, supposedly acting on an order directed by Malcolm Wilson himself. Wilson denied that he’d made such an order, but the damage and problems were already spiralling out of control. Once that first shot had been made, the people of the Lower Left district wanted blood, and they wanted the police-department to pay for their gross violation of civil liberties.

People and protesters (and quite a few members of various criminal organizations, suspiciously) marched on the police department HQ and began to ransack the place entirely. 47 civilians and 13 police officers died in a violent struggle, that would eventually lead to a fire that burned the entire HQ to the ground. Chief Wilson was forced to retire in shame, the headquarters of the police was relocated to the Lower Right point, and the smouldering remains of the old Headquarters is still a testament to the greatest failure of the police force.

That was 40 years ago. Since then, the Cops have been slowly and steadily trying to recover and maintain the peace in the city. This has been much harder than it was before (given the Lower Left Point’s complete run-down into a hive of crime and villainy) but many modern Cops try to learn from Chief Wilson’s “mistakes” and as such, tend to heir on the lenient side when it comes to “mostly” harmless crimes. Most modern Star City Cops will tell a kid to keep out of trouble and give him a stern talking to if they see him vandalizing a wall with spray paint, but they won’t throw the book at him unless they catch him on repeat offences.

Joining the Cops is a fairly simple procedure. Any legal, law-abiding citizen with no large or offensive records, as well as no mental/physical disabilities may apply to one of Star City’s many police academies. Once his credentials are given a go-over, he and any other eligible candidates are placed into a training field where they test their accuracy with a gun, their athletic ability to possibly run-down an escaping criminal, as well as their tactical knowledge of what to do in a confrontation. Many also learn various forensic sciences to help them possibly analyze a crime-scene, although most rookies are just told to “Not touch anything until an investigator arrives”. Once one or more graduate and move into their respective fields/positions, then he/she is given a badge, a gun, is given the semiofficial title of “rookie” and is sent out with a veteran who “shows him the ropes”. An officer may resign his position at any point as well, although some officers look upon “quitters”, who haven’t really suffered for their job, with a fair amount of repulsion.

The cops of Star City are not without their corruption. Many officers do dealings with certain gangs and criminals for drugs or money, and many wind up looking the other way. Cops are told to instantly report any other officers engaging in illicit behaviour, but such claims can be bold or tricky. Especially when the officer is of higher rank than the one who’s accusing it, and especially if the one he’s accusing can make his life a living hell. Most rookies who try and out more powerful/long standing cops for their crooked behaviour wind up turning in their badge early or getting into “accidents”.

Cops have a long standing hatred and rivalry against the Robbers. The two organizations often clash with one another and any straight and narrow officer worth his salt will instantly try and take down ANY Robber they encounter. Of course, there are always exceptions and there are always Robbers who’re more interested in outing other, more powerful/devious crime lords for their own skin and aren’t adverse to working with Cops on the matter.

Many cops have different feelings in regards to Bounty Hunters. Some of them think they’re the scum of the earth, killers who’re working off illegal money. Others think they’re a necessary sin in order to get the job done. Either way, Cops understand Bounty Hunter’s neutrality and in general will only open fire on one when he’s about to break the law.

Cops have a sad opinion on vigilantes. Some think they’re misguided fools who’re getting in way over their head… but others? Well, others wind up sympathizing with them a bit too much. Some cops see the flaws in the system, some cops know how it feels to see a guilty man go free because some bastard in the mayor’s office was his second cousin. Some cops realize that they’re cutting the line, and that the only thing that really separates them is that little yellow tape called regulation. Either way, it’s not too surprising many vigilantes are former cops.

The Basics of Cops: Cops in Star City are the Starskey and Hutches, The Horatio Canes, the Prosecutors and even the Men In Black for some "classified" missions. The Cops hold no creed when it comes to who can apply, and while there is some racism among the force it's looked down upon generally. The biggest hurdle cops have to overcome is THE BOOK. Which is the basic regulations and rules all officers must follow if they want to do their job right.

THE BOOK, while practical in theory has several holes that many crime bosses exploit for their own benefit. Corrupt politicians, priests, leaders and businessmen likewise can circumvent the system in various cunning and underhanded ways. Because of this it's not uncommon for Cops to have to... bend the rules a bit. Or at least ignore them. There's more than enough opportunities for one hotheaded rookie to take down a drug lord (even if he does have to go a bit vigilante to do so).

Cops can have access to many different kinds of investigation and crowd control technology. While some of it is restricted, some Cops can justify carrying around a gun that shoots electro-shock bullets that merely stun enemies, or having a screen that lets them analyze evidence at a much better rate than the human eye. Rarely do cops have truly unusual or aberrant abilities, but some members of the force claim that they can just... see things, ya know?

Cop Character Concepts
- Hotheaded Rookie out to make a name for himself
- Old ass Officer, still hung up about the one who got away
- Investigator with a recovering drug problem
- Reformed Criminal looking to do good
- FBI Agent, sent to investigate underhanded dealings
- The First (Cyborg, Robot, Alien, etc) Police Officer!
- Psychic Officer hiding unique gift

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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby DragoonDarkfire » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:28 am

The Robbers

Crime has always existed. Ever since people established rules, there have been those who break or circumvent them. This is no more true than for the people of Star City, who have to deal with inner-city crime and gangs regularly. And no term is as completely encompassing of the sheer presence of lawbreakers and rapscallions as the Robbers.

The Robbers are the criminals and mafioso of Star City. Although technically not an “organization” in the strictest sense, there is no doubt that if you’re a criminal who’s done enough shit in his life to earn yourself a sizable file and reward in the Cop’s records, as well as the respect (and occasional fear) of the other gangsters you hang around? You’re a robber. Whether you like it or not, you’re tied up in the hands of people who’ll put 30 bullets in your rib-cage if you stop being of value to them. Prepare to play smart or suck up like a chump.

When the Lower Left point of Star City was controlled by Malcolm Wilson, the crime-rate of the city was at an all-time low. Say what you will about the man, he gave the mayor results. Those results however, were at far too high a cost for Alfonso Falco, a poor and impoverished immigrant who had to watch as his mother was tried and executed by the state for a crime he was positive she did not commit.

Alfonso joined his friends and buddies in the Upper Left point as they formed a gang that would later become one of the most infamous mafia family’s in all of Star City. The Noble Falcons (as they were called) were mostly interested in petty theft and graffiti, but it wasn’t long before Alfonso started to see cracks in the system. He saw cops under Chief Wilson abuse their power and beat friends of his to death, extort money from little old ladies who were just trying to make ends meat, and generally treat their badge like an excuse to run the place.

While it’s quite likely that Chief Wilson didn’t know of such behaviour (the man was one to see a possible criminal in everyone except his own men), Alfonso didn’t care. He had a scapegoat for all this city’s problems and it was the smug and self-righteous face of the “law enforcement” of the city. Alfonso didn’t like it, not one bit, and he’d often spend his time contemplating just how he was gonna personally shove a cold-lead slag right down Chief Malcolm Wilson’s throat.

While such a gift would not grace him, he did get a chance to strike at the force when the incident happened. An officer, supposedly under Chief Wilson’s orders, fired into a group of peaceful protesters and started a domino effect that Alfonso was going to exploit to hell and back, even if it killed him. He and his gang quickly made contact with several other street families and criminal organizations setting up shop in Star City.

The Yakuza, The Skinmarkers, The Mortis Cartel and several other illegal organizations were all roused by Alfonso and the Noble Falcons to push the people into overthrowing the Police and sticking it to the man. Several gangs and criminals began to perform acts of violence all over the city, each of them trying to make the crime superficially look as though the police had perpetrated it. The bluffs weren’t perfect but they knew they didn’t need to be. People were mad, people wanted blood and they all knew just the way to get them to react.

Once the old Police Station was burned down and the Cops were forced to relocate, Alfonso and the gangs he’d manged to align were free to take the Lower Left point for themselves. Soon hundreds of poor orphans and street urchins came to Alfonso’s little “Club” and began looking for membership. What had once been a simple gang of no greater than 10 or 20 members had exploded into an entire mobster family, each member personally adopted by Alfonso and brought in to serve their common goal with a certain level of style and sophistication.

The Noble Falcons changed their moniker to The Falco Family and took it upon themselves to become the new “police” of the Lower Left point. Hoping to undo with all the perceived tyranny from the old establishment. Sadly, this goal was very much an hopeless romance for two reasons. 1) Alfonso would die soon after the Falco Family’s rise to power due to unforeseen circumstances, and 2) Former gang-members, bloodthirsty drug dealers and counterfeit money makers aren’t the best people to run a city. The Lower Left Point desegregate into a pool of crime and corruption in a matter of months.

The Robbers remain, still reminded of when they were united under Alfonso and when the Falco Family was at it’s prime… but oh how far away that is now. The individual gangs within the Robbers call out hits and fight among each other constantly. New recruits are indoctrinated or join as cannon-fodder for police fire all the time. The Robbers are a messy, dangerous and disorganized group of criminals and lowlifes, the best of which are simply in the business so that they can get out and go legit (that rarely works as you can imagine) the worst actively abuse the current system and exploit everyone around them to get up in the world.

When Alfonso sought to rid the Lower Left Point of tyranny, he unwittingly made it ruled by people far more cruel and despotic than the (admittedly corrupt) police force could ever hope to be. The Robbers have turned the Lower Left point into a seething hive of crime, corruption and death, where only the unwashed and unwanted of society dare to live and only where the brave, the foolish or the clever dare to venture.

Joining the Robbers? Well that can either be real simple, or real difficult. Individual gangs in the Robbers are always looking for patsies and new recruits to “test”. These poor kids rarely last longer than a couple weeks at most. But if you can prove yourself to be good enough? And trust worthy enough to do more than just be given a letter and go do whatever it tells you to do? You might just have what it takes to get in on some of their… little secrets.

The 4 Primary Gangs that make up the Robbers are as follows:

The Falco Family: Started by Alfonso over 30 years ago, the Falco family stands today as a posh and civil group of mobsters. That doesn’t mean they won’t give you concrete shoes if you rat out any of them, but they’ll at least do it with style and flare. Their current Leader, Marco Meana, was an old friend of Alfonso and is looking to preserve the sanctity that his old pal wanted… sadly, he’s easily swayed and it’s a lot more accurate to say that the Falco Family is run by commitie. That is, anyone who can convince Marco that somebody needs to be offed.

The Yakuza: Hailing from some weird nation overseas, Yakuza are a strange bunch that control most of the harbours and imports to the Lower Left Point. They have a weird system of honour going around in they’re known for being especially ruthless to both enemies and members who don’t stand up to the groups idea of perfection. The Yakuza’s boss has never been seen (though some claim Alfonso got to meet the guy when he recruited the Yakuza into helping him) and simply goes by the name “The Sea Dragon of the Evening Star”. Or rather, “The Dragon” to those who don’t want to say 7 freaking words to refer to a guy.

The Mortis Cartel: The cartel is the premier drug ringers and go-to guys of the Robbers. The Yakuza and the Falco family sit in lavish houses eating steak and drinking fine wine (or eating swordfish and drinking fine sake in the case of the Yakuza) while the Mortis Cartel are typically out on the streets. Upfront RIGHT with their sellers and often willing to reap the rewards. This isn’t to say the Cartel isn’t rich (it’s well known that some of the higher ups own private yachts) but they don’t like to flaunt it like the other gangs. Perhaps their most disturbing trait is that the Mortis Cartel are experts in not only drug trafficking but SLAVE trafficking as well. Selling immigrant girls from all over the world as “brides” to various rich entrepreneurial businessmen without a lack of ethics. More than a few police busts of Mortis Cartel’s have ended in them finding cellars FULL of women who’re about to be sold off to the highest bidder. The Cartel does not have any single “leader”, rather it works more as a loose democracy of sorts, with each higher-up voting for a representative and each of them able to veto any decision he makes by agreeing to the majority.

The Skinmarkers: In terms of “gangs”? The Skinmarkers are most akin to a more traditional “gang”. From the surface, they just look like punks and looters. Covered in tattoos, piercings and carrying guns in their ripped and dirty jeans like any gang-banger… but there’s something darker about them. Something unseen. The Skinmarkers are occultists, many of which believe that their acts will bring them great power or a spot in whatever afterlife their leader tells them they’ll enter. These acts often involve either murder, kidnapping, extortion or some combination of the three. The Skinmarkers are dangerous and often crazed teens, indoctrinated by a charismatic and dangerous leader and lead to perform horrible, grizzly acts under his guiding influence. In turn they’re rewarded with drugs, sex, alcohol and as much freedom as they could ask for. Skinmarkers are lead by a mysterious and enigmatic figure who simply refers to himself as “The Father”. A man who rarely shows his face and often lets one of his many loyal clerics do the talking for him, rallying misfit and abandoned youths into joining his cause and performing whatever depraved acts he asks of them.

The Basics of Robbers: For Robbers? Anything goes. Fact sometimes the more freakish or horrible you are the better in their case! Being a Robber isn't so much belonging to an organization or an elite faction, but being entangled in the criminal underworld. If you're stealing to get by, selling illicit goods or in the business of slave-trading then you're a robber. It doesn't matter if you belong to one of the above gangs or if you're apart of a different branch or wholly new faction, the thug life chose YOU, now you gotta deal with it.

The Robbers are your typical crime dramas. The God Father, West Side Story (without all the frilly dancing), or any number of tale of being on the wrong side of the law and the consequences thereof. The tale of a Robber isn't a happy one, and the process of "going legit" is not something easily done or accomplished, but it's there for those who want to escape the cycle of violence.

It should be noted that not all robbers are against cops. Fact some rare ones will actually assist cops if it means they'll let him do his thing. Huggy Bear is always an option.

Robber character concepts:
- Cat Burglar with a heart of Gold
- Newly recruited mafioso making a name for himself
- Yakuza, trying to prove himself to his family
- Former slave who killed her captor
- Freakshow with magical powers let into gang for his uses
- Sly Pickpocket who just wants to escape
- Druggie with CHEMICALS
- Pimp with connections

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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby Libra » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:34 pm

Still more intriguing stuff Darkfire - for some reason this setting makes me think of a VR Reality in which Our Heroes may either have found themselves or been born into.
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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby Voltron64 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:40 pm

It also reminds me of that combined time period universe from Doctor Who that had the Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens interviewed on daytime TV, and pterodactyls plaguing public parks. (Say that five times fast.) :wink:
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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby DragoonDarkfire » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:35 pm

The Bounty Hunters

Not ever guy with a gun is a law man or a drug-dealer trying to makes ends meat. Some people in Star City are just good at getting shit done, for a price. Not every organization has (or can use) their own members, and sometimes some people earn enough of a reputation to warrant them being hired confidentially. When the Robbers (or the Cops) need to get something done but they wanna have plausible deniability, they hire a Bounty Hunter.

The history with them is nowhere near as rich as it has been with cops and robbers. There's ALWAYS been people in the colonies of Star Island who will do dirty deeds for dirt cheap prices. If you got the dough, they'll pony up and do it. They come in all flavours and varieties, from assassins, to private investigators, to muscle in business for themselves. Bounty Hunters have a unique relationship with Star City due to their... tenuous agreement with the law.

Essentially: the law states that if a gunman or assassin is hired to kill/extort/kidnap someone then the person hired is not responsible for the crime, rather that the person hiring them is the true culprit (The "Law of Human Weapons" as it's called). Of course, there is a loophole that states that the bounty hunter requires evidence of his employer in order to prove his "innocence" in this regard (and due to client confidentiality issues, a lot of bounty hunters don't like to out their employer) so many bounty hunters who're in the act are still fully subject to the law. It's only AFTER a job is done that they can clear themselves of any legal issues, and it goes without saying if they get caught by the police during a job it's not only bad for their reputation it's bad for their client.

As such many bounty hunters enjoy a life of neutrality in the war between the Cops and the Robbers. As they are on neither side, they can reap the benefits from both... but just because you're neutral doesn't mean you don't have enemies. Fact many Bounty Hunters have quite the animosity with both cops AND Robbers on each end. Some Cops think Bounty Hunters are just as amoral and scummy as the Robbers, and some Robbers think Bounty Hunters are two-timers who can't be trusted and are better dead once the job is done. The Bounty Hunter enjoys a life of benefiting from both sides but not being particularly liked by either as well. To them: it's just a job and one they're damn good at.

Of course, not all Bounty Hunters are amoral. In fact many live by their own sets of codes and ethics! Some tell straight to the face of their employer that they don't kill children or women. Some draw the line at innocents, and some make it their personal code that they ONLY kill their target, and do their best to make sure there are no extra casualties in the crossfire. Fact some Bounty Hunters don't even kill. Sometimes they're experts at bringing people in alive and leaving them to their fate (even if it does mean their horrible death).

The Basics of Bounty Hunters: Much like robbers, anything goes with Bounty Hunters. Some have freaky powers they use in order to earn their living. While others are just well trained assassins who're damn good with a pistol. It's rare to see a cyborg or robot bounty hunter (since parts or the entirety of them tend to be owned by companies) but the occasional one does slip though, probably on the run from something.

Bounty Hunters are you typical anti-heroes a lot of the time. Private Eyes or gunslingers with chips on their shoulders but the morals to see them through. They work for money, and play the system, and earn quite a few enemies on both sides because of it.

Bounty Hunter character Concepts
- Gunslinger Assassin
- Hard Boiled Private Eye with a chip on his shoulder
- Professional for the Mob
- Would Be Hunter with something to prove
- Oversea Hunter looking for his lost prey
- Psychic Tracker who Brings them Back Alive
- Magician who makes people DISAPPEAR

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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby Libra » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:46 am

Interesting crew! (In the piratical sense).
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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby DragoonDarkfire » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:55 pm

Vigilantes

In a perfect world, there'd be no need for Vigilantes. Every cop would do his work, every man would keep to himself, and his word would be honest. But we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where sometimes a force won't convict a guy cause other cops get some of their drugs on the side to feed their addition. We live in a world where corrupt mayors and politicians can get away with murder and laugh about it in their fancy rich homes. We live in a world where injustice happens, and to combat injustice you sometimes have to take up the mantle of defender WITHOUT getting involved in the yellow tape of regulation, or take vengeance on a gang that left you to die, or a family you lost.

Men with nothing left driving them but their own passions, Vigilantes are criminals who hunt other criminals. They don't enjoy the political freedoms of Bounty-Hunters and share ALL of the troubles they have. Police and crook alike hunt to take down the vigilante, and why not? To the cops he's a rouge element, a crazed gunman who's taking the law into his own hands and could cause untold amounts of destruction with his actions. To the robbers he's like any cop, but worse! Cause they know that if they surrender a cop can't do anything to them, they know they can worm their way out of jail if they got a good lawyer. But a vigilante holds no such restrictions, if a robber is at the mercy of a vigilante then it's purely mercy that he'll live.

The only ones mostly impartial to vigilantes are Bounty Hunters. Mostly cause they don't particularly care about anyone unless they get in the way of their pay. That's the one difference between Bounty Hunters and Vigilantes. Bounty Hunters fight for money, Vigilantes fight for PASSION (and not the passion of "OH BOY LOOK AT ALL THIS MONEY I'LL MAKE!") Vigilantes always have a personal reason for doing what they do. Always drawing the line between vengeance and justice, it's all too easy for a vigilante to steer the wrong way and become as violent and dangerous as the crooks he's looking to take down.

Some Vigilantes wear elaborate costumes to hide their identities. But others are simply crazed gunmen with weird mutant powers that they use to get back at people who've wronged them. Not all Vigilantes are rich, successful men who can easily be looked up on a police databank or in a registry. Some are actually just crazy homeless people who practice all kinds of ***deleted*** up sorcery.

The Basics of Vigilantes: Vigilantes are less like Superman and more like EARLY Superman. If you don't know the distinction: basically it's when people are less likely to go "OH BOY I'M SURE GLAD YOU'RE HERE!" and more "OH GOD THE CRAZY GUY IN A RED CAPE WHO CAN DODGE BULLETS IS HERE! SOMEBODY CALL THE COPS!"

Vigilantes are not liked or trusted by the general public. They might have small fanbases or contacts, but they certainly aren't going to be awarded the honour of national heroes. Because no matter what: they're breaking the law. They act outside of the system, which gives them many advantages over other groups but at the same time makes them a pariah to all. Some cops may find you sympathetic and let you go (hell some might even WORK with you) but you're not to be remembered as a hero.

Vigilante Character Concepts
- Officer who quit the force to DO SOMEONE IN
- Former Robber, betrayed by his posse
- Millionaire with a hardon for thrills
- Freakshow looking for the bastard who did this to him
- Bum Wizard who can see the future
- Robot on the run from Government

Now prepare... for some HEROES of Star City!

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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby DragoonDarkfire » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:40 pm

Officer Mike and Chip

PL 6 and 6

Mike Freeman is a bit of a pariah among the cops. When he was a brash rookie he'd often be the first one to chase down an escaping convict, the first to throw the book at guys, and the first to call other people out when they weren't doing his job. As he god older, he became more and more hard-boiled and intermingled in the criminal underworld, becoming a double-agent for the cops and hanging out in all kinds of shady places looking to bust anything that looked like it was going down. This earned him the nickname "Mike the Menace", as he would often cause plenty of collateral in his attempts to bring in drug lords and smugglers.

Several times he's been threatened by his prefecture Chief that if he slips up ONE MORE TIME it's his badge. Of course, he doesn't listen, cause he always knows what's right and wrong, and dammit if his boss can't agree with him on that. Of course Mike does have one more thing he vehemently hates: technology. He's okay with his car, his trusty handcuffs and his gun but anything beyond the digital age scares the crap outta the guy.

Which is why he was particularly grumpy when the Police were announcing the FIRST robot police-officer! Unit 10892 (titled: Chip) by the station was built in a government lab and was sent out to serve the people and the station with full commitment! Of course: Mike had his doubts and he openly complained about "having a damn robot" on the force, which is why the chief was particularly smug and happy to inform him that that "damn robot" would be his partner from now on!

Chip, being a robot programmed for Justice, was more than willing to be signed on with a senior officer like Mike. Fact the robot was quite the advocate of doing his duty, much to the chagrin of Mike who kept seeing something artificial in the officers willingness. The two have thus started off a tenuous relationship with one another, Mike stating clearly to Chip that he doesn't like his kind, and Chip merely finding the logic behind such impulses questionable. The idea was that Chip, being a robot programmed to follow regulation, would keep Mike in line but thus far it's seemed like it's done anything but.

On more than one occasion Mike has gone undercover only for Chip to mistakenly blow it. Causing the man to lose his temper with the machine on more than one occasion. What Mike doesn't yet know is that Chip is earnestly confused about the world and is doing his best to be a credit to the force. The robot does in fact have emotions! In fact... perhaps he has the most emotion... out of all of them.

Or he's about as emotional as a machine gets. Either one could be it.

Will these two out of place and oddly paired officers learn to overcome their biases and presumptions and work together as a team? Well signs point to "probably" it has sadly yet to happen.

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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby Libra » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:52 am

:lol:

One suspects this particular Chief is a master of the noble art of Genre Savvy!
Last edited by Libra on Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Star City (my own dumb setting)

Postby Voltron64 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:43 am

Libra wrote::lol:

One suspects this particular Chief is a master of the nobble art of Genre Savvy!


To me, the Chief calling you a loose cannon and threatening to take away your badge is secret code for the Chief wanting you to perform an off-the-records operation.

:wink:
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