A fool fears nothing and calls it courage. A hero conquers what he fears.
- Mickey Reichert, ‘The Legend of Nightfall”
Thoughts & Stuffs
These are just some thoughts Alcar has had on the game and such.
Alcar's Soap Box (I want a bigger box next time, too}
March 19th 2002
I also thought I'd use it to explain some of my ideas for the game. The basic premise is that your world has changed. You have powers, and you have no idea where they came from or what to do with them. The game evolves from this point based on what each PC does. It's not a superhero-esque game in the strict sense, but the kind of enemies the PCs make will depend on how powerful they are. Heroes tend to create their own villians often enough, as odd as it seems. Most other types of villians will be normal people trying to destroy the "evil" or humans with powers that have unhinged their minds.
The NPCs will initially be anti-powers due to simple fear. However, human greed will eventually win. It will take some time and PCs can expect to be feared or perhaps even hunted during the first few sessions. However, they do not need to end up with the law after them. Save enough people and they'll say "Wait, shi* isn't evil..."
*shi means he/she. If you didn't know that, check last issue, about characters! still on newstands everywhere! - Actually Useful Alcar**
**Alcar is the GM. If you didn't know that, get your head examined. - Sparkie.
In other words, your PCs can be accepted as good (perhaps because none of you are giant cats who can't look human or don't try and throw accountants offices into orbit ... I dunno). They could be sanctioned city defenders, or part of some global team. Note that if you take names from existing comic books, those companies might well sue your pcs :p
It is the nature of power that those who wield it must suffer from it, even as their victims suffer.
- Joan D Vinge, “The Storm King”
Alcar's Large Nuclear Missile Box
March 21st 2002
<Peggy`Sue> "can you guys quit it? your not super heros.. have you ever saved anyone? or fight super villains?"
<Andrew```> "I saved a cat."
<Peggy`Sue> "woo woo... "
<Shang`^> "Yes, as a matter of fact, I have saved people.. but I don't want to talk about it."
<Peggy`Sue> "your not super heros, ok? you don't even have your own toy!"
Why is Alcar quoting another game, you ask? Well, besides the fact that he likes quotes, it says a lot about people and what they think of heroes. Sarcastically, mind you, but it does get it's point across - society expects certain things from heroes. Your PCs will likely be expected to live up to the standards of comic book heroes fighting for "truth, justice and the American dream" (whatever that is) or knowing that "with great power comes great responsibility" and all that. In other words, you have to prove that you're human to people whose expectations of heroes are a trifle odd, in many cases.
Then there are going to be the wants and needs of your own PCs. Someone who can fly, or alter peoples emotions, or read minds ... why do they need to work? Why not just take what they need? How much is honour worth to PCs? At what point does doing a greater good involve sacrificing too much of your own? It is conceivable - and very likely - that characters will do evil during the game. How much is too much? At what point are you evil. Or, for what matter, good? Can you even have a normal life? Should you have one, when your powers could be used saving others instead of bringing in a paycheque or passing a course?
Those are just some issues the PCs may touch on as the game progresses and players develop their PCs at a stronger level. If you have any ideas or thoughts on how people might act to the PCs, toss them over. Want the PCs to become defenders of the city or part of some (inter?) national task force? Talk it over with players and the GM. The game can go anywhere.
The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.
Alcar's Box With A Cat In It That's Alive, Dead, Or Really Pissed Off
March 26th 2002
"The point is that thing you keep missing, the point is power. Power doesn't need to explain itself, power is not about explaining. Power just does because it can."
- Peter S Beagle, "The Folk of the Air"
Today's rant is on powers. All the PCs have them, even if they're not sure what those powers are or what to do with them. This is an issue that must be explored by each PC in their own way as the game progresses. Is your PC going to fight evil, refuse to use their powers unless forced, just try and look out for #2* and to hell with the rest of the world? It's up to each of you what your PC does with their powers and how you react to having them. Imagine finding out you can fly .... how long would you spend flying just because you could? Or creating energy, juggling cars, moving things without looking at them?
A related issue to having power is more than just the use of it, but also who to tell of if. Do you tell family or friends? How long as you resist not telling them? Should you tell them if the knowledge could only get them in danger? What if they want you to do things with it that seem wrong ... and what if they're echoing your own thoughts? How can you be a hero if your own family doesn't know you are one? How would you react if they found out about you from others? And, perhaps most importantly, what would you do if they feared you?
Everything has it's price. Everything.
- Alcar The Cheerful
*#1 being the GM, naturally :p
There is no such thing as an inevitable war. If war comes it will be from failure of human wisdom.
- Andrew Bonar Law
Alcar whistles innocently and wanders away ...
April 4th 2002
Listen, if you wish to hear, the truths that only we can tell,
The Gods are here, drawing near, their powers bright and dark and fell!
Their voices command the world, their weight is too much to be borne,
Their thoughts are heavenward hurled, of human failings they are shorn.
They come to save the righteous - the gods are here, have come, have come!
Come and speak the truth with us: the gods are here, our times is done!
Give them worship, give them life, give them our hearts and minds and souls,
Do not speak to them in strife: the gods have come to end that all!
All our pains and little fears, all our evils, all our sorrows:
No more, they say! No more tears will darken all our tomorrows!
Our gods have come to save us, our gods have come to us in fire,
Our gods have come to love us, they can grant us any desire!
The gods are hear to save us! Forget our petty human pride,
Speak this truth along with us and don't be among those who died!
Let go of your human sin, the gods have come to judge our world:
Call for mercy once again! Our thoughts must be heavenward hurled!
Brethren! You have seen the signs in the sky, the men and women flying in the service of the Lords! They are the gods, come to save us; they are the gods, come to redeem us! This is the last hour of man for the gods are here again! Speak to them and give them youre prayers, my sisters! Give them your swords, my brothers! The guilty will be punished and the good be rewarded! The salvation of Earth is at hand! You have seen the dead walk - the dead have come to judge us! You have seen fire in the sky, and anger burn the guilty! Let the truth come and set you free!
- Transcript from the first sermon of The Church of Eternal Truth, Boston.
The only altar on which people will sacrifice everything willingly is that of power.
April 25th 2002
There is no story so fantastic that I cannot imagine myself the hero. And there's no story so evil that I cannot imagine myself the villain.
- Leonard Cohen
This isn't a rant so much as a question. Given what the PCs have done and what NPCs have done in Boston, how long do the players expect thigns to last before reaching some kind of crital mass? Given that the world was meant to be our work suddenly given one hell of a shock, how long does it seem reasonable before some sort of social unrest and riots for and against super humans becomes the norm?
Consider the undead, flying people, robbed banks and a city walled off from the world. Maybe your PCs might want to give some consideration to a press confrence or two? :)
Our social realities are so ugly if seen in the light of exiled truth; beauty is almost no longer possible, if it is not a lie...
- R.D. Laing
Critics and fun stuff like that
May 11th 2002
Today's rant is not about Hubris itself, but about games in general and criticising them in particular. The art of criticism seems to take a lot of bashing, even if it is vital. Yes, some critics say stupid or mean things. So what? No one learns from compliments, not really. Most criticisms help improve what the are critiquing by and large, by suggesting improvements, ideas, concerns, annoyances to the maker, in this game the GM. (That would be me.) In other words, we improve only when shown our flaws.
The point? My games. What I'd like players to begin doing is seriously critiquing my games. I'm tough, I can take it. And for games to improve - and there is always room for improvement - these critiques need to be stated. Take a step back from the game, look at things and think about what you'd like to change, or could change (besides Sparkie :p). Then tell them to me. Discuss it with each other, and me. Find out what you don't like, or think could/should be improved. I won't bite. Honest. And I'm serious about this. I want criticism: I want players to think about the session and offer ideas or suggestions or anything else that can help improve the game and make it more fun.
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