Welcome to Whateley Academy using the mutants and Masterminds build.
This will be an IRC game. if you are unwilling to use IRC, then you can't play, sorry. We will set up channels for our use, as well as a gameserv.
Character builds: We will be using the guidelines for teenagers, so Power Level 8 for PC's. Please limit pencil-whipping of sheets, as "Unstoppable characters" will NOT be approved. Period. myself and Bender reserve the right to send back sheets and concepts with requests that things be altered to better fit the setting. that being said, we are flexible.
Canon Characters: All Canon characters will be considered NPC's at all times. Sorry, but there are NO exceptions to this rule. If you see a Canon character in play it is an NPC run either by myself or bender, or by the canon author who created the character invited to run him or her.
Relation to Whateley Stories: All game actions are considered non-canon. please respect this.
Behavior rules: Please respect your fellow players and the GM's, this game is intended for people to have FUN. Serious disruptions of the game to the detriment of others to include things such as player-killing, rules lawyering, and arguing with the GM will result in a person not being invited back to the game. Please, for the love of God...
Do not make us enforce this rule. Please. I beg you.
Power guidelines: The duplication power and others will have modified mechanics and utility. This is due to both the Whateley setting and game balance issues. We are NOT simply going by the core descriptions in all cases.
Restricted Powers: the following powers will not be allowed, due to either being inappropriate to setting, or we would prefer to reserve the powers for the bad guys. certain powers will be limited in ranks based on setting limitations. i don't care what you think. You do not need to have a character that can fly at light speed.
No time alteration powers will be allowed except a temporal flavor to existing powers also (such as super speed being possible by dialating one's own time)
Immunity: No more than 3 5-point immunities may be chosen, and no character may be immune to more than One saving throw type (fortitude, reflex, will)
The power additions which allow permanent or continuous duration may not be used for a power with a debilitating effect such as dazzle, nausea, paralasys, etc. petrification is an exception to this rule because of the nature of the power. it can be undone.
Regeneration: the resurrection ranks must come with a damned good justification here. No PC's may start with more than 2 ranks in regeneration resurrection. The addition "True Resurrection" is not available for play.
ground speed powers are limited to rank 5 (250 MPH) at start, and air speed powers are limited to Rank 8 (2500 MPH) at start. To surpass these limitations you'd best be prepared to explain how these powers will add to the game. We will be rather skeptical, and you must convince BOTH of us to allow it, not just whoever is in charge that day. Swim speed powers are similarly limited to rank 7 (250 MPH) at start.
teleport: Try to keep it limited to earthly ranges please.
Shapeshifting/transformation: these powers are subject to setting limitations established in stories (exemplars will revert, as will shifters whether you have a permanent duration or not)
There will be no one-shot kill powers allowed. Period. Do not even bother to ask for this one.
Astral powers will not necessarily operate as the book describes. You have been warned.
cosmic Energy Control is not appropriate to the setting save in the hands of one or two NPC's which have already been slotted. Thus this one may not be taken.
Death touch is not available for play.
We strongly discourage the disease power
Disintegrate is touchy. abuse it and your character will suffer power-altering burnout, resulting in you losing that power and putting the points elsewhere. This will not be negotiable.
Duplication: You must buy ranks for EACH duplicate separately. Each duplicate allows ONE duplicate, so you can have one rank 8 dupe, one six, and one four resulting in a grand total of THREE duplicates (as an example)
Mind Switch: We will be merciless in enforcing the consequences here.
Mutation: The mutation caused must be set when the power is chosen. if your mutation turns the victim into a hermaphroditic nympho and it spreads like an STD, that's how the power works until your character dies.
Nemesis: Don't bother. This one is not available for PC's.
Pain: We discourage this for PC's due to the torture implications (You're supposed to be HERO types!)
Petrification: may not be as permanent as you would think...
Power Control: Not available. Period. Even for NPC's.
Time Control, just to restate, is not allowed for PC's or NPC's.
Time Stop may never have the "No Saving throw" Extra, nor may the player pick and choose who is or is not affected. this one will be watched.
Anyone taking Vibration Control or Friction control may suffer social consequences from other characters. You picked the power, you have to put up with the bad jokes.
Any power combination the Game Masters deem disruptive to the game can be denied at any time. if a power combination is deemed too powerful during play, arrangements can be made to re-allocate points.
Finally folks, I know we all like to make powerful characters. however, due to this game's emphasis of role-play over roll-play, excessive pencil-whipping of character sheets will result in death. Please keep in mind the roleplay aspects of powers as much as mechanical. Roleplay and creativity will be rewarded. Roll Play merely results in you getting by.
At any time, myself and Doc bender reserve the right to alter any portion of these rules to maintain game balance and to ensure that as many players as possible have fun. Due to the nature of IRC games, there may be times we don't get to everyone. Sooner or later we will get to you. Please be patient, and don't scream at us while we hammer the kinks out of our understanding of the game.
If you have issues with bad rules calls, or mistakes of mechanics, please save them until AFTER the game session is over. Please do not interrupt play for long rants on "How this works"
Sooner or later, we're going to have someone ask about playing a TG...
While we PREFER to keep the TG quotient a bit lower, we recognize it will happen. As such the following guidelines will be put into effect, as well as for GSD.
Almost all TG's should be "Stealth mode" and living in one of the cottages besides Poe. Yes, characters can find ways to interact without "Outing" themselves to all of creation. All such characters are required to take the Secret flaw. variable points based on how sadistic i am feeling, and how likely a character is to be outted by circumstances.
Taking GSD (I will assign a point value based on severity) is ENCOURAGED, especially if it gives a TG character a reason to live in twain, whitman or hawthorne. Obviously being TG isn't mandatory for GSD, and I again encourage the trait.
Playing normal characters who didn't undergo the gender warping is also encouraged. TG kids are supposed to be rare, and you will very likely see characters seen in canon floating around sooner or later.
No requests to play whateley staff please. This is an RP for students. Similarly, all students beginning at whateley should be between 13 and 15. No adults transformed into minors or six-year-olds accelerated to age 16. That kind of thing is a plot device, and not considered a valid concept for this RPG.
Please bear in mind that "You guys did this in Canon," or "This happened in X story" isn't a good game justification.
Did I mention GSD is encouraged?
Whateley is primarily a school for MUTANTS and to a lesser extent people who popped powers due to weird occurance. We will be stingy with allowing concepts that fall under blatantly supernatural types like the Sidhe, artificers, or Sara's kin without a shit-hot character background. Special training is acceptable...IF the character has at least one recognizable mutant trait, even if it is just Exemplar 1. Aliens will be similarly picked at with a fine-tooth comb along with AI's and stuff of that nature.
As a side note... jericho's wardrobe may occasionally cause a character to need to make a will save in order to not stare in horror or become nauseous. let there be fun times.
"Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings,"
To warn you fairly, JG and I will not only be gamemastering but also playing, hopefully alternating between roles. To this end, I have created an example character which I'll go through and explain step by step.
Without further ado, meet Samson Murphy, aka Skull Wraith.
Real Name: Samson Murphy
Description: Short (I'm only 14!), dark and broody weakling. Short black hair, pale complexion, dark grey eyes (changed when he got his powers, but not unusual enough to take notice of). When using his Alternate Form, he appears as a skeleton formed from shadows engulfed in a smoky black aura.
Personality: Sarcastic and ironic but insightful.
Background: A moody artistic-type, Samson wasn't ever comfortable being in the limelight, preferring to lurk in dark corners and concentrate on his art. Being short, thin and a social outcast didn't do him any favors when he hit High School and the kids with a chip on their shoulder needed to prove that they were superior by beating down those with real talent.
It was during one of these beatings that Samson fell through his shadow and arrived under his bed at home, his mutant power to control and even become darkness itself manifesting spectacularly. It wasn't long before he was on a bus to Whateley, only a short trip from his family home in Boston.
Step 1: Come up with a character concept, including description, personality and powers.
The first thing I like to do is flip through the Powers section of the book and figure out what I want my Mutant to actually do. Alot of my choices flowed from my decision to make a darkness-themed character. I wanted him to turn into a living shadow, control darkness and fire blasts of black death at his foes, MUAH-HA-HA-HA-HA! -cough-
Step 2: Make a wish list.
Next thing I did, I went crazy and loaded the as-yet-unnamed 'Murphy' up with skills, feats and powers. I decided to save abilities for last because they effect the rest of the statistics (please note that I have not added the ability modifiers to the skill ranks, but I have in the combat section and saves). What I ended up with was a PL16 character, so I began the painful process of shaving away Murphy's abilities.
To get the right ability scores to reflect my concept, I had to cut a few more things away. Murphy is a 14 year old boy who recently got superpowers. He's smarter and wiser than the average bear with medium intelligence and high-ish wisdom but with lots of room to grow into an adult. Also not the strongest or most hardy of teenagers, which is reflected in his low Strength (STR) and Constitution (Con).
Please note that he doesn't really have many skills and nor is he a highly trained combatant. The only time Murphy's ever thrown a punch was after he manifested, though he's picking things up quickly with an Attack and Defense of +4. As for skills, you can clearly see his interest in artistic endevors, though his Craft skill seems to indicate that he's more a do-er than a thinker. Delving into the nocternal side of life has also taught him to use the darkness of the streets to his advantage, his powers giving him a definite edge in learning Stealth and being aware of his surroundings.
He also has some aspirations at being a Batman-like detective, though he's got a long way to go before he's the new century's Sherlock Holmes.
Step 3: Fleshing Out
You knew a bit about your character in Step 1, hopefully he or she developed in Step 2, now that the technical side of things is done you get to fill in the details. What's his hair and eye colour? Is she an exotic oriental or plain jane? Where did she live before Whateley? Does he have any family? Do they get on now he's a mutant?
Answer as many questions about your character as you want or leave it to be developed later, the important thing is that you, the GM and the other players know your character. He or she should be a living, breathing, person inside your head. There will be rewards for good roleplay, so anything you can do to characterize your virtual avatar is a bonus.
TIPS ON CREATING COOL SUPERHEROES
Number #1 tip anyone can give to anyone interested in creating a Superhero character is this:
It's not their strengths that are important; it's their weaknesses that really matter.
Daredevil, despite merely good book sales, is one of the most critically lauded superheroes ever published. Because he is blind. Spiderman is Peter Parker behind the mask, a man with responsibilities to his wife, Aunt May and family. The Thing, possibly the hardest superhero of them all, is stuck in a stone body the world wasn't made to accomodate. Wolverine is an amnesiac who may fly into a berserker rage.
The lone and noteable exceptions to this rule are Superman, who is almost perfect (see Kill Bill 2 for an insightful monologue on this subject and also the speech given by Larry Niven (I believe) on the problems with masterbation as a super-teen), and Captain America (despite the recent death thing... that we know isn't going to last). Even these two characters, despite their power, often fail in the face of the villains.
Murphy is a good example here. You may think that Blindsight counteracts the problems with manipulating darkness, and it does to an extent. Blindsight, however, doesn't let Murphy distinguidh colour, however, important when facing a mad bomber. His Darkness Control powers only work at full power, meaning that he cannot pull his punches, creating situational disadvantages like firing a Desert Eagle .50 at point blank range when an innocent is standing behind the target.
Murphy, as mentioned, is also physically weak and socially ambivalent. His powers make up for his physical problems but can never really help his social standing (and high school is all about social standing). Being short and frail is bound to attract the wrong sort of attention at Whateley... but woe betide any but the most powerful of bullies if they think that they can mess with The Skull Wraith and not go unpunished!
The above being said, cool superheroes have cool powers.
Spiderman is tough, strong, athletic and able to shoot webs from his wrists and crawl up walls. Wolverine has blades! In his arms! How cool is that? Pretty darn frosty. Storm can hurl freekin' lightning bolts! Batman kicks ass and takes names wearing a bulletproof rubber suit. And who doesn't want to be able to fly and shoot laserbeams from their eyes?
And, since this is Whateley, who doesn't want the ability to spontaneously shapeshift into any physical form they're in the mood to wear at the time?
Fey is a gorgeous elfin redhead who blows people away with magic. That's cool. On the other hand, she can't wear sythetics upon risk of death. There's a balance there between cool and achilles heel to strive for.
The game is IRC based, and hosted on darkmyst.org. (they've a website describing usage)
ie using a irc program, connect to irc.darkmyst.org
The OOC channel is #whateley-ooc
So: if you were in a program, you might type
"Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,
And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings,"