Age of Wonders thread IV

Discuss Freedom City, Paragons, Wild Cards, or your own campaign settings here.
User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:47 am

Charles Phipps wrote:GASP!? DID HISTORY CHANGE REGARDING KENNY!

As for the other, well, despite my squeamish self I'm going to say if there was a guy the Order would break their no-torture rule for, it'd be him.


Indeed, his screams sounded like this.
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:39 am

Los Angeles part 1

The Nexus event was the best thing to happen to Los Angeles since Hollywood. No city on Earth has embraced the riches and wealth inherent to being a superbeing than L.A. The already incredibly rich and prosperous city has become triply so. The entire state of California has benefited to the point that its previous financial difficulties have disappeared. They are the first to adopt any new superhuman technology and are eager to invite Nexus to live with them in abject luxury, creating a dissonance with some parts of the rest of the nation.

The sun-drenched city has hundreds of wannabe superheroes patrolling the streets at any given time. This would be problem for criminals in L.A. if not for their complete uselessness. Many wear the costumes but have no intention of actually fighting crime, while others may attempt to do so but will only get their ass kicked (if they're lucky). Chief of Police, Wilson Beck, has issued "Superhero Badges" to heroes sponsored by Pendulum and ones who undergo a six-week-training course with the Police.

Given the vast majority of these superheroes, called Leons after a particularly notable example, don't actually have superpowers or any skills of note--the LAPD takes no small amount of pleasure in busting them. Despite this, the majority of the LAPD has a fairly favorable opinion of superheroes as a whole (particularly the Order). This is due to the "professional" superheroes providing backup to numerous dangerous situations as well as generally working with them in an official capacity.

It also helps that a number of LA's toughest cops have exploited the loosened laws on superhero activity to enact vigilante justice in-costume. This is quite possibly a "really bad" thing that could lead to a lot of civil rights abuses but, for time being, actually benefits heroes in the city

This practice is code-named Trick of Treating.


In addition to the Leons, there is also a phenomenon called Cape-Chasing that amounts to Los Angeles' extensive superhero groupie scene. Superheroes who journey to Los Angeles who have made the slightest name for themselves will quickly find themselves surrounded by fans who know everything about them (even if it's just from Superpedia). Capies often dress themselves in superhero chic that is fashionable adornments meant to invoke their favorite heroes and a hundred times less trashy than what the Leons tend to wear.

Planet Super is the mecca of these individuals but there are dozens of less-famous establishments where they gather. Capies are, for the most part, harmless but can get in the way of superheroes pefroming their jobs. A few of them are also star-hunters eager to score some memorabilia or trickle-down fame. More than a few Capies have gone so far as to try and seduce male heroes in hopes of becoming pregnant with their children or to sell their stories. Amusingly, the Order has completely avoided this save for the one humorous incident where a woman claimed to be pregnant with Kenny's child (having not done very good research).

Pendelum's local branch, the Higher Association of National Guardianship or HANG, is mostly composed of the DOHS and FBI branch in the area folded into a new building. HANG is remarkably hands-off when it comes to performing its duties and a lot of its detractors believe the organization is content to let superheroes do their job for them. This is incorrect but they don't even bother to try and tackle the massive amount of superhuman crime in the city but focus, instead, on solving the cases they reasonably think they have a chance of solving.

HANG doesn't have much luck recruiting people to join its ranks versus becoming mega-rich celebrity super-heroes and mostly survives by favor trading. Curiously, it does have a decent amount of luck with the Wands and is known for its reliance on psychics as well as magic-users. The fact that Mister Arcane recommended 30 of its agents as well as trained others helps give the place a somewhat surreal feel. John Cheng, the head of HANG, is a pleasant jobsworth-like associate who seems well-aware he's working in Toontown. As a result, he stoically performs his job without hint a he notices Agent Lepus is a giant green alien rabbit.

The religious feeling of L.A. is also distinctly changed by the presence of superheroes. The Way of 1,000 Heroes and Church of Saint Victor the Vanquisher are both minority religions that people initially took as a joke only to become powerful presences in the city. Competing against them is the Sanctity, that now has replaced the Church of Scientology and transformed L Ron Hubbard's cult into something much more dangerous. The Netherworld and Wands also find ample recruiting group amongst LA's souls seeking something more.

The Archangel, until recently, had a firm hold on one of the city's largest growing cathedrals until Mel Gibson of all people was persuaded by Super Dragon Punch Ten to abandon the church's faith and help expose its corrupt underpinnings. Her heartfelt plea to the congregation allowed her to channel their love* rather than their hate and destroyed the illusion-covered Plague.

At least for the time being.

* Channeled into her FISTS!
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:51 am, edited 7 times in total.

User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:43 am

So basically Pendulum branches tend to be very diverse in appearance and methods?

And is Agent Lepus an Ostilliroth?
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:46 am

Voltron64 wrote:So basically Pendulum branches tend to be very diverse in appearance and methods?

And is Agent Lepus an Ostilliroth?


1. Originally, they were very centralized but the creation of individual "city-branches" is starting to change things. It doesn't help the PIT and the schools thereof are pumping out incredibly independent individualists as opposed to people who do it THEIR way.

2. Yes, yes he is. He believes Bucky O'Hare is based on him.

Edited a bit about crime in the city. The next part will talk at length about the city's criminal factions.

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:07 pm

Los Angeles part 2

You'd think with so much hero worship, the city would have almost no crime problem but the reverse is true. The massive influx of money, immigrants, and weakening rule of law has lead Los Angeles to become even more violent. Warmonger's agents in the city, called The War Profiteers, and Brotherhood Enlightenment have outfitted much of the city's criminals with high-tech material. Terrorist attacks, kidnappings, daylight robberies, public assassinations, and high speed chases are a daily part of life now. Indeed, the presence of superheroes has convinced the public things are better than they are.

The city is filled with power-players eager to get a slice of the immense LA riches. There's King Frost, Big Dog, The Organization, The Octagon, The Brotherhood of Enlightenment's satellite gangs, PHOBOS (masquerading as a branch of the CIA), the Yakuza, the Triads (through American Tongs) supported by a renegade Taiwanese General, and the vampire-based Club Midnight. The later being particularly ironic but who have established the city as home to the first Camarilla-like city structure. This is in addition to other local powers that make the city a cesspool of illegal money being made hand-over-fist.

It also should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of people who come to LA to become "superheroes" that many of the heists are conducted by Nexi who are recruited for their powers. Few people want to be "supervillains" but are willing to be persuaded to do unpleasant work in exchange for the cash to live in the city or equipment. A few have even been caught by the police due to their bragging of killing criminals they did while part of a gangster's drug deal.

Too dumb to live, indeed


One of the biggest criminal organizations that PCs should be wary of are The Shang-Di Corporation that is a front for a certain Chinese scientific research group. The Shang-Di Corporation is engaged in all manner of espionage against the Brotherhood of Enlightenment, US research groups, and American corporations working on superhuman material. Sadly, the group has gotten away from them as a Earth-17 Jiang Shi vampiress named Gong Xi has taken over the group. It is joined by SilverCorp's largest office and Atlas International, that is a multimedia empire completely controlled by the Titans. ShivaCorp and Wonder Labs are positively saintly by comparison.

Finally, there's Honeywood, that is a massive film studio twenty-minutes outside the city limits. Honeywood was originally a landfill but with the power of several geo-powered supers who decided to open a construction agency instead, they helped create the massive "superhero film" industry. Honeywood produces incredibly low-quality films that exist almost entirely to cash-in on the star power of superheroes or people using 'real' powers.'

Kenny Rogers has made a fortune making seventeen of these films, churned out very quickly, yet making massive success. Dark Sun's disillusionment with Hollywood is almost entirely due to the fact she could only get into these films. Films range from kiddie-fair to near-porn (with the full stuff using the same equipment and buildings rented out). Big Al Swanson is the dubious genius behind this craptacular (and wildly successful) experiment.

Deaths are quite common in Honeywood, partially due to such a concentration of supers attracts bad guys like flies to food but they have a reasonably good security system. Still, it's the sort of place that working-class superheroes might find a good place to make money to fund their calling as security.


Martial arts enthusiasts will also note there is the Shadow Clan of superpowered ninjas and evil martial artists headed by Anti-Ki as well as Sun Tiger (Shadow Lynx's archnemesis). The Shadow Clan is joined by the League of Killers that consists of psychopaths who that must prove themselves to be theme-killers without getting caught. The latter is the archenemy of Bloodscream the Retributive, who were actually inspired by his serial murders. Notably, Bloodscream almost never catches any of them.

Contrasting this group is the Jadepunk Group that consists of martial arts and wuxia masters, many who are a part of the larger Jade Falcon Society. These working class heroes deliberately avoid seeking fame for themselves but actively work to protect the communities of Los Angeles from evil-doers. All of them possess superhuman martial arts ability, many of them having been trained in the PIT by Pendulum but not joining that organization. The head of HANG is a former member and quietly approves of their actions.
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:17 pm

So since GTA5 was a major inspiration for your writeup of LA, do you think we'll see any expies of the characters in the game?

Because I would love to see some PCs face off against basically Steve Haines if he lived in a world not as inherently crapsack as GTA, was given a gigantic Humiliation Conga and ended up becoming a supervillian.

:mrgreen:
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:19 pm

Voltron64 wrote:So since GTA5 was a major inspiration for your writeup of LA, do you think we'll see any expies of the characters in the game?

Because I would love to see some PCs face off against basically Steve Haines if he lived in a world not as inherently crapsack as GTA, was given a gigantic Humiliation Conga and ended up becoming a supervillian.

:mrgreen:


Well the Phobos Branch pretending to be the CIA should tip you off I'm outright ripping it off in places. It doesn't pretend to be a paper company.

No, it pretends to be a BOX company.

EXPYs of Michael, Trevor, and Franklin also exist.

There's even Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines nods too.

User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:22 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:
Voltron64 wrote:So since GTA5 was a major inspiration for your writeup of LA, do you think we'll see any expies of the characters in the game?

Because I would love to see some PCs face off against basically Steve Haines if he lived in a world not as inherently crapsack as GTA, was given a gigantic Humiliation Conga and ended up becoming a supervillian.

:mrgreen:


Well the Phobos Branch pretending to be the CIA should tip you off I'm outright ripping it off in places. It doesn't pretend to be a paper company.

No, it pretends to be a BOX company.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yg1qZZwfxs

:wink:
Last edited by Voltron64 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:35 pm

Fine work Charles! :mrgreen:
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!

Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!

Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

MightyDavidson
Zealot
Zealot
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:19 pm

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby MightyDavidson » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:20 pm

The El Grande Family, or la familia of El Grande as he prefers has existed for only a relatively short time. As the Order started to drift apart, El Grande was still eager to redeem himself for the sins of his past and as such began training other heroes in his style of crimefighting in the hope that training up a new generation of heroes might finally give him the redemption he sought. Thus far the group is still fairly small, some of the more notable members are listed below.

El Fenix: Though he donned a mask and a heroic nickname in deference to El Grande's wishes, it's no secret that El Fenix is really Jonny Tesla of the Phoenix Force Seven. Having joined the Jade Temple some time ago in order to increase his skills in the face of greater and more dangerous threats to the Earth, Jonny was asked to join El Grande's group by the Temple's founders to see if El Grande's training methods can be added to the Temple's training curriculum. He and El Grande have really hit it off, the two are close friends.

Thanks to his training with the Jade Temple, Jonny Tesla is one of the most formidable fighters on Earth 0 and not merely because he's been training hard. While Jonny has taken the time to master several mundane martial arts techniques, he's also learned how to manipulate his chi as well and now possesses abilities one would see from a character in a wuxia film. The natural ability at which he picks up such techniques is believed to be the reason Jonny was sent to study with El Grande, as the Jade Temple hopes that Jonny can learn some of El Grande's geomancy.

Riho Hino: A young Japanese girl who started wrestling at a ridiculously young age, who was well known in puroesu circles for winning every title in the promotion she worked for before actually hitting puberty. On another world, Riho might've remained a very talented woman's wrestler but on Earth 0 several wrestlers in the promotion she was a member of were attacked by Tulpas of Black Tiger and King Tiger from the Tiger Mask anime whom Riho ended up battling and defeating in a vicious battle. This would reveal that Riho had superhuman abilities and attract the attention of both the Octagon and PHOBOs. Fortunately it also gained the attention of El Grande and between the two of them, the villains were forced to leave Riho's friends alone and Riho herself became El Grande's first recruit.

Under El Grande's training Riho's powers have blossomed, though her abilities are based on speed and agility rather then strength which suggests that Riho's abilities might be different then the geomancy that El Grande uses. Though she uses her real name Riho still wears a mask and is actually noted for the collection of adorable masks she wears in battle, particularly her Pikachu mask, kitten mask and teddy bear mask.

La Leona: One of two members of The Ballroom, sent from Earth 1938 to Earth 0 in order to aid the heroes of that world in any fashion they are able. One became a teacher at the Jade Temple (and something of a mentor to Sailor Cosmos) and the other joined El Grande's family as La Leona. Like the the Jade Temple, La Leona is interested in seeing how effective El Grande's training methods are but unlike them she also has an ulterior motive though not an evil one.

La Leona has actually joined El Grande's Family in the hopes of teaching them the techniques the Ballroom uses in it's fight against crime on Earth 1938, believing that doing so will make them stronger heroes and thus make Earth 0 a safer place. She's also developing a crush on El Fenix, much to the consternation of Sailor Cosmos.

User avatar
Libra
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 19834
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:46 pm
Location: The Green and Pleasent Isle

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:43 am

Fine work Mighty Davidson, as ever! (I wonder if there might be any connection between La Leona and The Eternal Aztec, as both are masked wrestlers who call E-38 home in a hispanic accent; more to the point I suspect that 'Prof Aztec' is both smart enough to help training the new generation - all the better to learn their tricks - and not QUITE so much of a heel that he'll be kicked out upon making the request).
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!



Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!



Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:30 am

Guys, here are some genuine super-powered heroes in Earth-1938 who were active during WW2 that I'm sure could be expanded upon. (All of whom participated in the daring defeat of Japan after they stopped Hitler and his Aryan super-soldiers.)

-A direct Expy of Jay Garrick
-A direct Expy of Alan Scott
-A semi-direct Expy of Diana Prince/Donna Mason
-A semi-direct Expy of a certain pyrokinetic replicant.
-A teenage Master of Magnetism serving as the boy mascot whose family had fled Germany to escape the Nazis.

:mrgreen:
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:47 am

Awesome write-ups, MD. I'll throw some comments at you soon!

User avatar
Charles Phipps
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 7867
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Ashland, Ky
Contact:

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:48 am

Los Angeles part 3 (Existing Heroes)

As one of the most well-detailed cities in Age of Wonders, many people believe they have a good idea of what sort of things are happening in the city or who the power players are. You would be wrong as, ironically, the most famous Los Angeles residents are actually some of the ones who play the least role.

Super Dragon Punch Zero is the city's signature hero, on billboards and vending machines with advertisements of him everywhere. However, the Order member splits his time between East Panya and globe-trotting, which actually leaves very little time for him to visit his home city. When he does return to LA, he's as often as not visiting his family or working on a movie than active superheroing. A fact which is lost on your average LA resident.

Slightly less famous but a hell of a lot more present is the figure of Momentum, who is the only reason Los Angeles hasn't been reduced to a smoking cinder in both the metaphorical as well as literal sense. The extremely overworked hero and Shimmer handle a lot of Los Angeles rogues gallery, recently now forced to prioritize as the number of supercriminals in the city grows ever larger.

Momentum flat-out can't JOIN a team because if he ever did, the city would be unable to cope as it's barely able to do so now. God forbid that he ever break his leg or temporarily get put out of action, let alone get killed, because that would expose just how much of a problem the city really has. Shimmer, by contrast, is aware that Mometum is being pushed to his limit and taken advantage of. She is actively looking for other heroes to help and subtly encouraging him to not try to take care of all of LA's problems by itself.

Adonis is the city's personal disgrace, his reputation completely in tatters now. HANG still employs him, however, due to the bully and monster's sheer usefulness when it comes to things like Kaiju attacks or alien invasions. The fact he STILL has groupies despite being such a complete jackass should tell you about the unhealthy side of fandom in Los Angeles.

Surprisingly, Adonis has received numerous offers to become a straight-up supervillain but has turned them down. He recognizes, even if he's considered a misogynist bully who represents everything wrong in superheroes, he's STILL better off than if be became a quote-unquote bad guy. That being said, his few existing morals have become a bit more flexible with missing money and taking cash payments for flattening "bad people."

The Blue Wasp used to patrol LA every bit as much as Super Dragon Punch Zero during the early years but hasn't been back to the city since his return except for wedding plans, visiting family, and so on. This is due to the fact the majority of "his" rogues are in jail and his father (Doctor W) has been busy using the Brotherhood of Enlightenment's resources to take over the American economy. Given several of the Blue Wasp's lesser known rogues (ones even he wasn't aware were "his") went on a rampage during this time, he's actually suffered a massive drop in popularity as a result.

Super Dragon Punch Ten spends more time in Los Angeles than her brother, which says something given she's usually in SPACE or another time. As the scourge of the city's vampire and supernaturals, she's made the place somewhat unpalatable for several horrors. Byron, especially, is horrified of her as the only WORSE than a beating at the hands of a little girl would be said beating curing his vampirism. Then he'd be ruined forever and few of the Family would be inclined to change him back.

Mister Arcane, Dark Sun, Pooka, Torch, and Moonatic are all frequent "part-timers" in Los Angeles, which is another reason why the city hasn't becoming a smoking ruin fought over by demigods. Victor Vanquish is aware his church has a large place in the city but doesn't spend any more time there than anywhere else on the world, a fact which irritates many LA residents. When he does visit LA, it's usually to unwind or spend some time with his lover and cult-leader (though he calls her "High Priestess").

Finally, rounding out the "known" superheroes of Los Angeles is Bloodscream the Retributive, who is shockingly about one of the few superheroes who thinks the city deserves his full-time attention. Recently, Mister Arcane gave the demented psychopath a magic ring that draws psychopaths and ninjas to his presence after realizing he didn't have time to deal with the guy's inexplicable ability to escape custody but wasn't sure he needed killing. As a result, horrific monsters and cybernetic monstrosities come to Bloodscream now.

As with summoning a Titan to destroy a Sovius fleet, this may have been a questionable decision on Mister Arcane's part as it's turned Bloodscream from a horrific joke into a poster-boy for EXTREME VIOLENCE even the Order won't do. He now has a fanbase, comic line, and more due to the staggering number of "evil doers" he's slaughtered. Bloodscream's complete lack of self-awareness it's only NOW that he's living the Dark Age of comics confuses him and he's still trying to get the ring that guy forced on him ("how gay!").

The Centre has noticed that Bloodscream's powers have been growing exponentially and have decided to start employing him. Bloodscream has thus unwittingly become their mercenary and they're debating the merits of assigning him a handler or just flat-out knocking him out, drugging him, and doping him up with enough mnemonic drugs to raise his IQ from dirt-stupid to functioning adult.
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Voltron64
Luminary
Luminary
Posts: 2668
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:52 am

Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra


Return to “Mutants & Masterminds Settings”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests