Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Excelsior High: Humble Beginings



I Got into a rather large discussion on how supers would work in Fate. I had some thoughts on how they would work. As I was discussing this I thought, "why not put your money where your mouth is?" As I am not one to ignore myself I decided to try and do just that.

Funny thing is that at the same time I ran into a discussion of settings on rpg.net and one jumped right out at me. Moonhunter on rpg.net wrote this campaign hook in this thread:

77) The Avengers - the Animated Series

Like the X-men cartoon where the X-men were high schoolers, this reboot would have the Earth's mightiest heroes as teens in high school. Obviously a magnet school for the science types. The team would be Juniors or Sophmores.

Tony Stark, Geeky Rich Kid who buys popularity and designs power armors.
Janet - Rich kinda snobby girl, who is torn between Tony and Hank. Asian Mutant Shrinker, who gets stingers from Hank.
Hank - Science Geek who is too oblivious to realize that the greatest girl in school has a thing for him (Doing him as Yellow Jacket, so limited growth, shrink, and a little flight, with stingers)
Blake - the average sort of kid (for this school) who becomes a Young Thor. Thor kinds of scares him
Banner - Genius who made himself into a freak rage monster. Always an outsider, now more so.
Steve - Super Jock, with a true moral compass and a strong heart.

Others....
T-challa, Exchange student, Panther.
Sam - The Falcon
Hawkeye and Black Widow and Swordmaster might be those "bad kids" who are and aren't your friends.
Maybe a couple of other B-list Avengers might fill out the roster. (Tigra, Mockingbird, Moondragon, etc)

I could see Tony competing with Reed (the Freshman Wonderkin, who is actually 12) and his three friends (actually making Johnny the older brother).


The school is backed by Shield to train these kids to be an effective force.

Kang is an adult who is comming back to deal with the fools who embarassed him in High School
Hydra bad guys
Listen up True Believers, there is a high school in New York City. To all outward appearances a perfectly normal school, with perfectly normal children, going to perfectly normal classes. But all is not as it seems, my friends Within this school is a secret class of Unique Youngsters. Within the pages of this book are the stories and secrets of these young heroes. Read on to see the beginning of the greatest adventure yet. Excelsior!


A brief history of the game world
Hydra gave birth to the Super Human Era. World War II came to Europe, and with it came Super Humans. The Nazis had Super Weapons and a few Ubermenschen. The Allies Had the Invaders, Namor the Sub-Mariner, The Human Torch, Union Jack,and Captain America. in the end the Nazis Fell. Hydra Lived on. Super Humans faded into the background for a while. Fighting the hidden wars and secret mission with the world never knowing what they did.

In the last few years more and more singular individuals are cropping up in highly populated areas, and they are getting younger too. S.H.I.E.L.D. under the guidance of Col. Nick Fury set into motion the Avengers Initiative. Its mission was to gather as many of these individuals as they could into a response team for situations beyond the abilities of traditional forces. The thought was to get as many great minds and super humans as possible and stop this wave of strangeness from destroying the world. What they got was a bunch of teenagers with too much talent and not enough control.

Character Creation
I will be creating a cast of the standard Marvel Heroes that can be used as PCs or as NPCs. However if you would like to create your own character, I will be providing the guidelines here. I will endeavor to keep to these guidelines as I make each of the Marvel Characters.

Aspects
1. High Concept: Same as normal
2. Trouble: Same as normal
2. Power: Write down your characters power, something like, "Spectacular Spider Powers," or, "Invincible Iron Man," you know something subtle...

This aspect is what allows you to do what you need to do. If you are making up a new character talk it over with the rest of the group. Explain how you see your power working. When dealing with normal situation you can just do whatever it is your power allows. It is when you face off against another super that you needto worry about the specifics. I go into that in the stunts bit.

Approaches
Originally when I sat down to do the approaches I went a little too High School and not enough Marvel. Originally I went with this list: Jock, Nerd, Prep, Rebel, and Outcast. however that had loads of problems aside from the main one of being not comic-booky enough. So I ended up with this list:
 
Intelligence: When dealing with a problem through use of ones mental faculties, memory, education, or ingenuity

Strength: When dealing with a problem by way of Physical might, power, fortitude, or toughness

Speed: Dealing with a problem through agility, dexterity, quickness, or mobility

Charm: Dealing with a problem by way of personal magnetism, forcefulness, guile, or charisma

Perception: Dealing with a problem through Wit, observation, or intuition

You get six points to spend on Approaches which have a maximum rank of four. Spend them however you like.

Stunts
super stats, and the various other weird abilities are a stunt you take. if you have super strength you auto win against nooks and you can set one of your dice to a plus before the roll versus players without a super stat. If you take two stunts worth of super stat you auto succeed versus mooks, you can set two dice to a plus prior to rolling when versus someone without a superstat, and you set one to a plus when versus a person with one super stat.

Example: Bruce Banner gets angry, no one likes it when that happens. He has two levels of Super Strength. If he were facing mooks or a mundane obstacle he would just succeed. Against the task master(who has no super abilities) he would set two of his dice to a plus, then roll the other two. Against spider man who has super strength and agility, he would set one of his dice to a plus and then roll the remaining three. If he were facing Thor who has the same level of super strength It would be an even roll.

There are other stunts you can take that give you wierd abilities. most work like a normal stunt, giving you a +2 to a certain circumstance within an approach. Just follow the normal rules for stunts in FAE.

The PCs are part of a special class. they go to school with regular kids, but they are each unique. Either with devices powers, or abilities(super Smarts). as the sessions go along the players will have the opportunity to pick up powers should they like. need to work on this.
When developing the school, be sure to work together to come up with the important places and faces. Who is the principle? Who is the home room teacher for the special class? What are the key locations in and around the school where the drama takes place? Aslo ask the players how much secret identity time they want? A lot means more Masters of Evil and the like, a little means more trying to get a date with Gwen Stacy while juggling your job at the bugle, your aunts failing health, and an attack by Max Dillon. Get this stuff nailed down and the game will really start to be the world you want it to be.


Who goes to Excelsior?
-Tony Stark: The big man on campus, rich, handsome, and a freaking genius. He has a bit of a rivalry with Hank Pym. Both he and Hank are generally considered the smartest kids in school. That is until Reed Richards really lets loose. He was hurt in a horrible accident and now has to have an arc reactor in his chest to keep himself going(I am considering him already having gone extremis). Tony is beginning to suspect that what happened was no accident.
-Peter Parker: Nerdy Peter Parker never had a friend. Poor poor Peter, even the nerds mock him. He loves engineering and optics. He spends so much time tinkering in his basement lab that life is passing him by. he is no Tony Stark or Reed Richards, but he works harder than either of them and in his fields he is years ahead of the curve. He recently lost his uncle. Since then he has become even more of a recluse, often missing class and shirking his friendships.
-Bruce Banner: In any other school Bruce would have been the smartest kid in it. Here he is just one of many. This didn't sit right with Bruce so began to experiment, to prove he was the best. His arrogance caused him to miscalculate. There was an explosion. When the dust settled his cousin was injured, she had been serving as his lab assistant. She needed blood, he was compatible. That was a mistake. W eek later when he first transformed into the Hulk, he realized his mistake. Now Bruce is far more humble, having learned the horrible price for hubris. He works to make the Hulk a force for good.
-Hank Pym: Intensely into the sciences, oblivious to anything else. He discovered a particle that lets him change size. He knows there is far more to this than anyone can know. He is deeply pacifistic. He would rather talk a problem out, he gets very upset when violence is used. He has recently discovered he is quite good at football. Janet has encouraged him to try out for the team.
-Janet Van Dyne: She has got it bad. If only Hank would notice her. Sometimes she gets so mad. When that happens, she uses Hank's particles to go off and have adventures in the smaller world. What she has told no one is that the particles seem to have awakened some dormant mutation within her. When she shrinks, she can fly and shoot bolts of energy! It is the most amazing thing ever. Now if she could only figure out how to tell Hank.
-Reed Richards: Child Prodigy, his mind is so far beyond what anyone understands that they had to put him here, even if he is only thirteen. He is always building things, always tinkering, always studying. He does not have any rivalries, because he just see's the science of a thing. He does not see how people might be jealous or have hurt feelings.
-Johnny Storm: Older brother of sue storm, track star, impulsive and adventurous. His father is one of the science teachers in school(maybe he is a secret SHIELD/Hydra plant to keep an eye on the kids). He likes fast cars and girls. He dreams of being a pilot, or an astronaut.
-Ben Grimm: Freshman football player. Befriends a lonely Reed Richards and protects him as best he can. Best defensive lineman in school. No one messes with Grimm.
-T'challa: Foreign exchange student from a recently discovered country in Africa
-Clint Barton: If he weren't getting into trouble all the time, he could be a star at anything he did. He is a kind of a physical genius. Able to do things that are just shy of impossible for a human. His spatial reasoning and perception are beyond compare. The problem is his mouth. When he sees something is unfair he speaks up. And when words don't work he moves to violence. Often he won't even bother with words, he'll just punch someone.
-Carol Danvers: Carol still has nightmares about that night. When the lights came. When they took her, did things to her. She is usually so sure of herself, confident, responsible, and fearless. But sometimes she forgets to keep up that facade. Sometimes the horror shines through. She see's doctor Samson(the school guidance councilor) once a week for the night mares. She hasn't told anyone yet, but she has gained abilities. She is unsure who to tell, or what to do about it.
-Barbara 'bobbi' Morse: Bobbi was raised by her father. He was marine so she grew up tough. Tomboy they called her when she was little. Now they are all a little bit afraid of her. she is still a teen and has managed to master three martial arts. Tough, fast tempered, and lonely Bobbi became something of a bully for a bit. Making fun of people and then if the tried anything taking them down. None of the adults could believe this little girl could take out a the larger guys, so she got away with it. Until she met Clint. He did not hold with her bullying, and he could face her in a fight. She hates him so much. She has yet to decide on proper revenge.

No Thor or black widow as they exist 'elsewhere for now. Maybe after an adventure in Russia or Asgard they will move to the city, but not right now.