-The Story So Far-
It’s been a year since the combined power of the American war machine, coupled with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fledgling reboot of the Avenger Initiative, defended New York City from the HYDRA terrorist forces ravaging the metropolis. Recognized for their efforts and the tactical edge they offered, the surviving members of the Avengers were honored and acknowledged as heroes; for the first time in years, the limelight once again fell upon S.H.I.E.L.D., drawing it and its mysterious commander Col. Nick Fury out of the shadows and into a position of public defense befitting its original United Nations charter. In response, S.H.I.E.L.D. brass began collecting volunteers, America’s best and brightest soldiers, for another mysterious reboot of a previously successful project - the ARCHANGEL Initiative, a modern day spin on the infamous Super Soldier project that generated Captain America. However, after going through training, wave after wave of these recruits are vanishing into thin air, unable - or unwilling - to establish any further contact with the outside world.
Meanwhile, on the mutant rights front, the wars no longer rage in American cities; they are waged in the courtroom and on Capitol Hill, where it seems every day that alliances, resolutions, and even Congressional views on the mutant issue shift and shatter like fine china - the political climate isn’t helped by the uneasy fact that there is still not a single mutant representative in any branch of government in the world, as protestors on both sides are increasingly fond of pointing out. The Xavier Institute, once a go-to talking point for mutant debates, has faded into relative political obscurity and now takes in mutants at a slightly declining rate. The X-Men had little-to-no representation in the counterattack against HYDRA, and with two of their most known public faces - known mutant rights crusader Dr. Hank McCoy, and Ashlynn Summers, oldest child of Scott Summers and the Phoenix, Jean Grey - apparently dead as a result of the aftermath of the battle, the team is considered all but disbanded, and many members have taken up supporting roles in the Institute itself.
On the flip side of that coin is the increasingly-leftist, always growing Brotherhood of Mutants, which has undergone a seemingly radical shift in tone since the public execution of Magneto’s son and heir Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff over a year ago. Heading up the new organization is Dominik Lord, a former lieutenant of Pietro’s who survived the government purge of what Brotherhood forces remained on Genosha. As a charming, new age former thief from the streets of Chicago, he has become the face of the mutant equality movement, and pro-mutant activists have taken to Lord the way Internet freedom activists took to Edward Snowden or liberal arts students took to Che Guevara. Handsome, charismatic and well-mannered, he has utilized video broadcasts, “fireside chats” on Reddit, and public appearances in the mutant underground to garner support for the oppressed and the reviled before using his power of escapism through light sources to slip through the fingers of authorities like sand. Dominik’s movement gains more traction everyday; mutants and their supporters are massing more and more in cities large and small, circulating petitions, demanding change from Washington.
Sitting on the sidelines of the entire conflict is the ubiquitous, powerful Hellfire Club. Over the course of the last year their public activity has boosted now more than ever, gaining more funds, forging more connections, and swaying more allies in a year than the previous Inner Circle could in seventeen. The considerable inflation in power comes courtesy of Alaric and Anberlyn Worthington, children of Warren Worthington III, or Angel, current headmaster of the Xavier Institute. In answer for their father’s real and perceived wrongs they led a coup inside the very power structure of the Inner Circle, assuming the roles of Black King and White Queen respectively as well as all titles and benefits inherent. The twins work as a solid unit, trusting no one else above each other, and have stuck now to biding their time until the right moment; Alaric in particular, as a former team captain of the X-Men thought dead by those at the Institute, has stuck to pulling subtly on the strings of the mutant rights debate raging throughout the country, inflaming and assuaging his political or business contacts where need be while Annie is left to her own devices, plotting her own, darker revenge against the Worthington name.
Lines in the sand are drawn and erased every day; friends and enemies thought dead appear from thin air, and those whose loyalty once seemed unshakable can now be swayed with no more than the light breeze of vague promises and unproven words; mutants and humans are forced to take new sides every day, or even form their own sides.
The conflict is coming to a head at last.
-A Brief Refresher Course-
Though a year has passed since the end of the darkest days, the ramifications from the events during them are still being felt heavily in the world at large. Eighteen years ago, the Phoenix Force returned and wiped out the vast majority of empowered beings, reducing the superhero, and villain, population to a shadow of what it once was. Seventeen years later, Hank McCoy, the then headmaster of the Institute, formed the next generation of the X-Men to counter the resurgence in Brotherhood activity, and the increasing abuse by the Enforcers.
Though their skirmishes made headline news, they did not know that a more sinister threat lurked. Weapon X struck a surprise blow against the Institute, capturing the majority of its residents. The few that remained were forced to flee and hope to fight again another day. Eventually, they joined forces with the Brotherhood against the mutual enemy, storming and razing the Weapon X facility. Meanwhile, the Avengers Initiative began again in secret, it's roster filled with descendants from the original members. Thus, as the Hellfire Club began to reform, began a shaky, two month long peace.
But it was not to last. In response to conflict in Las Vegas, the X-Men's temporary alliance with the Brotherhood, and the assassination of President Binder, MACE was formed to stop the mutant threat. They succeeded. The majority of the mutant population was rendered toothless, a fact that an old enemy quickly took advantage of. Hydra attacked New York City, quickly eliminating the SHIELD forces caught off guard within the city. The Helicarrier quickly fell, leaving the defense of the city to the assorted personnel nearby, including the fledgling Avengers and members of the Pantheon Initiative. Despite their efforts, defeat seemed inevitable, until the military successfully mobilized to give aid.
Following the battle for New York, as it was quickly dubbed by the media, the world has not been the same. The X-Men were decimated, the Avengers sustained heavy casualties, and SHIELD's lack of readiness had been revealed. Hydra was a viable threat once more, the Brotherhood had scattered to the winds, and the United States was in political shambles.
A year has passed since then.
S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) – Founded to combat technologically advanced threats on world security (specifically the menace of Hydra), S.H.I.E.L.D. has, throughout the years, remained on the front lines fighting terrorism and extraterrestrial menaces as an international intelligence agency. Led by Nick Fury.
Xavier Institute for Higher Learning - A preparatory school in Westchester, New York, the Xavier Institute is a safe haven for any mutant adolescents - or even adults - who feel the need to take refuge, learn to hone their own genetic abilities, and learn to manage themselves in social environments around other humans and mutants. Led by Headmaster Warren Worthington III.
The Brotherhood of Mutants – An increasingly public, but still enigmatic, organization of mutants organized to promote, at the very least, mutant equality, if not outright leadership over society. Their members are often outcasts from society due to their mutant status. They fight against the abuse and hatred of mutant-kind in all its forms, by whatever means necessary. Led by Dominik Lord.
HYDRA - HYDRA is a criminal organization dedicated to the achievement of world domination through terrorist and subversive activities on various fronts, resulting in a fascist New World Order. Its extent of operations is worldwide; always attempting to elude the ongoing counter-espionage operations by S.H.I.E.L.D. At its height, HYDRA was the most extensive, powerful, and dangerous such organization in history. Led by Red Skull.
Hellfire Club - A society for the rich and the prestigious, the Hellfire Club is a seemingly noble and ancient gathering of the world’s wealthiest or most endowed personalities to discuss world events and make connections. Their secretive Inner Circle, however, takes that purpose to a new and often sinister level, maneuvering governments, starting wars, and assassinating figures who pose a threat to their own agendas and interests as singular members or a group. Co-led by former X-Men deputy Alaric Carlisle and his sister Anberlyn, twin children of Warren Worthington III.
??? - A mysterious splinter organization headed up by Norman Osborn, CEO of Oscorp. One of its operatives is Daken Akihiro, Wolverine’s eldest trueborn son and world-famous assassin, revived from near-death by mysterious means. Nothing else is known of their influence or agenda at this point in time.
Name: (What your character calls him/herself)
Codename: (Your character’s name on official missions; may or may not be used as a sort of nickname for your characters.)
Gender: (No explanation needed, we’re all informed people here)
Age: (It’s just a number, but try to include it anyway!)
Loyalties/Faction: (One of the factions listed above, other faction, or unaligned. Can also list certain other characters important to your own character’s life here. )
Power(S): (What can your character do? Please try to make your character’s powers within reason and balanced and non-overpowered. No more than three powers per character; don't try and give your character as many powers as possible, because the primary reason we approve characters is not for how many powers they have, it's whether those powers are balanced fairly and able to fit into the game's setting.)
Appearance: (What your character looks like.)
Weapons: (Within reason please.)
Skills: (Things your character is good at.)
Personality: (Your character’s behaviors, how they interact with others, how they think about things.)
Weakness: (Everyone has weaknesses, powers or no. Try to make them clear.)
Bio: (Your character’s history. Can be almost anything really, try to make it at least a couple sentences.)
1. No godmodding. This includes metagaming, autohitting, bunnying, and performing actions your character should be incapable of doing.
2. Use IC (In-Character) and OOC (Out of Character).
3. OOC only posts are forbidden. That’s what the discussion topic is for.
4. Profiles should be posted in the discussion topic for approval. The phrase “Darkest Days” must be included at the beginning of said post to prove that you have read these rules.
5. Respect the staff.
6. This game uses a tier outline for its punishment system. We do, however, reserve the right to skip over a tier if the offense warrants it. The first offense will result in a warning. The second in either in-game character injury/death, or a temporary ban. The third offense will result in a very weighty consequence, while the fourth and final offense will result in a permanent ban.
The Staff's Guide to Common Sense
This RPG is based around superpowered individuals, and there will always be a discrepancy between that and what we would call realistic. However, that does not give you free rein to toss realism aside. First of all, this game's science is the same as the real world unless otherwise noted. That means that fire will not form into a bullet like projectile, you cannot pull off feats beyond a normal human unless noted in your profile, you cannot shrug off attacks, and you cannot simply beat NPCs senseless. Nor are the police and military incompetent. A teenager is not going to easily beat a trained soldier, powers or not, without a good explanation. Especially in the Marvel world, where superheroes are a known occurrence.
Expies and This RPG
Expies are strongly, strongly, strongly discouraged. Don't come in here expecting to make Master Chief, don't come in here expecting to make Mass Effect characters, don't come in here expecting to expy Solid Snake. Don't come in here expecting to make Marvel characters, either. You do not get to play a generations xerox of Wolverine. If you want to do that, go play one of the video games. Which leads me to my next point...
Healing Powers and This RPG
Healing powers are not an insta-heal ticket. This happened a lot in the original game, and it will not be tolerated here. This section is divided into two major portions; Healing powers that target the self, such as healing factors, and healing powers that target others. I will begin by covering the latter, because it is simpler. Healing powers cannot instantly heal major injuries with no effort. This happened a lot last game too, even though the powers were supposed to have limitations to keep this from happening. They can start to heal a major injury, even heal it most of the way, given enough time, but never completely. Not unless you have plenty of time to work and a lot of energy. I expect players to use their judgement, but healing powers will be monitored closely in this game.
Now, healing factors. Last game, healing factors were treated as miraculous powers that could heal anything as long as there was a single cell with intact DNA. And do it quickly. This is not even remotely the case. A healing factor is an increased speed of healing, which means that it cannot heal anything that the body could not heal from normally. It just does it much, much faster. Healing factors are going to be heavily monitored in this game, and their speed must be kept within reasonable limits. As it is most usually associated with healing factors, adamantium skeletons are explicitly forbidden.
Power Levels and This RPG
You may note that the profile sheet reads three or so powers. That is the guideline, but it is not the entire way that it works. Multiple powers will be approved if they are all reasonable, and not too powerful together. But you may be limited to one power, maybe two, if it is an extremely powerful one. We are not looking at numbers, we are looking at power balances. Which means that in addition to the above, if you have a powerful ability that might be approved on another character, but no real weakness, we reserve the right to disapprove it on the grounds of power imbalance.
-Simon the Digger
Staff NPC Profiles
The staff control a variety of NPCs important to the plot. Though another staff member may make use of them if necessary, they will primarily be controlled by the named staff member.
Daken Akihiro (Tyler)
Red Skull (Yoko)
J. Jonah Jameson (Snark Knight)
Edited by Aegon Targaryen, Feb 04 2014 - 10:29 AM.