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Marvel: Rebirth -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. Factions 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. UPDATE: After the resounding success of the Archangel Initiative in repelling HYDRA, SHIELD is riding a public relations high equal to that of their popularity with the first Avengers Initiative. 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. UPDATE: In the face of the HYDRA threat, the X-Men reunited for the first time in two years at the Second Battle of New York. The team's future is looking to be at its most solid since their shattering defeat at Las Vegas. 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. UPDATE: After a final pitched battle with the forces of SHIELD and the resurgent X-Men, Red Skull has been killed. HYDRA is battered and broken, and what remains of the organization is now led by a splinter cabal that includes Ophelia Sarkissian, the Viper, and the resurrected Howard Stark amongst its members. 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 and Black King Alaric Carlisle and Romulus, former Emperor of Rome and White King. ??? - 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. Profile Form: 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.) Rules 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. Staff -Aikuro Mikisugi [Tyler] -Riku Tryon [Alex] - Sam Vimes [Nick] -Lara Croft [stari] 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) J. Jonah Jameson (Snark Knight) -Tyler
persona ~ sea of djinn : game topic Persona, Persona, please come here! Master Persona, Master Persona, please come to us! --- On the coast of Rub Al Khali lies a beautiful metropolis - the city of al-Bareha. Originally a simple fishing village lying on the shore of the Persian Gulf, al-Bareha became a major centre of trade during the rule of the Umayyad Caliphs, its strategic position allowing it to be an economic hub of the Islamic world. It continued to serve in such a capacity even after the decline of the Islamic Caliphates, and following a period under the mighty British Empire, became an independent city-state. al-Bareha’s wealth and prosperity did not fade in the modern era, its economy fuelled by the massive oil industry that sought to take advantage of the city’s untapped reserves. A highly multicultural city for its region, al-Bareha is home to a numerous number of people, ranging from foreign businessmen to refugees escaping political strife in neighbouring countries. Yet no matter the person, all come to al-Bareha in order to share in the wealth that it possesses. Recently, strange events have plagued the city and its people. The sands of the Empty Quarter are stirring, their wild storms completely enveloping al-Bareha. Communications with the outside world regularly fail. Peculiar lights can be seen in the city outskirts, only to disappear into the desert without a trace. Objects move on their own. Mysterious forces are at work within al-Bareha, and their influence affects every aspect of life in the city. As al-Bareha continues to retreat into the sands, it falls to those capable of tapping into the collective unconscious - the chosen of the butterfly - to decide its destiny. They are the wielders of Persona. Right, with that out of the way, what exactly am I supposed to do? The city of al-Bareha is an enigma, a mystery beyond human comprehension. Only those who wield Persona, the mighty power to summon demons from within the sea of one’s soul, can truly understand what lies beneath its shining skyscrapers. That is the role you will take upon in this RPG, tapping into your Personae and the abilities they provide to unravel the secrets of the city. At least, that’s the overall goal. Everything else is up to you. Whether you’re a confused citizen looking for the truth, a government worker attempting to reduce growing resentment amongst the populace, or a businessman thinking up ways to profit from the mysteries, you will have access to the power of a Persona (or maybe you won’t!) to ensure that your dreams are a reality. With al-Bareha becoming more and more isolated from the rest of the world, its fate will be influenced by your actions. Hang on a minute, what is this Persona thing that you’re talking about? A Persona is the manifestation of, in the words of Carl Jung, “a kind of mask, designed on one hand to make a definite impression on others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual”. In essence, it is a supernatural phenomenon born from one’s own sense of self, and usually takes upon the image of either mythological, supernatural or historical figures. It is quite rare for one to manifest a Persona, but the unique circumstances surrounding al-Bareha have awakened this power within its citizens. It is well within the capabilities of a Persona to utilise magic. Through both elemental powers, physical combat or other, more esoteric abilities (such as healing, mental compulsion or assisting in cartography), a Persona is able to channel their magic to fight, though it has been recorded that their presence may influence the way others perceive their wielders. These abilities are usually subject to the identity of the figures that the Persona is based on (such as Zeus having similar thunder powers to the god it mimics). They may also be immune to certain magics or abilities as well depending on their history and own powers. Yet due to their immense powers, they are a great burden on their wielders, and can only be summoned for short periods at a time. Also, if harm inflicted on a Persona is significant, the user may feel the pain of the blow. The concept of Personae are heavily associated with Tarot Cards, with emphasis on the Major Arcana. Every Persona will be associated with one Arcanum, usually due to a Persona’s identity (which will commonly stem from mythology, history or the public domain) possessing the traits embodied by the Arcana. Humans are also assigned an Arcana based on their own personality, and if they possess the potential for a Persona, it will share the same Arcana as its wielder. In this RPG, the Fool, Judgement and the World are all restricted for players, as Persona of those Arcana are usually in possession of great power. Persona-users are also enhanced by their powers in comparison to baseline humans. They are granted a greater resistance to the spiritual energies produced by Personae and other, more malicious entities, which include the beings known as Shadows. They are also slightly more resistant to physical damage, as their Personae will cushion some of the force involved, but not all. Their spiritual energies are also far more effective against supernatural entities than conventional firearms or melee weaponry. As such, it is difficult for a non-wielder to fight against them due to a lack of effective tools and resistance, although it is still possible for one to triumph. In simpler terms, a Persona is a magical spirit summoned from one's mind to combat one's foes. So how do the Major Arcana factor into this? The Major Arcana are twenty-two cards of the Tarot Deck, all of which have been assigned allegorical or exoteric meanings. As stated prior, all humans will have an Arcanum that represents their personalities and motivations, one that is shared by their Persona. Depending on the Arcana (or more accurately, the wielder), a Persona will specialise in different roles and powers. For example, a cheery, optimistic person could likely be a member of the Sun Arcana, and would therefore possess a Persona that will use powers of fire or light (such as Horus or Apollo, who are sun gods in their respective mythologies). However, this is not completely set in stone, with some Personae breaking the mold (Heimdall and his ice powers yet part of the Sun). The twenty-two Arcana (see above for a link to the Wikipedia page) are: The Fool - Unavailable to players. The Magician The High Priestess The Empress The Emperor The Hierophant The Lovers The Chariot Justice The Hermit Wheel of Fortune Strength The Hanged Man Death Temperance The Devil The Tower The Star The Moon The Sun Judgement - Unavailable to players. The World - Unavailable to players. You mentioned a Shadow, what’s a Shadow? According to Jungian psychology, a Shadow may refer to the aspects of one’s personality that are not consciously identified to exist within oneself. It is highly instinctive and irrational, traits shared by the corporeal creatures of the same name that exist in undisclosed areas of al-Bareha. These creatures are born from the negative emotions of humanity, and are both incredibly hostile and dangerous to every human they meet, capable of devouring minds and leaving their victims in a vegetative state. All Shadows share sickly golden eyes, but otherwise their eldritch appearances differ immensely from one another. Persona-users are immune to the effects that other humans suffer, for a Persona and a Shadow are in actuality two sides of the same coin. If one loses control of their Persona, allowing it to run wild, it will be no different from the violent beasts that the Shadows are. Be warned, if your will falters or you begin to reject parts of your self, it will be ridiculously difficult to regain control, especially if the Persona is a powerful one. Shadows must be approached with extreme caution. Especially those that seem human. Groups of note in al-Bareha While the citizens of the Arabian city-state are many, with all possessing their own, distinct ambitions and motivations, there are also a number of consolidated groups that hold some influence, especially in regards to the mysterious happenings that have begun to plague al-Bareha of recent. Although not all-powerful and still subject to the law of the nation (even if certain groups disregard it), they are still heavily involved in the city, and are usually on the front lines in dealing with the supernatural. Al-Bareha Defence Force (ABDF) - the armed forces of al-Bareha are small in number, though quite capable as proved by their participation in the Gulf War of 1990. Their presence within the city is rarely felt, but the recent establishment of a small stockade on the outskirts have shown that they are aware of the mysterious happenings. While they are passive actors compared to other groups, it would be wise to avoid garnering their ire. Al-Bareha Police Authority (ABPA) - even in these troubled times, the police forces of the city-state are dedicated to upholding justice and the law on the streets of al-Bareha, fighting petty crooks to criminal gangs and even the odd terrorist or two. The appearance of the supernatural, however, has proved to be beyond their capabilities, and in response the police have formed a new department to handle any problems. Special Investigations Department - established in response to the mysterious incidents that occur throughout the city and the recent spate of Persona-assisted burglaries, the Special Investigations Department primarily focuses on combating the more supernatural aspects of crime, seeking to develop ways to prevent criminals from abusing the advantages of any Persona. Their progress in doing so has been stalled, but there are a number of Persona-users within the ranks of the department, one of which is their leader, Captain Jalil Khoshkam. Roadkill Group - originally a London gang renowned for its rivalry with the Taiwanese Tien Tao Lien, the al-Bareha branch of the gang has prospered greatly under the leadership of Mitch “Pinkie” Michaels, matching even its England-based brother in wealth and influence. As the biggest player in organised crime in the city, the Group deals in smuggling (of both illegal groups and people), extortion and drugs, and are also rumoured to be connected in some manner to local corporations. Kashihara Pharmaceuticals - a successful pharmaceutical company in Japan, the al-Bareha branch has made its headquarters at 12 Elizabeth Road, and own several warehouses in the general vicinity. Renowned for their reasonable prices and heavy investment into research and development, Kashihara is incredibly popular in the city-state, and have provided numerous jobs. Their main building and warehouses all have incredible security, and it is near impossible to learn of their secrets. In recent times, they have been researching Personae, and hold considerable scientific data that can only be matched (and only barely) by the government itself. Useful and snazzy places to check out Al-Bareha is fairly large, possessing all sorts of establishments, parks and what-not. This makes it difficult for tourists (and even natives at times) to find the best that the city offers, so a few starting points/interesting places have been listed to help out. Velvet Room - a coffeehouse secluded away on a small, inner city street, the Velvet Room’s renowned for its atmosphere and service, and holds five out of five stars on Yelp out of twenty reviews. The majority of the business is a calm blue, from the decor to the three siblings who essentially run the café. The only exceptions are the blindfolded piano player, soprano singer and the manager, a long-nosed hunchback by the name of Igor. Though all manners of people frequent the establishment, Persona-users may wish to seek out the latter’s advice on all matters supernatural. Note: Igor will be played by a GM, so please get in contact with one of them if you want his knowledge. Mallville - the biggest shopping complex in the Middle East. Both citizens and tourists will frequently visit “Mallville” in search of all sorts of goods and services. From toys to clothes to garden tools to burgers, basically everything can be found here. Aleph’s Antiques - a dusty old antiques store/pawn shop/junk shop near the docks, Aleph’s Antiques also supplies a large variety of working replicas of historical weaponry. It is rumoured that the pretty boy owner possesses some “supernaturally-aligned” tools as well, but few dare ask in fear of retaliation from his possible gang connections. The profile template Here in Sea of Djinn, there are two separate templates for profiles, with one being your actual character, and the other (if you have one) for your Persona. Name: Age: Gender: Arcana: (Which of the Major Arcana fits your character’s personality?) Weaponry and Tools: (Please be reasonable, and keep in mind that as a member of the Commonwealth, al-Bareha possesses far stricter gun laws than in the United States.) Skills: (What is your character good at doing?) Appearance: Personality: Biography: Weaknesses: Persona Name: (What is the name of the entity born from your own personality?) Origin: (What is it based off?) Appearance: (What does this Persona look like? Even if its origin is human, a Persona’s appearance is usually incredibly strange, even if humanoid.) Powers and Abilities: (What can it do? Is it physically strong? Capable of elemental magics? Good at identifying things?) The rules of the game No godmodding in here: don’t metagame, bunny, autohit or do other ridiculous things that should be beyond your character’s capabilities. When posting, use IC for character posts and OOC for anything that you want to say out of character. Please attempt to treat your fellow players with a modicum of respect. Profiles must be posted in the discussion topic for approval. No OOC-only posts in the game topic. Please put them in the discussion topic. Follow all BZPower rules. The staff of this game Purple God (Hubert) and Purple Devil (Onarax) are the GMs. Please contact them if necessary.