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4438Re: [icons-rpg] Batting around a campaign idea: young heroes

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  • John McMullen
    Sep 5, 2012
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      Hmmm. I hadn't thought of the secret identity angle.
      If I wanted to make age-related losses random, I'd have them roll age on a table. This can be adjusted by age--perhaps someone wants a character who hits puberty at 11 instead of 13, but the assumption is that the "normal" range is 13-21. Depending on the character's attributes, the character might change things depending on age. (You can also just let them roll, be whatever age they want, and say that at puberty they were vastly more powerful, though the GM should keep an eye on 20-year-olds with a power at level 9.)
      1: puberty (nominally 13) Any levels of anything
      2: puberty+2 (15)  Any levels of anything, powers max at 7
      3: puberty+3 (16) Attributes max at 9, powers at 6
      4: puberty+4 (17) Attributes max at 8, powers max at 5
      5: puberty+5 (18) Attributes max at 7, powers at 4
      6: puberty+6 (19): Maximum of +1 over 6, or powers at 3
      Adult characters could have the origins Unearthly, Artificial, Trained, or Gimmick in this setting ("Yeah, I got the psi-helmet from a kid. What happened to him? Well, he grew up....")
      Secret ID would be mandatory in most countries, though in some countries the child might be drafted and made to donate their gifts to the state.
      I like the idea of Fagins. I also like someone who had power and whose existence is trying to get it back, either as raw superpower or in a more prosaic way.
      I imagine the following Fagin groups who try to "collect" children who show up with power:
      1. Government - they might be using the kids as tools or not.
      2. Private school - it might be an empowerment scheme or just a way to have them learn to (a) handle their powers and (b) learn to live without them afterward. This is the Professor Xavier model.
      3. Criminal group - An impressionable kid with superpowers is a really useful thing to have around.
      4. Unfagined - kids who have banded together for their own protection, and who probably don't trust any adults, even including their parents. (There's a story arc for you: have to hide your powers from your parents or they'll sell you out, because it's every child's duty to work for the government.)
      5. Corporate - kids might be minors, but if you can guarantee their schooling in the form of scholarships or something, you can probably get them to do stuff for you, so long as you can prove it's not slavery or endangerment.
      Some of the kids will blow the whole secret ID thing, not necessarily of their own doing.
      John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)

      From: Soylent Green <gsoylent@...>
      To: icons group <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 11:21 AM
      Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] Batting around a campaign idea: young heroes

      Yes, altering the rank of powers with age makes sense. You might need to look at the raw traits too because things like Strength 7 are a effectively a superpower too.
      The other thing that strikes me, from a more setting point of view, is that if you know you are going to lose your powers you'll probably want to maintain a secret identity.
      Also, part of the reason why I'm not posting much is that's it's been a slow Summer roleplaying-wise and since my Icons campaign ended I've not the chance to play Icons at all. My gaming should pick up now though it will be a while before it my turn to GM again.
      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      From: jhmcmullen@...
      Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 04:56:50 -0700
      Subject: [icons-rpg] Batting around a campaign idea: young heroes

      The list has been quiet, what with Gen Con and the return to school and everyone waiting for Team-Up. So I had an idea this morning and I'm curious what the repercussions would be.

      The idea is this: Superpowers show up at puberty, ramp up for a year or two, and then start declining over the next six or seven years until they're gone. So: They come in at puberty, peak soon, and by 19-21 are gone.

      How does that affect things? Let's assume that the powers are fairly common: one kid in 100,00: Pittsburgh has a few, my home town of Kitchener-Waterloo has one or two.

      What does that do to the balance of power? Heck, how do you maintain order over them in the most volatile time of their lives?

      Depending on the reason (I have no idea what the reason is, yet), there might be a mysterious figure who has kept powers well into his or her twenties or thirties (or even a Cabal of superpowered adults who don't fight crime, they take care of superpowered teenagers).

      From a worldbuilding perspective, there are two ways to go: a cabal of adults who still have powers, or two or fewer. I want maximum damage..er, entertainment value...so I'll say there's a two-adult limit on powers (even one good, one bad).

      From a game perspective, what would you do mechanically? Aspects specified? Power levels can vary, of course.
      John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)

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