Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More on the Current Game

Started chargen for the Cold Wars semi-supers game last night, but did not finish it. I'm taking it a reminder that when we play, we need to start at 7:30 on the nose or we're just not going to have enough time to play much of anything.

I finished drafting up the skill list, pretty much at the last minute. Ended up slightly shorter than I expected, and it's this:

Technician (includes vehicles)

(Politician is distinguished from diplomat as being on the administrative and legal side of matters, while diplomat covers most social skills).

With only 7 skills, that means the breakdown is 1:2:3 - 1 world class(+6), 2 highly trained(+4), 3 trained (+2) and one outlier (+0).

Fred also made an interesting suggestion for the combat system, specifically to not allow consequences to stack (that is, you can't take more than one on a given hit). Makes big hits scarier, and it may do what I need.

The Characters
Grey Waters - Field Analyst
Grey went to college on a government scholarship where he tested well. REALLY well. Well enough to inspire an NSA/CIA turf war before it was discovered his analyses were potentially superhuman, at which point The Program got Dibs. He can make very accurate big picture predictions, and see trending, but there is always some key element of uncertainty in them.
Callsign: Grey Cat (He requested Schrodinger, but the office typewriter has no umlaut, so he got stuck with Cat instead)
Aspects: People are hard, groups are easy
"I'm sort of a big picture guy"
The facts speak for themselves

Anna Sorosky (ne Peka, ne Rivers) - Linguist, Communications
Anna's a Russian expatriate who somehow holds dual citizenship. She's from a large Jewish family, and her parents took her to America when she was young so her father, a scientist, could work for the government. The family consensus is he works on nuclear weapons, but no one knows for sure. She made a very Russian hippie in her youth, but her father managed to get her a job transcribing recorded phone calls from Russia for the government. While on the job, she ended up transcribing a conversation that wasn't recorded and revealing a mole in the program, and her talent for listening in on radio waves. From there, she was quickly ushered into The Program.
Callsign: Antenna
Aspects: Matryoshka
Everyone's Only Human

Colonel Rufus "Bull" Lake - Goddamned Hero
Rufus was born on a family farm in Arrowhead, MIssouri in 1920 and served with honor in WWII, first in North Africa and then later in Italy (Where he earned the nickname "The Water Bull of Cassino"). His acts of heroism got him put on the short list for the super soldier program which the army had started in anticipation of the brutal fighting expected to take Japan. The program was rendered moot by the atomic bomb, but by then he and a few others had already been altered. Now 60 years old, he looks 40, but remains in the field due to a number of impolitic decisions.
Callsign: TBD
Aspects: Far from home, far from ordinary
I'm a goddamned hero
Decisions are worth the consequences

Flashpoint #1: 1976
(This was the third phase of chargen, the team's first mission together.)
Bull's old team was transporting a Mark in Central America when things went pear shaped. The Mark in question looks like an 8 year old girl and causes earthquakes whenever she touches the ground, and the longer she went between touches, the larger the quake), and when she was taken, it unleashed a giant earthquake in Guatemala, killing thousands. Bull's team died, and he barely survived. With his new team (Grey and Anna) they managed to track the Mark to China and stage a rescue. It went badly. They were taken prisoner, and faced a decision to either unleash the mark (who had been suspended in the air for months at this point, building up an immense charge). They chose to save her, unleashing an earthquake that killed a quarter of a million people[1], and managed to escape. The coda was the boat they took her home on was the first place she had been able to run and play like a kid ever, because the water diminished her impact.

We'll be doing the next two phases in email, and then picking up Monday after the holiday.

1 - Both earthquakes are historical events, two of the nastiest earthquakes in history taking place in the same year, with the Tangshan earthquake being especially horrific. To be frank, I feel a little bit dodgy about this. Purely fictionalized events I can deal with, but these are real tragedies, well within living memory. It seems disrespectful to repurpose them this way. I may take future disasters a little further afield.


  1. That "skill list" is Leverage-RPG-style roles, sir!


  2. An utter coincidence, I assure you!


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