View Full Version : Headquarters

11-08-2014, 03:15 AM
Headquarters, an intrinsic part of the superhero genre, right up their with capes, cowls & arguing over endless points of continuity.

So out of curiosity, what interesting Headquarters have people made for their own games, be it as a player, as a GM, or just as someone who wants to be a player or a GM?

11-08-2014, 08:36 AM
As a teenager back in, I think, 1985, I stumbled across a newspaper article about how the art deco Cincinnati Union Terminal, which had been a railroad terminal since the late 1920s that had been converted into a shopping mall around 1980, had just failed and gone bankrupt during bad economic times in America. The entire place was then sitting empty, I read. What really struck me was the accompanying photo. I couldn't believe it. The facade was identical to the Hall of Justice in the 1970s-1980s "Superfriends" cartoon. (I learned decades later that the terminal had, in fact, been the actual inspiration for the Hall of Justice.)

My high school friends and I were playing "Champions" at the time, and in the game world the US government was having trouble establishing its own super hero team, to be called the Guardians of America. So they decided to turn the vacant Cincinnati Union Terminal into an ultramodern HQ, in hopes of attracting more (and better) members. But we were all growing up in real life in Southern California. So we concluded, in our infinite teenaged wisdom, that no sensible person would want to live in Cincinnati. So it was sort of ongoing failure in our game, much to the frustration of the government.

As an epilogue, today it is a museum, I understand, called the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, apparently.

11-08-2014, 09:07 AM
I've several I'm rather fond of personally -

My current players are planning to use several interlinked WW2 sea forts (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunsell_Forts )which have been upgraded and converted into a modern multi-levelled base with undersea entrance and grav pad on the roof located in the Thames estuary. This was 'inherited' from an earlier team that vanished under mysterious circumstances. I'm waiting for Better Mousetrap to be released before the players properly equip it out. It's close enough for the team's grav-jet to get quickly to and from London and Europe whist being a safe target.

In reality one of the forts was declared an independent nation, the Principality of Sealand in the 60's.

Another is my take on vigilance press' Black Chapter and details where the London chapter work out of the Private members library of St. Catherine in High Holburn, London (which is the former British Library underground station which was closed down in the 50's) the building has the public aspect of the Library and students college above ground while the deserted subway tunnels have been converted into secret artifact and library storage stacks running between the British Library and Museum containing the surviving mystical libraries of Alexandria/Shambala and the building itself and is used by a secret group of mystics and forms the primary campus of the College Invisible.

Their library cards form a telepathic communications network interlinked with Ophelia their bound demon which acts as their Library Data Retrieval System and there are several doors linked by teleport to various other mystical locations across the globe.

Think the librarian series of films and the laundry series of books - both of which have influenced the essential look and feel of the building and the organisation.

I use a variety of 'borrowed' photos and images to detail the look and feel.

One location I've used before is a mystical London Below as detailed in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere - as a hidden sanctuary for the lost and the unwanted (including Metas hiding similar to the Morlock tunnels) and the mystical unwilling to live in a mundane universe but with time bubbles, magical locations and hidden realms of Fae linked by all the hidden unused tunnels and chambers (and streets that were simply built on top of, in the Victorian era without demolishing) that run beneath a city such as London or Edinburgh.

11-08-2014, 11:59 AM
Well, leaving aside the classics like the moonbase, orbital satellite or the hollowed out volcano, here are some that I liked:

Butterfly Island: Despite the innocent-sounding name, this was the HQ of a villain. This stolen chunk of Arcadia, land of the Fae, appeared like a strange but beautiful floating island capable of hiding from mortal eyes and technology when necessary. Those with mystic senses might notice that while it did have a lot of butterflies, the name of the island was due to being held aloft by gigantic multicolored gossamer wings invisible to normal sight.

The Dread Colossus: inspired by Exalted's Juggernaut and D&D forgotten dead gods in the astral plane, this is the (un)dead body of an ancient alien god, reanimated through mad science and foul necromancy (think zombified Kirbyan space-god). The fallen thing is quite slow and almost unthinking, but also very tremendously powerful and nearly unstoppable when the owner manages to get enough energy sources to keep it going for a while. Most of time those are not available, and the Colossus becomes "just" a nigh unassailable, unmoving fortress.

Mount Madness: the interior of this bizarre mountain has become an intersection between realities and dimensions. While it can be used to reach just about anywhere in the multiverse, it is hard to control and very dangerous. There are the bodily harm risks from all sorts of spilled exotic energies, dangerous creatures transported from who knows where, getting lost within the labyrinthine and mutating layout, or just flat out being exposed to alien laws of physics from alternate realities that can get potentially lethal to beings from more normal places. Add to that the hallucinations, mirages, voices in your head and other psychological troubles, and this place truly earns its moniker. It is unclear if there is a conscience in control of it or not, but even the already insane villain who took over the place in my game and was seemingly unaffected by the worse of its effects (especially the mental ones. His mind was probably fragmented enough that he sort of understood the place) couldn't fully control it.

Blackthrone Castle: The ghost of a sentient castle from another dimension, this thing is no longer a specific HQ, but rather a huge spirit that possesses other HQs, troubling heroes or villains indiscriminately by creating all sorts of "haunted old castle" effects within the possessed HQ. A mystic character once managed to make peace with it (for a while anyway), turning his HQ into a eternal-Halloween fortress of sorts, frightening and creepy but not really dangerous (until a villain turned it against the heroes again).

Sovereign Star, the Imperial Citadel: basically a city-sized space station and sacred seat of power of a space tyrant with strong physical and mental powers. While it contained all sorts of weapons and armies, the greatest danger from it was the Imperial Throne itself, since it was linked to a "crown", actually a device that amplified the scale of the Villain's Mind Control powers, allowing him to take over entire planets at once (at least some of our intrepid, strong-willed heroes excepted, of course)

The Old Door: This old door in a narrow old building seems very unassuming, but it has two very useful characteristics. First, it is bigger on the inside, giving access to an old-looking but spacious mansion that is a lot more durable than it looks. Secondly, it is capable of manifesting itself in any empty space between two buildings in the world (or mostly empty. Something like, say, a garbage dumpster in an alley won't stop it), while also making people think it has "always" been there (and people in the former location of the Old Door quickly forget it was ever there). Particularly strong-willed or mystically inclined people may resist been fooled by it, though.

11-08-2014, 04:13 PM
I've got a bit of a funny one, in that its smaller than the smallest given HQ rating. I have a shrunken character who has a HQ that is the size of a dolls house, drilled into a very tall tree, in a public park. It has all the mod cons, just at shrunken down sizes. Best part is, when he's sick of the view, he just un-drills the supports & moves it all to another tree.

11-09-2014, 03:41 AM
I've got a bit of a funny one, in that its smaller than the smallest given HQ rating. I have a shrunken character who has a HQ that is the size of a dolls house, drilled into a very tall tree, in a public park. It has all the mod cons, just at shrunken down sizes. Best part is, when he's sick of the view, he just un-drills the supports & moves it all to another tree.

Hate to visit/stay in his hospitality suite and I take it he has anti-cookoo defenses installed?

11-09-2014, 05:31 AM
Hate to visit/stay in his hospitality suite

That's why he loves it.... No one ever wants to crash in the spare room & you don't have to worry about door-knockers coming around trying to sell you anything.

11-09-2014, 09:23 AM
Tyou don't have to worry about door-knockers coming around... Does that include woodpeckers?

11-09-2014, 12:09 PM
The most original HQ I made was the Eldar Webway Gate from WH40k.
Another good one is the Tyranid's Brood Nest. In both cases they were
like the monster generators from the Gauntlet arcade game.

The most unique was the Pocket Dimension made by Breach.
Breach was a teleporter from Generator Rex that could travel
to other dimensions. The pocket dimension was a isolated
floating island containing a silent hill like ghost town.:cool:

11-09-2014, 02:40 PM
Does that include woodpeckers?

The bigger issue is insects, but the electrified outer shell stops both pretty well.

11-10-2014, 06:22 PM
The Clown-Car HQ:

Miniscule (-4), TGH 8 (+1), Communications, Dual Size (Warehouse), Infirmary, Living Space, Power System, Secret (DC40), Security System (DC40), Workshop, SPD 6, TGH 8, DEF 8, Alarm, Navi, Oil Slick, Caltrops, Remote Control.

Great for bank robberies, as PC have to deal with a steady flow of minion-level, gun-wielding crooks. I found giving the clowns wild personality traits a fun plus. When the PCs arrive at the bank and see 10-20 armed mooks running from the car, it's drawn hilarious reactions. Working a few non-Minions in the group is crucial. Plus, PCs getting in the car can drive things forward as they investigate the mobile HQ.