No announcement yet.

Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign


    This upcoming weekend, I'm gonna take a mantle that I've only ever thought about taking up, and that is the GM. I have been playing 3E for the past several months, and it has really clicked with me more than any other system prior. So much so that me and a friend like to do weekly build battles and really short mini-shots against one another. But this is my very first time handling a longer term campaign, so this is really unexplored territory for me; typing this out, I realize I'm rather nervous and worried, but I'm gonna stake my claim and go for it anyways. So, I'm hoping to get some GM advice to help me better manage ideas and the narrative and maybe snag a couple ideas.



    During an incident involving a young group of reckless and inexperienced heroes against a team of supervillains, their clash ended in millions worth of collateral damage, the deaths of over 2500 civilians, 250 of which were children. The aftermath of the incident involves great scrutiny and distrust in superheroes, powered individuals, and especially the powered youth. Under the spotlight of controversy, there is now a great deal of discrimination against these individuals, sometimes escalating to large-scale conflict and protest of the potential dangers of these individuals and turning on a cities' heroes.

    In order to dispel notions of prejudice and restore the people's image of superpowered individuals and the Next Generation of Heroes, the Hero Association has gathered a group of today's super powered youth in to enroll into the world's first ever Hero Academy, NEXT Academy. The aim of NEXT Academy is to teach and train NEXTs (Notable Entities of eXtraordinary Talents) to control their powers effectively and ultimately become future heroes.

    Needless to say, I've taken a lot of, shall we say, inspiration from Marvel's Civil War and several Hero Anime.

    Players: Names altered to protect student identities and spoilers

    Cyborg - child prodigy that was at the wrong place at the wrong time, suffering an accident that required cybernetic surgical procedures in order to save his life

    Psyren - psionic ninja raised in an assassination guild.

    Raven - child of a pair of the owners of a billionaire business corporation that are cold and aloof. She made a deal/contract with demons/entities of a dark dimension that gave her empathic and telekinetic abilities. Uses her fortune to purchase cybernetic equipment and enhancements that combined with her dark prowess to get her chance to fill the emptiness inside her.

    Invader Jr - a human-alien hybrid with the power to absorb the properties of metals. His inherited alien DNA comes from his father, Invader Sr, whom is a high-level member of this world's equivalent of the Justice League. Fearing for the safety of his son, hearing about what happened to many other young metahumans, he enrolled him into the Academy.

    Bolt - a too curious teen that explored an abandoned factory, discovering a secret underground lab with a strange device that he touched, activating a dormant metahuman gene, the ability to control electricity.

    Kid Kinetic - a speedster with a mentor/idol figure that he wishes to surpass.

    My Conundrum:

    So as you can see, the general setting is pretty much a reskinned Claremont Academy. I've had several ideas of actual threats, but I have great difficulty in actually starting a game, let alone a campaign! I've usually been more of a oneshot threat guy, starting my scenarios in media res, dropping them into the fray - combat is my go to. But combat alone, I believe, won't be sustainable for a proper long-term setting. I have had vague ideas of a start, doing small scenes with each character on how and why they were enrolled into the school and transition into their first Test as a team with a combat encounter. A secondary problem I have is connecting some of their backstories to the Academy and being enrolled..

    I just really would like and appreciate any advice on how to start this campaign. Then discuss other potential ideas we could do later.
    Last edited by MisterFive; 26th June 2017, 08:44 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

    My advice is to treat this like any other long-term campaign, with some obvious exceptions. Instead of having individual jobs and secret identities, everyone attends school for the general daytime activity. While this can sound boring, remember that it is still school, and they can/should have a mix of classes that help train them in the use of their powers as well as maintain real world education standards. Let the teen heroes go out after school hours on patrol and weekend stuff. Perhaps they have a superhero guidance counselor watch over their extracurricular activities without directly interfering, similar to how DC's Young Justice had Red Tornado keeping an eye on things from their cave base. Occasionally have random events planned that take place during school hours, putting students in the awkward position of needing to ditch class to deal with a problem, strut their stuff while on a supervised field trip, and occasionally be the ones that have to deal with threats to their school that have slipped past the adults.

    Some plot ideas I've worked into my past supers school-based campaign include:

    1. Where Have The Adults Gone? The students show up for classes but no teachers or any of the school faculty are anywhere to be found. Were they abducted by authorities, aliens, or pulled into another dimension? Maybe it's the students who have been abducted and are wandering around in an alien observation experiment that looks like their school. Teen Titans once did an episode where Mad Mod kidnapped the heroes and put them in his own school to teach them a lesson about being meddling heroes until they managed to break free. Plenty of directions to go with this one.

    2. Don't Go To Sleep! Take things in a horror movie direction with a nightmarish foe stalking the school grounds. Was the monster set free by some careless townies or maybe a fellow classmate? Is it even a monster or just a fellow student who lost control of their powers --see the Teen Titans episode where Raven loses her powers after not facing her fears, triggered by watching a scary movie rented by Beast Boy. Could be just one of the superhero teachers' old nemesis causing trouble for them by messing with the school.

    3. Youth Is Wasted On The Young. One of the fellow (NPC) students has started acting strangely, completely not him-/herself. Could be just "growing pains" or rebellious youth... but then an old man locked up in jail the nearby town manages to get a message to one of the players, and claims to be the student who's acting funny. Was it a curse, the old-timer possessing superior psychic talents and wanting to be young again, or some other catalyst that caused numerous people to switch bodies.

    4. I'm You, And You're Me!! See above; some event has switched everyone's mind & body with someone else (and could be the cause of the previous suggestion). Assign the players random character sheets with new abilities. Perhaps some even get switched with their mentors. What do they do with this Freaky Friday opportunity? Do they sleuth it out, or let the real adults take charge and enjoy the hijinks that can ensue from being in someone else's body?

    5. Why Is The Bathroom Attacking Me??? Taking a cue from Marvel's Wolverine & The X-Men where the entire school was a "danger room" that could spring a "pop quiz" on students anytime and anywhere, have things from the school start acting slightly odd at first and then go full out attack (even if the results can be little more than embarrassing). Is it a planned event by the school staff to help prep the young heroes, has some alien artificial intelligence gotten into the school's computers, or maybe it's just a mischievous spirit that has started haunting the place.

    6. Student Abduction. This is no mere Amber Alert. Someone has decided to claim one of their own (or perhaps someone they see as a threat to their kind) and arrive at the school in force. The will be prepared to engage the school's superpowered faculty to keep them busy while a team capable of quickly neutralizing & abducting their target gets in and out in a hurry. The only problem is that they haven't had time to do a full accounting of all of the students' abilities, so it's up to the players to stop them (and/or possibly also get captured or just stow away on the bad guys' escape plan). If one of the players can't make it to a game session, their character could be a good target... is it the cyborg? Could be a scientific bad guy group (think Marvel Comics' A.I.M.). Is it Psyren? Then maybe a rival ninja faction wants to kidnap & ransom. Raven? Perhaps the demons have come to collect on the debt of power. Invader Jr? Maybe it's one of his father's enemies, or some sciencey bad guy group that wants to study him to look for a weakness to exploit in his dad. Maybe it's aliens who fear a prophecy that the youngster will grow up to destroy their race and send their world's mightiest heroes (similar to how the Shi'ar sent the Imperial Guard to collect Jean Grey --twice-- for her crimes as Pheonix).

    7. Contest of Jr. Champions! Go full on Hunger Games the way Arcade did with the Avengers Arena series, abducting junior heroes and forcing them to fight to the death... or old school Marvel Contest of Champions where the heroes are abducted by an alien force and encouraged to battle for a prize (the first time, the heroes were pawns of Grandmaster and Death in Grandmaster's attempt to resurrect a fellow Elder of the Universe; the second time, the heroes were offered the benevolence of an alien species promising to cure Earth's diseases if the heroes participated in their combat show, but they were being tricked into sorting out the best of the best for the Brood Queen to use to hatch a whole bunch of powerful broodlings).

    8. Rival Schools Is your school the only one of it's kind? Not likely if there are superhuman beings aplenty in your world. Set up occasional sporting events where the super schools have their teams clash with others. The games could be traditional sports played at a superhuman level against rivals of similar power level (since they would dominate football, soccer, or any other sport against non-powered school teams) or create unique competitions that can involve one or more of the player characters and their specific power sets. Or maybe the players don't get directly involved in the games themselves, but attend to watch from the sidelines and either hear about or see potential cheating going on. Do they bring it to the attention of the adults or take matters into their own hands to ensure their school comes out ahead. And what if one of these other schools is actually a school for potential supervillains (see Marvel's Hellfire Academy) and are using the opportunity of such competitions to reconnoiter the players' school for nefarious purposes... perhaps some relatively harmless pranks or even to recruit students who could be lured to a more villainous lifestyle.


    • #3
      Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

      Some other side stories and subplots to explore can include:

      A. School Newspaper Issues. A nosy school paper reporter can be as much a foil for super students as adult tabloid journalists can be for adult heroes. Perhaps the reporter is making up stories and faking evidence to make himself look good by making others look bad, but when it gets personal for one of the players they'll want to start looking into things. But what if the reporter isn't making up evidence and is just being given info by a student rival of the player? Or, worse, what if the evidence all looks legit and the player has been mind-controlled into doing stuff while he/she would have been sleeping. Now the players have to find the source of the mind control to clear their friend.

      B. Three's Company. Ah, the 70s sitcom and the classic scenario of a main character winding up with two dates at the same time. Does he/she take the honorable-but-awkward way out by being straightforward and explaining the situation to both dates and hoping things work out, accepting when one or both dates are furious and back out? Maybe some clever scheming and stall tactics can allow the player to maintain both dates at once, or possibly push one on to someone else (possibly implicating another player in the deception, or setting up an NPC for possible backlash when things get out of hand). This one can be played mostly for roleplay opportunity, but given the right powers --such as a speedster rushing between two locations or the Cyborg remote-controlling his own robot dummy to spare one date's feelings while trying to maintain his preferred date-- awkward fun can be had.

      C. Rival School Pranks! One or more students from a rival school, perhaps even an ordinary school of non-powered students, is trying to make the supers school look bad with a series of pranks. Perhaps the run a replica of a major hero's cape up the school's flagpole, steal the school mascot (potentially very dangerous if it's not a normal animal), or --depending on the maturity level of the students involved-- go on the superpower equivalent of a panty raid trying to steal masks or tights from the student dorms to show off as bragging rights. Do they succeed? Do the players let it go unchallenged? If they do, are there other (NPC) students that won't let it go but the players find out they have some nasty revenge plans in mind that could get someone hurt, leaving it to the players to decide to stop them for their own good or play it cool so their classmates don't get in trouble?

      D. You're History! One of the teachers has a great way of teaching history... by using a spell/device/power to take the class back in time to witness events first hand. Whoops, someone has done something that affects the future... perhaps seen by a temporal native who was saved from a dinosaur attack by one or more of the heroes, which caused an early religion to be founded based on the cave drawings of that crudely resemble the players' costumes or depictions of their powers. Or maybe someone gets separated from the group and while the teacher tells everyone to wait in one place while he goes to find the straggler, local trouble finds the players. Lots of possibilities in time travel.

      E. Villains 101. A string of minor local crimes coincide with the arrival of a new student. Is he/she actually an up and coming supervillain, or is there someone else committing these crimes and trying to frame him/her?

      F. Summer Snow Day? Hooray! The school called a snow day! The only thing is, they called it a little late and now everyone is snowed in at the school! What's even weirder is that it's the middle of summer! Who or what is causing all of this? A science experiment gone wrong? A graduating student who doesn't want to leave... ever! Or perhaps one of the teachers has set up some kind of ice cold quarantine --but what are they trying to keep from getting out?

      G. New Student. There's a student with a pheromones power that turn the girls on and makes the boys more aggressive. When the players attack him, he asks for help because he can't control it. Do they turn him in, because what if his powers start affecting the faculty members as well? Perhaps they take him to a hospital for help, but will he he stay to receive it or just help himself to the nurses before running out the door?

      H. Who's The New Girl? Yep, another "new student" plot. A gorgeous young woman with only a minor power to speak of shows up and she's instantly the most popular person at the school. Everyone wants to be her friend, the teachers giving her special treatment, and so on. But is she more than she appears? Perhaps her real power is hypnotic mind control and she's slowly taking over. Why? Could she be a government spy, an alien looking for specimens to study, or someone from a rival school playing a prank?

      I. Crush! One of the (NPC) students has a crush on another student. Perhaps it's one of the players, or an NPC friend and the crushing student is trying to use the player to facilitate getting together with the object of affection. Problems could ensue if the crush does not return the student's affections, especially if it's handled poorly; such are the origins of poorly written superhero/supervillain origins (see Uma Thurman's My Super Ex-Girlfriend).

      J. Cheater! Someone has found a way to cheat on the danger room (or your school's equivalent superhero training routine). One or more of the players has discovered it, perhaps through special senses, investigative skills, hearing a rumor from a jealous student, or just plain lucky enough to have stumbled across the cheater's notes detailing exactly how to succeed every time. Do they report the cheater to the faculty or take advantage as well to get an easy A on the next test. If they do, the faculty will eventually realize the test has been hacked or figured out and change things up so it doesn't keep happening.

      K. Election Time. Time to choose a class president, and treasurer, as well as other student council positions. Do the players get directly involved by running for one or more of the positions? If so, give them each a good (but different) nemesis. One can be the perfect foil who is actually the best choice in all ways except popularity --will the player take the high road as the unpopular student slowly starts leading in the polling or make an emotional play to the student body, or --worse-- try to outright humiliate the opposition into losing (which could backfire). Another can be the dastardly foil who will use every dirty trick from bribery to outright slander of the player to win the election. One could be a bad choice but extremely popular and likely to win on that alone unless the player manages to downplay that popularity or gain more of their own. Once the elections are decided, if any of the players win the positions, don't forget to throw in some activities for their added responsibilities.

      L. School Dance. Romance is in the air... or maybe that's just desperation, especially if the boy/girl ratio is decidedly uneven and there are only so many viable candidates to ask to the dance without resorting to the non-powered local community. Things could get especially ugly if people start fighting over the potential dates.

      M. Science Fair. What manner of science projects will your players try to come up with? Some might have a decided edge (Cyborg) with tech abilities, while others (Raven) might choose to display the "dark arts" as a science. Could get spooky or downright dangerous, and the faculty might need to call in outside help from major superheros to put out some fires.

      N. Rising Star? A mediocre at best student is suddenly scoring A's on all his/her tests and outperforming everyone else in the superpowered training sessions. Are natural abilities suddenly coming into play or is their foul play at work? Maybe the student is doing well for him-/herself but getting a reputation for cheating, and willing to take a stupid risk to prove him-/herself. Do the players intervene to stop needless risk and/or investigate who might be spreading rumors? Or is the student in question starting the rumors to make it look like others are jealously trying to make him/her look bad to throw off anyone discovering actual cheating at play?


      • #4
        Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

        Woah! What a great list of hooks and events. I did think of a ninja event for Psyren, but hadn't thought of tying in the rest like that. Thanks for all the cool ideas, I'm totally gonna snag a bunch of those once I introduce proper elements to set 'em up. But there I go again jumping ahead of myself again. May I ask how you began your supers-school? I believe having a solid start would help solidify and expand the mood and setting.


        • #5
          Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

          to borrow from a particular anime...

          Field Trip! the PCs and rest of the class are being taken to a particular hero-centric landmark for a day of field training. use the first parts to encourage your players in finding new applications for their powers before the inevitable supervillain attack

          Sports Day PCs go head to head with a rival class or maybe that jerkass private school for supervillains (do not pit vs each other, that just invites PVP

          Ride Along so you want to be a hero? welcome to a weekend of sidekicking for the local pros

          Mid-Term Exam for this exercise, students will have to get from one side of the course to the other, but in their way will be one of the Freedom League, playing the part of the supervillain. how does Invader Junior stack up against Invader Sr.?\

          Spanakopita! no, despite appearances, it's not an alien invasion. it's Space Spring Break, as a bunch of alien teenagers and space-college freshthings descend upon campaign city to party the week away with drunk and horny abandon. you've been volunteered to help work security and keep them away from bystanders.

          Vigil all hands on deck! the latest crossover has left a beloved and iconic hero hospitalized, and all their villains are crawling out of the woodwork for easy revenge. your job is to work crowd control, keeping out the capewatchers, stalkers and d-list jobber villains


          • #6
            Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

            I suggest watching My Hero Academia. It's about children who enrol in the worlds most famous school for Superheroes. In the first 2 (?) episodes the main character gets his Superpower and than it goes to the entrance exam.

            Dunno if Season 2, which is currently running, has a Simuldub, but if not, theres allways subtitles :-).

            It's avaiable on


            • #7
              Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

              So I just finished up my Academy session and I feel pretty disappointed in myself as a DM. Clusterfuck is a concise summary of how it proceeded. I had a vague idea going forward, but completely trashed my initial ideas the further along.

              Initial Plan:

              Have everyone that showed up (which was actually everyone!) roll dice to determine their student ID#. Since everyone has their right to a secret identity, I thought up a system where certain students would just go by there Student #, a nickname, superhero name, or if they've revealed and given permission, their real name. Then proceed to use their rolled number as "Narrative initiative" to determine who came to school in that order and break down their backstories - how/why they were enrolled into the academy and other background information.

              After everyone's backstories are told, they'd be introduced to the Academy premises and get a grasp of the layout, environment, and setting. The Academy isn't officially open but students are allowed to move in and get used the area. Because heroes are under such scrutiny right now, a tour and analysis of the place by respected individuals would take place. Of course nothing goes so smoothly and an anti-NEXT group sneaks in to cause some anarchy as a very public protest against the Academy's construction. Players would be in their own respective areas of school and fight off groups of goons in each area (was gonna roll randomly to determine where they would attack) which then slowly lead into a confrontation between the players and the big bad leader of the group. Then school faculty and related heroes would come for clean-up and repair and a speech to local and news outlets that the Academy is a worthy cause worth pursuing.

              Of course I threw out the entirety of what I had planned for some other random stuff that just happened and I thought would make sense in the context of the session. Of course, it didn't really make sense or flow well.

              What actually happened:

              Rolled Student IDs and told backstories in their rolled order like the initial plan. Introduced players to the Academy (which was just a map of Claremont Academy) and let them explore the area and do what they want. Cyborg is chilling in his room looking at cybernetics. Psyren meditates in the Zen Gardens. Raven chills out in a tree and observes area. Invader just mills around outside. Bolt is also milling around, recording/vlogging to his social media on the phone. Kid Kinetic is working out at the athletic field.

              Then I make a bunch of mistakes. I try to introduce other npc students to show off the teen setting aspect. Introduce Sky High (wind powers) and Dynagirl (Electro-magnetic powers) as bullies that are harassing Invader by making insulting him and taking away his prized item, a gift from his dad. Couple bystanders watch, including most of the players. Psyren quits meditating and approaches the area after hearing/seeing the debacle. Raven uses telepathy to mess-up the bullies and return the trinket to Invader. Bullies try harder to get under his skin but ultimately fail. Bolt intervenes and uses his annoying and upfront personality to mess with the bullies and pretty much annoys and frustrates the bullies away. Invader (and his player) is sufficiently annoyed and returns to his dorm room and locks himself inside. Cyborg does the same. Psyren returns to meditation. A lull in action (and maybe interest) occurs but then Bolt is pleasantly role playing around the area and with other, much to my surprise. He really saves the day by initiating interaction moments with others and stops the lull.

              Fast forward couple hours for dinner time in the cafeteria where everyone is. Bullies are with their clique, which they call themselves "The Elite" believing they are the best and most powerful. Then I have them try to harass the "Losers" (players) again which then leads into a food fight and then full on combat, which quickly becomes muddled as everyone tries to explain what they want to do and more experienced players begin to tell the rules. I end combat as Dyna and Sky High are able to last a long time with ridiculous rolls while the rest of their clique goes down and as we begin running out of time for everyone. Interrupt combat by having the Principle, whose pretty much Professor X telepathically yelling in their heads (except Raven who has a mind shield that renders her immune to mental powers/effects) and giving them all detention (except Raven 'cuz I inadvertently let her sneak off 'cuz I was in a rush to end things), especially annoying Invader and his player.

              All in all, it was rather awkward, rushed, and clusterfuck as I tried to branch our and try something different. I feel like I rushed the players into pointless conflicts and didn't accommodate or ease players, especially those newer to the system, into the setting and game for the sake of something happening. First session and I already feel rather lost in direction.

              But the one saving grace is one player suggested a Breakfast Club style session since everyone is in detention. I'm thinking having a guidance counselor npc come in to try and empathize each character and bully with one another. But I'm already losing confidence in designing scenarios and direction. I really need some help in how to refresh myself and how to proceed onward.


              • #8
                Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

                Two thoughts - the first is that I think you're probably judging yourself too harshly - you had a first adventure, they agreed to a second session and everyone now knows each other. Remember no plan ever survives contact with their players and provided everyone enjoyed themselves that is a win situation. No game ever works out the way any one person expects nor does it always resemble the comics. If they had fun who cares?

                Second - did you sit down with your players beforehand and agree what everyone wanted to get out of this campaign? If your players are combat monsters then character interaction will not be exciting for them, others may want romance or a soap opera element and constant battles will not appeal. You need to make sure there are elements in your adventures that appeal to each of them.

                Just make sure your either all on the same page or at least you know what will make each session a win for each of the players. You may find that you can't always do that for all of your players everytime and its worth being aware of a technique called Blue-booking (see as a way to fill in the interactive gaps for those who want more than combat, combat, combat or a new villian of the week to beat.

                Good luck
                Last edited by SignalGK; 5th July 2017, 06:23 AM.


                • #9
                  Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

                  My best advice, now that you've gotten the introduction session out of the way, is to think up a unifying theme for your game that will be the main story and let all the little side stories and subplots play out in between. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer... the show started with one hero and one threat: vampire slayer and vampires. Over time, the gang "leveled up" a bit with Willow becoming a witch and Xander for a time being soldier guy. There was the addition of Willow's werewolf boyfriend, and later his replacement in the form of another witch girlfriend. Buffy had a vampire boyfriend, then a super-soldier boyfriend. And Xander hooked up with a 1000 year old ex-demon. Other characters came and went, and the story grew from just vampires to vampires trying to free their master from the Hellmouth to all kinds of other monsters to demons and eventually a goddess... and then back to some normalcy with "the evil trio" wannabe supervillains.

                  You've already got your main cast with the players, and some bullies to act as foils, and probably some mentors in mind for supporting cast when they're not just giving boring lectures. I suppose you could turn it into an "us vs them" thing with the bullies and other in-school rivalries, but that might feel kind of go-nowhere to the players after a few sessions. Now that they've had their confrontation and principal give out detentions, the bullies should be used a bit more sparingly. Have them occasionally show up as foils in other scenarios to distract the players a little, but not dominate the story. They should be the Cordelia Chase to your players' Buffy Summers group... irritating, sometimes troublesome, and once in awhile actually need the players' help (which they should still give no matter how annoying the bullies have been if the players are heroes).

                  Think about the ideas you have for the student abduction idea I suggested. You said you were considering a ninja event for Psyren... if you can come up with some smaller BBEGs for each player, then come up with a main mastermind who can bring those other villains (or groups) together... a Lex Luthor or Dr. Doom. Why is he/she interested in the school and these students in particular? What are his/her abilities (if any) that would enable him/her to be at the top of the villainous food chain? What is his ultimate goal, and how can he/she succeed and fail depending on the actions of the players. It's a real good idea to think that last sentence through. Good villain motivation is as important as ability and flexibility within a story to allow for player actions to directly influence the end result.

                  To help get your brainstorming started, I suggest a villain who is interested in recruiting superhumans to his villainous army... sure, there are always villains willing to hire on, but if he can corrupt young heroes, then there's that many fewer potential threats in his future. So some of his efforts will involve setting up scenarios where the young heroes are tested to see not only what they're capable of, but how they react to situations. If loot is dropped by fleeing bad guys and no one will notice it missing, will any of the heroes try to pocket some of the loot for themselves? (Young Justice, Speedy aka Red Arrow was stopping robberies and only giving back most of the money because he "needed" it.) If a hero is underperforming compared to his/her peers, would he/she be willing to accept a boost from a bad guy that will help gain an advantage in combat knowing the bad guy might want a favor in return in the future? (The real Speedy --the Red Arrow guy turned out to be a clone-- lost his right arm and a number of years from his life when he was kept frozen and his clone took over his life went off to murder Lex Luthor for ruining his life, and Lex offered him a weaponized cybernetic arm replacement). Getting to know the player heroes and how they could be corrupted could be a far-reaching story with lots of side-stories and mini-adventures in between or even tied in without the players realizing it until much later on.


                  • #10
                    Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

                    Thanks guys! I'm just gonna try moving onward and improve from before. Never got into Buffy, but I have a vague understanding of what you mean; build up from the base and see where we go. The bullies absolutely will be sparingly used, don't wanna always use them as my fallback, they were pretty much meant to be foils and to establish this as a teen high setting, at least that's how it was in my head. The execution just felt lackluster on my part.

                    In terms of personal villains, I had a vague sense of what they would be for each PC:

                    - I've made Psyren part of a splinter group of a larger ninja clan with crime ties called the Zodiac. I'm thinking of sneaking in elements of this with other student npcs and other members of the clan and related groups. With such a crime organization, I was thinking of having one of the clan heads be the larger villain in the background controlling the strings from above. It's not entirely fleshed out currently, but I'm hoping to develop this arc later on.

                    -Cyborg's player told me he won't make it this session (course he thought he wouldn't be here last session, so who knows with him), so I'm thinking of using the previous student abduction to introduce the Science & Tech type of crime gang, kinda like Intergang, to go after him. Only complaint is that I think it might be too fast/early to have a player abduction.

                    -Invader was definitely gonna have an enemy that was somehow related to his father's enemies, perhaps a lesser villain hoping to strike out or even disgruntled child of a past villain hoping to achieve redemption or prove oneself.

                    -Bolt's was gonna be the Mad Scientist that created the strange device for research and experimental purposes, coming to analyze and perhaps retrieve his pet project.

                    -Kid Kinetic currently does not have one, having a hard time working out this one. He does technically have the Flash protege thing where he has multiple speedster mentors (Quickstar and Johnny Rocket) but currently has not shown up but were mentioned in his backstory to have dropped him off at the academy in a similar vein of Invader where his adult parallel has fears of enemy attacks and to train his prowess.

                    Currently, I'm still in an introductory phase of the campaign to set up possible future plot points and conflicts, the school isn't even officially open yet, still in a preview state for staff and students to acquiesce to the environment. The current idea right now is to do a minor detention scene with a counselor to talk them about powers and responsibility, with a small interaction between them and the bullies, and then a final punishment they would have to do - cleaning up the cafeteria and the school grounds, remedial classes - although with this mix of powers the punishment feels almost trivial. I'd still like to try out my initial plan of "inspectors" and other officials to tour the area, with a combination of protesting thugs/goons and members of the SciTech bad guy group intermingled to mess with the area with the secondary objective for analysis and possible theft of key areas, maybe even introduce some student restricted areas. In the chaos, Cyborg would most likely then be kidnapped for sciencey reasons and research. With all the casual stuff and the crowd control taking place, hopefully I'll have filled up the time slot and set-up for the next session, the search and rescue for Cyborg and perhaps a couple other techie students.

                    Really appreciate all the input and advice guys, hoping you can all help me survive and provide a fun time for my players.
                    Last edited by MisterFive; 6th July 2017, 11:27 PM.


                    • #11
                      Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

                      How did it go? Were the additional suggestions helpful?
                      [SIZE=5][COLOR="#008000"]^( ;,; )^[/COLOR][/SIZE]

                      [URL=""]My Builds[/URL]


                      • #12
                        Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

                        Originally posted by kanly View Post
                        How did it go? Were the additional suggestions helpful?
                        I think the suggestions are amazing and are quite helpful, especially for me since I'm terrible at planning and designing scenarios and long-term campaigns. However, I'm finding myself unable to make full use of all the advice... as we have literally only played one game as of now. The week following our first game, it appears I wasn't completely clear that there was gonna be a game, and thus no one came. The second week, I made an announcement post earlier for clarity that there was definitely gonna be a game, even highlighted the date it was gonna be on, but only one person, Psyren's player, came and we waited awkwardly for about an hour and a half for anyone else to come. So... yeah a severe drought in game time.

                        Secondly, Psyren's player didn't feel like his character would fit well in the school setting, as Psyren was originally made on the surface level a Young Justice themed game. He did say his not unhappy with the school setting, just that he believed Psyren wouldn't fit well, which I can appreciate for his honesty.

                        Honestly, I'm feeling really unhappy and disappointed with myself as a dm and the setting... I just don't really have much confidence in my dming or this setting, or at the least me being able to provide players a good time in this setting. It's shame, all these delays are further making me not only lose confidence but also interest, which really strikes me since during the off-time between sessions, I asked Invader Jr's player if he needed help to learn the system. So I offered around an hour or two of my time to do a little one-on-one tutoring to help learn the mechanics and specifically combat. During this time, we did a fair bit of world-building for Invader's alien species - their culture, social structure and hierarchy, the different types of their species, details of their metal-morphic and techno-morphic capabilities and power, why Invader Sr left his position on the planet in favor of being a defender of Earth, and even the elements that surround one of Invader's darker secrets and complications, an alien sickness. It really got the gears going for both of us as we further explored and expanded on this aspect of his character. It's been awhile since I had strung together so many ideas, but at the end of it all, I still feel like I'm just shoehorning a couple ideas into a budding campaign, therefore stunting it a bit.

                        I've publicly expressed my dismay at my setting, particularly my skills at dming such a setting. Psyren's player's comments really made me wanna rethink the setting and go back to the Young Justice themes of before, young group of superpowered teens that wants more than being in the sidelines and proving oneself. I feel like the dynamic of a teen team going out on sanctioned missions might better fit my "monster/mission of the week" oneshot style of dming rather than the current school setting.


                        • #13
                          Re: Help Me Start a Hero High Campaign

                          Can I suggest you invite everyone over for a beer and a chat about expectations? It sounds as though your players weren't sold on playing in a Hero High game (or RPG in general? Don't know what level of experience your players have) - if you go down this route you need to accept that what they say isn't personal to you and they need to know they can be honest and completely open about what they feel even if its not what you want to hear.

                          Remember not everyone wants to relive or play out the teenage angst, others hate the soap opera element that this type of game encourages or the fact that they are generally lower powered heroes. It may even be that they don't really want to play a superhero campaign and would (shock, horror!) rather play a sci-fi, spy, horror (or whisper it) a D&D game. If that is the case, you need to decide whether to go with the flow or look for some new players.

                          Good luck!