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The Superteam Handbook and Anti-Earth

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  • The Superteam Handbook and Anti-Earth

    "Bender, why did you jump in?"

    "Everybody was doing it. I just wanted to be popular."


    I had a few ideas about the Freedom City world-setting, so I thought I'd write them down here. I like reading what other people have to say about it, so maybe somebody will like reading what I have to say about it!
    [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6589-Builds-on-the-Sun]Builds on the Sun[/url]

  • #2
    Anti-Earth is one of my favorite things about the setting. I think it's because DC's Crime Syndicate of Amerika is the opposite of a world where the heroes are the strongest and smartest and most powerful beings on earth, so you get a completely doomed world, but when you apply that to a more Marvel-like world where the heroes are the underdogs as often as not, what you get isn't hopeless, it's just... different. There's more room to do different things with it. I liked the Superteam Handbook a lot, too, so!

    UNIQUE on Anti-Earth:

    There's no actual team called Unique on the Tyranny Syndicate's world. If there was, the Syndicate wouldn't stand for it, and they have the advantage in numbers and resources. There's just a woman with an agenda who knows a few other people.

    The Matriarch:

    The woman who calls herself the Matriarch has walked the earth for hundreds of years, watching peace and kindness in human society be ground down by the strong and cruel, and she is pleased. Generation by generation, she sees the human race becoming colder. Deadlier. Moving closer to its destiny as the apex predator of the universe. Her plans for the world didn't include the Praetor's rise and fall, but she knows that the history of humanity is a cycle of oppressive order and bloody chaos. The Matriarch is confident that the Tyranny Syndicate is doomed to collapse without the Praetor's firm hand, and she quietly puts her pieces in place to ensure that the chaos that follows the Syndicate's end is the bloodiest yet.

    Doctor Marston:

    The Anti-Earth counterpart to Epiphany takes pride in the fact that she's never tested a poison or drug on anyone else that she hasn't also tested on herself. If the others die, or beg her to kill them, that's hardly her fault. If she gets stronger every time her body is tested, maybe that's just evolution at work. For a while Doctor Marston did very well for herself, providing medical consultations to the Tyranny Syndicate some of the time and staying out of their way the rest of the time. Then the Praetrix, newly cloned and looking to inherit the Praetor's reputation as the strongest person in the world, decided to find Doctor Marston and punch her through a skyscraper "just so everyone knows I can."

    The battle that followed wasn't quite as one-sided as the Praetrix had hoped it would be, but it destroyed Doctor Marston's labs (along with most of downtown Columbus) and made her an enemy of the Syndicate. With her base of operations gone and the most powerful group in the world as an enemy, Doctor Marston was in serious danger. Fortunately for her, the Matriarch made contact with her and offered to fund her work. She now has a new laboratory in Viridian City, where she can study the people affected by Lady Anarchy's Chaos Storm and the fascinating notes of one Dr. Gordon Shockley. She also has a nice little summer home in La Jolla, California.

    El Pararrayos:

    Rolando Santiago has always wanted one thing: love. When he couldn't get it from family or friends, he turned to his engineering talent and electrical powers. As El Pararrayos, the lightning rod, he he sometimes punishes small-time criminals with spectacular displays of excessive force, but the battles that made him famous are the ones where he defends Mexico from giant mechanical menaces. He knows the powers and weaknesses of these robots better than anyone, because he builds them himself. Some people who see his apparent heroism are inspired to become superheroes themselves, but none of them last very long. Rolando sees to that personally. El Pararrayos doesn't need any help.

    Rolando doesn't dare attack the Tyranny Syndicate, but he hates them all. Not because of their crimes, but because the eyes of the world are constantly on them. He craves that level of fame, positive or negative, and he'd do anything to get it. The Matriarch sympathizes with him and encourages his jealousy. She shares exotic technology with him from her contacts all over the world, he deciphers it for her, and they both benefit. He's already started to incorporate the gravitic and temporal field generators she's shown him into his battlesuit.

    Madame Najjar and the Orateur:

    Pierre LeMaitre was a talented, ambitious, and extremely persuasive lawyer who received a strange offer of employment from a man claiming to be a wizard from Atlantis. The world had been corrupted and deceived by the Praetor's arrival, the wizard said, but with Pierre's help, he could cast a spell that would open the eyes of the world to the truth. The people would throw off their shackles and a new age of peace and freedom would begin. Pierre thought this was all nonsense, but the wizard paid well, and he'd never actually met a wizard before, so he accepted.

    The ritual might have worked, if the wizard's apprentice hadn't killed him halfway through it with his own magic knife. As it was, the spell connected Pierre to a truth of sorts, but it was a truth so horrible that it destroyed the young lawyer's personality instantly. It breaks the will of anyone else he shares it with, too, which was a nice stroke of luck for Blackberry Shu Najjar, who now has two powerful magical weapons at her command for the price of a single murder. The only person she's ever seen the Orateur's secret fail against is the woman called the Matriarch, and she isn't sure if the Matriarch knows some way of nullifying it, or if the Orateur's secret is something she already knows and has become accustomed to. Neither possibility pleases Madame Najjar.

    (I imagine the Matriarch to be a lot like Young Justice's interpretation of Vandal Savage. She believes in humanity more than anyone, it's just what part of humanity she believes in that causes problems. El Rayo is a brilliant inventor with a love for superheroes and a need for attention, and it seems to me that when you make that evil what you get is Syndrome from the Incredibles. And the Orateur is just a walking Anti-Life Equation.)
    [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6589-Builds-on-the-Sun]Builds on the Sun[/url]

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    • #3
      I find this idea really intriguing (I love the Anti-Earth concept generally and wish it was more explored-I once pitched an Earth-3 series to DC, which they weren't all interested in, unfortunately...)

      Would you mind if I posted my thoughts about the Project Freedom members of Anti-Earth, as I got to author the team for the book?

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      • #4
        No, please do! I'd love to hear it.
        [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6589-Builds-on-the-Sun]Builds on the Sun[/url]

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks! I'll likely post something in a couple days or so.

          Comment


          • #6
            Looking forward to it.
            Check out my new super hero/science fiction novel, [url=https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/618254]Unbelievable: A Tale of the Exotica Chronicles[/url].

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            • #7
              Originally posted by greycrusader View Post
              I find this idea really intriguing (I love the Anti-Earth concept generally and wish it was more explored-I once pitched an Earth-3 series to DC, which they weren't all interested in, unfortunately...)
              Earth 3 fascinated me not just because of the idea of evil versions of the heroes, but the idea there could be an underground resistance composed of people who on Earth 1 were villains. None of this mamby-pamby 'make Poison Ivy and Captain Cold join be anti-heroes' crap, but actually having a whole world where the 'heroes' are people that on Earth 1 are known as the Joker or Gorilla Grodd or whatever.

              An evil Teen Titans? A Raven sent to Earth to soften it up for Trigon, but milking the job because she likes her current status better than being his flunky when he shows up? A good Slade Wilson, operating below the city, blinded by his own hand, because the last time he had eyes, he was possessed by his evil son for six months, and turned on and betrayed his entire resistance cell to the Syndicate and their Titans enforcers? (And then left alive by said son, surrounded by the ashes of his life's work and corpses of his former allies and friends, some slain by his own (possessed) hand, just to be extra cruel.) Fun potential.

              In lieu of DC ever doing justice to the concept, I'd love an eventual M&M book centered on Anti-Earth, and a game on playing the resistance (and underground resistance games in general). I don't really need stats for the various dark mirror universe versions of heroes, since most of them are pretty much identical to their good guy stats, just some flavor text and some advice on how to handle the challenges of a resistance type game (whether it be this sort of resistance, or a resistance to Nazis on Erde, or some world (perhaps Earth!) taken over by the Star-Khan, or Lady Lunar, or the Grue, or zombies, or evil dinosaur-cyborgs or whatever).

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              • #8
                THE FREEBOOTERS:

                A loose affiliation of super-humans (or close enough to) brought together by Jordan McGinnis, the Anti-Earth counterpart to Earth-Prime's criminal hacker extraordinaire, Jared McGinnis, AKA The Freebooter. Like his equivalent number, Jordan was born with a severe spinal defect, rendering him paraplegic; but born into an authoritarian society which devoted scant resources to "cripples", Jordan's parents were forced into illicit activities to support their son's medical needs, and eventually forced to flee Empire City when this became too dangerous, going off-grid. By this time, the teenage Jordan's brilliant intellect was apparent, already devising several inventions to help the family cope with their many hardships. His parents did all they could to nurture his burgeoning mind, providing him with books, puzzles, and most crucially, a second-hand PC. Tragically, both his parents died while he was still in his teens, his father felled by a heart attack, and his mother perishing in a fiery crash while trying to outrun a state patrol (she had been smuggling untaxed goods). By this time, Jordan had vastly upgraded his computer equipment, living a life of adventure, intrigue, and piracy in cyberspace, under the handle of The Freewheeling Freerunner (the irony was not lost on him). Despising the regime of cruel super-tyrants whose whims destroyed the lives of his parents, the Freerunner wiped out their intel on resistance leaders, looted their government accounts, and sabotaged their research projects. While exceedingly clever, he undoubtedly would have soon been discovered and eliminated save for the intervention of Mind-Master, one of the few forces for justice on Anti-Earth. Posing as a fellow "keyboard freedom fighter", Mind-Master provided young McGinnis with additional technology, income, and contacts, putting him in touch with the Courage Confederation underground. Freerunner put these resources to good use, relocating to an extensively equipped clandestine lair, creating a series of false identities, and reaching out to other highly gifted individuals who likewise have cause to oppose the Tyranny Syndicate. This is how the Freebooters came to be-the team of Air-Raider, Battlement,, Chaos Bride, Hellqueen, Lady Tempest, and along with their field leader, the Unholy Terror.

                Jordan McGinnis/The Freerunner has identical statistics to his counterpart, except his android lacks the Morph power and uses a Power-Staff instead of a hi-tech Cutlass (add a second AE: Ranged Damage 9, Unreliable (5 charges)); McGinnis frequently alters the androids' surface appearance to confuse the authorities, but it typically appears as an very fit male in his physical prime, wearing a martial arts gi or tight-fitting athletic gear, not the flashy buccaneer garb of his Earth-Prime analogue. Changes in the android's appearance only happens between missions, when McGinnis has the opportunity to work on his creation.

                More to follow, obviously. Let me know what you think so far-all my best!
                Last edited by greycrusader; 25th September 2019, 05:17 AM.

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                • #9
                  I like the name Freerunner. It makes me think of the Mirror's Edge games.
                  [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6589-Builds-on-the-Sun]Builds on the Sun[/url]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Harriet Wayne-Wright is a senior file clerk at the federal bureau of punishment and detention, superhuman division, in Empire City; she is a stern, hatchet-faced woman with an icy demeanor, a meticulous manner, and an encyclopedic memory. The latter traits are the key to her success in the prison system, as over the years she has amassed reams of blackmail material on superiors and subordinates alike, while also trading information for black market goods and favors to be collected later; Harriet might be just another aging, corrupt bureaucrat were it not for her deeply concealed hatred for the Tyranny Syndicate and their entire regime. Years ago, when Anti-Earth suffered its own Terminus invasion, she watched on live television as the Praetorian purposefully collapsed a building onto an Omegan militia unit, the same building where her husband and young daughter has taken refuge. Since that moment, she has quietly and methodically used her knowledge to aid the underground resistance to the Syndicate, including passing information to the Freerunner regarding which prisoners might be candidates for recruitment by the Courage Confederation, time tables for prisoner transports, and inside information on prison security. Though she longs to see the fascist government fall, Ms, Wayne-Wright is not entirely altruistic in rendering her services-her concealed bank accounts have swollen with a percentage of the Freerunner's cybercrimes, and if she feels at all threatened with exposure, she will disappear rather than risk imprisonment and torture at the hands of the secret police.

                    The Hellqueen: Once a rather naive young woman who tried to see the best even in genuinely bad people, Nancy Dumont had the misfortune to be seen as a romantic rival by Captain Thunderbolt's chief concubine, Gwyneth Nugent. The latter saw to it that incriminating evidence was placed among Miss Dumont's personal effects, resulting in her being branded as a Confederation sympathizer who was trying to gain the confidence of the Tyranny Syndicate's leader. Subjected to psychic interrogation and torture, she was somehow opened up mind, body, and soul to possession by a demon of retribution. After laying waste to her tormentors, she escaped custody, resurfacing again and again to target Captain Thunderbolt and his "wives", all of whom she blamed for her torment. As she has succeeded in killing her chief betrayer Gwyneth and Ray Gardner Sr. was murdered at his son's hands, the Hellqueen's attention has turned to the usurper Deathbolt. Realizing the value of allies, she joined McGinnis and his Freebooters team, though she evidences little of the benevolence shown by some of the other members.

                    Note: in this reality, the Hexorcist's counterpart remains MIA; the so-called Lockdown incident was more far reaching, with everything within 50 kilometers swept up in the maelstrom which sent the compound to extra-dimensional limbo. None of the missing have resurfaced so far.

                    More in a week or so. All my best!
                    Last edited by greycrusader; 7th September 2019, 09:20 PM.

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                    • #11
                      The Air-Raider: A former conscript in the Tyranny Syndicate's endless military campaign in South America, Cain Rocha went AWOL at the first opportunity rather than put his engineering skills to use blowing up dams and collapsing buildings in civilian tenements and native villages. He soon became a recruit of a different kind, serving as Mind-Master's original Powersuit Corps, freedom fighters outfitted in advanced armor suits; however, the Powersuit Corps proved unable to overcome the sheet might of the Syndicate, despite the Corps' discipline and teamwork. In the end, the surviving members were forced to break ranks and flee, taking refuge wherever they could. To make sure his armor designs were not copied by the Syndicate, Mind-Master remotely shorted-out and fused the circuitry, rendering the suits inert junk. Rocha, however, had previously studied the designs and partially disabled the fail-safe mechanism on his armor, enabling him to salvage the mostly still operable power suit. Since that time, he has bought and scavenged enough black market tech to keep going, the rebuilt armor incorporating several new elements but also prone to occasional glitches.

                      He mostly works as a freelance mechanic and mister fix-it, helping the downtrodden of Anti-Earth America keep their electricity on and vehicles running; but he also designs weapons for the resistance and assumes the identity of the Air-Raider when called upon, looting government food caches, harassing secret police patrols, and dealing with emergencies caused by the fascist regime. When the Freebooters are gathered for a mission, Rocha serves both as scout and air cover, acting as the most disciplined member of the bunch, as he's confident in Freebooter's strategies and Lady Tempest's leadership.

                      Lady Tempest: Cortney Cline lost her parents when their family farm was destroyed by a cyclone, huddling in terror inside a drainage pipe with her younger sister as their house was ripped to pieces. But this was no natural disaster; the Praetorian himself generated horrific wind storms across the Midwest as retribution for protests against his policies. Cortney swore vengeance, but knew her oath would be impotent unless she could discover a source of power to back it up. Making her way to Empire City, her scientific acumen won her a scholarship to university, training as a scientist in service to the Praetorian (or so she pretended).

                      She soon became the protegee of Prof. Cuthbert Cumulus, the eccentric but brilliant geophysicist-and his partner in the resistance when she deduced Cuthbert was also Dr. Atmos, leader of the Courage Confederation's super-powered squadron. Soon enough, Dr. Atmos was joined by Lady Tempest, and then Kid Lightning, all serving as shining beacons of hope to the downtrodden. When the Praetor was overthrown and slain, they rejoiced-but their happiness was short lived, as the Tyranny Syndicate proved far more effective without their emperor's egotism and narcissism hindering them. Dr. Atmos fell in battle soon thereafter, and Tanith was captured and brainwashed by the Syndicate following her defeat at the hands of Johnny Speed. Lady Tempest had all but given up hope before being contacted by the Freebooter. The field leader of the Freebooters, she so far has been willing to follow Jordan McGinnes' directives, but is growing impatient with his promise to free Tanith/Kid Lightning from the Syndicators' control.

                      Any feedback on these? Should I keep going?

                      All my best.

                      Last edited by greycrusader; 13th September 2019, 04:55 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I'm enjoying it.
                        [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

                        [b]Current games:[/b]
                        [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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                        • #13
                          The Unholy Terror: James Levitt's father was a career military officer under the Praetorian's reign, specializing in counter-insurgency tactics employing psychological warfare and
                          "enhanced interrogation techniques"-i.e., torture. Even after an injury sustained at the hands of rebels ended his career, Arthur Levitt remained in demand as a "consultant", teaching the secret police the most effective use of such practices. At home, he was a strict disciplinarian who devised "creative" punishments for his son, James, whom Arthur wished to groom into his successor.

                          He succeeded all too well, though not with the results the senior Levitt had hoped for; just shy of James turning 16, Arthur Levitt was found dead inside a sensory deprivation chamber in his own home, the inside latch having broken due to "metal fatigue", ruled a death by misadventure. Following his father's demise, James completed the military stint required of all citizens before joining the national police force, qualifying for special ops involving finding and confiscating caches of weapons and equipment from abandoned HQs and hidden laboratories once used by the Empire's "extra-normal" adversaries. During this period, he discovered the costume and serums used by the Unholy Terror, a thankfully long-gone vigilante. Known for his breathtaking brutality against scofflaws and the secret police alike. James had finally came across just the sort of prize he had been looking for; soon thereafter her resigned from the police, going to work as a private security agent-and as the new Unholy Terror, combining his father's fear-inducing techniques with the original Terror's strength and speed enhancing elixir.

                          The Unholy Terror works with the Freebooters because he despises the memory of his abusive father, and by extension the Empire, its ruler, and all the enforcers of the Tyranny Syndicate's rule. But unbeknownst to the others, he equally loathes ALL super-powered beings, seeing them as a scourge on the world, imposing their will because their inhuman abilities instill fear in the populous. He plans to betray and execute Chaos Bride, Hell-Queen, and Rampart at minimum out of his Freebooter "teammates" when and if they achieve their revolution.

                          Treat the Unholy Terror as a PL 10 Warrior archetype from the Heroes Handbook, but with also equipped with fear-generating weapons (afflictions, mental illusions, mental blasts).

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                          • #14
                            These are great to see. So Chaos Bride is supernatural too?
                            [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6589-Builds-on-the-Sun]Builds on the Sun[/url]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RainOnTheSun View Post
                              These are great to see. So Chaos Bride is supernatural too?
                              Her origin is tied to the Anti-Earth equivalent of the Silver Storm-I'll cover her and Battlement (the counterpart to Fortress America) tomorrow
                              In the far harsher reality of the Tyranny Syndicate's earth, Jackie Sabine-Neeley was no professional wrestler (the leagues had all withered away under the Praetorian's reign, as he found such "frivolities" mildly insulting)-instead she was a pit fighter in the preliminary circuit run by Saturnalia Roman, part of a dirty but lucrative "legitimate" business. Native to Empire City, her manager took her and the rest of the stable to Viridian City, part of a big event.Unfortunately, this turned out to be the same night when the second Lady Anarchy unleashed the Chaos Storm across the urban sprawl, sparking a new er of demigods and monsters.

                              The fate of Jackie's manager and fellow fighters is unknown (though likely not good), but Jacqueline herself became the Chaos Bride, a woman wedded to the creative destruction wrought by the storm. Her already impressive agility, coordination, and resilience were now borderline superhuman, the sounds of mass confusion, panic, and vandalism fed her strength, pushing her past exhaustion and pain. And her weapon of choice-a long-handled, oversized mallet-now not only struck with even greater force, but carried the taint of chaos with it, driving those struck with the weapon to bouts of insanit. Still, despite her fondness for wailing away with her "mad-hammer", she also typically employs conventional weaponry as well, particularly firearms, grenades, and baseball bats.

                              Chaos Bride sides with the Freebooters because she wants to see the repressive government, with all the rule and laws and supervision, FALL-as much so she can just run wild as free others from their oppressors' grasp. While she still has a moral core (the last remnants of the sympathetic Ms. Neeley), her impulsiveness and love of causing trouble for its own sake makes her a problematic comrade at best.

                              Battlement: Unlike the Adamovs and the Prophet heirs, on Anti-Earth the extended Van Meter family quietly but steadfastly opposed the rule of the Praetorian and then the Tyranny Syndicate. They used their positions of power to lobby for modest reforms in the system, raised funds for disaster relief and hospitals, and otherwise used worked for the public weal. Unknown to the Empire, nearly all the family were psychically gifted, many possessing the talents of clairsentience and telepathy., and surreptitiously used their powers to aid the resistance. The exception was Gerald Van Meter, a self-centered, resentful young man filled with self-loathing. Despite the love and encouragement of his parents, Gerald was bitter and angry about his relative lack of mental prowess, instead using his size and mass-manipulating powers to bully his peers, impress teenage girls, and consume inhuman quantities of drugs. His only true friend among the family was cousin Sinclair, whose cheerful, easygoing nature brought out Gerald's better qualities: when he discovered his cousin was also the pyrokinetic Fireball, a Courage Confederation hero, Gerald swore to honor Sinclair's secret.

                              He kept this vow for years, until he met Judith Jacobson, beautiful daughter of a wealthy banking family; he fall hard in love with Judith, coming to trust her with all the family secrets during a night of drinking and romance. The next morning when he awake, Judith was gone-and Sinclair's arrest at the hands of a secret police heavy weapons squad was being televised. Many of the Van Meters were taken into custody, some fled, a few fought and died. But the authorities underestimated Gerald's rage and strength, and the furious giant wreaked havoc on the local Empire army garrison and sent Black Bowman and Johnny Speed to the hospital when they came to stop him. He would still have quickly been imprisoned or killed at the Syndicate's hands if The Freerunner had not been alerted to the situation; seeing the powerhouse's value, the hacker supreme engineered numerous diversions and enlisted the other Freebooters to Van Meter's side.

                              As Battlement, he now serves as the Freebooters muscle, their answer for the Syndicate's heavy hitters like Deathbolt and Centuria. Unfortunately, his tendency to take out his frustrations on surrounding home and vehicles, coupled with his use of lethal force against Empire forces, has acted to terrify rather than inspire the downtrodden. The Freerunner realizes Battlement is a loose cannon, and gives him only the minimum information and leeway needed to be useful on missions, no more, no less.
                              Last edited by greycrusader; 28th September 2019, 07:46 PM.

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