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Ilium 2018

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  • Ilium 2018

    I'm getting ready to start a new superhero RPG and I am using Mutants & Masterminds this go-around. I'm considering it a loose sequel to the campaigns I ran in Champions, using the same fictional home city. The home-city is Ilium, which I understand is an alternate name for the ancient Greek city of Troy, but I borrowed it from Kurt Vonnegut, who used it in several of his books.

    In my game-world, an as-yet undetermined (by me) mad scientist disaster caused a cascading, critical failure of the ozone layer. Being in a superheroic setting, though, this shocking global disaster was averted through superhuman powers and ingenuity. The solution came primarily in two strokes:

    1) The first was a treaty signed by the nations of the world ceding one of the Poles (I haven't yet decided North or South, but I am leaning North) as a new nation-state, ruled over by a former super-villain eco-terrorist, Winterhand. In exchange for this, Winterhand used his powers to maintain the integrity of the polar ice caps, largely averting much of the world-wide flooding that would have taken place. He continues to maintain the ice caps and, with the acquisition of his new, sovereign nation, he has seemingly ceased the attacks he was once known for. He has attracted a small population of people from across the world and other strange beings who live as his new citizens in the capital city that protects them from the temperatures that define their adopted homeland. Winterhand has established diplomatic relations with all prominent nations of the world and maintains embassies in many cities all over the world, including one in Ilium.

    2) The second saving grace came from a hastily-convened group of super-scientists who developed a nanotech solution to the imminent failure of the ozone layer. Their specially-produced nano-gasses were capable of repairing the ozone layer, but only with regular, sustained application. An Olympian feat of global logistics developed a fleet of space stations and zeppelins that work tirelessly to continue the repairs and maintenance of the world's precious atmosphere, administering the nano-gasses in carefully calculated amounts and locations. This fleet, managed through treaty by a multinational organization, is expected to be needed for many decades to come. It may take another century for their work to put the globe back into a position of self-maintenance. Although the game world starts with the atmosphere in a state of relative equilibrium, not unlike our current state, it is far from perfect and it is very fragile, maintained only through massive, cooperative effort.

    From that broadly global perspective, I wanted my first missions to be the opposite - very local. I have the story beats for my first one pretty much mapped out and now I am working on making the stats for important characters and the mechanics for a few specific challenges. It involves a shady con man, the brilliant chemist he employs, a street gang who use arson as their signature move, an attempted cover-up, and the accidental creation of a monster that will threaten the city. Along the way the heroes will also meet a local news astrologer and a friendly bigfoot police officer. I am ripping off not only DC Comic's obscure new character, Sasquatch Detective, but also a fun little co-op mission from the long defunct City of Heroes game, re-imagined for pencil and paper RP.

    I am playing around with a couple ideas for my next adventure already, which might involve a geriatric silver screen actress, offering chances to her elderly fans to live in an artificial cinematic reality of one of her most iconic films, where they get an opportunity to romance her in the prime of her beauty. The fans become trapped in copies of the film. This is at least the story idea-seed from which I am starting. I have a lot of gaps still to fill in - how did the actress gain these powers? Does she have nefarious purpose behind her actions or does she see herself as the benevolent distributor of an artificial heaven? Are there outside forces at work? What is the adventure for the players? How will this setting turn into conflicts and challenges for them to overcome?


    Anyway, there are the ideas with which I am currently working. Thanks for giving me this space to share. I can't bring it up to most of my friends, because they'll be encountering all of this as players once I get launched.

  • #2
    Re: Ilium 2018

    Originally posted by Hatut Zeraze View Post
    I'm getting ready to start a new superhero RPG and I am using Mutants & Masterminds this go-around. I'm considering it a loose sequel to the campaigns I ran in Champions, using the same fictional home city. The home-city is Ilium, which I understand is an alternate name for the ancient Greek city of Troy, but I borrowed it from Kurt Vonnegut, who used it in several of his books.

    In my game-world, an as-yet undetermined (by me) mad scientist disaster caused a cascading, critical failure of the ozone layer. Being in a superheroic setting, though, this shocking global disaster was averted through superhuman powers and ingenuity. The solution came primarily in two strokes:

    1) The first was a treaty signed by the nations of the world ceding one of the Poles (I haven't yet decided North or South, but I am leaning North) as a new nation-state, ruled over by a former super-villain eco-terrorist, Winterhand. In exchange for this, Winterhand used his powers to maintain the integrity of the polar ice caps, largely averting much of the world-wide flooding that would have taken place. He continues to maintain the ice caps and, with the acquisition of his new, sovereign nation, he has seemingly ceased the attacks he was once known for. He has attracted a small population of people from across the world and other strange beings who live as his new citizens in the capital city that protects them from the temperatures that define their adopted homeland. Winterhand has established diplomatic relations with all prominent nations of the world and maintains embassies in many cities all over the world, including one in Ilium.

    2) The second saving grace came from a hastily-convened group of super-scientists who developed a nanotech solution to the imminent failure of the ozone layer. Their specially-produced nano-gasses were capable of repairing the ozone layer, but only with regular, sustained application. An Olympian feat of global logistics developed a fleet of space stations and zeppelins that work tirelessly to continue the repairs and maintenance of the world's precious atmosphere, administering the nano-gasses in carefully calculated amounts and locations. This fleet, managed through treaty by a multinational organization, is expected to be needed for many decades to come. It may take another century for their work to put the globe back into a position of self-maintenance. Although the game world starts with the atmosphere in a state of relative equilibrium, not unlike our current state, it is far from perfect and it is very fragile, maintained only through massive, cooperative effort.

    From that broadly global perspective, I wanted my first missions to be the opposite - very local. I have the story beats for my first one pretty much mapped out and now I am working on making the stats for important characters and the mechanics for a few specific challenges. It involves a shady con man, the brilliant chemist he employs, a street gang who use arson as their signature move, an attempted cover-up, and the accidental creation of a monster that will threaten the city. Along the way the heroes will also meet a local news astrologer and a friendly bigfoot police officer. I am ripping off not only DC Comic's obscure new character, Sasquatch Detective, but also a fun little co-op mission from the long defunct City of Heroes game, re-imagined for pencil and paper RP.

    I am playing around with a couple ideas for my next adventure already, which might involve a geriatric silver screen actress, offering chances to her elderly fans to live in an artificial cinematic reality of one of her most iconic films, where they get an opportunity to romance her in the prime of her beauty. The fans become trapped in copies of the film. This is at least the story idea-seed from which I am starting. I have a lot of gaps still to fill in - how did the actress gain these powers? Does she have nefarious purpose behind her actions or does she see herself as the benevolent distributor of an artificial heaven? Are there outside forces at work? What is the adventure for the players? How will this setting turn into conflicts and challenges for them to overcome?


    Anyway, there are the ideas with which I am currently working. Thanks for giving me this space to share. I can't bring it up to most of my friends, because they'll be encountering all of this as players once I get launched.
    I don't have much detailed to say at the moment, but thanks for posting! I love your initial concept, and I hope to hear more about it!

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