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Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED!

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  • Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED!

    So, I've been trying to come up with a game for my players, several of whom are in a D&D game right now. As such, I wanted to do something non-Fantasy to be different and engaging. And life decided to inspire me. First, I got my copy of Spycraft 2nd Edition in the mail. Then I read Some Wonderful Kind of Noise's review of Big Trouble in Little China. Then I WATCHED Big Trouble in Little China again. Then I started reading my old Feng Shui books. And now here I am.

    Into the Shadows can basically be described as a mix of everything above. I want it to be an urban fantasy, but something more like Feng Shui or Big Trouble in Little China, rather than, say, the World of Darkness. There's magic in the world and there are people that can use it, but they mostly stay hidden in the shadows. There are supernatural creatures out there, and most of them want to eat you. There are martial artists out there that can tap into their chi and do things that would bankrupt a movie's special effects budget. But there's also Spycraft/G.I.Joe style super organizations, terrorist groups, secret wars being fought by folks with advanced technology, phenomenal resources and incredible skill. The shadows of this world are densely populated with powerful organizations fighting for dominance, and it's up for the heroes to take part in it.

    I don't have a concrete setting in mind, at least as far as definite organizations, NPCs and the like. So what I'd like to do is sort of list the major inspirations for this game, and pick the brains of you nice folks for ideas regarding organizations, adventures, supernatural types, etc.

    Feng Shui: One of the closest things thematically to what I want to do, Feng Shui easily allows for all of the various character types I'd want to allow in the game, from martial artists to cops to spies to sorcerers to masked crime fighters. I don't think I'd want to use Feng Shui's setting exactly, I'd want to avoid time travel and the notion of the Feng Shui sites controlling everything, but in terms of the overall tone and character selection, Feng Shui is pretty close.

    Spycraft: While Feng Shui covers most of the supernatural elements, Spycraft is pretty close in terms of the kind of super spies and lawmen I'd want as options for this game. Everything from the big secret government agencies fighting against other secret groups, James Bond like supervillains and gadgets, Metal Gear Solid style super soldiers, the whole bit is awesome.

    Big Trouble in Little China: What I started watching that really cemented this notion in my head, BTiLC is a nice example of the supernatural and martial arts side of what I want. Crazy undead sorcerers, mystical martial arts demi-gods, powerful demons, heroic wizards, high flying kung fu, it's all fantastic and something I'd want to emulate.

    Street Fighter/Fatal Fury: To further expand on the modern supernatural martial artist genre, I popped in my copy of the Street Fighter II animated movie, and while the story is kind of a mess, the fights are gorgeously animated and amazingly choreographed. Street Fighter isn't bad as an inspirational source, what with this evil mega-organization being opposed by martial artists, the military, mystics, lawmen and ninja. Likewise, re-watching some of the Fatal Fury anime was good fun, nice action sequences, and cool things like a martial arts using crime boss, a German noble with ridiculous power, and a fetch quest to stop someone from using artifacts to become a god. It's all very fun.

    Resident Evil/[PROTOTYPE]: Thinking on the Street Fighter stuff reminded me of the Resident Evil series, and a group like Umbrella would be perfect bad guys for the kind of game I'd want to run. Likewise, the events of the [PROTOTYPE] games is pretty good as well, all of these viral mutations running wild and causing havoc, etc.

    Cthulhupunk: I watched Spoony's Cthulhupunk review, and the notion of combining Lovecraft with cyberpunk stuff is immensely appealing. I could easily see doing that in the modern era, with groups like the Umbrella Corporation performing experiments on Shogoths and what not to create some truly f***ed up stuff.

    Gargoyles: Possibly my favorite animated series ever, it did a wonderful job of mixing strong characterization and continuity with fun action, supernatural creatures and high technology. I could definitely see the world resembling this to a degree.

    Atomic Robo: An organization dedicated to battling the weird and unknowable? Gold. The kind of crazy tech and strange scenarios Robo's crew could find themselves in is definitely something I would want to emulate.

    G.I.Joe: More specifically the Larry Hama comics and the Warren Ellis 'Resolute' miniseries. Super agents with individual weapon and skill specialties, evil super terrorist organization, sci-fi technology, ninjas, etc. Hell, I'm someone who even likes the idea of 'Cobra-La' from the animated movie. A secret society of evil reptile men who use Lovecraftian biotech to try and take over the world? Soundz like gold to me. Vastly prefer me some G.I.Joe to Metal Gear.

    Spriggan: Also called 'Striker' in the manga release, Spriggan is pretty close to the overall feel of what I'm going for, having a world where the supernatural exists, but also where a highly trained individual with the right gear can hold his own, while genetic experiments can give folks psychic powers, power suits can increase your speed and strength, martial arts give you chi powers, necromancers can speak with the dead, lost civilizations left incredible super-tech everywhere, etc.

    Dresden Files: The Dresden Files is one of my favorite settings, and while certain aspects of the setting don't reflect what I'm going for, the notion of supernatural assassins, human criminals that are in the know, and the style of magic is all very appropriate for this kind of setting.

    Hellboy: Basically everything I love about Atomic Robo, only with a supernatural/pulp flavor as opposed to an overt sci-fi one.

    Metal Gear Solid: While I'm not a fan of the MG series in general, the types of super soldiers they come up with is very inspired and something I'd like to emulate. The whole concept of Next Generation Soldiers fits well into what I'm going for.

    The Batman/Watchmen: I plan to have superheroes in this setting, though I'm a bit torn at the moment. On the one hand, I like the idea of it being a world where there are no true superpowers, and the masked guys are just extremely athletic humans who have gadgets, martial arts abilities, cybernetics, advanced tech or magic to even the playing field.

    inFamous/Spectacular Spider-Man/Marvel Cinematic Universe: On the other hand, having relatively low powered heroes could be fun as well.

    Regardless, all of the above are major inspirations for what I'd like this game world to be like. Unlike my other threads, I'm actively looking for suggestions here. Any help, ideas or questions you can send my way to flesh it out and generate discussion, please feel free. It will all be very much appreciated.
    [U][B]Custom Settings[/B][/U]__________________________________
    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/236-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series?p=4519#post4519"]Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]
    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/139-The-Mean-Streets-of-Magic-and-Other-Extraordinary-Thinggs"]The Mean Streets of Magic and Other Extraordinary Things[/URL]
    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]Ares' Builds - [/URL][URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]The Marvel Family and Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]

  • #2
    Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

    What follows is a kind of a rough outline of the idea I’ve got for the setting that doubles as kind of a checklist for what I need to focus on. All I’ve got is some rough sketches, but I’m hoping you guys can help me refine it further. Whether it’s elaborating on a point or suggesting a point I didn’t even think of, all suggestions are welcome.

    So, without further ado:

    Martial Arts: The martial arts of this setting are inspired primarily by wuxia wire-fu martial arts films, media based off of various fighting games, and Chinese martial arts comics, like the old Jademan books. By themselves, martial arts are an effective way to defend one’s self against certain degrees of danger. When combined with chi theory and self-control disciplines, they turn an individual into a superhuman fighting machine, capable of incredible feats.

    Things that need fleshing out include:

    Several Major Hero Martial Artists: The player characters aren’t going to be the only heroic martial artists in the world. I need to develop a Street Fighter/Fatal Fury style cast of guys from all walks of life to fill up the world. These have the potential to be mentors, teachers, rivals, friends, lovers, etc.
    Secret / Lost Martial Arts Schools: There have always been secret martial arts schools in fiction, whether they’re hidden away from the world to recruit only worthy students, or have been lost for centuries for one reason or another. The teachings in such schools would be potent in the right hands and devastating in the wrong ones.
    The Akuma / Lady Shiva: The boogeyman of martial artists. That one everyone wants to beat but almost no one wants to fight. The person who might be the best in the world, but who along the way became a monster. The one who seeking a challenge, and whether you live or die will depend on how well you fight, and possibly on their mood at the time.
    The Geese / Kingpin: The powerful crimeboss with vast power and connections, but who is also a devastating fighter. Getting to them is only half the challenge, defeating them one-on-one might be even moreso. Usually has his own squad of mini-boss fighters with their own unique abilities on his payroll. The mini-bosses themselves might be in charge of their own gang that follow a similar theme as themselves, in a style not unlike ‘The Warriors’ or ‘Bunraku’.
    The Krauser: Sort of a combination of the previous two badguys, this guy is the cultured badass, the one who comes from a powerful noble family and whose machinations are often a result of boredom more than anything. He wants to be entertained, and whether it’s enacting some Bond Villain-esque scheme or beating the tar out of the bester fighters around, he’s going to get that entertainment.
    The M. Bison: The guy who wants to, you guessed it, take over the world. He’s got his own super terrorist organization, but like the Geese/Kingpin archetype, this guy is also a dangerous fighter that can more than hold his own against the heroes. AND he’s also got his own squad of super soldiers/fighters to take care of problems for him.
    The Evil Ninja Clan: Because there is always, always an Evil Ninja Clan.


    Lawmen: For as long as human civilization has had laws to try and bring some semblance of order and peace to the world, there have been those that insist on breaking said laws for personal gain, requiring organizations to exist to find said folks and bring them to justice. These days those organizations include everything from the normal city police to super-secret, and all of them have their work cut out for them, as the bad guys have only gotten more dangerous with time.

    Things that need fleshing out include:

    The SHIELD / G.I. Joe Group: That one big international group that is generally on the side of good, trying to keep the world safe. However, being such a high profile group that answers to several international bodies means that sometimes they run into red tape, though the leaders are often good about working around that. Furthermore, given their mission statement, they feel no problem roping the heroes into an adventure, whether they want to or not.
    Several Government Specific Groups: While the above group serves the interests of the world, each government on the planet has their own organization dedicated to superspy stuff, as well as promoting the country’s own agenda. Sometimes that means working with other groups to save the world. Sometimes it means fighting those same groups to ensure your own country comes out ahead. International politics at its most dangerous.
    The STARS / Super Cop Group: While the above groups are usually more international in scope, these are the specially trained cops that deal with more local problems. Like a squad composed of the best action cops of cinema, these guys are the ones who keep city crime from getting out of control.
    The Cobra / Hydra Terrorist Group: That one dangerous terrorist organization with the advanced supertech, limitless supply of mooks in a distinctive uniform, and a plan to take over the world. Because this group fits in almost anywhere and is just plain fun to beat up.
    Several Bond Villains: Bad guys that wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond film, having their own crazy technology, elaborate schemes, unique technology, etc. This can include everything from mad scientists to crafty businessmen in the vein of Lex Luthor and David Xanatos.
    The Deadliest Assassin In the World: Because we need someone to be the ‘Akuma/Lady Shiva’ to the police and reformed assassins of the party.
    Several Almost-as-Deadly Assassins: Because you can’t have just ONE really awesome assassins running about.
    Several Super Mercenary Groups: Groups of ‘next generation soldiers’. I want to come up with a different term that means the same thing (something with a fun acronym or can be shortened nicely, like UniSol), but teams of highly trained, dangerous mercenaries with their own unique abilities and skillsets for the PCs to face.
    The Classic Crime Boss: Because at the end of the day, you need the old school type of criminal mastermind.
    Several World Class Thieves: Because not all crime is violent. Sometimes you need to be able to stop the bad guys from just stealing stuff that doesn’t belong to them.


    Superheroes: Superheroes in this setting have existed since the Pulp Era, where masked mystery men fought crime and knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men. Over time they became more public figures, wearing more flashy costumes and such. How each city responds to a superhero usually depends on how they conduct themselves. Those that stick to the traditional heroes code of working with authorities, using lethal force only when absolutely necessary and the like are given plenty of leeway, possibly even deputized. The crazy gun-toting vigilantes that kill everyone they fight, not so much.

    Superheroes here tend to be

    Things that need fleshing out include:

    Powered vs Non-Powered: One thing I need to settle on is whether the heroes of this world are solely of the Watchmen / Batman / Hawkeye / Iron Fist variety (highly trained normal humans w/gadgets/weaponry/martial arts/magic) or if they have the potential for genuine ‘superpowers’ through mutation, really advanced tech, etc. If the latter, they’d be more like the heroes from Spectacular Spider-Man, inFamous or Gargoyles, where they do have some power, but even the most powerful ones are more like walking tanks as opposed to guys who can lift mountains.
    Several Major Heroes: The big league good guys of the setting. Everyone knows their names, and even if they aren’t all loved, they are all respected.
    The Major Hero Team: The #1 superhero group in the world. A rare collection of highly competent individuals, they strike fear into the heart of all evildoers, and even some governments worry about messing with them.
    Several Minor Hero Teams: Most major countries have a dozen or so minor superteams spread out throughout the territory, usually focused on protecting major cities. These can range from well respected hero teams to those that are considered little more than a joke.
    The Dr. Doom-esque Mega-Villain: That one villain that no one looks forward to facing. You might thwart his schemes, but you will almost never be the ones to bring him down. And most times, victory is going to have a cost.
    The Big Villain Team: The one well known supervillain group that is feared the world over for its level of competence. These bad guys play rough and play for keeps. Challenge them at your own peril.
    Several Smaller Villain Teamsn: Like the minor hero teams, these guys are spread across the world, and range from genuine threats to those that are considered little more than punching bags.
    Several Independent Villains: The fun themed bad guys with their own unique gimmicks, such as unique devices, death traps, weird plots, etc.


    Supernatural: The supernatural world is an old, sometimes wondrous, often scary place that has been with humanity since its earliest days. There have always been creatures that lived in the shadows, and forces that defy conventional understanding which could be harnessed with the proper training. Overtime humanity convinced itself that such forces were merely fantasies created by a less advanced people to explain the world around them. But the supernatural is real. It is here, now, in the shadows, where it has always been. And it cares very little whether the modern world believes in it or not.

    Things that need fleshing out include:

    The Magical: Magic in this setting is likely going to be based on some combo of the Dresden Files and the Witchcraft settings, where rules do exist, it is versatile and powerful, but not so powerful that a wizard can simply do as they please without consequence. Magic is a useful, versatile tool, but it takes training and dedication to master, and its use always has some cost, whether in simple effort/energy, or something more.
    The Divine: There is also going to be a divine factor to this game, again as a mix of Dresden Files and Witchcraft metaphysics. Essentially, the true nature of whatever ‘God’ or ‘Heavenly’ power might be is beyond most people. Any of the major faiths that are generally about a benevolent attitude towards others and about self improvement can be paths to a unique spiritual type of power, one that all seems to ultimately originate from the same source.
    Several Magical Organizations: Unlike the Dresden Files, I don’t see there being one major governing body of magic for this world. I see something more along the lines of Mage: The Ascension or Witchcraft where there are several major magical organizations that are defined by their culture/location, and possibly what type of magic they specialize in. These groups likewise have different types of relationships with each other, some being much more hostile or friendly due to their long histories. Generally speaking tho, these groups all work towards human understanding of the supernatural and the defense of mortals against evil supernatural forces.
    Several Monster Hunter Organizations: I’m planning on taking some inspiration from Hunter: The Vigil here, along with similar sources. There’ll be everything from Vatican controlled holy warriors to ‘blue collar’ monster hunters like those seen in Supernatural. Everything from normal humans fighting monsters with a combo of lore and their wits to guys whose gear/abilities makes one wonder how ‘human’ they truly are.
    The Arcam / BPRD Group: Possibly a sub-section of the SHIELD group, this is the big paranormal investigation team that deals with the supernatural, with whatever degree of violence is appropriate.
    The Monsters: A general need to outline what kind of monsters exist in this world. What kind of vampire mythology do I use? How do werewolves work? What are ghosts, exactly? Do the fae exist in this setting? What about mythological monsters?
    The Demons: Along with the monsters, I’m expecting a wide assortment of demonic individuals, and planning to work out how all of the various mythologies fit together.
    The Lovecraftian: Because who doesn’t like some Lovecraft in their supernatural/urban fantasy setting?
    Supernatural Big Bads: That collection of wonderful unnatural bad guys. The Draculas, the Lo Pans, the Black Council, the guys you know are out there and are probably this close to covering the world in eternal darkness.
    Several Cults: Because there are some scary groups filled with scary people that have devoted themselves to some REALLY scary stuff.
    [U][B]Custom Settings[/B][/U]__________________________________
    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/236-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series?p=4519#post4519"]Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]
    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/139-The-Mean-Streets-of-Magic-and-Other-Extraordinary-Thinggs"]The Mean Streets of Magic and Other Extraordinary Things[/URL]
    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]Ares' Builds - [/URL][URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]The Marvel Family and Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]

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    • #3
      Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

      Oh! I'd been following the version of this thread on RPG.net but I forgot my login so I couldn't reply there. This sounded like a fantastic, fun idea, and I'll try to come up with more ideas in the morning. However, I did come up with a possible term along the lines of "Next Generation Special Forces" for you to use. It's perhaps a little contrived, and I may be falling into my love and overuse of acronyms but...

      FIGHTERs
      Future Infantry Geared for Hostile Territory and Enhanced Recon

      Also, for a possible villain: Take the concept of Dr. No and his metal hands to the extreme--a villainous scientist who replaced first his fingers, then his hands, then his entire arms with robotic replacements. He's a master martial artist and they can be stuffed with various weapons as needed.

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      • #4
        Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

        So Feng Shui, but at a higher power level?

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        • #5
          Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

          Originally posted by Voltron64 View Post
          So Feng Shui, but at a higher power level?
          After a fashion. I like Feng Shui, but the casual time travel, the huge importance of Feng Shui sites and several other factors make it unappealing for this kind of game. And for the most part, I'd say the Magic and Martial Arts in the proposed setting is generally comparable to the Feng Shui book, just that the tech is a bit better and the 'creature powers' might ultimately allow for slightly higher superheroes, if I decide to go with full on powered heroes.
          [U][B]Custom Settings[/B][/U]__________________________________
          [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/236-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series?p=4519#post4519"]Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]
          [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/139-The-Mean-Streets-of-Magic-and-Other-Extraordinary-Thinggs"]The Mean Streets of Magic and Other Extraordinary Things[/URL]
          [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]Ares' Builds - [/URL][URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]The Marvel Family and Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]

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          • #6
            Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

            An idea to consider that you may have not considered (or perhaps you did consider but decided it didn't fit) is something akin to the plot of the Mortal Kombat series. Which is to say, parallel worlds populated by gods, demons, sorcerers, monsters etc that have occasional interactions with our world. This could be something that is unknown to the general population with the exception of the The SHIELD / G.I. Joe Group and/or the The Cobra / Hydra Terrorist Group. It would also be quite easy to shoehorn the "evil mega-corportation" (headed by a David Xanatos type because DAVID FLIPPIN' XANATOS!) that develops high-technology and plot complication McGuffins when necessary.
            Eppur si muove

            Current Characters
            Gauss - Twin Forks Defenders
            Starstorm - Established Heroes Shape the Multiverse
            Dragon Fist - Power Struggle

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            • #7
              Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

              Interestingly enough, someone in the RPG.net thread I started did suggest the Mortal Kombat series, but the more 'gritty and realistic' short teasers that were released a while back with Michael Jai White and such. While those shorts have some good ideas for the kind of super serial killers and uber-mercenaries, the Mortal Kombat games do have some good parallels to what I'm going for. Magic exists, other realms where demons and such exist as well, plenty of martial artists, cyborgs, the soldiers, ninjas, cops and what not, it does a great deal for a lot of the setting, though this would also include a bigger injection of sci-fi, superheroes and super spies. I'd also likely tone down the involvement of gods like Raiden and such.

              Still, I'd say that 'Mortal Kombat meets Gargoyles, G.I. Joe and The Batman' would be a fair quick comparison for what this game would be like.
              [U][B]Custom Settings[/B][/U]__________________________________
              [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/236-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series?p=4519#post4519"]Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]
              [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/139-The-Mean-Streets-of-Magic-and-Other-Extraordinary-Thinggs"]The Mean Streets of Magic and Other Extraordinary Things[/URL]
              [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]Ares' Builds - [/URL][URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]The Marvel Family and Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]

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              • #8
                Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

                Something I think might be helpful is to work from the ground up, instead of from the top down. Try and work out one or a handful of characters and determine a conflict for them to overcome and then build a world around that.

                Especially now that you have a framework to work with, you can hit on the specific points you know you want.
                Eppur si muove

                Current Characters
                Gauss - Twin Forks Defenders
                Starstorm - Established Heroes Shape the Multiverse
                Dragon Fist - Power Struggle

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                • #9
                  Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

                  Best of luck with developing this setting Ares!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

                    So I've put some more thought and work into this, and have decided on a few things. First up, I'm going to outline what I usually refer to as the 'paths to power', or the various ways player characters can get access to all of those snazzy skills and abilities the common person doesn't have.

                    Dedicated Training: The most common method of gaining any better than average skills comes simply from training really hard at it. As this emulates a lot of 'action movie' like settings, if the average person pushes themselves hard enough, trains long enough and with enough dedication, they can become very impressive on their own. The marksman who can mow down a room full of thugs with a single well placed shot each, the scientist who can devise amazing gadgets and gizmos, the tracker who can follow someone with unerring accuracy, the thief who can bypass the most well devised security, the detective that can expertly piece together a crime scene, all of them owe it to a combination of hard work and talent.


                    Technology: The technology of Into the Shadows is something across between the old Gargoyles and G.I. Joe animated series. While the average person on the street is largely unaffected, individuals and organizations do have access to tech that is significantly more advanced than the modern world. Advanced and powerful cybernetics exist, though low powered versions are available for the common citizen. Humanoid robots exist, though there aren't any artificial intelligences with true sentience. Power armor exists, though in most cases they are big and bulky, with only the most advanced having 'Iron Man' like proportions. Laser and particle beam weapons exist. Bio-genetic mutation causing experiments are possible. And the most advanced, really dangerous types can come up with super weapons that would make any James Bond villain proud.


                    Magic: Magic exists in this setting, though like many similar settings most people do not believe in magic or the supernatural. This is partially due to magic and technology just not getting along so well. The reason is based off of the video game Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, which has a very elegant reason for the magic/science conflict. Basically, science and technology use physics to achieve their ends, while magic alters physics to achieve their ends. Neither is inherently more natural or unnatural than the other (magic is a naturally occurring source that allows this effect), but it does cause issues when trying to use the two in the same place. If viewed as a yin/yang, Science is essentially Order with enough Chaos to allow for the randomness of the universe, while Magic is Chaos with enough Order to be controlled and directed. As such, powerful magic will cause technology to break down around it, while powerful technology can make magic harder to use. And like the Dresden Files, magic does have its own non-physics based rules it must follow, and cannot simply perform miracles without the wizard in question knowing what and how the effect will be achieved.


                    Faith: However, miracles can occur in this setting. Again, like the Dresden Files, World of Darkness and Witchcraft settings, Faith is a very powerful force, and is ultimately the focus of the more spiritual side of the universe. Faith based abilities tend to be more defensive, healing oriented, and dealing with spirits, ghosts and similar phenomena. While a large number of people around the world do have faith, faith is like a muscle: to really use it, you have to build it up, and then know how to work it properly. Even a devout priest will be unable to simply used faith based powers if he hasn't had the proper training or a bit of divine revelation to make use of said faith. Still, in the right hands it's a very potent thing, and is not limited just to Christian/Catholic faiths. Represenatives of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shinto and similar faiths will likewise have their representatives with faith based powers.


                    Martial Arts: Martial arts in this setting allow for a great deal of potential power, beyond even what you tend to see in martial arts films. Through manipulation of chi, martial artists can achieve a power equal to what you see in video games and wire-fu martial arts flicks. Most martial artists choose to keep the really high end feats hidden from the world, lest they become subject to public scrutiny, or let their techniques be video taped and analyzed for either weaknesses or to be replicated. As such, kung fu fighters, ninja and other incredibly dangerous individuals go around with abilities that many would consider superhuman.


                    Super Powers: After much debate, I decided that this would indeed be a setting with superpowers in them, but more on the lower scale of things. Generally speaking, individuals here are equivalent to what you would find in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man, the Incredibles and the first inFAMOUS and [PROTOTYPE] games. Yes, you do rarely get individuals with Mr. Incredible or Movie Hulk-style strength, allowing them to lift several hundred tons. However, on average you're more likely to get people with Spider-Man or Gargoyle style strength, where lifting a few tons is a big deal. The average superhuman is equal to a platoon of soldiers or high end equipment, while the most powerful can take out a tank squadron, but no superhuman group would be completely immune to a large enough military force with the proper coordination and technology. Thus while superpowered beings are considered powerful, they often aren't considered world shaking individuals. As of now, there are two general ways to get superpowers:

                    Natural Superhuman: Superhumans are the naturally occurring superpowered individuals of the world. There are men and women who posses a dormant ability to manipulate matter and energy in some way, which can be released under the right circumstances. A large portion of the population are actually potential superhumans, but like with everything else, some have an easier time having their abilities activated than others. While their abilities can vary a great deal, all superhumans have a few things in common. First, they are all slightly healthier and more resilient to damage than a normal human, and they all heal at a faster rate. Second, all natural superhumans are actually energy manipulators, which accounts for their normal human looking appearances, but even if two superhumans channel the same type of energy, it can result in vastly different powers. If you had three superhumans that could all channel Kinetic energy, one might develop superspeed, another energy blasts, and another solid force fields. Likewise, those with superstrength tend to be gravity/density manipulators, which is why a large group of them can fly and bypass a lot of physics issues about their strength.

                    Induced Mutation: As mentioned in the Technology section, there exists a means to induce mutation into humans to create superpowers. However, unlike naturally occurring superhumans, mutations are decidedly unnatural, and often result in very visible mutations that result in their powers. Attempting to artificially mutate someone is likely to result more in the Hulk, or the various Mutates seen in Gargoyles (Talon, Wolf, etc.) than in Spider-Man, though the possibility of a 'hidden' or 'low key' mutation is possible, as is the chance for a mutation that can allow someone to shift from a normal to powered up form. Still, while mutations are 'technically' easier to cause, they generally don't result in beings as powerful as natural superhumans, the mutations can result in terrible physical and mental abnormalities, and other unpleasant side effects. Still doesn't stop people from trying to perfect a super soldier creation process tho.


                    Supernatural Influence: This is a catch all term for folks who have gained extra-normal abilities due to the influence of some supernatural or mystical force, yet are not traditional spell casting types. This includes folks who find magical artifacts, have magical abilities bestowed on them, have some kind of supernatural heritage, and many similar origin types. There are a few things that are off the table tho, as there are no 'good' vampires or werewolves, among other things. Still, the supernatural can be a gateway to power beyond traditional magical spellcasting, you just need to be careful you don't lose your sanity or soul in the process.
                    [U][B]Custom Settings[/B][/U]__________________________________
                    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/236-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series?p=4519#post4519"]Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]
                    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/139-The-Mean-Streets-of-Magic-and-Other-Extraordinary-Thinggs"]The Mean Streets of Magic and Other Extraordinary Things[/URL]
                    [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]Ares' Builds - [/URL][URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]The Marvel Family and Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]

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                    • #11
                      Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

                      Another idea I came up with is sort of the general type of 'thing' I'm going for with this setting, mixing and matching famous and semi-famous archetypes to create something kind of interesting.

                      For instance, I have a rough idea for the 'Dr. Doom' of my setting, that of 'potentially the most dangerous man alive with his own country and army', but wanted to do something different than your typical 'armored superscientist tyrant'. So I've opted to kind of do an amalgam of Dr. Doom and Wolfgang Krauser from the Fatal Fury series. The character would have a lot of the trappings of Doom, being this powerful, arrogant monarch with his own nation and followers who wants to take over the world, but in addition to Doom's honor he'd also have something of the charisma Krauser displays in the second Fatal Fury anime. Likewise, this character eschews any type of technological augmentation or spellcasting in favor of being potentially one of the three deadliest martial artists alive. He's someone who, if need be, could take on the Avengers-style team of this setting on his own and hold his own or defeat them because he's essentially an SNK boss. He's got borderline superhuman stats across the board, is a phenomenal fighter, and has access to powerful chi techniques. Worse still, the body armor he does wear is a family heirloom that has been passed down through the generations, and effectively functions as a chi battery for any member of the bloodline. It basically gives him a massive store of chi to use to power his techniques, boost his own abilities, heal himself or refresh his stamina, all without tapping into his own energies. He can hit you with his most powerful moves over and over again with pinpoint precision and never tire until you've exhausted his armor's chi.

                      Now, this character would be highly intelligent, have his own squad of specialists to serve him, and know enough about technology and magic to employ it if he needs to (albeit using rituals, as he has no innate spellcasting skills), but he desires to conquer the world through strategy and by having the best army in the world (which he does) rather through any spell or super weapons. He does extend a lot of effort to finding supernatural artifacts, having one of the greatest collection of them, and makes use of them in certain situations and for certain schemes. But when it comes to a personal fight, it's just him and his armor unless his opponent 'cheats' in some way. Otherwise he's happy to prove why he's going to be the future ruler of the world.
                      [U][B]Custom Settings[/B][/U]__________________________________
                      [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/236-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series?p=4519#post4519"]Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]
                      [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/139-The-Mean-Streets-of-Magic-and-Other-Extraordinary-Thinggs"]The Mean Streets of Magic and Other Extraordinary Things[/URL]
                      [URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]Ares' Builds - [/URL][URL="http://roninarmy.com/threads/1801-Ares-Builds-The-Marvel-Family-and-Megaverse-The-Animated-Series"]The Marvel Family and Megaverse: The Animated Series[/URL]

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                      • #12
                        Re: Into the Shadows - A modern world of superspies, martial arts and the supernatural. IDEAS NEEDED

                        Your setting sounds awesome. It's one that I could easily see myself playing in. How much more have you flushed out since you last posted?

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