Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Hero High (and other ideas)

  1. #1
    UN Basic Recipient
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    21

    Hero High (and other ideas)

    Most of my gaming group members have not played Mutants and Masterminds before, and I have not played it in several years. I have been re-reading and re-learning the rules and trying to figure out what I want to actually run.

    I am thinking about starting with Hero High, as it will start with a lower power level, smaller scope, and it gives a reason for characters to interact with each other and roleplay with a recurring cast.

    The impression that I get from looking over Hero High is that the heroes usually fight crime as an after school extra curricular activity. Granted, I only skimmed and jumped around so maybe I missed something.

    I suppose that only a percentage of the students could realiably do something against crime and/or be adventurers. The rest are lower power level and fewer power points. However, I do not recall seeing what teachers and staff at the school, such as the Claremont academy, think about characters having a teen super team. The impression that I got is that adults try to tell them to be safe or how to go about their heroic business.

    Thinking it over, I have some what if questions.

    What if super teams were like school sports teams? Granted, different powers and enhancements would rule the day in regular sports. But what about super sports? With the super powers it seems like the usual challenges of games or olymic events are not all that exciting for a super setting unless there are very strict guidelines.

    What if there was some sort of TV show like XCrawl by Goodman Games? I could see super teams, whether they be like a sports team of "pros" like in xCrawl or if different schools had their own teams and they compete by getting treasure. It could even be more fun if the teams start at different parts of the map and compete, but you would need an event designed for that sort of thing.

    Another idea is that while XCrawl is based on phyical dungeons, what if there were arenas and situations that would be like the Doom Room? The area could be so big that an Alternate Reality could be so good that people can use their powers and do heroic things as if it were real life. This way schools could have multiple teams that could compete for the "varsity" spot and compete with other schools and/or "pro" teams.

    The above would give more of an idea about training, and it could also be a good way for supers to make the "real" (adult) super hero teams when the character gets older, as well as a way to make money for the students, schools, and teams.

    Who needs UFC, WWF, and American Gladiator when you can have super teams compete on TV?

    Also, if characters want to fight crime after school, they still can, but they might want to have another identity for that, which is why they wear spandex, masks, and capes.

  2. #2
    OPA Belta SignalGK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Yorkshire. UK
    Posts
    593

    Re: Hero High (and other ideas)

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeleyOne View Post
    Most of my gaming group members have not played Mutants and Masterminds before, and I have not played it in several years. I have been re-reading and re-learning the rules and trying to figure out what I want to actually run.

    I am thinking about starting with Hero High, as it will start with a lower power level, smaller scope, and it gives a reason for characters to interact with each other and roleplay with a recurring cast.
    I expected this to attract more replies. I was hesitant to post because being British my experiences of 'High School' and especially attending a boarding school is likely very different from most Americans and colours my idea of teen heroes - so if you feel this is not appropriate just ignore..

    I run both an adult game and a Hero high campaign with relative newbies (never played M&M before i started GMing for them) and I found it easier to run an adult game initially - its easier for newbies to build a character they like with Lvl 10/150 points than a lower powered teen, its also easier to put together adventures and to bring the players together.

    My Claremont Academy game is more involved, even the school itself have become a character to roleplay never mind the other pupils and teachers. If you want an easier start up campaign, that would be my advice - go with an adult game initially and see how your players respond..

    You can see my campaign background and the players past adventures at Claremont Academy at www.claremontacademy.wordpress.com - it includes information on the school, who the most popular teachers are and a number of the pupils the players interact with. I accept most GM's wouldn't necessarily develop the background to the same depth but I do feel the more intimate the setting (such as a school) the more detail you need to have prepared.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeleyOne View Post
    The impression that I get from looking over Hero High is that the heroes usually fight crime as an after school extra curricular activity. Granted, I only skimmed and jumped around so maybe I missed something.
    If that's the case, ignore the school altogether and go for a Teen Titans / Young Justice type game with lvl 8 characters and leave the school and other pupils out of the mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeleyOne View Post
    I suppose that only a percentage of the students could realiably do something against crime and/or be adventurers. The rest are lower power level and fewer power points. However, I do not recall seeing what teachers and staff at the school, such as the Claremont academy, think about characters having a teen super team. The impression that I got is that adults try to tell them to be safe or how to go about their heroic business.
    In my campaign only about one in 20 of the pupils have powers and some like 'Bubbles' have extremely limited abilities (she can produce bubbles) but still play an important part as a outed pupil.. Again remember any closed environment will mean more NPC contact - as for adventures - depends on your background - in my game about half of the adventures happen in the school itself (but it is a boarding school so...)

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeleyOne View Post
    Thinking it over, I have some what if questions.

    What if super teams were like school sports teams? Granted, different powers and enhancements would rule the day in regular sports. But what about super sports? With the super powers it seems like the usual challenges of games or olymic events are not all that exciting for a super setting unless there are very strict guidelines.
    Done that, gets boring after a couple of sessions. Also if this is high school and not adults, would the school risk harming its pupils by say electrocution or..?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeleyOne View Post
    What if there was some sort of TV show like XCrawl by Goodman Games? I could see super teams, whether they be like a sports team of "pros" like in xCrawl or if different schools had their own teams and they compete by getting treasure. It could even be more fun if the teams start at different parts of the map and compete, but you would need an event designed for that sort of thing.

    Another idea is that while XCrawl is based on phyical dungeons, what if there were arenas and situations that would be like the Doom Room? The area could be so big that an Alternate Reality could be so good that people can use their powers and do heroic things as if it were real life. This way schools could have multiple teams that could compete for the "varsity" spot and compete with other schools and/or "pro" teams.

    The above would give more of an idea about training, and it could also be a good way for supers to make the "real" (adult) super hero teams when the character gets older, as well as a way to make money for the students, schools, and teams.

    Who needs UFC, WWF, and American Gladiator when you can have super teams compete on TV?

    Also, if characters want to fight crime after school, they still can, but they might want to have another identity for that, which is why they wear spandex, masks, and capes.
    I think most Hero High games will have some form of training rooms - I'd recommend reading a series called Super Powereds which follows a group of college-age supers learning how to be a superhero - see http://www.drewhayesnovels.com/superpowereds/ you can even read the stories for free on the site. They match the players up against other students and might give you some ideas.

    Year 4 has a inter-college competition but is only seen by staff and existing superheroes - Yes you could televise but if the youth with fire powers is known as Joe bloggs at such and such a college then its not a massive leap to figuring out who the new, young hero is who displays the same powers after school surely.

    I can't really see most High Schools risking their pupils in a serious and dangerous combat situation for TV (and yes sports accidents happen; I personally broke a nose during a rugby match) but I expect they would be sued if instead of a poor tackle the players were facing life-threatening injuries - especially if it was for TV ratings.

    Good luck whatever route you head down.
    Last edited by SignalGK; 11-08-2018 at 08:34 AM.

  3. #3
    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    6,515

    Re: Hero High (and other ideas)

    As a caveat, the Superpowered stories are not currently freely accessible due to Amazon licensing issues (basically, when Amazon is spending money on your behalf to promote your series, they frown on you also giving it away).

    As regards Hero High types of settings, my assumption was that the heroes are generally going to regular classes, with Physical Education credits generally being served by powers / team training, much the same as how most US schools allow the sports teams (Basketball, Football, etc) as well as ROTC to take their gym credits in focused "courses". The question of getting called out in the middle of the day is a more tricky one in my opinion, because it seems inevitable that students will have a fair number of classes disrupted, although the other way of looking at it is that they'd probably only get called out for more severe situations, which are rarer, and are probably expected to be doing more patrolling / being seen while the Freedom League actually fights Omega. The other thing which is interesting to explore is the effect it might have on their sleep schedule, particularly if some of them are also doing freelance vigilante work.

    In a slightly different setting, I would recommend taking a look at Worm and how their official teen superhero team, the Wards, is organized (necessary notice, Worm is a fairly dark take on superheroes in a world where powers come from trauma, which means villains generally outnumber the heroes and even the heroes are a bit maladjsuted, and where there are a number of imminent world-ending threats). Because secret identities are a big thing, with the "unwritten rules", all of the Wards are given cover identities at their schools with allowances for "club activities" when they have to be deployed in the middle of the day, and things like body doubles to help muddy the waters. Nevertheless, you can get some parallels with how they handle work-life balance, interruption of the school day, and work outside of that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildbow
    How it works with the Wards is that most have the benefit of a ‘co-op’ program. Only a half day of classes, while they (supposedly) work for a given business or branch of government during the other half of the day, getting real life experience. At a given team member’s discretion, mom and dad may be in the know or not, as far as what they’re really doing.

    All that said, remember, this is government. Making things more difficult than they have to be and covering one’s own ass is going to be a recurring theme. Individual tutoring for kids that could be running/flying off on patrol every few minutes is not only hard, but it’s an easy target for any politician that wants to come across as being out for welfare of the kids. So if a ‘concerned’ poliitican(sic) or member of the media points to these kids and asks why they aren’t in school, the people running the program (like Piggot) can say they are, without perjury or prevarication. Giving them the structure of at least a half day at school just makes things a lot easier to manage and defend.

  4. #4
    UN Basic Recipient
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    21

    Re: Hero High (and other ideas)

    Thanks for the comments and links. They are all helpful. I will check out the Superpowered and Worm. I am thinking that I will go ahead and go on the suggestion of using the default 10 PL and 150 PP for characters, with the assumption of being adults because being a kid, while it can be fun, probably will not be good for a starting campaign. They can still choose to play kids if they want to. It will help people to make the character they want and be able to more readily use pre-made archetypes, characters, and suggestions. We can always go to a lower powered campaign later on.

    The reference to getting powers from traumatic events reminds me of the Paragons setting. The virus that unlocked powers in the Wild Cards setting would also classify as a traumatic event.

    I do like the ideas of characters working for the government, as it gives an easy mission-based structure for the campaign. Also, once supers emerged the governments would want to employ or otherwise own them. Some people have wondered about the setting for the Incredibles movies if perhaps the government had experimented on the supers. They could do that and wipe their memories.

    Now my mind is starting to think more towards running a setting where being super is more of a secret, kind of like the supernatural in the World of Darkness or in Harry Potter. I am thinking that while it may have been going on for a while (maybe "always" as far as recorded history is concerned) but it is just now becoming a known thing to the world. While I hated how in some of the super hero movies, especially DC (the Green Lantern comes to mind) people act like that was the first time that they ever heard about super powers being real, I am thinking that I just might do that.

    Now, once the world is now aware of supers I can see them starting to become integrated into the conciousness of society. Having the arena and "dungeon" games as I mentioned in my original post could be an attempt to appease the masses with entertainment and the super contestants could be a sort of TV and Super-Sports celebrity.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •