Playbooks! [System]

So we each have to have a unique playbook. I had something in mind, but it occurs to me I have several somethings in mind and would be perfectly happy to go last in the selection if folk have ideas they want to pursue.
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Doyce T.
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Bill has shared sketch outs for something like seven of the Play Books so far, so you definitely won't be the only one with several somethings in mind. :-)
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So rather than worrying about power sets and stuff, I thought I'd refocus the discussion of playbooks a bit by doing a quick bullet list of "things your guy story sort of needs to be about" for each playbook. No character needs to match ALL the things listed for a playbook, but if you don't match at least one, it's going to be a weird playbook for your character. Beacon "Am I really a superhero like these others?" Really being gun-ho "into" being a superhero. Bull "Who made me what I am?" Dealing with (or using) anger. Really caring about a couple other people (the Love and the Rival), above and beyond 'regular' friends. Delinquent Being a disruptive rule-breaker. Speaking truth to authority figures and/or questioning the status quo of the world all. the. time. Doomed Having a super-dangerous nemesis. Knowing I'm going to die, in all likelihood, probably because of my powers, and pushing myself anyway. Janus Keeping my normal life separate from my heroic life, for whatever reason you have. You can't spell compartmentalize without "mental." Protecting the loved ones in my life from the dangers I attract (and feel guilty about). Legacy Living up to high expectations. Adhering to (or pushing back) on established rules. Being the face of an established... brand. Nova Writing Cosmic Checks your conscience has to pay. Big power you can't really control (yet? Hopefully yet...) Balancing infinite power against finite wisdom. (possibly) Caring a lot about what a couple people think (by advancing into Bull's Heart). Outsider Shining a light on aspects of the 'normal' world. The complexities of personal interaction. Having strong opinions (positive OR negative) about the world. Protege Becoming (or not becoming) like your Mentor. Training is a central element of your life. Spending time with your Mentor. Transformed Being strange and inhuman, and remembering when you weren't. What do you do with your new life? How do you react to how other's treat you now? Will you prove them wrong, or prove them right. -------------- The Reformed Trying to understand the point of heroes/heroics/heroism. Never being entirely trusted. Being connected to the villainous side of the world. The Newborn Learning about your creator, and dealing with their influence over you. Learning about the human condition/making sense of the world. The Innocent Optimism versus Cynicism (It's just 'realism', kid...) Contrasting the past to the present. Averting or ensuring some event (or events) in your personal future. The Star Living as a super in a world of Social Media and being online famous. Being especially aware of your fans/audience. The Joined Codependency is apparently a superpower?
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Some of the classic examples of the playbooks. Beacon Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) Artemis Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) Kid Flash (Young Justice) Kitty Pryde (Wolverine and the X-men) Bull Conner Kent/Superboy (Season One, Young Justice) X-23 Lagoon Boy Molly Hayes (Runaways) Delinquent Striker, Avengers Academy Arsenal, Young Justice Ant-man (Scott Lang) Doomed Blue Beetle (YJ, Season Two - any 'made a weapon' person who's going to focus on being hunted by their creators and turned back into a weapon) Raven Jean Grey Monster Girl (Invincible) Kid Flash? (Maybe) Some versions of Tony Stark, with the heart damage, or anyone where "the power is killing them" Janus Most iterations of Spider-man Kamala Khan Blue Beetle III Batgirl of Burnside (Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart) Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Legacy Kid Flash Robin (Tim Drake, YJ) (really almost any of the Bat-family, outside Batman himself) Any Green Lantern Nova (Ultimate Spider-man) Superboy (Season two, YJ) Aqualad Vic Alvarez/Power Man Nova Jean Grey Ms. Martian (Season Two, YJ) Scarlet Witch (MCU) Outsider Starfire (Teen Titans) Ms. Martian, Season One (YJ) Warlock (New Mutants) Protege Robin (Young Justice, Season One) Aqualad Terry McGinnis (Batman Beyond) Wonder Girl (Young Justice) White Tiger (Ultimate Spider-man) Transformed Cyborg Mettle (Avengers Academy) Beast (X-men) Nightcrawler The Reformed Artemis Plastic Man Zuko (AtLA) Superior Spider-man The Newborn Aya (Green Lantern Animated Series) If Amazo (from JL:U) was a teen, somehow? The Innocent Pretty much the plot of All-new X-men The Star Striker (Avengers Academy) Dazzler, if you wrote her today. Booster Gold The Joined I don't know, and I don't know if I want to know.
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Okay, before I've read any of that, I have a character in mind for which I've figured out a Legacy, a Doomed, a Nova, and a Star variation (and could probably do a Beacon from it, too). So I'm good. :-)
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*** Dave H. said: Okay, before I've read any of that, I have a character in mind for which I've figured out a Legacy, a Doomed, a Nova, and a Star variation (and could probably do a Beacon from it, too). So I'm good. :-) Yes. :)
Additional Examples The Newborn: Pretty much any android character ever. Teen Data.  The Delinquent:  Kid Loki. Teen Loki. Legacy: X-23 (another take on her) Transformed: Nightcrawler Doomed: Kid Flash (1978 or 2017: heart condition edition We actually chatted through these tonight -- you hit on a lot of the ones we added to the rules examples.
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Doyce T.
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Ooh yeah. Nightcrawler as Transformed is good.
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Opines Margie (since she and Katherine can't get into the Roll20 game yet) Concept that works with 1 Outside 2 Doomed 3 Transformed 4 Nova (in that order of fittingness)
Opines Katherine , a concept that works with (in order of fittingness): 1. Legacy 2. Janus
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Doyce T.
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They just need to click on that link I sent to the google+ thread, I think. Or you can forward it to them. I think Bill had a Legacy, a high-tech Bull... tons of stuff, really.
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The fact I forgot to include the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl as a Janus fills me with shame.
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Huh. I wouldn't say her secret identity is that important to her -- she seems more of a Beacon.
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Doyce T.
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I love that everyone's sort of come up with concepts that can be expressed via multiple playbooks, depending on the angle you approach them. That will be super helpful. I want to give Bill first dibs on a playbook, if he wants it, as he got a pile of concepts to me already, but I feel pretty confident we can play musical-playbooks until everyone has a comfy seat.
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*** Dave H. said: Huh. I wouldn't say her secret identity is that important to her -- she seems more of a Beacon. In the USG series, she's doing the whole secret identity thing, and that plus Janus actually have rodent control seemed to work. With that said, her attitude is also totally Beaconish, so yeah that totally works as well.
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Here's a rundown of what I'm happy with, by playbook. I don't have any preference or ordering here - if I wasn't happy with an idea, I wouldn't bring it up. :) Bull : Link, hot-blooded power armor pilot who builds AI robot friends. Delinquent : Nightblade, light-manipulating ninja type dedicated to truth. Janus : Horus, an animal-controlling scion of a wealthy magnate who acts from noblesse oblige Legacy : Armiger, a Knight of the Round Table who carries an echo of Excalibur Outsider : Zero, a digital lifeform ambassador from cyberspace Protege : Titanium, a gadgeteer girl in power armor learning the ropes from an AI soldier robot Transformed : Rebuild, a crippled genius turned DIY cyborg Reformed : Exodus, a happy-go-lucky not-so-ex-supervillain Innocent : Retrorocket, one of several "mass-produced" WW2-era troops Star : GIG, an alien bard traveling from system to system learning about planets and putting on rock concerts If anyone thinks there's strong RP potential with any of these, speak up and I'll take that into consideration. Armiger, Link, Nightblade, Titanium, and Rebuild have completed sheets. I can do up the others pretty fast.
If Bill wants to do a Legacy I can definitely do a Janus.  I have no problem either way and I have an idea for both.  Also as I was looking at the playbook for outsider I was reminded of Dabbler from Grrl Power.
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Katherine H. said: If Bill wants to do a Legacy I can definitely do a Janus.  I have no problem either way and I have an idea for both.  Also as I was looking at the playbook for outsider I was reminded of Dabbler from Grrl Power. If you have a strong Legacy concept, do that then :)  I have plenty of other stuff, as you can see.
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Dabbler might be a little much for a Masks game (actually her powers are probably fine). :) Halo/Sydney's would be... challenging? maybe? but her character's personality would be awesome fun - a great Outsider, in that she's an outsider from supers-society and totally nerd-girling about that world all the time. In fact... the general character concept of 'total nerd-expert on supers history/tropes, who never considered they might actually BECOME one' is a fun idea for Beacon, Janus, Outsider, Legacy (going the Green Lantern approach), Protege... and somewhat more tragically, the Transformed.  That's pretty cool.
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The Thing as Transformed is so obvious I kind of forgot it.
All my concepts are the same guy: Jason Quill , son of the world-famous science adventurer Dr. Byron Quill. Protected / served by the nanobot swarm that Byron Quill crafted to take care of him when Byron sent him off to high school in Halcyon City, Jason has to figure out if he's smart enough, or dedicated enough, to be the sort of hero his dad wanted him to be ... Doomed (preference): Byron (and his arch-nemesis Dr Chin) both vanished into a dimensional vortex two years ago. Dr Chin's teen daughter is out for vengeance. And it turns out that mentally controlling that increasingly powerful nanobot swarm is slowly loosening Jason's psyche from his body, and, without his dad around, he can't control it for long ... Legacy : Byron's still around, still pushing Jason to become a polymath scientist and adventurer into the unknown. But, y'know, Jason actually really enjoyed those English lit class last year ... and he'd kind of like a chance to date someone who's not an enemy agent or disguised lizard woman .... Nova : That nanobot swarm is getting more and more powerful ... Star : Maybe Jason wants to cash in on his fame, as inspired by the residuals and fan letters he still gets from that Hanna-Barbera cartoon that was made of his childhood ... Beacon : Yeah, Jason's just as enthusiastic about all this heroic adventure stuff as when he was 10. My preference is in the order above. (To flesh things out slightly, Margie has a [time traveler from the past / spiritual projection from the past / ghost]? character idea which led to the Outsider, but also Doomed, or maybe Transformed or Nova, but it might need some GM collaboration to pin down.)
Doyce T. said: The Thing as Transformed is so obvious I kind of forgot it. So, apparently, has Marvel (cough).
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*** Dave H. said: Doomed (preference) (To flesh things out slightly, Margie has a [time traveler from the past / spiritual projection from the past / ghost]? character idea which led to the Outsider, but also Doomed, or maybe Transformed or Nova, but it might need some GM collaboration to pin down.) I'm down with Doomed. Maybe Margie's concept would work with the Innocent? (It's from the bonus backer material, so if you don't have it, let me know and I'll send it over.) They are literally a 'time traveler from the past.' I'll also note that the "Your Future Self" section has some strong parallels to Doomed.
I wasn't thinking of doing anything based off of Grrl Power, I just was reading the playbook and thought it was amusing how well Dabbler fit into The Outsider.
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Katherine H. said: I wasn't thinking of doing anything based off of Grrl Power, I just was reading the playbook and thought it was amusing how well Dabbler fit into The Outsider. I figured. :)  I just went off on a Halo/Sydney riff because she makes me laugh. :)
Doyce T. said: Maybe Margie's concept would work with the Innocent? (It's from the bonus backer material, so if you don't have it, let me know and I'll send it over.) They are literally a 'time traveler from the past.' I'll also note that the "Your Future Self" section has some strong parallels to Doomed. She was thinking of something further back, without necessarily a future self, but I'll let you chat with her to make something work. :-)
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A handful of additional moves to choose from, for the core playbooks: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xiuMo8PN6F0wH7vL53mDoZ7P8PDIVBU0_Thpw-OErZE/edit?usp=sharing
So to give me something to do when I'm not sorting closets to help my mom move in a month, I've started looking at older posts in the Forum. It's hard to believe we've only been doing this Masks campaign for under 5 months! Reviewing this one, I'm amused by (a) Bill having come up with such a panoply of characters, different ones for each playbook (while I worked to come up with multiple playbooks for a single character), (b) early looks at character ideas and how they developed from there.
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*** Dave H. said: Reviewing this one, I'm amused by (a) Bill having come up with such a panoply of characters, different ones for each playbook (while I worked to come up with multiple playbooks for a single character), (b) early looks at character ideas and how they developed from there. A bunch of those characters already existed, to be fair. Link, Nightblade, Exodus, and GIG have all made appearances as PCs or NPCs in other games. Horus is a character from some fiction I'm working on. The only Masks-original ones are Armiger, Zero, Titanium, Rebuild, and Retrorocket, and each of those started from twisting the playbook away from its obvious trajectory and seeing where that took me. I feel like Mike is the one who took his PC furthest away from its starting point, and it's been awesome to watch that evolution and see what he's done with it. There's some Blue Beetle/Green Lantern still in the DNA, but Adam is really his own thing now. I'm also glad that Jason has a bunch of alternate playbooks - I'm really rooting for him to reach that "change playbooks" advance before his time runs out, then see where you take him.
Bill G. said: . I'm also glad that Jason has a bunch of alternate playbooks - I'm really rooting for him to reach that "change playbooks" advance before his time runs out, then see where you take him. I actually have some ideas about that.... 😉
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Bill G. said: I feel like Mike is the one who took his PC furthest away from its starting point, and it's been awesome to watch that evolution and see what he's done with it. There's some Blue Beetle/Green Lantern still in the DNA, but Adam is really his own thing now. I attribute this more to me just having like a dozen different points of inspiration (there's some Blue Beetle and some Green Lantern sure, but there's also some Stargate, some Exalted, and many others) and not cleaving too closely to any one of them.  All characters are an alchemy of inspirational elements.  If you've only got one or two ingredients, they'll stand out well.  If you've got a dozen different ones seasoned to taste, it's a lot harder to pick out the individual elements.
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*** Dave H. said: I actually have some ideas about that....  Early on, it looked like a collaboration between Leo and Jason would be called for. Do you have something in mind that you can do independently, or is that still on?
There may be something where I call on Leo for assistance. It's more notional than anything else at the moment, and low priority to deal with until the current flock of flaming chainsaws is quenched in a liquid we quickly learn is napalm. :-)
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The talk of the Brain got me thinking about a new, custom playbook. I've started working on it, plus one more. The Visionary . "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams." You've felt the fire, you've seen the light. There is something old or something new - magic, AI tech, a hollow Earth - that waits to be unveiled. You can do it, if you can hold fast to the dream, if the world doesn't grind you down - and if you're right after all. Will you grow into your destiny, or grow out of it? The Tagalong . "I can be a hero too, if you would just listen to me!" You've got the potential to be a hero, you can feel it. There's just one problem, and that's you . Something about how you look, or your powers, or your friends, or your past, is a hangup for you and others. People don't take you entirely seriously, and keep trying to tell you to change. Will you prove yourself to them? Do they have a point after all? I'm not planning on playing a Tagalong in this game, but I have a fiction project where it fits very well, and it seems like a useful exercise to build.
Bill G. said: The Tagalong . "I can be a hero too, if you would just listen to me!" You've got the potential to be a hero, you can feel it. There's just one problem, and that's you . Something about how you look, or your powers, or your friends, or your past, is a hangup for you and others. People don't take you entirely seriously, and keep trying to tell you to change. Will you prove yourself to them? Do they have a point after all?