There are two Americas.
In one, the New Deal never ended. The United States never formally entered World War 2, with an imbalanced superpowered split bringing an early end to the conflict and a corresponding rush to the Cold War. Nominally neutral, the United States was pushed forward by superhuman activists and the gift of the friendly atom. In 1953, metal capsules rained from the sky across the planet, bringing with them the Martian invaders with their marsforming generators and spindly tripods. America barely defeated the aliens, and the threat from outer space cemented the existing order, leaving the opposition forces to bide their time. Today, superhumans act as civil servants, guarding against Martian incursions and using their powers to complete great public works.
In the other America, the superhuman forces of World War 2 only worsened the conflict, leading to a drawn-out war that ended with cities across Japan and Europe reduced to irradiated rubble. As the hostilities ceased, the robber barons clawed back their lost power in the United States over the course of decades. This culminated in the 1981 purge of the striking air traffic controllers which heralded the end of labor protections and the final rolling back of social safety net legislation. Today, superhumans are freelancers, taking lucrative contracts from the ascendant megacorporations while the toiling masses are reduced largely to gig economy jobs to survive.
Now, someone or something has broken the barrier between these worlds and they are beginning to collide. First the edges of reality began to fray, tearing open holes in spacetime. Then things began to pass between the two Americas. For now, these rips are small, fleeting. They manifest quickly in isolated places and disappear without a trace. Currently, they are totally unknown to the public at large. But they are growing worse every day. Unless something is done, the two Americas will merge, with catastrophic consequences for both.
Who You Are
The player characters are sophomore students in Class 4 at Eugene V. Debs High School in Terre Haute, Indiana. Class 4 is the Superhuman Educational Track, the only one of its kind in the city. You quickly discover that something is not quite right, that invisible rifts are letting things through from a strange other version of your world. Because of your youth and inexperience your teachers and the authorities do not believe you, leading to your group deciding to investigate for yourselves and getting caught up in events much bigger than yourselves.
In both universes, Terre Haute is a metropolis for different reasons. In the world of the PCs, it was partially destroyed by the Martian attack in 1953 and then rebuilt by the Works Progress Administration, the first project undertaken after the invasion and thus the model for everything that would come after. In the other America, the city languished until the 1990s, when the mayor had the bright idea to drop corporate taxes to zero right on the eve of the tech revolution, making Terre Haute the epicenter of this boom, bust and second boom, transforming it from a minor city to a regional hotspot and de facto center of the real power behind the failing federal government.
What You’ll Be Doing
Investigate the big mystery and search for a solution, balance studies with your personal life, deal with the difficulties of being an unsanctioned super, battle supervillains, cross-dimensional threats, Martians and other assorted foes, explore your powers and what it means to have them.
The Tone, Expectations and Character Creation Guidelines
Generally lighter in nature. I’m not interested in telling dark or gritty stories in this campaign, and while those aspects exist in the world they will not be explored here. Violence and injury are a given, death can occur, depending on how things play out. But in general the villains are more interested in advancing their schemes than causing death, super-powered punches are just going to knock people out, and mature themes won’t be touched on.
One important thing to keep in mind is that in this setting, the player characters are not sanctioned to use their powers in any official capacity. They are unlicensed and therefore will have to keep their identity a secret unless they want to be arrested. The Principle of the Mask plays this up obviously, but it will be vital for all the characters to think about. Starting out they are not established yet, and we will play through their development into full-fledged vigilante supers, so don’t worry if you don’t have an alias or costume idea in mind, we can develop that early on. Also, these characters are generally not trained for combat starting out. They have basic training in controlling their powers, but no real combat preparation. Don’t let that stop you from taking stuff like Close Combat, that can easily be explained as karate lessons etc. Because of this, the scale will start small. Numbers don't really go up in Sentinels, so as the characters gain confidence and experience, the fictional stakes will rise accordingly.
Some Backgrounds are a little harder to work with for this pitch. Law Enforcement, Military, Criminal, Former Villain, Retired, etc. If you’re still interested in taking them, we can work something out. Being the child of a police officer or soldier, a delinquent punk or the former sidekick of a villain are all possibilities that work, it just depends on how you’d like to play it. All of the Power Sources will work fine, some are a little more out there than others. Aliens beyond just Martians do exist, but are far more mysterious and will probably be considered an oddity. Similarly, all the Archetypes and Personalities can be used with no adjustments.
Other than all that, don't feel like you need to come in with every detail about your character figured out. You can use broad strokes, and we will most likely develop some more in Session 0 and the rest in play.
The primary source I’m pulling from is “My Hero Academia”, but since I know dick-all about Japan I made the setting America and exclusively America. The X-Men comics are obviously an inspiration here too, but this isn’t Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, this is public school in a universe that mostly cares about having good public education. The “Avengers Academy” series is also a pretty good fit, and is close to the sort of classes and goals that educators have in this setting.
How, Where and When
We'll be playing live on Roll20 using Discord for voice and chatting. I have two possible timeslots that I could run the game in, Wednesdays at 7:00 PM Eastern Time or Thursdays also at 7:00. When you post your app, please include your preferred timeslot(s) as part of your post.
Recruitment will run for a week, ending at midnight March 13th. If you have any questions, feel free to post here or send me a PM.
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 00:36|
|# ? Apr 23, 2021 07:47|
Dropping a post here for interest while I work through random chargen.
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 01:19|
Name: Alexandrite "Alexa"
Power source: Alien
See further info below
When you've got a knack for high tech and trouble comes along often enough, you start to figure out how to make a blaster or two.
Char sheet: here
I'll put any further background info there, original application text below.
Definitely interested, I've been looking at Sentinels for the last week or so and made a few test characters.
I'm currently leaning toward the Interstellar background, with the premise of being a visitor sent to learn about Earth and why various extraterrestrial forces- such as the Martians, and possibly others unknown as of yet- are interested in it. Perhaps it's the rifts, perhaps something else entirely. Thus, they sent one of their younger members to see what she could learn by living among them, and it seems like that's paying off.
My space-born people have an unknowably long history of wandering among the stars that I could get into, but the upshot is that they have lost a lot of the records, only knowing that their navigational computers will someday get them to a certain destination- very far from Earth, but the route *did* take them suspiciously close to the planet. It's not the first time, though, so for now there's not a lot of resources dedicated to my little expedition.
Being undercover as a human would be fine if deemed necessary to not warp the plot unduly, but I'd prefer to be out in the open about being an alien. It's more fun.
In the metanarrative comic-biz layer, she's the character they brought on to have all sorts of weird gadgets to flog as merchandise, and she happens to be made out of semi-shapeshifting rocks that are the perfect excuse for long lines of modular action figures.
Mostly I'll take any excuse to play a rock person because I know a lot of fun rock facts.
(And no, this is not a Steven Universe thing.)
As for time- I mildly prefer Thursday but am fully open to either option.
e: vvv- sweet, makes sense
Zomborgon fucked around with this message at 08:03 on Mar 7, 2021
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 01:33|
Being an open alien is totally fine. The Alien Relations Agency is very accommodating towards aliens seeking to visit Earth. An alien going through the American education system would probably be both a diplomatic win and a public relations boon. Fostering positive relations with the larger interstellar community would be a real feather in their cap.
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 01:44|
Clark Lawson is from a long line of wizard-smiths, supposedly going as far back as the great Wayland, who forged famously magical swords. Clark didn't want any part of that, because frankly, Wayland and his students and descendants are all kind of awful people, the sort of rear end in a top hat wizards who demand your firstborn or to sleep with your wife in exchange for a weapon to save your village. He wanted to be a super-scientist, developing atomic powered gadgetry for the people.
Unfortunately, while he's an excellent wizard-smith, he's poo poo at atomic super-science. Just complete pants at it, and his school advisor is constantly riding him to pick a different course of study, with good reason, but his prejudice against wizardry (and his awareness of his own hypocrisy, given the givens) make it a hard row to how.
Power Source: Powered Suit
Enter the Hexoskeleton. Clark, tired of failing at making super-science gadgets, made a suit of magical armor that, to all external examination, functions as an example of sleek, modern, super-science design. The lasers are just magical beam wands, the missile launchers disperse exploding scrolls, and the shell hides numerous carefully etched enchantments. He quickly realized it would never pass muster in the super-tech engineering course, so he's hidden it and has only recently got the idea to take it out for non-sanctioned runs.
The Hexoskeleton isn't his only project, of course, he also makes various enchanted devices almost compulsively, terracotta spy drones, rune-wrought weapons, binding a salamander into his car engine so it never needs gas, that sort of thing. None of these are things he's proud of or could show off, and it'll probably be a point of character growth to get him to admit he's actually really good at this and can try to make amends for his ancestor's assholery by being better at wizard-smithing than they were.
Times: I'm good for either of those times- I'm assuming that if it's on Thursdays it'll replace the 24XX game?
Personality: Inquisitive. Clark's a nerd. He likes to know how things work, even if he's really bad at making them work himself.
unseenlibrarian fucked around with this message at 05:35 on Mar 7, 2021
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 02:25|
Background: Upper Class
The Hirst family is something of a Terre Haute fixture. Stemming out of early involvement and contracts with the Works Progress Administration, there's been a fair bit of local political dynasty in the years since it became the bright and shining center of America. Paisley's father, Marshall Hirst, is going on roughly eight years of leading the city as the mayor. Well, 'leading.' Terre Haute is more accurately run by a council of commissioners, though the mayor does serve as chairman of such. The next election is on the horizon, of course, but satisfaction amongst the city is as high as ever.
Her relatives are fairly well scattered through local industry -- there are a lot of Hirsts, usually showing up where it's most inconvenient for a nascent vigilante-slash-street-artist trying to make a name for herself. It's a good thing she's good at establishing alibis, or things would fall through quite quickly.
Paisley, on the other hand, has little to no interest in politics. She's much more invested in exploring the full ramifications of her (relatively) newfound powers. She's been an artistic sort for as long as anyone can remember, but her ambition for making the sort of art that can shake someone's soul has only intensified since she came into possession of the Corycian Brush.
Power Source: Relic (The Corycian Brush)
Seemingly a normal paintbrush, it is infused with the artistic energies of the ancient Muses themselves! Ignore the mysterious whispers that fill your head while you carry it, surely that's never going to be a problem. Paisley has found that she never really needs to apply paint to it, as it leaves just the right color and texture that she's thinking about when she applies it to... well, any solid enough surface to doodle on, really.
It has a few rather interesting features as well, both in that she can paint 'screens' that show what is happening elsewhere and seemingly transport others to unusual scenes of nigh-Bacchanalian revel, though it's all too quickly discovered to be an illusion.
Archetype: Minion Maker
Of course, simply being supernaturally good at art isn't what makes her the sort that heroes are made of. No, indeed, it's the fact that anything she paints has a remarkable tendency to come to life. Give her a few moments in a tense situation, and she'll have her latest series of art storming the streets and... probably lifting heavy things off of people or handing out blankets or forming a bucket brigade, really. There's not much call for being able to raise a small army at a moment's notice.
Really, the most she's gotten use out of her powers so far is her ability to form remarkably convincing duplicates of herself. Extremely useful for looking like she's where she's supposed to be, doing what she's supposed to... when most of the time, she's doing anything but.
Time: Thursday is preferred, but I can make either time work.
Tricky fucked around with this message at 17:13 on Mar 7, 2021
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 03:44|
I added a character sheet and some other broad-strokes info to my post.
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 08:04|
Alias: York Thomas Kay
Background: Former Villain
As the clock turned to midnight on the new millenium, a stray lightning bolt strikes a home and causes a power surge. Plugged in at the time was a brand new Saga Nightmast, a failed game console nonetheless boasting dial-up internet connectivity, an internal clock that automatically updates to daylight savings time, and other useless features! This confluence of coincidences resulted in one of the game’s antagonists coming out into the real world! And so began the terrible rampage… of Bad Radd!
That rampage ended about a year later after some heroes managed to wrangle Bad Radd and figured out that behind the corny 90s evil rival dialogue he’s just a confused kid doing the only thing he knows how in a strange, high-resolution world. Cut to about a decade and a half later, he goes by York now, is (mostly) well-adjusted and is doing his best to become a superhero like the ones who saved him. Still has a bit of a rebellious streak that worries some of his teachers, but his heart’s in the right place… mostly.
Power Source: Extradimensional
Being from a video game originally, York didn’t follow the normal rules of physics for a long while, and it caused him no end of consternation in his early days trying to navigate the dastardly third dimension. But it’s also allowed him to do things most other supers can’t and he’s spent a long time learning how to control his abilities.
Archetype: Reality Shaper
To use York’s own words: “I am a character no longer. Now, I am the player!” He’s able to enforce a certain degree of game logic onto reality, letting him do things like speed himself up, putting hitboxes on objects (as well as altering his own hitboxes), even reversing time by a few seconds, or so he claims. No-one quite believes him about this “save state” nonsense.
While he has shed the 90s attitude that defined his game character persona, he’s still an incorrigible troublemaker. Staying out past curfew, pranking teachers, skipping class on a whim, it really has his mentors worried whether he can actually be a responsible hero. He does right when it counts most! But unfortunately more things count than just the most.
Preferred times: Thursday I'm available, Wednesday is a no-go.
Rent-a-Bot fucked around with this message at 17:24 on Mar 7, 2021
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 17:10|
Alias: Jaye Smith <Sheet Link> TBD: Health & Retcon
Jaye has always wanted to be more than their average, hum-drum home life would seem to entail. Movies and fiction captured their imagination more than anything, and when their gradeschool started offering actual acting events, they quickly became a regular feature at performances, the spotlight encouraging a striking change from their in-person shyness and ability to be overlooked.
Power Source: Accident
Jaye doesn't know what happened, but knows they started having 'daydreams' about alternate versions of popular movies and shows. Different endings, different leads, odd genres. Initially these would just become personal fanfic exercises, but they soon began to bleed over into real life. Jaye might use the wrong catchphrase for a popular movie, or be confused about where the climax took place (Jaye once swore up and down there was a better director's cut of that android bounty hunter move, though could never find it.) Things culminated over one summer when the storylines and characters started taking up the majority of their thoughts and attention. Lack of sleep, disinterest in the outside world, almost like they had become addicted to these alternate movies in their head. The tones of Jaye's 'creations' became much darker - like a grittier version of the real world. This content obsession took its toll, an extreme fever causing quite the scare and causing Jaye to be hospitalized for two weeks.
Archetype: Form Changer
Jaye's parents will describe the multitude of references, lines, and characters Jaye would slip in and out of during their delirium. Until the fever was brought down, they said it was like Jaye was channeling a streaming service of an imaginary broadcaster, flipping channels back and forth randomly, though Jaye's father noted there was always something a little off with the characters (He remembers that raging boxer character having his birthmark on his other cheek, for instance.)
Unbeknownst to Jaye - these alternate fictions are actually slipping in from the other America. Jaye isn't just imagining them whole cloth. (Playing with the idea of taking Otherworldly
Jaye both loves and fears the spotlight, and when in a group, will tend to try and be a supportive player in the production or event. This carries through to their peer relationships, starting from the simple effort of entertainment suggestions to their friend (I think you'd enjoy...), to now being willing to wingperson just about any situation or role for someone, if given the right notes.
Time: Wed/Thur both work for me currently.
Pausing here for feedback and corrections.
Barbed Tongues fucked around with this message at 03:45 on Mar 9, 2021
|# ? Mar 7, 2021 20:34|
|# ? Apr 23, 2021 07:47|
I was hoping to get 5 people and that's what we ended up with! Welcome aboard:
Clark Lawson/Hexoskeleton (unseenlibrarian)
Paisley Hirst (Tricky)
York Thomas Kay/bios.Hazard (Rent-a-Bot)
Jaye Smith (Barbed Tongues)
Come join the Discord and I look forward to gaming with you all soon!
|# ? Mar 14, 2021 05:19|