The (Mutant) Revolution Will Not Be Televised (an Uncanny X-Men PBP)
The (Mutant) revolution Will Not Be Televised is an Uncanny X-Men PBP game set on Marvel Universe Earth-615 and run using TSR's Marvel Super-Heroes RPG (FASERIP). It's part of the RPGnet Play-by-Forum Universe (RPU), a shared slice of multiverse that unites "sister" super-hero PBP games. The RPU includes Some Assembly Required (also set on Earth-615), Let there be Justice, though the World Perish and X-Men: Year One.
The original pitch for The (Mutant) Revolution Will Not Be Televised is:
Hello, True Believers and Children of the Atom!
After a few years break from my (and many other awesome collaborators) Avengers game, I'm back and ready to launch an X-Men game.
If you're curious of what sort of tone I typically go with, please do take a look at that game, or my JLA one, to get an idea of what it looked like.
This time out, what I'm going for is a very 70s/80s Claremont style X-Men. We'll be relaunching from the ground up, so no need to worry about pesky continuity or reading reams of comics - our game takes place in an alternate Marvel-that-never-was, where things are still recognizably the characters you know, but we aren't bound by continuity.
I'll be reworking the timeline from the Avengers game to give you an idea of what state the Marvel U is in, but for now, just assume that something resembling the Lee/Kirby run happened, and this game will be picking up with an All-New All-Different X-Men!
- 1 Gamemaster
- 2 Cast
- 3 Timeline
- 4 Story Arcs
- 5 House Rules
- 6 Karma Awards
Technically, this is the same timeline as Some Assembly Required 's, the Avengers game. However, this timeline has been pushed forward five years and the creation of the Fantastic Four is now the premier event of the super-hero age. Importing events listed in the Avengers game should only require adding five to the year listed in that timeline.
- First written records referring to En Sabah Nur, a mythohistorical figure supposedly possessing superhuman abilities.
- Nova Roma is founded.
- Julia & Quincy Coleridge are gunned down in a driveby targeting Joseph Manfredi, the son of a prominent Maggia don. They are survived by their son Maximillian. Manfredi similarly survives.
- Maximillian's Godmother and new legal guardian Patricia Brock is the recipient of a generous anonymous donation toward the boy's education.
- Max pours all his spare hours away from his studies into training in MMA and athletic conditioning, determined to ensure he would one day have vengeance for his parents.
- Department H forms after a rash of disappearances in the Canadian Wilderness.
- Maximillian Coleridge receives his Masters in Law and Criminology from the University of Chicago Law School.
- Mere months later Max departs for Nepal chasing rumours of a near mythical Cult of Kali that taught the most deadly of all the Fighting arts.
- Four amateur astronauts return from the first privately funded space flight with mysterious abilities granted through cosmic radiation. They save New York from subterranean invasion and begin careers as "Science Adventurers," dubbed the Fantastic Four. This marks the beginning of the so-called "Age of Heroes".
- The mutant terrorist known only as Magneto makes his first public show of force, his terrorist group the Brotherhood of Mutants triggering an EMP in Lansing, Michigan that leaves thousands of Americans without power for weeks. Federal response is heavily criticized for its unpreparedness for the disaster. Public opinion is dire for the rising Mutant Menace, with reports of more mutants appearing every week. Geneticist Charles Xavier urges caution, claiming that "we know so little about these mutants, considering them a threat would be premature."
- The original five X-Men, teenagers at the time, are formed to help give a counterpoint to this anti-mutant hysteria following Magneto's attacks. Note: the general public isn't aware that blue-furred Avenger Beast is a mutant, or that he was a member of this original team.
- Roberto da Costa's mutant ability awakens during a soccer match.
- The Avengers are founded to combat Loki, the would-be Conquerer of Earth. WW2 Era hero Captain America is unearthed from the ice.
- The Earth's heroes defeat the world-eater Galactus, saving the entire planet from certain destruction.
- Teenager Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, changing everything for him.
- Max is honoured above all his fellow applicants with the Kiss of Kali, a burning mystical brand. He flees the temple in pain and cannot find it again.
- Using his newly found powers to aid in obscuring the exact nature of his scarring, Max joins the Crooked Man's gang, seeing them as an easy first test of his intention to destroy the mob from within.
- Present Day. Birth of the All-New, All-Different X-Men. The original five members have moved on to college or other exploits, but are on good terms with the professor.
'* Not Public Knowledge
Summaries by Fred.
The All-New X-Men's first official meeting is interrupted by a news report of an attack on Bridgeport being perpetrated by a mutant with seismic powers. The group arrives to find a religious extremist group, The Right, sending armed goons to capture or kill the mutant. They are dealt with quickly by most fo the team, while Colossus and Diamond Lil' find the mutant: a young, scared teenager named Juio, who was being terrorized by bullies. Before the X-Men can take Julio to safety, Emma Frost shows up with two of her students. Teh confrotation isprevented when Gambit literally drops the ceiling between the two groups. The X-Men leave town just before the accusations thrown by one of the bullies can ignite the crowd in to a mob.
On their way back to Westchester, the X-Men receive a distress call sent by Moira McTaggart: the mansion ha sbeen invaed by Black Tom Cassidy and teh Juggernaut, who want to kidnap Professor Xavier and take him to the Savage Land.
You can buy straight to the next rank. Stats that aren't already superhuman are kept at human limit.
A common criticism of this system is that the Body Armor power, granting damage reduction essentially, is a bit too powerful, and outright prevents certain characters from being useful. As a compromise, I propose that attacks with Red results ignore Body Armor, representing finding a critical weak point in its structure. Additionally, attacks with Yellow results ignore Half of the Body Armor score. If this proves a bit too much, we can revise it, but I think it will, overall, allow for more fun battles.
Defensive Actions - A common criticism of FASERIP is that it's too easy to hit dodgy characters, like, say, Daredevil. ;) We're going to rectify that by reducing the hefty penalty given towards taking multiple actions when taking defensive actions (Dodging, Evading, Blocking, Shielding). Usually, this gives a -2 CS to all other actions taken that turn, which can be a real drag. I'm reducing this penalty to -1 CS. Additionally, characters with a power that might apply towards this sort of manuever may substitute their power rank for that ability rank. Therefore, Daredevil for instance could use his Enhanced Senses power rank of Monstrous to roll for Dodging rather than his Incredible Agility. I'm not super sure how these changes to Defensive actions will work out in play, so this is subject to change, but let's see.
Traditionally, Karma serves the double-purpose of being both an in-game resource and an advancement resource, which leads to somewhat crappy situations where the characters that need Karma least are the ones using it for advancement. I propose that there be two separate pools of Karma - one normal pool for use in-game, and one of "spent" Karma which then becomes available to be used for advancement. This encourages heroes to be heroic, and I think fits the genre better than hoarding Karma.
The "spent" Karma pool is linked to the player, not the character. It can be used for the advancement of any of the player's PCs.
Once you've done a stunt THREE TIMES successfully and it becomes "Established", the Karma Cost will be reduced to 10, and you won't need any feats other than the normal one.
BETA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) Changes to Martial Arts
Rules as written, Martial Arts talents are of greatly varying quality. These range from Martial Arts A, which grants a benefit already given by the advanced core rules, to Martial Arts D, which creates an advanced subsystem for studying opponents' moves. Martial Arts B is simply an unarmed specialty, which can honestly be rolled into the other weapon talents. C and E are highly situational.
My solution to this issue is to streamline Martial Arts into a single talent, designed to get rid of the clutter, and make Martial Arts something desirable. It also allows non-super-strong characters like Nightcrawler or Kitty Pryde to not feel totally powerless. I've reduced the 5 talents down to 2.
Unarmed Fighting - A character with this talent is trained in unarmed combat. They receive +1 column shift to attack, dodge, or evade rolls when fighting unarmed.
Martial Arts - A character with this talent is trained in one or more martial arts. When fighting using these martial arts, unarmed or not, the character may substitute the damage dealt by their Strength (or Weapon Value) for their Fighting ability -1 CS (maximum of Remarkable).
Example: Kitty Pryde, with Typical (6) Strength and Remarkable (30) fighting, busts out some of her newly-minted training on a Hand Ninja. Instead of dealing a mere 6 Damage, she may instead deal Excellent (20) Damage, her Fighting -1CS.
This includes only the general awards. Individual gains due to roleplaying, game contribution, etc. are not listed.