Sunday, February 19, 2012

From The Liberator To Brave New World - Deconstructed Super Hero Rpgs

This is new project from Jim Cirile & Aaron Pope. Lou Ferrigno brings a sort of super powered pathos to this. It has an Underground Mayfair Games or Marshal Law feel to it. You can read more about it Here

Al Migliocetti (Lou Ferrigno, The Incredible Hulk) has served his country. When the war began, he put aside his football career to sign up for the military. And when the powers-that-be drafted him into the Enhanced Abilities Initiative, he became known as The Liberator. Teamed with a group of "supers" – Sidewinder, Gaia and Volt – Liberator represented the best of America. Or so he thought. He soon found himself doing the government's dirty work – assassinations, regime change, infrastructure sabotage. Through it all, Al followed orders. He was a good soldier.
But when a black op went horribly wrong, Al was thrown under the bus – the fall guy. In the blink of an eye, the Liberator literally went from hero to zero. After serving a decade in federal prison, he emerged a pariah. In the eyes of the public, he was a traitor. That, quite, frankly, he could take. What he couldn't take was his own daughter Sonya (Jessica Jade Andres) hating him.
Determined to set the record straight and win her back, Al pens a tell-all book that draws the ire of his former chief, General Augustus Pollard (Michael Dorn, Star Trek: The Next Generation). Pollard dispenses CIA spook Marla Criswell (Peta Wilson, La Femme Nikita) to investigate. When they realize that Al plans to blow the whistle after all these years, they have no choice but to take him out. After Al battles his way out of a US military contractor's compound, President Whitlock (Ed Asner, Up) declares the Liberator Public Enemy Number One – and sends Al's old teammates (Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Tara Cardinal) to bring him down by any means necessary. But this time, the Liberator is not going down without a fight.

 The Deconstructed Super Hero Rpg 

The Deconstructed Super Hero Rpg is a direct result of the political and social upheavals of the early 1990s, the game attempts to inspire social and political debate among its players as well as provide entertainment through playing renegade superheroes. In it, players typically play unemployed, genetically enhanced veterans of corporate wars.
 Underground was a product of its time. There were comics that came first such as 
Marshal LawWatchmen and Elektra Assassin! These were comics with some bite to them. They weren't politically correct they were political period.
You can read about Underground in detail Here
Underground wasn't the only game in this category. 
From Wiki The game is analternate history superhero game set in a fascist United States of America living in a perpetual state of martial law since the 1960s. Inspired by the Kingdom Come and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns comic storylines, X-MenNineteen Eighty-Four, and the political and social upheavals of the 1990s, the game depicts renegade superheroes fighting a corrupt and evil government.
You can read more about it Here

 There are a few things that characterized these types of games: 
  1. The characters were disenfranchised super heroes & there was a definite satirical feel to the games 
  2. Alignments as we know them ala D&D were turned inside out.  The shock volume of real world events, policy, etc were was turned up to '11' & beyond 
  3. Each one had a mechanism to turn the course of game history within the game for example in Underground,  As part of the political and social nature of the game, and to encourage games to be about righting the many wrongs in the setting, thedesigner included Parameter Rules, a mechanism wherein the players could change the entire setting. The rules allowed the players to change the parameters of an area, or even the country or the whole world. The drawback is that affecting one parameter (like Quality of Life or Education), would adjust another (like Take-Home Pay or Wealth). The players, because they are heroes, can change parameters without penalties if they perform actions that lead to change, with enough time and effort.
  4. They were products of their time periods ala the 90s & such with a bit of work they could work as relevant today as they were back then perhaps more so. 
  5. These are new school games but if an old school Dungeon Master could make them into something pretty damn useful. 
  6. The old school feel of Marvel Super Heroes with its Karma charts can easily do these sorts of adventures. Check out the old TSR Classic Reap The Whirl wind Here 
  7. Games such as Mutant Future could benefit from the inclusion of something like the  Parameter Rules which clearly shows what the characters are doing to the world 
  8. Have graphic novels like Watchmen & such become so main stream that the world has outpaced them in terms of shock value? I don't think so. 
  9. The idea of might makes right, & the four color super hero themes are possibly more relevant now then ever before 
  10. There is another old school super hero rules lite game that can handle this with very little prep time & get right down to taking on the "man" as it were with a 40s flare. Its Mystery Men you can get it as a pay printed book or free down load Here
    Damn now I want to go play Underground! 

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