Thursday, February 7, 2019

Campaign Frame: Metahuman Investigations

In trying to come up with a campaign frame that allows (a) players to rotate through different characters; (b) some players to appear occasionally; (c) a coherent story throughline, I looked to a series of books for inspiration:

Sugar & Spike: Metahuman Investigations collects the stories of Sugar and Spike (all grown up now), as they solve cases and problems for some of the biggest names in the DC Universe (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman). It's a mix of embracing stories from the Silver Age and carrying them forward into modern day -- and how to address any lingering consequences from things like old bat-costumes and an island in the shape of Superman!

From this, I'd take the premise of being hired by known movers and shakers from the meta-human realm and addressing smaller problems of theirs that may have grave consequences for normals caught in their particular kind of gravity. It's a variant on the old triskaidekaturion campaign frame that I wrote about before.

The benefits of this campaign are relatively low-powered starting characters, a way to drip feed aspects of your world's history through an active investigation, and some interesting enemies and allies that you meet along the way.

Chase was a comic book series starring an agent of the DEO (Department of Extranormal Operations).  The DEO was interesting, since its remit was to identify, monitor, and neutralize any metahuman threats to national security.

Different from the premise above, this assumes a government interest in keeping the world of normals safe from the metahuman realm. It also suggests an active role from government agencies seeking to gather information about all metahumans, and quite possibly strike teams and assassins tasked with taking out threats that super-heroes can't or won't address in a way that the government would prefer. With something like this, can't imagine that the Joker would stay alive for very long -- unless he somehow manages to fool them with misinformation or is a far greater threat than we understand.

Both of these deal with low-level (or lopsided) metahumans or talented normals attempting to keep the normal world safe in a world of metahumans. There's a rich tapestry of allies, neutrals, and enemies as individuals and organizations across a historical context that can make adventures less of a sequence of clashes, and more of an unfolding mystery that culminates in a climactic resolution.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.