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The City of Bliss
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-HF-Aardvark892
Mystery Man
Mystery Man


Joined: Jun 03, 2010
Posts: 91
Location: Northeast Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:07 pm    Post subject: The City of Bliss Reply with quote

The City of Bliss

Hong Kong, sometime in the future

"There are no masks in the city of bliss"
-Chairman Pao, at yesterday's political assembly

The Chairman spoke those words to thousands of adoring citizens... or at lest that is what the state sponsored media would have you believe. Those thousands who attended the mandatory weekly political assemblies (at stadiums and ampitheaters scattered around the city) had no choice other than to attend and cheer as if they loved the Chairman...

...they're all being watched.

Openly, of course, for no one has anything to fear from the legion of superheroes that "watch over and protect" them.

Unless they do not toe the government line. If you are unhappy, you are a destabilizing element in "the perfect city".

Imagine a particular country in the northern half of a particular peninsula in southeast Asia, but with the wealth of Las Vegas, and a veritable army of superbeings. These supers have no masks, and they all have very public identities, as they are registered with the government and must participate in the "Civil Happiness League" (which is commonly known as the "Chill"). Most people call these supers "chillers"... for their unfortunate tendency to ice anyone not being a happy, productive citizen.

Of course, they only call them that when no one is listening.

Hong Kong is a melting pot of cultures in the same way Old New York was in the early 21st century. Chinese is still the official (and only allowed) language, but it is spoken in a bewildering mix of dialects and accents by a polyglot of ethnic types.

More and more people come to Hong Kong every month, lured by the "Las Vegas" style riches, negligible crime rate, zero unemployment, and overwhelming propaganda. Hong Kong, according to the media, is "everything America was intended to be before the Fall". (The Fall will be detailed later).

Unfortunately, once in Hong Kong, it is virtually impossible to leave. If you try to leave, you must be unhappy, and therefore traitorous scum who cannot be allowed to spread poisonous lies about the City of Bliss and Happiness.

Of course, the most fearful aspect of all is that of The Twins. There is reputed to be a pair of adolescent twin sisters whose clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, and precognition are almost cosmic scale, and they are able to penetrate anyone's mind at any time without the victim's knowledge. There are literally hundreds of legends, rumors, stories, and "eyewitness accounts" of how the Chillers often appear at the scene of a crime before it even happens to snatch up the unsuspecting criminals as they prepare their traitorous acts.

What's unusual is that even though the suspects haven't even begun the crime, they are never seen again.

There is a city police force, but it's primary duties are those of administration of traffic and crowd control, and pretty much any other task you'd expect of a virtually untrained and completely non-voluntary police force that no longer has any authority.

The Chairman is quite different from most tyrannical despots in one respect: he's always out and about all around the city. Of course, he's always surrounded by a platoon of supers, but his almost absolute faith in the twins makes him feel supremely confident of his safety. He is always talking to citizens (especially children, with whom he likes to fly kites), visiting shops (but he never buys a thing), and strolling the streets. His Secret Service-style super-powered escorts are always nearby (a group of about a dozen World Class supers).

No one officially calls the supers "Chillers"; they are Civil Happiness Enforcement Officers.

There are literally hundreds of supers in the ranks of the chillers. Many of them were born here, some recruited, and some that came here for the same reasons as other poor trapped souls. Even with their superpowers, they were overwhelmed by so many super powered people, and these people quickly made it known to the newcomer that:
1) You were chosen by God to be here.
2) You cannot leave or you will be destroyed.
3) The Chairman is Supreme
4) Hundreds of innocents will die in your name if you disobey
5) You no longer have a Secret Identity or mask
6) Your every thought, action and emotion is being watched

Newcomer Supers don't learn all of this until after they get a reception that makes celebrity indoctrination into a particular science based cult look mild in comparison. Everything they could want or need is available, no matter how expensive, illegal, immoral or outrageous. They swoon over all they are offered, and it's not until after they have agreed (with their word; the Chairman knows how Supers are about their word) that they find out the whole story.

NEXT POST: GM Info... what's REALLY going on in the city of bliss.

This is the setting I've created, and I'm using for my current BASH! game.

Let me know what you think!

I hope you like it!
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-HF-Aardvark892
Mystery Man
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Joined: Jun 03, 2010
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Location: Northeast Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:21 pm    Post subject: GM Info for the City of Bliss Reply with quote

NOTE: SPOILER INFO. Do Not Read if you ain't GM'ing this!

Anywhere from 30-40% of the chillers actually believe in the cause, and that they are helping society be as clean, crime-free, and happy as possible. In the meantime, the majority live in the same fear as everyone else. You dare not speak of your disillusionment to anyone, for it is treason for them not to report you.

And how can the disillusioned chillers ever organize for real good if they are too afraid to talk to each other. Even if you do dislike the regime, you have to report any seditious words... the person saying them is probably testing your loyalty.

-------------------------------------------------------

The Twins:

The true story of the twins is that the children do in fact exist, and in the beginning they were able to make some lucky conclusions with the powers they have. Unfortunately, Chairman Pao is so obsessed with their potential, he believes that they can make no mistakes. The twin girls are now so afraid of him that they feed him any story, regardless of what impressions they've gained, fearful of his response if he feels that they are hiding anything.

They actually are just very powerful empaths. If they pick up a violent feeling, or for that matter any powerful feeling good or bad, it will draw their attention. Once you have their attention, you are likely to be the next "criminal on the verge"... the twins need scapegoats. Some poor man on his way home from work gets very angry at children that almost run him down, and the next thing he knows him and his whole family are abducted by chillers for sedition. You have to remember that the twins have no contact whatsoever with the outside world, so only those citizens with whom they have contact are available to use.

To avoid notice, whatever you do stay calm, placid and dull. Bury your thoughts and emotions deep and under no circumstance have any type of strong emotion. If you can do that, you can almost get away with anything.

Almost.

Almost because you must not forget how numerous the chillers are, and how readily any citizen how sees you will report you.

Believe it or not, the best time to do anything... exciting... is during the once-a-week 15 minute telecast political assemblies, when the allowable (and enforced) joy overwhelms the twins powers. Also, since the majority of the chillers are acting as crowd control, enforcement and overwatch, the streets are relatively empty of government forces.

NEXT POST: The Player Characters and how they fit in!


Last edited by -HF-Aardvark892 on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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-HF-Aardvark892
Mystery Man
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Joined: Jun 03, 2010
Posts: 91
Location: Northeast Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:29 pm    Post subject: The Precog Reply with quote

The Precog and the Resistance.

The player's characters belong to the only resistance in the city, and it's a small enough organization. Only a handful of supers and regular citizens are brave enough to stand for what is right, and to try to protect the innocents of the city from the madness of their leader.

That's where the Precog comes in. Unlike the twins, his power is almost cosmic. Unfortunately, it's a little vague. He gets real images but often out of context. He can see when a person is about to be picked up by the Chillers, but he can rarely tell exactly why.

The PC's have a difficult job. Once the Precog has found someone in need of their help, they must search out this person, often with very little response time available, and convince them that they actually are here to help. Most of the time, the very people they are trying to help are deathly afraid of them.

I mean, wouldn't you be? Imagine some crazy coming up to you that tells you that if you don't come with them right now, that you and your family will be taken away by the chillers. Aren't they just chillers in disguise, trying to find out if you're loyal? Aren't they just going to take you away anyway? Who are these crazies, and WHY ME??!!??

NEXT UP: The First Issue... it was crazy!
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-HF-Aardvark892
Mystery Man
Mystery Man


Joined: Jun 03, 2010
Posts: 91
Location: Northeast Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:52 pm    Post subject: Issue one: The City of Bliss Reply with quote

Using pre-gen characters out of the main rulebook, my hapless group of new superheroes (it was our first time playing the game) met in an abandoned portion of the subway to discuss and to meet/greet.

The Precog tells them that a family is about to be taken, and they've only got minutes to spare!

The group:
Chameleon - Cam
Archer - Bart
Wild Warrior - Cazon
Dr. Zehpyrous
Animal Genius - Shag

They leave immediately and head for the downtown residential block, where the apartment building holding the family sits like
a squat grey brick.

Cazon stays out front to watch the building, heavily disguised under an illusion cast by Cam. Bart the Archer heads to the top of the building across the street to act as overwatch. Shag (also heavily disguised under an illusion) heads up the fire escape to cut off any fleeing citizens. Dr. Zephyrous and Cam head up to the door to roust out the victims.

"They're coming to get you! You've got to come with us! OMG!"

The door slams in their face. Cam apparently decided to go with the direct "let's scare them to death first and make it as difficult as possible to get them to come with us" approach.

Dr. Zephyrous, knowing that their time is limited, kicks down the door. There's no way the citizens will come peacefully anyway now, and there's no time to try to convince them. Husband and wife with screaming infant are pulled out of their home and dragged towards the stairwell.

Chillers Inbound! Bart sees them first... a trio of flyers heading straight for... oh no, one of them is coming right at me!

The other two head for the building with the targeted citizens; one super heads to the roof and begins to basically tear the roof off to get inside, while the other (who does not see that Shag is in disguise, and looks like a normal person) lands on the fire escape and blasts a hole in the wall.

Bart is in the fight of his life! A lucky shot with a DAZE arrow blasts the bad guy, and Bart takes off downstairs to help out his fellows.

Meanwhile, Zephyrous and Cam are fighting with the citizens, who Zephyrous decided to make invisible (with the unfortunate side affect of making the poor couple not able to see each other or their baby!) are struggling to get them downstairs and out of the building before it's too late.

It's too late. The super from the fire escape catches up to them and blasts Cam with a blob of entangling goo. Zephyrous, in a classic example of "I don't have to outrun them, I just have to outrun you", leaves Cam to struggle and takes the woman with babe (the husband pulled out of Cam's grasp and is fleeing down the hallway trying to find his invisible family).

Cazon arrives on the scene now... he's run into help as the fight started. He attacks the goo shooter, and helps Cam escape, but just then the powerhouse appears over them, ripping the ceiling up above them. The fight is close... the powerhouse seems invulnerable.

Zephyrous escapes out the back while Bart joins them and they get the screaming woman and child to safety.

Back at the fight, they finally overcome the brute and flee for their lives as more Chillers descend towards the building.

We had to stop there... it was VERY late and my kid needed to get home.

I'll keep you updated on the plight of the PCs!
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Lindharin
Paragon
Paragon


Joined: Apr 05, 2010
Posts: 612
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very intriguing, Aardvark! I look forward to your reports! Smile
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MrJupiter
Cosmic Hero
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Joined: Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1484
Location: Trenton, Ont. (Canada)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very cool idea for a setting. I love that Matrix feeling of being contacted by some mysterious person(s) who warn you of a grievous fate to be suffered if you don't do as he(they) say... right now! [What the h_ll ?!?]

Are the players taught some kind of Zen-like control of their negative and charged emotions as they burst into a combat? [I think it looks so cool in Kung-fu movies where the character is completely in control of his/her-self while calmly dispatching opponents!]
Is there a pill or neuron masking device they can use which disquises, or scrambles, this psychic broadcast so that The Twins have a more difficult time pinpointing their location?

I look forward to hearing more of your heroes exploits in the City of Bliss!
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-HF-Aardvark892
Mystery Man
Mystery Man


Joined: Jun 03, 2010
Posts: 91
Location: Northeast Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's almost 7pm on Tuesday Game night! Hopefully everyone will make it, and by tomorrow morning, I'll have a brand new episode burning up the electrons here for ya!

I hope my players don't find out I'm posting this here...
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Lindharin
Paragon
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Location: New York

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck, and looking forward to hearing how it went!
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Mystery Man
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Location: Northeast Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, well. Never mind. Apparently the group won't drive 12 miles to my house across the state line. I guess I gotta drive to their neighborhood every time.

Their loss.

There may not be any more games.
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Lindharin
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Location: New York

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouch! That's too bad, Aardvark!
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-HF-Aardvark892
Mystery Man
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Location: Northeast Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:22 pm    Post subject: The City of Bliss, episode 2 Reply with quote

The City of Bliss, episode 2

The Player Characters:
Bottle-Rocket - Superfast and tough... until he hits something
Shag - a scorpion human hybrid based off the animal genius character in BASH UE
Orion - a psionic who specializes in mind control
Izzy Mysterious - ex-rock star and electro-powered zapper

The group (almost entirely new players and characters... there's only one guy left from the original group) are informed by The PreCog that the child that they rescued is the reason why the family was sought by the Chillers... when he reaches puberty, he's going to have World Class, almost Cosmic scale power.

It has been arranged that a family outside the city will take custody of the child and raise her far from The Chairman. The group decides to take the sewer system because it lets out near the lake at the base of the dam which has a hydroelectric plant. This dam is downstream of a town that is outside the control of the Hong Kong powers.

It's not an easy trip. They encounter one of a race of mindless Naga-like serpent people; tough and fast and a real challenge, especially since they are in such close quarters in the sewer. A lucky hit drives the beast back to a junction, which opens up and allows them to pound on the monster and quickly defeat him.

Once they finally get to the culvert that lets the sewage into the river, they can see that the damn is very heavily patrolled. They attempt to sneak past the patrols and ghost the child to the village, but alas it's not to be; they're quickly spotted and set upon by Chillers: a flying invisible blaster, a super-jumping kicker who can really push people away, an Earth elemental that attacks from below, and a super-speedster.

The jumper is the first out of the picture... Shag wallops her with so much force it knocks her back and into a tree. Lights Out! Bottle-Rocket manages to catch the speedster from behind and shows him how hard a tree really can be. Izzy and Orion both take a turn swallowed up by quicksand, but once they escape (around the same time the last of the other Chillers are defeated) the Elemental disappears.

Bottle-Rocket manages to use his... unusual way of flying to get the child to safety, and after that the team splits up and loses the Chillers. They head home, anxious to once again help the poor downtrodden of The City of Bliss!
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Mystery Man
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Joined: Jun 03, 2010
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Location: Northeast Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, once again it's GAME NIGHT! I'm running BASH again; let's hope more of the original group shows up!
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Lindharin
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck! And let us know how it went... Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it went poorly. To sum up, the Chillers planted a fake "citizen in trouble" for the PC's to save. Once they had transported the fake to their HQ to meet the Precog, the fake started wailing (Daze) and set off the trap. Into the abandoned subway the PC's had been using burst FIVE Chillers (all characters I've created and posted in my Builds thread) and the pounding started.

Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed, over tired from a long day, and the game dissolved into just a contest of die rolls and number crunching. The players did fine... I, however, as GM, blew it. No real Oomph, no story, no action... just number crunching.

The PC's were defeated, and with one of them unconscious, the group fled The City of Bliss and are now headed for a regular city (to be decided). We're going to stay away (for now) from Super Villains, and go for thug bashing, crime stopping, regular-bad-guy-with-moola-n-goons thumping.

Regardless, it was a good lesson in Super settings. I think the City of Bliss was too restrictive, and kept the PC's in a loop without a real chance of winning.

Let's hope for better next time!
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Tribunus
Sidekick
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Joined: May 07, 2010
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Location: Overton, TX USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chello!

Well, it happens in any game occasionally. Take heart, maybe a change of scenery will do them good.

Some of the best advice I've ever read comes from Kevin Siembieda's RIFTS Adventure Guide. The heroes don't always win; howver, as long as they survive, there is the chance for an epic confrontation.

Think Luke in Empire and then Luke in Return, for a good example of this. Vader owned Luke in Empire; he was toying with Luke the entire time and, after Luke fell, he dismissed Luke without another thought. Luke does off, heals, rescues Han, visits Yoda, but then returns for the epic confrontation with Vader and the Emperor.

I get the impression from this:

Quote:
The PC's were defeated, and with one of them unconscious, the group fled The City of Bliss and are now headed for a regular city (to be decided).


that y'all are continuing with the same characters. Great. Do what you said and concentrate on criminals. And then, one day, the characters will return to the City of Bliss for the final confrontation. And you know what? I'll bet the players enjoy the hell out of it because of the emotional attachment of the earlier defeat.
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Tribunus to other Virtue heroes during the Cataclysm
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