Looking for Change Playbooks feedback [Background]

It’s not now and not necessarily soon, but I thought I’d ask now because I want time to think about it, get set up, etc.

Leo’s got five advances, meaning the advanced advances are coming up for him. Those divide into a few areas of interest: adult moves, becoming a paragon of the city, or changing playbooks. There’s only a couple other Bull-or-otherwise moves that look interesting to me as I am.

The only adult move that seems interesting to me is “Empathize”. The rest feel like big power moves that can overshadow the other members of the group. So I can take that one.

I don’t think Leo’s story is anywhere near done, so I’m not keen on having him move on as a PC. However, he’s been a pretty intense customer, and if the other players think his story is better told on forums or something, I’m receptive to hearing that said.

That leaves other playbooks. Are there playbooks that we the players think would be interesting to see explored? Are there playbooks anyone feels strongly would be a good fit for where Leo is going? Or is Leo enough of his own thing that he should just keep going? I’m feeling the limitations of the Bull’s Heart, for example, and something else might be nice to try. I have ways & ways to justify stuff, so don’t worry about how plausible a suggestion might be. For example, maybe Leo rotates out to NPC status for a bit and one of his creations (existing or new) comes into focus as a PC.

I’m not leaving my PC’s fate to the vote, and not pushing the burden of my choice onto you folks. But I do value everyone’s opinion, so if you have one, please share it!

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948340

The first one that leaps out at me is The Brain from the new playbooks. It’s almost… too easy? :slight_smile:

Pros:
* A lot of the backgrounds and baseline assumptions fits Leo like a glove. Above the fray adds a nice relationship for you and Jason.
* A lot of the Brain moves are about planning and prep, or assuming same, and that fits as well.

Cons
* Leo doesn’t have a Shame, really, of the sort the playbook really depends on, which means something like that happening in the fiction to trigger the shift. I have ideas about that, all of which meet the requirements well, but THEY have requirements in the story that I’d need to triple-check with you, others, and… I guess make sure they pass the Bechdel sniff test? Done right, it could be awesome. Done poorly, it’s… not awesome.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948536

Has Leo come off as someone who values planning and prep? That’s scary. :slight_smile:

Leo has a big shame, but it’s what he did to someone, rather than what he built, so I’m not sure how good a fit that is as I remember the playbook being written? SNOWMAN is a possibility, depending on how that is played, and that leaves the girls safe and sound.

Send me what you have in PM or email so I can start thinking about it, I guess.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948552

Agree with Doyce, the Brain is a solid, solid choice. Alternatively (with a little more direct connection to Waters and AEGIS) the Soldier is also on the table. Fit’s Leo’s headstrong mentality and his planning, much like the Brain just with more of a “mission first” vibe than the Brain’s “let’s play this smart” mentality. Oddly enough, two sides to the same coin. Just means going into AEGIS’s pocket.

And as Doyce said, you’ve got some time to figure out a Shame before switching to the Brain. Really, making all these AI’s and not a one of them has gone a bit crazy? Third time the charm? Alternatively, “Rossum’s Legacy” seems like a valid shame once more than just the team and Harry’s dad know about it.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948568

I think there’s still a lot that can be done with Leo/Link as a character. I would rather see him stick around, with the present playbook or another. :slight_smile:

That said, a horrible accident that shunts Leo (and family?) off to the Sepiaverse, leaving behind the newest creation prior to having his/her memory engrams installed (or fully installed) would be a great way to run a “Newborn”. Or I could see an embodied Numina as a “Joined” with Pneuma. :slight_smile:

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948731

God we could literally run spin-off campaigns with various side characters every day of the week, couldn’t we?

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948740

I’ll just say that I don’t see any reason the Soldier must be allied with AEGIS, specifically. Are there other organizations that would sponsor someone? Are we interested in talking about them? Leo’s no fan of Byron & Rusty, and I’m no big fan of repeating history and bodyguarding Jason, but if I were, the Quill Foundation would probably be a patron in that case.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948869

Bill G. said:

I’ll just say that I don’t see any reason the Soldier must be allied with AEGIS, specifically. Are there other organizations that would sponsor someone?

Rossum ROOK is always looking for skilled individuals interested in meta-enabled operations in the private sector. (Edit, mental typo.)

(More seriously: yes of course. I can certainly see soldier, and AEGIS has a history with Leo, so there’s that, but honestly the history - especially recent - isn’t such that I see Leo wanting to work under their… aegis. That said, I’m not sure he’d jump in bed with any major organization. Maybe the Halcyon City Metapowered Police Task Force? And now I’m picturing a You’re Under Arrest! spin-off…)

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948893

Hmmm, working for the HCPD? That could introduce someone into the mix as a superior… hint, hint, wink, wink.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948907

Let the au fanfiction commence.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948915

Also, don’t know if this is co-opting Bill’s thread, but I also wanted to put out my own shortlist of playbooks I’m considering moving Adam into.

  • The Nova - The easiest answer and the most likely. The mechanics fit Adam’s powers and with him accessing more of the Concordance’s powers, it would be easier to dip into “too much power” that the playbook emphasizes.
  • The Beacon - Not a horrible choice, but also not anything I couldn’t pickup within the Janus already (since it gives the option of picking up the Beacon’s drives). Oddly enough, I see Ghost Girl more likely progressing into this than Concord though. Straight Up Creepin’ practically screams “I’m a ghost just checking things out” and Charlotte’s character just seems to be more “I love these powers that I’ve been given, I’m totally going to make the most of it” that the Beacon gravitates towards.
  • The Innocent - This playbook would only really work under two conditions: 1) ignore everything about the time travelling (fairly easy, excluding one optional move) and 2) other Concordance Agents would need to show up and be the utter dic…tators that I’ve (possibly) foreshadowed them being.
  • The Newborn - Dammit, this would have been a much better fit for Adam starting out (with a few minor changes). A playbook that prioritizes not knowing how to react in a new world with odd powers? Would have fit a lot better earlier, but I don’t think it properly represents where Adam’s story is going now.

author: Mike
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948997

Needn’t be a thread for just me changing playbooks, go for it. :slight_smile:

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5948999

But since it is my thread too… :slight_smile: Some random ideas, skipping over playbooks already spoken for.

  • The Delinquent: Dark Link, a spinoff of Leo who uses cyber ninja shenanigans.
  • The Protege: one of the girls as an independent hero, mentoring under Leo.
  • The Transformed: Leo got seriously messed up and must upload himself or die.
  • The Newborn: a damaged fork of Leo or a failed attempt to create something radically new.
  • The Star: one of the girls turned into a PR-friendly superhero.
  • The Brain: Leo after doing basically a 180 personality shift…
  • The Soldier: Dark Link who works for somebody.

Random observation: this game is really big on time travel. The Harbinger and the Innocent have it as explicit backstory elements. It does lead to some comedy opportunities like this: The Harbinger: Leo Jr. “I’m from the future! Hi Daddy!” “Hey, my name’s Leo, and–” “I know Daddy!” “Wait. Daddy? Me? Who is your mother?” “Pff, such a comedian, Daddy! You know who!” “No, wait a minute! I’m serious! I don’t know who!”

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5949524

So for the “Dark Link,” are we talking about, say, a Sepiaverse Link? Because I can see all sorts of shenanigans for playbook evolution for folk assuming a Mirror Universe sort of thing (“Jason with a beard!”).

(Of course, that whole thing can be introduced by the only super-hero trope more popular than the Switching of Brains: the Battle Against Evil Twins.)

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5949669

“Dark Link” usually refers to a robotic fork of Leo, intended to do things he’s too moral or scrupulous to attempt, and with the attitude, training and equipment to pull it off. This would include things like infiltration and sabotage missions against Rook Industries, though not actual murder or similar things that’d cross the line in our game genre. Scroll to the bottom of this page - http://astralfrontier.org/2017/11/17/link-s-robot… - for more. Sort of an Id for Leo’s Ego/Superego.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5949686

So I’ll play along (and maybe even include what I’m already thinking about):

Jason as a …

  • Beacon: With his nanobot powers gone (whew!), Jason still has his inventions and a desire for justice. Also, this lets him get another corgi as a pet.
  • Newborn: With Jason comatose, the Nanobots try to carry on his good work. If only they had more than vague bits of Jason’s memories to understand the world around them …
  • Delinquent: Dark Jason is trying to pass, and he hates it. But it beats being stuck in the Sepiaverse eating barbecued lizards.
  • Reformed: Dark Jason has to learn to pass. And, actually, maybe he kind of wants to.
  • Transformed: Life was so much easier / photogenic before the nanobots became a flexible but crusty skin that perpetually covered him – no longer life-threatening, but rather, um, unseemly.
  • Bull: Jason’s solved his nanobot Doom. Now he can be a real super-hero!
  • Joined: It was probably a mistake to rescue that Jason from the Sepiaverse. The mingling of the nanobots has solved the Doom problem, but now there are two if him, and he’s not sure how that’s going to work …
  • Star: Well, sooner or later all that popularity was going to go to Jason’s head. We all saw it happening.
  • Innocent: Well, not really time travel – but who’d have thought that final Vyortovian spell would actually summon an incarnation of the cartoon Jason Quill from seven years ago? [Alternative: The Adventures of Young Byron Quill, time-displaced from the past now that the embittered survivor who has a crippled adopted son, a comatose natural son, and a dead lover, has finally been rescued from the Sepiaverse.]
  • Janus: Good news? The nanobot problem has been fixed. The bad news? The Quill Foundation insists that Jason needs to get serious about being involved in the business, and stop being a (high-liability) hero, or else he’s cut off. But nanobots can form a mask, too …
  • Nova: Good news? The nanobots are no longer destroying Jason’s psyche. The bad news? They keep getting more and more powerful … and now it’s the rest of the world that’s threatened by the gray goo …
  • Protege: [Can’t think of something offhand.]
  • Soldier: The destruction of the Quill Foundation in the final battle has left Jason at loose ends. Fortunately, AEGIS admires the training and background he brings to the table, and … well, Jason needs a bit of structure in his life. And an income.
  • Harbinger: It’s kind of weird that, even as Jason solved the nanobot problem, he suddenly knew stuff that was going to happen soon. Is he a projection into his own body from the future? Does he have some super-extrapolative reasoning that the nanobots were restricting (by design)? Or has he just suffered a psychic break?
  • Brain: Yeah, the nanobots are gone, yeah, great. But now they’ve stopped suppressing the memory. That memory. The real reason Alycia hates him, and the real reason Byron parked him in Halcyon … and all that great Jason Quill brain can do is try and figure out a way to make up for it.

Okay, it’s a sign of how much I love this game that I’m excited by all of those. Or, hell, maybe the dozen ideas these create in me tomorrow.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5949776

Sort of an Id for Leo’s Ego/Superego

“Leo’s, Jason! Leo’s from the Id!”

(That idea makes perfect sense.)

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5949786

  • Jason as a Bull who just rotates through Alycias as both Love and Rival.
  • I’d pay real money for an actual animated JQ cartoon to be running around town engaging in shenanigans, and the real Innocent Jason desperately trying to maintain a serious reputation in spite of it.
  • Brain Jason actually makes far far more sense than Brain Leo, and I’d love to see that too.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5949798

Mike said:

Hmmm, working for the HCPD? That could introduce someone into the mix as a superior… hint, hint, wink, wink.

Today on another episode of “Bill takes things seriously”:

Leo/Otto/Pneuma have just spent the last year perfecting a formula that would work great for street cops: two humanoid partners, one automobile. One of those humanoids is an armored robot that can be loaded with forensic tech, the other can wear a lightweight modular suit in case of problems, and function as a flesh-and-blood human (for tech-phobic interviews or deep cover work). Their car can get them from place to place, but also protect them, power them up, and function as an intelligent, observant third partner.

So does Halcyon City have such a thing already?

I assume there’s some kind of mechanized/meta-crimes division that is equipped with whatever tech and training the division can afford, but is notably not equipped to shut down most supervillains - that’s what heroes are for, after all, and they seem willing to work cheap to free. But if a hero isn’t around, the meta-cops will deploy (at great expense, the captain will angrily note) and do their best.

Could the cops use Leo’s modular tech? Sure. If there were a move he took to buy it, the strengths would be “cheap” and “flexible”. It’s built of light atoms that most of the world is made of and can be cheaply farmed. It depends on well-understood chemical principles, not hard-to-maintain uber-tech. There’s still drama and risk there (criminals steal the suits, evil industrialists obtain the tech and replicate it for their nefarious purposes, rogue cops can wear it too), but if you want to keep cops alive and ahead of the curve for mundane crime, it’s not bad.

You could do a whole campaign, probably not using Masks per se, about Halcyon City’s newly formed Mobile Division and their LinQ suits. You could do one or two characters, a human or android partner, with the other partner + car as NPCs, as some kind of Soldier playbook. “Prototype AI car with human partner” is the whole plot of Brave Police J-Decker, one of the Brave Series of shows that inspired Link as a character, so this would be familiar turf for me. But yeah, that’s how I’d do a police-sponsored Soldier.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5952566

their LinQ suits

I saw what you did there.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5953061