Masks Issue 4: Link talks to people...? [Background]

So it sounds like I’ve got three conversations I can have, either played out or summarized? One with PowerPony at some point, one with Agent Waters (unless that’s for the whole team), and one talking to Iconoclast.

Definitely the right time to have Mundane +3.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5501444

I kind of want to have Iconoclast and Waters in game. (And yes, Waters is sort of meant for everyone.)

PowerPony we can do as DMs. :slight_smile:

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5501483

If it was just me, I’d have considered going “undercover”: as a fellow troubled teen asked by AEGIS to talk to Iconoclast. I don’t know how we’d approach her as a team and not make it look to her like gloating or bullying, but I’ll try to think of something.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5505720

Jason’s considered talking with Iconoclast (now that he knows she’s in custody), but figures there’s most likely no there there – she just attacked a bunch of heroes in a highly publicized setting.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5505842

*** Dave H. said:

Jason’s considered talking with Iconoclast (now that he knows she’s in custody), but figures there’s most likely no there there – she just attacked a bunch of heroes in a highly publicized setting.

Link’s goal isn’t information, but empathy. He wants to help her overcome whatever drove her to this, if that’s at all possible, however long it takes. And he’ll try to do the same for other supervillains we meet, if there seems to be a chance for them.

Even Troll.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5505864

Yeah, Jason isn’t without empathy, but tends to treat most attackers as just that.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5505893

“See, this is the difference between us, Golden Boy. Yeah, what happened to your family sucked. But until then, I imagine you had it pretty good. People to look up to, people to help you find your way.”
“I have Pneuma, and Otto, and Agent Waters, and now you guys. But… man, it was a close thing for me. A little push, and it’d have been me attacking you all at the interview.”
“I’m guessing Iconoclast didn’t have any of that. So I wanna find out. I wanna hear her story. Figure out if I can help. If I should.”

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5505964

"Well, yeah, I mean, if she needs help, I guess we try and help her. That’s what the good guys do. Just, doing what she did was dangerous, and it hurt you guys and civilians and the city. That’s not cool, y’know? I know the Foundation does some stuff with rehab for convicted criminals, and I’m okay living with that.

“I mean, when we – my family – found that secret orbital laser system control base at that creepy castle in the Canadian Rockies, we didn’t stop and ask each Nazi zombie if they were, like, happy with their work and well treated by the Baron. We hit them with shovels, Rusty used a flame thrower, and we blew the place up. And the local ranchers were really happy we did. End of adventure, off to the next discovery or menace.”

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5506341

30 minutes ago, I was going to post “I have no problem with Link going and talking to Iconoclast on his own, undercover. The rest of the group can do other stuff.”

But now, I’m kind of thinking “maybe Jason needs to observe Link talking to Iconoclast on CCtv or something, because he seems to have a Hanna Barbera-shaped hole in his understanding of bad-guys-who-aren’t-Alycia.”

(Which is really kind of cool, Dave. I like it. :slight_smile:

So… really I’m good either way.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5506362

((I am completely cool with that idea, of Leo is willing to put up with it.

((If you look back at the JQ cartoons as primers on vigilante counter-terrorism and ignoring due process – with the occasional cover of the local authorities – they’re often pretty terrifying, even leaving off the collateral toxic waste consequences of blowing up a hidden nerve gas factory in the Himalayas. As that’s the “science adventure” background Jason grew up in, then, yes, his view of crime and criminals is going to be just about that simplistic, dare I say cartoonish: leave the secret base in flames as you jet off to the next episode, chuckling together about some antic by your pet dog.

((The exception being, of course, shady but well-meaning allies, mercenaries, and fellow vigilantes, who maybe break the law or do some unpleasant things, but since they are friends the get a pass. You can’t trust arms dealers, except that guy you now who’s always happy to sell you arms in a pinch. You can’t trust spies, except for that old friend of Rusty’s who he has over for drinks now and again (or the occasional bandage).

((And, conversely, if people you know are hurt – well, “the Chicago Way” is a little dark for H-B, but I suspect Rusty would have no problem with making sure the perps didn’t get a second chance (“Well, he won’t be bothering us any more”), and Jason would probably have picked up a bit of that attitude by osmosis, if not so much direct action as of yet.

((Sounds like a good Influence opportunity.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5506435

As an aside, the Doomed concept I eventually came up with was the young son of an intergalactic ruler some adult heroes had killed, leaving a power vacuum in the empire. His goal would have been to take them to task for leaving things a mess, and his Doom was to return home and rule as an unhappy despot.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5506752

And yeah, I’m on board with all this. If the other players don’t think it would be fun, and also have something they would want to add to it, that’s when I’d suggest doing it on the forum so nobody is twiddling on Tuesday. But whatever people want to do is good :slight_smile:

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5506795

“Jason, you asked me if there was a chance I could help you escape your fate. Well maybe she deserves the same. Maybe others do.”

https://youtu.be/hteOlmejW1s

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5506819

Ooh… hey!

Can we put a pause button this conversation? Because I’d really like to resolve this as a Provoke move at the start of next session (Link wants to get Jason to come along and observe from another room, maybe? To see his point in action?) We haven’t done one of those yet, and I think it’d be a really good way to demonstrate one of the ways it shows up in play. (Aside from Spidey taunting Rhino in the middle of Park Avenue.)

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5506973

Sounds okay to me.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5507016

Bill G. said:

As an aside, the Doomed concept I eventually came up with was the young son of an intergalactic ruler some adult heroes had killed, leaving a power vacuum in the empire. His goal would have been to take them to task for leaving things a mess, and his Doom was to return home and rule as an unhappy despot.

Nice. Messy, but nice.

I’m fine with putting a pin in this until next Tuesday.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5507279

Let it be noted that Link successfully provoked (more like prodded) Jason into tagging along and observing when Link meets with Iconoclast.

author: Doyce T.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5534662

Once we get some downtime, he’ll go do that then. In the mean time, he wants to ask Agent Waters for anything he can share in Iconoclast’s file: history, motivations, whatever that tells us why she wants to tear down the superhero world’s structure. Just as importantly, a list of names of those hurt at the studio would be helpful. He also wants clearance to go talk to her at Everchanging Name Prison.

Here’s her bio from the Deck of Villainy, for reference: Kamley Saunders lost her parents to a senseless superhuman fight and her brother
to a lab accident while he worked on a new antisuperhuman weapon. In pain and anger, she stole the weapons that killed her brother. Now she seeks to topple the entire structure of superheroes, supervillains, and everything attached.

My goal is for some or all of that to become IC knowledge. My pitch to Waters is: “what if we can do what jail does - keep the public safe from her - without doing the other thing jail does - foster resentment and alienation?”

If all this goes well, and Leo understands her history, he’ll work out a pitch for her. It’s not just going to be “here’s the list of people you hurt, you should feel guilty”. Instead, he wants her to actually put names and faces to the people she put at risk. He wants her to empathize with them, and realize that this crusade she’s on will inevitably hurt someone else - someone like her - and the process might continue onward forever.

But that’s not the only way to keep people from getting hurt by supers, which he thinks is what she really wants to stop. In short, he plans to give her the Zygon Inversion Speech. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCYobBjA1kk

She doesn’t have to be a villain. She can be an activist, or an inventor, or many other things. This team, AEGIS, whoever, maybe they’ll help her with those things, if we can learn to trust her.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5534842

Jason’s probably thinking mostly in terms of learning more about her to more effectively be able to fight her in the future if need be. But he’ll go along with this for the time being.

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5537140

*** Dave H. said:

Jason’s probably thinking mostly in terms of learning more about her to more effectively be able to fight her in the future if need be. But he’ll go along with this for the time being.

In comics, the Heel-Face Turn continuum is pretty broad. Sometimes you have sworn enemies, with no hope of change…

Sometimes, you can be on good terms with someone and they’re still trying to kill you…

Sometimes, the relationship with a hero is complicated, but there’s potential futures where it goes well.

Some of our most famous and beloved comic characters - Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Black Widow - started life as the bad guy. Even the X-Men aren’t immune, with Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Rogue all starting as villains or antagonists for the hero at least.

This is all pretty meta, but as a player I think it’s fun to play through.

Jason’s current position is important. There’ll come a time when Leo thinks “oh yeah, we can help this person out” and he proves to be wrong. That tension was one of the things that made Astonishing X-Men so neat: Emma Frost explicitly brought Kitty Pryde back to the school to keep an eye on her, knowing Kitty didn’t trust her.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5538593