Government sponsored teams

This board is locked, but is preserved here as an archive of all your hard work posting. Please register on the new M&M boards, over at http://atomicthinktank.com/

Government sponsored teams

Postby Dominique » Fri Jun 06, 2003 7:05 pm

I'd like to hear everyone's opinion on government sponsored super teams. Most of the one's in the comics I read, always seem to have some sort of sinister purpose behind them.

I tend not to run my players (on government) or NPC teams that way, but I do tend to have the NPC teams on a tight government leash. The one exception I had to this was back in my old Champions days when I had my players fight Soviet team, the Red Vanguard (yes I'm that old). They were everything you would picture a communist sponsored team to be.
"There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, only dangerous men"

http://pub151.ezboard.com/bsuperworld12090
User avatar
Dominique
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:59 pm
Location: Virginia

Government Tools

Postby mrobviousjosh » Fri Jun 06, 2003 7:44 pm

I hear government teams and I think: Anti-mutants (like the Sentinel program), SHIELD, and the Weapon X program. None of which I'd want to be a part of. Although there is also that Canadian group sponsored by the government and one shot heroes/villians from governments- Mainly Captain America, Red Skull, and Omega Red. Other than that, I figure most people wouldn't foot the bill, particularly in an X-Men world. In another world it might be feasible but look at all the crap Spider-man's had to take over the years. I'd say probably not but I freely admit that I've been jaded over the issue. :)
If you send someone to save the world, you better make sure they like it the way it is.
-Triple X-
User avatar
mrobviousjosh
Super Poster
Super Poster
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 11:05 pm
Location: Arkansas

Government teams

Postby Dominique » Fri Jun 06, 2003 8:22 pm

Don't forget about China Force (who I actually liked) or the Ultra Marines (who I also like) from JLA. Though China Force is more a villian team and the Ultra Marines were probably a one shot deal.
"There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, only dangerous men"

http://pub151.ezboard.com/bsuperworld12090
User avatar
Dominique
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:59 pm
Location: Virginia

Postby palehorse » Fri Jun 06, 2003 8:51 pm

I tried something like this with Heroes Unlimited awhile back. The characters were 'recruited' (more or less against their will) into the shadowy Section 23. There were some mysterious goings-on behind the scenes, but Section itself, while ruthless, was pretty above-board with the players. It was all the OTHER gov't organizations who were manipulative and embroiled in conspiracy...

I ran it very similarly to a season of X-Files, with stand-alone 'episodes' mixed in with 'meta-plot' episodes, as well as a couple that either mixed the two, or seemed to be one but ended up being the other. To this day I still plot out adventures for all my campaigns 23 'episodes' at a time (the average TV series runs 22-24 ep's a season, but I'm a William Burroughs fan so I stick with 23), drawing a lot of inspiration from Babylon 5, Buffy, and the afore-mentioned X-Files (while it was still good...) as far as laying out episode order.
Butch Curry
Staff Reviewer, GamingReport.com
User avatar
palehorse
Aficionado
Aficionado
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 5:37 pm

Postby Dr Archeville » Fri Jun 06, 2003 10:00 pm

The PC's in the game I'm running are part of The Directive, a sub-division of the FBI, which takes in Metahumans in an attempt to teach them how best to use their powers for the benefit of society, and to act as a U.S. government superhuman task force to be used to safeguard the interests of the United State government in situations beyond the control of conventional forces. High-level operatives are able to make arrests, testify in court, and are instructed in the legal and constitutional implications of their actions. The Directive are the good-guys, and do not have any ulterior motives; all members are willing recruits.

The Exiles, on the other hand, are a highly secretive "Black Ops" team of "indentured" Metahumans, working under the aegis' of the CIA. Most members are borderline psychopaths.

Ironically, one of the two 'Keepers' of the branch of the Directive my PC's work for was once a member of the Exiles (a fact he's not exactly open about)....
FNORD is Fnord is fnord...
User avatar
Dr Archeville
Enthusiast
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2002 8:16 am
Location: Raleigh, NC

Postby Dominique » Fri Jun 06, 2003 10:11 pm

I'm still in the process of deciding what elements of the "oficial" M&M universe I want to use, and I'm still waiting to see how they handle "foreign" supers and government teams.

I always have a number of government teams/and or heros in my games. So far I've desided that the US, EU, Japan, Israel, and the UK will have some sort of team of government sponsorship for an individual hero or team.

My NPC US team is stilled being hashed out, but so far it consists of:

Proctor: Team leader. An African American male cyborg and former Delta Force officer. Married, two kids, natural leader type character.

Impact: Former police officer. An African American female with super strentgth, that absorbs kenetic energy. Mutant daughter of a soldier who volunteered for a "super soldier" program during the late sixties, in a effort to aviod serving in Vietnam. Her father hoped it would allow him to stay home and help provide extra support for his family after his police officer father (Impact's grandfather) was killed during a bank robbery.

Ajax: A former Air Force test pilot equipped with a suit of power armor. (think Mr. all American). Severly injuried during a crash, thanks to his family's connections, he was selected to wear a new set of power armor.

Hardpoint: A Korean American from Los Angeles who's pretty much physically invulnerable. He's the teams youngest member (18). Cocky and very over confident tends to rush into fights without thinking, not realizing that his physical invulnerbility will not protect him from everything.

Renegade: A Native American from Oklahoma. A former Army Ranger. Think of him as a powered down version of Superman (with out the ability to fly). Very bad attitude, forced to serve on the team for 5 years after being arrested by the FBI for his involvement in a native rights protest that got out of hand.

Bright Star: Female, assistant team leader. Former NASA astronaught with light based powers.


I'm still playing around with a a background and name for a female Psi-tracker, a Hispanic Female with the ability to alter temperature (heat and cold), and one other male.

I also need to come up with a team name and work out their background. What do you guys think so far?
"There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, only dangerous men"

http://pub151.ezboard.com/bsuperworld12090
User avatar
Dominique
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:59 pm
Location: Virginia

Postby Doctor Otaku » Fri Jun 06, 2003 10:58 pm

I have a few gov't sponsored teams in my setting, mainly China's Dragon Warriors, UN Force Ten, and to a lesser extent, the former Soviet heroes of the Commonwealth. I have been toying with a US gov't team, but they may be more of a neohuman enforcement arm for REACT. A kind of Delta Force on steroids.
Doctor Otaku
"I'm not a villain, I'm just heroically challenged!"
Visit the The Demented Dojo!
User avatar
Doctor Otaku
Enthusiast
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Sat May 04, 2002 4:00 pm
Location: The Demented Dojo

Government Teams

Postby Dominique » Sun Jun 08, 2003 6:04 pm

How about posting an overview of some of the characters?
"There is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, only dangerous men"

http://pub151.ezboard.com/bsuperworld12090
User avatar
Dominique
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:59 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Government Teams

Postby Doctor Otaku » Sun Jun 08, 2003 7:12 pm

Dominique wrote:How about posting an overview of some of the characters?


Almost all are in preliminary concept stage right now. Be patient and I should tease a few up when time allows. :green:
Doctor Otaku
"I'm not a villain, I'm just heroically challenged!"
Visit the The Demented Dojo!
User avatar
Doctor Otaku
Enthusiast
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Sat May 04, 2002 4:00 pm
Location: The Demented Dojo

Postby CPXB » Sun Jun 08, 2003 7:17 pm

My initial thinking is that most government super teams are handled rather poorly because the actual government and laws of the United States are flagrantly ignored.

All government agencies have really limited mandates. For instance, a military super-team would not be allowed, due to the Posse Commitatus laws, to intervene in law enforcement. A team working wit the FBI could only intervene in federal affairs. A local team would probably be attached to the police, and would have an extremely limited area of jurisdiction and would be limited to enforcing laws, and be held accountable to those laws -- meaning stuff like use of force, warrants, treatment of prisoners, etc.

Almost all of these things are ignored when making government superteams.
-- Chris
User avatar
CPXB
Devotee
Devotee
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2003 8:47 am
Location: Bangor, ME

Postby palehorse » Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:18 pm

CPXB said:
All government agencies have really limited mandates. (snip) Almost all of these things are ignored when making government superteams.

True, true... but it seems like most gov't hero teams in comics end up working on a purely reactive, emergency basis. I imagine that any government that put them to use in such a capacity would have some sort of emergency powers clause created for them; no one wants to consult the lawyers to see if the All-Americans can stop Dr. Terror's SuperDeathWalker from stomping Cleveland into the dirt.
If the team is going to be doing much proactive work, specifically investigations leading to arrest, I think you're right on the money, and its something a GM might give thought to if they're of a mind to carry that level of realism in the campaign.
Butch Curry
Staff Reviewer, GamingReport.com
User avatar
palehorse
Aficionado
Aficionado
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 5:37 pm

Postby arcady » Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:48 pm

Number one thing to remember is to structure the team in some way that allows the PCs to freelance and go on their own for subplots.

If you don't do that, you'll get very frustrated a few scenerios in when you start to realize you have to be the driving force behind all the plots... Sending them on mission after mission.

The structure needs to be loose enough that they're not -stuck on duty- when in costume. Yet tight enough that you can pull in the reigns and mess with them as part of a plotline.
User avatar
arcady
Fanatic
Fanatic
 
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed May 22, 2002 4:00 pm
Location: San Francisco

Postby zornwil » Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:02 pm

The team in the regular (HERO) game is not sponsored by the government but has substantial ties, though those are byzantine and conspiratorial. The ties are also contradictory, with different agentcies have different agendas. The players aren't even aware (and it may never even come up) exactly what those motivations are for each party. The government therefore sometimes help, sometimes doesn't help, and once in a while presents a challenge, but really only a minor one so far.

The team in another game I play in is fully government-sponsored although in play we've deviated from what the government would have wanted us to do. The GM has done a good job of allowing freedom balanced with the responsibility we feel to be careful, so to speak.

In the M&M game that we just played the first session for Saturday (the 7th) I'm GMing for a Russian super-hero team. The government needs them to do some services but also has encouraged them to free-lance and basically be good guys giving the government a good name. SPOILER WARNING IF YOU PLAY IN THE GAME (so many spaces below)































the government in this case although it s a revitalized Russia (run by no less than the mysterious "Dr. Doom" although of course he isn't known by that in Russia, he's President Domovtich, a known and previously active super-human and national hero), really just wants a postiive good-guy team. There is no ulterior motive (which probably isn't what the players expect). I mainly did that to take a conspiracy break - and it's not that the government is so nice, it's just that they're engaged in their conspiracies elsewhere. So the government has given them the team an initial assignment but indicated their behavior needs to be as positive role-models in off-duty.
zornwil
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 12:55 am

Postby CPXB » Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:03 pm

palehorse wrote:True, true... but it seems like most gov't hero teams in comics end up working on a purely reactive, emergency basis. I imagine that any government that put them to use in such a capacity would have some sort of emergency powers clause created for them; no one wants to consult the lawyers to see if the All-Americans can stop Dr. Terror's SuperDeathWalker from stomping Cleveland into the dirt.
If the team is going to be doing much proactive work, specifically investigations leading to arrest, I think you're right on the money, and its something a GM might give thought to if they're of a mind to carry that level of realism in the campaign.


This is part of the limitation of the four-color genre. It's pretty hard to do investigation when you almost always wear superhero garb -- and few superhero teams are designed with investigation in mind.

In my opinion, four-color superhero stories almost inevitably collapse when you start adding too much more than emergency reaction and personal melodrama to the mix. Once you have characters doing stuff like serious investigation, undercover work and related activities, the conventions that define four-color superhero comics disintergrate.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, by the way. I'm just opinioning that once characters start doing "serious" and "realistic" investigations, four-color conventions take a beating.
-- Chris
User avatar
CPXB
Devotee
Devotee
 
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2003 8:47 am
Location: Bangor, ME

Postby palehorse » Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:06 pm

And most serious and realistic investigation doesn't exactly make for the most scintillating game play, either.
Butch Curry
Staff Reviewer, GamingReport.com
User avatar
palehorse
Aficionado
Aficionado
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 5:37 pm

Postby Paladin » Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:08 pm

Weren't Stormwatch government run?

And, to some extent, The Authority?
User avatar
Paladin
Super Poster
Super Poster
 
Posts: 800
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:32 am
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Postby mgg » Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:12 pm

True, serious and realistic investigation is probably boring, but "serious" and "realistic" can be a lot of fun if the players like that sort of thing :)

Four color breaks down, but you might try a game with a more pulp detective or horror feel.
mgg
Devotee
Devotee
 
Posts: 363
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 1:22 pm

Re: The Authority and Stormwatch

Postby Ryan_Singer » Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:57 pm

Paladin:

Stormwatch was a peacekeeping arm of the Security council of the UN. The Authority, despite having a fex Ex-Stormwatch officers, has no Gov't ties except for their tense and sometimes violent rivalry with the Gov't's of the G-8.-Ryan
Ryan_Singer
Dabbler
Dabbler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 1:37 pm

Postby Ironhand » Tue Jun 10, 2003 8:49 am

Government or other sponsorship/control can provide a large number of interesting plot hooks. In our game, there is a government -controlled NPC super team (who covers a large, multistate area). The PC's team is "sponsored" by a non-profit foundation, at least one of whose corporate contributors may be somewhat shady. There's a fair degree of not-so-friendly rivalry between the two teams, but they do cooperate.

This sort of thing produces far too many plot possibilities to list them all here. POint is that even if it's not the PC's team, having such a team in the game gives the GM a lot of potential story hooks to work with.
User avatar
Ironhand
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 6:17 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby TheDayKnight » Tue Jun 10, 2003 11:17 am

In my campaign the government has two teams: the face team known as The Federals and the Black Ops team known as Code Silence.

The Federals include: Challenger, Lariat, The Steward, Grand Canyon, and America Man
User avatar
TheDayKnight
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 4:23 pm
Location: Iowa City, Citadel of the DayKnights

Postby voordax » Tue Jun 10, 2003 11:29 am

IMO, this really is like most things. It boils down to your group and initial communication. If people aren't into the concept your game will flop, no matter what effort you put into it. I've personally played in and ran several governmentally based games (in a few different genres, including supers) that have worked out quite well. There are a lot of things that can take the "agents" out of the "directives" loop. Communications issues, alternate timelines and dimensions, infiltration of their own agency by the enemy, etc.
~V~
*~*ever notice how common sense really isn't that common?*~*
User avatar
voordax
Seasoned Veteran
Seasoned Veteran
 
Posts: 695
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:16 pm
Location: San Francisco

Postby Strand0 » Tue Jun 10, 2003 5:39 pm

TheDayKnight wrote:In my campaign the government has two teams: the face team known as The Federals and the Black Ops team known as Code Silence.

The Federals include: Challenger, Lariat, The Steward, Grand Canyon, and America Man
Are these PCs?
User avatar
Strand0
Earth's Mightiest
Earth's Mightiest
 
Posts: 2657
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2002 7:51 pm
Location: CA

Postby Crackerjack » Tue Jun 10, 2003 5:46 pm

well you'v got several flavors-

UN backed team, usually the "worlds greatest supers team"

American backed team, the runnerup for "worlds greatest team", have WWII history

Secret American government blackops team

UN mulitnational team with one representative from every UN nation

ect.
"Look out boys, it's Astro City's greatest hero!"
"Hey, I dont see Samaritan anywhere..."
Crackerjack
Booster
Booster
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 6:23 pm

Government Teams

Postby Dunedain » Tue Jun 10, 2003 6:23 pm

I typically have several U.S. government teams, reflecting the distinct missions and interdepartmental rivalries typical of American government entities.

Right now my teams/organizations are:

The Minutemen are the public face of the Department of Homeland Security. As such they have an unusually broad mandate. The Red Team responds to immediate superhuman threats and emergencies as well as ongoing natural disasters that could make use of members' unique powers. The Blue Team handles the investigation of human and superhuman threats to national security. This can include monitoring, capture, and interogation of suspects. The White Team coordinates research into superscience and superhuman phenomena, as well as monitoring and restricting the export of supertech and its release of supertech into the public domain.

The FBI has two superhuman teams. The "Untouchables" (a media nickname not used by the FBI itself) consist of several pairs of superhuman special agents who investigate a wide range of criminal activities where their talents might prove useful. The "G-Men" (another media nickname) are the FBI's elite superhuman Counter-Terrorist Team. They're the superpowered fighters. The G-Men are pretty disciplined.

The other federal law enforcement agency with superheroes is the U.S. Marshals Service. Specifically, the real-world Special Operations Group has a superhuman unit for dealing with (or retrieving) heavy criminal threats and fugitives. Technically called the Exotic Special Operations Group, they are nicknamed the "Extra-Fucking Specials" or just The Specials. These are the "cowboys" of federal agents, interested in doing the job but not the protocol or public reaction.

Each military branch has its own superhuman or supertech research and development program: these compete with each other for funding and mission assignments. For large-scale operations (alien invasions, war with other countries, that sort of thing) superhuman soldiers are brought together in a Special Task Force known as the Silver Eagles. The black-ops military team, known to exist but not publicly acknowledged, are known as Omega Force.

The espionage or covert teams are a covert CIA team and the guys who work for Majestic-12.

These groups are often at cross-purposes. Some are a little dark and not to be trusted, others are pretty decent. And some heroes are members of more than one team, either openly or secretly, with membership rotating.

Other than that, the permanent members of the UN Security Council each have their own military superteam. Other military superteams are banned under international law, but Israel, Taiwan, Pakistan, India, North Korea, and (until recently) Iraq all have them anyway.
"Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat History 101."
Dunedain
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2003 6:01 pm

Postby TheDayKnight » Tue Jun 10, 2003 10:22 pm

Strand0 wrote:
TheDayKnight wrote:In my campaign the government has two teams: the face team known as The Federals and the Black Ops team known as Code Silence.

The Federals include: Challenger, Lariat, The Steward, Grand Canyon, and America Man
Are these PCs?


No.

The pcs in my game are a group called the Oddsquad. But I might run a few one shots with the Federals...
User avatar
TheDayKnight
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 4:23 pm
Location: Iowa City, Citadel of the DayKnights

Next

Return to Mutants & Masterminds Archives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests