As usual, a little sad my last post didn't solicit any comments even as the previous one, which inspired it, did. Oh well. They say timing is everything and perhaps my timing is a bit off with the weekend approaching (and now here as of this writing).
Still and all I think some of the ideas I put forth are worth a look. Please take a gander when you get the chance.
One of the under used elements of the Supers genre among many Superhero gamers and GMs (myself included from time to time) is the use of an effective supporting cast in the heroes' costumed and secret identities. In Champions especially, the 'Dependant NPC' Disadvantage is only a disadvantage if the NPC is truly dependant upon the PC. If Lois Lane is never in trouble or even around, Superman has less to worry about and as we all know, that's not as fun.
The problem for me is, more and more, my new and younger players don't really think about plucky reporters, dear old aunts and best buddies who try to figure out their identities. Most are reading Marvel comics where the secret identity and double life traditionally attributed to the superhero is sort of passe'. The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Captain America, Luke Cage and many other Marvel heroes have publicly known 'secret' identities. It doesn't hinder them in the least because their supporting cast, once an important part of the comic book soap opera milieu, now consists primarily of other costumed super beings.
This conversation is not out of the question:
Hawkeye: "I'm worried that if they find out my secret identity, they'll go after my girlfriend."
Spiderman: "Um...dude. You're dating Spiderwoman. She can kick your ass. And mine. And likely theirs who ever 'they' are."
I do have one player, the always awesome Dave, who has an interesting Dependant NPC for his Champions alt character, Silver Sun. Silver Sun adopted a young boy who has evidenced super powers of his own and with the help of the Scaramangler Foundation (a sort of global, non-profit Xavier's School For Gifted Youngers meets the Red Cross), the kid is learning to handle his abilities while Silver Sun learns to handle having a kid.
Again however, the kid has powers. He is not a normal child who has no means of defending himself at all against an attacking supervillain. That dynamic is simply not often as evident as it once was.
Now, as to a supporting cast of Supers and those who can hang with them...
I can create Superhero concepts at the drop of a hat and as such, I tend to. For my Champions campaign I am actually showing a huge amount of restraint, as part of the setting is that the word has considerably less Superheroes than Marvel or DC comics.
New York City for example, often depicted as the mecca of all superhero activity in mainstream comics, has just over a dozen Supers. What I have done is given the team, individually or as a group, the chance to move around and see the rest of the country and even the world. As such, they have forged relationships with Supers from other states and discovered just how hard their jobs can be.
For example, Georgia, former home town of Silver Sun before he moved to New York, is protected by only three other heroes. Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Wyoming appear to share not but a handful of costumed do-gooders between them. This makes each one stand out more and gives the players a reason to not only help but to get to know them. Sometimes they become friends, sometimes they rub each other the wrong way. It makes for good TV as they say.
Finally, taking a cue from current Marvel as well as my old Villains & Vigilantes days, the government agents, SHIELD types and other law enforcement officers and officials round out things nicely as people who can handle themselves but still need to call in the heroes for the big jobs. Here more than anywhere else you get the people who can either love or hate the PCs and NPC heroes in a big way and have enough clout to make things easy or hard for the supers. Some agents are honored to fight beside these gifted individuals. Some would prefer the freaks would stay out of the way and let them do their job. You know the drill.
So those are some of my supporting cast thoughts. Not all of them mind you but enough for an early Saturday morning. No game today as personal stuff takes precedent but back to the fold next week.
Oh and just a quick heads up...June 30th is the next RECESS game event! I'll be there and I hope, if you can, you will too.