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Old 05-10-2018, 08:30 AM   #21
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

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I was told later that my portrayal of Hydra was a little off, because "Hydra offering benefits to civvie workers" was a little suspect. One of the players suspects they're not really Hydra, just someone using the Hydra name and uniform. The PCs are speculating ICly and OOCly as to why Hydra was apparently knocking off and stealing from black market dealers.
I wonder if your players really understand Hydra, or how many real world criminals, terrorists, dubious goverments, etc. operate. I mean, I've lived a very sheltered life, so it ain't like I've learned all of this first hand, but I'm not afraid to Google for half-remembered facts, be they from comics or (again) real life.

First things first, Phantasm: is Agent Bob an intentional reference to the canon character by the same name or not? Anyway, at least around 2007 (in our timeline), Hydra offers a dental plan, but not a full dental plan like AIM. Which is obviously there for laughs, but makes way too much sense when you stop and think about it.

Like I said, in the real world, crime tends to pay well. Not always, of course. Simply put, if one's criminal actions are enough to completely dominate another, they probably don't pay more than is necessary to retain functionality (which may be nothing at all!). Such organizations or individuals burn their bridges, and it can come back to bite them pretty bad. So you've got the other extreme, where someone is intentionally generous with his or her or the organization's money... because that money comes a lot more easily than honestly earned wages, and because that person is really buying more than the usual service.

They are buying silence and privacy, which can cost the person selling quite a bit as well. Phantasm, your Agent Bob was openly dressing as a Hydra Agent, right? So all of these folks knew they were working for a terrorist organization that had Nazi connections or origins (don't remember how your version runs). That means Hydra are either sympathetic to Hydra, being coerced, or being paid well. If Hydra only had one official goon running them, I doubt coercion was the motivating factor (or at least, not the main one).

So... yeah, knowing about the canon Agent Bob makes your player's disbelief even funnier. XD
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:35 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

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the Hydra goon - I later named him "Bob"
Excellent cameo.

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I was told later that my portrayal of Hydra was a little off, because "Hydra offering benefits to civvie workers" was a little suspect.
This is mentioned as a reason Hydra/ Serpent Society/ AIM goons take the risk of being goons in more than just Deadpool comics. I have a Spiderman comic where goons discuss retirement plan options.
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

Bob wasn't an intentional cameo, or I wouldn't've had him commit suicide to avoid capture. Still, I suppose he could come back under more sinister circumstances.

The more important cameo was Fred, though I can't say why due to spoilers. Suffice to say Hydra was paying well for silence; most other workers were just keeping their traps shut.

I was basing this version of Hydra off the "Corporate HYDRA" period, when a HYDRA faction in the comics were operating as an organized criminal syndicate under (IIRC) Silvermane's leadership. All I'll say about this Hydra is: yes, they are of Nazi origins (though they're not quite as fascist as the Nazis were), they're run in the shadows by a "Mr. Green", who himself answers to a "Mr. Red", and they have access to AIM laser weaponry. I don't dare give out more spoilers due to my players keeping an eye on the thread. o/`
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:58 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

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Bob wasn't an intentional cameo, or I wouldn't've had him commit suicide to avoid capture. Still, I suppose he could come back under more sinister circumstances.
I wouldn't bother unless the entire point is to make it clear he is not the Agent Bob. He doesn't sound like he behaved like the actual Agent Bob, possibly behaved as the opposite of Agent Bob. Though, given how generic "Bob" is as a name, having a high concentration of people named "Bob"
working as henches could be hilarious but believable. XD

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The more important cameo was Fred, though I can't say why due to spoilers. Suffice to say Hydra was paying well for silence; most other workers were just keeping their traps shut.
Cameo? Oh, I missed something. XP

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I was basing this version of Hydra off the "Corporate HYDRA" period, when a HYDRA faction in the comics were operating as an organized criminal syndicate under (IIRC) Silvermane's leadership. All I'll say about this Hydra is: yes, they are of Nazi origins (though they're not quite as fascist as the Nazis were), they're run in the shadows by a "Mr. Green", who himself answers to a "Mr. Red", and they have access to AIM laser weaponry. I don't dare give out more spoilers due to my players keeping an eye on the thread. o/`
Work's for me, but even under Red Skull, I think this kind of organization knows that money talks (or rather, keeps people from talking). ;) Try looking up how Cobra operated in the Marvel G.I. Joe comics (and at least initially in the Devil's Due run).
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:07 PM   #25
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

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I wouldn't bother unless the entire point is to make it clear he is not the Agent Bob. He doesn't sound like he behaved like the actual Agent Bob, possibly behaved as the opposite of Agent Bob. Though, given how generic "Bob" is as a name, having a high concentration of people named "Bob" working as henches could be hilarious but believable. XD
Chelsea: "This has to be the sixth Hydra agent we've encountered named 'Bob'. You think they're cloning them or something?"
Ana: "Nyet, more likely it's a mandatory alias for dealing with hired underlings."
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:12 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

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Chelsea: "This has to be the sixth Hydra agent we've encountered named 'Bob'. You think they're cloning them or something?"
Ana: "Nyet, more likely it's a mandatory alias for dealing with hired underlings."
I don't know if you're serious or not but I love it. XD
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:42 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

Pre-Game Mini-Session 6: Foreshadowing

So, we're having real life issues scheduling the big first session, because real life is being a pain in the posterior excrement orifice, as Beast would delicately put it. In the meantime, the players are asking for more minis, so I'm obliging.

One of Chelsea's day jobs is as a private investigator operating out of her home, which happens to be a converted warehouse in Brooklyn near the river, in spitting distance of lower Manhattan. We started in her office with her and Avril, both in civilian clothes, a day after the Hydra warehouse incident discussing what they discovered about Ana. Ana, meantime, had snuck into the place bypassing most of the mundane stuff.

At Chelsea's prompting, Avril discussed a bit of her origins. When Chel asked if Avril wanted anything to drink, Ana walked in and asked for some vodka like a good Russian. At this point, things devolved a bit: I mentioned that Chelsea's place had magical silent alarm wards she'd set up to alert her of intruders that Ana would not have noticed, and Ana's player immediately disagreed because "this isn't her first rodeo", despite the wards being invisible, intangible, inaudible, and odorless, because magic, and Ana not having any means to detect magic.

This cued a bit of OOC drama, because apparently one person thought that being a superspy meant having some means of detecting magic even though magic is at present extremely rare in the setting and mostly unknown to exist even to the powers that covered up the recent alien invasion.

Once we got everything straightened out, Chel revealed the consequences of tripping the wards: a pack of ghost dogs that would tear Ana apart unless Chel invited her in, which was promptly done, causing one of the ghost dogs to curse, rather colorfully.

Ana then revealed the reason she was there: to get Chel's help in setting up an exit strategy for Ana and her kid brother, Anatoly, to get out from under the KGB's thumb. Fortunately, turns out Anatoly is a BIG fan of fighter planes - F-16s in particular - and Avril Aero.

The session ended not long after.

----

With Ana's player, I and Chel's player (who is himself a long-time GM, though mainly d20-based games) suspect there's more than a bit of newbieishness involved. It just seems that he wants to come across as smart and capable, to the point of trying to undermining the other PCs, some of whom are ICly just as smart and capable. Once the game gets going and we start interacting with NPCs he is more than capable of outwitting, then hopefully we can wean him off this "I must be the best ever!" mentality. A lot of it, I suspect, is attempting to get the idea of logic: you can move stealthily, but someone with a high vantage point will likely see you anyway if you don't take it into consideration; and trying to sneak up on a wizard in her own home when all you want to do is talk is generally a bad idea. Sometimes, just ringing the doorbell instead of being a ninja works better. There will be time enough to be a ninja and steal the plans the bad guy is carrying in a briefcase later. :)
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Last edited by Phantasm; 06-17-2018 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:22 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

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A lot of it, I suspect, is attempting to get the idea of logic: you can move stealthily, but someone with a high vantage point will likely see you anyway if you don't take it into consideration; and trying to sneak up on a wizard in her own home when all you want to do is talk is generally a bad idea. Sometimes, just ringing the doorbell instead of being a ninja works better. There will be time enough to be a ninja and steal the plans the bad guy is carrying in a briefcase later. :)
Another perspective.
A Mideval thief or even WW1 type Ninja might be able to watch out for trip wires, squeeky boards and such but would not not know what a camera was, much less a small hidden security camera or motion sensor.
They might get lucky and fool some things by moving slowly (such as motion sensors) but would be unable to fool say IR sensors simply because they dont know enough about them.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:17 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

The meeting in street clothes was due to confusion on my part, as I had painstakingly taken a couple hours to type Avril's description wearing her uniform. It turns out the DM actually had it set up so I had legit official reason to go there

I consider it a credit to my improvisational ability the game didn't come to a crashing halt and I came up with an outfit that didn't strain the bonds of plausibility to much

Also I had initially figured I was supposed to be secretive or mysterious or something, but I learned that was annoying so now folks IC know Avril's story as well as OOC!
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:45 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Supers] Enter the Shadowguard - a Marvel Reboot Story

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Also I had initially figured I was supposed to be secretive or mysterious or something, but I learned that was annoying so now folks IC know Avril's story as well as OOC!
To be fair, "mysterious" takes a lot of work to pull off, which is why in most cases the "cryptic Jedi Knight" routine doesn't come off as mysterious, just irritating. I'm not sure I could pull off mysterious myself, not without dropping a lot of half-truths and outright lies into the mix.

Think about how the Sphinx came off in Mystery Men; there's "terribly mysterious" and then there's "terrible at being mysterious".
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The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
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Last edited by Phantasm; 05-15-2018 at 11:48 PM.
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