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Old Jun 2nd, 2022, 08:15 PM
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The City of Darkness: Shadowgate Breach

Game NameThe City of Darkness: Shadowgate Breach
Game SystemMutants and Masterminds
ThemeAwakened Metahumans protecting the world from the other realms
FlavourGritty Urban Fantasy supernatural hero adventure
Plot Summary



Summary
There are those that scratch the surface of it, that know things are not as the seem, but they can never manage to breach the veil that protects them from the truth. There are legends of fairy tales of dark things that bump in the night. Stories that warn you of not going to forbidden places or doing things that cause too much attention, things that make you disappear. The more we depend on modern technology the less we remind ourselves of the tales of warning, we cast them off as old myths not to be believed. We rely on the science, but even the science tries to tell us its own story. We are not alone, there are other worlds, other possibilities, other dimensions that would be just like our own, but different with just a thin dimensional barrier protecting us from whatever else is out there. Despite all of the hints we are still blind to see it.

All but a select few. The ones that know it is all true, vampires, werewolves, trolls and goblins. All of the horrible stories that kept us in our beds, it is all true, signs of something else, something greater that even that we can not fathom to see, but they can. Those with the true sight can see the darkness beyond our world and all the things that want to break through the veil and cast us into an age of Darkness.

The truth is that our world needs protecting and always has. Some of the very creatures that fill our storybooks contend for power on a daily basis, powerful beings that make the regular human appear to be more than a parasite on our world. It is they that at times of great need must band together to protect our world from an even greater threat as legions of chaos stand on the other side of our veil and the next. Demons of hell, shadow creatures, horrible beasts bred on insanity. They all are just one crack, one tear away from escaping into our world and when they do they must be stopped before the very fabric of our world is torn asunder.

Some call them the chosen, some the tributes for not many live long past their commitment to the cause. More often than not they find their own way, their own order, their own name. They hunt the chaos and purge the shadow and when the time of need comes they rise up to the call.


The City of Darkness
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There are many players for power and influence in the city of darkness known as Shadowgate. They hide beneath the awareness of the sleeping populace. The great order of mages that date back to the dark ages call themselves the Magnus Veritas and are tied to a global order that regulates the use of magic within the world. They have set the rules in place to hide the truth from those who can not see it in order to stem the panic of the masses for the threat of the unknown. The Dark Ages stemmed from a sudden awareness of the general population that there were dangers they could not see. The Magnus Veritas were eventually able to stop the downfall of civilization by eliminating the most terrible of those memories and replacing them with tales of werewolves, vampires, and fae.

Vampires and Werewolves each have their place in the dark city with many of the former embeding themselves in politics or positions of power while the werewolves tend to flock to areas where they can protect and monitor the innocent. Werewolves tend to live and work in pacts with each being led by an alpha although occasionally a lone wolf finds his own way. The Vampires follow a structure of a finely regulated domain ruled by Princes and Lords who all answer to the Order de Dracul that is rumored to be located in Eastern Europe. If a vampire falls out of line or risks exposing the Oder de Dracul they are quickly eliminated as are any of their proginy.

The Fae vary the greatest from all of the supernatural beings that exist within the construct of the unseen world. They consist of everthing from fairies and leoprocahns to the jinn of arabic legends. Each holds its own unique powers, thirsts, and weaknesses. They all however answer to one of the Fae courts, Spring, Summer, Winter, or Autumn. The Four courts meet once a year to align on their focus to keep their people safe and to set any agendas for the Fae.

There of course are always outliers and in this case they are the humans. Some humans have evolved over time becoming much more than their counterparts. They are not mages or fae or inheriting any of the attributes of other supernatural beings but are in themselves something that gaia has empowered to protect her. They find power in different ways but are much more than their human counterparts, metahumans with abilities that allow them to fend of the chaos that comes through the veil.

Some are loosly organized into orders of hunters, each with their own agenda and code. Others are isolationist and loners that try to take on the battle themselves, although they are the ones with the shortest lifespans for the battle is so great it is bigger than any one person. They are watched heavily by the Magnus Veritas for they pose the greatest risk to exposing the lie.




The Breach

Shadowgate is the name of the city that those awakened have given it. Everyday citizens call it by another name, a name insignificant to the true importance of the city. It sits on top of a nexus of dimensional energy, a highway of probable outcomes and worlds and is the perfect place to create a gateway into one of those worlds or from one of those worlds into ours.

Recently creatures have begun making it through, small demons at first but they are constantly getting larger and more dangerous. It has gotten the attention of the Magnus Veritas and Order de Dracul while the local packs of werewolves have begun sharing stories between alphas of the various incidents that have occured while protecting their territory. Hunters have come across creatures that they have never seen before and are continuously harder to kill.

All of the signs lead to something big coming, a breach that cannot be repaired and the protectors of Shadowgate only have a limited amount of time before a true breach of the Shadowgate. Each and every order is seeking out any information about the Shadowgate that they can find as well as reports of incidents of creatures coming through. They have arranged for a meeting to bring the best of them together to once again align and stand against the hordes of chaos and shadow that will attempt to break through into their world.

The call has been put out to the greatest of all of them. The Fae have gone so far as to send agents to those not within their ranks, ones that have built up a reputation of effectiveness, to join the council of supernatural creatures and stand against the threat. The time has come for them to once again unite.



Houserules
I will be making some houserules to the 3e M&M system to make it run a little more smoothly on PBP. Here they are:

1. You are expected to post at least once a week, this is to keep the game moving and prevent stagnation which ultimately kills games in PBP. If you notify me ahead of time that you will be unable to post that is acceptable.

2. In combat you are expected to post within 72 hours from the DM post. Exceptions can be made under special circumstances but once again we want to keep things moving. This will typically give you half a week to get a post up in combat.

3. DAMAGE RESISTANCE CHECKs will be pregenerated by the GM and provided in the combat post for that round. If you make a successful attack this allows you to know the result without waiting for a check from the GM.


What I am looking for
This story is going to be somewhere between the Dressden Files, Supernatural, and Justice League Dark. Perhaps with some other Urban Fantasy built in. You have the full range of creativity to build out a Mage, Vampire, Werewolf, Fae or Hunter that fits your interest in the setting. I don't mind characters with some hope in them, just remember the setting is dark as we are dealing with creatures that hide in the shadows and are protecting a world that sees them as monsters.

Of course sometimes there will be infighting from those very monsters that have given them such notorious reputations. It is a world of strife and survival and putting a giant S on your chest isn't going to impress anyone. Your characters should have depth and baggage that they carry with them.



Character Application
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Name or Alias: No Secret Identies this is a 24/7 gig.
Character Concept: This is just a sentence or two explaning the basic concept of your agent and any powers they may have. A Supersolider with a shield, A scientist with a supersuit, a nordic god with a magical hammer would all be good examples.
Restrictions: This is a supernatural urban fantasy setting so although metahumans are totally acceptable a flashy superhero will not fit. Justice League Dark opposed to Justice League. This is where John Constantine would flourish.
Power Level: PL 8
Abilities: Choose the ability ranks you want your character to have and pay 2 power points for each rank
Quote or Comic Byline: Just either come up with a solid quote that your character is known by or a byline for one of their comics.
Complications:Everyone's got two, some complications that could fit an tragic loss early in life, addiction, enemy, fame, honor, or prejudice but of course you are not limited to those options.
Description/Character Portrait:I'll be using your portrait to make a token but feel free to give me a narative description as well.
Affiliation: Are you a Lone wolf, associated with the Magnus Veritas or Order de Dracul? Do you have a pack or a an affiliated group of hunters?
Backstory: This is the bulk of your application and you chance to tell me who they are and how they became aware of the City of Darkness. Why have they chosen to join the fight against chaos? Where did they get theur skills or powers and how? Have they struggled with them? What are their goals, needs, values ect.
Writing Sample: Your character is in Shadowgate and has encountered a demonic creature who broke through the veil and is causing trouble somewhere in the city. Please give me a roleplay sample of how your character would approach the situation and the resulting aftermath.

BONUS
Character Connections: You obviously won't be able to do this until more characters apply, but for bonus points pick out at least two other characters and either describe the relationship your character has with them or give a character POV quote of your hero's impression of them. You are going to be a team afterall so this will help you establish good roleplay.


Q&A
Do I need to buy a rulebook or is there an SRD?
There is most definitely a free SRD available at d20herosrd

When is the deadline?
To be determined based on interest but probably around June 27th.

I'm interested but really want to play a human without powers, is that okay?
Your welcome to put in an application for a hunter that is not a metahuman but they will at the very least need to have a backstory that shows their ability to see through the darkness to the truth. They could just be enlightened from witnessing something they shouldn't and have trained or developed someway for them to fight back.

Where should I ask questions?
As a general rule if its specific to this adventure please ask them in thread so everyone can benefit. If you have a question about the system of Mutants and Masterminds please PM me.

I'm new to Mutants and Masterminds where do I start?
Mutants and Masterminds can be overwhelming with so many options available and often times it can deter someone from jumping in. Do not worry theres a way to ease yourself in to the system. First don't worry about mechanics just come up with a cool idea for your hero, or draw a picturre of them (It doesn't even have to be a good one!). Whatever gets your creative juices going. Then once you have an idea take a look at he Archetypes on the SRD and try and find one that most closely matches what your concept is. Once you have that you can make some tweeks here and there to customize it.

Before you know it you will have your perfect hero. Of course if you need help feel free to PM me I'd be glad to answer any questions.




Applicants

Player Hero Superpower or Ability Byline Complications Affiliation Complete? Reviewed?
RunetideWeaver Spider Spirit Pattern violation detected, repairs... necessaryPower LossAffiliationYY
Acathala AdamAbducted?You can kill Adam and leave his body to burn.Destroy him, but you know Adam will return. Oath, Dead FamilyAffiliation? NN
GleefulNihilismJohn Doe Necromancy Sorceror Memory loss Magnus VeritasYY
girlplayAngelika Feline themed Fae You Humans are very strange creatures, aren't you? Legendary Killer, Cat limitationsAutumn Court YN
PalladiaMors Venus Magical Golem of Magnus VeritasYou know, magic can be very dangerous if misused. I mean, I was created through an accident of magic, and I'm about to cut you in half!" Bound to Service, Noticable Magnus VeritasYN
Oghain Herr Jerome Vampire Knight "..." Officium Ordo Dracul, Officium Ordo PallidusOrdo DraculYN
Mitsubachi Agent Shinobi super-agent demonslayer “You are already dead” Blood Feud, Secret Fear, Unsure Heritage NN
AlphaZAaron Greyson Magically enhanced warlock brawler Witchcraft isn't dangerous. Unless you're an idiot.  YN
Saratek Eric Prince "Section 8-ed" Soldier whose Supernatural Experience activated a dormant hereditary ability to vocally 'Compel' others. "Normal Folk couldn't handle what I've seen; what I've experienced, and I'm gonna do my best to make sure they never have to…"Duty, PTSD (addiction)Them (Autumn Court) YN
ProjectLazarusLevistus Rorikson Werewolf"To live is to be at war with ones own nature."  Fae aligned, Exiled wolfNN
lydkleinSibyl, Oriacle The Blackmore Bean-sidheFae Trained HunterTBD. Fae ties, Family Ties, MeadbhbhMeadhbhNN
Snicker Bin Gyeong-SukVampire "Look into my eyes..." Protect the Innocent, Noticable, Vampire's Banes Order de DraculNN
Drachenspirit Shiver Harbinger of Death "Is it cold in here, or is it just me? It's just me." Blind, Motivation - Justice/Death's RevengeHunter CellYN
In the MixVidaliaShapeshifting. Telekinesis Lovers of onion soup beware! Vidalia will male you cry. Insanity Lone wolfNN
JaredSynKillian O'Doul Lepraechaun inspired Fae luck manipulator Did someone say shenanigans? Prejudice, Weakness Summer CourtYN
Battlechaser Irae ghost girl seeking bloody vengeance on the demons that killed her.I did not know a body could hold so much blood. Motivation:Revenge NoneYN
anamiac Banshee A former opera singer with a magical voice and sound related powers.Sound is not stopped by --X-Enemy, Secret, Powerloss, Temper Fae CourtYN
New Character    

Last edited by Avner; Jun 23rd, 2022 at 02:38 PM.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2022, 08:34 PM
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Old Jun 2nd, 2022, 08:43 PM
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Looking forward to see what you come up with Anarchy!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2022, 08:55 PM
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Placeholder.

Been dying for a chance to try the system out again. Was in a solo game that didn't pan out very far, but the person who ran it was very helpful and got me hooked. If you're okay with completely new applicants, I'm going to do my best to get a character up. I'm ruminating on Blade-like fella.

Last edited by Chylopan; Jun 2nd, 2022 at 08:55 PM.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2022, 09:21 PM
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By all means I am very supportive of new players.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 10:38 AM
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You had me at "Hello"!

Or in other words, posting interest.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 11:36 AM
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Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 01:39 PM
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Hi Avner.

I am currently leaning towards a Fae character but may need help building it mechanically. Part of the Fae (to me) is that they are prone to change. So, static abilities don't strike me as being appropriate for the character. The effect of an ability changing based on... emotional state or external factors, or randomly seems like the way I should go with building the character. A really capricious force of nature. Emotion could have a big influence. I'm still brainstorming, but those are my early thoughts.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 02:10 PM
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There are definitely mechanics in M&M to support that. I think what we would need to define first would be the forms you would go between and the emotional state for each form. I’m a huge green lantern fan so I love the idea of tying emotions to power sets. What we could probably do is some sort of an array of alternate forms where you are only one at a time and it is dependent on your emotional state. We could always add an element where you have to pass some sort of check to ‘resist’ changing or something.

So basically what I am saying is brainstorm away and we can sort out the mechanics once you flesh it out.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 02:55 PM
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Very Interesting!

I'll whip up a character application. I have something in mind that should thematically fit, but I'll need some time to think over the themes of your setting and adjust the character to fit.

Character Application
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Name or Alias: Weaver

Character Concept: A human body whose soul was replaced by a spider spirit.

Restrictions: Weaver is as vulnerable as his human host is, and only by clever use of his limited abilities is he able to handle supernatural threats. If you've ever played Ghostwire Tokyo, you'll grok the thematic build of this character.

Power Level: PL 8

Abilities: Choose the ability ranks you want your character to have and pay 2 power points for each rank

Quote or Comic Byline: "Pattern violation detected, repairs... necessary."

Complications:Power Loss: Spirit Binding restricts Weaver's spiritual force so that it can only exist within the host body and cannot use any of their external powers. Motivation: (responsibility) Weaver was sent into the physical world to try to maintain the veil by repairing where it's been torn, and that's what they're going to do or lose their host trying. Pure salt disrupts his spiritual energy and does damage to him like a caustic substance.

Description/Character Portrait: Weaver appears to be a normal guy. Completely average in almost every way. Dark skin, black hair, brown eyes. Except of course, now that Weaver's taken over, his face looks anything but normal. A thick layer of black smoke covers his head like a mask, with 3 pairs of glowing 'eyes' coming from within the smoke: 2 blue, 2 green, and 2 red. A pair of smoking 'fangs' flank the sides of his mouth. His body seems traced with similarly colored glowing lines that seem to shift and occasionally form words in an ancient language before swirling back. If not concealed by clothing, Weaver's 'lines' congregate across his back where it reveals that the pattern is some kind of spider whose 'legs' form the lines travelling down his limbs.

Affiliation: Originally a loner with no affiliations. Weaver has some ties on a spiritual level with the shaman-types of the city, as Weaver's progenitor (the great spider spirit that spawned him) is one of the totems revered by their kind.

Backstory: Weaver is not the man. Weaver is a spirit, a child of Uttu, the Sumerian Spider Goddess. Sent into the Shadowgate by its mother to try to repair the veil that separates the real from the spiritual, Weaver found they were trapped in purely spiritual form and distressingly, incapable of affecting the world. If it went on too long, its spiritual essence would lose coherence and it would die.
Fortunately or not, there's always something strange going on in the city. A vile ritual was being performed that very night, and one of the many citizens of the city was used as a sacrifice. The daemon consumed the victim's soul, but left the body behind. As the rite makers went on to their dark task with the ritual complete, the body was tossed aside, whole but empty. Weaver found this opportunity and possessed it, taking the place of the missing soul and reviving the flesh. Rising as the new being, Weaver had found more definition of their identity and also, now able to work within the world.

Writing Sample:
The evening air was cold and damp, heavy with melancholy. The rain had temporarily stopped, providing a small measure of solace in the dreary night.

A lone figure walked the alleyway, their hoodie pulled up over their head, and their hands shoved into their pockets. It was obvious that they were moving with a purpose but weren't driven enough to run. The figure stopped at an intersection between three buildings, turning their head left and right. The chose left, heading deeper into the maze of apartment buildings, condos, and other structures that filled that section of Shadowgate. Their journey seemed to get weirder and weirder as they walked, with puddles of water releasing droplets to fall into the sky as if gravity was reversed, crackles of electricity dancing along power cables, and strange shapes dancing just out of shape in the darkness.

The traveler moved without fear through the alleyways. There, they reached a small courtyard within the back streets, a place where once people played basketball. No longer, it seemed, as even the basketball hoop hung from the backboard by a single bolt, the chain link net rusted and falling apart. The reason why wasn't apparent to the common eye, something that lurked beyond mundane human sight.

The traveler looked up, beads of glowing green light shining out from under the hood. Hanging over the basketball court was a rip in the fabric of reality. A small one, but large enough that something could have come through. They looked down, strange tracks illuminated by the emerald were-light. Tracking the prints, they managed to follow it right up to where the intruder was waiting to pounce. The thing leapt out at them, a bundle of claws, teeth, and eyes roughly the shape and size of a dog. They collided, tumbling, while the beast from beyond clawed at the traveler.
They separated at the end of the tackle, the beast flipping away. The traveler lurched to their feet in an unnatural manner, coming upright just from their feet in contact with the floor. The hoodie was ruined, and they tore the rest of it off their body. The man's smokey mask bore six glowing eyes.

"Entity found." a whispering voice poured out of the man's lips. "Sealing tear requires removal of threat."

The six eyes on the mask all turned red with a faint snap sound. "Removing threat."

The beast snarled, throwing itself at the man again. In response, the man tumbled under, flicking his fingers at the creature as they crossed. A thin thread of red light leapt between his fingertip and the beast, anchoring itself to the point where he had pointed. For the moment, it didn't seem to do anything. Their dance continued for several long moments, and with every exchange a new thread was attached. Along the way, the man would sling some of the threads to the environment around them; light fixtures, the basketball hoop's pole, the chain link fence, and in doing so creating multiple-step lines that became pulleys to work with.

And then, with his hand full of thin threads, the man tightened his grip and pulled. The threads all tightened, catching the beast suddenly and hauling it up into the air. The center of the basketball court suddenly resembled a spider's web, with the beast in the center. Using his other hand, the man began to pull on the threads while he pulled both hands apart. The beast howled once, and then exploded into a cloud of spiritual energy as its form was ripped asunder. As the threads faded away, the red eyes of the man shifted to a blue-green.

"Threat removed." The man observed. "Patching tear can continue."
He turned to the rip, green threads of light forming between his fingers.

BONUS

Character Connections: Weaver's encountered Irae a number of times during his last few weeks about the city. The first time they encountered Irae mistook him for a demon-possessed foe and they fought for some time before the situation was able to be cleared up. Weaver has promised to help Irae resolve her torment so that she can pass on.

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Last edited by Runetide; Jun 21st, 2022 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Adding in build
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Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 09:04 PM
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Hi Avner.

I'm completely unaware of M&M content, though I've spent a few minutes (maybe an hour?) Looking at the SRD. I'm interested and I'm particularly hooked by your description of the setting. However, I'm having a hard time seeing how the mechanical parts of M&M (which seem very spandex hero based) and applying them to the somewhat grimdark setting you've described. I'm certain I'm just missing things, but would more experienced players be able to help me flesh out character creation of I have a concept in mind?

Which leads me to my next question -- you've listed several organizations or groups that would be invested in opposing the supernatural invasion. Would it be possible to create a demon -- something that has previously come through a shadowgate -- that has assimilated into the society/hidden and has an interest in preventing further invasion due to some sort of self preservation? A demon outcast or something?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ProjectLazarus View Post
Hi Avner.

I'm completely unaware of M&M content, though I've spent a few minutes (maybe an hour?) Looking at the SRD. I'm interested and I'm particularly hooked by your description of the setting. However, I'm having a hard time seeing how the mechanical parts of M&M (which seem very spandex hero based) and applying them to the somewhat grimdark setting you've described. I'm certain I'm just missing things, but would more experienced players be able to help me flesh out character creation of I have a concept in mind?
I can help if you would like. It really depends on the descriptor to make it go from spandex to grim. Example:
Spandex) Mr. Stretch uses long strands of elastic Velcro to restrain the criminal
Grim) Hydra uses his multiple heads, long necks, and large teeth to latch onto the criminals appendages as the fifth smiles with a fanged grin
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Last edited by Hiruma Kohaku; Jun 3rd, 2022 at 09:36 PM.
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Old Jun 4th, 2022, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ProjectLazarus View Post
Hi Avner.

I'm completely unaware of M&M content, though I've spent a few minutes (maybe an hour?) Looking at the SRD. I'm interested and I'm particularly hooked by your description of the setting. However, I'm having a hard time seeing how the mechanical parts of M&M (which seem very spandex hero based) and applying them to the somewhat grimdark setting you've described. I'm certain I'm just missing things, but would more experienced players be able to help me flesh out character creation of I have a concept in mind?

Which leads me to my next question -- you've listed several organizations or groups that would be invested in opposing the supernatural invasion. Would it be possible to create a demon -- something that has previously come through a shadowgate -- that has assimilated into the society/hidden and has an interest in preventing further invasion due to some sort of self preservation? A demon outcast or something?
Yes I can help you find the powers and crunch the numbers if needed, too. There is quite a lot that work as supernatural- it’s about the descriptors.

Last edited by Mitsubachi; Jun 4th, 2022 at 02:37 AM.
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Old Jun 4th, 2022, 05:02 AM
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Wow! That's so wonderful of you guys, @Hirumo Kohaku and @Mitsubachi! I'll wait to hear from Avner and let you know!
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Old Jun 4th, 2022, 07:57 AM
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I think you will notice rather quickly the M&M community on this site is pretty awesome and crazy supportive. As far as the system the others have said as much but M&M can really work for any setting, it’s just a matter of reskinning the various effects to what you like. My advice would be don’t get bogged down on mechanics. First come up with your concept and then narratively definitely the things you would like them to be able to do. For a werewolf that might be a hybrid and wolf form, ect.

As far as the demon idea I totally dig it. In most supernatural shows or books at sometime or another they get one of the monsters to join them for a good reason, vampire with a soul, escaped rebel, ect. I think as long as you come up with a good narrative justification it works. Feel free to ‘workshop’ your concept here.
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