All-New, All-Different Suburban Senshi

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Welcome to The All-New, All-different Suburban Senshi, where everyone's powered up and the points don't matter.

It's become a brave new world since the Alternate Universe Actuary's rampage across time and space caused the Great Crisis, a cataclysmicly epic, yet somehow relaxing reboot of reality.

But what kind of a world is it now?

It's basically still your world next door, but better, stronger and faster. Alien, Demon and Monster activity is still on the edge of most people's conciousness, and if you're a hick living in a shack in the middle of nowhere, most likely everything looks just the same. But if you're clued in to the internet, or live in a large enough metropolis (or a small enough spooky area), you may more likely than not have had an experience or two with the paranormal or the strange.

The Powers That Be no longer hide the fact that there are Strangers Among Us (but it's not like they go out of their way to advertise it, either). Researchers are deep into trying to plumb the mysteries of the unknown--for good or ill--and heroes (and even villains) have cottage industry fandoms springing up all around them.

It is a more resilient world, where the reality of constant threat of alien invasion, giant monster attack or even just high-level martial artists having skirmishes around town have become something of a "fact of life" to be worked around rather than hysterically feared.

The ability of formerly high-level clandestine organizations like UNIT and Z-Kat to work more openly, coupled with the financial backing of multibillionaires like Michael Sunnyside, Tony Stark, Scrooge McDuck, Bruce Wayne and even publicly-run "Renovation Trusts" has led to much faster repair times for battle-damaged neighbourhoods, and sheltering of innocent civilians during battles has been refined to almost a perfect science. (In fact, anything beyond a week's restoration time for most battles is considered sloppy, lazy work or the sign of a truly monumental clash of powers.) Public Insurance has made the notion of losing everything to a clash of titans around the corner a laughable prospect.

Much like the way natives of California are inured to moderate Earthquakes, the people of Earth 1337-A are used to things being wild and crazy, and they don't lose their minds over it. They embrace the wonder of living in interesting times, and their lives are richer for it, with better access to medicine and technology and a sense that "hey, this is pretty cool if extreme at times."

That isn't to say the world isn't dark and full of terrors. Far from it. Bad guys and evildoers are always trying to get an edge, to take over or prey upon the innocent. They leverage the higher level of acceptance of super-powered beings to act a bit more brazenly, to move a bit more strongly, and they can, and do, wreak lots of havoc. The difference is that they know this world is defended, and if they are not very careful they'll end up a trophy in some hero's den.

The world of Suburban Senshi is packed to the brim with exceptional beings with exceptional abilities. From god-tier beings down to your plain old impossibly-trained martial artist, there's no shortage of anyone who can kick ass and take names. It's a rowdy, fun, no-holds-barred environment where anyone can get their ass kicked at any time by anyone else, but they're also tough enough to get right back up and dish it back out. Those that aren't are either safely shepherded out of the way or protected by barriers in the background or have the common sense to run away.

A common day in the life of the world of Suburban Senshi will be filled with fights, houses and mountains collapsing or exploding, alien ships trading firefights in the atmosphere and cars being hurled at skyscrapers by killer androids using Tokyo Tower like a railgun. And civilian life carries on, routing around the chaos in a well-practised routine, with the city largely ready for another day of roughhousing less than 24 hours later. Truly existential threats may be perceived by all, but when the sky goes black with alien warships or the dark clouds of an Eternal Dragon Summoning, the people trust in their heroes to work towards keeping them safe.

It's also a world where the concept of "antihero" is well-understood, and it's not outside the realm of possibility to see bad guys taking vacations or shopping along good guys (depending on their level of infamy at the moment, of course). The world is tolerant, accepting, and exciting. It's like the whimsy of Batman 1966 met the high-octane action of Gunsmith Cats and the martial arts fun of Ranma 1/2 and Dragonball, and had a baby. A crazy, sexy, battle-crazy, comedic baby.




PLAYSTYLE PRACTICALITIES

With a new world comes a new way of interacting. (Or rather, an old way) We're going to back to events Meaning Something.TM

Suburban Senshi is not Dungeons and Dragons, or L5R, or any kind of other game really. It's not about rigidly defining your character by some set system of limits (unless you want to play YOURS that way) or having to roll / spot check on everything, because outside of events... the Points don't matter. It's farting around for fun only somewhat slightly elevated into a juryrigged interaction system so we're able to tell a story and not endlessly trying to outpower each other.

Everything outside of a sanctioned event is "banter". What does that mean? It means the threat of personal harm to your character is nil (again, unless you play it otherwise-- but it may be silly to do so)

Think of "banter" as the equivalent of a Rap Battle-- you get ahead not by force of fists, but by cleverness of word. So you can throw someone through a wall or get punched into orbit. Great. Everyone can do that / have that happen to them. Fisticuffs are icing on a gameplay cake, and add color and zaniness to the proceedings. They're not the point, or the be-all, end all of interactions in chat. If you're getting your feelings hurt because you got punched, or someone dodged your punch, you're missing the point.

Like Looney Tunes, you are fully within your rights to get right back up and shrug things off, or ignore what other players are doing to yours. (The only exception is if you're misbehaving and an OP character takes action to shut you down-- your attempts to no-sell that will be ignored.) If you're in a sanctioned event, we have the fight system to keep things fair.

"Oh," you might say, "but in my canon my character would be seriously destroyed by that." One-- in chat, it's banter. Having your character die because of comedic pratfalls done by another character will be ignored and laughed at. In an EVENT, where stakes are present, that's a totally different story. Two, even though you're playing a canon, remember the oft-repated canard that here you are not playing a Warhammer, Star Wars, Star Trek, Star Ocean or Sailor Moon canon character in Suburban Senshi. You are playing a Warhammer, Star Wars, Star Trek, Star Ocean or Sailor Moon-TYPE character. What that means is you follow the basic rules of your universe, but you can't beat someone over the head with them, because Suburban Senshi canon (where any and all threats can be nullified at whim) trumps all.

Outside of an event, asking someone else to roll for something or expecting them to do so is folly (unless you're playing a truly random game like tennis, volleyball, baseball, or something). It's an imposition. If you want to have randomosity decide if their action takes hold for your char, you roll for it. Bear in mind that making people subject to the outcome of a roll for every little thing can get irksome. If you don't want them to succeed, just dodge. Or no-sell. Don't repeatedly stop the flow of interaction making someone else do a roll.
In an event, the fight system is its own roller, which should cover fairness. If someone is hunting for you on a quest or something, it's okay to ask for rolls, but not infinitely. This isn't DnD. One time is fine, two is alright, three is too much. Find other ways to narratively create challenges that can be realistically overcome.

(What I'd really love to see replace bare Dice Rolls is a simplified version of the Wushu mechanic where the more details you put into your act, the more bonus points you can add to a roll up to say five more-- in other words,

"Vermellia scans for Sakura" nets a 1d20 check with no bonus, but "Vermellia scans for Sakura, using her sense of smell, her super-duper timey-wimey scanner thing and a small army of nanobot helpers" nets her a +3 bonus because she added more to the action. It makes the interactions richer and more enjoyable to read. )

As a matter of consideration, if you're going to set up a trap or obstacles, make sure other players have enough info to solve the problem. If it's grounded in a canon they don't know much about, have a helper character around that can dispense hints. This isn't about making people feel stupid, frustrated, or helpless. You want to make it a contest, but at the same time, we're here to tell a story together. That purpose gets frustrated if people just quit because your puzzle was too hard. (and honestly, most of us are logging in tired after work, or early in the day, we may not be firing on all cylinders. And hell, we may just not be thinking the same way you are. Everyone's different. Be gentle.)




SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE BOXES, THEN?

On the whole this is flexible, but the hard-and-fast is that event level sustained battles should stay out of #ss2, and should be scheduled in advance in #ss3 or moved there immediately if a small scene that is anything other than a comedic ruckus is getting larger and larger.