The RPG Haven

Johnston - A Supers City
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Author:  flyingmice [ Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Johnston - A Supers City

We created the city for our Look! Up In The Sky! game, entirely through random rolls, with the exception of assigned Traits to bring it all together.

Johnston is a city somewhere on the east coast of the USA - about the size of Akron OH or Providence RI - with a big modern airport (Air route 1), a sea port a ways up an estuary (Sea route 2), at the end of a crumbling, traffic snarled, four lane highway (Land route 3). It's a large city, and a moderate world power. Johnston's City-wide Traits - it's civic stereotype - is Blue Collar 3, Stubborn 1, Gray 1, and Struggling 2. Johnston's City Government Traits are Rapacious 2, Disinterested 2, Despised 2, and Shabby 1

Johnston has 7 Districts:

Westwood is a tract of slums to the northwest of Downtown. It is Important to the city, and has 10s of thousands of people in it, in 2 diverse cultures, of whom 5% are metahuman. Surprisingly, it has only a moderate crime rate. Its traits are strugglng 2, Blue Collar 2, Stubborn 1, and Self-Reliant 2. It's conditions are Gloomy, Run-down, and Smoggy.

East Johnston is the waterfront and port, also a slum, and also housing 10s of thousands - this time in 3 separate cultures, with a 5% metahuman rate. It is of Average importance to the city, and also has a surprisingly moderate crime rate. It is the easternmost district. Both East Johnston and Westwood are protected and patrolled by resident funded gangs, as the cops are crooked and never set foot in the slums. East Johnston's Traits are Struggling 2, Roguish 2, Stubborn 1, and Self-reliant 2, and its Conditions are Seedy, Maritime, and Odorous.

The Pit is a district around the decrepit Johnston Civic Arena, where the semi-pro Johnston Jaguars footbal team and the AA Johnston Wildcats minor league teams play. It is south of the Downtown, and ringed with seedy sports bars and sleazy strip joints. Its Conditions are Crumbling, Sports-mad, and Outdated.

Pleasantville is a recently finished urban renewal area, funded with federal pork-barrel money. It is north and west of East Johnston, and contains the equally new airport. It is an urban residential district, with lots of high-rise apartment houses, which are mostly empty because very few people in Johnston can afford to live here. There are only some thousands of residents, but they are split into 5 different cultures as they have not yet had time to settle and gel. Crime is Plentiful, and 10% of the people are metahumans. It is of inconsequential value to the city, as very few people live here. Its Traits are Blue collar 3, Struggling 1, Gray 2, and Practical 1, and the Conditions are Clean, Empty, and Well Ordered.

West Johnston is a large, sprawling suburban district housing tens of thousands of residents in 3 cultures, 10% of whom are metahuman. Crime is Plentiful, as they rely on the crooked police, and it is of average importance to the city. It is located to the west of the downtown, south of Westwood, and the main land route out goes through it. Its Traits are blue Collar 3, Struggling 1, Chip on Shoulder 2. and Stubborn 1, while its Conditions are Spacious, Twisty, Green, and Clean.

Downtown is actually two districts, The Financial District, and the Government Center.

The Financial District is dominated by some fair-sized old Art Deco skyscrapers, most of which are half-empty, and all of which are crumbling. It is inconsequential to the city, as the financial institutions have been failing for some time. Its Conditions are Looming, Compact, and Run Down.

The Government Center is older, over a century old in most parts, filled with pillared government buildings and old low-rise office buildings. Johnston's Government Center is Very Important to the city, and its Conditions are Ornate, Old-Fashioned, and Outdated.


Author:  Silverlion [ Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Johnston - A Supers City

Neat stuff.

Author:  flyingmice [ Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Johnston - A Supers City

Thanks, Tim! Last time we consciously guided the city construction towards an oppressive and malignant central government, because we made the Association first, and as it opposed the government, we had to make our city match it. It ended up as a parody of itself, and our desperate, no-holds-barred fight against The Man became an absolutely hysterical low comedy, full of hijinks and bumbling, with numerous pop culture references - even to our Tank busting through a brick wall yelling "It's Kool-Aid Time!".

This time we started with our city, using only random rolls, and tied it all together using Traits and Conditions. Then we designed the Association to match it. It seems a much more organic process, and Klax said he'd put directions to that effect into the rules. Certainly the city of Johnston seems much more believable as a result, and the Association is something I've never seen before as a premise. Our Association is one of those gangs mentioned in the description, which were originally proposed only to explain why the slums had lower crime rates than the higher income areas. What started out as a criminal organization long ago has slowly become the effective police force of the district, through the medium of protection schemes, and they are not hampered by the law. The PCs are an elite metahuman unit who deal with the big problems while the "soldiers" - and the association has quite a few - deal with more mundane issues. It's the ultimate vigilante group.


Author:  flyingmice [ Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Johnston - A Supers City

Here is the Association we came up with for our Johnston campaign:

NAME: The Ducassi Organization

HQ LOCATION: The Old Ducassi Theater, Downtown.
ASSOCIATION TYPE: Straight Gang, supported by the population.

Guards and Security: Elite Grunts – 30, Elite Guards – 20, Standard Grunts – 60, Standard Security System
Transportation: Standard Cars – 3, Designed Vehicles (A-grav truck/tank) - 3
Medical: Poor Med Bay, Standard Doctor, Standard Med Tubes - 2
Data Library: Standard Science, Standard Criminal
Information Gathering: Internet, Standard Informant, Standard Hacker
Training: Danger Room
Logistics and Maintenance: 256

This association is a mob-like gang, that has taken it upon itself to serve and protect the citizens of the city in lieu of the government, who views the populace as nothing more than a set of people to tax, and otherwise don’t care what happens. This change, from standard criminal gang to protectors of the people, has come about through long term protection money and a certain Noblesse Oblige of the old-style Mafia family that runs it, the Ducassis. Recently, there was a dispute over the next head of the gang, leading to a split of east and west. PC’s are working with the recognized head of the family. The Informant will be named later, in play, as a surprise to the GM.

Klax's character is Danny "Duke" Dukessi. Danny is the oldest son of a bastard son of the eighth head of the family. The ninth head was his legitimate son, Danny's uncle. Danny's father, a captain in the Family, died saving the life of his half-brother, who didn't know about it as he was lied to. Danny's family has a ring which gives members of his family certain powers. When Danny's uncle died, the ring was passed to his son, Danny's cousin, but the ring rejected him. Danny's family, now headed by his mother, who hates the family, had drifted away into genteel poverty since the father's death, but the Family located him and the ring accepted him as leader. This occasioned the split in the family, which was very recent. Danny's cousin, Donny, heads the half of the Family who now protect Westwood. They are not - as yet - enemies, but rather rivals. The Ducessis are an old - and old-fashioned - Mafia Family. Danny's mother is his "Aunt May", who hates the Family and everything to do with it, and can never learn of Danny's involvement.


Author:  boulet [ Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Johnston - A Supers City

flyingmice wrote:
Danny's mother is his "Aunt May", who hates the Family and everything to do with it, and can never learn of Danny's involvement.

Yeah right. I bet 5 geek creds that she discovers it very soon and rain down lectures on his sorry ass :)

Author:  flyingmice [ Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Johnston - A Supers City

boulet wrote:
flyingmice wrote:
Danny's mother is his "Aunt May", who hates the Family and everything to do with it, and can never learn of Danny's involvement.

Yeah right. I bet 5 geek creds that she discovers it very soon and rain down lectures on his sorry ass :)

Haha! We'll see, boulet! I'm very curious as to how it will play out. :D


Author:  jamiewilson [ Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Johnston - A Supers City

very clearly charted out.

Author:  flyingmice [ Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Johnston - A Supers City

Thanks, Jaimie! I liked how the random results made a solid sense and the Traits tied everything together. The playtest was really fun, played against the Amazing Four, a team of heroes sent by the US Government to 'clean up' the town.

Here's my blog post on the alpha test from July:

We played LUITS! Saturday and Sunday, and several things became almost immediately apparent. First, Klax had attempted to keep as much of the StarCluster/StarPool System feel as possible, but the damage track stages from standard StarPool - fine, down 2 dice, down 2 dice and stunned, critically injured and bleeding out, and dead - felt totally wrong. In place he put a new interpretation on the stages - fine, down 1 die, down 2 dice, down 3 dice, and unconscious - which was palpably better suited for supers.

Another thing was the increasing number of attacks with increasing Mastery. This doesn't seem to be a problem with non-combat skill use, just combat. Using a skill path character, a PC was able to take out two super powered Tanks in one round. Klax ruled that - where it used to be one attack until Master (Skill rank 0-4), two attacks with Mastery (Skill rank 5-9), three attacks with Double Mastery (Skill rank 10-14), etc. - a second attack was added with Mastery, but increasing levels of Mastery just gave you rerolls if you didn't like the results. That seems to work very well, and taking combat ranks beyond Mastery became less and less appealing. It also makes speedsters more interesting as the only way to get more than 2 attacks per round. I really like this, and may introduce it back into the mainstream of SC System development. Part of the problem came from Klax's paring down the number of skills into only the essentials. SC was designed with a large number of overlapping skills. With so few skills, characters taking the Skill Path can easily get seriously overloaded.

Otherwise, we had a blast. The City was cool, the Association rocked, and the game was fun. We ran into the Amazing Four, a US government subsidized group with it's own space station lair. The AF consisted of Mister Amazing - the Skill guy and Leader, Bear - a truly brutal brawler, The Anvil - the prototype Tank, and Master Blaster - a Blaster type. The first encounter, we caught them by surprise and cleaned their clocks. We captured Bear when Shade Mimicked him and they took off with her. She later stole the Amazicar and brought it back from the station.

After that, though, the superior resources of the AF bore down on us. We lost our HQ after they traced the Amazicar there, then they tricked us - while we were assaulting them at our old HQ with robots of ourselves, they used robots of themselves to take the assault, meanwhile they cracked our back up HQ in the sewers. Decimo had to use his two Prepared boxes - "Don't worry, I've prepared for this happening" - to get us out safe.

Status as of now, we are camping out in one of the groups' Winnebago. No HQ, No access to our cool stuff. But the robots we sent in are truly amazing, and the AF are convinced they have caught four of us, and we can get telemetry from them. We also have Bear, sedated in a Healing Tank, hidden under our old HQ, which is now occupied by the AF. So things are not totally down. The Empire has taken Hoth, but we made a fighting retreat, and are still intact! :D

We ended up battling the Amazing Four to a standstill, and bargained Bear into an official role as protectors of the city - a US government gig - as US Marshals. When we return to this - probably after Klax gets his Masters in December - I'll keep all up to date. :D


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