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UNIFIED (Second Preview Thread)

PonyPony Registered User regular
edited May 2007 in Social Entropy++
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What is Unified?
Unified is a forum-based multiplayer RPG. It is designed to accomodate a large quantity of players, of varying levels of involvement and interest.
It will be run in Of Dice and Men, Penny Arcade's tabletop/RPG forum, starting June 16th.

Is there a time commitment?
No, not really. The game is not "real-time", nor does it require you to be online at certain times, or adhere to a certain number of posts per week. A person can actively participate in the game with only checking in once or twice a week and making a handful of posts.

How many players will be involved?
That is still undecided. The game has thus far generated massive interest, far beyond what I expected at this point, so I'm still figuring out the number of players that I will have. Theoretically the game can have an unlimited number of players, but for practicality purposes I will probably have a hard cap for the number of players at the start of the game, and I will expand it later.

What is the setting like?
The setting of Unified is quite unique. It takes place in an alternate history, in the year 2019. Before the year 2000, the world of Unified was one similar to many other comic book superheroic settings: A world of powerful heroes and diabolic villains, with the fate of the world in the balance.
In the year 2000, that changed: A race of alien robotic creatures called the Anathema invaded Earth from another dimension, and it was only thanks to Earth's mightiest heroes that the world was saved. However, in the aftermath of this nearly-apocalyptic event, those same heroes decided that the best thing for the world's safety would be to take it over.
Now, 15 years later, the Singular Unified Nation (S.U.N.) is ruled with an iron-fist by the superhuman paragon Ultimatum. His superpowered army/police force, the Vanguard, maintain order and recruit nascent superhumans to their ranks. There are many other factions, powers, and stories at work in this world as well.

What game mechanics system does it use?
Unified uses it's own system, designed by me specifically for both this campaign and the environment it will be played in. It is designed to be optimized for forum-based roleplaying, and the combat system in particular is designed to be both dynamic and simple, allowing for a great amount of creativity while still maintaining a basic structure keeping it as an actual game instead of just a piece of collaberative fiction.

Where can I find out more about the setting and/or the game system?
A great wealth of info can be gained by reading this preview thread, and the one before it. There is no single summary post that explains everything. I am currently working on a PBWiki database, which will go up in a few weeks, and will allow you to search for any element of the game mechanics or setting you need to know about, in one easily referenced resource. When that wiki goes up, I'll relate an announcement to it.

How do I create a character? I see a lot of people have created characters already, complete with stats.
People are far more advanced and clever than I really had considered when I made the original preview thread. Based on the Q&A and previews I've posted sporadically through-out this thread, clever posters have managed to discern and try to intuit aspects of the game mechanics and in many cases have gotten a lot right.
Some posters have even created summary posts, trying to assemble a rough idea of how character creation works. Ultimately, I suggest that you don't worry about it too much. While it may seem some other people are way ahead of the curve than you, nobody is truly locked into the game yet and no character stats posted should be considered final, approved, or official.

So what's this thread for, then?
This is a preview thread. It's designed to create interest and drum up anticipation. Think of it like a movie trailer or a onesheet poster (many examples of which have been posted through-out the thread). I've engaged in Q&A about the game world and mechanics spontaneously through-out the thread, and if you just look around, you can find out all kinds of interesting information.

Pony on
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Posts

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    unifiedpromo.jpg
    vanguardpromo.jpg
    choosesigma.jpg
    ultimatumpromo.jpg
    resistbl0-1.jpg

    Pony on
  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    so we've got a torn government, aliens, robots, and elder gods to worry about

    what are you guys looking forward to

    mrpaku on
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Well played Darkprimus. Well played.

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Tights.

    Blankspace on
    SIG.gif
  • The GeekThe Geek Oh-Two Crew, Omeganaut Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    Wot's all this then?

    The Geek on
    BLM - ACAB
  • One Thousand CablesOne Thousand Cables An absence of thought Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    mrpaku wrote: »
    so we've got a torn government, aliens, robots, and elder gods to worry about

    what are you guys looking forward to

    From what I see, the government will be the easy part. After that, there's a high chance that we're utterly fucked.

    Then again, we should probably figure out a way to banish the elder gods before taking out the government, because after the latter is gone, what's going to fill in the vacuum?

    One Thousand Cables on
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Geek wrote: »
    Wot's all this then?

    superhero RPG I'm running in a couple weeks. uses a system of my own creation and set in a setting i invented

    interested?

    Pony on
  • I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell UpI'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    pony can we play to characters as long as they don't ever have to meet.

    cause man teleporters.

    but i like the elementalist

    I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up on
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Geek wrote: »
    Wot's all this then?


    Superhero RPG of Pony's creation. Possibly Lovecraftian in origin.

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Pony, am I going to get the Timeline tommorow? or will it be tonight?

    Not that I'm rushing, I just wanna know.

    Me and Deemer just cooked up something awesome for the paper.

    Blankspace on
    SIG.gif
  • FalloutFallout GIRL'S DAY WAS PRETTY GOOD WHILE THEY LASTEDRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    so um will the first post tell us what this is all about this time and perhaps include some sort of character creation guide

    Fallout on
    xcomsig.png
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    It will in a bit, this is just a placeholder.

    Blankspace on
    SIG.gif
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Pony, am I going to get the Timeline tommorow? or will it be tonight?

    Not that I'm rushing, I just wanna know.

    Me and Deemer just cooked up something awesome for the paper.

    tomorrow i got other stuff i've got going and i'm going to bed soon.

    Pony on
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Pony wrote: »
    Pony, am I going to get the Timeline tommorow? or will it be tonight?

    Not that I'm rushing, I just wanna know.

    Me and Deemer just cooked up something awesome for the paper.

    tomorrow i got other stuff i've got going and i'm going to bed soon.
    Righto

    Seriously though, you have created something beautiful here.

    Blankspace on
    SIG.gif
  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Fallout wrote: »
    so um will the first post tell us what this is all about this time and perhaps include some sort of character creation guide

    eventually there will be a wiki and with the current participation it should exhaustive enough for your needs

    mrpaku on
  • One Thousand CablesOne Thousand Cables An absence of thought Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Fallout wrote: »
    so um will the first post tell us what this is all about this time and perhaps include some sort of character creation guide

    That will probably come later. As far as character creation goes, it's extremely flexible when it comes to powers. You can pretty much just think of the guy's powers and backstory, and then build a character sheet to match.

    One Thousand Cables on
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Pony's quoted basic description of skills
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?p=1728905#post1728905

    Let me look for more.


    EDIT:
    Some FAQs answered by Fedora:
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?p=1729227#post1729227

    Wearingglasses on
  • The GeekThe Geek Oh-Two Crew, Omeganaut Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    Pony wrote: »
    The Geek wrote: »
    Wot's all this then?

    superhero RPG I'm running in a couple weeks. uses a system of my own creation and set in a setting i invented

    interested?

    Is there a time commitment?

    The Geek on
    BLM - ACAB
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    EXTRY EXTRY READ ALL ABOUT IT

    The Daily Sentinel


    First Issue on Stands....soonish.

    Blankspace on
    SIG.gif
  • One Thousand CablesOne Thousand Cables An absence of thought Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Geek wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    The Geek wrote: »
    Wot's all this then?

    superhero RPG I'm running in a couple weeks. uses a system of my own creation and set in a setting i invented

    interested?

    Is there a time commitment?

    I think that's TBD, but I would expect it to be pretty flexible.

    One Thousand Cables on
  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    the geek please get in on this it would be so rad

    mrpaku on
  • One Thousand CablesOne Thousand Cables An absence of thought Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    EXTRY EXTRY READ ALL ABOUT IT

    The Daily Sentinel


    First Issue on Stands....soonish.

    Heh, that's the name of my local paper, down to "The Daily" part.

    One Thousand Cables on
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Geek wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    The Geek wrote: »
    Wot's all this then?

    superhero RPG I'm running in a couple weeks. uses a system of my own creation and set in a setting i invented

    interested?

    Is there a time commitment?

    not really

    the game's not real time and it's not like "EVERYONE POST BY THIS DATE OR YOU ARE OUT" or anything.

    you play pretty much as much as you want.

    if you want to pop in and make a couple posts a week, that's your perogative.

    Pony on
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    EXTRY EXTRY READ ALL ABOUT IT

    The Daily Sentinel


    First Issue on Stands....soonish.

    Heh, that's the name of my local paper, down to "The Daily" part.
    I stole it from the Green Hornet.

    Blankspace on
    SIG.gif
  • The GeekThe Geek Oh-Two Crew, Omeganaut Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    Pony wrote: »
    The Geek wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    The Geek wrote: »
    Wot's all this then?

    superhero RPG I'm running in a couple weeks. uses a system of my own creation and set in a setting i invented

    interested?

    Is there a time commitment?

    not really

    the game's not real time and it's not like "EVERYONE POST BY THIS DATE OR YOU ARE OUT" or anything.

    you play pretty much as much as you want.

    if you want to pop in and make a couple posts a week, that's your perogative.

    Alrighty, cool.

    But is it gonna move really fast that if I'm not reading every post every day that the thread is gonna grow 20 pages and then I'll have no idea what's going on?

    The Geek on
    BLM - ACAB
  • ZombotZombot Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I so want in on this.
    But I don't know how.
    Does this make me dumb?

    Zombot on
  • KusuguttaiKusuguttai __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    :D!

    Kusuguttai on
  • I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell UpI'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Zombot wrote: »
    I so want in on this.
    But I don't know how.
    Does this make me dumb?

    make a character.

    think up powers weaknesses and a backstory.

    more to come later

    I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up on
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    basically the Issue system is going to work that regularely I'm going to release new Issues (adventures, essnetially) and players will be able to pick from the Issues as long as they meet the prerequisites. There will also be special Issues assigned to specific characters, as well as player-run general Issues that basically run autonomously without need for my direct input. In addition that, there will be special crossover and mega-event Issues that will directly influence everything everyone is doing, but those will only be occasional.

    So pretty much if you only feel like doing only one Issue a week, or one every once and a while, that's your deal.

    Pony on
  • One Thousand CablesOne Thousand Cables An absence of thought Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Geek wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    The Geek wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    The Geek wrote: »
    Wot's all this then?

    superhero RPG I'm running in a couple weeks. uses a system of my own creation and set in a setting i invented

    interested?

    Is there a time commitment?

    not really

    the game's not real time and it's not like "EVERYONE POST BY THIS DATE OR YOU ARE OUT" or anything.

    you play pretty much as much as you want.

    if you want to pop in and make a couple posts a week, that's your perogative.

    Alrighty, cool.

    But is it gonna move really fast that if I'm not reading every post every day that the thread is gonna grow 20 pages and then I'll have no idea what's going on?

    Hm. Perhaps we should have a daily recap of what happened during the day?

    One Thousand Cables on
  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Zombot wrote: »
    I so want in on this.
    But I don't know how.
    Does this make me dumb?

    everything you need to know we can cover in detail if you are genuinely interested

    mrpaku on
  • One Thousand CablesOne Thousand Cables An absence of thought Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Pony, honest question here, how long did it take you to come up with all this? Like, the backstory and game mechanics and stuff? And how much to you have planned out?

    One Thousand Cables on
  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    also gyge's ring should really have a series all to itself but that is just because my partners are awesome

    mrpaku on
  • ZombotZombot Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    mrpaku wrote: »
    Zombot wrote: »
    I so want in on this.
    But I don't know how.
    Does this make me dumb?

    everything you need to know we can cover in detail if you are genuinely interested

    I am genuinely interested.
    I already have a character thought out.
    The only real thing I'm missing out is level, stats and skills which I understand will be covered later in the OP.

    Zombot on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Here we go again guys, this time with updated everything and a shiny new bio!


    wordsmithfu4.png

    Name: Wordsmith

    Name: Nicholas Smith-Harding
    Place of Birth: East London, South Africa
    Age: 31
    Height: 5' 11”
    Weight: 156 lb
    Hair: Copper
    Eyes: Hazel

    Biography:
    Nicholas was born the son of a successful textile exporter. He grew up enjoying a privilaged life, and began to receive tutelage in several languages at a very early age, in preparation for him to eventually inheret the buisness from his father. Then came the Anathema invasion. As waves of devesation washed over the continent, his family liquidated their assets for at a fraction of their worth and used the money to flee to the Middle East, ending up in the United Arab Emeriates. At the age of 15, he was conscripted into the UAE foreign legion under newly-passed regulations in response to the scope of the war and the massive tide of refugees.

    He was helping clear the national museum out for use as an emergency garrison when an Anathema scouting party attacked. A tablet in the crate he had been packing began to glow and Nicholas heard a voice, speaking simultaniously in every language that Nicholas understood and several that he did not. “Nabu's blessing is upon you. You have been chosen to be His champion. Cry out for the death of His enemies, so that they may die.” Power rushed into his body, and Nicholas cried out in pain. He could feel a force lash out from him and tear the hapless invaders to piece. Then he blacked out, and when he came to, he found himself being carried out on a stretcher by UAE soldiers. They were trading fearful conversation back and forth in their tribal dialect, but Nicholas could understand them clearly. Then he opened his mouth to speak, and was shocked to hear the same language come out.

    He was studied by dozens of scientists, but they could not find anything physically different with him. During the tests, it was found that not only could Nicholas comprehend and utilize both written and spoken forms of virtually any language, but that he could use words themselves as weapons. By saying words or phrases with a clear intention of action in his mind, the mystical force that he had been inbued with could undertake any number of physical actions, from allowing him to punch through steel or jump twenty-foot walls to protecting him from damage and even striking at an enemy from afar. It was also discovered during this period of time that despite the ability to activate the power with any language, the same trigger phrase could only be used twice in a twenty-four hour period, and that the force's (affectionately dubbed “the Lexicon”) field of effect extended to thirty feet from his body.

    Nicholas spent the remainder of the war defending the UAE from the Anathema, and was invited to join Vanguard shortly after the foundation of the SUN. He has no set base of operations, moving from hotspot to hotspot as needed, but he secretly wishes to return to his boyhood home in South Africa and live quietly, translating whatever obscure texts he can get his hands on.


    Abilities:
    Linguikenesis. Wordsmith is able to transform the spoken word into a weapon via a mystical force dubbed "the Lexicon". He is also omnilingual, instantly fluent in any language he reads or hears spoken.

    The effects of the Lexicon vary depending on the word or phrase spoken, the volume of the voice, and most importantly, the intention behind the words themselves. The power's effect must manifest within a 30 foot radius of Wordsmith, and the farthest his ranged attacks can travel is 300 yards. The manifestations are invisible and emit no sound, but Wordsmith knows the exact location of any Lexicon effects at all times.

    A side-effect of the Lexicon is that Wordsmith's thoughts are comprised of hundreds of languages, which renders him highly resistant to telepaths.

    Limitations:
    Wordsmith has normal human strength and durability. His durability is boosted somewhat by a Vanguard-issue protection suit he wears under his clothing.

    In the heat of battle, he finds it hard to think of more complicated words that he could use. He tries to counter this by carrying lists of convenient words in pouches on his person.

    The power's effect must manifest within a 30 foot radius of Wordsmith. The power has been known to be activated by others' voices, when Wordsmith was rendered unable to speak. It does not, however, work with 100% efficency, and recorded voices do not work with his power at all.

    He cannot use the same activation phrase more than twice in a twenty-four hour period.

    DarkPrimus on
  • I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell UpI'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Zombot wrote: »
    mrpaku wrote: »
    Zombot wrote: »
    I so want in on this.
    But I don't know how.
    Does this make me dumb?

    everything you need to know we can cover in detail if you are genuinely interested

    I am genuinely interested.
    I already have a character thought out.
    The only real thing I'm missing out is level, stats and skills which I understand will be covered later in the OP.

    right.

    if you want us to know what he looks like/ link him in your sig

    http://www.ugo.com/channels/comics/heroMachine2/heromachine2.asp


    click the link in most of our sigs, it will give you a good example

    I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up on
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    People are gonna have their own stories and adventures going on. The game's global, so while some street vigilante is busting mob-bosses in Chicago, a Vanguard field team is in Paris, France is dealing with a powerful warlock and his cult of half-demons. All the while, the intrepid and daredevil group of rogue investigators is violating government sanctions and venturing into the Munich Epsilon Zone to find out just what's going on.

    Pony on
  • FedoraFedora Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Zombot wrote: »
    I so want in on this.
    But I don't know how.
    Does this make me dumb?

    Here's a sample Character sheet, just to get a feel of what your character will look like on paper (though he probably won't be this tough):
    Epitome Aka Chris Benson, Nickname: Kid Ultimatum
    Age:15
    Level 8 (40 points)
    Faction: Vanguard

    Powers: 20 points

    Core attribute - Prophesized Human
    Type: Major
    Rank: 9
    Feats (18):
    Unparallel Leap (Movement)
    Superspeed (Movement)
    Enhanced Durability (Defense)
    Superior Strength (Alteration)
    Superior Sight (Sensory)
    Unequaled Hearing (Sensory)
    Temperature Resistance (Alteration)
    Energy Resistance (Alteration)
    Mystical Resistance (Alteration)
    Empathatic Regeneration (Alteration)
    Focused Breathing (Alteration)
    Overpowering Strength (Offense)
    Unerring Courage (Alteration)
    Unstoppable Hope (Alteraion)
    Immune to Pressure change (Alteration)
    Poisonous Purity (Alteration)
    Radioactive Resistance (Alteration)
    Neverending Stamina (Alteration)

    Strength of the Mother Earth
    Type: Minor
    Rank: 2
    Feat: Enhanced Strength of Gaia (Alteration)

    Traits: 20 points

    World Renown Vanguard Agent
    Type: Major
    Rank: 7
    Modifier: Major Versatility Reduction (-2)
    Feats (12):
    Vanguard Protection Uniform (Defense)
    Universal Popularity (General)
    vanguard Comrades (Offense)
    Vanguard Library (General)
    Combat Experiance (Defense)
    Inuitative Magical assessment (Sensory)
    Vanguard Combat Training (Offense)
    Vanguard Issue Restraints (Alteration)
    Vanguard Quick Strike Transportation (Movement)
    Vanguard Issue Detection Equipment (Sensory)
    Ultimatum's Protege (General)
    Optimism (General)

    Multi-lingual
    Type: Major
    Rank: 3
    Modifier: Major Versatility Increase (+2)
    Feats (7):
    Spanish
    Japanese
    Chinese
    Russian
    French
    Latin
    Korean


    Flaws:

    Type: Minor
    Rank: -2
    Feat: Naitivty (Alteration)

    Fedora on
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Is this alright?

    Swashbuckler, Level 5 Hero (25 points)

    Name: Reginald Ynigo
    Gender: Male
    Age: 25
    Height: 5'8"
    Weight: 140 lbs
    Hair: Short, Black
    Eyes: Brown
    Alignment: Vanguard

    Powers
    Minor Core Attribute: Hyper Agility
    Rank: 6
    Modifier: Minor Reduced Versatility
    Feats:
    Evasive Maneuvers (defense) - dodge attacks from multiple foes
    Safe fall (defense)
    Wall Climbing (movement) - needs handholds though
    Acrobatics (movement) - easy movement across difficult terrain
    Coup de grace (offense) - generic painful attack



    Minor Attribute: Spatial Awareness
    Rank: 5
    Feats:
    Bank shot (nonfirearm weapon) (offense)
    Reflex Catch (thrown melee weapon) (defense)
    Blindfold maneuvering (movement)
    Perfect Balance (defense)
    Keen observer (alteration) - works only on environment

    Traits
    Policeman
    Rank: 5
    Type: Minor
    Feats:
    Self defense (defense)
    Good shot (offense)
    Call for Back up (alteration)
    Basic Criminology
    Police Clearance

    Celebrity
    Rank: 3
    Type: Minor
    Feats:
    Minor Contacts
    Charisma
    VIP treatment

    Devices
    official issue 9mm pistol
    Modifier: Device
    Type: Minor
    Rank: 1
    Feats:
    Gunshot (offense)

    Wearingglasses on
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Pony, honest question here, how long did it take you to come up with all this? Like, the backstory and game mechanics and stuff? And how much to you have planned out?

    I've been working on the campaign setting for six months. It was originally going to be for a tabletop campaign with my D&D buddies, but then that didn't pan out, so I decided to run it online and make it larger in scope and scale. I also decided to turn it into a comic series, and that's one of the things I hope to come out of the game. I've spent the past month working on and privately playtesting the game system to be optimized for what I have in mind.

    Pony on
This discussion has been closed.