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[Squadron Assemble!]


A setting for the Marvel SAGA system

What if the Squadron Supreme had never imploded?

In the landmark Squadron Supreme maxiseries, Mark Gruenwald created a tale that would influence many of the greatest stories in comics since. Before Kingdom Come, before Dark Knight Returns, before Watchmen, there was the Squadron Supreme. It was epic tragedy, and it was the first of its kind: a real look at what might happen if the superheroes decided that they knew better.

But the Squadron could easily have turned from that path. The spark for this idea came from a single comment from Squadron Supreme: NWO. "I've been thinking about my father, and wondering what might have been if his voice had been present -- if he'd stayed with the Squadron instead of leaving and falling into an adversarial position against you...things might have been different." --Neal Richmond

This is a very different world, and a very different Squadron. While they are (for the most part) considerably more powerful than their alternates on Other-Earth I, this Squadron only applies its power in human affairs at the request of human organizations, as an adjunct to human power. Of course, some things never change -- there are plenty of supervillains who just don't seem to know that they'll never beat the Squadron. 8^)

There are many possibilities for roleplaying in this universe. The most obvious is to play the legends: Hyperion. Power Princess. Nighthawk. The Whizzer. Doctor Spectrum. Let's face it, being a god among men is pretty cool, and all the characters have weaknesses that can be exploited by 'mere mortals.' (Okay, the Whizzer doesn't have one of those power-countering Hindrances. But his human-level abilities leave him vulnerable in other ways.) Exploring the lives of legends in a world of mortals can be worth entire sessions. Of course, all these heroes have villains to provide plenty of high-octane action to a series as well.

But an Other-Earth campaign isn't limited to playing the Big Guns. The Squadron Supreme has less godlike members who are no less heroic. Playing less powerful and/or experienced Squadron members can provide for exciting sessions -- especially when the young tyros are facing one of the legendary baddies who's just wiped the floor with their mentors...

And who says you have to play Squadron members? The, ah, inspiration for Other-Earth has plenty of other super-teams, so why can't your world? While the Supreme boys are mugging for the cameras, your heroes can battle the street-level villains, or perhaps they are mystics who protect their dimension from otherworldly horrors. The 'sidekick team' concept also has plenty of tradition behind it.

And finally, the legendary heroes have been around for a while. They're all married. Advance the timeline a few years, and their children might be ready to take up the mantles of their forebears. (This also lets the Narrator give the players the high power level without those equally high Edge levels.) After all, most of these heroes were active in the 60s originally. If you don't have the beginning of the Heroic Age creep forward to make up for the slow development of comics time, that would have the kids coming of age...oh, about now. 8^)

Note: Some characters use the optional Master-class skill rule, as described on the on-line Marvel-Phile. These skills are italicized, and gain the "complementary" trump (Strength and Agility are complementary, as are Intellect and Willpower). Chains work identically to World-Class skill. For example, a hero using Master-class Energy Control can play a Willpower card for Trump, but only Intellect cards drawn from the Fate Deck continue the Trump chain.

THE WORLD: A timeline for this Squadron universe, and the major events in the lives of the major players. Possible adventure seeds as well.

THE HEROES: (Note: These lists are under development.)






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 ===    /  "Everybody's got something inside them, some kind
  O   (/)  of power that makes them unique. I knew what mine
 ===  /    was. I knew it all along." -Barry Allen

Brief legal stuff: The SAGA roleplaying system is a registered trademark of TSR Inc., and the system and design are © TSR Inc. Marvel Super-Heroes, Marvel Universe, Squadron Supreme, and all characters and likenesses are © Marvel Characters Inc. I'd like to compliment TSR and Wizards of the Coast for developing a more net-friendly outlook, not to mention creating (IMHO) the best RPG designed to date. 8^)

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