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Offline Longspeak

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[Off Site via IRC] Alpha Factor
« on: August 26, 2014, 01:59:51 AM »
Hey all,

My game Delta Factor ended in April after 8 years. However the players are still interested in playing with the same setting. We've been playing in a story one of my players devised, but soon the new game will begin. There's room for one, or maybe two more if there is interest.

We play Saturdays at 5pm Pacific (8pm Eastern) in the Magicstar IRC Network. PM me or grab me in chat if you might be interested.


Alpha Factor

The world of Delta Factor split from known history in 2001 with the appearance of the first Deltas. The year is now 2031. There are more today than ever before. Ten years ago, the event now known as The Surge enhanced all of the so-called Zeroes, distributing them along the same power curve as other Deltas. This multiplied the number of Deltas with measurable super powers by ten overnight. Many factioned, many struck out against those who oppressed and discriminated. Many just weren't very nice to begin with. But most are just trying to get by day to day like the rest of us.

Among the 40,000 Deltas in the United States with measurable power, there are about 40 Alphas; Deltas whose power sets them apart even among Deltas. PCs in Alpha Factor will be among this elite bunch.

Look at my old recruitment thread for some of the history of the world:

http://strolen.com/guild/index.php/topic,6692.0.html

or check out some of my Delta Factor subs to get a feel for it.

The PCs will be Alphas, but will still balance day to day lives with their lives as Alphas.

The full long term concept is not set in stone. Right now I have a first story prepared and my players and I will see where it goes from there. There's other details, system stuff, etc. But right now I'm just seeing if there's any interest. If you can make the time reliably, give me a shout.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 02:07:41 AM by Longspeak »

Offline Kassy

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Re: [Off Site via IRC] Alpha Factor
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 06:09:57 AM »
Definite, concrete, interest.

But.

Possibly the worst but ever; I'm starting work again and won't be able to sign up until about a month or two. If you're able to keep a slot open?

Kassandra Quilldancer
STR: 3 | END: 3 | CON: 2 | DEX: 3| CHA: 2 | INT: 2

Offline Longspeak

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Re: [Off Site via IRC] Alpha Factor
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 11:46:01 AM »
I can't promise to hold spots. HOWEVER, right now my player Eric is running an adventure and we won't begin the new game until his ends. I'm actively recruiting now because it always takes a while to find people and because I hope to do some one-on-one stuff. The total idea is not 100% set as I'm taking input from players, the I'm going for very powerful men and women who tackle steep challenges, and balance the daily life.

Within the setting as it already exists there are three, possibly four, people who have been established as Alpha in the public eye. (There are more known to the PCs of the game just ended). Interestingly, even though costumed heroes are very much still a rarity, three of the four known Alphas are also costumed superheroes.

Senator Jacob 'Polaris' Richter - His "costume" is the suit he wears to work. He was the first, and remains one of the strongest, Alpha before the term became popular, and still an Alpha even among Alphas. He expressed on 9/11 at the age of 38. Today, thirty years later, he still looks like a man in his forties, on the short side, lean, receding hairline, glasses. He downed a jet on 9/11, and has only gotten stronger. Even after 30 years, he does not like being addressed as "Polaris." It's a name the media picked in the early days, and it's stuck, but he prefers his real name.

Kazé no Kensei - A costumed hero believed but not confirmed to be Alpha. The self proclaimed "Wind Sword Saint" has prowled the streets of Tokyo for 24 years, one of only two costumed heroes to maintain a secret identity for so long. Appearing abruptly when someone is in need, he metes out harsh justice to criminals with a deadly sword only he can see. To others it just looks like he's pretending to hold a weapon... until it severs a body part. Then he disappears as suddenly as he came.

Pulsar - The other long-term costumed hero, this French man has patrolled the skies over Paris for more than 20 years. This is the iffy one. He may or may not be Alpha. He flies, and blasts enemies with a sort of electromagnetic pulse with variable effects. But it's hard to get a read on the exact amount of raw power he uses because he controls it so carefully.

Quantum - The third secret identity. Calling herself Quantum, Sarah Voltaire was the first costumed superhero, from April, 2007 to June 2009. But then she lost her powers (itself a remarkable occurrence) and retired to the quiet (yeah, right) life of a baseline college student. Eleven years later, on September 11, 2020, no-one was more surprised than Sarah Voltaire when Quantum appeared  again, quelling a riot in Dallas with panache and minimum force. Her appearance had altered a bit, becoming a blend of Sarah's two distinct looks (one pre-outing, one post-outing when her mom made her dress more sensibly). Since then, Quantum has appeared repeatedly wherever there is someone in great enough need, anywhere in the United States. Like Kazé no Kensei, Quantum simply appears when there's trouble, handles it, and leaves again. Unlike her Japanese counterpart, she doesn't seem to mind chatting it up a bit before leaving. She also uses different powers than Sarah used to use when she was Quantum.


Part of the intent here is a deliberate more toward a more "four color" world. The original Delta Factor focused on the lives of PCs who used to be ordinary Joes, now trying to maintain lives while the world heaved around them. The power curve went up over time but there was always that focus on their lives. This game, I want to keep some of that, but the focus will be more on the challenges.

Offline Longspeak

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Re: [Off Site via IRC] Alpha Factor
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 12:55:46 PM »
There is a lot of world detail to discuss. But I wanted to drop this in for potential players.

In the world of Delta Factor, all Deltas - including all Alphas - Gain their power through the interaction with Delta Energy. These aren't "mutants" in the X-men sense, though there is a genetic predisposition required. All Deltas were once "Baselines," ordinary humans who "Express" under the right conditions involving intense, deeply personal stress.


Creating an Alpha

  We’re using the One-Roll Engine. The mechanics are easy to play, but can be complicated when you’re making a character. It’s actually a feature, not a bug. The system lets you get pretty grainy while making a character, with lots of options and such. But in play it’s fast and easy once you have the hang of it.
  More important is the creative parts of making a character. To that end, there are three important steps I’ve used in all my Delta Factor games. The basic three steps are:
  • Step Zero: Baseline - Who is the PERSON? Talk about their life and what sort of person they are.
  • Step One: Expression - Deltas all begin as Baselines. This step discusses the event which triggers the change from Baseline to Delta.
  • Step Two: Delta - How has expressing changed your life? Who are you now?
  Creating an Alpha is similar in most respects to creating a normal Delta PC. However the three steps are altered a bit in most cases, depending on the origin of the Alpha.

Origins
  There are four different types of Origin for an Alpha. The origin you choose will affect the three steps in some way, and affects your minimum age. The rarity of some of these means I will limit their availability in play. Alphas are already special, no need to make everyone a snowflake. The four origins are:

Alpha Expression
  The Alpha Expression is among the rarest origins for an Alpha. It also most closely follows the established steps for creating a character. With this origin, you were a baseline who expressed directly into Class Five. Alphas such as Polaris and The Fury/Shimmer fit into this category. Your minimum age at expression is 25. Nothing less than a fully developed, physically mature Baseline can handle the power of an Alpha Expression.
  The steps for making an Alpha Expression are unchanged:
  • Step Zero: Baseline - This details the person who were before your expression.
  • Step One: Expression - This step describes the circumstances surrounding your expression. How old were you? When did it happen? What was the trigger? This is intense, deeply personal stress over something of real importance to you. A threat to life and well-being qualifies if you love your life enough. Polaris was trapped in the World Trade Center on 9/11. The Fury triggered while burning alive. No-one, but especially an Alpha, triggers because they were late for work one morning or their latte had too much foam.
  • Step Two: Alpha - Describe your life post-expression. Who did you become? How long have you been Alpha?
  • Minimum Age: 25, PLUS however long you have been Alpha.
  • Maximum Time as Alpha: Ten Years. All of the pre-surge Alphas are established in play. It’s not possible to have expressed before late 2020/early 2021 as an Alpha.

Secondary Expression
  The Secondary Expression is perhaps even less common than the Alpha Expression. This occurs when a Delta of Class Two, Three or Four re-expresses in response to a new triggering stressor. Like the Alpha Expression, your minimum age at your Secondary Expression is 25.
  • Step Zero: Delta - This details the person who were before your expression. This includes your initial expression and life as a Class 2, 3, or 4 Delta, so you should devote some time to thinking about the initial expression. You might even consider running the three steps once as a “normal” Delta, then moving on to Step One below.
  • Step One: Re-Expression - This step describes the circumstances surrounding your re-expression. How old were you? When did it happen? What was the trigger? As with the Alpha Expression, this is intense, deeply personal stress of importance to the character.
  • Step Two: Alpha - Describe your life post-expression. Who did you become? How long have you been Alpha?
  • Minimum Age: 25, PLUS however long you have been Alpha.
  • Maximum time as Alpha: 10 years. As above, all Alphas pre-Surge are established.

Power Creep
  This method is more common. All Deltas seem to grow in power over time at least a little. This origin has grown faster and more noticeably, creeping from Class Three or Four into Class Five over the course of at least five to ten years. Most Deltas don’t increase in power this fast, so you should spend some time detailing how your character rose so quickly in ability. Your minimum age is 30. This method is great for heroes who want to call on vast experience.
  • Step Zero: Delta - This details the person who were before your expression. This includes your initial expression and life as a Class 3, or 4 Delta, so you should devote some time to thinking about the initial expression. As with Secondary Expression, it might be a good idea to run the three steps as a ‘normal’ Delta first before moving to Step One below.
  • Step One: Delta Career - One thing Power Creep origins have in common is heavy use of their powers. What did you do that made such use of your powers?
  • Step Two: Alpha - When did you realize you’d ‘leveled up?’
  • Minimum Age: You were as young as 15 when you expressed into Class 3 or 20 when you expressed into class four. Now you are at least 30, PLUS however long you have been Alpha.
  • Maximum time as Alpha: 5 years.

The Surge
  Most Alphas today were products of The Surge on July 4, 2020. The number of Alphas multiplied by ten that night. Your minimum age is about 35, as you would have been at least 25 when the Surge struck.
  • Step Zero:Class Zero/One - This details the person who were before The Surge. You were a class Zero or Class one Delta, with either no power or a minor unreliable power at best.
  • Step One: The Surge - All Surge Alphas Expressed on the same day: July 4, 2020, at about 9PM Eastern Time. Where were you when this happened? What factors helped your subconscious shape the power?
  • Step Two: Alpha - Talk about your life since that night. It’s been eleven years.
  • Minimum Age: 36 - You’d have to have been at least 25 to handle the initial Alpha surge, plus eleven years since then.
  • Time as Alpha: About 11 years at game start.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 01:00:48 PM by Longspeak »

Offline Longspeak

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Re: [Off Site via IRC] Alpha Factor
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2014, 01:41:39 PM »
Update: The side story we've been playing reached it's climactic moment this past weekend. We expect one more session to wrap up, and then it's on to Alpha Factor. Expected Start Date: Saturday, September 27th.

We've already done some initial play, but the PCs haven't even met yet. It's just build up.

It's September, 2031. The 30th anniversary of the first Delta appearing is just a few days away. Just after Labor Day, phones across the United States began receiving strange prank phone calls. A voice which sounds like a somewhat mechanized girl (imagine GLaDOS, perhaps a bit younger sounding), cries for help, claims to be lost, alone, afraid, then hangs up. So far, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people have received calls like this. The voice never interacts, just pleads for help before the line goes dead.

So far there are three PCs:
Crystal is a divorced 49 year old mother of three who expressed a couple of years ago. She's a classic brick.
Stephen is a single 42 year old man who went Alpha during the Surge 11 years ago. He's a gadgeteer using D-Energy to power his gadgets.
Leslie is a woman of about 30 (I think) who went Class Three in the Surge and has grown into Alpha status since then. She's a sort of Batman type, but using powers instead of training and gadgets to make her a super fighter and sleuth. (This one is a bit in flux, I think).

There's room for one or two more!