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ETU and the HCP

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  • ETU and the HCP

    I am on the third book of the Super Powereds series The world of the Super Powereds is, in addition to being a fun read, particularly interesting to me as a foundation for world-building for the legal role of Super Heroes in their world as well as delving into the effects of having super powers on the lives of the Supers and on society as a whole.

    However, actually running a campaign of students that are enrolled in the Hero Certification Program (HCP) has me scratching my head about what to actually have occur in a given campaign. Sure, some sessions of the students taking part in the program would definitely be fun to role-play, but it would be hard to run as a portion of a long-term campaign (student to Hero).

    Then came this thought "what if I mixed it with East Texas University?"

    ETU has the premise that the characters are normal people. Nothing special, no powers.

    Super Powereds has the premise that the students are pretending to be normal students as they take classes that should help them to grow and become Super Heroes. One of the rules is that they have to keep their identity as a Super secret from the normal students.

    This idea would likely not play like the normal ETU adventures. It depends on what powers the HCP students have -- powers that they have to keep secret from the normal students, as well as what they do without their powers. They would start out as weak Supers. But what better place to learn to be a Super Hero when there are people that need saving (including yourself)?

    I am thinking that the campaign would include the first HCP students to attend ETU. The HCP facilities could have been added in secret and perhaps someone in the Super community was on to something about the area when they set up the secret program. Alternately, maybe the rumors were not known and it just happens that there is something going on in the area that needs the attention of supers, and only the HCP students are the ones to get involved in it.

  • #2
    I ran a similar campaign for a while. Sadly, the table fell apart for unrelated reasons, and the campaign fizzled out.

    Generally, you need to get the players to buy in on the "single power" dynamic; don't neglect this step if you want something similar to the SP universe. Obviously they can have multiple different powers but they need to keep everything to the same trapping as their core power concept.
    ETU provides some great Setting Rules for being adventuring students. The effects of extra curricular activities, how to handle exams and grades, the increasing difficulty of a curriculum, and more.
    I would suggest pulling in some Adventure rules, notably the Academics (Smarts) skill. You can use Academics for general education courses and many majors.
    This is a good campaign type for the Rising Stars setting rule. Or you can just increase their Power Level at various points.
    You'll also want to have a collegiate-length campaign to connect them all. They'll need year-long arcs but you need a college-length over arc that allows for the high power epic scenes they'll be generating by graduation.

    Good luck!
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      You'd definitely want to either make up new adventures or re-stat things in the existing ones to deal with your superpowered characters. However, the subsystems for majors, exams and so forth should be very useful.


      • #4
        The ETU framework would be a great way to establish "going to school" but I am not as sure the actual ETU story would work as well. One of the big things in ETU is that the students are surprised to discover there are weird things in the world but supers would know there are weird things. Some of the ETU things can easily become bad guys for the characters to encounter though.

        The ETU game I was in did not graduate, we ended up in a different dimension, so I don't know how the end was supposed to go and as a result my experience may not be completely accurate.
        I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.


        • #5
          In case you're not familiar with it, another super powers school series with some decent world building is My Hero Academia. A particular aspect I like about it regarding something that is often handwaved in superhero comics is that legally operating superheroes in the setting are required to have liability insurance.
          You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.


          • ValhallaGH
            ValhallaGH commented
            Editing a comment
            Super Powereds has a similar set up.
            U.S. "Heroes" are federal law enforcement officers, insured by the federal government. Using powers against anyone else, except in self defense, is a crime (assault, battery, attempted murder, vigilantism, etc.) and will bring law enforcement (especially Heroes) after you. While minimizing collateral damage (infrastructure and bystanders) is encouraged, the oversight understands that sometimes you actually do have to destroy a skyscraper / city block / whatever. Heck, for some threats (notably Armageddon level) that level of force is all-but mandatory.
            Their Hero costumes and names are personal brands that they can license and merchandise. But that's not something the HCP students have to worry about until senior year / graduation.

        • #6
          Thanks everyone for the ideas. You have all given me some good ideas and comments to consider.