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MoonHunter Sayeth 20180207


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Setting: Glyphs
or I have crappy internet connections, no enthusiastic ideas, so here is another interesting setting riff.
It really is interesting.

It is not your normal genre piece. It has some unique elements that should engage people week after week... (until season 2 or 3).

From 101 Super Settings which has 250+ settings.
33) Glyphs

It was March 12th. Many of the marked noticed it immediately, others took a week. The glyph appeared somewhere on the body. Usually it was the palm or forearm, but others had theirs appear on the face, shoulder, spine. (A tiny minority have them appear elsewhere). Roughly 7% of humanity were marked with one of six marks. The marking was concentrated more on the the younger end of the spectrum, but other than that, it went across the entire ethnic, social, and economic spectrum. (there is a vague concentration towards the northern pole).

Normally the glyph is invisible to most people. Sometimes the glyphs fade into visible appearance (more on that in a bit). Those with glyphs can see them all the time.

Originally, The Glyphed were no different than everyone else. A few of them noticed enhanced skills or superior physical, mental, social, spiritual, aspect. It was not great.

The intelligence community picked up "chatter" about the glyphs. They began to follow up, more seriously than any other facet, as the psuedoscience community followed it with the vengeance. (Supposedly UFO abducties supposedly have a higher incidence of Glyphs). It was mostly a statistical thing. Threat assessment was indeterminate. After assigning a few of their own agents (who were glyphed), they begain to follow up.

Then special abilities began to appear. People began to express abilities beyond their profile. People began to express vastly superior abilities, some of which push the envelope of human abilities. Athletic records were being broken, though not shattered. Certain performers crashed into the charts. The interesting ones were the technical expressions, engineers starting making notable incrimental breakthroughs.

Some Glyphed are expressing psychic powers (One of the glyphed agencies is one of them.) Pyrokinesis, telekinesis, and a few other odd psychic powers are expressing. Other paranormal abilities such as accelerated healing, recovery, or even some cellular shifting, are allegedly occurring. It is interesting that the specific Glyph does not correlate to the ability manifested. These "powers" do not seem to be growing. It just took time for them to finally express themselves. (Once you get to a certain point total.)

Use of the outer edges of the their abilities or the glyphed psychic powers seems to make the glyph visible to everyone.

Every glyphed individual manifests either one sharp ability, a broad spectrum of related abilities, or just an overall increase in abilities (one of the glyphed agents).

So why are there six "teams" or "armies" being formed on the Earth? What intelligence marked these people and why?

And why did two random glyphed individuals just "go at each other" on the streets of London?
When I look for this setting, I never seem to find it. I think of it as a horror setting or maybe a science fiction setting. Yet, here it is the super hero settings. It is a world with super powers/ meta abilities, so technically it is a supers world. Or at least a package of supers rules.

However, it does not have most of the super memes. In fact it is more like Heroes... an adventure drama that just happens to have super powers (or happens because of super powers). So it is more science fantasy... real world plus powers.

Yet, here we have six teams. "Sponsored" by six "unknown forces". We don't know what the teams are for, what they stand for, and what their goals are. I like Aliens, but like Childhood's End... they could be interpreted as demons (or angels). Maybe an AI, Maybe a Cthonic . Maybe six different genres fighting it out. Nah. Good Aliens, Bad Aliens, Aliens with certain goals. Well pick the one that works for you.

This pile of "not quites" is what makes this setting engaging.

  • Lets face it, players like powers and things that make their characters special.
  • Powers could be chosen by the player or a random power packet given out by the GM. (To be honest, it shouldn't be random... you should make it seem random.... and give the players who can handle a given power set that power set. ) You could go totally random, but that might let you and your players down. So let them choose or hand them out.

  • You have a mystery that you are part of. Your character is part of it, whether you want it or not. It makes it engaging. You are finding out "secret things" and "secret things about yourself".

  • There needs to be the mystery of "the teams". What are the teams goals?
  • Ideally some players are members of an letter agency. So will you follow your job or your team? What if your team wants to save the world and your agency just wants to use your powers to conqueror the world?

  • Yes, there will be heroic decisions... and tough decisions... and trust decisions. The characters will be making decisions that not only dictate the chronicle, but decide the course of the setting.

There are many things to engage the players. Things players want. Things players can go find out. Decisions that have real impacts. The players can take any path they want among the options, while having many drama points to encounter.

All of these things make the setting and the chronicle framework interesting and engaging.

So perhaps this is a setting you might use... or ideas you might be able to tap for your own setting... things to emulate in your own settings.
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