After having had the book for about a year, I finally got a group together to play a campaign of Misspent Youth. In Misspent Youth, players take on the roles of Young Offenders (YOs, for short); teenagers rebelling against authority in a dystopian future.
We did the initial Dystopia and YO Creation session on Saturday, but we won't be starting the campaign for another couple of weeks, since one of the players is going to be heading home for a fortnight.
Before we even started, a couple of the group had their hearts set on playing superheroes, so that coloured the creation session a bit, but otherwise we built up a picture of the Authority as we went through the process in the way we were supposed to.
The Authority we came up with is the Protection Corps, a group of former superheroes who have taken over the world for humanity’s own good. Somewhat like the Justice Lords, the evil Justice League from the Justice League animated series, who decided the only way to bring peace to the world was to rule it. (I was also inspired to suggest this by what I had heard about Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Steelheart’, which I have yet to read.)
First of all, we had to choose a Vice, Victim, Visage, and a Need for the Authority, from limited lists given for each. We chose the following:
Vice: Utopianism – The Corps truly believes that humanity is better off subjugated by them.
Victim: Humanity – Unfortunately, in order to maintain order, they resort to killing or brainwashing anyone else with powers – or without – who challenges their authority.
Visage: State – The Corps toppled the former governments of the world and united them all under a new world government, of which they themselves are the ruling council.
Need: “Young superheroes join the Corps, or they die. Our choice.” The Corps can’t afford to let anyone with powers operate outwith their control, lest they find their authority challenged.
After that, we had to establish a ‘rating’ for our game, determining how violent and profane we wanted to be. We set our rating at ‘18’, so players didn’t feel too limited. If anyone feels uncomfortable with the actions taken during play, we can tone things down accordingly as we play.
Next, we came up with some Systems of Control for the Authority; these are sci-fi elements that make the game world different from the real world, and what the Authority uses to make life difficult for the YOs. The
Systems of Control we decided upon were:
- Genetically engineered “search and destroy/capture” monsters capable of sniffing out supers.
- Indoctrination camps for supers, where they are educated/re-educated to serve the Corps.
- State-run media allows the Corps to control the flow of information, influencing the public to believe what they want them to believe.
Finally, Martin (as the Authority) chose a starting Exploit for our YOs; Exploits are also science fiction elements about the world, but these ones are advantages the YOs can use to help them take down the Authority.
Given the shape of our Dystopia so far, the choice for our Exploit one was pretty much a no-brainer:
- All of the YOs are teenagers with developing superpowers.
We decided that our clique would be a group of classmates who had formed an after-school secret club where they practice using their powers in secret. They call themselves the Hellcats.
I’ll probably post write-ups of the characters later on, after the campaign perhaps. I'm looking forward to getting started with this campaign when the group reconvenes in a couple of weeks' time.
Until then, I'll be posting APs for Tears of a Machine, and anything else that I end up playing/running in the meantime. See you later!