Capes: Playing with The Past

Crossposted to roleplayers.

I recently posted an “Actual play” summary of what went down in my first experiment with the Capes system (yeah, the game that zamiel and I keep yammering about), and I’ve been fussing about with creating more folks for further experiments. For the time being, my group and I have decided to keep going with the supers thing until we feel more comfortable with the system’s play-style. I’ve created wikis for us to post designs and snippets of backstory, etc, and I thought I’d share a few things I put up there.

Today, I’m posting a little bit of information on the now-defunct super-group Omega Force. That’s the team that Stone Fist was part of before his retirement. I decided to flesh out the team’s former (and often dearly departed) members in order to give stronger context to some existing Exemplar relationships and because I have decided that I want to make use of flashback sequences in game as a source of Debt and Inspirations for scenes set in the game’s modern era, as well as to get my pals’ imaginations churning.

Omega Force

Omega Force was an American super-team formed during the Vietnam War, and remained in service for over twenty years before finally being disbanded in the 1980’s. Omega Force’s members were drawn from (in a number of cases recruited into before being allowed to join the team) various branches of the US armed forces, primarily the Army. The team had several functions: as super-powered operatives acting on behalf of the US military and the CIA as well as being used to counteract superhuman threats to American security at home or abroad, in secret or in public. Their public missions existed as much to garner positive press and public sentiment as they did to protect lives. The team served with distinction for years despite casualties (sometimes inflicted by the CIA) and a considerable turnover rate, then eventually fell into decline and Director Thursten disbanded it as quietly as possible. Two of the team’s former members are detailed below. (you will likely recognize influences from a number of comic-book figures in these guys)

Green Beret


Team leader

Powers Styles Attitudes
Tireless stamina 3 Super-soldier (P) 3 Gung-ho 1
Combat knife 1 Keen instincts 1 Determined 4
Shoot 2 Infectious energy 2 Judgmental 2
Find weaknesses 4 Fearless leader (P) 4 Professional 3

Note: Green Beret is deceased, but he is well-suited to flashback scenes.

Captain Richard J. Colt, better known as Green Beret, was one of America’s greatest, most decorated and most beloved heroes, and it was he that led Omega Force on its missions for most of its existence. In fact, his demise is widely regarded as the single biggest factor in the team’s collapse and eventual dissolution. He was not particularly fond of his code-name, and preferred that his teammates simply refer to him as “Captain,” or “Sir.”

Green Beret was enhanced in a super-soldier program that almost completely failed in its intended mission; tragically, all of its other volunteer subjects failed to survive the days after the procedure as their bodies rejected the changes coming over them. It left Colt stronger, faster, and tougher than any mere mortal, though at the cost of the deaths of many other good men. The program was scrapped, but America now had a champion. Uncle Sam quickly put him to work, first sending him on a number of difficult missions with conventional Special Forces troops before recognizing his true potential and building a super-powered team with him as its core. Several of his teammates had paranormal powers that were more obvious and pronounced than his, but his greatest powers were always his mind, his courage, his integrity and his leadership ability.

Unlike most superheroes, Green Beret refused to wear a special costume, considering his own uniform perfectly good enough. His superiors accepted his wishes in this regard and permitted this to remain his trademark even while requiring his teammates to accept costumes for their more public missions and appearances. This incident also inspired his superiors when they assigned his code name. The one they originally planned to saddle him with was much more obviously super-heroic and blatantly patriotic.


The American Dream


Government-sponsored demigod

Powers Styles Attitudes
Overwhelming Strength 3 Casually overpower mere mortals 4 (P) Certain 1
Invulnerability 4 “You’re for us or against us” 3 Distant 2
Luminous Rays of Power 2 Inspire awe 1 (P) Patriotic 3
Flight 1 Divert large flying objects 2 (P) Superior 4

Drives:

Justice 2 Pride 3 Truth 1 Hope 1 Duty 2

Exemplars: George Thursten (Duty).

The American Dream is the only member of the defunct Omega Force that still functions in his former capacity as an operative and public relations tool. His body originally belonged to Major Jim Connors, a USAF pilot. During a flight over the notorious Bermuda Triangle, his craft disappeared from radar for several minutes, then reappeared and immediately splashed down. Another craft zooming to the rescue saw the major floating in mid-air over where the plane had once been, staring into space.

An other-dimensional entity of considerable power and inscrutable purpose had used a rift in the fabric of space-time to merge with and assimilate the pilot’s body, effectively erasing him from reality and taking his place in a nearly identical but superhuman form. Though replaced, Connors did leave a mark on the entity, though: it absorbed bits of his memories, personality and beliefs, but in a simplified and exaggerated manner. His morality, patriotism and belief in his country became a stiff inflexibility and blind faith in America. He sees the universe in very black-and-white terms: us and them, enemy and friend, right and wrong. A friend can do no wrong, and an enemy can do no right. Once brought back to the mainland, he was immediately recognized as a natural fit for the newly-formed Omega Force. The American Dream is powerful and devoted to his brand of justice.

He has not aged a day since his entry into our dimension in the 1960’s, and is believed to be functionally immortal. In terms of raw objective superhuman capabilites, he was easily the most powerful member of his team. Rigid thinking and arrogance often interfered with his effectiveness, however.

Where other members of Omega Force died, grew disenchanted or simply retired from active duty, The American Dream has never knowingly faltered in his zealous defense of his country and execution of his duty. In fact, his blind obedience and pomposity often strained his relations with his teammates: he has come to blows with Star, Stone Fist, Thunderbird and once, even with the ever-professional Green Beret.

A note on rank: The American Dream officially remains a major in the USAF, but his superiors are fully cognizant of the fact that Jim Connors, the man that earned that rank, and Dream are effectively different people (the former no longer existing in any meaningful sense). As such, he continues to draw a major’s pay and to be referred to as a major, yet he was made subordinate to Green Beret, who was technically of inferior rank. This was explained to him as a matter of specialization: Green Beret was trained to lead Special Forces-type operations like the team was routinely sent on, and Connors was a fighter pilot without real training in leading ground troops or planning their operations.

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4 Responses to “Capes: Playing with The Past”

  1. creativedv8tion Says:

    Nifty! 🙂

  2. uhlrik Says:

    Thank you!

    Recognize these two?

  3. creativedv8tion Says:

    Beret’s Captain America…

    The other, I’m not sure – Superman?

  4. uhlrik Says:

    Yeah, Beret’s two parts Captain America and one part Nick Fury, you’re right.

    The other guy’s based on superman (particulrly the part about the “american way,” whatever that is), but with a dose of a few other guys.

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