The 4Men is a small campaign
of average power levels, where the characters are thrust into positions
they may not necessarily be ready for. The focus will primarily be on
those characters and the relationships that they develop between one
another, and as such the players should always be aware of this.
Likewise, the 4Men of old have accumulated quite the varied cast of
enemies in their day; these enemies will be recurring and constant,
meaning that "foiling bank robberies" will take a back seat to stopping
mastermind criminals who were just released from prison.
of the Player Characters:
In this campaign, the PC’s are paramount and of the most integral value,
even above and beyond most other campaigns. Because this game is based
heavily off of their interpersonal relationships, those characters and
their players have to be prepared to make strives and bounds in order to
further their stories and lives. The PC’s will experience – and be
expected to facilitate – a faster rate of growth and development than
many other play by emails. On a global scale, the 4Men aren’t terribly
important, but are known to some select circles and anyone who pays
attention to the superhero industry. Especially toy companies …
The Global Guardians Universe is a four-color comic book world
full of larger than life characters. Technology is more
advanced that the real world, and magic is real. Aliens
and creatures of legend roam the earth.
The Story So Far:
The city of
Washington, DC. Home to the Chandler Sader Group, a large
company that rose to power by documenting and recording vital
and integral statistical information on superhumans and mutants.
This company was originally interested in statistical analysis,
research, and the development of superhuman oriented
pharmaceuticals. They owned teams of scientists all across the
globe who labored night and day to develop the newest
super-drugs, the newest omni-powerful developments to make the
lives of the world’s more powerful or unique members easier.
Their failures, each and every one of them, were monumental ...
Millions of dollars – most of it gained through intelligent
play of the stock market, or a few minor-selling drugs on
pharmacy floors – had been lost in each of their colossal drops
from on high. With little or no money, Chandler Sader Group
declared financial bankruptcy time and again, doing their best
to scratch and claw away from auditors that hovered over their
body like vultures in the desert. Time and again, fate smiled
down on the Group, as they managed to survive – albeit barely –
up until 1996. And the 4Men.
Needing a money making scheme that would work, while still
maintaining the benevolence and good energy that they were known for,
CSG decided to hire and "raise" their own superhuman team of heroes.
Called "The 4Men", this group of proposed heroes was put out on the
market of the world as "Washington’s Greatest Superhero Team". Their
exploits non existent, their members not even named, media moguls and
small time reporters alike salivated at the press buzz that CSG
successfully generated around The 4Men. They rushed, scratched and plied
every contact they had in order to learn more of Washington’s greatest
superheroes: or rather, those that CSG were saying would be so. For
months, they gained nothing.
When The 4Men finally did arrive, they did their jobs as planned.
Four superheroes, all with their own secret identities and abilities,
chosen from a secret casting call to make the most prototypical, stand
alone team one could devise. They were heroes, saving the day time and
again and doing exactly as one would’ve planned. The public saw this,
and cheered their newest champions. In the background, they paid for The
4Men action figures, mugs, thermoses, limited edition signed photos,
memorabilia from the team’s adventures, eBay auctions of defeated foes
criminal photos … all sorts of merchandizing runs that paid the
paychecks for the very team the consumer was championing. A symbiotic
relationship at best, and the only thing that kept Chandler Sader from
going down in a financial burning fury.
Last month, the world changed, and never knew it. The 4Men had
enjoyed success that had returned CSG to power, and had been the sole
driving factor behind the company’s survival. Uninterested in pursuits
of the past, the CSG put all it’s time and energy into solely supporting
their heroes, and ensuring they had the best equipment, the best
headquarters, the most private security, and of course, the most public
exposure. But they were still heroes, and without their heroic exploits,
they’d be nothing.
The team was dispatched to deal with a foe they’d fought before.
Simply put, but unbeknownst to the public, the team’s enemies had seen
enough of their very public nemesis and their high-nosed antics. A trap
was set, and The 4Men fell for it hook, line and sinker. The team was
massacred in a bloody coup at the harbor, three of the four of them
dying. Graviton, the 4Men’s greatest foe and self-proclaimed legal
champion to superhumans, had assembled the Fearsome Five – Papercut,
Faith, Captain Hook and Magnet Man – to tear the team apart. They did
their jobs almost perfectly; only the team’s leader escaped, albeit
hardly unscathed. He could not protect his allies, or save himself.
Buried to die, he crawled from the sands and limped, defeated and
broken, back to The 4Men’s corporate tower. Chandler Sader Group was
ruined without The 4Men. It was over.
Or could’ve been over. A plan was devised, and now, three new heroes
have been hired to secretly fill in the roles that the other three 4Men
left vacant with their deaths. Uninterested in a team overhaul that
would cost millions in loyal fan losses, CSG has searched the country
quietly for superhumans that match the looks, powers and abilities of
the 4Men that were lost. While they can never exactly match what they
had, CSG – masters of smoke and mirrors – have revived The 4Men
successfully … so successfully, in fact, that no one really knows they
ever even suffered a loss. No one on the outside, at least.
For some time, one of the team’s members – Liveline – had been
arguing that he wanted more pay, more camera time, and a few solo
adventures. While that hardly made him a rebel or a bad person, it did
make him a liability in CSG’s eyes. With the death of Liveline and two
other members of the 4Men, CSG has taken this opportunity to "write his
character out", and introduce a new speedster to the team …
Now, four heroes must play their roles, play the parts of a team
that’s been operating and training together for the past 7 years.
Instead, they must hide the truth; that they know as much about each
other as possible, and yet don’t wholly know each other at all. They are
strangers, playing the parts of friends, playing the parts of heroes …
Police, fire departments and the like are more than willing to accept
the help of The 4Men. They don’t generally call on the team per say, but
if they did happen to show up, very rarely would an officer turn them
away. Conversely, the team’s huge success still drives many reporters
and newsmen to great lengths to uncover their secrets. All of them. This
doesn’t exclude the cops from occasionally prying where perhaps doing so
isn’t terribly appropriate.
rate very high on Chandler Sader’s list of things to "keep up". The
public needs – wants – good, clean cut, honest heroism. The type of
heroes that only the comic books talked about. Teams like the Global
Guardians or the Dome espouse this on a daily basis, and The 4Men are no
different; they are expected to live and breath positive energy, good
habits, and the typical image of the hero. Or, rather, the typical image
of their brand. The team supports the rebellious habits of one, and the
strong scientific interests of another, simply because making those
associations with members of the public makes the heroes what they need
to be the most: approachable, or realistic.
but the heroes will be expected to make ridiculous efforts and take huge
risks to accomplish their goals. In line with the game’s story, the
heroes will have to really make their efforts "flash" so that they seem
bigger than life. Beyond that, realism is very strong, especially
between the integral relationships of the characters, and the three
newest member’s struggles to decide just what role they’re taking within
Character death is a reality, and the GM will not hold back. Another
aspect of this campaign will be much darker, where the undertone of
fallen heroes that The 4Men have replaced must indeed be remembered. The
villains beat The 4Men once before, and won’t pull their punches with
the newest breed.
but with dark moments. The team can always beat the badguys, but more
than most other heroes, they always seem to be facing the same enemies
again, the same problems over and over. The team has assembled more or
less their own "cast" of villains that won’t stop pressing against them.
Because of that, street level crime is almost non-existent, instead
replaced by relentless attacks on The 4Men’s very public base of
serious. This campaign should have a very realistic look on the world
and the way we approach our work. You go out, stop a crime, but then you
hardly go home and work out for an hour. Instead, you might want to
read, or just sit down and watch television. With that kind of "on duty
/ off duty" distinction, seriousness will hinge heavily on the time and
place of each scene.
This game’s entire premise rides around the past exploits of the heroes
and the team they are – and were – trying to be. For that reason,
continuity is probably the biggest driving factor. Most important,
however, is the note that this game’s serial direction and motivation
will result in major changes in the team’s outlook, support, or other
integral factors. For that reason, players must be willing to "roll with
the punches", and accept that not every issue will have the advantages
or disadvantages of the last.
Building a Character for the
The 4Men is – to no
one’s surprise – a team of four superheroes. They were built and
cast, designed before the first hero was even found, to fit into
what Chandler Sader Group thought would be the best fit for a
marketing frenzy. They were right, and for that reason, CSG clung
very steadfast to the old heroes identities and properties when
three of their members passed away.
The Player Characters will make up their own characters for
this campaign, using limits and the prototypes found below for
each of the roles. However, as a Storyteller, I will not
predetermine the characters and powers that the players will be
replacing. Instead, the four accepting characters will be adopted
as "The 4Men", and their types will be cast as what the 4Men
Consult the following lists to determine what role you want to
fill, and ensure that all of the below criteria are met.
All Members Must …
- Wear the team’s costume, but with some minor modification or
variant that makes it a little different from the rest. Perhaps
you don’t wear the gloves or boots, or perhaps you have no
sleeves. Perhaps you wear a trench coat over it, or include a
visor as part of the outfit. Whatever the case, you must look
different without breaking the tradition of the costume’s basic
- You must realize that you were contacted, recruited, and are
now being paid to be a superhero. You weren’t "forced" into
this, and you were made well aware of what you were getting into
before you got here. Therefore, money or fame are perfectly fine
motivations for what you’re doing, but you can’t just run off
the first time the going gets tough. You signed a contract …
- Purchase the 13 Point 4Men Package, described on the Packages
house rules page.
The Team’s Leader:
You were the only survivor from the original team. You know who
killed your three friends, who covered it up, and now you’ve been
asked to hide that truth from the public. Underneath it all,
though, these three new heroes really aren’t who you grew up with,
and they haven’t seen the battles you have. You’re older, wiser,
but probably a little bitter at CSG’s blatant disregard for the
memory of your three lost comrades. Then again, maybe revenge
against the villains that did this would make you feel better …
Points from One Disadvantage Category:
Active Points for Any One Power:
- You are a male, middle aged, and prototypical of the image
most Americans associate with ‘all around heroes’.
- You are the most well-rounded and powerful member of the
team, but are also most definitely it’s Brick. You have higher
levels of strength and defense, and most of your abilities are
centered around your sheer physical prowess. You can probably
fly, too. No weapons, since CSG wanted your powers to be the
root of your abilities.
- CSG taught you to fight hand to hand, so you’re good at
that. Quite good, considering your experience.
The New Recruit:
Liveline was the team’s speedster, and was also it’s youngest
member. Perhaps that’s why he was so brash and arrogant, but
regardless, CSG wasn’t interested in continuing his role on the
team. As such, you’re the only member of the 4Men who is a "new
recruit". You were cast because you fit into a lot of the same
molds as Liveline, but you aren’t exactly him. You’re young,
impulsive, but probably in the long run easier to control. You can
also expect a lot of media attention – more so than the rest of
the team – since you’re the first replacement The 4Men have ever
had (at least, as far as the public’s aware).
Maximum Points from One Disadvantage Category: 50
Points for Any One Power:
- You were briefed on the deaths of the three previous 4Men
members, so you’re well aware of that history.
- You are the weakest member of the team – relatively speaking
-, mainly because of inexperience. You’re still a teenager, but
legally employable in the United States of America.
- You’re a Speedster, through and through. Instead of focusing
on teaching you how to fight (although CSG did cover that in
their employment training), they taught you speed tricks and
abilities that looked "flashier". After all, you’re going to be
on camera a lot, and they want you to "make it look good".
The Lost Mentalist:
CSG wanted a balance in the team, and with you, they had
scientific curiosity and odd mental powers all wrapped into one.
You were always the team’s biggest supporter of non-violence,
which made you seem like something of a wet towel. Nonetheless,
you were also the team’s most cryptic and unusual member, giving
you huge appeal with the part of the public that liked their
heroes mysterious and unusual.
You were a female, still young, but not as young as the
teenager. You had experience, and were well trained, so you’ve
got a lot of combat skills and deductive abilities. All around,
when the team needs answers that don’t come from muscle, they
should expect to turn to you.
Points from One Disadvantage Category:
Active Points for Any One Power:
- You are a mentalist, with the ability to read minds or
perform a number of other tricks based on mental energies.
You’re also quite intelligent (or at least, you’re supposed to
be), since the design and build of most of The 4Men’s equipment
is attributed to you. Or, rather, to the role you’re filling.
The 4Men’s jet, vehicle and base’s computer were all built by
the team’s first Mentalist, and whether or not you’re ready to
fill the gearhead role is really quite unclear.
- You must have the Bonded Telepath Package (5 points), as the
previous Mentalist was expected to act as a courtroom witness on
countless occasions where the 4Men’s actions were brought to
trial, or their targets were being tried by the Washington legal
The Lost Energy Blaster:
You were the real flash of the team, making everything look big
and powerful. Of course, you were also the team’s most violent
member, preferring to "shoot first and ask questions later". This
made your predecessor very close friends with Livewire, but with
him gone and you replacing the Energy Blaster, perhaps that
alliance doesn’t remain. Nonetheless, you’re expected to make it
all look big and bright; between you and the Speedster, the team
should look it’s best.
Points from One Disadvantage Category:
Active Points for Any One Power:
- The police and media always watched you, mainly because the
property damage involved when you fought was unreal. Aside from
Livewire (who’s gone), you were always voted the "most likely to
quit". Chandler Sader knew otherwise, though, as the original
Energy Blaster was also the team’s best actor. They wanted you
to look like a rebel, and you did.
- You are on par for power with the mentalist, making you the
average for the team. What type of energy you can blast was
never clear, but this has been Chandler Sader’s biggest concern.
The original Energy Blaster had the ability to project beams of
concussive force from his hands. While finding a speedster and a
mentalist is easy, finding an Energy Blaster that has those same
abilities and also appears the same has been a bit of a
challenge. Therefore, feel free to mix up the energy you project
and produce as you see fit.
Guardians PBEM Universe is copyrighted to Jack and Rebecca Butler,
and is their solely owned property. The Global Guardians PBEM Universe, and all of the campaigns therein, are works of
collaborative fiction. All the characters and events portrayed
here are either products of the authors' imagination or are used
fictitiously. Except where otherwise
specifically noted, the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, all Global
Guardians characters, and all stories included therein are Copyright
1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 by Jack and Rebecca Butler with all rights
reserved under International Copyright Convention. Submitting
material (such as but not limited to character submissions, background
information, and artwork) for inclusion in the Global Guardians grants
Jack and Rebecca Butler the right to use that material as they wish,
in perpetuity, within the confines of the Global Guardians Universe.
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otherwise and specifically noted and with the exception of player
characters which are the creations of their respective players, all
material on this site is the creation of Jack and Rebecca Butler.
No material on this site may be posted or published elsewhere without
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