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The 4Men
Gamemaster: Ry Stevenson
The Global Guardians PBEM Universe
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Campaign Description: 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.

Importance 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 …

World Description: 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 …

Local Relations: 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.

Morality: Morals 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.

Realism: Strong, 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 The 4Men.

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.

Outlook: Positive, 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 operations.

Seriousness: Very 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.

Continuity: Heavy. 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 4Men

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 always were.

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 look.
  • 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 …

  • 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.
  • Starting Points: 175
  • Maximum Disadvantages: 150
  • Maximum Points from One Disadvantage Category: 50
  • Maximum Active Points for Any One Power: 70

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).

  • 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".
  • Starting Points: 150
  • Maximum Disadvantages: 125
  • Maximum Points from One Disadvantage Category: 50
  • Maximum Active Points for Any One Power: 60

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 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 system.
  • 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.
  • Starting Points: 150
  • Maximum Disadvantages: 150
  • Maximum Points from One Disadvantage Category: 50
  • Maximum Active Points for Any One Power: 65

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.

  • 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.
  • Starting Points: 150
  • Maximum Disadvantages: 150
  • Maximum Points from One Disadvantage Category: 50
  • Maximum Active Points for Any One Power: 65
The Global 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. The submitter does not give up the right to use the material in ways unconnected to the Global Guardians Universe.  This website was designed by Jack Butler, and is maintained by Jack Butler. Unless 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 the express written permission of Jack and Rebecca Butler.  Champions and the Hero System are registered trademarks of and are copyrighted by Hero Games, Inc.  No challenge to any trademark or copyright is made or implied by this site.
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