View Full Version : Yamazawa Style (WIP, Mutants & Masterminds 2e)

2012-11-27, 12:03 PM
Why 2e? I don't own 3e, that's about the only reason.

First, some stuff about how powers work.

→ Manifestations of new powers are called Breakouts. Once a power has “broken out,” its user becomes known as a Keeper. The power is known as a Title.
→ In general, a user cannot manifest new Titles. Old Titles can become more specific or acquire new uses (limited by the imagination of the keeper). Titles also can't be stolen or moved around (since Titles can't directly affect another Title), since they're bound to the Keeper.
→ A Title can “jump ship” if the Keeper is dying or has the appearance of dying, and when they do, they jump ship to the nearest non-powered individual that's not related to the death of the previous Keeper (a Title won't jump into its previous Keeper's killer). There are situations where Titles will not transfer, and this is usually when death was instantaneous or the Keeper went out while actively using the power. A Title can jump to someone who already has one, but the Keeper must do this deliberately while dying, so it doesn't happen often.
→ Titles are bound to the Keeper, but some Titles allow the user to transfer power into an object or require an object to work, and some can certainly allow their user to create an object.
→ A Keeper acquires the name of the Title. In the case of a user with multiple Titles, the Keeper “owns” all the names.
→ Titles don't directly affect other Titles except through side effects (for example, Zed “resets to zero,” and has the side effect of turning off active powers, when its user, say, sets a flyer's momentum to zero).
→ A Title can't change the mind of anyone who isn't its Keeper. it can make its Keeper appear to be authoritative or powerful, or make its Keeper seem like someone who can be trusted, but it can't directly change someone's thoughts.
→ Titles “know” what the intent of their use was and try to fulfill it. If it's within the limits of the power, it simply takes effect with little to no input on the side of the Keeper, as if the Keeper just made the order and the power tries to figure out how to make it work, such as Not to Keep's ability to change the center of gravity; the Keeper doesn't have to watch where their own center of gravity is, just that they want to use their power to do feats of ridiculous athletic prowess.
→ Keepers can sense each other. This is sometimes jokingly referred to as “Highlander sense,” and can give another Keeper a sense of danger or a warning that another Keeper is near. Objects and items created with a Title also give off this sense, and it is referred to as “Kokets,” or “koketsu.”

With that said, there are a few other oddities about powers in general. The name of a Title is the name of some piece of media from the time period in which it first manifested: early titles had a tendency to be named after stories and poems from the 1900s to the 1930s, and had a preference for Robert Frost and Lovecraft. There are exceptions, as an example, for a brief period from 1962 to 1964, a group of Titles emerged named after weather patterns. Keepers continue to insist that they do not name their Titles, they simply appear in their thoughts as the name they should be using.

A Title is almost never doing what it appears to be doing. It may look like super strength on the outside (and even be put down on paper that way), but the ongoing process is usually much more complex, such as redirecting how gravity is affecting the mass by touch.

Coming up, actual setting information. The first NCPs are coming once I get zeroed in on the setting itself.

2012-11-27, 02:35 PM
The Rest of the Universe
Earth isn't so important to the PCs, so it's not developed much; for the most part, it's a world changed by the presence of powers. The computer revolution happened a few decades early, with large green-monochrome tablets finding their way into common use in the 1970s. The CCCP is still strong, and the Cold War still burns, though a multitude of militia groups make life hard for both large nations, but otherwise a lot of the world is still recognizable as our own 2012. There are colonies on Mars and burgeoning nations amid the solar system itself, and supply runs out to the Jovian Depths are common. Interstellar starships are in their construction stages, and by the time the decade is out, there may be human presence in orbit of Proxima or even further out.

But that stuff isn't what's really important. What's important is Yamazawa Station.

In the early years of the twentieth century, individuals began to emerge in Germany that possessed abilities that set them above and beyond normal human capacity. They were weak and subtle at first, exhibiting abilities that seemed like mere tricks, though they quickly grew in power until the 1936 Berlin games, when the Germans dominated every event with a single man, a man known as “Devotion.” As the war progressed, the idea that the Axis powers possessed true superhumans became a sore point on the homefront, and the war dragged on inexorably to what seemed like a foregone conclusion, up until men in the field started acquiring powers of their own. They became known as “Titles,” and their users as “Keepers,” the name of the power known to whoever acquired it. The first of these, a British soldier who became known as “Bond and Free,” became a rallying point for the Allies as he paved his way across the western front, shutting off powers with his abilities and helping turn the tide until Himmler surrendered in 1947.

In the year 1951, the Soviet Union unveiled a Title that allowed its user to fly into space as a brilliant ball of light, sending him on five full Earth orbits, his brilliant light shining down over the Earth even in the dead of night and terrifying millions of Americans. At the same time, the Soviets released a propaganda film titled “The Leaders in Space” that showcased the Soviet desire and will to conquer the edges of space by using Titles “manufactured” by some mysterious source, chiding the West for its reliance on technology, while the Soviets sought to rely solely on human willpower. In response, President Truman, in collusion with Emperor Hirohito Showa, created a Pacific bank of Keepers headed by the Title known as Ingot, who could create nearly indestructible metal, to draft plans for hulls based upon the then-new nuclear submarines, as well as Titles that granted their users incredible insight to build engines and computer control devices. They became known as Task Force HASHI, and the space race was on.

It didn't take long, and only the speed of construction slowed manufacture. The Japanese and Americans were on the moon in less than two years, with John Glenn as the first man on the moon, after being extracted from the canceled Mercury program. It wasn't long before both fuel and Keepers with the ability to transport tons of material instantaneously led the American alliance while the Russians, using solely Keeper-based transportation systems, began to lag behind. Even so, teleporting Keepers were the only way to transport construction materials and people to Mars orbit with any reliability until a Keeper named Hakuchi Ino, whose Title was known as Backseat Driver, drafted the first plans for a space station that would serve as a fuel port and gateway in Earth's L-3 Lagrange point. The station, called “Kibouyama,” the “mountain of hope,” would hold nearly a billion people at its peak capacity and be completely self-sufficient. It would hold massive fuel tanks that could service ships coming and going at a rate similar to that of Earth itself.

At first called “Ino's Folly,” the plans eventually fell into the hands of HASHI and a Keeper named Choose Something Like a Star, who began, by hand, to purchase and move Ingot Metal into Earth-Sol's L-3 point. He was quickly followed by others, who continued to buy the metal from stockpiles, and steel workers, contractors, and engineers began sending their support in letters which started as a trickle and became a flood, with non-Keepers lining up in screaming droves to be transported to the site until even the Americans and Japanese could no longer ignore it.

Kibouyama was built by blood, and the natives still claim they can feel the call of the spirit of the station. The name, however, did not last. Pioneers and miners passing through gave rise to a transient population that mixed with the locals, and the original Japanese and American residents merged into a single, cohesive culture that dragged itself out of the proverbial sea of stars and became a society of free thinkers that maintained a strong sense of community and wholeness, both seeking to protect their culture from outside influence while still serving as the gateway to space. “Yamazawa,” the mountain of tense feelings, became first the name for the city the settlers built, then the name of the entire station itself.

2012-11-27, 02:45 PM
Hakuchi, officially Hakuchi Metroplex Biome Region, is one of 13 prefectures of the Yamazawa Biome and one of, in totality, 38 prefectures in Yamazawa station. Hakuchi is the capital of Yamazawa, center of the Greater Hakuchi Area, and the largest metropolitan area in the Sol system. It is the seat of the governmental power of Yamazawa station, housing parliament and the visitor housing for the Japanese Imperial Family as well as the President of the United States of America. Technically controlled jointly by both the United States of America and Nippon-Koku, Hakuchi was founded in 1962 by the Directive of Execution by the American-Japanese Alliance and Task Force HASHI. Materials had been moved into place a majority of the superstructure created by the turn of the decade in 1959, paid in part by the salaries of workers who arrived to build the station.

The Hakuchi Metroplex Biome Region government administers the 17 special district wards, each governed as their own city, as well as innumerable smaller wards and villages, as well as the municipalities, thirty-seven strong, among them, to the west and out among the island chains. The full metropolitan area houses nearly 70 million people, and contains both the world's most populated metropolitan area and the world's largest metropolitan economy.

Zawa to Yamazawa
The city and station have an attitude, characterized as “Zawa to Yamazawa” by the locals, which is often translated as “buzzing slightly in anticipation.” What it really means is that around Yamazawa, it seems like there's always something getting ready to happen. So comes the station's name, translated as “the mountain of tense feelings.” This feeling and attitude come from the station's nature as the final stopping point for fully half of the ships arriving from Earth or from the outer reaches of the solar system.

Yamazawa Style
“We got the style, eh! Yamazawa style! Ura-zawa style! Hey!”

A trend among those were born and raised in the station's biome and in the city, the “Yamazawa style” is reflected in music (often remixes of sock hop and 1960s pop), street performers (air guitarists and dancers), and groups that gather and collect near the port up along Maezawa and Ayugi bridge in the Suroda district. The movement refers to wide variety of fashions, and incorporates elements of western, gothabilly, punk, and space chic/cyberpunk, with cold space jackets modified to resemble team or Elvis jackets and vacuum hazard containment masks modified and painted to reflect the eclectic mix of people and styles that move through the station on a daily basis, a hodgepodge of excited, bombastic appearances lined up for visitors and natives alike.

There is a section of Yamazawa style that remains "underground," mostly among its community of Keepers. It's called "ura-zawa," the "underground backside of zawa." It's become synonymous with self-published zines about the latest details involving powers, photo blogs, and punkabilly music clubs.

2012-11-27, 10:12 PM

The Yamazawa biome is toroidal, with the city on the "eastern" side of the Furo continent. The toroid is 184.5 km north to south, and has a circumference of 452.16 km, comprising a total surface area of 83,425.52 km. This does not include variations for elevation or oceanic volume.

Yamazawa's oceans have been cribbed from both comets passing by and from both Earth and Mars ice, as well as some Pacific seas. The habitat contains large amounts of subtropical forests on the "western" side of the mountains and temperate forests and grasslands to the East of Fujichan. The Nomugi Line is a train line that runs all the way across the biome into Awano to Namikuda, connection both transfer points in and out of the biome. Outside the biome, the station is called the "Megacity," and is home to most of its transient population, composed of workers and ship crews waiting to be shipped out. Most workers who live and operate in the prefectures on board the station commute out to them during the day, and return home in the evening, but there just isn't enough room for the tens of millions who do, and so they end up making their own smaller biospheres deep in the station proper.

2012-11-28, 07:03 PM
Special Districts in Yamazawa

"We got ura-zawa in outer space!"


(post will be updated as development continues)

Hakuchi Metrpolex is made up of 17 special wards, independently governed cities. It houses almost 70 million people, making it the solar system's most populous metropolitan area, and is a popular tourist destination.

The Special Wards
Each ward is also listed with a short run-on sentence describing the overall feel I'd like to go for and its general economic status; unless otherwise noted, this is just the common status of residents of the ward. Wards are effectively whole cities on their own, and usually contain a wide range of economies.

Halfway between anywhere that has real meaning.
Caught between he more expensive Shinomiya and the slightly less expensive Yamashu, Ayugi is a town in conflict. It struggles to maintain its own identity while serving as a stop-off point for commuters in both directions.

Yiriji Shrine
Fire of the Hakuchi-gogyo shrine series.

Travel, economic and high income housing district, with beaches for visitors.
Situated between Rikuzentaka and Aoki bay, Futsuhama is close to Suroda and serves as a port out to Hijiri island. It also hosts its own beaches and beach homes, and maintains a sort of small town, planned community feel, with coffee houses, hi-rise businesses downtown, and quiet piano clubs for the wealthy.

Strangled district of hotels and residences.
Among the oldest districts in the city, Gyoshi was caught between changing times and more wealthy, out-of-town investors until it was slowly strangled by better prepared upstarts with better buildings and more time. At its start, Gyoshi was built by those same hands that originally put the station together, and their inability to draw in the money offered by tourists allowed districts like Shinomiya and Futsuhama to suck the life away from the region. Gyoshi still retains the heart of the pioneer culture that helped shape it, despite heavy modernization, and many of the buildings have at least foundations constructed before the biosphere was even finished and terraformed.

Yamamori Shrine
Earth of the Hakuchi-gogyo shrine series.

The edge of the city.
On the western edge of Hakuchi, the Kodabashi ward is situated on the shores of Rikuzentaka bay, and is the only place drivers can get on the Nomugi line train station that cross the mountains to the west. Despite the fact that it isn't the ward furthest west, it's still considered the edge of the city, and it's the center of middle class living for those who work in places like Suroda, Shinomiya, and Futsuhama.

Kiragachi Shrine
Metal of the Hakuchi-gogyo shrine series.

Low to middle income housing and sleepy district.
With its low crime rate, low to middle income, and sleepy feel, it would be easy to mistake Minobushi for a place with no flavor all its own, but the ward is known among locals for the theme restaurants that populate its southeastern side close to downtown. This vibrant nightlife is a boon for local businesses and a well-kept secret among citizens of the station. Not many tourists come this way unless they're on their way to Awano or other towns to the west.

East of the mountains and gateway to the Plains if Ida.
At the upper end of low income, Mitsugo barely squeaks by due to tourist roads that take winding passages through the lowlands up into the small towns surrounding Fujichan and its peaceful country vibe. With its small downtown, Mistugo is the perfect choice for people looking to have the trappings of urban living with easy access to natural surroundings.

Ryokuro Shrine
Water of the Hakuchi-gogyo shrine series.

Small towns away from the beaches.
While Mitsugo has at least several small skyscrapers in its downtown regions, Moride has none at all, and while it is heavily urbanized, with few real parks, it still retains its city charm. Moride serves as drainage from the Plains of Ida, preventing runoff from flooding Shinomiya and Ayugi, and is thus home to multiple broad canals that have water for much of the year.

Middle-class district of parks and shrines.
One of the initial construction efforts after the biosphere was first sealed and the terraforming process began, the ward that would become Shinomiya was originally founded to honor both Emperor Showa and then-president Richard Nixon, with parks, statues, trees, and a shrine that would become part of a Seimei-star gogyo series of shrines designed with the Suroda spaceport in the center. Shinomiya is dotted with other shrines, as well, and contains Hanjiru-Hoshi shrine, where Choose Something Like a Star's original Keeper is buried.

Shinomiya Shrine
Wood of the Hakuchi-gogyo shrine series.

Trendy technology district.
The spaceport and central elevator through which individuals arrive in the Yamazawa biosphere, Suroda is also home to the famous Maezawa and Ayugi bridges out along Mantai bay where Zawa stylists go to show off their new clothes and try to buy supplies and gear off those coming in or heading out on ships passing through the station. While the elevators are only in use part of the day due to the toroid's spin, Suroda maintains a spaceport that has regular flights to the central spindle or across the continent.

2012-11-28, 07:22 PM
Hijiri Island
Located just east of Mantai and Rikuzentuka Bay, Hijiri Island is home to two of Hakuchi's special wards, and was originally used as storage for building supplies during the sealing and terraforming process.

The island of engineers.
Home to the Yoshikuni weather control station, Kakumitsu is also the commercial and industrial headquarters of the biosphere. Multiple companies devoted to the manufacture of special electronics and computers have put up buildings here, and while Suroda may have the trendy shops and high class firms, anything managed there is made in Kakumitsu.

A family town.
What families that work in Kakumitsu that don't commute from other wards live in Yamashu. While not as spiritual in nature as Shinomiya, the town of Yamashu is no slouch when it comes to parks, and is stuffed to the gills with apartment buildings and middle-class clubs. Some of the more beautiful beaches on the station fill the ward, and nearly every building is occupied.

2012-11-28, 07:41 PM
North Hakuchi
North of the main metroplex lies scattered lowlands and foothills that frame portions of the maintenance exits into the biome's superstructure. Here there were once small settlements built by those who would have little to do with the big city, at least at first. They were eventually swallowed by the rapid construction pace of Hakuchi, and have become homes and businesses all their own.

A mountain factory city.
Up amid the small ranges that press up against the walls of the biome, Korokada is ruled by its proximity to the superstructure. Not prone to huge buildings, Korokada is mostly cheap residences and industrial factories, the sort that would, in a normal situation on a planet, be churning out smoke and fire, though strict pollution controls on the station prevent them from doing so, the whole district still runs with pipes, foul smells, and trash.

A collection of seaside shanties.
The furthest one can get from the city while still remaining inside its boundaries, Osanagi contains the first junkyards constructed on board Yamazawa, and buried beneath the trash and wreckage of its shanty towns lie original girders and formed Ingot metal, unusable now as anything but supports for the tunnels used by the homeless and penniless that make their lives amid the seaside shacks that dot the ward. Osanagi's mayor has attempted to start several campaigns to clean the area, but the fact is that about a third of the ward has foundations in the shanties that, if removed, would bring anything resembling civilization tumbling down. The whole place echoes with a sort of makeshift feel, and is covered with seagulls and ravens most of the day.

The end of the line.
The only ward to the north with regular ferries to the rest of town, Yotsuba is also the furthest any bus or train system will take a visitor; if someone wants to go to Osanagi, they go by foot. Hi-rises that bridge into the maintenance corridors and apartments in the walls are all features of the ward, which manages at the same time to nestle itself comfortably in its urban surroundings. While it's not the most economically viable ward in the world, most of the homeless that would wander the streets go to Osanagi instead, leaving Yotsuda with a neighborhood feel that pervades the streets even at night.

2012-11-29, 12:45 PM
South Hakuchi
Close to the sea, nearly a peninsula, and still growing, the southern wards of Hakuchi metroplex are still small towns compared to the massive structures of Hijiri island or places like Futsuhama that can be seen across the bay. While they have similar low income areas to North Hakuchi's districts, the lack of major industrialization keeps the air clean and the sea fresh.

Independent fishermen and scatterings of small towns.
Consisting of two major rail lines and one freeway, Ayakone is built among the beaches and inlets on the south side of Aoki bay. While not a cohesive town in the true sense of the word, Ayakone is run like a single district, with its mayor talking to a board made up of representatives from the neighborhoods before doing anything particularly drastic. While some wards have sleepy natures, Ayakone has a busy sort of small town feel where everybody knows everyone else and many of the hotels and restaurants have been in family business for decades. No one with money really stops in Ayakone - they all go down to Osago.

Tourist and beach district for locals.
One of the best kept secrets of Hakuchi (that, and it's easier to get back on Earth), Osago is a town of white angles, small beach town feel, and is still easily accessible by the wealthy. Filled with homes occupied only half the year and with a docks district covered in boats, Osago maintains its economic sovereignty through a brisk business with tourists living in the biome or the depths of the space sation. Those passing through to Earth or to deeper space rarely stop by – most of those tourists spend their time on Hijiri Island's beaches instead.

Small town docks.
With empty plains on the west, thick forest to the south, and the Aoki bay on its side, Yojiri is surrounded by nature. Much like Shinomiya, it is full of parks and shrines. Unlike Shinomiya, it doesn't have the bustling feel, and is the place where most fishermen and yacht owners moor their ships. It's more urbanized than Ayakone, and instead of independent fishermen, much of the boats are owned by small fleets. Farmland surrounds the area, especially out into the plains, and there are a few sawmills at the edges on town to the south.

2012-11-29, 01:50 PM
I don't want to offend you, and this does look genuinely interesting, but I am shocked that no one has linked to (Oppa) Gangnam Style yet. I do realize it's Korean and not Japanese, btw, but the pacing and rhythm of the words match *so well* with Yamazawa Style. (I actually like that song despite it being a running gag in the evening news here.)

Truly I hate myself a little bit for doing this, but I am compelled (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0).

2012-11-29, 02:10 PM
I don't want to offend you, and this does look genuinely interesting, but I am shocked that no one has linked to (Oppa) Gangnam Style yet. I do realize it's Korean and not Japanese, btw, but the pacing and rhythm of the words match *so well* with Yamazawa Style. (I actually like that song despite it being a running gag in the evening news here.)

Truly I hate myself a little bit for doing this, but I am compelled (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0).

HA! You know I've had the name for months now, and I just realized that yesterday and started adding elements (notably that I'd like people to uprock when using certain powers). Soon I will get to NPCs and the sorts of conflicts PCs will be dealing with, and the relevance of that and PonPonPon might even become more clear.

Other inspirations include

The Jetsons
Star Trek
Avatar: The Last Airbender (oooh, imagine an urban Avatar-style setting where the bending is based on types of street performance instead of martial arts, OK THAT IS MY NEXT PROJECT (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaI2IlHwmgQ))
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Jet Set Radio
Big O

2012-11-30, 10:50 AM
The Trouble
Up until now, seems like a nice place. Calm, a lot of personal feel to the city, and a lots of gears tumbling around and doing what they need to do in order to keep things moving. Now, here's where the trouble begins.

The “cap” of Yamazawa, situated like a dome over the topside of the torus, Boushichouten is the prefecture from which the Captain operates, who is the current holder of Devotion. Tradition holds that The Captain eschews all other names when acquiring the station, being known only as Devotion or The Captain. While holding Devotion, The Captain cannot be directly opposed, and her decisions theoretically overrule all others. This is, unfortunately, theoretical, not practical. In truth, The Captain is just one member of a board of directors, and despite her power, things rarely go her way. The current Captain is new, young, and inexperienced, but possessed of a big heart. Only two members of The Mandate think she can be any good and actively attempt to help her at all. The Captain wears a long cold vacuum coat, a thick gas mask, and a naval cap everywhere she goes, and has somehow figured out how to drink coffee through the filter. She's fun-loving, a little lackadaisical, and sometimes comes across as a little loopy, but it's really just an act she likes to put on due to the stress of the job.

Devotion: The Keeper of this power is better than you. In any contest in which the actions of two or more people are directly applied, the Keeper of Devotion will always be set at a bar just above their peers. If the Keeper isn't currently engaged in competition against someone, of course, their skills are just perfectly normal. The power prevents anyone from directly engaging the Keeper in any arena and hoping to win. However, being the best of seven certainly doesn't help you when there's a vote involved. The current Captain will attempt to trigger the power whenever possible by making discussions into one-on-one debates or any kind of competitive contest.

The Mandate
The board of directors of Yamazawa is composed of old money. As the station was constructed, multiple investors threw their lots into the finished product, and assume that everyone on board lives on their sufferance. They're out of touch enough to rig elections in the open and wonder why there are protests and in-touch enough to know exactly what buildings they need to chop down to head off armed revolt at the pass. It is important to note that not a single one of the current crop of The Mandate was born or raised on the station, and that they see the people of Yamazawa as “simple country folk,” a point of view they extend to The Captain as well, undercutting her when they're certain they can get away with it. They are interested in maintaining their power at almost any cost, and are capable of some rather terrible things to stay on top.

Rutger Carson: Son of Choose Something Like a Star, Rutger stayed on Earth while his father was building, and simply assumes the station is his birthright, having come here some twenty years ago. He has a tendency to enact policies without regard for even his fellow directors, though he's much less ruthless than most of the rest of them, and cooperates with the Captain most of the time. The voice of experience, Rutger, more often than not, does what's best for the station as a whole, even though that activity is within his own personal self interest.

Sayaka Aoi: Old, harsh, and also possessed of an interest in the station's welfare, Aoi believes that her family's money makes the station what it is, and while she possesses an air of perceived superiority, she's still a begrudgingly good leader. Having literally grown up in a captain's lap, Aoi has toured the solar system, and likens living on Yamazawa to life in a small town. She's under the impression that anyone who'd permanently live anywhere as a youth is quaint.

Nakamura Daisuke: A young hotshot with the money to invest, Daisuke came in recently, with the change of captains, by buying his way into The Mandate. Having struggled his way into wealth by exploiting stock and bank investment, Daisuke has come into the belief that everything is his through his own effort, and no one's station in life is an accident. In his mind, the poor are poor by their own fault, the wealthy are the wealthy because they fought for that right, and the middle class must just like being mediocre.

Sato Haruka: Much like Daisuke, Haruka bought herself onto The Mandate, mostly using her father's money. She considers her place on the board to be a birthday present to herself, and will defend it at all costs. While the rest of the board tends to think of her as petulant and a bit selfish even for them, Aoi has taken it upon herself to attempt to mold the young Haruka into something more. She doesn't on very well with The Captain,

Jacob Talbot: Jacob believes he owns the place and can turn off life support any time it suits him. Only the other members of The Mandate hold him back. His father was on The Mandate and while he didn't grow up on Yamazawa, he certainly grew up in space, though on much wealthier stations closer to Earth, none of which had biospheres or constantly operating metroplexes like Hakuchi.

Marcus Peyton: While he understands that Hakuchi and the biosphere need special treatment, Marcus Peyton doesn't think that the needs of the biome outweigh the needs of the rest of Yamazawa. While this is, to an extent, true, the permanent population of the superstructure areas of the station aren't large enough in number to divert the amounts of resources he attempts to cover.

The Policies
It should be noted that Yamazawa station is a space station, despite being possessed of an indestructible superstructure and built to last. The Mandate concerns itself with managing a space station, most of which contain very small biomes or have simply hydroponics arboretums, usually due to size issues. IN addition to strictures against drugs and weapons, The Mandate has heavily restricted the possession of alcohol, put restrictions on the largest vehicles that can be privately owned and operated, and restrictions of what and how things can be grown in personal gardens. Vigilante laws are particularly strict, and The Mandate runs the biosphere just as if it were the cramped, limited resource bowels of a mid-sized ship.

2012-12-05, 10:45 PM
Network G
The definitive source for rumors and buzz among the urazawa, Network G is maintained by mostly non-powered individuals and consists of forums, blogs, and news posts. The network is largely no-frills and has been criticized for its haphazard demeanor and lackadaisical programming, but it persists through the years ad-free and lacking the clutter of more “official” news channels. It exists simply to swap information, photos, and videos among the station and has been the target of several viral ad campaigns, leading to a recent spate of bannings and tighter security among several of the hosted boards. Most of Network G can't even be accessed outside of the biome, and it runs very slowly, if at all, in Boushichouten.


The Collection/Sennari Sennin
Counterpart to the Mandate, formed in response to restrictive and oppressive policies of The Mandate, the Sennari Sennin are effectively gangs controlled by a single Keeper, called a sennin. Contrary to popular belief among powers on Yamazawa, the “Great Collection of Hermits” or “Gathering of Those in Full-Time Service” is not interested in law or goodness in any degree. They're only primarily interested in “bunpou,” or division of control. Their primary intentions are to maintain a network through which Keepers can pass information and to pass tasks off to troubleshooters or ronin. They may also have their own individual agendas and attend their own small circle of Keepers and retainers. Many of the sennin have gone so far as to produce symbols of their control, and sneak them into imagery used by the city or even post it up themselves with tags or banners.

The Samurai System
A feudal system of sorts is in place when dealing with Keepers. An organization that calls itself the Sennari Sennin has divided up the space station into small districts in which the individuals hold some measure of authority over the Keepers within. They call unaffiliated Keepers “ronin” and Keepers who have sworn to aid or even directly serve their sennin have the distinction of being called “samurai.” These are not the two primary divisions, but the connotation is that a samurai can be trusted to serve only the dictates or ideals of their chosen sennin, if not the sennin themselves, while a ronin may have a difference of opinion about how the sennin is handling things. Both groups vie for the title, since it offers the illusion of having control over those with Titles in the area, when in truth, most sennin operate their district like an information network and extended friendship or family.

2012-12-07, 02:25 AM
Symbol: Trilobite beetle larva
Usual Territory: Gyoshi and Mitsugo
Power: Mushi-mushi creates beetles about the size of a hand. She can mentally control and receive images from the beetles and anyone picking one up and using its belly scales to dial a number and use it just like a cell phone. The beetles can call any phone on the station and the call is untraceable and cannot be tapped.

Mushi-mushi is a bit of a trendy dresser, fond of fedoras and black jackets common in ura-zawa style, with long black hair and a clearly zawan face. She carries a cane when she can, and will use long dresses or slacks alternatively, depending on whether she expects to see a fight.
Considered the first of the Sennari Senin, most of Mushi-mushi's past is a mystery. She makes it policy to visit every Keeper she senses arriving at the station, is friendly, open, and tries to poach as many Keepers as she can before they can get anywhere else. She doesn't put them under a tight leash, as most others often do, and runs her samurai like a group of friends. This has resulted in the appearance of multiple gangs in her territory. None of the other sennin can really deny that she has a brisk trade in contraband, however, and that she can know practically anything about what any of them are doing at any time, and it's unknown how extensive her spy network really is due to her bug phones. She seems most interested in keeping the struggles amongst Keepers low profile except in the case of organizing protests against The Mandate's policies. She's a rebel and doesn't hesitate to invite taggers to paint beautiful works of art in her territory.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Symbol: The alchemical symbol for Mercury
Usual Territory: Shinomiya
Power: The Keeper of this Title can “reach into” statues and pull out the physical form of what the statue represents, but the item or person retrieved can weigh nor more than ten pounds. The user can create anything, so long as the statue represents it, even miniature people or dioramas of locations. The user doesn't have any control of what sort of object is removed, unless he knows for sure what the statue is supposed to mean.

Nothing Gold Can Stay has a taste for the finer things in life. He'd like to be in charge of Suroda, and most of the other sennin actually consider him the best person for the job, but he's more interested in making sure relations stay smooth. As befitting his district, he's calm, contemplative, and does not take lightly to taggers and thrillseekers in his territory. At the same time, he tries to make sure the gangs under his control keep the door open to street performers. In addition to finer things, he also takes part in the spiritual side of the city, believing the spirit of the station can be angered, and is not shy about using his powers to give it a voice with which to speak and hands with which to fight.

Fire and Ice
Symbol: Four straight-down hash marks over the seal of Osanagi (an open flower with three high-rises).
Usual Territory: Yotsuba and Osanagi
Power: Fire and Ice can turn physical force directed at its user into heat energy that is then deflected backwards into the environment. Physically attempting to attack his person usually results in a small explosion and the attacker frozen solid as all heat energy is pulled away from their bodies.

Tough, uncompromising, and actually somewhat quiet, Fire and Ice is not a native Zawan. He came to the station five years ago and quickly made a name for himself by being nearly unstoppable by the current crop of gangers in the north at the time as he carved out his territory at the end of his knuckles. The rough nature of both districts is a good match for him, and rumor has it that he's some kind of jaded ex-military operator from back on Earth. The Gum Gatherer and The Aim Was Song are his two most trusted lieutenants, and even they don't know the full story. He doesn't mind a bit of misdemeanor crime in his neighborhood, nor does he care if contraband moves through, but he doesn't brook murder, kidnapping, or the cops roughing up the homeless and has a tendency to deal with them personally.

The Death of the Hired Man
Symbol: Four flowers wrapped around a central ring
Usual Territory: Futsuhama, Minobushi, and Osago
Power: The user of this power can make anything devoid of meaning; the Keeper can makes attacks against him pointless, make plans moot if he's aware of them, and make gardens fail to produce fruit. He can only be focused on four things at once.

Death of the Hired Man, or “Dean,” has gotten remarkably good at obfuscating what he's using his powers on at any given moment. Luckily, nearly everyone else has gotten remarkably good at concealing what they're doing from him. This bothers him quite a bit; he fancies himself a purveyor of conflict, and seeks to keep things interesting. That's what he tells himself to sleep at night, anyway. The simple reality is that he enjoys watching people suffer and their lives fall apart. He's chosen the vacation places of the wealthy as his bag because he can lure the decadent into depraved actions and investments.

The Hill Wife
Symbol: A five-tined fork pointing downward.
Usual Territory: Korokada and Moride
Power: Hill Wife allows its user to call up a three meter tall woman made of rough stone, vines, moss, and covered with mysterious carvings. The Hill Wife is nearly as indestructible as the Ingot metal. She's strong enough to throw around cars and seems to have preternatural awareness of her user's mental state.

Hill Wife, by all accounts, grew up in Suroda and still has family there, but spent most of his time going between his family's estate in that ward and Moride. A good friend of Mushi-Mushi, he has a strong dislike for The Mandate and typically uses his power as his muscle and lieutenant. The ability to have a lieutenant that won't betray him has allowed him to keep his two districts relatively peaceful, much to the consternation of the station security officers. He isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, and dresses like the typical rockabilly clubber typically found downtown. Bombastic and fond of music, he is every bit the stereotypical Zawan.

Maxwell's Doorway
Symbol: A ring with three horizontal bars under.
Usual Territory: Ayugi and Kodabashi
Power: Maxwell's Doorway can swap the temperatures of any two locations approximately three inches wide and “stack” heat into a location between the two points.

Just like his power, Maxwell's Doorway is caught between two identities. His mother was from Osaka, but his father was a native Zawan. He buries himself in Urazawa culture, building allies with anyone that he thinks will help him find his identity in the chaotic swell of the biome's cultures. For a while he tried to manage several of the dock regions on the station, but there were not enough permanent residents to maintain his hold over them, and he keeps power largely because he's backed by Mushi-mushi, and no one wants to mess with his Title.

The Cats of Ulthar
Symbol: Two coins stacked over each other
Usual Territory: Ayakone and Yojiri (Rocky Neko Pachinko)
Power: The Cats of Ulthar can mentally move, damage, or manipulate objects as if it were thirteen invisible cats. The “cats” are approximately seven meters in length and made of dark matter, meaning they fail to interact with the electromagnetic spectrum, if they are even made of matter at all.

Cats of Ulthar is a madwoman. She keeps hold of her territory through the simple fact that they're low income districts and station security and the Metroplex Police just aren't interested in moving into the area. Her behavior is somewhat unpredictable and only the power of her Title really keeps anyone from moving in on her territory. Recently she had been helping Death of the Hired Man, but seems to have estranged herself from him, calling him a “meanie” in Sennin meetings and threatening to tear him apart if he so much as entered her territory again. It is suspected that the only reason she's been able to keep him off her machinations is that they only seem to have meaning when they're finished.

The Silver Key
Symbol: A skeleton key with two tines and a lotus in the ring
Usual Territory: Yamashu and Kokumitsi (Hijiri Island), Futsuhama (disputed)
Power: The Silver Key creates a steak-knife sized skeleton key that can open any door it's presented with. The key is also completely indestructible to anyone but the Keeper.

The Silver Key is somewhat reclusive, and fairly new to his membership in the Sennari Sennin. He has the direct support of Mushi-Mushi and Hill Wife and has kicked his appearance onto the scene into high gear by seizing all territory and samurai on Hijiri island. Though the numbers of samurai he possesses are low, he appears to have a mysterious source for help, the Progenies of the Great Apocalypse, advanced cyborg entities with an array of built-in weaponry who sometimes appear just where he wants them, and are responsible for his appearance on the scene. He spends most of his time making life miserable for Death of the Hired Man and fighting over disputed territory in Futsuhama.
(The Progenies of the Apocalypse are from another universe, the door to which Silver Key has found and opened, having allied with the creature on the other side, being a vast, posthuman intelligence with the ability to manufacture the Progenies. The door is immobile, and it still expects Silver Key to pay for any of the people it sends through, and the Progenies have their own agendas when they emerge, most of whom just want nothing more than to go about their lives.)

2012-12-08, 02:33 PM
Honestly, Mushi-Mushi kinds of makes me groan. This one's a tongue-in-cheek character, yes? If she's to be a serious villain, the name might need a rework. I can just see her coming on all badass and then whipping out a cockroach and doing that cuddly-wuddly talking to baby/small dog voice, "Who's my widdle mushi-mushi? Who's my mushi-mushi? You are!"

Or maybe I've just heard too many Chinese people butcher the Japanese language. Cannot say "moshi-moshi" to save their lives.

Weird trivia, in Shanghainese there's a phrase "ka ye li ma si" which sounds pretty much exactly like Japanese "kaerimasu" and means almost exactly the same thing. And it's only a Shanghai thing, no other dialect knows what those crazy SH people are saying.

But I'm really digging this, even though I have zero working knowledge of M&M.

2012-12-11, 09:10 PM
Honestly, Mushi-Mushi kinds of makes me groan. This one's a tongue-in-cheek character, yes? If she's to be a serious villain, the name might need a rework. I can just see her coming on all badass and then whipping out a cockroach and doing that cuddly-wuddly talking to baby/small dog voice, "Who's my widdle mushi-mushi? Who's my mushi-mushi? You are!"

Let's step back for a second. The setting is about people dressing like Japanese cyberpunk rockabillies with weird superpowers on a space station who fight the evil forces of The Man with spraypaint, 1950s techno remixes, and dancing, and you're questioning if the lady who wears a suit and makes David Cronenberg phones is tongue in cheek.

But I'm really digging this, even though I have zero working knowledge of M&M.

I'm being skeezy, I haven't even put up the stats for anything yet... >_>

2012-12-11, 10:57 PM
Well these guys

"We got ura-zawa in outer space!"


gave me the sense you were going for something lighthearted and comedic.

Still, I didn't know for sure what you were going for with Mushi-Mushi. My guess was comedic, but you never know.

One of the things I really like about what you're developing here is that without mechanics in the way, this is great fluff that can be dropped into several different systems but still retain the flavor.

2012-12-12, 01:09 AM
Well these guys

gave me the sense you were going for something lighthearted and comedic.

Still, I didn't know for sure what you were going for with Mushi-Mushi. My guess was comedic, but you never know.

A bit. I was going for a bit of dark humor, kinda of showcasing the kind of Japanese language puns I wanted to shoot for. The tone I want to go for should be a kind of juxtaposed humor, a kind of wabi-sabi seriousness that's a bit lopsided, not necessarily leaping out directly, but eliciting sort of immediate "what." response that quickly dissolves back again into a serious tone.

The Gum-Gatherer
Power: The Gum-Gatherer's user has no mouth, but can instead project their mouth on any solid, non-living surface. It takes on proportional size of the object; projecting it onto the roof of a car creates a mouth appropriately sized as if the car were a human face. The user controls the mouth as if it were their own, and materials, when ingested, are broken down into the appropriate size for the user's gullet.

Gum-Gatherer is one of Fire and Ice's samurai, and wanders Osanagi looking for trouble, mostly so it doesn't get to Fire and Ice. She's nowhere near as hot-headed as he is, and prefers things to remain as minimally destructive as possible. She typical stays with The Aim Was Song, and the pair of them have been keeping members of the Progenies low in their district, but are worried what might happen if they spread. Once the child of a rich family, Gum-Gatherer stays well out of ura-zawa subculture, considering it somewhat crass, but doesn't speak much of it, instead wishing to remain polite, something her power doesn't really allow her to do. She tends to wear full body burlap cloaks and a heavy glove on her right hand onto which to project her mouth when she's not using it to eat cars.

The Aim Was Song
Power: The Aim Was Song manifests as a lamprey-like mouth on the user's left hand. The mouth can extrude a pair of invisible "tentacles," the tips of which can generate cones of heavy pressure. The tentacle ends can be lined up to produce almost any low-key sound, and create destructive cones of noise trapped inside acoustic shadows (I will probably stat this as indirect Blast (Area: Cone) with some alternate powers related to creating noises or pushing objects).

Where Gum-Gatherer is quiet and thoughtful, The Aim Was Song is loud and boisterous. He's heavily into ura-zawa modes of dress, grew up in multiple low class districts, and still uses the phrase "Kool-aid shack" to describe the meeting place of the neighborhood kids. He's only just recently gotten his Title, and maintains a wide variety of contacts with the local gangs. He takes his position as samurai seriously, and his grandfather told him of a time when there was no station security to protect anyone or anything, and the samurai were all that was.