Once upon a time,
back before the cesspool that is Facebook was conjured from the pits of hell,
there was a message board where some way cool people used to hang out to talk
about RPGs and other geeky stuff, it eventually imploded, and like Humpty Dumpty,
all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put the board back
together again ... it’s a sad tale for another time.
But before the long
slow death of the board there was a time, brief golden age, when creativity and
imagination flourished. During that time many in the community gathered around
and helped create a shining city where heroes and villains walked the streets.
That city was Vanguard City Virginia,
It was a place where
superhero campaigns could be played out, to be honest it was pretty much
designed to be a campaign setting where PMikey could run his Mutant’s and
Masterminds 2e campaign. I was reading though some of the old
material that was saved by PMikey before the board finally had to be put out of
it misery, so it wouldn’t suffer anymore. The material that we created
collectively was good, Really Good; and it’s a damn shame that it will probably
never see the light of day again.
Reading through it though,
I discovered something that I’m really not proud of. I was a huge jackass about
the whole thing, I had developed a seriously unhealthy and inappropriate sense
of ownership over Vanguard. Sure, the initial idea was mine, and by that, I
mean I stole the Idea from another message board, but it worked, and people got
behind it. But that in and
of itself did not confer any real ownership, or control, of the created setting
to me specifically.
Now, seeing as PMikey
stepped up to run the first campaign in Vanguard City, as I had hoped he would,
and given the fact that I had no real Intentions of ever
running anything in Vanguard City, he should have been the final arbiter on the
the development of the city. I say this because part of the purpose of making Vanguard
City a community project was to take some of the heavy lifting of setting
creation off PMikey’s Shoulders, and to give potential players some emotional
buy-in to the setting, and perhaps get them to also run adventures in Vanguard
city at some point if they desired to do so.
We tried to encourage
the contributors to Vanguard City to expand the world beyond the boundaries of
the city proper, and that also worked to a limited degree. Work began on another
concept that I lifted form another forum, the League. The League were a government sponsored
super group with a loose revolving membership. Each State, that was able to,
sponsored a super-being from their state for membership. A Couple of our
contributors actually started working on their own city called “Iron City”,
which was within what we then came to call the Vanguard City Universe (VCU). All this work was Really Fantastic, and I
congratulate the authors and contributors that made all of it possible.
Truth be told I was
probably the weakest link amongst the contributors to the VCU, I through a lot
of ideas out but never fleshed them out properly unlike the other contributors.
While reading through all the old Vanguard City material yesterday, I came across
as a huge Jackass, and obstacle, crapping on other contributors for their ideas
and vision on everything from the chosen system, Mutants & Masterminds 2nd
edition, to whether or not to include material found in other publications. I
can’t help but think that my behavior was one of the things that slowly strangled
creativity and participation in the VCU. Ahh hindsight my old friend, you’re
always a day late and a dollar short.
So, I’d like to take
this opportunity to sincerely apologize to all the former contributors to the Vanguard
City Project, and member of the old Midnight's Lair for being a Raging Asshole at that time. Maybe someday some that project
material might see the light of day, but I doubt it …. It’s a real shame though.
But seeing as the environment that gave birth to Vanguard City, bulletin/message
boards, are no longer in fashion in this era of Facebook, I doubt that something
similar could ever be replicated, and piecing together the Old material would be
horrendous without some form of threaded message system. I tried re-posting some
of them a while ago on the Midnight’s Lair Forum, but it was slow going if I
remember it correctly.
I actually went and looked
over at them again, and I re-posted a lot more of them than I though. Maybe I should
P.Mikey's M&M 2ed - Vanguard City Campaign
Also, reading through all the characters created
for the Project made me look at M&M2e again, and it’s not as bad as I
remember thinking it was at the time … and boy did I rail against it back then …
unreasonably so I think …. Interesting.
I think I’m gonna have to take a long hard look at it again, to see if I can
resolve and banish all the hate I had for it.
Anyways thanks for
reading this rather long and rambling article.
Erik a.k.a Midnight