Subplots

In many tabletop roleplaying games, a player character starts play with a scattering of problems that can complicate their lives, and gains more (while hopefully concluding some of the original ones) over the course of play. These are represented as some sort of Disadvantage, and usually give back points with which other parts of the character sheet can be improved.

MEGS is no different in that regard. However! Some problems that would be a character sheet Disadvantage in other systems are actually considered Subplots in this one.
As a not-at-all random example: Thunderstrike, brick-style superhero, has his life complicated by Don Blake, EMT and ambulance owner, who unfortunately shares the same body but definitely not the same skillset. In another system such as Champions or GURPS, Thunderstrike’s character sheet might include such disadvantages as {Dependent NPC: Don Blake, semi-fragile non-combatant}; {Hunted by Star Labs (insert frequency of their appearance here)}; {Miscellaneous: frequent and onerous job certification requirements}; plus, maybe, a few mental disadvantages.

In MEGS, most of those do not go on the character sheet!

Don Blake is wrapped up in the secondary personality part of Thunderstrike’s character sheet. Don has his own Hero Points, Wealth, and problems.
A few mental disadvantages probably stay put. He might have an Irrational Fear or two from his unfortunate experience at STAR Labs; he might have some sort of Rage, or Traumatic Flashbacks.

What do we do with the Hunted bit and the perpetual problem of keeping his EMT certifications active? They become Subplots. They are minor, long-term story arcs attached to a specific character that occasionally might come up in the course of an adventure … perhaps even become so relevant that they begin to affect other heroes as well … and could, at some point, graduate into The A Plot driving the main adventure along.

And Subplots, my friends, are where the superhero roleplay gets really interesting. Subplots make the difference between Pietro Lensherr and Barry Allen. Subplots make the difference between Guy Gardner and John Stewart. Subplots make the difference between “damn, I still can’t afford the Detective skill” and “dude, I totally have Detective (Clue Analysis)!”

GMs love subplots (provided they aren’t listed in a certain corner of TVTrope) because they help us figure out, first, what kind of story engages the interest of the players; and, second, what to do with this outline we’ve got where Bad Guy Does Bad — Heroes Punch Him — The End. MEGS Players love subplots because when a subplot appears as a C-Plot or higher, the players who participated in said subplot get 1: Character Growth; 2: A little extra time on Center Stage; 3: Bonus Points at the end of the adventure, above and beyond the ones awarded to the whole team for Saving The Day. This bonus is calculated as a percentage of the Saving The Day total.

So, in short, if you have subplots that the GM finds a way to work into a given adventure (for more than a brief mention), and you play them out effectively and interestingly and consistently, you get a Point Award for being a hero; a Point Award for good roleplaying; and then another Point Award for your subplot. What a great idea! And you can collaborate with your allies! And the GM tends more toward the kind of roleplay you want to experience!

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The problem for the past few years has been that Chris and Jennie keep their notes scattered across six or eight locations, and don’t share everything. What would really help is for the PCs’ subplots to be listed in one easily-accessible area, complete with any pertinent proper nouns. The description for each subplot doesn’t have to be long at all, just enough information to get the GM thinking.

Of course, everybody has the “I’m on Team So-and-So” set of subplots, obviously: anybody in Wyldfire has the “Protect the School” subplot, anybody in the Knights Vigilant has the “At War With Central Park Rollerboyz” subplot. Each member, however, probably has at least one subplot that isn’t currently shared with anyone else. And your GMs would love to take advantage of them.

If you’re willing to contribute plot complications from your character’s background to the GMs’ bag of plot complications, this is the place to do it! Create a new Wiki entry, put the name of the character in question into the Subject box, tag it with the character’s name and the word “subplots”, and contribute any subplots you would be interested in seeing someday come up for your character. We won’t always warn you when one of them is coming active, and we don’t promise to use every one, but we’ll start working our way through a goodly number of them! We cannot create them FOR you because we cannot transfer “ownership” of the entry TO you so that you could see it.

Subplots

Tales of Justice Banzai_Aether JarissaVenters