New Vindicators is a popular Mutants & Masterminds campaign chronicled and edited by Michuru81 on Atomic Think Tank, the official forums for Mutants & Masterminds. New Vindicators is the central campaign of the Oubliette setting, a distinctive setting for Mutants & Masterminds campaigns.The central narrative of New Vindicators began as a story chronicling the sessions of a tabletop roleplaying group, though it has grown into a large narrative spanning several long plot arcs. There are three main Arcs so far-one of which is Filler and not based on the tabletop game.The series deals with the students and graduates of a school for superhumans, the New Vindicators Academy. Superhumans are called Neo-Sapiens, and get their powers from their parents, who in turn are ultimately descended from one of seven fallen Seraphim, although most people don't know about this. In addition there's super-science, magic (described as wisdom of the angels and God) and naturally occurring psionics called Espers, but the average person doesn't know much about the world's secret history, lumping all Super Powered Beings together. Superheroes still do their best to try and protect a world that hates and fears them. There is also a high level of drama and darkness, similar to what you might find in a soap opera with tangled family relationships, backstabbing, adultery, sudden but inevitable betrayals, and more. For the most part, while the heroes are still heroes, they tend to be flawed individuals (poor fatherly relationships are a common theme) from Classical Anti-Hero to Pragmatic Hero, fighting everything from noble freedom fighters to racist humans to several Fallen Angel.The narrative may be found here.A new game, set in the New Vindicators Academy of Europe which started in early 2010 can be found hereAlternate Universe settings have also appeared. Infinite and Ultimate flavors respectively.New Vindicators gives examples of the following tropes:
A God Am I: Played for pure funny by Bulwark, who casually acknowledges that he is, in fact, basically a god.
Made all the more interesting by the fact that stat-wise he is one of the most broken characters in the Oubliverse.
Advanced Ancient Humans: Long ago, certain humans gained the wisdom of the angels (magic) and used that, along with superpowers, to create an advanced civilization called Hyperborea. There, a tree was planted that grew golden apples that bestowed immortality and superpowers on those who ate of it. After Hyperborea fell, some of its influential families became known as the various pantheons of the world.
This overlaps with Time Travel, as its established that time travelers don't travel backwards or forwards among their own timelines, but rather into alternate ones, so Hikari, Bogart and Mr. Mayhem are from an alternate future (specifically one where Rift didn't kill Halogen). Later on, another group of characters arrive in the main Earth-137, traveling from an alternate future where Jason Lamperouge and an evil David Kennel attempt to rule the world/destroy all existence, respectively. There is also the alternate universe where evil!Rumble, called the White Witch, comes from.
The 13th chapter of the European Academy's story deals with a few characters being recruited by dimension hopper The Drifter (actually an alternate Elizabeth Lamperouge, AKA Lacuna) to travel to Earth-1127.
Animate Dead: Magic appears in the setting, in typical D&D schools, one of which is necromancy. So a few zombies raised from the dead have appeared-Jason is a necromancer and could do this, but hasn't, and the Damn eventually raises a zombie army.
An Ice Person: Frostbite and Firn (through temporal manipulation), Apathy. Shiver, AKA Violet Lear of the European Academy, who manifests cold in the area around her, ice shapes, and an ice rapier.
Anyone Can Die: A few main characters do get killed off, but a few of those have been brought back from the dead. With Loads and Loads of characters, there are plenty of deaths in general, but they're usually of supporting cast types and some villains.
Apologetic Attacker: During a trip to another world, the Blue Knight has to save his friends who are in the dungeons. When he confronts a bunch of guards who are just doing their jobs, he apologizes before he takes them all out.
Arc Words: The number 137 appears all over the narrative in the oddest places. Does not pay off until later in the story.
Author Appeal: The author has said Atlanta White (AKA Rumble) appeals to him.
He's said that's just blondes in general though: Crusader, Chienne, Boson... if you happen to be a blonde girl, you're the author's pet.
Badass: Deimos (how has he not died from any of the insanely violent fights he's been in?), Michuru when he fights Apocatastasis, the Damned when he banishes Deimos to the Astral Plane JUST BEFORE he topples from wounds the Nephilim inflicted on him, Bulwark on a regular basis, Coldfire. Many of the characters really, being supervillains and heroes.
Bad Future: Several, from Apocatastasis rules the world to Jason Lamperouge is trying to rule the world and effing shit up, to Sol Invictus rules the solar system as a god king oppressing humans. There is one notable Inversion where Adonis and Chienne were killed by Forrest Bedford, which leads to a good future-no White War, no Apocatastatis, no Black Box. Its even called the 'good universe' to distinguish it from the mainstream universe.
Also Sanada Yukimura and his Ten Braves are immortal, alive and well in the New Vindicators universe, but don't really do too much.
Michuru has stated he likes doing this trope, so it pops up a lot. Roger Bacon (a historical philosopher who comes complete with his own codename-Doctor Mirabilis) was involved in a plot to give normal people the power of black Hellfire somehow.
Berserk Button: Just remind Deimos of how weak he is and his general uselessness. See what happens.
Loess when she meets Cole Eibernov, because he was a rapist and she had been raped. Loess is also very jealous of Magnus.
Frostbite when Katie/Alicia/Neige/Margaret are threatened.
Also, you don't want to interrupt Bulwark when he's introducing himself. Deimos finds out what happens when you do firsthand.
Big Bad: The first three Arcs are named after the Big Bads: Apocatasis (a millenia-old Nephilim Aesir), Basileus (another immortal and an Aesir), and Bio, who is also kind of immortal.
Greystone, Prodigy, Magnitude, and Otso all take down Therianthrope while he's trying to kill Vestige and her family, with a little help from Larrikin.
Big Damn Villains: Apocatastasis punks out his father, Abaddon when the two finally meet for the first time in six thousand years.
Big Screwed-Up Family: Because of the genetics of super-powers (with all Neo-Sapiens being descended from one of seven Fallen Angels), there's a lot of this. The Lamperouge family is a good example, with issues that are relatively normal, but get exploded into insane proportions due some of the superpowers and personalities involved.
Blade Lock: Happens a lot, usually between Nephilim and their soul-weapons.
Blessed with Suck: Pretty much any Neo-Sapien but primarily the Nephilim. Specifically, because they're half demon, their powers work by channeling energy from Hell, but they also have the psyches of demons inside their minds. If they ever lose control of themselves, those demons take over and turn into rampaging beasts covered in Hellfire armor.
Meinstein's powers turn out to be more Blessed with Suck as he discovers "problems" in his relationship with Cassandra.
Brought Down to Normal: Deimos willingly injects himself with Knitter, losing his abilities for a time before the drug wears off. David Meinstein loses his Iron Man armor but he gets the Speed Force soon after.
Sclera is such an amazing martial artist that he's not expelled from the Trials after he clearly demonstrates that he is bat-crap crazy.
Bulwark, his backstory reveals that he suffered from Asperger syndrome. Despite ridiculous claims, and refusing to act serious except in the most dire situations, Bulwark is kept around because he's very good at 1) hitting things and 2) being hit; although he is kicked off the team at one point.
Michuru81 admittedly singles out certain people to have particularly terrible things happen to, his first victim being Magnus Loder. Frostbite was next.
Bury Your Gays: Taegan almost immediately after coming out of the closet. In an upcoming arc, Breeze, a heterosexual character who is often Mistaken for Gay dies. There was a gay couple at the European Academy-one of them ends up getting killed by Lacuna-Prime.
Calling the Old Man Out: Deimos wants to, Frostbite did, Apocatastasis did it best. Deimos gets to fight his father during his attack on the Lighthouse, and wins, but Abbadon was amnesiac and weakened. Jack Rexroth does this in the European game, and the two of them almost reconcile somewhat before Papa Rexroth is possessed by his Lacuna seed.
Canon Discontinuity: A couple of things so far. This list will probably get fairly massive as time goes by.
Michuru Bradshaw certainly did not have tons of character development and screen time only to get punked out by Apocatastatis.
Professor Incendiary and Doctor Splash did not just get up one day and say "Hey, how about we go have a fun time with Rift and slaughter all of our students? Why? Because we're evil now of course!"
Similarly, said slaughter was in no way, shape, or form ordered by Adonis.
Character Development: Frostbite, or rather Coldfire now, has fluctuated in character a great deal since his introduction to the story. His longstanding everyman, do-gooder persona is slipping away in favor of an angry, angsty attitude.
Abaddon routinely shakes hands while saying, "Here's five good ones."
Portal quotes Star Wars
Split's screaming, "Kom cie!"
Bulwark likes to tell who he is, a lot.
Charles Atlas Superpower: Mirage, who doesn't have powers of his own, has trained with weighted clothing enough to make himself just as strong as the superpowered beings he has to contend with. Sound familiar?
Chekhov's Army: Every damn character. If Michuru81 bothered to give someone a name, they're probably the key to saving the universe. Everybody serves a purpose. Everybody.
Clark Kenting: Through the first book, Chienne masquerades as Zero and David poses as Portal. The Blue Knight and his mentor, Paladin maintain separate civilian identities, and after coming to the European school, BK keeps up a fake name but real persona.
Code Name: It wouldn't be a superhero universe without them.
Comic Books Are Real: Pop culture references in general abound, but there is a discussion on the state of the X-Men at one point in the story.
Adonis drops a copy of X-Factor #87 (which was about X-Factor talking to a psychiatrist who turns out to Doc Samson) down during his session with the psychiatrist in New Vindicators #4 (which was about the New Vindicators talking to a psychiatrist who turns out to be Abaddon).
Contagious Powers: Early on the New Vindicators deal with a cast of normal humans. Then Michuru81 decides that's boring and Jack Olsen gets a magical amulet, Chienne's part demon, Katie Merrick is a Neo-Sapien and Ryan Mueller is fitted for his own armor.
Contrived Coincidence: Katie comes back into Ben's life around the same time Ryan gets an armor, Chienne and Coriolis just happen to just up in time for Lodestone and Loess' wedding. If you have an enemy in New Vindicatorsland, expect them to show up when it's least convenient.
This is less true of the world as a whole and more the situations the PCs find themselves.
Crazy-Prepared: Michuru81 himself deserves acknowledgement of this, having planned out the framework of his games to last for literally years to come.
Crossover Cosmology: The setting uses a mix of Judeo-Christian beliefs, along with taking from apocrypha, so there are various angels and demons. But there are also the Fey-which are explained as once being angelic beings. A number of myths and legendary beings are also real to one extent or another, but it all mostly stems from God and various angels.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Sclera versus Tripper, Sclera versus Deimos, Sclera versus Anomaly-only Sclera loses that last one.
Cursed with Awesome: Michuru Bradshaw, Adonis Skraag & David Dathe. Eventually Rumble picks this up too. Nephilim in general have this.
Culture Clash: Copycat's obsession with ganguros and later Brass and Split have a talk about sex in Japan.
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Noah Meinstein has stated that rather than wipe out all Neo-Sapiens, he builds short-term counters to them like Knitter, Sentries, and the Primes, because if Neo-Sapiens were all gone, his profit margins would take a serious hit.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Samael, the only one of the fallen that isn't trying to usurp the throne of Hell is killed by The Shadow in one sword blow.
Discard and Draw: Amalgam becomes Anomaly, Deimos injects himself with Knitter of his own free will and inexplicably gets his powers back, the 001 is destroyed just in time for David Meinstein to manifest his Neo-Sapien powers and Copycat dies and comes back after taking a level in badass.
Doorstopper: If Michuru81 ever becomes a published author, his first book will probably require two small forests... per copy.
Oddly enough, later books such as Sic Semper Tyrannus would be the exact opposite.
Dreamland: Twice to date, Blanche Gareth has come in and mind raped the heroes by manipulating their dreams... all the while listening to Coheed & Cambria.
Driven to Villainy: The White War never would have happened had it not been for, among other things, Adonis' parents getting killed.
Coach Crag: His dialogue, appearance and pretty much everything about him is pure Dr. Cox.
While they are not going to be seen for (if the filler continues to march on) many months/years, a current threat to the PC's are the Dark Vindicators
Detective: The original Detective's name is Wayne Bruce. It doesn't take a genius to see this one, does it?
Drake: American Dragon Jake Long
Gumshoe: Not only is the Detective's sidekick an expy of Robin but the third Gumshoe's real name is Mark Diet which is an anagram of Tim Drake who is the third Robin.
Iris: Hinata from Naruto.
Mirage: Rock Lee from Naruto.
Mutt: Kiba from Naruto.
The Order of Chaos: Anyone else remember the Peter David's initial run on X-Factor? It had Havok (Solar), Polaris (Bipolar), Strong Guy (Meat), Wolfsbane (Kitty), Quicksilver (Blaze) and the Mupltiple Man (Bipolar again).
Patriot: DC Comics' character Cyborg (Teen Titans) is Victor Stone. The cybernetic Patriot is Vincent Steel. Anyone else see the obvious connection?
Quintessence: Another Teen Titans character is Starfire who flies and shoots glowing energy blasts. Her real name is Koriand'r while Quintessence's real name is Corey Ander.
One Guess as to what Michuru81's favorite DC comic run is.
Rumble: Marvel Comics' Rogue in terms of her accent, powers, religion and Louisiana love interest.
Sclera: Neji from Naruto
Silverback: Marvel Comics' Beast
Split: Naruto from Naruto - both duplicate and The Author has said "Kom cie!" is Cambodian for "believe it!"
Lodestone joins Apocatastasis in exchange for Loess, his father and his grandfather's resurrection.
Gabriel Farouk joins Apocatastasis and causes the death of the Vindicator Nock.
Gabrielle Farouk, Bluetooth, Renewal and Fluke all turn out to be members of the Affiliation.
Deimos goes to the Dark Side of the Force because Michuru81 sees him as being a good villain.
Fallen Angel: Lucifer, Abaddon, Leviathan, Semeyazza, Asmodeus, Asteroth and Samael.
Fan Nickname: The fans were the first to use the term "Oubliverse" to describe Michuru81's world.
Flostobito and the Big-A seem to have caught on with Michuru81 who now uses them in story.
Also, Apocalypse-Tasties started out as a nickname the PCs came up with, Bulwark ends up using it in the actual story.
Deimos major attack on the Lighthouse has been called Night of A Thousand Deimoses.
Fantastic Racism: Anti-Neo-Sapien prejudice. This may lead to What an Idiot, as the entire population of the United States is more than willing to smack-talk SPB's to their face, despite the threat of face-melting.
Fantastic Slurs: Super humans in this setting are called Super Powered Beings, or SP Bs. As a slur, they might be called 'speebs.'
Fate Worse than Death: Quintessence doesn't technically "kill" Paragon so much as he unravels him on a cellular level.
Probably should have killed him, as he has returned as Were-Paragon.
Faustian Rebellion: Neo-Sapiens are the descendants of Nephilim who are the children of the Fallen. The lynchpin in the Fallen's plots seem to be the overwhelming army of Neo-Sapiens populating the world. In hindsight, they should have kept it in their pants.
Freakiness Shame: Many Neo-Sapiens are somewhat in-human looking, with prehensile tals, or more total body changes. There's a young woman at the European Academy who is a humanoid frog, and quite unhappy with it.
Functional Magic: The magic in New Vindies adheres totally to D&D regulations with some Naruto thrown in for fun, and is mostly described as being wisdom of the Angels being given to man.
Gender Bender: The Author has stated that Nephilim are created when the Fallen mate with human women but Semyazza is known most as the woman in the green dress, although often in this guise he doesn't mate with human men, he tempts them-as he did with Atlas and Ben Altair.
Who is, incidentally, a Shout-Out to a Kender PC from D&D games long gone by.
God Guise: There is only one true god in the setting, however, various mythological gods (like Odin, Apollo and more) exist-they're immortal humans who ate a magical apple that gave them immortality and super powers, and their exploits became the stuff of myth and legend.
Grand Theft Me: Chimera, to the point where you're not sure who is who anymore.
I Have Your Wife: Apocatastasis does this to Magnus Loder AND Ben Altair. Noah Meinstein does this to his son Daniel. Laputa does this to Emily by kidnapping her parents, and also try to hold off the PCs by kidnapping their loved ones.
Informed Ability: We're told about Adonis Skraag's genius, but the poor guy can't seem to keep even his own underlings under control. Similarly, Bo Vidae's supposed Kingpin-esque ability to run a crime syndicate doesn't pan out so well in the story.
Intimate Healing: In Et Spe it's implied that Rumble had to save Deimos by pressing their naked bodies together.
Karma Houdini: Arguably Coriolis after rescuing Backlash and Kiln. Also Sclera after breaking both of Tripper's arms and ranting about how much fun he was going to have killing her.
Katanas Are Just Better: Two White Nephilim manifest Katanas as their soul weapons, but they're not shown to be more effective than other hellfire weapons. The only time this is played straight is when a katana is used to kill one of the Fallen, as it was prophesied to.
Loads and Loads of Characters: For example, the first European Academy campaign had 8-7 PCs, a main bad guy force of sixteen, and many other NPC students, teachers, love interests, minor villains, and the like.
Amy Bedford: Given that her children's names are French words, "Amy" is possibly a corruption of Aime, French for "beloved."
Michuru81 confirms this at one point in the narrative.
Forrest N. Bedford: Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the founders of the KKK.
Norman Goodman is the unpowered son of Coach Crag and Miss Mist.
Rockwell G. Lincoln: George Lincoln Rockwell was the founder of the American Nazi Party.
Gale Weathers: She controls the weather. Get it?
Bulwark's assumed name is Connor Crete. Concrete.
Alicia Gladstone's father's name is Joseph. Joey Gladstone was the name of Dave Coulier's character on Full House.
Jetstream has a pair of younger brothers who are twins and named after the Wright Brothers.
Mind Rape: What happens to people committed to the Spider, Abaddon mental health center.
Murder the Hypotenuse: During the Trials, Maria suspects Alicia has taken a ride on the Magnus Train so, naturally, she must die.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Bulwark. He acts way more immature than he is, probably to cope with all the terrible things he's seen/done/had done to him.
Orcus on His Throne: Despite the fact that Lucifer's throne is threatened by all the other Fallen on a daily basis, he doesn't do too much to stop them.
Our Demons Are Different: The cosmology behind the Nephilim and Neo-Sapiens. Basically, demons are just fallen Angels of various orders-there were six, then seven Seraphim, who are typically referred to as 'The Fallen', as they make Nephilim-who are half Demon.
Our Vampires Are Different: For several books, Wilt is shown to have the Neo-Sapien power to suck...the life out of those he touches. By Et Spe this has developed into full-on vampirism and the reveal is that vampires are something else.
Perpetual Frowner: Several characters make fun of how depressing so many members of the cast are. Lodestone, Deimos, Frostbite, and Michuru seem to be the initial leaders of this group but Adonis and Anomaly appear to have recently picked up their membership passes.
The Plan: All the Fallen have tried these to varying degrees of success or utter failure. Abaddon appears to be having the most success so far.
Plucky Girl: Kirstie Arnett, Parabola from the European school. She's not as much of a badass as Ellen/Maze, but she's got heart.
Politically Incorrect Villain: Forrest Bedford was in the KKK before he founded the splinter group Church of Genetic Purity, which is a little more legitimate but just as racist, they just hate super humans as well.
Put on a Bus: Drew Jenkins halfway through the first book. Re-appears just in time to die.
Quirky Miniboss Squad: First it was the foreigners who participated in the Trials, then it was the Nephilim Apocatastasis resurrected in Et Spe. The new trend seems to be the Zodiac as the the Vindicators have thus far fought Libra, Gemini, Scorpio and Capricorn. The pawns of Laputa also fall into this category, while the main pieces, are more serious threats. Likewise, some members of the Faustian society also fit here.
Shout-Out: Several characters are references to past PCs from games the author has played in, mostly seen with the Europeans. There are also plenty of pop culture shout outs, for example: The Blue Knight's false name is Henry Percy, in reference to the historic figure and character in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part O Ne.
Significant Anagram: Whenever the Aurelius or any mage casts a spell in this universe, the incantation is an anagram. For instance, when the Aurelius casts a spell that lets himself fly he says, "lyf." When Coup casts an illusion he says, "nulliosi." Adrianna's teleport spells are simply "teleport" spelt backwards (tropelet).
Gumshoe's real name is Mark Diet which is an anagram of Tim Drake (DC Comics' Robin, who Gumshoe is an Expy of).
Suicide Dave is an immortal bent on killing himself. His real name is David Dathe. Dathe is an angram of "death."
Sidekick: A few heroic partnerships have shown up in the series, mostly being alluded to, there's The Detective & Gumshoe, Hammer & Sickle, and Paladin & The Blue Knight. They usually avoid being a Hypercompetent Sidekick, but aren't bumblers-they're usually just less experienced than the hero.
Single-Stroke Battle: The Shadow cleaves through Samael with one slash of Deimos' katana, Abaddon is taken out when his son grabs him, Astaroth pretty much ended both Drew and Barachiel with one blow each and is himself later killed by Abaddon in one strike.
Spin-Off: The mystical adventures of the Illuminati take place in the same universe as a New Vindicators, though the two have never had a cross-over, except for Rumble taking part in a few of their adventures.
Story Breaker Power: Rift until the conclusion of the Apocatastasis arc, Sclera, Rumble, Quintessence, Taegan, and Apocatastasis.
Suddenly Sexuality: Characters in the story come out at odd moments. Taegen just before his death, Prof. Incendiary in Chimera's backstory.
Superhero School: The games and story largely revolve around students of one of the New Vindicators Academies.
Super Dickery: Paragon, justified as this is the entire point of his character.
Super Soldier: The objective of Project Prime, which mixes Neo-Sapien genes in vitro and uses surrogates to make child soldiers.
Stuffed into the Fridge: Katie Merrick, Natalie Styles, Brigit Hart, Prende Kreshnikeve, Donna-Anne Manther and Amy Bedford. Chienne Bedford in the later arcs. Tripper, but they never found the body.
Frostbite was just a whiny little boy and a compulsive liar in the first story but it seems his man card finally came in the mail during summer break. During the Trials he beats Brickhouse and then nearly wastes Quintessence.
Arthropod was just another Expy until he fought Taegan at which point you realize you're looking at someone you don't want to mess with.
Adonis joins the club when Lodestone spends a few chapters fighting through the Affiliation just to be taken down when Adonis looks at him.
Michuru treats us to his backstory as he fights Apocatastasis one-on-one and does a better job than everyone combined do in the next book. This fight has too many awesome moments, from Michuru telling him "I have nothing to lose" to his "have a nice swim" speech near the end.
True to his Expy, Mirage shows up in Et Spe to get his revenge on the guy who crippled him.
It's a Running Gag that Deimos can't win a fight but as soon as he goes over to the Dark Side he makes everyone cheer by wasting Lodestone, kills Rumble (she gets better), and beats up the Vindicators and their pals.
Bulwark was a badass before but there's something about him finally growing tired of having his introduction interrupted. What started as a Running Gag for the book becomes a Chekhov's Gun and Bulwark single-handedly beats Deimos by tackling him out of the top floors of the Empire State Building and riding him into the street.
Verbal Tic: Quite a few of them, including Dr. Howell's penchant for alliteration.
Villain Decay: Several in the series, Justice being the most outstanding at the moment. He has not succeeded in eliminating any of his primary targets for some time now, though he was said to have killed at least one minor villain.
Villainous Breakdown: Deimos has a spectacular one when he is finally defeated at the end of Night of A Thousand Deimoses. Laputa-Prime has one when Prodigy is able to trick them, which is pretty fitting.