Emerald Knights

“In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!”

So on my quest to create my very own hack, I’ve moved on to a new idea. With Green Lantern being the big thing right now in comics, it occurred to me that the Green Lantern Corps. could serve a similar role in the galaxy as the Guard does in the territory.

I’ve just come up with the idea at work today, and I think I’ll use Luke’s thread on what’s needed to start a successful hack, think of it as an extremely rough outline and/or proposal:

There are a few things this game requires in order to run:
• Team-based adventure - Green Lantern Corps. members are the police of the galaxy. What once was a lone gunman job of one Lantern per sector now is at least a buddy cop story and, in times of war or great danger, a small cadre of Lanterns are dispersed to give each other back-up.

• An implacable, over-arching force (of nature) - entropy in the universe is what the Lanterns fight to overcome. Naturally, the Corps. serves as a force for order and lawfulness. At times, this entropy manifests itself into many different forms such as galactic, cosmic phenomenons endangering billions of lives and countless planets, interplanetary wars that threaten the well-being of advanced (and not-so advanced) civilizations, and even personal duels that threaten the safety of families or naturally-occurring life.

• Dramatic adventure that focuses on fighting for what you believe in - The Sinestro Corps. War proved that the Green Lanterns, while powerful and many, are not alone. Other corps. exist, and not all of them are forces for order and good. Conflict does not always have to be so organized as war. A single cosmic criminal can often put many lives at risk by their mere presence on a planet, and when a civilization faces a threat too big for it to handle, the Corps. steps up to the plate for their turn at bat. Whether it’s fighting in a war for their very survival or facing the dangers of day-in, day-out duties of the Corps., each member strives to hold to the oath of brightest day, darkest night.

• Premise – What’s this about? What do characters do in this setting? - Every player character will fill the role of a Green Lantern. Green Lanterns are the policeman of the galaxy. More than that, they are known worlds over as a force for good and justice. While they all have their own motivations and approaches to their jobs and deeds, all Green Lanterns share one shining quality - willpower. Their courage is unparalleled by any other force of individuals in the universe. Their weapons, the Green Lantern ring, are powered by this courage. With this tool, they patrol their sectors of space to solve conflicts, investigate crimes too large for local governments to handle, mediate border conflicts on a cosmic scale, and, when worse comes to worse, go to war against other Corps. of light such as the aforementioned Sinestro Corps. or the Red Lanterns.

• Missions – What kind of missions do the characters go on? - As described above, they bring in super criminals, they help mediate disputes between nations, planets, or whole systems, they keep civilized galaxies united and bring together all the greatest ideas these civilizations have to share, they guard some of the darkest planets in the universe, and, if in the right time period, fight for their very survival and dominance of the green power source against rival, enemy corps.

• Conflicts – Does the setting require new conflicts? How do they work? - Depending on how you interpret the War of Light (and how the story concludes), there may always be several different corps. The players will only play the Green Lanterns for now, and so finding their new place in a galaxy where other Corps. exist is going to be crucial. Alliances and treaties may need to be made to conquer mutual enemies, each sector may be torn on which Corps. to support based on their own unique interactions with the different corps.

• Weapons – What are the weapons for the conflicts? - The power rings, cosmic-scale war weapons, propaganda for sectors to support one corps. over another, wits, the emotional core of each corps. (such as willpower/courage for Green Lanterns, fear for Sinestro’s, Rage for Red Lanterns, etc.)

• Overarching Conflict – If your setting isn’t about outdoor survivalism, what’s the overarching conflict? What’s the implacable force? - In a way, the story is about cosmic survivalism. The Corps. existed for countless eons as the biggest, most diverse, and organized force for good in the universe, now competing corps. have risen and it’s not a safe thing to be a lone Green Lantern in the universe anymore. There’s also the negative side effect of less Lanterns to patrol their sectors = more crime going unpunished and more criminals building criminal empires.

• Territories – What are the Territories for this setting? - Every planet in the known universe that has a Green Lantern assigned to it (and some that don’t). Oa is the “Lockhaven” of this game, the stronghold of the Green Lantern Corps. There will be several major planets (earth, and I’m looking for other suggestions on major planets in the Green Lantern cosmology). Besides these major planets, the sectors will also be a way for someone to refer to their home or a destination. Although there are many more sectors than there are minor villages in Mouse Guard, they will similarly represent geographic (cosmographic?) areas the players can influence in-game.

• Denizens – What creatures or NPCs populate the setting? - The guardians are this game’s version of Gwendolyn. There can be any number of large creatures that are native to space (like big space centipedes or something equally ridiculous), but spaceships and fleets will also serve as natural dangers out in Space. Any race ever represented as a Green Lantern is open to be included in the game, more on character races below…

• Skills – Your setting’s going to need new skills! - Honestly skills are my weak spot right now in understanding all the rules. I just don’t have them all memorized yet, however I believe piloting will replace boatcrafting, for a specific example. Open to suggestions on this one as well for some more ideas!

• Abilities – Come up with new obstacles for Circles and Resources for your game. - Not really sure what to do with this one either, I guess my crunch is severely lacking. That’s what happens when you’ve only been thinking about this for 3 hours! I guess circles to find other corps members, locate possible enemy corps. members in hiding, and investigating crimes potentially. Resources could be to recharge a power ring? I just thought that recharging a power ring may be a neat crunch/fluff interaction that can be built into the game, hmmm…

• Traits – What are the traits for your setting? These are easy to come up with! - haven’t gotten a good chance to check out how other hacks have done races (I’m looking at you Realm Guard!), and maybe this isn’t as clever as I would hope, but I’m thinking about, in addition to general traits, there would be a list of species-specific traits. When you do recruitment, everyone gets a free species trait. All Green Lanterns are generally the same level of power, so species is less important crunch-wise. For this game I’m really considering if more of a function of role-play. What do you think?

As a side to this, although likely crucial to the actual functionality of the game, here’s my thought on Nature:

Nature for a Green Lantern represents the sliding scale a character has between resembling a member of his or her unique race and home civilizations and how much they resemble a member of the Green Lantern Corps. I’m trying to keep things simple and say that a Green Lantern’s nature is to protect, investigate, stand ground, and maybe explore? These seem too broad though, I would love some ideas for a Green Lantern’s nature. The higher the score, the more Green Lantern someone is, the lower the score, the more they resemble maybe someone thinking on a small, planetary scale? The Corps. values individuals who follow the oath, but they also value the unique experiences and viewpoints of each member that they acquired as a member of their race growing up on their home planet. The greatest Corps. members balance the two.

• Recruitment – This is the biggie. Recreate the Recruitment section so that it fits your setting! Rename the steps, but keep the same number of steps and the same point totals.

  1. [u]Concept[/u] - what kind of Lantern are you? are you a rookie on the force replacing a retiring Lantern, or did your ring come to you in the midst of the Sinestro Corps. War and you had to learn the ways of the Corps. while running for your life from Sinestro himself? Are you an Alpha Lantern who's worked all his life to protect the ideal of the Corps. and a veteran of many wars?

 2.[u] Corps. Rank[/u] - 
 [b]Raw Recruit [/b](Tenderpaw) - newly selected Corpsman that has yet to earn his stripes and must work with a Corps. member of rank Veteran or higher to learn the ways of the Ring-slinger and how to do his or her duty. 
 [b]Corpsman[/b]( Guardmouse) - Patrolman of the Corps, the Corpsman has worked for several years under the tutelage of a higher ranking Lantern and is now ready to strike off back to his own sector as a fully-fledged member of the Corps - by far the most common. 
 [b]Veteran of the War of Lights[/b] (Patrol Guard) - this rank is unofficially recognized, and not all Corps. members will reach it on their way to the top as the member needs to have survived at least one battle during the War of Lights, more inventive in their construct creations than the average Corpsman and often more brutal, they are trusted with more dangerous assignments.
 [b]Green Lantern Honor Guard[/b] (Patrol Leader) - rarely, Veterans or accomplished Corpsman will be selected to supercede their role in their sector and will special status as a member of the Honor Guard. These Lanterns are assigned special missions and are based out of Oa. They have no home sector, instead they act as problem-solvers and travel the universe helping other Lanterns find solutions to difficult dilemma's.
 [b]Alpha Lantern [/b](Guard Captian) - Even fewer than the Honor Guard, the Alpha Lanterns are a tiny select few that spend most of their time monitoring other Lanterns and lending advice to Lanterns straying from the path. Spending most of their time on Oa, they have access to the activities of any active Corpsman through accessing their rings. It is exceedingly rare to be promoted to Alpha Lantern, and only the most experienced and strict Lanterns get this far.

 3. [u]Corps. Experience and abilities[/u] - Health and Will match up with the ranks as assigned above and found on p. 298 in the MG book. Because the Corps. is the most diverse organization in the universe and each species has its own lifespan, corps experience is broken down to the proportion of one's life spent in the Corps (I'm open to suggestions on the actual fractions listed below). 
 Raw Recruit - 1/10th or less
 Corpsman - 1/8th or less
 Veteran of the War of Lights - 1/5th or less
 Honor Guard - 1/3rd or less
 Alpha Lantern - 1/2 or less

 4. [u]Green Lantern Nature[/u] - base 3, still need to define what a Green Lantern's nature is, so these three questions need to be explore greater.

 5. [u]Where were you born?[/u] - Looking for specifics here, I've got, Earth, and...? Looking for some more ideas of maybe the most common DC Comics species or common Lantern planets.

 6. [u]Corps. Experience[/u] - need to finalize (or really begin working on) a skill list, but as above, the points are equivalent to MG rankings.

 7. [u]Green Lantern Resources[/u] - CRUNCH NEEDED. However, maybe resources should be tied into ring energy supply and the ability to recharge with the Lantern's oath?

 8. [u]Green Lantern Circles[/u] - combination of connection to the Corps. and to home sector, also ability to find information in non-home sectors. Will work more on questions...

 9. [u]Corpsman Traits[/u] - as mentioned above, I want to generate a list of 8 - 12 species for players to take as traits. Will also develop a big list of cosmic or otherwise appropriate traits.

 10. [u]Name[/u] - should sound phonetically similar to the character your species was based on (Kilowog = Grolonog, whatever, since it's sci-fi, names can vary greatly). 

 11. [u]Parents, Mentor, Friend, and Enemy[/u] - I'm deliberately excluding fur color, senior artisan, cloak color equivalents. If I can think of some other ways to add flavor to a character, maybe construct types most used or something, I think some switches would be good.

 12. [u]Belief, Goal, Instinct[/u] - same deal as main MG game.

 13. [u]Gear[/u] - all Lanterns start with their ring and the ability to pull their power battery, maybe some small gear would be appropriate, but would most often rely on the ring for anything they need, and would thus travel lightly.

I think I lost some steam at the end, but it’s a good start, right? :smiley: