Once upon a time, back before the cesspool that is Facebook was conjured from the pits of hell itself, 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, a 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 a another concept that I lifted form yet another forum, it was called “the League”. The League was 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 thought up a lot of ideas but never fleshed them out properly unlike the other contributors. While reading through all the old Vanguard City material yesterday, I found that 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 members 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, Piecing together all of 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 new Midnight’s Lair Forum, but it was slow going if I remember correctly.
… I actually went and looked over at them again, and I had re-posted a lot more of them than I thought. Maybe I should Continue?
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