Saturday, December 10, 2011

[Old Gaming Notebook] A Supers Campaign

I have played several of the superhero role playing games that have been published over the years; including Marvel Super Heroes, DC Heroes, Villains & Vigilantes, Champions, Heroes Unlimited, Super World, and a few others. I always preferred the ones that used Earth as the setting for the game. I was also a big fan of the Wild Cards series of novels. I came up with an idea for a supers campaign but I never did get around to fleshing it out and running any games using it. There are probably some pretty close parallels between Wild Cards in some areas. It's been a while since I read those novels, so who knows? Anyway, here are some ideas for the campaign setting.

The Setting
The setting for this game would be a parallel planet Earth in "modern times". The timeline and history of this fictional Earth would parallel the history of real Earth in every detail up to approximately the Vietnam era. At that time, the U.S. government (and others) would start experimenting with creating super soldiers to send into combat. This event would be where the big differences between the parallel Earths would begin to take place. Note: If I were to do this today, I would change that part of the back story. I would start the super soldier experimentation with the terrorist attacks on North America. As a result of this experimentation, the rise of super beings would forever change the world. Some of these beings would fight on the side of good while some would fight on the side of evil. Imagine how the existence of super powered beings would effect history.

Three Generations of Supers
Campaigns could be set up in one of three basic points in history.
  • The first generation of supers would be the result of the terrorist attacks on North America. Of course, I would probably change that to include the entire world. Maybe there were several countries working on a post-nuclear class of weapons. Among these scientists there was a group of radicals that wanted to prove a point. They set off these new weapons and the results are not completely as predicted. Some of the people caught in areas where these weapons were deployed develop super powers. These supers would be considered Altered or Mutated Humans.
  • The second generation of supers would be from governmental experimentation. These would be supers that the government would "control" and be used to combat rogue supers and fight in conflicts. There would also be governments that have early technological designs to fight with or against supers. There would be Altered, Mutants, and some techno heroes in this part of the timeline.
  • The third generation of supers would be the modern day of the setting. Supers are around due to the terrorist action, the reaction of the various governments, some of the descendants of the first or second generation supers have carried on the powers, and now there are supers due to weapons manufacturing corporations getting producing their own stuff.
Other Notes
I also thought that the tone and feel of the game could be enhanced by using quotes from appropriate sources to match the tone I wanted to get across. Maybe use a quote from the Bible such as Gen 1:26 " And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion..." at the beginning of the chapter detailing the history of the world.

I still need to figure out a way to bring in the other types of supers - aliens, cybernetic, magic, psionic, etc.

This is, obviously, just the beginnings of an idea. I kind of left the path of the original idea and just went with how I would update it now but it gets the idea across. I think if little details like the quotes and historical parallels were fleshed out it could be a fun campaign. I may turn out to be another project that I just do not have the time for...

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