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Adventure Seed: Monoliths


Pariah
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So, in the Champions World, the last few weeks have seen the sudden appearance and equally sudden disappearance of monoliths in various places in the world--Southern Utah, Romania, Morocco, New Zealand, and many, many others.

 

What's the story with all these monoliths? What do they mean? Who is responsible for their appearances, and for their disappearances? And what are our heroes to do about it?

 

 

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It depends on whether you want to go high or low power or even if you want to go meta with this and follow the 2001 and 2010 films based on Arthur C Clarke's work.

 

As for who is responsible there is a World of difference between what Dr Destroyer may do or achieve with them and what Foxbat would do. The latter may be tryibng to distract the heroes so he can do something else.

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1 hour ago, Pariah said:

So, in the Champions World, the last few weeks have seen the sudden appearance and equally sudden disappearance of monoliths in various places in the world--Southern Utah, Romania, Morocco, New Zealand, and many, many others.

 

What's the story with all these monoliths? What do they mean? Who is responsible for their appearances, and for their disappearances? And what are our heroes to do about it?

 

1 hour ago, death tribble said:

It depends on whether you want to go high or low power or even if you want to go meta with this and follow the 2001 and 2010 films based on Arthur C Clarke's work.

 

As for who is responsible there is a World of difference between what Dr Destroyer may do or achieve with them and what Foxbat would do. The latter may be trying to distract the heroes so he can do something else.

 

If we're talking about the current official Champions Universe, the Clarke inspiration would lead to one logical conclusion: the Progenitors have returned. Why they're here and what they decide to do will determine the adventure potential for PCs.

 

Let's say these monoliths are probes through which the Progenitors are examining the progress of their experiment with human evolution. Note that nearly no one on Earth knows Progenitors even exist, what role they played in our world's past, or their motivations, and humans usually fear what they don't understand. It would be even more frightening if these probes disrupt technology in the region where they appear, or tap into human data storage, including classified info.

 

The long-term impact on the world would depend on what conclusions the Progenitors come to. Are they satisfied with the experiment's progress, and will they then just leave? Are any or all of humanity ready to advance to the next stage? (Both the "2000" books, and Clarke's novel Childhood's End, describe ways that could play out.) Or will they conclude the project is a failure, and decide to eradicate the human race (they've done that to other experiments), so the heroes have to convince them otherwise (fighting Progenitors should be nearly impossible for Terrestrial heroes).

 

How will the Empyreans respond if they learn their creators are back? Will they welcome them, reject or oppose them, or form factions of both? Are the Empyreans what the Progenitor probes are looking for? (The majority of them live incognito among humans.)

 

Perhaps some supertech villain can scan one of the monoliths before it disappears, and use what they learn to enhance their own technology. Or perhaps PCs might accidentally be caught by a monolith as it disappears and returns to a Progenitor ship or base, from which they then have to escape. Maybe the Progenitors' return triggers some booby trap doomsday weapon left by their enemies, the Sleynu, in the city of Selenus on Earth's Moon, like their devastating Star Seed.

 

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Here's another approach: These monoliths are the first manifestation of other signs and phenomena that may be interpreted as salvation, or invasion, by hyper-advanced aliens; or the arrival of old gods or new, to intervene in the affairs of Man for good or ill; or the breakdown of the natural order, perhaps the coming of the Apocalypse; maybe all of those, depending on what follows a given monolith in a given area, and how that's interpreted. Some segments of humanity fall into mass panic, others prepare for war, while still others stage huge rallies to welcome what they think will be salvation for those who believe. Order begins to fall apart as factions with differing beliefs clash with each other and with authorities.

 

But none of them are right. The monoliths are creations of Professor Paradigm, part of a massive "performance art" experiment. The monoliths generate holograms, energy fields, mind-altering transmissions, to convince people that they're portents of these great changes. Paradigm believes that Reality is flawed, and wants to understand it so he can correct it. In Mankind's instinctive reaction to these potential traumas he hopes to find clues as to which, if any, of them are true.

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