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[Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal


GestaltBennie
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My computer died. It was not a good day. Turning to my laptop, I stumbled upon this, the proposal I sent Steve for Champions of the North, 5th edition, I thought folks might be interested in seeing the original plans for the book, including some decidedly different takes on characters from the book and more than a few who didn't make the cut.

 

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CHAMPIONS OF THE NORTH

5th Edition Revised

Outline

 

High Concept

Canada in the Champions Universe. As written by Scott Bennie, along with several

other Canadian Champions contributors.

240 pages, for a 2006 release

 

Chapter One: INTRODUCTION

A look at the Table of Contents, and how the book differs from its 1992 predecessor, a definition of the Canadian character and what Canada thinks of heroes.

 

Chapter Two: CANADA AT A GLANCE

 

Basic Statistics for Canada (population, area, demographics, etc.) and one paragraph summary of each province followed by more statistics.

 

Chapter Three: CANADA IN MYTH and THE HEROIC AGE

 

The Mythic History involves the idea that Canada is home to a nearly continental wide mystical force known as the Land, which before the coming of the Europeans, dominated much of North America below the Arctic Circle. The Land warred with the Ice, and allied itself with native populations, using shamans to communicate with them. For the most part, a tranquil impasse lasted for millennia. Then, in 1497, John Cabot landed on the coast of Newfoundland.

 

The Early History

When Europeans came they colonized Canada, first Frenchmen in Quebec and Acadia, then English loyalists fleeing the American Revolution. These two disparate cultures united to form Canada. Thanks to Tecumseh and the brilliant military leadership of General Brock, Canada fought the United States to an effective standstill in the War of 1812.

 

[sidebar: Canadian folk heroes of the War of 1812. Laura Secord (a soldier’s wife who trekked through miles of swamp and woods to warn the British of an American attack), and Captain North (he's fictional, he died alongside General Brock but his ghost has periodically reappeared throughout history when Canadian soldiers display extreme courage.)

 

Following the war, corrupt leadership instigated the 1837 rebellion led by William Lyon Mackenzie, but once quelled, the British made major reforms. Canada obtained self-rule in the 1850s, and - spurred by fear of American reprisals after the Civil War - Canada's colonies united to form a nation in 1867.

A period of colonial expansion followed, consolidated by the entrance of British Columbia into Confederation, and the construction of the CPR. Another rebellion, this time caused by the Metis (people of mixed Quebec and Indian heritage) led by the charismatic Louis Riel was crushed in 1886, but Riel's execution caused major strains between Quebec and English Canada, and Riel remains a source of contention between the two cultures ever since.

 

[sidebar: (Actual) Folk heroes of Quebec: Jos Motferrand - log driver, brawler, and defender of the Quebec people against the arrogance of the English; Alexis-le-trotteur - an eccentric French-Canadian who could (allegedly) turn into a race horse and beat the fastest horses of his day; Louis Cyr - a (real world) Quebec strongman whose feats of strength blur the line between myth and reality.]

 

Canada continued to grow and thrive under a succession of Prime Ministers, but it wasn't until the First World War that Canada was truly tested; Canada was on the front lines of some of the most gruesome battles in human history and served with honor and distinction.

 

Between the wars, Canada developed into a respectable middle power - in the shadow of the United States. Its traditionally rocky relationship with its neighbor was getting smoother, though Canadian bootlegging during Prohibition sometimes strained their friendship. During this period, Canada had its share of triumphs (Sir Frederick Banting's discovery of insulin) and tragedies (the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl), until forces in Europe once again led Canada to War.

 

A number of Canadians could be considered pulp heroes, including Guy Saint-Vincent, a French-Canadian playboy turned archeologist (who made one of the greatest unreported archeological discoveries of all time), Pat Olmstead, former NHL hockey star turned mercenary turned freedom fighter (he died fighting in the Spanish Civil War in 1938), “Rummy” Jim Bradley (a controversial figure who made a fortune smuggling rum during Prohibition, but who later turned against the Mob), and Dr. Ivan Stewart, two-fisted medic, missionary, and man of science. Unfortunately, the Nefarious Dr. K., the notorious industrial superspy and saboteur, was also a Canadian.

[Note: All of these pulp characters are fictional.]

 

Chapter Four: THE GOLDEN AGE

Canada joined the Allies at the start of World War II, and once again served with distinction. Canada's superheroes also served with equal acclaim.

 

The Red Ensign

The most famous Canadian superhero was the Red Ensign, a superhuman with modest abilities who fought as an ace in the Battle of Britain, but transferred to ground duty and performed many undercover operations inside the Axis between 1941 and 1944. He helped lead the charge onto Juno Beach on D-Day, and was a key figure in the liberation of Holland. Later he fought in Korea, and even later he helped Prime Minister Lester Pearson establish the first generation of Canadian peacekeepers.

 

[Note: Full-write-up for Red Ensign I]

 

Heroes of the European Theater

Other famous Canadian costumed heroes who fought in Europe included: Ace Hellion (hero of the Italian campaign), The Human Pistol, Deuce Laroche, Winter-Man, and Rex Sterling, Hound of Tomorrow (a very heroic Golden Retriever).

 

The Home Front

On the home front, Canada suffered constant attacks from Hitler's ally Vultok, King of the Ice People, lord of a hidden land of hate that lay beneath the Arctic Circle. He might have done irreparable damage to the nation had it not been for Lady Aurora, daughter of whales, princess of the North, granddaughter of the Inuit goddess Sedna. While the Princess of the Northern Lights fought Vultok and other Nazi-loving monsters, more insidious enemies endangered the home front. The most implacable foes of saboteurs during the War were Dr. Cerebro, the self-proclaimed world's smartest man, Canada Joe (Canada's "perfect pugilist", who also doubled as a private detective in Montreal), and Steve Stevens, RCMP Spy-Smasher.

 

In 1946, the Canadian army destroyed Vultok's empire of ice, and the US sealed it by conducting a nuclear test on the site. Although some of Canada's Golden Age heroes fought in Korea, the destruction of Vultok's Ice Empire was to be the sunset event for Canadian supers of the era.

 

Chapter Five: THE SILVER AGE

Canada was spared the Red Scare of 1950s America – North of the 49th Parallel, Communism wasn't perceived as that big of a threat to the Canadian way of life. The most prominent superheroes of the 1950s were Red Ensign II, who (like his namesake uncle) served in the Canadian military, and Thunderhead, a lightning powered hero who waged war against crime in Toronto.

 

The Mighty Canadians!

 

In 1964, the evil Inuit god Kigatilik, who had been placed in a prison of ice by his fellow gods, was thawed out by Vultok (who survived the destruction of his icy realm and who had wandered the streets of Hamilton as an amnesiac vagrant). Kigatilik bestowed great power on Vultok, transforming him into the dreaded Radiation King.

 

To counter their old enemy Kigatilik, the Inuit pantheon bestowed their power on four champions, The Mighty Canadians. From the west, there was the Forester, fearsome fighter and strongman. From the east there was Belle Yvette, the battling beauty of Quebec, whose sonic powers could paralyze anyone within a fifty-meter radius. From the south (well, Windsor) there was Celestar, who was given the powers of the stars. From the north, there was Kivioq, the legendary eternal traveler of the Inuit people. Together, these four champions and inseparable friends traveled through the wilds of Canada, battling the ancient evils summoned by Kigatilik. The Mighty Canadians' career lasted ten years (making them the longest lasting superhero team in the nation's history) until a final showdown with Kigatilik in 1975 sealed the god and all of the Mighty Canadians except Celestar inside an impenetrable tomb of ice.

 

Politics, Damn Politics

Superheroes began to reemerge in the 1960s, though even they couldn't escape the politics of the era. This was especially true for the Red Ensign, who wore the old flag of Canada (which included a Union Jack) at a time when the red ensign was being retired for Canada's current maple leaf design. The flag debate was incredibly bitter, and Red Ensign tried to stay out of it, but when Conservative Party leader John Diefenbaker tried to strong-arm his support, he balked. At the unofficial unveiling of Canada’s new flag, the Red Ensign was there to debut a new costume with a maple leaf on his chest and the old Red Ensign flag and Quebec’s fleur-de-lis flag worn on each shoulder. A few people referred to him "the Red Traitor", but eventually his choice was viewed as courageous and - thoroughly Canadian - by the entire country.

 

[Note: Full write-up for Red Ensign II.]

 

About the same time, Canada's first power armored superhero, Forceknight, emerged. He wore a battlesuit created by the engineers from Canada's disbanded Avro Arrow project - at the time Forceknight's battlesuit was the equal of anyone else in the world. Whereas the Mighty Canadians often found themselves battling against mystical threats and the offspring of Golden Age villains, Forceknight fought conventional supervillains like Knightstalker, Manticore, Death Ray, Medulla, and the Deceiver, along with industrial spies, and the earliest incarnations of VIPER.

 

In Quebec, the most prominent superhero was Le Décideur ("The Decider"), a vigilante who fought corruption and organized crime in 1960s Montreal. (There was a lot of it to fight.) In the late 1960s, superhumans began gravitating to Quebec's separatist movement, including a few who joined the FLQ. In 1970, Pierre Trudeau activated the War Measures Act (declaring martial law) to stop them. After a series of raids and a donnybrook in downtown Ottawa between Forceknight and FLQ sympathizer super Le Rappelleur ("The Rememberer"), the FLQ was stopped. However, the reaction to martial law spurred on the efforts of legitimate separatist groups, and the PQ was elected in Quebec in 1975. Several radical Quebecois supers became major supervillains at this time, and another FLQ superhuman named Punition (“Retribution”) became the leading terrorists in Canada. (Although even FLQ sympathizers disavowed him; unlike other members of his cell, Punition never reformed to go into politics or the media – he enjoyed crime and destruction too much to allow a little thing like political victory to spoil his fun).

 

Chapter Six: THE MODERN AGE

Most experts date the modern age of Canadian superheroes as starting in 1975, with the dissolution of the Mighty Canadians. Far more tumultuous than the two eras that preceded it, nonetheless, many superheroes have served with distinction in the last thirty years, even if they often received less acclaim than those who preceded them. Others date it to 1976, where the Quebec superheroes Loupe Garou and Voyageur stopped a massive VIPER attack at the 1976 Olympic games (though as one observer icily observed, even superheroes couldn’t stop the real crime at the Olympics – the massive cost overruns incurred by Mayor Drapeau’s Olympic stadium).

 

The Northern Guard

In 1978, at the start of the Bronze Age, the aging Red Ensign II began to think about retiring, and chose an entire team as his replacement. Getting government sanction, he formed the Northern Guard, Canada’s premier superhero team. The initial team was comprised of Red Ensign II, Loupe Garou, Cenotaph, Thunderhead, and Tombeur (“Lady-killer”), but fell apart in 1982 when Canada decided to enact its superhero registration legislation and the team had a huge public disagreement. Red Ensign, the most forceful advocate of the new laws, retired.

 

In 1984, after they joined to fight a Gadroon incursion into Northern Canada, a new incarnation of the Northern Guard was formed. Thunderhead, the most outspoken opponent of the registration laws, reluctantly took the leadership reins of the new team. His teammates were Augury, Tumbler, Bonfire, and the Laurentian. Unfortunately, Augury turned out to be an agent of the villainous Necrull, and her betrayal led to the death of everyone on the team except Thunderhead. Thus ended the second and most tragic incarnation of the Guard.

 

In 1992, the actions of a mysterious organization that called itself The Integrity Project, an international organization dedicated to “safeguarding the human genepool from genetic impurities” (paranormal bloodlines and more common genetic disorders), was the impetus to form the third incarnation of the Northern Guard. More aggressive than America’s similar (but better armed) IHA, the Project’s “Integrity Guard” agents kidnapped Celestar’s daughter, used her to lure Celestar into a trap, then brainwashed the captured cosmic hero into attacking targets across Canada. This was the impetus to assemble a new team, the third and greatest incarnation of the Northern Guard. This new team was led by Forceknight, and consisted of Red Ensign III, Ravenspeaker, Voyageur, Snowblind, and Justiciar. They defeated Celestar, rescued his daughter, demolished the Integrity Project in Canada (and its father cell in Britain), and went on to defeat a dizzying number and variety of American and Canadian supervillains. Easily the most successful and famous superhero team in Canada’s history, without warning, they voted to disband in 1998.

 

No one (aside from Forceknight) knows the reason for their dissolution. In July 1998, after a battle with Necrull, the long-thought-to-be-dead Augury possessed Voyageur and came to Forceknight with a message from the Land Itself, promising the destruction of Canada unless the team disbanded. Forceknight wasn’t inclined to believe her, but a visit to a mystic nexus in the Canadian North called the Cat’s Cradle changed his mind. The team followed his lead, and for a third time, Canada’s premier superhero team was no more.

 

Recently, the time limit that applied to the vision expired. Forceknight approached some of his old teammates (and a few newcomers), and a new incarnation of the team was formed.

 

[Character sheets for these characters will be included in the Cities section.]

 

SUNDER

In 1987, a lab technician who’d acquired radioactive powers at the Chernobyl disaster, Black Specter, gathered a group of villains that called itself the Alliance of Might. Using a shapechanger disguised as Vancouver’s mayor William Donaldson as a puppet, Spectre’s Alliance seized de facto control of the city of Vancouver and used it as base for conducting worldwide terror operations. To oppose them, an expatriate draft-dodging superhero from San Francisco named Shamus formed his own superhero team to stop them. They called themselves SUNDER (a silly acronym that stood for “Superheroes United to Neutralize Destructive Evil Renegades”). Quickly they established themselves as Vancouver’s premier superhero team.

 

The members of SUNDER included: Avenger (a vigilante martial artist who was a supervillain's son), Thundrax (a teenage brick), Solar Sentinel (a former Canadian astronaut who came back from orbit with heat powers), Cryo (a mutant with ice powers), Elemmus (an exiled earth elemental prince), Dr. George (an eccentric physics genius) and Flux (a researcher in a magnetic battlesuit). In 1988, the Alliance finally fell apart due to internal discord, but SUNDER continued to protect Western Canada from a myriad variety of threats for close to a decade, battling VIPER, GRAB, the ultra-nationalist villain Borealis, the ever-present Necrull, and many others.

 

In 1997, SUNDER finally grew tired of the superhero rat race. Shamus retired to raise a family, Avenger became head of the Steelhead Branch of the RCMP and Thundrax served as a member of UNTIL's UNITY superhero team between 1996-2002 before becoming a Member of Parliament (NDP) for Vancouver East. Other members scattered throughout North America, except for Solar Sentinel, who “felt the call of space” and departed for the stars.

 

[There’ll be a character sheet for Thundrax.]

 

The Canada Corps

Another major superhero team that was formed in the late 1980s was the Canada Corps, Canada’s superhuman peacekeeping brigade. This unit, officially associated with Canada’s famous Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry Regiment, was first dispatched to the Somalian conflict, but truly came to prominence for their heroic deeds in Bosnia.

 

The current leader of the Canada Corps is Red Ensign III (formerly of the Northern Guard), who’s protected by the ghost of Captain North, his ancestor. Other members of the team include: Cpl. Chambers (a mystic whose death powers can make the dead rise and attack their killers – or open consecrated graves to give the dead eternal peace), Cpl. Pike (who can open wounds or heal them, and calm emotions or stir people to action), Adamant (a lance corporal with superhuman strength who can project his physical might over a broad area) Pvt. Trace (who can enhance people’s senses around him, and make them much more accurate shooters), and Fuselage (a corporal with the ability to match the velocity of any nearby object and project his senses into any airborne object to use it as an observation platform.)

 

In 2002, Canada Corps incorporated a civilian member during the Afghanistan campaign, a civil engineer codenamed Watershed; (a woman with water powers, which she can use to either project powerful waterbursts or purify existing ground water).

 

Canada Corps is primarily a military organization, and has close ties with both the American military (through NATO) and UNTIL. Their duties are primarily peacekeeping and reconstruction; they pride themselves on being as capable of rebuilding a village as defeating a supervillain, and in protecting a large civilian population from terrorists or defeating a conventional army. They also take pride in the fact that no member of the unit has ever been killed or seriously wounded in action; also, no non-superhuman soldier who’s been stationed with them has ever been killed.

 

As the members of Canada Corps are typically stationed abroad eleven out of twelve months of the year, it’s a very grueling duty.

 

[Character sheets will be included for Red Ensign III and the ghost of Captain North].

 

Des Esprits Gardiens

 

Quebec’s most prominent team of superheroes is based in Montreal. The leader is Le Fort (“The Strong”), a former circus performer and street musician; other members include Paix (“Peace”, a telepath), Malade (“Madman”/”Lunatic”, Paix’s brother, a very excitable vigilante who’s prone to insane outbursts of self-inflicted punishment that can frighten onlookers (and whom only his sister can calm down)), Goudron (“Tar”, a mutant who can coat himself in either hot or cold tar and project it at people), and Sorcier (“Sorcerer”, one of Canada’s most powerful mystics).

 

[There’ll be character sheets for Le Fort and Sorcier.]

 

COMET

In Canada’s capital, the premier superhero team are five power-armor clad battlesuit pilots called COMET (City of Ottawa Metahuman Emergency Team), who work with the RCMP and CSIS to maintain peace, order and good government in the nation’s capital. They are five young men and women who were attending Carleton University when they investigated an alien artifact that “came to life” and wove a battlesuit around each of their bodies. Naturally, they decided to serve their country.

 

The team is led by a woman named Comet Gold, and her four teammates are Comet Red, Comet Green, Comet Blue, and Comet Black. They’re joined by Esprit (“Spirit”, one of Canada’s most powerful telepaths). The team is usually stationed near the House of Commons when it’s in session. They first gained fame in 2002, when they repelled an attack by Borealis on Parliament. Since then, they’ve fought a half dozen major battles in Ottawa and eastern Quebec.

 

[The character sheets for this section will be included in the City section; one of the COMET characters will be included there, and maybe Esprit if we have the space.]

 

Starforce

The four-member Toronto superhero team will be left for Ontario area Champions players to contribute characters. They’ll have at least one master villain arch-nemesis and one four-member supervillain team that will be designed by other Canadian Champions gamers.

 

Millennium City across the Border

 

In 1992, one of the great disasters of the 20th Century was the destruction of Detroit by Dr. Destroyer. Three Canadian heroes died in the battle, including Intemporel (“Timeless”, a teleporter/time controller) who was Quebec’s most famous superhero. Although Windsor escaped most of the devastation, one of the sections near Detroit was rebuilt into a suburb and renamed Memorial City as a way to honor the fallen.

 

Several Canadian superheroes have taken advantage of Memorial City’s central location to call it home. Celestar is the most famous hero of Memorial City (if not all of Canada), although with his ability to travel anywhere at the speed of light, he’s more a patron hero of the entire Central Canadian region. Supervillain intruders in Windsor are more likely to be met by Chime, a polite, soft-spoken, music-loving vigilante martial artist (who’s arguably insane), Mahogany, a rude, rapping vigilante female martial artist, or Piston, a boisterous mutant with superhuman strength and speed.

 

[[Memorial City/Windsor will be covered in the City section. Celestar’s character sheet will be found there too.]]

 

Canadian Villainy

Canada has its share of supervillain problems. Borealis, who first appeared in 1995, is acknowledged as Canada’s biggest supervillain threat – he’s fought Celestar, SUNDER, and COMET several times and successfully waged a takeover of the Canadian government on two separate occasions before being driven off.

 

Necrull is a necromancer who’s using Canada as a mystical laboratory, attempting to combine science, shamanism, and black magic into something truly ugly and obscene. He is served by a small army of Necromok servitors (some are effectively zombies, others are brainwashed low-end paranormals) who do his dirty work.

 

On a more conventional level, The Quebec master criminal Machiniste (“the Machinist”) controls much of the nation’s criminal trade, from British Columbia’s marijuana grow-ops to Quebec’s biker gangs. Machiniste is at war with VIPER for control of Canada’s drug trade, though he and his operatives tend to avoid crime fantastique (as colorful supervillain operations are known in Quebec). Crime Fantastique, however, is the forte of Carillon and Symphonique, Quebec’s most colorful criminals, a pair of beautiful mutant female super-thieves (with no heart of gold whatsoever).

 

Quebec’s other master supervillains are the previously mentioned Punition and a fiendish creature who calls himself Roi d’Hiver (“the King of Winter”) a bogeyman who entrances children to take a ride on a magic sled, then takes them prisoner and use them as slave labor in his palace of ice (eating them for Christmas dinner).

 

A more traditional four-color supervillain is Baron Nihil, a Nazi war criminal who was the archenemy of the original Red Ensign. Due to a terrible accident at the end of WWII, Nihil was transformed into “the living wind of hate”. After spending decades struggling to restore some semblance of a corporeal form, Baron Nihil has vowed revenge on the Red Ensign clan, the Princess Patricia regiment (both the vets who destroyed his lab, and their successors), other Canadian superheroes, and all of Canada (in that order).

 

Of all of the mystical threats to Canada, Tilingkoot, the half-human son of the imprisoned Inuit god Kigatilik is the most dangerous. Like his father, he wishes to wage war against the Land itself, bringing about victory for the Ice. Recent advances in global warming have obviously enraged him, and he often concentrates his attacks on Canada’s industrial heartland. At least four major ice storms in Quebec and Ontario have been blamed on Tilingkoot, and he might have destroyed Alberta’s major petroleum fields had it not been for Ravenspeaker and Avenger. (The government of Alberta, in typical fashion, complained bitterly about the lack of a response from central Canadian superheroes.)

 

Canada’s most notorious supervillain team is the Brigade, a supervillain mercenary team that performs many of its operations in the United States, but has a hidden base in Canada. The leader of the Brigade is Assault, a mutant with the ability to fly, but who thinks a mutant power isn’t enough, so he likes to use big guns. His teammates are: Balaclava, Assault’s fifteen year old daughter (who can project explosive bolts through a crossbow), Claymore (a man in a battlesuit that’s remarkably similar to COMETs), Hellfire (an assassin with fear powers), and Sabot (whose temporal powers allow for short-duration duplication and teleportation over long distances).

 

The Forces of Nature are a recently formed supervillain team that’s terrorized industrial areas, committing eco-sabotage. The four members include: Thunderstorm, Chinook, Landslide, and Pyroclasm. These four villains are actually spirits summoned by the Land to attack major environmental threats, though each of the spirits believes they’re human. The Forces are secretly affiliated to the radical environmental group known as EarthFront.

 

A one-man supervillain team is the Chain Gang, a very powerful duplicating villain who serves as Canada’s premier thug for hire. His one-time partner, Mister Zee-Zed, is a loony supervillain mercenary who has a tendency to leap all over the landscape, but can be a deadly opponent when cornered (and when he’s run out of lame jokes to tell).

 

Leonarch “Lord of the Canadian Shield” is an ancient alien sentry with malfunctioning memories which was reprogrammed by VIPER. However, instead of serving VIPER, Leonarch came to the conclusion he was supposed to be served by VIPER, so he kidnaps anyone who look like VIPER agents (which is pretty much anyone) and uses them as slave labor to build a huge underground empire under the Canadian Shield.

 

Tribulation is a cult leader, a mentalist whose powers were developed as a weapon by the Integrity Project. He’s the head of a small cult-like church with branches across Canada that’s starting to spread into the United States.

 

In all likelihood, Canada’s most dangerous supervillain is Teleios. However, he rarely involves himself in Canadian affairs, except to “acquire” new test subjects. Two of the few creatures to escape from his not so tender mercies are The Wildman, a savage, seemingly unkillable creature that terrorizes the Canadian North and the Lodge, a man who can merge his body with fir and pine trees and grow copies of himself out of their roots (and turn the trees into devastating weapons).

 

[All of these guys get write-ups in the Behind the GM Screen section.]

 

The Present

Canada's history and current situation can be understood by understanding the seven relationships that have shaped Canadian history.

 

The first relationship is Canada's relationship with Britain, the mother country, which held it as a colony for many years and maintains extremely strong ties even to the present day. The second is Canada's relationship with the United States, its monolithic neighbor (“described by Pierre Trudeau as a mouse sleeping with an elephant.”). The third is the relationship between the English and French within Canada, which has twice brought the country to the brink of separation. The fourth is the relationship between the Europeans who colonized it, and the native peoples. The fifth is the relationship between the population and national identity – Canada is a land that began as “a political accommodation between Britains who rejected the United States, plus conquered colonies who spoke French, plus a lot of immigrants”. The sixth is Canada's struggle to accommodate the interests of its regions. The seventh is the relationship between Canada and the Land. All of these struggles have been felt in one way or another by every Canadian who have been granted extraordinary gifts - and there have been many throughout its history.

 

As much as Canada has struggled to find a national identity, its super-identity has likewise been a struggle of definition. Despite the existence of the Land and the mystical forces of Canada, many Canadians feel very uncomfortable identifying themselves as "mystic/Amerind heroes" because they think of it as a cliché. Likewise, even though they have superhumans working for them, no RCMP officer would ever dare to call himself "Captain Mountie" or "the Royal Canadian Mounted Superhero".

 

Canadian superheroes are embarrassed by the number of times that villains like Kigatilik and Tilingkoot have tried to bury Canada under sheathes of ice. Canadian superheroes frown on overt patriotism: of all active supers, only Red Ensign III and Borealis employ the maple leaf as a prominent motif.

 

There’s an apocryphal legend that a superhero who called himself the Beaver was mysteriously beaten to a pulp and woke up with a note pinned to his chest which read: “Change your damn name!” (This coincides with a night when Avenger was mysteriously absent from Steelhead HQ). There’s also a Captain Hoser, but he’s no super: he’s just a normal who attends Toronto Maple Leaf games, gets drunk and harasses people in the name of “fighting crime” (the police usually arrest him before too much damage is done).

 

More than a few Canadian superheroes represent Canada’s ethnic heritage. Khalsa Lion Singh is the vigilante hero of South Vancouver, while in Toronto, the Greek-Canadian superhero Eromai is one of the city’s top costumed crimefighters. Saul Delisle (no codename) is a superhero who works in Montreal’s Jewish community.

 

Much has been made of Canadian separatist villains, particularly in the American media, although it’s probably overstated. A Western Separatist criminal organization was busted by SUNDER in the late 1980s, and Quebec separatist supervillains (with the sole exception of Punition) reformed and went into politics long ago. Even so, some of the most extreme Canadian political movements seem to attract an unusual number of superhumans.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN: A Twelve Minute Guide to Canadian Politics and Justice (4 pages)

 

This chapter describes the current Who's Who of the Canadian government: the Prime Minister, the governor-general, the House and Senate, the Leader of the Opposition, and the current political parties. It’ll also touch on the Charter of Rights, what's the Not-Withstanding Clause, what are the politics of the regions, etc.

 

Differences between the Canadian and American justice system, crime statistics, who's who in the Canadian underworld, mob hot spots, and narcotics production centers.

 

This section also deals with security in a superhuman world for politicians and justices, how Canada defends against mentalists who threaten to mind control the courts or Parliament.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT: Canadian Cities and Provinces

 

A listing of Canada’s major metropolitan provinces and territories, including major cities, resources and general character, followed by a description of Canada’s major urban centers. The data includes:

 

Location

Population

Brief History/Background:

Local Economy:

Supervillain Targets:

Educational Institutions, Science Facilities, and Nearest Military Installation

Cultural Festivals:

Sports Teams:

Local Superheroes (if any):

Local Supervillain Organizations/Criminal Gangs.

 

In addition, the largest cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Windsor, and Halifax) will get a city map and a rough breakdown of the city’s major sections (including prominent streets). There will be character sheets for the following heroes: Ravenspeaker (Vancouver), Dr. Brown (Calgary – he’s essentially a modern day Doc Savage with a bit of a Wild West motif), Comet Gold (Ottawa – since the COMET armor has the same properties with a different SFX for the EB, it should be easy to turn this into an entire group), Forceknight and To Be Determined (Toronto), and Celestar (Windsor), Justiciar (Montreal) and The Mariner (Halifax, name probably to be changed).

 

It’ll be suggested that these characters be brought back together as a fourth incarnation of the Northern Guard.

 

CHAPTER NINE: Canada and the Champions Universe

 

This section describes how well Canada and Canadian superheroes play with others (very good with UNTIL, cooperative but with an undercurrent of resentment against PRIMUS, but display open hostility against American heroes who enter the country without respecting local authority.)

It’ll also describe the superorganizations that are currently active in Canada: VIPER, DEMON. There’ll also be two small Canada only-organizations: EarthFront, an eco-sorcery environmental activist group that’s being patronized by the Land, and the Integrity Project (which isn’t as dead as first thought, and now has ties to IHA).

 

CHAPTER TEN: Law Enforcement and the Military

 

Who’s who in Canada’s law enforcement and military. Where are Canada’s major bases, what are the major regiments, and what missions are Canada’s troops traditionally engaged in?

 

We’ll have package deals for Canada’s police and military units, from a typical RCMP officer to a member of Canada’s elite JTF-2 military strike squad.

 

We’ll also discuss the CSIS, Canada’s Security and Intelligence Service, and Steelhead Branch, the RCMP’s superhuman response unit led by the controversial retired member of SUNDER, the Avenger.

 

This section will include packages for Steelhead agents, and for the Avenger.

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Native World

While it’s easy to overdo the emphasis on Canada as the mystical Amerind land where nothing happens without shamans and native spirits messing around, there’s room for a mystical Canada in Champions too. Of course, there’s a lot more to the First Nations than mysticism (unfortunately, including squalor, alcoholism, drug addiction, crime, and gambling).

 

This section will include:

 

The First Nations

This section lists the major Canadian tribes, and describes folklore and shamanism (with a list of common shaman spells and abilities, and some package deals). Going beyond the mystical, this section also describes the role of the First Nations in modern politics, resource disputes with non-aboriginals, conditions on the reserves, what’s being done to improve them, and modern tribal politics.

 

The Land

The role of the Land, the great continental nature spirit, its influence on Canada, and its role in creating Canadian superhumans.

 

Peoples of the Ice

The Inuit tribes, including a primer on Inuit mythology, its monsters and spirits, and angakat, the Inuit equivalent of shamans.

 

Monsters of Canadian Folklore

 

Descriptions and stats for Thunderbirds, Bigfoot, and Ogopogo, and any other Canadian folk tale monster we can find.

 

CHAPTER TWELVE: Canadian Culture

 

Culture

This section will describe Canada's greats in art, music, literature, photography, and architecture: Emily Carr, the Group of Seven, Ann Hebert, Margaret Atwood, Mortecai Richler, Robertson Davies, Frédéric Bach, Karsh and the Tragically Hip.

 

Also a section on Canadian genre writers from Guy Kay to Bill Gibson to Spider Robinson to Robert Sawyer.

 

And of course, a section on Canadian actors, including the Greatest Man of His Generation, Bill Shatner.

 

Sports

 

Hockey: A brief overview of Canada's national pastime, including answers to the questions "Who in the hell is Don Cherry", "Why did hockey cause one of the biggest riots in Canadian history"? This section will also include a hockey Martial Art, and a set of Hockey Hero rules (similar to the Baseball Hero rules that were published a recent Digital Hero.)

 

Lacrosse: Canada’s official national sport, which began as an informal form of warfare conducted between Indian tribes. This section will also include a Lacrosse martial art.

 

Canadian Football: Three downs? One hundred and ten yard fields? Two “Roughrider” teams? We’ll explain why Canadian football is Canada’s second most popular game.

 

Others: Canadian major league baseball and basketball franchises. Plus, the debt that the boys in the hood owes to a pasty white Canadian boy (who went to Boston and invented basketball).

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: GMing Canada

This long section discusses how to GM Champions scenarios in Canada.

 

Welcome to the Great White North: Conflicts that foreign supers are likely to find themselves if they visit Canada, things that visitors need to know if they’re visiting Canada.

 

The Great White North Wants You: How to run a campaign based in Canada, how to avoid too many mystical elements if you don’t want them.

 

Play Aids:

 

Five Canadian Campaign Set-Ups

 

Five Ways for Outside Invaders to (Try to) Conquer Canada

 

Twenty Scenario Seeds for Visiting Superheroes

 

Twenty Scenario Seeds for Canadian Supers

 

Five Great Places for Superhuman Combat in Canada.

 

Ten Legendary Mystical Locations: From real-world Haunted Houses to haunted railway trestles inhabited by the Chinese laborers who died there, to the Graveyard of Sasquatches to the gateway to the lands of myth, this section describes cool places for Canadian mystical scenarios.

 

Ten Most Interesting Canadians: If someone’s looking for someone to kidnap, here’s a celebrity.

 

Ten Targets for Terrorists: Using real world data that the terrorists already have (unfortunately) we’ll include some of Canada’s most tempting targets, including schematics for places like the Canadian Parliament.

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: THE GAMEMASTER’S VAULT

 

Chapter Four: The Golden Age

Write-up for Vultok, Prince of Ice.

 

Chapter Six: The Modern Age

Dark secrets of Canada’s current crop of superheroes.

 

Villain write-ups for: Augury, Borealis, Necrull (and his minions), Machiniste, Carillon and Symphonique; Punition, Roi d’Hiver, Baron Nihil, Tilingkoot, The Brigade (Assault, Balaclava, Claymore, Hellfire and Sabot); The Forces of Nature (Thunderstorm, Chinook, Landslide, and Pyroclasm); The Chain Gang; Mister Zee-Zed; Leonarch, Tribulation, Wildman, and the Lodge.

 

Also stats for whatever Gang of Four (and maybe a couple of others) that our other authors come up.

 

Chapter Nine: The Champions Universe

There’ll be a schematic for the Hellsburg VIPER’s Nest, a high Arctic VIPER’s Nest that’s exploiting local resources and enslaving the native population, suitable for PC invasion. Also, maybe a description of the Abbotsford VIPER’s Nest, and the secret HQ of the Integrity Project.

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Necrull (and his minions), Baron Nihil, and Tilingkoot, have never been my favourites. - The Art also did not win any points. The background was good though.

 

The Hunter Patriots felt like a lot was cut from their background.

 

The VIPER Abbotsford Nest suffered set backs in the 1990s.

 

I wanted to see the inheritors of the Canadian Rocket Brigade of 2010s

 

Red Ensign commissioned from Storn. Was inspired and expanded upon by Scott and others. I dearly want to see a complete write up on the Red Ensign and his successors.

 

I want to see some homages from the original Champions of the North

 

 

Hope your computer recovery gets everything.

 

 

QM

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Perhaps apropos of the importance of the Land, Canadian geologists were central in proving there have been multiple cycles of the continents merging and splitting apart, and that a large block of land (dubbed Avalonia -- hmm) split off from proto-Europe, crossed a previous version of the Atlantic, and smacked into North America to become eastern Canada and New England. Also, in the last few decades Canadian geologists made a concerted effort to map the strata of the Laurentian Shield in depth, reconstructing the geological history of North America back through billions of years. Who knows what eon-buried secrets they have found? Or what special inquiries may have used this project as a cover?

 

Dean Shomshak

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Incidentally, I had a work/personal computer die on me recently, and I also lost two external hard drives about the same. It was bascially a miracle that I didn't lose any data, but it was kinda scary there for a while.

 

Now I use Box.com for backup. They have a synch tool that makes sure all my important files are uploaded, which is actually more convenient than stopping to make a backup. And they have an Android app that means I can review or show documents anywhere I have wifi and my tablet with me. Much more convenient that logging the laptop everywhere.

 

Between Box.com and DropBox.com, Box.com looked a little more "corporate" and might be better in the long run for me personally, so I decided to go with Box. Some sort of cloud based storage for backups is the way to go these days, imo. (I also use flash drives, but with no sync tool I'm not as diligent about making back-ups.)

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Incidentally, I had a work/personal computer die on me recently, and I also lost two external hard drives about the same. It was bascially a miracle that I didn't lose any data, but it was kinda scary there for a while.

 

Now I use Box.com for backup. They have a synch tool that makes sure all my important files are uploaded, which is actually more convenient than stopping to make a backup. And they have an Android app that means I can review or show documents anywhere I have wifi and my tablet with me. Much more convenient that logging the laptop everywhere.

 

Between Box.com and DropBox.com, Box.com looked a little more "corporate" and might be better in the long run for me personally, so I decided to go with Box. Some sort of cloud based storage for backups is the way to go these days, imo. (I also use flash drives, but with no sync tool I'm not as diligent about making back-ups.)

 

I really like Wuala (even though they've discontinued my favorite feature, sharing local HDD space to get more in the cloud), and one huge advantage is that you actually locally encrypt everything before it uploads to the cloud, so they can't even see what it is. If people are concerned with privacy for corporate or personal reasons.

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Reading this made me want to write Champions Down Under. Fortunately I was able to resist the temptation. :P

 

Still, I whiled away a couple of hours thinking about how to get around the canonical shortage of superbeings in the Champions Universe.

My solutions were:

(a) Don't bother. Australia is a place to visit, not a place to set a campaign.

(B) Superbeings emerge now. Either foreign heroes have to come to help with the resulting crisis, new heroes emerge, or both.

© The superbeing population is chronically underestimated. This works for limited origin games: all mutant groups, non-powered street level supers or Challengers of the Unknown/Fantastic Four type explorers. None of these necessarily have the high profile of "standard" superheroes. (Australia is nice and close to a bunch of Hidden Lands, and the Well of Worlds allows access to a bunch of dimensions, making the exploration thing quite feasible).

(d) Ignore the whole thing, and raid the CU for parts. (What I would actually do).

 

Funnily enough, I've been having computer issues too over the last few days. All sorted now, hopefully.

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Still, I whiled away a couple of hours thinking about how to get around the canonical shortage of superbeings in the Champions Universe.

 

Canada almost suffered from the same problem. When I read the original draft of Champions Universe (back in the days when drafts were made available for review), one of my major comments to Steve Long was that Canada's superhuman population would be way too low to support a new Champions of the North. The percentage given in the final product was much higher.

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

The Mythic History part is the really interesting bit in Scott's work. It's the kind of thing I probably wouldn't have thought of, although I have toyed with some vaguely comparable ideas in the past.

 

Looking at the existing published material, there is already something of a high concept to CU Australia - it's all about the Well of Worlds and the Dreaming. That would have to be a starting point for an "official" "Champions Down Under".

 

Unfortunately, it's not a concept I particularly care for. If I was writing an unofficial version for whatever reason, I would have to come up with something else. Or perhaps not. Is such a high concept actually necessary? Would anyone actually use it? Probably not, I think.

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Heh' date=' sometimes I forget how long ago CotN came out. Thundrax is indeed a "seasoned" character.[/quote']

 

Thundrax dates back to the third session of the SUNDER campaign, where we played Microfilm Madness from the freshly minted May 1983 issue of Space Gamer. He’s been around a LONG time.

 

The Hunter Patriots felt like a lot was cut from their background.

 

I wanted to see the inheritors of the Canadian Rocket Brigade of 2010s

 

Red Ensign commissioned from Storn. Was inspired and expanded upon by Scott and others. I dearly want to see a complete write up on the Red Ensign and his successors.

 

I want to see some homages from the original Champions of the North

 

Hope your computer recovery gets everything.

 

QM

 

The Hunter-Patriots fulfill two roles in the book. First, they’re part of Dust Devil’s background. Second, they provide a minor organizational level foe with a few unique tricks for the PCs to face. (As I’ve mentioned before, I was rather surprised to see them in Champions Online, as I never meant for them to be significant players in Canada. They’re a weaker variation on the Hellfire Club theme, an anachronistic secret society that plays at supervillainy in the modern world.

 

Given that Canada likely has a lot of captured Gadroon tech and captured an intact Roin’esh spaceship, I think that the Canadian Rocket Brigade 2012 is very feasible. I’ve talked about doing a revamped and expanded COTN for 6e as a kickstarter once my current projects are done, Hero and Cryptic willing. This would make an excellent addition to that book, should it ever come to be.

 

Re: the original Champions of the North; Steve wanted me, for reasons that I won’t mention here, to distance myself from characters in the book. I had some issues with Mattson’s original work: in places it often read more like the author’s home campaign than an attempt to do a comprehensive sourcebook on Canada – there were more NPCs from the Lor Star Empire than from Quebec – also I felt it shied away a little too much from areas of Canada which were controversial, and most of the villains were just too much from the nice guy school of supervillainy.

 

Beyond those objections, I rather liked the book and many of the characters. Augury is a very faint nod to Oracle: she turned out very different, but she began as a revisitation of that character. Tribulation would have been a revision of Purifier and the Integrity Project would be a revamp of Genocide that was affiliated with the IHA. Genocide had been a major player in the original SUNDER campaign that ws the genesis of much of the book, but as development went on, I wanted to avoid “writing the SUNDER sourcebook” syndrome as much as possible, so the Integrity Project was shelved. (Nowadays, I prefer the acronym PURGE, which was used by Reldin on Champions Online for his anti-mutant group in RP). There is a nod to the Sentinels in the backgrounds of COMET, as a close reading of the writeups in the additional characters file will demonstrate, but COMET was cut from the main book as Steve didn’t want the book to be top-heavy with NPC heroes. I mostly agree with that particular editorial call.

 

The Red Ensign was not my creation, but used with permission from the person who commissioned that wonderful drawing from Storn. I wanted a Johnny Canuck analog who would morph into a multigenerational hero, as I love legacy heroes. Red Ensign III's writeup is in the COTN outtakes doc in the Extras section.

 

Thanks for the well wishes on the computer. Prayers are appreciated, though from the looks of things, a new hard drive is needed asap. Hopefully I can recover my old data.

 

Perhaps apropos of the importance of the Land, Canadian geologists were central in proving there have been multiple cycles of the continents merging and splitting apart, and that a large block of land (dubbed Avalonia -- hmm) split off from proto-Europe, crossed a previous version of the Atlantic, and smacked into North America to become eastern Canada and New England. Also, in the last few decades Canadian geologists made a concerted effort to map the strata of the Laurentian Shield in depth, reconstructing the geological history of North America back through billions of years. Who knows what eon-buried secrets they have found? Or what special inquiries may have used this project as a cover?

 

Dean Shomshak

 

This might tie into the origins of Saguenay, the extra-dimensional pocket realm ruled by Baron Nihil. Thanks, Dean!

 

Reading this made me want to write Champions Down Under. Fortunately I was able to resist the temptation. :P

 

Still, I whiled away a couple of hours thinking about how to get around the canonical shortage of superbeings in the Champions Universe.

My solutions were:

(a) Don't bother. Australia is a place to visit, not a place to set a campaign.

(B) Superbeings emerge now. Either foreign heroes have to come to help with the resulting crisis, new heroes emerge, or both.

© The superbeing population is chronically underestimated. This works for limited origin games: all mutant groups, non-powered street level supers or Challengers of the Unknown/Fantastic Four type explorers. None of these necessarily have the high profile of "standard" superheroes. (Australia is nice and close to a bunch of Hidden Lands, and the Well of Worlds allows access to a bunch of dimensions, making the exploration thing quite feasible).

(d) Ignore the whole thing, and raid the CU for parts. (What I would actually do).

 

Funnily enough, I've been having computer issues too over the last few days. All sorted now, hopefully.

 

You’re not the only one who’s had issues with this. Some Aussie players in Champions Online have been irritated by this as well.

 

My suggestion would be somewhere between © and (d), with a dash of (B) added in. Do what’s good for the benefit of the campaign and what makes for an interesting sourcebook, even if you have to bend what’s gone before to fit the updated vision. I suspect very few people will care about this violation of established continuity, especially if you make an effort to at least address the issue.

 

Canada almost suffered from the same problem. When I read the original draft of Champions Universe (back in the days when drafts were made available for review)' date=' one of my major comments to Steve Long was that Canada's superhuman population would be way too low to support a new Champions of the North. The percentage given in the final product was much higher.[/quote']

 

Thanks Rod. You did me (and the book) a great favor there.

 

The Mythic History part is the really interesting bit in Scott's work. It's the kind of thing I probably wouldn't have thought of, although I have toyed with some vaguely comparable ideas in the past.

 

Looking at the existing published material, there is already something of a high concept to CU Australia - it's all about the Well of Worlds and the Dreaming. That would have to be a starting point for an "official" "Champions Down Under".

 

Unfortunately, it's not a concept I particularly care for. If I was writing an unofficial version for whatever reason, I would have to come up with something else. Or perhaps not. Is such a high concept actually necessary? Would anyone actually use it? Probably not, I think.

 

When people talk about Canada, or even think about the country, they think about two things: the vastness and beauty of the geography, and the cold. Those two elements are at the heart of our national mythology.

 

I couldn’t really present a unified First Nations origin of the continent’s myths because there is none. There are dozens of bands and nations, and the mythology varies greatly between cultures separated by thousands of miles. But mythologizing those two elements felt right to me, with the Sea as a third element because of its importance in maritime culture. Treating the Land as an entity ties in with the animism that’s a part of most First Nations cultures, so it “feels” true and respectful of those cultures, even if it’s not a copy of any First Nations myth. It was important to me that I tried to respect the cultures of my country, and the background of Ravenspeaker and Tilingkoot were both trying to draw on that part of Canada’s heritage beyond “just give them a magic pool”.

 

The Land//Ice conflict reflects in a mythological sense the end of the Ice Age which is when many anthropologists believe First Nations’ peoples began to settle into their modern habitation patterns across North America, so it appealed to me as myth mirroring actual history. And most importantly, it gave me a backdrop for character origins and conflicts that I could play with to tell the stories I wanted.

 

If you don’t like the Well of Worlds and the Dreaming, develop them a little, but ignore them for the bulk of the book and leave the GM a few hooks that will allow him to develop them if he chooses. I used to be of a mindset of “I don’t want people to think Canada is all igloos and totem poles”, and in a sense I was right: a Canada where those were the most important factors would be an embarrassing collection of stereotypes without depth. But a Canada sourcebook where I didn’t touch on the mythological touchstones for a country which is steeped in a preternatural wilderness would also be poorer. If you ended up writing Champions Down Under, it’d be up to you to decide what importance you’d want to give those elements in the campaign setting. I think both the original COTN and even Phil Masters’ otherwise excellent Kingdom of Champions suffered from a conscious decision to downplay them, but that’s your call; you have to write the book that fits your comfort zone.

 

Thanks also to everyone who suggested a backup solution. I will employ them for key files from now on.

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

I always wanted to run an adventure dealing with the secret Genocide base under the Horseshoe Falls. And the heroes had to stop the villians from using it without Canada finding out. Also, I live in Erie (PA) and with my fictional city of Iroqouis City, I liked the idea of Canadian villians coming across the border but the heroes can't cross the Border. Sorta like diplomatic immunity.

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

I'm still obsessing over how I would write "Champions Down Under".... Hopefully my short attention span will kick in soon.

 

At the moment, I'm putting together a timeline of canonical events in the CU that would attract the attention of Australian superheroes. Things like the Gadroon invasions ("Gadroon wars") and the like. The idea is for me to get a feel of how many NPC supers I would need to create to fill in a plausible history. I don't want to create too many, but there need to be at least some.

 

There are also situations such as when Taipan killed a couple of supers in Melbourne in his first appearance. Who were they? What impact did their deaths have on the superhuman community as a whole?

 

I'd also like to nod to the 4e characters and organisations. They're not quite compatible with the current CU, but could be massaged without too much trouble. Some of the characters have real potential. Seeker is the most obvious example. He's a ninja who doesn't behave like a stereotypical ninja. He doesn't dress like a Kabuki stagehand, and isn't all broody and mysterious.

 

That's interesting. Either it's part of his personality, or it was part of his training. (Or both, which is the most likely case). The "part of his training" aspect is plausible, since it could reflect an approach to that rejects extreme austerity. (A possible Buddhist influence?)

 

An idea that occurred to me this morning was:

"What if Seeker wasn't a name, but a title? What if Seeker was a product of a school of training, rather than an isolated student of a single master?" What if there were other "Seekers" out there?

 

That would allow a circumvention of the canonical idea of Seeker being a fictional character created to replace Nighthawk in the Champions' licensed comic book. The "Seeker" there could be fictional, but based on legends of the "real" Seekers!

 

That in turn could tie into the Golden Age, when Japanese ninja operatives were pitted against elite Australian commandoes who were basically former Pulp heroes and their students.

 

Captain Australia is a bit trickier, since her background would probably need more rewriting, but could be fitted in well enough as a retired heroine.

 

The hero groups mentioned in 4e could have existed, but been short-lived. The heroes Taipan killed could have been members of one of them.

 

The villains are a bit trickier, but I haven't really thought about them yet.

 

Anyway, I'm still obsessing - and it's all Scott's fault! :D

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

... Taipan killed a couple of supers in Melbourne in his first appearance. Who were they? What impact did their deaths have on the superhuman community as a whole?... :D

 

I read that as implying (intentionally or not), that Taipan's origins are linked to those Melbourne supers.

 

So who is Taipan? Australia's failed supersoldier project. There's some pretty embarrassed people in Canberra who really don't want to talk about how the Melbourne Super Friends' last mission involved taking out the brood project that would have created a million Taipans....

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Thinking of Australia from the distant US...

 

Layer 1: Geography. Australia's population concentrates around the coast, with a truly vast, sparsely settled interior. I heard an urban legend that government satellates and/or seismographs picked up evidence that parties unknown tested a *nuke* in the Australian desert, with no witnesses. At least none who've come forward. In a super-world, this could be true. The Outback would be a great place for Master Villains to build their Secret Hideouts and build Doomsday Weapons to conquer the world. The Australian military probably has a special department tasked with watching all the supervillain bases that heroes have found and trashed over the years. Good places for origins, too.

 

Layer Two: Aboriginal. The Dreamtime and all that.

 

Layer Three: Early British settlement. Tall tale characters, who might have been real and established legacies for heroes and villains.

 

Layer Four: Mature nation. I am interested in how Australia's foundation myths affect current attitudes to law and order, as it can shape the conduct of heroes and villains.

 

I remember a documentary program noting Aussies' changing attitudes to accents. Used to be, anyone with social ambitions tried to talk like they went to Eton. Politicians don't do that anymore -- they want to seem authentically Aussie, not some pretender who's ashamed of where he was born.

 

Mature Australia is as technologically advanced as anyplace in the world, and the superbeings should reflect that.

 

Level Five: New Immigration. The same program said that after WW2, Australian leaders made a conscious push to encourage immigration from damn near anywhere, never mind about preserving Britishness, because the low population was seen as a military weakness. So Australia gained a lot of immigrants from Asia (and other places, I assume, but SE Asia is closest). Immigrants mean assimilation issues, and you can hardly expect all the cultural influence to be one way. So the idea of a blonde Australian ninja might not be that incongruous. A Shaolin branch temple in the mountains back of Sydney or Brisbane, why not? Maybe one of the monks is developing 'Roo Style Kung Fu. (Or Crocodile Style -- I hear those huge salties in the northern swamps are pretty amazing.)

 

Dean Shomshak

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Layer Two: Aboriginal. The Dreamtime and all that.

 

Something interesting and cool about this: there is evidence of aboriginal cultural continuity extending back to what in the CU would be the Atlantean Age, and beyond. Contacts with Lemuria would certainly have been possible. The creation of the Birdmen of Thaar occurred while aboriginal cultures existed too.

 

A concept I would consider using in some form would be a gradual separation of the mundane Australia from the "real Australia" of the Dreaming. "This world", in this case, would be the poor shadow of the real thing. I wouldn't go too much into this, though. It would be rather subjective anyway.

 

I remember a documentary program noting Aussies' changing attitudes to accents. Used to be, anyone with social ambitions tried to talk like they went to Eton. Politicians don't do that anymore -- they want to seem authentically Aussie, not some pretender who's ashamed of where he was born.

 

Not Eton exactly, but a "cultivated" accent. My own accent is a bit of a hybrid of the "general" and "broad" forms, reflecting my provincial city/rural background, and the time I have spent in larger cities. (I don't particularly do the nasal thing, but the "syllable assimilation and consonant elision" is definitely me).

 

Then again, my vocabulary is "different" enough that I occasionally get people wondering if I'm British! So I guess that makes my accent and speech patterns a hybrid of all three kinds!

 

Of course my accent gets broader the more beer I drink...

 

Level Five: New Immigration. The same program said that after WW2, Australian leaders made a conscious push to encourage immigration from damn near anywhere, never mind about preserving Britishness, because the low population was seen as a military weakness. So Australia gained a lot of immigrants from Asia (and other places, I assume, but SE Asia is closest).

 

Not quite. The mass post-WW2 immigration was overwhelmingly from Europe. The main change was a higher proportion of migrants who were from continental Europe, rather than from the UK or Ireland.

 

The White Australia policy wasn't officially abolished until the early 70s, although it had been breaking down for several years before that. Asian immigration was slow to take off, although the end of the Vietnam war saw the beginning of a wave of "boat people". Even their numbers weren't particularly high, although you wouldn't have guessed that from the hysteria emerging from certain quarters.

 

Since then, the immigration base has broadened out, although the British, Irish and New Zealanders still constitute the overwhelming majority. Even comparatively small cities like the one I live in has residents from pretty much every single country in the world.

 

And "Waah! Boat people are coming to eat our babies!" is still alive, well, and IMHO totally disproportionate to reality.

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

A concept I would consider using in some form would be a gradual separation of the mundane Australia from the "real Australia" of the Dreaming. "This world"' date=' in this case, would be the poor shadow of the real thing. I wouldn't go too much into this, though. It would be rather subjective anyway.[/quote']

 

Thinking more about this... this would tie in reasonably well with the whole fluctuating levels of magic conceit in the CU.

 

The Dreaming "went away" for a time (allowing European settlement), but now it's coming back...

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Ah, thank you for the corrections. The program was from 20 years ago, and my memory is imperfect. I guess I conflated "encouraging immigration" with "finally allowing immigrants who aren't white." (Still a significant cultural shift that could be worth exploring. Really, every place is globalizing and a modern setting should robably reflect that.)

 

I've been mistaken for British too. I assume it was for diction.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Re: [Retro] COTN 5th edition proposal

 

Not to interrupt the wonderful dialogue on "Champions Down Under" (a book I'd very much like to see:

--------

Changes I Would Make in a COTN6.

Looking at about a 256 page book, available as PDF only. Possibly with a small 96 page book available for those who have the 5th edition COTN and only want the changes.

 

Revisions

 

History

A couple of gaps in the real world timeline would be filled. Substantially more details on the history of the major superteams would be added.

 

Canada-US Relations

With Necrull's defeat, and the assistance of American superhumans against Kigatilik, the border has become more relaxed to superhumans, However, there's still some tensions, especially when American heroes ignore Canadian sovereignty and attempt to transport villains across the border, or carry heavy ordinance. Additionally, a secret base was discovered on Canadian soil, built by an American security agency researching WMDs, which also caused controversy.

 

Updates

Each of the major city sections would be updated for the current date, and errors corrected. I'll be asking for more info from gamers on what should be included in descriptions of their city, and if I can find a few public domain maps to include, I will.

 

Major Events

 

New events covered by the history section include:

 

- The release of Kigatilik and the battle of Lynx's Fold to drive him back into the Frost Tomb.

- The defeat of Necrull, and his slow rebirth.

- Borealis's two week conquest of Toronto.

- The Roin'esh invasion of Steelhead (and how Canada joined the space race) and the subsequent creation of the New Canadian Rocket Brigade and Canada's own orbiting space base.

- Stormcaster's attack on Newfoundland and the death and subsequent transformation of Argosy.

- The death of Wally Thompson (pending Cryptic approval), the original Forceknight.

 

Heroes and Villains

 

STARFORCE 2012

Now pretty much the de facto National team, though they're still mostly dealing with Toronto issues, they do help out the Steelheads when called upon. The current roster is:

 

Justiciar: Canadian cyborg, leader, industrialist, and (gay) husband.

 

Prism Girl: Perky Greek-Canadian heroine.

 

Dust Devil: Rambunctious and surly Western Canadian brickhouse.

 

Forceknight (VI): Sean Doerksen, teenage son of Forceknight III, probationary member.

 

Astral: Celestar's cosmically imbued daughter, now sharing some of her father's power.

 

Argos: Prince of Water Elementals, now inhabiting the vastly changed body of Argosy.

 

Reserve members: Thundrax, Ravenspeaker, the Constable, three unnamed supers (probably can be bought as kickstarter levels). Also, Starforce's AI Kivioq will be described.

 

Other Heroes: I'll also solicit from friends, in both PnP and Champions Online, about 8-10 Canadian NPC heroes who'll get a brief mention in the city writeups (possibly included as kickstarter levels.).

 

Other Significant Character Changes:

 

The Constable

He resigned from Starforce to become Derringer's right hand man in the Steelhead division.

 

Forceknight V

Alice Hellion is now Rocketknight, head of the New Canadian Rocket Brigade.

 

Celestar

Lon stupidly attempted to force his way into the Frost Tomb to free his imprisoned teammates, nearly opening a catastrophic rift that could have brought about a new Ice Age. He was punished by the Land, who stripped him of some of his power, granting it to his illegitimate teenage daughter, Astral.

 

Steelhead Division

There'll be more info on some of the people introduced to Steelhead in Champions Online, especially in Whiteout.

 

Villains

 

Kigatilik is now active, as seen in Champions Villains Volume One.

 

Punition will be forced into at least temporary retirement (he attempted to form an alliance with Nihil and to his horror, he was treated as "just another Canadian" by the insane Nazi, whose hatred of Canadians didn't seem to make any allowances for Quebec sovereigntists). A new Quebecois feature villain will emerge in his place.

 

Necrull will be slightly reimagined, as he has been reduced in power, he's turning back to more of his pulp science background and performing new, grisly Necrullitic experiments.

 

At least one new villain team (probably the Bannermen, a coalition of disaffected children of silver and bronze age heroes led by the Black Banner) and several new supervillains will be detailed. I want to go back and work in the Leonarch from the original proposal; Borealis's crew will get at least two new members, H.E.C.T.O.R (a battlesuit engineer), and one other to be decided later.

 

The Hunter-Patriots

The H-Ps have suffered a major defeat with two of their three most important leaders captured and cut off from the H-P psi link. However, other more dangerous ones have stepped up in their place, including the Perfect Patriot, who claims to be a rogue clone of Teleios (the truth will be more complicated), and the battlesuit-clad brickhouse Dark Dreadnought, who's trying to turn the H-Ps into an unknowing instrument for his true masters, ARGENT.

 

VIPER

The ancient power of The Whisperer in Jade has been reborn, and is extending its curse across Canada again, including an attempt to infiltrate VIPER. However a new power has risen, the Ascendant, a Project: Awakening created telepath who has her own plans for VIPER in the true North.

 

Cyberlord

The creator of Justiciar's cybernetics and his arch-enemy (and father-in-law!) has

returned. But what are his secrets?

 

Tilingkoot

The demon of the lost also suffered a defeat along with his (now former) master Kigatilik, but has regrouped and is in the process of extending his influence into the remnants of DEMON in Canada.

 

GM Section

More cool bits of Canadiana, a list of differences between Canadian law and American law that might trip up a GM, a list of items and businesses unique to Canada, and various American chains with little to no presence here.

 

NEW SECTIONS

 

Wild West Canada: Packages and information for running Canada in Old West campaigns.

 

Pulp Canada: Packages and information for running Canada in pulp campaigns.

 

The Worlds of Canada: We'll be covering the mystic world, the martial world, the mercenary world, and the business world, and also clarifying the place of various mystic entities in the Champions Universe cosmology.

 

Due to its importance in Champions Online, Force Station Steelhead will be described, though there will likely be a few changes (some of the sub-sections of that zone, such as the sasquatch villages, will probably be left undocumented for computer game players to discover).

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