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Hermit

A superhero setting from Scratch

A random Superhero Setting by Committee (Votes)  

29 members have voted

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  1. 1. When did the first known superheroes/supervillains appear in Modern History

    • In the last days of the Great war aka World War One
      9
    • Around 1955, coincidentally (?) at the beginning of the "Space Race" between the USSR and the USA
      7
    • The 80s
      4
    • At the turn of the Millennium
      5
    • The 2017 Great Eclipse
      4
  2. 2. What is the main source of origins? (Assuming many origins are still possible)

    • Alien interference from outer space, intentional or not
      1
    • Chemicals and or radiation introduced in the eco system got into humanity's genetic structure making mutants and mutates possible
      10
    • The Gods of Old are either dying and passing on their powers, or returning and picking/empowering champions
      3
    • High Tech, Bionic Implants and Powered Armor is released on the world
      1
    • A dimensional intrusion with the remnants of a world that was already super causing random and sometimes blatant reality shifts akin to a comic book
      14
  3. 3. WHY are most super heroes wearing costumes anyway?

    • Legal reasons, be they absolutes or merely advantages (Frex: Penalties are lighter for supers that give 'fair warning' and costumes count)
      10
    • There is something influencing/instinctive about it
      4
    • It's to honor and follow the lead of some of the first/greatest superheroes
      2
    • Not only is keeping secret identities possible in this world, the costumes each come with some ability to foil facial recognition tech and the like. If you don't want to get outed you need one of these costumes
      11
    • Corporations started the trend as a merch gimmick and it stuck
      2


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I recently posted this to the "Junior Justice Foundation" thread.

 

I'm considering adding a few things adapted from Hermit's "Scratchverse" to this universe.  Here's the first.

 

Amazonia, the Amazon nation that covers the Peloponnese, a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece, has a population that is 75% female.  (The men are not discriminated against.)  Most women are, at least, Olympic-level athletes and some are powerful supers.

 

They have strong ties to Greece.  Some people follow the major religions while others follow the Hellenic religion and way of life, revolving around the Greek Gods, primarily focused on the Twelve Olympians, and embracing ancient Hellenic values and virtues.  A constitutional monarchy, they have a parliament, a queen, currently, Caroline I, and royal family.  As you might guess, they’re a big voice for women’s rights in the UN.

 

Comments?

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5 hours ago, Hermit said:

The complaint about Amazonia affecting Turkey I don't quite understand.

 

 

Note I was specifically talking about for a published setting.

 

If you had a published setting on the shelves today about how that Syria was a paradise in your game world, that would be considered to be in extremely bad taste by many people who read or reviewed it because of the extensive problems in real-life Syria.

 

There are a large number of places on the globe where you can put game settings which don't instantly garner your product a large amount of negative publicity. Turkey is not one of those locations.

 

If nothing else, having part of Turkey be a paradise because women rule there rather than men and because it's pagan rather than Muslim is the kind of thing which could get an author killed in real life.

 

I don't know if that brought you any additional understanding but that's my point.

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40 minutes ago, archer said:

 

Note I was specifically talking about for a published setting.

 

If you had a published setting on the shelves today about how that Syria was a paradise in your game world, that would be considered to be in extremely bad taste by many people who read or reviewed it because of the extensive problems in real-life Syria.

 

There are a large number of places on the globe where you can put game settings which don't instantly garner your product a large amount of negative publicity. Turkey is not one of those locations.

 

If nothing else, having part of Turkey be a paradise because women rule there rather than men and because it's pagan rather than Muslim is the kind of thing which could get an author killed in real life.

 

I don't know if that brought you any additional understanding but that's my point.

 

SO many thoughts here.

I can't really publish a champions setting without Hero Games approving it as far as I know (Certainly not for profit)

I was thinking of making an unofficial free PDF kind of setting.

And if anyone really liked it, there would be a link in the product to the Innocence Project, a charity I heartedly endorse but even that is a mere wondering 'maybe'

Did I say Amazonia was a paradise? The vote isn't even done yet. It could have men as second class citizens, or religious persecution, etc.

I understand Turkey's government has a problem admitting the Armenian Genocide even happened. It did no matter how much some Turkish officials might get huffy about it. The South were the bad guys in the Civil War, The US broke way too many treaties with Native American Tribes, Stalin starved a lot of people.

I DO appreciate you're concerned for my safety if I publish but honest to gosh; I'm not sure this would have a big enough wave to merit that concern even if I made an official supplement for sale.Which..again, I don't think I can do. 

And, I admit, there is something contrary in me that buckles at the very notion of my being too afraid to even do alternative history conjecture or a 'what if' setting because its safer for me to not upset some conceptual terrorist's delicate feelings.

 

THAT said, I'd like to think that 99.9% of the Turks in the world are decent people just trying to get by. Maybe one of them has stumbled onto this and does feel offended just like I might feel offended if someone portrayed the United States as the worst moments of its history and nothing else. That's not my intent. So..if there is one of these boards? Please, Sir and or Madame, Please PM me. I'll try to adapt a 'alternative world' version of Turkey that could coexist with Amazonia whether relations were tolerant or guarded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Hermit said:

The Plutonian Confederation was intentionally a tease about the demotion it got from 9th planet to 'dwarf planet'... the irony being of all the planets, THAT's the One of import? Maybe the Aliens have a wormhole near there (Props to Assault) and there was a translation error or the  Press just dubbed them that and that's what stuck.  Maybe Pluto, while a small chunk of cold rock on the outside is another hollow planet and some life is quite comfy there in this setting.  I'm still tinkering. :Pluto:

 

If your Pluto is hollow, make it bigger on the inside :D

While you're at it, Charon is no moon, it's a fully-armed and functional battlestation defending the Plutonians...

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Well, we've closed on a tie. Looks like the Amazons had a split...perhaps one went super tech instead of mystical and founded a colony near the (thanks to them) salvaged Aral Sea?

 

JFK had a private meeting with aliens after they returned an Astro Chimp  and that was the first public notice of alien life. 

However, while that was the clear lead, the others all got a little love so maybe some of those happened too.

 

And Atlantic City is under water :)

 

 

 

 

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Jan 31, 1961, a mercury program goes seemingly wrong and an astro chimp, #65 aka Ham, is seemingly lost. Two weeks later, a saucer lands publicly on the White House steps. The Plutonian Confederation returns the Chimp and speaks to a recently Sworn in JFK. The meeting's subject? Classified

This is the winner, so yeah, THIS is when a flying saucer landed on the White House Lawn, cameras were rolling, a chimp was returned, and JFK had a secret meeting. In Scratch World, much discussion still goes on just what was said, but few think it was coincidence that JFK would push for the moon landing. Some conspiracy theorists swear the landing's mission was not merely stepping foot on the moon, but putting something in place there for the Confederation's behalf. 

 

The Plutonian Confederation are not native Plutonians, but they do have a colony within the planet and have encouraged the Earthlings to believe that this is their place of origin.  It solidifies their claim to the outer solar system, and helps discourage discovery of the wormhole nearby that leads to their true home. Charon is no moon, it's a space fortress!

 

And yes, while only a handful know,  the Astronauts did put something on Luna as their president directed, something even they didn't understand. Sadly, when JFK was assassinated, whatever contract was made for this favor was null and void after, or so it appears.  Some believe that if there was a second gunman, then said gunman was not an Earthling at all but a member or agent of a rival galactic power.

 


December 10, 1978, a colonization attempt by the people of the doomed planet Beryllium goes horribly wrong as while their ship is wrecked, each Berylian discovers something about the earth gives them amazing powers and a few of the colonist decide to take over the planet. Earth heroes fight tooth and nail to hold them back, but it is the arrival of Beryllium's Lawman with the Title Reeve, who brings the colonists into line, and takes them in custody

 

This one got a respectable four votes... so we're incorporating it. 

The Berylians attempted a colony on an Island in the Arctic ocean, and all went well for a time but they learned the Earth's unique magnetic nature gave them amazing powers. They also learned of the many abuses of Earth's governments upon their various peoples. Using this to rationalize treating humanity as a savage species in need of being saved from itself (And deciding all of Earth would do nicely for a multitude of others to join them from their doomed world) they began to make their will known. Both American and Canadian heroes kept their reign of conquest concentrated in the far north as best they could. Reeve did indeed arrive and put a stop to it and took them into custody. Much to the frustration of both Canadian and American governments, Reeve also made sure very little of the technology from the colony could be seized. It's a credit to the Canadian and American Intelligence agencies that they covered this event up as 'random supervillains' after the fact, but it was a wake up call to them that they were simply not ready to deal with an Invasion on their own. Project Lovecraft, a joint endeavor that covertly continues to this day does its best to make sure that 'the stars will never be right'.

 


January 28, 1986- The Space Shuttle Challenger launches and is seized quite publicly by an impossibly large space ship. A message is sent world wide from the ship "This sector of space belongs to Overmaster Kish of the Kuul Dominion. You are not Authorized to go beyond Orbit. " The space program is stymied for years, the crew's fate unknown
 We're going to change this one a lot. While Overmaster Kish and the Kuul Domnion is responsible, they made no such grand display, rather making it look like NASA's own incompetence to set back the space program and discourage interest in Terrans exploring beyond their orbit. It worked very well. The crew of the Challenger did NOT die, but were rather collected for interrogation, and study. This 'mercy' proved to be a great mistake, as the seven would escape after they gained tech and powers of their own to return decades later (and much transformed) as the superhero team :The Challengers!


November 14, 2004- Two joy riding alien teenagers smash into an Earth plane while cloaked. This damages the cloaking device and the ship is shot down by other planes aboard the USS Nimitz . The two teenage aliens ejected, and were rescued. The US took their ship to be studied, and Bel and Loowil were stranded at a strange new home

Not sure how public the recovery would be.. mmm

 

The two aliens in question never made it back to their families.  Overly reliant on the technology they had always taken for granted, with the damage ship retrieved they had no means to contact home and weren't even sure how to get their without an Astragraph doing the work for them. Bel was greatly overcome with guilt for his part in the death of a human in the struck plane, and using his innate 'powers' would eventually become a superhero to make amends. Loowil, however, grew to resent captivity, and she would escape and become quite the villainess. fully mature in their telekinetic powers, the two former friends have clashed more than once. 

 

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4 hours ago, Hermit said:

And yes, while only a handful know,  the Astronauts did put something on Luna as their president directed, something even they didn't understand.

If I may be allowed to abuse my historical knowledge of the Apollo program...

 

it didn't have to be all six landings which did the Plutonian's bidding... just one.  Seen in that light, I now have to ask, "What was so important about Fra Mauro to the Plutonians that Apollo 14 was re-tasked to perform the mission Apollo 13 couldn't do?" :)

 

Also consider in Real Life that LMP Edgar Mitchell publicly admitted to attempting an experiment in interplanetary ESP with someone back on Earth during that mission.  An enterprising GM can take things from there.

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I'm wondering if the returned chimp was actually returned completely unchanged.

 

It'd be an interesting if whatever tinkering the aliens did to his genome was something which could be passed along to future generations.

 

You could take it in a number of directions:

 

An ape superteam like the one lead by the Red Ghost which frequently clashes with the Fantastic Four

Gorilla City variant

Planet of the Apes variant

Super-intelligent chimp who has become a well-known advocate for animal rights

A genetic viral outbreak jumping from species to species among animals which makes them hyper-aggressive and mutate (James Patterson's book and TV series "Zoo"). Or perhaps just a contamination from a completely normal Ham the chimp which jumped across to the dogs of the space program. Dogs with telepathy and telekinesis (Cosmo) or something else (Krypto) would make wonderful pets and/or a wonderful black market in super-pets, super-guard dogs, underground dog fighting rings, etc.

 

Or dog kidnapping. This looks like a job for Nura, Ace Vet Detective!

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14 hours ago, segerge said:

If I may be allowed to abuse my historical knowledge of the Apollo program...

 

it didn't have to be all six landings which did the Plutonian's bidding... just one.  Seen in that light, I now have to ask, "What was so important about Fra Mauro to the Plutonians that Apollo 14 was re-tasked to perform the mission Apollo 13 couldn't do?" :)

 

Also consider in Real Life that LMP Edgar Mitchell publicly admitted to attempting an experiment in interplanetary ESP with someone back on Earth during that mission.  An enterprising GM can take things from there.

 

You knowledgeable people sure make it hard for us ignoramuses to coast :Shakes fist in faux rage:

 

;) Seriously though , some excellent factoids here and ideas. If I continue to flesh this out I'll try to incorporate some more. Thank you

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5 hours ago, archer said:

I'm wondering if the returned chimp was actually returned completely unchanged.

 

It'd be an interesting if whatever tinkering the aliens did to his genome was something which could be passed along to future generations.

 

You could take it in a number of directions:

 

An ape superteam like the one lead by the Red Ghost which frequently clashes with the Fantastic Four

Gorilla City variant

Planet of the Apes variant

Super-intelligent chimp who has become a well-known advocate for animal rights

A genetic viral outbreak jumping from species to species among animals which makes them hyper-aggressive and mutate (James Patterson's book and TV series "Zoo"). Or perhaps just a contamination from a completely normal Ham the chimp which jumped across to the dogs of the space program. Dogs with telepathy and telekinesis (Cosmo) or something else (Krypto) would make wonderful pets and/or a wonderful black market in super-pets, super-guard dogs, underground dog fighting rings, etc.

 

Or dog kidnapping. This looks like a job for Nura, Ace Vet Detective!

 

Lot of good ideas. Ham could be brainwashed to loyalty to the Confederation, the "Manchimpian Candidate"

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Okay, JFK wasn't around for Apollo 14...so it becomes obvious that Richard Nixon used Mission 14 for something shady, much to his frustration it failed, but some of the Astronauts reported a telepathic experience they were never able to reduplicate. It's almost as if some small furry spy had warned the Confederation from Earth itself.

Ham eventually escaped when he was 'retired', his fate seemingly unknown...

 


If anyone wants "Chimp City" well, frankly I don't trust Primates, but let's hear your ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

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For the Junior Justice Foundation campaign, I turned New York City into an underwater city instead.  The United Nations and financial markets are now in the San Angelo area.  Fortunately, Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty are still above water.

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The Major 'Super Cities' of Scratch World- USA List

It should be noted that a lot of of the big cities (or a cluster of medium sized cities) have supers. However, there does seem to be an almost drastic difference in style and flavor. Certain types of supers seem drawn to certain areas more than others. Naturally, there are exceptions to this.

 

 

New York City - In this universe, as many others, superhero comic books took off here. With masked men (and women) making their appearance as early as the Great War, great liberties were often taken with the already outlandish tales of such individuals. NYC is a major political and financial power in America  with a rich and important history; add to that, the hub of immigration that was New York City for so many decades and this thriving metropolis has been and , by a narrow margin, remains the city with largest superhero population. Manhattan likes to boast that it has the premiere superhero team: The Manhattan Miracles, but the Miracles of modern times are not half the the heroes the original team of that name were and its greatest strength is probably good funding and good PR. More likely to show and get things done are the Bronx Boom Brigade, and the Brooklyn Knights (Or Brooklynknights if you prefer). The two teams have a shared disdain for the Miracles, and an odd rivalry where they seem to have frequent goes at each other until some out of towner supers show up, upon which they close ranks. Perhaps this is because of the lost of the Queens super team, the Crusaders... who gave their lives foiling a plan of city wide destruction by the arch-villain Lord Typhon. Queens has a growing number of solo heroes, but they seem too independent minded to form a team to replace the Crusaders. Staten Island has no team either but doesn't seem to want one. It does however have the much misunderstood and vilified superhero  Sparrow. NYC has no less than three super-villain teams that each have their own agendas but they don't seem to associate with any particular borough and must stay mobile. There are countess more independent villains.


Atom City, formerly known as Oak Ridge, this city in Anderson County Tennessee has a history cloaked in science, (sane or otherwise), and mutation. In Scratch world, well before even the Manhatten project, there was study done of the superhuman experience, and deadly chemical weapons that, in this reality, sometimes proved mutagenic. While the earliest projects were kept secret, for ease of containment the US government decided to put most of their more off the wall R&D in one major basket they could keep secret. "Secret City" lasted until the 1950s but soon enough the cat was out of the bag and rather than send folks fleeing from the risks of the experiments, it drew more scientists and those who figured the scientists needed goods and or services like anyone on else. Tech companies also developed into the area, and the rest, as they say is history. Atom City is an odd mish mash of Gernsback styling and appearance, a rather seedy underbelly, and mutations both blatant and insidiously concealed. Its the city where flying cars are being tested for public use and the rich already have limited jet packs. It has solar panels on art deco buildings, and tesla coils laced about. It also has high end drug dealers who can sell you a 'superserum' they swear will give you powers, or black listed medical professionals who will install  prototype cybernetics all for the right price. And cold war espionage has given way to IP theft- no big deal unless the IP is for the likes of new sonic canons. Perhaps most frightening is the Changeling Effect. Named after the old stories of fairies replacing mortal children with their own, the Changeling Effect is the termed for the number of Atomic City Youth who seem to randomly develop powers- often years before they're mature enough to use them wisely.  Holding the line is the largest Government sponsored Superhero team in the country- A.T.O.M. SquadronAmerica's Tomorrow Oversight Militia is said to be what the ATOM acronym stood for, but most agree some clever pencil neck in DC just thought it would sound cool. The Squadron doesn't much care how dated it sounds. For over fifty years they've held the line against the weird, the wild and the wired while dealing with an often jumpy public that calls them fascists if they come on strong, and do nothings if they use the kid gloves. They have rigorous ethical standards set to keep corruption at bay. And thus far, with a few stumbles, they've yet to fall. Currently, their patience is sorely being tested however. One of their numbers, a mutate known as Ionic, passed away recently. She was buried with full honors, and then? Her body dug up.. and rumors of 'super organs' for sale were soon found to be linked to it. They want to find who ever is behind this violation but the higher ups say it's not a priority. The Squadron abides by their orders- for now. 

 

Independent heroes include the Amazing Doctor Zeppelin (third to bear that name) and the technopath who dresses like Neo from the Matrix but calls himself Gybson.


 
Hollywoodland, famous for the landmark sign on the hill, this California dream factory is the home of America's movie industry. This is the place where the beautiful people are in high demand, and few are more beautiful than supers. Athletic bodies seemingly without effort? Faces that could tempt an angel? Hollywoodland can't get enough of folks like that, even if it doesn't always treat them kindly in the long term. Here you'll find men and women with fast healing or greater durability as stuntmen. Here you'll find low grade shape shifters filling in for the real deal (Though there are laws about duplication now regarding trademarks). Technological geniuses who prefer to make art find a home here, and illusion so real you can taste it is their business. And yet, true superheroes find their careers fairly short lived. All it takes is one wrong tweet, one unpopular statement made too close to a witness, or backing the wrong cause and said hero can find themselves facing a force far more dangerous than supervillains; when the crowds in Hollywoodland turn on you, they tend to bring the public of the world with them. Heroes, like people anywhere, tend to be tribal animals, and few can bare the intensity of pariah hood. They leave the city and either try to continue in another location, perhaps under a new guise, or they find themselves hanging up the tights all together. Most of the superheroes coming to Hollywoodland are the sorts who love the idea of being celebrities, and they can do very well for a short time, but the ones who thrive most are often those who frankly don't give a damn and avoid the cameras as much as anyone can in this town. This has lead to something of a problem for Hollywoodland. Superheroes don't hang around as much as some other big cities, but supervillains? Oh they love the place. The narcissistic nasties often thrive on the hate of others. After all, it's still attention! And yet, Hollywoodland has its champions that have endured. Chief among them is the  LGBT superhero team The Agenda, formed in the 1990s, the founders took the name to thumb their nose at the paranoids of the time. Hoping to be rolemodels for those of alternative life styles, they've faced some pretty heavy hitters again and again and saved countless lives- tens of thousands when they stopped an artificial superquake last year. The biggest name in superheroes here might be Mayfly. The identity of Mayfly changes every year. The mantle lasts exactly 365 days, granting the current bearer amazing powers. After which, they die. Obviously, that's 364 more days than your real Mayfly, but the name stuck thanks to the mysterious 'glowing insect' that appears before each person before they choose to touch it and gain the powers at the cost, or disregard and watch it move on. One full year of greatness before death. Many in Hollywoodland would call that a fair deal. Fortunately, the Mayfly mantle chooses people of good conscience and often great need; spurning overly selfish or immoral folks. Hollywoodland's most enduring supervillain is a failed superheroine turned bad now going by the name Crimson Sunset

 

Chicago, the city of Big Shoulders, the Second City, is run officially by a mayor and city council elected by the will of the people. But the real power in  Chicago is the Tellaro family. Perhaps, if they hadn't gained psychic powers, they would have been caught for tax evasion and the like, instead, they've taken early 20th century mentality for ruthlessness, and infused it with their vision of a Utopia- for them that is.  Leopoldo Tellaro, fourth to bear that name, seems a bit young to be a head man of the family. But then he was groomed by his dear great Uncle for the job. In more ways than folks realize. Leopoldo IV has been subsumed by his ancestor, his mind taken over so that an old man could have a young body again. The potent telepath has many such tricks, but the most prized is his ability to unlock psychic powers in others of his bloodline. Most of his family members have lesser powers, some barely any at all, and only those who have proven their loyalty are 'unlocked'. Collectively though, they exert a subconscious influence on the populace that waxes and wanes. While it might be comical to imagine a whole city ful of people adopting the mannerisms of the good fellas, the truth is less funny when you realize how corrupt the police and city council have become under the Tellaro's power. And yet, the Tellaros own imprints work against them. Superheroes abound in Chicago, chiefly of the rough and tumble masked gangbuster type. The vigilantes of this city, even the ones with powers, seem to be a throw back to a hard boiled, anti authoritarian so they won't be kowtowing to bought coppers type. That's because Leopoldo's subconscious direction of the mental influence fears that type of man...or woman and thus they seem resistant to him and his clan.

Heroes who don't fit that mold, at least to some degree, tend to find themselves leaving town for 'reasons'.  But even with a fighting chance, most superheroes can't bring the Mafia family to justice because their grip on the legal authorities remains ironclad. The masked adventurer Nightfall has had enough of Tellaro's corruption of the city, and is forming a group of those ready and able to tear down the profits that feed the mafia machine.... but the Midnight Brigade is not assembled... yet.

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On 8/21/2019 at 9:42 AM, Hermit said:

 

 

WHY are most super heroes wearing costumes anyway?

 

This one was almost a tie. The winner, by a nose, is " Not only is keeping secret identities possible in this world, the costumes each come with some ability to foil facial recognition tech and the like. If you don't want to get outed you need one of these costumes " In the past, Christopher Reeve level body language and a shiny icon could do the trick. As  camera tech advanced, and lead to eventual facial recognition... then more people got outed. BUT ...keeping pace with that, is the develoopment or discovery of some material or wearable tech that really messes with that. It must be in high demand by villains and heroes alike. But is it open source or do certain forces have a near monopoly on it? mmm

 

REALLY close at second place....

Legal reasons, be they absolutes or merely advantages (Frex: Penalties are lighter for supers that give 'fair warning' and costumes count)

 

I've used this one before in some of my games. Some judge shows less sympathy for an idiot crook who tried to run full tilt into a man with a cape and then seems surprised he got hurt trying it. Like the rattlesnake kind enough to let you hear it as a warning, you can argue that costumes are a major 'DON'T' sign. By wearing them, heroes give fair warning and are judged as having done so. The same might be encouraged of villains, oddly. Sure, a villain might be more effective if he shows up in plains clothes, gets right next to the bank vault and THEN assaults the guards.. but if there is some sort of ' give warning' or 'self identification law' he might, weirdly, find his sentence extended than if he came with skull designs on his shoulder pads.

 

We'll use both for this setting I think.

 

 

"A man is known by his enemies. My greatest foe was the superhero Dr. Stalwart. An intellectual giant among ungrateful dwarfs, he never took his full due from the bleating population he saved time and time again. His own studies in bio chemistry allowed him strength to match his intellect, a boost that lasted for days. I enjoyed our little contests of genius and power. The few times I had him at my mercy, and they were embarrassingly few,  I found myself either sparing him so I might gloat or else arranging a 'death trap' to test his resourcefulness. It was a test he always managed to pass. I see now that I savored the hunt more than the trophy, the contest more than the prize. Let puerile jokes about my mental state commence, but you will hear me out. Dr. Stalwart did not die by my hand. He did not die saving lives in some natural catastrophe. No, he was outed a facial recognition program for the government's new classification program funded by the government set up by a corporation and lastly, leaked by some greedy intern who sold the information to a shady news source. This forced him to retire last week for the good of friends and families... and under legal pressures. I am sure many of you delighted in your rush of dirty laundry. Last night, in the news, his death was finally reported. He was killed by two junkies hoping he still had access to his treatments thinking it would be a 'super high'. Killed in his sleep. Killed.In.His.Sleep."

 

The screen flickered, showing two figures scrambling through a large technomaze chased by winding mechanical arms with electrified tips.

 

"If either or both of these men survive, I will help them go cold turkey in a rehabilitation program under my tender care. I suspect it won't come to that. The government official who took the campaign money from the company that wanted the Facial Recognition program contract was in good health and did not last long. The lobbyist for the company and five of its stock holders died even quicker. And the reporter , well, I have something special planned for him. Don't misunderstand, each of these death traps has a way out. I made sure of that. But you'd need the intellect and courage of a man like Dr. Stalwart to find them. They won't. And I realize that worthy foes will be a vanishing breed soon, unless I do something. So? I have. By now, superheroes all over the country, and soon the world, will be receiving the schematics and samples of my Cryptomask Technology. The brilliant among them will be able to reverse engineer it. Others? Well, I did what I could to match their preferences. It's not a trap. It's not a trick. Consider it a sign of respect from a dragon to knights in a world full of grubby peasants. Why you care for them,  I will never know, but at least you will be spared the envious mobs torchlight shoved into your faces. Cryptomask will superimpose false faces on photographs, cameras, digital and otherwise. Thus rendering them all useless. You can set it to blank if you like, but currently, the device imposes the face of Frank Jeffries aka Dr. Stalwart, my enemy, my rival, and the only person on this planet I respected. I am retiring save to keep making sure the technology of anonymity outraces that of identification. Monsters are meant to fall to heroes and vice versa. It is only fitting that when the rabble try to peel back the helm they see the face of the man they murdered through their envy. Now, for your viewing pleasure, let's see if these two men surprise me."

 

Sounds of screams as one of the junkies clearly does not make it.

 

June 2013, all channels overridden by the villainous mastermind Master Apep

 

 

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Oh. My... (insert your choice of copulating deity)

 

Still, my sense of Schadenfreude has me wondering how well the intern fared. Seriously, it's guys like him that (rightfully) give Superhero Registration a bad name.

 

And has Doc Apep recorded the death screams of all involved as music to go to sleep each night.

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September 11, 2001 was when America reeled from a colossal event that shook everyone to their core. 

Hurricane Erin was hovering about five hundred miles East-Southeast of New York. This concerned some, but most believed the cooler waters would diminish it greatly and there were hopes it would curve back out to sea.

Terrorists attempted to seize planes to use as weapons against the Pentagon and the World Trade Center and would have succeeded if not for the quick action of a superhero team who managed to get each plane down safely. On any other day, the attempt would have made the front page of newspapers everywhere in the country. 

But then Atlantic City sank.

Video recordings of the event were not plentiful but there were enough about to verify the testimony of many Atlanticans (as they would be known) in the months to come. A storm manifested, violet and violent alike. Some thought it must be a fragment of Hurricane Erin, but this was no natural tempest. The rain came down hard, fast, and purple.

Indeed, the color was noticed soon enough as the water pooled faster than gutters could dispense. Those caught outside reported feeling very dry, as if they were remarkably thirsty. They began to change first. Their fingers and toes became slightly webbed, their pupils enlarged, and their skin took on various purple shades light and dark as if to match the odd storm and its torrent. Eventually, colorful fins (from wrist to elbow on the arms, and from knee cap to ankle on the legs) sprouted from their limbs. Eventually, gills appeared on their throats and they had trouble breathing the air.

That trouble wouldn't last long.

Atlantic City and many of its surrounding suburbs seemed to gain a new fault line and then slid into the sea. Even those who had gone into tall buildings had no escape from the submersion, and they too were changed. It was chaos, and many non-locals were in the city at the time, some because of the Miss America Beauty Pageant which would be coming in the next week meaning all the contestants of that year were transformed as well. When the city finally stopped sinking and settled in it's new underwater position a good deal of the population, naturally, tried to get to the surface. They swam expertly and quickly but upon reaching said surface, they soon learned that only a small minority could also breath air (A lucky 10%) the rest had to 'hold their breath' before going down under.

However those affected felt about it, scientists would latter dub the change 'benevolent' in many ways. For one thing, the changes had 'trimmed the fat' quite literally for many, in their adaptation to aquatic living,  many had become lean and muscular (One Biologist admitted surprise they didn't gain blubber instead). They didn't have scales, but their newly tinted flesh was more than cosmetically changed as they could resist colder temperatures.

The US Government was no more prepared for this than the people of the city themselves. Some speculated it was another terrorist attack. Others pondered mutagenic theories and worried bio-chemical rains might be not just a one time thing. There was a quarantine made of the area as "top men" examined the altered. The ACLU quickly jumped in to defend the people from being seen as threats or 'lab specimens', and , of course, the locals were still mostly New Jerseyians and true to stereotype didn't much care for a bunch of out of towners telling them what to do if they couldn't help anyway! 

 

Today, Atlantic City has been rebuilt (It's amazing how many buildings actually held together),  somewhat restored, and become a tourist attraction of a different sort. Whatever affected the people affected the local waters too, undoing over a century worth of water pollution for a radius of over five hundred miles. Now people come to scuba dive, take tours, and enjoy "Newshore" , the floating artificial island of hotels that some are calling the Venice of New Jersey. Gambling is still possible, of course, but most of that has moved to Mystic Connecticut and other alternatives. The new Colosseum is a surprise hit- apparently the world is just fascinated by Boxing, Wrestling, and Mixed Martial arts done under water! Indeed, some folks worry that the changes were more than physical, that the 'Atlanticans' seem pretty aggressive by nature, but again? Jersey. Technology has boomed here, particularly in the areas of structural engineering and green energy.  

 

Outside of their home, Atlanticans, even those who can breathe air, face a challenge. They need daily hydration at least, and there is a less than subtle prejudice from "normal" people who don't quite know what to make of them. The Atlanticans breed true, meaning their children are like them, but a few cases of intermingling with air breathers has shown they're still human, and a child has pretty even chances of being like either parent. In short, they're seen as exotic, maybe even a one night stand you can boast about, but you know, you might not want to have a family with one. If there is one benefit to this new challenge, it is that the altered no longer really let their own ethnic and racial differences divide or even define them. They're Atlantican- Americans now, and it's them against the world!

 

And yet, they still have many secrets, some even unknown to themselves.

 

 

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On 8/26/2019 at 10:20 AM, Hermit said:

Okay, JFK wasn't around for Apollo 14...so it becomes obvious that Richard Nixon used Mission 14 for something shady, much to his frustration it failed, but some of the Astronauts reported a telepathic experience they were never able to reduplicate. It's almost as if some small furry spy had warned the Confederation from Earth itself.

Ham eventually escaped when he was 'retired', his fate seemingly unknown...


If anyone wants "Chimp City" well, frankly I don't trust Primates, but let's hear your ideas.

 

Okay.  After escaping, Ham could sort of be traced heading into the heart of Africa, where he finally passed beyond human history and knowledge heading toward a remote mountain range with a rare species of gorilla.

 

After over 4 decades, a research mission into that range trying to follow up on that gorilla species suddenly encounters an antiquated-looking but yet advanced barrier blocking sight.  They succeed in penetrating it, only to find it was hiding a society of gorillas more or less at the late 19th century of technical advancement.

 

That's right.  Steampunk Gorillas.

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