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steriaca

Champions 2050

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Welcome.

 

This thread is for spitballing about a theoretical setting for Champions.

 

The idea: Witchcraft succeeded in repelling Tyronan by tapping and reducing the mana of the Earth Dimension. It singled the beginning of the end of The Age of Superheroes. But the decline is not rapid or immediate. Because of that, there are still superbeings in 2050. Not as powerful as the last generation, they still exist.

 

So, what happened to the various old guard heroes and villains? Who are the shining stars of the new erra of supers?

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History Idea #1: The Fall Of IHA.

 

Mutants were getting weaker after 2020. Many of them blamed IHA for unleashing a virus which plauged mutants. In 2024, a series of massive attacks happened at known IHA offices around the United States. IHA unleashed there Minitmen robots upon the masses, only for the robots to run berserk (as the magic to run the science that made them started to fail). They easily blamed it on mutant cyberpaths as they had to rely upon past generation Minitmen robots.

 

After the battle is down, the media got a huge amount of data from unknown sources revealing the truth about IHA. Including the concentration camps and inhuman experiments. IHA leadership was arrested, and the remains of IHA splintered into various other organizations (Humanity First, Genocide, CROSS, Countdown, etc...)

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History Idea #2: The Fall of Doctor Destroyer.

 

Unlike other falls, this one happened quietly. In 2026, Doctor Destroyer's life support mechanism fails and he dies of natural causes of advance old age. For a while, Destroyer's insane AI ran the armor, making his master litterly his puppet. Bur in 2028, the magic which ran the technology behind the AI fails in mid-mission, revealing that he had been a well preserve corpse for two years.

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Hmm.... the idea of a prolonged decline in magic, rather than a rapid one, is new to me, and I'll need to think about the implications of it.

 

But preliminarily, I'd say your "fall of the IHA" scenario, while not at all unreasonable, doesn't require reduction in super powers to happen -- the dynamics that could lead to that event are built into the setting already. I'd say their coming to a head would be more likely if there were still powerful mutants on Earth.

 

Similarly, if Dr. Destroyer doesn't solve his mortality problem he could die at any time, regardless of magic affecting physical laws. But having his tech suddenly stop working in a given way raises a point to consider: Does diminishing magic just make supertech less powerful overall, or are certain powers/SFX completely negated? If the latter, a GM would have to decide which effects would stop, and at what point during the decline. I also think 6E Golden Age Champions would make a good model for the magnitude of powers available to supers in this altered environment.

 

But to be honest, I personally would prefer just ignoring the whole magic-blocking event altogether, and letting the existing setting continue to advance with full super powers, so we don't need such mental gymnastics. I'm pretty confident that when Steve and Darren came up with this future timeline back in 2002, they figured that if they were still publishing Champions Universe setting books eighteen years later, they could revise the timeline then. ;) From the viewpoint of setting precedents, there really wasn't a necessity for the magic-damming attack to repel Tyrannon. For Witchcraft to have become Archmage she must have learned the Quaternion Banishment, which was designed to repel just such an extra-dimensional invader. Of course the Banishment also drains the life from random humans, so there was a reasonable rationale for why Witchcraft would try something else.

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I would say heros start out at Low Powered (as oppose to Standard Superpower), maximum of 60 points Active Points in any single attack power or stat, and let the gm look honestly at the character. Since it is a slow build down, then it is more like "powers are fading" except for 'science' powers, ki, and psionics and leave it at that. Not everyone is affected in the same way either.

 

Grond for example, only has his strength reduced to 70, but beyond that is still Grond. Grond just wants to be left alone.

 

Meanwhile, the Demonolgist is working overtime to reverse this effect, as it goes way against his goals of the Magic Renaissance.

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   I’m more interested in how society has developed after 30 plus years of Paranormals running around.  Have Paras become just part of the background?  Does anybody even bother with capes & masks anymore?

   Look at the progress African-Americans have made since the ‘60’s or Gay rights since the ‘70’s.  Is seeing a Para as a cop, a Doctor or a construction worker a commonplace thing?  Are anti-mutant groups still a thing?  Are “out and proud” mutants running for Mayor, Congress or even higher?  Have “super tech” Items become something you buy when it goes on sale at Walmart?

   Tell me what the world is like now, and I can tell you what it might look like when the “magic goes away”.

 

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If we're using the official Champions Universe, paranormals have been around since 1938. So yes, they've become very integrated into society. But advancing the timeline to 2050 does arguably bring in near-future sci-fi elements.

 

Along those lines, the effect of failing supertech on general human society would need to be taken into account. As described in Champions Universe and other books, even though the most cutting-edge tech has been in the hands of superheroes and villains, and to a lesser extent some world governments, enough has filtered out to the general populace that their overall technological level is noticeably more advanced than on real Earth. Would humanity's space exploration be curtailed? Medical breakthroughs rolled back? Communication, transportation, regressed?

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9 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

If we're using the official Champions Universe, paranormals have been around since 1938. So yes, they've become very integrated into society. But advancing the timeline to 2050 does arguably bring in near-future sci-fi elements.

 

Along those lines, the effect of failing supertech on general human society would need to be taken into account. As described in Champions Universe and other books, even though the most cutting-edge tech has been in the hands of superheroes and villains, and to a lesser extent some world governments, enough has filtered out to the general populace that their overall technological level is noticeably more advanced than on real Earth. Would humanity's space exploration be curtailed? Medical breakthroughs rolled back? Communication, transportation, regressed?

Great questions. I would say most everything devolves to 2020 real world technology, plus about 10 years. Everything you see today in the real world is still a thing in 2050. 5G internet is commonplace in developed nations. Medical is about the same. While cyberization is still something, it has devolved to clunky replacement parts and has become too expensive to be affordable except for the super rich (or going through ARGENT).

 

Solar and wind power has stepped up to replace hydro-electric and coal power in the world. Still, there are parts of the world still in control of big oil and big coal. Everyone agrees now that nuclear power is too prone to disaster to use, and most nuclear power plants have shut down (but still are a danger as they still must hold nuclear material).

 

Since "smart cars" are a thing, there still are smart cars. They are priced expensively and still have manual overrides (in other words, a stearing wheel and break and gas petals).

 

Weapon technology is about the same. Lasers tend to overheat, so they ballooned in size to accommodate cooling technology. Police on the street now have access to tazer bullets (something being researched today, thank you Modern Marvels).

 

With the slow reduction of superbeings in the world, SNN ("The Super News Network") has 'evolved' to showing documentaries about supers between news casts (as super battles in public become more and more rare and they need to fill the time somehow). There sister station, Sidekick (having changed there name from SNN Sidekick long ago) focuses on superhero based entertainment, having long since abandoned the news format.

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Space is interesting. We have returned to exploration of our solar system. We have returned to the moon and have launched a man mission to Mars. We have started a thing of cleaning up the space junk we left around our planet.

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1 hour ago, steriaca said:

Space is interesting. We have returned to exploration of our solar system. We have returned to the moon and have launched a man mission to Mars. We have started a thing of cleaning up the space junk we left around our planet.

 

There's an example of whether, for purposes of this proposed future setting, you would choose to change what mankind in the published CU has already accomplished, or roll it back. In the present day of this setting, while humanity is not yet colonizing other worlds in the solar system, near-space exploration is advancing rapidly. Since 1996 UNTIL has had a fully-functioning space station, GATEWAY, orbiting Earth, with up to 200 inhabitants. The United States launched its own orbital facility, the United States Space Station, in 2006. UNTIL also has the distinction of being the first entity to establish a permanently-manned base on the Moon, Moonbase Serenity, in 2000. It now has over 40 personnel. In late 2004 the United States completed work on the Venus Scientific Outpost, an orbital station designed to study the hothouse planet in detail. It has a crew of eight, six unmanned sensor drones, and three one-man vehicles capable of descending to the middle ranges of the atmosphere. The United States established Ares I, also known simply as the Mars Research Base (or “Marsbase”) in 2008. Marsbase currently houses a dozen scientists, though plans call for expanding it to almost four times that size over the next twenty years.

 

Let me just run down where "supertech" has changed life on Champions Earth, as described primarily in Champions Universe, Champions Beyond, and Millennium City.

 

Advances in medicine and genetics have eliminated, or diminished the impact of, many diseases. Scientists have adapted cybernetic technology first developed for powered armor and similar super-technology to devices that allow people with spinal injuries to walk again, and people with neurological disorders to function without significant impairment.

 

Communications has advanced significantly. Throughout the United States, Europe, and many other developed or wealthy countries, virtually everyone has access to computers, smartphones, and similar devices that are easily carried, lightweight, fast, high-memory, extremely user friendly, and have extraordinarily long battery lives. Even in Third World countries, ownership of cellular phones and computers may exceed 50% of the population, thanks to advanced manufacturing processes and materials. Holography has improved to the point where Millennium City features animated three-dimensional advertising billboards.

 

High-tech fibers and materials discovered by superhumans, and scientists working with their data, beginning in the Sixties have led to stronger and more comfortable bulletproof vests, lightweight armored panels for military vehicles, more crash-proof civilian cars, and many similar advances.

 

Internal combustion vehicles and manufacturing are much cleaner and more environmentally friendly than the machines of old, and major strides have been made in the field of alternative energy. Significant efforts have been made to clean up and repair damage to the environment, and to prevent further damage going forward.

 

Travel, whether by air, water, or land, is quicker and safer than ever before. Flights from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast can be comfortably completed in just two hours in some cases. The "Smart Roadway" system in Millennium City interacts with Vehicle Control Chips in all cars within city limits, allowing traffic authorities to automatically track them, and if necessary shut a car down remotely. When driving on the Millennium City Highway surrounding the city, the VCC lets a central computer take direct control of the cars, practically eliminating accidents.

 

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Regarding military tech, the following is from Champions Universe p. 57:

 

Powerful nations, such as the United States or Great Britain, have huge sums of money, well-stocked research facilities, and corps of brilliant scientists at their command — and if they work on something long enough, they may achieve results that would elude lesser strivers. For example, some Champions Universe governments have fielded units of soldiers equipped with low-strength powered armor (or at least high-tech defensive gear), made use of advanced spacecraft, and equipped special military and paramilitary forces with blasters and similar super weapons. But even then, they often prefer to keep their super-technology to themselves as much as possible, due to the strategic and tactical advantages it provides.

 

And from CU p. 64:

 

Although most militaries still use standard-tech weapons (gunpowder-based bullets and rifles, tanks and howitzers firing explosive shells, manned fighter jets, and so on), the larger and more advanced armies and navies have incorporated some super-technology-derived weapons and systems into their arsenals. For example, the United States has small squads of light powered armor-wearing soldiers, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with smart targeting capability able to fly at Mach 10, and many other such weapons. None of them provide the US with an overwhelming advantage in combat, but taken together they definitely extend and expand America’s already potent military capabilities.

 

In some cases, super-technology developments even trickle down to smaller militaries. For example, the US Department of Defense has expressed concern about countries like North Korea or Awad building and using relatively cheap magnetic “railgun” weapons to shoot down American satellites and planes. Sometimes it seems that for every advance one nation makes, another finds a way to counter it using different super-technology... though the sources from which some lesser nations obtain their super-technology remain a subject of speculation.

 

Even mercenaries and mercenary companies get into the act sometimes. A few, seeking competitive advantage both on the battlefield and in the marketplace, have invested in (or otherwise obtained) powered armor suits, energy rifles, super-tech weapons, and advanced robotic vehicles. Supervillains like Lazer, Mechassassin, and the Steel Commando all got their start as mercenaries (at least in part), and still participate in that part of the global underworld if the money’s right.

 

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How would you reduce the technology of the world? How much of the technology is "made possible by advance mana" and how much of it has not?

 

The idea of Champions 2050 is that it is the last generation of heroes unless something amazing happens. I know you hate the idea of the superhuman world is dependent ignorantly on the level of mana in the universe, Lord Liaden. But that is the basics of the published Champions Universe.

 

What I am trying to do is to get us together to actually think about what happens after the 2020 event which is supposed to happen. The idea is "what if it was not a light switch (powers on/off), but a sliding switch (levels sliding down)".

 

So, in your mind, what happens? It is kinda hard for me to 'crack open a book' when most of my books are digital.

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  Not all “super tech” would go away.  Some of it would be the product of a high Int character creating a new concept rather than the object itself needing some kind of technobabble physics to work.

   Anything with “unstable molecules” would be gone, but computer programs that compile and sort data more efficiently than anything we have now could still be around.

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Medicine: Doctors are stumped by the return of some diseases thought long conquered and some treatable ailments becoming untreatable. Experimentation reveals that the diseases and ailments did not change, but somehow what was once the reliable way to treat them is no longer the case. Cybernetics can still be used, but unlike in the past, they need to be a bit more bulky.

 

Forcently not all conqured diseases came back. And immunization is still the best way to avoid the common flu.

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8 minutes ago, Cassandra said:

 

A Rollerball/Soylent Green situation?

Prehaps. With superheroes.

 

Not really a dystopia, but not exactly a utopia also.

 

Generally speaking, this world is as bright and chery and happy as you wish it to be. There is still evil to fight, and old technology might fail, but there are aspects of it which are more positive.

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1 hour ago, steriaca said:

How would you reduce the technology of the world? How much of the technology is "made possible by advance mana" and how much of it has not?

 

The idea of Champions 2050 is that it is the last generation of heroes unless something amazing happens. I know you hate the idea of the superhuman world is dependent ignorantly on the level of mana in the universe, Lord Liaden. But that is the basics of the published Champions Universe.

 

 

I'm well aware of that premise of the setting, and don't necessarily hate it. Just bringing up data for consideration. But different people could have different answers to your questions, and different decisions as to how to implement them. :)

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Thank you LL. Your right about that. Different people have different views about what could be. I want to hear from them.

 

Meanwhile, I'm going to go through the VV (all three of them), and figure out what became of who.

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As Snake Plissken said "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

 

There are basically three reasons for setting a story in the future.

 

1. Science Fiction Adventure along the lines of Star Trek, Space 1999, Space: Above and Beyond, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  These allow the use of futuristic technology in war/exploration scenarios.

 

2. Time Travel:  There are two variants.  One, the future is so bad that the heroes must change it (Terminator), or Two, the heroes are part of a future historical event and have influence on it without changing the outcome (The Final Countdown).

 

3. Allegory:  The future has become a repeat of the past just with spaceships and lasers.  There is an evil dictatorship that must be fought and defeated or escaped from (Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica).

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Cassandra said:

As Snake Plissken said "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

 

There are basically three reasons for setting a story in the future.

 

1. Science Fiction Adventure along the lines of Star Trek, Space 1999, Space: Above and Beyond, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  These allow the use of futuristic technology in war/exploration scenarios.

 

2. Time Travel:  There are two variants.  One, the future is so bad that the heroes must change it (Terminator), or Two, the heroes are part of a future historical event and have influence on it without changing the outcome (The Final Countdown).

 

3. Allegory:  The future has become a repeat of the past just with spaceships and lasers.  There is an evil dictatorship that must be fought and defeated or escaped from (Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica).

 

 

I think a little of 1, and a little of 3. And they could do a little of 2 also, if the GM wishes.

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What happens to everyone. From Champions Villain Volume 1 edition.

 

Borealis and his agents: Borealis  participated in the fall of IHA, targeting concentration camps ran in secret north of the border (north of the United States, that is). He and Landsman noticed a great downshift in there powers. Borealis is still an important figure in the Canadian First movement, and because of the actions of his during the attacks on IHA, the pro-mutant political movement also. He is in semi-retirement. The Landsman and Augury are still loyal to him and his causes.

 

Doctor Destroyer and The Destroyers and his agents: As stated elsewhere, the bad Doctor passed away in 2026, and his armor was controlled by his artificial intelligence program (which he designed to mimic insanity so he could examine it). He had planes to update his armor yet again, as he noticed slight powering down of his abilities, but never gotten to it before Death visited him.

 

Still, there are rumors of clones and love children programmed to pick up the mantel of the bad doctor in the future...

 

Gigaton died of cancer, probably caused by delayed reaction to the radiation from Project Sunburst. He wasn't seen after 2024, so...

 

It has been said that Rakshasa returned to India in secret. Falchion also disappeared. Rumor has it both joined Kinematik's forces after Doctor Destroyer's death. Throghtcrime was killed when the neural bomb exploded after an accidental impact. It is unknown what happened to Metor, Spectra, and Tarantula.

 

Gravitar:  She still occasionally appears around France. The media has taken to nicknaming her "Reine Grand-mere" (Queen Grandmother). She is more a celebrity than a supervillain in her old age.

 

Holocaust: He participated in the fall of the IHA. He himself has taken a pro-mutant stance (originally to reap in the popularity of being 'for a cause greater than myself'), and is positioned to rival Kinematik. He also has become a senator, taking his father's old seat. He has been lucky to never been arrested as Holocaust.

 

Interface: The cyborg still exist, and only gotten slightly bulkier over time and replacement parts.

 

Invictus: David Sutherland ran for president in 2020. And again in 2024. He won in 2032, and did his two terms without any obvious evil. Not that he didn't do evil, but he had to rely less and less on his Sol Invictus powers. Now he is an ex-president. People speak about him in great ways, saying he was the greatest president since Trump.

 

Istvatha V'han: Lost interest in Earth after 2020.

 

Kigatilik: His icy prison still holds him, and he is still waiting for freedom...It is still said that Tilingkoot still wanders the woods for his master...

 

Kinematik:  Kinematik made out like a bandit after 2020. His personal army of mutants grew after the attack on IHA, he formed his own micronation on the remnants of the Micronation of Sealand.  And he is considered king and emperor of Mutantland (what his nation is now called).  Blindside, Fossil, and Overdrive are celebrated statesmen in his nation.

 

King Cobra, The Oborous, and The CoIL:  King Cobra suffered greatly. His power to create more CoIL agents by hand faded, and he began to relies on variants of the drug which changed him into King Cobra in the first place. He also has to reinject all his agents from time to time. Krait defected from CoIL/The Oborous and was killed.

 

Mechanon and company:  Mechanon continued his existence till 2032, when it is said that Captain Cronus found a way to contain the damaged program. Some say the only reason this could happen is because he was weakened by the low mana. The rest of Mechanon's agents eventually broke down from lack of repair and technology drain, except for AVAR-7, who regained his own free will.

 

Menton: Nobody knows what happened to him. Rumor has it that he is still alive, if being a brain in a jar is considered alive...

 

Doctor Phillippe MoreauSaid to have been ripped to shreds by his devolving manamals. Exactly when is unknown.

 

Necrul: Still imprisoned in Canada at a top secret location.

 

Baron Nihil: Still in his alternative world, waiting to come back to his original world to conquer it.

 

Joseph Otanga: Supposedly killed in a military coo...but one can never quite tell.

 

Professor Paradigm and the Paradigm Pirates: Noticing that "something outside of reality" was "affecting everything inside this reality", he and his men left and have yet to be seen again.

 

Shadow Destroyer: Still out there in Multifarian Earth, not knowing that his counterpart in Champions Earth is dead...

 

The Shadow Queen: Currently enjoying Faerie, Brangomar feals no pressing need to visit Earth right now.

 

Skarn The Shaper:  Still planing on adding the Earth Dimension to his own...

 

The Slug: His body was found in a state of suspended animation.

 

Slun:  Still the king of crime in Eurasia. He is much older now, but still possesses considerable political power.

 

Franklin Stone:  Dead, but his businesses are controlled by his children, who are just as evil as he is.

 

Sunburst: Sunburst, Helios, Nuke, Phaze, all died of cancer over the years. Radium exploded near Las Vagus in 2032.

 

Takofanes: Hasn't been seen since 2028. People hope he rotted to destruction. Some say he only 'went to sleep' and will reawaken sometime soon.

 

Teleios: After a period of failer, was said to have escaped into another dimension...

 

Tezcatlipoca: Just dissipated after 2020. Everyone hopes the former sun god went back to the plain where he was worshiped and ruled there.

 

Tyrannon The Conqueror: Went home to confront the scourge of individualism in his facets after being repelled from the Earth thanks to a certain spell castes in 2020. If he ever gets this scourge under control, he might start his campaign again.  This might take centuries...

 

 

 

 

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It should be noted that many mystical villains, if they were capable of leaving the Earth dimension, do so after 2020 to avoid the power loss. They occasionally come back into our dimension to do some crime which either try to increase the mana levels on Earth, directly benefit them in some other way, or both. Not all mystics are intrested in increasing the mana level if they can get another source to empower them while here.

 

Thoes who can't leave have to make do with what they can find and scrounge.

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I could see a plot by some of the malevolent mythic gods most active on Earth in the modern era, including Hecate, Set, and/or Tezcatlipoca, to try to force the ambient magic level back up where it was before, or even higher. Per her write-up in The Hercules Force, Hecate and Tezcatlipoca once teamed up to try to shatter the Ban preventing the gods from fully manifesting on Earth.

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