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Welcome to Eclipse City! August 21, 2017, the day of "The Great American Eclipse", where a total eclipse could be viewed in the states of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina. In the real world, it was a glorious astronomical treat that had folks all over the country putting on special glasses and gazing up in wonder. In the champions universe (or at least this version of it), it left a gift and a problem in the form of an entire city that just materialized out of nowhere. It hugged the existing topography as if it had been molded to it, streets and buildlings galore- and no one living in them. It was a ghost city, with fully furnished homes, businesses, hospitals, police stations and more. Well, human nature being what it is, even before the United States government could really react (And indeed, some higher up dismissed it as a hoax right off), what happened as the biggest rush to 'free land' since the Sooners of Oklahoma. Squatters of all economic strata swooped in to call dibs on a spot (sometimes more than one) and con men flourished as they sold 'deeds and titles' to the gullible and/or the desperate. With zero employment opportunities at first, you would think that would discourage people, but some folks took to the challenge and set up shop even quicker than they set up homes. After all, if you stumble onto an empty restaurant and happen to know how to cook, suddenly you can be your own boss- and the other new comers had to eat too. With a few neighborhood exceptions, the transition was pretty chaotic, and where there is chaos, there is often crime and violence. Some say that this was encouraged by folks behind the scenes. When the first supervillain tried to claim it as personal fief? It became a Primus matter. Primus came in along with scientific experts and the National Guard's assistance. Order was restored (Some say with the help of certain superheroes), though no politician wanted to call that order 'Martial Law', a few others certainly did. There was talk of evacuating the entire city of all civilians period, but the genie was out of the bottle and for every politician wanting to play this cautiously there seemed to be another talking about how the great American Pioneer spirit had a new outlet. Eclipse City was open and here to stay, or so it seems. It's been nearly a year since then, a rather generous land grant situation arose out of it, and the population is indeed city worthy. After the neglect to Puerto Rico, many Puerto RIcans flooded in creating an almost instant ethnic community. Several corporations flexed their muscle trying to seize territory, only to be stymied when several court rulings went to the original owners of the land (Even if nothing was on it before) and the earliest squatters who could prove their residency. The State governor had assigned a Mayor Pro Tem, but already there are cries for official elections. And, that, folks, if you've been so kind as to read that wall of text, is what I've got so far. I've been missing the old me lately, the polling me, the creative but not so creative I won't milk other forumites for ideas and opinions me. So help me make Eclipse City by voting, and then posting some reasons for why you voted the way you did.
I'm thinking of starting a new campaign for some friends. One aspect that is appealing is a city with no apparent superhero heritage at all. Yes, that can restrict the players a bit in the legacy department (Though they can still play an ex side kick now finding a city of his own or some such) but I was thinking it might be cool to have the public of the city being relatively unjaded when it came to meeting people with true superpowers. Or maybe said public is used to it, but only from villainous sorts and thus alturistic empowered types will confuse them ("Here's my wallet..wait, you're helping me??"). Some ideas that come to mind: 1) Boom Town- The city is a modern day boom town, having gone from small city (or smaller) to sizable draw for one reason or anothe very recently and very rapidly. Maybe it's become the next silicon valley, maybe a natural resource was found nearby and its almost a modern day 'gold rush'. Maybe it's just where the jobs are in a time of economic trouble elsewhere. With this sudden growth, there is also new crimes, with the sudden wealth, there are people wanting to steal that wealth and take it for themselves. Enter the need for superheroes to settle. Maybe they're natives who have had origins there and realize their city needs them to stick around instead of heading to NYC or the other 'usual hero grounds'. Maybe the city government has put out word that any super team moving in would have the mayor's support. The Locals might feel superheroes really put them on the map like they deserve, or they might mutter 'There goes the neighborhood". If supervillains arrive first, then the heroes probably can't show up quickly enough in the mind of some here. 2) The Deal Undone- I should add this idea is totally stolen from a great guy name of Winterhawk. He used the concept for Vegas very well. The idea is that sometime in the city's past, an odd 'no mask' agreement came up between various powers that be. Any supervillains OR Superheroes seemed to be sublty, and covertly redirected or even encouraged to go elsewhere. Organzied crime groups agreed not to hire nor try to create powered types with each other. The government might have decided heroes would break that odd 'no paranormals' peace. Maybe some old superheroes themselves helped set it up for reasons unknown. Now, however, the deal is broken, the genie is out of the bottle...etc. With the status quo gone, it might be interesting to see if EVERY crime group decided it wanted to get the jump on its rivals by hiring their super powered muscle...but how do you keep the guys loyal? 3) The Device Broken- Up to now, this city has had a few 'masked men' in its history but none exhibited true super powers. The reason? Powers just didn't work here. Supers, good and bad, found their powers rapidly weakening within a few days of coming into the city. Maybe it even affected magic and tech of a certain level. The town might have become something of a hidey hole for non powered individuals who had made enemies of supers elsewhere. Now, however, the McGuffin has been broken (Or turned off, or stolen, or whatever) and superpowers are possible. Indeed, depending on the nature of the device and how it worked, it's possible orgins will be happening all over the place as the "Dam has broken" allowing a flood of origin causing energies have quite the excess to clear out. However colorful they are, the criminals of the city find themselves now facing folks with REAL powers. However smug the police department was, they find themselves unprepared for supervillains who have enough raw power to give the likes of PRIMUS trouble. The McGuffin could be forgotten after this, or could become a recurring plot seed. After all, some folks are going to miss 'the good ole days' and if they can fix the device...dot dot dot. 4) Forgotten History - The city actually DID have superheroes (and supervillains) at one time. A golden (or dark) age of wonder (or terror). Too bad no one knows about it. They've been erased from thie history books. Folks who should be old enough to remember, don't. Should superheroes appear, folks will act like it's a brand new experience for them though other than that, it may vary "About time" or "What are THEY doing here?". Is magic at work? Some alien device? Is it a grand conspiracy by the government, villains, or the heroes themselves? Regardless, eventually the PCs may find signs that there were once heroes here who fought for right, bleed for others, and maybe even died protecting a city that no longer knows they ever where. In a way, this city violates some of the basic premise as it DID have heroes, but it still might give a similar vibe at first. 5) Instant City - The city has never had superheroes because the city has only recently appeared. Perhaps, in 2012 when folks were waiting to see if the Mayans were right, a complete modern city with almost everything you could want just appeared... but it had NO people: None, nada, zip. Maybe an old superhero with vast powers and resources decided it was time to leave the planet (or maybe he only had a month to live, whatever) and assembled a city with a speed that would be impossible for just about anyone else leaving it as a gift to the country (Or as a way to thumb his nose at the government which had told him to stop upsetting the status quo). Then said hero left. However it got here, there is now a perfectly usuable city and while authorities might have tried to keep people out, lawsuits and persistence would eventually have a population playing 'Sooner' and moving in period. And they're coming in by the thousands! In the chaos of the rush, superheroes are going to be needed, because some villains plan to be preying on these modern pioneers. The idea of a city coming out of nowhere has been mentioned on these very boards, but I don't recall the name to give credit to (Very sorry). One advantage to this is it allows me as a GM to put almost any type of population I want if I can even remotely rationalize it. Maybe a large chunk of the town will be third world refugees, another a company trying to get a monopoly on the city, and then we throw in a think tank of scientists to study the city in question. 6) Villain Ville - The city in question has had people with powers, high tech, and colorful costumes for a long time now. Unfortunately, about 90% of them have been supervillains. Maybe a big hitter on par with Dr. Destroyer took over it decades ago, opened it to other criminals, and the government and heroes alike failed to stop it again and again. Maybe the villains just showed an uncanny knack for organizing? Maybe Corrupt politicians were heavily invested in supporting the villains covertly and made laws that made it almost impossible to be a superpowered vigilante? Maybe the villains weren't obvious about owning the town. Regardless, just a few months ago, a great coalition of superheroes from over a dozen super teams stormed the city, took out the bad guys, and cleared the place up. Both authorities and superheroes alike know that it won't last. Someone always tries to fill a power vacuum. The only solution? A group of heroes needs to stick around and make what was a villain haven a place where justice can continue to prevail. ------------ And there are possibly others I didn't think of , feel free to share. And just because I can, I'm putting up a poll asking folks which city without superheroes idea they'd like to play in.