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There are now several superhero-flavored manga and anime that we can borrow ideas from; My Hero Academia is one that seems especially useful. World background: Similar to Earth until about five generations ago, when people started being born with "quirks", starting with a glowing baby in China. As far as science can tell, this is the next step in human evolution, and about 80% of the population now has quirks. Most quirks are relatively minor like "can pull small objects within about a meter to one's hand" or "can breathe flame equivalent to a small candle." But there are people with much, much more impressive powers, such as invisibility or turning sweat into nitroglycerin. People who feel compelled to commit crimes use their quirks for them, necessitating the rise of the professional licensed superhero. Only licensed superheroes can fight powered criminals; vigilantism is against the law. To get a license, it helps to have gotten proper training, so many prospective heroes attend schools that offer hero training. The "badass normal" is not a thing in this setting; all superheroes and villains are what would usually be called mutants. Since most people have a relatively narrowly defined quirk, many heroes carry special gear to cover their weak areas, but there are no heroes that rely on equipment alone. Most people with quirks develop them around age four, and late bloomers are extremely rare. An x-ray of the foot can confirm, as all people with quirks have one less joint in their little toes. The majority of people with quirks whose parents have quirks inherit some version of either parent's quirk, or a combination of same. Some animals have quirks; we have not yet had an explanation of this. Despite the many changes, Japanese society is very similar to the real life one. There were at least two films in the Alien series, and H.R. Giger still did the monster designs. Due to the many physical alteration quirks, personal appearance standards have shifted--it's rare for Distinctive Features to evoke an Extreme reaction, and someone with a bird head suffers little or no hassle about it. The primary focus of the series is on a class of potential superheroes, so most of these ideas will be suitable for Teen Champions.
One of the common tropes of the superhero genre is the conceit that alternate universes exist(e.g., the 52 universes in DC, the Ultimate universe in Marvel, the Champions in 3D book for Hero System, et al). Most often this is invoked with a visit by heroes to an "alternate Earth", a place where history was altered or there's just something different about this version of our planet. I thought it would be fun to start a thread where people can discuss their own alternate Earths that they have used in a campaign, and/or brainstorm new ideas for alternate Earths that could be fun to explore. One of the things I've thought about are naming conventions. One can simply go with a numbering system; e.g., Earth-1, Earth-2, etc. Or a letter-based system, Earth-A, Earth-B, etc. Another option is using a descriptor--Marvel Earth, Apocalypse Earth, Dinosaur Earth, etc. If one uses letters and begins to run out of letters, then you could shift to the old Greek alphabet--Earth-Z, Earth-Alpha, Earth-Beta, etc. OR even change from "Earth" to "Terra" or "Gaia". The alt Earths can be serious, silly, horrifying, overpowered, underpowered, titillating, or tedious. I'll start with a couple: Earth-K: On a certain distant planet orbiting a red sun, the high council took the warnings of a certain scientist very seriously, and instead of the scientist only being able to launch an escape rocket carrying his newborn child, the entire population of the doomed planet was able to escape, thanks to a crash building program. Their destination? Earth. When they arrived there was considerable friction with the native population, but eventually most of these issues were resolved. Intermarriage between the races occurred, and while the offspring were not as powerful as their alien parent, they were nonetheless blessed with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Terra Upsilon--a world ruled by a Kleptocracy. The criminals and supervillains are essentially running the show. What heroes exist are either imprisoned or live in hiding. Most of the "real Earth's" heroes are villains in this world, and some of the villains are heroes here. I look forward to reading everyone's contribution.