Strangers

It’s been a long time since my last post; Nothing much happened here, one of the player gave birth to a beautiful little girl in the last week or so. That meant placing our Night’s Black Agents game on ice for the time being. The new baby put two of the agents down, while the mom and dad nurse their “injuries”, we will start a DramaSystem (Hillfolk being the first implementation) game.

Naturally, we will create our own setting based on the following ideas.  We will merge the Mutant City Blues setting with the ideas created by Matt Forbeck’s in his “Brave New World” series. Other sources of inspiration will include the Marvel’s Civil War series, Watchmen by Alan Moore  / Dave Gibbons and superheroes stories in general.

 


 

Strangers – A DramaSystem Setting

Nutshell

Newly heightened humans come to grip with their powers in an era of social upheaval, during the height of the cold war (.. – 1962).

Setting

Six months after a flu pandemic touched 1% of the world population, people start exhibiting strange new powers. While the United States and USSR battle for global domination in foreign territories, rights activists try to rock the foundation of the home country. Will the arrival of these newly heightened humans bring the world closer to World War 3 or will it spark a new golden age for humanity.

Sources

  • X-Men (Marvel/DC)
  • Brave New World books – Matt Forbeck’s
  • Watchmen – Alan Moore / Dave Gibbons
  • Heroes (Series)
  • Kick-Ass (Movie)

Characters

  • The Veteran – The Comedian
    • You have seen it all, as an old military or police officer. if only the world could stay as it was. If it worked for so long it’s probably because rules were in place and good people took care of it. You were probable one of those people, you are still one of those people. The kids with the long hair call you Big Brother or the Man. They can go back to smoking their drugs and dreaming about freedom, you know the horrors of the world. You know that your are their only chance, even if they refuse to see it. You fear change above all, where will your place be when you no longer recognize the world.
  • The Loner – Wolverine
    • You never asked for these powers, you will always try to walk away from it all. But your capacity for self-hatred only means that you comes back for more punishment. Unable to form long term relationship, they often end in tears and sometimes blood. You so wanted a normal life, but these powers put an end to that dream. you are a freak, and nobody should get to know the real you, less they get hurt.
  • The GeekBeast, Ironman, Mister Fantastic, Doctor Manhattan
    • Now that you can work on these ideas without interruption, you know you will come up with the solution to whatever got you going in the first place. The sickness that killed Aunt Julie or the accident that made you the monster you became. You despise being interrupted and will take any measure to be able to work unhindered, even if it means alienating people around you.
  • The Golden BoyCyclops
    • You got these cool powers, no longer just somebody, you are it. You know you will do great things, and it even works, at least most if the times. You will show the world, and the world will recognize you as a great person. You will accomplish great things, failure is no longer an option. They will remember your great deeds.
  • The Rebel – Ironman
    • Why do it the way they want me to do it. you  knows that you have to shakes things up to make change happen. People in power never understand when you say no, they think you difficult, even opposing. In truth, you fear becoming a tool for big brother. You are sometimes perceived as an anarchist or something to control and you despise this more than anything. You do everything for a sense of hedonistic pride.
  • The Caregiver – Invisible Woman
    • Caring for those around you, even if they don’t need or want your help. You can’t stop yourself, more often than not your help did good. Some of the stronger ones resent you for being the one who saved them. They will always try to make it up to you, but you know who holds the true power.
  • The OutsiderThor, Spawn
    • What the hell are you doing here, this is not your fight. Someone or something sent you here and expect you to complete the task. You probably don’t want to, but if that is the only way to get home, you’ll do it. Your goals are often at odds with the natives, but in the end your desire to go home, should be enough to break your will. And that might be your only fear.
  • The Fearless LeaderCapt. America, The Patriot
    • By God, you’ll take care of the situation and show the world that this is a positive event. People will be made to understand that what happened here is the next step in human evolution and that under your guise it will be better than before. People resisting this change are social dinosaurs, their opinions are of no interest. With your leadership skills you are able to make people bend to your will, even if sometimes you doubt your own motivations.
  • The PlayboyHuman Torch, Ironman
    • As long as you looks good doing it, you don’t care much about the consequences of your acts. You have powers now, why should you refrain from using them. You probably drove a red car before the Event. Now you  just flies around. You don’t really want power or control, you only want to be famous. Every second you spend out of the limelight is a step closer to the end of your 15 minutes.
  • The Kid – Robin, Spiderman
    • Holy Shit! Holy Shit! Holy Shit! That’s so awesome, your no longer getting beat up in school by the bullies who now seem so irrelevant. Initially you tried to impress everybody around by trying to emulate the bullies themselves, until you realized that you are still a kid. You do not know who you really are anymore, you never knew either. Before you were a social pariah that could not do anything about it, now you are still alone, people are afraid of you.
  • The Risk Taker – Daredevil, 
    • You are an addict, if you could you would not stop. You have always been seen as a weakling or an handicap but when you don the mask you exhibit powers beyond your wildest dreams. Saner man Will you be able to resist being absorbed by your alter-ego? Will be able to resist pushing out friends and family who only fear for your safety.
  • The Player – Gambit
    • This is only a game isn’t it? And you’ll play it as long as you got a chance to make a profit. You are the ultimate profiteer, creating opportunities out of thin air. All those other fools are stuck in the same game you are, but only you realize it for what it is – and that is the greatest advantage you can ask for. You know one day you will be put in front of the greatest prize of them all, will you go all-in or will you chicken out and become one of the losers?
  • The Strategist – Xavier

Themes

  • Patriotism
  • Individualism
  • Xenophobia / Racism
  • Fear
  • Alter Ego
  • Big Brother
  • Golden Age
  • Moral choices
  • Security vs Freedom
  • Evolution
  • Heightened Rights vs. Human Rights

Tightening the Screws

  •  A member of congress un/sympathetic to the cause is assassinated.
  • Government declares martial law in answer to troubles between heightened groups and “Normals”
  • Right-Wing groups propose regulations to limit the rights of Heightened Humans.
  • U.S. Government approves Article 18 (Heightened Statute Limitation) and proposes constitutional amendment to declare Heightened Individuals as dangerous elements of the population
  • Doctor Emerald Quade from the Berkeley University biological research group announces that he can start a project to map the heightened powers.
  • USSR sends its navy to Cuba – baiting the U.S. in open war.
  • Canada offers immunity to all Heightened Individuals refusing mandatory registration.
  • Government declares a ban on all costumed heroes, arresting anyone who opposes the measure.
  • Minority groups demand equal access to state resources and equal treatment. Their demands are lost in the Heightened crisis, some frustration grows and some group resort to in-state terrorism to make their demands.
  • Unable to control the newly heightened population of prisons and insane asylum the government added the unrestrained use of heightened powers to the United State Criminal Code as a Capital Offense.
  • The first child born from declared heightened is due to be born in Detroit this week. Police and the military are on high alert. Heightened advocacy groups and anti-heightened opposition organizations have declared that they will show up at the event.
  • Following the death of hundreds in the destruction of the Sears tower, the city of Chicago has asked the state legislature and Federal government to limit the rights of heightened. Meanwhile the city increased its statute suspending the “Citizen Arrest” law.
  • The Catholic Church declared that until it can determine if the advent of powers is the work of the Devil, it will refuse asylum to the heightened. This decision could split the Church.
  • The flu was not a natural occurrence, upon further studies from the CDC in Atlanta it was found to be an advanced bio-engineered virus. The research team who made the discovery is unable/unwilling to say where this type of compound could have been created.
  • New powers unlisted on the Quade diagram have started to appear. The press hungry for news have started relaying the opinion of conspiracy theorist from all over the United State saying that the Quade diagram was the unclassified version of  a much larger web of powers. The New York Times even prints an interview with Doctor Herbert, once research assistant to Doctor Quade. He explains that  …

Additional Elements

Using the 60s as a backdrop, this setting is a (game) study in the road map to fascism. Given a traumatic event would the U.S. have clamped down harder and closed its frontiers. Refusing equal rights to some groups based on the fear of the majority that their world was crumbling. Would those groups have resorted to stronger actions to make their demand clear. This is still a game, please just have fun.

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