Roleplay: Global Guardians PBEM Universe
From May of 1994 to September of 2006, the Global Guardians PBEM Universe was the largest and most active privately-owned Shared Universe Play-By-Email
setting on the internet, in any genre of Roleplaying Game. It used the Champions
rules to present multiple campaigns featuring Comic Book superhero roleplaying
. At its height, the setting was host to nearly forty separate campaigns, all interacting in the same background universe, with almost three hundred active and semi-active players. Over the course of the setting's history, it featured almost sixty different campaigns (most of which lasted no more than a year), and nearly a thousand different players (very few of whom managed to continue through the entire history of the setting).
The background universe in which the campaigns were set was the creation of Jack Butler (the creator of the legendary Evil Overlord List
), who originally conceived of the setting for his private Champions
campaign in the early 1990s. Butler kept a tight rein on new characters, information, and concepts introduced into the Global Guardians Universe, and for the most part this adherence to a single "vision" is credited for the depth and detail of the setting. It is also the source of the most frequent criticism of the campaigns set there: Jack Butler was frequently labeled a control freak with dominance issues when it came to "his baby", and he did not allow dissenters to do as they chose if what they chose went against his central vision for the games' setting.
The Global Guardians PBEM Universe stuck faithfully to most Comic Book
Tropes, and was intended to be a "Four Color setting with Modern Sensibilities" (basically Bronze Age
). The Iron Age
and vigilantes were generally discouraged (except for a specific, single-player campaign that featured such), and player-controlled villains
were likewise banned (again, except for a specific campaign that featured a Suicide Squad
-style team of convicted criminals who fought crime to earn time off of their sentences).The titular team of Global Guardians were:Former or past members of the Global Guardians included:
In addition to playing in PBEM campaigns, players were also encouraged to write Fan Fiction
about their characters (and other characters), as well as "homework" projects like writing a "Playboy's Twenty Questions
" interview with their characters, and so on.
The Global Guardians PBEM Universe provided examples of: