Let's create a superhero setting!!!:

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76 resetlocksley15th Nov 2012 11:54:18 AM from Alone in the dark , Relationship Status: Only knew I loved her when I let her go
Shut up!
We could just call it "Impact." It works on two levels, since it's not just about the physical impact of the object crashing into earth, but also about the ramifications (or impact) of the event on humanity. Just a thought.
Fear is a superpower.
Ave Imperator
[up][up][up] Yeah, on second thought I was thinking more from the total collapse of the US premise than the US in decline premise. In regards to that, I could see the US in 205X being somewhat similar to modern day Russia with an extra serving of corporatism; a de facto Plutocracy perhaps?
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78 Sijo15th Nov 2012 04:33:11 PM from Puerto Rico
Here's a character idea I have for the setting:

Simon Jones (tentative name): An American male in his 30s, and a Super with (classic) telekinesis of average power level. He discovered his powers as a child but stopped using them openly after being called a freak. Even if Supers are more tolerated today, he still considers it to his advantage if the minimum number of people possible knows about them.

Growing up, he considered becoming a superhero, as he idolized some. But he eventually discovered that the world is controlled by shadowy societies and corrupt governments and became very disappointed. So he became a mercenary instead, selling his services for money. But he's a "merc with a conscience." He might be willing to do illegal things, but he'll never do anything blatantly immoral, like kill people. More often than not, he ends up defending innocent people either because he was hired to or because he just couldn't stand around and watch an abuse.

More details as the setting expands. For example, if Ocean City is open to the public, he might live there.
Ave Imperator
[up] On that topic, do we really need to have Thou Shalt Not Kill in effect for most characters? I've always considered it to be somewhat hypocritical that superheroes in most comics support governments whose military and/or police kill on a regular basis, which is to say every government in the world.

I'd think most supers employed by the military would be Would Not Shoot a Civilian or Never Hurt an Innocent types tbh.

edited 15th Nov '12 4:47:37 PM by Archereon

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80 Sijo15th Nov 2012 04:49:05 PM from Puerto Rico
I wouldn't say that most heroes have such a code so much that most human beings find murder so horrible that they would only kill in desperate situations. This applies in real life too.

On another topic: another thing that, I feel, really helps projects like these are visual images. A picture is worth a thousand words indeed! You don't even need to draw them yourself, just google and link something up. For example, this could be Ocean City: [1]

edited 15th Nov '12 4:49:47 PM by Sijo

Ave Imperator
There's a difference between killing a human being and murder; the latter is the legally unjustified killing of a human being, and not all examples of the former are examples of the latter.

Nice picture by the way. Did you like the idea of combining the "city built up around an orbital elevator's anchor point" and privately owned (probably by a Mega Corp.) city in the ocean?

edited 15th Nov '12 5:01:23 PM by Archereon

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82 Sijo15th Nov 2012 06:09:48 PM from Puerto Rico
Yes, it makes the concept even more particular to the setting. We could even call it "Anchor City".

(Oh and I agree re: killing and murder. Still, to many people it's the same. Even if you approve of say, the Death Penalty, could YOU kill a person with your own hands? It takes a degree of, shall we say, hardness of soul to do it. The average person doesn't have it.)
83 Sijo15th Nov 2012 07:14:42 PM from Puerto Rico
A few more images:

The impact! [1]

Empowering debris rains: [2]

The Space Elevator: [3]

edited 15th Nov '12 8:11:43 PM by Sijo

I had an idea for a character and possibly a story:

Asofalinda is an Mbuti Pygmy, currently 25 years old. 12 years ago, she and her hunter-gatherer band lived in the Ituri Forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite her age, Asofalinda was greatly respected because of her ability to predict the future. Then, a Bantu Nationalist party took control of the government and began genocide against the Mbuti, ultimately killing 15,000. Thanks to her powers, her band was able to evade the death squads for a time, but eventually they were captured and executed.

Asofalinda escaped her captors and eventually found a faction leftist revolutionaries who agreed to take her in in exchange for services against the government. Thanks in part to Asofalinda, the faction successfully toppled the Government 3 years later. The new government, in recognition of her efforts, gave her the option of returning to Mbuti. However, since her band had been complete annihilated, she instead opted to join the Special Police in Kinsasha, using her special powers in service of justice.

Asofalinda is a very friendly, extroverted person, she enjoys meeting new people and learning about them. However, she doesn't seem to desire close friendship, keeping everyone at distance, and is also quite melancholy and fatalistic. She is not very energetic and appears to be very tired to those who meet her. Asofalinda's view of justice is influenced by her upbringing in an egalitarian hunter gatherer society, and it often clashes with the views of her superiors. Because of this, she sometimes withholds, modifies, or even fabricates predictions, much to chagrin of her superiors in the Special Police.

Here's the story idea:

Dr. Lisa Sampson, a Canadian Psychologist specializing in mental disorders among Pychics, is researching a condition endemic among Seer-type Psychics known as "The Longveiw", which includes symptoms such as emotional distancing, nightmares, insomnia, depression, and a fatalistic worldview. He comes to Kinsasha to observe Asofalida in hopes of discovering the cause of the disorder. At the same time, Asofalinda predicts the assassination of several prominent politicians, and the Special Police set out to investigate. As the investigation proceeds, it becomes increasingly clear that murders are being planned by someone within the Government.

Oh, I should mention that the Special Police are a group of Congolese Supers under the control of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

I hope this made sense and didn't contradict anything in the premise.
85 nrjxll15th Nov 2012 09:07:00 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
On the subject of Thou Shalt Not Kill: the thing with most superheroes is that killing someone "in the line of duty" is going to be a lot more possible for them than "conventional" law enforcement simply because of superpowers. The guy with Super Strength putting someone down with a punch could easily break his neck, for instance.

Therefore, I'd like to try something of a reconstruction here: making the "code" less about NO KILLING NO KILLING NO NOT EVEN THEN (BUT BEATING SEVERELY IS OKAY) and more about avoiding excessive force. There's no need to for a Flying Brick to unleash the full power set on street thugs. This would also eliminate silly situations where mooks are repeatedly tossed about like ragdolls or blown up only to be declared "unconscious".

Also, I'm going to raise the question of aliens again, since (at least to me) it's really feeling like a
[up] I agree, since many Supers will be in the employ of the government they will probably follow the same rules as the police or the military in that regard.
87 Sijo16th Nov 2012 05:14:05 AM from Puerto Rico
[up][up][up]Very interesting concept, Precog characters in general are rare and Mbuti ones, even more. The plotline for her also has many possibilities for explorations, from the politics of Africa to the nature of fate.

edited 16th Nov '12 5:15:28 AM by Sijo

Ave Imperator
So what's the next step?

I'm current debating where one of my characters should be from. The first is English, but I'd rather have the second not be from the "usual" places.
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[up] Well, we could elaborate more on the back story, although we might just want to fill in the details with actual stories.

As for making a character from an unusual place, a Native American super could be interesting if you do the requisite research into reservation life, Indian history, and possibly Native religion.

edited 18th Nov '12 8:26:50 PM by JudeDismas

90 Sijo19th Nov 2012 04:33:26 AM from Puerto Rico
I'd enjoy seeing characters from various nationalities, but also remembering that they live in modern times now eg. the Native American character doesn't have to be from a reservation.
Ave Imperator
I was actually thinking of making this character from Puerto Rico or maybe Brazil.

edited 19th Nov '12 9:42:59 AM by Archereon

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92 Sijo19th Nov 2012 02:08:56 PM from Puerto Rico
Heh, Puerto Rico might not even be an independent nation by the 2050's. At least if half the people here have their way, since they want to be the 51th United State. (I've been toying with that idea for a fic myself. Maybe I could set it here, and have Supers involved in a separatist terrorist plot.)
Ave Imperator
That makes plenty of sense. That said, this character's ancestry isn't especially important, though I'd rather have a fair degree of diversity in my cast. Regardless, I'm probaby going to make this character American, because of Write What You Know.
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Perhaps Archereon should write a prologue or a some sort of story to start off with, so the rest of us can get a feel for things.
Ave Imperator
Maybe we should go back to what that guy said about the aliens. Personally, who created the "object" and the reason it ended up on Earth should be kept ambiguous.

That said, there should definitely be a wide range of in universe theories, ranging from speculation that the object may be analogous to the Monolith from 2001: A Space Oddysey to conspiracy theorists who think it wasn't alien at all.

Of course, anything that confirms the existence of extraterrestrial intelligences is going to have huge societal impacts, particularly in regards to religions which disallow the existence of aliens.
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96 Sijo21st Nov 2012 07:03:19 AM from Puerto Rico
Most people will probably believe in aliens since otherwise, where did that supertechnology come from? It isn't likely to have been developed secretly on Earth. It COULD be an overly complicated hoax (ala Watchmen's) but even if it is, most people would not treat it that way.

Long story short, most people on Earth, super or otherwise, are now waiting for the UFOs to arrive, and guessing/getting ready/praying for when they do.

My personal theory? It really was aliens, but it wasn't intentional, it was an accident of some kind and now they don't know what they should do about it, and are in "wait and see" mode.

edited 21st Nov '12 7:04:37 AM by Sijo

97 SKJAM21st Nov 2012 07:13:17 AM , Relationship Status: Baby don't hurt me!
Proposed character:

Mister Teak: Jerry Cross, born Jerome Chorostowski, was a struggling young actor at the time of Impact. A tall, strongly built fellow, good-looking in a square-jawed sort of way, Jerry was quite photogenic. His weakness as an actor was sometimes finding it hard to get through complicated dialogue without fumbling in the middle, so he soon found himself typecast as Dumb Muscle characters.

Shortly after the Impact, Jerry began having headaches. This proved to be his emerging telekinetic powers. He kept them hidden as best he could while getting them under control—his apartment was a wreck for a few days.

After two weeks and much improvement, Jerry noticed a news report of a nearby building having caught on fire, with people trapped on the upper stories. He suddenly realized what these powers were meant for. He cobbled together an outfit from leftover costumes, including a mask, and flew off to see if he could help.

Jerry was able to save several people from the fire, then found himself confronted with a flash mob taking his picture and asking who he was. Stumbling over his prepared speech, Jerry managed to name himself "Mister Teak" according to the media.

While that wasn't exactly the name he'd planned on, Jerry quickly trademarked the Mr. Teak name, got a better costume, and launched a career as a superhero/professional celebrity. Mr. Teak has mostly concentrated on helping out with disaster relief and rescue work, though he has cooperated with the police numerous times at their request. (And if he sees someone committing a crime right in front of him, he won't hesitate to stop it.)

Mister Teak is one of the world's most powerful telekinetics, possessing psychokinesis (the ability to move objects with his mind). forcefields, flight and various minor tricks. He's skilled enough to thread a needle at fifty feet. In addition, over the years Jerry has become a qualified paramedic and trained with firefighters, rescue workers and other professionals to be the best superhero he can be. While he possesses no telepathic abilities, he's worked with telepaths to develop mental shields so he cannot be so easily controlled.

Some thirty years on, Mister Teak is in very good shape for a man in his fifties, but is beginning to slow down. He does more ribbon-cutting and charity work than superheroics these days. While Mister Teak (tm) Enterprises is still profitable, he long since reached a level of wealth he felt comfortable with, so most of the money goes to worthy causes. Mister Teak drinks very seldom, and gave up recreational drugs when he became a superhero. ("Not that I have anything against weed, but with my powers, I can't be flying around impaired.")

Mr. Teak's reputation is good, especially with people over forty, but some of the newer supers see him as a dinosaur and stuffy grandpa figure.
Raven Wilder
Nice character outline. Good idea to have a sort of old guard superhero in place.
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99 Sijo23rd Nov 2012 06:46:40 AM from Puerto Rico
I think the proposed characters play off each other well. Mister TK could be a hero Simon looked up to. Simon and DC could find themselves hired for the same case, which might involve the research done on Lucid, etc.
Ave Imperator
Here's the character concept I had in mind (and the summary of her origin story):

Marisa Vaz Silva was a Brazillian-American nanotech researcher employed by one of the world's leading biotech corporations. Aside from an outdated computational implant she'd recieved for a graduation present, she was a completely baseline human, having come from a background to poor to afford the extensive genetic, bionic, and cybernetic augmentations that is virtually universal among modern America's upper class

Aside from a long-since outdated computational implant she'd recieved for a graduation present, she was a completely baseline human, having come from a background to poor to afford the extensive genetic, bionic, and cybernetic augmentations that is virtually universal among modern America's upper class, nor even the more modest enhancements found among the nation's middle class. In a nation where many employers don't even consider unenhanced applicants and social advancement has become virtually unheard of, Marisa stood out as one of the very few exceptions to those trends, having managed to attend an acredited University and entirely through scholarships, loans, and what little money should could make through work-study programs. Near the end of her undergraduate years, Marisa was offered a grant by her future employer, and eagerly accepted.

After completing her desired graduate program, Marisa was almost immediately put to work along with nearly 30 other junior researchers that had been hired alongside her as part of an initiative to expand into the burgeoning nanorobotics/bioncs industry. The first 14 months of her career were largely uneventful, and had the company not acquired a peculiar piece of xenotech under vague circumstances.

The recovered xenotech wasn't especially impressive on first sight; to a casual observer it would look like nothing more than a sphere of shiny metal which, on closer inspection, would appear almost fluid. However, from the teams initial studies, the object actually consisted of a mass of inert nanobots suspended in fluid. For several weeks, various attempts were made to activate the device to no avail. What happened next is a blur to Marisa, and the next thing she remembers is waking up face down in a pool of liquid approximately the color and consistency of mercury.

Strangely enough, she could "feel" the pool as if it were part of her own body, and with a bit of effort, she was able to move the liquid as one might move a limb. Marisa tried to stand up, only to realize that her legs were gone, and that what remained were stubs that appeared to be composed of the same metallic liquid as the pool on the floor. Strangely enough, she felt no pain, and in fact, it almost felt like her legs were still there, and in a sense, they were. Intuitively, she was able to shape the metallic pool into a pair of legs identical to her own.

Getting to her newly reformed feet, Marisa noticed something was very, very wrong; Everyone else in the room was dead, and most of the corpses were mutilated beyond recognition. Marisa tried to hold back the urge to vomit, but failed, and what came out was more of the silvery liquid from before.

She made her way to the lab's exit only to find a group of soldiers in unmarked black Power Armor preparing to breach the facility. She approached them to ask for help, only to be met by a hail of high explosive armor piercing rounds. The bullets went straight through her, splattering her innards all over the floor of the building, yet she didn't die.

edited 25th Nov '12 10:44:33 AM by Archereon

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