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Let's create a superhero setting!!!:

 101 Sijo, Sun, 25th Nov '12 1:27:10 PM from Puerto Rico
Ohh, I like it. Fits in well with the conspiracy themes of the setting. Assuming Maria goes on the run, she could end up meeting any of our other characters.

Also, the above gave me another idea for the setting: the use of the term "norm" for people who have no augmentations, natural or artificial. Usually this is because they don't want any, and usually they are seen as impractical, or even derided (some people using Norm as an insult.) The reasons for being a norm can vary, from having something in your body that doesn't react well with alterations to just being morally opposed to it.
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 102 Archereon, Sun, 25th Nov '12 7:40:06 PM from Everywhere.
Ave Imperator
Yeah, just getting back to this topic. To begin, I didn't finish typing that up but accidentally submitted it anyway. Now to get back to that origin story...(Here's part 2; it's kinda abridged obviously, and stripped of dialogue and names besides Marisa's to keep it as "open" as possible)

In fact, she didn't even feel pain, just a slightly unsettling sensation as the rounds tore through her chest and exploded into a shower of shrapnel against the far wall. As the soldiers paused to reload their weapons, Marisa quickly glanced over her shoulder. Rather than the splatter of blood and pulverized entrails she expected, there was a long trail of the same silvery liquid she'd seen earlier, and with a bit of effort, she could tell where each and every piece of it was supposed to go. The metallic liquid behind her surged forward and climbed up her body into the gaping hole in her chest, mending the wound in the blink of an eye.

Marisa grinned at the dumbstruck soldiers, and surged forward, batting the soldiers between her and the door aside with arms formed into hundred kilogram metallic clubs, and was outside before their comrades could resume firing. While they made an attempt to pursue her, Marisa found she had no trouble outrunning, and in fact, she was able to . Once she was confident that she'd lost her pursuers, Marisa ducked into a public library, hastily greeted a librarian she recognized, and took a seat on the far side of the building, away from any windows, to gather her thoughts.

edited 25th Nov '12 8:00:15 PM by Archereon

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 103 Sijo, Sun, 25th Nov '12 7:53:14 PM from Puerto Rico
So basically, she's the T1000 with a human consciousness absorbed? Interesting. I wonder how that happened, especially since Maria herself doesn't recall it. Also, presumably the company behind the project is now after her, and she's on the run. This has story possibilities as I mentioned above.
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 104 Archereon, Sun, 25th Nov '12 8:02:49 PM from Everywhere.
Ave Imperator
[up] The T-1000 was definitely one of the inspirations for this idea, as well as Alex Mercer from Prototype (She's not nearly that powerful, though she might be comparably hard to kill), Clayface from Batman, and Inque from Batman Beyond.

To be more specific and OOC about her powers, Marisa was essentially converted into a mass of networked nanobots (her consciousness and memories being distributed between the entire network, and a great deal of redundancy preventing anything besides the destruction of the majority of the nanites from damaging either of those).

She has strength and speed far superior to that of any ordinary human, and can alter her shape and consistency at will. With some effort, she is able to alter her own features to imitate that of any human or comparably sized living bei though the facade is barely more than skin deep; her skin temperature is well below that of an ordinary human, an x-ray won't show bones, and she bleeds the silver colored suspension fluid produced by the nanites composing her.

Of course, her most significant power is the one that was demonstrated in the abridged origin story; she has a Healing Factor that makes her virtually immune to physical attacks; lower caliber non-armor-piercing bullets and conventional knives will simply bounce off her body, and any attack that successfully penetrates her skin will heal almost immediately. At best, dismembering or pulverizing her will slow her down.

That said, she's somewhat vulnerable to extremely powerful acids and bases, strong electrical currents, and flash-freezing. She also still needs to breathe (though she can do so through any exposed skin, and can "hold her breath" for a long time), and must gain energy somehow, usually through eating

edited 25th Nov '12 8:52:52 PM by Archereon

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 105 Kevlar, Sun, 25th Nov '12 8:38:54 PM from British Columbia
I'd like to participate in such a thing, despite (or perhaps because of) never being much into comic books. I agree with the majority of what's been said too, such as permanent death and a serious setting that doesn't take itself too seriously.

That said, I think the most obvious (but unmentioned) way to power the floating city (which I support as basically an expanded lab, and which I think a more aircraft carrier aesthetic would suit better rather than the luxury resort styling of that picture) is using a piece of xenotech. One thing is that this city needs to be owned, whether by coalition or by a single government. There's no way the powers of the world would let it be free.

Also, on the topic of the aliens. I do agree that the impact should have been accidental. I also think the aliens should eventually make an appearance, possibly as an invasion force. My idea stems from that accident though: we could say the tech cache was basically a starship-laboratory with the aliens' most cutting edge technology on board. The accident was caused by system glitches/failure.

I think that this would open a few doors:

1. It would provide an incentive for "super-teams" to form down the line to combat the threat.

2. Different factions of the same alien species (as there are of humans).

3. Interesting side-effects on some of our "supers" caused by the glitchy xenotech.

4. The fact that what we got ahold of was decades ahead of its time for the aliens would allow our lesser supers to stand toe to toe to an alien, while our more powerful ones could be able to take on decent sized groups of them.

Lastly, the name Impact was the first that came to me while I was reading the thread and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. I think that it has the advantage of being able to mean so many things.

 106 Sijo, Sun, 25th Nov '12 9:09:38 PM from Puerto Rico
Interesting ideas. Also, here's a link to an article about the Space Elevator idea, including a picture we could use for Anchor City: [1]
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 107 Kevlar, Sun, 25th Nov '12 9:21:24 PM from British Columbia
I really like the artist's rendition of the base there. Expand it into a full-on city and it would have my vote. While I'm normally a very scientific person I think some of the science on the elevator would need to be handwaved, speeding it up and shortening the ride while explaining it as xenotech.

 108 Sijo, Sun, 25th Nov '12 9:34:00 PM from Puerto Rico
Agreed, this is a superhero setting after all so there can be Acceptable Breaks from Reality.
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I don't know, Alien invasion has been done so many times I don't think there's anything interesting to add to it. I'd rather focus on more personal, episodic conflicts.
 
 110 Kevlar, Sun, 25th Nov '12 10:00:39 PM from British Columbia
[up] I generally agree as far as alien invasions go, but there are ways to pull anything off. When I said invasion I didn't so much mean something like Independence Day or War of the Worlds where it's over in short order. I was thinking more along the lines of a repelled initial strike followed by the aliens camping out in the local outer space in a stalemate.

It would need some more work, and I'm not saying it's necessarily the absolute best idea, but it is an option. It's majority rule anyway, so if consensus is no aliens no matter what then that's the way it is.

edited 25th Nov '12 10:01:52 PM by Kevlar

 111 Archereon, Sun, 25th Nov '12 10:01:14 PM from Everywhere.
Ave Imperator
I had a few interesting ideas for a scenario in which the creators of the object (we really need a name for that btw) make an appearance, though it would be less Alien Invasion as we know it and more like (the original) The Day the Earth Stood Still in the sense that it would be a result of the aliens disaproving of what humanity has done (killing each other) with their technology, and acting to prevent humanity from bringing our violent behavior into space. Hell, the CV Impact Event could've been a Secret Test of Character to see what our kind would do with high technology and psychic powers, one that we failed.

Of course, this version would address the hypocrisy in using the threat of force to stop us from "bringing our warlike ways into space" that made the aesop of The Day the Earth Stood Still a broken one, ideally making the conflict Grey and Gray Morality. If we'd like to include actual magic, I have a few ideas for how me might stand a chance against Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.

edited 25th Nov '12 10:03:45 PM by Archereon

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 112 Sijo, Sun, 25th Nov '12 10:20:47 PM from Puerto Rico
Yeah, that's why I didn't like the idea of the aliens testing us and voted for the accident instead, though it still works in a similar way as they are watching and judging the result. If they ever decide we are a threat they would more likely neutralize us (as in, using nanotech or something similar to undo the new powers and technology) than invade, in my opinion.

(Still got no name for the object, sorry.)

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 113 Kevlar, Mon, 26th Nov '12 8:49:44 AM from British Columbia
Why not name the object with an acronym? Something like Impact Object (IO) and then, just to keep the conspiracy ideas up, add a number at the end. It could be classed as IO-5, meaning we would have four other confirmed (lesser) impacts in history. Perhaps they're from a few different alien species as it is, and Earth just happens to be in the middle of all their diplomatic/economic/military activity. Not that that necessarily needs to be said outright.

This could also mean we reverse engineered the microchip from the Kecksberg UFO. Additionally we could work in some version of The Men in Black, though if so I'd like to see something new done with them.

This might be ramping up the conspiracy aspect a little too much of course. Anyway, here's my idea for a character:

Name: Vadik Novichkov

Nationality: Russian

Age: 27

Vadik grew up on the fringes of social life. From a young age he had a hard time in groups and only had a few friends at a time, though those didn't stick around very long. Despite being skinny and short for his age, Vadik liked hunting with his father - likely because that was the extent of his father's involvement. Vadik preferred bow hunting for the challenge it provided. Vadik slowly lost interest in hunting as his father grew more and more distant and eventually left altogether.

When he was sixteen Vadik found a group of friends he could relate to. After hanging out and partying for more than half a year trouble showed up. Vadik's friend Misha (male) had gotten into trouble with a group of boys about the same age. Those boys decided to show up in numbers at a party to beat Misha.

Despite still small and skinny Vadik joined his friends in standing between the boys and Misha. When the violence started Vadik was clubbed in the head with a vodka bottle (because stereotypes are awesome). When someone attempted to stab him Vadik worked off pure instinct to disarm his opponent, break his wrist, crack his ribs, flatten his nose, and give him a concussion.

Avoiding legal penalty Vadik once again relegated himself to the fringes, though he did continue to associate with his friends. Shortly after his eigteenth birthday he dropped out of his last year of school and joined the Russian military.

Despite his size Vadik excelled. He was stronger and faster than others his size. As he built muscle size and tone he was able to match some of the largest men for strength and completely outperform them in almost every other way.

At the age of twenty-two Vadik joined the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and simply disappeared. It wouldn't be until he was twenty six that he would show up again in Anchor City, where he offered his skills and services in retrieving xenotech from the wrong hands and putting them in the right ones.

Upon performing tests on him it was found that Vadik has strange compounds in the tissues of his body that allow them to naturally excel in every physical application. His very DNA had whole sections that were vastly different than any genomes seen before the Impact Event. He does occasionally suffer from pseudo-schizophrenic episodes.

For the most part he uses the items he showed up in Anchor City with: a pistol (which he carries a surpressor for), a 10-inch knife, a machete, a tactical tomahawk, and a modern steel recurve bow. He is not opposed to using anything different though, and has first-hand knowledge of how to find the GRU weapon caches spread around the world. Depending on his locale this can give him access to a large variety of weapons and tools, though for the most part only important places such as large cities have these caches. He is also commonly in the posession of prototype xenotech-inspired augmentations.

(I don't read comic books, so if this seems like a standard superhero/superhero origin just tell me and I'll do some tweaking.)

edited 26th Nov '12 9:12:19 AM by Kevlar

 114 Sijo, Mon, 26th Nov '12 9:28:24 AM from Puerto Rico
The character looks fine to me. smile I also like the idea of a code-name for The Object.

New suggestion: we could test/develop the setting further as a forum role-play over at the RPG forum. Anyone else for it?

edited 26th Nov '12 9:28:43 AM by Sijo

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 115 Archereon, Mon, 26th Nov '12 9:33:57 AM from Everywhere.
Ave Imperator
[up][up] I'd rather avoid having us sitting on xenotech prior to the CV Impact Event, and please God no Illuminati or Free Mason conspiracies.

[up] Maybe. Though before that happens we need to start deciding on names, for example, the name of the corporation that runs "Anchor City" (which itself needs a better name), and the names of the world's major PMCs, particularly the one that polices the city.

edited 26th Nov '12 9:45:45 AM by Archereon

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 116 Kevlar, Mon, 26th Nov '12 10:21:21 AM from British Columbia
I can understand wanting to avoid the whole sitting-on-xenotech issue. I'm just wondering about some of the more popular UFO crash site conspiracies and how they fit into this world. Are they still just conspiracies, or were there government coverups for something. If some small objects crashed to Earth beforehand we would only be able to reverse engineer so much of course, and the rest would be beyond our grasp...

Then again this is a superhero setting, so there's a fine line to walk as far as the alien thing. Every popular superhero setting I know of has sci-fi elements, but not so much that it becomes full on science fiction. I'm not even sure if I like what I'm putting out there to be honest.

If we want to avoid there being previous crash-landings the tech cache could be IO-1 (or a better acronym, hopefully), with the five smaller pieces being IO-2, IO-3, etc.

As far as the entity in charge of Anchor City my vote is for a paramilitary science-oriented conglomerate with such members as China, USA, France, UK, Canada, Turkey, Germany, etc. perhaps Russia, which would determine why Vadik left Russia for Anchor City.

(Also I hope my suggestions aren't coming across as too strong or anything. I'm just throwing stuff out there with little to no attachment to any of it as of yet. Also, being a long time lurker but being technically new here makes me feel a little like I'm overreaching.)

edited 26th Nov '12 10:24:14 AM by Kevlar

 117 Archereon, Mon, 26th Nov '12 1:06:55 PM from Everywhere.
Ave Imperator
na[up] The reason Anchor City was going to be a corporate run city-state has to do with how it was founded: It originally was merely the site of the anchor point for an orbital elevator, constructed by a large aerospace development (involved in both the limited commercial spaceflight at the time and a world leader in terms of applied material sciences) conglomerate as part of a contract between the corporation and several of the world's wealthier nations. Basically, the contract stipulated that the orbital elevator, station, and anchor site belonged to the corporation, but they were in turn obligated to allow the nations involved in the project to use the orbital elevator at a price equal to the cost of sending the cargo up.

Naturally, the company's accountants found ways to operate at a significant profit without violating that terms, and over the years, as more and more staff were brought in to support the elevator's growing traffic from other companies and nations not initially involved in the project, the needs of the anchor point continually increased.

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 118 Kevlar, Mon, 26th Nov '12 3:10:55 PM from British Columbia
Oh yeah, I forgot that part. So here's my understanding so far:

  • The base was originally there just to serve the purposes of the multi-national government-backed technology company that still needs a name, and its government sponsors. (and therefore likely has at least one ambassador from each country)

  • Its purposes expanded (especially into research) when the large impact object crash landed into the ocean some miles north of its position. eventually the needs of the lab there could only be supported by a city, and one was developed around it.

  • The crash caused something to be released into the atmosphere that caused paranormal phenomena in one in 50, 000 (?) people on Earth. (wait a sec... what about the animals?)

  • Nobody knows anything about the creators of the xenotech, and there were no bodies or discernable records in the wreckage.

I'm not sure if there's anything important I've missed, or if I've jotted down anything that's not set. I do think a way to organize this is required. I'm good with Google Docs, though I haven't actually used it before.

 119 Archereon, Mon, 26th Nov '12 3:18:57 PM from Everywhere.
Ave Imperator
[up] No, the base was built shortly after the CV Impact Event as the resulting advances in material sciences made an orbital elevator not only possible but economically feasible. The fact that the site was reasonably close the Cape Verde Abysmal Plain made it an ideal staging point for salvage operations.

The mechanism by which psychic powers came to be is virtually unknown, though the timing indicates it was almost certainly caused by the object. A small number of cases of animals exhibiting psychic phenomena have been reported in higher animals, particularly primates.

And yes, very little is known about who created the object, if anything, and why it ended up on Earth.

edited 26th Nov '12 3:22:44 PM by Archereon

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 120 Kevlar, Mon, 26th Nov '12 5:49:25 PM from British Columbia
OK, I think I've got everything that's been established sorted out in my head. Sorry about the confusion there. Mind if I get it sorted into a document and figure out how to share it from there? It'll be helpful to have a reference anybody who wants to be part of this can all update and work from, while discussions and debates can take place elsewhere. Basically I'll scour the thread and pick up as much as I can.

 121 Sijo, Mon, 26th Nov '12 6:21:12 PM from Puerto Rico
Sounds good to me.
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 122 Kevlar, Mon, 26th Nov '12 6:53:44 PM from British Columbia
To be honest there's been a lot said and little set in stone. The document I put together doesn't include any of the characters so far, I think it's definitely best for that to be left up to the individual creators. It also has any unnecessary or unconfirmed details left out. Once we get it set up in a way that any of us can edit it those will start to fill themselves in.

Here's a link to the document: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1MM8Tir5OX9Se3nZBAuuO5wwFVcVE-Tk4NeUlzG9VM4w

I guess I need a Gmail account from each of you to get you to add to it. Once that's done anything you feel I missed, misinterpreted, or glossed over can be added.

 123 Sijo, Mon, 26th Nov '12 7:03:10 PM from Puerto Rico
I disagree re: the characters, I think its their personal backgrounds more than anything that help give a feeling for the setting, for example Maria's allows us to know that the xenotech includes nanotechnology and gives an example of how ruthless the Megacorps in the setting can be. Of course, we need permission from the characters' creators before they can be used officially (I hereby give mine.)
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 124 Kevlar, Mon, 26th Nov '12 7:09:40 PM from British Columbia
Ok, if anyone wants I can upload their characters as docs if they don't want to. With your permission given I'll do so with yours, making sure I add who the creator is right at top.

Anyone can just PM me now with a Gmail account and I'll add permissions to the folder. I hope that's all that needs doing.

 125 Sijo, Mon, 26th Nov '12 7:40:03 PM from Puerto Rico
Permission granted. wink
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