The presence of superpowers and heroes in the gameworld merits a 
decent explanation. Anyone wishing to submit a character (or for 
existing players who wish to submit second or auxillary characters) 
this explanation is crucial to underwriting the concepts which 
support character concepts. 

It should be noted that despite the extremely infrequent and never 
proved existence of rare individuals of strange ability throughout 
history, real evidence of superhuman ability did not emerge in the 
gameworld until the Second World War. The costuming of adventurers, 
already prefigured in the comics and pulp fiction of the day, did 
not really come into existence until after the United States entered 
the war late in 1942. For propaganda purposes, the first superheroes 
emerged not from the Axis but from the USA (followed so closely by 
the British as to be almost inseparable). Goering apparently kicked 
himself for not taking up the idea first, since the morale-boosting 
effect and national pride invoked by the presence of costumed 
soldiers of superhuman ability was considerable. Led by GI Joe, 
Liberty Belle and Captain Torpedo in the US, and by Lionheart, Iron 
John and the original Unicorn in the UK, these figures ushered in 
the age of costumed heroes, whose population would later explode in 
the years after the war and become an almost commonplace phenomenon 
by the turn of the millennium.

For many people who are put off by superhero RPGs and comics, it is 
because they believe that even if we accept the notion of people 
with amazing powers, their dressing up in elaborate costumes and 
battling similarly-inclined individuals set on holding cities or 
countries or the whole planet to ransom is pretty unbelievable. The 
premise of the gameworld is that people with powers “dressing up” is 
a natural progression from the behaviour of supersoldiers during the 
Second World War. The presence in the media of ideas like the 
Phantom, the Lone Ranger and Zorro were a seed out of which modern 
superheroism grew. The naturalisation of this behaviour was then 
twofold. First, there was the propaganda push by the US and British 
in the war, putting metahumans in masks and gaudy, patriotic outfits 
which was met in kind by the Axis powers. Second, codenames were 
already in use for military operatives possessed of talents 
considered beneficial to the war effort. Even before he was taken 
out of conventional uniform, Sgt Harry Klim was still referred to 
as “Torpedo” (he became “Captain Torpedo” in public only after being 
promised a promotion for dressing according to the dictates of the 
Chiefs of Staff). The enormous public interest in these symbols of 
state pride did not wane even after the war, so that nobody ever 
thought it really strange that the costumed heroes were still around 
even when there was no war left for them to fight. The Cold War and 
the later rise of super-crime in the 1960s cemented the importance 
of these figures in the public consciousness. Even the irrational 
backlash against metahumans in the ‘80s barely dented the numbers 
engaged in the business of costumed crime and its policing. The 
diversification of capitalism and the production of new marketing 
demographics and techniques that has characterised the 1990s and the 
new millennium has effected superherodom as well. In many respects 
assuming a gaudy identity is more normal now than ever.

Make your own free website on