The setting and “physics” of the game allows for a full comic-style 
universe populated by all manner of powers, entities and creatures. 
Almost anything is possible, given a certain proviso: On earth, the 
manifestation of superpowers comes, without fail, as a result of one 
of two things: high technology or parahuman ability. Both of these 
terms require clarification.

First, it is an underlying premise of the game that high technology 
is possible. It is limited to select groups and some individual 
inventors (plus people who are superhumanly smart), and for the most 
part it does not impact greatly on the majority of people in the 
world since the interests of political power and economic 
rationalism discourage any lessening of the world’s dependence on 
fossil fuels, or the access of other, “unsantioned” political groups 
to high tech gadgetry. High technology is a fact of life, albeit 
rare, and apart from a few really miraculous inventions (such as 
those from alien worlds or which appear to be “magic items” [see 
below]) they don’t raise many eyebrows. 

On the other hand, parahuman ability is the path by which most 
characters will gain their superpowers. In the gameworld there are 
no “mutants” (though some individuals may think of themselves 
as “mutants”), nor are there “altered humans” (people bitten by 
radioactive spiders, struck by lightning bolts or hit by radioactive 
fuel rods) though people may steadfastly believe such things are the 
cause of their powers. Through heavily funded scientific study and 
hundreds of autopsies it has been established that almost every 
single person on the planet with parahuman abilities that do not 
come from machines shares the same quality. Deep within their 
physical brains at the section where the top “neanderthal” brain 
meets the lower “reptile” (autonomic) brain, a tiny gland (the glans 
dualis) has evolved with two distinct sections. 

The first part is the least utilised. If developed, it enables the 
possessor to communicate telepathically. Telepathy between two 
individuals both having a developed glans dualis is relatively easy. 
Only strongly developed telepaths can communicate clearly with non-
parahuman individuals. In this part of the brain lies the key to all 
mental powers that act upon other minds (such as mind control, 
illusion projection that involves no real matter, empathic 
projection and sensitivity, etcetera). The second part of the glans 
dualis rules over all parahuman abilities which affect the world, 
reality, itself. Through still unknown means the gland, if 
developed, is able to interact with the very matrix or building 
blocks of reality itself in ways which produce physical effects (on 
the world and/or on the subject’s own body). In most cases, possibly 
ruled over by the unconscious mind and reinforced by the manner in 
which their superpowers are gained, people are only able to use 
their abilities in a limited way (for instance there are fire 
controllers, or people who appear to change shape, hurl energy bolts 
or exhibit superhuman strength). 

People that develop telepathic (and like) abilties may do so at any 
time, usually after puberty, but not necessarily through traumatic 
circumstances. Conversely, people who develop parahuman abilities 
affecting the world at large usually do so only because of a 
traumatic experience in which, often forced to defend their very 
life, their parahuman powers manifest, shaped and steered by the 
circumstances in which they were produced. So a drowning man might 
develop (at the very least) waterbreathing powers and superhuman 
endurance, swimming speed, special senses, etcetera. A woman on a 
doomed plane might be able to spontaneously fly – or teleport, or 
resist unbelievable amounts of damage, or fold space, access as yet 
unknown dimensions or seeminly abandon her physical body altogether. 
On a more subtle level, a child bullied consistently at school or 
made to feel inadequate may slowly manifest abilities which allow 
the healthy ego underneath the traumatised psyche to look after 
and “feel good” about him or herself. Such persons often develop 
super-strength, even super-size. An unlikely amount of 
parahuman “bricks” were actually bullied in school. 

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