Although the overall feel and appearance of heroes and villains in the gameworld is what most people call “four-colour,” the gameworld is otherwise meant to be “realistic;” not necessarily “gritty” or full of swearing and sexual situations, but we’ll try to capture an atmosphere of plausibility and believability that more strictly four- colour games might lack. Unless offered otherwise, players should be in control of characters that are “heroes” for better or worse. Of course all sorts of psychological motivations, not all of them healthy, might impell a person to become a costumed crimefighter. But even if they try and fail, a character’s intentions should always be largely heroic. What sort of interpretation of this requirement players wish to take is pretty much up to them. At present there’s no room for anti-heroes in the gameworld, though they may appear as NPCs (like many of these stipulations, they apply mostly to new players; established players onto their second or third character may be trusted enough to undertake these sorts of different roles, or god forbid overturn the GM’s long-standing prohibition on men playing female characters). As heroes, players can expect their characters to be the centre of the game. Things won’t always go the heroes’ way, but it is their triumph that is intended, not their constant humiliation and frustration. Nevertheless, players must earn their victories. Like in any real role-playing game (as opposed to freeform) the presence of genuine challenges and problems to be solved within the framework of the plot is the guiding impetus and reason for playing the game. Without the chance for failure, our successes are meaningless. If you find yourself in a position of constantly falling short (and you haven’t been removed from the game for being intellectually unable to participate) then you should approach the GM to discuss the problems rather than presuming that the GM hates you or is out to frustrate your character’s ambitions. As much as possible NPCs will be completely neutral in the sense that the GM will not use them to air frustrations, to hurry players up or to steer the plot. Consequently, listening to NPC advice may be tricky since it may seem reasonable but in fact be totally wrong. The road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions. From time to time an NPC voice may be used to force the players to make a definite choice, but this is done only to limit the time spent on debating options and to move the game forward past a stalling point. As often as seems reasonable, NPCs, even lowly ones, will have their own ideas about things, conflicting outlooks and perhaps even private agendas. It’s a reasonably intelligent game for reasonably intelligent people. The heroes can expect for there to be consequences to their actions, especially if they themselves break the law or otherwise act improperly. However unless it can be milked for good dramatic potential (and that means good for player and GM) failures won’t be dwelled upon for too long. For the most part, the idea of the “superhero” imposes an impractical idea on a very complex world. Life is not black and white. While it is interesting to explore the “grey areas” that heroes will confront in the course of doing their thing, we will do so only up to a point. Taken to their natural extreme, these grey areas quite quickly show that people in colourful costumes righting wrongs is a fanciful idea but impractical and unlikely. Such an ultra-realistic perspective would actually deconstruct the gameworld so thoroughly as to make it unplayable (or at least not a lot of fun for anybody).