The Fractured States
The year is 2027, five years ago a meteorite fell to earth in the middle of Kansas. At first simply an astrological marvel, it was not long before people close to the site and then even those further out began to develop unusual abilities. Anarchy reigned as police officers and even the army were unable to oppose these empowered individuals and the federal government eventually fell. The fractured states arose in its place, each a large city or state which runs things in different ways depending on the empowered that dominate the area.
Democratic states, such as the one around Boston, continue to operate similarly to before the fall. Every adult gets a vote in government who rule over the city. But these states only exist because of the benevolence of many empowered who have stepped up to defend them. Opposing the more self-interested empowered who would otherwise use their abilities for criminal ends. While relatively safe, residents still must be wary of getting caught in the crossfire between these champions and criminals as well as the concern of what might happen should the champions go away or turn against them.
Autocratic states, such as the one around Chicago, are ruled by the empowered. These powerful individuals set themselves up as kings of their domain and employ many lesser empowered as their lieutenants. The citizens of these cities are downtrodden living their life trying to avoid earning the ire or attention of the empowered elite who are entirely above the law. But some form resistance groups which fight against the oppressive government, often aided by empowered with a more pronounced moral sense.
Capitalistic states, such as the one around New York City, are owned and operated by one great corporation. These corporations use their great wealth to pay empowered to act as private security for them and keep them safe. While they keep the rule of law they are often still brutal places with vast wealth inequality and no social net for the poor or unemployed. They are complicated places, moral and immoral empowered alike end up working for the corporations, and oppose both criminals seeking to steal from the corporation and freedom fighters trying to overthrow the unfair system.
Many of the empowered become mentally unstable or even dangerously insane after developing their powers, and some also grow inhuman features and characteristics. Rumor has it many of the more twisted of these mutants make their homes in the sewers and tunnels beneath the great cities.
PCs above the Civilian role do not die in this world, they might be captured, brainwashed, tortured, imprisoned etc but somehow never die.
A very capable character is a match for about two average characters/NPCs of the same type.
In RPed PvE combat, rolling an average success injures your opponent, great is two injuries equivalent, fail ineffective damage. Rolling average defence injures you, fail double injuries equivalent, great success ineffective damage. In PvP rolling the same offence as someone's defence is one injury, less than nothing, 1-2 higher 2-3 injuries.
Most characters in the world can take a serious beating, injuries are anything which hurt, and weaken/slow down characters, bruises, strains up to cracked ribs.
Civilians/Common minions can be taken out in 2 injuries, Class Cs 5, Class Bs/Tac Pilots 8, Class As 15 as a general guide.
All of the above combat guidance can be ignored in favor of story when SRing scenes or by mutal consent, it's just a guide.
Normal people who live in the fractured states, some of them may have recently moved to the city from the more peaceful country where empowered do not so dominate their lives. Others could be city born and raised.
Business Person: 5000xp
Those who have a position of significant import with a wealthy business. Most commonly found in Capitalistic states they are still found sometimes elsewhere. Business people frequently hire private security to keep them safe, although it is not unheard of for them to use their security in more immoral ways in order to get ahead in the business world.
Gang Leader: 5000xp
The chaos caused by the empowered is a great boon to the criminally inclined. Democratic cities have little regular police force and their empowered defenders are often too busy battling other empowered and swooping around being full of themselves to bother with more mundane criminals. Significant wealth inequality means there is no lack of young men willing to sign up to their local gang and many a gang leader has become very wealthy through their criminal enterprise.
Tac Pilot: 10000xp
Tac Pilots are normal humans trained to try and fight low leveled empowered and employed by the police or security services of the fractured states. They pilot flying 10 foot tall robot suits outfitted with guns, missiles and stun batons. A good Tac pilot can usually deal with a Class C empowered, or even with a Class B if they group together.
Studying the empowered has allowed scientists to take many significant leaps forward and those who work on enhancing human knowledge and technology are often well financed. Many have ambitions beyond being a simple wage slave however and are always looking for new opportunities to further their mastery, often by experimenting on empowered or conducting other immoral experiments. They rely on their own inventions to defend themselves, usually robotic bodyguards.
Those who have achieved great wealth or influence in the fractured states have little need for powers themselves. They have enough money to hire empowered to be their person muscle. Most often directors of wealthy companies most masterminds use their wealth and power in order to try and obtain more wealth and power. Eliminating or undermining rivals and coercing or blackmailing those of use into their service.
Class C: 10000xp
The lowest classification of empowered and most common, Class Cs usually demonstrate higher than normal physical abilities and also often the capability to throw around energy based attacks. While they can easily overpower small teams of normal human soldiers or guards they struggle against large numbers of police or more than one tac pilot.
[In movie terms, Daredevil through to Captain America]
Class B: 75000xp
There are only usually about a half dozen Class B empowered in any major city or Fractured State. Typically these empowered can fly, move at super human speeds and easily benchpress a city bus while throwing around fire or lightning. Their incredible speed and common ability to regenerate from injury makes them untouchable by conventional forces and only opposable by large teams of tac pilots or lower level empowered.
[In movie terms, Captain America through to Wonder Woman]
Class A: 500000xp
Class A empowered are extremely rare, most major cities will only have one if they have any at all, and if this individual is moral or immoral is usually what decides if the city or state is democratic or autocratic. Most attacks simply bounce off their skin, and they can usually fire blasts of laser-like energy that can slice straight through a tank. It usually requires large groups of Class B empowered to bring down a Class A, or significant trickery.
Many Empowered try to seek celebrity. They may adopt a stylized outfit or moniker or alter-ego, they might frequently seek to be seen in public. This can convey many advantages, it can cow their enemies without a fight, for the moral empowered it can bring hope to people when they're seen for the immoral it can help extend their rule. It also allows them to exert political influence if they wish and to attain a good income from being a spokesperson or helping to advertise for companies. Also provides a fairly steady stream of groupies for those who want them. The downside is that they might attract more enmity from people wanting to make their name bringing down a famous empowered, and their strengths and abilities are generally better known and more easily studied by their enemies.
1-5: Mildly famous, familiar to many in the city but not all, only known to a few.
6-10: Moderately famous, familiar to most in the city and known to a large portion.
11-15: Very famous, well known to the city.
16+: Nationally famous, well known even outside the state or states they operate in.
Greater strength and endurance than normal people.
10: As strong as the strongest people and as tireless as the most enduring athletes.
50: Able to lift a car, effectively tireless.
Greater speed, agility and coordination than normal people. Grants the ability to avoid incoming attacks.
10: As agile as the best gymnasts and martial artists.
50: Able to run up walls, flip multiple times and otherwise perform impossible seeming acrobatic feats.
Energy Blasts The ability to throw blasts of energy in some way. It could come from your eyes, chest, hands or any other location.
Custom Class C Power
Any other offensive power.
Physically impossible levels of strength.
10: Able to lift a car, effectively tireless.
Physically impossible levels of speed and agility.
10: Able to catch arrows.
20: Run at up to 80mph
30: Able to dodge or deflect single bullets
Ability to make superhuman leaps. Each 5 points conveys the ability to leap another storey in vertical height.
Ability to shrug off damage.
1-5: Can't be knocked out by normal punches or kicks.
6-10: Can't be knocked out or killed by regular blunt weapon attacks.
11+: Bullets bruise instead of penetrate.
Ability to regenerate from wounds.
1-10: Regenerate from non fatal wounds overnight.
11-20: Regenerate from minor wounds near instantly.
21+: Regenerate from almost all wounds near instantly.
Throw fire in some way, from hands, eyes, chest etc.
Throw lightning/electricity in some way, from hands, eyes, chest etc.
Custom Class B Power
Any other offensive power.
The ability to move your body at superhuman speeds whether on land or in the air.
20: Supersonic flight.
The tendency of attacks to simply bounce off your skin.
Laser Blasts Throw laser blasts in some way, from hands, eyes, chest etc.
Custom Class A Power
Any other offensive power.
Having and being able to use firearms, from handguns to machine guns.
The ability to not be in the way of attacks, seeking cover or dodging blows.
Tac Suit Weapons
The level of armaments on your Tac suit.
Tac Suit Armor
The reinforcement armor of your Tac suit.
5: One armed Guard.
20: One elite soldier or 4 armed guards etc.
Common criminals used as muscle.
5: One armed thug.
20: One elite criminal mercenary or 4 armed thugs etc.
Minions made from science.
10: One android.
50: One robotic tank or 5 androids etc.
5: One Class A empowered.
25: One Class B empowered, or 5 class As etc.
From Jet-ski like motorcycles to wheel-less cars, hover vehicles are the best means for flying around the city for those without powers or a Tac suit.
11-20: Standard quality
21-49: High end
Heroes, mundane and empowered, from Boston who have infiltrated Chicago to try to bring down the despotic ruler, they sometimes also may rotate back to Boston from time to time to help defend their home.
|Martha Carroll||Paula Brito|
Selected villains, mundane and empowered, from Obsidians service who have infiltrated Boston to try and bring down the democratic government by creating chaos and crime, they sometimes also may rotate back to Chicago to help defend it from the resistance.
Only 3 across before creating next table
Despite a peace that has lasted for two years, tensions are high between the three nearby states of New York, Boston and Chicago. Chicago, a fascist dictatorship ruled over by the extremely powerful man known only as 'Obsidian' where power and proximity to power is all that matters is plagued by infighting and suffering from refugees that seek to escape to other, less draconian states.
Boston is under democratic rule and protected by a group of empowered, most notably Diamond, a Class A who dresses in white with an unknown real identity. Some are starting to question if the unaccountable of the cities heroes is really a good idea and other citizens are worried about the influx of immigrants from less democratic states is going to provide too great a burden upon the city.
In New York, the Tyrell corporation rules the city in the ultimate form of laissez faire capitalism. A legion of paid empowered keep the peace and their capitalistic rule in place but the ideological volatility of their neighbours is hurting the bottom line.
Now word is spreading that Obsidian is planning something, something to do with eliminating Diamond which would give him free reign to add Boston to his Empire and further destabilize the region...
Henchman of Obsidian and other criminals and mercenaries robbed Boston Central Bank, despite the efforts of many local heroes to prevent the robbery the criminals attended in overwhelming numbers. Diamond himself showed up to stop the crime but was prevented from doing so by Obsidian who also showed up. Lamia, one of Obsidian's main henchwomen, escape with a safety deposit box from inside, although what the contents are is anybody's guess.
With Obsidian and his forces making such a blatant attack upon Boston many are calling for war, but under the suggestion of Diamond the city council has decided to adopt a more subtle approach, quietly among those in the know the word goes out, the city is looking for capable individuals of all stripes, medics, techs, spies and especially empowered to infiltrate into Chicago and join the resistance.
It is recommended that those with families not apply.
As the resistance grows in power due to this new influx of support and manpower, Obsidian retaliates by sending many of his own operatives to Boston to cause chaos and destruction.