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Read this (and all the other background pages) if you want to play in CHC.
This is a superhero/sci-fi game. Metahumans are the focus of the game, but it takes place against a futuristic backdrop. Aliens exist, Earth is becoming more high-tech, there are colonies and bases throughout the solar system, and there has been some limited travel to other star systems. I am trying to maintain a somewhat "realistic" tone, despite the inherently unrealistic premise. This is not a four-color comic book. Metahumans are real people and cause real social and political problems.
I also like "epic" games. While this isn't a comic book, you can expect storylines that have the potential to change the world. You are more likely to be trying to prevent a war or deciding the fate of human/metahuman relations than focused on getting rid of a local petty crime syndicate. (This doesn't mean you have to start out that way -- your character may begin the game involved in very mundane affairs. Just don't expect everything to stay that way.)
That said.... In many of my games, I have a metaplot in mind, an overarching theme that is eventually intended to tie loose threads together. I am not going to start out that way in CHC this time. I have dropped many story hooks into the setting, as you can see from the Timeline, and some NPCs will become prominent and no doubt some ongoing storylines will start to affect everyone. But it will be up to you to create your own storyline. Your character needs to be firmly grounded in the CHC universe. You should have a definite idea of what you want your character to do or become (that doesn't mean the character can't be ambivalent or uncertain or lackadaisical), and give me a character who has plenty of associations with NPCs and story hooks for me to work with. A set of stats and some background notes are not sufficient. Make your character part of CHC's history, past or future!
Each PC will have his or her own individual storyline, at least initially, unless you collaborate with another player to start your characters together, which you are free to do. This will not be a "team" game (i.e., this is not "X-Men 2045"), so while I hope PCs will interact, and I will try to arrange it so they do, it's not necessarily my intention to bring you all together into one thread.
The original CHC used GURPS Supers for the game system. Much as I like GURPS, it has proven unsuitable for high-powered characters, and some CHC characters were over 1000 points!
The system the new CHC will use is White Wolf's Aberrant. As a long-time fan of Superhero RPGs, I am very impressed by Abberant's ability to handle really powerful characters (on the level of Superman, Green Lantern, the Hulk, etc.) and still maintain some balance. Champions can do it, but requires very large point totals and is much more difficult for newbies to learn.
While I will be using the Aberrant game system (and will borrow some characters and setting elements from Aberrant), this is not an Abberant game, in that it does not take place in the universe White Wolf has created for the Adventure!-Aberrant-Trinity trilogy.
(Those of you who own Aberrant or Trinity will see that I have borrowed a lot of ideas and names from those books.)
Since I realize most of you probably do not own Aberrant, there are actually four different ways you can submit a character -- in decreasing levels of control over what powers you have...
Having discussed character sheets, I will actually be running the game mostly systemless. (I don't like looking for dice while I am writing posts, and I especially hate rolling all those 10-siders for White Wolf's "dice pools.") I like character sheets because they define the parameters of your abilities. On occasion (particularly in cases of PC vs. PC conflict) I will actually roll dice. But mostly your character sheet just tells me what you can and can't do, so don't worry too much about whether you've optimized your powers sufficiently.
What I really want is a good character description. Personality, motivations, family background (were one or both of your parents metahumans?), and so on. You may be born anywhere on Earth (or off of it...) -- this will not be a "team" game. You can have an "old" character (one of the first generation of metas who erupted in the late 90s) or a much younger one, all the way down to the teens. (You can even play a child -- it is rare but not unheard of for metahumans to manifest powers before adolescence.)
(Remember, very few metahumans had children between 1995 and 2008, so if your character was born in that time period to one or more metahuman parents, you will have to explain how your parent(s) -- or grandparents(s)! -- escaped being sterilized, permanently or temporarily, by the Counterevolution Conspiracy.)
If any of your parents and/or grandparents are/were metahumans, what are they doing now, and what are there powers? (If you want to use one of the CHC's old characters in your lineage, or if you want to introduce a really powerful character -- "My father is capable of mind-controlling an entire city" -- then you need to talk to me first, but otherwise, feel free to make up metahumans on your own as part of your background.)
Assuming your character is already a metahuman, what does he or she do? (See "Character Types and Motivations," below.) This is not a four-color comic book game, but an attempt to portray metahumans as real people with unreal powers.
A lot has happened in the last 50 years -- how has your character reacted to those events that happened in his or her lifetime?
What are your character's goals?
How does he or she feel about normal humans? About the Teragens? About the Galactics?
What about religious beliefs? Politics? Ethics? Is s/he willing to kill, and under what circumstances?
You can be a "hero" or a "villain" in CHC. Traditional superheroes and supervillains are mostly passé, though.
Major organized crime has been almost completely eliminated. A few metahumans do still patrol the streets in cities that still have crime-ridden areas (an ever-shrinking number), but most no longer find it necessary. There are not many truly oppressed peoples left in the world, so few metahumans are driven to "liberate" anyone. Wars have not been banished completely from the globe, but they are rarer and smaller. In other words, crusaders for peace, justice, and freedom are mostly a thing of the past.
Most metahumans do fairly mundane work, using their powers to help scientific research, or industry, or law enforcement. Some serve in the military, others do high-priced contract work. Any metahuman can become a millionaire legally, so there is little financial incentive for metahumans to become criminals. And only true megalomaniacs get ideas about "taking over the world."
So what is there for the adventurous metahuman to do?
Crime and warfare and oppression aren't completely obselete. In those small pockets where it still exists, there are metahumans trying to banish it completely.
Some metahumans do thirst for more power than they can get just by working for seven or eight figure salaries, and gravitate towards small countries in South America or Africa where metahumans rule. Or they seek power legitimately (or not so legitimately) by entering politics.
Increasingly, space beckons to adventurous metas just as it does to adventurous "normals." Luna and Mars are the new frontiers, and the outer and inner systems are the barely-explored wildernesses beyond.
There are the Galactics.... mysterious and not very communicative even after 50 years. Some metahumans want to talk to them, others are determined to pry their secrets from them. (Several have attempted to "infiltrate" the Galactic outposts on Europa and Titan, and usually fail miserably.)
And of course there are the Teragens. Teragens are not necessarily evil. The movement does attract sociopathic elements who simply want to use their powers to do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences.... but most Teragens simply mistrust human society. Many believe that the Counterevolution Conspiracy never really ended. Many (but not all) have taken Proteus's Null Manifesto to heart, and truly believe that metahumans are a breed apart from and above humans, and do not belong coexisting with them. Others fear that mankind will ultimately turn on its "gods," and that when that time comes, the Teragens will be the only thing protecting them.
On Mons Aries and Fasalt, and in places like the Aerie, any metahuman who is willing to behave can come enjoy the company of his or her peers. Most Teragens do not run around preaching racial holy war or hatching evil schemes to conquer the world. Many are perfectly civil and intelligent and good company. Their enclaves attract many visiting metas who profess not to subcribe to the Teragens philosophy at all.
However, for many metas, the problem of finding "adventure" is the same for them as it is for humans. Their powers don't automatically bring excitement and fulfillment and purpose to their lives. They have to go out and find it.