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Campaign FAQ 

Mankind colonized Mars in the middle of the 20th century.  Over the course of the last few decades, random members of the Martian colonies started displaying powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal keen.  A few more random details follow (I'm still very much in the first steps of world-building) that came out of some early Q&A with some of the more anxious players (you all know who you are) and notes for myself. Keep in mind that items mentioned here may be superceded by developments in the campaign.

Is the campaign set in the future or is it contemporary?

How did we get there?
Via breakthroughs in science, particularly in regards to unified field theory, brought about by the Philadelphia Experiment conducted in 1943.

Besides the exploration and colonization of Mars, how else does the history of this setting differ from our own world?
Still working out the nuts and bolts of that one myself. I would imagine that the tone and nature of the cold war would be a bit altered, somewhat less militaristic and more scientific and technological.  It's less arms race and more of a "race for space" kinda deal that we saw during the Sputnik era.

Are we talking industrial sci-fi or more like the old John Carter/Flash Gordon swashbuckler style sci-fantasy?
Bright lights, big city. It's an earth of today setting with some neat sci-fi advancement thrown in for good measure -- think Watchmen or Promethea New York, maybe a little more.

Are there "Martians", ya know, the little green men type?
Not yet. Maybe not ever...

Is Mars a vibrant live society, or the remnants of a long-dead civilization?
Vibrant earth society that's been there for nigh 40-50 years or so in some shape or form. Basically think of it as pretty much the here and now but transplanted to a new locale. I want to eschew the standard and NOT set it in the near or far future but make it contemporary. Essentially, picture the New York of Promethea near the Valles Marineris. I also want to downplay the sci-fi just a touch to still have the "super" come through without much trouble.

Where do superhuman powers come from?
Not sure yet. I might go with some "New Universe" effect, some common exposure deal on Mars, or generic anything goes classic four-color. Tough call. I might wait until I start to see some char ideas to answer this one as odd as that seems.

Terra-formed or bubble-pods in a hostile vacuum?
This one tho' is still a bit up in the air. Terra-formed to a similar degree that we've already altered our planet in the last two years of industrial revolution is probable (streets and the like for example). But there is most likely going to be a difference between the city-habitats and the normal Martian land.  One consideration is gravity.  The Cities will probably have grav generators to make the Gs more like standard Earth gravity.  Outside of them normal, weaker Mars gravity will kick in.

Extreme cultural, political, chronal and physical distance from homeworld, or travel at the snap of a finger?
Extreme distance.

Industrial presence on other rocks (moon, Venus, asteroid belt) or just the Big Two?
Just the big two.  The moon, near as I've read in my research on the subject, doesn't have as many valuable minerals on it as does Mars.

Do we have secret IDs, or are we professionals? How long have we been at this?
I'll leave that up to you guys.  Let's flesh it out together.

Are there colleges on Mars?
Yes.  The University of Valles Marineris is part of the Ivy League.  There are others as well.

Is most of the population taking part in the terraforming effort, or is there a "standard" diversity of occupation?
A healthy percentage is to some degree or another I would suspect but there are enough support industries to allow for the diversity you're asking about.

Does it feel like a frontier still? How settled is the place?
I think that's a glass half-empty/half-full kinda question.  I think inside the cities like New Philadelphia it might be possible to delude yourself into thinking there's nothing new under the sun but all you have to do is get to the edge of one of the habitat bubbles or watch the blue sunsets or talk to an old timer or ride out in one of the rental buggies and sky surf the red dunes to realize Mars is still plenty wild.  I guess it must feel like what the West felt like in the 1870s or so.  Still some opportunity but enough order in place to get by.

How frequent is contact with Earth?
I don't have a number worked out yet but this is sorta in line with my answer about cultural distance also in the FAQ, which is to say that there's still enough distance and time to make Mars feel somewhat independent.

Will adaption be an essential power?
No.  Most of the action will take place within the Martian cities, like New Philadelphia, Beijing M-1, and others, but at the same time I could easily see it having more use-value in this campaign then most others.

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© 2002 Daniel Harvey et al