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mind that items mentioned here may be superceded by developments in the
Is the campaign set in the future or is it
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?
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
Are we talking industrial sci-fi or more like the old John
Carter/Flash Gordon swashbuckler style sci-fantasy?
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
Not yet. Maybe not ever...
Is Mars a vibrant live society, or the remnants of a
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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
Does it feel like a frontier still? How settled is the
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?
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