The Setting

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The Setting

Postby Alexis Apollo » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:21 pm

Black Seven wrote:Crisis-style as in Ultimate Paragon, where we end up determining the main characters, villain groups, etc as we introduce them in stories which otherwise just starts with a shared city and little in the way of clearly defined NPC characters?

Black Starbeam wrote:The more I think about the stories defining the world, the more I love it as an idea. Go, create, be free.

I love the idea that we populate our universe as we go. We're all ready and eager to start writing, but first we should talk about the setting, the "shared city" our characters will inhabit. I'm not talking about fine details like street names or the number and quality of Thai restaurants. That kind of minutiae will work itself out naturally as we create stories, as we fill in the details of the world. Let's instead discuss some of the broad characteristics of our new universe.

TL;DR Let's list some basic assumptions about the setting of the Reciproverse

To get started, here are some things I think we can safely assume:

In the Not Too Distant Future - The year: Next Sunday A.D. Set in the familiar modern times, but a slightly advanced version of the world we know. Sci-fi technology like robots, jetpacks, supercomputers, holograms, starships, etc. are uncommon but not unheard of. The majority of humans go about their daily lives in much the same way they do in the real world today, but every once in a while they might have to duck and cover from a cyborg turbolaser assault. Basically it's not science, it's SCIENCE!!

Modern Mythology - Magic is real. Monsters are real. Gods and spirits walk the earth. Perhaps packs of demons and werewolves aren't freely roaming the streets like in CoH, but it's difficult to find a person who has NOT had some kind of experience with the paranormal, whether they've been kidnapped into the Fae realm or simply stood in line behind an extra-terrestrial at the post office. The paranormal is a lot more normal in this universe, however monsters and magic likely do not enjoy a high level of social acceptance, and may even be illegal or openly persecuted in some places.

I Majored in Crimefighting - There are many strange and powerful threats to the world, and in response, there are many superpowered individuals to keep them in check. Superheroes are common, though not as densely packed as in CoH. Perhaps every major city would have a dozen major heroes and a hundred or so lesser career crimefighters, plus any number of weekend vigilantes and neighborhood watch. Being a hero is a high-risk career choice, much like a firefighter or soldier. But again, the legality and social acceptance of the job is variable. In some places supergroups may be state-sponsored, while in others the police actively crack down on Capes.

The World Is Our Playground - CoH kept us canonically locked inside the borders of Paragon City, but there's no reason we need to contain our RP to one single metropolis, or even one country. An adventure in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela! Infiltrating a terrorist cell in the catacombs beneath Paris, France! Chasing a rogue sorceror on the Siberian steppes! We can do it all. In a world of orbital jets, teleporters and super-submarines, I see no reason why the Reciprocators can't be an organization with global--even multi-dimensional--influence.

America Generica - Even though we're not locked into one city, we should designate a major urban area to be the location of our headquarters and default setting for adventures. We could create another fictional region somewhere on the Atlantic coast, a generic American city like Gotham, Metropolis or Paragon. We don't even have to stick to the U.S. either! The choice of a Paragon-style city is more about familiarity than any sort of judgment call. I would gladly embrace a change of scenery. (Or, we could turn the Citadel into a giant flying aircraft carrier...)

Tear Down This Wall - Here's one of my pet peeves: We've left Paragon City, and with it we've also shed many restrictions imposed by the game engine. Let's face it--the war walls never made much sense, especially with the Rikti teleporting everywhere. Hell, even the Rikti cruisers seemed to pass right through the damn things without taking a scratch! Their only purpose was to section off the game areas, so let's drop the concept entirely.

These are some of the more obvious features of the Reciproverse, and none of them are set in stone. Any other ideas or preferences?
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Re: The Setting

Postby WaveBreak » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:36 pm

I support this except for this bit:
Modern Mythology - Magic is real. Monsters are real. Gods and spirits walk the earth. Perhaps packs of demons and werewolves aren't freely roaming the streets like in CoH, but it's difficult to find a person who has NOT had some kind of experience with the paranormal, whether they've been kidnapped into the Fae realm or simply stood in line behind an extra-terrestrial at the post office. The paranormal is a lot more normal in this universe, however monsters and magic likely do not enjoy a high level of social acceptance, and may even be illegal or openly persecuted in some places.


I definitely think magic is real monsters are real, werewolves demons, vampires all that good stuff. old gods exist and grant favors to champions but I personally always prefer that magic and the supernatural be a kind of "stay in the shadows "-type thing where they exist but the masses at large don't believe in them and think "Yeah sure Superheroes exist but that's science. Mutants, High Tech machinery we can explain that but Magic, vampires and werewolves? yeah right."

Makes it a lot more skull and daggers secret society-ish if the public is unaware. Paranormal things need to have an element of the unfamiliar or scariness to them or they become kind of silly IMO.

I know in CoH it seemed like they were common-place but CoT and other magic theme'd stuff tended to spawn only at night cycle, or in out of the way places like empty hills and near alleyways especially in blocked off areas like the Hallows, and Croatoa which was actually cut off from society and not in the city proper. Not to mention Dark Astoria and Faultline back before they revamped it. The CoT pretty much vanished from Faultline after the people moved back in.

The rest of it sounds like a great idea to me and if we decided to go with the Magic is out in the open and known I'm not going to make a big deal about it, I just wanted to say why I felt it should be the opposite :)
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Re: The Setting

Postby Black Starbeam » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:15 pm

I'm with Wavebreak on the Magic front. Perhaps it's generally known to exist but not understood by most. Doctor Strange is a pretty good example of this. Magical hero, but most people wouldn't know he exists. Superheroes do, but the average person wouldn't know much about him or what he does. The rest of it all looks pretty good, so let's summarise it.


  • Slightly-Futuristic Science - The superpower of brilliance is always a good one.
  • Magic and Gods are Real(ish) - I kinda like the 'it's real if you believe it' form of the Gods, personally, but that's something we never ever really need to cover.
  • Superheroes are commonplace - Average Joe need never have met one, but there's enough out there that he knows someone who knows someone who has.
  • All of the above subject to change by region/city zone.
  • Not limited to one city - Go nuts.
  • Set in Bigass City, Atlantic Coast.
  • No War Walls
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Re: The Setting

Postby Black Starbeam » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:40 pm

Other than the name of the city, anything deeper than that can be determined with people's writings.
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Re: The Setting

Postby Black Seven » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:15 pm

Here are my two cents.

In the Not Too Distant Future - Agreed, even if this is a concurrent time to our own it would be more advanced. Whether for any particular historical reason or other is largely irrelevant, the important thing is that we can more or less determine our own technological breakthroughs, scientific ventures, and whatever else is necessary to move the story along.

Modern Mythology - I've always viewed magic as being a stagnant, or dying, practice of manipulating the natural world. It has given way to science and technology due to the relative ease with which normal people can actually access those instead. It still exists, but with the advances in the sciences it becomes harder and harder to tell where the line is drawn every day. I would stop short of saying that its widely known to exist, as it would be kept hidden enough to still breed widespread doubt among normal folks.

I Majored in Crimefighting - This is the one area I would want to greatly deviate - I would rather we not have something like the Rikti War be a past event in this world at the moment just because I don't think we'd be well served to have heroes be a widespread phenomenon like they were in CoH. If we did decide to have some sort of big event like that occur later it could make for some interesting stories, but I think it would be preferable to keep the actual number of supervillains and superheroes relatively low out the gate. Of course that wouldn't say 'limit who you introduce' so much as just keeping it from being a profession. If there were sponsored groups that's something else entirely, whether federal, state, or private.

The World Is Our Playground - Yes. As you can probably guess from my 'start small' mentality I would say we hold off on off-planet or inter-dimensional stuff at first, but that's entirely just my personal taste. Whatever people want to do with their characters is up to them.

America Generica - I would say we decide on a centralized city to exist in at first. If we ended up becoming something more regional, national, or worldwide is always a future possibility.

Tear Down This Wall - Fuck walls. And the Rikti.
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Re: The Setting

Postby Visavis » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:33 am

Black Starbeam wrote:Perhaps it's generally known to exist but not understood by most.


This. I think, with media the way it is, it would be nearly impossible to keep it a secret. While most people probably wouldn't have had direct exposure to it, I imagine most people would know it exists, if only thanks to the news. While it might be known thanks to media, the way it operates likely wouldn't be known by the vast majority. Magic generally isn't something you screw around with, and so people who do use magic have good reason not to share it with the wider world. That would just be inviting trouble. Additionally, I imagine it's sort of like Vi said, in that it's stagnant or dying off. So while the media may mention it from time to time, it may still be fairly rare that they actually find someone or something that has anything to do with it, both because magic users don't want to be found, and their population simply isn't all that high.

The rest in the original post sounds fine to me.

As for the location, a quick look at the map makes me think somewhere near Philadelphia may work. Look at the area between Wilmington, Delaware and Salem, New Jersey. A city there doesn't seem like much of a stretch. Let's say it's larger than Philadelphia. It could replace it outright or, as I kind of like, it could be a sort of partner city. The two could form a sort of megalopolis, and make the Northeast corridor even more ridiculous. It's one idea at least. The name.. I don't know.
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Re: The Setting

Postby WaveBreak » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:53 am

Well given the way the media is perhaps Magic could been seen as a cult or conspiracy. something the public hears about but generally disregards are fake. Where some people claim magic is real and they are thought of as the kooky conspiracy theorists. Much the same way people are treated when they say they believe in alien abductions and government coverups.

Magic societies being that they don't want the public to get their hands on magic of course support this "white lie" so while Magic is known about it's widely disbelieved and consider something nutjobs do
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Re: The Setting

Postby Visavis » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:09 am

WaveBreak wrote:Well given the way the media is perhaps Magic could been seen as a cult or conspiracy. something the public hears about but generally disregards are fake. Where some people claim magic is real and they are thought of as the kooky conspiracy theorists. Much the same way people are treated when they say they believe in alien abductions and government coverups.

Magic societies being that they don't want the public to get their hands on magic of course support this "white lie" so while Magic is known about it's widely disbelieved and consider something nutjobs do


I think that could work. There's nothing stopping that from changing later on, either. Like a high profile magic hero or villain making waves and not hiding the source of their power.

Another issues comes to mind, though this one's not specifically about magic. What about the medicom system? Or something like it. It was pretty significant in the CoH universe, what with keeping people from dying horribly and all that.

I feel as though there should be something similar, but not so powerful. As someone pointed out to me a while back, it could pretty well ruin any sort of dramatic effect! "Oh no, he's horribly inju--nope, medicom got 'em." An idea that immediately springs to mind are patches that monitor the user's physical condition through heart rate, respiration, and that sort of fun stuff. Where the medicom would whisk people away to safety, this one would just alert local authorities, and possibly the hero's friends, to the person's condition and location. This way there's still the possibility of being saved, but really no guarantee their friends will make it in time. That, and it won't work on a lot of people, like those that can't carry electronics for whatever reason, or don't have a normal physical form.
Last edited by Visavis on Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Setting

Postby Black Starbeam » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:13 am

Certainly an option, though we could also just do away with the idea altogether.
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Re: The Setting

Postby Visavis » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:29 am

I'd prefer not to do away with it altogether, since, as I pointed out to you in chat and will now share with these fine people, that technology pretty much already exists. It's pretty plausible for it to exist in the new Reciproverse. However, I imagine it also not being anywhere near as ubiquitous as in CoH. There would probably be all sorts of other limits on it, cost being one of them. The regular street level heroes in many places may not have them, unless they're well off or the local government particularly hero-friendly. Then there's the matter of range. Perhaps they only work in areas where there's cellphone coverage? Being deep underground or out in the middle of Siberia would leave them even more vulnerable than usual.
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