Comic book worlds span every corner of the globe. Of lots of globes. Across a TON of universes. They tell us tales from deepest space, and sunken cities, hidden satellites and realms beyond our comprehension, across the widest spans of history and beyond. I knew that to really capture my players (and, if I’m really lucky, my readers) attention, the setting I chose for my game would have to be someplace new, exciting, and FILLED at all times with adventure, mystery, and action. So of course, I chose present-day Ohio.
Yeah, I know, not even I saw that one coming.
I’ve played and run games in Greyhawk, Krynn, (man so many in Krynn) The “New World”, not to mention Detroit, Chicago and Vibora Bay. But this time I wanted to start fresh. A new world, mostly like this one, but with a few small yet crucial changes. Number 1? Super powers exist. And as far as the public knows, Superheroes have been around doing their thing for the last few years. There are message boards out there which say it’s been happening a lot longer than that, but surely we’d have known about it by now, right?
Foster City is basically comic book Cincinnati. A centralized midwest city, large but not top ten. Just big enough to have a supers community of its own, but probably not where this universes Justice League would live. I wanted the players’ team to be mostly new to the Supers gig, up-and-comers on the scene. This would allow me to build a full world around them, showing that while they are far beyond the mortals crowding the streets, they aren’t the baddest ones around. We’ll get to the players in the next post, but for now let’s get back to our setting, shall we?
The then-named Mitersville Ohio itself was home to one of the first large scale supervillain attacks, destroying 80% of the city proper, thought the official story is a bit of a mystery, all that remained afterwards was a scorched, empty path of destruction. Most of the Citizens had been removed to safety prior to the end, but with nowhere to go home to, the city, and the country along with it was lost and unsure how to move on.
Enter Willard “Will” Foster, an eccentric local manufacturing leader turned high-tech super scientist. Two days after the city was destroyed, Foster returned home from a business trip, opened several crates of complex machinery, and in the span of a single day, (basically) 3D printed the city back in full… almost. Foster only had an older model to work from, so while the technology was modern (perhaps slightly more modern than our own world at the same time) the buildings and structures all came from an image he created in the late 1970’s. (This gives me my own chronologically ambiguous world in which to create. The houses and buildings look very 1970’s; plenty of orange shag and green paisley couches, with 50” LCD tvs.)
Foster became a hero immediately after his miracle restoration, having the new-ish city renamed in his honor. Then, 8 months almost to the day he became a hero, he dropped out of public sight altogether. His company, the Foster Technology Group maintains that he is simply busy working and avoiding the public eye, not unheard of from the private and unpredictable inventor. But not a single time has anyone seen or heard from him directly. That was over 2 years ago.
Today, Foster City has bounced back. People still talk about the day the things changed, but it’s become part of life now, even if no one is really sure how it all happened. The FTG never revealed or sold the machines used to recreate the city, nor have they permitted any further use of it elsewhere, claiming respect for the wishes of Foster himself. Many speculate he took the devices with him wherever it was he went. Life moved on, and despite the loss of life and property, Foster City prospered.
Locally, Supers have made their way here in higher than average numbers. No one really talks about why, but the common assumption is that when supers were new, this was where the first real disaster happened. It was the first real proof that Supers were changing the world, not just a random fluke in evolution, or rumors that could be ignored.
Supers are everywhere now. They have become a culture of and to themselves. People follow them in the news, on blogs, and yes, even write comics about them. But here, in Foster City, people Love them. They know that while Foster never wore a mask, he saved their town, gave them back their homes, and showed that while there may be beings out there with the power to destroy them, there were others willing to stand up protect them.
So that is where we begin. A city home to more than its share of the unbelievable, where our fledgling heroes will get their chance to stand up and begin their adventure. And if I’m luck, give us, and you, a chance to enjoy the ride.
Until next time, nerds – Conner