Okay so me and a buddy wanted to run a supers game. We wanted it an Aussie-centric universe (as opposed to USA) and to be a bit different... So we came up with "Australia's First Universe" a post-nuke Superhero universe!
The World of Tomorrow
Einstein once said “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. The end of World War III proved him half right. On the last day of conflict, the mightiest bombs ever known obliterated the greater portion of the northern hemisphere. China, Russia, the United States; all the worlds great powers crumpled in a single moment.
Such world breaking tragedy was unprecedented. To mark the event, the calendar was reset to the year zero. It is now the year XXXV; and the world is a very different place. The thirty-four years since the end of the third world war saw necessity push the rise of a single global government. United under the Australian Empire, peace and prosperity have returned to humanity.
The Division of Power
While the Australian Imperial Government rules the world on a global scale, its regional grip is far from iron. The islands of the Atlantic and Pacific, along with Africa, are a patchwork of tiny subject nations. Likewise; South America’s beyond control. Complicating matters further is Labour Corp. Building, running and maintaining the Domes has given Labour Corp vast amounts of power; enough to shove when the government pushes.
The Australian Empire has a vibrant Power Culture. Nearly everyone claims to have a power of some kind ranging from amazing (telepathic control of machines) to mediocre (instant mathematical calculation) to subjective at best (lifetime die rolling average of six). Fashion has followed suit in this regard, with most commercial clothing constituting a costume of some kind. Costume stores have even become the number one hangout, containing bar-cafes.
In this unprecedented heroic age, Superheroes pedestaled. The most popular celebrities; every newspaper has a Superhero section and each news program a Superhero segment. Indeed, 90% of all free-to-air television is about Superheroes in some way from numerous reality programs to ‘Breakfast at XI with Toast Man’ and ‘Mystery Tin Man Late Night Chat’ (where guests and audience members bring on unlabeled tins for Mystery Tin Man to guess their contents).
Like any culture, you get extremists. And in Power Culture, you get Supervillians. The term itself is broad, referring to any criminal who wears a costume, has superpowers or both. ‘Supervillian’ defines everyone from hoodlums on the street to mafia heavy’s. Given the current culture, the government currently feels that too much leniency could see things get out of hand. As such, they have adopted a single purpose zero tolerance policy to anyone being found guilty of being a Supervillian is given a life sentence on Exodus rock. There they are forgotten and beyond legal aid. Due to the potential severity of such a sentence, most cases of alleged Supervilliany are tried before a Specialist Magistrates Court. Before going to trial, a Magistrate with Specialist qualifications in Supervillian law must review the case and agree to the defendant being tried as a Supervillian.
The Dome Project
With the northern hemisphere now completely radiated; the global situation is a delicate one. Limited resources see the southern hemisphere in constant danger of overpopulation. Constructed by the Labour Corporation under contract from the government, the Domes provide answers to the new worlds problems.
Great cylinders of machinery topped by domes of ultra-glass; each dome is part city, think-tank and fortress. Near-fully self-sufficient, each Dome is responsible for one of the government’s major projects.
One of the primary roles of most Domes is to monitor of radioactive materials and their movements. For this reason most are along the Borderland between the northern and southern hemispheres. There are eleven Domes in total.
Dome One (Mexico)
Monitors the situation in South America.
Dome Two (Pacific, south of Hawaii)
Transfers prisoners to Exodus rock, supplies and maintains the Fortress.
Dome Three (Tasman Sea)
Oversees New Eden terraforming. Dome Three is relatively unique in that it is one of two Dome’s not to monitor radioactive materials.
Dome Four (Africa)
Dome V (Atlantic Ocean)
Dome Six (Borneo)
Dome Seven (Madagascar)
Mass manufacturing and the second Dome not to monitor radioactive materials.
Dome Eight (New Guinea)
Dome Nine (Marshal Islands)
Dome Ten (Pacific, between Hawaii and Peru)
Dome Solitude (Indian Ocean)
Coordinates efforts and correlates information from other Domes.
The Independence of South Africa
When resources were running low in World War Three, the major players all made a dive for Africa’s massive untapped resources. Massively depopulated by some of the most brutal action in the war, Africa is currently divided amongst many and varied suzerainties. While still under the Australian Empire, competition between these tiny kingdoms is fierce. The near-constant conflict across the continent draws more mercenaries than any other place on Earth.
The fallout whipped Canada and the United States. But it didn’t go much further south. For the first time in over a century, it was good to be in Mexico. South America, however, forms an interesting problem for the Australian Empire. Blasted back to prehistoric, dinosaur-infested jungle by a temporal rip- the work of the villain Timito –the continent is populated in only small pockets. There is little common ground between the people here and no sense of governmental authority. Similar to the effect that plucked dinosaurs from the past, South America’s population ranges from cavemen to Roman Legions and much between.
Formerly Hawaii, Exodus Rock is now the one stop life-sentence prison for all super-criminals. Surrounded by an energy field which removes both radiation and super powers, Exodus Rock has no walls. Rather; only a red line in the earth marks boundary. Nor are their guards beyond the red line. Prisoners can do as they will within Exodus Rock. They can even leave at any time, provided they can survive the radiation. The only real security per say on Exodus Rock lies outside the energy field in the Fortress. Not only is the Fortress the source of the field, but drop off point for prisoners. The Fortress is naturally radiation proofed and should its staff need to step outside, special super-armours are provided.
On the day the bombs fell, Australia was a minor player. The next, it was the new superpower. Australia’s cities are the biggest and the people within enjoy the best quality of life. It sounds like a utopia, but that’s where the good news ends. Governmental focus is internatal, not national. The cities run, but they’re riddled with vermin. Pest control keeps the rats out of sight, but there are dark corners where the wicked rule and thrive. Outside the cities, it’s the vermin who rule. During the war, the homeland militia act gave rise road gangs and neo-savages, most of which are yet to be disarmed.
The city of tomorrow today, Albion is a high-tech super-metropolis. Easily the most comfortable and prosperous city in Australia; Albion’s puts a pretty face over her skin, industrial guts. Like cancer, Albion’s criminal element is deeply imbedded but largely invisible.
The high-tech g-man, Iron Horse, is the one-man solution to crime in Albion. Black ops trained, Iron Horse understands that criminals hide behind bureaucracy, process and protocol. Ignoring these things in favour of his own code of ethics, Iron Horse has denied the criminal the protection of law. His impossibly high ideals have also made Iron Horse beyond corruption. So far, Iron Horse’s government clearances have protected his conduct. But the constant tightrope walk is an effort no mortal man can keep up forever.
War industry built Orphicten. When the war ended, so did Orphicten’s prosperity. As the basic day-to-day functions of Orphicten began to break down, cracks appeared. Through the cracks rose the gangs and mobs. Now those cracks mark their territories.
One man who does want to make a difference in Orphicten is Marv Smalltown. The city’s resident vigilante, Marv doesn’t go for costumes or capes. Instead he deals with the mobs in a very open, old fashioned way: busting heads. The ultimate glass is three-fourths full guy, Marv truly believes his efforts will one day make a bad city good again. Scarily for the bad guys Marv is as strong and impervious as iron, able to leap from street to rooftop.
Southern Cross City
Southern Cross City has been the capital of the Australian Empire since the third world war’s end. The city gained its name from government reformation in the year one. Established as the new capital, the wars end saw the raising of the Eureka flag.
Since the late 1930s Australia’s premier Superhero has been the Battler. It’s understood that there have been numerous Battler’s over the years. From the Battle of Crete in World War II to the Siege of Washington in World War III, a Battler has stood for Australia and with Australians. The currently Battler saw no wartime action. But with their sidekick Cazaly, they’re a furious pair of scrappers and the premier icons of Southern Cross City.
Somewhere in South America, former General John Anderson- aka Timito -has his base. Despite the name, Timito is a real threat. A time traveller of sorts, Timito can project his consciousness laterally in space and temporally in reverse. In brief; he can visit any time period anywhere on Earth. While he can’t interact with the past, Timito can pluck objects from it.
Serving in World War III United States General Anderson tried desperately to stop the bombs. As Timito, he does the same. While this quest maybe noble, Timito is horribly unbalanced. The current state of South America is the mark of his last attempt to correct the past.
Aryan League, The
Nazi Germany’s greatest heroes were the alluring Blauer Engel, devious Nachtwachter and invincible Ubermensch. As the Aryan League were Hitler’s personal Superteam. Single-handedly, they were made up for losses in Russia and aiding Rommel in North Africa. Just before D-Day, however, Timito visited them; plucking them from the past. Initially angry, they saw a future in which the Reich didn’t even last ten years, let alone a thousand. Now, all accounts say they the League does Timito’s dirty work with the promise of returning to and correcting their past.
Currently undergoing experimental New Eden terraforming project, hopes are Antarctica will be warmed to a lush virgin wilderness within the next century. Till its complete and understood, however, no one except the projects key scientists and mystics is permitted on New Eden. The only exception is for Antarctica’s one permanent resident; Corner Stone. Formerly Uluru, now a being of living stone, Corner Stone serves as New Eden’s guardian.
The Aryan League
This trio weren’t the only ones plucked from the past by Timito. Vanishing moments before the Red Army entered Berlin; Hitler’s suicide was a cover up. Currently residing in South America, who knows what purpose a long-thought dead Nazi serves Timito.
The Battler and Cazaly are the foremost Superhero/Sidekick duo in Australia. But they’re also its darkest secret. Each time a Battler and Cazaly falls, another is chosen from the next census. This ensures only the most Australian take up the Battler’s mantle. Taken, stripped of their previous self and instilled with their new personas there is no secret identity: only the Battler and Cazaly remain. Family and friends never know what truly happened to their loved ones. The process is harrowing and has left the current pair prone to excessive drink and public debauchery.
Sensitive things happen in the classified Domes. Dome Ten is Black Operations. Spies, secret agents, special operations, sensitive missions and all the other ‘dirty work’ of the government and military. Labour Corp has no hand in this Dome whatsoever. It is strictly government run.
Dome V has no purpose known by the Government or Labour Corp. Neither staff nor maintain this Dome.
Contrary to popular opinion, Iron Horse has a single innate superpower in addition to his devices. He can regenerate.
The Northern Hemisphere
The greater portion of the Northern Hemisphere is a high radiation zone (SWEX p106). Thankfully, neither wind nor tide from the Earth’s two hemispheres mix overly, so the fallout hasn’t been drifting south in any dire manner.
Additionally, the bombs raised the temperature of the northern hemisphere up a notch; creating a mutative effect. Not only has nature sprung back, but it’s also taken a bold new turn. The Mosquitoids are the clearest example of this new natural frontier. Short, humanoid Mosquitos, in thirty short years this species has come to inhabit the bulk of the northern hemisphere.
Something about the northern hemisphere- be it the Mosquitoids, the radiation, or the mutative effect –interferes with radio. All anyone attempts to use one pick up naught but static. A Repair roll at -4 can get it going, but even then it only catches one word in ten through the white noise.
The supervillian, Timito, may have initially wished to correct the final blow of World War III. When South America went prehistoric, however, Timito decided to master his abilities before making another attempt. Taking long walks deep into the past gave Timito a sense of perspective he lacked before. Timito now sees the past as a long series of mistakes; all subsequently requiring correction. Realizing he needs a stronger, more active, hand; Timito wishes to increase his power so that he may move through time and space at will.