Worldbuilding question

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Neo-Paladin
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Worldbuilding question

Post by Neo-Paladin » Sat May 11, 2019 12:07 pm

Been thinking about doing another worldbuilding thread in addition to the Merged Universe. Now, the background, reason for superpowers etc. I have figured out, but there is one major question...when should superpowers appear for the first time? There are numerous pitfalls when doing the normal " they first appeared in WW2" routine ( like, having to develop a detailed superheroic timeline), but doing that means the world has gotten used to the powers and there are fleshed-out structures dealing with superhero life.

Now, if powers start appearing in the modern day, things will be easier on the historic front, but most of the setting will be preoccupied with the chaos that would ensue if physics-breaking phenomena and people who are walking weapons of mass-destruction became a reality.

What are your thoughts?

RainOnTheSun
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Re: Worldbuilding question

Post by RainOnTheSun » Sun May 12, 2019 4:37 am

Have you thought about not setting it in the real world at all? You could make something like Metropolis or Gotham City, on a larger scale: a world with cars and cell phones and movies and airlines and 95% of everything else people expect from the real world, but none of the exact details. Manga like Hunter x Hunter and Dragonball do it, and it would let you have a world that was used to superheroes without having to come up with excuses for why those superheroes haven't had a major influence on history.

Neo-Paladin
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Re: Worldbuilding question

Post by Neo-Paladin » Sun May 12, 2019 6:17 am

I understand your point. However, in superhero stories, I do like to have a relation to this world

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Ares
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Re: Worldbuilding question

Post by Ares » Sun May 12, 2019 6:39 am

One idea is that superpowers have always been around in some form or another, we just didn't get proper superheroes until the 20th century.

A basic notion with most superpowers is that they need some kind of trigger. Until the 20th century, science wasn't advanced enough to provide such a trigger, so magic was generally what caused it before. However, with the human population being relatively small until the Industrial Revolution and Magic being more of a mysterious force, you'd get very infrequent superpowered beings until such time when science could provide ample triggers for it.

You'd still have ages of masked heroes, just fewer flat out superpowered ones until the population density and level of technology was enough to provide actual superpowers. So you'd have ages of masked cowboys and Pulp mystery men, with superpowers coming about more frequently due to science, or even Weird SCIENCE!!! from sci-fi and pulp fiction.

Granted, that assumes you go with the idea of superpowers requiring a trigger, and not being something either inherit to humanity or the result of a single event that triggers superpowers. Some settings get around the idea of superpowers altering the past by having the major triggering event occur in current year, or only a short while ago.

Neo-Paladin
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Re: Worldbuilding question

Post by Neo-Paladin » Sun May 12, 2019 7:13 am

Hm...I kinda like this. The superhuman feats attributed to some ancient leaders, mythical figures etc. were real, early expressions of superpowers...

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Ares
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Re: Worldbuilding question

Post by Ares » Sun May 12, 2019 7:18 am

Right. Hercules and Gilgamesh were both legitimate superpowered types, but whether that was due to being actual demigods, superpowers being triggered by magic, being early mutants, or their divine parentage being what triggered their powers, is up to you and whether magic is a thing in your setting or not.

Neo-Paladin
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Re: Worldbuilding question

Post by Neo-Paladin » Sun May 12, 2019 9:33 am

Well...the basic premise is that all superpowers spring from a single source, i.e., the Shards of God.
The act of Creation did not begin with our universe(multiverse?). There had been other, cruder creations, but those were cast aside by God in favour of the last one (basically using the quabalistic concept of the Qlipoth here as this has fascinated me for years). While unwanted, they were nonetheless granted a divine spark by virtue of being a divine creation and thus retained a "life" of their own. Eventually, they coalesced and the things that sprang forth from the hate-twisted shell-dimensions warred on the Divine Realm, eventually managing to burn the Tree of Life, overwhelming God while he was still exhausted from creating the universe.
In a final act of defiance, God committed divine suicide, fragments of his power " raining down" upon the universe, shattered but still extremely potent.
Those are the reason there are people with powers around.

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