Sons of the Cosmos, Development Thread

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Sons of the Cosmos, Development Thread

Post by Superfanboy »

Power Levels, Real Technology, Normals
I am building a setting in 1901. I've found some weapon write ups that will do well enough. But I'm new enough to the M&M system (I played 1/2e) so I'm not sure about how to get my concept zeroed in on the game mechanics. This is about my setting but the real topic is thematic benchmarking, looking for power and grittiness like Godlike and Adventure for most supers, Aberrant for the aristocracy, and Supreme Power comics for the super-elite. So no Silver Age nigh omnipotent types, but there are some supers who are pretty much unstoppable by normals and even some cosmic events.

I want a super setting where normals are strictly realistic normals, unless they have received power tech. But super inventors are all supers, there are no super normals beyond gear, and normals usually can't use super tech well. It's typical for new abilities to develop over time, or old ones increase in power, but it's usually not dramatic and aging somewhat counters it. For most people there is a hard limit to potential. The low power level, rarity and technological limits on supers up until (increasingly) now has meant many who have powers have limited experience using them. Brute force is often enough, or all they can think of. There is no normal tech to detect supers unless it's something obvious, like glowing eyes.

About 25% of people have the potential to be Activated: under ideal circumstances and the cosmic ray generated ultra-solar cascades recessive traits, dormant biomechanical symbiotic life, or alien heritage (aliens are human, but usually more advanced, and usually deliberately engineered for some weird purpose). Because of the multiplicity of changes under ultra-solar Cascade events, and the attention it attracts from nearby aliens, the actual origin story and nature of powers can be very diverse. I only prohibit fast space travel, teleportation, true mind reading and thought (not word or picture) transmission (low level ersatz telepathy strategy prediction and cinematic body language versions are OK). This is for theme reasons and setting obstacles.

Under increased population, radio-chemical exposure from industry and percent of people (it's slowly growing) are supers. Half of them have minor powers: they might be very useful or just random, and many of them don't even know it. But dramatic powers and transformation events are on the rise, of the dormant among this 25% it's suspected half of the latent supers will manifest this year (1901) by Ilmarinen (who is right, because I said so).

Of the activated supers, the majority have a potential of around pulp fiction level, a lot of incredible gunmen, detectives and unnaturally quick boxers, etc. with some boasting Blue Beetle, 70s TV Hulk levels of power. The game book seems to indicate PL7-8 might be right.

About 10% of manifested supers have potential to be significantly more powerful, only about half will (without dying trying). Most of them simply have more abilities, new advantages and heightened skills - beyond normal human capacity. They are high point PL8, with a few PL9s. These supers are so much more versatile and effective they tend to be the most known, at least if they run into publicity.

The most powerful start with people who can survive or evade most normal human weapons, including cannons, bombs and machine guns, and people who can change our destroy important features of a community. This is perhaps around PL9-11. This is the hardest for me to gauge, I want them to be strong enough so that ordinary military forces and technology will have a hard time coping with them (not necessarily that they'll lose, but they won't win easily) but not flying around at light speed or able to mass produce millions of golems with their headquarters.

The strongest character in general circulation is currently designed as PL13, Ilmarinen, and it's assumed that anyone as powerful, in any way, is not from Earth and is not a common occurrence. He has a Strength 16,will he punch a hole in the planet?
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