Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fractal Superhero Setting creation 1

(Image from Cosmic Tales #1)

Fractal Campaign Creation 

A complex and satisfying campaign requires a solid and coherent setting. Superhero settings range in scale from a single city to a multiverse and often encompass elements such as time travel and alternate reality as well. 
Despite this variation in scope, most settings and sub-settings share a similar array of traits, differing from one another in degree, but not kind. This similarity in characteristics, regardless of scale, allows one setting to be nested within another, i.e., a neighborhood within a city; a city within a country; a country within a continent; a continent on a planet; a planet in a solar system; a solar system in a galaxy; a galaxy in a cluster; a cluster in a universe;  a universe in a multiverse and so on. 

These traits are as follows:

Four classes of sentient beings exist: Villains; citizens; superheroes and forces; each engages reality with unique motivations; behaviors and philosophies.

Environment is often, at least in part, a reflection of the villain(s) and, in game terms, should be thought of as an hostile NPC. Otherwise environment should contain several landmarks, hazards, wonders and mysteries. 

History reduces to the following: The beginning; the good old days; the disaster- which leads up to the present, AKA: This fallen world. 
Each class of sentients views the same history through a different lens. 
Origins profoundly impact the present.
Historically speaking, everyone feels put upon. 

Turf belongs to someone. Turf unprotected will fall to chaos. Villains claim their turf in an explicit and hierarchal manner; heroes, perforce operating in the same territory, assert their claim in much more passive, implicit and (often grudging) egalitarian manner. Turf wars manifest in many different ways and provide the initial impetus for numerous conflicts. 

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