The DC world without it's heroes...

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The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby The Argent Protector » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:15 am

So I'm trying to develop a campaign. My campaign stems from a single notion. What if something happened suddenly and the earth was without it's heroes? No Superman. No Batman. No Wonder Woman. All the heroes have inexplicably vanished.

My reason for this is two-fold.

1. It would allow me to set my campaign in the DC Universe's Earth without having the DC heroes overshadow my player's superheroes. The players would be playing new superheroes who have risen to the challenge of protecting a world that has suddenly lost all of it's iconic AND lesser known heroes. No Blue Beetle. No Nightwing. No Robin. No Plastic Man. They are ALL gone.

2. I would be able to still use the various iconic supervillains while tossing in some of my own unique bad guys. Lex Luthor, Joker, Brainiac, Black Manta, Toyman. These guys and all the other supervillains are still around.

So, I humbly come to you, my fellow forumites. What kind of event could cause such a thing to happen? Perhaps it's some kind of joke being played out by Mister Mxyzptlk or other 5th Dimension being. Maybe something has happened to the fabric of reality, removing all the Good Guys from the picture. I need suggestions. I plan to run this as a full campaign. I'd like to put the players in a tough predicament at the end of the campaign. They will either be able to restore the world to it's original state, allowing the DC superheroes to return but erasing themselves from the timeline in the process. Or keep things the way they are, allowing them to remain in the timeline, but having the DC superheroes never return.

Any suggestions?

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby Mr Mole » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:59 am

I wouldn't normally recommend reading Wanted, as I found it generally vulgar and distasteful, but it fits the premise of a world without heroes. The characters have fairly obvious DC counterparts, mostly Batman and Superman villains.

I'm not sure if the part about the villains ruling the world in secret would fit your plans.

I'd also take a look at the Young Justice animated series and see how The Light operated. A secret cabal of supervillains with a hierarchy and shared goals is about the only way you're going to have anything other than anarchy. Factions secretly playing off against each other and wheels within wheels... Most of which would be orchestrated by Vandal Savage at the hub. Sometimes maintaining the status quo would be in order... Other times a full scale alien invasion... Whatever furthers the agenda... But there's always a reason beyond the obvious. I love conspiracies in supers campaigns. :mrgreen:

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby The Argent Protector » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:05 am

Mr Mole wrote:I wouldn't normally recommend reading Wanted, as I found it generally vulgar and distasteful, but it fits the premise of a world without heroes. The characters have fairly obvious DC counterparts, mostly Batman and Superman villains.

I'm not sure if the part about the villains ruling the world in secret would fit your plans.

I'd also take a look at the Young Justice animated series and see how The Light operated. A secret cabal of supervillains with a hierarchy and shared goals is about the only way you're going to have anything other than anarchy. Factions secretly playing off against each other and wheels within wheels... Most of which would be orchestrated by Vandal Savage at the hub. Sometimes maintaining the status quo would be in order... Other times a full scale alien invasion... Whatever furthers the agenda... But there's always a reason beyond the obvious. I love conspiracies in supers campaigns. :mrgreen:


I like the conspiracy angle. But I want the villains of the setting to be just as surprised as the rest of the populace that the heroes are gone. Then the new heroes start to make their presence known and begin tackling the problem of villains running amok unchecked.

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby FuzzyBoots » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:31 am

Oddly enough, there was a Batman story with just that premise. He and Robin accidentally got put into an alternate reality, around the time that Bruce was a child, and learned that the world had simply never had superheroes, not even mythological ones, leading Batman to wrestle with whether he should save his parents in this reality when he knew that his tragic childhood may be the only change at a hero that world might know.

Ultimately, of course, he chose to intervene, and the last few panels showed a young Bruce in the alternate reality training to become a superhero, inspired by the man who saved him and his parents.

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby Mr Mole » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:49 am

The Argent Protector wrote:But I want the villains of the setting to be just as surprised as the rest of the populace that the heroes are gone.

Then you're probably looking at intervention from some cosmic-level entity... Something along the lines of Mxyzptlk unleashed... There aren't a lot of other ways I can think of that every hero would disappear in the blink of an eye without anyone knowing anything about it...

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby RobertReaper » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:13 pm

You could use the same story arc from the Young Justice show where all the children and adults were stuck in separate worlds because of a powerful spell, with only Captain Marvel able to breech the gap. Instead of adults and children, just have the spell be for Superheroes and Supervillains.

Everyone would be surprised except for the ones that cast the spell.

And since the spell only affects Superheroes and Supervillains that would probably mean that all the normal citizens have counterparts in the other world, one where all the Heroes are gone and one where all the Villains are gone.

That would also make for an interesting twist where if the PCs become too heroic they are pulled into the other world, and same if they become too villainous.

The great thing would be that all of the world's existing heroes wouldn't be able to stop the spell because they're not in the same world.

I may have to steal this story arc, lol.
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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby The Argent Protector » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:04 pm

Mr Mole wrote:
The Argent Protector wrote:But I want the villains of the setting to be just as surprised as the rest of the populace that the heroes are gone.

Then you're probably looking at intervention from some cosmic-level entity... Something along the lines of Mxyzptlk unleashed... There aren't a lot of other ways I can think of that every hero would disappear in the blink of an eye without anyone knowing anything about it...


Actually, I want everyone to know about it. There will be panic amongst the populace because their beloved heroes are gone. Of course, at first, no one will know why it has happened or where the heroes have gone. That is something I wish to slowly reveal as the campaign progresses. I'm wondering if some villain, maybe Vandal Savage, could have found a way to trap someone like Mr. Mxyzptlk and force him to do his bidding. Maybe he was only able to get one "wish" from Mxyzptlk and it was to remove all the heroes from from the setting. Of course, I'd need a way to remove Mxyzptlk after he removed the heroes from this world. Mainly because I wouldn't want the mastermind villain (Vandal Savage or someone else I may use) to be able to keep getting Mxyzptlk to do more and more damage. Hmm. Something to think about.

Keep the suggestions coming.

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby Mr Mole » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:05 pm

The Argent Protector wrote:Actually, I want everyone to know about it.

Sorry. I was unclear. I meant that no one would have a clue ahead of time... Not that no one knew afterward... Thus the "surprise" you mentioned.

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby The Argent Protector » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:12 pm

Mr Mole wrote:
The Argent Protector wrote:Actually, I want everyone to know about it.

Sorry. I was unclear. I meant that no one would have a clue ahead of time... Not that no one knew afterward... Thus the "surprise" you mentioned.


Gotcha. :D

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby Stigger » Wed May 01, 2013 12:51 am

I foresee one glaring problem, and that's how to counteract entities like Spectre and Phantom Stranger... and generally that means with other entities. As to how to do that, you could borrow an idea from Marvel and make the disappearance linked to someone like the Grandmaster (I think that was his name anyway, been a while) making a wager with another being to see what would happen, and maybe even paving the way for the PCs to actually rescue the lost heroes at some point, or something like that. Maybe something like the Elseworlds Black Light event that affected only heroes, though that can really limit the campaign in too many respects unless you don't mind it being permanent, or have a way to reverse it.

Another idea might be to make it really dramatic, like starting it with the death of an iconic hero from the JSA, like Wildcat say, that would really draw most heroes out to honor them, and have them all disappear during the funeral without any explanation beyond a bright flash of light, or a mysterious bank of fog, and worry about the details of what actually happened later as the plot unfolds. As to the little ones who didn't attend, it wouldn't be hard or implausible to have them killed off by opportunistic villains if there's no one to stop them or to bring them to justice for it. Maybe you could even have them contacted by Oracle or Alfred, as part of some contingency the Bat laid out for just this sort of event. Anyway, it's an interesting idea any way it goes, and I look forward to see what you do with the concept.

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby The Argent Protector » Wed May 01, 2013 10:37 pm

Stigger wrote:I foresee one glaring problem, and that's how to counteract entities like Spectre and Phantom Stranger... and generally that means with other entities. As to how to do that, you could borrow an idea from Marvel and make the disappearance linked to someone like the Grandmaster (I think that was his name anyway, been a while) making a wager with another being to see what would happen, and maybe even paving the way for the PCs to actually rescue the lost heroes at some point, or something like that. Maybe something like the Elseworlds Black Light event that affected only heroes, though that can really limit the campaign in too many respects unless you don't mind it being permanent, or have a way to reverse it.

Another idea might be to make it really dramatic, like starting it with the death of an iconic hero from the JSA, like Wildcat say, that would really draw most heroes out to honor them, and have them all disappear during the funeral without any explanation beyond a bright flash of light, or a mysterious bank of fog, and worry about the details of what actually happened later as the plot unfolds. As to the little ones who didn't attend, it wouldn't be hard or implausible to have them killed off by opportunistic villains if there's no one to stop them or to bring them to justice for it. Maybe you could even have them contacted by Oracle or Alfred, as part of some contingency the Bat laid out for just this sort of event. Anyway, it's an interesting idea any way it goes, and I look forward to see what you do with the concept.


I really like the second idea you mentioned there. Hmm... This gives me plenty to think about. I like the funeral idea. Perhaps whoever is orchestrating the disappearance of the heroes is also behind the death of the aging JSA hero.

A twist I want to throw in is to have whoever is behind it, to be someone the players might not suspect. I'll also pepper in plenty of red herrings. It could be Lex Luthor, Brainiac, or any number of other iconic and major villains. But the catch will be that it was none of those BBEGs. Yes. This is shaping up to be a great campaign idea. (Evil Grin)

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby Stigger » Thu May 02, 2013 12:00 am

Personally I'd go with someone who might volunteer to sponsor the heroes, in order to not only avoid suspicion, but also to lay the groundwork for their eventual overthrow of the world. Maybe even a group of people... sort of like the Technocracy in mindset and style from Mage: The Ascension if you're familiar with them. Perhaps they kept the villains there to make sure it would be easier to convince the people of the world to follow them once they saved them... and are using the new heroes to just hammer the point home that you can't trust costumed freaks as they sabotage their efforts. The path to hell is often paved with the best of intentions is the angle I'm looking at it from I guess.

Sorry if that's a bit off, but I was reading the new Convention Book: Progenitors today and the crats are kinda on my mind. :D

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby The Argent Protector » Thu May 02, 2013 12:59 am

Stigger wrote:Personally I'd go with someone who might volunteer to sponsor the heroes, in order to not only avoid suspicion, but also to lay the groundwork for their eventual overthrow of the world. Maybe even a group of people... sort of like the Technocracy in mindset and style from Mage: The Ascension if you're familiar with them. Perhaps they kept the villains there to make sure it would be easier to convince the people of the world to follow them once they saved them... and are using the new heroes to just hammer the point home that you can't trust costumed freaks as they sabotage their efforts. The path to hell is often paved with the best of intentions is the angle I'm looking at it from I guess.

Sorry if that's a bit off, but I was reading the new Convention Book: Progenitors today and the crats are kinda on my mind. :D


Totally familiar is the Technocracy. Good ideas as well. I like the idea of a sponsor being behind the plot as well. Plus it'll be a nasty surprise when the new heroes learn the secret. :D

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby HappyDaze » Thu May 02, 2013 2:52 am

I'd like this idea a bit more if it was the PC heroes that (unintentionally) caused the disappearance and then had to step up to clean up the mess they caused.

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Re: The DC world without it's heroes...

Postby Mr Mole » Thu May 02, 2013 7:01 am

HappyDaze wrote:I'd like this idea a bit more if it was the PC heroes that (unintentionally) caused the disappearance and then had to step up to clean up the mess they caused.

I just watched Mystery Men for the thousandth time the other night... What you mentioned kinda reminds me of what happened with Captain Amazing... :shock:


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