The Amazing! HED! universe

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The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:10 am

Over in the mainstream HED! universe thread, there's a discussion of what an Ultimates/Wildstorm/Planetary-esque universe that's significantly more "realistic" would look like, sort of like what Paragons' "Freedomverse" take was like. Actually, I really really really liked the Paragons Freedomverse and that was the only time I actually considered playing Paragons.

So this is a write-up for the HED! version of the Ultimates, the Amazing! universe, a place that was created by a cosmic series of events which split it from the mainstream HED! universe. The Amazing! universe is where people are welcome to adapt HED! characters and also create their own unique superheroes and villains for the setting.

I welcome plenty of old friends and hope to make new ones.

The basic "rules of the setting" are as follows:

* It takes place in 2011 in what is a very recent alteration from our world.

* Strange stuff may have occurred during WW2 but it was completely unknown on the home front.

* Metamen are a recent addition to the world and the disbelief/fear/paranoia that accompanies them is pretty much what you would react with if you saw someone could fly.

* Science SEEMS to function the same way as it normally would but there's increasingly examples of stuff that doesn't make sense which works.

* No confirmed afterlives, deities, and so on.

* Other dimensions are either parallel worlds (where "human aliens" can exist) or totally alien.

* Aliens are totally alien or from a parallel Earth.

* Aliens are a VERY new thing.

* A new rule is that all superpowers cause 'lethal' damage except Super Strength, which can be used to subdue someone. Stun, of course, is the exception.

Here's where we'll index articles:

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:17 am

Amazing! Universe History part 1

2010 was when everything changed.

The human-shaped alien Michael arrived with his sister Gabriella and his son Joshua in their pleasant pyramid-shaped spaceship, bringing a message of peace to the world. He stated that his people, the Mithran were a highly advanced race of human-like aliens who had noticed humanity was on the tip of an evolutionary jump unparalleled in the history of mankind. Michael came to offer his services as well as the services of his race in assisting humanity survive this global change. Scientists scoffed at his claim, pointing out the astronomical odds of anything Earth-like emerging and the things he was describing were simply impossible. The problem is, of course, seeing is believing and the world believed when they saw a man fly.

That was when the Metaman appeared. It was a terrifying paradigm shift to watch everything you know about humanity change in an instant. People developed superpowers despite the fact that they went against everything known about biology and physics. People developed the power to generate flame, cold, fly, control people's minds, and walk through walls. The majority of these people immediately began to misuse these abilities, either by accident or through deliberate malice. A great number of people reacted with fear, killing those who would bring them in or harm them. The governments' responses varied tremendously but in America consisted of interning these individuals in camps and ordering their quarantine from the rest of the world.

Of course, immediately, people blamed the strange visitors from another planet. Michael merely bestowed his incomprehensible technology on humanity, allowing them to deal with this fledging outbreak on their own. Any attempt to drive him away, however, failed when Michael offered to cure any disease of those people who came to his starship, which had taken on a religious-like perserverence. The mass healing of the sick soon lead to cults of Divinos as he said his title was in his native language. Over two hundred thousand people were cured of cancer, muscular dystrophy, AIDs, and worse with Mithran technology in the first week alone. Riots occurred as governments cracked down on the populace seeing Michael as a form of messianic savior, especially due to the religious tone he took in his speeches.

Divinos then won the right to operate beyond the confines of his spaceship when the government proved unable to contain the efforts of the mockingly named General Iblis, a African Warlord who had gained such abilities as to seemingly possess the power of a living atomic bomb. Wiping out whole cities across the map, Divinos and his family then proceeded to destroy the psychopath as well as demonstrate that nuclear weapons had no real effect upon them. The United States and other major powers could not harm them even if they wanted to. Having sufficiently impressed humanity with his presence, he proceeded to raise his ship into the sky above the Earth and declared he would offer his assistance to all peoples of the world equally (note: not nations) and assemble a group of like-minded people who would raise humanity to the next level.

He would also retaliate against those who would interfere with his plans or do him harm in the swiftest manner possible.

Things started changing then.

To say the least.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:18 am

Amazing! part 2

The United States government isn't made of fools, despite frequent protestations to the contrary from other nations. Its leaders enacted emergency measures above and beyond the bounds of what the Constitution allowed as soon as it was realized to be necessary.

Suspicious of Divinos' technology ,the Joint Chiefs appointed DARPA Chief, General Jack Washington, jr., and his protege, Colonel Steve Shepard, to special project. One designed to conduct a thorough investigation into everything Mithran. Codenamed: Project Patriot, the organization gathered those Metamen who seemingly had the most control over their abilities and discover what was REALLY going on.

The results were discovered by Minnesota Viking turned hippie turned quantum physicist and a "boy genius." They realized that someone was creating a "vergence field" around the planet Earth which was merging it with another universe. People weren't actually becoming genetically different, they were actually becoming attuned to a reality where thought was capable of having physical effects. Furthermore, Divinos and company were humans. They were genetically engineered humans who had been "upgraded" but none of them were older than a year.

General Washington proceeded to advise the President that the best thing to do in this situation was create a team which would be capable of counteracting Divinos and his family despite their invulnerability to conventional weaponry. For that, he suggested making use of Metamen and building an institution which would train them in the use of their abilities while studying them. This institution would also segregate them from the rest of the civilian population, protecting them from outbreaks of violence should the stress of their transformation drive them to violence.

The Tomorrow Institute was named after the Tomorrow People.

The effects of these discoveries came just in time for the fact that both the European Union, United States, Canada, and other major world bodies were becoming increasingly unstable. Fear at the discovery of alien life, not to mention the changes humanity was undergoing, was enough to make many governments fall or become more repressive. This lead to the creation of a "temporary" world agency which would function as an investigative body for all extraordinary events (particularly Metamen). The fact that Divinos had stated that there were other aliens in the galaxy taking notice of humanity's "evolution" did little to reassure the populace. Former MI6 head, Michelle Helmes was appointed as the head of this body known only as The Foundation.

Then, honestly, things got worse.

The End.

For now.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Neo-Paladin » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:24 am

Quick question...what about magic in the Amazing!Verse? Does it exist? Is it some form of highly advanced science? A case of rudimentary psionics?

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:30 am

Neo-Paladin wrote:Quick question...what about magic in the Amazing!Verse? Does it exist? Is it some form of highly advanced science? A case of rudimentary psionics?


Since the Zone has merged with humanity, many older occult societies are finding their own abilities are able to "tap" into these powers. Fans of Wild Cards should be inclined to reference the Astronomer and Fortunato for reference to how exactly this works.

It's by no means certain since who is effected by the Zone is completely random, otherwise many Metamen never would have chosen their abilities or conditions but it happens.

I'm not adverse to ideas which take the "hidden magic" view but I figure this is the 'default' view with many "fake" occult societies now giving way to real ones.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Neo-Paladin » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:36 am

Ah, ok, so basically all the things occultists believed in finally work now with "magic" being just another kind of new superpower? Sounds good...

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:50 am

The Divinos Family

The Amazing! Omniverse is one of countless varying levels of reality, one of which is best termed The Zone. The Zone is inhabited by a number of intelligences which, for all intents and purposes, might as well be gods but for the fact they have no natural relationship to this reality.

In the Zone, there was one particular intelligence which was known as The Great Intelligence or Ultramind by a parallel Earth called Mithran. This is due to the success of Mithras' followers rebuilding the Roman Empire before sparking an Industrial revolution that lead to their successful conquest of the Western World followed by the Eastern. History took a dramatically different turn after that, obviously.

The Great Intelligence was eventually contacted by these Mithran during their experiments 100,000 years later the birth of Christ, the Mithran confusing the Great Intelligence with God. Flattered by this comparison, the Great Intelligence desired to remake the Mithran universe in such a way that it could interact with them in a direct way.

For this, it encouraged them through radio signals and later visions once it extended its reach into their universe sufficiently, to explore other realities and develop technology enough to reshape Mithran's basic reality. Unfortunately, these experiments had a price and before the world was properly altered, exposure to the Zone resulted in the destruction of Mithran.

The Great Intelligence was devastated and made contact with the few scattered survivors of the civilization in their spaceships. The Intelligence would send several probes to this planet with genetically engineered individuals, containing the memories of them uploaded into their databases since no one could actually survive a trip through the Zone normally and they would begin colonizing this new world.

Only one of the first probe's crew would be aware that this colonization effort would be aware of the Great Intelligence's ultimate aim, which would be to remake the planet in a manner similar to their original home world with the colonists subjugating the native Earthlings. The great irony? The plan will make it so that humanity welcomes their new alien overlords. They will embrace the superman as they would a bunch of gods come to live amongst them.

The Great Intelligence envisioned it this way.

Michael: This first being would be, of course, the highest ranking military leader left in the colonists - the Battle Caesar. The Battle Caesar was instructed to use the local religious imagery of the planet against it, preparing for their mass conversion to Mithanrism when the time was correct. His sister and child would be the new royalty of the planet, despite their "soft" hearts.

The Battle Caesar is, so far, impressed with the Great Intelligence's efforts. Already, vast cults have sprung up in veneration of Divinos and the Mithran people's new religion. Ironically, Michael doesn't believe in the Great Intelligence's claims of divinity anymore than his own. This results in him simultaneously viewing humanity as a group of superstitious peasants and secretly nursing a hatred of the Great Intelligence in his heart.

Michael is secretly highly traumatized by the destruction of his world and the fact that he is merely a "clone" of the original one. This condition makes his superheroism laced with steaming festering resentment that is likely to explode eventually, in a terrifying dramatic manner against a populace with no defense against him.

Not even his "family" would be able to stand against him.

Gabriella: The swift acceptance of aliens undoubtedly has a lot to do with Gabriella, the hot and sexy alien girl from another dimension. Gabriella was naturally repressed on her home world and the planet Earth has opened up a whole new world of experiences, especially with her new found superpowers. Gabriella has since shown up on the cover of People, Time, US, and Maxim happily chatting about everything under the son and her love life. Gabriella has scandalized her brother with her many human lovers and is quite pleased that superpowers don't mean that she can't enjoy herself.

Being a fame harlot hasn't prevented her from doing some good with her abilities, however. Gabriella's assisted the city of New York during numerous incidents and is happy to help in any occasion where she feels innocent people would benefit. Her defeat of General Iblis helped illustrate that she's got no reason to be afraid of anything, though this isn't true. While immune to the atomic blasts, she still has nightmares about the bruises his simple super strength inflicted on her form.

Gabriella is easily the most gregarious of the Divinos family and the one who wants to most meet her "superhero peers." She is completely unaware of her brother's ultimate plans for the Earth and finds his "cult" rather creepy.

Joshua: The son of Michael, Joshua was originally studying for the priesthood when his home world was destroyed. This strengthened, rather than diminished Joshua's faith and convinced him that it was his position to work the will of his god in other worlds. Much to his father's horror, Joshua believes the Church of Divinos is a righteous work and it is his duty to set an example of moral behavior for his followers. He thus spends almost all of his waking hours attempting to assist mortal governments with problems, meditating over issues, and doing things like digging wells or feeding the hungry.

Joshua maintains an almost saintly reserve with other people, which keeps him somewhat separate from others emotionally. The closest thing he has to friends are his followers, who he administers to like a kind of Egyptian pharaoh. He is intrigued by his father's idea of "superhero teams" but is starting to realize Battle Czar is not particularly interested in actually creating rivals to his people's power.

In any case, if you can stomach the withdrawn nature of a pious seventeen year old demigod, he's a really funny guy. Really.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:58 pm

Neo-Paladin wrote:Ah, ok, so basically all the things occultists believed in finally work now with "magic" being just another kind of new superpower? Sounds good...


Pretty much.

It's interesting because you've got these ancient Rosicrucian societies who now are getting an influx of power brokers and people who want to be close to those with "magic" and are plotting world domination (or just to get rich) next to Valley Girl Neo-Pagans who think the Goddess has chosen them and so on. Then, of course, you get heavy metal Satanists who finds out psychic construct demons really DO hear their prayers...

There's no real rhyme or reason to it.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Phrozen » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:42 pm

I see Kenneth Kane as corrupt business man looking to make a profit off of Michael yet not quite trusting him. "There is no free lunch" and "Everybody has a price" being the phrases to describe him.

Death Mask is a serial killer who kills those who Michael helps not because he hates him. Its that well as he puts it "every god needs a devil".

They are also two different people.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:46 pm

Phrozen wrote:I see Kenneth Kane as corrupt business man looking to make a profit off of Michael yet not quite trusting him. "There is no free lunch" and "Everybody has a price" being the phrases to describe him.

Death Mask is a serial killer who kills those who Michael helps not because he hates him. Its that well as he puts it "every god needs a devil".

They are also two different people.


Cool, I like Ultimates re-imaginings that go in odd directions. Death Mask the serial killer is a cool idea.

The idea of Kenneth Kane being a War Profiteer using Michael's tech while either planning to stab him in the back or, worse, manipulate him is fun for all sorts of reasons though.

It'd be interesting since Michael is on the razor's edge of hero and villain.

I had the idea of Death's Head/Ludwig Von Mass being a Charles Manson-esque cult leader from the 1960s who developed his own Satanic church devoted to a being he called ORKUS he created during a drug binge. He then spent the majority of the next forty years behind bars before his magic suddenly started working..

Poor Serena Mass and Cassius Mass are the biological children of the lunatic who were adopted by another couple and had gotten away from it.

DUN DUN DUN.

I wonder if Alex would be essentially the mid-20s version of Tony Stark, still more concerned with dating pop stars and creating virtual reality versions of WOW as flying around in his Black Wing suit he couldn't sell to the military.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Phrozen » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:07 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:
Phrozen wrote:I see Kenneth Kane as corrupt business man looking to make a profit off of Michael yet not quite trusting him. "There is no free lunch" and "Everybody has a price" being the phrases to describe him.

Death Mask is a serial killer who kills those who Michael helps not because he hates him. Its that well as he puts it "every god needs a devil".

They are also two different people.


Cool, I like Ultimates re-imaginings that go in odd directions. Death Mask the serial killer is a cool idea.

The idea of Kenneth Kane being a War Profiteer using Michael's tech while either planning to stab him in the back or, worse, manipulate him is fun for all sorts of reasons though.

It'd be interesting since Michael is on the razor's edge of hero and villain.

I had the idea of Death's Head/Ludwig Von Mass being a Charles Manson-esque cult leader from the 1960s who developed his own Satanic church devoted to a being he called ORKUS he created during a drug binge. He then spent the majority of the next forty years behind bars before his magic suddenly started working..

Poor Serena Mass and Cassius Mass are the biological children of the lunatic who were adopted by another couple and had gotten away from it.

DUN DUN DUN.

I wonder if Alex would be essentially the mid-20s version of Tony Stark, still more concerned with dating pop stars and creating virtual reality versions of WOW as flying around in his Black Wing suit he couldn't sell to the military.


Kane is going full on manipulation. Imagine if you had the keys to immortality in your hands. How much would someone be willing to pay for that? A key aspect of Kane's character would be that he is uninterested with ruling the world. He just wants to be the richest person in it. Who needs the responsibility of ruling the world?

Of course, with Kane and Death Mask being different people. You have the adventure where Death Mask targets Kane.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:29 pm

Kane is going full on manipulation. Imagine if you had the keys to immortality in your hands. How much would someone be willing to pay for that? A key aspect of Kane's character would be that he is uninterested with ruling the world. He just wants to be the richest person in it. Who needs the responsibility of ruling the world?

Of course, with Kane and Death Mask being different people. You have the adventure where Death Mask targets Kane.


1. Which is not that problematic since anything he would want would probably be easier achieved by simply hiring lobbyists as opposed to actually running. After all, he's probably a billionaire in this world and set to corner the market on Mithran-related technology if he can manage to get an exclusive production deal with the Visitors. I imagine SpartaCorp is a military contractor in this world as well, probably interested in weaponizing Metamen as well.

2. You could do PHANTOM as a anti-alien and anti-Mithranite hate cult as well in this world. Though that might remove one of the more fun terrorist groups to fight.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Neo-Paladin » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:50 pm

I would like to run this idea by you...a different take on demons and undead/vampires...

The Malaise of Evil

As if the rise of the metaman isn't bad enough...something seriously wrong is happening. People all over the world are suddenly falling unconscious, their bodies for all intents and purposes more dead than alive. Brain activity is barely registeringl. No cause of their condition is visible. A few among the victims are new metamen but the rest is composed of ordinary people. Of course, the masses are quick to blame this development on the newly risen metamen and demand drastic action, even though they are not sure against whom.
This is the first stage. A week or so later (exactly 6 days, 6 hours and 6 minutes after the "breakout"), the victims begin to undergo drastic changes. Some develop a red rash that covers their entire skin before small budding horns begin to rise from their foreheads, others sprout massive wings....and some simply die.
It does not take too long for people to notice that the changed have begun to look like the demons of ancient myth and voices can be heard demanding the "removal" of such obvious demonic entities.
Fortunately, reason prevails, for the moment. The Foundation starts to look into it, cross-referencing victim data, thereby finding out that most of the afflicted were guilty of crimes of varying severity.
The victims are taken to specially created holding facilities, for their own protection at the very least, for people have begun to grow increasingly nervous around the afflicted, who are still in a coma.
The dead are given hasty burials after a thorough examination reveals nothing amiss.
Then, stage three begins. Again, 6 days, 6 hours and 6 minutes after the changes have begun, the afflicted wake up...and wreak unimaginable havoc, their old personalities apparently erased and replaced by something that only seeks to destroy and hurt. The dead also spontaneously reanimate, now possessed by a thirst for blood or a hunger for living flesh. While several of these entities can be contained, the rest escape, going into hiding.

The world is faced with another riddle...a riddle that only one man can answer...the same man who first spoke of humanity becoming attuned to a different reality. He postulates that this new metahuman emergence was the result of mankind's thoughts becoming more and more manifest in reality. These beings, which so much resembled demons and the undead, were simply hosts filled with an evil conjured up by the human subconscious as it tried to cope with a world that allowed for the fantastic, thereby turning myth into truth.
As stated, the afflicteds' personalities were simply "overwritten" by a crude psychic source code for mythical, metaphysical evil created by mankind itself.

Man had created heroes.
Now man created his own nightmares.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:01 pm

I really like that little idea.

It's even more interesting if these Demon-characters don't necessarily have any outward signs of their 'evil' and their sudden sociopathy is something that they can hide.

Plus, you can also have people who think they're vampires and HOW NEAT IS THAT versus the people who are legitimate cannibal monsters.

(probably more of the later than the former)

I wonder if the CDC thinks that they're viruses as opposed to something spontaneous.

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Re: The Amazing! HED! universe

Postby Neo-Paladin » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:05 pm

The problem is that in some cases, it is transmitted by a virus, in other cases, the affliction (vampirism) appears to be totally metaphysical in nature. Same with the demons...some can hide their demonic features, others can't. Some are more akin to psycho killers ala Vorhees etc. while others look like they sprung from a medieval book.
The new alignment with the Zone(if I got this right) prompts the human mass consciousness to get everything right at once. Which can be terribly confusing as all legends can appear to be true all of a sudden.


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