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Old 09-05-2020, 02:02 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default (Another) World of Superhumans

So, I thought it would be a good idea to create (another) world of superheroes. In this world, the spread of certain insecticides throughout the world during the 1950s triggered dormant genes within 1% of exposed humans that manifested in superpowers (the condition passed from parent to child, meaning that there are now multigenerational superhuman families). It is now 2020 and most developed nations have special schools for the children of superheroes, as superpowers can manifest at anytime.

So, what changes would you expect in such the history of the world if the superhumans started appearing in 1951? While the initial superhumans were concentrated in the developed world, the cause of superhumans was not discovered until the 1990s, after 99% of the human population became exposed to the insecticides. Do you think that superhumans would be considered special in such a world or do you think they would just be talented? What type of superhuman would you want to play in such a world?
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Old 09-05-2020, 05:55 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2020
Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

How the world has changed will depend on the nature of the superhuman abilities. A world where most superhumans get only one trait (fire power powers, for example) will be different from a world where the abilities are random.

After 70 years, paranoia will likely be ramped down but there might still be a great deal of envy from the normals.

Also of note, if the potential for genetic change were higher in the few days right after the insecticide was sprayed, that could result in certain classes of people (farmers, for example) having a higher representation in the superhuman community
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

How widespread are folks with super-intelligence or Gadgeteer that can produce reproducible tech? This relates to whether the world is solidly TL9 or higher by 2020. Or do the governments keep the good stuff for themselves?

On a related note, how widespread are prisons able to handle powers?

If two supers have kids, which parent's genes are dominant, or does the kid inherit both sets? Assuming three generations since the emergence, how many second- and third-gen supers are there?

Do the number of supers follow socioeconomic factors or raw population? (IOW, would the US & EU or China & India have the higher number of supers?)
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Last edited by Phantasm; 12-22-2020 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:46 AM   #4
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

This refers back to whether supers get one set of inheritable powers or it's random.

If powers are themed and inheritable, then clans of superhumans with specific themes to their powers will have begun to form. As these clans become more distinctive and develop their own subcultures, this could be the beginning of speciation.

And it would be ridiculous to assume everyone with powers would become superheroes and villains. A sizable percentage (probably the majority) would adopt normal lifestyles, with their powers being a secondary concern. Of course, many professions would be changed by super-powered practitioners. (Construction and medicine are the top two that spring to mind.)
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:52 AM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

When it comes to innate ability distributions, let us assume that 80% have 100- points in innate abilities, 16% 101-200 CP, 3.2% 201-300 CP, and so on (each +100 CP of abilities being a fifth as common as the previous level of abilities). That distribution means that there are less than a dozen people with over 1,000 CP of innate abilities, and no one exists with more than 1,200 CP of abilities.

To simplify things, and to prevent the TL from skyrocketing, we will assume that the Gadgeteer advantage only allows for the creation of superscience gadgets and technological procedures. It would actually function as a form of RPM, with each Path representing a H science or H scientific specialty, and each ritual repenting a technological procedure. Gadgeteer would cost as much as Magery, and follow similar rules as Magery (RPM), though the Superscience modifier would replace the Magic modifier and Weird Magic replaces Thaumatology. Paths default from scientific skills/specialties at -6 (with no maximum default), but scientific skills/specialties default to Paths at -2. Energy points become Creation Points, but they otherwise function the same way.

For example, the Gene Raider is a Mad Scientist with IQ 20, Gadgeteer 8, Biology-20 and Weird Science-20. With her skills, she receives a default of 14 in Biology-related Paths and a 12 (since that is the maximum allowed default from Weird Science) for other Paths. With a pool of 24 Creation Points, she is capable of completing minor technological procedures on the fly with no major issues, though depriving her of her laboratory (trapping) will limit her.

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 09-05-2020 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:58 AM   #6
Fred Brackin
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

Power level might be key. If everyone remains a 50-75 pt normal with only 25 to 50 pts of Exotic Powers there aren't going to be _real_ Supers. You'd have some disproportionately effective abilities but they'd tend to be used in secret either for good or ill. Unless they can be used without controversy for profit.

Now if you get 2000 pt Archetypes (see Gurps Supers) then global effects become almsot unavoidable.
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:42 AM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

I doubt that there would be even a single 2000 CP person in the world, though there are probably a few dozen 1600 CP people (combination of abilities and mundane traits). Around 20% of supers (0.2% of the population) have 101+ CP of innate abilities, and they can probably gain another 100 CP worth throughout their life with practice and training, so I think that they would qualify. Of course, dramatically physical superhuman are quite rare, but there are at least a couple hundred people with 801+ CP in abilities.
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Old 09-05-2020, 10:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

If 1% of the population by numbers are supers, this means my relatively-small high school graduating class of 95 (and '95) would likely have had one. Pretty much everybody who doesn't live in a cave knows a super. If it's the kid I'm thinking of, it would enhance but not change his role in the world - Good-looking, charismatic, athletic, not-stupid, popular. Was 1/2 of the winning team on an early season of The Amazing Race, which launched a successful career producing other travel-themed game shows. Married a smart and beautiful Alpha female who would probably also have powers in this setting, as would their kids, who would grow amid moderate privilege and minor fame to lives of greater influence.

Last edited by Gold & Appel Inc; 09-05-2020 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 09-05-2020, 11:52 AM   #9
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

Well, I am thinking that most supers would have been diverted to more specialized schools by high school, so it would likely be more likely that someone would have been in elementary school with a future super rather than having attended high school with a super (unless they are a super themselves). A community would need a population of around 800,000 to support a superhuman high school (smaller communities would send off their superchildren to a public boarding school), so Charleston, SC would probably be the smallest community with its own local superschool (NYC would have 10 in the city alone and another 15 in the metro area).

Having 40,000 supers graduating a year from 400 super schools would offer plenty of opportunities for school adventures. Super schools would probably average 400 students (any less than 200 is likely too uneconomical to support and any more than 600 is likely to dangerous to the local community). There may be private superschools though, as there will likely be enough wealthy supers to support them, but they would probably be no more than a tenth of the superschools. In any case, they would likely not interact much with mundane schools.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:06 PM   #10
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: (Another) World of Superhumans

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Well, I am thinking that most supers would have been diverted to more specialized schools by high school...
I feel this would be rather fraught with problems. From a practical standpoint, unless powers don't have a lot of variation, you're concentrating supers with wildly different abilities, all of which are going to be potentially difficult to handle, and difficult in very different ways. While boarding schools for supers may well be a thing, I suspect in many cases it will work out better to handle a handful of supers at each school - particularly considering most powers probably don't make the kid more disruptive than a normal kid can be anyway. You might have some special supers-only classes within the school, of course, likely taught by a superpowered faculty member (or you may just have special counselors for the superpowered kids).

From a political standpoint, oh boy, this is a powder keg (at least in the USA). You're talking about segregating schools (on the basis of powered vs non-powered) during roughly the same time period schools were being desegregated (on the basis of race). That's probably going to be ugly.
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