Nick Addams is a private eye on the mean streets of Angel Bay. He may in fact be a ghost or spirit -- although he performs many of the activites associated with life (eating, sleeping, shooting free throws into his office wastebasket), he is at least partially insubtantial and has a gun that is remarkably effective and nonlethal and never apart from him for long. However, he is in complete denial about this ("What do you mean walked through the wall? I just climbed through the drop ceiling!") so it's hard to be sure.
Brandon Rook was called froth from his grave to avenge the murder of his lover. By the time all the guilty parties were dead, so was the necromancer who summoned him. Lacking an explicit dismissal, he went back to his grave and lay down.
After a while he got bored, and it started raining on him.
Brandon's current body is formed from ectoplasm, so it's super-strong and lacks many of the frailties of mortal flesh. If it gets slightly damage, he can repair it with new ectoplasm, but if it gets badly damaged, it disintegrates in hellish blue flame... and then reforms a few hours later near his current target of vengeance. He can do that at will, too, but can only travel a limited distance. He is very scary.
"Shawn" was an angel of death until she(?) started going soft on people and got fired. Now she wanders the earth, possibly hunted by both heaven and hell.
Sean is apparently unkillable, can tell where people are headed after death, and has a big flaming sword. Also, to each person who sees her, she looks exactly like what they think an angel should.
Supers have been around for a couple of generations, increasing in numbers but remaining constant in their resistance to analysis. There are three main sorts:
Some people discover they can invent wondrous things. This doesn't necessarily make them smarter in other ways, and it never helps their sanity. They specialize at least to start with, based on their particular crackpot theories, but can often steal ideas from each other.
The products of a gadgeteer are all essentially hand-crafted prototypes, built according to idiosyncratic theories. Normal people can use them, but not maintain them, and can't reverse-engineer them to any significant degree. The gadgets do, however, seem to really function and not just focus the gadgeteer's secret superpowers.
Some creations of gadgeteers count as supers themselves: cyborgs, robots, sex-starved weasel/human hybrids, etc.
Ghosts, werewolves, angels, faeries, and such-like exist throughout the world (slightly correlated with the distribution of legends). Some of them had a transformative event -- death, werewolf bite, gothy ritual gone horribly right -- while others claim to have existed in their current form for a long time, with varying explanations for why they hadn't been noticed until just recently.
There are also wizards, necromancers, and assorted others who wield the forces of magic. For some, this involves controlling other supernatural entities, but there's all sorts of magic, traditional and non.
And, some people just develop powers. Some are bitten by radioactive wombats or struck by lightning while covered in exotic chemicals, but others spontaneously manifest powers one day. Spontaneous manifestation can happen at any age, but most often at puberty, or in the early 20s as a kind of "second puberty" (complete with exaggerated sexual characteristics).
Few people think these are three separate phenomena, but that's where agreement ends. One school of thought holds that it's all really magic, and gadgeteers and supers are in denial. Another holds that it's really all psionics, and what looks like magic or gadgeteering is powers manifesting in accordance with the super's narrow-minded preconceptions. The idea that it's all gadgeteering isn't as popular.
The Knights Templar may or may not be involved.
There are some number of supers who claim to be aliens or time travelers. The evidence for their claims is not conclusive. However, they are unified in asserting that the space-time manipulations required for time travel, timeline hopping, or FTL require kinds of thought that can't even be described to humans.
Supers pretty universally don't think much of the ability of normals to get things done. In the well-intentioned, this produces an attitude of "They need someone to protect them", but the spectrum extends down through "If you want something done right...", through "They just need someone to tell them what to do", all the way to, "Humanity is a minor obstacle to my brilliant plan!".
There are not very many super-soldiers, or even super-police.
For reasons that seemed compelling at the time, if not in retrospect, Angel Bay was built in a much more compact plan than most West Coast cities, so it has tall buildings and abundant public transit. It also, since the elevated monorail lines are about four or five stories up, has a literal undercity where crime can flourish. And flourish it does, for times are hard in Angel Bay (and all over). It's not that office workers are suddenly going out and mugging old ladies on the street, but the ordinary person is more willing to look the other way for a few minutes in exchange for enough cash for a visit to the doctor, shady characters find outright criminality more tempting, etc.
It's the near future, so although technology may not accomplish more, it sure is shinier!
Cars (well, legal ones) are all-electric, pollution-free, and come with collision-avoidance autobraking and GPS navigation as standard features, but they don't fly. They don't even drive themselves. TVs are bigger and flatter, but MTV still doesn't show actual music videos. Cellphones are smaller and work everywhere, but people still talk on them in public. The Internet is high bandwidth, universally available, and for porn. You get the idea.
However, times are hard, so a lot of people can't afford these shinies and have to use older stuff like (illegal) methanol scooters, walkie-talkies, pen and paper, etc.
The System: Mutants and Masterminds second edition.
The Sessions: Allegedly-alternate Sundays at Jeremy's place.
This file was last modified at 2236 on 25Feb08 by email@example.com.