Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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The Basics

The characters in this game are colourful, super-powered individuals who exist in an alternative version of the Earth we know.

The game of Abnormals is based in America, primarily in and around Helix City, the undisputed center of superhuman activity in the world. Helix City is a huge sprawling metropolis, dense with human life, and full of trouble. It has more superhumans per capita than any other city on Earth. Players take the part of one, or more, of these powered individuals, set on making their mark … one way or another!

In general, super-powered folk are perceived to be either heroes or villains by the general public. In truth they are rather more complex. How they are viewed by the world entirely depends on their media presence, their visible acts and their reputation. It is not uncommon for an Abnormal’s motives and actions to be misunderstood by the world at large.

Some people were affected more drastically by the Helix Virus, given bizarre shape or form both wondrous and freakish. The worst of these unfortunates are maligned by society, often forced to hide their terrifying shapes. Monstrous Abnormals like this are often referred to as Subnormals.

In the wake of the Helix phenomenon, other types of strange character have begun to appear in the world. These are not true Abnormals at all, but are normal people who use technology, science, specialist training and arcane mysteries to make their own mark in the bizarre world they are a part of.

The Abnormals game ran (in a slightly different form) a number of years ago and many of the characters in the game remain from that time. However, at time of restart the game world has changed drastically. What caused the change and what these differences mean must be explored within the game.

Aims & Direction
There are no aims to the game, except those you make for yourself. Each character in Abnormals will have their own ideas about what they want to achieve, as decided by you. The world continues to evolve and change and your place in it will only be governed by your actions. There is a war brewing, it is true, a war between light and darkness, good and evil, in a world where the normal balance of things has been turned on its head. As a character with powers, perhaps you have some responsibility to take a side, one way or another. Only you can decide.

Abnormals is an open-ended game. You can play as long as you like. Since you set your goals only you can rate your achievements. By far the most important aspect of the game is simply to have fun, which Abnormals provides ample opportunity for if you are a fan of the superhero genre, high-action and interesting ongoing character development. We hope you enjoy the experience.

Types Of Hero
The types of hero in the game are split into three “top level” types Abnormal, Subnormal and Costumed Adventurer.  Below each of these there are subdivisions.

With powers and abilities caused by the after-effects of the Helix Virus, these are by far the most common characters in the game. They have the widest range of potential powers and tend to be more powerful overall. There are no subdivisions to this hero type.

These freakish monsters were also caused by the Helix Virus. Unfortunately, their appearance is startling and usually unpleasant or weird enough to make the general public distrust and fear them. Subnormals are “stuck” the way they look. They cannot switch back to human shape, much as they might wish to be able to. Subnormals come in three subtypes; Brick, Myth and Freak.

Bricks are huge beasts with bizarre skin, in both texture and colour. They could seem to be made entirely of green bricks, polished silver crystal, or cold grey iron.

Myths no longer look human at all, but instead look like some mythical monster or strange animal. Their appearance might be of a man with a lions head and tail, a woman with snakes instead of hair, or perhaps they look like Godzilla or a Dragon!

Freaks look human except for some bizarre feature which sets them apart. Perhaps they have purple glowing eyes, webbed hands and feet, a head that is twice its normal size, or some other strange feature.


Costumed Adventurers
These normal humans have joined the world of the super-powered through training, technology, or the arcane. There are various
subtypes of Costumed Adventurer; Daredevils, Shells, Brains, Mages, Aliens, Foci and Shades.

Daredevils are humans who have achieved their abilities through rigorous specialised or advanced training and natural gifts.

Shells are humans whose powers come from a suit they wear usually (but not always) armour of some kind created by technology not mysticism.

Brains are humans gifted with powers of the mind, commonly known as psi-powers. All their powers come from latent mental abilities which they have been able to access. A Brain whose powers were activated by the Helix Virus may be roleplayed like a Brain but is still technically an Abnormal.

Mages are humans who have discovered that magic is real, and have learnt to use it for their own ends. Mages always begin the game as little more than gifted amateurs and are a longterm play proposition recommended for experienced gamers only.

Aliens gain their special powers due to their strange origins. They could be from another planet, from Atlantis, from the center of the Earth, from another dimension, a time-traveller from another period in Earth history, or whatever you dream up. Aliens can have a startling appearance in a similar way to a Subnormal, if you choose.

Foci are humans who gain their special abilities due to an item, artifact or gizmo they possess. It might be an ancient samurai sword, a mystic wand, a futuristic watch, or an alien skateboard…the limit is only your imagination. If a Foci is not carrying their focus item they have no access to their special powers.

Shades are humans who gain their special powers due to exposure to some weird effect. A character who gets their powers by drinking a magic potion or scientific chemical, by walking through a stone arch at midnight, by listening to the static on an antique radio, or by standing in front of a glowing orange lantern they were given by aliens when they were abducted, would all be considered a Shade. The primary thing to remember about a shade is that their powers are temporary. They wear out and must be recharged by exposure to the same source as originally granted those powers.

The City
Helix City is split into five main areas; Madden Heights, The Yard, The Suburbs, Downtown, The Port, Helix Point and Below.

Madden Heights is the most exclusive, expensive and wealthy part of the city.  Set up on the hill that overlooks the bay it features enormous mansions houses, gated communities, high-end retailers, classy boutiques and luxurious landscaping.

The Yard is the roughest part of the city, a hotbed of crime, poverty and social tension.

The Suburbs – the largest part of the city, is actually not an area so much as a band that circles the city at its edges and beyond.  Families, schools, friendly communities, a sanitised and relaxed lifestyle that conceals much beneath its pleasant surface.

Downtown – a rich melting pot of nationalities, cultures and lifestyles.  Downtown runs the gamut from expensive nightclubs and bars to seedy back lots and crumbling businesses that have been out of commission for decades.   It is said that you can find anything here, and hide anyone here.  Also home to many of what are called the “nightpeople” – a catch-all term for the weird, the strange, the mystical, the outsiders and the dispossessed.

The Port – mostly industrial, the port runs up to the docks where ships bring and take goods across the bay.  It is also the location of the main Power Plant and at its Northern edge the Helix Bay Carnival (a year-long, settled tourist attraction.)  Quite a lot of cheap housing here including some that are nearly slums.  Some come here because they’ve fallen down, others on their way up.  A very few call it home – and stay.

Helix Point – The city center where you’ll find administrative buildings like the Hall of Justice, City Hall, The Federal Building and The Bull Corporation Building (or “The Maze” as it is known.)

Below is everything underneath the city.  The sewers.  The underground rail system.  The public works passages.  Natural caves and passages.  The old mines.   It’s a dark, strange and sometimes dangerous place.  It’s also home to vagrants, those too strange even for downtown and the desperately lost and alone.

May 30, 2013 in
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