Los Caballero is a fictional city, and does not specifically exist in any one location. The exact state that is located in is left vague in effort to bring the emphasis on the city itself and not the world it is part of. The idea is to keep everyone interested in what is happening there, not outside of it. While villains may attempt to conquer the world, Los Caballero would be the launching point for that.
The cityís metro area is formed along Minasiqua Bay, where the Boulder River flows from deeper inland. The majestic Black Wood Mountains dominate the north eastern skyline, while south of the river a pockets of forested area give way to the Boulder Valley until it hits the much gentler Sangre de Maria Mountains to the south. The area is renowned for a long rain season during the last summer months that stretches until a short, cold winter; spring is stiffly cold until it gradually warms up into a brief summer period and the rain starts again.
The city was founded during the end of the Gold Rush, near the tribal home of the fairly peaceful Minasiqua Indians. Early settlers and prospectors came into conflict with local tribes when the Norris Pit Mine was opened in 1890, a deep copper pit that remained for nearly a hundred years. Though the main provided a good economy for the town, the shallow bay was not as popular as other ports and the town never truly exploded. Then, in the mid 70ís, a local engineer began making computers in Sierra Vista, and the technology industry flocked to the area. In just over thirty years, the small towns exploded into a sprawling city that is now home to over five million people.City Geography
There are five major cities that make up the Los Caballero metro area, with dozens of smaller towns that have been turned into districts or suburban communities. Since the population explosion, the north shore of the bay has been turned into a massive port district, stretching to the Boulder River and is known as North Bay. The primarily commercial district is located on Mercy Island, and is what most people think of when they envision Los Caballero (much like Manhattan in New York City). At the mouth of the Boulder River to the south is the historic center of the city, called Fort Hunter. This area has a very old world feel, and the local historic society keeps a close eye on what they allowed built in the area through very heavy city ordinances. East beyond Fort Hunter is Sierra Vista, the technological center of the city and the source of the prosperity of Los Caballero. Sierra Vista is a major home to programming companies and computer manufacturers worldwide, and tends to adopt a very liberal standpoint. Along the south shore is Brenner Heights, where the entertainment industry has set up and home to most of the wealthy of the city.
Beyond the five major centers, there are several smaller but well known points of interest in the city. Piper Island is a long carnival that has been hit hard in the recent economy, but somehow manages to keep its lights and rides running year-round. Within sight of the amusement park is Principal Rock, a maximum security prison greatly influenced by Alcatraz. Island Park on Mercy Island is massive inner-city park where locals flock to relax and enjoy themselves until night falls, when pushers, gangbangers, and prostitutes take control. Beyond the piers and warehouses of North Bay is Voltage City, home to one of the few nuclear reactors in America. The site is the source of constant political debate and eco terrorism, either from activist green groups to the angry descendants of the Minasiqua who claim the site as holy. Thirty miles out of the city is the Boulder Gorge Damn, a massive work that that has created Lake Primmer behind it. Though not as impressive or as well known as Hoover Damn, tourists flock to the site for its amazing view of Los Caballero below. Not far from the river is Summer Bluff, home to a brothel at the turn of the 19th century and now the center of film and music. Several studios own massive lots along the area, and the heart of Summer Bluff is Red Street, where theaters battle with the cinemas for patrons. In the heart of Brenner Heights is Juniper Cover, the home of the ultra-wealthy. In their million dollar homes, the wealthy keep themselves walled from less desirable with strings of golf courses and country clubs, acting like a curtain wall against the tide of the impoverished.Heroes and Villains
I am thinking that the start of super powered people in this setting began firmly in the Silver Age, when the city was beginning to explode out of Sierra Vista. At the time, most people didnít question where these shining heroes got their powers as long as they were thwarting the plots of the sinister villains that were always just around the corner. The movie and television studios of the day quickly cashed in on the phenomenon, and kept the cities champions firmly in the limelight while mercilessly butchering those that fell from grace. As the modern age of comics moved in, more research and study was done into the source of the powers of the Gifted. I think using the following broad sources would best work; you may notice they closely mirror the origins from City of Heroes.
- Mutation: Genetic restructuring conducted by the government or the natural evolution of man? Much like in the X-Men, this is a powerful and volatile topic among most people.
- Technological: The powers of the hero/villain are granted by applied sciences, or through experiments that gave them these extraordinary abilities. Think the Fantastic Four or Doc Manhattan.
- : Natural: These heroes either donít have any powers, or they come from alien worlds where what they can do is normal. Superman and Batman would both fall into this category. I think anyone playing an alien should create a very in depth explanation of their culture and how they came to earth. They should also be very willing to adapt to the world and not be so exotic they break the theme of the game.
- Mystic: The hero or villain is granted their powers by applied occult magic or as the direct result of it. Either sorcerers or bloodlines that have been bred through magic, or angry shaman of the displaced natives in the area. Doc Strange is a great, if not over the top, example of this however unlikely candidates like Harry Potter could also be used.
I am a firm believer in all the powers a character posses should be thematically linked, or motivated by their origin. For example, a person with the ability to summon flame and fly has very little reason to be able to see through walls (Although, interestingly enough, I read this great bit on how everything Superman can do is just because he is an amazingly powerful telekinetic. The article went through all of his powers and explained them away very neatly). Obviously, mad inventors and power suit heroes will have a lot more flexibility with this, but they will also be very dependent on their technology, where as a mutant could not be robbed of their powers. Mystics would need to definable limits on their magic, while people whose abilities are the result of magic manipulation are very similar to mutants.
I would think that, too start, characters should choose one or two powers plus some form of travel power, and expand on them as the character progresses. The powers should make sense with each other and with the character in question, and should help them explore their potential and do battle with the evil/good doers of the opposing faction. And allow you to get all sexy, of course!System
I donít really think there needs to be a system in place for this, as itís a creative exercise and should be totally free form. I think that, should conflict arise, that we can all just discuss out the best outcome and use Eís main rules as the guidelines for resolution.
Anyway, thatís what I got. Thoughts?