The most common super-hero world is best described as “Just like our world, but with super-heroes!”
When we role-play as super-heroes, we pretend that we are people (sometimes ourselves, sometimes not) with incredible super powers that live in a pretty normal world with city streets, skyscrapers, farmlands, schools, etc. We can fly, we can lift incredibly heavy things, we can shoot energy blasts from our hands, we can turn invisible! The fantasy works because we know that these powers would be extremely useful in our normal world, and we imagine the good that we can do.
The Hero Instant starts with the basic concept, a world like ours, but has this twist. There are other worlds out there!
Once upon a time, not too long ago, a handful of scientists, explorers and science-heroes – let’s call them ‘Reality-Nauts’ – found a way to access the Multiverse. They found an alternate Earth, very much like their own, but different in interesting ways.
These Reality-Nauts soon discovered that this Earth had its own explorers, scientists and science heroes studying the idea of the Multiverse and attempting to open a portal. However, no-one on this Earth had managed it yet. Reality-hopping is the one single exceptional piece of technology that the people of this alternate Earth had not yet worked out for themselves.
But the greatest surprise was this: just as one team of Reality-Nauts stepped out onto this alternate Earth, so did four other groups of Reality-Nauts from four other worlds! A small handful of Earths – independent of each other – developed their own means of transporting themselves across realities, and had converged on this one reality at the same, exact moment.
The First Reality-Nauts
So who were these first Reality-Nauts? Five groups all stepped out onto this single alternate Earth at the same moment. All were surprised to see the others. But who were they?
A team of five heroes, sponsored by one of their world’s most powerful philanthropist and businessmen named Sir Richard Griffin, stepped through a rift opened by scientists at a Griffin Interplanetary laboratory.
The De Ciencia Science Family
Professor Luz de Ciencia was the leading scientific mind working on inter-dimensional travel at Griffin Labs on her world, but bristled at the profits-first attitude of her superiors. She quit Griffin Enterprises and built her own inter-dimensional travel laboratory. When she completed her prototype, she took her family and best friends on their maiden voyage to a parallel world. Lucy, as she is called by her friends and family, is thrilled to add to the body of knowledge that is Science!
A team of five magically empowered heroes lead by their world’s most powerful sorcerer, Dr. Seamus O’Dodd, also known as Dr Odd. Dr. Odd’s team is a government-funded group charged with protecting Earth from extra-planar threats. Only Dr. Odd knows what their acronym stands for.
Super Teen Hero Club
Super Teen Hero Club is multinational service organization for super-powered kids. When a new recruit, named X-D Girl, showed off her powers during a new member audition, three of the teen heroes stepped through. They were very surprised to discover that on other Earths, in other universes, there are super-heroes over the age of 20!
The Crew of the Hydra
The crew of Starship Hydra* had been falling, lost, through the hyperspace for several months after a cataclysmic battle against an alien invasion. This was the Earth they found after they made an experimental repair to their Hyperspace engine. The Hydra’s crew hail from different planets, moons and space-stations within the Earth Republic.
(*Starship Hydra is the name of a ship from the excellent LARP called Starship Valkyrie, run by my friends Christian Brown and Roselle Hurley.)
Your Game Takes Place in Your World
In The Hero Instant, every game takes place on a different parallel Earth, which means that there can be subtle differences in each game. For example, maybe the Crew of the Hydra are spies working for an invasion force from another dimension, or maybe the members of M.A.G.I. have diabolical masters.
It also means that there can be VAST differences, too. Maybe your game is set in one of the big comic-book universes, and you all play known characters. That’s cool. Or maybe your world is one in which awakened dragons have mostly destroyed human civilization. That’s cool, too.
are will be a series of questions (in the Game Master section) that the Game Master and the Players should decide on when they start a long-running campaign. These questions are there to help and not to limit. Your game can be whatever you want it to be.