Post-Cold War Champions 2016
The World’s View of Super Powered Beings Changed After the Cold War Ended
The Superhuman Registration Act was passed into law by Congress in 1956.
The new law created the Superhuman Abilities Registry (SAR), a catalog of every US citizen with superhuman abilities, including name, address, and a descriptions of his or her powers. This list was not publicly available, but was available to most government agencies. There was a classified portion that was only accessible at a very high clearance level that included all JASOC Super Powered Beings (SPBs).
The year 1991 brought about many changes, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and independence of 15 former Soviet republics in particular. It is considered by many historians to be the beginning of the end of the Cold War.
In January 1996, the Superhuman Registration Act was repealed, what many felt was a necessary next step based on events in the 10 years leading up that that point. The Joint Agency Special Operations Act is amended and responsibility for the Superhuman Abilities Registry (SAR) is to be transferred to the new Department of Superhuman Affairs ( DOSA, formerly JASOC).
Time Period: 2016
Campaign Type: Four-color (see Creating your character for details)
Technology: Tech Level for the world at large is pretty much what is available in 2016. See Gadgeteering, below.
DNA Testing: Genetic tests to establish a “diagnosis” that an individual has manifested superhuman abilities have improved since the human genome was mapped in 2003. However, they are generally complex tests and commonly require sophisticated analysis and interpretation. They may be expensive and are generally performed only on people believed to be a risk. Anyone who is going to be incarcerated is given the “quick and dirty” onsite test to quickly screen for high-powered SPBs; a more thorough test is sent to the lab for a full screening. Some employers may also require a full genetic test (e.g., professional sports) and while an applicant may refuse to be tested, the employer may refuse to hire applicants who don’t submit. In contrast, screening is performed on healthy, asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) people. While screening has proven to be useful for people who are found to be especially susceptible to numerous genetic conditions with specific environmental triggers, none of these screenings have proven to have any predictive value for SPBs, much to everyone’s dismay. The are a lot of people spending even more money trying to come up with an accurate screening process, if for no other reason than to stop endangering the lives of people in an attempt to trigger Quantum abilities.
Setting: PCs will be based in California. Team Name: L.A. Vanguard.
Geopolitical Climate: [See Mike’s Cold War Champions campaign until 1981.] The U.S. repealed the Superhuman Registration Act in 1996, largely in response to the use of SPBs to deal with civil unrest and how public those actions were made by the media. The EU repealed similar laws not long after that and the rise of privately-owned, SPB-controlled organizations slowly started making an appearance. Not all countries responded in the same manner, with Russia, numerous countries in the Middle East, and Japan calling for stricter control over existing SPBs and all new Quantums. The Chinese government attempted to tighten controls, only to be opposed by the Green Dragons, who successfully used their reputation and influence to get the government to back down, calling for guanxi. Africa is still plagued by numerous civil wars and SPBs are treated like resources to be fought over; some leaders offer them freedom and civil rights, only to coerce them into doing their bidding, while others hire them as high-paid mercenaries. Mexico’s military and police struggle more than ever against the drug cartels that are now using SPBs to expand their influence within and outside of its borders.
Regional Politics: A relatively small number of SPBs (usually single-power types) have successfully used their powers to improve their locality in some manner and, over the last two decades or so, been successfully elected to local office. It’s become a hot topic in recent years as detractors discuss the dependence created by a critical resource belonging to one person or a very small group of people.
Military: S Company is still an official branch of the military. Its ranks are about the same size as they were prior to 1996. A large number of powerful SPBs left S Company when private options became available, but since the number of SPBs has been on the rise thanks to the increased incidence of Quantums, S Company has almost the same number of members. However, most Quantums joining S Company are less powerful than those who joined pre-DOSA.
Popular Culture (U.S.): Celebrity coverage includes SPBs and has taken on a life of its own. Websites and blogs are dedicated to known, and especially unknown, SPBs. Paparazzi (both professional and amateur) make it difficult for a SPB to have a Secret ID; nearly every sighting ends up being recorded and analyzed to death. Facial recognition software makes wearing a pair of glasses just not enough to keep your identity a secret for long. Cosplay is no longer restricted to ComicCon; there are clubs with SPB themes in every state (as well as most countries). Television shows and movies featuring SPBs as characters often use them as actors (assuming they are camera-ready and have at least moderate acting chops). The Los Angeles area, for example, is home to more than its fair share of hopeful SPB/actor and celebrity supers who get paid to appear at clubs and events.
- Sports: SPBs are not allowed to play on professional sports teams and there are no Super Powered Sports teams or leagues.