The year is Nineteen-Eighty-Something.
“Everyone can be super! And when everyone’s super, no one will be.” – Syndrome, The Incredibles
What going ‘80s retro means for the game is that the powers granted to the average human of the 21st century by technology (instant communication, instant research and access to records and knowledge, massive computing capability, directions and precise position at the touch of a button) are rightly given back to those who had them first: Superheroes!
“Shall we play a game?” – Joshua
“Let’s play Global_Thermonuclear_War.” – David, War Games
The Cold War is still on, but your average Joe or Jane on the street doesn’t think about it very much. The governments of the world and their military establishments, however, are obsessed with it. It’s Democracy vs Communism and the conflict is carried out by just about every means but direct armed conflict. This means espionage, sabotage, proxy wars, puppet regimes, and terrifying nuclear posturing. Oh, and secrets…lots of secrets…including super-powered teams and operatives so “black” their own mothers don’t know they exist.
- If technologically hip, your average U.S. citizen may have an expensive personal computer that connects via a land-line to a bulletin-board network.
- The internet is just a loose connection of private networks that have all made the switch to TCP/IP.
- Most major companies and government agencies are connected to “the net”, and “hacking” is a growing concern.
- The average home computer is mostly used as a word processor, with output from a dot-matrix printer.
“Call me!” – Blondie American Gigolo Soundtrack
- Communication is mostly by land-line telephone or gasp posted letter.
- Cellular phones are heavy, have short battery life, and coverage is mostly limited to major metropolitan areas.
- The FAX is cutting-edge office technology.
- Usually, only doctors, lawyers, and business executives have “pagers”, but the price is coming down and the service is marketed extensively where there is cellular coverage.
- CB Radio is once again primarily used by truckers, the CB fad of the 1970s having faded somewhat. A lot of people still have them in their cars, however, and you can usually reach a cop on Channel 9 if you try hard enough.
“Keep it simple, stupid!” – Mrs. R. Goldberg
Because the players of Brave Universe are mostly the same as play in Sean Patrick Fannon’s game The Unending War, we will be duplicating his “House Rules”. This way we won’t have to keep straight two sets of rules in two campaigns in the same system that may end up being played back-to-back.