Be your own damn hero
The year is 2016 and something is amiss in New York City. Ordinary people are suddenly capable of extraordinary feats. There's a new normal and it's nothing humanity has ever seen. Three factions hide in plain sight, waging a silent war in a society that's just on the brink of awareness. Welcome to the Rebirth.
For billions of years, throughout several worlds and universes, intergalactic wars have been fought between Light and Dark. Uncountable lives were lost, innumerable planets and dimensions destroyed in the pursuit of peace. Finally there is one last obstacle in the way of complete universal harmony. Enter Project Midgard.
Planets and civilizations from all around the multiverse have sent their space missions to congregate on Earth as the planet battles the last fringes of its own war of Light against Dark. Unforeseen threats lurk on the ground. New organizations are formed, each with private interests casting dark shadows over the missions' goals.
Started in the early 1900s, Project Midgard is a gathering of interplanetary civilizations. Many have fought their own nuclear wars, several lost everything, others conquered the Darkness that attempted to swallow them. But all understand the importance of Earth at this space-time, as the multiverse approaches harmony it has never experienced before.
The warriors who've been fighting these wars are aware of what hangs in the balance and have strategized for many decades to get to this time on the ground. As predicted, Earth entered a new cosmic zone in 2014. In order to make sure Earth was ready for this transition, these missions sent their warriors to the ground.
These warriors were reincarnated in human bodies over the 20th and 21st centuries. They were raised as humans with no idea of their ulterior purpose or the wars they fought in their previous lives and timelines. As the event horizon of The Reveal approaches, the increased vibrations on the planet started to activate the dormant genes in their DNA. Slowly, they began to claim their true identities and abilities, as they remembered their reason for reincarnating on Earth. Though they vary in origin and allegiance, these warriors have been generically dubbed Centurions.
We're a group of writers who believe role play is about collective world building, collaboration, and above all, having fun. We aim to create a platform for sharing ideas and inspiring others. Friendliness, community spirit and inclusiveness are at the core of our values.
Set in present day New York City, Centurions is a magical realism game inspired by comic books. Our gameplay follows the lives of the intergalactic warriors known as Centurions. Sent to Earth to ensure the dark factions don't succeed in their attempts to conquer the planet, Centurions are born with no recollection of their mission or previous lives.
In 2014, the dormant Centurion genes in their DNA began to activate. Centurions gained heightened awareness, filtered memories of previous lives and alternate universes, as well as the development of superhuman powers and abilities only ever read about in comic books.
Each Centurion comes into the game at a different stage in their "rebirth." Writers are free to choose how aware their characters are and how many powers have been activated in their DNA. More details about this can be found in the "Plot F.A.Q.s".
As Centurions are reborn, they become aware of their true identities and learn that their stories were creatively retold on Earth by comic books. This means that each Centurion must be inspired by a comic book character. More details about this can also be found in the tab "Plot F.A.Q.s".
Origin of comic books in Centurions universe
1. HOW ARE CENTURIONS COMICS DIFFERENT FROM OURS?
Comic books exist in the exact same manner in the Centurions universe as they do in real life. However, their origins hold a veiled facet in our game. Rather than fictional stories, comic books are considered a creative retelling of true events. These events took place over billions of years, spanning several planets, galaxies and universes. They depict the lives of immortal warriors, who reincarnate where they are most needed.
These warriors, known on Earth as Centurions, have lived countless lives and fought many wars before landing here. Though their human DNA has shut down memories of these past lives, the Cosmic Realignment of 2014 started a shift in their genetic make-up, activating the dormant Centurion genes in their biology.
As they start to remember their previous lives and their mission on this planet, Centurions realize that their stories are plastered over the pages of comic books, with a healthy dose of "creative license".
2. WHAT IS THE HIDDEN ORIGIN OF CENTURIONS COMIC BOOKS?
As it turns out, comic book lore was actually a strategy devised by the space missions on Project Midgard. Having experienced the devastating effects of an abrupt reveal of the existence of Centurions among the native populations of several other planets--and the ensuing civil wars derived from it--the top tiers of Project Midgard opted for a "soft approach" to The Reveal.
Using Entertainment media, the aid of early Earth Centurions and telepathy, Project Midgard incepted the idea of ordinary people with extraordinary abilities into several terrestrial cultures and civilizations. In contemporary Western society, this inception happened in the format of comic books.
3. HOW ACCURATE IS COMIC BOOK CANON?
In this universe, comic books are simply a creative retelling of true events. This means that while Centurions would be the Earth persona of a comic book character, the comic book canon isn't gospel. It can (and should) be used as inspiration, but the writer is free to keep what they like about it and discard the rest. The only limitation derived from the comics is the powers and items that each character comes into the game with. For more info on powers and items, please see the "Powers & Original Features." tab.
In this universe, we take comic book canon as our inspirational ground, but we are by no means limited by it. We want to start off with the magical realism of comics, but build our own original world off of it. Players are encouraged to spread their creative wings and create something that's never existed before. As long as it's consistent within the operating logics of the universe, you're free to explore it with your characters.
The Centurions DNA project
1. HOW IS CENTURIONS DNA DIFFERENT FROM EARTH HUMANS?
As they congregated around Earth on the intergalactic base of Project Midgard, the missions from several technologically advanced civilizations came together to work on the Centurions Genome project. Foreseeing the battles to come, these civilizations isolated the genes responsible for an array of powers in different worlds. They isolated flight genes, x-ray vision genes, super strength, agility, durability, etc.
These genes were manipulated into the genetic make-up of Centurions pre-birth. They were dormant as Centurions were born and raised as humans. The seamless integration of Centurions into human culture was also a strategy to mitigate negative effects of The Reveal on Earth. Being raised as humans, it was expected that these warriors would identify with the native population and fight for them as they became aware of their mission on this planet. It was also expected that seeing these warriors as their own kind would make humans less likely to dub them the enemy.
2. HOW ARE CENTURIONS GENES ACTIVATED?
Dormant Centurions genes are activated when the organism vibrates at a specific frequency. This frequency can be achieved through a person''s inner energetic field, or may be induced externally by subjecting the person to varied intensity of gamma rays. Each mission on Project Midgard encoded different powers in their warriors' genome. They hold the prerrogative to activate these powers externally, but rarely interfere with the warrior's chosen path on Earth.
By design, each individual's powers will manifest when their biology is ready to handle the super abilities. The body reads the energy field and instinctively activates the dormant genes when optimal conditions are achieved. As the powers manifest based on vibrational frequencies, if that frequency is lost, their powers and memories may also disappear. More info on this is available in the tab "Powers & Original Features.", but the manifestation or loss of powers is entirely up to player discretion.
3. WHAT POWERS CAN MY CHARACTER DEVELOP?
Details on this can be found in the "Powers & Original Features." tab, but the answer is "any powers that you believe would benefit their character development". As a character comes into the game, all canon powers and items are available to your character, pending your discretion on when to bring each ability into game play. By instilling the IC device of "dormant genes", we hope to also give players the freedom to create a character that is inspired by their comicbook persona, but that is an original creation for the Centurions universe in itself. This means that through unlocking "Silk Parachutes" (Powers & Original Features. tab), players may add non-canon powers or items to their character's roster.
4. MY CV IS HUMAN. DO THEY HAVE CENTURIONS DNA AS WELL?
This is up to player discretion. If you want your character to have dormant Centurions genes in their genetic make-up, you are free to have it so. If you want them to remain a common human being, that is also your prerrogative. If you choose to have them develop superhuman powers through the advent of "Silk Parachutes", the IC explanation would be that Earth scientists were also a part of Project Midgard. As such, they also implanted dormant genes in their warriors. As with any Centurion, your character may pick up any super power available in the comics, as long as they unlock them with activity points.
5. HOW AWARE WOULD MY CHARACTER BE OF ALL OF THIS?
Again, this is up to player discretion. It typically depends on how far along in their rebirth they are and how many memories they've recovered. If your character has recovered pre-birth Project Midgard memories, there is a chance that they are fully aware this is how powers are activated and that they know how they can activate their powers externally if their personal energetic field hasn't reached optimum conditions. The IC repercussions on any of this are up to the player to figure out and have fun with.
The Rebirth process & Moon Phases
1. WHAT IS THE REBIRTH PROCESS?
"Rebirth" is the name given by Trailblazer Corps to the process of Centurions developing superhuman abilities and gaining awareness of their origins and mission on Earth. This process happens at a different pace for each individual. It may take months or years for some, while others adapt to the knowledge in mere weeks.
Some may develop powers before any memories filter through, which may cause issues in their lives as they deal with the changes and consequences of their new abilities, not knowing of what is happening to them or why. Others might get memories or have their previous lives' consciousness appear in their brains before any powers are developed. This process might be equally maddening, depending on which memories filter through to put the puzzle together. The bottomline is that the player has full discretion to decide how their character will be reborn into their Centurion mindframe.
2. BATTLING PERSONALITIES OR MEMORIES OF ANOTHER LIFETIME?
Once your character starts their rebirth process, players may choose one of two routes. Their new awareness may filter through as distant memories of previous lives that may sometimes feel more like dreams than reality, or they may develop a second consciousness in the form of their CV personality appearing in their thoughts.
Again, this is entirely up to the player to decide which route is more appropriate for their character. The IC explanation for this is that prior to their birth, when they were still members of Project Midgard and preparing for their descent to Earth, your character was given the choice on how to lead their own rebirth process. So whatever you choose, memories or a consciousness, it would have been the decision of your own character on which method of rebirth would be the most effective for them on Earth.
3. WHAT DO MOON PHASES HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
Ah, when do those shadowy warriors ever make things easy? Project Midgard's Space Station is stationed outside of Earth's stratosphere. It has been continously showering Earth with gamma ray storms to raise vibrations worldwide, in order to accelerate the rebirth of Centurions and increase humanity's level of cosmic awareness.
Unfortunately for Project Midgard, the agents of darkness have been countering their efforts by messing with the moon's gravitational field to keep vibrations at a lower frequency on Earth. Agents of darkness have been successful in their endeavor until recently, when Project Midgard broke through the shadowy warriors' manipulations and successfully raised the Earth's vibrations, resulting in full awareness for all Centurions and heightened awareness for human beings.
The catch is that Project Midgard's technology can only break through the barriers during the week of the full moon, when the satellite's natural gravitational field expands the scope of their tech. As such, once the moon phase changes past the full moon, vibrations are lowered once more and the awareness gained during the full moon week will be gone. Your character's usual level of awareness will be restablished to whatever normal is like for them. In sum, one week out of the month your character will gain full awareness of their Centurions status, their powers and their mission on Earth. Once that week is through, as they lose their heightened awareness, they may forget events or conversations that took place. The degree to which memory loss affects your character will be up to player discretion.
The Reveal & Active factions in the game
1. WHAT IS THE REVEAL?
The Reveal is a worldwide event when the existence of these space missions and of Centurions on Earth becomes widely known. This has to be handled very carefully to avoid hope becoming fear. That's why the missions had their warriors be born and raised as human beings. The hope is that when The Reveal happens, humans will identify these warriors as allies and not as threats. Likewise, having been raised as humans, Centurions have a unique kinship with Earth's native people. Penumbra wants to avoid The Reveal at all costs, because it would crash their fear-induced power over humanity. Trailblazer opposes these shadowy warriors.
2. WHAT ARE THE ACTIVE FACTIONS IN THE GAME?
As mentioned above, a silent war is being Fought right out of society's scope of awareness. There are three main factions involved in the Centurions war:
TRAILBLAZER is an American technology and lifestyle conglomerate, with interests and branch offices located around the world. Founded in 1913 by a group of early Centurions, Trailblazer is headquartered in Lower Manhattan, New York. Its guiding principle consists of a single word: Innovation. Trailblazer's business is divided into five key segments: Entertainment, Lifestyle, Technology, Travel, Wellness. On the surface, Trailblazer is a lifestyle brand promoting a life of harmony, inspiration, and adventure. But the true mission of Trailblazer takes place in the upper levels of Trailblazer Tower. There, a leading edge infrastructure in support of Project Midgard works tirelessly to aid the Centurions in their fight against the Penumbra to achieve universal harmony.
PENUMBRA is the code name created by the Centurions of Trailblazer for the forces of darkness actively working to disrupt the final step required in achieving universal harmony. Circumstance has dictated that Earth is the last link of the chain required to achieve harmonic attunement, and as such has become the location of the final battleground. On this planet, Penumbra puts forth a last-ditch effort to maintain the status quo of darkness, entropy, and strife. Little is known about these shadowy warriors, other than the fact their activity on Earth has increased rapidly since the Cosmic Realignment of 2014, and that their numbers and strength continue to grow.
THE AGENCY is an inter-departmental task force created by the U.S. National Security Agency in response to the enhanced human threat. Unaware of the Penumbra and the secret war waging on Earth, the group's primary goal is to neutralize the threat posed by these "centurions". Their methods include rendition and containment, reverse engineering of centurion tech and DNA, psychological reprogramming and creation of double-agents, and, neutralization of active threats.
3. CAN MY CHARACTER WORK AT ANY OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS?
Of course! In fact, we encourage it. As game play starts, the idea is to world build around these three factions. Your character isn't required to have any involvement with these organizations, but if they wish to be a part of them, they'll be looped in on all the discussions as we collectively bring this new universe to life.
Please keep in mind that while working at the lower floors of Trailblazer will not entail any covert activities, if you wish your character to be involved directly with the rebirth and Centurions plot, their work on higher floors would be contractually confidential. They might need a cover story for family and friends on what their daily job entails.
The same goes for The Agency agents. Though it will be publicly known that they are government employees, the specific branch in which they work will be confidential and unknown to most people in their lives. Characters are free to come up with individual cover stories. Shadowy warriors, however, will not be employed by Penumbra. As the organization exists as a secret society, the warriors will keep their membership confidential and build rapport in alternative ways.
4. CAN MY HERO BE EVIL AND MY VILLAIN BE GOOD?
Yes, your hero can be evil or your villain can be good. Earth is a planet of free will, so whatever allegiance bound your character pre-birth may or may not be adhered by them on Earth. It's perfectly possible for shadowy warriors to have a change of heart when their human connections weigh more than their Penumbra links. It is also possible that once your character develops their Centurions abilities, they might be co-opted by The Agency to go work for them. There have been many cases of Agency Centurions who preferred to join the governmental branch for their own personal reasons or simply to avoid persecution themselves. Likewise, Trailblazers may turn coat or grow disillusioned by the lack of effectiveness of the corporation's methods to stop The Agency or Penumbra agents.
Whichever road you decide to take, we would love to see creative spins on heroes and villains. Perhaps in this life your hero has experienced challenges that would lead them to have motivations for joining up with Penumbra. Or maybe you would like to explore the redeeming qualities of your villain by developing the reasoning behind why they originally turned villainous in their other lives, along with exploring how they might try to reconcile their new life by fighting alongside Trailblazer. It is completely up to player discretion. We encourage all new creative avenues.
5. WHAT IF MY CHARACTER DOESN'T WANT TO BE IN THE WAR?
If your character doesn't want to be on the front lines of the war, you may choose to have them be oblivious to the fighting. Instead, they may be occupied by their own rebirth process as they gain new memories and experiment with new powers/abilities/items. Or perhaps they would prefer to engage more with their human lives while learning how to integrate (or ignore) their new reborn identity and the consequences that may come with it.
As the overarching plot unfolds, your characters may be drawn into the action if/when necessary. However, with the game plot organized by tiers of intensity, there will always be something for your character to take part in outside of combat plots. We're preoccupied with world building in this game, which means there are many areas outside of the overarching plot that might need your character's involvement to thrive.
New York City & the world at large
1. WHERE AND WHEN IS THE GAME SET?
The year is 2016 in real time and the location is New York City. This large metropolitan area consisting of its five boroughs is at your disposal for your characters to live, work, and thrive in. For interactive purposes, your character must live in a neighborhood in one of these boroughs. Though game events may span worldwide, NYC will be the main hub for all characters in the game. Though our cast revolves around NYC, the rebirth process is happening worldwide and there are Centurions in all countries and states. The geographical scope of the game has to do purely with logistic purposes of interaction.
2. HOW AWARE IS EVERYONE ELSE OF CENTURIONS & THE WAR?
Despite the cosmic alignment of 2014, which caused Centurions to start awakening and battles to commence, the world as a whole has remained fairly unaware. Even with an increase in 'strange' current events, humans are either blissfully ignorant or in denial of what is happening around them. The existence of Centurions has been met with disbelief by the majority of the world. They have been placed in the category of 'impossibilities' for the mere fact that real life superheroes are beyond most people's grid of understanding. For most, denial is what drives them even when acts of heroics and super powers are heard about or witnessed in broad day light. With mass media and governments working overtime to cover up and discredit anyone who vouches for these events, life is per usual around Earth for most people.
3. CAN MY CHARACTER DO WHATEVER THEY WANT?
As you may have noticed, we're big on player discretion. Mods won't police personal or small-scale plots. We do ask, however, for players to keep gamewide cohesion in mind when rehearsing bigger events or plots that may affect a large group of people. If you plan to wipe out a neighborhood in NYC, for example, we'd like a heads-up to make sure it fits in with the gamewide plot, as well as respects the boundaries of other players' personal plots. If there's ever an issue with a plot, the moderators will approach you personally to try to come up with a mutually satisfying compromise.
Power Activation & Original Features
Once a CV claim is chosen, all the powers, items and abilities they present in the comics will be available to the writer. This means that none of these have to be unlocked with activity points and may be activated by the player at whichever point in their character development that the writer deems more suiting. We do encourage the activation of items and powers to be spaced out, so that each newly activated power/item may be explored to its full potential before the next one comes through. But ultimately it is up to the player to define the pace of their character's evolution.
Please visit our Activation post to request the activation of new powers and items prior to bringing them into play. In keeping track of all activated powers and items, the moderators will be able to monitor the pace of each character''s development, as well as to have an idea of what resources are available when designing the gamewide plot to be inclusive of as many individual characters as possible.
Once you activate a power OOC, the IC explanation for how it comes through is that your character has achieved a "vibrational frequency" where the abilities encoded in their dormant Centurion genes become active. This goes for powers and memories of past lives. It also means that powers and memories can disappear if the vibrational frequency of the character decreases again. (Hint hint, fear, despair, etc.). It will be up to the player to decide what comes through, what disappears and when.
Items & Locations
Character items and comicverse locations are also available for use whenever the player decides it'll come in handy for their character. Like powers and memories, items and locations must be activated in our Activation post prior to being brought into play.
Once an item has been activated OOC, the IC explanation for how they come into play is that these items and portals to comicverse locations were hidden all around New York in invisible "interdimensional pockets" by each character's space mission prior to their birth on Earth. These pockets match your character's personal vibrational frequency (or "energetic signature") perfectly and work as a biometric security measure. This means that only your character may "unlock" them.
Once unlocked, other characters may join yours in there. However, once your character leaves, the pocket will close once more. Some of these pockets are programmed to only be opened once and will self-destruct once the item is retrieved. Others may be permanent or may last a certain amount of time before disappearing. This will also be up to the player to decide.
It is also up to the writer to decide how or where this happens and where the pockets lead the character. For example, maybe their mission hid one item in pre-historic times and your character will have to battle dinosaurs to retrieve it. But maybe accessing the pocket will simply have the item laying in an empty room. Feel free to do with this whatever you want. Create new universes, realities or timelines with the interdimensional pockets. Alternatively, the player may request that the moderators propose a retrieval scenario when they activate the item or location. The idea would be to add a surprise element to your gaming experience, but this is entirely optional.
However you decide the canon items will be retrieved or which canon locations will be accessed, they're all at your disposal. Like with powers, we encourage writers to retrieve items or unlock locations one at a time and include them in their plots to their full potential. But ultimately it is up to the writer to decide when and how to access their items and locations.
Since this is an original universe, we want to get shiny and original things going. As such, inspired by the sponsor gifts sent to Hunger Games contestants in the arena, players may use any "activity points" they racked up to unlock "Silk Parachutes". Activity Points will be earned with any updates beyond the minimum activity requirements listed in the "Rules" tab. A detailed view of how many points each type of update is worth will be available before gameplay starts.
"Silk parachutes" (SPs) are bonus powers and items that will be available to the players beyond their character's canon resources. With this feature, players will be able to unlock any powers and items that their character doesn't present/own in the comic books. These parachutes may be temporary or permanent. The length of time for which they will be available to your character depends on how many activity points the player chooses to dish out for them. The only SPs that cannot be unlocked are proprietary items or locations (like Thor's hammer or The Fortress of Solitude, for example) or items that may lead to the destruction of the universe (eg. Infinity Gems).
Once you've unlocked a SP OOC, the IC explanation for how it comes into play is that your character's space mission either activated a specific dormant gene (powers) or sent them an item/access to a location that they deemed necessary for the advancement of your character's mission on Earth. Like other items and locations, unlocked SPs (with the exception of powers) will also be accessed through "interdimensional pockets". Specific reasoning of how these items, powers or locations will come in handy for your character is up to each individual writer. And "because it's cool" is definitely a valid reason in our book.
Faulty interdimensional pockets
With each victory on the "light" Centurions front, dark factions swoop in to lower vibrations and derail their efforts. Having discovered the existence of the "interdimensional pockets", these factions have been searching for their locations. After many failed attempts, they have found a way to fake the "energetic signature" of several characters. As such they've been able to access and raid interdimensional pockets without their owners' knowledge.
Players may offer up any canon items from their comicverse universe to be at the center of gamewide plot at different times. By saying that a dark faction raided one of their pockets and took an item that belonged to their character, the player may volunteer this item for a "faulty pocket" and the moderators will incorporate it into the gamewide plot. For example, Supergirl could have the Black Mercy stolen and the moderators will have it be used to victimize humans en mass, triggering a Centurions response. This way, whoever wants to get involved in the main plot has an easy way to do so and the main plot will rotate around different universes/characters each month so that everyone has a chance to step in and step up.