I've been itching to run a homebrew campaign recently. It's been years since I've run something of my own devising. I had a brainstorming session with my wife and Ed Doolittle. I'm at my best when I can bounce ideas off people, and Ed made a great addition to the usual team of Veronica and me. Ed has been requesting more time with Savage Worlds, so we made that decision first. Then we started talking about what I find interesting recently, since I'll be GMing.
Last Black Friday, Vern and I picked up a Blu-Ray of the movie Push for five bucks. I know the movie wasn't a hit, but I'd heard it was a great gamer movie. Turns out we really liked it. Further, it reminded us of the TV show, Alphas. This was a good start, so I decided to revisit it. I also thought Heroes, Mutant X, and the last couple seasons of Smallville would provide more ideas. All these things have one major theme in common: government interference with people who have powers.
I'm also a fan of the action/horror influence from shows like Angel, Grim, and Supernatural--and to a lesser extent, Being Human. They all deal with monsters, but rather than the black and white of good and evil, these monsters live in shades of gray--vampires, werewolves, and other things that go bump in the night, trying to turn over a new leaf. I thought there should be a darker side to the world we'll be playing in, so perhaps the same source that gives power to humans could give it to monsters. Not sure yet where this is going, but I want to keep it in my pocket just in case.
What follows is the setting document I delivered to my players:
FR3@K$!: HUMANITY EVOLVED
You’re human, but you’re more than human. You have power, but you’ve learned not to flaunt it. You’re a freak. You’re not alone, but it’s tough to find others like you. The obvious ones tend to disappear.
This homebrew setting uses the Savage Worlds Deluxe core rules and the Super Powers Companion. The setting takes it’s cues from movies and TV like Alphas, Heroes, Push, and Smallville. While the characters have powers that seem super, no one runs around in a cape and tights.
The premise for this campaign is one of discovery. You and your conspirators have formed a paranormal investigation agency in the hopes of finding others like you and to discover why you are the way you are. Players begin the campaign acquainted with each other and already working together. The how and why of your relationships will be determined during character creation.
The following Setting Rules from the Super Powers Companion are in play: Street Heroes (p. 8), Inherent Power (Total Power, 15 PP, p. 9), Knockback (p.10; note the limit from Street Heroes), and Unarmed Defenders (p. 11).
All characters are human. In addition to the free Edge available to humans, they begin with Arcane Background (Super Powers) from the Super Powers Companion, with 15 Power Points for selecting powers. There is no mechanical way to increase the number of starting Power Points.
Hindrances: The following Hindrances from the Super Powers Companion are not available to player characters: Alien Form and Distinctive Appearance.
Edges: The following Edges from the core rules are not available to player characters: Adept, Champion, Gadgeteer, Holy/Unholy Warrior, Mentalist, Mr. Fix It, Wizard, and all Power Edges.
Powers: When selecting powers, note the Device modifier is not available—powers must be inherent to the character. All powers in the Super Powers Companion are available except the following: construct, extra limbs, flight, growth, headquarters, invent, minions, shrink, swinging, undead, vehicle.