The history of After-Earth diverges significantly with a diabolical collaboration of the worlds fiercest terrorist groups and evil men. This was a group of evil doers; religious fundamentalists, power hungry dictators and real life “mad scientists” banded together in their mutual hatred of Humanity. Unlike other hate groups formed in history such as the Nazi’s, this particular alliance of villains was not crippled by ethnic cleansing, but instead, they worked well together in hopes of achieving their mutual goals of wiping the planet clean all-together. This Evil Union recruited dozens of other villains to their banner and used them as enforcers. With an army of villains at their command, the Evil Union seized control of over a dozen major nuclear reactors across the world and held the entire Earth for ransom. With so many targets at risk, even the United Nations was unable to strike simultaneously at them all, ensuring the threat of destruction would be enough to keep them in check, at least temporarily. It seemed the criminals’ plan had succeeded splendidly. The situation lasted less than twenty-four hours. No one knows which country launched the missiles first. Some believe North Korea may have been responsible, while others insist it was the trigger happy Americans. Ultimately, it no longer matters. What is known is the first launch that instantly wiped the Maltese Islands from the planet, caused worldwide panic, followed in short order by the complete meltdown of at least a half-dozen other nuclear facilities under the Evil Unions control, as well as biological weapons upon the Earth’s population. Belligerent nations took advantage of the situation and struck at those crippled by the crisis, and within a matter of hours, the globe was engulfed in war, one that left well over 90% the world’s population dead or dying.
Between the multiple nuclear meltdowns/launches/biological retaliation, opportunistic assaults by third party nations, and the reprisals of those targeted, there is virtually no region of the world that has not suffered almost complete destabilization following the cataclysm. Those who did survive had special gifts, given by the gifts of technology, the mutation from radiation/infection biologically, or divine gift from Lazarus.
Lazarus became known as the one true and only god in the world, as when half of the world was incinerated in an instant, the souls of these individuals formed the molecules that instantly proved evolution and creationism simultaneously true. Lazarus created in this same flash of an instant, the city of Arcopolis, located in the central heart of Austrailia, and in the same instant, transported those survivors most likely to carry on existence there to inhabit Arcopolis, Lazarus, seen only as an omnipotent orange glow, with the outline of a human female, has been known to be called the “Sun incarnate,” or the “phoenix arisen.” Lazarus is in today’s world, the one and only true God. Lazarus is known as true neutral, the creator of harmony, meaning a balance of good and evil working together to avoid extinction of societal life forms and to continue us to the next step in the the theory of expansion. The motto of Lazarus faith is-"Għall-ġid aħjar,” or “for the greator good.” All fuel, heat and energy in Arcopolis comes in the form of Orange Lazarus bars, which last one entire cycle around the sun, Arcopolis became a segmented metropolis. The gifted individuals of Lazarus compose the political burrow of the city. They make up the temples of worship and the mysteriously gifted and divine. This wing of the city looks much like the Aztec Empire architecture, built on a skyscraper level. Characters from this origin will begin play with three Lazarus bars, they can power any one thing for a full year and will divinely shape itself to any battery, become liquid to act as gas or any other form of clean renewable free form “solar” energy. Once a Orange Laz bar is installed to whatever, the effects are permanent, this means they are single use and can’t be pulled out/switched etc.
Technology became the savior of much of humanity in many ways as well, beginning with replacing limbs and organs to those terminally injured during the fallout. Blinded men were given new enhanced eyes, terrible burn victims were blessed with new cybernetic organs and limbs, and some beyond repair, their consciousness was transferred completely into machines. Technology, and all sectors of it, became monopolized completely with single brand names ruling that entire sector of technological business;example. Transportation became ruled by the S.M.A.R.T. Cooperation with “Smart Hover Bugs” and Public Transportation in the from of teleportation portals throughout the city. The world wide web crashed long ago, books and computers containing records were destroyed. This created the need for the techies to also create a new network for the city of Arcopolis, as well as become the record keepers and protectors of what was left of human history. They comprise the futuristic burrow of the city. The technology within the city holds all of the cities hospitals and defense contracts for the city as well. Characters of this origin gain 10 free equipment points (all easy to lose game status.)
The botanical burrow was long ago turned into an urban jungle, this section of the city is like a metropolis within a rainforest. This urban jungle is comprised of the “Mutates,” those whom adapted and gained gifts from infection, radiation etc. Many are anamorphic which can be humans who became beastly or animals that became intelligent. Some sprouted extra limbs in some rare cases, some sprouted second heads and a second consciousness. Some gained the gifts of growth and shrinking. Much of the gifts given enabled the mutates to be the working class of the city. Many of which were given powers to control nature itself. This burrow controls the city food and water supply through agricultural and water purification gifts etc. Although not viewed as the most beautiful remaining intelligent beings, they are not shunned either as they have their integral part toward the survival of existence. Characters of this origin, depending which will be immune to radiation or disease. This isn’t to be treated as Immunity Rank blah, instead it is just an immunity to one or the other, as item of choice caused the mutation.
Players in this campaign will find themselves in a unique position in a number of ways. First, more than 99% of the world is in absolute ruin, and as such, things like collateral damage are the least of the heroes’ concerns outside of the city. Secondly, and more profound, the heroes have a chance to make a real difference in this world, if only on a small scale. Those who can heal, repair, or otherwise add basic amenities to the lives of those around them can lift up survivors from a post-apocalyptic stone age existence to something much more productive and survivable. One point of interest in Arcopolis is that the distinctions between hero and villain have faded somewhat. There are many among the surviving villain population who have abandoned their selfish ways in an attempt to forge new lives as leaders of communities or otherwise benevolent individuals. Likewise, there are more than a few surviving heroes who have committed terrible acts in the name of the greater good, confiscating the resources of smaller communities for the betterment of larger ones, for instance. Familiar figures from any characters or their parents history may not be so familiar on After-Earth.
HERO POINT “HOUSE RULES”
I, as GM, will be using Poker Chips during game to track hero points.
A player can spend a hero point and treat any die roll as a 20. This is not considered a natural 20, but acts like a roll of 20 on the die for all other purposes. Essentially, this allows the player to spend a hero point to “take 20” on any roll, even those where taking 20 is not normally possible. This option makes the Ultimate Effort feat obsolete, since it does the same thing.
Rather than just re-rolling and adding +10 to a low roll, spending a hero point allows the player to roll the die again and add the result to the previous roll. If the second roll is less than a 10, treat it as a 10. So, a hero point always ensures at least a +10 bonus on any check, possibly more.
By spending a hero point, the character automatically succeeds on one saving throw against a particular effect, including Toughness saves. This lets a hero point provide a free chance to completely avoid an undesired effect.
You can spend a hero point to gain the benefits of a feat (either a regular or power feat) you don’t already have for one round (see Chapter 4 CORE). You must be capable of using the feat and cannot gain the benefits of fortune feats, only other types of feats. If the feat has another feat as a prerequisite, you must have the prerequisite to gain the benefit of the more advanced feat or spend triple points to gain it. For feats acquired in ranks, you gain the benefit of one rank of the feat by spending a hero point. The GM can veto any performance of a feat acquired with a hero point if considered inappropriate for the game.
If you declare defense as your total action for the round, you may spend a point to double your total defense for the round, not just dodge. Example-you spend round taking cover from autofire, explosion, etc.
You can spend a hero point to attempt to counter a power used against you as a reaction. See Countering Powers, page 70 CORE, for details.
Any time you would suffer fatigue (including the effects of the Fatigue power and the use of extra effort), you can spend a hero point and reduce the amount of fatigue by one level (so you suffer no fatigue from a
fatigued result, are fatigued by an exhausted result, etc.).
You can spend a hero point to recover faster. A hero point allows you to Immediately shake off a stunned or condition. If you are exhausted, spending a hero point causes you to become fatigued. If you have suffered damage, a hero point allows you an immediate recovery check as a full-round action (see Recovery, page 165 CORE). It takes two rounds for a staggered hero to make a recovery check, since you can only take a standard or move action each round while staggered. This check is made normally, the hero point just allows you to make it in addition to your normal recovery checks. If the recovery check is successful, it turns out the damage wasn’t as serious as it first appeared, or your hero is able to shake it off. While disabled, you can spend a hero point to take a strenuous action for one round without your condition worsening to dying. If you spend a hero point on a normal recovery check for bruised or injured conditions, a successful check eliminates all of that condition, rather than just one. The
hero point does not improve the recovery check, only its effect.
Spending a hero point automatically stabilizes a dying character (you or someone you are assisting), although this doesn’t protect the character from further damage.
Inspiration from the CORE rulebook page 122 applies, but just FYI, I’m gonna be very stingy toward any benefits received from it.
Once per session per player, players can award each other a hero point. At the start of each adventure I will give each player a special “Hero Point wild card” that they can’t spend — they can only award it to another player, who then trades it in for a regular Hero Point. Although this sounds like it could be abusable, I’m hoping and trusting that players to not do so (or I’ll take it away), and that in practice of players awarding each other Hero Points for the same reasons I would. This frees me from the burden of making all the judgment calls about what is good roleplaying, etc., and encourages players to do things that the rest of the group finds entertaining and fun together. The “Wild Card,” is a use it or lose it by the end of the session, so “Hero Point High Five” each other often.
You will never be awarded more points in a session than your power level. You do not lose/start over your points at the end of a session like usual, but you do not exceed your maximum as well. But, chances are if you build up you max your being stingy spending them/less likely doing any cool shit/kind of a paradox of the purpose of hero points. If you have zero by the end of a game session because you spent them, you will begin the next session with the conventional one point, plus any particular bonus’s given by GM for the cool shit you may have emptied your pool for in the previous session. The “Wild Card Point” does not apply to this. IE, you cannot award each other for next session and the Wild Cards do not stack or pool or build or any kind of other loop hole with them, they are strictly to award each other during game play only for a job well done and to continue the cool flow during that days game session.