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  • Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

    I would like to know the size of superhuman populations in your game worlds. And why did you choose those numbers ?

    There is a question in my mind; how would the size of superhuman population effect the world?



    One superhuman in a million people seems suitable for a classic superhero setting, where they are rare and mighty. 1 out of 50k being a low powered superhuman seems proper for a x-men like setting where metahumans are downtrodden.



    I would appreciate your ideas on population issue.

  • #2
    Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

    I had this idea to have genetic superhumans (similar to X-Men style mutants) occur due to a specific gene-pairing that occurred 1 in every 2^23 births, which is roughly 1 in 8.4 million births, and with current population that works out to just under a thousand worldwide. Assuming a roughly even distribution around the world, that means any country with a population of 10 million or more is likely to have at least one naturally born super.

    For the top 10 largest countries by population (totalling about 60% of the world):
    China - 165
    India - 154
    USA - 39
    Indonesia - 31
    Brazil/Pakistan/Nigeria - about 2 dozen each
    Bangladesh - 19
    Russia - 17
    Japan - 15

    Keep in mind this is for natural births. Deliberate experiments, accidental mutations and highly motivated "nonpowered" heroes are not included.

    In such a world, it's possible for supers to keep a low profile, but it's most likely that as a random and unaligned group, at least a handful will draw a lot of attention, accidentally or otherwise. Teams wouldn't be common right away, but like-minded supers that become known may seek each other out.

    Discovered supers would likely come under scrutiny of their respective national governments, with each government looking to turn the supers into military assets (conscription), research subjects (experimentation), breeding stock or any combination of the three.

    Distribution would have most of the supers from China and India, which is radically different from most comic book universes since many of them are US-centric. However, depending on their powers, there may be little stopping supers from moving to and being active in other countries. Some may be patriotic to their home country, some may stay where they are comfortable and/or have the most connection, but some may go where they can do the most good/make the most profit/be left alone/etc.

    The mere existence of supers would fuel a lot of discovery and development in genetics, potentially sparking a sort of arms race, with the side effect of more individuals driven to seeking personal empowerment, with the ultra-rich well placed to take best advantage.

    It's possible this genetic super effect has been going on for millenia, with stories of gods, prophets and other heroes of myth being supers. Current estimates are that another 100 billion homo sapiens have lived since roughly 50,000 years ago, which makes for a potential pool of another 12,000 pre-contemporary supers. It's also possible some of these historical heroes are long-lived or even immortal, or alternatively attempting to maintain their bloodlines for several generations. This gives all kinds of possibilities for Illuminati-style groups or Vandal Savage-type characters nudging history along and potentially trying to keep supers secret.
    My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
    My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
    [/URL]
    I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

      Originally posted by JDRook View Post
      I had this idea to have genetic superhumans (similar to X-Men style mutants) occur due to a specific gene-pairing that occurred 1 in every 2^23 births, which is roughly 1 in 8.4 million births, and with current population that works out to just under a thousand worldwide. Assuming a roughly even distribution around the world, that means any country with a population of 10 million or more is likely to have at least one naturally born super.



      It's possible this genetic super effect has been going on for millenia, with stories of gods, prophets and other heroes of myth being supers. Current estimates are that another 100 billion homo sapiens have lived since roughly 50,000 years ago, which makes for a potential pool of another 12,000 pre-contemporary supers. It's also possible some of these historical heroes are long-lived or even immortal, or alternatively attempting to maintain their bloodlines for several generations. This gives all kinds of possibilities for Illuminati-style groups or Vandal Savage-type characters nudging history along and potentially trying to keep supers secret.

      I like this ancient supers and gods were superhuman concept. I will include this too, I guess. By the way, will these metahumans be the only extraordinary phenomenon in the world?

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      • #4
        Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

        Originally posted by Harnos View Post
        By the way, will these metahumans be the only extraordinary phenomenon in the world?

        It can be the only source of "extraordinary phenomena" if you like. By its nature, genetic supers are rare and difficult to pass on or replicate, which keeps them special. Also, supers can be the explanation for what might have been considered magic or psychic phenomena or aliens or what-have-you. Training and tech could still be competitive with at least some powers, but supers will usually have the edge.


        If you want a multi-source setting, check out Ares' Mean Streets, but in the meantime . . .


        Addressing other sources:
        Magic: many superpowers could appear magical and historically be referred to as magic, but in most fictional settings, magic is essentially its own science that taps into otherwise unknown energies to do a variety of things. This requires knowledge, and can therefore be taught unless it also requires some special aspect to be a mage, like a genetic tendency. You could treat your universe's Magic as the base power, but genetic supers have a natural affinity for one specialized kind of magic. This would allow for magic PCs, although they should by necessity be less powerful in any one power than similar PCs with superpowers; mage PCs should have a broad variety of spells instead of one massive power. This could also mean that magic groups or societies would be drawn to supers with a hope to study and/or control them.


        Alien: The genetic anomaly that occurred 50,000 years ago and began what we consider homo sapiens could have been caused by an outside force, deliberately or accidentally, and possibly with a long-term goal. This allows for aliens and alien technology to enter into your universe.


        Psychic: Mental powers could be just another aspect of genetic powers or its own thing. Maybe psychic powers are slightly more common but generally not as powerful. Or they could be quite powerful but easier to hide, which could be the influence of an ancient order of psychics.


        Technology: you could use a slightly tweaked version of real world tech, or allow for greater power and variety due to the influence of supers. Some powers may manifest purely in creating extraordinary devices, which may or may not be generally usable or easily reparable. There could be artifacts built by ancient supers that seem to give powers to the wielder, which could also be a form of magic or alien tech.


        Training: Generally this covers everything that is achievable by anyone that has the dedication and will to stick with it. It includes skills and martial arts, which may be its own specialized set of magic or even psychic powers.
        My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
        My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
        [/URL]
        I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

          My setting that I'm currently running in is basically our world with one key difference; In 2010, some event happened that created powers in about 0.05% of the world's population. (So, roughly 3.75 million people). However, these powers range from incredibly minor (being able to see into the low levels of the UV spectrum, growing hair faster than normal) to incredibly powerful and flashy (one of the members of my Justice League equivalent can shape shift into a dragon). What M&M would consider characters of PL 6 or higher are only present in about 1% of that number (roughly 37,500 people worldwide). The presence of powers is distributed roughly equally with population (So China has ~693,000 people with any level of power, the US has ~162,850) but the "major" powers seem to be skewed more toward the western hemisphere for whatever reason (Surveys in-universe put the percentage of the population of the US that have "substantial" powers at 0.025%, or half of those with any power at all).

          The presence of superhumans is definitely altering the world, although with everything changing so recently and so rapidly the world is still coming to terms with everything. Science and technology have boomed due to those that gained significant increases to their intelligence. There are not many super teams, although there is a large villain organization that is gaining political and economic traction. As of the time of this writing, there are only four superhero teams in-universe; the PCs, a global peacekeeping force, a secret government team, and a new team of kids that have decided to fight crime. A big part of the campaign is the political and societal changes that are occurring.

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          • #6
            Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

            Originally posted by JDRook View Post
            I had this idea to have genetic superhumans (similar to X-Men style mutants) occur due to a specific gene-pairing that occurred 1 in every 2^23 births, which is roughly 1 in 8.4 million births, and with current population that works out to just under a thousand worldwide. Assuming a roughly even distribution around the world, that means any country with a population of 10 million or more is likely to have at least one naturally born super.
            One problem with genetic based superhumans is how old is this recessive gene that triggers superpowers? If the gene is older than 100,000 years, then who were the ubermen of the past? There were already billions of humans in 1750. So there should be some documented impact of superbeings in the history books and in common myth. Or would you attribute existing myths to these people: Robin Hood and Rasputin are just superior men? One with super hand-eye coordination and one with great fortitude.

            If it is less than 100,000 years old, then having parts of the world with greater and lessor chances to develop the gene becomes likely. Where the gene first developed then becomes an interesting thought process. A gene that started in Scandinavia would skew the numbers far differently than a gene that started in Indonesia. If the gene was triggered, say, by the black plague, that skews the population where the gene is available to Europe and it conquered territories in the age of exploration.

            Oh, and population growth (according to wikipedia) is 83,000,000 per year, or 10 new supers each year.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

              Originally posted by jmucchiello View Post
              One problem with genetic based superhumans is how old is this recessive gene that triggers superpowers? If the gene is older than 100,000 years, then who were the ubermen of the past? There were already billions of humans in 1750. So there should be some documented impact of superbeings in the history books and in common myth. Or would you attribute existing myths to these people: Robin Hood and Rasputin are just superior men? One with super hand-eye coordination and one with great fortitude.

              If it is less than 100,000 years old, then having parts of the world with greater and lessor chances to develop the gene becomes likely. Where the gene first developed then becomes an interesting thought process. A gene that started in Scandinavia would skew the numbers far differently than a gene that started in Indonesia. If the gene was triggered, say, by the black plague, that skews the population where the gene is available to Europe and it conquered territories in the age of exploration.

              Oh, and population growth (according to wikipedia) is 83,000,000 per year, or 10 new supers each year.
              He does mention in his final paragraph how old gods and myths could simply have been super beings.

              Originally posted by JDRook
              It's possible this genetic super effect has been going on for millenia, with stories of gods, prophets and other heroes of myth being supers. Current estimates are that another 100 billion homo sapiens have lived since roughly 50,000 years ago, which makes for a potential pool of another 12,000 pre-contemporary supers. It's also possible some of these historical heroes are long-lived or even immortal, or alternatively attempting to maintain their bloodlines for several generations. This gives all kinds of possibilities for Illuminati-style groups or Vandal Savage-type characters nudging history along and potentially trying to keep supers secret.
              That being said, super powers coming from genetics are often difficult to nail down when you get into the core of how genetics actually work.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

                One idea is that, in theory, all Humans are Supers. It takes something to trigger the "change" to happen. For some it seems to develop early on in early childhood or at birth, but others it happens sometime during puberty or as a result of a traumatic or high-emotional situation.

                Ideas for this line of thought are the metahumans in the Paragons setting https://greenroninstore.com/products...gn-setting-pdf or Shadowrun.

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                • #9
                  Children of the Atom

                  Originally posted by TF1Wayfarer View Post
                  The presence of powers is distributed roughly equally with population (So China has ~693,000 people with any level of power, the US has ~162,850) but the "major" powers seem to be skewed more toward the western hemisphere for whatever reason (Surveys in-universe put the percentage of the population of the US that have "substantial" powers at 0.025%, or half of those with any power at all).
                  The classic, comic book, explanation was to associate in the rise of superpowers to development of atomic energy production.

                  "Of the 31 countries in which nuclear power plants operate, only France, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belgium, and Hungary use them as the source for a majority of the country's electricity supply. Other countries have significant amounts of nuclear power generation capacity. By far the largest nuclear electricity producers are the United States with 805 647 GWh of nuclear electricity in 2017, followed by France with 381 846 GWh. As of December 2017 448 reactors with a net capacity of 391 721 MWe are operational and 59 reactors with net capacity of 60 460 MWe are under construction, of those 18 reactors with 19 016 MWe in China."
                  Last edited by Greyman; 11-21-2018, 06:35 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Children of the Atom

                    Originally posted by Greyman View Post
                    The classic, comic book, explanation was to associate in the rise of superpowers to development of atomic energy production.

                    "Of the 31 countries in which nuclear power plants operate, only France, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belgium, and Hungary use them as the source for a majority of the country's electricity supply. Other countries have significant amounts of nuclear power generation capacity. By far the largest nuclear electricity producers are the United States with 805 647 GWh of nuclear electricity in 2017, followed by France with 381 846 GWh. As of December 2017 448 reactors with a net capacity of 391 721 MWe are operational and 59 reactors with net capacity of 60 460 MWe are under construction, of those 18 reactors with 19 016 MWe in China."
                    So in short, radiation-induced mutations?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Children of the Atom

                      Originally posted by ZeronosVega View Post
                      So in short, radiation-induced mutations?
                      Well, correlation need not imply causation, but radioactive origin stories were once fairly common.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

                        This line of thought is why I suggested perhaps that it is not necessarily genetics, or rather that all Humans could potentially be a Super. The question is not who is born with the gene but who is triggered and what it does to/for that individual. In this case it would be the radiation would be a trigger for some people. It is a slightly different way of looking at it but it ends up with similar results.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

                          Another reason that I thought of the idea that Humans could have a predisposition to being a Super is that it is a reason that space travelers and dimensional travelers might be interested in Earth. Some would want to study the Human specimens, others would want to exploit them. Why Earth? Because it has Humans, and some Humans are Supers.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Numbers of superhumans in your worlds

                            Originally posted by SeeleyOne View Post
                            This line of thought is why I suggested perhaps that it is not necessarily genetics, or rather that all Humans could potentially be a Super. The question is not who is born with the gene but who is triggered and what it does to/for that individual. In this case it would be the radiation would be a trigger for some people. It is a slightly different way of looking at it but it ends up with similar results.
                            So something like the Paragons setting, then. Everyone could become a super if the right conditions are met to trigger the transformation.

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