D20heroes Fluff

The Date is 2101

And things aren't like they used to be.

The History of Mutations

The first confirmed cases of psionic ability were in the late 2020's, and are assumed to be a simple result of human genetic evolution. Roughly around the same time, designer genetics for children and gene-therapy for soldiers and hazardous jobs laid the ground for the first Genetic heroes. A rare few cases of Genetic heroes have emerged as a result of natural mutation or contact with mutagenic substances, but most people with genetic defects just live unhappy lives and usually toxic waste will just kill you very, very dead. Rumours abound, however, of substances that can cause uncontrolled beneficial mutation in children and adults both. By the time of 2101, however, gene therapy for adults remains hazardous and highly unpleasant, and usually Genetic heroes are either non-human species or the descendants of the early pioneers of advanced genetherapy, whose germline cells were modified to carry on their beneficial changes.

Powered Armour emerged from the conflicts of the 2030's and early work exos, by the 2040's the same technology was miniaturized applied to advanced Cybernetic prosthetics and improvements. Prosthetics still remain the norm for Cybernetics, however, as Cybernetic replacements which are superior and do not have crippling power requirements or flaws are still highly advanced technology, usually reserved for the rich or military cyborgs. Those who wanted to wield these technological abilities without permanently altering their bodies or having military hardware in the garage were the first Inventors.

Magical/Divine powers have a shrouded history, most who subscribe to these concepts will claim that they've been accessed since humanity's first prayers, but the only scientifically confirmed evidence of Infernal/Magical/Divine interference at human command was in the 2020's, suspiciously close to the first confirmed Psionics, prompting a raging debate as to whether the man who claims Allah or Shiva is empowering him is really something different, or just a schizophrenic Psionic.

Of the current fourteen-billion registered humans, only three million are registered as having military cybernetics, operating military-class powered armour, having a license to operate mil-class technology, being psionic, capable of manipulating divine forces or having regulated genetic codes. Doubtless there are more which are either working for governments and hence secret, or unwilling to reveal their talents and operations to the public, but even the high-ball estimate puts the total number of powered heroes at less than five million.

The State of Earth

Earth's large power blocs are the North American Union(Central America and northwards, includes Australia, Japan and New Zealand), the European Conglomerate(includes Greenland, Iceland and Antarctica), the Russian Union(most old USSR territory, plus India, Pakistan and the Middle East) and the Risen Dragon(most Asian nations not already mentioned, lead by China, largely in control of all Pacific islands). Africa and South America are loosely allied, as are their internal nations, but while they may have internal conflicts they are generally allied against outside pressure and combine their funds and talents for their space programs, together they form the Unaligned Coalition.

Aside from small border conflicts and the constant low-grade warfare between African and South American neighbours, Earth is largely at peace after the massive wars of the 2030's and 2050's. Massive access to intra-system space travel and programs with help from space elevators has alleviated most need for raw materials, land and energy that would have sparked critical conflicts, and most secessionist/extremist organizations have lifted their members off-planet en masse to form enclaves elsewhere. Most skirmishes are now fought between nations in deep space or on the surfaces of planets as they vie for territory and resources.

Name Government Major Elevators
NAU Democratic Council Hawaii, Cuba
EUC Military Council* Mediterranean, Greenland, Antarctica
RUU Corporate Sea of India, Kazakhstan
RID Democratic Council Sea of China(multiple)
UAC Democratic Council South Atlantic Accelerator, Amazon Launch Facility**

*Technically Democratic, but at least two years of military or public service are required to vote, and most high office is held by generals and admirals.
**Old-style launch site, not an elevator

The Solar System

Name Location Affiliation
Gierling Station Earth Orbit NAU
Leningrad II Earth Orbit RUU
New Delhi Venus Aerostat RUU
Heliopolis Mercury Orbit(Darkside) UAC
Unity Torus Circumjovian Shared/Independent
Deimos Martian Orbit EUC
Phobos Martian Orbit EUC
Forbidden Palace Europa Surface RID
The Great Wall Earth/Lunar Lagrange RID


The RID was the first coalition to get up an active space elevator in 2029, and hence the first able to properly start colonizing the Earth's moon and tapping its resources. More conventional launch methods provided other nations with a slice of the Lunar cake, but from the first step of true colonization, Luna has been a largely RID holding. The wars of the 2030's were largely sparked by fighting over Lunar resources and resulted in most of the other coalitions forming and establishing their own proper space programs(if they lacked them) or building their own elevators. The EUC has large holdings as well, as a result of its military/political support for the RID during the 2030's Terran/Lunar wars. Most Lunar citizens feel that they are still members of their old coalitions, and there is only a minor movement for independence. Luna started out as an industrial world providing Helium-3 and other materials for Earth, but is now a colony in its own right, largely self-sufficient and with its own entertainment/service industry.




Jupiter/Unity Torus

As soon as the Chitter were discovered in 2061, every human faction launched an aggressive barrage of threats, promises and suggestions aimed at getting them access to their ship and their technology. Ultimately, however, the Chitter elected to permit the soft-spoken UAC access to their technology before all others, and the two forces cooperated to repair, salvage and understand as much as they could. Among the things discovered was a one-use nanotechnology device apparently designed to instantly settle the Chitter wherever they arrived. After careful negotiations, the UAC and the Chitter decided to share this device with the rest of humanity.

All Jovian orbits, colonies and habs were cleared, aside from RID and UAC research stations on Europa, and the nanotech device was launched at Ganymede. Within two years, Jupiter had only one moon. The remainder had been cracked open and shattered by a robotic workforce, and reshaped into a ring, a vast skeletal torus surrounding Jupiter. Now, in 2101, approximately a quarter of the Unity Torus' length has been transformed into habitable sections. Most of the Chitter who have left Europa live there, as does a permanent workforce who research and reinforce the structure, trying to understand the advanced material sciences and physics employed by the construction swarm. Particularly how it manages not to collapse into Jupiter's gravity well.

The torus has been completed in separate sections, though most of it is focused around one part of the ring, each is its own, independent community and much of humanity's population now resides there along with the Chitters. The latest census identifies approximately six billion humans as being residents of the Unity Torus. As it grows, it may soon eclipse Earth itself as the center of human civilization and activity. Currently no single human faction claims ownership of the Unity Torus, and while it has an independent security force and embassies from the human groups(as well as the Chitter), it has no overarching government.

The interior of the Unity Torus is at times claustrophobic, at times open(especially among the inner side of the ring where vast windows permit a glorious view of Jupiter and its storms from above) and includes amenities such as parks. It is completely self-sufficient thanks to large-scale hydroponics, recycling and other farm initiatives, and final plans for the torus call for devoting almost half of its total space towards parks and natural environs.


Outer System

Non-Human Species



The short description would be vertebrate caterpillar-centaurs. They're roughly ten feet long and half of their length is devoted to an abdomen lined with two dozen small legs, each tipped by a pair of vestigial claws for grip. Their front body, the torso, is usually vertical and looks the same aside from the lack of legs(their torso is instead lined internally with flexible-yet-study ribs, vestigial versions of the legs, which makes them exceptionally bendy).

Despite their insectoid appearance they have an iendoskeleton, and a tough, featureless gray skin which serves as kevlar-like armor. They have two arms, each ending in hands that have four fingers and two thumbs. Atop it all is an insectoid-looking head, the mouth combines external mandibles and internal teeth, no noses(instead replaced with small, nubby antennae which are highly sensitive to things like bad smells and tear gas), and they have two eyes, which are pure black.

Their "eyebrows" consist of two lines of three small black dots above each eye, which are actually eye-spots, sensitive to certain non-visible light frequencies. Since they have no eyelids for these, they are sensitive to being blinded by strong infrared and UV light, or at least discomforted by it.

Their species is androgynous in appearance, while they have a male and female gender, the two look alike to the point where it takes an autopsy to tell the difference. Females tend to be slightly larger.

Genetically they are unlike any Earth species, but their genome shows signs of extensive modification and clean-up, and has been engineered in ways that make them easily "modified" by gene-therapy viruses. In recent times this has resulted in a certain loss of their otherwise highly-similar appearance, as some strive for individuality or specialization for jobs by allowing their genes to get scrambled.

Usually the only way for someone not a Chitter to tell two Chitter apart is by what they choose to wear or, occasionally, bodypaints/tattoos. Chitter themselves can tell each other apart by subtle pheromonal differences and the arrangement of their vestigial ribs, as well as subtle differences of head structure and eye-spot arrangement which most humans would never notice.


The past of the Chitter is unknown, even to the Chitter themselves. The ones present in the Sol system are the survivors of a near-FTL crash that sent their ship through the surface of Europa and into the oceans below its ice. The impact caused massive damage to their databanks and killed much of the crew, especially among the technically proficient. Those that did not perish during the crash were mostly killed as they attempted to stabilize the damage done. This happened approximately around the year 1800 by human reckoning.

For the next three-hundred odd years, the surviving Chitter lived off of their functioning hydroponics systems and went slowly crazy from isolation inside their ship, losing touch with their pasts and culture, retaining little but their language. The only thing that kept them sane was when humanity started transmitting into the solar system and beyond.

Ever since our first transmissions, they've been listening in, unable to talk back, but slowly absorbing our language and culture, replacing large parts of their own, forgotten culture with it and giving human explorers of Europa quite a surprise when they encountered strange aliens who were able to speak a human language. Due to humanity being their only extra-ship "contact" for so long, many of them have developed a minor obsession with our species and are eager to be absorbed.

This provides the major internal Chitter cultural schism. The Returners are those who wish to acquire human avoid to fix their ship, hopefully recover something from the databanks and find their way back home. They try to follow as many urges and as much intuition as possible, insisting that this is their best clue as to what being a Chitter actually IS. Returners tend to be stand-offish from humans and extremely eager to explore, possessed of a high curiosity.

Humanists are the ones who instead wish to join humanity in their exploration of Sol and the stars beyond. Most pick a single human whom they attempt to emulate, often a human friend/acquaintance or a human celebrity. They often wear modified human fashions to "look human," and many have settled on Earth or on the Unity Torus around Jupiter. Returners instead tend to remain in small sub-ice settlements on Europa or within the remains of their crashed ship.

Chitters are largely compatible with human culture, seeing and sensing most of the same wavelengths of sound, sight, smell and touch as us. They can process most of our foods, though they tend to have a fondness for extremely sweet things, and react poorly to anything spicy, which can give them extreme intestinal distress or in extreme cases cause death.

Such things as Chitter ghettos do not exist, as those Chitter who live among humanity are fascinated by us, and more than slightly thankful for being freed from Europa's ice by our explorers.

They have provided free access to their ship for certain human factions in return for a place in human society, and those humans have recovered quite a bit of technology for the allied species' use. In particular, humanity owes the Chitter for making the Unity Torus which is slung around Jupiter's equator possible at all.



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