Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Helltaint - a HERO System Campaign

I'm planning on starting up a supers game using the 6th Edition Hero System Rules.  I'll be using just the Basic Rulebook for simplicity.  I don't know how long it will last, but I promised Kaye a superhero game, so he's going to get one. :)

However, I'm not a huge fan of your standard superhero universe.  And I don't think the players would really fit into one, so I devised a universe where I think they could have fun.  I'm sure there is a comic book or setting that's exactly like this, since it uses so many common tropes, but I haven't seen one.

It's called Helltaint:


Next Monday, AD - During the morning commute to school and work, microscopic rifts opened in the very fabric of the universe.  Earth was bathed in varying levels of preternatural energies from another dimension.  Most were not affected by this strange radiation, but in the weeks and the months afterward, creatures exposed to high levels began to develop mutations, changing form or ability.  On rare occasions, inanimate objects began to change as well.

As doctors tried to understand what happened, some victims rapidly changed into vicious, powerful monsters bent on destroying all around them.  Governments worldwide began research projects into the new, inscrutable energies, and formed rapid response teams to deal with the horrific abominations that were commonly referred to as 'devils.'

Within a year it became clear that some of the radiation victims did not become devils, instead developing stable super powers like a hero out of a comic book.  Most tried to hide their powers, fearing a backlash from those who considered them 'tainted.'  Organizations, both legal and otherwise, started to recruit or kidnap victims to further their own ends.

Scientists eventually discovered the microfissures in the space around Earth, and theorized that they could be coaxed open with enough power.  This research culminated in the TORCH Project at CERN, in which a rift was opened, allowing an army of otherworldly, nightmarish monstrosities to ravage the Swiss country side.  While they had no standard form, they were all called 'demons.'

The TORCH Project caused instabilities in microfissures worldwide, allowing one-way traffic to flow at random times from the other dimension that immediately was labeled 'Hell.'  Governments developed methods to close the portals, and built teams to deal with the open gates as soon as possible.  This did not stop the microfissures from randomly emitting preternatural energies, however, creating new devils and Helltainted from the creatures of the Earth.

Ten Years In the Future, Now - The world is a dark place for the victims of the radiation - called  the Helltainted.  When discovered, governments, corporations, or organized crime groups draft, forcibly employ, or enslave them. Those Helltainted who escape detection from humanity don't have it easy, since the devils and demons can sense Helltaint and feast upon it.

Powerful new technologies have been built from extradimensional knowledge, but it remains under control of those in power.   Genetic monstrosities powered by Helltaint have been created in labs, and of course, have escaped into the wild.  Monster sightings reported on television may not have an extradimensional origin.

While humanity tries to ignore the chaos brought on by the Helltaint, it grows.  Monsters fight in gangs on the streets. Wars between nations escalate as new powers are developed.  Hundred foot tall demons march out of rifts and begin to eat skyscrapers.

It’s a perfect time for adventure.

- Ark


  1. Nice! I'm like you and not a big fan of running your standard supers universe based game. I had a great time with Necessary Evil, but at the moment I've got my head in a very different space, where the morals are a bit closer to the middle of the grey spectrum. If you haven't read it, check out Garth Eniss's latest long run comic book series, The Boys. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boys_(comics)

    And the players wouldn't be the eponymous heroes, but just a group of supers that exist in that world.

    1. Thanks for the info - I'll have to check out The Boys.

      - Ark

  2. +1 for the Boys. GREAT series I'm sad to see wrapping up