Brave New Questions Answered
Last week I asked for questions about Brave New World, and you came up with a bunch of them. I’ll do my best to answer them here. If I mess something up, be easy on me. It’s been years since I worked on the Brave New World, and my memory might be something less than perfect. Anyhow on with the questions!
From Steve Ellis:
Q: What was the whole connection with Bargainers? Why did these otherwordly entities (presumably criminals on the run from the MP’s) want earth deltas to commit sins/sell their souls? It makes sense if they are demons but not if they are aliens…
A: The demons and angels hail from dimensions in which the default power level is something like an alpha, maybe an omega or even higher. Their war is analogous to the Cold War in our world. They have an ongoing conflict that only spikes up from time to time. Instead of all-out combat, they wage a war by proxy in the world of Brave New World, which is technically off limits to them.
The demons work around the restrictions against creatures from other dimensions using our world by getting invitations into the BNW world. The angels are allied with the Omegas who work to protect the BNW world from outside intervention, although whether this is due to inherent goodness or motives of their own isn’t always clear.
Q: And how did Houdini and other apparent alphas survive the “fix” in reality?
A: Those alphas who weren’t on the planet or who were under a power-dampening field at the time of the Bicentennial Battle weren’t affected. The Facade, for instance, works under a huge power-dampening field around the White House, so he was safe.
From Barak Blackburn:
Q: Do you have any character creation info that was never released? Either for BNW or Crossroads?
A: Sadly no. I never got around to writing any of it down.
Q: Where did the ideas for specific arhetypes come from (were they based upon specific mythological figures? was there a method to the madness?
A: There may have been, but I don’t recall now. I think I was just trying to replicate a number of the different types of archetypes from the comics I loved.
From Joseph Osborne:
Q: One thing that was always missing was rules for Alpha-level characters. If I wanted to run a game in the “Crossroads” plot, or set before the Vanishing, what kind of scale should I use for Delta PCs? Or what if I wanted to use an escaped/returned Alpha as a supervillain that PCs would eventually have to take down. (It’s gotta be possible for Deltas to eventually take down an Alpha, or Primers could never recapture escapees.) My first inclination is to use Delta packages, and just increase the numbers significantly (since there are Alpha Snuffers), or combine two or three related Delta packages (like Flyer, Tough and Blaster for Superior) and give them a increase in their numbers. So, could you please give some guidelines for Alpha characters?
A: Again, I never came up with these rules. However, in the past I suggested that you give a delta three to five power packages with all the available tricks.
From David Patterson:
Q: I was wondering if you had a planned resolution for the campaign setting?
A: I never got past the release of Crossroads. Once I started work on that, I hoped to define all the details that linked the war between Heaven and Hell in with the Omegas, possibly with a multiverse-shattering climax, but it never happened.
Q: Add my thanks to the pile. I just bought BNW less than a month ago & am now on a mission to track down all the supplements. As of yesterday all I’m missing is the Covenant book & Evil, Inc.
A: Good luck! If you can’t find the books, let me know. I have a few extra copies left that I might be willing to sell.
Q: What I’m interested in knowing is, what sort of books did you have planned for the Brave New World, and what did you want to cover before the release of Crossroads?
A:I got to do most of the books I was hoping to. One of those next up would have been a mega-adventure featuring the return of Superior. This would have been a bridge product that introduced Crossroads while upping the level of conflict in the USA when it became clear that the Facade had been masquerading as President Kennedy for all those years.
Q: I’d like to know more about the war between heaven and hell too. Why did angelic omegas want us to be good, and daemonic omegas want us to be bad? Was it some plot to take over our dimension? If so, why? You said that you can’t stay in dimensions outside your own for long without it damaging that universe, else the multidimensional police were after you. Were the demons and angels more powerful than them? What gives?
A: One of the recurrent themes in Brave New World is the idea that there are several different ways to look at a story. Take, for instance, the Defiants and Delta Prime. To the Defiants, those in Delta Prime are government thugs, stooges of King Jack. To the Primers, the Defiants are terrorists out to destroy America.
While the narrator of Bargainers may believe everything he tells you about the war between Heaven and Hell, he may not know everything. Worse yet, he may be lying for reasons of his own.
The same is true of the Omegas who approached Kennedy/Facade back in 1976. Were they telling the truth? Did the alphas really have to go? Or did they just want to get rid of them all for some other, more nefarious reason?
While I have my own ideas about what the right answers are, they may not match yours, and that’s fine. Once you buy the game and start your campaign, you get to do whatever you like with it. Make up your own answers. Along with your players, create your own story. And have fun.