I recently ran a one-shot of Superpowered! the Quantum Engine-based superhero setting. It doesn’t have a built-in setting, so I made a quick setting and adventure. I wanted something I could use again for any future one-shots.
I wanted to go for a Tom Strong, high-tech based supers setting, so I created the city of Zenith.
Somewhere on the east coast of North America, is the metropolis of Zenith. It’s known as a center of science and high technology. They pride themselves as being “30 minutes in the future”
Imagine miles of soaring Art Deco towers, with maglev trains, and airships.
Neighborhoods of Zenith
A large island in Zenith Harbor, full of glittering skyscrapers. This is the commercial and cultural heart of the city. Multiple bridges, tunnels, and maglev lines connect Central City to the rest of the city.
Once an old immigrant neighborhood, now a high-end hipster district. Full of fashionable shops and eateries.
The bustling port of Zenith is mostly automated these days. Giant robot arms load and unload container ships 24/7, while smaller stevedore bots zip along the docks.
The constant bustle of trade here attracts thieves and cyber-smugglers.
The actual name for this neighborhood is West Meadows. It’s been given the moniker “Boomtown”, due to its proximity to Hughes International Airport. Boomtown is plagued by the constant sonic booms from the SSTs that arrive night and day.
Due to the cheap rents, the neighborhood attracts both starving artists and the criminal element.
Nautlius Beach has been the playground for the people of Zenith since the 19th century.
It has a lovely old Edwardian-era boardwalk, festooned with modern amusement parks and other recreations.
Statue of Progress
Erected in 1900, this statue is a gift from the people of Ruritania. The 10m statue portrays a woman in ancient Greek clothing, holding aloft a lantern. It represents Knowledge piercing the darkness. It stands proudly, taking up most of Progress Island in Zenith Harbor. The lantern is electric and is lit every evening.
Only accessible by boat or air, this island in Zenith Harbor is entirely made up of the FuturePlex campus (see Future Foundation below)
Heisenberg Institute of Technology
One of the premier technology schools in the world, HIT attracts students and scientists from across the world.
It does have the occasional problem of experiments going out of control, or mad scientists causing trouble.
A high-tech domed stadium, home to the Prometheans, Zenith’s beloved baseball team. It recently installed an elaborate holographic display system, usually used for concerts.
Military base and weapons depot, carved into the rocky outcropping of Gunther’s Hook.
The Future Foundation
The Future Foundation was founded in 1900 by a visionary band of scientists and industrialists who wanted to prepare the world for the coming Age of Science. It severs as both a think tank, advising governments and corporations, and a world-renowned research lab in its own right.
It has branches around the world (and a small space station), but its headquarters are in Zenith, in a advanced technological campus called the FuturePlex. The FuturePlex takes up most of Infinity Island, in Zenith Harbor.
In addition to consulting and research, they also have developed teams of super-powered science-heroes to protect the world against high-tech threats. The Zenith-based team is called the Future Squad.
The Grey Market
A decentralized, international criminal organization. They are highly organized, but all the parts are highly cellular and anonymous, so it’s a difficult organization to penetrate or investigate. They make most of their money by contracting out criminal services to other criminal groups.
They’ve developed their own decentralized anonymous cryptocurrency called CrimeCoin. They use it to trade weapons, information, and stolen goods.
Esoteric Science League
A collection of scientists who specialize in obscure, often ludicrous corners of knowledge. Normally they keep to themselves, pursuing their own strange interests. However, when something genuinely strange happens, they are called on to investigate. Lavishly funded by a mysterious benefactor.