This is a parallel world, quite similar to our own in some ways, but in others very, very different. The geography is identical, barring the presence of a handful of nations, cities, islands, and other places not found on any real map. Life developed along the same lines, with a few additions. History followed pretty much the same course. The biggest difference between The Butlerverse and the real world is the existence of costumed adventurers, some of whom possess powers and abilities far beyond those of common mankind. These beings influenced the world both actively and passively, and this influence is readily apparent.
The spirit of the The Butlerverse is rooted in Comic Books. I was a collector as a kid (and as an adult, if I am to be brutally honest; I really only stopped collecting individual issues of comic books in 2006... I still buy the occasional trade paperback or hardbound collection of issues, but I no longer go to the comics shop intent on picking up a dozen individual comics issues anymore) and loved to read the stories with flashy heroes doing flashy things to preserve justice and help the little guy. I've tried to keep The Butlerverse as realistic as possible, while simultaneously striving for the four-color feel I loved when reading the comics I collected while growing up. My aim was to recreate the best elements of the comic book world, while acknowledging that the real world is a pretty neat place as well.
So this is the latest incarnation of my very own comic book universe. Have fun!
A Short Note About the Games
In most of the campaigns set in the Butlerverse, the Player Characters have been built as "Standard Superheroic Characters" for whatever rules system was in use at the time. For the early campaigns (such as The Sentinels Campaign, which ran from 1983 to 1985), this meant a base of 100 Character Points and an additional 150 Disadvantage Points. When Champions Fourth Edition (the "Big Blue Book" with a cover by comic book artist George Perez) came out, the Team America campaign (which ran from 1988 to 1992) used the same numbers. Later, for The Sunshine Warriors campaign (running from 1993 to 1996) this was increased to a base of 125 Character Points and 150 points of Disadvantages.
The Hero System Fifth Edition (the "Green Man Book", sometimes called "FrED" after the revised edition was released) bumped up the points totals for a "Standard Superheroic Character" to a base of 200 Character Points and 150 Points of Disadvantages. When the Butlerverse was opened up as a shared world campaign setting during the days of The Global Guardians PBEM Campaigns (which ran from 1999 to 2006), most of the various campaigns used these numbers. The team members of the specific Global Guardians campaigns, however, were "High Powered Heroes" built on a base of 350 points, with 150 points of Disadvantages.
The Existence of Superpowers Had a Tangible Effect on the World
The World Itself is Different
The Players Write the Story
The Players Helped Create the World
The campaigns set in this game world were, as the phrase "game world" implies, just games. That's all they were... just games. They were a bunch of people agreeing to play "let's pretend" in a make-believe world. As such, the one and only purpose for its existence was to provide fun for the GM and the players involved.
To that end, those things that make the best game play (and thus the best fun) always trumped trivialities like what the rules of the game say.