The media quickly latch onto the appearance of these new 'metahumans'. Governments become involved and soon they are recruiting the metahumans to undertake special global assignments – the sort that government secret agents may have coveted in the past. After each success, praise and reward are lavished upon these new ‘superheroes’. Very quickly, all worship them. Bram is one of the most famous metahumans.
The year is 2500 and not only the world but also its inhabitants are changing. Evolution has seen a new stream of humanity appear. These metahumans possess extraordinary superpowers. Standing out from the crowd, they leave ordinary humans behind. This builds up jealousy and resentment between the two groups.
Time moves on. Over the next 533-year period, metahumans continue to work for the governments. Society sees them as being brave and courageous. But unrest is stirring in the rest of the world; ordinary humans are not content to sit back and see the metahumans reap all of the glory. Very soon, a black market opens up, providing ordinary humans with implants and augmentation, which bring their physical abilities in line with the metahumans.
Very soon, these ‘augmented humans’ are pushing their way in, stealing government missions from under the noses of the metahumans. Now everyone appears to be a hero. With superheroism becoming the norm, the media tires of it, and so does the public. Heroes are no longer applauded. Metahumans are being surpassed by the augmented crowed, receiving little if any recognition.
Disillusionment hits. The metahumans, including Bram, become cynical. However, with their inbuilt moral compass, they find it hard not to be the good guys. They fight back by adding augmentation to their already substantial powers, elevating them above the level of the augmented humans. Competition is rife with metahumans trading and bartering their work across the 'superhero market'. We see Bram at The Foxy Lockhart, a local bar where meta and augmented humans meet up to barter and trade. The original metahumans are now involved in a power struggle with the augmented crowd. However, they don’t give up. They try to maintain their impressive social media reputation whilst carrying out fewer missions. As their moral compass begins to crumble, they find themselves using credit they have acquired over the years to bribe others to do their work whilst they receive the recognition and acclaim.
The game covers a period of 533 years; since the year 2500, characters have passed through roughly 5 stages to reach the year 3033:
"Better Days" - What it used to be like, cheering crowds, lots of press, city bigwigs, receiving medals.
"New Reality" - No crowds, no fanfare, just a few disinterested officials in a small office with a single photographer.
"Two Faces" - The battle within – A Hero’s ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ character. Doing the right thing versus an easy life.
"Acceptance" - What can you do, except be the hero? It's in their nature and they can’t fight it.
“The Great Expansion of 3032” – During a mission involving a group of metahumans, they discovered the existence of 6 new worlds on distant planets. (The game is split into 3 rounds of 19 hours because the unit of time was universally changed to a 57-unit day, to match the time measurement on the 7 current worlds.
The Reluctant Hero card game aims to boost and maintain social reputation. The winner is the player with the highest social standing i.e. the real hero.
Reluctant Hero is an advanced card game for 2 – 6 players
It uses over 350 beautifully designed playing cards
Players play 3 rounds of 19 hours (Job Time Value) - jobs can either be completed, forced onto other players, or left pending
Players use a huge selection of items/tools to complete jobs
These items can be received free from the control or purchased on the black market
Every action affects a player's social reputation which is absolutely key in the theme of the game
Players can earn credit too, but at the end of a day it is only social reputation that matters