The Earth. Hotly desired by dimensional conquerors. Highly magical. Hosting an incredible concentration of super-beings. With immensely powerful psychics. Boasting numerous ultra-genius inventors creating “technological” marvels which rival or surpass the sciences of galactic civilizations eons older.
What makes Earth so special anyway?
Nothing much. Most youthful species go through this.
Stars are very common. Planetary systems are fairly common. Potentially habitable planets are a bit scarce. Living worlds are pretty rare. Sapient races are very, very, scarce. There are, perhaps, a few hundred in the milky way galaxy – if we’re lucky.
Quite a few of those wipe themselves out somehow – although those that don’t usually last for 20-30 million years. A sapient race that gets through it’s youth is generally pretty durable.
In case you hadn’t noticed, major supernormal powers are bad for your life expectancy. They make arguments, weird accidents, mistakes, and peculiar experiments, both far more likely, and far more lethal. They often create social difficulties as well. It’s entirely possible for high-powered super-beings to destroy their entire world.
Minor innate super-powers – “psionics” – are useful. “Competent” characters with minor enhancements tend to survive – and to do well.
Major psionic powers tend to breed themselves out. Many, or most, “adult” species will (very) occasionally “throw a sport” – but it’s extremely rare, to the point of being semi-legendary.
Technology suffers from three basic limitations.
It has to be simple enough for a reasonably large chunk of a species to understand it, especially if it’s to be in “common” use. Otherwise no one will be able to maintain it.
Higher technologies involve an ever-larger pyramid of people who make the parts to put together into (more complicated) things that make the parts to put together into (even more complicated) things that make the (even more complicated then before) things that make… There comes a point when this is no longer supportable.
Last, but not least, the species has to want it. As was once noted; “These one-a-day food pills are all very quick and efficient – but I like to actually sit down and talk to people and eat a meal!”.
While all of this can be gotten around – via “super” geniuses, using extremely special (and so rare) “natural” components – and by restricting the use of the technology to the small segment of the population which wants it – all of this means that the genuinely astounding “peaks” of super-technology are rare everywhere. Most species eventually wind up with technologies which suit them, and stabilize there.
“Magic” involves the skillful harnessing of peculiar psychic forces – both personal and ambient – and using them to tap into and manipulate the exotic energies of other levels of reality.
Of course, personal psychic energies are usually rather limited. “Ambient” psychic energies arise from the clashing worldviews – where the raw psychic energies of clashing beliefs cracks the otherwise seamless sphere of mundane reality. More cultural clashes mean more and more power.
Magic is strongest when many species with radically different cultures and natures intermingle on a constant, intimate, basis. Perhaps, when the species join together in the far future, there will come an age of magic – but, for now, the most potent times of magic are those brief periods when a young race is still busy sorting out what it’s culture is going to be like.
Finally, innate supernormal powers are most commonly activated by exposure to energy fields – whether over a period of time or in a high-intensity burst. The type of energy involved doesn’t really seem to matter much – magical, psychic, and technical, energy fields all work fine. That’s why earth is in a critical stage; the rise of technology has produced all sorts of peculiar energy fields that humans don’t yet know how to fully contain, that same rise has brought the worldviews of humanities various cultures into conflict. Suddenly all the latent potentials are being triggered, there is a wild rise in magical energies, the possibilities of advanced science – fertilized by individual super-geniuses and tinkerers and, as yet, unrestrained by practical considerations – are flowering, and nothing has yet been selected out by evolutionary forces. Given the rise in odd, quasi-human, species produced by various means, even the question of which subspecies is to dominate the earth has yet to be resolved.
It’s a fascinating period for investigation and even simple observation. It offers a chance to recruit whole GROUPS with truly powerful supernormal abilities. For those species who’s “transition” was long enough ago to fall under “mythology” rather then “ancient history” in their records it is a glimpse of wonder, which may lead to anything from fascination to insane jealousy.
All of which means that a youthful race – one on the edge of widely “announcing” it’s presence via broadcast technologies – will have a sizable contingent of vastly powerful supernormal members – often more and more potent then a dozen or more widely-established “elder” species may boast – during it’s most vulnerable period.
There are some who view this as proof that “somebody up there” likes sentient life – and wants to give every one of it’s “children” a fair chance.
Others, of course, insist that it’s just the way the laws of nature have happened to work out – and that there is nothing transcendental about it.
Of course, they could both be right.
In the usual Champions game the Earth actually is a little special; it – like a fairly small percentage of the galaxies other worlds – has encountered conditions which exaggerate the both the advantages and the problems typical of a youthful species, but the basic logic applies across the galaxy.