Friday, May 27, 2011

[RPG] Character Ideas I Can't Use #1 -Effigy

A long time ago, I played in a Champions 4th edition game TheDude ran. I played a "Green Arrow" type, but as a girl. The character's name was Huntress, and she was pretty much utterly devoid of personality or motivation whatsoever.

I got to a point where "going through the motions" got really boring and I wanted my character to die.I talked to TheDude about it, and he agreed.  For those of you that read TheDude's blog, don't be fooled by the genial tie-wearing demeanor. The man is pure evil, in red-haired maniacal form. He listened to my pleas, and actually went through with kill- just in a way I ^^^REALLY^^^ did not expect.

Not only did he kill my character, the then brought her back- as a villain. Not any villain, nope. He brought her back as a she-demon from Hell. Instead of bows and arrows, she used claws and blood. She could project "blood bullets/needles", and then once they punctured a victim's skin, track the victim anywhere for a day. She had some other cool talents, but the ability to track her victim by her blood really intrigued me.

I had that concept in my head for a while, and I played with ways to make it cooler, different, or just interesting in some way. I finally came up with something that took TheDude's basic idea and turned it on it's ear. I came up with Effigy.

Effigy is a shapeshifter with mentalist abilities- and absorption. Effigy does a mental attack on someone across the battlefield, and then takes on their shape. Once he does so, his defensive absorption abilities kick on, and his teammates start to beat on Effigy. The damage done to Effigy is absorbed and directed to the mental attack, and the opponent goes out in just a few well placed blows.

It's a simple, beautiful and effective idea. It's also, admittedly, insanely powerful. Even when I first built him at 250 points, Effigy had an effectiveness of 400+ points, if not more. I've pitched it to no less than 5 separate GM's, and each and every one of them has said "NO".

Effigy has a reputation, and I didn't even do the work. TheDude did all of the warning- he was so impressed with the idea and so sure he didn't want it in his game he figured he'd share the news. I've had fun conversations where I'm about to pitch ANY idea and the GM will come up with "but first, let me say- NO EFFIGY".

I've accepted this as a fact, and tried to move on. I throw around the idea of turning him into a villain, but it never feels right. Maybe I need to build a "Foster's Home For Unloved Heroes", or something.

That's just the first of at least a couple ideas that are beautiful in theory, but improbable and/or impractical in "reality". I mean, we are talking about games...


  1. Sounds like TheDude has an interesting image of your pen and paper self...

  2. Effigy seems like she would have been right at home on the Doom Patrol.

  3. Heh. I have on of those too. It's basically a steampunk version of Truckle the Uncivil, for use in a D&D game. Which, yeah, is probably a bit too out there to actually use.

  4. That's one of the joys/pitfalls of Champions: a character that is legal in every way possible and also a horror to behold. A friend of mine made a teleporting brick with a flash attack that would go off whenever she arrived somewhere. So, her standard tactic was teleport to an enemy and blinding him in the process, then hitting him while his defenses were down. Wicked combination, that.

    It's the classic case of "Yes, you can, but no, you shouldn't."

  5. As anything but a WoD-character, I have to agree, that's a villain. Full stop.

    Seriously, girl, look at it. "I''ll assume your likeness, then my crew/minions will beat the living shit out of me." Doesn't seem like something a Hero would do to me, anyway.

    In WoD I'd say your character had some serious masochistic issues, but hey, let's roll with it.

  6. @ Harald . . . I must reiterate, I could totally see the Doom Patrol beating the shit out of one of their own in a fight, especially if they had the added benefit of actually harming their opponent by doing so . . . ;)