Friday, June 10, 2011

[RPG] Character Ideas I Can't Use #3- Chad Black

I've talked about Chad before- at least once. He was a character I "played" in a PBEM Wrestling Federation. His moniker was The Exemplar; literally an example for those around him.

At first shine, Chad came off as arrogant and haughty- pretentious and prideful. After some careful examination, he displays a serious desire (almost a need) for approval, for a place to belong.

The base idea for Chad was pretty simple. He was a failed priest novitiate, wanting redemption and a place to release his aggression. He was a good, honest and generally decent man- but with an abundance of fury. He held  very little dear, but was fiercely protective and loyal to the things he did value.

I've toyed with the idea of Chad in many guises, in many game systems. I've envisioned Chad as a priest to the outcasts and homeless- as a vampire and as a Changeling. I've seen Chad as a superhero- a strong man, a judicar or a very misguided  vigilante. I've seen him as a government agent for any number of conspiracy type games, and I've seen him as a street dude, for the Shadowrun style games.

The problem is that he's so versatile, and so personal. I got to write for him for over a year, and he feels so ingrained to me it's hard to share him with anyone- to let anyone else in on the process. Someday I'll find a home for him... I hope.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

[RPG] Character Ideas I Can't Use #2- MIA

Sorry for the very long absence from the blogsphere, folks. I spent the past week dealing with some weird personal stuff, and reading. I've found that reading gets my creative juices going again and I needed some juice pretty seriously.

The next character idea that I can't use is also for Champions/Hero System. This idea is a little less fleshed out as my previous idea- but it's also much newer and in many ways, much more personal.

The idea, in its base form, is taking a personal trait of mine (which I and many others see as a weakness) and turn it into a power. One of my more famous tendencies is the ability to get lost literally anywhere. I have quite honestly gotten lost inside a pretty small mall (shaped like a big X), parking lots and most famously, my own walk-in closet. (I got turned around and couldn't find the door. Gimme a break.)

Rather than having this ability be a failing, what if I could turn this into a positive? This was the line of thinking that helped bring about MIA.

MIA is a mentalists with a weird twist. Her background is that of the "spotter" for a sniper/swat team in crisis situations- the eyes in the sky, so to speak. Her training and specialty lay in seeing the enemy, and conveying to the team the enemy's locations.

She was really good at it, with a flair for almost implanting a "picture" of the enemy into her team's heads- and the brass noticed. They hooked her into a program intended to expand her abilities further, with the ability to convey images mentally the ideal end result.

The training was rigorous and somehow went awry- she developed abilities, but almost exactly opposite of what was wanted. Instead of being able to show pictures of where enemies were to her team, MIA was only able to convey a sense of being "lost in the fog of war".

Further exploration discovered that this ability was not limited to a single target- it affected just about anyone around her when she tried to project images. This lead more than a few people being missing in action (hence the name), while both the team and the individual being targeted fumbled to get their bearings.

The idea is very cool, in my opinion. The problem comes in the execution- the power level of the ability is ridiculous- clocking in at 97 points MINIMUM, for the true effect I want. That's one single power. No skills, defenses, modifiers, movement- nothing else is included in this. With 400 points the maximum for starting heroes, and most GMs capping powers at 60-70 active points, a power with nearly 100 active points just isn't going to fly.

Additionally, while the concept is sound, the actual results of taking even a single villain team out this way is pretty staggering. An example?  Dr Doom and the Doom Patrol are fighting the Brotherhood of Evil  when suddenly, the BOH has no idea where they are and Monsier Mallah is attacking the Brain by mistake because he thinks the Brain is somewhere else...

I'm still looking to start the Home for Unwanted Heroes.... I think it might be filled with all the "D" List guys... but who knows what might happen. I COULD find a home for these guys, eventually....