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[personal profile] innocent_man
(But before I began, I was bored before I ever began, shoplifters of the world...)

Anyway. I haven't made a character...well, it hasn't been six months, but over four. My initial plan was two a week. As the kids say these days, LOL. Maybe try one a week going forward? See how that does? Sundays are generally a pretty good day for it.

OK, well, with the rabbit in the oven and another half-hour to go, I think I can do a quick character. That means not something I'm terribly unfamiliar with. The next few on my list, if we were to go in that order, are a bunch that I don't know, so I'm gonna skip down a bit.

The Game: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
The Publisher Margaret Weis Productions
Degree of Familiarity: Getting better. I'm running it currently and it's a lot of fun.
Books Required: Just the one.

So, I have, of course a lot of supers games, and even one from Marvel. This one, though, is nice in that you assemble your dice pool by looking down the sheet. You're usually rolling against an opponent, but sometimes against the doom pool, which grows as shit gets real. This is one of those systems that doesn't work for loosey-goosey, fake-the-system GMs. Like NWoD, FATE and curse the darkness, it's a game that only works when you let it.

But here's the thing I don't dig: There's no chargen system. It's designed for playing existing Marvel characters, which is balls. Who wants to play other people's characters? (I know some people do, I've just never understood the fascination.)

So what I'm gonna do is recreate the first character I remember making when I picked up the old TSR Marvel game. I'm doing this from memory, and the memory is...geez, 27 years old at this point? (OMG. I have literally been running games long than some of my gamers have been alive.)

OK, so what do I remember? His name was Shapeshifter. He was a mutant. He had a kickass black outfit with red accents. He had multiple limbs (yeah, weird, I rolled him up randomly), he could turn invisible, and I'm sure he had other shape-shifty powers, too. I don't for the life of my remember his real name, so let's call him Miles Farley. Seems a moderately dorky name.

That's a really weird power set. Let's work it! I'll make up the details I don't remember.

Affiliation: In the game, you roll an Affiliation die based on whether you're solo, with a buddy, or on a team. I think Shapeshifter would work best with a buddy. He's not trusting enough to be a true team player, but his powers are good support. I'll take Solo d8, Buddy d10, Team d6.

Distinctions: I get three of these, and they need to be potentially a help or hindrance. OK, well. As I recall, Shapeshifter manifested his powers when he was young and awkward and tweeny (much like me when I rolled him up), but I played him as an adult. So I'll split the difference and say he's in high school now, and give him the Distinction: High School Nobody.

For my next one, I'll need to make something up, because I'm drawing a blank. We'll say Shapeshifter is really self-conscious about his powers (the extra limbs, especially) so I'll take Desperate to Fit In.

Finally, since I need something that ties into my super-identity a little more, I'll take Hero or Freak?

OK, now Power Sets! I think I need two, because there's not a Power Set for "extra limbs" specifically. I'll take "Extra Limbs" as one set and "Unstable Form" as my other one.

For "Extra Limbs," I want Enhanced Strength d8 and Climbing d6 (he can use his extra hands to grab hold and steady himself). For SFX, I'll take Afflict (for Grappling). I'll also take the Limit for being a mutant (basically I'm vulnerable to certain attacks because I'm a mutie).

So then my Unstable Form set. I take Invisibility d10 (I want to be good at that) and Stretching d8 (allowing him to reach down an elevator shaft). I debate taking Shapeshifting, but it really only lets me mimic people unless I take it at d12, which I don't think is appropriate. Hmm. OK, well, how about we take it at d8 so I can hide my arms, and then I'll play with SFX and Limit.

I want Shapeshifter to be able to knock people back with his arms, and I think the Extra Arms combined with Stretching means he can hit multiple people at once, so I'll take Area Attack. I like Counterattack, too.

But I want a Limit to reflect Shapeshifter's low self-confidence, so I'll make one up. I'll say he's Freakish. I'll just use the system for Uncontrollable; same idea. His powers can go a little bonkers sometimes, or people just make fun of the arms.

OK, now Specialities, which are like skills. You only use them if you're really badass at something. I would like to take Combat Expert, but I don't see him being that good at combat. I will take Covert at Expert (he's stealthy as hell) and, what the hell, Acrobatics at Expert.

And finally, Milestones. These are kind of plot progressions for my character. I know I want one to be "Who Am I, Really?" He's suffering from an identity crisis because he's ashamed of who and what he is. So we'll say

  • Gain 1XP when someone makes anti-mutant jokes or rhetoric around you.
  • Gain 3XP when you choose not to accept credit (or blame) for heroic actions (that is, I bugger off invisible).
  • Gain 10XP when you come out to your family as a mutant.

Good, that's one. Need one more. Hmm. I think it'd be fun to play with the notion that his powers haven't really solidified yet. How about "This Isn't My Final Form?"

  • Gain 1XP when you use the Freakish Limit in an action scene.
  • Gain 3XP when you use Shapeshifting to change your body in a new way.
  • Gain 10XP when you alter a Power or Limit.

And that's me done!

MHR Chargen

Date: 2013-12-12 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] midnightblue23
"But here's the thing I don't dig: There's no chargen system. It's designed for playing existing Marvel characters, which is balls. Who wants to play other people's characters? (I know some people do, I've just never understood the fascination.)"

Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Marvel Heroic has the exact same character generation options as its predecessor, TSR's Marvel Superheroes, did...Modeling (as you did above), Random (free PDF download, later added in the Premium Edition of the Civil War Event Book), and playing an established character.

But the basic assumption is that you get to play any character that you want and that your table is okay with. No crappy 1st level characters that never make it out of their diapers and graduate to spandex. No points to spend on attributes that might not mean squat to your character. Just you, your concept, a piece of paper and a pencil goin' to town making EXACTLY what you want to play.

This has become my go to system for just that reason. I cut my teeth on "crunchy" games...but now I'm really drawn to these more narrative systems.

So your character creation above is a spot-on example of what you can do with the MHR rules/book. You made a character concept that you were interested in and stayed true to the concept without throwing needless D12s into the mix for power-gaming sake.


Nice to see others doing something with the game (even if I found this a year later).


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