Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Creating Characters for a 10-Year Old

s2p10011mediumI’m starting a Necessary Evil campaign (in addition to my weekly Stargate campaign).  In addition to my children we’ve got two additional players, folks I know very well but have never gamed with before.  Before my friend Grey Wulf suffers an aneurysm over my not using Mutants & Masterminds, let me say that currently, when playing with PIT #3 it’s better to use a system with less crunch.

So Sunday we began character generation.  PIT #1 wants to be a tech-enhanced assassin.  Styx is a woman I wouldn’t want to meet in a well-lit alley, let alone a dark one.  PIT #2 comes up with a Thing-like character who also has Kitty Pryde’s powers.  The other two players are developing a martial artist assassin and a cross between Storm and Gambit.

PIT #3 is having trouble coming up with a concept.  I ask him what kind of powers he wants.  “I want him to fly, shoot fire and able to do other cool stuff.”  Well you only have 15 points to spend on powers he is reminded.  “I know Daddy, but I want him to be completely different from everything else.”  OK, as a father I want to give my son what he wants, as a GM I don’t want Superman suddenly walking around in a Novice campaign  (that I could not build Superman with only 15 points to is completely beside the point).

So we sat down and gave “Heatwave”, as he was immediately christened, flight, ranged attack, and earthquake.  All at relatively low power levels to make sure we got it all in.  After spending 8 of the 15 points, I was then prepared to go back and extend some of Heatwave’s powers.  When PIT#3 got a gleam in his eye, 7 points what other power can we give this guy?  Don’t you want to make the powers you do have a little better?

“No Daddy, look.  If we give Heatwave a device that can mimic all the other powers than he could have every power in the book.”  At this point if I had brought this idea up with a my GM he’d have told me “No! absolutely not.”  But I’m Daddy as well how can I make this work using the points we have left and not have “Superman” in the game.

The concept we cam up with is similar to Ben 10’s Omnimatrix.  Basically this device stores any 7-point power that’s left in the book.  When activated, the device over-rides the current power set and gives at random one of the stored powers.  PIT #3 is happy and now I had a backstory to justify this thing to invent.

With input from PIT #3, we developed this.  His character, Sam Lacker was a research assistant for one Dean C. Simitts.  Dean was working on a way to have super powers while remaining undetectable to the V’sorii.  Dean developed the Supero Facultas with the idea that he’d be able to walk around as a normal human being until he activated the device.  Realizing that he’d need a bodyguard for the times he was de-powered, Dean convinced his lab assistant, Sam to undergo some genetic modification.  Sam, eager to fight against the V’Sorii as well, agreed.

During the modification process, a power surge caused the laboratory to explode, killing Dean.  Sam survived the explosion as he was in the sheilded modification chamber.  Emerging from the chamber, Sam found the Supero Facultas and placed it on his forearm.  It immediately bonded with his flesh.  Sam discovered that he had the power to fly by controlling air currents.  He could shoot fire from his hands.  When standing on the ground he could cause minor earth tremors.  When he was in the water he could form small tsunamis.  Sam is still experimenting with the Supero Facultas he does not know the extent of the powers contained therein.  He does know that when activated his “real” powers are superseded by the device.

What did I learn from this exercise?  First, that it’s worth the effort to find reasons for doing what your players would like to do.  Second, that it’s worth effort to bend the rules slightly as long as game play is not affected.  Finally, a good backstory can explain away almost anything.  I’m looking forward to our first game.

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April 18, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Observations of a Noob GM, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , | 1 Comment

RPGBN Heroes: The Dungeon Master.

dugeonmasterMy good friend Dr. Checkmate issued this challenge to Uncle Bear and myself  using the Savage Worlds setting Necessary Evil, create a super powered being named The Dungeon Master.  Uncle Bear’s take on  The Dungeon Master is quite unique.  However, due to the “Heroize Yourself” thang discussed by other network bloggers.  I couldn’t help but make mine a hero.  So thanks to Dr. C and Uncle B. for the inspiration for the hero version of STEVe (just an FYI Dusty Rhodes is the DJ name I used on the air at the college radio station during the late 80’s)

Name: Dusty Rhodes/The Dungeon Master
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Healing d8, Knowledge (RPG) d10, Knowledge (Computers) d10, Notice d8, Repair d10, Spellcasting d8
Charisma: 10; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Power Negation (needs access to electricity), Weakness (water can short out power), Quirk (tends to monologue), Loyal
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Dodge
Gear: Wireless computing devices on utility belt
Super Powers: • Absorption (4)  • Ageless (1) • Matter Control (4)   • Super Sorcery (5)  • Teleport (1)

Dusty is a nerd in the classical sense.  He spent more time with his beloved computer and RPG rulebooks than he did in actual social situations.  One day while sitting at his computer statting up his teh kewl new monster he was struck by power surge.  Instead of frying, Dusty found himself charged with electricity.  Dusty then discoverd he suddenly was able to channel electricity and manipulate matter into the forms of his creations for his various RPG games.

With more experimentation, Dusty was able to bring his creations to a limited form of life.  The constructs are fairly mindless and attack whatever Dusty instructs them to attack until they are destroyed or destroy what they attack.

Dusty has what appears to be a teleportation ability when in reality he travels the electrical grid.  He carries his mobile devices on his belt to keep tabs on “trouble” spots because Dusty loves to help his fellow heroes.  How much help?  Well that’s debatable.  Dusty will give the heroes cryptic clues on how to defeat the villains and provide them with Teh Kewl Attack Assistance before leaving for the next trouble spot.  If Dusty leaves before the battle is done, the heroes have just as much chance of being attacked by Dusty’s creatures as do the villains they are fighting.

Dusty’s main weakness, due to the electrical nature of his power, is of course water.  Water attacks will disrupt the electrical cohesion of Dusty’s constructs.  Also Dusty will be unable to “transport” out if sufficiently wet.  Without access to the electrical grid Dusty’s powers are limited.  Dusty is loyal to a fault to the entire hero community.  He will leave one battle if he thinks other heroes need his help more.  Dusty also tends to monologue, “Now face the power of my Dire Bear.” (think Silver Age platitudes).

Dusty is trying to figure out ranged attacks using his electrical powers but as yet is still unsuccessful.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming Notes, Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments