Sunday, May 10, 2015

How Random Is Random?

SYSTEM: ICONS

I sometimes hear people knocking the character creation in ICONS as too random. There is always the point-buy option, but instead, in a terrible perversion of the spirit of the rules, I'm going to take a randomly-rolled character and twist it into something as different as I can.

My exceptions:
Otherwise, this will be random. We'll see how it works out.

This one has only three powers, but good abilities.

We could build the character around any of the three powers. Let's go a bit off the beaten track and pick Detection.

I kind of like the idea of someone who has been transformed by an anti-mutant organization to find mutants, so he has Detection (Mutants).

But once he's found them, he has to get to them. So let's give him Teleportation, Extra: Rangeless, Limit: only to a mutant. That could be one he's found with Detection or a "home" mutant.

Generally, we want  offense, defense, and movement.  He can punch--that's good, but lots of mutants are tough. Let's say, for his third power (which will also be an extra) he tries to teleport part of your body away. The body resists, of course, but there's a cost.  We'll represent it with Energy Drain, resisted by Strength.

We'll use the +2 from his Transformed origin to  bump up the power level

So the powers now are:

7 Detection (Mutants); Extra: Teleportation Extra: Rangeless  Limit: only to mutants; Extra: Energy Drain resisted by Strength.

Not bad. He can't take big hits, but he's able to get around.

For Qualities, how about "Atoning to mutants"--that will handle both advantages where he wants to help mutants and the Anti-Mutant organization. 

I think we need something to get him in trouble repeatedly, so let's try "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".

And for a third one, let's try "Ex-operative"--that will let the player get bonuses for various attempts and the GM can compel it for lots of enemies and misunderstandings. 

This is what he looks like now:

Name: Witch-Hunter (Simon Finder)
Prowess 5 Coordination 5 Strength 5 Intellect 3 Awareness 6 Willpower 5 Stamina 10 Determination 3
Specialties Power, Athletics, Stealth
Powers
  • 7 Detection (mutants)
  • Extra: Teleportation Extra: Rangeless Limit: Can only go to mutants 
  • Extra: Energy Drain, resisted by Strength 
Qualities 
  • Atoning to mutants
  • The enemy of my enemy is my friend
  • Ex-operative 

If I get a chance, I'll do another one or two.

EDIT: The backstory is something like... The anti-mutant organization Pureblood finds Simon at a low point in his life. He's been dishonourably discharged from his spy job because he worked with the enemy of his enemy, and that turned out not to be a good thing. Pureblood promised him a purpose again, and took him in to give him powers. (They sterilized him during this operation because, hey, they're all about purity in the bloodline. I think they have some connection to the Merovingians.) He gained the ability to find mutants and go to them. The energy drain works on anyone (he tries to send some essential body parts to the nearest mutant). After a series of successful operations (he stunts Passengers; there were several other witch-hunters, with different powers), he was caught by mutants....who did not immediately kill him. In fact, they educated him. (It didn't hurt that he fell in love.) He discovered how he had been used by the Purebloods. Then the Purebloods came to rescue him, and he had to make a choice. (No, they did not kill his sweetie. I try to avoid that kind of thing.) The Pureblood team did kill or hurt some of his new friends (okay, I don't avoid that kind of thing entirely).

Now he works with a team, some of whom are mutants, trying to improve the lot of the genetically different.