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Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"


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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

That's why it's a variable point limitation now (as opposed to the old "10/15"). When you make the disad, you choose how limiting it will be. In the cases listed above I think Spider-man's Secret ID is worth more Cap's or the Flashes. Spider-Man has (had) a particular well-known wife, a job for a boss that specifically hates his alter ego (at least in the past), and a vulnerable Aunt. if his Secret ID is discovered there's a lot of peril involved. Cap has no one left alive after all these years and the Flash has no relatives of note and "being the Flash" wouldn't necessarily invalidate his day job (crime lab tech).

 

It's he difference between kid of limiting and extremely limiting on the value list.

 

Other examples of characters with No specific identity (IMO):

 

Red Tornado/ Vision (androids; occasionally they may dress up as humans but that's a disguise, not a sustained alter ego)

Swamp Thing/Man-Thing (peramently transform; they may have had a human persona in the past but they've changed and can never go back);

Darksied/Thanos (Alien entities; They don't pretend to be anyone else and knowing who they really are provides no advantage)

Hercules/Loki (Mythological creatures; they are the real deal, don't claim to be anyone else, and good luck going to their homes to kidnap their families)

 

Best example of a Public Identity (hands-down, IMO) is the Fantastic Four. They are celebrities, easily regonizable and the live in the big building downtown with the "4" on the roof. They also have children and loved ones that villains constantly take shots at.

 

As far as face recognition, that can vary greatly with the moment in the campaign and who is seeing you making it harder to quantify points-wise.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Framed as physical limitation, say "Instantly Forgettable" I would say it would be All The Time and Slightly impairing. So that would make it worth15 points, with other points possibly available for Poor (can't hold a job after all) and the Psych limitation: "Lonely and wishes he could form relationships".

 

Of course, if some other person or thing is actively preventing people and data bases from remembering the character then it would be a Hunted.

 

There's a difference between being nobody special and being unrecognizable. This comes dangerously close to the perk "anonymity". Depending on the campaign, what you have described could be more of an advantage.

 

Pg. 78 revised 5th ed:

 

Cost: 3 or more Character Points

For many characters, a high degree of anonymity is

a valuable asset — what the authorities don’t know

about someone, they can’t use to catch him. With

the GM’s permission, characters can buy this Perk.

Anonymity means no offi cial or police records exist

regarding the character — or if they do exist, they

don’t contain any truly useful information.

If Anonymity is bought before a character has

the chance to establish a record for criminal, dissident,

rebel, or other illicit conduct, it costs 3 Character

Points. If purchased aft er the character has

attracted the attention of the authorities, it may cost

more than 3 points (possibly much more). Th e cost

depends upon how much information the authorities

have on the character and how damaging it is.

(Of course, the GM should not allow a PC to buy

this Perk aft er the game begins without running an

appropriate adventure to explain its eff ects.)

Like many Perks, Anonymity can be nullifi ed.

If the authorities acquire information about the

character aft er he purchases Anonymity, the eff ects

of the Perk are diminished or lost. In this case,

the character does not get the Character Points he

spent on Anonymity back — and if he wants to

preserve his Anonymity, he’ll have to purchase the

Perk again.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Hmmm... then all of this sort of begs the question:

 

What would it be worth if you had No Identity?

 

No one knows you... at all.

 

There's no record of your birth... or death.

 

You're not in any system... anywhere.

 

... and there's nothing you can do to make it otherwise.

 

:eg:

 

Perk; Anonymity. 3+ Points.

 

I have a character with it at 10 Points. They have absolutely no trace of existence in the Games main universe of existence.

 

If there's a chance not being able to get even a Fake ID to work with will happen, Physical Limitation: Reality Keeps Erasing Me should be added on.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

It's interesting how we're generally OK with the character losing points (picking up disad's) in play, but we'd never allow them to GAIN points (like contacts, favours or other perks) in play.

 

It would be nice to see this balanced out. Sure, you picked up Hunted-VIPER, but your public defeat of VIPER also picked you up a positive Reputation and some Favours from various people whose lives were saved or improved because you beat VIPER back.

 

Actually, I think the book encourages GM's to give just those sort of freebies out to players as they earn it. It's just that not that many GM's actually do so.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Framed as physical limitation, say "Instantly Forgettable" I would say it would be All The Time and Slightly impairing. So that would make it worth15 points, with other points possibly available for Poor (can't hold a job after all) and the Psych limitation: "Lonely and wishes he could form relationships".

 

Of course, if some other person or thing is actively preventing people and data bases from remembering the character then it would be a Hunted.

 

No, being 'instantly forgettable' is an advantage as well, and should be purchased with points, in addition to the deleterious effects mentioned. :D

 

Seriously, I'd add "Invisibilty, only to not be remembered (-1 at least)" to that guy. He's not actually invisible, but he tends to get overlooked and forgotten a lot. Which means the villians forget to attack him some of the time...

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

One of my main characters, Anthem, has never had a secret or public ID. (Technically before she was ported to Champions she had a secret ID, but that doesn't count for our purposes.)

 

Basically, she wasn't suffering any limitation in storyline about basically being someone available to the people in her apartment building, and yet not going around promoting herself actively, so it didn't make sense for her to take points for it.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

No, being 'instantly forgettable' is an advantage as well, and should be purchased with points, in addition to the deleterious effects mentioned. :D

 

Seriously, I'd add "Invisibilty, only to not be remembered (-1 at least)" to that guy. He's not actually invisible, but he tends to get overlooked and forgotten a lot. Which means the villians forget to attack him some of the time...

 

In the Mage the Ascension game it was a background called Arcane. It pretty much made you hard to locate and added some to general stealth. So yeah, this is a perk or a power depending on how much omph you want your anonymity to have.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

No, being 'instantly forgettable' is an advantage as well, and should be purchased with points, in addition to the deleterious effects mentioned. :D

 

Seriously, I'd add "Invisibilty, only to not be remembered (-1 at least)" to that guy. He's not actually invisible, but he tends to get overlooked and forgotten a lot. Which means the villians forget to attack him some of the time...

 

In the Mage the Ascension game it was a background called Arcane. It pretty much made you hard to locate and added some to general stealth. So yeah' date=' this is a perk or a power depending on how much omph you want your anonymity to have.[/quote']

 

Yes, I agree and thought of this after I finished posting. Being "Instantly Forgettable" should cost points as well as give them. As to the power vr. perk question, I would say that depends on quickly people forget the character. If people chasing the character forget who they are chasing while they are still involved in the chase, I would call that a power. OTOH, if after the character successfully get away on his own they can't describe who they were chasing, that would be a perk.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

I've been thinking about this and I'd make a hero with neither Secret or Public ID the equivelent of the real heroes in the real world. ie. police officers & fire fighters. These are guys that put their lives on the line to save people and property and apprehend criminals, just like Superheroes do. Some are even awarded medals for it. Thing is alot of people would have a hard time telling you, off the top of their heads, who the last cop or firefighter to get a medal in their city was. Sure that people he saved/criminals she apprehended might never forget them, and for a while they'll have people offeing them free food and stuff and saying 'good on you', but then something else 'newsworthy' happens and people tend to forget. If they don't do something 'medal-worthy' again then eventually they are just like every cop or firefighter, an everyday hero, but not someone that people know the name off automatically.

 

The same would be true of superheroes. They'll stop 'Evil Guy' or save the city and they'll get famous because of it. The media might lionise them, the mayor might hold a press conference, people might come up to them in the streets and say 'Hey aren't you Mega-man? Thanks for stopping Evil guy, that was cool.' However the next day the Champions are called on to save the city from Dr Destroyer or some such and that becomes upermost in peoples' mind. Sure the hostages you saved might keep sending you cookies and the teenage girl who was one of them might have a picture of you on her diary with a love heart around it, and you can be sure that Evil Guy won't forget you when he inevitably breaks out of jail, but the the populous at large you will be 'just another superhero protecting the city because it's what they do' (until you do something else that gets you public attention and lets face it Superheroes are more likely to do this, just because of how 'Super' their 'Heroics' are)

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

I've been thinking about this and I'd make a hero with neither Secret or Public ID the equivelent of the real heroes in the real world. ie. police officers & fire fighters. These are guys that put their lives on the line to save people and property and apprehend criminals, just like Superheroes do. Some are even awarded medals for it. Thing is alot of people would have a hard time telling you, off the top of their heads, who the last cop or firefighter to get a medal in their city was. Sure that people he saved/criminals she apprehended might never forget them, and for a while they'll have people offeing them free food and stuff and saying 'good on you', but then something else 'newsworthy' happens and people tend to forget. If they don't do something 'medal-worthy' again then eventually they are just like every cop or firefighter, an everyday hero, but not someone that people know the name off automatically.

 

The same would be true of superheroes. They'll stop 'Evil Guy' or save the city and they'll get famous because of it. The media might lionise them, the mayor might hold a press conference, people might come up to them in the streets and say 'Hey aren't you Mega-man? Thanks for stopping Evil guy, that was cool.' However the next day the Champions are called on to save the city from Dr Destroyer or some such and that becomes upermost in peoples' mind. Sure the hostages you saved might keep sending you cookies and the teenage girl who was one of them might have a picture of you on her diary with a love heart around it, and you can be sure that Evil Guy won't forget you when he inevitably breaks out of jail, but the the populous at large you will be 'just another superhero protecting the city because it's what they do' (until you do something else that gets you public attention and lets face it Superheroes are more likely to do this, just because of how 'Super' their 'Heroics' are)

 

Remarkably good treatment. Repped.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

I've been thinking about this and I'd make a hero with neither Secret or Public ID the equivelent of the real heroes in the real world. ie. police officers & fire fighters. These are guys that put their lives on the line to save people and property and apprehend criminals, just like Superheroes do. Some are even awarded medals for it. Thing is alot of people would have a hard time telling you, off the top of their heads, who the last cop or firefighter to get a medal in their city was. Sure that people he saved/criminals she apprehended might never forget them, and for a while they'll have people offeing them free food and stuff and saying 'good on you', but then something else 'newsworthy' happens and people tend to forget. If they don't do something 'medal-worthy' again then eventually they are just like every cop or firefighter, an everyday hero, but not someone that people know the name off automatically.

 

The same would be true of superheroes. They'll stop 'Evil Guy' or save the city and they'll get famous because of it. The media might lionise them, the mayor might hold a press conference, people might come up to them in the streets and say 'Hey aren't you Mega-man? Thanks for stopping Evil guy, that was cool.' However the next day the Champions are called on to save the city from Dr Destroyer or some such and that becomes upermost in peoples' mind. Sure the hostages you saved might keep sending you cookies and the teenage girl who was one of them might have a picture of you on her diary with a love heart around it, and you can be sure that Evil Guy won't forget you when he inevitably breaks out of jail, but the the populous at large you will be 'just another superhero protecting the city because it's what they do' (until you do something else that gets you public attention and lets face it Superheroes are more likely to do this, just because of how 'Super' their 'Heroics' are)

 

This is very interesting but only really works for street-level heroes a la Daredevil, or "city protector"-level heroes a la Spiderman. It does not really make sense for nation/world-protector-level heroes like the Avengers or JLA. Far too much media noticeability for them, even if there are several teams and not a few solo heroes of that power level. How would you treat them ?

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Hmmm... then all of this sort of begs the question:

 

What would it be worth if you had No Identity?

No one knows you... at all.

 

There's no record of your birth... or death.

 

You're not in any system... anywhere.

 

... and there's nothing you can do to make it otherwise.

:eg:

sounds like the dark camps tas villian copycat,all record of his id were destroyed so nobody knew who he was

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

This is very interesting but only really works for street-level heroes a la Daredevil' date=' or "city protector"-level heroes a la Spiderman. It does not really make sense for nation/world-protector-level heroes like the Avengers or JLA. Far too much media noticeability for them, even if there are several teams and not a few solo heroes of that power level. How would you treat them ?[/quote']

 

My problem is with 'world saver' heroes having neither Secret ID or Public ID. Such people are going to pull a great deal of media attention and if they don't protect their ID they are going to get Public ID by default. I am wracking my brain on how someone who saves the world cannot become publicly know unless they do it secretly, either as 'Masked Hero' or 'Hero with this face'. The fact is the moment they beat off 'The Eater Of Worlds' in front of even one member of the public with a mobile phone (let alone an entire city with media etc.) everyone is going to know what they look-like. At that point not being recognized by every person who can see a T.V. or Paper is going to be almost impossible, and one of them is going to know you as 'Joe my work-mate' and one as 'Joe from down the hall' and unless they are atypical of most people they are going to call up the media and the next day's headline will be 'Mega-man's Identity Revealed' and include everything anyone knows about you. Why? Because the 'Public Wants to Know' (just as a celebrity, and some of them are only famous for one movie, Mega-man saved the world). Soon your every detail is on multitudes of websites as 'The guy who saved the world' (or at least one of them) and you have a Public ID.

 

I'd really like someone to come up with a 'neither' idea for world saving superheroes, that doesn't strain credibility (Yes I know we are in comics land where the laws of physics don't apply, but I'd like to suspend my belief, not hang it).

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

sounds like the dark camps tas villian copycat' date='all record of his id were destroyed so nobody knew who he was[/quote']

 

Oddly enough, I was thinking a bit of a power from an RPG called Psi-world. The power was called "Forgotten" (I think... been many, *many* moons since I've looked through it). One could only remember he character with the power for as long as one spent time with him; after that, it was "sorry... no idea who he is..."

 

The character could be seen on video, and he certainly wasn't invisible, but the whole forgettable thing made it damned difficult to be able to relate to anyone. :)

 

Was treated both as a blessing and a curse, IIRC.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

I am wracking my brain on how someone who saves the world cannot become publicly know unless they do it secretly, either as 'Masked Hero' or 'Hero with this face'.

Well, it's not applicable to all heroes, but take for instance, an ultimate agent type. All records of his name have been erased from any database, he gets money from the agency and sleeps in hotels, and either he doesn't have surviving family or the agency keeps them protected. He might technically have a secret identity, but even if someone figured it out, they couldn't do much with it.

 

Another would be an alien superhero. All its friends are also superheroes and can protect themselves, it doesn't have a normal job or a house, and it can shapeshift or go hang out in space when it wants some privacy.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

 

I'd really like someone to come up with a 'neither' idea for world saving superheroes, that doesn't strain credibility (Yes I know we are in comics land where the laws of physics don't apply, but I'd like to suspend my belief, not hang it).

 

They could be like one team of mine- Yes, they ended up saving the world on national television from an alien invasion. But... And this is a big BUT-

 

Everyone had already been evacuated. In fact, the Nat'l Guard set up a battle line.

 

They just happened to teleport in behind enemy lines, too far for the cameras to get a good bead on them.

 

And the aliens enforced a rather rigorous no-fly zone. :sneaky:

 

Essentially, the team saved the world- is documented as having saved the world- and nobody really knows for sure who the team is.

 

Hell, half the time superheroes end up saving the world and no one ever knows about it- because it's deep beneath the earth, or out in space where no news camera can cover it, or somewhere no one else is willing to go (or might notice), like deep into the Amazon or lost in the Rockies or out near Everest.

 

It's the time when it's in the middle of a city that it strains disbelief. But then, so does starting your world takeover in an urban center...

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Oddly enough, I was thinking a bit of a power from an RPG called Psi-world. The power was called "Forgotten" (I think... been many, *many* moons since I've looked through it). One could only remember he character with the power for as long as one spent time with him; after that, it was "sorry... no idea who he is..."

 

The character could be seen on video, and he certainly wasn't invisible, but the whole forgettable thing made it damned difficult to be able to relate to anyone. :)

 

Was treated both as a blessing and a curse, IIRC.

 

Heh, was just thinking about Psi-World. One of our first Espionage games was a conversion from Psi-World.

 

Props for the mention, brings back some fond memories :)

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Did not read the whole thread, but I would talk to the player a bit

 

If a character wanted to not take the disadvantage Secret ID, and still have a secret ID, I would be fine with it, it just means that the character has very little problems with it, they don't have people trying to find it out, and their is an old style phone booth near by all the time...

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Some excellent points made so far. Just a couple of things...

 

Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, I'd say having neither Public ID

  1. nor Secret ID can mean some of the following:
  2. some/all of the character's significant others know that the character is a superhero and are willing to keep that a secret
  3. the character has movement abilities (or Invisibility) that allow him to appear on the scene with ease -- and depart from it just as easily
  4. through either passive or active means, the character can ensure that his superhero and civilian IDs are never connected
  5. the character has a superhero form and personality so utterly removed from his civilian ID that no one is able to believe the two are one
  6. everyone is well aware of who the hero is, but, due to fear/adoration/loathing/pity/respect no one wants to bother him

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Did not read the whole thread, but I would talk to the player a bit

 

If a character wanted to not take the disadvantage Secret ID, and still have a secret ID, I would be fine with it, it just means that the character has very little problems with it, they don't have people trying to find it out, and their is an old style phone booth near by all the time...

 

Thank you for restating this.

 

I hope that the following does not come off as snarky, but the more I read this thread the more irritated I get.:mad:

 

There are two different concepts being used interchangeably here, and I, for one, do not believe them to be the same thing.

 

A character can have a secret ID:

Meaning that they wear a mask and do not tell people who they are

Nobody knows who they are, and unless there is a plot-specific reason for someone to learn, or attempt to learn, who they are, no one cares.

 

A character can have a public ID:

They do not wear a mask and people are able to recognize them.

They do not get sued all the time, or have mobs of fans descend on them in the middle of a fight, or have villains blow up their home every other day.

 

Why?

Because these are just ASPECTS OF THE CHARACTER!

 

Now if a person designs a character with the Secret ID DISADVANTAGE,

then that character is going to suffer from problems associated with having a Secret ID.

Why?

Because they took a DIASADVANTAGE in exchange for character points.

 

Think of it like this.

When you are designing a character's personality, you may decide that he is fairly patriotic, and generally kind-hearted, and doesn't really happen to like spiders all that much.

But those may just be flavor to differentiate the character from all the other drones with Armor, 15" of Flight and a 12d6 Energy Blast.

 

Unless you actually buy DISADVANTAGES like:

Psychological Limitation: Patriot, Common, Total - 20 points

Psychological Limitation: Kind Hearted, willing to sacrifice self to help others, Common, Total - 20 points

Psychological Limitation: Fear of Spiders, Common, Total - 20 points

 

Then it would not make sense, or be fair (in my opinion) if every other session the GM came up with things like:

"Well Captain Courageous, what are you going to do now?

The Anti-American just got finished bad mouthing the good old U.S.A.

You want to attack him, but out of the corner of your eye you notice that a boy scout is trying to pull himself free from the wreckage of a collapsed, abandoned tool shed.

You want to rescue him, but, you realize that the tool shed is no doubt the home of several poisonous Brown Recluse spiders.

Mwaaa Haa Haa!

Now make three Ego rolls at -3 or collapse in a heap due to the tremendous psychological pressure!"

 

If you don't take something as a Disadvantage, then generally speaking it should not have a major effect on your character.

 

I don't have a problem with virtually anything as a story arc.

Ex: Captain Hero foils a plot by Dr. Revenge to kill all the members of the jury that convicted him the first time. Dr. Revenge breaks out of prison and starts plotting his, well, revenge, on Captain Hero. But once that story is resolved, Dr. Revenge should not show up as a "Hunted, 15 or less" for Captain Hero.

 

By the same token, if a character does not buy the Public ID or Secret ID Disadvantage, then that does not mean that they are "invisible" or "don't exist", or that the GM gets to just tag them with one of those Disadvatages for free.

It just means that they choose (even if it is just as simple as wearing a mask or not) if they want a public ID or secret ID, and either way they don't have any particular problems in that area.

 

Any other treatment seems completely unfair to me.

 

What if you designed a character with few, if any, Psychological Limitations, and during the campaign the GM just decided that you were morbidly afraid of broccoli? And started using it as a major plot point in adventures?

 

What if the GM calmly informed you that your character just went Berserk and was now trying to kill his team-mates?

 

I can understand that a character might pick up a Hunted, if he declared war on some Villain or Organization, but other than that I don't like the idea of just "assigning" someone a Disadvantage that they didn't buy.

 

KA.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Just about to start a new Champions campaign (my first in years!) Reading this thread I've decided to insist on characters taking either Public or Secret ID OR having very and full explanantion of why they've got neither and not likely to ever get one.

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Re: Not "Secret", not "Public", just "Identity"

 

Just about to start a new Champions campaign (my first in years!) Reading this thread I've decided to insist on characters taking either Public or Secret ID OR having very and full explanantion of why they've got neither and not likely to ever get one.

 

This is why I add one... because even if I don't want to game this aspect, just want to leave by the wayside and focus on other aspects - the GM is going attempt to screw over the character with it anyways because "they can't possibly fathom a reason why it shouldn't be there"

 

I'm getting with KA; this is getting stupid and I'm getting annoyed.

 

You can still have a secret ID but unless you take a Disad it doesn't hinder you and is just flavor.

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