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The strangest character concepts


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Not my character, but one that has been a standing joke with my first GM since 1982: "Dead and Buried Man."

 

To the best of my knowledge, he was never statted out -- except for the obvious Physical Limitation "Dead," a hellacious PRE score, and 4 DNPCs to carry him into battle and throw him at the enemy shouting "DEAD AND BURIED MAN!!"

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34 minutes ago, segerge said:

Not my character, but one that has been a standing joke with my first GM since 1982: "Dead and Buried Man."

 

To the best of my knowledge, he was never statted out -- except for the obvious Physical Limitation "Dead," a hellacious PRE score, and 4 DNPCs to carry him into battle and throw him at the enemy shouting "DEAD AND BURIED MAN!!"

 

If you combine him with a partner who has several levels of Growth and who used Dead and Buried Man as his marionette, you could have Dead Man Walking.

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3 minutes ago, archer said:

 

If you combine him with a partner who has several levels of Growth and who used Dead and Buried Man as his marionette, you could have Dead Man Walking.

 

This is Champions.  Forget the Growth, give the partner lots of DEX, at least 20 STR TK usable only on Dead and Buried Man invisible power effects, and possibly PS: Puppeteer.

 

Good lord, I've just created Zombie Jim Henson...

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1 minute ago, segerge said:

 

This is Champions.  Forget the Growth, give the partner lots of DEX, at least 20 STR TK usable only on Dead and Buried Man invisible power effects, and possibly PS: Puppeteer.

 

Good lord, I've just created Zombie Jim Henson...

 

 

I was specifically thinking of the bizarre and sickening visual of a giant using a full-sized dead person as his marionette. Maybe more gruesome if he pulls another dead body marrionette out of his pouch or picks up a dead body off of the battlefield and tucks it into his pouch "for later".

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On 7/26/2019 at 9:11 AM, Chris Goodwin said:

Strangest conceived and never played:  Lego-Man.  A battle between super sorcerers spilled over into a toy store.  Magical blasts all over the place.  Residual energies animated the Lego section, and Lego-Man was born!  Never quite wrote him up.  

 

I had basically the same idea, and like you, I also never got around to writing him up.  I imagined him as a character who could build walls, tools, structures, and even minions out of Legos.  I confess, though, I only conceived of the powers and name.  I never considered any kind of origin like you did.

 

You guys reminded me of a few others:

 

1. Asylum

An old friend wanted to run a high-level campaign set in space, with higher points and I was struggling to come up with an idea.  One of them was Asylum.  Basically, he was a psionically-empowered counselor on an orbital space station that functioned as a mental asylum.  Some kind of disaster or attack occurred, which destroyed the space station, killing everyone in the asylum except the psionic counselor.  In the instant before their deaths, the psychic death-cries of 6 of the inmates deeply imprinted themselves on the counselor's psyche.  Now, the ghosts of those inmates live on, within the counselor's mind.  He is able to transform his body into each of them, calling forth whichever form would be needed.  I don't recall all of them, but generally they were 200-300 point forms, so none were spectacularly powerful, but each had their own specialty.  I remember one was a female with an prodigious mechanical aptitude.  The chief one, though, was a demonic being who could permanently drain 1 point of body from victims.  Calling him forth would always be a desperate prospect because his interests didn't match the benevolent interests of the rest.  I do not recall the other forms.  I did an initial write-up, but I am pretty sure it was never completed and certainly never played.

 

2. The City in My Eye

For the same high-leveled space campaign as above, I ended up landing on this concept which I did write-up, but never got around to actually playing.  A highly sophisticated and advanced colonial space empire was facing an inevitable disaster on their sacred homeworld.  Their planet was going to die and there was nothing within their powers they could do to stop it.  Their only hope was an exodus, but they loathed the idea of leaving behind the priceless and perfect art and architecture of their sacred cities.  They could not bear to see them destroyed.  A very weird idea offered some hope.  They had mastered astonishing shrinking technology and considered that they could shrink entire cities, but there were two practical hurdles involved: the process was one-way, with no way to grow the cities back to their original size, AND the weird energies required to maintain the cities would quickly destroy them.  A solution to this problem came from an unexpected corner of their colonial empire.  The primitive people of a planet under the control of their empire happened to have an unusual biology that could absorb the precise energies needed to maintain the cities in their shrunken states.  Select members of the primitive race were captured and each had one eye removed.  In its place was an orb containing one of the shrunken miraculous cities of the doomed homeworld.  The natural biology of the primitives could then safely absorb the weird energies and maintain the cities indefinitely.  A by-product of this process granted energy powers to the host, who could use them to make force-fields, to fly, and to emit energy blasts.  So, functionally, the Champions character would be a member of the "primitive" race who was an energy projector character.  He could communicate and receive advice from the City Council, who resided within his eye.  I imagined the dynamic would be interesting.  The host character was a good and simple man whose life is devoted to keeping this city alive, despite the obvious prejudices they had against his people.  The citizens of the city were smarmy and full of themselves but ultimately understood that they couldn't truly call the shots anymore and their survival now counted on the survival of a person whose race was once viewed with disdain.

 

3. The Pelican

In my current campaign, a buddy of mine wanted to make a guy who could stretch his jaw out into something akin to a pelican's bill.  I bought the bill as an extra limb, since he envisioned it granting a grab ability that a normal mouth couldn't normally perform.  Then we bought the pelican scoop as an entangle from which the Pelican character would take full damage from attacks against.  It's kinda weird.  

 

4. Old Bean

The same guy who is playing The Pelican wants to run a few scenarios, so he has instructed me to make a character.  I told him a few of my ideas and he told me the one that fits best for what he wants to run is my Old Bean concept.  In most functions, the character isn't particularly a weird concept - he is like a John Steed-style secret agent, very sophisticated and over-the-top.  He has one weird power, though: he can detect coffee.  At first I imagined this as a pretty trivial power, but when I bought it with telescopic, penetrative, discriminatory, and analyze, I think it could be handy on occasion.  Approaching a building my team is investigating, Old Bean could use his Detect Coffee ability to see if there is any coffee within, but also where it is in the building, whether or not it has been brewed, how old it is, and what quality of coffee it is.  This could give some valuable tactical information.  He would have an idea where kitchens and break rooms are likely located before he could see them.  He would have an idea if someone was currently drinking coffee or if they had some time ago, which could provide information about location and activity for stake-outs and guard-posts.  Finally, recognizing the quality of coffee has the potential to share information about the sophistication and/or wealth of people within a building.  Cheap, pencil-shaving coffee is consumed by some folks and fancy, exotic beans are more often purchased by discriminating customers.  I realize I spent too much on a power that will only be useful in particular circumstances, but I love the flavor of it (pun intended).

 

 

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On 7/26/2019 at 12:11 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

Strangest conceived and never played:  Lego-Man.  A battle between super sorcerers spilled over into a toy store.  Magical blasts all over the place.  Residual energies animated the Lego section, and Lego-Man was born!  Never quite wrote him up.  

 

 

I did a lego man as a villian for the Defenders game I ran. His boss loved to use Pikachus as security. Nothing scares a cartoon fan more than a ten foot tall giant rodent going PIKA!!!

CES

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Weirdest character I ever did wasn't actually used in play, but just as an example of how to use special effects to craft powers that I made to teach some friends how the Hero system worked.  The character was Kumquat Man, and he had the power do to anything kumquat related.  He had an Autofire Blast power vs. PD defined as a high velocity stream of kumquat seeds, and Entangle that encased the target in a giant kumquat, an Aid/Heal that was a high energy, nutrient dense kumquat that could be eaten to gain the benefits, a Force Field that was a second skin made of an ultra-tough kumquat rind, etc.

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  • 1 year later...

Necro-ing this topic to add a few characters.  I never made a player character who was too weird, but during 10 years as a GM, I made some strange NPC concepts.

 

I did play one PC who wasn't especially weird, but his concept came out of my own contrarian response to something in the rules.  The Extra Limb rules in early editions said you could get a bonus to OCV by attacking unexpectedly with the extra limb(s), but not to DCV, obviously, because that makes no sense.  Well, I set out to imagine an extra limb that could plausibly help with dodging but *could not possibly* deal damage...and thus Flying Squirrel was born.  He was a successful and popular character in a years-long campaign.

 

For NPCs, possibly the strangest was the Gerrymander.  When subjected to stress and fear, milquetoast political consultant/campaign manager (picture Rick Moranis) Gerald Manders would involuntarily turn into the Gerrymander, a weird, flat, segmented dragon-like monster that was constantly twisting, folding and unfolding, and producing extra appendages with claws.  The apparently mindless, raging monster absorbed physical blows and energy, putting the points into Duplication....when a sufficient point total was reached, it would divide into two Gerrymanders, and so on.  I statted him out to 8 total duplcates, but the most we ever got into play was 2.  He also had a big self heal that was bought as some sort of permanent thing, but linked back to the Duplication, so it essentially only went off once each time he duplicated (so that the duplicates would be scary instead of nearly dead).  The secret to defeating the beast was to stop beating on it and employ gentler means of absorbing the rage....one time they hurled it into deep water.  (Unlike the illustration in the Wikipedia article, my version lacked wings.)  The players developed a much better approach -- keep Gerald Manders safe and blissfully ignorant of conflict and stress.  In a few adventures, babysitting Gerald and keeping him unaware of scary things was considered a prestigious and critical job.  "What was that loud crash!?"  "Oh, it's trash pickup day, Gerald.  Now tell me about the demographics of District 11, that sounded fascinating."

 

My hands-down favorite NPC was Stevie Far-Traveler.  Stevie had pretty over-the-top time travel powers, the kind you never let players get their hands on.  He was also a Down Syndrome kid.  Sweet, innocent, friendly kid who didn't usually recognize when he was being manipulated by bad guys.  Clearly, an existential threat to the timeline and a complete wild card.  Possibly the safest thing to do would be to lock him up, despite the moral repugnance of doing so -- his power was vastly dangerous.  However, no government or villain could control him for long, as he was for all practical purposes invulnerable (being able to see everything coming) and could disappear into time and space on a whim.  He showed up periodically through the campaign, smiling like a cherub, sometimes remembering the players (the first time they met, he remembered them as friends) and sometimes "before" he had met and grown to trust them.  He arrival was usually associated with some high-pucker-factor threat like a railgun tank from the far future (he thought the touchscreen controls were a video game, and was happily blowing up the landscape), or "Hey guys, wanna see a Tyrannosaurus?"  Sometimes villains would attempt to bribe, nab, trick, or control him.  The players tried to be protective of him, but he was never around for long, as his attention span was too short and there were so many interesting things to see.

 

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My favorite latest one was a quadriplegic who used mind scan, clairvoyance, and mental powers to project an image of a hero to a location with the other heroes, pretending to be a teleporting wizard.   He stayed home controlling a remote, distant projection that did the hero work.  The cost was so much that even with 400 points the hero wasn't real powerful but had a lot of AVAD attacks and such to make up for it.  The GM didn't even respond to my character submission :(

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On 7/29/2019 at 6:19 PM, archer said:

 

 

I was specifically thinking of the bizarre and sickening visual of a giant using a full-sized dead person as his marionette. Maybe more gruesome if he pulls another dead body marrionette out of his pouch or picks up a dead body off of the battlefield and tucks it into his pouch "for later".


I’ll see that and raise you one....How about a giant who takes a fresh corpse, jams his arm up its bottom and works it like Henson did Kermit.

     🎶Why are there so many—Songs about rainbows🎶

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

My favorite latest one was a quadriplegic who used mind scan, clairvoyance, and mental powers to project an image of a hero to a location with the other heroes, pretending to be a teleporting wizard.   He stayed home controlling a remote, distant projection that did the hero work.  The cost was so much that even with 400 points the hero wasn't real powerful but had a lot of AVAD attacks and such to make up for it.  The GM didn't even respond to my character submission :(

Thought to use Duplication with one persona as desolid? (plus Mind Link with other duplicate)

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Quote

Thought to use Duplication with one persona as desolid? (plus Mind Link with other duplicate)

 

Probably cheaper, but less foolproof.  Affects desolid is fairly cheap and not that uncommon in a lot of campaigns.  With an image, everyone thinks the person is there, but they simply cannot be harmed.  A mentalist could figure it out and attack through the link, though, I built it that way.

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Joe Mawma - in a sort of modern fantasy and scifi kitchen sink setting (basically low level supers, but you don't need to have an origin or powers) he was a con artist with specialty in convincing you that your mom had come to visit, even though it was him in a bad wig, a bathrobe, and slippers, and even when he tried to pretend to be many people's mothers at once, who were total strangers.

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I think the one that stayed in my head most was B' Li an alien Cephalopod Space Pirate pilot and weapons Who Uses six guns at once he's the youngest member of the crew so he's called the KID the human crew member replicated a Stetson for him 

6 hours ago, KingAdipose said:

Joe Mawma - in a sort of modern fantasy and scifi kitchen sink setting (basically low level supers, but you don't need to have an origin or powers) he was a con artist with specialty in convincing you that your mom had come to visit, even though it was him in a bad wig, a bathrobe, and slippers, and even when he tried to pretend to be many people's mothers at once, who were total strangers.

Code name Mr. Wolf or Big Bad Wolf has a partner who dresses like a lumber jack and carries an axe and helps him fake his death to esc ape when he needs to do the brush off

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My brother played a one-off character that was a bomb.  He had a huge deadly susceptibility built as "will blow up and die at x point" in his character's disads (4th edition), left up to GM discretion.  Played the character in a one shot adventure at a game store, and at the climactic moment took out an alien starship

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Literally just got this pitched as a character concept:

 

"I watched this

 

 

I want to play that.

 

Steven Segal. Capt. Force – intergalactic defender. My powers, beyond all the space survival, are “frustrating fighting”. I can charm you into attacking me “come get some” as I do not know how to attack (siren). And I can dodge or block just about every blow or ranged melee attack (daredevil, but not gymnaticky, more Remo Williams/Segal). range projectile, energy beams, etc, im susceptible to but ill be tough. and if the opponent uses a melee weapon I can take it and kill them with it (Task Master). Capt. Force name is many leveled meaning. I want a concussion (force a la Cyclops eyes) energy thing. I can force people/creatures to attack me. And I can force you to do what I want when you lose. All used as a force for good. I almost think of this as Mojo sees me, Segal, in a movie, and cant believe it. So he takes me to Mojo World and amps my gifts to intergalactic levels. But like Longshot, I escape and use my powers for good.

 

When you flesh this all out, send it to Marvel and Ryan Reynolds to make a movie."

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I cannot remember the origin of this character.  It wasn't in any of my games, but I recall it either coming up on the old Hero boards or somewhere like that.

 

The character was able to reassemble his body parts or make them act remotely.  So he'd take a hand off, put one of his eyeballs on it, and send it scuttling out like a crab to scout, for example.  Very strange.

 

Quote

Steven Segal. Capt. Force – intergalactic defender.

 

Steven Segal, there's always that one last guy in his movies who just watched Steven take out like 8 guys but still thinks he can do it.  Usually he fights just regular tough guys, almost no other martial artists.  Like Out for Justice when every single enemy is a fat out of shape Italian mobster.  Still fun to watch

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On 5/9/2021 at 11:25 AM, KingAdipose said:

Joe Mawma - in a sort of modern fantasy and scifi kitchen sink setting (basically low level supers, but you don't need to have an origin or powers) he was a con artist with specialty in convincing you that your mom had come to visit, even though it was him in a bad wig, a bathrobe, and slippers, and even when he tried to pretend to be many people's mothers at once, who were total strangers.

 

That reminds me of one of my characters, Captain Photon.

 

His only real power was to tell people "I'm fill-in-the-blank" and no matter how ridiculous it was, the other person went along with it...despite the fact that he invariably dressed in a silvery 1950's made for TV looking "spacesuit" complete with a clear plastic space helmet.

 

His sidekick Morty's main power was to produce and hand Captain Photon various props to reinforce whichever fake identity was being used such as a business card which might say "Hugo Rodriguez, Health Inspector" or "Darth Vader, Tyrant in Training".

 

(This wasn't for a Champions campaign so don't try statting out just how expensive that power might be. It was more cooperative storytelling without a GM.)

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9 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I cannot remember the origin of this character.  It wasn't in any of my games, but I recall it either coming up on the old Hero boards or somewhere like that.

 

The character was able to reassemble his body parts or make them act remotely.  So he'd take a hand off, put one of his eyeballs on it, and send it scuttling out like a crab to scout, for example.  Very strange.

 

 

That sounds like the Patchwork girl from the Wild Cards universe.

 

https://wildcards.fandom.com/wiki/Patchwork

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