INFO: Character Generation

A tabletop RPG campaign based on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic books and Fallout computer games, where the world ended in a nuclear holocaust in the Sixties, and now mankind must survive the radioactive wastelands after the bomb. Savage Worlds (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)

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nemarsde
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INFO: Character Generation

Post by nemarsde »

Character generation for this campaign is not system-led, so do not worry about the system. We're using Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition, a very flexible system, and where it is insufficient we have its super powers supplement, Necessary Evil Explorer's Edition (NEEX). The Player's Guide PDF contains a site licence that allows the GM to distribute a copy to his players. Once the group is finalised, I will email the link to the download to the players.

The unprotected PDF is also available from DriveThruRPG for $9.99 (USD).

"...A world inhabited by what appears to be the entirety of fiction."

Searching through all of fiction is a gruelling task; literature, film, TV and other media, it's a lot of material. You might find it helpful to narrow down your search to between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s, you might not.

Our sample character will be Captain America/Steve Rogers. He was originally created by Timely Comics in 1941 but the comic was cancelled after World War II. Resurrected in 1964 by Marvel Comics, his absence was explained in-continuity by him being frozen in ice. With his slowed ageing process he could still be around and active in the '80s.

Your first criteria is that the character must feasibly be active in the '80s.

This campaign has a post-apocalyptic setting. Some characters cannot be separated from their setting without losing what makes them unique (e.g. James Bond). Some characters could be simply copy/pasted from their setting (e.g. Mad Max). Neither of these makes suitable characters. We're using the LXG method here. In the LXG universe, characters are reinterpreted and the stories build upon the new interpretation rather than the character's "canon".

Our Captain America was defrosted in 1964 by a nuke that struck the Arctic ice, intended for an American nuclear submarine lurking in the depths beneath. Damaged, the USS Avenger surfaced and Cap was allowed aboard. The sub sought safe harbour in Scotland and Cap made his way south from there, barely able to comprehend the nightmare he'd awoken too and half convinced that he was dead and in hell.

Your second criteria is that the character must be able to be adapted to the post-apocalyptic setting, made your own.

Intrinsic to the LXG method is envisaging a character through the glass darkly. Even the most light-hearted character should be given a twist. For example, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 even Rupert the Bear is portrayed as a mutant sex fiend, created by Dr Moreau.

Having seen enough death since reawakening to convince himself he's not dead, Captain America would have to face a world without the American Dream, without America. Gnawing at his soul would be the knowledge that this is the world America created. His patriotism and compassion would be burnt away in the radioactive wastelands, he may even have a death wish.

Your third criteria is that your character must have a dark twist.

Finally, clever use of intertextuality is always appreciated.

Captain America/Steve Rogers has lost faith in the American Dream before in canon (after the Watergate Scandal in 1974), choosing to become Nomad. After a time, Rogers returned to his Captain America guise and the Nomad identity was assumed by another hero in 1981. The character's leather-clad, shotgun-toting appearance was remarkably similar to Mad Max. Three ships of the US Navy have bore the name Avenger, the most recent is a minesweeper laid down in '83. Our USS Avenger is a ballistic missile submarine that rescues Cap after he's defrosted. In the canon it was the super team, the Avengers who rescued Cap.

Captain America also had a sidekick called Bucky, and here's where we can link in another character from fiction, Buckaroo Banzai. ;)


This isn't a criterion, more of a desirable.

nemarsde
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007, 20:04
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Rules

Post by nemarsde »

By default, Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition caters for the classic pulp genre of the 1920s to 1950s.

However, because some player characters will be using the super powers supplement, Necessary Evil Explorer's Edition, there are some amendments we must make to the default rule set.

Arcane Background (Super Powers) Edge is replaced by the same Edge from NEEX. So if your character has super powers you will need Necessary Evil Explorer's Edition Player's Guide.

Arcane Background (Super Powers) is the most powerful Arcane Background in the game and therefore the most powerful Edge in the game.

For example, compare a character with Arcane Background (Magic) to one with Arcane Background (Super Powers) and Super Sorcery; it's the difference between a Dungeons & Dragons wizard running around casting magic missiles at orcs, and Dragonlance's Raistlin imbued with magic powers and usurping the gods themselves.

Raistlin has the further advantage of being a well-established character from fiction, of course. Creating well-established characters from fiction is almost impossible if limited to a starting (Novice Rank) character...

So, the following amendments should be applied at character generation.
  1. Characters without Arcane Background (Super Powers) get a free Edge for each Rank (i.e., 3 free Edges for Veteran Rank)
  2. All characters start as Veteran Rank characters with 40 Experiences Points, equalling 8 Advances
Also bear in mind that if your character is human or otherwise has no racial abilities* your character will have a free Edge as per SWEX.

The GM can create a character based on your concept, if you wish.

*Racial abilities are essentially free, but form a race template that can be applied to other characters. For example, Superman is a Kryptonian. If he was the last Kryptonian (like in the Golden Age comic books), and there could be no other Kryptonian characters, he'd be created as normal with no racial abilities. In the Silver and Modern Age, new Kryptonians are always cropping up. So first we'd create a Kryptonian race template, then the player character. The character wouldn't get the free Edge.

Of course the reason DC Comics started writing in other Kryptonians is that in Superman they'd created a character so powerful, the only plausible threat to him personally was another Superman. They even took this literally; in total Superman has fought 10 different versions of himself. The moral of this story is in LXG: Post-Nuclear, don't play Superman.

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