As an example, the following section details the creation of Seraph. For other examples, see the Rainbow Wizard, Viking, and everyone else in the Brand X Starter Kit.
First, Biff rolls three sets of abilities, getting:
Active Charisma (3d6)
Normal Charisma (3d6)
Hero Type: Second, he decides he wants to roll for a Special Power as his first Hero Type. Using the Special Powers table under Hero Types, he rolls d100 as instructed, getting a 36. On the Hero Type table, this is Electricity.
Extra Powers: Third, he determines his extra powers. He decides to roll for extra powers on the Superhuman table. This is a Class Power, so his chance of doing so is 15%. He rolls d100 and gets 15, just making it. Going to Hero Types, Class Powers, he rolls for the number of powers and finds he has 4. Using the Superhuman table, he rolls d100 four times.
His first roll is 87, Skin Temper + d5/5 or Ignore 2d5 points damage.
His second roll is 18, Agility + 3d8.
His third roll is 38, Constitution + 3d8.
His fourth and final roll is 45, Beauty + 3d6.
He rolls again for extra powers, this time deciding to use his increased chance of getting an extra Special Power. His chance is 45%. He rolls d100 and gets 17, succeeding. Returning to the Special Powers table, using the Extra Power column, he rolls 47 on d100. This is Healing.
For his next extra power, he decides to try for another Special Power. This time his chance is normal, 35%. He rolls 36, just missing it. He has no more extra powers.
Choosing Ability Set/Charismas: Fourth, he chooses which group of abilities he wants to use. He decides to use group II. In this group his active charisma is 11 and his normal charisma is 12. He could switch them, but he decides not to.
Power Rolls and Percent Control: Fifth, he rolls his Power Rolls (Power Rolls) for each power, and %Control for each applicable power.
Electricity: He rolls 4 times for this one, since it was his first Special Power and he rolled for his first power on the Special Powers table. He rolls 5, 10, 12, and 17 on 3d6. His PR is 17. Rolling %Control, he gets 93 %Control.
Skin Temper +d5/5 or Ignore 2d5 points damage: He chooses a Skin Temper increase, and rolls 4 on d5, for a bonus of .8 to his Skin Temper. It is only partial protection, and protects 42% of the time.
Agility + 3d8: He gets +11, for a agility of 22.
Constitution + 3d8: He gets +17, for a constitution of 32.
Beauty + 3d6: He gets a bonus of 13.
Healing: He gets PR 7 on 3d6, and 92 %Control.
Attributes: Sixth, Biff rolls for his attributes. He rolls 57 on d100 for his height, so his base height is 1.693. On 2d100 he gets 98, so his total height is 1.791 meters.
He rolls 20 for his build, plus 11 (he’s male) gives him a 31 build. He rolls 18 for his physical beauty, and adds 13 because that’s one of his powers, for a physical beauty of 31.
Age: For base age, he rolls 4, so his base age is 9. He rolls 5 on d10, so his age is 14. He determines that his age of maturity is 18. He gets to add 4 to his %Controls, for a %Control in Electricity of 97% and in Healing of 96%. Biff’s character was born on 11-16, November 16th. As I write this, it is May 13, 1986. November 16th hasn’t passed yet, so Biff’s character was born in 1985 minus 18, or 1967.
Appearance: Biff is not mutated. He rolls on the Normal Looks table, getting light white skin, wavy brown hair, bright blue eyes, and blood type A Positive.
Handedness: Biff rolls for handedness and is left handed.
Birthplace: For his Continent of Birth, Biff rolls 3 on d20. He was born in North America. For the relative population density he rolls 12. He was born in a city. He chooses Fort Vermilion, Alberta, Canada.
Family: Biff rolls a 55 on the Siblings chart. He has two siblings. Rolling d2 for sex (1 means female, 2 means male), he determines that he has 1 brother and 1 sister. He rolls d100 for each for order of birth and rolls 31 for himself, 25 for his brother, and 93 for his sister. He has one younger brother and one older sister. For age differences, he rolls d3 X d3. For his sister, he rolls 2 on the first d3, and then rolls 2d3 for 5. She is five years older than him. For his brother, he rolls 1, so rolls 1d3, getting 3. His brother is three years younger than him.
He determines his mother’s age. Her oldest child is 23. Adding 12 gives 35. He rolls 2 on d3, so adds 3d6, or 10, to that, for an age of 45. His mother is 45 years old. For his father, the base age is 14 plus 23, or 37. He rolls 2 on d3 again, so adds another 3d6, this time 8. His father is 44 years old.
He rolls for Death/Disappearance, and determines that his original father has disappeared. Rolling for when, he determines that this happened when his character was born. Since Biff’s character has a younger brother, his mother has a 90% chance of having remarried. He rolls 95, so she hasn’t.
Economic Status: Biff rolls 23, Middle Class. For his Net Worth, he rolls 11, for $22,000. For his Disposable Monthly Income, he rolls (2,6) 8, minus 6 is $200.
Biff’s Learning is 11. His Age is 18. He multiplies the above dollar amounts by 5 (half Learning on the Sphere Chart) plus 5 (Age on the Doubles Chart), or 10, and divides by 10. This is 1, so it won’t change the above numbers.
Knowledge: He chooses to know English as his native language. He has a Knowledge Score in English of five times his learning, or 55. For general knowledge, he has 11 points. He first rolls d20 once in each of the four mandatory areas. This gives him a mathematics score of 17, a Canadian history score of 8, a chemistry score of 1, and a French language score of 4. He has used up four points, so he has 7 points left. He uses half a point to gain the hobby Hunting, and gets a score of 15 for that. He uses another half point to get another hobby, this time Survival, getting a score of 19 there. This leaves him with six points. He uses another half point to raise his Hunting score, getting an additional 10 on the d20 roll, bringing his Hunting score to 25. He uses another half point to gain First Aid, and rolls a score of 4. He now has five points left. He decides to take up Forestry, using one point to roll a score of 7. Considering this too low, he uses another point, increasing it by 11 to 18. Wanting a still higher score, he uses another point and increases his score in Forestry to 36. He has 2 points left. He uses one for Fishing, rolling a 1 on d20, and decides to use his last point to increase this again. He rolls 18, and has a Fishing score of 19.
For hobbies, he has a normal charisma of 12. This gives him three hobby rolls. His newoen is 20, so he doesn’t have to worry about rolling ‘too high’. He decides to use his hobby points on Climbing (rolling 8), First Aid (rolling 4, increasing his First Aid to 16), and Climbing again (rolling 12, increasing his Climbing to 20).
Skills: Biff rolls level 3 in driving. He misses the chance for extra skills.
Base and Pet: Biff has a 1% plus 1% (learning) plus 3% (normal charisma) plus 2% (newoen) minus 4% (Special Powers), or 3% chance of having a base. He rolls 12, so he hasn’t got one. He also misses the pet roll.
Weakness: His chance of having a weakness is half of 4 (the number of Class Powers he has) plus 2 (the number of Special Powers he has) plus 2, or 6, squared, or 36. He rolls 38, so he hasn’t got a Handicap or Weakness. (See Carol Channing, the Rainbow Wizard, for an example of someone who does.)
Psychic Immunity: He also misses the roll for Psychic Immunity, with a roll of 56.
Latent Powers: His Editor rolls to see if Biff’s character has a latent power. His chance is a base 10 minus 6 (he has 6 powers) or 4%. The Editor rolls 3, so Biff’s character does have a latent power. The Editor rolls 6 on the table, so it is a latent Psychic power. Going to the Psychic Power Table, the Editor rolls 95, or Psychic Invisibility, and then rolls a PR of 9. When Carl discovers this power, Biff will have to roll %Control and half it.
Name: Biff’s character has now been created. He chooses to call his hero Seraph, secret identity Carl Friedman. Look at his Character Record Sheet at the end of this book.
The rules provided here (Creating a Character, Hero Types, and Lists and Tables) are guidelines. They are designed to create a hero or villain falling into relatively specific, common areas. They are not, however, rules.
If you have an idea for a hero, talk with your Editor. Be specific about your idea, and have it written up as well as possible. You can use the rules here to flesh out the areas you haven’t thought about. Once you and your Editor have worked out an acceptable (by the campaign’s standards) character, do not worry about forcing it to conform to these guidelines.
The only limit to what you play should be your own imagination and experience as a role-player. You may have to resort to Special Immunity, Power Enhancement, or the Magic Spell power to create the character’s powers, or create a power yourself, but these rules were designed to allow any conceivable hero from the most powerful to the least.
That said, do not completely ignore these guidelines. Creating random characters often produces results that you would never have come up with yourself. I have found that the characters I most enjoy playing are those that surprise me in some way, those that manage to diverge from any preconceived notions of what I thought the character would be like--characters who have lives that take over from me.
Unless you have definite ideas about your character, it is usually easier to mold the random creation into something you want, rather than start from scratch and build a character up on your own.
I also recommend that first time players create their characters completely at random, so that they can more fully appreciate the scope of superhero roleplaying. The superhero genre encompasses variety, and this variety can be hard to grasp at first, even for role-players experienced in other forms of role-playing.
Here are a few tips on how to have more fun playing this, or any, role-playing game.
1) Be Organized: It is too easy to believe that you can remember everything of importance. You should make a practice of writing down often used pieces of game information (weapon statistics, spell effects, etc.) and keeping this information handy during play. It will greatly speed up the flow of the game. Also, don’t expect the Editor to fill you in on everything that your character noticed last week. Your Editor can only tell you what he or she thinks you thought was important, not what you actually thought was important.
2) Show up on Time: If you cannot show up for a scheduled game, try to contact your Editor about this, so she or he can plan accordingly. When games are scheduled, make sure that you really can make it at the agreed upon time. It’s better to schedule a game for 7 PM and show up at 6:30 than to schedule for 6:30 and show up at 7.