Character Development



It’s easiest to figure out what a character will be like when physically mature, and then modify these statistics for how young the character is. Strength, build, agility, height, constitution, and willpower change with age. Optionally, the PR of powers can change with age as well. There are 6 plateau ages--0, 2 years, 5 years, 11 years, 15 years, and maturity. Look on the Youth Chart and each has a percentage, for each statistic that needs to be modified.

Age Strength Build Agility Height Constitution Willpower Powers

0 70% 80% 70% 25% 80% 50% 20%

24 months 80% 120% 90% 50% 90% 60% 40%

60 months 85% 110% 95% 60% 95% 70% 50%

132 months 90% 80% 100% 80% 95% 80% 70%

180 months 95% 90% 100% 90% 100% 90% 80%

maturity 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

If you want some variation, add 2d6-7 to each percentage.

If you want to vary percents between the plateau ages (height, for example), use the following (yuck) formula to determine the percentage at a between-age:

Low Percent+ (Age-Low Age)* (Next Percent-Low Percent)

(Next Age - Low Age)

In English: Take the difference between the two percents, and divide by the difference between the two ages, multiply this by the amount of time since the lower age, and add to the lower percent. Whew. Round normally.

Powers: For powers, you’ll have to decide whether or not the powers arrive full blown at birth, at maturity, or at any age in between, or if the power arrives at a percentage and grows. In the latter case, the percentages on the Youth Chart can be used.

Training: If a youth attempts to train or edit a modified ability, the point cost is for the full ability/power/whatever, and the full ability or power is trained in. For example, a 5 year old, with 85% strength and a mature strength of 15 (present strength 13), will need 11 points to train to a strength of 16. Since 85% of 16 is 14, the character’s current strength will change as well.

Height: Remember that youths will often have modifitions to their statistics due to height.

Old Age


Any character who has more than 0 Death Points is dead. There are a number of ways that a dead character (player or non-player) can remain in the game, and/or return to the game. These are with fate points, as ghosts, or through the natural progression of time in comic books. You can also put statues up in the town hall, but statues don’t usually have many adventures. Your mileage may vary.

Spontaneous Combustion: When someone with physical powers dies, there’s a chance that those powers will manifest themselves uncontrollably for a short period of time. Roll d100 for each power; if this is less than or equal to the PR for the power, the power manifests itself at a Q equal to the amount the d100 roll was below the PR, plus one. Assume the body has as many EP as its original Maximum Body DP, and the power runs until this EP runs out.

Fate Points: As described in the section about Fate Points, a Fate Point can reduce the character’s Death Points to Permanent Injuries.

Ghosts: If a character dies while traveling astrally, the character might become a ghost. The player must make a saving throw vs. Willpower. If successful, the character remains in this world as a spirit. If unsuccessful, the character still remains, but as a haunt: the character is stunned by the death, and confused. They will remain confused, haunting the place of their death (or some other place of high emotional value) until someone convinces them that they’ve died. Then they go to the aprés-vie party appropriate for their religion.

Characters who are sleeping when they die might be astral. The chance is 1 in 100 (1 in 10 for wizards or psychics). In this case, however, the saving throw for confusion is vs. half willpower.

At the moment of death, a conscious character can try to remain on this plane (or try to refuse to die). The player must save vs. Newoen-19; if successful, the character is treated as if astral while dreaming. A save vs. willpower must be made to see if the ghost is confused or not.

In some cases, the character’s death deity may come for the ghost, whether confused or not. Check up on the mythology of the character’s religion/nationality.


There are many causes of insanity in Men & Supermen. Insanity is caused by terror, magic, or knowing things man wasn’t meant to know.

When a character becomes insane, and the insanity is not obvious from the cause, roll on the following charts. If the class of insanity must be determined randomly as well, 80% of insanities are Minor. The rest are Major. If severity is not specified, severity is found by rolling d10.

Most saving throws that players of insane characters must make are saving throws vs. Newoen, on 2d10, at a penalty equal to the severity of the mental illness.

When a triggering event is mentioned, this is the event that caused the insanity. Onset time is measured from the triggering event to the time the insanity surfaces. Insanity most often occurs either immediately, during sleep, or during another stressful incident.

If a player wishes to role-play the amnesia without making severity rolls, the Editor should allow it, but should make sure that the player is not under-playing the insanity. It’s all right if the player over-plays the insanity. This often happens in real life as well. People like to be the best at what they do.

Minor Insanity (roll d100)

01-11 Migraines

12-22 Amnesia

23-28 Paranoia

29-38 Phobia

39-50 Hysteria

51-52 Fugue States

53-65 Depression

66-73 Mania

74-78 Hysteric Personality

79-90 Obsessive-Compulsive

91-98 Reaction Formation

99 Roll for two minor insanities

00 Roll for three minor insanities

Major Insanity (roll d100)

01-13 Megalomania

14-24 Split Personality

25-31 Personality Change

32-50 Amnesia

51-60 Catatonia

61-69 Schizophrenia

70-79 Paranoia

80-85 Suicidal

86-96 Manic-Depressive

97-98 Roll for one major and one minor insanity

99 Roll for a major and two minor insanities

00 Roll for two major insanities

Amnesia: Amnesia causes the afflicted to forget events within a specific time frame.

For minor amnesia, look up the severity on the Result column of the Actions Chart, and read to the Sphere column, for the number of days the character forgets, up to and including the triggering event.

For major amnesia, the character forgets everything from birth to the trigger. Some knowledge and skills will remain, though the character will not know where they came from. In order to use a skill or knowledge the first time following onset of amnesia, the player must save vs. Newoen. This roll may be made any time the character is in a situation requiring that skill or knowledge.

Catatonia: Characters in a catatonic state must save vs. Newoen, in order to perform any action at all. This includes even as much as moving out of a position that someone else moved the character into.

Depression: Characters in a depressed state will not initiate new projects, and will find it hard to finish old ones. Whenever the character is contemplating getting some work done, a save should be made vs. Newoen. Performance Time will be increased by the severity, times 10, percent if the roll is successful.

Fugue States: Characters with this problem will occasionally undergo short-term memory loss. Whenever the character is under some form of stress, the player must save vs. Newoen. If the roll is failed, read the amount it was failed by from the Result column to the Sphere column, for the number of hours the character spends in a fugue state.

During a fugue state, the character will remember nothing, will not be capable of coherent speach, and will wander aimlessly.

Hysteria: Characters with hysteria will lose the use of one part of their body. The source of the hysteria will affect the manifestation of the hysteria. A right-handed person whose hysteria is focused on paperwork may develop glove hysteria, in which the right hand is paralyzed. If hysteria is caused by something the character saw, blindness may result. If anger caused the hysteria, the character’s hand and arm may become paralyzed into an upraised fist.

Hysteric Personality: The hysteric tries to lose unwanted responsibility and gain power through weakness. The character is likely to get sick often, develop problems moving, and require some form of attention and care.

Mania: Manic characters say things like “why don’t you just back up the system folder. It can’t be that huge.”

The character will never stay still. If forced to, the character will fuss and fidget incessantly. The character must even save vs. Newoen, at a penalty equal to the severity, to go to sleep at night. If this is failed, another roll may be made in the middle of the night. If failed, the character simply doesn’t have time to sleep, and fretters the night away. Manic characters will always favor a plan of action over a plan of waiting.

Manic-Depressive: Manic-depressives alternate between periods of mania, depression, and normality. Every morning, the player must save vs. Newoen, or awaken in a manic or depressed state (even chance of each). During periods of stress, the player must save again, or switch to the opposite of the most recent state. See Mania and Depression for a description of the two states.

Megalomania: Most player characters are megalomaniac anyway, or at best, highly egocentric. However, characters who are actually insanely megalomaniac are even worse. They must always be in charge. If their authority is questioned, the player must save vs. Newoen or get into an argument, or even a fight. Characters with megalomania will always seek to increase their influence in any way and sphere possible.

Migraines: Ask anyone who has them, they’ll tell you: migraines are shitty. Under stress, the player must save vs. Newoen. If unsuccessful, the character has a penalty of the severity of the migraines to most Bonus Pools. The migraines last for a number of minutes equal to the amount the Newoen save was missed by, read from the Result chart to the Sphere chart.

Obsessive-Compulsive: Obsessive Compulsive characters retreat into a ritual to hide from unwanted feelings and troubles. The ritual will become more complex as time goes on. The player must choose a reasonable stimulus for the obsessive-compulsive behaviour. When the character is confronted with this stimulus (scantily-clad women, for example), the player must save vs. Neweon. If unsuccessful, the character performs the ritual (sniffing his underarms, perhaps). If the save is missed by 5 or more, the character adds to the ritual (sniffs his underarms and then pops a breath mint).

Paranoia: Characters with Minor Paranoia believe that a specific person or group is out to get them and is powerful enough to watch them everywhere. Characters with Major Paranoia believe that almost everyone is out to get them. Whenever the character meets a new person, the player must save vs. Newoen or believe that person is part of the conspiracy. Characters with Major Paranoia will eventually believe that anyway.

Phobia: A phobia is an unreasoning fear of a specific object or situation. Common phobias include fear of heights, dogs, and enclosed spaces. Whenever the character is confronted with the source of the phobia, the player must save vs. Newoen in order to stand firm. If failed, the character attempts to leave. If failed by 5 or more, the character freezes in fear. If failed by 10 or more, the character faints. If failed by 15 or more, the character simply blocks the source and doesn’t perceive it. A character who is afraid of dogs would simply not see the dog, no matter what it did.

Personality Change: The character develops a new personality to replace the old one. Go over the character sheet, and for each power, skill, or knowledge, a save should be made vs. Newoen. If failed, the new personality doesn’t have that ability.

The player and Editor should create a new personality and history. The character will not gain new skills or knowledge--the history must stay within the framework of whatever skills and knowledge remain. If it is not obvious what the new personality should be, it may be determined randomly, using the Personality rolls for non-player characters, given in the Brand X Hero’s Guide.

Reaction Formation: The character forms a fanatical viewpoint in reaction against a feeling the character has, especially a guilty feeling involving the opposite of the Reaction Formation. The Editor and player must choose the form of the Reaction Formation. A character worried about lack of faith might become fanatically religious. A character who feels guilty about air pollution may become fanatically pro-automobile, to hide guilt about causing pollution.

When the opportunity arises to expound on the belief, the player must make a save vs. Newoen or attempt to gain converts and prove the reality of the character’s viewpoint.

Characters with this type of fanaticism will not be affected by facts or statistics that disprove their beliefs. Such characters can even hold contradictory beliefs without faith in either belief being shaken.

Schizophrenia: Schizophrenic characters cannot maintain their train of thought or pay attention to a single event. They will jump from one idea to idea and event to event. Often, schizophrenics will be unable to distinguish between their own thoughts and memories and what is actually happening. Thus, they hallucinate voices, objects, and persons.

Split Personality: The character gains a new personality (see Personality Change), in addition to the character’s real personality. Whenever the character is under stress, a save vs. Newoen must be made, or the character will switch personalities.

Every issue, the player should save vs. Newoen. If successful, the player can choose which personality to use. If unsuccessful, the personality is chosen randomly. If the save is missed by 10 or more, the character develops yet another personality, and switches to that one.

Suicidal: The character will, at random moments, decide that life isn’t worth living, to such an extent that the character will either attempt suicide, or attempt a suicide mission. When given the opportunity for a suicide, the player must save vs. Newoen. If successful, the character does not take the chance. This save must also be made once per issue. If unsuccessful, the character will, in some way, attempt suicide in that issue.


Players normally do not edit Knowledge Scores (although they’re free to do so, within the confines of Discretionary Knowledge). Players have their characters study when they want to learn new knowledge. Each knowledge area has a Learning Time, which is the number of hours a character must study to increase a Knowledge Score in that area by 1%. The character’s Learning Modifier (based on the character’s ability Learning) changes this time.

A character with an 18 Learning, for example, has a Learning Modifier of 1/5. So, this character can divide all Learning Times by 5. If such a character studies Biology for 15 hours, the character’s Knowledge Score will increase by 3%. Biology has a Learning Time of 20, and this divided by 5 is 4, so every four hours of study, the character’s Knowledge Score increases by 1.

Some Knowledge Areas are easier to learn if other abilities are high--Sports is a good example. If a character tries to learn one of these knowledge areas, average the character’s Learning with the relevant ability, for the character’s Learning in that knowledge area.

For knowledge areas not listed, use a similar knowledge to determine Learning Time. American History, for example, will have the same Learning Time as History.

Characters cannot study (or practice) for more than a certain amount of time per day. Add Charisma (Square Chart) to Newoen and divide by 4, for the maximum hours a character can study per day. Anyone who actually does study/train for this amount of time is a real dweeb. A 10 minute set-up time is required.

(Growing) Rusty

If a power, skill, knowledge, or ability is not used for more than a month, the character will grow rusty with it. Look up the number of months that it hasn’t been used on the Sphere Chart, for the number to subtract from 100 for %Control. Once the downward slide starts, the only way to stop it is to train or edit back up to 100%Control.

Percent Control

Occasionally, players will want their characters to do something new with a power, or use skills in a completely new environment. Such characters will start with a Percent Control of 0 (the Editor can start the Percent Control higher, if desired) in that action.

For example, a sculptor who also has Ice Control decides to use her powers to create ice sculpture. The character will start with a Percent Control of 50 in Ice Sculpting.

When characters operate in zero gravity for the first time, they’ll have a Percent Control of 30.

Characters train in this Percent Control the same as normal Percent Control--1 Training Point increases %Control by 10.


Characters with Mutation Percentages are considered Mutants. Mutants are affected by gasses, drugs, poisons, and radiation differently from non-mutants. Whenever a mutant comes in contact with a new gas, drug, or poison, make a d100 roll vs. the character’s Mutation Percentage. If successful, roll 2d10 and subtract from 10. This is the bonus (or penalty, if negative) to the character’s Skin Temper when determining the effects of the substance, or the bonus to the Radiation Roll for radiation. Record this number for later encounters with the substance.

Percent Recognition

Each character has a %Recognition. This is, on average, the chance that someone in the character’s home continent will recognize the character. %Recognition should be modified upwards in areas where the character appears often, and downward in areas where the character rarely appears and is rarely heard of.

The Editor should increase and decrease each player’s %Recognition every couple of months, depending on what the character’s been doing, and how high a profile it has been.

%Recognition has nothing to do with whether or not the character is liked or disliked. It only determines whether or not the character is recognized.


Terrible things can cause viewers to be stunned (much like horrible things can), and can even cause insanity. Terrible things have a certain number of Terror Points. Most things with a Beauty of less than 0 have Terror Points equal to their Beauty.

See Beauty, for the description of stunning. Assume a Beauty equal to the thing’s Terror Points. Any viewers who are stunned may also be driven temporarily insane. The viewer’s player must save vs. Willpower, at a penalty equal to the Terror Points of the thing, on d100. If this save is failed, the character will gain a temporary insanity. If the die roll (before modifications) was less than or equal to the Terror Points of the thing, it is a major insanity. Otherwise, it is a minor insanity. Insanity lasts for d1000 divided by d20 days. Severity is d10, plus the terror points of the thing on the Square Chart.

Every successful save vs. insanity increases the character’s Weirdness Bonus by 5. Every unsuccessful save decreases the Weirdness Bonus by 3. Insanity helps us to stay sane. For each minor insanity a character has, there is a bonus of 3 to the insanity roll. For each major insanity, the bonus is 6. If the character succeeds at the roll, but would have failed without the bonus, the severity of one appropriate insanity is increased by 1.

Insanity might not take effect immediately. It will usually set in within 24 hours, but may be set off by a stressful action, such as combat, or it may set in while the character is sleeping. This much is left completely to the Editor and the Player.

Training Points

Characters can practice to increase powers, skills, or abilities. For every hour that a character spends practicing, .15 training points are gained for the skill, power, or ability that was practiced. The character’s Point Multiplier for Experience will increase this.

Characters cannot practice (or study) for more than a certain amount of time per day. Subtract 10 from Charisma, and add Newoen to this. Divide by 4, for the maximum number of hours per day. Anyone who actually does train/study for this amount of time is a real dweeb. A 10 minute set-up time is required.

The training points must be used within 2 days, or the character must train again on the second day. If a character goes for more than 1 day without practicing the skill, power, or ability, the character will lose .05 training points per day from those saved up to increase the power, skill, or ability.

Robots cannot train in powers or abilities. Characters whose powers come from an item cannot train in those powers. Such characters can train in skills involving those powers, however. An intelligent robot with a Power Blast cannot train in the Power Blast PR, but can train in Combat Skill with Power Blast.

Training points do not add to Experience. Characters cannot train in attributes.