Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Origin of: Zealot

So, my ‘original’ comic character was named Renegade, created when I was 13. I created 50 issues (not kidding) of his adventures. These were drawn on loose leaf paper, and ultimately filled an entire 2-inch binder with his adventures. He was a doppelganger of Captain America’s sidekick Nomad from the late 200s issues; Nomad was Marvel’s answer to Nightwing (at least to my mind), and was all the better for it. He actually battled some of the characters who ended up in Sentinels of Echo City (Cybron was his primary villain, and he’s remained as one of the key villains of Echo City). I didn’t include him in the core rules (since I decided Twilight Archer better served the role I would have cast him in), but I still want to stat him up and play him… so here we go. This also gives me the chance to test out the exceptional humans appendix that I’ll be updating SoEC with soon…

1. I roll 3d6 (keeping the better 2) for attributes, with a default 7 in PWR: 10, 6, 8, 8, 9

2. I roll for traits (1d4+1) and get 3+1=4. I roll on the limited list for exceptional humans, getting:

  17: Shield
  3: Companion
  6: Determination
  23: Weapon, Trick

And… I just rolled up Captain America. I mean, he’s not nearly as cool as Cap, but he wants to be Cap so bad that it hurts (hey! Just like Nomad)… I really want to trade out some of these to tailor him more. I actually want to delete this whole thing so far and start again. Okay. I’m trading… 

Companion and Trick Weapon are gone, in favor of Melee Weapon. I am going to give him an obsession (fighting crime, duh – his name is Zealot) in order to pick up another trait. Since I get to choose, I’m going to take utility belt (so he has some gadgets and gizmos to add variety to playing him).

For the shield, I roll 1d4+1 and get 2+1=3. Eh. That’s okay. He carries an aerodynamic shield of high-grade tempered steel that he can also use as a melee weapon (and I roll 1d8 for his damage with it, so that’s something). That determination is nice, giving him 1d8 for resolve rolls, and +1 to resolve (so 2 resolve points per turn at level 1… not bad). Again, this fits with the idea of him being a Zealot – his willpower and determination, and absolute refusal to back down or step away from crime – keep him operating at peak efficiency most of the time. This is a hero who bloodies his knuckles. Nightly.
For his talent, I’m going to let the dice decide: I roll and get fortitude; I will gladly take an extra +5 to hit points. This again reflects his refusal to surrender. I’m liking this kid more and more. I wouldn’t want to have dinner with him, but I’m glad he’s out patrolling the streets.

That 10 is going into DEX, 9 into CON, 8 into STR and INT, 6 into CHA. He’s not especially likeable or personable.

I roll for the utility belt and get a re-breather, 3 bolas, 2 tracking devices, and 1 set of caltrops… not exactly what I was hoping for. These are all useful rather than being very directly applicable in combat. I would have liked some smoke grenades, or even regular grenades, but oh well. He gets max hit points at level 1.

Zealot (Hero 1)
AC 16; HD 1d6 (hp 12); Feat +7; Shield (+2/1d8+1/30’)
STR 9 (+1); INT 8 (+1); PWR 7 (-)
DEX 10 (+2); CON 8 (+1); CHA 6 (-)
Shield gives +3 to AC
Determination gives +1 bonus resolve point per turn (2 total), both at 1d8
Utility Belt includes: 3 bolas; 1 set of caltrops; re-breather; 2 tracking devices

Purpose: to patrol the mean streets of Echo City and save the innocent from the not-so-innocent.

Let’s see what happens… Zealot comes across 2 thugs attempting to rob a purse from a girl in an alley. You’d think those girls would learn to avoid alleys. Sigh. Maybe he should do some PSAs about this instead of patrolling. He’d probably see greater returns on his investment. Oh, well. For now, there’s an innocent to save.

I’ll give him surprise. Of course, he wastes it by telling the two thugs to stand down. Stupid, stupid, stupid. It’s initiative. Zealot rolls 4+7=11, and the thugs roll 4+4=8. He wins!

Round 1

Zealot throws his shield at the first, rolling 7+9=9 vs. AC 11. He misses. Hrm. I’m already going to use a resolve point here, since this is his first appearance, and he needs to make a good show of things. He rolls 2 on the die (eek) and gets to 11, barely tagging the thug. For damage, he rolls 8+1=9, and has great success… the shield appeared to miss, then ricocheted off of a dumpster, against the thug’s chin (breaking his jaw and knocking him out) and back to Zealot’s hand… just in time for gunfire from the second thug…

The second thug fires his pistol, rolling a natural 20. Wow. Okay, then… for damage, the Thug rolls 6 on the die, doubled to 12. Well, that was quick. He shoots Zealot in the shoulder, and drops him like a bad habit. Zealot has to use his second resolve point here, or he’s done. I’m going to attempt a stunt. I don’t want to use the bystander, or even the other thug, as a living shield for this attack… of course, he does carry an actual, you know, shield. I want to see if I can get the shield back in time to parry the attack away. I use the resolve point and attempt a Feat… rolling 19 + 7 on the die! Success. Woot. I needed a 13 or better, so I’m surprised that worked. Okay, just as the bullet was about to rip through his throat, he brings the shield up, and the bullet grazes his cheek. I’m going to say that leaves a permanent scar. He’ll remember this fight.

Round 2
Zealot whips his shield at the thug, rolling 4+2=6 to hit. Nada. The thug saw what happened to his friend, and sidesteps both shield and ricochet.
The thug fires again, rolling 14+1=15 to hit, vs. AC 16. Again, the shield gets back in the nick of time…

Round 3
Zealot leaps and attacks with the shield, taking -2 to his attack, but getting into melee range (so that the thug can no longer use the pistol, and has to switch to his knife). He attacks, getting 17+2=19 to hit. Aces. For damage, he rolls 8+1=9. He can’t hold back, and really wallops that thug. He’s been a little scarred by this first brush with heroing.

He makes sure the girl is okay, tells her to call the police and file a report, and then runs for his life. He gets back to his home with his adrenaline out of control, a burn from a bullet casing on his cheek, and a swell of pride at his first successful adventure as a ‘super hero’. He earns 6 XP… 2 each for the thugs, +1 for saving a civilian (his level x1), and +1 for his purpose (to protect the people of Echo City).

Whew. It’s been a day.