Character Workshop - PSinha.   Posted by Master of Games.Group: 0
PSinha
 player, 4 posts
Sat 24 Jul 2021
at 13:18
Character Workshop - PSinha
Ah, thanks for the reminder. I was thinking of making it a random alleyway since we are in a city setting, but I thought woods would suit the aesthetic better. I was worried that an alley might seem too mundane, but it is more plausible for a kid to run into a random alley that the woods. Switching to that, then? It also makes the unknown threat all the more pressing.

As for The Protégé, I don't think the idea of putting them in China works. Or at least I cannot think of something yet. They would have a really different upbringing. Where do you think they should come from?
I was thinking of playing them as somewhat of a humorous character. One who is simple-minded and could make a fool of themselves, but greatly competent in their own niche.

I am still unsure what way the Mentor should go. Perhaps he denies Superior because he expects The Protégé to call upon the clan instead of dealing with big situations themselves, but he embodies Danger because he still sent them in the city to act as a sole enforcer in the way they know best.

Most of the other players seem to have already decided on one playbook each, right?
Master of Games
 GM, 45 posts
Sat 24 Jul 2021
at 22:30
Character Workshop - PSinha
The alley works, yes.

Honestly, the character can come from anywhere. If you want something more similar to New Atlantis in terms of upbringing and basic social expectations, you could just have the character come from the US or some other Western country. Or even being originally from New Atlantis, leaving to train, then coming back there?

Hmm... don't forget, Embodies/Denies also speaks to the mentor's own personality and approach. The expectation is that a Protégé is expected by the mentor to follow in their footsteps. Embody Danger/Deny Superior would work if his teachings are something like needing to confront injustice head on without becoming conceited or thinking you can solve problems indirectly. Or something in that vein.

Some prospective players have more or less settled on playbooks, others haven't. It's still early days. That said, I'll probably take a census of what everyone is interested in at some point soon - I can see how that might be helpful.
PSinha
 player, 5 posts
Sun 25 Jul 2021
at 08:09
Character Workshop - PSinha
Maybe we should rethink The Protégé. How about this:

The Mentor wants to develop another base of his teachings in New Atlantis. While he does want his own philosophy to be applied and his plans forwarded through this offshoot, he does not mind it acting autonomously.

Thus he has sent The Protégé alone so that they can identify key issues, lay the groundwork for this, and possibly even start with building the new location.
The game will be in early days where they aren't fully absorbed into the last part, so that they can superhero around.

I think this way the Embodies/Denies thing is much easier since the Mentor is letting The Protégé grow into a master of their own, though of course one just like him.
What do you think the Labels should be in that case? Could it be Superior/Mundane?

Also, where do we go forward with The Transformed?
Master of Games
 GM, 51 posts
Sun 25 Jul 2021
at 18:51
Character Workshop - PSinha
I think it may be a good time to set down what the Mentor actually believes in and wants to achieve. Is it just a martial arts school, or is there supposed to be a greater purpose? Are they sworn to uphold the law, protect the cosmic balance, help innocent victims, or anything of the sort?

As for the Transformed...

Well, first, I forgot to ask - just how great are his powers? Was plunging an entire room in darkness a typical thing that he could do, or an unusual manifestation?

How do his superhuman senses work?

Also, I presume there is a clear difference between a magician tapping into this power in a controlled, limited way... and the kid seemingly merging with it. Perhaps even becoming a living font of that same power here? That would make him potentially very valuable to many of the more sinister magic-users (who may or may not have been responsible for that pool showing up in the first place). Does that sound right?
PSinha
 player, 6 posts
Sun 25 Jul 2021
at 20:52
Character Workshop - PSinha
The Protégé
Let's see...
A force of good, definitely. One of the those things some superheroes say is, "If you have power you should use it for good". The Mentor follows this adage, but only so far as acknowledging that good must be done, and thus he continues to focus on the pursuit of power.
The heroes saying this often put their life and soul into the "use for good" part, generally with a heap of self-sacrifice. But for the Mentor you can think of it as a "Power Tax" or "Minimal Duty". If a dire situation approaches in the world, where the power of his disciples and himself would be of great help, he will send the word out and act for good. But he is not out there fighting street crime, or thwarting career villains.
Thus, he wants The Protégé to establish a center of power in New Atlantis. A different location will come with its independent culture & learning, while fulfilling that moral responsibility to do good as well.

The Transformed
quote:
Just how great are his powers?

Quite a bit more than a telepathic martial artist, for sure. Do you prefer the characters in the team to have similar power levels or can there be a large variance? What I gathered from the other players threads is a power level slightly higher than Phase 2 MCU, which I don't mind restricting myself to.

The ideas up ahead are along these lines, so tell me if you think I should step it up or tone it down.
quote:
Was plunging an entire room in darkness a typical thing that he could do, or an unusual manifestation?

I want to say it was a typical thing. He can spread the shadow out to cover every surface in a classroom, which would certainly plunge it in darkness. But he cannot spread it any further than that.
But, for example, if an evasive villain showed up in that classroom, if The Transformed attempted to create appendages from any surface to attack, they would be too weak to cause any lasting damage. If he needs to use his power as an offensive tool, he would need to gather it all close to himself and essentially lose out on area coverage and related things.
quote:
How do his superhuman senses work?

If we want to go ahead with this, perhaps he can create & shift body parts across the shadow. So, he could let the shadow flow underneath a locked door, and place his eyes there to snoop around. This is not something he normally wants to do, because he wants to look at least a bit normal.
quote:
A living font? Potentially very valuable to sinister magic-users... Does that sound right?

Yeah, this sounds like a great hook. Do you want him to be pursued by a shifty character like that? Perhaps that could be his "arch nemesis" as some superheroes have.
Maybe drawing power from the Estate in Shadow has some downsides after all, and having access to your very own source of magic unlocks a few restrictions? Sounds like a good, sinister motivation to capture the child.
quote:
(who may or may not have been responsible for that pool showing up in the first place)

This sounds interesting! I was assuming something from the other side created the portal, but feel free to use this if you prefer. It will be a surprise to me as a player and The Transformed as a character, anyway.
Master of Games
 GM, 55 posts
Sun 25 Jul 2021
at 22:33
Character Workshop - PSinha
Re: The Protégé

By power, do you mean:
 - The sort of power that comes with mastery of martial arts+any incidental abilities his disciples may have, if he makes a habit or a policy of including superhumans;
 - The flashy supernatural type of martial arts, potentially extending to anything from this list https://powerlisting.fandom.com/wiki/Chi_Manipulation ;
 - Something else?

Anyway, so the pursuit of power is an end in itself, but it does not liberate one from moral obligations to use it to help out. Especially in one's own community. I like it, it seems to go well with martial arts as a personal pursuit, while also having a pragmatic core that might clash with some of the more idealistic/universalist notions that would be commonly espoused in New Atlantis.

Hmm, so eventually the Protégé is expected to start taking on pupils? Though for now he is mostly supposed to learn the lay of the land, build useful connections and a reputation, and so on.

Perhaps he actually denies Savior? Yes, you are supposed to protect people from threats you are equipped to deal with, but self-sacrifice is foolish. It implies that you are either in over your head or made a mistake. If you intervene to protect someone in a street fight, you might get injured or sidetracked - perhaps you'd save one life and doom dozens when you are unable to oppose a much more serious danger later that day. And if the worst happens, the world will be denied your talents in the future. What a waste of your training.

And while Superior works (don't make mistakes that put you or others in such disadvantageous situations in the first place, make sure the threat you fight fits your talent, find ways to apply yourself that aren't just as a human shield - anyone can be that without any training!), Freak might work too if the emphasis is on gaining power and testing or surpassing ordinary human limits.

Just my two cents, of course. My read on the Mentor is that he is broadly benevolent, but often rather harsh and cold-blooded, and perhaps blinded to some degree by his convictions (and likely by the experience of the last few decades on Mainland).

Re: The Transformed

All that sounds good to me!

I have a bunch of ideas by this point, but it may be good to keep most of them secret for now to preserve the surprise.

That said, one thing that comes to mind is that New Atlantis enjoys some sort of supernatural protection. (The more experienced superheroes and magicians know this - the average schoolboy or indeed adult citizen probably wouldn't, simply because it's pretty obscure and over most mundane people's heads.) It is mysterious and somewhat unreliable/inconsistent in how it operates, but it has put a hamper on some of the more grandiose magical attack plans against the city. Spells that could have done a lot of damage have gone awry or backfired, massive portals to other dimensions have fizzled and collapsed prematurely, that sort of thing.

So a pool of Shadow magic showing up in an alley is... concerning. At best, it means it's another exception to the rules, which in turn means that it's basically harmless. Or maybe it's a sign that the protection is failing. Or someone has found a loophole. Maybe it gets patched up... but a being of living shadow magic, who also happens to be a native denizen of Earth, would be another such loophole.

There is much that could be done with that possibility, I think.

Also, I'm thinking Shadow Magic is generally somewhat obscure as far as magical traditions go. Some people have called on it over the years, but it's not really something most superheroes would be on the lookout for, let alone any mundane authorities. Until a magician gets involved, most people may as well think the boy's innate powers awakened or... something.
PSinha
 player, 7 posts
Mon 26 Jul 2021
at 06:46
Character Workshop - PSinha
Re: The Protégé

1) Becoming the best at the techniques & practices of plain martial arts
2) Accessing supernatural abilities, of the psychic variety, via mastery of martial arts
3) Learning how to use your natural gifts to complement your prowess in martial arts

quote:
The pursuit of power is an end in itself, but it does not liberate one from moral obligations to use it to help out.

I like how this has been phrased here.

Eventually, yes. But not now.

The idea of denying Saviour sounds pretty good. If you take what superhero types consider "doing good", the Mentor's philosophy certainly appears to be holding back away from that. I can accept this.

I cannot pick Embodies. You make good points for both of them. I am leaning towards the Freak reasoning just a bit, though.

Yeah, you have the idea right with the Mentor. A huge, muscular man with wrinkles and a white beard. An exterior and demeanor like stone, and just as set in his ways. Yet he holds a decent amount of compassion and sense of righteousness, rarely as they may appear.

Re: The Transformed

That is an interesting situation. Who placed this protection on the city? Was it one of the Guiding Lights, or a natural result of the geography?
The intrigue and spookiness added to the appearance of the portal is great.

Sure thing, we can keep Shadow Magic obscure if you think that will lead to a better story. It certainly means a lot of questions will remain unanswered till the perfect dramatic opportunity shows up.


As per your message in the Break Room, I will fill up the sheets for the characters as we have them now, and you can tell me if you want me to send them here.
I wonder which players' threads I should join in on... Maybe I should read up on the one trying out for The Doomed.

This message was last edited by the player at 06:46, Mon 26 July.

Master of Games
 GM, 59 posts
Mon 26 Jul 2021
at 07:53
Character Workshop - PSinha
The protection is one of the mysteries. One might assume the Guiding Lights did this, they surely have at least one magician among them. Then again, like the island itself, it seems just a bit beyond their usual means - so maybe it's something else. It was active from the earliest days of the city at least.

Please post the sheets here. They're part of the character creation process, after all. I'm likely to have some further questions or comments, and having the sheets in the thread would make it easier.
PSinha
 player, 8 posts
Mon 26 Jul 2021
at 18:02
Character Workshop - PSinha
Initially I thought I would share both the worksheets together, but I am not done with The Protégé. I'm not quite sure how to answer their questions yet, but something will come up. Till then, for your reference, here is The Transformed.

Hero Name: (not yet decided)
Real Name: William "Billy" Blake

• Who were you before?
"Just a regular kid. I used to have friends, and go to school, and go to the arcade, and... I don't have any of that now. Not even Tom, my best friend, hangs out with me anymore. Nobody would call me 'creepy' or 'dangerous' before my body changed. Because I was a good kid, and I don't like doing bad things. Mom says I'm still a good boy, but I can see that she is acting weird lately."

• When did you change? What caused it?
"I dunno... Um, I think there was an alley. I don't know what alley. Let's talk about something else."

While exploring his neighborhood in New Atlantis, Billy entered a dark alley and fell into a strange pool. This pool was in fact a portal to the Estate in Shadow that had mysteriously opened there. Billy went through an experience similar to drowning, and when he woke up in the alley his body had transformed into a construct of shadow and darkness. The event was traumatizing enough for him to unconsciously place a mental block on it.

• Who, outside of the team, is helping you understand your new body?
"Nobody, really. Mom asks me about it sometimes when I figure something out, but most of the time she tries to act like nothing is wrong and I look just fine. And no, I don't look fine, but at least I can check how normal I look by her reaction. I like that she lets me act like I'm a normal kid at home, but I don't stick around a lot because it feels strange."

• Why don’t you just try to hide yourself away?
"Sometimes I do that when I'm feeling bad. I look so weird, and it always sucks when people look at me. But I can't make new friends if I keep hiding. And I won't learn about my body either. If I'm not doing anything then I am not a kid, I'm just shadow settling in a corner, like a ghost or something. And I don't want that at all. No, I am a human."

• Why do you care about the team?
"They hang out with me even though I look like this. And when I do cool things with the shadows they cheer me on even if it spooks them. It's really dangerous, what I can do, but these guys have powers of their own so it's a little safer. It would be so nice if everyone accepted me like they do."

Transformed Moves
I am Not my Body
Wish I could Be
Be the Monster
Master of Games
 GM, 63 posts
Tue 27 Jul 2021
at 04:51
Character Workshop - PSinha
Hmm... how old do you think Billy is?

And how much time has passed since the change?

Also, is there anything about a father, or did he just grow up with his mom and never give it much of a second thought?

This message was last updated by the GM at 04:52, Tue 27 July.

PSinha
 player, 9 posts
Tue 27 Jul 2021
at 06:14
Character Workshop - PSinha
Definitely on the younger side. Can I say twelve years old?

I'm more unsure about this. Considering that he won't talk about the incident and his mother doesn't want to push him too much, a rather large amount of time could have gone by without anything "narratively interesting" happening. Is there merit to making the gap long or short?
Let's start with two months.

Somehow it felt right for it to just be the two of them, mother and son. A lot of fiction gives characters like this just one parent. Do as you may with the father, I say he died long ago.


By the way, teen superhero fiction has a whole lot of scenes of the heroes having their own scenes, right? I mean that, the team is not joint by the hip, and for example Robin talking with Batman would be an extended scene with Cyborg or Beast Boy nowhere in sight. How are scenes like that played out when the characters have players behind them? Having everyone go silent while the GM and one player act it out probably won't do, but having separate threads muddles the story order. What are your thoughts on this matter?
Master of Games
 GM, 67 posts
Tue 27 Jul 2021
at 07:43
Character Workshop - PSinha
The default age range is 16-20. Personally, I think as low as 14 is fine, but 12 may be stretching it a bit. Though it does fit the voice more. I'll give it some more thought, but in the meantime, do you think it'd work if he were a bit older?

I haven't fully decided how I'll handle them yet, but it's safe to assume that separate scenes will occur from time to time. They are admittedly tricky for the reasons you describe, but I think they are necessary for character growth, plus to pursue threads that may not be convenient in main threads. Maybe I'll alternate character interludes and team threads.

EDIT: Forgot about the gap. As I see it, a longer gap means the following:
 - More time for Billy to adjust and learn about his powers - something he naturally seems at least a little curious about;
 - The pool has been around for longer, with all of its troubling implications;
 - Various occult characters and factions will have more of a chance to notice that something supernatural is amiss, even if they do not realise the specific issue.

A smaller gap may be better, really. No need to rush any of those things - may be more interesting if more of those developments happen during play.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:49, Tue 27 July.

PSinha
 player, 10 posts
Tue 27 Jul 2021
at 10:09
Character Workshop - PSinha
I could age him up if you prefer that. It will need me to change his voice as you said but in the long run that will be a fun character too. I don't want to make him an edgy teenager though, luckily we have Cyborg (from the Teen Titans anime) as inspiration for a non-edgy Transformed.

Let's keep it a smaller gap, you make sense. Take your pick on the time.
Master of Games
 GM, 70 posts
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 11:30
Character Workshop - PSinha
I think it'd be better to age him up to 14, yes. Certainly no need to make him edgy. Two months seem fine for the gap - everything is still new to him, for better or worse, and he may not be on anyone's radar... probably.

I had some more thoughts re: the Protégé.

I think the school was probably created as an adaptation of ancient Shaolin (the source of all kung fu or so I'm told) martial arts teachings to the Super Age. A common narrative around older martial arts in our world is that they used to be more important to both warfare and self-defence, but modern weapons edged them out, causing most martial arts traditions to become more "for show". The Super Age has redressed the balance, showing that exceptionally talented or well-trained individuals can go up against modern weapons and win.

The Mentor seeks a return to the roots. His students are meant to be serious warriors, not exhibition athletes. As warriors, they also have a responsibility to protect their communities. Paradoxically, this return to roots also includes a more flexible and pragmatic attitude. If you are training for real combat rather than for show, it is not enough to study the ancient forms. You must also adapt to the threats and uncommon potentials of the world we live in, and be prepared to borrow from other martial arts traditions as well.

Feel free not to use that or to change it, though - that's just something that popped into my head after some related reading. This is a good example of the narratives I'm talking about: https://www.6dragonskungfu.com...onks-vs-modern-ones/

Another thing - are you still thinking of going with a rival martial arts group based in New Atlantis? Any ideas for them, if you are?
PSinha
 player, 11 posts
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 14:51
Character Workshop - PSinha
Done, I will start thinking of Billy like a 14 year old now.

That's an insteresting area to explore. I can see the Mentor having that line of thinking for his disciples.

But while all this makes sense in the world at large, how will it work out for the game? If the city dwellers and the other heroes still respect martial arts as a legitimate skill, these ideas will be downplayed or even ignored.

I had mentioned the possibility of a rival school, but I am now not sure this will bring anything of value to the story. Being villains alone doesn't cut it, they would need to have a conflicting philosophy.
PSinha
 player, 12 posts
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 16:15
Character Workshop - PSinha
Hey, how do you personally feel about the two characters we are working with?

I only just saw the tally in the Break Room. The Protégé, Beacon & Delinquent have 3 picks each while all the other playbooks have just one pick. I'm feeling a block with the Protégé but we have gotten quite far with the Transformed.

Certainly I can continue work on the latter if you think it's a good pick, but at this stage how do they look?

The rule book does say you should have have only one of any particular playbook. How do you think my Protégé compares to the other two?
Master of Games
 GM, 78 posts
Wed 28 Jul 2021
at 22:22
Character Workshop - PSinha
Well, neither of those other characters is guaranteed to be a Protégé. I am still waiting to hear some more from their players, but Sleepy Boy was leaning Delinquent, and I had some doubts about whether it's the right playbook for TDM7 (who was in any case also willing to go with something else if someone wanted one of those playbooks, from what I understand).

So far, I'd say that your Protégé idea is the most developed one of the three. That said, if you'd rather focus on the Transformed, that would be fine too. We have come up with plenty of useful hooks and details for both, I think. Still, if the Protégé is trickier for you to write, we can always just leave that for some later time.

That said, as far as the standing of martial arts in New Atlantis goes, nothing is set in stone. Unless you prefer it to be different, I think that people in New Atlantis, with all their (relatively more common) magic and advanced technology and superpowers, may tend to underestimate martial arts precisely because those newer teachings haven't made their way there yet. Thus, sending the disciple there makes sense - he would show them what martial arts can do with the right approach, before settling down to spread those teachings directly. It'd add another layer to his mission - he is meant to impress people with his ability.
McS
 player, 9 posts
Thu 29 Jul 2021
at 03:11
Character Workshop - PSinha
Hey, I just wanted to say that I read your posts here and one caught my eye especially. The one regarding the opinion about your two potential characters. First I like them both but more importantly go with the one you think you would enjoy playing more whether it's the Protege or the Transformed. I know it's sometimes difficult not to worry about this sort of thing but I think you're doing great developing both of them. :)
PSinha
 player, 13 posts
Fri 30 Jul 2021
at 12:54
Character Workshop - PSinha
Hey, thanks for the encouragement! I will do as you say and play what I want. I liked your thread too, especially the idea of having a tragic mirror in the form of your character's brother.

As for this,
Master of Games:
That said, as far as the standing of martial arts in New Atlantis goes, nothing is set in stone.

It occurred to me that this games alternate history is set far back enough that we can imagine "kung-fu" never became a thing in Western pop culture. This would give us enough leeway for the point of superpowered beings not taking martial arts seriously and the Protégé and the Mentor wanting to prove its might.

But this is something that the other players will have to be asked to play along with.

Without further ado, here is the worksheet for The Protégé:

HERO NAME: Cyclone Burst
REAL NAME: Wu Chuanshou

SHARED ABILITY: Powerful Martial Arts
YOUR OWN ABILITY: Telepathy
YOUR MENTOR’S ABILITY: Full gamut of psychic powers

EMBODIES Superior
DENIES Savior

浤示 Oceanic Surge Revelation

• How did you first meet your mentor?
"I have known the Master since I was a kid. Back then the clan was just one modest dojo where he tried to spread the knowledge of Hongshi, the style he created. My parents, bless their souls, would often exchange pleasantries with him, since he was a good neighbor to have, if a little eccentric."

• When and why did you choose to train with them?
"I don't have memory of this, but my parents used to say that as a toddler I was really fond of the Master, and he would have play fights with me. Apparently he thought this was a sign of my affinity to martial arts. The opportunity to test that out came years later, when we fell into bad times. I would often be left at the dojo for days, and I decided to learn the art. Honestly, at that time I knew. I pleaded with the Master to train me in Hongshi, and he relented! There have been very few times that I have let him down since then."

• Why did they agree to train you?
"The Master must have been fond of me, but he still put me through the wringer with a bunch of generic athletic & mental tests. I don't think he wanted me to get it on the first try; he just wanted to see if I could push on. Later, when my parents perished in the market fires incident, the Master probably decided to let me stay so I could have a home, although he denies it. The original dojo really did turn into my home."

• Who else, outside of the team, knows about your training?
"Mister Chang, the man I'm staying with. I was quite lucky to find him. We met at the airport and got to talking. He's Chinese too, but has been staying in New Atlantis for many years. He seemed quite interested in my talk about the Hongshi style. Anyway, that talk ended in him letting me stay at his place. I tried teaching him some basics, he seemed to catch on a little."

• Why do you care about the team?
"They have so many different views. There is much I can learn from them. The way they seem to love saving people and doing the supposed 'right thing' is so curious. I wonder if there is any merit to doing more than required. In any case, I'm sticking with these guys because they give me a fresh perspective on power."

Protégé Moves
Actually I have a question here. How do we decide who will be the leader of the team? If it comes up naturally in roleplay that's fine, but are the players, separate of the characters, going to have any input?
Master of Games
 GM, 84 posts
Sat 31 Jul 2021
at 01:21
Character Workshop - PSinha
I would quite like cultural differences to appear in this world, enhancing the alternate history feel of the setting. Though you are right, that can be a little difficult to coordinate.

The fad for kung-fu seems to have started in the 1970s, and I can easily see the War derailing that. Mind you, even if Eastern martial arts are popular, they may well be underestimated in a world of superpowers.

Powers-wise, the playbook specifies that both the master and the pupil have an ability that is uniquely theirs in addition to their shared ability. The pupil having telepathy while the master has all psychic powers including telepathy would seem to go against that somewhat. I'll think about it some more, as I'm not sure how essential that is to the playbook's concept, but it may be better to change either or both powers? It would presumably be enough for your master to have telepathy to be able to contact you - or is it important to your character concept?

Dojo is a Japanese term. Probably better to call it a kwoon?

Did you decide where your character and the Master are from exactly? If not Mainland China, Hong Kong? Taiwan? The diaspora?

A few more details about Chang might be useful, like his age and occupation. No need to get too in-depth, though.

The players are typically asked to decide who the leader is when entering combat. It doesn't have to be the same person, and it may not be something the characters have agreed on officially - it's enough if everyone is following the lead of one person in particular during the fight. Of course, the characters can simply agree to follow someone beforehand, though things don't always turn out that smoothly...
PSinha
 player, 14 posts
Sat 31 Jul 2021
at 10:54
Character Workshop - PSinha
I can't help but feel weird about that requirement. Why must they have exclusive abilities? Going by that rule, you couldn't make a worksheet for Robin under the Protégé, and he's (Dick) probably the most famous Protégé in all of comics.

But yeah, I just gave them telepathy so that they could communicate with the Master. I will think of a separate ability for them in that case, since I can say the Master established a mental link between the two with his own powers.

Oh no, that's a faux pas by me. Thanks, it's kwoon.

I did think of mainland China specifically. I would have even tried to pick a specific region in the mainland but I wasn't able to make time for that. Similarly with Mr Chang. I thought it would be neat to put him a separate part of the mainland itself, but didn't think of where.

Mr Chang is in his late thirties. So he would be quite younger than the Master, but quite older than Cyclone Burst. He does some boring desk job that leaves him out of the house for a big part of the day. He's lean, but not very healthy. The random five minute Hongshi lessons he gets are the most physical activity he has done in years.

Leaders part: Understood.
Master of Games
 GM, 94 posts
Tue 3 Aug 2021
at 05:03
Character Workshop - PSinha
Honestly, it may be a bit difficult to make Batman there either, given the sheer amount of skills he possesses. I suppose it's a matter of emphasis, though. Perhaps Robin's unique ability is acrobatic skill - obviously Batman has that as well, but it is much more central to Robin. By that analogy, I actually wouldn't insist on having mutually exclusive powersets. However, whatever special ability you have should be important to the character.
PSinha
 player, 16 posts
Thu 5 Aug 2021
at 06:42
Character Workshop - PSinha
For their unique power, let's say they can infuse their attacks with water. Not water energy or something, actual water forms around their strikes than can splash and is subject to gravity. The water disappears after a few seconds. They can choose the water's temperature from a narrow range.

Cyclone Burst thinks it's a sign of their mastery over Hongshi that they unlocked this power, but the Master admits it's quite silly. A part of their narrative could be trying to do more with this meager ability, but it can also turn out useful in its present state during some very edge cases. In a way that would be their way of differentiating themselves from the Master.

Do tell me if this works or if I should rethink this.

That aside, what else would you like me to do? I think both playbooks are in a good spot, though maybe I should formalize Billy's age-up by rewording the worksheet. I noticed the others filled up their sheets, and they seemed good. Have you started shortlisting a team?
Master of Games
 GM, 109 posts
Thu 5 Aug 2021
at 22:07
Character Workshop - PSinha
That's actually a pretty interesting power and I can think of quite a few uses for it.  I would have allowed a stronger power as well, but it might be more fun to deal with it in this state and/or develop it further over time. So yes, that works.

I assume it's not much water, though perhaps the exact volume varies and depends on how forceful his strikes are?

I have what I need for both characters, though you can always rework/expand their questions. You wanted to add some more details for Cyclone Burst as well, no?

As for the first team, I do have some preliminary ideas. Still deciding, though, especially as there might be some last-moment additions/responses.
PSinha
 player, 17 posts
Fri 6 Aug 2021
at 16:07
Character Workshop - PSinha
The amount is certainly dependent on the force of the attack, though it would be comparable to the amount in a small bottle.



Here's a rewrite of The Transformed. It hits the same beats as the previous version; I have only cleaned up the dialogue to make him seem older.
I have also compiled some other discussions about the character all in one place.

Hero Name: Caliginous Flare
Real Name: William "Billy" Blake

Who were you before?
"I was just a regular, normal kid. I used to have a bunch of friends, and we would go to school, to the arcade, to the theatre together. And now I don't have any of that anymore. My best friend, Tom, doesn't hang out with me these days. I wouldn't say anybody had called me 'creepy' or 'dangerous' before my body changed. In fact, most people liked me, because I try to be a nice guy. I don't like being mean or cruel to anyone."

When did you change? What caused it?
"That's hard to say. Perhaps one could say there was an enigmatic alley in this city, that is concealed from the eyes of most. Who knows where. Ask me about something else."

Two months ago, while exploring the city of New Atlantis, Billy entered a dark alley and fell into a strange pool. This pool was in fact a portal to the Estate in Shadow that had mysteriously opened there. Billy went through an experience similar to drowning, and when he woke up in the alley his body had transformed into a construct of shadow and darkness. The event was traumatizing enough for him to unconsciously place a mental block on it.

Who, outside of the team, is helping you understand your new body?
"Nobody, really. My mother tries to act like nothing is wrong most of the time, though she does engage if I bring up the topic myself. Despite her charade, I can usually check how normal I look by her reaction. I do appreciate that she lets me act like I'm a normal teenager at home, but I don't stick around a lot because it truly feels weird to ignore these big changes."

Why don’t you just try to hide yourself away?
"That would just make me even less human. I'm not going to live my life like a shadow settling in a corner, or a ghost lurking in blind spots. Admittedly I do hide sometimes, when the looks and comments I get overwhelm me. It almost always sucks when people look at me for the first time. But that's the cowardly way, and I must fight it. I can't make new friends if I keep hiding. I can't find my path in life that way. Plus I have to learn more about my body."

Why do you care about the team?
"For one, they're the only people I can call friends at the moment. They're all in this for their own good reasons, and somehow they have accepted mine as valid too. Practically speaking their superpowers make me less scared of losing control. And it also feels really cool when they cheer on me using my shadow powers, even if it gives them the creeps. Honestly I'm just happy they accept me for who I am."

Transformation
Billy's whole body has transformed into a flux composed of smoke and shadows. His appearance makes him frightening at worst and unnerving at best to look at. He usually assumes a humanoid form, but that does little to hide the obvious differences in texture and color. He can change the shape of his body as may be required, from a large, dark armored figure, to a lithe beast of shadow, to an alien form of the night that spreads over every surface, and can freely rearrange the position of his external and internal organs throughout.

The Person Inside
Billy's demeanor is like one who has been chided too much for simply being his genuine self. He is innately kindhearted and excited to meet people, but he involuntarily projects a rough, offensive aura. The name picked, Caliginous Flare, is an attempt to associate himself with light, as he believes most people will focus on the word "flare".
He has always been close to his mother, but the changes to his body are driving an invisible wedge between them.
Billy enjoys reading and arcade games.

The Estate in Shadow
Users of the obscure school of shadow magic are aware that theirs is a borrowed power. Through controlled, restricted techniques, they make use of what the Estate in Shadow provides them, and in regular use this does not cause them any trouble.
Nobody knows for sure who or what resides within the Estate, or whether it is a true location at all.
Following the incident with the portal, Billy has become a living font of power. He is completely unaware of the concept or existence of the Estate in Shadow, but his fate may have turned him into a target for magic users who would like to unlock those restrictions.