Character Creation Tutorial. Ver. 1.03
–Ted Tunnell.


Basics:

This tutorial will show a new player how to create a UPB MSH character not only randomly, but gaining an idea of what the character is in the process. It will stress the importance of creating a character with a mental picture in mind during the process.
The first part of making a good character is to use their stats as a spring board. A really psychically week, yet intelligent character might have been the class nerd. Or perhaps an overly athletic person might have been a bully. Marvel is a game of Ranks, and each rank ascends as so: Shift0(Sh0), Feeble(Fe), Poor(Pr), Typical(Ty), Good(Gd) Excellent(Ex) Remarkable(Rm), Incredible(In), Amazing(Am), and Monstrous(Mn). There are higher ranks, but PC's generally do not get close to those and the chances are impossible low at the start. :)
Stats at Feeble and below are crippled or children. Say someone has a particularly high Intuition and Reason, but with a Feeble Psych they would be mentally handicapped. Alternatively, if all their mental stats are all nil, the person might be in some kind of comatose state and the character outside may be a dream warrior or something. If the opposite occurs, Fe to Pr stats in the FASE values, they would be considered psychically handicapped, and may use some form of robot or mental powers.
That's how you design a character from stats, each stat says something about the character. Next I'm going to roll a character using this design type.

Getting Started:

First I start with my Origin. (In MSH only 2d10 and a little use of our imaginations are needed to make a character.) I roll an 84, so, I'm a Robot: Useform

Usuform Robot:This is a robot that believes in the adage, "Form follows function." This robot's body is anything but human shaped and is designed to best serve specific needs. For the game's purposes, needs refers to Powers the usuform possesses.
Usuforms roll on column 4.
Sentient usuforms are often mistaken for mindless industrial robots; people usually look for a human controller hiding nearby. - Ultimate Power's Handbook.


Now I go down and roll his abilities on the given Collom reference, 4, on the following list. The original version is accessible in the UP, but for quick reference...


Rank Name
Start Rank
Mid Rank
Rank Range
1
2
3
4
5
Altered Being
Descendant
Feeble
1
2
1-2
01-05
01-05
01-05
01-05
01-10
01-03
01-10
Poor
3
4
3-4
06-10
06-25
06-10
06-10
11-20
04-10
11-18
Typical
5
6
5-7
11-20
26-75
11-40
11-15
21-30
11-40
19-30
Good
8
10
8-15
21-40
78-95
41-80
16-40
31-40
41-65
31-55
Excellent
16
20
16-25
41-60
96-00
81-95
41-50
41-60
66-85
56-85
Remarkable
26
30
26-35
61-80
--
96-00
51-70
61-70
86-95
86-90
Incredible
36
40
36-45
81-96
--
--
71-90
71-80
96-00
91-98
Amazing
46
50
46-62
97-00
--
--
91-98
81-95
--
99-00
Monstrous
63
75
63-87
--
--
--
99-00
96-00
--
--
  • = Altered Being and Descendent are personalized for my games, any and all other character types should be rolled according to the UPB.

And I rolled the following...

Fig: Gd
Agi: Ex
Str: In
End: Rm
Rea: In
Ind: Ex
Psy: Gd

And that's how my stats fill out. Now I look at each and figure out if I can get a boost from my Origin, nope, so now I work on what details about my character each stat says, to help fill out my mental picture of him.

Fig: Gd<Not too bad, he can probably hold his own in a battle.>
Agi: Ex<He's got some ok dodging abilitys.>
Str: In<He can lift about 10 tons, so he's pretty strong, and will be pretty good at hand to hand.>
End: Rm<Nicely built and well put together over all.>
Rea: In<He's very intelligent, his mind is locked in his metal body.>
Ind: Ex<He's not a perfect detective, but he likes a good mystery.>
Psy: Gd<He's about average from any stand point.>


I'm not entirely using my imagination, I keep handy an updated copy of the description of Ranks available in the Judge's handbook. But using my mind and creativity to link it together. But again, for simplicity sake, I'll put it at the end of the tutorial.
Now I'll need to figure out a few of the more detailed things, each rank has it's own numerical amount, which for starting characters is the lowest per Rank.

Fig: Gd 8
Agi: Ex 16
Str: In 36
End: Rm 26
Rea: In 36
Ind: Ex 26
Psy: Gd 8


Health, Mental Health, Karma, Money, and Fame:

Using these values I come up with two stats, his Health Points and starting Karma. From now it's divided into FASE for Health and RIP for Karma. I add the two groups together to get the following. Another Custom for my game is Mental Health, using the same formula for Karma, this is the character’s ability to sustain a sane mind against mental attacks.

Health: 86/86
Mental Health: 70/70
Karma: 70


Next I've got to come up with two more stats Resources and Popularity. Resources accounts for the kind of living standards the character has, assuming any but Shift 0 can feed and support them selves, while above Ty can afford a life style above normal. Popularity is a combination of physical appearance, how charming a person is, and how well known they are. Thus it is directly affected by crime like actions, and in my universe, affected very little by heroic acts. Unlike the book, I assign these based on character type, background, and eventual start. By now I've kinda got an idea for my robot, so I assign them like so.

Resources: Ty 5
Popularity: Gd (8)


Weaknesses:

Now that I've got all the character info and since I am the GM, I continue on rolling his weakness. I use the standard formate available in the UPB and get the following, Energy Dampening... Incapacitates him... forever. So I want to stick away from EMPs, as according to the book it would likely cause him to overload and need to repair himself for about a week and a half.
Now having figured all that out, it's time for the....

Superpowers:

First I roll on the pre chart to determine the number of powers, talents, and contacts my character has. I score pretty good with a 90, which gives me 9/12, 4/8. and 4/4. With that down, it's time to roll for a super power... This takes two more rolls for each, one on the general chart, and the second to narrow it down.... 7, 98.... Which points me to UV Vision, not a bad power. I note the extra info I'll need from it's description and roll once more on the 4th rank collom to determines the rank – Gd – and now I'm all set for that power.
Since I"m doing hand made, I go take a look and see if I can get a bonus or optional power. At the start of the power section it explains about bonus and optional powers. Bonuses automatically take the next available slot, and optional powers can take the next slot.
None there, so I continue on, rolling Illusion-Casting. Which actually takes two spots(So I now have a max of 8 starting powers). I roll his rank as In, and head on to the description, gathering any important data and weather or not I want to take a power it might give me. This has a few optional powers, since I only see one(Telescopic Vision) seems to fit my idea for my character, I take a look at it's description and see if it furthers my hero's description.
After doing so I come to the conclusion that it's probably a good addition to him, and takes the next slot(With a fresh dice roll for it's rank.)
The next power I roll is Missile Creation, a good match for what I've already got. I repeat the process of searching it's info for other powers and find it's combinable with other powers, so I might design my bot around that idea, using his Illusion Casting would give him Ghostcasters, which create the missiles upon impact. Or I might get another power later that would fit nicely with this and use that instead. Two or three different missiles may be called for! Now that I've given some good examples, I think I'll skip detailing the next few rolls and give the break down.

UV Vision (Gd):
+1cs in Fog and Water, -2cs in blindingly strong high UV sources<Black Light and Radiation.>
Illusion-Casting (In):
Must be in line of sight.
Telescopic vision (Gd):
-1cs to movement class while in use.#
Missile Creation (In):
Stun Missiles at In
Combinable with Illusion Casting for Ghostcasters (In).
Berserker (Pr:3):
Gains Iron Will at Pr(And rank Number) while Berserker in use. Lasts for combat +10 turns.
Natural Weaponry (In)
Matalic claws on each hand. +36 to damage with Weps, -36 to Fighting when without the claws
X-Ray Emission (Am)
Ray beam set in his left arm.
Lung Adaptability (Ex)
Robo's make is such that very few atmospheres affect him, but he has no sense of taist or smell.


Well it took awhile to finally finish off my powers, and as the GM I took some extra time to remove a couple powers I didn't think fit. Over all he has more powers then I usually allow for one character, so if he were a PC I'd probably cut a few powers out completely, like the Illusion casting(as it seems some what excess). But only if the player and I felt the same way on a power. Over all I am happy with the powers, so I'll go ahead and make a short description of how his robotic body comes into play with it. Knowing his ability scores, and his powers, I can now get a good picture of what everything would look like together. At first I started with the thought of a giant robot from a Japanese sci-fi show, now I'm starting to picture something a little more unique, perhaps more ape like, which would agree with a lot of his stats, and makes more since then some other things. ;) I explain his powers as well like this, but there isn't any need to do so unless your asked or want to yourself.

Robo is designed like an African gorilla, his arms are about four times as big as a humans, while his legs are rougly the same. His body is entirely grey with patches of red and dark blue Robo's eyes can see high into the UV spectrum, and he has a much longer vision range then normal bots or humans. Robo isn't quick to anger unless he is in deep stress, but when he is WATCH OUT! Robo was built with large claws on each hand that give him unbelievable fighting power. Robo's construction allows him to use other forms of gas to cool his internal systems. Over his left soldier he is equipped with a simulation projector, that allows him to create detailed illusions. On his large right arm is a large missile launcher that can launch energy missiles. From his left arm he can fire a destructive blast of X-Ray radiation.

Well I'm happy so far with my new creation, and to my knowledge there has never been a holographic making, missile creating, X-Ray blaster equipped robotic ape ever created before.

Talents:

Now that I have that all finished, I'll talk a bit about talents and their effect. I have quite a few(4) to spend. If he were human, I'd feel the need to give him a useful talent, but since Robo, obviously can't do office work for a living, I'll take a bi line from the UPB and make him an actor, His background won't be too long, I'll give him a kid's day time show, and one of his contacts will be his handler(No one else knows about Robo's unorthodox creation or that he isn't actually a large paper weight. To cut out some time, I'll random his roll other talents using Zan's CG.

Acting
First Aid
Thrown Objects
Computers


I figure those will come in handy... First aid might come into play, since he's probably watched it once or twice during his show, he's learned it well enough to show another human how to do it. Thrown Objects gives him the ability to toss minor objects like daggers, but in his case he could toss a car with little trouble. Being a robot, I'm sure he knows how to use computers better then most humans.
In Marvel, all Talents act as +1 to their relevant skill set, so say Acting would likely add to Intuition, First Aid to Reason, Computers to Reason and Thrown Objects to Strength.
Well, that's it for the personal ability's.

Contacts:

This is basically whose who in this character's life, often it changes and doesn't stay the same way long, in this case though, he'll probably keep these characters close. He gets the max(4) he can have with this roll, that's not bad but who can a robotic ape possibly know that would give him credit? Anyway, I already know one has to be his handler, so a Mechanical Puppeteer named Micheal Furidos sounds good. I'll use the same method I used for the talents to fill his other slots.

Mechanical Puppiteer(Micheal Furidos)
Detective(Phillip Costa)
Electronics(Jack Gray)
Occult Lore(Blake Shade)


Well I was thrown a couple curve balls, it looks like a few people have figured out what Robo really is eh, First a local detective who was looking for a little girl last seen at public appearance couldn't help but notice how the ape seemed more life like then possible. Then an electrification who made the mistake of working on the wrong robot. I also threw in a character reference for my brother's PC, Blake is a mage and occult expert in the area of England, it might be a stretch but it sounds pretty provable considering he's also a quite hero in my universe. I'll say he ran into him on a case and made quick ties after helping him out. This also brings up something, A contact may or may not consider your character a contact, depending on who the contact is. Each PC does have the right to list his fellow members as contacts, or rather the group if more comfortable with that. But if a member leaves for a length of time it would be nice to know you could count on him in a pinch.

Looks:

Next I'll do a little back stepping, I intentionally left this step out before(since it would be odd to figure up my weight without a picture of what exactly he looked like. But a good time to do the height, weight, skin, and hair is just after the character's resources and popularity.

Height: 7'5"
Weight: 600lbs.
Hair: none
Skin: none


History:

I'm two steps from completing my Robotic creation, one of the last things is a good history, explaining why he isn't just another prop.

Robo, or Acrorobo the Ape of steal started his metallic life just like every other one of Micheal's creations, on a drawing board. He was contracted for a pilot Saturday morning live action show staring a large robot, the design was up to Micheal, and some how it just came together in the form of a gorilla. One night in the studio lot, a strange energy like being appeared near Robo's empty shell. The creature, deeply wounded, used the very last of his energy to bring the robotic figure to life. He explained that he was from another dimension, and was close to his demise, struck down by an enemy that had completely conquered his home dimension. He feared that the evil creatures might follow him to this realm, and hoped that the gorilla bot could stop them. Even as Robo begin grabbing an idea of what exactly had just happened, the strange creature disappeared from existence.
Micheal was the first to discover his creature, which in remarkable style greeted him with billions of questions. It wasn't long until the creatures did appear on Earth, and Robo just barely managed to stop them. Since then, Robo, with Micheal's help has been doing good deeds through out Hollywood.


Interesting history eh? Defiantly one of my favorites now.

Personality:

The last thing I'll add is a personality. Every character has a personality, but without a reference, I might start playing it differently each time. I only add a few key words that keep him around a center line as reference.

Robo is mostly child like, he barely understands humanity, and their need for violence is inconceivable to him. He isn't prone to anger, but when something truly enrages him, he will lash out without mercy for his enemy. He keeps very little private to his friends, but only those who distinguish themselves as friends to his friends will ever be told about him.

In Closing:

Well that's it, if you haven't got the idea by now, I'd give up playing RPGs and go back to Candyland. :P It's not hard with a little dedication and implementing of a few memories or life around you. Keep in mind two things, PCs are your creation, so you can put as much or as little detail in them as you want. And of course, you should always talk to your GM about things you don't understand.

Altered Beings:
The hero was involved in an experiment to increase his natural ability through genetic alterations. Using genetic samples from unknown sources, the hero has been changed at his base genetic code. The first generations of Altered Beings were unstable, and quite often ended in a short life. Many US ABs are considered property of the government, raised from birth, soldiers in the army, or volunteers. AB genetic alterations will generally skip 1 generation and be passed on to a grandchild. Boost wise, 1860-1950 ABs receive +2 Ranks to one ability score, but -30 maximum age. 1951-Today ABs receive +1 rank to 2 abilities, but Psych is lowered by 2 ranks. 75% of these ABs will be ASGERD agents, 15% will have a criminal record, and 10% will be rouge agents. Later day ABs receive 1 extra power slot.

Descendants:
This hero was born to a linage of Altered Beings. At some point in the past the hero's ancestors(likely a grandparent) had their genetic code Altered. The hero is literally born with his powers, unlike a mutant these genes are active from the moment of inception. Descendants are superior to their AB Ancestors, and are usually more adapt at handling their powers, and hiding for that matter. Unlike ABs, Descendent's do not suffer the mental disheartening of being a 'property'. They typically lean more toward a heroic stance. They also fit better into society, and usually hide their powers untill they have came of age to become a hero. Although it is believed by the general populace that Descendants have little restraint over their super powers, they have more have more control and better understanding of them then ABs. Boost wise, Descendants receive +1 ranks to 2 Fase and +1 to one RIP. Descendants may also experience random activations of an as yet undiscovered ability at a future point(Only the GM is privy to when this may or may not happen.) Descendants receive 1 extra Talent slot.

FIGHTING
AGILITY
Fe
No training or ability: Children, Elderly, Disabled.
Fe
Phsyically limited.
Pr
No formal training.
Pr
Physically inhibited.
Ty
Normal human.
Ty
Normal Human.
Gd
Some training.
Gd
Some training in dexterity.
Ex
Formally trained.
Ex
Olympic hopeful.
Rm
Superior talent.
Rm
Olympic athlete.
In
Superior talent with training.
In
Olympic gymnast; maximum human potential
Am
Maximum human potential.
Am
Superhuman reflexes.
Mn
Super-human ability without training.
Mn
Superhuman reflexes and advance training
STRENGTH
ENDURANCE
Fe
Lift 30 lbs.
Fe
Reduced or impaired ability.
Pr
Lift 70 lbs.
Pr
Limited physical exercise.
Ty
Lift 180 lbs.
Ty
Occasional exercise.
Gd
Lift 300 lbs.
Gd
Moderate exercise.
Ex
Lift 600 lbs.
Ex
Regular exercise.
Rm
Lift 1 ton.
Rm
Intensive exercise.
In
Lift 10 ton.
In
Enhanced abilities.
Am
Lift 50 tons.
Am
Enhanced and trained abilities.
Mn
Lift 80 tons.
Mn
Rarely tires, great fortitude.
REASON
INTUITION
Fe
Poor grasp on language.
Fe
Unaware of surroundings, limited or impaired senses
Pr
May utilize 1990 technology.
Pr
A little slow on the uptake.
Ty
May utilize current technology with limited ability.
Ty
Normal humans.
Gd
May utilize current technology with skill.
Gd
Above average Intuition
Ex
Near genius.
Ex
Fine eye for details.
Rm
Genius-level intelligence.
Rm
Detective skills or backround.
In
Genius-level intelligence, may utilize alien technology.
In
Almost Superhuman Intuition.
Am
Genius-level intelligence, may re-create alien technology
Am
Supernatural Intuition.
Mn
Genius-level intelligence, may improove alien technology.
Mn
Senses beyond belief, spirital sensitive from birth.
PSYCHE
Fe
Easily dominated.
Rm
Trained to resist mentalist
Pr
Young, untrained or hampered in will.
In
Well trained to resist constant mental attacks.
Ty
Normal human.
Am
Almost indomitable will power.
Gd
Ressistant to ordinary mesmerism.
Mn
Intensely trained to resist any form of mental attacks.
Ex
Some experience with mental controlers.