Archive for September, 2012

The Guardians: Thunder

Posted in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Roleplaying Games, RPG, The Guardians with tags , , , , on September 18, 2012 by Chall

In Marvel lore mutants are especially persecuted in China. With Zheng’s story I wanted to reflect this while not portraying everyone in the Chinese Government as bigoted against mutants. There are good and bad eggs everywhere and I hope Thunder’s background exemplifies this. Ultimately I think this approach fits the Mighty Marvel way; after all even Captain America clashes with his government from time to time.


Solo:  D8  Buddy:  D10 Team: D6 


  • Heaven’s Roar
  • Web Of Treasured Secrets
  • Hardened Soul, Gentle Spirit

Power Sets

Yang Sonics

Enhanced Durability: D10, Enhanced Strength: D10, Thunder Clap: D12


  • Full Power!: Step up any Yang Sonics but then shut it down the next turn until you spend 1 PP to reabsorb enough sound.
  • Area Affect for Thunder Clap


  • Shut Down: Thunder Clap will shut down all Yang Sonics  until 1 PP is spent to absorb enough ambient sound. Silence at its full effect must be used for 1 action when reactivating Yang Sonics.
  • Vulnerable: While at rest, for 1 PP, the Guide can rule that Yang Sonics is shut down. Zheng doesn’t have his powers active 24/7.
  • Growing Dread: 1s and 2s count as opportunities when using Thunder Clap, gain 1 PP.
  • Mutant: Gain 1 PP when persecuted for being a mutant.

Yin Sonics

Enhanced Hearing: D10, Mimic Sounds: D10, Silence: D10


  • Absorb Direct Sonic Attacks: Can be used to boost either power set.
  • Area Silence: Silence can be used in an area.


  • Hush: Full Silence must be used when absorbing sound, 1 PP if this results in difficulties.

*Mimic Sound allows Thunder to mimic any earthly noise, some cosmic and occult sounds are beyond him. Silence cancels out noise. Use it to to block sonic attacks, stop arguments or aid in Stealth.


Acrobatic: D8, Combat: D8, Covert: D8,  Crime: D10, MenaceD8


Son of The Atom

  • 1 XP: Use your powers to aid someone in a significant way.
  • 3 XP: Your actions change an individual or group’s view of mutants.
  • 10 XP: Your actions result in a radical shift of Chinese Mutant policy for good or for ill.

Friends In Need:

  • 1 Xp: Discover that your contact, Ghost Child, was affected by Xi’an’s disaster.
  • 3 Xp: Save her from harm.
  • 10 XP: Save Ghost Child while simultaneously protecting her from the Mutant Task Force.


Du  Zheng was 16 when a corrupt superintendent hurt his mother. Zheng shouted and blew him 30 meters out of their fifteenth story apartment. Thus began Zheng’s life on the run.

CAPF’s (the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force) Mutant Task Force hounded him for the next 17 years. Cleverness, luck and street smarts kept Zheng safe. He learned to survive on the streets and the wilderness, he forged underground contacts and allied himself with other hidden mutants.

To survive he resorted to everything from theft to defending himself with lethal force. However, he never sunk to true lows such as kidnapping or murder.

Slowly he built a life for himself. He knew people who could watch his back and others came to rely on him. He gained an extensive ‘family’ of contacts and fellow survivors that stretched across China.

Two years ago everything changed. Zheng was living in Changsha when it was struck by a massive earthquake. He was lucky and pulled through with nary a scratch, others however were not so fortunate.

Zheng’s first instinct was to flee but seeing the wreckage and suffering before him; fire rampantly spreading, children trapped in buildings, the wounded crawling and crying for help he hesitated. Then seeing regular folks, men and women who had pulled through much worse than he, lend a hand moved him to action.

The sounds of sirens and human misery hushed across the city as Zheng absorbed them into himself, making him strong. He then used that strength to help those in need; even if he had to tear through buildings to do so.

Everyone who saw Zheng knew him to be a mutant, in fact a Mutant Task Force who’d been tracking him spotted him immediately. However, no one cried in fear, no one sneered in contempt; Zheng was saving lives and that was enough. In fact the people’s cheers kept him strong.

Once the crisis was over the Task Force moved in but didn’t get to far. Ruan Wu the Governor of Hunan Province swept in and cheerfully offered to take care of this mutant devil with a Heroes feast. Judging the mood of the crowd the Task Force officers wisely agreed to leave the matter to Wu.

Wu became Zheng’s patron and kept the CAPF at bay for a few months, all the while letting Zheng rest in his manor.  When the Guardian initiative was enacted shortly thereafter it was Wu’s push that got Zheng a place. He accepted Guardianship which in turn  protected him and his secrets from the Mutant Task Force.

Personality and Appearance

Zheng’s the strong silent type. He works hard and takes pride in simply doing his best.

He won’t speak of his old life to anyone for fear of risking his contacts. He’s loyal to a fault and this also means won’t betray the Guardians. Thankfully his loyalties have yet to be torn on either side.

Zheng’s ashamed of the crimes he committed on the run and sees Guardianship as the best way to atone.

He’s worried about his mother, the only family he has. He spends the lion-share of his free time trying to track her down but so far has had no luck.

Zheng’s a powerful man in his 30’s. He has a serious but handsome face and short cropped black hair. He’s tanned from years of working outside. His costume is simply a gray muscle shirt with the I Ching Trigram ‘Chen the Arousing (Shock Thunder)’ emblazoned on the front and back. He also wears naturally ripped jeans and ass-kicker steel toe boots.

Abilities and Resources

Zheng’s mutation allows him to absorb sound to make himself tougher and stronger much like the Super Villian Klaw. When he does this everything around him quiets to a whisper. He then holds this power in and for a few minutes can bend steel with his bare hands and shrug off bullets.

Zheng can also release all of  his power in one go, either by clapping his hands or shouting. This creates a massive shockwave capable of taking out an unprepared Sentinel.

Zheng’s also mastered the subtler aspects of his mutation. If he focuses he can give himself extremely sensitive hearing. He can also manipulate sound waves to mimic other sounds.

Zheng’s still great friends with Ruan Wu. While Wu isn’t the most powerful man in China he has a vast array of contacts of which he’s willing to make use of in Zheng’s aid. It’s rumored that old man Wu sees Zheng as the son he never had.

Party Integration

Wong Fei Hung: A true legend. You’re honored to work beside him.

Sun Wukong: You loved Sun Wukong as a kid. In person he’s. . . powerful but disappointing. You expected him to be more responsible.

Yi the Archer: She’s a good friend and a great hero.

Summoner: She’s crafty and clever. You don’t trust her but duty requires you work with her.

The Guardians: Summoner

Posted in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Roleplaying Games, RPG, The Guardians with tags , , , , on September 14, 2012 by Chall

The Guardian’s have three mystic characters, a bit much I think. Therefore I’m adding a genius scientist and a mutant to the team.

This is the genius scientist. She’s arrogant, bold and a little crazy; she’ll fit right in with Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Victor Von Doom.

I didn’t know it at the time but with this character I’ve ported Azula into my game.


Solo:  D10  Buddy:  D6  Team: D8 


  • Techno Witch
  • Sponsored Genius
  • Fascinated By Compassion

Power Sets

Summoner System

Teleport To Lab: D10, Summon From Lab: D10, Summon From Vehicle Bay: D10, Lighting Blast: D8, Fire Blast: D8, Water Blast: D8, Teleport Self: D8, Teleport Other: D8, Guardian Lab: D10, Medical Bay: D10, Vehicle Bay: D8


  • Full Power!: Step up a blast attack then shut it down until you absorb a similar kind of attack or spend a PP.
  • Absorption: Good against Fire, Lightning or Water. Use Teleport Other.
  • Stun Shot: Use Lightning Blast like a taser.
  • Area Teleport (For both Offence and Defense)
  • Teleport Redirect: Like counter attack but adds 1D to Doom Pool.


  • Gear: Shut down power set if crown or bracers are stolen or destroyed.

*Guardian Lab’s computers can assist in Scientific and Investigative tasks. Medical bay is for healing tasks. Expensive but normal vehicles are available in the Vehicle bay; everything from a sports car to a Helicopter.

Mad Genius

Mental Resistance: D8, Out Think: D8, Mad InventorD10,


  • Unleashed Cunning: Step up of Out Think or Mad Inventor however if you fail add a D8 to the Doom Pool.


  • Growing Dread: 1s and 2s count as opportunistic when using Genius Inventor.
  • Owned: Gain 1 PP when your handlers step in to ruin your fun.

*Out Think can be used in any contest of cunning.


Covert: D8,  Crime: D8, MenaceD8, Science: D10, Tech: D10, Vehicle: D8


This Grand Experiment

  • 1 XP: You protect an individual or group from harm.
  • 3 XP: You save someone as you were saved by Zhi.
  • 10 XP: You drop the experiment and either become a warm human being or quit to study other things in a cold, analytic manner.

A Fascinating Disaster:

  • 1 Xp: Experience one of the current dangers of Xi so you can analyze it later.
  • 3 Xp: Prevent harm to the city in a creative way.
  • 10 XP: Get a chance to study the true source of this disaster.


When Lei Yin was 9 she constructed a combustion engine from the wreck of her father’s disused farm tools. Her parents went to the papers and soon after the government took little Yin away.

Happy with their dispensation the Lei’s never saw their daughter again.

Yin was raised and taught in the nation’s finest schools and excelled; at 14 she held earned a PHD in Physics, at 19 the government relied on her to decipher alien tech and at 24 she invented the Summoner System; a technology that allows teleportation of energy and matter.

Despite her achievements Yin wasn’t happy. She had professors who raised her but they had their own kids. She had friends but was always pulled away on special projects. Her superiors were pleased but they kept her under constant watch.

Yin often ducked her handlers simply for fun. It was on one of these outings that Iron Man and the Mandarin battled over the skies of Shanghai. A stray ring blast knocked her car, a Ferrari she’d stolen from her boss, off the road and trapped her in the burning wreck. A terrified Yin fully believed she was going to die. Then a woman, a complete stranger, pried her out with a crowbar and carried her to safety; in the process her rescuer was horribly burned. Yin’s handlers soon stole her back without a fuss but the experience had changed Yin forever.

That night Lei Yin hacked into Ministry of Public Security’s databases to find everything  there was to know about her savior, an officer named  Xia Zhi.   A month later, when a new Yi the Archer appeared on the national stage it was easy for Yin to correlate her data and discover that Zhi and Yi were the same person.

By this time Wong Fie Hung, Sun Wukong and Chen were already active Guardians, all Yin had to do was convince her government contacts that Yi the Archer was a natural fit and of course they also needed a brilliant scientist on their team.

Personality and Appearance

Lie Yin’s brilliant, self absorbed and arrogant. Her primary interests are science, technology and manipulating people. She’d make an excellent super villain.

However, Xia Zhi’s selfless act planted a fascination of heroics in Yin’s soul. Acting the hero is a thrill for her; Yin doesn’t care about fame, it’s the mix of power and compassion that drives her as a Guardian.

Also, interacting with gods among men is a big plus.

Yin’s a short, impish woman with deep brown eyes and full lips. Her glossy black hair is cut short and stylishly. She dresses conservatively but wears it in a way to draw the eye.

As Summoner her she wears a purple and silver body suit with a long cape, long boots, long silver bracers and a thin silver crown.

Abilities and Resources

Yin’s crown and bracers are technological wonders that allow her to control her Summoner System. With a gesture and a thought she can transport anything from her lab to her location through a shimmering a silver portal. She’s pulled in medical supplies, lab equipment and vehicles to aid Guardian missions. Yin’s also used the system to summon fire, water and electricity from her generators to deal with ‘stubborn problems’.

Her Summoner System can also transport herself, the Guardians and a small crowd of people back to her lab.

The Summoner System can also teleport Yin and close by targets short distances.

Her crown and bracers are not user friendly; only a genius level intellect can make use of the system. If the Scorpion steals them everything’s cool, on the other hand if Victor Von Doom gets his paws on Yin’s tech everyone’s screwed.

Yin’s ‘own’s the underground of Guardian Headquarters in Beijing. Under the stylish, fortified HQ is a well stocked lab, Olympic swimming pool, gymnasium, holding cells and vehicle bay, all connected to the Summoner System. The vehicle bay holds 2 sports cars, 1 troop transport and a state of the art rescue helicopter dubbed the Kenku.

Yin’s intellect rivals the likes of Reed Richards and Henry Pym, she’s China’s premier scientific mind.

While Yin has government contacts they’re rather strained. It took all her pull to allow her to join the Guardians and even then the powers that be might pull her at any moment.

Party Integration

Wong Fei Hung: A stuffy man from the past. He’s quite bright, too bad he’s also boring. Everyone likes him though so it’s best to do as he says.

Sun Wukong: Some kind of Monkey alien with godlike powers. Who cares if he’s not human, he knows how to have fun.

Yi the Archer: Though she’s not the brightest spark, at least compared to you, you owe her your life and you’ll never be able to pay her back. You look up to her and are glad to call her friend.

Thunder: He has a fascinating mutation and doesn’t look too shabby either. You’d study him further but he’s rather stuffy.

Knights of the Hidden Sun: Changes and Progress

Posted in Knights of the Hidden Sun, Roleplaying Games, RPG, Writing with tags , , , on September 6, 2012 by Chall

This week Malcolm Sheppard stepped away as Developer/Marketer of Knights of the Hidden Sun. As mentioned in his blog there was no drama, far from it. He simply must commit to his own projects.

Let me say here and now that I appreciate everything Malcolm’s done for me over these past few years; from giving me the confidence to write KotHS to working with Geoff Grabowski to develop it. We’re still friends and I’ll keep him informed on the progress of this game.

As for what happens next:

  • First I’m going to take in the Developed draft of KoTHS to take stock of what I have. Once that’s done Xenotropos and I will determine what’s needed  to edit, play test, type set and  finally publish the full work. At that time we’ll decide if we need a Kickstarter to offset the costs. I hope to have the final decisions on this figured out by the end of the month.
  • After this I’ll set up a KoTHS Blog as a source site for all your Hidden Sun news and extra content. It’s high time this game had a web presence.
  • I’m not giving up. I’ve spent too many years working on Hidden Sun and I won’t let them go to waste.

Now that I’m in sole control of the project I’m in a far better position bring it to fruition. While it pains me to see Malcolm step away I’m also excited to have Hidden Sun back in my court.

As a side note, while waiting I’ve nearly completed another project, a FATE adventure book called Space Pirate Alice Black. It’s a small journey into the stars, where the fate of trillions hangs in the balance.

Expect more to come.