So I am running a game of Mutants and Masterminds at next week’s Big Bad Con. It’s entitled “Absolute Zero” and it is set in Ray Winninger’s “Underground” setting of a dystopian near future in which genetics coupled with alien technology allow people to be given super powers by large corporations known as “Conflict Firms” which produce super soldiers, send them off to fight other corporations or local insurgencies, and then more or less dump them in the street when they are done with them.
In this bleak future, the PCs all work for a repo agency (yes, I know I use that a lot – but its better than “you all meet up in a bar”) and are being sent off to Luna by their boss on a repo job. Luna, incidentally, is a former maximum security prison that has been taken over by the inmates and is now a major tourist destination. Don’t ask.
Anyway, I just finished creating my pregens and thought I would post a thumbnail of each of them because a) I am happy with them and b) it took a lot of work to make the little bastards. All the characters are neutral genderwise, though I have envisioned some of them male and some female and will refer to them as such in the descriptions.
In Underground, all boosts suffer some sort of mental trauma from their genetic alterations and their years spent in violent combat zones. To simulate this in Mutants and Masterminds, I gave each character a complication that dealt with their mental instability. I also tried to give them motivations that were tilted in some weird way.
I have set up a couple of polls on the characters in a separate post. After you look them over, please take a moment to respond. Click here to go to poll.
Aught remembers nothing, not her past, not, her training, not her time in the Zone. Nothing until the day some months back when she woke up in a dirty apartment with a note from the VA telling her that she was supposed to start work at the “Helping Hands Assurance Corporation” – a repo company. She has been doing her job there for several months now while she tries to figure out what is going on and who she is. Clearly she was given powers to be an infiltrator and scout, because when she uses her powers she cannot be seen or heard. She is also very good at reading people and noticing things.
But no matter how often she looks in the mirror, she can’t remember her own face.
MOTIVATION: Recognition. Aught Nothing wants more than anything to be recognized for herself, even if she doesn’t remember what she looks like. She prefers to handle things without becoming invisible.
COMPLICATION: Schizophrenia. Aught at times will hear voices in her head, insects crawling on her skin, worms in her bones. At such times she tends to loose touch with reality and wander around muttering to herself in a secret language only she can understand.
Brainpop was boosted in order to be a corporate and military espionage agent. Rather than spending his time in one hellish warzone after another, Brainpop attended corporate banquets, snuck into restricted facilities, and had “chance” encounters with respected researchers, diplomats, and government officials. Usually he would read their minds to steal secrets. Sometimes he would melt their brains afterwards so those secrets would never be shared. Brainpop was mustered out after killing his entire support team because they were “planning something” (which turned out to be a birthday party).
MOTIVATION: Professionalism. Brainpop wants to handle jobs smoothly and professionally, with none of this messy bang-bang and running around while on fire and bleeding heavily that most boosts seem to favor as an operational plan.
COMPLICATION: Sociopathy. In his heart, Brainpop really doesn’t actually give a shit about anyone except Brainpop. He understands that sometimes he has to pretend to, but when he has the luxury to not act like he gives a damn about others, he doesn’t.
COLONEL COURAGEOUS!!! – (yes, it’s always said like that)
The Colonel volunteered to be boosted in order to get powers and be part of a big corporate promotion. Unfortunately, something went wrong with the whole process – the Colonel remembers having powers in Slumberland, but when she woke up, she had none at all! But that didn’t stop her sponsor corporation from shipping her out to a hot zone. For six years she fought alongside boosts who could tear her head off with one finger, and because she was a corporate face, she actually had to lead them! Somehow she managed to survive and adapt, but eventually her popularity faded and her sponsors left to find a new spokeswoman. Now, with some scavenged equipment and a lot of combat training to fall back on when she is in trouble, she works for a repo agency.
MOTIVATION: Comics Code. Colonel Courageous had the 1952 Comics Code programmed into her in Slumberland as part of her mental conditioning, and lives by it now as if it were the Bible. She tries to live her life as though the Comics Code were law.
COMPLICATION: Homicidal Mania. Sometimes, when the pressure gets to be too much, or the Comics Code is too blatantly violated, Colonel Courageous just snaps. She longs only to feel blood on her hands and face, to bathe in it, to swim in it, to drown every child in a never ending ocean of it.
The King is a puppet-master able to dominate others to his will, and skilled at manipulating them with words as well. He also has enhanced strength and agility so he is decent in a scrap, but mostly he uses his words (and sometimes mental commands) to get people to do what he wants.
King Clown fervently believes that Boosts are the future of humanity, and those who are not boosted stand in the way of this future. He believes that it is his holy mission to eliminate norms whenever possible.
MOTIVATION: Kill norms. When possible (without getting caught or killed) King Clown believes that it is his sacred duty to eliminate the non-boosted from the gene pool.
COMPLICATION: Multiple personality syndrome. Under pressure, King Clown may revert to any one of a number of personalities.
Mister Manifest Destiny
A smart guy who fell for a stupid recruiting trick, Mr. MD was promised that he would be trained in Slumberland to be a doctor. Instead he woke up to find himself a 15′ tall, heavily muscled, four-armed freak. He was assigned as a Corpsman and spent part of his military service scooping up wounded on the battlefield, carrying them to safety, and then treating them on the spot. Giant fingers proved unsuitable for treating wounds, however, and he was reassigned to the infantry, where he was taught to strangle opponents with his bare hands. After his discharge, he found that no medical facility would hire a 15′ tall medic, and was only able to find work at a repo agency.
MOTIVATION: defend the innocent. Mr. Manifest Destiny really believes in helping others, despite his many problems.
COMPLICATION: Melancholia. Mr. Manifest Destiny frequently falls into depression due to the circumstances of his life. Sometimes he can even fall into depression in the middle of a job.
Patty doesn’t have any clear memories of what life was like before the nice doctors came and removed her brain, but she thinks that maybe she lived in a house with other people and that was nice. The doctors said that her new brain would be better than the old one, and that she could get direct tv reception and crystal clear video games that she could play in her head. Then they gave her some neat powers – she could control fire! She had lots of fun adventures, but then something went wrong and there was lots of running around and screaming and being scared and hungry and maybe, just maybe, someone got hurt. Maybe more than someone. After that nobody wanted to be her friend and she had to eat out of garbage cans and roadkill and rats (although she still got good tv reception) until one day someone found her and took her to a place where there were nice people and now she helps them.
MOTIVATION: Doing good. Patty just likes to be nice to people and help them, though she often isn’t sure how to do it.
COMPLICATION: Panic disorder. Sometimes when things get scary, Patty just wants to run away and hide.
COMPLICATION: Artificial brain. Patty’s regular old meat brain has been replaced with an artificial brain, and it sometimes gives her problems (though the tv reception IS really, really good!)
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