Marvel RPG Character Generation - Step1Home

Step 2: Generate an Origin of Power

Now that you've determined what your character looks like, the next question is how did he get that way? More importantly, how did he get the Powers that set him apart from mortal men (or cyborgs or centaurs or kitty cats)? This is the stage where you determine the Origin of Power. There are 11 possibilities here, each one a single event in your character's life that transformed him/her/it into a Super Hero.

The player can interpret the Origin 2 ways. The first way assumes that the character has always had approximately the same Physical Form that he now possesses. In that case, the Origin is the event in which his Powers first appeared. The second way of interpreting the Origin is to assume that the character began life as a perfectly Normal Human, say a kid from Euclid, Ohio. In that case, the Origin was an event that not only gave him Power, it may have also drastically altered his Physical form.

Example 1: Ken rolls a 78 for Physical Form, a Mechanically Augmented Cyborg, and a 58 for Origin, Technical Experiment. He interprets this to create Steve Piano, a man who has volunteered to be a test subject for a new weapons system his company has developed. The system is surgically implanted within Steve's body. Since the implantation is experimental, the lab wants him to retain the implant for a time while they study its effects on him. What they aren't telling Steve is that the implant is not working out at all like the plans said it should; the Powers Steve has manifested are entirely unexpected.

Example 2: Bruce rolls a 15 for Physical Form Other Demihuman, and a 34 for Origin, Endowment. Bruce has a fondness for beams, which leads him to make his character a Ursinoid. He doesn't want to have to come up with an entire racial background for his character, tentatively called Ursus, and chooses the second option for Origin. Ursus began life as a normal teenager in Charlottesville, Virginia. While wandering through the woods one night, the boy encountered a crippled UFO piloted by small bear-like beings. The boy tried to assist the bears, who transformed him into a form more capable of performing the repairs they needed done. The alien bears completely forgot about returning their helper to his original form before they left.

After generating your character's Origin of Power, go on to the next Step.
Natal: The hero was born in the Body Type he has, and possessed all his Powers from birth onward (although learning to control them took time).
Note: If a character is a Cyborg, he was severely deformed at birth and required immediate emergency medical and scientific aid.

Maturity: The hero gained his Powers sometime after reaching adulthood. Powers may have begun manifesting themselves sporadically during adolescence, or even childhood, but full control wasn't achieved until maturity. Most Random Mutants are in this class.

Self-Achievement: The hero actively sought out a means of giving himself Power. He developed the methods, procedures, equipment, or whatever permits him to possess Power. This could be through scientific endeavors (Henry Pym/Ant Man), arcane study (Dr. Strange), or physical training (iron Fist). Anyone can gain Powers similar to the hero's by following this special training.

Endowment: The hero was given his Power by another being. This includes such diverse situations as being transformed (Tigra), being charged with Power (the Power Pack kids), and acquiring an item whose possession gives the hero Power (Black Knight, Vindicator).

Technical Mishap: The hero was caught in an experiment or procedure gone awry, with the result that the hero gained Powers that were totally unexpected. Such freak conditions cannot be completely duplicated, although they can be simulated. Simulations produce slightly different results, though. Cloak and Dagger are examples of Mishap Origins. The late Sasquatch was an example of a Mishap Simulation, from trying to recreate the Gamma Blast that created the Hulk.

Technical Procedure: The hero was the subject of a controlled scientific or magical experiment. Assuming that all the factors are reproduced, such a Technical Experiment should be able to produce a steady supply of superpowered heroes. Unfortunately, the geniuses behind such experiments often leave inadequate notes; if something happens to the genius, the experiment is irreproducible. Dr. Reinstein, for example, never really wrote down the Super-Soldier Formula that transformed Steve Rogers into Captain America. Attempts to recreate it produced the Infinity Formula that has the simpler effect of increasing the subject's Health, Endurance, and lifespan.

Creation: The hero was born in the form he now has, that of an adult who possesses Power and/or whatever the Body Type is. Most of the Artificial Body Types belong in this class. Examples include the android Human Torch, all robots, angels, daemons, and deities.

Biological Exposure: The hero gained Power after exposure to a special lifeform or a substance secreted by that lifeform. Werewolves and Bio-Vampires are common examples of this. Normal Humans are transformed into those kinds of beings after being bitten by another Werewolf or Bio-Vampire. The hero can also gain Power from an experiment using bio-chemicals. For example, the late Whizzer gained his Power after consecutive injections of cobra venom and mongoose blood.

Chemical Exposure: The hero was transformed by exposure to an exotic element, compound, or mixture. This substance can be inhaled, ingested, injected, or just placed next to the hero for it to affect him. The chemicals involved in these incidents react in random ways with the hero's genetic structure and produce unique results. If another person is exposed to the same chemical, the results may be different or fatal. Madcap is an example of this.

Energy Exposure: The hero was exposed to a special form and Intensity of energy---anything out of the ordinary will do---and turned into his present self. Most of the Marvel Super Heroes from the early 1960s are examples of this. The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and Daredevil, for examples, all received Powers after being subjected to hard radiation.

Rebirth: The hero was once a perfectly ordinary person. Then he died. Something happened to him that destroyed his old body and gave him a new one, complete with Power. Examples of this class include Marc Spector/Moon Knight and Arthur Douglas/Drax the Destroyer.