These are entirely random ideas, at least in part driven by cold medicine, on quirky heroes at the street level, where gangs and men with brass knuckles are still significant threats.
Look, if the Defenstrator and Wild Dog can be heroes…
For no particular reason other than to have some fun.
Babe. An aging, portly male vigilante with a baseball bat, catcher’s helmet, chest protector and leg guards… and a significant close-combat skills, if not a ton of endurance. Gives kids in his neighborhood oranges if they’re good.
Beulah. Inspired by Edison/Tesla contemporary Beulah Henry, Beulah is a one-woman engineering firm, with the motto “Have Wrench, Will Travel.” Often works to solve local neighborhood problems large companies and municipal groups refuse to get around too, but also sometimes solves murders or stops crimes.
Flying Rat. Low-rent Batman-type, with a Pigeon motif. Not a billionaire, just someone with a trust fund big enough to order custom paint jobs on cars and catalog-shuriken, semi-concealable body armor, kendo and Krav Maga classes, bribe a network of pizza delivery drivers and homeless kids to spy for him, maintain prepaid legal services, and not need a 40-hour-a-week job. Operates from the Pigeon Coupe, his fixed-roof sedan with custom hood ornament and some police gear.
Isiah Mordecai Mortal. Private detective who, if killed, shows up at the edge of the nearest township to his corpse at the next sundown. Has business cards with “I.M.Mortal” on them.
Jean Hatchet. A firewoman who refuses to back down from villains, local thugs, or corrupt officials, and carries her fire axe with her almost always. When not in her fire fighter’s uniform, wears sneakers, slacks, a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a thin tie.
Paintball. A young, athletic woman with a paintball mask and paintball gun. She is an expert paintball sniper and shootist, and mixes custom paintball colors (with UV inks) she delivers to local police in advance so if she is seen shooting a robber to mark them on camera, the police can prove a suspect is the one she shot.
Pellet. Paintball’s young male sidekick (a fact she accepts only grudgingly), who also uses paintballs but delivers them with a slingshot.
A Joker/Riddle-esque villain named “Hitting Yourself.”
Obviously he commits crimes that force his victim to commit self-harm.
But mostly, he’s just waiting for a local authority to gravely intone to the prime vigilante (a member of Knightwatch, whatever):
“You *must* stop Hitting Yourself.”
Top Ten Signs Your New Player Doesn’t “Get” Your Superhero RPG Game
10. Whenever the PCs catch crooks who have committed a crime, the new player rifles through the criminals’ possessions and begins “treasure division” of the stolen goods among the other players.
9. All his proposed Secret IDs are characters from Star Wars. Mostly Boba Fett..
8. He tries to reboot an old Bunnies and Burrows character, as Captain Furry. Who has a “mind yiffing” psychic attack. Which he describes in over-graphic detail.
7. His first ten suggested Hero names are Stab Lad, The Stalker, Bruisertron, Gandalf, Stuff Man, Enabler, Orange Avenger, Defibrillator Dan, Restraining Order, and Boba Fett. All ten proposed names are for the same character.
6. When he finally settles on naming his hero Captain Crimson Confessor, he insists his secret cave-based church complex be called “The Apse-Hole.”
5. The term “Rao Fundamentalist” creeps into your gaming lexicon. It is not a complement.
4. When asked if he’s playing a Golden Age or Silver Age character concept, he asks how many extra gp a Golden Age character gets.
3. The new hero pawns his Congressional Medal of Honor, and uses the money gained to pay for beer and a trip to Disneyland.
2. His first character concept is a “half-hero, half-Vulcan, with Mommy issues.”
1. The character retires, to study the socio-economic factor that lead to citizens putting on costumes and committing illegal acts under assumed nom de maux.
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As a companion piece to the (partial, revised) List of Very Fantasy Words, here are real, not newly-minted, words and phrases I very rarely encounter outside a Supers RPG or story.
*Many impact-based onomatopoeias (Blam, Pow, Woosh)
*Mutant (yes, some post-apocalyptic sources as well, but weirdly those are by far the minority)
*Superhero (though beyond the obvious ties to the genre, there are actually BS legal reasons why the word superhero is only common in DC and Marvel products).
*Supreme (except I confess, as a pizza description, which is more common)
*Villain (and, even more so, super-villain)
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The rules: Every character mentioned is an amalgam of two or more comic characters played by the same actor, and the world has a single consistent continuity.
The entity known as the Silver Sapien was created by a planet-devouring cloud of elder gods as a mindless side-effect of their constant hunger for sentient sacrifices. The Sapien does not serve the gods, and cannot stop them, but does fly ahead of them from world to world acting as a herald of each planets impending doom. Some worlds achieve true peace in the days before destruction, while others have advanced enough technology for a small percentage to flee before the unthinkable appetites of the galactic gods.
A few fought. Only Earth, lead by the Torch of Liberty, ever won. Inspired by the Torch, the Silver Sapien became an ally of the Earth’s Most Just Heroes, the Fantastic League.
The Rules: Every character mentioned is an amalgam of two or more comic characters played by the same actor, and the world has a single consistent continuity.
Natalie Romans was a brilliant scientist in WWII Nazi Germany, where she worked as a nuclear physicist and assassin for the Reich’s most powerful villain, the masked mastermind known as the Red V. As the Silken Widow, she was able to both create devices of amazing super-science, and engage in espionage operations at the highest level. However, she was a true believer in the claim that Germany was beset by enemies from all sides and was just striking out against the international conspiracies that sought its downfall. Though the Red V was a zealot and master manipulator who believed he had mesmerized Romans entirely, she was too intelligent to stay blind to the information she was exposed to on her many missions. In time she realized she was supporting a murderous, evil regime, and set about to ensure its downfall. She stole the Spirit Formula she and the red V had perfected to give humans amazing mystic powers, and used it on both herself and Steve Storm, a US war reporter who had been captured by the Red V for use as a human guinea pig. The two then defeated the Red V, and went on to form the Fantastic League, the premier masked adventurer’s team, to aid the Allies in WWII.
After the war the Silken Widow decided not to risk a Nuremberg trial, and faded into the background. But as a result of her exposure to the Spirit Formula she ceased to age, and continued to protect freedom and liberty from the shadows, ensuring that those who were willing to risk themselves for the greater good and had strong morale compasses had special opportunities to become heroes, an ongoing project she called the Justice Initiative.