We decided to add Character Motivations from the Blood of Heroes Universe to our House Rules, with a little twist.
This is how we use it:
1. Each Character picks a motivation on creation.
2. When Karma is awarded, if the character followed the motivation at least once during the game session it gains +10 Karma award points.
3. Character Motivations can be changed if the character has had a significant life changing event that warrants taking on a new motivation. A character loses all Karma when changing motivations, Karma = 0.
4. Normally we restrict players to use Heroic Motivations only, but we added Anti Heroic and Villanous motivations as reference for NPCs or if yu are running alternate game styles.
Upholding the Good
A Character with the Motivation of Upholding the Good believes steadfastly in traditional moral values: compassion, justice, truthfulness, and a resolute faith in society’s laws. A Character Upholding the Good is unrelenting in the pursuit of Good and would never overstep the boundaries of the law, even if it may occasionally seem justice would be better served otherwise.
A Character with the Motivation of Upholding the Good believes societal laws to be ultimately benign and will defend those laws at all costs.
Power of the Shadow Force possesses the Motivation of Upholding the Good which he explained in this manner: “All people have the privilege and duty to support the laws of their society. The fact that I’m 8 powerful alien prince just gives me more of an advantage. I still have the same responsibilities to uphold society laws that everyone else does. In order for a society to work, everyone must work toward its ideals.”
“As members of Shadow Force we use our powers to do good throughout the world. No one is above the law. Though we are considered criminals and vigilantes by some governments, we are only doing what we can to improve life on Ear1h. Sometimes even I disagree with The Husk’s methods, but he means well.”
“There will always be evil to fight and good to do throughout the world. Sometimes it takes sacrifice and work, But that’s my job. I must learn to see right from wrong if I am ever to free my people and serve as their sovereign.”
Responsibility of Power
A Character with the Motivation of Responsibility of Power decides to change as a result of the fantastic Powers and Skills which separate him from the rest of the world. The Character, no longer ordinary, accepts that with great power comes great responsibility.
Such a hero will generally uphold the laws of society, realizing that he is an example to others and that such power demands a more disciplined lifestyle than the hero might otherwise have chosen. However, the course of action this responsibility dictates occasionally strains such a hero’s patience. Doc is bound by the Responsibility of Power He explains his Motivation in this manner: “Being a member of Shadow Force is probably the highest honor anyone could have, but it brings with it one of the greatest responsibilities. My teammates and I cannot falter in the face of the public eye, or they may lose faith in their heroes.
”My ability to create astonishing devices and machines Is also both a gilt and a responsibility. I can accomplish tremendous good with my powers, and I have, but if I were to misuse my powers, as I also have in my past, it would be a crime against all humanity. The powers I possess obligate me to continue where others might quit. The responsibility is tremendous, and often I find myself plagued with doubt, yet it is my duty to carry on and make up for my past sins.”
A Character with the Motivation of Seeking Justice will ignore anything which interferes with a quest. This hero will willingly subvert society’s laws, especially those he believes help protect criminals. This hero will seek out a criminal at whatever social level the criminal exists and match him deed for deed. Violence with violence.
Husk’s Motivation is Seeking Justice, which he explains in this manner:
“My power to see the future constantly reminds me of humanities tendency toward violence and bloodshed. Most of Earth’s inhabitants are good and honest people. However, there are those few who prey on the weak and destroy all that stand before them. My ability allows me to see the results of their actions before they occur. Most people would not be willing to alter the future, and many would not be willing to take on the responsibility associated with their actions. I am not most people.”
“I have the power to stop these events before they occur. I use this ability willingly and accept the responsibility that comes with it. I seek out those who will and do commit evil and extinguish them. I strike early because a small flame is easier to extinguish than an inferno. Some would say I have made myself God, that I am both judge and jury: So be it.”
“Time is fluid. The future can be changed and is often prevented. Other effects outside my control bend the time stream toward other outcomes. I would never harm an innocent, but what does one call a murderer before he murders? It matters little for in the end only I must deal with the pressure and the guilty, If you had the power to stop Hitler before World War II. would you have used it? I have that power now … and I use it”
Thrill of Adventure
A Character with the Motivation of Thrill of Adventure takes extreme chances in combat and enjoys every minute of it. Sometimes the hero will overestimate his abilities and people will often consider the character flippant and occasionally ridiculous. Yet, such a hero would never desert a friend or run from a fight. A Character out for the Thrill of Adventure will not easily accept other people’s concepts of justice. Similar to a Character who is Seeking Justice, this is an independent hero who works under a strict code of behavior This Character enjoys having Powers and Skills and thrives on the fame which comes with being a hero. Such a hero will often use humor during seemingly inappropriate combat or diplomatic situations.
Fortune is motivated by the Thrill of Adventure. He describes his Motivation in this manner:
“I love my life. Not just anyone can run into a hail of bullets and not get hit once? Who else can make the bad guy drop that rock on his foot? Only I can. Sure sometimes things get ugly, especially when a villain has got the drop on me. But my luck always prevails … like that time we were fighting the Collective at the nuclear power plant and Demise was getting ready to squish Frenzy, but before he could react I blew the main power generator, tossing him across the power plant. Guess I shouldn’t have touched those cute little red buttons on the main control panel.”
“Unfortunately, Death and Cerberus were blocking the exit. Lucky for me the catwalk high above, collapsed on top of them. Alter a triple backflip across the room, a quick pickup of
Frenzy, and a vault off Death’s own head, we were out the door. It’s times like those that make me love having this job.”
A Character with the Motivation of Unwanted Power is typically created accidentally or at the whim of others, and usually unwillingly. This Hero in no way desires such Powers and abilities, the possession of which often brings severe personal consequences. This is a reluctant hero, one who would gladly return to his former life if given the opportunity.
Such a Character often joins a hero team, seeking an acceptance denied the Character in the normal world. This hero regularly forms extremely close, personal attachments to other heroes and is very loyal to the team. A hero with Unwanted Power, may strongly feel that society owes him a debt and can often be short-tempered.
Empath possesses Unwanted Power. She explains their Motivation in this manner:
“Being a member of Shadow Force is terribly exciting. They’re the best thing that has happened lo me in a long lime. Before I met Power and the others, my life was in a shambles. My powers were uncontrollable, making my life a constant struggle, Shadow Force gave me a sense of belonging that I like that I need. They taught me how to control my powers. Still, I wish I never had them.”
“Do you know what it’s like lo hear the thoughts of a hundred people in your head? My mind has power far beyond anything I would have thought possible, but possessing it means I can never feel comfortable around normal people. Despite my hatred of these powers, Shadow Force has shown me that they can be a gift. They’ve also shown me that it’s my responsibility to use them for good. Given the choice, I’d get rid of these powers instantly, but I can’t. So, what choice do I have?”
This Character commits crimes simply for the money and is not a cold-blooded killer. Anti-Heroic Mercenaries don’t kill unless left with no choice. They often retain some remnants of a moral code, and it is this last bit of annoying conscience which reminds them that it doesn’t hurt them lo do a little good along the way. On the other hand, most Anti-Heroic Mercenaries generally won’t do anything requiring them to go out of their way. Often soldiers or professional thieves, Anti-Heroic Mercenaries willingly break the law but are not monstrous butchers like their Villainous counterparts.
Dispatch is an Anti-Heroic Mercenary and views his motivation as:
“When my planet died, I was left alone. My wile and daughter were lost to me forever, The weapon, which destroyed my world, did not kill me but instead bequeathed strange new abilities. On my world I was a peace officer, but my world doesn’t exist anymore, so I travel from planet to planet offering my services as a bounty hunter. The laws governing my society died with it. With no one to judge me, I do whatever it takes to bring in my bounty.”
”/maybe a mercenary, but f’m not a killer. I’ll do whatever ii takes to bring ’em in, but I only kill in self-defense. I vowed to the memory of my wife and daughter that I would retain that last little vestige of humanity. The loss of my family killed me on the inside, but I won’t become a soulless monster.”
Anti-Heroic Power Lust
This Character is addicted to power and will do anything to get it To the Power Lusting Anti-Hero, his craving could be money, gadgets, followers, or anything placing him in the spotlight or giving him control. Most Power Lusting Anti-Heroes are simply blinded by their greed and will do anything to get more money. But others simply want to rule the world.
It all comes down to the acquisition of power. The Character knows he wants it, and somebody else has it. Many times, an Anti-Hero with Power Lust wouldn’t know what to do once he obtains his goal, quickly becoming bored with the lack of a motivation. Not knowing what to do, he may fall back into old habits, seeking to conquer something bigger and better. The grass is always greener on the other side, right?
The main difference between an Anti-Hero and a Villain with the Power Lust Motivation 1s simply their moral limitations. Antiheroes will generally not kill to accomplish their goals of world domination. These Characters are by no means angels, though, and will lie, steal, blackmail, and crush all who oppose them. Many times a Power Lusting Anti-Hero may be more ruthless than a Power Lusting Villain. The Villain may just kill you to get you out of the way, but the Anti-Hero will humiliate you first. Anthrax is a prime example of an Anti-Hero with Power Lust:
“Listen, there’s only one place to be in this world, and that’s on top. Anything else and you’re just somebody’s stepping stone. I deserve to be top dog around here, it’s that simple. No one is as good as me, no one is as smart as me, and most of all, no one is as determined as me.”
“I didn’t get where I am today by funding charities, unless they’re in my name or a tax write-off I got here because I have no qualms about backstabbing anybody who gets in my way. It’s not cowardly; it’s just more efficient. Tile only time I help anyone is if it’s in my favor. If I’ve got to help grandma across the street, it’s only because I’m the beneficiary on her insurance. Yeah, that’s right. I’d kill to get ahead. Do onto others before they do onto you! You’re just pissed because you didn’t think of it first. That, and you’re not smart enough to get away with it. I dissolve employees all the time, and I get oft on it’ The fast words they ever hear is, ‘You’re fired! So stay out of my way, or you’re next!”
Anti-Heroic Responsibility of Power
Anti-Heroes with this motivation believe their responsibility takes them superior to everyone else. These characters have the power to do what they wish, use their power to crush evil wherever it appears. Anti-Heroes with this Motivation often question the logic of Heroes who have amazing powers but consider themselves bound by the laws of man. This Anti-Hero Character accepts that with great power comes great responsibility but feels that he is no longer bound by society’s rules.
Rex is an Anti-Hero bound by a Responsibility of Power:
“I am a King on my planet and my rule is strict, but fair. When the chosen one was finally born, It was during an age of conflict. The people had become divided into creeds. The leader of this faulty philosophy is a religious zealot named the Aquatican Messiah. He has chosen to retain his power by destroying the chosen one. To safeguard his life, I sent the chosen one to the planet of our ancestors, Earth.”
“The Messiah followed him, so now I too am on Earth. It is my responsibility to find and protect the chosen one. Anyone who gets in my way will perish. I will do anything in my power to protect the boy and my rule, and if it requires me to kill a few Earthlings to accomplish my mission, so be it.”
Anti-Hero Seeking Justice
An Anti-Hero Character with the Motivation of Seeking Justice will ignore anything interfering with a quest to eliminate evil and evildoers. This Character will achieve good by whatever means necessary and by any means at their disposal. Antiheroes Seeking Justice will willingly subvert society’s laws and are not as hesitant to enter killing combat against an evil foe as a Hero with the same Motivation.
The Anti-Heroic Neon Knight of the Supernaturals is Seeking Justice; these are his views:
“I stand on my mountain and watch the people below me. I feel evil rising out of the ground. I remain in this world as an undead spirit to rid it of the villainous tyrannies which plague and infest it, My power is the only thing these villains fear, yet no matter what I do they persist and multiply. I cannot and will not allow this! All villains shall fear my coming, for I will show them the true end to their deeds. I have in my ability to take them on a one-way trip to Hell where they can live out eternity paying for the sins they have committed. These evil beings shalt be stricken from the world by my hand, and their bodies shall be trodden under my foot!”
Anti-Heroic Thrill of Adventure
An Anti-Heroic Character with the Thrill of Adventure Motivation is an adrenaline junkie who revels in the action of combat This Character often takes things too far, getting people hurt or even killed. An Anti-Hero with a Thrill for Adventure loves the excitement of the fight or the chase, much like a professional thief excited by the challenge of eluding police. Anti-Heroes with this motivation aren’t necessarily evil but are victims of their criminal urges. They enjoy having Powers and Skills and thrive on the excitement. Like their Heroic counterparts, Anti-Heroes with this motivation often use humor and rarely enter Killing Combat.
Charger is an Anti-Hero who seeks the Thrill of Adventure:
“I always see Heroes on the news using their powers to help others. Well, nobody’s ever helped me, so I’m going to help myself and use my powers to party! I can do anything I want, and no one can stop me. That’s why I joined the Royal Guard … well, that and the fact they’d kill me if I didn’t, It’s cool though, since I get to cruise through the universe and do whatever I want. What a blast.”
“Power and money, what’s it good tor’? You’ve got to go out there and live it up while your watch is still ticking, know what I mean. Yeah, I don’t like having to put someone down, ’cause where’s the fun in that? They’re dead, so they’re not having’ any fun. But if somebody is giving me a hard time, or trying to knock me off, better him than me! I just want to live it up. I’m going to go down to this great little bar on Beta 317, get loaded, and start a brawl!”
Anti-Heroic Unwanted Power
Like his Heroic counterpart, this Anti-hero in no way desires his Powers and abilities, but unlike the Hero with Unwanted Power, this Character suffers other difficulties. Often the Unwanted Powers force the Anti-Hero to commit heinous acts. Much like a vampire feeding only to survive, an Anti-Hero with an Unwanted Power is not inherently evil. He might not even be always in control of his actions and innocents suffer the consequences.
This Character often spends his time attempting to rid himself of the Unwanted Powers he is cursed with. Some Anti-heroes may even be forced to avoid contact with other Characters to protect them when they lose control. Many times such a Character is a loner, keeping to himself and trying not to make any ties If this Anti-Hero joins a team, it is often only to seek the help of other super powered beings. An Anti-Hero with Unwanted Power may strongly feel that society owes him a debt and can often be very short-tempered.
Jon, The Berserker has an Anti-Heroic Unwanted Power and explains his curse this way:
“Being a berserker is a living hell. I used to be a coherent scientist on the verge of great discovery, until he came. Realizing my actions had released the Berserker, I had only one choice I thought that if I could hold the demon inside my body, I would be able to carry on with my life, but this was not the case. Once the Berserker was inside, my mind shut off. I’ve been reduced to a drooling idiot, and the Berserker is more alive than ever.”
“It takes everything I have to keep him from decimating the entire world. Sometimes, I can even control him when he is free. You might say I act as his conscience. Occasionally, I can actually make him work for the good side, but it takes a lot of concentration and a little help from my friends in the Supernaturals. If it weren’t tor them, I know the Berserker would be unstoppable,”
This Character commits crimes for the money, The money may come from the crime itself, or the Villain may be paid by an outside source to commit the crime. Regardless, this Villain is more of a business person than a psychopathic killer, A Mercenary will not commit a crime if the fee is not right. In addition, most Mercenaries possess their particular moral code: some will not hesitate to kill to complete a crime, but for most Mercenaries, murder necessitates a much higher fee. A Mercenary will regularly negotiate fees; for crime is a business, not a religious calling.
Cerberus, a villainous Mercenary, explains his motivation in this form:
“Working for the Collective ain’t so bad. I could work tor others, but they pay the best, the hours are good, and I can usually handle things on my own … unlike some of those other Collective jokes. My dedication to my job knows no end. Once I’m paid, I fulfill my duty, no matter what. Need to blow up a building? That’s easy. Overthrow the ruler of a country? I’ll overthrow him out the window for you, no problem. Price on someone’s head? Music to my ears, baby! When I look at people, I see ’em in values of dollars and cents, and there ain’t nobody beyond my cost. I like what I do, and my customers is always satisfied.”
This Character desires, above all else, complete destruction on as wide a 8Cale as possible. The villain is generally suicidal, thinking nothing of taking his life as long as thousands of others die in the process. Driven by an unreasoning hatred of all things, a Nihilist will often enter Killing Combat, making the use of Persuasion on the villain nearly impossible.
Dehumanizer is the definitive Nihilist. He explains his motivation in this manner:
“As I float above your pathetic little world, I cannot stop thinking of the day when I will crush your planet and reorganize your lives and bodies to fit my perfect form. I watch patiently as you wage your puny wars, increasing your arsenals while supposedly increasing your intellect, and laugh. Your weapons of war will not stop me, The atrocities of your world will not compare to the pain and suffering I will inflict on you. In my eye your species is nothing but raw material ready to be sculpted by my hand. The day will come when I will be released from my floating prison and a new age will befall the Earth. Until that time, tl1e thought of your screams shall keep me company.”
This Character wants to rule the country, world, galaxy, or universe, depending on the extent of an individual’s ambitions and abilities. The villain will not seem unreasonable in demeanor as long as everything goes his own way. Characters governed by this Motivation include leaders of “noble causes” who espouse concepts like, “My rule will benefit all of you, for only I can save/help/lead you. Oppose me, and all humanity will suffer!” A villain with Power Lust considers murder to be a perfectly viable means to an end and will use it according to his own evil standards. However, he will not kill his enemies simply for killing’s sake. Power Lusting villains tend to give away the rationale behind their actions before they kill the Heroes.
Demise, combat leader of the Collective is a prime example of Power Lust. He describes his ideals as follows:
“As combat leader of the Collective and Emperor of the Astral Plane, I can choose who lives and who dies! I like that. It is my destiny to rule over the human population and deliver them from their backward lives. When my Collective brings order to your civilization, you will thank me, I know you will thank me! In fact, I will order you to thank me, and if you do not, you will die.”
“Of course there is always some opposition to my plans, but they will be dealt with in a manner according to my design. Your pesky superheroes and their goody two shoes ways make me sick. One by one, your heroes shall meet their doom and I will crush their bones into dust to garnish my dinner. Those who do not follow me will truly meet their Demise!”
This Character is ruled by uncontrollable, negative emotions such as hatred, jealousy, fear, and arrogance, which allow the villain to feel justified in committing evil. The psychopath may be completely insane or simply be governed by a twisted and evil morality. The act of killing does not bother a psychopath, whose feelings and reasoning are often incomprehensibly warped. Most villains described as “pure evil” would be classified as psychopaths. Death, minion of Narash Tared, views his Psychopathic methods in this form:
“I, Death, am the one true constant in the universe. There is no one who can escape my icy grip. I am the antithesis of life, and my mission is simple. Life is blasphemy. I cannot and will not allow it. My lord, Narash Tared, has brought me to Earth to see that the world becomes a place of pain, death, and decay. I shall fulfill the promise I made to him:That all shall die.”
“Nothing is more pleasurable to me than seeing life force drain from a living body< I love to watch my victim’s spirit break and crumble in my iron grasp. This, and only this, gives me pleasure, Most call me insane, claiming my mind twisted by the evil machinations of my demon lord. They are wrong, as I see everything clearly. The path is obvious, and the destination is inevitable. When I am through, the world will be a golden place, where life does not exist and only the silence of Death can be heard.”
This Character lives in the criminal world tor kicks. Unlike his Thrill of Adventure counterpart, the Thrill Seeker has no stomach whatsoever for confrontation. If events turn against this villain, he turns into a coward. The Thrill Seeker will not attempt to kill a hero unless terribly desperate, as heroes have been known to become upset by such attempts and will hurt the villain. That certainly is not any fun.
Scream, the Thrill Seeker of the Collective sees his views as this:
“I love the Collective. It’s so cool’ There’s nothing like the feeling I get, bombing down out of the sky and diving into my victim, The look on his face as my sonic abilities blow him into infinity is hilarious. In fact, just the thought of it entertains me for hours.”
“The nice thing is that I’m fast, and I mean FAST! No one can catch me. When I’m up in the air. I rule the battlefield. Pedestrians fall before me, along with cars, buildings, and anything else that gets in my way. Super-heroes cringe when they see me coming, They know what’s in store tor them once I’m in range. And with the Collective backing me up, I’ve nothing to lose.”
“Although, occasionally, the Collective does have its off days. Shadow Force, and especially the Wraith, can really be a pain in the butt. When I see a comrade fall, I don’t mind so much, but when they all fall, I’m out of there!”