Tropes represent specific interesting things about your character: aspects of their personality, items that they own, etc. They are purchased at character creation, however may may be gained or lost over the course of play, as a result of actions, at GM discretion. However it is possible to put actions into trying to get them, such as doing some public charity things to try and become more famous.

Tropes come at a variety of costs between -3 and +3, with some tropes having multiple options for different levels of power / severity. Positive tropes are advantageous to your character, and can be leveraged in actions to give you a benefit. Negative tropes are disadvantages, and may crop up at inconvenient moments, or need actions be put into them in order to keep them at bay.

When creating a character, you start with 2 free points to spend on positive tropes, but you can spend up to an extra 6 points (for a maximum of 8) by taking negative tropes to balance them out. While you can only gain back 6 points by taking negative tropes, you may, if you are feeling particularly masochistic, take extra negatives just for fun.

Each trope can be taken a maximum of once per character, with the exception of those tropes labelled (*), which may be taken multiple times if desired.

Universal Tropes

Personal Tropes

Personal tropes relate specifically to some aspect of your character (e.g. their personality). Of course, as tropes are not the be-all and end-all of your character, your character may have aspects that are not covered by tropes, or you do not wish to specify with a trope. For example, you could roleplay a character with a disability, but not take related tropes. In practice, this means that your character has mechanisms in place to counteract any far-reaching negative consequences of their disability.

Accident-Prone (-2)

You're not clumsy, accidents just happen, right? It's not your fault that a disproportionately large number of accidents seem to happen to you, right? Right?

Sometimes you end up injuring yourself. Sometimes you end up injuring those around you.

Affliction (-2)

You have an ongoing affliction (physical or mental) which could hold you back, or affect you at inconvenient moments. Unfortunately, it's not something easy to get rid of, either - if it were, you probably would have done it already.

Amnesia (+2 / -2)

You don’t know who you are, or how you got these powers. The GMs will decide the details of your past.

(+2) Obviously whatever you were in the past was positive for you and those around you. You receive nice messages/gifts that allude to your past, indirectly or otherwise. If only you knew where they were coming from.

(-2) You were probably not well-regarded. Mysterious threats and possible attempts at taking your life are not exactly welcome, but maybe you deserve it?

Angst (-2)

Life's really hard sometimes. Everyone knows that. But why is it that your life is so much harder than other people's? Parents dead? Whole race dead? Can't sleep after that accidental explosion that killed hundreds? Can't quite get over how you didn't manage to kill hundreds during that perfect opportunity years ago? You just can't help dwelling on the past (and, let's be honest, sometimes the present is pretty hard to cope with, too). Your (questionably) minor obsession may cause you to imagine danger where there isn't really any, take something to the extreme, or just get stuck in a long internal monologue after seeing something everyone else might consider totally insignificant.

Augmented Reality (+2 / -2)

You have some kind of digital feed connected directly to your brain, or hard-wired into your eyes (or whatever it is you use to see).

(+2) You have an AR system which provides useful information at critical times, well beyond most consumer grade gear. For example, overlaying the guards' patrol routes on your vision as you sneak into the museum, or pointing out the weak spots on the giant death robot you're fighting.

(-2) Those damn pop-ups can pop up at really inconvenient moments. It's a lot harder to fight something if you're seeing a flashing image telling you you're the 10,000th visitor to this exact paving stone, and should blink here to get your prize.

Blackouts (-2)

You have occasional blackouts. There may be specific circumstances that tend to trigger them or they may happen apparently randomly. Let us know the details and we'll decide what's going on with you.

Dark Secret (-2)

There's something you're keeping to yourself - and for good reason. Perhaps at some point in the past, you did something you're not particularly proud of. Perhaps you're a hero plotting world domination. Your dark secret is a secret best kept to yourself; it could damage your standing considerably if it becomes public knowledge, and possibly result in further negative consequences as well.

Dependence (-1 / -2 / -3)

You are dependent on something in order to keep functioning. It could be medication, or daily exposure to the combination of gases making up your far-away planet's atmosphere, for example. Without it, your comfort and quality of life will decrease substantially.

(-1) Without access to it, you won't stop functioning, but it will affect you: for instance, without your daily medication for your long-ago injured leg, you won't be able to run on it as well, slowing you a little in a fight.

(-2) If you can no longer obtain the thing on which you depend, there will be severe consequences: perhaps your powers become erratic without regular exposure to your family's sacred spring, or your body becomes far weaker.

(-3) The consequences are even worse: total loss of powers, a severe reduction in your body's abilities, or even the loss of a sense.

Dramatics (+1 / +2 / -2)

Why would you do things normally, when a touch of the dramatic can make tasks amazing? Clearly this is a question you have found your answer for, since you clearly enjoy a bit of dramatic flourish.

(+1) Although being dramatic doesn't give you an edge in what you do, it does help get you noticed when noticed is what you want to be. This can help to impress people and gain you more respect/infamy, which may lead to you being approached with opportunities.

(+2) Your dramatics can sometimes be distracting to those you're facing off against, although it doesn't make you any better at actually fighting, per se. It also tends to impress those around you, as above.

(-2) You get caught up in the flair, which can slow you down, or give people time to regroup and fight back.

Hidden Weakness (-2 / -3)

You have some kind of weakness. Presented with it, you will be at a significant disadvantage, or actively weakened.

(-2) Your weakness is hard to obtain, or difficult to exploit (e.g. a rare mineral, a complex series of strikes to pressure points, a killswitch located in a secret government bunker).

(-3) Your weakness is easy to obtain, or simple to exploit (e.g. silver, the off switch at the back of your neck, a command word).

Lair (+2 / +3 / -2)

You have a lair, hidden or otherwise. You can have a base of operations without taking this trope, but it won't be particularly well defended, or all that hard to find if someone is looking.

(+2) Your base is well fortified, difficult to locate, or has some kind of advanced equipment.

(+3) You can pick two of the above features, or your base is exceptionally well fortified but relatively easy to find (e.g. a giant battle fortress), or your base is exceptionally hard to find, but also lacks defences (e.g. a ship with a stealth generator, but which has no room for extra defences).

(-2) Your base puts you at a disadvantage (e.g. your parents' basement, a prison cell, a failing space station in need of constant maintenance), but there is some equipment there which is essential to your work.

Let the GMs know where your lair is, and what makes it special.

Mandatory Monologuing (-2)

Sometimes you get so caught up in the high of the moment (good or bad) that the only thing to do is talk. And talk. And talk. You get so swept away by what you're saying that you forget that it may be a bad idea to mention certain things. Or that something else is going on, and now really isn't the time.

Medical Training (+1 / +2 / +3)

Having the science know-how is all well and good when you're making some tentacled monstrosity, but when it comes to patching up your wounded little monstrosity, you may need a bit more hands-on expertise with how to heal it up sensibly. Should you decide on further, potentially dangerous experimentation, being a trained medic may also help keep your monstrous test subject alive. And, possibly, in reasonable health.

GM note: You don't need to have the science skill to take this trope, but it may help, particularly when it comes to more exotic biologies or ailments. When it comes to healing other people using a superpower, this trope will help you get the most out of it. After all, you can't expect to heal someone completely unless you actually know what you're doing.

(+1) You have first aid training or equivalent. You may not be able to do anything fancy, but it'll help deal with the basics (e.g. minor burns, a cleanly broken bone).

(+2) You have a few years of medical training or equivalent. You can make reasonable medical deductions on many cases, conduct basic operations and patch people up decently, although more complex medical issues and unforeseen complications may be more difficult for you to deal with.

(+3) You are a fully trained doctor or equivalent. You can patch people up quickly, perform decent operations, and have a reasonable idea (through extrapolation) of how to deal with more tropical ailments. Without the science skill, however, you will be unable to synthesise your own drugs for disease treatment (for example); and when it comes to more bizarre biology, you might struggle without assistance or further information beforehand.

Non-Human (+2 / -2)

Maybe you're from somewhere literally out of this world, or maybe you're just the result of some guy in his basement tinkering with spare parts. Whatever it is, for better or worse, your body isn't all that human.

(+2) You're one of the lucky ones. Hardier than a human, you find it considerably easier to shake off poisons and exist in more difficult climates.

(-2) You're not so lucky. Your body is just a bit too alien for the average doctor to understand, making it more difficult to get you patched up when something goes badly. They'll get the job done, but some may have to… approximate. You may also find it a bit harder to cope with the same adverse conditions as a human.

Phobia (-2)

It fills you with dread. Sends chills down your spine. Makes you do stupid things, or just sends you running in the other direction. Your phobia should be something broad, not impossibly narrow (e.g. your character could be afraid of birds, but just having a phobia of robins may be a bit too specific).

Resources (+1 / +2)*

You have some kind of valuable resource (e.g. a pile of money, a small business or some rare materials). Be aware that you can use up resources, or they may lose value without further maintenance (e.g. your hoard of diamonds will get smaller when you spend them; a small business may require you to manage it occasionally).

(+1) A smaller resource e.g. a reasonable pile of money or a stash of lockpicks.

(+2) A larger resource e.g. a big pile of money or a small pile of missiles.

Tool (+1 / +2)*

You have a tool of some kind (e.g. a vehicle, a robot dog or a death-ray). Be aware that you will be unable to use tools particularly effectively if they are not part of your Powers (e.g. your death laser will be highly inaccurate unless you have a death laser-based power). Tools which are not part of your Powers are also likely to need maintenance in order to use them multiple times.

(+1) A less useful tool e.g. the super-escape-moped.

(+2) A more useful tool e.g. a cloud of construction nanobots.

Super-Ego (-2)

Lesser people, step aside! You're on your way to kick ass and take names. Missile heading for the city? No problem! You're pretty sure that you can take it out. Can't fly? Doesn't matter, you're so amazing that you'll think of something, no doubt - and it's going to be a whole lot better than what anyone else could do. You're incredibly sure of yourself, and supposedly this has gotten you into some pretty difficult situations… But it's never your fault, right? There's always something, or someone, else to blame.

The Code (-2)

You follow a strict, personal code. It may not have anything to do with following the law - it's much more personal than that. Maybe you have vowed to kill no one, or maybe you have vowed that during each scheme, at least one person must die a grisly death. Deviation from the code is something you just don't do. You will stick to your code, and damn the consequences.

Unintended Outcomes (-2)

Perhaps you're a villain who, in trying to destroy their nemesis, accidentally puts out that nearby burning building; or maybe you're a hero who really doesn't mean to keep killing civilians (you promise). These unintended outcomes tend to give people the wrong idea about you.

Vice (-2)

Could be a type of object, or just a bad habit - whatever it is, you're addicted; you just have to have it, and frequently. It's not something you can just ignore, either. Your body won't let you. The longer you wait between indulgences, the more significant your cravings will get, and the more unhinged you'll become.

Superpower Tropes

Demanding Powers (-2)

Some people have it easy - they can just think, and poof!, their power works. You… Well, it's not exactly ideal to have to lug around a goat and sacrifice it before you can do the exact same thing. Your powers have some kind of ritual or requirement before they can be used, and keeping those requirements satisfied makes life that much harder for you.

How Does I Shot Web? (-2)

Using powers effectively comes naturally to some, but unfortunately you are not one of these people. You may have acquired your powers accidentally, or you might just not have finished perfecting them yet. You can still use your powers well enough, but sometimes they get a bit away from you.

Limited Power (-2)

You have an unusually narrow superpower, limiting how you may be able to apply it - for instance if your power is to create illusions - but only of objects you owned as a child. Sometimes it's a stretch to find a way your power can help within its limited purview.

Self-Destructive Power (-2)

Maybe you're a fire mage who isn't quite so burn-proof, or maybe your power relies on your life-force. Use of your power hurts you in some way, and over-exerting yourself can be dangerous.

Social Tropes

These tropes represent your interactions with others. Note that where another character is involved, that character must be an NPC for them to be influenced as a trope, or count as a trope. While you are more than welcome to form joint character concepts with other players that involve alliances / conflicts / etc., these should be reflected in the way you play your characters and cannot be reflected in the quirks you take (e.g. you cannot take the 'Super-Responsibility' quirk and have that relate to another PC).

Adoring Fans (-2)

These guys are everywhere. Lurking under manholes. Waiting in buildings they think you may work in. Having heated arguments about you in the streets. Interfering in that epic showdown you're trying to have with your arch-rival. They have really, really strong feelings about you, and aren't afraid to show it. Unfortunately, this tends to be more of a hindrance than a help. When they do actually listen to what you want, be wary of fan interpretation.

Collateral Damage (-2)

Sure, you wanted to beat up those goons, but you didn't mean to blow up the whole building. Not one for finesse, you tend to leave destruction in your wake, and not always when you actually want to.

Fame (+2 / -2)*

You're notorious. People have heard of you without necessarily meeting you.

(+2) You're notorious for being good at what you do, it may be easier to get things done, or get help from people who like what they have heard (or are terrified by it).

(-2) You have a shoddy reputation, making it that much harder to get people on-side.

Favours Owed (-2)

At some point in the past, someone did you a solid. Maybe they helped you get that promotion, or saved your family from a burning building, or 'accidentally' lost your criminal record. Whatever it is, you owe them. Expect them to collect on the debt.

Fish out of Water (-2)

You’re not exactly from around here. Maybe you’re from a different time, planet, or maybe this is just the first time you’ve ever ventured away from the underground cult you grew up in, but you lack some of the local knowledge - and sometimes it's all a bit overwhelming.

Friends in High Places (+2)*

At some point, you obviously made a pretty good impression on one pretty influential person, or several less influential people. You can use the connection(s) to help you out, but be warned: if you act like a super-jerk to them, they aren't going to keep supporting you.

After extensively using your connections, you may have to start doing favours for them to make up for all that time they spent on you.

This may be taken multiple times, but each must relate to a different organisation.

Hidden Master (-2)

A mysterious person (or several mysterious people), has some sway over you. Maybe it's a hidden blackmailer, or someone threatening your family. For whatever reason, when they tell you to do something, it doesn't matter you have no idea who they are. Following them is pretty compelling. Or maybe you're just concerned about what will happen if you don't.

Information Network (+2)

You know some guys who know some guys. When you need information, your network may have heard something useful about it. With more direct instruction (read: a whole action), they can be a useful tool to find out a bit more.

Knowing Is Half the Battle (-2 / -3)

For whatever reason, a key aspect of your powers/strengths/weaknesses/modus operandi is known to the general public, making it easier for those opposing you to put a wrench (metaphorical or otherwise) in your plans.

(-2) The information is incomplete or inaccurate, but enough is known to cause you issues.

(-3) Anyone who knows anything about superheroes can recite your powers from memory, but they don't always know how you'll use them, or your method are well known enough that people can generally guess what you'll do, but they don't know the limits of your abilities.

Minions (+2 / -2)

Although individually not skilled, your minions can be told to carry out unskilled tasks as a group.

(+2) Your minions are competent, this will probably go better if they are supervised by someone with skills relevant to the given task.

(-2) Well, at least they tried, right? These minions are as incompetent as they come, and their antics will, at various points, end up throwing a wrench into your plans. This will hopefully go less badly if they are supervised by someone with skills relevant to what they're attempting to do.

GM Note: Firing incompetent minions will have negative consequences.

Most Wanted (-3)

You are on the Aegis Most Wanted list. There will be many heroes trying to capture you, and those that succeed will get rewarded accordingly. Having so many people out to get you makes it much more difficult to get anything done.

WARNING: This quirk may be obtained in play if you do something to draw the ire of SPEAR.

Public Identity (-2)

You don’t have a secret identity, you are a superhero 24/7/52. This will make it much easier to target you, your friends, and your family.

Rank (+2)*

Evidently, whatever organisation you're part of can see your potential and rewarded you with a few promotions at some point. Your decent rank gives you more sway within your organisation, making it easier to make your voice heard within it, and for you to get help from the organisation when you want it. Of course, you still have to have some kind of justification - your rank may be shiny, but it won't blind people to the absurdity in your more ridiculous requests.

This may be taken multiple times, but each must relate to a different organisation.

Super-Responsibility (-2)

You have some kind of ongoing responsibility. Perhaps it's to an organisation, to some aspect of your non-super life, or just to dear old mum, but whatever it is, ignoring it will have consequences.

Mystery Tropes

Mystery Flaw (-3)

We're not telling you anything about this flaw - take it if you want to gamble on the GMs being nice people.

Mystery Object (+2 / -2)

Somehow or other, this strange object has come into your possession. You're not quite sure what it is, but there's definitely more to it than meets the eye.

Mystery Perk (+2)

Probably a good thing. Who knows? Certainly not you.

Sidekick / Nemesis Tropes

Nemesis (-2 / -3)*

You have an arch-enemy (or several arch-enemies) who will do their best to thwart you at every turn. If you do not deal with their machinations, they will interfere with whatever you are planning.

For extra fun, you may also share your NPC nemesis with other PCs, but you will all have to take this trope. Anticipate a stronger nemesis.

(-2) Your nemesis is a significant thorn in your side, but you can normally handle them with some effort.

(-3) Your nemesis is more powerful than you, and you often come off worse when you encounter them.

Sidekick (+1 / +2 / -1 / -2)*

Often, if not always, by your side, a sidekick is there to help you out with what you need help with. Although not as strong as you, they will do their best, and are usually loyal. Your sidekick may have a superpower, but will be unlikely to be that skilled at using it for all but one relatively specific purpose. For example, your custard sidekick may be above average at changing custard shapes with their mind, but cannot summon custard out of thin air to save their life.

(+2) Your sidekick is on your side, follows orders reasonably well (and at least to the best of their abilities), and does a decent enough job. They couldn't be a good replacement for you, but they complement your schemes nicely.

(+1) The same as +2 but less powerful and competent.

(-1) Your sidekick seems to be inept at everything they try. They've never caused you major problems, but they've never really delivered the intended results either.

(-2) Your sidekick is arguably not on your side. In theory, they should be decent at what they do, but for some reason or other, they tend to mess up and need bailing out. Hard to tell if it's on purpose or by accident. Be warned that attempting to fire your incompetent sidekick will have negative repercussions.

Other Playstyle Tropes

These tropes don't cost anything, and tell us more about your character's style than why things may go right or wrong for them.

Can't Stop Singing (0)

Sometimes, there's no better way to express yourself than through song.

GM note: Although your character may be singing in turnsheets, we're not actually going to write you songs.

I've Got a Bad Feeling about This (0)

You're less of a risktaker. Faced with a gamble, you're more likely to fold than keep going. This may keep you safer, but you'll also miss the opportunity for greater reward that taking the gamble may bring.

It's Clobbering Time (0)

Not one to be put off when the odds are against you, you throw yourself into things wholeheartedly. Sometimes it ends well, and sometimes, not so much.

GM note: We recommend only experienced / foolhardy players consider taking this.

Origin-Specific Tropes

These Tropes may only be taken if you have the qualifying Origin. In other words, if you have an Innate Origin, you can take an Innate Trope, but not an Acquired Trope.

Innate Tropes

Instinctive Power (+2)

You are so used to using your power that it has become a reflex, and it's the first thing you resort to when surprised. This will make you much better at using your power to respond to sudden and unexpected situations, where someone who had not grown up with their power would act on their natural instincts first.

Super-Reliance (-2)

You've had your power for life. Think about it like having an extra, quite possibly superior limb. If you have it, why would you ever not use it? Other people who haven't had it for life may not be quite so quick to rely on it, but you know better … in theory. In practice, it turns out that not every situation can be dealt with effectively using your superpower, but old habits are hard to break - and even harder if you're not necessarily willing to try.

Acquired Tropes

Lab Rat (-2 / -3)

You have no control over how your powers develop. Instead, whoever granted them to you controls their development. Or whatever powers you stole are slowly unfolding and developing further. Since your experimenter is a reasonable individual (probably), you may be able to work out an arrangement, but science waits for no one, so it's unlikely you can reach a permanent solution easily.

Mechanically, the GMs will choose your advancements.

(-2) The advancements will be what we think will be useful. Should you be able to work out a temporary deal with your experimenter, you can pick what to spend your point on, which includes non-power skills.

(-3) The advancement will be determined randomly, and it will take a lot more effort to have any choice in where the advancement is placed.

GM note: This trope will involve spending points on power-based skills only (barring the exception outlined above). However, if you have a reasonable justification for why points should be randomly distributed to certain non-power skills instead/additionally, we will include those skills in the potential distribution.

Prototype (+2)

You have been given an experimental prototype, or been subjected to an experimental treatment. You're not sure exactly what it's supposed to do, but you've been asked to check that it works. Occasionally, the prototype may be recalled and you will be given a new object to test or a different treatment.

Stolen Power (-2)

Your power was stolen from someone else, and they want it back.

Developed Tropes

Must Work Harder (-1)

As someone who's worked for your power, you can't take it as easy as everyone else. Without diligent practice, you may find yourself slipping.

Super-Focus (+2)

Years of training to get you what other people are naturally born with has given you impressive discipline. You tend to be more focused on the task at hand, and will be able to work for a bit longer.

Manifestation-Specific Tropes

These Tropes may only be taken if you have the qualifying Manifestation. In other words, if you have a Magical Manifestation, you can take a Magic Trope, but not a Genetic Trope.

Exception: if there is a reasonable justification in your backstory, you may take a manifestation trope without having the qualifying manifestation e.g. you can take the curse trope if your character annoyed an evil wizard several years ago.

Genetics Tropes

Power Amp (+2)

This piece of tech, tuned to your genetics in some way, lets you amplify your power for a short period of time. Extended or excessive use may cause it to overload. Given how sensitive this tech is, you may only be able to use it for one action per turn.

What Off Switch? (-2)

Unfortunately, your powers can't be switched off. Sure, there are some situations where your powers can be useful, but sometimes it can be a real pain.

Magic Tropes

Curse (-2)

Somewhere along the way, you received a nasty magical curse. Let us know what it is, and how it may affect you. Alternatively, leave it up to the GMs.

Familiar (+2)*

Through various circumstances, you have acquired the company of magical being of some description. They can provide help in some circumstances, but tend to be more independent than a pet. What they contribute may depend on their personality.

The Stars are Wrong (-3)

Every so often, the universe aligns in such a way that your magic just fails. This can be terribly inconvenient. This will be determined randomly for each action.

Tech Tropes

Utility Belt (+3)

A useful, portable hoard of minor items. In most situations, you'll have some item of at least some use. Don't expect it to completely solve problems, but expect it to help a bit.

Cybernetic Rejection (-1 / -2 / -3)

You are incompatible with your cybernetics.

(-1) Your incompatibility can be treated by periodic medicating, but if your supply dries up you'll be in extreme pain.

(-2) Your cybernetics will occasionally fail to function, often at times of high stress.

(-3) As well as sometimes failing to function, your cybernetics will occasionally function independently, or feed false reports to your senses.

Distributed Intelligence (+2 / +3)

Your “self” does not reside in the mere avatar that you pilot from day-to-day. You might exist in the Internet, spread over a cloud of self-replicating robots, or your “core” may be on a supercomputer in a heavily re-enforced bunker.

GM note: Bunker trope sold separately.

(+2) The destruction of your avatars is painful, and you will still take death penalties (see Character death), but they will, at least initially, be milder than what a lesser mortal would suffer. The more avatars are destroyed, the more unsavory favours and dodgy deals you will have to make to keep functioning beyond the digital world.

(+3) After years of work, you have one back-up body that's just about as good as your current avatar. If the currently inhabited avatar is destroyed, you will avoid any death penalties once as you move to your new body. Should your second body meet its end on the material plane, you will start having to call in favours and the like to keep functioning successfully.

tropes.txt · Last modified: 2015/04/02 15:06 by gm_elynor
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