Hello again! I’m here for the second installment of The Best Character Formulas. So far, I’ve talked about heroes with Personal Demons, and how while they might not seem to be the best choice as a hero, in the end, their stories might be the most rewarding. Moving On, I’ll be talking about my favorite type to play, Hindered Heroes.
Formula 2: Hindered Heroes
Superman is awesome, Superman is cool, Superman is a great hero. What he isn’t is invulnerable, because if he were invulnerable, his stories would get dull pretty quickly. Sure, he can fly faster than bullets, stop bullets, and even eat bullets, but he can’t do a damn thing about kryptonite bullets. Ah ha! Now we have something that peaks our interest! It is largely more entertaining watching a hero overcome obstacles, instead of completely overpowering obstacles.
I don’t expect you to make a super character with one Achilles heel (that’s hardly a good role playing character). What I do expect, is that your character has some negative trait that sets him apart from others – something that says, “Yeah, I’m cool, but I’m even cooler because I have to work harder to get that cheddar.”
Here are some examples:
- Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson’s character) from Lethal Weapon, and his struggle with sanity
- Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop, trying to be a cop in “this ain’t your jurisdiction” Beverly Hills
- Superman, and his kryptonite
- Daredevil, and his blindness
- The Hulk, and his anger management issues
- Robin Hood, being continuously hunted by the sheriff
- Willow, and his being small in a human’s world
- John Constantine,and his “let’s get this life over with, I don’t give a crap” attitude
- Edward from Twilight, and his struggle to not eat his girlfriend (or anyone else). Team Edward!
Most of my characters are considered hindered heroes, as that is what I get the most enjoyment from.
Even power-gamers and godmoders can benefit from playing a hindered hero. The hindrance doesn’t have to be a mechanical penalty, and usually, it isn’t. For instance, your character could be a mean alcoholic, or has horrible scars, or is a little crazy, or whatever.
Really, it’s up to you to decide how your character is going to be set apart from the rest. Believe me, being the underdog in some fashion or another has its rewards. Just go for it!
Thanks for reading!