The Game: Truth & Justice
The Publisher: Atomic Sock Monkey Press
Degree of Familiarity: I'm familiar with PDQ, and T&J is my go-to for superhero one-shots.
Books Required: Corebook only
Truth & Justice is a great game. It's a game or playing superheroes, rather than a game for modeling super-powers. Great deal of genre-emulation in the rules, and the book goes through the Three Ages of comics plus animated superhero shows before it gets to mechanics.
First step is selecting a name. Well, no. The first step is working out what I'm going for. I've had a hero in mind for a while now who can transform machines into equipment: a car into body armour, a motorcycle into a weapons system, or a mobile phone into a sensory suite. He transforms them via a form of tactile telekinesis, but he works on a subconscious level and can't change things back.
As a name, there's nothing more fun than references. Hence, Chad Oeming a.k.a. Mekton.
Background covers the character's life up to becoming a superhero, hitting the high notes that still affect him even now.
Chad's an easygoing kid, part class clown and part slacker. His parents were both superhumans: his father was Black Dawn, master of darkness, and his mother was the Gravity Witch. He didn't know them as he was growing up; his dad would jump between hero and villain without knowing why, and was locked up for attempting to rob the first national bank. His mother transcended physical dimensions and explored hyperspace. He grew up with a normal white-bread family, though he's an outsider due to being adopted. He's just started college, majoring in mechanical engineering.
What drives our hero to be a hero? This does have a mechanical edge: ignoring a motivation costs Hero Points, while indulging it nets us those points in spades. "Help those who can't help themselves" sounds about right.
Chad's an Expert [+4] Lovable Goofball and an Expert [+4]Engineer. He's also a Good [+2] Scrappy Fighter. Unfortunately, he's got Poor [-2] Impulse Control and doesn't know when to hold back.
Chad never knew his parents were superhumans. Driving through a part of town that Golden Albion was busy destroying, he wanted a chance to survive and he got it—when the car reshaped around him into a suit of armour. Only after researching his birth-parents, and visiting Black Dawn in jail, did he realise that he'd been a superhuman since birth.
I'm considering a meta-power, but I don't think that's the way to go. Instead, I take Master [+6] Techgnosis. This is an interesting one: the power allows him to reshape machinery to give him other powers. For example, he could change a car into a suit of Super-Armour—though he couldn't change it back. The strange artifacts of this power litter the world, all thoroughly useless once Mekton casts them aside.
There's a few limitations. First off, he needs to have access to something that fits the general size and complexity of whatever device he wants to make. Second, he has to pool the Quality ranks of whatever he uses, with Average counting as 1 rank (most items have a single Average quality covering what they are) to determine the maximum rank of the resulting power. Every successful use of Techgnosis reduces the power by the Rank of the power gained (one Average power is free, two Average powers count as one Good), and transforming each item requires a separate use of Techgnosis.
Example: Frostfire's broken free of the Zig again, and Mekton wants to put him down. He's going to need protection. Spying a couple of parked cars, he transforms them into armour. Each car has a single Average [+0] Car Quality. He has to use the power on one to make Average [+0] Super Armour, then add another car to up that to Good [+2]. With that in place, his Techgnosis is effectively Expert [+4] until he releases the armour.
That seems complex, but it's simpler in play: points in Techgnosis become points in other powers once you find enough things to build into those powers. Note that this is a very complex and strange power, compared to an energy blast.
Okay. Making new powers is fun, but if Chad infused an object just for a moment, it'd change into a new form then render itself inert. Very useful against villainous gadgeteers.
Scramble (Techgnosis Spin-off; Good [+2]; 0 HP; beat a TN of the highest Quality or Power to trash a technological device).
This is easy. Everyone starts out with 5 Hero Points and a MAX of 10.
I'm thinking a dark red bodysuit for a base, with a gold star logo on the chest. Add a black domino mask and black boots and gloves with glowing golden circuits.
That's me done. To be honest, the character sheet would have at least 80% of this entry on it, so instead of a summary sheet at the bottom, have a picture.