A character for the DC Universe Roleplaying Game, created by Shisumo.
Real Name: Tien Hsiao-Lin
Occupation: Martial artist/vigilante
Base of Operations: Mobile
Race: Human Tech Level: Modern
Attractive Appearance (-2D), Courage (-2D)
Enemy (Jade Talon clan, +4D), Enemy (Jiang Shi, +3D), Sworn Enemy (Jiang Shi, +3D)
Reflexes 4D (acrobatics 8D, brawling 7D, dodge 8D, martial arts 8D, melee weapons 6D)
Coordination 3D (catch 4D, missile weapons 4D, thrown weapons 5D)
Knowledge 2D (languages 3D [English +2D]
Presence 2D (Intimidation 3D, Willpower 5D)
Stone Dragon Form (Superphysique 8D, plus linked Invulnerability 2D, Super Hero Form)
Stone Dragon Breath (Microwave Projection 8D, from mouth only, Super Hero Form, managing skill martial arts)
Speed 30, PDV 4, Unarmed BDV brawling 4D, martial arts 1D
P/l Bonus +1/+5, Hero Points 1, Character Points 15, Body Points 27/66
(numbers before and after slash indicate changes based on the Stone Dragon form)
Tien Hsiao-Lin used to be an ordinary housewife, the quiet, mousy trophy companion of Carl Jansen, a rich medical techology developer. Sue Lynn, as she called herself at the time, married the charming American when she was only 16 years old, when he visited Hong Kong on a college trip. After coming to the United States, she set about assimilating, having a family, and doing everything she could to forget the life she'd grown up knowing.
Shortly after the birth of her second child, though, she began to notice a change in Carl's behavior - or perhaps it was not a change at all, and her increasing self-confidence, spurred by the responsibility of motherhood, merely allowed her to see what had been there all along. Carl was constantly interested in her family and culture, asking questions about her ancestors' inheritances and family stories. Whenever she tried to beg off from answering, he was push her, try to wheedle her into answering, sometimes even complaining that her stubbornness was unworthy of a wife who had received so much from her husband. Though she tried to explain that living in America was easier if she did not try to think about where she'd come from, he was unwilling to accept her answers, and always pushed harder. It was a small thing, as marriage trouble go, but it unsettled her.
Finally, Carl demanded that they vacation in China to see where her family had come from. She protested weakly, but away they went, Carl, Sue Lynn and their two daughters. They spent more than a week driving back roads and staying in tiny, cramped inns. Carl constantly asked the locals about legends and history, and one morning he seemed to be truly excited about something. He suggested they visit a cave he had heard about, do a little amateur spelunking. Always an athletic woman, Sue Lynn agreed, though she was dubious about taking their 2 year old and 5 year old girls with them. Carl insisted it would be safe. At first, he seemed to be right - the cave was large and level, and their flashlights turned up only a few lichen-covered rocks. Then Carl found a dark, seemingly bottomless hole in a chamber deep within the cave. Almost frenzied, he produced rope, a climbing harness, and pitons, and prepared to descend into the shaft. Against Sue Lynn's desperate protests, he disappeared from view. Moments later, the earth began to shake. Rocks skittered down the walls, and the deep "boom" of a collapsing tunnel echoed from somewhere. Sue Lynn screamed, called Carl's name, but she heard nothing. Fearig for her life and that of her girls, she ran... just ahead of the cave-in.
By the time the rescuers excavated the cave, there was no sign of Carl.
Lost, Hsiao-Lin returned to her family in Hong Kong, where her mother told her an amazing secret - her family were the keepers of an ancient duty, the protection of the Dragon's Eye, a cursed artifact of unspeakable power. In order to facilitate their duty, the Tien family had been granted knowledge of the Stone Dragon, a martial art technique that would allow its user to become almost as powerful as the tien long, the celestial dragons, themselves. Hsiao-Lin was to be the next keeper, but she refused. She had a life in America, and two children to take care of. She returned to the United States and tried to go on with her life.
A few months after she came back to the States, however, tragedy struck. Her daughters were kidnapped from their preschool, and the witnesses identified the man who took them as Carl - but Carl with powers unlike anything Hsiao-Lin had ever seen; strength enough to knock down a wall and tear a teacher literally in half when she tried to stop him. When she called her mother, frantic for some reassurance, her mother told her what she had not thought to mention before: the cave where Carl had disappeared had been the resting place of the Dragon's Eye, and Carl was now suffering under its curse. Her only hope of rescuing her children was to accept the duties of the Stone Dragon. She flew back to Hong Kong at once.
She eventually rescued her daughters, but her husband, now calling himself Jiang Shi, escaped with the Dragon's Eye. Leaving her daughters under the protection of her mother, Hsiao-Lin now wanders the world, upholding the laws of Heaven and punishing evil, while forever hoping to find Jiang Shi and end his evil for good.
Ran into a snag on this one.
DCU committed the ultmiate sin: I didn't enjoy making the PC.
To clarify, the game in question is West End Games' DC Universe RPG, another d6-based system (though not the same one as that which powered their Star Wars game or The d6 System I have used elsewhere for the Create a Character Challenge), and not any of the seemingly-dozens of DC-based supers RPGs. (At times, it feels like a new DC game comes out every week or so...) This system uses dice pools and counts successes - a success is 3-6 on a die, with failure only being a 1-2. Rather forgiving, it seems to me, but then, this is a superhero game - failure isn't really part of the genre so much.
Now, I'm kind of a fan of supers games; other than "non-modern fantasy" - a category so broad as to be almost useless - I have more supers games than any other genre. In addition to DCU and Aberrant, I'll eventually be getting to both Necessary Evil (for Savage Worlds) and Mutants and Masterminds. DCU, however, manages to be limiting, counterintuitive and poorly organized, making concept expression a real pain in the ass, especially for beginning players.
I'd also like to take a moment to look at the following sidebar on pg. 20, the very first page of the character creation chapter:
If you add up the dice for Robin, the character used in the solitaire adventure in the introduction, you'll notice that total is about three times that of a typical Power Level 1 starting character. For a typical starting character, that would be too high. However, Tim Drake has been Robin in the DC Universe for a few years. In that time, he's had plenty of opportunities to rank up Character Points, which, in addition to helping with rolls, aid in acquiring and improving skills. (Later chapters in this book talk about both of these traits of Character Points.) Playing adventures will gie you the chance to gain Character Points and develop your hero into a true legend.
So, did you get that? If your character idea is, "I want to play someone like Robin!" then the game's answer is, "Tough noogies."
(creation time: 45 minutes)