Game Specific Rules

This page contains the rules for character creation in Enigmas and for the few game-specific special rules that will be in effect.

Character Creation

The basic character creation is Weighted Point Buy.  Characters will receive 100 points for Attributes, 200 points for Skills (Standard method), Double Character Age in Background Points, and 50 extra points.  I have figured the cost/benefit of the modifiers and backgrounds, but posting them here would be an exercise in confusion for a playtest game.  I imagine that when we're making characters you'll just tell me what you want and I'll figure the cost for you.

One particular caveat that I want people to know about is that you must take the Unusual History Background to have any combat-related skills aside from your theme (see below).  You will be playing characters that are supposed to not really be suited for the heroic lifestyle, and thus it requires a bizarre and/or humorous background to justify having those skills that would start you off as an excellent hero.   In general, one combat skill requires a low-cost Unusual History, while being able to buy freely requires a moderate-cost background.  In whatever case, the combat skill total bonus can't be bought higher than the background during character creation.

If I find a character idea to be particularly funny/cool I will award a few more Extra Points.

Themes and Powers

Characters in this system have their heroics focused through their Theme.  I will be using Mystery Men for examples, for the ease of reference.  Every character has a Theme, but may or may not have the abilities to truly support this Theme, based on the following choices.  More discussion of Theme is under Heroism, below.  Characters pick one of the options below during character creation:

Unpowered  Theme - The character has a Theme, but no real powers to support it.  Instead, this Theme is supported by training.  The character is allowed to buy combat skills up to a bonus of +6, as long as they are completely germaine to the Theme, and can get one signature Specialty ability at 3 dots for free.  For example, the Blue Rajah could buy Athletics 1, Throwing 2, Utensil Flinging 3 for a total +6 bonus.  Other Unpowered Theme Mystery Men are Mr. Furious, The Shoveler, and The Bowler (she has an Unusual Possession, no real superpower).

Powered Theme - The character actually has a super power.  It's a really, really, silly super power that is not terribly useful in many situations, but it's right in line with the character's Theme, and thus can be sometimes pushed with Heroism.  The character can buy Theme-related combat abilities up to +3, as above, but gets no free skills.  Invisible Boy and The Spleen are Mystery Men in this category.

Unthemed Power - The character has a power, and it's a power that can prove very useful in very, very specific circumstances.  However, the power has nothing to do with the character's Theme, and thus is terribly strange to see in action, as well as being impossible to push with Heroism.  The character can only buy Theme related combat skills up to +2.  The Sphinx fits this category, as his Theme is Terribly Mysterious Riddles, but his power is to cut guns in half with his mind.



The true power of heroes is Heroism.  This is a stat that is rated from one to twenty and functions much like Drama Points from the Buffy RPG or like Inspiration from Adventure!.  All characters start with 2 permanent Heroism, and can only gain more by roleplaying in game.  Characters receive their rating in Heroism at the beginning of each game, and can spend it for various effects, regaining it when the character's Theme is especially supported, when the character does something especially heroic that is not directly beneficial, or when the character goes along with a changable personally detrimental plot point because it helps the story.  Effects that can be generated by spending Heroism are as follows:

Thematic Push - The character uses Heroism to gain some special benefit from his or her Theme.  Only one point of Heroism can be spent for a push on any given action.  When adding to a roll appropriate to the Theme, the character can add a die to the roll (size depends on permanent Heroism).   The character rolls the smallest die possible that has a roll total close to Permanent Heroism.  So a d4 for Heroism 1-5, a d6 for Heroism 6-7, a d8 for Heroism 8-9, a d10 for Heroism 10-11, a d12 for Heroism 12-19, and a d20 at Heroism 20.  If this is used to push a Thematic power without a roll, it will have effects based on GM determination.

Heroic Exertion - The character can spend Heroism on any roll, after the roll has been made, to try to raise the roll's total to a new level of success.  There is no limit, save available points, to the Heroism that can be spent in this way,  and each point adds a +1 to the roll's total.  This can avert a particularly low roll that was being regarded as a Botch as well.

Heroic Coincidence - The character can spend a point of Heroism to make a minor change to a plot point.  This is not to the level of Adventure!'s editing, but can cause the hero to discover a clue when things look bleak, recover from a really bad dead end, or otherwise avoid something really frustrating.

Heroes Don't Die in Vain - The character can spend 1-4 points of Heroism to avoid certain death, whether from bleeding, explosions, falls, etc.  One point alone is enough to avoid even the worst fate, but more certain death will have lasting detrimental effects if more points are not spent.

Heroes Heal Quickly - One Heroism point can be spent to instantly heal 3 Bruising damage or 1 Crushing damage.  The character can also spend Heroism to double healing rate, each extra point doubling the previous double.  This is a good use of  left-over Heroism at the end of a game.

Heroes Come Back - If, after all of this, a character still manages to die, the character can spend a permanent Heroism point to come back the next game (or next other appropriate juncture) as a somehow-back-from-the-dead hero, possibly with better or changed powers.

Keep in mind that some villains may well be able to pull these tricks as well.



I will be using a variant of the White Wolf suggestion about disposable goons in Adventure!.  Thugs, mooks, and other bit villains will usually only be able to take damage equal to their Body, and it won't matter what type of damage this is.  When that damage is used up, the mook will be unconscious, run away, or otherwise be out of the fight.  This also makes it less necessary to carry around lethal weapons in the superheroing line of work.