I know I've got a couple - one, especially - and I'm sure my fellow gamers have a particular character background / backstory / whatever that they really, really, really
like. I'll share mine in just a moment ... and I'd like to invite everyone else to do the same, as well.
It's always great to see what kinds of characters really get other players excited to play.
Anyway, this background is for a Super-0hero genre character, built using Mutants and Masterminds 2E
(at Power Level 7) for a group that had previously spent a lot of time playing the MMO City of Heroes/Villains
together. My character was a teenaged boy - aged around late fourteen, early fifteen - with Superspeed, who went by the name "Velocity". The backstory is written as if it were an in-character audiotape of Velocity relating his own origins. Read it with that in mind (and the rght "voice", especially):
Okay, so noone is ever gonna believe this. I mean, like they'll think I'm nuts or something.
But the thing is: I got super-powers this summer. And I don't even know how it happened, it just did ...! It's not supposed to happen that way, is it? I mean, you always hear about supers being from another planet, or getting some super-soldier serum, or finding some magical whatsit in a tomb, somewhere.
But just waking up, and "poof", you have powers? Does that REALLY happen?
I guess so, 'cause that's what happened to me. No really, <b>me</b> ... ordinary geeky kid in highschool, and WHAMMO!, superpowers. And I didn't even discover them in any way that makes a neat story. No, I was just being stupid - me and Tom were just tossing a frisbee 'round, in the back yard, when we got thirsty and went in for a drink ... still tossing the dumb frisbee. Well, I toss it to Tom, he catches it and tosses it back ... and I missed it, and watched it sail RIGHT for the glass display case where mom keeps the good china, the stuff HER grandmother got for her wedding.
Irreplacable, every piece - it's not made anymore, the whole company got bombed into dust in world war two. And the frisbee's headed straight for it, a hard throw too.
My life flashed before my eyes - which isn't fun, when you're only fourteen, because there's not much of it to watch. Seriously, my own life was going into reruns ...! Then there was this odd sort of "click" - I can't say if I heard it, or felt it - like someone breaking a toothpick or a plastic fork. And everything .... stretched. That's what it was like: everything got stretched-out; the frisbee was moving slow ... Tom was moving slow ... everything, except me.
Except me, as I dashed over in front of the frisbee clear across the room, must'a been almost twenty feet, and grabbed it.
Stretched-feeling gone, all the papers on the coffee table I'd just hopped over suddenly go flying everywhere, and Tom's staring at me like he's seen a ghost.
Twenty feet. In less than the blink of an eye. Like it was nothing; I wasn't even out of breath (except for the whole "life flashing in front of my eyes" bit).
So, yeah. Super-powers ... me ... and it just kinda "happened". And no, it's not like the frisbee was magic, nor those plates either. No aliens hell-bent on protecting antique china. No super-serum in our sodas. It just ... happened.
Wierd, huh? Well, you're just hearing about it ... picture having it happen, to you!
I dropped that frisbee and backed away from it - almost into that damned cabinet of dishes, ha! - while Tom was all "dude, how did you DO that?" Yeah, like I knew, right? I mean, I just knew I had to be there, really really fast, instead of here, and ... zoom?
Well. Me and Tom, we spent the rest of the weekend figuring out the "How", alright. Should have been writing an essay for History, but who cares about an "F" here and there, when you have superpowers ... right?
Answer: my mom. Grounded me for three weeks after that - no visitors, no leaving the house or yard, no TV, no video games, no internet, jeeze. I think she'd had another fight with dad that weekend, so I know she wasn't in the best of moods, but ... over-react much?
Anyway, that gave me a whole lot of time to figure out the what's and the how's, as long as I made sure my little sister wasn't around to spy on me. Turns out "zoom" was pretty close - I learned how to make that stretched-out feeling come back, and USE it. Hehehe, homework never flew by so fast - chores, too!
Well, except that for ME, it doesn't go any faster. How's that for not fair? Still, it gives me plenty of time for doing whatever else I like. Tom made me swear off of using my power against him on our x-boxes, though - it really ISN'T fair to the other guy, when I'm the only one with a slow-mo button, I guess.
And of course, once I discovered I had a superpower, there was only ONE choice left to make: good guy, or badguy? And while badguy would have made me more money ... how would I explain having a few million dollars of pocket money, at MY age? Besides, villains suck - they were probably all jocks that stopped getting their way, or something.
So, that left being a Hero. Which, let me tell you, wasn't as easy as it sounds. No, really - have you ever made your own set of clothes? Neither had I ... but you don't go to your overprotective mother and say "Hey, I'm gonna be a superhero, and fight criminals (who have knives and guns and bombs and stuff, and will want to kill me, or worse) - can you make me a costume?"
Plus, what am I, nine years old ...? Asking my mommy to make me a halloween costume? Jeeze.
So I had to figure out how to put one together on my own. Took the money I'd been saving for some new models, bought some stuff from a military surplus store, and got to work. Five tries later, I actually had something wearable - what you see me in, now. Hood for the top of my face, and my head; a wrap for the rest of my face. Urban-camo to help me sneak around at night better - and 'cause it's cool-lookin', yeah - and goggles, because when I really pour it on, I can't see due to the wind in my eyes. The belt and stuff, that's 'cause ... well ... I kinda forgot to leave room for pockets.
And lately, I've ALWAYS got the munchies, especially when I'm doing the hero thing - so those pockets come in real handy.
Anyway - so I had my power, and I had a costume, and the name was an easy choice. The next thing to do was go out, and ...
This is where the Underpants Gnomes come in. Oh come on, you must know about them - from South Park? On TV? Damn, what do adults WATCH, anyway? It's the whole "Step one, collect underpants! ... Step two, *shrug* ... Step three, Profit!" thing.
Bah, nevermind. The point is, I spent two weeks "patrolling the city", and never saw a single crime. At least, not one I *knew* was a crime, when I saw it. I mean, come on, what did I know? Badguys were supposed to LOOK like badguys, right? Old ladies were getting their purses robbed on every corner, right?
Wrong. Only in comics and video games. Lucky for me, Tom's a wiz with computers, and found a website that listens into police-band stuff, and retransmits it on the 'net - both sound AND text. And what do you know, one of the places they cover, is right here! Tom put together a website that'd forward certain alerts to my cellphone, and voila! I had a way to know when and where to go "do the hero thing", and stuff!
The first time I actually stopped a crime ... wow, I nearly pissed my pants. There were these three guys, see, about to start beating on some homeless guy. Tryin' to rob him, I think ... like homeless guys have lots of money, or something. Well, who ever said crooks were smart?
So anyway, two guys are watching the third as he raises up a stick, holding the homeless guy by his ratty coat, and *whoooooosh*, the stick's not in his hand, and there's me ... dumb and cocky, flipping it end over end, catching it and all "did you drop this?" and "why don't you three walk away and leave the poor guy alone - while you can still walk".
Well, turns out trash-talk works better in Halo than in real, actual "dark alleys". Lead goon starts lookin' pissed, and he's a BIG guy, so that's already not something I'm liking. Then one of his buddies pulls out a gun. A gun, for serious! And he points it right at me, and *(flash)BAM! (flash)BAM!*
Fuck, man, I've never heard anything that loud. I've never been that scared, either - lucky for me, I guess some of the speed-and-zoom is just reflex, because *streeeeeeeetch*, like never before, and all of a sudden I'm all Matrix and stuff .... lean to the right and the first bullet misses, lean to the left and the second one goes by.
Not the time to be cocky, though - I had no idea yet if I could dodge bullets from TWO guns at once, and Buddy Number Two was pulling out another gun. So yeah, screw the trash-talk, I kept the stretch-out feeling going at full tilt, and laid into them.
Now, I'm not, like ... super-muscled, or anything, right? Not a weakling, but I wasn't lifting weights or anything. Not football team material, at all. Still, In the time it took Number Two to finish pulling that gun out of his pants ... I hit Lead and One about twenty times apiece. Then while Two was starting to try and figure out where I'd gone, ten or fifteen punches to HIM.
I stopped, the stretch went away, and all three guys dropped like ... well, I don't know, guys who'd just had their asses kicked by a kid in fast-forward, I guess.
Then I find out the "homeless guy" is really an undercover cop, as a dozen OTHER cops come charging around the corner into the alley, and his partner jumps out from behind some dumpsters. Talk about bad timing - and there I am, so scared out of my wits my voice is squeaking, saying "Hey wait, I'm on your side, I'm a good guy!" as every cop in the universe comes running up, guns pointed at me 'cause THEY don't know what hit the three stooges any more than the STOOGES do.
Well, it all turned out okay in the end - after about ten minutes of explaining enough to calm everyone down, but trying NOT to explain anything that's supposed to be "Secret Identity" stuff. Plus, trying not to wet my pants, but still not look like I'm almost GONNA.
But ... scared or not, MAN what a rush ... I was hooked. Screw money, screw "get even with the jocks" ... the pure rush of something like that, and then adding in that you know you just helped someone who NEEDED it? Better than any drug, anywhere, any time.
Granted, the cops still weren't exactly thrilled with a KID getting involved; my suggestion that they use a special code on the radio, if they ever needed my help (except during school) ... well, that didn't go over so well; they were all "do your parents know where you are", and "aren't you up awfully late on a school night, son?". Yeesh.
That was three months ago. Most nights, it's just a few muggers, or gang-bangers. Two weeks ago, it was a fire - and I was zip-zip-zip-zip, poof, everyone out safely. Let me tell you, the firefighters and police really WERE happy to see me, that day. I even got on TV, and got to do the whole "'scuse me, ma'am, duty calls" and go *woosh*-ing away, mid-question! (I swear, I couldn't have timed that better, if I'd planned it.) I saw the footage later - left a really cool grey blur for a moment when I ran off.
Oh, and: thank god me and Tom thought about my voice being recognisable, and got this dohicky that straps to your throat and changes how you sound. It's not perfect, and it tickles ... but between that and TV, well, I can hope my mom doesn't recognise it was ME saying "Hi, mom!" ... hahahaha ... no really: she'd KILL me. Dead. And then ground me for a thousand years!