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On sharing a home with a superhero


Bastille Boy
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So you put out an ad for roommates, and a superhero answered it. What is sharing a house with a hero going to be like? Your relationship with that charming rogue you've been dating is getting serious, and they want to move in. Is it going to work out? You're in charge of housing assignments for a university / a military barracks / a prison, and you have a bunch of superpowered students / soldiers / inmates. How should you decide who bunks together?

 

Of course everybody is unique. Of course you have to ask questions, like "Do you smoke?" and "What kind of music do you like?" and "Do you currently have any enemies who are trying to hunt you down and blast you with beam rifles or turn you into a newt?" But people's occupations and abilities inevitably shape their personalities. There are some rough generalizations we can make about the home lives of the major hero and villain archetypes.

 

Defenders

 

Defenders don't like to do anything alone. They don't like to go on missions alone; they don't like to eat alone; they don't like to sleep alone. If you were hoping to spend a lot of time with your new roommate, you'll probably get along great with a defender. If you value quiet time by yourself, you may need to set some boundaries.

 

Defenders with buff auras thrive living in close quarters with other people. Or, more accurately, other people thrive living with them. Being within the positive auras of several defenders feels wonderful. If you're running an institution where space is tight, and you have to put three heroes or three villains in a room designed for two, choose three defenders. If you're running a navy, try to get defenders with auras on the submarines.

 

Corruptors

 

Corruptors are only subtly different from defenders, both in their fighting style and in their social interaction. Perhaps ironically, of all the traditional villain archetypes, corruptors are most likely to reform. Their need to be close to other people often motivates them to become more moral. Those who remain "redside" throughout their careers generally form a strong honor code that enables them to live with others of their kind ("honor among thieves").

 

Masterminds

 

Petless masterminds, especially those with positive auras, can thrive in close quarters with others. Most masterminds need their space. If a mastermind answers your roommate ad, be very clear about your policy on pets. No matter how much your mastermind girlfriend or boyfriend loves life in the city, there's a good chance that they'll eventually want to move to a big house in the outer suburbs or in the countryside, where their bots, beasts, or demons will have plenty of room and won't trouble the neighbors.

 

Bot masterminds are highly desirable romantic partners. Any mastermind who can design an autonomous robot superweapon can also design a robot to do the laundry and the dishes. They probably already have.

 

Brutes

 

All brutes experience fury, and most brutes have problems with anger management. They can have healthy relationships, but it takes hard work on their part and patience on their partners'.

 

Students who are brutes give university administrators a lot of headaches; their roommates often ask to be reassigned. The easy solution is to pair the brute with someone with empathy. For an administrator who is willing to do a bit of counseling, it can work surprisingly well to house a brute with a dominator. The dominator will typically find a way to limit the brute's outbursts. If the dominator becomes oppressively demanding, the brute will angrily enforce boundaries. Their first few months living together can be a rocky learning experience, but they are likely to get along once they come to an understanding.

 

Tankers

 

Tankers and brutes look similar, but their characteristic personalities couldn't be more different. Anyone who has worked at the Zig in Paragon City or at the Pen in the Rogue Isles will tell you: put two brutes in a cell together, and they're almost guaranteed to fight. Bunk two tankers together, and they'll get along fine. A mission team of eight brutes can work very well, but eight brutes sharing a house is a recipe for conflict and chaos. A mission team of eight tankers is inefficient, but eight tankers sharing a house can totally work (though if they all have the stereotypical tanker's build, neighbors may comment).

 

Tankers lack brutes' fury. They are good at rolling with the punches, both literally and figuratively. They tend to be easygoing roommates and accommodating partners. They like living with other people, but they aren't as needy as defenders. Their tolerance makes them problematic roommates for a controller or a dominator. Their "mez resistance" may protect them in combat, but it provides no help in an emotional conflict. Tankers' tolerance can also present a challenge to them as parents. ("So my kid is hitting other kids in nursery school. What's the big deal? A four-year-old's punches don't hurt.") Often the other parent has to be the disciplinarian.

 

Scrappers

 

Scrappers tend to have middle-of-the-road personalities, neither extremely extroverted nor extremely shy. They can live happily on their own, and they can also live happily with other people. They make fine romantic partners. They also make fine parents as long as they don't get too emotionally invested in their children's sports competitions. Conflicts between scrapper parents can get ugly.

 

Of all the superhero archetypes, scrappers are among the most likely to blend in to mainstream society. Unlike tankers and brutes, scrappers don't have a characeristic physique. When they're not in costume and not carrying their melee weapon of choice (or, for the street justice / martial arts types, when their fists aren't flying), they look fairly normal. They don't *need* a suburban or rural home, as masterminds do, but they're likely to get along well with the neighbors in a tight-knit community.

 

Stalkers

 

Have you heard the myth of the ring of Gyges, the ring that makes its wearer invisible? Anyone who wears the ring can commit all sorts of mischief without fear of getting caught and punished. The temptation to evil is nearly impossible to resist. Stalkers don't have true invisibility, but their ability to hide their movements and activities can tempt them to try to get away with things.  Stalkers who start their careers as heroes are often corrupted.

 

Dating a stalker is problematic, but the problems aren't what you'd guess from the name of their archetype. People with the stalker power archetype aren't usually stalkers in the everyday sense.  The problem with dating a superpowered stalker is cheating. They think that they can get away with anything, and often they're right.

 

Though stalkers are problematic partners, they make wonderful roommates. They're so quiet! They can even get along decently with brutes, as they can easily hide from a brute's outbursts. They don't make ideal roommates for defenders, though, as they value their alone time. They prefer an anonymous life in the big city to a tight-knit suburb or rural community.

 

Blasters

 

Like scrappers, blasters tend to be on the middle of the introvert-extrovert spectrum. In combat, almost all blasters prefer to be part of a team. But they don't get their skills by practicing with other people. Target practice is a solitary activity. Aside from this, blasters' personalities are enormously varied. There are some famous blasters with fiery, destructive personalities, but it would be unfair and inaccurate to generalize from a few notorious cases.

 

Weapon-using blasters tend to be collectors. Dual-pistol blasters almost always own a lot more than two guns. The home of an assault rifle or beam rifle blaster can easily turn into an arsenal. The archer who starts out using the compound bow their grandma gave them is going to want to learn to use a composite bow and a crossbow sooner or later. Eventually your home is going to look as if you're living with Robin Hood's entire band of merry men. Blasters like to talk about their collections with anyone who will listen. If you are sharing a home with a blaster, make peace with this.

 

If you live with a sonic blaster, and you get in an argument, don't raise your voice.

 

Controllers

 

Controllers can be problematic partners and very problematic parents. The problems are just what you'd think they are. They can have successful relationships, but they need to resist the temptation to behave at home as they do in combat. The ideal partner or roommate for a controller is another controller. After some initial conflict, they work out their boundaries, and then they get along well.

 

Though it can be tricky living one-on-one with a controller, they do very well in group living situations. This is especially true for controllers with positive auras. They may not be the best parents, but they are the best resident advisors (at least from a college administrator's perspective, if not from the students').

 

Dominators

 

Dominators are even more problematic than controllers. If a dominator wants to be your roommate, say no. If you're in love with a dominator, good luck. It's best for dominators to live by themselves with a whole bunch of cats.  They can herd cats!

 

Okay, that's unfair. It's possible for dominators to have successful relationships, but it takes emotional maturity on their part. For a less mature dominator, a roommate or a significant other who sets firm boundaries can be a valuable learning experience. The best roommate for a dominator is another dominator, a controller, or a brute. Though stalkers generally live fairly well with difficult people, as they're good at avoiding conflict, they usually aren't good roommates for dominators. The dominator often perceives the stalker's avoidance of confrontation as passive-aggressive.

 

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