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Hard or fuzzy line between origins?


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On 9/10/2019 at 8:18 AM, Heraclea said:

If your character uses anything but their hands to attack - say, a broadsword - that in itself justifies a Technology origin.  A broadsword is technology,


I would say it takes a bit more that "uses a tool" to qualify for a Tech origin. Origin is about the source of power, and for Tech origin characters that means super-tech. A regular human using a regular metal broadsword wouldn't count as Tech origin, to me. In the same vein, Nutrition Science is science, but being on a well-designed diet shouldn't qualify an otherwise ordinary martial artist for a Science origin. Similarly, I feel real-world mutations like congenital pain immunity don't "count" for Mutant origin.


Which isn't to say Origins are a cut-and-dry matter! The line between them is fuzzy at best, and some are much fuzzier than others. I would say that the tech/natural is the least distinct division, and probably the one most subject to personal interpretation. My personal rule of thumb there is that if it's something that wouldn't be too out of place in a James Bond film it falls under Natural, but if it's more science-fictiony than that, then Tech. Everyone's mileage will, of course, vary.


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4 hours ago, SlyGuyMcFly said:

I would say it takes a bit more that "uses a tool" to qualify for a Tech origin. Origin is about the source of power, and for Tech origin characters that means super-tech. A regular human using a regular metal broadsword wouldn't count as Tech origin, to me.


This.  When talking about, say, someone wielding a sword, I'd call it Natural if they're wielding a normal sword and the skill is all their own, but Magic or Tech if the sword itself is special.


In other words, if you swapped out their trademark sword for a perfectly normal sword, would they still be just as good?  If so, then they're Natural origin.  If not, then they're probably Tech or Magic.


Of course, there's overlap, but that's my general guideline when I choose an origin.

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I like to be fuzzy with the types and sometimes even blend them in way that push me to be imaginative. I created a universe centered on a hero team called the Xenoterrans. They fight evil aliens bent on the destruction of Earth while also fighting the racist forces of human groups bent on getting rid of aliens from the planet by any means.

The Xenoterrans are a family of aliens with special abilities that come from a latent mutant ability. Their world uses their military to hunt down and remove their mutants from society in order to keep everyone safe. So the Xenoterrans fled the oppression from their world and made their way to earth. The only problem is that Earth has a no aliens with special abilities law in effect and the Xenoterrans have to mask that they are aliens. With the help of tech and science, their mutant abilities were increased dramatically, by accident, when they created a serum for themselves that would let them pass for human and their tech helps some of them focus their powers. So the team is enhanced by mutant ability, science AND tech. The team is a blend of all the hero archetypes with a sentient, sentinel robot added in. The characters are;

Flareout - Fire Blaster
Chilldown - Ice Blaster

Briarstone - Stone/Fire (lava based) Tanker

Psydeswipe - Dual Blade(energy)/Regen Scrapper

Ampervolt - Kinetic/Electric Defender
Etherheal - Illusion/Empathy Controller

Gashback/Warpstorm - Invul/Mace Tank turned into Warshade

Lightflame - Peacebringer
Zoregen - Robot Energy/Electric Sentinel

The Xenoterran's most dangerous and vile nemesis. General Dursagon, is enhanced by an unknown mutant ability that he has coupled with the ability to command tech and is boosted by the magical abilities given to him by the negative plane. He has collected a bunch of villainous creatures from all over the galaxy which also have all the various archetypes from the villain side. Most of them are natural types with a few being science/tech androids or cyborg hybrids. There is also a Mastermind who controls the undead. Her story is actually that she can "zombify" people and have them do her bidding. Instead of putting her in the magical category, I made her science based because she uses toxins to infect people and "zombify" them.

Then there's Wolfborg. This dude had the worst day that anyone could have. This guy was headed to work and had to cross through a park. Halfway there, he was mugged by a gang who beat him to a pulp and left him for dead in the bushes. While he was laying there dying and unable to move, a werewolf found him and dragged him off into a cave and chewed on him for awhile. Almost dead and many hours later after the werewolf left, a mad scientist wandered nearby looking for herbs and bat guano in the cave. When the scientist found Wolfborg's body, he picked it up and carried it back to his lab to see if he could heal Wolfborg and give him some cybernetic enhancements. The scientist was successful in keeping Wolfborg alive and added a bunch of implants to control him. During the process of activating and testing Wolfborg, his werewolf powers were triggered and what was left of his natural body, which was his upper torso and head, changed into wolf form. The transformation overloaded the control implants and his cybernetic limbs also morphed and enlarged themselves to look more beastlike. All of the implants and cybernetics had a side effect in that Wolfborg did not turn beastial mentally, being able to maintain his intellectual side, and his transformation became permanent. 


So with Wolfborg, he has elements of science, mystical, and tech all rolled into one. One of these days, I might create a character who has every origin type.

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Flareback is my main and I have 30 other alts... at this time... Checkout the Xenoterrans sometime...


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Making mixed origin concepts is fun, for sure. Back in the day I made Blutzkrieg, the result of the worst chain of horrendous ideas a Council scientist has ever had:


1. Start with by making a clone of a mutant with enhanced physical characteristics. (mutant)

2. Put it through your standard Nazi Science supersoldier program. (science, duh)

3. Replace the least-functioning parts with cybernetics, including the brain. (tech)

4. Kill it. (wait what?)

5. Reanimate it with necromancy (magic)

6. Download memories/personality matrix from proven, loyal soldiers into super-cyber-zombie (more tech, with a side of science)

7. Meld Nictus with resulting mess. (natural)

8. ????

9. Mwahahaha!


To everyone's surprise, the experiment was reasonably successful. Fortunately, the Freedom Phalanx was able to stop the project before it got past the early prototyping phase and they destroyed all relevant data with extreme prejudice. The day was saved, but the scientist in charge was found brain-dead and one of the abominations unaccounted for. As they say, dun dun dunnn.

Edited by SlyGuyMcFly
I cun spel gud
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