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The magic of vigilantism and violence
You see them around, the criminals, the cruel. You know they are there, you want them to pay. So make them.
Nicknames: Vigilantes, psychos, crooked cops.
Irony: To quote Nietzsche, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” Vigilantimancers necessarily become monsters, and worse monsters than those they fight.
Generating Charges: All charges are for punishment, not prevention or rehabilitation. You cannot charge from a property-based crime, unless it directly caused a death. Killing Ken Lay from Enron would get nothing unless the scam forced a victim to suicide.
More importantly, the vigilante must know exactly what the criminal did. Killing Ted Bundy would not be worth a single charge unless you knew all his crimes.
Hurt a bad guy. He must have committed a relatively minor crime: violent rape and murder do not count for minor charges. Assault, non-fatal domestic violence, even serious emotion abuse do count, however.
The punishment must be much greater than the crime. For example, if a husband gives his wife a black eye, the vigilante must break his knees to generate a minor charge.
Torture and kill a serious offender. Serial rapists and killers count here. The offender must have killed someone or seriously emotionally scarred no less than five people.
Again, the punishment must be horrific. To get a charge from a serial killer, the vigilante will probably need to spend at least a few hours torturing them. The worst serial killers might require a day or more.
Torture and kill someone even worse. Eligible candidates would be Mengle, or a kidnapper that sells children into prostitution.
To net a major charge from this, you must spend a day, minimum, torturing them first. And, even more difficult, you are not allowed to use any weapons or tools at any time. You must subdue and kill the offender barehanded.
Alternatively, commit a massacre. The bloodbath must include at least fifty people (all of whom meet the criteria for a significant charge), must take place in one room, and must take less than one hour. This stacks as well: if you kill 100 people in this way, you get two major charges.
Depending on the level of risk you are willing to accept, and the amount of a life you want to have, you could get a significant charge every couple days and a major charge every year or so. By traveling in South Asia, it is not difficult to find camps of slaves or child prostitution rings. The lax law enforcement in these areas allows you to kill fairly indiscriminately, as long as you keep moving around. Each overseer counts as at least a minor charge, and some bosses count as major.
You break taboo if you profit in any way from your activities. You cannot take money or property from the people you kill.
You may never show mercy to a criminal under any circumstances. Regardless of the risks involved, if you see a criminal in person (with knowledge of their crimes) you have one day to punish them without breaking taboo.
Blast Style: No blasts. Vigilantes are visceral, the idea of a blast is much too abstract.
Unbreakable: 1 Charge
Check if one person is one kind of criminal. You could, for example, use it as a test to see if your creepy neighbor really is a pedophile. Good for confirming a theory, but since it only affects one individual and one genre of crime, it is not good for large scale testing. You must touch the suspect.
Fist-full of Pills: 3 Charges
Get the positive affects of taking a massive dose of pills. You must pick what the pills are beforehand. For instance, you could walk on that broken leg by picking pain killers, or stay up all night by picking amphetamines. If the voices in your head are getting out of hand, you could choose anti-psychotics as well. The effects last as long as the pills normally would.
Gladys: 5 Charges
One piece of weaponry suddenly feels right to you. That gun fits in your hand perfectly, or the balance of that baseball bat compensates for your injured arm. It lets you hit a little harder, swing a little faster, and shoot a little straighter.
Is That All You Got, You Pansies? 1 Charge:
You gain superhuman fortitude, but very temporarily. You can take one bullet, one fall from the third story, or one jolt of electricity without showing the effects. Provided you go into the attack in good health, it cannot kill you, but it might leave you with only 1 hit point. Good for intimidating the bad guys, but since another punch could kill you, it isn’t necessarily a life saver.
John Doe: 3 Charges
For one day no one can notice any distinguishing features. You will be described as thirty-ish, blonde-ish, and tall-ish. No one who sees you will be able to identify you in a line-up. Your blood type is temporarily changed, and you have no fingerprints.
Spider Sense: 5 Charges
For three hours, you gain a radar sense for the three worst people in a three mile radius. You do not get names or faces, but you can tell when you are facing the right direction, and if you touch one, you will immediately know he is your target.
Permanently mark all bad guys in a given city. Get a new face. Become temporarily bullet proof. Gain enormous strength.
Gladys and Is that All You Got could use some game mechanics to go with the descriptions.
Bicornis | profile | Oct 24, 06 | 6:58 pm
They sure could. The only problem with that is I don't have a game manual and I'm not too familiar with the rules (I only played once). Feel free to make it as weak or as powerful as you see fit.
Okay, how about this way...
Bicornis | profile | Oct 29, 06 | 3:08 pm
I think the Gladys rules work great. Is that All you Got might work better if you don't take the damage for a while (I don't know how long, maybe a couple minutes, maybe until the end of combat?). That way you still take all the expected damage, but you get to be a scary badass for a little while, which is really the whole point.
That would work. Lessee...
Bicornis | profile | Oct 30, 06 | 3:30 pm
Oh, and becoming temporarily bulletproof is thinking a bit small for a major charge. Major effects are supposed to be on the same power level as a D&D Wish.
Bicornis | profile | Oct 30, 06 | 3:40 pm
Perfect rules, I think it works pretty well. Thanks for the thought.
Proof against bullets sounds really good. I've been looking for as many ways as possible to break that old Superman cliche (empty the mag to no effect, then throw the gun).
stange_person | profile | Nov 03, 06 | 8:07 pm
I see a couple of problems. First off, the no property-damage rule. I think it should count if it causes injury. How is the guy who beats his wife half to death any less bad than the guy who knowingly sets his house on fire while his wife is in it and puts her in the hospital for a couple weeks?
Anon | profile | Sep 01, 07 | 7:55 pm
I'm not sure about weapon creation.
Bicornis | profile | Sep 04, 07 | 8:13 pm
When I wrote creation, I meant summoning. Sorry about that. In any case, improving unarmed damage is well within normal UA bounds.
Anon | profile | Sep 05, 07 | 12:32 am