This post presents rules for the d20 System game that will let you create your own superhero who is greater than the sum total of his or her parts. It's an involved process that involves generating multiple characters that eventually become one, but we think the end result will be worth it for the story and roleplaying potential it offers.
Part of this article is a random origin generation (the tables titled How Did the Combination Hero Come to Be? and How is the Combination Undone?), but we encourage you--in cooperation with your GM--to come up with a carefully considered backstory instead. You might even want to create a history for each of the characters who become the Combination Hero, so that if and when they become separated, you know how to play one or more of them.
CREATING THE COMBINATION HERO (for the d20 System)
By Steve Miller
Roll 1d3+1. The result is the number of characters that makes up the Combination Hero.
|By Everett Raymond Kinstler|
Assign the results to attributes in the order they were rolled.
Randomly generate the level of each character by rolling 1d4. Assign character classes skills, feats, talents, and everything else that a character would have for each one, bringing the character up to its highest level. (You can shortcut this stage by only defining the individual characters' skills, although having each of the character that makes up the whole to come might be important in certain situations.)
Transfer the highest stats of the previously generated characters to a new character sheet. These are the starting attributes for the Combination Hero.
Add the total levels of the previously generated characters together; this is the starting number of levels for the Combination Hero.
Note any skills possessed by the original characters that had 5 or more ranks on the Combination Hero's sheet. These are Permanent Class Skills for the Combination Hero.
Select a bonus feat for each character that makes up the Combination Hero. This is where you can begin to give the character superpowers, for example, if you're using NUELOW's feats- and talents-based power system. (The Combination Hero must meet all prerequisites in order to have the bonus feat.)
Assign character classes, skills, feats, talents, and everything else that a character would have for each one, bringing the character up to its highest level.
HOW DID THE COMBINATION HERO COME TO BE? (Roll 1d10)
Use this table to randomly determine how the combination hero came into existence. Some of the results require an additional roll on the How is the Combination Undone? table, below, since many Combination heroes can separate back into those who make them. Most of these sub-results also describe how the characters can then recombine.
Naturally, you can also just read these tables and pick a result that you want to be you the point of origin and/or method to uncombine/recombine for your character.
1. The characters were struck by a mysterious ray from space. (Roll on the How is the Combination Undone? table)
2. The characters performed a mystic ritual that worked as intended. The combination is undone when the combination hero utters a magic phrase.
3. The characters performed a mystic ritual that went awry. (Roll on the How is the Combination Undone? table.)
4. The characters were subjected to a mystic ritual by evil cultists. (Roll on the How is the Combination Undone? table.)
5. The characters were joined into a single being by an Atlantean artifact. The artifact must be used against to undo the combination.
6. The characters were killed, but a powerful entity gave them a change for a new life as a single being. Only the entity who created them can undo the union (which may or may not kill the individual characters).
7. The characters volunteered to become a single being through super-scientific means. (Roll on the How is the Combination Undone? table.)
8. The characters were abducted by a mad scientist and forced to become one being to prove his theories. (Roll on the How is the Combination Undone? table)
9. The characters offended a Tibetan hermit who cursed them into existing as one being until they make amends. (Roll on the How is the Combination Undone? table)
10. The Combination Hero woke up in the middle of smoldering wreckage or ruins with no notion of how he or she came to exist. (Roll on the How is the Combination Undone? table)
HOW IS THE COMBINATION UNDONE (Roll 1d10)
1-2. It is permanent unless undone through the will of a powerful god.
3-4. The hero must speak a magic word that is only known to a mystic order that dwells in a remote, hard to access place. Any of the characters who made up the hero will be able to speak the work and re-combine them all.
5-6. The hero must be exposed to rays from a specific alien device.
7. The hero must touch a particular object. When the characters who were combined all touch the object again at the same time, they will re-combine into the hero.
8. When the hero is subjected to a rare type of radiation or a specific type of magical energy.
9. The hero must die.
10. The hero must bathe in the Pool of All. This causes the characters to separate, although they do not become immortal unless they enter the Pool individually. (See Secrets of the Immortals for more.)
All text in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright Steve Miler 2018.