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Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
(Now, you will burn!)

Soooo, I had this idea for a fire/heat themed superhero from an alternative dimension where Rome didn’t fall, but who is now trapped in the home setting for the campaign. Think...a version of the original Marvel Iron Man villain Firebrand, but with high-tech centurion-like armor and gear.

His secret ID would be something like Marcus Celsius, but his super ID would be something like Incendimus. Perhaps he has a “rocket pilum”, monofilament energy sword and a force shield to go with his powered armor.

I’m looking for input. I’m a HEROphile, so I’m not necessarily looking for game mechanics- I can figure that out on my own. I’m looking for system-neutral ideas for powers and abilities, yes, but MOST importantly, looking for roleplaying ideas to make him seem more Roman and thus different, plus ideas on why he’s trapped here.

I’m thinking he’s going to be a bit harsher, almost like Judge Dredd. But beyond that? Kinda drawing blanks.

Any ideas?
 

Parmandur

Legend
When I think "Classical Roman," I think of three big traits that would stand out compared to a modern American:

1. Ridiculous levels of misogyny, beyond the pale of almost any modern society.

2. Strong superstition and decision making based on omens: point 1 might spring from this.

3. Firm belief in the Law, as a cosmic force: linked with point 2 to a fair extent.
 

monsmord

Explorer
He's going to be pretty short for a superhero; even a large Roman male would be less than six feet. Some of this can be attributed to diet, diseases, etc., but even if your other-dimensional Rome solved all that, it could be interesting to keep him at a shorter stature for roleplaying purposes.

As for how he got here, maybe he died over there, went to the Underworld, there were shenanigans, and he came out here. Or he quested into the Underworld while living, got lost, etc. Or made a move on Prosperina, and ran, got lost, etc. Perhaps Dis Pater, as he read the scroll that meted the fate of the dead, got his Latin wrong (a bad translation from the Greek), and thus exiled Celsius to our world by accident? Or maybe he believes he's dreaming while wandering Erebus...

If you take an Underworld angle, perhaps he can see or sense spirits, speak with the dead, or by touch tell which region the Underworld they'd be assigned to if they died at that moment. Not very fiery, I know. Maybe his armor is a gift of the Underworld (or an Underworld treasure he's stolen - maybe a quest item he found too good to give up), so it's not just proof against fire, but against otherworldly agents and powers, and grants him the equivalent of detect lies/illusions/spirits/etc.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
@monsmord

I’m not sure I like the idea of him dying, but perhaps entering Pluto’s realm on a quest like the Greek legend of Orpheus would be appropriate. Only, he wasn’t up to the task, and his hubris was punished by transdimensional exile. Perhaps he even went back multiple times, and he got ousted into a variety of dimension not his own. Today, he is either resigned to his fate or in between attempts.

I think I want to keep his powers mainly tied to his high-tech armor. Some supernatural abilities might work, but I don’t want them to be the main shtick. But if he DID go to the underworld as a living man, it’s not outside of the realm of possibilities that the quest changed him in some way.
His secret ID would be something like Marcus Celsius, but his super ID would be something like Incendimus. Perhaps he has a “rocket pilum”, monofilament energy sword and a force shield to go with his powered armor.
New idea for supers ID: Sol Invictus. Divinities or demigods acting as superheroes and mortals adopting immortal IDs are relatively common in comics, so why not?
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I’m thinking SI’s armor will have a “solar crown” of spikes that illuminate.

His “Pilum” will be a shoulder-mounted compact particle accelerator with a slow recharge. Powerful, but limited.

I’m still tossing around ideas for the “Scutum”.

His time in the Underworld has made him sensitive to the presence of unseen spirits.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
On the scutum, should I go for either a typical modern riot shield like this PROTECH INTRUDER G2
1571610110798.jpeg


or something more high-tech?

The Protech looks the part of a classic Roman scutum, but is more like something a Capt. America style character might use.

Ultratech forcefields or an impossibly compactable retracting deployable scutum concealed within one arm of the suit would be more Iron Man style.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
So we're talking sci-fi Romans?

Laser pilums, helms with HUDS... I mean, Romans are defined by their military structure, and we have to decide why they still use that rather than modern (or futuristic) tactics; we don't line up and march towards the enemy now, let alone in the future. And they were famous for that.

Are we keeping the tech the same but skinning it as sci-fi? Or altering it to the point that the tactics change, at which point, what makes it "Roman"?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Onto the stuff fitting his firey theme...

1) The idea @Morrus suggested is a keeper. The armor will definitely have an integrated system to heat its exterior to several hundred degrees.

2) some kind of infrared and possibly microwave emitter weaponry will be used. Unlike the Pilum system mentioned upthread, it will have less punch per use, but will be usable pretty much on demand. The main question is will it be a sidearm or integrated into the armor.

3) some kind of “Greek fire“/napalm/phosphorus flamethrower or grenade system.

4) some kind of “cool flame” generation system, fueled by something like n-butyl acetate (@225°C).
 

Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
Something to consider, roleplaying aspect. ”If it is spelled with a c, it is pronounced as a k.” And no compromises. This might bring him some strange looks with the words like celsius, but it is a habit of language he just can’t drop.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Something to consider, roleplaying aspect. ”If it is spelled with a c, it is pronounced as a k.” And no compromises. This might bring him some strange looks with the words like celsius, but it is a habit of language he just can’t drop.
Well, in that case just speak Latin.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
So we're talking sci-fi Romans?

Laser pilums, helms with HUDS... I mean, Romans are defined by their military structure, and we have to decide why they still use that rather than modern (or futuristic) tactics; we don't line up and march towards the enemy now, let alone in the future. And they were famous for that.

Are we keeping the tech the same but skinning it as sci-fi? Or altering it to the point that the tactics change, at which point, what makes it "Roman"?
Roman Supers/Sci-fi tech, yes, a la Iron Man or Capt. America. But unlike a Roman legionnaire who fought alongside others like himself, Sol Invictus has had to learn to fight solo. Kind of like the original OMAC, he’s a legion unto himself.

While it’s unrealistic- duh, supers- the visual aesthetic will definitely be inspired by classical Roman military gear.

But I’m thinking a Roman mentality is what will set the PC apart. Not only what you'd expect from a classical Roman, but one whose empire has lasted another uninterrupted 1500 years.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Roman Supers/Sci-fi tech, yes, a la Iron Man or Capt. America. But unlike a Roman legionnaire who fought alongside others like himself, Sol Invictus has had to learn to fight solo. Kind of like the original OMAC, he’s a legion unto himself.

While it’s unrealistic- duh, supers- the visual aesthetic will definitely be inspired by classical Roman military gear.

But I’m thinking a Roman mentality is what will set the PC apart. Not only what you'd expect from a classical Roman, but one whose empire has lasted another uninterrupted 1500 years.
I think you're just describing Iron Man with a plume on his helmet. :)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Technologically, yeah. But not the mentality. That’s the main thing I need help with.

(Although Tony Stark probably would have made a fine Roman...)
 
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DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
Hmmm, Roman personality traits...

Vengeful. First thing that comes to me. They were not the type, as a culture, to ignore slights or betrayals. If you crossed them they would smash you down. BUT if you rolled over they would be willing to forgive and move on. Oh don't think there won't be punishments. There will be. But once this is over with, it tends to be over with. Repeat offenders will not be shown mercy.

Big fans of the offensive defensive strike. That is, they believed in hit them before they hit you. Or are even thinking about hitting you.

Legalistic. In the extreme.

Honourable. The Romans told many tales about how honourable they were. But I gotta say I think they put so much effort into tales of their honour in order to compensate the rather dishonourable manner in which they tended to act. The number of times a Roman commander had a treaty overturned by the Senate is pretty alarming. Well, alarming if you were the one counting on Roman honour.

Cosmopolitan. Maybe not so much in the early days but by the time of Caesar and co. Rome was a Mediterranean spanning empire and mish mash of Italian and Greek cultures. By the time of Trajan and Hadrian even more so. A 2000 year old empire would have to have assimilated many different cultures.

And Carthage must be destroyed!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Vengeful and legalistic sounds good. Kinda...Lawful Neutral. Given that personality element coupled with his fiery shtick, he might not be one for giving his foes too many second chances. Unlike the typical rogue’s gallery many superheroes accumulate, on his home plane, Sol Invictus’ enemies may largely be hospitalized or buried. This could lead to serious strains on his relationship with more mainstream heroes and police forces of this world. How will he adapt? How hard will he even try so to do?

I’m thinking with his name and penchant for heat powers, he’s a direct descendant of his world’s Anders Celsius. As a citizen of a province we’d call Sweden on our world, he might be a little paler and blonder than those people from closer to Rome Eternal. But there‘s still some classic Mediterranean features to him, and he wears his slightly wavy hair short, with sideburns, somewhat like Nero.
 

DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
BTW. are you familiar with the official Champions villain, Invictus? You could crib some stuff from his character sheet.
 

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