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PF1E PCs Based on Pop Culture Characters

Fauchard1520

Explorer
With Last Airbender getting popular all over again, I find myself once again excited to play a kineticist. However, all my old self-consciousness about ripping off an existing character is creeping back on me. When you're running a PC inspired by pop culture, how do you make sure it's an interesting homage rather than an eye-rolling ripoff?

Comic for illustrative purposes.
 

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Cadence

Adventurer
Supporter
If the personality and goals are different, I don't think I'd mind the powers being a rip-off.
 

aco175

Hero
May depend on how many of the players know whom you are ripping off. I think only one at my table would know this one. That, and come up with one cool catch phrase and you should be good.

"It's clobbering time."
"We're going to need a bigger boat."
Etc... Best if you have one of your own.
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
Writers riffing off real people is a trick as old as time. Why should you hold yourself to a higher standard?

Besides, as far as Avatar goes many powers are somewhat universal. How is anyone going to tell whether you are making an Air Nomad or a literal Aang clone?
 

Reynard

Legend
I mostly GM, but my most recent PC was a direct translation of Orlando Bloom's character in Carnival Row, and I made no apologies about it. It is no less Role-playing than coming up with all the backstory and traits yourself.
 


Eltab

Hero
I'm playing with a guy who bases his Shadow Monk off Naruto: obeys his first impulse, which usually is to charge into combat. Even if a fighting retreat is called for. We rarely Stealth because he likes to let out a yell on his way in. One time I put a Fog Cloud in a hallway so we could escape unseen and he (the character) got mad at me.

Usually it is funny - and the dynamic between us gives everybody else some entertainment - but after an evening's play it can be repetitive.
Fortunately we rotate between two DMs of whom he is one.
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
Usually it is funny - and the dynamic between us gives everybody else some entertainment - but after an evening's play it can be repetitive.
Fortunately we rotate between two DMs of whom he is one.
For me, the important distinction is something I think of as "divergent evolutoin." Use the inspiration as a template, but then letting the personality diverge naturally through play. When you stick unswervingly to the inspiration, it can indeed get old.
 

Worrgrendel

Explorer
As long as you are having fun with it and no one else really cares why shouldn't you? Maybe add a twist or something to make it wholly your character? Like a character I have in mind for an upcoming game (stupid pandemic delays) is a Human Swashbuckler Rogue with the Sailor background using the Variant Feature: Bad Reputation.

"No matter where you go, people are afraid of you due to your reputation. When you are in a civilized settlement, you can get away with minor crimial offenses, such as refusing to pay for food at a tavern or breaking down doors at a local shop, since most people will not report your activity to the authorities."

His name is Roberts. He's not actually the Dread Pirate Roberts but everyone thinks that he is the Dread Pirate Roberts (and I'll play him as being soooo oblivious, naive and clumsy) so that when he goes into a tavern, people give him food and drinks out of fear and he does not pay for them thinking that people are really just nice to him. Or when he stumbles into a shop window and accidentally breaks the glass people let it slide out of fear and maybe actually give him something from the shop stating it was an "old" window and needed replacing anyway and they thank him for making it easier to replace it now that it's broken, and he, again, just thinks that everyone is always so nice to him and that's just the way the world is.

Also, in combat he starts fights left handed and I plan on flavoring his Rakish Audacity as him saying "I know something you don't know..." to get the sneak attack (I know, that was the other character from the movie, but in my defense, he was offered the job at the end of the movie).
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
In PbP games on this very website I have briefly tried out Jack Randlay, a custom platemail wearing, repeating heavy crossbow wielding combination of Jim Raynor and Tychus Findlay fighting demon hordes, and Batknight, aka Bru'ekk Vaiyune, a noble drow fighter who hid his identity and combating on the surface the scourge of his own wicked people ever since his parents had his best friend killed.
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
In PbP games on this very website I have briefly tried out Jack Randlay, a custom platemail wearing, repeating heavy crossbow wielding combination of Jim Raynor and Tychus Findlay fighting demon hordes, and Batknight, aka Bru'ekk Vaiyune, a noble drow fighter who hid his identity and combating on the surface the scourge of his own wicked people ever since his parents had his best friend killed.
I like the Batman riff. It feels appropriate to the Underdark, and being an enemy of your own parents is enough of a twist to make it more than a carbon copy.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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