In today’s blog about Hellboy: Roleplaying Game, we’re handing over to Alex Delaney, who is part of the team at Red Scar. Alex will be explaining a little about character creation.
You see, although this is called Hellboy: The Roleplaying Game, you won’t just be playing as legendary agents like Hellboy, Liz, Abe, etc. You can create your own unique B.P.R.D. agent that’s ready to work their work up through the ranks.
Some will have special powers, like Liz Sherman, whereas others will be remarkable humans, like Kate Corrigan. You can even be a ghost, if you fancy stepping into Johann’s ectoplasm-covered shoes. Anyway, we’ll let Alex give you a little more detail…
WHAT IS YOUR ORIGIN?
Origin defines what your agent has been for the majority of their life. As a remarkable human you gain access to Life before the B.P.R.D. which grants bonuses based on what your agent used to do before the Bureau. These range from additional hp from military training, being able to muddle through and ignore injury from the extensive screening you went through at central federal recruitment or the ability to capitalise on ingenuity as an academic.
The customisation does not stop there, however. Perhaps before the first session on a previous case file, or as part of the incident that caused your agent to be recruited, you became cursed, started to present psychic powers or were grated the favour of a Fae noble.
As a remarkable human you can trade features you have gained for supernatural ones to represent these events in gameplay terms. Alternatively, if you do not gain any supernatural abilities, you can select a mortal feat to represent the time you spent training, while others were researching the origin of their witch’s blood.
In addition four other origins are available:
Psychic – individuals such as Liz Sherman that have supernatural powers that defy explanation.
Ghosts – those bound to the mortal realm, similar to Johann Kraus, who are able to interact with the physical world regularly and use their ectoplasm to turn the tide.
The cursed – these range from the undying, to the demonic (horns are optional), the vampiric and the favoured servants of supernatural entities.
The Fae – ranging from those who have gained the unseen kingdom’s favour, such as Alice Monaghan, or the replaced individuals who were (or are) still replaced by the shapeshifters and servants of the Fae.
Each of these more esoteric origins comes with associated banes. A demonic cursed character is particularly vulnerable to holy weapons, for example. Fae find their powers disrupted and suffer great harm from iron, while psychic discover that the unquiet dead will target them in the hopes of overpowering them and living again through them. These banes work as a counterbalance against the powers that each origin gains, and ensures that two agents may find a goblin with a silver crucifix a very different level of threat to them for different reasons.
Once you have selected your origin you then select the following…
RECRUITMENT INTO THE B.P.R.D.
We answer the question of how and why your agent joined the Bureau. Have they been doing it so long they cannot remember or were you the local expert the agents called upon during the case of a local haunting? The selection here grants additional skill proficiency and it also provides unique once per session abilities where the agents can call upon their time in the Bureau, or lack thereof, to their advantage. Being recommended by another organisation allows you to come upon your old contact. Being discovered as your psychic powers manifest places you in position to put yourself in the shoes of people in similar situation as the team searches for them.
LIFE AT THE B.P.R.D.
How long has your Agent been with the Bureau? Did they do their time in the field and are now returning or have you been a back-up agent until the start of the game? Your selection here grants you limited abilities to call upon the experience you have gained with the B.P.R.D. A former back character focusing on action over detail can activate an ability in combat without making a focus check, for example.
What your agents does when not in the field. This provides the agent opportunity to focus their downtime as well as mini missions while in the field. Someone who works as a requisition clerk in their day job would gain additional advancement and ingenuity if they returned all of the team’s equipment in working order. It is also a primary way to gain additional levels of background information as part of their clearance level.
AN AGENT’S DRIVE
What pushes the agent or what burning statement are they trying to prove. Are they more than their powers? Are they still human despite their curse? This drive gives the GM an opportunity to invoke an agent’s drive when showing the effects of Doom and Ingenuity. Further, when an agent resolves their drive dramatically they can earn additional Ingenuity.