Freshly Sketched: Steadfast
Game Name: Marvel Super Heroes
Game System: Marvel Super Heroes RPG
Genre: Comic Book
Character Name: Steadfast / Ian E.
Game History: Around the same time I was knee-deep in zDayz I had invested some money into my first RPG purchase. That came in the form of the easy-to-run Marvel Super Heroes game system. I was in the height of my comic-love at the time so it seemed like the most logical choice to get my feet wet with in the legitimate gaming world.
MSH is all about being over the top – much like any comic book in the 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s. It was geared towards having fun and doing the impossible every campaign. While there were some aspects that were grounded in logic much of it was left in the realm of creative imagination. This proved to be a stark contrast to the grim realistic gameplay of zDayz. MSH welcomed you to a parallel world where mutants, altered humans and technologically advanced characters with extraordinary powers and abilities were the norm. For a person with a warped imagination like me it proved to be fertile stomping grounds.
I was still an infant in the world of actual roleplaying so once again I didn’t stray too far from myself for this character. I know, the whole purpose of roleplaying is to act out a persona other than your own. However learning how to and being comfortable with acting is probably one of the greatest fears one has to overcome as a gamer. It’s exceptionally difficult to become a character that contrasts your own personality. Often you end up interjecting your own feelings, opinions and decisions based on how you would react to them as opposed to how the written character would. To that extent I give true actors all due respect for their ability to turn it on and off like they do. I’ve come to learn as both a player and a gamemaster that it’s always best to craft characters for RPG rookies that are close to their own personas when they’re first starting out then gradually give them more complex ones when they have some games under their belt.
The Character: This game took place back in the days of Kid n’ Play, grunge music, Power Rangers and the first Gulf War. My character was a 16 year old brash and arrogant version of myself (though some may say just a younger version of myself now sans the flat top). The origin of the unlikely super heroes started out at Montauk Point way at the end of Long Island, New York. There I and three close friends, Alex, Danielle and Roselyn were enjoying a long holiday weekend at Alex’s father’s cottage. Although under the supervision of Mr. Diaz he was there sparingly due to work related commitments he had to tend to locally. That translated to a weekend of almost nonstop partying. After all, what else do teenagers do?
After a particularly debaucherous night of underage drinking and teenage mayhem the four of us found ourselves at the beach next day soaking up the sun and trying to shake off lingering hangovers. Unbeknownst to us that Saturday night, something happened nearby that would change our lives forever. We were too busy in our wily ways to notice that a small object sliced through the midnight sky and crashed into the water off the coast of where we were now relaxing. Roselyn and I were goofing around in the water when she caught sight of something floating just outside the break. It looked like it could be a body and that quickly sobered everyone up to the seriousness of the situation. There were no life guards on duty and there were only a handful of people scattered about in this secluded section of the beach. I quickly motioned to Alex and he tore into the surf like Johnny Weissmuller. He was by far the best swimmer amongst us and quickly navigated his way to where the object was. He towed it back to shallower waters but obviously needed help. Whatever it was massive. The four of us managed to drag it ashore. It was a body indeed. A large hulking body that looked to be well over 7ft tall and over 350lbs.
As we stood in awe of the sheer size of the person we began to notice that it wasn’t truly human at all. Its translucent pinkish jelly-fish like skin, pointed ears and webbed fingers made us realize that were encountering something unprecedented. Before anyone could react, the creature started to move. It was obviously badly injured as it struggled to lift its upper body from the sandy beach. We gazed into its cyclopean eye in both paralyzing fear and horror as he peered back and forth. By this time the few stragglers that were on the beach nearby started to make their way over. The creature then looked directly at the four of us and muttered something we could not understand in a watery yet metallic tone. Without warning the very veins in his body started illuminate and pulsate. His whole body began to shine with the brightness of a thousand suns as we were bathed in the light. Seconds later I started to regain my sight. I was on my back looking up towards the cloudless sky. As I struggled to hoist myself up I looked around and noticed that my friends were just coming to as well.
But something was wrong. Seriously wrong.
The three of them appeared to have aged at least 10 years. Their hair dangled down to their hips and they looked as if they had been hitting the gym 24/7 for the past 6 months. Before a word could be uttered the sky itself split like someone cut it with a knife as a mammoth alien craft materialized right above us. We looked at one another still in shock about the ordeal that just took place mere moments ago. Several figures suddenly appeared out nowhere next to us. They too are gargantuan in size and resembled the being we just encountered but these blokes were carrying incredibly large and complex looking weaponry. They quickly surveyed the beach and noticed the stragglers who were now just starting to come to. The apparent leader pulled out a device and pointed it at the beachcombers. In a thunderous voice he barks out an order in an indecipherable language. Two of his companions open fire with their weapons disintegrating the unsuspecting people in the blink of an eye. Not even their clothes remained. Two of the other creatures rounded the four of us and bound us with strange metallic manacles. Reality started to get watery around us as the last thing we see is the cottage in the distance going up in a tremendous ball of flames. An instant later we found ourselves in the belly of the alien craft being led by our captors.
As we traversed the long and winding dimly lit corridors Alex manages to whisper something to me. He asks me what happened to the girls and why they aged. I reluctantly inform him that the same has happened to him as well. Puzzled by the revelation he casts a bewildered look at me and questions why nothing happened to me. It hadn’t dawned on me till that moment. Everyone but me seemed to have been affected by that burst of light. All of a sudden one of the captors became enraged with our secret conversation, turns and backhands me sending me reeling about 15ft into the wall. Rage filled my body as a rush of adrenaline erupted inside me. Like the Hulk I started to grow and grow ultimately morphing into an incredibly muscular, near 7ft tall behemoth with glowing yellow eyes and a flat top. The transformation was totally unexpected and the guards tried to rally to subdue me but were met with raw and unbridled strength. The chaos of the moment must have triggered everyone else’s powers as well. As more guards descended upon us one by one our powers began to spill out. Alex charged towards one aggressor and suddenly found himself engulfed in smoke and flame like the exhaust of a space shuttle booster. He seemed unphased by the combustion around him as he rocketed around crashing into bodies and walls alike. One alien raised his weapon high to bash Roselyn but as she cowered in defense a blast of white-hot energy exploded from her body totally vaporizing the assailant and burning a hole straight through the hull of the ship.
We could see the ocean below shimmering through a watery veil. Realizing this was our only chance to escape I quickly set my companions free from their shackles. I told Alex and Roselyn to try to reproduce what they did and cause as much destruction as possible. They proceeded to wreak uncontrolled havoc while I used my brute strength to rip open the hull at the spot of the breach. The ship trembled violently as Danielle looked on in disbelief. Bad things were about to go down so I snatched both her and Roselyn up and yelled back to Alex to come on. The three of us plunged out of the gaping opening and plummeted about 200 feet into the water below. Alex splashed down seconds afterwards as the alien craft above collapsed in upon itself and imploded out of existence. Remarkably none of us were hurt too badly from the fall. We managed to make our way back to shore, lost and confused. As the adrenaline began to wear off I transformed back into my normal self. There were too many questions and not enough answers. The only thing we knew for sure was that we could not go back to our normal lives. The four of us went into hiding to protect ourselves but those around us. We had been bestowed with unimaginable power and needed to learn how to harness and control it.
It’s Worth Noting:
- I played Steadfast for quite a long time. In later campaigns the four of us were picked up by a group of fellow altered humans who helped teach us to use our powers. Although my power was similar to Hulk in that high emotions triggered the transformation at one point my power mutated to the point where I could not revert back to the teenager body. Imagine a 16 year old with the power strength of Superman.
- Our origins and powers were strongly based on existing marvel characters. Mine was closed to the Hulk (as mentioned). Alex was based on a character from the New Mutants called Cannonball. Roselyn was based on X-Factor character Havoc and Danielle had the powers of Sue Richards from the Fantastic Four.
This entry was posted on May 25, 2011 by Ian the Zen Assassin. It was filed under Art?, Geek Zone and was tagged with altered humans, art, artwork, cannonball, characters, creative writing, drawing, fantastic 4, flat top, freshly sketched, gamemaster, gaming, grunge music, gulf war, havoc, hulk, imagination, johnny weissmuller, kid n play, Marvel, marvel super heroes, mutants, new mutants, power rangers, role playing, roleplaying games, rpg, sketches, sketching, storytelling, sue richards, super powers, superman, writing, x-factor.