Origins

When you choose an Origin for your character you are essentially choosing the reason they became who they are today. It may also happen to coincide with when and how the character got their Powers but the Origin is all about the motivation behind the character and why they do what they do. When reading the title of an Origin, you’ll want to start off by reading “I became a hero because…” and finish that sentence with the title of the Origin. When you choose a single Origin you also get all the Moves associated with that Origin. If you choose to combine two or more Origins to make your own, you may do so but you may only have a total of three Moves from your Origins. This means you will have to choose which Moves from which Origins you want to keep and which to discard.

Even if multiple Origins may apply to a character (such as say, The Accident and I’m A Freak), you may want to only choose the most relevant and pertinent one to your character. A character turned into a monster by a lab accident might not actually have much in their life to do with the accident itself; perhaps only the monster they have become now is what matters.

The list below is a collection of common Origin types related to the genre this game system is designed to emulate. If one doesn’t really fit the Origin you have in mind, work with the GM to create one (usually by combining Moves from existing Origins).

I became a hero because of…

  • A Death in the Family: The loss of someone close to you set you down a new path.
  • The Accident: A mistake, freak accident or experiment turned you into something different and still influences you and the answers you seek.
  • I’m a Freak: You were either born different or changed at some point in your life. You no longer fit in or identify with other humans.
  • I’m Back From the Dead: You’ve been to the other side and came back not quite whole. How you got there and what you lost play a large part in your life.
  • The Beast Inside Me: Sometimes there’s something inside of you that takes over and that has a mind of its own.
  • The Deal: You gave up a part of yourself for favour and power and now your life revolves around it.
  • The Wake-up Call: You used to live a life of crime, were a villain, or were otherwise involved in the underworld of the city until you got your wake-up call. What it was and what you’re working toward doing now as a hero has to do with your past.
  • My Alien Heritage: You’re either from another planet or a place on Earth that is secret, guarded or completely unknown to everyone else in the world. Where you come from and what you’re on Earth to do is why you’re a hero right now.
  • My Legacy: You aren’t the first and you might not be the last; the mantle was passed on to you by a friend, mentor, family member or by means of rite or ritual. Dealing with your legacy while also trying to be your own person is a big part of who you are as a hero.
  • My Mission: You’re a hero because you have to be; you’ve got a handler or someone else pulling the strings behind the scenes. Working within or pushing out of your boundaries is a big part of who you are.
  • What I Carry: You’ve got something special on your person or in you that makes you a target and that informs your daily life and what kind of hero you can be.
  • What I Know: You’re privy to knowledge and power that also makes you beholden to another, or that awakens you to a whole new world of responsibility such that not being a hero could be disastrous for the world.

The Origins and their Moves are detailed below.

A Death in the Family

Haunted: In your past, you were heavily influenced by the loss of a person that defines the core of why you became the hero you are today. You now live by a set of tenets and ideals that can be almost impossible to live by at times. Write down a sentence or two describing these ideals you live by. When you are pushed to your limit and faced with a difficult decision, think of the person you lost. Call upon that memory (what form or background that takes is up to you) and ignore the effects of all Conditions until you succeed at a single action.

Evil Never Sleeps: When you feel like you can’t stop and go back to your normal, mundane life because of the weight of the burden you feel, you can Gather Intel instead of trying to take Downtime and recover one Condition after any trouble is resolved.

Cracks in the Same Places: When someone shares their own tragedy or deeply personal experience with you, or you share yours with them, you may increase your Bond with that person by 1 if you so choose and they may do the same.

The Accident

Changes: You got your powers as a result of a mistake, freak accident, or experiment on yourself you hadn’t seen coming. It was a traumatic experience and your memories of it are confusing and disorienting at times. Your Powers might change or your body itself might change over time as a result of the incident. Write down how the experiment changed you, how it still might change you in the future and who else was affected by it.

  • The accident changed me by…
  • The future effects on my body are still unknown but what could happen is…
  • An enemy I made because of the accident is…

Looking for Answers: When you look for answers to the questions you have about that fateful day in order to learn more about what happened or your feelings about it, ask a question about it and roll + Approach depending on the method you use to find the answer. On a 10+, the GM will give you a clear and detailed answer to your question and you take +1 Forward to acting on that information. On a 7-9, the GM will answer your question but the information may be confusing, alarming, or suggest a hard choice.

I’m a Freak

Feared: People hate and fear that which they don’t understand and, unfortunately for you, you fall into that category. People know you are different just by looking at you, write down what makes you noticeably different from others such that it produces a negative reaction most places you go.
I am feared and feel like I don’t belong because..
My everyday, mundane life consists of…

That’s Right, I’m a Monster: When you use their fear and hatred of you to intimidate and get something you want from someone, use your differences to strike fear in their hearts and roll + Approach. On a 10+, you scare them and get what you want, if they have it. On a 7-9, you scare them and get what you want but there’s fallout (that maybe justifies the fear of you). The GM will determine what that is.

Takes One to Know One: When you engage in conversation with someone who is like you, you may ask them a question from the list below. If you want them to answer it truthfully, then they get to ask you a question as well in return. If they suspect or catch you in a lie, you cannot use this Move on them ever again.

  • How are you most vulnerable?
  • What are your present intentions?
  • What do you want me to know?
  • What do you want from me?
  • What secret pain or trouble do you carry with you?

I’m Back from the Dead

You died. You’ve been to the “Other Side”, and you didn’t come back whole. Or maybe you never quite came back at all. You’ve always got at least one foot in the grave. Your special relationship with death gives you insights and capabilities beyond those of normal people but when you came back you left a part of yourself behind. It could be something like a memory or a hole in your mind you crave to fill. It could be an emotion or a piece of what you think made you human. It could be something you had or used to strive for that is now unattainable.

  • I lost something after coming back from the other side, so I cope with it. It is…
  • If I can’t cope with it, I lose control of myself by…

Been There, Done That: When you head straight into danger without hedging your bets and end up having to make the Last Chance Move as a result, roll 3d6 instead of 2d6 and discard the lowest die result.

From Beyond the Grave: Whenever your loss hinders or prevents you from accomplishing a task that brings you closer to getting back what you lost, cope with it right away. If you cannot, roll + Approach. On a 10+, you determine the manner in which you lose control. Say what happens. On a 7-9, you determine the manner in which you lose control, but the GM will give you a complication to deal with as a result.

Seeing a Ghost: Whenever you use your experience with death and the beyond to learn more about or intimidate someone for the first time, roll+Approach. On a 10+, ask 1 from the list below. On a 7-9, still ask 1, but you must tell them your answer to the question first to make them tell you theirs.

  • What is your greatest fear?
  • What is your greatest regret?
  • What is your weakness?
  • What is a secret you would never tell anyone else?

The Beast Inside Me

You have something inside of you that takes over whenever an emotional state is triggered. Define what triggers your inner beast taking over and how you change when it does. Your beast also has goals that do not necessarily match your own and when your beast is unleashed, they pursue those goals until the conditions or state that unleashed your beast are done away with.

  • My beast takes over when…
  • The goals and instincts of my beast are to…

I Am Not a Monster: Whenever you struggle to prevent the beast from taking over, roll+Approach. On a 10+, you wrest control away from the beast and your fate is in your own hands… for now. On a 7-9, you gain control, but only after sating the beast by acting on or advancing some of its goals in some way.

Soft on the Inside: When you open up and share a secret about your past or about your beast and the burden it is in order to ask for help and the listener is receptive, roll+Approach. On a 10+, choose 2 from the list below. On a 7-9, choose 1:

  • Remove a Condition (from yourself or the listener).
  • Take +1 Forward to helping yourself.
  • The listener takes +1 Forward to helping you.

The Deal

Deal with the Devil: You traded something extremely important away to someone who required something from you for your powers.

  • I traded away…
  • I traded it for…
  • I can only get it back by…

Need More, Give More: You can push your powers harder by giving up more. Explain what you are sacrificing and how in order to do something you haven’t done yet with your Powers. How much you have to give up depends on if it’s Simple, Difficult, or Borderline to do; the more powerful or difficult it is to do, the more you give up.

Confession: Confide in someone by confessing your sins to them. Increase a Bond with them by 1, but know that the knowledge you are imparting to them will put them in harm’s way. If you Burn this Bond, double its effects.

The Wake-Up Call

Not That Person Anymore: You used to operate in a world that any hero would not care to be associated with. State what your life was like and what turned you around.

  • I was previously involved in…
  • I changed my ways because…

Courage Under Fire: When you receive hostility in return for trying to genuinely do what you think is right, and you mitigate it without the use of force, roll+Approach. On a 10+, you get both of the below results. On a 7-9, choose one.

  • You sway those that witness your heroism, the GM will offer you a chance to write in or increase a Bond.
  • You receive aid, the GM will tell you in what form it arrives.

Double Take: When you try to gain someone’s trust, you may choose to Burn a Bond with a teammate and roll+Approach. On a 10+, you gain their trust and confidence, and you may write a Bond in with the new person. On a 7-9, they still have suspicions or doubt and will require assurances at some time or another. The GM will tell you when and how.

My Alien Heritage

One of a Kind: You are different from the people of Earth. Answer the questions to set some guidelines about how different you are from humans. Whenever you get yourself into trouble owing to your differences with normal people (whether it be personality, appearance, genetics or base instincts), you may recover one Condition when you consult a team member about the difficulties and differences you experienced.

  • Do you thrive in an environment that a human cannot survive in?
  • What is your purpose?
  • What do you need in order to survive?
  • Do you look different from humans? If so, how?

Alien Mind: Whenever someone tries to invade your mind or harm you mentally, roll+Approach. On a 10+, you push them out and their attempted invasion disorients them. On a 7-9, you push them out and (choose 1 or 2):

  • You impose any appropriate Condition on the invader you wish, but you take the same severity as well.
  • You glean something useful from them, but they learn something personal about you as well.

The Legacy

You’re not the first hero to use this name. Perhaps you’re the inheritor of a sacred cause, or the best available candidate to receive a power item after the previous owner died. Or maybe you’re the previous hero’s sidekick, ready to bust out on your own now that the old mentor is ready to retire. No matter the story, one thing remains true: your name, your powers, yuor mission, they all come with a history.

Take a Bond with “The Past” and define what your history and legacy is and what symbol that past represents. You may spend time establishing and fleshing the Bond out if you so choose but your Bond with “The Past” may never go above 4, which is what it starts out at, and will lower every time you use the Move “Like No Other”. If you have a public persona, the Bond can also be affected by what you do and what takes place in the campaign.

  • I took up the mantle of…
  • Because they…

Roots Run Deep: Whenever a person, place, or thing comes up in play for the first time and it feels familiar to you, tell the GM the connection you think it has to your legacy and roll+Approach. On a 10+, the GM will tell you something useful about the subject, and may ask for more detail about how you learned of said connection. On a 7-9, the GM will tell you something interesting about the subject, it’s on you to make it useful. The GM may ask for more detail about it and the role you think it plays in your past.

Sins of the Father: Whenever you face a foe or challenge your predecessor had to deal with before, roll+Approach. On a 10+, Hold 2. On a 7-9, Hold 1. Spend 1 Hold to recount something from your past or predecessors in order to:

  • Take away an advantage or find a weak point.
  • Recover from a Minor or Moderate Condition.
  • Take +1 Forward.

Like No Other: When you do something to distinguish yourself from your predecessor that no one saw coming, say what you do and how it’s different. Then, choose one:

  • Gain the benefit of surprise, throw them off guard, or draw attention to yourself to take +2 Forward.
  • Burn a Bond with the Past to place 2 Bond Points elsewhere.
  • Burn a Bond with the past in order to initiate an immediate effect from the Dead for Now move to retcon your character, and be born anew.

My Mission

Directive: Write down at least one mission directive assigned to you along with who or what is directing (or don’t and leave it open) and answer the following:

  • My current mission directive is to…
  • If I try to disobey my directive…
  • The individual or group I believe to be behind the directive is…
  • I can get out from under them by…

Benefactor: When you invoke the group or individual setting your directives in order to gain access to a specific piece of information, item, or location, roll+Approach. On a 10+, you gain both access and authority to do as you see fit. On a 7-9, you gain a degree of access, but there is an obstacle that presents itself before you can acquire your target. The GM will tell you what it is.

Rage Against the Machine: When you go against your directive and lie, misdirect, or otherwise cover up your indiscretions, roll+Approach. On a 10+, you cover it up and are believed or deflect attention for now. If you risked going against your directive to help someone else, you may raise your Bond with them by 1. On a 7-9, you cover it up, but you have to confide in or end up beholden to someone you don’t know you can trust in order to do so. Say who it is, and write a Bond in with them at zero.

What I Carry

Wanted: Whatever you’ve got, somebody else wants it. Whether you did it to yourself or had it done to you, whatever gave you your powers is something that can, or at least could be theoretically, replicated again. There are a number of agencies, organizations, or people after you so they can do just that.

  • The thing I’ve got that everybody wants is…
  • To the best of my knowledge, the people that want it are…

Evade, Outwit, Outrun: Whenever you are hunted, or are cornered with no way out and are alone, describe how you intend to evade capture and roll+Approach. On a 10+, you slip out of their clutches. Define how. On a -9, you do it but leave some sort of clue or connection that puts you or someone close to you in danger. Tell the GM what you left behind.

Don’t Kid a Kidder: Whenever you think someone is trying to pull something over on you, say how you judge their honesty and roll+Approach. On a 10+, the GM will tell you if you are right. If you are, you see through their deception; if you aren’t, you’re slick enough that there is no fallout. On a 7-9, the GM will tell you if you’re right. However, if you’re right, they know you know; if you’re wrong, there is some kind of fallout. The GM will tell you what it is.

What I Know

A Dedicated Life: Through years of study and dedication, you have acquired understanding and/or training known only to a few. This knowledge grants you power but is also your responsibility as it means you are one of the few who can protect and guard the world against a specific threat known to you and only through your knowledge. What do you know? How did you learn it? Who else knows and what is the threat you guard against?

  • The powers my knowledge grants me are…
  • The burden of my powers is to guard against…

Expert in the Field: When you first encounter an important creature, location, or item (your call) tied to your secret knowledge, roll+Approach. On a 10+, the GM will tell you something interesting about it you can share with the group. On a 7-9, the GM will tell you something interesting about it, but it’s up to you to determine if its relevant.

Do, Teach: When you impart your knowledge to another character, play out a scene of you teaching or training a specific technique to them. The next time they recall what you taught them and put it into practice for the first time, they may turn a 6 or less result into a 7-9.

Origins

Agents of STRIKE MattZenith MattZenith