Game Mastermind's Manual!
Burnt OutThe character has had it with the hero biz. Things have been going poorly, he has lost a loved one thanks to a villain, or he is simply tired of the extreme drain on his time. This could cause problems with teams he is a member of, with those that look up to and support him, and even with his villains who want to draw him out for a fight. The character will try to avoid situations where he is called on to be a hero. He will probably try to resurrect his love life. He might even toss his costume in a trash can and walk away. If you choose this subplot, be prepared: villainy always finds your hero eventually! Decide on what it is that drove your character to quit and what will be enough to bring him back. Think ahead on how your character will feel once he returns to the crusade- will he be re-energized or fatalistic?
Health A health subplot indicates that the character is under the weather. He may have a cold, a broken arm, or amnesia. In any case, he is not 100%. In between fighting crime, he has to deal with doctor’s visits, trips to the pharmacy, aches and pains, or trying to reclaim his sanity. He may also find other things complicated: with a broken limb his actions are sorely limited or he might sneeze or cough while trying to be stealthy or if he cannot recall who he is, his identity could be at stake while he vanishes from his real life. If you choose this subplot, decide on how serious it is, how long it will last, and what effects it will have on your character.
Retcon In the comics, origins are not quite as static as one would think. It seems like heroes are always having revelations, confronting old friends or enemies, or discovering strange clues that lead them to discovering some new aspect of their origin that changes everything. This subplot revolves around redefining your hero’s origin and therefore, his role in the game. It allows you to redefine your character in a meaningful way. You could make alterations to powers, to advantages and drawbacks, to motivation, to almost anything. You could add new allies or villains. In fact, the page is blank and you can do pretty much anything you want in the wake of the retcon. It’s a chance to try something new and still be familiar. And the best part is, retcons are never written in stone- if you decide you don’t like it, it can be written out with another retcon!
Return from the Dead No one ever dies in comics (except for the Stacy’s) and your hero is no exception. Your hero has recently fallen in battle. A year has barely passed and now, impossibly, he is back! Of course, it may not be him, or he may not recall who he is, or he may not have his powers. He could have been resurrected by an enemy or a sinister government agency. He could even come back as a ghost or robot. One thing is sure, though: things will never be the same. This subplot revolves around the impossible happening and how it affects the people in the hero’s life and changes the hero forever. This is a great subplot if a few bad rolls kill off a favorite character. It basically allows the player to create a second origin. If you choose this subplot you should work closely with the GM on exactly what form the character’s return takes. The possibilities are endless.
Too Close to the Edge The pursuit of justice is a relentless cause and sometimes a hero loses his way. He grows too violent, too paranoid, too cynical, too overbearing, etc. He risks his friends and loves, his humanity, his very soul. This subplot revolves around a hero who is pushing the boundary of being a hero. Some recent event has him convinced that he isn’t doing enough or it has him enraged to the point of becoming a danger to others and himself. The hero must struggle through this darkness and find his way back to himself, but while he is doing so, he will be spiraling ever more out of control.
If you choose this subplot, you should work with the GM to determine what has set the hero off the rails and what will bring him back onto them. And what consequences this period of loss of control will have in the long run.