Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Godlike's tagline is 'superhero roleplaying in a world on fire 1936-1946', and that's basically what it's about. It's a game created by the (often creepy and disturbed, but generally awesome) minds of Dennis Detwiller, of Delta Green fame, and Greg Stolze, who did Unknown Armies. They've collaborated on a number of projects - notably this, Wild Talents, and also the Xbox game Prototype. Essentially, superpowered people started appearing around the world starting in 1936, and their appearance changed, at least in some ways, how World War II was fought. These heroes aren't Superman or Green Lantern, though - they generally have only one power, and are almost always vulnerable to some form of non-superhuman attack. Der Flieger, for example, the first superhuman, could fly, very fast - up to 800 mph - but once the Allies figured out how to track him with artillery, they shot him down. So, the question is - what do you do with your superpower? How do you contribute to the war effort? Who do you throw in with? And how do you keep from getting killed?

To build a Godlike character, first the game tells you to work out your Background, Nationality, Age, Family, Education, Dependants (if any), and a Motivation for the character. Since my favorite superhero is Captain America, I'll go with a similar background. A young man from New York, terrified and angered by what he sees and hears about the Nazis (and to a lesser extent, the Japanese) doing, enlists as soon as he is able. He's idealistic, and wants to help save lives, and defeat the Nazis. He's got a mother, but no siblings, and his father died when he was 10 from complications arising from old war injuries (from World War I). He's just out of high school, and might have been thinking about college if the war hadn't been going on. He's friendly and sociable, gets along well with most people, and is motivated by a desire to set things right, and bring down the evil he sees as the Nazis.

Then I get to the mechanics. There are six statistics - Body, Brains, Coordination, Cool, Command, and Sense. I start with 1 in all of them, and then have 6 points to spread around as I like. I'll put one in everything but Sense, and then put the last point in Command. I add together my Cool and Command scores to get my Base Will, which is 5. Then I get 20 points to spend on skills, but I can't raise a skill higher than its governing stat - so any Sense skills I take won't be very good. I'll take Leadership and Inspire at 3, and then Athletics, Endurance, Health, Dodge, Rifle, First Aid, and Mental Stability at 2. Then I get into my Talent - my superpower. The game says 25 points is about average for a starting game, so I'll stick with that. I want to be fairly simple, but have a character who could be fun to play, so I'll go with one major and one minor ability. First, I'll spend 21 points to purchase 3 levels of Heavy Armor; this means that against small arms fire, my character is practically bulletproof. And then I'll spend the last 4 points to add two points of Command as a hyperstat - this makes my character a good, if inexperienced, leader who likes to lead from the front - and can afford to, since most bullets bounce right off him. So, in the end, my character looks like:

Roger Stevenson
Male American
6', 200 lbs., Age 18
Brains 2
Body 2
Command 3
Coordination 2
Cool 2
Sense 1
Base Will 5

Inspire 3
Leadership 3
Athletics 2
Endurance 2
Health 2
Dodge 2
Rifle 2
First Aid 2
Mental Stability 2
Language (English) 1

Heavy Armor 3
Hyperstat: Command 2

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