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StephenT [userpic]

The Slayer in HeroQuest terms

24th April 2009 (20:25)
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First, I'd like to give big thanks to the mystery person who nominated Netherlands to Nepal and One Day In The Life Of Buffy Summers for the Kinda Gay Awards:
The Kinda Gay Awards
And apparently they're still looking for more nominations, so get over there and recommend your favourite femslash fic! If you don't, Willow will turn you into something unnatural. (There's a 'platonic' category for f/f friendship fics as well).

Second, something completely different. I recently put together some suggested rules to represent the powers and abilities of the Slayer in terms of the HeroQuest roleplaying game, and posted them on that game's mailing list. I thought a few people might be interested in it here, so I'm reposting it. Well technically, I thought that it would be completely meaningless to 99% of my flist, but some might be curious enough to have a look anyway and about three people will understand it. :-)

The Slayer in HeroQuest

Slayer rune

Into each generation, a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world,
a Chosen One, one born with the strength and skill to hunt the
vampires, to stop the spread of their evil. She alone will stand
against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness.
She is the Slayer.

Entry requirements: Female only, aged 14-20. There may be
any number of Potential Slayers (Initiates) but except in extreme
and mythic circumstances, there is only a single Slayer (Devotee)
at any one time. When the current Slayer dies, a randomly chosen
Potential in the right age-group becomes the next Slayer; a player
hero may choose to become the Slayer with narrator's permission
by paying the appropriate hero point cost.

Homeland: Any.

Abilities: Axe Fighting, Crossbow or Bow Fighting, Demon Lore,
Dodge Attack, Potential Slayer or Slayer, Stake Vampire, Tactics,
Unarmed Combat, (Weapon) Fighting, Weapons Lore.

Relationships: To Watcher.

Virtues: Dedicated, Fearless, Responsible, Self-Reliant or Dutiful.

Affinities and Feats:

Death rune Slayer, The (Built to Kill, I Am Destruction, I Don't Bruise Easily,
Penetrating Wound, Remarkably Strong, Superhuman Reflexes.)

Fate rune Chosen One (Memories of Slayers Past, I Always Find a Way,
Prophetic Dreams, Sacred Destiny, The Thing Monsters Have
Nightmares About.)

hunting rune She Who Hangs Out in Cemeteries (Improvised Weapon,
Quip in the Face of Peril, Sense Imminent Danger, Spot Enemy's
Hidden Weakness.)

Secret: I'm standing on the mouth of Hell - and it will choke on me
(When a Slayer is driven below zero AP in any contest that involves
physical danger, if she succeeds in a Final Action using this Secret
she is immediately restored to full AP. The effects of any wounds
or penalties suffered in the contest also disappear.)

Other Side: A Slayer travelling to the Other Side finds herself in a
stony desert, looking something like a cross between East Africa
and Southern California. Here she may encounter spirit guides,
the Shadowmen, the First Slayer or in extreme cases the
Cheese Man.


The Slayer rune is based on the image Faith drew on the classroom window in 'Bad Girls': a staked heart.

Entry requirements - this is obviously based on the classic "one girl in all the world" set-up, not the post-Chosen world. Technically you don't ask to become an Initiate (Potential Slayer), you're discovered to be one, but in game terms for Player Heroes it's pretty much the same thing.

Abilities - these are the mundane skills taught to Potentials by their Watchers. I tried to keep them balanced in line with similar backgrounds from the HQ rules, so there's a mixture of knowledge and combat skills - but mostly combat skills, Slayers being what they are. Buffy usually uses either a stake or an axe, so I put those in as specific skills then gave an extra (Weapon) skill for Player Heroes to select one other weapon of choice.

Virtues - Self-Reliant would be a virtue for slayers like Buffy; Dutiful for ones like Kendra - which is why it's an either/or choice. The Watcher's Council obviously prefers the second type...

Affinities - I decided to make the Slayer use theistic magic because of the definition of this we're given: "A spell is something you know, a charm is something you have, a feat is something you are." Being a Slayer, of course, is not just Buffy's job - "It's who you are." More practically, Potentials can use the general affinities as augments for their mundane skills at any time, while the Slayer, as a Devotee, can use active Feats to represent the direct use of her supernatural abilities against the mundane world's basic resistance of 14.

While the titles of the affinities, and most of the feats, are named after Buffy quotes (the affinities are from what she tells Riley in 'Doomed') I did try to balance them for game purposes. The Slayer, The affinity (yes, the comma is pronounced) includes feats related to physical abilities - superstrength, fast reflexes, rapid healing, etc. Chosen One covers the mystical heritage of the Slayer and the fear she inspires amongst most demons. She Who Hangs Out in Cemeteries ties up the remining special abilities Slayers show, such as the ability to sense danger, dodge attacks they can't even see coming, always find the enemy's weak spot, and so forth.

Melaka Fray doesn't have the 'Chosen One' affinity - her twin brother inherited it instead.

Secret - At first I was going to make this "I Always Find A Way", but decided that Buffy's real secret, the thing that sets her apart from everybody else, is that when she's driven right down to her lowest point and apparently completely defeated, she always finds the strength to come back again and defeat the bad guy. Sometimes with help from her friends, yes, but that's the beauty of HeroQuest treating Relationships as character abilities. :-) As a play note, I should warn that this Secret at a high enough level would makes a Slayer effectively unbeatable, since whenever she loses a contest, she just uses this ability to come back as strong as ever. That reflects the TV show perfectly, of course, but may not be so helpful in a game.

Questions? Comments? Looks of bemusement?


Posted by: MrTeufel (mrteufel)
Posted at: 24th April 2009 22:33 (UTC)
Insuff. Caffeine Error

*looks bemused*

Umm... can't you stat her up in an RPG I know? Storyteller, perhaps, Mutants and Masterminds 2, or, um, maybe Champions?


Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th April 2009 11:31 (UTC)

Sorry. :-) (The problem with statting the Slayer in 'Champions' terms is how do you rate her compared to other superheroes? Do you try to describe her powers exactly as shown on the show - which would make her weaker than most costumed superheroes, I'd think - or do you go by intent and make her stronger and more dangerous than almost anybody else on Earth?)

Besides, statting someone in HQ is easier. Just write a 100-word description of them and underline the keywords. :-)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 24th April 2009 23:30 (UTC)

Hey, thanks for giving KGA a shout-out! We appreciate it. :)

& RPG-ing will pretty much always get bemusement from me, although I suppose I can't really judge.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th April 2009 11:32 (UTC)

You're welcome. :-)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 27th April 2009 15:32 (UTC)

This is an interesting project. Years ago I had an idea to stat up all the significant characters from "Xena" in D&D terms. Never got around to it. And I have no interest in the new edition of D&D, so I probably never will.

It would have been interesting to do the Buffy characters in d20 Modern terms, or maybe even as Shadowrun-type characters.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th April 2009 16:00 (UTC)

I'm quite surprised Steve Jackson Games never got round to licencing 'Buffy' for a GURPS sourcebook, actually. :-)

(I don't own GURPS and have never played it, but I do buy the sourcebooks purely to read them as reference material...)

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