Runequest modern: character concepts


In talking about my campaign with the potential players, there seems to be some confusion about what sort of characters would fit in. Since I want to have a good collection of advantages available, I thought I'd come here and see what ideas I can get from this forum.

This campaign is based on the TV shows of the 1970s. The theory is that the characters of most TV shows could be encountered. But the PCs are not part of any TV show; my idea is to make a campaign like a TV show.


1. The characters are in the 1970s, and must have "plausible deniability", which means that if there is anything unusual about them, they can still pass for normal people.

2. The genre is action/adventure. The PCs work for Monroe Associates, where they may be asked to solve crimes, break up criminal plots, find treasure, and foil espionage plots.

3. Balance is essential. It should be possible to play a character with nothing unusual, and any unusual characters need to be balanced against this.

4. Advantages are possible. Advantages are abilities like that available in games like GURPS and Mage: The Ascension. PCs can also have disadvantages. This allows charcters to be more than just the sum of their skills.

I think the players I am talking to might be too tied up in trying to think of 1970s TV shows. Certainly that is a good starting point: bionic characters, private investigators, and amazons from Wonder Woman's island would all fit in. But I'd like to have a list of concepts that go beyond that.
THe 1970's were the decade of the crime drama on TV, so some sort of cops would be good PC options.

There were also alot of shows about people with special abilties/superpowers (Six Million Dollar Man, THe Hulk, THe Man from Atlantis, The Invisible Man, the Gemini Man). SO some sort of low-keyed "character with special ability" concept would be a possibility.

If you want to take a real off the wall concept for a RPG game, you could go with a series based off of the Kolchack: THe NIght Stalker TV Series (Someone should write up CHILL Stats for Karl) , or off of the UFO TV series (with SHADO-I should use that one myself someday). Either of those two concepts could be used for the bais of an entire campaign.

Katate, Kung FU and other martial arts were making a big spash back then, and a martial artist concept could be an option.

Hope that helps.
I had intended to post a reply to this before, but decided to turn my ideas into new threads.

Martial Artists: I started a new thread on the martial arts. Definitely a possibility.

Cops: The hard part would be making cops as cool as martial artists. I suppose the cops have their guns: the martial artist rules we've been discussing make martial artists tough, but they can't compare with a .357 Magnum. Cops also get more donuts.

I was thinking that one thing cops seem to do a lot is burst into a room and shout "FREEZE!" This is what got me thinking about initiative, and starting a new initiative thread.

I suppose cops could have expert or legendary abilities involving influence. Perhaps as a legendary ability, they could command a room and force everybody to make a persistance check or lose all actions for that round. Cops could also have expert abilities for interrogation and influence, as well as investigation.

(Note, I'm thinking legendary PC cops here who can compete on equal terms with martial artists and men from Atlantis, not the run-of-the mill donut-eating cops who pull the PCs over for speeding...)

And driving stunts. Cops need to be good at driving stunts. Especially in the 1970s.

Special Abilities/Unusual Charactes: I am not sure how to handle making these competitive against regular characters without allowing them to dominate the game. I have a thread here about different kinds of modern magic.

There is another thread discussing immortal characters, which would include "highlander"-type immortals, vampires, and amazons from Paradise Island. Immortality itself is not a problem, but some of the powers that go along with these character types could be.

I'm still looking for more ideas.