Extra #22 – Rev Character Background

Coming in a little late in the day with the original character background written for Rev. Some explanation is in order:

Several years ago, I discovered that there was a new edition of the Hero System roleplaying game out (the fifth edition–now there’s a sixth), so I picked it up with the intention of perhaps starting a Champions game. However, there were several differences in the new rules, and I didn’t know anyone to play with (I knew some of our current gaming group, but hadn’t been invited to game with them yet).

So I visited a local game shop and checked the bulletin board, where I found someone else running a Champions game. I contacted the gamemaster, and he suggested I design a character and bring it to his next game. He could check the character to see if it was suitable, and I could see how they rolled.

I actually designed two characters: one, a super martial artist named Ghost Dragon, and another named Rev. I made full character sheets and also background information sheets with illustrations. This is that background, and you’ll notice many details differing slightly from the Rev in the book. In the end, the GM didn’t think much of either character, and as he ran, I could tell that the campaign didn’t look like it would be much fun for me, so Rev never saw actual play. But this is where he came from.

Rev background and powers


Charlie Peters doesn’t know exactly where his powers came from. He was always a fairly short, scrawny kid. Finally, when he was 13, his mother agreed to let him study martial arts, and he went at it with a vengeance.

One day when he was 14, while practicing a form in his room, he seemed to just get into a groove with it. He pushed himself to do the next set of moves faster and harder, and as he practiced, he imagined what Gina Soter would think if she could see him. Gina was seventeen, a Senior, who seemed to like Charlie okay, but had never looked at him in that way.

He kept moving with the form, thinking, “harder, faster, Gina, harder, faster, Gina,” and then the next thing he knew, he was flying across the room. He hit the wall and broke a hole in the plaster. His uniform had gotten tight all over; he was suddenly big, a fully grown man, and built. He heard his mother running upstairs to find out what the commotion was. He wished he were just his old self again, and suddenly, he was, just in time for his mother to burst in and yell at him for smashing up the wall.

Charlie had discovered a whole new life for himself.


Charlie has the ability to boost his strength and metabolism to almost unlimited levels. His abilities currently seem to come in three tiers:

The first level, which he calls Revving Up (or the Rev, which is where he got his name) transforms him from a boy of 14 into a fully grown, extremely handsome man, apparently in his early 20’s. He’s strong, fast, and tough, although not outrageously so, certainly not on a level with specialized strongmen or martial artists. He can also fly.

When circumstances require, he can jump up to the second level, which he calls Boosting. He grows visibly more muscular, his speed increases, and he even develops a glowing, crackling force field. He’s quite a lot stronger at this level, but it takes effort for him to maintain it. He also becomes prone to fits of temper, akin to “’roid rage.”

When he is really desperate, he can push past Boost to a level he calls Turbo. His strength is enormous, his speed jumps even higher, and the force field becomes even more intense. Power crackles off him in waves. He is immensely strong at this point, but can only operate at full strength for a few seconds before the strain begins to hurt him.


Charlie is still a normal kid at heart. He goes to school, lives with his parents, moons over Gina. He’s also really good at impersonating people’s voices and mannerisms, which he likes to do to get attention.

But Charlie has also always loved superheroes, and considers his new abilities the key to fulfilling his life-long ambition: to meet them for himself (and maybe impress Gina in the bargain, although she doesn’t recognize him when he’s revved). Charlie is a little awestruck by the new heroes he meets, and often also by the villains, but he’s also anxious to show off his own strength and impress them. His eagerness makes him clumsy at times. He also sometimes finds it frustrating that, as a teenager, he lacks some of the real-world skills the other heroes seem to take for granted (like driving – who needs to drive, anyway, when you can fly?).


Rev is a fun variation on Captain Marvel or Ultraverse’s Prime, with a little Dragonball Z thrown in. I like creating characters who seem a little weaker than usual, but who also have an extra “kick” they can call on when needed. Rev in full Turbo mode has a bit more “kick” than any character I’ve built before, but being a kid, he’ll probably need it.

While his Turbo mode may seem excessive (at full Turbo, he does 22d6 damage with his Martial Punch, with an OCV of 12 and a DCV of 14, and resistant PD/ED of 40 each), it’s important to remember that exerting full strength at that level will cost him 35 END (before pushing – more if he uses his Flight to half-move first) – 13 for the upkeep on his DEX, SPD and Force Field, plus 22 for the STR. He can’t take a REC phase while Boosted, so he’s taking damage from negative END by his third punch at that level (even if he gets a post-12 recovery in the middle). Under normal circumstances, he’ll only have enough END to get off one big punch, and then he’s got to drop back to Rev to recover.

He’s also very light on skills, because he’s just a kid. So for the early parts of the campaign, he’ll be trying to improve his skills and base stats a little, and then maybe exploring whether he can develop any other uses for his strength and metabolism-boosting abilities.

I have not taken his parents as DNPC’s, because I don’t necessarily want them showing up all the time (unless you as a GM decide to do a storyline involving them in his origin story, in which case his “mystery hunted” could become a “mystery DNPC”). Gina is his only DNPC; as an aspiring reporter, she has an excuse to be at big events around town, plus there’s that added pervo element of grown Rev flirting with Gina because he’s really younger than she is, but can’t let on.

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