Sample Character: Anita Morrison, Action Science Journalist!

Here’s an example Atomic Robo character, from start to finish. We’ll take the basic concept of Maury from the Menagerie and do a new version of that idea. Our new PC is Anita Morrison!

Ever since the incident with the Steam Demon, Tesladyne has recognized the importance of clearly communicating science to the public. Unfortunately, none of the people they interviewed for a hypothetical new position lasted long. Either they didn’t pass the interview or they just didn’t… y’know, last long.

Until Anita rolled her wheelchair through the door and insisted on doing the job. The Tesladyne team told her it could be dangerous. “Could be?” she yelled. “You don’t sound very certain. Either it is dangerous or it isn’t. This is very unclear communication. You definitely need me!”

So, they built her a robotic exoskeleton with big fuck-off gorilla arms that could brachiate, crush a truck, and other field necessities. It could transform into a fast motorcycle, too, because the whole kit didn’t fit into a standard Tesladyne van’s seat, and they noticed she didn’t really sit still for that kind of nonsense anyway. Best of all, it had built-in cameras, so Anita could record everything that was going on - and notice things others might miss. As for Anita, she was going to work as a science communicator, getting the gist of the story and clearly telling it to her audience. Fancy tech or not, the world needed her!

We’ll start with Anita’s core concept: “I’ll show them this amazing world!”

It’s a personal philosophy, that informs her career as a journalist. Even if she wasn’t doing this job, she’d be some kind of storyteller or communicator, sharing the wonders of the world with all of humanity.

Next, we pick three modes. The standard modes of Action and Banter sound right, so we rank those at Good (+3) and Fair (+2) respectively. But there’s another one in the book, Reporter… that sounds perfect! We put that at Average (+1).

We’ll come up with four more aspects: one for each of her modes, and then one omega aspect:

  • Action mode: Highly-mobile, highly-motivated
  • Banter mode: Danger is my muse
  • Reporter mode: I’ll get the story, whatever it takes
  • Omega aspect: Too weird to work anywhere else

We do the math on trained, focused, and reinforced skills, and come up with this list:

Great (+4): Notice, Provoke
Good (+3): Athletics, Combat, Contacts, Empathy, Rapport, Vehicles, Will
Fair (+2): Deceive, Physique
Average (+1): Stealth

We get five stunts. We’ll assign her two mega-stunts to represent her equipment, and take the other three from her modes.

  • Breakneck Pace (+1 to overcome with Athletics or Vehicles when involved in a chase)
  • One Raised Eyebrow (+2 to defend with Empathy when discerning truth from lies)
  • What a Scoop! (+2 to overcome with stealth while eavesdropping)
  • APE (Assistive Physical Equipment) - as “Robot Fists” on p. 81
  • APE Alternate Mode - personal hardware, always has access to a motorcycle

Because she gets more than 5 benefits from her 5 stunts, the GM starts with 1 extra Fate point.

Because her Action mode (+3) mentions Athletics or Physique, Anita gets 2 bonus Physical stress boxes, for a total of 4. Because her Banter mode (+2) mentions Provoke or Will, she gets 1 bonus Mental stress box, for a total of 3.

Like all characters, Anita has slots for mild, moderate, and severe consequences.

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Great example, Bill. Especially useful showing that even though this is a game about a super science organization, not everyone needs to be some sort of super genius (though those are welcomed too).

Anita is a remarkable person and when a giant meteor is hurtling towards Earth she’s definitely going to contribute, but she isn’t the person doing math to figure out impact vectors and avoidance paths. She’s going to motivate people, gather resources and allies to assist, and investigate possibilities that other super science organizations have developed.

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