Path of the Nameless Hero

Alternate Names: The Mask, the Vigilante, the Folk Hero, the Dark Knight, the Upstanding Citizen, the Angel of Hope, the Angel in Shadows, the Hidden God, the Guardian of Tradition, the Last Hope

The Nameless Hero arises in response to injustice. A community’s sense of identity and wholeness depends on its laws and culture; when it comes under threat from external predators or internal degenerates, “Lawbreakers,” the Moral Authority must step in and rectify the situation. If this fails, the ordinary members of the community may take matters into their own hands, upholding the laws “in the shadows,” outside the purview of the Moral Authority: they serve the Law, but outside the Law. This role is thankless: the Nameless Hero must remain nameless; none will know truly performed these deeds, they’ll never see accolades for their deeds, and indeed, the “mask” of the Nameless Hero often passes from person to person.

The Archetypal Reputation of the Nameless Hero works differently than for other Paths. While the character is in his “guise” of the Nameless Hero (“by night”), performing deeds to support the Law during otherwise Lawless times, he may use his Archetypal Reputation normally: it terrifies his opponents and earns the respect of those who see him in action, and the legend of the hero spreads far and wide, but not the legend of the face behind the mask. When not protecting the law from lawbreakers (“by day”) the character may use his Archetypal Reputation to gain the trust of the victims of lawlessness.

The Archetypal Reputation of the Nameless Hero may also be passed on. This is a Miraculous Power miracle, and it results in the permanent transfer of the “mantle” of Nameless Hero (including the secret) to another character. The old character loses all points invested in the Archetypal Reputation (Nameless Hero), and the new character gains it; the new character must pay full cost for these new abilities, but gains the “identity” and “legend” of the previous Nameless Hero. If the character is unable to pay for the full cost, the “legend” diminishes until the character is able to restore it.

Prerequisites

As with all paths, following the Path of the Nameless Hero requires an additional -5% pact modifier “Disciplines of Faith (Ritualism)”, representing how the character must spend every moment of his life carefully engaging in the symbolism of the Nameless Hero.

Furthermore, the Nameless Hero must have a secret: that they are the Nameless Hero. This secret is worth at least -10 points; if the Secret is revealed, the character loses access to all Nameless Hero miracles and symbolism. They may also find themselves facing judgment for crimes committed while acting as the Nameless Hero. Note that some characters may know the secret. See Milestones below for more.

Finally, the Nameless Hero must be a member of community. They need a Sense of Duty for that community, or they need some bond or connection to it. He may only use his miracles in defense of that community and its traditions (he never acts to revolutionize or change the community, only to restore them to “the way things should be”). He acts as an extension of that community’s “true will,” moving to help restore what they once had. That community must also be in crisis; if the crisis fades, so too does the need for the Nameless Hero.

Symbols

  • Color: Any, but usually browns, beige and grays, contrasted with a single, extremely striking color.
  • Regalia: The clothing of the working class; a long coat; a mask.
  • Tools: Workman’s tools (especially a hammer); housewife tools; farmer’s implements; traditional religious or ceremonial items sacred to the past.
  • Locations: Dangerous back alleys; “good” neighborhoods beset by lawlessness; small villages, the invaded home; traditional places fallen into disrepair or in the midst of repair (such as a temple undergoing renovations).
  • Unique: Each Nameless Hero often has a unique symbol or sigil associated with them. This sigil marks the “identity” of this specific nameless hero and often represents the community that he defends. This is usually the mask that the character wears, but it may be a symbol of the community itself. The Nameless Hero often usually has a name, but the name belongs to his archetypal persona; this name is also a symbol of the Nameless Hero, as it’s the name given to the Archtype, rather than to the person walking the path.

Invocations of Symbols

Characters with Symbolic Resonance (Nameless Hero) may invoke the symbols for any psychic powers to hide their own identity, to see that justice is done, or to protect a community or its traditions. It can never be used to violate a community’s traditions, nor to expose hypocrisies or corruption within those traditions (that is, if the traditions cause problems, the Nameless Hero is helpless to stop them; if people subvert these traditions and violate them in secret, then the Nameless Hero can expose them).

Milestones

  • A Lawbreaker arrives and defies and desecrates the traditions of the the proper Moral Order. The Nameless Hero must choose between following social norms and accepting the desecration, or violating the letter of the law to save the spirit of the law and the protect his community. He chooses the latter and defies the Lawbreaker. He defeats the Lawbreaker, but hides his identity in the shame of violating the rules and traditions of the Moral Order. The community is inspired by his actions and others begin to set about to restore the Moral Order; they do not become his boon companions.
  • The world offers the Nameless Hero a prize, a most desired thing, in exchange for revealing his identity. If the Nameless Hero reveals who he truly is, he shall receive accolades and the most desired thing, but he will fail in his crusade to restore Moral Order and the Lawbreakers will win. He chooses to keep his secret. The community is inspired by his actions and others begin to set about to restore the Moral Order; they do not become his boon companions.
  • A Lawbreaker learns the true identity of the Nameless Hero and seeks to use it to blackmail the Nameless Hero. If the Nameless Hero does not do what the Lawbreaker desires, then the Nameless Hero will lose something precious to him. The Nameless Hero refuses and the Lawbreaker destroys the precious thing. The Nameless Hero defeats the Lawbreaker and places him in the balance of life and death. The Lawbreaker pleads for mercy. The Nameless Hero may destroy the Lawbreaker; doing so will not restore the precious thing, will violate the Moral Order, but greatly change the circumstances so that more Moral Order is restored. If the Nameless Hero spares the Lawbreaker, no harm is done to the Moral Order, and the Lawbreaker will repent and become a Boon Companion.
  • The Moral Authority, the true representatives of the proper Moral Order, learn the identity of the Nameless Hero. They contact him and ask him to violate the Moral Order in a way that they cannot. He agrees to do so, but in so doing, commits a crime against the Moral Order the knowledge of which becomes widespread, but is not traceable to the Moral Order. This knowledge is more likely to harm the Nameless Hero’s true identity rather than his constructed identity.
  • Thanks to the actions of the Nameless Hero, the Moral Order will be restored, but the sins of the Nameless Hero must be accounted for, even those done under cover of darkness at the behest of the Moral Authority. The Moral Authority capture and condemn the Nameless Hero’s true, rather than constructed, identity. If the Nameless Hero reveals his secret, his condemnation will be revoked, but the Moral Authority will be condemned instead, and Moral Order will collapse. The Nameless Hero accepts condemnation and is exiled from their community or metaphorically or literally slain as an offering to the Moral Order. A boon companion discovers the truth of the Nameless Hero and takes up the Path of the Nameless Hero in his stead.

Associated Talents

Jack of All Trades: [10/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 9.
Street Smarts: [10/level] (Lesser Primordial Expertise). Found in GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, on page 16.

Associated Miracles

  • Minor Blessings (Neutral)
    • Confidence
    • Armor of Communion
    • The Tao of Communion
    • Hammer of Justice
    • Karma of Small Deeds
    • Moment of Judgment
  • Major Blessings (Good)
    • Aura of Focus
    • Aura of Courage
    • Clarity
    • Warning of Communion
    • Primordial Expertise, Greater (Jack of all Trades or Street Smarts)
    • Mask of Anonymity
  • Miraculous Power (Very Good)
    • Moment of Truth
    • Clarity (Enhanced)
    • Communal Aura (Aura of Focus, Aura of Courage)
    • Channel Avatar (The Nameless Hero)
  • World-Shaking Miracles (Excellent)
  • History-Shaping Miracles (Excellent+4)
    • Primordial Avatar (The Nameless Hero)

Unique Miracles

Hammer of Justice

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: True Communion 5, Archetypal Reputation (The Nameless Hero) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 4 points

The character’s unarmed strikes, or strikes with simple, household tools, gain devastating force. These inflict an additional +2d crushing damage (if the attack is already crushing; it does not assist with cutting or impaling or other forms of damage) and only helps melee attacks. Crushing attacks made with this miracle active can never reduce a character below 0 HP, always inflict double knockback, ignore all DR, and the target must make an HT roll with a penalty of -1 per 2 points of damage inflicted by this attack or go unconscious.

Statistics: Innate Attack 2d (Crushing; Cosmic, Irresistible Attack +300%; Double Knockback +20%; Melee, C -30%; Nuisance Effect, can inflict no more than HP damage, after which it becomes No Wounding -40%; Side-Effect, unconsciousness, +250%; Strength Based +30%; True Communion Path -25%) [20]

The Karma of Small Deeds

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: True Communion 6, Archetypal Reputation (The Nameless Hero) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 5 points

The power of the Nameless Hero is less what he does, and more what his actions cause the community to do. He acts to remind them of their traditions and to empower them to restore order. This miracle works like the Restore Order miracle of Exiled Master, but the Nameless Hero must justify the resulting event as a consequence of his previous actions. Local law enforcement may arrive to arrest a lawbreaker, but only because the Nameless Hero gave them evidence of his crimes; local citizens might speak out against the Lawbreakers and stand for their traditions, but only because the Nameless Hero defended them and reminded them of their traditions in the first place.

In a sense, Karma of Small Deeds acts to make the actions of the Nameless Hero more consequential. What he does reverberates into the rest of the community and inspires them to action in a ways that benefit the Nameless Hero or the Community itself.

Statistics: Serendipity (Accessibility; requires justification from the character’s previous actions -10%; Aspect: Restore Order -20%; True Communion Path, -25%; Wishing +100%) [22]

Moment of Judgment

Reaction Required: Neutral
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: True Communion 6, Archetypal Reputation (The Nameless Hero) 1
Learned Prayer Cost: 5 points

The Nameless Hero always arrives precisely when he is needed. When invoking this miracle, circumstances conspire to allow the hero to quickly arrive at a place where he is sorely needed. The GM should generously consider allowing this miracle to retoractively place the character at the point of the crisis: this miracle means that the character happens to be where he is most needed.

Statistics: Serendipity (Aspect: Arrive Precisely where needed -20%; True Communion Path, -25%; Wishing +100%) [24]

Mask of Anonymity

Reaction Required: Good
Learned Prayer Prerequisite: True Communion 7, Archetypal Reputation (The Nameless Hero) 2
Learned Prayer Cost: 7 points

When this miracle activates, the character’s true identity cannot be ascertained. Shadows fall across the character’s face to prevent positive identification; scans to discover who the character really is inevitably fail and register as errors in the system (suggesting something is wrong with the database, not the character). If truly pressed for an identity, the character may come up with any identity they wish, and True Communion will make it so, so that systems will register as that identity. The character cannot use this miracle to impersonate someone else, only to protect their true identity. This miracle lasts for an hour, or until it’s protected their identity once, whichever is longer.

Statistics: Zeroed (Cosmic, impenetrable by mundane means, +50%; True Communion Path -25%) [12.5] + Alternate Identity (Previously Unknown; Cosmic, fits the circumstances +50%) [22.5]

Avatar Templates

Lesser Avatar of the Nameless Hero

Learned Prayer Cost: 18 points

Sometimes called “The Mysterious Stranger,” while in the guise of the Lesser Avatar of the Nameless Hero, the character’s identity becomes unreadable; those who look into his details (via biometrics, etc) will only find lies temporarily constructed by True Communion to preserve the anonymity of the Nameless Hero. In addition, the Nameless Hero becomes the perfect everyman: he can perform any skill he doesn’t know at a +3 to their defaults, and gains the ability to use up to three skills associated with his community at IQ or DX+3. Finally, he gains a +1 to all rolls to help his community.

Statistics: Lesser Avatar of the Nameless Hero template as Alternate form

Lesser Avatar of the Nameless Hero

106 points

Advantages: Lesser Avatar Template [25]; Jack of All Trades 3 [30]; Street-Smarts 3 [30] and Optional Rule: Talent may exceed +4 [1]; Higher Purpose (Protect Community) [5]; Zeroed (Cosmic, impenetrable by mundane means, +50%) [15]

Greater Avatar of the Nameless Hero

Learned Prayer Cost: 40 points

Sometimes called “the Hero Unmasked,” the psion following the path of the Nameless Hero “reveals himself” in his true glory. He gains the effects of Hammers of Justice and he has the effect of Armor Communion, but only against a total of 40 damage, after which it is “worn off.” Furthermore, he inflicts Terror on all “Lawbreakers” that he faces. Most importantly, though, his appearance changes to be believably another person and creates an illusion of the original character, cowering elsewhere while the Avatar of the Nameless Hero unleashes his full power. When the Avatar appears and vanishes, it does so in a great clap of light and thunder, which assist the deception; characters who wish to see through the illusion, to notice its flaws, must roll a contest of IQ against the Nameless Hero, who gains a +4 to deceive them.

Statistics: Greater Avatar of the Nameless Hero template as Alternate form.

Greater Avatar of the Nameless Hero

304 points

Advantages: Primordial Template [175]; Innate Attack 2d (Crushing; Cosmic, Irresistible Attack +300%; Double Knockback +20%; Melee, C -30%; Nuisance Effect, can inflict no more than HP damage, after which it becomes No Wounding -40%; Side-Effect, unconsciousness, +250%; Strength Based +30%) [21]; DR 40 (Ablative -80%; Hardened x3 +150%, All-or-Nothing -10%; Limited, Ranged -20%) [56]; Illusion (Extended, Cosmic all Senses +100%; Initiative +100%; Only of the original user -80%; Limited Use, once per day -40%; Maximum Duration, during the transformation, -40%) [35]; Terror (Only against “Lawbreakers” -10%) [27]

Disadvantages: Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10].

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License