Small Time Heroes
There are five generally recognized alignments that supers are classified under, both the government and several non-government organizations keep lists of supers and their alignments. These terms are commonly used in the news media and by supers themselves when communicating between groups.
Hero: Heroes follow the rules of the society they live in and work with the existing power structures in an effort to improve the world as they see it. Protecting innocents, not taking lives, turning criminals over for normal judicial process are the actions of a hero. Most heroes work in teams, though some of the most recognized heroes operate solo. Teams and solo heroes usually are registered with government agencies that have been created in an effort to regulate supers and control the impact of them upon the non-super populace.
Vigilante: Sometimes registered and recognized, sometimes they operate completely outside the normal structures of their country. Vigilantes refuse to play by the rules of non-supers, or are suspicious of the motives of the agencies that keep tabs on heroes. Some vigilantes are hard to tell apart from heroes but others operate closer to the villains they fight. Most vigilantes work solo and are paranoid about others.
Unaligned: Not all supers have powers fit for fighting crime or help with disasters, or sometimes supers “retire” from fighting. Unaligned supers use their powers in the ordinary world. They are the civilian equivalent of the super powered world.
Villain: Motivated by greed, for the love of hurting others, or just because they want to watch the world burn. Not all villains are after power but most have a hard time fitting into normal society. Often they are mentally unstable. Still villains have boundaries, they understand that if they go too far than all hands will be raised against them. Many minor villains are tolerated simply because they never create enough of a problem to be worth the cost of taking them down.
Threat: When a villain goes too far, or sometimes even a hero or vigilante causes too much collateral damage. There are even a few that with motivates poor, or even not at all understood, who fall into this alignment. Threats are just that, recognized threats to public welfare or even to the world. When threats show up in an area heroes, vigilantes, and any non-super organizations equipped to handle them will work together to eliminate or remove the threat from the area. Some threats are big enough that even villains will get in the act, and at those times their help is accepted and anyone breaking the peace while dealing with the current threat faces being labeled a threat themselves.
h2. Archive – Old Notes
[jm] – possible other types of alignments (if we think of these as personalities)
|Unwitting||have super powers that essentially react on their own. They have not learned to control the ability, and it “goes off” unintentionally and without forethought|
|Oblivious||have super powers, but don’t realize it. (“No baby, it rains because you’re sad.”)|
|Unwilling||have super powers, but refuse to acknowledge or use them|
|Psychotic||their powers have driven them insane. They act unpredictably and irrationally, but have no interest in planning, scheming, helping, etc.|
|Animal or Reactive||these are essentially non-thinking supers. They may react to certain situations due to fight/flight response or pre-programming. This could be Cyborgs so severe that they have lost all sense of self, or severely mentally challenged individuals that are more like animals living in the wild.|
|Andy: I was looking at alignments more as how the world perceives them. So kind of a mix between personality and how the character has acted. Alignment would be a quick way to gauge how people in authority and the general populace would react when a character shows up in costume.
jm: Just a thought, but the last two actually fit your thinking.
*(Animal/Reactive)The tall Iron-Man (Black Sabbath, not the superhero) that stands on the edge of the city and occasionally awakens to either Help or Wreak Havoc.
*(Psychotic)The crazy hermit that lives in the woods, and occasionally comes to the city to warn them of the dangers he has seen through his gift of Precognition.
Andy: True, but I already think that they fit into the unaligned category for Reactive and threat category for Psychotic. They seem more like subcategories than categories themselves.