Alter Ego
rating: +1+x

That quintessential requirement to be a caped crusader: the secret identity.

Basic Information

Ever notice how the hero has to lead a normal life in addition all his world saving/crime stopping/demon catching/monster killing and protecting his country? In addition, he has to keep absolutely certain that no one, even his enemies and loved ones, ESPECIALLY his loved ones, have no idea that he is leading two lives.

Also notice, that the villain never has to keep a secret identity? They can just live their whole lives as an evil overlord/criminal mastermind/monster/creature of darkness. If the villain decides they want an alter ego, they are ALWAYS a close friend and/or relative of the hero. Always. In these cases, the villain usually, but not always, knows both identities of the hero, and tries to keep the fact of this knowledge a secret from the hero, so as to make better use of it later.

Game and Story Use

  • Hero type characters have to spend effort to maintain their alter egos.
    • They may have to keep a job, or go to school, or both.
      • Their job/classes may suffer do their hero activities.
      • Their job/classes may interfere with their hero activities.
    • Villains have more time to be villains than heroes do to be heroes.
      • This allows them to do more stuff, and set up better plans.
          • They disassociate themselves from society due to their overwhelming villain duties.
            • This can lead them to believe that people don't like them, thus giving them an excuse to do villain-type stuff, that keeps them away from people more, thus convincing them that people don't like them …
    • Villains have more time to build lairs than do heroes.
      • A villains lairs tend to be bigger, more expansive, more heavily defended, harder to get to.
      • Villains tend to have castles or islands or both, heroes tend to have caves or garages or closets inside their homes.
      • Villains may have more than one lair, while the hero typically only has one, in the house of their alter ego.
  • A villain finds out the hero's alter ego.
  • Hero's Girlfriend/brother/Uncle Ben/classmate/student/boss is an alter ego for their nemesis.
    • and knows the hero's alter ego
    • and the hero knows theirs.
      • And has a sidekick/contact keep tabs on them.
  • The sidekick finds out the Heros/Villains secret identity.
    • And sets up ANOTHER secret identity, with this one extorting the hero/villain based on this knowledge.
  • Hero gets a picture of them in costume mailed to their alter egos home.
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