Superhero Registration

So You Want To Be A Hero…

Well, there's the perfectly legitimate method of tossing on a pair of tights or some body armor, taking your laser-beam eyes or arsenal of modern weaponry, and taking it to the streets to fight evil wherever you find it. If you're in the right place, at the right time, you might do some good.

Unfortunately, this will not necessarily stop the police from arresting you for picking a fight in a civilian-populated area with a man who leveled an entire diner in the process with his sonic breath. Or your not-necessarily-registered combat shotgun. And even if you were careful, and everything went well - it's not as if you can testify against him in a court of law without taking off that mask of yours.

The rising incidence of metahuman powers in citizens of the United States, and the increasing popularity of vigilantism with those powers, inspired at least two senators who'd been personally saved by vigilantes - Adam Stephens (R-AL) and George Williams (R-TN) to push through legislation to govern these 'heroes'. The Stephens-Williams Act was fought hard from both sides, but eventually was passed in 1953. Various amendments to the act have been made over the years, but the purpose of the act remains - to allow 'superheroics' legally, acknowledging that the revelation of their identities would endanger their lives and those of their loved ones.


Anyone 18 years of age or older with proof of citizenship and no felonies on their record can apply for a 'Citizen Patroller' license with the Freedom Brigade, known more commonly as a Hero License. Their actual identity is logged in a classified database, and their 'hero identity' is officially created. After an extensive background check is carried out, including a medical exam to ensure that the applicant is indeed who they say they are, training is scheduled.

As part of their program of registration for the Stephens-Williams Act, the Freedom Brigade requires completion of an intensive 6-week basic training program at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, to ensure licensed patrollers have the skills to fight criminals with limited risk to themselves or the surrounding area. This training includes basic combat tactics, emergency management, negotiation, crowd control, and civilian rescue skills. A passing grade of 80% is required.

A license lasts for ten years, or its revocation. Felony convictions will cause it to be revoked, as will a variety of other misbehaviors.

Basic Requirements

Completion of the course assumes basic proficiency in a variety of skills. In the game sense, this assumes a minimum Attack and Defense of +3 each, and a minimum of 2 ranks in Diplomacy, Investigate, Notice, and Knowledge/Civics. Other common skills of graduates are Acrobatics, Drive, Medicine, Search, Stealth, and Survival. Please note that the above will need to be purchased with power points or XP as usual.


The primary benefit of registration is the existence of one's 'heroic identity' as a legal entity. This means that 'Captain Amazing' can testify in court against a criminal, in costume and masked, without revealing his identity otherwise. Given this, a hero who apprehends a criminal and hands him over to the police can ensure their conviction, and still keep their secret identity safe.

The other benefits are, of course, less chance of being arrested just for fighting villains, greater cooperation from the police and other civil organizations, and expanded powers of citizen's arrest. The 'breaking and entering' that heroes often do is seen as shady by many, but so long as it brings results is generally brushed under the carpet for registered heroes. As an interesting side effect of the 'second legal identity' of a hero, some have begun marketing themselves and collecting royalties.

It should be noted that certain companies have begun selling 'hero insurance' to cover damage caused by metahuman battles - but damage caused by unregistered heroes isn't covered, and they may be hounded for their identity so they can be sued.


How far do you trust your government? The Freedom Brigade holds the identities and details of all registered heroes, a database also accessable by various intelligence agencies. Whether or not they intend anything sinister themselves - or may be forced to do so by the government at large - there's always the risk of leaks, traitors, and hackers that might find out the information most dangerous to a hero. Thus far, it's never been known to happen, but there's always a first time.

A registered hero also has to play 'by the rules' more than a vigilante; they have to be more careful how much force they use and what methods they use in the process of dealing with villains, or their license might be revoked, or worse.


Being a Citizen Patroller has both good and bad that comes with the territory, it can also be listed as a complication if your character has issues related to being registered, for example if your character is often contacted by the authorities as a possible suspect or as a resource they can draw on it would qualify as a complication. It might also trigger a complication like Secret Identity if your ID is compromised through hacking or 'loose lips' in the file room.

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