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The Inspired Hero

A Concept For "Army Men: A Game of Tactical Plastic"

By Neal LitherlandPublished 27 days ago 4 min read

"There is no shame in death, for it is something we all must do. But to die without leaving a mark behind, or a story to be told, is to be truly dead."

- Introduction of The Orthodoxy of Heroes

There are several faiths across the nations of the Plastos Federation. Some focus on how the resinous peoples are all a part of the earth, and how they are merely another part of the natural cycle. Others believe that while they may have a creator, such a being should be thought of like a distant craftsman in a workshop who set the world in motion long ago, and has moved on to other tasks, leaving the world in the care of their creations.

One of the most widely practiced faiths, however, is not really a faith at all. For those who follow the Orthodoxy of Heroes believe in no god, no afterlife, and no intervention from some divine being. Rather, this philosophy states that it is the legend you leave behind that makes you immortal. That it is the heroes, great and small, who will be remembered, and that is the only way one can truly transcend death.

And whether one is born into this philosophy, or they come to find it later in life, it can be a source of inspiration... for good, or for ill.

Tell Them What You Saw This Day!

While heroes can be anyone who dedicates themselves to a cause, an art form, or even a community according to the Orthodoxy of Heroes, it is the deeds of the citizen soldiers that are most commonly told and remembered. These tales of heroism and great deeds (many of which the heroes in question did not survive) captivate the mind, and light a fire inside those who wish to be remembered among such legends.

This is by design. After all, no one fights harder than those who are jostling for a place in the annals of history, and those who wish to be commemorated by the Orthodoxy may go to extreme (even foolhardy) lengths to secure their legacy.

The key to this character concept is to ask which stories of heroism inspired your character, and who are they trying to imitate?

Given the style, tone, and setting of Army Men, there are no shortage of real-world warriors from our own history to consider. For example, there's the Red Army sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko (who I wrote a Pathfinder RPG character conversion guide for some time back), who was credited with shooting hundreds of Nazis during WWII. There's also Aimo Koivunen, a Finnish soldier who skied for hundreds of miles and survived the frozen wilderness for over a week with no supplies while his system was filled with a near lethal dose of combat stimulants. The amazing medic Desmond Doss refused to carry a weapon into the battlefield, but saved over 100 men's lives during the Battle of Okinawa.

The list of potential inspirations goes on, and there are entire books dedicated to the unbelievable feats that soldiers, freedom fighters, and others have accomplished in theaters of war. From the Night Witches to the Fighting Girlfriend, if you're looking to make an Inspired Hero of your own, there's plenty of stories to get your imagination going!

Try Army Men For Yourself!

Army Men: A Game of Tactical Plastic is my brand-new TTRPG based on the DND 5E engine. It presents a whole new world for players to explore as they take on the roles of a squad of resinous soldiers fighting to protect their homes and nations from the incursions of colossal, insectoid creatures known as the vespoids. War has become the constant for these nations, but as the conflict goes on, they begin to learn more about the threats facing them... and that knowledge may shine a new light onto just what this conflict means for the soldiers, and the Federation as a whole!

And if you're looking for an engaging character concept to try out for your first trooper, you could do far worse than the Inspired Hero!

Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!

That's all for this week's Unusual Character Concepts post!

For more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel. Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife, my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my gangland noir series starring a Maine Coon enforcer with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, or my recent short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading over to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more content, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

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About the Creator

Neal Litherland

Neal Litherland is an author, freelance blogger, and RPG designer. A regular on the Chicago convention circuit, he works in a variety of genres.



Blog: Improved Initiative and The Literary Mercenary

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  • Samuel Wright17 days ago

    The Orthodoxy of Heroes sounds like it would make a great faction for Planescape...

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