Time to time, I write up an explication of characters I’ve played in RPGs or made for my own purpose. This is an exercise in character building and creative writing.
It’s natural that things evolve responses to predators. The Circle of Thorns have been preying on humans for generations. Most of the time the evolution preserving humans from it was things like a general population move away from magical influences and spaces, and surviving better without it. But in the 21st century, when mutations could take abrupt jumps, sometimes more severe things happened.
When Hayes Rosten was captured by the thorns and stabbed with a knife as a teen, his mutation kicked in, and his body swallowed the magic that was meant to corrupt him. Stealing from the thorns, it flowed through him – and let him take on the form of their own horse-shark-ice-things, the Hellfrosts.
What matters more, what it looks like or what it is?
It’s easy to pick Hell-Frost in a crowd. He’s the twelve foot tall snow-trailing horse-monster that punches people with immense fists and can freeze people in ice by glaring at them. He looks like – and well, is – one of the great big hulking forms of the Circle of Thorns’ cold demon monsters, but they have no love for him, that’s for sure. Seems that when you look like a rogue member of their faction they’re even more likely to try and beat you up.
A Hellfrost can do a lot, but you might be surprised, it’s mostly about cold. Hellfrost can pull enemies out of the sky with chunks of ice, he can lock them to the ground with a frozen surface, he can make it slick and knock them down, and he can even summon his own lesser ice demon to run around helping him. What’s more, being around him confuses enemies – just having an enemy in the space can be enough to disorient target selections. But also, the demon has this strange commanding presence, which makes a number of weak-willed enemies feel they need to not attack him, and turn on one another.
Of course, there are drawbacks to being a towering anthropomorphic blue horse. Like, doorways are a problem. Fire punches through his armour pretty well, and as an ice demon the size of a minivan his visual perception isn’t amazing. Lots of attacks he makes are more broad sweeps, and he tends to lock things in place to hit them consistently.
Of course, he doesn’t talk much in Hellfrost form. If you want to talk to him, you have to wait for them to take a breather, and he shrinks down to a more normal sized blue-skinned boy, who can chat quite actively about his situation, about the scenario and indeed, coordinate and takes orders well… but because he has a difficulty giving commands like this, he tends towards following and listening.
Hellfrost is an Ice/Spines Dominator, and being an ice-themed character, he gets to play with the fantastic Ice Ancillary power pool. The Ice Ancillary could lose two powers and still be one of the best Dominator ancillaries, and it beats all the Patron pools as it is, and they have requirements to work.
As a dominator, all dominators need global recharge, so they can have permadom. Permadom gives you mez protection, doubles the power of a bunch of your controls and makes them last longer as well.
He has almost too many powers; some of them just aren’t useful in solo situations and are instead more useful in team places, so the build is split between two basic sets.
Hellfrost’s build has:
- 45% Smashing/Lethal defense
- Enough global recharge for Permadom
- A bunch of -res procs
- Sleet, Ice Storm, and Ice Slick for team situations
- Cold Snap, Jack Frost, and Hoarfrost for solo situations
You can check out the build here!
I! Love! Shapeshifter! Heroes!
Oh not just your Mystique-types, but also the kind of hero who has internalised some monster powers and now they’re using them to fight the monsters. And the Circle of Thorns are a gang of baddies who are all about using bodies as parasitic hosts to stab their way into new lives, and that’s a great enemy to have to oppose. So when I made Hellfrost into an opponent of this gang of villains, it helped give me a dimension for the character’s direction.
Originally, Hellfrost was a character called Winterling. Winterling’s idea was that he was a Mutant who looked like an ice dragon boy. Thing is, that just gets you to ‘ice dragon boy but not really’ and then there’s no hook for any roleplayer to communicate with. When I got access to the monster outfits from Prismatic Shards, and I saw the Hellfrost was an option, I was excited. The name was available, so boom, I swapped him over to Hell-Frost and now we have this new idea.
At this point he’s a student in Paragon’s college system; he started out in a community college course in Kings Row, then used that to go to Steel Canyon university, and while there, thanks to a special dispensation with a secret student body organisation, he’s able to split time between classes and his superhero activities. Basically, there’s some semi-shady organisation paying for his scholarship despite the way that superheroic work infringes on his classes.