Sunday, September 30, 2007

20 Years Ago...Silverwing

One of my most enduring role-playing game characters was Silverwing. Part of the fun of RPGs is that you get to play a character who is not like you. Silverwing was the first character I played who fit into that mold.

Originally designed only to fill a role temporarily in my friend Scott's Kalamazoo Champions campaign, Silverwing was just supposed to be a throwaway character and I didn't put a lot of original thought into him. I wanted to play a star-spangled American character like Captain America, but without wearing the flag. So, I drew inspiration from an American Quarter Dollar and its eagle symbology. I had played a D&D character named Sir James Silverwing and I liked his shield and name, so I made a character with a shield and his name. At the time, Marvel's Squadron Supreme was fresh in my mind and I borrowed a little costume design from that book's American Eagle and from Nightwing, one of my favorite characters from the New Teen Titans. I was also dabbling in an interest in anime at the time, and Scott had introduced me to Fist of the North Star, an ultraviolent postapocalyptic story featuring martial artists enhanced with what one would have to call superpowers. My favorite character in the show was Rei, who had bluish-white hair. I borrowed that too. The colors of his costume came from the Detroit Lions, Honolulu blue and silver.

And there was Silverwing. To show what kind of cool nerd I was back in 1987, Silverwing's NPC son was named Calvin. The boy had a stuffed tiger. Silverwing had some vague birdlike qualities like telescopic vision and high-frequency hearing, as well as a vulnerability to sonics. Like I said a couple of weeks ago, I didn't know what I was doing yet as far as writing Champions characters. Silverwing would turn out differently the next time he appeared.
More on what he would become next week. As you can see from the picture below, we hand-colored our characters right on the character sheet!

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