Most players would like to create characters that are more than just carbon copies of existing movie and TV heroes.
Achieving this takes a bit of creativity and some help from the mechanics. Backgrounds represent this critical ingredient at the character creation stage, and Feats help this along as the character progresses.
Sure, a character’s individuality and flavor is expressed through all sorts of power and equipment choices. Backgrounds add fuel to the fire by providing reasons to roleplay and a simple guide to the character’s actions. They provide hooks for the GM to latch onto and inspiration for moments of heroism.
Backgrounds can even serve as a means to achieve a half-step towards multiclassing. Want to give an untamed outsider flavor to your pilot? Make them a fringer. Want to make your intellectual genius into something more enigmatic? Make them a spy or a test subject.
Feats, while less directly meaningful from a story perspective, give characters a sense of personalization and training over time. Though Feats are technically an optional system in the standard rules, we suggest using them in Hypertech, as depth of character is important when evoking cinematic elements.
It can be easy to think of an outlaw as a collection of every cinematic criminal cliché we can think of, for instance. It takes a bit more work to really distinguish one particular outlaw, taking them to a place where they can really shine as an iconic character in their own right, rather than a mere reflection of a famous actor or role. The specialization that Feats provide can really help in this area.