Sunday, January 17, 2010

Supers: Sample Characters

All right. Let's put this thing to the test. Here's a Superman knock-off built on 100 points. I think he came out pretty good. He doesn't do everything every Superman can do, but he can fly, toss a bus around, see through walls, and burn holes in things just by looking at 'em. That's close enough for me.

Note that because I plugged in a standard skill pyramid with an apex skill of Great, I've just abstracted his skill costs to 20 points. However, there's no need he has to follow the standard pyramid -- I could probably squeeze another few points out of there if I wanted to -- but I wanted to make him as well-rounded as possible.

Incidentally, here's the tiers (and the cost of a stunt that lets you have a skill in that tier) so far:
Mundane (0 points)
Extraordinary (10 points)
Superhuman (20 points)
Godlike (30 points)
Cosmic (40 points)

Paragon (100 points):

  • Standard skill pyramid peaking at Great (20 points)
  • Superhuman Stunt: Great Super-Strength (20 points)
    • Trappings: Physical Force, Attack, Physical Resistance
    • Major Weakness: Riptonite (-4 points)
  • Extraordinary Stunt: Good Flight (10 points)
    • Trappings: Move, Unusual (Flight)
    • Complication: Lana Lane
  • Extraordinary Stunt: Fair Riptonian Eyes (10 points)
    • Trappings: Examine, Unusual (X-Ray), Attack, Ranged (Heat Vision)
    • Snag: No x-ray vision through lead
  • +2 Trappings for Fair Riptonian Eyes (4 points)
  • +1 Trapping for Great Super-Strength (4 points)
  • 2 Refresh (10 points)
  • +1 Average skill (1 point)
It all looks pretty self-explanatory to me, but just in case it isn't:
  • Physical Force is a combination of Might's lifting and breaking trappings. (It seems unreasonable to be able to do one but not the other, so they've been combined.) Paragon can use his Super-Strength to be super-strong.
  • Attack lets him use the super-skill to cause damage. This does mean that he's a totally awesome fist-fighter, which isn't completely in line with Superman, but I'm thinking about work-arounds for that. For example, if his regular Fists skill is Good, maybe we could re-interpret the rules for complementary skills a little to say that his Super-Strength complements the tier of his Fists skill, bumping it up from Mundane to Extraordinary. That sounds pretty good to me, but I haven't given it much thought. If that were the case, I'd replace that Attack with Health Capacity, which would let the super-skill grant him bonus Health stress boxes. (It feels weird to talk about stress tracks....)
  • Physical Resistance lets him use his Super-Strength to defend against physical attacks, not by dodging (a separate trapping) but by "taking it." He relies on his toughness to shake off damage, but his ability to avoid attacks isn't exceptional. If he uses this skill to defend against a non-damaging physical attack, his effective skill is Mediocre (and his effective tier should probably be Mundane, as well).
  • Unusual is a topping that lets a trapping work differently than usual -- in this case, it changes the Move trapping from ground movement to flight. The mechanical upshot of this is that it should let him ignore all but the largest barriers.
  • Examine is careful, prolonged examination of something, the main component of Investigation. The Unusual (X-Ray) topping lets him use Examine to see through walls.
  • Ranged lets him use the Attack trapping of his Riptonian Vision at range -- it's his heat vision. Without it, the player could still flavor it as heat vision, but he'd only be able to affect targets in the same zone.
  • Snag is a limitation on his Riptonian Vision, but not common enough to warrant a Major Snag (which would in turn net him an additional trapping for his Riptonian Vision).
Note that he's still left with 2 Refresh, which isn't terrible, really, but is still pretty low. Can't get much lower, really. Just the way it should be.

Something I noticed about the Snags and Weaknesses is that it encourages you to take a Major one of those on your most-expensive super-skills -- if you take a Major Snag on an Average super-skill, it only gets you 1 point, but on a Great super-skill it's worth 4 points. In other words, it's more efficient to put greater limits on your biggest powers than on your smallest ones. A happy accident!

(Two hours later....)

I couldn't stay away. Here's another character, this time a Captain America/drum corps tribute named Vanguard.

Vanguard (100 points):
  • Standard Skill Pyramid peaking at Great (20 points)
  • Extraordinary Stunt: Great Super-Soldier (10 points)
    • Trappings: Dodge, Health Capacity, Attack
    • Complication: Secret ID
  • Extraordinary Stunt: Good Vanguard Shield (10 points)
    • Trappings: Physical Resistance, Parry, Unusual (vs. Ranged Attacks), Attack, Ranged
    • Obvious Item (-3 points)
  • Extraordinary Stunt: Fair Resolve (10 points)
    • Major Complication: Code of Honor (-2 points)
  • +2 Trappings for Good Vanguard Shield (6 points)
  • +1 Trapping for Great Super-Soldier (4 points)
  • Two stunts (10 points)
  • 7 Refresh (35 points)
Really pleased with how this guy turned out. There's a little min-maxing to be done here, for an enterprising player -- that Major Complication could be stuck on his Super-Strength instead of his Resolve, which would net him one more point -- but that's okay. Another Average skill isn't going to break anything.
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