Rookie Moves: Street Mage (lvl1) for 3e

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Rookie Moves: Street Mage (lvl1) for 3e

Post by JDRook » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:50 pm

I've come to the realization that I really enjoy messing around with the game rules, possibly more than playing the characters themselves. I'm still not sure, since I haven't been able to stick with a game for a full encounter yet (as much my fault as anyone else's). But rather than dwell on that I figured I'd just follow my bliss and try posting up my musings, which would include figuring out house rules and building characters largely based around those rules or very specific concepts that catch my fancy.

Thematically, it may make more sense to post this in one of the rule discussion boards, but Roll Call seems to be the place for the amateur and Pro-Am guideliners. Also, I've decided to make this separate from my other thread, since most people have started a fresh thread for 3e anyway. I will be focussing on DCA/MnM3e here, but I may go back to the ever-more-crunchy 2e thread occasionally.


Original 2e Characters
Street Mage

2e Test: Street Mage

Original 3e Characters
Street Mage

3e House Rules
Affliction vs Concealment
Knockabout Rules
The retooled Master Plan
Last edited by JDRook on Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:05 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Rookie Moves: JDRook in 3e - Rule Musings

Post by JDRook » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:10 am

As with my first thread, I open with a variation on my first character, Crystal. This is a 3e PL10 version of her, and hopefully a little more playable, although some of the rule changes have made certain powers behave different, particularly Deflect. See below for my notes.

Crystal - PL 10

Strength 1, Stamina 2, Agility 4, Dexterity 2, Fighting 3, Intellect 3, Awareness 5, Presence 2

Beginner's Luck, Defensive Roll 2, Eidetic Memory, Equipment 3, Improved Smash, Jack-of-all-trades, Walk like a Man

Acrobatics 2 (+6), Athletics 4 (+5), Close Combat (Unarmed) 4 (+7), Deception 2 (+4), Expertise (Theatre Technician) 2 (+5), Insight 6 (+11), Perception 6 (+11), Ranged Combat (Laser Blast) 6 (+8), Stealth 2 (+6)

Immunity: Immunity 10 (Common Descriptor: Light; Reflect, Redirect)
. . Ranged Light Manipulation: Deflect 14 (Alternate; Reflect, Subtle 2 (undetectable); Limited (Only EMR or Light-based attacks))
Invisibility: Concealment 4 (All Visual Senses)
Stored Light
. . Flash: Burst Area Affliction 10 (light, 1st degree: Impaired, 2nd degree: Disabled, 3rd degree: Unaware, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 20; Alternate Resistance (Dodge), Burst Area (30 feet radius sphere))
. . Laser Aura: Energy Aura 4 (DC 19; Selective)
. . Laser Blast: Damage 8 (DC 23, Advantages: Improved Smash; Increased Range (ranged), Subtle (subtle), Accurate 2 (+4))
. . Point Defense: Deflect 14 (Subtle 2 (undetectable); Limited (Physical Projectiles only))
Visual Suite
. . 360 View: Senses 2 (Radius (Type): Visual; Sustained)
. . Millimeter Radar: Senses 4 (Penetrates Concealment: Visual; Sustained)
. . Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing 2 (Affects: Visual Senses; Subtle (DC 20+rank); Quirk (Chained Line of Sight))
. . Telescopic Vision: Senses 4 (Extended: Visual 2 (x100), Microscopic Vision 2 (cell-size); Sustained)
Wide-Spectrum Vision: Senses 2 (Infravision, Ultravision)

Cell Phone, Costume 1, Light-Bike 12, Voice Changer 1

Initiative +4
Flash: Burst Area Affliction 10 (DC Dog/Fort 20)
Grab, +3 (DC 16)
Laser Aura: Energy Aura 4, +3 (DC 19)
Laser Blast: Damage 8, +12 (DC 23)
Throw, +2 (DC 16)
Unarmed, +7 (DC 16)

Identity: Crystal attempts to hide her powers and her identity while fighting crime, both to protect herself and her son. She usually either stays invisible or wears a full body suit and helmet to hide her identity and even her sex.
Power Loss: Crystal's Stored Light Array depends on having enough light to make the powers of the array work. Insufficient light means either a weaker rank or full power loss.
Relationship: Crystal has a teenage son, Michael, that she's raising herself. She's also trying to date, but has trouble between her other responsibilites.
Responsibility: Besides raising her son alone, she also works for a small theatre company as their resident technical director.

Native Language

Dodge 5, Parry 4, Fortitude 4, Toughness 4/2, Will 10

Power Points
Abilities 44 + Powers 71 + Advantages 9 + Skills 17 (34 ranks) + Defenses 9 = 150

Created With Hero Lab® - try it for free at!
:arrow: I've already gone into a lot of detail about this character here, so I'll stick to the new stuff and variations.
:arrow: "Walk Like a Man":Flying in the face of the overly sexualized heroine stereotype, Crystal calls on her theatre and dance background to build a costumed persona that looks masculine (and that I still don't have a name for). The custom advantage removes the circumstance penalty for this disguise. The voice changer and costume (matte black motorcycle gear with helmet) help as well.
:arrow: The new "broad" skills make her feel even more versatile, even though she had Jack-of-all-Trades before.
:arrow: The change in Deflect really affected Crystal's effectiveness (even moreso with Eddie when I post his new build). Before with Deflect, it cost 1pp/rank to deflect fast, slow, energy, mental, or did they change this that or the other in UP and blah blah blah. In short, it was a mess, and for Crystal, an expensive mess. My concept allowed for some flaws to keep the cost down, but it didn't quite work. Now that Deflect is simplified down to a standard action that allows an active Defend maneuver to be used at range against close or ranged attacks, I could arguably put 3 flaws (Ranged only, Energy Only, Light only) on a power that's starts at 1pp/rank. This seems downright abusive, though, so I've stuck with making it a single flaw. On the other hand, it's also a "partial" AE on her Light Immunity, specifically off of her Reflect and Redirect extras for 20pp. This allows her to keep her Immunity permanent on herself, but also use her R&R extras on other people.
:arrow: Deflect is also funny in that it's still debatable whether it's PL-capped or not. Since it's a standard action to Defend, not attack, and it defends other people, should it cap based on their toughness instead of yours? In this case I'm assuming it is capped based on the user, but it works out great for Crystal since she's mostly normal with a low toughness. 14 ranks seemed reasonably powerful without pushing it, and it fit with my flaw in there.
:arrow: Invisibility still costs the same, but Morph's changed a lot, but again in Crystal's favor. I don't have it on this version, but sometimes I give her Morph flawed to Visual only as an alternate effect of Invis. Morph used to be +5 Disguise per rank, and was 2pp/rank for a narrow group , then 1 with a flaw, so I could get 8 ranks for +40 disguise and feel pretty secure about that, although with the flaw she wouldn't sound or smell right. 3e Morph is now a fixed bonus of +20 Deception (which is reasonable: how often are you going to need more?) but at 5pp/rank, with ranks defining how varied your disguise could be. Fortunately Morph 2 with Visual Only again cost only 8pp. I think a Morph limited to another sense might best be done as a -2 flaw, whereas a Morph that affects all senses except one should be -1 flat.
:arrow: I went a bit crazy with the Visual Suite. I kept coming up with ideas, but figured she shouldn't be able to keep them all going at once, except for IR and UV vision which are essentially her new "natural" vision. I made all of the senses Sustained so they could be arrayed.
:arrow: She doesn't hit all of her caps, but what she does she does well. I capped her Flash to blind everyone around her, and her laser which is specifically tuned to break held weapons.
:arrow: Actually, considering her invisibility, subtle attacks, enigmatic hero persona and "cutting guns in half with her mind," she's essentially the Sphinx from Mystery Men! :D
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Knockabout Rules: Part 1 - Falling

Post by JDRook » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:25 am

There's been a lot of discussion around falling, throwing, shoving and knocking back characters on the boards, and I'd like to try exploring a few points here, under the collective name Knockabout Rules. I'm starting with falling, since it is probably the simplest and can give me something to build on.

Relatively straight forward, I tried crunching numbers on DCA's falling damage rules. Damage is based on distance fallen as opposed to a function of speed, which makes long falls more threatening and more dramatic than they should be realistically. Fall speeds actually start about equal to speed rank 1-2 in the first second and don't actually go much higher than 5 or 6 before terminal velocity hits. (They have effectively set up their terminal velocity to hit after falling a distance of rank 6.) Calculating that like a slam doesn't do much, even if you factor in mass, unless you double the speed rank. Distance is relatively easy to figure out in most cases of falling, though, so it's a better variable to base it on.

Fall Time: Shadowchaser played with some falling rules and changed a few things up that eventually didn't work out the way he thought, but he did come up with what I thought was one excellent idea - genre-based falling time.
Shadowchaser wrote: If the distance fallen is greater than 0 ranks (30 feet) then the character won't hit bottom until the next round (for genre reasons. I want to give players the chance to catch people).
Short falls (30' or less) require a resistance check vs Toughness at up to +4, so DC19, which can be a little tough on normals but rarely lethal. Most heroes can easily walk away from it, though, due either to good toughness saves or acrobatic skills. Even minimal Acro skill can routinely get you 2 degrees, allowing a hero to hit the ground running from a 15' fall (provided he can take any action) and Acro 10 covers you right to 30'. On the other side, there's also Impervious Toughness, although an Imperv hero with no Acro would still end his fall effectively prone (perhaps climbing out of the hole he made in the pavement :) ).

Code: Select all

Time(s)	Distance (feet)	Distance Rank	Fall Damage	
1					16 				-1				2
2					64 				1				6
3					146				2				8
4					256				3				10
5					400				4				12
6					576*				4.5				13
7					784				5				14
8					1024				5				14
9					1296				6				16
Long Falls over 30' start to ramp up fast into real damage, so that even the best Acro or Imperv can still take damage. This is where it's good to have friends who can catch you. Any catchers will have time to position for long falls since the landing won't occur until next round. This also gives the faller a chance to shake any effects and get ready for landing. Catching is designed to be easy (DEX vs DC5), and the catcher can absorb falling damage with Strength. Again, I'd probably add any Acro check successes to Str to counter falling damage, but Imperv would still hit the ground hard.

Immunity If you wanted to avoid falling damage in particular, Immunity to Falling damage or the Safe Fall movement power cost 2pp, or go for half effect for 1pp and only take half of what's left after applying your defenses. Most any other method of lowering falling damage is more complex and expensive than this, so unless it's somehow crucial to your concept, stick with these.

Very long falls could conceivably last several rounds. I recommend making the falls last one round for every 1000', which works out to about a mile every 30 or two miles a minute, which is about 120 miles per hour, the standard terminal velocity for "belly down" skydivers. Falls this long can open up several interesting possibilities:
- "Better late than never" rescues: very long falls will do the maximum damage, so getting heroes together to catch a faller can be even more dramatic. You may even have time to call them on the way down.
- "The sooner we land, the sooner we'll be safe!": if your tough enough or racing the clock or just plain suicidal, you could pull in your limbs and point yourself at the ground, doubling your fall speed.
- Air Combat: Falls like this are often from airplanes or flying fortresses or even from orbit, and there may be several other fallers, possibly some enemies. This could turn into a chase to the ground, or all opponents could end up falling at the same relative speed and continue fighting, moving in 3 dimensions. For simplicity, non-flyers can move horizontally at rank 0 and can use Athletics for additional speed, but with circumstance penalties for falling. Combat is penalized the same amount. Ranged combat is relatively normal, but all melee attacks send opponents moving apart far enough to require a move action to reengage unless they grab on to each other. Flyers (and possibly experienced fallers) suffer no penalty, can move about at full flying speed and will likely dominate any combat with non-flyers.
- Miscellaneous: other opportunities in freefall might be the sudden manifestation of powers (read: alternate effects), time to jury-rig a device, or roleplaying opportunities for soliloquies about mortality. Under these rules, some falls may in fact feel too long, so feel free as GM to go out of combat time and move things forward, unless the suspense is really good.

Special: Teleporting for fall damage - Another of Shadowchaser's ideas that I am shamelessly stealing is using teleport to cause falls and/or impart velocity to targets as a form of attack. This could be a fun effect, but there is also a lot of room for abuse. I could see doing this with a few caveats:
- Teleport Drops - The easiest idea is to simply Teleport your target straight up and have them fall, taking damage as per the falling damage rules. This can be potentially unbalancing for several reasons.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest - I'm too tired to write anymore.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Rookie Moves: Knockabout Rules 2 - Teleport and Falling

Post by JDRook » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:07 pm

Special: Teleporting for fall damage - Another of Shadowchaser's ideas that I am shamelessly stealing is using teleport to cause falls and/or impart velocity to targets as a form of attack. I started playing with this, and found it a little more workable than I first suspected. Consider the possibilities:

Teleport Slams: This is the one Shadowchaser inspired. Since there are flat modifiers to allow a teleporter to Change Direction and Velocity, it should be possible to teleport someone else and accelerate them into the ground or a wall. For simplicity, this is probably best expressed as plain old Damage effect. The most basic Teleport Attack is a close attack, so the PC would have to touch the target in order to teleport it. If the target didn't actually move from the spot, this would be mechanically identically to a Strike, and best bought that way, but if the PC wanted to move the target anywhere within his range AND do the slam, then the Teleport Attack and Damage effects should be linked. An even more elegant solution would be to add a Damaging extra to the Teleport Attack, allowing the PC to slam the target for damage equal to the Teleport rank.
Additionally, it should be possible (and desirable) to have the target land prone, just like at the end of a fall. There are only 2 ways defined in the DCA to get a target to fall prone as an attack: Affliction and the Trip Maneuver. Trip is a standard action and would therefore require Extra Effort to use in the same turn as the Teleport Attack, which doesn't really work. Affliction is better in that it could be linked here as well. A third possibility would be to make a custom extra for Prone and add that to the entire effect much like we did with damage, still requiring a second degree of success for Prone to trigger. So two possible builds are:

Teleport Slam
. . Prone: Affliction X (Linked; 1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Prone, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 10+X; Alternate Resistance (Dodge); Limited Degree, Instant Recovery)
. . Damage: Damage X (Linked; DC 15+X)
. . Teleport: Teleport Attack X (Linked; X distance rank, DC 10+X; Attack (Dodge))


Teleport Slam: Teleport Attack X (X distance rank, DC 10+X; Attack (Dodge), Custom (Damaging), Custom (Prone))

The advantages of the first one are that you can vary the rank of each effect to your liking, and it all fits perfectly with Rules As Written. The second one is a little more elegant, and cheaper to improve range, but has all the ranks tied together. Actually, now that I look at it, the first one is likely the most useable and least abusive build, and I'd probably recommend it for this effect. I might allow Teleport with the Damaging Extra linked to Affliction just to keep additional extras like Range from becoming too ridiculously expensive.

Teleport Drops: I thought this one would be too easy to abuse, but it works better than I thought, although it may require a little house-ruling. The concept is simple enough: Teleport your target straight up and have them fall, taking damage as per the falling damage rules. There are a few concerns:
1) Disproportionate Damage: a basic Teleport Attack at rank 1 would allow you to teleport any target you successfully touched for only 2pp, but if you allow for a vertical teleport the full distance upward, that calls for falling damage of +6. Every additional rank costs another 2pp and adds another 2 damage, which is unbalanced. Or is it? If you do the math and compare costs, this Teleport power costs the same as an equivalent Damage power +4. So it's unbalanced, right?
Maybe not. We've seen this mechanic before. You can get a Damage rank 2 effect to do 6 damage consistently and for no additional cost (sort of). Any guesses?
Yes, you at the back, that's right. Have a Str of 4 and make the effect Str-based. Unlike the Mighty feat of 2e, this option costs nothing, as it is presumed covered by the conditional nature of Str-based damage.
DCA p94 wrote:. . .any decrease in your Strength reduces
the amount you can add to your Damage, and negative
Strength subtracts from your Damage! Likewise, anything
that prevents you from exerting your Strength also
stops you from using a Strength-based Damage effect. If
you can’t swing your fist, you can’t swing a sword, either.
So how does this apply here? Teleport isn't Str-based. Well, no, but I'd suggest that falling damage is at least as conditional as Str-based damage, if not significantly moreso. Besides acrobatics, Teleport Drops would be uneffective on characters with Flight, Glide, Safefall or other appropriate movement powers. And then there's those easy team catches and terminal velocity. On the positive side, there's the +4 to fall damage and the prone effect on landing. It's my suggestion that these aspects balance each other out and can be considered the effect of "Fall-based Damage."

So if we accept Fall-based Damage as an acceptable house-ruled option for the Damage effect, this means we can create the Teleport Drop effect like this:

Teleport Drop: Teleport Attack X (X distance rank, DC 10+X; Attack (Dodge), Custom 2 (Damaging - Fall-based))

For this effect, Fall-based Damage is a +2 Extra, since falling damage is twice the distance rank plus four, and maxing out at 16. But what about the Affliction, I hear you ask? Prone is part of the Fall-based Damage effect, so it's already built in.

So a rank 4 Teleport Drop would allow the PC to hit a close target and Teleport them up to 500 feet straight up, where they would fall and hit the ground for rank 12 damage right in front of the PC. The Teleport aspect does allow the PC to send his target further away, but he shouldn't be able to get maximum height and distance at the same time, since that would be about 700 feet away diagonally. (Thank you, Pythagoras!) To avoid this without doing a lot of math, I would propose that for the distance to target location of the teleport, the horizontal rank plus the vertical rank must be equal or less than the Teleport rank (negative distance ranks count as zero). Using the rank 4 T-Drop above, the PC could send his target straight up 500' and up to 30' away, or 250' up and up to 60' away, or 120' up and away, etc. Shorter falls would of course mean less damage.

Tune in next time for the concerns of Falling Time as part of an attack.
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Rookie Moves: Knockabout Rules 3 - KB by Paragon

Post by JDRook » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:51 pm

In playing about with what I call the Knockabout rules (Falling, Knockback, Throwing, etc) I inevitably came across Paragon's work, who has been haunting these boards for seven years next month. (Happy Anniversary!) He (I'm assuming he) has been kicking the tires on every edition since the first and has an impressive posting average of over six posts a day. This is someone who has a good grasp of the game, so when I found his 3e Knockback houserule, I was thrilled. I will be referencing it heavily in this post, so I recommend reading through it first.

The aspect I looked at in particular is the degrees of KB. One degree is knocked down (prone), a second degree is knocked back 30' (rank 0) plus prone and add a rank for every additional degree. It wasn't until I read it a few times that I saw the simple pattern to it.

1 Degree = knockdown = 1 move action to reengage close combat
2 Degrees = kb rank 0 (30') + kd = 1 move + 1 move = 2 move or 1 full round to reengage
3 Degrees = kb rank 1 (60') + kd = 2 move + 1 move = 3 moves to reengage
4 Degrees = kb rank 2 (120') + kd = 4 move + 1 move = 5 moves to reengage
5 Degrees = kb rank 3 (250') + kd = 8 move + 1 move = 9 moves to reengage

... and so on. Playing with numbers you could get as high as 10 degrees if you had, say, Solomon Grundy power attack a puppy, but most combats are going to be fairly balanced and therefore would rarely go past 4-5 degrees, particularly for the Push option.

What you get is an increasing loss of actions as the degrees go up (2^(distance rank) + 1(prone))* until an opponent is too far away to reengage in combat. Of course, this can be overcome by the right purchased effects, but for this discussion assume a character of base abilities.

There is a similar loss-of-action economy going on with basic Damage, shown here.

1 Degree = -1 Toughness penalty
2 Degrees = Dazed (lose an action) and -1
3 Degrees = (Staggered = Dazed + Hindered = lose an action + move half effective) and -1
4 Degrees = Incapacitated (no actions)

Both limit action on an increasing scale, but damage effectively has a ceiling on it, with 4th degree failure giving a maximum effect. We could apply this same idea to Paragon's KB house rule and come up with this:

1 Degree = knockdown = 1 move action to reengage combat
2 Degrees = kb rank 0 (30') + kd = 1 move + 1 move = 2 move or 1 full round to reengage
3 Degrees = kb rank 1 (60') + kd = 2 move + 1 move = 3 moves to reengage
4 Degrees = Maximum Knockback = Throwing distance of target's mass (potentially out of combat)

We now have a basic mechanic for knocking people around in combat. The base application would be Paragon's Push maneuver using Strength. Push is defined as a -2 attack with an option to buy off the penalty with a flat extra, or to look at it another way, Push is inherently Inaccurate, which fits conceptually. One could also apply this maneuver to other effects, like Move Object, to swat away opponents at range, but I would recommend bumping the penalty to -5 for ranged attacks, much like the Disarm maneuver. In fact, one could do this:
You attempt to push an opponent away. Make an attack check against the defender with a –2 penalty. If you attempt to push with a ranged effect, you are at –5 penalty. If your attack succeeds, take your Strength (or the appropriate effect's rank) and add 15 to determine the DC. The target makes a resistance check using Strength, Dodge or Flight ranks at his choice.
Ranks of Growth will directly add to Strength or Flight value for this purpose; half the rank of Impervious Toughness (i.e. the part that in 3e is actually Impervious) add to it too. Ranks of Defensive Roll will add to Dodge for purposes of this roll. Ranks of Shrinking come off any resistance.
A single degree of failure causes the target to be knocked down; each additional degree will cause the target to be knocked back one step on the distance chart, starting at rank 0 (30 feet). Targets may take additional damage for hitting other objects when pushed, equal to the rank of the distance; its possible under some circumstances such objects could include a person (usually they'll get a Dodge roll against the rank of the push to avoid this).
If you make a push attempt at close range and lose the opposed check, the defender may immediately make an attempt to push you back as a reaction; make a resistance vs the defender's Strength/effect using your choice of Strength, Dodge or Flight as above. If this push attempt fails, you do not, however, get an additional attempt to push the defender.
This is basically a mashup of Paragon's Push and the Disarm maneuver. I particularly like the reversal option at the end, which gives the opportunity for some super-shoving matches. The Advantage Improved Push would remove both close and ranged penalties to Push and the reaction reversal on failed Pushes.

Another application of this mechanic could be making Teleport Attack more balanced and less of a binary effect. In the previous post, I did a lot of playing around with Teleport Attack variations, but didn't actually use the most common one of simply teleporting someone away. In practice, a basic Teleport Attack cost 2pp/rank, requires a close attack and is usually resisted by Dodge, and would either miss (Dodged) or have the full effect of the power (or as much as the Teleporter wishes to use). This gets unbalanced in a hurry, since a rank 5 'Port for 10pp can send a target with Dodge 5 900' (30 move actions) away about half the time on a successful hit, effectively ending combat in most cases, while Str 5 (10pp) vs Tou 5 will give a -1 penalty and a daze on average.

I propose using the Push maneuver as the mechanic for what I call Combat Teleport. Use 'Port rank +15 for DC and Dodge for resistance. Results are identical with the following adjustments:
1) First degree of success is rank 0 distance plus one for each additional degree. Total distance rank cannot exceed 'Port rank.
2) Prone is only available if the effect has the Change direction flat extra and can be used in exchange for 1 degree of success as the 'Porter desires.
3) (optional) 4 degrees is always maximum distance rank.

Tune in tomorrow and maybe I'll figure out a way to blend this with falling damage from vertical 'ports.

*this breaks down a little after 6 degrees when the doubling scale on the Ranks & Measures table goes wonky, but as mentioned before, this will practically never happen in balanced combat.
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Rookie Moves: Affliction vs Concealment

Post by JDRook » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:24 pm

There are several effects that limit or block the senses in one way or another, and most of them can be described using these two powers. The question is when to use which?

Base Affliction is a staged attack that can be used against the senses of opponents, while base Concealment keeps you from being perceived by senses. Affliction is imposed on others and can be resisted, while Concealment is *usually* intended as a defensive power and is either on or off (binary). The application of certain modifiers can complicate these definitions, particularly Area and Attack.

Affliction Area would attack the senses of anyone in the area, while a Concealment Area would simply hide an area and all contents. Would people in an invisibility field be visible to each other? I'd go with yes, since it's not a resistable attack, it just makes the area invisible to anyone outside the area. If it was an attack, then everyone inside it would be invisible to each other, but would get a chance to resist somehow.

Batman has both of these effects on his utility belt (naturally). The flash bomb and the smoke bomb. Both are rank 4 Area attacks. (Note: there is no RAW way to increase Concealment rank without adding senses it can effect).

What's the difference? Batman lobs a Flash Bomb at your location, it goes off, hitting you automatically (Area) and you resist vs Fortitude against a DC14, with a staged effect of -2 visual perception, then -5, then total blindness for at least a minute. This costs 12 points (Affliction doesn't require double cost for visual effects for some reason). Those affected keep saving until they successfully resist the flash.

Batman lobs a Smoke Bomb at your location, it goes off, hitting you automatically (Area) and you resist vs SOMETHING (dodge?) against a DC14, with failure making you effectively totally blind while in the area, so walking out of the cloud should let you see again, but not back into the cloud. This also costs 12 points.

Batman's Smoke Bomb is close range, so he's in the middle of his area effect. Is he affected? I'd say no, simply because there's no indication that attackers are affected by close range area effects, plus it simply doesn't fit genre. Buying an attack that does affect you should count as a side effect, or at least a quirk.

What if you built the smoke bomb differently? Using Affliction? An Affliction smoke bomb could work similarly, although it would have the staged effect, but logically the resistance rolls would continue even outside the cloud, which would make it more like tear gas (with no stun component), unless you gave it an Instant Recovery flaw.

(Incidentally, Batman can technically maintain that smoke bombs as long as he can use free actions, plus one round for cloud. Affliction is instant, so it would last that round plus cloud.)

How about Environment? It has a base effect of -5 to Visibility for 2/rank and starts as 30' area effect, so almost as good as a smoke bomb, right? And for only 2 points! This is meant for weather characters, of course, and for this power I'd make the attacker be affected by it unless he bought an extra of some sort (Selective is the obvious choice, or possibly Precise or just a 1pt immunity). It's just not quite right for a smoke bomb.

The original inspiration to explore all these variants was trying to figure out a way to knock out someone's speech. After all the wrestling back and forth it came down to either a Concealment Attack vs Hearing that makes the target inaudible, or a speech-disabling Affliction, and the OP went with the latter. Considering how effective speech can be for some characters, this was probably the best option.
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Rookie Moves: QCG - The Twenty

Post by JDRook » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:38 pm

Been a while since I've posted, and I thought I'd actually get some character builds happening. I've just recently received my Deluxe 10th Anniversary Hero's Handbook and digging through the new improved Quick Character Generator that is now at the end of the Secret Origins chapter. Randomly rolling characters has been something that has consistently fascinated me in RPGs, despite the fact (or possibly partly due to it) that it can often come out a little strange or even totally unworkable. The QCG is unique in my experience as a point-buy random character generator that can consistently create viable (if not always optimal) characters, and I thought I'd post up a bunch and try to populate my particular 'Verse.

Rather than going completely randomly, I've decided to take a fixed yet random approach to the QCG. Since all rolls are on a d20, and there are twenty Archetypes presented, I'm going to base each build on an archetype using only one number each time. This means for the Battlesuit, the first Archetype, all rolls will be consider 1, the Construct is all 2s, etc. This allows for a randomness I couldn't plan but can easily reference, as well as a few quirks that result from getting the same roll over and over. In some cases, there is a requirement for reroll, and rather than using a different number I will be using those instances to customize and optimize each build, although I will make every effort to honour all of the existing rolls.

I'll set up an index here, once I get something entered and come up with some names.

Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Rookie Moves: The Twenty - Tony Prima

Post by JDRook » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:14 am

One (All results of rolls of 1 in bold)

Archetype: Battlesuit

A good one to start with. Iron Man is high in my mind, of course, even though I'm personally not a fan of tech-based characters. Looking over the whole section, there's almost no trait that wouldn't seem appropriate on Iron Man, so it feels like it's just creating a "Stark-Lite."

Abilities: Genius
STR 0, STA 1, AGL 1, DEX 2, FGT 2, INT 8, AWE 2, PRE 2

Basic Abilities make for a near average human character with a phenomenal intelligence.

Advantages: Combatant + 1 reroll worth 5p
Acc Attack, AOA, Improved Init, Interpose, Move-By + 5

The first reroll situation! Combatant is a little surprising to match with Genius, but not completely. The idea is the suit does all the combative heavy lifting, literally and figuratively, so our Genius either knows his equipment well or is just real good at the vidya games. In theory he could use some of those advantages out of the 'suit, although he doesn't have enough ranks in anything to make the tradeoffs worth it.

Skills: People Person x2
Skills: Expertise: Business 8 (+16), Insight 8 (+10), Perception 8 (+10), Persuasion 8 (+10)

Okay, this is interesting. There's no reroll on some of the skill options so you can just stack up skill ranks. This makes our 'Suit PC a full-on Suit: his highest skill is Business by a wide margin. He also doesn't have any Science or Tech, which with normal random rolls would happen in 4% of cases. On the other hand, he also has a great Insight rank, so he'd be hard to fool in or out of the 'suit, in or out of combat. This will take some thinking.

Offense:Weapon Array
- Plasma Blast (Ranged Damage 10, Acc 4)
- Electrified Shell (Reac Damage 6)
+ 3 AEs worth 3p
Defense: Standard for all Battlesuits (Amped Defenses, Armored Shell, Life Support
Movement: Gravity Drivers (Flight 7 w/Space Flight AE)
Utility: Standard (Comms & Sensors)

So far the 'suit is pretty vanilla, although the Electrified Shell and Space Flight do give me some ideas as to where to direct some of the leftover points. The rest is going to have to come from the man inside this can.

And that man is not an inventor, and therefore is categorically not Tony Stark. As I mentioned above, there's very little in the section that wouldn't fit on Stark's character, so I tried going in the other direction and thinking what would be the core aspect of Iron Man, the one trait that you couldn't take away from him and still have the same character, and that trait would be Inventor.* His origin basically has him using Inventor to keep himself alive and to build a suit to escape his captors. You could take away the money, the fame, the business, but take away the inventing and you have almost literally taken the heart out of the hero.

That said, I think you could still make a hero, just one with a different focus. If our guy didn't actually build the 'suit, he could have been instrumental in making it all come together. He's still a genius, and although his forte is business, he could be a wide-ranging entrepreneur, a Renaissance man with interests in several spheres and the ability to pull them together in ways others couldn't by themselves. He should be a Jack-of-All-Trades, to cover this broad skillset (and take advantage of that monstrous Intellect), which incidentally gives him good Investigation, Technology and Treatment skills, so he could easily have several degrees, including medical. Being the charming bastard that he is with the varied education he has, he would have made a lot of Connections that he could call on. He would be sure to keep in touch with all of them regularly and stay Well-Informed, which would give him yet another edge to work with. His studies would have included some martial arts, maybe leading from Sun Tzu's military writings, and giving him reason to develop his combat advantages, not to mention sharpen his Assessment of both his competitors and colleagues. Finally, his real gift, the one superpower people would point out about him before the 'suit was even a thing, would be his ability to really draw people in with another too-big-to-fail idea and hold them with it, gaining their absolute trust for just one moment (Fascination: Persuasion).

I've made a point of not adding several possible Advantages. He's not Wealthy; essentially his money is always working, invested in various projects, and he really has more currency in connections and favours, so he keeps his own needs relatively simple. He has no HQ: always on the move, he crashes in hotels and huts around the world, but he does have a smartphone effectively built into his suit after calling in a few favours with various telecoms around the world. He's not Attractive, but with his persuasive charm, he doesn't really need it.

The 'suit would be a product of the connections he could bring to bear. Calling up old NASA contractors that either didn't have anything going on or were bored working outside their field. Pulling in overenthusiastic and underfunded researchers trying to find the missing links in electrogravitics that would let them tap into cheap, clean and plentiful energy. A mixed bag of investors, inventors and insiders, covering everything from nonlethal military hardware and medical prostheses to cutting edge avionics and marketing a nutrient gel.

Character-wise, this guy is all about bringing teams together for business, and making a super-team would just be an extension of that. He is more of a dreamer than a leader, though, so it could become interesting when the risk factors involve the lives of innocents or the fate of the world.

Tony Prima - The Unity Suit - PL 10

Strength 8/0, Stamina 1, Agility 1, Dexterity 2, Fighting 2, Intellect 8, Awareness 4, Presence 2

Accurate Attack, All-out Attack, Assessment, Close Attack 6, Connected, Fascinate (Persuasion), Improved Initiative, Interpose, Jack-of-all-trades, Move-by Action, Well-informed

Expertise: Business 8 (+16), Insight 6 (+10), Perception 6 (+10), Persuasion 8 (+10)

Unity Armor (Removable)
. . Armored Shell: Protection 8 (+8 Toughness; Impervious)
. . Comm System: Radio Communication 2 (Feature: Can dial into cellphone networks)
. . Defense Amplifier: Enhanced Trait 16 (Traits: Dodge +4 (+9), Parry +4 (+8), Fortitude +4 (+7), Will +4 (+10))
. . Gravity Drivers
. . . . Flight 7 (Speed: 250 miles/hour, 0.5 miles/round)
. . . . Space Flight: Movement 2 (Environmental Adaptation: Zero-G, Space Travel 1: within solar system)
. . Sealed Systems: Immunity 10 (Life Support)
. . Sensors: Senses 2 (Extended: Vision 1: x10, Infravision)
. . Weapon Array
. . . . Electrified Shell: Damage 6 (DC 21; Reaction 3: reaction)
. . . . Electro-Stunner: Affliction 10 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Stunned, 3rd degree: Incapacitated, DC 20; Accurate 4: +8, Alternate Resistance (Dodge), Increased Range: ranged)
. . . . Plasma Blast: Damage 10 (DC 25; Accurate 4: +8, Increased Range: ranged)
. . . . Strength and Accuracy Booster: Enhanced Trait 22 (Traits: Strength +8 (+8), Advantages: Close Attack 6)

Initiative +5
Electrified Shell: Damage 6, +8 (DC 21)
Electro-Stunner: Affliction 10, +10 (DC Dog/Fort/Will 20)
Grab, +8 (DC Spec 18)
Plasma Blast: Damage 10, +10 (DC 25)
Throw, +2 (DC 23)
Unarmed, +8 (DC 23)

Native Language

Dodge 9/5, Parry 8/4, Fortitude 7/3, Toughness 9, Will 10/6

Power Points
Abilities 40 + Powers 76 + Advantages 10 + Skills 14 (28 ranks) + Defenses 10 = 150

*or if you want to be pedantic, Tech skill with Inventor as a Heroic Feat.
Last edited by JDRook on Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rookie Moves: The Twenty - II the Construct

Post by JDRook » Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:20 pm


Archetype: Construct

There's always some debate on Constructs, usually involving Immunity to Fortitude and whether it's worth 30p or just getting some Life Support plus other stuff to cover the details and keeping Stamina as a descriptor for good design and self-repair. I'll see which route works for this build

Abilities: Golem
STR 8, STA -, AGL 0, DEX 0, FGT 6, INT 0, AWE 4, PRE 4

Not necessarily but usually magic, the Golem abilities package goes heavier into Awareness and Presence than the other options, setting it up for more interaction ability.

Advantages: Brawler
Improved Grab, Power Attack OR Accurate Attack

Strong and grabby, even this early on the build is an effective PL7 grabber, so I'm already thinking in terms of a magical guardian type that would focus more on containment than killing.

Skills: Brute x2
Athletics 12 (+20), Intimidation 12 (+16)

DoubleBrute blends nicely with the Golem abilities and gives us an unprecedented Athletics that hits skill cap. It can effortlessly double ground speed, jump 30 feet routinely, and climb and swim better than any nonpowered athlete. Since it never sleeps or tires, this golem could practically pursue something indefinitely until it lost the trail. Add to that the phenomenal Intimidation rank and you have a truly scary juggernaut.

Primary: Blast
Blast 8 (DC 23; Accurate 6: +12, Increased Range: ranged)

Definitely the least interesting choice of the bunch, but I'll try to stick with it. It is the only option that gives a reliable ranged attack, so flyers and ranged attackers would still have to be careful.

Defense: Fast and Tough`
Enhanced Defenses 12 (Dodge 8, Parry 4); Impervious Protection 2

The happy medium between active defenses and Toughness, this Golem, though very specialized in some ways, is relatively well-balanced to engage a wide variety of foes.

2nd Def: Inhuman Brain
Immunity 10 (Mental effects)

This combined with Immunity to Fortitude makes the golem unaffected by most Affliction attacks. All QCG Constructs also get a 5p Sensory Affliction Immunity, but in this situation I question whether it's even worth 5p.

Overall you end up with a very resilient character with limited, if extreme, skills. Ironically its best attack is the Ranged Blast, hitting PL10 cap, with its close combat still in the PL7 range. I could trim back some of the Immunities or skills and improve its combat or broaden its skills and advantages. I figure any Sensory Affliction that isn't Fort-resisted or Mentally-based ought to have a shot at working since it would take some creativity to find that loophole. The advantages of +20 Athletics might be better purchased separately as Movement effects, especially if the golem is too dense to swim.

Character-wise this would take some roleplaying to be an interesting character. Motivation Complications would go a long way in helping this. The Guardian vibe I get from it makes me think it would be better as a Summon or a Sidekick for another character, maybe someone who created it or had it bestowed on them to protect or even guide them somehow.

II - Construct - PL 10

Strength 8, Stamina -, Agility 0, Dexterity 0, Fighting 6, Intellect 0, Awareness 4, Presence 4

Improved Grab, Power Attack

Athletics 12 (+20), Intimidation 12 (+16)

Damage Resistance: Protection 10 (+10 Toughness; Impervious)
Eye Blast: Damage 8 (DC 23; Accurate 6: +12, Increased Range: ranged)
Inhuman Brain: Immunity 10 (Common Descriptor: Mental Effects)
Nimble: Enhanced Trait 12 (Traits: Dodge +8 (+8), Parry +4 (+10))
Unliving: Immunity 38 (Aging, Critical Hits, Fortitude Effects, Sensory Affliction Effects)

Initiative +0
Eye Blast: Damage 8, +12 (DC 23)
Grab, +6 (DC Spec 18)
Throw, +0 (DC 23)
Unarmed, +6 (DC 23)

Native Language

Dodge 8/0, Parry 10/6, Fortitude Immune, Toughness 10, Will 4

Power Points
Abilities 34 + Powers 102 + Advantages 2 + Skills 12 (24 ranks) + Defenses 0 = 150
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Rookie Moves: QCG - The Twenty - Tripplehorn

Post by JDRook » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:32 pm


Archetype: Crimefighter

The obvious icon for crimefighter is Batman, and arguably giving a PC ALL of the options for each choice would probably get you something similar to the official build. There's a lot of room for specialization, though, and that seems to be how the sections are set up. You could get any Bat-family type, or maybe a more classic Golden Age mystery man, anywhere from the Crimson Avenger to Darkwing Duck.

Abilities: Dark Avenger
STR 3, STA 4, AGL 5, DEX 5, FGT 8, INT 4, AWE 2, PRE 3

Focusing on fear factor, the Dark Avenger is slightly higher in physical abilities and PRE than the other options, with INT and AWE in the lower ranges, though still well above human average.

Background Advantages: Incredible Presence
Daze (Intimidation), Leadership, Skill Mastery: Intimidation, Startle

Unavoidable, since Dark Avenger automatically gets this without a roll, but you still have the option to be a Detective or Inventor with all kinds of Intimidation applications.

Mental Advantages: Criminologist + reroll worth 2p
Assessment, Skill Mastery (Expertise:Streetwise)

We'll have to see how the requisite skills for these shake out.

Physical Advantages: Acrobat
Evasion, Instant Up

Nimble, difficult to blow up or knock down.

Skills: Athlete & Avenger
Acrobatics 6 (+11), Athletics 8 (+11), Expertise: Streetwise 6 (+10), Intimidation 14 (+17), Vehicles 6 (+11)

The only two skillsets with Intimidation, they stack up to an Intimidation rank even higher than the previous Construct. Groovy . . .

Equipment: Contemporary

This seriously changes the flavour of this Crime Fighter. Small lair, off-the-rack equipment. Suddenly he's a lot less Batman and a lot more Punisher.

This is actually a pretty impressive package, with a few oddities that could be considered weird or awesome depending on the player. No powers, no gadgets, but somehow so scary it borders on the supernatural. His skills focus on the physical, with Streetwise and Vehicles rounding him out. This guy is no World's Greatest Detective, but he's no slouch, either. He'd fit right into the criminal underworld, and could easily be a criminal who's turned against his old bosses, or a deep cover cop who's had enough. He's not very superheroic, but he could be from a gritty pulp crime novel. Movie-wise, I'd imagine him something like Porter from Payback, or Machete, or even the Crow if you really wanted to work the scary angle.

There's certainly room for tweaking, and most of it comes from the Advantages:
- I ALWAYS turn Instant Up into Skill Mastery: Acro if the Acro skill is +10 or more; with the skill that high, you can already kip to your feet whenever you need to, plus you get a suite of movement options that are perfect for rooftop running. (FYI, the odds of getting both Acrobat Advantages and Athlete Skills randomly is about 1 in 8.)
- Assessment requires Insight, and right now this guy is rocking a +2, having the lowest possible AWE score for this archtype. As opposed to buying it up I might be tempted to drop it and put that point elsewhere. His lack of Awareness skills would make him susceptible to more deceptive fight skills and stealthy opponents. This guy doesn't strike me as the carefully evaluative type; he's practically an anti-ninja.
- The leftover 2p from the Mental Advantages could go anywhere but preferably not to the other Mental Advantage options. All of them have a Skill Mastery and a skill-dependent Advantage, and the only one that really synergizes with these rolls is the SM(Exp:Streetwise). Everything else is at half-PL rank or below, in the 2-5 range. It may also be a challenge for the GM to make having Streetwise be useful in combat or other high tension situations (ie picking targets by identifying gang markings midfight).
- PL-wise, he only hits cap with the Custom Hangun, although he can "break" PL with his Assault Rifle on a good single target roll. His other attacks all hover in the PL7-9 range, and his defenses are all around PL9.

Overall, I think he'd make a pretty interesting anti-hero type. He could be easily tuned for a lower PL-setting and would be most useful at street level, although his Intimidation would be his best edge in a standard PL10 game since he can Demoralize (Impair) practically anyone who can be affected at all. Deciding how to portray that scary aspect (tapping into mankind's fears like the Batman, weird mystical stuff like The Shadow, or even just a mean stare and a nasty reputation) would do the most to define this character in terms of roleplaying him.

Tripplehorn - Crime Fighter - PL 10

Strength 3, Stamina 4, Agility 5, Dexterity 5, Fighting 8, Intellect 4, Awareness 2, Presence 3

Assessment, Close Attack 2, Daze (Intimidation), Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 10, Evasion, Improved Initiative, Jack-of-all-trades, Leadership, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 7, Skill Mastery: Acrobatics, Skill Mastery: Expertise: Streetwise, Skill Mastery: Intimidation, Startle, Well-informed

Acrobatics 6 (+11), Athletics 8 (+11), Close Combat: Unarmed 6 (+14), Expertise: Streetwise 6 (+10), Intimidation 14 (+17), Vehicles 6 (+11)

Customized Heavy Pistol with Laser Sight: Damage 4 (DC 19; Accurate 2: +4, Increased Range: ranged)

Cell Phone (Smartphone), Customized Assault Rifle (Assault Rifle, Laser Sight), Customized Heavy Pistol with Laser Sight [Customized Heavy Pistol with Laser Sight: Damage 4, DC 19; Accurate 2: +4, Increased Range: ranged], Knife, Motorcycle, The Den

Initiative +9
Customized Assault Rifle, +14 (DC 20)
Customized Heavy Pistol with Laser Sight: Damage 4, +16 (DC 19)
Grab, +10 (DC Spec 13)
Knife, +10 (DC 19)
Throw, +12 (DC 18)
Unarmed, +16 (DC 18)

Dodge 12, Parry 13, Fortitude 8, Toughness 6/4, Will 10

Power Points
Abilities 68 + Powers 0 + Advantages 33 + Skills 23 (46 ranks) + Defenses 24 = 148
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Rookie Moves: QCG - The Twenty - Quattra Elemental

Post by JDRook » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:58 pm


Archetype: Elemental
Abilities: Embodiment

A native elemental, allowing for all kinds of non-anthrocentric possibilities. A creature like this should have some kind of motivation to deal with humans, not to mention superhumans.

Advantages: Power or Accurate Attack + Imposing
Skills: Native

A lot of choices come up in these even with my non-random setup, mostly between Deception or Intimidation skills and advantages. I'll wait til the end to see what would work best.

Type: Air Elemental
Primary: Android Host

This was unexpected, as it's one on the newer options that wasn't in the original QCG included with the GM Kit. The largely invisible and intangible Air Elemental suddenly becomes a big tough robot.

Offense:Air Control Array
- Air Blast
- Suffocation
+ 1 AE worth 1p

Suffocation is probably the closest thing to a Force Choke in the book, which makes me think Darth Vader and maybe going with Intimidation might be interesting, especially with a particular style for the android body. Howerver, I went with Deception since it seems more appropriate for Air, not to mention I've just done two PCs with ridiculous Intimidation.

Overall, it only hits PL10 with the Air Blast and possibly whatever AE I add to it. Defensively it tops out at PL9 with Parry/Toughness the strongest, and Will 9 played off the Fort Immunity. The only other traits of note are in the 7-8 rank range, so better than most humans but nothing stellar.

I was actually almost looking forward to having a little ghost-like trickster type PC, and I realized that could still be done with a little point-shifting. I could make the Gaseous Form an AE of the Android Body, making for some interesting options*. In theory, I could make the Body Removable as well, but since I already have it entered I figure losing it could just as easily be a Complication, with the Gaseous Body as a power stunt that tires out the Elemental when leaving the host body.

*actually, using the different random options as AEs or even stunts is a great idea for most of these builds, since you know they already cost the same and are obviously descriptor-appropriate.

Quattra - Elemental - PL 10

Strength 7/1, Stamina -/2, Agility 1, Dexterity 1, Fighting 4, Intellect 0, Awareness 3, Presence 1

Accurate Attack, Daze (Deception), Taunt

Close Combat: Unarmed 4 (+8), Deception 7 (+8), Expertise: Elements: Air 8 (+8), Perception 4 (+7), Ranged Combat: Air Control 7 (+8)

Air Control
. . Air Blast: Damage 12 (DC 27; Increased Range: ranged)
. . Suffocation: Progressive Affliction 6 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Stunned, 3rd degree: Incapacitated, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 16; Increased Range: ranged, Progressive)
. . Wind Control: Move Object 12 (100 tons)
Android Host
. . Enhanced Trait 6 (Traits: Strength +6 (+7), Stamina -8 (+0), Dodge +4 (+9), Parry +4 (+10))
. . Immunity 30 (Fortitude Effects; Custom 10: adds to Life Support)
. . Protection 8 (+8 Toughness)
. . AE: Gaseous Form
. . . . Enhanced Trait 20 (Traits: Dodge +9 (+18), Parry +9 (+19), Advantages: Defensive Roll 2)
. . . . Insubstantial 2 (Gaseous; Permanent)
. . . . Translucent: Concealment 4 (All Visual Senses; Partial)
Elemental Constitution: Immunity 12 (Critical Hits, Life Support)
Flight 7 (Speed: 250 miles/hour, 0.5 miles/round)

Initiative +1
Air Blast: Damage 12, +8 (DC 27)
Grab, +4 (DC Spec 17)
Suffocation: Progressive Affliction 6, +8 (DC Fort 16)
Throw, +1 (DC 22)
Unarmed, +8 (DC 22)
Wind Control: Move Object 12, +8 (DC 22)

Native Language

Dodge 9/14, Parry 10/15, Fortitude Immune/9, Toughness 8/4/2, Will 9

Power Points
Abilities 26 + Powers 87 + Advantages 3 + Skills 15 (30 ranks) + Defenses 19 = 150

First number = Android Host Body, Second number = Gaseous Body, 3rd - Gaseous Body with no Defensive Roll

:arrow: I decided to go with the Gaseous Body AE, dropping DEX and buying up Ranged Combat and Deception to cover the costs. I also got Wind Control which I figure is the ideal trickster power due to its utility.

:arrow: I've got some ideas for a history that involves Quattra being a wind sprite of sorts that is drawn to a puppeteer living in the pre-Renaissance Italian countryside, inspiring the stories of Pinocchio. Generation after generation, Quattra visits the "Gepettos" up to present day, with the current puppeteer being a robotics engineer vacationing in the original cottage, finding notes from his ancestors about each of their designs and experiences and constructing a full body for Quattra.

Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Rookie Moves: QCG - The 20 - Quincy Penn, Energy Control

Post by JDRook » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:06 pm

Archetype: Energy Controller

Energy Controllers are probably the most common and easily recognizable archetype, which ironically means I have never built one, or at least not without putting some weird twist on it. Crystal does in fact control light, but can't fly or throw up force fields or use anything that could be defined as "hard light." On the other hand, they are simple and effective, which gives a lot of room for bringing out personality and roleplaying the character.

Abilities: Charismatic

Average STR and INT, with the highest PRE of the 3 options. Everything else in the well-trained human range.

Advantages: Disciplined + 2p reroll
Assessment, Teamwork

About time we got a real team player in here. This guy is already feeling more Gold or Silver Age than any of the others.

Skills: Cool + 4p reroll
Exp: Pop Culture 4, Percep 4

Disciplined AND young and trendy? This kid could easily be in the Legion.

Type: Cosmic Energy

And that cinches it. Charming teen in sparkling star-filled black and surrounded by Kirby crackle. I can already see him grabbting a soda with Lightning Lad and Bouncing Boy.

Offense:Air Energy Control w/ Quick Change
- Energy Blast
- Energy Burst
+ 2 AEs worth 2p

The Burst is actually a choice between a ranged grenade style or a Penetrating Close Range Burst. I usually tend to the Close stuff, but we'll see what else comes up.

Defense: Cosmic Damage Immunity
- Energy Absorption

Ooh, this is the weird 3e Boost effect in action. Energy Absorption adds 10 to STR and STA as a reaction when hit by an Energy Attack, and then Fades every turn. Could be abusable.

Utility: Energy Senses
- Energy Form + 14p reroll

This also makes you Immune to your own Energy Type, so you're sort of paying for it twice.

5- Energy Controller base - PL 13

Strength 10/0, Stamina 13/3, Agility 3, Dexterity 3, Fighting 3, Intellect 0, Awareness 2, Presence 3

Assessment, Teamwork

Deception 7 (+10), Expertise: Popular Culture 4 (+4), Perception 4 (+6), Ranged Combat: Cosmic Control 5 (+8)

Cosmic Absorption: Enhanced Trait 40 (Traits: Strength +10 (+10), Stamina +10 (+13); Fades)
Cosmic Control
. . Cosmic Blast: Damage 12 (DC 27; Increased Range: ranged)
. . Cosmic Burst: Damage 10 (DC 25; Penetrating 4)
Cosmic Form: Insubstantial 3 (Energy; Activation: move action)
Cosmic Immunity: Immunity 5 (Damage Effect: Cosmic Damage)

Initiative +3
Cosmic Blast: Damage 12, +8 (DC 27)
Cosmic Burst: Damage 10, +3 (DC 25)
Grab, +3 (DC Spec 20)
Throw, +3 (DC 25)
Unarmed, +3 (DC 25)

Native Language

Dodge 7, Parry 4, Fortitude 18, Toughness 13, Will 8

Power Points
Abilities 34 + Powers 64 + Advantages 2 + Skills 10 (20 ranks) + Defenses 16 = 126

There's a lot of missing points and possible exploits in this build. LEt me do a little clean-up:
- Assessment seems worth pursuing for this guy, so along with his Cool I'll give him Popular as well, giving him a reasonable Insight rank and Persuasion to boot.
- I could see using his own Burst to power up his Energy Absorption, which I really like conceptually, but to make it fair I figure it needs some downside. The Close Burst would be big and devastating and has no Selective, so it could be that every time he uses it to "power up" it does serious damage to everything around him. Give him Flight as well so he can fire up that deadly cosmic spehere, but only when away from everything if he doesn't want to risk hurting anyone (and hey, turns out he doesn't).
- The Absorption does in fact break PL. The Toughness is fine, but his Fort jumps to 18, and with Will 8 that's PL13. A GM handwave that says Fort maxes at 12 should cover it fine.
Last edited by JDRook on Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rookie Moves: QCG - the 20 - Professor Hex, The Gadgetee

Post by JDRook » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:52 pm

Archetype: Gadgeteer

Probably the most interesting of the "mostly human" superhero range, IMO. Not as precise as the Crime Fighter or as punchy as the Martial Artist, but usually a broad array of support traits and at least one good weapon, plus the flexibility of the Inventor Advantage to handle super-problems as they emerge. Science!

Abilities: Adventurer

The lowest INT of the three options at 8 and the highest overall physically with mostly 2s, this is the least specialized of the bunch. They are all pretty close, though.

Advantages: Natural Leader
Inspire 2, Leadership

And now someone with leadership skills emerges! I'm already getting a bit of a Jonas Venture vibe off of him. These are of course on top of all of the standard Advantages you'd give every inventor, including Inventor, an HQ, and some brainy feats.

Skills: Explorer
Athletics 7, Perception 5, Stealth 4

There's your pith helmet and khaki shorts. This gadgeteer isn't going to spend all his time in the lab. "Field-testing" will be his catchphrase.

Offensive Power:Force Armor

This one is very different from what I'm used to. I generally don't like too many AEs, and this one has 6! It actually have a lot of the offensive Green Lantern effects, plus a STR boost, Damage Aura and Area Stun. The hard part would be coming up with some unifying descriptors for all of it. I may just cut a few out if I don't like them.

Defensive Power: Displacer Field

Mechanically, this is some Enhanced Defenses link to Sustained Protection, but the descriptor could change everything about it. A "displacer field" could teleport a subject out of the way of incoming attacks, or move them out of phase with this dimension/time/reality. It wouldn't have any major effect on how it defends, but it opens up a lot of possibilities for interesting power stunts, which is a gadgeteer's bread and butter.

Movement: Boot Jets

Arguably the least point-efficient option for what it does, but also the most gadget-y. Flight or Teleport may take you further or faster, but hovering around on Boot Jets is all about style. :)

Innate Power: Mental Database

A good conceptual fit with his leadership skills, although like the Crime Fighter above, he has the lowest possible Insight for this archetype: a total rank of 5 including the Database bonus, which occurs 15% of the time using random rolls. Since his highest skill after his Science, Tech and Combat is Athletics (and Ath gets a huge boost from the Force Armor's Enhanced Strength anyway), I'd be inclined to knock some ranks off of Athletics and put them on Insight. I'd also go with the Unarmed option for his Combat Skills to take advantage of that strength boost, plus it fits his hale-and-hearty vibe that he'd also know a bit of "the sweet science."

Professor Hex - PL 10

Strength 10/2, Stamina 2, Agility 2, Dexterity 2, Fighting 4, Intellect 8, Awareness 3, Presence 2

Assessment, Beginner's Luck, Eidetic Memory, Equipment 3, Improvised Tools, Inspire 2, Inventor, Leadership, Skill Mastery: Technology

Athletics 7 (+17/+9*), Close Combat: Unarmed 6 (+10), Expertise: Science 10 (+18), Perception 5 (+8), Ranged Combat: Gadgets 6 (+8), Stealth 4 (+6), Technology 10 (+18), Vehicles 4 (+6)

Boot Jets (Removable)
. . Can Hover: Feature 1
. . Leaping 5 (Leap 250 feet at 60 miles/hour)
. . Movement 1 (Safe Fall)
. . Speed 2 (Speed: 8 miles/hour, 120 feet/round)
Displacer Field (Removable)
. . Enhanced Trait 12 (Traits: Dodge +6 (+14), Parry +6 (+14))
. . Protection 4 (+4 Toughness; Sustained)
Force Armor (Removable, Activation - Move Action**)
. . Enhanced Strength 8 (+8 STR)
. . Focussed Force: Damage 7 (DC 22; Accurate 2: +4, Increased Range: ranged)
. . Force Aura: Damage 4 (DC 19; Reaction 3: reaction)
. . Force Burst: Burst Area Damage 8 (DC 23; Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere)
. . Force Shapes: Create 8 (Volume: 250 cft., DC 18)
. . Lifting: Move Object 8 (6 tons)
. . Stun Burst: Burst Area Affliction 8 (1st degree: Dazed, Vulnerable, 2nd degree: Defenseless, Stunned, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 18; Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, Extra Condition; Limited Degree)
Mental Database: Enhanced Trait 2 (Traits: Insight +2 (+5), Advantages: Assessment)

The Hexplex (HQ) - Tou 10, Size Large
Features: Communications, Computer, Fire Prevention System, Infirmary, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Personnel, Power System, Security System 1, Workshop.
Totals: Abilities 2 + Powers 0 + Advantages 0 + Features 11 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Defenses 2 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 15

Initiative +2
Focussed Force: Damage 7, +12 (DC 22)
Force Aura: Damage 4, +4 (DC 19)
Force Burst: Burst Area Damage 8 (DC 23)
Grab, +4 (DC Spec 20)
Lifting: Move Object 8, +8 (DC 18)
Stun Burst: Burst Area Affliction 8 (DC Fort 18)
Throw, +2 (DC 25)
Unarmed, +10 (DC 25/17*)

Dodge 14/8, Parry 14/8, Fortitude 9, Toughness 6, Will 9

Power Points
Abilities 50 + Powers 40 + Advantages 11 + Skills 26 (52 ranks) + Defenses 23 = 150

*without Enhanced STR from Force Armor
**apparently you can't just add Activation to an entire Array or Device in HeroLab, so I've added it manually.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:44 pm

Rookie Moves: Street Mage (lvl1) for 3e

Post by JDRook » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:04 pm

In a fit of nostalgia I was looking at my old Nightspawn books and remembered the character I'd made in 2e based on the magic system. I promised I'd make him in 3e (left a spot in the index and everything) so I'm posting him now.

Street Mage (Level 1) - PL 4

Strength 0, Stamina 2, Agility 1, Dexterity 1, Fighting 3, Intellect 2, Awareness 2, Presence 2

Eidetic Memory, Equipment 2, Great Endurance, Jack-of-all-trades, Precise Attack (Close, Concealment), Ritualist, Uncanny Dodge

Close Combat: Quarterstaff 2 (+5), Deception 4 (+6), Expertise: Magic 2 (+4), Intimidation 2 (+4), Investigation 4 (+6), Perception 4 (+6), Persuasion 2 (+4)

Magic Senses (Easily Removable)
. . Death Trance: Immunity 7 (Aging, Disease, Poison, Rare Descriptor: Other Biological effects, Starvation & Thirst, Suffocation (All); Side Effect 2: always - Incapacitated)
. . See Auras & Invisible: Senses 8 (Acute (Type): Aura, Counters Concealment: Invisibility, Detect: Emotional State 2: ranged, Detect: Physical State 2: ranged)
. . Sense Evil & Magic: Senses 4 (Awareness: Magic, Awareness: Evil, Radius (Type): Magical, Advantages: Uncanny Dodge)

Spells of Perception (Easily Removable)
. . Blinding Flash: Cumulative Burst Area Affliction 3 (DC Fort 13)
. . Cloud of Smoke: Burst Area Concealment Attack 2 (Sense - Sight, DC 12; Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, Attack: Dodge, Increased Range: ranged)
. . Globe of Daylight: Environment 1 (Light (Bright), Radius: 30 feet; Increased Range: ranged)
. . Thunderclap: Enhanced Trait 10 (Traits: Intimidation +10 (+14), Advantages: Can use Intimidation to Daze or Startle as a Move Action 2, Daze (Intimidation), Set-up, Startle; Fades [5 ranks only])

Leather Armor, Quarterstaff (Club), Restraints, The MageCave

Initiative +1
Blinding Flash: Burst Area Affliction 3 (DC Fort 13)
Cloud of Smoke: Burst Area Concealment Attack 2 (DC Dog 12)
Grab, +3 (DC Spec 10)
Quarterstaff, +5 (DC 17)
Throw, +1 (DC 15)
Unarmed, +3 (DC 15)

Dodge 2, Parry 3, Fortitude 3, Toughness 3, Will 3

Power Points
Abilities 26 + Powers 14 + Advantages 7 + Skills 10 (20 ranks) + Defenses 3 = 60

Power Loss: Merrick needs either a focus or verbal component to his spells, meaning he either needs to use his staff, or speak the spells aloud in order to cast them. Being disarmed and silenced would be good for a Hero Point.

Motivation - Thrills: Merrick ends up being a little bookish with all of his mystic study, but this only makes him desire getting out into the field even more.

Motivation - Justice: Merrick has been a sidekick to some of the more devoted justice-seeking vigilantes who could use his special skills (or someone to do coffee runs) and it's rubbed off on him.

:arrow: I'd managed to make him a PL 4 last time, and I figured I'd try to stay true to that. There haven't been too many changes since 2e, but there are some adjustments.
:arrow: I did simplify a few things. None of the spells use things like Diminished Range to shave off points, and are relatively straightforward, which is more in keeping with 3e style.
:arrow: I kept the Sensory Magic and Perception Attacking Magic as two different arrays, since I wanted them to be able to work together. It was actually tempting to make a 3rd array, splitting up the Sustained spells (CoS and GoD) and the Instants (BF and TC), which would work out really well both mechanically and thematically, but that put him 7p over, even with all his spells made Easily Removable by focusing through his staff, and I wasn't prepared to squeeze him down anymore. He's almost a viable PC like this. :)
:arrow: Death Trance did get fully made using Suspended Animation from the Life Powers Profile, modified slightly since I thought the Immunities were too cheap and the Limit not high enough, but it evens out. And really, it's an Array slot, so as long as it's not too big and does what you want, who cares? I added it to the Senses Array just for simplicity, but I suppose it could have gone anywhere.
:arrow: See Aura and See Invisible are still folded into one slot, although SA is basically Aura Reading from the Mental Powers Profile with Acute, which I figure should include most of the details the source concept covers. Sense Magic & Evil are unchanged (although "Evil" as a descriptor would need to be discussed with the GM) and Uncanny Dodge is still part of the slot, even though 3e UD isn't sense-dependent anymore. It's largely another point-saving maneuver.
:arrow: Blinding Flash is a basic Dazzle Affliction at a pretty low rank, but still the largest spell in the array. Cloud of Smoke is based on Concealment Attack, although it is tempting to use the suggested 3e Obscure Effect introduced in the Sense Powers Profile, especially since it would only cost 2p for the same effect. Globe of Daylight is also really cheap, even with the Ranged Extra I forced on it; the specifics of the source spell are far too fiddly for M&M, so I'd probably just make most of them descriptor.
:arrow: Thunderclap is again the most interesting spell. I decided against Illusion like last time and just turned TC into Enhanced Intimidation with a Fades Flaw (can't scare them forever with loud noises) and a handful of Intim-based Advantages. Fearsome Presence doesn't exist in 3e, but I did custom in the old "Challenges" to allow for combat Intimidation as a Move Action without penalty. The hardest part was not buying so much Intim that he broke PL; with the flaw and the sizable array slot you can easily buy as many ranks as the GM will let you get away with.
:arrow: For a PL4 character, I think Seth has it going on. Sure he's PL3 defensively and just makes 3.5 offensively with the staff, but since most of his powers are design to blind, distract or otherwise Impair his opponents, he should be able to get by. I can already see things I could do when he levels up, though.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

My original characters thread (2e)
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