Hello! I'm new to M&M 3rd and these forums and hope for opinion and advice on my first character. Do understand that I have no group to play the game with, so I'm approaching this as much as a player than as a GM. That is, if there's any GM fiat aspects to the character creation, I'd like to know the good and bad from a GM point of view. I'll also add that I'm relatively new to superheroes: I did not follow comics when younger and "suddenly" discovered how fun it all is about maybe 10 years ago.
So, mostly, I'd like to know if you think she holds up as a character, mostly stats-wise, but I'm open to suggestions on the backstory (it is admittedly rather cliché). Thanks!
SERAPHINE, THE NIGHT CAT
== BACKGROUND SUMMARY ==
(more detailed version follows stats)
Felicie, a brilliant but rather unlucky scientist, was working on a molecular manipulator of her making when her cat, Seraphine, climbed onto the machine. An accident later, Seraphine is nowhere to be found and Felicie realizes she's changing day by day, gaining new abilities and... new feline body parts!
At first distressed by such a development, she then realizes, during a nocturnal stroll, that she's now skilled enough to face bandits. Maybe she can help people this way, under the new identity of...
... Seraphine, the Night Cat!
== STATS ==
* Strength : 4
* Stamina : 4
* Agility : 6/2 (when tail and whiskers are "nullified")
* Dexterity : 1
* Fighting : 5/3 (when tail and whiskers are "nullified")
* Intellect : 5
* Awareness : 4/2 (when cat ears are "nullified")
* Presence : 1
Cost : 4+4+6+1+5+5+4+1 = 30x2 = 60
* Dodge : Agility + 4 = 6 + 4 = 10
* Parry : Fighting + 3 = 4 + 3 = 7
* Fortitude : Stamina + 0 = 4
* Toughness : Stamina + Def Roll = 4 + 4 = 8/4
* Will : Awareness + 0 = 4
4+3 = 7
* Initiative : Agility + Improved Init = 6 + 4 = 10
* Claws : +11 (FGT+Close Attack+CC Claws = 5+2+4)
* DC 15+3+4 = 22 (Penetrating 3, Crit 19-20)
* Unarmed : +10 (FGT+Close Attack + CC Unarmed = 5+2+3)
* DC 15+4 = 19
* Melee weapon : +7 (FGT + Close Attack = 5+2)
* DC 15+4(str)+? = 19 + wpn dmg
* Agile Feint
* Animal Empathy (Limited to cats -- no buy back possible)
* Close Attack - 2
* Defensive Roll - 4
* Evasion I
* Improved Disarm
* Improved Initiative - 1
* Improved Trip
* Instant Up
* Luck - 3
* Move-by Action
* Second Chance - Acrobatics
* Skill Mastery - Acrobatics
* Uncanny Dodge
1+1+2+4+1+1+1+1+1+3+1+1+1+1 = 20
Balancing Tail : Defensive Roll, Evasion, Instant Up, Skill Mastery Acrobatics
Whiskers : Defensive Roll, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge
Cat Ears : Uncanny Dodge
If one of the parts is "nullified", the corresponding Advantages disappear, even if another part linked to them is still "active" (this is meant to simplify things...)
* Acrobatics - 6/2 + AGL = 6+6 = 12/8
* Athletics - 5 + STR = 5+4 = 9
* Close Combat - Claws - 4 + FGT + Close Attack = 4+5+2 = 11
* Close Combat - Unarmed - 3 + FGT + Close Attack = 3+5+2 = 10
* Expertise - Medecine - 4 + INT = 4+5 = 9
* Expertise - Science - 4 + INT = 4+5 = 9
* Insight - 2 +AWE = 2+4 = 6
* Perception - 6/2 + AWE = 6+4 = 10/6
* Persuasion - 2 + PRE = 2+1 = 3
* Sleight of Hand - 2 + DEX = 2+1 = 3
* Stealth - 6 + AGL = 6+6 = 12
* Technology - 2 + INT = 2+5 = 7
6+5+4+3+4+4+2+6+2+2+6+2 = 46/2 = 23
Feline Speed: (=4)
Speed 4 (30mph / 64kmh)
Claws : (=7)
Damage 3, Penetrating 3, Strength-Based, Improved Critical I (3+3+0+1)
Balancing tail : (=21)
Movement - Safe Fall, Limited to Distance rank 6 (1) (subtle??)
Movement - Sure-Footed 1 (2) (subtle??)
Leaping 5 (5) (subtle??)
Running Long : Rank 4 (125m, 500ft)
Standing Long : Rank 3 (65m, 250ft) (base)
Running High : Rank 2 (30m, 120ft)
Standing High : Rank 1 (15m, 60ft)
10+3+1+2+5 = 21
Source of : (ability boosts linked to the body part, becomes penalties if the part is "nullified")
Cat ears : (=2)
Extended Hearing (1) (-1 / 100ft)
Source of :
Whiskers : (=1)
Ranged Touch (1) (Accurate and Radius by default) (-1 / 10ft)
Limited to Moving objects displacing air (would give back 1 rank but I have nothing else to use it on)
Source of :
Cat's Eyes : (=2)
Extended Vision (1)
Low-Light Vision (1)
Cat Scent : (=3)
Extended Scent (1) (-1/10ft, considered "close range" for regular smells)
Acute Scent (1) (identifies)
Tracking Scent (1)
4+7+21+2+1+2+3 = 40
None for now, but in the future she might acquire/make a special yarn ball, a set of extremely strong wire to entangle foes and bind them.
Abilities : 60
Defenses : 7
Skills : 23
Advantages : 20
Powers : 40
Total : 60+7+23+20+40 = 150
* Power Loss : Seraphine get all her powers only if her cat ears, whiskers and tail are unimpaired. As such, she is weakened in her civil status (parts squished in disguise) and if an opponent restrains any of these parts.
* Secret Identity : No one knows Felicie is Seraphine the Night Cat, nor that she had the accident and the results it had. Her new feline parts are hard to camouflage and could be discovered if she's not careful.
* Motivation - Doing Good
* Quirk : Cat-like behavior
== QUESTIONS ABOUT STATS ==
* Is there a good reason to define extra Strength, Agility and other abilities as Enhanced Traits if someone is simply born with them or gains them through mutation?
* It seems Enhanced Trait, being sustained, would result in some obvious sign that the strength is a power (glowing body perhaps?). It could also be Nullified unless adding Innate. To have it make sense, Innate, Permanent and Subtle 2 are needed to have the trait be "natural" it seems... which is rather costly for something you can simply buy as an attribute otherwise.
* Seraphine's main issue is that she loses most of her powers during everyday life since she has to disguise her extra feline body parts, which "nullifies" them. But it's also possible that a villain might glue her tail to her body, or simply hold it. They may also cruelly (or intentionally, eh) burn her whiskers. The Detail Devil in me wants to know what traits would disappear in each case, so things "make sense". So...
* Does it seem fair to have various power loss states depending on context (here, which appendage is somehow "nullified")? I have the feeling it's going to be uselessly complex in-play. Should I just stick to one power-loss version and assume this state when not in costume AND when her tail, or any of her cat parts are nullified during action scenes?
== BACKGROUND ==
Felicie is a young scientist woman working on a machine design capable of changing molecules, for medical purpose. One day that her female cat, Seraphine, was around (reason TBD -- she either brought her at work, or she lives in the lab), she ran a test on the machine and realized the cat was sitting on the pad, intrigued by the food sample Felicie had put there. The test procedure is somehow impossible to stop now, so Felicie runs to the pad to get the cat out of there, but it's too late, and they're both struck by rays of energy.
When the young woman wakes up, she sees no hint of her pet. She looks for her everywhere, in vain. Did she flee or...? In any case, Felicie is devastated by this loss.
She's also worried for herself and what the rays might have done to her body. Worse! The machine seems to have short-circuited during the test and will need thorough repais. The exact calibration from the test might be lost forever.
In the following days, the young woman slowly notices changes. She does not need to turn on the lights at night and her pupils are dilated, her nails have become especially sharp and long (and soon retractible)... and the worst is when a new pair of feline ears pop up on her head, as well as a cat tail sprouting from above her butt. Her perception and agility have reached inhuman levels in a few days, too, but Felicie is mostly concerned with hiding her unusual looks.
To do so, she takes a few days off to adapt. Everyone thinks it's to mourn her cat, whom she loved very much.
Felicie gets that something happened the day of the accident. Her molecules, or her DNA have been modified somehow, and she's turning into a cat person!
Moreover, she's started dreaming things from a strange point of view. She *is* Seraphine. She recognizes events she's lived with her, but sees them as the cat did. Could... Seraphine and herself have... fused together?
Her mind does seem to be acquiring strange new feline traits: new food tastes, a need to sleep durnig the day and walk around at night, being easily distracted by flies and bouncing balls...
At first panicked, the young woman ends up convinced that her cat did not disappear, but lives through... in her. Woman and animal are now one. As such, her idea to try and reverse the experiment slowly disappears as she fears she might definitely lose Seraphine this time (and herself maybe).
Though this is not easy to live, the scientist accepts her condition. Taken by this new need for nocturnal strolls, she makes a simple disguise with hood and a simple mask, just to be on the safe side, but otherwise relishes at the opportunity to let her cat parts free. She feels like she's fully herself at these times.
One night, she randomly stumbles upon a gangster dealing on the roofs. Immediately being chased after, she's surprised to not only survive the ordeal, but end up with a bunch of knocked out bad guys! Looks like she got some amazing huntress instincts.
That's when she realizes that the accident may be a boon. She's always wanted to help people, which is why she tried to make a machine capable of healing them. But now she could help people while fulfilling her new instincts. Thus, inspired by all the superheroes popping up in the news lately, she decides she'll become one too! And to honor the source of her new powers, she becomes the nocturnal feline...
... Seraphine !
== DESCRIPTION ==
* Her hair slowly took a coloring similar to Seraphine's beige fur, along with cat markings. She hides it under a wig.
* She has a cat tail which she twirls around her leg to keep it hidden.
* She has cat ears in addition to her regular human ears. She hides them under a hat or head scarf, or simply her wig.
* She has whiskers. This was the most annoying for her to hide. Initially she tried cutting them off, but not only do they grow back, it also makes her feel diminished and dizzy at times. She found a way to keep them stuck on her face under a layer of skin-like silicone. It's rather uncomfortable though.
* Her pupils strongly dilate at night and reflect light at some angles. They are also almond shaped, which Felicie hides with special lenses.
She's otherwise of average height or build, though her new powers (and activities) have made her more fit.
== PERSONALITY ==
As usual for me, this part is the least clear so far. I picture her as helpful, though probably introvert, maybe a little naive. She definitely has a heart of gold.
== POWERS & ABILITIES ==
* Sharp and retractable claws (looks like regular nails when retracted)
* Night vision (requires a modicum of light)
* Great agilty and balance
* Super jumps
* Almost always falls back on her legs
* Improved hearing (wider frequencies and better range)
* Air movement detection thanks to her whiskers
* Improved sense of smell
* Great running speed, usually in sprints
== GENERAL QUESTION ==
* How to best find information on M&M 3e rules? Should I look for M&M or DCA? Which ones seems to be the most referenced in discussions?