Friday, May 30, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Agent Jason & the Argonauts

Agent Jason 
PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 25 (+7/+2) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 14 (+2) INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 14 (+2) CHA: 14 (+2)

SKILLS: Bluff (+2), Climb (+7), Concentration (+2), Diplomacy (+2), Disguise (+2), Escape Artist (+1), Gather Info (+2), Handle Animal (+2), Intimidate (+2), Tactics 12 (+15), Notice (+2), Pilot 12 (+13), Military 12 (+14), Search (+3), Sense Motive (+2), Stealth (+1), Survival (+2), Swim (+7)

FEATS: Attack Focus (Ranged) (2), Power Attack, Minions (12), Leadership

POWERS: *Device (Hard to Lose) Argonaut Prima Armor [18], Blast [12], Enhanced Strength [11], Super-Strength [5], Immunity (Life Support) [9], Protection (Impervious) [10], Flight [5], Super-Senses (Radio, Infravision, Direction Sense, Distance Sense, Time Sense, Comm Link, Ultravision) [6]

COMBAT: Attack 8 [Unarmed +7 (Bruise)] Defense 15 (13 flat-footed) Init 1

SAVES: Toughness 12 (12 flat-footed) Fortitude 5 Reflex 1 Will 2

Abilities 24 + Skills 9 (36 ranks) + Feats 16 + Powers 72 + Combat 26 + Saves 3 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

Real Name: Classified
Height: approximately 6’3” while not in armor, 7’ in armor.
Weight: approximately 195 lbs while not in power armor, 700 lbs in armor
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Nationality: American
Ethnicity: Caucasian, possibly of Greek descent.

Little is known of the man that became Agent Jason, leader of the US government’s Argonaut Powered Armor Battalion (APAB). It is theorized that he was a test pilot that held certain anti-mutant beliefs that volunteered for the Argonaut program. His past is so classified that only a handful of people in the world knows anything about him.

Agent Jason is tasked with bringing in mutants and various other rogue meta-humans and aliens that the US government deems a threat. Due to the highly publicized failure of the Sentinels who did more damage to the nation’s handling of the mutant issue, a more covert and human approach was deemed necessary. Agent Jason is the public “face” of the Argonauts. He’s the one that the media talks to whenever the Argonauts take down a fugitive in public, but that’s rare as most Argonaut missions are covert and public rarely hears about them.

By all accounts, Agent Jason is fanatical about his work. He has gone off on rants about the “mutant menace” and has even directed his ire at more publicly accepted heroes like Captain Thunder, Superman, and even Captain America. This has put him on shaky ground with the current administration who is trying to recover from very public flubs and allegations of human rights abuses thanks to the Sentinel attack in Times Square in 2000 that not only killed 3 mutants, but 50 bystanders as well. Agent Jason has been getting the feeling for a while that the President isn’t really on board with the mission of the Argonauts anymore; that’s something that Agent Jason just can’t allow.

Agent Jason fights in an upgraded form of the Argonaut armor, the design of which was taken from a design created by Daedalus, something the Freedom League member is distraught over. Agent Jason stands almost a foot taller than the rest of the Argonauts in his command. While his mission is to bring in mutant fugitives alive, his tactics are extremely aggressive, overly so, which has lead to more than a few deaths. He is loyal to his men, but will gladly sacrifice every one of them if it means that the mutant threat would with totally dealt with.

The Argonauts 
PL: 8 Minion (120 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 20 (+5/+1) DEX: 10 (0) CON: 12 (+1) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 12 (+1) CHA: 10 (0)

SKILLS: Climb (+5), Concentration (+1), Notice 8 (+9), Pilot 10 (+10), Military 10 (+11), Search 8 (+10), Sense Motive (+1), Survival (+1), Swim (+5)

FEATS: Improved Aim, Power Attack, Improved Sunder

POWERS: Device: Argonaut Armor (Hard-to-lose) [12], Enhanced Strength [8], Blast [10], Super-Strength [1], Immunity (Life Support) [9], Protection (Impervious) [9], Flight [4], Super-Senses (Radio, Distance Sense, Direction Sense, Comm Link [4]

COMBAT: Attack 6 [Unarmed +5 (Bruise)] Defense 16 (13 flat-footed) Init 0

SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 11 Reflex 10 Will 7

Abilities 10 + Skills 9 (36 ranks) + Feats 3 + Powers 48 + Combat 24 + Saves 26 – Drawbacks 0 = 120 / 120

The Argonaut Powered Armor Battallion (APBA) is a special military force dealing primarily with superhuman threats and answers only to the Secretary of Defense and the President. Unlike the Guardsmen units that handle both domestic and federal affairs, primarily serving as prison guards in the few prison facilities for superhumans in the United States, the Argonauts are detailed to strike in matters of “national security”.

The Argonaut Program was initiated after the Sentinel Massacre in Times Square. The Department of Defense determined that the handling of the mutant issue was better left to live persons than AI constructs. The Argonaut armor was devised initially in mind for combat operations such as the Iraq War from plans gathered from the Freedom Leaguer, Daedalus (both from the hero directly, unwittingly that is, and through more…shady sources).

Members of the APBA are drawn from the best of not only the Air Force, but from the Guardsmen and other Power Armor pilot veterans. At first, there was no screening for how a pilot felt about superhumans, and mutants in particular, but when Agent Jason was put in command of the battalion he made sure that his men had their “hearts in the right place.” Now, some 90% of the APBA are considered hostile to the mutant population, with the other 10% being on the fence. They are fiercely loyal to Agent Jason, some in the Department of Defense feel they are too loyal.

The Argonaut armor is a form-fitting, super strong polymer that allows for flight, blasters, net deployers, targeting systems, communications, and physical adjustors that essentially make the pilot a superhuman himself while wearing the suit. The design is Greco-Roman in look.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Toren, the Temporal Knight

Toren, the Temporal Knight 

ABILITIES: STR: 12 (+1) DEX: 10 (0) CON: 12 (+1) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 16 (+3) CHA: 12 (+1)

SKILLS: Bluff 8 (+9), Climb (+1), Computers (+2), Concentration (+3), Diplomacy (+1), Disable Device (+2), Disguise 12 (+13), Gather Info (+1), Handle Animal (+1), Intimidate (+1), Investigate (+2), Cosmos 12 (+14), Medicine (+3), Notice (+3), Profession (+3), Search (+2), Sense Motive 4 (+7), Stealth 4 (+4), Survival (+3), Swim (+1)

FEATS: Dodge Focus (2), Defensive Roll (3), Power Attack, Well-Informed, Jack-of-All-Trades, Improved Critical (1)

POWERS: *Flight [10], Subtle, , *Space Travel [10], *Immunity (Life Support) [9], *Immortality [1], *Device: Time Shard (hard-to-lose) [3], Strike [9], Mighty, , Protection [6], *Teleport [X], , Change Direction, , Change Velocity, , Easy, , Progression, , Turnabout, , Accurate, , Attack, , Area, , Portal, , Selective Attack, , Nullify Teleport, , *Time Control [X], , *Time Stop[X], , No Save, *Morph [X]

COMBAT: Attack 10 [Time Shard 10 (Lethal)] Defense 20 (14 flat-footed) Init 0

SAVES: Toughness 10 (7 flat-footed) Fortitude 10 Reflex 6 Will 10


Abilities 16 + Skills 10 (40 ranks) + Feats 9 + Powers 57 [X] + Combat 36 + Saves 22 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

Real Name: Toren McAllister
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 185 lbs
Hair: Black
Eyes: Blue
Nationality: None. Toren never officially existed in this reality
Ethnicity: Caucasian

Throughout history great men have had to make decisions to sacrifice some lives in order to save far more, however, Toren McAllister never considered himself a great man; he was merely a young mutant in over his head. The worst part is that no one knows about the decision that he had to make and the overwhelming sacrifice he made to save reality.

Toren was once a mutant with the ability to control time. He was part of the New X-Men, a young group of mutants that were being groomed to be the next generation of X-Men. He believed in the cause of mutant equality and used his powers to fight those that would hinder that process. He was content, even amidst great tragedy, to fight this fight and if need be, give his life for the promise of a better tomorrow. If he knew then what he knows now, he wonders if he could make the same choice again.

The malevolent ruler of Hell, Mephisto, had begun taking over realities. He found that the walls that shield the various timelines, a near infinite amount of realities branching off from every choice ever made, from the dimension of Hell were weakening. Mephisto took the opportunity to flood the weakest of timelines with his own, making him stronger and stronger with each timeline that folded into Hell. If left unchecked, Hell would be the only reality. The world’s greatest heroes from various timelines converged through the machinations of Mephisto on the point where all realities originate: The Citadel of Time, to stop Grandfather Time, an enigmatic being who was tasked by The First to protect the time, from collapsing all reality. The only problem was that Grandfather Time wasn't trying to destroy reality, he was trying to make it stronger. He made the choice to make time a singular reality, a reality that would be strong enough to keep Mephisto out. The downside being that many beings across the multiverse would simply cease to exist. Mephisto, under a guise as a weary time traveler, had tipped the heroes off to the plan and hoped not only would the heroes defeat Grandfather Time, but it would also put the largest hurdle to his dominion over all that is in one place; all the more easier to get rid of them all at one time.

During the battle that ensued, the heroes finally saw the truth. While none liked the idea of countless numbers of beings simply being snuffed out, it was better than all those beings suffering under the thumb of Mephisto. Sadly, Grandfather Time used too much of his waning power to complete the task, however, Toren could finish the work that needed to be done. Toren didn't want the responsibility, but he finally did that he was tasked to do. The blood of all those beings is on his hands, but Mephisto was defeated and reality now stands strong. He tells himself that it had to be done, but it doesn't make the pain go away.

When the one reality was created, Toren's parents never met, he was never born. He is a man that should not be; saved only because he was the conduit of salvation. The pain he feels for all the lives lost is only compounded by the loss of the family that he once had and will never have again. Plus, he is the only being in this reality (that he knows of) that knows what happened. The other heroes don’t know anything, mostly because none of them in their form at the battle exist anymore; their various forms were merged in some cases while other no longer are.

Toren found after the crisis that his powers have expanded. He is a cosmic being. He can step through space and time to appear at any place anywhere in the universe. He can sense when events are in motion that could harm the fabric of space and time. It is his duty to stop those events from happening, and has been granted the ability to fight in way he never could before thanks so the sword he wields (The Time Shard). It is a task that fuels his being now.

Depression sets in during the times when all is quiet throughout the universe, so Toren stalks evil across the universe wherever it occurs. He has only come back to Earth a few times to help heroes similar to the ones that he fought alongside battle great threats, but he doesn't come back unless he is absolutely needed. It hurts too much to be among people that knew him in another time and place no longer know him except as a mysterious cosmic being. He was once in love with Jubilation Lee and she with him. Before the crisis they were well on their way to being married, but now she doesn't know him; that loss, along with the loss of his family, keeps Toren away more than any guilt or loneliness.

Toren is an attractive man that appears to be in his early twenties, but his face constantly bears the look of a man that has seen far too much sadness and pain in his young life. His black hair is usually disheveled and he wears glasses to cover the pain so evident in his eyes. His goatee is long and usually braided, but other than long sideburns he stays clean shaven. When in combat, a mish-mash of armor covers much of his body, but he doesn't wear a helmet. He uses his cosmic powers to form clothes to fit in with whatever society he is moving amongst whenever he is not in combat. The Time Shard is an oddly shaped sword that looks to be made of crystal and is worn in a scabbard strapped across his back, but is made invisible whenever Toren doesn't want to display the sword.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Adolph

PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 26 (+8/+1) DEX: 18 (+4/0) CON: 23 (+6/+1) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 12 (+1) CHA: 16 (+3)

SKILLS: Bluff (+3), Climb (+7), Concentration (+1), Diplomacy 12 (+15), Disguise (+3), Escape Artist (+4), Gather Info 12 (+15), Handle Animal (+3), Intimidate 12 (+15), Investigate 12 (+14), History 12 (+14), Notice 8 (+9), Oratory 12 (+15), Search (+2), Sense Motive 8 (+9), Stealth (+4), Survival (+1), Swim (+7)

FEATS: Defensive Roll (4), Chokehold, Improved Critical (1), Improved Grapple, Power Attack, Leadership, Diehard, Minions (11), Connected, Contacts, Well-Informed

POWERS: *Enhanced Strength [12], *Enhanced Dexterity [8], *Enhanced Constitution [10], *Super-Strength [2], *Immunity (Disease, poison, cold, heat) [4], *Leaping [2], *Strike (Fists) [3], Mighty, , *Growth [1], Permanent,

COMBAT: Attack 10 [Unarmed +8 (Bruise)] Defense 16 (13 flat-footed) Init 4

SAVES: Toughness 10 (6 flat-footed) Fortitude 10 Reflex 4 Will 6

Abilities 16 + Skills 22 (88 ranks) + Feats 24 + Powers 47 + Combat 32 + Saves 9 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

Real Name: Frederick Goebel
Height: 8’5”
Weight: 1300 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eyes: Hazel
Nationality: American, with a criminal record
Ethnicity: German

Frederick Goebel, or Adolph as he prefers to be called now, is the leader of Fourth Reich, a Neo-Nazi group that has been gaining power over the last few years. He is a massive man, a by product of taking an untested vial of the second generation Super Soldier serum stolen from the US government, who wants to lead the world under the Nazi flag like his namesake tried to do in WWII.

Adolph’s grandfather was a high-ranking SS operative that fled from Germany after the Axis failed to turn back the Allies during the D-Day Invasion in Normandy. He kept his family on the move; first hiding in Brazil, then moving to Mexico, and finally coming to rest in the US, right under the nose of the US Government in Washington DC. While he was never active in the burgeoning Neo-Nazi movement that sprang up in the 40’s, he instilled his twisted Nazi values on his children and grandchildren. None of Adolph’s cousins showed the determination that he did, and he quickly became his grandfather’s favorite when he joined an underground Nazi group based in Virginia. Over the years, Adolph would rise to power over not only that cell, but nearly other Neo-Nazi group in the US. With his dying breath, Adolph’s grandfather told him how proud he was that he was carrying on the glorious tradition of the Reich, and Adolph had never felt more proud.

Fourth Reich is still primarily a clandestine organization, even after some high profile thefts of weaponry and other technology. Much of the organization is based in a grass-roots approach to spread pride in German heritage and sow discord among the “lesser” races. Their movement is popular in areas with high poverty and little education. The upper echelons of the organization are for those that have not only proven their devotion to the cause (usually through acts of terrorism), but also genetic purity and intelligence.

Until the theft of the Super Soldier serum, Adolph was primarily a tactician that let underlings take all the action. Now, he leads at the forefront as a sterling example of the might destined to be had by all members of the Fourth Reich. Even though he has been defeated several times, even once by Jewish duo Psword and Pshield, he still commands the respect of all members of the Fourth Reich.

The Fourth Reich has a loose alliance with other Nazi groups and villains from Ultima Thule to the Iron Cross, but Adolph makes it no secret that he feels he is one true successor of Der Fuhrer and that all others should bow to him, even though deep down he knows that he doesn't yet have the raw power or the resources needed to take on the other major players in the worldwide Nazi network.

Adolph is a huge man. He stands over 8 feet tall. His dark hair began thinning after taking the Super Soldier serum, and he can no longer grow any facial hair as well. He wears a modernized version of a Nazi SS Commandant’s uniform of grey fatigues and a black leather overcoat. He’s usually cool-headed, but finds that his temper has also become as thin as his hair after ingesting the serum. One of his scientists attributes much of change in his body to a latent mutation in his genetic code that reacted violently to the serum. Since mutation is a mark of an impure bloodline, Adolph killed the man to keep his secret hidden.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Lightside

PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 12 (+1) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 12 (+1) CHA: 14 (+2)

SKILLS: Acrobatics 12 (+14), Bluff 8 (+10), Climb 8 (+10), Computers 8 (+10), Concentration 12 (+13), Diplomacy 8 (+10), Disable Device 8 (+10), Disguise 8 (+10), Escape Artist 8 (+10), Gather Info 8 (+10), Handle Animal (+2), Intimidate (+2), Investigate 8 (+10), Streetwise 8 (+10), Notice 8 (+9), Search 8 (+10), Sense Motive 8 (+9), Stealth 8 (+10), Survival (+1), Swim 8 (+10)

FEATS: Attack Focus (Melee) (4), Defensive Attack, Evasion (1), Dodge Focus (4), Improved Block (1), Improved Trip, Redirect, Seize Initiative, Equipment (1), Teamwork (2), Acrobatic Bluff, Contacts, Taunt, Improved Initiative (2), Defensive Roll (4)

POWERS: *Telekinesis [10], Subtle [10], (Alternate Power) Force Field [5], Ablative, (Alternative Power) Blast [5], Equipment: Metal Practice Sword (+2 Dmg), Comm Link,

COMBAT: Attack 6 [Practice Sword 2 (Bruise)] Defense 20 (13 flat-footed) Init 10

SAVES: Toughness 10 (6 flat-footed) Fortitude 5 Reflex 10 Will 10

Abilities 20 + Skills 36 (144 ranks) + Feats 26 + Powers 23 + Combat 24 + Saves 21 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

Real Name: Kevin Wilson
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 170 lbs
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Green
Nationality: American
Ethnicity: Caucasian

Kevin Wilson was the stereotypical All-American boy. He played baseball, ran track, was top in his class at karate, got good grades, had a cute girlfriend, and had the respect of his parents. Everything seemed like he was on the fast track to success. It was as if his life was already planned out and he was just following the flow of destiny, but even the best laid plans have a way of turning on you.

While driving home from his girlfriend’s one night a tire went flat. As he was changing the tire a group of punks came upon him and decided to mug him. Kevin wasn't able to put up much of a fight against the five attackers, but he did get a hit in against the leader with his crowbar. When Kevin was finally brought down, the leader took his revenge beating and kicking him mercilessly. Kevin was scared that he was going to die, so scared that something unlocked in his mind and his mutant abilities manifested. Kevin lashed out with his mind and to his total shock and amazement his attackers flew backwards as if struck by an invisible force. One of the punks got up and charged at Kevin, calling him a “mutie” and vowing to kill him. Kevin held out his hand and the punk slammed into an invisible force field, knocking himself out. The other punks ran off after that.

Once Kevin made his way home and told his folks about getting jumped (he left out the details about his new-found powers), he set about discovering all that he could about his abilities. Kevin figured out that he was what scientists called a telekinetic. He could move things with the power of his mind. Over the next couple of months he practiced using his ability in secret and got better at it. He then decided that it was time to use his abilities for good.

Kevin made a costume and started sneaking out at night. He called himself Lightside and built up his hero-motif as a real-life Jedi Knight. He was pretty successful at taking out punks, drug dealers, and other small-time hoods. He was successful enough that the Seattle media started following his career with great interest, as did the local police, which his father was a detective on the force.

It didn't take Kevin’s father too long to figure out that something was up with his son. He seemed tired and sluggish in the mornings and his grades had slipped for the last quarter. At first his dad thought that Kevin was getting into drugs, and he was about to confront him about it until he noticed the bruises that coincided with reports of fights Lightside had gotten into the days before. When Kevin left for school that day, his dad searched his room and found his costume.

When Kevin got home from school that day he walked in to find his dad sitting in the living room with his costume on his lap. Kevin’s heart sank. He knew what his dad’s views on vigilante super “heroes”, but didn't know what his dad would do to him over becoming one of those costumed supers. His dad told him that while he was very disappointed in Kevin for sneaking out, breaking the law, and putting his life in danger. He demanded to know what Kevin can do and how he acquired his powers. Kevin came clean and told his dad everything and waited for his punishment. He dad sighed and told him that if he really wants to do good, then he needs to learn how to do it right. He told Kevin that he’s been in contact with the Claremont Academy in Freedom City where he’s going to go to finish out High School and learn how to properly use his powers. Kevin’s dad hoped that he would then join a legitimate law enforcement agency, but even if he didn't he would be fighting alongside some of the best.

Kevin left the next week for Freedom City. He was sad to leave his family and friends, but he knew it was for the best. In time he became a member of Next Gen, proving to be a valuable member of the team, and then came back to Seattle after graduation. He’s still a reserve member of the Freedom League, but Seattle is where his heart is and where he feels he can do the most good.

Kevin now works as a sketch artist for the Seattle police department (a job that his dad helped in getting him) and fights crime as Lightside at night. He recently uncovered a new crime syndicate ran by an ogre named Kar, who appears to have abilities similar to his own. The two have fought a couple times, both times with Kevin barely escaping with his life. Kevin fears he may not have the power to take Kar down, but he’s not going to give up…

Lightside's costume is a white and grey poncho with a white hood and full-face mask. His tunic and leggings are both white and his boots are supple grey. He wears a metal “practice” sword on his belt.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Zombeast

PL: 12 (180 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 22 (+6) DEX: 26 (+8 ) CON: 30 (+10) INT: 8 (-1) WIS: 20 (+5) CHA: 6 (-2)

SKILLS: Bluff (-2), Climb (+6), Concentration (+5), Diplomacy (-2), Disguise (-2), Escape Artist (+8 ), Gather Info (-2), Handle Animal (-2), Intimidate (-2), Notice 16 (+21), Search 12 (+11), Sense Motive (+5), Stealth 16 (+24), Survival (+5), Swim (+6)

FEATS: Attack Focus (Melee) (4), Critical Strike, Dodge Focus (7), Elusive Target, Evasion (2), Improved Critical (1), Improved Initiative (1), Move-by Action, Power Attack, Sneak Attack (4), Takedown Attack (2), Uncanny Dodge, Diehard, Fearless, Fearsome Presence (4), Instant Up

POWERS: *Strike [4], Mighty, , *Super-speed [1], Rapid Attack, , Leaping [2], Immunity (Life Support, All non-Lethal physical damage) [29], Super-Strength [2], Super-Senses (Darkvision, Scent) [3]

COMBAT: Attack 11 [Unarmed +6 (Bruise)] Defense 24 (14 flat-footed) Init 16

SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 10 Reflex 8 Will 5


Abilities 52 + Skills 11 (44 ranks) + Feats 33 + Powers 48 + Combat 36 + Saves 0 – Drawbacks 0 = 180 / 180

Real Name: Carl Zemekis
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 135 lbs
Hair: Stawberry Blonde
Eyes: Grey (formerly blue)
Nationality: American, legally deceased
Ethnicity: Caucasian

Carl Zemekis was once one of NASA’s best pilots. He was selected to be the mission leader for the first manned spaceflight to Mars. He was famous; a true-to-life household name.

The shuttle took off 3 years ago and everything seemed fine. It was going to be a long trip. The mission was into its few months when something happened.

NASA headquarters at Cape Canaveral picked up a large energy displacement heading directly for the shuttle. As the energy wave hit communications with the shuttle became sporadic. The people manning the radio and video feeds caught garbled sounds that sounded possibly like panic; one official thought he heard screams. The video feed winked back to life for a second and even though the image was distorted there appeared to be blood on the camera lens and a possible body floating off to the side. Just as quickly as the garbled signals came, they stopped altogether. NASA tried to get back in touch with the shuttle, but all comms were shut down. The shuttle appeared not to have suffered any damage and communications should be working fine. Then they noticed the shuttle was changing course and coming home.

Throughout the next couple of months, NASA tried to reach the shuttle, but they could only watch as it made its way back to Earth. The shuttle crash landed in the deserts of New Mexico only a few miles away from Area 51. The rescue team deployed to look for survivors weren't prepared for what they found. The inside of the shuttle looked like a slaughterhouse. Dried blood and rotten gore was strewn about. They found the remains of all the crew except for Captain Zemekis. However, they found footprints leading away from the crash an into the desert, leading the rescue team to believe that he was still alive. The team rushed in the direction of the tracks and found Captain Zemekis a short time later…or at least what was once Captain Zemekis.

Out of the rescue team, only 2 members escaped with their lives to tell the tale of what happened. When they came upon the captain, they noticed that his spacesuit was covered in dried blood stains and was tore in various places. He wasn't wearing a helmet, so they could see his hair was almost gone, and his scalp in some spots was tore away revealing the skull beneath. When they hailed the captain, he stopped and turned. Captain Zemekis’ face was decaying. The lips tore away and his eyes were glazed over. The Captain issued forth a terrible laugh, the laugh of a madman they said. He flexed his hands and long, black claws issued forth. He then leaped at the first transport faster than a man could, and certainly one in the condition that he appeared to be in, and then the real terror happened. The survivors could barely talk about what they witnessed, but all they could say was that the Captain tore through the team like a wild animal and no amount of bullets would stop him. Another search team, this time made up of Special Forces, was dispatched to take out the Captain. They never found him.

Captain Zemekis, now called the Zombeast, appears every now and then to slaughter those that get too close. He is credited with close to 80 murders now and no one has been able to locate him. Even supers that come in contact with the Zombeast have barely escaped with their lives. He still roams the deserts of the American southwest…hunting…

The Zombeast looks like a normal man from a distance. It doesn't take long to see that he’s no longer human. His skin is a sickly gray, and he bears numerous wounds that no longer bleed blood all over his body. Somehow even after two years of being stuck between life and death, he hasn't turned into a pile of bones. His movements at first seem ungainly, but once he acts, his movements are blazingly fast. He has spoken on a couple occasions. His voice is hollow and his words drip with malice. Most of the time, he doesn't say a word, he lets the slaughter speak for him.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Agent K-9

Agent K-9 
PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 16 (+3) DEX: 22 (+6) CON: 18 (+4) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 16 (+3) CHA: 18 (+4)

SKILLS: Acrobatics 12 (+18 ), Bluff (+4), Climb 12 (+15), Concentration 8 (+11), Diplomacy 4 (+8 ), Disable Device 4 (+6), Disguise (+4), Drive 12 (+18 ), Escape Artist 4 (+10), Gather Info 8 (+12), Handle Animal (+4), Intimidate 12 (+16), Investigate 8 (+10), Civics 8 (+10), Streetwise 8 (+10), Tactics 8 (+10), Notice 12 (+15), Search 12 (+14), Sense Motive 8 (+11), Stealth 12 (+18 ), Survival 12 (+15), Swim 4 (+7)

FEATS: Attack Focus (Ranged) (2), Dodge Focus (4), Defensive Roll (2), Elusive Target, Evasion (2), Uncanny Dodge, Fearsome Presence (1), Equipment (3)

POWERS: *Leaping [3], *Strike (Claws) [4], Mighty, , *Super-Senses (Scent, Tracking, Low-Light Vision, Ultra-Hearing) [4],

EQUIPMENT: Tactical Vest, Heavy Pistol, Comm-link, handcuffs, Leather Jacket),

COMBAT: Attack 10/12 (ranged) [Strike (Claws, Mighty) 7 (Lethal), Heavy Pistol 4 (Lethal)] Defense 14 (10 flat-footed) Init 6

SAVES: Toughness 10 (8 flat-footed) Fortitude 8 Reflex 13 Will 8

Abilities 44 + Skills 42 (168 ranks) + Feats 16 + Powers 12 + Combat 20 + Saves 16 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

Real Name: Ginger Wolfe
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 115 lbs
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Brown
Nationality: American
Ethnicity: Canine Moreau

When Moreaus won their freedom from the various governments 10 years ago, they were given the option to either move to the island nation set up as a “homeland” of sorts for the mutates or they can become citizens of the nation in which they were bred. Ginger decided to become a US citizen. She had fought secret wars for the US government for years, and believed in the cause of Democracy and the American Way enough to want to continue to be a part of it. She did leave the military, however, to become a cop in Freedom City. She convinced her brother, Bruiser, to do the same.

At first, it was very tough being one of only two Moreaus on the force. Racism was a constant hurdle both in and out of station. People were still very afraid of the humanoid animals after the revolts that served first brought knowledge of the Moreaus to the public worldwide. People were even more afraid of Moreaus with mutant abilities beyond that of normal Moreaus as well, which both Ginger and Bruiser are. However, after several feats of daring that saved the lives of dozens of citizens and cops, Ginger had become a well-liked, for the most part, and highly decorated officer.

Ginger’s mutant abilities are heightened senses, agility, and super-strong claws far beyond those of normal Canine Moreaus. Her ability to heal is also heightened, but it’s just slightly better than normal so that could be a side-effect of living a healthy life.

As a joke, a rather cruel joke at the time, she was dubbed Agent K-9. She preferred to be called by her naturalized name, Wolfe, but the name stuck. Now it’s become her callsign not only among her fellow cops, but by the public as well. Ginger still doesn’t care for it, but as long as the name is being used not as a slur, she’s OK with it.

Ginger is now a Lieutenant in the Freedom City police department Special Crimes Unit, which deals primarily with superhuman threats. She also patrols the city sometimes when she’s off the clock. She knows that she should develop some hobby outside of crimefighting, but all her life she’s fought something and downtime just drives her nuts. The only time she spends away from crimefighting is the two times a year that she goes to Sturgis, South Dakota to meet up with her brother and “howl at the moon.” Her friends on the force don’t know if that’s just a term for partying or if they really are howling at the moon…

Ginger looks like a typical Overt Canine Moreau. Her face is mostly wolf-like, but her eyes show much more intelligence than a wolf and the musculature of her face allows for a much wider array of emotions, much like a human. Her legs are shaped like a wolf, bent backwards at the knee and each toe is tipped with a wicked looking claw. Ginger wears a bulletproof vest and black combat gear while on duty. When she’s just patrolling the city, she wears a black leather duster and black leather pants with a black cotton shirt. She always has a .50 Desert Eagle in a shoulder holster with her, and prefers to run out of ammo before ever using her claws. (She feels that using her claws is far too barbaric and plays right into the stereotypes that people have when they think of Moreaus.)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Naste-Estan

PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 24 (+7/0) DEX: 28 (+9/+1) CON: 24 (+7/0) INT: 10 (0) WIS: 10 (0) CHA: 10 (0)

SKILLS: Acrobatics 12 (+21), Climb 12 (+19), Disguise 4 (+4), Escape Artist 12 (+21), Intimidate 12 (+12), Notice 12 (+12), Search 12 (+12), Stealth 12 (+21), Survival 8 (+8 ), Swim (+7)

FEATS: All-out Attack, Dodge Focus (5), Grappling Finesse, Improved Initiative (1), Attack Focus (Melee) (2), Evasion (2), Elusive Target, Uncanny Dodge, Fearsome Presence (2)

POWERS: Super-Movement (Swinging) [1], Super-Movement (Wall-Crawling) [3], *Snare [10], Tether, , Enhanced Strength [14], Enhanced Dexterity [16], Enhanced Constitution [14], Protection [3], Super-Senses (Sight, Radius) [2], Strike (Claws) [10]

COMBAT: Attack 10 [Strike 10 (Lethal)] Defense 15 (10 flat-footed) Init 13

SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 7 Reflex 9 Will 0

Abilities 2 + Skills 24 (96 ranks) + Feats 16 + Powers 88 + Combat 20 + Saves 0 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

Real Name: Claire Todychini
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 120 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eyes: Black
Nationality: American, with a criminal record
Ethnicity: Native American

Claire Todychini is a native of Arizona of the Todychini clan of the Navajo. Her life growing up outside of Phoenix, AZ was tough. Her family was poor, very poor, and Claire was tormented by classmates due to that. Her shame at being poor turned into rage as she grew older and learned of the atrocities committed against Native Americans by the whites. Her parents tired to teach her to be proud of her heritage and not let hatred consume her, but the rage seethed in her heart more each day.

While reading about Navajo gods and goddesses, she came across the story of Grandmother Spider, who helped the Eldest Twins early in the days long before man spread across the world. She prayed and pleaded to Grandmother Spider to give her the means to gain revenge on the white man and lead her people back into the light. Grandmother Spider didn’t hear her prayers, but Red Head, the scorpion man, did. He turned her into a twisted hybrid of man and spider. Claire was horrified at her visage, but when she learned that she was now as strong as 20 men, could scale walls, and can spin nearly unbreakable webs, she forgot about her looks and went about seeking vengeance.

Her desire to gain revenge against the US government was out-weighed by her desire to see those that tormented her suffer. Her rampage left 18 people dead before she was driven into the desert by police and National Guardsmen. After a couple days, she returned to her family. They suspected that Claire was behind the killings when they heard who the victims were. When Claire entered the house, her family retreated in terror. He father leveled a shotgun at her and told her to leave and never come back. He said that she had become a monster and a disgrace not only to her family but to her people as well. Claire didn’t take his words very kindly. While none of her family was killed, her father was left crippled by the attack and their home was destroyed. Claire then retreated back into the desert again to decide who would pay next.

Since her emergence as Naste-Estan, the traditional name for Grandmother Spider which she took in mocking sarcasm of the goddess that ignored her, she has struck out at authority figures and government offices. Only occasionally has she made her cause public. Most of the time when she attacks, it’s merely to violently lash out and those she feels guilty of destroying her people, or her life in general. There is evidence to suggest and at some point she was tapped by Overthrow and became an agent with the mission to sow discord, but the evidence is inconclusive at this time.

The hero Wild Deer has become Naste-Estan’s greatest enemy. He is a Native American as well, but instead of trying to help their people by gaining vengeance against the white man, he fights injustice in order to make life better for his people. He doesn’t lash out at the government, he fights those that prey upon the weakest of his people and hopes that others get the message. Naste-Estan and Wild Deer have fought on several occasions. He has won each time. Combine their divergent methodologies with the fact that even though they were both granted power by spirits Wild Deer still looks human, and her hatred of him has grown beyond that of her hatred of the government. She longs for the day that she can suck the juices out of his dying body.

Claire is still humanoid, but her flesh is chitinous like a spider’s. Her mouth became filled with fangs and two large fangs frame her mouth. Instead of two eyes, she now has eight that surround her head and makes it difficult for anyone to surprise her. Her hands are three-fingered and tipped in wicked claws. When she needs to hide among humans, she wears loose, baggy clothing that is easily cast aside when it’s time to strike.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homebrew Supers: Ultiman

PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 30 (+10) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 30 (+10) INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 14 (+2) CHA: 14 (+2)

SKILLS: Bluff (+2), Climb (+10), Concentration (+2), Diplomacy (+2), Disguise (+2), Escape Artist (+1), Gather Info (+2), Handle Animal (+2), Intimidate (+2), Notice 8 (+10), Search 8 (+9), Sense Motive (+2), Stealth (+1), Survival (+2), Swim (+10)

FEATS: Power Attack

POWERS: *Super-Strength [4], Super-Breath [1], Flight [6], Immunity (Life Support) [9], Space Travel [3], Impervious Toughness [10]

COMBAT: Attack 10 [Unarmed +10 (Bruise)] Defense 20 (15 flat-footed) Init 1

SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 10 Reflex 3 Will 4

DRAWBACKS: Power Loss -Vulnerable to attacks that drain Magic [Freq DC 10] [Sev DC 15]

Abilities 52 + Skills 4 (16 ranks) + Feats 1 + Powers 53 + Combat 40 + Saves 4 – Drawbacks -4 = 150 / 150

Real Name: Ultiman (had his name legally changed from Randall Spry)
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 250 lbs
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Identity: Public
Nationality: American
Ethnicity: Welsh, English, and Irish

The man who would become Ultiman lived a fairly ordinary life. Up until a couple years ago, Ultiman was known as Randall Spry. He was an average office worker entering claims for an insurance company. He lived in New York City in a modest apartment alone in an average middle-class neighborhood. He had a decent life by most accounts, but Randall always wished that he could be something more. He hated his ordinary life and felt that there had to be more to life than merely toiling along until retirement and then an inevitable death. He would read in the paper about heroes and villains with extraordinary powers battling across the globe and wanted so desperately to become a hero himself, but alas, he wasn’t a mutant born with special abilities or an alien that escaped a dying world. Randall was merely a man with a boring job, so he resigned to merely dream of a life as a hero.

Fate is a strange mistress.

While riding the subway home one evening after work and battle broke out between the villain Doctor Morbid and the magical hero, Arcano, in the subway tunnels. As the battle raged between the two magicians, bystanders were scrambling to get out of the way, except for Randall, who got as close as he dared to watch the two superbeings duke it out. During the battle, a wave of magical energies surged forth from the two supers, combining in ways never intended by either magician, and Randall was bathed in those energies. It is unknown what exactly occurred, but that magic became a sort of wish-fulfilling spell for Randall. He could feel himself getting stronger, could see his muscles rippling and straining the fabric of his clothes, and somehow knew that something magnificent was happening to him.

The battle was going poorly for Arcano. Doctor Morbid was just too strong for him, and his will wavered, weakening his magics. As an eldritch blast tore through the old wizard, Randall leapt to his defense, taking Doctor Morbid by surprise. The punch drove the villain through the tunnel wall into a service shaft. Randall couldn’t believe what he’d done, and then realized that he hadn’t just jumped at Doctor Morbid, but actually flew at the villain! His elation was cut short as the dying Arcano’s coughs drew his attention. Randall was told by the wizard that somehow he was granted great powers thanks to his carelessness for not seeking shelter when he should, and that he should use his abilities to promote truth and justice. Randall asked if he could offer the dying man aid, but with a final, blood-laden cough, Arcano passed into the beyond. Randall said a quick prayer over the body of the wizard and then flew after Doctor Morbid, but found that the villain had made good his escape.

Over the next couple of weeks, Randall explored his abilities. He found that he could lifts several tons over his head with ease, could fly at nearly super-sonic speeds, and could blow gale force winds from his mouth. He decided to call himself Ultiman and set out designing a costume and beginning his career as a crime-fighter.

The first couple of months, he was successful, but then he started answering distress calls over his police band radio during work hours. No one ever saw him leave, but his supervisor knew when he was gone. After a couple weeks of missing sometimes hours of work, Randall was fired. He wasn’t too concerned until his savings started to dry up. Being a hero was exhilarating, but it couldn’t pay the bills. That’s when Randall got the idea to allow companies to use his likeness to sell everything from soft-drinks to sports cars. He got an agent and then a couple sponsorship deals, and realized that he could be a super-hero and be rich at the same time!

While no one can deny that Ultiman is a hero, his antics of glory seeking and using his status as a hero for personal gain puts him in direct conflict with other heroes. When Ultiman petitioned for membership into the Guardians, Hero-Prime told him that the team didn’t need someone with such loose morals on their team. Ultiman was furious, telling the patriotic paragon to stuff his team and that they would regret snubbing him.

During a battle with Doctor Morbid, who had become something of an arch-enemy of Ultiman’s, 17 people were killed and there was extensive city damage. Ultiman was sued by a couple of families of those slain during the fight as well as by the city (under pressure from watchdog groups that strive to make supers pay for damages to buildings and other property created during battles). Instead of offering to pay the families and NYC out of court, Ultiman fought them in court claiming that as a hero the amount of good that he’s done far outstripped any damages caused during scraps with villains that would surely do worse if they were left uncontested. Ultiman lost his case and the fines, penalties, and other costs nearly wiped out his money. Beyond that, it also destroyed his sterling image, which lead to sponsors dropping him from their ad campaigns and even his agent dropped him.

With public opinion against him, Ultiman’s spirit was crushed. Only now did he realize how much he had fallen from grace. He vowed to finally live his life as a hero the way he was first directed to by Arcano. It took a long time, and many still distrust him, but Ultiman is once again seen as a hero. His about-face impressed Hero-Prime enough to offer Ultiman a place in the Guardians, which he humbly accepted.

Ultiman may be poor now, but he at least has the respect of his peers, much of the public, and most importantly himself.

Ultiman stands over 6 feet tall, with dark brown hair and a full, well-trimmed beard. His costume is light blue, with dark blue trunks, white gloves and boots, and a yellow cape. His body is well-muscled. He looks every part of the super-hero. He once wore a dark blue mask that covered his eyes, but since he made his identity public, he quit wearing the mask.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Quick Look At Mercenary Breed 2.0 and Warren C Norwood's Double Spiral War

I promised a review of some of the new sci-fi stuff I've picked up for Savage Worlds a few days ago. Well, I got knocked low by a pretty hefty allergy attack, and I simply haven't had much time to write as I'd like. Instead of a full review, I'm going to give a quick and dirty synopsis of how useful I think each product is. Now, my standpoint of buying just about anything is "how much of this can/will I port to my homebrew settings?" With that in mind, here we go.

I picked up the Mercenary Breed 2 bundle that has the three core books in Mystical Throne's MB2 lineup: Mercenary's Handbook, Galaxy Guide, and the Xenopedia. I liked MB1 and this new edition expands everything. It's all set in the Argo Galaxy, but really MB2 is much more of a sci-fi sandbox that you can make your own rather than playing in someone else's imagination. Everything is expanded from races, to gear, to vehicles, to arcane backgrounds. There are lots of great bits in here that I plan on using in my own setting. The Galaxy Guide fleshes out the Argo Galaxy as a setting a bit more, but the real great meat of this book is in the random generators (using a standard deck of playing cards) to generate Corporations, Planets, and missions. The Xenopedia details 34 creatures and species to populate the galaxy with and there's a system for random creature creation as well. My only gripe with the entire series is that the intelligent species that should be pretty playable in the Xenopedia don't come with PC stats. Now, based on the mook stats and the descriptions, generating PC stats won't be difficult but it felt like a wasted opportunity. There's a lot of good hints and tips throughout all three book on how to use them in your own setting and even details out various sci-fi themes, a couple of which I hadn't thought much of before but I do now. The bottom line is go pick up the MB2 bundle from RPGNow, you won't be disappointed.

Warren C Norwood's Double Spiral War is based on the series of books that were released in the 80's. I remember reading them long ago, but I don't remember that much about them (something I'll have to rectify). It's put out by Battlefield Press. It is presented as a full setting set in the galaxy of the books (the Caveness Galaxy). There are fewer bits in this book to rob for your own settings compared to MB2, but there are 2 alien races and three humanity off-shoots. The gear is very much of what you would expect to see in 1980's sci-fi. There are some bits of equipment that I'll probably port over, but most of the weapons and such are outclassed by more contemporary sources. There are also examples of starships that will work with other settings. So is it worth a buy? If you are a fan of the books, absolutely. While it feels a little lighter than a full-blown campaign setting, you get everything you need to run a campaign in the Caveness Galaxy in a nice package. If you're looking at DSW for cool bits to rob for your own settings, I'd wait until you have a coupon or it goes on sale.

Homebrew Supers: Deathstrider


M&M Stats
PL: 16 (240 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 42 (+16) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: NA INT: 10 (0) WIS: 20 (+5) CHA: 10 (0)

SKILLS: Climb (+16), Concentration (+5), Escape Artist (+2), Intimidate 20 (+20), Notice (+5), Sense Motive 20 (+25), Stealth (+2), Survival (+5), Swim (+16)

FEATS: All-out Attack, Chokehold, Critical Strike, Improved Grab, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, Takedown Attack (2), Seize Initiative, Fearless, Startle, Fearsome Presence (10)

POWERS: Growth (permanent) [4], Immunity (Life Support, Mental effects) [19], *Immovable [16], Unstoppable, , *Protection [16], Impervious [16], Space Travel [2], Death Touch [20], *Super-Strength [6], Groundstrike, , Thunderclap, , Shockwave,

COMBAT: Attack 14 [Unarmed +16 (Bruise)] Defense 14 (12 flat-footed) Init 2

SAVES: Toughness 16 (16 flat-footed) Fortitude 0 Reflex 2 Will 5

Abilities 36 + Skills 10 (40 ranks) + Feats 21 + Powers 133 + Combat 40 + Saves 0 – Drawbacks 0 = 240 / 240

MSH Stats
Health: 335       Karma: 54
Resources: N/A  Popularity: -200

Growth: GD (permanent)
Immunities: Deathstrider is immune to disease, poisons, the effects of the vacuum of space, has no need to eat or breathe, and is immune to all attempt to read or control its mind.
Invulnerability: UN
Death Touch: Living beings touched by the Deathstrider are subjected to a CL1000 Disruption attack. 
Immovability: Deathstrider somehow is able to anchor himself gravitationally to the ground, it takes a Red FEAT with UN Strength to move the Deathstrider involuntarily.
Emotion Control (Fear): UN
Flight: TY
Life Detection: AM

Talents: Intimidation

Real Name: Unknown
Height: 15’
Weight: Approximately 90 tons
Hair: Black
Eyes: Red
Nationality: None
Ethnicity: Unknown alien species

On countless worlds among countless societies, there are legends that talk of the Deathstrider; a force of destruction so powerful that entire armadas are said to have fallen to its wrath. The Deathstrider is a being that is not alive, but not dead either. It has the look of machine, but exudes an aura that makes even the most demented necromancer quake with fear. It is a force so powerful that many star-faring empires have set up their armies solely to do battle with it should it ever appear again to ravage another of their worlds.

The origins of the Deathstrider are wide and varied depending on the society. Some say that it came from Hell (or that world’s approximation of Hell) to harvest souls. Others claim that it was sent by enemies (the exact enemy changes depending on who is telling the tale) to destroy all other empires. Still there are the tales that it’s always been since the birth of all there is and has been traveling from galaxy to galaxy wiping out all life.

The facts about the Deathstrider, what few there are, are just as mystifying. There is only one known vid of the Deathstrider and that came from a Grey starship that was part of a group that happened upon the creature somewhere between our solar system and Proxima Centauri. It was the only craft to escape the onslaught. The alien hero, Mentas, who was part of that starship group, recalled the lead ship picking up a large, humanoid form on its sensors. Since they were quite a ways from any colonies in the Proxima system and no known species in that region where known to be that size, they were curious as to where the body came from. Their sensor were picking up light electromagnetic charges from the being suggesting it was possibly the body of a crash victim in power armor, but as they neared the being the readings ceased. They were about to bring the body aboard the lead craft when it sprung to life. Mentas said that when it’s face appeared on the viewscreen, they knew that they had just found the legendary T’laktha, or Deathstrider approximately in our tongue. A wave of terror came over the ships’ crews as some readied their ship’s weapons while a couple others changed course in order to escape. The Deathstrider launched itself at the lead craft, tearing through the hull as if it were paper, in the next second the ship was destroyed and the creature was moving to the closest of the retreating craft. Mentas tried to read the being’s thoughts, but all he found were feelings of darkness, anger, and death. No actual thoughts. Even though his craft was able to escape, the Deathstrider was able to severely damage it by hurling debris at it, which led to its crash on Earth.

The Deathstrider has never been seen closer than Proxima Centauri to Earth. However, Mentas believes that the creature may be able to follow trajectories of spacecraft that will lead it to other worlds filled with life for it to destroy. He hopes that he’s wrong, but deep down he fears that his craft may have unknowingly lead the creature to Earth and therefore sealed the planet’s doom.

The Deathstrider stands over 15 feet tall and is humanoid. Its face is that of a human-like skull with pronounced cranial ridges over the eye sockets. Its eyes are fiery pinpoints of light that seem to originate deep within its eye sockets. It has black, stringy, hair that hangs off the back of its head and reaches the middle of its back. The Deathstrider is covered in armor. There are various points on the armor that look technological, but the overall look is a strange conglomeration of archaic and futuristic armors. The armor is colored black, like it was forged from iron, but there are spots that look like rust, but Mentas quickly noted that that “rust” is more likely dried blood of countless lifeforms.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dungeons & Dragons Next/5th Edition/Type V/Whatever

So the release schedule and the prices are out for the next iteration of the grandaddy of RPG's: Dungeons & Dragons. Starting of in mid-July is the Starter Set for $20. Supposedly this starter set won't be as useless as the one that came out about mid-way through the great 4th Edition experiment. At any rate, $20 to try out the system is pretty reasonable. That said...$50 for each of the core books is a tad steep, at least at first without any considerations. Those considerations are how much fun am I going to get out of those books? Going out to the movies (plus popcorn and something to drink) can easily run $50 +. Going out to a ballgame? Even General Admission seats can cost a family of 4 anywhere from $40 - 50 or more without even factoring in the cost of refreshments. Video games are $60 on average new, and some of them only have about 5-6 hours of fun wrapped into them (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, I'm looking squarely at you...). So $150, staggered over several months doesn't seem so bad. Why then am I balking at plunking down my hard-earned cash on a pre-order?

I've got a lot invested into my hack of Swords & Wizardry. I've put a LOT of hours into making it into something that I've wanted ever since first cracking open the D&D Basic Boxed Set (the one that had Keep on the Borderlands with it). Why would I want to give that up? Who says I really have to? Well, for one, I only have so much time in a day to devote to anything that's not work, family-time, and sleep. Even though I'm far and away more impressed with D&D 5E/Next than I ever was with 4th, I still think it's likely going to be more than I care to mess with. Monsters for instance still have way too many stats. I vastly prefer the streamlined and slim statblocks for S&W.

I'm not writing off the new shiny D&D yet by any means. A lot of things could have changed from the last playtest packet to the finished version, so I'll definitely pick up the Starter Set. If it seems like something that I will enjoy (being able to make use of the mountain of material already at my disposal would go a long way to swaying my opinion), I'll check out the PHB and the Monster Manual at least. That said, I really like what I have with S&W, so D&D is going to have to really impress me to pull me away.

Homebrew Supers: Cybeast


M&M Stats
PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 25 (+7) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: NA INT: 12 (+1) WIS: 16 (+3) CHA: 10 (0)

SKILLS: Climb 12 (+19), Computers 8 (+9), Concentration (+3), Drive 12 (+13), Escape Artist (+1), Gather Info 8 (+8 ), Investigate 12 (+13), Civics 8 (+9), Streetwise 12 (+13), Technology 4 (+5), Notice 4 (+7), Search 4 (+5), Sense Motive 8 (+11), Stealth (+1), Survival (+3), Swim (+7)

FEATS: Attack Focus (Melee) (4), Critical Strike, Improved Grapple, Power Attack, Set-Up, Takedown Attack (1), Fearsome Presence (4), Startle

POWERS: Super-Strength [4], *Protection [8], Impervious [8], Immunity (Life Support) [9], Super-Senses (Communication Link, Infravision, Radio, Ultra-Hearing, X-Ray Vision) [8]

COMBAT: Attack 10 [Unarmed +7 (Bruise)] Defense 20 (15 flat-footed) Init 1

SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 7 Reflex 5 Will 7

Abilities 15 + Skills 23 (92 ranks) + Feats 14 + Powers 41 + Combat 40 + Saves 17 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

MSH Stats

Health: 126        Karma: 46
Resources: TY   Popularity: 10

Cybernetic Being: Cybeast is a robotic being (he once had a living brain, but it has since been replaced with a computer imprinted with his memories and personality) and has the following powers:
·          Invulnerability: RM protection from physical and energy damage. 
·          Immunities: Cybeast is immune to poisons, diseases, the effects of the vacuum of space, and has no need to eat or breathe. 
·          Hyper-Hearing: RM
·          X-Ray Vision: RM
·          Darkvision: RM

Talents: Martial Arts B, Detective, Driving, Interrogation, Law Enforcement, Computers, Electronics.
Contacts: The Posse

Real Name: Jason Richards
Identity: Secret
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 700 lbs
Hair: None (was sandy blonde)
Eyes: Red (was blue)
Nationality: American (legally deceased)
Ethnicity: Caucasian

The man that became the cyborg super-hero known as Cybeast was once a Chicago cop named Jason Richards. Jason was a good cop as well with several merits for courage and bravery above and beyond the call of duty. He was the ruler that all other cops were measured…and that was the problem.

Not only was Jason good at bringing career criminals to justice, but he also had a nose for sniffing out corrupt cops as well. He had uncovered a group of officers in league with a splinter cell of the Russian mafia funneling drugs, guns, and prohibited military-grade weapons and armor into and out of the country. The more he dug the higher up the food chain the conspiracy went, all the way up to a couple representatives and a senator. This case was hot, and he couldn’t trust anyone with the information. Unfortunately, he was found out.

Jason was assigned to a murder case and once he got the crime scene, the trap was sprung. He was ambushed and killed by several mafia goons. The story was written up as simple mugging turned bad and Jason was given the usual state funeral befitting a hero. His smuggling case files were quickly rounded up and destroyed, and Detective Richards was forgotten by all involved.

Since Jason didn’t have a family (he was an only child, his parents died several years ago, and his ex-wife was living with her new husband in Aruba) he was the perfect candidate for an a new cybernetic battlesuit that would make use of the brain of deceased soldiers and policemen to continue fighting for justice. His body was quietly bought by the Cyberworks on the day of his death and was promptly taken to their Silicon Valley facility.

Jason “awoke” in a lab. His sight was strange, red tinted with information on his surroundings in a sort of HUD integrated with his sight. He reached for his sidearm, but didn’t find it. That’s when he noticed that his body was huge and made of metal. He screamed out for an explanation and was promptly shut down. When he next awoke, he was debriefed on his programming parameters.

The CyCop project was designed to create “moral” robots. While Cyberworks had made great strides in creating thinking AI’s, they still couldn’t perfect them to have the “moral compass” greatly needed in policework. The idea was to use the brains of officers and soldiers that have shown great morality, courage, and bravery to enhance the basic combat field AI. Memories would be blocked, but the “conscience” would remain. There were police agencies the world over anxiously awaiting the results in order to place their orders (Cyberworks conveniently left out that human “donors” were needed to most of the more upstanding agencies).

For weeks, Jason, or X-1 as he was called, was put through various tests to show off his physical and moral prowess, which thanks to his cybernetic body was profound, and how he handled situations that take more of a human touch from hostage situations to dealing with domestic issues. So far, the experiments were a resounding success. Not since that brief moment when he went active too early had Jason been able to access any of his memories.

That would not last.

During a routine test to measure Jason’s durability he was subjected to a small EMP blast. This wasn’t the first time he had run through the test, but this time something unexpected happened. When the blast hit him, it shut down the memory blocks. With the blocks removed, Jason’s memories flooded back to him. He relived his entire life in the span of seconds. His childhood, the loss of his parents, his marriage, finding out his wife was cheating on him and the subsequent divorce, the revulsion and anger of finding out that many of the cops around him were corrupt, and finally his death and the terror at discovering that he was somehow still alive when he knew he should be dead all came back in a tidal wave. Needless to say, he went berserk.

Jason tore through the training center walls, not sure where he was going (or even where he was), only knowing that he needed to get out. He needed to get answers, and he needed to make sure that whoever did this to him went to jail for a long time along with the bastards that set him up.

Jason’s handlers were shocked and terrified that he had somehow broken loose, but the information they were gathering on just how successful the project really was made sure that their project would continue to receive funding in spite of this setback. They gave the alert for security forces to take out X-1 and return the subject to the lab. Too bad, they didn’t realize that they built Jason a little too well. He tore through the security forces and made his escape.

After hours of dodging security forces and running for what was hours, Jason stopped by a creek. He wasn’t tired and wasn’t hungry, but felt he should rest and at least think through what happened. He reached to take off his helmet, but found he couldn't remove it. In a fit of rage, he tore the faceplate off and cast it aside. As he bent down to the water to take a drink, he cried out in terror as he saw his reflection. Instead of his face, there was nothing but a metallic skull grinning back at him. That’s it, he thought. He died and was now a monster.

Over the next few months, he took down the people that had him killed. He rarely killed the men, but few would lead normal lives again. It went against his code to take a life, even if those lives weren't worth anything to begin with, but if they had turned him into a monster he would be their worst nightmare.

With the last of his conspirators dealt with, he turned his attention to Cyberworks. He knew that unless they were stopped, they would continue to defile the dead to further their research. That when he met up with James Justice and the Posse.

The Posse is a group of heroes with varied backgrounds and abilities all with one thing in common: Cyberworks did something to them. Jason, who had since take up the mantle of Cybeast, joined the team and has been with them ever since.

Shortly before taking on the android, Motor Lisa, it was discovered that Jason’s brain was starting to decompose. He was becoming violent at random times, having hallucinations, and became incoherent and unpredictable as well. He even left the team to find his ex-wife, which lead to a couple people discovering that Jason Richards is alive (in a sense). It wasn’t until the team discovered Motor Lisa that they were able to get their hands on technology that allowed them to replace Jason’s brain with a totally electronic one.

Cybeast is an imposing figure. He stands at six and a half feet tall and has a solidly built body made out of nearly indestructible alloys. When going into combat, Jason wears his visor up, showing his metallic skull face, which often shakes the will of his foes. When out of combat, he wears his visor down as to not creep out his teammates or anyone else they are dealing with. He typically wears a tight shirt and black combat pants with combat boots. He continually puts on a coating of silver Rust-O-Leum over the X-1 serial number on his chest. Jason doesn’t want to be known as that number ever again.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Homebrew Supers: The Monster

He's my take on the classic Frankenstein's Monster!

The Monster

M&M Stats
PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 24 (+7) DEX: 10 (0) CON: NA INT: 20 (+5) WIS: 18 (+4) CHA: 12 (+1)

SKILLS: Bluff (+1), Climb 12 (+19), Computers 8 (+13), Concentration (+4), Diplomacy 4 (+5), Disable Device (+5), Disguise 8 (+9), Gather Info (+1), Handle Animal (+1), Intimidate 12 (+13), Investigate (+5), Arcane Lore 4 (+9), Behavioral Sciences 8 (+13), Earth Sciences 8 (+13), Life Sciences 12 (+17), Physical Sciences 12 (+17), Medicine 12 (+16), Notice 8 (+12), Profession (+4), Ride 4 (+4), Search 8 (+13), Sense Motive 4 (+8 ), Survival 4 (+8 ), Swim (+7)

FEATS: Improved Grab, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Weapon Break, Endurance (2), Fearsome Presence (4), Teamwork (2), Improvised Tools, Jack-of-All-Trades

POWERS: Super-Strength [2], Immunity (Life Support) [9], *Protection [5], Impervious [5], *Absorption (Healing) [10], Only works against electrical attacks,

COMBAT: Attack 5 [Unarmed +7 (Bruise)] Defense 14 (12 flat-footed) Init 0

SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 7 Reflex 2 Will 7

Abilities 24 + Skills 33 (132 ranks) + Feats 15 + Powers 43 + Combat 18 + Saves 17 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

MSH Stats
Health: 84         Karma: 90
Resources: PR    Popularity: -5

Reanimated: Vincent is a reanimated corpse, not truly undead, but neither is he alive.  His condition grants him the following powers:
·          Immunities: Vincent is unaffected by poisons, diseases, and the vacuum of space.
·          Cold Resistance: AM
·          Electrical Absorption: IN
·          Invulnerability: IN

Fear of Fire: Vincent has a fear of fire (he speculates this developed due to damage his brain suffered during the reanimation process, but he’s not sure).  Whenever he is attacked with fire or it is presented to him in any way, Vincent must make a Psyche FEAT or run away in fear, lashing out at anything that gets in his way.  He regains his calm after rolling a successful Psyche FEAT or the fire is out of sight. 

Talents: Climbing, Computers, Repair/Tinkering, Engineering, Medicine, First Aid, Sciences (Behavioral, Earth, Life, Physical), Occult Lore, Riding, Swimming, Martial Arts B

Contacts: The Torch, various academic and scientific contacts throughout the world. 

Real Name: Vincent Von Heidelburg
Height: 7’3”
Weight: 350 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eyes: Left eye is blue, Right eye is green
Nationality: None. He was once a German citizen, but he’s been legally dead for over two hundred years.
Ethnicity: Germanic

The man that calls himself Vincent was once a German noble and scientist from a small village, but that was almost 200 years ago. He is now a scarred, immortal more than a mere human, but striving to be nothing more.

Vincent’s origins start with his deaths. His brain, and therefore his mind and personality, are that of Vincent Von Heidelburg, a nobleman, scientist, and writer born in Germany in 1779. His body was a simple laborer named Karl, nothing else is known about the identity behind Vincent’s body. In the fall of 1811, after both Vincent and Karl died, a scientist by the name of Victor Frankenstein attempted the unthinkable, bringing a dead man back to life. Victor and Vincent were colleagues and friends, but Victor’s blasphemous research led to Vincent cutting ties with his friend. Shortly after, Vincent came down with pneumonia and died. Death was not to be the end of Vincent, however, as he woke up in Victor’s laboratory.

The shock of being resurrected denied Vincent of his memories and much of his intelligence and motor skills. Victor was elated that his experiments worked, but was disgusted in the result. He and Igor threw Vincent over the edge of the castle walls into a ravine, where they assumed he would die in the fall. However, the experiments imbued Vincent with regenerative powers akin to immortality. Vincent’s wounds healed and he wandered into the countryside.

Vincent’s mental faculties returned in time and he grew to despise Victor for what he had turned him into. The operations on the body left Vincent’s form scarred and disfigured, so much so that wherever he went he was shunned and subjected to prejudice, fear, and ridicule, which made his hatred for Victor grow. As Vincent made his way back to the castle, he found that vengeance would be stolen from him. Villagers had driven Victor from his castle when they discovered what he was researching.

Vincent’s story was told, in a sense, in the classic novel, Frankenstein. After unsuccessfully tracking Victor for a time, he began to travel. He met the young Mary Shelley and her husband by accident one night. While they were frightened by his appearance, Vincent’s demeanor and intelligence calmed their fears. He told the Shelley’s his tale, which she then modified into a horror story. The novel amuses Vincent, and he is glad that even though it is looked upon as a work of science fiction, that Victor’s name is sullied.

Vincent has traveled the world over. He is very learned and cultured, though he spends most of his time alone or among enlightened people who are not frightened by his appearance. He still feels like an outsider, though. He knows that he should be dead, but doesn't have the will to end his existence. He decided that the best way to use his gifts is to help others, and therefore became one of the first modern-style super heroes. He fought in both World Wars, the Korean War, and well as championing the downtrodden the world over.

A few years ago, Vincent encountered another being much like himself. The other being called itself Terrence, and was sent by “The Animator” to either bring Vincent in or to kill him. Vincent drove off his attacker. He has since been hunting for this Animator, convinced that he is Victor still alive to this day.

Events have lead Vincent to joining forces with a group of people calling themselves The Torch. They strive to fight against dark forces that wish to drive the world into madness. While the group’s primary goal, at the moment, is the destruction of the ancient vampire, Dracula, Vincent’s goals of exacting revenge on Victor Frankenstein seem to be intertwined.

Vincent is a very tall man. He would likely be somewhat handsome if it weren't for the massive amounts of scarring that covers his body. His skin has a sickly pale to it that belies his unnatural existence. His body is a natural electricity conductor. When angered, his eyes will flicker with electricity. He commonly wears a long hooded leather jacket, simple shirt and pants. Vincent usually wears the hood up, as the back of his head still shows the damage from the blow that killed Karl.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Homebrew Supers: The Revenger

The Revenger 
PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 16 (+3) CON: 16 (+3) INT: 14 (+2) WIS: 16 (+3) CHA: 12 (+1)

SKILLS: Acrobatics 8 (+11), Bluff (+1), Climb 8 (+10), Concentration 8 (+11), Diplomacy (+1), Disable Device 8 (+10), Disguise (+1), Drive 12 (+15), Escape Artist 12 (+15), Gather Info 8 (+9), Handle Animal (+1), Intimidate 12 (+13), Investigate 4 (+6), Streetwise 12 (+14), Medicine 4 (+7), Notice 8 (+11), Pilot 4 (+7), Ride 8 (+11), Search 8 (+10), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Sleight of Hand 8 (+11), Stealth 12 (+15), Survival 12 (+15), Swim 8 (+10)

FEATS: All-out Attack, Blind-Fight, Chokehold, Defensive Roll (3), Dodge Focus (6), Elusive Target, Evasion (2), Improved Aim, Improved Defense (2), Improved Grab, Improved Pin, Improved Trip, Quick Draw (2), Rage (2), Sneak Attack (3), Stunning Attack, Throwing Mastery (2), Uncanny Dodge, Luck (2), Ultimate Effort (1), Ambidexterity, Assessment, Diehard, Fearless, Fearsome Presence (2), Equipment (3), Hide in Plain Sight, Contacts, Distract (1), Startle, Track, Improved Initiative (1)

POWERS: Equipment: Lock Release Gun, Night-Vision Goggles, Flashlight, Multi-Tool, Knife (+1 Damage), Heavy Pistol (+4 Damage), Assault Rifle (+5 Damage), Frag Grenades, Tactical Vest

COMBAT: Attack 10 [Knife 1 (Lethal), Heavy Pistol 4 (Lethal)] Defense 20 (12 flat-footed) Init 7

SAVES: Toughness 10 (7 flat-footed) Fortitude 3 Reflex 3 Will 3

Abilities 28 + Skills 44 (176 ranks) + Feats 50 + Powers 0 + Combat 28 + Saves 0 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150

Real Name: Scott Moore
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 200 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eyes: Blue
Nationality: American
Ethnicity: Irish – German

Scott Moore has had a troubled life. Everything was fine until his older brother ran off when Scott was 12. No one had any idea why Jacob ran away. Everything seemed fine, but afterwards Scott’s parents just seemed to be totally consumed in their grief, worry, and anger to even remember that they had another son that needed his parents. Due to this lack guidance, Scott became very self-sufficient.

In high school, Scott became aware that he had certain innate abilities. He was rather agile, strong, and quick. He also instinctively knew what to do with any weapon he came in touch with. He was scared that he was going to be labeled as a mutant, but his mandatory genetic scans (required to attend public schools under the Safe Homeland Act) came back with enhanced physical attributes, but still within normal human ranges.

Scott had the reputation as being a loner in school, but also for being a “white knight.” He hated to see anyone taken advantage of or bullied, so he would jump to their aid. After the first fight in which Scott put a kid in the hospital with three broken ribs (which nearly lead to his expulsion), very few people did much around him.

Upon graduating high school, Scott unceremoniously left his parents to live in Kansas City, Missouri. He found work as a mechanic in a small auto-shop downtown. The neighborhood wasn't great by any means. It angered Scott to read about all the robberies, murders, muggings, and various other acts committed against the decent people that are living in abject fear everyday. However, he was only a single man, what could he do?

Scott lived in a run-down apartment building; it was the kind of place that people kept to themselves for fear of being mistaken for sticking their nose in where it didn't belong. Scott did the same until he heard a woman cry out in the alley below one night. Looking out his window, he saw a woman being pursued by three punks. From the foul taunts, anyone would know what was going to happen to the woman should she get cornered. Scott was not going to let that happen. He thought about calling the cops, but knew they wouldn't get here in time, so he acted.

A voice in the back of his mind told him that what he was doing was stupid and that he was going to get himself killed, but he couldn't let that woman be harmed. Someone had to stand up for those that can’t for themselves. The fight was a blur. It seemed like it was over in an instant, and when dust settled two of the punks were dead and the other had to be taken to the hospital with a broken leg, arm, and four cracked vertebrae. The woman, was grateful, but frightened of her rescuer. Scott didn't stick around for the cops. The woman told the police that it was like a monster swooped in and slaughtered the bastards. While she was grateful for being saved, she didn't think that her attackers deserved to die.

Scott couldn't disagree more. He had come to a turning point in his life. The dealing with the scum in the alleyway felt good. The initial twinge of guilt he felt upon killing two men was quickly banished when he realized that if they were taken to jail, they would merely be out within a week to prey upon the weak again. No, they had to die.

Thus, the Revenger was born.

Since then, Scott had waged war against crime and corruption. His battle has taken him from the back alleys to the highest towers of Cyberworks. He has been arrested, tried, and sentenced to death, only to escape and go on the run. He’s been hunted by many of America’s best super-heroes, and somehow is able to escape.

The years haven’t been kind to The Revenger though, he bears the scars of battle and his hair is graying much too early for a man of his age. He drinks too much, but knows of no other way to drown the pain of knowing that all that he knows is death, and no matter how many evil people he sends to the grave it’s never getting any better. He keeps fighting though, because it’s all he knows to do.

The Revenger typically wears a tan leather duster, t-shirt, blue jeans, and steel-toed boots. Numerous harnesses all over his body hold the various weapons that can be found on him at nearly any time. His black hair is graying at the temples and his features are worn and haggard. He looks a lot older than what he really is. His eyes are a clear blue and have an edge to them that makes others think of a wild dog.