|ADVANCED CHARACTER DYNAMICS
Note: Cosmic Awareness is one of a handful of powers which changes names depending on the
character’s sex. Its listing is found under WOMAN’S INTUITION.
The Heap violates our damage potential rule, however, that rule is only for player characters. The Heap is a
monster. He should be a challenge for a team of heroes. Your heroes probably don’t want to go toe to toe
with him. There are other ways of dealing with him besides dealing damage. Historically he has been either
confined or relocated.
I do not have a character concept. I do not care about genres and I’m not here for a history
lesson. I don’t know anything about comic books or pulp fiction or whatever you’re going on
and on about. I’m playing this game because this is what we are playing. I just want to play a
barbarian or something. Over 200 abilities? No classes? Yikes! I just want to make a
character who doesn’t wind up being some sort of glass cannon Captain Useless. Please just
give me a general idea of what all of this stuff does.
This section is for you.
It’s a puppet show. Do you want a puppet that does the same thing as the other puppets, or do you want a
puppet that does something completely different? We are going to provide you with options in both directions.
What we will produce is a competent puppet, one who is as good as the other player characters.
Basestats: If you are at all familiar with role-playing games, our listing of stats is nothing new. As a player
character, you are locked into at least spending for Mutant in three of those statistics—ATT, POWER and
LUCK. You can plug any power you want into any of those statistics. Let’s hold off on allocating for the rest
of the stats until you have determined your direction.
Each character will have to navigate three separate game aspects:
Social. A lot of the game consists of the players talking to each other, deciding what to do next and
how to do it. This is more a function of the player’s personality and group dynamics than anything
on the character sheet. There is little that the player needs to invest in his character for this
function. Any type of character can be a leader, a follower, a sage or a rebel. The players should
keep in mind that they are supposed to be heroes and that they have a common agenda.
Plot. Figuring out what is going on, going places, talking to people and gathering information. A
character’s skills, connections, social position—along powers such as enhanced senses can aid in
this. It’s almost compulsory that the character have some specialty in this area.
Action. The bad guys are not going to stop themselves. At point levels of 700 or so, there needs to
be something of a division of labor among the characters. Some characters are mostly Plot, others
are mostly Action. At levels above 700, each character can do a little of both. By Action we mean
Violent Confrontation. Chances are, everyone on the team is going to be involved somewhat.
Let’s start with making a basic puppet, one who does what most action and adventure type heroes do. We are
going to base your toon on the Modern Basic Hero. You are going to take ATHLETICS, BODY CONTROL,
COMBAT, FORTITUDE and LIGHTNING REFLEXES. You are now not a glass cannon. Here’s what this
basic build does for you:
ATHLETICS: This gives you a custom batch of bonuses, potentially including additional HTK, enhanced ACC
(accuracy) or DODGE (ability to avoid being hit) and several other options. If you are only going to have one
of the basic options, this is the one to take. If you are taking BODY CONTROL or LIGHTNING REFLEXES,
this is a nice addition.
BODY CONTROL: It’s instant Yoga Master. You’re graceful. You’re naturally circus skill gifted. You can
slow down your heart rate, resist the elements, gain a healing bonus when you rest, have a defense against
mental attacks and are all sorts of mystically martial arts-like, without the martial arts part. It also prevents
you from getting stunned. If that seems a bit too much, you can go with RUGGED or DURABLE, which are
less theme-park versions of the same idea.
COMBAT: This is the skill for people who have some prowess in self-defense. Unless you just want to shoot
people, this skill is somewhat mandatory for heroes. It’s a common ability which boosts your HTH Attack
(Hand to Hand Attack). There are a lot of slappy fights in this game.
FORTITUDE: This provides some bonuses to your defenses, although its major utility is keeping you from
being permanently screwed over. You will eventually wiggle free. You will eventually shake it off. It doesn’t
keep you from being instantly killed, but it does give you an inevitable chance on everything else. It’s the type
of defensive ability that most action heroes possess.
LIGHTNING REFLEXES: Instant comic book hero. You are a bit faster and faster acting than a normal
person. It also conveys a very handy defense.
If you take all of these abilities, you are fairly much set. You are now GENERIC ACTION FIGURE. Most
heroes aren’t much more than this. If you want to do something different, then take a few less of the above.
In either case, you still have room for something goofy. All of these characters are a tad goofy. (Give
yourself to it.) All we really have left to choose is what sort of goofy to go for. Some goofy stuff is more
useful than others.
Offense: At the 700 or less point level, COMBAT is going to be the basis of your offense. You whack things.
There is no additional expense involved in picking up a weapon to whack things with. Such weapons are
going to inflict from 1 to 8 additional dice of damage. Between your bonuses from STR and COMBAT and the
baseball bat you keep handy, this should be good enough. If you need a ranged attack, pick up a gun. Guns
are also free.
At above 700 points, you may have to worry a little more about offense and defense. Your opponents are
along the lines of guys dressed up as rhinos on roller-skates shooting lasers from their eyes. That might call
for more than your baseball bat and 357. There are some half-steps you can take here. You can grab a military
weapon (M-W-A). Your average machinegun-like thing is going to inflict Major Damage, which is from 1 to
216 points of damage, with an average yield of 27. This gives you a chance at taking something big down. Or
you can enhance your HTH Damage with an upgrade of COMBAT, or by making your baseball bat more nifty
with VIBRA BLADE or MAGIC WEAPON. Or you can bite the bullet and reach for a defined ranged
supernatural attack form
Blast Powers: These are the most common attack forms in the game. Most of them cause physical damage.
You are launching bad news in the direction of another person. The more a blast power does, the more
expensive it is.
The most generic of these abilities is NRG BLAST, which
covers firing laser beams from your eyes, chucking fireballs
and letting loose with bolts of lightning. It’s consistent and
when not in use for projected attacks, it can boost your HTH
Blast Plus Mess is perhaps a more appropriate title. Many of
these are careers in and of themselves. ACID BLAST,
PLAGUE BLAST and POISON BLAST are not hero powers.
DIRECTIONAL FORCE is the ability to move things around
with your mind, effectively telekinesis. It also conveys a
defense and is a bit more fun than the average attack. MIND
BLAST bypasses most defenses. Although it may not lay out
roller skating rhino guy, it will get some hurt under his hide.
These related powers are for those heroes who don’t like being
outgunned. Each can generate a nearly limitless amount of damage
potential, although they take time to warm up.
These powers are specific to those characters who have a blasting things
at range specialty. Each can be particularly devastating in their own way.