Saturday, February 27, 2016

Making MHR Characters: Emplate (ANOHotMU #4)

Emplate is a mutant with fanged mouths in his palms who can turn invisible, teleport, absorb the strength of others, mimic other people's powers, read auras and form a gestalt with his two mutant sisters to form a more powerful mutant.

Screw you, 90s Marvel. Seriously. You and I are in a fight. You're terrible, and the reason no one likes you is because you're terrible.*

Anyhow, I think I've made a pretty cool character out of this dog's breakfast of an idea.**

* I know, not everything from 90s Marvel was terrible, but the terrible stuff was really terrible.
** Don't hate me if Emplate is your favourite Marvel character. He's just emblematic of everything I disliked about 90s Marvel.

Solo 1d10
Buddy 1d6
Team 1d8

Natural-Born Parasite
Travelled Too Far
Amateur Mystic

Powers Sets
Energy Vampire
Hand-Mouths 1d6
Leech 1d10
Mimic 1d8
Transmutation 1d10
SFX: Afflict - Add a 1d6 and step up your effect die by 1 when inflicting a draining-related complication on a target.
SFX: Minion Creation - If an opponent is stress out of combat, they gain the Mini-Emplate template.
SFX: Transformation - On a successful action that includes Leech against a target with the Mutant Limit, inflected stress is stepped back by 1, but activate the Traveller Power set.
Limit: Bred in the Bone - Emplate can only use Mimic to duplicate powers of targets on whom he’s inflicted physical stress.

Dimensional Teleport 1d10
Intangibility 1d10
Invisibility 1d10
Superhuman Durability 1d10
Limit: Mutant -  When affected by mutant-specific complications or tech, step up a dice in the doom pool or add 1d6 to the doom pool.
Limit: Not Of This Earth - Stress caused by effects related to breathing and respiration are stepped up by one.

Covert Expert 1d8
Crime Expert 1d8
Menace Expert 1d8
Mystic Expert 1d8

Enhanced Durability 1d8
Leech 1d8
SFX: Minion Creation - If an opponent is stress out of combat, they gain the Mini-Emplate template.
Limit: Not Of This Earth - Stress caused by effects related to breathing and respiration are stepped up by one.

I mean, seriously, look at this chucklenut. Could he be more 90s? Well, he does lack pouches.

Making MHR Characters: Elysius (ANOHotMU #4)

Elysius is a good example of the complexity and difficulty inherent in adapting long-running Marvel characters who haven't had a big presences on the universe - she's been, like, three different kinds of characters, and her power level has been affected at every turn.

When she first showed up, she was the equal of an Eternal of Titan. Not exactly something to brag about in the outer space of Marvel comics, where I'm pretty sure the Dominos delivery guy is a lost herald of Galactus or a Proemial God in disguise, but, still, pretty burly, enough to give Captain Marvel a run for her money, with mental powers, a boss alien ship and genetically-created griffins. Then she became his main squeeze and suddenly she was easily imperiled by, well, everything. When the writers remembered, she could hold her own, but often enough . . . not so much.

She next makes her big appearance during the Genis-Vell saga, where she's now a moderately powerful character, although again no match for someone with the last name "Marvel."

Let's put it this way - these are two pictures of the same character:
I can't find the art source on that saucy-looking picture, but it's Liefeld. C'mon, you know it is.

Anyhow, a character that changes this much and serves as basically a sexualized companion for a male main character is a bit of a challenge. I decided to stat her up more or less as I recall her being in her later appearances with Genis-Vell - physically powerful, but capable with her mental powers, especially in helping people find a mental balance.

Solo 1d8
Buddy 1d10
Team 1d6

Family First
Scarred by Loss
Warrior Woman

Powers Sets
Home-Grown Eternal
Enhanced Durability 1d8
Enhanced Speed 1d8
Enhanced Stamina 1d8
Mind Control 1d6
Superhuman Strength 1d10
Telepathy 1d8
SFX: Slightly immortal. Spend 1 PP to ignore physical stress.
SFX: Focus - If a pool includes a Home-Grown Eternal power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
SFX: Multipower - Use two or more Home-Grown Eternal powers in a single dice pool at -1 step for each additional power.
SFX: Soothing Thoughts - When Telepathy is included in a dice pool to reduce mental stress, increase the size of the effect die by 1.
Limit: Empathic - When you take stress related to or caused by a loved one or a relative, step up that stress by 1.

Combat Expert 1d8
Cosmic Expert 1d8
Psych Master 1d10
Vehicle Expert 1d8

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Making MHR Characters: Ego (ANOHotMU #4)

Aw, man.

In case you can't tell, I'm putting up the first few weeks of these builds quietly, not promoting them at all, so I can have at least a vague concept of what I'm doing before I open myself up to criticism by the greater gaming community. So far, I've only done two builds: a C-league mastermind and a C-league villain from the pages of a now-cancelled comic book. No harm, no foul.

This week? Ego. Ego the frickin' living planet.

Aw, man.

If I were better at this, I'd probably do something cool where Ego isn't statted up as a character but is instead a nested series of Scene Distinctions, or he's a series of encounters with the smaller pieces of him that eventually lead up to a big brawl in his brain. There are two problems with this - I don't know how to do the former, and the kind of people capable of the latter are, well, Galactus. And he usually loses.

Needless to say, this means I had to make Ego one bad mother.

The good news is that have at least a passing familiarity with the character from a variety of sources - the original Thor comics, a Marvel Adventures title, his appearance on the animated Avengers series, and a couple of issues of the time he spent hobnobbing with the Eternals of the Universe. I have at least a basic understanding of how he works, if not a perfect one.

Consequently, this time around I'm going to try writing up the History, Personality and Powers & Resources sections. The history section will only go up the end of the entry in the Official Handbook I'm working from.

(Note: I'm giving him Warp Flight because that makes him a more interesting villain - I know he's had that ability fairly rarely, but I think it works here. In some scenarios, I'd consider making the warp engine into its own Power Set, with a tendency to throw out complications.)

Solo 5d10
Buddy 3d6
Team 4d8

Giant Ego
Power Hungry
Slightly Crazy

The Living Planet
Appendages 1d12
Biosphere Control 1d12
Energy Blast 1d12
Godlike Durability 1d12
Godlike Stamina 1d12
Godlike Strength 1d12
Shapeshifting 1d12
Warp Flight 1d12
SFX: Fear My Great Power - Spend a die from the doom pool to ignore any stress from any source.
SFX: I Am Everywhere - Add a 1d10 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: I Draw Your Strength From Your Bones - Whenever you inflict physical stress, step back any stress or trauma by 1.
SFX: I Give You Eden - If you target emotional or social stress with Biosphere Control, increase the effect die by 1.
SFX: I Summon My Defenders - When you create a Biosphere Control stunt, you can create an antibody instead. If the effect die of the stunt is above 1d12, you can create an additional antibody.
SFX: I Will Turn Your Power Against You - On a successful reaction against an energy attack, convert your opponent’s effect die into a The Living Planet stunt or step up a The Living Planet power by +1 for your next action. Spend a die from the doom pool to use this stunt if your opponent’s action succeeds. If the reaction was against a cosmic energy attack, you do not need to spend a die from the doom pool if your opponent’s action succeeds, and step up your effect die by +1 on your next action.
SFX: None Shall Harm Me - When you would take physical stress, spend a die from the doom pool to prevent that stress and immediately put an antibody into play.
Limit: No! It Cannot Be! - When Biosphere Control is shut down, shut down The Living Planet power set and add 1d12 to the doom pool. Activate an opportunity to reactivate Biosphere Control and The Living Planet power set.

Psychic Resistance 1d12
Telepathy 1d12
Total Awareness 1d12
SFX: I Am Everywhere - Ego can use Telepathy on anyone and everyone he is aware of on his surface.
SFX: Vicious Mockery - 1s and 2s count as opportunities when rolling against Ego.
SFX: You Dare Mock Me! - Add a die to the doom pool to put your emotional stress die into the doom pool and step it up 1.
Limit: If any Ego power is shut down, shut down all powers and Ego becomes inert.

Specialties: Cosmic Grandmaster 1d12, Menace Grandmaster 1d12, Tech Master 1d10

Like the Elders of the Universe, Galactus and other beings of cosmic consonance, Ego is either almost as old as the universe, or older. His interactions with humanity have only beginning relatively recently, when Thor went to his apparent home in the Black Galaxy and persuaded him - by force - to not venture toward Earth.
Despite this, Ego has attacked Earth, both directly and indirectly, several times in the ensuing decades, although these intrusions have always been fended off by some combination of Earth’s mightiest. Most recently, he was among those who fought Thanos during the mad Titan’s latest bid to destroy and/or conquer all of reality.

Ego has earned his sobriquet - he’s immensely prideful, hatefully arrogant and cruel. That great, thundering ego has proved to be his greatest weakness as he often underestimates the power of the mortals he interacts with. He’s also duplicitous and untrustworthy, to the extent that people are more likely to side with Galactus when those two come to blows.
On occasion he’s shown a more tender and nurturing side, taking in refugees or stray life forms from the cosmos, but soon enough these moods turn and he wipes his biosphere clean and starts again.

Powers and Resources
As a planet, Ego doesn’t really lack for much. He has total control over every inch of his surface which he frequently uses to create “antibodies” to harry and attack foes on his surface, and cosmic power so tremendous it made Galactus feel like a “mote.” The scale of his power is pretty well incalculable, but he isn’t without weaknesses - most of the time he lacks his own source of propulsion and has been sabotaged in the past by simply guiding him to a dead zone of space and abandoning him there.
He has few allies at this point, although the Elders of the Universe have worked with him in the past and might do so in future, if it suits one of their far-reaching and complex designs.

Solo 1d6
Buddy 1d8
Team 1d10

Mindless Brute

Made Of His Flesh
Superhuman Durability 1d10
Superhuman Stamina 1d10
Superhuman Strength 1d10
SFX: Durable - Add a die to the doom pool to add your physical stress die to the doom pool.
Limit: Bound to the Planet - Antibodies can’t act against anyone that isn’t in Ego’s atmosphere.

Limit: Natural Extensions - When Ego is shut down, shut down all antibodies. When Ego takes stress, all antibodies take stress.