Saturday, April 16, 2016

Making MHR Characters: Don Fortunato (ANOHotMU #4)

This is what fighting Don Fortunato should
feel like, in your soul.
Don Fortunato, like most Italian people in Marvel Comics, exists so that The Punisher has someone to shoot at. I mean, sorry if that sounds kind of crass or anything, but it's pretty much a truism that if you're a Marvel character and your last name's Italian, you're either a minor character, or you work for one of the many, many organized crime syndicates on Earth-616, and one of the syndicates that's basically the Mafia with the serial numbers filed off.

Not all of these people are shot at by the Punisher or, at least that wasn't how things always were. Some times you might get beaten up by Daredevil or Spiderman!

Seriously, though, Don Fortunato is pretty much your standard Mafia boss and is something like a nonagenarian. That makes it challenging to make HIM a challenge. If done so here by giving him the ability to easily create assets and stunts that can serve to protect him - the way I see it, the fight against Don Fortunato actually starts once you get inside the perimeter of his estate, with the Don throwing gunmen at the good guys while the good guys attack his mental stress track by drawing. Ever. Closer.

Don Fortunato
Single 1d6
Buddy 1d8
Team 1d8

Always Bring Backup
Brutal and Cruel

Mob Boss
“Angel” 1d8
Guns 1d6
The Boys 1d8
SFX: “Get ‘Em, Angel” - Add 1d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in the pool. Increase physical stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: Focus - If a pool includes a Mob Boss die, you may replace two dice of the same size with a die of +1 step.
SFX: Made Man - When rolling to create a Crime stunt or asset, add 1d6 to the roll and step up the effect die by +1.
Limit: Ravages of Age - Add a die to the doom pool to increase physical stress or trauma by +1.

Business Master 1d10
Combat Expert 1d8
Crime Master 1d10
Menace Master 1d10

Making MHR Characters: Forge (ANOHotMU #4)

Are there better pictures of Forge?
Yes. Are there other pictures that
make him look this much like a Village
People refugee doing a terrible
version of the Hand Jive? No. You're
Forge is a character I never really knew a whole lot about until relatively recently - I'd heard of him back in the 80, naturally, and knew that he was somehow responsible for Storm losing her powers for a while, and that he eventually lead the X-Men to their (temporary) doom in order to destroy an ancient enemy he'd actually brought into the world. He sounded like a jerk.

I mean, seriously, if a guy came to you and had on his resume, "Took away another person's abilities/Responsible for death of a dozen people who were helping me fix my mistake," you wouldn't hire him. Or maybe you would, if you're Magneto.

But, anyway, Forge sounded like he was kind of a jerk.

I got back into the X-Men for about a year after they came back from the dead, and then about another year later I gave up collecting comics for a good long while - my allowance was going toward tabletop RPG paraphenalia, I was kind of burnt out on Marvel and DC was not at its peak, shall we say.

A few years later I picked up one of those omnibus, catch-up-on-the-last-decade-of-our-heroes comics and it painted Forge in a totally different light.

Forge didn't actually make Storm lose her powers, he just invented a power-removing device specifically to help people whose mutations were painful, crippling or otherwise made life measurably worse, and she got caught in the crossfire when Gyrich* and he were wrestling for the device.

And as for The Adversary, well, it was related to some dark shadows of his past, but it wasn't entirely his fault, and he was really pretty up-front about it being a suicide mission to drive it back.

Later, he went pretty crazy, but it was the 90s. Everyone was doing it, and he got better.

Add to this his rather nifty power set - an intuitive ability to create technology - and you've got a pretty cool character.

* Seriously, someone needs to send Gyrich into a black hole forever.

Solo 1d6
Buddy 1d8
Team 1d10

Damaged Psyche
Magic Vs. Technology
Memories Of War

Cheyenne Magic
Enhanced Durability 1d8
Sorcery Expert 1d8
SFX: Dangerous - Add a 1d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in a pool by -1. Step up mental stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Soul Draining - On a failed Cheyenne Magic roll, Forge automatically gains the effect die as a related complication.

Intuitive Inventor
Machine Senses 1d8
Tech 1d8
SFX: Inner Workings - Add a 1d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when using Intuitive Inventor to create assets.
Limit: Mutant - Add a die to the Doom Pool when affected by mutant-specific Milestones and tech.

Combat Expert 1d8
Medical Expert 1d8
Mystic Expert 1d8
Tech Expert 1d8
Vehicle Expert 1d8

Making MHR Characters: Flying Dutchman's Ghost (ANOHotMU #4)

In grand keeping with the Marvel tradition of getting their source material totally wrong and later attempting to retcon it, the Flying Dutchman's Ghost clearly and obviously originally referred to the ghost itself - a dutch sea captain who was nabbed by Mephisto - and only later was it "made clear" that obviously they meant that he was a ghost from the ship, the Flying Dutchman, just like the legend.

You know the legend, right? No? Okay, it's a pretty quick one. When things are about to go terribly south for a ship, there are various omens one can encounter. Among them is a large seagoing vessel, flying through the air, signalling danger and despair for men lost at see.

Less "terrifying spirit," and
more "ghost who forgets
if he turned off the stove."
It was an ill omen to see the Flying Dutchman, for sure, but it was because . . . well, look at that picture. Do you think that little tiny boat is really looking forward to getting swallowed up in those swells? As a nautical tale, the Dutchman was pretty neutral and it wasn't until landlubbers got a hold of it that they had to people it with malicious ghosts.

What's weird about the Silver Surfer's weird version of the story is that Marvel had already used the actual Flying Dutchman in a previous story.

Anyhow, in Marvel, the here unnamed ship was lost with all hands when her captain took them into a perilous storm when his lust for treasure overwhelmed his sensibility. When they died, Death took her crew into her arms, but sent the captain to Limbo because he was mean, I guess. Look, this is from the timeframe when Stan Lee was creating every other character in the Marvel Universe, and they couldn't all be brilliant gems.

So, Mephisto grabs his ghost out of Limbo, empowers him with his demonic naughtiness, and sets him after the Silver Surfer because Mephisto was in the middle of this really great game of cribbage or something, I guess. They fight for a bit, Silver Surfer has a sad when he finds out the captain's whole story and the ghost is dispelled when the Surfer sheds a tear for him.

Exorcism through emo. Who knew?

Anyway, it's a fairly typically weird Silver Surfer story, but as a bad guy he's kind of cool and compelling. I like the names I gave for his SFX here, and I think I've made someone who could at least contend with Surfer.

Flying Dutchman’s Ghost
Solo 1d8
Buddy 1d6
Team 1d10

Driven By Greed
Slave of Mephisto
Tempter of Souls

Ghostly Form
Flight 1d8
Intangibility 1d10
Invisibility 1d10
SFX: Pass Straight Through - Spend a die from the Doom Pool to avoid taking physical stress or trauma unless caused by a magical source.
Limit: Dishonorable Death - Step up mental stress or trauma when caused by reminders of his mortal life.

Infernal Pact
Claws 1d8
Enhanced Strength 1d8
Eye Blasts 1d10
Godlike Durability 1d12
Sorcery Mastery 1d10
SFX: Burning Hatred - Step up or double an Infernal Pact power against a single target. Remove the highest rolling die and add 3 dice for your total.
SFX: Reflected Evil - On a reaction against physical attacks, inflict physical stress with your effect die on a success. Spend a die from the Doom Pool to counter on a failure.
SFX: Spite: Add 1d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting a Possession complication on a target
Limit: Devil-Bound - Add a die to the Doom Pool and step up physical stress by +1 when caused by a holy or divine source.

Crime Expert 1d8
Menace Master 1d10

Mystic Expert 1d8

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Making MHR Characters: Flag Smasher (ANOHotMU #4)

Flag Smasher is several kinds of dorky, and I'm not surprised that he doesn't seem to have a definitive origin story or a clear place in the Marvel universe.

This ISN'T Space Ghost. Just
clearing that up
I mean, his schtick is, in essence, that he hates countries, and he wants to get rid of them by . . . umm, taking captives? Blowing stuff up? It's like the Underpants Gnomes from South Park - he's basically a terrorist, constantly trying to kill people and unleash near-global destruction, but there never seems to be much of an effort to make his plans line up with his end goal. Although I suppose that a world without people in it is technically a world without countries. So there's that.

If you guess that his primary opponent is Captain America, you get no bonus points and you should hand your head in shame for thinking that someone would even consider congratulating you for that. Seriously, did you think it would be Major Mapleleaf? El Aguilar? Sabra?

Oh, man, some day I'm going to get to stat Major Mapleleaf.

Anyhow, back to Flag Smasher - the one thing he has going for him is that he has an outfit that works for him - ULTIMATUM. Technically, that should have periods between each letter but, no, they aren't THAT cool.

Having an organization at his beck and call gives you the option of creating hordes of bad guys for the good guys to fight against, which is good because Flag Smasher really isn't that durable a villain.

Flag Smasher
Solo 1d8
Buddy 1d6
Team 1d10

By Any Means Necessary
Fractious Leader

Enhanced Durability 1d8
Guns 1d8
Spiked Mace 1d8
SFX: Focus - If a pool includes an ULTIMATUM Gear die, you may replace two dice of the same size with a die +1 step larger.
SFX: ”I’ll Be Back!” - If Flag Smasher is physically stressed out of a scene and there is a 1d12 in the Doom Pool, he escapes the scene and takes no further stress or trauma.
SFX: Light Resistant Lenses - Spend a die from the Doom Pool to ignore physical stress, trauma or complications caused by light attacks.
Limit: Gear - Add a die to the doom pool and shutdown ULTIMATUM Gear. Activate an opportunity to recover.

Acrobatics Expert 1d8
Combat Master 1d10
Covert Expert 1d8
Menace Expert 1d8
Vehicle Expert 1d8

Making MHR Characters: Fixer (ANOHotMU #4)

Paul Norbert Ebersol has been around for a while in the Marvel universe, and yet he's very much the same guy he was at the start - a guy who's really good at making incredibly complicated machines out of thin air, has a genuinely unpleasant demeanor and who just plain loves committing crimes.

There's something to be said for the classics.

This is, however, the more modern, Tech Pack, Thunderbolts-y Fixer. He's pretty potent, with a lot of depth in his one power set, but nonetheless I think he works well.

By the way, I can hear you complaining, "Buddy is 1d6? WTH? Do you not remember his long-term partnership with Mentallo?" To which I respond, go back and read about it, then come back and your case. Yeah, they worked together for a long time, and they were terrible. That and, well, Affiliations change over time anyway.

What I'm most looking forward to is building Forge - I think he's coming up next week - and comparing him to Fixer. Honestly, Fixer should blow Forge out of the water as the latter's claim to fame is that he ruins everything he touches by trying to improve it.

Solo 1d8
Buddy 1d6
Team 1d10

Natural Inventor
Thinks on His Feet
Unapologetic Ass

Tech Pack
Energy Blast 1d10
Enhanced Durability 1d8
Enhanced Reflexes 1d8
Enhanced Stamina 1d8
Enhanced Strength 1d8
Gadgets 1d8
Rocket Pack 1d8
SFX: More Gadgets - Add a 1d6 and step up your effect die when using Tech Pack to create assets that are gadget-based.
SFX: More Power - Shutdown a Tech Pack power to step up another Tech Pack power by +1. Recover power by activating an opportunity.
SFX: Multipower - Use two or more Tech Pack powers in a single dice pool at -1 step for each additional power.
Limit: Gear - Shutdown Tech Pack and add a die to the Doom Pool. Activate an opportunity to recover.

Crime Expert 1d8
Science Expert 1d8
Tech Master 1d10
Vehicle Master 1d10

Making MHR Characters: Richard Fisk (ANOHotMU #4)

Well, it's been a couple of weeks, but we're back at it. We're about halfway through the book with the week's entries, and I've learned a few things:
1. Less can be more, especially for a villain or character who isn't the main focus of the scene.
2. If a power has a 1d6 listed, justify it.
3. Make characters you want to play.

Our first character tonight is one of my favourite Spidey villains: Richard Fisk. Yeah, I know, not a popular choice, but I really like the guy. Well, not in the sense that I think he's a misunderstood hero or something, but in the sense that he's compelling and I want to see more of him. Complex, many layered and (checks Marvel Wiki article) dead? Ah, man, Marvel, why?

Anyhow, this write-up is from his time as Blood Rose, both because I think it's his coolest costume (although I can't find a good image online) and because it's a useful one for the purposes of statting. Like I said above, less is more with some villains, and Richard Fisk was only occasionally the focus of a Spider story, and even then it had a lot more to do with his many, many Specialties than his acumen as a fighter or anything.

Richard Fisk
Solo 1d8
Buddy 1d6
Team 1d10


Blood Rose Costume
Gun 1d6
Enhanced Durability 1d8
SFX: Environment Suit - Spend a die from the doom pool to ignore physical stress or trauma caused by a gas, poison, suffocation or other similar attack.
SFX: Focus - In a pool including a Blood Rose costume power, replace two dice of equal size with one die of +1 step.
Limit: Gear - Shut down Blood Rose Costume and step up or add 1d6 to the Doom Pool. Spend 1d6 from the doom pool to recover.

Business Expert 1d8
Combat Expert 1d8
Covert Expert 1d8
Crime Master 1d10
Menace Master 1d8
Psych Expert 1d8
Tech Expert 1d8