Saturday, June 25, 2016

Making MHR Characters ANOHotMU:U #2: AIM

"Have you tried turning the
Ultra-Negalaser off and
then turning it on again?"
I am firmly convinced that when the Marvel writers came up with AIM, which stands for Advanced Idea Mechanics, they legitimately had no idea what they were doing.

Well, not quite true. I think that Marvel knew that despite the many secret evil societies they'd created, none of them were quite tech-focused enough. I mean, yes, the Maggia use technology to accomplish their ends, ditto Hydra and the Secret Empire, but they don't seem like the kind of organizations that'd be big on having an extensive R&D division.* So, yeah, AIM, aka Advanced Idea Mechanics makes sense.

They make your doomsday weapons and your killer robots for you, you pay them for it. They're like Geek Squad for supervillains. And they wear incredibly dorky uniforms.

Recently they've changed things up so that they don't look like Day-Glo yellow beekeepers in baggy pants, but they've more or less kept those enormous rectangular helmets and that's just not a good look. I mean, it really does somehow say, "I work for a mad scientist," though.

They have a lot of minor and major villains associated with them - Super Adaptoid, MODOK, Man-Killer, Grey Gargoyle, Red Skull, Hate Monger, etc. - but they really don't have a single schtick that holds them together apart from the beekeeper helmets and general "research and development for evil" thing.

They are, however, the single most successful evil organization in the entire Marvel universe. No, really.

Look, their goal is the promotion of science, by any means necessary, and the development of unheralded technology and innovation, no matter how immoral its purpose, right? Well, they've been a resounding success at that. Sure, they've gotten their butts righteously kicked by every hero who's ever pulled on a pair of Underoos, but you can develop brain-meltingly awesome robots without some sacrifices.

So, presented for your pleasure, three separate mini-entries.

* Hydra would later on, of course, be revealed to be absolutely monstrous in its size and influence - a number of people equal to the total population of Illinois have to be working for Hydra at this point.

These are the guys that pour of the woodwork by the dozens whenever the good guys get close to the final goal. Throwing a few of these mobs into a fight gives everyone something to do and put a nice brake on the action because they're ultimately pretty easy to take out, but work almost as a scene distinction.

AIM Soldiers (Mob)
Team 4d8

Poor Peripheral Vision

AIM Technology
Superhuman Durability  1d8
Weapons                      1d8
SFX: Focus - If a pool includes an AIM Technology power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
Limit: Gear - Shutdown AIM Technology and add a die to the doom pool. Activate an opportunity to recover.

So, your heroes have fought past waves of AIM soldiers and a couple of low-level supervillains for hire and are now at the heart of the complex, ready to go up against a solo boss. Who then cackle and says something alone the lines of, "You thought you I would face you alone? Foolish heroes!", as a couple of giant, misshapen dudes (who've nevertheless jammed their mutated tushes into a pair of slacks, for some reason) enter through the gathering fog. Ugh. AIM super-soldiers. I hate AIM super-soldiers.

AIM Super-Soldiers
Solo      1d4
Buddy   1d6
Team     1d8

AIM Super Treatments
Enhanced Stamina          1d8
Enhanced Strength         1d8
Superhuman Durability   1d10
SFX: Berserk - Add a die from the doom pool to one or more attack actions. Step up the doom pool die by +1 for each action; return it to the doom pool when you're done.
SFX: Uncontrollable Rage - Step up or double any AIM Super Treatments power for one action. If the action fails, add a die to the doom pool equal to the normal rating of your power die.
Limit: Critically Unstable - When you fail a reaction to avoid mental or social stress, step up the effect die by 1 to add a die to the doom pool.

Combat Master    1d8
Menace Master    1d8

Curses! Your villain has been foiled! After a few more adventures, she's back, and this time she's brought serious back-up - cybernetic AIM soldiers that work in a hive mind and fire lasers from their fists. Uh oh.

MODOC (Military Operatives Designed Only for Combat) Squad
Team 4d10

AIM Cybernetics
Energy Blasts             1d8
Enhanced Durability   1d8
Enhanced Speed        1d8
Enhanced Stamina      1d8
Enhanced Strength     1d8
Weapons                   1d8
SFX: Area Attack - Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Adaptive Tactics - Spend a die from the doom pool to use your opponent's stress die when you target them with a dice pool. Do not step up the stress die when you return it.
SFX: Burst Fire - Step up or double an Energy Blasts die against a single target. Remove the highest rolling die and add 3 dice for your total.
SFX: Hive Mind - Use two or more AIM Cybernetics powers in a single dice pool at -1 step for each additional power.
Limit: Cybernetic - Add a die to the doom pool when targeted by Milestones or tech that target cybernetic organisms.

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