Saturday, August 6, 2016

Making MHR Characters ANOHotMU:U #2: Hulk (2099 A.D.)

Ceci n'est pas une Hulk.
The only 2099 AD titles I bought were the first 3 issues of Spiderman 2099. Miguel O'Hara continues to be my favourite of the various alt-Spideys that have been kited over the years, and I'm glad to see that he's had a chance to come back.

Hulk 2099?

Ugh. I read a copy of it in the comic book store, dodging between aisles and periodically rifling through something else to cover my tracks. The Earth-616 Hulk was currently going through a plotline where he was affiliated with The Pantheon, and was basically a group title, which was dreadful, so I thought this might be just what I needed to soothe my fix for the big green guy.

It wasn't. This Hulk is a . . . knight? Or something? His rage rises the more his honour is questioned, or maybe it's the same as The Hulk and he's just honorable, but it's still just plain weird. And his alter ego is a smug jerk that I really just wanted to punch in the face. I mean, I was never a big fan of Banner, but I never actually wanted harm to come to him.

Anyhow, this is a version of the Hulk that can die in a fire. Uhh, I mean that literally, he actually died in a fire, and I had to emulate that somehow. So, he's definitely tankish, but not at all undefeatable.

Hulk 2099
Solo    1d10
Buddy 1d6
Team   1d8

Driven by Honour
Fueled by Rage
Split Personality

The Hulk
Enhanced Reflexes 1d8
Enhanced Senses    1d8
Godlike Durability  1d12
Godlike Stamina     1d12
Godlike Strength    1d12
Jumping                 1d10
Psychic Resistance 1d8
SFX: Bash - Step up or double Godlike Strength against a single target. Remove the highest rolling die and add 3 dice for your total.
SFX: Crush - Add a 1d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Immunity - Spend 1 PP to ignore physical stress, trauma or complications from poison, disease, aging or radiation.
SFX: Invulnerability - Spend 1 PP to ignore physical stress or trauma unless caused by another gamma-irradiated foe.
SFX: Second Wind - Before you make an action including The Hulk, you may move your physical stress to the doom pool and step up The Hulk power by +1 for this action.
SFX: Smash - Add 1d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in the pool by -1. Step up physical stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Conscious activation - If stressed out, asleep or unconscious, shutdown The Hulk. Recover it when stress is recovered, or when you awak. IF mental trauma is taken, shut down The Hulk until trauma is recovered.

Making MHR Characters ANOHotMU:U #2: Hitman

He and Gun Runner are grimace
buddies, though.
A nice palate cleanser from the train wreck that is Gun Runner, Hitman is a tough-as-nails mercenary and assassin with a heart of steel, and manages to do so with just a handful of guns, exactly zero distracting scars and who's mostly known for a four-issue plotline that basically launched the modern notion of Frank Castle, The Punisher, as a guy who, well, punishes criminals.

Hitman (Burt Kenyon) and Castle met in Vietnam because of course they did, where Kenyone saved him from a group of Vietcong soldiers, fighting them off singlehandedly, and establishing that Castle now owed him a life at some point in the future.

After the war, the two men took very different paths. Castle had a good life, settled down his family, while Kenyon took his military skills and used them to become a, well, hitman. And a good one. Years later, Castle was once again playing catch-up with his old buddy, trying to right the wrongs of the world by killing off one criminal at a time, when Kenyon took an assignment to kill Spider-Man. After a lot of back and forth gunfire and a few explosions, it culminated with Spider-Man and Kenyon dangling from the Statue of Liberty.

Castle saved Spider-Man, and Kenyon called them even. And fell to his death.

It's a great plotline, with a good, believable villain with an understandable motive and a connection to several of the characters. It's one of my favourite Spider-Man plotlines, actually. Hitman is a pretty good threat here, but it should be kept in mind that he was always prepared with a lot of traps, escape plans and similar tomfoolery - either the Doom Pool should be a bit higher for this one, or he should get some special out of the Scene Distinctions.

Solo     1d8
Buddy  1d6
Team    1d4

Expert Marksman
Killer for Hire

Mercenary Gear
Guns                         1d8
Enhanced Durability  1d8
Weapons                  1d8
SFX: Focus - If a pool contains a Mercenary gear power,  you may replace two dice of equal size for one die at +1.
Limit: Empty Clip - Add a die tot he doom pool and shutdown Guns. Activate an opportunity to recover.

Mercenary Training
Enhanced Speed      1d8
Enhanced Stamina   1d8
SFX: Double Down - Spend a die from the doom pool to reroll when using a Mercenary Training Power.
Limit: Honor Code - Increase mental stress by +1 when caused by something that requires you to violate a contract or break an oath.

Combat Expert    1d8
Covert Expert      1d8
Crime Expert       1d8
Menace Expert    1d8
Tech Expert         1d8
Vehicle Expert     1d8

Making MHR Characters ANOHotMU:U #2: Gun Runner

Gun-Runner is everything that's went wrong in the 90s.
"Good, bad? I'm the guy with the
antigravity ponytail."

His visual design is over-the-top, with pouches, belts and straps festooning every plausible part of him, and a power mullet tied up into little corn-row like pontytails. And, of course, face scars and tattoos, just enough of them for the penciler and the inker to screw up from page to page.

Oh, and if you guessed if there was some clumsy Christian symbolism to the design, you're right! A scare over his chest in the shape of a heart.

His name is, frankly, terrible. Seriously, gun runners are generally not good people, and the few who are, aren't him. He's basically a guy who runs, and who has a gun.

His storyline is wholly unoriginal, with the name of a few sci-fi tropes filed off and renamed.

The dialogue and the action are astoundingly poorly done.

I sincerely hope that before they gave a pen and paper back to Dan Abnett for Civil War II, they had him sit in a corner and think about what he'd done here.

Still, the idea's an all right one. A guy is artificially enhanced* to fight an alien race that threatens to, well, make the universe boring? With mystic goo? Or something? I dunno, I read three issues slightly out of order and it was mostly grimacing while brandishing improbable weapons. Still, outer-space freedom fighter, enhanced with cyborg body parts - this can work.

* And what are these artificially enhanced fighters called? . . . The Enhanced. Dan, back to your corner. Back.

Gun Runner
Solo    1d8
Buddy 1d6
Team   1d10

Enemy of the Cynodd
Old Soldier

Enhanced Modifications
Enhanced Durability   1d8
Enhanced Senses       1d8
Enhanced Speed        1d8
Enhanced Strength     1d8
Superhuman Reflexes 1d10
Superhuman Stamina 1d10
SFX: Burst - Step up or double an Enhanced die against a single target. Remove the highest rolling die and add 3 dice for your total.
SFX: Focus - If a poole includes an Enhanced power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
Limit: Tactical - Gain 1 PP to turn one Enhanced power into a complication.

Hand Cannon
Weapon      1d10
SFX: Area Attack - Add a 1d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Overload - Step up or double any Hand Cannon 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: Gear - Gain 1 PP and shutdown Hand Cannon. Take an action vs. the doom pool to recover.

Combat Master   1d10
Covert Expert     1d8
Crime Expert      1d8
Menace Expert   1d8
Tech Expert        1d8
Vehicle Master    1d10