Showing posts with label mutants masterminds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mutants masterminds. Show all posts

Friday, December 9, 2016

Green Ronin Holiday Sale on DC Adventures

Spend any time here and you will know that I am a HUGE DC Comics fan.  Yeah like many others in the 80s I read the X-Men and of course Spider-Man before that.  I know Marvel, but my love is DC.

So it is with some joy (and some anxiety) that I let you know about a huge sale Green Ronin is having on their DC Adventures RPG.  All four books are on sale for $5.00 each.  Not a bad deal really.  Scratch that, that's an excellent deal.

DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
This is the core book and the only one needed to play the game.  It is based on Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition, which is also a fantastic game in it's own right.  The book is jam packed with great DC art.  All of the art and the write-ups are pre New 52 and pre Convergence.  But you know what, who cares!  This is DC which means Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Booster Gold! (ok so maybe Booster is not a reason to buy this...actually Booster is not in this book iirc).
You can plan in any DC world you like.  Hell you can (and should really) play in the future with Terry McGinnis as Batman. Mix in Oliver Queen from the Arrow TV show, Isis from the 70s "The Power of Isis" show and the Birds of Prey from their short lived TV show and do what you like.
All you need is a d20.  I personally like to use a clear green one since it looks like Kryptonite.

DC ADVENTURES Heroes & Villains, Vol. 1
DC ADVENTURES Heroes & Villains, Vol. 2
The A to Z guide of heroes, villians, organizations and even some places of the DC Universe.
Very nearly everyone is here in one form or another.

DC ADVENTURES Universe
The "world book" or campaign guide for your games.  Great in that has some stats but it can't cover nearly 80 years worth of DC history, nor does it try.  It focuses on the then most current version of the DC Universe (Pre-New52 and just after the "Darkest Night" arc).
If you have read a DC comic then you know what you are in for. If you have only seen the Batman movies then you are in for a treat to a much larger and much more interesting world.

Not sure if this is the game for you?  Then try the DC ADVENTURES Quick Start PDF.

Now. I have heard a rumor that Green Ronin will be ending their DC license.  That is really too bad, but not unexpected.  Licenses cost money and the product doesn't always reach enough people to make it worth while.  I have (personal) experiences where a licensed product doesn't sell to the larger fan base of the license.  But no worries since I have my books and my PDFs.  The DC ADVENTURES game is also 100% compatible with (the same game as) Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition.  So as long as we have that then we can play all we like.
Maybe Freedom City can be part of YOUR DC Universe.

I have spent a lot of time with this game and plan to spend a lot more.
Here are some character write-ups I have done over the years.
I have two "DC Universe" games I want to try out sometime.  Both are mostly based on the current TV universe (aka the "Arrowverse").  One is the "The Incredibly Awesome (and Not At All Made-Up) Adventures of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle!"  the other takes place in that universe but is more a rif on the "I, Vampire" storyline of the New 52 comic era.  The "big bad" of this one is going to be Dracula, something I have always wanted to do.  I'll either use my version of Dracula (which I'll need to update to 3e) or the official M&M3 one, but upgraded.
I have always wanted to use Dracula as my big bad, especially against "street level" heroes.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bathory for M&M3

As many of you all know I am huge fan of the Erzsébet Báthory story/mthyos.  Well, fan is an od word for a woman that mostly likely killed hundreds of young girls.  But you know what I mean.

Anyway there is a new product out now adding her to the Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition game and you all also know what a fan I am of that!

Bathory - AoV Solo (M&M3e) from Xion Studios is now out.

Here is my review:
--
Vampires have an odd role to play in a supers game, something this book recognizes.
This takes one of the most iconic vampires in myth and one of the most notorious real-life killer and adds her to the Mutants & Masterminds 3.0 game.
The author gives us an  interesting back story that should be familiar to most anyone with an interest in vampires.  There is a new, more up-to-date backstory of her activities from 2001 and on.

The crunch part, her stats and powers are good and they look "right" to me.
There is also a template for a Bathory-lineage vampire, which is a good one to use in a game.  Her PL is only 9, which makes her a good threat against normal humans or PL5 young supers.

Her PL is 12. That puts her at the same level I would expect.

I am not 100% sold on her being in a Goth Metal Band myself, but it certainly looks like it works here.

6 pages: cover art, condensed OGL statement and a lot of stuff to use in your game.  You are getting a lot for your buck here.
--

So yeah I am going to give this one a go.   I have stated up Elizabeth many times including Mutants & Masterminds 2nd ed, so if I use her again I might stick with my own backstory.  I DO like the idea of a vampire fronted goth band.  Maybe I will save that for another vampire.

For your enjoyment here are the stats for Erzsébet Báthory other games.  Mine are a little higher, but that is ok.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monster Monday round up

The first unofficial Monstrous Monday just happened (don't worry, you are only required to post on Monday October 29th for the bloghop) and we have some great monsters here at the Other Side and elsewhere!
Did I miss any?  I thought about trying to pick my favorite, but these are all so good.

I am so pleased with this turn out.   While these are mostly RPG-focused I do want to remind everyone that your post doesn't have to be RPG related to be in the bloghop.

Looking forward to more!

  MONSTROUS MONDAY!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Zatannurday: DC Adventures

I really enjoy the DC Adventures RPG from Green Ronin.

It is not the best Supers RPG I have ever played, but it is certainly right up there.  It is quite a bit of fun and based on the same rules as Mutants & Masterminds. (For the record, I think I enjoy Mutants & Masterminds 2n

Not a lot of material has come out for it yet as compared to the old DC Heroes or even the various Marvel Games.  But that is ok with me.  I enjoy the DC Universe so much more.

So far we have three main products:

DC ADVENTURES Hero's Handbook
The main core rules book.

DC ADVENTURES Heroes & Villains, Vol. 1 and
DC ADVENTURES Heroes & Villains, Vol. 2
Details of all the heroes and villains (or at least the major ones).

Of course all the new M&M 3rd edition materials can work with this.  In particular I found these very useful to help flesh out her world:
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #12: Magic Powers
Mutants & Masterminds Power Profile #13: Illusion Powers

And of course my favorite villain, Dracula.

Zatanna is featured in both the Hero's Handbook and Heroes & Villains Vol. 2.

Honestly, I love these books, even if I don't get much of a chance to play.  They remind me of the old Marvel Phile in Dragon mag and the Who's Who in The DC Universe.


I love how it describes her other costume more "traditional" than the tux and fishnets.

Reading this I had forgotten about "Bewitched".  After reading the Books of Magic, I don't think she really "hangs out" there, but is at least known.  Bewitched would be a great location in any game. Putting it in San Fran in my games would ad least gather the attention of the Charmed Ones, but in a DC/M&M game leaving  it at 666 Haight St. Though that is a real address. It would have to be like 12 Grimmauld Place in the Harry Potter books.  Magical types can see it, but the mundanes can't.

Just wish I had more time to game!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Zatannurday: Hero Clix!

I really enjoy my minis for Fantasy RPGs.

I also enjoy them for Supers games, I just don't have as many.
I do have some HeroClix.  Ok, I have (or rather had) 2.

I stopped by my favorite local game store and saw they had some new ones, so I bought one.
Guess what I got?


A Justice League Dark Zatanna!  I was hoping for this but really did not expect it.


She looks cool next to my classic Zatanna.


And Raven. That is all three of the HeroClix I own.  I just need the other Zatanna one.


They look pretty cool next to my Little Witches and Lego Witch.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dracula: Lord of the Vampires, Threat Report

Mutants & Masterminds Threat Report #43: Dracula

I really like these M&M Threat Reports.  They are a quick and easy way to add a villain to your game in a second.
What I like about these is they remind me so much of the old Chill supplements and the Con X ones.  Not that I Am saying they are copies, far from it! But rather all three games went to the same well and each came back with something a little different, and each one was very cool for their own game.

So of course I had to get this one on my favorite villain of all time, Dracula.

The vampire lord is presented with stats for M&M3, as well as some plot hooks for adding him to your game.  Included is his "classical" history and personality profile.  His powers are also discussed, which is nice since the new M&M3 book does not have a Vampire Lord like the old 2nd ed book did.

My only complaint about this one.  Dracula in the books was immune to the effects of sunlight.  He should be unique in this regard.

I would have given him the complication Powerless during the day.  It would have added some nice flavor AND been a big surprise to the players. I have used Dracula in every game I have played and the look on player's faces when he walks out into the sunlight and then grabs them by throat is PRICELESS.

I like the Plot Hooks and the "Power in the Blood" is a great idea.  You could use it with Dracula or even some new vampire upstart.

Since M&M3 is the same system as DC Adventures then this is also perfect for that.

Also they should edit the boiler-plate credits and licensee page for this one. Dracula can't be Product Identity.  His history in the M&M universe is, but his "real world" history can't be.

But all in all a great product.

You can see my M&M 2nd Ed version here: http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2010/05/dracula-mutants-masterminds.html


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Modern Systems, Part 2

So.

I am burned out on Unisystem.  There are a few very good reasons that I just don't want to get into now, but the bottom line is the same.  I am burned out on it and what to try something else.

Not just play or run, but write about. Maybe even publish somethings for it.

I have had in my mind now for a while the idea that I want a game that would simulate modern supernatural/urban horror, and there are a lot of systems that can do this well, Unisystem at the top of the list really.  But I want to be able to do more with it and have something that I could if I choose, publish stuff for it.  So that rules out many of the systems that would otherwise be fine.
Also I want the focus of the game to change from "killing things and taking their stuff" or even "we are saving the world again, it must be Tuesday".

I am looking for something where people can play supernaturals or normal humans side by side with out too much of an issue.  A goal would be to have it be able to emulate any modern supernatural TV show or book you can think of.  Well, not Harry Potter, that is a different animal completely.

Here are my choices so far.

True20 - I am inordinately fond of this system.  It is easy. It is simple and it gets out of the way while playing.  I am not thrilled with levels, but I have an idea about that.  I have already done a lot of work with True20, both here and in some unpublished material that I can now use.  While it's support is also next to nothing and the fan base is thin, the rules are solid and I can use them thanks to the OGL.  Though one of the issues with True20 is that humans basically start at 1st level and a vampire or werewolf is much higher.  Plus there is no system of Drawback or Complications in True20 (though I have written one).

Fate/Fudge - Another open system with a lot of support.  I am just not overwhelmed with it.  I suppose I could go the route Icons did and use numbers.

ORCS - Jason Vey's system in Spellcraft & Swordplay. Flexible and has many advantages.  I would though end up making it look more like True20 in the end, which is why I put True20 on the list.

Mutants & Masterminds - Now this is an interesting choice.  Nearly everything I need is here.  The system is open and with Superlink I can even do more.  I would need to redo the magic systems a bit to be honest.  4Color/superhero magic and urban fantasy are not really the same.  It has the things I like in True20 and Orcs, plus it has a ton of support.

Savage Worlds - Not a fan of this system, even though it is good and has a ton of support as well.  Again, I'd need to redo the magic system to get it to my liking.

"Power of Three" - you have not heard of this one.  It is a system that I have been poking around with for a couple of years.  The name comes from the three basic abilities all the characters have, Body, Mind and Spirit.   Yeah similar to Tri-Stat, but the mechanics are different.  It is also based on the Charmed game I'd like to write one day.  Of course the system is perfect for what I want to do except for the little problem that it is not done.  It's not even in a playtestable shape yet. So much for that.

The one thing all these games have though is the means to support a lot of mini-campaigns or min-campaign worlds.
Here is what I have in mind. This is not all of them, nor are these even set in stone.

Generation HEX - the most developed of the three mini-worlds. Lower powered, kids in a magic high-school

Ordinary World - Supernatural creatures trying to live in modern suburbia and trying to blend in.  That doesn't always work so well.

Power of Three - My "Charmed/Witches of Eastwick/Rachel Morgan" homage.  Witches saving the world.

Daughters of Death - The children of the old gods are walking the earth again and not all of them have humanities interests in mind.  This includes the stats for the eponymous daughters.

Each world then would have additional rules to support their respective views.  So Gen HEX would need to scaled for magic school high jinks (Jinx High?), Ordinary World would need rules for hiding powers and suggestions for stories to tell.

One thing though, I am going to avoid using Lovecraft/Cthulhu type stories or monsters.  The exact thing that he was trying to do the werewolves, vampires and ghosts of a past age have now been done to his creations.

I'll keep thinking about this.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Lucy Lawless

In celebration of who might very well be the biggest reason most people come to my blog, here is a happy birthday to Lucy Lawless, aka Xena.


And since DC Women Kicking Ass has declared Xena an honorary DC ass-kicking woman, here are some stats for her for DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Ed.

I am going with the idea here that Xena might be more than just human.

Xena, Warrior Princess - PL 8
Strength 4, Stamina 4, Agility 4, Dexterity 3, Fighting 5, Intellect 2, Awareness 2, Presence 3

Advantages
All-out Attack, Attractive 2, Chokehold, Connected, Contacts, Defensive Roll 3, Diehard, Equipment 2, Improved Critical: Nerve Pinch: Suffocation 1, Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Leadership, Power Attack, Precise Attack (All) 4, Skill Mastery: Close Combat, Skill Mastery: Ranged Combat

Skills
Acrobatics 6 (+10), Athletics 6 (+10), Close Combat: Sword 4 (+9), Insight 2 (+4), Intimidation 6 (+9), Perception 6 (+8), Persuasion 6 (+9), Ranged Combat: Chakram 8 (+11), Stealth 4 (+8), Treatment 1 (+3)

Powers
Leaping: Leaping 1 (Leap 15 feet at 4 miles/hour)
Nerve Pinch: Suffocation 1 (DC 11, Advantages: Chokehold; Grab-based)
Protection: Protection 2 (+2 Toughness)
Regeneration: Regeneration 1 (Every 10 rounds)
Equipment
 Chakram (Boomerang), Sword

Offense
 Initiative +4
 Chakram, +11 (DC 20)
 Grab, +5 (DC Spec 14)
 Nerve Pinch: Suffocation 1, +3 (DC Fort 11)
 Sword, +9 (DC 22)
 Throw, +3 (DC 19)
 Unarmed, +5 (DC 19)

Complications
 Honor
 Motivation: Doing Good
 Relationship

Languages
 Greek

Defense
 Dodge 7, Parry 7, Fortitude 8, Toughness 9/6, Will 4


Power Points
 Abilities 54 + Powers 8 + Advantages 22 + Skills 25 (49 ranks) + Defenses 11 = 120

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Willow & Tara: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition

Willow & Tara: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition

I have been on a Mutants and Masterminds 3.0 kick of late.  I like M&M and I love the new 3rd Edition game.  So really it was only a matter of time before I tried out my favorite witches in the new system.

I have done Willow and Tara before for Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Ed. But my write-ups were straight conversions of Unisystem and that might not have worked as well as I thought.  So with this I went back to who and what the characters are and stated them up from the ground up.  I kept many of the same powers and skills, or at least tried to.

"Willow and Tara" by David Reynolds

I set the girls at PL 10.  I did PL 11 previously with 2nd ed and they ended up being really super-powered.  Granted, that is fine for me, but I wanted to see what I could do with PL 10 and going by the book.    Willow has more powers/spells under Witchcraft, but Tara still has her healing ability and minion in MKF II.

Given that this is for the 3rd edition version of M&M and I was working on a 3rd season for Willow and Tara called "Generation HEX" I am going to combine them together into one.  Only fair really since Generation HEX's genesis was in my attempt to add more M&M and BESM style play to my games.  In this case this Willow and Tara share a lot of the same history as the ones in my Unisystem games. It is 2011 and they are still together, celebrating 10 years as a couple.

Don't know if they are living in the same world as Justice, but I'd like to think so if I can figure out how, but they are certainly living in the same world with Tarot.

For the purposes of a game I would want them (or at least Tara) be teacher(s) at the local School for the Gifted.  For M&M 2nd ed this would be Claremont Academy and I still like that idea.

Willow Rosenberg
PL 10
Strength 0, Stamina 1, Agility 0, Dexterity 0, Fighting 0, Intellect 6, Awareness 4, Presence 2

Advantages
Artificer, Attractive 2, Benefit, Wealth 3 (millionare), Equipment 1, Extraordinary Effort, Inspire, Languages 4, Occult Library, Ritualist, Skill Mastery (Expertise (Magic)), Teamwork, Well-informed

Skills
Expertise (Magic) 14 (+20), Expertise (Science) 12 (+18), Insight 4 (+8), Investigation 4 (+10), Perception 2 (+6), Persuasion 1 (+3), Ranged Combat (Arcane Blast: Blast 10) 1 (+1), Sleight of Hand 1 (+1), Technology 10 (+16), Treatment 8 (+14), Vehicles 1 (+1)

Powers
Magickal Senses: Senses 8 (magic, Awareness: Magical, Counters Illusion: Magical, Detect: Magical 2 (ranged), Postcognition (Limited): Touch, Radius: Magical; Affects Insubstantial 2 (full rank))
Telekinesis: Move Object 4 (mystic, 800 lbs.; Concentration)
    Throw Object: Blast 2 (Alternate; magic, DC 17; Diminished Range)
Witchcraft: Magic 12 ([10 active, 30/38 PP, 3/r], DC 25; Affects Insubstantial 2 (full rank), Multiattack)
    Arcane Blast: Blast 10 (Alternate; DC 25; Distracting, Noticeable (Light flare))
    Astral Projection (Alternate; Activation: Move Action)
    Computer Link: Other Communication 5 (Alternate; Sense Type: Computer Link; Linked (Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing 13))
    Flight: Flight 10 (Alternate; Speed: 2000 miles/hour, 4 miles/round; Concentration)
    Forget: Mind Control 1 (Alternate; mind, DC 11)
    Glamour: Illusion 5 (Alternate; magic, Affects: All Sense Types, Area: 30 cft., DC 15)
    Magic Sheild: Force Field 20 (Alternate; +20 Toughness)
    Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing 13 (Alternate; Affects: 2 Types, inc. Visual - Vision and Hearing, Range: 30 miles; Linked (Magickal Senses: Senses 8) [4 extra ranks]; Concentration)
    Telepathy: Mental Communication 5 (Alternate; Advantages: Extended distance with Willow; Distracting)
    Teleport: Teleport 10 (Alternate; 4 miles in a move action, carrying 50 lbs.)
    Veil: Concealment 10 (Alternate; All Senses)

Equipment
Ritual Tools 1, Cell Phone (Smartphone), Computer

Offense
Initiative +0
Arcane Blast: Blast 10, +1 (DC 25)
Forget: Mind Control 1 (DC Will 11)
Grab, +0 (DC Spec 10)
Telekinesis: Move Object 4, +0 (DC 14)
Throw, +0 (DC 15)
Throw Object: Blast 2, +0 (DC 17)
Unarmed, +0 (DC 15)
Witchcraft: Magic 12, +0 (DC 25)

Complications
Prejudice: Jewish Lesbian Wicca
Relationship: Tara

Languages
English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Russian

Defense
Dodge 3, Parry 0, Fortitude 5, Toughness 1, Will 7

Power Points
Abilities 26 + Powers 65 + Advantages 20 + Skills 29 (58 ranks) + Defenses 10 = 150


Tara Maclay
PL 10
Strength 1, Stamina 1, Agility 0, Dexterity 0, Fighting 0, Intellect 3, Awareness 5, Presence 2

Advantages
Animal Empathy, Artificer, Attractive, Benefit, Wealth (well-off), Equipment 3, Extraordinary Effort, Inspire, Languages 4, Minion 2, Occult Library, Ritualist, Skill Mastery (Expertise (Magic)), Teamwork, Well-informed

Skills
 Expertise (Horse Riding) 4 (+7), Expertise (Humanities) 8 (+11), Expertise (Magic) 10 (+13), Insight 8 (+13), Investigation 5 (+8), Perception 2 (+7), Persuasion 2 (+4), Ranged Combat (Arcane Blast: Blast 10) 2 (+2), Sleight of Hand 2 (+2), Technology 2 (+5), Treatment 8 (+11), Vehicles 1 (+1)

Powers
Magickal Senses: Senses 8 (magic, Awareness: Magical, Counters Illusion: Magical, Detect: Magical 2 (ranged), Postcognition (Limited): Touch, Radius: Magical; Affects Insubstantial 2 (full rank))
Mystic Healing: Healing 9 (Activation (move action), Limited (Touch only))
Telekinesis: Move Object 4 (mystic, 800 lbs.; Concentration)
    Throw Object: Blast 2 (Alternate; magic, DC 17; Diminished Range)
Witchcraft: Magic 11 ([9 active, 27/35 PP, 3/r], DC 24; Affects Insubstantial 2 (full rank), Multiattack)
    Arcane Blast: Blast 10 (Alternate; DC 25; Distracting, Noticeable (Light flare))
    Astral Projection (Alternate; Activation: Move Action)
    Flight: Flight 10 (Alternate; Speed: 2000 miles/hour, 4 miles/round; Concentration)
    Glamour: Illusion 5 (Alternate; magic, Affects: All Sense Types, Area: 30 cft., DC 15)
    Magic Sheild: Force Field 14 (Alternate; +14 Toughness)
    Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing 12 (Alternate; Affects: 2 Types, inc. Visual - Vision and Hearing, Range: 16 miles; Linked (Magickal Senses: Senses 8) [4 extra ranks]; Concentration)
    Telepathy: Mental Communication 5 (Alternate; Advantages: Extended distance with Willow; Distracting)
    Teleport: Teleport 10 (Alternate; 4 miles in a move action, carrying 50 lbs.)

Equipment
Apartment, Athame 1, Car, Cell Phone (Smartphone), Computer

Offense
Initiative +0
Arcane Blast: Blast 10, +2 (DC 25)
Grab, +0 (DC Spec 11)
Telekinesis: Move Object 4, +0 (DC 14)
Throw, +0 (DC 16)
Throw Object: Blast 2, +0 (DC 17)
Unarmed, +0 (DC 16)
Witchcraft: Magic 11, +0 (DC 24)

Complications
Prejudice: Lesbian Wicca
Relationship: Willow

Languages
English, French, Gaelic, Greek, Japanese, Latin

Defense
Dodge 4, Parry 0, Fortitude 4, Toughness 1, Will 8

Power Points
Abilities 24 + Powers 67 + Advantages 22 + Skills 27 (54 ranks) + Defenses 10 = 150


Minion - Miss Kitty Fantastico II - PL 10
Strength 0, Stamina 0, Agility 2, Dexterity 2, Fighting 1, Intellect 1, Awareness 1, Presence 1

Skills
Athletics 2 (+2), Close Combat (????) 1 (+2), Deception 1 (+2), Insight 1 (+2), Perception 3 (+4), Stealth 4 (+6)

Powers
Fly: Flight 2 (Speed: 8 miles/hour, 120 feet/round; Wings)  - MKF has wings that fold up on to her back and stay hidden unless she is using them.
Luck Control: Luck Control 1 (Negate Luck) - she is a black cat after all.
Mental Link: Mental Communication 1 (Sense Type: Telepathy; Limited (only with Willow and Tara))

Offense
Initiative +2
Grab, +1 (DC Spec 10)
Throw, +2 (DC 15)
Unarmed, +1 (DC 15)

Complications
Quirk: Lazy
Quirk: Curious

Languages
Cat, Telepathy

Defense
Dodge 2, Parry 1, Fortitude 0, Toughness 0, Will 1

Power Points
Abilities 16 + Powers 8 + Advantages 0 + Skills 6 (12 ranks) + Defenses 0 = 30

All in all I like them, but would like to hear what the experts have to say.

Tara gets the car (specially designed hybrid Subaru Outback), apartment and MKF II on her sheet to spread the points around.  Willow is brilliant and the most power witch on the planet maybe, but she considers Tara to be just as potent.  Both girls have Wealth, in my games Willow sold her software company, Red Witch, and remained on as their paid consultant.  This gives her freedom to work when she wants and still have money. Red Witch makes the world best computer security systems; and all have a back door that only Willow knows how to access.

In my WitchCraft game, Tara has more Essence or magical energy than Willow does, not sure how replicate that here.

Note: That fantastic bit of art up there is from David Reynolds, one half of the brilliant ShadowGirls comic team. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Justice is Blind, Issue 3: M&M3 / DCA

I have mentioned before about how pleased I have been that Mutants and Masterminds 3 and DC Adventures share the same system.  Here is one of those reasons.
My latest super-hero character Justice.

Justice, as she is known is a Paragon, of the likes not seen since Superman left he Earth and Wonder Woman retired.   Many know she is the newest force for Truth, Justice and the American Way, but not many know that she shares more with the those paragons of old than a costume design.
Justice is also Astra Kal-El, daughter of Superman (Kal-El) and Wonder Woman, Diana of Themyscira.

I have detailed Justice in previous posts.  Her introduction and Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Ed stats, and stats for the BASH! RPG.

I like her M&M 3.0 stats as well and think this is the best system for her.  Issue 3 of "Justice is Blind" would deal with her current troubles of establishing herself as her own hero with some flashbacks of her time on Themyscira.

Justice - PL 10
Strength 11, Stamina 10, Agility 4, Dexterity 2, Fighting 5, Intellect 3, Awareness 3, Presence 4


Advantages
All-out Attack, Attractive 2, Benefit, Alternate Identity (Astra Kal-el, Astra Kent), Benefit, Wealth (well-off), Connected (Bruce Wayne), Defensive Attack, Languages 1

Skills
Athletics 1 (+12), Close Combat (Grab) 2 (+7), Deception 2 (+6), Expertise (Law) 4 (+7), Insight 1 (+4), Investigation 4 (+7), Perception 3 (+6), Persuasion 2 (+6), Ranged Combat (Heat Vision: Blast 8) 3 (+5), Stealth 4 (+8)

Powers
Flight: Flight 8 (Speed: 500 miles/hour, 1 mile/round)

Heat Vision: Blast 8 (DC 23; Distracting)

Invulnerability
   Immunity: Immunity 10 (Life Support)
   Impervious Defense: Impervious Toughness 5
Super Senses: Senses 8 (Acute: Vision, Hearing, Distance Sense, Extended: Vision, Hearing 2 (x100), Penetrates Concealment: Vision; Limited (Lead))
Super Speed: Quickness 4 (Perform routine tasks in -4 time ranks)
Super Strength: Enhanced Strength 2 (+2 STR; Limited (Lifting only))

Offense
Initiative +4
Grab, +7 (DC Spec 21)
Heat Vision: Blast 8, +5 (DC 23)
Throw, +2 (DC 26)
Unarmed, +5 (DC 26)

Complications
Power Loss: Exposed to Kryptonite
Secret: Is the daughter of Wonder Woman and Superman. Raised by the Batman.
Secret: Secret ID, Astra Kal-El, aka Astra Kent.
Weakness: Magic

Languages
English, Greek

Defense
Dodge 4, Parry 5, Fortitude 10, Toughness 10, Will 3

Power Points
Abilities 80 + Powers 49 + Advantages 8 + Skills 13 (26 ranks) + Defenses 0 = 150

What I like about Justice is she has power, she has a pedigree even (daughter of Wonder Woman and Superman, trained by the Batman) but she is still young and she does not always know what she is doing or what she needs to do.  She only knows that she sees injustice and suffering in the world and she needs to do something about it. She is not an brooding, agnsty hero, but she is a dedicated one and maybe even a bit of a naïve one. She just knows she has to do something. No existential struggles with her, just action.

Now here is to seeing if my regular GM will let me use her in one of his adventures one day.

ETA: I updated her based on some conversations

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mutants and Masterminds 3

I love Mutants and Masterminds.

The third edition is out, and I have talked about it before, but flipping through the pages fills me with such geek-related glee that I can barely contain it.  Then you add my favorite comics on top of that, DC Comics, in a 100% compatible system then I wonder why I play anything else at this point.  Well maybe that is a stretch.

But not by much.

Mutants and Masterminds is by far one of the the best examples of how and why the OGL works so well.  It is the same basic d20 system, stripped down to the bare bones and then fine tuned, just enough, to be exactly what it needs to be.

Is it the best RPG ever? No, not by a long shot.
Is it the best Super Hero RPG ever?  Yeah, it probably is.

Third Edition has gone a long way to fixing a lot of the issues I had with 2nd Edition.  Mind you those were "issues" not "problems" and many could have been solved had played a few more games of it really.

I am looking forward to playing some with my boys at Gen Con.  I just hope I can get in to them this year.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Red Sonja: Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition

Was re-reading my Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition book here and thought I should give Sonja a try.
I put her at PL 9, which is about where she would be for the Warriors and Warlocks book for M&M 2nd Ed.  Plus it puts on par with Tarot Witch of the Black Rose. The two certainly seem distantly related. Or maybe not so distantly really.

Red Sonja

Real name: Sonja
Gender: F
Age: mid-20s
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 140 lbs
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green

Power Level: 9


Abilities
STR: 5 (1)AGL: 3FGT: 14 (4)AWE: 2
STA: 6 (1)DEX: 5 (1)INT: 2PRE: 4

Dodge: 9
Parry: 9/14
Fortitude: 8
Toughness: 9
Will: 4

Armor (Chain mail)
Sword

Advantages
Accurate Attack, All out attack, Attractive 2, Close Attack, Diehard, Equipment (Sword and Armor), Extraordinary Effort, Fascinate (Intimidation), Fearless, Great Endurance, Improved Critical +3 (Sword), Improved Defense +2, Languages (Hyrkanian), Precise Attack (all), Prone Fighting

Skills

Athletics +7, Close combat (sword) +19, Deception +4, Insight +3, Intimidation +10, Investigation +3, Perception +5, Persuasion +4, Stealth +7

Powers
Gift of the Red Goddess Scáthach
-Enhanced Ability: Dexterity 4
-Enhanced Ability: Strength 4
-Enhanced Ability: Stamina 5
-Enhanced Ability: Fighting 10
Cold Immunity 1

Complications
Compulsion: Must never lie with a man unless he has beaten her in single combat
Fame: Sonja is known throughout the land

Power Points
Abilities: 36 Powers: 47 Advantages: 28 Skills: 14 Defenses: 10 = 135 pp

Fairly pleased with this build.  I am sure it is a matter of opinion where fighting skills vs her agility vs her strength lie, but this woks out well.

Cross-posted here:
http://redsonjashedevilwithasword.blogspot.com/2011/01/red-sonja-mutants-and-masterminds-3rd.html
http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=39403

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition

Continuing on my Tarot builds, I wanted to take a step back and see how the character would shape up as a PL9 using M&M 2nd ed.  I am hoping it will be similar enough to the 3rd Ed build I did last week.  Plus I got some feedback on the build, so I'd like to give her a go.

Here is Tarot for M&M 2nd Ed.

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose

Real name: Rowan
Gender: Female
Age: mid-20s
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 140 lbs
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green
Group Affiliation: The Black Rose Coven.
Base of Operation: Witches' Hollow, Salem, MA

PL: 9 (135 pp)

ABILITIES
STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 16 (+3)
 INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 14 (+2) CHA: 18 (+4)

SKILLS
Acrobatics 4 (+6), Bluff 4 (+8), Climb 2 (+4), Concentration (+2), Diplomacy 4 (+8), Disguise (+4), Escape Artist (+2), Gather Info 4 (+8), Handle Animal 4 (+8), Intimidate (+4), Investigate 2 (+5), History 8 (+11), Arcane Lore 10 (+13), Theology and Philosophy 8 (+11), Medicine 3 (+5), Notice (+2), Search 2 (+5), Sense Motive 4 (+6), Sleight of Hand 6 (+8), Stealth 2 (+4), Survival 6 (+8), Swim (+2)

FEATS
All-out Attack, Power Attack, Prone Fighting, Weapon Bind, Benefit (1), Attractive (2), Artificer, Equipment (2), Diehard, Minions (3), Ritualist, Connected, Contacts

POWERS
*Magic [5], (Eye bite (Blast, does not require hands) [2], Dazzle [2], Flight [5], Impervious Toughness [3], Teleport [5]),
Magickal Senses [3],
Telekinesis [5],
Device [3] (Sword)

COMBAT
Attack 9 [Sword 3 (Lethal), Magic Blast 5 (Bruise)]
Defense 10 (10 flat-footed) Init 2

SAVES
Toughness 6 (6 flat-footed) Fortitude 5 Reflex 6 Will 5

DRAWBACKS
Rival: Raven Hex (sister), Enemy: Dragon Witches, Prejudice: Wiccan, Relationships: Jon "Skeleton Man" Webb (lover), Boo Cat (lover), Mother (mother)

Abilities 32 + Skills 19 (75 ranks) + Feats 17 + Powers 41 + Combat 18 + Saves 9 – Drawbacks -1 = 135 / 135

I noticed that I had more points to play with in this version, so some skills are higher than her 3rd Ed counterpart.   All in all, this was an easier build for me, since I have more experience with 2nd ed obviously, but it was very, very similar to building her in 3rd Ed.

As before I am also posting this on The Atomic Think Tank.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Justice is Blind

One of my favorite comic series is Kingdom Come.  It deals with the future of the DC Universe and the growing violence of the new heroes compared with the older heroes of the past like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.  There are a tons of great nods to comics of old and the art is fantastic.  One thing it did though was have a widowed Superman get involved with Wonder Woman at the end of the story.  It was all "off page" but Bruce was able to tell that Wonder Woman was pregnant.  I had often wondered since reading it what would the child of Superman and Wonder Woman be like?  What would she be like if she were raised by Bruce Wayne?  Well last year my normal group got together to make new heroes for a supers game.  One of my fellow players, a fan of the old "Spider-man and his Amazing Friends" cartoon, came up with the son of Firestar and Iceman.  I came up with Astra aka Justice.

The basic idea was to come up with a next generation hero that would be living in Freedom City.  Gotham, Metropolis, Empire City, and all the superhero cities would be there from Marvel, DC and games we had all played in the past.  So it was quite a mash-up.  But we never got to play.  Maybe we will one day.  But in any case here is the introduction to Justice.  I'll have some stats for her soon.

JUSTICE
Issue 1, Vol. 1
"Justice is Blind"

When Lois Lane-Kent was murdered not just Metropolis was in shock, but so was the world. Not that anyone was surprised when the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist was targeted for murder, Lois had a way of making enemies, but that Superman, the man who had been a constant at her side since he arrived in Metropolis couldn't save her.

After Lois' funeral Superman met with members of the Justice League and told them that Clark Kent was dead. He would never assume the role of Clark Kent again. He left for the Fortress of Solitude where he spent the next five years in self imposed exile. Over the years various heroes attempted to contact him, even try to go to him. Batman was rebuffed. Steel was sent home with a broken arm. Finally one day Wonder Woman returned from the Fortress saying that Kal-El was leaving Earth, maybe forever.

Nine months later she gave birth to a daughter.

Diana had passed the mantle of Wonder Woman over to her sister Donna, she was now the UN Ambassador of Themyscira. The birth of her daughter made her return home. She named the girl Astra after the Goddess of Justice Dike Astraea, but also for its meaning, from the stars. Astra grew strong, tall and proud like any Amazon. Though it was obvious from the beginning she was not an ordinary Amazon. She was much stronger and faster than her sisters, though unlike them she had difficulty with magical weapons. Even in close proximity to her aunt's Lasso of Truth effected her.

When Astra turned 12 her grandmother Hypolata died in battle. Diana became queen of the Amazons. She decided that her daughter, already finding life among the Amazons difficult, would live among humans to learn their ways. She sent her to the only person she could trust with the thing most precious to her in life. Bruce Wayne.

Bruce accepted Astra Kal-El as she was known and crafted a human name and identity for her, Astra Kent, daughter of the late Clark and Lois Kent. Bruce was a good father and teacher to Astra, teaching her history, civics, law and most importantly justice and the value of a human life. She had received training in various combat styles from the Amazons, but Bruce took it to the next level. He taught her not only to how fight, but how to more effectively use her own powers. Where she excelled though was in her studies of the criminal justice system.

She entered Gotham University as a Justice Studies major with a minor in Ancient History. She graduated and was set to enroll in the prestigious Gotham Center of Legal Studies at GSU to get her degree in law. Bruce even arranged for her to work as an intern with State Attorney General Barbara Gordon. This is when Astra met her destiny.

She had been helping Barbara with a case to put away a known mobster. Carlos "the Shark" Diaz was the leader of Diaz crime cartel in Gotham. To date he had been arrested on hundreds of charges but never had they been able to make any of them stick. Then one night he was in his nightclub when in a fit of bravado he pulled out a chrome .44 and shot randomly into the night. His shot hit and killed a single mother of three coming home from working a double shift at a local drug store. A shift she was not supposed to have been working. The police were all over Carlos in an instant. He had been seen not only by dozens of witnesses, CCTV, his finger-prints were also all over the bullet. When he was let off on yet another technicality, Gotham raged. But Astra knew she had to do more.

She went home and crafted a costume similar to that of her father's and mother's, and with speed born in her Kryptonian blood she went after Carlos. It did not take her long to find his car which she blasted with her heat vision. She tore the car apart with her bare hands to get to Carlos. She grabbed him by the nap of his neck and flew so high ice formed on their skin. She dropped him, only to catch him moments before he hit the ground.

"Please!" the mobster begged. "I'll give you anything you want! Power, money! Please!"

"I want…" Astra began.

"Yes, I'll give it to you!" screamed Carlos.

"I want…I want Juanita Washington's children to have their mother back!" she yelled at him, she pulled him to her face and her eyes began to glow red with heat vision.

"ASTRA!" came a shout. It was Bruce.

"Bruce. I have too. He just keeps getting away. He kills, he murders, he gets kids addicted to drugs. We need justice!" She called back to him, tears in her eyes.

"This is not justice. This is revenge. Do this and you become him." Bruce said quietly.

She looked at the mobster a long time and finally tossing him to the ground, breaking his legs. She took off with such force that the sonic concussion broke windows eight blocks away.

Bruce called the police and returned home.

There he found Astra in the Bat-cave crying.

"I failed you Bruce." She said.

"No. I failed you. I forgot to teach you that the most important lesson is never too loose yourself. Your mother sent you to me not for my skills as a detective, or our past, but for something I still struggle with."

He looked over her costume. It was crude, but it had a certain style and flair.

"Who are you supposed to be?" he finally asked.

She looked up with an ironic half-smile, "Justice".

Bruce went to her cape and tore off a strip that had come loose. He took the strip and fashioned, not a mask, but a blindfold. He tied it around her eyes.

"Justice is blind." He said. "In the courtroom or the streets you must be fair and impartial. Pursue the guilty, protect the innocent and uphold the law."

After that night Astra packed her bags. Bruce didn't tell her she had to go, but he did not stop her either. She wrote a letter to Attorney General Gordon, apologizing for her actions and submitting a letter of resignation. She dropped out of GSU and by morning had already made arrangements to move to Freedom City. She feared she would not get into FCU so late in the term, but letters from the Gotham Attorney General, the US Ambassador to Themyscira, and not to mention a sizable endowment from Wayne Enterprises with a personal letter from Bruce Wayne brought her in as a mid-semester new grad student.

Astra has spent the last few weeks catching up on her Law School courses making up lost time. But it is rumored that a new hero has been spotted in Freedom City. Her blue, red and gold costume is reminiscent of a Greek tunic, or of superheroes that have not been seen in over two decades.

Though the oppressed, the downtrodden and criminals know…Justice has come to Freedom City!

JUSTICE
PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 30 (+10) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 19 (+4) INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 10 (0) CHA: 16 (+3)

SKILLS: Acrobatics 4 (+5), Bluff 2 (+5), Climb (+10), Computers 4 (+7), Concentration 2 (+2), Diplomacy 4 (+7), Disguise (+3), Escape Artist (+1), Gather Info 4 (+7), Handle Animal (+3), Intimidate 2 (+5), Investigate 4 (+7), Civics 6 (+9), History 6 (+9), Notice 4 (+4), Search 4 (+7), Sense Motive 4 (+4), Stealth 2 (+3), Swim (+10)

FEATS: All-out Attack, Attractive (2), Power Attack, Defensive Attack, Connected, Benefit (1)

POWERS: Enhanced Strength [20], Enhanced Constitution [6], Flight [8], Blast (Distracting) [7], *Super Senses [4], Extending Sight, , Acute Hearing, , Extended Hearing, , X-Ray Vision, , Super Strength [2], Protection [6]

COMBAT: Attack 10 [Unarmed +10 (Bruise)] Defense 10 (10 flat-footed) Init 1

SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 9 Reflex 2 Will 5

DRAWBACKS: Vulnerable: Magic (High Freq, Low Severity) -2, Disability (Total) Kryptonite (Low Freq, High Severity) -3

Abilities 43 + Skills 14 (53 ranks) + Feats 7 + Powers 76 + Combat 4 + Saves 11 – Drawbacks -5 = 150 / 150

--
Notes

I figure the blindfold is cooler than a mask. With her X-Ray vision she could easily see through it. Plus she is 6'2", brunette and looks like a super-model, she is going to need something more than glasses to disguise who she is. Plus it is also used as a reminder to her not to use her heat vision, something she almost killed someone with. That Bruce is a thinker.

I liked the idea of Babs being the AG and Astra working for her.

One of the first things I had to figure out was the compelling reasons for Superman not to be in her life (he is gone) and he never knew she was there. Wonder Woman would see it as it being better with Astra living her life away with mortals. Plus as the new Queen of the Amazons she would be busy. Of course if supes ever found out he had a daughter he would be back on Earth as quickly as he could.

I had Donna Troy become the new Wonder Woman when Astra was born, but that is not to say that Cassie Sandmark is not the Wonder Woman now.

I wanted to remove her from Bruce's influence a little more than just she moves to FC. Nearly killing a mobster in revenge would put a big strain on their relationship.

The Bruce here is more of the Batman Beyond Bruce Wayne than the Kingdom Come one.  We initially thought that this would make Terry McGinnis the current active Batman (though that would make this series sometime after 2040 and I don't think we thought of it that far head).

Her costume looks like the statues of "Blind Justice", the Goddess whose name she shares, with elements of her mother's and father's costumes as well. I figure Supes has been out in space (or wherever he was during the whole DC 1,000,000 series) and would not have been around, Wonder Woman is retired so no one has seen the likes of her for a long time.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition

As many of you know I have been in "research mode" on Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose for some time. And you may also know I just picked up Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition. Well I felt it was time to give them both a spin and see what I can come up with.

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose

Real name: Rowan Gender: F Age: mid-20s Height: 5'9" Weight: 140 lbs Hair: Red Eyes: Green
Group Affiliation: The Black Rose Coven. Base of Operation: Witches' Hollow, Salem, MA

Power Level: 9


Abilities
STR: 2AGL: 3FGT: 4AWE: 4
STA: 3DEX: 2INT: 3PRE: 5

Dodge: 6
Parry: 6
Fortitude: 5
Toughness: 6/3
Will: 5
Armor +3

Advantages
All out attack, Artificer, Attractive 2, Benefit (Witch of the Black Rose), Connected, Contacts, Diehard, Equipment (Sword and Armor), Extraordinary Effort, Languages (English, Latin), Minion 3 ("Pooka" her flying Goblin Cat), Power Attack, Precise Attack (all), Prone Fighting

Skills

Acrobatics +7, Athletics +6, Close combat (sword) +12, Deception +7, Expertise (Magic) +11, Insight +6, Intimidation +5, Investigation +5, Perception +6, Persuasion +7, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5, Treatment +5

Powers
Healing 2
Magic 5 (Dynamic)
 Eye bite (Blast, does not require hands) 2
 Dazzle 2
 Flight 5
 Forcefield 5
 Impervious Toughness 3
 Teleport 5
Magickal Senses (Awarness: Magic, Precognition (limited to Tarot's loved ones and to tarot card images)) 3
Telekinesis (Move Object) 5

Complications
Rival: Raven Hex (sister)
Enemy: Dragon Witches
Prejudice: Wiccan
Relationships: Jon "Skeleton Man" Webb (lover), Boo Cat (lover), Mother (mother)

Power Points
Abilities: 52 Powers: 34 Advantages: 21 Skills: 20 Defenses: 8 = 135 pp

This version of Tarot focuses on her fighting ability. She admits herself that she is not the most powerful witch, magic wise, around, but she has had quite a bit of training with the sword and in combat as a Swordmaiden of the Goddess. I also wanted to focus on the magical nature of her armor. Sure she goes to the same armorsmith as Red Sonja, but there is a magical aura about it that protects her all the same.

I opted for PL 9 here. She could not stand toe to toe with the likes of Zatanna or even Willow and Tara magic wise, but still has some room to grow her abilities.

ETA: I am also posting this on The Atomic Think Tank.

My First New Game of 2011: Mutants and Masterminds 3

Well, it's still 2010, but 2011 is starting off like 2010 did , with a new Supers game.
In this case the new supers game is Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition.

M&M 3rd Edition first off looks a lot like the DC Adventures RPG also from Green Ronin out earlier this year.

What are the big changes from 2nd Edition?  Well GR is moving more and more away from the d20 3.0 standards and more into True20 land.  That is the Abilities (and there are now 8 of them) are the pluses.  So instead of Strength 18 (+4) like you see in other d20 games, M&M3 just uses Strength 4.  Easy enough and a logical extension of their line of thought with True20.

I mentioned there are 8 abilities now; Strength, Agility, Dexterity, Stamina, Intellect, Awareness, Presence and Fighting.  Agility and Fighting are the big new ones.  Agility had been part of Dexterity and does some of the things Dex used to do.  Agility relates more to "bodily dexterity" and dexterity is more like "hand-eye coordination".  Fighting is now the close combat ability. Now while I rather see this more of a skill than an ability, this is a comic book world and it works here.  There are "close combat" and "ranged combat" skills as well.  So Fighting I suppose is more of a natural aptitude towards combat.

Skills are given greater coverage and are streamlined from the d20 3.0 base, but not quite as streamlined as say D&D 4.  They are closer to Cinematic Unisystem in nature really.  Skills are still linked to a specific ability like d20, but are also now detailed on what sort of action they are, move, standard or free.  Much more detail is given for skills and how to use them in a variety of situations.

Feats have become more Unisystem/GURPS like and renamed Advantages. They are ranked and used very much like a Advantage or Quality would be used in another game.  I can see the next evolution of True20 doing something like this too since they are organized in a similar manner to True20's powers.

Powers come next.  Powers are similar to Advantages, but have a much greater effect on various game systems.  An Advantage might boost a skill or change an aspect of combat.  Powers go above an beyond that.  In general the Powers are much more detailed than earlier editions.  There are a lot of Extras and Flaws to add to Powers for a lot of customization.  Gadgets and Gear are separated from Powers in this edition.

Damage is handled differently in this game.  The Damage Track is gone replaced by a very Marvel Superheroes looking chart.   The results are basically No Effect, some penalty all the way up to incapacitated.  It is simple enough to use.  I am of two minds on this.  First, while I never really warmed to the damage track in M&M/True20 it was easy to use and innovative. The damage chart here is also very, very easy to use as well and works on similar principles. The chart has some Old School "feng shui" about it without it being an "endless chart".

Green Ronin has always produced top notch products.  This one is no exception.  I didn't notice much in the way of recycled text from earlier editions or even from DCA, but it very well could be there.  I would be surprised if there wasn't really;  I only really noticed one or two bits of recycled art and that was from their Magic book and Powers book for 2nd Ed.  There were few other bits here and there and there might have been others, but if I didn't notice it that is the same as it not being there right?

All in all this looks like a great game and it might even be superior to M&M 2nd ed aka "The World's Greatest Superhero Game", which I notice M&M 3 does not say on the cover.

The big issues for me of course are conversions.  How easy will it be to convert to/from M&M2 or Unisystem?  Converting actually looks pretty easy.  To/from M&M2 might even be trickier than Unisystem.  I am going to have to give it a try in the next few days.

Well I just put away all my M&M 2 books.  Looks like it was only to make room for my new cache of M&M 3/DCA books.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Superheroes

I am planning on doing a series of posts next on Superhero RPGs, focusing on some new ones I have picked up with some retrospective of some older ones.

I have spoken at length about Mutants & Masterminds, my "go to" Supers game, but I have also talked a bit out Silver Age Sentinels and Smallville.   Games I want to cover are the DC Adventures, Icons, BASH and Villains & Vigilantes 2.1.

Obviously one of the things I like to look in any system are the magic rules.  I like to think that Supers and Horror games are reflections of each other.  They share a lot of the same tropes and even plot designs.  Supers are obviously the "light" world and Horror is the darker reflection.  The core philosophies are are also very different.  I think two quotes sum this up perfectly by two of the "kings" of their respective genres.
"We believe in heroes because, ultimately. we believe in ourselves." -Jack "King" Kirby
"We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones." - Stephen King
Horror helps us deal with how the world is.  Superheroes help us by showing us what the world could be.

Of course I see this link since I was re-introduced to horror from comics.  "The Tomb of Dracula" took me from Marvel (which took me from DC) into the world of Horror, Occult and all sorts of things that go bump in the night.  It should also be no surprise that my favorite parts of AD&D were the horror-themed elements; the gothic tradition and the weird horror of Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.  Supers comics even got into the game, alot, and not just Dracula. Read a copy of Dr. Strange, or anything with John Constantine in it; monsters abound.  Twilight is less about vampires than it is about super-powered humans.  So yeah there is a lot crossover.

So as I review these games this is something I want to keep in mind.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Supermen

I have stated here in the past my preference for DC Comics heroes over that of Marvel.  Don't get me wrong, I read the hell out of Spiderman and X-Men as a kid, and reading The Tomb of Dracula was one of the things that got me into horror full scale.
But I have always liked DC's heroes more.  To me they were always more heroic than their Marvel counterparts.  So it should come as no shock that I am MAJORLY geeking out since I have not just one, but two DC-based RPGs out now.

 

I have seen both games now and I like them for very different reasons.  DCA is of course the sibling to the new Mutants and Masterminds 3.  It has some changes from the previous editions, most of which I am thinking are needed.  Abilities are rated different, and there are some new ones.  But all in all I like it.  
Smallville is Cortex but it is VERY different than previous versions of Cortex.  This is both good and bad.  I like the character creation system and it appeals to my desire to create a detailed character.  I like that the system has been opened up to play all sorts of different kinds of games now.  I can completely see how Leverage will work now.

Plus I still have Icons and BASH to look over, a full Cortex review to do.

I'd like to do up a character that works in all these systems.  I think I have the perfect choice too.  A while back we re-started our supers game and the world was a mixture of DC and Marvel.  Basically DC was Golden and some Silver age and Marvel was Silver and some modern age.  We were doing post modern.  Well I had read "Kingdom Come" and it dealt with Supes, Batman and Wonder Woman in a new age.   The final scenes dealt with Batman discovering that Wonder Woman and Superman were going to have a baby.  I thought wow, how power would that character be?  Half Kryptonian, half Amazon and Batman as a godfather?  Yes.  So that was my character.  Details to follow.

All of this will have to wait till after Gen Con of course.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

DC Adventures from Green Ronin Pre-Order

I am very geeked about this.

DC Adventures is now up for Pre-order at Green Ronin's website.


And if you pre-order at their website, or at your FLGS you can get a code to buy the PDF for 5 bucks.

That's not too bad really.
I have seen some of the changes they have made to the system and while I was hoping to see it evolve more towards True20, I am very curious to see how it all works out.

Looking forward to this one and it is one of just a small handful of books on my Gen Con must buy list

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Willow & Tara: Mutants & Masterminds

Willow and Tara: M&M Conversions

A while back my semi-regular Willow and Tara game was coming to an end.  I had just finished the second season, "Season of the Witch" and wanted to work on a third season.  But for this season I wanted to do something different. I wanted to change to a new system.  Nothing against Cinematic Unisystem, I love it in fact.  But I had been eating and breathing it for years. I also tried out BESM and liked a lot of it and experimented a bit with Fudge, Fate and True 20 (more on all of those in later posts).

I had been toying around with the idea of them teaching at a school for “gifted youngsters” for some time before all of this. I honestly thought though I’d do it in BESM. But since by 2006 the girls were already living in or near Boston (for many reasons that seemed to converge at once) the idea firmed up when I saw that MDSnowman (from the Atomic Thinktank) had put his version of Freedom City in Massachusetts (his is much farther south).

I had just done a conversion of Erzsébet Báthory and had a great idea.  What if Bathory had taken over Claremont and Duncan Summers went to Willow and Tara for help.  My "mini series" "A Mid-Semester's Nightmare" was born.  I kept the school fairly non-descript in-case I later converted back to another system. But M&M just seemed to work very well.

So it was settled, Willow and Tara are teaching or working at Claremont Academy. It’s possible I could still work in my BESM and other ideas with this, but this was my start.  As things progressed though, we switched systems from M&M, to Marvel super Heroes, had a brief flirt with BASH and even Witch Girls Adventures.  None though ever really worked out they way I liked.  You have seen the WGA versions, I might post the others as well.

So here are my witches in their Mutants and Masterminds guises for the short lived mini-series.  These versions of the girls are post "The Dragon and the Phoenix".  So it is many years later and Tara is alive and her and Willow are well and living together.



Willow Rosenberg “The Witch”
Quote: “Wow. And here I thought my high school was weird.”

PL: 11 (165 pp)

Abilities: STR: 9(-1) DEX: 11(0) CON: 11(0) INT: 18(+4) WIS: 16(+3) CHA: 17(+3)

Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+8) , Bluff 4 (+7), Climb 4 (+3), Computers 15 (+19), Concentration 10 (+13), Craft(Chemical) 9 (+13), Craft(Electrical) 6 (+10), Craft(Mechanical) 2 (+6), Diplomacy 1 (+4), Disable Device 4 (+4), Disguise 0 (+3), Drive 2 (+2), Escape Artist 2 (+2), Gather Information 9 (+9), Handle Animal 1 (+4), Intimidate 4 (+7), Investigate 7 (+11), Knowledge (Arcana/Magic) 15 (+19), Knowledge (Chemistry) 8 (+14), Knowledge (Math) 8 (+14), Knowledge (Physical Sciences) 8 (+14), Language (English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin) (4), Medicine 4 (+7), Notice 7 (+10), Perform (Ritual) 7 (+10), Pilot 0 (0), Profession (Computer Analyst) 2 (+5), Ride 0 (0), Search 0 (+4), Sense Motive 0 (+3), Sleight of Hand 0 (0), Stealth 0 (0), Survival 0 (3), Swim 0 (-1)
Saves: Toughness +11 Fortitude +5 Reflex +5 Will +6

Feats: Attractive, Ambidexterity, Ritualist

Powers: Magic 16 (Telekinesis 16, Telepathy 11, Astral Projection (dimensional only) 11, Lightning bolt 11, Force Field 32, Magical Sight 32)

Combat: Attack +9 (Meele +9, Ranged +9) Defense +19 (+13 Flat-footed) Init +0

Drawbacks: Minority (Lesbian Jewish Wicca)

Real Name: Willow D. Rosenberg
DOB: August 1, 1981 (Age 23 in Summer 2005 when game takes place)
Identity: Public, but unknown as a witch
Occupation: Part time computer instructor at Claremont Academy; Private Computer Security Systems Analyst.

Height 5’3”, Weight 110lbs, Eyes Green, Hair Red


Tara A. Maclay “The Sorceress”
Quote: “I am not teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. I know they don’t have it, I am just saying.”

PL: 11 (165 pp)

Abilities: STR: 12(+1) DEX: 9(-1) CON: 12(+1) INT: 16(+3) WIS: 18(+4) CHA: 16(+3)

Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+3), Bluff 4 (+7), Climb 2 (+3), Computers 4 (+7), Concentration 6 (+10), Craft (Alchemical) 4 (+7), Diplomacy 6 (+9), Disable Device 0 (+3), Disguise 0 (+3), Drive 3 (+2), Escape Artist 1 (0), Gather Information 4 (+7), Handle Animal 4 (+7), Intimidate 4 (+7), Investigate 2 (+5), Knowledge (Arcana) 15 (+18) , Knowledge (Theology/Philosophy) 8 (+11), Knowledge (Art) 4 (+7), Language (Greek, Japanese, Latin, Spanish), Medicine 4 (+8) , Notice 6 (+10), Perform (Rituals) 4 (7), Perform (Painting) 4 (7), Perform (Song and Dance) 4 (7), Pilot 0 (-1), Profession (HS Teacher) 5 (+9), Ride (Horses) 6 (+5), Search 6 (+9), Sense Motive 6 (+10), Sleight of Hand 2 (1), Stealth 4 (3), Survival 6 (+10), Swim 0 (+1)
Saves: Toughness +11 Fortitude +5 Reflex +5 Will +6

Feats: Attractive, Fearsome Presence (to Demons and Vampires only), Ritualist

Powers: Magic 14 (Telekinesis 14, Magical Sight 14, Astral Projection 2), Healing 5 (by touch).

Combat: Attack +9 (Meele +8, Ranged +10) Defense +18 (+12 Flat-footed) Init -1

Drawbacks: Minority (Lesbian Wicca)

Real Name: Tara A. Maclay
DOB: 11/07/1980 (24 in Summer 2005 when game takes place)
Identity: Public, but unknown as a witch
Occupation: Youth Counselor and Art instructor at Claremont Academy

Height 5’5”, Weight 125lbs, Eyes Blue, Hair Blond



Notes:
As usual, I am going with “The Dragon and the Phoenix” versions of these characters.
Briefly: Tara is back, Season 7 never happened, they defeated Leviathan. This would be the start of my Series 3 with Willow and Tara.

Neither are strong physical fighters, here or in Unisystem, so that converts well enough.

No dynamic Powers. I opted, for a couple of reasons, not to give Willow and Tara dynamic magic powers. Partially because they start this series as semi-retired but mostly I have something in mind for them later and dynamic magic plays a role in that.
Tara has healing separate from her Magic array same as her Unisystem counterpart. This plus her fearful presence to vampires and demons are the remains of her divine power as a Keribum (Kerubim). Tara also Magical Sight to cover her Empath and Sight qualities from Unisystem, but to better emulate it I might pull it out of her Magic array.

To mimic the Cinematic Unisystem magic better you can add Fade to the magical effects.

Casting together. 

In my games Willow and Tara can cast together to produce phenomenal effects via Anamchara Quality. In M&M this would be a special power or a special feat. In either case the results would be the same, Willow and Tara add their Magic levels together when casting together.


Links
My version at the Atomic Think Tank, http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?t=14876
Also have a look at Narsil's builds for Willow and Tara on the Atomic Think Tank.


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