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In Ultimate Skill/Hero System skills, in addition to Universal Translator, other universal skill enhancers are suggested, including: True Jack of All Trades, Universal Connections, Universal Pilot, Universal Scholar, and Universal Scientist.  Logically, a few more could be created:

Universal Armsman--the character is familiar with the vast majority of weapons, and can become familiar with new ones with a skill roll. 20 points.

Universal Agility--the character can perform any Agility(dex-based) skill.  This should probably cost 30 points, not 20.

Universal Intellect--the character can perform any Intellect skill.  Also should probably cost 30 points.

Universal Charisma--the character can perform any interaction skill.  30 points.  

Universal Martial Artist--the character is familiar with the most common martial arts maneuvers, and can learn new ones with a skill roll.  40 points, extra damage classes cost 5 points, not 4.

Combat Mastery--the character can perform other combat skills(Autofire skills, Defense maneuver, Rapid Attack, Two Weapon Fighting, Optional Combat Maneuvers) and learn new ones with a skill roll. 30 points.  

 

The total cost of all 12 "Universal" skills, base, would be 300 points.  So, pretty expensive.  But if you want to "clean up" a character sheet and not clutter it with dozens of specific skills, or if you want to run a campaign where a super-scientist basically knows all the sciences, or a super martial artist basically knows most martial arts, it's probably a nice clean way to do it.  

 

 

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Universal Armsman--the character is familiar with the vast majority of weapons, and can become familiar with new ones with a skill roll. 20 points.

Armsmaster: (Total: 15 Active Cost, 6 Real Cost) +3 OCV (15 Active Points); Limited Power Only to counter penalty for non familiarity (-1 1/2) (Real Cost: 6)

 

 

Universal Agility--the character can perform any Agility(dex-based) skill.  This should probably cost 30 points, not 20.

Super Agility: (Total: 55 Active Cost, 23 Real Cost)

Breakfall 13- (Real Cost: 3)

plus Combat Driving 13-, Usable As: Combat Piloting (+1/4) (4 Active Points) (Real Cost: 4)

plus Stealth 13- (Real Cost: 3)

plus Flight 7m, Position Shift, Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4), Variable Advantage (+1/4 Advantages; Limited Group of Advantages: Mostly "Usable As ____"; +1/2), Usable As Attack (+3/4), Grantor pays the END whenever the power is used, Recipient must remain close to Grantor, Trigger (Activating the Trigger is an Action that takes no time, Trigger resets automatically, immediately after it activates; +1 1/4) (45 Active Points); Limited Power Only to simulate Agility Skills (-1), Requires A Roll (13- roll; Must be made each Phase/use; -1/2), Restrainable (-1/2), Only In Contact With A Surface (-1/4), no Noncombat movement (-1/4) (Real Cost: 13)

 

Most Agility Skills except Breakfall, Stealth, and Combat Driving and Piloting, can be simulated by Moveent Powers.

Climbing: Clinging

Acrobatics: Flight

Contortionist: Teleport

Lockpick: Tunneling

Fast Draw and Sleight of Hand: Teleport, Usable as Attack on the object in question

 

 

Universal Intellect--the character can perform any Intellect skill.  Also should probably cost 30 points.

Super Intellect: (Total: 67 Active Cost, 27 Real Cost)

Analyze: Anything! 13-, Variable Special Effects (Any SFX; +1/2) (4 Active Points) (Real Cost: 4)

plus Paramedics 13- (Real Cost: 3)

plus Inventor 13- (Real Cost: 3)

plus Detect A Large Class Of Things: Answer to any question an Intellectual Skill could answer 13- (Unusual Group), Discriminatory, Analyze, Tracking (25 Active Points); Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Concentration, Must Concentrate throughout use of Constant Power (1/2 DCV; -1/2), Sense Affected As More Than One Sense [very common Sense] (Usually has to see things ; -1/2), Nonpersistent (-1/4) (Real Cost: 9)

plus Major Transform 1d6+1, Variable Special Effects (Limited Group of SFX: Intellectual Skill Effects; +1/4), Improved Results Group (+1/4), Variable Advantage (+1/2 Advantages; +1) (32 Active Points); Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Concentration, Must Concentrate throughout use of Constant Power (1/2 DCV; -1/2), No Range (-1/2), Restrainable (-1/2), Requires A Roll (13- roll; Must be made each Phase/use; -1/2), Inaccurate (1/2 OCV; -1/4), Limited Power Only to simulate Intellectual Skills (-1/4) (Real Cost: 8)

 

Most Intellect Skills come down to one of two things:

Know Stuff; "Which way did the person/beast/vehicle I'm tracking go?" or "Where can I put this bug to both hear clearly and be undiscovered?" If Detect can be used to "Detect answer to math problem" (see how Lightning Calculator was built) then it should work for any intellectual question.

Change Stuff: "Render this trap/alarm/bomb harmless" or "Alter my own or someone else's features or voice" and that calls for a Transform.

 

Universal Charisma--the character can perform any interaction skill.  30 points.

Animal Friendship alone is 20 pts. You want both Animal and People Friendship for 30?

 

Universal Martial Artist--the character is familiar with the most common martial arts maneuvers, and can learn new ones with a skill roll.  40 points, extra damage classes cost 5 points, not 4.

For 5 pts, I can just increase STR.

 

Combat Mastery--the character can perform other combat skills(Autofire skills, Defense maneuver, Rapid Attack, Two Weapon Fighting, Optional Combat Maneuvers) and learn new ones with a skill roll. 30 points.

 

 

I don't find "Optional Combat Maneuvers" on the Skill list.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I find a palindromedary tagline under my post

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Armsmaster: (Total: 15 Active Cost, 6 Real Cost) +3 OCV (15 Active Points); Limited Power Only to counter penalty for non familiarity (-1 1/2) (Real Cost: 6)

 

 

 

Super Agility: (Total: 55 Active Cost, 23 Real Cost)

Breakfall 13- (Real Cost: 3)

plus Combat Driving 13-, Usable As: Combat Piloting (+1/4) (4 Active Points) (Real Cost: 4)

plus Stealth 13- (Real Cost: 3)

plus Flight 7m, Position Shift, Reduced Endurance (1/2 END; +1/4), Variable Advantage (+1/4 Advantages; Limited Group of Advantages: Mostly "Usable As ____"; +1/2), Usable As Attack (+3/4), Grantor pays the END whenever the power is used, Recipient must remain close to Grantor, Trigger (Activating the Trigger is an Action that takes no time, Trigger resets automatically, immediately after it activates; +1 1/4) (45 Active Points); Limited Power Only to simulate Agility Skills (-1), Requires A Roll (13- roll; Must be made each Phase/use; -1/2), Restrainable (-1/2), Only In Contact With A Surface (-1/4), no Noncombat movement (-1/4) (Real Cost: 13)

 

Most Agility Skills except Breakfall, Stealth, and Combat Driving and Piloting, can be simulated by Moveent Powers.

Climbing: Clinging

Acrobatics: Flight

Contortionist: Teleport

Lockpick: Tunneling

Fast Draw and Sleight of Hand: Teleport, Usable as Attack on the object in question

 

 

 

Super Intellect: (Total: 67 Active Cost, 27 Real Cost)

Analyze: Anything! 13-, Variable Special Effects (Any SFX; +1/2) (4 Active Points) (Real Cost: 4)

plus Paramedics 11- (Real Cost: 3)

plus Inventor 11- (Real Cost: 3)

plus Detect A Large Class Of Things: Answer to any question an Intellectual Skill could answer 13- (Unusual Group), Discriminatory, Analyze, Tracking (25 Active Points); Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Concentration, Must Concentrate throughout use of Constant Power (1/2 DCV; -1/2), Sense Affected As More Than One Sense [very common Sense] (Usually has to see things ; -1/2), Nonpersistent (-1/4) (Real Cost: 9)

plus Major Transform 1d6+1, Variable Special Effects (Limited Group of SFX: Intellectual Skill Effects; +1/4), Improved Results Group (+1/4), Variable Advantage (+1/2 Advantages; +1) (32 Active Points); Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Concentration, Must Concentrate throughout use of Constant Power (1/2 DCV; -1/2), No Range (-1/2), Restrainable (-1/2), Requires A Roll (13- roll; Must be made each Phase/use; -1/2), Inaccurate (1/2 OCV; -1/4), Limited Power Only to simulate Intellectual Skills (-1/4) (Real Cost: 8)

 

Most Intellect Skills come down to one of two things:

Know Stuff; "Which way did the person/beast/vehicle I'm tracking go?" or "Where can I put this bug to both hear clearly and be undiscovered?" If Detect can be used to "Detect answer to match problem" (see how Lightning Calculator was built) then it should work for any intellectual question.

Change Stuff: "Render this trap/alarm/bomb harmless" or "Alter my own or someone else's features or voice" and that calls for a Transform.

 

 

Animal Friendship alone is 20 pts. You want both Animal and People Friendship for 30?

 

 

For 5 pts, I can just increase STR.

 

 

 

I don't find "Optional Combat Maneuvers" on the Skill list.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I find a palindromedary tagline under my post

It's things like Hurry, Drop Shot, Diving for Cover, etc.  In Ultimate Skill/Hero System Skills.

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It's things like Hurry, Drop Shot, Diving for Cover, etc.  In Ultimate Skill/Hero System Skills.

 

Ah. I'm looking in the wrong place.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I thought the palindromedary ate them.

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Most Intellect Skills come down to one of two things:

Know Stuff; "Which way did the person/beast/vehicle I'm tracking go?" or "Where can I put this bug to both hear clearly and be undiscovered?" If Detect can be used to "Detect answer to match problem" (see how Lightning Calculator was built) then it should work for any intellectual question.

 

 

Stop right there. That might be the most interesting idea (Lightning Calculator) I've come across. 

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Since my goal for giving a character a universal skill would include reducing clutter, I'd be unlikely to post anything other than "Universal Intellect, 11-" on a sheet, since posting a long mechanical writeup would be self-defeating.  It's an admirable/viable construct, though.  

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"Universal Skills": +10 Overall Skill Lvls (120 ap); Only To Use A Skill Not Possessed (Extraordinary Skill Roll Penalty Requirement; -2). 40 cp.

 

The character can make an Extraordinary Skill Roll (-10) using the appropriate Characteristic (DEX, INT, PRE, etc.) to use a skill that is not possessed by the PC.

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I usually make the first rank of any non-combat skill free to address the high skill costs of Batman, super scientists, etc, so in my games what separates a heavily skill driven character vs a guy who 'should know that' so writes it down is Skill Levels of various flavors (with the 'Batman' at my table buying +4 Overall Skill levels - thus making him way better at Demolitions (17- thanks to an 18 intellect) than the brick who can sometimes figure out where to hit a building to make it collapse more effectively (11-).

 

Interesting approach with the Detect and Universals, though.

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Most Intellect Skills come down to one of two things:

 

Know Stuff; "Which way did the person/beast/vehicle I'm tracking go?" or "Where can I put this bug to both hear clearly and be undiscovered?" If Detect can be used to "Detect answer to match problem" (see how Lightning Calculator was built) then it should work for any intellectual question.
Change Stuff: "Render this trap/alarm/bomb harmless" or "Alter my own or someone else's features or voice" and that calls for a Transform.
 

 

 

Mentat Projection:  Detect Projections From Known Data 15- (Unusual Group). 11 Active Points.   For all you Dune fans, you recognize that this makes you a god among men. For you non-Dune fans, consider this "big data" conclusions.  I used a class of things on the detect instead of a single thing.

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I frequently use the Extraordinary Skill rules (CC 25) for some of these things.

For example:

​Super Scientist:  SS: All Science (Extraordinary). Cost: 13 points.

Notes: This skill functions as a Characteristic-Based roll for any field of science.

 

The rest I wouldn't touch with a 3m pole.

But than again, I wrote a villain that spent something like 175 points on earth languages in addition to​ purchasing Universal Translator because Universal Translator only allows basic communication, not true fluency, and the character in question was fluent and literate in every known language. For brevity I think I omitted the entire list by simply noting that they were Fluent in All Earth Languages (as defined by CC 31).

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I think for some skills there should be a cap: spend this many points and you get it all.

 

As in a cap for Survival: you know all the areas.  Or Weapon Familiarity, Languages, etc.  cheaper than actually purchasing everything, but expensive enough to put it out of the desirable range for anyone but a specific character concept.  Clearly, its not worth more than a certain number points to speak every language, because its of such limited value.  I'd put that one around 25, because 5d6 of telepathy will handle pretty much anything you meet in terms of communication.  That kind of thing.

 

Without those kind of shortcuts, you end up spending 500 points  just making Sherlock Holmes and clearly he's not a 500 point character.  I used to get around this by letting people use skills in elemental controls.  A minor cost reduction, but enough to help with skill monsters.  I mean how many points is Batman?  But Superman can still thip him into the stratosphere.

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As an aside a player at my table pointed out that just because the entire Justice League is on one team doesn't mean they're all built on the same character points.

 

A fully functional Batman being 600 - 700 points only means something to us trying to put him, or a character inspired by him, in a game. In a story it doesn't stop him from teaming up with a 5000 point Wonder Woman or "Active points: Yes" Superman.

 

(Even at times when it should.)

 

Maybe a problem with skills is the first rank costing 3? Even in a heroic level game, where skills tend to get used more than powers, perhaps 1 would be a more inviting cost?

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As an aside a player at my table pointed out that just because the entire Justice League is on one team doesn't mean they're all built on the same character points.

 

 

Sure but my point is that he'll end up costing close to the same as Superman because he has every skill, talent, martial arts, and perk in the game maxed out.  And he's not remotely as powerful.

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I don't know, skills are already pretty damn cheap. Especially under CC/FHC which imploded categorized skills like Animal Handler into flat 3/2 rolls.

 

There are only about ~52 Skills in CC (if you exclude Combat Skills, Background and Skill Enhancers), so you can literally purchase every skill in the game for ~156 points. Add to that SS (All Sciences), PS (All Professions), CuK (All Cultures), AK (All Areas), and KS (All Topics) for 13 CP each (65 CP). And add to that all TFs and WFs (lets ball park those at 25 CP each), and all Languages (143 CP, including Linguist Enhancer).

 

And you Know Everything and can Do Anything (62.5% of the time...) for thereabouts of ~414 CP. If you also spend 36 CP on +3 Overall (as 12-point SLs), you've got a "Super Everyman" character can Do or Know anything 90% of the time for about 450 points.

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Yeah, for every skill in the game you're better off with Summon in a VPP.

 

40 Speed Dial: Variable Power Pool, 25 base + 50 control cost, Powers Can Be Changed As A Half-Phase Action (+1/2) (62 Active Points); Limited Power Power loses about half of its effectiveness (Summon Only; -1); all slots IAF (Cell Phone; -1/2)   0

1) Outsource: Summon 200-point 200 point expert, Friendly (+1/4) (50 Active Points); Arrives Under Own Power (-1/2), IAF (Cell Phone; -1/2) Real Cost: 25

 

Bam. 200 point expert in whatever skill or skills you need for a half-phase action and a power roll  :) You know, as long as the GM doesn't say 'the closest expert of that skill that you know of is in London, England.  He'll arrive tomorrow." every single time you use the power.

 

(If so you'll have to ditch the cool 'arrives under own power' limitation and become a necromancer or something who summons ghosts with the skills directly to his location)

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You're lowballing that horribly, trust me I've tried to build the guy.  It gets ridiculous.  The language list alone is over 100, and he's got at least accented fluent in every single one.  Every martial arts style is like 400 points.

I'm not lowballing it, you misread my post.

The aforementioned character bought Linguist and EVERY language on CC 31 as Idiomatic + Literacy (sans the one they got for free) for 143 CP. Also I explicitly stated that the aforementioned character was not purchasing ANY Combat skills. I also ignored the 25+ different versions of Fast Draw they'd need...

 

However Lets price out the combat stuff too shall we?

Purchasing every Martial Maneuver in FHC (which has more than CC) costs 93 CP. Lets toss another 50 CP in Weapon Elements on top of that (twice as much as I spent on WF) so you can use Every Martial Maneuver with up to 50 appropriate 1-point Weapon Groups, such as Blades.

Add Defense Maneuver IV (10 CP), every Autofire Skill (20 CP), Rapid Attack (10 CP), and Two-Weapon Fighting (10 CP).

Add in 25+ different Versions of Fast Draw (because why the hell not "I'm Batman" it all the way) (75 CP). 

For a total of 268 more points. That is a far cry from spending 400 on Martial Arts alone.

 

Adding the above Game Elements to the previous "Super Everyman" described earlier results in a 718 point character that can do pretty much anything that doesn't require a Power... "I'm Batman" indeed. 

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Yeah, for every skill in the game you're better off with Summon in a VPP.

 

40 Speed Dial: Variable Power Pool, 25 base + 50 control cost, Powers Can Be Changed As A Half-Phase Action (+1/2) (62 Active Points); Limited Power Power loses about half of its effectiveness (Summon Only; -1); all slots IAF (Cell Phone; -1/2)   0

1) Outsource: Summon 200-point 200 point expert, Friendly (+1/4) (50 Active Points); Arrives Under Own Power (-1/2), IAF (Cell Phone; -1/2) Real Cost: 25

 

Bam. 200 point expert in whatever skill or skills you need for a half-phase action and a power roll  :) You know, as long as the GM doesn't say 'the closest expert of that skill that you know of is in London, England.  He'll arrive tomorrow." every single time you use the power.

 

(If so you'll have to ditch the cool 'arrives under own power' limitation and become a necromancer or something who summons ghosts with the skills directly to his location)

 

Just for fun, I built a character construct called "Amorphous Blob Man" as a Standard Superhero. He sold back EVERYTHING. (1s in all characteristics, no senses, etc), and bought an enormous Cosmic VPP (I think the Pool was around 450 points). Every phase he could simply "rebuild himself" into whatever the situation called for. Totally illegal by the way, but an interesting thought experiment.

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Yeah, for every skill in the game you're better off with Summon in a VPP.

 

Or just have a skill VPP the GM lets you have.  I need Mongolian Geology now, so 9 points into that.  And 3 into Mongolian language, 5 into Mongolian Culture, 5 into Persuasion, and 7 into Conversation....

 

Purchasing every Martial Maneuver in FHC

 

 

Yeah but Batman does't just have FHC, he has Ultimate Martial Artist.

He games out closer to 2000 points with his gadgets, abilities, and contacts.

 

Remember: contacts is open ended, and stuff like sciences and languages are way more extensive than the "here's a sample" list you're building from.

 

And Superman would kill him in the first phase (which he has a higher speed and DEX to act in) without even noticing.

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I built an 850 point Batman that can do just about everything he needs to do. That covers skills, sidekick, Batcave, everything. Now that doesn't mean that there won't be a random issue of Detective Comics where Bruce uses KS: 17th Century Russian Literature to solve a case. But there are ways to handle that beyond listing every skill possible on his character sheet.

 

You run into the same problem with Superman. One of the early issues in the John Byrne run had Supes mention that he had memorized the names, addresses, and phone numbers of every person in Metropolis. Of course he never displays that knowledge again, but technically he's supposed to have it.

 

My default "standard Superman" build is almost 2000 points. And yeah, he'll beat Batman just about every time, unless Bats whips out the Kryptonite. But that doesn't mean they can't play in the same campaign together. They fulfill different roles and face different challenges.

 

One of the problems I have with the over-granulation of 5th and 6th editions is that it amplifies the problem faced by skill-heavy characters. Did we really need Survival to get broken down into a bunch of different sub-skills? (The correct answer to that question is "no").

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One of the problems I have with the over-granulation of 5th and 6th editions is that it amplifies the problem faced by skill-heavy characters. Did we really need Survival to get broken down into a bunch of different sub-skills? (The correct answer to that question is "no").

That is one of the reasons I prefer CC/FHC. All those categorized skills were imploded, it helps the Skill-focused characters a lot not having to dump ~20ish points into skills like Animal Handler.

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In 5th edition, buying every subskill for Survival ends up being 16 points (at least, that's what Hero Designer lets me click).  I can get Life Support: Heat, Cold, and Doesn't Eat/Drink for 7 points.  That's much better than Survival.  I understand the desire for more granularity, but I think the people pushing that end up losing sight of the point structure of the game.

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I think a better way to handle it would be to have Survival at a base roll work wherever, and at a lower cost work only in some areas.  Reducing utility should cost less, not more.

 

One idea that I've noodled around with is to have the base skill take a penalty if the character doesn't have an appropriate KS at Familiarity level or better. For example, a character might have:

 

Survival 14-

KS: Subtropical Climates 11-

KS: Tropical Climates 8-

 

The character might get a bonus to Survival skill rolls in subtropical climates (complementary skill), no modifier in tropical climates, and a penalty in other situations.

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