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pbemguy

Fun gadgets for "Punisher Lite" character?

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I'm building a character for a superhero campaign. He's like the Punisher, but he's not as lethal. Like Punisher Lite.

 

I'm not looking for non-lethal weapons. Having played Champions a long time, I sometimes feel like I just want something cool and interesting to do rather than necessarily being super-effective. I guess what I mean is, I'm not trying to make a Combat Monster. I just want some cool gadgets that will change the narrative of the game. Ideally, some gadgets that might even change the course of the story. (Regular guns, grenades, tasers, those are run-of-the-mill.)

 

I can probably justify almost any gadget, since alien tech and magic items are in play in the campaign.

 

I guess what I'm asking is: What cool gadgets have you used that are fun to use in combat and do damage, but are not murderous? Not, like, a trident or something. Something unpredictable but opponents will be "Whoah, what the heck was that?" and not "That's just stupid."

 

PS: He's in between Batman and Punisher for lethality. He has no code against killing but doesn't like to kill. If he accidentally kills he's like, "Yeesh. Sorry about that."

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Examples: 

-That batarang from one of the Ninteties Batman movies where he could program certain targets

-A net Entangle gun that also does NND damage

-Leg-targeting bolos (AI and jet-assisted)

 

That's all I got. Like I said, I'm having trouble. Slightly futuristic but not silly, something that allows the athletic hero to deal with multiple opponents but without crossing the "Oh come on" threshold. 

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Taser gun.

 

Gas grenades (spewing sleep gas or irritation gas)

 

My Belladonna character was conceived carring a dart pistol shooting wooden slivers coated with a plant based sleep toxin (Basically Mind Control, Based On CON, NND [Immune to poison, does not sleep at all, resistant armor all over], one command ["go to sleep"]). It doesn't take more than 4 to 6 dice, cause your only targeting normal with it anyways.

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Well, the 5E Gadgets And Gear book has tons of varied stuff, and in PDF isn't too expensive: https://www.herogames.com/store/product/252-gadgets-and-gear-pdf/

 

However, if you're more interested in cool concepts than game stats, I recommend the Gadgets! module for 3E Champions. Every item is given a background history and distinctively-described SFX, which IMHO give them more color and style than later Hero gadget publications. https://www.herogames.com/store/product/835-gadgets-3rd-edition-pdf/

 

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How about oil slick grenades to cause people to slip and fall?

Flash Bangs are popular though I think I may over use them.

Aerosol numbing agents - Touch flash.  Makes it harder to fight in HTH.

Holographic 3D emitters.  Make 6 of you with images sight and sound.

Stun Knux.  Basically Tasers built into brass knuckles.

An ugly stick.  A linked PRE drain only vs. attacks.  You bloody then up so badly its hard to take them seriously.  I might have to do this against my players soon.  heh heh heh.

 

I have a couple of HTH fighters with neat gimmicks.  Most of these are on villains but a couple are on heroes.

  • I have a hero with 0 END Strength and martial arts.  However, he has a naked advantage on his entire punch damage that also costs 0 end with an activation roll of 8-.  The advantage is autofire 3, so yeah, it's expensive.  What happens is, I make a normal punch.  If I connect, I roll 3d6 and on a 8-, I find an opening and the regular attack becomes up to 3 more hits.  Note if I miss or I don't hit him well enough, it doesn't matter.  So far, its never activated properly. :(
  • I have a villain which has 1d6 aid on a trigger.  Every time he misses, he aids his OCV (6th ed).  Eventually, he will get so good in combat as to always hit you.  The aid is only good against one hero, so different heroes have a different bonus to be hit.  The trick would be to constantly change who fights the villain.  So far, his OCV against a hero only got up to about +3 before he gets double teamed and knocked out (see below about one of the attacks).
  • The same villain also had 2d6 aid to DCV on a similar trigger but only if he got hit by a direct attack.  He only got to +1 DCV before someone haymakered him to oblivion.  The main problem here was the players had poor CVs and he had a good DCV so he was hardly hit.
  • The no martial art martial multipower (6th) basically has 20 strength, and 4 OCV and 4 DCV in multiple variable slots.  It also has HA area of effect hexes for groups of agents, HA AP as a find weakness attack, HA NND, and HA autofire.
  • I am one of the few GMs which will allow speed drain and I have one martial artist with a 1d6 speed drain.  This probably isn't useful for most PCs as most GMs abhor this.  But you could also drain PD, ED, or CON per hit.  Basically wearing down of defenses and making it easier to stun the target.
  • I have a gunfu character with a naked variable advantage on her gun (5th).  It allows her to do head shots (+ STUN), autofire, AP, or indirect with her single shot pistol as a form of trick shooting.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Greywind said:

Squirt guns and water balloons.

Depends on what is inside them. Water itself only gets people wet and upset. Acid on the other hand...is too lethal to use directly. 

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10 hours ago, dsatow said:

 

Holographic 3D emitters.  Make 6 of you with images sight and sound.

Stun Knux.  Basically Tasers built into brass knuckles.

 

 

These two above I love! This is exactly the kind of thing I'm trying to think of!

 

 

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     Don’t forget real world options like “Bear Mace“ and “Pepper Gel”.   Stronger and more concentrated versions of the originals. Pepper Gel in particular is nasty stuff. It’s designed to stick in globs so that when the target goes to wipe it away it gets smeared in deeper in to a larger area.

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11 hours ago, dsatow said:

 

  • The same villain also had 2d6 aid to DCV on a similar trigger but only if he got hit by a direct attack.  He only got to +1 DCV before someone haymakered him to oblivion.  The main problem here was the players had poor CVs and he had a good DCV so he was hardly hit.

 

 Why not Absorption to DCV?

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I had a character in 4th edition with a Sonic Auto-Blaster.

 

It was something like 2d6 Energy Blast, Autofire, One Hex, 0 END, NND (defenses were being deaf or having no internal body structure to be painfully rattled around). The low initial cost meant you could add on tons of advantages and the effect still be cheap. I don't remember the costs on the advantages in that edition off-hand but I think it added up +4 1/2 or +5 which made for an affordable cost to purchase.

 

The special effects was something like what they showed sometimes in the original Star Trek series when someone grabs their head and pretends to be in agony (this time from repeated sonic strobing which is heard very loudly in the one hex and somewhat muted and not painful from further away).

 

Of course the original character had 13 OCV vs 3 DCV for the hex so most people would get hit with 8-10 dice of NND damage...it was deliberately just a bit over-powered. But if your Punisher guy doesn't have an outrageously high OCV, it shouldn't be too much though. It's a nice effect that's probably going to stun a normal person or two. Or let the hero get at least some damage done to extremely high defense opponents, hard to hit martial artists, etc. rather than flailing away to no effect with other attacks.

 

If you didn't want to do the power as a gun, it could be bought as grenades.

 

====

 

Drop a gadget that warns bystanders away and automatically calls the police,  PRIMUS, or your teammates. Very flavorful at least but I don't know that I'd want to pay points for it.

 

Alternatively, it'd be humorous to drop a gadget that pretends to call PRIMUS and lets you call out a "conversation" to it in a series of pre-programmed responses.

 

Stuff like "We've got a situation here" gets a reply of "We're homing in on the locator beacon. Five more seconds and we'll have it." Or pretending you're giving the description of the perps or their license plate or whatever information the bad guys wouldn't want the authorities to immediately have. You're wanting the bad guys to think "Oh, crap. I need to silence that communicator" rather than focus on shooting at you. It makes your monologues more meaningful.

 

 

 

 

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Synapse-Sticks: escrima sticks that Drain INT. Most characters don't buy up INT so it doesn't take much to take them down to 0 INT or less. See your edition for the effects of 0 INT but I think the effect is generally that a person with 0 INT or less has to make an INT roll if they want to take a different action (if they blow the roll, they just continue doing what they were doing because they literally can't think of anything better to do).

 

Obviously more humorous if you catch them doing something inappropriate rather than punching you. For example, if they're getting up off the floor, they'd continue to try to get up off the floor whether or not they were already up.

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What can be more "Punisher Light" then "mercy bullets", bullets with a wax tip filled with sleepy juice. They do body damage, but are not as lethal as full bullets.

 

Blame Marvel for that.

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50 minutes ago, archer said:

Synapse-Sticks: escrima sticks that Drain INT. Most characters don't buy up INT so it doesn't take much to take them down to 0 INT or less. See your edition for the effects of 0 INT but I think the effect is generally that a person with 0 INT or less has to make an INT roll if they want to take a different action (if they blow the roll, they just continue doing what they were doing because they literally can't think of anything better to do).

 

Obviously more humorous if you catch them doing something inappropriate rather than punching you. For example, if they're getting up off the floor, they'd continue to try to get up off the floor whether or not they were already up.

 

This is inspiring me! I never thought of using Drain. I'm definitely going to incorporate this. Perhaps a blaster that does a regular EB plus an INT drain. Maybe an INT/DEX drain--a drug effect similar to the sleepy juice below

 

32 minutes ago, steriaca said:

What can be more "Punisher Light" then "mercy bullets", bullets with a wax tip filled with sleepy juice. They do body damage, but are not as lethal as full bullets.

 

Blame Marvel for that.

 

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Transform is an interesting effect. Ultron once used an Encephalo-Beam weapon on the Avengers which was basically "Transform target person into a coma patient".

 

A less severe option might be "Transform target into someone who has to spend x2 END for any action". That sounds a little more like the power an evil GM would give to next week's villain but I could see a hero using it in an attempt to cripple a villain who is otherwise too tough to handle.

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1 minute ago, archer said:

Transform is an interesting effect. Ultron once used an Encephalo-Beam weapon on the Avengers which was basically "Transform target person into a coma patient".

 

A less severe option might be "Transform target into someone who has to spend x2 END for any action". That sounds a little more like the power an evil GM would give to next week's villain but I could see a hero using it in an attempt to cripple a villain who is otherwise too tough to handle.

 

Yeah, I hadn't considered Transform or Drain!

This is really helping!!!

I'm So Excited- Cat In The Hat GIF - DoctorSeuss MikeMyers ...

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Okay, since everyone else is offering specific suggestions, I guess I should start posting a few of the gadgets I alluded to in the above-mentioned Gadgets! book which match pbemguy's parameters. I'll just confine myself to some of the flavor text for each item, and an abbreviated version of its game mechanics roughly translated to current Hero.

 

Weapons

 

Dragon Gun: This rifle was designed to fill an urgent requirement by unnamed Middle East buyers for a state-of-the-art incendiary device. The weapon fires bursts of white phosphorus flechettes. Once a round has struck, it continues to burn fiercely for several seconds, ensuring combustion in any flammable object hit. The ammunition used is rather low-powered, and the burning effect is much less pronounced on live targets since the flechettes can be easily removed if the victim doesn't panic. (Small RKA, Penetrating, Continuous, Autofire. Continuous only applies to inert, unresisting targets.)

 

Hyper-Velocity Pellet Gun: Developed for police use, this projectile gun fires an .11 caliber "soft" pellet at tremendous muzzle velocity. The pellet flattens on impact, doing little permanent damage but imparting enormous momentum to the target, stunning it. Built in both rifle and assault rifle versions. (Small RKA with very high STUN multiplier, Autofire added for the AR version.)

 

Gas Stream Gun: Agents of the Parapsychological Studies Institute (PSI), seeking a safe way to "take" reluctant future members, commissioned the International Scientific Elite to design a quick-acting and effective weapon with guaranteed zero after-effects. This gun fires a solution of DMSO and a selected drug in a thin, high velocity stream of gas molecules. The solution itself is carried in a refillable plug-in cartridge. While accuracy drops off rapidly due to dispersion of the stream, anyone without protection will be doused with the spray. (Defense would be LS: Self-contained Breathing, with a Special Effect of full-body sealed environment to prevent skin absorption.)

PSI has three loads for this weapon: a sleep drug (NND), an insidious serum which slows the firing of the victim's neurons (INT Drain), and a similar load which depresses the target's will (EGO Drain. The latter two don't work against the above-defined LS).

 

Neutrino Beamer: Neutrinos, believed to hold a great deal of the Universe's mass, escaped detection for many years due to their enormous penetration of normal matter. However, immaterial force fields are very efficient at stopping the small particles. The Neutrino Beamer capitalizes on this fact, for only targets with force fields can be affected by it. When struck by the neutrino stream, the target's force field stops the particles, and only the force field resists the damage to the target. (Blast AVAD - DEF defined as a Force Field, only affects targets with a Force Field.)

 

Neutron Accelerator: This revolutionary weapon spits a stream of ultra-accelerated neutrons, yielding a large number of low-powered attacks which are Penetrating due to the difficulty of blocking neutrons. The enormous number of fired neutrons translates to a very high OCV. The weapon is reputed to have been developed by the infamous Dr. Destroyer, unfortunate since no one has been able to ask him how the gun accelerates the neutrally charged neutrons. (Blast, Penetrating, Autofire, with large bonus to OCV.)

 

Phase Gloves: A product of Alternate Realities, Unlimited, the Phase Gloves emit an N-dimensional harmonically phased energy field, tailored closely about the gloves' surface. This energy field allows the wearer to "reach" into nearby reality variants, overcoming targets' attempt to evade capture by phasing out of our space-time continuum. The amount of force which can be so "steered" by the gloves is limited by their small power source. (Affects Desolidified for up to 40 AP of STR or Normal Damage HTH, or HKA.)

 

Stumblers: Tiny pods triggered when tossed into a target area, Stumblers throw out a number of small, invisible wires which project a force field, temporarily immobilizing everything within reach. Most opponents will be able to bull their way through the field eventually, and anyone with Flight or Leaping may zoom over the stricken area. (Moderate Entangle with 0 DEF, AOE.)

 

More to come as time permits. Or, you could just buy the module. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/9/2020 at 2:17 PM, Lord Liaden said:

Well, the 5E Gadgets And Gear book has tons of varied stuff, and in PDF isn't too expensive: https://www.herogames.com/store/product/252-gadgets-and-gear-pdf/

 

However, if you're more interested in cool concepts than game stats, I recommend the Gadgets! module for 3E Champions. Every item is given a background history and distinctively-described SFX, which IMHO give them more color and style than later Hero gadget publications. https://www.herogames.com/store/product/835-gadgets-3rd-edition-pdf/

 

 

I forgot I actually have this book! In softcover. I'll have to dig it out!

I always loved the layout of this cover. Is Daniel R. Horne still doing Hero art?

 

Gadgets.jpg.f17e1ae5cf12c5ac7871c6b9aaed2353.jpg

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10 hours ago, steriaca said:

What can be more "Punisher Light" then "mercy bullets", bullets with a wax tip filled with sleepy juice. They do body damage, but are not as lethal as full bullets.

 

Blame Marvel for that.


    Actually, the term “mercy bullet” came from Doc Savage using them in his pulp novels in the 1930’s.

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9 minutes ago, Tjack said:


    Actually, the term “mercy bullet” came from Doc Savage using them in his pulp novels in the 1930’s.

 

I found it in a 1927 newspaper quote:

image.png.0d9375050c5b6442f96d36a1646528c8.png

 

But yeah, the Doc was probably the first superhero to use it.

 

Source:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=XXQqCAWcZ8cC&pg=PA70&lpg=PA70&dq=1927+daily+express+mercy+bullet&source=bl&ots=kOq1euOj58&sig=ACfU3U3rOZ0LA--riRDJWWIedOAS62djZA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipy9HNvcTqAhUbCc0KHURQDUsQ6AEwCnoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=1927 daily express mercy bullet&f=false

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If you're looking for Drains, try the "Sick Sticks" from the movie Minority Report.  Jab the target with them and they projectile vomit everywhere.  I would treat it as a 6D6 DEX Drain, since they're so busy vomiting they can't take any other action.  (I'd be careful where you stand, though--if you happen to be in front of the target, he won't be the only one needing a costume change.)

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Well, one weapon we can crib from the Transformers is Starscream's Null Ray. It stops all motion in the target hit.

 

So, how is that non-lethal? Well, living beings are put into Suspended Animation for a short time. Basically a AVLD NND Transformation (defense is being incapable of movement in the first place). It wears off over time. Victims of the Null Ray can't remember what happened between the time hit and the time it wears off.

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