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Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central


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Player App: Catalyst Silverstone on Hero Central

 

Hi, Casey!

 

I would like to play in your game on Hero Central. Do you still have room? I have played this PC before, though it has been a while. I whittled him down to 350 and I'm still working on a revised background. See below for the barebones version. Thanks!

 

-- Jim :)

 

Character: Chance AKA "Jack Daye"

Player: Jim Mills

Concept: He is an immortal Asian Dragon, but he didn't know what he was at first. Born of Cassandra Daye, a human mother (and, unknown to them both, an Eastern Dragon father), he was human to most appearances. But, from a young age he was quite strong and tough... by human standards. He was hard to hurt, and if he did get hurt, he healed rapidly. Born and raised in the San Francisco area in 1851, he joined the California Column in the Civil War, but instinctively kept his more-than-human nature secret. His other Powers did not manifest until well into the 20th century. By then, he had buried his mother and long-since figured out that he must be immortal or, at the least, very long-lived.

 

In the year 1950, his father contacted him and told him of his Dragon heritage and that he had a choice to make. Go the way of all humans: die and go to whatever reward the Great Creator reserved for human beings... or... he could become a full-fledged Dragon, albeit a young and relatively weak Dragon, and he would be reborn. Jack chose to become a dragon. And so he went into the egg and was reborn an Eastern Dragon. In his case, he became a Star Dragon... jet black with pinpoints of light (stars) in his hide. A consummate shapeshifter, he chose to stay in human form most of the time, learned that his father was a Prince of the Nippon nation (Japan), and he became a Prince as well, along with all that entailed. But he also chose to be a human superhero in this modern age, as a secret ID, calling himself Chance, a mage who is primarily an energy blaster (he can redirect his breath weapon out his hands when in human form, and he magically flies and teleports and has a few other powers as well).

 

I'm still working on polishing up the rewrite, but how does that sound, conceptually? Please let me know. Thanks!

 

-- Jim :)

 

Chance_small.jpg

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Good morning, everyone! I hope to have time today to do a second run through the submitted characters. Here's the latest status - I'll edit this post during the day as I tackle each character. I've also provided tips to help get your character accepted.

 

  • Engram, gregarious mentalist (jwpacker) - character sheet near final version
  • Luminous, shining detective (quozaxx) - final submission made
  • Guardian, reconstructed powersuit (Checkmate) - feedback given
  • Ladon, shifter with dragon form (Fabricati) - feedback given
  • Cagliostro the Alchemist, master occultist (Vox) - character sheet finalized, awaiting revised background
  • Hesperides, gene-spliced plant controller (Revenant) - feedback given
  • Black Arachnia, web-casting heroine (Corven_Ren) - character sheet near final version
  • Chance, reborn dragon (JimMills) - concept submitted, initial feedback given
  • Animax, mimics the ability of animals (Checkmate) - feedback given

 

Application Tips

 

I gave guidelines in the initial post about Catalyst. However, I wanted to give some tips that will improve your chances of being accepted.

 

Concept and Background

  • Ideally, the background should tell me how you got your powers, why you became a superhero, and what things are important to you.
  • You should be wary of having a background that gives you superpowers before 1986, when superpowered beings became public in the Catalyst universe. This isn't an absolute prohibition to being accepted, but will set the bar a lot higher.
  • More is better...usually. The more background I am given, the more plot hooks I can create for your character. At the same time, I don't want a 10000-word character study with several pages about the character's favorite foods and how he goes bowling every Tuesday.
  • Catalyst will certainly have combat, but your character should be able to interact socially, participate in investigations, and otherwise have things to do outside of combat.
  • Monstrous characters are going to have a more difficult time being accepted, both because such characters will have a harder time socially and because the more scary the group is, the harder it will be for them to be accepted by the people of Silverstone. The two superteams I gave as examples in my initial guidelines were the Clairmont-era (late 70's to mid 80's) X-Men, and the early Giffen-era Justice League. Neither had an excessively monstrous character - Nightcrawler was the closest, and he was a charismatic swashbuckler despite his appearance.

 

Character Sheet

  • Look over the guidelines in the first post. If you're submitting characters wildly divergent from those guidelines, you're sabotaging your chances.
  • Despite the guidelines, I'm willing to accept powers that violate them if a) the power is important to the character concept, B) is not both more powerful and more generally useful than a standard attack, and c) is not designed to give an unfair advantage over the other characters. For example, Cagliostro's latest writeup includes a few powers over the normal limits, but they fit the alchemical background, have limitations on when they can be used, aren't more effective in a typical situation than his base 11d6 Energy Blast, and assist the other PCs instead of letting him hog the spotlight.
  • As Zac mentioned in his post, Damage Reduction may as well not exist (for PCs). Any power that has a warning on it about being too effective or potentially breaking the game will be scrutinized VERY carefully.
  • The guidelines for skills are meant to give characters more depth, and things to do outside of combat. I'm the sort of GM that will actively attempt to include situations where characters can utilize their skills. Maybe that Knowledge (Religions of the World) will come up when the main villain is searching for the Golem of Prague, or how to convince a Buddist priest to help you find one of his flock.
  • If you've only spent 10 or 20 points on noncombat skills and can't think of any more places to spend points - ask. The HERO system has a very robust skill system, and I (or another poster) may think of something you missed. You may also want to look at this thread - List of Professions.
  • For disadvantages, I highly recommend taking the full 50 points of Psychological Limitations allowed for a 350-point character, as they help flesh out your background. Hunteds are another good place to get points if you need them (up to the 50 point limit), and it's perfectly fine to designate mystery hunteds - they give me a lot more freedom to fit your character into the game world.
  • The higher the point total of a disadvantage, the more often it will come up. For example, if you take a 40-point group of DNPCs, expect to see one of those DNPCs lurking around every corner, either getting in trouble or endangering your Secret ID.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Hiya,

 

I submitted a PC concept yesterday, but the spam filter seems to have caught it. I'll try again now.

 

Concept: Johnny 6 is a dimension hopping college freshman with the ability not only to visit other times/places/universes but bring versions of himself from those "Elsewhens". Mechanically, he works as a duplicator with 5 duplicates.

 

Duplicate 1 is a promethum metal based brick named Iron John

Duplicate 2 is a super intelligent psychic and gadgeteer named J%nn1

Duplicate 3 is a soldier from a post apocalypic wasteland (gunslinger) named JB19r "Johnny Bravo"

Duplicate 4 is an alien hybrid with the ability to transform into flame (human torch or heatblast for concept)

Duplicate 5 is an alien verison with aquatic powers (speedster/minibrick) only this one is a female named Jenny/Aquagirl.

 

I'll HD the designs momentarily. Now let me see if I can get that post to import.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Johnny 6

Every story has a beginning, sometimes the author sets out to write it, but most often the story starts when no one is paying attention. My story is one of the latter varieties. My language arts teacher would be thrilled to see me use the word latter in a sentence. My story is all about when no one is paying attention. For years no one ever paid any attention to me, it was almost like I didn’t exist. That was when things got really interesting.

One day, just like all the rest, after I’d walked home…bus driver didn’t see me again…when I walked through the door to my folk’s apartment, I didn’t see the ratty couch or smell dad’s rank cigarette butts. Instead, I saw a world, well an ocean anyway. Strange, I know seeing an ocean in your living room; I did what any sane teenager would do, I turned around and bolted back out the door. After a few moments of “WTF?”; I calmly opened the door again fully expecting weirdness. I got the living room.

When my folks came home, I wanted to tell them about my vision, but I chickened out. Being ignored was better than being subjected to the Look. The Look is their way of saying, “Are you still here?” I went to bed that night and dreamed about the world I saw that day. Upon waking I found that my dreams were tame compared to what would happen next.

First it was running from the Three, a group of juniors that ran Eastside High, and ending up running through a geyser filled basalt field. Then it was spending a week on board an alien spaceship. I mean how do you pronounce X’haop’c anyway? Their food was good though, I mean once I’d figured out was food and what was an essential part of the ship. But, what really blew my mind was meeting me.

You see I had started to believe that I was going somewhere in this universe. When I met J%nn1, I knew he was me from elsewhen. Elsewhen is the term I invented for the infinite number of alternate universes. J%nn1 was in deep straights. A hunter-seeker algorithm from his home sector had marked him. J%nn1 was me so I couldn’t just leave him hanging. Hitting it with a hovertruck let him escape. After the chase scene was complete, J%nn1 gave me a once over, he knew we were the same too, and informed me that I had great power. “Me?” I thought “great power?”

Well, my great power was not exactly under control or reliable. It got me into way more messes than it got me out of. Still, when I was somewhere else I could matter. I could do things. People noticed me. Sometimes, as I knew too well, being noticed by the wrong sort was by far the worst option. Some of the Elsewhens were dominated by people of extreme views on personal freedom. My power it seems offers the utmost in personal freedom. Not even the laws of reality can hold me; I’m like linguini in a colander. Some of those goons still show up now and again to harass me or take me back to some training/vivisection center to cut open my brain or something. Along the way though, I met a lot of people, even a few more of me. We call each other Alters. J%nn1 came up with it; J%nn1 is the smartest Alter I know.

I’d been doing this thing for a couple of years now, but at home, I was still nobody with a capital N. That was the day I saw that bus go skidding off the road. Driver had a heart attack they said. I wanted to help, but Just Johnny was a kid with a few karate moves picked up on JB19r’s world and a quicksilvery grasp on reality. I looked around at the road and realized that it was up to me. So I called up a me…or rather an Alter, Iron John to be precise, he is the strongest Alter I know. Iron John looked at me for a moment. I know that look; I use it regularly when I arrive in some strange Elsewhen. “Get that bus!” I shouted at him, and then Iron John and I sprang into action. In seconds the bus was safe and the police were informed. It was cool, once I thought about it; I was helping out on my own world. And my power…let’s just say I found that my power would do a lot more than I previously thought.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Spamfilter caught the post again...I wonder if that is happening because I am copy/pasting from a word 2007 document?

 

Here are my .HDC files. A few of them are incomplete (point balances) but I thought you could help me with those if the concept interested you. The disads are open and under development for the Alters.

 

jenny/aquagirl in the next post

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Johnny 6

Every story has a beginning, sometimes the author sets out to write it, but most often the story starts when no one is paying attention. My story is one of the latter varieties. My language arts teacher would be thrilled to see me use the word latter in a sentence. My story is all about when no one is paying attention. For years no one ever paid any attention to me, it was almost like I didn’t exist. That was when things got really interesting.

One day, just like all the rest, after I’d walked home…bus driver didn’t see me again…when I walked through the door to my folk’s apartment, I didn’t see the ratty couch or smell dad’s rank cigarette butts. Instead, I saw a world, well an ocean anyway. Strange, I know seeing an ocean in your living room; I did what any sane teenager would do, I turned around and bolted back out the door. After a few moments of “WTF?”; I calmly opened the door again fully expecting weirdness. I got the living room.

When my folks came home, I wanted to tell them about my vision, but I chickened out. Being ignored was better than being subjected to the Look. The Look is their way of saying, “Are you still here?” I went to bed that night and dreamed about the world I saw that day. Upon waking I found that my dreams were tame compared to what would happen next.

First it was running from the Three, a group of juniors that ran Eastside High, and ending up running through a geyser filled basalt field. Then it was spending a week on board an alien spaceship. I mean how do you pronounce X’haop’c anyway? Their food was good though, I mean once I’d figured out was food and what was an essential part of the ship. But, what really blew my mind was meeting me.

You see I had started to believe that I was going somewhere in this universe. When I met J%nn1, I knew he was me from elsewhen. Elsewhen is the term I invented for the infinite number of alternate universes. J%nn1 was in deep straights. A hunter-seeker algorithm from his home sector had marked him. J%nn1 was me so I couldn’t just leave him hanging. Hitting it with a hovertruck let him escape. After the chase scene was complete, J%nn1 gave me a once over, he knew we were the same too, and informed me that I had great power. “Me?” I thought “great power?”

Well, my great power was not exactly under control or reliable. It got me into way more messes than it got me out of. Still, when I was somewhere else I could matter. I could do things. People noticed me. Sometimes, as I knew too well, being noticed by the wrong sort was by far the worst option. Some of the Elsewhens were dominated by people of extreme views on personal freedom. My power it seems offers the utmost in personal freedom. Not even the laws of reality can hold me; I’m like linguini in a colander. Some of those goons still show up now and again to harass me or take me back to some training/vivisection center to cut open my brain or something. Along the way though, I met a lot of people, even a few more of me. We call each other Alters. J%nn1 came up with it; J%nn1 is the smartest Alter I know.

I’d been doing this thing for a couple of years now, but at home, I was still nobody with a capital N. That was the day I saw that bus go skidding off the road. Driver had a heart attack they said. I wanted to help, but Just Johnny was a kid with a few karate moves picked up on JB19r’s world and a quicksilvery grasp on reality. I looked around at the road and realized that it was up to me. So I called up a me…or rather an Alter, Iron John to be precise, he is the strongest Alter I know. Iron John looked at me for a moment. I know that look; I use it regularly when I arrive in some strange Elsewhen. “Get that bus!” I shouted at him, and then Iron John and I sprang into action. In seconds the bus was safe and the police were informed. It was cool, once I thought about it; I was helping out on my own world. And my power…let’s just say I found that my power would do a lot more than I previously thought.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Concept: Johnny 6 is a dimension hopping college freshman with the ability not only to visit other times/places/universes but bring versions of himself from those "Elsewhens". Mechanically' date=' he works as a duplicator with 5 duplicates.[/quote']

 

Unfortunately, I don't think this character is going to work in the Catalyst universe. From the guidelines in the initial post:

  • Some things are, at least for the moment, off-limits. Time travel is currently disallowed - you can speed up time, slow down time, maybe even jump forward through time...but no going back and changing the past. There are no known aliens...and if they show up, they don't have superpowers. They may have advanced technology or abilities that are considered superpowers by the average human (such as a silicon-based life form having Armor), but only humanity has the ability to gain powers from radiation accidents, genetic modification, magic, or the like. There are other dimensions, but only a few individuals can travel between them, and those dimensions don't have superpowered beings. All of the above is subject to change, but that's the state of things at the start of the campaign.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

I understand.

 

The Time travel bit was just a bit of fluff that occupies a small part of the Anywhere EDT, and even the EDT is a MP slot that makes the backstory valid. johnny is meant to remain in his home dimension and bring other versions of himself here.

 

The part about the other dimensions and no superpowers makes sense, although the option was stated to change this particular part. Still the character concept intrigued me and I wanted to send it out there so to speak.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

  • [*]Monstrous characters are going to have a more difficult time being accepted' date=' both because such characters will have a harder time socially and because the more scary the group is, the harder it will be for them to be accepted by the people of Silverstone. The two superteams I gave as examples in my initial guidelines were the Clairmont-era (late 70's to mid 80's) X-Men, and the early Giffen-era Justice League. Neither had an excessively monstrous character - Nightcrawler was the closest, and he was a charismatic swashbuckler despite his appearance.[/list'][/Quote]

Based on the above, I don't think Rhino Beetle will be a good fit for the campaign. I respectfully withdraw my submission with the intent of submitting a new one. Thanks again for your time.

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Re: Player App: Catalyst Silverstone on Hero Central

 

Feedback - Chance

 

Concept: He is an immortal Asian Dragon' date=' but he didn't know what he was at first. Born of Cassandra Daye, a human mother (and, unknown to them both, an Eastern Dragon father), he was human to most appearances. But, from a young age he was quite strong and tough... by human standards. He was hard to hurt, and if he [u']did[/u] get hurt, he healed rapidly. Born and raised in the San Francisco area in 1851, he joined the California Column in the Civil War, but instinctively kept his more-than-human nature secret. His other Powers did not manifest until well into the 20th century. By then, he had buried his mother and long-since figured out that he must be immortal or, at the least, very long-lived.

The concept is interesting, but I'm not sure you can have the skills that a 100+ year old being should have, the abilities a dragon should have, and still be anywhere close to 350 points. Plus, the Catalyst universe has only had public superbeings for a little over 20 years. Really, the biggest problem is that the background should be just that - background. You've already lived an entire lifetime, fought in wars...you're not going to mesh well with the other characters.

 

Also, dragons in the Catalyst universe are VERY rare, and very powerful when full-grown. See the earlier post about Amber/Dragoness for details. Granted, you're an Eastern-style dragon instead of the Western version, but the two types are considered roughly equal in the campaign world.

 

In short, I think you're reaching too far for a starting hero game. If this was, say, a 600-point game of experienced and powerful heroes, it would be workable. As it stands, I don't think the character is a good fit.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Feedback - Black Arachnia

 

The second version is much better. I still have some issues, but they're not as serious this time around. Here's the things to look at:

  • Defenses - 19/19 defenses are fine. 19/19 fully resistant defenses are a bit much. As it stands, you could be hit by a cannon and take less BODY than Miracle, the team's flying brick. I would either replace Combat Luck with just buying up your nonresistant PD and ED, or reduce/remove "Tougher than Normal" (Damage Resistant). Having both is overkill, especially when you focus more on dodging than taking the hit.
  • Combat Luck - Since the protection is already luck-based, I don't think having it require a DEX roll is appropriate. If nothing else, that's one more roll that adds complexity for little benefit.
  • Missile Deflection - Your missile deflection, as written, requires three rolls. A PER roll, a DEX roll, and the actual deflect. I would either drop this and pick up Martial Dodge in your martial arts, or remove the -1/2 limitation so you only have one roll.
  • Multipower - I have a bit of a conceptual problem with a "web ball" doing 10d6 damage. That's enough to do BODY damage to a concrete wall. If it was less damage, or STUN only, that would be different. Your "web wall" may be done better with an AoE Line Entangle, since an Entangle can be used to make barriers, and doesn't require END every phase to maintain.
  • Disadvantages - I'm not sure a spider tattoo under your clothes is very distinctive in a world with people that manifest force fields and fire energy blasts, but as it's only 5 pts I'm willing to let that go. Weird Bio-Chemistry at 10 pts means that while you look human, you're nowhere near human biology anymore. The crime family hunted being more powerful means they would have access to advanced weaponry - a thug with a machine gun isn't a big threat to you. Finally, I think "Devout Christian" needs to be defined a bit more, especially when one of the Commandments is "Thou Shall Not Kill" - which you have as a separate disadvantage.
  • Background - How did you get your powers? Was a parent a Prime in hiding? Were you experimented upon?

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

My (long-delayed) response on Guardian.

 

The logic behind this is that the suit comes from an established hero. The limitations and the "newness" comes from Josh not knowing how to use the suit. The systems that basically take care of themselves' date=' like life support, would be included. He may not know it has that capability, and would avoid those situations.[/quote']

I was just wondering if all the Life Support would be repaired, considering the damage to the suit. Still, if you want to include it, that works.

 

The suit can actually fly faster, Josh just can't control that well so they've put a type of govenor on it.

That's fine. Will you be buying this up with XP?

 

Yeah, cost comes out the same, it just looked better to me going down the list of Characteristics.

I'd prefer it as Armor, only because it makes it a bit easier for me to find on the sheet.

 

If fights are going to be that short, it is a bit of overkill, and have no problems reducing it, just to give you an idea of my thought process, assuming I attack every phase, and fly, I'll use 8 END per phase, or 40per turn - 15 REC = 25 per turn lost. In my experience combats lasted around 4 turns. That gave me a 50 END buffer because END Reserves can ONLY recover on phase 12. You can't just rest and take a recovery when you get low.

A 50 END buffer is huge, since some of the characters only have 50 total END. I understand about the limits on the recovery, but I'd rather see the END amount lower. You can compensate by raising REC, if you wish.

 

If you see combats only taking one or 2 turns this obviously won't be a problem.

It's not a guarantee, but I don't see many taking more than 2 turns. Again, REC is a way to balance this - the more turns the fight takes, the more effective REC is.

 

The concept came from the old Robotech cartoon (Macross Saga) where a circle of energy comes and intercepts in incoming projectile. I added an effect from an old Sega Genisis game called Shadowrun. There was this power (when you went into the virtual world to hack computers) that would form an energy shield that would bounce a projectile back. That's where the idea came from, if you want me to drop the reflection, I'm okay with that.

Yeah, I'd like the reflection taken out. However, I would suggest adding the ability to deflect at range, which will come in handy.

 

Wow I like that SFX a lot better.
Thanks. Heck, if you are worried about END, you could buy the Entangle with charges...

 

This is actually one of my favorite powers. I see what you mean though about stepping on someone else's toes. It does bring up some questions though. While I can see changing things for characters that are already approved (the flash), should I be making sure I don't step on potential players toes? Or is Luminous already approved?

No decisions have been made. I see Luminous likely to make one of the games, but I'm not sure which one. Several of the applications overlap, and it may be a matter of shuffling people around so they don't overlap. Which is the issue with you and American Steel, but that's still in flux.

 

The issue with Images is that it doesn't have a strong thematic tie to your character. Powersuits can justify almost anything, but the holoprojector didn't see to be a close fit to your other powers. Also, I've seen Images used like a VPP in the past. Depending on the GM, it can be a poor man's AoE Invisibility, Darkness, AoE Shapeshift...all you have to do is have the penalty to PER rolls high enough. That makes me wary of including it with a character who is already a jack of all trades, able to function in multiple roles.

 

 

I'm not sure I understand your point here. The one enhanced sense that would be useful as a defense is the one you said you're okay with. The 360 degree radar is proof against most Darknesses and Flashes. The Telescopics were more for flavor. I have no problems dropping them.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you can detect everything, and do so at extreme ranges, it makes stealth-based foes nearly useless against you.

 

The Mind Link was to ensure no one could listen in.

Understood, but it seems to be a duplication of effort when you have another power that does nearly the same thing. Also, making it unhackable takes away plot threads. If someone does figure out a way to listen in, they'll hear people talking to you, maybe get a first name, but it's not going to break your Secret ID immediately.

 

Yeah, I just thought that the Nerd Squad was too useful to be covered by a limitation.

It is useful, and you may want to split them up between followers and DNPCs. Pick two more likely to get in trouble than the others, and make them your DNPCs (with useful skills). Take the other two as followers.

 

For the CvK, he's a college student trying to be a True Hero, I think it fits.

That works. I just wanted to make sure you knew what you're getting into.

 

Do you think the Dark Secret should be bought down with XP, since he's still new to the suit?

I'm actually not a big fan of buying down disadvantages with XP - I prefer to replace them with new disads as you overcome them.

 

I thought the roll was to see if the rep was recognized too? I thought it appropriate since one of his things is trying to fool people into thinking he's the original. When he gets asked a question I was picturing him asking the Nerd Squad, and they'd squable over the answer while Josh tries to stall the asker until the Nerd Squad figures it out. That's why I made the Rep so high.

As I understand reputation is something unfavorable for the character. Most people know about it, but the roll is to get more information about the character's personality, tactics, and/or equipment.

 

 

All that said, I've been trying to come up with a different concept since there is already one power armor character. I came up with a Vixen concept (from DC Comics). His skill set sort of steps on Hesperides (although more Animal than plant). The other concept I was thinking about was a winged character. Fast, agile, Martial Arts. My first back up was a Dazzler homage character, but with Luminous, that would be very redundant.

Yeah, with a lightning character approved and a light-based character submitted, a Dazzler homage would be very redundant. I'd like to see the Vixen-esque concept or the winged character if you're interested in submitted them.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Ok I will give her a few tweaks and repost her for you. Actually I have not read any of the Spider-Girl comics' date=' what little I know about her is from reading the Wikipedia page on her.[/quote']

 

How do you get a 10d6 ranged attack from a ball of webbing. Now, if the attack was the hero grabbing a manhole cover and slingshotting the cover as a projectile... I would be cool with that. Just wadding up some webbing and hurling a fastball? Sounds kinda weak, like webbing allowing for a +any d6 hand attack.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

This is less of an extended background and more of a vignette. I originally intended to talk more about his modern-day lifestyle, but that slipped into narrative. Not quite what I was going for, but I think it goes a good ways towards filling out his personality.

 

I'm spoiler-ing it to save space.

 

THE SOUND of footsteps drew Alessandro Pizzetti out of a deep reverie. Although he'd been sitting with a 2,500 year-old Greek marriage proposal in front of him for upwards of three hours, his mind had been lost in another time and place. Attic Greek did that to him sometimes. Such a wonderful language for conveying purpose and feeling.

 

He was at dangerous risk of drifting away again when a student poked her head around a bookcase and into his line of sight. The young professor couldn't help but smile at the charmingly shy graduate student, but some part of him also couldn't help but sigh and shake its head. She ignored his office hours and dropped by his library whenever she felt like it, at all hours of the day. He strongly suspected that she was visiting him between classes.

 

'Yes, Layla? Can I help you?'

 

Some part of his resignation must have seeped into his voice. She stopped halfway to the table and lost a bit of her enthusiasm.

 

'Well, it can wait...is this a bad time?'

 

Although he made some show of considering it, in point of fact he couldn't come up with a good reason why it would be.

 

'No, not really. I guess I wasn't making much progress anyway. What's on your mind?'

 

Her smile was back in place as she came to the table and started pulling books out of her bag. It was a nice smile, he had to admit. So many people don't really smile with their eyes, but...

 

'Professor?'

 

'Erm yes, Layla?'

 

'...I just asked whether you knew anything about the myths surrounded Vlad Tepes.'

 

'I teach ancient languages, Layla, not European history.'

 

She looked like he'd just killed her puppy. Just the hint of a pout -

 

'...but yes, I do speak a little Romanian, and I've spent some time in that area of the Balkans. Did you know that he's something of a folk hero?'

 

Without saying a word, she sat down in the chair across from him and folded her hands in her lap, a charmingly old-fashioned picture of the attentive student. No trained educator could possibly resist that invitation.

 

About ten minutes later...

 

'...so while it's true that the punishments he inflicted upon his own people were almost as barbaric as his treatment of the Turks, he did create an unprecedented feeling of safety and responsibility among his subjects. It's the rest of Europe that branded him a monster. The lower classes in particular have adored him for generations.'

 

After an awkward silence, she still hadn't said anything.

 

'Do...you have any questions?'

 

It was a pretty little rhetorical question that he liked to end his lectures with, but he remembered too late that she had a way of taking it literally.

 

'You sound almost as though you admire him.'

 

'Well, not exactly. I think he was a terrible person, but his behavior and its repercussions can teach us some fascinating things. His people were so grateful for the peace and safety that he ensured...that tells us how discontent they were with the chaos and criminality of their lives before he came along.'

 

A part of his mind was being tugged at insistently by an aetherial spirit, informed of a criminal who was (unwittingly) about to steal several dangerous artifacts from the Museum of Antiquities. Although he was able to continue speaking, he found himself wandering slightly off topic.

 

'Imagine how grateful we would be nowadays if somebody brought the predation and insecurity of metropolitan life to an end. Not through terror, like Tepes, but simply by promising to intervene when necessary. All of that repressed bitterness, gone, and without needing to make ourselves beholden to another tyrant.'

 

He came back to himself completely, a little alarmed at the direction things had taken.

 

'In any event, it would be nice, wouldn't it? Now, I a meeting with the Dean in a few minutes. And don't you have class across campus?'

 

With a small cry of dismay, Layla grabbed up her books and sprinted out of the room and up the stairs towards daylight. With a resigned sigh, Alessandro Cagliostro took a small, perfectly smooth egg-shaped stone from his pocket and held it in his palm, staring at something that wasn't there.

 

'You're a slave driver, you know that?'

 

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

I think I missed giving formal feedback on version 2.0, so I'll err on the side of caution and do so now.

 

Feedback - Engram

 

Characteristics: EGO is fine, since most villains (that aren't mentalists) will have an EGO in the 10-15 range. You may want to up your CON a bit if you have free points, since you're spending 7 points on increasing END. It would also raise REC if you take CON to 23, which helps since you may be hindered in a longer combat, or want to take a recovery in combat to get back STUN.

 

Powers: Only thing I have a problem with is the activation on the precognitive dodge. Basically, you're taking something that affects a chance to be hit, and making it even more variable. I'd rather see a flat +2 DCV than a 14- chance of +3 DCV. That would give you 21/21 defenses with a 9 DCV, which is reasonable (and saves you from rolling every time you're attacked). For comparison, Black Arachnia has 19/19 defenses with a 10 DCV.

 

Skills/Perks: These are fine. Excellent, even.

 

Disadvantages:

  • The version I'm looking at still has 9 total DNPCs, so I'd suggest adjusting that.
  • Feel free to add more mystery hunteds (up to the 50 point max), as I can think of several groups that would be hunting you.
  • I'm not sure the College Student disad is worth points, since everyone has a job of some sort. Yours is just going to school...and it's generally easier to ditch class than to ditch work (I speak from experience). If you were in high school, where you're required by law to attend and truant officers could be sent to your house, it'd be different...but you aren't a minor.
  • Secret ID fits better, but if the Metahuman Studies people know about you, you shouldn't take either Secret or Public. The default when you don't take either disadvantage is that some people know about you, but it's not widespread and people aren't put in danger.

 

Final Thoughts: We're pretty close to a final submission, here. However, I did want to give one warning. Mentalists are the odd man out in most groups - the one person who has powers which regularly bypass normal defenses, ignore range penalties...basically, they require the GM to think a bit more in what he brings to the table. With one such character in a group, it doesn't require a radical shift in the GM's adventure creation process. More than one, and the GM has to do a lot more work.

 

Where am I getting at with this? There's another submission that falls into the same definition of having unusual powers that bypass normal defenses - Cagliostro. I can almost guarantee that both of you won't be on the same team, especially since I see both of you buying more of the unusual powers I talked about above. The same may apply to Hesperides, depending on how her writeup is revised.

 

However, chances are very good that if you don't make the cut for Silverstone, you're very likely to make the cut for Thebes. The niche you occupy is something GMs like to have on a team, as it adds variety and expands the type of plots that can be run. The skillset you offer is a strong selling point for your character, and you have an interesting background with a lot of plot hooks.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

This is less of an extended background and more of a vignette. I originally intended to talk more about his modern-day lifestyle' date=' but that slipped into narrative. Not quite what I was going for, but I think it goes a good ways towards filling out his personality.[/quote']

Very, very cool. Things like this really give me a feel for a character.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Feedback - Black Arachnia

 

The second version is much better. I still have some issues, but they're not as serious this time around. Here's the things to look at:

  • Defenses - 19/19 defenses are fine. 19/19 fully resistant defenses are a bit much. As it stands, you could be hit by a cannon and take less BODY than Miracle, the team's flying brick. I would either replace Combat Luck with just buying up your nonresistant PD and ED, or reduce/remove "Tougher than Normal" (Damage Resistant). Having both is overkill, especially when you focus more on dodging than taking the hit.
  • Combat Luck - Since the protection is already luck-based, I don't think having it require a DEX roll is appropriate. If nothing else, that's one more roll that adds complexity for little benefit.
  • Missile Deflection - Your missile deflection, as written, requires three rolls. A PER roll, a DEX roll, and the actual deflect. I would either drop this and pick up Martial Dodge in your martial arts, or remove the -1/2 limitation so you only have one roll.
  • Multipower - I have a bit of a conceptual problem with a "web ball" doing 10d6 damage. That's enough to do BODY damage to a concrete wall. If it was less damage, or STUN only, that would be different. Your "web wall" may be done better with an AoE Line Entangle, since an Entangle can be used to make barriers, and doesn't require END every phase to maintain.
  • Disadvantages - I'm not sure a spider tattoo under your clothes is very distinctive in a world with people that manifest force fields and fire energy blasts, but as it's only 5 pts I'm willing to let that go. Weird Bio-Chemistry at 10 pts means that while you look human, you're nowhere near human biology anymore. The crime family hunted being more powerful means they would have access to advanced weaponry - a thug with a machine gun isn't a big threat to you. Finally, I think "Devout Christian" needs to be defined a bit more, especially when one of the Commandments is "Thou Shall Not Kill" - which you have as a separate disadvantage.
  • Background - How did you get your powers? Was a parent a Prime in hiding? Were you experimented upon?

 

I will give her another tweak and see what you think. As far as how she got her powers, she was born with them they jusr manifested when she was twelve, are there no mutants in your world?

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

I will give her another tweak and see what you think. As far as how she got her powers' date=' she was born with them they jusr manifested when she was twelve, are there no mutants in your world?[/quote']

Yes and no.

 

Yes, there are people whose genetic structure is different from birth. They can manifest at puberty (where the body traditionally goes into overdrive), or be latents until a stressful situation brings out their powers.

 

No, in that mutants don't spring up from nowhere. It's not a complete accident...something had to happen to alter the DNA contribution from one or both of your parents. Maybe Dad was present at one of Hiroshima's battles with the law and was exposed sufficiently to alter him - though the changes weren't overt, they were passed down to you. Maybe one of your parents is a latent, or even a prime. Maybe something happened in the womb - an injection of an unapproved drug, a scan with an experimental machine. In short, there's a lot of possibilities.

 

The Marvel Universe just has mutants happen. The Catalyst universe tries to show a reason why a child diverged from the norm. A 'mutant' (per the Marvel definition) is actually less common than someone who gets powers after their birth, through exposure to some type of catalyst. The thing is, no one knows what the true catalyst is for powers, though there have been many guesses (see this document for details).

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

I think I missed giving formal feedback on version 2.0' date=' so I'll err on the side of caution and do so now.[/quote']

 

I think that's correct, but I wasn't worried. :)

 

Characteristics: EGO is fine, since most villains (that aren't mentalists) will have an EGO in the 10-15 range. You may want to up your CON a bit if you have free points, since you're spending 7 points on increasing END. It would also raise REC if you take CON to 23, which helps since you may be hindered in a longer combat, or want to take a recovery in combat to get back STUN.

 

I tinkered with these significantly. I wound up increasing CON at the expense of DEX, which allowed me to keep the +3 DCV bonus later, without an activation and not go totally out of bounds on CVs. Shouldn't hinder me overmuch, as I will use EGO to determine combat order with my powers.

 

Disadvantages:

[*]The version I'm looking at still has 9 total DNPCs, so I'd suggest adjusting that.

 

Saw that one coming, and have reduced it significantly.

 

[*]Feel free to add more mystery hunteds (up to the 50 point max), as I can think of several groups that would be hunting you.

 

I took you up on that offer.

 

[*]I'm not sure the College Student disad is worth points, since everyone has a job of some sort. Yours is just going to school...and it's generally easier to ditch class than to ditch work (I speak from experience). If you were in high school, where you're required by law to attend and truant officers could be sent to your house, it'd be different...but you aren't a minor.

[*]Secret ID fits better, but if the Metahuman Studies people know about you, you shouldn't take either Secret or Public. The default when you don't take either disadvantage is that some people know about you, but it's not widespread and people aren't put in danger.

 

I eliminated both of these. I think I'm happier with the nebulous identity anyway.

 

It did leave me a little short, so I added two more 5 point disadvantages that you may or may not agree with. I was so out of ideas at that point that, if you don't like them, we can swap them out for a rivalry or some unluck.

 

Final Thoughts:Where am I getting at with this? There's another submission that falls into the same definition of having unusual powers that bypass normal defenses - Cagliostro. I can almost guarantee that both of you won't be on the same team, especially since I see both of you buying more of the unusual powers I talked about above. The same may apply to Hesperides, depending on how her writeup is revised.

 

However, chances are very good that if you don't make the cut for Silverstone, you're very likely to make the cut for Thebes. The niche you occupy is something GMs like to have on a team, as it adds variety and expands the type of plots that can be run. The skillset you offer is a strong selling point for your character, and you have an interesting background with a lot of plot hooks.

 

I'm okay with that. If you're happy enough with how Engram has turned out, I'm not wed to being in Colorado. I can work with alternate settings easily enough.

 

Here he is in version 3.0

 

Characteristics: 119

8 STR 18

24 DEX 18

26 CON 23

0 BODY 10

8 INT 18

20 EGO 20

5 PRE 15

0 COM 10

1 PD 5

0 ED 5

22 SPD 5

2 REC 10

2 END 50

1 STUN 32

 

Powers: 188

50 MP: Mental Manipulation (50 Point Pool)

5u 1) Mental Hands: Telekinesis - STR 26, Fine Manipulation (49) - 5 END

5u 2) Mental Strike: Ego Attack - 5D6 (50) - 5 END

4u 3) Mental Paralysis: Entangle - 2D6, Based on ECV, vs EGO not STR, No

Damage from Physical Attacks, Cannot form Barriers (50) - 5 END

3u 4) Alter Emotions: 10D6 Mind Control, Only to Alter or Inflict Emotions (50)

- 5 END

2u 5) Empathic Healing: 5D6 Simplified Healing, Only on Others, Side Effect -

Takes 1/2 of damage that is healed (50) - 5 END

 

20 EC: Mental Powers (40 Active Points)

20 1) Mind Reading: 8D6 Telepathy (40) - 4 END

16 2) Mind Finding: 5D6 Mind Scan, Cannot Attack Through Lock, plus

+8 ECV with Mind Scan (41) - 4 END

20 3) Telekinetic Shield: 16 PD/ 16 ED Force Field, 1/2 END (40)

- 2 END

13 4) Telekinetic Levitation: 16” Flight, 1/2 END, 25 meter maximum

altitude (-1/4), No Noncombat Multiple (-1/4) (40) - 2 END

 

15 Precognitive Dodge: + 3 DCV

 

15 Mink Link: Any One Person - 0 END

 

Skills, Talents and Perks: 43

3 Scholar

2 KS: American Literature, 12-

1 KS: English Literature, 11-

2 KS: American History, 12-

1 KS: Modern European History, 11-

2 KS: Known Supers, 12-

3 Conversation, 12-

3 Persuasion, 12-

3 Streetwise, 12-

3 Analyze: Mental Powers, 13-

3 Deduction, 13-

3 Scientist

1 SS: Biology, 11-

1 SS: Biochemistry, 11-

1 SS: Metabiology, 11-

1 SS: Psychology, 11-

2 AK: Denver/Boulder Corridor, 11

3 Language: Spanish (Fluent, slight accent)

Everyman Skills

0 1) Acting 8-

0 2) AK: United States 8-

0 3) Climbing 8-

0 4) Concealment 8-

0 5) Conversation 8-

0 6) Deduction 8-

0 7) Language: English (Idiomatic, native accent) (4 Active Points)

0 8) Paramedics 8-

0 9) Persuasion 8-

0 10) PS: Cook - Mexican Food 8-

0 11) Shadowing 8-

0 12) Stealth 8-

0 13) TF: Small Motorized Ground Vehicles, Small Rowed Boats

1 Computer Link: Metahuman Studies Database

4 Contact: Director of Metahuman Studies Department (Good Relationship,

Major Institutions, Useful Skills, 8-)

 

Disadvantages: 150

15 DNPC: Dr. Tamara Masterson (Normal, 11-)

10 DNPC: Big Sister Esmerelda (Normal, 8-)

50 Multiple Hunteds: Mystery

10 Psych Lim: Open and Trusting, assumes the best in people

(Common, Moderate)

15 Psych Lim: Monophobia, fear of being alone, worse when he’s

unable to make telepathic/mind link contact (Common, Strong)

15 Psych Lim: Gregarious, overly talkative and outgoing, always trying

to make friends (Common, Strong)

10 Psych Lim: Rolemodel, sees himself as a role model for young hispanic

men, carries himself as such (Common, Moderate)

15 Vulnerability: 1.5xBODY,2xSTUN from Sonic Attacks

5 Social Limitation: Minority - Hispanic, 8-, Minor

5 Distinctive Feature: Active Telepath, Not Concealable, Very Unusual Senses

Noticed and Recognizable

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Disadvantages - I'm not sure a spider tattoo under your clothes is very distinctive in a world with people that manifest force fields and fire energy blasts' date=' but as it's only 5 pts I'm willing to let that go. Weird Bio-Chemistry at 10 pts means that while you look human, you're nowhere near human biology anymore. The crime family hunted being more powerful means they would have access to advanced weaponry - a thug with a machine gun isn't a big threat to you. Finally, I think "Devout Christian" needs to be defined a bit more, especially when one of the Commandments is "Thou Shall Not Kill" - which you have as a separate disadvantage.[/quote']

 

Thou shall not kill - is taken out of context. Sure Christians can kill... the actual quote (from Greek) is "Thou Shall not Murder". Huge difference. Considering, if they were commanded not to kill, how could they Protect the Ark, Protect the People, march against Gods enemies, etc.?

 

Maybe something heroic, but not in the Thous, would be Protect the Innocent, Defend the Weak, Always make it to Hooters on Wednesday ;)

 

Zac

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

Based on the above' date=' I don't think Rhino Beetle will be a good fit for the campaign. I respectfully withdraw my submission with the intent of submitting a new one. Thanks again for your time.[/quote']

 

Doc,

 

I am with Fedifensor as far as the Monster Bug goes, so tone down the monster in the bug. In a world of Primes, something like this is not immediately a "Its a HUGE bug! Run for your lives!" kind of world (like ours). Start to snack on people at an all you can eat, sure the military is going to come rolling in. However, since you don't plan on playing that way... make some sacrifices.

 

Maybe keep the cant speak option, but who is to say you could not have telepathy with a touch, or some other way to communicate. What if you antenna could do the talking for you? They could vibrate in such a way (at close range) it was picked up by the human ear as something audible, but only in one person's head (directional, very short range). Would be a bummer for hero's with different anatomy... so you may have to carry a whiteboard with you :P

 

Also, this concept feels very Ben-10'ish.. which is not a bad thing. Could you change into other Weird forms later?

 

Thebes is gonna need a Brick and this BUG really seems to fit the bill. If Fed's game is a wash... keep the bug in mind. With some tweeks you could drop the Frankenstein Agnst and come up with a winner.

 

Zac

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

I understand.

 

The Time travel bit was just a bit of fluff that occupies a small part of the Anywhere EDT, and even the EDT is a MP slot that makes the backstory valid. johnny is meant to remain in his home dimension and bring other versions of himself here.

 

The part about the other dimensions and no superpowers makes sense, although the option was stated to change this particular part. Still the character concept intrigued me and I wanted to send it out there so to speak.

 

Not to offend Hawk, but could the person just THINK they are from other dimensions/times? Sort of a way to come to grips with what he can become.

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

picture1.png

I was fiddling with the Timm-style (DC Animated) character creator, and decided to try and recreate the Hero Machine sketches in it. Here's my version of Engram based on the Hero Machine picture, and a second one that is designed to give a bit more identity protection...

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Re: Catalyst: A Champions campaign on Hero Central

 

I was fiddling with the Timm-style (DC Animated) character creator' date=' and decided to try and recreate the Hero Machine sketches in it. Here's my version of Engram based on the Hero Machine picture, and a second one that is designed to give a bit more identity protection...[/quote']

 

Oh, I do like that one better, especially the second one. It was my first attempt at using an online tool like that, and I'll admit, I didn't go great guns on it. Your work suits him better.

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