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Pteryx

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  1. Between this thread, the one Lucius bumped, and various others around, I've noticed basically three approaches to the idea of statting gods: 1) Gods are GM plot devices, don't you dare stat them up; 2) Gods are disembodied presences with worldwide influence, best statted as AI Computers with thousands of points; 3) Gods are just high-level superheroes with points in the high hundreds or low thousands, and suitable as PCs when done this way. People in camp #1 are obviously not the market for Mythic HERO. #2 has its uses, but still relegates gods to GM plot devices ultimately, just with listed boundaries. #3... well, I tend to find that approach dissatisfying. You end up with a Zeus who can throw lightning bolts, but not take control of the lightning strikes in a thunderstorm halfway across the world, and to me, the latter is pretty important. The line between superheroes and gods is one I'd prefer to have drawn even if gods happen to have avatars or even "real" (if nigh-impossible-to-kill) bodies, and to me the ability to manipulate one's domain the world over is a key aspect of the "god" side of the line. As for my own dog in this fight, let me tell you about my character... What I'm getting at with my rambling behind the spoiler cut is two things. One, approaches #2 and #3 are something of a false dichotomy; it's possible to make a satisfying compromise between the two. Two, you don't have to stick to a pure #3 approach to keep a god playable; spin things right and even a full-fledged small-g god can face conflict. Both of these are things I'd love to see reflected in a book about gods in gaming, both in advice and in the approach to stats. -- Pteryx
  2. What interests me most about this book is the kind of stuff that would be covered in the first chapter. I'll be honest, what led me to looking at HERO again is that there are really only so many systems that lend themselves to statting up gods. Heck, the real reason behind my starting the thread here ( http://www.herogames.com/forums/forum/hero-games/hero-system-discussion/3598796-mind-link-initiated-in-reverse ) is to help figure out how one would model people praying to a god. "Portfolio sense" is another big one; it's clearly Clairsentience with lots of perception points at its core, but how does one turn that both reflexive and global? The usage time limitations on Megascaled things seem to get in the way of making both that and passive Megasenses. A "follower sense" would be appropriate too. Even ways to handle worship call for some game stat treatment -- it could be simply an alternate "food" in the way that underwater breathing is the default for aquatic beings, it could be a Dependency that affects Base Characteristics or powers or REC, it could be unnecessary and just be a really expensive Organization Contact, or it could even be an annoyance that qualifies as a Social Complication paired with a Distinctive Feature that Causes Extreme Reactions, making it hard to act directly in the world. Aside from worship, I suggest health of one's domain as a possible important variable; oil spills might make the god of the ocean get sick. -- Pteryx
  3. Dash-jet over to the villain. Encase him in crystal (Entangle). Carry the whole package out. Problem solved. -- Pteryx
  4. Nope. Make 'em as big or as small as you like. For an answer to that one, you'd need a lawyer... HEY STEVE! Anyway... Stone, since you've answered the latest challenge, what's yours? -- Pteryx
  5. Blue Jogger proposed GOOP as the answer to it, but... well, it's been over two weeks and he still hasn't produced a writeup like he said he would. -- Pteryx
  6. Too many stumpers lately, it seems... BUMP! -- Pteryx
  7. Lest people forget the point of this thread... Of course, if that's too difficult (I certainly wouldn't know where to start, but then, I'm still learning), here's a considerably simpler challenge: A robot meant to be evil who, through some programming oversight, shortsightedness, or accidental loophole, eventually wound up good. Since I'd like to see how you people would deal with individual parts of my pet character. -- Pteryx
  8. Why, thank you. And the new challenge is...? -- Pteryx
  9. This is my very late response to the entangler/nonlethal hero challenge. Keep in mind as you read this that 1) this is my first full-blown HERO character ever 2) I'm not a comic book buff like most here, and 3) I don't have HERO Designer, so I have to rely on my own limited HTML ability. With all that said: Popsicle PrincessAnastasia Vanderbilt* * * * * * Value Char Cost Notes 8 STR (1 point) 11-, lift 75 kg, 1 1/2d6 13 DEX (12 points) 12-, OCV 4/DCV 5 8 CON (-4 points) 11- 12 BODY (12 points) 11- 13 INT (3 points) 12-, PER roll 12- 13 EGO (16 points) 12-, ECV 4 6 PRE (-4 points) 10-, PRE Attack 1d6 18 COM (5 points) 13- 3 PD (1 point) [10 points total PD vs. STUN, 20 vs. BODY; see below] 3 ED (1 point) [10 points total ED vs. STUN, 20 vs. BODY; see below] 3 SPD (14 points) Phases: 4, 8, 12 4 REC (0 points) 18 END (1 point) 16 STUN (-4 points) Characteristics Cost: 54 points [Note: Upon hitting age 11, 32 points will suddenly become available from here. Use 30 to buy off Age and Always Small; use the remaining 2 and any spare experience to buy up stats.] Movement: Running 5" (10")Swimming 2" (4") Leaping 1 1/2" (3") [Note: Leaping was calculated with the mass optional rule] Powers:-2 -1" Running -1 -1" Leaping 21 Too Cute To Hurt: Armor (7 rPD/7 rED) 22 Too Young to Die: Armor (13 rPD/13 rED) (39 Active Points); Does Not Protect Against STUN (-3/4) (22 real points) 2 And Too Stubborn To Let Live: 5 Mental Defense 30 Preservation of Innocence: 30 Mental Defense, Hardened (+1/4) (37 Active Points), Only To Fend Off Effects That Would Compromise Her Innocence (-1/4) (30 real points) 5 The Good Guys Always Win: Luck 1d6 50 Magical Ice Powers: 125-point Multipower Reserve (125 Active Points); Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), OAF (Glitter Scepter, -1) (real cost 50 points) 3u "Freeze!" (or "Block it off!" in barrier mode): Entangle 4d6, 8 DEF (60 Active Points); Vulnerable (to fire/heat, -1) (30 real points) 6 END 8f "Everybody freeze!": Entangle 5d6, 8 DEF, Explosion (cone, loses 1 die for every 3"; +3/4) (114 Active Points); No Range (-1/2), Cannot Form Barriers (-1/4), Vulnerable (to fire/heat, -1) (41 real points) 11 END 2u "Slippery slide!": Minor Transform 2d6 (object to ice-coated object, requires DEX roll to handle, heals back with normal application of heat) (20 Active Points) 2 END 2u "Great big slippery slide!": Change Environment 8" radius, -4 to DEX rolls to move on, Long-Lasting (lingers 1 hour after END is last paid) (39 Active Points); Only Affects Characters Who Are On the Ground (-1/4), Increased END Cost (x2, -1/2), Limited Range (half normal range, -1/4) (real cost 20 points) 8 END 4u "Chill out!": Drain SPD 2d6+6, Delayed Return Rate (1 Minute; +1/4), Ranged (+1/2), Reduced END (1/2 END, +1/4) (80 Active Points); ED Applies (-1), Linked (to other half of "Chill out!" outside the multipower, -1/4) (36 real points) 3 END 11f "Everybody chill out!": Drain SPD 3d6+9, Delayed Return Rate (1 Minute; +1/4) Explosion (cone, loses 1 die for every 2"; +1/2), Reduced END (1/2 END, +1/4) (120 Active Points); ED Applies (-1), Linked (to other half of "Everybody chill out!" outside the multipower, -1/4) (real cost 53 points) 5 END 3u "Cool off!": Dispel Fire/Heat Powers 8d6, Expanded Effect (any one fire/heat power one at a time, +1/4) (30 Active Points) 3 END 4u "Cool off everything!": Dispel Fire/Heat Powers 10d6, Explosion (cone, loses 1 die for every 2"; +1/2), Expanded Effect (four nearest fire/heat powers within the cone that can be affected, +1) (67 Active Points); No Range (-1/2) (real cost 45 points) 7 END 2u "Cool down!": Change Environment 16" radius, lower temperature 2 levels, Long-Lasting (lingers 20 minutes after END is last paid) (33 Active Points); Increased END Cost (x2, -1/2), Limited Range (half normal range, -1/4) (19 real points) 7 END Total Multipower Cost: 87 points [Note: Usual form of "Everybody chill out and freeze!" multi-attack: Drain SPD 2d6+6, Entangle 2d6, 3 DEF, and (from outside) 4d6 Touch Group Flash. This costs 8 END and uses up 124 of the 125 points available.] 7 "Chill out!": Touch Group Flash 5d6, Increased Maximum Range (375", +1/4), Reduced END (1/2 END, +1/4) (22 Active Points); Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), OAF (Glitter Scepter, -1), Linked (to other half of "Chill out!" inside the multipower, -1/2) (real cost 7 points) 1 END 11 "Everybody chill out!": Touch Group Flash 6d6, Explosion (cone, loses 1 die for every 4"; +1), Reduced END (1/2 END, +1/4) (40 Active Points); No Range (-1/2), Gestures (-1/4), Incantations (-1/4), OAF (Glitter Scepter, -1), Linked (to other half of "Everybody chill out!" inside the multipower, -1/2) (real cost 11 points) 2 END Powers Cost: 184 pointsSkills:5 Little: +1 DCV 1 High Society 8- 1 KS: Catholicism 8- 2 KS: Nonviolent G-Rated Pop Culture 11- 1 PS: Flute Playing 8- Skills Cost: 10 pointsPerks:1 Rich Parents 8- (Contact has very useful resources, Contact limited by ID) [Notes: Contact has more money than they're willing to actually share, but are willing to share enough for 1-point extra usefulness] Talents:1 Icewalking Total Character Cost: 250 pointsDisadvantages:20 Normal Characteristic Maxima 15 Age 10- [Note: 7 years old; Characteristics done the "better/more realistic" way suggested in the FAQ] 20 Distinctive Feature: Little Girl (Not Concealable, Always Noticed And Causes Prejudice, Detectable By Commonly-Used Senses) 15 Physical Limitation: Character Is Always Small (50 kg, takes +3" KB) (All The Time, Slightly Impairing) 20 Psychological Limitation: Code vs. Killing (Common, Total) 20 Psychological Limitation: Innocent and Naive (Very Common, Strong) 10 Psychological Limitation: Clueless About Boys (Common, Moderate) 20 Social Limitation: 7:00 Bedtime (Very Frequently, Major) 10 Social Limitation: Doctrinaire Parents (Frequently, Minor) 15 Social Limitation: Secret Identity (Frequently, Major) 5 Vulnerability: Mental Illusions (Uncommon, x1.5 Effect) Disadvantage Points: 100 points [Note: Well, 170, but only 100 count...] Base Points: 150 pointsExperience Required: 0 pointsTotal Experience Available: 0 pointsExperience Unspent: 0 pointsAppearance:Anastasia is a beautiful little girl, barely shy of the perfect weight for her 4' 2". Her blue eyes are filled with happiness and wonder, her brown hair is straight but with plenty of body and usually loose, and typically she's dressed in fine clothes. All in all, she's someone you'd expect to grow up to be a supermodel.Her "Popsicle Princess" outfit is a fancy ice-blue gown with a few white and glittery iridescent touches and an intricate snowflake design in the front plus a silver tiara with a snowflake motif and blue topazes set in it. While in it, she generally wears her hair in a ponytail. At her side, in the rare cases it's not in her hand, is an ice-blue scepter topped with what looks like an enormous blue topaz and covered in iridescent blue glitter. In order to hide from her parents, she also wears a blue Halloween mask which covers her nose as well as the eye area and has been decorated with iridescent glitter.Personality:Anastasia isn't quite as spoiled as most rich kids, but she still takes some things for granted that she really shouldn't; basically, if middle-class kids get it, she assumes she'll always have it -- and that other people have it as well. Worse, she feels like she's entitled to the powers she wished for. She's very imaginative, which can prove useful -- particularly with her intelligence -- but can also be exploited. She still believes in all the magical things little kids do, including many things that, even in a superheroic world, aren't real. She's also firmly of the beliefs that the good guys always win and violence is something only bad guys do. She's been sheltered to the point that while she knows basic high-class manners, she'd do poorly in the face of most any other subculture -- or the mainstream culture, for that matter. When in doubt, she takes cues from Disney movies.Quote: "Stop, bad guys! I'm the Popsicle Princess, and that makes me the good guy! You're going to lose now!"Background:Arnold and Emma Vanderbilt firmly believe in one central guiding principle when it comes to parenting: Shelter a young child from everything bad, and the child will grow up to be a much better person than everyone else. Their bar for "child-safe" is very high, so much so that Pokemon and even many private schools come up short. Don't even think about the Internet...Thus, the Vanderbilt mansion is in the unassuming community of Walnut Heights, far from the cities where crime is rampant, to minimize the possibility of random exposure. Additionally, Anastasia wound up in a Catholic girls' school, not because of any religious devotion on the part of her parents, but because only that school would be strict enough in regulating Anastasia's exposure to various stimuli to satisfy the Vanderbilts. Thus, she has lived her early life either confined to school ground or confined to the Vanderbilts' property, where everything that could potentially give her access to anything not double-G-rated is kept out of her reach.For a while, Anastasia had no reason to question the tightly controlled life she lived. After all, she got most things she wanted, even if sometimes she was made to sweep a room or the like before it would be given to her. But of course, even sheltered rich little girls have fantasies; dreams of wielding magic, of going off on adventures just like in a Disney movie...One year ago, the Vanderbilts got as their latest knickknack an Arabian-style oil lamp. Naturally, this caught Anastasia's attention, and she put extra effort into arranging chairs and big books and hard cushions and other such things so that she could climb up to the shelf where the lamp was held. Once she got hold of it, she immediately rubbed it, hoping for a genie to pop out and grant her three wishes.The genie came out all right, to Anastasia's delight (and mild fear, as he looked scarier than the one in Aladdin)... but to her disappointment, said he would grant her one wish before he would move on to enjoy his freedom."Only one?! But genies are supposed to grant three wishes!""Very few people have the opportunity to have even one wish granted, young one. Choose wisely.""Well, that's not very good! ...Hrm... I wish I were a magical princess!"The genie nodded, then waved his arm, leaving Anastasia in a beautiful gown with jewelry and a scepter that was cool to the touch and was capped with a huge gem that throbbed with power from within."That scepter is very powerful," the genie admonished as she stared at it in awe. "Guard it well." And with that, he vanished.Now, Anastasia wasn't stupid, even at that age. She knew she'd done something her parents didn't want her to do, so she has been careful to hide her new things, especially what she dubbed the Glitter Scepter, and to learn what magic she had gained through covert testing. Of course, a large sheet of ice over the courtyard can only be so covert, so it wasn't long before her parents started worrying.Nor was it long before Anastasia decided that she should call herself the Popsicle Princess and live the life of a hero, which would of course involve frequent escapes from the mansion... Fortunately, when the genie gave her the costume and scepter, he also transformed her subtly by infusing minor magics into her being that would manifest in sympathetic ways. Thus, she's significantly more effective than an ordinary little girl, just like good guys are "supposed to be", and is partially shielded from things that never happen to kids' heroes.For roughly a year now, the Popsicle Princess has been stopping the various thugs and other minor criminals that have started to filter into the increasingly affluent community. Her parents have gone from ignorance to worry about her frequent disappearances to feeling that something is amiss, but haven't quite made that final connection. And Anastasia hasn't yet wondered just what, exactly, she was made princess of as a result of that wish...Tactics:The Popsicle Princess is surprisingly powerful so long as she keeps the Glitter Scepter in hand... and she herself is very smart for her age. Rather than risking close combat, she'll try to disable her foes from a distance if she can. That said, she does realize that her area of effect powers are only effective up close, so she will use them if two or more foes draw too near. Freezing her foes in ice is her preferred (and usually initial) tactic, but she'll use her other powers in situations where freezing someone solid obviously isn't working. However, she's too young to be very subtle in her tactics for the most part.Campaign Use: The obvious thing to do is play her for laughs. She has potent powers, but a big weakness in her reliance on a single Obvious Accessible Focus and little staying power besides. Not to mention she has cheesy dialogue and so many things she doesn't know better about...Likewise, in a four-color campaign, perhaps after Anastasia's parents realize what she's actually doing, the team could be hired as babysitters for her. Aside from the possibility of having hijinks ensue, perhaps a mentorship or similar relationship could result from such a situation.On a more serious note, the Popsicle Princess is a potential vehicle through which to explore the theme of innocence. (Note that most of her defenses are currently dependent on that quality, or at the very least on her youth.) In a dark campaign, a few "snapshots" of her at various stages of decay could be a good way of illustrating what a horrible place the campaign world is.As a less dark but still serious option, perhaps when Walnut Heights finally attracts a supervillain for the first time. The heroes are called in only to find that there's a little girl with a magical scepter trying to fight him off too. Do they try to shelter her and find her parents, aid or teach her, ignore her, or do something else entirely?There's also the wide-open plot hook of her unknown, presumably magical domain. Perhaps her subjects are seeking her out, which in itself could be very good or very bad depending on the character of that place. Perhaps they don't know where to look, and the heroes come upon the hidden place before they even know of Anastasia's existence. Maybe her ties to the kingdom are deeper than they seem, and the wish merely made something that was hidden manifest; it even may have been set up, with the genie(?) not as powerful as he seemed.As written, the Popsicle Princess is only really suitable for use in a Standard Superhero or higher-powered campaign, as she's built as a Low-Powered Superhero. To power her down, take away the conical versions of her attacks and shrink the Multipower Reserve to match.Powering her up beyond simply increasing her STUN and defenses so she doesn't fall over in a stiff breeze makes little sense unless you're aging her, in which case her Multipower Reserve could be increased, the various fixed slots made flexible to allow her to make more complex attacks, an Aid Ice Powers ability thrown in outside the Multipower, her conical attacks changed from Explosions to full Areas Of Effect (Cone), and some Hunteds thrown in since she'll have had time to accumulate them. Perhaps a few new Perks or even Summons would fit if she's learned about her kingdom and this is positive. Note that unless you're going the loss-of-innocence route, she probably won't develop powers that do BODY damage to any living thing or otherwise negatively impact their BODY.I can't participate in the current challenge, seeing as I'm completely unfamiliar with the Champions Universe, so that's left to the non-newbies here. Hope this was at least good for a laugh... -- Pteryx
  10. Hrm, an entangler and general avoider of causing harm to his foes, huh? Sounds like something I could manage... Of course, someone will probably beat me to it, but hey. -- Pteryx
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