Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Solo Superhero -- Birth of the Inquisitor!

I had mentioned previously how much fun I find the Palladium system, and especially Heroes Unlimited. Especially when it comes to character creation. I rather glossed over this part when creating Yeoman (alas poor Yeoman!), but I figured my follow up character deserved a more thorough walk-through.

Let's get weird. 
For this character, I'm going to expand my range to include not only Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition, but also Powers Unlimited 1 and Powers Unlimited 2 (I, sadly, don't have 3 yet). None of these are available as PDF's, unfortunately. Palladium, it seems, hasn't yet full embraced that method of distribution, so you need to get these either at your FLGS or online--might as well go to the Palladium Store and get them directly.

So, character creation in HU2 is broken down into 6 Steps--Attributes, Hit Points & S.D.C., Super Abilities, Skills & Education, Alignment, and Rounding out One's Character. Let's go through it Step-by-Step.

Step 1 -- ATTRIBUTES

HU2 goes with the classic "3D6 in order" for the following attributes--Intelligence (I.Q.), Mental Endurance (M.E.), Mental Affinity (M.A.), Physical Strength (P.S.), Physical Prowess (P.P.), Physical Endurance (P.E.), Physical Beauty (P.B.), and Speed (Spd). If you roll a 16 or better, you get to add an additional 1d6 to that stat. Here's what I get.

IQ      11
ME    10
MA    14
PS      11
PP      14
PE      12
PB      12
Spd     13

These are actually decent results for 3D6, but none of them are high enough for a bonus. Ah well, we'll have a chance to increase them later on.

Step 2 -- HIT POINTS AND STRUCTURAL DAMAGE CAPACITY (S.D.C.)

Palladium breaks damage into two categories, S.D.C. and Hit Points (HP). S.D.C. is "flesh wounds,"--they hurt, but won't stop you. HP are real damage--you're bleeding, it's nasty, and you're close to death. I don't know why this is Step 2. You're HP are based on your P.E. attribute, which might change later, and S.D.C. is based on your hero category and WILL change later. So, we'll ignore this for now.

Step 3 -- DETERMINE SUPER ABILITIES

Now we get to the fun stuff. I pick up Powers Unlimited 2 and roll on the tables there. I roll a "76" first, which is Magic. I just did that with Yeoman, so I roll again. This time I get an "08," which is "Symbiotic."  Which is cool, haven't ever done that before. Let's see what I get!

First off, I now get my base S.D.C. of 30, which is nice--see what I mean about step 2? There will be more additions to it later.

So, there's a lot to determine about this...thing attached to my character, where it's from, what it looks like, what it gives me, and what it costs. Only one way to find out--random tables!

Where did it come from? I roll a "01"--Alien. Fell from space, found in villains lair, or spaceship, or something. Cool--since I'm keeping this game in Crescent City, it's probably tied to the Brotherhood.

What does it look like? 77 -- Mask-like organism that bonds to half my face or head. I reduce my P.B. by 40%, and leaves me with an 8.

What's its intelligence? 29 -- Some kind of plant creature. It only lives 3D6 years, but replaces itself without me even being aware. Is it growing additional symbiotes?  No effective intelligence.

What does it eat? 63 -- Human waste. Cool! Makes stakeouts a lot easier, but I do need to drink a LOT more water than normal.

Benefits to the Host.  I get 1d4 special benefits. I roll a "3."  I get "Nightvision," Natural Armor (attacks that roll 12 or less do no damage to me, and I gain 5 to my S.D.C.), and finally Resistant to Fire and Heat (half damage)

Super Abilities. Ok, I have this poop eating plant attached to my face, what cool super powers does it give me?  2 Major Super Abilities and 2 Minor having to do with Controlling or Influencing others. There really aren't many of these, so I just pick my powers -- Control: Others (Mind Control!) and Disruptive Touch for my Majors, and Extraordinary Physical Beauty and Extraordinary Mental Affinity for my Minors.

Wait, hear me out. What if he was right?
So, I can con and BS with the best of them, can shut them down by manipulating and over loading their nerves, and can take control of individuals and make them do my bidding. This is the most bizarre hero I've ever rolled up--I feel like I'm playing the Purple Man. Eh, I could have just chosen Flight, Strength and Invulnerability if I wanted to be boring!

All these powers also give me the following bonuses: M.A. increase to 29 (and +10% to skills of deception), P.B. increased to 27 (since it's the Symbiot that gives me this power, I'm not reducing it. The thing on my face just makes me look distinguished!). Disruptive Touch adds 4 to my P.E.and 40 to my S.D.C. I get +6 against Possession for Control: Others, and an get to add 7 more to my M.A., to a total of 36. This does me no good, as the chart caps out at 30--where I have a 97% chance to get anyone to either trust me or be intimidated by me. So, I drop Extraordinary M.A., (with the Control Bonus, my M.A. is now only 21, still pretty good!) and go with "Unnoteworthy -- Forgettable" from Powers Unlimited 1. Despite his charm and good looks, no one ever seems to recall anything in particular about this guy.

Step 4 -- EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Let's see what kind of training this guy has had.  Rolling on the table, I get a 93--a Masters Degree. Huh, this is a bit better educated than I would have figured, but so be it. He's definitely focused himself, or maybe he just really enjoyed University.

I get 4 Skill Programs and 10 Secondary Skills. Now, despite his education, certain programs are off-limits--espionage, law enforcement, thief, etc. I really don't see this guy as a Doctor or an Engineer--his skills are with people, so that's where we'll go. First I grab Physical--it gives me 4 Physical skills, but I waste 3 on Hand to Hand Martial Arts and one on Boxing. Because I am a power gamer.

Second one, I go for Investigation and get Computer Operation, Research, Surveillance Systems, and Writing.

Third one I go with Technical, and grab Computer Programming, Business & Finance, General Repair & Maintenance, and Law (General).

For my Fourth, I go Investigation AGAIN, but now I can pick more skills. I grab Computer Hacking from Rogue, Intelligence and Interrogation for Espionage, and Seduction.

Finally, I need to pick 10 Secondary skills. I already have Pilot: Automobile, Mathematics: Basic, and English and Literacy. I grab W.P Pistol and W.P. Sword to give my guy some fighting  chance, as well as a smattering of basic skills to try and keep him alive.

Step 5 -- ALIGNMENT

Palladium still uses Alignments. They're better explained and a bit more nuanced than D&D, but they're still there. This guy is a hero, but he's not a squared jaw pillar of righteousness. I pick "unprincipled"--he has no problem lying to and cheating a bad guy, but would never harm an innocent or allow them to be harmed by inaction.

Step 6 -- ROUNDING OUT ONES CHARACTER

He begins with some money and basic heroic gear. The big question I have is his name. Given his mental powers, I poke are Wikipedia for some famous psychics, and then mangle one of their names He is Douglas Hume, and he goes by the superhero name THE INQUISITOR!


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