Latest Material Index

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Latest Material Index

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Latest Material Index

. It’s once again time to get the latest material index updated and to transfer the material from the old one to the main index tabs at the top of the page. If you want the very latest material, it may be necessary to either scroll down or consult the “Recent Posts” listing-widget on the lower right. The previous Latest Materials Index can be found HERE and – for those who like to rummage at random – the full post-by-post index can be found occupying a great deal of space in the lower right column.

. Eclipse Classless d20 Character Construction Cribsheet / Sample Character ListCharacter Creation PrimerCompiled Martial Arts.

. Subindexes: RPG Design – Twilight Isles – BattletechChampionsd20Legend of the Five RingsShadowrunWhite WolfOther GamesBattling Business WorldStar Wars

. Cumulative General Index. Continue reading

Eclipsing Shatterstar

Shatterstar is an “I has swords” rebel guy with bonus points for his swords being ridiculously impractical. He also has a mane that looks like it could out-slice a chainsaw, a broad flat face made for running into walls, and (in many of his appearances) enough muscles and upper body mass to make at least two professional football players. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had turned out to be a battlemech made for gnomes in disguise. There were a lot of attempts at making Shatterstar look like a reasonable human being – really, he changed looks more often than the shapeshifters did – but nothing that left him recognizable worked (literally so; the artists did make him look like a human being eventually, but – not having been following the character – I had to double-check to confirm that the human-looking version was actually supposed to be the same character). His origin apparently involved other dimensions, alternate timelines, mojoverse television productions, time travel, merging with some guy in a coma who looked just like him to “become whole”, mutation, genetic engineering, magic, Mephisto, and becoming his own grandfather. He had a random grab bag of exhausting, incredibly limited, and almost useless, powers – being able to generate vibratory blasts (his requisite mutant power to get into a mutant book), open portals between dimensions (more vibratory stuff, requiring lots of time and with horrible side effects and almost never done), move his internal organs around (er, what? To WHERE?) to avoid attacks, and heal quickly (although not really any more quickly than most superheroes) – but they mostly got mentioned once or twice each and then were forgotten. Similarly, he went from complete disinterest in sex of any kind to polyamorous bisexuality whenever one of the writers needed a relationship complication.

So basically a strong, tough, fast, swordsman and otherwise an amorphous, undefined, blob onto which was projected pretty much anything that the current storyline required.

Oh well. I’ve only got a passing acquaintance with this character and he apparently had a lot of appearances after I quit reading about him, so I’m mostly going with THIS build as a basis, plus some internet references.

Shatterstar

Level Three Mutant Swordsman

Four Color Package (24 CP):

  • This includes Superheroic Physics, Superheroic Durability, Superheroic Build, Rapid Recovery, Minor Conventions (Ready for Inspection, Comics Code, It’s Sufficient, Heroic Will, Heroic Rally, Coincidental Catch, Heroic Health, and a Minor Benefit (see below).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 16 (22 Genegrafts), Int 12, Wis 12, Con 16 (18 Minor Four-Color Boost, 24 Genegrafts), Dex 11 (19 Genegrafts, 21 Enh), Chr 10. That’s straight Pathfinder 25-point buy as a base.

Genegrafts:

I’m giving him some Big Cat Genegrafts, simply because that’s a common fictional way to create a super-soldier (wolves are also common) even if it makes no scientific sense. That’s Str +6, Dex +8, and Con +6, +1 Natural Armor, Scent, +8 to Athletics, and +4 to Acrobatics and Stealth. To buy genegrafts take…

  • Shapeshift, with Attribute Modifiers, Hybrid Form, Clear Speech, and Variants (Almost entirely human appearance), Specialized/a single animal form only and Corrupted/cannot actually Change Forms, for a net cost of 9 CP. This, of course, is one of the cheapest long-term to permanent attribute-boosting effects in Eclipse and won’t be allowed in many games – but is most helpful to physical-combat focused characters of races that don’t get a lot of bonuses to their physical attributes and fits into a superhero setting readily enough.

Mutant & Martial Powers:

  • Innate Enchantment (12 CP). All effects Spell Level 1/2 or 1, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated (x2000 GP) x.7 Personal-Only where relevant. (12 CP)
  • Vibratory Powers:
    • Adamant Strike (1400 GP): Expend a swift action to make your weapons act like Adamantine for one minute.
    • Blood Wind (1400 GP): Expend a Swift action to give your melee attacks a 20′ range increment for a round.
    • Lesser Vigor, 1/Level/Day (1400 GP).
    • Nerveskitter (1400 GP): Spend an immediate action to gain +5 on your initiative.
  • Martial Talents:
    • Dance of War (1400 GP): You may use Acrobatics to Feint as a Move Action.
    • Enhance Dexterity I (1400 GP): +2 Enhancement Bonus to Dex.
    • Evaluate Stance (2000 GP): Make a Perception Cceck with a +5 Insight Bonus against an opponents Deception skill as a Free Action. On a success you get a rough idea of how their combat abilities compare to yours (very poorly, weaker, about equal, better than you, FAR better than you), if you succeed by 5+ you also gain a description of their general abilities, if you succeed by 10+ you gain a description of their usual tactics. If you lose by 5+ they may present false information.
    • Stabilize: Automatically stabilizes when below zero hit points (700 GP).

Advanced Vibratory Powers: Action Hero with Stunt, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (12 CP bonus, increase available Action Points by 50%) / vibratory power effects only, using stunts is fatiguing; they may be used once per fight scene without penalty, each further use after that causes Fatigue (6 CP).

Legendary Resistance Leader:

  • Mana Powered Inherent Spell / Greater Warding Rune (The Practical Enchanter, +4 plus Caster Level / 6 Resistance Bonus to Saving Throws, Corrupted for Increased Effect / Personal-Only, but can be renewed without taking an action as long as enough Mana is available (6 CP).
  • Mana Powered Inherent Spell II / Stone Ox (The Practical Enchanter, +4 Bonus to Natural Armor), Corrupted for Increased Effect / Personal-Only, but can be renewed without taking an action as long as enough Mana is available (6 CP).
  • Mana Powered Inherent Spell III / Greater Heroism (The Practical Enchanter, +4 Morale Bonus to Attacks, Saves, Checks, and Weapon Damage, Immunity to Fear Effects, and +(Level) temporary hit points. Corrupted for Increased Effect / Personal-Only, but can be renewed without taking an action as long as enough Mana is available (6 CP).

Skills:

  • Skill Boosters: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP), Fast Learner Specialized in Skills (6 CP), Adept (Acrobatics, Blade Mastery, Intimidation, and Perception, 6 CP).
  • Available Skill Points: 24 (Fast Learner) +6 (Int) = 30.
  • Purchased Skills (All +4 Morale):
    • Acrobatics 5* (+5 Dex = +14)
    • Athletics 2 (+6 Str = +12)
    • Blade Mastery (M, Art) 5* (+6 Str = +15)
    • Cadre Unarmed Combat (M. Art) 3 (+6 Str = +13)
    • Expertise (Military) +5 (+1 Int = +10)
    • Intimidation 5* (+0 Cha = +9)
    • Perception 5* (+1 Wis = +10)
    • Stealth 3 (+5 Dex = +12)
    • Technology 5 (+1 Int = +10)
    • Vehicles 1 (+5 Dex = +10)
  • Skill Specialties: Expertise (Military) (Cadre Alliance) (1 SP),
  • Languages: English and Spanish (Free).
  • Blade Mastery Techniques: +2 Defenses, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Sunder, Expertise (Armor Class and Attacks),
  • Cadre Unarmed Combat Techniques: Strike, Attack +2, Battlecry, Instant Stand

Basics:

  • BAB: +1, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (4 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 8 (L1 2d4, 8 CP) +5 (L2-3d4, 0 CP) +12 (Immortal Vigor) +42 (Con Mod x 6) +2 (Heroism) = 69 HP (Mutants & Masterminds Toughness +9. With X-Man Outfit Toughness +11).
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +0 (0 CP) +7 (Con) +4 (Res) +4 (Mor) = +15
    • Reflex +0 (0 CP) +5 (Dex) +4 (Res) +4 (Mor) = +13
    • Will +0 (0 CP) +1 (Wis) +4 (Res) +4 (Mor) = +9
  • Proficiencies: All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +5 (Dex) +3 (Armor) +5 (Natural) +2 (M. Art) = 25
  • Attack:
    • Longswords: +12 (+1 BAB +6 Str +4 Morale +1 Masterwork), 1d6 +9 (Str, “Two Blades” is simply a special effect for “Two Handed” in his case) +4 (Mor), Critical 19-20/x2. (Mutants & Masterminds damage +10, Improved Critical II with his existing improved critical ability below). 20′ Range Increment with Vibratory Blast / “Blood Wind”.
    • Unarmed Strike: +13 (+1 BAB +6 Str +4 Morale +2 Martial Art), 1d4+6 (Str) +4 (Mor), Crit 20/x2 (Mutants & Masterminds damage +8).
    • Desert Eagle: +11 (+1 BAB +5 Dex +4 Morale +1 Mastercraft), 2d8+4 (Morale), Crit 20/x2, 40′ Range Increment, 8 Round Magazine (Mutants & Masterminds Damage +6).
      • While I can’t remember Shatterstar using a gun, blaster, or similar weapon, his vibratory blasts are a bit short-range, he has a military background, and he worked with Cable. I really can’t see him leaving that weakness unpatched when picking up a basic gun will give him something to do if his powers are negated or a target is too far away for his swords and vibratory blasts. Some grenades would fit in too, but they draw a lot more attention and are a lot harder to get a permit for.

Minor Abilities:

  • Expertise (Attack Bonus and Damage, 6 CP)
  • Reflex Training (Quick Draw Variant, 6 CP).
  • Privilege: Receives the X-Man equipment package for free (3 CP).

Standard “X-Man” package (13,000 GP):

  • Kevlar Reinforced Costume (“Leather Armor”, but 40 GP and only 5 pounds), Masterwork (+150 GP), +1 (+1000 GP), Amulet of Tears (2300 GP. This can provide up to +36 HP per day. Armor Crystal: a Lesser Iron Ward Diamond (2000 GP). This isn’t a big deal, but every little bit helps.
  • Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP).
  • “Pocket Secretary”/Hero Team Comlink: Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links (250 GP), Smartsearch (As per a Tome of Worldly Memory, 1500 GP), Intelligent (500 GP), Int, Wis, Chr all 10 (0 GP), 30′ senses, uses Message at will (1000 GP). Note that, since smartphones can talk anyway, there is no need to buy speech for it.
  • Reactive Contact Lenses / Raptors Mask (3500 GP).+5 to Spot (Perception), Immunity to being Blinded or Dazzled.
  • Utility Pouch: Keys, LED minilight, multitool, chalk, nylon ties, etc. All the little junk that pops up once in a blue moon (10 GP).

.

  • Minor Favors: The various X-teams (3 CP).
  • Improved Critical (Longswords, 6 CP).

Point Totals:

  • Four-Color Package: 24 CP
  • Genegrafts: 9 CP
  • Mutant Powers: 18 CP
  • Resistance Leader: 18 CP
  • Skill Boosters: 15 CP
  • Purchased Skills: 0 CP
  • Base Attack Bonus: 4 CP
  • Hit Dice: 8 CP
  • Saving Throws: 0 CP
  • Proficiencies: 9 CP
  • Minor Powers: 24 CP

Net Total: 129 CP

Available Character Points: 96 (level three base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Hunted, and Alien (a variant on Uncivilized; he just doesn’t know how to operate in Earth’s society) +6 (Duties; hero on Earth, Resistance Leader in the Mojoverse) +18 (Human, L1, and L3 Feats) = 130 CP.

This leaves 1 CP left over. Personally, I’d put it into speaking the mojoverse resistance battle language or something like that. It’s true that that will be generally useless – but it’s only one character point, it’s certainly appropriate, and if you buy it a good game master will make sure that it comes up sometime.

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four-Color Ability: Immortal Vigor
  • Equipment: as a third level character Shatterstar is entitled to 3000 GP worth of gear.
    • Minor Items: Duracable (1 GP), Smartphone (5 GP), Miniaturized Camping/Survival Pack (45 GP),
    • Desert Eagle with Mastercraft +1 (90 GP), Laser Sight (25 GP), and Sound Suppressor (10 GP).
    • Good Motorcycle (600 GP).

That leaves most of his money unspent – which is fair enough, it’s not like Shatterstar is known for carrying a lot of gear OR for shopping. If you want, you can upgrade his gun. I didn’t because giving one at all is a stretch, but if he’s being used as a player character… you can’t expect a player to refrain from looking for the best deal.

Shatterstar is a reasonably effective guy-with-swords, part of a long comic book tradition of guys with swords (Black Knight, Swordsman, Etc, Etc, Etc…). They’re rarely fabulously mighty heroes, but they’re reasonably effective against the smaller-scale opponents.

Eclipsing Boom-Boom

“What are you talking about “eclipsing” ME? Get that !!@#$% Moon out of my way or I’m blowing it up!”

Boom-Boom creates unstable force-constructs (almost always roughly spherical) that blow up after a brief – from near instant to a few seconds – interval. She can at least crudely control the delay and the bigger the construct, the longer it takes to make, and the bigger the blast. Given that they can be thrown around corners, rolled across the floor, kicked away, and bounce off solid surfaces, they obviously behave like real objects until they blow up. She later developed the ability to project streams of energy (with the same basic effect but impossible to knock away) , to re-absorb undetonated constructs, and to (somewhat) reduce the sound of the detonations. Sadly, her powers really have no non-combative, or even defensive, aspects at all. That’s something of a problem. For the most part, Boom-Boom could be replaced by any random air-headed trailer-trash mall brat with general alienation, a hot temper, a bandolier of grenades, and a pocketful of M80s, and no one would ever notice the difference except (possibly) her current lover.

So… Inherent Spells: Bomblet Spray (L3), Greater Fireball (L4), and Plasma Lance (L5) (18 CP), plus a bit of Metamagic (the Sculpting and Triggering theorems) with one level of Streamline to make it free, all, Specialized and Corrupted/only for bomb-making, 6 CP). Fuel them with the endless supply of Mana that comes with being in a superhero setting and throw in an Immunity to the usual minimum level requirements… and there you are. Boom Boom.

Looking at Feral, Skids and Rusty… there’s a pattern here; characters with little or no background complications and with very limited ability sets. That makes it easy to keep track of a characters tactics when you’re writing about a team or running an NPC – but it’s a bit dull when a player has only one character. That’s why Feral was written up with some potential ghostly powers, Skids got a mess of skills and some “bardic” abilities, and Rusty got an option to spend his extra points on learning to generate a wide variety of energies and effects. Ergo, this writeup will include a way to liven up Boom-Boom too, rather than trying to convert the writeup over HERE..

Boom-Boom

Level Two Starting Superhero Explosives Expert.

Four Color Package (24 CP):

  • This includes Superheroic Physics, Superheroic Durability, Superheroic Build, Rapid Recovery, Minor Conventions (Ready for Inspection, Comics Code, It’s Sufficient, Heroic Will, Heroic Rally, Coincidental Catch, Heroic Health, and a Minor Benefit (see below).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Abilities: Str 10, Int 13, Wis 12, Con 14, Dex 16 (+2 Human = 18), Cha 14 (Pathfinder 25 Point Buy).

Mutant Powers:

  • Equipage with Purchasing, Specialized and Corrupted / Only to produce (or dispose of, although this does not provide any “credit”) grenades and explosive devices (4 CP),
  • Immunity/Having to pay for purchases, Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect / only to “pay” for grenades and explosive devices obtained through Purchasing (above), anything obtained in this fashion is a temporary luminescent energy construct, is only usable by it’s creator, and will disappear quickly. (Very Common, Minor, Major, 12 CP. Grenades and explosives with a purchase DC of 18 or less are effectively free.
  • Immunity / normal limits on equipment availability (Very Common, Major, Major (for +3 Tech Levels over the usual Progress Level Four base), Specialized and Corrupted / only for obtaining grenades and explosive devices (5 CP).
  • Hysteria, Corrupted for Increased Effect and Specialized for Reduced Cost / only to push the limits on her ability to obtain free explosive devices up to Progress Level Eight and Purchase DC 27, extremely fatiguing (only usable once per battle) (3 CP).

This package will let the user produce the equivalent of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, fairly major bombs (up to the equivalent of 20 pounds of C4, all set up and ready to go), fragmentation, smoke, tear gas, thermite, white phosphoreus, shrapnel, sonic pulse, concussion, EMP, fireflush, tangler, dissolver, gravitic, and stun grenades, and various other things-that-go-bang. When using the Hysteria boost, this extends to cyronic, psionic, singularity grenades, and half-ton WWII style blockbuster (so called because it will destroy a city block) bombs. Missile-constructs cover her later use of… well, I shall call them bomb-bolts.

That gives her a LOT of choices when it comes to explosive effects, but still nothing in the way of defenses. I’m going to presume that her ability to generate force-constructs includes the ability to generate a basic force-shield and armor. That really isn’t MUCH defense in superhero terms, but it’s at least SOMETHING.

  • Innate Enchantment: All effects Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .7 (Personal Only, where applicable). 5200 GP net value, 6 CP.
    • Force Shield : +4 Armor Bonus to AC (1400 GP)
    • Force Armor: +4 Shield Bonus to AC (1400 GP).
    • Launch Item (Grenades Only, x.5, but cannot be personal-only) (1000 GP). This lets her “throw” her bombs accurately for considerable distances.
    • Master’s Touch (Grenades and Explosive Devices Only, x.5) (700 GP). This gives her proficiency with things that explode.
    • Weapon Mastery (Grenades): (L0, +3 Competence Bonus to BAB with Grenades, 700 GP).

Skills:

  • Skill Boosters: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP), Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP), Adept (Acrobatics, Martial Art/Grenadier, Expertise (Street Kid), Sleight of Hand, 6 CP).
  • Available Skill Points: 5 (Int Mod x 5) +20 (Doubled Fast Learner for Skills) +2 SP Purchased (2 CP) = 25
  • Purchased Skills:
    • Acrobatics 5* (+4 Dex = +9)
    • Athletics 3 (+0 Str = +3)
    • Deception 4 (+2 Cha = +6)
    • Expertise (Street Kid) 5* (+1 Int +3 Comp = +9)
    • Martial Art (Grenadier) 5* (+4 Dex = +9). Corrupted/no Occult Techniques, but gets +2 bonus techniques that do not count against the usual limits.
    • Perception 1 (+1 Wis = +2)
    • Persuasion 2 (+2 Cha = +4)
    • Sleight of Hand 5* (+4 Dex = +9)
    • Stealth 2 (+4 Dex = +6)
    • Technology 3 (+1 Int, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect / Dealing with Explosives Only = +12)
  • Net Total: 22 SP
  • +3 Skill Specialties (1 SP Each): Expertise (Street Kid) (Scrounging), Perception (Spotting Opponents).
  • Grenadier Techniques: Attack +4, +2 Synergy Bonus (Specialized and Corrupted/+6 to Technology when dealing with Explosives only), Weapon Kata (Missile Launcher), and Quick Draw.

Basics:

  • BAB: +1, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (4 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 4 (L1d4, 0 CP) +3 (L2d4, 0 CP) +4 (Con Mod x 2) = 11 HP (Mutants & Masterminds Toughness +4. With X-Man Outfit Toughness +8).
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +2 (6 CP) +2 (Con) = +4
    • Reflex +0 (0 CP) +4 (Dex) = +4
    • Will +2 (6 CP) +1 (Wis) = +3
  • Proficiencies: None.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +4 (Dex) +4 (Armor) +4 (Shield) = 22
  • Attack: Explosive Device: +12 (+1 BAB +4 Dex +3 Comp +4 M. Art), Damage varies from none (distracting firecrackers) on up to 20d6 (her once-a-battle Hysteria-Boosted Blockbuster Bomb). (Mutants & Masterminds damage from 0 to +8, once per battle up to +12).
    • In “unarmed” combat she usually uses sticky slap-on minigrenades, making touch attacks at +4 for about 3d6 (Mutants & Masterminds +4 damage).

This is probably more effective than Boom-Boom was on the average – but she was shown blowing up some pretty tough targets with a little effort. Her problem was always a nasty case of glass cannon syndrome; pretty much any hit took her out since her abilities had no defensive aspects at all. I’m presuming that her energy-constructs include a low-grade protective function to make her more playable, but there’s really no justification in her appearances for it.

Minor Abilities:

  • Improved Initiative (6 CP): +4 to Initiative, +8 Total.
  • Teamwork / Mana Powered Luck, Specialized and Corrupted/only for assisting someone else who is making the primary roll (2 CP).
  • Privilege: Gets the “X-Man” equipment package for free (3 CP).

Standard X-Man Equipment Package (13,000 GP):

  • Kevlar Reinforced Costume (“Leather Armor”, but 40 GP and only 5 pounds), Masterwork (+150 GP), +1 (+1000 GP), Amulet of Tears (2300 GP. This can provide up to +36 HP per day. Armor Crystal: a Lesser Iron Ward Diamond (2000 GP). This isn’t a big deal, but every little bit helps.
  • Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP).
  • “Pocket Secretary”/Hero Team Comlink: Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links (250 GP), Smartsearch (As per a Tome of Worldly Memory, 1500 GP), Intelligent (500 GP), Int, Wis, Chr all 10 (0 GP), 30′ senses, uses Message at will (1000 GP). Note that, since smartphones can talk anyway, there is no need to buy speech for it.
  • Reactive Contact Lenses / Raptors Mask (3500 GP).+5 to Spot (Perception), Immunity to being Blinded or Dazzled.
  • Utility Pouch: Keys, LED minilight, multitool, chalk, nylon ties, etc. All the little junk that pops up once in a blue moon (10 GP).

The Mutants & Masterminds version gives her “Move-By Action” and “Power Attack” (the equivalent of Eclipse’s Split Movement and Expertise (for BAB & Damage) abilities) – but I’ve already upgraded both her attack bonus, damage, and array of effects, negating the need for Power Attack and – in her case – dropping a bomb while moving seems to be more of a special effect than anything else. Secondarily, it gives her “Set-Up”. In Eclipse terms that’s Multiple Blessing, Specialized and Corrupted/only to transfer the benefits of a combat-related use of an interaction skill. For example, you could Feint, or Intimidate a target and up to (Cha Mod +1) of your friends could take advantage of it. That would cost four points – but given that she doesn’t yet really have the skills to make it effective, I’m leaving that for a later level. It’s hard to practice tricks that require abilities that you do not yet have.

Point Costs

  • Four Color Package: 24 CP
  • Explosives Mastery: 24 CP
  • Innate Enchantment: 6 CP
  • Skill Boosters: 15 CP
  • Purchased Skills: 2 CP
  • Base Attack Bonus: 4 CP
  • Hit Dice: 0 CP
  • Saving Throws: 12 CP
  • Minor Abilities: 11 CP

Net Total Cost: 98 CP.

Available Character Points: 72 (Level Two Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Compulsive (Kleptomania), and Healing Resistant) +12 (Human and L1 Feats) +4 (Duties. Skids is a bit of a reluctant hero, but does it anyway) = 98 CP

The original Boomer would probably qualify for a 6 CP worth of Unique Training for knocking around the universe with the Beyonder for a while – but that doesn’t really work with a starting build. That sort of thing is supposed to happen in play.

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four Color Abilities: Stabilize (automatically stabilizes if below zero hit points), gets a +3 Competence Bonus on Expertise (Street Kid), and can use her powers to produce flickering lights without causing an explosion (Dancing Lights).
  • Equipment: The trouble here is that Boom-Boom was usually portrayed as an airhead – intelligent enough, but not inclined to think unless pushed into it – and was mostly useful as a diversion. She never really got sensible with equipment (to be fair, most heroes don’t) and rarely carried much of anything. Used as a basis for a player character, I’d expect her to have a bunch of well-chosen military gear designed to let her play a role as a tactical support – firing “missiles”, lobbing “mortar shells”, and generally being the heavy weapons support girl – but that’s best left up to the individual player.

Eclipsing Rusty, a Starting Superhero

Having done Skids, it’s kind of mandatory to do Russell Collins – “Rusty” next. Unfortunately, Rusty was sort of pathetic – and incredibly unlucky. In a world full of serious super-villains, evil alien empires, and true demons, Rusty got chosen as the subject of a major manhunt that included assigning Freedom Force (at that time the USA’s major government metahuman force) to capture him. After all, when you’ve got Sabertooth, Carnage, Selene, Apocalypse, Venom, Mordo, and Ultron on the loose (even without considering entities like Thanos, Mephisto, Surtur, the Dread Dormammu, and Galactus) then your top priority target is OBVIOUSLY going to be a sixteen year old naval recruit (actually, even with parental consent you have to be seventeen to join the navy, although there was a special exemption allowing sixteen year olds with parental consent back in 1942) who accidentally set fire to someone. Admittedly, that’s a bad thing – but even if you think he did it on purpose it hardly seems like a reason for making him a major government target. Even if they were going with the “Muties BAD!” routine and had “make an example” pretty high on their list picking an unknown would be an odd choice.

Anyway, Rusty was immune to fire and could burst into flames – although he had poor control of that ability at first. Later on he learned to project, control, and shape his flames, as well as being able to make them burn underwater and to incinerate incoming projectiles. He never developed much range though. Still, while he showed a variety of useful tricks on one or another occasion, for the most part he could have been replaced by any random schlub with an asbestos suit and a flamethrower without anyone noticing. He got tossed from second-string team to second-string team repeatedly and was eventually casually killed off by Holocaust. Fortunately, his only known family didn’t like him (if they didn’t simply consider him a “mutie terrorist”), he had no social life, and even Skids (his companion in being untouchable / sort-of-girlfriend) seemed to get over his death pretty quickly after she dealt with the immediate shock.

Basically, as metahumans go… Rusty was a loser all around. There’s a Mutants & Masterminds build for him over HERE. This one will probably have a few upgrades in the interests of making him playable.

Russell Collins (A.K.A. “Firefist”, but it didn’t stick)

Not quite second level self-immolator

Four Color Package (24 CP):

  • This includes Superheroic Physics, Superheroic Durability, Superheroic Build, Rapid Recovery, Minor Conventions (Ready for Inspection, Comics Code, It’s Sufficient, Heroic Will, Heroic Rally, Coincidental Catch, Heroic Health, and a Minor Benefit (see below).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 14, Int 10, Wis 13, Con 14 (+2 Human = 16), Dex 16, Cha 12 (Pathfinder 25 Point Buy)

Mutant Powers:

  • Flame Aura: Presence, Corrupted for Increased Effect / as per Shocking Grasp, but Flame and +1 die per two dice or part thereof (up to the limit of 8d6 at level five). Any enemy, and the occasional friend, who gets too close to Rusty when his powers are active (and occasionally even when they are not, over which he has very little control) gets blasted with flame (6 CP).
    • Metamagical Theorems: Amplify, Elemental Manipulation, Extension, and Sculpting with Streamline II (-1 level off each Theorem), Specialized and Corrupted / only for his Flame Aura, no more than two theorems may be applied at a time (6 CP).
  • Energy Infusion (Fire), (6 CP). Rusty’s immune to Fire, but does seem to get quite a shock from being doused.
  • Innate Enchantment: (6 CP).
    • Force Shield I (1400 GP): Rusty is a bit tougher than a normal human would be. +4 Shield Bonus to Armor Class. (Mage Armor might be more appropriate, but this works better).
    • Inspiring Word (1400 GP): Rusty still has some youthful optimism. +1 to Saves, Attacks, Checks, and Weapon Damage.
    • Resist Cold (1400 GP): Rusty has Resistance-20 to Cold. Of course, serious cold attacks will hit his vulnerability and hurt anyway, but he can use his own fire to automatically resist minor stuff.
    • Skill Mastery (Fiery Aura Intimidation): +3 Competence Bonus to Intimidation (700 GP).

Skills:

  • Skill Boosters: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP), Fast Learner Specialized in Skills for Double Effect, Corrupted / only for levels 1-10 (4 CP).
  • Available Skill Points: 20 (Fast Learner)
  • Purchased Skills (All gain +1, Morale): Acrobatics 1 (+3 Dex = +5), Athletics 1 (+2 Str = +4), Expertise (Sailor) 1 (+0 Int = +1), Expertise (Survival) 1 (+1 Wis = +3), Insight 2 (+1 Wis = +5), Intimidation 1 (+3 Com = +5), Martial Art (Dex-Based Generic Hero) +4 (+3 Dex = +8), Perception 3 (+1 Wis = +5), Persuasion 2 (+1 Cha = +4), Stealth 1 (+3 Dex = +5), Vehicles 1 (+3 Dex = +5) = 18 Skill Points.
  • Skill Specialties: +3 to Expertise (Sailor) (US Navy) and Survival (At Sea) (2 SP Total).
    • Generic Hero Style Techniques: Strike, +2 to Attacks.

Basics:

  • BAB: +3, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (12 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 8 (L1d8, 4 CP) +5 (L2d8, 4 CP) +6 (Con Mod x 2) = 19 HP (Mutants & Masterminds Toughness +5).
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +1 (3 CP) +1 (Morale) +3 Con = +5
    • Reflex +0 (0 CP) +1 (Morale) +3 Dex = +4
    • Will +1 (3 CP) +1 (Morale) +1 Was = +3
  • Proficiencies: Small Arms (6 CP). This is purely speculative, since ordinary sailors only get a few hours worth of “firearms training” in boot camp (mostly devoted to safety rules) and you’re never expected to need a gun on board a ship (ships fight at over-the-horizon ranges with missiles and such these days) – but oh well. He’s got a (flimsy) military background, so it will be assumed that he knows how to use a gun.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +3 (Dex) +4 (Shield) +2 (Armor) = 19
  • Attack: Unarmed: +8 (+3 BAB +2 Str +2 M. Art +1 Morale), for 1d4+3 (Str and Morale), may add Flame Aura (3d6 Base) if desired. Optionally, he may make a flame aura only touch attack. (Mutants & Masterminds Damage +2 or +7, +5 for flame aura only). Note that Rusty can add two levels of Metamagic to his Flame Aura – boosting it’s power, altering its properties, shaping it, or giving it a 30-foot range. (If he learns to use Innate Magic/Spell Enhancement to use his Mana to enhance those effects even further he would actually be fairly effective. He never got the chance to learn that though).
    • His flame aura can be used to simply blast everyone who comes within ten feet of him; this requires no roll to hit.

Minor Abilities:

  • None.

Point Costs:

  • Four-Color Package: 24 CP
  • Mutant Powers: 24 CP
  • Skill Boosters: 7 CP
  • Base Attack Bonus: 12 CP
  • Hit Dice: 8 CP
  • Saves: 6 CP
  • Proficiencies: 6 CP

Total Point Costs: 87 CP

Available Character Points: 72 (Level Two Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Hunted, and Unluck) +12 (Human and Level One Feats) = 94 CP.

That leaves Rusty with seven extra character points. Given that he’s only level two to start with, that’s really rather sad; to the best of my knowledge, and what the Wiki’s can tell me… he never got enough development to get all the way from “kid with uncontrolled abilities” to “starting d20 superhero”. If you want to bump him up a bit, add Additional Form of Natural Magic / Spell Enhancement, Specialized and Corrupted / only to boost his Flame Aura (2 CP). That will let him use the superheroic supply of mana to boost his damage and/or add another +1 (if boosting his damage) or +2 levels worth of his metamagic to his Flame Aura – allowing him to add quite a few tricks, get a decent range and damage, or otherwise manipulate things. After that? Spend the other five points getting him mana-powered access to the Updraft (Spell Compendium) spell; that will let him get out of reach of the ground-bound melee types and certainly seems thematically appropriate.

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four-Color Ability: Rusty never really showed enough personality or development to justify any minor abilities – so I’m going to leave this for further development. If you just wanted to make him playable, picking Immortal Vigor for +(12 + 2 x Con Mod HP) will help.
  • Equipment (1000 GP). Rusty is basically a somewhat-thoughtless teenager. As such he likely has a motorcycle (Yamaha YZ250F, 250 GP), a tough costume (as per classic leather armor, 10 GP), a smartphone (5 GP), a +1 mastercraft pocket tool (8 GP), a tactical flashlight (4 GP), a wallet (1 GP), a +1 mastercraft first aid kit (6 GP), and other minor items. He might have a (Desert Eagle and Ammo, 50 GP) pistol – if only because his mutant powers have a maximum range of around thirty feet – but I can’t recall him ever using one. That leaves him a little over 700 GP in cash – if it wasn’t for his being dead, enough to cruise around for several months. Go ahead, bring him back and team him up with Feral to play Bonnie and Clyde.

Rusty doesn’t rely on a steady supply of Mana to do his thing – and so would function perfectly well in a standard d20 fantasy or modern game. While he’d still be a one-trick pony, it would be a much more formidable trick there. He’d be GREAT at intimidating thugs, holding off a swarm of orcs, or burning his way through a dungeon. But as superheroes go… he doesn’t have the raw power or the range to stand back and blast, he isn’t tough or evasive enough to get into the melee (real armor would help some, but probably not enough), he isn’t a sneak, scout, commander, mystic, gadgeteer, detective, or sage and can’t even be the communicator, guy with resources, chauffeur, speedster, or funny one. He’s not even a decent elementalist since his bag of tricks is pretty empty. It’s really no wonder that he got bounced from team to team, and was eventually killed off; he simply didn’t have any role on a serious heroic, mercenary, or villainous team beyond “loser” – and eventually he lost.

Eclipsing Skids / Sally Blevins (Starting Hero)

Skids force field apparently makes her pretty much invulnerable. According to her old FASERIP stats (from the Uncanny X-Men Box Set) she was capable of ignoring every other character in the book (including Gladiator) until she either died of thirst, starvation or old age, or somebody like Death. Eternity, or Galactus arrived to extract her. It may even have protected her against M-Day.

On the other hand, everyone outside her shield enjoyed the same protection from her and from anyone she was protecting. Basically… Skids could get in the way, hit people (as a normal young woman) if she briefly dropped her shield, and acted as a portable bunker. Her secondary effects were being really difficult to grab (the field was frictionless) and the ability to skate around on it, giving her the amazing power of… roller skates.

In theory she might have been vulnerable to gases “leaking” through her field, but I can’t really recall that being tested. It might have been able to filter out harmful contaminants in the same way that it let light and sound (and cell phone signals) through up until the point where they would have been harmful, and then blocked them – and if it couldn’t at first, I’d bet that she could easily get it to do so.

She later developed the ability to project her force field around other people and still later developed the ability to wrap it around an area to contain whatever was there while keeping it separate from her – but that rapidly exhausted her.

Personally, Skids was basically a sidekick to Rusty and shared the standard “alienated from society and with no social skills or ties” background of most of the new X- characters of the time: Skids powers manifested to save her from her abusive father, who then killed her mother because he couldn’t harm Skids any longer. She then ran away to the Morlocks who ALSO rejected her because she was too good-looking – and no outside friends or relatives were ever mentioned as far as I know.

Of course, she was competing with Russell Collins (parents deceased, custodial uncle dumping him, another uncle who pretty much never appeared, no friends or other relatives), Shatterstar (a super-soldier from another dimension – apparently with no friends, relatives, coherent backstory, or interest in sex or social situations even there), Feral (most notable for killing off her “friends” and relatives), and Warpath (his entire tribe wiped out) for the “most alienated” crown. It’s almost as if some mysterious authorial force didn’t want to have to deal with characters with actual backgrounds or something.

Anyway, the Mutants & Masterminds build is over HERE, but she’s not going to function much like that; Skids is effectively invulnerable, not “slightly tougher”. Secondarily, I’m going to give her a lot more skills (emphasizing the fact that she was a reasonably successful thief) and some gear to go with them so that she has some role on a team outside of “somebody’s girlfriend”. “the resident pinata”, and “medical bunker”. After all, as written… she’s pretty boring much of the time;

Skids (Sally Blevins)

Level Two Valley Girl Barrier Warrior, Sneak-thief, and Team Cheerleader.

Four Color Package (24 CP):

  • This includes Superheroic Physics, Superheroic Durability, Superheroic Build, Rapid Recovery, Minor Conventions (Ready for Inspection, Comics Code, It’s Sufficient, Heroic Will, Heroic Rally, Coincidental Catch, Heroic Health, and a Minor Benefit (see below).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 10, Int 14, Wis 12, Con 14, Dex 16 (+2 Human = 18), Cha 12 (Pathfinder 25 Point Buy).

Mutant Powers:

Skids power is pretty much defined by her childhood abuse. As long as she is playing a role, and so isn’t really HERSELF, no one can harm her.

And she never really stops.

  • Outside Reality:
    • Mana-Powered Mystic Artist for Deception (Acting) (6 CP), The Art of the Occult: The Hidden Way and Spellweaver (both Specialized, only as a prerequisite, 6 CP), Sphere of Mastery (reality bubble, 6 CP), Immunity/ever having to drop her act to do something else (Very Common, Minor, Major, Specialized/must make a DC 15 Will Save to stop even momentarily, 6 CP).
    • Mana-Powered Luck, Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only to “Take 30″ on Escape (bonds, grabs, etc) checks (3 CP).
    • Blessing with Multiple, Specialized for Reduced Cost and Corrupted for Increased Effect / Only for use with her “Outside Reality abilities”, only to bring things into her “bubble” or to put other creatures and things into their own bubbles, it is rapidly exhausting to put other creatures and things into their own bubbles and requires a ranged attack check (3 CP).

Skids essentially occupies a private little pocket dimension of her very own. As such, if an attack does not include the ability to affect other dimensions, she – and anyone she drops the effect long enough to pull in with her – is invulnerable to it. On the other hand, she can be seen and heard – but cannot attack anyone else without using that same modifier or dropping her defenses.

  • Innate Enchantment: All effects Level 1/2 or 1, Caster Level one, Unlimited-Use Use=-Activated (x2000 GP) x. 7 (Personal-Only) where applicable, (7 CP)
    • Expeditious Retreat: +30′ Ground Movement (“Skating”) (1400 GP).
    • Practiced Thief (Skill Mastery (Group) 1): +3 Competence Bonus to Deception, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth (1400 GP)
    • Inspiring Word: +1 Morale Bonus to Saves, Attacks, Checks, and Damage (1400 GP)
    • Handy Haversack (2000 GP): There’s very little justification for this outside of extrapolating that her Dimensional Bubble effect includes a bit of spacefolding for storage space – but why not?

Skills:

  • Skill Boosters: Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP), Fast Learner Specialized in Skills for +2 SP / Level (6 CP), Adept x2 (Acrobatics, Deception, Investigation, Martial Art (Capoeira), Perception, Persuasion, Sleight Of Hand, and Stealth, 12 CP)
  • Available Skill Points: 10 (Int Mod x 5) +20 (Fast Learner) +2 (Purchased, 2 CP) = 30
  • Purchased Skills (all +1 Morale):
    • Acrobatics 5* (+4 Dex = +10)
    • Deception 5* (+1 Cha +3 Comp = +10)
    • Expertise (Science) 2 (+2 Int = +5)
    • Insight 1 (+1 Wis = +3)
    • Investigation 5* (+4 Int = +10)
    • Martial Art (Capoeira) +5* (Dex +4 +3 Comp = +13)
    • Perception 5* (+1 Wis = +7)
    • Persuasion 5* (+1 Cha = +7)
    • Sleight Of Hand 5* (+4 Dex +3 Comp = +12
    • Stealth 5* (+4 Dex +3 Comp = +13)
    • Technology 3 (+2 Int = +6)
    • Treatment 2 (+2 Int = +5)

Net total: 28 SP.

  • +3 Skill Specialties: Deception (Acting) (1 SP), Sleight Of Hand (Stealing) (1 SP), Expertise (Sciences) (Biological Sciences) (1 SP), and Technology (Security Systems) (1 SP).
  • Mystic Artist Abilities: Fascinate (Being Outrageous, Will DC 13), Hold Audience (Deadpan Snarking, Will DC 14), Suggestion (Taunting, Will DC 16), Emotion (Will never shut up, Will DC 13 when applicable) and Competence (Cheerleading, Will DC 14 if somehow applicable),
  • Capoeira Techniques (6): Strike, Attack 4, and Crippling (May opt to do 1d4 Con damage rather than hit point damage on a critical hit; this is how she took out Boom-Boom once).

Basics:

  • BAB: +1, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (4 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 8 (L1d8, 4 CP) +3 (L2d4, 0 CP) +12 (Immortal Vigor) +8 (Con Mod x 4) = 31 HP (Mutants & Masterminds Toughness +7).
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +0 (0 CP) +1 (Morale) +2 (Con) = +3
    • Reflex +0 (0 CP) +1 (Morale) +4 (Dex) = +5
    • Will +2 (6 CP) +1 (Morale) +1 (Wis) = +4
  • Proficiencies: None.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +4 (Dex) +2 (Armor) = 16
  • Attack: Punch or Kick with Stunweb: +7 (+1 BAB +4 M. Ar +1 Weapon +1 Morale) Damage 1d4 +1 +4d6 Electrical +DC 18 Fort Save or Stunned for 1d4 rounds). Crit 20/x2 on the d4 OR may choose to do 1d4 Con damage. (Mutants & Masterminds: +8 Damage plus Save or Stunned with Improved Critical).

Minor Abilities:

  • Opportunist: May take an attack for any target within normal movement range once per round (6 CP).

Point Costs:

  • Four-Color Package: 24 CP
  • Outside Reality: 30 CP
  • Innate Enchantment: 7 CP
  • Skill Boosters: 21 CP
  • Purchased Skill Points: 2 CP
  • Base Attack Bonus: 4 CP
  • Hit Dice: 4 CP
  • Saving Throws: 6 CP

Net Cost: 98 CP

Available Character Points: 72 (Level Two Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Compulsive (Kleptomania), and Healing Resistant) +12 (Human and L1 Feats) +4 (Duties. Skids is a bit of a reluctant hero, but does it anyway) = 98 CP

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four Color Ability: Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2 x Con Mod) HP.
  • Equipment: As a level two character, Skids is entitled to 1000 GP worth of adventuring gear.
    • Primary Transport: Motorcycle (Yamaha YZ250F, 250 GP)
    • Primary Weaponry: Stunweb: “Brass Knuckles” (+1 “Unarmed” damage, DC 5), Compact (1 Size Smaller, +2 DC) Electrified (+4d6 Electricity, +2 DC), Heavy Stun (DC 18 Fort Save or stunned for 1d4 rounds, +6 DC), Masterwork (+1 to Hit, +3 DC) (Net Purchase DC 18, 60 GP).
    • Other Equipment:
      • Binoculars (3 GP)
      • Bolt Cutter (2 GP),
      • Climbing Gear (8 GP)
      • Clothing: Business Outfit (10 GP), 3x Casual Outfits (10 GP),
      • Demolitions Kit (14 GP) with twelve blocks of C4 (30 GP), two rolls of Det Cord (8 GP), and 10 Radio-Controlled Detonators (60 GP)
      • Fire Extinguisher (4 GP)
      • Forgery Kit (10 GP)
      • Lockpick Set (5 GP).
      • Mastercraft +3 Multipurpose Tool (Kit) (60 GP, net +1 on skills that need tools).
      • Medical Kit (DC 15) Miniature (+5 DC) (100 GP): +2 to Treatment.
      • Night Vision Goggles (45 GP)
      • Notebook Computer (50 GP).
      • Portable Stove (5 GP)
      • Search-And-Rescue Kit (DC 12) Miniature (+5 DC, 45 GP): Ration pack, compass, waterproof matches, “space” blanket, a standard flashlight, 50 feet of nylon rope, two smoke grenades, and one signal flare
      • Smartphone (5 GP). With GPS app.
      • Steel Handcuffs (six sets, 16 GP)
      • Tactical flashlight (4 GP)
      • Three Tear Gas Grenades (30 GP)
      • Tough Costume (as per classic leather armor, 10 GP).

This comes to some 640 GP, leaving her 360 GP ($7200) for other purposes.

Skids big decision in combat is when to drop her shield for a moment and try to slug someone versus just cheering her allies on a bit and pulling the wounded to safety – but this version does have a few other options and a reasonable number of out-of-combat skills to use. I still have my doubts – absolute invulnerability with a single gaping Achilles heel doesn’t tend to make for exciting scenes – but at least now she has the skills and the damage-dealing capacity to be playable.

Eclipsing Feral

Feral was a cut-rate version of Wolfsbane (who readily defeated Feral when they actually got into a fight), but without all the angst, religious baggage, old attachments, self-doubt and more subtle aspects of Wolfsbane’s powers. Instead she was basically rabid, and looked it. She had at least let her younger siblings die (if she hadn’t murdered them outright, which was strongly implied), had killed her mothers (abusive) boyfriend and then her mother, and saw nothing wrong with maiming or potentially killing her teammates during practice sessions. Even on a strike team, her only real role was to be the disposable psycho – a danger to her teammates who would be (barely) tolerated until he or she went completely over the edge because a strike team can always use someone who can be pointed at a target and who will then make a good try at maiming or killing whatever it is, no matter how tough – or young, innocent, and helpless – said target happens to be. Not too surprisingly, she didn’t last long on the heroic, or even sane mercenary, side, and soon joined the villains.

Feral basically had big-cat powers (some speed, strength, dexterity, claws, boosted senses of sight, smell, and hearing), a prehensile tail, a minor healing factor, and a perpetual willingness to go in for an all-out attack no matter how often that got her ass handed to her. She certainly didn’t have the patience to get any real training beyond going nuts.

Eventually Feral got depowered, then got her feline appearance (but not powers) back but failed to notice that she didn’t have super-senses or strength. (I would have thought that the lack of her super-senses would be a BIT obvious). She then decided to fight Sabertooth, who promptly killed her – not that having her powers would have been likely to change that. She then bargained with some dark gods to act as a ghostly beacon/anchor for their visit to Earth in exchange for eventual resurrection – and was surprised to find that being incorporeal made her claws pretty ineffectual. Maybe she’s back, but I doubt that she actually made a good deal, and even if she did, Dark Gods are notoriously unreliable.

In some ways, Feral came close to the original concept of the New Mutants; she was relatively young and inexperienced, had poor control, and had been unable to function socially on her own. Of course, she also repudiated the entire concept; she was already a killer, didn’t want to learn control, and had no interest in functioning in society. She couldn’t even function with the Morlocks, and their only major rules were “help out a bit” and “don’t kill each other outside of a formal duel”. For reference, her pure Mutants & Masterminds build is over HERE.

Feral was really a pretty terrible character, but she has one great advantage as far as actual play is concerned; she’s level two – the base level for new superheroes . If you dump the psychosis and tweak her disadvantages you’ve got a perfectly viable cat or claw themed brawler build all ready to go. Tweak the animal affinity and you can make a wolfman, or reptile-man, or whatever.

Feral, A.K.A. Maria Collasantos

Level Two Psycho Slasher Catgirl

Four Color Package (24 CP):

  • This includes Superheroic Physics, Superheroic Durability, Superheroic Build, Rapid Recovery, Minor Conventions (Ready for Inspection, Comics Code, It’s Sufficient, Heroic Will, Heroic Rally, Coincidental Catch, Heroic Health, and a Minor Benefit (see below).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 16 (+6 Cat = 22), Int 14 (Specialized/modifier is doubled, but only counts for acquiring big cat physical skills, her attribute modifier otherwise counts as zero), Wis 10, Con 16 (+2 Human +4 Cat = 22), Dex 10 (+8 Cat = 18), Cha 10. Pathfinder 25-point buy.

Mutant /Psychotic Powers (with her it’s hard to tell the difference):

  • Festering Spite: Mana-Powered Inherent Spell, Corrupted for Increased Effect (does not have to be consciously renewed), Specialized for Reduced Cost / self only, user carries insane grudges, looks unkempt, dangerous, and psychotic. As per “Heroism” but adds +1 to Armor Class instead of +2 to Skill Rolls (Net +2 to Attacks and Saves, +1 to AC) (4 CP).
  • Leopard Powers; Shapeshift, Attribute Modifiers (Str +6, Dex +8, Con +4, +10 Move, +1 Natural Armor, 1d4 Claws, +8 to Acrobatics and Athletics, +4 to Stealth, Low-Light Vision, and Scent), Hybrid Form, Clear Speech, Specialized: Leopard Form Only, Corrupted: Always in Hybrid Form (24 CP base, net cost 8 CP). This is a pretty cheesy trick, but it’s a superhero world. It ought to be allowable.
  • Extra Limbs (Tail), Specialized and Corrupted / tail only, only mildly prehensile; no real grip, fine manipulation, or really much of any benefit (2 CP).
  • The Dark Side / Innate Enchantment: (10,048 GP Value, 11 CP).
    • Skill Mastery/Feline Skills: +3 Competence Bonus to Acrobatics, Leopard Style (Corrupted for Increased Effect/cannot take Occult Techniques but gets +2 Master Techniques and a wider selection), and Perception (1400 GP). .
    • Skill Mastery (Street Skills) +3 Competence Bonus to Intimidation, Expertise (Feral Street / Sewer Dweller), and Deception (1400 GP).
    • Weapon Mastery (Claws): +3 Competence Bonus to BAB with Claws (700 GP).
    • Stabilize: Feral automatically stabilizes if below zero hit points (700 GP).
    • Beast Claws: Two claw attacks, 1d6 or +2 damage over current claws, Crit 19-20/x2 (1400 GP).
    • Lesser Vigor, Personal Only (x.7), 4/Day Only (x.8), only restores 2 HP/Hour (x.4) (448 GP).
    • Cloak of Resistance +2 (4000 GP).

Skills:

  • Skill Boosts: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP).
  • Available Skill Points at Level Two: 20 (Effective Int Mod of 4 x 5, only for Feline Skills) + 10 (Human Fast Learner) = 30.
  • Purchased Skills: Acrobatics 1 (+3 Dex +8 Cat +3 Comp = +15), Athletics 2 (+6 Str +8 Cat = +16), Leopard Style Martial Art 5 (Corrupted for Increased Effect/no access to Occult Techniques, but gets two extra advanced or master techniques, +6 Str +3 Comp = +14), Deception 5 (+0 Cha +3 Comp = +8), Expertise (Sewer Dweller) 3 (+0 Int +3 Comp = +6), Intimidation 5 (+0 Cha +3 Comp = +8), Perception 5 (+0 Wis +3 Comp = +8), Sleight of Hand 1 (+4 Dex = +5), Stealth 3 (+3 Dex +4 Cat = +10). Total = 30.
    • Leopard Style Techniques: Power 1 (Claws do 1d6+2 base), Attacks +2, Damaging Escape, Fast Grab, Chokehold, Expertise (AC/Attack), (Expertise Attack/Effect), Precision (May ignore concealment bonuses to an opponents AC in melee).

Basics:

  • BAB: +1, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (4 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 8 (L1d8, 4 CP) +6 (L2d8, 4 CP) +12 (Con Mod x 2) = 26 HP (Mutants & Masterminds Toughness +6, +9 with costume when she had the X-Man gear package).
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +2 (Res) +2 (Morale) +6 Con = +10
    • Reflex +2 (Res) +2 (Morale) +6 Dex = +10
    • Will +1 (3 CP) +2 (Res) +2 (Morale) +0 Was = +5
  • Proficiencies: None.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +6 (Dex) +1 (Nat) +2 (Armor) +1 (Morale) = 20
  • Attack: Claws +14/+14 (+1 BAB +6 Str +2 M. Art +2 Morale +3 Comp), 1d6+8 Damage Crit 20/x3. (Mutants & Masterminds +7).

Minor Abilities:

  • Improved Initiative +4 (6 CP). Total +10
  • Doubled Damage on a Critical Hit, Specialized in Claws (3 CP). This effectively increases her critical multiplier to x3.
  • Immunity/the normal limits of Intimidation. Feral may opt to inflict a Dazed condition for one round with a successful Intimidation check (Common, Minor, Trivial, 2 CP).
  • Reflex Training/may make another attack at her normal BAB every time she drops an opponent (6 CP)

Revenant Power:

Presuming that she does, indeed, get resurrected AND gets left with some ghostly powers

  • Mana-Powered Shapeshifting Improvements: Shape of Death, Specialized / only as a prerequisite (3 CP) plus Incorporeal Form (6 CP).
  • Cha-Based Rune Magic: Spectral Powers, Mastery and Casting +1 (2 SP). Total of +2 with her Gloves (below), allowing her to work level zero effects at caster level one. Basically, she can make it cold, create trivial scary illusions, and pull other minor ghostly tricks.

Point Costs:

  • Four Color Package: 24 CP
  • Festering Spite: 4 CP
  • Leopard Powers: 8 CP
  • Tail: 2 CP
  • Innate Enchantment: 11 CP
  • Skill Boosts: 3 CP
  • Base Attack Bonus: 4 CP
  • Hit Dice: 8 CP
  • Saves: 3 CP
  • Minor Abilities: 19 CP
  • Revenant Powers: 11 CP

Total Point Costs: 94 CP

Available Character Points: 72 (Level Two Base) +10 (Disadvantages: Broke, History, Secret (Familicide. long since revealed and changed into Hunted and Outcast)) +12 (Human and L1 Feats) = 94 CP

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four-Color Ability: Feral can ignore movement penalties for difficult terrain.
  • Equipment:
    • Even with the “broke” disadvantage Feral is entitled to 333 GP worth of equipment. Honestly, that’s a lot more than I’d expect her to have available unless she mugged somebody rich lately or got sent back with a bag of coins from Charon or something.
      • Spectral Rune Wristlets (100 GP): These are Masterwork Tools for Spectral Rune Magic (Mastery and Casting), but – as with other devices that boost Rune Magic skills – provide only half the usual +2 bonus:
      • Reinforced Costume (as per Leather Armor, 10 GP).
      • Smartphone (10 GP).
      • Good Fake ID (20 GP). Feral is pretty distinctive, but she’s also known to be dead – and feline-styled characters are not at all uncommon. A little hair dye and such will let her pass.
      • Disguise Kit (20 GP).
      • Camping Kit (20 GP).
      • Battered Motorcycle (100 GP).

This leaves Feral with about a thousand dollars in cash – enough for a bit of worry-free cruising if she wants to think about things. While she doesn’t seem like the type to learn anything anyway, and the most likely option for her getting back is if those “dark gods” decide that inflicting her on the world again is amusing, it could happen.

When it came to fighting Wolfsbane… Feral would probably get to go first, but Wolfsbane is level five. While she’s less focused on combat than Feral, she’s simply a bit more accurate, a bit more damaging, MUCH tougher, and trips people automatically – explaining why Feral wound up laying down in that fight. Feral might well draw first blood, but Wolfsbane would curb-stomp her after that.

Eclipsing Cypher, A.K.A. Douglas Ramsey

Cypher / Douglas Ramsey is a bit awkward: his original power was to be able to understand, read, and (if humanly possible) communicate in, any form of language that he could perceive. If something “spoke” by means of color-changing skin patches he was out of luck on the “speaking” part. If something communicated by means of modulated X-rays and “wrote” by subtly altering the internal structure of crystals on a scale too small for human senses to pick up, Cypher was out of luck. Still, he could readily crack codes, read ancient alien instructions, interpret body language well enough to outplay professional gamblers, and so on. It was still a pretty handy power – just not a combat-oriented one. Given that he was otherwise a perfectly normal teenage nerd, this was a bit of a problem on a superhero team. Thus he was often partnered with Warlock, who turned into a battle suit for him – an effective combination since Warlock had the power, but Douglas had the willingness to fight.

Later on his power got expanded; he was enormously good with computers. This was actually quite a leap; being able to read computer code, or even being able to understand the meanings of the individual instructions, does not automatically give you the ability to read twenty million lines of code and figure out how all its parts interact in moments, just as our current ability to read the human genome does not let us do it instantly or tell us how all of its components interact.

Personally, I’ll blame this on his mild Transmode Virus infection.

Even better, he could apparently program at that speed too – the equivalent of picking up the complete works of Mark Twain when you’ve never seen them before, spending a couple of seconds ruffling the pages, and then producing a thousand pages of detailed analysis and criticism of those works in a few seconds. At least he was still limited by how fast he could input code – at least unless Warlock set up a neural interface for him and bypassed that little problem.

Then, of course, he died – but like so many other superheroes he eventually came back better than ever.

According to the wikis, these days it’s “Everything is Language. I am Language. I am Everything!” Everything he sees is now interpreted into information, and everything is language to him. He apparently no longer needs help to interface with devices and computers, can monitor large numbers of channels and voices at the same time, can read the information flow from various devices, and can instantly create personal languages that only he and the intended target understand and which easily convey his true intent. There’s also apparently some ability to work with magic as well – although I don’t know if that’s just because he’s good with words and rituals or because symbols, gestures, incantations, and so on are all simply ways of communicating your intent to the universe and he can speak that “language” too. Still, at least there’s nothing about him having any great capacity for handling magical power, which presumably helps keep him from becoming an instantaneous grand master of all magic.

Unfortunately, I haven’t actually seen the character since his resurrection – and so I can’t tell just what all that really translates to in terms of abilities, so this will be kind of speculative. On the other hand, THIS build is more recent, so I’ll be using it as a basis.

Cypher

Level Four Linguist, Martial Artist, and Magical Dabbler

Four Color Package (24 CP):

  • This includes Superheroic Physics, Superheroic Durability, Superheroic Build, Rapid Recovery, Minor Conventions (Ready for Inspection, Comics Code, It’s Sufficient, Heroic Will, Heroic Rally, Coincidental Catch, Heroic Health, and a Minor Benefit (see below).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 8 (+2 Enh +4 Eq = 14), Int 16 (+2 Enh +4 Eq = 22), Wis 16 (+2 Enh = 18), Con 14 (+2 Human = 16), Dex 11 (+4 Eq = 15), Cha 11 (+2 Enh +1 Level = 14)

Skills:

  • Skill Boosters: Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP), Adept (Deception, Expertise (Computers), Persuasion, and Speak Language, 6 CP).
  • Available Skill Points (Level Four): 42 (Int Mod x 7) +14 (Fast Learner) = 56 SP.
  • Purchased Skills: Acrobatics 3 (+2 Dex = +5), Athletics 3 (+2 Str = +5), Deception 6* (+2 Cha +8), Expertise (Computers) 6* (+6 Int = +12), Expertise (Occult) 6 (+6 Int = +12), Insight 2 (+6), Investigation 7 (+6 Int = +13), Martial Art (Hapkido) +7 (+6 Int = +13), Perception 6 (+10), Persuasion 6* (+8), Speak Language 6* (speaks 12 languages), Stealth 2 (+2 Dex = +4), Technology 4 (+6 Int = +10), and Vehicles 2 (+2 Dex = +4). 54 SP total.
    • *Half cost due to Adept
    • +3 Specialties: Expertise (Occult)/Asgard and Expertise (Computers)/Programming (2 SP total)
    • Hapkido Techniques Known: Strike, Attacks 2, Defenses 1, Improved Critical, Mind Like Moon, and Improved Trip.

Mutant Powers:

Language Acquisition:

  • Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect / only for “Speak Language” (3 CP).
  • Immunity / the time normally required to pick up a language with Enthusiast (Uncommon, Minor, Minor, 2 CP).

This was Cypher’s original mutant power. And no, it wasn’t very dramatic. Very convenient at times – if only because the writers kept throwing in some gratuitous translation problem to make having Cypher along relevant – but certainly not very exciting.

Transmode Augmentations:

With his body and central nervous system subtly augmented by transmode nanotech, Cypher became a near-ultimate programmer, orator, and code-breaker – and picked up enough subtle physical boosts to keep up with the rest of the New Mutants.

  • May buy equipment off the d20 Future lists. Immunity / normal limits on equipment availability (Very Common, Major, Great (for +4 Tech Levels over the usual PL4 base), Specialized and Corrupted / only for Innate Enchantment purposes, no weapons allowed (10 CP).
  • Innate “Enchantment” (12 CP):
    • +2 Enhancement Bonus to Str, Int, Wis, and Cha (5600 GP)
    • Comprehend Languages (2000 GP).
  • Transmorph Virus Infection (3000 GP)
    • Boost Armor (DC 18) with Reduced Defense V (-5 AC, -10 DC) Gravlight (+4 DC, Max Dex +1, Armor Check -2), Segmented I (-1 ACP, +2 DC), Increased Range of Motion III (+6 DC, +3 Max Dex). Net: +7 (-5 RD = +2 whether proficient or not) AC, Max Dex +4 (+1 GL +3 IRoM = +8) , ACP -3 (Gravlight -2, Segmented -1 = 0), +4 Eq Bonus to Str, +2 Reflex Saves, Speed +10 (100 GP).
    • Neural Computer Link with Universal Communicator and Satellite Datalink (600 GP). Computer Use and Research checks are free actions, send and receive audio, visual, and digital information.
    • Cellular Interceptor (250 GP). May listen in on cellular and other data communications.
    • Cybernetic Neuron Booster +4 Eq Bonus to Int (450 GP)
    • Cybernetic Artificial Twitchfire: +4 Eq Bonus to Dex (600 GP)
    • Cybernetic Reflex Wires (1000 GP): +4 Eq Bonus to Initiative, +2 Attacks of Opportunity.
  • Mana Powered Luck, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (may “Take 60″) / only for Skills, only for language-related effects – persuasion, insight, computer programming, breaking codes, etc (6 CP).

Good News! If your game master is letting people get away with abusing social skills Douglas may not need any more abilities to rule the universe. If not, well, at least he’s a really persuasive speaker.

Resurrection and Transcendence:

With his resurrection and resulting (?) empowerment, Cypher has acquired the ability to see pretty much everything as a language – allowing him to gain massive insights into opponents and the flow of combat and (apparently) to learn some magic – although apparently the only spell that he’s actually demonstrated is basically “plane shift to the lower planes”, which has limited utility.

  • Mana-Powered Berserker with Controlled, Odinpower, Odinmight, and Enduring (21 CP): Specialized for Increased Effect: Provides Typed (Insight) bonuses, only against opponents whom he can see normally and whom have detectable body language to read. Provides a +8 Insight Bonus to AC, Attacks, Reflex Saves, and Initiative when applicable.
  • Inherent Spell with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Increased Effect (Base level of 6), Corrupted for Reduced Cost / ritual casting only, cannot be powered by Mana, may leave the caster owing favors to extradimensional entities. A level six “anyspell” effect that produces any clerical spell effect of up to level three (4 CP).
    • Additional Form of Inherent Magic (Spell Enhancement), Specialized and Corrupted / Ritual Only, only with Inherent Spell (above), only to bind effects into Power Words (2 CP).
    • Power Words, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / can only store his own spells from Inherent Spell, above, spells are released as standard actions rather than as move actions (6 CP).

Basically this combination allows Cypher to prepare up to five spells per day, with a maximum level of six. Unfortunately, he can only store up to (Constitution) levels of spells in total and will have trouble controlling any spell with a level of more than half his level rounded up – which is why his Plane Shift attempt took the group to Mephisto’s realm rather than Hela’s (rather than blaming it on the grand master of all languages making a blatant spelling mistake). In general, magic is something that Cypher can dabble in, rather than a major ability. In Marvel terms… he can recite the invocations of dimensional magic easily, he just has a pretty minimal aptitude for actually channeling their power – and so he has to gradually build up a few prepared effects.

Basics:

  • +2 BAB, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (8 CP).
  • Hit dice: 8 (L1d8, 4 CP) +9 (L2-4d4, 0 CP) +12 (Immortal Vigor) +18 (Con Mod x 6) = 47 HP (Mutants and Masterminds Toughness +8, 10 with Costume. Without Immortal Vigor he would be Toughness 6).
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +3 (Purchased, 9 CP) +3 (Con) +1 (Res) = +7
    • Reflex +2 (Purchased, 6 CP) +2 (Dex) +2 (Eq) +1 (Res) = +7
    • Will: +3 (Purchased, 9 CP) +4 (Wis) +1 (Res) = +9
  • Proficiencies: None.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +2 (Dex) +3 (Armor) +1 (Martial Art) +8 (Insight) +2 (Shield) = 26 (31 versus ranged attacks).
  • Attacks:
    • Unarmed: +18 (+2 BAB +6 Int +2 Martial Art +8 Insight), Damage 1d4+6 (Int) Crit 19-20/x2, Improved Trip. (Mutants & Masterminds, Damage +4, Improved Critical, Improved Trip)
    • Karatends, Melee: +19 (+2 BAB +6 Int +2 Martial Art +8 Insight +1 Masterwork), Damage 1d4+6 (int) +1 (Brass Knuckles) base +4d6 Electrical, Crit 19-20/x2. (Mutants and Masterminds, Damage +8)
    • Karatends Range: +8 (+2 BAB +2 Dex +8 Insight -4 Nonprof), Damage 2d6 OR DC 18 Fort to avoid stun for 1d4 rounds with single target blast OR 3d6 slashing in a 10′ radius (“grenade”). (Mutants and Masterminds Damage +3 OR save to an individual target OR area damage +5).

Other Abilities:

  • Finesse: Substitutes (Int Mod) for (Str Mod) in melee combat (6 CP). This, of course, is a massive upgrade over the Mutants & Masterminds version.
  • Minor Favors (X-Teams) (3 CP).
  • Minor Privilege: Gets the standard X-man equipment package for free (3 CP).

Standard X-Man Equipment Package (13,000 GP):

  • Kevlar Reinforced Costume (“Leather Armor”, but 40 GP and only 5 pounds), Masterwork (+150 GP), +1 (+1000 GP), Amulet of Tears (2300 GP. This can provide up to +36 HP per day. Armor Crystal: a Lesser Iron Ward Diamond (2000 GP). This isn’t a big deal, but every little bit helps.
  • Advanced First Aid Kit / Healing Belt (750 GP).
  • “Pocket Secretary”/Hero Team Comlink: Satellite Smartphone with HUD and hands-free links (250 GP), Smartsearch (As per a Tome of Worldly Memory, 1500 GP), Intelligent (500 GP), Int, Wis, Chr all 10 (0 GP), 30′ senses, uses Message at will (1000 GP). Note that, since smartphones can talk anyway, there is no need to buy speech for it.
  • Reactive Contact Lenses / Raptors Mask (3500 GP).+5 to Spot (Perception), Immunity to being Blinded or Dazzled.
  • Utility Pouch: Keys, LED minilight, multitool, chalk, nylon ties, etc. All the little junk that pops up once in a blue moon (10 GP).
  • Opportunist: May make a Trick check to redirect an opponents attack to another adjacent target (6 CP).
  • Luck with +2 Bonus Uses (9 CP)

Point Costs:

  • Four-Color Package: 24 CP
  • Skill Boosters: 9 CP
  • Purchased Skill Points: 0 CP
  • Language Acquisition: 5 CP
  • Transmode Augmentations: 28 CP
  • Transcendent Powers: 33 CP
  • Base Attack Bonus: 2 CP
  • Hit Dice: 4 CP
  • Saving Throws: 24 CP
  • Other Abilities: 27 CP

Overall Point Costs: 156 CP

Available Character Points: 120 (Level Four Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Valuable (this kid can easily crack pretty much any computer encryption?), and Outcast (Undead Zombie Mutie!)) +18 (Human, L1, and L3 Feats) +8 (duties as a hero) = 156 CP

Remaining Details

  • Minor Four Color Ability: Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2 x Con Mod) HP.

As a fourth level character Cypher is entitled to 6000 GP worth of gear – and he gets the X-Man package for free. That’s a dilemma because, while he doesn’t really seem to use a lot of gear, he already died once when a nut shot him with a basic pistol. Ergo I suspect that his friends would insist on a little extra protection even if he was silly enough to not get some on his own. Given that he’s on reasonably good terms with aliens, mages, and super-scientists, I’ll give him a pair of progress level six d20 Future weapons and a set of magic/ultratech/whatever defenses.

Karatends (Power Gloves): Set of two at 190 GP Each = 380 GP.

These are actually just a bit of “armor” (actually a buckler): with some built-in weapons that use the “compact” or “miniaturized” modifiers to fit them into a glove. That’s doesn’t make a lot of sense with the grenade launcher, but this IS a superhero setting and special effects are free. Sadly, Cypher isn’t actually proficient with the things (and so gets one less point of AC and a -4 to hit with the ranged weapon functions), but at least they give him

  • Buckler (+1 Shielf Bonus Proficient, +0 Nonproficient, ACP -1, DC 9) Improved Defense II (+3/+2 Shield Bonus Nonprof, +4 DC), Segmented (A.K.A Masterwork, ACP = 0, +2 DC), Compact (1 size smaller, +2 DC), Integrated Weapons x 3 (+3 DCs, buy weapons separately) (75 GP).
  • (Compact (1 Size Smaller, +2 DC) Electrified (+4d6 Electricity, +2 DC) Masterwork (+1 to Hit, +2 DC) Brass Knuckles (+1 “Unarmed” damage, DC 5) (7.5 GP).
  • G6-30 6-Shot Grenade Launcher (DC 14) (Miniature (+5 DC) (100 GP). Range Increment 70′ Feet, Single Shot. Fragmentation Grenade Loadout: 3d6 in a 10′ radius, six shots, (32.5 GP.)
  • Laser Pistol (2d8, 20 Shots, 40′ Increment, Purchase DC 17) Compact (+2,DC), Decreased Range (half range increment, -2 DC), Reduced Damage II (Reduce damage to 2d6, -4 DC), Heavy Stun Module (Fort DC 18, +6 DC) (75 GP).

The Karatends are presumed to have nifty special effects – some sort of plasma manipulation as opposed to simple physical stuff – but the game statistics are exactly the same. They aren’t really all that powerful compared to most superhero powers and weapons, but they do give Cypher just a bit of extra protection and some ranged options, however minor they are in superhero terms.

  • Lesser Crystal of Arrow Deflection: +5 AC versus Ranged Attacks (2500). After dying of a bullet to the chest once, who could pass this up?
  • +1 Vest of Resistance (1000 GP).
  • Miscellany – probably a car and some such – 2010 GP.

This is more than a bit of a stretch – but Cypher does have several plausible sources for exotic equipment, so why not?

Special Note: Cypher is probably still underage, given the length of time he spent being dead while his friends were growing up.

Cypher… is actually very good at punching people (even if he doesn’t do all THAT much damage in doing so) and is quite hard to hit – but he can be effectively crippled by smoke, dust, fog, being in the dark, or other visual impairments and his abilities make him a general support character, rather than a primary combatant. At least now he can be a general support character in combat as well as in investigation and negotiation.

Eclipsing Cable – A.K.A. Nathan Christopher Charles Summers Dayspring Askani’son

Cable’s arrival pretty much marked the end of the New Mutants. The book would go on for a bit longer, and the team name is still hanging on – but the original concept of “a group of kids growing up while learning to deal with each other, their powers, incipient adulthood, and the often hostile marvel universe outside” fell away in favor of the usual “superhuman strike team” with a side-dose of “mysterious mentor with secret goals” AND “grizzled veteran sergeant takes command”. Now the “kids” idea had been subverted from very early on – basing things in the X-Mansion made it impossible to effectively isolate the New Mutants from the semi-permanent warfare of the rest of the marvel universe – but it had heavily influenced things. That would no longer be the case, the group of friends turned into a full-blown military unit, and a number of the more emotionally awkward, childish, or socially-focused characters were quickly written out.

Cable was REALLY popular for a while, but I’ve never quite been able to tell from the artwork if he was a human character or an unusually mobile fortification. While it varied with the artist, people’s bodies are just not designed to look like walls – or to have arms and thighs big enough to smuggle multiple normal people in – and his was often drawn that way. The fact that he was a Mutant / Psychic / Cyborg / Military Guy / Time Traveler (who changed his parents lives well before he was born) / Techno-Organic Virus Victim / Refugee / User of Super-Advanced Alien Technology / Black Sheep of the Summers Clan / Mastermind / Gadgeteer / Heir to the Goblin Queen / Alternate-Dimensional visitor / Mentor with more guns and gadgets than you could squeeze into a truck and wildly varying levels of power and foreknowledge / Destined Messiah / Resistance Leader / Evil Clone Victim / Host to a Celestial AI would certainly help make a case for their being more than one guy in there.

Tongue-in-cheek humor aside, Cable really did have enough origins and power sources for three or four hero teams all by himself. Plenty of characters have gotten along with just being a Cyborg or a Time Traveler with some gadgets, or having a single mutant power. Throwing in all that suff was just overkill. Perhaps fortunately, most of the weird stuff rarely came up. Most of the time he was basically just a mysterious tough-as-hell mercenary with lots and LOTS of guns and a big reputation – even if it was developed entirely in retcons.

And then we come to his Techno-organic Virus, which was killing him (although, apparently, it also raises the dead), although he was holding it back with his telekinesis and/or telepathy, which was why his mutant powers were so weak. When he had to use his powers the virus tended to advance, when he could focus on the virus again he could push it back… Wait, what? A virus isn’t a spring; an infection gets WEAKER as you reduce the affected area, not more able to resist you. So if he could “push it back” and stabilize it, why couldn’t he cure it? And how is this related to the almost-identical seeming Transmode virus? And since it had affected and enhanced every cell of his body, and his entire skeleton, his organs, and his central nervous system… wasn’t it already everywhere? And he could reconfigure his cybrenetics with his mind?

Oh never mind. There’s just no getting around it; even by comic book logic there are parts of Cables existence that make no sense – so I’ll go with that. As with many of the more experienced, complicated, or higher-powered characters, THIS build only covers a portion of his abilities. It does offer a reasonable (for Cable anyway) set of base attributes though.

“Cable”, A.K.A. Nathan Christopher Charles Summers Dayspring Askani’son.

Level Eight Cyborg Mercenary Timejumper and Part-Time Mutant Messiah

Four Color Package (24 CP):

  • This includes Superheroic Physics, Superheroic Durability, Superheroic Build, Rapid Recovery, Minor Conventions (Ready for Inspection, Comics Code, It’s Sufficient, Heroic Will, Heroic Rally, Coincidental Catch, Heroic Health, and a Minor Benefit (see below).

Pathfinder Package Deal (Free).

Pathfinder Human (Free)

Basic Attributes: Str 16 (+4 Eq +6 Enh = 26), Int 12 (+6 Enh +2 Eq = 20), Wis 12 (+6 Enh +2 Level = 20), Con 14 (+6 Enh = 20), Dex 15 (+6 Enh +2 Eq = 23), and Chr 12 (+2 Human +6 Enh = 20). 25-Point Pathfinder Point Buy.

Cable is actually a mostly skill and equipment based character – and so we’re going to start with:

Skill Boosts:

  • Adept (Legendarium, Expertise (Mercenary), Perception, and Technology, 6 CP)
  • Adept (Rune Magic, Mastery and Casting for Telepathy and Telekinesis, 6 CP)
  • Augmented Bonus (Adds Int Mod to Cha Mod for skill totals, 6 CP)
  • Augmented Bonus, adds (Con Mod) to (Int Mod) for Skills, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect / Rune Magic Only, Telepathy, Telekinesis, and Transmutation Only (6 CP).
    • This is INCREDIBLY cheesy. Tripling the effect of Augmented Bonus works well in a superhero setting, and for powers that are limited otherwise – but I’d be very cautious in allowing it in a normal game.
  • Fast Learner Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP)
  • Finesse: May use Intimidation in place of Deception, Specialized and Corrupted/only to use Intimidate to Feint in combat (2 CP).
  • Journeyman for Skills, Specialized and Corrupted, Only for Rune Magic, only for Telepathy and Telekinesis (2 CP)
  • Mastery (6 CP): Mastery allows you to select (Int Mod x 3, 3 Minimum) skills in which you can “take 10″ even under stress. With an Int Mod of +5 and only thirteen skills which are normally ever rolled, Cable may simply “take 10″ on any of them.
  • Upgrade Human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP)

Level Eight Available Skill Points: 55 (Int Mod x 11) + 44 (Human and Purchased Fast Learner) + 24 (Purchased, 24 CP) = 123 SP

Skill Purchases:

The Destined Savior: Access to an Occult Skill (Legendarium) (3 CP), +3 SP to convert it to a “relevant” skill (3 CP), Professional (Legendarium, 6 CP), Skill Emphasis (Legendarium, 3 CP), Skill Focus (Legendarium, 6 CP). Net Total: 11 (6 Skill Points) +4 (Professional) +2 (Skill Emphasis) +3 (Skill Focus) +5 (Charisma) +5 (Intelligence) +3 (Specialty in Belt of Magnificence. 1 SP) = +33 (326,700 GP Net Value). Specialized for Double Effect/ must respect item slots normally (in effect, this simply pays for item-equivalents normally).Minor Privilege / as a time-traveler he may have up to 2000 GP worth of “future tech”, in his Legendarium abilities (3 CP)

It’s often left in the background – but Cable is a major religious figure, the prophesied savior who would defeat Apocalypse, the chosen one who’s return was awaited for two thousand years. And he did it twice – destroying Apocalypse in the future and then doing it again two thousand years before that, possibly making his previous victory and his own past into something that never happened at all. In any cast, the power of his legend pays for:

  • Armor Enhancements (applied to his Boost Armor, Below): +1 Heavy Fortification and Nimbleness (49,000 GP). Also, a Restful Crystal (+250 GP)
  • Belt: +6 Belt of Magnificence (200,000 GP). +6 to all attributes
  • Face: Goggles of Foefinding (2500 GP): Ignore your targets Cover bonuses to AC.
  • Head: Scout’s Headband (3400 GP)” +2 to Perception, 3 Charges/Day. He usually uses Mana to augment those charges.
  • Ring of OakHeart: +24 + (4 x Con Mod) HP (6000 GP)
  • Ring of Bodysliding: Greater Teleport (Spell Level Seven x Caster Level Thirteen x 1800 GP Unlimited-Use Use Activated x.2 (one use/day) = 32,760 GP). He usually uses Mana to power this.
  • Shoulders: Banner Of The Storm’s Eye (15,000 GP).
  • Torso: +4 Vest of Resistance (16,000 GP).
    • Future Tech:
  • Boost Armor with Gravlight (Max Dex +1, Armor Check -2), Improved Defense III (+3 Armor), and Increased Range of Motion I (+1 Max Dex), Rigid (+1 Armor Check Penalty). Total +7 (+3 Improved Defense +1 Magic = 11) Armor, +4 Max Dex (+1 IRoM, +1 Nimbleness = +6), Armor Penalty 3 (+1 Rigid -2 Gravlight -2 Nimbleness = 0), Speed +10, +4 Str, +2 Reflex Saves. (1000 GP).
  • Neural Computer Link (450 GP). Computer Use and Research checks become free actions.
  • Enhanced Punch: Concussion Rod: 2d8, Crit 20/x2 (45 GP)
  • Grow Blades: Chainsword: 2d8, Crit 19-20, Slashing (45 GP)
  • Universal Communicator with Satellite Datalink (5 GP): Send and receive audio, visual, and digital information
  • Cyberware: Subcutaneous Body Armor, Medium: +5 Natural Armor. DC 25 (100 GP)
  • Cyberware: Neuron Booster I (+2 Int, 75 GP)
  • Cyberware: Twitchfiber I (+2 Dex, Miniaturized/does not count against implant limit, 175 GP).
    • Net Future Tech: 1895 GP.

This leaves 1000 GP and 117 Skill Points to go

Omega-Level Mutant Psychic (32 SP):

  • Rune Magic (Int): Telepathy Casting +12 (6 SP Adept) + 5 (Int) +15 (Con Mod x 3) = +32
  • Rune Magic (Int): Telepathy Mastery +12 (6 SP Adept) + 5 (Int) +15 (Con Mod x 3) = +32
  • Rune Magic (Int): Telekinesis Mastery +12 (6 SP Adept) + 5 (Int) +15 (Con Mod x 3) = +32
  • Rune Magic (Int): Telekinesis Casting +12 (6 SP Adept) + 5 (Int) +15 (Con Mod x 3) = +32
  • Rune Magic (Int): Transmutation Mastery +4 (4 SP) + 5 (Int) +15 (Con Mod x 3) = +24
  • Rune Magic (Int): Transmutation Casting +4 (4 SP) + 5 (Int) +15 (Con Mod x 3) = +24

Sadly, for all of Cable’s incredible potential power – Level Eight Effects at Caster Level Sixteen for Telepathy and Telekinesis and Level Six Effects at Caster Level Twelve for Transformation – he can only spare two points of mana a round to actually use those abilities, effectively restricting him to second level effects with relatively low caps. If he should somehow be reborn as a natural part of the timeline his power would soon grow to immense levels – at least until he started causing paradoxes again. It’s hard to believe that he would manage to kick the time-travel habit.

Other Skills:(85 SP)

  • Askani Kung Fu (Dex) 9 (+15):
    • Askani Kung Fu Techniques: Defenses +1, Attack +1, Strike, Weapon Kata (Cyberweapons), Mind Like Moon, Prone Combat, Combat Reflexes, and Inner Strength.
    • Honestly, I can’t see Cable not knowing a martial art. On the other hand, I haven’t really looked at the character in many years, and about all I can recall seeing him use are weapons and powers. Ergo, this is pretty generic.
  • Athletics 2 (+10)
  • Deception 5 (+10)
  • Expertise (Soldier/Mercenary) 10 (5, Adept) (+15)
  • Expertise (History) 5 (+10)
  • Expertise (Law) 5 (+10)
  • Expertise (Sciences) 5 (+10)
  • Insight 5 (+10)
  • Intimidation 10 (+15)
  • Investigation 6 (+10)
  • Perception 11 (5, Adept) (+15)
  • Speak Language +5 (English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Askani, other future tongues).
  • Stealth 4 (+10)
  • Technology 10 (5, Adept) (+15)
  • Vehicles 9 (+15)

Total 123 SP.

Primary Powers:

Paradoxical Existence: Additional Form of Inherent Magic: Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect; only to maintain his own awesome existence (6 CP). Cable is a walking time paradox. He altered his own parents lives before he was conceived without splitting the timeline. He has stopped the future he grew up and trained in from coming to pass and yet remains. He is infected by a virus that makes no sense and must constantly keep it under control with powers wholly unsuited to the task but cannot eradicate it. His history is retroactive and entirely of his own invention, involving people who never before existed, He should be dead, has died, and yet lives. He SHOULD NOT and CANNOT be, but IS, and he doesn’t have enough accursed antediluvian blasphemous effulgent loathsome non-euclidian squamous tentacles to meet the qualifications for being a Lovecraftian blasphemy against all reality normally.

Constantly telling reality to roll over and play dead that way takes a LOT of power.

For Cable, maintaining his own existence is a Major (3 Mana) Reality Edit each and every round. This does, however, allow him to throw in a few extras – never running out of ammo, having unreasonable amounts of gear and weapons on him, bulking up or slimming down from moment to moment, and so on. For +1 Mana he can opt to “take 20″ on a save, maximize one of his attacks, ignore a minor condition (stunned, dazed, nauseated, etc), or automatically confirm a critical hit. For +2 Mana he can “take 20″ on an attack or check, take an extra action, minimize the damage from an attack on him, or shrug off most conditions (stunned, frightened, etc). Fortunately, none of this requires actions and can be done even if he’s unconscious or OUGHT to be dead.

If, however, he fails to maintain his own existence… things start to go very wrong. His body may start to twist and distort, he can start rapidly losing hit points or otherwise weakening, or he can even start to fade out of existence – and it will take a lot of extra editing and general misery to get back to what passes for normal.

Returning (6 CP): Cable is even more difficult to get rid of than most heroes, since unless you do something about all the time traveling he will just write his own death out of the timeline and pop up again sooner or later.

Flashback: Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted (very limited applications) for Reduced Cost. Cable may spend Mana to temporarily insert minor details into his backstory. This does not count as an action (2 CP).

  • For one Mana he gets to have made (IE: instantly make) a Gather Information check against an individual or organization – getting a capsule summary of their reputation on a success, adding in their general abilities at success +5, evaluating their comparative power level at success +10, and throwing in their usual tactics and current activities at success +15.
  • For two Mana he can add “Oh, I learned how to do that” to his backstory for a little while, giving himself five effective ranks in a skill long enough for a single roll.
  • For three Mana he can temporarily add a bit of history with someone (either a specific NPC or a general type of person who could plausibly be found in the vicinity) to his backstory. While this is always potentially useful, the description of that bit of history is up to the game master. Reality will usually put up with this a few times per session – but tends to bite back when pushed too far, and abruptly turning “Generic Guard #22″ into “Rivan the explosives expert who’s on a vendetta against you because you killed his youngest son in a prior adventure” isn’t always a good deal even if you get some useful information out of it and now know some of his weaknesses.

Internal Systems: Empowerment, Specialized for Unlimited Use, Corrupted for Increased Cost, only to power his Scout’s Headband and Ring of Bodysliding enchantments with Mana (4 CP).

Deep Reserve: 1d6 (4) Mana, Specialized and Corrupted/may only use one point per round to supplement his normal flow of Mana, may not use more than three points in any one-hour period, causes him to show ominous signs of existence failure, use requires a DC 15 Fortitude Save to avoid Fatigue (2 CP). Cable can occasionally push his limits a little bit – but it’s always a strain.

Deep Reserve: Rite of Chi with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to refill the supplementary Mana pool purchased above, requires at least an hour of relative inactivity or meditation per die, cannot be used while Fatigued or Exhausted (3 CP).

Minor Powers:

  • Man of Iron: Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus: Adds (Str Mod) to (Con Mod) for HP purposes (18 CP).
  • Attack/Defense Expertise (BAB/AC, 6 CP).
  • Attack/Effect Expertise (BAB/Effect, 6 CP).
  • Human Shield: Opportunist: May take an attack for any target within normal movement range once per round, Specialized and Corrupted / the attack automatically hits the user and this will not work against attacks that do not require rolls to hit (2 CP).
  • Quick Draw Artist: Reflex Training / may draw or change weapons as a free action (6 CP).
  • Battle Hardened: Immunity/Fear (Common, Minor, Major, 6 CP).
  • Sanctum (Graymalkin): Corrupted for Increased Effect; Cable doesn’t gain extra abilities in his sanctum, the sanctum itself has some abilities – and those can be pressed into service by someone else if they capture the place. Ergo, this is Corrupted for Increased Effect (6 CP, Graymalkin has 36 CP worth of abilities).

Graymalkin:

Automated Systems: Leadership (Exotic, Constructs), Specialized/only exotic constructs (6 CP).Graymalkin comes with a crew of maintenance/repair/light security robots, various automated systems that deliver items and provide small services, and “Professor” – a fifth level AI who operates the place.

Some of Professors points go into providing exposition (Lore/Mission Briefings and Lore/Record Searching, Specialized in providing game master exposition, 12 CP), a Stipend (1200 GP/24,000 Credits/Dollars monthly – enough to maintain an arsenal of personal gear, but major vehicles and stuff will require either salvaging parts from elsewhere or additional supplies/money, 12 CP), and advanced medical care (Immunity to the normal limits of medical treatment, Luck with +8 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only to “take 60″ on medical checks, 12 CP). The Professor also has a Displacement Core capable moving itself or others across time and space (4d6 Mana with Reality Editing, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect / only to move Graymalkin or other willing creatures across time and space with GMO difficulties (24 CP) plus Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only to recharge the Displacement Core, requires four hours per die, 6 CP). Under the usual rules for a Stipend, Graymalkin starts off with a net value of 12,000 GP or 240,000 Credits/Dollars:

Onboard Manufacturing: Equipage, with Purchasing and Returns. Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost: technological items only, minor modifications are possible but relevant designs must be available, may require hours or days depending on the scale of the order (6 CP). Onboard systems and minor asteroid mining operations provide the equivalent of a Stipend of 1200 GP or 24,000 Dollars / Credits per month to work with. The armories and stores thus start off with a net value of 12,000 GP or 240,000 Dollars / Credits – enough to keep even Cable thinking that he has enough guns.

Reconstruction: Shapeshift with Elemental Forms and Variants, Specialized / only to take on station forms suited to the environment and modify it’s internal layout (6 CP). Graymalkin is usually a space station, but it can be a floating island, a massive aerial platform, or an installation, and can add, remove, or modify it’s rooms and layout pretty much at will. Given that changing to an appropriate form covers all the environmental stuff, positioning thrusters, and similar details, we’re basically only interested in the stuff that’s relevant to characters working there or breaking in.

Cloaking: Specialized for Increased Effect (Graymalkin simply blends into it’s environment, and so can take the form of a massive orbiting base without attracting global attention) / this blurring effect does not work against observers who are reasonably nearby. A ship which comes within a thousand miles or so will – if looking – be able to detect the presence of Graymalkin and its cargo or occupants fairly readily (6 CP).

Physical Structure: Note that the various Rooms are considered Specialized for half cost; they don’t yield downtime earnings; they simply provide facilities for the characters/crew. Thanks to Graymalkins shapeshifting abilities, the various rooms adjust as needed.

  • Airlock (Drawbridge, 160 GP).
  • Armory (Two, 390 GP). There are plenty of guns, armor, and station-defense missiles available.
  • Bar (125 GP),
  • Bath (65 GP),
  • Bedrooms (Four, 600 GP),
  • Bridge (Guard Post, 160 GP), Actually Professor pretty much runs the place, but there are some relatively clunky manual controls here if anyone wants to use them.
  • Cells (Two, 180 GP). These are reasonably restraining, but any serious metahuman will require additional measures.
  • Cerametal Plating (Hardness 30 hull and external doors, 2500 GP).
  • Chaff Launcher (100 GP).
  • Common Room (150 GP).
  • Communications: Multichannel Digital Broadcast and Reception System (150 GP)
  • Damage Control System (Medium, repairs 3d10 with DC 15 Expertise (Technology) check, 750 GP)
  • Danger Room (Dojo, 155 GP) What with internal shapeshifting, this provides the usual highly-realistic combat simulations – and is reinforced with the cerametal plating just in case.
  • Dock (160 GP). Depending on Graymalkin’s current form thse may be spacedocks, facilities for planes or boats, or whatever.
  • Galley (Kitchen, 80 GP). Actually most food and drinks are obtained via “Purchasing”, but some people do like to do their own cooking.
  • Hull / Defensive Walls (270 HP per 10 x 10 section, 1560 GP)
  • Hydroponics (Two Greenhouses, 300 GP).
  • Instruments: Class II Starship Sensor Array (750 GP)
  • Laboratories (Two, 390 GP), Thanks to Shapeshifting, these will work for almost any relevant skill.
  • Laundry (60 GP)
  • Lodging (215 GP). Crew / Agent quarters.
  • Medical Bay (Infirmary, 185 GP).
  • Meditation Room (Sanctum, 95 GP).
  • Multimedia Library (230 GP). In a modern setting this is a general +2 to relevant skills as well as an entertainment center.
  • Observation Dome (220 GP). The Professor has something of a hobby in astronomy. Watch out if he asks you to deliver a package; by now it may be his fourth or fifth pass through any specific year, and he occasionally meddles by mail.
  • Office (60 GP).
  • Portal Generator (Escape Route, 180 GP). It’s hard to say where you’ll wind up if you use this, but Graymalkin DOES use a gate-generating system as it’s main drive. Wherever you wind up is usually better than being aboard a failing space station though.
  • Sitting Room (240 GP). The common areas are pretty nice.
  • Storage (x4, 240 GP).
  • Trophy Room (125 GP)
  • Vault (150 GP).
  • War Room (150 GP).
  • Water Recycling (Reservoir System, 200 GP).
  • Weaponry: Missile Launchers (Four, 400 GP)
  • Workshops (Three, 540 GP). Thanks to Shapeshifting, these will work for almost any relevant skill.

Graymalkin has its limitations, but it’s still a base of operations capable of traversing space, time, and dimension and supporting a small rebellion anywhere it goes. That’s a pretty good base for almost any group.

Basics:

  • BAB: +6, Corrupted/Does not provide iterative attacks (24 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 8 (L1d8, 4 CP) +32 (L2-8d6, 14 CP) +24 (Ring of Oak) +60 (Con Mod x 12) +96 (Str Mod x 12) = 220. Mutants & Masterminds: Toughness 16.
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +4 (Purchased, 12 CP) +5 (Con) +4 (Res) = +13
    • Reflex +1 (Purchased, 3 CP) +2 (Eq) +4 (Res) +6 (Dex) = +13
    • Will +4 (Purchased, 12 CP) +5 (Wis) +4 (Res) = +13
  • Proficiencies: Proficient with all Simple, Martial, and Exotic Weapons (15 CP).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +10 (Armor) +5 (Nat) +6 (Dex) = 31 (32 in Melee).
  • Attacks
    • Melee: +15 (+6 BAB +8 Str +1 Martial Art), Damage 1d4+8 (Basic), 2d8+8 (Concussion Fist) or 2d8+8 Slashing (Extruded Blade). (Mutants & Masterminds: Basic +8, Concussion Fist or Blade +11)
    • Ranged: +12 (+6 BAB +6 Dex), Damage varies. Cable may be equipped with virtually anything from the d20 future books with the option to maximize the damage. In most cases, 3d8 to 3d12, with missile launchers inflicting up to 8d6. (Mutants & Masterminds: generally +7 to +13).

Overall Point Costs:

  • Four-Color Package: 24 CP
  • Skill Boosts: 43 CP
  • Skill Points: 24 CP
  • Messanic Traits: 24 CP
  • Paradoxical Existence: 23 CP
  • Minor Powers: 50 CP
  • BAB: 24 CP
  • Hit Dice: 18 CP
  • Saves: 27 CP
  • Proficiencies: 15 CP

This comes to a total of 272 CP.

Available Character Points: 216 (Level Eight Base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Accursed (with unstable reality), Hunted (various enemies), Obligations (Destroy Apocalypse) + 16 (Duties to the Askani) +30 (Human, L1, L3, L5, and L7 Bonus Feats) = 272 CP

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four-Color Abilities: Stabilize (Cable always stabilizes when dying) and Air Bubble (Cable can hold his breath an unreasonably long time).
  • As an eighth level character, Cable can carry around 33,000 GP – or 660,000 credits or dollars – worth of gear.
    • Feet: Great Big Boots (Vanguard Treads, 3100 GP): Cable ignores difficult or slippery terrain and gets +8 to resist Bull Rushes and +4 to resist grappling attempts to move him into another square.
    • Tool Belt: Travelers Anytool (250 GP).
    • Advanced Medical Pouch (Slotless Healing Belt, 1500 GP)
    • Regeneration Stimulator (Rod of Bodily Restoration, 3100 GP).
  • That leaves 25,000 GP – or 500,000 Credits / Dollars – worth of gear. In general, that’s enough to let him carry all the guns, explosives, missile launchers, and minor military gear (as a casual time traveler, he’s free to shop at any progress level) that he could possibly want – and given that he doesn’t use external armor, doesn’t usually bother with a vehicle when he can “Bodyslide” (Teleport), and doesn’t need a lot else except clothes… Cable has no reason NOT to carry a small mountain of weaponry.

The usual rule for d20 is that levels 1-2 are for normal people, level three is for highly-trained experts, elite military types, brilliant scientists, and so on. levels four and five are for pulp heroes, levels 6-10 are for superheroes, levels 11-15 are for demigods, and level 16+ is for classical gods – but throwing the Superheroic World Template (free mana for everyone, every round!) into play upgrades everything by at least one rank – putting Cable into the high-end superhero/minor god range.