d20: Captain Cliche, the Iron Raptor

   For today, it’s another sample character for the Eclipse: The Codex Persona classless d20 rules (available in print HERE and in a shareware version HERE). In this case we have Eric Rohan, a basic superhero. Like most basic superheroes, he’ll be starting out around level five.

   Super-strength, limited invulnerability, enough speed to get around quickly, and flight. The #1 super-power package of all time. Individual heroes may spice it up a bit – throwing in some minor energy-projection power, an enhanced sense or two, or any of a hundred other minor powers – but it’s still the basic framework on which a tremendous number of heroes are built.

   You can, of course, build a version of it in Eclipse: The Codex Persona for a normal setting – take a racial package with a big strength boost, hysteria, innate enchantment, witchcraft, or get your strength up in any of a dozen other ways, buy Damage Reduction and Celerity – but honestly, this sort of thing works best in a superhero world. Ergo, this character will be built using the Superhero Rule from page 161 – “Each major character may spend up to (Con Mod) free points of Mana each round without drawing on their personal reserves – although they can’t save up those points”.

   The point of that rule is to take abilities which normally have very limited uses and let characters fuel them with Mana so that they can use them all the time.

   Cliche Hero Power Package #1 (94 CP, +2 ECL Race or +3 ECL Template):

  • Berserker, with the Odinpower, Odinmight, Controlled, and Enduring enhancements (21 CP): +20 str, -2 AC. Rather than being “Uses per day”, this costs two mana to activate – and thus, in a superhero world, can be kept up all the time. This also means that our hero will have to make a DC 18 will check not to fall back on his super-powers as a solution to things while he has his strength running. Outside of superhero worlds, the game master should let him fall back on uses per day, or at least let him buy some personal mana.
  • Celerity with Additional movement mode (Flight) at a base of 30′ (18 CP).
  • Universal Damage Reduction 8/- (24 CP)
  • Innate Enchantment (10 CP, 9000 GP Value. All spell effects unlimited use-activated, caster level one, personal-only [x.7] where relevant): Force Shield (converts five lethal damage from each attack to stun damage, 1400 GP), Personal Haste (+30′ to movement, +1 attack at full BAB when making a full attack, 2000 GP), Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2x Con Mod HP, 1400 GP), +2 Str (1400 GP), +2 Con (1400 GP), +2 Chr (1400). All are subject to disruption whenever he’s exposed to some odd material or form of energy, rather than to dispelling and antimagic. (A version of Eldritch, +0 CP).
  • Immunity/normal upper limits on lifting and carrying (Common / Minor / Epic, 18 CP). The good captain would be able to lift about four tons simply due to his strength. This will put his routine lift at around 60 tons – doubling with each immunity step – and put extraordinary efforts at whatver the GM is willing to put up with.
  • Immunity/Transit Time (Uncommon / Minor / Great, Specialized in Flight, 3 CP) increases his speed by a factor of 16 for long-distance travel (to around 500 miles per hour). Given that the characters tend to arrive on the scene whenever the game master wants them there anyway, “I can go very fast” doesn’t make a lot of difference in superhero settings.

Iron Raptor

   Level Five Superhero (L3 +2 ECL Heroic “Race”).

   Eric Rohan may have been born a mutant, struck by a radioactive meteorite, been granted powers by some mystical entity, have been exposed to some strange chemicals (in these days that can happen in your own kitchen), or struck by lightning. He doesn’t really know.

   What he does know is that it was raining, with the occasional bit of lightning and thunder – and when he tried to heave the overturned car off the kid it was pinning in the ditch, things went blank for a couple of seconds. When they were clear again, he was standing three feet in the air, holding up a car while a couple of the other people who’d been trying to help pulled the kid out of the ditch ahead of the rising water.

   He spent a few days thinking about that, and experimenting a bit with his new powers before embarking on a career as a superhero. He’d needed something to do with his afternoons anyway.

   As of yet, Eric is fairly inexperienced, tends to think with his fists when confronted with some weird super-situation, and has yet to fully explore his powers (much less determine their source). He has picked up a police scanner to let him know where he might be needed, but really hasn’t gotten very professional about things as yet.

   Available Character Points: Duties (Generic superhero, protection of the innocent, remaining +2 CP/Level), Disadvantages: Hunted (assorted super-villains), Obligations (has assorted friends who keep getting into trouble and needing rescuing), and Secret (keeps his identity carefully hidden, for fear of his enemies attacking his friends and family) for net total of (+10 CP), Restrictions (generally reluctant to use unimprovised weapons or to kill, +1 CP/Level), L1 and L3 Feats (+12 CP), L3 Base (+96 CP) = 127 CP.

   Basic Attributes: Str 18 (40)/+15, Int 13/+1, Wis 14/+2, Con 16 (18)/+4, Dex 15/+2, Chr 12 (14)/+2. Originally Rolled: 13, 15, 18, 14, 16, 12.

   Basic Abilities (82 CP)

  • Saving Throws:
    • Reflex: +0 (Purchased, 6 CP) + 2 (Dexterity) = +2
    • Fortitude: +6 (Purchased, 18 CP) +4 (Constitution) = +10
    • Will: +0 (Purchased, 0 CP) + 2 (Wisdom) = +2 normally, +6 when resisting the tendency to always use his powers to solve problems (6 CP).
  • Initiative: +2
  • Alignment: Neutral Good
  • Move: 30 Base + 30 Enhancement = 60 (both overland and flying)
  • Hit Dice: L1 d20 (16 CP), L2-3d10 (12 CP)
    • Hit Points: 20 (L1d20) +15 (L2-3, 7, 8) +12 (3x Con Mod) + 20 (12 + 2x Con Mod from Immortal Vigor I) = 67
  • Damage Reduction: 8/- versus both physical and energy damage, also converts five points of lethal damage from any attack into stunning damage.
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +2 (Dexterity) -2 (Berserker) = 10.
  • Proficiencies: All Simple Weapons and Light Armor (6 CP).
  • Languages (2): As suits the campaign setting.
  • Warcraft: +3 (24 CP).
  • Usual Weapons:
    • Fists +18/+18 (+3 BAB +15 Strength, bonus attack due to personal haste) 1d10+15 (d6 base, upgraded by martial art +15 Str), may do lethal or stun damage without penalty, automatic knockdown on a critical, breaking technique, may attack as a force blast with a 100′ range increment.

   Other Abilities (33 CP):

  • Immunity/Breathing, Vacuum, and Toxic Gases (Common / Major / Major, 9 CP. This reduces the damage from such things by 30 points whenever it occurs).
  • Martial Arts/”Rock-Hard Fists” (6 CP) Does 1d6 base damage with Unarmed Attacks and is always considered “armed”.
  • Spirit Weapon, Ranged and Exotic Appearance (Force-Blasts, Range increment of 100′) on Unarmed Strikes (12 CP).
  • Action Hero/Stunts Option (6 CP).

   Skill Points: 6 (Int) + 12 (CP Spent) = 18. He may improve later, but for now – in the classical tradition of superheroes who think with their muscles – he isn’t very skilled.

   Skills: Martial Art/Two-Fisted Hero +11 (+5 Str +6 SP), Bluff +5 (3 SP +2 Chr), Gather Information +5 (3 SP +2 Chr), Knowledge/Local +4 (3 SP +1 Int), and Spot +5 (3 SP +2 Wis).


Martial Art: Two-Fisted Hero (Str).

  • Requires: Str and Dex 14+, 1d6 or more base damage in “Unarmed” combat.
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 3, Power 2, Strike, Toughness 4
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Breaking, Mighty Blow, Combat Reflexes, and Expertise (AC for Damage).
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength x2, Iron Skin, and Resist Pain.
  • Techniques Known (6): Power 2, Strike, Breaking, Mighty Blow, and Resist Pain.

   Actually, Mr Rohan wouldn’t be that far out of place in a regular d20 game; he’d be pretty absurd when he has his strength hyped up to forty – but, in a normal game, he’d only be able to do that a few times a day, and not for very long then. He’d still have some very powerful abilities for his level – a consequence of not having any level-based purchase restrictions – but he isn’t especially flexible. He flies, he takes a beating, he hits people. I’ve seen considerably worse.