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.
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3 Responses

  1. I’ve noticed that you’re going with Progress Level 4 as the default, but I seem to recall that Progress Level 5 was the “Information Age” that represented the late-20th/early-21st century.

    • It does – but the progress levels are a bit iffy. There’s a fair amount of Progress Level 5 gear that hasn’t yet been invented, particularly if you go for (say) “Commonly available in the early 1980’s” when the New Mutants first came out. Secondarily, most of the “high magic” settings (Eberron, Forgotten Realms, etc) are effectively about progress level four Ergo, I’m erring on the side of “well established common stuff” as a baseline.

      Plus, of course, I wanted her to have to use Hysteria to get up to progress level eight stuff.

      And I hope that makes sense!

  2. […] Boom-Boom has had an upgrade over the comics – this version has a much wider variety of fairly powerful munitions to call on – but she’s still basically demolitions girl. Her power is built using Equipage and an Immunity. […]

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