Eclipsing Rictor

And now that the holidays are out of the way, it’s time to get back to the last few characters in this set.

Rictor could project powerful vibratory blasts (these seemed to be especially effective against constructs, walls, and powered battle armor), “push” earth and stone around, cause earthquakes, and sense tectonic forces across the world – but honestly, I barely remember him and his powers never seemed to be particularly well defined, He was just yet another obnoxious teenager being turned into a soldier by Cable with the occasional “oh, oh, my powers could cause disaster” bit thrown in to simulate angst and the (for the time) standard-issue hostile family background. (In his case they were gun runners). Like many of the other New Mutants / X-Force characters of the time he mostly appeared in fight scenes, although he seemed to have a (fairly superficial) interest in any handy female character.

This sort of writing always struck me as ignoring the primary strength of the medium. Sure, the flashy battles, and powers, good-looking characters (and often skimpy costumes) tended to bring in adolescents – but that was bait and the real hook was the soap opera. Nifty powers might get someone to read a few issues, but it was getting them invested in the characters, and wanting to know about the complications in their lives and how things worked out for them, that kept people coming back and buying more comics. That had it’s own limitations – people eventually got tired of reading about favorite characters being repeatedly tortured for drama and of villains who keep coming back – but it lasted a LOT longer than simply seeing the characters with neat powers.

Looking at the wikis, Rictor worked with Cable for a time, then recalled that Cable had murdered his father (it turned out to have been Stryfe, but you’d have thought that this would come up earlier. Oh well, I shall chalk it up to Cable’s unstable timeline). He then decided that he was gay after all and got involved with Shatterstar, got depowered, became a detective, got repowered, got depowered and repowered again, and (according to some of the wikis, others say he is still alive) was killed with Shatterstar and Tier during the “Hell On Earth War”.

There’s a Mutants & Masterminds build for him over HERE, but I think that his attributes there are kind of high. After all, none of his powers have or had anything to do with superhuman attributes. Ergo, I’m mostly going to be focusing on making him useful to have around.

Rictor

Level Three Seismic Manipulator and Team Player

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 8, Con 16 (+2 Human = 18), Dex 16 (+2 Enh = 18), Cha 12 (Pathfinder 25-Point Buy).

Rictor was almost entirely skill-based during his “powerless” period and – as a rune master – has a skill-based “mutant power”, so I’m starting with his Skills.

Skills:

Skill Boosters:

  • Upgrade human Fast Learner to +2 SP/Level (3 CP)
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for Double Effect (6 CP)
  • Adept (Expertise (Criminal), Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, 6 CP)
  • Adept (Deception, Persuasion, and Seismic Rune Magic Casting and Mastery, 6 CP)
  • Advanced, Improved, Augmented Bonus (Diligent Learner; Add (Con Mod) to (Int Mod) for Skill Purposes, Specialized and Corrupted / only adds to skill points per level and only up to level five, 6 CP)
  • +2 Skill Emphasis in Seismic Casting and in Seismic Mastery (6 CP).
  • Finesse (Uses Con Mod instead of Int Mod for Skills, Specialized and Corrupted / only for Rune Magic, only for Seismic Rune Magic, 2 CP)
  • Augmented Bonus (Adds (Dex Mod) to (Con Mod) for Skills, Specialized and Corrupted / only for Rune Magic, only for Seismic Rune Magic, 2 CP)

Available Skill Points: 24 (Fast Learners) + 24 (Diligent Learner) = 48

Purchased Skills (all with a +2 Competence Bonus):

  • Acrobatics 2 (+4 Dex = +8)
  • Athletics 2 (+2 Str = +6)
  • Deception 6* (+1 Cha = +9)
  • Expertise (Criminal) 6* (+0 Int = +8)
  • Expertise (Private Detective) 6 (+0 Int = +8)
  • Generic (Dex Based) Comic Book Martial Arts 3 (+4 Dex = +9).
  • Insight 5 (-1 Wis = +6)
  • Intimidation 6* (+1 Cha = +9)
  • Investigation 6* (+0 Int = +8)
  • Perception 6* (-1 Wis = +7)
  • Persuasion 6* (+1 Cha = +9)
  • Seismic Magic (Mastery) 6* (+4 Con +4 Dex +1 Comp (Halved due to the restrictions on Rune Magic) +2 Emphasis = +17). This allows him to use Seismic spells of up to level 4.
  • Seismic Magic (Casting) 6* (+4 Con +4 Dex +1 Comp (Halved due to the restrictions on Rune Magic) +2 Emphasis = +17). This allows him to cast seismic spells with an effective caster level of eight.
  • Speak Language: Spanish (1 SP).
  • Sleight of Hand 1 (+4 Ex = +7)
  • Stealth 1 (+4 Dex = +7)
  • Vehicles 1 (+4 Dex = +7)

Skill Specialties: Seismic Casting and Mastery / Versus mechanical constructs and rigid barriers (Including Armor). This allows him to produce effects of up to L5 at Caster Level 10. (2 SP).

Martial Arts Abilities: Strike, +3 Toughness (this provides an extra DR 3/- which stacks with the DR from the Four Color Package),  and Mind Like Moon. Rictors martial art skills are really pretty poor, but constant fights have taught him to roll with the punch and to always stay alert.

Basics:

  • BAB: +1, Corrupted/does not contribute to iterative attacks (4 CP).
  • Hit Dice: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) +8 (L2-3d6, 4 CP) +12 (Con Mod x 3) = 32 HP (Mutants & Masterminds Toughness +7. With X-Man Outfit Toughness +9). His DR is probably worth another +1, for a base of +8, +10 with the X-Man uniform.
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fortitude +1 (3 CP) +4 (Con) +1 (Res) = +6
    • Reflex +0 (0 CP) +4 (Dex) +4 (Res) = +5
    • Will +2 (6 CP) -1 (Wis) +1 (Res) = +2
  • Proficiencies: All Simple Weapons and Pistols (6 CP).
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +4 (Dex) +3 (Armor) +4 (Shield) = 21
  • Attack: Normally +5 Ranged Touch Attack (Vibratory Blasts). Of course, other effects will simply call for saves.

Minor Powers:

Innate Enchantment: All abilities Spell Level 1/2 or 1, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated, Personal-Only where applicable. Net “Cost” 4900 GP or (6 CP).

  • Enhance Dexterity (+2, 1400 GP).
  • Skill Mastery (General, +2 Competence Bonus to All Skills, 1400 GP).
  • Force Shield I (+4 Shield Bonus to AC, 1400 GP).
  • Resistance (+1 Resistance Bonus on Saving Throws, 700 GP).

Rictor, like so many comic book characters with fairly specific powers and no defensive abilities, gets to be a bit quicker, more agile, and more competent than a normal person and gets hit a good deal less than he really ought to be hit. Ergo, a few minor secondary powers.

  • +2d6 (7 Mana), Specialized and Corrupted / only for Rune Magic, only for Seismic effects (4 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only for Mana, only to restore the Seismic Magic pool above, maximum recovery of 1d6/hour with no more than light activity (3 CP).
  • Double Damage versus Mechanical Constructs, Vehicles, and Rigid Barriers, Specialized/only with Vibratory Powers (3 CP).
  • Occult Sense / 30′ Radius Tremorsense (6 CP).

With the area-of-effect expansion from the Four Color Package this grants him a limited unity with the Earth and a vague awareness of tectonic forces all over the planet. Sadly, I can think of no truly advantageous use for this other than knowing where not to buy real estate and as a game master plot hook.

  • Minor Privilege: Gets 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-groups (3 CP).
  • Expertise: May move up to +5 between Damage and BAB (6 CP).

Team Player:

  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell I: True Strike (giving up an action to ensure that your next attack is almost sure to hit is not always a good deal, but it has it’s uses) and Locate Self (As long as Rictor is in contact with the ground he can easily determine his location and facing on the globe) (6 CP).
  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell II: The Craftsman Has the Advantage of His Skill. The user’s rolls twice, keeping the best result, for the first three skill checks made within one minute per level of casting this spell (6 CP).
  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell III: High Prayer (The Practical Enchanter, 6 CP). As per Prayer, but the bonuses and penalties are +2 and -2 respectively.

This makes Rictor a very useful fellow to have on your team indeed. If you can buy him a little time he can set things up to help out pretty much everyone – and hinder the enemy at the same time. That’s above and beyond what he could really do in the comics, but anything that helps maintain a coherent group is a plus in my book. 

Point Costs:

  • Four Color Package: 24 CP
  • Skill Boosters: 37 CP
  • BAB: 4 CP
  • Hit Dice: 10 CP
  • Saving Throws: 9 CP
  • Proficiencies: 6 CP
  • Minor Abilities: 40 CP

Net Total: 130 CP.

Available Character Points: 96 (level three base) +10 (Disadvantages: History, Poor Reputation (Criminal Family), Insane (is seriously afraid of using his powers to affect areas for fear of earthquakes) +6 (Heroic Duties) +18 (Human, L1, and L3 Feats) = 130 CP.

Remaining Details:

  • Minor Four-Color Ability: I… really have no idea here. It’s been long enough that I really can’t recall any “characterization bits” for him. On a practical level it’s probably a tossup between Master’s Touch (his family background has made him familiar with pretty much every weapon) or Immortal Vigor for more hit points / toughness.
  • Equipment: as a third level character Rictor gets entitled to 3000 GP worth of gear. Since I don’t feel like doing another massive list of stuff that will – in a superhero setting – virtually never come up again so soon after Domino’s massive list, suffice it to note that he has Investigators, Thieves, and Espionage Kits (1200 GP), an office, a Private Investigators license (800 GP), and some basic items (gun for intimidation, cell phone, etc), and a decent car (1000 GP).

Rictor is a decent support-blaster, an excellent team player, and a good detective. He really isn’t good at fighting supervillains on his own though, if only because he’s afraid to use too much power and cause a disaster. In actual play he’d probably be a pretty good character; he has a reasonable but not overwhelming array of options, is good at removing enemies armor and weapons, gives a substantial boost to any team he works with, can make fancy trick shots if you can cover for him for a bit, and has a decent (although again, not fabulous) array of skills and bonuses in using them. He isn’t overwhelming, he certainly isn’t all-or-nothing, and he both needs other characters and works well with them.

At least in this version, I’d be happy to see a player-character version of Rictor joining a hero group.

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One Response

  1. […] Rictor is a fairly common type of hero, built with Rune Magic – and so possessing a fairly wide variety of abilities within a specific field. Like most such heroes (and anime characters) gesturing and announcing his attacks helps him focus his power. […]

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