Prince Blueblood’s Aggravating Pony Overlord List Part III – The Wine Cellar Of Dubious Drunken Declarations.

And today’s segment is dedicated to the TV Tropes Additional Evil Overlord Rules page – where quite a lot of additional Evil Overlord rules can be found!

Previously on the Aggravating Overlord Channel…

  1. I will make it clear that I do know the meaning of the word “Mercy”! But the tickling will continue until they say “Uncle”!
  2. I will contact people near the heroes at random via projected image and publicly insist that they deliver their reports! No matter what they say, I shall look intrigued, thank them for their coded report, and leave them a modest cash bonus and some coupons with odd wording that might be coded instructions!
  3. I will hire all mad scientists capable of designing doomsday weapons and put them to work DOING SOMETHING ELSE. How many times do I have to point out that ->I<- live here TOO?!?!
  4. If my supreme command center comes under attack I will set off an illusion of it falling to bits and project an image of myself announcing “You may have scored a small “victory” today heroes, but my plans are further along than ever!” before it and the “rubble” vanish with a teleportation signature.
  5. Any data file of crucial importance will be non-existent! I am making this up as I go along! I will, however, be irate if they capture all my save game files!
  6. I will accept all challenges from heroes! But no matter what they propose, I shall interpret it as a challenge to one or another collectible children’s card game so that they will first have to learn the overly-complicated rules and spend a lot of money building a deck! Did I mention that I own most of those companies?
  7. To keep my subjects from rebelling or assisting heroes, I will make sure that things are actually pretty nice in my realm! It’s not like I cannot afford it! How would making the general population miserable provide me with more fun than my limitless funds and total authority can get me anyway?
  8. I will not order anyone to kill the infant who is destined to overthrow me! I shall raise the kid to take over when I retire! I’ve got to do it SOMETIME and leaving a properly trained successor is part of the job! Besides, the kid will almost certainly turn out to be one of mine anyway!
  9. I will claim full credit for the actions of Murphy! It’s not like anyone will believe that I’m not throwing silly obstacles in the heroes way anyway!
  10. My Stronghold of Doom (TM) is going to be a personal conjuration, so if it gets captured by a hero I will simply drop it and conjure it anew somewhere else! If I know the heroes forces are advancing and will arrive shortly, I may do this just before they arrive and leave a forwarding address to a post office box in Saskatchewan and some stray SCUBA gear. That should keep them entertained soggy for quite some time!
  11. Magic and technology that can resurrect martyrs will be encouraged! That way heroic sacrifices won’t mean anything and will have little or no emotional impact or dramatic effect!
  12. I shall secretly sponsor and fund committees demanding all sorts of reforms and advocating my overthrow! I shall, however, make sure that my loyal opposition only gets my attention when they actually have a good idea which I can co-opt!
  13. I will not employ devious schemes involving the hero’s getting into my inner sanctum! If they really insist, they can just follow the signs showing the direct route to the orgy room!
  14. All Oracles in my realm will be provided with helpful aides who will file notarized copies of any prophecies with a central database! It’s not like fighting a valid prophecy is of any use anyway and you can’t work around what you don’t know about!
  15. There are counters for everything, so I shall just focus on having a wide variety of powers to choose from at random in any confrontation! A hero who can successfully plan for “he might do any damned thing!” deserves a little win!
  16. My Stronghold of Doom (TM) shall be designed to be enormously impressive and have someone assigned to answer the door! Making it impregnable just means that heroes will find a way to get inside without knocking!
  17. I shall inform any enemy who manages to get past the guards and confront me that their heroism has shown them worthy of an engagement to whichever one of my children is currently looking for a mate and finds them attractive! While they are still sputtering, I shall unleash the tailors and the wedding planners!
  18. If I capture the heroes customized car, ship, or similar vessel I will load it up with contraband and let them try to explain their cargo to a neighboring realm’s authorities once they recapture it and flee my wrath in it!
  19. When I want revenge, I shall send paparazzi and scandal-mongers! Not even the greatest torturers of eld could make people die THAT many times!
  20. If I have equipment which performs a vital function it will be fully automatic! There will be none of this “inappropriate activation” or “someone hit the emergency shutdown” nonsense!
  21. I will not attempt to kill heroes by placing scorpions, snakes, spiders, or similar poisonous perils in their rooms! Cute sexual partners and the ensuing pregnancies or child support demands will fully occupy them anyway!
  22. If I get a hold of something that can only be used by the “Pure of Heart” I will check on pure WHAT before trying it!
  23. The automatic pie launcher turrets on my fortress will be fully capable of firing at each other or into the fortress! Nothing is funnier than watching heroes attempting to kill you with pies OR burying one under a pile of lemon cream!
  24. If I decide to hold a contest of skill open to the general public it shall be held at a proper convention center, rather than opening up my penthouse stronghold to noisy pests!
  25. Kidnap victims rarely turn in their best work! Prior to attempting any such nonsense, I will try to HIRE them, and offer any sons and daughters good jobs too! Or daycare, as appropriate!
  26. Should I ever set up a classic “deathtrap”, It shall have many possible modes of escape and I shall have my bookie taking bets on how the hero will get away! That way I will get SOMETHING out of it!
  27. Rather than attempting to get away in one of the dozens of fleeing escape pods, I shall take the form of a young hostage, or innocent offspring of a lieutenant, or some such, and let the heroes do all the work of rescuing and protecting me!
  28. My guards will have ready access to snacks and drinks with plenty to share! Fat, happy, sleepy, prisoners are a lot less trouble!
  29. I will employ comedic robots as my agents of destruction! They are far more likely to bring down a building or something by accident than an intentionally destructive robot is likely to accomplish anything on purpose!
  30. When I force heroes to fight each other in the arena it will be with pies! Why should I equip people for arena battles with any lesser weapon?
  31. All members of my staff will have Hawaiian shirts and straw hats. No hero would be caught dead in such an outfit anyway.
  32. I will never place the key to a cell just out of a prisoners reach! It shall be under an ominous looking button in the cell labeled “push if extremely bored or suicidal”. After all, if they’re willing to push THAT button, it’s time to let them out!
  33. Before appointing someone as a trusted lieutenant, I shall reveal that I know all about their hidden treacheries and intent to aid the hero, but tell them that I am willing to trust them with a second chance!
  34. If I find my beautiful consort with access to my stronghold has been associating with the hero, I shall give her a parting bonus, tell her to go and find her true love, and give her coupons for a splendid one-month honeymoon. My stronghold is a conjuration, and will only take a few minutes to redesign, or move, or both, anyway and the current color scheme WAS getting a little old…
  35. If I am escaping in a vehicle and the hero is pursuing me in another one I shall immediately switch the genre to Mario Go-Kart and start dumping huge heaps of conjured junk out the back, starting with ten thousand bouncy balls.
  36. My Doomsday Machine will be HERO BAIT. How many times do I have to point out that I LIVE HERE TOO!
  37. If I make a bomb, it will be a cake, properly filled with ice cream and fudge, and anyone who tries to disarm it will look like a right prat.
  38. When spending funds, I will invest in anything I please. I have no shortage of money and will simply create my bases and fortresses to suit anyway. Giant Neon Gothic Fortress with Digital Clocktower from the Baron Ectar school of architecture for the win!
  39. The passageways within my fortress will be dimly lit by flickering battery-powered torches for the ambience! That is what Night-Sight spells are for!
  40. If the strange noises in the forest seem to be coming from some small and harmless woodland creature, I shall either get Tarzan to call a stampede or – if really desperate – send out Angel Bunny.
  41. When my guards check an apparently empty cell, they shall rinse it out with a high-pressure firehose before sending for an elderly martial artist cleaning lady who appears totally harmless! If someone is hiding under the bed or something, they can just enjoy their bath!
  42. I will have lots of children! I like children! And any who like may try to overthrow me, starting at age six or so! They may take turns until they are bored and the paperwork is making them cry and they need cuddles!
  43. I will keep a wide variety of special prizes for kids around that they will need a cooperative hero to claim! This will give all of my kids AND the local kids a major incentive to find heroes, lead them to me, and insist on the heroes repaying them by helping them get and carry various piñatas’, giant boxes of candy, and huge stuffed animals along the way!
  44. If one of my sons or daughters pairs up with a hero or heroine, I will promptly hold a parade for them and dote endlessly over the possibility of grandchildren while swamping them with cribs, toys, stuffed animals, and baby supplies. Aphrodisiacs and fertility drugs will not, however, be included in the gifts until three months after the wedding.
  45. When my guards are shooting at the hero they will use super-expanding pies which grow to fill the entire corridor or similar space where they’re aimed. That way he or she is sure to get creamed!
  46. My dungeon decor shall feature plenty of whispering galleries, although there shall be occasional interruptions by pop-up advertisements for My Little Pony collectible toys.
  47. If there are reports of any un-manned or seemingly innocent ships found where they are not supposed to be the appropriate safety organizations will be notified and well-meaning assistance will be dispatched.
  48. My lieutenants shall be entirely trusted to foul things up! If they ever accomplish anything useful in addition to being entertaining it will be a pleasant surprise!
  49. When my enemies break out an impossible device to use against me, I shall geek out over it, teleport into the midst of their party, and start discussing possible improvements. No crazed gadgeteer can resist explaining at great length to anyone who takes an interest!
  50. There will be ropes suitable for swinging from, or holding up heavy chandeliers and tapestries, in every possible location, and my guards will all be trained to use them to ascend, descend, and swing around as much as possible! It’s hysterical!
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Prince Blueblood’s Aggravating Pony Overlord List Part II – The Grand Ballroom of Aberrant Aphorisms.

Now that I can get back to the blog and catch up a bit, today’s segment is dedicated to Jack Butlers version of the Evil Overlord List – so much the same and yet different in a variety of ways!

  1. Since nothing is more irritating than being defeated by basic math, physics, or logic, I shall always remember that I am a cartoon and am not subject to ANY of those things!
  2. A true ultimate weapon is defined by what it does NOT do! It should not harm forces favorable to you, or resources, infrastructure, or populations who can be brought into your service! Its use should not cause neutral groups to become hostile or inspire heroes to rise up against you! It’s use should not hinder your use of the areas targeted after it takes effect! It should not stop working after being used against an area, so that target areas will become permanently hostile to enemy forces! It should not inspire hostility against you or even any major efforts to evade it’s effects! It should be impossible for a enemies to use it to reverse it’s own effects! That is why my mad scientists, wizards, and psychic experts will be concentrating on Weaponized Friendship! That way, even if someone else should beat me to my ultimate weapon… I shall know that they will be my friends!
  3. If one of my guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in which the beautiful princess is being held (usually listening to me talk about myself), I will immediately assign him to bodyguard her! They could both probably use a little recreation!
  4. Since secret passages manifest spontaneously whenever needed, I shall just make sure that the rooms in the palace are equally mobile! When the heroes discover that. at the moment, the passage leads to the breakfast buffet (and food fight) rather than to my private quarters, they will soon have egg all over their faces! And probably uncomfortable bacon crumbles in their shorts!
  5. If the excessively beautiful noble, princess, or VIP that I capture says “I shall never marry you! Never, NEVER!!!!!”, I shall happily say “Who said anything about marriage? It’s not like anyone will ever believe that you’re a pure and virginal maiden after I captured you and imprisoned you in my quarters anyway! Wanna play Mai-Jong?”
  6. I will strike bargains with demonic beings that require them to go away so that we shall have no chance to get on each others nerves! It’s not like I need anything else that they’ve got to offer!
  7. Twisted mutants and psychotic lunatics will have their place in my hospitals! Once they’re cured, and likely loyal out of gratitude, I shall provide job education programs! For before I send them out to do anything, I want to be sure that they in reasonably good shape and competent to do it!
  8. My legions of cuddly will be trained with pies! Anyone who cannot hit a man-sized target in the face with a pie at ten paces will have to clean up and then keep practicing! After all, no hero would employ real violence in a pie fight, and that will keep my medical and bereavement expenses way, WAY, down!
  9. When employing any captured artifacts or machinery I will doubtless be in a great hurry or I’d have gotten a reliable version of my own built! So I shall have many lucky charms ready! And not rabbits feet! The rabbit had four of those, and look where IT wound up!
  10. If it becomes necessary to escape, I WILL HAVE MY MONOLOGUE, even if I must STOP TIME TO DO IT! (Unless I have it printed up in advance, in which case I shall just have leaflets dumped on the heroes).
  11. I will build all sentient computers to be smarter than I am! If they aren’t smarter than I am, why bother with them in the first place? Trust me, I can find PLENTY of STUPID without building expensive machines to provide it!
  12. I hate passwords! Everything is going to be on biometric locks in the first place! And that INCLUDES the guards weapons, vehicles, control panels, and other equipment!
  13. If my advisors ask “Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?”, I will not proceed until I come up with a new scheme that is so insane that they will beg me to go back to the first one!
  14. I will not bother with a fortress! The world is full of ruined ones! They never work! I will get a nice building in the center of town, convenient for the shops, and surrounded by millions of people who will call the cops and S.W.A.T. teams if they think that some lunatic is about to start a battle in the middle of the city!
  15. Bulk trash will be sent to recycling! If it proves to contain escaping heroes, they will be given 200$ and be shipped to a dingy motel room in Boring Oregon!
  16. I will see a competent psychiatrist and see how long it takes him to refuse to see me any longer! He can then join the heroes and reveal to them that I am a cartoon just in case they have somehow failed to notice!
  17. I will not have a main control room. What is the point of having a sentient computer and still having to try to adjust fussy control systems with hooves?
  18. My security keypad will actually be an ordering system for pies, coffee, and doughnuts. If somebody authorized wants to come in and see me they should bring a snack! And if they do not know what they are doing, being soaked in hot coffee and covered in pie filling is a better hero deterrent than most! After all, anyone with a brain should know that Ponies do not use keypads for anything urgent!
  19. All surveillance cameras will have easily accessible “off” buttons! People do have a right to privacy, but when turned off the cameras will play a recorded message to the effect that any injuries received while off camera will not be the responsibility of the management!
  20. I will spare someone who saved my life in the past. If necessary, I will send them back in time so that they HAVE to save me to avoid paradox. I may be immune to that, but they probably aren’t!
  21. All midwives will be properly trained, tested, and licensed, Children who wish to be raised by wild animals in a dangerous jungle can get that taken care of in public school, just like everybody else.
  22. My guards will not search for intruders. They will stay at the central information desks where they belong AND where they have partial cover! All the corridors lead there anyway, so any intruders will have to come to them!
  23. When I decide to test an underlings loyalty to me I will have extra jelly donuts available in case said underling is not loyal enough and eats the last one.
  24. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will go and have lunch while the servants throw them out. Heckling contests are beneath my dignity.
  25. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win. What fun is that? Rigging a contest is beneath me! If they want to go free they can beat me FAIR AND SQUARE! I have many incredibly obscure board games that I never get to play otherwise anyway!
  26. When I create an elaborate, special-effects heavy, multimedia presentation of my plan so simple that a five-year-old can easily understand all the details, I will not label the disk “Project Overlord” and leave it laying about!. If I went to all that trouble I must have meant it for wide distribution; I will arrange a several-hundred-screen theatrical release!
  27. If a hero proves too strong for a couple of my legionaries to arrest, I shall send in some of whatever sex he finds attractive to suffer wardrobe malfunctions. Heroes are notorious for seducing their enemies, but no matter how great the hero, ten or fifteen liaisons a day will keep him or her well-occupied, are easily affordable, and cost less than paying for treating casualties.
  28. If a hero is standing at the edge of a precipice, or balancing over molten lava, or involved in any such horrible safety hazard, I will pretend that I have lost track of them and have a member of the maintenance department offer to let said hero conceal themselves among the maintenance crew. That way I can get some work out of him or her AND get some proper safety rails installed around whatever silly hazard they’ve discovered. Also, fire my architect! WHY is there a giant pit on my bridge, chasm in my death star, or balcony overlooking the giant pit of fire anyway? If there’s no scenic view available, HANG A PAINTING.
  29. If I have a moment of even less sanity than usual and opt to offer the hero a job as one of my trusted lieutenants, I will make sure that said hero starts at lower pay and less benefits than my current trusted lieutenants. There’s no need to promote jealousy!
  30. I will tell my legions “Lethal weapons never work on heroes anyway, so I haven’t given you any! Just fire a netgun in their general direction with the intent to drag them before me and – if necessary – it will go around three trees, a log cabin, and an emu to ensnare them in an apparently, but not actually, secure fashion so that they can break loose in my throne room! You can’t fight the heroic narrative, so you might as well go along with it!”
  31. If a destroy-the-universe weapon happens to come with a reverse switch, I will have the whole thing melted down. If it worked, who would be left to throw it? If it doesn’t have a reverse switch I will melt it down anyway. The universe is where I keep my ME! Also, I shall find whoever it is who keeps BUILDING these things and LOCK THEM UP WITH A GOOD THERAPIST.
  32. If my weakest troops fail against a hero, I will want to know why they didn’t politely ask them to come down to the station for an interview in the first place. Real heroes never start anything first and my weakest troops have no business trying to deal with a hero in any other way!
  33. If I am fighting with a hero atop a moving platform and he glances behind me and drops flat, I shall use my dimensional powers to reduce my effective height until I am shorter than he now is AND on exactly the right level to hit him in the face with a pie! With any luck he will rear back in surprise and run his face into whatever it was he saw!
  34. If any of my heroic opponents are standing in front of a crucial support beam I will blast it myself and see how they get out of the ensuing collapse!
  35. If I am dining with a hero, have drugged his goblet, and then have to leave the table for any reason, I will not worry about it! I am immune to most of that stuff anyway, and I will have put anything I actually want to use in the air conditioning vents, so said hero might as well have his or her clever little moment of triumph!
  36. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex. I will get them a nice reservation at a restaurant and hotel, with all expenses paid!
  37. The more complicated a plan the better! They never survive contact with the enemy anyway, so the more bits you have the more likely it is that you will be able to rearrange them into something amusing when the original plan is inevitably disrupted!
  38. I will make sure that my doomsday device is properly disabled, but full of ten thousand gallons of carbonated cream under high pressure! When the heroes go for the dramatic disarm, they’ll get creamed! And how many times must I point out that destroying the world you live on is a STUPID thing to do?
  39. My vats of hazardous chemicals will all be installed on the top floor so no one can fall into them! It’s not like they can bother me anyway…
  40. If a group of thugs fail miserably at a task, I will acknowledge that “thug” is a low-skilled and underpaid profession and send them to training! They can try again when they’re up to professional levels and have qualified for a morale-improving raise!
  41. After I capture the heroes superweapon I will dismantle it and scatter the pieces to hiding places across the world since it would never work for me anyway! By the time they’re done fetch-questing to put it back together I shall probably be done with all my projects AND will have had time for a long vacation!
  42. Any controls I must have will be personally accessible from my lounge! That way I can have someone cuddling and still manage my realm!
  43. I will have a trusted aide on duty to receive messengers no matter how busy I am! There is no point to being an Overlord if you have to do everything yourself! Also, bring MORE CAKE!
  44. Whenever I communicate with a hero there shall be the sounds of a big party and ongoing sex in the background! Most heroes are incredibly straight-laced, and will probably try to find a time to talk or attack when there is no party going on! Which shall be never!
  45. If I decide to get rid of a hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I shall tell them that their lives are now mystically linked, provide an illusion of that being true, and ship the underling off to some supposedly terrible danger a very long and difficult trip away! I will then give the hero a very slow horse and a choice of bus tickets to the wrong place.
  46. When arresting prisoners, my guards will permit them to pack and place a phone call! There is no reason to be rude!
  47. My holding areas will offer their choice of an excellent medical team or a cackling mad scientist focused on human augmentation available to treat any prisoner ailments!
  48. My door mechanisms will be designed to open automatically when people approach! Hooves, remember?
  49. My holding areas will be designed with secret passages in and out which only rather small children may transverse and will be well stocked with candy and toys! That way little kids can wander in and out to annoy the heroes – and if they are true heroes they will not be able to avoid babysitting, for which they shall be grossly underpaid!
  50. If a good-looking young pair enters my realm, the gossip police will keep an eye on them! If they are happy and affectionate, that’s fine! But if circumstances have forced them together against their wills and they alternate between quarreling with each and saving each others’ lives with hints of sexual tension, I will immediately send them each a huge gift certificate for the Sex Warehouse Superstore! Otherwise they are all too likely pull an Inuyasha-and-Kagome and take HUNDREDS OF EPISODES to GET TO THE POINT! I am NOT putting up with that again!

Prince Blueblood’s Aggravating Pony Overlord List Part I – The Throne Room

Today, in celebration and parody of Peter’s classic “Evil Overlord List“, here we have Prince Blueblood’s take on it – Part I of the Pony Overlord List.

  1. I will not set myself up as a god. I am a cartoon pony and I am BETTER than that.
  2. My Legions of Cuddly will have Pony Suits that completely conceal their faces, sexes, and all other identifiable details, complete with voice masks! As well as the necessary month-long training course in how to walk, function effectively, and ham it up while wearing one!
  3. My ventilation ducts will be big enough to blow hurricanes into my rooms for dramatic cape-billowing effects – and my capes shall have breakaway safety clasps, so that they can easily be dramatically tossed aside to be carried away by said winds!
  4. My virtuous and well-loved relative whose power I have usurped will be kept on as a figurehead and not told that I have taken over so that I can spend more time partying while they handle all of the boring stuff.
  5. Shooting is excellent for my enemies! They shall be photographed in all their most exasperated and embarrassing moments and will be the subject of many snarky articles and skits on Saturday Night Live!
  6. The Unicorn Horn which is the primary focus of my power shall be kept on top of my head, where it shall poke holes in hats!
  7. I will gloat over my enemies lack of fashion sense before having them subjected to a celebrity roast on a major network!
  8. When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Before you kill me, tell me what this is all about!” I shall say, “I thought you knew! I just do things! Get out there, brush off your inventiveness, and don’t come back until you’ve come up with an ingenious evil scheme explaining my actions that I can take credit for!”
  9. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, I will take her to major parties and try to seduce her by showing her how sparkly my plans are! That gym membership, the toning exercises, the spa staff, and all the rest is oh so worth it!
  10. All of my vehicles and structures will include a large, red, self-destruct button in an utterly obvious location! It will be clearly labeled “Self-Destruct! Do not push!”. When you push it, you will immediately find yourself smoking three cigarettes and wanting more, stuffing on butter, pasta, and sausage, drinking vodka, wanting to watch TV all day, and averse to exercise!
  11. I shall interrogate my enemies by playing “Truth Or Dare” with them in my inner sanctum! Or, if they are all cute enough, Spin The Bottle! The embarrassment alone shall probably do them in!
  12. You are rated on the greatness of your enemies! I will leave them as many clues, signs, and easy escapes as they need to make themselves look incredibly fortunate and competent at all times!
  13. One of my advisors will be an average World Of Warcraft nerd! No plans will be implemented until he has ignored them for several weeks and then talked about how useless they are in killing bosses on TeamSpeak! By that time any obvious shortcomings have probably come up in the planning committee!
  14. The hero may have my last drink and cigarette! If I’m down to the last, I need to go shopping while he’s consuming them!
  15. All my equipment will have flickering digital countdowns, even if they mean nothing at all! They are extremely distracting to your enemies and have a wonderfully ominous effect!
  16. I will always ask defeated enemies to fill out a customer satisfaction survey! I need to know which of my tactics is most annoying!
  17. I will have lots of sons! And I shall indulge their plans to get fun stuff for parties as much as possible! Why be an Overlord at all if you are not going to take advantage of the privileges? Also, bring me canapes, brandy, and pretty young mares!
  18. I will have lots of beautiful daughters! They will provide a reason for my wickedness, for how else will I be able to attract a sufficient supply of handsome heroes for them to marry?
  19. I will indulge in maniacal laughter! Not only is it fun, but if you don’t give your opponents time to do something it will be boring!
  20. I will hire a talented fashion designer and use her to deflect incoming cakes and pies! On the day that she comes up with something fashionable to do with them VICTORY WILL BECOME INEVITABLE!
  21. If a power-granting energy field is bigger than my head, I shall see if it is also available commercially in a convenient pill or potion form!
  22. I will keep a special cache of party supplies and train a Swedish bikini team in their use! That way, even if the heroes manage to sabotage my party cannon, a party can be airdropped in when a tab is pulled!
  23. Whenever someone manages to damage my hair I shall cry “No! This CANNOT BE! My hairstyle is INVINCIBLE!”
  24. All of my machinery shall be rube Goldberg contraptions, with only one safe spot to stand in when they are in operation OR blowing up! And I shall be standing there, like Leslie in The Great Pie Fight!
  25. All prisoners shall be sent to my bedchamber! I used all the space for dungeons making my bedroom larger than most football stadiums anyway!
    (They can play hide-and-seek there, and maybe find my best robe; it’s been missing for MONTHS).
  26. I will never build anything important! Hieronymus Machines are MUCH more reliable than actual mechanisms! And they frustrate those scientific hero types no end!
  27. My pet monsters shall be kept under the bed and in the closet, so that they can leap out and cuddle people! No hero would ever harm a giant friendly fuzzy thing that wants to be petted no matter how encumbering it is to be snuggled!
  28. I shall dress in nothing much, since I am a pony! But I will have roses to carry in my teeth and snack on occasionally!
  29. All incompetent conjurers, bumbling squires, useless minstrels, and cowardly sleight-of-hoof artists in my realm will be recruited for the circus! They are a precious resource of entertainment and need jobs!
  30. All foolish, young, big-chested, tavern girls in my realm will be required to attend sex education classes with all the other kids and will get free health care, including contraceptives, just like everybody else!
  31. Any messengers who bring me bad news will face heated sarcasm which they will have to take back to the people who sent me such bad news in the first place instead of doing their jobs and FIXING THE PROBLEM! They will also get a good tip and a cell phone so that the news won’t have to wait while they come in person next time!
  32. I won’t require high-ranking mares in my organization to wear anything at all! Ponies usually don’t! But if they want to, that’s their business! I’m not commenting on ANY females clothing unless invited, and even then only in the vaguest of positive terms!
  33. I will turn SOMETHING or other into a snake! I’m sure it will help somehow! Perhaps with finding all the heroes who have gotten lost in the ventilation ducts…
  34. I am not a goat. I will not grow a Goatee. Save it for Grogar.
  35. My prison will have plenty of team-building, job-training, and morale building exercises! There’s no point in locking people up if they’re not going to be better people when they get out!
  36. If my trusted lieutenant tells me that my Legions are losing to the heroes, I will immediately rebrand them as a delaying tactic and announce that everything is going just as I planned it!
  37. If an enemy has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere I will find them and give them front-row tickets for any confrontation! And for the mecha battle that comes next! Kids love that sort of thing!
  38. I will not ride into battle no matter who says that I must! It would be WEIRD!
  39. I will be chivalrous, sporting, and obnoxious! If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I shall dismantle it carefully! After all, if it is unstoppable than I would eventually be one of its victims because once started it WILL NOT STOP!
  40. Once my power is secure it will be very boring, so I shall build time travel devices to go back and compete with myself for dominion! After all, if I won already, I must be the best opponent around!
  41. When I capture a hero, I will also ensure that I capture whatever cute animals or child sidekicks capable of opening doors, stealing keys, and cutting or chewing ropes, happen to be following him around! They are cute and cuddly and help attract the mares!
  42. When I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans I will immediately let her participate in my plans for a really fun evening!
  43. I will cheerfully employ bounty hunters who work for the fun of it. Why should I care if they’re mostly ineffectual when I’m not actually wasting resources on them anyway?
  44. I will not bother keeping track of who is responsible for things in my organization. I change my mind all the time anyway.
  45. If somebody says “What can one man do?” I shall say “Pretty much anything a million men can do; it will just take longer! Go back to advisor school!”
  46. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I shall wait until he grows up a bit and offer him a good job with better pay and health insurance. Youthful idealism wears thin pretty fast!
  47. Any beast that’s working for me is getting paid accordingly, just like the rest of the staff! And it will just have to put up with me when I have a bad day, just like everyone else! Being an Overlord does come with SOME privileges after all!
  48. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact that can destroy me, I shall promptly commission another counter-artifact, just like I did for the last fifty such artifacts!
  49. My main computers will run on Windows. If they run on anything else they might as well be bricks; even I will never be able to hire enough staff who can properly use the things to get anything done!

Eclipse – Sample Races, Templates, and Characters Update

Here, at last, is an updated index to all the Eclipse-Style Races, Templates, Power Packages, and Sample Characters on the blog.I’m going to sticky this and try to keep it reasonably current from now on.

If you’re building a character, the usual sequence will be Race – Template (if any) – Basic Build, so that’s how this is organized. If you’re looking for “how-to” information, next up is the level-by-level class breakdowns and the general power-package information and examples. After that, for inspiration, swiping power packages from, and use in other games, comes the sample higher-level characters.

Character Creation and System Primer

Sample Races:

Sample Templates:

Eclipse Pathfinder:

Eclipse handles Pathfinder just fine – so here are Eclipse breakdowns for Pathfinder –Basics and Races and the class breakdowns for the  Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, FighterMonk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer and Summoner. The sample characters are pretty much all compatible with Pathfinder; if they don’t already have the Pathfinder Package Deal from Basics and Races simply add +2 to an attribute and +3 to their skills.

Sample Level One Character Builds:

Level-by-Level Class Breakdowns:

General Build Information and Power Packages:

Sample High-Level Characters:

. . Note that these characters were generally built for particular campaigns, and so are sometimes built using campaign-specific variants – usually a price break on especially-relevant abilities. These are covered in the Campaign Sheets for the relevant campaigns – Federation-Apocalypse Campaign, Ironwinds Campaign, Atheria Campaign, Twilight Isles Campaign, and Darkweird Campaign.

Level Two Sample Characters:

Level Three Sample Characters:

Level Four Sample Characters:

Level Five Sample Characters:

Level Six Sample Characters:

Level Seven Sample Characters:

Level Eight Sample Characters:

Higher Level Sample Characters:

Level Ten and Twenty Breakdowns:

Alzrius has also put up quite a few Eclipse characters on his Intelligence Check blog – including quite a few interpretations of popular characters from a variety of sources. Pretty much all of them are written up for Pathfinder, and usually use the Pathfinder Package Deal.

  • Rinoa, from Final Fantasy via Dead Fantasy, a powerful 15’th level spellcaster – along with the Hyne Witch template and a discussion of many of the other characters.
  • Pyrrha Nikos, a 7th-level Huntress-in-training, along with statistics for Vytal Humans, three Martial Arts, and some world background and discussion.
  • Sharalia, a Level One Fire Dancer – a character who controls flame through dance.
  • A 20’th level breakdown for an Antimage –  a “class” that specializes in negating the powers of dangerous spellcasters.
  • The Maedar – a racial template breakdown for a male medusa.
  • Sailor Saturn – a fragile young woman from the Sailor Moon anime with some exceptionally over-the-top powers.
  • Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, written up at the peak of his powers – along with the Netherrealm Ghost template and three Martial Arts.
  • Sam Winchester, a level three paranormal investigator from the Supernatural television series.
  • Varek, a Level Six Cleric with some support abilities.
  • Abraham Lincoln, Level Twelve Civil Warrior of the United States of America – with a touch of Vampire Hunter and including his Martial Art.
  • Agent Spin – a Second Level Elite Beat Agent who gets sent… to encourage people in trouble.
  • Gargamel, a First Level Incompetent Ritualist and Bumbler – perhaps fortunately, without statistics for Smurfs.
  • Spinnerette, a Level Five Spider-Style Superheroine/
  • Malecite, a Level Ten Villainous Mage from Suburban Knights, along with Malecite’s Hand, a vastly powerful relic and various new spells.
  • Dirk Markson, a Level One Dark Witch – and possible hero.
  • Barney Stinson (Scroll Down), a Level One Sitcom Inhabitant – from How I Met Your Mother.

Alzrius’s Eclipse d20 Ponies:

Alzrius built his ponies so as to fit into “standard” d20 games – whereas I used the “Superheroic” world template because it would allow my builds to reproduce the things that the ponies did on the show. Of course, that means that my builds will only work well in games based on the assumptions of Equestria; they won’t do so well in basic games. For those, courtesy of Alzrius, we have…

  • The Pony Races:  Earth Ponies, Pegasi, and Unicorns.
  • The Elements of Harmony:  Built as Eclipse Relics.
  • Rarity:  Starting off the series at level one! Commentary: Using the Elements of Harmony to cover the characters occasional incredible stunts.
  • Princess Celestia: As she generally appears on the show – as a ninth-level mentor-type who explains why she can’t handle things.
  • Adagio of the Sirens: Unreformed, still at large, and needing only an enchanted gem to make a comeback.
  • Lex Legis (And his Picture): Alzrius’s original character – and a very “gray” potential opponent.
  • Notes on Zecora: A discussion of just how much power – or lack thereof – is needed to build Zecora. Comments: My take on Zebras.
  • The Journal of the Two Sisters – and lapses in logic therein. Comments: Unicorn populations and birthrates, basic demographics – and why the “Unicorns losing their magic” story makes no sense in any terms.
  • Iliana, the Ponyfinder Queen: An examination of how to use Eclipse to customize – and slightly upgrade – a Ponyfinder queen to fit her history.
  • Lashtada, Ponyfinder Goddess:  As set up using The Primal Order for second edition.
  • Sonata Dusk: As appearing in his Fanfiction.
  • A Magical Medieval Society: Equestria: Building equestrian society using “A Magical Medieval Society”.
  • Baby Got Backlash: Flurry Heart and Magical Surges
  • Tempest Shadow: The movie antagonist escapes into d20, rather than remaining to face the friendship

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.

Eclipse and Four Color Heroics

The question this time is basically how some Eclipse-style superhero builds match up to Mutants and Masterminds third edition builds – with specific reference to the original “New Mutants” and their writeups over at the “Atomic Think Tank”.

Well, why not? I haven’t built very many superheroes, so this is a perfectly reasonable topic to get back to posting with.

So what do you need to buy to be a four-color superhero?

First up… the Superheroic World Template obviously applies. That’s pretty simple; it gives each character (Con Mod) points of Mana to spend each round. You generally can’t augment this, but the GM may well let you use another attribute without even taking Finesse. It only defaults to Constitution because Superheroes are almost invariably healthy types who push through terrible conditions and massive injuries, recover quickly and completely, and hardly ever get sick. Ergo, a high Constitution is encouraged – but if you must play a frail psychic or studious elderly wizard or something, swapping to Wisdom or Intelligence is pretty reasonable.

The obvious way to use that power is to make normally limited-use abilities unlimited. Go ahead. Use Berserker to keep your strength jacked up to superhuman levels all the time, or turn Grant of Aid into and endless font of regeneration, or exercise endless telekinetic control over the earth, or whatever. Really, that’s quite enough to make you a street-level superhero.

But if you want to be a true four-color superhero you’ll need a few extra ways to use that power.

Superheroic Physics (6 CP):

In some settings, characters with mighty superhuman powers have to deal with “consequences”. They have to worrry about what gets hit when they miss with an attack, the fact that buildings do not have the structural integrity to be picked up, and that trying to punch through three feet of steel will simply drive you backwards and (probably) massively damage whatever you’re standing on because it will be hit just as hard. People in such street-level superhero universes have to deal with those pesky conservation laws, leverage, and all the other factors that real people have to deal with. Superman may be strong, but no amount of strength will actually let you move planets, or lift mountain ranges, instead of going through them.

In “four-color” superhero settings – the default type for Mutants and Masterminds, Champions / Hero System, and many other games – reality need not apply. Superman is simply altering reality to go along with his heroic narrative. To do that, we want to buy an:

  • Mana / Additional Form of Natural Magic (Reality Editing), Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect / only to support the user’s heroic narrative and let the user’s abilities function without normal scaling restrictions (6 CP).

And there you go. Go ahead and lift that building and smack someone with it without having it fall apart. Catch someone who’s falling without killing them with the impact with you. Run down the stairs faster than someone can fall. Fly at incredible speeds without smashing the city around you with sonic booms. This won’t really help when you’re up against another superhuman though. When both characters are using this effect it just goes back to comparing the underlying abilities – but it will allow (for a very dramatic example) Binary to punch Rogue into orbit without serious harm to either character OR destroying the area, just as it will then allow Rogue to return from the vicinity of the moon and locate her destination in mere seconds. It means that long-range travel operates at the speed of plot rather than according to actual time and distance – with the only important measurements being however the game master chooses to distinguish between “way too late”, “just too late”, “just in time”, and “way early”.

As a side-benefit, this also means that you can and will function normally – without smashing up the scenery, punching too hard and obliterating minor street gang members, or killing your sexual partners – whenever over-the-top super-abilities do not fit your narrative.

Any character headed into a four-color superhero setting should gain this ability for free as a world law, just as they normally no longer need to worry about having limited power sources – but it’s cheap enough to buy.

Superheroic Durability (6 CP):

Superheroes are very often stunned, knocked out, or injured by their opponents attacks.

Wait. Lets just think about that for a moment. Quite a lot of superheroes are fairly normal people under their battle armor, or force field, or whatever – a lot like a normal soldier sitting in a tank. But looking at attacks on tanks… the vast majority of the time attacks either fail to get through (and leave the crew rattled but basically unscathed) or they wreck the tank and leave the crew dead. When one percent of a weapons impact is more than enough to kill someone you only get injured targets on a hit if something has used up more than 99% of the weapons total energy but still less than 99.99% or so (whatever it takes to get it down below the threshold of serious injury).

That’s a VERY narrow zone. Yet comic book characters with wildly varying defenses engage in quite a lot of combat against wildly varying opponents with all kinds of weapons, and take a fair number of hits, and yet they generally have long survival times.

3.5 and Eclipse handle this by making hit points utterly abstract and damage non-linear. A hit from a Colossal Mace should – by virtue of basic physics – be capable of doing hundreds of thousands of times as much damage as a hit from a 1d8 Medium Mace, yet according to the d20 rules it only does 6d6. That’s as if dropping a can of soup on your foot five times in a row was equivalent to being caught between a high speed loaded truck and a rockface.

Want to consider a nuke? Well, d20 Future tells us that a one-megaton nuke (one of the few weapons on the list that’s actually real and comparable) does 16d8 damage – an average of 72 points. My scaling calculations (from hand-held explosives, but the same article again) tell me that a one-megaton blast would cause either 20 or 21 d6 damage (averaging 70 and 73.5 respectively, or 71.75 together). Alternatively, we can also just go by the standard charts for explosives and weapon sizes – which tell us that a Tiny explosion causing 3d6 damage can be scaled up to a Colossal explosion causing 18d8 damage. That’s remarkably consistent really. As for what it shows us…

  • In d20 each +1 multiplier to your hit point damage represents ten times as much actual physical damage. How does that work? It’s because inflicting injury in d20 is more about convincing your target that they SHOULD be hurt than it is about actual forces that cause physical injury. Because RPG’s are “Let’s Pretend” with rules – and the hit point rules are aimed at convincing the player that their character “should be dead”. There are plenty of mid-level d20 fighter types who can take a nuke to the face without so much as flinching – and can still be wiped out by twenty to thirty blows from a club. Bombs? A bright flash, a loud noise, and a bit of an impact? Why would they believe that something that is over so fast can really hurt them? But a club now… a club is CONVINCING. EVERYONE knows that a club hurts! You learned that as a little kid!

No, that doesn’t make much of any sense from a “realistic” prospective. Because, you know, MAGIC.

Fortunately, this system works just fine for superheroes – but it’s worth noting that Superheroes are knocked out a lot more often than they’re seriously hurt or killed and take even more hits than a low-level 3.5 character can. In the comics… this is usually a version of professional courtesy. “If you restrain yourselves, so will we – because we WILL lose sometimes, and we’d rather get to survive doing so”.

When superheroes do take a serious wound it tends to be quite dramatic though. Ergo, we’ll want to buy…

  • Superhuman Resilience: DR 3/- (affecting both physical and energy damage), Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (9/-) / only to reduce lethal damage to nonlethal damage, bypassed by critical hits (6 CP).

That basically amounts to “I can take twenty times as much damage as a normal person without serious harm, but can be knocked out without incredible difficulty.

Superheroic Build (A.K.A. “The Most Common Power”) (3 CP):

Ever noticed that almost all the major characters in comics look really good? Is that a standard secondary power that comes with everything?

Not really. Standard “superheroic good looks” are a consequence of the medium. Humans tend to see clearly defined and highly symmetrical features, clear skin, an average-to-slim build, and somewhat “generic” features, as indicators for good health and good genes – in other words, an attractive/handsome/beautiful potential mate. There are a lot of nonvisual cues too, but comics are primarily a visual medium.

All of those features turn up in comics simply because comics start off as long sequences of line drawings. That means that making the main characters easier to draw is quite important. Clearly defined features? Line drawing. Highly symmetrical? Far easier to draw in a variety of poses and from various angles. Clear skin? Who wants to waste time and effort drawing skin blemishes? Average build? Easy to draw and lots of sample shots to look at. Somewhat generic features? Helps avoid any accusations of drawing stereotypes AND makes it easy for the audience to accept and identify with the characters. Result: standardized generic good looks. Buy this as…

  • Minor Privilege: Cultivated Appearance. Regardless of their actual Charisma, this character gets to describe themselves as good looking, horrifying, or utterly ordinary as they prefer (3 CP). Yes, pretty much ANY super can get groupies.

Rapid Recovery (3 CP):

Real people break bones, lose blood, and can take a vary long time indeed to recover from very small amounts of damage. Supers, however, recover quickly, rarely suffer lingering effects from their injuries, and wake up again on a moments notice. That’s…

  • Grant of Aid, Specialized/requires at least one minute to activate (3 CP).

That’s not a LOT of recovery – but it’s fairly broad spectrum, will suffice to automatically stabilize a dying character, and will start at the player’s call – so it will wake the character up if he or she is unconscious or something.

Minor Conventions (6 CP):

Given that everyone needs to be readily identifiable, and that drawing costume changes and/or damage complicates things, comic book characters tend to wear their colorful, easily-identifiable, negative stealth modifier, and wholly impractical costumes everywhere (or at least change into them impractically fast). For the same reason they’re virtually never damaged too badly and are good enough for broiling deserts and arctic conditions – although, to be fair, most superheroes seem to shrug off petty inconveniences like “estimated survival time of twenty minutes” anyway.

  • Innate Enchantment, all powers Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP Unlimited-Use Use-Activated. Specialized for Increased Effect (counts as extraordinary abilities, not magic) /
    • Ready for Inspection: Prestidigitation, Only to keep the user clean and neat and help perform quick costume changes (Note that characters with minor signature traits – always chewing on a cigar, having a few jelly babies in a pocket, etc, may count a couple of those as a part of their “costume”) x.5 = 500 GP.
    • Comics Code: Mending, Only to keep the “necessary” bits of the user’s costume in good repair. Thus, men can lose their shirts, but never their pants – unless it’s THAT sort of comic of course. X.25 = 250 GP.
    • It’s Sufficient: Endure Elements , Personal Only (x.7), 2/Day Only (x.4) = 560 GP. Whatever the costume looks like, it’s perfectly comfortable and adequate for all normal earthly climactic conditions.
    • Heroic Will: Protection From Evil, Personal Only (x.7), 3/Day Only (x.6), Only when the GM feels that the user is being compelled to do something against their personal code or otherwise is likely to summon a mighty surge of will to throw off possession/mind control/etc (x.25) = 210 GP.
    • Heroic Rally: Remove Fear, 2/Day Only (x.4), user must make an adequate inspiring speech (x.6) = 480 GP.
    • Coincidental Catch: Feather Fall, 2/Day Only (x.4), activates automatically (x1.5), but only works 50% of the time (x.4) = 480 GP. When a hero falls off a roof or gets dropped, there is a substantial chance that SOMETHING will happen to break his or her fall.
    • Heroic Health: Relieve Illness (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list) 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP. Relieve Poison (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list) 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP, Lesser Restoration 1/Day (x.2), Personal Only (x.7) = 280 GP. Fast Healing I (from The Practical Enchanter, for 18 rounds, 2/Day (x.4), Personal Only (x.7)) = 560 GP.

This leaves 2100 GP value open – enough for a trio of personal-only cantrips, an as-needed first level spell (even if perpetual healing is banned). Can you evaluate an area at a glance (L1, Sift), perform impressive card tricks (very limited Prestidigitation, L0), be perpetually optimistic (Good Hope, L1), never run out of bullets (Abundant Ammunition, L1), disguise yourself quickly (Disguise, L1), act extremely innocent (Innocence, L1), perform ventriloquism (ventriloquism, L1), look young despite your advanced age (Youthful Appearance, L1), smell poison (Detect Poison, L0), always know True North (Know Direction, L0), have small bonuses on a few skills (Skill Mastery spell template from The Practical Enchanter), always Stabilize when dying? (Stabilize, L0), hold your breath for a long time (Air Bubble, L1), have a knack with animals (Calm or Charm Animal, both L1), ignore movement penalties for difficult terrain (Feather Step, L1), jump well (Jump, L1), have exceptional senses (Keen Senses, L1), leave no tracks (Pass Without Trace, L1), communicate with animals (Speak With Animals, L1), or just swim really well (Touch of the Sea, L1)? Well, here’s a way to add it to your list of attributes as a minor quirk, mostly unrelated to being a super. You don’t have to limit yourself to what’s listed; if you want to always have a pocketful of smoke pellets… well, “produce puff of smoke” is probably a L0 effect.

That’s 24 CP – half of what a first level character gets as a base. And while it doesn’t provide any major powers as of yet… it’s not a bad start. Next up; building a few mutants.

Champions – Professor Moriarty

Creator of Americas Unlimited, Engineer of a dozen freeware secure peer-to-peer encrypted communications networks, Enabler of Social Protest, Father of Spam, Inventor of the Pop-Up Ad, Patron of LOLCats, Financier of TVTropes, Designer of Denial Of Service Attacks, Data Harvester, Hacker Extraordinaire, Trans-humanist…

The charge was Computer Hacking. Many people thought that it should have been an awards ceremony instead. Others felt that the charge should have been Crimes Against Humanity.

But when they came to take him to trial, Professor Moriarty was dead in his cell – smoke rising from where some sort of implant in his skull had turned itself into a piece of slag.

Despite the ever-multiplying rumors of murder, and coverups, and thefts of the Professor’s secret technologies… the death was ruled a suicide, and most of Moriarty’s secrets apparently died with him.

But within the digital seas, Professor Moriarty’s uploaded consciousness swam, riding the datastreams around the world.

Special orders were placed. Backups were created. Automated systems hummed to life – and soon enough the Professor had a new “body” – and opened his now-digital eyes upon the physical world once again.

Professor Moriarty’s Digital Wizardry is no stronger than it ever was – but now he can make all of it work in the physical world and he possesses the flashing speed of a computer to back his skills. His spells may be weak, but he can unleash five of them every phase – and can take an extra phase to cast defensive spells up to twice a turn whenever he needs it. If some massive attack is coming in… well, five layered Force Walls can often take a lot of the sting out of it. Personally, he’s hard to hit anyway, since a lot of attacks will go right through his holographic “body” (if the +6 DCV for “shrinking” would cause them to miss) without causing him any trouble at all.

Professor Moriarty is seriously stretching the rules in a number of places. As far as the setting goes, his Digital Wizardry might fall under “technology” – but it might be necessary to consider him a “priest” of a rather strange Titan. Similarly, he’s really pushing the limits of what fits into an Equipment Allowance; those are supposed to be for more-or-less “normal” equipment – and his Holoemitter is pretty obviously not very conventional. Duplication is not supposed to be set up to completely cover it’s own cost,  allowing an endless stream of duplicates. Finally, of course, putting “autofire” on a multipower so as to use a bunch of extra effects each phase – and buying triggered extra phases to use with it – is a pretty weird build.

On the other hand, his spells are fairly weak and ARE explainable. The setting – where even stone knives are partially products of magic, gadgets quit working in the hands of people who haven’t got a large enough “equipment pool” to empower them, and major weapons and systems are limited by their operators abilities – hasn’t really got a good definition of what “normal” equipment is. He’s only using the “duplication” to build the classic computer-character “if you don’t get all my backups, I’ll be back!” ability – which is not only very classic (just ask Ultron/Mechannon) but is also fairly useless since comic book characters rarely die or stay dead anyway. The triggered actions is to build another classic comic wizard bit – throwing up a shield before the big attack hits, even if it was by surprise (writers let them do this because otherwise comic book magicians tend to be normal humans – so if a big surprise attack actually hits, they’ll be a smear on the wall and the story will be over) – and if it’s good enough for Dr Strange, Dr Fate, and Zatana, it’s good enough for Moriarty. Finally, the autofire multipower… The effect makes sense, but the only other way I can think to build it is to buy an enormous boost to speed (well above what the game allows) and throw all kinds of limitations on it – creating a convoluted mess.

Overall, I think he’d be fun – which is, of course, the entire point of playing, and so what’s really important.

 

Professor Moriarty

Value Characteristic Points
13 STR 3
18 DEX 24
13/25 CON 6
10 BODY 0
18 INT 8
14 EGO 8
15 PRE 5
13 COM 1
3 PD 0
5 ED 0
4 SPD 12
8 REC 0
16 END -17
30 STUN 0
Total 50

 

Points Powers END
0 Afrikans Racial Package
(20) Physical Limitation: Elemental Powers Only. Afrikans can create and maintain advanced “conventional” technologies (which do indeed require a bit of magic to keep working in the face of supernatural resistance) and can manipulate the various elements, the states of matter, and the elemental forces of life and death (Frequently, Fully)
20 Normal Characteristic Maxima
(20) Psychological Limitation: Pyramidal Psychology. Afrikans form large organizations easily, but have difficulties handling internal feedback within those organizations and with understanding systems involving it. Dominant leaders thus tend to hear only what they want to – and so less-dominant subgroups resort to factional infighting to advance their ideas. Groups of Afrikans have been known to obey obviously stupid orders simply because they came from the top – and may select very poor leaders and then follow them blindly. (Very Common, Strong)
(15) +3 level w/Ranged Combat
(15) 30-Point Equipment Allowance; An equipment allowance is spent on more-or-less conventional gear; each point invested in the equipment allowance allows the purchase of two points worth of equipment, bases, or vehicles – up to a normal maximum of 15 points invested. Beyond that, you can use an Aid effect to boost your equipment allowance and Afrikans characters get a racial boost.

Atlantean characters with an equipment allowance normally have at least half of it invested in weird magical stuff, but the effects are much the same.

Titans and Demi-titans normally cannot buy an equipment allowance. Not being material beings to start with, they have problems with material gadgets.

101 Digital Wizardry
(13) Multipower (30-pt reserve); Variable Limitations: -½, -¼; Requires Skill Roll: -½; Side Effects (Usually a 3d6 Stun Drain, but all sorts of weird things can happen.): 30/Half, -½
u-1 1d6 TVTropes / Transform Air to Steel (Major, Limited Class); Range: 130; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 2d6 Dazzling Graphics / Energy Blast; Range: 150; Versus: ED; No Normal Defense (Flash Defense 6+, Blindness): +1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½ 0
u-1 2d6 Pop-Up Ad / Flash (Normal Sight); Range: 150; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Firewall / Force Wall (2 PD/2 ED); Range: 150; Width: 6″, +0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Variable Special Effects (PD, ED, MD, PD, FD): Certain Group, +¼; Uncontrolled: +½; Hardened: ×3, ¾ 0
u-1 3d6 Restore Function / Standard Healing; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 2d6 Lolcats / Entangle (DEF 2); Range: 150; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Antivirus / Force Field (6 PD/6 ED); Usable By Others: Power Lost, +¼; Hardened: ×1, ¼; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-1 Computer Graphics / Images versus Sight (Normal Sight, 1″ radius); Range: 150; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-1 Denial Of Service / Superleap (+5″, versus clinging, not being mobile); Non-Combat Multiplier: ×4, +5; Non-Combat (MPH): 30; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 10″ IP Masking / Teleportation (Long Range 10″); Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Virtual Reality / Images versus Physical Sensations (Detect, 1″ radius); Range: 150; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-1 Images: The Primary Target (Mental Awareness, 1″ radius); Range: 150; Observer PER Penalty: 0, +0; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½ 0
u-1 IP Tunneling (3″ through DEF 3); Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Tunnels: Left Behind, +0

This makes instant pits. Sadly, it only works where the ground is reasonably soft.

0
u-1 1d6 Echo Chamber / Transform: Air to Whipped Cream (Minor, Single Object); Range: 150; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Area Effect (Radius): 4″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×4, +½ 0
u-1 ½d6 Script Kiddie / Transfer: Body to End Battery (Returns 5/turn, Maximum: 3); Range: 150; Affects: Single Power, +0; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Ranged: +½; Penetrating: +½; Armor Piercing: 1, +½
u-1 1d6 Wyrm / Transform (Modify Behaviors / Programming, Minor, Limited Class); Range: 110; Cumulative: +½; Active Points: 22; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 0
u-1 Virtual Machine / Need Not Breathe; Area Effect (One-hex): 1 hex(es), +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½; Ranged: +½
u-1 Bot Flood / Darkness (Normal Sight, 1″ radius); Range: 150; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Uncontrolled: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½

This can effectively put a sphere of darkness around someone’s head and eyes.

0
u-1 2d6 Encryption / Suppress Language; Range: 150; Affect: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Reduced END: Zero, +½; Uncontrolled: +½; Invisible (To Hearing and Sight): Two Sense Groups, +¾

Yes, this changes it so that everything the target tries to say or write is gibberish, but at the same time fixes it so that no one can see or hear this. They will say apparently-reasonable things, but those things will have nothing to do with what they intended to say. Don’t think about that too hard.

0
u-1 2d6 Spam / Ego Attack; Reduced END: Zero, +½

Only Moriarty can defeat his foes with ads for cheap viagra, penis enlargement, and Nigerean Princes…

0
u-1 2d6 CPU Hog / Aid to All Physical Attributes (Fade/turn, Max. 12); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2 3
u-1 2d6 Ebay / Aid to Equipment Allowance (+36 net Points) (Fade/day, Max. 18); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power, +0; Charges: +16, +0 0
u-1 Computer Programming; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
u-1 Demolitions; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 17-
u-1 Google Maps / Combat Driving; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½

It is really annoying to have Moriarty take control of your vehicle during a high-speed chase.

19-
u-1 Autopilot / Combat Piloting; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
u-1 Cryptography; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
u-1 Electronics; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 17-
u-1 Forgery (Digital); Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½

Want to swamp Youtube with forged videos of your enemy doing something reprehensible? Here’s how!

17-
u-1 Gambling (Online); Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½

The “Good” Professor is quite capable of bringing internet gambling directly to you! Complete with the horrendous house odds and ability to charge your credit card directly.

17-
u-1 Professional Skill: Internet Research; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 24-
u-1 Security Systems; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
u-1 Systems Operation; Ranged: +½; Reduced END: Zero, +½ 19-
(10) Autofire on Multipower; Variable Limitations: -½, -¼; Requires Skill Roll: -½; Side Effects: 30/Half, -½
(8) +2 Computer Reflexes / SPD; Trigger (Only to respond to an attack): Set, +¼; Generic Limitation (Only to use Multipower): -1; Generic Limitation (Only for defensive applications): -1

Twice per turn, Moriarty can interrupt an incoming attack to cast five defensive spells – most often Force Walls, but sometimes life support, or force fields which will persist for a while to boost him and his allies, will be a better choice.

(12) +8 level w/Multipower Attacks; Generic Limitation (Only to allow each multipower use in an autofire burst to be rolled independently, without penalty.): -1
(7) Duplication: Reloading From Backup (1 180-point forms); Generic Limitation (Only one duplicate actually exists at a time): -4; Extra Time: 1 week, -4; No Conscious Control: -2
(5) Mind Link (The Internet); Minds: One Specific Mind, +5; Number of Minds: 1, +0; Distance: Single Planet, +0; Dimension: Current, +0; Link with: Anyone, +0
(13) Digital Wizardry (Control Skill). In general, each slot requires a check at -3 – although his focusing crystal generally makes up for that. 18-
101 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
10 +2 level w/Multipower
10 Money (Wealthy)
6 +2 level w/Flight
3 Conversation 12-
29 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
6 Elemental Control: Holoemittter (12-pt reserve); Always On: -½; Focus: Inobvious Accessible, -½

The Emitter is usually concealed within Moriarty’s “body”.

a-25 Shrinking-3 (DCV +6, Height 19¼ cm/8″) 0; Mass: 0.1210938 kg/0.27 lbs; Knockback Increase: 9; PER Bonus: -6; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +1; Invisible (Sight): One Sense Group, +½; Generic Limitation (Does not modify perception checks).

The holoemitter is fairly small. The quasi-physical “body” it creates is not. This leads to many apparent hits on him going right through with no effect.

b-6 Buy off “No Physical Body” Limitation
c-6 Armor (8 PD/8 ED). It’s a tough little gadget.
d-12 12″ Flight (NC: 24″) 0; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 36; Reduced END: Zero, +½
e-6 +12 CON
5 +3 level w/Focusing Crystal: Digital Wizardry; Focus: Inobvious Inaccessible, -¼
66 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
25 Phys. Lim. No Physical Body (All the Time, Fully)
10 Public Identity
10 Reputation (11-)
15 Distinctive Features: Hologram Traits; Concealability: Not Concealable, 15; Reaction: Noticed and Recognizable, +0
15 Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
10 Prankster (Common, Moderate)
85 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
50 + 130 = 180 185 = 85 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
6 6 / 12 5 0 11/8 13/8 3, 6, 9, 12

Original Attributes: Height: 154 cm (5’1″), Weight: 62 kg (136 lbs), Sex: Male, Age: 42, Race: Afrikans

All right; Professor Moriarty here wasn’t at all what I was intending to post – but for some reason I just couldn’t get him out of my head until I put him online. Maybe he’s a bit more “real” than I originally intended…