Saturday, 6 April 2019

Heroes Unlimited: Phenomenal Paragons - The Haunter (The Immortal)

George Stewart is the senior custodian of the Woodward Campus of Ennor University. Which is impressive, not only because he looks like he could easily be a student. But more so because George Stuart Woodward has been dead for 359 years.

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This is the first character in my Phenomenal Paragons series. The introduction to which is here. It is inspired by Jacob Pisson's World's Strongest series, here.

The Immortal class for Heroes Unlimited is a varied one. It’s filled with angels and demons; dragons, monsters, deities and demigods. And there down at the bottom is “Astral Being or Ghostly Spirit”. It’s the only class where you can roll up Mega Hero template character without the GM giving you the option.

Mega Heroes are an optional template for some of the other classes that boost a character from the normal power level up to something closer to, say, Superman. In settings such as Rifts a Mega Hero would be a Mega Damage creature (one point of Mega Damage being equal to 100 points of regular damage), as well as the bonuses from the Mega Hero template. Normally a GM would have decided to run a mega hero game but if you’re rolling up an immortal one can just appear.

Thankfully the ghostly spirit isn’t one of them.

Step One: The Usual.

All attributes at 11 as there is nothing about the immortal that requires any special attribute
scores.

Step Two: Hit Points and S.D.C.

I’m going to echo a sentiment made by others. Putting this step here makes no goddamn sense. Hit points are based on a character’s Physical Endurance attribute. All attributes can be changed by later steps. The same goes with S.D.C. Which is defined by later steps. You literally can’t define S.D.C. yet.

S.D.C. stands for “Structural Damage Capacity”. They’re like hit points but also armour. When a character runs out of S.D.C. they start taking real damage, represented by the loss of hit points. When an inanimate object runs out if S.D.C. it breaks.

Step Three: Super Abilities and Immortality.

First we learn that because we are immortal we don’t start at 1st level with everyone else. No we start at 1d4+1 levels. So in our case level 3.
There’s a note that villains can be level 1d6+4 so I roll for alignment and get Anarchist. I decide he's not a villain.

1: Nature of Immortal.

Overwhelmed by the options, I rolled on a chart and got “Astral Being or Ghostly Spirit” as I mentioned above. We get a mortal physical form that we can manifest for 1d6 hours a day with an additional hour per level. So 6 hours for us but I give into temptation and raise it to 8 so that the character can do an 8 hour work day.
We get IQ +1, ME +1d4 (+2), Spd +1d4 (+3).
We get 3d6+PE Hit Points (which is 10+PE) and an additional +1d6 per level (+11).
Our starting S.D.C. is 4d6 (+14)+16.
We get +10% to the Prowl skill (which I shall stat up at the end).
We have +1 to save versus magic, +3 versus Possession. We’re also immune to disease, cold, poisons and drugs. We also get +3 versus Horror.

There’s a note that ghostly spirits don’t get attribute bonuses from skills and apparently powers, but that’s no fun. It makes sense that a being that is entirely astral wouldn’t have any physical attributes, But we do. So I’m going to say that these skills were learnt when the character was alive and thus do count. So Nya!

When in spirit form we are intangible to physical damage, except from magic or psionics. We also leave no footprints nor fingerprints and move silently.
On the down side we can’t use any physical attacks or super powers while in spirit form. But can use our psionic abilities. We thus get to choose between 2 minor or 1 major super power and 1d6+6 psionic powers from any list but super psionics. This gives us 9 psi powers.
I pick the major power of Inhabitation from Powers Unlimited volume 3. This unusual power allows a character to essentially possess any building or structure they’re in. They get a mental map of the building’s layout, but not contents. They can control parts of the structure, doors, windows, security cameras and the like. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they have an intuitive understanding of the structure’s condition. Making repairs easy.

For the 9 psionic powers I choose:
Bio-Regeneration (Self) from the Healing list
Ectoplasm, Telekinesis, Telekinetic Punch, Telekinetic Push, and Teleport Object from the
Physical list.
Clairvoyance, Sixth Sense, and Telepathy from the Sensitive list.
There’s no I.S.P. value listed to power those psionic abilities so I’m going to go with 1d6x10+50 base and an additional +10 per level. I didn’t pull this out of thin air; other immortals with psionic powers have this much I.S.P. too. This gives me 100 I.S.P.
The ghost doesn’t roll for any further their powers so let's skip 2 and go straight on to...

3. The Reason for Being On Earth.

This is easy; they’ve always been here. Likewise with their familiarity with Earth. Being local they can speak 5 additional languages with 90% skill.

This brings us to:

Step Four: Education & Skills.

For locals we use the regular education chart in the main rules and then modify the result depending upon the immortal’s age. This means that we need to get a feel for character’s background.
I’ll be honest with you. At this point I felt rather unhappy with the character. They felt a bit boring. So I rolled on the background tables to get a better feel for them.
They’re second born of their siblings. Their family were wealthy and based in the country. They gained their powers, which is to say that they died, in their late teens. Their weight is “husky” and their height is “tall”.
He’s a bit of a tough guy, reliant, cocky and a lone wolf.
I settled on 300 to 399 years. Rolling d100 I get 77. So he’s 377 years old.
So presuming that the campaign is set in 2019, then he was born in 1642, the start of the English Civil War. He died when he was, let’s say, 18. So 1660.
They’re an Anarchist so they didn’t exactly have a legitimate upbringing. I see his family as playing both sides of the civil war. Perhaps they were engaged in banditry, piracy, profiteering or other criminality.
I decide that after their death they had the opportunity to educate themselves and decide that they eventually had the opportunity to earn what would be the equivalent of a Ph.D. He doesn’t actually have a doctorate. But he does get the 4 scholastic skill programs with +30% and the 10 secondary skills. Being 377 years old he also gets +3 scholastic programs and +3 secondary skills.

But before I get to picking skills there’s a skill program everyone gets:
Pilot Automobile ,
Basic Maths ,
Speak Native Language ,
Read and Write Native Language .
Except for this character I’ve replaced Automobile with Horsemanship .

For the first three programs I pick Physical/Athletic, Criminal and Ancient Weapons. These represent his original skills from before he died. The next four are from his later education.
Technical, Electrical, Science and Journalism/Investigation.

For the Physical/athletic program I pick:
Acrobatics, which has a bunch of sub skills I won’t bother with right now, and gives a 2d4 damage kick attack, +2 roll with punch, +1 PS, +1PP, +1PE, and +3 S.D.C.
Boxing, which gives +1 attack per round, +2 to parry and dodge, +1 roll with punch, +2 PS and +10 S.D.C.
Wrestling, which means he can pin or immobilise a foe with a d20 roll of 18+, a crush or squeeze attack which does 1d4 damage, +1 roll with punch, +2 PS, +1 PE and +14 S.D.C.
Prowl, which with all his abilities and bonuses gives in an 85% chance at success.

Next, for the Criminal program I get:
Streetwise,
Picklocks, and a pick of three from the Rogue skill list. I go with:
Concealment,
Find Contraband & Illegal Weapons, or better yet “Blackmarket”.
Computer Hacking, yes I know I said that his skills were hundreds of years old but I’m considering this a recent addition.

For the Ancient Weapons I start with:
Paired Weapons, which is specialised unless you’re 7th level with the Martial Arts hand-to-hand style. So I pencil in “Sword and Shield” and get to pick 4 weapon proficiencies (henceforth “W.P.”). I go with:
W.P. Knife, strike +2, parry +1
W.P. Shield, parry +2, strike (with shield) +1 (1d4 damage)
W.P. Sword, strike +2
W.P. Crossbow, +60’ range, +1 parry (with crossbow), strike +1, rate of fire +4.

As I said before all of these, with the single exception of computer hacking, are from his formal education when he was alive. I gave him computer hacking as he couldn't learn it from any other package available to him. I was planning it as a secondary skill but that’s apparently not possible.

Technical gives me a pick of four from a list and I go with:
Art,
Business & Finance,
General Repair/ Maintenance,
Computer Programming.

Same with Electrical:
Electrical Engineer,
Basic Mechanics,
Computer Operations,
Computer Repair,

Science gives us:
Computer Operations, It's the first repeat so +10%.
Advanced Maths,
Chemistry, and a pick of three more. So I go for:
Anthropology,
Archaeology,
Biology.

Journalism/Investigation gives us the following:
Computer Operations, second repeat so only +5%.
Research,
Surveillance Systems, which is useful for following people as well as using CCTV and illicit bugs.
Writing (Journalism).

Secondary Skills:
Martial Arts Hand-to-hand, (+2 attacks per round, +3 roll with punch, +2 initiative, +3 pull punch, +3 parry & dodge, +2 strike & disarm, Karate style kick for 2d6 damage, Roundhouse kick for 3d6 damage, leg hook/trip, axe kick for 2d6 damage, Cresent kick for 2d4+2 damage)
Running, +1 PE, +10 Spd, +3 S.D.C.
Athletics, +1 parry and dodge, +1 roll with punch, +1 PS, +3 Spd, +7 S.D.C.
Land Navigation,
W.P. Targeting/Throwing, strike +3
First Aid,
Dancing,
Sewing,
W.P. Revolver, (Aimed +4 to strike, Burst +2 to strike, Wild +1 to strike)
Pilot Automobile,
Pilot Motorcycle.

Step Two: Hit Points and S.D.C.

Oh hello again. Yes this is where you belong.
By my reckoning our Physical Endurance (PE) is around 14 which gives us 35 hit points Our S.D.C. is 53 and our P.P.E. is 61.

Step Five: Alignment.

Already done. Anarchist.

Step Six: Equipment and Rounding Out.

Firstly we use the Mega-Hero experience chart. Okay, cool. I give the character 15,000 xp,
putting them in the middle of 3rd level and move on.

As an Earth-born immortal they get $2d6x10,000 for every 50 years of life. For some reason my brain reads that as $1d6x10,000 for every 25 years and I calculate 15d6. So our immortal has $520,000 in funds.

They have a decent wardrobe of clothing, none of it particularly flashy. Usually they’re seen in boiler suits in various states of wear and tear. They’re rarely dirty as such, and when they are it is for good reason. They also apparently have 4 sets of modern/high tech body armour which they wear under their costume; a tattered loose fitting robe they covers them from head to foot. As their alter-ego as The Haunter they look like a traditional representation of a ghost.

They have an enchanted broadsword which is both a demons slayer (3d6 damage, 1d6x10 versus demons and other forms of supernatural evil) and grants flight, up to 1 hour three times out of every 24, at upto 50mph. As per the Fly as the Eagle spell.

That’s it for character creation. Let’s see what have.:

Name: George Stuart Westward
Super Identity: The Haunter
Level 3 Immortal
Height: 1.90m (6’2”), Weight: 90kg (200lbs) when solid.
Alignment: Anarchist.
Disposition: Although he and his family have been dead for centuries he sees the university as his home; the staff and students his guests. He is protective of both people and infrastructure.
IQ 12, ME 13, MA 11, PS 15, PP 12, PE 14, PB 11, Spd 27
Hit Points 35, S.D.C. 53, P.P.E. 61 I.S.P. 100
Superpowers:
Immaterial (Ghostly Body)
Immune to all physical damage except for magic and psionics. Leave no fingerprints nor footprints but can’t use their other superpower while immaterial. Psionic powers are unaffected.
They can assume a physical “mortal” body for up to 8 hours out of every 24.
There’s no rules about how much they can carry while ghostly so I’m going with their normal limits based on PS.
Inhabitation
Complete mental map of any building they’re in, including anything that would appear on a blueprint including alarms, cameras and wall safes, but not things such as furniture. Ranges up to 300,000 sq.ft. Lasts for as long as they’re in the building but ends a minute after they’ve left. Control building features. See through CCTV, hit people with doors (for 2d6), & etc. Range up to 500 ft.
Repair buildings with a +30% to any relevant skills to repair an inhabited structure

Psionic Powers:
Bio-Regeneration (Self) (6, Healing)
Ectoplasm (varies, Physical)
Telekinesis (varies, Physical)
Telekinetic Punch (6, Physical)
Telekinetic Push (4, Physical)
Teleport Object (10, Physical)

Skills:
Acrobatics, Advanced Maths, Athletics, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Automobile, Basic Maths, Basic Mechanics, Biology, Boxing, Business & Finance, Computer Hacking, Computer Operations, Computer Programming, Computer Repair, Concealment, Cooking, Electrical Engineer, Find Contraband and Illegal Weapons, First Aid, General Repairs & Maintenance, Horsemanship, Land Navigation, Martial Arts hand-to-hand, Motorcycle, Paired Weapons: Sword and Shield, Prowl, Read & Write English, Research, Running, Sewing, Speak English, Streetwise, Surveillance Systems, W.P. Crossbow, W.P. Knife, W.P. Revolver, W.P. Shield, W.P. Sword, W.P. Targeting - Throwing, Wrestling, Writing (Journalism)
Also those five languages I haven’t decided on yet.

Saves:
Coma/Death: +0
Harmful Drugs/Toxins (15+): Immune
Horror Factor: +2
Magic (Spells 12+, Circles/Wards 13+, Ritual 16+): +1
Poison (Lethal 14+, Non-Lethal 16+): Immune
Psionics (10+): +0
Possession: +3

Combat:
Initiative: +2
Attacks per Round: 5
Strike: +2; +4 knife, +3 shield, +4 sword, +4 crossbow, +5 thrown weapon
Damage: (+2 diving or swooping)
1d4 shield bash
2d4 kick
1d4 crush/squeeze
2d6 “karate” kick
2d6 axe kick
2d4+2 crescent kick
3d6 Sword
1d6x10 Sword versus "demons" and "evil gods".
Parry: +6; +7 knife, +8 shield, +7 crossbow; +8 flying
Dodge: +6; +8 flying
Roll with Punch: +8
Pull Punch: +3
Disarm: +2
Pin/Immobilise: 18+

Benchmarks:
Carry Capacity: 150lbs; Lifting 300lbs
Stamina: Carry Max 56 minutes, 28 minutes while running or fighting. Lifting for 14 rounds (210
seconds; 3.5 minutes)
Ground Speed: 19 mph for 14 minutes.
Leaping Distance: 10ft. high, 11ft. broad.

Background:
Born in a time of war George Woodward was raised to fight. But he was also raised to cheat and steal. His family played both sides of the conflict, switching loyalties with the wind. When the dust settled they had made a tidy nest egg to add to their already extant fortunes. Unfortunately George wouldn’t live to enjoy it. A few weeks after his 18th birthday he was thrown from his horse, struck his head against a standing stone on his family's estate and died.

He found himself upon the astral plane, with only the clothes on his back and the ancestral sword “Angel’s Wing” at his side. It took him over a century to find his way back. To fight his way back against the things that dwell in the astral. He found his sword to be most effective at this task.

When he finally returned home he found that his family’s estate had become a place of learning. So, his true identity lost to time, he learned.

Over the years he informally picked up the equivalent of several degrees although never actually gaining a useful qualification. He found true love in the acquisition of knowledge and decided to focus his afterlife on it. As time passed he found it easier to manifest physically. He decided to use his powers to help his home. At first he did so unofficially but recently he become the campus’s head caretaker. He gets an apartment onsite which is located near to his hidden base in forgotten and sealed off chambers within the campus.

He feels protective of the campus and anyone who inhabits it. There have been a number of instances where he has intervened to protect students and faculty alike from attackers or disaster.

Rumours of the ghost that haunts the campus have circulated essentially forever. Some have even attached the name of George Woodward to the spirit; his tombstone is displayed in the university’s chapel. George uses people’s expectations of what a ghost looks like when he patrols the campus and dresses in a costume that looks like a stereotypical man-under-a-sheet ghost costume over modern body armour that is covered with wisps of cloth to break up their form. Only George is actually immaterial while patrolling. Thus if any pictures are taken, and there have been a number over the years, it looks like someone in a cheap ghost costume or a cheap special effect. So the Haunter has become something of an urban legend.

Join us next time when we create a... 98... Gestalt? No, no. Urm... 64... Physical Training or Minor Super Hero... Well... Okay. Physical Training it is. I have ideas for gestalt and minor heroes. But that’ll take a while and so is best saved for later. Much later. Say the next time I roll up Gestalt.

Physical Training!


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