Saturday, 18 May 2019

Heroes Unlimited: Phenomenal Paragons: Belladonna (Immortal)

Her crimes too terrible and endowing to list she was stripped of her name, her portfolio and most of her power. Cast beyond the realms known and unknown she found herself washed up upon some lost world beyond the annals of her kind. A world called Earth. Now if she is to reclaim what was seized from her she must make a new name for herself among these prattling mortals. Bending them to her will so that they may raise new temples dedicated to her majesty.

They will call her Belladonna.


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

So this is our second immortal. As promised she is neither a ghost nor astral entity. She's far more interesting.

Step One: The Usual.

Elevens across the board.

Step Two: Hit points & S.D.C.

Still not useful.

Step Three: Super Abilities & Immortality.

We start off again with P.P.E. We start with 30, plus our eventual P.E., whatever that might be.
Next level. There's that break between heroes and villains again so I roll for alignment: 6, Miscreant. Another baddie. Villains start at level 1d6+4, 7 in our case.

1. Nature of Immortality.

Fallen Godling.
A deity deliberately punished or accidentally cast down into a permanently human, if immortal, form. They get a bunch of  random bonuses, to every attribute. In our case these resolve to:  +2 I.Q., +3 M.A., +1 M.E., +3 P.S., +1 P.P, +1 P.E., +3 P.B., +20 Hit Points, 40 base SDC, +14 P.P.E, +1 initiative, +2 pull punch, +2 roll with impact, +2 save versus magic, +3 save versus possession, +4 save versus poison & disease, +2 save versus horror. Heals 3 times faster than a mortal, strength is considered Extraordinary. They have perfect and keen, but normal, senses.

2. Super Abilities & Other Powers of Immortals.

Super Abilities and Magic: The have 1 major ability, 1 minor ability and a bunch of spells. They also get +70 P.P.E.
For their major power I decide on Divine Aura.
This literally grants the character an aura of divinity. The clue is in the name. This is the last vestige of their divine power and the tool through which they intend to reclaim what they lost.
They have an Awe/Horror Factor of 14. Awe/Horror Factor is a fear/awe effect that can prevent opponents attacking a character during the first round of an encounter because the character appears too scary, or are supernaturally beautiful, or have an air of otherworldliness. In this case it's because they have a literally aura of the divine.
They get a single loyal follower per level of experience. So in this case 7 fanatically loyal followers. They're of a minion level of quality; not bright, willful nor charismatic. if a fanatic dies they're quickly replaced. The character also gets less fanatical followers but there's no details as to how many.
They can command those around them. Once every 3 rounds or so they can issue a single simple verbal command, no more than a single sentence, and everyone who hears it will feel compelled to comply, losing an attack in the process. They must save versus psionics to resist. Their loyal followers get +1 initiative, strike, parry, dodge and an additional attack from such commands.
They can amplify their voice, varying the volume and range out to 1,600 ft. It takes no action and does not interfere with any of their other abilities or powers.
They can create the illusion of being twice as tall, increasing their awe/horror factor by +2.
Finally they get a few random bonuses to some attributes. We get +5 M.A., +5 M.E., +3 P.B., and +20 SDC.
For their minor power I decide on Physical Perfection. I discussed it a bit in the Ms Fury writeup. One of the things it does is cause the character to draw attention.
It gives us +2 M.A., +4 Spd., +7 P.B., +1 P.E., +1 P.P., +2P.S., +17 SDC, +7 Hit Points, +5% save versus coma.
I get to choose a bunch of spells. Overall I get 13.
I pick: Decipher Magic, Mystic Alarm, Armour of Ithan, Energy Bolt, Trance, Eyes of Thoth, Heal Wounds, Tongues, Animate & Control Undead, Fly As The Eagle, Heal Self, Love Charm and Havoc.
I'm aware that few to none of those mean much to anyone not familiar with the game. Some are descriptive enough to give some idea as to what they do, other less so.

Now onto a thing that is new for me; P.P.E. Channeling. It's an optional rule first published in The Rifter #21, Palladium's in-house magazine. Although I first read it Best of The Rifter, which I got as part of some charity pack from DriveThruRPG a long time ago. Usually when it comes to casting spells the caster is limited as to how quickly they can cast by the level of the spell. This can limit their utility in combat meaning a high level spellcaster is vulnerable to a couple of low level thugs with sticks. That's not a problem in most games but in some, superheroes especially, they are expected to be able to handle some street thugs by themselves. This is where P.P.E. Channelling comes in. Instead of the normal method casters can channel their P.P.E. at a set rate, based upon their level and ability, per action/attack during combat. This means that more combat able casters and more powerful, which is to say "higher level", casters can get their spells off better in a fight.

Our character can channel up to 35 P.P.E. per action, which is a lot. There's only a couple of their spells that they can't get off in one action. Which feels about right, to be honest.

3. Reasons for Being on Earth.

Seeking to reclaim their godhood.
They have no familiarity with Earth and its many cultures.

Step Four: Education & Skills.

Not being native to Earth, our character doesn't get the usual options but instead rolls on another chart. I go with Eclectic Scholar because it gives the best skills and doesn't nail to a particular path, although there are no bonuses to their skills. That said we know that they are a villain. So I select programs that will aid her in a career as a criminal.
We get 5 scholastic programs, 12 secondary skills with an additional 2 for level.
Starting with the free Basic program:
Horsemanship, replaces Pilot Automobile.
Basic Maths,
Speak Native Language, No idea what language though.
Native Literacy.
Moving on I choose the Espionage program:
Assassin Hand-to-Hand, replaces Martial Arts; they're evil after all. +4 attacks/round, +4 damage, +3 disarm, +3 initiative, +3 roll with impact, +2 strike, +3 parry, +3 dodge, +3 body flip/throw, +5 pull punch.
Detect Ambush,
Wilderness Survival,
Escape Artist,
Then I go for the Physical program and pick the big 4:
Acrobatics, Kick attack for 2d4 damage, +2 roll with impact, +1 P.S., +1 P.P., +1 P.E., +3 SDC.
Boxing, +1 attack per round, +2 parry & dodge, +1 roll with impact, +2 P.S., +10 SDC.
Gymnastics, +2 roll with impact, +2 P.S., +1 P.P., +2 P.E., +7 SDC.
Wrestling, Body block/tackle 1d4 damage, Pin 18+, Crush attack for 1d4 damage, +1 roll with impact, +2 P.S., +1 P.E., +14 SDC.
For the next two I pick the Professional Thief program:
Surveillance Systems,
Card Sharp,
Finally, at a bit of a loss I pick the Science program:
Computer Operations, I know this makes no sense but it's in the program. Maybe they understand networking so intuitively it applies to computers too.
Advanced Maths,
Chemistry, possibly "al-chemistry".
Analytical Chemistry,

For the Secondary Skills I go with:
Athletics, +1 parry/dodge, +1 roll with impact, +1 P.S., +4 Spd., +5 SDC.
Body Building, +2 P.S., +10 SDC.
Musical Instrument, not sure which one. Yet.
Running, +1 P.E., +10 Spd., +3 SDC.
W.P. Archery (Longbow), +140', +1 parry, +3 strike, Rate of Fire 6.
W.P. Staff, +3 strike, +1 strike thrown, +2 parry.
W.P. Whip, +4 strike, +1 damage, +2 entangle.
For the extra secondary skills, the first at level 3 and the second at level 6, I select:
English Language,
English Literacy. Which is not to say that the character has been on Earth since at least 3rd level, only that she's a fast learner who has picked up language since arriving. However brief that might be.

Step Five: Alignment.

Already done. Miscreant.

Step Six: Money, Equipment & Rounding Out.

They've £14,000 in trade goods, and have acquired £7,000 in currency through trade and theft.
Their wardrobe is outdated and the look like they got their clothes in a charity shop.
Their battle dress/costume comes from 5 sets of ancient armour.
Their personal weapon is a long bow that shoots lightning, without an arrow, out to 600' for 4d6 damage, and otherwise does 5d6 damage with ammunition.

I realise that I still don't know the character's gender. Being an alien deity squished into a human form they could be anything. So I grab some d6's. 1-2 is male, 3-4 in non-binary/intersex, and 5-6 is female. Rolling 4 dice as a deadlock breaker I get 1, 4, 6, and 6. She's female.

Suddenly I know the perfect theme for her.

Name: Belladonna
Super Identity: Belladonna
Level: 7, Immortal, Fallen Godling.
Height: 6', Weight: 150 lbs.
Alignment: Miscreant.
Disposition: Believes herself a goddess and behaves appropriately at all times, even when alone and scared.
I.Q. 13, M.E. 17, M.A. 21, P.S. 26, P.P. 15, P.E. 18, P.B. 32, Spd. 32.
Hit Points: 49, S.D.C.: 126, P.P.E.: 156 (35/action).

Fallen Godling: Heals 3x faster, Extraordinary Strength, perfect and keen senses.
Divine Aura.
Physical Perfection.

Spells: (P.P.E. cost)
Decipher Magic (4),
Mystic Alarm (5),
Armour of Ithan (10),
Energy Bolt (5),
Trance (10),
Eyes of Thoth (8),
Heal Wounds (10),
Tongues (12),
Animate and Control Undead (20),
Fly as the Eagle (25),
Heal Self (20),
Love Charm (40),
Havoc (50).

Natural Skills:
Charm/Impress 96%, Trust/Intimidate 65%.
Scholastic Skills:
Acrobatics (Balance 74%, Tightrope 81%, Climb Rope 84%, Back Flip 85%), Advanced Maths 80%, Analytical Chemistry 60%, Anthropology 55%, Archaeology 60%, Assassin Hand-to-Hand, Basic Maths 80%, Boxing, Card Sharp 56%, Chemistry 65%, Climbing 95% (Rappelling 85%), Computer Operations 75%, Concealment 48%, Detect Ambush 65%, Escape Artist 65%, Gymnastics (Balance 71%, Bars & Rings 81%, Climb Rope 74%, Back Flip 84%), Horsemanship 78%, Intelligence 50%, Interrogation 75%, Locksmith 60%, Native Language, Native Literacy, Palming 55%, Prowl 70%, Seduction 49%, Streetwise 48%, Surveillance Systems 65%, Wilderness Survival 65%, Wrestling.
Secondary Skills:
Art 70%, Athletics, Body Building, Dancing 65%, English Language 70%, English Literacy 40%, Musical Instrument 70%, Research 85%, Running, Singing 70%, Swimming 85%, W.P. Archery (Longbow), W.P. Staff, W.P. Whip.

Coma/Death: +11%
Harmful Drugs/Toxins (15+): +2
Horror Factor: +2
Insanity: +1
Magic (Spells 12+, Circles/Wards 13+, Ritual 16+): +4
Poison (Lethal 14+, Non-Lethal 16+): +6
Psionics (15+): +1
Possession: +3

Initiative: +4.
Attacks per Round: 2+5.
Strike: +2, +5 (Archery), +5 (Staff), +3 (Thrown Staff), +6 (Whip).
Damage: +15.
 Punch 1d4+15.
 Body Tackle/Crush 1d4+15
 Acrobatic/Gymnastic Kick 2d4+15.
 Longbow (Archery) 5d6+15.
 Cat O' Ninetails (Whip) 1d6+16.
 Bullwhip (Whip) 2d4+16.
 Bo Staff (Staff) 2d6+15.
Dodge: +6
Parry: +6, +7 (Archery), +8 (Staff).
Pull Punch: +7
Roll with Impact: +12
Disarm: +3
Entangle: +2 (Whip).
Death Blow.
Body Flip/Throw: +3
Pin/Crush: 18+

Carry Capacity: 2,600 lbs; Lifting: 5,200 lbs
Stamina: Carry Max 72 minutes, 36 minutes while running or fighting. Lifting for 18 rounds (270 seconds; 4.5 minutes)
Ground Speed: 22 mph for 18 minutes
Swimming Speed: 78 yrds (234 ft.) per round for 18 minutes.
Leaping Distance: 6.5 ft. high; 13 ft. broad. 26 ft drop.

The nature of the crimes she had committed to earn such a terrible punishment was stricken from her, as that in itself could sustain her godhood. They took from her name and portfolio, her very nature and power, before casting her beyond the voices of any surviving worshipers. Her fate was to have  her remaining essence dissolve in the raw chaos that bounds the multiversal rim. To return back to whence she came.

But evidently that did not come to pass. Perhaps one of her executioners had foolishly chosen to commute her sentence. Or, far more likely, she had taken precautions against her possible destruction. She has no way to know. Instead she found herself washed ashore upon a world unknown to her ilk. A world she soon learned was called Earth.

She awoke to find herself lying naked on a bed formed of wooden boxes of a dimly lit chill room filled with clutter. She felt tiny, barely substantial. Her form, a physical form no less, resembled that of a mortal humanoid. She found a reflective surface among the boxes and containers. Examining herself she looked... "hu-man". The knowledge percolated up from somewhere. "Fe-male". Well at least that was right. A fear she barely recognised faded from her. She examined herself further. She was attractive, no more than that. Beautiful, sexy. A strange urge to procreate with herself welled up. She pushed it down and giggled, a sound like it was raining chimes. There would be time to explore that later.

It was followed by an urge to cover herself. Her brows arched in surprise. A nudity taboo? Of all the things she didn't want. She looked around more. There were what she took to be garments hanging from racks and in papery boxes around the room. They were a little dusty but wearable. There were some other containers in the center of the room. They had formed her bed when she had awoken. She recognised them. They were hers? They opened to her touch, revealing their contents: suits of armour, precious gems and a long bow. She strung the bow and for a brief moment she was worried it would be beyond her strength but once strung it sung with lightning. Like her it was greatly diminished in power but could still be devastating. She smiled and unstrung it. Something else for later. She picked a few garments off their racks and dressed as best she could in the unfamiliar clothing. She's need a local to explain a few things, an idea that filled her with revulsion; being dependent upon another.

Once clothed in a simple dress and sandals she explored the two doorways out of the room she had woken in. The first revealed a large darkened chamber, filled with more garment racks and shelves. The far wall was mostly glazed and looked out over an area cobbled in large stone slabs. A few people moved by in the light of a setting sun. They did not see her in the shadows. She realised that she was taller than many of the women who had walked past. In the... win-dow... there was a notice adhered, the light casting the lettering as shadows upon the back of the paper. She cast a spell to translate it. "Salvation Army," she read although it was reversed, "Closing Down Sale". An army of salvation that ran an unsuccessful clothing store? The whole concept was laughable. What manner of world had she arrived upon?

Returning to the "Storeroom. Staff Only"; there had been a sign on the door as she turned, she went to the other door. It was locked. But there were keys in the lock. She realised that she knew how to manipulate such mechanisms as to unseal them. But she had no need. She unlocked the door and slipped outside. The air was wrong, foul, alien. Perhaps because of the many strange metal carriages and wagons that rolled around belching noxious fumes in their wake. It was not long before her belly began to growl. To add insult to injury, this body required sustenance!

She let her sense of smell lead her to a nearby establishment, from where came the scent of cooked food. The words "OSTERIA DEI MASCALZONI" were emblazoned above the door; "The Tavern of Rogues" her magic translated. It seemed appropriate. She entered and found herself surrounded by diners seated at tables in groups of two to four. The room went quiet. All eyes turning to regard her. She quickly cast a translation spell so that she could communicate with them. An elderly gentleman carrying a ceramic plate piled high with stringy noodles under a scarlet meat and vegetable sauce spoke first, moments before her spell was complete.
"Bella donna," he said.
"Feed me," she commanded. He smiled and passed the plate to her. Around her everyone stood, each to present their own meals to her. She grinned in response.
It was a start.

Okay. So next week is another break from characters. Time for another Versus battle I think. Try a bit of mass combat maybe? Any way tune in for:

Ms. Fury versus Belladonna!

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