Saturday, 6 July 2019

Heroes Unlimited: Phenomenal Paragons: Grave Digger

Valentina Graves was only 15 when a landslide buried her alive. Suffocating in the cold wet mud something sparked within her, latent mutant genes erupting with power. She emerged from the earth forever changed.
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Hello central casting? I asked for a mummified detective and you sent me a zombie! Hello?
This is the eleventh 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 I noticed that, other than Swift Justice, I hadn't posted any mutants. This is despite having created many. Jade doesn't technically count, being a super soldier by the rules. However most of the mutants I've created I've made as PCs.

So I thought I'd give you one. A mutant that is. Here we go.

Step One: The Usual.

There's no faffing around here. We're told to generate "attributes, Hit Points, alignment,
skills and education" before proceeding. Not a separate step for each. No hand holding. Just go do it and come back when you're done.
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So elevens across the board. 
HP equal PE+3 (for being first level).
I roll a 1 for alignment, so Principled. 
For education I use the optional education table I've been using since Aditi. I roll up 1 year college and trade school. On the sub-table I roll Investigator/Detective.

This gives us Native Literacy, Native Language, and Basic Maths. It also gives us the Police: Basic Training program, Police: Detective program, and one choice of a Basic program. Finally we get 10 secondary skills.

Police: Basic Training gives us: Athletics (+1 parry/dodge, +1 roll with impact, +1 PS, +3 Spd, +5 SDC), First Aid, Law, a choice from Pilot Automobile or Pilot Motorcycle, W.P. Shotgun, which I replace with W.P. Blunt, W.P. Pistol which I replace with Acrobatics (It's okay I gave myself permission; 2d4 kick, +15% climbing, +5% prowl, +2 roll with impact, +1 PS, +1PP, +1 PE, +3 SDC) and Hand-to-Hand Expert.

Police: Detective gives us Bureaucracy Criminal Science, Computer Operations, Photography, Research, Intelligence, Interrogation, Police Procedure, Streetwise.

I'm feel indecisive regarding the basic program. I'm tempted by the Professional Athlete package but it wastes a few skill picks. So instead I go with the Basic: Explorer program as it gives similar bonuses but is a much broader selection of skills. I'm also a bit bored of optimised combat characters and most of the skills we can get are available as secondary skills. We get Climbing, Dowsing, Land Navigation, Mountaineering (+1 PS, +1 PE, +7 SDC, +10% climbing), Prospecting, Spelunking, Swimming, Wilderness Survival.

For secondary skills I pick: Cooking, Running (+1 PE, +10 Spd, +3 SDC), Body Building (+2 PS, +10 SDC), Prowl, Concealment, Palming, SewingCompetitive Swimming (+2 dodge in water, +2 Spd, +1 PS, +1 PE, +3 SDC), Pilot Bicycle. I also use one pick to upgrade our Hand-to-Hand to Martial Arts.

Next we have a section about the age the character's mutant abilities first appeared and how they, and others around them, reacted. It's all RP fluff, and not particularly informative at that, but it does give me a breakdown of the rough age ranges where these abilities first manifest. In most cases (65%) this is between the ages of 13 an 20, with the next largest being 21 or older (25%). The smallest group are 12 or less, at only 10%. I use this data to generate a table and then roll on it. Our character is in the oldest group. I roll a d8 and add 12, for 15.

Now in my setting powers typically initially manifest one of two ways. Either through a dramatic and unexpected Eruption of power, often brought on through trauma. Or through a subtle Awakening of power. With mutants powers often bring physical changes, and even when they don't are dramatic in their expressions. Which is why there are far more Eruptions than Awakenings. Thinking through all the character's I've created for the setting I'd ballpark only around 20% have had an Awakening, and the number could be much lower. Which leaves 80% of them with Eruptions. As you can probably tell from my introductory paragraph this character is one of the latter.

Step Two: Cause of Mutation.

This step is actually a single roll on a single chart and, much to my irritation, includes an entry marked "Deliberate Experiment", which is a different character class entirely.

I pick "Aberrant Genetics" because I want to. 

I then use my favourite name generator to get the name Valentina Graves. This turns out to be prophetic.

Step Three: Mutant Characteristics.

I really wanted a gif of him going "Racism"

Or as I like to call it; "Mama's got book lungs and daddy never sleeps at night". Which would be a turn up for the books as the original chart in the main rules is as boring as toothache. Honestly the prehensile feet Jade Justice has are possibly the most exciting entry and if you are really unlucky you might have... (fake horrified gasp) ...brown skin.


Thankfully the Heroes Unlimited fandom has made at least one expanded mutation chart. Which can be seen here. It contains all the original entries and then some more. It has a central colour table with an option adjective table. So while you might still end up brown, it could be metallic brown. Sadly no book lungs. I'll be using it from here on out.

Rolling for degree of mutation we get "broad mutation" which gives us 2 random mutations and 2 cosmetic mutations.

Our first random mutation roll directs us to the Combat Mutations chart where we get Small Horns that are 2" long and give us a +2 damage to headbutts.
Our second directs us to the Animal Traits II chart where we generate Fast Metabolism. This gives us +3 PE, +1 PP, +3 Spd, a +2 save versus poisons and toxins, which are also reduced to half duration and effect. Finally the character only sleeps for 4 hours a day but needs twice as much food.

Our first cosmetic mutation is Odd Skin, specifically Mummified appearance. This gives us +20 SDC, +2 PE, +1 to any other attribute (I pick PS) and -3 PB.
Our second roll gives us Supernatural Hair, a single strand of which can support 500 lbs and cannot be cut by normal means. It is a (sickly) aquamarine colour.

Step Four: Super Powers.

I roll on the relevant chart and get 1 major power and 3 minor powers.

I roll for the major power and get Zombie Flesh. This is a weird form of invulnerability wherein the character can be injured but the injury has no effect. Shoot them and they've now got a hole through them, cut off a limb and they'll regrow it in 24 hours or just pick it up and reattach it, which takes 1d4 actions. The character is immune to physical damage, takes full damage from energy attacks, while poisons, toxins, gases and the like all do half damage/duration/effect. They regenerate 1d6 damage per round. They get +100 SDC, +50 Hit Points, +7 PS (which is superhuman), and +30% save verses Coma/Death.

For the first minor power I go for a movement power and get Super Burrowing. This lets us move 50' per round through dirt or 10' er round through rock and stone. If we want to leave a tunnel fr others we move half as fast. We can excavate 40 cubic feet per minute, although reinforcing that takes 10-20 minutes. All this with 78%+2%/level. We can trap 10 cubic feet of tunnels in 2d4 minutes with 60%+3%/level effectiveness. Finally we can sense direction underground with an accuracy of 72%+2%/level.

For the second minor power I roll up Nightstalking. This power makes the character a creature of the night, more capable once the sun goes down. It's a real grab bag of abilities. There's an intuitive time sense which permits the character to know when it's night, an ability to hide in shadows like an AD&D style thief, the ability to recognise the undead and other creatures of the night on sight, an immunity to being turned into undead, a bonus to tracking, navigation and prowling. More importantly 1000' night vision, +1 initiative, and Horror Factor 13. Finally, when it is night, they do +1d6 damage and have +50 SDC.

The third and final power I roll up is Tentacles of Hair. This is exactly what is sounds like. The character can animate their hair to form tentacles and use them as additional limbs. At first level they can form one tentacle but get additional ones as they level up. They get their second tentacle at third level. Each tentacle has PS and PP half that of the character. They also each have 30 SDC; +2 to strike, parry and disarm; +3 entangle and +4 dodge.+10% to palming and concealment as well s a 2d4 whip attack. Each tentacle can reach 40 feet. Every two tentacles grants +1 attack per round and two or more tentacles grant +20% to climbing.

But we'd previously determined that the character's hair was supernatural which means something more than just being really really strong. This means that the hair's strength can carry x300 its PS and lift x500 its PS in pounds. It's whip attack can do up to 3d6 damage and if its in a Mega Damage setting that's in Mega Damage. Likewise its 30 SDC becomes 30 MDC is that environment.

Name: DC Valentina Graves
Super Identity: Grave Digger
Team: P.R.A.T. Squad
Level: 1, Mutant.
Height: 5'4", Weight: 110 lbs, Age: 24
Alignment: Principled
Disposition: Nice, friendly, courteous and hospitable.
IQ 11, ME 11, MA 11, PS 25, PP 13, PE 20, PB 8, Spd 29
Hit Points: 73, S.D.C.: 181 (231 at night), P.P.E.: 20.

Mutant Characteristics:
Small Horns: 2" long.
Fast Metabolism: Only 4 hours sleep but requires twice as much food. Poisons, drugs and gases have only quarter their normal duration and effects.
Mummified Skin.
Supernatural Hair: A sickly aquamarine colour, a single strand of her hair can support up to 500 lbs.

Super Powers:
Nightstalking: Horror Factor 13. 1000' night vision.
Super Burrowing.
Tentacles of Hair: PS 12, PP 6. 30 SDC/MDC each. 1 tentacle. Strength is supernatural.
Zombie Flesh: Zero damage from physical attacks, half damage from energy. Effects of drugs and poisons already calculated above. Strength is superhuman.

Skills:
Natural Skills:
Digging/Tunneling/Excavation 74%, Hide in Shadows 76%, Sense Direction Underground 74%, Trap Tunnels 63%
Scholastic Skills: 
Acrobatics (Sense of Balance, High Wire, Climb Rope, Back-Flip), Athletics, Basic Maths, Bureaucracy, Climbing (Rappelling), Computer Operation, Criminal Science, Dowsing, English Language, English Literacy, First Aid, Hand-to-Hand Martial Arts, Intelligence, Interrogation, Law, Land Navigation, Mountaineering, Photography, Pilot Automobile, Police Procedure, Prospecting, Research, Spelunking, Streetwise, Swimming, W.P. Blunt, Wilderness Survival.
Secondary Skills:
Body Building, Competitive Swimming, Concealment, Cooking, Palming, Pilot: Bicycle, Prowl, Running, Sewing.

Saves:
Coma/Death: +40%
Harmful Drugs/Toxins: +5
Horror Factor: +0
Magic (Spells 12+, Circles/Wards 13+, Ritual 16+): +3
Poison (Lethal 14+, Non-Lethal 16+): +5
Psionics (15+): +0
Possession: +0

Combat:
Attacks: 2+2
Initiative: +3
Strike: +0 (+2, Hair)
Damage: +10 (+1d6 at night)
 1d4+2 Head-Butt
 1d4+10 Punch
 2d4+10 Acrobatic Kick
 3d6 Supernatural Hair Whip
Dodge: +1, (+3 water; +5 hair)
Parry: +1, (+3 hair)
Disarm: (+2 hair)
Entangle: (+3 hair)
Pull Punch: +3
Roll with Impact: +6

Benchmarks:
Carry Capacity: 5,000 lbs (3,750 lbs; hair); Lift: 7,500 lbs (6,250 lbs; hair)
Stamina: Carry for 80 minutes. Carry maximum for 40 minutes. Lift for 20 rounds.
Ground Speed: 20 mph for 20 minutes. 2.25 mph digging.
Swimming Speed: 75 yards (225 ft.) per round for 20 minutes (80 rounds).
Leaping Distance: 25 ft. high and 50 ft. broad from a running start. 15 ft. high and 30 ft. broad from a standing start.

Background:
Teenaged triathlete Valentina Graves was on a summer scholarship with the Blyghton Foundation when she was buried alive by a mudslide. The experience triggered the eruption of her mutant genes and she emerged alive but forever changed. Now resembling a horned mummified corpse she returned home to Ennor and tried to get on with her life. It wasn't too much of a shock; she'd been tested positive for mutant genetics as an infant and knew it was a possibility that trauma could cause as eruption. Choosing to live an active lifestyle had been her choice. Unable to compete any more at her chosen sport she instead decided to join the police, using her "gifts" to help people.

The press gave her the nickname of PC "Grave Digger" when she arrested a suspect after he had fled through a graveyard to evade her colleagues. Bursting out of the ground "like a zombie" to make the collar.

Having recently made detective she has been transferred into the newly formed Paranormal Resources And Tactics Squad. Bringing them up to three members.

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