Introduction/Character Creation

posted by Captain Hats Original SA post

Ok, I'm going to throw my hat into the party. Everyone here has heard of Palladium and RIFTS, right? Well, it's not the only game they've made.

Behold, Heroes Unlimited . It's just as uniquely off as Rifts is, but in many ways is even more amusing. I have Rifts, and may cover it at a later date, but for now let's focus on this. How do we demonstrate its... well, let's be generous and call them quirks? Let's make a character, because that's all the game lets us do! Yes, apart from some advice on how to run a game and the actual rules, all this book is is making supers. There are no lists of example enemies, no iconic superheroes whose stats have been provided for us, nothing. Just page after page of rules for making your superdude.

First off, we roll up our stats, 3d6 down the line. Off to a great start already there guys. We wind up with this, real stats followed by sane person names in brackets.

Intelligence Quotient (Intelligence): 15
Mental Endurance (Willpower): 11
Mental Affinity (Charisma): 11
Physical Strength (Strength): 12
Physical Prowess (Dexterity): 14
Physical Endurance (Toughness): 7
Physical Beauty (Beauty): 11
Speed (Speed): 9

What do these numbers mean? Well, there's a speed chart provided so we can calculate how fast we can go, and we're told to reference the strength chart to see how much we can lift (consulting the Extraordinary Strength, Superhuman Strength or Supernatural Strength tables instead if we happen to acquire one of those super abilities). Except that the page reference for the strength charts are not given, and the speed chart goes from speed 5 to speed 11, then 22, 27, 33, 44, 50... yeah. Outside of that though? Because we didn't roll a number of 16 or above, most of these stats are utterly useless and have precisely zero impact on what we can do. Oh yes, if you do roll high enough to have a 16, 17 or 18 on your initial roll, you roll another d6 and add that to the stat. If that turns up as a 6, well roll and add again chum! People complain about random stat generation in D+D, but despite the fact that stats matter more there, this smacks me as being a worse way of doing things.

On to step 2, hit points and Structural Damage Capacity. We have hit points equal to our PE plus 1d6 (so 11), and SDC is determined by our hero type. SDC represents our ability to shrug off wounds, while hit points are actual life threatening injuries. Once all our SDC goes away, then we start taking hit point damage. Armor doesn't make us harder to hit, but whenever it gets whacked it takes the hit to its own SDC pool rather than ours. When that runs out it's useless, and I have yet to find any rules on the maintaining or repair of armor.

Now we're onto the fun part of character building, step 3. Determining our Super abilities. How do we do that? With a dice roll of course! 99 means that we're an alien of one stripe or another. How do we determine what type? By rolling on another chart! 88 means that we're a humanoid ape. This gives us +1 to IQ and MA, +1d6 (2) to PS and 20 points of SDC. Our IQ is now 16, meaning we get a bonus to all our skills. However, because we didn't roll a 16 naturally for our IQ, we don't get to do the exploding dice thing.

This post is getting long enough as it is, so I'll cut it here. Next time we actually determine our super powers and fill out the rest of the character sheet. Oh wait, except there isn't one anywhere in the book so you're forced to use scratch paper. This goddamn game...


posted by Captain Hats Original SA post

Heroes Unlimited Part 2!

Last time, we found out that we're a space gorilla (And I must admit, being a space gorilla actually sounds pretty awesome) and now we have to find out what sort of planet we're from. How do we do this? You guessed it, more charts and random rolling! 93 means that we're from a world with an abrasive atmosphere, either continuous sandstorms or acid in the air. This gives us our height and weight parameters to roll (We're 10 foot tall and a lean 340 lbs if you're interested in such things), a natural armor rating of 12 (equal to a hard bulletproof vest), 3d6 x 10 added to our SDC (this brings us up to 131) and our strength is equal to the minor super ability of Extraordinary Physical Strength. Hey, a free power, not bad going.

Now that we've found out the basic traits of being a space gorilla from the planet of acidic air, we have to find out our ACTUAL super abilities which involves, you guessed it, another fucking chart. A 38 means that we possess some number of super abilities. These are inherent to our biology, so they can't be negated by the negate powers power. A nice fringe benefit I guess. We could pick what class of abilities we get, but you know what I really feel like doing at this point? Rolling on a chart! A 12 means that we get one major and three minor abilities. Do we get to pick these, fuck no, more random rolling!

Our minor abilities consist of Body Weapons, Underwater Abilities and Energy Expulsion: Electricity. Energy Expulsion is a pretty standard pew pew lightning bolt power. Body Weapons means that we can change our fingers, hands and arms into weapons whenever we like, while Underwater Abilities means that we can breathe underwater, can swim good, and survive down to one and a half miles without getting crushed by the pressure. While underwater our strength increases to 24 and we have an extra 100 SDC, both of which go away when we surface. Exactly how the extra 100 SDC function, that is if they're lost first underwater or if surfacing with enough damage could remove all our SDC is never discussed. We get combat bonuses underwater as well. On land, we get a slight increase to accuracy and 40 extra SDC instead of the 100 we get underwater (bringing our minimum SDC to 171 for those of you keeping track at home).

Now it's on to our Major super ability. 65 means that we have Gem Powers. What does this do? Glad you asked. First of all, we can shape gems with our mind, rate of success being 10% per level. Also we can use up assorted gems to replicate other super abilities and psionic powers, so long as we can hawk up the cash for nicely cut gems every time we want to do something. Getting big diamonds lets us use Invulnerability, but they cost rather a lot and are only good for so many uses. While I'm here, I look up that extraordinary strength power we have for living on a world with acidic air. It means that we can carry 100 times our PS attribute in pounds, and lift 200 times it.

Now that we've determined that we're an underwater gem wizard monkey who can shoot lighting from his sword arms while bench-pressing engine blocks, let's find out what education we have as an alien on another chart. 33 means that we're apparently a military specialist and get an array of skills based on that. A note on the skill system, it's never actually explained how you're meant to succeed at a skill. By the way that you get a percentile that levels up as you do which is taken down by outside factors that would make you distracted and such, I assume you have to roll under this percentile to succeed, but again this is never stated.

Skills are pretty average, giving us areas of expertise we can attempt to do stuff in. This is, apart from physical skills which give you stat bonuses and some other benefits. Our apeman takes boxing, wrestling and gymnastics to raise his PS and SDC even higher (to PS 20 and SDC 200). Now our ape man can lift 4000 lbs! This also means that our PS underwater is now 26. Boxing is one of those things where everyone who can take it, should. It makes natural twenties automatic KO's in combat, gives an extra attack per round, bonus strength and SDC and bonuses to hit and avoid being hit. This on top of the Martial Arts skill we pick up, and our sword arms abilities coupled with the extra PS we picked up for our skill choices means that we're looking pretty nasty in a straight up fight, having five melee attacks a round at level one, each hitting for 3d6 + 5 a time.

After this, things get a bit easier. Why did we come to Earth? Well, according to another chart, we crash landed and (according to the sub-chart) we like earth a lot, so presumably we decided to stay. A roll of 40 on the earth familiarity table means that we're somewhat familiar with it, can speak three earth languages and are aware of major nations, customs and laws. A roll of 43 on our earth clothes chart gives us designer clothes of assorted types, from casual to formal wear. We get a special alien weapon, in this case an Ion Blaster... that winds up only marginally more damaging on average than our armswords, and we can't recharge the power pack on earth except at great cost. We also apparently get a special vehicle, and wind up rolling a hover cycle, along with (according to yet another chart) 15000 in cash, or at least something tradeable such as precious metals or gems.

After having gone through the alien character generation steps, we go back to the real character generation section. We should roll up our education level now, but due to us being an alien we had our own chart for that. We pick an alignment... Oy, alignments.

You know D+D, and how it has alignments? You know how each alignment has a little description saying how a person of that alignment views life in general and makes decisions based on that, and just how much debate and shit slinging this system generated? Yeah, this is like that but worse. Each alignment has a little bullet point list detailing exactly how ALL members of this alignment will act in a given situation. Also, it's apparently impossible to be true neutral, because "An absolute, true neutral person could not make a decision, fight crime, hurt others, go adventuring, or take any action of any kind without leaning to good, evil, or self-gratification". I pick Anarchist, basically because it lets us act however we feel like or at least close to it.

After this we get our starting gear for being a hero and lifestyle. We have a job appropriate to our education level (though exactly how an alien military specialist typically gets employed on earth I have no idea) an apartment, a 1d6 year old automobile, furnishings for our apartment and some basic hero kit (Costume, a knife and a gun, a police radio scanner and some basic crimfighting/detective gear).

The page opposite this details how to roll up our characters backstory. That's right. Rather than getting to pick your characters position in birth order, weight, height, disposition (!), land of origin, childhood environment, socioeconomic background or when you first manifested your powers? It says to roll on a fucking set of charts. For what it's worth, we were last born in our family (Though how many siblings were before us it doesn't say) with a cocky, tough guy lone wolf disposition and grew up in a farm community to Military/Middle Class parents. We already know our height and weight, already have life savings from being an alien, the land of origin table does not cover alien worlds (though if you're honestly interested, we're from Acidic Space Canada) and as our superpowers are biological features rather than racial outliers, we don't need to know when they first manifested.

So, we have wound up with this character. The game encourages you to roll on the charts for everything, saying that you could pick but that's less fun. And I have to admit that I would not have thought of an underwater electric sword ape with gem magic riding a hoverbike in a designer suit on my own. This is because it is a fucking stupid idea.

So, is that all for Heroes Unlimited? Oh no, there's still more to cover. At the very least, the insanity system deserves a look over, and I think more characters have to be generated. The Alien generation is one of the easier sub-steps in making a character.


posted by Captain Hats Original SA post

Doc Hawkins posted:

I remember there was a thread in story-games once where the localizer of the Maid RPG got people playing Random Character Creation Mad-libs. He said what random numbers were needed, without saying what they were for. You could post your set of numbers, then he would reply with the character you rolled.

The concept's got legs. You could put the thread in GBS and everything.

Let's not run before we can walk here. Depending on what your roll for your super type is, you have to roll varying amounts of dice in different sizes to determine your abilities and so on. Speaking of, let's make a new character shall we?

The stats we roll for this guy are:
Intelligence Quotient: 8
Mental Endurance: 13
Mental Affinity: 11
Physical Strength: 12
Physical Prowess: 11
Physical Endurance: 4
Physical Beauty: 10
Speed: 12

Ouch! No bonuses, and our starting PE of 4 means we have very low hit points. We manage to roll a 6 for HP though, so we have 10 total. As for our super type? An 87 , the Hardware category.

For starters, as we're a Hardware character, our IQ is set to 9, as that's the minimum IQ we can have. Now, we have to roll our Educational Level. A 24 means that our educational level is that of Military . We get the Basic Military skill program, one other Military or Communication Skill program, another program of our choice excluding Science or Espionage, and 8 skills of our choosing. I didn't explain this when building Thunderwater Gem Armani Ape, but skill programs are preselected packages of skills, that depending on our educational background have additional bonuses due to formalized training. Secondary skills just use the base value, which again scales automatically as we level up.

Due to us being a Hardware character, we have to drop one skill program which will be made up for in our "Class" features. I decide to drop the Military/Communication program choice, as I get the feeling that being a gadgetry genius will duplicate most of the options we have available there (Radio operation or demolitions basically) and choose Physical as our optional skill program to shore up our woeful hit points by increasing our PE with skill choices (I think this works, the game isn't clear one way or the other, at least that I can find). Also, Boxing. Our Scholastic Skills (Free choices, but only one skill at a time rather than a whole package of them) go into getting us Martial Art combat training and some other miscellaneous things that might be useful. As much as I rag on this system, the skills aren't an immediately terrible way of doing things, just a little clunky.

Now that we've done that, we get to roll a d100 to find out what type of Hardware character we are. A 42 puts us in the Mechanical Genius category. What does a mechanical genius do?

Heroes Unlimited posted:

The Mechanical Genius is a whiz at building, modifying, repairing, maintaining and designing all kinds of mechanical devices, from pumps, engines, mechanical arms, and spring loaded devices to vehicles (excluding firarms; that's a special area of expertise, although this character can clean, repair and use them, he's more interested in machines other than weapons.)

So... we're basically diet Tony Stark or Batman, if he had to work out of a garage and wasn't a detective or martial artist? That's cool, Ted Kord made an entire hero career out of this premise, we can go places with this.

For being a Mechanical genius, we get a whole host of skills with some pretty monstrous bonuses to them. Three mechanical skills of our choice and Mechanical Engineer all at plus 30%. This at the very least doubles our odds of success compared to a non-hardware character who took these skills, so we actually are the go to tech guy. Auto mechanics, locksmith, aircraft or robot mechanics, read sensory instruments, basic electronics, mathematics: advanced, pilot: race cars and pilot: one of choice round out our bonus skills. Not a bad spread, and the lowest bonus we get is 10%. Now, onto the unique abilities of the Mechanical Genius.

First up, Hot wiring Automobiles. Yeah, real heroic there. Another Hardware category, the Electrical Genius gets this as well, only he can do it better and can hotwire a bunch of other stuff as well. Given that our next ability is "Building Super Vehicles" I'm a little disappointed that we're worse at it than the computer geek. We'll get back to building a supercar later. This section gives a bare bones overview of penalties we can get to our skill roll (Build Super Vehicles and Hotwire are special skills not available to other hero types) as well as how long modifications take. To the designers credit, he seems to understand the typical time pressure placed on RPG characters as the longest time required is 48 hours of work, and that's for a complete engine rebuild or constructing a sensor system from scratch. We can also determine the quality of vehicles from sight and sound, getting bonuses if we get to look under the hood or drive it ourselves. Not especially vital, but in theme and it might come up in one or two situations, say if we wanted to find out what MPG the villains doombot is getting, as well as if it's packing any hidden features.

Now, as we're a Mechanical Genius we don't use standard starting wealth, we get a special chart to roll on. A 98 means that we get 12 million dollars US to play around with and fund our super gadget budget. This comes with the caveat that the money has to come from some outside organization, as determined by another chart. A 74 means

Heroes Unlimited posted:

Thrown out of the program! All ties are permanently dissolved. The character is disliked, even hated.
Yes, I imagine a character would be disliked if he made it out of being fired by a government or corporate research program with TWELVE FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS. And that's 1998 money (Close to sixteen million today, if my sources are to be believed). Also, we have a custom garage to do all of our tinkering in, costing $1600 per month if we want to work on cars, or $6500 per month for a private aircraft hangar.

After this is Other Stuff. Picking alignment and rules on other skills are here, when we rolled for them and were told to assign them before going through all of this. We get an additional Piloting or Electronics skill program with a %15 bonus, apparently our secondary skills cannot be from the military category, and all electronic and mechanical skills we get as scholastic and secondary skills receive a %10 bonus. We get two attacks per round normally as a superbeing, and the Martial Arts skill gives us an additional two per round at level 1, with an additional one for boxing. However, we can trade in three of those attacks and halve all of our skill bonuses, for all categories, to get a second area of hardware expertise. An honest to goodness choice in building this guy! We can apparently only own weapons and armour of a conventional nature, and have 35 SDC. It also tells us that the Gizmoteer OCC in Ninjas and Superspies may be a good substitute for this character type, as well as saying that there are plenty of gadgets in there that might be suitable for this guy to build. Smooth plug there.

Anyway, this post is getting long enough, so I think it's time to cut it off here with a vote! We have been given the option of reducing our attacks per round to 2 and halving all of our skill bonuses to gain all the benefits of a second hardware character type. So what I want to know is, do we do this? Please vote, bolding your answer as to whether you want to:

Not take the deal or gain the bonuses from being a
Electrical Genius
Analytical Genius or a
Weapons Expert

Keep in mind, we still have to build our supercar, and being an Electrical Genius, Analytical Genius or Weapons Expert will let us customize even more pieces of gear (Electrical Equipment, Armor and Weapons respectively). Also from what I can tell, the reduction is not to the base skill, but to the bonuses we get from taking them as scholastic programs or from our mechanical genius features. So rather than getting %10 to all electronic and mechanical skills, we get %5 so it's not as crippling as it first seems. However, we do more than halve our attacks per round.

Prelude to Excessive Spending

posted by Captain Hats Original SA post

Heroes Unlimited Part 3.5: Prelude to excessive spending.

With a staggering two thirds of the votes, our character is taking Analytical Genius as his secondary area of expertise. What does this mean?

Heroes Unlimited posted:

The Analytical Genius is similar to the other Hardware areas, including a knack for building and using machines. The Analytical Genius is an amalgamation of the other three. He can tinker with just about anything - electrical, weapons, and mechanical devices - maintain, repair and modify them, but as a Jack-Of-All-Trades, has a lower skill ability at the "hands on" level. His true genius lies in theory and analysis. This means he studies and dabbles in cutting edge science which currently includes cybernetics, robotics and nano-technology. Furthermore he just loves toys and tends to use machines in ingenious and sometimes bizarre ways - a laser can opener, jet pack for skiing snow covered slopes, etc., and is not overly concerned with style or cosmetics (substance over style), which means crude, unfinished looking creations.

So we're just really really smart when it comes to mechanical shit. Makes sense. Being an Analytical Genius gives us a whole bunch of skills relating to building stuff with varying levels of bonus, an extra skill program and six secondary skills. Exactly what "a second area of expertise" gives us is never explained, so I'm just adding everything in. Oh, and despite our devices favoring function over form, we get Art as a trained skill with a bonus. The Special Skills for the Analytical Genius are Analyze and Operate Devices, Build/Modify Armor and Jamming.

Analyze and Operate devices pretty much allows us to do what it says on the tin. We can pick up any piece of tech in existence and, with varying penalties on the roll, we can identify what it does, how to use it, repair it, or build a new one. The penalties go from 0%, to repair low tech items of earth manufacture, to a 98% penalty to duplicate a magic item. Of course we can't actually do that at level one, but if we hit level 15 (the maximum) we'd have a 12% chance of being able to duplicate a magic item, despite being a mechanical engineer and scientist. God damn, we're so smart we're probably wiping our ass with PHDs.

Building/Modify Armor is mildly disappointing. We can build conventional armor at 1/10th of the list price, add in extra SDC so it lasts longer and increase the armor rating by 2 points. We can also add SDC to conventional clothes so that it takes damage before we do. We can also build small weapons into armor, and we learn that "Games Masters and Players should use common sense when mounting mini-weapons in armor or gauntlets". Real helpful there. Oh yeah, and we can do jamming and tracking signals. Handy I guess.

We also get a second equipment budget for being an Analytical Genius. A roll of 70 gives us an extra 1.5 million dollars to play around with (total 13.5 million), with the note that this is probably enough to build a modest super vehicle or exoskeleton.

Feeling kind of cheated at how lame our armor modifying abilities are compared to tricking out a car with the ability to fly and minigun turrets, I go ahead and check out the exoskeleton rules in the robotics section. Turns out that we could build a robot using a car chassis at the base, which uses different rules and has different equipment to the super vehicle construction rules. Ugh. Constructing robots and cars is not to be taken lightly, so we'll leave that for it's own post. Suffice to say that with a budget of $13,500,000 we can afford an Iron Man suit and flying Cadillac without breaking the bank.

'Shop Work

posted by Captain Hats Original SA post

Heroes Unlimited Part 4: 'Shop work

So last time we finished up generating our hardware based character. He can build and fix most anything you can imagine.

Young Freud posted:

I'm thinking of the guy's like Troy Hurtubise , who possess an unique mechanical talent but not a whole lot of common sense.

Oh trust me, this statement will ring true once we finish this character. We're going to be building a robot suit and supercar on our gadget budget. First off, let's build that suit. Turning through the robot section I look at potential robot budgets. Our 13.5 million puts us in the middle area of these things, though we won't be spending all of it.

Before we build, we have to roll to determine the quality of our exoskeleton. A 51 means that we have one from a "Project abandoned due to lack of finances". This means that any time we want to use any active feature of the robot (A weapon, device or special function) there is a 01 to 10 % chance that it simply will not work. It doesn't explode or anything, it just fails to function that one time. And this is for every time we activate ANY device on the robot that isn't moving about in it.

Now we get to start construction. First off we have to buy a body frame (Humanoid, $500,000) and a power supply. Our options for powering this beast are a liquid fuel supply ($250,000), super-solar engine ($1,000,000) or a micro-fusion system ($5,300,000). The micro fusion system just powers our robot seemingly without limit. The solar engine can be charged up with an eight hour power reserve, with four hours of emergency power after that. It's apparently blocked from charging by any sort of cloud cover. This does not seem like an ideal way to power something we're trusting our lives with. For an additional million dollars, a generator can be purchased to charge it up if the sun doesn't shine. This presumably means that we normally have to store it in the open to fill the batteries. I'm opting for the liquid fuel system, partly because it's cheap and without too many restrictions, mostly because the idea of Iron Man stopping at the petrol station to top up his suit with unleaded amuses me no end.

Next up we have to purchase legs and arms for our suit. I opt for a basic pair of human style legs and feet ($500,000) and 2 humanoid hand and arm units ($300,000). We could also pick up a flight mechanism, but given that we can also construct super vehicles I'm going to leave the flying to the car. Just a humanoid frame with legs, arms and a V8 engine has set us back $1,550,000. We start out with a PS of 10, but that seems a bit weedy for a robot suit. I decide to splurge out for the reinforced body frame ($900,000) so we can increase our arms PS scores from 10 to 30 ($40,000 per arm). Just for using a robot suit, our PS score uses the superhuman rules. Note that this is different from the extraordinary strength our ape-man possesses. While in the suit we can carry 6000 lbs and lift 9000. According to the feats of super strength chart in Mutants and Masterminds (A much better superhero RPG) this means we can carry about a truck. Not bad. Total suit cost: $3,250,000.

After that, we have to purchase sensors. An advanced audio system ($390,000) means that we have superhuman hearing (Equal to a minor super ability even) and a radio receiver. We also buy a tape recorder ($5000), loudspeaker ($5000), voice modulator ($150,000) and bug detector ($5000). For optic systems, we pick up the advanced vision system (Colour vision, night vision, IR and UV sight, $425,000), targeting sight ($50,000), telescopic vision ($35,000), thermal vision ($180,000), video receiver and transmitter ($80,000) and a black and white camera eye ($5,500, film not included). There are some other fun sensor gadgets, so I pick up a micro-radar ($250,000), bio-scan ($50,000) and medical survey unit ($500,000). Total suit cost: $5,380,500.

Finally on to weapons and armour. I grab a wrist mounted Ion Blaster ($300,000) to handle ranged combat for us. Anything more heavy hitting can be installed into the vehicle. There is an option available for foot long retractable blades... which do exactly as much damage as just punching a guy. And our martial arts skill will let us do even more as we level up. There is literally no reason for this weapon to be here. Coupled with the Ion Blasters %10 failure chance and slightly lower average damage, punching seems like the best option. We begin with 225 SDC for the suit, and an AR of 6. The AR gets maxed out to 15 ($900,000) and then we use our Analytical Genius bonus to boost it up further to 17. The suit also gets its SDC pumped up to 425 ($280,000) just in case, then our Analytical Genius ability boosts this by %10 to 448. Total cost of suit: $6,780,500. We've used a little over half our budget, and our suit replicates several minor super abilities all on its own as well as letting us punch like a cannon. And we still have a whole other device to construct.

This post is getting wall of texty enough as it is, so I'll drop it here. Next time: A flying Ford Transit that would make the guys on Pimp My Ride cry in awe at how ridiculous it is. Outside of the fact that it can fly, I mean.

Greased Lightning

posted by Captain Hats Original SA post

Heroes Unlimited Part 4.5: Greased Lightning (Sort of)

By my maths, after expenditures on our armoured robot suit, we have $6,719,500 left over for a vehicle. So we turn back to the Hardware section and use those rules, because while we could build a supercar using the robot rules, these ones are better. The section is credited to one Erick Wujcik, and are taken from the TMNT supplement Road Hogs . Just like with the robot, we need to pick up a basic chassis. To match our robot suit needing regular trips to the petrol station, I'm going to use a utility van as the basis for our heromobile (Cost: $11,000). We don't have to buy tyres, but we do need an engine. I drop $5000 on an engine with speed class 18. This is equal to a character possessing speed 440, letting us cruise around at 120 MPH or gun it at 300 MPH. See why I didn't increase the robot suits speed? As we're rolling in cash, I drop another $3,000,000 to give our van hover capabilities and a fly speed of Mach 1. Total cost: $3,016,000

After this, we need to add armour to our sonic speed Ford Transit. However, since our vehicle can fly, we need to be mindful of the payload: too much weight and we won't be able to fly. Our van has a maximum carrying capacity of 3000 lbs, can seat 6 and mount two turrets. We don't have much weight to play around with, especially given we're hauling around a dude in a 425lb robot suit. Actually armouring the vehicle itself costs too much weight for my liking, but we pick up heavy passenger armour at $4500 and 200lbs of weight, light engine armour for $800 and 100 lbs of weight and heavy fuel compartment armour for $7000 and 900lbs of weight. Total cost: $3,028,300

Now time for vehicular weapons. As our gadgeteers only buddy in the superteam has his own vehicle, and the other members might be able to fly and/or shoot shit on their own power, we opt away from the gunner turret and instead grab the much more powerful fixed mount automatic cannon, hitting for 1d6x10+20 per shot. For reference, our suits ion blaster? 5d6 per shot. Gem-Ape's lightning blasts? Cap out at 15d6. And this costs $15,000, five percent of the ion blaster. We have a second weapon mount available, but the only real option we have is a rocket launcher or AA missiles. They do damage as other explosive types, but I can't find any reference to what damage explosives do in the equipment section, so I leave them. Total cost: $3,043,300

There's also a host of accessories and modifications available. I grab everything that doesn't overlap and that we can afford for $1,891,840. This gives us:
An air recycling system
Anti missile chaff
6 ejector seats that can also fly for a little bit
A loudspeaker
Luxury accommodation like a Lear Jet
Pontoons for water landings
A searchlight
Smokescreen generator
Thiefproofed locks
A winch and cable
An advanced radar targeter
Armoured and self sealing tyers
Bucket seats
An AM/FM stereo with cassette player
A hot and cold drinks dispenser
An engine readout
A radio locator
A trailer hitch
Super fuel efficiency
An oil slick generator
A Ram
And a siren.

Total cost of vehicle: £5,034,440. What do you know, we're in under budget. That spare cash presumably goes into a backup engine system in case the main one gets blown up. So there's our hardware character, a crappy Tony Stark who arrives on the scene in a sonic speed Ford Transit packing more firepower and features than the average James Bond car. Next time, since the Changing Breeds derangement gauntlet has been thrown down, I simply have to match the challenge with the Heroes Unlimited insanity rules. Look forward to it (or don't, if you're a sensible person).

It's a Mad World

posted by Captain Hats Original SA post

Heroes Unlimited Part 5: It's a Mad World

I've brought this up a couple of times before now, but Heroes Unlimited has an insanity system. There are good insanity systems out there, Unknown Armies has an excellent one, the World of Darkness derangement system can be used very well. This... this is not one of those good insanity systems.

First off, how do you get insanities? Some sample traumatic experiences are provided, including torture, drug overdose, dying and being resurrected, having a severe physical disability (This has a %100 chance of getting you an insanity in some way, if you're interested) and being responsible, directly or not, for the death of innocent people. For the most part? You automatically get an insanity, no willpower check to resist or anything. It just says to consider the players ME to determine if they would get an insanity or not, and to not "hand them out like candies at a party". And what insanities can you get? As you may have guessed by now, there are numerous fucking charts to roll on to determine how your character has gone nuts, with separate tables for affective disorders, neuroses, psychoses, phobias and obsessions. Let's take a look at some of these, shall we?

Heroes Unlimited: Psychosis Table posted:

71-80 Mindless Aggression: Roll percentile dice again.
95-00 Non-functional, homicidal maniac! Continually going berserk at the slightest provocation as well as when frustrated, angry or upset. He fights to severely injure or kill those who upset or oppose him. The character must be confined constantly (or killed) - he has only one lucid day a week and will try to talk his way out of confinement on that day (seems completely normal and rational that entire day)

Heroes Unlimited: Neurosis Table posted:

91-00 Hysterical Blindness
When under pressure (battle, an important opportunity, watched by others, etc) the character loses his sight until the pressure is removed; 1-89% likelihood of happening - roll for each situation. -9 to strike, parry, and dodge while blind; no initiative and skill performance is half.

Heroes Unlimited: Affective Disorders Table posted:

76-88 Hate music and musicians and will try to destroy or stop the sources of those terrible noises.

Just the kind of stuff you want to have crop up in a four colour superheroes game, right? There are also rules covering alcohol and drug addiction and withdrawl, complete with random unmodified percentile chances about whether or not you'll stay clean. And how do you get rid of insanities? Why, random unmodified percentile rolls to see how effectively your psychologist can treat you! Oh yeah, and there's a psionic power that can temporarily suppress insanities.

But this isn't all, oh no. For you see, there are rules for starting out insane. Ladies and gentlemen, now we delve into the Crazy Hero rules. How do you play a Crazy Hero?

Heroes Unlimited: Creating the Crazy Hero posted:

Select one wacko characteristic or roll on the Random Crazy Element Table

Heroes Unlimited: Insanity posted:

Please note that this section is not(...) intended to make light of mental health.
The random crazy elements are frenzy, power by association, multiple personalities or "crazy man"

Frenzy is pretty straightforward. You roll to determine what triggers your frenzy (Frustration, Anger, Pain or Tension) and then whenever that happens, boom, you frenzy. In your frenzy you relentlessly attack anyone who tries to stop you or that you perceive as an enemy. And when you're frenzying you get bonus SDC, extra damage and fighting ability, and one bonus attack per round.

Power by association means that you believe your power comes from something. Daytime and Nighttime complexes means that your character can only use any extraordinary powers during the day or night. Solar syndrome is different from Daytime complex, because you can only access your powers in direct sunlight or artificial light. Power words mean you need to be able to shout your magic words to power up captain marvel style, while magic object is Dumbo and his feather. Popeye syndrome means that you have to eat a specific food to access any super powers. So, you can either have uncontrolled psychotic episodes, or need to eat twinkies to use your superpowers. Consistent tone? What's that!

Multiple personalities... oy. First you have to see how many personalities there are in the hero. The main one is the PC, the others have random alignments and random alignment based personalities. And all of them screw you over in one way or another. Like the Arrogant Warrior, a good aligned personality who considers everyone else inferior and his way the only right way of doing things. The Hypochondriac (in both good and evil flavours), Kleptomaniac, Megalomaniac (Lots of maniacs over here) The normal teenage kid (?), the opposite sex (???) and a personality actively opposed to superheroes are also possibilities.

Finally there is the Crazyman. I'm just going to quote from the book on this one, nothing I say can add anything to this.

Heroes Unlimited: The Crazyman posted:

The crazy-man type hero is a wild, flamboyant and jocular character. This person might be a cross between Daffy Duck, Errol Flynn, and a stand up comic on speed. Zany, dynamic, caustic and hyper. This guy is the wisecracking daredevil who seems to be as cocky and carefree leaping into the jaws of death as he is at a tea party. He will batter his opponent with sarcastic quips, bad jokes and silly observations while he's socking it out with him or facing down the barrel of a gun.

These characters are always fidgeting. Tapping fingers, cracking knuckles, tapping feet, wringing hands, pacing, rocking, standing on ones head, doing cartwheels, suspended by a rope, bouncing a ball, flipping a coin, juggling etc. They are extremely hyper and can't seem to sit still. In combat, they are usually the one bounding into a group of baddies, hanging out of the window, or displaying dazzling footwork.

The crazy-man heroes seem to have a consistent habit of laughing, giggling or snickering at the most unusual times. Usually this occurs during combat, under high pressure situations, and triumph. Sometimes this can be extremely effective in rattling one's foe. Other times it is downright annoying. They also tend to come up with inane battle cries.

In combat, the crazy-man hero usually appears to be fearless, leaping into the foray with a joke on his lips and armed with his bare hands and a crowbar (That's a joke, son). They tend to be reactionary, believe themselves to be indestructible, take needless risks, and have a complete disregard for personal safety, especially when an innocent life is at stake.

Oh yeah, and you get combat related bonuses for being an annoying little turd. Between this and the Crazies in Rifts, I sometimes wonder how Kevin Siembeda thinks good RPGS are meant to go.