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Magma of the New Mutants (Marvel Comics)

Magma


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Magma is one of the New Mutants, a Marvel Comics group of “junior X-Men” that appeared in 1983. She was with the team for the bulk of the 1980s, though after that her appearances got much scarcer.


Background

  • Real Name: Amara Juliana Olivians Aquilla
  • Other Alias: Alison Crestmere
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Lucius Antonius Aquilla (father), Selene (alleged grandmother)
  • Group Affiliation: The New Mutants
  • Base Of Operations: Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters
  • Height: 5‘6” Weight: 131 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde


Powers & Abilities

Magma is a mutant with the power to control Earth’s mantle.

She can transform her body into living lava, glowing like a flowing volcano. Her surface temperature becomes so high she can melt bullets fired at her. She can project bursts of molten lava or melt the ground to dig tunnels.

She received a martial education in a tribe of Amazons. She also learned to survive in the Amazonian jungle.


Nova Roma

What you see…

At first, Nova Roma is introduced as an ancient, lost, Roman colony, somewhere in the Amazonian Jungle, in Brazil. Through the years, they lost contact with mother Rome.

It is a small replica of the Ancient Rome political system, during the Roman Republic. It is governed by The First Senator (not Consul, still supposed to rule in Rome).

They speak Latin. They live, dress, eat, entertain as Ancient Roman did. The aristocracy also conspires as the Ancient Roman did.

Magma of the New Mutants (Marvel Comics) in Nova Roma, and a surprise micro-volcano

It has its military, made of Roman Legionnaires, equipped, trained and operating just as the Roman Republican Legion did during the Antiquity.

They have rare contacts with the neighboring native tribes. They mostly deal with a tribe of Amazon Women, with whom they must have some kind of treaty.

Until The New Mutants discovers the city, Nova Roma has no contact with the outside world. The Hellfire Club must have suspected something special occurring in the area as they sponsored an expedition to prospect for valuable resources.

…Is not what you get

In truth, Nova Roma is the pen for the herd of a very ancient psychic vampire: Selene.

She set all this up. She kidnapped tourists and used her powerful magic to make them believe they are, indeed, the descendants of Roman settlers from the Antiquity.

She bends the local politics, using her unnatural beauty to inspire the power players (all male, we are in ancient Rome, remember).

Magma of the New Mutants (Marvel Comics) melting a hole in a steel floor

She picked a happy few among her flock to maintain her own personal cult (she can’t be left without worshipers, it’s below her goddess position). She entertains them with ritual ceremonies with no other purpose than to feed her spiritual vampirism.

After the New Mutants defeated her, she leaves the city to get back to the real world. Steadily, her spells are fading and the inhabitants are recovering their memories. Empath is dispatched by The Hellfire Club to prevent them from fully recovering (for their own good, of course, they were much happier that way).

Aaaannd retconned

This is later retconned as being a setup in the setup, where an unnamed agency was making believe genuine descendants of Roman settlers that they were, indeed, simple tourists kidnapped by a sorceress.

These citizens repopulated their city.


History

(See The New Mutants team’s writeups for further details of her adventures with them).

Amara Aquilla was born in Nova Roma. She’s the daughter of the first senator, chief of Nova Roma’s government. Her mother died as a sacrifice to Selene’s eternal life.

To protect her from the sorceress, her father sent her to a tribe of Amazons, living nearby the city. There, she learned the ways of a female warrior and of survival in the jungle. And it forged her warrior spirit.

The New Mutants

The New Mutants discovered the lost colony while helping Sunspot’s mother in her archaeological project. They prevented a coup attempted by Selene’s husband.

During the uprising, while Selene was about to sacrifice Amara, her mutant powers awakened. She saved her own life, fought Selene, and all thought the vampire was killed.

Magma of the New Mutants (Marvel Comics) assaulted on a beach

Afterward, Amara realized the extent of her powers, her lack of control, and grew afraid of them. The New Mutants offered to help her at Xavier’s school. Her father agreed. With this first contact with the outside world, he gave her the task of learning as much as possible of this new world, and come back to him.

She went with The New Mutants to upstate New York. She became Magma.

She had several adventures with them, including confrontations with Selene. She was particularly affected by their trip to Asgard, where she was transformed into a faerie.

She also became attracted toward the Hellion Empath. But given the nature of his power, and his habit of abusing it, she was not sure these feelings were genuine. Mirage accidentally revealed this to the rest of the team. They mocked Amara, not understanding how troubled she was about it. Embarrassed and feeling humiliated, she decided to leave.

Though she claimed it was not personal, she was upset with Dani.

The Hellions

Amara joined The Massachusetts Academy and The Hellions. She never had the chance to go to battle with them.

She and Empath were attracted to each other. Empath’s power and the mocking of the others Hellions didn’t help them sort this out.

She received a letter from her father. He wanted her back to Nova Roma to fulfill an arranged marriage. Being a good daughter, fairly raised in the way of the ruling caste, she complied.

Empath was willing to accompany her. Emma Frost agreed and gave him the mission to subtly influence Amara’s father to be well disposed towards the Hellfire Club. They wanted access to the mineral riches of Nova Roma’s land.

Magma of the New Mutants (Marvel Comics) and Emma Frost

The plane transporting the 2 teenagers crashed in the jungle. Manuel was very frightened to have to survive in the hostile Amazonian jungle. Amara didn’t want to go back to Nova Roma to get married to a stranger. She stalled their return.

She took advantage of her knowledge of the jungle and of Manuel’s fear, to make him close to her. In the end, they were met by a Nova Roman patrol, led by her father. However, she did not marry her betrothed.

During the Evolutionary War, she was kidnapped by the High Evolutionary. Put in his power-affecting machine, she was supposed to be rid of her powers. However Mirage freed her, before the machine started.

That was the last time The New Mutants saw Magma.

The truth unveiled

After the death of the Hellions, X-Force and Firestar visited Nova Roma.

They discovered that Magma and the rest of the population are under the influence of Empath. With Warpath, former Hellion, who had already warned Empath about abusing his powers, and Firestar, former victim of such abuse, Empath had a rough day.

When things cooled down, Empath had the opportunity to explain. He was covering for the truth about Nova Roma. Selene’s spell was wearing off and The Hellfire Club sent him to maintain the illusion.

Magma of the New Mutants (Marvel Comics) vs. the Hellions

Amara Aquilla’s real name was Alison Crestmere, a British mutant who was spending holidays with her family in Rio. She was kidnapped from her family when she was still a child. Empath knew the true identities of all the citizen of Nova Roma. He agreed to restore the truth, even if it destroyed his little fantasy world he was so happy to be in.

Alison/Amara reluctantly accepted his apologies and stayed in Nova Roma with Empath to help the population sort their life in modern society.

After Nova Roma

Magma and Empath were attacked by the Fenris twins. Andrea and Andreas Strucker were a recent addition to the Upstarts. They kidnapped the two young mutants when The Gamemaster assigned points to former Hellions and New Mutants.

Freed by the New Warriors and X-Force, Amara grew tired of being manipulated. She put a lot of blame on Empath, left him, and didn’t return to Nova Roma.

Afterward, she became a backstage character: kidnapped or injured by one anti-mutant party or another, thus motivating former New Mutants’ involvement in the story.


Description

Amara is a striking blonde with blue eyes. She’s a guys magnet.

When she becomes Magma, her face and body lose her distinctive features as it transforms into living lava. Her whole body turns bright yellow with red streaks. Her hair becomes a bonfire.


Personality

When having polite conversation, she behaves like a well educated lady. Her ways are those of the Roman nobility, without the never-ending plotting usually associated with Romans.

However, she is very spirited. If someone starts getting in her hair, she is quite short tempered. She doesn’t stand males taking her for granted. She won’t suffer to be thought a coward.

She is a stranger to our modern civilization: amazed at all the wonders of Man’s accomplishments, puzzled by human behaviors in these modern times (she can misinterpret someone’s behavior, mistaking it for rudeness, and starts a tantrum).

She’s faithful to her father. Against her heart, she’s ready to make a political marriage to please him.


Quotes

“And all these people, these buildings. Compared to this, Nova Roma is little more than a village. As for the ocean, I never dreamed so much water existed in the entire world… I do not belong here.”

“Your gracious welcome does me honor, sir, I shall endeavor to always be worthy of it.”

Up in the Statue of Liberty: “The mountains of my home in Nova Roma are magnificent works of nature, but this city is a creation of man !”

“Selene… The demon huntress… killed my mother. If that is truly her… Then her life is mine.”

“Let… Me… Go!”

At the Hellfire Club’s party.
Selene: “Amara, you look as delectable as ever, my child.”
Amara to Dani: “I merely wish to give Selene a taste of true Hellfire.”
Dani: “Not here Amara, not now !”
Amara: “There is death between us, Mirage !”
Dani: “… You save your private vendetta for later. Is that clear?!”

“My father told me to learn about modern civilization, Magneto. I have learned from Xavier’s school and The New Mutants ! Now I want to learn from The Hellions !”

“My father… He wants me home so he can marry me off. I’ve never even met my betrothed. I was just settling in with the Hellions. I was so happy.”

Amara: “How I feel is my business. How I handle what I feel is my responsibility.” (Kisses Empath).
Manuel: “Why did you kiss me ? Did you want to ?”
Amara: “Can’t you tell ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Magma (Lava form)

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Student
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Wealth: 006
Init: 011 HP: 020

Powers:
Digging: 12, Earth Control: 08, Flame Being: 07, Flame Project: 07, Flash: 03, Force Field: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flame Being is Always On (-1)
  • All powers except Earth Control are Contingent On Flame Being (-1)
  • Flash has Area Effect (0 AP radius, +1) and No Range (-1)
  • Digging has a Range equal to AP of Flame project (+1)
  • Digging is melting the material instead of moving it (0)
  • Force Field protects user only (-2) and Can attack through (+1)
  • Force Field only protects against physical attacks made by projectiles or weapons made of material melting or burning under 2000°C (tungsten bullets might pass. The Genius Advantage is not required to make bullets capable of bypassing the Force Shield) (-2)

Skills:
Animal Handling: 03, Weaponry (Melee, Missile): 04*

Advantages:
Insta-Change, Language (Latin), Rich Family (Father), Rich Friend (Professor Xavier), Scholar (Roman culture, Jungle survival)

Connections:
The New Mutants (High), Hellions (Low), Empath (High)

Drawbacks:
Age (Young), Alter Ego (Controllable), Authority Figure (Heir to the ruling caste of Nova Roma), Enemy (Selene-Black Queen), Exile (Forced), Minor Rage, Mistrust (Mutant), SIA (Empath), Misc (if Flame Being is reduced to 0 AP or less, she reverts to her human form, 10 HP), Power Loss (-2 AP to all powers if she’s not touching the ground or something affixed to it, 10 HP)


Amara (Human form)

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Student
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Wealth: 006
Init: 011 HP: 020

Powers:
Earth Control: 08

Skills:
Animal Handling: 03, Weaponry (Melee, Missile): 04*

Advantages:
Insta-Change, Language (Latin), Rich Family (Father), Rich Friend (Professor Xavier), Scholar (Roman culture, Jungle survival)

Connections:
The New Mutants (High), Hellions (Low), Empath (High)

Drawbacks:
Age (Young), Authority Figure (Heir to the ruling caste of Nova Roma), Enemy (Selene-Black Queen), Exile (Forced), MIA (Strong emotions launch uncontrolled use of Earth Control), Minor Rage, Mistrust (Mutant), SIA (Empath), Power Loss (-2 AP to Earth Control if she’s not touching the ground or something affixed to it, 2 HP)

Equipment:
UNSTABLE MOLECULE COSTUME [BODY 05, Cold Immunity: 01, Advantage: Insta-Change]


Design Notes

  • Actual temperature of Earth magma is not much above 1000°C (Wikipedia ). Steel bullets are supposed to melt a bit lower than 1500°C. For bullets to melt before hitting her, her radiating body temperature should be well above 1500°C.
  • The Human Torch has Flame Being: 07, and he’s supposed to radiate cosmic fire. So Magma’s Flame Being should not be above 7. Lower, it wouldn’t deal the kind of damage seen in the comics.
  • We’ll have to invoke the rule where common laws of physics only apply to comics if they’re not preventing coolness or fun. In this universe, hot lava melts steel.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Magma (in flesh form) — Averaged PL 5

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 01 01 01 03 01 00 01

Powers

Terra not so firma ● 28 points ● Descriptor: Mutant
– Dynamic Array :

  • Shift earth — Create 9 (Rock/Earth), Continuous, Innate, Limited (Needs ground or rock)
  • Fling earth — Ranged bludgeoning Damage 8, Limited (Needs ground or rock)
  • Jagged earth — Environment 4 (Ranged Burst 1 Impede movement 1 (uneven ground))
  • Dust storm — Environment 4 (Ranged Cloud 1 Visibility 1)
  • Tremors –Area burst 2 Affliction 8 (Resisted by Dodge; Hindered & Vulnerable, Defenceless & Prone) Extra condition, Concentration, Instant Recovery, Limited Degree, Limited to targets on the ground

Devices

Unstable molecules uniform ● 1 point (Removable)) ● Descriptor: Technology
Feature 2 (Not damaged by her powers, appears when she flames on, tough, protects well against cold)

Combat Advantages

Close attack 1, Defensive Roll 1, Ranged Attack 2

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Amara can be bankrolled by her dad in Nova Roma, and by Xavier in the USA), Language (Latin)

Skills

Athletics 2 (+2), Close combat (Ancient Roman weapons) 1 (+5), Deception 1 (+2), Expertise (Horse riding) 3 (+4), Expertise (Jungle survival) 7 (+8), Expertise (Roman lore) 6 (+7), Insight 1 (+1), Perception 2 (+2), Ranged combat (Ancient Roman weapons) 2 (+5), Ranged combat (Magma powers) 3 (+6)

Offense

Initiative +1
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 0
Terra not so firma +6, Ranged, effects vary

Defence

Dodge 05 Fortitude 03
Parry 05 Toughness 01*/02
Will 05

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Puella Amara is still a teenager.
  • Noble Ms. Aquilla is the heir to an important family in Nova Roma, where politics do get bloody
  • Arch-enemy Magma got on the bad side of the Black Queen Selene, which is a big problem
  • Earth-trigger temper Amara’s powers can activate involuntarily due to strong emotions
  • Hair-trigger temper Magma might semi-accidentally kill her foes due to a mix of temper and lethal powers
  • Mutatis mutandis As a mutant, Ms. Aquilla is part of a despised and hunter minority
  • Change your taste in men Amara grows quite attracted toward Empath (Manuel de la Rocha). Which is stupid.
  • Antaea All of Magma’s Power operate two Ranks lower if she’s not in contact with the ground or something directly affixed to it.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 4, Parry/Toughness PL 4, Fort/Will PL 4
  • Points total 78 Abilities 16, Defences 13, Skills 14, Powers 28, Devices 1, Advantages 6. Equiv. PL 6.


Magma (lava form) — Averaged PL 6.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 (01) 01 (02) 01 01 03 01 00 02

Powers

Lava is better than flesh ● 49 points (Noticeable) ● Descriptor: Mutant, heat
– Stronger and more intense — Enhanced Attributes (Strength 1, Stamina 1, Presence 1)
– Stronger and more intense — Enhanced Defenses (Fortitude 2, Will 2), Protection 1
– Glowing — Environment 1 (Light 1)
– Glowing — Burst-Area Close visual Dazzle 2
– Scorching — Impervious Protection 8 and Impervious Fortitude 8 (both Limited 3 to flame/heat), Immunity 1 (environmental heat)
– Scorching — Reaction flame Damage 6
– Scorching — Protection 6 and Fortitude 6 (both Limited 1 to projectiles, both Quirk (limited to projectiles that melt at 2000°C))

Magma blast ● 19 points ● Descriptor: Mutant, flame
– Array :

  • Ranged flame Damage 6
  • Ranged Burrowing 9

Terra not so firma ● 28 points ● Descriptor: Mutant
– Dynamic Array :

  • Shift earth — Create 9 (Rock/Earth), Continuous, Innate, Limited (Needs ground or rock)
  • Fling earth — Ranged bludgeoning Damage 8, Limited (Needs ground or rock)
  • Jagged earth — Environment 4 (Ranged Burst 1 Impede movement 1 (uneven ground))
  • Dust storm — Environment 4 (Ranged Cloud 1 Visibility 1)
  • Tremors –Area burst 2 Affliction 8 (Resisted by Dodge; Hindered & Vulnerable, Defenceless & Prone) Extra condition, Concentration, Instant Recovery, Limited Degree, Limited to targets on the ground

Devices

Unstable molecules uniform ● 1 point (Removable)) ● Descriptor: Technology
Feature 2 (Not damaged by her powers, appears when she flames on, tough, protects well against cold)

Combat Advantages

Close attack 1, Defensive Roll 1, Ranged Attack 2

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Amara can be bankrolled by her dad in Nova Roma, and by Xavier in the USA), Language (Latin)

Skills

Athletics 2 (+2), Close combat (Ancient Roman weapons) 1 (+5), Deception 1 (+3), Expertise (Horse riding) 3 (+4), Expertise (Jungle survival) 7 (+8), Expertise (Roman lore) 6 (+7), Insight 1 (+1), Perception 2 (+2), Ranged combat (Ancient Roman weapons) 2 (+5), Ranged combat (Magma powers) 3 (+6)

Offense

Initiative +1
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 1
Terra not so firma +6, Ranged, effects vary
Magma blast +6, Ranged, Damage 6

Defence

Dodge 05 Fortitude 04
Parry 05 Toughness 03*/04
Will 07

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Puella Amara is still a teenager.
  • Noble Ms. Aquilla is the heir to an important family in Nova Roma, where politics do get bloody
  • Arch-enemy Magma got on the bad side of the Black Queen Selene, which is a big problem
  • Earth-trigger temper Amara’s powers can activate involuntarily due to strong emotions
  • Hair-trigger temper Magma might semi-accidentally kill her foes due to a mix of temper and lethal powers
  • Mutatis mutandis As a mutant, Ms. Aquilla is part of a despised and hunter minority
  • Change your taste in men Amara grows quite attracted toward Empath (Manuel de la Rocha). Which is stupid.
  • Antaea All of Magma’s Power operate two Ranks lower if she’s not in contact with the ground or something directly affixed to it.
  • Out, out brief candle If Magma is physically extinguished, she reverts to her flesh form

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 5, Parry/Toughness PL 5, Fort/Will PL 6
  • Points total 149 Abilities 16, Defences 15, Skills 14, Powers 96, Devices 1, Advantages 6. Equiv. PL 10.

Notes

The PL is deceptively low, due to her conditional Protections and especially her Reaction Damage that make hurting her much more challenging than her Defenses suggest.

By Nicolas Lemaçon

Source of Character: Marvel Comics (X-Series, until the rise of The Upstarts and the death of The Hellions)

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Darci, Eric Langendorff, Peter Piispanen, Chris X, William Chamberlin, Adam Fuqua. For the M&M stats, the official stats for Terra (Tara Markov).

Writeup completed on the 18th of August, 2015.

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