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Pre-Crisis Superman (DC Comics)

Superman

(Clark Kent) (Earth-1 version, PRE-CRISIS SCALE)


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

Context

This profile is almost entirely a technical article revisiting the game stats for Earth-1’s Superman during the Silver Age , back when he was juggling planets.

As such, this entry is IIRC the only one on the site that uses the 1st edition, pre-Crisis scale. Hence the huge numbers. Do not panic. Again, first edition scale.


Background

  • Real Name: Clark Kent
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Kara Zor-El (Cousin), Jor-El & Lara (parents, effectively deceased), Zor-El & Allura (aunt and uncle), Ma and Pa Kent (adoptive parents, deceased), thousands of Kryptonian ancestors known by their individual names (all deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: Justice League of America
  • Base Of Operations: Metropolis, Fortress of Solitude
  • Height: 6’3” Weight: 225 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Rocketed from the planet Krypton to Earth, he discovered he had powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. He was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look up in the sky, is it a bird, is it a plane ? No, it’s Superman.

Superman’s hair is utterly invulnerable, requiring the combined Heat Visions of 3 Kryptonians to cut it. Fortunately, it does not grow under Earth’s yellow sun. However, his internal body temperature is normal.


History

Superman is the child of Kryptonian scientist Jor-El. To save Kal-El’s life, Jor-El constructed a rocket and sent him to Earth in it. Under the influence of Earth’s yellow sun and lighter gravity, Kal-El would have incredible powers. The rocket landed nearby a truck traveling through Kansas.

The occupants, Jonothan and Martha Kent, eventually became the adoptive parents of the baby they found inside the ship. They raised the baby, whom they named Clark Kent, and he first began using his abilities secretly, creating the identity of Superboy to do so without attracting attention to his family.

He had many adventures with the Legion of Super-Heroes and earned the enmity of Lex Luthor early on by ’causing‘ his hair to fall out in a lab accident. Both Clark and Luthor grew up, and as an adult, Superman was still Lex Luthor’s sworn enemy. Superman is a charter member of the Justice League of America.


Description

Superman has a characteristic S-curl on his forehead and wears a blue bodysuit, with red trunks and a gold belt. On his chest, he wears an S-symbol, a red S on a yellow pentagonal field. He also has red boots that have a W shaped top and a red cape with an all yellow S-symbol on it.


Personality

Superman is first among heroes for a good reason. With his great abilities he has always used them responsibly to save lives and prevent injustice. He truly believes in the rights of the common man, and that there can be freedom and justice for all. In many ways, he is the ideal American, but he also stands for all people everywhere which is how he came to be galactically renowned.

The only way to play Superman is as a compassionate person with great confidence. He can be portrayed as larger than life, or all too human, but without his characteristic inability to give up he would not be Superman.

Clark Kent is in many ways a mirror of Superman in beleifs, but he acts much more ’restrained and responsibly‘. Clark is also considered to be a big wimp, mainly because he won’t get into situations where he might be forced to reveal his powers. If a gun gets pointed at him, he’ll act deathly afraid of it, as if it could hurt him.

There are innumerable times when these situations arise. Just play Clark Kent as if he were completely human with the following exception.

Clark will often secretly use his powers, using well-timed and well-aimed blasts of super breath or heat vision as well as his incredible superspeed. However, to maintain the deception, Clark never uses his full attributes. In particular, his DEX should be treated as if it were always 03.


Quotes

“Great Rao !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Superman

Dex: 26 Str: 50 Bod: 40 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 13 Wil: 22 Min: 15 Occupation: News Anchorman
Inf: 10 Aur: 12 Spi: 10 Resources {or Wealth}: Affluent
Init: 074 HP: 350

Powers:
Adaptation: 30, Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 15, Attraction/Repulsion: 20, Storage Capacity: 20, Digging: 12, Cold Immunity: 30, Extended Hearing: 15, Flame Immunity: 30, Flight: 45, Heat Vision: 30, Hypnotism: 08, Ice Production: 12, Invulnerability: 50, Microscopic Vision: 15, Recall: 30, Sealed Systems: 50, Solar Sustenance: 50, Sonic Beam: 04, Super Breath: 20, Super Hearing: 15, Superspeed: 25, Super Ventriloquism: 15, Suspension: 12, Systemic Antidote: 20, Telescopic Vision: 75, Thermal Vision: 15, Transmutation: 18, X-Ray Vision: 30

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adaptation may only be used to adapt other character’s powers which are based on a power that Superman possesses. For example, he could use Adaptation to mimic the Flash’s Dispersal since Dispersal is based on Superspeed and Superman has Superspeed.
    Likewise, Adaptation may be used to mimic Mr. Mxyztplk’s Dimension Travel in the following way: when Superman is in the 5th Dimension, he may say his own name backwards “Le-lak” to return to the Earth’s dimension.
  • Adaptation may only be used at GM’s discretion. Typically it is used to mimic abilities which are common in a “genre” other than Superman’s.
  • Attraction/Repulsion represents his Superbreath’s ability to attract as well as repel.
  • Storage Capacity represents Superman’s ability to store large amounts of gases or liquids in his lungs. Typically this power is used in conjunction with Attraction.
  • Flame Immunity does not protect against Kryptonian Heat Vision.
  • Flight allows Superman to fly faster than the speed of light. If he flies faster than light while moving clockwise, he will time travel into the future. If he moves counterclockwise, he will travel into the past. If he does neither, he can apparently defy Einstein’s declaration that nothing can move faster than light. (See rules on Time Travel below.)
  • Hypnotism is always on, and only is used to make people not realize that Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same. This power was retconned away almost as soon as it was introduced.
  • Ice Production represents Superman’s supercold breath and typically requires water before it can create ice. However it may be used as is to create a blast of cold air with EV equal to APs of Ice Production.
  • Sonic Beam represents Superman’s shout and has an Area of Effect.
  • SuperBreath may be used to move objects as if SuperBreath had the same APs as Superman’s STR as long as Superman has freedom of movement, i.e., as long as he could have used his STR anyway.
  • Suspension may be used to stop his heartbeat.
  • Transmutation may only be used to super-compress coal into diamonds.
  • X-Ray Vision can not see through lead.

Skills:
Detective: 05, Gadgetry: 25, Scientist: 15

Bonuses and Limitations:
Gadgetry is reduced to 8 when creating new gadgets from scratch.

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Metropolis, Universe), Scholar (all human languages, literature, psychology, history, sociology, Kryptonian languages and customs), Expansive Headquarters, Genius, Popularity, Free Access

Connections:
Metropolis (High), Daily Planet (High), Kandor (High), Lori Lemaris (High), Metropolis Prison (High), Pentagon (High), Press (High), UN (High), White House (High), Batman (High), Superman Emergency Squad (High), Van-Zee (High), Legion of Super-Heroes (young and adult versions) (Low), Krypto (Low), Bizarro #1 (Low)

Drawbacks:
Secret ID, CIA (never killing anything)

Drawbacks:
CIA (not using his powers to full effect). The way this attraction works is the following:

  • (1) Since Superman is supremely confident in his abilities, he never uses a DEX of more than 3 for AV or OV unless he knows that he is fighting an opponent of equal abilities.
  • (2) Superman always pulls his punch, never using more than 10 APs of STR against a human opponent, and never more than 18 APs against most super-tough opponents, until and unless he realizes that he is fighting an opponent of equal abilities.
  • (3) In order to not outshine other heroes with whom he may be teamed, he tends to use his abilities to a lesser extent. In these situations, his APs of Physical and Mental Attributes as well as his APs of all Powers are considered to be ½ of what they normally are (not -1 AP, but ½ APs). At the end of any adventure in which Superman holds back in this way, he earns an extra Standard Award.

Vulnerabilities:

  • Green Kryptonite (Fatal, Loss), Range: 03
    Affects all of Superman’s Attributes and Powers, though sometimes he retains his vision powers at weakened levels.
  • Red Kryptonite (Miscellaneous), Range: 03
    Affects Superman in some unpredictable manner, though a particular piece can only affect him once. Red K is predictable in that a given piece will affect all Kryptonians in the same way. Red K’s effects always begin with Superman feeling a tingling sensation. The effects of Red K usually last 48 hours, but have been known to last for other periods of time. The effects of Red K typically involve physical transformations but almost any effect is possible.
  • Gold Kryptonite (Loss, Permanent), Range: 03
    Affects all of his Attributes and Powers.
  • Magic (Attack and Loss).
    Superman’s RV against magical attacks is reduced to 4. In addition, any power or attribute that Superman tries to use against a magical effect is reduced to 4 for this purpose. Furthermore, if he ever takes 4 or more RAPs of damage from magical attacks, his Current Condition is reduced to 0. If he takes 8 or more RAPs (of Killing Combat damage), his Current Condition is reduced to the negative of the appropriate ability score.
  • Gravity (Attack and Loss, sort of).
    Gravity attacks subtract their RAPs from all of Superman’s Powers and Attributes. While on a high-grav planet, Superman will Lose his STR and Flight.
  • Red Sun Radiation (Loss)
    Sometimes affects all of his attributes and Powers. More correctly, it makes him lose all powers and attributes other than STR and Flight.

Equipment:

  • SUPERMAN’s COSTUME [BODY 35, Flame Immunity: 25, Cold Immunity: 25, /BODY/ 12, Stretching: 09, Sealed Systems: 09, Storage Capacity: 05, Storage Capacity: 0]
    Superman’s costume is nearly as invulnerable as he is, though individual threads can be cut by Superman’s Heat Vision. However, the only protection the costume gives its wearer is an RV of 12. Superstrength is needed to stretch the costume, and Sealed Systems only works if a target is wrapped up in the cape, which in this case would have a Storage Capacity of 5. Typically, the cape’s Storage Capacity is merely 0, however, which is enough to hold Clark Kent’s supercompressed clothing.
  • SUBSTITUTE UNIFORMS [BODY 06]
    These are what Superman wears when his usual costume is missing.
  • CLARK KENT CLOTHES [BODY 01, Flame Immunity: 15, Shrinking: 08]
    Clark’s clothes are specially treated to resist friction, and may therefore be worn while Superman uses Superspeed. However, as a result of this treatment, all of Clark’s suits consist of blue jackets, white shirts, and red ties. Shrinking represents the fact that Superman can supercompress his clothes to fit in his cape pocket.
  • Glasses [BODY 01] ; Kryptonian Glass Lenses [BODY 25]
    These glasses allow Superman to use his Heat Vision as Clark Kent without melting the lenses.
  • SUPERMAN ROBOTS [Stats vary wildly, depending on circumstance.]
    These robots are never as powerful as Superman but are far more powerful than normal people.
  • Phantom Zone Projector [BODY: 25, Dimension Travel: 25]
    Dimension Travel only allows Banishing and Summoning to and from the Phantom Zone.

Super-rules

Storage Capacity is a new Power that allows its user to store a volume equal to the APs of Storage Capacity. It differs from STR in that Storage Capacity allows one to hold fluid and/or awkwardly shaped objects.

For example, a plastic bag would have this power, as would any object with a pouch or a pocket. Secret compartments are also created using this power. For example, the current Iron Man armor has secret compartments which hold miniature bombs.

Time Travel may be achieved through the use of any movement Power above 29 APs in Superman’s usual genre. To arrive at the correct time, the traveller must make a Perception Check against OV/RV determined by the GM. Such a traveller is not limited by the distance that he wishes to travel through time.

However, in this genre, there are two important facts of which to be aware: (1) History can never ever be changed, and (2) If you enter a time when you already exist, you will become an invisible phantom, as if you had Self Link (Spirit Travel): 04 and Invisibility: 25.

By Sean MacDonald and Byron Molix

Source of Character: Pre-Crisis DC Comics.

Helper(s): John Colagioia, The Angel, John McMullen, Mort Weisinger

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