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Wolverine (Marvel Comics) in black with claws out

Wolverine

(James Howlett aka Logan)


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

“I’m the best there is at what I do… but what I do isn’t very nice.”


Context

Wolverine of the X-Men was one of the biggest Marvel Comics characters during the late 1980s and the 1990s, and starred in a series of well-received movies in the 2000s and 2010s.

He’s an almost unkillable master warrior struggling with his feral nature and deep amnesia, and hanging to his humanity using such means as the samurai code of discipline.

This profile is a gisted profile done circa the year 2000. The main objective was to hash out game stats for Wolverine, since he’s an essential character against whom to benchmark other Marvel characters. But it also comes with plenty of material about Wolverine in general.


Background

  • Real Name: Logan, James Howlett.
  • Other Aliases: Logan, Logan W. Patch, Weapon X, Emilio Garra.
  • Marital Status: Married (to Viper).
  • Known Relatives: Daken (son), Erista (son), Amiko Kobayashi (adoptive daughter), Laura Kinney (aka X-23, daughter through genetic donation), Viper (ex-wife), John Jr. Howlett (aka the White Ghost, half-brother, assumed deceased), Dog (possibly aka Sabretooth aka Victor Creed, assumed brother, deceased), Thomas Logan (assumed father, deceased), Mr. Howlett (assumed foster grandfather) , John Sr. Howlett (assumed foster father, deceased), Elizabeth (Hudson) Howlett (mother, deceased), Elias Hudson (uncle, deceased), Frederick Hudson (uncle, deceased), Frederick Hudson II (cousin, deceased), Truett Hudson (aka the Professor of the Weapon X program, second cousin, deceased), Victor Hudson (second cousin), James “Mac” MacDonald Hudson (aka Guardian/Vindicator, second cousin, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: X-Men, X-Force II, New Avengers. Previous member of the Secret Defenders, the Devil’s Brigade, the Four Horsemen, First (Alpha) Flight, agent of the Leader, of the Team X / Weapon X Program / C.I.A, of the Canadian Parachute Battalion.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’3’‘ Weight: 195 lbs.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Wolverine is a mutant with the power to regenerate damaged or destroyed areas of his cellular structure at a rate far greater than that of an ordinary human. The speed with which the healing occurs varies in direct proportion with the severity of the damage Wolverine has suffered. Wolverine can also regenerate the cells of his nervous system, although ordinary humans cannot.

Theoretically, Wolverine’s fast healing ability should also make him virtually immune to poisons and most drugs. But while immune to disease and intoxication through tobacco or alcohol, he can be knocked out from powerful gas attacks. He also has a limited immunity to the fatigue poisons generated by bodily activity, and hence he has greater endurance than any ordinary human being.

Wolverine’s senses are superhumanly acute and are comparable to those of certain animals. For example, he can track someone by smell just as a dog or wolf can. His sense of hearing is only slightly less developed than that of the hero Daredevil. While not able to see in complete darkness, his training has given him a very acute night sight.

In part, Wolverine’s superhuman senses comprise a separate mutant power of his, but they are also due in part to his power of cellular regeneration.

Wolverine's tan and brown costume

Snikt !

He was also born with a set of bone claws that can be extended from inside the forearms out through the top of his hands. Since Adamantium  was infused into his bones both his skeletal structure and the claws were covered by Adamantium. The claws are roughly a foot long, the length of Wolverine’s forearm. He is equipped with three claws on each of his arms.

The claws are connected directly to his skeleton and the nervous system. Normally they remain beneath the skin and muscle of his forearms upon Wolverine’s mental command, the claws shoot forward and emerge through skin and muscle from just beneath the knuckles. He can unsheathe any number of claws at once. The claws are slightly curved and are used as weapons.

The hardness of Adamantium and their sharpness allow Wolverine to use them to cut through virtually any substance depending on its’ thickness and the amount of force he can exert. He wields the claws to lethal efficiency and in combat often intimidates opponents.

The Adamantium itself is, for all intents and purposes, virtually indestructible. As a result of being laced with Adamantium, Wolverine’s bones are therefore virtually indestructible. The Adamantium used for Wolverine is slightly poisonous and constantly keeps part of his regenerative abilities occupied.

His long life has granted him very many skills; he fluently speaks English, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and German. He’s a master of the martial arts, acrobatics, stunt biking and sneaking. Using his powers he’s an incredibly alert tracker and using his most primordial senses he has an uncanny report with carnivorous animals.

Another useful skill, partly derived from his mutant abilities, is the ability to enter a berserker rage. In this state he becomes near impossible to dominate mentally and he ignores any physical pain to a great extent.&emspUnfortunately, he also becomes more careless and perceptive while doing so.


History

Logan alias Wolverine’s past is quite shrouded in mystery. There’s no known record of his birth, and since his mutant healing ability causes him to age at a considerably slower rate than that of ordinary human beings, his age cannot be estimated. Despite this, due to later reawakening of his own memory, it is clear that he was born in Canada sometime in the 19th century.

Wolverine has known the vicious assassin Sabretooth for many years, but the nature of their past relationship is unknown. According to his memories, Logan was raised by Victor Creed alias Sabretooth, who also may be his biological father. He appears to have lived with his childhood sweetheart, named Silver Fox, in the Canadian woods, but Sabretooth apparently killed her on Logan’s own birthday.

Many years later it would be revealed that her death was only a memory implant put into Logan, and that she, being alive, was actually a leader of the criminal organization known as Hydra. Sabretooth had actually tried to kill her before, but he had, in reality, failed.

He’s later been involved in various eras in various areas: During the allied landing in Normandy, during WW II, Logan was a Corporal along the 6th British Airborne Division, which had Canadians among them.

During a later time-travelling stint he’d, alongside Puck and Ernest Hemingway , was involved with the partisans during the Spanish Civil War  in 1937. That time Lady Deathstrike also followed and actually slightly changed history.

During the 1960s, Logan worked as a covert agent along several friends from the so-called Weapon X Program (see later). In the 1970s he was in Iraq during an American hostage crisis. Just before Wolverine’s skeleton was laced with Adamantium, he served in a war with a group called the Devil’s Brigade, and later worked as a freelance intelligence operative.

Wolverine by John Cassaday

Wolverine’s skeleton and his claws had been laced with the artificial, virtually indestructible metal called Adamantium. The American scientist Dr. Myron MacLain first developed Adamantium. After World War II a Japanese scientist known as Lord Dark Wind developed a process for bonding Adamantium to human bone. Lord Dark Wind thus hoped to create an army of invincible warriors, each with an Adamantium-reinforced skeleton.

However, an unknown party stole Lord Dark Wind’s notes on the process, and it took him decades to reinvent the process. Many years later, the daughter of Lord Dark Wind, named Lady Deathstrike would plague Wolverine in order to revenge the injustice done to her father.

It is known that within the last decade James MacDonald Hudson, then the head of Department H, a division of the Canadian government that would eventually form the team of superhuman agents known as Alpha Flight, possessed a report on the process of bonding Adamantium to the human skeleton, that was translated from Japanese.

Hudson and his wife Heather took a delayed honeymoon in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park. There they were attacked by Logan, who had become savage and animalistic, was in quite a bad shape and seemingly incapable of speech. Heather wounded Logan with gunfire and the Hudsons brought him to their cabin.

James Hudson noticed Logan’s fast healing abilities and said that he would prove valuable to Department H.. James Hudson skied away, saying that he was going to get medical help for Logan, and leaving Heather in the cabin with the unconscious ’wild man’, whom he had tied to a bed.

But a blizzard prevented James Hudson from returning to the cabin, Logan regained consciousness and unwittingly extended his claws, severing his bonds, and then, again unwittingly, retracted the claws. Furious at being trapped in the cabin, Heather Hudson began berating Logan, who, apparently out to attack her, again extended his claws.

But then Logan saw the claws for what he claims is the first time he remembers them, and was horrified.

Believing that someone had implanted the claws in Logan against his will, Heather Hudson comforted the despairing Logan until James Hudson returned. The Hudsons had Logan live with them and nursed him back to health.

They also worked with Logan day and night until he emerged from his state of shock and regained his human sanity, although Logan was still prey to animalistic rages at times. Logan was unable to recall how he received his Adamantium claws and skeleton (he was actually born with the claws).

Wolverine's yellow and blue costume

Prior to having been found in the woods, Logan had just escaped from the covert, American sponsored program named the Weapon X Program, with no memory of who or what he was. At this program he’d gained the Adamantium-lacing along severe memory implantation, brainwashing etc..

He was still in a very bad shape when found by the Hudsons, from the shock of having Adamantium bonded to his skeleton and from brainwashing.

The Program’s goal was to produce invincible and unaging super soldiers. These soldiers would live normal lives completely unaware of their participation in the program, and would come complete with fake memories, brainwashing etc., and would later be awakened at times of need. Most would be super powered (since they were mutants) and be equipped with internal weapon systems and skill programs.

The program was located at a secret military installation deep in the woods of Canada. The security personnel were heavily armed men called the Wranglers.

The leaders of this project were the Professor (responsible for the whole project), Cornelius (Science Advisor), Hines (Administrative Business) and Ferro (alias Aldo Ferro aka El Topo aka Psiborg, Responsible for Brainwashing and Memory Implantation).

It would all be budgeted from the United States Division of Agriculture, Pesticide Control, as well as private sponsoring from Ferro (who was after the age-retarding program, which the Program used, for himself).

The other participant (i.e. victims) of the Program X project were: Wolverine (aka Emilio Garra aka Logan), Sabretooth (aka El Tigre aka Victor Creed), Fox (aka Zora de Plata aka Silver Fox), Kestrel (aka Halkon aka John Wraith), Vole (aka Ferro aka El Topo aka Psiborg aka Aldo Ferro), Mastodon (aka Elefante) and Wildcat (aka Maverick). Apparently there were also other groups of ’volunteers’ in later programs.

After recovering from the program, Logan worked as a Canadian secret agent for a time. During this time Logan worked with the American intelligence agent Carol Danvers, who’d later become Binary. Knowing of his special powers, claws and Adamantium-laced skeleton, high Canadian officials decided to make Logan the leader of the group of superhuman agents that would become known as Alpha Flight.

Therefore, the Canadian government spent millions both to train Logan in the uses of his abilities and to condition him psychologically in an attempt to control his berserker tendencies.

Logan helped James Hudson in the initial phases of creating what would become Alpha Flight, and it was Logan who recruited Aurora for Department H. Logan was originally given the codename of ’Weapon X‘, but he was also known as Wolverine, due to his resemblance to the small but fierce Canadian mammal of that name. As Weapon X he clashed with both the Hulk and a Wendigo.

Wolverine in a forest by Art Adams

As part of his attempt to recruit new member for the X-Men, his team of superhuman mutants, Professor Charles Xavier journeyed to Canada to invite Wolverine to join the team. Logan had fallen in love with Heather Hudson, but he had finally realized that she would never leave her husband for him; her affection for Logan was maternal.

Therefore, wanting to put his longing for Heather behind him, Logan accepted Xavier’s invitation joining the latest incarnation of the X-Men, along Storm, Colossus, Cyclops, Phoenix, Banshee and Nightcrawler. Wolverine quit Department H and has been an active member of the X-Men ever since.

Hudson and the rest of Alpha Flight were ordered to bring him back by force, but both attempts to capture him ultimately failed. The Canadian government lost interest in forcing Wolverine to return, and Wolverine has since voluntarily aided Alpha Flight members in combat. He became especially close to teammate Puck.

Wolverine gained mastery over his berserker tendencies during his struggle against Japanese criminal leader Shingen Harada and the cult called the Hand. However, although he hates doing so, Logan can still allow himself to go into berserker rages in combat.

Logan became engaged to Shingen Harada’s daughter Mariko, the current leader of the Yashida Clan, but she called off their wedding as a result of her being psionically manipulated by the X-Men’s foe Mastermind.

Although Mariko Yashida was freed from Mastermind’s influence, and although she and Logan still loved each other, she’d not marry him until she believed she had redeemed herself for calling off the wedding.

Logan took under his care Aikiko, a young girl who was orphaned when her mother was killed during the devastation wreaked by an alien dragon like being whom the X-Men battled in Japan. Aikiko became Mariko’s ward, and Logan and Mariko regarded her as if she were their daughter.

Wolverine in a jungle

After participating in many adventures with the X-Men, it appeared as if they all died in Dallas. In fact, they now worked covertly from a base in an abandoned town in Australia.

Wolverine, craving some personal adventures, moved to the island nation of Madripoor. There he adopted the secret identity of ’Patch‘, and worked as a bodyguard to one of the local leaders of criminal activities, named ’Tyger Tiger‘, in order to keep her from dealing with drugs and prostitution.

In Madripoor Logan had trouble with some artifact named the Black Blade, fought the mercenaries known as ’Roughouse‘ and ’Bloodsport‘ and faced the god known as ’Ba’al‘ and killed him.

He then participated in the revolt of the Latin-American country called ’Tierra Verde‘ alongside Roughouse and ’La Bandera‘ against the president and the former nazi advisor known as ’Geist‘.

He’d a lethal encounter with the Japanese Yakuza, who hunted a rare monkey in Madripoor for getting a biochemical catalyst from their brains. This catalyst would produce the euphoric drug known as ’Zap‘ from common compounds.

Heavily refined ’Zap‘ was called ’Thunder Bolt‘ and didn’t only induced total euphoria, total lack of physical pain stimuli, super strength, and super endurance, but it also killed its’ user in the end. That was the first time the cyborg named ’Cylla‘, whom wealthy mining tycoon Donald Pierce had built in order to gain revenge against Wolverine.

He then face the legendary monster named ’The Hunter in the Darkess’ in the Canadian woods. Next on line was a time-travelling trip to Spain, in 1937, during the Civil War. Back in our time again, he faced the androids known as ’Elsie Dee‘ and ’Albert‘, also built by Pierce. During this Sabretooth, the Hunter in the Darkness and Lady Deathstrike also turned up.

Logan then found out stuff about the Weapon X Program and had to face the android Shiva, who was designed to destroy curious weapon X soldiers. During this the Professor was killed. As a break he went time traveling with Mystique and Spiral in order to face Mojo. Elsie Dee and Albert later reprogrammed themselves and gained total independence.

Next he faced the Hand and Cylla in Japan, along Sunfire, Gambit and Jubilee. Sadly, Mariko Yashida was poisoned (and killed by Wolverine who wanted to spare her the agonies) when she was dealing with the Japanese Maffia. Wolverine, Jubilee and Terror then fought some ecological terrorists in the states.

Wolverine vs. Lord Shingen

Then the past really came back to haunt Wolverine; he met up with all his former pals from the Weapon X program. He found out that Silver Fox was still alive, only to have her killed again by Aldo Ferro aka Psiborg, who’d been the one to brainwash them all.

A severely depressed Logan traveled to the Kazhak desert in order to check up some recently found memories. At a former Soviet Space Center he found the mutant named Epsilon Red, who removed all the blocks put on Wolverine’s memory. Although his memories are still quite the shambles, he’s much the wiser from this experience. Wolverine and Jubilee then arrived in the Savage Land where they faced the Mutates and Sauron.

After that, he faced lots of different adversaries such as Cyber. Magneto then ripped the Adamantium out from his body, nearly killing him in the process. The Adamantium had actually been keeping part of his regenerative abilities busy, since it was poisoning him, and once free of the Adamantium his powers really kick-started. They even activated a reversal in him to a more animalistic, bestial form.

He got help from Elektra to cope with his lost humanity, but eventually returned to his old self when he got a new Adamantium skeleton. BTW, since Wolverine is actually married to Viper, he’s busy watching his back since he’s constantly hunted by her. Otherwise, Wolverine continues as an active X-Man.


Description

He is a real manly man with hair, broken nose, sideburns, hair, attitude and hair:-) Seriously, though, Wolverine is a short, but incredibly muscular man with an unusual look. With black eyes and lots of black hair complete with sideburns and a devilish-like haircut, along with his natural roughness, his looks are a real hit with many wilder ladies.

Although in costume less often than other adventurers, he’s used two main forms; the first was a yellow full-body suit with blue shorts, boots, shoulders and gloves, a red belt and a yellow headpiece with large black ’ears’, which only left his arms uncovered.

The second suit, currently in use has a similar structure, but instead has changed blue for brown and yellow for beige. The headpiece is also beige in colour with the ’ears’ in brown. Both types of costumes have had three metallic pieces on both knuckles that have served as channels for his claws whenever he pops them out.


Personality

Logan is a wild, natural personality that likes women and to gamble, drink, smoke and fight. He’ll seek out troublesome company since that’s where the action is (playing cards, for example, with Nick Fury, the Beast, Gambit and the Thing !).

While once a brutal, ruthless fighter, Wolverine has mellowed somewhat over the years. He has made a definite effort to subdue the ’beast‘ side of his mind, although he can call on it when necessary. He also possesses a high degree of honour, derived from the samurai code of Bushido.

Despite his many years with the X-Men, Wolverine is still essentially a loner and if a personal problem comes up, he will almost always deal with it himself rather than turn to his comrades for help.

Wolverine charging into gunfire on a motorcycle

While his personality might give a very rough appearance, his cunning and intelligence is not to be underestimated. His powerful senses are constantly in use, despite anyone around him noticing this, giving him perfect awareness of his surroundings at all time. He is a good reader of character and often uses what he knows to intimidate opponents (often using his claws in one way or another).

He also cares about children, although he wouldn’t admit that to himself, and will always step in to protect those in need.

While mostly in control, Sabretooth is the one opponent that he truly hates and that can make him loose that control. While amazingly similar, Sabretooth embraces his homicidal tendencies, while Wolverine tries to repress them. That is, except when he’s faced with killers and the like… then he goes all in for the kill.


DC Universe History

Wolverine is the original regenerative, mutant fighter. He should be used as an original ’wild man’ from Canada with his history intact as is. Not much is happening in DC’s Canada so he and the program could be inserted straight there.

His connection with the X-Men should probably be severed, but he might have been contacted by the Doom Patrol previously and would now be a temporary candidate for the Ultra-Marines. Having Vandal Savage as the financier (instead of Aldo Ferro) in the Program gives it all an interesting twist.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Wolverine (Adamantium skeleton version)

Dex: 08 Str: 05 Bod: 08 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 07 Wil: 10 Min: 08 Occupation: Lone Wolf, Adventurer, X-Man
Inf: 08 Aur: 05 Spi: 08 Resources: 006
Init: 027 HP: 100

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 09, Claws: 11, Extended Hearing: 05, EV: 06, Invulnerability: 10, Iron Will: 04, Mind over Matter: 03, Regeneration: 08, Systemic Antidote: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Claws – see the discussion below.
  • Martial Arts skill includes Natural Weapons (+1).
  • Iron Will can be added to AV to break free of mental control (+2).
  • Misc. If Wolverine ever loses his Regeneration power, he’ll inflict 1 RAP of Physical Killing Damage on himself whenever he pops his retractable Claws (-1).
  • Whenever Iron Will is used as a power, the Rage Drawback’s severity increases by one rank, INT is dropped by 2 APs and BODY is increased by 1 AP, 20 pts.
  • Iron Will usage represents entering a ’Berserker Rage‘ and can be entered practically at will.
  • Mind over Matter is the version presented in the BOH:SE rules.

Skills:
Acrobatics: 07, Animal Handling*: 08, Charisma (Persuasion, Interrogation): 08, Charisma (Intimidation): 10, Martial Arts: 08, Martial Arts (Natural Weapons): 09, Military Science (Demolition, Field Command, Cartography): 05, Military Science (Camouflage, Danger recognition): 07, Military Science (Tracking): 10, Thief: 08, Vehicles: 06, Weaponry: 08

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Canadian Wilderness, Madripoor), Expertise (Bushido code, Canadian Ice Hockey championships), Iron Nerves, Languages (German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, French, Farsi, presumably others), Lightning Reflexes, Misc. Advantage (Wolverine’s bones and claws, laced with Adamantium, have a BODY of 25 APs against any attack specifically designed to break, cut, etc. his bones, 10 pts), Omni-Connection, Rank (Captain, retired), Scholar (Survival), Sharp Eye, Schtick (Wounds Rejection (Low)), Slowed Aging.

Connections:
Alpha Flight (High), Archie Goodwin (High), Black Widow (High), Canadian Armed Forces Intelligence Division (Low), Elektra (Low), Jean Grey (High), Jessica Drew (High), Jubilation Lee (High), Kitty Pride (High), Madripoor Police (High), SHIELD (Low), Storm (High), Street (Low), Vindicator and Puck (High), Xavier Teams esp. The X-Men (High), Yashida Clan (High), Yukio (High).

Drawbacks:
Attack Vulnerability (-1 CS OV/RV against Magnetic Attacks due to carrying an Adamantium Skeleton, 8 pts only), Archenemies (Donald Pierce, Sabretooth), Mistrust (Mutant, sometimes only), Serious Rage (Catastrophic formerly), Misc. Drawback (Amnesia and Memory Implants, 5pts).


Wolverine’s Adamantium Claws

Wolverine has a pair of Natural (+0), Innate (+1) bone claws inside his lower arms. These consist of three separate claws that can be extended for one feet from the back of his hands, by simple muscle impulses, either one at a time or all at once ; they are thus Retractable (+0).

These bone claws have, like the rest of his body, been laced with Adamantium. They therefore have a BODY of 25 APs as long as the Adamantium is present. His claws are exceptionally sharp, but are not as lethal as one might be lead to believe ; they can damage soft or hard damage alike, but damage applied isn’t very great. Superhuman opponents aren’t immediately killed by the claws and heavy steel doors aren’t destroyed although they are almost always damaged.

In DC Heroes terms, we suggest one of the following two approaches :

  • The original approach was called the “Armour Piercing Limitation” – the EV of the Claws was raised from 7 to 11, but the RAPs obtained by this EV must be halved (e.g., if 8 RAPs are rolled only 4 RAPs are inflicted). The main stats block still uses this number.
  • The modern approach is to use Claws: 07 and Sharpness (Claws): 05 for Wolverine’s Adamantium-laced claws.

The healing game

Wolverine is famous for his ability to heal. He often has Power Complication subplots that mainly alter his Regeneration and Invulnerability scores – such Subplots tend to be rather long, ranging over several adventures. For this reason, people who have only read about his adventures during a relatively short period (within an extended arc) will have a different take on his abilities than others.

On occasions when his Regeneration score is decreased or neutralized alltogether, he will also loose his healing Schtick completely. One could argue that he did not have this Schtick during his adventures in Madripoor in the 1980s.

OTOH, when his Regeneration score has been buffed it has sometimes been accompanied by one of the Appearance Drawbacks (like when Magneto ripped out his Adamantium Skeleton and he reverted to a more animalistic state). In general it is true that his regenerative abilities slowly increase over the years.

Many stories have shown inconsistencies in how his regeneration works. For example, early on in the story arc he has been severely damaged and incapacitated by relatively minor threats. Later on, when he really needed to get going to ’complete the adventure‘, he simply chose to ignore similar damage to a larger degree than what would be expected by mere HP expenditure.

This is exactly the type of thing that his healing Schtick represents and allows.

The Schtick also helps, along with Regeneration, Invulnerability and HPs, with handling a lot of the more recent extreme regeneration issues, such as healing up from having been blasted or burn into a mere skeleton. Nobody regenerates like Wolverine when he really wants to heal up and get going.

The Regeneration power and the APs presented in this writeup represent his average ability throughout all eras and all stories, and might vary (GM call) depending on which era of Wolverine he’s using.

By Peter S Piispanen aka The Angel.

Source of Character: X-Men and Wolverine comics, Marvel.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Richard Lyons, Gareth Lewis, Phil Dixon, Paul Ewande, Philip John Mason, Roy Cowan, Sean MacDonald, quintanads, Jobe, OHOTMU Vol VIII.

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