Mastodon

34 min read

The Quiz (DC Comics) (Doom Patrol) as a header for new DC Heroes RPG powers

New Powers for the DC Heroes RPG

(Repository #1)


Sequence

This is one of our new DC Heroes RPG Powers repositories.

Everything is explained — and there’s a full table of content — at the “base camp” article about Powers.

Advertisement


Acuity

Author: Peter S Piispanen and additional unknown author.
Helper(s): John Colagioia, Roy Cowan, Eric Langendorff, Michael A. Ficklin, Adam Fuqua, Jackson.
Mental Power
Link: INT
Range: Special
Type: Auto/Dice
Base Cost: 350
Factor Cost: 10

Acuity grants a Character every form of extra-sensory perception and information-gathering possible. The Character may mimic any Power used to gain information, or divide his/her APs of Acuity among several Powers.

No use of Acuity may have a physical effect, or any effect other than the transfer of information to the Character using it.

This Power may represent several different phenomena. A Character using Acuity may have some blanket form of extra-sensory awareness and thus not actually ’see‘ through walls or ’hear‘ distant conversations – but just ’knows’ what is behind said wall and what the conversation was about.

They thus do not have any single mimicked ability, but instead an intuition of what is occurring.

Acuity may also represent a collection of different perceptual abilities used in tandem, such as the vaguely-defined sensors often featured in science fiction. In this case Acuity often presents a summary of the relevant information rather than specific data points, though the latter is also available.

Usage notes

Acuity may sometimes automatically activate at GM discretion (even overriding current attempts to use the power) in cases where there is information of interest to the Character. In such cases, the Character may suddenly have an astounding insight into his or her situation or a particular circumstance may have drawn their immediate attention.

Powers mimicked through Acuity are subject to all limitations and rules normally associated with them. When Detect is mimicked through Acuity, it is limited to a physical object, energy form, or condition.

For instance, Detect The Best Way to Vanquish the Evil Villain will not work. Using Microscopic Vision to spy out the weak point in his armour will be much more effective.

Applications

The powers that may be mimicked by use of Acuity include:

  • Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent.
  • Danger Sense.
  • Detect.
  • Directional Hearing.
  • Empathy.
  • Extended Hearing.
  • Full Vision.
  • Hypersensitive Touch.
  • Life Sense.
  • Microscopic Vision.
  • Object Awareness.
  • Radar Sense.
  • Remote Sensing.
  • Sonar.
  • Superhearing.
  • Telescopic Vision.
  • Thermal Vision.
  • Truesight.
  • Ultra Vision.
  • Weakness Detection.
  • X-Ray Vision.

Additional sensory Powers may also be mimicked depending on the GM’s judgment.

Special Bonuses

Acuity may be purchased with the following special Bonus: Supernatural (+1 FC), which requires Acuity to be Mystic Linked. It allows the Character to also mimic mystical detection powers such as:

  • Awareness.
  • Comprehend Languages.
  • Danger Sense.
  • Magic Sense.
  • Postcognition.

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) flying in space

Green Lantern Hal Jordan’s ring has the Acuity Power.

Air Control (Expanding the “buffeting” application)

Author: Sébastien Andrivet and Eric Langendorff.
Helper(s): Adam Fuqua.

The DC Heroes/Blood of Heroes rulebook already describes the basics for using Air Control to buffet the opposition.

The following suggestions expand on this. In enough detail to quickly solve most Air Control situations we see in super-hero comics.

1/ Basics

  • The buffeting application… mmm, let’s call it “the vortex”, it’s clearer.
  • The vortex is active through a Volume equal to the Air Control APs. It only affects objects and persons that are fully within this Volume.
  • The Volume may be extended by up to 05 APs. However, this lowers the active APs of Air Control within the vortex by as many APs. For instance, 10 APs of Air Control could be used to generate a Vortex with 12 APs of Volume, but only 08 APs of active Air Control within these 12 APs of Volume.
  • An area with a diameter of 0 APs around the Air Control-using Character is free of the effect. It’s the vortex’s eye  . Knockback may result in the Air Control-using Character being cast into their own vortex !

1.1/ Actions economy

  • A vortex can be maintained through intense concentration. However, intense concentration prevents taking a Dice Action during that Phase.
  • A vortex can be maintained through moderate concentration. This requires an Automatic Action every Phase. Doing this lowers the maximum Air Control APs that can be used by 2 for every successive Phase of this. For instance, three Phases of moderate concentration will lower Air Control APs by 6.
  • Intense concentration will restore the vortex’s full APs, on the Air Control-using Character’s Initiative turn during that Phase.

2/ Being buffeted by a vortex

  • All moveable objects and persons, whose mass is equal to or lower than the vortex’s active APs, are buffeted.
  • APs of Joined or Cling can be substituted for Character mass to resist buffeting.
  • Being buffeted means that all OVs for Dice Actions are raised by 4CS. For instance, to attack somebody whilst buffeted.
  • The buffeted characters also have a +1CS to their OV. For instance, if somebody outside of the vortex tries to shoot them.
  • Characters buffeted by the vortex may take damage. The vortex’s active APs, minus the Character’s mass in APs, are the AV/EV used each Phase. All Characters and objects within the vortex are affected, without any Multi-Attack penalty.
  • This damage is normally Bashing Damage, but the GMs may rule it becomes Killing Damage if there are spikes in the environment, shrapnel-like debris, flames, etc..

3/ Actions for the Air Control-using Character

  • A specific Character or object within the vortex may be expelled rather than kept in. This is a Dice Action, where Air Control APs can be used as if they were Super-Breath APs. As a Dice Action, it prevents intense concentration during that Phase. Moderate concentration via an Automatic Action remains possible.
  • Moving around while maintaining the vortex is difficult :
    • Each Automatic Action used to move only covers zero APs of distance (or the Character’s movement speed minus 2, if that’s lower)
    • Using Air Control for self-propulsion remains possible, without a diminished movement speed. But these APs of Air Control are no longer available for vortex creation purposes. For instance, 10 APs of Air Control could be used for 3 APs of pseudo-Flight, and a 7 APs vortex.

4/ Actions for Characters buffeted by the vortex : holding onto something

  • A Character might be able to grab something to hold onto. If they are already being buffeted, the OV/RV are similar to the AV/EV of damage currently being inflicted by the vortex.
  • Holding on requires APs of STR, Joined or Cling greater than the currently active APs of the vortex. Holding on prevents damage (except from flying objects and persons – GM’s call), and nullifies the +1CS OV bonus from being buffeted.
  • Whether the Character holding onto something may act, and with which penalties to OVs, depends upon the situation.
  • Characters with lower APs may hold on by gaining positive RAPs in a Dice Action pitting their STR/STR (or Joined/Joined, or Cling/Cling) against an OV/RV equal to the currently active APs of the vortex.

5/ Actions for Characters buffeted by the vortex : traversal

  • A Character within the vortex may attempt to reach a specific location, within or without the vortex, rather than be helplessly buffeted around.
  • The vortex’s active APs are the OV/RV for these attempts.
  • Possible AV/EVs include Flight, Superspeed, Acrobatics, DEX -2, Running -2, Gliding -2.
  • A successful Dice Action allows for spending an Automatic Action to move a distance of (RAPs-1) in the desired direction, up to the maximum movement speed of the Character.

Design notes

The “eye” size is given as a diameter, since a radius of -1 AP seems confusing. It’s not given as a Volume since the eye normally extends to the very top of the vortex.

These additional details suggest a number of + 1FC Bonuses. Say :

  • Vortex has a Range, and no eye.
  • Can move freely within one’s own vortex.
  • Moderate concentration results in a one AP loss, rather than a two APs loss, per Phase.

Cyclone (Spider-Man enemy) (Marvel Comics) (Gérard - French) modern art

These additional rules were developed to better simulate Cyclone (André Gérard) in-game.

Advertisement

Aura of pain

Author: Sébastien Andrivet.
Helper(s): Roy Cowan, David Maugard.
Physical Power
Link: STR
Type: Dice
Range: Special
Base cost: 15
Factor cost: 05

This Power allows a Character to generate a pain-causing aura.

The aura extends over a volume equal to the Character’s APs of Power, plus five (5). Any Character within Volume of Aura of Pain is attacked separately, with no Multi-Attack penalty. All persons within the volume will be affected barring appropriate protection.

To use Aura of Pain, a Character must make an Action Check with AV/EVs equal to the APs of Power against OV/RVs equal to an opponent’s BODY/BODY.

  • If RAPs score are greater than or equal to an opponent’s MIN, the opponent will be incapacitate with pain and unable to take actions.
  • If positive RAPs were scored, but less than MIN, the person will flee the scene.

Either effect lasts for a length of time (in APs) equal to the RAPs earned.

Defending

Defences appropriate to the description of the attack will enhance RV. Such as Shade (Audial) against sonics-based attacks, or Skin Armour against bombardment by painful projectiles.

(See the Descriptors discussion to formalise this further — Ed.).

A Character affected by Aura of Pain may attempt to overcome the flight reflex. Each Phase following the attack, the Character can make an Action Check with AV/EV equal to his BODY/MIN against OV/RVs equal to the RAPs of the successful Aura of Pain attack.

Positive RAPs from this Check indicate that Character is free of the Power’s effects.

Design notes

Another niche Power to help represent assaults that aren’t straighforward damage. The ancestor of these is the Flash Power, but it doesn’t cover everything. This led to Powers such as Stagger, Vertigo, Shockwave, Numb…

The area of effect being expressed as a Volume allows for a progression with higher APs, without it being absurdly large. Take a good note of what sort of room the APs of volume correspond to, and use that to visualise the effects.

Sting ball grenade

Stingball grenades have the Aura of Pain Power.

Bestow

Author: Peter S Piispanen (revised, original creator unknown).
Helper(s): Roy Cowan.
Mystical Power
Link: AURA
Range: Normal
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 1000
Factor Cost: 10

The Bestow power allows the user to give special abilities to another being. Any Power, Skill or Attribute may be given to others, regardless of whether the bestower himself has those abilities.

For each Power or Skill bestowed, the bestower must pay the ability’s Base Cost in HPs. Attribute Base Cost is as per the Gadgetry rules. No single ability given can have a higher BC than 100 HPs.

The total maximum number of APs that can be given is equal to the APs of the Bestow power. Bestow can be used to empower more than one person at a time, but the cumulative amount of APs that can be granted is still limited to the APs of Bestow.

Bestowing Advantages

Advantages bestowed upon another have the same cost as they do during Character Creation. Each Advantage counts as 1 AP toward the maximum that can be Bestowed.

Advantages that provide an effective AP bonus to specific actions can only be Bestowed as long as the total APs of the Bestow Power used is equal to or greater than the AP level that the Bestowed Advantage reaches.

Example:
Bestowing the Iron Nerves Advantage, which provides +2CS to RV versus Intimidation Attempts, upon a character with SPIRIT 02 would require a Bestow Power of at least 6 APs (2 APs plus two Column Shifts).

Duration

The duration that these abilities are in effect is equal to the character’s APs of Bestow or until the user chooses to remove the abilities.

The given abilities can be retaken at any time by the bestower as long as the subject is within the Power’s Range. Partial retaking is also possible, leaving the subject lessened but not powerless.

Once bestowed abilities are retaken or the duration expires, the bestower regains half of the HPs spent on the original bestowment.

Bonuses and Limitations

Bestow can be purchased with the following standard Bonuses and Limitation:

  • No BC Restriction (+5 FC).
  • No AP Restriction (+5 FC).
  • Full HP Refund (+5 FC).
  • Permanent (+5 FC).
  • Can Only Bestow certain abilities (variable).
  • Can Only Bequeath (variable).

No BC Restriction

A Character with the No BC Restriction Bonus to Bestow can provide any ability to others, regardless of the Base Cost. Thus powers such as Sorcery (BC: 750), Omni-Power (BC: 500) or Mutation (BC: 200) can be bestowed also.

The bestowal works as normal for these abilities and the bestower should have hundreds of HPs handy to give away such abilities.

No AP Restriction

The total number of APs that can be bestowed on another being aren’t limited by the number of APs of the Bestow Power, though no single Power can exceed the APs of Bestow. The bestower can give away as many abilities as he likes as long as he pays the BC for all these abilities.

Thus a being with Bestow: 05 and the No AP Restriction Bonus could bestow Superspeed: 05, Martial Artist: 05, Iron Will: 05 and Skin Armor: 05 simultaneously for a total cost of 25+25+5+50=105 HPs.

Full HP Refund

When the character takes back bestowed abilities from a subject or the Power’s Duration expires, he regains all of the HPs spent rather than half of them.

Permanent

A Character with the Permanent Bonus can bestow powers to another that will never expire.

To do so, the bestower must pay the normal Base Cost plus the Factor Cost based on the AP Purchase Chart (not the Increasing Attributes Chart).

Thus permanently bestowing Flight of 10 APs would require 10 HPs (Base Cost) plus 48 HPs (10 APs at Factor Cost 3) for a total of 58 HPs.

Once Permanent the Power, Skill, or other ability is added to the subject’s Character sheet as a permanent stat. The bestower still has the ability to retake the power from his subjects as usual but regains no HPs for doing so.

Can Only Bestow certain Abilities

The character can only bestow abilities in certain categories.

Possible Limitations include Can Only Bestow Powers (-3 FC), Can only Bestow Skills (-4 FC), Can only Bestow Advantages (-4 FC), or Can only Bestow Attributes (-4 FC).

Can Only Bequeath

Characters with this Limitation can only bestow abilities that they themselves possess and can only do so up to the APs of that ability or of Bestow, whichever is lower. This reduces the Base Cost of Bestow to 750.

Further reductions include Can only Bequeath Attributes and Advantages (BC 500), Can only Bequeath Skills and Advantages (BC 500 BC), and Can only Bequeath Advantages (BC 250).

Galactus preparing his machines

Galactus has the Bestow Power.

Blunting

Author: Sébastien Andrivet based on a concept by Peter Piispanen.
Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Eric Langendorff.
Physical Power
Link: BODY
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 10
Factor Cost: 03

This Power is usually used to represent flexible lightweight but puncture-proof body armour. Such as the costumes of some super-heroes and early generations of concealable body armour.

Blunting APs turn RAPs of Killing Combat inflicted upon the Character into RAPs of Bashing Combat, up to a number of RAPs equal to the APs of the Blunting Power.

APs of the Blunting Power can be used against most Physical Attacks – i.e., attacks that are not Mental or Mystical. Physical Attacks using gas, radiation, drowning, and other impact-free media cannot be defended against with Blunting.

(See the Descriptors discussion to formalise this further — Ed.).

Remaining Killing Combat APs

Remaining RAPs in excess of the APs of Blunting remain Killing combat RAPs. A Character with Blunting: 04 receiving 6 RAPs of Killing damage still receives 6 RAPs of damage, but the first 4 of those become Bashing damage and last 2 remain Killing damage.

The Killing combat RAPs are applied first, followed by the Bashing combat RAPs.

This is important if a Character is reduced to 0 BODY or less. If the Killing combat RAPs are not enough to reduce him to 0 Current BODY but the following Bashing RAPs do so, the Character is simply knocked out as per a Bashing attack, not a Killing one.

The conversion of RAPs from Killing to Blunt is done before Last Ditch Defense can be applied. If mixed RAPs are received, the Killing combat RAPs are the ones that are negated first by LDD.

A common Limitation is the -1 FC “Cannot Blunt Energy Attacks”.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson) jumping, over a white background

Nightwing’s costume has the Blunting Power.

Broadcast Empath

Author: Sébastien Andrivet.
Mental Power
Link: WILL
Range: Normal
Type: Dice
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 05

The Power allows a Character to make another Character feel any emotion the user wishes. For example, the user could make an opponent&nnbsp;:

  • Run away in fear (see Aura of Fear and Phobia for Powers that only induce this).
  • Feel too sad to do anything.
  • Feel blissful and calm.

Stock usage

The brute force use of Broadcast Empath is to impose a feeling on the target’s mind. This use of Broadcast Empath is treated as a normal Mental Attack with AV/EV equal to the user’s APs of Power.

However a successfully attacked victim takes no Mental damage. Instead, if the RAPs earned by the attack roll are greater than or equal to the opponent’s Mind, the opponent succumbs to whatever emotion the user broadcasts.

This emotional state will last for RAPs of time. Or the Power user may choose to release the opponent at any time beforehand.

A Character will normally realize he is affected By Broadcast Empath, and may attempt to break free through willpower. This is an Action Check with the Int/Will as AV/EV and the RAPs of the Broadcast Empath attack as OV/RV.

Attitude adjustment

A more subtle approach is to permeate the target’s mind with a vaguer feeling and then use conventional Persuasion. The user of Broadcast Empath can choose to improve (or degrade) the target’s Attitude.

This is also a normal Mental Attack with AV/EV’s equal to the user’s APs of Power. The target’s Attitude can be shifted according to the following table:

RAPs Effect
½ target’s MIND 1 step
Full target’s MIND 2 steps
Twice target’s MIND 3 steps

Example

Thus, if a broadcast empath is about to be arrested by a policeman for gross disorderly conduct (MIND: 03, Suspicious Attitude), he can attempt to change the policeman’s attitude.

Using his Broadcast Empath power, he gets 4 RAPs against the cop – which is more than the full MIND score of his target, but less than twice the policeman’s MIND.

He chooses to move up the cop’s Attitude two steps – from Suspicious to Friendly. The policeman is now willing to discuss the matter and will probably let the Character go after a stern lecture and a warning.

Interrogation/Intimidation

The subtle approach to Broadcast Empath can also enhance Intimidation and Interrogation.

This is also a normal Mental Attack with AV/EV equal to the user’s APs of Power. The Character doing the Interrogation or Intimidation against the target will then benefit from bonuses according to the following table :

RAPs Effect
½ target’s MIND -1 CS to OV/RV of
Intimidation/Interrogation Check
Full target’s MIND -2 CS to OV/RV of
Intimidation/Interrogation Check
Twice target’s MIND -3 CS to OV/RV of
Intimidation/Interrogation Check

A Character will not necessarily realise that they are affected by these subtle applications of Broadcast Empath. If they have serious, substantial reasons to doubt that their emotions are their own, they can attempt an INT/WILL check against the user’s INT/Broadcast Empath.

Gaining RAPs will allow them to realize something is not kosher. If so, the target can then attempt to break the control as above.

Spider-Woman (Marvel Comics) (Earliest version) gliding in the night

Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) uses the Broadcast Empath Power for subtle influence.

Claws and EV (Pricing discussion)

Author: Sébastien Andrivet.

The pricing for the Claws Power is an odd one, at BC 25 FC1. This compares unfavorably to buying EV for a Gadget (BC 5 FC 1), and to Projectile Weapons (BC 15 FC 2).

Especially since, by the rulesbook, Claws isn’t its own AV. Whereas by the rulesbook, Projectile Weapons is.

Furthermore, Claws may automatically represent Killing Combat. Which is a clear hindrance in most Genres.

Snikt

In a campaign where Powers aren’t usually their own AV (the default assumption at writeups.org), we suggest the following adjustments :

  1. Both Claws and EV for Gadgets become BC 15, FC 2. Thus, they become interchangeable.
  2. If Claws or EV does force Killing Combat, the BC is lowered to 10 *if* Killing Combat is a hindrance in the campaign.
  3. The Claws Power, despite the name, is no longer assumed to be a cutting or piercing edge. It could simply be a reinforced striking surface, such as adamantiumAn indestructible metal in Marvel comics bones in your fist. Or a hammer-shaped hand.
  4. You may thus want to rename it as, say, the Striker Power. On writeups.org we continue to use Claws and EV, which is more easily understood by readers.

Lady Deathstrike jumping with her claws out

Lady Deathstrike has the Claws Power, as can easily be seen.

Claws Being

Author: Sébastien Andrivet.
Helper(s): Roy Cowan.
Physical Power
Link: BODY
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 04

This Power usually represents a Character covered with spines, quills, or other sharpened protrusions.

Anyone or anything touched by or touching a Character with an activated Claws Being Power, including contact made in hand-to-hand combat, incurs a Physical Attack with AV/EV equal to APs of Claws Being.

This special attack form does not count as an Action for the Claws Being Character.

Attacking Characters can perform a Trick Shot Manoeuvre to avoid the effects of Claws Beings.

Other cases

The APs of Claws Being may also be substituted for a Character’s STR as the EV of any hand-to-hand attack.

Depending on which set of Genre rules are in play (see page 219), use of the Claws Being Power on another Character could automatically constitute Killing Combat. Gamemasters are encouraged to determine this before play.

Special Bonuses and Limitations

Characters with non-retractable protrusions should buy this Power with the Always On Limitation.

The Unavoidable (+2 FC) Bonus for Claws Beings means that the Trick Shot to bypass Claws Beings becomes a +3 CS OV/+3 CS RV one.

The Slasher fleeing with his loot in an alley

The suit worn by Slasher a.k.a. Razorblade has the Claws Being Power.

Continuum Control usage notes

Commenters: John Colagioia & Chris Cottingham.

What differentiates Continuum Control from a simple “bundle” Power (a Power that simply mimics several other Powers) or from purchasing all of the applicable Powers separately is that all of the mimicked abilities can be combined into a single Dice Action.

In other words, it allows the simultaneous use of abilities that would otherwise have to be activated separately, probably over several Phases.

This is stated in the Power description, but deserves emphasis because it is a fairly unique distinguishing ability.

Darkseid (DC Comics) glowing omega eyes face closeup

Darkseid is the most famous user of the Continuum Control Power.

Crystal Production

Author: Pufnstuff.
Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Azrael, William Chamberlin, Chris Cottingham, Roy Cowan, Gareth Lewis, Peter Piispanen.
Physical Power
Link: STR
Range: Normal
Type: Auto/Dice
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 08

This Power allows a Character to spontaneously generate crystalline structures using trace elements in the atmosphere.

These structures may be created in any shape the user wishes. Such as bridges, melee weapons, or enclosures, with a BODY score and maximum total volume equal to the APs of Crystal Production.

The colors and opacity of the crystals produced by the Character should be determined at the time of the Power’s purchase. A Character with an appropriate Artist Skill can even create aesthetically pleasing mosaics using a variety of colors.

Note that stone is also a form of crystal and can thus be generated by this Power.

Once chosen, the opacity or transparency of the crystals remains fixed unless the Character has purchased the Selective Opacity Bonus.

Applications

Specific applications include :

  • Creating barriers or enclosures around the user or other objects. These are treated as inanimate objects with a BODY equal to the APs of Crystal Production. Destroying or breaking through them thus requires a Physical Attack with the AV/EV equal to the EV of the attack and an OV/RV equal to the BODY/BODY of the barrier.
    A single RAP is sufficient to shatter such objects unless the Crystal Production Power is purchased with the Hardened Defenses Bonus.
  • Trapping targets in blocks of crystal. This requires an Action Check with AV/EV equal to DEX/APs of Power versus an OV/RV equal to the target’s DEX/STR. RAPs from this Check equal the BODY and volume of crystal that has trapped the target. The target’s DEX and movement speed is reduced by the RAPs achieved.
    To break free, the target must make a successful Physical Attack using STR/STR as AV/EV against an OV/RV equal to the RAPs of the original Check.
  • Making crystalline projectiles to Physically Attack others with DEX as AV and the APs of Crystal Production as EV.

Objects made with Crystal Production will dissipate after APs of time equal to the character’s APs of Crystal Production.

Crystalline structures have a -2CS to their RV versus sonic or vibratory attacks.

Those encased in an airtight crystalline structure may suffocate once the oxygen within runs out, depending on Genre. This can be avoided by purchasing the Porous Limitation.

Other options to avoid suffocation include the purchase of Sealed Systems (Only Usable by those within Crystal Production Structures) to represent the crystalline enclosures generating a breathable atmosphere or Suspension (Only Usable within Crystal Production Structures) to allow the character to force those enclosed in his crystals to enter a state of hibernation.

Special Bonuses & Limitations

Crystal Production may be purchased with the following special Bonuses and Limitations :

Selectively Opaque (+5BC)

The character can choose whether or not to make the crystals transparent or opaque, and can also opt to make some segments of a single structure opaque while other parts remain transparent. This can be used to practical or artistic effect.

Porous (-1FC)

The crystals created by this character are porous, allowing free gas exchange. There is thus no possibility of people within a crystal structure being suffocated, but those same structures cannot be made airtight to protect against gas attacks or other atmospheric hazards.

Porous crystal structures also suffer a -1CS to their RV as the porosity weakens the structures’ overall integrity.

Selectively Porous (+1FC)

The character can choose whether or not to make any given crystal object Porous. This cannot be purchased in conjunction with the Porous Limitation as it already includes that option.

Sliding (+1FC)

The Character may create a crystalline slides and chutes to move along the ground at a speed equal to their APs of Crystal Production (maximum movement speed of 8 APs).

Permanent (+3FC)

By exerting extra effort, the character can make a crystal structure that will not dissipate when the normal time limit has elapsed.

However, this structure still counts against the maximum total volume of crystal that can be created until the normal duration has elapsed. After that, it is no longer counted against the total volume.

Ubiquitous Source

The crystals are not derived from atmospheric trace elements but instead come from another inexhaustible source such as extra-dimensional summoning or solidified psychic energy.

This allows the creation of crystals in any environment including total vacuum and allows the Character to ignore the maximum total volume restriction, though the total volume of crystal that can be created per phase is still restricted to the APs of Crystal Production.

Examples

Characters with this Power include :

  • Krystalin of X-Men 2099.
  • Kole of the New Teen Titans (pre-Crisis).
  • Legion of Super-Heroes associate Crystal Kid.
  • The Star Sapphires.
  • Superman X of the Legion of Super Heroes Animated Series.

Krystalin blocks an energy blast with a crystal shield

Krystalin has the Crystal Production Power.

Damage Absorption

Author: J.D. Marquart for Pulsar Games based on Mayfair.
Physical Power
Link: BODY
Range: Self
Type: Dice
Base Cost: 75
Factor Cost: 08

This Power allows a Character to absorb APs of damage from Physical attacks and add it to his own Attributes and/or Powers.

Every time the Character is hit by a Physical attack, they make an Action Check using the APs of Damage Absorption as AV/EV against an OV/RV equal to the RAPs done by the attack.

The resulting RAPs are subtracted from the RAPs done by the attack. If any attacking RAPs remain, they are applied against the Character as normal.

The subtracted RAPs can be distributed among one or more of the Character’s Powers or Attributes. This increase in APs will last for a time in APs equal to the APs of Damage Absorption.

Specifics and Limitations

The Powers and Attributes that Damage Absorption applies to must be defined when the Power is purchased. Five (5) Hero Points must be added to the Base Cost of Damage Absorption for each eligible Power or Attribute past the second.

Damage Absorption may be purchased with the following Limitations:

  • Only Useable Against Hand-to-Hand Attacks (-1 FC).
  • Only Useable Against One Energy Type (Electrical, Light, Sonic, etc) (-2 FC).

The Growing Man vs. the Avengers

Kang’s Growing Man has the Damage Absorption Power.

Damage Capacity

Author: By Patrick Good and Paul “Z” Ewande.
Helper(s): Andrew J. Aitken, Mark Ayen, William Chamberlin, Roy Cowan, Phil Dixon, Adam Fuqua, Kal-El el Vigilante, Phillip John Mason.
Physical, Mental, or Mystical Power
Link: Body, Mind, or Spirit.
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 25
Factor Cost: 06

Damage Capacity increases the amount of damage the user can sustain and still function, without increasing the user’s resistance to damage.

These Powers, purchased separately for each type of damage, raise the user’s maximum Current Resistance Condition (Body, Mind or Spirit) by the APs of Power.

The type of Damage Capacity should be noted (Damage Capacity (Physical), for example) but can be assumed to be Physical if unlisted.

Additional resiliences

Damage Capacity has no affect on the user’s RV and the Character cannot use more than his base Resistance Value in HPs to bolster his RV.

While Damage Capacity does not enhance the Character’s RV, it does add:

  • To the Resistance Attribute when determining the point of death.
  • The amount of RAPs that can be negated by Last Ditch Defense.
  • When determining Stun results on the Character.

Example

A Character with BODY 10 and Damage Capacity (Physical): 10 :

  • Starts with 20 Current Body Condition.
  • Has a base Physical RV of 10.
  • Can add up to 10 APs to their RV with HPs.
  • Can negate up to 20 RAPs with LDD.
  • Is only Stunned if taking 20+ RAPs in a single attack.
  • Dies upon reaching -21 or lower Current BODY.

In-universe

Damage Capacity doesn’t necessarily means soaking more damage. It could be :

  • An ability to deflect damage (but one that only goes so far).
  • An ability to non-ablatively absorb damage. For instance, a personal force field that shuts down when it has taken too much damage, but simply needs to be rebooted, vent heat, etc. to get back online.
  • An ability to erase damage. For instance, a limited stock of lightning-fast regeneration nanites.
  • An ability to make it so that the damage is “retconned away”. Like some applications of Last Ditch Defence being “let’s just say I narrowly dodged that attack after all” or “it was just a grazing hit after all”.
  • Others.

As always we encourage players to focus on what Powers, Attributes, Skills, etc. actually do in the system, rather than on the way they’re framed in the description.

Limitations

Damage Capacity can be purchased with the following Limitations:

  • No Negative Capacity (Power does not affect point of death, -1 FC).
  • Negative Capacity Only (Power only affects point of death, -3 FC).
  • No Extra LDD Capacity (-1 FC).

Recovery Rolls

By default, the Current Condition of Damage Capacity is Recovered at the same rate as the corresponding Attribute’s Current Condition (BODY, MIN, SPI). This means that Genre Rules about the delay for Recovery Rolls, some Powers (e.g. Regeneration) and some Schticks apply.

However, Desperation Recovery can only be performed for either the Attribute’s Current Condition or the corresponding Damage Capacity’s Current Condition. A single Desperation Recovery doesn’t allow for a Recovery Roll of both Current Conditions at once.

The Recovery Roll for a Damage Capacity’s Condition is performed using the corresponding Attribute (BODY, MIN, SPI) as AV/EV against the Current Condition of the Damage Capacity Power as OV/RV. The OV/RV is capped at one CS below the corresponding Attribute.

For instance if you have a BODY of 06, the OV/RV of your Physical Damage Capacity Recovery Roll can never be higher than 04/04 (the Column under the 5-6 Column your BODY score belongs to).

Alternative Recovery options

Depending upon what Damage Capacity is modelling in-universe, the Recovery might be completely different. Here are some Optional Bonuses and Limitations :

Instant Recovery Bonus (+3 FC)

A simple check from a person with appropriate but basic tools and know-how, lasting at most a minute, is sufficient to Recover the entire Damage Capacity Current Condition.

This is often associated with “make damage vanish” abilities, such as a personal skin-tight force field being rebooted, a psychic exoskeleton being re-grown, a “burst regeneration” power, or re-adjusting a suit of magical leather armour that is just that tough.

Full Recovery Bonus (+2 FC)

When a germane Recovery Roll is done for the Damage Capacity’s Current Condition, the result is automatically a full Recovery. The Current Condition shoots back to its maximum.

This may require some work, tools, medical examination, drugs, ritual, meditation, food and/or drink, a fresh ballistic vest from the pile in you car’s trunk, a nanites injection, etc. but nothing genuinely bothersome or requiring outside help.

Full Recovery With Infrastructure Bonus (+1 FC)

As above, but this requires access to some sort of common infrastructure such as a forge, a leatherworking shop, a hospital or doctor’s office, a lake, an electrical grid, a garage, etc. and may require a payment to use these facilities.

Ordinary Recovery Rolls can be done in the meanwhile.

Limitations

Limitations are also possible, with pricing depending upon the constraint.

For instance, if your super-car has Damage Capacity but it can only be Recovered by dropping it to one specific garage for one week of expensive body work no car insurance will cover, it sounds like a -2. Perhaps more if the costs are challenging to your Wealth APs.

Most “No Recovery possible without access to a common resource” Limitations (often repairs facilities or a clinic, where Recovery Rolls can be done normally) would be -1 ones.

Alternative Recovery options – consumables

This usually represents video game-style healing potions.

These are treated as APs of Damage Capacity. RAPs that would have been inflicted against the Character’s BODY can instead be rerouted toward this Damage Capacity pool.

This represents quaffing a potion to erase damage sustained… but you only have so many potions, and thus your Damage Capacity pool diminishes as you drink them. On the other hand, no Action is required to do so, mimicking how video game characters quaff potions instantly.

The assumption is that Characters have their individual stocks of potions and are expected to only use them on themselves. Potions that can be used more freely to heal others are better treated as Artefacts with APs of Damage Transference and/or Regeneration (and the Grenade Drawback).

This approach is Damage Capacity APs with the Consumable-Based Recovery Bonus/Limitation. The APs of Damage Capacity get Recovered Instantly, but *only* when fresh healing consumables are procured.

Costing consummables

In most setting , this is a +0 Bonus. A careful adventurer will find as many potions they need to maintain their stock under most circumstances, and can afford to buy more if stocks get low.

If adventurers are awash in healing potions and unlikely to ever run out, this is a +1 or even +2 Bonus. If potions are rare, buying new ones is expensive, etc. this may be a -1 or even -2 Limitation.

Alternatively, the Limitation might be kept low, but the Characters might pick the Debt Drawback to represent the drain on their finances from buying pots.

Designer’s note – vehicles

For those who think that the BODY of stock vehicles in DC Heroes is high, Damage Capacity is a good solution — lower BODY a bit and add Damage Capacity APs so vehicles are easier to damage but not necessarily easier to wreck.

The Thing (Ben Grimm) transformed back to his rocky form

The Thing of the Fantastic 4 famously has the Damage Capacity Power.

Darkness

Note by Sébastien Andrivet, Tiago Quintana, Black Adam, Eric Langendorff.

The Darkness Power includes what seems to be an editorial mistake. “Anyone within the Darkness field has his AV and OV of all Physical Actions reduced by the APs of Darkness”.

How to parse this sentence is unclear. Since nothing affects both the AV and OV of a given Action in the system.

There are two main possible interpretations :

  • The Southern interpretation is that the OV of all Physical Actions taking place within the Darkness field are raised by the APs of Darkness, and that the mention of OV is in error. This is a conservative approach.
    If you take the Southern interpretation, we suggest lowering the Factor Cost of Darkness by one or two to better align it with, say, the Flash Power.
  • The Northern interpretation is that the AV of your Physical Actions in the Darkness is increased (people can’t defend efficiently against you) and your OV against others’ Physical Actions is raised (they can’t really aim at you since it’s dark). This is a generous approach.
    If you take the Northern interpretation, the BC and FC of Darkness are probably best raised, since with Devastating and Critical Attacks it could easily lead to abuse.

Other variants

Here are two approaches to the Darkness Power quandary. But there are more akin to house rules than interpretation of what’s in the rulesbook.

  • The Eastern variant is that the OV for the Characters who can’t see in the Darkness is increased by APs of Darkness, and they are automatically Blindsided – a flat modifier – by opponents whom they can’t perceive.
  • The Western variant is that any Character within the Darkness field whose vision is blocked has the OV of all physical Actions increased by the APs of Darkness. Likewise, any Character whose vision is blocked and who attempts to target a Character or object within the Darkness field has his OV similarly increased. (Characters in the Darkness field attempting to target another Character or object within the field have the OV increased only once.).
    See Eric Langendorff’s rules file for more.

Blackout (Lilin) from his TSR character sheet

Blackout has the Darkness Power.

Data Storage

Author: Sébastien Andrivet and Roy Cowan.
Helper(s): Clarkus, Elias dosSantos, Adam Fuqua, Eric Langendorff, Dr. Peter S Piispanen.
Mental Power
Link: WILL
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 20
Factor Cost: 01

This Power represents the ability to store data, commonly in a computerized format.

Basic playback and access is included in the Power, but detailed searches of the data included therein may require use of the Recall Power at the GM’s option.

The Base Cost includes 20 APs of information capacity. So 1 AP of Data Storage is 20 APs of data or 1 GigaByte.

Data Storage can be bought with the Low Tech Limitation. It reduces Base Cost to 1 and eliminates the bonus +20 APs of Data that the Power typically begins with.

The Increased Capacity Bonus adds 4 APs to the starting Bonus APs for each +1FC. For example, +8 Increased Capacity (for a total beginning base capacity of +28) would cost +2 FC.

Discussion of large APs of information

APs of Data Data Capacity Examples
22 4 GigaBytes (GB) Single-Side Single Layer DVD (4.7 GB)
~130 minutes (11 APs) of HD audio/video*
25 32 GB Blu-Ray DVD (25 GB).
30 1 TeraByte (TB)
39 500 TB Internet Archive  as of 2004 (300 TB).
40 1 PetaByte (PB)
43 8 PB Google’s Server Farm  Capacity as of 2004 (5.625).
48 250 PB Total printed information on Earth
as of 2004 (200 PB).
60 1 ZetaByte
61 2 ZB Information density of 1 gram of DNA (2.25 ZB).

*Different durations of similar quality recording can be determined by adding or subtracting the difference in APs of time. One day of recording capacity (15 APs of time) would require an additional 4 APs of data storage.
Lower quality recordings can reduce the total needed APs of data capacity by 1 to 3 APs while higher quality recordings will add at least as many APs.

Estimates of the data storage capacity of the human brain vary greatly. Common suggested numbers range from 3 Terabytes (Tb) to 1,000 TB (32 to 40 APs of data), though there are some higher and lower estimates.
Sufficient capacity to hold not just a person’s total memories but a functioning mind will likely require a thousand-fold increase (an additional +10 APs).

A complete copy of a single human genome is 2.9 Gb (22 APs of data). Up to 80% of the human genome may be entrons (“junk” DNA that serves no discernible purpose) or redundancies. So a more complex lifeform could still have a smaller genome sequence by virtue of less “wasted space.”

Conversely, simpler lifeforms may have much larger genomes because of an even greater abundance of those fillers. The genome sequence of common e coli bacteria is 4.7 Gb (23 APs of data) and that of wheat is 16 Gb (25 APs).

Optional limitation

No Transfer (-1 FC). The data cannot normally be transferred to another storage solution.
This is usually because the data storage is biological – a person with perfect memory. Transfers *could* take place (say, a telepath with Superspeed and Data Storage) but it’s unlikely.

Eric’s note

In the early days of DC Heroes, the Recall Power pretty much was just simple data storage. The system defined the size of APs of information, and the Recall Power allowed you to store information up to the APs of Recall.

Later editions changed Recall so that you don’t have to explicitly store the information. Because that kind of bookkeeping is just a hassle for both players and GMs; It also doesn’t really reflect how good-memory characters work in fiction.

But you now have to make a check to see if you can remember any particular subject.

The newer version works well for characters, but the older version is far more appropriate for things like computers. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of Gadgets that have the Recall Power—which worked well for them in DCH’s early days—now have a (somewhat) unreliable memory as a result of the change in how Recall works.

This prompted the creation of Data Storage. As an option, there also is an hybrid version.

Commander Shepard using her omni-tool

Commander Shepard uses her wrist holo-computer’s Data Storage Power.

Digging (Tunnelling Only)

Physical Power
Link: STR
Range: Self
Type: Auto
Base Cost: 5
Factor Cost: 1

This is a packaged Limitation for the Digging Power.

The Tunnelling Only Limitation means that APs of Digging are only usable to dig a tunnel with a 0 APs diameter, at a 1 AP land speed. Doing so takes up all Actions for that Phase. None of the other effects of Digging apply.

If the Character slows down to a 0 AP land speed, the tunnel becomes lasting. Otherwise it will be unstable, though a handful of persons progressing closely behind the Character with Digging (Tunnelling Only) should be fine even with a 1 AP speed.

Hardness

The APs of Digging (Tunnelling Only) determine the hardest type of material that the Character can progress through :

Snow 1 AP
Sand, packed snow 2 APs
Dirt 4 APs
Packed dirt 5 APs
Rocky soil 6 APs
Very soft rock
(e.g. gypsum).
7 APs
Soft rock
(e.g., most limestones, marble).
8 APs
Medium rock
(e.g. most travertines, sandstone).
9 APs
Hard rock
(e.g. granite, Led Zeppelin).
10 APs
Veins of ores or gemstones
(e.g. iron, quartz).
11 APs
Extremely rare, very hard
and/or alien minerals.
12 APs

Digging (Tunnelling Only) is limited to natural materials. If the Character happens an artificial obstacle (such as a steel wall) it needs to be attacked through other means (raw STR, Claws, Flame Project…)

Both the movement speed and the tunnelling action being Automatic Actions, they can be Pushed to, respectively, go faster or bore through harder material than is normally possible for the character.

Bonuses and Limitations

Digging (Tunnelling Only) can be bought with the following Bonuses :

  • Consolidation (+1 FC). The tunnel is stable without slowing down the Character.
  • Navigation (+ 5 BC). The Character has an instinctive awareness of their current depth, their angle and direction of digging, and the shape and length of their current tunnel (“straight ahead and level for 3km, then straight ahead and 15° upward for 1km….”).
  • Earth sense (+5 BC). The Character has an instinctive sense of what lies ahead, such as gaps, lava, water, gas, etc..

And the following Limitation :

  • Unstable (- 5BC). The tunnel collapses immediately after the Character. Slowing down to O APs of speed produces the normal tunnel described above, and to minus 1 AP of speed produces a stable tunnel.

Going faster

Higher speeds may be better handled by different limitations to Digging.

But if you want to use Digging (Tunnelling Only) the clearest approach is a Running Power that is Combined With Digging (Tunneling Only).

This is usually used for borer vehicles, such as the Mole in Thunderbirds.

Designer’s notes

Digging is a straightforward power, and does a good job with characters who can blast away or otherwise annihilate large amounts of soft matter.

However, it doesn’t model many “borer” characters, machines and vehicles particularly well, producing some absurd results compared to the source material.

Digging (Tunneling Only), on the other shovel, uses fixed values and an absence of rolls to produce results matching generally observed behaviour.

Night Girl (Lydda Jath) digging a tunnel using her super-strength

Night Girl of the Subs, tunnelling by night.

Compiled, formatted, edited, etc. by Roy Cowan and Sébastien Andrivet.