Friday, June 25, 2021

OSR: Superhero Class

by Ryan Ottley, from Invincible #58
You are a Superhero, or at least a Superhuman.  You should talk with your Referee at the start of the game to determine the morality of your character- no one likes the person who hears "No evil characters" and shows up to the party of Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic Goods with a Chaotic Evil Paladin of Carnage, but that goes double for a superhero game.  Just note that the tables below are based on the assumption that you are a heroic individual, or at least, you are attempting to pursue virtue to become a hero.   

Work with your Referee to generate your Superhuman, or roll on the tables below. 

How did you get your superpowers?


1- I was a subject of Government experimentation.
2- I inherited my powers.
3- I had an encounter with something otherworldy, which altered me in ways I have not yet fully discovered.

What are the side effects of gaining your powers?


1- My body was physically transformed, mutating me into something abnormal.
2- My body has become unusually sensitive, without certain stimuli, food or other sensations I am weakened, become sickly or suffer other maladies.
3- A part of my body was corrupted or altered and that corruption is slowly spreading to the rest of my body.
4- I have unusual cravings, impulses and thoughts that don't seem to be normal.
5- Whenever I use my powers, I feel like someone else is exerting control over me or that I'm not in control of myself/my body, but whenver I stop the feeling immediately recedes. 
6- I am afflicted by strange dreams, suffer from visions at unpredictable or random times or feel information from foreign sources "leaking" into my mind. 

Who is your mentor?


1- A current or former superhero, who I trained under and fought beside as their sidekick.
2- A government agent who, while having no powers of his own, showed me compassion and helped me to cope with my newfound abilities.
3- A soldier who understood the trauma I endured and supported me, no matter my many mistakes.
4- A civilian who risked everything to help me and whom I can never repay.

What is your relationship to the government?


1- I work for them as a federal agent.  I assist local municipal police departments and the federal government, whenever they need my help. 
2- I am licensed to work as a superhuman, but I work for a private hero agency.
3- I am a vigilante who pursues justice outside the law, as the current system is insufficient in my opinion.  I am wanted by the authorities, but not all of them agree with that official designation and may not put their full effort into capturing me.
4- I am considered a Black Cape, ie a Supervillain, and should they discover my presence, alerts will go out to conventional and superhuman law enforcement to arrest me.  I might be a despicable human being who has committed many evil acts, but I could just be a misunderstood hero, unfairly targeted by a corrupt establishment.     

by Fred Benes

Starting HP: 1/3 of CON, rounded down to the nearest whole number.
Fighting Spirit: +2 per Superhero level, up to your COG score
Starting Equipment: Street/Casual Clothes, Hero License, Weapon of your choice (as determined by your level of Access), Costume, cellphone, handcuffs or sidearm

1: Crowned with Power, Hammers of Justice

Crowned with Power: You start with X number of Ability Points, depending on the level of game the Referee is running.  You can use these points to purchase powers from the Superhuman Ability Charts.  These powers always work unless circumstances change and do not require an additional resource to use unless they specify otherwise.  

Hammers of Justice: Your unarmed strikes count as Quick (d6) weapons and can do non-lethal or lethal damage as you choose. 

2+: Roll on the random advancement table.  Unless a result grants benefits from rolling it a second time or states otherwise, reroll. 

Superhero Random Advancement Table:

1-2- Great Soul.  The amount of Fighting Spirit you gain increases by +1 (max +4 per level).  If you roll this result again, your FS maximum increases to Total COG score+1 (max Total COG+4).

3- Lucky.  You gain an additional Luck Point. 

4- Skill Bonus.  Pick any non-combat task, such as investigation, knowledge of a specific subject, utilizing stealth, etc.  You get a +1 bonus to that activity.  If you roll this result again, you may select another skill, or increase your bonus for that skill.  If you choose to increase your skill bonus for a skill you already have, you increase that bonus from +1 to +2, then +1d6, then 1d6+1, then 1d6+2, and finally to +2d6, where it stops.  You cannot increase your skill bonus beyond +2d6, so you must choose another skill or you may reroll this result.

5- Ability Point.  You gain 1 Ability point which you can use to upgrade one of your powers and make it stronger, or you can give yourself a new power.  You can only gain new powers that are branches off of your previous power, or you have a definitive explanation for them.  For example, if your power was telekinesis, a branch power could be emotion control, because your telekinesis is so fine it can manipulate the cells in people's minds and prod them to produce more of certain hormones- thus altering their mood.  Alternatively, you could gain an unrelated power if you have an explanation, such as when the X-Men's Rogue drained so much energy from Ms. Marvel that she permanently gained her ability to fly, as well as her super-strength and invulnerability. 

6- Clothing Damage.  By reducing your armor's Armor Rating (AR) by 1, you gain a +1 bonus to Attack and Defense rolls for the duration of the current battle.

7- Righteous Rage.  If you are faced with an act of legitimate injustice, personal loss or witness something else traumatizing, you can fly into a rage.  While raging, you take -1 damage from all sources and get a +2 bonus to Attack and Defense rolls.  This rage lasts until the person or persons responsible for the evil you witnesses are defeated, dead, retreat or until you fall unconscious. 

8- Spandex Shield.  You can wear flimsy outfits and treat them as armor.  For you, spandex and other thin outfits work as Light Armor with an AR equal to 1+[CHA modifier].

9- Battle Cry.  As an action, you can scream at the top of your lungs.  This can either be a word or a simple animal roar.  When enemies hear this sound, if they are not in an overwhelmingly superior position, they must immediately check morale or flee.  Similarly, when allies hear this sound, they are bolstered and receive a +2 bonus to all morale checks for the next hour, and receive a new save against Fear effects.  Allies and enemies can only be affected by this ability 1/Day, unless the Referee rules otherwise. 

10- Fell the Greatest Foe.  When fighting an opponent larger than you, you do bonus damage equal to the number of size categories between you and your opponent.  So if they are Huge and you are Medium, you do +2 damage.

11- Disciple.  You gain an NPC follower.  This follower has a 50% of having superpowers of his or her own.  This follower is personally loyal to you for a reason determined by the Referee, but do not require payment and will not abandon you easily unless you severely mistreat them. 

12- Populist.  The common people where you are from are fond of you, whether for your heroic deeds, your attitude or simply because you are "their guy".  You can always find help among the common folk, in the form of advice, them hiding you from your enemies, them not revealing your secret identity should it be discovered, etc.  If you are particularly disliked by the population in general, this does not apply to the whole population, but only to one particular sub-group, whether ethnic, political or cultural.  If you roll this result again, you are so beloved by the people that should you need their help, you can call upon the vast body politic to aid you in direct action, or should you be facing overwhelming odds, that can trigger a revolt on your behalf.           

13- Just in the Nick of Time.  If you are not at the site of a disaster, battle or other dangerous situation where someone is in danger and in need of saving and there is a chance you could be there and you want to be there, you arrive just in time to try and save the day. 

14- Fortune Favors the Bold.  If you enter a battle without any Luck Points, you regain 1d4. 

15- Heroic Soul.  You have advantage on all saves made to resist charm or fear effects produced by creatures less virtuous than you.  This does not apply to effects produced by creatures more virtuous than you, or creatures lacking morality (such as beasts).

16- Marked for Judgement.  As an action, you can give your allies advantage on their next attack against a single target.  You can only use this ability once per fight, and only if that creature has attacked or damaged you.

17- Hero of the Downtrodden.  Whenever you enter a battle with the intention of fighting to protect someone weaker (less capable/fewer HD/fewer class levels), you regain 1d6+[your level] FS.  Referee's Discretion applies.  

18- Vanquisher of Evil.  When in combat, you can spend a Luck Point to gain Advantage on an attack. 

19- Dispenser of Justice.  If you choose to deal non-lethal damage on a hit, X times per day, where X is your CHA modifier, you can reroll your damage and take the higher result. 

20- Paragon of Virtue: 1/Day, if you are reduced to 0 HP or below, you can temporarily suppress any penalties caused by Horrible Wounds for the duration of the current situation (ex: a fight, being tortured, a daring rescue, etc).  Until that situation is resolved in one way or another, or you take a Wound that would kill you, you can continue to function normally.

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