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Old 06-19-2019, 10:56 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

One of the more interesting type characters to me is the Minor League Super (my definition would be a 250 CP super). Such a super may be the protector of a large neighborhood or a small town, the type of superhero who is known and respected by their neighbors, at least until they come up against a problem their power level cannot handle. Alternatively, they may a supervillian who targets a large neighborhood or small town, either as a tinpot autocrat or a Robin Hood type character. In either case, their stories can be much more interesting than the stories of more powerful supers.

What type of Minor League Supers have you created or played? What is the attraction of such characters to you? Would you be willing to share your Minor League Super?
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

Ghost

Real Name: Tanya Riggs.
Uniform: White bodysuit, billowing white hooded tattered cloak, white featureless full-face mask.
Powers: Insubstantiality (Can Carry Objects: Light Encumbrance; No Vertical Movement; Partial; Reflexive; Super; Temp Disad: Vulnerability to Gas Attacks x2); Invisibility (Switchable; Super).
Weapons: 9mm semi-auto pistol, paired escrima sticks.

Ghost is one of those characters I never actually get to play because the GM I present her to claims to not be able to handle the combination. Basically, I see her as equal parts Shadowcat and Invisible Kid.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:06 AM   #3
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2
 
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

This is a character I saw mentioned in passing in a webcomic called Everyday Heroes (which has a number of small-town super-hero types in it). I felt she was the very essence of the C-list small-town super-being.

Cool Hand Lucy

Name: Lucy Van Dorne
Skills/Profession: Small-town police officer, self-defense instructor
Description: Pale blonde with pixie cut, blue eyes, slender, Minnesota accent.
Costume: Pale blue domino mask, short white cape, white body suit with blue cutouts.

Powers: Innate Attack/Fatigue 3 [Contact Agent -30%] (21 pts)
Temperature Control 3 [Reduced Time 3 +60%; Cold Only -50%] (17 pts)
Temperature Tolerance 20 [Cold Only -50%] (10 pts)

(Cool Hand Lucy can lower the temperature around her by 8 degrees per second, lowering it by 60 degrees total. With a touch she can induce hypothermia in a person, incapacitating or knocking out most normal people. She can also withstand unnaturally cold temperatures.)

Lucy has no secret identity but has a masked costume because that's what people expect. She works as a police officer in a county-seat sized community (around 10,000 population), teaches a self-defense course, and does occasional jobs elsewhere. She often protects court witnesses as her powers make her ideally suited to incapacitate unarmed attackers, and she is usually called out when people are lost in winter conditions.
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Last edited by Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2; 07-11-2019 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

One low points supervillain in one of my games was an elderly Mage who specialized in mind reading and subtle memory alterations. He stole information and sold it to the highest bidder. Not a threat in himself but a cause of chaos and violence in others.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:51 PM   #5
Infornific
 
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

The attraction is playing characters who are exceptional and outclass ordinary competition but still can be challenged by mundane forces. The problem you can get with higher powered characters is that they can be effectively immune to anything short of fully equipped soldiers.

250 is the starting level for GURPS Action so this is closer to cinematic level than classic superhero. Leverage would make a good model for this kind of campaign. It's basically a superhero show minus the spandex.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:28 PM   #6
a humble lich
 
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

It is a bit above the level under discussion, but I ran a low powered supers game that was successful. The PCs were 350 points and it was set around a group of crime fighters in 1930s Paris.

I agree that the attraction is that you have PCs that are threatened by fairly ordinary people. The foes that the PCs fought in this game often were often frug dealers or organized crime thugs. Their motivation wasn't to stop an alien invasion, but rather to stop a new gang bringing heroin into Paris.

There are a lot of classic superheroes that are basically at this level. Many Batman or Daredevil stories are at this level, where Batman is going after thugs and organized crime. (Of course, there are other Batman stories where he is much more capable and is probably well over 1000 points.) Most of the characters from the show Heroes were probably about 250 points.

(Now by the end of my campaign, the PCs had grown to over 400 points, and they were no longer low powered. Instead of drug dealers, they were fighting KGB super assassins and elite white Russians who had taken Nazi super-soldier serum. The campaign started of low level though.)
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:50 PM   #7
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

The Dead Boyz are a superpowered street gang made of youths most of whom found themselves unwelcome after they manifested their powers. They have carved out a small territory for themselves on the border between two large gangs, both of whom are a bit reluctant to take on supervillains...even though the Boyz are comparative lightweights who could be taken down by guys with guns if put to the test.

DOA is the leader. He has good reflexes and retractable poison claws.

Big Bad is the lieutenant. He's a humanoid werewolf, with mildly superhuman strength and decent hit points. He heals fast but not instantly.

Suicide Girl is DOA's girlfriend. She is Unkillable.

Bloody Mary has a strange relationship with mirrors. She can see through them to other mirrors, make them violently shatter, or project duplicates through to the other side.

Shiv has the power to telekinetically control his knife...that's it.

B-Devil wears a Halloween devil mask spray painted blue. He can give other people a terrible feeling of sadness.

Bandit lost an arm to trying to steal the wrong mystic artifact. Now at the end of his stump he can manifest replacement arms made out of the four elements. The fire arm can shoot fire. The water arm can put out fires and knock people over with it's fire-hose like power. The stone arm hits hard and has good DR. And the air arm...well just isn't very useful. Unless there's a heat wave.

Dead Earnest is a zombie left over from an abortive zombie apocalypse who regained his free will and some of his intelligence after the necromancer was defeated.

The Dead Boyz occasionally encounter a superhero who operates in the territory of one of the nearby gangs, Tarantula Hawk or "T-Hawk". She's a gadgeteer with extremely limited financial resources, so she has a suit of "powered armour" that is good enough to protect against low calibre pistols but not much more, can fly at about 30 mph, and is armed with an electric "sting".
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:35 PM   #8
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

A Quick Gadgeteer could be an suitable character for such a setting. IQ 14, Master Builder 4, Quick Gadgeteer, and Engineer at IQ+10 ends up being 178 CP. The advantage of a Quick Gadgeteer is that they do not need a lot of resources, so they could easily transform a couple of junk cars into functional powered combat armor.
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:48 AM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

The Quiet Crow is a super criminal who uses his probability manipulation abilities to assist in his criminal schemes. He always seems to say the right thing at the right time to his marks and, when he is done with them, they often find themselves lacking ten percent of their assets (the Quiet Crow's tithe, as he calls it). In between jobs, he uses his abilities for his own entertainment, as it is trivially easy for him to say the exact right thing at the right time to seduce women and to do the exact right thing at the exact right time to make them think that he is the best lover on Earth.

Despite his criminal behavior, the Quiet Crow is not evil, just unconcerned with the law. His abilities are quite subtle, and the majority of his victims do not realize that they have been victimized, just that they were unfortunate in their choice of investments. The fact that he only takes a tenth of their money means that the majority of them can recover from the misfortune of encountering him.

Strangely enough, it is his love life rather than his criminal activities that have alerted the authorities to his potential illegal abilities. One of his lovers was an undercover FBI agent who got involved with him while she was searching for art smugglers. Despite her normal preferences, she ended up sleeping with him every night for a month before she found evidence of art smuggling in the local galleries. After her mission though, she reflected on her own activities and was suspicious enough to issue a probable super criminal report against her former lover. Since then, the FBI has been on the watch for the Quiet Crow, but they have yet to catch him.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:09 AM   #10
Gold & Appel Inc
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Default Re: Minor League Supers [Powers/Supers]

With respect, I can't resist an unsolicited minor re-write of this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The Dead Boyz are a superpowered street gang made of youths most of whom found themselves unwelcome after they manifested their powers. They have carved out a small territory for themselves on the border between two large gangs, both of whom are a bit reluctant to take on supervillains...even though the Boyz are comparative lightweights who could be taken down by guys with guns if put to the test. This is why they also generally carry guns and conduct themselves like regular gang members except when a given situation is obviously better approached with an available power.

DOA is the leader. He has good reflexes and retractable poison claws. That stuff is mostly chrome; he's the leader because he has the most force of personality, street connections, and business sense.

Big Bad is anything but a leader type. He's an ostentatious threat, a scary but expendable front-liner in a fight and a durable general lackey otherwise. He's a humanoid werewolf, with mildly superhuman strength and decent hit points. He heals fast but not instantly.

Suicide Girl is DOA's girlfriend. She is Unkillable. This makes her the clear supreme physical monster in this group, and she knows it, but her generally downbeat and unassertive personality and personal loyalty to DOA, who secretly writes goth poetry and really "gets" her despite the toughguy act etc, keeps her from flexing her muscle within the group unless roused directly. When bullets are already flying, she's front and center. When the group needs a subtle threat, not a hairy beast, she is their glum but unflappable envoy. She doesn't give the orders, but word is the power behind the Dead Boyz is a girl who won't die.

Bloody Mary has a strange relationship with mirrors. She can see through them to other mirrors, make them violently shatter, or project duplicates through to the other side. This is freaking terrifying, and the team keeps her full potential under wraps as much as they can to avoid preemptive strikes driven by paranoid fear, and to maintain the surprise value so their rivals don't start doing away with mirrors in their homes to avoid being spied on and/or assassinated.

Shiv has the power to telekinetically control his knife...that's it. But he has a tremendous singing voice! But seriously, this guy's precise but minor telekinesis is mostly chrome. The knife looks creepy drifting around him seemingly on its own when he talks, and looks cool used as a torture implement, but Shiv's value to the gang is that he's smart, well-rounded, amoral, loyal, and doesn't cause any drama. That counts for a lot in the hectic world of super-powered youth street crime.

B-Devil wears a Halloween devil mask spray painted blue. He can give other people a terrible feeling of sadness. It's not much use in a confrontation (he can reduce one person of average will to helpless tears if he really focuses), but if he lets it spread out in a wider area, the diluted effect slowly but potently influences a wide range of events, from a spike in suicide rates to a spike in drug sales.

Bandit lost an arm to trying to steal the wrong mystic artifact. Now at the end of his stump he can manifest replacement arms made out of the four elements. The fire arm can shoot fire. The water arm can put out fires and knock people over with it's fire-hose like power. The stone arm hits hard and has good DR. And the air arm...well just isn't very useful. Unless there's a heat wave. Haha, just kidding. The air arm can be made of any gas, and replenishes itself quickly enough to fill a car or small room in seconds. No real drawbacks except that it can't manipulate objects except by blowing them away, and that Bandit is not immune to the effects of anything toxic or corrosive that he produces. Most of his points went into his powers and he doesn't have a very specific role in the team.

Dead Earnest is a zombie left over from an abortive zombie apocalypse who regained his free will and some of his intelligence after the necromancer was defeated. That's it on the surface, anyway - What even his own team doesn't know, yet, is that Earnest gains the memories of the people whose brains he eats...

The Dead Boyz occasionally encounter a superhero who operates in the territory of one of the nearby gangs, Tarantula Hawk or "T-Hawk". She's a gadgeteer with extremely limited financial resources, so she has a suit of "powered armour" that is good enough to protect against low calibre pistols but not much more, can fly at about 30 mph, and is armed with an electric "sting". The armor is intended more as an exoskeleton for carrying a truckload of conventional heavy weaponry and specialized gadgets, of course. It also acts as the docking bay for the small squadron of semi-autonomous drones that serve as her eyes and ears against ambush.

Last edited by Gold & Appel Inc; 06-21-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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