Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MHR Datafile: The Jaguar (Impact Comics)

Kudos to Impact Comics for not only trying a comic with a solo female heroine, but one who was Hispanic as well.  In many ways Jaguar was your typical "feral hero" but with a decided blunted side to accommodate the younger readership.  The original Jaguar from Archie Comics possess a great variety of animal-based powers, not to mention a magical belt and rocket pack (and he was male and not Hispanic).

Jaguar (Maria de Guzman)

Solo d10
Buddy d6
Team d8

Exchange Student
Creature of the Jungle
Roman Catholic Hero

Power Sets:

Were-Jaguar Transformation

Superhuman Strength d10
Superhuman Durability d10
Superhuman Stamina d10
Enhanced Reflexes d8
Enhanced Speed d8
Enhanced Senses d8
Leaping d8
Wallcrawling d6
   SFX: Claws & Fangs.  Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in your pool by -1.  Step up physical stress inflicted by +1
   SFX: Bloodlust.  Borrow a die from the doom pool for an attack action.  Step up the doom die by +1 and return it to the doom pool.

Acrobatics Master d8
Combat Master d8
Mystic Master d8

Maria de Guzman was a transfer student from Brazil who attended a college in Elm Harbor Michigan. She was plagued by nightmares of a feral woman attacking men in a rainforest, a fact which made it difficult to make friends. When she went jogging alone at night to clear her head, she was attacked by gang members. Her panic triggered a transformation into a well-muscled woman with cat-like eyes. In her transformed state she had supernatural strength and speed, and easliy defeated her attackers.

She found herself back in her dorm after the attack was over, completely normal. She dismissed it as a dream, until she received a gift from her recently deceased Aunt Luiza, a red suit adorned with a golden jaguar pattern sash. When she was showering, a voyeur startled her, and she changed into the wild woman again, this time wearing the costume her aunt sent her.

Maria learned that every generation, a woman in her family is endowed with the feral powers of the jaguar. Her aunt was the previous wielder of the power, and with her death, the powers were passed to Maria. At first she tried to resist her powers, but as time progressed, Maria began to use her powers to defend the citizens of Elm Harbor from evil as the Jaguar. She even teamed up with the Fly and helped form a team called the Crusaders. Jaguar also helped her countrymen in Brazil. But when she and the Crusaders were lost in another dimension, it seemed her career was over. But after years of searching they found their way home, she returned and married the Fly.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MHR Datafile: The Fly (Impact Comics)

First, a history lesson.  Impact Comics (sometimes erroneously called !mpact Comics because the logo was an exclamation point) was an attempt by DC Comics to reach out to younger readers by re-tooling intellectual properties they had acquired from Archie Comics.  The comics, while critically popular, never achieved success in the over-saturated comic book market and the masthead only lasted from 1991 to 1993.

I myself actually enjoyed the Impact line immensely, mostly because I wasn't caring for the surging "Iron Age" style of comics that were coming out from the Big Two and the new Image publishing house.  So, in homage to the short-lived attempt, I'm doing conversions of the Impact Comics characters for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.  Here's the first offering.

The Fly (Jason Troy)

Solo: d10
Buddy: d8
Team: d6

Slacker Teen
Bug-Eyed Hero

Power Sets

Insectoid Body
Enhanced Strength d8
Superhuman Reflexes d10
Acid Spew d8
Limit: Limited change.  If Insect Costume is shut down, the Fly can not transform into a normal human and gains d6 Inhuman Appearance complication. 

Insect Costume
Winged flight d8
Enhanced Durability d8
Enhanced Senses d8
   Limit: Gear.  Shutdown Insect Costume and gain 1 PP.  Take an action vs. the doom pool to recover gear.

Acrobatics Expert d8

Jason Troy was given an extra assignment by his mythology teacher, Mr. Abin for playing video games in class, to make a hero based on the most humble of creatures. Jason designed a superhero patterned after a fly, and his teacher rewarded him for his efforts with a pendant made of a fly trapped in amber. Jason soon learned that the pendant was not just jewelry, it turned him into the superhero from his assignment. He became the Fly, and used his powers to foil an arson attempt by a super-villain named "Burnout". After he defeated the flame-throwing thug, he suddenly changed back into Jason. Obviously confused, he went to find his mythology teacher and question him about the pendant. When he returned to school to ask his teacher about the pendant, nobody in the school remembered ever seeing his teacher.

Jason learned that the pendant could change him into his heroic alter-ego at will, so he continued his exploits as the Fly. He learned that using the Fly powers for a prolonged period of time physically exhausted him, and that he had cravings for anything high in sugar, like jelly doughnuts and pineapple juice. But he soon mastered his insect-like abilities (and urges). He also seemed to often lose track of time as the Fly, a fact that landed him in trouble at home several times.

Jason joined the Crusaders, and was trapped in the other dimension with them for three years.  Upon returning, it was revealed that he and the Jaguar had fallen in love and they were married. (Edited from Wikipedia)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New MHR Speciality: Government

I don't know why this didn't make the list, especially given the introductory episode, but here's a suggested house rule:

     You have connections with police, military, and/or government organizations and officials.  You can navigate  governmental organizations and draw upon their resources.

A Government Expert has semi-official status with a particular governmental agency, such as SHIELD or the FBI.  They may actually be an agent, but a low-ranking one.

A Government Master actually directs an agency or has significant authority and leeway with the government, or is a politician with an elected position.

Government stunts include avoiding legal difficulties, calling in reinforcements, or interacting with law enforcement.

Government resources include acquiring transportation or military support, accessing records, or placing people under arrest.

Examples of figures with this specialty are Lex Luthor when he was the President of the United States, Tony Stark as director of SHIELD, or Silverclaw who was actually the mayor of the town in which he lived.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Another MHR Campaign Premise: the X-Men

After our D&D game last night I had a conversation with a few of the players about Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, shared some of the rules (and rules quirks, since a couple of the players thought there were no stats.  They are half right.)  One of the things we discussed was the question of whether it would be better to play in the existing Marvel Universe or build a superhero universe from scratch. One of the other players noted that if you did run a game in the mighty Marvel universe, you would need continually to explain why your team of novice heroes were getting called in instead of the Avengers or the Fantastic Four.  There's lots of ways to deal with this situation, just as the writers of any of the other team books, but in the discussion I had an idea.  One of the other players is basically reading his way through the X-Men comic books, starting with Giant-Size X-Men 1.  The comic book introduced Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus, as well as bringing in minor Hulk villain Wolverine to the forefront.  The rest, as they say, is history.

As a side note, I've wondered when my friend will stop, because after about two decades of solid X-Men stories, including the Phoenix saga, the whole "God Love, Man Destroys" mutant prejudice, and then end of Claremont writing the X-Men, the book fragmented with New Mutants, X-Factor, and then God alone knows how many other spin-off titles.

This got me thinking.  MHR has as their introductory adventure a re-telling of "Breakout," which is the first six issues of the New Avengers.  For those who don't know the story, the Scarlet Witch had gone crazy and ended up killing the Vision, Ant-Man, and Hawkeye (two out of three of whom came back).  Tony Stark, a little hard up for cash at the time and overcome with grief, dissolved the Avengers and everyone went their separate ways.  "Six months later" a handful of very popular Marvel heroes were brought together to stop a massive jailbreak at the Raft, the supervillain detention facility near New York.  The "New Avengers" were Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, and Luke Cage (Daredevil made a brief appearance in there too, as did the utterly regrettable Sentinel).  Wolverine joined the team after a couple of issues, making the New Avengers officially the Marvel All-Stars.

That's what happened in the comic books, but the RPG suggests putting in your own team instead to become the New Avengers, especially cherry-picking PC's from the list of heroes in the back of the book.  "Breakout" works both as a comic book and as an adventure because it is a pretty pat team set-up piece.  But substituting your own heroes means you are essentially playing in an alternative Marvel universe branching off from about ten years ago, before the Civil War, before the Initiative, before the current "Heroic Age."

So if "Breakout" is a good bring-them-all-together piece for the Avengers, why not do the same thing for Giant-Size X-Men #1?  The old X-Men disappear, and Professor Xavier recruits a bunch of new mutants (the PC's) to become the new X-Men.  It works, it has tons of built-in storylines that you can choose to use or not use.  What I would really do is go with the "New X-Men" and then port it into the universe of the "Wolverine and the X-Men" cartoon series, since I think that series is a sort of pastiche of the past twenty years of mutant madness anyways.

And, you've got a universe without Weapon X, or the Phoenix, or the "Iron Age" of Cable/Deadpool/whatever.  If you want, you can set the campaign in 1975 and have a little fun with the bell-bottoms and afros and post-Vietnam themes.  I even considered bringing in the Phoenix Force, but having it inhabit another person, one who I think is tailor-made for hosting it.

I'd share it with you, but I'm saving it for a campaign that probably won't happen.

Over at Strange Vistas