Palladium's Heroes Unlimited. last post I built Impact, the Alien Renegade. I could probably go through all the options available to Aliens, but I think I went with the most alien form of alien, so it is now time to move to the next power category, Bionics. I gotta' come clean on this one. I kind of hate bionics/cybernetics in the Palladium system. It is fiddly, requires boatloads of calculation, and you come out of it far less powerful than you feel like you should. I also get the feeling, in reading through the games, that the personal group of Kevin Siembieda were quite abusive with cybernetics. It hinders magic, and psionics, and anything else. It costs a boatload to buy, and to maintain. I just kind of hate how bionics are done in this system. I will try and make the best cyborg though, so hang with me. We will get to more fun stuff soon.
Step 1: Attributes and Stuff
A reminder that all attributes start at 11 in this little game of mine. So no need for rolling or any of that.
Step 2: Education and skills
Heroes Unlimited is a bit different than other Palladium games. In most of their games yo choose an Occupations Character Class(O.C.C.), Racial Character Class(R.C.C.), or Psychic Character Class(P.C.C.) and that will give you your special talents and abilities as well as all of the skills and equipment you get. However in Heroes Unlimited the special abilities and skills are separate choices. So in this game you get to roll on a table for the type of training and number of skills, also the skills are arranged in packages, called skill programs. I really dig this concept, though I think it is hindered by the number of skills in the game.
There are one hundred and fifty-nine skills in the main book and a bunch of extra skills that get added in future supplements, and that also doesn't include special skills available only to certain power categories. I think I did a count once, for Rifts, and the total skill in all the supplements added up to 305 skills. Also bear in mind there are no social skills in the game, So all skills relate to a physical activity. That can get super specialized or repetitive. Another couple of oddities, first there is no description on how skills work in any palladium game I have ever read. Each has its own percentage, but they just sort of assume you will figure out how to roll for them and how they work. The second interesting thing is the lack of any awareness type skills. There are two, detect ambush and detect concealment. They are both in the espionage skill group and neither can be taken as secondary skills. Now, in Nightbane they eventually added an awareness roll to the game, and it is based on a bunch of factors, but for this game there is now awareness. It is up to the GM to let the players know what they might notice and that is interesting.
For this lets assume Trade school, this is not the best choice of skill programs, but it does allow for a decent bonus, as well as allowing for the choice of any program, even special military and espionage programs, so that is handy. Now for this Bionic Hero we get two programs with a +15% bonus and eight secondary skills. No I have to decide on some of the background for the character. As I went with a physical brute with the last character I made I think I will focus on ranged combat with this one. So I am thinking she will be a former spy and sniper who had some sort of awful accident and got bionics, sort of like Burn Notice, but with cybernetic parts. That in mind I will take the Espionage package and the Military program. Now I will not need physical skills as much, because PS, PP, and Spd will all be bionic, as she will have her limbs and the like replaced.
H2H: Martial Arts +2 attacks/melee; +3 roll with punch/fall;+2 initiative; +3 pull punch
Detect Ambush(Yay! one of the only programs that grants this skill)
Intelligence(Not smarts, but knowing cool spy stuff)
Sniper(grants +2 on aimed shots)
H2H: Basic(martial arts is better so we will use that instead)+
Running(don't need Spd bonus, but will gain +1 PE and +3 SDC)
Military Etiquette(Yes, sir! No, sir! Three bags full, sir!)
WP: Rifle(which is not a skill, I think they mean automatic/semiautomatic rifle)
WP: Automatic Pistol
WP: Bolt Action Rifle
Step 3: Budget
Now here you are supposed to roll for you budget, ranging from $7 million to $10 million. However I usually see results between $9 and $10 million, and rarely see anything else. I must have the luckiest players ever. I mean, what other explanation can there be for having every roll in the top fifty percent. And it has been a lot of players over the years. Its an oddity to be sure. Lets have fun with this character here, though. Lets give her the max budget, $10 million.
Step 4: Building a Cyborg
Now this step gets super fiddly and requires a lot of focus. I mean, you need to buy each limb's strength, prowess, and speed. This gets expensive and requires a lot of bookkeeping. There is a helpful bit at the beginning of the section, where they have packaged a bunch of stuff that you might need for a cool cyborg super. So I will start with one of these packages. I could go with a brain transplant model, but I think I like the idea of some organic bits still existing. To me that feels more like a cyborg, a fusion of person and machine. So I will start with a Full Conversion Cyborg, this will allow for a lot of enhancement while still leaving human bits. This has a base cost of $7.5 million, leaving me with 2.5 million to further enhance her abilities.
Full Conversion Cyborg
Bionic Arms and Hand(yes you need to buy hands and arms separately)PS 22; PP 18
Bionic Feet and Legs(Again you need to buy these separately)PS 24; Spd 77(53 mph)
Bionic Lungs with gas filter
"Full" Body Exoskeleton(Spine, arms, hands, legs, feet)(230 SDC)
Full Body Armor(AR18 900 SDC, this is removable and hinders movement and stealth)
Machine Pistol Implant(which does not appear in this game, far as I can tell)
Electrical discharge(can cover hand in electricity for extra damage, or shoot the energy)
Increase PP to 24 $240,000
Amplified Hearing $350,000(+1 Parry; +2 Dodge; +6 Initiative)
Sound Filtration System(protect hearing and lets you do fun stuff with sound filters) $90,000
Night Sight(telescopic, both eyes) $110,000
Targeting sight $50,000 (+1 to strike)
Motion Detector $80,000 (+1 Initiative, +1 Parry, +2 dodge)
One hidden compartment in each limb to store spare magazines $32,000
Grapnel Launcher $45,000
Concealed Rifle Arm $300,000
And with that I am kind of out of things to add to her. I still have money left over, and I could buy extra speed or strength, but As she is going to using guns for most of the game I have no really need to go beyond what the initial package grants me.
Step 5: Background Data
So this is a bunch of information on character and background and will help flesh out the character and setting a little more. It has no real mechanical effects, but it does have a lot of interesting choices. First I need to establish the conditions required for needing bionic reconstruction. So lets go with paraplegic, she was out on a mission and something went wrong. Lets say she was betrayed to the enemy and ended up getting shelled by mortars which broke her lower back. She was then approached by some DARPA secret organization, lets call them Operation Longshot. She worked for them for a while but left because factions within the organization were doing sketchy things. She still maintains contact with the some of the better folks in the organization, but is disliked by the more morally flexible factions.
Step 6: Other Stuff
She starts off with two attacks per melee, as normal, and I will say I managed to wheedle the GM into allowing me to get a .50 Cal sniper rifle, and couple of pistols and an assault rifle as well as a TV style studio apartment, you know the huge empty warehouse looking kind in the "bad section" of town, with room for her motorcycle(she's a cyborg, of course she has a motorcycle). Also I will take a spin around the option character background and personality tables. She is the first born of Twins, and lets say her sister is her mechanic that can help her with repairs and upgrades, should that come up. Look its rough when you play a tech based character if you don't have established supply lines. She was average height and weight before the bionics, and now she still occupies the same volume, but weighs a whole lot more(robot parts are not light). She tends to be somewhat timid since her cybernetic conversion, she used to be super self reliant, and once she gets used to being a cyborg she may go back to her previous personality type. She was born in the US and grew up upper middle class in Coast City and has moved back after leaving Project Longshot. Alright lets put it all together.
Name: Min Zhang(grew up in america so orders surname last)
Super Identity: Calamity
PS: 22/24(arms/legs) +7/+9 dmg(think this is just normal not extraordinary, superhuman, or whatever)
PP: 24 +5 strike/parry/dodge
Spd: 77(53 mph)
SDC: 230(additional 900 addable with the armor, it has AR 18)
H2H: Martial Arts; Detect Ambush; Intelligence; Wilderness Survival; Sniper; Interrogation; Running; Climbing; Military Etiquette; Radio: Basic
WP: Rifle; SCUBA/Advanced Swimming; Prowl; Language: Chinese; Language: Russian; Language: Spanish; WP: Automatic Pistol; WP: Submachine-gun; WP: Bolt Action Rifle
Attacks Per Melee: 4
Strike: +6(+8 on aimed shot)
Roll w/ Punch: +3
Pull Punch: +3
"Horatio" Barrett M82 .50 Cal Sniper Rifle
She loves her gun, and her gun loves her. It brings death to her enemies and safety to her friends.
Range: 660 ft(which doesn't seem far enough...)
Magazine: 11 rnds
"Black & Blue" Twin Desert Eagles
If her enemies get close they will regret that decision in as loud and painful a way possible
Range: 165 fr
Magazine: 7 rounds
And there you go There are the basic stats and such for Calamity. She worked for the government as a spy and sniper. She was working cover for a convoy travelling through enemy territory when the enemy began shelling the area she was in. She made it out, but was crippled and was going to live the rest of her life in a wheel chair. While recuperating in the hospital she was approached by members of Project Longshot with a proposal that could give her the use of her legs once more. After nearly eight months of multiple cyber surgeries and physical therapy she was able to return to duty, only now working as a deniable asset for Project Longshot rather than the CIA. As time went on she began to regret her choices a little and began to notice that some groups within the project were acting in ways that seemed to go against its stated goals. She has since left the project and returned to her home back in Coast City. Her parents gave her an old warehouse they had converted into a rental property due to their guilt over their daughter's condition(its not their fault, but they feel guilty none the less). Her sister, Ling, is a gifted engineer and moved in with Min to serve as her chief mechanic. She is kind of reckless and dedicated to keeping her sister up and going, whether physically or emotionally.
Next post will be an experiment, That should be fun, because it is one of the categories that can grant the most raw power, and can really break the game. Don't worry, its going to be fun! I think it will be surprising the way I go with it, but I think it will be interesting.
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A Far Off Land
Take the roll of the Fated, Shapeshifting Demigods who seek to bring about or prevent the destruction of two worlds. It contains new magic systems and Factions Dynamics in play.