Previously on the World's Strongest:
Impact, The Alien Renegade
Calamity, The Cybernetic Sniper
Megaton, Friendly Neighborhood Nuclear Warhead
The Whirlwind, a Fusillade of Fisticuffs
And now I bring you the next character in the series. This is one I have actually had a plan for since Calamity. I knew I wanted to do something with her sister, and then I saw I was coming up on the hardware category and I realized exactly what I wanted. I needed someone who could repair Calamity, as that is always a real issue in a Palladium game, and then I came up with the mechanic sister who fixes the cyborg. I think it is a decent solution, though I do wish their was more advice on how to handle damage for robot and cyborg characters. It has been an issue in a lot of Palladium's games. I think it stems from the lack of explanation on how to you use skills and what exactly they do. You are just given percentiles and told to figure it out(actually you are not even told that). Well lets see how we do.
Step 1: Attributes
I have been going back and forth on this for a little while. I know that I said I wanted all the attributes to be at 11, however the main thing with Hardware heroes is that they are supposed to be smart. I do think it is interesting that the minimum intelligence for this category is 9. What makes that interesting is attributes lower than 16 grant no bonus nor penalty. So If I made a hardware character with an IQ of 3 it would have no mechanical impact on the character. As this type of character is based around intellect I feel like having an IQ higher than 11. For this category I will give the heroine an IQ of 20. I know this is breaking my rules, but I'ma go with it anyway.
Step 2: Education and Skill Modification
I will also be changing up the choice of skill selection. I will go with PHD on this one, skills are this character's powers so having the best/most skills is probably key. Also she will be building and making a lot of things so having the highest percentage possible is also required. Due to being a Hardware hero I need to remove one of the skill programs. So I will get the Electrical Program, Pilot Advanced Program, and the Medical Doctor Program.
Pilot Advanced Program
Navigation(Air, Land, Water)
Read Sensory Equipment
Pilot: Jet Aircraft
Pilot: Jet Fighter
Medical Doctor Program
H2H: Martial Arts
WP Automatic Pistol
Business & Finance
Step 3: Special Skills; Hardware Area of Expertise
This is where yo choose the focus of your genius and the kinds of things yo build. There are four types of Hardware heroes: Electrical, Mechanical, Analytical, and Weapons Expert. I am going to go with Mechanical Genius, because I see this heroine operating more in a support role for her sister, and also it gives the biggest budget which will be useful. Also she can hit people with her car, which is a great super power. Also in the Mechanical Genius Skills they have an oddity that makes no sense. It says three mechanical skills plus mechanical engineer, but that is then followed by a list of skills that include the instruction that these skills are in addition to the scholastic and secondary skills. Another thing, there just are not that many mechanical skills. I think there are only two other mechanical skills that are not on the list. I think that first bit with the three skills is left over from a previous edition of the rules...that sort of thing happens in Palladium a surprising number of times.
Mechanical Genius Skills
Read Sensory Instruments
Pilot: Race Cars
Hot Wiring Automobiles
Recognize Vehicle Quality
Budget: $12 Million
Status With Sponsoring Organization: A Private Industry, all responsibilities have been fulfilled and freelance work is still available in the future
Step 4: Finishing up
So all I need to do is calculate some HP and the rest and workout a couple of awesome vehicles. I want her to have an awesome super car, like Danger Mouse, and then have a cool armored van for going into dangerous situations and rescuing folks.
Basic Vehicle: Sports Car Cost: $25,000 SDC: 300 Max Load: 1300 lbs
Speed: 26 Cost: $20,000 Maximum: 600 mph Cruise: 160 mph
Vehicle Armor: Medium Armor Cost: $10,000 AR: 16 SDC: 700
Passenger Armor: Heavy Armor/Plexiglas Windows Cost: $4,500 AR: 14 SDC: 450
Gas Tank Armor: Medium Armor Cost: $2,000 AR: 12 SDC: 300
Name: Automatic Canon Damage: 1d6x10+20 Range: 5000 ft Cost: $15,000
Smoke Screen Cost: $1,500
Thief Proof Locks Cost: $1,000
Armored Tires Cost: $2,800
Self Inflating Tires Cost: $1,400
Engine Readout Package Cost: $550
Radar Display Cost: $60,000
Super Fuel Efficiency Cost: $15,000
Oil Slick Cost: $1,200
Vehicle Caltrops Cost: $400
Ram Prow Cost: $1,100
Shop Automotive Tool Kit Cost: $2,800
Shop Aircraft Tool Kit Cost: $12,000
I don't really want to spend the ridiculous amount of money on more stuff. I think it would be of more use to just say that the money remaining is actually a bunch of parts and vehicles and the like that I will design as I need new kinds of things. I could probably build a Jet with VTOL and an armored van. So we will say they are in the shop, but I won't build them until I need them. The rules for making new items and the like are almost good. There are penalties for the various types of projects as well as occasionally giving advice on what a failed roll means. I know that systems for making things in game are tricky, but I still feel disappointed by the systems as it exists here. I mean I love making gear, heck I wrote a whole series of item lists for Jadepunk. Needless to say I am not opposed to equipment lists. I do see the shadow of a complete and interesting system for creating devices, I think there is something you could build into a good system. As it sits though...
Name: Biyu Zhang
Super Identity: Car Mage
Mechanical Engineer; Automotive Mechanics; Locksmith; Robot Mechanics; Read Sensory Instruments; Basic Electronics; Mathematics: Advanced; Pilot: Race Cars; Pilot: Motorcycle; Electrical Engineer; Basic Mechanics; Computer Operation; Robot Mechanics; Navigation(Air, Land, Water); Read Sensory Equipment; Weapon Systems; Pilot: Truck; Pilot: Airplane; Pilot: Jet Aircraft; Pilot: Jet Fighter; Biology; Chemistry; Pathology; Medical Doctor;H2H: Martial Arts; WP Automatic Pistol; WP Shotgun; WP Heavy; Research; Computer Programming; Business & Finance; Radio: Basic
Biyu was always smart. While her sister Min went off to join the army, Biyu entered academia. She took to practical sciences like a fish to water, gaining multiple degrees in medicine, engineering, and chemistry. After graduation she began inventing. She built hyper efficient engines and sold the designs to various car companies. nearly every car on earth uses her engine designs or reverse engineered versions. As the money began rolling in she found out her sister had been injured and repaired with cybernetics. Now Biyu helps her sister in her heroic endeavors, building devices, and repairing the damaged cybernetic parts. Biyu has also discovered a knack for driving fast cars and occasionally heads out into the field to help her sister directly as the heroine, Car Mage.
I have never been a huge fan of the Hardware heroes. They are fiddly and vague. Much of their power is entirely dependant on how the GM sees things working in the setting. You could end up being severely overpowered or grossly underpowered. I just really wish their was more rules on what you can do and how to do it. Anyway, the next post is going to be super fun because we will be delving into the first of several Mystically Empowered Heroes, and they will allow for some cool ideas I have had while working on this project.
Make sure to check out my Kickstarter
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.