Thursday, December 25, 2008

Star Wars Conversions: Seperatist Droids

Hey all!!

Firstly, a very merry christmas to you all. I may not be religious, but there's nothing like spending time with family, with good food and drink and lots of presents :)

Secondly, here is another post from my star wars conversion series, where I convert things from the star wars universe to the mutants and masterminds RPG. This time, I have statted out some of the seperatist battle droids, as seen in Episodes I to III, as well as both clone wars TV series. As a guide, I used the stats as given in the star wars saga edition as well as greywulf's D&D conversion guide. I started off trying to convert things 1:1, but it was just taking too long and didn't seem to make much sense, so instead I chose an arbitrary PL rating for them, and statted them out to have approximately that number of power points. As for the weapons, I tried to just pick weapons of approximately similar power from the M&M equipment section and just made them energy weapons, with autofire. Ah, well...

Finally, a rant.

I've been watching a fair bit of star wars recently, particularly the recent clone wars movie and TV series (with the unique animation style, which I personally like; I know it drove a massive number of people up the wall). In general, I am really enjoying them as I feel they capture the feeling of star wars really well, and tell some pretty cool stories. However, there are a couple of things that I find just don't fit, and essentially just don't make sense. They both have to do with droids, which is why I bring them up here.

The first is that whenever two droids are talking to each other, they make stupid remarks, or act stupidly, or just generally act human. The fact is, the B1 series specifically is controlled by a remote processor (according to star wars canon), and the likelihood is that the remote processor that is controlling one of the droids is most likely controlling the other. There's absolutely no reason for them to say anything at all to each other, nevermind argue with each other or contradict each other in any way. Even with the B2 super battle droids which are somewhat independent, there is no reason they should say anything at all. It would be far more efficient and likely for them to communicate in droid speak, or even just wirelessly.

The second is the apparent accuracy of the droids. There are way too many scenes in the movies and the TV series where you see droids firing wildly at clones, and the clones find it possible to stand still and fire back. The fact is, droids should be able to improve their accuracy with every shot, especially at a stationary target. Any droid-builder worth their salt would have included programming that would take sensor information, process the placement of the shot, and improve it on the next shot. So, I would understand that the droids would miss for a few shots, but eventually, they should mow down anything that doesn't keep moving. The above theory notwithstanding, even if their accuracy were to remain the same, one of them should at least get a lucky shot in ... or why did the trade federation spend so much money on them? Before someone says it, I realise this is all dramatic license, and that lucas is just making the scene look tense for the clones, with laser fire all around them, and so on. I just think he's taken it a bit far, a bit too often...

Anyway, that's my rant over. Feel free to disagree with me.

Here are the stats I was talking about before. Well done to everyone that actually read my ravings. Please leave a comment, and tell me what you think.

B1 Series Battle Droid
Medium robot, PL 1 (15 points)

Str 14, Dex 10, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha -

  • notice 4 (+4)

  • equipment 4 (20 equipment points)

  • immunity 30 (fortitude)
  • protection 1

  • attack +2 (base attack)
  • damage +5 (blaster carbine), +2 (unarmed)
  • defense +1
  • initiative +0

  • toughness 2 (+3)
  • fortitude --
  • reflex 0 (+2)
  • will 0 (+2)

  • blaster carbine (damage +5, crit 20,  energy, autofire, range increment 50ft, large) 16 EP
  • comlink 1 EP

  • Limited: no on-board computer; requires a remote processor to operate (Uncommon, Major, 3 points)
  • Vulnerable to electricity: double toughness save DC (Common, Major, 4 points)

Cost: Abilities -26 + Skills 1 + Feats 4 + Powers 31 + Combat 6 + Saves 6 - Drawbacks 7 = 15

B2 Series Super Battle Droid
Medium robot, PL 2 (34 points)

Str 16, Dex 10, Con -, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha -

  • Notice 8 (+8)

  • Power attack
  • Equipment 4 (20 points)

  • immunity 30 (fortitude)
  • protection 3

  • attack +3 (base attack)
  • damage +5 (wrist blaster), +3 (unarmed)
  • defense +1
  • initiative +0

  • toughness 2 (+5)
  • fortitude --
  • reflex 0 (+2)
  • will 0 (+2)

  • wrist blaster (damage +5, crit 20,  energy, autofire, range increment 50ft) 16 EP
  • commlink 1EP

  • Vulnerable to electricity: double toughness save DC (Common, Major, 4 points)

Cost: Abilities -16 + Skills 2 + Feats 5 + Powers 33 + Combat 8 + Saves 6 - Drawbacks 4 = 34

Droideka Series Destroyer Droid
Large robot, PL 6 (90 points)

Str 16, Dex 14, Con --, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha --

  • notice 12 (+14)

  • Improved Initiative 2 (+8)
  • Equipment 4 (20 points)

  • Immunity 30 (fortitude) [30]
  • Growth 4 (Power feat: Innate; Flaw: Permanent) [13]
  • Protection 1 [1]
  • Force Field 8 (Extra: Impervious) [16]

  • attack 6 (+6)
  • damage +8 (laser cannons)
  • defense 5 (+4) (including -1 due to size)
  • initiative +10

  • toughness 3 (+4)
  • fortitude --
  • reflex 3 (+5)
  • will 3 (+5)

  • 2 laser cannons (with blaster rifle stats + autofire capability):
    • damage +8, crit 20, energy, autofire, range increment 80ft, size large)
    • EP 16
  • comlink; EP 1

  • Vulnerable to electricity: double toughness save DC (Common, Major, 4 points)

Cost: Abilities -6 + Skills 3 + Feats 6 + Powers 60 + Combat 22 + Saves 9 - Drawbacks 4 = 90

Pictures are from the official Star Wars: Clone Wars site, and are their property. Everything else is also the property of George Lucas, Lucasfilm, and so on.

Friday, December 12, 2008

First M&M game evar!!

First up, sorry for a long post. Kudos for anyone who perseveres and leaves comments at the end ;)


The night before my wedding, I stayed at the hotel where the ceremony was being held, along with my best man and groomsman (and his girlfriend). I took this opportunity to run a game of M&M. I've been itching to play for a long time, and I've been talking it up to these guys for a while, so they were keen. Snacks and drinks were broken out, and d20s were rolled.

My group constituted a fairly hardcore gamer (mostly computer experience, but has run his own fallout campaign, and has plenty of RPG experience), a keen gamer (with little experience, but very clever and strategically minded), and a complete noob. This gave me a chance to see how different people would react to the system, which was pretty cool.


Alex Trebek (a.k.a. Game Breaker)
  • this is my player who just lives to annoy the DM (we all have one; this guy just happens to be entertaining enough to get away with it)
  • having just finished watching those old SNL celebrity jeopardy skits (highly recommeded if you have never seen them; hilarious), his character naming inspiration was obvious...
  • his character concept was a highly skilled ranged blaster with one annoying power, a few cool gadgets, and more skills and feats than you could poke a stick at
    • a skin-tight suit which gives him enhanced Con, Str, and Dex as well as a force-field
    • innate concealment from hearing allowing him to make surprise attacks basically at will (the jerk)
    • 2 plasma pistols (with disintegration for those pesky obstacles)
  • one of his favourite tricks is beating down opponents, then raiding their bodies for anything and everything, then asking me if he can use anything he finds to make jury-rigged explosives of electronic devices *sigh*
  • as background, he was actually the fabled game-show host

Yoo Ping (a.k.a. Master Yoo)
  • based on the martial artist archetype in chapter one, this is your classic no-powers, melee-focused combatant
  • my player chose to pack a light pistol too, for when he was too lazy to get close to his foes
  • as background, he chose to be a small business owner who runs his own car wash ... points for originality

Rebecca (a.k.a. Sanke)
  • this player chose to go with the energy controller archetype from chapter 1, focusing on gravity control
  • she took telekinesis and gravity blast as alternate powers, and she somehow talked me into letting her have teleport (based on the theory that her control of gravity could let her form wormholes allowing her to teleport)

Planned Plot

I didn't have much time to play around with this, so I kept it simple. A robot rampages through the city, heading for the experimental physics building at the university. The robot is going to extract a new technology that has been developed. The heroes will see the robot on the news and intercept it. If they defeat the robot, they find a serial number on the armour casing, and use skills and contacts to trace that to the BBEG (a souped-up gadgeteer). If they lose, the robot will abduct them and take them to the lair of the BBEG under custody, for use in another evil plot.

The BBEG's minions are basically robotic versions of standard monsters from the core rulebook (adding the construct template and some impervious protection), such as the monstrous spider, monstrous wasp, carnivorous plants, and animated trees. As required, I was prepared to add or remove attack, damage, protection and so on, as I discovered the players' capabilities.

Anyway, the plot would involve the players infiltrating the base, getting almost to the inner sanctum, getting captured by some gamemaster fiat, having the BBEG gloat and monologue for a while, then the heroes miraculously escaping, beating the snot out of the BBEG, until he gives up, activates the self-destruct on the base, and teleports away, using his gadgets.

Actual Play

So, I started off getting them to the university. Game breaker decided to try and ask the experimental physics guys for a device to deactivate the robot. I told him this would take several game minutes for them to set up, so he chose to go outside and shoot the robot in the face with plasma. Sanke had some fun throwing the robot up into the air, and having it take falling damage (surprisingly effective). Master Yoo would wait for the robot to fall into a crater at his feet, them pummel him with a power attack.

The robot went down in a pile of burning metal. They extracted the serial number, and game breaker used the university computer network to find the manufacturer and the point of origin of the robot.

After healing up, they headed down to the factory, and had to find a way past the electric fence. After sneaking into the loading dock, Master Yoo set off the alarm, releasing robotic guards. For some reason, this fight took forever. So long, in fact, that I had to cut out a few scenes and fights from the rest of the adventure.

After finding access to the lift down to the next level, they found some robotic spiders in the R+D labs, and dispatched them before the spiders even had a chance to act (a pity, cause I really wanted to poison them and snare them and so on). Ah, well ...

After finding their way to the lowest level, they got caught in the sleeping gas room, and woke up to a monologuing BBEG.

The BBEG explained his evil plan to drain their powers to power his generator for his robot factory, and then turned his back. At this point, Game Breaker succeeded on an escape artist check, and used his concealment to sneak to his weapons. He then shot the BBEG in the back with a sneak attack, getting an awesome roll, and completely knocking him out (a very disappointing ending to an otherwise fun adventure).

I told them the BBEG set off the self-destruct and teleported away, swearing revenge. Sanke teleported to the front of the building to clear innocent bystanders away from the surrounding streets, leaving the other two to a suspenseful lift ride (complete with elevator music) followed by a dive away from billowing flames (I tried to be cinematic here; probably just ended up being cliched).

Then the heroes were debriefed by the police and returned to their daily lives.


So, for a first try at M&M, this was an awesome ride. There are probably a few comments I can make about it, off the top of my head, in no particular order:
  • the one of my players who worked to create an original character (Game Breaker) ahead of time told me that character creation was a harrowing experience he will relive in his nightmares (probably a little melodramatic, but an understandable sentiment); in trying (and succeeding) to be customisable, M&M character creation is also not noob-friendly and ends up being a complex and lengthy affair. For this reason I'm glad they included the archetypes in chapter 1. I could tell the others to just pick one, maybe customising it a little, and it did not take long, with some encouragement and guidance.
  • I had major difficulty in estimating what my players would be able to handle. There are 0 (zero) guidelines in the core rulebook regarding this. I suppose on one hand, due to the wide range of possible characters, something that might severely challenge or kill one character might be a mere speed-bump in the path of another character. On the other hand, it means that you have to have a few options prepared, and be able to modify things on the fly, fake a few rolls/modifiers, and just generally use description and fluff to awesome things up, if they don't cut it.
  • the actual combat system takes a lot of getting used to, having been raised on a diet of D&D and star wars; the attacker makes an attack roll against a fixed defense, then the defender makes a toughness save against a fixed damage? on one hand, it's awesome that both parties get to participate in the process (D&D is very one-sided; if you're the defender, you just get to suck it up and lose hit points without feeling like you're doing anything). on the other hand, it's different and a little maths intensive. I have a feeling that we'll get used to it soon enough, and it'll seem as natural as hit points.
  • speaking of toughness saves, the rules on taking damage are also a little odd (the rules for non-lethal damage):
    • If you miss by less than 5, you take a -1 on further toughness saves
    • If you miss by less than 10, you miss a turn, and take a -1 on further saves (so far so good)
    • If you miss by less than 15, you miss a turn, and only get one action per round
      • this is where it gets annoying. repeated failures of less than 10 reduce your defenses, meaning that a critical failure will statistically occur more often
      • however, when you reach the point where you are missing by between 10-15, you just keep missing turns. There doesn't seem to be any additional penalty re: toughness, and if you're staggered already, you just stay staggered. It means that at this point, you just need a really poor roll to be knocked out ... There's no suspense. It just seems weird
    • If you miss by more than 15, you are unconscious (fair enough)
  • the sheer number of combat options and powers meant that as a relatively new GM, I spent a lot of time looking up rules for various powers, feats, skills, etc etc; also, when the players wanted to do something I had no immediately obvious rules for, I was a bit at a loss as to what to let them do. I have a feeling this will improve with time and experience. I will get better at saying yes to my players (letting them use hero points, power stunts, extra effort, making up skill DCs and things like that on the spot), but it's really hard at first. Luckily my players were very understanding about this, and had fun anyway, but players like Game Breaker make this quite painful, wanting to use every skill and feat and just making shit up as they went ;)
  • I think I needed to make more use to minions coupled with one or two strong enemies, to give the feeling I wanted where they beat through the guards at the door without breaking a sweat, but had to work to defeat the squad leader. This is really my fault, and I'm sure will improve with time.
  • The disappointing end to my BBEG was ... well, disappointing. I suppose with time and experience, I will learn what constitutes a good fight for the players. Maybe more minions around, not letting the player sneak up on him, traps, etc might have made a difference... The next fight with this guy will be very different *evil laugh*


In general, I think M&M is a great game, and an extremely promising platform for further gaming with my group. It doesn't need miniatures and battlemaps, only uses one dice (d20), is hideously customisable (and will only get more so with experience with the rules, and further supplements), and is just pure fun. Starting the game with a powerful hero and blowing away evil dudes is just plain fun. There's no other word for it. I felt like I did fairly poorly all up, but my group gave me really good feedback. So, sounds like I will be running another game hopefully soon (maybe after Christmas).

Anyway, thanks for putting up with probably my longest post ever. I felt like after the game, I had so many thoughts buzzing through my head, I wanted to share them. Any advice, comments, feedback or even stories of your first M&M experience would be massively appreciated.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gaming table extraordinaire!!

Follow this link for the coolest (and probably the most expensive) gaming table you will ever see:

A must for any obsessional gamer with lots of $ to spend.

I'm thinking when I have a bit more time to spare, it might be worth looking into building my own variant of this table, for all the pure gaming goodness it would provide.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Yay. Sorry to all of those who only read my blog for the RPG stuff, but I can't help it. After many months of preparation, I finally married my beautiful bride yesterday. Everything went off without a hitch.

Leaving on my honeymoon today. Should be good.

In other news, ran a game of M&M on the night before the wedding, which was a lot of fun. Will be posting details when I get back from the honeymoon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

RPG Bloggers

Woo hoo!! Finally made it onto RPG Bloggers. Very exciting. Hopefully means more comments and input, telling me what people want to see up here. I like M&M, SWSE, and D&D, and if I can get people excited about them too, that's awesome.

There are so many people I want to thank ....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Books I want

Due to the recent world-wide economic downturn, the Australian dollar has taken a massive hit, and now only buys 0.00000001 of a US dollar (NB: figures may not be factually accurate). Therefore, I will not be ordering anything off in the near future.

I have been in recent contact with my local gaming store, and have attempted to order the following:
  • Mutants and Masterminds: Ultimate Power

    Powers are potentially the most confusing part of mutants and masterminds, due to their sheer potential complexity. The amazing number of modifiers that give that incredible customisation that we know and love are one of the ways that people who are indecisive (like me) can become stuck. Also, there are a number of generic modifiers that are clear in themselves, but can be unclear as to their actual implementation with each power.

    This book has an entire section devoted to a detailed description about how powers actually work, how they can be modified, and so on. It then goes on to describe power effects (which are the actual-things-that-powers-do), how they can be modified, reasonable alternate powers for each of them, reasonable flaws, and examples of each. Then it goes on to introduce more powers, and give more details about selected powers from the core rulebook, similar to their treatment of effects.

    One of the really cool things in this book is that it actually explains power constructs: arrays, dynamic arrays, etc... This is not clearly explained in the core rulebook (probably due to lack of space), but is worth knowing about, for that added layer of flexibility/customisation.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting this one. Looks awesome. Ultimate, if you will.... *eeexcellent*

  • Mutants and Masterminds: Book of Magic

    As the title clearly states, this is a book about magic. How it might work in your campaign, for your heroes, some sample spells/spell-books, sample magic items, monsters, new hero and villain archetypes, and more magic than you can poke a stick at.

    As someone who loves magic in its many forms (I almost always play a mage of some sort), this is a must have for me. The only problem I foresee is that when I finally get a group together to run an M&M campaign, I won't know whether to run a superhero campaign, mystic/occult campaign, or a fantasy campaign (thanks to W&W, which I'll come to next). Truly are we spoilt for choice *drooool*
  • Mutants and Masterminds: Warriors and Warlocks

    Alright, the reason my gaming store didn't have this one is that it's technically not out yet. According to, it's due out November 29th (the day before my wedding), which is pretty soon, so I guess you can call it a pre-order.

    Basically, this is the way to finally replace D&D with M&M. Presumably including new hero and villain archetypes, fantasy equipment, weapons, and so on. Also going to include a cruchy re-working of Green Ronin's fantasy setting Freeport, which I admit I've never read, but a lot of people on Atomic Think Tank seem to be excited about.

    At the same time as this book, Green Ronin is also releasing another supplement called Mecha and Manga, which is supposed to be devoted to running anime-style campaigns. Sounds cool, but I'm not really into that. For those of you that are, of course, visit the mutants and masterminds web page,, and Atomic Think Tank for more details.
Anyway, there is my up-coming reading list, assuming that I can get my hands on these book. When I do, expect reviews/articles about them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My first DAZ render

Thanks to Greywulf for introducing me to the wonderful world of DAZ.

By looking at his tutorials and doing a bit of random experimenting of my own, here is Victoria, trying to fly like a superhero.

Through my own bumbling efforts, and looking around their website, it seems like the makers of DAZ are developing a tool to allow common people without masses of free time and training into the world of 3D imaging. It doesn't take much time or effort to do, and doesn't look 100% amazing, but the results are satisfying and look good enough to get a simple point across. Considering the above image took me about 10 minutes (less than the time taken to download and install the program), and cost me $0, I'm not unhappy.

Maestro out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kineticist Picture

Hey, thanks to Greywulf for this amazing render of my character, Jason the Kineticist:

In this post, an assassin is about to get his comeuppance, as described in the last post.

Thanks again Greywulf, you rock.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Play example: Jason the Kineticist and some poor assassins

  • kineticist (as described in previous post)
  • 2 assassins (as described and statted on page 226 of the core rulebook, except these guys are carrying katanas [+3 damage] and light pistols [+3 damage] rather than rifles)

  • Jason Randall's (aka. the kineticist) 15th floor inner-city apartment
  • 7pm, dinner time

Jason sits down in front of the TV for yet another dinner. While flicking through one useless inane channel after another, he hears the microwave finish nuking his dinner. Leaning forward slightly so he can peer into the kitchen, he uses his powers to pop open the microwave and bring his dinner to him. (what? wouldn't you use your powers to be even lazier than you are? I would). At this point, he hears a door close in the other room.

Getting up to investigate, he reaches instinctively for the balaclava he keeps in his jacket pocket. Slipping it on over his glasses (custom-made to fit snugly against his face for this very purpose), he takes one more bite of his meal before pulling it down to his neck. He readies his mind to form a force field, while at the same time, crackles of living energy form around his hand, ready to throw a kinetic blast at any intruder (mechanically, just readying the force field). Pulling open the door to the next room, he peers inside.

Opposed stealth + notice checks ensue:
  • Jason = notice 19+5 = 24
  • assassin 1 = stealth 10+11 = 21
  • assassin 1 = stealth 6+11 = 17

Jason bursts open the door, and sees two men dressed like ninjas rifling through the drawers in his bedroom.

Noone is surprised, so round 1 ensues. Jason uses non-lethal damage on the intruders so he can question them later. The assassins obviously attempt to use lethal damage.

  • J = 12
  • A1 = 14
  • A2 = 18

Round 1:
  • Jason uses his readied free action to activate his force field. A shimmering field of air surrounds him. His toughness save becomes +11 (10 impervious, bwahaha)
  • The assassin to Jason's right (A2) turns around and draws his sword as he sees Jason enter the room. He draws his katana, leaps and swings wildly at Jason.
  • Attack roll = 10 vs DC 15 (miss)
  • The other assassin (A1) is across the room from Jason. He drops to one knee and fires off a few shots from his pistol.
  • Attack roll = 24 vs DC 15 (hit)
  • Toughness roll = since the forcefield is impervious 10, this is an automatic save
  • The bullets ricochet harmlessly off Jason's shield
  • Jason unleashes a kinetic blast on the nearest assassin (A2)
  • Attack roll = 30 (natural 20, hit)
  • Toughness roll = 5 (natural 1) vs DC 32 (normally 27, +5 from critical hit)
  • Failure by> 15 = unconsciousness
  • The assassin flies across the room, hitting his head on a bookshelf and losing consciousness immediately, slumping to the floor.

Round 2:
  • Assassin A1 looks surprised at this turn of events, then suddenly turns, takes a run-up, and bursts out of the nearby window. As he falls, he uses a grappling gun to hook onto a neighbouring building's roof, and starts climbing up
  • Jason says "I don't think so, buddy. It's not going to be that easy for you", and takes a running leap out of the window, activating his flight power as he does. He dives at the assassin, who is still climbing up the side of the building, and delivers his paralysis attack.
  • Attack roll = 16 vs DC 15 (hit)
  • Will save = 6 vs DC 22 (save failed by>5, so paralysis complete)

As the assassin fell, Jason swooped down and plucked him out of the air, taking him back to his apartment to tie to a chair.

The first thing the assassins saw when they awoke from their slumber was a gun to their face. "I think you'd better start talking before my friend here ..." Jason nodded at the gun "has some fun. Who do you work for?"

Note: This was going to be a short play example, but I got carried away. Ah, well. It was fun, and I learnt a lot about who actually rolls for what, and how powers work and so on. Please let me know if I've gotten anything wrong. I'm keen to learn from my mistakes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Character Stats: Kineticist

Hey all. Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Suffice to say, I've been swamped since exams (studying for another one), not to mention preparing to get married. I think you have to be some sort of hero to just survive that .... Not just physically (heavy suits and dresses in potentially 30-40 degree weather), but mentally (dealing with photographers that won't call back, dress-makers that lose dresses, and so on). Let's just say I won't be sorry to just be married and move on. My fiance has been a whole lot of awesome about the whole thing. She's been organising it since January, and therefore there's actually surprisingly little for me to really do (just confirming things, and running around after musicians). So, yeah. Hopefully it'll all go well. November 30th = the big day.

Anyway, on to why you're actually here. I was thinking about doing a little actual play example, so I figured I'd create a quick and easy character to beat up some bad guys with. One of the beautiful things about M&M is the hero archetypes. It makes it so easy to build a character and customise it to your liking without hours and hours of prep time.

I have just been watching Heroes Season 1, so I had the idea of building a Kinetic Controller (aka. one of Sylar's powers). So, turning to page 18 of the core rulebook, and picking Kinetic Control as the energy control power, I have my ready-made hero. A bit of tweaking of abilities and skills (I wanted someone who relied more on reflexes and intelligence), and I'm done. This guy can blow your face off with a kinetic blast, deflect your bullets with a force-field, and fly away when he's done. For more infiltrative missions, he's got good computer use, and his Dex gives him a decent stealth.

So, here they are. All he needs is a back-story, a motivation and one of Greywulf's awesome DAZ renders, and he's good to go.

Kineticist, PL 10, 150pp

STR 12, DEX 20, CON 12, INT 16, WIS 12, CHA 10
Tough +11/+1 (without forcefield), Fort +6, Ref +14, Will +5
Attack +10, Defense +5, Init +5

Acrobatics +13, Computers +11, Concentration +9, Notice +5, Profession: Computer Engineer +5
Accurate Attack, All-out Attack, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Quick Change, Acrobatic Bluff

Flight 6 (500mph)

Force field 10 (extra: impervious)

Immunity 5 (kinetic damage)

Kinetic Control 12 (DC 27, Feat: Accurate):

  • AP: Paralyse 12
  • AP: Telekinesis 12

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

M&M/SWSE Crossover - Races (Part 1)

Firstly, credit where credit is due. Greywulf, over at his lair, inspired me with his series of D&D/M&M crossover articles to do a few articles of my own. Since I am quite a fan of Star Wars Saga Edition, I thought "let's see what M&M can do with that". So, with that in mind, here are the first 8 races out of the core rulebook (there are a massive 17 races in the core game for some reason) as racial templates. Also, thanks go to to Greywulf for helping me work out a few issues with these.

  • Enhanced Trait (+4 in any skill) [1]
  • Any feat [1]
    • Total 2PP

  • +2 Dex [2]
  • -2 Con [-2]
  • Enhanced Trait (+4 Gather Information) [1]
    • Total = 1PP

  • +2 Int [2]
  • +2 Wis [2]
  • -2 Dex [-2]
  • Second Chance 1 (reroll any Initiative check) [1]
  • Improved Initiative 1 (+4 to Initiative) [1]
    • Total = 4PP

  • +2 Dex [2]
  • +2 Int [2]
  • -2 Con [-2]
  • Second Chance 1 (reroll any Pilot check) [1]
    • Total = 3PP

  • +2 Dex [2]
  • -2 Str [-2]
  • Small size: Shrinking 4 (Normal strength, Permanent) [4]
  • Super-senses (accurate and radius smell) [3]
  • Second Chance 1 (reroll any Stealth check) [1]
  • Enhanced Trait (+4 Survival) [1]
  • Drawback: Language: Ewokese (speak only) (very common, moderate) [-4]
  • Drawback: Primitive (-5 to attack rolls with blasters, rifles and heavy weapons) (common, minor) [-2]
    • Total = 3PP

Primitive is an interesting little mechanic. In SWSE game terms, it takes away whatever weapon proficiency you have with blasters, rifles and heavy weapons, whether your class gives it to you or not. This means that you take a -5 to attacks with these weapons. The only way I could think of to emulate this was to make this a character drawback. I'm not sure how common it is (depends on roleplaying), and how serious it is depends on whether you're trying to use those weapons anyway (so I went for moderate).

  • +2 Str [2]
  • -2 Dex [-2]
  • -2 Int [-2]
  • Drawback: Primitive (-5 to attack rolls with blasters, rifles and heavy weapons) (common, minor) [-2]
  • Enhanced Trait (+2 Fort save) [2]
  • Protection 2 [2]
    • Total = 0PP

Damage threshold is another mechanic which SWSE introduced, and I think it's pretty cool. It opens up some pretty cool tactics and talents. In game terms, if you take damage greater than your damage threshold (which is usually your Con score), you move one position down the "condition track". This track has 5 levels, which give you penalties to pretty much all rolls, up to a maximum of -10 followed by unconsciousness. Improved damage threshold basically makes this number higher. So, to emulate their ability to roll with the punches (so to speak), I gave gamorreans a little free protection. This means they are less likely to be bruised/battered and take penalties to toughness.

  • +2 Dex [2]
  • -2 Int [-2]
  • -2 Cha [-2]
  • Enhanced Trait (+4 Swim) [1]
  • Second Chance 1 (reroll any Swim check) [1]
  • Immunity (underwater suffocation); Limited (works for 25 x Con score rounds before normal conditions apply) [1]
  • Enhanced Trait (+2 Reflex save) [2]
  • Super-senses (low-light vision) [1]
    • Total = 4PP
I love how flexible M&M is here. For instance, Gungans get a weird mechanic where they can hold their breathe for 25 X Con score round before they drown (for a character with 10 Con, this is an impressive 25 minutes). Without making up new mechanics, you can simply state that this is the case as a limitation of the power.

  • +2 Wis [2]
  • +2 Cha [2]
  • -2 Dex [-2]
  • Bellow: Blast 3 (sonic energy, area: 30ft cone, tiring) [6]
  • Second Chance 1 (reroll any Survival check) [1]
  • Enhanced Trait (+4 Knowledge: Life Sciences) [1]
    • Total = 10PP
For any of you that have seen the Clone Wars animated series (the first one a few years ago), you might remember the power Bellow. Again, another example of the flexibility of M&M that it can emulate all aspects of this power (energy type, area, tiring). The only thing I was a little unsure of was the power. This will do +3 damage to anyone in the area. The original power does 3d6 damage, so I don't know if this stacks up.
I hope you enjoyed these. I tried to comment where I could on why I chose certain things. Part 2 to follow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sad news

Yes, sad news indeed. I have not done well in my exams at all. In fact, I am required to sit a supplementary exam in March, 2009 in order to graduate.

After a few days of shell-shocked helplessness, I have decided this is not the end of the world. I did not feel overly confident in my skills anyway. This gives me a second chance, and the motivation to not just succeed, but do well.

If all goes well, I will graduate before June, and join the June/July intake of interns. If all goes extremely well, I'll end up at Liverpool Hospital (which I'm told is likely anyway), and I'll only have lost 6 months.

So, yeah. It sucks, but it's not the end of the world.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Warriors and Warlocks coming!

Well, this isn't really my news, but I'm excited, so I'll post about it anyway. I'll direct you over to Greywulf's Lair, where he is also excited about the upcoming release of Warriors and Warlocks, a fantasy settings guide to Mutants and Masterminds.

The cover, as seen on the most recent M&M super-vision, is thus:

I like it. Makes me want to play it. has it for release on the 29th of November, at U$19.77, which is not bad. Might be worth a pre-order.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

2nd Exam Done!

Yay! I've finished my viva voce exam, which was the exam I was most petrified of. A massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders, but I fear it will not fully lift until I find out that I passed. Ah, well ... back to procrastinating...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mutants and Masterminds Core Rulebook Arrived!!

Wooo!!! This is going to sound odd, since I blog about M+M characters, and have made a few, but until today, I have not owned a copy of the core rulebook. It has been on order from for a few weeks, and in the meantime, I have been using pdf's.

I realise the illegality of this practice, but I enjoy the try-before-you-buy aspect of it. As a uni student, with precious little money to spend on RPG books, I prefer to download a pdf copy of game systems I hear about, and read them before I decide to spend my hard-earned dollars on them. If I find that this is a system I want to play/run, then I will naturally buy the book.

Like I say, not strictly legal, but it works for me. As far as I know, I've never used any rules from a book I don't either own or intend to order at some point.

Anyway, back to my shiny new book ...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Character Stats: Frozone

"Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that. You tell me you're a… super-mega-ultra lightning-babe, that's fine with me. I'm good. I'm good." - Frozone

(picture from Movie City News; direct link)

Long time friend of Mr Incredible, Lucius Best (aka. Frozone) is a superhero with the power to manipulate the water molecules in the air and freeze them. This power gives him the ability to freeze foes, slow them down and create platforms of ice which he can skate on. He has specially designed boots which he can transform at will into ice skates, skis, or a disc which he uses as a snowboard. He is limited only by extreme heat (in which he loses use of his powers).

Frozone, PL 10

Str 10, Dex 26, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 16

Toughness +2/+8, Fort +10, Ref +15, Will +10

Attack: Base +6, Ranged +10, Melee +6

  • Unarmed attack +6 (DC 15)
  • Ice bolt +10 (DC 25)
  • Snare +10 (DC Ref 20)

Defense: +12, Flat-footed +6, Initiative +16


Acrobatics 15 (+23), Bluff 10 (+13), Notice 6 (+8), Stealth 9 (+17), Survival 4 (+6)

Acrobatic Bluff, Attack Focus (Ranged) 4, Defensive Roll 6, Distract (Bluff), Environmental Adaptation (Ice/snow) 1, Evasion 2, Favoured environment (Ice/snow) 1, Improved Initiative 2, Move-by Action, Quick Change 1, Uncanny dodge (vision, hearing)


Cold Control 10 (5000ft)

  • Ice bolt (Blast 10)
  • Create object 6 (ice shapes; Feat: stationary, Extra: Duration – continuous)
  • Super-freeze object (Drain Toughness 10; Extra: Ranged, Flaw: Limited [objects])
  • Ice slick (Environmental Control 10 – Hamper move [25%])
  • Blinding snow (Environmental Control 10 – Distraction [DC 10])
  • Ice bind (Snare 10)


  • protective visor
  • specially designed boots - change as a free action into skis, ice skates, or a disc

PP: 149


First, the intellectual property of Frozone is completely owned by Disney, Pixar, Dark Horse comics, and so on.

Frozone is one of my favourite Incredibles characters. He is always cool (ba-dum ch!), calm, and collected. He's that really charismatic guy we always wanted to be back at school. As for his powers, control over freezing water molecules is a very awesome power. You can kind of do anything you can think of. As it turned out, buying this power in  M+M was surprisingly cheap. 10 ranks of cold control was only 20PP, and with everything else being an alternate power, he has a fair amount of versatility without much cost. I was able to cover everything I could remember from the movie, and add a little bit more. I also added the power drawback of power loss in extreme heat (e.g. during the building fire, he is unable to use his powers because he is dehydrated and there is no water in the air).

The only thing I had a little bit of trouble figuring out was his movement while skiing. After reading the movement rules a few times, even looking for some super-movement attributes, I decided that if I were to run this character, I would probably just houserule that while he's skiing, he is able to move at 2 or 3 times the normal speed, but he must use create object (ice shapes) once per round to make the next bit of track.

As for the rest, I figure he's very dexterous, but not that strong or tough (hence the trade-off with defense/toughness). As with Mr Incredible, I gave him distract (bluff), representing his ability to get villains "monologuing" (one of my favourite concepts from the film).

Anyway, let me know what you think. Comments, questions, ideas for improvement, things you would do differently.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Oo, while I'm posting, I have finished my first exam! I think it went fairly well. I have my viva exam (where I answer questions about management of various conditions) next Thursday (the 2nd), and if that goes well, I will be happy, because the last exam (multi-choice questions) will not need much preparation.

So ... yay!

Character Stats: Medic 3659

(Picture from Starcraft Wiki; credit to them; direct link to picture)

The result of an extensive secret military program to correct a perennial problem, the MediSuit program was initiated to allow medical personnel to get to injured soldiers on the battlefield, perform first aid, and evacuate the injured soldiers without being destroyed as a priority target.

The MediSuit P3-X7 model is equipped with a jet-pack allowing for superior maneouverability on the field, as well as powerful hydraulic servos allowing extraction of soldiers from under heavy objects. Massive armour plating gives protection under heavy fire, and the arm-mounted auto-cannon and missile launcher allow the MediSuit to lay down cover fire or disable attacking forces. A large array of sensor technology allows the wearer to operate in poor light conditions (even blind, using radar), as well as scan patients with IR and X-Ray on the field.

Medic 3659 is part of a cross-over program between the MediSuit Development Unit and the Genetic Engineering Department, placing genetically engineered healers (with innate healing ability, but little to no combat ability) in front-line “heal-and-retrieve” positions. With their ability to even resurrect falling soldiers, the army has noted a significant increase in soldier retention and morale.

Note: When I imagined this character concept, it started with a simple battle-suit idea, then the idea of a front-line medic came to mind, and it grew on me. In the end, I kind of envisioned the character as being somewhat like the Medics from Starcraft (also, because I have no artistic skill, that is where I went searching for my reference picture).

Medic 3659 (in MediSuit P3-X7), PL 10

Str 10/30, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 20, Wis 18, Cha 12

Toughness +10, Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +7

Attack +3 (Ranged +7, Melee +3, Grapple +13)

  • Unarmed Attack +3 (DC 25)
  • Auto-cannon +7 (Blast 5, DC 20)
  • Homing Missile +7 (Explosive Blast 4, DC 19)

Defense +6, Flat-footed +3, Init +0

Computers 8 (+13), Knowledge: Life Sciences 8 (+13), Medicine 12 (+16), Notice 4 (+8), Profession: Medic 8 (+12)

Attack Focus (Ranged) 4, Defensive Attack, Improved Defense 1, Improvised Tools


MediSuit P3-X7 (Device 17) – Restricted to use by Genetically engineered medics

  • Flight 4; Alt Power: Super-Strength 4
  • Auto-cannon (Blast 5, Extra: Autofire 1); Alt Power: Missile Launcher (Blast 4, Extra: Area, Explosion, Feat: Homing)
  • Enhanced Strength 20
  • Protection 10 (Extra: Impervious)
  • Communication 6 (Radio, Feat: Subtle)
  • Datalink 1 (Radio)
  • Super-Senses 12 (Darkvision, Distance, Direction, Infravision, Low-light, Radio, Ultravision, X-ray)

Healing 5 (Feats: Persistent, Regrowth; Extras: Resurrection)

Hope you like it. Please post comments, let me know if/where I went wrong, how you think it could be improved, anything you'd like to see, etc.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Character Stats: Mr Incredible

"You know, I was right to idolise you. You truly are Mr Incredible!” – Syndrome


Bob Parr (a.k.a. Mr Incredible) is the superhero of superheroes. One of the iconic supers of the “old days”, Mr Incredible was admired by many around the world, and reknowned for his acts of heroism and bravery. At the time of the film (The Incredibles, Disney/Pixar), he spends his days helping customers navigate the murky world of insurance claims until he is fired for attacking his boss.

 Gifted with super-strength and constitution, Mr Incredible is capable of lifting anything from cars to trains, leaping from building to building, and taking blows that could disable or kill another man.

PL 10 (150 PP)


Str 30 (base 20, power 10), Dex 14, Con 30 (base 20, power 10), Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 16


Toughness +14 (blunt damage, +10 normally), Fortitude +10, Reflex +10 (+2 dex, +8 ranks), Will +2


Bluff 8 (+11), Acrobatics 8 (+10), Intimidate 10 (+13), Notice 8 (+10), Profession (insurance broker) 4 (+6), Swim 6 (+26), Search 8 (+8)


Attack focus (melee) +4, Improved Initiative +1 (+4 to initiative), Power attack, Stunning attack, Endurance +2 (+8 to various saves), Quick change +1 (free action), Improved critical +3 (crit on 17-20 with unarmed attacks), Distract (bluff)


Enhanced Constitution 10, Enhanced Strength 10, Leaping 5 (25x normal leap distance), Immovable 8, Protection (Flaw: blunt damage only) 4, Super-senses (acute vision and hearing), Super-strength 9 (heavy load = 250 tons)


Attack +10 (+6 base, +4 attack focus) melee, Damage +10 (unarmed), Defense +6 (trade-off with toughness), Init +6 (+2 dex, +4 feat)


Costume (with homing device)


I love The Incredibles. It’s kind of what got me into the superhero groove I’m in. Since I started reading about M&M, I figured I could practice creating a few characters and get used to the system by statting out some of the characters from The Incredibles.

This interpretation of Mr Incredible was helped a lot by reading the Powerhouse archetype, but also has some of my own take on it.

I figure Mr Incredible has to have very high Str and Con (hence, 30 in each, some natural, some power-based). He also has super-strength, allowing him to lift those cars, trains, massive head statues, and so on (is there anything he can’t lift?).

I gave him a toughnes/defense trade-off, because while he’s not that hard to hit, he’s very tough to take down and damage.

I gave him ranks in Bluff, and the Distract (bluff) feat to represent his ability to get villains “monologuing”.

Mr Incredible is very hard hitting, with a high strength, attack focus, power attack, stunning attack, and 3 ranks in improved critical.


Total PP = 149 (I think/hope)


Look forward to more Incredibles characters, when I get time.

P.S. The Incredibles, Mr Incredible, pictures, logos, symbols, colours, concepts, ideas, and so on, are the exclusive rights of Disney/Pixar/Dark Horse comics, and noone else.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Medical school sucks

For all you bright-eyed bushy-tailed people straight out of school who want to save lives, and cure cancer, and make lots of money like those hot people on Gray's and ER ... No.

It's just not like that at all. Real medicine is hard, and degrading, and gritty, and policital, and nothing like the TV.

As you might guess from the title and the bitterness in this post, I'm preparing for my exams which are in about a week's time (probably what I should be doing rather than posting here ...), and I'm really really sick of it. Being a med student is a really humbling thing. Back in school, I was really good at being smart, and good at music, and I actually felt like I was "best" at some small things. In med school, you are treated like dirt, constantly reminded that you don't know anything, don't know how things work, aren't getting paid, and so on. It's ... depressing.

Still, on the bright side, hopefully I will pass my exams, and drunken hilarity will ensue, and my return to tabletop gaming will too.


Yeah, I've always wanted to have a first post. So much so that I created my own blog just so I could. heh.

Anyway, I'm hoping this blog will be a chance to exercise my creativity related to tabletop RPGs. I have developed an interest for D&D, SWSE and M&M. Because my university exams have been coming up, I have not yet had a chance to run a D&D4e game, or a M&M game, but that will soon change, and I will hopefully be posting campaign notes up here.

I will also post up character ideas, adventure ideas, and more.