USR Wednesdays: Two Adventures

Fantasy Intrigue

With inspiration from RPG writer Ryan Macklin. Ask of each character:

  • What does he or she want? (That could be to change something or to maintain the status quo. Don’t fight for change 100% of the time).
  • Why can they not just have that? (That could be adversity, incomplete needs, a bit of both).
  • Point to another character when answering these questions (either or both of them).
  1. Quest giver: The heroes are a team of bodyguards hired by the local lord to protect his cousin and superior, the duke. The duke came to your city with his own set of guards — you are backup. The duke is kind but cheap, and his guards aren’t very loyal. You are paid well by the lord.
  2. Early encounter: While out hunting, the duke wanders off and is attacked by a monster. His guards flee or are killed in the battle.
  3. Clue to final confrontation: Searching the bodies of the monsters, you find the mark of a wizard from your city. If the bodies aren’t searched, indications of a spy watching the battle are noticed by one of the heroes or an ally.
  4. Secondary encounter or challenge: With the threat to his life, the duke is confined to the castle until the lord conducts an investigation. The heroes are assigned to the investigation and head to the wizard’s tower. An illusion of him appears to speak with the characters, and when they ask him about the monsters, he disappears and sends them into a portal to battle a monster.
  5. Secondary challenge or encounter (the opposite): Escaping the battle, the characters rush back to warn their lord and the duke of the treasonous wizard. But the wizard emerges from the shadows to the surprise of the heroes and the duke. The lord and wizard have conspired together to overthrow the duke, and the heroes weren’t supposed to get this far.
  6. Final boss: The wizard fires spells at the heroes. For an extra challenge, the lord can be a skilled warrior or even a shapechanged monster like a doppleganger or a lycanthrope. If the heroes win the battle, the duke rewards them by inviting them to his court… and a smaller than expected reward.
A land cleared of vegetation. And for what?
Blight on her way to the scene of the crime.

Superhero

This is a classic “team of heroes vs. a villain”-type story.

  1. Quest giver: Each hero is in their secret (or public) identity when they see a news report or get an alert that the First National Bank has been robbed in broad daylight, and millions in bills and paper securities has been taken.
  2. Early encounter: A trail of destruction leads the heroes to an abandoned steel-mining factory on the east side of the city. Inside is Catastrophe, the Mountain of Muscle, and/or Commander Pulsar, who fires beams of solid light. They’re ready for a fight.
  3. Clue to final confrontation: Only some of the stolen cash can be found in the factory, in a pile that Catastrophe and Commander Pulsar were building. The rest is being carried away on long, withered vines — the sign of Blight, the Queen of Pollution.
  4. Secondary encounter or challenge: The heroes know McArthur Park is where Blight usually makes her hideout. Getting to her is difficult, with dozens of traps and plant-based minions in the way.
  5. Secondary challenge or encounter (the opposite): Blight is in the park, as expected, but she’s not hoarding the money. Instead, she’s transformed the paper fibers in the cash and securities into a giant plant creature that joins her in the battle.
  6. Final boss: Blight and her monster have to be defeated together before she can, of course, be sent to jail.

USR Wednesdays: Health Variants

Hit points may be the most significant “mechanic” that roleplaying games introduced to the world of games. Before Dungeons & Dragons, game characters were either “up” or “down” (think of Pac-Man’s lives or even the one-hit armies of chess). And while there’s no exact agreement on precisely what hit points represent — Physical health? Willingness to keep fighting? Raw toughness? — there’s many ways to represent them.

Domino Writing-style USR calls for a lot of hit points: your character’s maximum Action stat plus maximum Wits stat (both physical and mental fortitude). Standard USR replaces maximums with a die roll from both stats, but the idea is the same. Here’s a few ideas to change the way health is used in your game. Note that most of these variants are best in a game with lots of combat, where the health amount will change repeatedly.

The original medusa.
The stunned condition at work.

Conditions


This comes directly from the most recent editions of Dungeons & Dragons: other effects besides straight hit point loss; things like being stunned, poisoned, or even charmed. They lend themselves very well to simple effects in combat, or occasionally negative Specialisms. Here’s some of the most common:

Confused: Before the character starts his or her turn, roll a d6:

1-2 — the character can act normally

3-4 — the character loses his or her turn, babbling incoherently

5-6 — the character causes 1d6 damage to him or herself from shock, accidentally bumping into something, or for some other reason

Fascinated: The character stays in place, and takes no actions this turn. Any obvious threats to the character immediately end the fascination. This includes a magical charm like hypnosis or even seduction.

Frightened: More severe than shaken, the character suffers a -2 penalty on all appropriate die rolls until he or she gets away from what was frightening.

Poisoned: The character suffers a -1 penalty to all appropriate rolls until the poison is eliminated (by waiting it out or by taking an antidote). This can also represent disease.

Shaken: Less severe than frightened, the character suffers a -1 penalty on his or her next appropriate die roll.

Stunned: The character skips his or her next turn in combat. This can be extended to more than one turn to represent things like being tangled in vines or even frozen in ice.

Decreasing Dice

One of the “unrealistic” things about hit points, especially in older games, is how they don’t have an effect until the end. A hero with 50 hit points can fight just as well as one with 3 hit points — but they both keel over at 0 HP. A simple way to debilitate characters (and monsters) a little bit is by decreasing dice: Each time a character loses 10 hit points from the character’s maximum, they also decrease stat dice by one rank, from D12 to D10 to D8 to D6 to D4. This decrease goes away by one rank as the character heals.

For example, a hero with 22 hit points and an Action stat of D10 who falls to 12 hit points now has an Action stat of D8. At 2 hit points, his Action stat is D6. If he goes back to 3 hit points, it returns to a D8, and at 13 or more hit points, he’s back to his original D10 Action stat.

Usually this effect only applies to a single stat (say, Action if the character is attacked by a life-draining ghoul, or Ego if a character’s honor and status in society is completely obliterated).

This variant can also be used to represent serious injury. The D20 versions of the Star Wars Roleplaying game and the Palladium system games like “Rifts” use something like this, where serious damage has long-lasting effects. Hit points can be healed fully (or at least up to half the character’s original hit points) after every combat encounter, but serious wounds — as judged by the game master — result in a lower die for a stat, and stick around until an appropriate time in the story.

Flashback

This comes from the Savage Worlds RPG: A character can heal back to full health at any time — as long as they narrate their recovery. It can be a scene where the character is sitting and talking about his or her past, and how it led to today. It can fill in the gaps in the narrative, explaining how something happened that the players haven’t yet heard about (think of a heist movie, where you get filled in on how part of the caper was pulled off after the action is over). The goal is to add more to the story and the world of the characters. The reward for the player is to heal back to full hit points.

USR Wednesdays: A Package Of Specialisms

It only takes moments to create a Domino Writing-style (or really any) USR character, but the one part of character development that does require a little bit of time is coming up with Specialisms. They’ve been discussed before; remember:

Specialisms are what a character can do, or how he or she does it, in a way that’s appropriate to the setting.

This includes:

  • Skills (Climbing, Computers, etc.)
  • Natural abilities (Charming, Tough, etc.)
  • Supernatural abilities (Magic, Psionics, etc.)

But it also includes:

  • Races (Animal-Folk, Elf, etc.)
  • Traditional RPG classes (Gunslinger, Wizard, etc.)
  • Personality traits (Lone Wolf, More Interested In Machines Than People, etc.)
  • Setting-specific characteristics (Disgraced Member Of The Royal Family, Knight Of Eagle’s Watch, etc.)
  • Signature equipment (All-In-One Pocket Tool, Fast Car, etc.)
I'm a little of everything.
So many Specialism ideas…

The one thing a Specialism usually isn’t is a combat-specific ability: guns, swords, shields, and the rest is represented as weapons and armor and “purchased” with Combat Gear points. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a Specialism like Sharpshooter or A Dagger In Each Hand, to add to attacks, or other actions (a Sharpshooter is just as good at putting out a flickering candle from across a room as he is at taking out a bandit gang).

How can you get a character ready to play instantly? Try a Specialism package: One personality trait and two skills (or one skill and one class, if you’re playing in a setting with archetypes the players and game master all understand). That gives you some abilities to use in the adventure, and a little bit of background to make your character more than just a set of combat statistics.

Here’s a few more kinds of Specialisms that can be used to put that package together, borrowed from the great RPG Risus:

  • Adventuring necessities (Athletics, Persuasion, Observation, Driving, Technology, Medicine, Wilderness, Knowledge, Spying)
  • Degree of dedication (Master Of Martial Arts, Laser-Focused On Fire Magic, etc.)
  • Social and financial status (Billionaire, On The Streets, etc.)
  • Appearance (Dashingly Handsome, Scheming, etc.) — you can use celebrities or stock characters to help with Specialisms, too (Albert Einstein, Casanova, etc.)
  • Relationships (Father Figure, Falls In Love With All The Women, etc.)

USR Wednesdays: Robot Revolution

If the robots rise up against the humans, there will be war, at least with the survivors, the humans that aren’t wiped out by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, or the humans that can’t make it without electronics. Thanks to the ingenuity of people, there are robots of every size and shape available in the robot army, and it’s easy enough for them to start producing still more robots, including kinds that don’t exist in the real world yet.

John Connor or Spike Witwicky? No contest.
It’s this plus humans.

So that’s where we start:

Monster Power Level and examples

I: Tiny, mostly harmless service robots like vacuum cleaners or checkout machines

II: Human-size robots that aren’t built for combat — a manufacturing arm or a translator

III: The classic security robot that moves and acts like an ordinary human with a gun

IV: An advanced security robot, bigger, tougher, and more maneuverable — maybe with wheels, treads or spider-type legs

V: A robot transport, which provides cover fire before it drops off a load of killer robots

VI: A self-driving vehicle — one bristling with weapons, like a tank or fighter jet

Characters in this setting are action-oriented; they have their highest stats in Action (if they’re the gun-toting soldier kind) or Wits (if they’re the genius programmer that turns the robots against themselves kind). Ego is less important in this genre, though a typical adventure probably has at least one opportunity for a hero to pretend he’s a robot to get through a dangerous situation, or to talk another group of survivors into joining forces.

Specialisms

Think of Specialisms that offer skills: Robot Programming, Discipline, Driving, Stealth. And make sure your character isn’t a generic hard-bitten warrior with personality traits like Practical Joker, Silent And Deadly, or Master Negotiator.

USR Wednesdays: Combat Variants

I’ve certainly looked at ways to mix up combat before. Let’s take a look today at a few more options to add something extra to your Domino Writing-style USR game.

Multiple Attacks

One of the biggest problems with classic role playing games is that boss monsters are just too easy to kill. Sure, the dragon has lots of hit points, and its breath weapon can knock everyone down by a third of their health if it hits, but the dragon only gets one attack. If the fighter, rogue, wizard, and cleric work together, they can take out the beast in no time. The answer is often give the dragon some orcish minions to fight alongside it, or allow it to breathe fire and scratch with its claws at the same time. Either way, the dragon can make several attacks, evening the odds it faces in battle.

In USR, we can do the same thing, giving a monster multiple attacks, instead of the one it normally gets (remember, in Domino Writing-style USR, a combat turn includes one move and one other activity, usually an attack). The limit is determined by the monster’s [Monster] Power Level.

  • The number of extra attacks a monster can have, above and beyond its regular attack, is equal to its combat bonus (Power Level I means no extra attacks, Power Level VI can have up to 5 for a total of 6 attacks in a turn).
  • Each extra attack a monster has costs it 3 starting hit points (one extra attack means the monster starts with 3 fewer hit points; five extra attacks means -15 hit points before the battle begins).

Note this only applies to monsters (which can be, of course, wolves, ninja, soldiers, trolls, robots, guards, or anything else). Heroes can’t buy extra attacks this way.

I am not left handed.
Gaining the upper hand is easy for two swashbucklers.

The Upper Hand

This one is borrowed from the Fate RPG, and it’s great for those games where combat is the exception, not the rule. You may need a marker of some kind, like a spare die, to represent having the “upper hand,” having fortune smile on you. The character who wins initiative starts with the “upper hand.” It stays with him or her until an enemy tries to steal it. If your ally has the upper hand when it’s your turn in combat, you can’t make use of it. But if an enemy has it, you can try and grab it from them. Then you’ll have it on your turn.

To “seize the upper hand,” you first make a non-contested die roll against a target number set by the game master (usually a 4 or a 6 — this should be relatively easy to do so the upper hand moves around a lot). On a success, you have the upper hand. On a failure, the upper hand stays where it is.

Whether you succeeded or failed on the upper hand roll, you can still make an attack roll on this turn (yes, you make two die rolls in one turn). If you succeeded at the upper hand roll, or you already had the upper hand from earlier in the battle, add your level to the attack roll, and even if you miss, you still cause 1 point of damage. If you don’t have the upper hand, you just make an ordinary attack.

The “upper hand” roll can be against any stat you wish on your first try, but it has to be against a different stat each time you try to seize it. The entire point is to generate cool combat maneuvers that aren’t necessarily damage-causing themselves:

  • Grabbing a rope and swinging into the fray
  • Dropping the perfect one-liner before opening fire
  • Calculating the exact coordinates for your attack to cause maximum damage
  • Mystically stopping time — for just a moment — to get into position
  • Spreading your wings as wide as they can reach, to strike fear in the heart of your foe

Nemeses

A discussion on the USR Google+ group about playing Pokemon in USR led to this idea: When a battle begins, select an opponent, who becomes your nemesis. You gain +2 on die rolls against the nemesis, as long as the nemesis is in the combat. If it’s defeated or otherwise leaves combat, you can name a new nemesis on your next turn.

Both heroes and monsters can select a nemesis on their turn, but someone can only have one nemesis at a time. A character can’t name an opponent as a nemesis if another character has already done so. Nemeses don’t have to be against one another: If you’re a police sergeant whose nemesis is Mario the mafia thug, but Mario has named your buddy the psychic detective as his nemesis, you get a +2 against Mario, but he doesn’t get a +2 against you.

USR Wednesdays: Companions

I took a look back at the community on the USR Google+ page, before it disappears, though of course nothing ever really disappears from the web. A few years back, there was a discussion on playing puppets, creatures that work with a hero as a kind of support staff. Puppets and their controller — in other words, companions of a hero. In classic fantasy role playing games, this is the druid or ranger with their wolf, hawk, or other animal partner. Helper robots in a science fiction settings are a pretty popular concept too.

What’s a companion?

A companion, in the terms we’re using here, is more than a simple Specialism. A private eye who has a trusty bartender informant doesn’t have a companion; he has a Bartender Contact +2 Specialism. All the bartender does is pass along information (and pour drinks). He doesn’t join the detective in a fight, and really doesn’t even leave the bar, in the story.

On the other hand, a dark elf two-blade ranger’s magical black panther is a companion (probably a Magical Black Panther +2); it’s useful as a warrior, but also a scout, a guard, and likely some other stuff, I haven’t read all the books. He literally never leaves his hero.

I would choose any of these.
Animal companions, classic fantasy style.

So, if both the bartender and the panther are designated as Specialisms, what’s the difference in game terms between a companion and a non-companion? On the surface, not much. Both offer a +2 bonus… but the panther’s bonus applies a lot more often. It all depends on how the player and the game master have decided how the companion works. That’s part of what defining a Specialism in the first place is all about — what kind of die rolls it applies to.

Other companion-type Specialisms
The puppets we talked about on Google+ are another companion-type specialism. The example I used was this:

(A) puppet could be a manifestation of a Specialism (Flight +2 is on your character sheet, but you can’t literally fly. One of your puppets can, though, and whenever you need to fly you summon the puppet to carry you).

That’s just “flavor text,” as they say in CCGs. This character can fly, it’s just being described as something the puppet does for the hero. It does open the game to more role playing opportunities — what if the puppet is missing or stolen? Is the hero’s need to fly somehow powerful enough that the puppet comes racing across continents to do its job? Or is the character just a little less capable now that his puppet is out of action?

Then there’s the situation where the companion is more powerful than the hero. There are a few superheroes who have this trait — young Billy Batson becomes the mighty Captain Marvel (or Shazam now, I guess), and timid scientist Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk. Though in USR terms, Shazam and Hulk are the heroes, and Batson and Banner are the Specialisms (maybe Young Boy +1, capable of being ignored by most people, and Genius Scientist +2). But the example I was really thinking of is Aladdin, who has an extremely powerful wish-granting Genie, who is a companion, especially in the well-known Disney version of the fairy tale. The genie isn’t a character himself, because he can’t do anything until Aladdin makes a wish.

Companion ideas

Like all Specialisms, companions, in whatever form they take, follow our guideline for creating Specialisms: They explain what a character can do, or how he or she does it, in a way that’s appropriate to the setting. A hero with a companion-type specialism might be able to:

  • Lift heavy things, thanks to a robot buddy
  • Fly with the help of a winged puppet
  • Coordinate attacks against orcs and dragons
  • Cross between the world of the living and the land of the dead
  • Scout out the enemy fortress, seeing it through a robotic bee’s eyes
  • and more…

USR Wednesdays: Signature Actions

One of the great things about USR’s flexibility is how much you can say with a single Specialism: a classic fantasy Thief is assumed to be good at sneaking, picking locks, quickly assessing the value of an object, backstabbing enemies, and so on. Someone with an Assault Rifle weapon doesn’t just have a powerful gun; they also know how to use it, carry it, maintain it and so on.

But sometimes you have a signature action — a way you use the skill, tool, weapon, or other Specialism that no one else does the way you do, or no one else does at all. Think of the cowboy gunslinger who has an extra single-shot derringer secreted away in his boot when his trusty sixguns are out, or the druid who doesn’t just talk to animals — they come to him to pass along information, without even being asked.

A signature action is chosen at the same time you select a Specialism. Each Specialism can only have one signature action at a time, though you can switch to another one at any time, as long as the game master approves. It should make sense for the story, though; a captain who’s a master at keeping his ship steady through a storm won’t suddenly become an America’s Cup yacht race champ, even though both signature actions would apply to the Sailing Specialism, or something similar.

A signature action awards an additional +1 to any die roll where it applies, so it’s one better than the Specialism, no matter what bonus the Specialism provides.

Every other image was clip art or Daredevil's enemy.
Bullseye, every time, with the right signature action.

Here are a few ideas, with a suggested appropriate Specialism.

Called shot: You gain this bonus when using a Gun or Bow to fire at a specific target, like a shoulder, a kneecap, or the weapon in an opponent’s hand.

Death from above: You’re especially effective at sneak attacks when Jumping onto an enemy.

Evocation: If you are a Wizard or Spellcaster, you’re especially good at one particular type of magic. Work with your game master to determine just what kinds of spells qualify as your type of magic.

Inspiring speech: A Military General or Leader Of Men can always rouse the troops to battle or keep them on task even when they’re exhausted, but you’re one of the best at doing it. You don’t need to roll for this, but some of your sayings show up when people are looking for motivational quotes.

Like a native: If you have French (or Elvish, or a Specialism for any language and culture), you not only know the language and customs like someone who’s lived there all their life, you also know things that most natives don’t know, from obscure history facts to slang terms that young people have just started using.

USR Wednesdays: Cool Cars

It was so much fun bringing back spells last week that I’m going to pull another one out of the archives… vehicles. We visited the 4A setting not long ago, and that’s all about cool cars. Vehicles have hit points and an armor bonus (which is also the total bonus of weapons they can carry). It was suggested on the USR discussion group that vehicles also have a Handling rating, on top of the Target Numbers established for a maneuver. Makes sense as a Specialism:

  • Bikes: +2 Handling
  • Small Cars, Large Cars, Small Trucks: +0 Handling
  • Large Trucks: -2 Handling

A Civic (Small Car) and an Expedition (Small Truck) perform about the same at high speed while dodging bullets, at least in fiction. You might want to add a few categories here if you’re really getting detailed with your cars. A Mustang or Camaro probably has a +1 or +2 Handling, while a rickety old truck has at least a -2 Handling.

Most comic book ones are pretty good, too.
What I think of first when I think of the Batmobile.

Batmobile (Large Car)

+4 Armor, 20 Hit Points

+1 missiles, grappling hook, and I’m going to boost its armor rating above a standard Large Car because it’s often portrayed as super, super durable.

General Lee (Small Car)

+2 Armor, 15 Hit Points

Let’s give this one a +1 to Handling because of all its jumps and swerves. It’s pretty large to be considered a Small Car, but it’s known more for its ability to move than its ability to take a hit.

Pursuit Special (Large Car)

+3 Armor, 20 Hit Points

Mad Max’s car isn’t armed itself, but it carries a lot of riders who have weapons.

Aston Martin DB5 (Small Car)

+2 Armor, 15 Hit Points

James Bond’s signature ride has +1 machine guns and +1 tire slashers, plus an ejection seat and a few other gadgets that will come in handy just in time (part of Bond’s Super Spy Specialism?).

Hell Cycle (Bike)

+1 Armor, 10 Hit Points

The flaming tires are the most memorable part of Ghost Rider’s demonic vehicle (traditionally — more recent Ghost Riders drive cars) and they provide a +1 attack bonus.

USR Wednesdays: More Magic

We first looked at classic magic about a year ago: discrete spells with specific results, as opposed to the game master- and player-interpreted rules that most of USR uses. Fantasy gaming has been using huge spell lists for decades; there’s no reason to stop doing it now. I created just a handful of spells in that first post. This time around, we’ll make the list bigger. Our guidelines are simple:

  • Any spellcaster can use any spell — there’s no divine vs. arcane magic, for example.
  • There’s no “spell level,” so even an apprentice can summon a mighty elemental force… or at least he can try. A high Target Number is probably in order in that case. Also, spells are measured by the number of hit points they cost the spellcaster whenever the spell is cast. A wizard can have a few very powerful spells, but he won’t be able to cast them often!
  • You can cast spells as often as you like, but you have to spend the listed hit point(s) first. Casting a spell counts as your action for a turn, or is considered part of your attack action — for example, Magical Missile is an attack by itself, but casting Entangling Vines adds to an attack roll using the Wits stat. Don’t forget that Specialisms (like Wizard or Fire Magic) apply to these Wits and other stat rolls also, above and beyond what a spell offers.
  • A spellcaster at level 1 starts with two spells, and adds one more at each level. Domino Writing-style USR goes to level 5, so a fifth-level sorcerer can cast six spells — enough for variety, not enough to require you to spend a half-hour writing spell text on your character sheet.

To create a new spell, just decide on its hit point cost: a good measure is a cost of 3 hit points per die of effect. The exact details of the spell are up to the player and the game master to work out, provided it helps tell a better story.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: the best Mickey cartoon?
Summoning isn’t always about combat.

As with all USR rules, it’s easy to add options to make the game the way you want it. Maybe each spellcaster has a signature spell that doesn’t cost as many hit points, spellcasters have a “mana pool” to cast spells from instead, or spells need to have subtle effects, and loud, flashy spells attract unwanted attention.

So, let’s mix all our spells together (the old and the new), grouped by Hit Point cost.

1 Hit Point cost

Detect Magic: All magical objects and creatures in an area the size of an average room glow a faint light blue for the next few moments, long enough for you to discern where they are.

Enhance: This spell boosts other die rolls. It costs 1 hit point to cast. Each additional hit point spent on the spell provides +1 to any one die roll, for the spellcaster or anyone else he chooses.

Light: The spellcaster touches an object and for the next hour, the object glows like a lantern. It can only be “turned off” by the spellcaster.

Magic Blast: Choose one enemy and make a Wits roll, opposed by an Action roll; on a successful attack, the enemy suffers 1d3 damage.

Prestidigitation: A small, harmless, obviously magical effect takes place, like flowers appearing from nowhere, or a room tidying itself up.

2 Hit Point cost

Charm: For the next hour, the spellcaster or one ally adds +1d6 to all Ego rolls when positively interacting with others (when trying to request help, or to calm them down, but not to intimidate or confuse them, for example).

Confusion: Make a Wits +2 roll, opposed by your target’s Wits roll; on a success, your target loses his or her next turn, trying to figure out what’s happening to him or her. He or she can still make rolls to defend against attacks, but can’t apply Specialisms (armor bonuses will still apply).

Magical Missile: 1 automatic damage to an enemy you can see. This damage cannot be avoided in any way, except by a more powerful magical defense.

3 Hit Point cost

Cure Light Wounds: +1d6 hit points to yourself or another individual.

Entangling Vines: Choose one enemy and make a Wits +2 roll, opposed by the enemy’s Action roll; on a successful attack, that enemy cannot move for the rest of the combat encounter, unless it uses its entire movement and action on a turn to free itself.

Shape Change: You magically shift your body, clothing, and possessions to appear like someone else of roughly the same shape and size. You add +3 to any Wits roll if you need to convince someone else you are who you are pretending to be. The basic spell lets a human change into an elf or halfling. For 4 hit points, you can look like a specific individual whose appearance you are familiar with, like a famous person. For 6 hit points, you can look like a creature of a different size or shape, from a mosquito to a dragon.

4 Hit Point cost

Lightning Bolt: Choose one enemy and make a Wits +1 roll, opposed by an Action roll; on a successful attack, the enemy suffers 1d6 damage.

Magical Sheld: For the remainder of the current combat encounter, add +1d6 to your defensive rolls (roll this die along with the stat die you roll to defend against the attack). On a die result of 6, the shield instantly fades and does not provide any more defensive bonus.

5 Hit Point cost

Summon Creature: Make a Wits roll, with a Target Number depending on the type of creature you want to summon (a wolf is 4, a barbarian warrior is 7, a demon is 14). It is called to you and will help you however it can for the next hour/combat encounter.

Teleport: One creature or object is instantly moved from its current location to somewhere else within eyesight of the spellcaster.

6 Hit Point cost

Cure Heavy Wounds: +2d6 hit points to yourself or another individual.

Fireball: Choose one enemy and make a Wits +3 roll, opposed by an Action roll; on a successful attack, the enemy suffers 2d6 damage.

USR Wednesdays: DC Superheroes

We’ve touched on Marvel’s heroes before, but what about DC’s? These versions are, like most traditional superheroes, at Tier 3, and blend the best of each version of the character (comics, movies, animation, and so on).

trinity - USR Wednesdays: DC Superheroes
Truly iconic.

Superman, Level 4, 15 Experience Points, Tier 4
Action D12, Wits D10, Ego D8
Specialisms: Super-Strength +4, Journalist +2, Role Model To All +3
Hit Points: 37
Equipment: Invulnerable +3 (not equipment, but used in combat)
Narrative Points: 6

Batman, Level 3, 10 Experience Points, Tier 3
Action D10, Wits D12, Ego D8
Specialisms: World’s Greatest Detective +2, Wealthy Sponsor Of Gotham City And Superheroes +2, Obsessive Hunter +2, Bat-Gadgets (Free-Form Specialism) +2
Hit Points: 32
Equipment: Martial Arts Expert +2, Batarangs +1, Grappling Hook
Narrative Points: 3

Robin, Level 1, 0 Experience Points, Tier 1
Action D12, Wits D10, Ego D8
Specialisms: Detective In Training +2, Friend To Other Superheroes +2, Teetering On The Dark Side +2
Hit Points: 22
Equipment: Martial Arts +2, Staff +1
Narrative Points: 8

Wonder Woman, Level 2, 5 Experience Points, Tier 3
Action D12, Wits D8, Ego D10
Specialisms: Princess Of Themyscira +2, Representing The Power Of Women +2, Always Does The Right Thing +3
Hit Points: 25
Equipment: Sword +2, Deflecting Bracelets +2
Narrative Points: 3