Justice League: A Better World
Here are the Drawbacks you can have, they give Power Points rather than you buying them. Drawbacks can be restricted at GM discretion, though this is only done so Hero Points stay on a semi-level scale during creation. These are examples of what you can have. These are from other role plays and are to be used as examples only. All complications are custom made.
■A character with this drawback is of an unusual age for adventuring, being either old or young in comparison to traditional heros/villains. Unusually old characters (those over 50 years of age) must always subtract two points (-2) from their initiative scores. Unusually young characters (those below 18 years of age) are limited though the need to attend school regularly, a concern of adult authority, and being unable to enter certain public areas (such as bars).
■A character with this drawback has two distinct forms: a super-powered form and a normal form. Whenever the character wants to go about his daily life, he must switch to his normal form. The transformation from normal to super-powered (and back) take a full phase, during which the character may do nothing else, although he does receive the full OV/RV of the form he is changing from.
■Normally, the transformation from super-powered to normal is controlled by the character. This type of alter ego is known as Controllable, and is worth a bonus of 25 Hero Points. However, some characters cannot control their change from normal to super-powerful, often having monstrous or villainous alter egos. In these cases, the drawback is Uncontrollable, and is worth a 75 Hero Point bonus. A character adopting an uncontrollable alter ego must specify the conditions which trigger the transformation form normal to super-powered and back again. Common examples include: Changes during the full moon, changes when angered, changes whenever someone says a certain word or phrase, etc.
■To design a character with an alter ego, a player must design the super-powered form based on the normal Hero Point amount (450). It is this form that receives the Hero Point bonus for the alter ego drawback. The super-powerful form must have a distinctive appearance, such that the character could not simply change into street clothes and conduct every-day life with all this powers (if this is the case, then the drawback is worth zero (0) Hero Points).
■The normal form is then designed with a Hero Point base of 225. The normal form is built as any character, except that is should not have any powers. Additionally, most normal forms should rarely have attributes or skills higher than 5 APs, although this is up to the GM discretion. If the character automatically switches into costume when becoming “super” both characters must have the Insta-change advantage.
Bonus:15 (Not Available for Villains)
■A Hero with this drawback begins the game with a similarly-powered foe who is already determined to destroy the hero at all costs. The GM must approve this drawback and invent statistics for the enemy, who should pop up with annoying frequency in the character’s subplots. The arch enemy can never be reformed and will not work with the character under any circumstances. This drawback can only be removed if the enemy is somehow killed during the course of play, in which case the hero immediately loses 75 Hero Points, whether he was responsible for the enemy’s death or not.
■Note that “similarly-powerful” does not refer to Hero Points, but also influence, and prestige. It is up to the GM to determine if an arch enemy is sufficiently “powerful” to provide a challenge for the hero, regardless of the APs involved.
■A synopsis of the enemy’s origin and why he hates the hero must be included as part of a Hero’s background in order for the player to receive the Hero Points bonus.
■A character with this drawback, often the ruler of a small country, is responsible for the welfare of a large, group of people and usually adventure to advance or defend his people’s political or economic status. An Authority figure is, first and foremost, a politician concerned with the interests of his people.
■A character feels (not always inaccurately) that, should he be injured or killed, his society would be plunged into a state of anarchy which would destroy his people. As such, an authority figure will avoid entering any battles which might seriously injure him (attempting to flee the scene, if necessary).
■A character with this drawback harbors some deep secret which must be protected at all cost. The character’s secret must be specified when the drawback is adopted. A dark secret is always of such magnitude that its disclosure would effectively ruin the character’s life.
■A character with this drawback has been ostracized from his native civilization and forced to remain in the locale where he acts as a hero/villain, engaging in absolutely no social interaction with his homeland. The character’s native civilization could be anything from a foreign country to another planet or dimension. This drawback should be an important part of the character’s background and may provide the GM with material for Hero’s
■A character who has voluntarily placed himself in exile (Voluntary Exile) receives 10 Hero Points for adopting the drawback; a character exiled against his will (Force Exile) receives 15 Hero Points.
■A character with this drawback is plagued by guilt over some past failure or series of failures in his heroic or personal life. Such a character must automatically forfeit 5 Hero Points (called the “Guilt Fee”) every time the character receives Hero Points (if you receive 5 or less then the amount is halved)
■A character with this drawback is exceptionally naive of the ways of society and the wiles of mankind. An innocent character believes in the inherent goodness of all creature and assumes all other persons feel the same way he/she does. An innocent character sees the world though rose-colored glasses and cannot understand evil or inconsiderate actions.
■An innocent character suffers a -1 column shift penalty to his/her OV against character interaction (Persuasion and Interrogation) attempts and manipulative mental powers such as broadcast empath, control, hypnotism, and so on.
■Characters with the irrational attraction drawback are unusually interested in certain objects, materials, animals, or forms of expression (gold, silk, cats, or practical jokes, etc.). A character must specify the subject of the attraction when this drawback is adopted.
■The character with an irrational attraction will go out of his/her way to find its source and satisfy his desire. If the attraction is for an object, for instance, the character will be unable to act in the objects presence; if the character is attracted to a mannerism, he/she will frequently manifest that particular mannerism.
■Irrational attraction comes in three degrees of severity: Minor, Serious, and Catastrophic. The degree of attraction must be selected when the drawback is adopted. Associated with each degree is a resistance number. Whenever exposed to the object of the attraction, the character must roll greater than or equal to the resistance number to overcome the attraction.
■If the roll is successful, the character overcomes the attraction until re-exposed to the stimulus at a later time. Otherwise, the character succumbs to the attraction and must allows the source of the attraction to occupy his attention to the exclusion of all else, although the character may again attempt to overcome the attraction the following phase. Hero Points may never be spent to affect his roll in any way.
■The following table summarizes te varying degrees of severity for attractions, the resistance numbers, and Hero Points gained.
Degree Resistance Bonus
Minor 5 5
Serious 11 25
Catastrophic 18 50
■The opposite of Irrational attraction is Irrational Hatred. It follows the same guidelines as above, except that the character will attempt to destroy or deface the subject of his hatred if he fails the resistance check.
■Irrational Fear uses the same guidelines as above, but if the resistance check is failed then the character will flee the area in fear.
■Despite what great poets have written, being married often poses definite problems in the hero world. The spouses of heros/villains tend to be used as hostages against their husband/wives with alarming frequency.
■When adopting this drawback, a character must specify certain details about his spouse for Subplot use (his/her statistics, profession, interests, locations frequented, etc.). Characters who discover a Married character’s identity will almost always attempt to use the spouse against the character. Spouses also possess an uncanny ability to blunder into Hero versus Villain conflicts and to turn up at the wrong place at the wrong time.
■A character who adopts this drawback cannot also receive Hero Points for adopting a Secret Identity Drawback. Further, a character adopting this drawback whose spouse is also a Hero/Villain receives no Hero Points bonus for the drawback.
■A character with this drawback is often mistaken for a hostile character by law enforcement agencies. The character is untrusted among peers and is usually a fugitive from justice.
■Law enforcement officers and NPCs will automatically be Hostile toward a character with this drawback. Additionally, police will usually attempt to arrest a mistrusted character wherever and whenever they encounter him/her.
■A character with this drawback has some sort of physical handicap. He might be blind, confined to a wheelchair, or missing a limb. Physical restrictions normally fit into two general categories: sensory restrictions and physical handicaps.
■A character with a sensory restriction is mission one or more of his senses. A blind character who possesses no special detection powers (radar sense, sonar, etc.) must treat everything as invisible in combat while deaf characters who possesses no mental communication powers (such as telepathy) could only communicate though the use of sign language or lip reading.
■A character with a physical handicap is physically impaired in some manner; such a drawback may necessitate improvisation of specific rules for the physically handicapped character (a character confined to a wheelchair, for example, might be limited to moving only 1 AP of distance per phase).
■Hero Points received for a physical restriction depends on the severity of the handicap and how it impairs the individual, as summarized in the following table:
Severity Examples Bonus
Minor No sense of taste or smell, trick knee, missing one eye 5
Serious Deaf, Mute, Missing Limb 25
Catastrophic Blind, Paraplegic 50
■A character with this drawback is mentally unstable and subject to dramatic mood shifts, periods of extreme depression, or even violent outburst and schizophrenic behavior normally triggered by a failure to deal with the real world. A character must state the severity of his instability and its effect when adopting this drawback.
■Whenever a psychologically unstable character rolls a natural “2” (double ones), on any dice action (combat, perception, character interactions, etc.), he will break down and suffer consequences relative to the instability’s severity for the length of time (in APs) indicated on the chart below. Most Psychological instabilities, especially minor and serious, result in partial or total inactivity on the part of the affected character. Catastrophic effects, however, may result in the display of extreme violence by the character, ofter directed at his own teammates or innocents.
■A character undergoing the instability (rolling double ones) must experience this effect and is not subject to any form of assistance (exorcism, recovery, burning Hero Points, etc.).
Severity Effect Time (in AP) Bonus
Minor memory lapse 2 5
Serious Sever Depression, Self-arguments 10 25
Catastrophic Catatonia, schizophrenic attacks 15 50
■A character with this drawback has taken no steps whatsoever to protect his/her alter ego and as such, his/her real name is known to public at large. Possible effects of this drawback might include crowds of people gathering outside of a hero’s home, villains attempting to strike at the hero though the hero’s family and/or friends, or the government trying to get the hero to pay for damages caused during battles with the villains.
■Any character removing this drawback during this career must create a new identity of some sort for himself. A character adopting this drawback cannot also adopt the secret identity drawback.
■A character with this drawback occasionally breaks into an uncontrollable fury, often accidentally killing or seriously wounding opponents.
■The player selecting this drawback must decide at what level of severity the rage exists; the frequency of enraged outbreaks is dependent on the drawback’s severity relative to how the character’s rage number (indicated on the chart below). Whenever a play whose character has this drawback rolls a number equal to or lower than his rage number during combat, the character will become enraged and attack his opponents, continually attacking each phase until either the opponent is knocked out, the enraged character has been subdued, or the rage has been broken.
■An enrage character may attempt to regain composure during each enraged phase (this does not count as an action) an attempt which requires a successful action check with AV/EVs and OV/RV equal to the enrage character’s WILL/WILL (thus requiring an “11” to succeed). Hero Points may never be spent to affect this action check.
Degree Rage Number Bonus
Minor 2 5
Serious 3 25
Catastrophic 4 50
■A character with this drawback leads a dual life; in one guise the character is a hero or villain while in another he is an ordianary man or woman. Possession of this ddrawback assumes a dramatic negative effect on the character’s heroic and personal life sould the secret identity ever be revealed.
■A character with a secret identity must take extraordinary measures to safeguard his secret. If a character’s secret identity should ever be revealed, the character immediately loses 50 Hero Points.
■A character adopting this drawback cannot adopt the public identity drawback and receives no Hero Points for this drawback if he also has the married drawback. Nearly every character in the DC Universe has this drawback.
■A character with this drawback is so strange-looking that people tend to fear him/her. A character with a strage appearance automatically causes a +1 column shift modifier to a target’s OV/RV on any persuasion attempts. Intimidation attempts, however, have the target’s OV/RV reduced by a -1 column shift. such modifiers are only applicable against “normals” (that is characters who are not heros, villains, or important NPCs).
■During day-to-day existence, a character with this drawback might accidentally frighten any “normals” encountered. In such a case, a character with strange appearance must make an intimidation attempt ( with the -1 column shift) against all “normals” in the area (multi-attack penalties applicable). The character with strange appearance must use his full INFL/AURA as the AV/EV of this action check. Hero Points may never be spent to affect this roll in any way.
■This special intimidation check does not count as an action for the intimidating character. This intimidation check should be made whenever a character with strange appearance encounters “normals” for the first time or makes a sudden appearance/threatening move, etc.
■A character with this drawback is periodically subject to reliving a particularly distressing past event. A character must specify the condition which triggers the flashback when this drawback is adopted. Acceptable examples include: mention of a specific word, sighting a specific object, hearing a specific song, smelling a specific secent, or the character’s presence in a specific location.
■Whenever the character is exposed to the specified condition, traumatic flashbacks occur. A character exposed to the condition must make an Action check with the AV/EV and OV/RV both equal to his/her WILL/WILL ( thus requiring an 11 to succeed.).
■If this check fails, the character can take no actions during that phase, as he/she is too absorbed in reliving the flashbacks’ event. Otherwise, teh character does not succomb to the trauma and may act normally, He must continue rolling against the trauma each phase taht he is exposed to the condition. Hero Points may never be spent to affect this Action Check in any way.
■Attack made against a character experiencing traumatic flashbacks automatically receive the -1 column shift blindside bonus to the character’s OV.
■A character with this drawback is often unsure of his/her abilities and questions his convictions during tense situations. When fates of innocents or the defeat of a villain depend solely on such a character, he/she is plagued with doubt as to his heroic mettle and competence to deal with the situation.
■Every time a character who has this drawback enters combat, roll 2 d10. This number is the combat turn that the character will automatically lose Initiative to all others involved in combat.
■Often characters plagued by uncertainty have accidentally killed opponents in exercise of their powers and, as such, possess extreme guilt for their actions and fear repating the unfortunate event which so troubles them.
■A character with this drawback is unusually misfortunate: the chips never seem to fall the right way for him.
■At the beginning of each scene , the GM must roll 1 d10 for each character possessing unluck and record the result. When the character has made a number of action checks equal to the result of the GM die roll, the character immediately suffers a +2 column shift modifier to the OV/RV of his next action check.
■Example: If the GM’s die roll was a “2”, the character would suffer a penalty on his second action check.
■Unluck will only affect a character once per scene.
■An attack Vulnerability causes a character to suffer extreme damage from a particular attack form, which must be general in nature (such as fire, cold, physical powers, etc.) and must be specified when the drawback is adopted.
■A character with an attack vulnerability suffers a certain number of column shift penalties to his OV/RV against the specified attack form. The number of column shifts the character is penalized determines the Hero Point bonus for adoption of the drawback.
Column Shifts Bonus
■A fatal vulnerability causes a character to suffer killing damage from exposure to a substance or condition which is normally harmless to everyone else (such as kryptonite or staying out of water for more than one hour). The Object, substance, or condition to which a character has a fatal vulnerability must be specified when the drawback is adopted.
■A character with fatal vulnerability who exposed to the specified substance or condition sustains 1 AP of damage to his current BODY condition during everyone one minute (4 APs of time) of exposure.
■When this drawback is adopted, the substance or condition to which the character is vulnerable must be categorized as either common or rare. A common substance/condition is one which ordinary people encounter every day (water, iron, darkness, or enclosure, etc). A rare substance/condition is one which another character or elite organizations are likely to encounter (Kryptonite, elemental isotopes, having one’s mind read, or being buried alive, etc).
■A fatal vulnerability to common objects or condition is worth 150 Hero Points; to a rare object or condition is worth 75 Hero Points. Finally, a character who is vulnerable to a substance must decide at what range he becomes susceptible to damage. The range of a fatal vulnerability affects the Hero Point bonus as indicated on the following chart. A character adopting this drawback with no intrinsic range (such as dying when out of water) receives no range bonus or penalty.
5 APs +20
4 APs +10
3 APs 0
2 APs -10
1 APs -30
0 APs -50
■A loss vulnerability causes a character to temporarily lose APs of a particular power, skill, or attribute in the presence of a certain substance or condition, which must be specified when the drawback is adopted
■The number of Hero Points gained for adopting a loss vulnerability depends upon which characteristics are reduced by the vulnerability, as follows:
Vulnerability Effect Bonus
Physical, Mental, or Mystical attributes 35 per group
All attributes 125
All powers 100
All powers and skills () 150
All skills ( * ) 100
All attributes and powers () 175
All attributes and skills ( * ) 175
All Attributes, powers, and skills 250
- Can only be adopted if the character has more powers than skills
- Can only be adopted if the character has more skills than powers.
■Finially, a character who is vulnerable to a substance must decide at what range he/she becomes susceptible to damage. The range of a loss vulnerability affects the Hero Point bonus as indicated on the following chart. A character adopting a Loss vulnerability with no intrinsic range (such as losing powers at night) receives no range bonus or penalty.
5 APs +20
4 APs +10
3 APs 0
2 APs -10
1 AP -30
0 APs -50
■If an attribute, power, or skill subject to a loss vulnerability is rated at 5 APs or greater, its value drops to 2 APs in the presence of the specified substance or condition. Otherwise, the rating drops to zero (0) APs as the character effectively borders on the brink of consciousness.
■A character who adopts a drawback which cannot be categorized using any of the preceding drawbacks will receive a Hero Point amount that the GM deems fair.