Age of Apocalypse
The “Mental Health” of a character is equal to their combined RIP stats in the same way that Health is derived from the combined FASE stats. Attacks like Mind Blast and Magical Mind or Psyche effecting attacks affect this stat, not the standard Health stat.
Any time a character’s main karma stat falls into the negatives (but does not exceed that amount into the negatives) he falls unconscious, just as if his health stat were in the negatives. If you fall to more than your base karma in negatives (ie: -56 or worse for a person with a karma stat of 55) you will go into a deep coma, from which it may be difficult to retrieve you. A red Medical talent feat roll, or a green Dream Travel power feat roll, is required. A simple failed roll will not hurt you but a white roll in such an instance may mean the characters death. If death does not occur (green Psyche feat to avoid this in such a situation) then the GJ will VERY likely inflict some mental derangement or the other on you as seems appropriate to the circumstances.
Karma also helps determine how many points total you can spend on karma to affect rolls in any given scene. If you have a karma of 35, in any given scene (usually one combat segment or one in between combat segment) you may only spend up to 35 karma to effect rolls. However, declaring karma before making a roll only expends 5 points if it is then un-necessary, not 10 points. Yes, this does make the karma stat in this game as important as the health stat, all in all.
Too, initiative works somewhat differently. As a basis, for every two full column shifts over Typical rank in Agility, there is a +1 to initiative. Also, for every column shift above Typical in Intuition there is an additional +1 to initiative. Finally, there are certain powers and or talents that might give a +1 or more to the characters initiative which are detailed in the specific power or talent. To the total of all modifiers is added a D10 roll. If multiple actions are taken, they are determined by halving the initiative number for each action after the first and rounding down.
For instance, let’s say that Speedball (Ag:Rm*30/In:Am*50/and with an additional +3 to Initiative as a side effect of his super human speed and reflexes) rolls a 7 on his d10. He has a +1 for his Rm*30 Agility, a +5 for his Am*50 Intuition and a +3 for his pertinent power. Now, lets also say that as a separate effect of his power he is allowed to take 2 extra actions, giving him 3 for the round. His first action would take place on 16 (the total of his roll +9 for his bonuses), the second would occur on 8 and the third on 4.
If he were up against, say, Hardcase, who has a total +2 bonus to his initiative and if Hardcase then rolled a 1 on his d10; Speedball could (or he could delay an action or two, or even all three of them if he so chose) take all three of his actions before Hardcase has his first.
There are several different possible classifications of characters possible and the points expenditures for building them differ somewhat, one to the next, both with the idea of maintaining game balance and with the idea of stressing certain areas as inherently weaker or stronger in the individual cases. Please note that these inherent strengths and weaknesses are in regards to my own game world and may not reflect mainstream comic book realities as well. Each starting character is built on 250 points
The different possible over all classifications are as follows:
Altered Humans: which character type includes all four of the Modified Human types, the types listed as Cyborgs, as well as Abnormal Bio-chemistry and possibly Energy Body as well. These are (or were) usually base line human beings who have been altered in often drastic manners from their human phenotype, but who do not possess inherent abilities or powers of their own and so can not pass on their alterations genetically to their off spring. All Altered Humans must possess at least ten points worth of flaws or pay it out during character construction to obviate this. Examples of Altered Humans from the Marvel Universe might well be DareDevil or Electro. Another example, even though he has not been pushed past the theoretical limits of humanity, is at them in far too many cases to be otherwise explainable and would thus include Captain America.
Hi Tech Wonders: These characters are ALL base line humans who possess either self created or otherwise gained gadgets from which they derive their powers. They need not have flaws as such and do not pay for FASE stats, rather rolling them as per the table on page 5. They pay two points per point that they wish to alter these starting numbers to the maximum possible to human potential. HTW’s also pay differently for their devices than others do for powers. Basically, consider any not directly offensive/defensive in nature to be at half price. If the item is solely informational, such as a telescopic lens, the cost is 1/4 what it would other wise be. I.e.; Warlord builds a battle suit that has, among other devices in it, a Rm*30 Telescopic Vision power; for that he pays not the 40cps that a meta-human would for the same power, but rather 10cps, 1/4 the normal total. Although not technically a “High Tech” Wonder, a Normal Human who utilizes magical items only and has no powers or spell casting abilities of their own would also qualify as this type of hero and those items could be both purchased before the start of the game and created and maintained in exactly the same way. Too, if they have the power “Armor”, they may build in enhancements to their FASE stats that only affect them while the armor is being worn. That works as follows: For each +1CS to any given stat physical stat the HTW pays 5cp (creation points) per column shift, per stat; to a maximum of Mn*75.
Martial Arts Wonders: The Martial Arts Wonder is a strange mix of the Normal Human and a metahuman. It is argued that they are a type of metahuman but are simply a different branching of the same main tree. They may have powers, but pay more than normal for them. Likewise, skills and talents cost the Martial Arts Wonder less than they cost other character types and they have the sole ability to alter the parameters of their skills and talents. The Fighting and Weapon Skills Talents all carry a 5 point basic cost for the MAW and are adjustable by the MAW only and no other character type.
Thus, a character can represent not having a mega high degree of raw Fighting ability, but allot of knowledge of their particular discipline by having, say, a Fighting ability of Gd*10 and a skill within Martial Arts A (let’s define it for this particular character as Aikido) of In*40. It is still be tied to the Fighting stat though, and if the character raises their Fighting to Ex*16, they will then have an affective Aikido Talent of Am*50. An MAW can also enhance their base HTH damage by up to normal human maximum (ie:25) at the same point cost as an increase in Talent. (i.e.: 1cp per pt. of damage.)
Powers (except those that are Detection powers) cost them an extra ten points per power and an extra point per point of power beyond Excellent*20 in effect. Thus if have Illusory Invisibility of Rem*30 effect value they have had to pay 20 points for the base power, 20 additional points to get the power to Ex*20 effect value and 20 more additional points to get the final way to Rm*30 effect value, making the total cost 60 points. They may have weaknesses and are able to gain extra points from them, but need not have them.
Metahumanity, High Function:_ Are the standard character type in the game and thus there are no variations from the basic building scheme for them. The advantage that they receive is that it costs less for them to advance in the game and they have no upper limit to how far they can advance with karma expenditures.
Metahumanity, Low Function: Few of these will be player characters. They use the same chart as Hi Tech Wonders do to produce their FASE stats but purchase their RIP stats normally, to a maximum of Amazing*50 in any stat. They receive fewer starting build points (150 instead of 250) and may not possess any powers except Hyper Invention, or Cosmic Awareness, but may purchase any number of skills and talents that they have the points for. In Resources they pay normally but then have +1CS after the Character Building stage is over to their Resource rank. They may build new devices (after the game begins) as per the same rules that Hi Tech Wonders abide by. They may have weaknesses and are able to gain extra points from them, but need not have them.
Mutations: which character type includes Induced Mutations and a very few Bred Mutations. There are no random mutations in the game as there are no mutants. Induced Mutations are alterations to the basic human genome that have been wrought by science or by magic and that CAN be passed, in whole or in some part or manner on to any off spring the character may have. This brings us to Bred Mutations, the children of one or more mutated parents ho usually share in some part of their parents’ mutations. Examples of Induced Mutations from the Marvel Universe might include Spiderman or the Hulk, while I can’t think of any Bred Mutations, since the Richards’ brat seems to be a Marvel type mutant, not a mutation.
Synthezoids: Which character types include all true Cyborgs (cybernetic organisms, not human beings with cybernetic parts; in this game Deathlock would have been an Altered Human-Skeletal Modifications or a Limb and Organ Cyborg) and robots as well as Surgical Composites and Androids. If they are human beings who have had their minds preserved and used as the control programming for an artificial body (like the Marvel villain Arnim Zola), they are still not Synthezoids, but rather are an extreme case of Altered Humanity.
All synthezoids are treated with suspicion by the public at large and have many disadvantages to them that more than balance out their advantages. As a robotic person, a perspective PC or npc is unaffected by any type of Mind or Emotion Controlling or damaging attacks that were made to affect biological organisms, but it is affected by strong magnetic and or electrical fields in a far more aggressive fashion and can be “mind controlled” by powers that allow control of machinery. Basically, all magnetic and electrical attacks have +2 CS to their effect values and any power that can control or disrupt machinery acts as though it were an attack of either Emotion or Mind Controlling nature (depending on how it is worked) or as a Mind Blast (in the case of damaging attacks) against it. (Marvel example: The Vision)
True Magi: Are another route that normal, non-metatized, un-altered humanity can take to be viable in the game. They are a bit otherwise than the other character types and there is an extra “quasi stat” assigned to them; True Magical Potential (or TMP), which is a gestalt and average of the three RIP stats rounded to their nearest stat number, the rank being derived from it. “True Magi” are based upon the Magic section in the UPB and upon Realms of Magic Books as to the types of Spells possible to them and what “Mechanisms” are necessary to use them. They differ however as follows:
1) If you are using spells of Personal magic of less than your True Magical Potential "power rank¡¨ you need only an act of will. A spell of a magnitude equal to the “power rank” requires only a single “mechanism” of the casters choice (when the spell was learned/designed, not at the time of casting). Casting a spell of Personal Energies of greater than your rank requires an additional mechanism for each additional column shift higher than your power rank in ability. So, for a Mage with an Excellent rank True Magical Potential it is a simple act of will to cast a Good rank Invisibility spell. If she wants to cast a Excellent rank version of the spell it requires a mechanism (say, a Power Word, being spoken) as well, while to cast, say, a Amazing rank version of the spell would require her to use FOUR total (say, Word of Power, Gestures, the aid of her Familiar and a Talisman as well) mechanisms be used. Obviously this requires the mage to prepare for powerful castings.
2) Spells of Universal nature are as above except that they require will alone only if they are -3CS of the ability rank or lower, require 1 mechanism at -1 or -2CS rank grade; require 2 mechanisms at equal rank and an extra mechanism, one of which must be a full blown Ritual, per extra CS above the casters ability.
3) Spells of Dimensional nature all require full Rituals and also another mechanism set by the GJ be used, but they are handled differently otherwise. If the entity being contacted is well disposed towards the caster (this requires work) the effect of the spell is +3CS. If they are neutral it is at +1CS and if they are poorly disposed, but not really ill disposed, the spells are at -1CS over or under the Mages ability.
4) Buying spells during character building phase, like buying powers, has a cost, but it is only 1/5th of the normal cost for the equivalent power and must be “bought” to the same level as your True Magical ability score. Of course, the disadvantage with spells is that they have comparatively short durations. If the player wants a spell effect that is permanent, it is considered a power and is bought at full cost.
Note: Any and all modifications to the character template as a result of the UPB character type, if applicable are only detailed after the building process is complete and any additions do count against the overall cost. Even if this causes the hero to gain a new power, it is listed then and does not count against the cost. So, a skeletally modified human (Altered Human) would, after having otherwise finished the character building process, receive a plus one column shift to his/her Resistance to physical attacks or if he/she has no power that this can be appended to, receives the power, Resist Physical Fb*01. Obviously it is to the characters advantage for the player to keep the final enhancements in mind during the build.
THE BUILDING PROCESS
FASERIP and Figured stats:
The FASERIP stats are, in basis, have the cost of buying a stat point at point per point of the given stat.
1. Except for Mutations in any two FASE stat of their choice, where they pay one point per every two points of stat to In*40 and then point per point normally
2. Except for True Mages, who receive the following base FASE stats (Ft:Ty*06/Ag.Ty*06/St:Pr*04/En:Ty*06) for free and then pay three points per point of FASE stat above that level. True Mages also pay just two points for every three points of RIP stats they receive. If they want lower stats they receive back one point per lower point of base FASE stat.
3. Except for Hi Tech Wonders and Low Function Metahumans who¡¦s FASE stats are rolled on the table on page5.
4. Except for Synthezoids in any three FASERIP stats of their choice, where they pay one point per every two points of stat to Am*50 and then point per point normally
HEALTH (stat increase): cost is point per point
1. Except for Altered Humans and Mutations, for whom it is one point per every two points of Health increase
2. Except for Synthezoids, for whom it is one point per every four points of Health increase.
RESOURCES: cost is two points per point:
1. Except for Martial Arts Wonders, who pay one point per point to Typical*06 and three points per point afterwards.
3. Except in the case of a True Mage whose magic entirely must include the use of alchemical potions, single use expendable talismans or Rituals (which require expending the materials used in the rituals) as a component of every spell that he/she casts. In such a case the mage pays two points per point to Good*10 rank and then just one point per point onward
4. Except for Hi Tech Wonder types who have no “physical super powers” of their own, relying on devices for all non-mental meta human super abilities. They pay One point per point to Ex*25 and then the normal two points per point beyond that point.
5. Except for Synthezoids who pay three points per point of Resources, or have Good*10 resources and all of their typical expenses covered by the corporate or governmental entity that owns them.
POPULARITY: At the beginning of an individual’s career as a super hero his or her Popularity is based on who they were before hand and is thus not modified by their character type. Popularity will alter far more readily than the other figured stats, however, and is not directly alterable with karma points; except in the spending of karma points to “buy resource-cash” and then making charity donations as per the Players handbook section on this.
For anyone who wants to have a positive popularity to start the game (negative popularities will very probably not be allowed) they may start with a popularity no higher than their starting resources and pay point per point for it.
1. Except for Martial Arts Wonders, who may have any starting popularity they wish up to a maximum of their highest stat or power number.
2. Except for Synthezoids , who all have -10 to their popularities if they are known as synthezoids and are not owned by a governmental agency.
There are no limits to the number of powers your character can start with except those imposed by the point costs. If you want ten powers… go ahead. Just remember that each power itself costs ten points before the cost of the rank numbers are added in.
A few powers have an N/A as the effective rank number. For these powers add 15 points to the base cost if they are heavily offensively oriented or nothing if there is no overwhelming advantage to them (i.e.: Water Breathing); thus making the final cost either 25 or 10 total for such a power.
As was stated before, no ability or power, even AFTER ALL possible shifts are taken into account can raise that stat or power to higher than Un*100.
With the above said, Resistances are handled differently, being treated as Invulnerabilities, not an alternate type of armor. Any individual Resistance cost 5 points and only 1 point for every two points of power rank but it provides ONLY power rank resistance in the same manner as True Invulnerability does, but only to a SINGLE item. For instance; FlameLord might have a Rm*30 Flame/Heat Resistance. This gives him -6CS from any flame or heat based damage (thus allowing him to ignore the effects of any flame or heat based attack of Rm*30 value or less) AND only costs him [5+15] 20 points.
With that said, the power True Invulnerability cost a base 30 points and 2 points per rank point. Thus, a Ty*06 TI would cost 42 points, but would reduce all of the affected attack types by -3CS as per normal for that power.
The UPB is our base reference book for available powers: but, the Resistances listed there are not the Resistances we were discussing above. The “classic Resistances” from the PHB (Fire & Heat, Cold, Electricity, Radiation, Toxins, Corrosives, Emotion Attacks, Mental Attacks, Magic Attacks and Disease, plus Aging, Sonics and Kinetic Bolts) are the ones we mean with Resistances.
Also, all Detection Powers (as per the list in the UPB) cost 5 points base and 1 point per 2 rank points. So, Telescopic Vision of Ex*16 would cost [5+8]13 points total.
Talents are purchased at 10 points each for any directly offensive ones; i.e.: all the Martial Arts and Weapon Talents: except Weapons Master, which includes ALL non-missile weapons and cost 20 and Oriental Weapons, which costs 15 and includes the list given that Talent in the PHB and of course Weapon Specialist, which is a 15 point talent. All other Talents cost 5 points each except: Engineering-overall (25 points), Engineering-in one specific field (15 points) Tinkering/Repair (20 points) and the Mystical Background Talent (15 points).
Cost one point per contact for “Local” and “Low Level” personnel. For all others (including “High level” Military and individual superhero/villains) the cost is three points per contact that has a national/international existence.
However, for National Governments, the UN, UNTIL, and Superhero/villain groups, where the cost is 5 points per contact. This might be modified by the contacts standing in an organization. Basically anyone with a lot of say will have a doubled cost as a contact.
Thus, a “local hi tech” contact would cost one point, while one that has national/international connections itself would be worth three points, and one that is with, say, the NAR government would be 5 points or even 10 points, say for the Science and Technology advisor to the NAR President.