Monday, June 6, 2011

Unfortunate Character Choices - Poinsettia

Starting the week off right with a girl in a tight outfit:

Hmmm. Alright, I might have promised too much up there. The boob window is a nice touch though.

Anyway, let's talk super-villainess "Poinsettia" from the 1982 Champions Supplement "Enemies". Powers-wise she clearly has some kind of force or energy control as her multipower lets her shoot it, armor herself in it, and fly with it. Somehow the type of energy is never mentioned, which seems like a pretty serious oversight. She has Danger Sense and is good at sneaking around and breaking into things, that's fine. Her highest normal stat is... Con? With Str and Pre of 15 she's not going to be making many attacks with those, but her End and Stun are pretty good and Spd 6 is fairly high.

Can she take a shot from her own powers? A 10d6 EB will average 35 Stun and 10 Body, which is reduced to 25 Stun by her ED, leaving her with 26. One good roll on the damage and her own EB will take her out in 2 shots! Good thing she has that 30 point force field, except that it's in a multipower with the EB and they can't both be at full strength at the same time. A 5d6 Eb would average half of the numbers above and be easily absorbed by a 15 point Force Field, so she can make it work! At full strength that's a pretty good FF, able to stop a punch from Ogre (12d6) on average with little to no damage to her, though it does mean she's making no real offensive moves. She's fairly versatile over a multi-round combat if she can choose the right moments to lower her defenses and take a shot. It still seems very risky to me though.

Now the fun stuff...let's look at disads: unluck, sure, could happen to anyone... double stun from blunt objects - Whoa, wait a sec. Would an armored fist count as a "blunt object"? If not, how about a telephone pole? Riiip, Ogre swings, KAPOW! She takes 80 Stun (if you let him use his full strength) on average, enough to stun her in one shot and leaving her reeling with 2 Stun remaining! One slightly above average roll and she's down in one shot! From blunt objects! Wow that is a serious vulnerability! What else could she have ... OMG IT"S DOUBLE STUN FROM KILLING ATTACKS TOO! THANK GOODNESS WOLVERINE CLONES ARE SO RARE - WAIT! Lordy lordy this is a compromised mechanical build! Double damage from blunt AND sharp attacks! Does she have weak bones or hemophilia or something?

Let's move on. "Loyalty to Germany" - is that really a 20 point disad? That special 30's and 40' kind of Germany, maybe, but just "Germany"? Seems kinda high. What else goes for 20 points...hmmm here's one..."believes Hitler is still alive" - that seems like a significantly greater disadvantage than "Loyalty to Germany". One comes across as patriotic, the other comes across as delusional, and even in a comic book game there's a difference there.

OK, "vicious" that's fine... hunted by UNTIL, some other Agents, and a Hero group all at 11 or less... that's a pretty serious band of pursuers for one lone bad girl. Secret Identity makes sense given her background. Then a 35 point Villain Bonus... really? She's the daughter of a nazi scientist who was trying to breed the Aryan ideal after fleeing to South America and we ran out of ideas for disads with 35 points left? Maybe her aged mother is a dependent NPC? Maybe she has an irrational hatred of Americans or British or Russians or even  Italians or something? Maybe she's susceptible to moonlight or something? Or maybe, just maybe, we could have something to connect her to her NAME!

Yes that's right, the engineered flower of super-powered Aryan womanhood is named after a plant native to Mexico! Why? Your guess is as good as mine because there's nothing in her powers or disads or background to indicate why! They were once thought to be poisonous but she has no poison powers. She grew up in Argentina, not Mexico, which are on opposite ends of a continent. She has no plant or pollen related powers of any kind. Heck, maybe she discovered her vulnerability to blunt objects when a flowerpot fell on her head, that's my best guess.

How would I fix her? Raise her comeliness and presence to around 30 each, dropping Dex or Con a bit to afford it. Leave the background unchanged, give her blonde hair, blue eyes, a cape, and put the traditional national socialist symbol on her chest and call her "Swastika". No it isn't subtle. It's not supposed to be. I'd leave the boob window too.

Anyway, that's Pointsetia - Her origin is very comic-traditional, her powers are fairly common in comics, her weaknesses are comically bad, and her schtick is inexplicable.

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