Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Bituminous Man!

At one point I decided I really liked a certain combination of costume & power sets in City of Heroes so I made a trio of them. The first was Bituminous Man, who was soon followed by Anthracite Man and Lignite Man, but Bituminous was the first!

A terrible accident in a coal mine! Collapse! Fire! "No one could have survived" they said. After investigations, criminal proceedings, and memorial services the tragedy faded from the minds of many. At the site of the disaster, something emerged from the mine entrance - something shaped like a man, but clearly not a man.

In CoH terms he was a Fire Armor/Stone Melee Tanker. Since - conceptually - he is a burning man of living coal, some of the details will be a little different in a tabletop RPG.

Bituminous Man is quiet much of the time, but when he speaks it sounds like rocks grinding together mixed with a deep human voice. He knows he is intimidating to normal humans and tries not to abuse this when he is around friends. He does not have much of a sense of humor, does not pay much attention to pop culture or lighter news, and does not do small talk. He will quietly sit in the corner of a room seemingly oblivious to the discussion until it is time to go deal with a threat and then he will stand and voice his readiness.

Being a large man of flaming stone he is hard to miss. His flaming aura shrinks or burns brighter depending on his emotional state. Since he has no hope of stealth, he has a stand-up style of fighting, typically moving straight towards the enemy, burning bright and swinging his heavy stone mallet as he advances.

Bituminous Man for ICONS: 

Prowess: 6 (Remarkable) The man that emerged form the mine disaster has an instinctive grasp of melee
Coordination: 3 (Typical) Comparable to an average human, which is pretty good for a rock-man
Strength: 9 (Monstrous) He is quite strong, as befitting a large rock creature
Intellect: 3 (Typical) He's canny, but a little slower than some. It evens out.
Awareness: 4 (Good) He's not oblivious as one might suspect of a rock creature, and his experience helps
Willpower: 6 (Remarkable) He's been through an ordeal like few others and his mind works differently than most

Stamina: 15
Determination: 1

Origin: Transformed (one ability or power is at +2)

Specialties: Science (Geology), Science (Metallurgy)

Invulnerability - 8 - He is a flaming rocky creature - all the way through
Life Support - 9 -  Cold, Breathing, Eating, Heat, Pathogens,  Pressure, Radiation, Toxins, Vacuum (he still needs to sleep)
Aura - 5 - Fiery body

"Flaming Rock Creature" - He's not really a normal human any more and while immune to much harm he sometimes has trouble with things like doorknobs and elevators. It also makes it difficult to sneak around.

"Unity of Purpose" - (motivation) He "burns" with the knowledge that there is evil in the world and it is now his job to purge it. It might be magical evil, it might be environmental damage, it might be evil from another dimension, but he knows it when he sees it and knows he must stand against it.

"Dreams of Another Life" - he has vague memories of his life before but they are blurry and shifting and unreliable. He does not even know what his name was before, though he's pretty sure he had one. It's all very dreamlike and it's what he dreams of when he sleeps. Those snippets sometimes help him see what he must do next -almost like a message from his prior self - or perhaps it is "selves"?

"Body of Stone" - this is a physical challenge as he weighs a lot more than a normal person, has trouble speaking quickly, and doesn't really bend in all of the same places, making life difficult sometimes

Notes: Well he's 52 points which is a little higher than the ICONS standard but not too much more. I think that's pretty reasonable for an existing character with a background and a known set of powers. His powers make him very tough and very dangerous at close range while his high strength will allow him to throw things for quite a distance when melee is not an option. I wanted to play up more of his fire powers with things like some regeneration - one of the signatures of a CoH fire tank was a strong self-healing capability, so I think of him that way - but I think adding Regen to a character with this level of Invuln and Life Support might be a little gratuitous for ICONS. Sometimes the system matters, and I'm fine going without it here.

PDF of his character sheet is here.

Bituminous Man for Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition:

Bituminous Man - PL 12

Strength 16, Stamina 16, Agility 0, Dexterity 0, Fighting 8, Intellect 0, Awareness 1, Presence 6

Accurate Attack, All-out Attack, Benefit, Ambidexterity, Fearless, Interpose, Power Attack, Takedown 2, Ultimate Effort: Toughness checks

Expertise: Geology & Metallurgy 6 (+6), Insight 6 (+7), Intimidation 6 (+12), Perception 6 (+7), Ranged Combat: Throwing 6 (+6)

Fiery Aura: Damage 6 (fire, DC 21; Reaction 3: reaction)
   Healing Flames: Regeneration 5 (Alternate; Every 2 rounds)
Shockwave: Burst Area Damage 10 (DC 25; Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere; Limited: Hero and target must both be in contact with ground)
   Groundstrike: Burst Area Affliction 10 (Alternate; 1st degree: Vulnerable, 2nd degree: Defenseless, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 20; Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere; Instant Recovery, Limited: Hero and target must both be in contact with ground, Limited Degree)
Stone Body
   Enhanced Ability: Enhanced Stamina 12 (+12 STA)
   Immunity: Immunity 12 (Damage Effect: Pressure, Environmental Condition: Cold, Environmental Condition: Heat, Fatigue Effects)
   Impervious Defense: Impervious Toughness 12
   Enhanced Ability: Enhanced Strength 12 (+12 STR)
   Power-lifting: Power-lifting 4 (+4 STR for lifting)

Initiative +0
Fiery Aura: Damage 6, +8 (DC 21)
Grab, +8 (DC Spec 26)
Groundstrike: Burst Area Affliction 10 (DC Fort 20)
Shockwave: Burst Area Damage 10 (DC 25)
Throw, +6 (DC 31)
Unarmed, +8 (DC 31)

Altered Being: Bituminous Man was once a person or persons but has trouble remembering things from before. He is unaware of popular culture and sometimes seems surprised by the simple features of everyday life.
Motivation: Doing Good: He knows he has returned for a purpose, and he knows it is to oppose a force, call it evil, that he cannot allow to win.

Native Language

Dodge 8, Parry 8, Fortitude 16, Toughness 16, Will 8

Power Points
Abilities 46 + Powers 112 + Advantages 9 + Skills 15 (30 ranks) + Defenses 15 = 197

PDF of this character sheet is here.

Notes: Alright in M&M we can rearrange the details a little bit. He's still strong, tough, and surrounded by flames. I started with the Powerhouse template and modified it to reflect his particular powers. Making Regeneration an alternate power of the aura means he can shut down the fiery field around him to heal faster - I like that a lot. Think of it as re-channelling his internal heat to remain inside him rather than letting it out.

The accurate, all-out, and power attack Advantages give him a lot of options as far as adjusting his attack, defense, and damage numbers to account for who and what he is fighting. The groundstrike powers give him some area effect ability too.

His skills give him some usefulness outside of combat but he is clearly a classic "brick" and intended to be the anchor of a team, standing in the heart of any battle. I would expect his personality and origin to develop further during play, possibly exploring his past and the reasons he is driven to fight evil.

I built him as Power Level 12 to reflect his experience and capability as more than a beginning hero. The starting points total for PL12 is 180 so at 197 he would have some experience in at this level already. I could reduce his strength or defenses or drop the groundstrike to get him closer to 180 but I'm trying to show him as I see him, so I'm leaving it here for now.


Stuart Lloyd said...

Great character! I look forward to reading your A to Z posts.

Stuart at www.lloydofgamebooks.com

Clarissa Draper said...

It is a great character. I don't really play games like this but I love how involved they are.

Gwen Gardner said...

He looks vaguely familiar - is there a super hero who looks like him? He does look quite handy to have around when danger's around! Thanks for sharing :)

Chris Weatherley said...

Kinda like The Thing and the Human Torch in one bundle! Fun stuff. :)

Barking Alien said...

He also resembles the Inhuman Torch, a character designed by comic book painter and illustrator Alex Ross for the Human Torch mini-series by Dynamite and Marvel Comics (focusing on the Golden Age/World War II Human Torch and not Johnny Storm).

Very nice LB but these names...THESE NAMES! Gah!

Blacksteel said...

Thanks everyone - there's a little Thing, a little Swamp Thing, a little Robocop -all of those crossed my mind while putting this together. The concepts for these guys have been in my mind for years thanks to the computer game, but writing them up for an RPG gives me a chance to work thru it again and refine things a little bit.

The mechanics take a little more time, especially jumping between different systems, but I thinks it's good mental exercise. Plus it forces me to really decide what the core of the character looks like so that it's recognizably the same guy.

BA: aw c'mon now, I'm going for a Silver Age thing here. Slightly goofy concepts and names are encouraged and expected! I think it's safe to say you'll see a lot of something man and captain super guy type names this month - you have been warned. You may like the "C" character better though.