Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Red Dynamo

More than halfway through the month and I haven't written up a full-on power armor guy? Sorry Radium Man, maybe next year! Clearly it's time for the RED DYNAMO!

First Appearance
Red Dynamo started out as an homage to the silver and red Iron Man suit from the late 80's, maybe my favorite of his many looks:

That's where it started, anyway. After seeing quite a few Iron Man lookalikes running around Paragon City I decided to get away from it a little more and eventually landed on the look you see here.

Besides his regular style changes he also underwent multiple name changes as I moved him around the different servers. At one point he was the Crimson Centurion, then Scarlet Centurion, then Scarlet Sentinel, then at the end of the game he was Red Dynamo, another (somewhat unintended) Iron Man allusion. His backstory changed quite a bit too until I landed on what you will find below.

"Looks like the Hellions have found a new girlfriend ..."
Robert Taylor was an upwardly mobile corporate project manager when he was put in charge of a secret technology project. The company had captured a battlesuited supervillain and intended to keep, disassemble, and analyze the suit with an eye towards producing countermeasures. Feeling like this was a worthy cause Robert threw himself into the project and helped to assemble a crack team of technology experts.

Over the many months inquiries from his superiors gave the PM some misgivings and he eventually discovered the real plan was to build a set of suits for a new corporate super team, keeping the tech a secret. This did not sit well with him but one night a terrible accident destroyed the lab, the captured suit,  the new prototype suit, and all of the project data (which of course was not being stored offsite due to security concerns). The project was written off, the team was reassigned, and everyone moved on.

Secretly, Robert had arranged the whole thing. He had also managed to keep a copy of all of the data. He began working on a secret project of his own in his spare time. Not being a one-man super science team he quietly approached former members he could trust as well as other experts he knew and revealed his secret plan to them: They would use the data to build their own super-suit and create a new super hero! Through his contacts and their connections he managed the entire process one piece at a time and after two years the thing finally came together. With a small, carefully-chosen subset of his team Robert assembled the suit, put it on, and powered up for the first time. Then he took to the skies, looking to make a difference.

The Red Dynamo has been in action for about a year now and the team has learned a lot. Bugs have been ironed out, data is constantly analyzed, and support functions have become almost routine. It's a dangerous life though, and you never know what might happen tomorrow.

"Nice, that even stung a little bit"

Robert is the man in the suit but he knows he could not do it alone. Much like a big-time racing team it takes a lot of talented people, special facilities, time, and money to keep the suit up and running to give him the chance to make a difference and he is very grateful to everyone on his team.

He does have concerns though and at times they weigh heavily on him. What if the company (where he still works) finds out? What if the villain whose designs he copied finds out? What if there's some kind of back door that he doesn't know about? What if his true identity is discovered? All of these things keep him awake sometimes, but he keeps on with it, knowing he is doing the right thing.

"My turn"

 Red Dynamo for ICONS

PDF is here

Prowess: 5 (Excellent) - Battle Predictors
Coordination: 5 (Excellent) - Targeting systems
Strength: 7 (Incredible) - Super-servos
Intellect: 5 (Excellent) - Educated techie guy but not supra-genius
Awareness: 5 (Excellent) - Sensors!
Willpower: 5 (Excellent) - Driven but not obsessed

Stamina: 12
Determination: 1

Origin: Gimmick 
Specialties: Electronics, Mechanics, Power (Blast)

Invulnerability Device 7 - Centurion Suit 

Flight Device 7 - Centurion Suit 

Blast Device 5 (Blasting) - Electro-blasters in gauntlets (Electricity)

Absorption Device 5 (Ability Boost – Strength) - Centurion Suit - Electrical Absorption 

Supersenses Device 6 (Infravision, Radar, Enhanced Vision, Enhanced Hearing, Extended Vision, Extended Hearing ) - Sensor Suite 

Life Support Device 7 (Cold, Breathing, Heat, Pathogens, Radiation, Toxins, Vacuum) - Red Dynamo Suit 

Trapped in a cage of plasma, Dynamo struggles to free himself!

Motivation: To use his luck and skill to do good - he found himself in a rare position to make a difference and he decided to do so. This drives him to continue being the guy in the suit.

Connections: "Team Dynamo" - his buddy with the metal-shop, his superhero girlfiend, his friends on the police force, his cousin in the University Science Department, his IT guys - he has a large and diverse team working on this "project" and they are both a source of aid and information and potentially at risk if the whole thing unravels. 

Epithet: "The Scarlet Sentinel" - hey as many names as this guy went through I had to include this. Feel free to ignore it if you'd rather not give him a name. 

Gettin' down with the Dynamo

Secret Identity -Robert Taylor, corporate project manager, secret leader of Team Dynamo

"Borrowed Tech" - This can be used as a variant case of "Bad Luck" as the suit is not entirely of his own design. Much of the internal hardware design from circuits to servos was borrowed from a villain's suit and modified first by his corporate team and then again by his private team. The software has the same lineage. It has all of the bugs one might expect of this mixed heritage. There are concerns about someone figuring out where the tech came from and unraveling the secret of the Red Dynamo. The team is worried about back doors or command codes allowing someone else (like the original villain) to disable or take over the suit somehow as well. This is their nightmare scenario.

"It's just a temporary glitch ... give me a second to fix it"

Notes: This guy illustrates one of the weaknesses of ICONS in that all powers are valued similarly other than "x2" powers. This means that "Super-Senses - 6" (or Flight or Burrowing or Life Support) costs as many points as "Invulnerability -6" and that's a tough call. It does keep the system simple, but for a character like this it means all of those "lesser" powers add up and bump his cost up to 72 points, one of the most expensive I have done.  Once you hit 1 starting Determination there's really no reason not to keep adding powers as there's no downside. I could see some kind of tiered approach to powers in an ICONS 2E to help alleviate this but it may not be worth the increased complication for most people.

In combat he's pretty versatile - he can fly, he's tough, he can shoot, he can punch, he has radar, etc. I set his Absorption to boost his Strength but it could be changed to anything and still fit. If you set it to boost his Blast, rather than just being a separate attack as described in the book, then that could be a lot of fun too - Blast 10 coming at ya! He can switch it with a point of Determination so it's not set in stone anyway and should be fun to play with during a big fight.


 Red Dynamo for Mutants and Masterminds (3E)

Link to PDF is here

"Hmm ... giant pumpkin creature attacking the city - ASSEMBLE!"

Red Dynamo - PL 11

Strength 10, Stamina 0, Agility 1, Dexterity 2, Fighting 8/4, Intellect 3, Awareness 2, Presence 2

Accurate Attack, All-out Attack, Benefit, Wealth (well-off), Connected, Contacts, Defensive Attack, Improved Initiative 2, Interpose, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Precise Attack (Ranged, Concealment), Precise Attack (Ranged, Cover), Ranged Attack 2, Ranged Attack 6

Close Combat: Energy Fist 2 (+10), Expertise: Business 5 (+8), Insight 3 (+5), Perception 3 (+5), Persuasion 6 (+8), Technology 3 (+6)

"Let him have it!"

Battlesuit (Removable)
Armor: Protection 12 (+12 Toughness; Impervious)
Boot Jets: Flight 9 (Speed: 1000 miles/hour, 2 miles/round)
Capacitor Array: Energy Absorption 5 (Absorbs: Electrical Energy, Boost: Blast)
Comm System: Radio Communication 2
Life Support System: Immunity 10 (Life Support)
Sensors: Senses 11 (Accurate: Radar, Darkvision, Direction Sense, Extended: Radar 3: x1k,
Infravision, Time Sense, Ultra-hearing)
Servo Motors: Enhanced Strength 10 (+10 STR)
Electro Blasters: Blast 10 (Alternate; DC 25)
Tactical Computer: Enhanced Trait 17 (Traits: Dodge +7 (+10), Fighting +4 (+8), Advantages: Ranged Attack 2)

"Both barrels!"

Initiative +9
Electro Blasters: Blast 10, +10 (DC 25)
Grab, +8 (DC Spec 20)
Throw, +10 (DC 25)
Unarmed, +10 (DC 25)

Accident - Bugs in the System: 
Motivation: Doing Good
Relationship: "Team Dynamo" 
Secret: Secret Identity

Native Language


Dodge 10/3, Parry 10, Fortitude 5, Toughness 12, Will 9

Power Points
Abilities 28 + Powers 91 + Advantages 19 + Skills 11 (22 ranks) + Defenses 16 = 165

"I think he's had it!"

Notes: the MM3 version is very close to his ICONS version but likely stronger and faster when it comes to real-world numbers. I started with the Battlesuit archetype and modified it quite a bit to reflect his particular capabilities. I also raised him to PL 11 to reflect his year of experience.

  • Protection is up to 12
  • Sensors, Comm, and Life Support all remain the same
  • Flight is boosted one level to take him over Mach 1(as with the ICONS version)
  • Blasters are revised to a +10/+10 instead of a +8/+12. This makes them a little more accurate but still leaves them below his new PL limits - see below
  • I have added Electrical Absorption as a new power wired to the blasters. This will boost their damage but since it's still limited by PL it's a bit underwhelming - if he can manage to absorb some electricity then his blasts go to a +10/+12 for a few rounds. It's sort of overkill on the absorption side and underperforming as an offensive boost.
  • His Advantages and Skills are completely redone to reflect that he's not a tech genius inventor guy. He has more social skills and abilities and more direct combat abilities as well. The Precise Attacks let him pull off the hostage scene in Iron Man while move-by attack lets him do a Mach-1 flyby punch that's pretty cinematic too.
Given my dislike of how the absorption worked out here;s an alternate version of Red Dynamo with that power replaced by increases to his base Strength and Blast powers, making them a +10/+12 all the time. There's even a point left over so I gave him  Ultimate Effort: Technology so that when the suit shorts out and he absolutely positively has to get it up again he can burn a Hero Point and get it back online. Here is a link to Version 2.0.

"The city is safe once again"

1 comment:

Connie Gruning said...

WOW amazing amount of information about Red Dynamo. This makes me wish I was a gamer!!
Great post!
A to Z-ing to the end
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