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Creating a super-genius Hero

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Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby danger_prone_daphne » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:14 pm

Hi folks!

So here's my challenge. I want to create a Hero, who's main power is a super-powered brain. Not like a Gadgeteer or Telepath, but just someome who is super-smart and is one step ahead of her foes...

CONCEPT:
A person imbued with a super-powered intellect, and a heightened awareness of her surroundings. She would be super-smart, have various danger-senses, a very high Defense (not because she is fast, but because she's brainy enough to know exactly where to stand/move to avoid various attacks), the various "master plan" type Feats and perhaps even powers like Nemesis or Probability Manipulation. She might have some sort Device (either magical or technological, depending on Origin) to help her out in sticky situation - sort of like Dr. Who's sonic screwdriver

That's my basic concept, and I have a few Power ideas, but I wanted to brainstorm with you folks. What would be the best Powers and/or Feats to take?
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby psilich » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:30 am

Possible powers could include:

Quick Thinking:
Quickness, limited to mental effects
1 point per 2 ranks

Representing the genius ability to solve problems

Cause Catastrophe:
Ranged Damage, Indirect 4, Subtle, Variable Descriptor 1 (Accidents/Environmental)
6 points +2 points per rank

Represents some fictional characters ability to know how to start chain reactions of events that lead to harming an enemy (such as throwing a banana peel onto the pavement, which trips someone, who drops what they're holding, which distracts the operator of a crane into hitting the villain with a wrecking ball, or something like that.)

Knowledge of anatomy:

Damage or affliction (dazed, stunned, incapacitated)

To represent the characters ability to use their extensive knowledge of biology to better harm their foes.

Analyze style:

Perception range affliction (vulnerable, defenseless) insidious, subtle, limited degree, limited to your characters attacks)

to represent studying your opponent before fighting them (similar to what Sherlock Holmes does in the recent Robert Downey, Jr. films) See here: http://youtu.be/BMW5rPU_vY4?t=1m42s


The Catastrophe and analyze style powers are from the luck and martial power profile books (which I don't have right in front of me, so that might not be exactly how the profiles implemented them). Many of the powers in those profiles could be described by intelligence rather than luck/skill. Those, along with the talent power profile could all be good sources of inspiration.

You could also use luck control to represent always having aback up plan and thinking ahead or your opponent.

As for advantages: speed of thought, eidetic memory, well informed, jack-of-all-trades, and beginner's luck could all be useful, and make sense for a super smart character.

Speed of thought is a benefit feat from one of the newer books (I don't remember which one though). It allows the character to use intellect for initiative instead of agility.
Last edited by psilich on Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby Hellhound » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:39 pm

psilich wrote:Speed of thought is a benefit feat from one of the newer books (I don't remember which one though). It allows the character to use intellect for initiative instead of agility.


I guess it is from Emerald City setting.

As psilich suggested the Knowledge of anatomy could be a power with the Variable Condition Modifer, so you choose conditions when the Affliction is used rather than when the effect is acquired. This Extra is from the Illusion Powers Profile.


Also some powers from the Talent Powers Profile could be useful

Perfect Defense

Immunity 30 (attacks targeting Dodge or Parry), Concentration Duration • 15 points (30 for both)

Unfazeable

Immunity 5 (Interaction Skills) • 5 points

At a Glance

Senses 1 (Rapid Vision) • 1 point.

Brilliant Deduction

Senses 4 (Postcognition), Investigation Check Required (DC 12) • 2 points.

The Perfect Defense could be because the character is so brilliant to deduce where his enemy is going to attack. The Unfazeable is because it is impossible to deceive, intimidate or confuse someone by social actions with great intelligence, someone smarter also tends to have a great sense of observation and quickly to draw inferences that´s why I suggest At a Glance and Brilliant Deduction.

Advantages:

Another one I will suggest is Assesment

Also an Inteligence score for 7 is the peak for humanity, so if the character is a human (like Mr Terrific for DC comics) will be fine something more would make him a genius beyond human origin, is mutant, alien or genetically altered to give a few examples.
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby psilich » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:55 pm

Hellhound wrote:Also an Inteligence score for 7 is the peak for humanity, so if the character is a human (like Mr Terrific for DC comics) will be fine something more would make him a genius beyond human origin, is mutant, alien or genetically altered to give a few examples.


I'd argue that although the book puts 7 as "peak human" that's really not a good endpoint. There are many official characters in both DC Adventures and Freedomverse that have higher mental scores than 7, who don't have superpowers/mutations, etc.

Hellhound wrote:Also some powers from the Talent Powers Profile could be useful.


Yeah I definitely agree that the talent powers profile would be useful for a supergenius character. In addition to the one's you mentioned:

Master Linguist
Comprehend 2 (Languages, Understand
and Be Understood), Quirk (takes at least a scene to pick
up a new language) • 3 points.

Would make sense.

Also, not found in the power profiles, but could still make sense:

Master of Body Language
Mind Reading, Insidious, Subtle, Sense Dependent (Sight) • 2 points +1 point per rank

Could represent a character so good at interpreting body language that they can read people like an open book. Combine with Brilliant Deduction, as mentioned by Hellhound, to get the ultimate detective.
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby JDRook » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:57 pm

Some good ideas here, but don't skip the basics.
danger_prone_daphne wrote:A person imbued with a super-powered intellect, and a heightened awareness of her surroundings.

High INT and AWE, at least at PL if not higher. Intellect skills are nice, and Jack of All Trades gets you all of them untrained for 1p. Awareness gives you Perception, Insight and Will with no additional training requires, and these are all never a bad idea to have high.

danger_prone_daphne wrote:She would be super-smart, have various danger-senses, a very high Defense (not because she is fast, but because she's brainy enough to know exactly where to stand/move to avoid various attacks)

The super-smart suggestions from the others are good. You could take Danger Sense as the actual Sense power, although it does require you pick a sense group for it, so it can be overcome or blinded. Uncanny Dodge can at least keep you from being surprised to the point of halving defenses (and in 3e requires no specified sense) but won't let you attack during a surprise round like a good Danger Sense roll can. Defenses can simply be bought up with the descriptor "Vector Prediction" or something equally brainy, and a rank or 2 of Evasion would also be appropriate for avoiding the blast radius on Area Attacks.

danger_prone_daphne wrote:the various "master plan" type Feats

There's no formal "Master Plan" in 3e. Something like ranks in Inspire works similar to 2e MP. Another way that's been kicked around is to allow for a "Ritual" version of Inventor that allows a PC to plan for a particular effect or group of effects, using the same rules as Ritual building, particular the "jury-rigging" with Hero Points to set up something in a few rounds. This doesn't work anything like 2e Master Plan but does allow for interesting effects due to planning. A simpler version can be using Hero Points (or specialized purchased points, similar to Luck) for Edit Scene or Inspiration purposes.
danger_prone_daphne wrote:She might have some sort Device (either magical or technological, depending on Origin) to help her out in sticky situation - sort of like Dr. Who's sonic screwdriver

I've always though of the Sonic Screwdriver as a way to use Technology Skill at Range, which is actually pretty versatile when you think about how broad the Tech skill is. You could easily make that and add on a few Alternate Effects for other possibilities, or for power stunting (temporarily breaking or overloading equipment to get more performance out of it is something geniuses do all the time).

Classic Advantages would be Assessment, Beginner's Luck, Eidetic Memory, Jack of All Trades, various Skill Masteries or Ultimate Efforts, etc. Some less common but useful ones could be Favored Foe or Environment if your study is specialized in some way: your Favored Foe could be Robots, or Gadgeteers, or anyone with an INT of less than 1. Speed of Thought uses INT for Initiative bonus, so that would be good, and you could even get Seize Initiative for when you absolutely have to go first. With a GM up for a little creativity, you could have a variant of Agile Feint that allows you to use your INT for Feinting and Tricking in combat, which could also be used in combination with Redirect.

That should give you something to work with.
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby ursinethemadbear » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:32 am

I love the idea of the Sonic Screwdriver as Ranged Technology skill (maybe with a few ranks of Quickness as well).

One of my favorite powers for a super genius is this:

Consistent Excellence: Variable, Free Action to Change (+2), Limited to Skill Mastery Advantage (-3), 6 points per level (you only need one level of this)

I also use a few homebrew Advantages:

Tower of Intellect: Use Intelligence instead of Awareness for Willpower

Studied Manipulator: Use Intelligence instead of Presence for Deception/Intimidate/Persuasion, must be taken separately for each skill

Conscious Observer: Use Intelligence instead of Awareness for Insight/Perception, must be taken separately for each skill

Mind over Body: Use Intelligence instead of Stamina for Fortitude
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby Hellhound » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:19 pm

psilich wrote:I'd argue that although the book puts 7 as "peak human" that's really not a good endpoint. There are many official characters in both DC Adventures and Freedomverse that have higher mental scores than 7, who don't have superpowers/mutations, etc.


I know like Ray Palmer, Batman or Bane as an example for may others, but I was talking just by the book.

ursinethemadbear wrote:

I also use a few homebrew Advantages:

Tower of Intellect: Use Intelligence instead of Awareness for Willpower

Studied Manipulator: Use Intelligence instead of Presence for Deception/Intimidate/Persuasion, must be taken separately for each skill

Conscious Observer: Use Intelligence instead of Awareness for Insight/Perception, must be taken separately for each skill

Mind over Body: Use Intelligence instead of Stamina for Fortitude


As a GM I would not allow the use of Intelligence instead of Awareness for Will, either Intelligence instead of Stamina for Fortitude. Also, won´t allow change any skill from Perception, because perception use the senses (sight, hear, smell, touch...)to notice something and Intelligence interprets and translates the things percived.
Last edited by Hellhound on Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby ursinethemadbear » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:49 pm

Hellhound wrote:As a GM I would not allow the use of Intelligence instead of Awareness for Will, either Intelligence instead of Stamina for Fortitude. Also, won´t allow change any skill from Perception, because perception use the senses (sight, hear, smell, touch...)to notice something and Intelligence interprets and translates the things percived.


So, you do not have a problem with Studied Manipulator?

Honestly, I might not allow them either, but I was allowed to use them in a friend's game, and they fit the concept.
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby legend » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:01 pm

I had a similar concept for a character who was a member of an ancient alien order known as the Logician-Warriors.

The Logician-Warriors had a Dynamic Array of powers with Enhanced Intellect being the primary power. I liked this mechanic because it felt like it demonstrated that there were limits to just how much could be processed and analyzed at once.
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby saint_matthew » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:45 pm

danger_prone_daphne wrote:CONCEPT:
A person imbued with a super-powered intellect, and a heightened awareness of her surroundings. She would be super-smart, have various danger-senses, a very high Defense (not because she is fast, but because she's brainy enough to know exactly where to stand/move to avoid various attacks), the various "master plan" type Feats and perhaps even powers like Nemesis or Probability Manipulation. She might have some sort Device (either magical or technological, depending on Origin) to help her out in sticky situation - sort of like Dr. Who's sonic screwdriver

That's my basic concept, and I have a few Power ideas, but I wanted to brainstorm with you folks. What would be the best Powers and/or Feats to take?


legend wrote:I had a similar concept for a character who was a member of an ancient alien order known as the Logician-Warriors.

The Logician-Warriors had a Dynamic Array of powers with Enhanced Intellect being the primary power. I liked this mechanic because it felt like it demonstrated that there were limits to just how much could be processed and analyzed at once.


I've done it, I've got a Golden Age villain who I gave an enhanced intellect power too. I then built a dynamic array out of that power which included things like Sense (analytical sight & sound, plus distance sense, time sense, detect illusions), enhanced ranged attack & enhanced close attack (as the advantage) & comprehend language.

The theory was that he had a super powered brain, that could analyse data in real time, so if he picked up a sword he would immediately be able to know how to use it as long as he was concentrating on knowing how to use it. The more things he was thinking about at a time, the less talented he would be at those things as he was splitting his mental processing power.
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Re: Creating a super-genius Hero

Postby reb8er » Tue May 06, 2014 1:39 pm

Use Luck Control as "Anticipate Action" where he knows what you are gonna do before you do it.
The Force Reroll is a great ability for this
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