The ground shakes and bits of plaster rain down on them as Chaos Theorem's massive Pandemonium Battlesuit topples over and collapses on the floor, electricity arcing over its hull. "Excellently done, miss Skybolt," Tank Man comments as he watches the results of her handiwork. "Let's disable him and go clean up the rest of the Anarchy Command troops."
"Careful," Skybolt holds up a hand. What they'd taken for random spasms was actually Chaos Theorem doggedly pulling himself to his feet. "He's not out yet. You guys just don't learn, do you?"
She raises both hands and unleashes another surge of electricity into Chaos Theorem's mechanical body, thousands of amperes in total. And to her horror, beneath the blinding glare of lightning and sparks, she sees him grinning at her from behind the battlesuit's visor.
"Big mistake," growls the maddest of all mad scientists as he stands and raises both fists to smash her into a bloody smear on the ground. "You tried the same trick twice."
Variable, 2 ranks
• Action: Reaction [trigger: after making a resistance check], +3pp/rank
• Limited to 1 Immunity at a time, -1pp/rank
• Limited to descriptor of attack, -1pp/rank
You have the ability to adapt to incoming attacks. After being hit by an attack and making any resistance checks required, you become immune to further attacks with similar descriptors as a reaction. Possible descriptors include nanites, spontaneous mutation, force fields, reality warping or chaos energy.
After making a resistance check against an attack, you gain an immunity worth 10pp or less that is effective against that attack's descriptor. If the attack has more than one descriptor, you gain the most expensive one. For example, being hit by a light controller's affliction that inflicts Visually Unaware gives you Immunity 10 [common descriptor: light] rather than Immunity 5 [sensory Affliction attacks]. Being hit by a magical fire blast gives you Immunity 10 [common descriptor: fire] rather than Immunity 20 [very common descriptor: magic] since there are not enough points in the variable to pay for the latter. If multiple 10pp Immunities are possible, you choose one. The GM has final authority on what Immunity you receive.
Example: Predator's Accelerated Evolution power grants him Adaptive Armor. Skylark attacks him with her Ultrasound Blaster, a Ranged Affliction power. Predator makes his resistance check as normal and then configures his Adaptive Armor as a reaction. Predator's player suggests Immunity 10 [common descriptor: sound] and the GM agrees this is the most appropriate immunity against this power.
The next round, Skylark attacks with her Sonic Grenade, a Ranged Area Burst Damage power. Since this power also has the sound descriptor, Predator is unaffected; she'll have to reach further in her bag of tricks to bring him in!
Adaptive Armor cannot give you more than 1 Immunity at a time. Life Support may be counted as a single Immunity at the GM's discretion.
You cannot configure your Adaptive Armor without being attacked. It's up to the GM whether to allow players to configure their Adaptive Armor by blasting themselves or teammates.
Even if you change the trigger for the Reaction extra to some other condition like [when hit] or [when attacked], you cannot configure your Adaptive Armor as a reaction and then declare that the immunity should negate the attack that triggered the Adaptive Armor in the first place. This would effectively make you immune to everything, an X-trait.
This is a limited form of Adaptive Armor suitable for PCs and NPCs. The armor only protects against one common descriptor at a time, so enemies with Variable Descriptor or broad enough arrays can get around them. The character has limited control over what Immunities can be produced, and so cannot just choose immunities most useful for whatever enemy he or she currently faces. The character must also suffer at least one hit from a particular attack before gaining immunity. At the GM's discretion, much more powerful Adaptive Armor may be allowed by increasing the power to Variable 4 instead, allowing it to produce 20pp immunities (protecting against very common descriptors like slashing, energy, technology or magic). This is much more difficult for enemies to overcome with Variable Descriptor or arrayed powers, and most characters cannot easily find a way around the armor without external help (e.g. most battlesuit characters don't have and can't stunt powers without the technology descriptor). Use with care.
Adaptive Armor that can produce 30pp or more immunities is probably frustrating in the hands of NPCs and overpowering in the hands of PCs. Extremely powerful types of Adaptive Armor, able to be immune to any attack they have ever suffered and against which no attack works twice, are plot devices rather than powers.
Selective, +1pp flat: You have a degree of control over your Adaptive armor. As a Reaction, you can prevent it from reconfiguring when you are hit by an attack. This makes it a little harder for enemies to "trick" your armor by forcing it to reconfigure constantly with attacks of different descriptors, one common way super-adaptive enemies are defeated.
Achilles' Heel, -1pp to -5pp flat: Your Adaptive Armor has some critical weakness. Attacks with certain descriptors ignore your Adaptive Armor entirely, and also do not trigger it as a Reaction. The value of this flaw depends on how common those descriptors are.
• -4pp: All descriptors covered by one 30pp or more Immunity. Example: All effects resisted by Fort, all effects resisted by Will, all effects resisted by Dodge.
• -3pp: All descriptors covered by one 20pp Immunity. Example: All magic effects, all technology effects, all energy effects.
• -2pp: All descriptors covered by one 10pp Immunity. Example: All mental effects, all fire effects, all weather effects.
• -1pp: All descriptors covered by one 5pp or less Immunity. Example: Cold iron, critical hits, poison, your own powers.
GMs should be careful not to allow players to take the -1pp version of this flaw numerous times, getting a large point discount for a handful of rarely-encountered weaknesses.
GMs should also not allow taking this flaw for descriptors that the character already has Immunity to. Not being able to grant you immunity against attacks you are already immune to is actually an advantage. It ensures your Adaptive Armor does not change its configuration away from attacks you're not immune to, to attacks that you already are.
Example: Lord Oberon the Fae King has a Robe of the Four Seasons that provides Adaptive Armor. However, his robe is not proof against cold iron. It was also made long before this newfangled human sorcery they call 'science' came along, and the magic of the robe does not recognize things like laser beams and nanites as attacks. He has both the -1pp and -3pp versions of the flaw for a total discount of -4pp, and attacks with the cold iron or technology descriptors ignore his Adaptive Armor.
While fighting Oberon, American Patriot attacks Oberon using his laser cannons. Oberon makes his resistance check normally, however since the attack has a technology descriptor, Oberon's Adaptive Armor does not change its configuration in response.
Next, Lady Divine then attacks Oberon with her light blast. Oberon is not immune to this attack, so he makes his resistance check and the armor configures to Immunity 10 [common descriptor: light] immediately after. If not for the flaw, Oberon's Adaptive Armor would have configured to Immunity 10 [common descriptor: light] after American Patriot's attack, and Lady Divine's blast would have been ineffective.
The next round, American Patriot and Lady Divine attack again. American Patriot's laser cannons still ignore the Adaptive Armor, but Lady Divine's light blast is absorbed.
Vaccine, -1pp per rank: When hit by an attack, you must pass your resistance check in order for your Adaptive Armor to protect you against it the next time. If you fail the resistance check, your Adaptive Armor's configuration does not change.
Gradual, -1pp per rank: Your armor needs more than one exposure to an attack to formulate complete immunity against it. The first time you are attacked by an attack of a particular descriptor, you gain Immunity Limited to Half Effect against it, at no discount (since you already receive a discount on the price of the Variable itself). The second time you are hit by an attack of the same descriptor, you gain full Immunity against it. This 'resets' between scenes so that if you are hit by the same effect in a later combat, you must start from half-effect again. If your armor remembers attacks it has faced before and does not need to start from half-effect again, you have a Power Loss complication instead of this flaw.
Limited to 1 Half-Effect Immunity, -0pp per rank: At the GM's discretion, you may change the flaw on the Variable from Limited to 1 Immunity at a time to this flaw for no change in cost. This means the Immunities you buy with the Variable's pool of points must all have the Limited to Half Effect flaw on them, allowing the armor to produce broader 20pp Immunities (such as Immunity to bludgeoning, technology, energy or magic) at the cost of not having complete immunity. You cannot apply both Limited to 1 Immunity at a time and this flaw to the Variable for a further point discount, as it does not reduce the usefulness of the power.
Removable, -1pp per 5pp: Adaptive Armor is often literally a suit of armor, which can be taken from the character.
Adaptive Armor can also be built with Variables that grant Second Chance or Impervious (2e style Impervious is suggested). Adaptive Armor that can be overcome by a powerful enough attack might simply be a descriptor for Protection and Enhanced Will or Fortitude.
Some characters have a form of Adaptive Armor that not only makes them immune to further attacks but also absorbs them, providing Healing. Link the following power to the Variable:
Healing, X ranks
• Action: Reaction, +3pp/rank
• Limited to self, -1pp/rank
• Limited to attacks character is immune to, -1pp/rank
• Limited to ranks of attack, -1pp/rank
2pp per rank
Enemy: A powerful villain or a government wants the secret of your Adaptive Armor and plans to extract it from you to produce an army of invincible soldiers. They may not care if your armor is not Removable.
Weakness: Your Adaptive Armor needs exotic chemicals, reagents or materials to continue functioning, and these ingredients are illegal, addictive, or difficult and expensive to obtain.