Help with a character concept

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rzach
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Help with a character concept

Postby rzach » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:55 am

I just got the DCA book for Christmas after my M&M 1st ed stuff was stolen a few years back. So I am planning on running a game set in the DC universe. I started brainstorming
with my players to get an idea about what they wanted to play. My main player had a character concept that sounds awesome for the game but I am a little unsure about how it works rules wise.

She wants to play a character who can basically call forth another dimension into the "real" world. She basically wants to be able to cause the world to turn into a place like silent hill in the movies.
The walls get all decayed and a supernatural fog fills the area. She can summon monsters inside of this changed area. The monsters only exist in the area of the world she has changed. My issue is with
the call forth of the dimension itself. People inside of the changed area are still in the real world but the mechanics of the world are a bit different. They feel a supernatural fear and the fog obscures where
they are leading to them getting lost easily and being somewhat confused. Also the world changes somewhat as doors don't lead to where they should and halls and building become twisted. Sort of like the
Scarecrow sequences in the Arkham Asylum game except that the world is really changing instead of being a hallucination.

She can also use the dimension to travel via a teleport effect that takes actual time instead of being instant. Basically she can choose to go fully into the other dimension and by traveling through it's mazes and
such she can travel faster. She figures it would take several hours to go from New York to London. She can also use the dimension when it comes into the real world to remotely spy on others.

Now I can model some of the effects but I need some help with building the part where the dimension is summoned into this one. Any help would be appreciated.

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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby Shadowbourne » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:20 pm

Environmental Control Visibility and Cold for that ghostly feel. I would then just use descriptors for the others ....even go as much as have all the powers dependent upon this power being activated...will give it more thought.

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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:28 pm

Depending on how much fluff you want in the "extra dimension", you might be able to get by with agreeing with the player on certain aspects of said universe and then using some form of Super-Movement (Dimensional, Attack, Area, [custom +0 Extra that everyone snaps back into the real world when the duration ends or the effect is otherwise nullified]), possibly with the character having something like Environmental Adaptation (Dark world) to model that they're not as impaired. The catch is that they'd have to treat it as its own world where the character isn't necessarily in control and might experience surprises when they run into denizens they had not planned on. You could probably buy the various abilities such as Summoning and Speed as Limited (only in Dark World). Viewing the "real" world is essentially Remote Viewing with a Dimensional flat extra.

You could also possibly run it as a Damaging Illusion effect with the "disbelieving" involving them overcoming the effect to put them in another world and snapping them back.

A lot of it depends on how much direct control is going on. Compare it to the difference between ensnaring someone and sending them to a deserted island. The first directly has an effect. The second also gets them out of the way, but you have less control over whether a passing ship picks them up, the island has a McGuffin, etc. I would personally go for the Dimensional Travel method, but it requires more work by the GM, and the player will have less control over what goes on, which may not suit them.

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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby JDRook » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:27 am

rzach wrote:She wants to play a character who can basically call forth another dimension into the "real" world. She basically wants to be able to cause the world to turn into a place like silent hill in the movies.
The walls get all decayed and a supernatural fog fills the area. She can summon monsters inside of this changed area. The monsters only exist in the area of the world she has changed. My issue is with the call forth of the dimension itself. People inside of the changed area are still in the real world but the mechanics of the world are a bit different. They feel a supernatural fear and the fog obscures where they are leading to them getting lost easily and being somewhat confused. Also the world changes somewhat as doors don't lead to where they should and halls and building become twisted.


I'd go with Environment as Shadowbourne suggests as a base to define the size of affected area. The individual aspects and degree of effect are up to you, with descriptor filling in the details. Visibility seems like a given to represent the fog, with -2 or -5 depending on your choice, although I suspect the full -5 would be best. You could add Cold, but unless it's an intense cold that could potentially freeze you to death, even over a long period, you may be better off with "chilling dread" as just a descriptor; presumably even PCs with Immunity to Environmental Cold should be feeling some chills for that flavour, but maybe a PC with Fearless wouldn't. You could also make it Selective, but only if you don't want to affect allies or bystanders; it might work better for the concept that it affects everyone in it equally. For 10p you could have a heavy supernatural fog (-5) cover an area a thousand feet across (5 ranks).

Limiting a Summon to inside the Environmental radius seems like a reasonable Full Flaw. You might want to make it Ranged so that the monsters don't always start next to the casting PC, and probably a General Type Extra so that you have a limited variety of monsters.

Getting lost is an interesting problem since it's rarely addressed. You could just make it a Feature of the Environment, and if someone has Direction Sense and you want to override it, maybe give them a Hero Point as a Complication. For something a little more beefy, you could make it a Ranged Subtle Insidious Uncontrolled Teleport Attack with Change Direction that uses the Supernatural Fog as a Medium.

rzach wrote:She can also use the dimension to travel via a teleport effect that takes actual time instead of being instant. Basically she can choose to go fully into the other dimension and by traveling through it's mazes and such she can travel faster. She figures it would take several hours to go from New York to London. She can also use the dimension when it comes into the real world to remotely spy on others.


They actually introduced a Teleport Flaw called "Transit Time" that increases teleport time at a discount of 1p for every rank over 3 seconds (rank -1 time). New York to London is about a rank 20 distance, but if she's using the power exclusively for long distance travel, you could make it Extended/Limited To for the same cost and go up to 4000 miles with a rank 12 Teleport with the minor inconvenience of a moment of Vulnerable on arrival. Using the Transit Time Flaw, a coincidental 12 ranks would mean the full trip would take about 4 hours (rank 11 time), roughly equivalent to about Speed 9. Running into things in the mazes could be good for a Complication.

Remote Sensing would actually be the most expensive power you describe, that is if you want it to reach as far as New York to London. If you keep it relatively close range and/or limit the senses, it should be a little more reasonable. I think rank 8 (1 mile) would fit with the rest of the mechanics; anything further than that and you'd have to "travel" to perceive it.
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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby hypervirtue » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:58 pm

I'm going to chime in here for a second...

I know you are looking more for "rules related" stuff, but I wanted to chime in regarding more of the DC universe issues I see with this character.

You might want to be aware that there is, as of Final Crisis, an "Overmind" who is extremely protective of the multiverse. Specifically speaking the "Overmind" or the "Monitor" as he is often called, doesn't like the idea of people passing between dimensions. He's an incredibly powerful entity who would likely not be okay with a character who routinely does this.

This, of course, only matters depending on what era you are playing in. If, however, you are playing in an era post-original crisis there is an even bigger problem because there is a massive number of Monitors who don't like the idea of dimension hopping and who have been known to straight up assassinate characters who do anything regarding dimensional hopping.

So, unless this is pre-Crisis, this type of character would face a LOT of story line problems in the form of, well, not only is the description not very heroic-sounding, but also in the fact that part of the core mythology of the world is completely unfriendly to that type of character.

If I were you I'd urge her to change her idea and go with something more akin to "reality shifting" or "reality control" rather than "I breach dimensional walls and shift the environment to summon monsters from alternate realities" simply because after any length of time doing this the "powers that be" would be forced to step in and kill her.

This is just one group that would have problems with this kind of character... Others include, but are not limited to:

The Lords of Order - They really don't like this kind of thing.
The Lords of Chaos - They ALSO don't like this kind of thing.
The Guardians of the Universe - They don't like this kind of thing.

Not to mention almost every major DC magic user... Dr. Fate, Dr. Occult, the Phantom Stranger, Shazam, etc.
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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby JDRook » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:17 pm

hypervirtue wrote:If I were you I'd urge her to change her idea and go with something more akin to "reality shifting" or "reality control" rather than "I breach dimensional walls and shift the environment to summon monsters from alternate realities" simply because after any length of time doing this the "powers that be" would be forced to step in and kill her.

This presumes that as GM you are going to be using the whole DC universe, as opposed to cherry-picking your favourite parts, or at least the ones that are most interesting and useful to you and your players. That said, including the aforementioned Powers That Be as a potential complication for that PC in your campaign could be interesting. You could assume that the initial uses of the power are not significant enough to draw focus of the PTB, but after a while there may be warnings from eldritch sources to not meddle with the multiverse. Actual retaliation could be slow or swift, but it might be a good plan to warn the player to have a backup PC ready if you wanted to have cosmic forces wipe her dimensional breacher off the face of the 'verse.

Alternatively, the PC could just believe that she's breaching dimensions and it's all just a powerful psychic twisting of reality. It can be as real as it needs to be, and as a fictionally set game based on an ultimately malleable comic-book universe, "real" is pretty flexible.

There could be some concern about the inherent "tone" that the Silent Hill dimensional powers bring with it as well, if you want to get meta about it. The other players should be cool with it, too, particularly since it's the kind of thing which can take up a lot of spotlight time. I mean it would be fine if the characters are creeped out by her powers or would rather she not use them, but if the players start saying that OOC, you've got a problem.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby Flying Cobra » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:38 am

Do not let what hypervirue posted discourage your build, as all the characters he mentions have issues with people crossing UNIVERSES, not dimensions- otherwise, the list of "actionable" characters in the DC universe would be incredibly long, from long-time characters like Mxyzptlk and Raven to The Shade, Obsidian and Nightshade, Prometheus, Warlord, Amethyst, Shade the Changing Man, the Qwardians, the non-Earth 3 Crime Society, arguably New Genesis and Apokalips, Mirror Master, the Oblivion Bar (and,thus, Shadowpact), any Speed Force users, the Rock of Eternity (so, Shazam/Captain Marvel), and any Kryptonians who used the Phantom Zone. And few, if any, of the actual "Powers that Be" would be likely to outright kill the character, anyway. Except the Spectre- he's just a scary MF.

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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby hypervirtue » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:41 am

Flying Cobra wrote:Do not let what hypervirue posted discourage your build, as all the characters he mentions have issues with people crossing UNIVERSES, not dimensions- otherwise, the list of "actionable" characters in the DC universe would be incredibly long, from long-time characters like Mxyzptlk and Raven to The Shade, Obsidian and Nightshade, Prometheus, Warlord, Amethyst, Shade the Changing Man, the Qwardians, the non-Earth 3 Crime Society, arguably New Genesis and Apokalips, Mirror Master, the Oblivion Bar (and,thus, Shadowpact), any Speed Force users, the Rock of Eternity (so, Shazam/Captain Marvel), and any Kryptonians who used the Phantom Zone. And few, if any, of the actual "Powers that Be" would be likely to outright kill the character, anyway. Except the Spectre- he's just a scary MF.


To step in here, you are confusing a few things...

The Quardians haven't been from another dimension (universe) since the Crisis officially. This is due to the universe they originally inhabited no longer being there.

Mxyzptlk comes from the 4th dimension, and is a special case, he's simply too powerful to be trifled with. He can alter reality on a fundamental level. They did try to kill him once though.

Raven and several others pass through what is referred to as another "dimension" but this is actually the spiritual plane and it was shown that they don't like this, that however is different from someone who's primary power would be "I super-impose one dimension over another" and I'm only looking at it from a thematic perspective of the setting.

After all, why play in DC if its not going to be DC.

You are also naming off a lot of people, like Prometheus, who aren't "dimension travelers" per sey. You do have Princess Amethyst, and there was talk of these beings once trying to lock her in Gemworld.

Like I said, for the Universe it just seemed a bit... Like something that would get people on their radar.
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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby JDRook » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:51 pm

hypervirtue wrote:After all, why play in DC if its not going to be DC.

It's certainly possible to enjoy parts of the DCU without having include all of it. If you want to include something in your game, do so. If something else conflicts with the story you want to play, take it out. It's not like it's some perfect crystal sphere handed down by some all-powerful creator; it can, has and will change, and I guarantee that Didio, Lee, Harras, and Johns couldn't care less if you make it your own.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby Flying Cobra » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:37 pm

Pretty positive I'm not confusing anything. But having spent 36 years reading DC Comics and owning all the books for all 3 iterations of the universe RPGs (4, if you want to count pre-Crisis first edition DC Heroes as different from the second and third post-Crisis editions), I guess I could be confused on the difference between a dimension and a part of the Multiverse, except for the part where I can discern between the two.

But rzach's setting is his setting. Each game group ends up creating their own alternate world, anyway, so whatever rzach and his players seem as cool, that's what they should roll with.

And regarding the original question- Environment is perfectly usable to represent dimensional overlay. In this case, I'd suggest the Visibility, Impede Movement and Cold (not extreme) options.

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Re: Help with a character concept

Postby Stigger » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:51 am

Er, the DC Universe book refers to those spiritual layers as other dimensions, as does the Dimension Travel aspect of Movement, so using the term dimension seems pretty appropriate.

I'm going to have to agree though, the Environment power sounds like what you're looking for, with the right descriptors to make it look creepy and decayed. The linked fear part could be a little tricky, but if it's shaking them up a bit, I'd say go with something like Affliction X (Fearful Fog: Area Y, limited degree, linked to Environment)(Will dc X+10: Impaired > Disabled) (1pp/rank +1pp/rank for each extra application of area beyond the first) with the general penalties simulating shaking hands and distracted glancing around and such. Whatever the area of the Environment stuff is should also be applied to the area of the fear stuff, so you may not want that to get too big for PP cost reasons. Hope that helps a bit with the model for the dimensional summoning.


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