Friday, April 29, 2011

I've been published!


It's a modest start, but things have only just begun.…

The Man of Steel

In honor of Spring having finally sprung here in Japan (better late than never), in keeping with my Batman post, and with the prospect that each day grows brighter and warmer, I give you Earth's Greatest Champion!

SUPERMAN, KAL-EL (kryptonian name), CLARK JOSEPH KENT (human name)
Male Kryptonian Legendary Strong Hero 9/Tough Hero 5/Dedicated Hero 5/Charismatic Hero 2; CR 35; LA +17
Medium Humanoid (height 6' 3", weight 235 lb.); Age mid 30s

Init +6; Senses (core) Listen +10, Search +10, Spot +10; (see below); Senses (house) Listen/Spot +20, Search +14; (see below)
Languages English, Arabic, Hindi (speak only), Kryptonian, Mandarin (speak only), Russian (speak only), Sign, Spanish

Defense (core) 28, touch 28, flat-footed 26; Defense (house) 28, touch 22, flat-footed 26; Dodge (+2 Dex, +12 class, +8 deflection, –4 virtual size)
hp 470 (21 HD); Mas 50; DR 20/kryptonite or magic
Fort +31 (+35 vs. hot/cold environments, suffocation/drowning), Ref +9, Will +12
AP 14

Speed 30 ft., fly 500 ft. (perfect)
Melee unarmed strike +35/+30/+25/+20 (3d6+22 lethal/nonlethal, 20) or
Melee by weapon +34/+29/+24/+19
Ranged (touch) heat vision +15 (varies, 20, 50 ft., ray) or
Ranged heat vision (varies, 50-ft cone) or
Ranged freeze breath (2d6/rnd, 30-ft cone) or
Ranged by weapon +14/+9/+4/–1
Space 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +16; Grp +53
Atk Options Awesome Blow, Flyby Attack, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Knockout Punch, Improved Sunder, Power Attack
Special Qualities Acid/cold/fire resistance 20, electricity/sonic resistance 10, kryptonian traits, legend traits (10)

Abilities Str 54 (12), Dex 14 (13), Con 44 (14), Int 16 (15), Wis 16, Cha 16 (15)
'(-)' indicate original ability scores.
AL truth, law, good, justice, Earth, Metropolis, the “American Way,” the Justice League; Rep +12 (+3 as Clark); San 84
Feats Alertness, Armor Proficiency (light*, medium*, powered*), Awesome Blow* (new feat, see below), Brawl, Charismatic Plus (from Future), Cleave, Combat Martial Arts, Combat Throw, Dodge, Educated (Knowledge [earth and life sciences, history]), Endurance, Flyby Attack (from Menace Manual), Great Cleave, Great Fortitude, Heroic Surge*, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Damage Threshold (x2*), Improved Initiative, Improved Knockout Punch*, Improved Sunder*, Iron Will, Knockout Punch*, Power Attack, Renown, Secret Identity (from Past), Simple Weapons Proficiency, Weapon Focus (heat vision)*
* Bonus feats acquired from the Legend template.
          Note: Having been raised as human, Kal-El is unique in that he receives the standard bonus feat normally assigned a human, even though he is biologically kryptonian.
Skills (core) Climb +24, Computer Use +7, Concentration +25, Craft (writing) +10, Diplomacy +14 (+4 when recognized only as Superman, +5 after 1 min. of study), Disguise +10, Drive +4, Gather Information +16 (+4 when recognized only as Superman), Jump +28, Hide +6, Intimidate +11 (+4 when recognized only as Superman, +5 after 1 min. of study), Investigate +9, Knowledge (arcane lore) +9, Knowledge (current events) +10, Knowledge (earth and life sciences) +10, Knowledge (history) +11, Knowledge (streetwise) +7, Listen +10 (+20 when trying to discern a single known sound w/i range), Move Silently +6, Navigate +9, Read/Write Arabic, Read/Write English, Read/Write Kryptonese, Read/Write Sign, Read/Write Spanish, Research +10, Search +10 (+15 when examining a 5 ft. space w/microscopic vision), Sense Motive +14 (+5 after 1 min. of study), Speak Arabic, Speak English, Speak Hindi, Speak Kryptonese, Speak Mandarin, Speak Russian, Speak Spanish, Spot +10 (+20 when trying to discern a single visible object w/i range), Survival +6, Swim +26, Treat Injury +7
Skills (house) Athletics +29, Computer Use +8, Control +29, Craft (writing) +11, Deduce +14 (+15 on Search when examining a 5-ft. space w/microscopic vision), Disguise +10, Drive +4, Gather Information +16 (+20 when recognized only as Superman), Knowledge (arcane lore) +9, Knowledge (current events) +10, Knowledge (earth and life sciences) +10, Knowledge (history) +11, Knowledge (streetwise) +8, Navigate +12, Perceive +20 (+20 on Listen, Spot when trying to discern a single known sound or visible object w/i range, +1 on Sense Motive [+6 after 1 min. of study]), Persuade +19 (+4 on Diplomacy, Intimidate when recognized only as Superman [+5 on either after 1 min. of study]), Read/Write Arabic, Read/Write English, Read/Write Kryptonian, Read/Write Sign, Read/Write Spanish, Research +12, Sneak +10, Speak Arabic, Speak English, Speak Hindi, Speak Kryptonian, Speak Mandarin, Speak Russian, Speak Spanish, Survival +7, Treat Injury +8
          Note: Having been raised as human, Kal-El is unique in that he receives the standard skill points normally assigned a human, even though he is biologically kryptonian.
Talents (Strong Hero) Advanced Extreme Effort, Extreme Effort, Ignore Hardness, Improved Extreme Effort, Improved Ignore Hardness (4 points total)
Talents (Tough Hero) Robust, Second Wind (recovers 22 hp, 5/day), Stamina
Talents (Dedicated Hero) Empathy, Faith, Skill Emphasis (Gather Information)
Talents (Charismatic Hero) Coordinate, Greater Inspiration, Inspiration
          Note: As a member of the Justice League, Superman adds half his reputation bonus to his Charismatic level when determining the effects of the coordinate and inspiration talents. He is also considered to have the greater inspiration talent (even though the feat Charismatic Plus normally would not allow this). This membership perk is unique to Superman.
Starting Occupation (core) Investigative (Gather Information as permanent class skill, +1 on Sense Motive; Brawl)
Starting Occupation (house) Investigative (Gather Information as permanent class skill, +1 on Perceive; Brawl)
Possessions (carried weight 3 lb. or 13.5 lb. as Clark Kent) formfitting outfit and cape (3 lb.), business outfit (newsroom reporter’s attire w/eyeglasses & blazer worn as Clark Kent; 3 lb.), briefcase (w/writing utensils, paper, & notebook computer; 7 lb.), cassette recorder (0.5 lb.)
Wealth Bonus +13

Species Traits
          Under the effects of a red sun, like that of his home world of Krypton, Kal-El (the "Last Son of Krypton") experiences no change to his abilities nor any special powers beyond that of a normal human. His unique kryptonian biology, however, is such that if his cells are exposed to the radiation of a yellow sun he will passively absorb and store the solar energy in his cells which can then be used to generate a number of "super powers," as described below.
          Kryptonians spoke Kryptonian (though Kal-El was never exposed to his native tongue and had to learn it like any other foreign language).
          Solar energy absorption (Ex): This is Kal-El's primary species trait that in effect powers all his other capabilities. The species adjustments detailed below represent his powers at most times, without great change in the levels of solar energy stored within his cells. Life among humans has made him comfortable at these power levels, and constant or intense fluctuation in these levels could cause him harm. He can perform indefinitely at the power levels described below (except where noted). By making a DC 25 Concentration check, Kal-El can suppress any one of his powers to any lower level as a free action for 1 round.
          Option 1: There is no need to track Kal-El's exact number of solar energy levels except to note that he can also "supercharge" his cells by flying close to or directly into yellow stars (see below for limits and conditions on this).
          Option 2: Kal-El's total number of stored solar energy levels is equal to his Con score (44), and his default power levels for each super-power are given below (abbreviated "SEL" for solar energy levels). By succeeding at a DC 35 Concentration check he can move SEL from one power to another as a swift action (though only 1 or 2 SEL can be moved at a time). Regardless of any changes that are made, his power levels always return to the amounts listed below after resting. Kal-El can also "supercharge" his cells by flying unprotected through solar radiation (see below for limits and conditions on this).
          All of Kal-El's powers are extraordinary in nature unless otherwise noted.
          Ability Modifiers: He receives species bonuses of +40 to Strength and +30 to Constitution. [Str - 4 SEL; Con - 3 SEL]
          Size: Medium. As a medium-size creature, Kal-El has no special modifiers due to his size. (See “super-strength” below.)
          Movement/Speed: He gains the ability of flight with perfect maneuverability. Standard tactical speed while flying is 500 feet per round (that's a maximum of 400 squares at character scale/40 squares at chase scale, which is about 227 miles per hour, when moving at 4x speed). This speed can also be achieved while on the ground, though the terrain usually impedes this somewhat.
          However, upon spending an action point Kal-El can move at much greater speeds without taxing his stored solar energy levels too much—50x or even 100x that of the maximum above—though for progressively shortened periods of time (days or even hours). These speeds are useful for traversing great atmospheric distances in very little time, and for exiting Earth's atmosphere in the case of the latter. Moving at these incredible speeds is part of a full-round action. Furthermore, these speeds are usually reached only at high altitudes to reduce the damage that a sonic boom might cause.
          Optionally, Kal-El can pour his energy levels, usually reserved for reaching incredible bursts of speed, into a brief display of blindingly fast reflexes. Doing so adds a +10 competence bonus on his Reflex saves for 1 round. This requires deliberate effort on Kal-El's part, however, and cannot be done as a reaction or when he is caught flat-footed. Alternatively, he can use this incredible burst of speed to whirl himself into a frenzy, repulsing or suctioning objects and people away or toward him (his choice) as if under the wind affects of a tornado, or converting that energy into a drilling motion, temporarily gaining a burrow speed of 30 feet per round. Either use of this energy requires a full-round action.
          Kal-El can achieve his greatest speeds, in order to navigate interplanetary distances, when supercharged with solar energy (see below for more on this). Interstellar travel generally requires assistance (e.g. a spaceship or teleportation belt). [flight - 4 SEL; maneuverability - 3 SEL; Speed/reflexes - 4 SEL]
          Defense: He gains a deflection bonus equal to 5 + his Cha modifier. This bonus manifests as an invisible force field that sits a fraction of an inch off his skin, usually protecting his clothing as well. By making a DC 30 Concentration check as a full-round action, Kal-El can extend this field to include those around him out to a 10-ft. radius (plus 5 feet for every 5 points by which the check beats the DC). The nature of this particular bonus does not make Kal-El nor those he shields more difficult to touch, however. [2 SEL]
          Skills: He gains a +20 species bonus on Listen and Spot checks when trying to block out or discern a single known sound or visible object. He gains a +15 species bonus on Search checks when using microscopic vision to search a 5-foot space or smaller. [Listen/Spot - 2 SEL; Search - 1 SEL]
          Advanced Reasoning: Kal-El's mind works like a calculator. He can process information quickly, reading a novel like War and Peace in minutes, or balancing high-order math inequalities in seconds. Because he was raised and learned as a human would, however, the amount of information Kal-El is able to retain is roughly equivalent to a normal human with his Intelligence. [1 SEL]
          Fast Healing: Kal-El possesses the ability to heal very quickly from injury. This is largely dependent on the amount of solar energy Kal-El is receiving at the time of injury. Outside, during the day, he heals at 2 hit points per round. At night, during an eclipse, in thick fog, or similar conditions, he heals 1 hit point per round. Deep underground, in utter black, or somehow blocked away from all solar radiation, he temporarily loses his fast healing altogether. [2 SEL]
          Damage Reduction (Su): He benefits from DR 20/kryptonite or magic. [3 SEL]
          Heat vision: Kal-El can release stored solar energy from his eyes as an attack dealing up to 17d6 fire damage per day (as a ray attack, range increment 50 ft.; damage can be divided into smaller increments per blast; blasts can be narrowed to affect an area below even fine scale in size with a Concentration check [DC 15 + 5 per size category below medium), or used as a 50-ft cone (Ref DC 27 for half, save is Con-based). This attack is particularly draining on Kal-El's energy levels, limiting its use to a number of dice in damage equal to his Con modifier each day. [3 SEL]
          Resistances: He has acid/cold/fire resistance 20 and electricity/sonic resistance 10. [acid/cold/fire - 3 SEL; electricity/sonic - 1 SEL]
          Super-breath: By exhaling air gathered within his lungs Kal-El can generate pressure up to hurricane force winds (requires 3 rounds of concentrated effort), or produce cold enough as a breath weapon to freeze tiny or smaller objects after 1 round or inflict 2d6 cold damage per full-round of concentration (30-ft cone, Ref DC 27 for half, save is Con-based). [1 SEL]
          Super-health: Kal-El's robust physiology grants him immunity to most standard diseases/poisons, and allows him to hold his breath for hours instead of rounds. [1 SEL]
          Super-hearing: Kal-El can detect sounds at great distances as a move-action, which reduces the penalty on Listen check distance to –1 per 500 ft. [1 SEL]
          Super-strength: Kal-El's immense strength grants him the virtual size category of Gargantuan. While his space and reach remain changed, he receives a +12 bonus on grapple checks, can use improvised weapons of Huge/Gargantuan size (one-handed) or Colossal size (two-handed), inflicts 3d6 damage with his unarmed attacks, and can lift 8x his normal carrying capacity, but he incurs a –4 penalty on attack rolls/Defense. [2 SEL]
          Super-vision: Allows Kal-El to shift between vision modes as a free action. These include darkvision and infrared vision (both 120 ft.); microscopic vision; telescopic vision (which reduces the penalty on Spot check distance to -1 per 500 ft.); and the ability to use x-ray vision as a standard action (extends 60 ft., though lead appears opaque). [2 SEL]
          Super-voice: Allows Kal-El to mimic any sound he hears and project his voice out to 22 miles (distance is Str-based). [1 SEL]
          Note on power levels: Kal-El can supercharge his body (e.g. by flying through or near to a yellow star, though other methods may be possible) at which point his powers are virtually immeasurable. For instance, Kal-El has been known to move planets and at other times travel at near to the speed of light, both being measures of his upper limits in power.
          Option 1: By flying into a star Kal-El's body absorbs solar energy in excess of his normal levels. Kal-El must succeed at a one-time Fort save (DC 40) to negate any excess energy on that trip. Otherwise, he becomes supercharged effectively doubling the numerical values of his racial adjustments above.
          Option 2: Simply by leaving Earth's atmosphere Kal-El's body begins to absorb solar energy in excess of his normal levels. Kal-El must succeed at a DC 25 Fort save each minute (or fraction thereof) to negate any excess energy, or can make a one-time DC 40 Fort save to negate the absorption entire. Otherwise, he accumulates SEL at the rate of 1/round until he has reached twice his normal level (44+44=88). These extra SEL may be distributed however he sees fit which in turn increases the strength of any power proportionally. This slower rate of accumulation ensures that Kal-El will suffer no damage when supercharged, however his bodies metabolism consumes excess SEL at the rate of 1/minute as soon as he has begun. To remain supercharged longer, he must fly into a star. Doing so doubles his SEL immediately (all of which can still be distributed freely) and makes the supercharge last longer.
          This is very dangerous however, as Kal-El's cells begin to erupt immediately inflicting 3d10 damage to him (no save, and the damage cannot be reduced or healed until the supercharge has ended) and each hour afterward as well (at which times he must also make a DC 25 Fort save or lose the excess energy; failure also results in fatigue). Since it took years for Kal-El to develop the control needed to balance his powers at a normal state, he would only be able to perform a single task for any length of time at this increased power level (such as flying at near the speed of light, OR attempting to move a planet), not to mention that he would be a great danger to anyone around him, enemy or not (treat him as a severely radioactive material [refer below] at these times). Other than willingly failing the Fort save to prevent excess energy loss each hour after becoming supercharged, Kal-El may instead release the excess energy at any time by firing a full damage blast of heat vision.
          Weakness: Though harmful to all life, green kryptonite is especially dangerous for Superman. When exposed to green kryptonite, the radiation from it rapidly fills his cells and replaces the stored solar energy there. Superman immediately becomes exhausted when brought within 30 feet of exposed kryptonite.
          Option 1: That same round the kryptonite begins to act as a severely radioactive material toward him (see the Even More Modern web enhancement for more details), the effects of which occur each round thereafter (except he is permitted no save). This simultaneously strips Superman of his powers (1 power/2 points of Con lost in this way, starting with the power that has the highest LA, and then the next most, etc.) and will eventually kill him if left unchecked. Once safe, lost Con returns per minute instead of per day if he is exposed to direct sunlight.
          Option 2: That same round the kryptonite radiation will replace 1d10 SEL (starting with the power that has the most SEL, and then the next most, etc.) with no save. If the concentration of kryptonite is particularly strong or he is within 5 feet of it, the radiation replaces 2d10 SEL instead, or 3d10 if he comes into physical contact with raw kryptonite. This process continues each round until Superman is devoid of all his above listed powers (once safe, lost SEL returns after 10 rounds of direct sunlight). Afterward, treat kryptonite as a severely radioactive material (see the Even More Modern web enhancement) to determine what sort of radiation sickness Superman might contract.
          Kryptonite is a normal mildly radioactive material toward non-kryptonians.
          Challenger Rating: +12
          Advancement: By character class.
          Level Adjustment: +15

New Feat Awesome Blow
          Prerequisites: Str 25, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, size Large or larger
          Benefit: As a standard action, you may choose to subtract 4 from your melee attack roll and deliver an awesome blow. If you hit a corporeal creature smaller than yourself, the creature must succeed on a Reflex save (DC = damage dealt) or be knocked flying 10 feet in a direction of your choice and fall prone. You can only push the target in a straight line, and the target can’t move closer to you than the square it started in.
          Special: If Power Attack is also used on an awesome blow, the target is knocked flying an additional 10 feet for every penalty point assessed. If an obstacle prevents the completion of the target’s move, the target and the obstacle both take 1d6 damage for every 10 feet moved, and the target stops in the space adjacent to the obstacle (or in the obstacle’s space if it was destroyed).