What If ...?

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Ares
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Re: What If ...?

Post by Ares » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:36 am

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Davies
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Re: What If ...?

Post by Davies » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:11 pm

Davies wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:22 am
A brief summary: Superman hits harder and can take a punch better than Captain Marvel, and has various super-vision powers. Those are his only advantages.
Of course, it occurs to me now that Superman is also slightly better at keeping his secret identity a, you know, secret, but that's covered by his higher Deception bonus.

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Ares » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:39 pm

Davies wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:11 pm
Davies wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:22 am
A brief summary: Superman hits harder and can take a punch better than Captain Marvel, and has various super-vision powers. Those are his only advantages.
Of course, it occurs to me now that Superman is also slightly better at keeping his secret identity a, you know, secret, but that's covered by his higher Deception bonus.
It's kind of funny, really. Billy has the perfect secret identity since his alter ego looks nothing like him. Superman's primary disguise is a combination of glasses, posture and changes to his voice. Yet more people have discovered Billy's ID, either through him willingly sharing it or through accident. Makes you wonder if Billy isn't actually the more realistic of the pair. ;)

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Shock » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:22 pm

Superman has a more motivation to keep his identity secret. Billy, he probably wishes he could share it more

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Davies » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:58 pm

Of course, it also helps (or hinders?) that Billy has a very different relationship to Captain Marvel than Superman has to Clark Kent. The way that Billy and Cap talk about each other suggests that they are two different people who experience each other's life at second-hand. In contrast, Clark Kent is an identity that Superman has carefully constructed over the years, in accordance with his mother's expressed wish that he keep his nature hidden from the public, and something of a tribute to the two good people who took him in and gave him a home.

Anyway. Next up: Thor vs. Hercules.

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Re: What If ...?

Post by RainOnTheSun » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:11 am

You've got me curious, now, where do you see conventional weapons measuring up compared to these characters? About the same as the ranks in the core book?

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Davies » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:39 am

RainOnTheSun wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:11 am
You've got me curious, now, where do you see conventional weapons measuring up compared to these characters? About the same as the ranks in the core book?
Yes. I deliberately put Mario's fire-throwing ability one rank less than a blaster rifle, and Superman's Impervious rank was chosen so that a grenade (Damage 5) counted as a bursting shell. (It will probably only bruise him, but he will notice it.)

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Ares » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:03 am

The relationship between Billy and Captain Marvel has always been weird. They both clearly remember what the other does, they have both referred to the other as "I" on occasion, and Billy recounts Cap's exploits as if they were his own. Plus Mary, Freddy and Black Adam are all the same person in either form. Yet you get other times where you'd get silly things like Zeus being the one to throw the bolts that transform Billy to Cap, only Zeus' arm was hurt that day and the bolt would strike different people, transforming them into Captain Marvel, but with Cap's personality. Likewise, there was a story where Billy and Cap got each other Christmas presents.

As others have pointed out, a lot of Captain Marvel's Golden Age exploits were aimed at younger kids, and were fairly whimisical. Mary's stories were aimed at young girls, and Freddy's were more for teenagers. The Marvel Family team up issues were more like standard all-ages superhero fair that any of the previous group could enjoy. So the rules were a bit more fast and loose with Billy's book, and weren't very consistent.

Me personally, I'm one of the guys that is solidly in the Cap = Billy camp, with the personality differences being an act Billy puts on. He's still the same guy, he just knows to act appropriately as Cap given the power and responsibility he has. But I know especially in the Golden Age that it's an easy case to make that Cap and Billy are two different people. It's just weird that Billy is the only one that happens to.

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Ares » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:04 am

Also got to say that I like that take on Mario.

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Davies » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:15 am

Ares wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:03 am
Me personally, I'm one of the guys that is solidly in the Cap = Billy camp, with the personality differences being an act Billy puts on. He's still the same guy, he just knows to act appropriately as Cap given the power and responsibility he has. But I know especially in the Golden Age that it's an easy case to make that Cap and Billy are two different people. It's just weird that Billy is the only one that happens to.
Two main reasons I go the other way. First, one of the first Captain Marvel stories I ever read was in World's Finest Comics #255, where Billy gets hypnotized into thinking that Captain Marvel is out to get him. Now, you could say that the villainess in this story, Dreamdancer, also hypnotizes him into thinking that Cap is a separate person. Buuuut she didn't.

The other reason is that it makes Cap more like the Hulk than like Thor.
Ares wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:04 am
Also got to say that I like that take on Mario.
Thank you! The movie wasn't very great, but I liked its take on Mario and Luigi's brotherly relationship.

Additional Trivia: Interestingly, the WriteUps.Org page on the Lou Ferrigno Hulk gives him 9 APs of STR, exactly equivalent to Strength 9 in M&M.

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Davies » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:56 am

Image

Thor vs. Hercules

Thor -- PL 12

Abilities:
STR 10 | STA 9 | AGL 2 | DEX 3 | FGT 9 | INT 2 | AWE 3 | PRE 4

Powers:
Asgardian: Immunity 8 (aging, cold, disease, heat, poison, radiation, suffocation), Limited to half effect; Impervious Toughness 4 - 8 points
Gift of Kvasir: Comprehend Languages 3, Quirk (speaks in elevated language) - 5 points
Mjolnir, Hammer of Thunder: Easily Removable (-19 points)
* Command of the Weather: Array (20 points)
  • Lightning Bolts: Ranged Damage 9, Indirect 2 - 20 points
  • Weather Control: Environment 6 (1800 feet; 2 points of effect), Selective - 1 point
* Hammer Strike: Strength-based Damage 2; Ranged Damage 10 - 22 points
* Ride the Winds: Flight 9 (1000 MPH); Sustained Immunity 2 (suffocation), Limited to the other half effect; Movement 2 (space travel) - 23 points
* Spun as a Shield: Sustained Protection 6, Distracting - 6 points
* Worthiness: Feature (only an individual with STR 4 or better who satisfies the hammer's definition of courage can lift it) - 1 point

Advantages:
All-Out Attack, Connected, Improved Critical (Mjolnir), Move-by Action, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 3.

Skills:
Athletics 3 (+13), Close Combat: Mjolnir 3 (+12), Expertise: Asgard 6 (+8), Expertise: Medicine 6 (+8), Insight 8 (+11), Intimidation 8 (+12), Perception 6 (+9), Persuasion 6 (+10), Ranged Combat: Thrown Mjolnir 6 (+12), Treatment 8 (+10).

Offense:
Initiative +2
Unarmed +9 (Close Damage 10)
Mjolnir Strike +12 (Close Damage 12, Crit 19-20)
Thrown Mjolnir +12 (Ranged Damage 10, Crit 19-20)
Lightning Bolt +6 (Ranged Damage 9)

Defense:
Dodge 7, Parry 9, Fortitude 11, Toughness 15/9, Will 7.

Totals:
Abilities 84 + Powers 56 + Advantages 8 + Skills 30 + Defense 11 = 189 points

Complications:
Responsibility--Motivation. Accidental Change. Duty (Asgard). Nemesis (Loki).

Note: Donald Blake is a Bystander with INT 2 and Thor's Expertise, Insight, Persuasion and Treatment skills; he also has an additional Complication of Walks With a Cane. Thor's Belt of Strength is not mentioned, as it has never been removed involuntarily to my knowledge, and so doesn't count as a Removable Power. If he removes it voluntarily, reduce his Strength to 9.

Hercules -- PL 12
"Hero of song and storyyy..."

Abilities:
STR 11 | STA 10 | AGL 1 | DEX 5 | FGT 11 | INT 1 | AWE 2 | PRE 3

Powers:
Olympian: Immortality 5 (one day); Immunity 3 (aging, disease, poison); Immunity 2 (suffocation), Limited to half-effect; Impervious Toughness 6 - 20 points

Advantages:
Accurate Attack, Attractive, Chokehold, Defensive Attack, Great Endurance, Improved Defense, Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Improved Initiative, Improvised Weapon, Instant Up, Languages 3 (English, Various forms of Greek, Italian, Latin, others), Power Attack, Ranged Attack 5, Ultimate Effort (Athletics checks), Weapon Break.

Skills:
Athletics 5 (+16), Close Combat: Unarmed 2 (+13), Deception 6 (+9), Expertise: Performance 6 (+9), Intimidation 8 (+11), Perception 5 (+7), Persuasion 6 (+9), Stealth 4 (+5).

Offense:
Initiative +5
Unarmed +13 (Close Damage 11)

Defense:
Dodge 9, Parry 13, Fortitude 13, Toughness 10, Will 7.

Totals:
Abilities 104 + Powers 20 + Advantages 22 + Skills 21 + Defenses 18 = 185 points

Complications:
Thrills--Motivation. Family/Nemesis (Olympians). Temper.

Note: The incarnation of Hercules employed by Ilyasviel von Einzbern as a servant is pretty much identical to this, but his Immortality is rank 16, he can take Spirit Form (Linked Concealment 10 and Insubstantial 4), he has an Axe-Sword (Strength-based Damage 3, Inaccurate) as a weapon and a Communication Link with Ilya, and Doesn't Speak and Protection--Motivation as Complications.

Conclusion: Thor has a much more diverse and useful power set, and it's not surprising that he's been a long-lasting superhero. But Hercules definitely deserves the title of Prince of Power.

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Davies » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:24 am

Ares wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:02 am
You are indeed being "That Guy". Then again, this was at least partially motivated by Cap being placed below Superman, so I'm being "That Guy" too.
Just a note about RainOnTheSun being "That Guy" -- the look of those weights seem to be based on the test weights used for cranes, of which these are a miniature example. And those are indeed 50 tons for the entire stack. These days, it's more common to use huge bags full of water for such tests, apparently.

This has the educational part of our show.

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Re: What If ...?

Post by Davies » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:12 am

It belatedly occurred to me that if I described one, I should probably describe the other. So ...

Bowser -- PL9

Image

Abilities:
STR 9 | STA 8 | AGL 0 | DEX 4 | FGT 5 | INT 1 | AWE 3 | PRE 2

Powers:
Firey Breath: Ranged Damage 9, Extended Range 3 - 21 points
Keen Vision: Senses 2 (extended vision, low-light vision) - 2 points
Large Size: Permanent Growth 3 (STR +3, STA +3, -2 Dodge, -2 Parry, +1 Intimidation, -3 Stealth) Innate - 7 points
Monstrous Toughness: Immunity 10 (life support); Impervious Toughness 8, Limited to attacks from the rear - 14 points

Advantages:
Defensive Attack, Diehard, Evasion, Improved Aim, Improved Initiative, Languages 2 (Koopa, Mushroom, others), Move-by Action, Startle.

Skills:
Athletics 4 (+13), Expertise: Tyranny 6 (+7), Intimidation 5 (+8), Perception 4 (+7), Ranged Combat: Firey Breath 5 (+9).

Offense:
Initiative +4
Unarmed +5 (Close Damage 9)
Firey Breath +9 (Ranged Damage 9)

Defense:
Dodge 5, Parry 6, Fortitude 11, Toughness 8, Will 7.

Totals:
Abilities 50 + Powers 44 + Advantages 9 + Skills 12 + Defenses 17 = 132 points

Complications:
Power--Motivation. Family (kids). Obsession (kidnapping Peach).

The exact history of the rise to power of the Great Demon King Koopa ('Bowser' is a nickname bestowed on him by Mario) is shrouded in mystery, but the most likely account suggests that he took the throne (and royal name) by force from someone who had previously done the exact same thing to someone else ... and so on back into the mists of history. He may or may not be the first Great Demon King Koopa to have invaded the Mushroom Kingdom, but his chosen method of doing so seems to have been unique.

He is also the first to face opponents from Earth. Somehow, two idiot plumbers managed to make their way past all his minions and traps to confront him, variously sneaking past him and cutting the cables on the bridge where he stood, or flinging fireballs at him until he slipped off the bridge, with the inevitable result that he plunged into the molten lava below. While that hurt him, certainly, it was never enough to kill him, but by the time that he hauled himself out of the lava, the plumbers had discovered that the princess was in another castle, and been sent through a warp zone to start making their way to that very castle. King Koopa often found himself hurrying on a different path to the castle in question, sometimes barely arriving in time to start up the defenses.

Eventually, the plumbers actually managed to rescue the real princess, and faced with the ruination of his schemes, King Koopa fled, hearing the sound of the nickname he'd been given sounding behind him. It infuriated him, but he was confident that he would come up with some plan to reverse his fortunes. But when he actually embarked on such schemes, the plumbers were still around to fight back, and worse, they started bringing more of their monkey friends with them! All right then. Two could play that game. Bowser started to look for allies of his own, allies who had faced off with Earthling opponents in the past.

This ... has not gone well. Oh, he's found the allies he was looking for, all right, and quite powerful ones at that. But some of these people really disturb him, particularly the gaunt man who's organized this current alliance. Bowser wants to rule the Mushroom Kingdom, and probably exploit it for his own benefit, but draining the life force of that world, or any world, is a bit more 'evil' than what he had in mind. Whether he's going to listen to such qualms or deafen himself to them remains to be seen, but he represents a weak link in the Iron Ring.

Bowser's one real weakness is his concern for his adopted children. They might drive him crazy from time to time, but nobody gets to 'discipline' them but him, and he'd fight like crazy against anyone who seriously hurt any of them. He also can't really help himself from trying to kidnap Princess Peach, though he also never tries to harm her in the process, and once smashed an adviser who suggested that he threaten the Princess in order to force the surrender of the Marios. It's not really clear why he does this, now that it's clear that the Mushrooms will not automatically bow down to him if he holds their ruler captive, but he keeps doing it all the same. Who can really say what motivates such a creature?

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