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Character Attributes

First, I call them Characteristics, attributes, stats and statistics interchangeably. So there.
     When based on the player, by all means use the original estimation rules. When not, roll 3d6 six times for a normal person, or 4d6 six times for an exceptional natural person. It depends on the game.
     There have been a lot of changes on the secondary attributes, but not on the definitions of the primaries in most cases. The definitions of Strength, Agility, Endurance and Intelligence are unchanged.

This was once Charisma. Presence is an indicator of the character's mental and spiritual strength, not just their amiability. The higher the character's Presence, the more effective they are in personal interaction - they are more charming, more persuasive, more intimidating. It no longer has anything to do with their reputation, or how well they are perceived as being Good or Evil.

Very much needed by the old system, Willpower is a measure of the character's mental and spiritual stamina. Characters with a high willpower are calm, difficult to frighten or manipulate, and are able to rein in their passions rather than making decisions based solely on emotion. In many cases Willpower replaces Intelligence as resistance to psionic assault of control.

Human Attribute Cap:
If you want to play a character who is purely human, you cannot have an attribute higher than 24. Anything past that point and you're no longer considered human, you can be detected as superhuman by people and devices with that capacity, etc. If you decide that you want to play purely human character, or that you many have powers but your attributes are the result of purely training, then any points rolled over 24 from any Heightened Attribute powers can be shifted to another attribute at no penalty.
     For Example, Promethean rolls a +14 on his Heightened Endurance, raising it to a 26. Since Dave wanted Promethean's endurance to be just part of his extreme training, he drops the Endurance to a 24, and places the other 2 points into Promethean's Presence score.

Secondary Characteristics
Second, here are the new charts and stuff. Yes, this is really different in some ways.

Secondary Characteristics
Score Bonus Str. HP End. HP End Heal Wil HP Description
0-3 -6 .5 E.2 .1 x BH .8 Waaaay below average
4-7 -2 .75 .6 .15 x BH .9 Below average
8-11 0 1 1 .25 x BH 1 Average
12-15 +1 1.25 1.5 .3 x BH 1.1 Above average
16-19 +2 1.5 2 .4 x BH 1.2 Well above average
20-23 +3 1.75 2.5 .5 x BH 1.3 Extremely above average
24-27 +4 2 3 .6 x BH 1.5 Absolute human max/borderline variant
28-31 +5 2.25 3.5 .8 x BH 1.7 Clearly variant
32-35 +6 2.5 4 1 x BH 1.9 High variant
36-39 +7 2.75 4.5 1.2 x BH 2.1 Extremely high variance
40-43 +8 3 5 1.4 x BH 2.3 Theoretical maximum
44-47 +9 3.25 5.5 1.4 x BH 2.5 Are you still human?
48-50 +10 3.5 6 1.8 x BH 2.7 No, really. We want to know.
51+ +12 4 7 2 x BH 3 OK, forget it.

OK, see the column called bonus? This determines the amount of bonus applied to Career and Hobby roll that would most logically make use of this attribute. For example, someone with the Martial Artist Broad Career trying to move quietly would add her Agility Bonus. When she tries to identify her opponent's combat style, she adds her intelligence bonus, when using meditation to try and check for psychic or spiritual corruption it would be her willpower bonus. Since Careers and Hobbies (which we'll get to later) cane be quite broad, having them linked to particular attributes seemed counter productive. Thus characters have modifiers for all six attributes, which the GM can apply to the die rolls as appropriate to the situation.

Physical Accuracy
Your Agility bonus applies as a modifier on all attacks that are aimed physically, be they punches or energy blasts

Mental Accuracy
Your Presence Bonus is applied as an accuracy modifier on all mental attacks, from telepathic contact to mind control.

Damage Modifier
Your Intelligence bonus is applied to all damages rolled, be they physical or mental. This indicates your ability to discern and take advantage of an opponent's weak spots, and to react quickly to changes in the field of battle.

Reaction Modifier
Not that I've gotten around to having a reaction table, but your Presence bonus is applied as a modifier on all reaction rolls with Non-Player Characters, and should be informed to Player Characters so that they can adjust their reactions accordingly.

As you may have guessed from the removal of Agility from HP, Agility plays a very different role in Variants combat than it does in standard V&V. Your Agility bonus is applied as a constant defensive modifier (i.e., reduction of your opponent's chance to hit) when you are in combat. This is somewhat like an Everyman's Heightened Defense, and follows the same rules as that power—the character must be aware of the incoming attack and must have room to dodge. Evasion won't aid you if you are chained down or backed into a corner. People with Heightened Defense increase their Evasion score by 4 points against appropriate attacks.

Healing Rate
Your healing rate is still determined by multiplying your healing rate score from your endurance by your basic hits. In brief, you heal fatigue at your healing rate per 5 minutes of rest, Hit Points per hour of rest and Wound Points per week of rest. I know this is much faster than before, but I find that preferable to the slow healing of 2nd edition. Healing Rate is discussed under Combat.

Detection Rolls
Detection rolls are now made directly against your intelligence score, with the difficulty of the save determining the dice used (see Dice and Systems). The detection difficulty is highly situational, based on the situation and the opposition. Rather than having triple detection percentage, characters with heightened senses subtract dice levels from the difficulty, so that people with double normal hearing make hearing checks at one dice code lower, triple hearing makes them at two dice codes lower, etc. ("Danger Sense" is treated as if it were any other sense, with two exceptions—it is never reduced by situational circumstances, and it is good only for detecting danger. Trading one for the other...)

Hit Points
Hit Points are determined in the same fashion as before, just with different numbers. HP are calculated by your Strength, Endurance and Willpower. Intelligence and Agility have no effect. See FP, HP and WP for more information.

Fatigue Points
Fatigue Points replace power score. They are the average of your Strength and Endurance scores and are used less frequently than Power was—on average, power cost divided by 5, round down, determines Fatigue cost. See FP, HP and WP.

Wound Points, Wound Threshold
Wound points indicate serious body trauma—any attack that causes you more HP than your wound threshold causes wound points as well, one per point above he threshold. Your both your wound points and wound threshold are equal to your Endurance. See FP, HP and WP for more information.

Movement Rates
Your ground movement rate for a run is 1/2 your Endurance in MPH - a run is assumed to be combat movement, with an eye towards stamina. You can opt to sprint, which doubles your running movement, but applies one fatigue point per turn of sprinting. In order to sprint, you must make a d20 save vs. the appropriate Career/Hobby/Control, with the bonus from either your Endurance or Willpower. Failure indicates loss of breath and inability to sprint for another minute. Sprinting can be applied to other forms of movement, with the same results and penalties.

Carrying Capacity
The Carrying Capacity Chart follows. Basic hits/weight beyond 20/1000 lb. isn't helpful anymore, because it's just overkill. As you can see, the carrying capacity chart now has two columns - one for your lift, and one for your max press. The lift is how much you can lift and still move a little (one half lift is carry, run, jump, dance, whatever). Max press requires an extreme effort of will, costing 4 fatigue and requiring a d40 roll vs. Willpower to use. Your usual HTH damage is based on your Lift, but you can use the full strength with Willpower roll and 4 pts fatigue, with corresponding increases in basic HTH.
     It's possible to double your Max Press, but that's a large risk—it requires a d120 check against your Willpower and whether successful or not, cost 1d12 +4 Fatigue, 1d12 HP, and 1Wound Point to perform. This level cannot be used for HTH combat, and represents the ultimate in last ditch maneuvers.
     Strength based characters will often taken power facets that let them make these rolls vs. their Strength score rather than their Willpower, and the GM needs to keep in mind that this makes them potentially very, very strong. I realize that my "Very, very strong" is fairly weak in some comic universes (it's downright wimpy in DC, and middling low for Marvel) but this is a conscious decision for game balance on my part. How strong do you need to be?

Carrying Capacity Chart - will open in new window (it was too big for the page format)

Basic HTH Damage Chart
Basic HTH Damage
Effective Weight Damage
1-25 1
26-55 D2
56-100 D3
101-180 D4
181-300 D6
301-600 D8
601-1200 D10
1201-2500 D12
2501-4000 D8+D6
4001-6000 2D8
6001-10,000 3D6
10,001-14,000 2D10
14,001-18,000 D10+D12
18,001-22,000 2D12
22,001-28,000 3D10
28,001-34,000 3D12
34,001-40,000 4D10
40,000+ 4D12

Before you think that the chart seems to low for damage, especially in comparison to energy blast damages, remember that strength also counts into your movement and hit points, that you can push your carrying capacity into the maximum lift range for an attack, and that weapon damage—actual weapons to casually-hefted Volvos—adds to the damage as well.
     Yes, it has odd dice combinations in it (d12+d10, d8+d6) and no, I'm no happier with that than I am with half-power facets, but they make the curve move with the proper scale, at 2 pt. per rank. Even if you just take this as base and don't compare it with the energy blast charts, the damage at higher levels is pretty piddly as far as the force involved is concerned, but it's still better than the pathetic force/damage ratios of other superhero games.

Inventing Percentage/Inventing Points
Gone. Now, when characters try and invent things, have them make Career/Hobby checks. There are no more inventing points per se, because they always struck me as an artificial contrivance for characters who routinely build gadgets to help them. If you want to play such a character, take some solid scientific/technical careers, or have a power that gives you a gadget pool or suchlike. Making permanent modifications to devices is handled as Power Facets, but the mechanics are somewhat different than for those with biological powers (see the page on Devices for more information).

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Copyright © 1998 Brian Rogers