I’m bringing metal down on the Connors, Villains & Vigilantes style! (using the 1982 revised edition of the game).
Over on RPG.net, Jonah challenged us to stat up the Terminator using our choice of non-generic RPGs. My first run into the arena is with my favourite old-school supers RPG – Villains & Vigilantes. V&V was a hot game because it felt like D&D stat-wise (3-18 stats, most of the D&D ability scores present) and the art was done by Jeff Dee who has work throughout the Moldvay edition of the game as well as a bunch of the modules. (Dee also co-wrote the RPG itself). It is hampered by the random superpower tables, which can make uber characters, uber wimps, and uber-confused people who have a half-dozen completely unrelated powers.
But enough about Villains & Vigilantes, lets stat up the villain himself, the T-100.
A normal character rolls 3d6 for stats in V&V, but I’ll fudge this with a high Strength & Endurance, good Agility, and lowish Intelligence & Charisma. (16, 16, 14, 10, 8.)
A character gets d6+2 powers, and one is lost when you roll for your weakness, so a maximum of 7 powers.
For powers we obviously start with the Android Body power (only available on the device power listing). He receives a bonus of 2d10 Endurance points and a Body Power. When dealt damage in combat, the number of points of damage taken is the percentage chance that a system or mechanism will be damaged or malfunction (instead of rolling for unconsciousness like for normal characters). We’ll make the classic T-100 95% humanlike (so you can spot it in a crowd if you know exactly what you are looking for), with a self repair rating of 80% (so 20% of damage taken is beyond its ability to repair without outside help at $1,000 of equipment & materials per point of damage repaired). The Endurance boost is 15 points (bringing him up to 31 Endurance).
The free Body Power that comes with the Android Body will be the enhanced optic systems. This provides +2 on attack rolls and the ability to see using thermographic and infrared visual ranges.
We represent his superior hardware throughout the rest of his body with the Bionics power which provies upgrades to d6 systems. His leg upgrades provide a bonus to his Movement Rate of +50″, his enhanced arms & musculature provide +10 Strength, his computerized brain grants +5 Intelligence, and his voice box allows him to imitate voices.
His combat software is represented by the Enhanced Expertise power granting a +4 bonus with all weapons.
To represent his massive damage absorbtion I’m bouncing between armor and invulnerability. In the end I go with invulnerability so concentrated fire is more effective than just tapping him again and again and again to wither away his armor. A nice solid 25 points of invulnerability will make him mostly bullet proof.
He can still have up to 3 more powers. I’ll grab Heightened Strength B and Heightened Endurance B to finish it off (with a +16 to each stat – average rolls assumed).
For his weakness I’m going with Reduced Charisma. With his low Charisma, even the other villains don’t like him, which suits because after all, he is a killing machine programmed and sent by something probably far more dangerous than the other villains in question.
For his Training, I go with Intelligence. I figure he’ll focus on Intelligence and Charisma training if he levels up, learning more about his opponents and how to interact in a human fashion.
Identity: Terminator T-100
Android Body – 95% humanlike. 80% repair capacity. +15 Endurance.
Body Power – Enhanced Optics – +2 to hit, thermographic & infrared vision
Bionics – Legs (+50″ movement), Arms (+10 Strength), Brain (+5 Intelligence), Voice Box (voice mimicry)
Enhanced Expertise – +4 to hit with all weapons & attacks
Invulnerability – 25 points of damage ignored / turn
Heightened Strength B – +16 Strength
Heightened Endurance B – +16 Endurance
Reduced Charisma – -7 Charisma
Weight: 250 lbs
Basic Hits: 5
Damage Mod: +2
Healing Rate: 7 hp / day
Hit Mod: 3.2 x 5.8 x 1.2 x 1.3 = 28.9536
Hit Points: 145
Carrying Capacity: 9848.5 lbs
Basic HTH Damage: 2d10
Movement Rate (ground): 153″
Detect Hidden: 10%
Detect Danger: 14%
How does Villains and Vigilantes hold up by modern gaming standards? Do you think it’s still playable? I used to have so much fun playing it. Last year I bought the game as well as a few supplements. In an issue of of my fanzine I asserted that Super-Crooks and Criminals was one of my favorite supplements of all time for any system.
I actually picked up TWO copies in the last two weeks. Got one in the boxed set with the GM screen, two modules and three adversary books (including Super-Crooks & Criminals). Then the other day at the thrift shop I came across a mint copy of the core book for $1.99.
It still PLAYS fine. But the character generation balance is way out of whack. If you have no enhanced ability scores, you will be rendered out of action with a single attack, maybe two. Meanwhile the character with enhanced abilities can have ten or even a hundred times your hit points.
And of course there are some power combos that are brutal together.
In the end, I recommend a few house rules for chargen. (A set number of “choice” powers so every character has a chance, for instance, and powering up or powering down powers based on the number of powers a character has).
The modules are some of the best ever written for any supers RPG. Worth buying even if you don’t own the core rules.
Nothing clean right.