Friday, December 20, 2013

Power Rings!

Futurist's Guide to Gadgets!
Volume 2!



In the comics, the original Green Lantern Alan Scott, created by Martin Nodell and Bill Finger in 1940, used a mystical ring to become Green Lantern. Later, in the Post Crisis era, the ring was shown to be completely distinct from the Oan Green Lanterns. That ring works in the default way described below except that it is ineffective against wood, not the color yellow.
In the 90’s it became the Starheart and at one point was integrated into Scott as an inherent power. In this case, Scott should have all of the powers of the ring and the BODY of the ring. Some time after that, it was revealed that the power ring Scott uses is a primitive Oan design. In this case, Scott should have the normal Oan GL ring described later on this blog. This is likely the case with Scott as he appears in Kingdom Come as well.

The use of the silver age Green Lantern’s power ring is highly inconsistent, with different authors treating it in different ways. It is up to the GM how the ring works in his game, or even if it works only a single way or operates differently for each wearer.

John Broome created the rings to work as pure extensions of the wearer’s will. As long as the wearer’s will is unshaken- and it is never shaken- the ring will create any construct he wishes. In this case the ring’s APs of Force Manipulation and Omni Power act as AV and EV of any attack powers. The only flaw with this ring is that it cannot affect the color yellow. This is the default method of operation for the ring, and the simplest. The Qwardian ring and the Star Sapphire Gem, described above, have no weakness, but are generally less powerful that the Oan ring.

More modern authors have shown that sonic attacks can break the attention of the ring wearer. Treat this as any sonic-based attack that causes RAPs of damage will cancel the effects of the ring, whether or not that damage is erased using Hero Points or through ther healing methods. The power can be reestablished the next phase.



Later authors, most notably Grant Morrison in JLA and Ron Marz in Green Lantern, treat the ring as being powered by willpower and confidence but being an extension of the wearer’s imagination- the wearer in this case being Kyle Rayner. In this case, the ring has no flaw with the color yellow, but it does suffer if the user is attacked by sonics, experiences fear, loses concentration, or suffers a blow to his confidence. Any psychological condition or psycho-affecting power that causes the wearer fear will also cause the wearer’s ring to suffer a Catastrophic Power Burnout on all powers. This includes powers like Phobia or Broadcast Empathy, as well as Irrational Fears or even more personal traumas like losing a loved one or failing in a critical situation. In addition, Rayner’s ability to use the ring was based off of his imagination more than his willpower. Thus, most powers used by the ring’s Force Manipulation or Omni-Power have the NO AV limitation and use Rayner’s AURA as AV.


Geoff Johns, the man responsible for reinventing Green Lantern in modern comics, treats the rings as weapons that require skilled use to use effectively. The ring is powered by the wearer’s willpower and made powerful by his skill at focusing it. In this case, the ring’s offensive abilities are controlled by the use of the Weaponry (Exotic Weapons) subskill. Any attack powers used by the ring’s Force Manipulation or Omni-Power have the NO AV limitation and use the wearer’s APs of skill as AV. The ring still has no flaw with the color yellow, but it does still suffer if the user experiences sonic attacks, fear, loses concentration, or suffers a blow to his confidence. Any psychological condition or psycho-affecting power that causes the wearer fear will also cause the wearer’s ring to suffer a Catastrophic Power Burnout on all powers. This includes powers like Phobia or Broadcast Empathy, as well as Irrational Fears or even more personal traumas like losing a loved one or failing in a critical situation.


Since then, rings of different colors, each corresponding to a different emotion, have been introduced (further complicating everything). These rings are virtually identical to the Oan ring described above, but each has an emotion that powers it: Red = Rage; Orange = Avarice; Yellow = Fear; Green = Willpower; Blue = Hope; Indigo = Compassion; Violet = Love; and Black = Death and Emotional Emptiness. The Yellow power ring replaces the Qwardian ring and the Violet power ring replaces the Star Sapphire Gem. All of these rings use the Weaponry (Exotic Weapons) skill as AV. All of them suffer a Catastrophic Power Burnout in the face of a loss of concentration or confidence. The emotion to which they are attached allows for CS bonuses and penalties to OV. When in a situation that would directly reinforce the associated emotion, the ring wearer should receive a -1 CS bonus to OV. However, when in a situation that directly opposes the associated emotion, the ring wearer suffers a +1 CS penalty to OV.



4 comments:

  1. Wow...they really went out of their way to make Green Lantern dull with every color of the rainbow having a ring, etc.

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  2. I could not agree more. I loathe the Rainbow Rings thing. That's why I gave it some hand waving-- I felt that was all it really deserved. I love the Silver Age's Guardian Green vs Weaponeer Yellow and I still think it is the best.

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  3. I love the rainbow rings but I understand they are not for everyone.

    The good news is they barely show now.

    Indigo is only usable by those without compassion and the Indigo Lanterns are basically wandering monks who we readers do not see.

    Larfleeze is the only Orange Lantern.

    No more Blue Lanterns last time I checked. A shame since they were my favorite.

    Only one White Lantern and no Black Lanterns that I know of.

    Leaves us with only Red, Yellow, Green and Violet. That's not too bad.

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    1. That's cool. I stopped reading a few years back. When I stopped, the rainbow rings were so prevalent that it was incomprehensible to readers, like myself, who were unfamiliar with it all. I still prefer the classic Oa vs Qward set up, but I do have to admit that the red rings were very cool in the cartoon.

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