Monday, February 17, 2014

NEW ADVANTAGES! SORTA!

Today I am putting up the advantages from the World at War Sourcebook by Ray Winninger. The sourcebook can be found on Amazon brand new for $12. I highly recommend it. The art in it is completely lame (it barely has any art in it at all), but the info stuffed on the pages in fantastic. It offers a very cool history of World War II and the Golden Age, DC Comics style. It even has stats for Hitler and Roosevelt!

I have edited these advantages to fit in campaigns outside of the Golden Age. I present them here for use by people who do not have the World at War and can't get it for whatever reason. 

Connections [Cost: Variable]
Allied Armed Forces [Cost: Low 8, High 12]
           This Connection functions exactly like a Connection with the U.S. military except that the Connected character has access to a military leader or soldier serving with the forces of a nation allied with the US. In WWII this would be British, Chinese, Free French, or Soviet military forces. In modern times, it could be almost any nation involved with NATO or the UN.
           All Golden Age characters who maintain any sort of Connection in the Soviet government or Soviet armed forces following WWII are automatically suspected to be communist sympathizers and often may find themselves targets of alphabet soup (FBI, NSA, CIA, etc) surveillance. Any character who purchases such a Connection must triple the cost of any Connection with the U.S. government or the U.S. armed forces. Such characters are treated as though they have a minor version of the Mistrust Drawback.




All-Star Squadron (Golden Age Only) [Cost: Low Special, High 25]
           All Golden Age home front characters who do not purchase the Independence Advantage automatically receive a free Low-Level Connection with the All-Star Squadron, entitling them to access the All-Star equipment and information. By spending 25 Hero Points, a character may raise this Connection to high level, indicating that he or she is personally Connected with Liberty Belle or one of the other principal Squadron members. At the GM’s discretion, high-level connections with the Squadron can be used to call for assistance or backup from non-player Squadron members. See Independence for more information.
           All-Star Squadron members have access to special information and equipment, but they are also subject to orders issued by Squadron leaders.



Alphabet Soup [Cost: Low 12, High 18]
           The Alphabet Soup is a nick name given to the various collective of government agencies dedicated to policing and spying on America and its enemies. It includes the CIA (or OSS in WWII), FBI, NSA, ATF, DEA, Secret Service, and others. A High-Level Connection in an Alphabet Soup organization is a director or an important operative. A Low-Level Connection is a clerk or a secretary. Connections at all levels within the intelligence branches of the Alphabet Soup have access to military information and intelligence concerning the secret activities of enemies powers abroad, although the most sensitive information is available only at the high level.
           Connections with law enforcement branches of the Alphabet Soup are treated exactly like intelligence connections, except that legal operatives have access to information concerning enemy activities within the United States. They also have access to information about organized crime and criminal syndicates.
           Comics also have their own Alphabet Soup organizations that can be included in this connection, such as Checkmate, DEO, SCU, SHIELD, GI Joe, etc.



Enemy or Axis Armed Forces [Cost: Low 15, High 25]
           In the WWII of the comics, the Axis powers are almost always depicted as unified militaristic evil powers. Disloyal Axis agents are almost totally nonexistent. For this reason, heroes with an enemy armed forces Connection are extremely rare, hence the Connection’s high cost.
           Characters with this Connection must specify whether they are connected with the German, Italian, or Japanese armed forces at the moment of the purchase. Otherwise, the connection functions exactly like the U.S. armed forces connection already described.
           Modern characters with Russian, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, or Middle Eastern connections will be viewed with suspicion and often may find themselves targets of alphabet soup (FBI, NSA, CIA, etc) surveillance. Any character who purchases such a Connection must triple the cost of any Connection with the U.S. government or the U.S. armed forces. Such characters are treated as though they have a minor version of the Mistrust Drawback.



Hero Team [Cost: Low 10, High 15]
           A character with a Connection to a hero team is friendly with a member, whether the Connection is high or low is an indication of just how friendly. Under all but the most unusual circumstances, a Connection with the team can only be used to gain access to the team’s crime files or to borrow its equipment. Even a High-Level Connection can almost never be used to call on a team’s members to take an active role in an adventure unless the character with the connection is an active member.


U.S. Armed Forces [Cost: Low 8, High 12]
           In campaigns set during America’s involvement in WWII, all characters with this advantage should specify whether their connection is with the Home Front armed forces, the European Theater armed forces, or the Pacific Theater armed forces. Home Front armed forces direct the official resistance to the Axis sabotage campaigns in the United States, oversee efforts to send American supplies to Allied forces abroad, and control and coordinate activity in military bases located in America. European Theater and Pacific Theater armed forces oversee the operations of American troops, aircraft, and warships in their respective regions.
           The Advantage must be purchased more than once if the player wishes his character to have Connections in more than one of these areas.
           In modern campaigns, the character should specify which branch of the military to which he is connected: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard. Or, if the GM prefers, whether he is connected with the active forces, such as in Vietnam or Afghanistan, domestic forces stationed in the US, or embassy forces stationed in non-war zones over seas.
           A high-level Connection with the armed forces is always a high-ranking military leader. Such characters have access to broad strategic and top secret information affecting units stationed in their regions and have the authority to lend equipment and personnel to the Connected character.
          
A low-level Connection with the armed forces can be any officer or enlisted soldier below the rank of General or Admiral. Such characters have access to information affecting only a tiny segment of their region. A low-level home front Connection, for instance, might be able to pass on information concerning the anti-sabotage campaign in New York City, while a high-level Connection could pass on information about anti-sabotage activities taking place anywhere in the United States. Low-level Connections rarely have the authority to lend the Connected character equipment or assistance and rarely have access to any information that is considered a closely-guarded secret, such as information about experimental weaponry, the date of the forthcoming Normandy landing, and so on.
           Armed forces Connections never have any information concerning activities that take place outside of their areas.
Because of the geographical limits in which superpowered heroes may operate, most of these characters would be better off purchasing armed forces Connections on the home front or with domestic forces. Connections with personnel involved in active combat are best left to war front characters.


U.S. Government [Cost: Low 10, High 15]
           A High-Level Connection with the U.S. Government is usually a Congressman, Senator, or a Cabinet official. Such characters are aware of everything happening in the government and sometimes have access to important military activities as well (especially information concerning domestic military activities).
           Low-Level Government Connections typically represent under-secretaries, staff members, and pages. These people have some idea regarding government activity and occasionally glean a military secret or two, but usually have access to very little important information.




War Correspondent [Cost: Low 10, High 20]
           During the war, some journalists and media personalities are allowed to accompany military forces into battle in order to cover their activities for the folks at home. These war correspondents frequently gained access to important military information concerning the activities of the press. In essence, the war correspondent functions as both a Press Connection and Low-Level Armed Forces Connection simultaneously. Anyone who wishes to be Connected to a war correspondent must purchase a High-Level Connection at a cost of 20 Hero Points.





The White House [Cost: Low 12, High 20]
           A character with a High-level White House Connection is a personal confidant of the President. Such a character is in a position to ask favors of the President and is usually privy to all but the most closely guarded secrets. A player may not purchase a High-level White House Connection for his hero without explaining in his background how the character acquired the connection.
           In modern times, a personal connection to the President automatically results in a massive amount of media attention, almost always negative. Treat this as a mandatory Media Bias drawback for which the character receives no HP bonus.
           A Low-Level White House Connection is typically a secretary or staff member. Such a character can provide information regarding the President’s whereabouts and activities, but rarely has access to important secrets.



Free Access [Cost: Low 10, Military 15]
               Characters with this Advantage have either a press pass, police identification, bounty hunter’s license, private investigator’s license, or other credentials that allow them to gain entry into areas that have been restricted by the civil authorities (well, at least in comics). Normally, restricted areas include crime scenes, areas where VIPs are present, and operational facilities within police headquarters.
               If a character purchasing Free Access pays 15 Hero Points instead of 10, he gains all of the above privileges, plus government credentials allowing him access to military installations and top secret government facilities. Characters with the rank of Lieutenant/Captain or higher automatically receive this improvised form of Free Access.


Independence (Golden Age Only) [Cost: 10]
               Mere hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt contacted all of the mystery men or costumed heroes in the United States and asked them to band together for the All-Star Squadron. He then gave them the task of battling Axis saboteurs in North America. Since very few heroes refused to comply with Roosevelt’s wishes, all characters generated for a Golden Age campaign who do not purchase this advantage are automatically assumed to be members of the All-Star Squadron.
               A character with this Advantage is not bound by the restrictions placed on the All-Star Squadron members, but at the same time he receives none of the benefits of membership.
               If a player purchases this Advantage and also wants to buy a Connection with the All-Star Squadron, he must pay for the Connection. A Low-Level Connection in this case would cost 20 Hero Points and a High-Level Connection would cost 25 Hero Points. The character’s Background must explain how the hero gained the Connection without becoming an All-Star Squadron member.




Popularity (Golden Age Only) [Cost: 20]
               In a Golden Age campaign, all costumed heroes are extremely well liked by the general populace because they personify powerful symbols of the American struggle against the Axis. Thus, all Golden Age heroes are considered to have the Popularity Advantage automatically at no cost. By paying 20 Hero Points, a player may obtain a sort of extreme Popularity to bolster his hero’s public image further. Extreme Popularity doubles the Persuasion Multi-Attack bonus described in the last paragraph of the Popularity description found on page 35 of the DC Heroes 3rd Edition Rulebook.






Rank (revised) [Cost: Variable]
               Purchase of this Advantage causes a character to begin play with an official rank in the United States armed forces. The more points spent on the Advantage at the time of the purchase, the higher the rank.
               The Rank Advantage is sort of a dual-edge sword. While rank, of course, has obvious privileges, characters with a rank are automatically subject to orders from military superiors. Treat this as an automatic Person of Interest (Benign) drawback for which the character receives no HPs. Characters with the Rank Advantage with the U.S. armed forces and all characters with a rank of O-3 or higher automatically receive the Free Access (Military) and Security Clearance (Low) Advantage at no cost. Those ranked O-7 or higher receive Security Clearance (Medium).
               Refer to the table below to determine the exact cost of the Rank Advantage.
Rank Table
Pay Grade
Cost
E-1 through E-3
5
E-4 through E-6
10
E-7 through E-9
15
W-1 through W-5
20
O-1 through O-2
25
O-3 through O-4
30
O-5 through O-6
35
O-7 through O-8
40
O-9 through O-10
45
O-11
50
               

Although there are not many domestic superheroes who will want to purchase a Rank, this Advantage will take on an added importance for generating war front heroes.
            Hero Points spent for Character Improvement cannot be used to increase a character’s Rank Advantage. A character can only increase in rank by being promoted by his superiors. Circumstances that can lead to a promotion can range anywhere from internal politics to a reward for valorous service in the field. It is up to the GM to determine whether a character has earned a promotion, and a player may decline a promotion if he feels the character would prefer to remain in the lower rank. Sgt. Rock, for example, has declined promotion many times in order to remain as topkick of Easy Company.
              Below is a listing of the US Military ranks by branch and pay grade. The Star Fleet ranks are taken from Star Trek.
Ranks by Branch:
Pay Grade
ARMY
MARINES
NAVY
AIR FORCE
COAST GUARD
STAR FLEET
E-1
Private
Private
Seaman Recruit
Airman Basic
Seaman Recruit
Crewman Recruit
E-2
-
-
-
-
Seaman Apprentice
-
E-2
-
-
-
-
Fireman Apprentice
-
E-2
Private 2
Private First Class
Seaman Apprentice
Airman
Airman Apprentice
Crewman Apprentice
E-3
-
-
-
-
Seaman
-
E-3
-
-
-
-
Fireman
-
E-3
Private First Class
Lance Corporal
Seaman
Airman First Class
Airman
Crewman
E-4
Specialist
-
-
-
-
-
E-4
Corporal
Corporal
Petty Officer Third Class
Senior Airman
Petty Officer Third Class
Petty Officer Third Class
E-5
Sergeant
Sergeant
Petty Officer Second Class
Staff Sergeant
Petty Officer Second Class
Petty Officer Second Class
E-6
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Petty Officer First Class
Technical Sergeant
Petty Officer First Class
Petty Officer First Class
E-7
Sergeant First Class
Gunnery Sergeant
Chief Petty Officer
Master Sergeant
Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
E-8
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
-
-
-
-
E-8
First Sergeant
First Sergeant
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Senior Master Sergeant
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer
E-9
Sergeant Major
Master Gunnery Sergeant
Master Chief Petty Officer
Chief Master Sergeant
Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
E-9
Command Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major
Fleet/Command Master Chief Petty Officer
Command Chief Master Sergeant
Command Master Chief Petty Officer
Command Master Chief Petty Officer
E-9
Sergeant Major of the Army
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Fleet
W-1
Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer
-
-
-
W-2
Chief Warrant Officer 2
Chief Warrant Officer 2
Chief Warrant Officer 2
-
Chief Warrant Officer 2
-
W-3
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3
-
Chief Warrant Officer 3
-
W-4
Chief Warrant Officer 4
Chief Warrant Officer 4
Chief Warrant Officer 4
-
Chief Warrant Officer 4
-
W-5
Chief Warrant Officer 5
Chief Warrant Officer 5
Chief Warrant Officer 5
-
-
-
O-1
Second Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
Ensign
Second Lieutenant
Ensign
Ensign
O-2
First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant
Lieutenant Junior Grade
First Lieutenant
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade
O-3
Captain
Captain
Lieutenant
Captain
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
O-4
Major
Major
Lieutenant Commander
Major
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
O-5
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Commander
Lieutenant Colonel
Commander
Commander
O-6
Colonel
Colonel
Captain
Colonel
Captain
Captain
O-7
Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Rear Admiral (lower)
Brigadier General
Rear Admiral (lower)
Commodore
O-8
Major General
Major General
Rear Admiral (upper)
Major General
Rear Admiral (upper)
Rear Admiral
O-9
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Vice Admiral
Lieutenant General
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
O-10
General
General
Admiral Chief of Naval Operations/
Commandant of the Coast Guard
General Air Force Chief of Staff
Admiral Chief of Naval Operations/
Commandant of the Coast Guard
Admiral
O-11
General of the Army
-
Fleet Admiral
General of the Air Force
-
Fleet Admiral


They prefer to be called "Hero Support."
Sidekick [Cost: Variable]
               The Sidekick Advantage allows a hero to begin play with a lesser powered (and usually younger) hero as his sidekick, partner, or assistant. In the Golden and Silver Age of comics, sidekicks were extremely common. Modern comics are way too serious for such a concept.
               This Advantage has a variable cost that is dependent on the capabilities of the sidekick. A player who wishes to purchase this advantage must first create the proposed sidekick as a complete character. The cost of the Sidekick Advantage is equal to one-third of the total number of Hero Points necessary to create the sidekick, rounding all fractions up. The sidekick’s abilities and methods usually roughly mirror those of the adult hero. For example, the Sandman’s sidekick is Sandy the Golden Boy essentially a younger version of the Sandman himself. Except in rare circumstances, a sidekick will always have the Thrill of Adventure Motivation.
               Example: A player is creating a hero named Cowman and wants him to begin play with a sidekick, Calfboy. The player creates the sidekick character using the step-by-step procedure outlined on pages 18-29 of the DC Heroes 3rd Editon rulebook. In the end, the player discovers that Calfboy would cost 400 Hero Points to generate. To begin play with this sidekick, the player must purchase the Sidekick Advantage at a cost of 134 Hero Points (400 divided by 3 equals 134, rounding fractions up).
              
The Gamemaster plays the role of the sidekick. Sidekicks always have an attitude of Enamored toward their patron hero and almost always follow the patron hero’s orders to the letter. But like Rank, the Sidekick Advantage is something of a two-edged sword. Most sidekicks are rather headstrong and have a penchant for getting themselves into dangerous situations they are incapable of handling, forcing their patron to rescue them. In fact, the ability of sidekicks to get themselves captured or endangered often transforms them into as much of a liability as an asset.
               Beginning Gamemasters should probably not allow their players to select this Advantage for the time being. In fact, even highly experienced Gamemasters are advised to monitor closely the creation of the sidekicks for their campaigns. Feel free to prohibit any sidekick who will not make an interesting addition to both the campaign and to the patron hero. You should also prohibit any sidekick who does not have at least one or two foibles built into his personality that might be used against the patron hero.
              


Unlimited Resources [Cost: 15]
               During WWII, gasoline, certain foodstuffs, and other items were strictly rationed by the United States Government, meaning that most Americans were allowed to purchase only limited quantities of these special goods. See the relevant portion of the encyclopedia entry on page 22 of the World at War Sourcebook for details. A character with the Unlimited Resources Advantage, however, is under no such restrictions and may purchase as much of any item as he desires.
               Item rationing affects a typical DC Heroes campaign in a couple of ways. Characters without the Unlimited Resources Advantage are required to add a +1 Column Shift to the OV/RV of their Wealth Checks whenever they are attempting to purchase a rationed item. For the purpose of this rule, all parts necessary for the construction of a gadget or artifact are automatically considered rationed items. Characters without Unlimited Resources are also unable to travel at will by automobile, due to gas shortages, sometimes forcing them to rely on alternate and inconvenient methods of transportation. The only time the +1 Column Shift is not used is when a player is making an Upkeep roll, as described on page 125 of the DC Heroes 3rd Edition rulebook.
               Rationed items in the U.S. included gasoline, butter, milk, eggs, oil, coffee, leather goods, boots, sugar, and tires.
            

Finally, I wanted to provide a link that would allow everyone to see a complete list of what products were published by Mayfair Games for all three editions of DC Heroes. This link is from a site called Wayne's Books, which is a wildly cool site this guy put together that acts as a reference guide to old school RPGs. He provides links to buy from Amazon every book from the DC Heroes line. I recommend the Third Edition DC Heroes Rulebook ($50 used), the Atlas of the DC Universe ($8 new), the Magic Sourcebook ($20 used), and, of course, the World at War Sourcebook ($12 new).

Thanks to Wayne for creating this awesome reference:


No comments:

Post a Comment