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Black Asp (Green Hornet Expy)

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So, yeah. I have no idea how to build a character who is - in essence - a Badass Normal (and obvious Green Hornet Expy). With an individual who has superpowers, I found it pretty simple: character has powers, this is how they use them. With someone whom is devoid of any real supernatural abilities, however, I feel as though I'm lacking... something. I don't know. Given that I didn't really know what I was and still don't know what I'm doing, I feel it might be time to inquire for some mechanical assistance.

Originally, I'd used AvengerAssembled's awesome Oddball Archetype of the same design, whilst taking a smattering of suggestions presented by the Masked Avenger Archetype found in the Golden Age Sourcebook for inspiration. Taking those two ideas, I conjured this up, but it still feels... I don't know, like there's something better I could be spending points on to make the character more effective with its own gimmickry. In short, I was shooting for a strangely "Green Hornet" or - dare I say - "Sherlock Holmes"ish character, sporting an amateurish level of sleuthing ability and combat prowess; relying more so on contacts, personal resources, and crowd-control ability rather than brute force and constant bouts of fisticuffs with antagonists. After all, it's much easier to punch someone in the face when they're placated by Nausea or some such rather than going toe-to-toe as a squishy normal with a snake motif.

EDIT: Since I'm sure it's likely to come up, yes, I know there's no combat block as-of-yet. This is due to the fact that the character doesn't really have much in the way beyond his/her mitts with which to deal damage currently (though that's subject to change, given input), even though (s)he retains a multitude of ways to... well, confound enemies, via the Gimmick Gun. Also trying hard to keep away from the "guns are dark and edgy" cliche', if entirely possible. Therefore, trying to avoid ballistics of the generic bullet variety and such, and attempting to retain some semblance of Golden Age-ness, if that makes any sense.


The Black Asp

Power Level: 10 (150/150PP)

Trade-Offs: +3 Attack/-3 Damage, +3 Defense/-3 Toughness

In Brief: If “The Green Hornet†was wealthy, didn’t need to waste frivolous amounts of time as a newspaper publisher, took another level in Badass, and actually fought more than just three recurring street-level villains and a deranged detective…

Abilities: 4 + 0 + 4 + 6 + 0 + 4 = 18pp

Str 14 (+2)

Dex 10 (+0)

Con 14 (+2)

Int 16 (+3)

Wis 10 (+0)

Cha 14 (+2)

Combat: 12 + 10 = 22pp

Initiative: +4 (+0 Dexterity + 4 Improved Initiative)

Attack: +6 (+6 Base, +13 Ranged)

Grapple: +7

Defense: +13 (+5 Base, +7 Dodge Focus), +2 Flat-Footed

Knockback: -2

Saving Throws: 5 + 10 + 5 = 20pp

Toughness: +7 (+2 Con, +4 Defensive Roll, +1 Snakeskin Jacket)

Fortitude: +7 (+2 Con, +5)

Reflex: +10 (+0 Dex, +10)

Will: +5 (+0 Wis, +5)

Skills: 104r = 26pp

Acrobatics 10 (+10)

Bluff 13 (+15)

Diplomacy 8 (+10)

Drive 8 (+8)

Gather Information 8 (+10)

Investigate 12 (+15)

Knowledge [streetwise] 7 (+10)

Language [English (Native)]

Notice 12 (+12)

Search 8 (+10)

Sense Motive 8 (+8)

Stealth 10 (+10)

Feats: 40PP

Attack Focus (Ranged) 7

Benefit 2 (Wealth 2/Rich)




Defensive Roll 2

Dodge Focus 7

Elusive Target 1

Equipment 8 (40ep)

Evasion 1

Improved Initiative 1

Power Attack

Quick Draw 1

Skill Mastery (Bluff, Investigate, Notice, Stealth)

Takedown Attack 1


Uncanny Dodge 2 (Auditory, Visual)


Camera [0ep]

Cellular Phone [0ep]

Flashlight [1ep]

Gas Mask [1ep]

Global Positioning System Receiver [1ep]

Handcuffs [1ep]

Lock Release Gun [1ep]

Miniature Tracer [1ep]

Snakeskin Jacket (Protection 1) [1ep]

Stylish Utility Belt Array [20ep]

  • Explosives (Blast Explosion 5; As Dynamite) [15ep]
    Bolas (Snare 4) [1ep]
    Cutting Torch (Blast 1, Drain Toughness 1) [1ep]
    Power Knuckles (Strike 4, Mighty) [1ep]
    Smoke Pellets (Obscure [Visual]) [1ep]
    Throwing Blades (Blast 2, Ranged Pin) [1ep]

Roadster [13ep] – Golden Age, pg. 50

  • Str 25, Speed 5, Def 9, Toughness 7, Large Sized
    Features: Alarm, Hidden Compartments, Navigation System, Oil Slick, Remote Control, Smokescreen

Powers: 24 = 24PP

Device 8 (Asp’s Sting; Descriptor(s): Technology; Extra Effort: Applies to Character; Extras: None; Flaws: Easy to Lose [-2]; Power Feats: None; Drawbacks: None) [24pp/40dp]

Abilities (18) + Combat (22) + Saving Throws (20) + Skills (26) + Feats (40) + Powers (24) - Drawbacks (0) = 150pp

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Firstly, I'd advise you to look at my Badass Normal too, along with its huge paragraph of notes. No offence to AA, but he tends to play superpowered PCs, whereas I opt for low-powered ones. :P

What I'd say is this: don't aim for high DCs. You're unlikely to get them due to a lack of superpowered stats or big arrays to AP off of, so what you want is a nice chunk of accuracy, with Power Attack for some added punch.

Now, with a big Easy to Lose device, the risk is this: it can be easily lost. That may seem obvious, but when it comes down to it, when you're disarmed, how do you contribute? Thus, even if you've got low Str, a high melee attack bonus will at least let you punch out dudes.

And, most importantly, specialise. Your build seems to be all +10s, of course you can't be good at everything, but you also aren't great at anything. Are you more stealthy than most Badass Normals? More Intimidating? Smarter? Got a bit of Gadgeteer Genius? What can you do that Batclone Number 53 can't?

(Three minor things: don't note Languages 0, don't note Diehard, and modern cars tend to have Str 35, not 25.)

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As per suggestion, amendments have been made:

  • Took the Attack/Damage trade-off at +3/-3
    Reduced Device from 11 to 8, and recouped 9pp
    Dropped Wisdom from 12 to 10
    Added a boatload of skills, and specialized as per recommendation
    Hit new Ranged Attack Cap and Defense Bonus through remaining points

Still open to critique at this point. By all means, rip my build apart and make me cry, you magnificently mechanically-savvy masochists! :P

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Personally, I would think about having a non-AoE attack in the Asps Device: Like a "Glue Gun" (Contagious Snare) perhaps. Also, I would think about having an Obscure power in it (the generic "smoke screen"). You may wish to get "Blind Fight" feat.

The SLow Fall/ Swinging stuff seems to fit more into the utility belt array rather than his "Smoke Gun" to me (conceptually, and probably more efficient?)

Feat wise I would think about grabbing at least one rank of Evasion with your high reflex save. Maybe drop Quick Change (unless you have a nifty concept how a "normal" can change costume in the blink of an eye! or you just want to be cool).

Thats my unsolicited advice anyway!

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Already has a non-AoE Snare (via Bolas) and a "Generic Smokescreen" (via Smoke Pellets). As for the Grapple Gun bit, that's more of an issue with simply having too many Device Points left over, and thus needed to expend the last one on something that the character didn't already have, but I see where you're coming from.

Took your suggestion though regarding Quick Change and Blind-Fight. Switched those out respectively. Don't really have the points for Evasion currently, so meh.

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I suppose its a case of efficiency: By swapping Swing Line into utility belt, and a Grapple into the gun, you can boost the grapple up a rank 7 attack (and I imagine an extra like contagious / autofire / transparent etc, depending on your descriptors: as it sounds like a chemical gun, I had a blob of glue in mind!) rather than rank 4.

An issue you may have at present is if there are civvies around - I appreciate the gas attacks are non-lethal, but still. Or in a team, etc. Also, if you go up against gas mask wearing enemies, there could be trouble.

All of above is fine, of course, and in my opinion can make play interesting.

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