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Hero creation assistance


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32 minutes ago, Spacecowboy said:

I believe I am one, if not the only person attempting to participate without owning the core books.  Therefore any assistance from the group is greatly appreciated beyond words. 

Well, in the other thread on this subject, we've pointed out we have a great number of pre-existing sample builds that are at PL 10. While it's a lot of information to sort through, there ought to be one or more builds in there that approaches the idea you've got right now.

If you've got one or two that are close, we can certainly see what we can do to help you.

As well, as mentioned in the other thread, you ought to be able to use the free/demo version of HeroLab to get at least some preliminary character building done even without the books. 

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I would like to apologize to everyone I may have offended or annoyed with my questions.


I am limited to an Android tablet device and have found it difficult to view some of your recommendations. 


I shall attempt to do better research before I reach out for aid.


Kindest Regards


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Alright, let's see if I can pitch in some help.


Things you need to know, when building your character's crunch.

  1. Power Points (PPs): These are the points you use to buy abilities, powers, equipment, skills, etc, for your character.
  2. Power Level (PL): This indicates how strong and/or experienced your character is, in rough terms. Your ranks in abilities, skills, saves, and powers, is limited by your PL.
  3. Character Slot: Initially, you get 3 character slots. Two PL10 slots, and one PL7 slot. A PL10 slot comes with 150PPs for you to spend, while a PL7 slot comes with 105PPs. It is highly recommended that you start with a PL10 slot. Even if you wish to create a "weaker" character as your first character, you can still use the PL10 slot for that, using the 105PPs to make your PL7 character normally, then adding the rest 45PPs to buy additional stuff to round out your concept.
  4. Saving Throws: As a general rule of thumb, it is highly suggested that you aim for Fort+Refl+Will = 3*(PL-2).


A more in-depth explanation of PL Caps:




  1. Ability Power Level Caps: You can buy ranks of Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and/or Charisma up to a total ability bonus of (PL + 5). This means that, for a PL10 character, you can have a score of up to 40 in each of those abilites (For example: Dexterity 40 (+15)). Note that this is a total score, so it'd include the power Enhanced Ability, Boost (Ability), etc, if applicable. You can buy ranks of Strenght up to a total bonus of (PL), but see tradeoffs bellow.
  2. Combat Modifier Level Caps: You can buy ranks of Attack and/or Defense up to a total modifier bonus of (PL), but see tradeoffs bellow. This would include the power Enhanced Combat Modifier, Boost (Combat Modifier), Size modifiers due to Growth or Shrinking, feats Dodge Focus, Attack Focus, Attack Specialization, and the power feat Accurate.
  3. Saving Throw Power Level Caps: You can buy ranks of Fortitude, Reflex, and Will up to a total bonus of (PL + 5). This includes the total ability bonus of the respective Saving Throws' key abilities (For example, if you have Dexterity 20 (+5), you can buy an additional 10 ranks of Reflex, up to Reflex +15 (+5 Dex, +10). It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you balance the total bonus of Fortitdue, Reflex, and Will in the following way: (Fort + Refl + Will = 3*(PL - 2)). Alternatively, if you have Dexterity 40 (+15), you won't be able to buy additional ranks of Reflex, since it's naturally maxed). You can have a total Toughness score of (PL), but see tradeoffs bellow.
  4. Skill ranks Power Level Caps: You can buy ranks in skills up to a total rank bonus of (PL+5). This'd include rank bonus from powers like Enhanced Skill, Boost (Skill), Size modifiers, and feats like Attractive. It does NOT, however, include the ability bonus of the skill's key ability. Thus, it is possible at PL10 to have 15 ranks in a skill, and a +15 bonus to its key ability, for a total of +30 skill bonus.
  5. Power ranks Power Level Caps: As a rule of thumb, if a power requires an Attack Roll and a non-harmless Saving Throw, it is capped at (PL), but see tradeoffs bellow. If a Power does not require an Attack Roll, but requires a non-harmless Saving Throw, it is capped at (PL), regardless of tradeoffs. The sole exceptions are Create Object and Move Object, which are houseruled to be soft-capped. If a power does not require a non-harmless Saving Throw, it may still be limited by Ability Caps, Combat Mod Caps, Sav Throw Caps, or Skill rank Caps. Otherwise, it is not capped at all (For example, Movement Powers like Speed or Flight are not capped. Similarly, Super-Strength is not capped, as it does not contribute to your STR bonus mod).
  6. Tradeoffs: Tradeoffs allow you to balance and tune your Attack Caps with your Damage Caps, and your Defense Caps with your Toughness Caps. For every +1 you take in one Cap category, you have to take a -1 for its pair. The maximum tradeoff you can have in any given category is +/-5. For example, If you want your Damage to be capped at (PL+3), you'd have to cap your Attack with said damage to (PL-3). If you wanted your Defense to be capped at (PL+2), you'd have to cap your Toughness at (PL-2). Having said that, it is possible to have multiple kinds of tradeoffs for a character. You can have, for example, a character who has a +2 Melee Damage cap, a +3 Ranged Attack cap, a +5 Bow Attack cap, and a +4 Defense Cap. You'd have to make sure that they have a -2 Melee Attack cap, a -3 Ranged Damage cap, a -5 Bow Damage cap, and a -4 Toughness Cap. Exempt from Tradeoffs are General Area attacks and Perception range attacks, as they don't require an attack roll in the first place.



Generally speaking, you don't want your character's effective PL to fall bellow PL7, as he'd be swiftly overshadowed by other heroes! Now, on to your main concern.


  1. Alternate Forms vs Object Mimicry: The question is whether you wanna go with an Array, or with a Variable Power. Obviously, the Variable Power is more flexible in terms of what it can offer, but you may find it too costly. Additionally, changing the configuration of a variable power takes a standard action, whereas changing the configuration of an array takes a free action. My personal opinion is that you should consider using Arrays if the concept of your hero is that he has only a limited amount of forms (though you could always power surge an additional form, in the heat of battle). Hell, it may just be possible to use an Array to simulate a wide berth of alternate forms, using power feats like Dynamic Alternate Powers and Variable Descriptor to fill in the blanks. If you plan on going with a Variable Power, instead, keep in mind that you'll have to submit some common configuration nonetheless, for both yours and your GM's shake. Even if you don't use these configurations, they'll still help by acting as general guidelines to what you want to accomplish.
  2. Powers to consider: Burrowing, Concealment, Create Object, Damage, Density, Elongation, Enhanced Traits, Enviromental Control, Flight, Immovable, Immunity (Asphyxiation), Insubstantial (Liquid), Insubstantial (Gas), Morph, Super Strength, Swimming.
  3. Suggested Budget: Abilities (20PP), Combat (20PP), Saves (5PP), Skills (10PP), Feats (10PP), Powers (90PP), Drawbacks (5PP). If you find your Combat and Saves are undercapped, you can buy them up using Enhanced Feats, Enhanced Abilities, and Enhanced Saves. Feel free to tune the suggested budget to your needs (you may prefer more Enhanced Abilities as Powers than Base Abilities, you may prefer less skills, more combat, etc).
  4. Density: 10 ranks of Density alone would mean you have 30 Strength (+10), +5 Impervious Toughness, 3 ranks of Immovable, 3 ranks of Super Strength (for an Effective Strength of 45 Strength, and a mass of x12. All for the cost of 30PPs. 12 ranks would mean 34 Strength (+12), +6 Impervious Toughness, 4 ranks of Immovable, 4 ranks of Super Strength (for an Effective Strength of 54), and a mass of x25, for the cost of 36PPs (Buying those effects seperately would cost 24 + 12 + 4 + 8 = 48PPs. Thus, you've saved 8PPs!), Just be mindful of your Caps.
  5. Power Array: Alternate Form 10 (50PP Container; Feats: Alternate Powers 2, Dynamic Powers 3, Versatile Descriptor) [56PP]. This would give you more than enough PPs to play around for your alternate forms. Dynamic Powers would allow you to mix and match your powers and configurations inside the array (You could combine Density with Elongation and Burrowing, for one form, then use Density and Flight for another form, or use Insubstantial [Gas] with Flight and Concealment for another form, then finish up with Insubstantial [Liquid] with Burrowing). A lot of versatility, this means that you've bought for 1 Power with 2 Alternative Powers and probably dozens of configurations at the cost of 1 Power with 5 Aleternate Powers (with only as many configurations). Just make sure that you always stay within your Caps.
  6. Shameless Self-promotion Ad: This is my character, Meatheral. Since his schtick is "Guy who can transform into one of four elementals", you can use it as a referrence, as it's very close to Metamorpho, if not in flavor, at least in terms of mechanics.




Hope this wasn't terribly wall-o-texty!

Edited by Vahnyu
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