Reign of the Supermen #485: DC Adventures' Superman

Source: Green Ronin's DC Adventures RPG (2010-2013)
Type: Role-playing game
I recently noticed I'd only done one RPG-related Superman in Reign of the Supermen, and that was all the way back at #49! Still, so as not to take a whole month of Saturdays to cover what is essentially the canonical Superman (pre-New52, of course) statted-up for different systems, I've decided to offer a double serving of Reign (Fridays and Saturdays) through July.

DC Adventures is Green Ronin's licensed version of its popular Mutants & Masterminds RPG, and they really got the shaft, license-wise, when DC rebooted its universe. They had the rights to characters and artwork from 2000 to 2010, which means by the time the (actually quite wonderful) sourcebooks came out, they weren't current with the DCU at all. I can't help but think that affected sales. And yet, they didn't cancel the range, and slowly but surely, all three of the announced sourcebooks came out. And folks, we might decry the lack of a recent edition of Who's Who, but this is as close as it comes. LOADS of characters in each book, with nice sourced artwork and excellent production values. But the one we care about is Superman, right? His DC Adv stats, for your perusing pleasure.
While Superman is also included in the core rules (the Hero's Handbook), this is a scan from Heroes & Villains: Vol.2, and it covers more than you see here. A sidebar on kryptonite, and stats for Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and the Kents complete the entry. And this being an alphabetically-ordered sourcebook (L-Z), you know Superboy and Supergirl are close by.

As far as systems go, DC Adventures had a pretty flexible way of looking at power modelling, and the best way to individuate non-powered heroes I've seen. In actual play, its d20 origins were painful to me and slowed combat down to a crawl. It DID take a lot of its cues from Mayfair's DC Heroes, which is one of the reasons I initially liked it so much, but ultimately lacked its precursor's elegance. At least, in play. DC Adv's chargen is actually more elegant than DCH's which might not have been so obvious for Superman because so many powers were named after his own. But your own hero called Afterburner having "Heat Vision" coming out of his hands, or Weather Mistress using winds as "Super-Breath" did seem pretty ridiculous. As you can see above, heroes in DC Adv can name their powers whatever they like, and they are constructed from power effects with more generic names. A better way to go. Shame about the d20 mechanics.

4 comments:

Zundian said...

A 2 for Intelligence? FIE! Fie, I say! Sure, Post-Crisis Superman didn't have Pre-Crisis Superman's Super-Intelligence, but surely he rates above a 2!

Siskoid said...

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but take into account DCAdv does have negative stats, the minimum isn't 0. Now let's look at a random sampling of characters to see where Superman actually rates in context:
Batman 8
Green Lantern 1
Brainiac 5 13
Lex Luthor 11
Martian Manhunter 3
Plastic Man 0
Joker 6
Lois Lane 2

From the evidence before my eyes, it looks like detectives and scientists get a bit higher because it's one of their necessary stats, while clever-but-brawny heroes bottom out at 2.

Zundian said...

Brainiac 5 is only a 12th level intelligence!

So would Plastic Man be baseline, then?

Hal should probably be higher too, what with the skill needed for test piloting.

Siskoid said...

Not in role-playing terms. He used Dexterity for piloting, not Intelligence. Plus, getting hit in the head a lot.

As for Brainy, 12th level in the DCU does not mean 12 Attribute points in any given role-playing game. I think he was something like INT 25 in DC Heroes.

Interpret it this way: Superman adds 2 points to his Intelligence-derived skills (like Expertise) before rolling the dice, so he puts his intellect to fill out his skill, the part of skill that is inspiration, adaptation, lateral thinking. Plastic Man adds 0, so he does what he's learned and isn't smart enough to make a meaningful leap in skill use.

 

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