“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”
There are people who write really well, but don't come off as particularly articulate when speaking, especially when talking in public or to new acquaintances/strangers. And vice-versa of course. It's probably more common for people who are talented with language to be able to do both well, but not always.
All my best.
THE NIGHT-SLAYER (Aton Knight, aka The Night-Thief)
Created By: Doug Moench & Gene Colan
First Appearance: Detective Comics #529 (Aug. 1983)
Role: Nearly-Nude Martial Artist
PL 9 (125)
STRENGTH 3 STAMINA 4 AGILITY 6
FIGHTING 12 DEXTERITY 5
INTELLIGENCE 2 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 3
Acrobatics 8 (+14)
Athletics 11 (+14)
Close Combat (Unarmed) 2 (+14)
Expertise (Cat Burglar) 8 (+10)
Insight 2 (+5)
Intimidation 2 (+5)
Perception 5 (+8)
Sleight of Hand 2 (+7)
Stealth 8 (+14)
Accurate Attack, Agile Feint, Chokehold, Equipment (Knife, Suit), Extraordinary Effort, Fast Grab, Improved Critical (Unarmed), Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Power Attack, Precise Attack (Close/Concealment), Seize Initiative, Uncanny Dodge
"Stiletto Knife" Strength-Damage +1 (Feats: Improved Critical) (2)
"Nudie Night-Suit" Concealment (Visuals) 2 (Flaws: Limited to Within Darkness) (2)
Unarmed +14 (+3 Damage, DC 18)
Knife +12 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Dodge +14 (DC 24), Parry +13 (DC 23), Toughness +4, Fortitude +6, Will +4
Motivation (Romanticism)- Anton is a natural romantic, having fallen in love with his stepsister without ever meeting her, simply through his father's descriptions. He does a lot of things on these impulses.
Relationship (Nocturna)- Anton is head-over-heels for Nocturna, and murdered a guy just for coming on to her. When she betrays him because of this (and switches her love to Batman), he swears revenge.
Total: Abilities: 76 / Skills: 48--24 / Advantages: 13 / Powers: 0 / Defenses: 12 (125)
-The Night-Slayer was originally The Night-Thief, a born romantic who fell in love with his step-sister Nocturna (technically not illegal, but it still feels gross somehow, despite them not growing up together), forming a criminal duo with her in his night-suit so that he could bestow upon her all the jewels she naturally deserved. I have an old Detective Comics featuring this pair, from some unknown source (I wasn't into DC as a kid, so it must've been a mystery double-pack or something), and I thought it was pretty silly. This dude had a goofy '80s bowl-haircut and moustache, and his suit was REALLY silly-looking- skin-tight and black, it was shadowed so as to make him look like a nude from a Michelangelo painting or something, so that in every panel you could see clenched fists and toes, as well as individually-sculpted butt-cheeks, though his ultra-thin costume. I wonder if that's how women feel when they see the "Nudes with Painted-On Clothing" on ladies in comics?
-In any case, this guy actually beat on Batman for a good while (Bats was drugged by Nocturna, and was not himself- so Night-Thief had a ton of free hits), but Nocturna (who'd rejected him for murdering somebody in the night- "murdering the night" she called it) shot him to protect Batman, whom she was also deeply attracted to. Anton went nuts, changed his name to "Night-Slayer" and tried to murder Nocturna, but she was sent off in an air balloon and never seen for years. Nocturna would return Post-Crisis in a new form, but Anton was lost to the ether.
-He's a PL 8.5 Martial Artist type, enough to challenge a PL 10-11-ish Pre-Crisis '80s Batman in hand-to-hand combat (particularly if Batman is drugged). His "Who's Who" bio actually calls him an expert in many martial arts, but "not a master" in any of them. He's also ultra-agile, super-athletic (his trademark is scampering around in the dark so fast you can't really spot him) and nigh-impossible to fight in darkness. Batman once had to capture him in a bright room just to hold him down.
Last edited by Jabroniville; 07-16-2015 at 06:19 AM.
I COME ON- no man's Will Save is THAT good...
NOCTURNA (Natasha Natalia Knight)
Created By: Doug Moench & Gene Colan
First Appearance: Batman #363 (Sept. 1983)
Role: Pale Uber-Babe, Femme Fatale
PL 8 (129)
STRENGTH 1 STAMINA 2 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 7 DEXTERITY 5
INTELLIGENCE 4 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 4
Athletics 2 (+3)
Deception 4 (+8, +10 Attractive, +13 Uber-Attractive)
Expertise (Criminal) 2 (+6)
Expertise (Astronomy) 5 (+9)
Insight 2 (+5)
Perception 2 (+5)
Persuasion 5 (+9, +11 Attractive, +14 Uber-Attractive)
Stealth 2 (+5)
Attractive, Benefit 2 (Wealth), Equipment 4 (Revolver, K-O Pellets, Hot-Air Balloon), Ranged Attack 2
"Powerful Perfume" (Flaws: Limited to When Wearing Perfume) 
"Uber-Attractive" Enhanced Advantages 1: Attractive (1)
Affliction 8 (Will; Entranced & Vulnerable/Compelled & Defenseless) (Feats: Subtle, Insidious) (Extras: Reaction +3, Extra Condition, Area- Scent Perception) (Flaws: Limited Degree, Limited to Those Who Like the Ladies) (34)
-- (35 points)
"Knock-Out Pellets" Affliction 6 (Fort; Fatigued/Exhausted/Asleep) (Extras: Area- 15ft. Cloud) (12) -- (14)
- AE: "Knife" Strength-Damage +1 (Feats: Improved Critical) (2)
AE: "Revolver" Blast 5 (10)
Unarmed +7 (+1 Damage, DC 16)
Knife +7 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Revolver +7 (+5 Ranged Damage, DC 20)
K-O Pellets +6 Area (+6 Affliction, DC 16)
Dodge +8 (DC 18), Parry +8 (DC 18), Toughness +2, Fortitude +4, Will +5
Motivation (Romanticism)- Nocturna is a natural romantic, and does a lot of things on impulse.
Relationship (The Night)- Nocturna is obsessed with night and darkness.
Relationship (The Night-Slayer)- She only rejects him when he "Murders the night" by killing someone.
Relationship (The Batman)- A fellow dweller in the darkness, The Batman intrigues and obsesses Nocturna.
Disabled (Pigment-Less Skin)- Nocturna's skin is vulnerable to the sun's rays, giving her bad sunburns and a greater chance of skin cancer.
Power Drawback (Perfume)- Nocturna's perfume will affect her own mind if she isn't already intoxicated by "the night", and so she will not wear it during the day.
Total: Abilities: 58 / Skills: 48--24 / Advantages: 9 / Powers: 28 / Defenses: 10 (129)
-I thought Nocturna was pretty goofy as a kid, but looking back... DAMN. Pale skin, dark lips and "midnight blue" reflective hair... nice. She's pretty much a Dark Seductress, stealing for fun and to keep up a lavish lifestyle, trying to adopt Jason Todd (back when he was Robin), while also trying to get both Bruce Wayne & Batman into bed. Eventually she spends enough time with them (ie. they do it) to figure out his secret identity, but then she starts getting hunted by the Night-Slayer, and she's stabbed and put onto a Hot-Air Balloon, where she'd vanish until she returned in a Post-Crisis Robin issue as an acrobatic thief with a different real name and personality.
-Also, she was gonna be brought into Batman: The Animated Series, as a Vampiress who was going to turn Bruce into the Undead for a while. It got kiboshed thanks to Warner Brothers being all "no, you can't have vampires", which is the greatest shame EVER, because Bruce Timm was gonna use THIS as the design:
Up yours, Warner Brothers. UP. YOURS.
-Nocturna's no fighter, though she can semi-defend herself when it's necessary. Her key ability is her Perfume (which I statted up as a not-quite-Device that is Limited to When Wearing Perfume- it seems to be a fair thing), which buggered Batman enough that a Jobber like Night-Slayer almost easily killed him in a fight. It basically makes you more able to be seduced by her, as well as making you groggy enough to lose to Jobbers.
I remember Moench and Colan's run on Batman with a degree of fondness. Not only did we get Nocturna (who I thought was cool), we got the original Black Spider who was an awesome assassin villain and was oh so unwisely killed off. It was also during this run that the first massive escape from Arkham occurred (I think), which introduced me to Bat-villains I didn't know and didn't loathe (because I hate the Joker...hate him). So while I don't generally seek out books written by Doug Moench, I liked his tenure on Batman.
I saw the new Batman vs Robin over the weekend. Really cool stuff, Weird Al as a cameo VA and getting into lots of Parliment of Owls strangeness. I had heard that Damien was a little jackass but this really sealed it for me.
-It's time for a full re-posting of one of my favourite (and handiest) sets of builds- ANIMAL BUILDS!
"Official" RPG Builds For Animals:
I make no secret of the fact that I tend to find the "official" builds for animals in most rulebooks well short of my standards, but I don't begrudge most gaming systems for that. The 2nd Edition M&M Rulebook clearly just cut & pasted the HORRIBLE D&D standard builds for animals and threw them into the book to save space, and the 3rd Edition rulebook isn't too much better. So they leave stuff out, undercut animals' strength to fit them into the PLs they think are accurate, and more. How else could you explain their Strength 16 Horse in 2nd Edition (for the record, this is giving Daredevil/Nightwing strength to a 1,000-pound animal)?
But really, these tend to be small sections for "just in case" scenarios, and the game designers often have more important things to worry about than give anything other that weak, baseline versions of what some animals are. So I feel that somebody with nothing better do do (like say, me) can hammer out more accurate builds, given some Wikipedia searching, etc.
The Usefulness of Animal Builds:
-I've actually discovered this quite a bit over the years- after having done the builds for the first time, I found myself re-using them AGAIN AND AGAIN, for various characters. Many people could transform into animals, or Summon them, first of all, but even MORE characters use Animal Senses or Animal Powers as a capability. And what easier way to determine those capabilities than to just Cut & Paste based off of builds I'd already done.
I've also had a ton of people PM me over the years to tell me that despite not really paying attention to the builds the first go-round, they've actually found it tremendously useful to have stats for, say, an Ostrich lying around. Ya never know when The Penguin is going to get very theme-y with his lair again.
How Animal Work in Comics:
* Animals are a bit weird in superhero fiction- someone like Daredevil can take on a Class 6 Powerhouse and actually hold his own, often winning due to his extreme skill (easily-statted in M&M with his superior Accuracy and a Powerhouse's lower Defense). However, you'll often notice that a Lion or something, which is SIGNIFICANTLY weaker than someone who can lift six tons, is treated as this DIRE THREAT that the hero could never defeat. It's an odd disconnect. It's REALISTIC that a human being could never beat a lion... but then why is a MUCH STRONGER MAN a minor threat? (answer: because the story requires it, duh)
* Perfect example: In one Batman story, the Detective had to CHEAT to defeat a single Leopard (he wrapped it up in his cape and fired a sedative into it)- a creature no larger than most men. Animals are often given TREMENDOUS respect in comics. Other animals, including Sidekicks like Red Wolf's Wolf, are also incredibly-gifted fighters.
* Oddly, in other cases, Animals aren't so lucky. In the Savage Land, DINOSAURS of all things are often used as giant Background Noise and Jobbers- I've seen guys like Pyro nuke a whole T-REX by himself. But in other books, it's established that large dinosaurs are incredible adversaries, immune to most of the punishment humans can dish out.
How Animals Work in Real Life:
* Animals in real life can be incredibly-dangerous. Anyone who lives in poor areas without adequate shelter can tell you what it's like when large predators are roaming free (India has issues with Leopards and Tigers simply WALKING INTO HOMES and taking people away), and people who work with animals in farms or zoos will tell you the incredible strength some of them can muster. Some predators (Bears, Big Cats) can easily-kill an unarmed human being. Quadrupeds like cattle & horses can actually fatally-injure people BY ACCIDENT- my grandfather is a full-time farmer in his 70s, and is quite often getting roughed up because some cow got protective with a calf, or a horse randomly-kicked.
* Despite their danger, animals are vulnerable to certain things- humans have hunted animals with weapons since we sharpened our first sticks- the reach advantage could be paramount, especially as animals often didn't understand that the tip of a spear could be dangerous, and were left vulnerable. The advent of arrows, thrown weapons, and later GUNS made things even more unfair- animals never understood where the damage was coming from, and often simply sat there (left Vulnerable or Defenseless), being easily shot by a Power Attacking hunter.
* Part of what makes animals so dangerous is the fact that they tend to go ALL-OUT in a way that humans aren't prepared for- a predator is fighting to not starve, and herbivores often fight for their LIVES. So animals put everything into their fighting, which often overwhelms human beings enough that a 100-lb. DOG can actually be quite scary for a full-grown man.
How Animal Stats Work:
* Animals usually have much higher muscle-density than human beings, and are often quite strong for their size- their Stamina and Agility are often quite high as well. They either have decent Fighting or Close Combat at a specific thing, but rarely every have any kind of Dexterity (as Animals can't use Vehicles or Ranged Attacks for the most part, this stat is completely useless). Their Intellect score is generally always -4, as Animals are incapable of the critical thought common to even dumb people. They can't read, write, use many Skills, etc. However, a few types are exceptionally-bright, such as Dolphins and Apes, and can hit -3. Similarly, a Hero's Animal Sidekick might have some extra Intelligence to explain why they can often understand their masters. Technically, most animals are "log-jammed" in there.
* Awareness tends to be a bit higher, especially in more "Special" creatures that work like Evil-Detecting Dogs in fiction. Most Animals have at-worst Awareness 0. Presence is usually -3, as animals aren't good at Persuasion or Deception.
* These are often pretty simple: Athletics and Perception are generally very high (more than for most people), as is Stealth in many wild creatures. Most have Expertise (Hunter/Survival) to reflect Animals' capability to survive in the wild. Few animals are overly-fancy with this.
* These can vary a bit, but generally aren't too extreme. Many animals can shift their Offensive Caps around quite well, have Diehard, or Improved Critical, especially if they're a "Special" variant.
* Animal Senses are famously-high, with Dogs at the upper tiers. Other varieties have senses like a Dolphin's Sonar, a Shark's Lateral Lines, or even Electrolocation.
* Larger animals have a small issue with Strength- they can't lift upwards of 12 tons as a general rule, but many of them do much more damage than +6. As such, I tend to throw "Strength-Damage" bonuses to many creatures. Animals with Natural Weapons that do more damage have this in even larger amounts.
* Growth, as always, is a bit tricky, but since it's always Permanent with Animals, it generally just offers a discount in points cost. I throw on "Innate" (a Feat I typically never use, as almost ANY power can be Innate if you get into it) just to negate this cost a bit. Generally, I don't include neck length or tails into the size. Still, it's a bit tricky- many animals are taller than they are long, or vice-versa. Many animals are only a LITTLE bigger than a human being, and so I'll just stick Reach or Features: Increased Mass onto them.
Accuracy & Defenses:
* It varies, but larger animals typically have greater Accuracy- in real life, being larger means you can strike your opponent without being struck in return. As well, large animals will beat smaller ones of similar types (Cape Buffalo are dangerous, but no match for Rhinos), and so their accuracy will be at LEAST equal, with added Power, creating a larger Power Level differentiation. However, larger animals usually have poorer Dodge scores- animals can be pretty easy targets, unless they're moving. In general though, most animals have better Parry than Dodge. Animals tend to have reasonable Will, and better Fortitude than most people (assuming they're larger), but not so much that poisons and sedatives won't work as well.
* Animals are generally much faster than humans, because we are fat and slow, being bipedal primates. We have better cardio, but in general, they'll outrun us. For animals, I take their maximum recorded speed and subtract it by 2 amounts, allowing them to boost it with Athletics & Extra Effort- this leaves them tired, but most animals can't maintain maximum speed for great lengths of time.
* Animals are rarely tacticians- they usually try to avoid conflict at first (especially predators, who will not risk injury foolishly), and if they DO attack, tend to go all-out with full force, intent on causing their opponent to retreat. Combat is quick, fierce, and lethal. Your D&D campaigns notwithstanding, few animals will fight to the death if that is unnecessary- most predators will flee if the opponent puts up too much of a fight, and will DEFINITELY leave if they take some kind of severe injury. Only specially-bred animals (ie. fighting pitbulls), or sick ones, will keep fighting if brutally-injured and they don't have to. This is why injured, desperate animals are so dangerous- many Man-Eaters in the world are big cats who've been injured, and are thus going to get any meat they can. Injured animals are extremely defensive, because in THEIR world, an injured animal is just an easy meal.
These are Elite Versions:
* The Animals as presented will be elite versions that you would be likely to encounter in a Comic Book or Fantasy world, either as a threat, or as a Sidekick. In the comics, Batman being opposed by a single leopard is actually a very dangerous fight if he's not carrying his arsenal of weapons & gases- hardly befitting of something that's weaker than a PL 6 Lion as presented in the game rulebooks compared to a PL 10-11 Dark Knight. So mine are upgraded and inflated by two Power Levels or so, to properly match and challenge the heroes. For the most part, they keep the natural Strength and Damage quotients of the real animals, but are a bit more accurate. So to get the "real life" version of an animal, just knock the Fighting Ability down a bit, and remove a handful of Advantages.
The Animal Master List:
Dogs (Min Pin, Bulldog, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Mastiff)
Canids (Fox, Coyote, Jackal, Wolf, African Wild Dog, Dire Wolf)
Fantasy Canids (Giant Wolf, Winter Wolf)
Cervids (Deer, Caribou, Elk, Moose, Irish Elk)
Equidae (Eohippus, Horse, Zebra, Wild Ass, Secretariat)
Fantasy Horses (Pegasus, Nightmare, Skeleton, Hippocamp, Unicorn)
Suidae (Pig, Boar, Warthog, Dire Boar)
Antelopes (Impala, Springbok, Saiga, Wildebeest, Eland)
Bovidae (Bull, Gaur, Aurochs, Bison, Water Buffalo, Goat, Sheep, Bighorn Sheep, The Red Bull)
Camelidae (Guanaco, Llama, Bactrian & Dromedary Camel, Giant Camel)
Giraffidae (Okapi, Giraffe)
Hippos (Pygmy Hippo, Hippopotamus)
Rhinocerotidae (Sumatran, Black, Indian, White, Woolly, Elasmotherium, Indricotherium)
Proboscidae (Asian & African Elephants, Mammoth, Mastodon, Mammuthus)
Armadillos (Glyptodon, Doedicuras)
Hyenidae (Aardwolf, Striped & Spotted Hyenas, Hyenaedon)
Mustelids (Weasel, Skunk, Badger, Otter, Wolverine)
Felidae (Cat, Wildcat, Lynx, Caracal, Cheetah, Ocelot, Cougar, Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard, Leopard, Jaguar, Lion, Tiger, Cave Lion, Smilodon, Giant Cat, Manticore, Chimera)
Rodentia (Mouse, Rat, Porcupine, Beaver, Capybara, Rodent of Unusual Size)
Lagomorphs (Rabbits & Hares)
Marsupials (Koala, Tasmanian Devil, Thylacoleo, Wallaby, Kangaroo, Procoptodon, Thylacine)
Monotremes (Platypus, Giant Platypus)
Chiroptera (Bat, Giant Bat)
Bears (Panda, Sun, Sloth, Spectacled, Black, Grizzly, Kodiak, Polar, Cave Bears)
Fossa & Mongoose
Birds (Ducks, Penguins, Cormorants, Owl, Falcon, Vulture, Hawk, Eagle, Haast's Eagle, Rhea, Cassowary, Emu, Ostrich, Gastornis, Moa, Giant Eagle, Giant Owl, Roc, Hippogriff, Gryphon)
Lizards (Monitor, Komodo Dragon)
Snakes (Viper, Rattlesnake, Cobra, Giant Cobra, Boa Constrictor, Rock Python, Anaconda, Titanoboa)
Primates (Tarsier, Tamarin, Capuchin, Squirrel Monkey, Howler Monkey, Baboon, Mandrill, Bonobo, Chimpanzee, Orangutan, Gorilla, Gigantopithecus, Neanderthal, Sasquatch, Yeti, King Kong)
Pinnipeds (Harbor Seal, Leopard Seal, Fur Seal, Sea Lion, Walrus, Elephant Seal)
Fish (Barracuda, Moray Eel, Electric Eel, Piranha, Sunfish, Marlin, Swordfish, Leedsichthys, Stingray, Manta Ray)
Sharks (Sixgill, Frilled, Wobbegong, Goblin, Mako, Blue, Tiger, Bull, Hammerhead, Thresher, Great White, Megamouth, Basking, Whale, Megalodon)
Mollusks (Octopus, Squid, Giant & Colossal Squids, Kraken)
Dolphins (Yangtze River, Common, Bottlenose, Porpoise, Killer Whale, Narwhal, Beluga)
Whales (Right, Gray, Pygmy Sperm, Bottlenose Whale, Sperm Whale, Fin, Sei, Blue Whales, Zeuglodon)
Arthropods (Giant Ant, Wasp, Spider, Scorpion, Mantis)
Crocodilians (Gharial, Caiman, Nile & Saltwater Crocodiles, Deinosuchus)