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Thread: Superman Write-Ups

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Superman Write-Ups

    I don't know exactly what the DCA Superman is based on, but he seems to have most of the correct powers. However, I have noticed that most write-ups aiming for the Silver Age severely underrate him. He could move entirely galaxies faster than the speed of light...he was literally invulnerable to everything except kryptonite, magic, and red sunlight - though you could maybe stun him, nothing actually injured him and a death ray with the force of the Big Bang would be about as effective as a handgun on him. Even with Super-Lifting ranks, etc. he would still have thousands or millions of ranks in it.

    Also, people tend to underrate earlier versions of Superman. By the 1950s he could survive direct hits from H-bombs without it tickling. He could fly through interstellar space and see to other planets. At his 'weakest' he could move several thousand tons at speeds of 60+ mph, and survive a million-joule impact from an artillery shell (about a thousand times harder than the best boxers, and much better armor penetration) and by the 1940s he could move skyscrapers with his bare hands (hundreds of thousands of tons) and outrace fighter planes from a standing leap. Going on 1st Appearance and shortly thereafter he's pretty strong, and a 'Golden Age' Superman would be like a PL15 character. Silver Age Superman would be several thousand or million points; he can destroy stars by accident as a child. And though the New Earth/New 52 Superman is a lot weaker he can still move about 6 (with 21 zeros) after it tons with just his upper body for several days nonstop without significantly tiring. I'm just saying if you're going to bother doing it you might as well go whole hog. You can't really make a superman consistent with comic feats because even within a single incarnation his feats are wildly inconsistent, but it seems wrong to go with his minor feats and ignore how he very frequently does stuff like seeing to other planets/galaxies, traveling time under his own power, etc.

    The DCAU Superman and Smallville Superman were the weakest, but at their peak probably match the most powerful write-ups I've seen in DCA/M&M or GURPS - I remember Clark moving a planet and catching an ICBM from a standstill. In his mid-range he is far more powerful than any write up ever gives him credit for (granted the writers forget this, too). At his upper-limit he would literally cost quadrillions of points to stat in most games, geometric power levels or not. Writing up a full-blown Elliot S! Maggin Superman would be like writing the stats for Jehovah himself in the Testament RPG. You don't have room on the character sheet for that many zeros.

    Also, though it's somewhat baked into his toughness in general, Superman also has superhuman regeneration on the level of Wolverine or the Hulk. Even if you manage to blow a hole in him with kryptonite there's a 90% chance he'll heal from it in about the time it takes me to scab over a cat scratch once the kryptonite is removed. Heck, even Doomsday basically just put him in a coma for a few months.

    I can see why the DCA writers might not do this for playability reasons but if someone's writing up a comic-based Superman he ought to be way more powerful than he ever is in them.

    This would also be true of some characters like Doctor Fate, Zatanna, the Flash and Captain Marvel. Again, they don't seem to use their powers consistently/logically but by both in-Universe and real-world metrics they're basically Gods more than heroes.
    Last edited by KryptonianCat; 02-26-2018 at 09:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Re: Superman Write-Ups

    In the old Mayfair Games DC Heroes RPG, the Pre Crisis Superman had a Strength of 50. The attribute scale for that game is very similar to DC Adventures, so I would start there.

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