Sunday, May 17, 2020

Super Powers and Skills in Enforcers

Art by Christine Mansfield

For a post about super powers, I wanted to present interior artwork from Enforcers that displayed the use of super powers.  Unfortunately, I used the only such artwork for the last post.  There's somebody falling off a skateboard (p. 64), two guys with weird ears building or repairing some device (p. 43), someone looking at a rabbit (p. 35), a ninja holding a rock (p. 52), but no other display of superpowers.  A review of Enforcers in White Wolf Magazine #11 (August 1988) is not appreciative of the artwork:  “The interior art will hopefully be replaced in a future third edition.”  Ouch.

One of the selling points of Enforcers is, “A complete magic system.”  Actually, the magic system in DC Heroes Role Playing Game does not seem incomplete in comparison.  For fifteen creation points an Enforcers character can acquire the 'Magic' power.  If so, no other power can be purchased and there is an upper limit for characteristics other than Intelligence and Comliness.  With Magic, a beginning character has six spells.  Each additional spell costs three creation points earned as experience.  Enforcers offers nineteen magic spells; some which are to be expected (such as 'Shield' and 'Scry') and others which are unusual.  For instance, the victim of the 'Deathmare' spell... instantly teleported through a dimensional gate where he will face his most hated and feared enemy in mortal combat – actually it is a magical construct with his personality and attributes.  The GM should roll 1d6 to determine how long the battle may last.  If the victim defeats his enemy, he will immediately reappear back into the real world.  If there is no victor before the spell runs out, the victim will also reappear.  Should his enemy win, the victim's body will reappear.
Otherwise, most of the powers can each be a spell.  Among the powers excluded from being used as spells, there are Cybernetic Replacement, Mutation, and Invulnerability.

The 'Animal Powers' super power (not usable as a spell) allows a characters to purchase statistics and powers at half cost.  Each animal type has a limited set of statistics and powers which can be purchased thus.  For example, the Arachnid set includes:  Strength, Agility/Dexterity, Spider Climb, Entanglement, Invulnerability.  Each creation point used must come from a weakness which can never be bought off with experience.

“Willpower is an optional ability score that starts at 0 when a character is created and can only be increased by the spending of creation points,” we read.  (Willpower is also not usable as a spell.)  This power acts as a back-up saving throw.  When a character fails a saving throw, the character can roll against his or her Willpower.  If successful, it is as though the original save was successful.  This costs an amount of energy equal to the result of the successful Willpower roll.

Invisibility has a creation point cost of five.  However, for seven points a character can have Non-Detection:
Characters using this power can't be detected by audio, visual or electronic means.  All but the strongest of magical means will also fail.  Danger sense and detective score will not discover someone using non-detection.  This form of invisibility shuts off after the user takes any hostile action.
The Energy Ground power allows characters to shunt 95% of energy “to ground.”  We learn, “This power on works on 'pure' energy forms –  e.g. electricity, lightning, non-magical force fields, power blast, and heat based sources.”  Also, “This power will not work against magic, light/laser. cold, or other non-energy attacks.”  I guess in the Enforcers universe, light isn't energy and lasers aren't associated with heat.

Energy Vampire “is more than just an offensive power: it is the ability to absorb life energy from others in order to restore your own!”  Like a traditional vampire, an energy vampire can turn into a bat and has no reflection in mirrors.  Additionally, an energy vampire takes only half-damage from non-metallic physical attacks (but “double damage from metal based attacks”).

Lycanthropic Immunity might as well be called Lycanthropy (or better yet Zoanthropy).  With this power, “characters are able to change shape from a normal human into a form that is part animal and part human.”  When in (quasi-)animal form, the character “is completely immune to HTH and projectile damage unless the damage is inflicted by a magic or silver weapon.”  However, “when an attack they are immune to reduces them below zero hit takes the body a few moments to repair itself to the point where it can function.”  Wait, why would a character lose any hit points if he or she is immune to a given attack.  At any rate, “Lead bullets may embed themselves in the character, but will cause no damage unless they are not removed by the character before returning to human form.”  I strongly suspect it may be possible someone other than the character could remove the bullets.  Lastly, “Please note that Lycanthropes MAY NOT be Energy Vampires!”

Regarding skills, “The player and the GM should reach an agreement on just what skills any given character may have.”  The normal number of skills a character may have is three; however, in special situations the GM can allow a beginning character to have up to five skills.  After character creation, more skills can be acquired via experience; however, “The maximum number of skills a character can have is 6.”  Enforcers describes 42 skills, but the list “is not exhaustive, and entirely new skills can be created if the player and GM agree on the descriptions.”  Skills in Enforcers are usually more encompassing than skills in other role-playing games.  For instance, the 'Automated Systems' skill allows familiarity “with the complex software and control systems necessary to do such things as spacecraft navigation, environmental control, and nuclear power plant operations.”  'Thief' provides “a 75% chance of accomplishing any activity related to stealing.”  Such activities include (but are not limited to):  Car Theft, Lock Picking, Wall Climbing, Pickpocketing, Bypassing Alarms, Spotting and Bypassing Surveillance Equipment, Fencing Stolen Merchandise, Pursuit, Evasion, as well as Breaking and Entering.

Art by Christine Mansfield

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