Monday, June 5, 2017

Pulp Paradigmatic Framework: Masked Vigilante

from left to right: Masked Vigilante, Masked Vigilante, Masked Vigilante, and Masked Vigilante
(Howard Chaykin -- I think -- for Dynamite's Masks)

Most of the “frameworks” I’ve done so far have more precisely been M.A.R.S. packages in the strict Savage Rifts® sense, built along the idea of +5 skill points, two additional Edges, and some extra gear – roughly about nine extra character creation points. Importing most of those packages into Savage Rifts® would require the characters to be advanced to Seasoned and get some extra rolls on the Fortune & Glory and Hero’s Journey Tables. (The Mecha Ninja Ranger is a notable exception.)

Challenged with the idea of creating pulp hero packages, though, I find myself thinking that I’d rather create something more comparable to proper Iconic Frameworks like Glitter Boys and Mind Melters. If a M.A.R.S. package is worth nine points and then gets four Advances – worth two character creation points each – then a true Iconic Framework is worth closer to 17 character creation points. 

Consider the below (and the rest to follow in this series) as attempts to build pulp characters relying only on the Savage Worlds core rules alone. Arguably more effective versions could be built with the Super Powers Companion

Masked Vigilante
  • Bonus Attributes: +1 die Agility, Strength, and Vigor; Masked Vigilantes are excellent physical specimens.
  • Bonus Skills: +2 dice Fear* (see Bonus Edges below) and Streetwise; +3 dice Fighting, Stealth, and the player’s choice of Shooting or Throwing.
  • Bonus Hindrances: Enemy [Major; Masked Vigilantes find themselves in constant conflict with corrupt officials, crime bosses, and freakish super-criminals], Wanted [Minor; Masked Vigilantes’ extralegal activities place them in conflict with the very law enforcement they aid].
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers) with the fear power* and the player’s choice of Martial Artist or Steady Hands. Masked Vigilantes may purchase the Sidekick Edge as early as Seasoned. 
  • Bonus Gear: Masked Vigilantes may choose a set of weapons appropriate to the era (a flintlock pistol, rapier, and whip for early 19th century settings; a Bowie knife, lariat, and pair of six-shooters for Wild West settings; a billy club or brass knuckles and a pair of .45 semi-automatics or utility belt with 20 throwing blades for the 1920s through 1940s) or forego the extra gear to receive the Bruiser Edge. They also receive a means of transportation appropriate to the setting (riding horse, carriage and team, car, autogyro, etc.) or the Acrobat Edge.
  • Double Life: Vigilantes’ masks allow them to move in society unrecognized for what they are. This aids in gathering intelligence on their criminal foes and protects loved ones from retribution. For sedentary Masked Vigilantes who operate out of one city, this usually means a steady cover identity, but for wandering Masked Vigilantes (such as in the Wild West), this may instead mean a series of temporary disguises. Anyone attempting to uncover a Masked Vigilante's secret identity through deduction or spying (as opposed to unmasking a captive hero) must beat the Vigilante in an opposed Streetwise roll. 
Iconic Edges

Fearsome Silhouette
Requirements: Novice, Masked Vigilante
The Masked Vigilante's disguise or reputation is so terrifying that opponents subject to the Vigilante's fear power suffer a -2 penalty (cumulative with the -2 for getting a raise on the activation).
Upstanding Citizen
Requirements: Novice, Masked Vigilante
The hero's cover identity is so far above reproach that attempts to deduce their secret suffer a -2 penalty.

*Game Masters transitioning a Masked Vigilante into Savage Rifts® may allow the character to discover untapped psionic potential, changing Arcane Background (Super Powers) to Arcane Background (Psionics) and allowing the player to select one additional power (keeping the 20 Power Points associated with Super Powers instead of being reduced to the base 10 points associated with Psionics). The Fear skill changes to Psionics.

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