Friday, March 15, 2013

Worm Characters: Weld

In the process of (seemingly randomly, I'm sure) picking Worm characters to model I have chosen Weld. Weld is a young leader of the Wards (the government sanctioned teen-aged in-training super-team franchise). He is a made-of-metal super-strong, super durable guy who manages to be "leadership material" despite being visibly non-human (something that isn't said much about but seems to be almost an actual policy--if a secret one).

Weld is metallic and can deform his body--somewhat. He can stretch limbs and deform but he does not seem totally plastic or able to slip under doors or anything like that. He is also pretty much non-biological. I believe he does not eat or sleep (I might have that wrong).

In addition to his non-human biology he 'welds' to metal when he touches it. Sometimes this is unintentional: he can shake your hand and bond to your wedding ring. If someone fires metallic darts at him, they'll stick to him and slowly be absorbed messing his face up for a while.

Weld was both straightforward and posed some interesting questions:
If You Squint You Can See Him ...

Weld is built using the Automaton rules: he has "No Biological Weaknesses." This means what it says--he doesn't need to eat nor sleep. The rules say he needs some 'down time' (around 4 hours a day) which is pretty non-productive--but he's more machine or golem than flesh. Chemical attacks are meaningless. He can't get sick. He doesn't need to breathe.

Most importantly: he does not take traumatic Penetrating Damage (he still takes damage--but it doesn't get the huge multipliers biological people take when a "good hit" is scored and their armor doesn't hold up).

A few points:

I gave him Stretching with just the basic power (it also has multiple "levels") and a VERY LARGE defect which is that he can only deform limbs and extend them. He doesn't use stretching to move or slide through small spaces. He can still be grabbed or grappled. He doesn't "bounce" or take negative damage modifiers from attacks that deform him. In short, he can alter himself a bit--but that's it. The cost goes from 15 to 2 AP.

Automaton, Armor, Strength
Weld has Super Strength, the Iron Automaton package, and extra "armored skin." What does this do? It gives him a punch for a whopping 45 points of damage, a weight of around 800 lbs, and 24 points of Armor with a 60 PEN Defense--not that he'll need it much since he doesn't take PEN damage (but wait--there IS a reason).

In the story he "grows" a club-weapon and I bought that with the defect that it takes a 5 REA action to create. I also allowed him to grow a sharp weapon (although to my knowledge he has not) and use that to stab people. His Basic Damage is built with the cost-modifier to allow the use of a blade.

Skin Armor: In the story Weld gets stabbed in the eye by a mind-controlled ally. The stabbing is with a dart and it hurts him ... a little. In JAGS Full Armor is generally treated a bit like a 'force field' in that it covers everything. But the reality is that everyone has weak spots. A weak-point is treated as "coverage 8" meaning you need to hit Weld by 8 or more and then, if you do (that's a really good hit) you can choose to bypass the armor. I left Weld with 8pts of armor from Automaton and +16 from "Skin Armor" with the weak-point defect (-1 AP to the cost--a minor difference).

This means that the attacker got a very lucky hit and was hitting only against 8 Armor. It's unlikely that Shadow Stalker, without using some special powers, could deal 8pts of damage--a strong person stabbing you with a shiv does around maybe 3-4 PEN--but it's at least possible a few points could get through.

On the other hand, a full-auto assault rifle burst does around 27 PEN and Weld would feel it to the tune of around 3pts of Damage on average but he can take that all day.

Damage Points and ADP
Weld has around 38 Damage Points (a moderate number--lowish for a super hero brick) and 66 ADP (which is a good number for him). If he hits himself he will take about 1/3rd to 1/2 of his damage each hit and will be able to hurt himself reasonably badly in 2-5 Rounds (his Automaton body can actually go longer than normal before it starts feeling the damage). He is very tough.

Absorbing Metal
There is no "weld with metal" power in JAGS but there is Magnetic Control which I bought at Level 4 (which is, frankly, a lot) and gave it a VERY LARGE (-88%) defect that says it's only to stick and then "absorb" metal. This gives it a 26 Grapple pull which is more than a normal man could break. If something gets stuck in him, he can break it off and get it out--but mostly, it's stuck (if you don't have his super-strength, it's really stuck). This would also apply if he was struck with a metal weapon.

I am thinking on how to handle the "always active" element of this (usually sticking something to you in a fight takes an action). There are rules for "damage fields" (such as being on fire). Those might apply reducing the strength a bit.

I treated the "absorbing metal" (and his ability to shed it) like eating metal. There is no specific power for a very unusual diet like that--but he's super strong and tough--the game rules would allow him to bite off and chew metal. There is no reason not to allow skin absorption of it.

Weld is a pretty strong leader. I had the points and gave him Commander Level 1 so he can lend SPs to his allies (as well as himself).

Weld vs. Jack Slash
What would happen if Weld fought Jack Slash? Well, Weld is exactly (or, well, in the Worm-verse) the 128 AP character Slash doesn't want to be stuck in a small arena with. For one thing, Slash's super-damage will never apply: Weld doesn't have internal organs. For another thing Weld's armor is too high for Jack to really hurt if he can't get the Armor Piercing working.

However, Jack can. Jack's Armor Piercing attack is 36 PEN Value. Weld's full defense is 60--that's a roll of a 15- Armor Save for Weld if Jack does not hit weak points. That's "almost always" (above 90% of the time).

However, Jack has about a 17- to hit. He can hit weak points on a 9- (around 45% of the time) and he will. He can attack around 3-4 times a Round and still dodge incoming punches (Weld will attack twice a Round and will not save any action points trying to block Jack as he can't block ranged attacks anyway). Each hit that Jack gets on a weak point will deal around 15 Damage to Weld as the Armor Piercing effect will remove the (light) under-armor.

The fight goes something like this: Jack goes first and hits 4 times landing two hits for 30 damage through weak points. Weld "Feels nothing" (this is against ADP) and closes with a flying tackle. Jack dodges (Jack's dodge is probably much better than Weld's to-hit roll).

Jack goes first the second Round and does two attacks saving two defenses. This yields a 15 pt hit. A few more of these and Jack will be hitting Damage Points, which Weld will feel.

Weld hits on a "good fighter" 14-. Jack dodges on an expert 17-. About 1 in 3 or 4 attacks will hit. When they do, they will hit for about 60%-80% damage: about 38pts. Jack takes off 8 for his armor and suffers 30. Jack can take about three of those before he's likely to drop.

This gives Jack about 3 or 4 Rounds to finish Weld. He may have to get a little lucky--but I would put him at a bit of a favorite to win (albeit marginal).

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