Building a speedster is one of the great challenges for game designers and players of super heroic games. It is easy to give them a lot of speed and actions, but how do you balance that for game play? Autobahn is the newest of the characters to spring from my head is only just joined The Argonauts so she is a Power Level 10 character to work with! The one downside? I don’t have an immediate sketch of her to share for everyone to chuckle at.
Building a speedster is going to revolve around their speed and reaction. I am going to jump ahead for just such a reason to grab the cornerstone powers for Autobahn to know what we are working with on the rest of the build. In the book, there is an example combined power called ‘Super Speed” that is just Speed, Quickness, and Improved Initiative in one line. I picked up 8 ranks of that to start where Speed is the flat out running speed, Quickness is the ability to accomplish non-combat tasks faster than the eye can follow, and Improved INitiative is … well … a bonus to initiative so the speedster is more likely to go first. Thats a quick 24 points or ⅙ of our total off the bat.
Look at the rest of the Abilities, Agility and Dexterity are the most important for the build. Autobahn is not just a super speedster, but I want her to be poised and more dexterous than flat out fast. Pumping those to a superhuman level of 8 will leave me mostly keeping her remaining Abilities in a normal human mix with one notable exception. Her Stamina is high for a non-brick or supersoldier and I intend to keep it that way. A side effect of the super speed is that she will have an incredibly efficient metabolism and as such lower fatigue toxin build up. I don’t want her to stop running.
Moving back to the powers, I go ahead and put an immunity to friction to avoid having to deal with the real science of that speed as well as both water walking and wall running movement powers that are limited to when she is running. I am also going to up her Dodge by another 8 ranks to get her as hard to hit as I can for now. While she doesn’t have much protection or toughness, she’ll maybe learn how to shunt some kinetic energy off in the future as a speed stunt to eventually buy a Protection Power. For initial offensive abilities, I add a Battering Ram power that doesn’t use her strength so she gets around having a low Strength by running really fast and slamming part of her body into her opponent, which is also a joke about the German national futbol/soccer team’s traditional attacking style. It works well! I also throw about 10 points of Advantages in as powers because they are based on the super speed, so if she loses her speed somehow she would also lose access to things like the Instant Up and Seize the Initiative.
Similar to Titan, I have a bag of common Speedster Tricks in an Array of Alternate Effects. These are really minor effects, but constant fun effects as well as the higher speed so she has to choose between utility and raw speed. The Increased Quickness means that she can rearrange a room while other people are sitting in it. The Increased Speed makes her flat out the fastest character designed. These alternate effect arrays allow for an easy way to add more powers to the character sheet such as if you use a Hero Point to power stunt an effect more than once or twice, maybe you should just buy the power straight up.
The most notable skills for Autobahn are things like Acrobatics, going back to my poise concept, as well as the significant ranks in Perception and Sleight of Hand. Finally, her plugged in nature and social media savvy shows in the Expertise of Popular Culture and Current Events.
The Complications from Mutants and Masterminds blend the nature between the crunch of construction and the incoming character notes. Every starting character has a Motivation and one other Complication which, if they come up in a session, may allow for Hero Points to be earned. Autobahn’s Motivation is Recognition; truth be told she is a little bit of an attention hog and loves the spotlight – the green and black costume is just the easiest way to get that. Her Complication is Phobia – specifically Chronophobia as she perceives the passage of time so differently than others she can lose control when her ability to perceive time is taken away or sped up.
Time is passing us all by, but for Gisele Rainer also known as Autobahn, it moves far slower as she speeds across the German highway whose name she took for her own. In the time it took you to read that sentence, Gisele was halfway across the city.
She had already seen the reports of a fire that had broken out at an orphanage and was on the way to do what she could to save lives and get some good publicity in the process. In what you would call a short 21 years, she had already seen over 60 years pass before her eyes. There was not time to waste after all.
Gisele’s powers were with her from the day she was born. A crying baby that could move faster than the eye can follow isn’t always a good thing, but her parents found ways to keep her grounded. The benefit of being a speedy little kid is that you get through your terrible twos much faster than other babies, or much slower depending on your point of view. She “matured” faster than other children because of how much time she spent moving at 300kph was a time she also spent thinking at 300kph.
By the time she was a teenager, Gisele knew what she had to do. Life moved so quickly for her and so slowly for her parents, she had to find a way to be remembered after her bright flash of time was gone. She could run circles around anyone,literally, and so she began to see just how she could use that gift to help others and more importantly be remembered. When she saw the Argonauts fight against world conquering despots, she knew that that was how she could be remembered.
She continued to read and follow the world, being hooked into the newest and latest events around the world. She had an obsession to know what was happening and is a source of indescribably complicated pop culture or news stories. Eventually, everybody needs new members and after she had been running around Europe, at a casual cruising speed of 800kph, she was asked to step into the shoes of a missing Argonaut. It’s her chance to step into the big leagues and prove her worth.
Argonauts Overview Here.
Autobahn Character Sheet Here.