This is the second in a series of articles for V&V 3.0 focusing on building character archetypes. I want to reiterate that these guides are for players who are already familiar with V&V 3.0, and that my ideas of how each archetype should play are a mix of what I’ve seen in comics, other TTRPGs, and my own opinions and personal play style. Moving on. The Blaster has been around since the dawn of comics in one form or another—Cyclops of the X-Men (1963), and Black Lightning (1977) are great examples. A Blaster’s role is to deal high damage at medium to long range with a high degree of accuracy. Some useful abilities for the Blaster are: Disintegration Ray, Electrical Bolt, Flame Blast, Heightened Expertise, Laser, Power Blast, Repulsion Blast, Sonic Blast, Special Weapon, Telekinesis, and Vibratory Blast. As for Ability Modifiers, I highly recommend the following: Area Effect, Armor Piercing, Autofire, Activation Power, Focused, Increased Duration, Different Damage Type, and Reduced PR.
When most people think of a primary damage dealer, they think of D&D’s Evocation Wizards, Sorcerers, Rogues, Rangers, and terms like Glass Cannon and DPS come up. In V&V combat flows differently than most TTRPGs—they can be over very quickly, or drag on as the offense of one side struggles vs the defensive powers of the other. With so many Abilities, and so many options in combat it’s hard to pin down a target if they play intelligently, and there are plenty of Defensive Abilities that can mitigate or even shut down incoming damage. So how do we make sure our Blaster is good at her job? While you can’t account for everything, you can at least make sure you’re hitting often, dealing consistent damage, and bypassing some of the more common defenses. Unlike the Tank, we’re going to start with our Offensive options.
The Blaster is concerned with Damage Types more than any other archetype. In V&V there are Full, Sub, and Specific Damage Types. For instance, Energy is a Full Damage Type, while its Sub-Types are broken down into Electromagnetic, Energy Beam, High Temperature, Light, and Radiation, which are broken down even further into Specific types like Electrical Shock and Flames. We’re not too concerned with the Sub and Specific types as much as we are Full, because most Protection will mitigate a Full damage type. The most common types of Protection you will run into are vs. Kinetic and Energy damage. Yes—Armor, Ice Armor, and Force Field offer flat damage reduction across four Full Types, but the most potent Protection Abilities like Invulnerability and Absorption Protection usually focus on one or two. In my experience, the least common type of Protection is Psychic. There just aren’t a lot of Abilities that deal Psychic damage, which is where the most potent Ability Modifier for our Blaster comes into play, and that is Different Damage Type.
If you flip to page 89 of your Mighty Protectors manual, you’ll see Different Damage Type on the top right. It states that “This changes an attack Ability’s damage type. There may be an additional charge depending on whether the new damage type is more (or less) expensive. Notice that there is no point cost for changing the damage type of an Attack Ability among Kinetic, Energy, Bio, or Entropy. However, there is a 5 point cost for changing it to Psychic and a 10 point cost for changing it to Other. That’s because these two damage types are hard to defend against. Let’s start by building our “Primary Nuke.”
Power Blast. Has there ever been a simpler and more iconic V&V Ability? I don’t think so. For the paltry cost of 1 Power you can deal double digit damage. In a game where non-superpowered crooks and criminals have an average of 5 Hit Points, this makes dealing with street crime a breeze. Verses other superpowered individuals, it’s still a potent offensive tool, requiring only a couple of well-placed blasts to take down most opponents. We’ll get into the build later, but just so you know, I’m buying Different Damage Type ‘Psychic’ as my first Ability Modifier.
Now we need to make sure we hit often and stay out of trouble. Normally I would go with Heightened Agility because you get the benefit of increased To Hit, Defense, Power, and Hit Points, but a Blaster should be fighting at a distance. This build really doesn’t need that much Power to function, so I’m going to go with Heightened Expertise and Heightened Defense. These powers in combination make her both accurate and evasive. To help her keep her distance, I’m choosing Flight because it’s useful for staying out of harm’s way, and for getting line of sight to targets that are using hard cover. Lastly, I’m going to invest in some Protection as you never know when a lucky roll will overcome her defenses. Armor is a great choice here, and I’m going to apply some modifiers to make it cheaper. Let’s look at our Ability list:
Power Blast – Modifiers: Different Damage Type ‘Psychic’, Body Part (Eyes)
Armor – Modifiers: Gear, Light Partial Coverage
Our core Abilities are in bold. As a Standard Power Level character, we may spend a maximum of 20 CPs in our four Core Abilities. As always, some weaknesses help round out our character, and refund some points so we’ll have enough to finish our build.
Farsighted – Has only Basic Vision within a range of 5″
Now that all the details have been worked out, let’s meet Farsight! *rimshot*
I’ve engaged in a little min-maxing, but nothing outside of our theme and nothing too overly powerful. I was able to afford 20 Points in Power Blast and change its damage type to Psychic (5 CPs) by applying the “Body Part” Ability Modifier for a 5 CP refund. This does means that a hit to her eyes could potentially disable her Power Blast, but an attacker would suffer a -6 for the Called Shot. Add this to her Physical Defense of 6 and a Called Shot to her eyes would suffer a total of -12 making it highly unlikely. Farsight can use Flight to stay at maximum range (12″ or 60 feet), nullifying the threat of melee opponents, and making her even harder to hit, while suffering little from the reciprocal Range Difficulty penalty. She even has decent Protection in the form of some light armor that I maximized using the Gear and Light Coverage modifiers. I even shuffled some of the Protection points around to afford her some Psychic Protection as that’s her only real blind spot in terms of defenses. Her Farsighted Weakness is flavorful without handicapping her too badly—she is supposed to stay out of close range after all, plus the wordplay was too good to pass up. 😛
Our Blaster is finished! She’s accurate, deals moderate to high damage, she’s very mobile, and hard to hit. There are so many ways to go with this archetype it’s staggering. V&V has no shortage of ranged attack options, mobility powers, and modifiers that help with your damage output.