Elsewhere


First, there was the ideascape, full of things-to-come, but not coalesced into existence. Then came The One. Or rather, one of his Alter Egos, The Genie. The One, as anybody knows, has no control over its transformations. But the ultras it has become (The One is a genderless alien being) can be very powerful. The Genie was one of those. Granted the powers to fulfil three wishes to a pure-hearted person, The Genie was battling Ultiman when, in saving a crippled African-descendant girl, he listened to her plaintive request: "I wish we could live in a city where everyone could have any kind of skin, eye colour, hair colour... I wish we could live Elsewhere, where human beings could live regardless of what they look like... Wouldn't it be nice to live in a city like this, Mr. Genie? A place where we could have all the architectonics a human mind could conceive, in neighbourhoods full of different and interesting people..." What a Genie could do but to comply? On a whim, just seconds before his Alter Ego could vanish to the Void of Beings (where all The One's Alter Egos end), there it was: Elsewhere.

Overview


Elsewhere is a melting pot of the humanoid metaverse, where Egyptian-like pyramids rise beside a thick urban jungle of alien skyscrapers and elevated highways that mesh to form a three-dimensional concrete lattice, a mosaic of patches of realities which have been linked together in a seamless urban landscape. Sometimes, areas of this cityscape shift: neighborhoods change position and shift out of the mosaic to make room for new arrivals. The city defies linear thinking: in Elsewhere everything is relative, even reality itself. Navigating, depending on where you are, is tricky. Someone travelling through the city actually travels through a series of realities that are connected by interdimensional interfaces.

An interface is a phenomenon that allows a traveller to pass from one precinct  into another (precinct is a neighborhood that surround the centre of Elsewhere, the "Metroplex", in contrast to the exurbias, which are more distant conurbations). Interfaces range from simple, straightforward portals to imperceptible transition zones. Each interface in Elsewhere is unique in some way. Most inhabitants step through dozens of interfaces every day without a second thought. Travel through some interfaces, however, can be complex, involving passing through seemingly solid walls, or following the correct sequence of turns through a maze of alleyways. Some interfaces change their positions with respect to one another. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as "drift", and it makes for a lot of headaches and confusion. Some interfaces stand still, some drift at steady glacial rates, while others drift fast enough that travellers have to run to catch them.

More often than not, all interfaces in Elsewhere link realities that have something in common. For instance, an interface may join a contemporary version of Quartier Latin in Paris with an alternate version of the same area in another City of Lights or with a city that is fundamentally different but bears some strong resemblance to the bohemian quarters in capital of France. The similarity between the realities interfaced in Elsewhere manifests physically in the city's architecture. Inhabitants use these similarities to help them navigate the city. This method isn't foolproof, however; it's common for inhabitants to misinterpret the similarities between realities, take a wrong turn, and get lost.

Portals, Doorways and Labyrinths



While there's an infinite variety of interface types there are few general categories that most of them fall under: portals, doorways and labyrinths.

A portal is a general term for any interface that is blatantly obvious. There may be some visual clue that gives the interface away such as swirling fog or a glowing edge.

A doorway is an interface that connects two vastly different realities. The term doorway is also used to describe any interface that is manmade or "artificial," whether it was created via magic or high technology.

A labyrinth is a cluster of subtle, often tightly packed interfaces, frequently a maze of alleys and side streets. Most labyrinths are nearly devoid of street traffic, either because their environments were deserted to begin with or because people who find themselves within a labyrinth soon get lost and stumble randomly out into the rest of Elsewhere.

Outside and Inside


Entering Elsewhere from the "outside" city can be problematical. First the traveller must find an interface that leads into Elsewhere. This usually isn't a problem for travellers who have just left it and want to return, as the chances are good that the interface is still where they left it — although it isn't unusual for inhabitants to get stranded in realities that phase out of Elsewhere. Depending upon how much of a reality is in phase, as measured by the size and number of interfaces connecting it to Elsewhere, entering can be routine or extremely difficult (often Elsewhere interfaces are invisible to "outside” observers). When interfaces are large and easy to spot, finding them is as simple as scanning the horizon. When interfaces are small or unreliable it takes searching, investigation, Elsewhere knowhow, and a bit of luck to find them.

If a traveller wishes to exit Elsewhere, they must find an exit point into a reality which is not surrounded by interfaces back into Elsewhere. "Leaving" Elsewhere entails finding an exit that leads "out," as opposed to an exit that leads to yet another part of Elsewhere. This can be extremely difficult, or even impossible in some cases. Many residents have been trying to return to their home reality for months, to no avail.

The nature of realities in Elsewhere


The exact nature of the realities that compose Elsewhere is open to debate. Most inhabitants simply think of them as neighborhoods ("precincts"), and leave it at that. People of a philosophical bent continually wrack their brains over the significance of the relationships between realities within Elsewhere, but in practical terms Elsewhere behaves like a city with neighborhoods. The catch is that Elsewhere isn't a conventional chunk of real estate but a web of realities linked together by interfaces. Elsewhere is part city, part interdimensional junction, and it combines properties of both.
Each reality in phase with Elsewhere vary in proprieties and laws. Some are governed by strict physical laws, others by the supernatural, many are at balance between the two. A reality which is governed solely by physical laws may not operate under the same physical laws that any other reality does. The same goes true for realities that are supernaturally oriented. Fortunately for inhabitants, interfaces compensate for these differences in realities by 'translating' people to adapt them to the conditions of the realities they travel into. Unfortunately, translation often doesn't function on equipment, inhabitants can't rely on technological or magical equipment  being translated to operate properly in a new reality. There are realities where technology above a certain level of sophistication doesn't work, or where technology doesn't function at all. In a number of other realities in Elsewhere, magic doesn't exist and is incapable of functioning. Many precincts also have idiosyncratic properties: there are psionic precincts where everyone can communicate telepathically; 'ghost' realities where everyone is incorporeal; non-chromatic realities where colors don't exist and everything really is black-and-white, and so on.

The inhabitants



Elsewhere residents had to adapt in a variety of ways. Some were quickly able to make intuitive sense of the city's unique features, while other inhabitants only came to understand the city through months of head scratching and contemplation (some are still on the verge of lunacy, in trying to understand the scope of it all). Despite any misgivings they have about Elsewhere, most inhabitants wouldn't want to live anywhere else. They tend to perceive the city as the center of all that exists, and they can be snobbish towards inhabitants of mundane cities and outback realities.

There are all sorts of people in Elsewhere, but one thing unifies them: they are from [a] planet Earth, thousands of different versions of which that have come into phase with Elsewhere at one time or another. Realities containing humans or humanoid creatures predominate. There are areas of Elsewhere, however, where different kinds of realities and beings exist. These areas are extremely difficult to get to/from "conventional" Elsewhere. Although not technically "far" from the rest of Elsewhere (almost all of them located in the exurbias), these areas are isolated by the difficulty involved in getting to them. Travellers to "unconventional" areas may have to negotiate their way through a complex sequence of portals and labyrinths. As a general rule, the more isolated an area in Elsewhere is, the more alien it is from a humanoid perspective.

My setting. A patchwork from many books and series I've read and watched throughout the years, from Nexus to Cynosure, from Tanelorn to Top Ten, from Defiance to Babylon 5 (not forgetting my beloved Legion of Super-Heroes and Star Trek). It also gives leeway to have all sorts of interaction, not straying from the hominid type too much, but giving space to some alienness. A cosmpolitan space station in conurbation form, a world full of alien races in an area of several kilometres: that's how I envision Elsewhere. Some precincts are already fleshed out: the Metroplex (the center of Elsewhere); Township, Preserve, Bazaar, Province, Waterfront, Phantasmagoria and Necropolis; and the more distant exurbias of Singhabad, Hedjazi, Deraan, Escher-Bosch, Uhuru and Belcadiz. More are to come, depending on the characers created.

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Powers and Stunts: Omnibus!

The ICONS Great Power and ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition books have almost everything you need to play well, in terms of powers. But the gamer in me loves to push the boundaries, chiefly when I'm trying to replicate what I've read in comics. This shifting space (come back often!) will  present the stunts that we don't usually see in the official books. 

Feel free to add yours, critique and evaluate.

Stunts

Blast: Seeking 

Your blast has limited independence from you. If your attack misses the target, it will circle around and try again on the succeeding panels, getting a test to hit on each of the attacker's panels until it either hits or the target finds some way to evade it altogether (such as causing it to hit something else).
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Miraclo


Another piece of realia which many of comic book readers wouldn't mind to have, Miraclo pills tend to appear here and there as Internet memes, to represent a plethora of chemical solutions from flu to laziness. With the advent of political correctedness, some authors had to turn the pill into something more discreet in comics, to avoid negative comparisons with other forms of chemical addiction

Powers


Alteration Device 7 {Incredible}
       Ability Boost [Extra: Boost Two - Coordination and Strength]
       Damage Resistance
     

Origin Story

A special form of Phosphorus temporarily bonds with the ATP in muscle cells. This creates "Adenosine Quad-Phosphate", the energy from which is released to grant the user various abilities (see above). The effect lasts for about an hour, and the waste toxins generated are usually eliminated from the bloodstream within twenty four hours. It was created by the chemist Rex Tyler.

After Rex Tyler found a passion for chemistry, he landed a job as a researcher for Bannerman Chemicals. Through accidents and discoveries, Rex came to create the "Miraculous Vitamin" that would grant a group of test mice abilities that far exceeded the norm. Using it on himself, Rex found his own capabilities to extended to near superhuman levels, but only for one hour at a time. Realising the potential of Miraclo, Rex decided to keep this discovery to himself.

Rex Tyler's son, Rick Tyler, took Miraclo to become the second Hourman. He became dangerously addicted to the chemical for a time and even contracted Leukemia from prolonged exposure to the drug. It was Matthew Tyler, an android from the future (that later becomes the third Hourman), that cured Rick of his disease and helped him control his use of Miraclo. Rick developed a way to use Miraclo in a non-pill form by pressing a button in his suit that secretes Micralo into his skin, still giving him powers for one hour.

A fun idea, although not politically (or healthily) correct, the Miraclo pills were modernly retconned to be a solution for muscular dystrophy, which would make it much more valuable. In a medium full of chemical enhancements (Venom, anyone?), Miraclo tended to be useful only for the Tylers, though.
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Princess Projectra

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Birthright
Real Name: Projectra "Jeckie" Windzzal
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #346 [DC Comics July 1966]
                            Character created by 
Jim Shooter

ABILITIES


Prowess 3 {Average}
Coordination 4 {Fair}
Strength 3 {Average}
Intellect 4 {Fair}
Awareness 6 {Amazing}
Willpower 6 {Great}

Stamina: 9
Determination: 1

SPECIALTIES


Martial Arts
Mental Resistance Expert
Occult Expert

POWERS


Extrasensory Perception 9 {Fantastic}
Illusion 9 {Fantastic}
Supersenses 8 {Amazing}
       Additional Sense ["Microscopic Vision"]
       Additional Sense ["Penetration Vision"]      
       Additional Sense ["True Sight"]
       Enhanced Hearing ["Accurate Hearing"]
       Enhanced Vision ["True Sight"] 4 {Fair}

EQUIPMENT


QUALITIES


. Queen of Orando.
. Responsibility: penance for taking Nemesis Kid's life.
. Relationship: Karate Kid. 

Points: 57


ORIGIN STORY

Princess Jeka Wind’zzal was the heir to the throne of Orando, a low-technology member world of the United Planets. She possesses the ability to generate illusions that can affect all five senses. After becoming a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, she fell in love with and eventually married Karate Kid. Upon the death of the reigning monarch of Orando, Projectra and Karate Kid retired from active Legion of Super-Heroes membership and returned to Orando where Projectra took her place as queen. Shortly after she began her reign, the Legion of Super-Villains invaded Orando in an effort to use the planet as a vehicle into another universe. Karate Kid died to save the planet, and Queen Projectra, ignoring Legion by-laws that forbade killing, took Nemesis Kid’s life in retaliation. Resigning from the Legion at her husband’s funeral, Projectra used the warp device built by the Legion of Super-Villians to transfer Orando to another dimension, away from further “pollution” of the 31st century’s technology and dangers.

Projectra’s time with the Legion did not end there. The elders of Orando deemed that she should perform a penance for killing Nemesis Kid. Given further powers to see beyond the illusions of reality, Projectra was sent back to the main universe where she rejoined the Legion of Super-Heroes. At first she kept her identity secret even from her fellow Legionnaires, but her true identity was eventually revealed to the Legion when she was unmasked by the Emerald Empress of the Fatal Five. 

Projectra has a large number of sensory powers at her disposal, giving her the ability to discern illusions from reality, and even occasionally part the veils of time and death. Projectra uses her illusion powers subtly, to obscure or block opponents’ senses, project areas of darkness, or to startle and disorient her foes, She has complete control over the senses of others, including sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste, balance, pain, etc, allowing her to freely alter and manipulate them. She can enhance, reduce or remove them temporarily,  causing target to sense things that aren't there or prevent them from sensing things that are, cause/remove sensory ailments, etc.

Projectra's ability to see beyond the illusions of life — such as the "illusions" of distance and physical obstacles — is somewhat hard to convey in ICONS terms, even with the extra "True Sight". I had to resort to the expertise of Steve Kenson himself to help me out [Thanks, Steve!]. Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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Chameleon Boy

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Unearthly
Real Name: Reep Daggle
First Appearance: Action Comics # 267 [DC Comics August 1960]
                            Character created by
Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney

ABILITIES


Prowess 4 {Fair}
Coordination 5 {Good}
Strength 4 {Fair}
Intellect 4 {Fair}
Awareness 5 {Good}
Willpower 7 {Incredible}

Stamina: 11
Determination: 1

SPECIALTIES


Deception
Investigation Expert
Performance Expert
Stealth Master

POWERS


Detection (Target’s molecular structure) 3 {Average}
Transformation: (Animals) 8 {Amazing}
       Extra Type: Humanoids
       Extra Type: Objects (Limit: Disguise)
       Growth
       Instant
       Shrinking
       Stretching

EQUIPMENT


QUALITIES

Antennae: Binding his antennae keeps Reep from using his Detection powers.
. Vulnerability: Exposed to large amounts of high radiation freezes him in the shape he is in for one chapter.
. Prejudice: Durlans are viewed with suspicion throughout the galaxay.

Points: 93


ORIGIN STORY

Reep’s past is shrouded in mystery and confusion, but the undisputable truth is that he joined the Legion to better the image of all Durlans, using his people’s shapeshifting ability to become a spy and detective. His covert activities landed him in prison when he almost started a war. He was released thanks to his actions to stop a Daxamite controlled by Darkseid. His powers were suppressed during his incarceration, but they returned eventually, but just in time for the Legion to disband. He would later be the force behind the recreation of the team to reassume his role as the Legion’s light-hearted super-spy. He serves as the permanent head of the Espionage Squad, due to his powers and his high detective skills.

Reep is altruistic and loyal, but he tends to adapt his outward behavior to his immediate environment, blending what others expect of him and what they project of themselves on him. He is, however, the proud owner of a grand sense of fun.

Reep is a shapechanger, like everyone from his planet, and his antennae can read a target’s molecular structure for later reproduction. While he can copy basic functions, appearance and physiology as well as changing his own size and chemical composition to a certain extent, he can’t reproduce an individual’s special powers, or the unique and complex abilities from other creatures. Chameleon is also the son of R.J. Brande, an intergalactic entrepreneur, who is locked in human form and hid their relationship for years.

Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. With the revision, according to to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book, Chameleon got immensely more expensive, bringing to light the powerhouse he is. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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Lightning Lad

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Transformed
Real Name: Garth Ranzz
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #247 [DC Comics April 1958]

ABILITIES

Prowess 4 {Fair}
Coordination 4 {Fair}
Strength 4 {Fair}
Intellect 3 {Average}
Awareness 4 {Fair}
Willpower 4 {Fair}

Stamina: 8
Determination: 2

SPECIALTIES

None

POWERS

Electrical Control 8 {Amazing}
       Absorption (Electricity)
       Brownout
       Resistance (Electricity)

EQUIPMENT


Legion Flight Ring

QUALITIES


. Recklessly heroic.
. Hot-headed and stubborn.
. Unlucky. 

Points: 55


ORIGIN STORY

Garth, Ayla, and Mekt Ranzz crash-landed their powerless spacecraft on the storm-ridden world of Korbal while returning to their home world of Winath from a party on another planet. While attempting to use the electrical discharges of Korbal’s famed lightning beasts to recharge the craft’s power cells, the trio were accidently struck instead. Now possessed of lightning powers, the trio recharged the cells themselves and returned home. A short time later, Mekt disappeared and Garth decided to go to Earth to try to locate him. Enroute, Garth, along with Imra Ardeen and Rokk Krinn, foiled an assassination attempt on R.J. Brande, and as a result the three formed the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Garth is short-tempered, rebellious and resists authority. This often leads him into making brash, impulsive decisions that endanger himself and others. Despite these personality flaws, Garth is considerate and caring to the people he loves and respects. Garth was always a flashy and dynamic personality, and provided the early Legion with much of its energy and drive — not to mention an infusion of raw power. He could be reckless, but always in the cause of heroism and helping others; he has always been selfless in that way, and even before gaining his powers showed poise in a crisis and the ability to put aside his personal fears in order to do what needed to be done.

Converted characters unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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Light Lass

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Transformed
Real Name: Ayla Ranzz
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #308 [DC Comics May 1963]
                            Character created by
Edmond Hamilton and John Forte

ABILITIES


Prowess 4 {Fair}
Coordination 4 {Fair}
Strength 3 {Average}
Intellect 4 {Fair}
Awareness 4 {Fair}
Willpower 5 {Good}

Stamina: 7
Determination: 5

SPECIALTIES


Athletics
Disguise
Martial Arts 

POWERS


Gravity Control [Limit: Decrease Only] 9 {Fantastic}
          

EQUIPMENT


Legion Flight Ring

QUALITIES


. Heroic Samaritan.
. "You Guys Take This Too Seriously."
. Family Issues. 

Points: 44


ORIGIN STORY

Ayla Ranzz was the twin sister of a founding member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Garth Ranzz (Lightning Lad), and the younger sister of the villainous Mekt Ranzz (Lightning Lord). While traveling from their home planet of Winath, all three siblings became stranded on the 'lightning world' of Korbal, where they were attacked by powerful creatures known as lightning beasts. Rather than being killed, the Ranzz's somehow survived the attack and gained formidable lightning powers themselves. Ayla originally joined the Legion of Super-Heroes disguised as Lightning Lad, claiming to be her brother back from the dead after his apparent death at the hands of the villain Zaryan. Ayla's impersonation of her brother was soon discovered, but she proved her worth to the team and was admitted into the Legion as Lightning Lass.

After joining the Legion, Ayla caught the eye of fellow Legionnaire Timber Wolf and the two became a regular item. But Ayla had only been a Legionnaire for a short time before new teammate Dreamer had a vision fortelling that Ayla's lightning power would eventually result in her death. To save Ayla's life, Nura used the advanced science of her homeworld of Naltor to change Ayla's power to that of gravity nullification. Ayla's new ability to make objects super-lightweight led her to shorten her code name to Light Lass and to further reflect this change she removed the lightning logos from her costume and replaced them with a feather logo on her chest. She could make massive multi-ton objects become as weightless as a feather with a simple gesture. The upper limit of her gravity nullification was unknown, though it appeared to be directly linked to her willpower and ability to concentrate. According to Brainiac 5, Light Lass and Star Boy are two of the most powerful sentient beings in the universe because of their ability to manipulate gravity, the dominant force in universe for shaping large-scale structure of stars and galaxies.

Later there was a misunderstanding when Ayla caught longtime boyfriend Timber Wolf in an intimate embrace with Ayla's own sister-in-law, Saturn Girl, while both were stranded together on a frozen asteroid. Because of this, Ayla broke up with Timber Wolf, and she soon became disillusioned with her Legion career. She decided to leave the team, but was captured and tortured by her evil brother, Lightning Lord, who had become an implacable enemy of the Legion. After beating him, Ayla re-joined the Legion once again, though she did not rekindle her romance with Timber Wolf. Instead she bonded with a female teammate, Shrinking Violet (Salu Digby), who had just been through a similar personal crisis. The two women grew so close that they entered a romantic relationship (one of the first same-sex romances in mainstream comics) that lasted until the end of the Legion's original continuity.

Light Lass may fool a casual reader as a weak character. She's not. Her greatest feat was performed when she helped save Earth by temporarily nullifying the awesome gravitational pull of a black hole. Besides, Ayla is an athletic woman who keeps herself in excellent physical condition. Her girlfriend Shrinking Violet is considered the third-best female martial artist in the Legion and has given Ayla extensive hand-to-hand combat training, making Ayla a skilled fighter even without using her powers.

Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition. Thanks to +Max Traver for his input!
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Cosmic Boy

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Birthright
Real Name: Rokk Krinn
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #247 [DC Comics April 1958]
                            Character created by
Otto Binder and Al Plastino

ABILITIES


Prowess 4 {Fair}
Coordination 6 {Great}
Strength 4 {Fair}
Intellect 4 {Fair}
Awareness 5 {Good}
Willpower 5 {Good}

Stamina: 9
Determination: 2

SPECIALTIES


Athletics ["Magno Ball Champion"]
Leadership Expert
Trivia ["Ancient Earth Super Heroes"]

POWERS


Energy Control (Magnetic) 9 {Amazing}
       Binding
       Blast
       Magnetic Detection
       Telekinesis (Limited to ferrous metal objects)

EQUIPMENT


Legion Flight Ring

QUALITIES


. Obsession: His dedication to the Legion goes beyond mere commitment.
. Mantle of Leadership.
. Famous.

Points: 68


ORIGIN STORY

Rokk Krinn is a founding member of the Legion of Super-Heroes under the code-name Cosmic Boy. Rokk is a Braalian and like all of his native race has the superhuman ability to generate magnetic fields.

Though Rokk is a Braalian, he was not born on Braal; he was born on Earth before his family moved back to Braal. This is why he has more control over his magnetic abilities than other Braalians.

Rokk's parents were struggling for work on the impoverished world of Braal, so he left at the age of fifteen for Earth to find work to assist his family. On a spaceship trvelling to Earth helped save billionaire R.J. Brande from an assassination attempt along with Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. Brande was impressed by the youth and offered them work founding a team of young super-heroes. Rokk accepted and became Cosmic Boy, the team's first leader. He greatly admires and emulates Superboy (and Superman) and even recruits him as a member of the Legion in spite of the fact that Superboy belongs to the 20th century. Rokk is completely committed to his role as a Legionnaire and often sacrifices his personal life for the good of the team.

Cosmic Boy can manipulate, repel or attract metal objects of varying sizes. Naturally, the more metal is in an object the easier it is for him to affect magnetically. He has been show to pull large iron meteors and satellites down from space with minimal effort. He can use his magnetic power on rocks that contain iron ore to pull or use them a projectiles. He can also magnetize metal objects so that they become magnets themselves and stick make them stick to other metal objects. His power cannot affect non-magnetic metals, such as aluminum and gold, or organic substances like wood or flesh. His control is such that he can manipulate electronic records or the iron in blood. He has been known to use a uniform with ferrous fibers so he can fly with his own powers, but usually relies on a Legion Flight Ring.

Cosmic Boy's personality is as magnetic as his powers. He is an honorable, capable leader and puts the good of the Legion and the citizens it protects above his own personal ambitions. As a result, Cosmic Boy has little time for a social life, to Night Girl's, his girlfriend, dismay.

Converted characters unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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Specialties Galore!

The Specialties which appear in ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition are certainly enough to cover most needs for a superheroic campaign, but there are times when you want to throw something unusual at your players. The new Specialties are presented here for ease of reference (some of them were compiled from The Villainomicon), and for the use of any Game Masters who wish to make them available to their players.

Please feel free to discuss, critique and evaluate in the comments below.

Animals

You are skilled in handling and dealing with animal life. Add your speciality bonus to tests involving training animals, influencing or predicting their behavior, etc. If you wish to specify a single particular species, which bestows an increasing level of aptitude beyond specialist, but you lose the general benefit of the specialty for all other species.

Area

You are knowledgeable about a particular location (which must be specified), and can add your specialty bonus to Intellect and Awareness tests based on your familiarity with that location. 

Cinematic Combat


From the swashbuckling feats of Errol Flynn to the over the top combat in modern blockbusters, Hollywood heroes have developed a group of nonstandard combat tricks, and so has your hero. Sliding down the banisters, swinging from chandelier chains, and the like are all a level of difficulty lower for your hero.

Cryptography

You are particularly good at analyzing, solving and making codes and other puzzles.

Deception

You are skilled in the arts of lying, bluffing, trickery and subterfuge. You may add your specialty bonus to tests that involve deceiving others — including Persuading (ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition, page 144) or even combat maneuvers involving feint or misdirection.

Dimensional Geography


The science of leaving this plane of existence. Your hero has catalogued alternate realities and new dimensions.

Disguise


This allows you  to change your appearance with makeup, costumes, body language, facial expression, and the like. You know about the different types of makeup and other equipment used to create disguises, how to apply/use/remove them, and so on. You also may know something of the history of the art of disguise, including who’s who both  historically and currently in the world of changing one’s appearance.

Escape Artistry


Getting out of dangerous places. Your hero can reduce the difficulty rating to squeeze through ultra-narrow corridors, squirm out of ropes, and undo handcuffs from behind.

Espionage


The art of spying. An espionage-trained hero notice small clues, conceal or reveal information in communications, operate spy equipment and tell when someone is on his or her trail.  

Nature

Add your specialty bonus to tests involving the wildnerness, including tracking and survival.

Philosophy


The science of the nature of things, generally the fundamental beliefs as they come to be conceptualized and formulated, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods. It compromises logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology. This skill also includes theology, the study of the nature of God, His relationship with humanity and with the world, and religious truths.

Teaching

Passing on one's wisdom to others. Add your specialty bonus to tests involving explaining and imparting knowledge that you possess.

Trivia

A mishmash of specialized knowledge. You have one or more subjects in which you are an acknowledged expert. This can be anything: old movies, military history, sports, rock music, comic books — you name it.
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Karate Kid

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Trained
Real Name: Val Armorr
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #346 [DC Comics July 1966]

ABILITIES


Prowess 9 {Fantastic}
Coordination 6 {Great}
Strength 5 {Good}
Intellect 5 {Good}
Awareness 6 {Great}
Willpower 6 {Great}

Stamina 11
Determination: 4

SPECIALTIES

Athletics Expert
Martial Arts
Stealth Expert
Weapons (Melee)
Wrestling

POWERS

None

EQUIPMENT


QUALITIES


. Relationship: Princess Projectra.
. Focused: Val is very mentally disciplined.
. Fearless courage.

Points: 44


ORIGIN STORY

Val, named for his mother, Valentina, who died shortly after he was born, was the only son of Kirau Nezumi, a Japanese super-villain also known as the Black Dragon. Japan's super-hero, The Sensei, killed Black Dragon, then promised to raise the villain's son as his own, teaching him not only the martial arts but also an appreciation for more peaceful pastimes such as sculpting and painting. Val grew up in Japan, later moving to Metropolis to join the Legion. He viewed it as a challenge, how to make himself, a non-powered human, into a Legionnaire. By that time, he had established a proficiency in all forms of hand-to-hand combat and hand weaponry, with a special talent for karate. Focusing on this self-created super-karate, he tried out for the Legion on the eve of the Khund invasion and was accepted along with Princess Projectra, Ferro and Nemesis Kid.

Successful in his Legion career, he eventually served as Leader, for one term. He even trained many of his fellow Legionnaires in various types of hand-to-hand combat.

Karate Kid has studied every single martial arts known to man in the 31st century and by applying simple physics, he has been known to best even M'Onel. Val once took on the entire Fatal Five single-handedly, clearly defeating the Persuader, Emerald Empress, and Mano (though Mano was largely a matter of luck as the Kid admitted to himself). At one point or another he launched solo flying kicks at villains whose power level far exceeded Superboy, including Validus, Mordru, Omega and even Darkseid. Though they had little effect, they showed the degree of his fearless courage. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Thanks again, +Max Traver for making me rethink (for the better!) the build!
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Hourman

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Gimmick
Real Name: Rick Tyler
First Appearance: Infinity #21 [DC Comics December 1985]
                          Character created by 
Roy ThomasDann Thomas and Todd McFarlane

ABILITIES


Prowess 5 {Good}
Coordination 7 {Incredible}
Strength 7 {Incredible}
Intellect 4 {Fair}
Awareness 4 {Fair}
Willpower 4 {Fair}

Stamina: 8 / 12*
Determination: 3

Coordination and Strength are 4 when not using Miraclo.

SPECIALTIES


Athletics
Performance (Music)
Science (Chemistry)

POWERS

Alteration Device ["Miraclo pills", Limit: Only for an hour] 7 {Incredible}
       Ability Boost: Boost Two - Coordination and Strength
       Damage Resistance

QUALITIES

. Addicted to Thrill. 
. Hour of Power.
. Hero Legacy: "Can't Let My Father Down".

Points: 48


ORIGIN STORY

When Rick Tyler was a child, his father spent much of his time doing research and the rest adventuring as Hourman. Without his father’s guidance, Rick grew into a headstrong teen who ignored the consequences and took a dose of his father’s Miraclo during a crisis. Driven by the rush of Miraclo and the thrill of heroics, Rick, against his father’s wishes, became the new Hourman and joined other legacy heroes in founding Infinity, Inc.

Like his father, the first Hourman, Rick Tyler is addicted to the rush of adrenaline—but unlike his father fell thrall to drug addiction after taking Miraclo. Beating that addiction, surviving leukemia, and enduring a close brush with death has given Rick a new reserve of inner strength. That strength and his deep devotion to his wife have reignited the spark of life inside the young hero.  Though the version of Miraclo Rick Tyler now uses isn’t addictive, Tyler is almost uncontrollably drawn to the adrenaline rush of adventuring. When crime-fighting isn’t enough, he chases excitement through extreme sports.

Converted characters unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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Obsidian

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Birthright
Real Name: Todd Rice
First Appearance: All-Star Squadron #25 [DC Comics September 1983]
                            Character created by 
Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway

ABILITIES


Prowess 4 {Fair}
Coordination 5* {Good}
Strength 7* {Incredible}
Intellect 4 {Fair}
Awareness 5 {Good}
Willpower 4 {Fair}

Stamina: 11*
Determination: 1

* Strength and Coordination are 3 in normal identity.

SPECIALTIES


Athletics
Investigation
Pilot Expert [Helicopter]
Stealth Expert

POWERS


Alternate Form (Shadow) 8 {Amazing}
       Extra: Affects normal world with Strength
       Flight 3 {Average}
       Life Support [Breathing, Cold, Eating, Heat, Pressure, Radiation, Sleeping, Toxins]
       Stretching [Limit: Extra Only (Elongation)]
       Super-Senses [Additional Sense ("Darkvision")] 1 {Weak}

QUALITIES


. Connected to Shadowlands.
. Legacy of Instability.
. Sexuality: this might cause him difficulty in situations where prejudice is an issue. 

Points: 70


ORIGIN STORY

Todd Rice grew up in an abusive household with his adoptive father. As a teenager, he discovered that he had a sister, that he had powers, and that he was the son of Alan Scott, aka Green Lantern of the Justice Society. He took the name Obsidian and with his sister joined the JSA legacy team Infinity, Inc. Following the dissolution of that group, he operated independently for a while and then as a member of one of the  incarnations of the Justice League. Despite a period during which he had been corrupted into deranged villainy due to his connections to Ian Karkull and the Shadowlands, Obsidian has continued to fight the good fight and make his family proud.

Obsidian is remarkably well-adjusted and level-headed for someone with his background and upbringing. He has few illusions about his heroic lifestyle, and is sensitive to how ordinary people are impacted by his interaction with them and with his environment. He may be a little afraid of his own powers, especially the Aura of Fear (a stunt which causes the target to confront his/her own inner horrors, enacted by throwing his own shadow over an opponent). He seems to have a chip on his shoulder, particularly toward the wealthier members of the team (such as Fury, Skyman and especially Silver Scarab). Todd is protective of his sister, sometimes overly so he senses that she is not as mature as most of the others, and needs to be protected from her own mistakes.

Through an innate connection to the Shadowlands courtesy of his father’s exposure to Ian Karkull’s powers decades ago, Todd has the ability to become a being of pure darkness and shadow. While in this form, he is far stronger, more flexible and more durable than any human, and can fly. If Obsidian is rendered unconscious, he returns to his normal form. 

The toughest character to convert so far, undoubtedly. If not for +John McMullen's help, I'm sure I'd have messed it up completely, because Obsidian breaks the primordial rule of Alternate Form: no strength, and he DOES have enhanced strength when in Shadowform. Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends.Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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Ultiman

Origin: Birthright
Real Name: Bernhard Albrecht
First Appearance: Eidolons! Comics #1 [Sigil Publications January 2012]

ABILITIES

Prowess 6 {Great}
Coordination 6 {Great}
Strength 6 {Great}
Intellect 6 {Great}
Awareness 6 {Great}
Willpower 6 {Great}

Stamina 12
Determination * - Villain

SPECIALTIES


Athletics Expert
Martial Arts Expert
Military ("Tactics") Master
Weapons (Guns) Expert 

POWERS


Blast Device ["Pistol", Shooting] 4 {Fair}
Fast Attack 6 {Great}
Immortality 2 {Poor} 

QUALITIES


. "The world under the Aryan's reign".
. Superiority complex.
. Tactical genius. 

Points: 57


ORIGIN STORY

The ancient Scandinavians had a legend of an “island at the edge of the world” called Ultima Thule. By the end of the World War II, some Nazi scientists and scholars decided to flee the crumbling Germany to found a city where the ancient texts had said the Aryan culture first thrived. High above the Arctic Circle, hidden deep beneath the polar icecap, lies the fabulous city of Ultima Thule. 

Continuing their studies of eugenics, these scientists “improved” the characteristics of their gene-pool, achieving what they deem the perfect “human being”: tall, blond, blue-eyed, athletically perfect. possessing some regenerative abilities and an extremely long life (they don't seem to age and some have supercharged immune system). But with this success, came very bad news: infertility and a very malignant disease, similar to a violent cancer, killing most of the citizens, chiefly the scientists responsible for the eugenic projects. Some would say it was the hubris for tampering with the laws of nature, but the Ultima Thule government decided to quarantine the labs and stop messing with their genetical code. Most of the population of Ultima Thule is presently very much stagnant, everybody looks much the same. With a dwindling population (every citizen who dies is indeed irreplaceable), they decided to close themselves to the rest of  the planet. Some have considered a return to the outside world, but because of their shady past, most of them were afraid of repercussions. Most, but not everyone.

An individual, named Bernhard Albrecht, took the sobriquet of Ultiman, and began his journey through the world, decided to make the planet bow to his supremacy. His comrades could be too coward to show the rest of the planet the sheer power of their genetical / historical superiority, but as he learnt in the Gymnasium (where, during some practical history lessons, he acquired his Mensur scar, the one which he is particularly proud of), only the strong shall survive. He deems himself the strongest and will do what he can (and he has plans galore!) to demonstrate that (earning, all the while, the utmost respect from his own people, perhaps). Possessing his forefathers extremely biased worldview (he treats everyone else as inferior, and non-Aryans even more so) and means to try and force the world to bend to his distorted Aryan supremacy (he always has a horde of devout, albeit dim-witted, minions to help him), Ultiman is a high-level threat.

Mixing assorted influences from Fawcett's Captain Nazi to Mutants & Masterminds' Superior, Ultiman is how I envision a Nazi-themed villain. A touchy subject to many, and deserving to be so, I decided to make him a bit delusional character, but without being deranged. He's cunning and dangerous, often planning one-step ahead of his enemies. Please notice that although he wears a cape, it does not hinder him in combat, as he devised several attack and defense movements to capitalize on it. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book, and streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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Kinetix

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Unearthly
Real Name: Zoë Saugin
First Appearance: Legion of Super Heroes (vol.4) #66 [DC Comics March 1995]
                            Character created by 
Tom McCraw, Mark Waid and Lee Moder

ABILITIES


Prowess 3 {Average}
Coordination 3 {Average}
Strength 3 {Average}
Intellect 4 {Fair}
Awareness 4 {Fair}
Willpower 5 {Good}

Stamina: 8
Determination: 4

SPECIALTIES


Occult
Power (Animation)
Science (Archaeology)
Trivia (Fashion)

POWERS


Servant ["Animation" (Limit: Source)] 9 {Fantastic}
       Instant
       Multiple

EQUIPMENT


QUALITIES

. Power-hungry, but for unselfish purposes.
. Short Attention Span.
. Curiosity killed the cat.

Points: 53


ORIGIN STORY

There is no shortage of power-hungry people in the universe. But few desire power for unselfish purposes. Fortunately, Zoë Saugin is one such seeker.

She first quested for power when her archaeologist mother fell ill, in order to heal her. She found it in the Moon of Kol, an artifact that her mother had once unearthed. From then on, she found that magical objects lent her the power to animate unliving objects, an ability that her mother has found useful on countless occasions, sparing her the tedium of digging for her artifacts, and which had been brought about by her mother's own use of a mystical object to heal the dying witch Mysa.

But Zoë was aware of a greater need for help, of suffering beyond her immediate family that needed to be alleviated. To this end, she constantly sought more objects of magical power. This search continued even after her home planet's ruling council drafted her to represent it in the Legion of Super-Heroes as Kinetix. On one such foray, she took along Shrinking Violet, who she adopted as her best friend upon joining the Legion, and the two of them found the Star of Akkos, an object which, contrary to Zoë's desires, drained her power rather than increased it, part of a plan by Mysa to enlist Kinetix in her service. Since the political implications of removing someone from the Legion would be disastrous, Legion leader Cosmic Boy sent her on temporary leave while she looked for new powers, also as Mysa had planned.

Her search was nearly the end of her when the White Triangle Daxamites began destroying stargates, one of which she was supposed to use to reach her destination... but she found a planet to land on and was rescued by Mysa, who did not reveal to her their previous connection. Mysa trained her in magic and attuned her body to a magical artifact called the Emerald Eye, for which she wished Kinetix to search. When the training period was completed, Mysa transformed Zoë's body into that of a mystical creature, with pointed ears and a tail, and sent her off to search for the Eye. The search has brought her back into contact with her fellow Legionnaires, since Shrinking Violet (unbeknownst to all) possessed the Eye (or perhaps vice versa), a fact that was horrifically revealed to her some time later. While the entire Legion was in possession of the Eye, Kinetix attempted to take control of it herself, but was unable to break its strong link to Violet, and ended up drained of energy.

She was restored to vitality when the Eye sent a number of Legionnaires and others to the twentieth century, but her failure to capture the Eye has since came to Mysa's attention, and Mysa teleported her, her family and some other Legionnaires to Zarrox to punish her. Thanks to Zoë's mother, the connection between them was revealed, and, finally acknowledging the debt she owed her, Mysa restored Zoë to the way she was prior to their first meeting. Mysa still had her eye on Zoë, though, and it was to Zoë she turned to enlist the Legion's aid in fighting Mordru, a foe the Legion was already committed to dealing with.

One of the most modern Legion of Super Heroes recruits, Zoë has been pegged by many readers as a post-Zero Hour version of Life Lass, a fairly minor character who was one of the Heroes of Lallor before the Reboot. Plus, her name ("Zoë") means 'life'. Quislet, a character which I simply abhor, had  somewhat a similar power set, but it was very incongruously written. Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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Dawnstar

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Birthright
Real Name: Dawnstar
First Appearance: Superboy & Legion of Super Heroes# 226 [DC Comics April 1977]
                            Character created by 
Paul Levitz and Mike Grell

ABILITIES


Prowess 4 {Fair}
Coordination 4 {Fair}
Strength 3 {Average}
Intellect 3 {Average}
Awareness 4 {Fair}
Willpower 3 {Average}

Stamina: 6
Determination: 2

SPECIALTIES


Aerial Combat Expert
Investigation 

POWERS


Extra Body Parts [Wings] 7 {Incredible}
       Flight
       Space Flight 
Life Support 4 {Fair}
       Breathing
       Cold
       Radiation
       Vacuum
Supersenses 7 {Incredible}
       Additional Sense ["Telelocation", (Extra: affects objects)]
       Enhanced Sense {"Telelocation"] 6
       

EQUIPMENT


QUALITIES


. Tragic Romance (with Wildfire).
. Often comes across as stuck-up and aloof.
. The best tracker in the galaxy. 

Points: 42


ORIGIN STORY

Dawnstar embodies the result of a spiritual and technological journey of many centuries. American Indians chose to emigrate from Earth in the 23rd Century in search of a spiritually pure and physically unspoiled new home. Their spacecraft arrived, after a journey of decades, on an uninhabited planet they called Starhaven, near the core of the Milky Way galaxy. 

The emigrants wanted to live among their new home's woodlands, plains, and deserts without overly disturbing the land. Genetic engineering research was conducted to this end during and after their space journey. It resulted in the Starhavenites being given working feathered wings that moved both air and energy, and which allowed them to fly freely around the skies of their planet. 

Genetic research later enabled them to travel in the vacuum of space without the need for protective suits or spacecraft. Later generations could travel beyond the speed of light, creating or using space warps. Dawnstar was the result of even more refined effort, giving her a resistance to space hazards, and intense tracking abilities that enabled her to find lifeforms across even light-years of open space. 

The Starhavenites chose to avoid galactic entanglements, and declined to join the United Planets, but their peaceful isolation still required a minimal defense ability. Money for this had to be earned by those who worked off-planet. 

Young Dawnstar spent her late-childhood and early-teen years working as a guide for spaceships through hazardous areas of space. At fifteen, her talents brought her to the attention of R.J. Brande, who had founded the Legion of Super-Heroes. She resisted his invitation to join the Legion Academy, since it meant giving up her other income, but she acquiesced when Brande promised her a stipend that would be sent to her home planet. 

Upon joining the Academy, Dawnstar remained dubious about the Legion and its aims, and resisted undergoing the training that shaped the students into working as a team. Yet she had the constant encouragement of Wildfire, who oversaw the Academy. After a rescue from severe danger by several of her fellow students, she saw more value in the Legion idea, was less concerned with the aspect of money, and excelled at further training. 

Wildfire brought Dawnstar to the attention of the full Legion when the murderous Resource Raiders eluded all attempts at tracking and capture. She led a Legion team across the solar system and back to Earth in successfully finding and removing the threat. For her valorous assistance and skill when under fire, she was offered Legion membership "on the battlefield," a rare honor.

One of fan favourite characters from Legion of Super Heroes, Dawnstar's Telelocation power raised the bar in terms of Detection powers in comics. Moreover, it was one of the hardest ones to convert — thank you very much +Cameron Mount and +John McMullen for your very helpful and clever inputs. Oddly enough, the character total point isn't that expensive, compared to the power it displays. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book. Streamlined, once again, according to ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying: The Assembled Edition.
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