For those that like the simplistic resources in the advanced game, here is an additional chart that outlines exactly how much spare cash is available per resource rank.
|Feeble||$0 - $7,000|
|Poor||$12,000 - $15,000|
|Typical||$25,000 - $30,000|
|Good||$40,000 - $60,000|
|Excellent||$125,000 - $250,000|
|Remarkable||$500,000 - 1 million|
|Incredible||50 million - 100 million|
|Amazing||500 million - 1 billion|
|Monstrous||50 billion - 100 billion|
|Unearthly||500 billion - 1 trillion|
If, however, you like the more detailed resource point system, which differs from the basic set, and adds a bit more depth to money in Marvel than the standard ranks, here are the Resource Points....
Resources is a fancy name for petty cash. It isn't just money, though. It is the ability to get money or valuable equipment through many channels. It measures personal wealth and the influence of the hero with wealthy organizations. For example, Captain America is not rich but the Living Legend of WWII has connections with S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers, and half of the U.S. Government. Captain America usually gets what he needs.
Like other abilities, Resources has a rank and a rank number. The resource table shows the number of resource points available per week based on Resource rank. This is after all the normal expenses have been taken care of (buying food, paying rent and electricity). The Maximum column shows the maximum number of resource points the hero can accumulate at one time from borrowing resources (getting a loan) etc.
|Feeble||2 RP's||10 RP's||Unemployed, fixed income|
|Poor||4 RP's||20 RP's||Freelancers, students|
|Typical||6 RP's||50 RP's||Salaried employment|
|Good||10 RP's||100 RP's||Professional, middle class|
|Excellent||20 RP's||500 RP's||Small business, Avengers' pay|
|Remarkable||30 RP's||1000 RP's||Large business, upper class|
|Incredible||40 RP's||10,000 RP's||Small corporation, millionaire|
|Amazing||50 RP's||50,000 RP's||Large corporation, small country|
|Monstrous||75 RP's||Unlimited||Billionaire, multinational corps.|
|Unearthly||100 RP's||Unlimited||Major country, megacorporation|
Heroes spend resources when they buy or borrow something. Borrowing costs one-half as much as buying, but if the hero fails to return an item in good shape, he must pay to repair or replace it.
Vehicles and Travel
|New Mini-Car||60 RP|
|Used Mini-Car||40 RP|
|New Mid-Size Car||100 RP|
|Used Mid Sized Car||80 RP|
|New Sports Car||500 RP|
|Used Sports Car||400 RP|
|New Luxury Car||1000 RP|
|Used Luxury Car||800 RP|
|Small Airplane||400 RP|
|Small Jet||2000 RP|
|Small Powerboat||250 RP|
|Small Yacht||500 RP|
|Small Jet||2000 RP|
|Small Jet||2000 RP|
|Bus Ticket||2 RP|
|Train Ticket||4 RP|
|Transcontinental Airplane Ticket||10 RP|
|Intercontinental Airplane Ticket||20 RP|
Buildings And Housing
The Housing Costs Chart below gives guidelines for the resource points needed to rent or buy a dwelling in an average sized town. You can vary the costs for example it would be more expensive to live in New York city than a small town deep in Nebraska.
Rent (Per Month)
|Efficiency Apartment||4 RP|
|1 Bedroom Apartment||8 RP|
|2 Bedroom Apartment||16 RP|
|Luxury Apartment||24 RP|
|One-Story House*||10 RP|
|Two-Story House*||20 RP|
|Mansion*||40 RP per floor|
|Office Floor||50 RP|
|Office Building||1000 RP per floor|
|Efficiency Apartment**||600 RP|
|1 Bedroom Apartment**||900 RP|
|2 Bedroom Apartment**||1,200 RP|
|Luxury Apartment**||2,000 RP|
|One-Story House**||1,300 RP|
|Two-Story House**||1,800 RP|
|Empty Land||500 RP/Acre|
* Not including the cost of utilities or maintenance for this size dwelling, which equals an additional 10% of the rent per month.
** Not including the cost of utilities, insurance, and upkeep for this type of dwelling, which equals an additional 1% of the total cost per month.
*** Time for construction equals 1 month per room. When constructed, the cost for utilities, insurance, and upkeep equals that of a normal dwelling of equal size and type.
|Clean Clothes||2 RP|
|Formal Dress or Tuxedo||6 RP|
|Expensive Night Out||2 RP|
|Factory Equipment||1,000 RP per area|
|Electronic Equipment||100 RP per room|
|Electrical Generator||500 RP|
|Fence||20 RP per area|
Use these costs as a guide if players buy items that aren't listed. One resource point equals anywhere from 50 to 75 dollars. Heroes working in a super group, like the Avengers, can use their own resources (can you believe they're paid $1000 a week just to be Avengers? And I turned down their offer?!) or draw from the group's resources.
A hero can raise his Resource rank by saving pennies from week to week. If a hero manages to keep his Resources at the maximum for three weeks in a row, then spends Karma equal to his Resources rank number, his Resource rank goes to the next level. You'll notice he can't rise above Amazing, because Amazing has no maximum. On the other hand, if a hero spends everything he gets for three weeks in a row, his rating goes down to the next lower level. (He does have to spend Karma for that!)
Building Things with RPss
According to Reed Richards, there are five kinds of inventions:
- Armored suits, and
- Special devices.
These categories can be combined to make just about anything. A tank, for example, is just a weapon mounted on a vehicle. Everything can be broken down into pieces that fall into these five areas.
Before a player invents something, the inventor must define the object in terms of what it can do and how it will do it. Vehicles, robots, weapons, and armored suits have abilities defined with ranks. Special devices are handled differently, so we'll deal with those later.
Vehicles are machines that roll, crawl, walk, swim, or fly around, usually for the purpose of carrying something else: people, weapons, or cargo. A vehicle needs three ability ranks: Body, Control and Speed.
Any machine that is in charge of itself is a robot. It may be a normal, walking humanoid robot, a smart vehicle, or even an intelligent weapon. Any machine with a Reason rank is a robot; its other abilities define what it can do.
Weapons are designed to damage, hurt or destroy people or objects. A weapon needs ranks for Range and Damage. Range doesn't correspond neatly to rank numbers (see table below). Range Ranks when assigning a Range to a weapon.
|Range in Areas||Rank|
Armored suits range from simple outfits like flak jackets and biological warfare suits to powered battle armors like those worn by Iron Man, Scorpion, and Porcupine. An armored suit must have a body armor rank. It can have Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition, or Psyche ranks, too, if needed. If a suit has one or more of those abilities, the hero wearing the suit uses the suit's ability instead of his own. That's why armored suits are popular: they let anybody stomp around with Incredible Fighting ability and Monstrous Strength.
Special Devices don't fit any of these categories because they don't have ranked abilities. Astral cameras, Negative Zone navigators, and mutant locators are three examples. These will be covered later after we get through the basics.
The Invention Process
The first step in inventing anything is figuring out what it's supposed to do. Once that question is answered, the rest is easy.
First, decide what type of invention this is. Is it a vehicle, a weapon or an armored suit? Will it need a robot brain?
Next, list all of the invention's abilities and assign a rank to each. Consider these abilities, carefully, and think about everything this machine will do. If it's a vehicle, it needs Body, Speed, and Control ranks. If the vehicle has arms to pick up things, it also needs Strength.
Don't go overboard assigning high ranks to abilities, because ranks must be paid for. Anybody can design the best force field generator in the world, but it would take a lot of money to build. The cost of an item in resource points is the sum of all its ability rank numbers multiplied by 10, plus any modifiers for its size: (See table below):
|Fits in a pocket||50|
|Fits a room||100|
|Big as a house||300|
Its easy to see that inventions with lots of abilities, or a few really good abilities, are more expensive than smaller, simpler inventions.
Inventing and building an item takes as many hours as its cost in resources point: a gun that costs 200 resource points takes 200 hours to make. If more than one person works on the device, divide the number of hours by the number of people working to find the overall time. A gun that takes me 200 hours to make would take only 50 hours if three people helped me.
If any of the invention's abilities has a rank higher than the inventor's Reason rank, the Judge makes a Reason FEAT roll for the hero, shifting one column to the left for every rank of difference between the invention's highest rank and the hero's Reason. The Judge doesn't tell the player what the result was. If the FEAT succeeded, the invention was put together right and works fine. If the FEAT failed, something is wrong with the invention, but the fault won't show up until the first time the invention is really used (that means "used for real" as in combat).
An inventor worried about mistakes can double-check his work. Double-checking takes a number of hours equal to the highest rank number in the invention (40 hours for special devices). The Judge makes another secret Reason FEAT roll for the hero. If the FEAT succeeds, the hero knows whether anything is wrong. If nothing was wrong, he's sure the device is OK. If the FEAT fails, he's also sure the devices is OK, even if something actually is wrong.
If a double-check locates a problem, repairs take one-half as long as the original construction and cost one-half as much.
Kit Bashing: If the inventor doesn't have enough time or money to build something properly, he can make a one-shot, throw-away version out of spare parts very quickly and cheaply. Throw-away inventions can be used only once, in one fight or on one brief trip, and then are blown up, broken down, or burned out.
If a throw-away item costs more resource points than the inventor has on hand, he can make up the difference with Karma points on a one-for-one basis.
A throw-away item can be cobbled together in a number of rounds equal to the item's cost. Double-checking takes an additional four rounds. When any one-shot item is built, the Judge makes a secret Reason check for the hero, shifting one column to the left for each level the invention's highest rank is above the hero's Reason rank.
Before we look at some examples, there's one more very important note: a hero can't spend Karma to guarantee that those secret Reason FEAT rolls succeeded! The only way to guarantee success is to double-check, and double-check, and double-check, again. It takes time, but if your life depends on a piece of machinery, it's worth it. Now we get to do examples. This is the fun part!
First let's do a vehicle. Vehicles aren't my meat and potatoes, but some people couldn't live without them. Anyway, how about a big, spider shaped thing with a dome where the driver sits and four legs to move around on? Sounds pretty far out, eh? Here's how easily we can put it together:
This thing's got to be fairly tough, but I want lots of glass in the cockpit so I can see what's going on. I'll make the Body Excellent, like a heavy truck. It doesn't need to be very fast. I'll give it Poor Speed: it can keep up with a tank. It doesn't move very fast, this bug-machine doesn't need very good controls, either. I think Typical Controls will be adequate.
Here's what we've got:
|Body: Excellent||200 RP|
|Speed: Poor||40 RP|
|Control: Typical||60 RP|
The number in the cost column equal the rank numbers x 10. The size modifier is added at the end. Building this crate will cost somebody 400 resource points and take 400 hours of work. If I could afford it, I could build it without having to pass the secret Reason FEAT roll because none of the vehicle's ranks are higher than my Excellent Reason.
Weapons are even simpler, because they have only two abilities: Range and Damage. Blasters are real common in Marvel comics, so let's build one. I'll give it Excellent Range (5 areas) and Remarkable Damage (30 points).
|Range: Excellent||200 RP|
|Damage: Remarkable||300 RP|
|Fits in a pocket||50 RP|
This blaster is more expensive and takes longer to build than the vehicle. And I have to worry about that secret Reason FEAT, because the blaster's Remarkable Damage is higher than my Excellent Reason. I think I'll keep my trusty web-shooters.
If I wanted to mount this blaster on my nifty bug-machine, the whole arrangement would cost 950 resource points, take 950 hours to finish, and I'd have to pass one secret Reason FEAT to put the blaster together.
Now let's make a robot. Robots are a lot of fun, but they can be awfully expensive. This guy will be a sentry robot, put together like a person with arms, legs, a torso, and a head. I want him to do all the things a person could do, but he really doesn't need Intuition or Psyche. He needs Reason, though because that's what makes him a robot. And he needs Fighting, Agility, Strength, and Endurance, because he will move and fight like a person.
|Fighting: Incredible||400 RP|
|Agility: Good||100 RP|
|Strength: Excellent||200 RP|
|Endurance: Typical||60 RP|
|Reason: Poor||40 RP|
This guy's a real good fighter, but he's not too bright. A robot needs Reason, but he doesn't need a lot. The trouble with a stupid robot is that it's easy to confuse. If something happens that the robot isn't programmed to handle, it makes a Reason FEAT roll. Success means the robot figures something out and keeps working. Failure means the robot doesn't know what to do. It might ignore the situation, shut itself off, or even go berserk and start attacking everything in sight. The Judge decides exactly what happens.
Robots can have Intuition and Psyche. The Vision, after all, is a robot android, actually, but there's no real difference. A robot with Intuition could be very useful as a watchdog. A robot with Psyche has a will of its own, and may be hard for its creator to control.
How about a different kind of robot? Remember, the only requirement for a robot is that it has Reason. If a machine has Reason, it's a robot. If it's a robot, it has Reason. So, you ask, can a vehicle be a robot? Of course it can! Here's how:
Let's say I want to make my bug-machine into a robot that stacks cars in a junkyard. I need to make two changes in my basic design: add arms so it can pick up cars, and add a robot brain (Reason rank) so it doesn't need a driver.
Cars weigh a few tons, so the arms need Incredible Strength. Stacking cars doesn't take much intelligence, so I'll just give it Feeble Reason. The redesigned bug machine/car stacker looks like this:
|Body: Excellent||200 RP|
|Speed: Poor||40 RP|
|Controls: Typical||60 RP|
|Strength: Incredible||400 RP|
|Reason: Feeble||20 RP|
This is a significant change from the original design. It's important to remember that because this machine has Strength, it can pick things up and even grapple heroes. With its Feeble Reason it probably wouldn't think of attacking someone. On the other hand, if it somehow starts thinking that a hero is a car and has to be stacked, it isn't smart enough to realize it's making a mistake!
Nobody has said anything about super-powers yet, but yes, even super powers can be built into an invention. Powers like flying, growth, electrical control - in fact, any super power, with a little discretion from the Judge can be built into a device by assigning a rank to the power. Some of those powers are pretty weird for machines, which leads us directly to:
- Special Devices!
- Special devices are items that don't have ability ranks, or whose cost and complexity isn't accurately described by an ability rank. For example, an invisibility field generator that a hero can wear on his belt shouldn't be cheap or easy to build, but someone who builds an invisibility field generator might give it an invisibility rank of Feeble. This generator would be cheap and easy to build according to its rank; but that doesn't make sense, because it would take a lot of scientific know-how to make anything invisible.
The inventor must define exactly what the special device does. The player then assigns ranks to whatever abilities the invention has. (Remember, he'll have to pay for these ranks, just like any other invention).
Now the Judge takes over. Look at what the invention does, and look at the Reason power rank. Choose the Reason rank that most closely matches the complexity of the invention. If the item is an extension or a new application of current technology, it could be Remarkably or Incredibly complex. If it goes beyond current knowledge, developing new or alien technology, its complexity should be Amazing, Monstrous or even Unearthly. If it pushes into the CL1000 area it pretty much can't be done. The hero will have to pay the cost for this rank, too, just as if it were an ability rank he wanted the device to have. (That's 10 times the rank number, remember?).
Next, roll both dice, add the numbers together, and multiply the sum by 10. This is a random cost/time factor that comes from working on strange new devices. (You guess it! He has to pay this, too.) Finally, add the cost for the device's abilities (the rank numbers of all its abilities times 10), the complexity cost (complexity rank times 10), and the random cost/time factor. The hero must pay this amount in resource points to build the item.
Another of my handy-dandy examples will help clarify this. Everybody wants a teleporter. Teleportation's power rank number equals the number of areas an object can teleport across. I want my teleporter to have a Remarkable range so it needs a Remarkable teleporting rank.
Checking the Reason rank , I see that someone with Amazing Reason can develop ideas beyond the realm of normal science. That sounds like the level of smarts needed to design a teleporter. Rolling two dice for my random factor, I get a 4 and an 8. Here's what I end up with:
|Teleport distance: Remarkable||300 RP|
|Complexity: Amazing||500 RP|
|Random Factor: 4+8=12(x10)||120 RP|
There it is. I'd have to make a Reason FEAT roll, shifted three columns to the left (the Poor column). It's not easy but it can be done.
The average man lives in a secure little world, and by and large dismisses any notions about UFO's, aliens, and advanced technologies. I hate to shatter the illusion, but Earth lies at an interstellar crossroads, and many advanced races have visited this mudball we call home: the Skrull, the Kree, the Dire Wraiths, and the Shi'ar.
During their adventures, heroes may run into advanced human and alien technology. If the fate of the world hangs in the balance, someone will try to use a machine he doesn't understand.
Figuring out a piece of alien technology takes a Reason FEAT roll. If the result is a green, the hero understands the item well enough to use it, but can't fix or even reload it. Whenever he makes a FEAT roll depending on the device, he must shift one column to the left on the Universal Table.
If the result of the Reason FEAT is yellow or red, the hero understand the item well enough to use it without any column shifts. If the result is white, the hero has no idea what the device is. He can start punching buttons and hope nothing blows up.
A Reason FEAT roll isn't needed to figure out simple alien devices. Even complex alien devices can be figured out with lots of time and a good lab. The FEAT roll is needed only when time is short and the device is complicated.