The mission of a superhero usually describes why they are driven to fight monsters, criminals, or international pseudo-military groups bent on world domination, as well as why they might be compelled to defend innocent people from the random accidents of the world. It can be something as vague as an injunction from a dead family member, a desire to keep people from a tragedy they have experienced, or a dedication to an ideal or cause. Their mission isn’t a set of marching orders. It’s the way they look at the world and their place in it.
The superhero is an archetype of the freelancer class.
JP Pool: The superhero has a reduced pool of 15 JP and gains 5 JP per freelancer level.
BAB: The superhero begins with Full BAB but can reduce this to 3/4ths BAB for 5 additional JP or 1/2th BAB for 10 additional JP.
HD: The superhero begins with d10 HPs, but can reduce this to d8 HPs for 5 additional JP or d6 HPs for 10 additional JP.
Ability Points: The superhero may purchase ability points (see table below) beyond his normal rolled or point-bought stats.
Ability Point Range
Cost per Point
Normal: 0 to 18
Super: 19 to 34
Extreme: 35 to 54
Saves: The superhero begins with all Good saves but can reduce this to 2 Good saves for 5 additional JP or 1 Good save for 10 additional JP.
Skills: The superhero begins with 4 starting class skills and 4 SP per freelancer level. Increasing skill points costs 1 JP per 2 skill points, (max of 10). Increasing the number of Class Skills costs 1 JP per 1 Class Skill, (max of 10).
Weapon Proficiency: Simple weapons. Improving to include one single martial weapon costs 1 JP. Improving to include up to 3 martial weapons cost another 2 JP. Improving to include all martial weapons costs another 3 JP.
Armor Proficiency: No armor. Improving to include light armor costs 1 JP. Improving to include medium armor costs another 2 JP. Improving to include heavy armor costs another 3 JP. Improving to include shields (except Tower) costs 1 JP. Improving to include all shields costs another 1 JP.
Starting Wealth: 1d6 x 10 gil. Increasing starting wealth by 1d6 costs 1 JP (to a max of 10).
Limit Breaks (Su)
At 1st level, the superhero receives the Limit Breaks (Unique Ability and Unlimited Power).
Unique Ability (Su): This Limit Break allows the superhero to reach down in himself for a power he doesn’t already have. For a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four freelancer levels after 1st, the superhero can choose a superpower that he doesn’t have of a JP cost that equals his freelancer level (including enhancements and/or limitations). This limit break requires only a swift action.
Unlimited Power (Su): This Limit Break allows the superhero to juice up his superpowers without expending power points. For a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four freelancer levels after 1st, the superhero doesn’t expend power points when activating or sustaining his superpowers. This limit break requires only a swift action.
Advantages and Complications (Ex)
At 1st level, a superhero can buy Ads and Comps, as they’re called for short. They are little extras that aren’t quite feats and certainly aren’t powers, but nevertheless have a real effect on his life. Ads can be material, like an indestructible costume, or extremely ephemeral, like a boost to his good name. Comps are, as their name implies, not flaws or hindrances, but things that make his life a little more complicated. A dependent family member or loved-one, for example, complicates his life, as does a strong dislike of guns. . If the superhero’s group is playing with traits and drawbacks, a superhero can choose two 1- or 2-point advantages for free, with a drawback (of 1- or 2- JP Value) to gain additional advantage (or the same cost as the drawback) instead of the normal traits.
Neither of these things are bad. They just make being a superhero a little tougher. Ads cost JPs and Comps yield JPs. The superhero must clear his Ads and Comps with his GM because some, specifically the Comps, might simply not “complicate” his life enough in a particular game setting or under a certain style of play. Forsworn From Firearms, for example, complicates his life only if the superhero lives in an area in which firearms are commonly available or used. The superhero cannot take more than 10 JP-worth of Comps.
Buying Off Comps
1 JP to 4 JP
Value + 1 JP
5 JP to 8 JP
Value + 2 JP
9 JP to 12 JP
Value + 3 JP
13 JP to 16 JP
Value + 4 JP
The superhero can also buy off Comps with JPs, but the superhero must buy them off as part of the level-up process. Buying off a Comp costs the value of the Comp plus 1 JP for every 4 JP of its value, to a minimum of 1 JP. A 6 JP Bane costs a total of 8 JP to remove, for example.
Many Ads/Comps are purchased on a per-level basis. The cost per level is listed in the description, and the total costs are listed next to the level description. For example, 3 levels of Ally is 6 JP (2 JP per level). Ads and Comps also have enhancements or additional complications, which the superhero purchases separately, over and above the cost/value of the Ad or Comp itself.
- A complete list of advantages and complications can be found here: Ads and Comps
Power Pool (Su)
At 1st level, the superhero gains a reservoir of power points (PP) that he can draw upon to fuel his powers. This power pool has a number of points equal to his 1d6 (max at 1st level) + his highest mental stat modifier; this pool increases by 1d6 + highest mental stat modifier for every freelancer level after 1st. Power Points are what the superhero expends in order to use most powers. They represent of willpower, grit, or in the case of Gadgets, an abstracted fuel or a power source. Powers that are “always on,” like Ability Enhancement, don’t require PPs, but powers that manifest a one-time effect, like an Energy Attack, generally do. Like HPs, the superhero naturally regains PPs over time, at a rate of 1 PP per freelancer level every 6 hours (four times a day). For example, a 6th-level superhero regenerates 6 PPs every 6 hours. If he gets a full night’s sleep, he regains all his PPs.
At 5th level, a superhero can regain his PP quicker. The superhero must be relaxed and must be free from overt distractions, such as combat raging nearby or other loud noises. For example, he could be riding in the back of a carriage and benefit from this ability. The superhero does not gain this recovery if he is asleep or unconscious. The superhero regains 1 PP per hour. This increases by 1 for every five freelancer levels after 5th. This recovery is in addition to his normal PP recovery (see above).
Starting at 1st level, a superhero gains the ability to buy powers and traits with his JP pool.
- Powers: These are physical or energy-based manifestations that the superhero generates with his body, will, mind, or soul. He buys them with JP. Almost all of them require the expenditure of Power Points, but a few don’t. Most are one-time effects, like Energy Attack.
- Traits: These are a special kind of power. When the text refers to “powers” in general, it refers to traits as well. Only when referring specifically to traits does the text use the term “traits.” Traits have no activation or sustain costs and they are inherent to your body’s physiology. They’re often physical attributes that are not necessarily supernatural—an extra limb (Appendages) or retractable claws (Natural Weapon)—but they can also be little knacks and abilities that are so fundamental to the superhero that they simply can’t be distinguished from his body—Amazing Leap or Longevity, for example. This is why they are unaffected by the metapowers. They are usually not considered Super unless otherwise noted.
- Items: As their name suggests, these are physical objects that act as conduits for powers. The three kinds of items are Gadgets, Iconic Items, Esoteric Items, and Power Armor. Gadgets are items that can manifest a single power (never a trait) and are automatically replaced if lost. They are most typically Supertech. Power Armor is a bunch of Gadgets with armor plating. Iconic Items are nigh-indestructible objects that manifests all of your powers. Finally, Estoeric Items have one or more of the standard enhancements from the SRDs. Gadgets grant a JP discount as a percentage of the total cost of their power, because they can be lost, used against the superhero, or even potentially destroyed. Iconic Items grant a one-time discount because they cannot be destroyed, but on occasion could be lost or stolen. Esoteric Items do not manifest powers, so instead of a JP discount, there is simply a JP cost for their magical enhancements.
- Metapowers: Power Absorption, Power Detection, Power Duplication, Power Leeching, Power Nullification, and Power Resistance are metapowers, which means that their primary function is to interact with the energies that manifest as powers. They do not work on traits because traits are so fundamental to how his body works that they’re indistinguishable from his basic physiology.
- JP Cost: Every power has a cost in Job Points. This is a one-time expense. Many powers also have enhancements listed with them, which are also one-time expenses and some powers have limitations that give JP back. Costs are sometimes listed as “varies” when there are options within a power that can wildly change the price. They’re also often listed as a certain number of JPs “per level.” In this case, the text will describe what benefit one “level” of a power provides. All powers and traits with levels are capped to double his freelancer level.
- Activate (PP cost; action): This is how much time and energy it takes to start a power. It refers only to the first round in which the superhero starts a continuous power or the single use of an instantaneous power. Activation is broken down into two things: how many PPs it costs to start the power and what kind of action is required to activate it (full-round, standard, move, swift, or free). Activation costs are listed in PPs, then a semi-colon, and an action type, such as “2 PPs; standard action.” They sometimes have extra information in the PP cost, like “2 PPs per level; standard action.” The action type is sometimes listed as “use activated,” which means that there is some other action that has to take place to use a power, such as attacking, moving, or employing a skill. The superhero can activate a continuous power only once per round and it lasts at least one round. He can activate instantaneous powers, like attacks, as many times per round as he has the appropriate actions.
- Sustain (PP cost; action): This is how much it costs to keep a continuous power in operation. It uses the same basic formula as Activation (cost in PPs; action type required), but the PP cost is expressed as “per” a unit of time. Most often, that unit of time is a combat round, sometimes it is minutes, and in a few cases, it’s hours. Some powers are listed as costing PPs per “round/minute.” The slash mark denotes that the first unit of time is the cost in combat, and the second is the cost out of combat. This notation is a bit confusing at first, but some powers, like Flight for example, deserve a high per-round cost in combat because they’re just that tactically useful. Out of combat, however, Flight is basically just a convenience.
- Range: Ranges of “self” affect only the superhero. Ranges of “touch” require a touch or touch attack. He can always touch himself. Other ranges are listed in feet or, very rarely, miles.
- Standard Saves: Some powers provoke saving throws from his targets and the save DCs for those saving throws follow a standardized formula: 10 + half of the freelancer’s level + his highest mental stat modifier.
- Power Resistance: Power resistance is a special defensive ability. If the superhero’s power is being resisted by a creature with power resistance, he must make a freelancer level check (1d20 + freelancer level) at least equal to the creature’s power resistance for the power to affect that creature. The defender’s power resistance is like an Armor Class against powers. Traits and most items don’t need to worry about power resistance. The terms “object” and “harmless” mean the same thing for power resistance as they do for saving throws. A creature with power resistance must voluntarily lower the resistance (a standard action) in order to be affected by such powers without forcing the superhero to make a freelancer level check.
This ability modifies freelancer-bought abilities and starting JP pool.
|Ability Boost||varies||1 PP/+4||per round||The superhero increases his abilities temporarily.|
|Alter Appearance||5 JP||4 PP||2 PPs/round||The superhero gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks.|
|Animal Form||6 JP||4 PP||1 PP/round||The superhero turns into a beast of nature.|
|Berserker Fury||8 JP||4 PP||per round||The superhero gains bonuses to Str, Con and Will saves, but penalties to AC.|
|Cause Blindness||8 JP||4 PP||n/a||The superhero gains an attack that can cause blindness.|
|Cause Confusion||10 jP||5 PP||n/a||The superhero gains an attack that can cause confusion.|
|Cause Deafness||6 JP||3 PP||n/a||The superhero gains an attack that can cause deafness.|
|Cause Earthquake||12 JP||6 PP||per round||The superhero causes the earth trembles at his will.|
|Cause Fear||6 JP||3 PP||n/a||The superhero gains an attack that can cause fear.|
|Cause Pain||8 JP||4 PP||n/a||The superhero gains an attack that can cause pain.|
|Cause Unconsciousness||12 JP||6 PP||n/a||The superhero gains an attack that can cause sleep.|
|Charismatic Aura||varies||4 PP||2 PPs||The superhero can charm, intimidate, or frighten others by his presence.|
|Dominate Animals||8 JP||4 PP||2 PPs/round||The superhero controls animals in a 300-ft.-radius.|
|Duplicate Self||6 JP/level||2 PP/dupe||per round||The superhero makes a perfect genetic copy of himself.|
|Elemental Mastery||10 JP||4 PP||3 PPs/round||The superhero controls one of the six elements.|
|Energy Attack||varies||varies||varies||The superhero generates damaging energy with his body.|
|Flight||varies||2 PP||1 PP/round||The superhero flies like an eagle.|
|Force Field||6 JP||2 PP/level||per round||The superhero generates solid energy bubbles.|
|Gremlinism||8 JP||3 PP||n/a||The superhero breaks machines with a look.|
|Healing Touch||3 JP/level||1 PP/die||n/a||The superhero can instantly heal injuries with a touch.|
|Incorporeality||12 JP||4 PP||2 PPs/round||The superhero makes himself immaterial.|
|Invisibility||10 JP||4 PP||2 PPs/round||The superhero disappears from sight.|
|Leech Life||2 JP/level||2 PP/die||n/a||The superhero drains the HPs of his opponents.|
|Liquid Form||12 JP||4 PP||2 PPs/round||The superhero transforms into water.|
|Luck||4 JP||2 PP||n/a||The superhero rerolls his dice when they displease him.|
|Magnetic Mastery||varies||2 PP/100 lbs.||per round||The superhero controls metal objects with his mind.|
|Metamorph||3 JP||4 PP||1 PP/round||The superhero can change into objects and machines.|
|Penetrating Vision||8 JP||1 PP||per round||The superhero sees through solid objects.|
|Pheromones||varies||4 PP||n/a||The superhero influences other's moods.|
|Possession||8 JP||2 PP||per round||The superhero projects himself into others' bodies.|
|Probability Manipulation||8 JP||varies||n/a||The superhero alters random events.|
|Repairing Touch||1 JP/level||1 PP/die||4 PP||The superhero can instantly repair machines by touching them.|
|Size Shift||special||4 PP||1 PP/round||The superhero can increase or decrease his size.|
|Stretching||1 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero stretches his limbs and body.|
|Surface Adhesion||3 JP||1 PP||per round||The superhero becomes a wall-crawler.|
|Super Speed||varies||1 PP||per minute||The superhero moves fast... really fast.|
|Telepathy||8 JP||varies||varies||The superhero can communicate mentally.|
|Telekinesis||5 JP||2 PP/100 lbs.||per round||The superhero moves objects with his mind.|
|Teleport||varies||4 PP||n/a||The superhero can instantaneous transport.|
|Temport||5 JP||4 PP||4 PP||The superhero travels in time, forward and back.|
|Unusual Vision||varies||n/a||n/a||The superhero sees beyond the normal range.|
|Webbing||4 JP||2 PP/50 feet||4 PP||The superhero spins a web, any size.|
|Amazing Accuracy||2 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero permanently gains a +1 bonus to ranged attack rolls per level.|
|Amazing Diplomacy||1 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero permanently gains a +3 bonus to Diplomacy checks per level.|
|Amazing Defense||1 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero permanently gains a +1 enhancement bonus to AC per level.|
|Amazing Deflection||2 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero permanently gains a +1 deflection bonus to AC per level.|
|Amazing Dodge||2 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero permanently gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC per level.|
|Amazing Fighting||2 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero permanently gains a +1 bonus to mêlée attack rolls per level.|
|Amazing Leap||1 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero permanently gains a +10 to Acrobatics checks to jump per level.|
|Animal Affinity||3 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero causes normal animals to not attack him.|
|Appendages||3 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero grows extra limbs, like arms, tails, or even prehensile hair.|
|Blindsight||5 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero senses the physical world even when blinded.|
|Damage Reduction||varies||n/a||n/a||The superhero has a permanent, inherent DR score.|
|Danger Sense||3 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero applies his Wis bonus to Reflex and AC.|
|Fast Healing||varies||n/a||n/a||The superhero regenerates HPs can an accelerated rate.|
|Longevity||1 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero lives beyond his years.|
|Mighty Lifting||2 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero increases his carrying capacity.|
|Natural Defense||2 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero permanently gains a +1 natural bonus to AC per level.|
|Natural Weapons||varies||n/a||n/a||The superhero grows a set of natural weapons, like claws.|
|Need Not Breathe||3 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero doesn't need to breathe.|
|Need Not Eat||1 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero doesn't need to eat.|
|Need Not Sleep||2 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero doesn't need to sleep.|
|Resistance: Energy||varies||n/a||n/a||The superhero has a permanent, inherent Energy Resistance score.|
|Resistance: Power||5 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero has a chance to resist powers.|
|Resistance: Spell||5 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero has a chance to resist spells.|
|Shadow Affinity||2 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero melds into shadows.|
|Super Senses||4 JP/level||n/a||n/a||The superhero has super-acute senses.|
|Vacuum Adaptation||4 JP||n/a||n/a||The superhero can survive in space.|
|Esoteric Item||varies||n/a||n/a||The superhero gains an item with enhancements.|
|Gadget||varies||as power||as power||The superhero gains a useful dohicky that generates a single power.|
|Iconic Item||varies||as power||as power||The superhero gains a single item that manifests all of his powers.|
|Power Armor||varies||as power||as power||The superhero gains a suit of armor made of Gadgets.|
|Power Absorption||12 JP||4 PP||n/a||The superhero steals others' powers.|
|Power Detection||5 JP||1 PP||per round||The superhero senses others' powers.|
|Power Duplication||5 JP||3 PP||n/a||The superhero copies others' powers.|
|Power Leech||2 JP/level||2 PP||n/a||The superhero steals others' power points.|
|Power Nullification||5 JP||2 PP||n/a||The superhero cancels others' powers.|