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Complication (General)


Value 2 JP per level


The superhero is dependent on a chemical substance. It could be a drug addiction, like cocaine or alcohol, or it could be a life-saving drug that he needs in order to live.

His dependency can be on a known illegal drug that the superhero could be arrested for buying, possessing, or making himself. It can be a legal drug that is expensive and for which the superhero would need a prescription from a medical doctor. It can be a legal drug that is commonly available and cheap, but has debilitating side-effects, like alcohol. Finally, it could be a special substance the superhero makes himself that, though not technically illegal, pushes the boundaries of legality and could get him in legal trouble. For this last option, the superhero must have an appropriate skill, most likely Craft (chemical), to make the chemical. Creating a single dose requires a skill check (DC 15) and one hour in a relatively clean space, like a kitchen or a bathroom. The superhero can Take 10 on this check if he mixes it up at home.

The effects of the Chemical itself stack with the effects of withdrawal. Thus, taking his Chemical affects the superhero in specific ways, as does not taking his Chemical. Different Chemicals have different side-effects, of course. Each one grants an equivalent of +2 to one or two different abilities and the equivalent of a -4 to up to four other abilities. For example, alcohol might make his charming (+2 Charisma) but totally remove the superhero judgement (-4 Wisdom). Alternatively, it could make the superhero insightful (+2 Wisdom) but weak and stupid (-2 Strength and -2 Intelligence).

Feats, advantages, powers, or any other in-game effect that boosts his ability to resist poisons or other chemicals has no effect how this Comp affects the superhero.

  • Level 1 (2 JP): The superhero must receive at least one dose of this substance every 24 hours or the superhero suffer a -1 penalty to all die rolls, including but not limited to attack rolls, skill checks, saving throws, and damage rolls. The superhero suffers another -1 penalty every 24 hours that the superhero is deprived of the substance. Eventually, craving and withdrawal will effectively leave the superhero helpless.
  • Level 2 (4 JP): Rather than a -1 penalty, the superhero suffers a -2 penalty after 24 hours, cumulatively. When this penalty reaches -10, the superhero must make a Fortitude save (DC 18) or fall into a coma. The superhero must make this save every six hours until he falls into the coma or get his substance. The superhero can survive in a coma indefinitely if he is under professional care, but if he simply falls unconscious in an alley or on his bathroom floor, he must continue making Fortitude saves (DC 18) every six hours. If the superhero fails, he dies.
  • Level 3 (6 JP): In addition to the above, the DC of each Fortitude save is 20 and rises by 2 with every subsequent save. If the superhero fails a save, he dies immediately.
additional comps
  • Additional Comp: Controlled Supply (Value: 4 JP): The substance is rare and proprietary, and someone else has a monopoly on it. The superhero is entirely dependent on an NPC for his supply.
  • Additional Comp: Side Effects (Value: 2 JP): The substance has an intoxicating or debilitating side effect. For one hour following the intake of each dose, the superhero suffers a -4 penalty to 2 abilities. The superhero picks the two abilities and the choice is permanent.
  • Additional Comp: Power Linked (Value: 2 JP): The superhero’s powers are linked to or granted by his substance. If and when the superhero takes penalties for withdrawal, he loses the use of 5 JPs worth of powers (selected randomly). Every subsequent time the superhero loses a save and/or take an additional penalty, he loses another 5 JPs worth of powers, randomly selected.