Power Sets: Brick

The brick is one of the simplest supers archetypes: very tough, very strong. With simplicity, though, comes an amount of freedom. Once you have the basics covered, you have plenty of room to individualize your character.

Extremely Strong

A brick’s offensive capability is pure physical strength. Of course, Wild Talents measures strength with the Body stat, so we should start there. Buy multiple levels of Hyperbody, enough to get up to at least Body 6 (just barely superhuman) although you will likely want more.

Some bricks may call for Hard Dice on their Body. This represents extreme power but an inability to pull your punches. On the same note, bricks rarely have Wiggle Dice in Body, as they tend not to exhibit such fine control. Many bricks will throw Booster or No Upper Limit onto their Body to push themselves beyond the capacity of even the highest dice pool.

Some rare brick builds may call for smaller dice pools but still retain incredible capacities. These rare cases rely on extras like Booster. A brick with 6d in Body and one level of Booster can lift more than someone with Body 9d. The only thing Booster won’t do for you is improve your damage output from Killing to Shock and Killing. For that, you will need to add the Deadly extra for +1 per die.

Incredibly Tough

Toughness in Wild Talents is a combination of two factors: your wound boxes, and your ability to shrug off or absorb damage.

To increase your wound boxes, look to the Extra Tough miracle. Take Hard Dice in it to permanently increase your wound capacity. If you only need to be a little tougher (one extra box on each location), you can throw the Limited Width flaw on to lower the cost to 4 per die.

To shrug off damage, you need armor. In Wild Talents, you have two kinds of armor, Heavy and Light, and they work differently. Heavy Armor is a solid wall; it automatically lowers the width of any attack by its own width. If you have 5HD in Heavy Armor, any attack of width 6 or less just bounces off you. HAR is the equivalent of steel plate (tank armor).

Light Armor is “soft”. It mitigates damage first by reducing all Shock from an attack to 1, and then converting Killing into Shock, one point for each point of LAR. It is the equivalent of Kevlar (though potentially very thick Kevlar).

It is tempting to just pile on Hard Dice of Heavy Armor and think it makes you invincible. In most cases, it does, until you run into someone with the Penetration extra. High levels of Penetration will cut through your HAR like it wasn’t there. To combat it, you need to put Hardened Defense on your miracles for +2 per die.

In my opinion, the most interesting build for brick armor mixes a small to moderate amount of Heavy Armor with a moderate amount of Light Armor with Hardened Defense. The HAR will stop most mook attacks, and the Hardened LAR will blunt even the heavy Penetration blasts. This lets the brick take a large amount of punishment, but the GM doesn’t have to cook up a monster that would destroy your team with a glance just to challenge you.

Variations

A fun twist on the brick is the energy absorber. This build links the character’s impressive strength directly to his ability to shrug off damage. He absorbs the energy of attacks and uses it to increase his own might. Consider the following powers as the basis of an energy absorber.

Absorb Energy (10 per die)

Defends (+2), Duration (+2), Interference (+3)

Useful (+2), Interference (+3), Touch Only (-2)

Hyperbody (1 per die)

Hyperstat (+4), Attached to Absorb Energy (-2), “Charged” (-1)

Absorb Energy lets you drain the energy out of anything or anyone you touch. This can protect you from attack once you have activated the effect. In addition, you can impede non-combat actions by touching the target and draining energy.

You gain a number of “charges” equal to the amount of width you absorb from each attack or the width of your roll when you actively drain energy. You can store one charge per die in Absorb Energy (two charges per Hard Die, four per Wiggle Die), and you can maintain this store for the duration of the power. If your store is full, absorbed energy is still negated, but you lose any excess charges.

You spend these charges to activate your Hyperbody. Using dice of Hyperbody costs one charge per die (two charges per Hard Die, four per Wiggle Die) per roll. If you have no stored charges, you cannot use your Hyperbody.

Absorbers are known for using their stored energy for other effects, especially to regenerate damage or create energy blasts. Simply build those powers as you normally would and add Attached to Absorb Energy and “Charged” to power them from your store.

Other Tricks

Bricks can often use their incredible strength for powerful effects that go beyond lifting or punching. Ideas include:

  • The ability to stomp your foot on the ground and cause a shockwave that knocks people down (Useful quality with Radius for 4 per die; targets can resist with Body + Athletics),
  • The ability to clap your hands together and create a thunderclap that does Shock damage to everyone around you (Attacks quality with Mass capacity, Radius, and Limited Damage, for 3 per die).
  • The ability to breathe extremely powerful gusts of air (Useful with both Mass and Range capacities, for 4 per die).
  • The ability to jump even greater distances than indicated by Body (Unconventional Move).
  • Bricks exhibit an unusually common immunity to mind control and other telepathic effects (Immunity).

Sample Character

Brick (400 points)

Archetype (15 points)

Human+

Stats (104 points)

Body 5d (8d+1WD; Attacks +1), Coordination 3d, Sense 2d, Mind 2d, Charm 3d, Command 3d

Base Will 9

Skills (52 points)

Athletics 2d, Endurance 4d, Intimidation 4d, Stability 3d, 13 dice in other skills

Powers (229 points)

Extra Tough 3HD (30 points)

Heavy Armor 4HD (48 points)

Increase Endless to Permanent

Hyperbody 3d+1WD (49 points)

Attacks +1, Booster 2

Hyperbrawling 4d (12 points)

Penetration 2

Immunity to Mind Control 4HD (24 points)

Leaping 5d+1WD (18 points)

Light Armor 4HD (48 points)

Hardened Defense, increase Endless to Permanent

This character can lift 640 tons or throw 80 tons 10 yards. He can leap 320 yards in one turn. His nigh-impenetrable skin gives him HAR 4 and Hardened LAR 4, and he has 3 extra wound boxes on each hit location. His Body-based attacks do width + 1 in Shock and Killing, and when he attacks with his bare fists, he has Penetration 2. He is also immune to mind control, for which his teammates are ever grateful.

 

About Paul Stefko

Paul Stefko is a game designer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has done freelance work for Steve Jackson Games and is currently developing his own science fiction RPG, Full Moon, using funding from Kickstarter.