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MnM: Making the Penguin in M&M 3rd Edition

   
Making the Penguin in M&M 3rd Edition

Hey there! I am getting ready for an awesome M&M weekend where I'm introducing 3 PL 10 characters to a DC Universe adventure! It will be their first time around, and I have a Green Lantern, a 'Batman' style vigilante, and a 'Hulk' style Powerhouse in the group, treated now like a Teen Titans setting.

The setting will be in Gotham, and I will start the characters off with a few simple thugs in the alleyway to dust off so they get used to the combat system. After a while, the thugs will become mafia bosses until...they realize that the main villain is the king of organized crime: The Penguin!!

I have the DC Heroes and Villains book already, but it stops midway through the alphabet, and thus, I don't have numbers to look at for the Penguin. I came up with this and wanted to see what people thought.

Main points? His physical stats are so so. His advantages and skills should speak for themselves. All of his powers are an array of his special mechanical umbrella. Some of the powers are things I gave him and others are things he has in the comic book. What do you think? Is there something I left out? Is this appropriate for the party I mentioned, given that there will be bunches of goons and penguin robots surrounding him? Is PL 11 about right for the Penguin?

The Penguin - PL 11

Strength 2, Stamina 4, Agility 1, Dexterity 1, Fighting 2, Intellect 6, Awareness 4, Presence 3

Advantages
Accurate Attack, All-out Attack, Benefit, Wealth 3 (millionare), Connected, Defensive Roll 9, Evasion, Improved Critical 3: Trick Umbrella, Power Attack, Precise Attack (All) 4, Set-up 3, Speed of Thought, Uncanny Dodge, Well-informed

Skills
Athletics 3 (+5), Close Combat: Trick Umbrella 9 (+11), Deception 8 (+11), Expertise: Organized Crime 5 (+11), Insight 7 (+11), Intimidation 7 (+10), Investigation 2 (+8), Perception 6 (+10), Ranged Combat: Trick Umbrella 11 (+12), Technology 4 (+10), Treatment 2 (+8)

Powers
Trick Umbrella (Easily Removable)
. . Depressant Gas: Weaken 11 (Affects: Abilities, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 21)
. . Flight: Flight 5 (Speed: 60 miles/hour, 900 feet/round; Platform)
. . Knockout Gas: Burst Area Sleep 11 (DC 21; Burst Area 2: 60 feet radius sphere)
. . Mustard Gas: Burst Area Blast 11 (DC 26; Burst Area: 30 feet radius sphere, Selective)
. . Umbrella Sword: Strength-based Damage 9 (DC 26)

Offense
Initiative +6
Depressant Gas: Weaken 11, +11 (DC Fort 21)
Grab, +2 (DC Spec 12)
Knockout Gas: Burst Area Sleep 11 (DC Fort 21)
Mustard Gas: Burst Area Blast 11 (DC 26)
Throw, +1 (DC 17)
Umbrella Sword: Strength-based Damage 9, +11 (DC 26)
Unarmed, +2 (DC 17)

Complications
Hatred
Motivation: Greed
Reputation

Languages
Native Language

Defense
Dodge 9, Parry 9, Fortitude 11, Toughness 13/4, Will 11

Power Points
Abilities 46 + Powers 28 + Advantages 30 + Skills 32 (64 ranks) + Defenses 29 = 165


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I think... the sword does way too much damage. There's no reason it should do more than the 3 damage swords in the book do. If you want him to be able to harm incredibly tough heroes, I suggest a missile launcher umbrella, he's used such a weapon before.

I always liked the writers that made his main motivation not greed but a Napoleonic complex and drive to prove himself despite being around four feet tall. If it were me I'd use that instead of greed, but maybe you have a different version of the Penguin in your mind than I do.

As for PL... if Joker is PL 11, and Catwoman is PL 10, then Penguin's PL is probably 8-9. He is however a schemer and if he thinks he's going up against someone comparable to Green Lantern or Hulk, then he'll probably do something smart like hire Bane or trick Solomon Grundy into serving as a brute for him. He's not the type that likes to get his own hands dirty.

EDIT: Oh, and giving him 3 levels of improved critical is mean, but if you're a mean GM, then so it goes.

Wouldn't power level also determine whether the PCs are supposed to actually defeat him ... or simply deal with his machinations? After all, you're talking about a recurring foe of #$@!Batman.

If these guys are right out of Hero School, someone like Penguin should be able to mop the floor with them ... for the first few encounters.

You should be able to compare your build to whatever Green Robin comes up with because I think the DC Adventures Heroes & Villains, volume 2 should be out shortly.

I do agree with Evil. I think Penguin would only be a PL 8, but he would have cohorts of some sort to make him tougher. Is Penguin really stronger than average human? And his Intelligence is pretty high, maybe make it 3 or 4.

And see, I'm with Dr Morganes on this. He's a recurring foe of Batman, and yes, he's PL 11 as is the Joker...but he's using the Power Points appropriate to that level.

Batman's PL 12, but he has nearly 300 points in play!

Lex Luthor is human but has 11 for his intellect. The Penguin actually has Harley Quinn's (who is a 11)strength at 2. Given that the Penguin's a mastermind and that his little umbrellas cause all sorts of mayhem...well, I think 8 is too low. 10 is considered your average hero, the Green Arrow/Black Canary/etc level, and Penguin has to be good enough for that, at least. I could be talked down to PL 10, but lower than that just seems...too easy I guess.

I guess my confusion comes from the fact that I don't really know what he would be, and because sometimes I've disagreed with the Heroes and Villains book (I'm partial to Huntress and Black Canary. BC is decent but I think Huntress at 9 is too low; she's more bada$$ than that.)

I do agree that the missile launcher is a good idea, and yeah, I made the sword tough just because I could. I've found that my player are REALLY good minion killers (Hulk has a ground shaking power, 'Batman' took takedown, etc) so having them really lowers the challenge rating; you basically need to match them with good PL villains to make the fight worthwhile.

I suppose it really depends on the interpretter.

I would argue that Harley Quinn is actually stronger than Penguin though (she's acrobatic, younger and just flat-out athletic), so that makes sense to me. An 8 Intelligence is like a 26 Intelligence if you compare it to other d20 games though, isn't it? So, that seems pretty darn high to me, especially for a gangster, albeit even an ultra-bright one. Lex Luthor, on the other hand, is a super-scientist.

I actually thought the Heroes & Villains interpretations were done quite well. My biggest disagreement was with Superman's Intelligence only being 2, but that's it really. As for Huntress being a PL 9, well, that works for me, especially if you compare her to someone like Wildcat.

The biggest things Penguin has going for him are his umbrella gadgets, his henchmen and his connections with other super-powered criminals.

The Doc is right though. This guy fights Batman. He may not come out on top, but to be able to escape him and live to fight another day speaks for his capabilities.

Which speaks to brains over brawn, doesn't it?

He may not be able to match Lex Luthor for intelligence, but he's at least smarter than the average bear ... and flat-out more cunning than most would imagine. Don't mistake cunning for intelligence, though. They're not the same. Cunning is more primal, more ... animalistic, where intelligence is higher reasoning "I'm thinking 27 moves ahead of you".

In some ways, this is the attractive dichotomy between Penguin and Batman, in my opinion. Bats is The World's Greatest Detective. Penguin is - at heart - a grubbing little carnival freak. It's Penguin's cunning vs Batman's reasoning (much like Joker's chaos vs Batman's order) that makes him a compelling foil.

I'll come back around, though, to "don't use a fixed power level". In fact, don't stat him at all until you're ready for the final showdown. Until then, the players will either have NO CHANCE to capture him or (if they get really lucky) the "fight" will be anticlimactic ... and Penguin will quickly escape from either the heroes or the police to seek his revenge.

Again: This guy is one of The Batman's recurring foes. That must mean something.





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