I AM SUPERIOR!
SUPER VILLAIN TRYING TO BE A HERO
PRETENDING TO BE PARKER
ENHANCED SENSES D8
ENHANCED STAMINA D8
|SUPERHUMAN REFLEXES D10||SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH D10|
SFX: Spider-Sense. 1PP to add Enhanced Senses (or step up by +1 if already in your pool) and reroll all dice on a reaction.
Limit: Exhausted. Shutdown any Spider-Powers power to gain 1PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.
|ARCH-NAUGHTS D10||SUIT ENHANCEMENTS D8|
SFX: Unleashed. Step up or double any Improvements power for one action. If the action fails, add a die to the doom pool equal to the normal rating of your power die.
SFX: Versatile. Split Improvements into 2d at –1 step, or 3d at –2 steps.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Improvements and gain 1PP. Take an action vs. doom pool to recover.
CRIME MASTER D10
SCIENCE MASTER D10
TECH MASTER D10
ACROBATIC EXPERT D8
PARKER’S LIFE IS MINE
|1 XP when you assure someone that you are Peter Parker/Spider-Man.|
|3 XP when you fulfil a commitment Parker made or do something he failed to do.|
|10 XP when you break ties with someone from Parker’s life to maintain your ruse or you reveal your true identity.|
THE MEANING OF A HERO
|1 XP when you give your opinion of how a hero should behave or challenge another hero about their methods.|
|3 XP when you refuse to follow the instructions of another hero or you admit they were right.|
|10 XP when you take trauma helping someone else or you let them take trauma to achieve a greater goal.|
A full history of the Superior Spider-Man can be found here.
Although controversial I’ve enjoyed the Superior Spider-Man story-line. Since January 2013 the mind of Doctor Octopus has resided in Peter Parker’s body. Determined to be a better hero than his old enemy he has sought to improve his life both in and out of costume.
This has breathed new life into the character and brings an extra level of tension whenever he interacts with other heroes. Despite succeeding in doing good things he is arrogant and often does despicable things, such as blackmailing the mayor. Yet he is capable of seeing the error of his ways and realising that his own worst instincts were responsible for his downfall as Doctor Octopus.
This internal struggle is very engaging to read and would be entertaining to bring to the game table. This datafile should allow players to do just that.
The starting point was the classic Spider-Man presented in the core rulebook. His affiliations reflect that the Superior Spider-Man doesn’t play well with others, seeing others as an interference.
The ‘I Am Superior!’ is the core of his character. He believes he is better than everyone else or at least strives to be. He can prove this when used positively but it can equally be used as a negative, reflecting his arrogance.
‘Super Villain Trying To Be A Hero’ allows his true nature to come into play. As a former villain he can predict the actions of his opponents or do things heroes wouldn’t. As a negative it can show that being heroic isn’t in his nature and that he lacks the instinct to be a true hero.
‘Pretending To Be Parker’ used positively can reflect Doctor Octopus drawing upon what memories he still has from Parker or the good will that he has inherited. Used negatively it can reflect the cracks in his disguise and the gaps in his knowledge.
His Spider-Powers power set is unchanged. He inherited these powers when he put his mind in Peter’s body.
The Improvements power set encompasses the gadgets, robots and henchmen that he has employed since gaining Spider Island (formerly the Raft). This diverse selection adds firepower and versatility to character.
The Spider-bots are redesigned Octo-bots. There are countless numbers of them spread across the city, scanning for crime or tracking targets. In a pinch they can swarm an opponent.
The Spiderlings are henchmen, former mercenaries who operate as Spider-Man’s private army. They carry out ground control, move resources or carry out co-ordinated attacks.
Arch-Nauts are giant spider robots, either piloted by a Spiderling or by an AI. Tough, resilient with enough firepower to cause large-scale structural damage.
Finally Suit Enhancements cover the gadgets that Spider-Man has added to his suit including retractable robot arms and lenses that provided enhanced vision.
The SFX Unleashed allows this power set to be more effective but at the risk of making a situation worse, which frequently happens when they are employed. The SFX Versatile enables a player to reconfigure these powers as needed.
The Superior Spider-Man’s specialities illustrate that he is much more focused on technology. Not only is he pursuing his doctorate and setting up his own technology company in his civilian life he is adding a host of gadgets to aide in his crime fighting.
His Crime Master specialty comes from his previous life as Doctor Octopus. Prior to his death he held the whole world to ransoms, surely justification enough for his Master status.
I’ve lowered Acrobatics to only Expert to show that he doesn’t have the experience that Peter had as Spider-Man. He still has enhanced reflexes and some of Peter’s memories to help but he probably isn’t as good as the original.
I also removed his Combat Specialty as Doctor Octopus was never exactly skilled in hand to hand combat. There have been several incidents, the most recent in ‘Mighty Avengers’ issue 5, where takes several hits from experienced fighters even with his Spider-Sense.
The ‘Parker’s Life Is Mine’ Milestone encourages the player to juggle the Superior Spider-Man’s lofty goals with maintaining Parker’s life. In the comics he frequently is caught between pursuing a villain or achieving a goal and fulfilling obligations to Parker’s friends and family.
‘The Meaning Of A Hero’ Milestone reflects storylines in the team-up books. The Superior Spider-Man often has a low opinion of another hero, only to discover that he can learn from them. It also ensures that his quest to be a real hero remains a focus.
USING THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
The true identity of the Superior Spider-Man is where much of the fun is to be found. Even if the players know their characters shouldn’t. Knowing that they are working alongside a former villain can be very amusing, especially if they insult Doctor Octopus or are puzzled at Spider-Man’s behaviour.
Players who use the character has the challenge of playing the role of a character pretending to be someone else. They must evoke both parts of their character while also making sure no one finds out who they really are.
As long as players know the situation it can be fun for someone to play an arrogant egotist who is still considered one of the heroes. They get to be a real jerk and still think of themselves as a good guy.
Every combination of hero and villain has new potential when the Superior Spider-Man is involved, especially if they have a history with Doctor Octopus. His past criminal actions can also have consequences in the present and allow reflection on how he has changed (or be tempted to return to his old ways).
When used as an NPC the Superior Spider-Man can cause trouble for the PCs. His heavy handed methods and his refusal to co-operate can escalate a situation, rather than solve it.
There are situations where he can work well with others, especially if he can see something of himself in them or they are suitably revenant to him. As long as they make him look good he will tolerate their presence.
You could diverge from the comics and have PCs investigate the Superior Spider-Man, reveal his true nature and find a way to restore Peter Parker. If the Superior Spider-Man becomes aware of what they are doing he could turn the rest of the superhero community against them.
The scenario presented by the Superior Spider-Man could also be replicated with any other hero and their nemesis. Imagine ‘What-If’ scenarios where Red Skull possess Captain America or Loki takes over the body of his brother Thor. Could they maintain the ruse? Would they make any improvements? Would anyone discover the truth?