by Jonathan M. Perry & Mark Hughey
A sort of combination of Hyper-Speed and Hyper-Running, the Super speedster is a class of speedster above the normal class of parahuman that can merely run fast or have quickened reflexes. A speedster with Super speed lives in a sort of speeded up reality from the one everyone else does. Air provides almost no resistance. Fast objects to the normal eye are sluggish to them. Most often, these characters have touched what is known in the DC Universe as the Speed Force, the energy that provides the power for all known Super speedsters.
Notes for Super Speedsters
This power does not merely confer quick movement, but also allows a character to perform tasks at a greatly reduced time rate. The power rank number is treated as a multiplier to show how much more quickly a task can be accomplished (as per Hyper-Speed in the UPB; however, no +2CS cannot be applied as a limitation for having a body that is not prepared for the rigors of living a Super speed lifestyle, as having the Super speed power suggests that the character is, in fact, adapted. If the character is not adapted, the character is either dead or can only attain a Feeble rank without special equipment.).
Super speed costs 3 slots to attain. In addition, a player can—during character creation—opt to spend any number of slots to buy power stunts for the power, provided that the power rank of Super speed meets the requirement for the power stunt. Power stunts are listed further down.
Characters with super speed move at a base movement equivalent to their power rank on the Space Movement table on the ground, as shown below. They can move up to nine areas per round in water. Even Super speedsters who have the power stunt of running across water can move only at a rate of 9 areas per round maximum when immersed in water, as opposed to running across it.
|Super Speedster Movement|
|Power Rank||Areas per Round||MPH/MPM|
|Class 1000||66,667||1 million/16,667|
|Class 5000||Time Travel||Time Travel|
Any Super speedsters with a power rank of Typical or above have an aura that surrounds them and protects them from excess heat and friction when they move; this aura seems to be a by-product of the Speed Force which empowers them, and can slightly blunt physical attacks, as well as the effects of windburn and friction-heat. In game terms, Super speedsters are afforded Excellent protection vs. Physical Attacks, and Incredible vs. Heat and Friction, due to the aura that the Speed Force provides them.
Super speedsters are also capable of a great many actions a combat round. This ranges from snatching weapons from the criminal element to performing machinegun type blows against various targets. The numbers of actions the character may take before receiving negatives for multiple actions are as follows:
|Power Rank||Number of Actions per Round|
|Feeble||2 per every one|
|Poor||2 per every one|
|Typical||2 per every one|
|Good||2 per every one|
|Excellent||3 per every one|
|Remarkable||3 per every one|
|Incredible||4 per every one|
|Amazing||4 per every one|
|Monstrous||5 per every one|
|Unearthly||5 per every one|
|Shift-X||6 per every one|
|Shift-Y||7 per every one|
|Shift-Z||8 per every one|
|Class 1000||9 per every one|
|Class 3000+||(Combat is no longer an option at this level and beyond, except between speedsters; in which case you treat it as normal combat)|
Super Speed rank can be used for extra attack attempts but is different in the following way. Feeble, Poor, Typical, Good and Excellent need to roll a red to get two attacks. Remarkable, Incredible, Amazing and Monstrous, need to roll a yellow for two, and a Red for three. Unearthly, Shift-X, Shift-Y, and Shift-Z need to roll a green for two, and a yellow for three. Class 1000+ needs only to roll a green for three.
The Limitation of the Super Speedster
A Super speedster is after all a living breathing being, and like any living breathing being becoming winded becomes a factor. Any Speedster can run at half speed and not worry about becoming winded, much like a marathon runner going for a pleasant two-mile jog. When running at full speed, energy reserves start becoming an issue. A speedster may run at above half their normal speeds up to full speed for as many combat rounds equal to their Endurance rank. To push beyond that limit requires Endurance feats.
Example: The Happy go-lucky and attentiveness challenged Impulse has an Endurance rank of Incredible and a Super Speed rank of Shift-X. He can run at 40,000 miles an hour for most of the day and just be mildly tired. When he pushes past that limit, say, 40,001 that's when he starts eating up time on his endurance. He can run at 40,001+ speeds for 40 turns, or 4 minutes of time. After reaching turn 41, he needs to make a green endurance FEAT to continue on for ten more rounds. To push beyond that, he needs a Yellow endurance FEAT for the next five rounds. To push beyond that, he needs to roll a Red endurance FEAT for every two rounds more he wants to push himself. Once a failure in the endurance FEAT occurs, the Speedster becomes to fatigued to continue on at any level of super speed. They need to bloody well rest up, for a minimum of twenty-four hours, despite any hyper healing. No Super Speed Power stunts may be attempted during this rest period.
Feeling the Burn
Super Speedsters have one more remarkable trick that they can pull over regular parahuman runners. If they truly push themselves, they can run at +2CS higher than their rank. But such ability does have its drawbacks. The character must roll and Endurance FEAT every 3 rounds or pass out. Once they awaken, they must follow the penalties listed above for tiring themselves out. Of course this assuming, that in their passing out, they don't smash into anything at such high velocities, and become the longest skid mark that was once alive.
Perils of Speed
If for any reason a speedster reaches Class 3000 speeds, they feel the calling of the Speed Force. Big Deal you say? Guess again. The Speed force is the nirvana for any Speedster, where most past speedsters; once they shuffle on, join. Upon reaching Class 3000 speed, the character is faced with a perilous choice, enter nirvana or turn away from heaven. Joining the Speed Force effectively ends the character's play in the game, so we're assuming you'll resist. Here's a list of things you can do to accomplish this:
Make a Psyche Feat Roll of at least Incredible intensity. This basically means, that the character blinked in the face of God, got the willies, or for that matter, didn't think their time on Earth, or whatever planet your playing on, was over.
- If the Speedster has a loved one, as in someone they are totally gone for, would die for, they receive a +3CS to their psyche for this FEAT (love is a powerful thing).
- If the Speedster is on a world-threatening mission when he brushes the barrier, they are allowed a +2CS to their Psyche for the FEAT roll.
- If the Speedster is part of a Telepathic Team Link, the other characters can help him fight off the urge to join with the speed force. (Mainly because the speedster is a powerful member of the team, and they don't want to get their asses kicked). For this occurrence, the Speedster gets +1CS for every friend in the team link that urges him away from his eternal reward.
- Another Speedster can push them away break their momentum. However, there is a 40% chance this will result in the pushed Speedster being thrust forward in time 6d10 years in the future. (Imagine, coming out of the speed force SIXTY YEARS IN YOUR OWN FUTURE! Hope your playing a solo game, otherwise your GM is gonna be pissed). Example: Savitar and Max Mercury. Read the Dead Heat TPB trust us.
Speedsters can use their power rank -1CS to break grapples instead of their strength. Slippery little devils, ain't they?
Speedsters can use the Super Speed rank as well, with no penalty, though to catch bullets, you must have an Incredible rank or higher. Catching bullets is always a green FEAT no matter what the rank, catching multiple bullets may result in needing a Yellow or Red, and each bullet caught takes one action to perform. IT is the GM's choices whether you need to roll a FEAT roll for each bullet, or for just bullets shot from different attackers.
A Speedster that has ranks of Amazing or above gain the power stunt of Invisibility by moving extremely fast. Those trying to spot the speeding speedsters must make a Red Intuition FEAT to notice them, unless they have a power that would ordinarily catch such things, such as Combat Sense, Chi Awareness, Life form detection, Omni directional vision, or Infravision due to the heat the speedster puts off.
• Create Cyclones:
These tornadoes will inflict power rank damage or Good blunt, whichever is lower, or Power Rank intensity Stun/Slam attacks. The Speedster must specify which effect they are going for when using this in combat.
• Water Running:
Once the speedster accomplishes this power stunt they will have the ability to move so fast over water, that they barely break the surface tension. They may run at regular speeds above the water. Remarkable ranked or lower may not attempt this stunt.
• Wall Running:
With every 100 feet of approach, the speedster may run vertically for 500 feet.
• Vibrate Through Solid Objects:
This allows the character to vibrate through materials less than their power rank. However, characters that run at Class 1000 speeds or faster cause such objects to explode, inflicting material strength edged damage to all in one area.
• Cushion of Air:
By spinning their arms or legs rapidly, Speedsters can create a cushion of air of power rank; this power is the equivalent to levitation.
• Extend Aura:
What kind of whimp stunt is this you ask? Well what good would it do for your character to run over Feeble speeds with a passenger, only to wind up giving them no chance to breathe and burn their skin off their bodies? This power stunt can only be used to protect one passenger.
• Lending Speed:
Through manipulation of kinetic energy, the speedster is capable of imparting momentum to the object or individual with a successful touch. The object or individual will suddenly accelerate in the direction already being traveled (or the attacking speedster's choice if the object or individual was stationary at the time of the touch), with an increase to their movement equal to the rank of momentum the speedster chooses to impart (up to the speedster's power rank). If the speedster is in motion at the time of this attack, he will decrease his speed by the rank he imparts to the object or individual touched. Common uses of this stunt are to send foes suddenly crashing into nearby obstacles or other victims at high speed (as Charging attacks), or to instantly accelerate small items to ballistic speeds like a railgun-style attack (possible armor-piercing or armor-ignoring effect vs. purely physical protection due to velocity).
• Stealing Speed:
(Must have a rank equal to or greater than Shift-Y): The speedster through manipulation kinetic energy may decrease any objects velocity by stealing speed from it. This means any moving object, from butterflies to supersonic jets. This power does work on other Speedsters. Characters with Shift Y-Z power rank can steal up to half the target's velocity per round. Characters with Class 1000 power rank can steal up to 3/4 of the target's velocity per round. Characters with Class 3000 power rank can stop a target cold. The speedster however, must be moving alongside the target in order to perform this stunt. Slowing them or even bringing them to a sudden stop (if draining their momentum to Shift-0). At the Judge's discretion, targets may resist with an Endurance feat or the effective rank of their current momentum. Sudden stops may require an Endurance feat to avoid possible Stun or Kill results due to whiplash.
• Spectrum Shifting:
Speedsters with ranks above Unearthly can run so quickly as to cause light to begin to slow, and experience Red Shift. Which will allow them to view the lower spectrum of light that is normally invisible to the unaided human eye.
For those with Incredible or less power rank, they can purchase this power stunt. However, those with Feeble to Good can be seen on a Green intuition, and those with Excellent to Incredible can be noticed with a yellow Intuition.
Speedsters, who have learned the Vibratory power stunt, can also learn the ability to rapidly create shockwaves through most materials with Power Rank damage intensity.
• Costume Storage:
(Amazing rank or higher only) Speedsters can actually gain the power stunt to hide their costume in a confined space, such as a ring, by whipping up a super speed whirlwind to compress the costume into the confined space. Or, you can just skip this power stunt and wear your uniform under normal clothes like Superman does.