Vigilantes

Here are a few house rules that have developed over the years by shad0hawke

1. Vigilante Rule:

The MSH has strict limit on Killing and Karma loss. Unavoidably, you inevitably get those characters who fit the role of the vigilante, and to whom killing the opponent is either unavoidable or part of this grim character. So, how does one avoid losing Karma?

You implement the Vigilante rule. If a character comes into the game, you discern that character's background and type. If he/she qualifies, and the game tone and setting permit, you let them play out. The mechanics break down like this:

These examples of Vigilantes in question are again focused more to the Punisher type of character. The trade-off is balanced, and usually, if the vigilante character is well-developed, then they will wish to seek to put aside their more violent methods. This is not easy, nor should the GM allow the player to "Get away from it". The cost to absolve the vigilante rule is 1000 karma. Once the character reforms, they cannot take up the role of judge, jury, and executioner again, unless storyline and plot permit, and always with the approval of the GM. If they do kill again, they suffer same penalties as regular four-color heroes.

2. Karma use:

A problem with long-time players has been the stockpile of Karma. In my case as an example, after playing with the same group for six years, we had a player who had been saving his karma like crazy. In every game, he would spend like a maniac, and therefore Monty Hall. I came up with this house rule after suggestions from another GM, and I found it to work rather well:

3. Stats definitions:

A problem I have run into for some time is the criticism of MSH to other hero games based on the fact Marvel is a simple game system to operate. So often, I have found that the game system itself seems to be a bit lopsided in definitions of ability. Furthermore, if you look at the mechanics, they state clearly what each of the primary stats are, and are capable of doing. In the specific case of Strength, I have found the need to address the situation with players.

Strength

Perhaps Strength is the most difficult to properly maintain. Once you reach Unearthly, you can press up to 100 tons, but then later it says that the next level, Shift-X, is about 150-200 tons. This seems wrong, and moreover, you tend to have the more powerful bricks look a bit weak if the weight amount was correct. Two cases in point: The Hulk during secret wars was pressing nearly 100,000 tons of rock, from the Mountain Molecule Man dropped on the heroes. In game terms, this is nearly impossible, for the Hulk would have to display class 1000 strength. Even if you take into account the adrenaline surge, it still would not be possible, for during that time, The hulk was still possessed by the mind of Dr Banner. So, how do you explain it? Another example is the Squadron Supreme hero Hyperion. Hyperion has Unearthly Strength, but if he is an exact copy of another comic Company's Super-Dude, then you are saying that the character in question could only lift with some difficulty 100 tons? That just doesn't fit.

Therefore, we set up this way of working it:

The Vigilante or Special Agent: Gaining and losing Karma

During character generation a player can decide to play a vigilante (like the Punisher) or some kind of special agent (like Wolverine was). Generally these characters considered are karma low characters. This has some effects on the character, most notably in the Karma awards and penalties.

The Following are example Vigilante Supplements:

Ninja
The ninja vigilante is always in disguise. It is assumed that a ninja would always maintain a zero presence. Ninjas are always apart of a Special Agency, Society or Clan. Furthermore ninjas always begins with 0 popularity. Ninjas however gain 1 weapon or fighting skill. Negative Popularity (anything below 0 popularity) can result in the PC being considered an evil ninja and wanted by the authorities. The Popularity is awarded three ways.
Ninja Assassin
The Ninja assassin vigilante is always in disguise. It is assumed that a ninja would always maintain a zero presence. These Ninjas can be independent, apart of a Special Agency, Society or Clan. Furthermore he always begins with 0 popularity. He does however gain 1 weapon or fighting skill. Negative Popularity is what they live for and ninja assassins are wanted by the authorities. Their Popularity has the unique ability to make people fearful of them. So they receive a natural emotion control of FEAR a -3CS of their Popularity automatically. The Popularity is awarded three ways.
Secret Agent/Underground
First the character must give up one of his power slots. Furthermore he always begins with 0 popularity. He does however gain 1 weapon or fighting skill. The character gains popularity only very slowly. He gains 1 point of popularity when beating costumed or organized criminals in public, but only if he doesn't kill them. The Karma table below shows the award and penalties. The number before the slash is for the vigilante and the number behind it for the S.A
Other Vigilante
This is generated as any other character in the UPB or Marvel Generator. Furthermore he always begins with 5 popularity. The character gains popularity only very slowly. He gains 1 point of popularity when beating costumed or organized criminals in public, but only if he doesn't kill them. The Karma table below shows the award and penalties.
Karma Summary Listings
For Special Agent, Vigilante, Samurai, Ninja or Clan
Violent Crime Stop/Prevent 50/30
Violent Crime Arrest 20/15
Destructive Crime Stop/Prevent 35/20
Destructive Crime Arrest 15/10
Theft Stop/Prevent 10/5
Theft Arrest 10/5
Robbery Stop/Prevent 30/20
Robbery Arrest 15/10
Misdemeanors Stop/Prevent 3/2
Misdemeanors Arrest -/-
National Offense Stop/Prevent 20/25*
National Offense Arrest 10/15*
Local Conspiracy Stop/Prevent 30/35*
Local Conspiracy Arrest 15/20*
National Conspiracy Stop/Prevent 40/55*
National Conspiracy Arrest 20/30*
Global Conspiracy Stop/Prevent 50/70*
Global Conspiracy Arrest 25/35*
Other Crimes Stop/Prevent 20/15
Other Crimes Arrest 10/5
Rescue   25/20
Multiple Rescues   (5+) 125/100
Violent Crime Commit -40/-25
Destructive Crime Commit -30/-20
Theft Commit -20/-15
Misdemeanor Commit -15/-10
National Offense Commit -40/-55
Other Crimes Commit -5/-10
Violent Crime Permit -25/-10
Destructive Crime Permit -10/-15
Theft Permit -5/-10
Robbery Permit -5/-10
Misdemeanor Permit -5/-10
National Offense Permit -5/-10*
Other Crimes Permit -5/-15
Defeat   -15/-20
Innocent Death   Lose all Karma
Making Commitment   +10/+5
Failing Commitment   -10/-5

* This karma award depends on the agency the S.A. is working for. It is assumed to be a government, if it is another agency replace this by crimes against this agency.

Death

In addition to defeating a character, additional karma points may be awarded for wasting a villain. Vigilante's believe in removing the element crime entirely and should rewarded for their belief and sincerity.

ActionAward
Death** -50%/-20%
Self-Destruction -/-
Killing: Burglar* -100
Killing: Dictator *** +30 + 5 pts of Popularity
Killing: Insane criminal** +10
Killing: Homicidal Maniac*** +30
Killing: Innocent bystander Lose All Karma
Killing: Innocent people Lose All Karma
Killing: Kidnapper** +5
Killing: Kidnapper** +10
Killing: Other Non violent criminals Lose All Karma
Killing: Rapist** 0
Killing: White Collar Criminal** -100

** This is for criminals that are guilty of small crimes. Or opposed agents. They are not worthy of death.

*** This is for criminals guilty of Murder, Drugs distributing and other such crimes. This is also in addition to the normal awards for defeating an opponent. Other awards stay mostly the same. When part of a karma pool with characters that are not also Vigilantes or S.A. the karma pool is still subject to the normal penalties.

Maiming

Contrary to popular belief, vigilantes don't always believe in killing their enemy. They believe in lateral justice (eye for an eye theory)

For example, Pyromaniac dude is always setting fires. A vigilante might set Pyromaniac Dude's hand on fire as pay back retribution for his crimes and then string him up for the authorities. This is considered maiming a person. This is considered private justice but reflex badly in the public's eye and by the authorities. In addition to defeating a character, additional karma points may be awarded for maiming a villain. But no popularity can be gained. This gives the vigilante the person gratification that justice was administered but is considered uncool by the public. Note: anything more than two maiming is considered torture.

Body PartAward
Arm +5 each
Ear +5 each
Eye +10 each
Foot +10 each
Hand +10 each
Leg +10 each
Nose +5
Sex Organs +10
Tongue +5

Note: This is not for criminals that are guilty of small crimes. Or opposed agents. They should not be maimed. That is considered Torture (see Torture)

Torture

Torture on the other is a different story entirely. This is excessive cutting off body part for pleasure or for Karma. Torture is not welcome by good guys or vigilantes. Judges please don't let your Player get away with this crap. Vigilante who try to play the stupid tough guy torture stuff should be punished immediately. People with no powers, Injured, or who surrender should not be torture. If the PC is playing in character, it will not make a difference in the case. He will be considered a Karma low character. (Wolverine and Punisher are karma low character.)

Body PartAward
Arm -50 each
Ear -100 each
Eye -100 each
Foot -100 each
Hand -100 each
Leg -50 each
Nose -50
Sex Organs -100
Tongue -50

** This is for criminals that are guilty of small crimes. Or opposed agents.

*** This is for criminals guilty of Murder, Drugs distributing and other such crimes. This is also in addition to the normal awards for defeating an opponent. Other awards stay mostly the same. When part of a karma pool with characters that are not also Vigilantes or S.A. the karma pool is still subject to the normal penalties.