Humanity and Corruption

Humanity

Vampires must frequently struggle to retain the moral compass that they followed in life. The introduction of great power is just as challenging for the super as it is for the vampire, regrettably. Often, it is the challenge of life that allows a potential hero to remain on the correct path.

The super’s base Humanity score at character creation is equal to the total dots in his tertiary Attribute category. Thus, most supers start with a Humanity score of 6, unless some freebie points are spent on increasing either the Humanity trait or one of the associated Attributes. Note that the Monstrous Appearance flaw can reduce Humanity to as little as 5 points, if the super’s tertiary category is Social.

The Humanity score is typically used to resist Corruption. Rolls can also be called on when the super performs acts that are considered inappropriate at his current level of Humanity. If the super fails such a roll, he gains a point of Corruption. If he botches the roll, he loses a point of Humanity. The typical difficulty for the roll is the super’s actual power level, though this will be increased by one point for every bit of "separation" between the super’s Humanity score and the act in question. If the super uses a power to directly challenge her humanity, the base difficulty will be her power potential.

For example, if Jubilee (Humanity 8, APL 5, PP 7) deliberately used her martial arts to break a man's bones (a challenge for Humanity 6 supers) her difficulty would be (5 (APL) + 2 (Humanity 8 - Challenge 6)), effectively difficulty 7. She would roll four dice for the check.

If, instead, Jubilee used her power to burn the man's skin, the difficulty would be rather higher (7 (PP) + (Humanity 8 - Challenge 6)), effectively difficulty 9. She would still roll four dice for the check.

If she merely punched the man, inflicting only bashing damage, the difficulty would be 5, her actual power level score. If she called him a monkey-loving stool pigeon, she would not have to make a check at all (since it is only challenging for supers with a Humanity score of at least 9).

Score Description
●●●●● ●●●●● Humane - Only the most caring heroes possible could have this score. Roll five dice for Humanity loss (difficulty of Actual Power Level) for minor selfish acts (parking inappropriately, etc)
●●●●● ●●●● Compassionate - Captain America. Roll five dice to check for Humanity loss for selfish acts (ignoring crimes, speaking hatefully, making harsh threats).
●●●●● ●●● Caring - Shadowcat, Jubilee. Roll four dice to check for Humanity loss when any injury to another is caused, accidentally or deliberately.
●●●●● ●● Normal - Rogue, Beast, Iceman. Grand theft, burglary or other damage to a person's wellbeing would be enough to make the super roll four dice to check for loss.
●●●●● ● Removed - Gambit, Prof X, Jean Grey. Roll for loss after any serious injury is deliberately inflicted on another. Three dice.
●●●●● Distant - Wolverine, Emma Frost, Cyclops. Intentional, mass property damage or elimination of livelihood. Three dice.
●●●● Unfeeling - Magneto. Impassioned killing. Three dice.
●●● Cold - Doom, Sinister, Galactus. Planned murder. Two dice.
●● Bestial - Sabretooth, Venom. Casual, callous crime (serial killing). Two dice.
Horrific - Carnage. Utterly perverse, heinous act. Two dice.
X Monstrous - the worst villains possible.

Corruption

Power corrupts. It's rare that someone can achieve great power without some form of ethical or moral decay. Jean Grey, as the Phoenix, is the textbook example of this fact. Charles Xavier and Magneto have also descended into taint.

Corruption is a measurement of the super’s corruption. Whenever the super kills, harms innocents, or otherwise performs actions that would represent a decline in humanity, she can accumulate temporary taint. If she gains too much of it, the taint becomes permanent.

Whenever the super performs an act of evil without using a Power, he must make a Humanity check (difficulty of the super’s Actual Power Level). Failure indicates that the super gains a point of temporary Corruption. If the roll is a botch, the super loses a point of Humanity.

If the act of evil is executed directly by use of a Power, the Humanity check is instead made against a difficulty of the super’s Power Potential.

Every point of permanent Corruption decreases the super’s maximum Humanity score by one (making it potentially more difficult to resist accumulation of more Corruption). If the super’s permanent Humanity is ever reduced to zero, she is lost — a villain most foul, under control of the Mastermind.

Some Powers are evil enough that using them will always garner some temporary Corruption.

Removing Corruption

Corruption can be reduced. Via good deeds (the super behaves morally for a game session, etc.), the Mastermind may allow the player to spend Story Points to reduce temporary Corruption. Each point costs one point of Story Points. The maximum number that can be reduced at once in this way is 10 minus the super’s permanent Corruption score.

Permanent Corruption is much harder to eliminate. Characters must live up to Nature and go on a quest of redemption. All temporary points of Corruption must be cleared first. If the Mastermind judges that the super has gone through enough effort and redeemed himself, the player may spend 4 x the current rating in Permanent Corruption to reduce one permanent dot to 9 temporary points.

Buying Corruption

The super may elect to gain temporary Corruption in order to quickly restore or recharge energy, as follows:

One point of temporary Corruption will do one of the following 

  • Willpower or Power Charge is filled up to her Actual Power Level score (or maximum, whichever is lower).
  • Bashing damage to Health levels is fully healed.
  • Dice penalties due to damage or fatigue are reduced by 1 for a scene.

Two points of temporary Corruption

  • Dice penalties are reduced by 2 for a scene.
  • An active Power is increased in effective Rank by 1 for a scene (four points of Corruption for a double-cost Power).
  • Damage inflicted by a super’s active Powers is increased by one level of severity, to a maximum of aggravated, for a round.

Five points of temporary Corruption 

  • Dice penalties are ignored for a scene.
  • Lethal damage to Health levels is fully healed.
  • Damage inflicted by the super (with or without Powers) is increased in severity to aggravated.
  • A Power in the super’s Primary category may be duplicated at minimum Rank for a round. Double-cost Powers (or maintaining a regular duplication for a scene) would cost a point of permanent Corruption.