New York’s Newest Hero

Here’s a character for the Marvel Heroic RPG that I built from scratch. I’m loving the idea.

Melanie Hernandez is a remarkably gifted and successful student from New York City. She attended Stuyvesant High School and won a full-ride scholarship to Empire State University where she earned concurrent bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering, physics and electrical engineering. After undergrad, she applied to the cutting edge biotech research graduate program at ESU. Melanie also finally moved out of her family’s home in the Bronx and is staying in Manhattan near the university.

During a summer research program with Dr. Hans Kreuben, Melanie was unwittingly dosed with gamma radiation over a period of several months. Dr. Kreuben believed his secret experiment was a failure and returned to Germany before the start of fall term. Several weeks later Melanie manifested superpowers in an explosive display during roller derby practice. A shimmering ball of energy snapped into place around her and crushed everything it rolled over as she ran at superhuman speeds. Fortunately only minor injuries were sustained and the episode was so brief that her teammates had no idea what had occurred.

When the streets of Manhattan were terrorized by escaped convicts from The Raft, Melanie refused to  stand by and do nothing. She donned a ski mask and an old hat of her grandfather’s and stormed into the night. The ball of energy she was able to call into being protected her from harm and propelled her at fantastic speeds. She managed to subdue a few of the escapees by ramming into them at full tilt. It was crude but effective. In the weeks since the breakout, Melanie has improved upon her costume. It now consists a form fitting jump suit, a domino mask and her grandfather’s worn derby hat. The streets have a new protector known as….


Solo d10  – Buddy d8 – Team d6

Derby Girl! – Bronx Chica – Quick Study

Power Traits:
Godlike Durability d12 – Enhanced Speed d8
SFX Human Wrecking Ball – use two or more PSYCHIC ROLLERBALL powers in a single dice pool at -1 step for every additional power.
SFX Pinball Wizard – Target multiple opponents. For every additional target, add d6 to your pool and keep +1 effect die.
SFX Impenetrable – Spend one PP to ignore physical stress or trauma unless caused by sonic attacks.
Limit: Conscious Activation – if stressed out, asleep, or unconscious, shut down PSYCHIC ROLLERBALL. Recover PSYCHIC ROLLERBALL when stress is recovered or you awake. If emotional trauma is taken, shut down PSYCHIC ROLLERBALL until trauma is recovered.

Medical Expert d8, Science Expert d8,  Tech Expert d8

Milestone: New Hero on the Block
1 xp when you do something brash or unwise despite an experienced hero’s warning.
3 xp when you ask another hero for help
10 xp when you join a superteam or turn down an invitation to a superteam and go it alone

Milestone: Super Student
1 xp when your education helps you solve a problem in costume.
3 xp when being a hero interferes with your studies.
10 xp when you finish a degree or drop out from school.

About PK

PK Sullivan is a game designer and writer living in Chicago.
This entry was posted in Characters, Marvel Heroic RPG, Role Playing. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to New York’s Newest Hero

  1. Adam Minnie says:

    Awesome concept. Believable and elegant. I like the simplicity of her starting power set and the tie-in to her roller derby hobby. Great choice of costume too. Those milestones look like a blast to play out in the story.

  2. PK says:

    Thanks! I’m a big fan of the Wild Cards series where all of the powers are psionic in nature (and often informed by the person’s sub-conscious) so I wanted to play with that a bit. I had a small moment of “that’s so groovy” in the shower this morning when I was thinking about Derby’s powers. I’ve got a cool twist to put on them if I ever get to play her for a while.

  3. Arcane Springboard says:

    Enhanced Speed should probably be a d8.

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  6. Alan Wilkinson says:

    I’m surprised PSYCHIC ROLLERBALL doesn’t have a Weapon die (or an equivilent therof). I suppose she’s using Enhanced Speed for that, but having an attack die in there as well would give “Human Wrecking Ball” more to play with.

    • PK says:

      Alan, thanks for the comment. In the next post I describe why I didn’t give her a weapon trait. Basically, she didn’t need it. She attacks by ramming into things at super speed. The multi power SFX already let’s her use both her impenetrable ball and super speed (at D10 and D6). Adding a third power trait wasn’t really necessary to capture the feel of the character.

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