Monday, April 20, 2015

Bruce Banner—The Hulk

I've finally managed to get down the poster child for bruisers over at Savage MCU. This entry has probably seen the least change next to Captain America, but overall he's been buffed up a little and is a good fight for me new iteration of Thor as well. As with the others, I'll leave this iteration of the character up just because, but my definitive Hulk is available here.


The next big movie coming around the corner is Avengers 2, and I think it's a great time to push the Supers Companion to the limits by figuring out the stats behind all the Avengers. Keep in mind that, like the Lord of the Rings folks, this is only using what we see in the films and other portions of the cinematic universe (that I've seen).

Name: Bruce Banner
Race: Human
Experience: 65 (Heroic)
Agility d8; Smarts d12; Spirit d6; Strength d4; Vigor d6
Pace 6; Parry 5; Charisma 0; Toughness 5
Hindrances: Bad Eyes, Loyal, Pacifist (m), Wanted (M)
Edges: Luck, Scholar (Biology & Physics), Level Headed, Martial Artist, Barbaric Blood
Skills: Fighting d6, Healing d6, Knowledge (Biology) d10, Knowledge (Computers) d8, Knowledge (Physics) d10, Knowledge (Portuguese) d4, Investigation d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Repair d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d8
Inventory: Pulse Tracker

Name: The Hulk
Race: ???
Experience: 80 (Legendary)
Agility d8; Smarts d6; Spirit d8; Strength d12+10; Vigor d12+2
Pace 6; Parry 7; Charisma –4; Toughness 30 (6)
Hindrances: Gimmick (get angry, always Wild Attack), Loyal, Weakness (m, Sound)
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Brawny, Berserk, Take the Hit, Brawler, Frenzy, Nerves of Steel, Two-Fisted, Sweep, Mighty Blow, Combat Reflexes, Tough As Nails.
Skills: Climbing d12, Fighting d10, Intimidation d12, Notice d4, Stealth d4, Throwing d6
Super Powers:
  • Armor +6 (3): Extremely dense skin.
  • Attack, Melee (9): Str+d6, Focus, Heavy Weapon, Lethal, Multiple Attacks.
  • Fear (3): Scary, Terror.
  • Fearless (2): Pfft. You can't scare the Hulk.
  • Growth (7): Level 3 (+3 Size, Strength, and Toughness). Monster.
  • Leaping (6): Can leap 32" vertically or 64" horizontally. Bounce.
  • Regeneration (6): Level 3, rolls to heal every 10 minutes.
  • Speed (4): 4 x Pace, –1 to hit.
  • Super Attributes (24): Strength +7, Vigor +5.
  • Toughness +10 (13): Hardy.

Bruce Banner was a nuclear physicist working on what he thought was a procedure to make humans immune to gamma radiation, but a freak accident transformed Banner into the Incredible Hulk—a Cosmic-level green monster with unparalleled strength and durability. The military, who had funded his research in the first place, are now hunting Banner down for his research and national security.

Over the last five years, Bruce has been on the run, learning Spanish, Portuguese, Bengali, and presumably others in order to keep moving. He is agile and very smart, learning martial arts and mental conditioning to try training his mind and body to contain the Hulk as best he can. By the events of Avengers, he is working as a doctor in China.

The monster inside, however, is a 7'6" foot tall musclehouse, and whenever Banner's heart rate passes above 200 (generally if he gets pissed), he transforms. Mechanically, this is represented as Berserk: Smarts roll (at –2) when Shaken/Wounded or he goes green. He is built like a tank and smashes like a small battleship. Once he gets going, the Hulk relentlessly pounds anything it doesn't like until it can't move. The Hulk's amazing strength grants him a variety of abilities: he can break over 30 mph at a sprint, and is able to leap enormous distances in a single bound. His enormous bulk and intimidating demeanor strikes fear into any that see him, and he is almost impossible to hurt (and even if you manage it, his Soak ability is frigging terrifying).

The reason Hulk has Nerves of Steel and Berserk is to keep the first wound from really impacting him without him having to go even more ballistic. While this may not be "optimal," it is what we see in the movies and that's what I'm basing everything off of.

I also use a slightly modified table for the speed and flight powers to provide another step of gradiency to the powers (a slight nerf off the tabletop, but otherwise not too big a deal. Makes the Hulk a little easier to make). I also use a variant of the Multiple Languages Setting Rule to account for the comics trope of being able to speak so many extra languages.

There's the first of our Avengers! Leave questions and comments and comic corrections below!


  1. Just a comment on the Nerves of Steel... Normally you want to have the penalty on the Smarts roll to go Berserk. Ignoring even a point of wound penalty makes it harder for the Hulk to fail the roll. Unless I'm missing something?

    1. Well, if you consider when the Hulk actually DOES take a wound—particularly when he's fighting Abomination in the first movie—he doesn't gain further Strength/Toughness (Berserk) until later on in the fight during a second wound.

      It means that even before he goes even nuttier, he still ignores wound penalties. And I don't recall ever seeing him go FURTHER Berserk than he already is inherently by going green.

      I suppose it's worth noting that I'm not building the characters to be "efficient" or "optimized." The goal with these characters is to make sure that rolling the dice more or less represents what we see happen on the big screen, and in tests with rolling a d4 to avoid Berserk, Nerves of Steel pushes the effects closer to what we've seen.

  2. Are you sure Contingent Modifier is legit with Super Attribute?

    1. I was actually really worried about this back in my Spider-Man write up, but in the book, the Contingent modifier states that "if the primary power is deactivated or negated, all Contingent powers are as well." This means that if Hulk's Strength is negated somehow, so is his leap and speed.

      I've been meaning to post it to the forums for verification, but legally I would allow it in my games. Plus, building Hulk (and especially Spider-Man) would be a bitch otherwise. I'd be forced to bump them up to the next Power Level.

    2. Fine!
      I've just seen you updated your build, and Contingent disappeared. (guess this has to do with

      The number of PP to 80. That's beyond "Heavy Hitter" and slightly above Cosmic Level (with Super Karma, you still have 5 PP left to spend).

      Growth: why only level 2, not 3? You mention a size of 7', Hulk seems taller in both Avengers, doesn't he?
      Leaping: seems to me Hullk generally doesn't jump as high/long as that. In first movie, he only makes incredible jumps when totally berserk. Maybe this could be lowered down a bit, saving incredible jumps for Power Stunts. I would apply the same to Speed.

      About Toughness and Armor:
      most Heavy Weapons have a PA higher than current Armor of your Hulk build, the Heavy Armor modifier just say "ok, don't bother rolling dice for hand guns", so I'm not sure getting this modifier is useful/relevant. On the other hand, tank guns have damage as high as 5d10, which will hurt Hulk with a slightly above average damage roll (a rise will even more ensure that).

      PS: nice work, I'm struggling to build the Savage Avengers, too :)

    3. I think the number was actually at 85, I just forgot to add the extra PP in the cost of attack, melee and super attributes (vigor increase). That said, I've looked at bringing the cost down, so I may be able to bump his Speed down to 4×Pace, keep his Regeneration high and leave him at a solid 75 PP. Hulk is most certainly comparable to Cosmic level forces like Thor or Superman, of course, so I think this works out pretty well!

      With regards to his Size, this image is a pretty good standard of measurement:

      While he might be closer to 7' 6" (maaaybe 8', but that's a stretch), he isn't tall enough to warrant a Size +3. He's also Brawny on top of that, so I think he's covered pretty well.

      And, of course, regarding Toughness, I'm actually going to go through and revamp the AP, Toughness, and damage of vehicles in SWD (and a little of the SciFi Companion). It's just incredulously high to me, and honestly Heavy Armor does enough to make them feel terrifying as it is. Tanks don't really need a Toughness any higher than 20–30.