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5E DC in DnD: Superman

Stalker0

Legend
So I've really enjoyed all of the epic monster designs of late, and I've gotten the itch to try more of my own. So I want to see if I could do "justice" to turning the Justice League into Dnd monsters.

Now the trick with comics is, they are all over the place. Give people enough time and they can always point at the one time X superhero did this crazy stunt that just blows every stat you thought about them out of the water. So we are going to ignore that:) My goal is to present the leaguers in roughly standard form, with the classic feats and abilities they commonly display. I will admit to be a big fan of the DC animated movies, so that will be a draw of my inspiration as well.

And why not start off with a bang! The ultimate leader of the Justice League and greatest DC Hero....Superman!

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Superman Design Notes and Character Traits
CR: 26 Wait Superman isn’t 30, or 40, or 50???!!! Again we have to look at the context of what Superman fights, yes against anything mundane he simply wins, its just a question of how quickly (therefore superman’s CR is basically infinite against things without magic or his vulnerabilities). But Superman has been challenged by gods and magical creatures and beings with even greater prowess than his own. Superman is beyond mortals for sure, but when you look at the cosmic realm he is not top of the food chain. Than we further have to accept that magic in dnd is very common compared to the DC universe, which means some of the top dogs have a lot of magic that Superman has no counter for. So we try to reflect that in CR. A group of the highest Dnd mortals (aka 20th level), equipped with all of the right magics and tools, could absolutely take on Superman as a very hard but winnable challenge.

This is probably the area I need feedback on the most, as it would be easy to scale up superman up or down. Because superman’s CR effectively sets the cap for the rest of the justice league it sets the power level for all heroes to come.

Invulnerability: An easy start off. Unless its magic or he’s exposed to his weaknesses, Superman is basically invulnerable for all practical purposes. Now we could treat this as some high damage reduction or the like but I think that is splitting hairs…Superman has tanked stars exploding for pete’s sake, he’s just invulnerable and we leave it at that.

Condition Recovery not Invincibility: While Supes is immune to most damage, he is not immune to most conditions. He gets knocked down, stunned by electricity, grappled by big foes, mind controlled, etc. However, he almost always recovers extremely quickly. So we want to leave him open to conditions but give him ways to recover from them fast. I'm also going to give him some minimum saves, this ensures Superman is not taken down by a silly weak attack. But otherwise, Superman can absolutely be hindered by many dnd conditions.

Fast Healing: Even when Supes is damaged, he recovers very quickly.

Burrow Speed: Supes does like to make himself some tunnels.

Kryptonite / Red Sun / Magic Vulnerability: A key aspect of superman’s character is his vulnerabilities. These strip away his normal invulnerabilities, and for kryptonite acts as a poison.

Sound Vulnerability: Those insane ears come with a price, and a classic superman trip up is hitting him with sonic attacks to slow him down.

Attacks: The standard superman arsenal:
  • Punch
  • Eye Beams
  • Freezing Breath / Hurricane Breath
  • Hitting people with big objects
  • Turning into a Tornado
The Mercy of Superman: I think its important to note that Superman almost never fights at full strength. He constantly shows mercy even in the most dire of circumstances, and only against the most heinous of foes (like a darkside) has superman ever fought with a true intention to kill. I want to include that in the statblock.

Strong and not Strong: So we have to split apart Superman’s strength. On the one hand, Superman has moved planets. On the other, he has been grappled and knocked down by much more mundane attacks, suggesting his athletics and strength saves are not infinite. Further, while Superman obviously does tons of damage, even in the comics it takes him a while to defeat comparable enemies, which again suggests that his strength which factored into his damage is not as great as you might expect.

Fast and not Fast: A similar dichotomy exists for his speed. On the one hand, Superman can move at near the speed of light. And yet, he is hittable, people also regularly dodge his attacks. So we have to assume his tactical speed (aka speed in combat) is not the same as his traveling speed. That said, there are times where superman “shows” off and becomes very hard to hit, so we will add in some special dodging to note that.

Flight: Duh

Holding Breath: A common note is superman’s ability to hold his breath for absurd amounts of time, effectively at the whims of plot. For simplicity I’m just going to say he doesn’t need to breathe, that’s close enough for our purposes.

Perception: Superman’s perception is insane, able to see the smallest particle or hear a bird’s wingflap across the world. But his perception is not unbeatable, sneaky types have been able to sneak around him. So we are going to give him a good (but beatable) passive perception, and gives him an ability that effectively lets him see or hear from incredible distances. And of course Xray Vision.

Skills: Superman is often pictured as a leader, inspiring hope in others and talking people down (persuasion). While Superman sometimes does insane feats of intelligence, the base superman is seen as a highly intelligent person, but not in the level of “genius” like many other DC characters. However, we do want to include his speed reading abilities, and we will throw in some investigation for his reporting abilities.

Superman
Medium Humanoid (Lawful Good)

AC 16 (+1 Padded Armor)
Hit Points 300
Speed 100 ft, Fly 100 ft, Burrow 100 ft

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
26 (+8)18 (+4)20 (+5)14 (+2)18 (+4)18 (+4)

Skills Athletics +16, Investigation + 10, Persuasion + 12, Perception: +12
Damage Immunities *See Physical Invulnerability
Senses *See X-Ray Vision, Passive Perception: 27
Languages Common
Challenge 26

Physical Invulnerability: Superman takes no damage from any effect unless it is generated by a spell or magic item.

Resilience: When Superman rolls less than an 8 on a saving throw, treat the die as if he rolled an 8.

Superior Recovery: At the start of his turn, Superman regains 30 hit points and removes all conditions currently affecting him, unless the condition was imposed by an enhancement spell or effect.

Man of Steel: Superman does not need to breathe.

Break Invulnerability: Superman's Heat Vision and Punch attacks ignore the Physical Invulnerability and Damage Threshold traits. Spell effects that are immune to damage can take damage from these attacks, and are considered to have 500 hp.

Brawler: Superman has a -5 to his attacks and +10 to his damage (factored into to his statblock).

Cosmic Strength: Superman has no limit to his carrying capacity, and gains +27 to his melee damage (included in his statblock). His attacks deal double damage to objects and structures.

Cosmic Speed: When performing the Dash Action, Superman can move to any location on the same plane. Superman can move through any barrier to get to the location, except ones immune to damage.

Mercy: Against Humanoids, Superman cannot make critical hits. If a Humanoid is brought to 0 hp or less by any of Superman’s attacks, Superman always choses to knock them out instead of kill them.

Hear the Helpless: Superman becomes instantly aware of anyone calling for help within the same plane, and knows their location.

X-Ray Vision: Superman has advantage on all wisdom (perception) checks and a +5 to passive perception. Within 100 ft solid objects appear transparent and don't prevent light from passing through them. A thin sheet of lead can block this vision.

Kryptonian Vulnerability: If on a plane with no sunlight or red sunlight, Superman loses his Man of Steel, Cosmic Strength, Cosmic Speed, Heroic Recovery, Hear the Helpless, and X-Ray Vision traits; and he gains Exhaustion 4 and Poisoned. He loses all of his actions except Punch. This effect lasts as long as the exposure occurs, plus 1 additional round. If Superman is exposed to Kryptonite within 50 ft, he suffers the same effects, he is incapacitated, and he takes 7 (2d6) poison damage at the start of his turn.

Sonic Vulnerability: Anytime Superman is hit by an effect dealing 20 or more Thunder damage, he becomes incapacitated for 1 round.

ACTIONS
Multiattack
: Superman makes 2 attacks, any combination of Punch or Heat Vision.

Punch: Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 48 (1d6 + 45) bludgeoning damage and the target must make a DC 21 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone or pushed 100 ft, Superman’s choice.

Heat Vision: Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 150/600., one target. Hit: 45 (13d6) fire damage

Freeze Breath: 100 ft Cone. All nonmagical fire in the area is instantly extinguished. All creatures in the area must make a DC 21 constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature magically begins to turn to ice and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends. On a failure, the creature is petrified (frozen) until freed by the greater restoration spell or until 100 total fire damage is applied to the ice.

Hurricane Breath: 100 ft Cone.. All creatures in the area must make a DC 21 strength saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is knocked back 100 ft and becomes prone. All gas and fog effects in the area are removed.

Object Slam: Superman may hit his enemies with a large object, or a piece of the ground itself. Superman chooses one 20 by 20 ft square touching his square. All creatures in the area must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw, take 45 bludgeoning damage and becoming restrained on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The area becomes difficult terrain. A restrained creature can make a DC 21 strength (athletics) or dexterity (acrobatics) check as an action to remove the condition.

Whirlwind: Each creature within 5 ft of Superman make a DC 21 Strength saving throw. On a failure, a target takes is flung up 100 feet away from Superman in a random direction and knocked prone. If a thrown target strikes an object, such as a wall or floor, the target takes 42 (12d6) bludgeoning damage. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.

Speed Reading: Superman can choose any object containing text within 100 ft and instantly read all text contained within.

Clairvoyant Senses: Superman can choose any location within 1 mile, and see as if he were there. If he chooses hearing instead, the range is anywhere on the same plane. When using this ability, Superman automatically has a 32 on any wisdom (perception) check.

Light Speed Dodge: Superman gains a +10 to his AC and Dexterity saving throws, and all attacks against him are made at disadvantage. This effect lasts until the start of Superman’s next turn. Any creature with the Cosmic Speed trait can ignore these effects.


LEGENDARY ACTIONS
Superman can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Superman can use any unspent legendary actions at the end of each round and he regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Up, Up, and Away: Superman moves his fly speed.
Punch: Superman makes a Punch attack.
Heat Vision Barrage (Cost: 3 Actions): Superman chooses a 20 ft radius within 150 ft. All creatures in the area must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw, take 70 (20d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


CR Notes
Offensive CR: 26. A very straightforward calculation.
For Defense, I used the effective hitpoint adjusted for immunities, and further adjusted for a 30 "regeneration". I left the saving throw (8 or lower is an 8) bonus out of any factor, that is really just to deal with the riff raff, it doesn't actually help Supes against real DCs he would be facing. That also gives me a Defensive CR 26.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Invulnerability: An easy start off. Unless its magic or he’s exposed to his weaknesses, Superman is basically invulnerable for all practical purposes. Now we could treat this as some high damage reduction or the like but I think that is splitting hairs…Superman has tanked stars exploding for pete’s sake, he’s just invulnerable and we leave it at that.
I can't get on board with that -- he definitely gets damaged by strong beings. Doomsday literally beats him to death (no magic or anything; just brute force).
 

Stalker0

Legend
I can't get on board with that -- he definitely gets damaged by strong beings. Doomsday literally beats him to death (no magic or anything; just brute force).
My thought was to give these kinds of beings the effect of "magic weapons" (and we can call it something else to work with the flavor), similar to how high level monsters in dnd often have this quality. This is the only way that makes sense in dnd terms, theres no other good way to say "this guy can hurt superman" while at the same time saying "superman can take the full force of a supernova".
 

Mutants & Masterminds published an official version of DC with stats for the most of famous characters.

Superheroes are totally overpowered in the d20 system and many other RPGs. Even in videogames we suffer a conflict between gameplay and loyal adaptation. Who would believe Alfred, Batman's butler could defeat Superman?

We can play a campaign based in DC universe but many characters had to be nerferd. Other option would be playing games where PCs start being very powerful but the leveling-up would be frozen, total or almost totally, and then the players's goal would be complete the quests to get a different reward, storytelling points to unlock tiers of "paths", something like classes, but without hit-points, bonus for attacks or save-check and feats not-linked with the battlefield.

Other matter is when some monsters are superhumans with some template, for example infected zombies or black lanterns.



 

Superheroes are totally overpowered in the d20 system and many other RPGs. Even in videogames we suffer a conflict between gameplay and loyal adaptation. Who would believe Alfred, Batman's butler could defeat Superman?

Batman did it, and he's only a regular human. At peak physical conditioning, but just a man.

And no, Superheroes are not overpowered in d20. Bearing in mind DnD PCs are literally fighting (and defeating) cosmic level threats in T4 (Demon Princes, Gods, Alien super-intelligences etc) then I wouldn't think most superheroes would be much of a problem.

That's relative to the power level though. Golden Age Superman is a pretty huge outlier compared to Iron Man, Daredevil, Wolverine, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Colossus etc.
 


TBH, strength, dex, and con should all be 30 or beyond. A lot of people don't realize just how truly overpowered Superman is.

Depends on the depiction. The limit of his strength has been depicted as being able to lift a car over his head with some difficulty all the way up to literally moving an entire planet.

And while fast (as in FTL fast) I wouldnt describe him as being particularly dextrous. The Yellow sun of earth doesnt enhance his manual dexterity in any particular way.

And Im not sure his Constitution is that crazy either. He's immune to all damage types other than Force and Psychic, and is also immute to all Piercing, Bludgeoning and Slashing damage from non magical attacks that are not made of Kryptonite or inflicted by a Kryptonian.

Likely also has this trait:

Kryptonite Vulnerability: If Superman starts his turn within 10' of an object made of Kryptonite, he loses his damage resistance and immunities, gains a level of Exhaustion, and is affected by the Slow spell, with no save allowed for 1 minute.

His other vulnerabilities include magical and psychic attacks. While' Id give him Con, Str and Dex saves, I'd make sure he was vulnerable to Int, Wis and Cha saves (low-ist stats, no proficiency).
 

Ace

Adventurer
I like fantasy supers , I've even run some as a story game and one of my favorite comics back in the day had a Conan Sorcerer Kulan Gath turn NYC into a fantasy world (X-Men 189-191) its hard to run as you kind of have to have the right tool for the job. D&D just isn't suited for it.

Some examples of why not.

Tulok the Barbarian over on YouTube does superhero build videos along side various anime , video game , SF movie and other sorts of characters. His most recent Minecraft Steve inspired build is amazingly unique.

IMO he is very good at builds, much better than me but his builds for the big three (Supers, Bats, Diana) are honestly a bit lackluster often because of limitations in the D&D 5E system even beyond his methodological choices. .

Even the good quaility books Marvelous Archetypes 1 and 2 which allow you to build the Avengers and X-Men respectively are not going to give you the comic version, only a kind of sort of way to play them.

Heck I just spent far too much time doing my own version of Batman today and honestly as capable as the build is, while it feels sort of like Batman , it doesn't do the Dark Knight justice and is nowhere as capable. In case anyone is curious it is a 11 Rogue- 9-Artifice based of Nolan/Bat Aflec versions of Batman . Its still not Bats though just a high level dude who plays a but like him.

In my opinion for best results use D&D for D&D and something designed for Supers for Supers, even fantasy versions.
 

This is the official stats for Mutants & Mastermind. Here the scale of abilities scores, and for example 2 Int means +2, 13-14 in D&D, and 10 in M&M would be 30 in D&D.



Today some superheroes are too powerful, and this means being almost Mary Sue/Gary Sue, and too perfect characters are boring.

The videogames and TTRPGs based in superheroes franchises need a right balance between power and weakness, success and failure. And this is harder if we want crossovers with other characters, and sometimes there are in the level of street-vigilante.
 

UnknownDyson

Explorer
Depends on the depiction. The limit of his strength has been depicted as being able to lift a car over his head with some difficulty all the way up to literally moving an entire planet.
When you responded I assumed you were someone who knew about comic books to some degree. Bringing up bronze age superman who is "more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" is a bad faith argument. Superman in the current continuity moves at speeds faster than light and can literally destroy continents with his bare hands. Can take out a planet if he sundips.

And while fast (as in FTL fast) I wouldnt describe him as being particularly dextrous. The Yellow sun of earth doesnt enhance his manual dexterity in any particular way.
I'll grant you the dexterity, but for the purpose of initiative, anyone going against him unless they were on the level of flash would have to have like -5 dex.

And Im not sure his Constitution is that crazy either. He's immune to all damage types other than Force and Psychic, and is also immute to all Piercing, Bludgeoning and Slashing damage from non magical attacks that are not made of Kryptonite or inflicted by a Kryptonian.

I can post constitution feats for days on this forum but I really don't want to do that. I'm not even a superman fan. Here he is holding a miniature black hole.

Kryptonite Vulnerability: If Superman starts his turn within 10' of an object made of Kryptonite, he loses his damage resistance and immunities, gains a level of Exhaustion, and is affected by the Slow spell, with no save allowed for 1 minute.

His other vulnerabilities include magical and psychic attacks. While' Id give him Con, Str and Dex saves, I'd make sure he was vulnerable to Int, Wis and Cha saves (low-ist stats, no proficiency).
I agree with all of these.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Mutants & Masterminds published an official version of DC with stats for the most of famous characters.
Thank you for the link, and I took a look to give me a sanity check to ensure I am covering core aspects of the heroes. M&M is a much more detailed and comprehensive system than 5e, so in order to give the heroes (the 5e treatment) I went with a significantly simplier model. Still its a good reference so thank you.
Batman did it, and he's only a regular human. At peak physical conditioning, but just a man.
Don't worry, I plan to give batman plenty of tricks to explain how he can take out Superman. So this is less about Superman's stats, and more about batman's.
TBH, strength, dex, and con should all be 30 or beyond. A lot of people don't realize just how truly overpowered Superman is.
Depends on the depiction. The limit of his strength has been depicted as being able to lift a car over his head with some difficulty all the way up to literally moving an entire planet.
I can post constitution feats for days on this forum but I really don't want to do that. I'm not even a superman fan. Here he is holding a miniature black hole.

So one of the key things I did with my Superman was to rationalize his feats and his "non-feats". How could a guy that moves at light speed still get hit? How could a guy that can move a star still get grappled by normal effects?

While there are several ways to do this, I used a simple "5e esque" approach to the problem. I separated his core stats from his cosmic like feats to create a superman that in theory can do the main feats that are ascribed to him, but still provide reasonable stats for the 5e system.

For example, Cosmic Strength: Superman has no limit to his carrying capacity, and gains +27 to his melee damage (included in his statblock). His attacks deal double damage to objects and structures.

This is a big one, no carrying capacity limit. So to the question "Can superman lift, carry, or push it?" The answer is.... "yes". Superman effectively has infinite strength....but in the comic book means of "lifting things" and not in the dnd way of "avoid grapples and dealing damage".

Similar with his endurance. While Superman has a high but mortal con, these abilities:

Heroic Recovery: At the start of his turn, Superman regains 30 hit points and removes all conditions currently affecting him, unless the condition was imposed by an enhancement spell or effect.

Man of Steel: Superman takes no damage from any effect unless it is generated by a spell or a magic item. When Superman rolls less than an 8 on a saving throw, treat the die as if he rolled an 8. Superman does not need to breathe.

Gives him the core Superman resiliency. Regular old saving throws can't hinder superman. You could make a poison that would effect Supes (higher DC)...for a few seconds and then he is 100% fine. Sure Superman can get exhausted....for a few seconds than he is back fresh as a daisy. Yes your electricity (that doesn't do any actual damage) is holding up Superman....for a few seconds than he rips off the cords and goes and kicks your butt.

Or Superman's speed? While Superman has a very hittable AC, and his tactical speed is "only really good" we give him this:

Cosmic Speed: When performing the Dash Action, Superman can move to any location on the same plane. Superman can move through any barrier to get to the location, except ones immune to damage.

To showcase he's insane speed ability, while at the same time allowing for the fact that Superman is hit frequently in the comics. So a lower dex combined with these type of crazy speed abilities.



My goal is to capture the core essence of superman's feats but with the simplicity of 5e monster design. Obviously my audience will have to tell me how I did, but I do greatly encourage people to separate the abilities from the stats, you have to look at the whole package to decide if this superman can reflect the general feats of the comics and cartoon movies.

My last note here, just as Dnd is not LoTR, dnd is also not comic book stories either. In dnd, any hero can roll a 1 on a saving throw. Magic doesn't "just work", there is a chance of failure, sometimes a decent amount. The graceful and charismatic champion one minute, can accidentally trip and fall down some stairs. Dnd allows for possibilities that simply do not exist compared to when an author makes all the rules. So we have to reconcile that in our thinking. We can't always say "Superman would NEVER fail against that" ..... because in Dnd terms.... there is always that chance. The goal here is not to force Dnd to play by comic book rules....but to adapt comic books as faithfully as possible but still in the arena of how dnd operates.
 
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dave2008

Legend
When you responded I assumed you were someone who knew about comic books to some degree. Bringing up bronze age superman who is "more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" is a bad faith argument. Superman in the current continuity moves at speeds faster than light and can literally destroy continents with his bare hands. Can take out a planet if he sundips.
Why is that a bad faith argument? He literally said it "Depends on the depiction." You are referencing a particular comic book version, while the OP sad: " ...a big fan of the DC animated movies, so that will be a draw of my inspiration as well.".

I am not precisely sure about the DC animated movies (though I have seen some), but the cartoons often depict superman much, much less powerful than being able to destroy continents with his hands. You made assumptions, @Flamestrike did not. So who is really arguing in bad faith?
 
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Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
I can't get on board with that -- he definitely gets damaged by strong beings. Doomsday literally beats him to death (no magic or anything; just brute force).
The cool thing about NPCs is we can break the rules for them.
Just giving Superman Damage resistance to non-magical damage and also a Damage Threshold (like a vehicle or building) would model the rules for his particular kind of invulnerability quite well. Then whenever he encounters a siege monster (which Doomsday would totally be) they can ignore part of his defenses because they are so strong.
 

UnknownDyson

Explorer
Why is that a bad faith argument? He literally said it "Depends on the depiction." You are referencing a particular comic book version, while the OP sad: " ...a big fan of the DC animated movies, so that will be a draw of my inspiration as well.".

I am referencing the current 21st century Superman comic book depiction that has been more or less the default version of the character since before I was born. Would it be fair to say that the onus of specificity would be on the poster to designate if you were not using that version?

How could a guy that moves at light speed still get hit? How could a guy that can move a star still get grappled by normal effects?

ut the cartoons often depict superman much, much less powerful than being able to destroy continents with his hands. You made assumptions, @Flamestrike did not. So who is really arguing in bad faith?

This goes into why I'm not the biggest Superman fan, and why I believe it is hard to write decent stories for the character. Superman is a character that is so powerful that his biggest conflicts are meant to be moral ones. His upbringing and sense of morality are what lead him to be a savior to the people and not a dictator that conquered the planet overnight. Superman is constantly limiting his powers and reducing his overall strength so that he doesn't straight up turn people into meat paste or kill thousands in collateral damage when he encounters a foe. That is usually his biggest quandary, how can he accomplish his goal of protecting everyone, even from himself.

Evil versions of superman or enemy kryptonians usually don't share those values and you can see what supermans powers look like when he throws restraint out the window, see Injustice, Superboy-Prime, General Zod, and Ultraman. Comicbook superman is generally depicted as weaker but we still see this phenomenon. This is why superman's archnemesis Lex Luthor is usually an economic/ intellectual threat that Superman can't simply defeat with brute strength, because then he wouldn't be the hero anymore. So to answer the question in no uncertain terms a guy that can move at light speed gets hit because he 1) allows himself to get hit 2) because that's how the story was written.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I am referencing the current 21st century Superman comic book depiction that has been more or less the default version of the character since before I was born. Would it be fair to say that the onus of specificity would be on the poster to designate if you were not using that version?
I can't speak for anybody else, but as a normal human being I can say that I don't feel like conversations and fans showing off their creations should be subjected to aggressive rigorous courtroom-style rules, and I'd go further and say that you completely misspelled "Cool! That's an awesome effort, though I have a few questions!" :)

"Bad faith argument"? C’mon!
 

dave2008

Legend
I am referencing the current 21st century Superman comic book depiction that has been more or less the default version of the character since before I was born. Would it be fair to say that the onus of specificity would be on the poster to designate if you were not using that version?
written.
The OP did specify a different version (DC animated movies), I even reiterated that in my post. That is why your comment was so odd. You made the jump to a recent comic version,
 


UnknownDyson

Explorer
I apologize if I offended anyone. I used the term bad faith because bronze age superman that maxed out at lifting a car was brought up. This didn't seem to be that. I don't think this adaptation is bad, neither do I think that I said anything offensive beyond offering argumentative critique.
 

Hatmatter

Explorer
Thank you for the link, and I took a look to give me a sanity check to ensure I am covering core aspects of the heroes. M&M is a much more detailed and comprehensive system than 5e, so in order to give the heroes (the 5e treatment) I went with a significantly simplier model. Still its a good reference so thank you.

Don't worry, I plan to give batman plenty of tricks to explain how he can take out Superman. So this is less about Superman's stats, and more about batman's.




So one of the key things I did with my Superman was to rationalize his feats and his "non-feats". How could a guy that moves at light speed still get hit? How could a guy that can move a star still get grappled by normal effects?

While there are several ways to do this, I used a simple "5e esque" approach to the problem. I separated his core stats from his cosmic like feats to create a superman that in theory can do the main feats that are ascribed to him, but still provide reasonable stats for the 5e system.

For example, Cosmic Strength: Superman has no limit to his carrying capacity, and gains +27 to his melee damage (included in his statblock). His attacks deal double damage to objects and structures.

This is a big one, no carrying capacity limit. So to the question "Can superman lift, carry, or push it?" The answer is.... "yes". Superman effectively has infinite strength....but in the comic book means of "lifting things" and not in the dnd way of "avoid grapples and dealing damage".

Similar with his endurance. While Superman has a high but mortal con, these abilities:

Heroic Recovery: At the start of his turn, Superman regains 30 hit points and removes all conditions currently affecting him, unless the condition was imposed by an enhancement spell or effect.

Man of Steel: Superman takes no damage from any effect unless it is generated by a spell or a magic item. When Superman rolls less than an 8 on a saving throw, treat the die as if he rolled an 8. Superman does not need to breathe.

Gives him the core Superman resiliency. Regular old saving throws can't hinder superman. You could make a poison that would effect Supes (higher DC)...for a few seconds and then he is 100% fine. Sure Superman can get exhausted....for a few seconds than he is back fresh as a daisy. Yes your electricity (that doesn't do any actual damage) is holding up Superman....for a few seconds than he rips off the cords and goes and kicks your butt.

Or Superman's speed? While Superman has a very hittable AC, and his tactical speed is "only really good" we give him this:

Cosmic Speed: When performing the Dash Action, Superman can move to any location on the same plane. Superman can move through any barrier to get to the location, except ones immune to damage.

To showcase he's insane speed ability, while at the same time allowing for the fact that Superman is hit frequently in the comics. So a lower dex combined with these type of crazy speed abilities.



My goal is to capture the core essence of superman's feats but with the simplicity of 5e monster design. Obviously my audience will have to tell me how I did, but I do greatly encourage people to separate the abilities from the stats, you have to look at the whole package to decide if this superman can reflect the general feats of the comics and cartoon movies.

My last note here, just as Dnd is not LoTR, dnd is also not comic book stories either. In dnd, any hero can roll a 1 on a saving throw. Magic doesn't "just work", there is a chance of failure, sometimes a decent amount. The graceful and charismatic champion one minute, can accidentally trip and fall down some stairs. Dnd allows for possibilities that simply do not exist compared to when an author makes all the rules. So we have to reconcile that in our thinking. We can't always say "Superman would NEVER fail against that" ..... because in Dnd terms.... there is always that chance. The goal here is not to force Dnd to play by comic book rules....but to adapt comic books as faithfully as possible but still in the arena of how dnd operates.
I think you did a great job with this build. It feels very D&D and yet captures the special qualities of Supes. Well done!
 

When you responded I assumed you were someone who knew about comic books to some degree. Bringing up bronze age superman who is "more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" is a bad faith argument. Superman in the current continuity moves at speeds faster than light and can literally destroy continents with his bare hands. Can take out a planet if he sundips.


I'll grant you the dexterity, but for the purpose of initiative, anyone going against him unless they were on the level of flash would have to have like -5 dex.



I can post constitution feats for days on this forum but I really don't want to do that. I'm not even a superman fan. Here he is holding a miniature black hole.


I agree with all of these.
Those constitution feats can almost invariably be put down to damage immunity.
 

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