Help w/a HERO 5th PC - Magic Motorcycle Man


OK, here's the concept: a present day Londoner is possessed by the spirit of a classic British motorcycle (you see they had souls back then...). Together they fight crime as Vincent Black Lighting!

(apologies to Richard Thompson)

What kind of powers would a man riding a magical motorcycle that's actually bonded to his mortal soul have? Desolidification? Flight (only while touching a solid surface)? A Presence attack when he revs the engine? Invisibility?

And what's the best way to build them? The PC's are 200 base points + a max of 150 in Disadvantages. It's been a long time since I used the HERO rules... just got the 5th edition but haven't dug into them yet.

Any help would be appreciated!

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Staff member
One thing I might do (besides what I posted about a sonic attack in the other thread) is give the guy a Focus (or multiple Foci).

I could EASILY see him having a piece of clothing- a medallion made with the badge or gas cap of one of the bikes that inspired you; a beat-up leather biker's jacket with appropriate patches; old-style biking goggles- that is at least in part the reason for his powers. If you don't want it to be the ULTIMATE source, build his powers so that this is more like a true focus- his powers are innate, but if he's wearing the article of clothing, he gets bonuses to using them, or acts like an END battery to power them. (Any of these would probably be an IIF.)

He obviously needs to be fast. Faster than humans, but not necessarily faster than a speeding bullet. 120MPH would do just fine.

A la ZZTop's classic car from the videos, perhaps the motorcycle is summoned by invoking the powers of his key & keychain...and without it, no motorcycle! (Sounds like an OIF to me.)

You might also want to break up his powers into a few different multipowers: One MP for the motorcycle itself (speed, the Desolid, the sonic attack), others for the medallion (Cha boost, other stat boosts, Presence attacks), another for the jacket (Armor, DR, Healing), another for the goggles (special senses). In that, it would be kind of like a set of magic items.
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Staff member
You may also wish to check out the Marvel Character, Ghost Rider, both for inspiration as to what you could do as well as serving as a reminder of what you don't want to do (if you don't want to be called derivative, that is).


First Post
Based upon Dannyalcatraz's link, Im picturing someone finding an old motorcycle key with a name scratched into it - which a bit of research reveals to be a WW2 soldier killed during a particularly brave act. He ends up keeping it unsure how to find the deceased's next of kin, and rightfully believing they wouldnt want the old key since there's no sign of the matching motorcycle. Wearing it on a necklace/keyring in unspoken respect for the gentlemen, he surprised himself by unexpectedly interceding when bullies manhandle a lady at the neighborhood pub. Taking the fight outside, he's further surprised by winning the fight (thanks to the vet's skills/training; foci: Key.)

Afterwards, he's taken by the sudden gumption to pantomime hopping onto a non-existent motorcycle and riding off into the sunset ... only to be further surprised when a ghostly Vincent Black Lighting appears beneath him in reaction to his pantomime. Pulling into a convenience store several miles away, he spots his reflection in the window: a more muscular, charming version of himself wearing a silver-trimmed black leather outfit astride a matching Black Vincent Lighting motorcycle. A matching helmet rests behind the seat.

key : +stats, skills, danger sense; disadvantages: sense of duty to protect the innocent, flash backs to a life/war he didnt live through.
leathers: armor, invisible during darkness?
helmet : audio/visual sensors, radio hearing, radar?
cycle : 125mph running/flight while touching a surface, headlight laser, sonic attack when revving engine.

(for an American twist, snapping his fingers turns on/off juke boxes and cause ladies to swoon to his side. Develops a tendency to overuse his "aaaa" catch phrase.)


Staff member
Hey, that's nice!

Do you know if Vincent bikess were used by any military forces for real?

I went looking at the Wiki for Vincent Motorcycles and found that during the war, "Vincent primarily made munitions, but Vincent engines were trialled in boats and portable pumps during the war, and the end of hostilities saw Vincent ready to return to motorcycle production." and didn't introduce the Black Lightning until 1948.

To morph jefgorbach's post a bit...

Perhaps a British artilleryman, having served in the war and grown used to the quality of their workmanship, bought a Black Lightning when he got home...a reminder of his service. Maybe he even rode it while doing good works: perhaps he was inspired by the adventures of The Phantom, and spent his weekend nights doing a little private crimefighting.

Then, while "on the job," he was killed when an underworld figure booby-trapped his beloved bike.

That soldier/vigilante? Your PC's uncle. The keys, found at the scene, were kept as a memento by his sister (your PC's mom), and on her death, were given to your PC.

With a tie-in like that, he might have additional gear- a WW2 British service revolver; his cycle helmet is actually a doughboy's- all kept by the deceased soldier, used when he fought crime, each now imbued with supernatural powers.


One option to simplify things is to make the motorcycle a special effect, rather than a tangible object.

When the character runs fast, the visible effect is the motorcycle appearing next to him; he hops on, revs the engine, races where he's going. If he's racing up the side of a building, it appears that he's on the bike.

If you give him a flash attack, he turns on the headlight, pointed at his target.

If you give him teleport, he's on the bike as it fades out, racing into the distance.

If you give him bonus DC's in Move By, he's on the bike, smacking the target with his helmet or fist as he races past. Or a Move Through is him running over the target while on the bike. (Increased knockback might be a good addition to such an attack)

And so on.

The advantage is that no one can take the bike away from him, no one else can use it, it can't be destroyed (though it might be cool to have the bike look damaged as the hero takes damage).

The disadvantage is you get no points for making it a special effect. So if you need to conserve points, go with DA's recommendation that the actual focus is the leather jacket, or the helmet, or whatever, of the original owner or bike.

One of the things I most love about Hero - there's always another way to make a concept work.

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