HQ rules from M&M2e

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Whether it’s an underground cave, the top floors of a skyscraper, a satellite in orbit, or a base on the Moon, many heroes and villains maintain their own secret (or not so secret) headquarters. Teams of characters also may even pool their equipment points to have a headquarters they share, with the Gamemaster’s approval.

A headquarters is unlike other “equipment” in that it is fixed and serves as a home base, not something normally carried around. An especially large vehicle may serve as a kind of mobile headquarters, and the GM may allow characters to install some headquarters features into vehicles of Gargantuan or greater size.

A character can even have multiple bases of operation. This is more common for villains, who have back-up plans and secret bases they can retreat to when their plans are defeated. If a character’s headquarters is destroyed, the character can choose to rebuild it or build a new headquarters with different features. Supervillains often go through a succession of different =headquarters. At the Gamemaster’s option, characters can have additional headquarters as “Alternate Power” feats of the first (see Alternate Power, page 108), since they aren’t likely to be used all at once.


Headquarters have two main traits—Toughness and size—and a number of possible features. Each of these costs equipment points to improve.



Toughness 5 1 point per +5 Toughness

Size Small +1 point per size category

Features — 1 point per feature


A headquarters’ Toughness indicates the strength of its structural materials, particularly its outer structure (walls, ceiling, etc.). Toughness 5 is typical for most wooden structures, Toughness 10 for steel-reinforced or concrete structures, and Toughness 15 or more for special alloys or armored structures. A structure’s Toughness may be higher if its walls are especially thick. See Damaging Objects, page 166, for more information. A structure starts out with Toughness 5 for 0 points. +5 Toughness costs 1 equipment point.


A structure’s size is measured similar to that of a character or vehicle, and gives a general idea of the overall space it occupies and how much space is available inside it. Structures are measured on a different scale, however. See the Structure Size Categories Table for guidelines. A headquarters starts out at Small size for 0 points. Each increase in size category costs 1 point, each decrease in size category gives you an additional point to spend elsewhere on your headquarters.

Awesome 5,000+ ft. Small town
Colossal 2,000—5,000 ft. City block, private estate
Gargantuan 1,000—2,000 ft. Skyscraper
Huge 500—1,000 ft. Castle
Large 250—500 ft. Mansion, cave complex
Medium 128—250 ft. Warehouse
Small 64—128 ft. House
Tiny 32—64 ft. Townhouse
Diminutive 16—32 ft. Apartment
Fine 8—16 ft. Loft
Minuscule 4—8 ft. Room

A headquarters may have a number of features, chosen from the list below. A headquarters automatically has the basic structural amenities like doors and windows, power outlets, utilities, and so forth at no cost. Each feature costs 1 equipment point.


A combat simulator or “danger room” is a special room equipped with various devices intended to test characters’ powers and skills and allow them to train in realistic combat situations. Generally, a combat simulator has a suite of devices that can simulate any appropriate attack effect at a rank up to equal to the campaign’s power level. A combat simulator normally has safety interlocks so its attacks are always nonlethal damage, but these can be disengaged so the simulator’s attacks do lethal damage. For an additional feature, the combat simulator also can project realistic illusions, allowing it to recreate or simulate almost any environment. Combat simulators are useful for training and short “war games” (pitting the characters against each other or simulated opponents). Clever heroes also can try to lure intruders into the combat simulator or an intruder might override the simulator’s control systems and trap the heroes in it, turning it into a deathtrap.


A communications system allows the headquarters to receive and transmit on a wide range of radio and TV bands, monitor police and emergency channels, coordinate communications between members of a team, and so forth. It includes communications equipment, consoles, and monitors. The system’s access to restricted communication bands depends on the clearance and skills of the user. Heroes often have access to special government channels, while a successful Computers skill check (DC 25) can grant a user illegal access to restricted systems.


A state-of-the-art computer system serving the entire headquarters (a mainframe or mini-frame system). This allows characters to make full use of the Computers skill and the computer can be programmed to handle routine base functions (including monitoring communications channels and controlling defensive systems). For an artificially intelligent computer system, see Constructs, page 148.


The headquarters is hidden from the outside world in some way. It may be camouflaged behind a false façade, buried underground, and so forth. Note this is in addition to the Isolated Location feature, if any. An isolated headquarters is difficult to reach, while a concealed headquarters is difficult to find in the first place. Skill checks to locate the headquarters (Search, Knowledge, etc.) have their DC increased by +10. Each additional feature applied to this increases the DC +5.


A defense system consists of various weapon emplacements defending the exterior and interior of the headquarters. A defense system can have any attack effect with a rank no greater than the campaign’s power level. These attack devices try to disable or restrain anyone approaching or invading the headquarters. Their attack bonus is equal to the campaign’s power level. Heroic HQ’s usually have nonlethal weapons while villainous defense systems are often lethal.


A dock houses water vehicles (see Vehicles, page 142) and includes access to a nearby waterway, an airlock or lock system for moving vehicles in and out of the dock, and dry-dock facilities for repairing and maintaining water vehicles. The GM may require the headquarters be located within reasonable distance of a body of water in order to have this feature.


The headquarters is equipped with an automatic system for detecting and extinguishing fires. Any large open flame sets the system off (beware, fireusing heroes!). It functions like the Nullify power (see page 94) at rank 5 against fire. A computer-controlled fire prevention system can be programmed to ignore certain sources of fire or the system can be placed on manual control (requiring someone to throw a switch in order to activate it).


A garage houses ground vehicles (see Vehicles, page 142) and includes a ramp or other access to move vehicles in and out, facilities for repairing and maintaining vehicles, and a sliding access door.


A gym consists of weight-training and other exercise machines, space for working out, stretching, and similar exercises, and all the necessary amenities (lockers, showers, etc.). Some HQs may incorporate the gym feature into the combat simulator, for a multi-purpose training room.


A hangar houses air and space vehicles (see Vehicles, page 142). It includes a hatch and/or runway for the vehicles to launch and facilities for repairing and maintaining flying vehicles. For some HQs the launch facilities of the hangar may require a long tunnel or other access to the outside.


These are cells for holding prisoners, usually temporarily, although some headquarters might have more permanent holding facilities. The cells are equipped with Nullify devices (ranked at the campaign’s power level) or their basic Toughness is increased by 50%, which option should be agreed upon by both player and GM (both options for two features). Heroes use holding cells to contain captured villains until they can be turned over to the proper authorities while villains use them to keep heroes prisoner until they can dispose of them in their latest deathtrap.


An infirmary consists of hospital beds and equipment for the full use of the Medicine skill. An infirmary can provide treatment for a number of characters equal to the base’s power level at one time and it can be assumed to have the necessary facilities to handle any unusual physiology of the base’s owner(s).


Headquarters with this feature are situated somewhere out of the way like the Antarctic, the bottom of the ocean, on top of a lonely mountain peak, even in orbit or on the Moon. The base’s owner doesn’t have to worry about things like door-to-door salesmen or other unwanted visitors but the headquarters is also far from civilization (which can be limiting for heroes unable to travel fast). The headquarters is assumed to provide all the necessary life-support for its location, but it doesn’t provide characters with the means to get to the base or travel back. They need the appropriate powers or a vehicle.


A laboratory is a facility for the use of Knowledge skills in performing scientific tests or experiments. It contains all the necessary scientific equipment, including dedicated computers, if the headquarters doesn’t have its own computer system. Characters can use the laboratory to perform research, study unusual phenomena (including many super-powers), and so forth.


A library allows for use of various Knowledge skills when doing research. A library may consist of printed matter (books and periodicals), microfilm, computer databases, or a combination of all three. A library allows characters to take 20 on most Knowledge skill checks unless the information they’re looking for is particularly obscure (in the GM’s judgment).


The headquarters includes all the necessary amenities for people to live there full-time. This is usually a number of people equal to the HQ’s power level (possibly more, at the GM’s discretion). It includes bedrooms or private suites, kitchen facilities, dining area, and common living areas. Characters can live in a headquarters lacking this feature short-term, but they’re not likely to be very comfortable.


The headquarters has a large heated pool, which may be part of a gym area. At the owner’s discretion, the pool can provide access to an outside body of water (connected to a lake, river, or even to the ocean), to the base’s dock, or both at no additional cost.


A headquarters can be given any appropriate power as a feature with the Gamemaster’s approval. The power cannot have a total cost greater than twice the campaign’s power level or a rank greater than the power level. Powers are assumed to affect either the headquarters itself or its occupants, if they do both, they count as two features.


A power system makes the headquarters completely independent of outside power. It has its own generators (which may be solar, geothermal, nuclear, or anything else the designer wants). They provide for all the base’s power needs. The headquarters also has emergency back-up power should the generators fail. This generally lasts for a number of hours equal to the HQ’s power level.


Various locks and alarms protect the headquarters from unauthorized access. A Disable Device check (DC 20) overcomes these systems. Each additional feature increases the DC by +5. The security system may be tied into a defense system (if the headquarters is equipped with that feature), so triggering an alarm activates the defense system to disable or restrain the intruder(s).


A workshop has all the facilities for use of various Craft skills. It includes tools, workbenches, supplies, and so forth. The Gamemaster may rule certain Craft skills cannot be used in a workshop, or require a workshop of their own (which is an additional feature). For example, a workshop can easily handle woodworking, metalworking, and machining, but might not be suitable for creating magical inventions (see page 132), which require a separate dedicated workshop.


Gamemasters can use the following sample headquarters as ready-made lairs for supervillains, while players can use them as bases for their heroes.


Size: Medium; Toughness: 10; Features: Communications, Computer, Concealed, Garage, Gym, Living Space, Power System, Security System. Cost: 10 equipment points.


Size: Awesome; Toughness: 20; Features: Combat Simulator, Communications, Computer, Defense System, Fire Prevention System, Gym, Hangar, Holding Cells, Infirmary, Isolated, Laboratory, Living Space, Pool, Power System, Security System (DC 25), Teleport (Affects Others), Workshop. Cost: 27 equipment points.


Size: Colossal; Toughness: 20; Features: Combat Simulator, Communications, Computer, Defense System, Fire Prevention System, Gym, Hangar, Holding Cells, Infirmary, Isolated, Laboratory, Living Space, Power System, Security System, Teleport (Affects Others). Cost: 23 equipment points.


Size: Medium; Toughness: 15; Features: Concealed, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Security System, Workshop. Cost: 9 equipment points.


Size: Gargantuan; Toughness: 15; Features: Communications, Computer, Concealed, Dock, Fire Prevention System, Isolated, Living Space, Power System, Security System. Cost: 15 equipment points.


Size: Large; Toughness: 10; Features: Communications, Computer, Defense System, Fire Prevention System, Gym, Hangar, Infirmary, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Power System, Security System, Workshop. Cost: 16 equipment points.


Size: Huge; Toughness: 10; Features: Communications, Computer, Concealed, Dock, Garage, Gym, Hangar, Infirmary, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Power System, Security System, Workshop. Cost: 18 equipment points.


Size: Huge; Toughness: 15; Features: Communications, Computer, Concealed, Defense System, Garage, Holding Cells, Isolated, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Power System, Security System. Cost: 17 equipment points.


Size: Large; Toughness: 15; Features: Combat Simulator, Communications, Computer, Concealed, Defense System, Fire Prevention System, Garage, Gym, Holding Cells, Infirmary, Living Space, Power System, Security System, Workshop. Cost: 18 equipment points.