City of Heroes: Character Creation

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Point Value

New characters begin at 450 points. Character death is unlikely, but in the event of boredom, replacement characters will also be created on 450 points. Improvements will be judged from that starting point based on campaign advancement.


City of Heroes is an I-scale game (GURPS Supers, P.19). This means the following:

Maximum dice of Innate Attack or basic swing damage: 15d
Maximum DR: 50
Maximum IT:DR factor: 10
Maximum ST w/Super-Effort: +10/+100

Heroes at this level are comparable to infantry forces; they avoid or shrug off most small arms, and have little difficulty dealing with conventionally-equipped baseline humans. They're not invulnerable, though, and still need to beware of heavy weapons, unconventional gear, and other Supers.


These are, for the most part, GM preferences rather than hard and fast rules.

Damage Resistance

Pure, unmodified Damage Resistance caps at 16 for anyone whose role is not explicitly 'Brick'. DR Limitations (Ablative, Tough Skin, Physical Only) will let you push this cap; raise it by the Limitation's percentage (round up).

Example: Windrunner buys an "Aerial Shield" that deflects or absorbs incoming physical attacks, but does little to stop energy. Her DR has the limitation 'Physical Only', for -20%. She can buy up to DR 20 (16*1.2, rounded up.)

Characters with an elemental focus, energy projectors, etc may ignore this cap (and go up to the I-scale limit of 50) for their own or the opposing elemental focus. Fire blasters are frequently near-immune to fire themselves, for example.

Enhancements on Abilities

In general, unless you expect to be using an Enhancement every time you use an ability, it should be set up as a Power Stunt instead. This is a judgment call - work with the GM.

Example 1: Windrunner would like to protect others with her Aerial Shield. She could simply buy Area Affect and Affects Others to go with her Force Field, but that would mean it *always* filled the designated area, and protected everyone within it. Instead, the GM allows her to take 'Area Effect' as a Power Stunt for the ability; she can roll at -5 to expand her field to a 2-yard radius (and double that radius for every 5 points by which she succeeds), but this halves the effectiveness of her DR.

Example 2: Pyron has a burning attack that he wants to be highly accurate over long ranges. He buys it with the Accurate and Increased Range enhancements, giving it an Acc of 6 and a range of 500/1000 yards. He would also like to be able to penetrate armor more easily, but this is not always necessary; instead he buys 'Penetrating Bolt' as a power stunt, allowing him to give his attack an Armor Divisor of 2 if he rolls at -5.

Other General Guidelines

  • DX, IQ, and HT should not exceed 20, unless truly superhuman prowess with the ability is one of the character's roles. Even then, consider other abilities - a character will likely get more out of Combat Reflexes, Perfect Balance, Double-Jointed, and Enhanced Defenses than he would out of simply raising DX to 25, and will likely benefit more from Photographic Memory, Visualization, Charisma, or Compartmentalized Mind than from an IQ of 25. ST has its own separate cap.
  • Derived Attributes should not exceed the +/- 30% cap, again unless superhuman prowess is part of the character's role. Again, consider Advantages before simply heaping on Attribute levels; Enhanced Move will get you farther than simply buying up Basic Move, and Acute or Discriminatory senses can be more in-theme than buying up Per.
  • Irritating Afflictions can be up to level 6 - that is, imposing a -5 to resistance rolls. This includes basic stunning Afflictions as well as any Irritating Conditions, and non-crippling Disadvantages. If the Affliction has Area Effect built in, the cap is level 4 (-3 to resistance rolls).
  • Incapacitating Afflictions should at worst impose a -3 to resistance rolls. This includes any Incapacitating conditions and crippling Disadvantages. If the Affliction has Area Effect built in, the cap is -1 to resistance rolls.
  • Altered Time Rate should be limited to one or two levels. Similarly, Duplication, combatant Allies, and other such things should also be limited to one or two extra creatures. This is primarily to keep combat fast-paced, and not bog the group down with waiting while one player handles a half-dozen separate things.
  • I'm unlikely to allow any Cosmic enhancements (Instantaneous Acceleration, Ignores DR, etc) without a very good spiel from the player.
  • Enhancements like Selective Area and Selectivity should be used sparingly, and only on powers where that kind of precision control makes sense. In particular, consider using Power Stunts instead of Selectivity. Variable has fewer restrictions, since I prefer heroes to not have to use full-power attacks all the time.
  • Enemies and Dependents may not have a frequency of appearance greater than 9- without express GM permission. Anything higher than this tends to make them a campaign focus.