It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Early on in the development of Superheroes Unleashed (several years ago in fact) a friend created an energy absorbing character who could turn opponents attacks against them. I believe Backlash was actually one of the first 6 characters ever created. This was before reactive talents had become a part of the game. Looking back at the character now I can see that reactive talents would have been key for designing this character.
On Reactive Talents:
Reactive Talents are used to respond immediately to some sort of trigger. This is usually things like catching a falling person or object, jumping in front of a companion to take the hit (or similarly compelling an opponent to attack the hero rather than someone else), putting a force field around innocent bystanders as soon as a villain goes to target them.
Reactive talents can also be used more aggressively: the hero covered in flames or spikes could have a reactive talent that damages opponents hitting them with their body.
Recently, at FanExpo, I had a player make a hero named WARP, in the scenario "House of Bolchavar." This was a Telekinetic spatial warping hero who, if he blocked a physical ranged attack completely could reverse the fired the projectile back with his reactive talent.
Illustration of an agressive Reactive Talent: A Sword-Master and his ripost
Before moving on to Backlash and his Talents, lets discuss and easier case. A player wants to make a hero who we will simply refer to as Sword-Master. He creates the following three Talents for his character (the hero would have more talents but they aren not important for this example):
Accuracy: 4- sword strike [O], 3- ripost (counter-attack) [RO*]
Mobility: 4- parry [D]
Sword-Master is exactly that, an extremely skilled fighter with a blade. When he manages to fully parry any melee attack (eg the assailant fails to get a single success against him) he can immediately counter attack with his ripost. Reactive Talents allow you to react to as many occurrences of the trigger as you have ranks in the reactive talent. If Sword-Master completely blocked 3 attacks he would be able to ripost 3 times, rolling 3 dice each time.
*Why is this annotate RO rather than simply R? Sometimes Talents may have multiple intents. In this case the R indicates that ripost is reactive and can only be used when it is triggered, when it is triggered it causes damage, hence the O indicating offensive.
Backlash and other Energy Absorbers
So how does this apply to Backlash? First lets take a look at the original character sheet. Keep in mind this was before Intent was an explicit part of the system.
Backlash (Johnny Paterson) -- Energy Absorber
Accuracy: 2- kung fu
Mobility: 2- acrobatics, 3- kung fu dodge and block
Toughness: 4- absorb kinetic, 3- absorb non-kinetic
Might: 4- backlash
Brains: 2- centred Qi
Superpower Finesse: 3- backlash, 3- kung fu
Original character notes:
Must absorb energy to use backlash or spend Strainpoints.
One absorbed point allows 1 attack at 4 dice. Two absorbed points allow attack at 5 dice.
Special can hold up to 4 ?backlash? points.
Keep in mind under the above model (being before reactive Talents were introduced) using the ?backlash? Talent always required the character to use an action.
How would I write up this character under the current version of Superheroes Unleashed? I will get to that soon. But I am also open to any thoughts you might have.
Also feel free to ask about Reactive talents or anything else from the above.