Handcuffs - Errata

Subj: Handcuffs Revisited
Date: 4/7/2003 7:10:29 PM Central Standard Time
From: Stainless Steel Rat

I finally did get around to a complete write-up of handcuffs using Strength instead of Entangle:
  • 30 Strength (Standard Effect Rule applies)
  • Reduced Endurance (0 END;+1/2)
  • Uncontrolled (+1/2)
  • OAF (-1), No Figured Characteristics (-1/2)
  • Must follow Grab (or target must be willing or incapacitated) (-1/2)
  • Only to Grab and Hold (cannot strike, squeeze, or throw) (-1)
  • Does not prevent use of Accessible Foci (-1)
  • Active Cost 60
  • Real Cost 12. Independent reduces Real Cost to 8.

The Standard Effect Rule means that these cuffs will always roll 6 Body to resist escapes, which is sufficient to hold most humans. They have 6 DEF (not 12 based on Active Cost); this is worth no Limitation Bonus. The Power is deactivated by the use of the appropriate key, a successful Lockpicking Skill Roll, or a successful Contortionist Skill roll (at -3 or -4; see C5).

If placed in a Power Framework, the No Figured Characteristics Limitation goes away; Real Costs become 13 and 9.


  Subj: Re: Handcuffs Revisited
  Date: 4/11/2003 3:28:17 AM Central Standard Time
  From: filksinger

 I find your write-up incomplete. In fact, I haven't found a way to make it complete. The Limitation Independent does not reduce the cost, according to your original post. Interesting, but I definitely think Entangle works better. You use a very broad Limitation on STR to limit it only to Grabs, and then limit the Grabs as well, to make it look like your method has fewer Limitations than it does.

You try to hide the fact that you are actually claiming that STR, not Grab, is a better Power for handcuffs than Entangle, since that is, in fact, the base Power. You use a STOP Sign Advantage to overcome problems that Entangle does not have, which does not argue well for your claim that your construct actually fits better than Entangle. However, even ignoring these problems, your construct simply doesn't work.
  1. There is no method for owning two pairs of handcuffs using the Grab method. With Entangle, you simply purchase more charges.
  2. If I Escape from the Grab, the rules state that I do no damage. Therefore, the handcuffs would still be intact. I can now pick them up and put them on you. This doesn't happen with the  Entangle.
  3. If I put handcuffs on you, but don't let go, I should have a 30 STR for hanging onto you, preventing you from walking away, or allowing me to be dragged along if you move off anyway. This is true even if I only have a 5 STR. You forgot to remove this quality from your construct. This doesn't happen with Entangle.
  4. Independent does a poor job of fitting the desired power. Firstly, I don't think your use of Independent in this fashion is quite legal. Regardless, it doesn't work correctly anyway. Because they are Independent, they cannot readily be part of a VPP. By taking the primary weakness of Independent away from Independent, you have given it the advantages of Independent without the disadvantages, making it more of an unusual Advantage than a Limitation. Additionally, it is, IMHO, ridiculous to use it in this fashion. Even though a sword, gun, or billy club can be easily replaceable by generic counterparts, none of them are written up as Independent when they are part of a hero's Powers. Yet these handcuffs must have the Independent Limitation, even if they are super-powered and completely unique. None of this is necessary with Entangle.

 There are other problems, but this covers the basics. Frankly, I don't see any way of making Grab work 100% for handcuffs. Can you, using your method, think of a workable way to create multiple handcuffs? 

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All Champions products are trademark(s) of DOJ, Inc., used by permission. All rights reserved. The HERO SystemTM is DOJ, Inc.'s trademark for its roleplaying system. See www.herogames.com for more information. The HERO System and all associated games, game products, terms, and images are copyright 2003 by DOJ, Inc. All rights reserved. The original material presented here is my own creation, intended for use with the HERO System and/or other products of DOJ, Inc. d/b/a Hero Games. This material is not official, and has not been approved or endorsed by DOJ, Inc.
In most cases, each Stronghold cell is designed to hold the appropriate prisoner(s). This usually includes some sort of power suppression or negation, or other (more specific) measures. Suppression is also sometimes accomplished through drugs or the employment of specialized operatives, sometimes called "Leeches" (derogatory slang), as they have "anti-" powers capable of rendering supers powerless.

Power suppressors are also needed outside Strongholds, especially for transporting supervillains. These are generally in the form of handcuffs, anklets, or belts. Each is fine-tuned for the prisoner, according to his individual powers, but they are available by Type. The following write-up is for Mutants, which could just as easily be Aliens, drug-induced, et.al.
Handcuffs for Supers

Power Suppressors

10d6 Suppression
Affects all [mutant] abilities
Power Suppression Units in bracers or anklets form have connecting latches to double as restrictive cuffs when conjoined. In these cases, you can use an Elemental Control to handle handcuffs (as Entangle): 25 EC: Power Suppression Restraints  - 0 END (+½)
  • Persistent (+½) 
  • OIF (-½) 
  • Independent (-2) 
  • 10d6 Suppress (ACT: 50, EC Bon: 25) RC = 10
  • 5d6 Entangle, DEF (ACT: 50, EC Bon: 25) RC = 10

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