Tag Archives: Marvel

Let’s Build Captain America’s Iconic Shield!

Captain America’s iconic shield is super cool and so dead simple to make that even young kids can lend a hand.

Captain America's Iconic Shield
Captain America’s Iconic Shield

You’ll Need

Cap’s shield is cheap to make. You’ll need the following:

  1. The wire frame from the front of an old fan.
  2. Old shoelaces.
  3. Nylon straps.
  4. Lots of newspaper.
  5. Flour – 1 cup.
  6. Water – 3 cups.
  7. Poster paint – red, white, blue, and black.
  8. Water-based varnish.

You’ll need the following tools:

  1. A pencil.
  2. Scissors.
  3. Brushes.
  4. A protractor.

Step 1 – Lace Loops

Fasten the shoelaces to the fan cover to make two loops, one to go around the arm, the other for holding onto.

Step 2 – Pardon My French

Cut the newspaper into strips, then mix the flour and water until it’s a smooth paste. Dip the newspaper into the mixture and lay it onto the fan cover. You’ll want three or four layers, alternating direction, on each side of the shield.

Note: Be careful not to cover up the shoelace loops.

Step 3 – Stars and Stripes

When your paper mache is nice and dry, give the shield one coat of white paint. When that’s dry, mark out the star and rings on the front of the shield with a pencil.

To do this, measure the radius of your shield. The rings are half the shield’s radius, starting at the shield’s edge, so draw a circle that’s half the radius of the shield. Now, divide the outside half into three equal sections by drawing two more rings. These are your red, white, and red outer rings.

For the star you’ll need a protractor. The star has five points, so 360 degrees divided by 5 gives you 72: you need a point of the star touching the circle every 72 degrees! Once you’ve marked your points, just connect them up with a ruler to get a perfect star!

Step 4 – Paint!

With everything marked out, paint the shield in its patriotic red, white, and blue colors. I edged the back of the shield in red, then painted the rest in black, as seen here:

Captain America's Iconic Shield
Captain America’s Iconic Shield – Back

When it’s all dry, paint the shield with varnish. I used a water-based varnish called “Tough as Nails” that didn’t give off fumes or cost much. Try your local craft store, though I got it at a hardware store.

Step 5 – Sewing

Is learning to sew some kind of cosplay right of passage? Anyway, the sewing here is easy: sew the nylon straps onto the shoelaces, to cover them up and give the shield a nice finish.

And you’re done. Go save the planet Cap!

Captain America's Iconic Shield

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

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Spider-Man – Pathfinder Style

Recreating comic book heroes for your Pathfinder game is easy if you know where to start. Today we’ll build everyone’s favorite wall-crawler – Spider-Man.

Where to Start

I recently came across this post and decided to take a shot at building Spidey, who happens to be my fav Marvel character. My build needs to be playable in a campaign and I don’t want to home-brew too much, because I’d like to use him for an Icon adventure module I’m writing for 2014, and home-brewing means I need to do more playtesting. Peter should have all the powers he has in the comics, but the technological limitations of the setting and the presence of magic can be taken into account.

Steampunk Spider-Man
Spiderman steam punk by ~kajinman on deviantART

Mutations and Men

 mutant n. a living thing differing from its parents as a result of genetic change.

To start out, we need a race that reflects the mutation of our hero. Peter Parker might have been human, but that radioactive spider bite changed his DNA and gave him his superpowers. Call in the Advanced Race Guide.

Using the Race Builder I came up with the following:

Radioactive Spider Bite Mutation (30 RP)

Humanoid (0 Race Points)
Medium (0 RP)
Base Speed
Normal (0RP) We’ll make him faster with traits.
Ability Score Modifiers
Flexible (Str +2, Dex +2) (2 RP)
Standard (0 RP)
Racial Traits
Ability Score Traits
Advanced Str (+2) (4 RP)
Advanced Dex (+2) (4 RP)
Advanced Con (+2) (4 RP)
Defence Racial Traits
Defensive Training, Greater (4 RP): +2 dodge bonus to AC, which we put up to his spider sense.
Lucky, Greater (4 RP): +2 to all saving throw, again this will be part of his spider sense.
Movement Traits
Climb (2 RP): Climb speed of 20 feet and a +8 on climb.
Jumper (2 RP): Always considered to have a running start for acrobatics checks.
Expert Climber (4 RP): another +8 to climb and can crawl on ceilings, as long as he has hand holds.

Advanced Level (+10 RP)
Racial Traits
Defensive Racial Traits
Cat’s Luck (1 RP): Better agility or spider-sense, you decide.
Feat and Skill Traits
Nimble Faller (2 RP): so he always lands on his feet
Skill Bonus (2 RP): Acrobatics +2.
Movement Traits
Fleet-Footed (3 RP): Run bonus feat and +2 to init checks.
Mountaineer (1RP): Immunity to altitude sickness and lets him keep his Dex bonus to AC when climbing.
Fast (1 RP):  +10 to speed

At 30 or 40 Race Points the mutation would be more than playable alongside similarly constructed races, we haven’t broken the game and we’re just getting started.

A Touch of Class

So if the mutation above reflects the effect of the radioactive spider, Spider-Man’s class and character traits should reflect his upbringing (having been bullied, being raised by his aunt and uncle), personal talent (Peter’s high intelligence) and life experiences (studying, working as a reporter, and so on).

Combat Trait
Bullied or Reactionary

Social Trait

As for class, there are plenty of good arguments for Monk, Rogue, Alchemist and a bunch of other classes. Ideally, I’d like to give a player the Spider Bite Mutation and let them fill out the rest as they see fit. But since I’m building a pre-gen, let’s take a look at some choices.

Alchemist has been suggested to cover some of Spider-Man’s powers, but I don’t think this is necessary with the mutation/race. Alchemist or Rogue can cover Peters studies (think ranks in disable device and craft alchemy), while Monk covers his combat experience and reflects his Lawful alignment. Depending on what level I decide on, I might go with a ratio of 3 Monk levels for every 1 Rogue level.

Stat wise, I’ll go for a high Intelligence and low Wisdom, probably using a 25 point buy. Do you get anything more Epic than this? High Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are important while Charisma can be low, as long as he has ranks in Disguise and Bluff.

Steampunk Spider-Man
spiderpunk by ~TheBrave on deviantART

Web Shooters

Peter built his own web shooters using technology that wouldn’t be available in a fantasy setting. Luckily he has magic.

Magical ropes are one option, and a Rope of Climbing combined with a Rope of Entanglement would be great.  This still leaves out many of the cool things Spider-Man’s webbing can do though. Items like Slippers of Spider Climb are good, but sometimes have more powerful effects than in the comics.

I like the Equipment Trick, Rope Tricks, from the Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide. This feat lets him coil rope quickly, hog-tie better, use the rope as a bludgeoning weapon, as a whip, to rescue anyone falling, to retrieve rope with a tug, to escape ropes easier and to tangle enemies as a ranged attack!

For a lower level build, I’ll stay away from magic, give Spider-Man a few lengths of spider-silk rope and the Rope Trick feat and be done.

Steampunk Spider-Man
Spider-Man Steampunk Re-Design by ~DenisM79 on deviantART

So that’s Spider-Man. What do you think? Any suggestions? Leave a comment below.

Disclaimer: There are a thousand and one ways to build superheroes for Pathfinder, and each route can yield very different results. This is just one possible option. If you disagree with my build, leave a comment below, but be civil or your post will go up in smoke.

All Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks & Copyright © 2008 Marvel Characters, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Why Do You Play?

Why  do you play games? Do you play because it’s a reason to do something with friends? Is it because you love the challenge? Maybe it’s the pure escapism?

Personally I think it’s a little bit of everything for me, but mostly it’s the escapism. Yesterday I picked up a few Marvel HeroClix figures, including Spider-Man and Iron-Man. Today I played a quick battle by myself and just enjoyed imagining the action.

Continue reading Why Do You Play?

Marvel Avengers – the Awesome and the Facebook Fail

The Awesome

I’m very excited about the upcoming Marvel Avengers movie, not because I particularly like the Avengers, but I just generally love Marvel. While I’m not the biggest collector out there, I’ve been a Spider-Man, X-Men and X-Force fan since I was a little kid.

I also love that Marvel HeroClix has a Marvel HeroClix Avengers set, which I think forms part of the restarting of the HeroClix line in general. South Africa even has a HeroClix site of our own and I’m really wishing I was there for some of the events. HeroClix, if you have not played it, is a neat skirmish tabletop war game that does a really good job of recreating the comics. In fact, in July last year I had a chance to play with some veterans and came to see just how meaty this game is, and I’d be the last to pass it off as a second rate game compared to something like Warhammer 40K.


Avengers Facebook Fail

I have a love hate relationship with Farcebook, I mean Facebook, but this time the blame falls squarely on the crooked shoulders of Playdom, a game company that produced Marvel Avengers Alliance.

On the surface the game is great: you get to play a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who coordinates the Avengers against some of the greatest Marvel villains of all time. Sure, you get more out of the game if you have gold, which you pay for with real money, but that’s okay, we as gamers are used to that. The problem is that you can loose gold through glitches and server disconnections. If people pay money and loose it due to a glitch, you can bet they will be angry. I’ve lost gold myself, along with a number of buffs I’d picked up through playing, which annoyed me more than a string of bad dice rolls. What I really didn’t like was that I had recommended the game early on to other Marvel fans. What do I look like now, I wonder?



Almost a month on and I’m still getting thrown out, even with the latest version of Flash. It seems like only us PC users are suffering, from those I’ve asked. It’s surprising that I’ve stayed around so long.

A familiar sight on Avengers Alliance
An all too familiar sight on Avengers Alliance.


It seems, according to Playdom.com’s forum, that the issue with disconnects has been fixed. I have not been able to confirm this yet, but I’ll update you if I hear more. Of course, this is a popular game so there will be a heavy load on the server. Just be warned, is all I’m saying. You might be a lot safer playing HeroClix Online.