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[Mutants & Masterminds] A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Davies

Adventurer
Hivers

They were first encountered by two exploration teams, from the Crimson Imperium and the Technate, during their respective surveys of two completely different planets, separated by thousands of light years, in the Earth year 1982. The Imperium team was nearly slaughtered to a man, with only a single survivor escaping to persuade the Captain of their accompanying warship to bombard the site from orbit. The Technate team seemed luckier, escaping with only a few casualties. The horrific truth of their situation would not become apparent for nearly a year, and by then it was almost too late.

Since then, the Hivers, as they have been named, have been discovered or transported to countless worlds across the known regions of space. It seems very likely that some prior galactic civilization deliberately spread them across the universe, whether because they were under their influence or because they had some method of controlling them. If the latter, then it has been long lost, and the Hivers are recognized as a serious threat by both current space-faring civilizations. One of the few matters that the Technate's Cosmic Intelligence Agency and the Imperium's Border Patrol cooperate on is trying, perhaps futilely, to prevent their ongoing spread.

By now, the creatures' life cycle is well-known. Eggs, which can remain viable for centuries and perhaps even longer, hatch in the presence of other living creatures, freeing the larva which then try to 'infect' targets in their surroundings. Reports that the larva die after infecting a single target are optimistic in the extreme; the same larva can deliver its payload to dozens of hosts. Within a few hours of a successful infection, the host will experience extreme chest pains, followed swiftly by the adult form of the hiver exploding from their chest. This is invariably fatal. However, the Chatpaura people of the Imperium, who are able to recover from most fatal injuries within fifteen minutes under optimal circumstances, have claimed to be able to recover from this one as well, though they offer no proof of their claims.

There are two adult forms of the creatures. The first, dubbed hunters, are much more common, possessing at best low intelligence but considerable cunning. They are believed to result from larva that hatch after extended periods of dormancy, though exactly how long an egg must be dormant before its larva produce hunters has never been determined. Fresher eggs, those laid within a few days, will produce larva that infect their targets with the slightly larger, more intelligent hivers dubbed warriors, who are a considerably greater threat.

Hiver warriors have the ability to produce a flesh-and-soft-tissue disguise over their chitinous shells, allowing them to appear as the being from whom they hatched. There have been claims that they can only do this if they consume the remains of their host bodies, but this remains unproven. As if this was not sufficiently disturbing, there is evidence that they retain knowledge, both factual and practical, that their host possessed, and so impersonate them perfectly. This was the fate of the Technate exploration team. While some have expressed hope that some portion of the host's consciousness survives inside the hiver, it is by now accepted that no trace of any moral or ethical values that individual possessed remains in the hiver's mentality, replaced by a fanatical urge to protect and expand the hive.

The eggs are laid, apparently through parthenogenesis, by the large adult hivers dubbed queens. This is the most mysterious of the hiver's life cycles. It has been hypothesized that hiver warriors who survive long enough will naturally develop into the queen form, but this has never been observed. Others have suggested that a queen can produce a so-called 'royal jelly' which will spark such a development in a warrior who is then sent to create a 'daughter' hive. And there is an account of a queen directly producing larva which infected one soldier assaulting their hive with an egg which rapidly produced a warrior spawn that grew into a queen form, who then assaulted the original queen, giving the other soldiers the opportunity to escape.

As with warriors, queens retain some if not all of the knowledge of their hosts, though they are unable to produce a flesh disguise and would be too large to appear as a typical humanoid in any event. While they are every bit as devoted to expanding their hives' domains as any other hiver, they are also capable of negotiation with other life forms, though most accounts agree that they will, like most sapients, only keep to any agreements as long as they profit from them.

It should be noted that the hivers have no larger hierarchy above the individual hive. Hiver larvae can and do infect hivers from other hives, hunters and warriors will attempt to kill foreign hivers, and the only account of two queens meeting has already been discussed. Thus, they prey upon each other as much as they do other living things, and this has likely served as a check, possibly the only serious check, on their expansion across the universe. This is a cold, cold comfort.

Hiver Larva -- PL 7 / MR 4
hiverlarva-S.png


Abilities:
STR
3 | STA 1 | AGL 3 | DEX -1 | FGT 2 | INT -2 | AWE 1 | PRE -3

Powers:
Alien Infection:
Progressive Affliction 8 (Resisted and Overcome by Fortitude; Transformed), Grab-based, Insidious, Limited to Third Degree - 9 points
Alien Movement: Movement 3 (Slithering, Wallcrawling 2); Speed 1 (4 MPH) - 7 points
Grasping Tentacle: Enhanced Strength 2, Limited to Grabs; Extra Limb 1 - 3 points
Small: Permanent Shrinking 6 (Strength -1, Stealth +6, Intimidation -3, Dodge +3, Parry +3), Innate - 13 points

Advantages:
Defensive Roll, Improved Grab, Improved Hold

Skills:
Close Combat: Grab 7 (+9), Stealth 1 (+10)

Offense:
Initiative +3
Grab +9 (DC 15)

Defense:
Dodge 9, Parry 8, Fortitude 4, Toughness 3/1, Will 4

Totals:
Abilities 10 + Powers 32 + Advantages 3 + Skills 4 + Defenses 13 = 60 points

Complications:
Instinct--Motivation. Animal
(cannot speak or manipulate objects).

Hiver Hunter -- PL 7 / MR 9
hiverhunter-S.png


Abilities:
STR
4 | STA 4 | AGL 1 | DEX -1 | FGT 6 | INT -1 | AWE 2 | PRE 0

Powers:
Alien Movement:
Movement 3 (slithering, wall-crawling 2); Speed 2 (8 MPH) - 8 points
Alien Senses: Senses 2 (accurate tracking hearing) - 3 points
Armored Chitin: Immunity 11 (corrosive blood, life support); Protection 4 - 15 points
Corrosive Blood: Reaction Burst Area Damage 7 (triggered by lethal damage), Secondary Effect - 42 points
Teeth and Claws: Strength-based Damage 3 - 3 points
Terrifying: Feature 1 (Intimidation does not require understanding) - 1 point

Advantages:
All-out Attack, Close Attack, Set-up, Teamwork.

Skills:
Deception 3 (+3), Intimidation 5 (+5), Perception 3 (+5), Stealth 3 (+4).

Offense:
Initiative +1
Teeth and Claws +7 (Close Damage 7)
Corrosive Blood -- (Burst Area Damage 7, when suffers lethal damage)

Defense:
Dodge 6, Parry 6, Fortitude 6, Toughness 8, Will 6

Totals:
Abilities 30 + Powers 72 + Advantages 4 + Skills 7 + Defenses 11 = 124 points

Complications:
Instinct--Motivation. Animal
(cannot speak)

Hiver Warrior -- PL 9
hiverwarrior-S.png


Abilities:
STR
7 | STA 6 | AGL 3 | DEX 1 | FGT 8 | INT 0 | AWE 4 | PRE 0

Powers:
Alien Movement:
Movement 3 (slithering, wall-crawling 2); Speed 2 (8 MPH) - 8 points
Alien Senses: Senses 2 (accurate tracking hearing) - 3 points
Armored Chitin: Immunity 11 (corrosive blood, life support); Protection 4 - 15 points
Corrosive Blood: Reaction Burst Area Damage 7 (triggered by lethal damage), Secondary Effect - 42 points
Dance in the Enemy's Skin: Morph 1 (the individual who spawned them), Standard Action - 3 points
Memories of Another Existence: Variable 2, Limited to skills, mental advantages, and Enhanced Intelligence to match those of the individual who spawned them - 12 points
Teeth and Claws: Strength-based Damage 3 - 3 points
Terrifying: Feature 1 (Intimidation does not require understanding) - 1 point
Voice of the Hive: Mental Communication 3, Limited to Hivers - 9 points

Advantages:
All-out Attack, Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Grab, Improved Trip, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Set-up, Startle, Teamwork.

Skills:
Deception 5 (+5), Intimidation 7 (+7), Perception 3 (+7), Stealth 3 (+6).

Offense:
Initiative +3
Teeth and Claws +8 (Close Damage 10)
Corrosive Blood -- (Burst Area Damage 7, when takes lethal damage)

Defense:
Dodge 7, Parry 8, Fortitude 9, Toughness 10, Will 6

Totals:
Abilities 60 + Powers 103 + Advantages 9 + Skills 9 + Defenses 10 = 177 points

Complications:
Protect the Hive--Motivation. Others as Needed

Hiver Queen -- PL 13

hiverqueen-S.png


Abilities:
STR
9 | STA 11 | AGL 1 | DEX 0 | FGT 12 | INT 4 | AWE 4 | PRE 3

Powers:
Alien Movement:
Movement 3 (slithering, wall-crawling 2) - 6 points
Alien Senses: Senses 2 (accurate tracking hearing) - 3 points
Armored Chitin: Immunity 11 (corrosive blood, life support); Protection 4 - 15 points
Corrosive Blood: Reaction Burst Area 3 Damage 7 (triggered by lethal damage), Secondary Effect - 56 points
Large Size: Permanent Growth 4 (Strength +4, Stamina +4, Intimidation +2, Stealth -4, Dodge -2, Parry -2), Innate - 13 points
Memories of Another Existence: Variable 4, Limited to skills, mental advantages, and Enhanced Intelligence to match those of the individual who spawned them - 24 points
Spawn: Summon Hiver Larva 4, Multiple Minions 3 - 32 points
Teeth and Claws: Strength-based Damage 3 - 3 points
Terrifying: Feature 1 (Intimidation does not require understanding) - 1 point
Voice of the Hive: Mental Communication 3, Limited to Hivers - 9 points

Advantages:
All-out Attack, Close Attack 2, Fast Grab, Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Improved Trip, Inspire 3, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Set-up, Startle, Teamwork.

Skills:
Deception 5 (+8), Intimidation 4 (+9), Perception 5 (+9).

Offense:
Initiative +7
Teeth and Claws +14 (Close Damage 12)
Corrosive Blood -- (Burst Area 3 Damage 7, when takes lethal damage)

Defense:
Dodge 8, Parry 10, Fortitude 11, Toughness 15, Will 11

Totals:
Abilities 72 + Powers 162 + Advantages 15 + Skills 7 + Defenses 16 = 272 points

Complications:
Expand the Hive--Motivation. Underestimates Weaker Creatures.
 

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Davies

Adventurer
Tavipahter
This-is-what-a-sex-addicts-brain-looks-like-S.jpg


While it's impossible to say for certain if any of it is true, more is apparently known about Tavipahter's background than is typical of one of the powerful of Daath. During his apprenticeship to Yacobus the Arch-Imaginist, Aun Taxad spent several months in the laboratory-castle of the Bottled Brain. For whatever reason, perhaps the novelty of the presence of a being not under domination, Tavipahter discussed what he claimed to be his history with Aun.

According to that account, Tavipahter was once a common denizen of the distant world of Aperion, the world where the Power Prisms are manufactured. He was, in fact, employed as a worker in the factories where these wonder-works are created. Possessing a spark of intelligence and creativity much like Aun Taxad's own, he rose in this profession, and was eventually chosen to represent his industry on the planet's ruling council. This required him to be transformed into a brain, as the council of Aperion is exclusively composed of such transhuman intellects.

Tavipahter was, he claims, ill-impressed with his new peers. They seemed petty and juvenile, focusing on affairs that either no longer mattered to them, in their exalted state, or that never had mattered to anyone. He began to scheme to gain influence over the other council members, to direct them towards more appropriate ends. He underestimated his opponents' political acumen, however, and soon lost what little influence he'd been able to gather. Frustrated, he turned to more direct ways of asserting his will upon reality, mastering the telepathy that his transformation had awakened in him.

Pushing himself beyond the limits of what was known about the telepathic sciences, Tavipahter discovered the existence of Daath, and realized that this ancient world would be the place where he achieved true mastery. This is what drew every one of the potentates of Daath to this world, he claims -- even the Metropolitan was originally a creature from some other, long-lost planet. All of them came here seeking power, and suffering the price of power. That price, in Tavipahter's case, was the loss of certain psychokinetic talents which allowed him mobility and physical power to match his mental might.

And so it has been ever since, with Tavipahter existing in a rivalry with the Metropolitan, which has since been rendered irrelevant by the rise of Abraxas. Aun Taxad has related this story to the archivists of the Last Men Standing, who have in their turn provided it to intelligence and security services within the Technate. All of them, however, take it with a grain of salt. While the council that rules Aperion is every bit as much of a mystery as the rulers of Daath, they do not appear to be a collection of bottled brains ...

Tavipahter -- PL X/16

Abilities:
STR
-- | STA 0 | AGL -- | DEX -- | FGT -- | INT 9 | AWE 9 | PRE 9

Powers:
Containment Tank:
Enhanced Fortitude 16; Immunity 10 (life support); Impervious Protection 16; Removable (-12 points) - 46 points
Galactic Awareness: Remote Sensing X (all senses); Quickness X, Limited to Remote Sensing - X points
Telepathic Supremacy: Array (64 points)
  • Mind Burn: Perception Range Damage 16, Resisted by Will - 1 point
  • Mind Freeze: Cumulative Perception Range Affliction 16 (Resisted by Will; Vulnerable, Defenseless, Paralyzed) - 1 point
  • Mind Mastery: Cumulative Perception Range Affliction 16 (Resisted by Will; Dazed, Compelled, Controlled) - 1 point
  • Mind Mold: Cumulative Perception Range Affliction 16 (Entranced, Compelled, Transformed), Selective, Limited to editing recent memories - 1 point
  • Mind Probe: Cumulative Effortless Mind Reading 16 - 64 points
Shielded Mind: Impervious Will 12 - 12 points
What I Don't Know Isn't Knowledge: Comprehend Languages 4; Mental Communication 5 - 32 points

Advantages:
Fascinate (Intimidation), Jack-of-all-Trades, Speed of Thought, Well-Informed.

Skills:
Deception 7 (+16), Expertise: Galactic 8 (+17), Insight 6 (+15), Intimidation 8 (+17), Investigation 8 (+17), Persuasion 7 (+16)

Offense:
Initiative +9
Mind Burn -- (Perception Range Damage 16, Resisted by Will)
Mind Freeze -- (Perception Range Will 16)
Mind Mastery -- (Perception Range Will 16)
Mind Mold -- (Perception Range Will 16)

Defense:
Dodge --, Parry --, Fortitude 16/0, Toughness 16/0, Will 16

Totals:
Abilities 14 + Powers 148 + X + Advantages 4 + Skills 22 + Defenses 7 = 195 + X points

Complications:
Power--Motivation. Enemy
(The Metropolitan.) No Non-Remote Senses. Permanently Immobile. Subordinate to Abraxas, And Also to Daath's True Ruler.

For those morbidly curious, a being able to use Remote Sensing to examine the entire Milky Way galaxy would require Remote Sensing 57, and Quickness 46 to be able to search that area in about a year's time. I'll just use X, thanks.
 
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Davies

Adventurer
Pythia
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As William Shakespeare had Mark Anthony say, "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones." This may be the tragedy of the human species, that we remember the worst of people long after whatever else they were is lost, and that the worst capture the imagination of the world too much more often than those who strive for right. So it was with the woman who started the Pythonian Insurrection, which carved wounds in the world that are still healing, some thirty years after her violent and brutal end.

She was born Marya Bouras in New York, 1941, to Greek immigrants to the United States. Very little has ever been discovered of her early life. At sixteen, she ran away to join a traveling circus. While she learned many talents from her fellow performers, her best calling was as a fortune teller and occasional prostitute. It was while pursuing the former career, under the alias Regina Royale, in 1968, that she had her first brush with destiny, when an odd looking gentleman entered her tent and asked her to divine his destiny.

There was something familiar about him, but Regina was not really familiar with current events at that point. She dismissed a vague premonition of danger, and described her client's nature in glowing and favorable terms. And then Dr. Ranivorous interrupted her with an expression that might have been the smile of a shark, and told her that everything she had said was the exact opposite of true, that she was such a terrible judge of character as to possess a genuine talent for getting it wrong, and that he had decided to make use of that gift. Regina, no fool, agreed.

So she was drawn into a scheme of the Mad Doctor's to trick Captain Mystic into believing that the latter was doomed to destroy the world if he did not abandon it, offering predictions to Captain Mystic that Ranivorous would then secretly fulfill. To assist her in making the plan work, she was given a drug treatment that awakened genuine telepathic powers in her. (Apparently, he expected them to only last long enough to drive her completely insane, and he was surprised when they didn't do that and endured much longer than predicted.) The scheme failed, of course, but the fortune teller avoided both jail time for her role and the need to testify against her 'patron', and then quickly disappeared.

Nothing is known about her over the next few years, beyond the fact that she became a single mother in 1970, to a daughter she named Korie. A year later, she would later claim, she was in a bar watching a televised report of the Battle of Vietnam when the scales fell from her eyes and a vision of the future unfolded before her. She saw all that was to be, all that might be, and a way for her and those who followed here to have everything they deserved. At once, she abandoned her old identity, renaming herself Pythia, after the Oracle of Delphi. Unlike that ancient foreteller, though, she would not just council the rulers of the world; she would rule it herself.

Through the rest of the 1970s, she built up her forces, gathering the resources of the Stardust Crusaders and dozens of other radical and criminal organizations, uniting them all under her prophetic leadership, convincing ideological enemies that temporary cooperation, guided by one who could see the future, would serve their interests best. She waited a very long time to let them loose, specifically waiting for Basilea to abandon the outer world -- something she foresaw, and might have acted to provoke -- before the Pythonian Insurrection struck. The President of the United States, the Prime Ministers of Canada and Mexico, Fidel Castro, Yuri Andropov, countless leaders and heroes died on the first day of the Pythons' war, and for a time it seemed that the world was about to break.

Yet there came an answer to them, and the American Joint Special Operations Taskforce and other agencies began to fight back. And they held the Pythons in check long enough for doubts to begin to set in about the validity of Pythia's prophecies, for none of this had ever featured in any of them. Pythia responded by pursuing various schemes, with varying success, right up until one of the schemes, to augment the morale of her troops, resulted in the so-called mystic who promised her results murdering Korie in the course of their escape.

Everything seemed to change for Pythia, then. She increasingly allowed herself to be sidelined by other would-be leaders within the Insurrection, acting as a figurehead and, yes, oracle for them. Some feared that she had lost her mind, for she would often be seen having conversations while completely alone. But there were other reports that she was pursuing a more subtle strategy, allowing the worst consequences of the last years of the Insurrection to fall on the shoulders of others, rather than herself.

In the end, JSOT foiled the most ambitious of the Insurrection's last schemes, discovered the location of their secret base (in Delphi, Indiana) and launched an all-out assault. Her organization burning around her, Pythia made no attempt to escape, and was confronted by Shannon and Ken Hazzard, along with Jack Dore. Completely unafraid of them, she proceeded to describe what her visions had revealed to her about the next thirty years, a vision of greater horrors than she had ever perpetrated. At last, Dore interrupted. "Enough," he said. "You're no prophet, or none of this would be happening."

"Oh?" she said, and reached into a fold of her tunic.

None of them was sure, ever, which of them fired first, but three bullets struck her at once. Pythia left this life with a sigh ... and then Ken Hazzard pulled out the photograph she'd been trying to produce, a picture of her younger self holding up a newspaper dated the day after the Battle of Vietnam, with a date and time marked on it ... and slowly looked up to see the clock on the wall ticking down the remaining seconds of the minute of the hour of the day written down there.

Pythia -- PL 7

Abilities:
STR
0 | STA 3 | AGL 3 | DEX 4 | FGT 4 | INT 4 | AWE 5 | PRE 4

Powers:
Foresight:
Senses 4 (precognition), Unreliable* - 2 points
Mind-Gazing: Mind Reading 7, Limited to Surface Thoughts - 7 points

Advantages:
Assessment, Attractive, Beginner's Luck, Benefit 4 (multimillionaire), Connected, Defensive Roll, Equipment X, Evasion 2, Fascinate (Persuasion), Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Languages 3 (Greek, Spanish, others), Ranged Attack 2, Skill Mastery 2 (Deception, Insight), Trance.

Skills:
Acrobatics 4 (+7), Deception 6 (+10), Expertise: Criminal 4 (+8), Expertise: History 4 (+8), Expertise: Magic 2 (+6)* Expertise: Streetwise 5 (+9), Insight 6 (+11), Intimidation 5 (+9), Perception 4 (+9), Persuasion 6 (+10), Sleight of Hand 2 (+6), Stealth 4 (+7), Vehicles 2 (+6).
* INT-based.

Offense:
Initiative +7
Unarmed +4 (Close Damage 0)

Defense:
Dodge 9, Parry 7, Fortitude 4, Toughness 5/3, Will 9

Totals:
Abilities 58 + Powers 9 + Advantages 22 + Skills 25 + Defenses 14 = 128 points

Complications:
Power--Motivation. Family
(daughter, until 1986). Infamy. Rivalry (other leaders of the Insurrection.) Secret (unreliable precognition)*.

* Whether Pythia actually possessed precognition, how reliable her abilities were and when she developed them, are all topics that remain hotly debated. It may have been more reliable than this, in which case she does not have a Secret and some of her active defenses and Advantages might be Enhanced Traits. It may have been nothing more than a set of elaborate lies, in which case she has a different Secret complication and might have Ultimate Effort (Deception).
 

Davies

Adventurer
Tania
RCO043_1601976381-S.jpg


It would probably have gone very differently if they'd kidnapped the Hearst girl. But they found out about two young women who were descendants of the ultra-wealthy living in the vicinity of their hideout, and selected the other one somewhat at random. Maureen Edelfelt wasn't actually considered part of the main Edelfelt family, as her branch of the clan had lost the special qualities that the main branch considered important in her grandfather's generation, but they were certainly affluent. And so, on February 4, 1974, they kidnapped her from her Berkeley apartment, and demanded the release of two of their members from jail in exchange for her freedom. That never happened.

In less than a week, Edefelt convinced the militants who were holding her that she found their beliefs compelling and persuasive, and joined their discussions. She claimed to have grown disenchanted with her family's capitalistic lifestyle, and earnestly desired to assist in achieving the 'symbiosis' that they claimed to value. Becoming part of a menage de trois with the group's two leaders, she started to quietly influence and guide the group towards goals that interested her. There was no second ransom demand, as she had thoroughly convinced them of her loyalty.

A bank robbery in April served as the announcement that the young woman now calling herself Tania was one of the leaders of this so-called Army. It was executed with surprising effectiveness, as were a number of other heists committed in the Bay Area, where they remained rather than attempting to relocate to Los Angeles. Several of the members of the group were killed in confrontations with the police, including both of Tania's lovers. Some have since suggested that she manipulated events, possibly even anonymously informing the police, to bring about these deaths so that she would be in sole command of the organization.

In 1977, after several years of these antics, Tania was contacted by Pythia and invited to incorporate her army, which consisted of nearly forty members at that point, into the much larger Pythonian Insurgency. Initially skeptical, she was quickly convinced of the reality of Pythia's prophecies, but still negotiated an alliance which resulted in her being given the title Director of Terrorism. (She preferred to call it 'Guerilla Warfare', but this clashed with the organization's Director of Military Assets, whom she was not ready to challenge. Not yet.) Throughout the late seventies and early eighties, she was also Pythia's personal hatchet-man, and was allegedly one of the assassins of Fidel Castro.

Tania flourished within the Pythonian Insurgency, openly relishing the destruction that they were causing and mocking anyone, including former comrades, who nursed 'fantasies' about how they would create a better world on the ashes of the new. By 1985, however, her importance within the organization was on the wane, with other Directors gaining much more prominence. There is an account which suggests that she vengefully lashed out at Pythia for this, and that the murder of Korie was the result of a conversation she had with Jodie Crowley shortly before those events.

In the aftermath, she became one of the players in the Insurgency's power struggles, but never quite managed to get back the influence she believed should be hers. Following the assault on Delphi, she ended up as one of the highest-ranking members of the Insurgency to be captured, rather than killed, and was bound over for trial. A distant cousin of hers arranged for an extremely capable legal defense, which portrayed her as the victim of brainwashing, claiming that she had, from 1974 onwards, been subjected to a course of drugs to control her actions. Repudiating her allegiance to the Insurgency during her trial, she offered testimony against other Pythonians, and so received a reduced sentence of only ten years.

As it happened, she served only eight, released for good behavior in the aftermath of Cerebron's attack. In 2003, she married a wealthy widowed rancher in Arizona, and became the stepmother to his two children. She apparently ignored attempts by Billie Zane's organization to recruit her. One of President Clinton's last acts before leaving office in 2007 was to issue her a pardon. Her husband died in 2011, and since then she has lived a quiet life in Arizona. And if she still dreams of burning the world to ashes and then dancing on them, well, one's dreams are a private thing, aren't they?

She still goes by Tania, however.

Tania -- PL 6

Abilities:
STR
1 | STA 2 | AGL 3 | DEX 4 | FGT 5 | INT 3 | AWE 1 | PRE 4

Powers:
The Advantage of Having No Scruples Whatsoever:
Immunity 5 (interaction effects) - 5 points

Advantages:
Attractive, Daze (Deception), Defensive Roll, Equipment 6, Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Ranged Attack 4, Seize Initiative, Taunt, Well-Informed.

Equipment:
Submachine Gun (Ranged Multiattack Damage 4), Holdout Pistol (Ranged Damage 2), and 17 points of additional equipment as needed.

Skills:
Acrobatics 4 (+7), Athletics 3 (+4), Deception 5 (+9), Expertise: Current Events 5 (+8), Expertise: Military 3 (+6), Expertise: Streetwise 4 (+7), Expertise: Survival 3 (+6), Insight 6 (+7), Intimidation 1 (+5), Investigation 5 (+8), Perception 5 (+6), Technology 5 (+8), Persuasion 5 (+9), Sleight of Hand 5 (+9), Stealth 5 (+8), Technology 4 (+7), Vehicles 2 (+6)

Offense:
Initiative +7
Unarmed +5 (Close Damage 1)
Submachine Gun +8 (Ranged Multiattack Damage 4)
Holdout Pistol +8 (Ranged Damage 2)

Defense:
Dodge 8, Parry 6, Fortitude 5, Toughness 4/2, Will 4

Totals:
Abilities 46 + Powers 5 + Advantages 18 + Skills 35 + Defense 12 = 116 points

Complications:
Destruction--Motivation. Schemes Within Schemes.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Hannes Zaharoff
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The man who would rename himself Hannes Zaharoff was born in Gndingen (now Gydnia) in 1908. In his early twenties, after a brilliant career at the University of Warsaw, he was hired by a Polish government ministry, and given a very sensitive position. With characteristic amorality, he proceeded to betray his employers and nation by selling intelligence to the Third Reich, though his sole interest was in their money, rather than their political aims. Having reached a level of comfort, he began to engage in some private genealogical research.

He was fascinated to discover that his mother, a Greek woman supposedly born in Thebes, had apparently been born to Aristides Damala and his mistress, then given by Damala's wife, Sarah Bernhardt, to her friend, the notorious 'merchant of death' Basil Zaharoff, who had arranged for her adoption. At least, that was the official story; he developed a very different theory as to what had happened. It seemed much more likely -- to him -- that the child had actually been the child of a heretofore unknown affair between Bernhardt and Zaharoff, which made himself the grandson of a man who shaped the fate of nations. (That this would have meant that his grandfather had dumped his mother somewhere out of the way was not something that he was inclined to view as a character flaw.)

Thus, when the Germans and Soviets invaded Poland and he fled the country, he adopted the name Zaharoff as his own, taking up residence in Turkey and selling intelligence to both sides of World War II. In the aftermath of the conflict, predicting the start of the Cold War, he began to organize a new organization which he intended to serve as a third force between the two nascent super-powers, with agents in the ranks of both. The primary goal of this organization was to reap as much money as possible from both sides, with no particular political agenda beyond that.

Despite his seeming prescience regarding both the Second World War and the Cold War that followed it, Zaharoff was caught somewhat off-guard by the rise of the superhero, and these bewildering figures did a great deal of damage to his organization's operations in the United States, just as one particularly intrepid agent of British intelligence was doing the same in Europe. Clearly, he would need to improve his game a bit, so he began to sponsor research into mad science for the first time, with an eye towards developing a way to ensure that he, personally, would never be captured or killed by his enemies.

This resulted in the discovery of a method to alter someone's appearance to match his own while simultaneously using a combination of drugs and hypnosis to convince that person that they were Hannes Zaharoff, making them into the perfect decoy. The decoys would be kept unconscious until they were needed, and be briefed on awakening about recent events. They would frequently suffer 'memory lapses' when asked about things not covered by the briefing, but Zaharoff's authority remained unquestioned by his agents.

At some point in this process, the original Zaharoff died of apparently natural causes. The people who ran the duplicate program released a decoy to take his place, and the whole thing continued. It continued after he was defeated, repeatedly, by the aforementioned British agent, with the replacements regarding all those events as having happened to a decoy, rather than their own, authentic self. Thus, 'Zaharoff', while diminished in wealth and power, actually outlived his famous enemy, who died a miserable, lonely death in the early 1970s.

It's not clear whether Pythia knew that the man she approached in 1977 about joining forces was not the original Hannes Zaharoff, but it is not clear whether she would have been concerned about that, either. Regardless, they agreed to unite, with Zaharoff becoming the Insurgency's Director of Espionage. His goal, of course, was unchanged -- to gain as much money for himself as could be imagined, and then perhaps more. He was therefore content to remain in his chosen position, rather than strive to replace Pythia after she apparently began to falter. Or perhaps he viewed this faltering as the falsehood that it may have been.

Association with the mad scientists of the Insurgency also allowed a number of improvements to the 'doubling' process, which now involved digital recordings of 'Zaharoff's' brain patterns and the decoys being preserved in so-called 'Russian sleep'. They still suffered memory lapses, however, since the process remained not quite perfected.

All of the scientists involved in the decoy process were present in Delphi when the final assault began, and all were accounted for, in one way or another. The story above was revealed in post-operational interviews with the lone survivor of the original group, who was given a death sentence for multiple counts of kidnapping -- the decoys having been largely created from the victims of same. It is believed that the process was completely shut down, and all the extant decoys euthanized.

But who knows whether they really got them all?

Hannes Zaharoff -- PL 6

Abilities:
STR
2 | STA 1 | AGL 3 | DEX 2 | FGT 5 | INT 3 | AWE 2 | PRE 4

Powers:
Endless Doubles:
Immortality 5 - 10 points

Advantages:
Connected, Contacts, Defensive Roll, Diehard, Equipment 4, Evasion, Favored Environment (planned situation), Improved Disarm, Language 4 (English, German, Greek, Italian, others, [Polish becomes native]) Ranged Attack, Uncanny Dodge, Well-informed.

Equipment:
Light Pistol (Ranged Damage 3) and 14 points of equipment as needed.

Skills:
Deception 4 (+8), Expertise: Business 4 (+7), Expertise: Current Events 6 (+9), Expertise: Conspiracy 7 (+10), Expertise: Politics 6 (+9), Insight 6 (+8), Intimidation 4 (+8), Investigation 5 (+8), Perception 4 (+6), Persuasion 7 (+11), Ranged Combat: Guns 4 (+6) Stealth 2 (+5), Technology 2 (+5), Vehicles 3 (+5), 64 points

Offense:
Initiative +3
Unarmed +5 (Close Damage 1)
Light Pistol +7 (Ranged Damage 3)

Defense:
Dodge 7, Parry 5, Fortitude 4, Toughness 3/1, Will 8

Totals:
Abilities 44 + Powers 10 + Advantages 14 + Skills 32 + Defenses 13 = 113 points

Complications:
Greed--Motivation. Memory Lapses. Pretense of Honor and Courtesy. Secret.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Kiyohime
kiyohime-S.png


Like most folktales, the story of the woman called Kiyohime has been told many ways. Perhaps the best known portrays her as the daughter of a family who provided lodging for Buddhist priests on pilgrimage to a certain shrine, who chanced to fall in love with one of them, called Anchin. Falling in love with a celibate worked out much as one would expect, and in her fury she transformed into a great serpent to pursue him. Just how culpable for his own doom Anchin is varies from telling to telling.

It's not known when Tomita Mariko, daughter of a moderately prosperous land-owner in one of Tokyo's many suburbs, learned this story. It might have happened when she was still a young girl in the early 1960s, possibly while reading it to her younger brother Kyousuke. Their mother passed away when they were both children, and their father largely left them in the care of an old friend of his, who ran a dojo on land their father owned. He taught them both the style of aikijutsu that he practiced, and they were reasonably adept at it.

In 1976, when Mariko was seventeen, a visitor came to the dojo. George Hama was the grandson of one of their mentor's old friends, now serving with the United States Marine Corps and based in Okinawa. He had come to reconnect with that part of his family who remained in Japan, and also with his grandather's old rival. He was four years older than Mariko, and she hated him immediately, with his goofy grin and bad Japanese and disgustingly handsome face. He couldn't stand her either, with her ridiculous pride and terrible attitude and overwhelming sense of her own beauty.

So of course they fell in mad love with each other. Neither her father nor her brother approved, of course, and so it was that two years later they decided to run off together, after consummating the relationship. They arranged to meet at the gate of a certain shrine at a certain time. Mariko arrived exactly on time, and waited. Several hours later, her brother found her there, collapsed in grief and regret. George had clearly taken the opportunity to abandon her after getting what he wanted.

Four months later, her brother was there for her again, paying to deal with the consequences of her error in judgement. Any love that she had ever felt for her American lover died by the time she left the doctor's office, replaced by an utter hatred for him and everything that he represented. She and Kyousuke both joined a group of anti-American extremists in Japan, which wound up being incorporated into the nascent Pythonian Insurgency. Dressing in the fashion of a stage ninja, Mariko started calling herself Kyohime, and became one of the most accomplished assassins within the organization.

It was surely fate that George Hama was recruited for the Joint Special Operations Taskforce, under the alias Deuce, and clashed with Kiyohime repeatedly and inconclusively. She never succeeded in killing him; he never succeeded in capturing her. Despite these failures, and others caused by her tendency to give her targets a chance at survival and enjoy their despair when it failed, Kiyohime rose in the ranks of the Pythonians to be given the title of Director of Assassinations, increasingly outshining the Director of Terorrism.

By 1987, she was dimly aware that Kyousuke was not comfortable in their new way of life but too focused on her own pain and anger to give it much thought. So she was surprised when Pythia herself gave her a warning that her visions indicated that he was considering defecting from the Pythons. Pythia decreed that it was up to Kiyohime to decide what to do about this. A day or so later, her brother entered her private rooms and told her that he had something important to tell her. Seeing that the moment was upon her, she regretfully cut his throat before he could say anything else, and cradled him as he choked to death on his own blood.

Her activities grew ever more brutal and every more bizarre over the next few years, as she joined the struggle for power within the Insurgency, never quite gaining the power that she sought but keeping it out of the hands of those she viewed as rivals. At last, during the final assault on Delphi, she had her final confrontation with Deuce. Driven by her losses and failures, she overcame him and had him at her mercy. But before she killed him, she demanded to know when he'd decided to abandon her.

He told her that he'd been at the shrine half an hour before they were supposed to meet, that Kyousuke had shown up and tried to kill him, and that he'd fled to avoid killing her brother ... and that he hadn't gone back because he didn't want to force her to choose between them.

She wanted to believe that it was lies. She wanted to believe the worst. But she believed he was telling the truth and she remembered the look on Kyousuke's face when he said he had something to tell her and she remembered the look on Pythia's face as she spoke and she screamed. And lifted up her sword, perhaps to kill Deuce, perhaps to kill herself. Regardless, that was when some of his friends came upon the scene and shot her dead.

Deuce whispered her name, just once. As far as anyone knows, that is the last word that the man now called Thriller has ever spoken.

Kiyohime -- PL 7

Abilities:
STR
2 | STA 3 | AGL 4 | DEX 4 | FGT 6 | INT 1 | AWE 2 | PRE 1

Advantages:
Agile Feint, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Equipment 6, Fearless, Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Defense, Improved Disarm, Improved Smash, Improved Trip, Instant Up, Language (English, [Japanese is native]), Ranged Attack 2, Skill Mastery 4 (Acrobatics, Athletics, Sleight of Hand, Stealth).

Equipment:
16 points of equipment as needed.
Arsenal: Array (12 points)
  • Smoke Grenade: Ranged Cloud Area Concealment Attack 4 - 12 points
  • Sword: Strength-based Damage 3, Improved Critical - 1 point
  • Throwing Stars: Ranged Multiattack Damage 1 - 1 point

Skills:
Acrobatics 7 (+11), Athletics 6 (+8), Close Combat: Sword 3 (+9), Deception 7 (+8), Intimidation 7 (+8), Perception 8 (+10), Ranged Combat: Throwing Star 5 (+9), Sleight of Hand 8 (+12), Stealth 8 (+12), Technology 6 (+7), Treatment 5 (+6).

Offense:
Initiative +4
Unarmed +6 (Close Damage 2)
Sword +9 (Close Damage 5, Crit 19-20)
Throwing Stars +11 (Ranged Multiattack Damage 1)

Defense:
Dodge 9, Parry 9, Fortitude 5, Toughness 5/2, Will 7

Totals:
Abilities 46 + Advantages 23 + Skills 35 + Defenses 15 = 118 points

Complications:
Vengeance--Motivation. Family
(brother, up until 1987). Plays With Her Prey.
 

Davies

Adventurer
General Estrella
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Born in 1937, the man who called himself Raimondo Loyola often claimed to be of noble lineage stretching back generations. After he was dead, some investigations were conducted and uncovered the fact that he had been a child of the Loyola family, but one born out of an illegitimate union between one of the family's scions and a maid. He would later take advantage of the Loyola's famous aversity to public attention to claim their family name for his own, using his political connections to further protect himself. It worked, for a while.

A patriotic Spaniard and devout Falangist, he joined the Spanish army in 1955, ironically just as his nation was starting to turn away from its international isolation. The stress of basic training awakened something in him, and he devoted himself to pushing his limits with further exercise and practice. By 1957, it was clear to him that he had achieved literally superhuman levels of ability, and reported this fact to his superiors in hopes that they would put his talents to good use. The Caudillo himself observed his feats, and asked him to use these abilities to protect blessed Spain from the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy that still threatened it. With tears in his eyes, Raimondo agreed, becoming Capitán Estrella (though in fact he was only commissioned as a lieutenant, at that point.)

He served as the superhuman champion of Francoist Spain for the next two decades, battling crime and subversion on the state's behalf and presenting himself as the embodiment of the national virtues. He would later claim to have been Franco's friend and confidant, though a more impartial assessment of their known interactions suggests that the Caudillo was very careful to keep a distance between them. Franco may have recognized that the Capitán had ambitions not at all compatible with his own designs for the Spanish state.

Franco's death, in 1975, and what the Capitán perceived as the weakness of Prime Minister Navarro, particularly his contemptible acquiescence to the coronation of Juan Carlos, made it clear to him that there could be no place in this new Spain for him. This was further brought home by a confrontation with a member of the Loyola family, who had apparently lost his patience with Raimondo's use of their name. Swallowing curses, he deserted from the Army and fled the country for South America, where he became a mercenary under the name General Estrella, no longer answering to any civilian name.

Three years later, Pythia sought him out. He had developed his faculties enough to recognize another psychic when he saw one, and was -- for the moment -- impressed by what she demonstrated of her abilities. The tale that she told of his future, where he would apparently end up the servant of some American boxer, disgusted him sufficiently to persuade him to join forces with her, becoming the Insurgency's Director of Military Activities, charged with recruiting, training and ultimately leading the Pythonian armies. Neither of them operated under any illusions that he would not, eventually, seek to run the entire organization.

In fact, that seemed to have happened after Korie's death. While struggling with the other noteworthy leaders of the Insurgency, Estrella's command of the largest body of troops and his own personal power left very little doubt who held the reins of authority. Unfortunately, for himself at least, he seemed ill-equipped to do anything with them. The victories of the early Eighties were long behind them, and while the Insurgency conducted many dramatic operations under the General's command, these were largely failures and even debacles.

Consequently, in 1992, the General was forced (some might say manipulated) into travelling personally to Mars in a Vaskhane spacecraft to meet with the Insurgency's extraterrestrial allies. JSOT and its allies pursued them there and attacked the 'pyramid' where the meeting was taking place. In the battle that followed, Estrella was confronted by JSOT's Lieutenant Ken Griffin, another psychic martial artist who had crossed paths with him repeated in recent years. They proceeded to fight a duel that sent them through the pyramid's walls out onto the sands of Mars.

After the conclusion of the operation, the bodies of both General Estrella and Lieutenant Griffin were recovered. It was not clear whether they had killed each other with their powers or died of exposure to the Martian environment. (Lieutenant Griffin's autopsy would suggest that the latter.) Both bodies were returned to Earth with the survivors of the expedition, and while the Lieutenant was buried in Arlington, Estrella's remains were turned over to the Spanish government. It has been rumored that they were dissected and used in super-soldier experiments there, but nothing is known for sure.

General Estrella -- PL 8

Abilities:
STR
3 | STA 3 | AGL 5 | DEX 5 | FGT 9 | INT 1 | AWE 6 | PRE 1

Powers:
Aura of Might:
Sustained Impervious Protection 4 - 8 points
Hovers: Flight 1 (4 MPH), Concentration - 1 point
Martial Power: Strength-based Damage 3 - 3 points
Sense Those of Comparable Power: Senses 3 (acute tracking psychic awareness) - 3 points

Advantages:
Chokehold, Close Attack, Defensive Attack, Extraordinary Effort, Fast Grab, Grabbing Finesse, Improved Disarm, Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Improved Initiative, Inspire, Language (English, [Spanish is native]), Leadership, Power Attack, Startle, Weapon Bind

Skills:
Acrobatics 4 (+9), Athletics 6 (+9), Expertise: Criminal 6 (+7), Expertise: Military 8 (+9), Insight 2 (+8), Intimidation 8 (+9), Perception 4 (+10), Stealth 4 (+9), Vehicles 4 (+9)

Offense:
Initiative +9
Unarmed +10 (Close Damage 6)

Defense:
Dodge 7, Parry 9, Fortitude 8, Toughness 7/3, Will 8

Totals:
Abilities 66 + Powers 15 + Advantages 16 + Skills 24 + Defenses 9 = 130 points

Complications:
Power--Motivation. Arrogant Beyond Words. Casual Killer. Won't Use The Same Attack Twice in Succession.
 

Davies

Adventurer
The Grail Knight (II)
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According to Sheldrake family legend, shortly after the Restoration of Charles II, one of their ancestors committed a serious crime against their liege. The exact details of the crime have been lost to history, but the punishment, which oddly didn't involve their ancestor being shortened by the length of his neck or hung until dead, was memorable. He was sentenced to wear an old-fashioned suit of armor, painted red, with the eldest son of his line likewise condemned to wear it in his turn. A generation later, however, following the Glorious Revolution, Queen Mary generously commuted this sentence to time served and told the current Sheldrake to stop wearing the noisy thing. It was nonetheless still kept in the Sheldrake family's collection of ancient weapons and armor.

This episode likely wasn't on the mind of Robert Sheldrake when he became the original Grail Knight, in 1965. Instead, he was inspired by the example of the Cowl and other American crime-fighters, using his keen wits and antique weapons to fight contemporary criminals. His antics were viewed as somewhat absurd by the populace of the United Kingdom, but he was better respected abroad. He was frequently accompanied by his younger brother Gordon, under the alias Armiger. For his part, Gordon was somewhat obsessed with that early chapter of his family's history, though that wasn't yet apparent.

For various reasons, Gordon didn't accompany his brother when the latter went to assist the Institute during the Battle of Vietnam. While Robert survived despite serious injuries, he was never the same afterwards. His crime-fighting activities stopped, and he began to use the Grail Knight identity solely for charitable purposes. This disgusted Gordon, who had always enjoyed the fighting part of their activities a bit too much. Robert's 1977 death in an automobile crash was likely engineered by Gordon, though nothing was ever proved.

As the second Grail Knight, Gordon sought to become a government agent, but was (to his mind) none too politely told that such a flashy figure was not at all what Her Majesty's service required. Frustrated, he spent several years brooding on his family history, especially the arms and armor of his condemned ancestor. He became convinced that it contained something of that man's spirit and believed that, if he wore it, something of the other man's strength would invest his form, granting him the power to work his will upon the world. And that seemed to be the case. It's now believed that Gordon had somehow developed innate super-powers, possibly from exposure to various radiations and chemicals during his career as the Armiger, but deluded himself that they came from his weapons and armor.

Not long after he discovered this, Gordon was contacted by Pythia and invited to become an agent of the organization she'd assembled. He was intrigued and agreed to her proposal, intending to seize control of the group at the earliest opportunity, of course. These ambitions were somewhat checked by the fact that he failed dramatically in his first mission in 1982, underestimating the forces protecting the Prime Minister and only escaping with the sacrifice of the entire unit sent to assist in her assassination. He would be more successful on other missions, however, and donated much of the Sheldrake family's offshore funds to the cause, keeping him in a prominent position within the Insurgency, though he was never given a Director's chair.

The Grail Knight was the most persistent rival of General Estrella for the leadership of the Insurgency after Pythia's apparent breakdown, and they are believed to have come to blows on a number of occasions. Estrella's 1992 death may have emboldened the Knight, and he was given command of the defense of Delphi during the final assault. While inflicting heavy casualties on the JSOT forces, he was finally overcome, and stripped of his armor and weapons. Regaining consciousness despite the serious injuries, he is said to have quipped, "All right, we'll call it a draw." Tried in the U.S., he was executed by electrocution two years later.

Michael Carrington, the only son of Robert and Gordon's younger sister, considered becoming a new Grail Knight in the late Nineties, but ultimately decided that the legacy was too tainted by Gordon's activities to do so. Now in his late forties, he has nonetheless used his wits and wealth to assist Prydwen, Blakestone and other U.K.-based heroes on many occasions, bringing some good out of this whole mess.

The Grail Knight -- PL 9

Abilities:
STR
4/2 | STA 5/3 | AGL 5/3 | DEX 2 | FGT 9/4 | INT 1 | AWE 3 | PRE 3

Powers:
Healing Factor:
Immunity 2 (disease, poison); Regeneration 10, Persistent - 13 points
"Magic" Armor: Impervious Protection 4; Removable (-2 points) - 6 points
"Magic" Power: Enhanced Agility 2; Enhanced Fighting 5; Enhanced Strength 2; Enhanced Stamina 2 - 22 points
"Magic" Sword: Strength-based Damage 3, Improved Critical 2; Easily Removable (-2 points) - 3 points

Advantages:
All-out Attack, Diehard, Fearless, Great Endurance, Improved Critical (sword), Power Attack, Startle, Takedown, Ultimate Effort (Toughness checks)

Skills:
Athletics 5 (+9), Close Combat: Sword 2 (+11), Expertise: Military 7 (+8), Expertise: Politics 6 (+7), Insight 4 (+7), Intimidation 6 (+10), Perception 6 (+9).

Offense:
Initiative +5
Unarmed +9 (Close Damage 4)
"Magic" Sword +11 (Close Damage 7, Crit 17-20)

Defense:
Dodge 7/5, Parry 9/4, Fortitude 7/5, Toughness 9/4, Will 6

Totals:
Abilities 42 + Powers 44 + Advantages 9 + Skills 18 + Defense 7 = 120 points

Complications:
Glory--Motivation. Power Loss
("Magic" powers, when suffers a loss of confidence.) Racist, Sexist, Snob.

Author's Notes: You knew I was going to put a Monty Python reference in there somewhere, right?
 

Davies

Adventurer
The Pythonian Insurgency

The majority of the Pythonian Insurgents were former soldiers of various nations -- either discharged or deserted -- and could be represented by the Soldier, Veteran Soldier and Elite Soldier archetypes in the Deluxe Gamemaster's Guide (DGG, henceforth.) The organization also employed Militants and Underworld types, with all archetypes fairly common. Initially, they were outfitted with typical military weapons, and didn't have access to modern body armor. This changed by the mid-80s, when they were equipped with Body Armor (Protection 4), Blaster Pistols (Ranged Damage 5) and Rifles (Ranged Damage 8) that produced green energy discharges. Even then, some operatives understandably preferred more easily-understood and simply-maintained Automatic Rifles (Ranged Multiattack Damage 5.)

Other Noteworthy Pythonians

The Reinne Quintuplets:
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A group of five identical girls born in a village in Hampshire, England, in 1969, who possessed a telepathic ability that allowed them to communicate with each other and to use the senses of each other instead of their own. 'Discovered' by the Grail Knight in 1984, they went to work for the Espionage division, providing a perfect and undetectable method of surveillance. Four of them were confirmed dead after the destruction of the Pythonian headquarters, with the fifth missing and presumed dead. Persistent rumor claims that the last of the quintuplets had been sent to prepare the Insurgency's off-world headquarters. [Street Informant (DGG p. 156), plus Remote Sensing 10 (all senses), Medium (each other) and Senses 4 (communication link x4).]

Clarissa Irvine:
Where_in_the_World_Is_Carmen_Sandiego_1985_Cover-S.jpg

Thief and saboteur, of French origin (apparently), employed by the Insurgency on a strictly mercenary basis. While she organized and helped to lead some of the Python's most notorious criminal acts, such as the attempt to steal or deface the Statue of Liberty in 1987, it's now believed that most of these were cover for much more subtle and profound operations. As she was technically only an associate of the organization, occasional references to her as the highest-ranking Pythonian at large after 1993 are inaccurate. Her total disappearance has led some to conclude that she was actually a deep-cover operative for some other organization, or possibly several organizations at once. [Use Vixen's stats, but subtract all Powers and -2 STR, add Master of Disguise (Power Profiles, p. 189)]

The Investor:
Trump_the_art_of_the_deal-Th.jpg

Donald Trump was perhaps not the richest of the many corporate backers of the Pythons, buying into their claims of being opposed to socialism and communism, but he was possibly the most arrogant and perhaps the most stupid. Following the death of General Estrella, Trump began to assert a right the organization's actual leadership on the basis that he'd paid for all of this. (He hadn't.) Much as with Estrella, Pythia did nothing overt in response, though some believe that his presence in Delphi during the final attack was her doing. He was arrested, tried and eventually sentenced to a twenty-to-life sentence for treason, and died in prison in 2008. [Boss (DGG p. 154), plus Expertise: Business 6 (+9) and one more rank of Benefit (wealth).]

Vincent Frankenstein:
Vincent_Price_in_House_on_Haunted_Hill_%28cropped%29-S.jpg

A Swiss scientist who claimed descent from Victor Frankenstein; as Victor Frankenstein was a fictional character, and George Frankenstein was not known to have had any human offspring, this was probably a delusion on his part. However, he was the most serious rival to Dr. Genome for the title of the Insurgency's chief mad scientist. The rivalry between the two of them drove them to prodigious heights of unethical experimentation, but the verdict of history is that both men probably did as much damage to their organization as any of its enemies. He was killed during the assault on Delphi, and Dr. Genome's alibi for this is perhaps not as concrete as it should be. [Use Dr. Genome's stats, but subtract all Powers; will usually have Abominations of Science as Minions (treat as Robots).]

Pythonian Remnants:

In addition to these large groups, there are numerous small cells of Pythons all over the world, still engaged in criminal acts. No one is coordinating them, as far as can be discerned.

Saturn: This is the name used in official documents to refer to Billie Zane's organization of anti-super criminals and terrorists, the largest organization of former Pythonians and their philosophical descendants. Ironically, Zane has never given her organization a name, viewing it as simply an extension of herself, like her armor. The name comes from references to their headquarters, referred to as 'the Throne of Saturn', inspired by the poem by Edward Fitzgerald. They are some of the best-equipped Militants and Underworld types in the world, but lack much in the way of training.

Secret Police of the Empire of Korea: Virtually the entire Korean branch (and some of the Chinese and Japanese branches) of the Pythons was absorbed by Gan In-Geun's organization following the end of the Insurgency, with most of the leadership purged as unreliable but many low-ranking members entrusted with roles in the new security apparatus of the recently united peninsula. They should largely be treated as Government Agents, with some Underworld archetypes, with a few equipped with advanced technology; the Emperor traditionally reserves such devices for his personal use.

Tarot: A much smaller organization, established in 2011, consisting of exactly fifty-six men and women, started by ex-Python Temperance Waite, who became fascinated by the tarot during her sixteen year prison sentence. Divided into bureaus of Assassination (Swords), Investigation (Batons), Confiscation (Coins) and Technical (Cups), the group is based out of New York City and mostly active in the tri-state area surrounding it. They are well-equipped Underworld types, outfitted in a way typical for late-stage Pythonians.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Dancer
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When one has the reputation of being one of the world's greatest detectives, and perhaps that of being at the top of that non-existent list, then a genuine mystery that one is unable to resolve is likely to provoke a variety of reactions. Frustration at the ambiguities of the situation will be one of those reactions, but not the only one. There's also likely to be a certain amount of fascination mixed into it as well, because someone who investigates mysteries is generally someone who enjoys investigating them. The hope that things can be resolved thus melds with the irritation when they can't be.

Such is a fairly good description of Darkwing's opinions about another costumed crime fighter who began operating in the Chicago area two years ago, under the alias Dancer. He makes a point of investigating those who operate in the same area that he does, mostly because of the number of times they've turned out to be criminals-in-the making or criminals-running-a-scam. But those who don't fall into those categories are left to their own devices, since he's not some sort of monstrous megalomaniac who refers to Chicago as 'my city' in possessive terms.

The ambiguities of Dancer's situation, however, concern him. On the surface, things seem ordinary enough. She has a fairly normal civilian life as a young woman named Nikki Purvis, who recently turned a position as a volunteer at the Brainerd Branch of the Chicago Public Library into a paid position there, and also makes a small sum doing menial labor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. Unlike Darkwing, she makes a clear distinction between her civilian life and her heroics, and never changes into her costume before the sun starts to set. She possesses clearly superhuman levels of balance and grace, spontaneously performing feats of movement that expert acrobats will attempt only after weeks or months of practice.

Digging a bit will reveal some of those ambiguities, however. Purvis seems to have come from absolutely nowhere. Approximately seventeen years of age when she first appeared in 2018, she was not registered as a student at any of Chicago's high schools -- nor had she ever been a student at any of its middle or elementary schools, either. While it's possible that she came to the city from somewhere else, he hasn't been able to find any evidence of her existence before 2018. She resided (and resides) in an apartment which was, up until 2018, an Argus safehouse that was purchased by a holding company which also came into existence in 2018. The rent on that apartment, and its utilities, should be more than she is making from her various jobs, but she apparently has no difficulty keeping up her payments.

Finally, there's her hair. This is probably nothing, but she has the power to alter her hair color, normally switching between a vibrant red in her identity as Dancer and a brown shade in her civilian life, but sometimes appearing with black, platinum or golden blonde, or any of a variety of apparently dyed colors. Generally, super-powers follow a particular theme, and how altering one's hair color is associated with superhuman agility is utterly baffling.

Attempts to inveigle information about her background from her have met with failure. She deflects all inquiries about her past by referring to herself as 'an only child of the universe' -- which would probably seem profound if Darkwing wasn't passingly familiar with Fall Out Boy's music. She has a few casual friendships and no apparent intimates. Most bewilderingly, she has no online profile whatsoever.

In terms of her heroics, she mostly fights street crime, though her library job resulted in her developing at least one enduring enemy in the person of 'Ronald Granger', the so-called Deatheater, who commits crimes based on a certain popular series of children's books. She has also fought several of Darkwing's foes, sometimes in conjunction with the man himself. In her first confrontation with Jack, he seemed to recognize something in her that drove him into a fury, which she answered with uncharacteristic violence of her own. Of course, the maniac isn't about to explain his actions to anyone, and she's not talking about that episode either.

In light of it, however, Darkwing recently made a somewhat paradoxical decision to offer Dancer additional training and equipment, since she is clearly going to be running into heavy opposition henceforth. It's possible that he hopes this will lead him to discover more about her, but he might just be concerned for her welfare. Whether she has accepted this offer is still in question.

Most of Darkwing's questions about her would be easily answered if he knew that she won't be born until 2023, that her parents haven't yet begun a relationship, and that she grew up hearing stories about the second age of heroes, which began to end with the debut of a young urban acrobat named Dancer, who died in 2024. But that would also produce more questions.

Dancer -- PL 9

Abilities:
STR
2 | STA 3 | AGL 9 | DEX 4 | FGT 6 | INT 2 | AWE 3 | PRE 3

Powers:
Parkour:
Movement 5 (environmental adaptation [urban], safe fall, sure-footed 2, wall-crawling 1), Limited to Moving in Urban Environments; Speed 2 (8 MPH) - 8 points
Polychromatic Hair: Feature 1 (hair can change color) - 1 point
Situational Awareness: Senses 1 (danger sense) - 1 point

Advantages:
Agile Feint, All-out Attack, Benefit (cipher 2), Close Attack 3, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Equipment 5, Evasion 2, Grabbing Finesse, Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Instant Up, Ranged Attack 4, Set-up, Skill Mastery (Acrobatics), Uncanny Dodge.

Equipment:
Utility Belt: Array (18 points)
  • Explosives: Ranged Burst Area Damage 5, Triggered 2 - 1 point
  • Meta-Taser: Ranged Cumulative Affliction 6 (Resisted by Fortitude; Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated) - 1 point
  • Stun Grenade: Ranged Cloud Area Affliction 6 (Resisted by Fortitude; Dazed and Visually Impaired, Stunned and Visually Disabled), Extra Condition, Limited Degree - 1 point
  • Techno-Bolos: Ranged Cumulative Affliction 6 (Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Damage; Hindered and Vulnerable, Defenseless and Immobilized), Extra Condition, Limited Degree - 18 points
  • Throwing Darts: Strength-based Ranged Multiattack Damage 4 (includes Strength 2), Accurate 2 - 1 point

Skills:
Acrobatics 5 (+14), Athletics 6 (+8), Close Combat: Unarmed 3 (+9), Deception 5 (+8), Expertise: Streetwise 5 (+7), Investigation 8 (+10), Perception 8 (+11), Sleight of Hand 8 (+12), Stealth 4 (+13).

Offense:
Initiative +13
Unarmed +12 (Close Damage 2)
Meta-Taser +10 (Ranged Fortitude 6)
Stun Grenade -- (Ranged Cloud Area Fortitude 6)
Techno-Bolos +10 (Ranged Affliction 6, Resisted by Dodge)
Throwing Darts +14 (Ranged Multiattack Damage 4)

Defenses:
Dodge 13, Parry 11, Fortitude 5, Toughness 5/3, Will 7

Totals:
Abilities 64 + Powers 10 + Advantages 29 + Skills 26 + Defenses 15 = 144 points

Complications:
Justice--Motivation. Enemy
(Jack.) Responsibility (mundane life.) Secrets on Secrets.

Note: For a version of Dancer who hasn't trained with Darkwing, remove her Equipment and Ranged Attack advantages, as well as two ranks of Acrobatics, Investigation, Perception, Sleight of Hand and Stealth.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Karsa Har-ul
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Born a bit less than twenty-five solar years ago on the planet Dhakimat, Karsa Har-ul led a fairly typical life on one of the many small family-run farm/ranches that constitute the largest private settlements on her home world. Then she turned sixteen and her number came up in the planetary government's conscription lottery, she was inducted into the military service and her entrance exam indicated that she was a good candidate for the super-soldier project. Despite the difficulty of the training, she developed additional abilities, above and beyond those possessed of all Dhakamites.

Commissioned as a lieutenant, Karsa was assigned to a unit of troopers sent to deal with a group of space pirates operating out of one of their star system's asteroid belts. The mission was a success but their ship sustained some damage during the battle. When their drive engaged to take them back to the mother world, it proceeded to go into overdrive, flinging them from the back reaches of the Imperium to the borders of the Technate, a journey that would normally take years, in less than a second. And then it blew up.

The unit's captain died in the explosion, leaving Karsa in command. Swallowing her panic, she sent out scouts to determine the local circumstances before their powers faded. They soon learned that the planets of the nearest star system were being attacked by a huge force of invaders who were being fought by a much smaller force who seemed to be fighting a delaying action. Karsa will claim that she threw a quill to determine which side to assist, but the truth is that she's always favored the underfrax in any fight. And so, they went to the aid of the Last Men Standing.

They were only supposed to stay in the alliance long enough to repair their ship's drive so that they could start their journey home, but obtaining the materials needed proved harder than expected. They were still stuck in their holding pattern when the Lasters joined forces with Earth's Powerhouse organization in 2015, and Karsa met the last Anacreonite. She was quite impressed with him, but they didn't have long to talk before the Dark Side launched an ambush of the Laster fleet, with the Dhakamite vessel apparently lost with all hands.

In fact, Kharsa alone survived that conflagration, shoved into an escape pod by her sergeant. Injured and dazed, she set the vessel on a course that would take it to Earth and then went into coldsleep. Three years later, it arrived on Earth and crash landed in Northern Ontario, where Paragon discovered it. Kharsa awoke from her slumber, smiled at her rescuer, and then collapsed to vomit all over his nice shiny boots.

She spent a few months recovering from her injuries in Paragon's secret sanctuary, visited by both Paragon and Jora. Towards the end of this period she underwent an interview with Argus agents to determine whether she (a) posed any threat to the people of Earth or (b) had any useful intelligence about the rest of the galaxy. The answer to both questions was a qualified 'no', and so it was arranged for her to receive a special refugee status, leaving her free to explore the planet.

This is more or less what she's done since then. Kharsa tends to stick to rural and wilderness areas, since even the smallest cities are much more heavily populated than anything she's ever known, and make her uncomfortable as a consequence. However, she's slowly becoming accustomed to the different circumstances found on this planet, since she was trained to "improvise, adapt and overcome". Even so, she prefers her own company to most others.

Kharsa is not a superhero ... yet. As already mentioned, she has a strong tendency to stick up for those she perceives as the weaker or wronged party, and this often leads to her taking a stand to protect people. However, she also recognizes that this tendency can get her into a lot of trouble, and so she sometimes tries to suppress it, leading her to walk away from situations where she could help. What she's ultimately going to decide to do once she finally finds her footing is not clear. She still wants to return to Dhakimat and report on her unit's fate, but she suspects that is probably a chipdream and that she's going to be stuck on this planet for the rest of her extended lifespan. If so, then she should probably start thinking about how to make it a home worth having.

Karsa Har-ul -- PL 9

Abilities:
STR
8 | STA 7 | AGL 1 | DEX 1 | FGT 5 | INT 0 | AWE 0 | PRE 0

Powers:
Dhakimat Powers:
Array (11 points)
  • Blast Vision: Ranged Damage 5, Accurate - 11 point
  • Hyper-Speed: Enhanced Flight 5 - 1 point
  • Hyper-Strength: Enhanced Strength 3; Enhanced Strength 5, Limited to Lifting - 1 point
Great Speed: Enhanced Advantages 8 (Close Attack 2, Improved Initiative 3, Interpose, Move-by Action); Enhanced Defense 12 (Dodge 6, Parry 6); Flight 8 (500 MPH), Aquatic; Quickness 8 - 45 points
Great Toughness: Immunity 10 (life support); Impervious Toughness 6; Regeneration 5 - 21 points

Advantages:
Close Attack 2, Improved Initiative 3, Interpose, Language (English), Move-by Action, Ranged Attack 4.

Skills:
Expertise: Military 6 (+6), Expertise: Survival 5 (+5), Perception 4 (+4), Vehicles 5 (+6).

Offense:
Initiative +13
Unarmed +7 (Close Damage 8)
Hyper-Strength +7 (Close Damage 11)
Blast Vision +7 (Close Damage 5)

Defense:
Dodge 10/4, Parry 11/5, Fortitude 9, Toughness 7, Will 5.

Totals:
Abilities 44 + Powers 79 + Advantages 5 + Skills 10 + Defenses 10 = 148 points

Complications:
Finding A Purpose--Motivation. Loner. Power Loss
(all; exposure to theonite.) Secret Identity.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Jolene
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In 1973, a rising star in the American country music genre released a song entitled 'Jolene', with lyrics describing the beauty of a seductive woman whom the singer fears will claim her male lover, combined with pleas for her not to do so. The artist claimed, in interviews, that this song had been inspired by an encounter with a bank teller who fit the description, who had been flirting with her husband. At other times, she would claim that the song was based on a fan who sought her autograph. Regardless, the reality behind the song made her unwilling to sing it too often.

Art, it has been said, is using lies to tell the truth. The words and tune of the song 'Jolene' are actually much older than those accounts would claim, as it is one of a number of songs sung in the Appalachian Mountains, largely crafted as warnings. It's not as old as some of those songs, dating back to around the turn of the century where some of them go back centuries. The song was actually softened in its popular release, where the singer pleads with Jolene to refrain from seducing her man, where in the original version she is pleading for his life.

It has been a long time since the woman known as Jolene has haunted the Appalachians. Over the decades, she moved south and east, through Georgia and then through Florida. She settled in Miami in the early Eighties and has lived there ever since, growing rich on the avails of drugs and prostitution. The money doesn't matter to her as much as the opportunities these businesses present to force people to compromise their integrity, often in ruinous ways. She enjoys seeing how far she can bend people, and watching them break.

Her story began in the 19th century, in Ireland, but quickly moved to London, where she lived a life of not-all-that-quiet desperation as one of the streetwalkers of the East End. No, she wasn't one of the ones you may have heard about, but she knew some of them. That was the reason why, one night in 1892, when she saw a man running down an alley in a panic, she knew him for who he was. Whatever fear she might have felt was smothered by a rage she'd never imagined she could feel.

She chased him, not knowing what she was going to do to the murderer of her friends when she caught him, but knowing that she had to do to this. She followed him through a door where no door should be, and emerged somewhere else. Various things then transpired. A few years later, another door opened, an ocean's distance away in the city of Nashville, and the woman named Jolene walked out of it, made beautiful and terrible by her experiences on the other side, and began to carve out her reputation.

Her primary superhuman ability, aside from her longevity and unearthly charisma, is the ability to steal 'vital energy' from people. This can either take the form of a slow, steady drain from all of those in her vicinity, which leaves people tired or even unconscious but won't actually kill them, or a fast, deadly theft from someone whom she touches directly. Being who and what she is, she enjoys employing the latter through a kiss or other intimate contact.

Jolene has no loyalty to the beings who made her what she was, and does not see herself as serving their designs. (She may be wrong about this. Or not.) Perhaps the strangest aspect of her existence is the way that she can sometimes be moved by the pleas of the truly innocent, as the song about her would suggest, as long as her vanity is flattered in the process. And she gives most of the money she makes through her criminal enterprises to charity, supporting shelters for the abused and food banks in the process.

If anyone suggested to her that this suggests a hidden heart of gold, she would first laugh and then find one of the beneficiaries of her 'charity' and slaughter them out of hand to demonstrate her contempt for the idea. She views herself as a parasite on society, sickening and weakening it ... but not killing her host, at least not quickly. She wants to take her time, for she has all the time in the world. (For this reason, she has never bestirred herself to finish things with Jack, even though she knows him for what he is.)

Jolene -- PL 11

Abilities:
STR
5 | STA 5 | AGL 5 | DEX 3 | FGT 10 | INT 2 | AWE 3 | PRE 8

Powers:
Energy Drain: Array (38 points)
  • Fast and Deadly: Cumulative Affliction 12 (Resisted by Fortitude; Dazed & Vulnerable, Stunned & Defenseless, Incapacitated & Dying), Extra Condition - 1 point
  • Slow and Steady: Burst Area Cumulative Affliction 9 (Resisted by Fortitude; Dazed & Fatigued, Exhausted & Stunned, Incapacitated), Extra Condition, Subtle, Insidious - 38 points
Gift of Gab: Comprehend Languages 3 - 9 points
Not of this Earth: Immunity 3 (aging, disease, poison); Immunity 20 (mental effects), Limited to Half Effect; Impervious Protection 4 - 21 points

Advantages:
Attractive, Benefit 4 (crime lord, millionaire), Connected, Daze (Deception), Fascinate (Deception), Fearless 2, Improved Initiative, Well-Informed.

Skills:
Deception 7 (+15), Expertise: Crime 10 (+12), Expertise: Streetwise 8 (+10), Insight 8 (+11), Intimidation 6 (+14), Perception 6 (+9), Persuasion 5 (+13).

Offense:
Initiative +9
Unarmed +10 (Close Damage 5)
Fast & Deadly Drain +10 (Close Fortitude 12)
Slow & Steady Drain -- (Burst Area Fortitude 9)

Defense:
Dodge 10, Parry 11, Fortitude 9, Toughness 9, Will 9

Totals:
Abilities 82 + Powers 69 + Advantages 12 + Skills 26 + Defenses 16 = 205 points

Complications:
Corruption--Motivation. Dependency
(regular use of Energy Drain power). Charitable Impulses.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Devilray
devilray-S.png


As far back as he can remember, he always wanted to be a pirate. Born just over thirty years ago, under the name Masul Ebrahim in Davoul City on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, his youth was not a happy one, and he escaped from these years by listening to the 'heroic' tales of the pirates of the Sulu Sea. They were the embodiment of the vigor and excitement that was so lacking in his life, and he vowed to himself and to Allah that one day he would join them and have his name become a legend as well. And, in his late teens, after years spent training to build himself up from the weak and feeble child he had been, his dream came true.

Gradually, through a combination of his own skill and the attrition of other leaders among the pirate bands that included him -- some of which he may have arranged himself -- he became a leader among them, able to recruit a dozen men for their exploits. They robbed, raided, kidnapped and ransomed. The only thing that distinguished the groups under his command was an absolute and iron command from Ebrahim that they were not to assault women in a sexual manner. It should not be thought that this was due to any tender feelings for women on his part; he was vocal about his disgust for them, but also believed that rapine was a distraction that his men did not need.

In 2006, Ebrahim was one of several pirates, from all over the world, who were contacted by an unknown patron, outfitted with advanced weaponry and given training to launch an attack on the superhero Nereus, on the same day that a number of other assaults on superheroes both well-known and obscure took place. Ebrahim expected the job to be a relatively simple one, given their numbers and the weapons at their disposal, and looked forward to a large payout at the mission's end.

He never even fired a shot when they finally confronted the aquatic man, who smashed through them like they were made from bubble wrap, sending many of them flying off of the ship into the water. Ebrahim was stunned at the sight of him. Later, as he floated in the sea, the cold making the pain of his bruises fade, he would reach a conclusion. He had to kill this man. No matter what happened, this man must die for what he had done.

His mysterious employer, who was an agent of Billie Zane's organization, was more than happy to assist him in acquiring the weapons Ebrahim would need to do this, resulting in him gaining and learning to use a suit of turbofan-equipped armor that would allow him to move in air and water, and give him the strength to match that of Nereus. It's only been fairly recently that Ebrahim has learned who his actual employer is. How he rationalizes his contempt for women with the fact that he must, by his sense of honor, accept orders that ultimately come from a woman is known only to him, but it seems likely that he's just biding his time until he can make a break from the organization's oversight.

Until then, however, he accepts various missions that take him to all parts of the world to rob, raid, kidnap and ransom. In a lot of ways, his job has not changed. But now he usually works alone, especially during the times that he especially cherishes, when he is free to seek out his vengeance on Nereus. He has never succeeded in his goal, of course, and never even seriously harmed his foe, but he will never stop trying until he succeeds. Then, order will finally be restored to the universe, and he will stop having dreams of that first battle, surely.

He will never accept that he is trying to kill a part of himself that will not die until he does.

Devilray - PL 10

Abilities:
STR
11/2 | STA 3 | AGL 2 | DEX 3 | FGT 5 | INT 0 | AWE 1 | PRE 2

Powers:
Diving Suit:
Removable (-17 points)
  • Armored Shell: Protection 9, Impervious 5 - 14 points
  • Devil Rays: Array (18 points)
    • Lethal Setting: Ranged Damage 9 - 18 points
    • Stun Setting: Ranged Cumulative Affliction 6 (Resisted by Fortitude; Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated) - 1 point
  • Exoskeleton: Enhanced Strength 9; Movement 1 (environmental adaptation--aquatic) - 20 points
  • Life Support: Immunity 10 (life support)
  • Sensors: Senses 5 (accurate extended hearing, radio, ultra-hearing) - 5 points
  • Turbofans: Flight 9 (1000 MPH), Aquatic - 19 points

Advantages:
Favored Environment (Aquatic), Improved Hold, Languages 3 (Arabic, English, Spanish, others, [native]), Leadership, Move-by Action, Ranged Attack 4

Skills:
Athletics 4 (+15/+6), Close Combat: Unarmed 4 (+9), Expertise: Criminal 8 (+8), Intimidation 6 (+8), Investigation 6 (+6), Perception 8 (+9), Ranged Combat: Devil Rays 4 (+7), Technology 6 (+6), Vehicles 6 (+9).

Offense:
Initiative +2
Unarmed +9 (Close Damage 11/2)
Lethal Devil Ray +11 (Ranged Damage 9)
Stun Devil Ray +11 (Ranged Fortitude 6)

Defense:
Dodge 7, Parry 8, Fortitude 6, Toughness 11/2, Will 7

Totals:
Abilities 36 + Powers 70 + Advantages 10 + Skills 26 + Defense 17 = 159 points

Complications:
Vengeance--Motivation. Misogyny. Obligation
(to Billie Zane).
 

Trismegistus

Explorer
I hope this will be of interest to someone; I've been posting a fairly large collection of M&M builds on my Google Drive.
Your builds are amazing, Davies - thank you so much for sharing them. Question for you: on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being very easy and 10 being very difficult), how would you rate the process of creating a character?

It's a shame that superhero rpg's haven't caught on in spite of their influence on popular culture. I even started a thread back in 2017 about it - Superheroes are a hot commodity -- why aren't superhero RPG's?

My very first RPG experience was Hero Games' "Champions" (incoherent mumbling that sounds like a number) years ago. ;) Since then, I've had an soft spot for superheroic-themed games (the first mmorpg I beta tested was "City of Heroes"). I was fortunate enough to find a complete set of Green Ronin's "DC Adventures" books and have been hoping to find like-minded players in my area for a long time now, but alas, nothing.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Your builds are amazing, Davies - thank you so much for sharing them. Question for you: on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being very easy and 10 being very difficult), how would you rate the process of creating a character?

Well, as with anything else, it gets easier with practice, but even at the start it's much easier to put together an M&M character than, for example, a Hero system character, because the system is much more streamlined. But it's not as easy as putting together an Icons character or a Fate character, where you don't have to worry so much about checks and balances. So ... call it a 3 after a lot of practice, and maybe a 5 when you're just starting out. (I don't even want to think about what a 10 on this scale would look like ... EDIT: No, I suspect that it would look like a Transformers game played with GURPS Robots and GURPS Vehicles.)

Regardless, thank you for the kind words!
 
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Davies

Adventurer
Llogres
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Quite recently, Prydwen found herself 'housesitting' for Blakestone while she and Nick were in Australia for some esoteric purpose or other. The notion of posting a guard on a building that no one can enter without the owner's explicit permission struck her as slightly absurd, but its wisdom was soon demonstrated when it became apparent that this forbiddance didn't prevent someone from entering the House of Riddles from an unconventional direction. Prydwen barely had time to get her shield in the way of the intruder's mighty spear, with the clash of the two potent relics creating an unearthly din. When it at last faded, the Last Knight of Camelot realized that she was facing off with a woman with the mirror image of her face.

Prydwen had not heard, then, of the journey that Paragon had taken to and from a world where a handful of historical differences had produced a familiar yet strangely different group of superhuman champions. While her counterpart halted her attack once she realized whom she was fighting, the other woman showed no inclination to discuss the situation, or say anything, for that matter. (Later, when she had become slightly more vocal, it became clear that she had no more understanding of the causes of this situation.) She was clearly observing and learning from her circumstances, just as Johanna would, but did not speak until several hours had passed. The first word to pass her lips was her nomme de guerre -- Llogres.

Gradually, over the next few days, Llogres revealed her history. It was much like Prydwen's tale, up to a point -- that point being when this other Johanna's father had actually taken an interest in her training, and presented her with his own fabled lance, Rhongomiant, where the local Johanna had only ever been given a few terse words of praise from her father, and claimed her shield as a battle trophy. After that point, their stories were again much the same, until the point where they freed Morgan from his crystal cave.

In Prydwen's world, that was when the callous old mage sent her more than a thousand years into the future. But in Llogres' world, he chose otherwise, perhaps because of the confidence that the girl's father had shown in his choice of gifts. He pushed her into the crystalline matrix that had imprisoned him, giving her to a dreamless sleep until such time as he had need of her. 'Such time' came frequently over the years, decades, and centuries that followed. Perhaps as a consequence, Morgan's attempts to extend his own life were more fruitful, and he eventually retreated from the world into a shadow realm of his own creation, becoming known to all by the name associated with his legend.

This constant cycle of being awakened, sent into battle, and then returned to sleep caused Johanna's mind to wither, somewhat. She speaks very little, focusing all her effort on the pursuit of whichever enemy her Merlin sends her after. She can seem cold and unfeeling, yet there is a buried vein of kindness in her that becomes most apparent when she is dealing with animals, whom she seems better able to relate to than she can with people.

In her world's 2012, she was once again awakened and sent to hunt down a target chosen by Merlin, but matters turned out somewhat differently than they usually did. While she was able to find and eliminate her foe, her master was too distracted by other matters to return her to her slumber, leaving Llogres to her own devices. By the time that he was able to command her, she no longer cared to obey such commands. Merlin pragmatically chose to grant her some freedom rather than risk losing such an effective weapon in his arsenal. And so she became her own master for the first time in centuries.

Beyond this account of her origins, Llogres wouldn't speak much of her life. It's clear that she knows the woman called Snow, Blakestone's counterpart, and also obvious, from her reaction to meeting Nick, that there's someone much like him in her life. But none of this was pertinent to the tactical or strategic problem of returning her to her own world, and so she chose to focus on that, instead. The problem was ultimately solved when Blakestone fiddled with the House of Riddle's dimensional boundaries until Llogres was drawn back to her world of origin, then further altering them to make this episode less likely to recur.

Less likely, of course, is not the same thing as impossible, as Prydwen of all people is well aware.

Llogres -- PL 10

Abilities:
STR
8 | STA 8 | AGL 5 | DEX 3 | FGT 9 | INT 2 | AWE 6 | PRE 4

Powers:
Runic Armor:
Immunity 21 (own powers, mental effects), Subtle; Impervious Protection 3, Subtle; Removable (-6 points) - 23 points
Spear of Wounding: Array (16 points); Easily Removable (-6 points), Indestructible
  • Close Combat: Strength-based Damage 3, Improved Critical 4, Reach - 1 point
  • Ranged: Ranged Damage 8 - 16 points
Superhuman: Leaping 3 (60 feet); Regeneration 2; Speed 3 (16 MPH) - 8 points

Advantages:
All-out Attack, Animal Empathy, Beginner's Luck, Daze (Intimidation), Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Improved Smash, Jack-of-all-Trades, Language 2 (English, Greek, Latin, Welsh, [Brythonic is native]), Power Attack, Ranged Attack 2, Startle, Weapon Break, Weapon Bind.

Skills:
Athletics 6 (+14), Acrobatics 6 (+11), Deception 9 (+13), Expertise: Magic 6 (+10), Expertise: Survival 8 (+10), Insight 6 (+12), Intimidation 9 (+13), Perception 6 (+12), Persuasion 5 (+9), Ranged Combat: Thrown Spear 6 (+9), Stealth 7 (+12).

Offense:
Initiative +9
Unarmed +9 (Close Damage 8)
Spear +9 (Close Damage 11, Crit 16-20)
Thrown Spear +11 (Close Damage 8)

Defense:
Dodge 8, Parry 9, Fortitude 10, Toughness 11/8, Will 10

Totals:
Abilities 90 + Powers 43 + Advantages 16 + Skills 37 + Defenses 9 = 195 points

Complications:
Justice--Motivation. Fish Out of Water. Subject to Authority
(Merlin) Taciturn. Wanted by the Authorities.
 

Davies

Adventurer
The Veil
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Until his powers came on all at once in 2008, when he was fifteen, Larry Vincent had no idea that he was a mutant. None of his family had every had any sort of exposure to mysterious substances as far as they knew, and the source of his powers was a complete mystery to them. Well, possibly not all of them; Larry's father later claimed that his own father, named Lamont for a friend of his long-dead grandparents, had smiled in a somewhat cryptic manner when he heard the news, and later joined his voice to the representative from the Academy in urging his son and daughter-in-law to send their child to Wales. Whatever the old man knew went with him to his grave, two years later.

Regardless, Larry was packed off to the Academy, where he learned the many ways that he could use the mysterious, shadow-like substance that he was able to conjure. He wasn't the best student, and probably earned more than his share of reprimands for getting into trouble on and off campus, but no one could question the courage -- the somewhat impetuous courage -- that he brought to his team-ups with his fellow students. That quality, and his unique powers, resulted in him becoming the first graduate from the Academy to be offered membership in the Powerhouse.

He turned it down. He claimed that all he wanted, for the moment, was to go back home to New Orleans and reconnect with his family and friends, and that he wasn't sure about continuing as a superhero. This was of course a lie, and not a particularly believable one, but the Powerhouse accepted it nonetheless, with Paragon assuring him that the invitation would remain open for as long as needed. Larry thanked him, but knew that his shadowy nature wouldn't really fit in well with the brightly colored costumes of the rest of the team.

He did go home, and spent a while exploring his old home town. While things were better than they had been in his memories of the years right after Katrina, there were still a lot of problems. Well, if it was easy, they wouldn't need a superhero, now would they? He developed the identity of the Veil over the next few months, and embarked on his career in October of 2013.

While the Veil's powers are purely paraphysical in nature, with no mystical component, Larry has taken the time to learn as much about Afro-Caribbean religion and magic as he can. Mostly this is because his most frequent opponent has been the crime lord known as Simon Legendre, who claims -- possibly even truthfully -- to be a decades old bokor who was employed in Haiti's notorious Tonton Macoute. The Veil isn't sure how much of his own hype the gangster believes, but Legendre clearly does have genuine powers ... but these have been successfully opposed by other practitioners of this tradition who've lent their aid to the Veil, in thanks for his help in the past.

He recently made peace with another recurring enemy, the super-villainess Black Velvet, after they were forced to join forces against a Saturn kill team sent after them. Black Velvet, who has similar powers to his own, has decided that she's much too old for these games now that she's in her fifties, and has retired back to Memphis to spend more time with her kids and her mother. As the balance of favors owed and owing between them following their team-up leans somewhat in her direction, the Veil has decided to just take this as a win.

In combat, the Veil generally prefers to hang back and use ranged attacks when possible. He does have a reasonable level of hand-to-hand combat training, and his shadow powers can deflect and absorb most powers, but he remembers getting beat up a lot despite these advantages when he was a student. He's still a fearless champion who strikes fear into the hearts of evil-doers, but he has learned a bit of caution as he's grown up.

The Veil -- PL 10

Abilities:
STR
0 | STA 2 | AGL 4 | DEX 3 | FGT 3 | INT 2 | AWE 3 | PRE 2

Powers:
Shadow Control:
Array (18 points)
  • Shadow Bind: Cumulative Ranged Affliction 6 (Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Will; Hindered and Vulnerable, Defenseless and Immobilized), Extra Condition, Limited Degree - 1 point
  • Shadow Bolt: Ranged Damage 8, Accurate 2 - 18 points
  • Shadow Images: Perception Ranged Affliction 9 (Resisted and Overcome by Will; Entranced, Compelled, Controlled), Limited to fleeing or cowering in terror - 1 point
  • Shadow Shroud: Ranged Burst Area Visual Concealment 4 Attack - 1 point
Shadowform: Concealment 4 (visual), Limited to areas of shadow or darkness; Feature (shadows conceal identity) - 5 points
Shadowshield: Enhanced Defenses 8 (Dodge 4, Parry 4); Immunity 10 (light effects); Sustained Impervious Protection 4 - 26 points
Shadowstep: Extended Teleport 7, Medium (shadows) - 14 points

Advantages:
Close Attack 4, Contacts, Daze (Intimidation), Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Fearless 2, Improved Trip, Power Attack, Startle

Skills:
Close Combat: Unarmed 4 (+7), Expertise: Streetwise 6 (+8), Expertise: Theology 4 (+6), Intimidation 7 (+9), Investigation 4 (+6), Perception 4 (+7), Ranged Combat: Shadow Control 5 (+8), Sleight of Hand 4 (+7), Stealth 4 (+8).

Offense:
Initiative +4
Unarmed +11 (Close Damage 0)
Shadow Bind +8 (Ranged Affliction 6, Resisted by Dodge)
Shadow Bolt +12 (Ranged Damage 8)
Shadow Images -- (Perception Range Will 9)
Shadow Shroud -- (Ranged Burst Area Concealment 4, Resisted by Will)

Defense:
Dodge 9/5, Parry 8/4, Fortitude 5, Toughness 11/7/2, Will 9

Totals:
Abilities 38 + Powers 66 + Advantages 14 + Skills 21 + Defense 11 = 150 points

Complications:
Justice--Motivation. Enemy
(Simon Legendre). Secret Identity.
 

Davies

Adventurer
Machinanima
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Even in mad science, many of the greatest discoveries are not the products of lone geniuses having single moments of inspiration, but rather long periods of extensive labor to which many brilliant minds contribute. Such is the case of the invention of the android superhero known as Machinanima, or Emil Rossum to use his civilian identity.

The road to his creation began in 1999, when Valerian Rossum developed a thesis that combined the earliest published work on androtics, dating from the mid-60s, with Andre LaFontaine's more recent publications about memory metals and memory plastics, which had been employed in the empowerment of Trouble. The third major source for Rossum's theories was the research he'd assisted in compiling while a grad student employed at the Morrison Institute, a study of how the Omnivore's powers worked, conducted during the villain's brief incarceration during the early 90s. From these diverse sources, Rossum believed that he could create an android which would be able to imitate the super-powers of any opponent, becoming an incredibly adaptive combatant in the process.

Unfortunately, while his theory was convincing and persuasive, the aftermath of Cerebron's attack had a decidedly chilling effect on androtic research of all sorts. Unable to find sponsors for his work, Valerian turned to crime in order to obtain the funds he needed to realize his goals. Unfortunately, he was a much better scientist than a criminal mastermind, and wound up caught by Argus almost immediately, and was promptly turned over to the authorities, tried and packed off to jail.

Except that was an elaborate fiction woven by Billie Zane. Her interest in androtics was very limited, preferring non-humanoid and completely mechanical robots as she did, but she decided that Rossum's talents would make a fine addition to the conspiracy that she was weaving. A willing patsy was found to take Rossum's place in the dock and later in prison, with the man himself going to work for Argus under a false name.

Early on in his employment, Rossum and Zane had a brief discussion about his android, whose creation had plateaued even with the greater resources he could access. Essentially, he was unable to create a power supply to fuel the power duplication process. Zane casually outlined some experiments that she'd recently conducted with extradimensional energy sources -- which would later power her Warsuit. It is now believed that this conversation and the diagrams sketched on a napkin probably saved Valerian more than a decade of work.

But it didn't seem that way at the time, for by the time that Zane launched her coup in 2006, Rossum had still not managed to get his prototype up and running. He was captured by Argus -- for real this time -- and tried once again for his original crimes and for what he'd done in support of the coup, including a few things for which he was basically scapegoated. Sent to prison, he will likely not be considered for potential release until 2028. The android prototype was also taken into Argus custody and stored in one of their warehouses in Ireland.

As it turned out, Valerian had made a crucial error in his calculations about how long it would take his creation's batteries to charge, drawing from their extradimensional sources. Instead of a few weeks to fully charge, it took about seven years. In 2013, the android awoke inside the aforementioned warehouse, and naturally attempted to escape from what he viewed as a prison. As it happened, a number of students from the Academy were on a field trip to that warehouse, and both prevented him from doing much damage and rescued him from the somewhat overzealous response by Argus to his escape attempt.

Subsequently, Exelion used some of his clout to persuade Argus' directors to let the android become a student at his Academy, employing their aid to create the identity of Emil Rossum. Machinanima, to use his heroic alias, proved to be a talented if not particularly brilliant student, and graduated with respectable grades five years later. With his public identity's American citizenship -- not strictly a lie, as he was entirely constructed in the United States and could be said to have been 'born' there, despite having spent his entire infancy and childhood abroad -- he returned there to begin his career as a superhero.

He has settled in Baltimore, as it didn't have a native superhero of its own. Machinanima has since learned that this is likely the result of enemy action by the somewhat notorious House of Ashe, a group of local mutant criminals who claim to be descendants of the Usher family whom Poe wrote about. He's failed to make much of an impact on their activities as of yet, though it's only been two years. Roderick Ashe, the family's head, has developed a rather clever strategy for dealing with this new adversary -- he sends only mundane criminals after him, rather than superpowered mercenaries whom Machinanima would be able to imitate.

As Emil Rossum, Machinanima has also made a few friends in Baltimore, most notably a young woman named Penny Lane, who's gone through a rather startling variety of jobs in just the past two years. Penny is well aware of Rossum's true nature, and supports and encourages his attempts to develop a more human attitude. He doesn't necessarily want to become human -- his existence does have certain advantages -- but he does want to be accepted as a person by the general public. That is probably going to take a long time, but he has it to spend.

Machinanima -- PL 9

Abilities:
STR
2 | STA -- | AGL 2 | DEX 2 | FGT 2 | INT 2 | AWE 2 | PRE 2

Powers:
Android Body:
Immunity 30 (Fortitude); Protection 8 - 38 points
Power Duplication: Variable 10 (another person's powers), Limited to targets that can be accurately perceived, Cannot duplicate technological powers, Perception Check Required (DC 15) - 64 points
Semblance: Morph 1 (human form); Enhanced Morph 2, Limited to individuals whose power has been copied - 13 points

Advantages:
Assessment, Eidetic Memory, Evasion, Hide in Plain Sight, Jack-of-all-Trades, Skill Mastery (Insight)

Skills:
Close Combat: Unarmed 6 (+8), Deception 6 (+8), Insight 6 (+8), Investigation 6 (+8), Perception 6 (+8), Stealth 6 (+8).

Offense:
Initiative +2
Unarmed +8 (Close Damage 2)

Defense:
Dodge 8, Parry 8, Fortitude Immune, Toughness 8, Will 9

Totals:
Abilities 18 + Powers 115 + Advantages 6 + Skills 18 + Defense 18 = 176 points

Complications:
Acceptance--Motivation. Enemy
(the House of Ashe.) Prejudice (android.) Relationship (Penny Lane.)
 

Davies

Adventurer
The Keeper
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The lifeblood of any large city is its water supply, and from the very start, the city of Chicago has drawn most of its water from Lake Michigan. Even in the 19th century, however, that particular body of water was often polluted, and once it became clear that simply drawing the water from further away from the shore would not suffice, efforts began to be made to purify it. Chlorination was introduced in 1916, followed by the start of the construction of a major water treatment plant in 1930. The Great Depression and the Second World War delayed the completion of that plant until 1947, but the South Water Filtration Plant that began operations in that year was the largest plant in the world, until it was supplanted by the Central Water Filtration Plant in 1964. Even then, it played a major role in providing fresh water to Chicago and the surrounding area ...

... until 2001, when Cerebron's robots devastated it. The plant was judged to be unsalvageable during the city's reconstruction, and a new plant began construction in 2003, slightly to the north. The original building was simply abandoned, as there was not enough money to properly demolish it under the circumstances. Reports of the homeless taking shelter there were ignored; under the circumstances, everyone had other things to worry about.

And then the first of the bodies showed up outside the plant's former gates. Fingerprints identified these first few victims as men and women who'd been arrested for vagrancy in the past. While the manner in which they'd met their deaths was certainly disturbing, the police department took the attitude that these deaths were probably the result of violence within the homeless community taking shelter within the plant, and that the investigation would probably go nowhere. By 2007, when the body count reached twenty-four, it was more apparent that the community which had existed a few years before that had largely dispersed out of fear.

That was also the year that the first victim who wasn't one of the homeless was discovered, and the police were finally compelled to send in a group of heavily armed investigators to determine what was afoot. Only one of them ever reported back, telling stories of horrific traps and a monstrous figure who had slaughtered the others without mercy. As this affair took place during a period in which Darkwing was being hunted by the police, they were unable (and unwilling) to contact him for assistance.

He went in anyway, and had his first confrontation with the being now known as the Keeper. Clearly a mutant given his unusual size, strength and ability to go without oxygen, water or food, he views any intruders in the environs of the former plant as trespassers in his private domain, to be hunted down, captured in traps and then executed, or killed by more lethal devices. He does not speak, and there is some evidence that he cannot read, either, despite having a great deal of technical skill. He wears a mask that he never removes; beneath it is a horribly deformed countenance.

Darkwing has had numerous unsatisfactory confrontations with the Keeper. He has never been able to capture him, and by now views the apparent deaths that the killer suffers as the manner in which the Keeper makes his escape, returning to his old habits after a sufficient time has passed. As Darkwing cannot focus all his efforts on the problem of taking the Keeper into custody, and so defeating him in combat is only a short-term solution to the problem. A more long-term plan will require preventing his access to the raw materials with which he constructs his traps and other inventions, as well as the shells for his gun. Just who his supplier is remains a mystery.

As with many of the mysteries in contemporary Chicago, the solution is Jack. While in his 'gangster' or 'mad scientist' personalities, Darkwing's archenemy frequently provides the Keeper with care packages of parts and shells. There is no grand scheme here; Jack simply finds it amusing to observe what the Keeper comes up with, as well as Darkwing's enduring frustration with the way that the Keeper has avoided capture. It's not clear whether he knows anything more about the Keeper's mysterious origins than Darkwing does, but it's likely that he considers them irrelevant to his interests.

The Keeper -- PL 8

Abilities:
STR
5 | STA 6 | AGL 1 | DEX 3 | FGT 7 | INT -1 | AWE 3 | PRE 0

Powers:
Harpoon:
Strength-based Damage 3, Reach; Easily Removable (-2 points) - 2 points
Hunter: Senses 1 (low-light vision) - 1 point
Survivor: Immunity 10 (life support); Immunity 20 (mental effects), Limited to Half Effect - 20 points
Traps: Variable 5 (traps), Subtle 2 - 37 points

Typical Settings:
Spike Pit: Burst Area Damage 8, Triggered - 17 points
Tar Pit: Burst Area Affliction 6 (Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Strength; Hindered and Vulnerable, Defenseless and
Immobilized), Extra Condition, Progressive, Triggered, Limited Degree - 25 points

Advantages:
All-out Attack, Chokehold, Close Attack, Diehard, Equipment 3, Fast Grab, Fearless 2, Improved Smash, Inventor, Power Attack, Prone Fighting, Startle, Tracking.

Equipment:
Body Armor (Protection 3), Shotgun (Ranged Damage 5).

Skills:
Athletics 4 (+9), Intimidation 8 (+8), Perception 6 (+9), Ranged Combat: Guns 4 (+7), Stealth 6 (+7), Technology 8 (+7).

Offense:
Initiative +1
Unarmed +8 (Close Damage 5)
Hook +8 (Close Damage 8)
Shotgun +7 (Ranged Damage 5)

Defense:
Dodge 5, Parry 7, Fortitude 9, Toughness 9/6, Will 5.

Totals:
Abilities 48 + Powers 60 + Advantages 16 + Skills 18 + Defenses 9 = 151 points

Complications:
Obsession
(guarding the plant)--Motivation. Horrible Appearance. Non-Verbal. Weakness (becomes Dazed and Vulnerable in bright light).
 

Davies

Adventurer
Special Agent Stephen Gregory
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In 2007, an arms smuggler named Viktor Bout was apprehended by American agents directed by FBI Special Agent Stephen Gregory. It had been a difficult and stressful chase for both the pursuer and the pursued. Gregory looked forward to seeing his captive go to trial, and told him so. Bout smiled, then, and told him what was going to happen -- in just a few minutes, someone from the State Department was going to come to the door of the room where he was being held, and tell Gregory to release him, as he was far too useful to certain parts of the American government to go down this way. Gregory opened his mouth to answer this ... and then there was a knock on the door.

No one moved for a moment, and then Gregory told his partner, a woman who'd saved his life more than once, to answer it. And as she did so, Gregory drew his hold-out piece and shot her in the back, and the man from the State Department in his face, then turned the gun on Bout, who stammered out, "But you're the good g--" before he joined the ranks of the deceased. Having done so, Gregory casually put the gun into Bout's hand, and manipulated it to shoot himself in the shoulder. No one questioned his version of events, later.

For his entire life, Stephen Gregory had suffered from violent impulses that he had struggled to suppress and control. At university, he studied psychology in hopes of gaining a better understanding of his condition. That had led him to the Bureau, where he hoped that committing himself to Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity would help him to master these urges. Unfortunately, on that day in 2007, Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity had failed him, and so he he needed to find a new cause to champion. He found it in the motto of the Bureau's most hated rival: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

Ever since then, Special Agent Stephen Gregory has pursued the truth, so that he can be set free of his need to control his violent tendencies. He has murdered, stolen, and tortured in the name of this pursuit, and will do so again. Well, maybe not torture; it's fairly clear that inflicting physical pain on someone in order to get information is not a viable practice. Inflicting emotional pain on someone by inflicting physical pain on their loved ones, and relying on that to get information, is something he's interested in studying, though.

At the moment, Gregory is heading up the never-ending investigation of Argus by the Bureau. He doesn't care, anymore, about whatever crimes the agency is engaged in or covering up, but all the secrets that they're hiding are nearly irresistible to him. In pursuit of this investigation, he has also led up the effort to use a number of supervillains, such as Bombast, as intelligence sources. The irony appeals to him.

Special Agent Stephen Gregory -- PL 8

Abilities:
STR
0 | STA 1 | AGL 3 | DEX 4 | FGT 8 | INT 9 | AWE 9 | PRE 5

Powers:
Fast Learner: Variable 2 (learned skills and knowledge), Slow - 12 points
My Mind is My Self, and My Self is My Mind: Sustained Immunity 20 (mental effects), Limited to Half Effect - 10 points
Speed-Thinker:Quickness 8, Limited to Mental Tasks - 4 points

Default Setting:
Enhanced Advantage 3 (Evasion, Favored Enemy [variable], Uncanny Dodge); Enhanced Skills 4 (Vehicles 8); Strength-based Damage 2, Improved Critical - 10 points

Advantages:
Assessment, Benefit (FBI Special Agent), Contacts, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 4, Evasion, Favored Enemy (variable), Improved Critical 4 (light pistol), Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Jack-of-all-Trades, Ranged Attack 6, Redirect, Seize Initiative, Set-Up, Skill Mastery (Insight, Investigation), Uncanny Dodge, Well-Informed.

Equipment:
Light Pistol (Ranged Damage 3), and 14 points of equipment as needed.

Skills:
Deception 6 (+11), Expertise: Civics 3 (+12), Expertise: Streetwise 3 (+12), Insight 4 (+13), Intimidation 5 (+10), Investigation 4 (+13), Perception 3 (+12), Sleight of Hand 5 (+9), Stealth 7 (+10), Technology 2 (+11), Vehicles 8 (+12)

Offense:
Initiative +5
Unarmed +8 (Close Damage 2, Crit 19-20)
Light Pistol +9 (Ranged Damage 3, Crit 16-20)

Defense:
Dodge 8, Parry 10, Fortitude 3, Toughness 6/1, Will 7

Totals:
Abilities 78 + Powers 26 + Advantages 29 + Skills 19 + Defenses 7 = 159 points

Complications:
I Must Know--Motivation. Completely Callous
(understands emotions, but does not care.) Secret (many crimes.)
 

Awfully Cheerful Engine!

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