Shadowrun Penumbra: Copper the Bug-Hunter

   Here we have another of the NPC’s for the current Shadowrun campaign – in this case the only known true survivor of the Renaissance Societies magical experiments. Also a severely mentally traumatized magical hit man, but – in Shadowrun – who would hold that against him?

   Copper was originally a minor physical adept, who often teamed up with Terin – a negamage – to do magical bodyguard work. He got involved in the Renaissance Society because the Professor was more than willing to help him initiate, and was one of the magical participants in their little experiment. He wound up with a high-powered lizard spirit moving into his mind. Fortunately, he’d just initiated as a part of the experiment, and was able to turn part of his new power to containing it – although the process involved turning off a lot of his basic instincts and emotions. Since then, he’s been supporting himself by occasional runs (mostly wetwork, kidnaping, and similar unpleasant jobs since he’s turned off his scruples as well), and has been spending the rest of his time hunting down insect spirits and beating them to death – as well as working on initiating some more, so that he can get even better at beating insect spirits to death.

   Basic Setup: 40 Points. Magic 18 (Adept, 35 Karma for L2 Initiate, made L3 with the society and L4 in the experiment), Attributes 12 (24 attribute points), Race 0 (Human), Skills 6 (21 skill points), and Resources 4 (15 KNY).

   Edges: Geneware (+2d6 Initiative with no BI, 5) and Increased Special Attribute/+1 MR (3).

   Flaws: Minor Enemies (-1), Gremlins (his technological gear often quits working until banged on, which is why he doesn’t go in for much if it, -2), Illiterate (-3), and Legal Problems (Known suspicious character, -2).

   The Lizard Spirit has Force 8 and Spirit Energy 4. Having bonded with him it thus provides +12 points to divide amongst his physical attributes (+4 each to Strength, Body, and Quickness), upgrades his Physical Adept status to Ace, grants Immunity to Aging, Pathogens, and Toxins at L7, and provides him with 12 “points” worth of animalistic enhancements. These include Armor 4 (4), +3d6 Initiative (3), +1 Running Multiplier (1), +2 Power on HTH damage (1), Enhanced Scent (1), Nictating Membranes (1), and Low-Light Vision (1). Naturally enough, it also makes him dual-natured, reduces the rate at which he gains karma, and has the usual negative side effects of bonding with an animal spirit.

   Yes, this grants him a great deal of power: bonding with free spirit with this kind of power will do that. Too bad it’s virtually impossible to do it under controlled conditions.

   Attributes; Str 6 (16), Body 6 (10), Quickness 6 (16), Int 4 (from 1, 18 Karma), Will 4 (6), Cha 3 (from 1, 10 Karma). Essence 6, Magic 15, Reaction 10, Initiative 10+6d6. Karma Pool 6, Combat Pool 12.

   Active Skills: Unarmed Combat 6 (total base of eight dice, inflicts 20S magical damage), Stealth 6, Investigation 6, Negotiation 3, and Bike 2 (learned with Karma).

   Knowledge Skills: Tactics 6, Ninja Techniques 4, Street Hangouts 3.

   Initiate IV: +8 MR (taking increased magic rating twice per level wouldn’t normally be allowed – but if I gave him a lot more karma instead, which would be easy to justify, I’d have to decide on a great many more initiate powers, which wouldn’t suit this NPC), Containment, Metamorphosis (Emotionless, +2 effective will), Masking, and Adaption.

   Magic 15, 30 Ace Power Points: +6 Strength and Quickness (9), Incredible Feats of Strength (3), Mystic Strike (Str+4)S lethal damage in HTH (3), +2 Dice for Unarmed Combat checks (1), 2 Automatic Successes for Stealth (1), Investigation (1), and Perception (2). Additional Physical Damage Monitor (2), and Invulnerability-5 (8).

   Usual Equipment: Armor Jacket (actually heavy armored clothing, 5/3 in any case), with a Lined Coat (+2/+1), and Armored Cap (+1/+1), for a grand total of 12/9. 10 Neuro-Stun VII grenades, 6 Smoke Grenades, Low Lifestyle, cell phone, Binoculars, Survival Kit, Rope and Grapnel, Harley Davidson Scorpion (Heavy Motorcycle), Medium Pistol (mostly to check to demonstrate that he’s disarmed himself).

   Copper is extremely dangerous – not only because of his physical prowess, but because if you get in the way of his insect-exterminating mission, he’ll hammer you into the ground without blinking an eye. His emotionlessness is actually more of a defensive mechanism than anything else now that he has the spirit securely bound: he’s got major traumas from being in telepathic contact with a group that was being massacred, from having to kill many of his friends himself because they were being possessed, from watching insect spirits swarm out into the world, and from his own possession. The fact that he’s continued to add to his load of guilt with his ruthless methods of supporting his antibug crusade will only add to the problem if he ever advances to some more sophisticated method of control than total suppression.

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