ShadowGuard

   The ShadowGuard Campaign was designed for a relatively low-powered “Superhero” campaign with young and inexperienced heroes. It was intended to focus on local situations, dangerous but essentially normal humans (gangers, spies, criminals, etc), espionage, evading discovery, minor super-powered or supernatural intrusions into daily life, and – eventually – the characters growing into adult heroes. To this end, most of the characters had either relatively minor abilities that called for creative use or more potent abilities with serious drawbacks. The characters are given in the old Marvel Super Heroes system – also known as the FASERIP System – but should be easy enough to convert.

   The Shadow Alliance is a loose grouping of young metahumans who would prefer to keep the government (and, for that matter, their parents) – more or less out of their hair. Of course, like every other metahuman group, this not only pooled their resources, but pooled their problems – and promptly began attracting more. Still, the Shadow Alliance isn’t exactly a formal, well-organized, “superhero group”. It’s a collection of teenagers with special talents and an accompanying trail of random chaos. There were a variety of minor associates, but the “core” (player-character) members of ShadowGuard – the youngsters who’d normally respond when their friends were in trouble – consisted of Voltaire, Le Fey, Whisper, Cheshire, Shillelagh, and Flux. I’ve also thrown in The Toad, a child-sorcerer who can be an opponent or resource, depending on what he’s decided to do this week.

   The group does use some “standard equipment” – Voltaire makes sure that all of them have paid-up cell phones, bus passes, identification, a pocket multi-tool, a bit of cash, comfortable clothes, some sort of mask to help conceal their identities (if necessary), and one of his Mark-6 Force Screen Generators (providing Poor [4] armor and some protection from remote detection).

   The MK 6 Force Screen: Voltaire has made several attempts to duplicate his natural protective field. He has not been entirely successful, the size of the generator needed increases geometrically with the strength of the field. The generator for a field which provides Feeble (2) protection can be concealed in a ring, that of a “Poor” (4) field is about the size of a watch or cigarette case. Typical (6) protection using this principle requires a heavy belt or a light vest. Good (10) requires a belt, vest, and power modules or a small pack, while Excellent (20) protection would require a large trunk, Remarkable (30) a large truck, Incredible (40) a good sized building, and so on.

   The MK6 is about the size of a thin pocket calculator. The field it generates provides Poor (4) “armor” against physical and energy attacks. Unfortunately, other defenses interact destructively with the field, negating its protective effect if they exceed its value. It also incorporates a counterphase generator, a circuit which modulates the field with a negative version of the bearers paranormal “signature”. This causes the user to register as a normal human – from far enough away. It reduces the users “detection threshold” (Highest power rank) by -3 CS versus sensors in the same area, with an additional -2 further ranks per additional area. A power “reduced” below shift-0 in this fashion is no longer detectable – and a character with no detectable powers will register as a normal human unless there are gross, revealing, physical anomalies. Voltaire has made at least one of these for each member of the Shadow Alliance. He usually disguises them as watches, pocket calculators, belt buckles, or bracelets.

   Who knows what’s going on? Well, nobody outside the group knows all that much at the moment – but a couple of the local teachers and guidance councillors may wall suspect something, parents often know more than their children suspect (or sometimes, tragically, far less – although Voltaire’s parents are exceptionally well informed), at least one hostile government knows more than is at all good about Flux, her younger brother has seen a little and suspects quite a lot about Le Fey, there are a couple of doctors who know something about the group, and Whisper’s grandfather knows about her powers – although her parents only know that she’s very good at the martial arts. Like it or not, they’re teenagers, often thoughtless, and leave all kinds of traces.

   I’ve decided to reprint Voltaire from yesterdays post, partly because he belongs with the rest of them and partly because I forgot to put in his adventure links and likely improvements. Anyone who’s read that post should probably just skip on down past him.

Voltaire: Minor Hero

   Fighting 6 (Typical), Agility 10 (Good), Strength 6 (Typical), Endurance 30 (Remarkable), Reason 30 (Remarkable), Intuition 10 (Good), and Psyche 19 (Good).

   Health 52, Karma 50, Resources 20 (Excellent), and Popularity 3 (12 with hackers and computer games devotees)

   Height 5’10, Weight 145 Lb, Dark Brown Hair, Grey Eyes. Apparent and Real Age: 16.

  • Real Name: Alexandre Dumaine
  • Occupation: Student, computer hacker, games designer, freelance programmer, entrepreneur
  • Identity: Secret
  • Legal Status: Citizen of France with no criminal record, still a minor, CEO of Dumaine Inc.
  • Other Aliases: Keisando (on the hacker net)
  • Birthplace: Amiens, France
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Andre Dumaine father)
  • Gr. Affiliation: Shadow Alliance
  • Base of Operations: England, East Sussex Fusion Research Center
  • Ethnic Origin: Celtic Gaul
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Education: Continuing advanced work, supplemented by computer tapping ability.
  • Source of Income: Program royalties, consulting fees, currently employed as consultant by the European Fusion Consortium.
  • Talents: Computers (+2 CS), Electromagnetic Targeting and Control (+2 CS), Electronics and Neurology, and Business/Finance.

Known Powers:

   Electron Manipulation: Voltaire can perceive and manipulate electrons and electrical fields with remarkable (30) ability, modified as shown below.

  • Energy pattern perception operates at +1 rank (40 Incredible)
  • Linking to and manipulating circuits and computer systems. Operates at +0 ranks (30 Remarkable)
  • Bioelectric healing/disruption operates at -1 rank (20 Excellent)
  • Electrical generation (Hurling lightning, powering things, etc) operates at -2 ranks (10 Good)
  • Electrostatic “telekinesis” Operates at -3 ranks (6 Typical)

   When he uses his powers to generate direct electrical effects (bioelectrical healing/disruption, electrical generation, or electrostatic telekinesis), he usually displays a faint corona of electrical sparks around his hands, while his target shows a similar aura. There is, however, no obvious connection between the two.

   Body Armor: Voltaire unconsciously maintains an free electron shield, giving him remarkable (30) “Armor” versus energy attacks. Unfortunately, this is three ranks less effective against physical attacks (6, Typical).

   Logic Overlay: Extensive computer contact has given Voltaire’s mind computerlike abilities. He may absorb, and retain as desired, one database or expert program (equal to a talent) per reason rank he has (currently 6). The same mental discipline gives him Excellent (20) resistance to mental attack. This defense increases to Shift-X (150) when his mind is linked to an active computer system. Attempting to contact his mind under such circumstances will stun the mind-reader for 1 to 10 rounds due to binary shock unless a red psyche FEAT roll is made. Voltaire automatically converts the input to comprehensible analogies, most mindreaders have no such ability.

   Capsule History: Voltaire’s powers developed gradually, each aspect emerging as his strength increased. The ability to perceive neural and electrical energy patterns appeared around age 10 and led to an early interest in those areas. His comfortably middle-class parents were somewhat startled to discover their sons superhuman powers, but were happy that his talents were relatively “quiet” and nonviolent. Following their advice, he kept them secret. Finding that he could interact with computers directly, he obtained a personal computer at age 12. By 13, he’d begun selling games, by 14, major programs. At 15 he incorporated himself, and at 16, by sealed bid, landed a contract to provide software and systems integration for the East Sussex research center of the European Fusion Consortium. The project manager was somewhat startled when they actually met.

   Once there, he encountered Whisper and detected the influence of her subliminal talent on his computer-like mind. His interest piqued, he became acquainted. At her suggestion he searched the UK computer net for information on other young paranormals – a search which led him to some rather ominous governmental policies. Understandably upset, he still managed to lift a lot of data before the security programs locked him out.

   Consulting Whisper, he decided to contact other young paranormals, in hopes of setting up a counter-organization – and began cautiously recruiting. Currently, he’s ahead of the government: his detector-circuit designs, backed by his natural talents, have so far proven to have a considerably greater range than the governmental designs – allowing him to reach many young metahumans before they can be tagged and monitored by the government.

   Contacts: Assorted fellow hackers, the European Fusion Consortium.

   Playing Notes: Voltaire has one special trick; sending a few milliamps of current through someone’s brain induces violent convulsions similar to epilepsy. He uses this tactic reluctantly as the victims own strength can cause severe internal injuries, particularly if he or she is stronger then normal. It also sometimes makes superhuman victims more dangerous then they normally are. He normally carries some pocket electronics tools and components, as well as a high-quality pocket computer, and several other electronic toys.

Adventure links:

  • He’s an expert hacker, and has a habit of poking into secure databases. He could find out virtually anything, download secret files, or stir up opposition from virtually any secret group or organization.
  • He’d be very unhappy if he found out that one of his programs was being seriously misused, or that he’d been tricked into creating a weapon of some sort. He’s young, idealistic, and doesn’t approve of things like that.
  • He’s running a fairly sophisticated power-detector, which a fair amount of range. When he picks up a new metatalent, he usually tries to get in touch with whoever-it-is – which can get him into a race to reach the talent first, require a cover-up, or otherwise lead to plenty of trouble.
  • He’s a programmer and electronics designer for a major research project – and thus is not only an espionage target, but a potential suspect for any security investigation – and he does have quite a bit to hide.
  • Any saboteurs at the facility are likely to run into Voltaire – and that will pull in the rest of the Shadow Alliance.

   Further improvements: Voltaire might learn to boost his force field, make blinding flashes, or even to do things like make “solid electron constructs”, levitate, or project his force field around others. Unfortunately, he simply hasn’t got the raw power to do much of that kind of thing: any such blatant powers are likely to be added to the tail end of his power sequence, at -4 or even -5 ranks.

 

Ley Fey, Minor Heroine

   Fighting 10 (Good), Agility 30 (Remarkable), Strength 6 (Typical), Endurance 20 (Excellent), Reason 6 (Typical), Intuition 10 (Good), and Psyche 20 (Excellent).

   Health 66, Karma 36, Resources 6 (Typical), and Popularity 10

   Height 5’2, Weight 96 Lbs, Blond Hair, Green Eyes, Age 15 (both apparent and real).

  • Real Name: Janice Carolyn Meade
  • Occupation: Student, horse trainer, Junior European Equestrian Champion 2007
  • Identity: Secret
  • Legal Status: Citizen of the United Kingdom with no criminal record, still a minor.
  • Other Aliases: None known
  • Birthplace: Wilshire, England
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: William Meade, Earl of Fenwick (father), Lady Carolyn Meade (mother), Daniel Meade (elder brother), Curtis Meade (younger brother).
  • Group Affiliation: Shadow Alliance
  • Base of Operations: Meade Estates, Wilshire, England
  • Ethnic Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Education: Privately tutored
  • Source of Income: Parents
  • Talents: Horsemanship (+2CS), Animal Training, Acrobatics, and Faerie Lore

   Personal Notes: Janice has withdrawn from competition since discovering the nature of her powers; it’s an unfair advantage. She normally carries a small iron pocket-knife (with an ashwood hilt and silver inlay on the blade), a keychain with a two-foot length of light iron chain, a spool of thread, and a packet of fey ointment – just in case she needs to show the Fey to someone else.

Known Powers:

   Beastmaster: +3 column shift on all FEAT rolls involving animals or animalistic beings

   Limited Telepathy: Le Fey may communicate with, share senses with, and influence higher animals and animalistic beings with remarkable (30) ability. Her normal range is about six miles.

   Faerie Magic: All faerie magic is ineffective versus cold iron. The rank of the effects is based on the users psyche rank, modified as given below. Her talents include:

  • Second sight: for seeing true forms, through mystic or psionic illusions, and things of faerie. Operates at +1 rank (30 Remarkable)
  • Weaving illusions and glamours (distorting how people perceive things) operates at +0 ranks (20 Excellent)
  • Nature magic of various types (animate plants etc) operates at -1 rank (10 Good)
  • Elemental Magic (fire, air, earth, and water magics) operates at -2 ranks (6 Typical)

   Capsule History: Janice’s powers over animals have operated on the subconscious level since birth. Her ability with animals has always been exceptional, although not overtly superhuman. The Meade’s are one of the few old, aristocratic families which have retained much of their wealth and power in the modern era. As a consequence, her upbringing has been somewhat sheltered and a little idealized. Her interest in animals was encouraged and she achieved considerable success with horses, gaining a reputation as one of England’s most promising young athletes and trainers.

   About this time a powerful mage shattered ancient barriers, releasing the faerie population of the British Isles to aid him in his war against the demon hordes. Afterwards, they wasted no time returning to their old habits, making a general nuisance of themselves. In particular, phoukas again enticed unwary humans into battering or lethal rides. One in particular decided to “show up” some of the better mortal riders. This involved a slight risk, he would have to grant any boon the rider asked if he couldn’t throw him or her before dawn – but the risk was small, he’d never encountered a rider he couldn’t shake inside an hour -and he had an entire night.

   Things went well for a time, he disposed of several riders easily. Things didn’t go as well with Janice. She was already a rider of great skill and constant use under pressure forced her psychic talent into full operation. This not only allowed her to hang on until dawn, her new telepathic talent let her know she could demand a boon from the phouka. Unaware of the complications involved, she demanded a share in the magics of faerie.

   Shortly thereafter, Voltaire contacted her, having electronic-ally traced the emergence and night long use of her talent. He invited her to join the Shadow Alliance. Unsure of the extent and use of her new abilities, she was glad to accept.

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance, Equestrian Hobbyists.

   Playing Notes: In a fight Le Fey usually acts as support, using her powers to confuse, delay, and spy upon opponents. When dealing with the Fey, she normally takes the lead. She is, after all, something of a peer to them.

Adventure links:

  • She can easily be entangled in political problems though her family – especially since her Father is on the Administrative Committee on Paranormals.
  • Anything involving animals could easily wind up involving Le Fey.
  • Her Mother is involved in spiritualism – which promises trouble whether it’s fraudulent or real.
  • Her older brother is entangled in gambling, as well as in various other embarrassing situations.
  • With the reawakening of the Fey, they will be coming into conflict with the human race – and Le Fey is one of the few who’s standing in between the two opposing forces and trying to keep the peace. Where there are magical forests, changelings, faerie rades, or humans bulldozing faerie mounds, there’s going to be work for her and people to explain to who won’t want to listen.
  • There are any number of mystical artifacts scattered around the British Isles – and most of them have been inactive for centuries, and so are lying around, in museums, or simply lost. When someone stumbles across one, or one activates, there aren’t very many people around who will know what to do.
  • She may even be able to access the “straight paths” – the faerie tracks which run between the worlds. Those could lead her virtually anywhere.
  • Her younger brother has seen a bit more than he should have – and is doing a bit of investigation on his own. This could get him into random trouble, get him taken as a changeling, or even get him recruited as an agent by the Unseelie Fey.

   Further improvements: Le Fey may learn to enter the faerie realms and use the interdimensional “straight tracks”, to erect mental defenses or “psyche screens” or – depending on how she handles her role as a liaison between the Fey and Humanity – be provided with a sort of “diplomatic immunity”, a faerie steed, or some fearie talismans.

 

Whisper, Minor Heroine

   Fighting 20 (Excellent), Agility 20 (Excellent), Strength 6 (Typical), Endurance 10 (Good), Reason 20 (Excellent), Intuition 20 (Excellent), and Psyche 10 (Good)

   Health 56, Karma 50, Resources 4 (Poor), Popularity 0

   Height 4’11 and 1/2 (she doesn’t want anyone to forget the 1/2), Weight 89 Lb, long black hair and black eyes. Apparent and real age 15.

  • Real Name: Tadamako Kajima
  • Occupation: Student, occasional adventurer
  • Identity: Secret
  • Legal Status: Citizen of Japan with no criminal record, still a minor, resident in the UK.
  • Other Aliases: None known
  • Birthplace: Koga Province, Japan
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Msaki Kajima father), Sadako Kajima (mother), Ikoma Kajima (grandfather, sensai) (names romanized, and first names first, for convenience).
  • Group Affiliation: The Shadow Alliance
  • Base of Operations: UK, East Sussex Fusion Research Center (her parent’s home).
  • Ethnic Origin: Japanese
  • Religion: Shintoism
  • Education: Continuing
  • Source of Income: Parents
  • Talents: Mathematics, Oriental Weapons, Ninjitsu (Various skills, notably stealth, climbing, and escape artist) +1 CS, Martial Arts (A, C, E), Acrobatics, Vital Points (+1 rank damage with weaponry and martial arts, knows nerve pinches, etc), and English (native Japanese).

   Personal Notes: Usually wears dark clothing allowing freedom of action – such as sweatsuits.

Known Powers:

   Subliminal Telepathy: Whisper’s telepathic abilities operate below the threshold of consciousness, attacking the intuition rather then the psyche. Many of the usual defenses are ineffective, although those listed as effective versus “all mental” attacks will work. This power can influence behavior, implant feelings or suggestions, tamper with reactions (imposing a +/- 1CS for every 3 ranks of this power on relevant FEAT rolls) and project subliminal images. Her ability is “remarkable” (30) when making a “general broadcast”, she receives a bonus of +1 rank when concentrating on a single target.

   Nightvision: Whisper has developed her ability to “see” in darkness to the excellent (20) rank.

   Iron Will: Whisper’s martial arts skills give her good (10) Iron Will. This ability is unlikely to improve.

   Ninja Gear: Whisper has assess to a variety of classical ninja gear. If “in costume” she might have a rope and grapnel, sword, shuriken, flash and smoke pellets, blinding dust, caltrops, a bladed staff, and a variety of tools. Normally she simply has a few of the smaller items concealed in her clothing.

   Capsule History: Kojima, like many clans in japan, carefully preserves its old traditions. While it’s current speciality is engineering, it was once a minor ninja clan and such training is still available, if only as a hobby. Musaki and Sadako were never interested, they were too involved in their work on plasma dynamics and nuclear interactions (respectively). This being so, Ikoma, Musaki’s father, was delighted to find his eight-year old granddaughter possessed of both interest and talent. Under his tutelage she became quite skilled. He even recognized and helped develop her psionic talent without mentioning it’s existence to anyone else. When her parents were hired by the European Fusion Consortium she elected to accompany them to England. Once there, her rather confused subliminal “lets be friends / don’t pay any attention to me” attracted Voltaire’s notice when they briefly encountered each other. Her burgeoning friendship with Voltaire was the start of the Shadow Alliance. Since then she has become good friends with most of the other members.

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance, the Kojima Clan.

   Playing Notes: Whisper prefers using the classical ninja strategy – plan, be sneaky, think! She is rather uncomfortable with the direct, “full speed ahead” style used by most metahumans. She’s also well aware that – while she is capable of defeating several ordinary people, and can use her subliminal telepathy to make herself hard to spot or to divert guards and such – she is no match for a serious superhuman in a direct battle.

Adventure links:

  • Whisper comes from an old Ninja Clan – which means there may be ancient enemies or rivals out there or some ancient contract which will come back to haunt her.
  • Her parents are high-end scientists, involved in a major research project. Espionage is a major concern – and, oddly enough, Whisper is far more prepared to deal with it than her parents are. Of course, it’s also possible that someone will try to use her as leverage against them.
  • Since she is interested in ninjitsu and espionage, any such activities in the area will doubtless draw her notice.
  • Whisper is continuing to study the martial arts – including entering tournaments, seeking out new teachers, and opposing people who are misusing such skills.

   Further improvements: Whisper may eventually learn to hypnotize people with her powers, to enhance her stealth, or to induce minor hallucinations. She will almost certainly continue to exercise and study the martial arts – but unless she runs across some mystical secrets or enchanted weapons or something, there is only so far that you can get with normal human-level martial arts.

 

Cheshire, Trainee Hero

   Fighting 6 (Typical), Agility 10 (Good), Strength 6 (Typical), Endurance 20 (Excellent), Reason 6 (Typical), Intuition 10 (Good), and Psyche 10 (Good).

   Health 42, Karma 26, Resources 6 (Typical), Popularity 2 (Feeble).

   Height 5’7, Weight 122 Lb, Brown hair and eyes, Apparent and real age: 15

  • Real Name: Charissa Mistral
  • Occupation: Former thief, now “student” and adventurer.
  • Identity: Secret
  • Legal Status: Dual citizenship in France and the UK with no criminal record, still a minor
  • Other Aliases: “The Phantom”
  • Birthplace: Norfolk, England, parents visiting from France.
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Heloise Mistral (mother), Berniard Mistral (father, estranged and missing).
  • Group Affiliation: The Shadow Alliance
  • Base of Operations: East Sussex Fusion Research Center.
  • Ethnic Origin: Latin
  • Religion: (Ex-)Roman Catholic
  • Education: School dropout at 12, considerable practical experience, especially on the streets.
  • Source of Income: Salary and Savings
  • Talents: Streetwise, Criminology, Con Artist, and Apport Targeting (+3 CS).

   Personal Notes: Cheshire has a fair cash reserve, left over from her criminal activities. She also sees no particular problem with petty crime – although she generally refrains as long as Voltaire is paying her a salary not too. It’s safer and easier.

Known Powers:

   Apportion: Cheshire can teleport small (up to rank# Lbs.), inanimate objects from point to point within a (rank# *20) ft radius of herself. Apportion cannot sever molecular bonds so solid objects, but not assemblies, are an all or nothing proposition. Apporting one thing into another can cause “edged” attack damage up to 3 ranks above the powers rank. While this bypasses most defenses, any target with any form of intangibility will automatically use it to avoid injury. Less lethally, apporting air produces paired implosions / explosions capable of doing (rank) slugfest damage in two locations. Cheshire’s apportion power operates at the remarkable (30) rank. The “Visual Effect” is a bubble-like effect with a faint halo of radiating distortion-lines.

   Compartmented Belt: Cheshire’s belt is made of flat metal plates, each with one or more concealed compartments holding a variety of items. They don’t open from the outside; the only access is via her power. She usually carries:

  • A miniature toolkit, including a set of lockpicks, a glasscutter, a minidrill, cutting wire, a set of watchmakers tools, and a “fisheye” optical probe.
  • Six gas cartridges; each sufficient to either fill one area or to provide up to 6 small (individually-sized) clouds of gas. She normally carries four cartridges of knockout gas and 2 of tear gas, both of good (10) potency. She also carries several sets of nasal filter plugs.
  • Twenty capsules or pinches each of smoke powder, incendiary powder, “foaming paste”, all of Excellent (20) potency.
  • Forty doses of an Excellent (20) potency knockout drug. She usually simply drops this straight into an opponents bloodstream.
  • A selection of tracers and bugs provided by Voltaire.
  • One of Voltaire’s Mark-6 forcescreens.
  • Her notion of a “survival kit” – a lighter, some cash, her keys, a set of opera glasses, a penlight, a compass, a pocket makeup kit, a cell phone, and a few bits of similar junk.
  • A light, collapsible grapnel and line.

   On a “mission” she usually makes sure to have a first aid kit, some rope, a small prybar, and a pocket knife along. All of those items tend to come in very useful every so often.

   Capsule History: Charissa barely remembers her father, her parents separated when she was very young. She was brought up by her mother and her mothers relatives. While this made for a large “family” and close kinship ties, it also allowed the entire clan to be impoverished together. She was eleven when her apportive talent emerged, and was streetwise enough to lose little time in putting it to use.

   Over the next few years she quietly contributed a good deal to her families finances while gaining a reputation with the underworld as a remarkably talented thief. When one of her fences traced her home and tried to use the information in a confrontation over “full time employment”, he also discovered the nature of her powers. The ensuing “partnership” produced the first version of her belt, but eventually broke down. Cheshire then decided that it would be a good time for trip to England.

   In England she was at loose ends and, more importantly, within range of Voltaire’s instruments. After some thought she accepted his offer of a “job” and membership in the Shadow Alliance.

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance, The French Underworld.

   Playing Notes: Cheshire can make silent apports by exchanging the air in her target area for the original object. She can also apport a dose of the substances in her belt directly into an opponents equipment, pockets, armor, helmet, or bloodstream. She is the most cynical member of the group and is not above taking a good opportunity to pick up something useful.

Adventure Links:

  • Cheshire’s father was actually a metahuman himself – Ouragan (Hurricane), and is now missing. He was also something of a womanizer, and so Cheshire may have some empowered half-siblings out there. Her father’s old enemies might show up too, especially if they think that she might be of use against him.
  • Cheshire is an accomplished thief, and known as such to the French Underworld. If a special job comes up someone might want to recruit her very badly – or she could easily be blamed for something she wasn’t involved in.
  • Cheshire is still contributing to the support of her extended family, and thus might easily suddenly find herself in need of large amounts of cash – or she might just give into temptation.

   Further improvements: Cheshire may develop ability to suspend things in transit (allowing her to keep small amounts of material in her own dimensional pocket), learn to react quickly enough to shunt away ranged attacks reliably, simply expand the limits of her power, or she may branch out with more gadgets and/or martial arts skills.

 

Shillelagh, Minor Hero

   Fighting 10 (Good), Agility 40 (Incredible), Strength 6 (Typical), Endurance 30 (Remarkable), Reason 6 (Typical), Intuition 20 (Excellent), and Psyche 6 (Typical).

   Health 86, Karma 32, Resources 4 (Poor), and Popularity 2 (Feeble).

   Height 5’6, Weight 120 Lb, dark brown hair, blue eyes. Apparent and actual age 13.

  • Real Name: Kieron Penarvon
  • Occupation: Student, occasional adventurer
  • Identity: Secret
  • Legal Status: Citizen of the Republic of Ireland with no criminal record, still a minor
  • Other Aliases: None Known
  • Birthplace: Balbriggan, Republic of Ireland
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Brendan and Dierdre Penarvon (parents), Arawn Penarvon (elder brother), and Aeron Penarvon (younger sister).
  • Group Affiliation: The Shadow Alliance
  • Base of Operations: East Sussex, England.
  • Ethnic Origin: Celtic
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Education: Continuing
  • Source of Income: Parental
  • Talents: Weapon Skill/Shillelagh (+2CS), Thrown Objects, First Aid.
  • Personal Notes: Kieron knows a good deal more about his elder brothers activities then his parents think he does, though he doesn’t agree with his ideas and methods.

Known Powers:

   Temporal Fugue: Shillelagh can psionically warp time about himself by a factor of several million. Unfortunately he can only maintain the effect for a few microseconds of real time, thus he averages about twice normal speed. This “incredible” (40) ability has a several effects, described below:

  • This powers rank may be substituted for “Fighting”.
  • Ranged attacks on him suffer a -1 CS per 2 ranks of TF due to blocks / deflections / evasions, currently that’s a -3 CS.
  • He may hurl objects or strike for (Temporal Fugue Rank) damage in hand-to-hand combat. He usually uses a weapon in hand to hand to blunt the impact on himself.
  • His movement speed is doubled
  • Initiative bonus of (Rank#)/10
  • Various “superspeed tricks” – such as moving over water, catching bullets, and landing safely from falls – are possible but are limited by the short duration of this power. As such tricks are easy at his acceleration. no karma need be spent on them however, it must be spent on any stunt which requires extending the duration of the fugue.

   Unsurprisingly, Shillelagh normally creates a “strobe effect” as he flickers in and out of time-acceleration.

   Metabolic Compensation: Shillelagh has an extremely efficient metabolism. Despite his timewarping power, his aging rate, food requirements, and such are normal. This also allows him to heal at three times the normal rate and grants a +2 CS on any endurance FEAT rolls.

   Capsule History: The Penarvons retired to Ireland after Brendan, then chief of security at the burghead nuclear research facility, suffered severe damage to his right leg during an antinuclear protest. Things went reasonably well until Arawn, their eldest son, became involved with the IRA. Unable to dissuade him, they determined to at least get Kieron out of the middle. They sent him to stay with the O’Conners, friends from their days at Burghead, now working at the European Fusion Consortium’s East Sussex Fusion Research Center. When his powers emerged Voltaire had little difficulty locating him to extend an invitation to join the Shadow Alliance.

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance

   Playing Notes: Shillelagh is the most enthusiastic and idealistic member of the shadow alliance.

Adventure links:

  • He has a brother in the Irish Republican Army. This is enough stress for anyone. Especially if he also possesses powers of some sort.
  • If his younger sister turns out to possess special abilities, it may be quite difficult to keep her away from his older brother – or out of other trouble.
  • With the return of the Fey, the Tuatha, Selkies, and other creatures of magic are probably returning to Ireland as well – disturbing an already-unstable situation.
  • Shillelagh has an especially obvious power. All it would take for him to give himself away is a mere moments inattention – pulling someone out of the way of a bus, catching a bullet, or any other minor attempt to do something quickly which slips into superhuman speed.

   Further improvements: Shillelagh is likely to develop a few well-practiced tricks and more skills, as well as the ability to remain in Fugue for longer periods – but his most likely improvement is simply to upgrade his basic power.

 

Flux, Trainee Hero

   Fighting 10 (Good), Agility 20 (Excellent), Strength 6 (Typical), Endurance 10 (Good), Reason 10 (Good), Intuition 4 (Poor), and Psyche 10 (Good).

   Health 46, Karma 24, Resources 2 (Feeble), Popularity 4 (Poor).

   Height 5’8 , Weight 110 Lb, Sandy Hair and Hazel Eyes. Apparent and real age 13

  • Real Name: Stefan Gearhart
  • Occupation: Refugee, Urchin
  • Identity: Secret
  • Legal Status: Citizen of (cany onvenient real or fictional country with dictatorial government) with a criminal record, wanted by the secret police. Illegal immigrant in the United Kingdom, still a minor. No existing records.
  • Other Aliases: None known
  • Birthplace: Any convenient real or fictional country with a repressive government.
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Karl Werner (maternal uncle), Rudolf Gearhart (E. brother)
  • Group Affiliation: Shadow Alliance
  • Base of Operations: Floating
  • Ethnic Origin: Teutonic
  • Religion: Lutheran
  • Education: Cut short at age 12
  • Source of Income: Scrounging
  • Talents: Several languages (badly), Streetwise (+2 CS), Scrounging (+2 CS), Thief/Pickpocket (+2 CS).

   Personal Notes: Stefan doesn’t like to talk about his background or his family.

Known Powers:

   Exokinetic Field: Stefan can generate an energy field around himself of incredible (40) strength. The fields energies may be allotted between defense, wherein it serves as armor against physical and energy attacks, and strength enhancement. Neither function of the field will drop below 1/10’th the fields total strength even if no energy is allotted to it. The field is “bulky” when energy is allotted to strength enhancement, making fine manipulation difficult or impossible.

   The field is always active at a minimal, unobtrusive, level. This provides the minimal armor effect described above, a slight enhancement of his agility, and a slight sensory impairment. If the field is somehow totally shut down, Stefan will lose 1 agility rank and gain 1 intuition rank.

   Capsule History: Flux was among the offspring of a cluster of ethnic German emigrants to that aforementioned convenient-country (real or fictional) with an oppressive government. Relatively little is known about his background; apparently his elder brother developed paranormal abilities and promptly disappeared into the custody of the secret police. When Stefan discovered his own powers he shared his secret with Karl Werner, his maternal uncle. Karl advised him to escape as soon as possible. Crashing the border was relatively easy for someone with superhuman strength and enough invulnerability while running to handle rifle shots, but was anything but inconspicuous. Stefan disappeared into the cities of western Europe, next appearing as an operative for the French underworld. He encountered the Shadow Alliance when he was sent after Cheshire in an attempt to “recruit” her for a special job. When he caught up with her he decided to join her instead, and accepted a membership in the alliance.

   Contacts: The Shadow Alliance, assorted street gangs and groups across Europe.

   Playing Notes: Stefan is quite suspicious of “the authorities”, and tends to react badly to any suggestion that actually involving them might help a situation.

Adventure links:

  • Flux is – of course – pursued by the secret police and military forces of that unnamed repressive government.
  • He is connected with the Gypsies; they assisted him during his escape and afterwards, and he owes them some very substantial favors.
  • No one knows when his elder brother might turn up – whether just ahead of pursuit or throughly brainwashed and determined to drag his younger brother back for similar treatment.
  • He has friends, relatives, and – possibly – younger siblings and other family back in a throughly unpleasant country. Who knows how many rescue missions might be called for?
  • He’s an illegal alien on the streets, and thus is subject to arrest, deportation, being placed in one form or another of juvenile program, or – for that matter – being assigned to a foster home.
  • Flux could easily be blackmailed into any number of things: all it would take would be a positive identification and threats directed against his family back “home”.
  • He has a wide variety of street contacts; if someone is preying on the street kids, pushing drugs a bit too hard, or stirring up a gang war, he’s all too likely to know and get involved.

   Further improvements:  Flux is likely to simply upgrade his power level. After all, “tougher and stronger” is not a bad way to go. He might however, develop the ability to shape his field into tools and weapons, learn to send portions of it off to do things or attack at range, or learn to use it to fly or stick to walls. He has plenty of power there, it’s more a question of how well he learns to control it.

 

   And now, a bonus character… 

“The Toad”

   Troublemaking child sorcerer and would-be hero.

   Fighting 2 (Feeble), Agility 10 (Good), Strength 2 (Feeble), Endurance 20 (Excellent), Reason 4 (Poor), Intuition 10 (Good), and Psyche 40 (Incredible).

   Health 34, Karma 54, Resources 0 (Shift-0), Popularity 2 (Feeble).

   Height 3’8 , Weight 61 Lb, Red Hair and Green Eyes. Apparent and real age 8

  • Real Name: Theodore Winston-Smythes
  • Occupation: Elementary School Student.
  • Identity: Secret
  • Legal Status: Citizen of the United Kingdom, still in Elementary School.
  • Other Aliases: None Known.
  • Birthplace: Ceredigion, Wales, the United Kingdom.
  • Marital Status: Single (Naturally)
  • Known Relatives: Elwyn Winston-Smythes (Father), Liusaidh MacDonald (Winston-Smythes, Mother).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base of Operations: His bedroom, playroom, and the park across the lane.
  • Ethnic Origin: Welsh.
  • Religion: Theoretically Church of England, currently more likely to believe in power rangers and such.
  • Education: Continuing.
  • Source of Income: Allowance.
  • Talents: Welsh (Native English), Look Innocent (+2 CS), Manipulate Adults, Trivia (popular magical references and comic books), and Animal Trainer.

Known Powers:

   Magical Sight: The Toad can easily see magical creatures, determine the general nature of magical effects, and spot active magic. If he wishes to penetrate a magical disguise, get details on an effect, or look for subtle magics he requires a Green Psyche FEAT check for powerful effects, Yellow for ordinary effects, and Red for really subtle or low-powered ones.

   Spellweaving: The Toad is an incredibly talented – if totally untrained – natural magician. He gets a total of (Psyche + Endurance) (currently 60) “magic points” to play with each day. Producing a Feeble (2) effect costs 1, a Poor (4) effect costs 2, a Typical (6) effect costs 3, a Good (10) effect costs 4, an Excellent (20) effect costs 5, and a Remarkable (30) effect (his current maximum) costs 6. Other than that – and the natural mental limitations which go with being a small child – he can produce a vast variety of spells and conjurations.

   If the Toad ever gets any real training – rather than relying on television and comic books for his magical instruction – his magic points will refresh every hour, while his upper limit will increase to the Incredible (40) rank for 7 magic points. If he ever becomes a master, the point costs for him to produce effects will decrease two (to a minimum of zero), allowing him to do minor tricks pretty much at will.

   Temper Tantrum: When very VERY frustrated and annoyed – or frightened – the Toad’s Psyche and Magical talents both increase by +2 ranks, providing him with some extra magic points (currently 35) and the ability to produce Incredible (40) (for seven magic points) and even Amazing (50) (for eight magic points) magical effects. A tantrum lasts for 2-20 rounds, and he must then make a red End FEAT roll or suffer exhaustion. It will be at least a day before he gathers the energy for another such tantrum.

   As an adult, this will become a “Mystic Reserve” that can be drawn upon when he wishes to activate it. If he gets decent magical training, his upper limit will be Monstrous (75) effects (for nine magic points), the FEAT roll to avoid exhaustion will only be yellow, and he will only need a few hours of meditation or sleep to recover his energies.

   Growing Up: As Toad gets older, his Fighting, Strength, and Reason scores will increase to 4 (Poor), 6 (Typical), and 6 (Typical) respectively without Karma cost. Thereafter they must be increased through normal means.

   Capsule History: The Toad is eight, and spends a lot of time with the housekeeper or alone with his toys, comic books, and runaway imagination. His father is both important and busy, his mother died shortly after he was born, his school is mildly exclusive, and the occasional private tutor is rarely a lot of fun. He’s usually more than a bit lonely. Most of what other kids he sees consider him weird.

   He likes cats, he likes faeries, he likes The Wind in the Willows – from which he takes his alias – and he hates asparagus. When he actually saw some gnomes in the woods, they were surprised to be noticed – and they were even more surprised when the boy succeeded in copying some of their tricks.

   Since then, he’s hexed the housekeeper to never even THINK of serving asparagus, charmed the window to automatically let his cats in and out, and gotten entangled with (or unleashed) an assortment of ghosts, interdimensional pirates, and supernatural oddities.

   Sometimes he wants to be a superhero. Sometimes he wants to turn another annoying child into a rock for a week. Sometimes he tries to do people (or weird extradimensional entities) favors. Most of the time he just does things because doing them seemed like a good idea at the moment.

   No one is quite sure if there’s a major magical being somewhere back in the Toad’s ancestry, if he’s just a major natural talent, or if he’s received some divine blessing or something, but his raw power is difficult to deny – and more than a bit worrisome in the hands of a small child.

   The Toad can serve as an opponent of sorts, as an excuse for almost any kind of magical trouble, as a someone to rescue – if only because letting some malevolent individual control his power or raise him as an evil magician would be a disaster – or even (if adequately bribed with candy, comic books, and toys) as a potential resource.

Adventure links

  • The Toad IS an adventure link. He’s a bored small child with access to massive magical powers. What more do you want?
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