Godlike: Peter “Pops” Rundell

Peter “Pops” Rundell

   Pops had been lucky. He’d pulled out of the markets shortly before the Crash of `29 – and had the cash to act as “lord of the manor” in the Pennsylvania farming community where he’d settled down, keeping the locals above the financial water. He and his wife did quite a lot of traveling while the prices were good too. The great depression was indeed a bad time to be broke – but if you had money and property in reserve, you could get along readily and see the world if you so choose.

   In 1941, Pops was 42 – and when the news of Pearl Harbor came along, he started seriously regretting the fact that he’d probably never see some of the wonderful places he’d seen around the world again.

   Then he did.

   It didn’t take long for Pops to discover that he could wish himself and / or quite a lot of other people and cargo – to anyplace he’d ever been.

   His health prevented him from doing as much for the war effort as he might have, but his power was still extraordinarily useful in transporting small groups of troops and vital supplies. It also allowed him to maneuver his son into a stateside assignment as his handler and military liaison. It might have deflated the young man’s dream of heroism, but it wasn’t like he wasn’t making a vital contribution and Pops had already lost one son-in-law to the war.

   Unsurprisingly, Pops, his son, and both daughters (one widowed) all survived the war.

   It was years before he began to take his occasional “visions” of strange worlds (despite the headaches and chest pains that came with them) as anything other than dreams and fancies, and still longer before he attempted – shortly after the death of his wife – to reach at least one of those realms. In his grief and depression at the time, the risk no longer worried him.

   It worked to a point – although there were realms into which the living, no matter how talented, could not pass – but he still didn’t talk about it much. The otherworlds were sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible, and sometimes beyond all description – but they were not his home, not yet.

   Pops fully retired in 1959, although he had taken emergency calls only for years before that, and – shortly afterward – was quietly honored when the records of his wartime and later service were declassified.

   In 1964, Pops, one of his daughters, and three of his grandchildren, contracted influenza – a locally-epidemic strain with a high mortality rate. Pops, despite the severity of his own illness, defied his physician to collect his surviving family – his daughter, her husband, his son and his wife, and both his four healthy and three dying grandchildren. According to the attending nurse, who heard part of the final conversation and witnessed Pop’s last gateway opening and closing, he teleported himself and his family to some sort of “fairyland” where – the old man had claimed – the children would be certain both of recovery and of long and happy lives.

   No trace of Pops, or of the four adults and seven children who accompanied him on his last trip, has ever been found.

  • Attributes: Body 1, Coordination 1, Sense 2, Brains 2, Command 1, Cool 4.
  • Skills (20):
    • Body: Health 1, Swim 1
    • Coordination: Pistol 1, Rifle 1
    • Sense: Sight 2, Hearing 1
    • Brains: Education 1, First Aid 1, four language groups at 1 (4)
    • Command:
    • Cool: World Traveler 3, Mental Stability 1, Finance 3

   World Traveler is rolled to see if the user is familiar with a given location.

   Finance is rolled to see if the user can afford a given purchase.

   Pops is a powerful teleporter and – almost uniquely – can clairvoyantly visit both other places and other dimensions, and thereafter teleport to them (although this is a considerable strain). He didn’t really explore the interdimensional aspect of his Talent until well after the war though.

  • Talent Basics:
    • Quirks: Highly protective of family (1), does not fully accept the inter-dimensional aspects of his own power (1).
    • Will Base: 1 Command + 4 Cool + 9 (remainder of initial 25) + 2 (Quirks) = 16
  • Talent Powers:
    • Teleport (8D + 2 HD, 12) (Base 5/10/20): Silent (+2/4/8), No Upward Limit (+2/4/8), Beacon (-4/8/16), Cannot Interfere (-2/4/8), Go Last (-2/4/8) = (1/2/4). Side effect: everyone at the origin point can briefly see the destination as the “gateway” opens and closes.
    • Ghost (2 HD, 4) (Base 3/6/12): Ghost can be projected across timelines and other dimensions (+3/6/12) and can navigate them intuitively (+2/4/8), visited extra-dimensional locations count as valid targets for his basic Teleport power, although this invokes both a Backfire effect and Mental Strain with that power (+2/4/8), Mental Strain (-2/4/8), Cannot Interfere (-2/4/8), Loopy (-2/4/8), Go Last (-2/4/8), and Expensive (-1/2/4) = (1/2/4).

   This does, of course, open up the whole “other dimensions” can of worms. Now, Aesgir seems to go someplace. So do time-travelers. It’s easy enough to tell if where they go is an illusion: bring something or someone back, and see if they’re real – especially easy in the case of living beings, since Talents aren’t supposed to be able to create them. If other dimensions are talent-generated “illusions”, can you define them as you want? Can you bring things back? If you eat and drink there and return, will the food vanish or can any talent spend a will point to suddenly make you malnourished? Can you make one where you’re god? If they’re real, what kinds of dimensions can you reach? Ones that run on magic instead of science? Space opera dimensions? Realms of legend? Heaven, hell, and other afterlives? If you open a gate, can you let the warriors of Valhalla loose? Do some authors simply unconsciously tune into other worlds? Will Pop’s trip – whether to the Undying Lands, the land of Oz, or the Isles of the Blessed – suffice to save his grandchildren? Who knows? The Godlike rulebook has nothing to say on this sort of thing.

   As a PC, Pops would – almost as a matter of course – rapidly build up his attributes and skills by spending Will. He might even pick up some hyperstats or hyperskills or something. Of course, as a PC he’d be incredibly boring: with those powers, the only plausible assignment for him is “transport specialist” – going to a nice safe location in a shipping yard and transporting huge loads of supplies to various destinations over and over and over again.

   On the strategic level, Pops can transport stuff. A lot of stuff. Presuming that a combat round is indeed “roughly a couple of seconds”, that means that you can use a power 20-30 times a minute. Call it 20. OK, that’s 120 tons of cargo per minute. To almost anywhere in the world.

   Wait a minute though: on the average, Pops will gain .8 points of will on every Teleport – 45 points every 56 Teleports. Ergo, once every three minutes he can spend 45 will to boost his cargo limit from 6 tons per shot to 3072 tons for the next nine uses of his power – which will pay off in will normally.

   So his three-minute cargo limit is (51 x 6 Tons) for the normal transports + (9 x 3072 Tons) for the boosted ones – a total of 27,954 Tons every three minutes. 4,472,640 Tons per eight-hour workday.

   Through the war, America shipped some 17,000,000 tons of supplies to England, at the cost of the lives of more than 30,000 merchant sailors and 3500 merchant vessels (totaling nearly 12,000,000 tons).

   Pops could do that in less than a week. With no losses of ships or sailors. No shipbuilding. No expenditures on fuel. No sunken troop carriers.

   To keep this from totally upsetting the history of WWII (no, there is no good reason why a PC cannot take a similar power and do so, but they’d be very boring to play), I’m going to gratuitously assume that Pops was not in the best of health, and thus was considerably more limited than that in how much he could move around.

One Response

  1. […] who broke the game, often even if you didn’t mean to do so. There are several such characters on the blog here simply because I found it amusing to make […]

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