One of the more amusing aspects of the original Marvel Super Heroes game was that pretty much everything about your character was determined at random. Random attributes, random powers, random species… In fact, there was a substantial chance that your character would wind up as a member of a previously-unknown alien species – which you would then need to come up with, along with (hopefully) some explanation of how your random powers actually made some sort of sense. That could be quite a burden for some players, but – personally – I always took it as a large part of the fun.
Unlike Kriegspiel and Kalrith (a centauroid and his companion), or Mondorallen (a dragon), this character turned out to be a lupinoid. Given that he also got darkness powers, the label “Darkwolf” was near-inevitable (or at least it was the most tolerable of the various “-wolf” labels that people tried to attach to him).
Ergo, in the interests of nostalgia, here we have his capsule history, species notes, basic attributes, powers, power stunts, usual equipment, and contacts.
Alien Lupinoid Hero
Professors Telmarch and Risoung were dimensional counterparts, each reflecting the other in the warped mirror of alternative worlds. While counterpart pairs are common enough in “close” dimensions, they’re vanishingly rare on worlds so divergent as to have different dominant species. Damith is the home of the Damkian, a wolflike “demihuman” race (see background material).
On Earth, Professor Telmarch was on sabbatical, working on a project to probe other dimensions astrally, using total memory to “record” data and a psychic amplifier to provide the necessary transdimensional boost. On Damith , Kear Risoung was on furlough from the academy. His device generated a true “gate” for instrumental probes at the price of enormous strains on the users will.
Ready at last, Kear Risoung’s clawtip touched the switch for full power – initiating the devices trial run.
A myriad dimensions away, a fingertip touched a switch as Professor Telmarch prepared the gate to fling his astral form into the cosmos.
In the realm between the worlds, two forces met and mingled, similar structures reinforcing each other. Wild energy surges fed back through generators, and two chairs were abruptly empty. In a timeless instant, two beings passed through each other in an abrupt, if momentary, fusion. As the generators burned out, the wild rift healed itself, balanced by the exchange of mass. In two no longer empty chairs two researchers looked at two unfamalier worlds and two masses of burned-out gear. Two voices were raised in unison across dimensions, two languages echoing for the first time across two worlds – “Oh Shit”.
Both Risoung and Telmarch were changed by their temporary fusion and trans-dimensional trip. The linkage supercharged their nervous systems, increasing their natural powers, as well as “imprinting” them with each others knowledge and talents. More dramatically, they remain linked to the interdimensional “void”, making them living dimensional nexi. This allows them to draw matter and energy from other dimensions or “shunt” it elsewhere. Energy is fairly easy to handle but matter is a considerable strain. Annoyingly, summoned matter is difficult to stabalize, it tends to drop out of this dimension given time. Risoung was rather shocked to discover his new powers – but not too shocked to use them and his new knowledge of Earth to get along.
Their original attributes were:
Risoung: FASERIP; 20/40/4/20/30/30/10, no medicine, physics, or resist domination talents, Ex iron will, Ex sense of smell, Pr claws and teeth (edged weapon damage).
Telmarch: FASERIP; 10/20/6/20/30/20/30, no leadership, piloting, or engineering, Ex total memory, Fb astral body.
Both professors are – or were – minor mutants with enhanced nervous systems. That boosted their reflexes and mentality a bit and gave them better control over their personal bioenergies, an effect that Telmarch developed into Total Memory while Risoung (a bit more physically-oriented) developed into Iron Will. Only their fundamental similarity and unusual neuralogical durability let them survive their temporary fusion.
The Damkian are descended from basically canine stock, albeit modified for their upright, bipedal, stance. They are somewhat smaller on the average then humans, standing about 5’3 and weighing about 125 pounds. On earth-marvel, they are usually classified as “Lupinoids”. As usual for an alternate-earth species, their biochemistry, genetics, and basic structure is quite ordinary by earthly standards. While humanoid, they do retain a wide variety of canine characteristics, including a coat of short fur, bushy tail, a short muzzle, stubby claws, pointed canine ears, a penile sheath in males, and the typical canine-jointed leg.
Damkian physiology is fairly similar to a humans, but there are some notable variations. They have an excellent sense of smell and their vision is sharper, and better at picking up motion, then a humans – but is somewhat poorer at distinguishing colors. Their predatory ancestry gives them better reflexes then human, but their lighter build leaves them noticeably weaker. Their hearing extends into the supersonic range, but they are deaf to the lower end of the human range. They are almost purely carnivorous, a fact that has had a considerable impact on their culture.
The average Damkian has a FASERIP of 10/10/4/6/6/10/4, can do “poor” edged weapon damage with his claws and teeth, has an “excellent” sense of smell, and enjoys a +1 CS for FEAT rolls involving running or fine manipulation. On the other hand, they suffer +1 rank effect from “scent-based” attacks, age some 25% faster then humans, and are limited to a diet consisting almost entirely of meat. Any Damkian “leader” who makes bad decisions may be challenged by one of his subordinates. If he wins, his policies will (probably) go unchallenged for a time. If he loses, his policies will be overturned, and he loses two points of popularity to said challenger. Subordinates may challenge the leader even if his decisions have been good ones – but in this case they are similarily gambling two points of popularity. Such a fight is always over once one combatant submits. Damkian popularity depends on an individuals personal confidence, charisma, and dominance rather then on “popular opinion”. Hence Damkian suffer no penalties for being accused of or being found guilty of “criminal behavior”.
Psychology and Sociology:
Damkian cultures, like human cultures, are built around their basic social unit. Unlike humans, this is the pack, rather then the clan. Human clans are built around blood relationships, and run on a basis of seniority and influence. Damkian packs are built around territory and similar goals, and run on a basis of charisma and dominance. Packs are far less stable then clans, as individuals vie for position and move on as their interests shift – or they think they can do better elsewhere. Packs are very terratorial, although this territory may be something as abstract as a share of the market. Individuals are not. While this tends to look like total anarchy to humans, it allows rapid adaption to changing circumstances. Pack size is generally limited to the number of Damkian that the leader can personally sway and command, or about three times his popularity. Larger- scale governments have little real control. Pack loyalty is a (or the) major force in Damkian culture. As long as a Damkian belongs to a pack he will show a fierce loyalty to it, and a strong drive to prove it superior to others, an effect which normally drives what cooperation there is in the species.
Individual Damkian are gregarious and pack-oriented, but have an equally strong tendency to move on if and when things don’t suit them. Their loyalty is intense, but transitory in most cases. Exceptions do occur. Durable relationships usually involve siblings, close friends, or mates. They tend to be fairly direct and honest by human standards, a result of their enhanced sense of smell. As their scents clearly reveal their basic emotional state to each other, they lack the social conventions that humans conceal such information with. Similarly, clothing serves little purpose of concealment among them, and, as it pulls their fur, is usually limited to utilitarian / protective gear. Damkian are more casually violent then humans, but rarely take it to extremes, since the same sensetivity that makes mutual hostility unconcealable makes surrender both unambigious, and impossible to fake. They also tend to be more casual about “property” then humans, rarely considering anything too bulky to take along as being theirs. Major structures ordinarily belong to the pack.
The Damkian are fairly homogenous culturally. Since they tend to move on, or fight, when crowded, dissatisfied, or merely bored, the cultural diffusion rate is extremely high. They have a somewhat more advanced technology then earth, including basic warp-drive capabilities, and have colonized a dozen or so nearby worlds. Despite this, their total population is roughly equal to Earths, since the acreage required to support a Damkian carnivorous diet could support 20-30 humans living by subsistence farming. Children are reared by the mother and her pack, although the father will make a special effort if he remains with the pack. Casual sexual encounters are both common and much less complex then among humans, as their sense of smell easily informs them as to who is ready, interested, and available – and simple feedback often leads to casual flings. While some such encounters will develop into long-term bondings, males will still be open to new partners. A single long-term mate is the usual pattern – a cooperative pair makes a good team – but exceptionally charasmatic and dominant males may have several.
Gender differences vaguely resemble those of terrestrial wolves in general, although the details vary. Males are “in charge” of day to day pack operations and defense – at least in theory. In practice, the females provide the packs basic continuity and long-term policies – a result of the males tendency to drift from pack to pack. The females are far more settled, usually remaining with the same pack indefinitely. Both groups tend to believe that they’re in charge, since what they think is important differs in the same fashion. Males are more violent, authoritative, and dominating but are, like most male mammals, always receptive to sexual advances. Females are thus pretty much in control of that aspect of life, since they are the ones who can choose to start (or stay out of) the pheromonal feedback loop. Males are virtually incapable of refusing a females advances, basically allowing the females to lead them around on a pheromonal string. On the other hand, while females are free to pick, “keep”, and stay with or leave, male Damkian, as long as they do decide to “keep” one, they remain his, and will (at least superficially) accept him as the dominant “head of the household”. Females are under no obligation to settle down with a particular mate however, the pack will provide for their offspring in any case.
Science and Technology:
Damkian technology is somewhat more advanced then that available to earthly “civilians” – but is, in fact, quite a bit behind the items produced by human geniuses such as Tony Stark or Mr Fantastic. While Damith does boast a few such minds, their efforts are very rarely so well focused or supported. On the other hand, whatever they do invent, they share with their packs as naturally as a human might share his inventions with his family – and unlike families, members of Damkian packs come and go all the time. Hence any new invention tends to spread rapidly. Trade secrets and industrial espionage generally don’t exist on Damith.
Personally, Darkwolf is a hyped-up Damkian. He may be incredibly brilliant and powerful, but his basic instincts haven’t changed a bit. He wants to be pack leader. He wants to have mates and children and to protect and advance both them and his pack. Wealth, a good social life, indulging his curiosity (especially about his weird companions), and associating with his friends and peers all come in second.
After the initial shock, he’s become very happy living on Earth. He’s accepted as pack leader of the Knight-Errants (1), has found two wonderful mates (Rahne Sinclair and Amy Grant – both of whom he goes to enormous lengths to please and care for, since there aren’t many other female wolf-people on earth), is extremely popular with the general population (thanks in large part to his medical work and only incidentally to his activities as a superhero), and – for that matter – is wealthy, powerful, has a whole new world to explore, and has every prospect of this situation continuing indefinitely thanks to his ability to produce anti-aging drugs (which he shares with those in the pack who want them). Life is good.
Of course he can be upset. If Rahne, or Amy get kidnaped, he tends to go berserk – and anyone who gets “in the way” of him going after one of them will get badly hurt. Anyone who hurts one of them is going to die unless someone manages to restrain him – and if one of them gets killed, then everyone involved in that will die. Violently. Loudly. And probably very, very, quickly.
(1) Darkwolf is, at least nominally, in charge of the Knight-Errant “team”, which he sees as a very powerful pack. The other members understand his psychology well enough (after a few of the more powerful and brilliant ones explained it) to just work around him if they need to rather than challenging him directly. Besides… he pays the bills, makes good plans, provides what little organization is actually needed, and doesn’t push the “I am in charge!” bit enough to really be much of a bother to anyone (after all, he’d expect them to just leave if he did). What more could anyone ask for in a leader? Or, for that matter, a fantastically skilled physician… Never upset your doctor.
|Height||5 feet, 4 inches|
|Hair/Eyes||Rust / Green|
|Age||36 years, no longer aging appreciably.|
|Real Name||Kear (Professor) Zaer Risoung|
|Occupation||Chemical Supplier, Researcher, Inventor, Hero|
|Legal Status||Citizen of the US (sort of) and Damith.|
|Other Aliases||Professor Vargr, Professor Adrian Telmarch.|
|Birthplace||Damith / Earth.|
|Marital Status||Mated with Rahne Sinclair and Amy Grant|
|Base Of Operations||New York City.|
|Ethnic Origin||Temperate Damith.|
|Education||Earthly and Damithian PHD’s in physics and electronics.|
|Source Of In||Biochemical Sales.|
Talents: Medicine, Piloting, Engineering, Languages, Leadership, Physics, Electronics, Resist Domination, Genetics, Husband (provides a +3 column shift on anticipating, pleasing, and getting along with mates and offspring, usually intuition-based. He didn’t have this to start with, but bought it as soon as he could once he was in a relationship).
Personal Notes: The professor is still officially on sabbatical, and will be for the next year. He has another set of contacts, but only in his home dimension.
Dimensional Shunting: Risoung is a living dimensional nexus, able to shunt matter and energy both to and from other dimensions. His ability to manipulate it afterwards is more limited, although interactions with his enhanced bioenergy fields offer him some control. This subsumes:
|Light Emission (2)||100||Un|
(1) Via the creation of various biochemicals internally. Limited to (medical skill-1 CS). His enhanced pheromones are generated unconsciously, he doesn’t really know he’s doing it. Since this only requires trace amounts of various chemicals, it’s no particular strain on his power reserves though.
(2) Specialized in laser light.
Sadly, Risoungs powers are limited, and can be temporarily exhausted by overuse or pushing his limits. For game purposes his power reserve is measured in “points”. He has a reserve of (Health + Power Ranks) “points” (currently 640 (1)), can recover 2 x (Endurance + Psyche) (currently 160) “points” per day, and can expend them as follows:
|Matter Creation||1 per ounce. Includes activating Berserker.|
|Illusion Casting||Maintenance Only.|
|Disintegration, Darkforce, or Energy Transfer Effects||Sh 0 – Pr/0, Typ – Rm/1, In – Am/2, Mn – Un/3, Shift-X/4. +9 if above normal limits.|
|Maintaining an effect for ten minutes.||1|
|Per turn of “logrus searching”||1|
|Boosting Resources (2)||1 per point of boost|
(1) In an emergency, he’s found that he can use his Iron Will power to provide extra points, but must – as usual with Iron Will – make up for it later on.
(2) Risoung can use his powers to make money by creating rare medical compounds. While only a small percentage of what he creates is permanent, he can afford to wait a few days to sort out what is – and the price of such materials is very high.
Enhanced Neurology: Risoung’s innate neural enhancement linked with the enormous boost to his bioenergy fields during the fusion gives him;
Physical Powers: As a lupinoid he has a few innate physical powers ;
|Claws and Teeth (Edged att)||4||Pr|
Darkforce Armor: This handy darkforce construct gives the “wearer” In (40) protection from physical attacks, Am (50) protection from energy, Mn (75) protection from most magic, and Un (100) protection from lasers and light- based attacks.
Energy Damping: Uses the negative darkforce energies to dampen or cancel out other energies (a very generic effect, often used to weaken force fields and such).
Flight: -1 rank speeds, In (20 areas/round, 300 MPH)
Gateway/Teleport: Standard effects.
Hypershunt (In): Acts like True Invulneribility, save for the fact that it only works on attacks of “unearthly” strength and above – and even then only reduces them to the “monstrous” level. This is an extension of his Darkforce Armor.
Internal Creation: Used with Molecular Creation, and possibly with Disintegration, this handy stunt allows the user to create material inside of other things. Darkwolf commonly uses this to administer drugs to people.
“Logrus Search“: While items are far more specific and so far harder to find then elements and compounds, they can still be drawn across the dimensions. Common items can usually be found in a turn or two – but the time required is up to the GM. Items are limited to -2 ranks ounces – and must be pulled through in one piece, they can’t be assembled piecemeal.
Kinetic Bolt: The ultimate refinement of the laser, a kinetic bolt is a beam of “solid light”, capable of doing impact damage as appropriate to it’s form.
Biochemical Enhancement: This stunt refines the usual stimulus of the “berserker” power. Rather then increasing his Iron Will, Darkwolf’s enhanced medical talents allow him to tailor his stimulants so as to increase particular attributes. In effect, he can destribute those 100 points among his FASERIP characteristics – although boosting his mental attributes is only 50% effective.
Tracking: Darkwolf can track by scent with (In) ability and gains a +2CS to track his mates or offspring; he’s very familiar with those scents.
Hidden Powers: Actually, due to the original GM’s tendency to hold back a few hidden powers, the professor was a bit more powerful then he realized. It was easy for him to develop the “armor”, tracking, and gateway stunts because he already had Body Resistance (Am), Gateway (Am), and Tracking (In).
During the period in which he was enhanced by the High Evolutionary (for the campaigns final battle with Brand, a cosmic menace) he also possessed Regeneration (Ex), (Am) claws and teeth, and a +1 CS each on his Endurance, Fighting, and Psyche. There were some indications that part of those enhancements would persist after the battle, but that was the end of the campaign and we never did get details.
Uniform: Having designed them, Darkwolf has been nagged into wearing one in place of his original collection of gear – although he usually adds a vest to the ensemble so as to provide more pockets for his tools. His recent adventures in space, and his biological experiments, have prompted him to add a life-support belt.
Systems: Optical Scan, Remote Modem, and Sensor Web.
Kits: First Aid Kit and Multiscanner. The vest usually contains both a “Pocket”, and an Electronics, Toolkit, as well as a Pocket Computer/Secretary.
Minor Devices: Binoculars, Oxygen Mask, Sewing Kit, and Translator.
Amy has given the Auto-medpack a supplementary load of several powerful “healing potions”. She worries about him a bit.
Life-Support Belt: This gadget provides a personal shield-aura against N/B/C attacks and environmental extremes which is roughly equal to a “Rm” rank micro-environment power. This protection extends to sensory overloads, albeit with only Ex effect. In an emergency (about to crash into something at mach one, targeted by a nuclear cannon, etc) the field can be extended to a modest radius and/or “cranked up” to the Mn level – but this requires a green FEAT roll on the Rm column each turn to avoid burning out the system.
Normal Equipment: Medical Kit (right vest pocket), Currycomb (upper right vest pocket), Sewing kit (upper left vest pocket), emergency Breather Mask (left interior vest pocket), Sensor Pack (right interior vest pocket), Wallet (etc) (right pants pocket), mini-binoculars (left pants pocket), Transceiver Link Watch, and Miniature tool kit Belt.
These simple telescoping tubes can be extended to five feet or collapsed to eight inches with a simple twist and button control. They are double-walled, with the internal elements between the walls. Darkwolf asked for them just in case he ever went berserk, only to find that Amy Grant and Tony Stark had anticipated him and had them ready. They are:
Made of class-3000 material – apparently an alchemically-enhanced adamantium variant.
Handy for blocking attacks in hand-to hand combat, reducing the damage from such attacks by two ranks.
Darkwolf can simply shunt energies through the center of the tube – making it unnecessary focus it himself. This translates into boosting such projections by two ranks, to a maximum of Shift-Z.
The staves respond to tiny (pinhead sized) “director” units set into the bones of his hands, allowing Darkwolf to “call” the staves to himself from up to three areas away. This is normally unimportant, but does look neat.
Thomasin Ap Hengwyr: Holder of the chair of medieval literature at the university, as well as a student of the occult and a minor sorcerer. He tends to keep this hobby quiet, but has been known to unbend at faculty parties. Usually everyone is too far gone to remember whatever he did -if he was sober enough to make it work. His advice was quite useful (ok, maybe that’s not quite the right word) in the building of the dimensional probe.
Thomas knows relatively few spells, notably; the Eleven Lights of Luath (Gd), the Evocations of Bast (Typ), and the Protocols of Orin (Typ), as well as basic Magesight and “Utility” spells (Pr). He can perform a wide variety of magical rituals, provided that the time, materials, and sources can be found.
F: 4/Pr, A: 10/Gd, S: 6/Typ, E: 10/Gd, R: 20/Ex, I: 6/Typ, P: 20/Ex, Health: 30, Karma: 46.
His talents include; Occult Lore, Mystic Background, and Resist Domination, as well as Scholar and, of course, Languages, and Literature.
Jacob Mac’Gregor: A a small-time smuggler and a skillful pilot of ships and planes. He has a wide selection of underworld contacts but likes to keep things legal or quasi-legal if at all possible. He spends lots of time knocking around the fringes of civilization and the south seas. He worked with Telmarch several times, finding him competent, intelligent, and possessed of fast reflexes. He often gets involved in weird things somehow, usually when someone needs some “no questions” transportation.
F: 20/Ex, A: 10/Gd, S: 10/Gd, E: 10/Gd, R: 6/Typ, I: 20/Ex, P: 6/Typ, Health: 50, Karma: 32.
Jacob’s talents include Guns, Thrown Weapons, Marksman, Law, Tinkering / Repair, Languages, and Espionage. He normally carries a pistol and wears a bulletproof vest.
Darkwolf should have had another two contacts, but they never came into play anyway. We presumed that Professor Telmarch knew a lot of people from the six years he spent hanging around on the fringes of civilization, but that only a few of them were willing to immediately accept his “new look” – and that those few were fairly odd themselves.
Acquired Contacts: In his original campaign, new contacts were gained by doing things – making friends, going to the rescue, and so on. Darkwolf’s acquired (if somewhat dated) contacts include:
The High Evolutionary. Given that the Knight-Errants took in quite a few of his creations – and cleaned up some of his messes – the High Evolutionary was willing to do them the occasional favor – and he liked having someone to talk to who understood most of what he said.
Rahne Sinclair / Wolvesbane. Being almost alone on Earth, Darkwolf started pursuing a relationship with Rahne almost as soon as he became aware of her existence. They eventually did settle down together.
Amy Grant. Amy was an alchemist of some skill, decided she liked Darkwolf – and managed to turn herself into a werewolf to pursue that attachment. For a time, this complicated Darkwolf’s social life no end, since he was already involved with Rahne.
Professor Xavier, the X-Men, and X-Factor. Darkwolf provided specialized medical treatment, gadgetry, and assistance on many occasions – although getting involved with Rahne put a bit of strain on things for a time.
The Medical Community. Darkwolf did keep on finding a cure for things – which also enhanced his popularity a great deal.
Darkwolf also had casual contact with quite a few other heroes, but didn’t really get close to any of them.
Now that list probably dates this character quite a bit… Like the previous file on uniforms, this one dates back some twenty-five years – although I’ve cleaned it up a bit (and fixed a lot of typos or bits of file corruption) to allow it to be posted here.