And here, for Aberrant and Trinity, we have Magnus Varr – an Olympian Undercover Agent. As befits someone extensively augmented by Nova technologies, he’s extremely powerful compared to a normal human, and quite powerful compared to your basic psion – but he’s no match for a high-powered Aberrant or Nova, while a psion is far more flexible – and may well outgrow him in the end; gadgets generally don’t improve with experience.
Origin: Magnus was eight years old when Prometheus led the exodus from earth – and grew up exploring the frontiers of a new world – and needed the services of search-and-rescue several times. Like every other kid on New Olympus he started anagathic treatments to slow his aging at eighteen. He, however, signed up for his mandatory six-year term in the security services right away instead of waiting for a bit.
Given his existing aptitudes and experiences, he easily obtained an assignment doing search-and-rescue himself – and quite enjoyed it. When his term was up, he opted to re-enlist, and continue his work as a career non-commissioned officer.
When the rise of the Psions and return of the Aberrants called for an increased presence on Earth, he volunteered for the assignment, underwent additional training and augmentation, and went in under cover as a mercenary and bodyguard. Now 30’ish and prematurely greying, he’s one of nature’s born sergeants.
In the original game, a new Psion character, nervous about an “educational caravan” trip into the badlands, hired Magnus as a bodyguard. After the trip was over, that psion was assigned “on loan” to another psion order for a special investigation, and towed Magnus along.
Thanks to some confusion in the paperwork, it was quite some time before that order realized that Magnus wasn’t a psion and didn’t work for them.
Nature: Critic (Most of the time), Leader (Combat situations). From a world of Nova’s, he’s used to deferring to expertise.
Allegiance: The Knights Of Olympus and Humanity at Large. He is currently infiltrating Orgotek.
- Str ** (7), Per **+, App *, Willpower ***** **
- Dex ***++, Int **+, Man **+, Psi xxxxx **
- Sta *****, Wit ****, Cha ***+, Initiative 10
Qualities: Str; Athletic, Dex; Coordinated, Sta; Resilient, Wit; Level-Headed, and Cha; Commanding.
Abilities (23): Athletics***+, Brawl ****+, Command ****+, Firearms ****+, Medicine **+, Melee ****+, Might **+, Resistance **+, and Stealth **+.
Bonus Points (15): +7 Backgrounds (7), +2 Willpower (4), Specialities; Brawl/Commando Training, Melee/Bo-jutsu, and Firearms/Multiple Fire (3), Ambidextrous (No offhand penalty, +1D for 2-hand attacks, 1), Combat Reflexes (Roll 2D for initiative and select result, 2), +1 Ability (2), Olympus Operative (QV, -3), Intensive Training (Base skills max at 4, 2), Latent Psion (Character has no active psionic modes. Even if his potential is somehow triggered later he will have to be trained and/or buy them starting from zero. Thanks to his devices (QV) this is especially unlikely in his case, -4), and +1 Initiative (1).
Backgrounds (7) : Resources 3 (5 for obtaining gear only, 4), Device(s) 6 (four L5 devices; see device packages below, 6), Allies 1 (Paladin; Olympus Agent Director; very powerful, but virtually never available undercover, 1), Citizenship 2 (the Federated States of America, the United African Nations, and India, 2), Contacts 1 (mercenaries and weapons suppliers, 1)
- 1x L5 : Nanite Augmentation.
- 1x L5 as 4x L4: Implanted Computer, “Skillwires”, Bell Theorem Inseparability Link, and Chemical Synthesizer.
- 1x L5 as; 3x L4 (ECM Cloak, Endocrine Adjustment* and an Earth Identity), 3x L3 (Archimedes, Phermonal Enhancement, Psiscreen*), 3x L2 (Smartgun Link, Retinal Enhancement, Linecaster), and 4x L1 (Internal Medical Sensors, Hypnotic Shield, Longevity Treatment*, and Faraday Shielding).
- 1x L5: Reserved for GM whimsy, unknown implants, probably some sort of suicide/memory-wipe security implant, or whatever item(s) the GM feels like adding.
Device V : Nanite Augmentation
- While roughly equivalent to a “standard” hardtech VARG (Device III) this network of smart microtronic fibers, subcellular nanite organelles, and force field-based microdevices, integrates itself into the user’s body – making it’s bonuses more-or-less inherent. Of course, any “display” of these capabilities would be virtually impossible to explain, so he attempts to avoid it at all costs…
- Statistics: Str +3 (6), Soak +2/+4 (6), HTH Str+2L or Str+4B when unarmed, Run/Jump/Etc x5, 48 Hr Life Support, Sensors 4 (IR/ UV/Low-Light/Flare Compensation, Life-Sign [Mainly used to locate pre-eruption Novas, Aberrent intrusions, and people in the area], Radiation and Tactical [Energy sources and objects in the immediate area. Makes him hard to blindside]. Unlike a standard VARG, there is no radar system), Plasma Cannon (8 Shots available, recharge 1 per hour, 10D+10 Damage, use Firearms to attack, LOS range. Not a subtle effect, primarily for emergency anti-aberrent use), GPS, and Communications (A a radio link).
Yes, that does make him a light-duty walking tank. Now, this sort of gear is available to other characters – and more cheaply – but he’s paying extra to be able to hide it and “wear it” all the time. Of course, if he ever has to really rely on those enhancements, and reveals anything close to their true extent, he’s probably blown his cover.
- Archimedes; Archimedes is a standard Olympian Computer Agent. Performance 7. Applications; Computers 4, Mathematics 3, Espionage 4, Tactics 4, Law 2, Culture 2, Current Events 1, Linguistics 2, Electronics 3, Research 2, Quick Search 2, Medicine 4, and Mechanics 3.
- Bell Theorem Inseparability Link (to the Aegis Network); Two objects, once linked, remain permanently linked by quantum wave functions. Sadly, using this link for the instantaneous transmission of data requires some way to control quantum events – such as Nova powers or devices or quantakinesis. Basically this is an undetectable and instantaneous link into the Aegis Network on Olympus. Indirectly it can also be used to link back into the OpNet – or to allow an Olympus-based hacker to get into a system Magnus has physically accessed.
- Chemical Synthesizer; This is usually run by Archimedes, using it’s medical and chemical database. It can dispense chemicals into the user’s bloodstream or through pressure-injector channels under the fingernails, and can also analyze chemicals drawn from those locations (allowing it to dispense antidotes and such). Quantities are, of course, very limited, but the required amounts for drugs, toxins, and assorted other biochemicals are very small. “Common” applications include; personal medical treatment, painkillers (Negate wound penalties), stimulants (Either long-term [but low grade] or briefly boost Str [+2], Sta [+1], and Actions [Extra action at 1/2 initiative without splitting dice pools] for [Successes] turns. This causes a major strain on the user’s body; 1D bashing damage against Stamina soak ONLY per prior use in previous 24 hours when coming down), and many other tricks. QV; “Resistance”.
- Earth Identity; Magnus has a through set of false/coopted records. There are some blank spots – but that’s not uncommon, and there are no “real” records to uncover. This is NOT the same as the “cipher” background; it’s fairly easy to get his official biography. It’s just that the early section never really happened.
- ECM Cloak; This is basically equivalent to the electronic warfare suite of the “Spirit Warrior” / Kami-Hei-Bushi VARG. It provides “+3” difficulty versus instrumental detection and targeting and +2 dificulty versus EM disruption. While this is normally only relevant on battlefields, it can be used to simply interfere with evesdropping, bugging, and so on, if you want to have a private conversation.
- Endocrine Adjustment*; This bioapp adjusts the user’s body and metabolism for optimum operation. Unformatted it provides a “+1” boost to any two physical attributes. Formatted it provides a +2 boost to two physical attributes and a +1 boost to two mental ones. In either case, the maximum limit is 5. Mass -, Tolerance */***.
- Faraday Shielding; This is actually just a note. His “armor” protects him against electrical/EMP and external/internal thermal effects, as well as against direct physical injuries.
- Fighting Staff; A collapsible metal staff. It extends, collapses, or extends a naginata blade, as triggered by the weilder. Str+7D B as a staff, Str+5D10 L with blade extended. Magnus generally prefers to stick with knocking people out as opposed to killing anyone.
- Hypnotic Shield; These cultivated neural patches provide +2 difficulty on any and all attempts – including interrogation, mental probes, and drugs – to get information out of him.
- Implant Computer; Standard functions plus; neural interface, a sensory-feed/pickup display/input system, 500 B storage, a cellular uplink/wireless interface, a fiberobtic probe/datalink and various internal sensors. High resources provide a +1 rating bonus to any Agent used on the system. The interface may, at least in theory, confuse telepaths and electrokinetics – but it’s never been tested.
- Internal Medical Sensors; These monitor his health, including checking for diseases, drugs and toxins, and gross physical damage.
- Linecaster; Spins a monofilament line from fast polymers, with a reaction pressure that can hurl the resulting line fifty meters. Due to incomplete boundary polymerization the resulting line is “sticky” for several seconds afterwards. The line can support up to 250 kilograms, and is often used to tie things together, swing across gaps, climb walls, snatch things (using the rewinder), or to tie people up.
- Longevity Treatment; This is a standard medical benefit for citizens of New Olympus and drastically reduces the aging rate. Sadly, in game terms, this really has no relevant game effectsl few RPG’s go on long enough for the characters to age very much.
- Pheromonal Enhancement*; Actually more of a confidence building placebo, this does provide a notable improvement in your “social” attributes (+1 to Manipulation and Charisma). Mass -, Tolerance *.
- Psiscreen*; This subdermal fiber network simply has it’s own – clashing – neotic “signature”. This makes it hard for more subtle psionic applications to “focus” on the user (+3 Difficulty versus Telepathy and Clairvoyance. “Throwing” one of your own Psi points into the network generates a short-term (2D10 turns) burst of psi “noise” in a five meter radius; +6 difficulty vrs Telepathy/Clairvoyance, +3 vrs any other “projected” effects). Tolerance 0, obviously can not be attuned. Can be used defensively without an action at any time.
- Retinal Enhancement; Extended visual spectrum and sensetivity, with overload cutoffs. Provides IR/UV/Light Amplification and Flash Protection functions. (Yes, this does overlap with his VARG bonuses. He had this particular enhancement long before he qualified for that one).
- Skillwires; Provides a +2D bonus on unskilled activities and +1D on those in which the user is a novice. There is no bonus if the user is practiced or better. This expert “instruction” does make it easier to develop abilities – the first dot “purchased” grants the user “practiced” status. While these benefits only apply if and when an appropriate skill program is available, these aren’t hard to come by.
- Smartgun Link; Basically an Electronic Combat Sight (QV). +4D for visual perception and firearm rolls.
- Warp Anchor; Acts as a focus for the “Warp” power, drastically reducing the strain, difficulty, and energy-signature, of opening a warp to the user’s location for Nova’s who are properly attuned to the device… The radius of detection is reduced to 50/1 KM in space/planetary environments.
“Cyberware” has advantages; it has no encumberance (+1 “device point”), is concealed (+1), and is mentally controlled (Thru some form of neural connection, not a neotic link. +1). Disadvantages include making it harder (+2 difficulty) for physicians and vita- kinetics to treat you unless they have details on the items (-1), reducing your psionic strength (a -2 penalty on Psi points, -1) and is both difficult to explain and socially unacceptable (No direct game effect but potentially bothersome). It also tends to disrupt any attempt to undergo the “Prometheus Process” (the name is unrelated to the Professor). Overall a cybersystem costs one more device point then a similar external item.
As nanoware systems, Magnus’s cyberware is self-repairing, has a fail-safe rating of 9, and is moderately difficult to detect by anything short of a full exam.
In the original game, Magnus was more-or-less destined for martyrdom. Given his personality and the escalating Aberrant attacks against Earth, he was almost certainly going to die pulling the “lone guardian at the gate” or “valiant rear guard fights to the last” sort of shtick – and his sacrifice would hopefully help unite the Psions of Earth and the Novas of New Olympus against the various threats to humanity of the Trinity universe.
Until then, of course, he wanted to keep almost all of his enhancements secret while spying on the psion orders – which sometimes made his life quite awkward.
- Aberrant to Trinity: Professor Prometheus and New Olympus (ruscumag.wordpress.com)